Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Little of This and A Little of That

That's what's going on at my house.

A little of . . .

getting ready to take the 5th wheel (rv) out for the first time this year. So I spent Sunday afternoon cleaning it from top to bottom. I'm not sure why but every year during the cold months, the 5th wheel is taken over by ladybugs. They get in through tiny holes and you would be vacuuming everyday or two to keep them all out. We have friends that live in this same town and they have the same problem. So I just let it go until we get ready to use it in the spring and sweep them all out at once. If anyone knows how to get rid of them, let me know. I also bring all of the dishes in the house and run them through the dishwasher.

A little bit . . .

of applique on my first "Be Attitudes" block. Progress so far.  I'm ready to do the letters.

A little of . . .

getting a second project ready to take with me this weekend. A quick bluework embroidery pillow. Pictures of that when we get back on Sunday. (If I work on it.)

A little of . . .

picking up the house so it doesn't look a mess when I get back home. Okay Craig, I am counting on you to put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher while I am gone. Actually neither of my children will be home much this weekend (working) so there shouldn't be much of a problem.

Now I'm going to do a little of  . . .

picking out clothes to take with me (chilly spell here so I have to pack warm and cool clothes because I am a wimp and always cold)

finding some DVD's and VCR tapes to take with me (it is supposed to rain). Gone with the Wind and Scarlett will last me a good 6-8 hours

picking out some books to take (and my kindle) Becca gave me a James Patterson book to read that is supposed to be real good (Witch and Wizard)

making a note to buy a couple new quilting magazines to read as I relax around the campfire.

What a life!!!!

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Be Attitudes" Update

I mentioned that we may be spending a few days at the local corp of engineer park. It is always very relaxing but it doesn't have internet connection and cell phone service can sometimes be iffy. So when we go,  I take books and magazines. If we are going to stay for several days, I will take my sewing machine also.

This time, we will only be there for 2 or 3 days. (Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon.) I have decided to do the applique on the "Be Attitudes" quilt by hand and take it to work on while I sit around the camp fire with friends. But, since I have never hand appliqued before, I decided to start on the first block while at home. (Sure don't won't to forget something I might need.) I have been working on it the past 2 evenings and have finished the snowman. The words are fused down and ready to be stitched.

Not perfect, but not a bad start.

My fingers are a little sore. I'm going to have to dig out a thimble. If I do this very often, I may have to get me a pretty new thimble like Karen got at the quilt show.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What? Christmas in April!

How many of you get started on something, tire of it, and put it down? Or get an urge to start a new project when you already have 3 or 4 going? Or see something you just have to make and stop everything to make it?

I do all of these all of the time. Yesterday evening, I was home alone and had plenty of time to get a lot of sewing done. But . . .  I couldn't decide which project to work on. So, I started another. I cruised the Moda Bake Shop Recipes and saw this stocking that I realy liked. Then my box of holiday fabrics started calling me and I dug through them and found these blocks already completed, strips of fabrics cut, and 2 1/2 inch squares. There was the starting of a Christmas stocking.

I was going to do a tutorial for those of you participating in "Christmas Projects 2010" but decided it was easier to follow the Moda Bake Shop Recipe. So I just posted pictures of how I made the front and back of the stocking. 

 Perfect for using as the front of a stocking. So I made 2 more of these blocks and sewed all 6 together.

I decided I wanted my stocking quilted so I put a piece of batting under it and stitched in the ditch. I used a stocking pattern that I had drawn and cut out before Christmas.

I chose my the fabric for the back of the stocking and meandered on it.

The only problem I had with quilting both the front and the back was the thickness at the top of the stocking when I added my cuff.

And here's the finished stocking. Can't wait to make the next one. It's going to be "strippy".

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Slow Progress

Instead of the lazy days of summer, I have the lazy days of spring. Last night I walked my two miles and then planted 6 patio pots with beautiful, colorful flowers to spread around the patio. That is, after I hose away all of the pollen this weekend.

I have 4 blocks for my "Be Attitudes" quilt made. I think I'm going to get the applique cut out and ready to iron also. That way, if I want to stitch the applique while I am camping (next weekend) the blocks will be ready.

I also have 11 blocks made for Becca's quilt now. so, I have accomplished a little bit this week.

