Think about this.....

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Hiccups

Because the holiday season is ever hectic, blogging was put on the back burner.

This was given to my dad's wife Charlotte on Christmas Eve.

Charlotte's Quilt
Four days commenced without even stepping into the studio and so yesterday was catch-up on BOD day. It took all afternoon! Here are last week's blocks.

December 21-27
Next week will be my last posting for the BOD blocks and there will only be four since we are nearing completion. I can't believe it's already been a year since I started and what a learning experience as well as a very gratifying project it's been.

I've found a few 'block of the week' quilts I would like to do in the upcoming 2017 year. One is from the same lady who hosted our BODs this year, Kathryn Kerr from Australia. The second is being hosted by Amy Gibson, who did the Craftsy BOM for 2012 and 2013, but I have to purchase a book to do that one and will have to find it before beginning the series, which is very soon (next week I believe).

First Dolly Quilt
I wasn't done in the studio last night quite yet (withdrawal I think) and completed this dolly top for my December challenge (thank you Katie for pushing me on this). I'll get it quilted out at camp in a few weeks, if not before, and then will have to find one to do for January (another camp quest).

I hope everybody had as good a holiday as they possibly could. I know some of my friends out there did not have a very enjoyable time (quite a few in the hospital themselves, or with loved ones), but our thoughts and good wishes were with them even if we couldn't be with them physically.

We still have some festivising to do (Saturday and then two weekends after that) with family who could not be with us last weekend, but the season shouldn't just be designated to one day. I propose we implement the good cheer and joyfulness throughout the whole year. Who's with me?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

On, Off; On, Off; On

This quilt was on the frame yesterday morning, and then off just before lunch.

Susan's Wrestling Quilt
Here's a little detail I put into the quilt for her. 

Eaton Rapids Wrestler Quilt
Then this quilt was on the frame...

Betty's Reverse Applique
Before I left for work, it was done and taken off. Betty just wanted me to baste it up for her so she could hand quilt it during the oncoming months. 

Now I have another quilt on the frame. 
Charlotte's Quilt
This is today's project. I loaded it right after Susan and Caroline came to pick up her wrestling quilt, and before I did today's BOD. 

I'm supposed to be in Portland for a Stitcher's Garden II class later today but am going to defer (again) this month. I have quilt camp coming up in January and maybe I can get the past two months caught up while there?!? The quilt above needs to be quilted by the end of today and then bound and wrapped before I head off to work tomorrow. Christmas pressure....gotta love it. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rethinking

I'm rethinking my blog. I don't know that too many people actually read it, but on the other hand, I write it basically for myself. It's a way for me to keep track of my quilting progress and what exactly is going on in my studio.

But, for the next year (at least), I have this stupid job thing outside of the home and my postings are becoming quite erratic. Sometimes I work several days in a row and the studio work becomes virtually nil. The other days I just play catch up on what I have to do for other folks. I'm asking myself if I should continue?

I think I'll make a decision before the year comes to a close. Meanwhile, I'll post up what I can and decide from there.

Here are last weeks BOD's (that I should have posted yesterday).

December 14-20
I got a bee in my bonnet (or rather, an icicle in my hat given our latest weather) and decided my dad's new wife needed a quilt for Christmas. I received a Tunga fat quarter pack for testing blocks over the summer for the Quiltmaker 100 Quilt Blocks Vol. 14 issue. There was a very simplistic pattern included and I thought maybe she would like her own couch quilt. I started that last night.

We are meeting them on Saturday for that side of our Christmas (ahhh...the holiday festivities begin). Can I do it? In my head I can, so we'll see if my time management skills are still holding on.

I have a four hour shift later today at work and another long shift on Friday afternoon. I have a customer coming to pick up a quilt this morning. And...my daily blocks to complete as well as a customer basting job to load, baste, and then unload before I can get the Christmas present onto the frame. Ready. Set. Quilt!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Not Quilting, but...

Even though this isn't a quilting project, it's still something I've been working on since Friday. A new hat and scarf for my heavy, green winter coat. Since temps today remain in the teens with wind gusts being pretty nasty, I'll certainly put them to good use going to and from work this afternoon.

