How to wear out a sewing machine…

I’ve been busy with lots of projects over the last few weeks… and it’s been the Holidays too.

Gina asked me to make a store sample for a new kit they were cutting at Pieceful Heart Fabrics. This one was a lot of fun to do.  It’s a Paris Bottman design for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company called Peace. The eyes were constructed from lots of small pieces but they are really worth the effort it takes to cut them out and fuse them together.

Meanwhile I have also been working on my new class samples. I’m going to be teaching two classes from the new Skinny Quilts and table runners II book. I finished my second one, Seasons of the Moon by Lonni Rossi.  Here it is in situ on the dining room table. The arcs are fused and satin stitched. It’s difficult to take a good picture of a skinny quilt but I like the salmon pink and green combo!

I really enjoyed Pamela Mostek’s book, Dazzling Quilts so I was pleased to find her new Blended Borders book from That Patchwork Place on the shelf at PHF. Dottie chose me a stunning new line of fabric to work with and I set to work on a little quilt inspired by Pamela’s Simply Sensational design.

It’s basically a simple square in a square design, but then cut out motifs from the border fabric are added as raw edge applique and quilted down. All went well until I started the quilting. As I wound some new bobbins  my machine seemed to be slowing down. I kept going at the slower speed, after all nothing was going to stop me… however my machine had other ideas and just stopped! In all its 12 years my trusty Bernina 160 had never failed me before, other than the time I knocked the timing out by sewing over a safety pin, but nothing I could do helped.

It was hard to wait until 10am the next morning but what else was I going to do? So at 10 I called my favorite Bernina store, Sew Something in South Elgin and arranged to take it straight in. I went to the local Panera to wait and after 4 hours the diagnosis was made. The main shaft was worn out. The machine was working again but basically near the end of its life… What is a girl to do when her sewing machine is facing a death sentence? Why, start looking for a new one of course. To cut a long (long) story short I will be going to collect my new Bernina 820 on Friday… I am going to be trading in my old machine and I think I will miss it…. but not for long!!

Anyway, it has held it together to finish the blended border sample and also to construct and finish a new coffee quilt for breakfast in the morning…

I got a charm pack and some co-ordinating 1/2 yards from the Judy’s Quilt and Sew booth at the recent Quilt and Sewing expo in Schaumberg. I hope the ladies like it tomorrow. I’m planning some tasty dishes to go along with it.

Other stuff of note:

1. I have a second quilt for sale in the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative this month. Unravelling 2 is in the auction until 10PM EDT on December 10th, so not long to go. You can find it at

It was up to $65 last time I looked. I’m hoping someone will like it enough to bid a bit more, it’s a great cause.

2. Happy Birthday on the 11th to my Dad! I will celebrate by going to the gym.