Think about this.....

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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Long-Arming = Good

It felt so good to get back to working DW! I had so much fun I actually quilted out this whole charity quilt in one go.

Charity Quilt #1 for the year
This is my first charity quilt for the year. I don't know how many I'll get done for the group because of all that my little hands are in right now, but one is better then nothing for the time being.

It was weird working in my new space. I didn't realize how many times I actually went behind the machine to do various tasks, but found out yesterday it's more then I thought. I'll have to streamline how much I actually walk back there and make adjustments out front instead.

While I was pushing the machine around, I thought somebody was looking in the side windows facing east in my studio. I had to keep catching myself from looking because it was DW's rear handles I was seeing catching the light.

Here's the second part of the medallion (and the completed) center of our quilt.
365 Day Challenge Center Medallion
It's my first attempt at a medallion. I had some alignment issues and despite my efforts to correct said situation, this is about as good as its going to get. Maybe when I quilt it I can rectify those misalignments.

I headed back to the memory quilt after farting around with medallions and DW. The second quadrant is completely done and I'll start the third today. Sure wish I had my other machine because piecing this on Jay is very slow going.

It's Ugly Sweater day and I'll start there first.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I Must Long Arm!

I think I'm going through long arm withdrawal. I've moved some items off the spare bed to hold the memory quilt quadrants. I've shifted and condensed memory quilt pieces and am going to load a charity quilt.

The long arm was hosting pieces of the memory quilt, the first quadrant of the memory quilt, as well as other small wall hangings I had yet to hang up. A long arm is not a coat rack and I decided to get him back into the swing of things doing what he's supposed to be doing rather then "holding" all my works in progress.

Peggy wanted to be here to watch me load a quilt using my leader grips, but Jim just wants to have a day to ourselves today. And...this is the first quilt I'll have loaded and worked on since we moved the studio around last week. It'll be a new experience and we'll see if moving everything was a wise idea when it comes to the long arm.

My BOD took an unusual turn yesterday. We will be constructing the center medallion over the next few days and I will start with part two of ? this morning before loading the machine; that way it's not hanging over my head and I can play with DW all afternoon conscious free.

I'll do a few of the memory quilt blocks later (or attempt to on Jay since Mike is in the shop--again), but for now I'll just enjoy the sun streaming through the studio windows and put on some soft music to bask in our Sunday.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Funeral's Suck

Actually, the funeral itself is usually pretty nice, but the reason you're all gathered together isn't so nice. However, this funeral was probably one of the biggest I've ever attended (over 600) and yet the funeral ceremony was horrid. It was clear the clergyman presiding over the services didn't know Lee.

I'm just glad we finally made it back home and can now resume our regularly scheduled programming. I feel bad for Lee's wife, Shari because she can't. She has to learn a new way of living and carrying out her daily functions without her best friend at her side. I'm not looking forward to the day Jim and I may be doing the same thing.

On to studio stuff (which is way more fun to talk about). I forgot to add a pic on Friday of the Thursday Ugly Sweater. This one's a doozie!

Thursday's Ugly Sweater block
Yesterday, I completed the construction of the first quadrant in its entirety. It wasn't without some issues though. Mike is back in the shop (we dropped him off first thing this morning on our way up north to the funeral) after having started skipping stitches (again) while piecing the rows together.

I continued with construction of two more rows on Jay and found a kind-of way to make him work without sliding around too much between those interfaced fabrics. It's slower going, but at least I'm making some kind of headway.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Putzing Along

When you're doing a project for yourself, all those little imperfections are overlooked and somehow seem okay in your work.

This is not the case when you're doing something for somebody else. Everything has to be perfect (or as correctly as you know how to do it). This takes so much longer because the little imperfections have to be corrected when they occur. And...I make a lot of them.

Here's the first four rows of the first quadrant.

