Think about this.....

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lotsa, Lotsa

Yesterday I spent the day pressing customer quilt tops and backings preparing them for a week-long marathon of quilting next week. I need to get some of these done before leaving for camp.

Interesting situation with this top. Look at this border.

The center section of the top is laying flat...the borders are not
Another visual
The two end seams are lined up on either side of the quilt top and this is how much the border is ruffling.

I had to contact the customer and give her some options on how this can be fixed. She opted for me to take tucks into it while I was doing the quilting to ease in the 2 1/4" it's over. I was really hoping she'd let me take the borders off and reset them, but this was an added expense she didn't want.

After I did all my pressing, there were only a few hours left in the day so I started another very small project from Professor Pincushion. Tova is a great teacher and I've been wanting to make a new wallet for some time now. She has a wonderful tutorial on how to do this and although it isn't finished, it's looking pretty good so far.

Today I have class (Stitcher's Garden II). Toni is meeting me there to pick up/drop off another quilt. I have to stop by The Hen House afterwards to get a few items (my fat quarter winnings from RxR for one) and a few patterns she has hidden away for me. Guild tonight after the HH visit for a make and take by my good friend Carol R. before I make it back home.

I'm picking up Caleb tomorrow morning and we are doing sweet corn this weekend, which means probably not much will happen out here (either electronically or in the studio) until Monday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This looks familiar

The offshoot project I've been working on outside of my studio has finally become a reality. I know this is a quilting diary, but a big part of my life is my love for the color yellow. You can almost always find some kind of yellow in my quilts. It's a happy color and seems to brighten up whatever it touches.

When I gave my yellow truck to my eldest son (a promise made to him 17 years ago) for acquiring his PhD, it was a regret-filled moment last October the minute I handed him the title and the keys. I couldn't even look at the truck when we'd go down to visit them in Ohio. I was sad. Very, very sad. But I had to keep my promise to my son and that outweighed my sadness.

However, I'm a person of solutions. Where there's a will, there's a way is my way of thinking. The word "can't" does NOT exist in my vocabulary.

Meet Sherman!

17 Years Later...
Yep, that's our white Patriot (Ghost) there in the background, and we still have him, but Sherman has joined our family now as well.  He's a 2009 Dakota with an 8-cylinder instead of a 6 like the other Dakota. And, he's an automatic unlike the other truck, which was a five speed stick. There are other differences between him and the older yellow truck, but there are a lot of similarities as well.

It's good to be driving a yellow truck again. It makes me happy to look over the yellow hood and it keeps a permanent smile on my face. I'm sure people that go by me wonder just what it is I'm smiling about all the time.

Quilting projects were slacking due to this other little endeavor, but now that he's safely home and we've got that side of things done, I'll be getting back into my quilting groove toot sweet. :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Two Directions (or more)

I feel like I've been heading in two directions of late. I have a new non-quilting project I've been working on but can't reveal until later today and then there's the studio work. I've been working in several directions in here to include:

Small project Sunday took up residence once again. This is for my iPad Pro (Kipp).

Kipp has a new outfit
My BOD's for the past week...

July 20-26
And I finished Toni's quilt. This is what I ended up free motion quilting into it.

A Kaffe Quilt
Toni is pretty specific about what she wants and this lends itself to what Kaffe includes into his fabrics (lots of large florals).

DW wasn't behaving yesterday while I was quilting. Skipping stitches big time. I had to call Gall to get Mike's take on what was happening and it seems all the new "guts" DW has received requires him to have the needle position a little different then what I'm used to. It needs to be set at about 6:32 instead of a straight 6:30 (or even a little less) from previous.

The zebra (we all know what it is now) is nearly interfaced. I have three small sections left in the last large section to go and then we can take it up to camp next weekend.

I won't have a full day in here once again because of the alternate project I was talking about earlier in the post. My goal is to finish the zebra and get my BOD done...that's about all the time I'll actually have to work so I better get at it.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Conundrum

What happens when you skip a column while trying to make sure all these two inch squares line up correctly to make a design?

And, you didn't notice you skipped that column until you were nearly finished with the whole section you were working on? Well, you make a single column, place it where it needs to go with a pin, and when you start putting in the seams, you make sure it's included where it belongs.

