Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Thoughts on My Return to Quilting

I've made several quilts since the first of the year.  Now I have the feeling like the pieces of my life are finally back in place. I had forgotten how good it feels to be creative and productive.  Spending time at my sewing machine is so relaxing.

I thought I'd tell you what I have had to relearn:
  • It's good to rest your eyes and all your muscles every hour or two.
  • I have had to change the thread in the bobbin to match the thread used in the top of the machine. This is a basic fact that I had forgotten.
  • After filling a bobbin with The Bottom Line, there was nothing I could do to get a balanced stitch.  It turns out, the two halves of the bobbin were cracking apart, and no longer fit in the bobbin case. This was a mess!
  • Because of all the straight lines between the triangles, I used my built in even feed foot to quilt in the ditch with monofilament in the top and bobbin.  Wow, this was really slick.
Something new, I used the new large clear plastic disc on my darning foot.  This was a great help when free-motion quilting around all the lumpy seams.  I've had this piece for years, but never used it. See the photo in this old blog about darning feet. 
Stripes and Triangles, a quilt by Ann Fahl, 51 x 52 inches
A more detailed description and more photos of the above quilt is on my website

Happy Quilting to you.
  Ann Fahl

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Celebrate National Quilting Day

Today is really St. Patrick's Day, we can just say that I helped to celebrate Quilting Day a little bit early.  It's been 2.5 years since I've given a quilt presentation, but I really didn't think I'd have any problems.  I packed up 10 quilts that were representative of my life's work and spoke to a group of people living at Primrose Retirement Community, a lovely place about 5 minutes from my house.

There may have been 30 people that came to hear the program. First I showed two traditional quilts.
This is a full sized feathered star.  I made the top and Linda Honsberger hand quilted it.  It took ten years from start to finish; it was the last traditional quilt I ever made.  Next, I showed the red and green tulip family quilt that I repaired. Then I showed them some of my original quilts. Up until this time I wasn't sure if I had their interest or not. The questions and comments started coming, they were fascinated.

Of course Oreo was part of the presentation with a quilt titled Tea Party.

I finished up with my Symphony of Color I quilt.  This is one of my personal favorites, but never got  the approval of any Q judges.

All the Ohs and ahs made me feel great.  Now that I'm home, I will hang this quilt up in my living room to enjoy for the next month or so. Thanks to all the people at Primrose.

Share your quilts with someone this week.

Ann Fahl

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A New Pair of Quilting Gloves

It has been a long time since posting a blog, and even a longer time since I've done any quilting. I have quilted since 1978 when I took that first quilting class from Nancy Simonsen. At the end of 2012, I retired from the travel part of quilting. It was killing me and I wanted to do other things!

But I haven't quilted for more than 2 years.  My husband got sick, and took my attention away from everything, except making sure he got good care.

I finished a huge family history project 2 weeks ago; a birthday present for my aunt. The last several months, it took every second I had. I started early each day, and worked into the evening, it
was hard to prepare for Christmas. While I was writing I kept thinking, it was time for me to work on a quilt, and decided that was going to be my reward, when the family history was shipped off to the "birthday girl."
Ann with the family history project, completed for her aunt.
After dropping off the book at the post office, I took the weekend off, then found a wall hanging that needed to be quilted.  I played for a day, on a sample to brush up my very rusty skills, chose the threads I'd like to use, put in a new needle, and found a new pair of quilting gloves.  The old ones were very heavily used! It was like getting on a bicycle that you hadn't ridden for years.  I just began.  Oh, it is so much fun.
My shiny new quilting gloves.

It feels good to be back.