Think about this.....

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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stumped

I'm stumped. I need to get into my books or online and find something to put into this quilt DW is currently wearing.

Tony's 3rd Quilt
The border was easy: I just mimicked the flowers throughout the fabric and added a stem and some leaves. It's the center I'm pondering over. I know Tony likes it left more open then I usually quilt. I could have DW do something from the computer, but I feel like putting this in myself; it actually goes much quicker when I drive the machine rather then the computer doing the work.

Meanwhile, I completed my second Quiltmaker block yesterday after getting back home from the dentist, boot shop, quilt store, and pizza joint. I finished Tony's second quilt, and I got my BOD done for the day.

Then, all of a sudden, I hit a huge wall. Tired. Achey. Lethargic. Just not feeling well. I called it a night around 6:30. Way too early for me certainly.

Feeling much better this morning and hoping to have to not go anywhere today. It's another overcast day outside so I'll just enjoy the quiet and sew as much as I can before Papa gets home from work later this afternoon.

Ugly sweaters are back on track with us now putting in the sashing. I want to get Tony's quilt off the machine so I can get my Scalloped Potatoes loaded. I need the design wall to place each of the ugly sweaters in a pleasing manner but Scalloped Potatoes is currently occupying the wall. If I take it down and put it in the spare bedroom, I'm afraid it'll get put on the back burner like all the other tops I have in there.

Maybe I need to turn away a few quilting jobs until I can get my quilts caught up. No, I would probably never say no. I have a hard time doing that especially when my quilts are just there for me to play with and not really derive any income. sigh.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Running Around

I need to stop running around so much as of late. This morning I have a dentist appointment. It'll be a long one; x-rays, cleaning, etc. I probably won't even get home until early afternoon.

Hopefully when I get back home I'll have more time in here. I don't think we have anything else planned for today and since it's another gloomy day outside, I can work in here later guilt free.

Our guild last night was fun. Betsy shared her teddy bears and the girls were back from Paducah. It sounded like they had a lot of laughs and had plenty to share with the group. Ruth also reminded us about our challenge coming up next week (paint chip) and Christine threw out another challenge for the Pepperdish participants; get them all done before our quilt show next March. Mine is already completed.

Carolyn at the HH is working on trying to figure out the Aunt Millies bottle brush thing for me. I'll stop in today to see how she's doing on figuring it out. I can't seem to make the damn thing work.

We have another block in the cue from Quiltmaker this morning. I'll print that off and take a look at it while I'm waiting at the dentist office for my turn at fun with pain.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Raindrops

I awoke early this morning to the typical sound you would hear during a Michigan spring; raindrops on the roof and water pouring out of our downspout outside our bedroom window. I think the gutters need to be cleaned.

It's a dismal day weather wise, but a beautiful day to be inside attending a class or sharing quilting things with friends. Good thing that's what I plan to do today.

Yesterday I concentrated on getting the Scalloped Potatoes top done. Here it is on the design wall waiting its turn on to DW.

Scalloped Potatoes Finished Top
While I was trimming each of the blocks down to size, I was making a pile of shavings from each of the four sides and after a while had quite a pile of trimmings. It's kind of pretty.

Trimmings
I discovered after finishing this top, that I didn't have my homework done for todays class (good thing I checked last night before leaving out of here for the night).

I want to get a little of Tony's quilt worked on before leaving today so it was probably a good thing the rain woke me up so early. I can get an hour or so in on her quilt before I have to head on out. :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Traffic

Spring in Michigan means more traffic. The highway out the studio windows seems louder and busier. The campgrounds over the bridge east of us is expanding and the dump trucks moving dirt to the location from the gravel pit to our west seems constant. I think it is a good day to just crank up the tunes and drown out all the unwelcome noise.

Here's what DW is wearing today.

Tony's second quilt
Because DW had another clothing change, means I finished Audrey's quilt late yesterday afternoon. I should probably contact her and let her know this. :-)

Tomorrow is Stitcher's Garden II and I don't know that I did my homework last month to prepare for the class. Item #1 to do on my list. BOD--Item #2. Tony's Quilt--Item #3. Scalloped Potatoes--Item #4. I think I shall shut my phone down to barely audible so I can just immerse myself in the studio for the day. Oh wait, stupid Direct TV is supposed to be here sometime between 12-4 to install our new receiver. Oh well, at least the morning will be quiet, right?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Better Late...

