I've gotten 14 of the 30 blocks I need completed. I keep rearranging them, so none of these blocks are sewn to each other. I'll be adding more black sashing when I sew the 16" blocks together. I really underestimated how long it would take to make this. I figured big pieces, no problem. Adding the black "leading" means twice as many seams, and with such large pieces, I'm finding chain sewing difficult, so I am only working on one block at a time. Well, I do have a leader/ender project going, but I am only working on one Hawaiian block at a time.
It's funny, I normally avoid florals like the plague, and I don't use many large prints in quilting, with the exception of novelty prints. I'm finding using the large florals pretty entertaining. On some of these pieces, you really can't tell which prints came from the same piece of fabric. The patterns were such large scale, that the colors in one piece may not be the same another, even though it came from the same fabric. I've had this happen quite often when working with 1 1/2 or 2 inch squares, but I was surprised to see it still be the case with larger pieces.
I contacted my LAQ and she has a hibiscus pattern she can use for this. That part is OK. My fabric for the borders and backing haven't been mailed yet since today is a holiday, but I'm hopeful it will be mailed tomorrow. If I can't get this mailed to my LAQ by next Monday, I'm figuring there is no chance it will be back before DD#2's surgery. I could try quilting it myself and possibly get it done in time, but that is not my preference. We'll have to see what happens and when. I'd rather spend my quilting time working on all the smaller quilt tops waiting for quilting, than wrestling with a huge quilt.
It's a good thing that I'll be starting a quilting frenzy soon. I think my Bernina needs to be serviced. I think it just needs a good cleaning and oiling. I've haven't had it that long, but I've sewn on it a LOT, and it is almost 20 years old. It was serviced right before I bought it, but with how many hours I've sewn on it, it's probably time. WOW! I just looked back at my blog, and looked for the date I got my Bernina. I got it September 3, 2009. I've had it 10 months already! Yeah, for the workout I put it through, 10 months is probably past time to have it cleaned and serviced.
I still drool over the Bernina 820 every time I go in the store, but I'm not likely to get one of those anytime soon. I was doing some internet research on the Janome Horizon this morning. It's much less expensive than the Bernina, but I'm not sure I'd be happy with it. It has a couple of nice features, and some I really don't like. I really dislike the way the needle threader works, and I think the one on my sub-$200 Brother is better. I like the width of the throat but I think the height is not so great. One of the things I like about my Juki is the height of the machine. The throat is 9" wide, and the height of it is about 6". I've quilted a large full/small queen on it, and when I was in the middle of the quilt, the tall height was as important in moving the quilt with ease as was the width. I can't find the information on how high the space on the Bernina 820 is, so next time I go in I might measure it. The Janome lists that the height is less than 5", I think it was 4 3/4", but I'm not sure. I just remember it was less than 5. I tried to find out where the Janome was made, but I couldn't find that information. I know some of their machines are made in China (along with almost every other sewing machine brand), but I don't know if any are still made in Japan. I know the high end Berninas are still made in Switzerland, and the Swiss make high quality items. I think I'm just a Bernina fan now, albeit a less affluent one ;-)
Ah well, my dream machine will just have to wait! If I take good care of the Bernina I have, it should have another 20 years in it. I can definitely see how quilter's end up with so many machines. At this point, I use my Brother CS6000i for garments, my Bernina 1080 for piecing, and my Juki 98QE for quilting. Even if one is in the shop, I have the others to keep me busy and out of trouble.