Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Puzzles

Yesterday morning had me jumping between gourmet apples and the long arm machine. I completed about one row on the Ugly Blocks quilt and was able to do the five gourmet apples.

Gourmet Apples
After lunch I worked on two Sugar Block blocks on Mike and then moved to a puzzle. Jim had returned home and was working on my design wall. Laying this out on the wall wasn't an option and resorted to using the studio floor.

How does this go?
This top was purchased at the UFO auction and came in what appears to be a bag designed to hold sheets. It was in various stages of completion and the person who started it did a lot of ripping out of seams. The threads from the ripping weren't removed and had to be done during the (re)construction process, therefore slowing things down considerably.

It took about an hour to figure out what went where and to make sure the whole thing worked as originally planned; there were no extra fabrics or pieces to work with.

By the time 8:30 rolled around, I had a completed design wall and a completed quilt top.

UFO Chevrons
Today I'll be able to put up the Friendship Star blocks on the wall and ponder over them for a day or so. I'll work on Ugly Blocks and perhaps some more Sugar Block pieces, sort of like have been for the past few days.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One Track Mind

I attempted to long arm yesterday. Some days are good long arm days and some not so good. Yesterday was not so good. I recognized this shortly after starting and decided to move on to something else.

Since free motion quilting wasn't working out so well I moved to just piecing those Friendship Star blocks together. Thankfully I picked up a few fat quarters when I was at the Hen House a few days ago because I needed them to continue making blocks.

Here they are, all 50 of them. I was aiming for 49 to do a 7x7 block setting, but then Jim said he'd rather have me do a 6x8 setting making the quilt a little longer then wider. I'll use the spare blocks for the back and the label.

Friendship Star Blocks
I'd like to continue with getting this top together, but my design wall is in the midst of reconstruction. It's currently hanging out in the spare room waiting for adhesion to the insulating board Jim purchased to attach it to. Perhaps when he arrives home from work later today it'll get finished?

I'll be bouncing between the studio and the kitchen today. I'm making gourmet apples and it requires a lot of slow cooker work. Between melting all the caramel, chocolate, and almond bark, I'll pop in here and work on Ugly Block quilt. I hope today goes better then yesterday!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Stuff and Things

Here's the pic I promised of the first two blocks in my new quilt as you go BOM Sugar Block blocks.

Extra Large Pic so quilting detail could be seen
I quilted the second block (on the right) during the football game on Saturday.

Prior to working on these, I started quilting Ugly Blocks quilt. The quilting is actually enhancing the quilt (I'm using a contrasting thread) and this is one of the many motifs I plan on incorporating into the piece.

Ugly Block Quilting
After working on the two projects above, MSU still had 10 minutes to play in the game. I started going through the UFO's I purchased at our auction a few Thursday's ago and found this set of blocks in one of the bags.

Friendship Star Blocks
Somebody started these Friendship Star blocks and I'm going to run with it. There is no pattern, but they are easy enough to figure out. I purchased some additional white at The Hen House after the game to continue on with what I think will be a darling quilt once finished. It's mostly black and white, with a few euchre blocks thrown in for interest. It'll be interesting to see what become of it over the next few weeks.

Much the same today in here as Saturday. Nothing accomplished yesterday as we were in Lansing assisting the middle kid with insulating his attic. We also visited mom out to the farm and found ourselves home later in the evening.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ugly Blocks, Ugly Quilt

I'll get to my title in a moment.

Christmas Cats is complete and here it is.

Christmas Cats
I quilted this quilt rather loose because I wanted it to remain snuggly. The border fabric is sparkly and has a bit of stiffness to it and I didn't want to add to this problem with the quilting.

Okay, so ugly blocks. On occasion, while putting quilt blocks together, I think to myself, 'These look so bad' and yet, I know to keep going because collectively, once they are put into a quilt, they all seem to turn out okay.

The quilt now on DW just got worse as construction progressed. I'm not sure why I kept pushing forward with it, but I did. It'll be a nice piece to work on my skills with because the only place this quilt is headed is to the car or the donation pile.

UGLY!
After loading this mistake of a quilt top I moved to Mike and started working yet another WIP from my Sugar Block BOM 20??. I don't remember the year I made these...probably last year. I'm doing these blocks as a quilt as you go format because sometimes I like to just sit and quilt rather then stand.

After working the whole cloth piece, and another quilt as you go done previously, I feel like I can move to the next level of quilting; deciding what quilting needs to be laid down, and how to enhance the block in question with thread. I did my first of 12 blocks last night. It took longer then I thought it would, but it turned out nice and I'll post a pic tomorrow of that.