...because this morning Carol R. and I ran to Lansing to deliver Tony's quilt. She gave me two more to work on. :-)

We did some shopping at JoAnns first. I bought a container to keep all my Stitcher's Garden thread in (I was using baggies until today), and some border fabric for the Scalloped Potatoes.

From there we went to Gall. Jason gave us both a mini lesson on bobbin tension and answered a few other questions we had brewing in our heads.

After getting home and eating lunch, I was finally able to get in here for the day.

BOD's for the past week:

April 20-26
The remainder of yesterday was working on what's on DW now.

Audrey's Neices quilt
I was hoping to get it done before leaving this morning, but didn't have the energy to finish it after around 8:00 last night. It's a larger quilt then usual from Audrey so it took a little longer to do.

I'm heading back to it as soon as I get done blogging and then that will probably be it for the day today.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Work Weekend

The weather this weekend was beautiful! Typical spring days in our lovely state of Michigan.

Because we were at the mercy of the kids this weekend (banquets, renovations to house, etc.) not much was accomplished in here. While Jim was at work Saturday morning, I was able to complete my first Quiltmaker block and because we are sworn to secrecy, am unable to post the pic I took. :-(

Our BOD lady had her account hacked sometime during the weekend. I don't know if we'll be able to pull the blocks off her FB page or where it is I'm to get the blocks from?!? I may be out of that for a few days until she gets the thing rectified.

I'll work on Toni's (is it Ton"y" or "i"?) quilt today and once it's finished, maybe get Audrey's quilt loaded. I want to deliver both on Thursday before my Stitcher's Garden II class.

If time permits I may start getting my Scalloped Potatoes put together. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Member Blocks

We make blocks for our guild members for a variety of reasons: Past president acknowledgement, leaving the state, etc. Our past presidents name was Carol S. I made the "C" below for her since she wanted the blocks done in Christmas (also starts with "C") colors.

The second set of blocks are were made for Linda G. She is leaving our little group to eventually move to Arizona. Sure wish she would take me with her--I miss AZ! Linda and her husband travel a lot and it was decided to make something travel-ish for her to honor what it is she and George love to do.

For Carol (top) and Linda G. (bottom two)
The phone was ringing up a storm yesterday and one of the calls I received was from a new customer named Toni. She gave me a quilt last Saturday to work on and said, "There is no hurry for you to finish it." She called to see if I had the quilt done but again, reiterated there was no hurry; she just wanted to check because she had two more for me to do.

After finishing Christine's quilt, I loaded Toni's on to the frame and now this is what DW is currently wearing.

Toni's Scalloped Potatoes
I hope to get this done today and tomorrow between banquets and Ben and Alisha house projects. I thought Alisha and I could run away from the construction zone at their place and deliver this to Laingsburg for Toni while the guys were messing around in drywall dust. 

The BODs have shifted from 3 1/2" to 6 1/2" and yesterdays was a killer! 68 pieces and it took me most of the morning to get it built. I hope the rest of them aren't like this. 

I received an email from Diane H. at Quiltmaker and our first blocks were posted yesterday afternoon. We have two weeks to complete them. I haven't checked my dropbox yet to see if they are actually there, but if they weren't Diane would have let us know there was a snag in getting them distributed. Another item added to the to-do list. 

The dryer just beeped and that's my cue to get going in here on things. TTFN. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Losing the Race

I tried to get Christine's quilt done before our meeting last night. It was a personal race against myself to see whether I could have accomplished such a feat. I didn't win. I think had I not spent the time proofing Caleb's paper yesterday I would have certainly been able to deliver this quilt to my friend.

I encountered some problems along the way. This is one:

Notice the left side versus the right side (check out the yellow)
How about this issue:

Are borders supposed to do this?
After calling a few folks and getting some ideas on-line, I figured out that this quilt was just not going to finish very square. Thankfully, after talking to Christine, she knew the quilt was not going to be very square and the way I handled it was okay. Whew!

Meanwhile, while I was marathon quilting, DW started making that same nasty noise (again) that he went in for two weeks ago. UGH! We'll see after I clean him whether this is a fluke situation or whether he needs to go back in to Lansing. Crossing our fingers! 

