Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's up doc.....?!

Well, I haven't been much of a socializer as of late. I've pretty much been keeping to myself, allowing my hermit persona to take over! lol

What have I been up too as of late, you might ask?

Last week, Jennifer forced me to book a play date with Penelope. lol We hadn't played in a long time!

She needed the quilt pronto so that she could have enough time to sew on the binding.

It was nice to play with Penelope. As for Jennifer's company, it was alright, I guess! LOL Just kidding!

After this quilt, I did load one of my quilts, Alex's pond, which I really should finish sewing the binding soon..... but I digress.....

On the surprise front, I did get lots of fun mail !

My friend Cheryl from Oz sent me this gorgeous pair of black ugg boots! Yippeers, the real McCoys! lol Gosh, are they nice and comfy! Never mind that they keep my feet super warm! lol

Cheryl has become such a dear friend. We met on the newsgroup, many moons ago. I think we're close to 5 (five) years if not more! She is a wealth of information. I'm always picking her brain! And not just on the subject of quilting. lol

I've never met her in person but hope to one day. She is a blessing and such a generous heart! She also sent a pair of ugg boots to dd. Now we're both styling! lol

As for Stephen, she didn't want for him to feel left out, so she sent him packages of Tim Tams! Now, if you haven't had a Tim Tam, you don't know what you're missing. Come on over and we'll do some Tim Tam slams! ;o)

Today, I received these goodies from Sharon.

Check out that bag! It's absolutely gorgeous. And you know what, she actually expects me to use it! lol I love the fabric.

She must have known I had a cold because she sent not 1 (one) but 2 (two) packs of tissues! lol I'm telling you, I'm blowing my nose in style! lol Thank you again Sharon, you made my day!

This week, I played with my embroidery machine. With all that interior decorating going around Blog Land, I thought I would see if I could find a decorating gene in my pool! lol I'm looking to embellish my bathroom with some fancy dandy hand towels!

So, I've been experimenting with different towels. You'd be amazed at what's out there! I did learn to stay away from flour sack towels. What a mistake! They are thinner than a pillow case and never mind that they need ironing after washing! I suppose that I could hand embroider on them, but I do NOT need another hand project! lol

I like the way this one turned out! I used the same blue that's on my wallpaper. I sort of have that French Provincial look going on!

These towels come from William Sonoma - I love that store!

They feel really nice to the touch. I do wish I could find towels of similar quality elsewhere. When you add shipping and all it gets a tad pricey! Oh well... c'est la vie!

As you can read, not much excitement going on in my neck of the wood!

Thank you for stopping by! Keep well!

Friday, December 5, 2008

We interrupt your current program ...!

School is not going according to plan. On Tuesday I was diagnosed with a kidney infection and spent the day at the hospital undergoing various tests. I decided to postpone my exam until Monday. I'm hurting and I wanted the antibiotics to take effect before I write such a stressssful exam. You cannot begin to imagine how I am looking forward to no more guilt ridden quilting. lol

On a quilting note, a while back Wendy, from Snippet of a Quilter, sent me some lovely goodies in the mail, one of which was a charm pack of Sandy Gervais' Merry & Bright. Such bright fun fabrics! During my trip to Pennsylvania, I found the perfect pattern for it!

Tah... dah...! My first time working with charm squares! I started this project during my quilting retreat!

The pattern is called Delightful #381 by Pieces from my Heart. It's so bright and cheerful!

Notice how it is completed!

Yeap, not only did I work to get it done, it also has a label. Why you might ask?

Well, it's a gift for a friend. There's nothing like a dead line to get things rolling. lol I hope s/he will like it.

Aside from Holly Jolly, not much quilting has been going on. I haven't even had play dates with Penelope. Sigh!

A while back a wonderful lady from Ohio sent me some quilt tops to practice my machine quilting, with the only stipulation that they be given to charity. An offer I could not resist!

I did manage to machine quilt 2 (two) of the quilt tops, one of which I neglected to photograph. Both have found a home amongst the elderly.

