Think about this.....

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weird!

All my computers and devices seem to be cursed. My Mac is having photo and blog issues. My phone is heating up when charging and then is not taking a good charge once it is charged. My iPad is having swipe problems. About the only thing working well is my new iPad Pro...which is how I'm blogging this morning.   

Here are last weeks BOD's.  
May 25-31
The rest of yesterday was spent doing long arm duties. I am trying to get Ethel's quilt done. I had a customer stop by and drop off a I-need-it-yesterday t-shirt quilt for an open house this upcoming weekend, and DW is still having wretched noise issues, but he keeps on quilting along so we'll just keep plugging away.

I did work on my paint chip challenge while DW was quilting along yesterday, so that's something I guess.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Getting a Late Start

Had to meet family in Lansing for Caleb's birthday celebration. I'm just now getting started in the studio...meaning I won't get much done since it's so late in the day.

Yesterday, while preparing another quilt to get loaded onto the frame for a customer, I encountered this:

Hmm???
This is the background fabric and it's right in the center of the piece. I tied a knot and secured it into the backside to make sure it didn't turn into something more later on. It's a nasty snag in case you couldn't see it clearly enough.

This is what DW is wearing now:

Ethel's ThimbleberriesI 
This quilt will take a while to do since I'm putting a lot of work into each of those borders.

After working on this for some time, I moved to the medallion piece to get it all together. It will hang out until we get all the 6 1/2" blocks finished and that'll be a while, I'm sure.

I needed the wall empty so when I get parts of my paint chip challenge completed I can start designing where I want to place my colors.

I'll do my BOD and work on more paint chip stuff, and that's about all I'm planning on for today.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Moving and Quilting

After working on my BOD yesterday, I loaded a quilt onto DW. He had been naked long enough and he needed to get back to work.

Toni's Disappearing Four-Patch
I was having so much fun that before the night was done, I had it completely quilted. Before this was done I had to fix another one of Toni's quilts that DW did not do such a good job on. Cheap ass thread anyway. I sorted through my threads and pulled all the offenders out of my long arm thread stash. No more using that stuff!

Some of the quilt above was free motion quilted, and other parts were done with the computer. While the computer was doing its thing, I was busy trying to get the first border done on the center medallion of the BOD quilt. This is how I left it last night.

Working on the BOD quilt
Each of the ends are put together, but not attached yet to the medallion. I have to set the corners in once I decide just how off I am in getting the first two sides on. It actually looks like we might be okay, but sometimes when you get it out from under the sewing machine, things get a little weird.

Jim is actually home from work earlier then he has been the past couple of Saturdays. I'm not sure what his plans are and that will determine exactly how much time I get to spend in here. For now, I'll just keep on keeping on until he announces what we are going to do for the remainder.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Success

It's great when things work out. Class yesterday was a wonderful success in achieving a new technique for a quilt block. It was mostly math and calculations, but broken down into small steps, it all worked out well.

The trunk show didn't start out very well in that the key we needed to our meeting place was somehow overlooked. Thanks to some great thinkers and their ability to problem solve, the night then moved in a forward progression.

Mom and Jim were awesome in getting my quilts unloaded, folded and then reloaded back into the Jeep. Without them it would have been an amazingly daunting task! All the quilts are now back in their "homes" and are resting peacefully after their little field trip.

One of the questions asked last night after the "official" showing of the quilts was, "Do you really have that many quilts downstairs?". Here's a pic of some of them peeking out of their sheet on top of the pool table.

There are about 50 of my "babies" under there!
Yes, we actually do. And there are more throughout the house in every room of the house. Yep, even the bathrooms.

It was clear during the show last night that I have found my passion in life. I love working with all the colors, the cotton fabrics, the thread; nearly everything about quilting I love.

I am so thankful I have a wonderful set of friends in my guild and family in my home to share my passion with, and who accept my quirky little ways about what it is I do without too much judgement.

Today I take a breath, organize my life back into some sort of semblance, and start anew. I have four quilts hanging out waiting to get under DW, a challenge quilt to build, a block to do for the day, and a lot of Stitchers Garden homework to tackle. Hello Friday!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thinking about Change

My Mac is dying. Every day we struggle to even pull up simple things like Pandora or iPhoto. But my blog is here and doing the posts on Kipp are a little difficult. Not a lot difficult, but a little. 