Have to finish this today, work on my BOD medallion (we have enough blocks to surround it now), get some blocks made for a few guild members, and get my scalloped potatoes put together sitting on the design wall. Must get busy but first I must quit talking on the phone (I'm currently on call number four). 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Turtle's Pace

After working on Christine's quilt for the better part of yesterday, I am barely at the half-way point. I did have to take over an hour out of my day to proof the little kids' study abroad paper, but at about 8:00 last night, I got so tuckered out I shut down the studio for the night.

Guess what I'll be doing today? Yep, more quilting. Oh, and preparing for the portrait quilt presentation I'm giving tonight. It's just an introduction, and a few of our "girls" are in Paducah becoming quilt enriched, but nonetheless, for those who attend I'll try to answer any questions and show them what I've discovered over the past four years while making portrait pieces.

Onward, Ho!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lost Day

I always feel like I lost a day when I have to run around outside the house. Upon my return, it takes a while to get my bearings and begin here in the studio. Yesterday was no exception. I did get my BOD completed before having to run to Lansing, and I did get some quilting in Christine's quilt completed before it was dark outside, but I feel like not much else was accomplished.

Some of the quilting in Christine's quilt
Today will be different. I am shutting off my phone. I am pretending I'm not home to any visitors. I'm off the grid for a few hours until I can get my feet back on the ground.

I have a presentation for tomorrow night to think about while I busy myself in here getting a little bit organized and caught up.

I know we are also supposed to be starting our block testing for Quiltmaker today (actually, yesterday), but I haven't seen anything come across in the emails, so hurray for small miracles there!

Ta, ta until tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Happy Day

Yesterday was a happy day because 1) I had lots of visitors and 2) Despite having all the visitors was able to accomplish a lot both in and out of the studio.

We'll stick to quilting things (because this is a quilting blog after all). First, between visitor #1 and visitor #2, I was able to get my BOD done. Here are the past weeks worth.

April 13-19
I noticed my piecing had started getting a little sloppy. These little things set me back on track and remind me there is no room for that when constructing them.

Between visitor #2 and visitor #3 I was able to get the remainder of the Scalloped Potatoes blocks built. I wasn't able to get the rows put together, but here are the blocks on the design wall ready to be constructed.

Scalloped Potatoes ready to get together
Visitor #3 came after I did a few domestic chores around the house and we were finally (finally) able to get her quilt on the frame. Currently on DW is this HUGE quilt.

Christine's Pepperdish
Christine never left last night until 8:30. We were able to load it. Design the quilting motifs for each section and we were even able to start putting some thread into it. We actually got the border started before she left. Happy, happy!

After Christine left I worked on the border some more until I ran out of bobbin thread. It was time to call it a night since it was well past 9:00. I was tired!

Today I have Lansing to do. The DIL's ultrasound is at 12:45 and then on to other specialists for her and the baby. It's usually a whole day thing with all the doctors we see since baby is at such a high risk. Not much to write probably for tomorrow. I'll be lucky to even get my BOD done before I leave, so I better quit writing and get to work. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pic

Here are the center sections of our Scalloped Potatoes, and I've figured out a work around for the Dropbox issue. Whew!

Business as Usual

Back to business now that classes are done for a bit, our anniversary day yesterday is past us, and I have plenty of work lined up for a few weeks. Tomorrow is a little jaded since I have to go into Lansing for the DIL's ultra sound appointment, but the rest of the week is per the usual.

During our class on Saturday, we spent the day making our center sections of each block on our "Scalloped Potatoes". I would add a pic but my Dropbox program (used for my Quiltmaker stuff for the next few months) seems to be interfering. I need to figure that out right quick and rectify that situation. Posting on the blog without pics is just stupid.

Friday I made, stuffed, and delivered 10 dog and 2 cat beds to the ECHS. Thursdays Stitcher's Garden block was finished after I got home Saturday night and my homework for next month was completed as well.

Two quilts came in for quilting this weekend: One from Audrey and another from Toni (the lady who did our class on Saturday). Christine is coming over (again) tonight to try to get her Pepperdish loaded. Let's ask the quilting gods to work with us on this one.

I'll be making the rest of the Scalloped Potatoes today after my BOD is done. We are on a two week break with Ugly Sweater blocks so nothing to do with those there today.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Classes

It's a classy kind of week from here on in. One today in Portland. Another one Saturday at the library with our guild. A third class on-line between now and whenever (that's the beauty of on-line classes). So thankful I have them as a resource.