Working from the bottom, up. 
One more row to go in this section and then I can move along to row two. Once I started on this later yesterday morning I worked very diligently; no farting around and taking 10 or so breaks. I didn't talk on the phone, I didn't visit with any visitors (still too much snow), I didn't play on my computer. Yet, this is all I have to show for my efforts. I'm feeling a little deflated.

I know I need to just keep plugging away at this. I knew it was going to be a really, really large project; which is probably why I kept putting it off. This is definitely going to stretch my attention span since mine is so limited. I just need to remember to self-talk and keep my Pandora cranked to keep things moving along.

And, after having said that, it's not going to finish itself so I must keep a positive attitude.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Winter Wonderland

24 hours ago (or thereabouts), it started to snow. It's still snowing. And blowing; hard. Everything is cancelled for today/tonight and will probably get shifted to next week.

After doing my usual morning chores around the studio yesterday, I did more interfacing and other workings for the memory quilt. Here's a few pics of my progress after the day ended.

Interfaced Pieces
While I was interfacing some of the outfits I want to keep as whole units, I had to hand stitch openings closed so future prying eyes don't see just interfacing, batting, or backing. All this prep work takes a long time and I have a feeling I'll be doing more of it as I build the sections.

Stitching openings closed
The quilt is going to be king-sized and the design wall isn't that big. I had to tape off one quadrant section and that's how I'll build the quilt...one quadrant at a time.

About 53 x 47 ish
After getting most everything interfaced so I can start to sew, I started placing pieces within my first quadrant. This is simply a start. the pieces laying over the top part will be taken down to add after the quilt is actually quilted.

Getting a feel for color placement and motif separation.
There is a lot of white in these baby clothes, so those pieces look like empty holes on the design wall pic.

Today I'll start adding the filler pieces (receiving blankets and crib sheets) to make each row more uniform. That way the quilt can go together a bit more easily since I decided to cut everything so random.  

While winter is still battling its way back into our lives, I'll be taking advantage and cranking out in here today for a very full day of memory quilt building. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Supposed To

Today I'm supposed to get my quilts around for a trunk show I'm supposed to give tomorrow. I'm also supposed to get my supplies around for a quilt class in Portland I'm supposed to take tomorrow.

Old Man Winter has returned and I think both of those notions are out the door. I don't do poopy weather and it sounds like this may get ugly. The prediction was that the snow wasn't supposed to hit until later this afternoon, but around 8:30 this morning the snow began. I suppose we'll have to wait and see what happens as the day progresses. Our driveway is already dusted.

In the meantime (back at the ranch), I've finally started the commission piece for my friend in memory of her deceased granddaughter. Yep, I finally dug the tote out from hiding and here are a few pics during my day yesterday.

The Huge Tote
Starting the sorting process.
Believe it or not, everything is sorted and organized here.
Jim and I had an unexpected visitor stop by for a few hours on his Harley after all these were sorted. Rick and I go way back to our horse and 4-H days and it was absolutely wonderful having him here for a visit. I needed the break and the weather yesterday was a total opposite of today so he was able to get his bike out.

After Rick left, I started measuring some of the bigger pieces to get a baseline of maximum sized blocks. I planned on making 10" blocks or combinations thereof, but after starting to press and apply interfacing, found myself just trying to get the most usage out of each piece. Needless to say, I have a lot of really random sizes.

Fortunately, I have a few crib sheets that were included in the tote and will use those as filler pieces during the planning-on-the-design-wall phase.

I think since I'm doing three steps at once (deboning, interfacing, and trimming) the next few days will be spent strictly cutting the blocks that will be the quilt foundation. Wow...I just looked out the window and it's really snowing now. Yeah, tomorrow probably isn't going to happen like it's supposed to.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Studio Space

The new studio space is working out very well. There are a couple of things that don't work as well as the previous layout:
1) It's harder to get to my greater-then-one-yard-cuts of fabric because the cutting table is in front of part of the shelving.
2) It's harder to bind a larger quilt because the corner of my desk is not butting up against anything nor does it have the pressing table to hold some of the weight.

