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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cheryl's Wallhanging

This took all morning and part of the afternoon, but I think it was worth the work.

Roast in the oven, almost all the laundry done and I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Did I Wait So Long

For the past 3 years I have been turning out beautiful quilts, but not an easy thing to do.

I have fought with over and over again, as most quilters do, tension problems. Getting eyelashes on the back and having to rip out stitches to get that perfect stitch.  Each time I change thread types, from Superior, Signature, Omni, King Tut I had to readjust my upper tension and bobbin tension, and do many test patches, off the quilt and using the excess on the sides of the quilt tops.  It was never an easy achievement, but with diligence and determination I would finally get that stitch I was looking for.   Even with all the testing, I would occasionally have an eyelash thrown in here and there.

My problem has been solved.  Through many posts and comments on Connected Threadz I purchased through Superior Threads, new TOWA tension gauges.  They are wonderful and have quilted 3 small table runners using my gauges.  I now can quilt without having to worry, what does the underside of the quilt look like. This doesn't mean I will never have to check, because there are many things that can throw off your tension, but I will know for sure it is not the bobbin or upper tension settings causing a problem.

Finished 2 table runners this morning:

I also finished the quilt top for Brooklynn.  She wants a fish quilt so this is what I put together for her.  Still needs to be quilted. and this is for another day.

I really like this quilt for her.  The colors are so bright, and the borders really look like water.

This afternoon, I need to take a trip to the quilt supply store in Beloit, to purchase more thread.  Still have a wall hanging to quilt for customer, but just don't have the right color needed to start it.

Wall hanging will have to wait until tomorrow.  Six hours in my sewing room is enough for one day.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

MY BB Stockings

Finished my small BB quilt;

This is only a 36 x 46, that was enough.  Sometimes these Buggy Barns are more of a challenge than I anticipate.  They always turn out cute, but you just never know how much trouble you might run into.

We are having our meeting Dec 1st along with treats.  Looking forward to see what the other girls in the group did with this challenge.

I will probably use mine for a back of the couch quilt. Not big enough to cover up with, but it would be a nice way to decorate for Christmas.

Wondering if the group will come up with yet another challenge or maybe just do something simple for our next meeting 3 months from Dec.

For a Longarm quilter, one of the most difficult processes is getting the correct tension, top and bottom on the LA.  After seeing many comments on Connected Threadz, I decided to finally purchase the TOWA bobbin and upper tension gauges.  They arrived yesterday and had my first opportunity to try them this morning.

Not even sure if I know how to use them correctly, so watched a couple of videos and I think I know what to do.  This should really help me to be consistent with my tensions.  I certainly hope so.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Catching UP

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We had a very nice one.  Watched the Packers win again.  Unfortunately Ken, Deena and Kids couldn't make it. Ken called and said he was sick.   Kylee couldn't come, it was her Thanksgiving with her mom.  Little Tavyn was the only little one here this year.  He is such a character.  Couldn't believe the entire day went by and I didn't take one picture.  That is pretty unusual for me.

Now its time to get back to work.

Yesterday had Doc appointment, just the usual annual checkup. Came home from that and had intentions of quilting, but I was tired and lazy.  Played on the computer and then we met our friends from Indiana for supper at Texas Roadhouse.  Really enjoy spending time with them. They only come a few times a year and each time they do, we make plans to meet up.

Today I got busy and finished quilting Margie's BB Stockings:

Have hers all finished and then I started quilting mine.  Mine is taking a little longer, I'm doing a more customized stitching.  What the heck, I have the time, and I don't charge myself anything for the extra work.  Only half way done, but my body is telling me I can finish this tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Teri's Butterfly Quilt

Feeling oh so much better today.  First thing this morning went to sewing room and finished this cute twin quilt ( thought it was going to be a baby quilt until I measured it ).  A Butterfly print deserves a butterfly stitching.

This was a little tricky to do as the backing was a silky flimsy fabric. I was really concerned about pleating or puckering, but it worked out fine.  The edges were the tricky part, not enough fabric to use my clamps, so I just held on tight with one hand and quilted with the other. It worked and I'm likeing the way it turned out.
I seem to be in a stitching rut.  Using meandering and pops of designs here and there.  It has just worked out this way for the past 3 quilts that have come in.

