Tag Archives: Singer Featherweight

Quilt Tsunami

Quilters truly are some of the most generous people. On Wednesday, I joined around thirty other women to learn how to make the Emma’s Legacy quilt that I blogged about earlier this month. It wasn’t so hard, after all. Not with so many dear ones rushing to my rescue.

Among other things, I learned:

  • The correct method to square-up my half-triangle squares, using my lethally-sharp Gingher rotary cutter. Without slicing off a finger.
  • How to make perfect star-points. Well, almost perfect.
  • About the wonders of glow-tape, heretofore unknown in my world.
  • How to make an exact ¼ inch seam though my 1945 Singer Featherweight sewing machine was missing the proper presser foot. Whew.

The ladies’ expertise was freely shared, as well as laughter and friendship, encouragement, and a generosity of spirit that made me wish my weeks were bursting with workshops. Even lunch was a practice in generosity. Each woman at my table brought enough for five or six others, joyfully passing around the avocado, melon, tuna, Tillamook cheese, and yummy Girl Scout cookies special ordered from Iowa. Yum!

I hadn’t realized the recommendation to “Please bring a bag lunch” meant a grocery bag to share with everyone. But now I know. I’m already plotting treats to lug along next time.

Within this circle are some who meet on Mondays for Community Service, making comfort quilts to cover special folks with that cozy, quilted love. Last year alone, the women made and donated over 400 small and lap quilts to various organizations, including Head Start, Meals on Wheels, Children & Adult Protective Services, Alternatives to Violence, convalescent hospitals, and rest homes.

That shared quilter heart is everywhere. In our small community and far beyond, quilters rush to rescue those in Japan who have little or nothing left, sending soft, baby and lap quilts. A national movement called “Quilts for Japan”  is already coordinating a gargantuan effort to reach out to the Japanese people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. A true tidal wave of loving care.

I think I’ll dive in.

Interested? To learn more about the “Quilts for Japan” project, go to A Quilter’s Newsletter. Then, get quilting!


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Just Do It!

Recently, I signed up for a workshop to learn to make a little quilt called, “Emma’s Legacy.” It’s just the kind of pattern I like best – very old-fashioned and scrappy. Reminiscent of the collection of quilts in grandma’s linen cupboard, tenderly pieced with parts of grandpa’s best shirt or baby’s christening dress. In those days, folks used what fabric they had, giving it new life in the form of a functional coverlet. A treasure cherished by generations that followed.

As Jane Austen would say, “I was all anticipation” until I heard that this pattern was so very complicated. The pieces are small and there are a lot of them to sew together in an intricate way. And then, there are the points! Oh, my.  All those points must match perfectly. One gal told me that after attempting the “Emma’s Legacy” quilt, she had renamed it “Emma’s Lunacy.” She failed to finish it.

After hearing her take, I thought about backing out of the workshop. Seriously. Did I want to set myself up for failure?

I called a meeting with me, myself, and I to regroup. Where was that old American-can-do-spirit? What about “nothing ventured, nothing gained?” Or “say ‘yes’ to the dress?”

Okay, maybe that last cliche doesn’t apply here. But you get my drift.

So I decided not only to take the class, but to complete the quilt on my newly acquired 1945 Singer Featherweight. A tiny sewing machine for a tiny quilt.

I feel a little victorious before it’s time, facing the lunacy project with renewed passion. But I am confident that with a little American ingenuity, I can see it through to the end. Now, to focus that same spirit toward a certain writing project I’ve been tickling around the edges. It’s time to plunge forward into the fray, ready for battle, expecting victory.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?


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