This week, a wonderful surprise arrived in the mail: a huge, 11+ pound box of fabric from Sue of Suebee's World! Sue and I discovered each other's blogs right around the time I was traveling through Columbus, MS. It turns out that Sue is moving to nearby Starkville, and when she found out that I sew for Project Linus, she offered to send me some kid's fabrics from her stash to lighten her moving load.
What a fantastic batch of fabrics she sent me! Clockwise from the lower right, there are stacks of birds, cats and dogs, butterflies, fish, bright blenders, transportation fabrics, and large pieces for backings or backgrounds. What's amazing to me is that those are exactly the themes I collect for kids' quilts. I don't buy princesses, clowns, teddy bears, ice cream, or any number of other subjects, and Sue somehow knew just what I wanted.
Thank you so much, Sue! I can't wait to start using these fun, vibrant prints for Project Linus. I think I hear a Fish Bowl quilt calling my name...
The other fun item that arrived in the mail here in Chattanooga is a new-to-me Juki TL2010Q sewing machine. Wahoo! I've just finished reading the manual and am starting to test all the features on this baby. The Juki is a solid aluminum beast, and weighs about twice as much as The Little Kenmore That Could. The box weighed 40 pounds. The dock hand who carried it down to the boat was sorry he volunteered for the task, I think.
The Juki has several features that the Kenmore lacks that I hope will really simplify some of my quilting: a much bigger harp space for wrangling the bulk of a quilt, a thread cutter, knee lifter for the presser foot, and needle down/up selection. The last one is particularly nice: it automatically stops sewing with the needle in the fabric while doing free motion quilting, so I can re-position my hands without the quilt shifting out of place. The Juki only does straight stitches and free motion, so I'll be keeping the Kenmore for zig zag and other special stitches like button holes. Not that the Kenmore has many choices, but I'll need to use it for machine applique.
In other news, I finished piecing Scrappy Twist, sewing the final three seams using the Juki. Smooooth! Next on my to-do list: baste several WIPs and test out the Juki's free motion quilting chops.