Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cabin in the Cotton

Vol. 2: Third project is finally underway. Life has gotten back to a more predictable flow and I found myself in the quilting room 5 days this week!   I made 18 of these 7x7 squares. All different, since the project is supposed to be scrappy style.
 The fabric is a 1930's reproduction fabric, which happens to be my Favorite theme of fabric, and I have been collection lots of 1930's. I was not so sure about this project and using my collection, so I bought a strip set just for this project. They are more bright than the ones I already owned, but were nice for this project quilt.

Log Cabin squares are not that difficult, and we have done one other in the first volume, the Patriotic Log Cabin as show here.

The difference this time is a smaller grid, we use only 1" grid, and the center blocks are same size as the rest of the grid.  We are also setting the squares on diagonal point, and will be learning sashing.
Here are the 18 completed squares and aligned on the design board ready for the setting mini blocks that will also be log cabin, 1/2" grid.

 It sure felt good to be quilting again, but summer quilting upstairs on the sun facing side of the house is WARM.  Lemonade, good music, and quilting is a good day though.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Other Things Besides Quilting in Life!

What?? Is it possible? Other things besides Quilting the day long?

I took a break last fall and fell in love with walking the trails in our foothills.  I like to call it hiking :)
Here is a picture of me enjoying the nature of our local city.

I miss my dog Zoe tremendously. However, her "sister" which is not closely related, but from the same breeder has done very well in taking up the position of guardian of the family. She was my husband's companion dog, but I have now adopted her and she is equally loyal to both of us. Here is a pic of them together too, as friends. :)

My sister arrived and we went to Jackson Hole Wy, and visited the Tetons.

We got lots of snow in the mountains this winter. We and another couple spent a weekend in Sun Valley enjoying the snowshoeing adventures.

We went to California for Christmas to spend time with the extended family, and were treated to a day at Disneyland.

Hiking in Winter, with my walking buddies.  This is Feburary!  Enjoying lunch on the ground!

Then, in May disaster struck, and Brisby got very sick.  She was slowing down some, and thought she needed some joint juice, but after a delightful hike in which she did not seem sluggish, she came home and preceded to bleed profusely.  Pyometria.  She was set to be spayed this summer when we slowed down the walking in the heat.  We missed it by a couple of months, maybe.  We were referred to an emergency hospital since it was off hours. It is a highly capable hospital, but also Very Spendy.

Thankfully, our minds took control over the emotions, and we had them keep her over night to stabilize her and then we transferred her to another Vet in the morning after searching for capable and available surgeons.  They took great care of her, and now have the title "Our local Vet".

Just in time to heal and travel to California for the wedding of our Niece.  The boys were Ushers.

After all this, Husband decided that it is too stressful to ride the motorcycles we just got last fall.
He sells his bike, and I decide I'M KEEPING MINE.  Well, I take a 2 hr ride by myself one afternoon and decide this is no fun!  lol.  It was meant to go from here to the woods and enjoy the back country, which I will not do on my own.
So, I sell the motorcycle too.

But I buy this delight for riding local errands :) And it is SO much FUN!
It reminds me of college days and I really enjoy riding it around town. Aprilia SportCity 250.   It is lighter and easier to maneuver, park and get out of the garage by myself.  The 650 Versys was just too big for anything other than long rides.  This one is a keeper.  And, it has its very own space in the garage now too.

My sister and I did some hiking in her hills while we visited for the wedding. As we got to talking she decided I should come in and have an ultrasound of my thyroid.  She works at the hospital on call at nights.  Turns out I needed to see a doctor right away.

So, this month I have been spending some time visiting and giving blood donations (samples) to my new doctor. Thankfully, the results are non malignant tumor.  Monitor and medicate is my future for now.  I'm very thankful for these results :)

This week, I learned how to can!  We had strawberries galore this season, so I made jam with a friend who knows these things.  The peaches are abundant this year too, as well as pears.  Our apples didn't fair so well, I think it must have been too warm too soon as we dont have a single apple.

So, as I think about Quilting many times I have just not had the brain space to remember where I was at when I took my break!  I know I had just got my new machine.

And, hung a new thread spool holder with lots of fun colors!
Maybe as the forecasts warn of 103 degrees coming, I will find my space in the Quilter's Nest again soon.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Emotional Losses

In Memory of my fur baby  4/26/05-11/11/15


Autumn is my favorite time of year for outdoor activities.  The cool weather, sunshine with clouds, changing colors, and clear and open space away from summer crowds is just sweet.   

