Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Avatar

Mary suggested that I tell you about the quilt that I use for my avatar.  I worked on it for a few years before it all came together.  The whole thing was done using paper foundation piecing on the Singer VS3 hand crank sewing machine pictured above, which is a 3/4 size machine, and was made in the late 1880s.  I was able to print out the paper foundations for the regular blocks using EQ5 or 6, can't remember now--I've slept since then, LOL.  The wonky ones were drawn out on graph paper by hand.  I love taking a traditional block and tweaking it to make the quilt surface appear to be 3-D.  After piecing the blocks, I sewed the top together with the Davis Vertical Feed treadle pictured above the hand crank machine.  The beauty of that machine is that it has no feed dogs.  After the needle enters the fabric and the stitch is formed, both the needle and the foot move all the fabric layers back.  When the needle leaves the fabric, it and the foot move forward again to form the next stitch.  No puckers on the back!  It's FABULOUS!  It also was used to quilt the top, and to apply the binding with very narrow piping.  I used Sharon Schamber's method, glueing the binding on before sewing, sewing it to the back of the quilt first and then stitching-in-the-ditch right next to the piping on the front, a la Ricky Tims.  NO HAND SEWING!  Taking classes at Paducah and Houston has paid off handsomely.  I haven't had to reinvent the wheel.  After it was done, I decided it needed a bit more, so added the butterflies.  The quilt's title is "Shoo, 'Fly".  It won an honorable mention at the Houston show in 2008, and I was as proud as could be.


  1. I came over from Patternreview to read your blog and am here to stay. I am new to quilting, but not to sewing. I just discovered this craft late in the game. Lovely sewing machines too.

  2. Thank you! I will be posting more about my old machines in the future.

  3. I want to swoon reading about the vertical feed sewing machine. I'd love to read more about them too.

    And that quilt is fabulous!!