New Hat and Scarf
Jim and I were able to get the bulk of our Christmas shopping done yesterday, which meant I didn't get much done in here. Today will be much of the same. Maybe tomorrow I'll be more productive?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Feeling Better

After working on my BOD yesterday, I really started going downhill. Basically the remainder of the day was spent on the couch. I even shut off my phone to avoid recuperation interruption.

Here are last weeks blocks.

December 7-13
That's about all for yesterday.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Small Project Sunday Commences

I did a few small projects in the studio yesterday while watching it snow to beat the band outside. I was able to complete seven quilt fairy projects (making a total of 11 so far) and then made these bibs after finding a "model" at a children's shop last week.

Bib's and baby washcloths
I still need to attach the velcro onto the bibs because I only had tan and black here at the house.

Jim and I were supposed to do some shopping yesterday, but the snow kept us close. He's having fun this morning, on his tractor, digging us out.

Playing with his toy
I don't know if I'll work on Susan's quilt today. I'm feeling a little under the weather this morning and I'm not really sure what that's all about. Getting only 6 hours of sleep last night is probably one contributing factor. I took an aspirin and maybe that'll snap me out of it?

At any case, I'll do my BOD and see how I feel after I complete it. This may be one of those ' lay on the couch and read' days?!?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Reprieve

I have a work reprieve for four days. No work scheduled until next Wednesday. A big smile here!

Yesterday's BOD was painful. 185 pieces in a 6 1/2" block. It was all I could do to get it done before heading out for the day, so nothing much else was accomplished in here. Maybe more to post tomorrow?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Momentum

It seems like when momentum is starting to gain here in the studio, everything comes to a slow down with this outside job thing. Today I should be starting on Susan's quilt, but I only have this morning to work before having to take off.

Here's what DW is wearing now.

Susan's Eaton Rapids Wrestling Quilt
This one is due by Christmas, but Susan didn't come to last nights meeting and I have a few questions, and again, the job thing is getting in the way today.

I'll do my BOD, go through some emails, work on the newsletter for the guild, and then head off to work. Exciting, huh?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Old Friends

Haven't posted until now because with Cindy's shoulder surgery, I wanted to see if she wanted me to square and trim her quilt up for her. She did, I have, and here it is, (before trimming) all complete.


Purple Shadow Boxes
Because this quilt is so large (92" square) it's hard for me to really get a sense of how exactly it turned out, but from what I can see, it looks pretty good. Can't wait to throw it on the floor tonight at guild. 

I noticed I received a call sometime last night and decided to return the call this morning. It was April, and isn't it fun catching up? I love talking to old friends. They're so familiar with you and don't judge, but rather embrace your individuality. 

Talking to April was like getting back in my groove with DW this week. We were both a little tentative at first, but then once the words/thread started flowing, we just picked right up where we left off like no time had passed between us; familiar with each others ways and quirks. 

I have one more "Christmas" rush to take care of and then one other customer quilt I really need to get at before the holidays roll around. The second quilt is a pretty tough one; I've been holding out on completing it. Any mishaps would be easily seen since it's pretty much all white in color and with DW being naughty, didn't want to take any chances.  


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Uno Mas!

One more row to go! I was actually able to get a little long-arming in yesterday before heading out the door to work. I'm hoping to finish the last row today before mom and I head out for some holiday shopping. I still have to get the channeling done in the sashing strip areas and then can rock on through the last 14 blocks.

It's a great feeling to be able to meet a deadline because I was worried there for a bit.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Chugging Along

Susan came to pick up her Hip Hop quilt yesterday. She loved it and gave me another one to work on with a Christmas deadline. As soon as Cindy's is off, I'll load that one up. This should about cover the holiday quilting for customers.

Here are last weeks BODs.

Nov. 30-Dec. 6
Cindy's quilt is being done in chunks now as I find the time to fire up the long arm and get in my creative groove. Today will probably not be one of those days since I have to take off today at 11:30 for another full day at the store. BUT...I only have 16 more blocks to go so I'm feeling pretty optimistic this will make the Thursday deadline.