There are apps specifically for blogging on my device rather then an actual computer, but this would mean having to rebuild my blog from the very bottom. I need to think about this because I have a lot of irons in the fire right now and I feel like I've invested so much into my blog already. 

Ugly Sweaters
I didn't think I would have any pics today but I figured out how to get pics from Kipp onto the Mac. Interesting process to say the least. 

Ugly Sweaters was finished around 1:00 yesterday afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon was spent sorting, folding, and loading quilts into the Jeep for my trunk show later this evening. I still have one to finish and then I can get busy loading stuff for class later today. 

I hadn't heard from Cathy at Around the Block quilt shop so I didn't think we had class this week. I received her email around 5:30 last night. I'm glad I went ahead and loaded last night and not wait until today to do so. 

The evening was spent working on my paint chip challenge and my test block for Quiltmaker. I came out of the studio around 9:30 and man was it warm in there yesterday. I think summer is here. 

P.S. Happy 22nd Birthday Caleb! Wish I could be there today with you but we'll get together this weekend! Love you bunches!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not Norm!

Where has my normal day went? I got my BOD's all caught up.
May 18-24
 I did a charity quilt.
Charity Quilt for Bill and Betsy
Unfortunately, after Jim leveled DW and resquared him, it didn't make a difference in the wretched noise DW has been making. Oddly, though, he makes it randomly. I just decided to power through with the quilt above and figured that if he decided to blow himself up, it's on somebody else's hands. It's not like I haven't told the guys at Gall about this continuation of problem. I have three other quilts sitting here waiting right now but became discouraged in DW's performance issue yesterday that I decided to move on to something else.    I started my paint chip challenge too, but today, I'm back on the road. At least later today I am. This morning I'm hanging here like normal...thank goodness. The sheets are hung out on the line, a BOD will be made, and I'll get the binding on my Ugly Sweaters so I can take it to the trunk show on Thursday. That should keep me busy enough until we have to leave later on.   

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Something

Sew-In this weekend was probably one of my least for sewing, but I did get some things accomplished. However, this wasn't accomplished until after I came home today after weeding my flower beds.
Fat-Quarter Chair Pad
This was made with the Cordoroy I found at the yard sale for a buck.  I also spent some time working on this:
Friendship Star in a Friendship Star
This is for one of our members who will be leaving us shortly. I was the "block tester" late on Thursday night. Then, again, the email coordinator after some other who-ha with the actual coordinators. Drama...yuck! It's been a long weekend already. Tomorrow we are heading back into Lansing to attend the East Lansing Arts Festival and then probably back up to the hospital to visit Hannah.   

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Unknown Day

So far my day is far from known. Jim hasn't seen our new granddaughter yet and is dying to do so. He's delivering in the Lansing area and we are going to try to get him up to the hospital to be able to at least see little Hannah Grace. But, this totally depends on his load release for tomorrow and where they have him going with that load. I may have to run in to meet up with him to get him to the hospital since parking a rig in the hospital parking ramp just doesn't work.   Meanwhile, I'll hang here until I hear anything. I'll get my morning chores done before we know anything and branch out to little projects since things are so unsettled as of yet. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Baby Day

Today is the day we welcomed Hannah Grace into our little world. 7 pounds, 7.9 oz. 20 1/4" long. She's doing well down in the NICU and for now, are just monitoring her to obtain baseline vitals. I took this along to work on today while at the hospital waiting to see the new granddaughter.
Weird Corners
Doing miters in corners is usually pretty easy for me until we come to these weird situations where the corner is greater then 90-degrees.  Except for my BOD that's pretty much about it today. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Baby Day Approaches

