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Welcome to the Modern Quilt Group November 2017 Newsletter
A quiet time of year for Modern, an opportunity to get on with various projects appropriate to the season. |
A word (or two) from the Editor
Cold War: We are finally starting to feel the chill here in the utter East, this month has brought the first real frost of the season - more like ice actually with fantastic swirling patterns on the roof of the car. Makes me want to go and sew curves, when I've got some feeling back in my fingers! What with that and the exceptionally high tides, thanks to the second super-moon on the year, and the everlasting wind of the flatlands we are reminded constantly of the changing seasons. I know it is tempting to stay close to the fire at this time of the year, and the early dark gives us a good excuse to get on with some sewing in the warm, but it is still worth wrapping up (on a dry day) and getting out for some fresh air. There is still lots to see and the sunsets this month have been spectacular. I find a walk clears the mind and gives a chance to think over what's happening and make plans. I am lucky (if that is the right word) to have to go out with a large, energetic and enthusiastic dog morning and evening; rain snow or blow - he needs his exercise. Strangely I find the walk much more beneficial if I look out on the countryside and take in my surroundings rather than constantly looking at my feet. I think quilting is much the same - yes you need to look at your feet occassionaly so you don't stumble, but you need outside stimulus, to look beyond your own little world and see what other people are doing, and be open to new sights an experiences. Inspiration can be drawn from the most unexpected places!
As the year blows soggily to a close, I find I’m spending a lot of nice peaceful time finishing stuff; quilting with the radio on and the curtains drawn against the darkness. For only the second time* in my long sewing life, I have a new sewing machine, a big industrial straight-stitch Juki of lovely power and serious speed.. Such luxury.. So, I made a new pattern for the MQGB website, and what did it need? Mostly the iron. Link elsewhere in this newsletter, and we plan to carry on with at least one free pattern per month for a good while yet. I already have December’s treat cut out and ready to make…
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org uk
QUILT STORIES: Headline NewsBeyond the Yellow Brick Road
by Helen Butcher
A year or so ago, when I was still quite new to The Quilters' Guild, I was asked to contribute a piece for a Festival of Quilts gallery called 'In The Spotlight'. At that point I was not aware of what all this meant, but I was soon to find out. 'In The Spotlight' is a gallery curated by the Guild itself every other year and is for up-and-coming professional quilters who have not yet made a name for themselves. Each of the Guild's 15 (?) regions and five special groups are asked to put forward a person to participate. The participants are then given word or phrase as a starting point from which to generate a piece of work. I was honoured to be asked to represent The Modern Group and the phrase we were all given was 'No place like home'.
FREE PATTERN: Fantastic Folded Fabric BuntingCLICK HERE to visit the patterns page
SEWING MACHINES FOR BEGINNERS (and more advanced students!)by Helen Howes NEW SERIES: PART 2 - When Did You Last Clean Your Machine?
Many modern machines come with the instruction “do not oil” - this is just silly. Any place where metal runs on metal will eventually need lubrication, and although some modern bearings arrived impregnated with oil ("sintered”) this just does not last forever. If you bought a nice puppy, and it came with a piece of paper instructing you “don’t feed him, he will only squeak for a little while” you would be deeply unimpressed, and quite rightly. And the puppy would die..
Now, when you sew, whatever sort of thread and fabric you use, fluff will accumulate. This usually falls down around the bobbin area of your machine, where it assumes an interesting greyish-pink colour totally unlike anything you have sewn with. It’s a Really Good Idea to remove this from time to time, as it does nothing for the quality and accuracy of your sewing.
So, after about 8 hours of sewing..
Turn off your machine and uplug it. (You should also always unplug your machine when not using it.)
Remove the bobbin, and the bobbin case. Almost all machines have screws holding the needle-plate down - remove these or snap the plate off. The bobbin cases on drop-in machines will lift out at this point. Removable bobbin cases generally sit in a “race” which will also open up. Brush the case clean.
Take a cotton-bud (Q-tip for overseas readers) and dip it in Sewing Machine Oil (not 3-in-1, or cooking oil, or margarine, or some random sticky stuff from the cupboard, and most definitely not WD40) - if your local shops don’t have it then any really good fine oil designed for machinery will do; try the gun shop or electrical parts suppliers. Or ebay. Wipe around the area under and behind the bobbin with this oily device. This will pick up amazing amounts of fluff and simultaneously deposit just enough oil to lubricate the region without causing deposits on your cloth. Keep wiping and removing fluff and replacing the cotton-bud until the detritus is all gone. Then do it again, probing a little deeper, and making sure you get in behind everything. Open the top of your machine if it has obvious screws, and add one drop of oil into every moving part, gently turning the machine over. (If your machine has a completely unopenable case, just oil the bobbin area and perhaps the needle bar.)
Don’t drown it; do allow the machine to run gently. Avoid any belts or tyres, and plastic gears. I often find that, on oiling, the machine is rather faster than before… And usually quieter.
Now, with a little brush (I use cheap children’s toothbrushes and paintbrushes a lot), clean out any crevices, re-assemble the bobbin case and plates, and run the machine for a row or two of stitches on a piece of clean kitchen paper. Wipe the outside with a very slightly damp cloth, and then dry it - any sticky-tape residue can be removed with lighter fluid.
A clean machine is so much happier..
This is the result of a week of concertrated making - something supremely satisfying about defluffing!
CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOMEIt is quite hard to generate enough copy to produce a newsletter every month, and I am sure you will be getting bored of seeing the same few names cropping up over and over, but the truth of it is that unless we have contributions from other readers it comes down to the sames old few!
I would welcome input from fellow group members – photos, words, ideas or questions – a big part of ModQ is sharing and teaching. Please send anything you would like to share to
Anything you want to share with the MOD-Q group? Contact me on email@example.com
CHALLENGING?Click through to the Challenge 2018 page on the MOD-Q website for more information and dates for next year's challenge FOOLING THE EYE, as well as reminders for the return of past challenge quilts (yes, HH still has some from 2016!) Also we would like next year's challenge to go on the road if anyone has ideas of suggested venues they would be appreciated.
CLICK HERE to see the latest crop of pictures and to read all about it