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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Baby Quilt

Again with the leftovers, excess material.  I still have enough chenille to do another one.  When I went shopping for chenille, I was recovering from my colon surgery.  Apparently didn't know up from down, because I bought enough material to do 4 quilts instead of one. Jeepers! Oh well, it will get used eventually.

Anyway, here is the baby quilt, butterflies, pinks and chenille. 46x62 crib quilt.

Stitch pattern I used stencil,   stars and man in the moon.  Border small petals.

I did not use a standard pattern, made one up.  Using only 2 different pink materials and the chenille.

After finishing this, I now have enough material from the backing left over to add to my excess stash, go figure.  At this rate, I will be doing baby quilts until next summer.  The only problem with that is, I don't have any more babies to quilt for.  Maybe the new little one, will get another quilt.  She will need a crib size eventually.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pretty Jars

I'm not just a quilter.  I also can vegetables, and its the beginning of canning season.

Pickled Beets, did a few jars this morning.  Fresh beets from our own garden.  In years past I have purchased beets by the bushel.  Problem with that is when you buy them you have to get them canned.  This can take all day.   

Last year I convinced Wayne to grow a garden and of course include my favorite, beets for pickling.  Don't like cooked beets, but absolutely love them pickled.  Now that we have our own garden I can do a few jars at a time, rather than spend an entire day canning.  Took inventory of canned goods cupboard and  I have a few left from last year, which friends will be happy to hear as I will give away a few jars.

Just a few jars this time, but each week will be do more canning.  I got smart this year, saved the brine unused from this batch, refrigerated and ready for the next batch of beets to be picked.  Saves time and money by saving the brine for next canning day.

I have had a most productive day.  I don't spend all my time in sewing room.  I went into panic mode this morning, couldn't find my recipe for canned beets.  So I cleaned my recipe box.  Never did find the recipe.  It was there just 2 weeks ago when I looked but gone for now.  So I did what I always do, go to the Net and found one similar to mine 

Been promising myself for 2 years to clean out the recipe box.  Well its done and then in addition, did the usual house chores, dishes beds etc, cleaned out the canned goods cupboard, canned the beets, watched my 3 year old great grandson for a few hours and cleaned out under the kitchen sink. 

Wow where did I get all this energy. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

2 Days off

Haven't been able to blog or quilt for 2 days.

Wayne has been having some health issues, and Sunday felt so bad we thought we should take him to ER, St Marys Madison.  With his heart problems he has had in the past, we didn't know if it was his heart or what it could be, but we have learned from past experience not to take any chances.  So off the ER we went.

Good news he came home tonight.  Did all the tests they could and importantly stress test came out OK.  So after much discussion with heart doc. we decided to come home and see if symptoms return, in which case will call doc and schedule a heart catheterizing.   He has had this done so many times in the past, he could almost give a class on it.

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to work in my sewing room, but will be keeping a close eye on the old guy.  He tends to forget he was sick and starts to overdue himself on yard work and such.

Doc also wants him to get better control of his diet for his diabetes.  So we have another book of instructions for foods to eat or not toe eat.  Actually the dietitian said he could anything he wants as long as he uses judgement and controls portions.  We always promises ourselves to good after he gets home from hosp. but it never lasts for very long.  Gotta do it this time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Margie's Quilt

Cute little lap quilt only 45 x 55 but so cute. 

Customer requested simple stitching, so I used small loops throughout.  Took no time at all to complete this little quilt.

Wow, 3 quilts in 3 days, well 2 quilts and this itty bitty, how good can it be. 

Looking forward to finishing the baby quilt either today or tomorrow  Then I will be quilting that and the pansy quilt, which is now ready for quilting.

Pace yourself girl, there is plenty of time.  I tend to push myself until have nothing to work on, so I think today I just might do a few house chores, maybe bake something and stay out of the sewing room for the rest of the day.