Thank you again Sheila for your generosity. I have one more to quilt, but it will have to wait until school is done.

Thank you for your visit. I always enjoy reading your comments.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stephen in the spot light...!

Well, my life is certainly not exciting at all these days. As a matter of fact, I feels more like an anti-social bordering hermit personality type! lol It will end soon enough!

Since I don't have much to blog about that's related to my quilting adventures, I thought I would share with you the latest addition to my sewing room.

Tah dah....! Meet my new cutting table!

This is the front of the table or would that be the sides... hum?!?

As you can see, lots of drawers. However, these are special. They're called "pushmi-pullyu" drawers. I didn't know what they were until DH explained the concept to me!

Basically it's one big drawer that's accessible from either sides. The original idea come from Doctor Doolittle's antelope (a llama in the movie starring Eddie Murphy). Enough trivia! lol

The table is made out of Sugar Maple. It's sort of neat as Stephen artistically worked into the design the places where the tree had been tapped.

If you look closely, you'll see holes where they tapped the tree for maple sugar water.

The top of the table is wide enough to accommodate my 36 + inch cutting mat vertical or horizontal. That was one of my pre-requisites. It drove me nuts that my mat didn't fit vertically on my craft table. lol

I've already started to fill those drawers. I'm so glad to have a place for my Fat Quarters.

As you've all probably heard me say a thousand times, the down side to having a wood shop next to a sewing room is the dust. Yep, dust, dust and more dust. So now my FQ have a place where dust will be minimal.

So now I shall leave you to test out this new cutting table. I get to enjoy a bit of quilting before my nose is back in the books again.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And the winner is........!

Yep, I know! I've finally gotten around to doing the draw. Yes I did. Got all the names cut up and placed in my trusty cauldron. And just for you, I left the mess on the cutting table.

Can you see that I am trying to get some things done?

Wendy and Raedene I'm getting to my Polka Dot Girls. You cannot imagine how often I said to these ladies that today was the day I was working on the Girls! I did get one block traced before I became un-focused again! lol

I have another hand embroidery project that is all traced out and ready to be stitched. I guess that will have to wait! Gotta stitch the girls next!

So there you have, my what appears to be a messy table. I'm visual so I like to have what I need to work on within view, which, to the untrained eye, makes for a disorganized mess! LOL But, unless someone moves it, I know exactly where it is.

So, I guess you are all wondering who won the draw. Well, let me tell you, when I found out myself, I was quite surprised. This person has got to be one of the most generous bloggers I know. She's always doing some kind of give away! So, what do you get someone who seems to have everything?

You see, I like shopping for the prize once I know who won. This way, I shop with that person in mind. I guess I'll just have to wing it! lol So, let me tell you who won. It's none other that Ms. Sharon from Red Geranium Cottage. Congratulations Sharon!

Thank you again everyone for participating in a bit of fun with me. I do apologize for being so late with the draw. As for my birthday, it was quiet. I don't feel any older personality wise but my body sure feels it! lol Getting older is not for sissies!

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's been a while..... yet again!

I do want to apologize for my absence, more so because of the give way that is now closed. Thank you so much for participating in a bit of fun with me. I will be drawing a name soon. So, please stay tune for the winner.

As you can all imagine, life is a little intense for me. So much is going on in terms of possible life paths and projects. The planning can pre-occupy so much of my time. Now, with that, I still have my graduate degree that I'm hoping to complete by the end of December. I'm presently studying for my last comprehensive exam. Wish me luck! ;o) Once my degree is complete, life, I presume, will be back to normal. At least I hope to get rid of this headache that I've had for the past week! Despite the busyness, I still manage to get some quilting done. It's what's keeping me sane! lol

The retreat at Wadhams was wonderful. I didn't take any pictures. There really wasn't much to photograph. We were all busy working away. Besides, some were in their pjs and I don't know that they would appreciate my posting a picture on my blog! lol It was wonderful being in a productive quilting energy.

I brought with me quite the basket! I spent a couple of weeks cleaning out my closet and finding the projects that I thought I would want to work on. Of course, I didn't work on all of them, but some. As they say, it's better to bring more than not enough.

