What I’m Working On…

I’ve had such a busy week…seriously, so busy.  I’ve loved it and had a great time but I’ve not had a lot of time for actual quilting.

My friend Doreen contacted me and asked if I would longarm quilt one of her quilts that she had made with the intention of donating it to the school kids that needed quilts.  Of course, I would.

So that was supposed to be my Tuesday job so late Monday night I loaded the quilt in the frame.

Then Kalissa had a Covid scare again, had to be tested again, and I ended up having the boys all day Tuesday which was totally okay but that pushed me getting Doreen’s quilt done to Wednesday as Tuesday night after the boys left, I had to write blog posts.  Kalissa’s test was negative which is great!!

Wednesday was a miserable day.  I went to work on the quilt and the thread breaking issue I had was back.  It was back with a vengeance.  Oh, my word.  I didn’t end up crying over it.  I didn’t even say a cuss word.  I did however vow that once the quilt was off the machine, I was going to find out what in the heck was wrong with it.  I’ve never had trouble like this.

The thread was breaking about every 1/3 of the way across.  It was so annoying.  It was worse at first but I switched thread and that helped a little.  After another pass, I stopped to clip threads and look at what I saw lying on the quilt. 

What the heck??  It turns out that the little piece of wire was from my machine.  See the tension discs?  The thread goes through the wire piece after it goes through the tension disc and the piece just fell off.  Oh my.  Now I thought what am I going to do?

I ended up trying the machine without the piece on and it was working okay so I just went with it and kept the machine quilting.

You can see in the picture I am using the hook and point quilting motif.  (find my video on how to do that HERE)

So I muddled through the quilting hoping that my machine didn’t make a mess of Doreen’s wonderful quilt.  I kept reminding myself of one of my favorite sayings, “All you can do it the best you can do” and in this case with my machine acting up and us needing to hit a deadline, this was the best I could do.

By then it was afternoon late afternoon and I was on a mission.  I had this baker’s cabinet in my sewing room and I wanted it out.

I’ve wanted it out for a long time but everyone told me that they didn’t think I could get it down my stairs.  I was determined I could.  My thought was that being there was an open space at the bottom and being the cabinet is narrow on the top, we could maneuver it.  So I took everything off of it and put a towel under one pair of the legs and pulled it out of the sewing room.  I put it smack dab in the center of the hallway and I decided the next person who came to my house would have to help me move it downstairs.

That person was Karl and YES, we did get it down the steps.

Then I convinced him to help me get the dresser I bought upstairs.  About then Craig showed up and he helped.

I hadn’t painted it yet as every day of the week I kept thinking today is the day someone will help move it and I don’t want the paint to be wet when they help so, I didn’t paint it and planned to paint it once it got upstairs…and that’s what I did.

This is the paint I used…You can find it HERE.

I have used it on all of the pieces I’ve painted in my sewing room.  First, it gets a coat or two of this…

Then I put on a coat of the Aged Glaze (Find it HERE).

This Aged Glaze is so much better than the waxing process.  I’ve waxed a lot and it has been okay but this, FAR LESS WORK.  I don’t think I’ll use regular wax again.  All I did was paint this on and then wipe it off.

I did sand the paint in a few places before I put the Aged Glaze on them.  You can see in the photo of the drawers that I put the glaze on the drawer at the bottom of the picture but not on the other drawers.  The glaze gives it a richer, deeper color that I love.

I don’t have the dresser all together yet.  I’m working on the drawer pulls currently.

Over the course of the week, I pulled some things apart and redid them.

This was how my big cabinet used to look.

I hated all the quilts on the top.  Rather than look displayed they looked like a jumbled mess…down they came.  That meant rearranging quilts all of the rest of the house.  My whole week was a “Make it worse before it is better kind of week”.

I’m not showing you how it all looks now as I’m still not sure I’m done with the cabinet.  The whole room is still evolving and let me just say, I’m in LOVE!

Thursday both Rosie and I had enough of it all.  I ended up taking her on a walk right away in the morning.  I’ve been staying home all the time now and being there isn’t lawn or garden work to do, I stay in the house.  The weather was great and we went out for some fresh air.  As we were walking the garbage truck came up beside us and stopped.  The driver handed me a dog treat for Rosie.  Wasn’t the sweet??