HAAAAAA, don't think so.  Who am I kidding, as soon as beds are made, dishes done, laundry and supper planned, I will be back in the "room".   For crying out loud, its raining out what else is there to do on a day like today.  

The weekend will be here soon, and family obligations, another family gathering, birthday party at Niece's home.  So sew while I can. 

Am I obsessed or do I have a problem.  Not quite sure, but it beats the heck out of daytime TV.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cute Kitty

Finished another customer quilt.

She had originally made the center Kitty square as a wall hanging. Even had it quilted.  Then she decided to make a full quilt around the Kitty.  How cute is this.

I think she had a good idea making a quilt out of this Kitty.  What do you think?

Two quilts done, and another customer dropped one off last night.  Feels good to be busy again.  Hope it continues for a good long while. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Talk About Quilting

When I'm not quilting I'm talking about it to anyone who will listen.

It so happens, friends of ours from Ft Wayne IN, did come for visit today.  Note we have not seen these friends since 1989, but recently connected with them via phone calls.

First we went out for lunch and had good lunch at Two Brothers in Edgerton.

He rides a Harley, and she, of all things quilts.  So Wayne and Bill talked about bikes and things and Kelly and I talked quilts.

She has been doing just Tshirt quilts and hasn't really been doing any piece quilting. Has made only a few quilts way in the past.  She has been using her regular sewing machine to do the quilting on the tshirt quilts.

I had the opportunity to show her my long arm Tin Lizzie, and she loved it.  She also has not been using a rotar cutter or rulers.  She had cut out cardboard templates for her tshirt quilts and this has worked for her.  However, after showing her all of my rulers and cutting devices she has decided to invest some money and get her self some tools.  She especially liked the 18in split ruler.

I showed her all of the quilts I had made that I kept for myself.  She liked the idea of scrap quilts, so we headed to my sewing room and I showed her how I made my scrap quilts with square rulers.  Now she is excited about making her own.  She is collecting scraps, like all of us, from the sashing of the tshirt quilts and said she really needs to use some of these scraps up.

We talked for over 4 hours, and didn't even realize the time, until her husband came to the sewing room and said thought it was time to go.

Next time they come back to Wisconsin she said she would spend more time with me and we will go to as many quilt shops that we can fit into a day.

Like I said when I'm not quilting I'm talking about quilting, is that wrong.  Don't think so.  Makes  me a happy quilter.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Woodland Quilt

I can't express how good it feels to do a quilt without any, and I mean any problems.  No tension problems, no thread breaking, just perfect. 

Finished this quilt in just 4 hours and it turned out great.  Really enjoyed quilting this one.  Customer will be pleased that I am finally able to finish the quilts that I have been holding waiting for machine to get fixed.

I used simple meandering for center of quilt and Spiral Petals for the outer boarder. 

So it looks like I'm back in business. 

Maybe Today

WHOO HOO I have my Tin Lizzie back.  She arrived Saturday morning, but wouldn't you know, haven't been able to work with her.  Life interrupts, between family gatherings and just friends dropping in, which is fine with me, just cant get to quilting.  Talking to the repair tech, he explained some of the stitching issues I had been having.  I explained to him, I have had these issues since purchasing the machine last year, but nobody would listen to my problems.  I was always told I was having tension problems, and that it was natural, until I became familiar with my machine and tensions, I would have these problems.  I got so sick of hearing tension problems, when I knew there had to be more wrong than my being stupid, which is how I felt when ever I heard this comment.  Repair replaced many moving parts and attachments, and now she runs smooth as silk and sounds even better.  So glad I pushed and pushed for someone to really look her over and find all the bugs she had.

Wayne and I spent the day, yesterday, cleaning the house from top to bottom.  Never know when more friends might pop in, and we are expecting friends from Ft Wayne IN. to stop by today.  They were expecting us to go riding with them, but we had to inform them our bike is at bike shop on consignment for sale.