The blocks won't go together like this. I still need the outside border pieced on each block. They are just put up on my design wall in the order I got finished with them. You can see my pink wall hanging still waiting to be quilted. I find that I am a jumpy quilter. I jump from project to project and back again. HeHe. I guess I get bored with one thing and want a change of scenery.

I also have this quilt top that needs borders. It needs to be finished so I can put it on the bed in the guest bedroom. I was planning to add two plain borders but I may decide to add a narrow plain border and then a pieced border. We'll see. I have lots to do so. . . goodnight.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be Attitudes Quilt

I decided to go ahead and sew the blocks together for my "Be Attitudes" quilt while I picked out the fabric. I have also decided to hand applique the blocks (of course, I may change my mind) so I don't have to cart the sewing machine with me when I am only camping for a couple of days. We plan to go next weekend and some friends are also going to be there. Doing the applique by hand, I can sit outside and visit with friends while I stitch away.

I have 4 blocks sewn together and the fabric for the applique blocks is tucked away in ziploc bags.

The colors are way off on the picture above. I guess it was the angle. The top fabric is a shade of green. There really is a contrast between it and the middle blue fabric. I'm just too lazy to take another picture.

I tried to get a picture of them all together but they are laying on my table and I couldn't get far enough away. I guess its time to finish the projects on my design wall so I can use it when I need it. Taking pictures of the design wall is much easier.

It's getting late.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Funny How Things Happen

A month or so ago, I went to Mama's Log House Quilt Shop in Huntington, Ar. I blogged about it here. I purchased the "Be Attitudes" Quilt Pattern book by Nancy Halvorsen.  I also purchased 3 bundles of fat quarters that looked like would be a good fit for this quilt.

With the beautiful sunshine we have been having (until today--it's very cool and rainy now), I am itching to get away for a few days at the local lake. So I decided that I would get a project ready to take with me.

I have read on several blogs about how they packaged up projects to take on trips or quilting retreats. I decided to bag up a couple of blocks for the "Be Attitudes" Quilt.

I spread out the new fat quarters I purchased last month and a whole lot more and set to work choosing fabrics.

After I chose the fabrics for the first block, I decided to go ahead and cut the fabric into the sizes I needed for the block. As I was cutting the fabric, I looked down at the selvage edge and guess who the designer was for one of the bundles.

Yep, Nancy Halvorsen. No wonder I thought they would be great for this quilt. Coincidence? Fate? Luck? Nope, just beautiful fabric calling my name.

Well, I have one block in a kit, now I'm going to sit down and do a couple more while I watch "Army Wives". If I wouldn't play around with the fabric so much, I would get a lot more accomplished.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wall Hanging Flimsy

I finished the wall hanging flimsy on Thursday evening. I look forward to quilting it. That may be what I do Saturday afternoon after I clean the house.

Then, I will want to hang it. But, I am going to make myself wait until I get the pool table out of my sewing room.  Then I can decide where my design wall and tall shelves will go. That will help me determine where to hang it.  I can't wait to get the room cleaned and organized. I have too much stuff in there and do not have room to get around effectively. But, I will get around to it soon. The pool table is going with my daughter at the end of May. Then I will get busy.

Sorry, if this doesn't make sense. It is 11:23 p.m. and I am nodding off as I type.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Amazed

I find it amazing that I can walk briskly for 3 miles and feel invigorated but pace for two hours in a classroom and be weary and tired. We are doing state testing this week and are required to walk the classroom making sure the students are in the correct spot in the testing book, etc. while they are testing. We test for an hour or so and then take a 15 minute break and then test for another hour. So for two hours, I am pacing up and down the rows of students. At the end of the two hours, I feel totally worn out.

I gave the two pillows and table topper from yesterday's post to Kelsey. She is moving from her apartment to her grandma's house this summer and living there while attending college next year. So since she will have 70's red carpet in the living room, she has decided to decorate with red and black. Hence, the red and black pillows. I think she is going to put the table topper on her dining room table, but she could change her mind and use it as a wall hanging.

Tonight I worked on the pink heart embroidery piece that will be a wall hanging for my sewing room. I am using the same pattern as the blue one I gave to Kelsey.

Funny, until very recently, I didn't really like pink. Now all of the sudden I have decided I do. But you can see the green/blue color of the walls of my sewing room. Pink looks great with it.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Productive Evening

Last night I relaxed walking three miles and then sitting around reading blogs. Tonight I came home from work and headed straight to the sewing room. And this is what I accomplished . . .

