“Baby” went for a visit to the spa. She is a Handiquilter Sweet16 machine that I purchased about 5 years ago with assistance from a grant awarded to me through the NC Arts Council. Baby is a reliable friend, especially when I’m working on larger quilts. She was needing the spa time, because I’ll be doing some heavy production work over the next few months and this girl needed to be at her best game. (note: Handiquilter recommends servicing the Sweet 16 every 5 years)
Did you know that using different threads could change how the stitches are made? When I’m doing free-motion quilting, I like to do some warm-up drills to check the tension of the threads I’m using. Checking the tension on a scribble quilt is a good way to avoid finding out about issues when you’re working on the real project. (I’m sure you can guess how I know…) After getting Baby back from the spa, I did some stitching on the practice quilt to check that she didn’t get out of sorts during her road trip.
I call these quilts my “scribble” quilts. They are made with a layer of quilt batting between two layers of white muslin. I started this particular scribble quilt in a class I took when I was learning to machine quilt. I was kind of saving the sample to remember what I learned long ago. But then a few years ago, I started using it for my scribble practice. The memories of the class are still there along with a hodge-podge of my other stitching attempts.
My test run proves Baby is ready and so am I. As I was moving through the first few weeks of this year, I realized that flipping the calendar makes me more reflective than productive. It takes me time to work out a plan for the year. Now I’m at the point that I’ve done some warm-up drills and it is time to get started.