This morning, after watering the plants and taking my shower, Papa went outside to do something and said, "Hey, there's a package or two out here for you."

Packages Arrive Today
I ordered a new cutting mat and some bobbin thread from Connecting Threads and this was a pleasant surprise for sure! My old Olfa mat was dry rotting and the replacement mat I purchased from JoAnn's two years ago started warping. Connecting Threads had mats on sale and my new one is an Omnigrid already sitting on the cutting table. 

MSU plays at noon today so I get some alone time in the studio. We were supposed to head into Lansing to help the kids insulate their house, but they called late with tickets to today's game and are moving the insulating project to later. Had I not dropped a LOT of coin on some long-arm classes in October yesterday, I would be headed to a quilt show in Birch Run, but I think I need to stay here and just enjoy yet another beautiful autumn day in the studio. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

RIP Gary

I didn't know you, but you were a friend of my friends.
You sounded warm and kind.
You made them smile.
You brightened part of their week by serving them each Thursday.
RIP Gary because I know my friends will miss you.

Life is so precious isn't it? We take each day for granted and then something like this happens to rattle our cages and wake up our inner selves.

I've had some wake up calls throughout my life and though I don't relish anybody losing another, it reminds me to not take even a minute for granted.

I'm so lucky to have found another passion in my life! Horses and my skates were my "younger" passion, and now I have my fabric, my thread, my quilts, and most of all, my quilting friends. I think when people are lacking a passion, something they truly could not imagine living their day without, things like what happened to Gary happen.

I don't know what Gary was dealing with and don't presume to even understand (because I certainly don't), but perhaps those passions in our life will ease the hurt or the anger or whatever it was life throws our way...I know it does for my sanity anyway.

On a lighter note, my whole cloth is now finished and here it is.

Green and White Whole Cloth (14.5" square)
It was a fun project! I'd like to do another more intricate design, and maybe a little larger next time. Not anytime soon since I have other WIP's to clean out of those shelves, but over the winter sounds like a grand idea!

I found myself in our bedroom yesterday cleaning and rearranging. It took longer then expected and  well worth the effort, but it kept me out of here most of the morning and partly into the afternoon.

Last nights guild meeting brought a NQA judge (Marcia Knopp) to discuss what judges look for when judging at a show. Needless to say, none of my quilts will ever be going to a national show. While perfection is nice and always something to strive for, it doesn't keep the body warm, I don't think it's filled with as much love, and quite honestly, the few minutes of fame you achieve just isn't worth working on for the years it takes to arrive at a winner.

Nope, I'll take my imperfect, finished, filled with love quilts because there are just too many out there yet I want to do, and while I admire the folks to take the time to make these beautiful pieces, that's just  not where my passion lies.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Two, Two, Two Quilts in One

When making this quilt...

Guild BOM 2015
...the instructions directed us to lob off quite a bit from each corner of each section of each block. After making my first block I came to the conclusion there would be a lot of waste unless I was proactive and created sub-blocks out of the cut out corners.

I diligently sewed and saved each of the block cut offs each month and arrived at a rather healthy stack of blocks to make another quilt with.

This is the result.

Waste Remains Quilt
I still have probably a dozen blocks left even after constructing this top, which I can incorporate into either of the backings from either quilt.

While working on the second quilt top from our BOM, I measured, trimmed, soaked, and blocked the whole cloth quilt. Today I'll get the binding attached.

The autumn bug has hit me and the bee in my bonnet tells me some house rearranging needs to be done. Aren't you glad you're not home Caleb? He's my usual rearrangement specialist. I'll figure out what room to tackle after I blog, but I have a few ideas.

Guild is early tonight and I have some errands to do in town before the meeting begins so I'll only get a few hours in here today. I'm still taking advantage of the beautiful weather and washing/drying quilts. The new drying frame is WONDERFUL!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Good Morning

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the temps today are supposed to be in the mid 70's. I already have the windows open to let the fresh autumn air into the house and my first load of laundry is hanging on the line. I've fed and watered the animals, I've watered the flowers and plants, and Lily and I have picked our morning raspberries.

Chores are done so it's time to quilt!

I worked on Christmas Cats yesterday for a bit; it's amazing what tunes can do for the long-arming mojo. It hit me after firing up Mack yesterday morning what had been missing in here. It was quality music through my Klipsch speakers.

