Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sharing the Mid-Arm

When Val gifted me with my beautiful mid-arm, she would not hardly let me do anything for her in return.  Mister fixed up her sweet Featherweight but that was it.  What she did do is ask me to pay it forward.  This weekend I am attempting to do that.  This mid-arm rookie is going to teach someone else  how to use it.  Now THIS should be interesting.  Come along and watch.

Debi arrives Friday night as I am cleaning up from my day with Allison.  The smell of the roast cooking has permeated the house and all I can say is -- let's eat dinner.  We spend some time visiting, enjoying a meal and a glass or wine or two and then she is ready to put a practice piece on the machine and see what happens.  I believe her statement to me is, "Are  you ready to do something even if it's wrong?"  Of course I am.  Out to the studio we go.

She learns, like everyone else, that the loading is the worst part.  Once it is ready to go, let the fun begin.

She does a great job and soon figures out what she wants to do on her own quilt tomorrow.  She is way more comfortable with meandering loops so loops it shall be.  Now for some sleep and a fresh new day to learn with.

Fresh coffee and Debi's cherry nut bread start out day out and we hit the studio at 9:30.  Yep, a bit of a late start but no one is in a hurry today.  First things first -- loading her Orange Crush quilt.

Once it is all ready to do, she starts up the machine, goes about 6 inches, squeals with delight, and has to take a break cos her heart is pounding so hard.  I remember that feeling.  It's the "oh please don't let me ruin my quilt" feeling.   She jumps back on the horse and within mere moments is at the end of her very first row.

Meanwhile, I cut sewing mats and then start to tame the batting mess in the studio.  I need to make a batting out of the large strips and then start cutting what remains into pieces I can use for the January retreat group project.  I feel like it is a huge mountain that I will never find the bottom of.  Once I get everything cut and squared, it is time to sew not only the batting, but the 5" strips need to go together as well.  It's zigzag time for me and the reason that my studio still has Lady Elna sitting on a t.v. tray.  She is perfect for this job.

 As I'm nearing the end of cutting, Debi also arrives at the last row on Orange Crush.  She has learned a few valuable lessons on making borders and what is meant by "that will quilt out."  It looks soooo good.  I'm kinda jelly right now.  My first one sure didn't look like this.  It's time to take it off the machine AND go have some lunch.  Mister has been creating a wonderful chicken soup for us and I am so hungry.

It is now 4:00.  Yep the first quilt took a llllloooonnnngggg time.  I tell her this next one will go much quicker since she knows what she is doing now.  She has learned not to try and sew with the presser foot up and that was a time consuming lesson.  Let's load Ribbons of Love.  She gets it loaded up quick and is soon sewing away only to discover that she hasn't completely learned her lesson on presser foot down.  Two more unpicking moments and I think it is now embedded in her brain.  She now yells out, "Presser Foot Down" each time she prepares to start the machine at the beginning of a row or a bobbin change.
I finish tackling my batting scraps and have 9 sets of project materials ready for retreat.  I only need 7 more but have to wait til Debi sends some scraps my way this week.  We'll get it done.  I move onto cleaning up my remaining mess in the studio by fixing the iron cord wrap that I tore apart at retreat in order to get at it's velcro bits, sewing all the remaining "sewing" fabric scraps into a second chair cushion AND starting in on my Easy Street "A" blocks again.  What an ongoing process this has been BUT my studio is looking incredible.  

I look up to see Debi working away and decide that she is definitely more comfortable with what she is doing.  She's one-handing it.

Mister went shopping for a baptism gift for our grandson tomorrow and shows up bearing gifts of "pink half yards" for Debi and I.  See why I call him a sweetie?  He also delivers glasses of wine to us -- which if I'm being honest here, I have to tell you that Debi decorates my carpet with.  Too funny and definitely requires a momentary lay down.  No, that's not fair.  Her back is hurting and she is taking a break.  We have been at this a long time.

She is almost finished and there are little squeals coming from her.  It has gone perfect!  Everything laid flat and beautiful.

And off the frame it goes!  Look at that smile.

Quick pictures of front and back and then she is loading up to head home.  It is 8:30 so her second quilt only took 4 1/2 hours from start to finish, an improvement over the 5 1/2 for the first.  It's been a great day with a great friend and she is going home tired but with a definite smile on her face.

And of course, the chipmunk picture.  (Yes, I stole this one.)  Thanks, Debi, for a really great day.  You were a super student.


  1. What fun! Well done . . . BOTH of you!! Hugs, Allison

    1. Thank you. I can't believe she trusted ME to teach her, lol. I can barely run the machine myself.