Saturday, January 31, 2015

Latest Tool!!!!!

As I might have mentioned, I am planning to semi-retire at the end of the summer.  Semi--since I am going to teach one class per semester---NO clinical.  In preparation for all this free time I will hopefully have, I am purchasing additional tools.

I had seen the "Flowing Snowball" Quilt Along.  I thought I had purchased the templates, but even though I looked everywhere in my "studio" for it, I couldn't find it.  I assumed I had "intended" to purchase it, but for some reason had not.  I was looking on-line at the finished quilt and came across the latest GO! die --- the "Flowing Snowball"!!!!  I received a gift card to Joann's and so went onto their web site and sure enough, it was there---so out came the cards and my new die arrived today!  I put everything aside and cut one sample block!

It works perfectly---and although I did have to do a little "frogging", it was because I didn't read the directions.  The pieces go together without any difficulty even with the curve!  This is going to be a quilt I make this year!  I think I may just take a day and cut the pieces out and put them together at my own pace.  The block is 12" inches finished---perfect for me!   Now watch me find the templates!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Moving that UFO to Completion!!!!

As you can see, I did a little updating on my blog.  Like everyone else, I like a little variety and the "same old" gets "old".

I am also trying really hard to address my "goal" list of 2015.  I looked through my UFO's and this one was on top so I pulled it out and am working diligently to complete it.  I LOVE scrappy (as you know)---it just makes me smile and this is truly a scrappy quilt.  Everyone has heard of Bonnie Hunter and although I am pretty sure she didn't create this pattern, it is on her web site under the free tab.  It is called "Scrappy Trip Around the World".   I started it last year (I think) and for some reason put it aside although I found a box of 2.5 strips I had cut and the printed pattern in it.  It is going to be a king size quilt and since it is already so large, I am not going to add a border.  The first two full rows were completed to establish the pattern and size and so I am working from that.

I didn't get the entire quilt in the picture, but you get the idea!  I am loving this!  If you do not already have one, and like quilts like this, I would suggest getting a reducing glass.  It really helps arranging your colors so you get the pattern.  It is strange how when you "eye ball" this quilt, you don't always see the pattern.  In looking at the picture I see one area I might need to rearrange (I might just leave it though since handmade, unlike commercial is NOT perfect), but other than that, you can really see the diamonds.  The area that looks like there are no blocks, is a brown fabric that looks like my carpet on the picture.  In reality it is a brown with gold polka dots.  This is also going to be an easy quilt to complete, since with so much going on (and a trillion seams), it is a waste of time to quilt a fancy pattern.  I think I will either just use a simple large stipple, or maybe the wavy CL board I have for texture.  Oh by the way, I press all my seams open---really helps when you a quilting a quilt with so many---the quilt lies flatter.  Takes a little more time to press, but the results are worth it---at least in my opinion.

More later!  Have a great Thursday and thank you so very much for stopping by~

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ta Da!!

I completed the quilting this morning.  I showed it to my daughter and she is sure that my granddaughter will love it...and it does complement the color scheme she has selected for her dorm room.

I tried something a little different this time.  I used two layers of batting---a poly and a thin cotton.  This is not something I would do with every quilt, but it does help the quilting to be more defined.  Since I used a solid backing, the quilting really shows up there.  I love the look of concentric circles!!  All I need to do is to trim it and bind it later today (by machine of course), create a label and one graduation gift down, a couple more to go.

I also gave my daughter the red and white quilt yesterday as a early birthday gift.  She loved it!!!  As with all gifts that are appreciated, it made me feel great!

It snowed last night!!!  The sun is shinning brightly this morning, but I have lots of housework to keep me busy inside.  Have a great and productive Saturday!!  A think the weather calls for a nice big pot of homemade chili!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I am finished!!!!!  It is hard to see the border since the color matches the wooden floor.   I hope my granddaughter likes it....I think she will.  As earlier, I will load it tomorrow and begin quilting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On the Design Wall---

I finished quilting the quilt that originally was for my granddaughter, but will now be a birthday present for my daughter (her mother).  I quilted it, and bound it by machine so it is all finished. Although some people really like to sew the binding on by hand, I NEVER enjoyed the process and often even though the quilt was almost finished except for the binding, it was left to languish on the unfinished pile.  I am also finding that the more I attach the binding by machine, the better my technique is becoming.  I still haven't gotten sewing exactly in the "ditch" perfected, so even though you can see the stitching on the front (I sew from the back), since I quilt by machine, the stitching actually looks like it is a part of my quilting.  At any rate, if I ever get the courage to enter a quilt in competition, I will stitch by hand, but until then-----machine is more than adequate, since I am more interested in a finish.

The picture looks like the quilt is not straight but is bowed.  It is straight though---I was holding the camera up above my head to try to get the entire quilt in the picture as it lay on the floor.

My daughters favorite color is red and her den sofa is red leather, so the quilt will look nice on the back of her sofa.  I also made her a pillow case to match, more to hold the quilt and act as a sort of "wrapping", but I think this adds a nice touch.

This is the quilt I am now making for my granddaughter.  She has decided that her dorm "colors" will be brown and burnt orange.  Not a color combination I was aware of that she liked, but it is her room.  Not my favorite colors either, but this quilt is made of batiks and I am taking license and adding some bright colors.  The border will be a really nice brunt orange/brown combination so it should be to her liking.  The size is a generous twin, big enough to lay across her bed and wrap up in if necessary.  She is a tall young lady so it should cover her adequately.  The sashing is a unbleached 200 ct. muslin that has the feel of a batik as well.  I have five more rows to go.  I started it yesterday so if I keep going, the top should be done by this week-end.  I think I will quilt it in concentric circles---a nice contrast to the rectangle blocks.  I also think I will use two layers of batting to really accentuate the quilting.  I have been reading about several quilters who do that and the quilting on the quilts really shows up nicely.  Since batik is such a tight weaved fabric, I think it should work well.