The laptop has sound, but the quality is extremely poor! I guess I'm spoiled.

I moved from Christmas Cats after lunch to my whole cloth quilt. I have it completely quilted and have to watch my video to see what the next steps are in the completion process. After the whole cloth I moved to my guild BOM. Here's what I laid out on the design wall.

See anything wrong?
I checked, rechecked, and then checked again to see what it was I missed when completing these blocks. Everything seemed fine and yet, I'm short on the top and bottom of that center star.

I looked at the diagram and figured out what to do to rectify the situation; it wasn't a hard fix, thankfully, and after coming up with a solution, started to put the top together.

I hit the half way mark when my steam ran out. I was up pretty early yesterday morning and I think by 6:30 last night my mind said enough. I'll continue on today as well as more long-arming and whole cloth completion.

Happy first day of fall y'all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mack Lives!

I have an amazing son. Actually, I have three, but in this case, the big kid is today's ribbon winner! He's the result of why Mack has come back to life.

We don't know how long Mack will last since he is now six years old, but we'll take what we can while we save for a replacement.

Here's a little of what's been going on the past few days.

Stringing the new drying frame

An up-close pic of what Jim built for drying the quilts.

The back of my whole cloth quilt.
Carol's 20 blocks

UFO Projects purchased at auction last Thursday
It's so good to finally post some pics of what I'm talking about!

I tried to get a pic of the Stitcher's Garden blocks, but the sun is shining pretty bright this morning and they are in a location where the rays slant over the top of them, so a pic wasn't going to happen.

Yesterday the WHOLE day was spent washing quilts, getting the computer back on his feet, and working on the whole cloth quilt. I'll continue with washing and whole cloth quilting today. I may venture into some other project since I have the whole day to "play" in here and it feels oh so good!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sew-In and String Blocks

Sew-In on Friday found me completing the four small Stitchers Garden blocks from Wednesday's class. Cross those off my to-do list.

I was planning on beginning the completion of the quilt; putting the blocks together, starting the border work, etc. when I decided there was too many extraneous distractions for me to concentrate on such a task. I put it away for the day.

I had brought my string basket in for Cindy to work on string blocks for the charity quilt(s) for SIREN this year and asked if I could grab the basket back from her to start assisting on those blocks (less concentration needed). "Sure," she replies.

I had three completed before leaving on Friday evening.

Saturday found even more ruckus at the library and certainly not a conducive environment for me to concentrate so working on string blocks once again was the days tasks.

I left at 4:45 with a total of 20 blocks completed (and yes, the papers are all pulled out too).

Nothing (and I mean not a thing) was done in here yesterday. My studio is a MESS! I have UFO purchases everywhere, projects of my own laying around, and still have computer manuals/pieces/parts on the end of my planning/pressing table in trying to get my Mac working again.

This morning I will put the place back together. I will be on and off the phone multiple times with the big kid trying to get Mack to work, and I still have Christmas Cats on DW. When you have a house full of company (third weekend in a row), not much can happen in here, and while I LOVE having the company, it's hard to stay out of my favorite place for this many days (make that weekends) in a row. And, it looks like the coming weekend is going to be about the same way.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mac vs PC

I love my Mac (Mack)! Since converting from PC to Mac, it seems the previous hesitancy was unfounded.

Using my PC in Windows 8.whatever feels chunky, clunky, and unreliable. My Mac is so true to form each and every day with each and every update. The laptop, which is PC, is going to nearly drive me back to the bottle. Just sayin'.

Yesterday was class. April didn't make the trip with me this month since she has family coming in and a LOT to do to get ready for them and other projects she's involved with right now. It was a beautiful autumn day to take the trek down Mulligan Rd. towards Portland and I enjoyed the drive while talking to Andrew on the phone.

Class was small (only four) and we achieved a lot of progress and much, much, much finishing information (this was our last class).

I'd like to take the class again using the muted color way, but there will be a Stitchers Garden II offered beginning in January, so I'm going with that instead.

We have our UFO auction tonight at guild, and tomorrow is Sew-In. No blogging for a few days.

I have no idea where I'm headed in here today. I have a few things in the works including the Christmas Cats quilt on DW, the whole cloth project start, the quilt-as-you-go Sugar Block BOM's, homework from yesterday's class, and other varieties of projects I could dig out of my shelves.