However, others things are working out much better then before:
1) The pressing table is right next to the cutting table now and can hold the weight of a larger quilt when squaring it after being quilted.
2) The desk, cutting table, and pressing table are at a nice triangular configuration and makes traveling between the three easier.
3) The shelving unit behind the cutting table acts as a file for my smaller cutting templates.
4) The lighting is way better.
5) The system we hooked up for the iron makes pressing the whole length of the table usable and
6) Both the computers are visible from my sewing desk to view patterns, cutting requirements, and directions when needed.

I'll keep working the bugs out throughout the week and make modifications as necessary.

Here's last weeks BODs.

Feb. 17-23
Here's is the seventh Ugly Sweater block.

Number 7
At lunch time, another quilt-along came through on my email notifications. I contemplated whether or not to get involved with yet another weekly project since I already have so many going right now. I decided to think about it while working on the Dresdens quilt later in the afternoon.

And...it's done!

From one angle
Here's another angle...
Finally! The Completed Dresdens
This actual quilt top was started in late 2010 and finished in mid 2011; only five years to complete it in its entirety.

Here's a few pics of the individual quilting done in each block.




Jim actually quilted some of the blades and centers. We won't tell you which ones and quite honestly, while I was working on the binding yesterday, couldn't see much of a difference in his work and mine. Perhaps we have another long-armer in our midst after all?

It seems I'm going to have to drape larger quilts over the pressing table instead of the belly bar on DW to snap pics because the new studio design doesn't lend itself to doing it the old way.

After getting this completed and taking a small pick-up-sticks-from-the-front-yard break, I came in and made another quilt fairy bag. After that I pulled fabrics for the quilt-along. I decided to pull some fabrics, make the first block, and then make my decision after that.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

The blocks are pretty intense even though the first one was relatively easy. I started reading the directions for the second block (I'm already three blocks behind because they started this on Valentine's Day) and decided against doing it. Sigh. I need to get started on that memory quilt I was hired to do for my friend.

Speaking of which, I stared researching that last night and yet again this morning while eating my cereal. This is going to be a very labor and time intensive project, and it seems like the right time to start getting into it. Of course, I'll be snapping pics and writing about it here. Onward, ho!

Monday, February 22, 2016

To Be Small or Not To Be Small

Small project Sunday started out with this block...

New York Beauty
This was a flimsy for quite a few years in my studio space. It needed to be finished because as much as I wanted to make a complete quilt out of it, the probability of me finding the same fabrics were too slim.

After doing studio chores, finishing the block above, and after a quick lunch, Jim and I got to talking about the studio again; about whether or not to rearrange the thing.

We didn't have the kids here to help. So we started dissecting the pieces of it and whether or not it was feasible with just the two of us.

It was!

Here's the new studio space after a very long afternoon and evening...

Looking from the hallway
This is from the hallway entry as you first walk into it. DW barely fits on the short end of the room. I can JUST squeeze in back there to work and he may have to come forward a few more inches, but we'll work that out as I work on him.

Looking from the front door
This is looking kind of by where the desk was/still is. The room seems more square to me now and a lot less cluttered (even though in these pics it actually looks more cluttered). We found about five pounds of dust bunnies as we were moving everything around, but now it's all clean and ready for me to create.

I was supposed to have a guild member over today to learn about loading a quilt with leader grips (she has the red snapper version of those), but as you may see, the Dresdens are still on the frame and I won't be getting it off until much later today or even tomorrow. I'm still settling in and have to work through the new location of all the tools and resources in here.

The kids came out of it unscathed since they were doing their own construction in Lansing on Ben and Alisha's house. They are very thankful, I'm sure!

I, on the other hand, am very thankful I have a very best friend to help me out when we decide to tackle these larger projects. I love it now that I can see out of all my windows clearly whether I'm long arming or working on Mike and Jay. It seems like it's lighter since the pressing table has been moved away from those south windows and I'll be able to actually open them in the summer if I so choose.

