Thursday, October 27, 2011

Creative Use of Tools!

I have to float this top since I am doing a machine trauputo (sp?) with the plates. It is NOT going smoothly, but I am too stubborn to stop---too much work went into this. The back looks horrible, but since I am not entering in a judged show, I am using this exercise as a learning lesson.

The purpose of the post though is to share something I learned from one of my on-line groups. Those black rods are normally used to hold your tools on the wall. They have strong magnets that are useful with iron tools. Well, it was suggested that you could use them to hold your fabric tight when you are floating a top. My top has to be floated to allow me to put the extra batting under the places where I want to get the look of trauputo so I really can't pin the bottom of the top to the leader as I normally do. At first I wasn't sure if the magnets would work through the layers of batting, quilt fabric and leader fabric, but it works really well. The top is held tight enough to not wrinkle. I have three, more than enough to hold the entire top of the queen size quilt. I think I will float more tops. It certainly makes it easier to keep everything straight. I try to load my top on straight, but have to admit, I fail at times. ...BTW..I also can't quilt in a straight line :c(. You should see the quilting around the plates and between the sections----BAD!!!!!

Just wanted to share---I hate this top, the quilting is so yuk! but----I am going to finish it!!!! It will probably end up as one of my favs---:c)----at any rate I can say that I have tried applique!

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


No picture---but I have to tell you, my attempt at "organic" quilting, even with the help of the CL was a dismal failure. The background for the quilt is black/white and the thread didn't show up. I tried to sew over the template twice to make it stand out, but it just looked worst. Of course, Harriet (my machine), decided she didn't want to play anymore and the tension was bad! At any rate, I am now frogging---. Thank goodness, I only made one motif, and since the tension is so bad, I can take it out "fairly" easily. I have removed three "petals" and have 3 more to go.

No more "organic" for me! I think I am going to do my "water" stipple and be done with it. I don't like this quilt now and would love to make another, but I don't have time, so I will push on! Just thinking about it gives me a headache! :c) Even DH who usually likes everything I make turned his nose up at it and said "that one is different", translation "that is pretty bad".

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Finish!

I finished the baby quilt quilted with the concentric circles. My camera battery was losing power but I think you can see the circles. I just quilted them on randomly and in a variety of sizes depending on the space available. I think it turned out well and will make some little baby happy. The CL made it really easy to do. The squares look larger than they are, but are really only 5 inches set on the diagonal with sashing between. A quick quilt and great for practice.

Next I am going to go for the gusto and load my guild challenge. It is due at the December meeting so I am going to give myself plenty of time to finish. I will not be able to show a picture of that as I quilt since some of my guild sisters read my blog. Keep positive thoughts coming my way that I do a good job. I am learning a new term---"organic" quilting for quilting that is free form and not necessarily perfect. I anticipate that the quilt will have LOTS of "organic" quilting :c)!

Talk to you later!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect (I hope)!!!!!

I am going to practice making concentric circles today. The quilt is a pattern that was posted in the Moda Bake Shop. It is a great pattern that uses a charm pack plus a couple of FQ's. It results in a sweet little baby quilt. My grandniece is expecting a baby and this may go to her---or I may donate it. The real purpose is to practice with the CL on something that will result in a useful item, not a throw away.

I had a hard time photographing the circles since my quilting "studio" has LOTS of natural light---so I had to close the blinds and make it darker, but I think you get the idea. I did make a mistake (didn't lock the CL before making the circles), but I was able to frog it fairly easy (I went too fast and so the stitches were big----good for me). I am loving this tool!!!!

BTW---ignore the apparent clutter in the picture. I really am not preparing for a segment of Hoarders----things are neater than they look :c)!

Happy day to all. Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have been practicing away trying to become competent in the use of my latest quilting tool. All day Saturday, I "doodled"--making plain circles, fancy medallions, etc. on a muslin sandwich. I decided to load a quilt (I have a problem practicing on scrap stuff---always feel like it is a waste of time and material), I had finished weeks ago and quilted it using the Swirl Big Board. I used matching thread and although the plain backing shows mistakes, it also shows the texture nicely. My tension cooperated and although there are some areas where I clearly "messed up", it still looks nice for a first try. It is for a Granddaughter and she will forgive the little errors. I am going to quilt a baby quilt next and use concentric circles....then I am going to take the plunge and quilt my Guild challenge. After looking on-line at quilts made by prize winning quilters, they are not perfect. That is what makes them handmade. At any rate---the learning curve appears manageable and I am going to embrace the little errors and consider them unique and design opportunities!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Circle Lord is in the House!!!