Preparing for Saturday's class was most of what happened in here yesterday. All my 25-patch blocks are made (31 in total) and I started on the arcs before Papa got home last night.

Preparing for class on Saturday
I have to get things around this morning for todays class because I failed to do so yesterday. And then of course, my daily BOD. Better get going.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

31 Years!

Today is April 13th. The day I pledged my love publicly to my best friend. It's been an interesting and eye opening ride, to say the least. Mostly, it's been hilarious as we continue along with the "If you're a DeGroot, it'll happen to you" theory of life. You can either accept or fight it. We just laugh at it.

Since we decided to go out and do some pre-anniversary things yesterday, not much was accomplished in here. I did (nearly) get Lily done. I just have to hand-stitch the binding down.

Lily
I was able to get nearly all of my blocks done (at least the minimum amount) for the upcoming class on Saturday. I think I only need three more? Hold on. Nope. 24 done already.

24
But wait...I still have all the purples and blacks to do. Since I'm making this bigger then the pic I have I'll see where I end up after today.

Oh, I forgot to mention...I'm going to be a block tester (again) for Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Issue 14 magazine. We start a week from today. I think I'll pull some fabrics together to use for those as the day progresses. Here's the bummer about it all. I can't publicize anything while I'm working on it. Sorry blog, no pics for you!

Tomorrow I have guild and class. I have to prepare for those. I didn't get a quilt on the long arm yesterday (because we were out playing) and since Audrey is bringing me her quilt Friday, it would probably not be a good idea to get one loaded at this point. DW looks so naked without anything to wear!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

More Backing Issues

Here are last weeks BOD's. Notice only four are in the pic. That's because the medallion shown late last week were some of the previous weeks' BODs and I didn't think it was necessary to show them again.

April 6-12
Ugly Sweater was fun yesterday.

Number 21
And then I started [back] in on my 25-patch blocks for our upcoming class on Saturday. I don't know how many I have done...let me go count. 15 so far. The original pattern calls for 24 but I have a feeling I may be doing more.

Christine came out last night to load her Pepperdish. We pressed the backing. Loaded it. Loaded the batting on top and basted a plumb line. We pressed the top and set it next to the plumb line to baste it down, and whoops, too short on the sides. Christine was appalled! We then turned the top 90-degrees and it was still too short (by about 12 inches total). She was sure she ordered enough.

We had to unbaste the backing from the batting at that point so she could take the backing home to enlarge it (but first had to order more backing to attach it together with). She sent me an email last night and found her receipt and sure enough, she did order enough; they didn't send her what she ordered. You get that sometimes with online companies. Until then we are on hold for her quilt.

Today I do studio chores and then move right back into making 25-patch blocks. If I get too bored with that I may load something quick to do on DW (going through withdrawal here). Friday I'm getting another quilt from Audrey. I'll have to jump on that pretty quick because as soon as Christine's backing arrives, we'll be trying to get her quilt on the frame (it's been a rough go already).

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Heeeesss Baaaacckkk!

Yep, DW is back home safe and sound.
Home again
Jim didn't get home until early evening so DW had to hang out in the back of the Jeep until he could be brought in. He was very cold when we set him on his carriage and I was worried about moisture content. I decided to let him get back to room temps before plugging everything back in and giving him a test drive. We'll do that later today.

While working on my BODs yesterday, I had some visitors come by to say hello during a freak late winter/early spring snow fall. 

They look cold!
One of the little ones (probably last years hatch) was limping terribly. I wanted to go out and help him, but wild turkeys are real skittish and I knew I'd never be able to assist the little one.

Here is our BOD work starting to come to life.

It's starting to come together
After finally getting the BODs caught up, I moved along to #20 Ugly Sweater.

Number 20
It was so weird putting this together. The heavy flakes of snow were falling and starting to accumulate, I was making a winter/Christmas sweater block and it seemed more like Christmas then it actually did at Christmastime last year. I almost put on some holiday music. Almost.

I moved along to my Lily portrait piece after ugly sweater. Jim pulled me out of the studio around 8:30. I probably would have kept on had he not done so. This is where I left off.

Starting to look like something
I like how this is coming out. I'll add background thread today and move along to whatever the next step is in the process of completing it. 