At least, that's about all I came up with anyway.

Will work on the Zebra more today. We have thunderstorms this morning so I don't want to fire up DW until they pass later today (hopefully), and this needs to be done anyway so I might as well just continue on while I have all the stuff laid out on my pressing/planning table.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quiet Day

I didn't work on my "mystery" quilt at all yesterday, but did insert the five blocks I was missing from the previous day. Can you see it better now? Is it starting to look like something you recognize?

There are still three more rows to add and I have less then 12 days to do that in. I'll need to focus on this next week to make sure it's ready to head to quilt camp.

I did get this Kaffe Fasset top loaded for a customer.

Toni's Kaffe blocks
Since the print is so busy there won't be much detail inserted into the would just get lost. Toni sides more towards open quilting anyway and what I have in mind will work out well.

I did have [another] quilt block sent to me to test for Quiltmaker yesterday. It's paper pieced and I started on that before we had to head over to moms. 

She's purchasing a condominium in Charlotte (a recent development on her part), and she's kind of freaking out about all she has to do on the farm to prepare for her move. We'll be helping with that over the next three to six months.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

At Their Mercy

After I finished my BOD yesterday morning, it was clear we were in for some bad weather...and Consumers Energy hadn't yet shown up to change out that meter. I didn't want to start anything on the long arm because of these two factors so I worked more on my "Mystery" project throughout the day.

After I ran out of one of my fabrics, and decided I needed to run in to get more, I took the paint chip challenge off the long arm and began inspecting and trimming it. It looks like I had only one little loop occur and nothing more. I took another look at it this morning and can't seem to find any additional blips. I think maybe DW is settling back in quite nicely.

Since Consumers didn't show up yesterday, they may yet today. They are very evasive about the time and this is definitely a concern when it comes to DW. I don't want to put a customer quilt on and then have them shut off all my electricity. I supposed I'm going to have to be flexible about this and do some careful planning on who/what quilt I load next.

No pics today since I don't want to post my challenge piece. It's not entirely done anyway since I've yet to add the binding. Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

We've Seen This Before

It was time to "belly up to the trough" with the long arm. I started working on finding a backing fabric for my paint chip challenge. I thought this would be a good project to test how DW was going to behave and found just enough of this to put on the back.

From the Kaleidoscope quilt
I had to piece the bugger together to make enough of it, but thought it appropriate since I used it for another guild activity we did a few years back.

I also had to piece the batting sections together and then we were off and running. DW sounds pretty good actually. Once in a while (very infrequently), I'll get a quick 'chirp' sound from below, but he seems to be stitching well with only one little thread loop; at least that's all I noticed.

I was having such a good time and forgot just how much I enjoy sitting in front of a blank canvas to create stitching that enhances the piecing I've done.

A little "test" section
I was going to work the computer on this piece, but decided to free motion the whole thing. After working with the test piece I loaded the whole quilt and finished it the same day.

Since I got this done so quickly, I moved along to my big "mystery" project and got another row done before shutting down the studio for the day.

Starting to look like something
Consumers Energy is supposed to be here today or tomorrow to change our meter to a digital version. They asked that all electronic things not be used and this includes most of what I do here in the studio. I need to press and cut more blocks out for the project above so when they do show up, I can just work on the manual portion of this very arduous project. I guess the job will only take then a few hours, so I can get a good amount done while they are here working.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I'm Afraid!

I'm not afraid of much; heights don't bother me. Snakes are mouse eradicators. Spiders catch flies and mosquitoes. But I'm afraid to get back on the long arm.

Not because I feel like I've lost a little, or maybe even more then a little, of my skills, but because I'm afraid of how DW is going to behave. I just don't want to have to tear everything down and return him back to the dealer.

But here he is. Patiently waiting for me to stick something on him to make him work.

Patiently waiting.
Lily seems glad he's back. She's checking everything out this morning to make sure he's still here and is waiting for me to do something with him as well.

We didn't get to set him right in as soon as Jim arrived back home though. Mom came by during our brief lunch period and told us she put an offer in on a condo. She was so excited and I didn't even mention that the long arm was back (it was still in the Jeep at the time).