I didn't fully comprehend how much I enjoy the season, until I realized that the quilting room was so far back in my mind I haven't been there in 2 months!  I don't do well in our summer heat, so I spent much of the summer quilting in my cool and cozy room.  When Fall came around, the dogs and I hit the trails, and we've been walking 4-8 miles/ day.  I'm thankful that Zoe made it through our walking season. This picture was taken on her last day. This picture doesn't look like her to me, but it probably reflects how she felt.  

Yesterday I opened the door to the quilting room.  I'm not sure I'm ready to come back and get rolling, but I have gifts I need to make for the holidays so I am going to work on it. Then, I'll be taking another break through the holidays, as we  travel back home.  This is the first year we don't have a school vacation schedule to adhere to, so we will hopefully be able to spend more time with family and friends :)

Rest in peace my furry companion. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Improvements and Other Things

I'm supposed to be working on Class 240.  Good thing while everyone else in this season is having to go back to school, I am not tied to a schedule. :)  And, for the first time ever, I do not have children going off to school this year!  Life is changing.  Seasons are changing.

First, the weather has turned delightful.  Perfect for taking nice rides with hubby on my newer motorcycle. I used to have this one a couple years ago. It was a '91 Honda Nighthawk 250. Previously used as a motorcycle safety class bike with only 2,000 miles on it.  But I soon found that it just didn't go fast enough, or take corners smooth enough ;)

So, I sold it at the end of the season that same year, with the understanding that I was going to hunt down an Adventure 650 bike.  Well... hubby decided I didn't need to spend that much money. lol.  So, it took me 2 years to find this gem on Craigslist at the beginning of this summer! I talked hubby into going with me to take a look.  One look and he said, "what is your hesitation??"

She is a 2012 Kawaski Versys 650, with less than 4,000 miles.  And, yes, she is plenty fast and corners great.  Hubby decided it was so nice that maybe he wanted a bike too!  So, we found a Vstrom 650 deal.  Now, we spend weekends when they are cool enough exploring the back roads and byways.  Last week we took an Experienced motorcycle safety class, STAR.  Lots of fun :)  She is a bit dirty in this pic, as we took a ride along the mountain fireroads. 

And, of course, I still have to stick in our bicycle rides too. So, there has not been that much time for quilting!  oh my!

Class 240 starts with improving workspace.  I think I got that covered with my new George!  lol.
But, I noticed right away while experimenting with him, that I needed MORE light in that corner of the room, outside my sewing room. 

I purchased these from Amazon.   I was able to cut and use one for both machines!

Need more light?  These are wonderful LED's that light up the entire space underneath, and now I don't need to worry about where to put the lamp!

And, I've been practicing a little bit on George.  He is all set up now, and ready to quilt.
These are my first two attempts to see what the tension does, and try my hand at free motion. This is with thread already in bobbin, and the freebie sample thread that came with the box. It is nice Superior variegated thread.
 Then, I swapped out for the brown thread, and a fil-tec prewound bobbin (also samples since I don't have any thread yet for this machine) and this is what I got!  Not so nice anymore. The only real change here was the bobbin! Looking at following picture, you can see the back side where the thread was being pulled all the way to the back.
 So, I played with it until I got it as best as I could considering I'm working with brown on top and white on bottom with totally white fabric.  I chose that combo just so I could really work the tension to learn it.

I decided I really like the idea of Fil-Tec's bobbin and the thread is nice, with no lint and very affordable.  So, I ordered some and am awaiting this bonus package.

So, most of the rest of class 240 was reading about sashing and how to add triangles to diagonal set sashed quilts, cornerstones, frames...  

Lesson 6 is project Cabin in the Cotton. It is a log cabin pattern on diagonal with simple sashing. 
The picture uses 1930 reproduction fabrics and suggests a baby quilt.  My absolute favorite fabrics are the feedsack reproduction fabrics and I have been collecting them, hoping to gain the skills to make something nice with them.  So, I just couldn't bear to use any of my current stash yet. lol.

However, I did find some on ebay that were already cut in jelly roll strips of 10 different fabrics!
This will work perfect :)
I will get to work with my favorite fabric on a trial run! and maybe add to my stash a bit left over??

Anyway, I've been busy, just not moving fast on any one thing. Wish I was further along with using George, but at least cooler weather is on the way, and then it will be winter!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jump Up and Down and Clap!!

Yes, Welcome new machine... GEORGE!
Of course, it is fate.  I had JUST ordered my hand quilting kit because I had resolved that George wasn't going to come this way within my budget.

Two DAYS later APQS listed their "Used Machine Sale" on their web site and George was there at the bottom and right at MY wishful price!!!  I have been watching their web site for 6 months! Never has there been a George at this price.