I should probably sort through those shelves to see if there's anything I have to donate to the auction. I have already found some patterns I'm going to take, but I'm sure there is a lot more if I really tried hard enough. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Most Inconvenient, but Necessary

My Apple computer (Mack) has recently had a hard drive installed (thank you Andrew for doing that!). I had to back up the old hard drive prior to installing the new one (obviously).

After the new drive was installed, all the stored information, documents, songs, pics, spreadsheets... everything, had to be transferred back over to the new hard drive.

It's been transferring since Sunday afternoon. It's only half way completed and it's Tuesday morning.

I'm on my laptop giving an update as to why I haven't blogged. This laptop is only supposed to be used for quilting things, but I guess I can consider my blog a definite quilting thing, right?

The bummer is I really have nothing to blog about. The kids were here all weekend and I didn't do a thing in the studio (other then the computer issue). Yesterday I worked on Dales BOM all day, and I'll be doing that again today, and tomorrow, and probably Thursday as well. I mean come on, I only have 32-12" blocks to make, what's my problem right?

The other thing is the pics. I don't want to take the time out to work on pics from the laptop so I'll only write on my blog for the next few days.

Tomorrow I have the last Stitcher's Garden class in Portland. It should be fun and I should make something to take along for our last class celebration. It was a fun class and I would recommend it to anyone who has a machine with more then 16 of the basic stitches on it.

Meanwhile, I'll be listening to Pandora on the laptop (talk about crappy sound quality), and cranking out lots and lots of blocks. Happy sewing!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quiet

I was up (very) early this morning. Like, before the sun was even shining, which in my world, is just wrong. The house is so peaceful at that time of the day though and I do enjoy getting an early start on whatever my day encompasses.

It's quiet now, but after this evening, things will be different. The little kid is once again going to be home this weekend (which is a surprise) but it's because the big kid family is coming up to celebrate Tristan's first birthday.

With Andrew and Laura comes the rest of the family. Jim's mom will be here tomorrow afternoon, my dad will be here Saturday morning with his girlfriend. My mom will be here around noon (once dad and the girlfriend leave), and then Ben and Alisha may pop in later Saturday to round out the day with MSU vs Oregon on TV.

I don't think I'm going to get much (if anything) done in the studio.

Yesterday I did get the binding on the charity quilt. Here's the binding.

Charity quilt binding
Here is the quilt.

Somebody else's charity quilt
I started to quilt the Christmas Cats and didn't have a hard time finding anything for the border. However, I'm stuck, stuck, stuck on what to quilt in those cats. Any suggestions? I don't want to quilt this piece to death so I'm looking for something rather open. I'm going to put drop snowflakes in all the sashing and I put a meandering ribbon in the border. HELP!

Once I milled around about this conundrum for an hour (or more), I found something else to do. Tristan needed a birthday gift and the last thing the child needs is clothes or toys. Grandma Darlene has that covered. Here's what he'll have at Gpa and Gma's house to play with.

Tristan's Birthday Present
That didn't take too long to make, so I found my pattern for my guild BOM's from last Thursday and started cutting out pieces. Yet another road block and this may be a big one.

Guild BOM last block cutting instructions
I need 16 sets of the setting blocks. I need 64 "E's" and 128 "B's" to complete the blocks. That's the background fabric in the bottom right hand corner. I had enough for the E's, but only had enough to cut 8 (yep, only 8), of the B's. I'm in deep dog dodo because all the other blocks I've handed in have this background fabric. Now what?

I know where the fabric came from (it was some clearance crap from JoAnn's I got about two years ago). What are the chances of them having this around any more? I may have to find something close to it either back at JoAnn's or elsewhere.

The very frustrating thing is that I checked yardage requirements prior to committing to this fabric (because I didn't really like it) and I had more then enough when I started. Did somebody come in here and eat it all or something? WTH?

Since I couldn't complete my BOM, I started getting the Sugar Block blocks prepared for quilt-as-you-go. I have them all layered and will press them as they are getting spray basted prior to quilting on Mike.

I get to play in the studio this morning and early afternoon today. After that I have to run around and pick up food for this weekend, cakes, supplies for next week in the studio, and other varieties of things.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Variety

I have a variety of sunflowers growing around the property. Here are a few hanging around in our eating area.

Sunflowers
Simple. Sunflowers are just simple flowers. Like this bag. It's pretty simple. Yet, I really love how it turned out.

New Bag
This was yesterday morning's project. Yesterday afternoon I began a new series with Leah Day on how to make a whole cloth quilt. I had to preview the introduction and preparation series before I could actually do anything beyond.

