Diamonds in the Rough

When I began my quilting adventures 30 years ago, I was precise. I marked out every little piece by hand usually from templates I’d made myself. I marked the 1/4 seam with my pencil and quarter inch seam marker thingie. What is that thing? It’s a piece of polycarbonate about 12″ long and – wait for it – 1/4 wide. It’s a long cube.

Anyway that was 30 years ago. Now I cut everything into strips and then cut what I need as quickly as possible. I might sew the strips together and then cut them. I just do it. I don’t worry about whether or not the little things line up perfectly.


I started a quilt using the diamond shape a few days ago.  At first, I had planned a tumbling blocks layout but then I spotted this!


This is a quilt kit from Glorious Color using Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I adore Kaffe Fassett fabrics and plan on a large BUY soon.

I have the pattern for this already in my Kaffe Fassett book, Glorious Patchwork. The construction is sideways by row so piecing a Y seam in the diamonds isn’t necessary. But getting the seams to line up when you sew the rows together, is. Ah. Well.

I did a lot of ripping yesterday with Jack (my friend named our seam rippers Jack for obvious reasons). I resewed them. I had to make half diamond pieces for the top and half diamond pieces cut vertically for the sides. I found I had matching templates in acrylic already. These are intended for use with an Olfa cutter. Think circular razor blade wheel. Now think about not watching your fingers. Oops.

Luckily as I was slicing fabric, I also have fingernails. The fingernail on my most useable finger, the middle one (chuckles uncontrollably) stopped me from cutting off the tip of my finger. I still bled. I just cut a little off the side of my finger by the nail. Immediately Bag Balm was employed. It feels better today so I think I can still sew. I hope.

Exciting news – probably not for you, but for me. I am hunting a new sewing machine since the crap piece from Singer was so horrible and now it’s broke and Singer won’t pay to ship it to get it fixed – I want a Bernina again. I stupidly sold mine thinking I was done with sewing. I wasn’t. I should be shot. Anyway, I go on the Bernina site regularly and I drool over a Bernina 8 series but folks – they’re $13,999 MSR. True, most shops will cut you a deal because not everyone has that kind of money, but it’s still going to be 5 figures. The 570 QE isn’t much better at $4500. I am too old to wait and save that much money.

I also check out Bernette regularly. This is a machine sold by Bernina, not made by Bernina. I have watched the videos on the Bernette site and it functions just like my Aurora 440 QE. Only the one I’m getting has an embroidery module too – which added an extra $1K to the Aurora back when I bought it.

Imagine me, a retired person without a lot of money, seeing that the machine I want has been marked down $500 off MSRP. Whoa. I immediately said, you have to wait. I then said shut up, you’re getting it now. I called my Bernina dealer who didn’t know it was marked down but quickly found out it was. So guess what? Next Friday I pick up my new machine. They had to have one shipped from Chicago so it will take a week. I’m good with that!!!!!!!! I may never stop jumping up and down.

Now if I can just stop cutting off my fingers, I’m good!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer says:

    I just got the Singer last March and already the switch that lowers and raises the feed dogs is broken. And I hardly sewed on the thing. I don’t expect much but it would be nice if it would last at least a year!


  2. Inese Poga Art plus Life says:

    I still have Singer, but I’m not quilting, I’m sewing cloths, and it works fine. I used to have a machine called Veritas made in Germany for 30 years, and it still works, it’s just in Latvia, not here. The problem is that everything was made in Germany back then, and now it’s very bad quality because it’s made who knows where.
    Becoming much more efficient with what you do is definitely thanks to the huge experience. Beautiful works!


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