Hmmm???
I ran into this while working on her quilt on Sunday. The right quarter of the screen shows a very large pucker within the sashing strip. I contacted her to let her know what I found and to ask her about it. She said it was a boo-boo but after ripping out the pucker, found it was inserted because the block was too short within the seam allowance.

There is a lot of quilting put in there now to keep it all together in the future, as well as some hand stitching, and...a little glue. Wink, wink.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Stuff

It's weird this year to not be making a holiday quilt for somebody; anybody. Instead I've been focusing on other peoples gifts and their quilts. Which is okay...just weird.

Cindy's quilt is about 3/4 done. I'll get a little more done over the next two days between work time and then, hopefully, on Wednesday, I can finish it up.

A wet, heavy snow last night made it look so pretty outside that quilting with Christmas music was a definite plus, so today, while the snow still lingers before it melts, I'll do the same before heading out.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Same, but Different

Yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow will be more of Cindy's quilt. It's kind of freeing actually. Each of the 126 shadow boxes are quilted kind of the same, but yet entirely different then any others. No two will be exactly alike and it provides the opportunity to be creative and have fun!

I was disrupted yesterday quite frequently (despite my wanting to completely focus), and only achieved completion of 29 blocks. I need to buckle down today!

Handi Quilter is sponsoring a contest for a long arm quilt retreat in January. It's an all expenses paid four-day trip and all you have to do is submit a video on what inspires you to 'quilt as desired'. I just uploaded my video and I have no doubts of my not being picked as one of the finalists (my videography skills are extremely raw), but it was fun to make at any case.

In other personal news...we now have a[nother] PhD in the house. Andrew's dissertation defense yesterday went very well and he now has his PhD in Astrophysics. What a great accomplishment for my eldest son!

Back to my machine.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Phone Off, Long-Arm On

For the next few days, this will be what I'm up to. Other then my daily blocks from Australia, I'll pretty much be in front of DW. This is where we stopped last night (before my phone started ringing).

Nearly as nice as the picture
This idea was obtained from Pinterest and the customer (a fellow guild member) gave me the go-ahead to repeat it in her quilt. Last nights lighting doesn't do it justice (makes it look kind of bad actually). There are a total of 126 blocks to do like this. I only have 121 more to go. I'll need to do at least 20 per day to hit my deadline of next Thursday since I have to work on Monday and Tuesday next week. So, the phone gets shut off, the Pandora gets cranked and we rock and roll.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Feeling Great!

The past two days have resumed a "normal" set of days in the studio. Slipping back into the groove was/is so freeing and missing it is the understatement of the year.

This came off DW yesterday evening (and he's running beautifully I might add):

Susan K's Disappearing Pinwheels with Hip Hop Quilting
I then promptly loaded another quilt onto the frame and now this is what DW is wearing. I'm waiting for Cindy to get back with me about whether she wants to incur custom quilting costs on this because I have some ideas about what to do in each block rather then an overall E2E design.

Cindy V's Windowpanes
While waiting for Cindy's Percocet-induced response (smiley face), I started chipping away at this very lengthy project: Getting all the 3 1/2" blocks together to make the blue section of the outer border.

365 Day Block Challenge in progress
And this isn't all of it. All those tan/white/light blue blocks I'm making right now will be added to the outside of the dark blue blocks I put together last night. And...there's still one more 12 1/2" corner block to make (which usually takes all morning to do). After just peeking at today's BOD...that's the one I have to tackle before heading off to work later this afternoon (because I still haven't heard back from Cindy on her quilt). Ta-Tah!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Is it Spring?

We are having unseasonably warm temps today and I hear Robins peep-peeping in the yard. Weird!

Here's what [little] I've been up to the past week.

Last weeks BODs.

November 23-29
But, despite my not doing much in here, DW is back home. He came home last Wednesday, but I didn't get to do anything with him until yesterday. He sounds great and is stitching like his old self again. Let's hope the new bobbin case, race, and hook assembly are what the issue was. And, he has a brand new tablet with mounting bracket too, which seem to be working just dandy.

So, this is what DW is now sporting today.

Susan K's Disappearing Pinwheel
I'm hoping the wind is kind to us and doesn't blow the power out again. We lost it last night for a while and it seems to be roaring out there today once again. This quilt is going to have an E2E via computer and electricity is good in this instance.