In fact, they listed the machines on a Thursday afternoon.  I had checked that morning and still nothing listed and then that evening there was a whole list!  Of course, I could NOT get to sleep for the excitement.  When I woke hubby by my tossing I told him he needed to wake me at 7:30am so I could be the first caller in the AM ..Iowa time! But, there was no need because I just could not sleep at all.  And, I WAS the first caller :)

George was manufactured in 2008 and was traded in for the newer model.  Not sure why, the only difference is the color and the foot shaft. For $200 I had them upgrade the foot shaft so I could use interchangeable feet.  No Biggie.  And, the color is... immaterial. LOLOL  Old Silver vs. New White.
But, it took them 2.5 weeks to refurbish the machine and then they shipped by lightening fast ABF. So, here we are 3 weeks later! And, look at my arrival!

I had to wait for family to come home and help move boxes upstairs.  Hubby and I put together the table last night.

I found a good use for my old cutting table!  I figure if I put these two tables together, and in this corner my quilt will not have a problem falling off!  This is just outside my sewing room.  Yes, I have finally spilled out into the rest of the house!  Someday, when the kids leave, I intend to take over this whole bonus room which is over the garage.

Next is THE box.

Enlarge the picture and read the fun print on the box.  SO TRUE!  LOL

I just couldn't wait to unload it, so I did this myself. Look what was inside!

Can you tell??? I'm SO excited!  And, isn't it so nice he came with a bow tie?

There is lots to learn,  In fact, a whole flash drive was sent along with George.  Boxes of stuff needs to be put together. But, I just can't wait to try him out!  I put together some sandwiches while waiting, so I will be ready to practice.

Speaking of practice... This is my finished practice piece .. learning to hand quilt!

and the close up.  It isn't perfect, and I know that. But, I think that it passes as a first try!  And, I liked it.  I will have to have multiple projects going so I can have something to hand quilt and machine quilt!  I wonder what I do with this?

Patience pays off.  I am one happy camper.
Now, back to setting up a new quilting space!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hot Summer Days

Triple Digit weather here.  But.... at least we don't have humidity!   LOL.

It has been good weather for getting indoor stuff accomplished.  I've rearranged my sewing room!
Class 240 starts with Lesson 1 going back to the sewing room and upgrading things.  While I don't need to consider my power usage or seat cushions, I have decided that there is a better way to arrange.  

This was the old arrangement

However, these are the things I have been thinking of :

  1. My larger piecing continued to hang off the end of my tables and I wanted more light on my left side of the machine. 
  2. My cutting table is unable to move without having a second person due to the blocks it sits on. This makes it hard to move near my design board, and take pictures without table end in picture. And, my table is not hard, it is soft with a crack down the center for folding. 
The new set up!  So logical, but I finally got that Ah, Ha  moment!  

The tables were swapped and now I have my window to my left, and a wall on both sides to catch the quilt fabric as it goes through.  I am loving my QTools seam lines for accuracy. 

Next, I addressed my table issues.  CraigsList to the rescue!  I found an old "adjustable height" wood and laminate table for $20.  First, I had husband buy PVC pipe, electrical conduit grade which is thicker and stronger which we slide over the legs.

Then, we screwed right into the legs to tighten the plastic so it wouldn't wobble. Screws don't go through legs, just tight against them.

Then, comes the disks to set the legs into since I have wood floors, and want to be able to slide the table around.

And, here is my finished product!  Perfect height, hard with no dips or softness, and it can slide around!
 I did have to move my ironing board to the angle, which makes getting to my rulers on the wall a bit harder, but it was the only way to give me room for my chair.

Other things I've been working on: Hand Quilting.
Here I finally got my 6 stitches to the inch and decided it was time to start the practice project.

And, now I have got a few lines done.  I decided to use the green thread because it is still practice, and I want to easily see my stitches to improve them. I found I just couldn't see the other matching thread well enough to get a sense of what I was doing.  I am really enjoying this, but I am glad I have not counted the hours it has taken to get this far!  It is getting easier though!

And, the audiobook that has kept me company this week.. from the Chronicles of Narnia series. Usually, I've read the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe first.  I decided this time I would listen in the "other" order :)

And, I have very special exciting news coming!  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Project Re-Do

Last time I presented my finished project as this:
it was pretty, but something was off with the border.  Through wonderful feedback in the comments, I agreed it was the oversight of the yellowy green colors introduced in the border.

So, back to the fabric store I went, and found that the purple was still available and I found a wonderful new teal for the border.
Here is the newly finished quilt:
Much better :)
Thanks everyone!

Now on to class 240