I have been able to spend a few very early morning hours designing a new baby quilt.  My nephew Johnny has a new little girl "Finley Ann" 8 months old, and she needs a quilt from great auntie Jean.  Again, thanks for all my extra materials.  Will post pics later.

Question for you:  what do you make with your extras?  

Checking my quilt cupboard, I have found (knew they were there somewhere) materials I purchased last year for a couple of "Turning Twenty" quilts.  Not sure who will get them, but will try to get them done by the  Edgerton Quilt Show in October for my show and tell booth.  Already planning on how to set up booth, for display.

Enough blogging for today, if I don't get going, this day will get away from me again, and really want to get working on one of the 3 quilts ready for the quilting.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm ready

Repair tech called me last night, he was supposed to be here by 7pm, but got delayed with a new customer.

So now the plan, bring my machine today 9:30 this morning.  We'll see, he has told me 3 diff times he was coming, but something always delays him.  I'M venting again. 

In anticipation of my machine arriving today, I have prepared the backing for a customer quilt, ironed the front piece and have the batting cut and ready.  I'M READY to get quilting.  Gees do I sound desperate or what. 

The thing is, even when he comes and sets up again, I wont be able to do much today,  We have another graduation party to go to today.  Its going to be a hot one out there, don't know how long we will be staying, 90 degrees is a little too much for Wayne to handle.  With his bad heart he cant be out in the heat too long. Will stay as long as we can, enjoy being with the family and catching up with everyone.

Kylee (gdaughter) will be staying with us tonight, so gma and Ky will be playing board games I'm sure.  She loves to play games with me and she brings 3 or 4 games to play. Little stinker is so competitive, she  wants to win all the time, and if she loses, we have to keep playing until she wins more games than me.  We have been know to play for 3 or 4 hours in an evening, until she is satisfied that she has totally kicked gmas' butt in games.  One game she likes to play is Sorry, and figured out if she sits on my right side, instead of across from me, she can win every time.  This took me like 6 games to figure out why she was always winning.  Finally the light bulb went on in my head, and told her she had to sit across from me, or we don't play. She really had a good laugh on that one.   I don.t let her win either, she has to do it on her own.  So there goes my day and night.  But looking forward to the time with Ky.

 Just knowing my machine is ready to go, if it is, will make me happy today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Promote the Quilting Gallery Web Site / Quilting Gallery

Promote the Quilting Gallery Web Site / Quilting Gallery: "Quilting Bloggers Logo"

I am promoting the Quilting Bloggers Website/Quilting Gallery.  A great way to connect with other quilters all over the world.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Van

Spent the day getting the mini van, not a new one, but a really nice used  03 KIA Sedona.  Picked it up from dealer this morning, it needed tires, so we took a trip to New Bristol Weber Tire, best deals around and had 4 new tires put on. Never drove a Mini before,  I really really like it.  I have been used to driving SUV's and like being up off the ground more.  When we got rid of our Jeep, we bought the Buick, but never really liked driving a car, too low to ground for me.  So the mini is a big improvement from the car.

Wayne is extremely happy with the comfort and performance of the vehicle, so I think we made the right decision.  Only one problem the AC doesn't work properly, so dealer is getting this fixed for this afternoon.  We have to take a trip to him when part comes in.  Other than that have no complaints.

Now if my quilter comes back this afternoon,  I will be one happy camper.

Im Still Alive

Sorry haven't written lately, but there just isn't much happening right now. In fact I feel like I'm in limbo again.

I finished the last quilt for customer and knew there were some machine problems that needed fixing.  GRRRRR  It only took approx 12 days before I actually received a return call from my repair tech.  .

In the meantime, I have been working some of the bugs out of the machine.  I loaded 2 yards of cheap muslin, and batting on my Tin Lizzie and have messing with the tension of machine and bobbin casing for two days..  Another GRRRRRR  Finally have a happy medium between the two, but still not completely satisfied with the stitch.  To the every day quilter the stitching looks good, and unable to detect anything wrong, but as the quilter of these beautiful quilts, I demand perfection.  Even if one little stitch looks off, I know it while I'm stitching and it drives me crazy.  So I put the pressure on my tech, and he finally came to my home to see what I was talking about. 