I started putting a Victorian Bear together last night. I'll chip away at that as time permits. I've also got my BOD center section on the design wall to start planning out all the little blue blocks I've been making the past three or so months. Plenty to do and so away I go.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Real Quick

Just checking in real quick before heading off to work.

Here are last weeks BODs.

November 16-22
DW's updated status: Mike didn't come in on Monday (I guess he didn't feel good). When Jim spoke with Jason yesterday, the earliest DW may be coming home is this afternoon. Except I have to work.

Jim may run in and get him for me, IF he's done.

Which is really irrelevant since tomorrow is Thanksgiving (lots of people in the house and no time to long arm). I work Friday, (still people in the house), Saturday I'm supposed to go to a horse show with mom (and still people in the house), and Sunday I have to work (but people will be leaving).

Monday is my earliest long arming opportunity, and frankly, with the schedule around here for the next few days, I will probably spend a good amount of time Monday catching up on the previous weekends BODs.

At any case, have a happy Thanksgiving everybody. I truly am thankful for all my family, my quilting friends, and the opportunities I've been given this year. I'm just lucky to have a long arm at all since there are a lot of people who would love to have the ability to have one. Until next week, gobble, gobble!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Work, be Damned

Despite my having to work this past weekend, managing to get some sew-in time was still accomplished. Sunday, four of us decided to head to the library to sew and this is what was completed during the day.

First, my Christmas Tree. The top is nearly together.

Oh, Christmas Tree
Bard suggested I add a wonky appliqué star on the top and I think that's a wonderful idea, so before I set it on the frame, I'll do that. And...I was actually a little short on the bottom row so I have to add a strip and get it set in.

Before we ordered Cottage Inn Pizza (yum!) for lunch, I started on this piece. It was finished being put together prior to my leaving for the day so now all that has to be done is the snipping of the fabrics between each of the blocks.

Snuggly Rag Quilt
These are from all the flannels I've spent cutting up from the UFO auction last month. It's a pretty good sized quilt for a rag quilt and it'll certainly keep somebody warm enough. This may end up being the DeGroot Reunion donation this year.

Here's the latest on DW in a nutshell: Jim stopped by on Saturday and DW was still where I left him on Thursday afternoon. Untouched. Not worked on. Ignored. Jim and Jason went into Jason's office and shut the door. 45 minutes later they shook hands and left on amicable terms. The conclusion of the conversation was they had two goals to reach: Getting the machine back in perfect running order and in a timely manner, and making Colette happy again, because she certainly isn't right now.

Mike is going to spend all day today locked in his shop working uninterrupted on DW and it should be finished by days end. Huh, we'll see about that.

The bummer is this; today I have to close, tomorrow I have to open, and then Wednesday close again. I would have a 1/2 hour window to get the machine picked up on Tuesday (after work) but we have Thanksgiving to prepare so we'll just have enough time to get him out of the Jeep and back on his frame, but that's about it. Even if the machine gets done today, the earliest I get to "play" with him would be Sunday (and that schedule isn't even out yet so I may have to work on that day too). But, at least he'd be back home. More on the DW drama later this week.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Poll

I'm taking a poll with all my long arm Facebook quilting friends. I'm trying to get some stitch counts on their long arms since Virginia and Jason seem to think I have an extreme amount for my machine. I'm thinking, from some of the numbers that are coming in, I don't.

I have another little project I'm working on for the upcoming 2017 year. I'll post pics tomorrow, but it's similar to the block of the day I've been doing this year. It's in the early planning stages right now but for today, I have to scoot off to work.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hunting Season

Opening day of firearm deer season was Tuesday. We've had family here since Monday evening out for the hunt and therefore, not much quilt work.

Managing a small project was about all that was accomplished. Here are the four new placemats in progress.

Four Bears
Work infringed on Tuesday and yesterday the completion of the four bears ensued.

This morning, DW is packed in the Jeep, and ready to head to East Lansing. I'm waiting for UPS to deliver all the parts needed to go with him. The parts were originally supposed to go to Gall but the tracking numbers were sent to my email and indicated my address on the shipment; so we wait.