My next quilt top to do is for one of the BB challenge stockings.  I dont know what Im going to do with this one. Wont know until I get it loaded on frame.  She did request something simple, no customizing.  I will probably do a meandering or looping and throw in a little extra here and there. Like I said I will know once its loaded.

Already cleaned the sewing room and the quilting machine is all ready for its next workout. Maybe even this afternoon, but first UGH cleaning for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In Progress

Unfortunately wont be getting as much done today as had planned.

Yesterday we had entire house carpeting cleaned moved all the small furniture our of the rooms, and back again when carpets were cleaned  In doing so I must have overworked my back, because this afternoon I am unable to finish a baby quilt I have loaded on my frame.  My back is killing me.

Today will be a day of resting and watching TV.

A few  days ago I played with making more crumb blocks.  Here is what they are looking like so far.

I did not realize how much browns I have in my scraps.  After laying them out side by side, I have decided not to use any sashing with these blocks.

Managed to make 1 pass on the baby quilt I am doing for a customer and it will be very cute once finished.

Meandering and closed winged butterflies placed here and there.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel rested enough to finish this quilt. I think its going to be darling.

Grocery shopping this morning for Thanksgiving dinner didn't help my back at all. 

$97.00 for one day of eating. Geeeeeesssssss.  First you have to buy the food, come home put it away, cook it, takes 20 minutes for everyone to eat it and then you get to clean up afterwards.  Is it worth it.  If you love and appreciate your family, I guess it is.

I really do like cooking a big meal for family gatherings.  When I think about it, I only have to do this once or twice a year so I cant complain. Imagine those that have large families still living at home. Yikes, I would have to feed them soup and hamburger daily just to afford it.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Having Fun Today

I just finished another Turning Twenty.  Finished the sewing portion yesterday and quilted it today.

Just messing around with meandering and throwing a flower here and there. It was fun to do, and I will be doing this on another quilt someday. Perfect for a little girls quilt

All freehand, so none of the flowers are exactly the same, which make it fun. Don't worry that one petal is larger than the other, don't worry that some flowers have 4 petals and others have 6.  I guess that's why I love freehand, so individual, and not repetitive.  I know some people want that "perfect" stitch, but I have always been a fan of freehand or even pantos.  When you do a panto, you can not follow the line perfectly and for me that's great then it doesn't look like it came out of Walmart comforter section.

I do have to admit, the quilters using computers do some beautiful work, how can it not be, and Im not saying its a bad thing, but I just prefer a good freehand quilting.

My work will probably never be an award winning quilt show blue ribbon, but for your everyday, average take home and cuddle quilt, Im happy with my stitching.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BB update

Its been busy and productive the last few days here at my house.

Manage to finished the BB Stockings quilt also finished the center of another Turning Twenty.

this is before its sewn together
Today was the monthly sew day with the girls. We had a great time as usual and I learned how to make Crumb blocks for a Crumb quilt.  Basically this is another way to make a scrap quilt.  Its quite fun and look forward to doing more blocks and using more scraps.  Lets hope It wont be necessary for me to throw this scrap one away.

While doing the T/20 it made me think of yet another pattern for a quilt that my granddaughter Brooklynn wants.

She wants a quilt made with tropical fish.  I purchased the fabric months ago but could not decide what pattern to use.  The fabrics are so pretty didn't want to cut the fish up.

Testing one way to lay out the blocks.  Managed to get 2 of 3 rows sewn at sew day today. Everyone liked this quilt very much and I'm liking it too.  I just hope by the time I get it to her, she hasn't changed her mind about the fish quilt. If she does, I will give it to her little brother Luke.

There is much to do, must get T/20 sewn and quilted by this weekend. I am making this for Bff Nettie, and she is giving it as a Christmas present this Thanksgiving.  They are celebrating with part of their family Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the same day.  Some of her family is coming from out of town, and wont be coming back for Christmas.