Now, to get busy and to acclimate myself to the new surroundings. Let's Create! Lette's Quilt!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Miserable Fail!

I think I've mentioned before that I love to take classes. I love to learn new techniques and ways to do things. I thought this weekend would be no different.

We had regular sew-in on Friday, but I didn't do much because the fabric squares I brought in to piece together into some kind of charity quilt turned out to be crap. Mom got the box and the fabrics at some yard sale last year and thought maybe I could do something with it. They were horrible grades of fabric and I decided they would be better served as dog bed stuffing.

Saturday was a zippered purse-type thing class. I need to come to grips that I pretty much suck at sewing. Actually, I've not been given adequate instruction on how to sew and what some of the sewing terms/actions are, so I'm lost most of the time. Admitting confusion just adds to the already irritated state I'm in and so I just don't ask questions and continue on my own. Which, I found out yesterday, was not the right thing to do.

I have two half finished projects that I will probably never finish. The amount of friction and stress of yesterdays class pretty much turned me off of sewing altogether. Which is sad because there are so many things I'd like to sew. I think if the sewing projects nears quilt-like quality or appearance, I'll be okay, but until I receive some beginner sewing instruction(s), I'm better off staying away.

I love making quilts. But I love to change things up at times too. Maybe I need to seek out other quilt-making situations (like art quilts, or portrait quilts) rather then sewing "things".

No pics to show for my dismal days and I'll just move along in what it is I can actually do and feel confident in doing.

On another note...Mike had to go into the shop on Thursday afternoon. He was starting to skip stitches for no apparent reason. Gall said they were slow at the moment and could probably get him done in a few days. Jim picked him up yesterday and we'll give him a whirl today catching up on three days worth of studio chores.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hi!

I didn't know what to title today so I just said a simple "hi".

Caleb is home! He made it safely back to Detroit around 10:30 last night and should be sleeping comfortably in his own bed back at the house he stays at in East Lansing. All is well.

It's always satisfying when you see this...

The end is near
I completed the stitching late yesterday afternoon. I got the binding all made and should be able to get it started today.

Once the quilting portion of my day was completed, I jumped into another small something. I only wanted to spend the few hours I had left on it and this is what I shut the studio down with last night.

Quilt tangle
Instead of Zentangle it's Quilt tangle. Ha! I'll be binding it in black later this morning after chores.

Another Ugly Sweater is already out and it's a sunny day; I'll soak it up through the studio windows as I work. Quilt happy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Caleb Gets Back to the States!

Jim and I both thought that Caleb didn't come back until tomorrow. Somehow we mixed up the day of the week with the actual date and we discovered he'll actually be in Detroit late tonight! Three cheers!!! It'll be so much fun hearing about all of his adventures down under and we can't wait to see him again!

Most of yesterday morning was spent working on this little piece. It's called Sweet Season Quilt Shop and I'm hooked. It was a bit more time consuming then I originally thought it would be, but it was well worth the effort. The directions were clear and precise which is sometimes hard to find in a quilt pattern such as this.

Sweet Season Quilt Shop
After getting this finished, DW and I were able to get reacquainted. I sure miss him when I leave him for this many days in a row. I'm on to row three of the four in the Dresden quilt. When Jim got home later on, he actually did some free motion work in the dresden plates themselves as well as the circles in the center. Go Papa!!

I'll continue on with the Dresden quilt today and maybe, if the quilting gods are with me, I can get the quilting at least finished.

I started working some more on those darn WIPs. I found two more under DW's frame while tidying up from the dog bed making marathon. I washed the little t-shirts my mom's friend donated to our cause and started applying interacting to them yesterday. I would have finished but my bolt of interfacing is now gone. I'll have to pop into Lansing tomorrow (or soon) to get another.