It was requested that I bring some other items with me this time too and I have to round those up while I'm waiting. Since DW's race is still clicking and since his bobbin case/bobbin is extremely hot when I take them out to change them, they want to investigate why this is happening...because this should not be the case. Warm, yes. Hot, no.

Since I'm kind of in limbo for the day, it'll be a crap shoot on what I accomplish. Probably not much since my nerves are kind of shot. Jason and I did not get along very well on the phone Monday and I feel like he's really pissed off about this whole situation. And I feel like he's directing this all at me.

I've been able to reflect on the Monday phone conversation for a few days now. Both he and Cathie (from HQ) kept telling me what to do (or what I should be doing) rather then asking me what I had been doing. They assumed some things without getting the lay of the land (like telling me the looping thing is strictly upper tension without asking what had been done with that upper tension thus far).

I am so beyond frustrated with all of this and I know Jason is going to be a dink today at some point; he generally can't talk to me for any length of time without doing so. I feel like I need to take another person with me just as a buffer...and to calm me down and not punch him in the face if/when he talks down to me. Thank goodness I'll be dealing with Mike more then with Jason. Mike is a sweetheart and is very patient with how he explains things. At least I hope so anyway since he'll be doing most of the work this time around. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Conference Call

Yesterday, while on our way back from northern Michigan, we were on a 45-minute conference call (how we didn't loose these people while en-route is beyond me) with Gall Sewing and Handi Quilter-Utah. Looks like DW is going back to East Lansing for another treatment. Several items are going to be dealt with during his stay and hopefully this will be it. I'm at wits end for sure with this machine.

Here are last weeks BOD's:

November 9-15
Not much else happening around here so I'll sign off for now.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Another Day Off

Yesterday was productive. Well, sort of.

After doing my BOD, I fired up DW. I started with the usual checking my stitches on a test piece of fabric before diving into whatever I'm working on. Loops. Rethreaded. Loops again. Rethreaded and cleaned out bobbin case area. Loops. Continued working my way through the machine and never came up without loops. I. Want. To. Cry! I mean sit on the floor, cover my face, and bawl like a baby.

I thought we had a handle on this thing and now it's looping just like it was before. I turned the machine off, walked away and didn't look at him the rest of the day (or at least ignored him pretty well since he does take up half the studio and is too large to actually not look at).

I got my Christmas Tree quilt into rows and will finish it up next Friday at sew in. I had Jim put up the rag quilt pieces while I was creating a dolly quilt with the leftover pieces from the Christmas Tree quilt. Here's what I created.

Doll Quilt
Don't judge my piecing on this one. I was trying to work through set-in seams while putting it together (because the pieces were cut in that way from the Christmas Tree quilt). I don't have much experience with set-ins and I'm thinking it turned out okay.

At any case, after about 7:00 I called it a night. I have an email into one of the HQ techs in Utah, and Mike has been put on alert at Gall. They both know this machine is not stitching correctly. I should probably call Chris at Friends as well and let him know we have not yet solved the problem with what we've installed/corrected thus far.

It's so frustrating to have this very expensive machine here that right now, is basically useless. What's even more frustrating are the hoops I'm having to jump through to make it right. This is where the crying part comes in. I don't know where to turn and I feel like I'm having to put in a lot of effort for something that just isn't my fault. Ya know?

I have plenty of other things in here to keep me occupied so I'll focus on those for now, otherwise I may not be responsible for my further actions.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sa-tur-day

And, I don't have to work after all. The funeral a co-worker was to attend was what I was covering for today, but she informed me she didn't need me to take her shift today. So...

...I get to play at home all day.

I was going to head to Holt to sew with the ladies for a mini one-day retreat, but Jim ended up getting today off too, so after getting our hairs cut this morning, I decided to stay at home so we could have a day to ourselves. Everybody thinks we're working today so it'll be peaceful at least for a while.

Here's my zebra on the long arm. It finally came through my cloud.

Lots of thread going into this one
Dale brought in the library raffle quilt in Thursday night . It's so pretty that I just had to share.

Raffle Quilt for the library
And then this one was too cute not to share as well. The girls made this for the Christmas Bazaar.