It came about 1:00 PM. I had been glued to the window all morning, but finally decided I would go and do a little housework, and it came!!! I guess a "watched pot doesn't boil"

These are the big boards and the three templates I ordered. Such a pretty, bright color.

The actual Circle Lord.

The Circle Lord installed on my table. It wasn't hard at all (maybe since I had been studying for months in preparation for ordering. I had a little difficulty installing the laser light from my machine to the CL stylus, but when I stepped back and let DH help, it went much smoother---I don't have to do everything I guess---LOL.

I got another special delivery as well. Life has been a bit rough of late and I was commiserating with my best ever buddy, Diane. Look at what she sent me to cheer me up a little!!! Such a surprise!!!! She is the best sister ever!!! Thank you Diane, they are beautiful!!!

I am going to watch the video and smell my roses tonight! In the morning I will start to make circles! Wish me luck!!!

IT"S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Scheduled Delivery:
Friday, 10/14/2011, By End of Day

This was the message that I got from UPS tracking!!!!! My Circle Lord is HERE!!!!!! "Be still my beating heart". Unfortunately, as you all know, delivery for UPS could be as late as 7PM---so I intend to station myself in my sewing room by the bay windows all day! I am too excited!!!!!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

An Addition To My Quilting Arsenal---

As you know I am a happy GO! owner. I really love the ability to cut out pieces that are consistent and the correct size (I am "accuracy challenged"). The only drawback with the GO! is it will only cut GO! dies. Now, quite honestly, except for a few, most of the available dies are just what I wanted, but since I LOVE tools (gadgets), I really became intrigued with the Sizzix Big Shot Pro, mainly because it cuts (at this time) every die on the market. I saw a good deal WITH free shipping (great since this weighs 41 pounds), and purchased one. It arrived and as I looked around the garage, my DH had purchased a cart. Since he hadn't put it together yet, I considered it "community property", so I "claimed" it. The top shelf is upside down, since put on the correct way, the cutter is too big to fit. I put my GO! on the middle shelf, so I have a "cutting station".

By the time I retire, I will have LOTS of stuff to support my habit. I will only have to purchase fabric (every now and then)!!!

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Although I haven't been posting, I have been checking in daily. I took a little "blog vacation", but not from quilting. I have been busy working on three projects diligently (alternating of course---not at the same time) :c). I am working on a Guild Challenge; "Spontaneous Combustion"; and a UFO. All are actually a little over 50% done! This may seem chaotic to some, but it keeps my interest up! I can get bored working on the same thing continually---it gets "tedious" to me.

In the middle of everything, one of the Guilds I belong to had a "Mystery Retreat". We have an auction every year and that is one of the things that you can purchase. There is a "retreat" committee and they have done a good job in the last 2 I attended. This year was no different. For this year's mystery, we used a quilt pattern created by Judy of Patchwork Times (with her permission of course). The tricky thing with mysteries, that although you are given the yardage requirements including how much you should purchase of darks or lights, you really have no idea whether your fabric choices will work. It is certainly an exercise in trust---trust of your own choices. I think we all did pretty good. At first I was second guessing my choices, but I am glad I trusted myself. The quilt has 34 - 2.5/8 blocks, so needless to say, although we were given "homework", I am not finished yet! I am also going to enlarge my quilt (of course), and since Judy does like multiple borders, this quilt has 7 borders with one being pieced. I think I am going to enlarge the borders, but not do the pieced one. My fabric's are rather busy and I think a pieced border would be a little too much. By enlarging the borders a little, I am also going to enlarge the quilt slightly to fit my queen bed a little better (I think). These are my plans tentatively, but I will wait and see how it looks after I finish. I rarely make pieced borders since I am "cutting accuracy challenged" and mine don't turn out right (at least not to me), and to make them fit properly, since I am enlarging, math will be necessary (which I don't do), so---. Two members of the retreat committee had made the quilt and it was revealed at the end, it is a really nice quilt---as soon as I put together a couple of rows, I will post a picture.

I have included a picture of the gifts I got. Everyone in attendance got a handmade sewing machine cover, and a little box full of goodies (including some aloe in case we burned ourselves on the iron). I also won a "sewing" prize which included thread, some really cute scissors, some thread and needles. The food was great, and the company and fellowship even better, and there was LOTS of chocolate. All in all it has been a good week-end.

Here is hoping your week-end is fun!