Afterwards, while waiting for my whole cloth fabric to be washed and dried, I started cleaning out the guest room closet for the next DW load. Here's what I ended up getting sidetracked with.

Dog beds for the Eaton Co. Human Society
This is some poly fabric my dad picked up for me at his local bridge club yard sale. I used the batting strips that are too small to keep for anything for the stuffing and I'll drop those off later today when they open.

Moving along. I was able to unearth this quilt and backing pair. It's good to have clothes on DW again.

Christmas Cats
After getting all that done, I was able to actually work on my new whole cloth thing again. I think we're calling this hearts and feathers.

Hearts and Feathers
I know the pic isn't the greatest, but if you look carefully, you can make out where it is I might be going with this.

It's just going to be a small quilt (I don't want to tackle a large one to start in case I don't like this whole cloth thing). It's just a dip of the toes into the lake per se.

Today I have to bind a charity quilt I volunteered to bind from last Thursday's meeting. Nobody wanted to fess up to ownership, and Carol R. quilted it and asked for someone to bind and label it, so I volunteered. I'm not sure what the big deal is about binding. I actually find it very relaxing and enjoyable to finally "close the envelope", if you will.

After I finish that I'll long arm a bit, perhaps whole cloth some, and see what other kind of mischief I can get into in here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

SPS on Monday

Holiday weekends have a tendency to move regularly scheduled days. Since the little kid was home this weekend, I moved Small Project Sunday to Monday instead.

After taking him back to college yesterday afternoon, I had some hours to kill before Papa got back from work. I started this project (another attempt at making bags) and ended here for the day.

Another bag
Alisha helped me pick out the fabrics for this one and so far, I've only had to rip out two seams.

I'll start today with this project first.

DW is once again without attire. I haven't a clue what I'm going to load next. I need to rustle around in the closet to see what I have backing/top matches for.

I know Amazon Star is ready to go, but quite honestly, I want to wait until after my Sue Patton class(es) in Lake O before starting it. I don't think I really have the hang of using rulers on my table yet and want to see how to streamline this process before proceeding. I'm sure I have a few others I can get on the long arm in there somewhere.

My guild BOM's were given to me on Thursday night. I have a LOT to do and for some reason, I'm not really into getting them started. Maybe I have to sit on them for a few days before the mood strikes my fancy?

Summer is waning yet the temps say otherwise. We've been very warm as of late and it makes me sluggish. As much as I hate the cold, I hate the bugs and heat worse (I've decided). I've also come to the conclusion these temps are a direct result of my lack of enthusiasm in the studio. As the week progresses, so too should the regular autumn weather.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Finally

Every once in a while a project seems to take forever to complete. While I only started this quilt at quilt camp a mere two months ago, it feels like I've been working on it much longer then those two months.

Radiant Suns (aka Twirly Quilt)
I attached the other half of the binding this morning and it's now ready for me to snuggle up with during times I'm not feeling well. It's replacing my pinwheel quilt that seems to be on it's last thread.

Not much else occurred over the weekend. The house was full of family spending time talking, laughing, playing games, and eating way too much. Celebrating birthdays is always fun!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Secret Decoder Ring

Now that I have the secret decoder ring and the password (cheesecake, BTW), Carol and I have been inducted into the executive committee of our guild. Actually, Carol has been there before, but I was a EC virgin going into yesterdays meeting.

What fun!

Yesterday resulted in the final completion of my Arcadia Avenue block for September. It didn't go so well, as you'll see from the pic, but I'm not ripping it out (again). This was the best of three attempts and so be it.

September Arcadia Avenue block
After tackling this frustrating project I moved onto the binding for Twirly. I was able to get the first side attached and wasn't able to move around to the front, so I left it for another day. I did do some embroidery work prior to leaving my meeting and it's coming along slowly.

I took the embroidery work with me to our regular guild meeting and one of our members noticed I was doing embroidery. She is such a kind lady and I love her to pieces and she offered some wonderful advice and encouragement for my newfound craft. I'm so glad we have so many talents within our little group!

Today won't see me in the studio until later tonight. The little kid and I have LOTS of errands to run today to prepare for Ben's birthday celebration tomorrow. Since he's home from college for a few days we have some errands to run for him as well, so we'll be off and running for most of the daylight hours at least.

Hastings is one of our stops and I need to stop by Jamie's to see about a ruler and new cutting mat. I'll price her shop to see if she's any better then that dumb JoAnn's I checked earlier last week. I'm starting to really dislike JoAnn's! Just sayin'.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Waste

Twirly quilt is totally quilted. I started on the binding last night, but have Arcadia Avenue BOM sitting all over the sewing desk. I want to finish all of that before I spread my quilt out to bind it.