Toy land quilt for Christmas bazaar
I wasn't involved in construction/completion of either of these, but I wanted to share what some of the other girls do in our guild for our community. Plus, the quilts are pretty awesome.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Life

Life has been a roller coaster lately. Good News. Bad News. Life as we know it.

The bad news:

Jim lost a cousin yesterday  and we have a long and lengthy day ahead of us probably Monday. No news yet about the funeral, but the family is assuming it'll be Monday.

HQ called last night and they can't seem to find the open ticket on my broken tablet. I need to call them later today (when they are open since they are three hours behind us) and get that rectified.

I have to work the next two days: 10-6 today and 8-4 tomorrow.

The good news:

Despite having spent Wednesday away from the studio up north with mom, I actually managed to be a little productive in here yesterday.

Jim calls this one "Cross-eye'd Stripes"
This quilt will be for sale.

I've also managed to load and start the Zebra quilt. I had a pic of it on the long arm, but my photo doesn't want to seem to download this morning.

DW and I are still working out some issues, but I think we're getting there. Looping still continues if he gets too much oil, but he makes a clicking noise if I don't oil him enough. I need to find that happy medium to make both of us happy.

Off I go to work so it'll be a few days before I get back at it again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Presidential Election

I detest politics! But, I'm going to go vote here shortly. It's the year of indecision and confusion on just who is less crooked but my decision has finally been made.

Work later today, so with voting and after doing my BOD, I'll probably not be very productive.

Yesterday was another story. Here are last weeks BODs.

November 2-8
Here is what DW is wearing.



Here is my homework for Stitcher's Garden II from last week.



And after doing my November get-ready work for SGII, I called it a night.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Glorious Day

No work today. Temps in the mid-60's. Sunshine. Quiet.

This is what our fall has been like:

From the harbor

Beach in Saugatuk: November 5th
Jim left early this morning to get his tomorrows run. I have the balance of the morning and mid-afternoon to enjoy the studio, and I've already got my BOD completed. Thanks to daylight savings, our BOD's are coming in at 9:00 a.m. rather then the summertime 10:00.

I'm hoping to load a quilt this morning. I have to make the backing first and see what batting I have on hand for it. I have a few other things in the works and am still debating on whether to head to Holt on Saturday for a mini-retreat one of our guild members is hosting. I certainly have plenty of projects to take and it would be nice to spend the day with the girls sewing and quilting away. Hmmm....

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Naughty Dog

Lily is not normally a naughty dog. She sleeps while I'm away and doesn't ever get into stuff. In fact, she won't even eat or drink in my absence; until recently.

What Lily did while I was at work
This is some batting I had hanging down from the arm on DW. Friday morning, when I started to work on the quilt that's currently loaded, I realized I had some batting pieces hanging around the dog bed shell I have laying underneath the long arm. I figured the shell was just leaking out onto the floor and I needed to re-stuff the thing. After further investigation, found this was destruction done by a little white dog named Lily.

I think she was a bit put off by me being gone both Wednesday night all night and all day on Thursday. I know now, that as long as I'm working outside of the home, things will have to be put up out of little white doggie reach.

I didn't get as much done Friday in here as I hoped. Mom and Chad stopped over for a visit and they were here for more then a few minutes.

Robert's Quilt
But, once they left, managed to get this completed. I've only been working on it since quilt camp back in August. Too long!

DW is stitching nicely and it was a relief and a huge pleasure to crank up the manual stitch mode to about 65% without having to worry about thread breaks or skipped/looping stitches. It would be nice to get another quilt loaded today, but work calls (again) from 12-9 so maybe tomorrow.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Savoring

I have to savor what today brings for tomorrow I'm off again with mom and my brother and then Sunday is another day at work.

Jim [unfortunately] is at a funeral this morning for a fellow classmate and then he'll be home the rest of today. I'm sure we'll be doing something together later on since we haven't seen much of each other the past week.

This morning I'll bask in the sunshine coming through my studio windows and enjoy the amazing colors surrounding the house in what has become a very long autumn season. I feel like I've got so many things going on right now so I'll just pick one and go.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Whoops

Forgot to post these yesterday. Here's last weeks BODs.