I also found a box of some older cut up squares mom picked up at a yard sale. I think I'll take them to sew-in and just randomly sew them together for a donation quilt of some sort. I'll have to take a gander and see what I can do with them when I get there.

Time to sew!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sad Story

Headlines read on Sunday morning: Man dead in Montcalm County after falling through the ice...

This man's name was Lee Avery. This occurred at Crystal Lake. The incident was during an annual festival the little community hosts every year. Here's the sad part: This is the lake where I was raised. This was a man I grew up with as a child. The event was a good thing gone wrong. I'll be attending the funeral in two weeks.

I don't usually like to cloud my diary with sad stories, but this one kept hovering over me yesterday while working in here. I couldn't get Lee off my mind, nor all the folks I still keep in contact with up there. My good friend Amy...yeah, her husband is Lee's cousin. Her husband was in on the rescue since he's a volunteer fireman up there. My "old boyfriend" Mike. He too is on the fire department and although I've not heard anything about his involvement, I just know he was there too. He's always there when you need him.

I tried to immerse myself in my work in here to get back in my happy place. I'm having a hard time of it still. Obviously, or I wouldn't be writing about it. And, because of my wandering mind, I did a lot of boo-boo fixing yesterday while I was working. I guess my head just wasn't in the game

Here's my first attempt at working yesterday.

Mistake #1
I had to rip three seams here to get this corner corrected. Here's last weeks progress.

Eight more (What???)
Yep, another eight. Our moderator in all of this gave us a bonus block to do for Valentines Day.

I was getting ready to get the dog beds to the ECHS and noticed something was wrong after snapping this pic of the additional three we made (giving us a total of 11).

Three more (and mistake #2)
I had failed to close up the stuffing seams on all of these. Back to the sewing machine.

I moved along to my Ugly Sweater block. I messed up a sleeve on that block too and had to rip it out. I didn't grab a pic because by that point I was sick of all the mistakes I was making yesterday.

Ugly Sweater [corrected] Block #5
I'm attending a retreat in April again in Gladwin at The Springs. The cook for our retreat and his new wife are having a quilt constructed by our retreat administrator. She asked we make a 12 1/2" block to add in for their wedding present. She wanted it done in blues and browns. This is what I whipped up.

Wedding Block Contribution
I was having some weird back issues throughout yesterday morning. It seemed to get a little better as the day moved along, but I didn't want to temp fate by hauling my 55 pound long arm around. I hope to do some long arming today.

To keep me a little bit more under control, I actually started a new project just to try to get my mind off of things. Starting a new project keeps me a little more focused and makes me pay attention to what's happening at present rather then something I just can't change. I hope to finish it today (I didn't say it was a large project).

Here's hoping today is a better day and may less mistakes come my way.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Another Shorty

Aside from doing my morning chores and cutting a few 2" blocks, not much else happened in here today. I did get another larger yo-yo (aka fabric asshole) maker, some Steam-2-Steam II Lite, and a pink zipper at Keans yesterday. It was nice to be able to check out their new store; well worth the trip.

We also had to pay a visit to Family Farm and Home. They have an extensive Bee Keeping section in their store and we are thinking about starting a hive here. Since we have all that clover out in our hay fields, a huge garden, and our fruit trees to obtain pollen with, we could use all the help to ensure their continued growth.

Today is Ugly Sweater day as well as other assorted "regular" studio duties. Maybe I'll actually get to long arm today since it's been four days since I've touched DW.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is such a thoughtful gift I received from my best friend! He's the love of my life and he knows me so well; chocolate, fabric, and thread as well as bits of other useful items within the basket I'll certainly use and enjoy! Thank you my wonderful husband!!

Such a nice Valentine's Day surprise!
While I couldn't be working in the studio yesterday because of the family being here, I did solicit their help in getting the dog beds stuffed. They actually made comments about it being kind of fun; even my brother seemed to be enjoying himself.