Our second grandchild is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning at around 8:30. I don't know how much blogging or quilting I'll be able to complete over the next few weeks since this kiddo has some physical issues we are already aware of. Parents (our son and DIL) may need some extra support and presence during this time of change. Since yesterday was a "normal" day, here are the BOD's from the previous week:
May 11-17
After working on my daily BOD, I attached the binding (finally) to Scalloped Potatoes.
Scalloped Potatoes
This is going to be an extra snugly quilt since I put wool batting inside of it.  I finished quilting Ugly Sweaters and took it off the machine. I still have to select a binding fabric for it so it's hanging out in the spare room for now. Since DW was free, I loaded up another small quilt prior to getting the two customer quilts on I have hanging around here. I wanted to get it off the pressing/planning table. This is what DW is wearing now.
Soaring Eagles
Yes, I know, I had already started quilting it. In fact, I was having so much fun with what I was putting into it, I actually completed the quilting prior to shutting down last night. It's still hanging out on the frame, but it is completely quilted and the binding is already made. I may take it up to the hospital to work on tomorrow while waiting for the baby updates.   

Today I'll attach the binding so it's ready to go should I decide to take it along. I don't generally hand-bind my quilts anymore, but I figured this would give me something to do with myself while just sitting around.  

We have a supper with the kids later tonight to celebrate their last night as "pregnant" parents. This is at their church and I guess many well wishers are expected to attend. Thus, the start of a wrinkle in my regularly scheduled programming. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Snow in May?

On our way to Lansing yesterday we found ourselves in 34 degree temps with snow falling down around us. It's mid-May. WTH?

At any case, we returned home with a bit of sunlight still present and was able to complete my daily BOD; then started a little project. I'll fit small project Sunday in there somehow I guess. I seem to be having trouble getting the pic in at the moment?!?!? I'll show it later when I actually get it finished.

Hopefully Ugly Sweaters will be completed today. I want to get the binding on Scalloped Potatoes, and then one of Susan H.'s quilts loaded. Onward, ho!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Organized Mess

I guess having everything on the pressing/planning table is a kind of a way to organize what I needed to do yesterday.

First project: BOD. Check.
Second project: Stitcher's Garden I block and homework. Check

Homework
Third project: 1 yard of corduroy fabric into a chair pad. Check
Chair Pad
This is still in the works since I don't have enough of my own fabric scraps to put into it currently...they all seem to end up in some dog bed.

Fourth project: Test block for Quiltmaker. Check.

I can't show a pic of that project because we are sworn to secrecy.

Fifth project: Get Ugly Sweaters quilted. Well, just about. I've got one border left to do.

I wanted to get the binding on my Scalloped Potatoes but that never happened. The day got away from me and that's okay.

I didn't think Jim would want to do a whole lot today since he had a really long week. But, we're headed to Lansing this morning to work on the kids' house (more bathroom renovations) to prepare for the upcoming grandchild being born on Wednesday. I won't get much done in here (again) today. Sad face!


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dude, Where's My Table?

When I blogged yesterday I forgot to mention what happened on Thursday. It's pretty cut and dry: Class, the Hen House, Guild. I didn't get my class block done; one thing to do today. The Hen House was to discuss and find a pattern for my paint chip challenge. More to come on that. Guild was a mess...won't even go there right now, but I did get two more quilts to work on for a new person: Susan N.

Yesterday, while out and about with mom during our yard sales adventures I picked up the deal of the decade. 90 yards of backing fabric (9 different colors) for $40 from the Crazy Lady on Shaw St. I also picked up a yard of light corduroy at another sale for a chair pad using fat quarters Carolyn demonstrated a few weeks back. I got that for a buck.

We wandered over to Mason mid-afternoon to pick up a pattern I was looking for at Yards of Fabric (Spartan "S" table runner) and to also check out anything of interest at Keans; mom hadn't been there since the fire. Oh, also while at YoF I picked up a jelly roll and some gradient fabric to make a 1,600 quilt like what Mary Jean showed us a few weeks back too. It was just too pretty to pass up and I love all the vibrant colors used in it.

I was going to go to an auction today, but the weather is once again ugly. With all my doings that past few days I've just been dumping my stuff on my planning/pressing table.

Half the table is occupied
I need to stay home and deal with this mess. I can only stand it so long, AND, I have another block that came in from Quiltmaker to test. It's probably good the weather is being naughty. I need to get a handle on this pile of stuff and since Jim has a long day at work it just makes it that much easier to deal with.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Yard Sales

Our community, or the one next door actually, has an annual community yard sale weekend. It started yesterday and will continue on through Saturday. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not being nice about this years event.