I did get quite a bit accomplished given that I had not done much cutting before hand. It's amazing how much cutting can take up so much time! The one quilt I did cut ahead, I had forgotten my black thread for the piecing. Oh well, not a big deal! As you can see, there was plenty to work on!

I did finish this project, Charming Holiday Quilt Kit! It was a gift from Santa who, believe it or not, shops at the Fat Quarter Shop! I love Santa! lol The pattern is called Scalloped Charm by Black Cat Creations. There was enough fabric to make a smaller version, which I did. It's machine quilted and like this one, ready for the binding.

I would strongly recommend going to a quilting retreat. It's wonderful to have no distractions. Well, okay, I did visit a quilt shop called Fiber Options. I mean, how could I resist! lol The drive was beautiful. I did learn that there's an Amish community around Ogdensburg, New York. It was fun to see buggys! Anyway, the shop had such a unique collection of fabrics and a lovely decor. I would say that she was contemporary in her choices. Adjacent was a cute wool shop. Oh...... so nice to fondle. But, I won't go there, been there done that! I do NOT need another hobby! lol

That's been by life since Hollows Eve, busy, busy, busy. Thank you so much for your kindness and patience. I will attempt to have the drawing on Monday!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hollow's Eve......!

I'll be off to my quilting retreat early morning!

Sadly I will miss the trick or treater! Stephen will do the rounds with our daughter! He's a single dad this weekend. ;o)

I love Halloween. Perhaps I'm dating myself, but the Rocky Horror Picture Show was very popular when I was a younger person. On Halloween weekend/night, certain movie theaters in Montreal would have a midnight showing. People would dress up as their favourite character. It's quite the entertainment that's difficult to put into words. It's an event that must be experienced live! Many of the groupies have seen the movie a hundred times if not more. They know the parts by heart. Myself, I can count on my fingers the number of times I've seen the movie. I've come to find out that Stephen was a Rocky Horror Picture Show groupie.

Yep, I've got proof! lol

He's probably seen the movie at least 50 times! I guess it was popular in the outskirts of New York City.

My mother in law showed up with the vest a few years back. She found it while packing to move to Massachusetts. Nice find mom! lol

You know, there's a certain comfort in knowing that my sweety chose the character Eddie over Frank-N-Furter. LOL

So, I will leave you with one of my favourite clip from the movie. It's a great party dancing song!

It's astounding, time is fleeting .....

Myself, I'll be in another dimension with quilting intentions well secluded, I quilt! With a bit of a mind flip, you're into the time slip and nothing can ever be the same.......! lol Quilting retreat here I come!

Have a Happy Halloween! BOOOO!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time for a little give away....!

My goodness, what's happening to Autumn? It's cold up here! Brrrrrr! I waited outside with my baby for the school bus and nearly froze solid! What's up with snow and freezing weather in October? Goodness, I'm already looking forward to spring! lol

In the spirit of Halloween, my favourite holiday next to Christmas, I'm having a give away. There's something about Halloween that just brings out the kid in me! Well, okay, the kid's always out but you know what I mean! lol

Anyway, I've been plugging away on a new project that I want to share with you.

Tah... dah...... !

Now for the give away!

In order to be eligible, you have to guess the name of the pattern I'm presently working on. Hum.... should I be giving out clues....? lol

The dead line is November 3, 2008.

Another option is....

Guess what special occasion takes place on November 3.

If you answer either questions correctly or both, your name will go in a draw.

I really love this pattern. I've already picked a name for that quilt. It will be called Midnight's Silhouette.

Some of you might remember that I have a black cat named Midnight.

Here is is!

When I took my broom out to take a picture, there he appeared, all eager for a ride! lol

He's such a cutey pie! lol

For the pass week, I've been cleaning my sewing room. On Friday, I'll be leaving for a 3 (three) day quilting retreat at Wadhams in Ogdensburg, New York.

