I got a lot done this past week, but most of it I can't show you. First thing I did was get my new sewing machine set-up. Now that might seem like a lot, but before I put it on my sewing table, I empty everything from the storage area and from the top of the table. Now 90% of it went back into the storage area or on top, but it is much more organized now. And a lot of what was on top of the table is now stored behind a closed door. Now I have more room on the table surface, and it just feels better. Of course I didn't take any before or after shots to show you, but trust me it is much better.
One of the things I found when I pulled everything out of the storage area is some left over rail fence blocks I made several years ago. When Sharla and I started quilting again we went to a local big name store (which I won't name, but it's name rhymes) and bought a couple of small jelly rolls. Our plan was to practice our 1/4 inch seams and make quilts for the dogs. Sharla just sewed hers in rows, but I did my as a rail fence. Now I will say the fabric was cheap both in price and in quality, so the left overs were just stuffed in my storage area. When I found them I thought they would be perfect to test my thread breakage problem on the long arm.
My only issue is I didn't really want to do just a rail fence so I laid two blocks together, with the rows going opposite directions and then sewed around the edges. I then cut them on the diagonal both ways creating 4 Half Square Triangles (HST) from each pair. I trimmed then HST down to 5 inches. This gave me HST where one side had three fabrics and the other side had two. I played with a couple of different layouts and finally settled on a simple one so that your eye didn't go to crazy when looking at it.
The color mix is one I really love although I don't normally use much orange. I think I may have to look for some good fabric to make another one. I pulled a yellow from my stash for the back and binding and it matched the yellow on the front very nicely.
As you can see above I used an all over meander, and didn't have near the tension issues, so I really think it might be the cone of thread that was causing my earlier problems. Below is a close up so you can see more of the random pattern that was created by making the HST.
It is not a big table runner, ending up a 40" x 13 1/2" before washing. Since my table is covered, I brought it to work to photograph. I really wanted a couple of outside shots but we have had rain and overcast skies, so I settled for the lobby area of my office. Overall I'm very happy that I used up some less than stellar scraps, got to test the tension on the long arm and got to sew on my new machine. A very good week.
An let me say my new machine sewed over those HST like a hot knife though butter!!! I was able to finish very quickly so I started another table runner. It is using a pattern I'm testing for another designer. The table runner is complete and sitting on the long arm waiting for me to have time to quilt it. But I can't show you any photos of it until the pattern is released, which should be next week. I hope to have it and another quilt to show next Friday. Today I am linking up with Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts, TGIFF...at Dizzy Quilts, Finish It Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation and Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio.