Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I’ve had enough!!

That’s it…no more tonight!  I changed thread, used the Sewer’s Aid, took out the bobbin looking for lint, oiled everything I could see and the thread is still breaking.  I am going to give up tonight and look at it tomorrow with (hopefully) fresh eyes.


I have been trying to quilt a baby quilt to send to Maureen. IMG_6984   I outline stitched in the ditch around the large blocks and had no problems.  Then I started a free motion design of meander and loops.  About every 8 or 9 inches, the thread breaks.  I have changed needles, re-threaded the top, switched out bobbins, adjusted tension and even changed the pressure setting.  Nothing is working and I am about to start screaming.  I have NEVER had this kind of problem with Jenny before.  My machine is not dirty and it doesn’t need lubricating.  I clean my machine after every time I use it and I oil it regularly. 

Other than the constant thread breaking, the stitches look pretty good.   I am not running the machine at a really high IMG_6985

rate of speed – just about mid-range.  My hand movements are consistent and smooth.  I am running out of ideas.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Checking out Live Writer

Just checking to see if this is as good a program as Rhonda tells us it is!  So far I really like the format.  It has the same feel as Microsoft Word so that is a plus.  Now I am going to enter a photo to see how that works.

what a pretty couple!

That worked like a dream!  (Note – good looking couple is my oldest son and his lovely wife.)

Changing font size is a snap.  Ooohhh – you can add maps or videos and there is even a thingy on the sidebar where you can add plug ins.  At the bottom, you can easily set your date for publishing (so you can pretend like you are writing a post everyday but you are only REALLY doing it once a week!)  You can set categories.  You can edit and then preview right as it will look on your page.

This program is TOTALLY AWESOME!!  Get it, y’all!  It’s a free download from Window’s Live.  DO IT!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mama's got something new!!

Remember me writing about the new sewing machine I was thinking about getting? I really didn't want to spend too much but I wanted a lot of features for my money. I think I found exactly that in my new machine. Here it is!

From Quilty stuff

See all the built in stitches?
From Quilty stuff
There are are decorative stitches, quilting stitches and heirloom sewing stitches. It came with an extended table (not shown), a hopping foot for free motion, a walking foot and a bunch of other feet. It has feed dogs that lower (whooeee!), a needle down function and ... I love this ... it has the option for push button sewing.
From Quilty stuff
I can just set the speed and hit the button. Why is this exciting? Think about it...the biggest challenge in free motion is moving your hands in coordination with keeping the foot pedal at a constant rate of speed. With this, I only need to be concerned that my hands keep moving consistently. I won't be using this machine really for much quilting - Jenny is a wonderful quilting machine and we have a "groove" but it is so cool to have the option. Another great feature is that it weighs about 12 pounds. It will be great for dragging to S4 meetings, retreats and classes.

I am just about giddy. Can you tell?! It just arrived yesterday afternoon and I have had only a little time to play so that's what I am going to do today.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Retreat goodies

First, I have absolutely no photos of the retreat. I had a camera with me, took one terrible photo of my sister and put the camera into my bag. I promptly forgot to take it out again. (Senior moments)

We did have a wonderful time and much was accomplished. The retreat projects were to make a purse and a sewing tool organizer.
From Quilty stuff
The bag is the Mini Bow Tucks and it is a great bag! Not too big and not too small with lots of pockets.
From Quilty stuff
The tool organizer is a fast project and a lot of fun to make.
From Quilty stuff

I completed 3 rows of the batik quilt I started. I really am enjoying the pattern and I think the quilt will be beautiful. I will post photos as soon as it is completed!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Feeling better

Thanks to all of you that sent "get better" wishes! I still don't feel like myself but I am definitely on the mend.

My son sent me this photo of my granddaughter in the dress I made for her. Looks to me like it is too big but that is another downside of living so far away from her...no way to do a fitting.
From Quilty stuff
At least it isn't too small so I know she will grow into it. I love the fabric, Bella likes it and I enjoyed making it. That's good enough for me! (I love the big smile with the missing tooth - too cute!!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oh dear...

Back from retreat (where we had a wonderful time) with a sore throat, aching head and a fever. I haven't had a fever in 7 years!! I will tell you all about the retreat and show you all what I accomplished but not today. I am going to put on my jammies, drink a pot of tea to soothe my throat and think happy thoughts!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring retreat

My quilty sister and I are off again to the mountains of Pennsylvania for our annual Spring retreat. This year the project is some sort of purse/bag and a quilter's carry-all (whatever that means!) I am not terribly concerned with what the projects are as this is really just a great opportunity to get away with my sister for some uninterrupted sewing. Our leader has told us that we will have plenty of time to work on our own projects so I am hoping to get the baby quilt finished so I can get it into the mail to Marlene. I would also love to get the borders on the braid quilt.

Wisely, I only halfway unpacked my suitcase from my weekend trip to Virginia so I have very little packing for this trip. The difficult packing for me is remembering to take everything I think I will possibly need for sewing. With two of us going, it will look like we are taking everything in our sewing studios. Most important thing to take - our chairs! They looked at us like we were crazy last year when we showed up with chairs but the rest of the group realized the wisdom of our decision by Saturday afternoon. Folding chairs are hard and sit way too low!!

I am off now to look for Jen's list of things to take on retreat. If she doesn't have it listed, I know I won't need it!!

Lookee what I did this morning...

From Quilty stuff

Everything is cut, labeled and I have one row finished. Amazing what can be done with a throbbing head before the crack of dawn!

3:00 am

Downside to spring...sinus headaches. I woke up a little before 2am with a headache, took some meds but it still won't go away so I decided to just get out of bed.

I saw a great, quick pattern using batiks in a quilt magazine - I think it is the "Easy Quilts" from Fons & Porter, Spring edition. I don't think I am up to anything too complicated so I am going to dig out the magazine and do some cutting.

Here's hoping I still have all my fingers when I am finished!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nothing to do with quilting...

I just received an email advertisement from IKEA. They are having a sale this weekend and INGOLF bar stools are reduced to 19.99 ea/limit of 4. I am going on retreat this weekend and CANNOT go to pick them up! I am beside myself!! These are the ones that I want for my house. They are usually between $59 and $69. Worse, I cannot get anyone to go to Philadelphia to pick them up for me.

I am so depressed now I think I will have to go lay down...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

No more teasing...kinda

I got up bright (barely) and early this morning so that I could post these photos. First up is the braid quilt - still without borders but I wanted to show my progress.
From Quilty stuff

I had to throw it over the bed in the guest room. (I so need a design wall!)
From Quilty stuff
From Quilty stuff
I love the way these fabrics all work together. This may end up being one of my favorite quilts for a couple of reasons. I love the design, love the fabrics and I love the fact that I used scrap fabric!

Here is a terrible photo of the baby quilt top. This one comes from stash.
From Quilty stuff
I did run out of one of the fabrics so the quilt isn't exactly the size I had originally intended. That's the reason I added a wider border at the top and bottom.

Last is the table runner I am still working on for my DIL. She just painted the focus wall in her dining room aubergine. I went to Lowes, got a paint chip and took that with me when I went shopping.
From Quilty stuff
The fabric in the center ring is a Moda Marble light purple though it looks more pink than that in the photo. It does match beautifully with the striped fabric in the center of the rings.

I am going to postpone showing you Ms. Bella's new dress. I LOVE IT! It is darling and I loved making it but you need to see it on her. Laying it out on the floor doesn't do it justice! I will see her this weekend and get a photo of her and the dress.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just in case you were wondering...

Sorry it has been so long between posts! I have been really busy - I finished all the braids for the braided quilt, finished a baby quilt top to take to Marlene for her Lenten service project and I am very nearly finished making a dress for my granddaughter. Wondering where the photos are? Still on my camera which is at home and I am at the office!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My erroneous post from yesterday

I have to apologize for my second post yesterday. If you read it here, it was supposed to have posted to my other blog...the one where I express my opinions, thoughts, whatever. If I offended anyone, I am truly sorry. This blog is about my quilting and sewing (and occasionally crafting). Hopefully I won't make the mistake again.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

As promised

So, what do you think?

From Quilty stuff

Due to the angle at which I had to hold the camera and having to use a flash, some of the colors are not true but you get the idea. I have started the 3rd braid so I have a long way to go. (There are a total of 6 braids.) This may be a good project to finish on retreat except that I am excited about it and when I feel this way I usually get 'er done! As I now view it I can see that I need to be really careful about which strip I pick up to attach to the braid as it relates to the balance of colors. Fortunately at this point I can still move them around but once I have a few more made it will be tricky.

Back to Jenny!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I started sewing!!

Whoo hoo! After cutting a gazillion strips and pieces, I finally started putting together my first braid for the quilt this morning. I got so engrossed (because it was so nice to finally not have a rotary cutter in my hand!) that I was late getting dressed for work. I don't want to get too over the top about this quilt but I think it is going to be GORGEOUS! Seriously!!

Now - I know you want to see photos of my flimsy in all of its uncomplete gorgeousness, however, that will have to wait until finish all of the first braid. Photos tomorrow morning!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tedious stuff

I have been doing some "prep" work and it is boring! I am cutting 2-1/2" strips (STILL!) for my next scrap quilt. Because this isn't going to be traditional "scrappy" I am going through all of my Moda scraps, ironing and cutting.

With regard to 2-1/2" strips, the library in my sister's little town recently acquired a new quilt book for using jelly rolls. I was looking at the book and darned if it didn't have a "Strip Twist" quilt in it...also had the same ironing instructions as Bonnie shows at her free site. Kinda makes me wonder... It surely would not be the first time someone has "borrowed" her ideas!

Other big project is furniture related. I have applied the fabric to the drawers of the child's chifforobe that I mentioned the other week. I read everything I could on the internet as to how to do it but either no one mentioned it or I didn't remember but I should have washed the fabric first and gotten the sizing out. I also learned very quickly that when you glue fabric to wood even if it doesn't look like you have bubbles, you probably do so I have been squashing air bubbles and using an old credit card like a squeegee. I will have photos to post as soon as I get a couple coats of varnish applied over the fabric.

I am heading back to the cutting board. Hope you have a great day!
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