I've cleaned out my stash closet, looking for UFOs as well as kits I had purchased. I've been told that I should bring as many projects as I can. Gosh, I hope I'm packing the right stuff. I've never been to a quilting retreat, so I have no clue as to how much is too much or not enough. But, I'm sure it will be a great time.

I'm off to get my day started. So much to do! Thanks for stopping by. I do enjoy your company! Keep warm!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something to blog about....!

At last, it is completed. Voici a new, well it's the only one I have so far, autumn accent piece...

Photo taken on my bedroom window seat! Have I mentioned how I love my new bedroom? ;o) Oh... I'm digressing.

Isn't he just the cutest? This is a pattern called Stitch-n-Stuff Cat by Threads That Bind. I bought this pattern about 3 (three) years ago and never got around to making it, that is until last Sunday. I must have contemplated making it at some point, as I had already felted the wool!

For the writings, I used Bug Glow thread. I also outlined the moon and the stars. When you turn off the light it glows! Heeeheeee!

I stuffed it with recyclables, pieces of Warm & Natural batting, dd old socks... you name it! lol The bottom has crushed walnut shells, the same stuff Darlene uses for her pincushions. The pattern called for sand, but I didn't have any! Stephen removed the sandbox when he built the barn! :o(

It took forever to stuff the body. I don't know which took more time, the applique and embroidery or the stuffing! lol

The neatest part about this cat are his button eyes. They're antique!

I love buttons! Back in, oh 1998, I won this jar of old buttons at a silent auction. I was ecstatic! The lady who placed the item told me that it did contain some very old buttons!

I've been waiting for the purfect project to use them. lol As you can see, I'm not much of a button user! lol That's okay, they look great on my shelves.

Oh... I also collect marbles. They're also in antique jars like this one and in old milk bottles. I don't use my marbles either! lol But, hey..... they look great on my selves. lol

Ya know, it's a great feeling to finish something! Speaking of finishing.....

Our new front entry way is completed and just in time, it's been cold in the North!

I'm enjoying the natural lighting and am wondering if I should make curtains for the side windows. Something to think about!

I'm off to continue cleaning my sewing room. I'll be heading off to a quilting retreat next weekend and plan on finishing lots of UFOs! Cleaning does wonders to one's creative energy! ;o)

Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sarah's Medallion ......!

At last, I have something quilty to write about. Today, I had a class with Froncie Quinn from Hoopla Patterns and what a great class it was!

Last night, she was the guest speaking at our guild. She is presently doing some extensive research on Florence Peto (1884-1970), a prolific quilter and quilt historian who has inducted in the Quilter’s Hall of Fame. What a fascinating lecture!

This is Froncie holding her version of the center medallion from the Sarah Johnson Quilt.

This quilt is dated 1826. Would you believe that Sarah was 14 years old when she made this quilt? Oh, and it was her fourth (4th) quilt!

In today's class, we learned how to hand piece our blocks the old fashion way with templates, pencil, scissors and a threaded needle. The beauty of this method is that it doesn't matter if you cannot cut straight, you're following a straight line in the back of your fabric!

This is my first ever hand pieced block!

I used some of the Smithsonian reproduction fabrics I had purchased many many years ago.

The block measures four (4) inches finished so you can imagine how small the pieces are! What a great way to use up scraps! lol

Here's Jennifer hard at work on her block.

It takes some time to get the hang of holding such small pieces and coordinating the needle to sew on the line.

I'm sure that with practice, I'll be quick about it.

These are the class blocks! Aren't they pretty?

It's wonderful to see the diversity in fabric choice!

Last but not least, my purchases!

Her patterns are wonderful. They include eveything you need to reproduce the quilt, minus the fabric! lol Some even have the stencils, as in the case of the Sarah Johnson Quilt, for the hand quilting design!

I certainly highly recommend Froncie Quinn as a lecture and teacher. She's fun to learn with and makes it look so easy!

So that's my day and what a great day it was! I can certainly see more hand piecing in the near future.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Still alive ..... just crazy here.....!

