Think about this.....

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Feeling Great!

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Is it Spring?

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

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

Last weeks BODs.

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

So, this is what DW is now sporting today.

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

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Real Quick

Just checking in real quick before heading off to work.

Here are last weeks BODs.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

Work, be Damned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 18, 2016

Poll

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

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

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hunting Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Conference Call

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

Here are last weeks BOD's:

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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Another Day Off

Yesterday was productive. Well, sort of.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sa-tur-day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 11, 2016

Life

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

The bad news:

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

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

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

The good news:

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Presidential Election

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

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

Yesterday was another story. Here are last weeks BODs.

November 2-8
Here is what DW is wearing.



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



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

Monday, November 7, 2016

Glorious Day

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

This is what our fall has been like:

From the harbor

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

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

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Naughty Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Savoring

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Whoops

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sad News

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

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

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

Okay...enough negativity.

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

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

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