In addition I have my own Christmas presents I need to finish by Dec 18th. This is when we are doing our family Christmas with our children and their children.  I also have to quilt the Stockings by Dec 1st.

And, hopefully I will have more customer quilt tops to quilt. I can always find time for my customers. They come first and everything else is secondary and how I spend my days when Im not quilting for others.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stockings Another Buggy Barn Challenge

Yes its time for another BB Challenge.  This pattern was actually drawn up by one of our Barn Chixs girls.

Alice and I met up yesterday. She purchased her fabrics and after a nice lunch out,  we came back to my house to cut and sew.

Diana N. came with us and I'm so glad she did.  Diana is a newbie quilter, and has made one quilt and working on another. She is doing a BOM through Stoughton LQS Saving Thyme. After watching Alice and I trying to figure out how to assemble the BB, she said the BOM seems easy.

The first block took me a couple of hours to put together. For some reason, couldn't figure out how to start. I had forgotten to go from A,B C etc in that order.  Alice came to see what I was doing and pointed it out to me.  After that it started to go together pretty quickly. 

We started at 1pm and hadn't realized how the time was going by. Finally finished the first block at 4pm.  In between sewing there was much talking and laughing.  I really enjoy sewing with friends. The time flys by when you are having so much fun.

See the difference in size from cut pieces to completed block after sewn and trimmed.
Six blocks cut. Finished one yesterday, and laid the others out on my board this morning  Managed to get 2 more blocks completed..

While I'm sewing, I hear Wayne singing to me from upstairs "Happy Birthday to You:"     I started to laugh out loud, and thinking to myself  "and that's why we have been married for 47 years" this month.  He can frustrate me so much at times, as I'm sure I do him, but throughout our years together, he has always made me laugh.

Oh yeah, its my BD today, no big plans, but as I sit here writing my blog, I feel so content and happy. Dont need big BD celebration, just family and good friends and oh yes of course my sewing.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CT Monthly Sew In Day

Once a month Connected Threadz holds a sew in day, where members sign up for the event and spend the day working on what ever projects they choose.  All during the day we check in and out of CT and post pictures and comments.

Here are a few pics of whats happening today

The sew in is just like getting together with friends for a sew day but, this is done via the Internet. People from all over the US.  We have several from Australia but they are doing the sew in today. 

So many talented sewers. Love seeing all of their works finished and in process.  I didn't even put all of the pictures here. More are being posted all day long.

Here's what I was working on today.

Working on a new pattern. Did 15 squares and got bored so decided to do some fleece blankets for Xmas presents.

Jump on over to CT and see whats happening. There is always something going on.  Click on the CT button on my blog site and join in.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sometimes A Plan Doesnt Work

A few weeks ago I tried something new using my scraps. I did use 2 entire baggies of strips 1 or 2 inch wide and thought I was really on to something.

I did enjoy making of the blocks, the technique I used I would do again. Now the blocks looked pretty good so I purchased some fabric for sashing and border. My choice was not as good as I thought and when I finally got it all assembled I didn't like it much.  OK, lets see how it goes with the quilting.

Quilting was a disaster. I knew when I was loading the quilt it was never going to lay flat. I was right after doing just 19inches of a row I was running into problems.  There were just too many seams in this quilt and the puckering began. I tried doing a heavy quilting in the squares and straight line in the sashing.  The heavy quilting looked horrible. A second opinion from my bff said she thought it looked fine. 

I, on the other hand absolutely hated it. I didn't even take a picture of it. It was that bad (to me anyway).  It actually depressed me looking at it.  Walked away from the quilt for a few hours and finally made the decision I was going to trash this one. It cost me in time mostly and it was an experiment that didn't work.  The technique worked but by using small strips the results were not what I wanted.

Sometimes you just have to realize some quilts are ugly and this one was the ugliest ever.  I have never given up on a quilt before I always felt once its quilted it will be fine.  But that was just not the case. 

When a quilt depresses you just looking at it, its time to let it go. Once I took it off the frame and threw it in the trash my spirits lifted and I began a new project that is looking good and I am not depressed anymore.