As you may know (or not), I've been thinking for some time (several years, actually) about getting either a mid arm sewing machine or a sit down quilting machine. I've shopped around a bit, trying out both kinds of machines and various brands. I've spoken with friends about which brand of machine they like--and realize that we all seem to like the brand of machine that we currently have, so that was no help.
About 3 weeks ago, I stopped in at the Husqvarna Viking shop in the nearby JoAnn's and looked at their mid arm machine. I went back a couple of days later and bought the Sapphire 960Q. Here she is!
I spent an afternoon playing with her and going through the manual that came with her, and I realized that for the first time in my life, I needed to attend the classes offered in order to learn how to use her to the max. There are so many stitches and it's all computerized with files and zip drives and lots of other features that I never knew could be incorporated in a sewing machine! And since I'm kind of a computer dinosaur, I figured I needed to take the classes. So, Tuesday was the second of the two classes and now I feel somewhat comfortable using the machine.
I'm alone for the next 4 days (Yea!) so I set up Sapphira (named after a very good quilting friend of mine) on the dining table and have been working on the blocks to my daughter's "colors of the sea" quilt. She asked me to make this quilt for her several years ago and we picked out the fabric about a year ago. I took it with me to Alabama in February and had made most of the blocks before I ran out of the off white border fabric. Then it sat in my closet until today. Since Tessa has moved to Maine, she's especially wanting me to finish this quilt and ship it out to her, so I'll be working on it during this little vacay/retreat.
Tessa wanted the palest colors of the beach and the sea for her quilt so I cut 3.5" blocks of the colored batiks and bordered each block with a 2" strip of the off white batik. I'm just sewing the blocks together in no particular pattern. I'm not even going to lay them out since I don't have floor space large enough to handle 255 of these blocks. And my back wouldn't tolerate laying them down and then picking them up repeatedly. LOL I'll be quilting this on Sapphira and that's the main reason I bought her. She has an 11" throat compared to my Lily's 7" throat (not my granddaughter; Lily is the name of the other Husqvarna that I have!) so it should be somewhat easier to move the rolled up quilt in the larger throat.
I also realized today that I can use one of the alphabets to make the label for the quilt. At the Bonnie Hunter workshop in Champaign, one of the quilters had used her embroidery machine to make the most fabulous labels and now I can as well. I decided to name this quilt "Colors of the Sea" and will include these lines on the label from Van Morrison's song: "Smell the sea and feel the sky/Let your soul and spirit fly/Into the mystic."
I also wanted to show off what I found at the local thrift store the other day. I was looking for a large container to use for a variety of homemade cookies for Don to take to his family reunion and I spied this on the shelf. Can you see? It's a crazy quilt of country things! For $5, I had to bring it home and then I looked up the name on the back--Fitz and Floyd. That sounded a little familiar and it came up right away when I googled it. The 3 compartment tray that I now have in my hot little hands is for sale at Macy's for over $100! Needless to say, I used another container for the cookies!
Now I have to decide if I want to display it in the dining room or in my quilting room. Could work in either.
I also found a Necchi Lydia 544 priced at $10. I haven't decided if I want to get it or not. Any thoughts would be welcome. Now, it's back to sewing Tessa's blocks. Lots to be done before the day is over.