A family project
We completed eight beds total and I have enough stuffing for probably two more. I didn't have enough shells made (which was a surprise). After everybody left I made four more and I'll work on those later tonight so that they can be delivered tomorrow after Jim leaves for work.

Lily can't get on her own bed because of all these others. 
Jim and I have errands to run today. I'll finished my morning chores from yesterday and today prior to us leaving, while he does a work-related thing he's required to do each quarter on the computer. Not much else expected in here though but I'll be spending the day with my man. Insert real big smiley face!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sunny Saturday

It's sunny out there, but ccccoooolllddd!

Chad and my mom are coming for a visit today. Ben and Alisha didn't make it out last night (he's on call this weekend), but they should be out later today to join in the fun. Needless to say, with all the visitors, I probably won't get much accomplished in here. I have to finish my blogging and run around and do the flight of the bumblebee to remove at least one layer of dust on things.

Here's what happened yesterday in the studio:

1) Dog Beds. I got eight shells completed and one of the little ones stuffed. Maybe today I can solicit some help and get these done.

Dog Beds
I got both of my Stitcher's Garden blocks done as well as my homework for next month.

Month Five
While I was on the phone with my good friend Carol R. I completed the above blocks, but she informed me a new Ugly Sweater block posted on Thursday. I missed it because it was further down in the blog with the patterns. After searching (and finally locating) said missing post, I completed my fourth block in the series.

These are so darn cute!
Absolutely no long arming yesterday, which is sad. Maybe after everybody leaves tonight I'll be able to get a little in, but I'm not holding my breath.

Time to get cleaning. YUCK!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Woof

It was announced last night that I'm the new ASQ Newsletter writer. I'm pretty excited about it since I love, love, love to write (almost as much as quilting) and working in and around computers is second nature to me given my parents were both in the computer industry.

After our guild meeting last night, my very good friend, Carol R. gave me loads of batting and fabric scraps to insert into more dog beds. I'll make up some shells during the day today, then, when the kids come out later tonight, I'll solicit their help in getting them all stuffed and closed.

Lots of homework from Stitcher's Garden yesterday.

While at Around the Block, we were privy to a new set of example quilts that had just arrived by a designer named Sue Pritt. I've seen a couple of her quilts on line and a plethora of her finished quilts are now on display in Portland. I only picked up one pattern while we were there, but I have several others I'll be picking up in the coming months. I don't want to spend all my quilting allowance in one go. (Smiley Face).

No pics to share today but lots to do here in the studio from yesterday's outings. Time to get sewing!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Class Today

Stitcher's Garden #1 (Neutral Tones) class is today. I'll be getting ready for that for part of this morning.

Still working through the WIP shelves. Here's the cows!

Moo
I found the brown bag project we did through our guild amongst the shelves. Heather made me a wonderfully colorful chevron block and I ended up making a pillow cover out of it. I first quilted and appliqu├ęd the block onto a background before stitching everything together; here's the end result.

Chevron Pillow Cover
My thread from Accomplish Quilting showed up yesterday afternoon (already!). I had to wait for it to warm up before I could get it on the machine. I've heard that quilting with freezing thread is a recipe for breakage and brittleness. I didn't want to chance it.

Off to prepare for class and do my morning chores before I leave.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Magazines Anyone?

After doing my morning studio chores, and after long arming for the day (I'm at the I-need-more-thread section), I started cleaning up around here. I'm at a good point where I could take a day and just straighten things out, file them away, or make sense out of the WIP shelves.

I had been wanting to go through and weed out/refile/file my quilting magazines. After having a little bit of a tantrum with them, decided to only keep my Quiltmaker magazines and all the rest are going!

Here's what I have to donate:

We need new homes
I'll take them to guild tomorrow night and see what the girls want and then from there, they'll go to our quilt show next month for anybody else who may want them. Any left over at that point get recycled.

After getting the WIP shelves totally organized, I started in on another project that had been hanging out there since the UFO auction of 2013. Cows.

