November 15

Yesterday I had my first real attempt at machine quilting.

yes. I tried it.
The older girls' division at work has a niiiiice Brother computerized sewing machine and I'm in charge of seeing that their 20th anniversary project quilts (wall hangings) get done before 2007 is over, so~ I pin basted with Fumi last week and yesterday I put some stitches in. Wow. Machine quilting is fast. Of course I had no idea what I was doing (well, I do read a lot of quilt blogs, and I know a lot of machine quilters, so I guess I had some idea), but it turned out ok. I don't know how to get the stitches the same length, and I'm just using the regular foot because it didn't come with a walking or a free-motion foot (and I wasn't about to fill out a purchase order to request one), but for a first try, it doesn't look that bad. I am using matching thread just in case though. Once it's quilted, Fumi & I will sew the binding on, and then the students can hand stitch the binding to the back to finish it. Over all the students did a great job. First they cross-stitched the blocks with their names, the teachers' names, and the places they visit, then they pieced the whole thing as a group activity. I was hesitant to post the above pic because I'm committed to protecting the students' privacy, but I photoshopped the students' names out of it (just the teachers' names remain), so I think that's safe. The students who made it are 18-22 years old and fall on the Autism Spectrum at varying degrees. Some were able to operate the sewing machine with minimal assistance, others needed the teacher's full hand-over-hand guidance, but I am still amazed at what they put together, and how the teachers organized the year long activity. Ah, I love my school.
In other news, Costas and I decided that we're having Thanksgiving at our house again this year.. last minute phone calls to all Greek couples in the Boston/Providence area insued. I want to make the pumpkin pie triangles from Vefa's book; I've been drooling over that recipe since I found it. Have no fear, I will post the results if I try it.


Kathie said...

Quilting feet will make machine quilting MUCH easier for you. A walking foot is just about indispensable for straight line stuff, so you don't get puckers. And a darning or quilting foot (I have one that's sort of horseshoe shaped) is the way to go for free-motion stuff. Maybe if you ask Santa...!!

If Diane Gaudynski ever teaches her machine quilting classes in your neck of the woods, run don't walk to sign up. You will love it!

nora said...

Whereas I have never gotten brave enough to try hand quilting. Maybe one day... for now I admire from afar!

Seeing the webite of your school makes me want to take my family and move to Boston. We're in Abilene, TX, and there's SO little here for children with Autism. Blessings on you and your students!

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