Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A little rant about supplies

Yesterday morning I thought I was all set to start tying At Home and Away. I have several different types of yarn, perle cotton, tatting thread, heavy thread, and floss - here they are all lined up.

So I chose a few of these and experimented with using each to tie a sample sandwich. I began to feel like Goldilocks visiting the three bears - the yarn was too easily breakable with a good pull, and I could not thread it through a needle, even if I pulled it apart to two strands; the light blue perle cotton was too light, it felt that it wouldn't hold the knot, the red "thread" was perfect - but no label remained on it so I didn't know what it was.

Now here comes the rant - I'm only able to drive myself about ten minutes from home, as I have to account for the time spent at the destination, and then the return drive home. That leaves me with all of two places to do any kind of live in person shopping for quilting/sewing supplies - Walmart and Michaels. Walmart is discontinuing all their fabric - which I used to rely on for emergency, tests, and ideas; their notions and patterns are slowing shrinking as well. When Michaels move into the neighbourhood, I thought well maybe this will help me out.

I live near the centre of an old town with a main street - I'm sure that once there was a needlecraft shop there, but the town has grown into suburbs and big box stores.

I had already had a good look at possible tying yarn/threads at Walmart - that's where I got the yarn. That's it - that was pretty much my only choice.

Off to Michael's yesterday with my little practice in hand, knowing I'm looking for something the same weight and feel of what worked. Well, of course they too have limited colours, limited weights of floss, cotton crochet yarn, and tatting thread. Not just limited weights, but limited colours too. In the cotton crochet yarn, I got to choose between a 3 weight and a 10 weight - one way too fine, the other I suspect too thick, but brought home a navy (not my first choice) #3 weight anyway.

The navy was thin enough for me to thread a large embroidery needle, but then I couldn't get the needle pulled through the sandwich with a pair of pliers! Not good.

So back to mail order for me. I ordered some perle cotton size 5 from Herrschners.ca - and I sit and wait, again. I'm also waiting for a box from Connecting Threads with some batting and backing fabrics to start quilting Folk Art Finery, and a couple of others that are ready to go.

Basket Applique

Now that I'm waiting to start tying, I got another basket block ready. I think what was wrong with the first block was that the greens were too light, maybe....so I've tried a brighter green on this one.

Here are pictures of the back and the front of the block, with the leaves basted in place. This block may not be the best example, and best use, of the back basting technique as there isn't a very set pattern, but I'm still going to work with the technique. Lots and lots of small berries on this one, marked with an x - which I will do entirely by needleturn, not prepping them at the ironing board first.

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About Me

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southern Ontario, Canada
I began quilt-making in January 2001, as therapy following diagnosis a chronic autoimmune condition. I enjoy creating and exploring hand and machine applique, machine piecing, english paper piecing, machine quilting, and machine embroidery. I have been working with Electric Quilt for several years and I'm comfortable with just about very aspect of using EQ to design pieced, applique, and embroidery quilts. I'm an early retired Mom with two teenager and a son who'll be married in Fall '09. My husband is my biggest quilting supporter.

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