Life has just been one big whirlwind as of late. I have had to make some decisions in my life, which is not always easy for me. I really have a hard time saying NO and find myself spread out thinly. I don't know what it is about my not prioritizing my sanity! lol

I don't have much to report on the quilting front. I did manage to practice some machine quilting. Remember that pantho back in March that gave so much trouble, well it dawned on me that it has some imperfections. In other words, the loops and curves were not just my lack of ability to follow the lines but the designer. Ya know, I can make my own mistakes, I don't need to follow some one else's. lol

Since I don't have any pictures to show that reflect where I'm at quilt wise, I thought I would shares one from my daughter.

Isn't she just the cutest!

She received a Sock Monkey kit for her birthday last year and finally got around to completing it. I think she named her Socky! lol

My dd took the picture herself and sent it to her aunt and uncle.

I hope you are all enjoying Autumn. Thank you so much for dropping by!

Keep well!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn is here .....!

I cannot believe that summer is over. Where did it go? Stephen asked me to take down the pool this weekend. I wanted to keep it up just in case we have some summer days and also, partly in protest. Guess what's presently draining! lol

This is what we had for dinner the other night, Tomato Basil Pie!

It was delicious. Thanks Libby for posting your recipe. It's a keeper.

Except for the tomatoes, our garden was not productive this year. Something is causing my plants to die. Hopefully it will be rectified before next year.

On the quilting front, I finished quilting the In the Pink quilt, a pattern by Buggy Barn. I took a picture of the back so that you could see the machine quilting.

I'm getting the hang of panthos. I'm not so nervous and stiff anymore. I can definitely feel the flow! lol

I received some fun mail the other day from a dear friend, Guðrún. Isn't it just the cutest.

Oh... there was some Djupur Lakkris and some other Lakkris goodies, but they're all gone. I now have an addiction to Iceland Licorice. Thanks! lol

I thought I would use this cute stitchery as my blogger identity for when I post a comment. It's just so adorable and so true. Thank you again Guðrún!

Renovation time again in this household. I'm pretty sure this is the last one for the year. ;o)

We had to change the front door and side windows. They were 150 years old! I think they were due! lol

The original door was much wider, I mean it was huge! This will definitely help lower the cost of our heating bill. Winter is coming ya know!

That's it for now! Thanks for stopping by! I enjoy reading your comments!

Have a great day every one!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Can you smell it....... ?

After catching up on Libby's blog, which is always a treat to read, I had a sudden craving for molasses cookies. Hum....

I'm a big fan of molasses cookies. I do occasionally treat myself to the one's from the Dancing Bear Company . They are my favourite commercial cookies and are absolutely sinful!

First thing this morning was to bake a batch of molasses cookies from Linda's recipe.

Gosh are they good! It's a keeper!

Although the cookies turned out differently from Libby's and Linda's, they taste marvelous!

Tonight's dinner menu, Tomato Basil Pie! ;o)

Back to my trip to Pennsylvania!

On Saturday we did our shop hop. Our goal was to hit 3 fabric stores. Our first stop was at Weaver's Dry Goods in Lititz, PA. The funny part about this first shop is that there was a "road close" sign. The bus drive got out of the bus and moved the sign. lol We could see the shop from the intersection, so there wasn't any danger. Hey, my kind of bus driver!

I didn't get a chance to take pictures of any of the shops. For one thing, it was crowded! You know how it is with a bus load of quilters. They had a nice country theme going the the main shop. There also happened to be a a warehouse sale in a barn. If you bought the whole bolt, the fabric was dirt cheap. I didn't find anything bolt wise.

Our second stop was Burkholder's Fabrics in Denver. That's where we had a nice Amish lunch. They had these peanut butter cookies for desert that were to die for! Another favourite of mine! After we were all well fed, it was back to shopping!

Our third stop was Saunders, that's where I really did the most damage. They had lots of Moda's at a reasonable price. I did loosen up a bit! ;o)

Saunder's is pretty much where I went wild with the yardage.

Here you have fabric cuts anywhere from 3 (three) to 8 (Eight) yards. Yes, that's my backing pile! Who can resist Moda's for backing? Not me!

