Quilting Merit Badge, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,760 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,508 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life   

For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Quilting Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I hadn’t planned on spending my week on a sewing project, but my sewing machine had other ideas.

You see, I normally like to get down with my crafty self during the chilly winter months, my socked feet resting by the fire, as I sip hot tea and watch the sun set at like, 3 p.m. Summertime, I normally reserve for glamping and fishing and hiking and identifying trees, and other such warm-weather activities.

But at times, my sewing machine reminds me who is boss (hint: it ain’t me). And basically, the cute little Singer can smell fear.

So, if I plan a big sewing project, the needle will bust, the thread will fray, the scissors will disappear, the price of fabric will go up, the gears will grind to a halt … well, you get the picture.

Hence, why I’m quilting in summer. The machine was stitching beautifully when I got it out to hem a quick skirt, and all was right with the world, so I bailed on my outdoor plans and here I sit.

Piecing and quilting (and sweating in my fuzzy socks. Really regretting the fire. Didn’t think that through appropriately).

For my Intermediate Level merit badge, I had to “pick up the pace and try a harder project than my Beginning Level project, and try a new pattern that taxes my sewing ability and makes me reach new heights.”

Whew! I’m nervous just thinking about it.

Today, Celestial Star, tomorrow the world …

Actually, forget Celestial Star. That looks hard. Let’s try Spiral Geese. Hm. Also difficult.

I wasn’t reaching new heights as much as I was stressing myself out. Okay, we’re going with ZigZag Love. I can do this! ZigZag is my middle name.

In order to earn my badge though, I needed a 20-hour time commitment (Pshaw. No worries there. At the rate I’m going, it’ll take me 20 years to complete this thing.) and a friend to sew with me.

I asked Midge, but she was skeptical of my roaring, cozy fire and said her fuzzy socks were in the wash. (Who’s skeptical now? Me, that’s who.) So I dialed up my pal, Judy.

Wait. Does anyone actually dial the phone anymore? Isn’t that kind of like “rolling up the window?” I didn’t technically dial then, I texted.

R U up 4 a needle luvin good time?

Who is this? I don’t do drugs.

Hahaha, lol! It’s me, Jane “ZigZag,” the Quilt Master.

Ah. Lemme guess: you’re sitting in front of a fire, watching Christmas flicks in summer, huh?

Yup. Get over here.

I’ll bring the eggnog.

quilting_2065It’s good to have friends who gets ya. Judy and I spent all weekend sewing and crafting to our little heart’s content. At the end of my 20 hours, I had a complete ZigZag Love quilt top and was considering changing my street name to Celestial Star Janey.

Leave a comment 9 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love your little black Singer machine. It is one of the things I would love to have but don’t really know how to go about purchasing one that would work. In some small manner, it seems like the vintage machine would also be a sort of inspiration to sit and work on an age old craft that has made beds warmer and beautiful for centuries. Can we just come for Eggnog and watch and ask questions? I’m bring my new planner for taking notes!

  2. Daizy says:

    Hay there, Mz MBA Jane,

    I will be sewing right along with you on this warm autumn day in the south. It should be close to 75 here in Alabama today but needle and thread will feel good between the fingers…..but no fire. Cheers!!

  3. I think that machine is an old Singer Feather weight. Looks like my old black one.YOu can’t beat them and they are so easy, no fancy electronic doodads. I actually have 2 feather weights, one that I bought when I was 14, and it’s from 1948. The other is a 70’s model in funky pale green. Both work great but I love my old one the best, it’s been cranking thru a lot of sewing projects all these years. Ok MaryJane, show us your ZigZag quilt top! Around here the Mennonite churches still have quilting bees.They make a quilt and raffle it off usually to fund mission work or the churches other activities.

    • MaryJane says:

      Actually, it isn’t a featherweight (I have two of those). Rather, it’s the machine I sew on these days. It sits in a beautiful wooden cabinet with four drawers and is a treadle. It’s smaller than most, hence, a person might think it’s a featherweight.

      • ooh I love treadle machines, I learned on one. ( jeez am I that old?) You can go really slow, stitch by stitch and that is great for detail work. Around here in Amishland, treadles go really high at auctions and such because the ” plain people” don’t use electricity and they don’t make them anymore,( at least not here in the USA. ) They are very valued indeed.

        We farmgirl sewers are still waiting for the photo of the zigzag quilt top.

  4. Bonnie ellis says:

    What a fun machine. I got my grandmothers treadle after she died. 52 years later I passed the heavy 1800s machine on to April who wanted to show her girls to use it. I learned on a treadle and have used it in the past. It’s a different way to sew. Very rhythmic. You have to learn to coordinate your feet and hands. Something like chewing gum and singing at the same time. Lol

  5. Krista says:

    This is the perfect time to start working on quilts and sewing! This sounds like such a wonderful badge to work on during the winter hours. I can’t wait to start working on my own quilt for the badge. I will have to hunt down one of my own friends or family to quilt with. This will make for memorable times as well as be able to have some help if I need it. I love that sewing machine and would love to own one like that someday.

  6. Karlyne says:

    All mornings should start out with MBA Jane’s musings. They always make me chuckle! “I’ll bring the eggnog!”

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