Somebody donated a cow panel to make a mom and baby cow with. I'm still working on those this morning and will hopefully be done by lunch. They are taking WAY too long to complete but are turning out cute as the dickens. I'll give them to Ben since he has this thing with cows anyway.

I'm still chipping away at those WIPs. I need to get about three or four more projects completed before I am satisfied to start something extensive again. WIPs ahoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More Productive

Yesterday was way more productive then Sunday. Hurray!

The lady (Connie, I think) called from the ECHS and said she needed more dog beds. I only had enough batting scraps around here to make one more and here it is.

Another Dog Bed
I have another bed "shell" ready and will put any scraps I obtain in the future into it. It's just like the one pictured above.

I made my daily BOD and here's the past week's worth.

Should't there be seven?
There are eight here because she mis-posted the Feb. 3rd block, so we actually made two that day.

I worked on long-arming through the rest of the morning and afternoon. The first row is done and I was able to roll for another row. Which reminded me...my thread issue.

I called Accomplish Quilting down in Stevensville to see if they had the thread I was running short on (since the cone I'm working off of in the sashing strips actually came from there). Glory be, they had it! And, as a bonus, they have free shipping this week on anything over $20. I added another "mystery" cone of thread to the order and it should be here by weeks end.

After long arming, I moved on to another Ugly Sweater block. This one went together relatively easy and here's the three of them together.

Ugly Sweater block #3
I made one more bag for the quilt fairy and then closed up the studio for the night.

Each day I'm hopefully going to be doing the following: A BOD and cutting 2" squares, so I'm no longer going to report individually on those events. It's getting redundant. I'll post up the BOD's each week but from this point forward, I'll refer to those things I need to do as my daily "chores".

Having said that, today I'll do my "chores" and then move along to some long-arming. I don't know where I'm going to go after that but the weather-icky day provides a wonderful quilting backdrop for some quilting fun.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Short Report

Yesterday consisted of the following:

A few 2" squares were cut. I made a BOD. That's about it.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Changed My Mind

The quilt I was originally going to load onto DW was the Grand Illusion quilt from Bonnie Hunters' mystery quilt done in 2014. But after putting the Trip Around the World and Night Stars on the pool table yesterday morning, discovered another quilt that I've had around here much longer.

This is what DW is wearing now.

Flirty Thirties Dresden Plates
It took Jim and I both to dig it out, measure everything to make sure we had enough supplies around here, and get it pressed and loaded. Thank you wonderful man for your invaluable assistance!

I was, between all this activity, playing with Holly. Jim picked up her new foot yesterday after delivering to all the Lansing stores he was assigned to.

Holly's new foot
She's purring along quite well with the new foot and I pieced a few blocks with her to get a feel for how she feeds and where her new quarter inch markings place the seam.

After playing with Holly for a bit, I started to long arm the Dresden Plate quilt and uh oh...the thread I picked out to run in the sashing strips is going faster then I thought. AND...it appears Superior no longer carries the stuff (WHAT?????). I went on-line to try to find some more and it is no longer listed. I need to call them first thing tomorrow morning to try to find some more. I've already got a quarter of the sashing strips done and AM NOT going to rip out all those stitches!!!!

Then we received a phone call from our credit union. It appears somebody has made a small purchase with my debit card from a bakery in Utah. It was only a $2.40 charge, but our credit union seems to think they are running a test charge to see if the card is still good; at which time they'll start racking up additional larger purchases. Needless to say, my card has been cancelled and we have to run there tomorrow morning to get a replacement. UGH!!

Today we are going to moms to visit so not much will be accomplished in here I'm afraid. Perhaps a little long arming and a BOD.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

This to These

Yesterday after running around getting all my to-do's in Marshall done and finally arriving back home, I did my daily BOD. It was an easy one. Yeah!

I once again sprayed the Trip Around the World for markings, and then looked at this:

Out of Control
This is a problem for me. I can't stand that they are basically exploding onto the floor below and I need to do something with them.