I did have a mission on my shop hop. I was in search of some folk art oranges and gold for 2 (two) projects that I hope to be starting soon.

These are mainly half yard to 1 (one) yard cuts. The fabric certainly looks much darker in real life! Oh... I forgot 2 (two) fabrics in this picture, a background and a Japanese print. Oh well, I'll point it out when I use it in a project! lol ;o)

Thank you for stopping by! I do hope you are all having a wonderful day! The weather here in Upstate New York is gorgeous.

Keep well!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I've been back... just in a funk!

Thank you to those concerned for my lack of post. Life has been a whirlwind of possibilities. I'm having a difficult time keeping up with it all. And if that wasn't enough, school is starting for me. I have just been so tired as of late. Enough said....

I didn't take many pictures during my trip to Pennsylvania. I think mainly because I was there last year and had reported on my visit.

The show was nice. It wasn't busy at all compared to others I have experienced. I think it was mainly due to being a weekday. Bonus for me! Some of the gals from my guild did mention that compared to prior years, the show was smaller this year. Never having been, I cannot judge, I just know that I had a good time. I didn't see any quilts that jumped out at me, so no pictures.

My number one priority at the show was to meet up with Pepper Cory, which I did at the lunch line. ;o)

Unfortunately, I was not able to take a course with her due to time constraint, but I did want to buy a copy of her book Mastering Quilt Marking. It's out of print and I was hoping she would have some copies on hands.

As you see, it was my lucky day! She even offered to autograph it for me!

My second priority was to seek out the APQS booth, the dealer being David & Gretchen Adams from Afton, NY.

I needed to find out what I'm either doing right or wrong with my longarm. I wanted to get a good feel of things, if you know what I mean!

I did find out that my top and backing rollers are much too tight and so is my loaded quilt. I need to loosen up! She did give me some pointers in regards to my clamps getting in the way.

My third priority was to shop for items I do not have access too in my neck of the woods!

And... Ya know, that pretty much means everything! ;o)

Yes, more hand embroidery patterns! How could I resist! You all know whose fault it is!!!!!! lol

One of the patterns is from Sandy Gervais. A while back I received a wonderful surprise from a dear friend and the pattern will be perfect for the charm pack.

I just love those "This & That" patterns. They make such sweet gifts for friends!

Given that we were going shop hopping all day on Saturday, I did stay away from any fabric purchase. Well......

I just could not resist this kit. The colours are just oh so delicious!

I'm telling you, the Fig Tree look is my new fad! Well, it is a Moda you know and ......... I'm such a Moda girl!

So there you have it, my day at the show! I had a great time shopping at quilt store booths that I would not have the opportunity to visit.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I enjoy reading your comments!

Have a great day every one!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Fun.....!

Penelope and I continue to have fun play dates.

I finished quilting my dd's winter quilt, which I thought turned out nice, that is, until I washed it!

I used The Tuscany Collection 100% wool batting by Hobbs. It is developed with Harriet Hargraves for "Discriminating Quilters". It specifically states that it "is made with the very best super wash wool, which eliminates most or all of the shrinkage. It is then carded and resin bonded to help retard bearding." Now keep that in mind for the next photo.

I purposely did not re-size the photo because I wanted you to see the results.

After completing the binding, I put it in the washing machine. When I pulled it out, it was covered with balls of wool - beading. Where in the heck did it come out of? Okay, so I stick it in the dryer thinking that it's going to take that stuff off. It did some of it, but not all of it. I did use the "cotton picker" for a bit and gave up!

Notice the beading, the shrinkage? It was dried on low heat. After seeing the results, I decided to read the instructions, "it is recommended to dry this quilt flat. When drying flat, block and square the quilt on an absorbent surface, such as towels. The use of a fan oscillating over the surface will speed up the drying process considerable". Now, who has the space to leave a quilt in the middle of the room to dry? Not me! Oh, and let's not forget the towels and oscillating fan. I wish this had been written on the front of the package and not on the reverse where I have no access, unless I rip open the packaging and turn the paper around! I am fuming....!!!!!!! I'm thinking that quilt needs to be picked and redone! I think the expression "I'm spitting bullets" is appropriate here! lol

What infuriates me the most is that I have another quilt using Hobbs wool batting, not the Tuscany Collection, that hasn't been washed yet because I still need to quilt the inner border. Anyone have room for me to dry a quilt?