He took the machine with him, back to his shop, so he could go over it with a fine tooth comb, as I requested.  Low and behold he did find a minor nick in the "hook" of the machine, which can cause imperfect stitches.  I knew there was something wrong, but couldn't find it on my own.  He is going to replace with a new "hook" and return to me today.

Thank goodness, I am lost without my quilter.  I have 3 quilts ready  for quilting, and cant wait to get going again.  Like I said, feel like I'm in limbo without any quilting to do.

While unable to do any quilting, that hasn't stopped me from visiting one of the local quilt shops I like,  Loose Threads, and purchased the backing for the Pansy Quilt, so I'm ready to get this quilted as soon as my machine gets back to me. 

Yesterday, with no sewing to do, went road tripping with Wayne.  Looking for a different vehicle for  me. I have an older Buick with HIGH mileage, and he wanted to find something with less miles.  I agreed as this winter would like to go to Florida and visit our daughter and her husband.  They are moving to Florida this December, if everything works out the way it should.  We want to go and visit with them when the weather here is cold cold cold.  Wayne refuses to fly, so we will have to drive down.  Which I don't mind, I enjoy road trips with him.  Think we found one we both liked and maybe going to make the deal today.  My God, its a mini van.  Never ever thought we would buy a mini van, especially now.  We don't have anyone to haul around, but it was very nice, and most importantly comfortable driving.  This is important to Wayne, as he always drives a truck, and when he drives a car,  he complains constantly not comfortable driving.

Lets hope today is a good day, get a different vehicle, and my machine back.  Not that will be a good day.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Flu

Who ever heard of getting the flu in summer.  Well I did yesterday, still yucky today.

Honestly felt so bad, thought I had been poisoned, until I called the Doctors office and they informed me they have had reports of flu symptoms.  Totally unable to take in anything, including water.  I could sip a teaspoon of water occasionally and suck on ice chips, but that was the extent of my intake.  Mostly concerned with dehydration, been there and done that before.  But I was able to keep enough in me to prevent that.  Worst day ever since my Chemo treatment.

Today I'm feeling better, keeping down 7up so far.  Hoping to feel better by this afternoon.

Have to be better by tomorrow, Brittany my granddaughter and I are going golfing for the first time this year. Looking forward to it so much.  We aren't true golfers, just people who golf, there is a difference.  Golfers actually get good scores, we have awful scores and awful  swings, but we enjoy every blasted minute of it.  I always say the more swings it takes, the more you get for your money. :)

Its just nice we get to spend quality time with each other.  I used to take her with me when she was just 6 or 7, she liked riding in the cart the most. She is now age 23. Pic of her and her son Tavyn.  Even now, she insist she gets to drive the cart.

There won't be any sewing for next few days, between recovering, which I'm still doing, and golfing, just no time. 

I'm also a little sad today.  Wayne and I have decided to give up motorcycle riding.  He is selling the Harley.  Getting a little old, not as old as some out there riding, but old enough for us.  After last long ride, we agreed it has become a little dangerous for us old guys to be riding.  With his back surgery, has become difficult for him to handle the big bike with both of us riding. So bye bye to riding.  I will miss it, but its time.

Even though the bike is gone, we still have good friends to spend our time with.

Maybe Monday I will get some sewing time in.

Until then, keep on quilting.  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Interruptions

I haven't been able to work on the Pansy quilt lately. 

Now that I have finished a customer quilt, I have a quilt to cut for my friend Nettie.  She has carpal tunnel and is unable to cut her quilts, so I do all of them for her.  She purchased a really pretty Sunflower cheater panel quilt and has brought this to me for the cutting.  My plan is to get this cut and to her by end of day, and then continue on the Pansy quilt.

