Saturday, March 29, 2008

Have we met before?

Hello, I am Miss Louise.....

Please meet also my friend Miss Cynthia.....

It is a pleasure to make your acquaintances. Our friends, Miss Marge and Miss Libby will be joining us shortly!

Thanks to my wonderful friends Darlene and Wendy, who never stopped tantalizing me with their work until I finally gave in, reluctantly of course ;o) , I am now into hand embroidery line hook and sinkers. lol So, I asked my sweetie to make me a light box. It makes tracing so much easier.

The pattern on the box is from the Polka Dot Girls. Oh, I cannot wait to work on those lovely girls. But first, I have two other ladies to stitched out!

I do hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! Thank you so much for stopping by!

In Friendship,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I joined a gym...........

Yep, like I need more distractions and commitments in my life lol .

Jennifer, my quilting bee buddy, and I thought it would be a great idea and motivator to get our bodies back in shape. I mean, I already have a round shape but I thought I'd get a more lean shape, if you know what I mean! ;o) Of course, Jennifer is only doing it to tone her muscles.

So today, I brought my heart rate up to 180 beats per minute. That's about the level it goes up too when I see George Cluny! lol Of course I had to work to get it that high on the thread mill! lol I'm sure I don't need to tell you that my older body is aching at the moment!

I do hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. I certainly did! We went to Massachusetts for a visit with the family. I'm sure you can guess where I spent a good part of my Saturday? Yep The Quilted Crow.

I bought the book Remembrance by Jo Morton.

It has some sweet looking quilts. I'm starting to develop a taste for older more reproductive style quilts. You can view some of the quilts in the book here.

Of course they had a kit for one of the quilts, Peppermint Twist, that I just had to have.

Seriously, I really couldn't resist the gorgeous fabrics they choose! I mean, I couldn't have done a better job at picking the fabrics myself! ;o) lol

Yea, I know, I need another project like I need to join a gym! lol

Okay, I think it's time for me to close this post because I'm just being silly! Gosh, I'm tired and aching!

Keep fit everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Awards and Thank yous!

I want to thank Shelina from Shelina's Creations and Connie from Simply Quilted for nominating me for the You make my Day Award.

How sweet of these ladies?!?

I was also nominated by Connie for this cute I love you this much award.

Thank you Connie. Your friendship means a lot to me!

I must say that I have been blessed with wonderful friendships all because of blog land. I'm really happy to have taken the plunge to blog!

Thank ladies for your thoughtfulness.

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Working real hard..........!

Yep, that's me! I'm still at it!

Look at that baby work! It's panting! lol

I have 9 (nine) more of those lower designs to stitched out and it's going to be ready for machine quilting. I think there are 20 designs in total.

You know, I used to be phobic about hooping. Oh alright, I'll admit it, I was phobic about anything having to do with machine embroidery! lol I mean, stabilizers can be so intimidating. What to use, when to use it and how to use it! I could never understand it all.

Well, let me tell you, I'm getting to be an old pro at this. I am beyond goodie bags! lol I think I've even got a handle on stabilizers and if I don't, what ever I'm doing is working out swell. Heck, I'm not even afraid of hooping anymore. I've got that hooping business down pat!

I can certainly see machine embroidery becoming addictive! It's all about the multi tasking! While that baby is panting away, I can do something else. It's marvelous! lol

What have I been doing you might ask? Well, catching up with school work and blogs. I also have a machine applique project coming together and some hand embroidery still in the process. Gotta love that multi tasking! lol

On another note, it's wonderful that Spring is finally here. I'm hoping that it means that the snow will start to melt. I am so ready for a change of season!

Ooops, time for a thread change! ;o) Have a great weekend every one!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ahead for the holidays!

Have I mentioned that I've been dwelling in machine embroidery? I have now gone beyond goodie bags for dd's parties! lol

I've been taking a monthly embroidery class at the Viking Dealer in Plattsburgh. Yes, I know, I frequent the dark side at times! ;o) lol

I'm working on a tree skirt for the holidays. Please don't mind the wrinkles!

The design is from the Australian magazine Machine Embroidery and Textile Art, Vol. 14, No 1. Great Magazine! What's not to like, it comes from Oz! lol

I used The Sewing Revolution rulers, (5/7 wedge and extension) to mark the placement of my design as well as the center circle.

Gosh, those are sweet rulers! They certainly make life easier! They don't come cheap, but well worth the price. I'm sure I could find a use for them in applique.

This is a close up of the top block. I had to enlarge it by 50%.

I tweaked the design a bit. I'm getting real good with my Bernina Designer Plus software! ;o)

I debated the use of gold metallic thread. They can be such a pain at times, constantly breaking. Given that it's a holiday project, I went ahead with it. I'm using Yenmet and so far not too many breakages.

This block will create the circle on the bottom of the tree skirt. Both blocks come from Zundt Designs.