On a much happier note, I shall be leaving Thursday morning for a bus trip with my guild, Champlain Valley Quiltler's Guild, to see the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XV show in Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania. Friday will be spent at the show. Saturday, we'll be shop hopping all day. Many of the places I have never been! Sunday we'll be leaving for home. I'm really looking forward to this. I've never been to a show in PA. I'm making sure I bring my camera! ;o) I'm telling you, this year I have been the travelling quilting fool! lol

Hope you are all having a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by!

Note: The issue was not with the batting but with my inexperience using a longarm. I had the quilt much to taut on the longarm. Once I washed the quilt, the quilt top sprung back to its original size forcing the batting to migrate out of the quilt. Lesson learned!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer has finally arrived....!

I do hope you have all been enjoying the summer. Here, it's been a wet summer for us this year. Only since last week have we been having some sunny days. I did go sailing on Saturday. It was such a perfect windy day!

On the quilting front, I finished Pine Grove. It was quite the experience to complete this project on the longarm. I'm glad it's done!

At last, I have a quilt off that long UFO 2007 list. That's the list I had compiled for Stashbuster. Of course, I never reached my goal before the year was up, Queen I became! Oh well.... c'est la vie.

I'm still enjoying some play dates with Penelope! I've been working on some charity quilts that I obtained from the guild. I just finished one that had machine embroidered squares. Hum.... it's not as easy as I would have thought!

With the bedroom renovations mostly completed, Stephen managed to finish the sewing desk he designed for Bernina 180. I do like the way it turned out! It's sweet to have a nice sewing space! Hum.... more drawers to fill! ;o)

Thanks for stopping by! Keep well everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've been plugging away.....!

Penelope and I have had a few play dates. I've enjoyed doing some free-form on Pine Grove. It's almost quilted, all I have are the setting triangles. I haven't decided how I shall approach those. Until then......

I finished the center block of Sprig Rose by Lorraine Hofmann. Funny how a picture can distort the colours. The fabrics are a tad darker than in the photograph. Hum....

I do like the way it turned out. I'm not sure how I want to proceed for the borders. So, I'm putting this project aside for a bit until an inspiration comes along. Until then, I'll work on finishing Market Day by Whimsical.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Just quilt it....!

Thank you for all your support regarding machine quilting. It's so different doing it on a long arm compared to a domestic sewing machine (DSM). So I took your advise and.....

Just did it! lol

It took me a while to figure out that there was a much simpler way of doing what I wanted to do. I guess I had to take the long way before I arrived at a short cut.

I'm using my laser light on top of my machine and following my pattern. Much simpler and it's coming out much better.

There was the issue of some dragging, which I felt caused me to have jerky movements. I had read a thread on MQResource and thought perhaps my channel locks had been improperly adjusted, thus causing the drag.

I phoned APQS to talk about my channel locks. For one, I thought the command buttons had been mixed up. Bob was kind enough to explain to me why it was set up that way. Duh! (palm to forehead) Okay, it all makes sense to me now! lol Regarding the drag/jerky movement, he kindly said that I needed more practice. Fair enough!

This morning I had a "light bulb" moment regarding the drag, raise my hopping foot! Well, it worked, no more drag. So Bob, next I call about a drag, just tell me to raise my hopping foot! ROFLOL Of course he didn't know I had played with it and it was no longer to the manufacture setting. And yes, I still need more practice! By the way, great customer service from APQS. I have nothing but praise for this company.

While attempting to gather up the courage to quilt on the long arm, I worked on the center block of Sprig Rose.

I love the way it turned out. I need to square it and attached the saw tooth border. Perhaps tonight! For now, I'm machine quilting Pine Grove on the long arm! ;o)

Thanks for stopping by every one and for your kind words of encouragement.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wow..... August already!