Well--this is what has been going on in my "studio".  I am trying to keep my promise to myself to blog more---we shall see how it goes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A New Tool!!!

I have blogged often about my Circle Lord.  I absolutely love that tool!!!!  It allows me to quilt wonderful patterns that would not be as consistent if I tried to do it free hand or even with a panto.  I occasionally will go onto their web site to see what Michael has created new and (of course) saw a new "giant board" I absolutely had to have.

I ordered it and it arrived today!!!!

This one is called "Celtic Braid".  I think it will be a great pattern for either modern or traditional.  Can't wait to try it out!!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quilting Update-----

I started quilting on my Granddaughter's quilt.  I really love the polka dot back.  I didn't have enough of either the big or little dots so I mixed them.   I am using one of the CL Boards...since the quilt has sharp angles, I chose one with lots of swirls.  You can't really see the texture in the pictures, but it should really show up after I wash it.

My machine is still working well!!!!!  NO problems at all although I did have to adjust the tension a little with the black thread in the bobbin.  I am still getting little dots, but there is no way you can not get them with a different color in the top and bottom.....but the stitches don't look bad at all!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Three Down---Lots More to Go!

I completed three "Flimsy's"---completed baby quilt tops---I found while cleaning up.  I quilted them, AND bound them!  All ready to give to three little babies who could use some warm, quilty love!
Everything to complete them was from my stash, including piecing batting pieces together.  The machine is still "looking" good!  PERFECT tension!

Gotta go back to work tomorrow---so I think I will take a short nap!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My "Girl" is Up and Running!!!

The "Repair Angels" came and fixed my "girl" yesterday.  A great Dad and Son team who took lots of time to not only work, but to teach, make me and my husband laugh AND they are only about 45 minutes away!!!!!

The "girl" got new shoes (AKA wheels---what girl doesn't feel better with new shoes).  The wheels were not only for the machine itself but for the "shelf" it sits on.  No more "wiggle" and lack of control.  I also got a new tension "thingy"; a new bobbin case; and a good cleaning including the rails.  He said that if I ever needed another job I should try working at Jiffy Lube since I clearly know how to oil---the good news is you can't oil the machine too much--whew!  Also gave me some retrofitting ideas should I continue to have tension problems again although he said what he did should make things okay.

He also gave me a really neat little magnet.

Not sure if you can see it in the picture clearly---it is blurred---but you put the magnet on the needle eye.   It should be pointing straight at you if the needle is in correctly.  He also said if you are having tension problems, you can also move it slightly to the right (at the 5 on a clock).  The little magnet helps you to do both.  My needle was slightly off--it is amazing how little things can impact your stitch.
 I put it on top of the machine so you could see it better.  Although it is a really strong magnet and can be stored there, I put it in my magnet tray.  I don't want to lose this tool.  Also had a lesson on bobbin tension--my tension was too tight.  I followed up with the Towa Gauge so I can make sure I get that same tension (230).

It was well worth the cost of a service visit since I am not even sure if this machine ran this smoothly when I first purchased it.  The tension is perfect even without the Fil Tex bobbins!!!!  I am now rethinking even getting it retrofitted for a stitch regulator since my stitches are so perfect now that I don't worry about tension.  I have already loaded and finished a baby quilt to see how it works--finished in in a little over 2 hours and this included time I took to drink a cup of coffee and fix a bowl of more thread breakage, weird stitches and unintentional wonky quilting.

Hooray--I am back in business.  I have three more baby quilts to quilt (that I found while straightening up for the repair visit) so I can get them to some sick little ones.  Not sure if I will finish them all today, but I will complete at least one more.  No pressure so I can really take my time and enjoy the journey!

I go back to work on Thursday and so I am going to try to enjoy these last few days of vacation!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

First Post of 2015--Recap of 2014

Well, one thing is for sure, I have posted less in 2014.  Not sure why---well I know why--"life gets in the way".  No promises for 2015, just a realization.  On the quilting front--- I completed 10 quilts---quilted, bound, etc.  Of those, four of them were gifted to others!  Unfortunately, only 2 were UFO's, so I still have quite an impressive stack I hope to tackle this year.

I didn't do any dyeing this past season and concentrated on using up what I have--and I did.  I plan though this year to delve in and add batiking to my sessions.  I am now on the look out for "tools" and a electric skillet for my wax pot.

Goals for this year:

  • Complete at least 4 UFO's
  • Decrease my scrap "pile" by making more of those "wild and crazy" quilts I love.
  • Make at least 12 quilts for my favorite charity (Sandra get ready)---including lap quilts for the bigger kids.
  • Find a knitting class and brush up on my knitting---maybe look at those Craftsty classes I have purchased and not reviewed yet.
  • Shop my stash first before buying new (I am doing pretty good at that of late)
  • Learn at least one new quilting technique.
  • Take a class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
  • Learn to batik.
Well I guess that is enough---Goals should be realistic, attainable and measurable.

So how is my latest quilting "adventure" going:

I decided to make a table topper.  The heavier muslin should work well.  I actually have five blocks made, 2 red and 2 green.  I am going to set it on point and so I think I only need five more.  I am getting better at making these blocks --a couple of "oops" but once quilted I don't think they will be very noticeable.  If so, I will just put a bowl over it :)!

Happy Saturday!