Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Gifts and My New Fave Tool

Here are the lovely gifts that Julia and Colin painted for me for Mother's Day. I am one of those people who would rather have something that they made (or anyone made just for me) instead of a purchased gift. The Momma and Daddy gave me a lovely gift too, but the kids gifts always get the first spot!

I either tie or hand quilt my quilts. For the most part, my quilts are use and abuse so I tie them. That is what was done when I was growing up and I respect it as a quilt. Now I have read that it is not a quilt but a "comforter" if it is tied. You can call it what you want, I don't think the ladies who made quilts 100 years ago always had the time to wait for the quilting process because they needed those quilts on the bed to keep their family warm. A quilt is a quilt, regardless of the methods used to put it together in my book.

The sandwich process has become really hard as the only place I have that is large enough is the living room floor. The old knees can't do that much anymore, plus I get a stiff neck and headache from having my head hang down when I am on my knees basting. The last few quilts I have done, I basted down the center in both directions and then moved it to my folding table to baste and then tie. It worked but I have been less than happy with the results because my backing was not always smooth.

Then I read somewhere how a lady used her husband's clamps to clamp her quilt to her table. Norma had a AH_HA moment! My great white hunter uses these clamps in his woodworking and there were some in the garage! I mentioned it to him and he suggested that I get new ones to make sure there was nothing on them from the woodworking process. (besides his tools are HIS tools). Well, they work wonderfully! In fact, I just did my usual baste down the center both ways and then clamped it to the table, tied a section, moved it and re clamped until I was done without any more basting. My backing is nice and smooth and it took about a third of the time. Now I need to find a box to store MY clamps.

Colin did ask if I asked Papa before I used his clamps, and was very impressed that Nana had her own set!


Amelia said...

Such cute gifts from the g.children...those type gifts are so special.

I can understand the part about the knees not working like they once did...back when we were younger and more agile.

Question: how do you keep from scratching your table when you take your needle down into the quilt for doing the tying part? Or do you use a curved needle? Maybe I am not seeing the whole picture..not your explaining - but my dense brain.

Yes - keep the clamps out of the workshop...they might wind up with stuff on them that would not be good on the next quilt.

Have a fun weekend...get your sweet honey to serve you breakfast in bed using your new flowered that would be a sight...agree?

Belvie said...

I love those homemade gifts too. They are truly gifts from the heart.

Bet Colin really thinks his Nana is cool since she has her own set of clamps. I'm going to baste on a table when I do my next bedsize quilt. My knees are an issue too.

Granny Lyn said...

First of all,,,you have SUCH TALENTED grandchildren!! those gifts are awesome!!!

second,,,I use the spray basting, it only takes me about a half an hour to do a queen size quilt, lay the backing down (right side down) first, pin the corners to the carpet, then roll your batting up and lay it along one edge of the backing, spray a section then roll it down, spray then roll, all the way, then roll up the top of the quilt and do it the same way. You will never waste time with basting or pinning again!!

third,,,ALL of the "usable" quilts in my family were tied, my aunt was the first in the family to hand quilt, she was considered the "artist" but many of her quilts were put away, never used, so tie away, girly!! I would rather have my quilts used than put away!!!

I machine quilt mine, I have only tied one, and only hand quilted one. It is called "quilter's choice" that is the wonderful thing about quilting!!!

Rannyjean said...

I tie! I have done some free motion quilting, but I like tying it just works for me!

Teresa said...

I clamp mine to a table to pin or thread baste too, but I use the big binder clips. I think the clamps might be easier to do. Very sweet mother's day gifts.

Beth said...

hey...are you interested in a few more free clamps? I got some with my frame, and they don't work for me. They are just sitting here waiting for a new home. You say the word and they are yours. I use big chip clips on the sides of my quilt when its loaded on the frame. The larger size gives me better coverage. love the Moms Day gifts! I got an edible arrangement. I DID have to share, but no one said a WORD when I got more of the chocolate covered strawberries than the rest of them! HA!

jovaliquilts said...

I love the idea of that tool! I use blue painter's tape, but when the quilt is too big, that doesn't work. This is a great solution.