When we made motions towards the garage to get the carpet to go under his back feet, and when she peeked into the studio and saw it in "moving" mode, she realized he was back and we needed to get to it. We texted her again a couple of times during the evening to restate our excitement for her new potential purchase and that we were here for her for whatever she needs. I think she felt bad for interrupting. No. No! NO!

Anyway, something will be on here before the days end. I don't know what, but something.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Hello Honey. I'm Home."

This is why I'm blogging later then usual. I just went and picked him up and he sure sounds different. Much better then he did when he first left over six weeks ago. Now all I need is a big strong person to get him from the back of my Jeep into the house.

I want to come into the house!
Until Jim arrives back from work, I'm kinda stuck.

Yesterday I occupied my day with:

July 13-19

For the Orlando cause
Charity quilts.

What the heck?
And a mystery project.'s a mystery until I divulge the secret when people ask. If you take a close look, there is a slight separation about half-way through. Those are two different sections. I need to make 7 sections total. It took me all day to do those two, but it's going to be sooooooo cool when I get it done!

I think Cathy and I are aiming at working on these up at camp in a few weeks, so even though DW is here and will be able to stitch probably even later this evening, I have to keep at this each day to make sure I'm ready. We certainly don't have the room at Higgins Lake to spread something so huge out and be able to work on.

I want to test drive DW with something out of my stash rather then risking a customer quilt, so I'll load something up from here first to check his behavior. In the meantime, I'll just keep piecing.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Variety

This is what I've been up to in the past few days.

Nine More
Mom came for a visit yesterday and I put her and Jim to work. We'll deliver these later today.

A quilting fix
Dolly quilt for the upcoming holiday season for the firefighters. This worked to satisfy a little of missing my quilting.

After this, I moved along to this little quilt too. I grabbed mom and her expertise for color placement.

For the Orlando Victims
I'll put this together later today. I have a few things in front of it before I get to it.

Had a call from a quilting customer today wondering where her quilt was. I had to tell her about DW's current status (still in Utah) and she was very understanding. Thankfully!

On to my (very warm) day. Apparently we are supposed to have some higher temps and possible thunderstorms coming later. I need to take advantage of the cool house before the sun heats it up too much.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

All Okay

My flash and smash went, well, smashing. They called later yesterday to let me know everything was all okay.

After all of that 'fun', I stopped by The Hen House to check in and see if I had picked up my July Amish with a Twist BOM. No, I hadn't.

I tackled that after my BOD and here's the July block.

July Amish with a Twist block
I wasn't really in a quilt-y mood yesterday evening (?????) and started the guild newsletter instead. After I got as much done on that as I wanted to (changing headers/footers, dates, etc.) I was in a rather tech-y mood and decided to learn my new spreadsheet program on Kipp. I started with the BOD sheets I've been using to keep track of the block names and numbers.

After familiarizing myself with a simple spreadsheet, I moved on to a little more complex format by recreating my long arm log.

I keep a log of every (and I mean every single one) quilt I've ever done on the long arm since I've had it. What's really shocking is that I haven't done a quilt since June 1st of this year. I make notes on the log too when DW has to go into the shop or when I have extended activities keeping me away. This is the longest we've been apart since he came home a little over two years ago. I miss him!

While we're on that subject, as of yesterday he's still in Utah, and now he's skipping stitches. JP (the tech working on him) is stumped. He won't send it back until they get it perfect and he has to run some more diagnostics/fixes on him before even thinking about getting him home. Maybe today he'll be shipped?

Stitchers Garden class early afternoon. I'm stopping by the fair to snap pics of all our guild winners. The guild picnic is right after that, so not much will be accomplished in here today. It's just as well. I'm still not feeling very quilt-y. Maybe it's separation anxiety?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Back in the Groove

I guess this Stella has her groove back. Here's what I did all of yesterday.

Next Border Attached
It took all day to get all of these on, but don't they look wonderful?

I have a flash and smash scheduled for this morning. Once I get home I'll complete my BOD and then I have to get ready for class well as the guild picnic. I'm supposed to be bringing a side dish, but I haven't a clue what that side dish will be. It's a mystery.