I'm connecting up with mom this morning to head on out. We both had class yesterday and weren't able to go, but today we hope to locate some decent finds. I, of course, am always on the lookout for quilting things. She usually has a list of some sort for things she's watching out for too.

It's supposed to get crappy again later this afternoon so I may be back at a reasonable time to be able to work in here. For now, we'll just say today is another lost studio day, but a day to make memories with a lady I love so much and so well worth the day away from quilting.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Quiet Gone Crazy

Yesterday was supposed to be a quiet day. It turned out so nuts that my BOD's from Tuesday and yesterday weren't completed until 2:30 in the afternoon. Phone calls. Visitors. And it didn't end there.

While trying to complete this flower, I received another visitor and two more phone calls.

Flower Wall Hanging
I was able to start doing some long arming around 4:30 or thereabouts. I kind of lost track of time with the interruptions. Then, I started not feeling well. Don't know if I picked something up Tuesday at class, but man, it hit me fast.

And, today I seem much better. Still not 100%, but enough to function anyway.

Class in Portland today, guild tonight. I was supposed to yard sale with mom this morning but we're going tomorrow instead since we both have our classes later today.

Toni finally called back and she's leaving for a week, so I'll get her quilt to her later on this month. I have to drop Audrey's back off to her sometime tomorrow; if I can find her at her yard sale location (some relative of some sort...a niece I think). Off I go to get something done in here before meeting Margaret in Charlotte at 12:15.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Yesterday's Class

One of the best and most fun classes was attended yesterday. This is what I walked away with when leaving after only five hours:

Flower
Clearly I still have some work to do, but what a great time!

Have much to do in here to catch up from yesterday's absence so off with myself to sew away. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fixing

Yesterdays post didn't post the pic, so I'm going to have to fix that.

Audrey left a message on my IM to let me know there was another snafu in the quilt I last did for her so I came home and fixed that. Will not be using Connecting Threads ProEssential thread anymore!

I have class all day today so there will be no more fixing but here's what I did yesterday...

Planning
 I started arranging my small BOD blocks around the center medallion.

Charity Quilt?
 I put this quilt top together and have to wait for more backing fabric.

Ugly Sweaters
This is what's on DW now.

Off to class I go!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Good Morning!

This blog is being written today on my new iPad. His name is Kipp and he's here now to eventually take over the chores of both Paddy (my iPad) and Mack (my Mac Desktop computer). I got to play with him a little bit last night after all the family finally left for their lives elsewhere and I must say, wow!

Here's my first test pic.

Notice there isn't one. Apparently I'm still not adept at getting pics in here so we'll try again Wednesday (do not have time on Tuesday to monkey around with it).

What was supposed to show were the panel fabrics I found the other day while cleaning out stuff from under DW. I've cut them apart and am now auditioning fabrics for sashing strips to go in between. I think I like this little tan print.

Getting the pic into the blog wasn't as easy as I thought, but I'm sure there's a better way. Thankfully, Apple has support and I'm signed up to attend classes to answer design/use questions whenever I feel the need.

Today I'm heading into the Hen House to get some batting for Ugly Sweaters. The Hexie girls are there and I want to visit with them, so what a better day to head in. Tomorrow I'll be gone ALL day at a class in Battle Creek and I need to get stuff around and packed for that. The class begins at 9:00 so I'll actually have to wake up to my electric chicken. Ugh! Doing so for a quilting-something though isn't so bad.

Off to make my BOD and whatever else I can get into before leaving later on.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mom's Day!

The little kid is here this morning and the middle kids are coming after church. My mom is coming over and we are going to capitalize on the beautiful spring day and have a cookout. We'll just relax and enjoy each other; maybe play some games.

After everybody leaves later this evening, I'll get my new Mother's Day present out and start setting it up: A new iPad Pro (now named Kipp). The boys were (thankfully) listening when I was stating concerns about my current iPad (Paddy) and Mac (Mack) taking a crapper. I don't know how I would stay in touch with the outside world during our long winter months without technology. Become a hermit perhaps?

