Category Archives: Quilting

A new pattern for a new year!

Happy New Year everyone!

If anyone had told me a few years ago that I’d be teaching people to maintain their vintage machines, I’d have probably thought they were crazy.   We’re planning more workshops for 2016 though!

For that matter, if they’d told me that I’d be quilting on a massive quilting frame and have a long arm as my most consistent dance partner and half my basement dedicated to sewing machines and quilting, I’d have shook my head and thought they really didn’t know me.

Similarly, it never occurred to me that I’d become a published pattern designer.  As of today, this too though has come to pass.  Today, my very first pattern has been uploaded to Craftsy and is available for sale and proceeds from this pattern will support the upkeep of ArchaicArcane.com and facilitate the upgrade of certain video making equipment. Continue reading A new pattern for a new year!

Bring me some water – the importance of humidity in a quilting studio

Note:  I talk mainly about long arm quilting in this post and how humidity affects it because it’s so much more quickly noticed with the speed of the machines but this post is relevant to anyone with a crafting space that uses thread and other fibers that can change for the worse with humidity changes.

Living on the prairies in Central Alberta, we seem to get a lot of weather extremes.  Normally, this doesn’t affect the inside of the house or my studio much – thankfully now that the roof thing has been taken care of! – but there’s one particular situation that I do have to manage – humidity.  With plummeting temperatures and the liberal use of a forced air furnace, the air becomes extremely dry down here.   I ignored it for the first winter that I had Lucey – not really recognizing it as a problem.

Last year – around this time – I started having major problems with thread breakage on Lucey.  No amount of pleading or bargaining or whining helped.  Continue reading Bring me some water – the importance of humidity in a quilting studio

A (new) piece of my heart – I’m really piecing!

One of the reasons that I tell people that I “don’t piece” is because I just find that I can’t seem to get the accuracy that I want.  Yes, I know that it takes practice and patience,  “nothing comes overnight”, and all that.  Sometimes though, it would be nice if my own tops weren’t the most character building tops I ever quilt. Parachutes are just not my favorite shape of top to quilt! I do however like to quilt, so sometimes I have to piece – especially if I want to keep what I’ve quilted.  😉

Two nights a week several weeks of the year, I have a girls’ night out.  Two separate groups of us get together and sew.  Since Lucey’s not especially portable – and Ryan says getting out of the house and spending time with friends is good for me – I grab a sewing machine (usually a featherweight) and do a little sewing with the girls.

Enter Judy Niemeyer’s paper piecing patterns.

After all, why start with something easy when you can out and out challenge the heck out of yourself, right?  Continue reading A (new) piece of my heart – I’m really piecing!

A little wizardry – overdue maintenance on Archaic Arcane

Last week, support for the operating system on the computer that brings you ArchaicArcane.com was discontinued.  This is not unlike when Microsoft said no more XP.

What this means for AA is that I need to do some behind the curtain maintenance before I can do the on-stage updates.  I’m working on many things at once and you’ll start to see some posts hopefully this month.

The server and a quilt I was working on last month were the top priorities keeping me away from the site.  Now though, I have lots to say, I just need to take care of the server first so you can read about it when I tell it! 🙂 Continue reading A little wizardry – overdue maintenance on Archaic Arcane

More of it – Happy New Year!

“The only thing better than a good thing is more of it.”

Happy New Year Everyone!  As we go into 2015, I haven’t exactly made any resolutions but I have decided that I’m going to finish some projects that I’ve been working on and start the ones I’ve been thinking of.  What this means is that I’m planning on taking on only a couple of very focused projects this year which is a huge departure from previous years because last year left me pretty burned out.

I’m still going to be making posts – it’s one of the main things on my list of things both started and in contemplation.  I would really like to see the 34 drafts finished and out to you all to read.

In the effort to get an early start on the projects, I started 5 projects at once in the past week.  LOL!  Typical for me, overkill, right?

It’s OK – these projects are easy to stagger and it’s actually not as overwhelming as it sounds. 🙂 Continue reading More of it – Happy New Year!

Not inspired by it? Rip it.

One of the things that a lot of new Long Arm Quilters hear / learn is:  Don’t rip it!  Or “Leave it over night and look at it again in the morning.  If it still offends you, then rip it.”

I’m going to be a little controversial here.

I have to say there have been a few projects on my frame in the last little bit that have not inspired me.   I can’t really say why.  Maybe it’s just the stress in my every day life seeping in or maybe it’s just a lack of practice lately.    Sometimes I’ll quilt something that makes me think I forgot I was quilting for a few minutes.

You know what I do then? Continue reading Not inspired by it? Rip it.

Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound

I received an email from Roger about a month or so ago that asked for clarification about one of the posts I made last year. The post in question is Common Thread – Evaluating the Real cost of thread

Did I mention that I love hearing from readers?  Even if it’s questioning what I’ve written, I enjoy the conversation. 🙂  Feel free to comment below or drop me a line. I always answer, even if it’s not right away because I’m perpetually behind on email.

The question Roger asked made me realize that I might have been guilty of a little thread “geek speak”. He emailed me to ask what I meant by “cross wound” or “stack wound” thread.  The two other questions I also inferred from that question were “what’s the difference and what does it mean to me?” 🙂

Continue reading Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound

It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

Happy 2014 everyone!  I’ve been fairly absent for a bit here.  First, trying to get Ryan’s Christmas present finished.   I almost made it on time!  Then catching up on the corporate books.  I don’t recommend a 5 month absence from those.   Ugh.

At the end of it all, he got his gift before New Year’s Eve, which considering all of the hurdles I cleared to do it, and the fact that I started it WAY too late, I’m accepting of.

I’m told that the significant other is often the last one to get a quilt.  Not in Ryan’s case.   He actually managed to get the second ever quilt I’ve made.

Continue reading It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Ergonomics Part 2:  In the last article, we discussed why we need to pay attention to ergonomics.  Now I’d like to talk about some of the ways we can do this.

Most of the time, it’s little changes that we can make that are inexpensive, or even free.  Sometimes we can trade cost for a little sweat equity.

If you’re having trouble putting your finger on the cause(s) of your ergonomic pain, I suggest that you have a helper take a photo of you when you’re working at the machine(s) and then you can review your posture.  You’d be amazed at what you can pick out from a photo.

Continue reading High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Ergonomics Part 1: (This post ended up far longer than I’d intended (yeah, shocking, I know!), so I will split it into 2, and offer you part 2 tomorrow.)

Lately, I’ve noticed that I hunch a lot when I sew.  This is on the longarm or at the domestic machines.   The result of this is that I “hurt” and I can’t sew for long periods of time.  So I thought I’d talk today a little about ergonomics, both at the stand up and sit down types of machines and your cutting table. Continue reading Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back