So far, I like the Lola Jenkins method of making portrait quilts the best of the three methods so far (the one I used for the horse). I think the Lea McComas method (appliqué and thread painting) will be the most labor intensive, and I don't know that I'll even go there actually. I have other pressing matters to deal with this upcoming week (preparations for next weeks visiting instructor on scrap quilts class), which I haven't even started. 

Off I go to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful new blanket of snow outside my studio window while I work. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fetch

While mom and I were in Chicago yesterday enjoying the living daylights out of ourselves, her mechanic was working on her car. This morning, before getting too into anything, I was on the road to fetch both DW and moms car.

DW was picked up first. When I got there he was still on the frame for me to work with. He sounds like he did when he was new so it'll be good to have him back in the studio.

It took me a little while to get back home after arriving at my moms. She's lonely and loves to keep me around for a while once I get there. I understand and took the time to spend with her this afternoon eating homemade pizza and looking at travel brochures before heading over to get her car.

I feel like it's been a week since I've been in here rather then a day and a half. I have some BOD catch-up work to do, and an Ugly Sweater block from yesterday. By the time I finish Jim should be home to get DW out of the back of the Jeep and into his corner where he belongs.  

Before going to Chicago, I did get a few things accomplished. Here is the completed Arabian Horse Art piece

Arabian Horse
I also squared up my leaders and cleaned the rails/carriage/computer on DW's frame. I figured while I had the space and as long as he was at the spa getting all relaxed, I would take advantage of his absence.

Squaring the Leaders
Onward, ho!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Playtime

I started out yesterday in the studio with the usual quilting chores and then moved along to one of my little art pieces. I started with the horse. When I shut the studio down last night, the first set of colors had been incorporated. Jim came in to check on me and his reaction was, "Oh WOW!" Guess I'm on the right track with it.

Between starting the horse and turning off my lights, my very good friend, Carol R. came over to play for a while. We watched a few quilting videos and then she got out her box of "toys". What a great time!

Here's the first thing we tried:

Sharpie and Alcohol art
This was done with a Sharpie marker and some rubbing alcohol. It's a little bigger then one of my hexagons. I can think of about 100 different things to do with something like this!

The next project was using the same tools, just on a grander scale and with a little added card stock for transfer of the design.

A little faded
Mine didn't turn out as well as Carol's did and we're not sure exactly why, but again, 100 different uses for quilting ideas. I hope (I know she reads my blog) she does this with our whole guild group. They would absolutely love this!

The newsletter is out and I'm already thinking about the next one. I remember these days from past experiences with other newsletters. Must be the [fantasy] writer in me. I'll work on my art piece some more today and hopefully get that finished up. I have to watch a class on-line before doing the one of Lily.

Tomorrow we head to Chicago for the International Quilt Festival!!!! So excited!!! Since mom is actually going with us (really, she is) perhaps I can talk her into chipping in for the new sewing machine for my birthday/Christmas/cell phone bill/contribution towards Chad's housewarming quilt part I won't be able to cover. It depends on her mood and whether we can drum up a good deal. Crossing the fingers on this end for all the sewing machine planets to align tomorrow. :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

DW's Progress

Gall Sewing called late yesterday afternoon to give me an update on how the long arm is coming along. Not only has the bobbin case basically worn itself to an oblong shape, but the needle head has become off center. Jason and Mike are not sure why either of these happened, but Mike is planning on "splitting the head" on Wednesday and getting everything corrected. Hopefully I can pick up the machine on Friday (because Thursday I'll be in Chicago).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch by lunchtime, here are the BODs for the past week.

March 30-April 5
The center medallion was not part of last weeks blocks. The four medallion borders, the corner block to the left and the two little blocks on the right were last week's "assignments".

I moved on to my 19th Ugly Sweater block. This one may need to be redone. The directions didn't come through my email originally and after pulling the block off the web site, found there to be an error later on via the email post.

Number 19
After looking at this block a few hundred times to try to understand what the heck was going on here, I moved along to my two improv tops I'm working on with my home sewing machine. Here is the traditional quilting.

Traditional Quilting on Mike
And here is the modern version.

Modern Quilting
I thought for sure I would quilt closer on my DSM then I would on the long arm, but found out after putting them all side-by-side last night that the exact opposite was true. Moral of the story: I am now more comfortable quilting on my long arm. Happy dance!

I have to get the guild newsletter out. It's hanging over me like a real ugly cloud right now and I will fret about it if I don't get it done before leaving Thursday morning. I have one little section to get in there; perhaps I'll just have to pull from other resources to get the information I need?