I know this coming weekend is sew-in and so I'll have to take a look at my WIP shelves and see what I want to tackle for that.

Other then that, I haven't a clue where I'll head. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Week? Really?

It's been a week since my last post. Not. Cool.

But I'm back, for a bit anyways. What's been happening is virtually nothing because of the reunion, which is why I haven't been out here.

Yesterday was catch-up day. While we were up north enduring the rain, hail, wind, heat, bugs, dirt, and family, our next set of blocks in the next border were posted (of course it was) to complete. But first I had to make the five blocks I was behind on.

July 6-12
Obviously, only one of these was needed for that next border. Apparently we've moved back into 3 1/2" blocks. And, as of yesterday, we are now at exactly 5,000 pieces.

It took all afternoon to complete these (I was on the phone the whole time while trying to accomplish this task), and in the early evening, moved on to setting the 6 1/2" blocks in some sort of nice order. Here's what I came up with.

A lot of work in here!
I may or may not tackle getting this together today. We'll have to wait and see.

We received some DW news while we were up north. Apparently his handles were misplaced after arriving in Utah and JP (the guy working on DW) was so not happy about this situation. He was coming in on Saturday to finish DW up and get him shipped out either Saturday (yet) or first thing Monday morning. DW should be back by Thursday. Handi Quilter is eating the rush shipping to get him back to me because they feel they've had him way too long. Yeah!

But with all good news, there is some not so good news. I guess we are to receive one of those digital electric meters from Consumers Energy. They ask that nothing of importance be on while they install the meters. That's scheduled for sometime in the next few weeks. Of course, it'll be next Monday when I want to start rocking on these quilt tops I'm behind on because the notice came in last weeks mail while we were away.

Still trying to get our feet back on the ground around here from the weekend. We lose a lot of sleep up there and we aren't 21 anymore, so it takes a little bit out of us. Jim is fighting the heat, and I'm fighting with the laundry. We're both fighting with the brain fuzzies from all we have to do. Next year, we're taking mom's camper rather then trying to tent it. No. Questions. Asked!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Little Something

While Jim's nephew was taking a nap/reading yesterday afternoon, I was able to do a little something in here.

Here's the past weeks BOD's.

June 29-July 5
For some reason, our BOD sponsor has thrown in a few 3 1/2" blocks with our usual 6 1/2" blocks.

I finished WIP #4. This is a quilt-as-you-go quilt and will probably be donated to charity. I don't like how it came out, but it's done nonetheless.

Quilt as you go
We are running errands today for the reunion. Day one of two we'll have to get items for our weekend. I'm not sure if any other time (other then BOD work) will happen later so we'll leave today open for goals.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Fireworks and bright lights lite our sky; a perfect choreograph with the fireflies we watched dancing over the hayfields last night.

While the family was here visiting (we still have one here), I was actually able to work on a little project for Jim's cousin, who just opened a farm market stand somewhere in remote up-north.

For Bill's Farm Market Stand
While the family took naps to catch up on their weary travels, I perused my new Block magazine and found this pattern to make for him. It went together quickly and I think he'll be pleasantly surprised.

It's reunion week. The trailer arrived yesterday and now we start sorting, repacking, loading, and other getting-ready-to-go chores for next weekend. I think we're leaving on Thursday morning this year instead of the usual Friday. I probably won't be at guild this week. Sad face! It's all weather dependent.

I'll continue to sneak in here to work on my fourth WIP started last week. Hopefully, if the quilt fairies are with me, I'll be able to get it done before we actually leave out in a few days.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Cutting Through the WIP's

WIP's = Works in Progress.

Here's the first on the list:

Art Piece
This was a something-or-another Dale taught us a while back.

Here's #2:

Dolly bed and pillow
Number three didn't want to download from the phone. Stubborn. Let's see if I can find a pseudo pic of it.

Here it is
I got this quilted and  bound up and ready for the holidays.

Number four was started but not yet finished.

Meanwhile, I have family hanging all weekend and studio work probably won't happen much. Perhaps it may be a few days before I get to update again. Ciao!