I do hope that everyone is having a wonderful summer. Here, it has been buzzing with activities.

On the quilting front, I had to put Market Day on hold due to a discrepancy in the pattern instructions. The cutting instruction and the template were off by 1/4 inch. Hum... which one is right?

I did check on their web site, Oops section, for possible corrections, but it wasn't mentioned. Strange, the book has been published for quite some time. So, I wrote to the designer Terri for clarification.

Note: Terri did write back and the template is not the correct measurement. She will post the correction on her website.

Until I receive an answer ........

I started a new machine applique project called Sprig Rose, designed by Lorraine Hofmann.

I belong to a Primitive Folk Art group and this is one of the projects that the group is working on. This happens to be part of the center block.

On the long arm front, I loaded Pine Tree Grove. I started machine quilting this quilt on my DSM. It's been sitting in my quilting closet, waiting for me to pick it up again. Yesterday, I had the "bright?!?!" idea of completing it on the longarm. I haven't done anything except stare at it.

You know how they say that you "shouldn't" switch machines in between piecing a quilt, well I wonder if this applies to machine quilting. So, until I feel confident that I'm doing the "right" thing, I'll just continue staring at it! lol

The blocks are basted and some of the sashing has been quilted. It's the setting triangles and borders that bother me. Oh well, I'll continue to think about it! lol

I'm off to quilt! Have a great day every one. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm just playing around ....!

Last week, life was just crazy busy. My niece was over for the week, which meant I had 2 (two) pre-teens in the house. Need I say more.....?!?!?! lol

So while I was chauffeur to soccer camp and the pool supervisor, I did manage to get some hand embroidery done on the Blue Bird quilt. Excuse the presentation. I don't want to iron them until I'm ready to cut to size and piece the quilt.

I've been working on the more detailed blocks first. I have about 10 (ten) blocks to go, but they are less detailed and should be a breeze to complete.

On the long arm front!

I didn't have as much of a chance to play with Penelope while my niece was here. Thursday, I had the morning to my self, as Stephen chauffeured the girls to their soccer camp. I played around with some free form. I am much more comfortable in front of the machine than I am in the back. So, I'm using the charity quilts that I have acquired to practice panthos. Loops are so much easier for me then curves and points. In due time, I'm sure I'll become a pro at it. Until then, practice, practice is what I need to do.

I'm slowly becoming comfortable with Penelope. There's so much to think about! Within time, it will all be second nature for me. I'm certainly enjoying playing and learning about her.

Thank you for stopping by. I do hope you are all enjoying your summer. Here in Upstate New York, we're having a wet summer. It has been raining quite a bit. I'm hardly in my pool, which is so unusual for me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Up and running...........!

Yesterday, Stephen and I did the last bit that was required to get my new toy running. I'm just so excited!

I stayed up late watching, for the third time, the DVD that came with the machine, you know, making sure I was doing things right! It can be so intimidating! lol

I still have a bit of tweaking left to do. I find that it's not as smooth as I would like it to be. I imagine that it will take a bit of time before I'm comfortable with it. So much to learn! I do want to thank Vicki from Field Trips in Fiber for all of her help. She's been such a sweetheart, answering all of my questions and what not! Thanks for being there Vicki!

I've been thinking of a name for my new toy, Penelope. I don't know why, but I just love that name.

On the quilting front........!

I bought this book, Companions by Whimsicals, a couple of years ago at The Quilted Crow. They had the trunk show on display and I just fell in love with the Market Day quilt. I find that her quilts are just the right amount of folk art for my taste.

I have had the fabric set aside for the project for quite some time and frankly, I was tired of working off the UFO list. There's only so much a quilting girl can take! Time for a new project!

This is the center block of Market Day. It's machine appliqued.

As much as I love hand applique, I've got to say that doing it by machine relieves me of the stress of having too many hand projects hanging around. It's a wonderful feeling to get something done!

Well, I'm off to play with Penelope! Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day everyone!
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