|Me and Bonnie holding my Pineapple Crazy top|
I was one of the retreaters in Mobile, AL that got to spend time with Bonnie Hunter and learn from her.
I was also one of the ones that said to myself and out loud (but not rudely) that I wasn't sure I would learn much from her. I've been piecing quilts for well over 20 years. I am pretty accurate with my points and 1/4" seams. My tops lay pretty flat and square. What could she teach me since her designs are traditional and not curved piecing.
Well let me tell you some of what I learned.
1. Just because someone told you that you can cut 8,10, or 12 layers of fabric with a good rotary blade (and you can) doesn't mean you should. You will lose accuracy with larger numbers. Bonnie recommended 4 layer max, and with the rulers she uses I totally agree. There is no way you can get a tiny nub of a point cut off at the same depth if you have lots of layers. The Tri Rec ruler and the Easy Angle ruler both all for cutting off tiny nubs. I have always had trouble with the Tri Rec ruler, but not any more. Thanks Bonnie!
2. Stop flip flopping those rulers! Read the instructions that came with them and do what it says. Imagine hinges, it really works. Thanks Bonnie!
3. Take the time to check out your machine for proper settings. Bonnie was brought a Singer 301 to sew with. (That is a blog post in itself! LOL) She sat down and started sewing and it had beautiful, straight, even stitches. After a short but she said, "this machine sounds dry, it needs oil". She oils the machine (all the while a crew is over her shoulders getting instructions on how to properly oil these old beauties). She puts the machine back together and starts to sew, but all she got was thread nests on the underside of the fabric. She rethreaded, pulled out the bobbin and replaced, looked for a loose thread in the bobbin area, rethreaded again, checked the bobbin again. After a good bit of time passed we heard her hooraying. She had touched the tension while oiling and showing everyone about how it worked and didn't realize it. Once she readjusted the tension it was back to perfect. Lesson: Recheck everything!! Thanks Bonnie!
4. Use your machines! I have several. Eight to be exact. Eight working machines and one that my Moma wore smooth out; it's just for memories. I do play on three of my machines pretty regularly, but that leaves five that are being snubbed. I don't mean to, I'm just lazy I guess. Well today I decided I wanted to play on my Singer treadle. It worked perfectly the last time I used it, but today the belt snapped. I remembered that Bonnie was talking at the retreat about her treadle and she kept telling us to check out her block that she had tons of info there (you could spend a whole day there learning from her!) under Tips and Techniques. So I went looking about where she bought her treadle belts. She uses a clear tubing and a connector. I looked up the website and was about to place the order but couldn't get the shipping charges to show. I emailed them and asked. The response was , "we don't know the shipping charges until you place the order and UPS picks it up, but we estimate between $7 and $15, WHAT? No way am I not going to know the price of shipping before I click buy and no way am I paying $15 for shipping me something that would take up no more room that a 4"x4x1" box on a bad day. I understand that is still less than me getting in my car and buying it from them....or is it?
Ace Hardware...My hero! 6ft tubing $1.14 + Tubing Fastener $.89 = $2.16 with tax
And Ace is only 2 miles down the road. Happy Happy Happy! I am now playing on my 1928 Treadle. Thanks Bonnie!
|Ace Hardware tubing and connector|