While the designs stitch out, or should that be while I'm babysitting the machine, I can read for school or catch up in blog land. I could do some hand embroidering too! ;o)

This project is going to take me a while to complete. I tell you, I'm getting real good at hooping! lol

I'll definitely post a picture once it's complete.

Off to do more machine embroidery! Keep well everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cotton Candy D'Antan

I have a finish! Yea....... It's the Sherbert Delight quilt from Pekins Dry Goods!

I have finished hand sewing the binding and the label is on! It will be displayed at Loose Threads, a friend's quilt store in Plattsburgh.

I will admit, I am quite pleased with this quilt. It is the first time I use a scallop border. I was a tad frighten with the binding, but it all worked out well. I used the Katie Lane Scallop rulers to make my arches.

It is suggested by a few published quilters to us a 2 (two) inch binding with scallops. I used a 2 1/2 inch binding mainly because, well.... I was on auto pilot and had already cut it and sewn the strips together! And I wasn't about to cut miles of binding to correct it. lol

I don't see anything wrong with the way it hangs and am wondering why the 2 inch recommendation. If someone can enlighten me, I would greatly appreciate it!

For those interested in seeing the machine quilting in the white blocks, I did blog about it here.

Thank you for stopping by! I enjoy reading your comments! As I eagerly run to the computer seeking my Google mail box for comments, I am reminded of a child anticipating candy! lol Thank you for the simple pleasures in life! ;o)

Have a great day every one!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Guild meeting & Quilting Class

Wednesday was my meeting with the Champlain Valley Quilter's Guild of New York. Our guest speaker was Debbie Wendt.

Debbie certainly loves Egypt. Her trunk show consisted of quilts and attires from Egypt. She had various examples of hand dyed textile and spoke of her love of shopping in Cairo and more particularly, shopping on the "street of the tentmakers".

I had an opportunity to examine closely the work of the Tentmakers of Cairo, whom are now catering to tourism by replicating tent designs on wall hangings. It was quite informative.

The whole process of tent making was historically done by men, however women are beginning to learn the trade. The stitching around the design is not as refined as one would expect in the hand applique quilting milieu, which is understandable given the intent of their original work. I wouldn't be meticulous with my stitches either if I was embellishing a tent! ;o) I will say that their work is beautiful and the colours so vibrant!

The following day, Debbie Wendt taught a class using Barbara Chainey's method of quilt making from her book Fast Quilts from Fat Quarters.

I love this book! I like the idea of using fat quarters to create quilts that is beyond the Yellow Brick Road and/or Turning 20 quilting patterns. Myself, I've never made a turning 20 quilt but I do know of a friend who has done many!

Let me warn you, Barbara's method requires you to think about how you'll fabricate your block. You can create simple 4 1/2 inch units that can be assembled into more complicated blocks of 8, 12 and/or 16 inches (finished size) all by following her cutting plan.

It was a lot of fun to work out the various possibilities. The minimum numbers of FQ required are 6 (six), which will yield 12 - 8 1/2 inch blocks, with left over pieces for your creative enjoyment! lol

Since I have way too many UFOs, WIPS and PIGS going on, I attended the class with the intention of learning about the technique. I brought FQs that were disposable! lol

All and all, it was a fun 2 days. For those interested, Debbie will be teaching at MQX.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I've been in a daze!

I think today was worse!

I went to the Gammil dealer, Cowles Quilting Machines , to return the leaders and pins from the Corn & Bean quilt. If you recall, I went home with the quilt in order to do more ripping! I decided that I was not going to attempt machine quilting this project on a long arm. I need lots more practice!

When I took the class that would allow me to rent the machine, I was informed by the owner Julie and confirmed by the teacher Beth, that I would get leaders with it. I thought $125.00 with leaders was reasonable for a 3 hour class. I've enquired a few time regarding the leaders and was told that they are still working on it. Today, I asked the owner and she tells me that they will not be giving leaders because "the price has gone up and well, they are now $75.00 and the cheapest they can get them is $65.00 so they just won't do that". I was floored! I cannot believe that she would go back on her word!

Guess what, Gammils are off my list!

June 14, 2008 I saw Julie from Cowles Quilting and decided that I needed to talk to her about how I felt regarding what took place back in March. I didn't like the fact that I was avoiding the store and Beth. After discussing the issue, she has offered to give me a credit of $35.00.

On a more cheerful note, I did get some fun mail yesterday.

I placed an order a few weeks ago with Material Chicks, an on-line shop in New Zealand.

I bough two (2) pattern books from Bronwyn Hayes, Tea with Friends and Polka-Dot Girls. I just love her work!

With my order, they included a cute stitchery block with floss from none other than Bronwyn Hayes. I just love it! It says "Keep a pinch of Christmas Magic in your pocket." How cute is that?

