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The Featherweight, Revenge, and Quilt Backs

Oh my, I love this thing!
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Since last I blogged, I did manage to clean, oil, thread, and start sewing on the featherweight.  I found a pdf of a manual thanks to some lovely commenters who told pointed me in the right direction. (Click here to download a copy).
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I’m contemplating also getting this book:
Folks on instagram noted that it has a lot of great tips


I’ve already done over 15 hours of stitching on this thing.  I know the timing because I watched the entire first season of Revenge via Netflix.
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It’s entertaining and a little trashy…complicated enough to hold my interest, but not so complex that I couldn’t follow whilst not so much watching as listening.  
The featherweight is noticeably quieter than my other machine, which is great for having videos or audio books going.  I don’t have to set the volume too high.
Well, the quilt I stitched up must remain under wraps as it is destined for a magazine, but I did want to show you the back:
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This is a sheet from The Company Store (100% cotton and bought on clearance, where you can still grab a king size flat for $32).  I love snagging high quality sheets on sale and using them as backs for my quilts.

I silk screened my name onto the sheet and wrote in the year with a permanent marker.  I haven’t always marked my quilts with a name and year, but there’s a quilt appraiser in the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild and she gave a little talk that explained in part how useful it is to have just that little bit of information attached to your work.

This is another quilt back I made ages ago:

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It was a high-school graduation present for my cousin Derek.  It spells out his name and graduation year in morse code.

I was recently reminded of this when Gary pointed me towards his version of my kelp quilt on the Material Obsession blog:

photo by Kathy Doughty

Isn’t that gorgeous?  He has done some kelp strips and mixed in some Morse code that spells “act love walk.” 

I love the whole idea of codes in quilts.  Morse code is just one possibility.  Yoshiko Jinzenji also developed a code for writing messages into a quilt.

One of my works in progress (from…um…three years ago…yikes)  is a bee quilt using her code…

code quilt paragraph

I really need to finish that quilt! I think I was stalled by the lack of a design wall, but I don’t have that excuse anymore!

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. wow! I can't believe it's been so long since you started that red and white quilt…I remember it! I love the idea of using a code to put a special message into a quilt!

  2. I also recommend purchasing the manual. I keep mine in the box with my Featherweight. It has lots of great information all in one place.

  3. I also like the hidden messages in a quilt. I did a nautical flag quilt for my grandson that says "Duncan sleeps here ZZ" He is living in LA, near the ocean and is very much into codes and such that a 10 year old. Thanks for a great blog and LOTS if inspiration.

  4. Are you still using your Featherweight for quilting? I just got one, and I'm looking for tips — like, which foot to you like to use for a quarter inch seam, and do you piece with the Featherweight just sitting on a regular table or do you recess it into a cabinet?

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Yes, I use it for piecing about 1/2 of the time.
      I put a bit of tape on the plate to mark 1/4-inch and that seems to work well.
      And yep, I just set it on the table.

      Have fun with your featherweight!
      Rossie

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