One pillow finished  . . .

Another pillow finished . . .

Then I worked on this finished this . . .

I had all of the table topper completed except the quilting around the center hearts. This is the first time I have tried echoing so its not the greatest. I also needed to complete the binding. I did it all by machine so it was quick.

Now it's time to wind down, read a few blogs, and say "Good Night and God Bless."

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Snip on over to Judy L's @ Patchwork Times blog to see what's happening in the quilting world.

Let's see. I completed 2 more blocks for Becca's Quilt "Cotton Candy Squares" from Judy's Weekend Quilts.

The red/black hearts block will be made into a pillow. The pink hearts square is the middle of a wall hanging for my studio.

Can't wait to see what everyone else is up to.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Finally Finished

Since I am a fairly new quilter, I often learn valuable lessons on each quilt I finish. This one is no exception.

This quilt has been the hardest quilt that I have ever made. It has nothing to do with the pattern. I designed the pattern and it is very easy. The hard part came when I got to the quilting. It took me until I was almost finished to figure out why I was having so many problems deciding what to quilt.

You see, I read a lot of blogs and see hundreds of great ideas for quilting, sewing, etc. and want to try them all. (I have never been diagnosed with ADHD, but when it comes to quilting, I definitely have it. lol Don't we all?) So, as I was deciding what to, I was thinking about what everyone else would quilt instead of just using my gut instincts.

So, what did I learn from making this quilt. Basically, to follow my instincts and quilt what and how I want on any quilts that I make. Oh, I got some great suggestions along the way and I will continue to ask for advice. In fact, I used the advice from a reader to use cross-hatching in the white parts. It was also comments and an email from a couple of readers that made me realize that I needed to quilt for myself.

Oops. I still have some threads to snip and a couple of purple disappearing ink pen stains to get off. (I hope.)

So thanks CJ, Karen, and Anne for your emails and comments. They helped me a lot.

By the way, CJ and Karen, we really need to get together for dinner one evening.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Back to the Baby Quilt

I sat for the last 3 nights not doing any sewing because I couldn't figure out how to quilt this baby quilt. I was torn between doing lots of freehand or just stitch in the ditch. I know that freehand and lots of quilting can make a quilt, but I also know that less quilting usually makes a quilt that is much softer.

So, I looked at it, walked away, looked at it, walked away---way too many times. Then I remembered the first time I stippled a whole baby quilt. My son said, "Mom, you need to wash that quilt to make it softer." So, I washed it a couple of times and it still wasn't that soft. (I know part of it was the batting that I used.) But, this weighed on my mind. I also wasn't sure if the mother would hang it on the wall or use it daily. So, when I got up this morning and looked at it, I thought I would do a mixture of light quilting and heavy quilting.

Here is where I am now. I still have quite a way to go. I have used stencils for part of the quilt and free hand for part of it.

I am still undecided how to quilt in the white areas around the words. I am thinking maybe "pebbles". What do you think? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lazy, Lazy, Lazy

For some reason I just can't seem to get motivated to get back in the sewing room. Then I looked and realized that I haven't been motivated to blog either. Writer's block? Sewer's block?

Our big state tests for 3rd grade and up are next week. So getting the students ready and myself ready is pretty tiring. I have decided that I have taught them all year and now it's up to them to take what they have learned and do their best.

So I find myself back on the couch again tonight reading all of the great sewing and quilting blogs out there, plus already researching ideas for the next school year.

But tomorrow is Friday. I'll be home alone and the sewing room will be calling. Now, if only I had my invisible pens so I could mark that baby quilt. I may just change my mind and free motion all of it without a pattern.

I think my real problem is that when I sit down to sew, I want hours and hours of time to sew. During the week if I spend hours and hours at a time quilting in the evening, I am up way toooooo late.

So I'm sure to have updates this weekend.

Happy snipping, stitching and quilting!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby Quilt Update

I started quilting the blue baby quilt last night. I stitched in the ditch and then started adding some free motion quilting.