I looked through a few of my past magazine issues of Quiltmaker, McCall's Quilting, and American Patchwork to come up with an idea on what to do. I could just make another crumb cake quilt, but don't really want to head that way right now. I then remembered I received Leaders and Enders, More Leaders and Enders and another book by Bonnie Hunter for Christmas from the boys. She's great about using up all these tiny scraps.

I found a pattern in one of the books called Rick Rack Nines. Perfect! I need about 2,900 2" patches to make up the king-sized quilt and started making all of these:

2" Squares
Here's the problem. I have such tiny wrists and last time I cut, and cut, and cut some more, my wrist became inflamed and I actually sprained it doing this type of work repeatedly. I can't cut for hours on end and so will have to tackle this on a daily basis to weed through my little "problem" above. I actually over exerted yesterday (again) and am feeling it this morning. I have to learn to pace myself better I think.

I need to "dress" DW again since he's been naked for two days now. I'll do that during the basketball game this afternoon since I picked up a new batting yesterday for whatever I decide to get on there. Don't know where I'll go after my usual "daily" things in here, but it's a sunny day so I'll enjoy the warmth in the studio.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Less Then Enthused

After talking with Caleb last night (who is still in Australia) he pretty much put the kibosh on rearranging the studio; not his idea of "welcome home fun". I'm still thinking about it though.

Despite my slogging-through-pudding state of being yesterday, here's what I accomplished: I completed my daily BOD, my bi-weekly ugly sweater, and the Trip Around the World quilt is totally finished.

Two Ugly Sweaters

These ugly sweaters just crack me up. They don't go together very easily, and very precise piecing is the key, but I'm having fun with them.

Quilting detail in the center of Trip Around the World
You can still see some of my markings (I just keep spraying to get them out), but this WHOLE quilt was done free motion. Yep, not one lick of it was accomplished using DW's computer.

Drying
I still can't get a whole pic of it even this morning. Still more spraying to get those blue marks out of the white areas. Perhaps I haven't found that perfect marking utensil yet? Still looking!

I have to chase down some batting this morning. I love the Quilters Dream Cotton that the HH carries, but as you can see from the pic above, it's very, very thin. I would like a bit more loft to some of the upcoming quilts set to get on the frame so I'm headed down to The Marshall House to see what Karen has down there. Chicago can't come soon enough to be able to pick up another couple of bolts of 80/20. The prices over there are insane and well worth the trip!

I'll catch up in here later after my return from town this morning.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Debating

There is some talk about moving my studio around (a welcome home project for Caleb?). We've taken some measurements and it appears that DW could be moved over to in front of the east side windows of the studio. It only leaves about eight inches on his one side, and very little room for me to squeeze in to get in behind him, but doable.

The reason we're considering this is the quilt below.

Another WIP Completed
While this was a smaller quilt to actually piece together, it's bulk needed to be handled by Jay; my most durable and tolerant machine of thick fabric and seams. Trying to get this in the small space where Jay lives was very daunting!

We have to think on this for a bit before we make any rash decisions because moving the studio around would be a major undertaking to say the least. 

Most of yesterday, after working on my BOD snafu, was long-arming. I only had my signature and date to incorporate into the quilting before my bobbin ran out. I shut it down for the night because it was nearly 9:00. But, before I did, I wanted to take a gander at my stitch count to see just exactly where I was at. 

15 Million!
I can't believe I have that many stitches on him! 

I didn't get much sleep last night. Not sure why, but only about four hours puts me into sluggish mode already today. I'm having a hard time getting revved up so not much may be accomplished in here. It doesn't help that I'm reading a really good book right now and would rather just curl up on the couch and take it easy, but my iPad is about out of power so I have a few hours to wait until I can actually do that. 

I saw another ugly sweater came through this morning. I thought these were only going to come every other week? It sounds like a good project for the day as well as my daily BOD. I'll start there.