I got the back loaded for Ugly Sweaters yesterday, but am in need of a correct size batt. I only have queens and kings around here, and while I could cut one of them up, would rather not do so.

Before everybody arrives today I'm going to do my BOD. That's about all I plan on completing for the day so enjoy the day all you moms out there!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May Flies

It's officially spring when the May Flies are fluttering to and fro during the evening hours. We have a plethora of them this year and the birds seem to be enjoying the feast.

While it may be spring here I'm already working on gifts for Christmas still seven months away. Here's what's on DW now.

Christmas gifts already in the works
Toni's Bow Tie quilt was completed yesterday morning.

I did some rearranging on the shelving unit below the belly bar on the long arm and came across some rogue fabric I need to do something with. I washed, dried, and pressed the fabric out and now have it sitting out for me to do something with. It'll be a charity quilt, I'm sure, since it kind of leans towards that type of thing.

I found, with the charity quilt fabric, some hefty yardage of additional fabric and am making a backing for Ugly Sweaters. I may be able to get it loaded this morning before leaving later today to meet dad and his new/old wife in Lansing for dinner. We are also picking up the little kid to come home and spend the night with us. His dog is driving us nuts with all her incessant whining.

I received another test block from Quiltmaker yesterday and am also working on that. It's another appliqué and the directions are telling us to do turn-under. Not happening in this studio. Heat n' Bond is my friend!

Off I go into the wild, yellow studio.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Paint Chip Challenge

Starting backwards with yesterday's day, I received (so excited!) a golden yellow for my draw!!!! I thought I knew what I was going to do with whatever color I received, but didn't think there was anyway in hell I would get my favorite color. Now I'm heading in another direction with my thoughts. On the way home I think I narrowed down what direction I'm going to head with this and I'm happy with my thinking yet this morning.

Prior to heading to the HH to drop off Audrey's quilt I did these two little trees for the kids for Christmas. Neither of the married couples are around to erect their own trees, so these will be a substitute for the actual tree not being in their homes.

Cute Little Christmas Tree Wall Hangings
They both also have cats, and aren't comfortable putting up a "cat gym" for the kitties to get into.

Heading in about a dozen directions today and Jim is home this morning, so that will get me off my usual organized day.

Internet issues are first. We are again having sluggish internet connectivity and he's on the phone with a tech right now, so I have to get off here to do some diagnostics with AT & T. Yippee!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Threads

Despite what I had to do yesterday morning, I was actually able to accomplish a lot in here yesterday afternoon.

First up, fix Audrey's quilt. This is what DW did to the last about foot of stitching.

Yucky Stitching
Here's what I ended up ripping out.

Throw-Up Threads
It was interesting trying to get this loaded back onto the long arm because Audrey started binding it (which is actually how she noticed the problem). The replacement stitches are not as fluid as I would have liked, but it's quilted and I'm not ripping out again!

After finagling Audrey's quilt around and getting some new stitching put into it, I moved on to my BOD. It was rather intense and took a lot longer then usual. From there I went to my Amish with a Twist blocks; 8-16 1/2" blocks are now completed.

I then created and made the binding for the Scalloped Potatoes quilt. I didn't get it attached, but at least it's made.

When I do a customer quilt, the first thing I do is press the backing and get it and the batting loaded. Then I press the top and remove any stray threads poking through to the top. This one had lots! Apparently yesterday was a "thready" kind of day.

Threads removed from Toni's quilt prior to loading onto the frame
I loaded Toni's (it's with an "I" BTW) bow tie quilt onto the frame and then by 9:00 was finally finished with all I wanted to accomplish yesterday.

Here's what DW is wearing today; Toni's Bow Ties
I think I'm going to have DW do the quilting in the bow tie quilt. The one I constructed for Ben a while back was done with an edge-to-edge and it looks really nice. I'll do something different in the border though since she has an attached flange separating the two.

