Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

Hard to believe so much time has gone by since my last post.  I think of posting, but something always seems to get in the way. I won't begin to suggest that anything will change, but one never knows.

One of my recent quilt finishes was an antique quilt that I repaired for a friend.  It was in my possession for quite some time... I almost forgot about it.  When I would come across it in the closet, I would look in the bag and shudder to think what it might take to get it done.  Well a few weeks ago I determined it was time to take the bull by the horns and tackle the task at hand.  I was not close to being knowledgeable about the best way to go about repairing an old quilt, but I gave it my best shot. This quilt was originally all done by hand.  I had to remove all the quilting to dispose of all the wadded batting.  The edge of the backing was pretty much threadbare, as well as many of the pieces on the front.  I replaced the pieces on the front that had big holes. I tried to find fabric scraps from my stash that would not stand out too much, and reinforced the back of some other pieces with a fusible stabilizer to try to retain as much of the original as possible.   I could not use any of the original border, but I was able to use the good spots of the backing to make the new border for the front.  The quilt has a new backing to make it possible to display this quilt instead of wasting away hidden in a bag.

My new longarm has a much bigger quilting space than my previous machine did, but my old side clamps that I had made worked fine, so I decided it was fine to continue using them.  Main thing I did not like about these clamps is it required pinning the fabric to the backing... that is 7 big hat pins on each end that often left me with a pricked finger. In a forum for my Innova there was talk about side clamps with a couple suggestions.  I took the info and came up with my version.  The main item I needed to purchase was this Quilt 'n Go lap frame that I bought at JoAnn's. This kit would not make a clamp that was long enough, so I bought a longer CPVC pipe to cut into two - 21" pieces. 
The key part is the snap-on clamp that holds the fabric to the pipe. These snap-on clamps are only 9.5" long, so two on each pipe works great.  I ran bungee cord through the pipe and attached it to the side of the frame.  The picture shows elbows on the end of the pipe, but I'm thinking they really are not necessary.  They can easily be removed.  Also, once I have some experience with these, I may determine that the pipe does not need to be quite as long.  Easier to make something shorter than longer.  I have not actually loaded a quilt to try these out, but the backing appears to be nice and snug.  You can see my previous fabric side clamp with the pins on the table.  I will hold onto them... for a little while anyhow.

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