I quilted two of these motifs in the area around the baby's name and then it was after 10 so I decided to quit for the night. Tonight I got started again and was going to transfer the next two designs but my disappearing ink pen disappeared before I could even transfer the design onto the fabric. So I guess it is a trip to Walmart tomorrow. I sure hope they still carry them.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

$4 Spent and A Happier Me

My sewing machine table is a Wal-mart cabinet that I purchased over 10 years ago for around $45.00. It is just a cabinet with no hole cut out for the machine. During the past couple of years, as I began sewing a lot more, I felt something was just not right. I then realized I grew up quilting with the machine sitting inside the cabinet. I then realized that the machine sitting on top of the cabinet was too high for vertically challenged me. So I had added stress to my shoulders and arms from reaching and sitting at an uncomfortable angle.

So I had my husband measure my machine and cut out a hole for it to sit in and mounted a board for the machine to sit on. (The extra boards are because the bed on my two machines are different heights so I have to add or take away boards depending which one I have in the cabinet.)

Then I had the problem of the edges not being lined up exactly and being a little rough, even though we sanded and sanded. I was reading on someone's blog that instead of purchasing the "Supreme Slider"  they tried the clear vinyl found at Wal-mart in the fabric department. I thought, "Hey, I bet I can use that to help my quilts slide easier over the hole cut out and also onto the table I always set up behind my sewing cabinet so the quilts don't pull.

So this weekend, I purchased a yard of the thick, clear vinyl to give it a try. I cut a hole out large enough to fit around the feed dogs because I do still "stitch in the ditch".

Then I taped a part of the edge to the edge of my cabinet in front where I sit and went to work.

I am happy to say that the quilt slides over the vinyl much smoother. If I find it doesn't slide easily over the feed dog area when I free motion quilt, I will cut a smaller needle hole on the other end of the vinyl and turn it around when free motion quilting.

Not bad for less than $4.  Oh, the things that make us quilters happy.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Edited to Add:  Well, I tried free motion quilting and it seems to stick a little bit. I may have to get the Supreme Slider to put over the vinyl. Has anyone tried this product?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Productive Day

I took my computer in to see why I couldn't get my embroidery files to save on my memory card. The girl at the shop didn't have any idea. She has a 64 mb card at the shop for sale so we tried it and it worked. She said she has used a 2 gb before so maybe that is the largest I can use.

My husband took the 4 gb card and formatted it and it still would not work. I am going to put a question in on the Janome website and see if the size is the problem or if it might be something else.

Craig was at school and work all day, Kelsey left to go to work at 3, and Larry left to go to work at 2:30 so the house was totally quiet all afternoon and evening. I worked on stitching out the embroidery for the blue baby quilt. I got it all embroidered and even have most of the borders sewed on.

I used my Janome 1600P DB machine for piecing this quilt and do not have a 1/4 inch foot. I can really tell the difference and will be ordering one soon.

Is anyone out there having problem with their return (enter) key on their computers when in blogger? About a month, ago my computer started messing up when hitting the return key to start a new paragraph. When I hit the return key, the cursor will often stay where it is or go back to the beginning of the paragraph I am working on. I then have to use the arrow keys or the mouse to get the cursor where I want it.  I do not have this problem in Microsoft Word.

Well, it is Saturday morning. I just finished watching the Fons and Porter quilting show. I am going to grab a peanut butter bagel with my cup of coffee, have a glass or orange juice, and hit the sewing room. No one will be home with me again today until after Kelsey gets off sometimes after 1 p.m. Then she'll be in and out. So I'll be able to sew all day again. An afternoon walk and church services tonight. What a wonderful, relaxing day.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I really love to get new "toys" and new software programs, like EQ6, and now the digitizer for my embroidery machine.

Except . . .

I am very impatient when it comes to learning how to use them to their fullest and my best advantage. I want to sit down and be able to do everything immediately and it doesn't always work that way.

Wednesday night, I spent 3 to 4 hours trying to figure out how to save an embroidery design to my adapter card so I could insert it in my machine to stitch it out. For some reason the software doesn't want to write to my memory card adapter.  I know the card is not bad because I was able to save a word document on it.

So, I guess I'll call m dealer to see if I can come in on Friday or Saturday for another lesson. This time I will take my laptop and machine and the memory card with me so they can look at it and see if it is user error (which I believe it probably is) or if there is something wrong with the software.

Well, tonight I put the 1gb memory card (that I received free designs on) in and it worked. So I know the software is not recognizing my memory card. After searching the Janome forum, I found that my 4gb memory card is too large and I need to get a 1 gb. Of course, no store in my town sells them.

Oh, the perils of living in a small, small town.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.


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