Well, I would certainly recommend this shop! They have the cutest packaged Polka Dot Girls kits. I was going to order a few until I realized that they were the same patterns that were in the Book I purchased. They would make the cutest gifts!

You know, stitchery projects are starting to accumulate like my quilt PIGS (Project In Grocery Sac). I'm starting to have quite the stitchery pattern collection! Oh well!

I want to thank you for your kind support regarding my long arm ordeal! It meant a lot to me!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My week!

Lots has been happening and yet I've accomplish nothing I set out to do. sigh!

I had booked some time with the Gammil Dealer in St Albans in an attempt to finish some flimsies.

This is the pantho I purchased for my brother's Corn and Bean quilt.

I thought it would work well for the quilt. So I did a bit of practicing for an hour or so and decided to tackle the quilt.

I loaded the queen size quilt and made the attempt. I quilted about 12 inches of the pantho and decided that I didn't like it.

Given that the bulk of the quilt is light, I didn't want to use a dark thread. I didn't like the fact that you could see clearly the inaccuracy of my inability to follow the pantho accordingly on the borders. So I ripped it out and decided to do some custom quilting.

Well, that didn't work very well either! They did not have the lower attachment that you use to guide the machine for stippling and I didn't have enough control from the top. So I ripped those stitches out and re-attempted the pantho with the understanding that I needed to live with whatever came out of it.

Unfortunately, the machine started to beep so I had to stop. When I went back to the pantho, I didn't head in the right direction and stitched over what I had already done. More ripping! After taking the extra stitches out and six (6) hours later I decided it was time to leave before I start crying in public. At this point, I didn't even want a long arm anymore!

After a glass of wine and some thinking, I decided that I needed to go back the next day. I was determined to get it right.

I set up the quilt, found where I thought I left off on the pantho and had Beth (the instructor) check everything. She informed me that it was the exact spot I left off and told me which direction I had to go.

Well, guess what? Same mess, twice! I was fit to be tied! I could not bare to do more ripping at $15.00 an hour!

So, I took my quilt off the machine and decided to go to my Friday quilting bee.

The girls had decided to give me an "unbirthday party". So there were these beautiful flowers, a cake, a bottle of wine and a candle for me.

To think I blew these girls off! Thank you again Jennifer, Lora and Joann for making me feel better. You guys are the best!

So, $150.00 later, I have nothing to show but a huge mess.

What have I learned from my experience you might ask?

1) It dawned on me that I don't have to load fabric to test a pantho. I could have just followed it with the laser light to get a feel for it. It takes time to load a quilt/fabric on the machine. The meter adds up as you pin away.

2) If I buy a long arm from this dealer, I'm pretty much on my own (unless they have other instructors that I am not aware of).

3) Don't blow off your friends for long arm rental! ;o)

I did book more time on Tuesday but guess what? I'm cancelling it! I do not like the light thread and since they cannot show me how to do the center with the pantho, it's pointless for me to learn on my own at that price. Mistakes are a great way to learn, however I would like it much better if it was on my own machine. I do not need the stress of a meter running!

Thank you for reading about my week!

In friendship!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Must I always remember....

Here I am listening to vinyls again. Music has always been a big part of my life. This time I'm enjoying The Box , a great Canadian group, circa 1984 - sigh! I just cannot believe the time that has gone past.

On the quilting front, I'm still tackling the Sherbert quilt. I had forgotten how much of a PITA bias binding was!

On the hand embroidery front, I've been working on the various panels that have been sent to me from friends in Blog Land.

This little rabbit was a gift from Wendy of Snippet of a quilter. It's so cute! It says "keep life simple". It will be a great reminder of what I need to do at times. Of course, it wasn't applied when I stitched the saying. The instructions said to use a black Pigma pen for the lettering and I went and stitched it! lol It wasn't easy as it's so small! Oh well, I'm not one to read instructions and besides, it looks better stitched! ;o)

This was sent to me by Donna from Chookyblue. She chose the blue she wanted me to use for the panel. We all know how much Donna loves the colour blue! ;o)

Leigh for Cinnamon Sticks sent me this stitchery from Oz. Unfortunately, she no longer has her blog but we still keep in touch via e-mail.

I have another panel to work on that was sent to me from May Britt. Once the stitchery panels have been completed, I plan on making a quilt with all the blocks that will serve as a reminder of the friendships I have made on Blog Land.

Speaking of friendship. I would like to share with you a package that caught me by surprise.

This sweet little hand embroidery quilt was sent to me by Karrin from Karrin's Crazy World as a thank you gift. She was my partner for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap - Winter. What a sweet looking quilt! I just couldn't believe it when I opened the package! Thank you again Karrin for your kindness. I'm still shocked by your thoughtful gesture. The card is lovely. Oh..... there was a chocolate in the package but don't ask for a photo! lol

That pretty much covers it for now. Thank you for stopping by! Have a great week everyone!

In Friendship,
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