The Pansy quilt is looking awesome, and really looking forward to getting it sewn. 

Still have not heard from my tech to go over problems with my Tin Lizzie, definitely will be calling again today and see if he could possibly fit me into his busy schedule. 

I purchased the Tin Lizzie locally, thinking (stupid me) that I would get good service if needed.  I have received more help from another long arm quilter than I have had from the shop that sold it to me.  This is so frustrating, knowing I have 3 quilts to get done, and unable to get to them until I fix the stitching problems.

I'm venting I know, but right now that's all I can do.  Later today, I am going to put some cheap muslin on the machine and try to work out the bugs myself if I don't hear from the tech.  Sometimes I can work out the bugs, but the biggest problem I have had is the breaking of threads, and I am afraid this is a problem caused by spurs on the machine needle plate.

I have been told this needle hole needs to filed down occasionally.  Problem, I need a 1/16" rat tail file to do this and can not find one in any hardware store.  Called every store known to man, and no one has one that small and cant even order one that size.  So next step, call the "know it alls" that tell me they are available, and have them get me one. This bit of information, again, was given to me by the owner of the shop that sold me the machine. 

Enough venting for one day, time to get to what can be done, and cut some material.

Good quilting day for those that can.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

Today is the 4th, like you didn't know that, duh. So Happy 4th to everyone.

Wayne and I went riding our HD yesterday with friends.  Traveled to Savannah IL, to Poopy's. We had a good day riding with friends and met my cousin and his wife Larry and Linda.  It was so nice to see them.  Haven't seen them since my mom's funeral 5 years ago.  The ride was nice, but Wayne and I have decided we just might be getting a little old for riding.  With his back problems, and we are no longer skinny minnys  its really hard for him to hold us both up on the bike.  I will miss it though, riding with friends has been great fun for us in the past, but it is becoming more and more difficult and dangerous when we go.  So another era passes. 

Us old folks will just have to find something else to do for fun.  Not ready for the rocking chairs just yet, so we will come up with another, safer plan.

Today is going to be a day of rest.  Really tired from the long day yesterday.  Ky (granddaughter) is here today for a while, she stayed over last night, so she will keep me busy this morning playing board games. 

Joann's Fabric is having another sale on batting, might go there this afternoon and pick up a few yards, always need batting.  Other than that, no plans for the day at all.

We will watch the fireworks tonight, we can see them right from our house.  Pull up some lawn chairs and enjoy without having to fight the crowds. 

It will be a good day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Customer quilt inspired

Here is a new quilt I finished today for a customer.  The borders stitching is "Spiral Petals" a design I was inspired by Leah Day blog free motion fillers. The remainder I did with a mix of small to medium meandering.  Customer did not want any customizing, just something simple, but I just had to try out this spiral petals on the border. It turned out great and I will be using this design again.  Maybe I will be able to do an entire quilt using the Spiral Petals, depending on the quilt of course.

I was extremely frustrated doing this quilt.  My quilting machine decided to act up on me.  Continually breaking threads and messing up the tension.  I feel like I almost hand quilted this one, it took so long.  Had to check each and every stitch to make sure machine wasn't making a mess of it.  Normally could have done this in about 5hrs.  This took 16 because of all the problem.  I called my service people to come and check it out, but getting them to answer my calls is like pulling hens teeth. 

I have had a problem in the past and it has been as long a  week before I get any response.  Most often I can fix any minor tension, and thread problems, but this one has me stumped.  Most quilters know what I'm talking about.  When the machine runs smoothly, quilting is a breeze and fun.  But when your machine acts up, it can become an absolute nightmare.

Well at least I got it done, and I checked front and back, and its perfect. Turned out just the way I wanted it to.

Wouldn't you know this had to happen on a customer quilt, not one of my own personal quilts.

Better luck next time, by then should have all problems resolved.  I sure hope so.