I'm also presenting a little demonstration if you will, a few weeks from now for our guild. The title is Intro to Portrait Quilts and right now I have exactly one for people to look at. Oh. Wow. One whole quilt. Makes me an expert, huh?

I need to make at least two more. One of them will be of an Arabian horse.

Random Arabian Horse
Arabians are what we used to raise on our farm many years ago, and unfortunately, we never had them professionally photographed. I pulled this one from a royalty-free site the other day.

Lily does not like the camera
The second technique will be of Lily. However, she does not like to have her pic taken and getting a good one may be easier said then done.

Monday, April 4, 2016

What's Missing?

What's missing from this picture?

Where'd DW go?
We have to run him in to Lansing today. He's very ill (apparently).

I've been working on this little guy since before Christmas. I guess I'm not as speedy at embroidery as I thought I would be.
Winter Embroidery
While the guys were moving lights in my studio, I finished the piece above and then moved along to my April BOM Amish With a Twist blocks. 

April Amish with a Twist Blocks
Yesterday was spent making BOD's, marking my modern piece to work on Mike with, and then starting that. We spent the day kind of relaxing and enjoying Caleb's company before taking him back this morning. 

Into Lansing this morning for errands. Will do quilting chores when we return.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Quilt in a Day?

Eat your heart out Eleanor Burns, this quilt was done in an afternoon. Start to finish baby!

For the new grand baby
I took Caleb to the doctors yesterday morning. I picked up my wallet at Bees Fabrics (I left it at guild on Thursday night) and then remembered I needed to make a quilt for the baby shower today. I purchased the panel in the middle from Bees while we were there.

Afterwards, we headed to the HH to pick up the April Amish With a Twist kit, a yard of fabric for another project (my finished embroidery piece) and some more dog bed fabric Carolyn had in her back room.

After we made it home and ate lunch, I did my BOD and then finished quilting the Memory Quilt. I promptly took that off the now crunching-louder-then-yesterday long-arm and tried to find out where the awful noise was coming from. Caleb came in to try to help out but we couldn't' find it. I called Gall Sewing and DW is headed in first thing Monday morning for some work.

It was now 3:00. Ready? Go!

Since DW was basically off limits, I had to quilt the piece under Mike. I have a tendency to quilt heavier with Mike and didn't get done quilting until it was starting to get dark. I put the last stitch in the binding around 9:30 and had it wrapped and in the Jeep at 10:58 this morning.

Unfortunately, the kids didn't get to get it. We got half way to Zeeland, it started to snow really, really hard (could hardly see) and I grabbed the next exit and turned right around. We got back home a little after 1:00 and I'm glad we did. The roads were becoming pretty wet and the temps were falling. I don't know if it'll get slippery soon, but I wasn't going to take a chance. I'm such a driving wimp.

Now that we're fed and back home safe, I'll work on my BOD, the embroidery piece, and maybe delve into my blocks for our scrap class coming in two weeks. I still have to do the machine quilting on the modern top I made up so I can go there too if I need more to do. Happy dance!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Minky 3, Colette 1

After constructing my BOD and ugly sweater block yesterday, I moved along to...

...the memory quilt (insert creepy da, da, da music).

First, something positive. The ugly sweater block. Apparently I was off in a previous post sighting the wrong numbers; this one was actually number 18. I doesn't seem like we've done that many.

Number 18
I went and counted them while the pic was loading, and sure enough, we've done 18 so far.

So, here's a pic of my attempt at trying to get the Minky onto the bars of the long arm. Pretty funny huh?

Getting the backing loaded
The stuff is slippery. It's flimsy. It's stretchy. It's a PITA to work with and I hope to never had to struggle with it again anytime soon.

After about a 2 hour struggle, lots of colorful words, a constant reminder to never go here again, I got the #$%^&*( thing loaded. Here's the proof.

Memory Quilt is Loaded!
I thought I would just try a few stitches before getting into the class modern sit down sewing machine piece, but after a few stitches, I decided to do a row. I was sure, with all the bulk, the slack in the backing (you can't tighten the minky like you can cotton for fear of stretching), and my lack of experience in doing this sort of thing, I'd be snapping threads like crazy.

After another few hours of quilting, I shut down the now grinding machine (I really do need to have it serviced) and headed for my quilt meeting. All in all it was a pretty productive day.