Rosie was happy…

Thursday afternoon I videotaped a new Sew with Jo video.  I answered questions about my Spider Web string blocks and chatted while I sewed.  You can hit the play button and watch it here or you can find it on Youtube HERE.

I am so thrilled with the response I got from my first Sew with Jo video.  You can find that one HERE if you missed it.  So many of you said that you enjoyed sewing along with me.  Many of you said that you watched it as you did some hand stitching.  I’m so honored you played along with me.

I’m telling you upfront that you want to stick around to the very end of the video as this guy, Carver, makes a special guest appearance.  Gannon too!
In this video, I answered questions that came after I filmed the first video and told a little more about trimming and removing papers.

These are going to be longer videos.  I’m hoping for 45 minutes to an hour-long.  That way it gives you time enough to sew along.  I think that’s a nice amount of time to sew in one sitting.

All week long I have been putting in long hours.  I’ve been going to bed after 11 pm and haven’t put my feet up in the evening except for Saturday night.  My push has been to get the sewing room as together as I can.  It’s getting better and better each day.

Sometimes I have to stop and sew a few seams, look around the room, and think it all through.  Then I’m up and reorganizing again.  It’s been busy, as occasionally I’ve redone what I just did.  I’m trying so hard to logically think everything through.  I want to make sure the extra rulers and rotary cutters are stored close to the cutting mat.  I want to make sure that things I don’t use all the time are off in the closet.  I really want to make sure I’m not keeping stuff I won’t make…It’s been a process, to say the least.

This week looks to be more of the same and I’m totally fine with that.

This week I’m hoping to bind the baby quilts I got through the quilting frame a few weeks ago…and as always, I’m hoping to make some more progress in the sewing room.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I’m hoping to do a few sneak peeks this week.

It’s Sunday as I write this and Miss Rosie is begging for a walk, so I’m off…It would be terrible to waste this gorgeous day!

13 thoughts on “What I’m Working On…”

  1. Check springs wear out. Good to keep extras on hand. They are cheap. Good to have extra thread guides too. I have an Innova not a gammil but the tensioner looks about the same as my standard tensioner. I wonder if it has felts? If it does have you kept to oiled? They can get dry, put extra stress on that spring. I bet there are you tube videos showing you how to change the spring and reset your tensioner. Thread breaks are so frustrating. It took me a good while to get to know my machine and how to trouble shoot tension issues. What has happened to you here has happened to me to Jo. Can’t wait to see how your room turns out.

  2. Love, love, LOVE your thread cones in the buckets of your new shelf, Jo!!! Um… Isn’t that hook that fell off of your machine an important part of your tension control system? Off to look it up… Yep! That’s a piece of your check spring. A replacement is only a few dollars.

  3. Jo you are doing a marvelous job with your sewing room makeover- –all the pieces you bought at the junk shop sale are working just the way you envisioned them. Keep going forward. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

  4. Yes, that’s your check spring that broke. Very cheap and easy for you to replace yourself. Look for a YouTube video by the longarm manufacturer to find out how to do it. Check springs normally need to be replaced about once a year so order an extra one to keep on hand for the future. I have an Innova longarm and have learned to do routine maintenance myself, such as replacing check springs and the felts in the tensioner and I also know how to time my own machine! Your sewing room is looking lovely, I especially like the piece you got recently with the cans for display.

  5. Somehow I didn’t see where the kite template came from. How do I get that so I can get started on my spiderweb quilt?

  6. I appreciate the time you take to compose and post. The pictures of quilt tops are a real tribute to the piecing work of many generous people. It motivates me to make just one more block. Take a moment to look back at how far the sewing room and furnishings have evolved over the past couple of weeks. Slow and steady. What a fun accomplishment.

  7. Hi, Jo. I’ve been away from your blog for quite a while. I’m spending the pandemic living with my elderly Mom who has a congestive heart condition. I’m so excited to hear that you are working on a sewing room make over because that’s just what I need to do right now. But I can’t because I’m not at home. However, I look forward to reading about yours.

    1. Pamela. I think I got that from the thrift store for him. It is a John Deere brand so I’m betting a similar shirt can be found.

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