October 26-November 1
DW News: He's fixed!!!!!!

Once again, without getting into a bunch and lots of detail, we ended up replacing the whole tension assembly and added a digital tension gauge to him. What a difference!

And now that he's fixed, I can play catch-up with some of my pieces that have been patiently waiting to get done. This is what I loaded yesterday afternoon.

What DW is wearing today
Unfortunately, I won't have time to do much work on this quilt today. Yesterday's BOD was painful (214 pcs) and I have to toddle off to work today at 11:30...and work until close tonight.

I have a few (3) customer quilts here yet to work on, but I want to make certain the long arm is indeed 100% before tackling another outside piece; and justifiably so I might add. I'll do a few of mine first over the next week and we'll see from there where we head.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sad News

I received a post sometime in the past 12 hours or so. Fellow quilter/quiltmaker, Jamie Wallen, had his trailer stolen out of the hotel parking lot where he was attending the Houston Quilt Market and Festival in Houston, Texas. It just makes me so sad and mad both because most of Jamie's life was in that damn trailer.

What's even more devastating is that he had customer quilts in there too that he was going to be delivering. They authorities are estimating the value of the contents at over $125,000.

I hope with the upcoming election, things in our country will start to change. We need change. We need accountability. We need to identify and punish those who take from others who work so hard to get where they are. Ugh, this is just so frustrating that we can't help from this end of things.

Okay...enough negativity.

Chris is on his way back over here to take another crack at DW's issues. We contacted Gall to set up an appointment to sit down with Jason about this machine, and apparently he's out of the shop until Monday, but Chris isn't giving up the ship quite yet and is willing to try some more things today. At least I feel like somebody cares about this situation I have here.

I just hope Jamie has as many people there who care too!

On another positive note, the customer (Rebecca) who had me do her Stitcher's Garden quilt picked it up Sunday afternoon and she loves it. I'm so glad because it was a struggle to get completed given what the long arm is doing of late.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Correlation

I think I've found a correlation between hot flashes and anxiety. When I could hear DW snapping those threads around the hook assembly (and making those damn loops) I would get very anxious and then I'd have a huge hot flash. When DW was quilting along fine, we'd be in our little happy groove and everything was fine; no hot flashes.

After fidgeting and fixing the machine yesterday, I was only able to get about 2/3 of the quilt completed for the customer who wanted it by today. If I didn't have to head to work this morning, it would be done before the days end. She wanted to put it into a quilt show next weekend but I'm just not so sure anymore.

I'm off tomorrow, but then have to work again on Monday. I love my job, but working is stupid, especially when it interferes with my quilting and quilt making. We may have to re-think this whole working thing.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Anxiety Foundated

My anxiety yesterday was [unfortunately] found to be real. It's not because this particular quilt is difficult to do, but because of how DW has been performing lately.

Even after all the hours Chris put into trying to make things right, it still isn't.

After spending 10 hours yesterday with this piece, this is all the further I have come.

First row not even completed
My parents think it's time to start applying some pressure to the HQ/Gall folks to make this right. I'm thinking, after I get this particular project completed, that my parents have been around the block a few more times then I have and maybe I better heed their advice. I hate to make waves, but enough is enough.

Needless to say, I better get to it.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Another Stitcher's Garden

This is for another Stitcher's Garden participant. She met me at a class she attended on her not usual day and loved how my Stitcher's Garden was quilted. We started to load it before I had to head off to class yesterday morning.

Another Stitcher's Garden Quilt
Today I'll be working on this and must admit, my anxiety is at an all time high. The hopes are DW performs like he should rather then his behavior of late with all the looping whoo-ha.

While Chris was working on DW Tuesday, I was able to get the batting cut for the first rag quilt I'll be making with all those flannels, and...I started sewing them all together before he left.

While I was waiting for Rebecca to arrive yesterday morning, I was able to start getting the Christmas Tree blocks together, so progress is being made in here, albeit, slow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

6 Hours...

...and $$$$$ later, we have DW working like new again!

Chris was from a different shop then where DW was purchased. This is why the cost. Had I had Gall do the work on the machine, the cost would probably have been less because I would have taken him in rather then having a home visit. BUT, the machine would likely not have been fixed. Been there. Done that.