Guild tonight should be interesting. A paint chip challenge is being thrown out and I'm excited to see just how that's going to work.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Nix the Morning

I have to run into Lansing again today to deliver two quilts, pick up another, head to Mason for a pattern I want to add to my library, and then back to Charlotte to fetch a quilt from Audrey that has some stitch issues in it. Morning shot.

After non-quilt items were taken care of yesterday, and after my daily BOD, I finished quilting out the Scalloped Potatoes quilt.

I'm trying to remember to insert my name and the year into each of the quilts I take off the long arm (my quilts only...not customer quilts) as my quickie way of labeling the quilt. I hate putting on labels and this is my solution.

Can you see me?
After getting that quilted, I decided to move over to do some piecing. I started the Amish with a Twist blocks for the month of May. This is how far I got before we head into town for the planning commissioner meeting (which, BTW, went until 10:30 last night).

Month #5 started-Amish with a Twist
I guess I should have cropped that pic before posting it up here. I'll work on that upon my return later today. Off I go...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Community Thing

I won't be spending much time working on quilting things this morning. I have to write a letter to the County Planning Commissioner regarding the new owners of our local camp grounds. I won't get into details here, but it'll occupy most of the morning.

Perhaps, after drafting the letter and getting Jim's approval once he returns home, I can get back to work in here for a little bit until we have to attend the hearing this evening regarding same.

Here are the past weeks BOD's.

April 27 through May 3
I got most of Scalloped Potatoes quilted yesterday. I only have two rows left and I should be able to knock that out rather quickly; hopefully right after lunch.

I picked up my Amish with a Twist BOM on Saturday when we were in picking up the batting for scalloped potatoes. I want to get that started today after everything else. We'll see.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Concentrating

I concentrated solely on completing my Ugly Sweaters top yesterday afternoon and evening. I know I probably won't get it on the long arm any time soon, but at least the top is now done.

Ugly Sweater Top Completed!
I did end up adding two additional borders onto the quilt and I'm glad I did. It made the quilt more functional in use for the future, and it kind of spiced it up a bit. I love this piece and while adding the first orange border around the edge, the kids we were skype-ing with last night said they liked it as well.

Mom is coming over after lunch today to order business cards for an art exhibit she has coming up in June. I'll have to diligently work in here this morning to get at least my BOD done and perhaps a little long-arming as well.

I'm not entirely happy with the noises DW is making (again). I wanted to take the head and a quilt with me to Gall to show them exactly what was going on, but this probably won't happen until next Monday (I need Jim to help me load the machine before he heads off to work). Of course, the noise never occurs when the guys are working on the machine so it's up to me to make it happen; you know, the "when you want something done right (or wrong in this case), ya gotta do it yourself" thing.

Off I go to sew, sew, sew.

P.S. It's nice ironing with an iron that has steam again (I'm not using our water this time. I am using spring water instead. We'll see if this works better).

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Resources

Resources today are much better then even 20 years ago. After consulting my books, some Pinterest pics, and a few other sites online, I was able to come up with a pleasing quilting motif to put into Tony's last quilt. I finished mid-afternoon.

I found, pieced, and started pressing my new backing for the Scalloped Potatoes quilt only to discover my Rowenta iron wasn't heating up. Well, it heats up, but barely. So much for staying home yesterday.

We headed into town to pick up a new iron, batting for the scalloped potatoes, some fat quarters for a class I'm taking with Mary Jean, and some groceries.

Here's my new addition.

New Iron
I got smart about this one; I purchased the extended warranty for a mere $3 which is good for two years. Ha! They'll be seeing me about every 4-6 months.

My new iron works well (so far) and this is what's on DW now.

Scalloped Potatoes finally on the frame
I didn't start stitching this out yet. I'm trying to decide what exactly I want to do in that wild border.

After getting the quilt loaded, I started arranging the Ugly Sweater blocks into somewhat of a pleasing manner. How about this?

Ugly Sweater layout
These are do darn cute! The original design only calls for a 1 1/2" border all around, but I may extend it out a few borders. I'll wait and see when I get the sashing strips in and the first borders added.

Jim and I have no plans to leave the house today. Of course, we didn't yesterday either. It's Sunday and a small project should be in order, but I think I'll just continue on as I have been since it seems to be working for me at the moment.