Given what I just wrote, it's obvious Arcadia did not get done yesterday. I have four more pieces to add to the 12 blocks yet this morning before I can start removing papers and putting the little blocks together to make the big block.

Arcadia Avenue is a paper pieced project. I have heard mutterings from other quilters about how paper piecing is wasteful when it comes to fabric. I have to disagree somewhat.

If one follows the pattern and cuts the pieces as the pattern directs, and then employs the Add-A-Quarter ruler to the mix, about all the waste you have are tiny, little, unusable snippets.

Here's an example.

After 120 pieces 
This is after putting together 120 pieces into the block(s). There are still six more pieces to add, but those are end cuts from the previous pieces and will result in just cotton dust when trimming.

I have about as much waste when I'm making a "traditional" quilt block, and quite honestly, Twirly quilt resulted in far more waste then any quilt I think I've ever made simply because it's all curved pieces.

I try to save as much as I can when I quilt. While I am not a quilt piece fanatic, I will save anything large enough I might think could be useable in a future appliqué or crumb cake quilt project. I usually head towards my little piece stash first and then work my way up the stash as needed.

More paper piecing today. I was told last night I have an executive meeting prior to our regularly schedule guild meeting tonight. Did I mention Carol R. and I are now co-chairing the Activities branch of our guild? Apparently, the previous activities person handed over the baton to us already and so we are attending our first meeting tonight in our new roles. It's kind of exciting actually.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Good Morning

In the fall and in the spring, my studio experiences some amazing light. The sun is slanted just so, and it creates such a nice feeling in here.

Morning Sunshine
This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is the view walking into the studio.

Yesterday I completed my Craftsy BOM blocks and here's all four of them completed on the design wall.

Craftsy BOM for September
I love these fabrics! The kit was so worth the cost (and it wasn't all that expensive really).

Half of Twirly quilt is completed on the long arm. What I had intended to quilt in the center blocks turned out somewhat different then originally planned only because the blocks did not lend themselves to where Jim and I thought they should go.

More long arming today and maybe some Arcadia Avenue construction. Whichever way I decide to go, it'll be with the sun shining and the tunes tinkling away in the background.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Something New

I like, no make that love, trying new things. I never really like it after I try it because I'm not good at it, but I persist and continue on. Learning to long arm was like that. I really didn't enjoy it at first. My motifs were jagged and uneven. I was unsteady with the directions I wanted to head making starts and stops all too frequent. But, I persisted. I sewed, and sewed, and sewed some more. I guilt-tripped myself into continuing to sew even after I thought there was no hope.

And then I started feeling more comfortable with the whole process. And of course, as time and continued practice worked its way into my daily life, I started liking the process. Now I love to long arm and am feeling even more confident with every passing stitch.

Yesterday, I looked at a motif, drew it out on my Magna Doodle, and fired up DW. What showed up on the quilt was exactly as I wanted it to look like within the quilt. Now I can open all those long arm books up I have and say, "Hey, this would look great in what I'm quilting," rather then, "While this would look good in the quilt, there's no way in hell I'm going to attempt that!"

Here's what's on DW now.

Twirly Quilt Makes the Long Arm Scene
The other new thing I tried yesterday was a small embroidery project. I've always wanted to have some "quiet" work on hand for when company comes over, or when we go visit. The hexagons are fun to work on in this situation, but sometimes I feel like something different.

Here's my first couple of leaves (and yes, I actually drew the motif onto the fabric myself).

New Skill
YouTube is a wonderful source. After watching a few 2 minute clips I was able to learn how baste my fabric layers together, to hoop my fabric layers, draw my motif, and now backstitching my work. I didn't have the privilege of having somebody in the family teach me embroidery, or even how to sew for that matter. YouTube makes anything possible and I'm forever loving and taking advantage of this amazing resource!

Hot and steamy weather ahead today. I'll long arm as long as it stays cool in the studio (I have all the windows closed to keep out the heat).

Today is also the 1st of the month so BOM's are being released (I wonder when we start the one from the Hen House?). I'm still waiting for my BOM's from Dale since they didn't make it two Thursdays ago, or even last Thursday (apparently mine were forgotten). Maybe this Thursday I'll receive those? Craftsy is today though, and so is Arcadia Avenue and if I can pry myself away from DW, I'll venture there this afternoon.