What did Chris do all day? Here's an abbreviated list:
Retimed
Fixed spring assembly
Updated Prostitcher (and then broke the computer running the machine, but a new one is coming from HQ)
Disassembled the whole hook assembly, cleaned it, and then reassembled
Adjusted the needle height
Adjusted tension on bobbin winder and,
He killed a fly. :-)

He did a lot of other little things and we worked together to find out DW no longer likes Madiera thread. AT ALL! No matter what we did he would loop stitches on the back. Any other thread in my menagerie he's fine with, but every Madiera thread we stuck on him he would loop. Anybody need about 9 cones of really nice Madiera thread? I have four that are unopened that I'll take back to Gall.

The good news is now he really likes So Fine! thread, which I would rather have him like. Except, it's not as readily available to me and will have to get on-line to order some up to replace the Madiera I've weeded out.

Chris said to stitch for a bit with other threads and then maybe reintroduce the Madiera back in. I may play with it a bit if I have time this morning before I head to Portland to class (it was switched to Wed. this month). But, I have a new customer coming this morning so I may run out of time before I have to take off. Otherwise, I'll play with it later this afternoon when I return home.

At any case, we have some pretty nice stitches happening here and the machine sounds great. Hurray!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Perfect Autumn Day

Crisp weather and a frost last night started our beautiful morning. Chris is coming soon from Lake O to work on DW, I have a new customer dropping a quilt off before noon, and I have the next four days off. I'm hoping to get some serious quilting done during those four days.

With the suns rays filtering in through the studio windows, I realize I need to wash those dreaded windows. What a mess. But, let me see; wash windows-or-spend time sewing/quilting. It's a tough decision.

Here are last weeks BOD's.

October 19-25
I'm thinking these little blue squares should be coming to a close soon. At least I hope they are as I'm running out of blue scraps to use.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Little Something

I got a little project done before heading off to work on Saturday. We'll save this for around the house for when the little-little ones want to hang out for a bit on the floor.

Self-Binding Blanket
Yes, this is a blanket, not a quilt. It doesn't have any batting between the two flannel layers it's made of.

Yesterday was spent with the family. Two of three sets of boys/girls and my mom too were out at the apple orchard, corn maze, restaurant most of the day. Jim and I never got back home until 6:30 last night. We. were. pooped.

I have to work later today and Chris is coming tomorrow morning to take a gander at DW. It would be wonderful to get him back to full health again!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Reveal

This is what I've been working on for the past few weeks.

Latest Project
While this was on the wall it looked like a jumbled up mess. It's still only in the planning stages, but you get the idea. 

I had to get some items off the floor of the studio. After working on the Christmas Tree above, I started cleaning up the auction purchases and dropped items on the floor.

Organizing
I spent the whole rest of yesterday cutting up all my flannels. They were occupying one whole shelf in the studio and it was time for them to be put to use. And, I purchased a bunch of them from the auction (thank you Carol R.--I think) so I wanted to incorporate them together. 

I have them subdivided into piles of 'like' colors and feel like I can get at least two rag quilts out of what I cut up yesterday. Plus, I was able to stuff three dog beds between the donated batting scraps and the flannel pieces for the effort.

I have to work this afternoon which shortens my studio time for today. But I have another little project I'll do before heading that-a-way so I better get to it. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Off the Beaten Path

A number of quilters in our area can be identified by these:




Aren't they fun? 

Katie revealed her donation for the SIREN tea last night prior to the auction beginning. She hates it. I love it! I'd almost like to learn how to like tea just to take a crack at purchasing this lovely piece.

SIREN Donation Quilt
Last years UFO auction set an all time record high (monetarily-wise). Last nights auction probably set an all time low. Only 13 participants and under $200 earned. It's kind of disheartening I think. But I have no control over others and it is what it is.

Today I'm here alone--and I was awake early this morning. Quiet. Threads. Machines. Fabric. And, it's pizza day! What could be better? 

Well, sewing with friends could make it much better, but I'll take this today since I'm still kind of behind the eight ball. Some unexpected events occurred yesterday to disrupt what I had planned, but today should be virtually interruption free. I hope.