Do you machine quilt?

I have fabric for a Quick Strippie that I’m going to piece for Adam’s new baby (she’s not here yet but Lindsey is due the end of August) and with the move, I’d decided it wouldn’t get quilted until sometime in October when I get back to GA for a visit to the longarm. After I’d make a comment about not finishing anything for a while, Stephanie joked I could quilt on my regular sewing machine like everyone else … And that started me thinking.

I quilted a year and a half before I got my longarm – quilting baby quilts and queen size quilts and everything in between on my regular sewing machine but it’s been a long, long time. I have several Quick Strippies kitted up to sew in the coming months and since I’d originally designed it as a quilt I could practice on when I first got my longarm and still have something cute to donate when I was done, I thought why not piece one and practice quilting it on my sewing machine?! It it goes well, I can get Bree’s quilt done before October.

So I pulled out the first kit I came to … Aren’t these frogs cute?

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It was cut in just a few minutes …

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I’m going to finish up the brown and blue blocks before I piece this but I’ve got 9 of 12 blocks done so I’ll be ready next week.

I’m also going to look at Patsy Thompson’s site to see if there’s an easy design or two I want to use. I’ve bought some of her DVD’s and a couple books in the past both for me and as a gift for Mom and I’d recommend them for anyone wanting to learn to machine quilt on a domestic sewing machine. She also has free handouts on her site as well as some video’ so think.

Here are links if you’d like to sew and quilt along with me …

Quick Strippie
Patsy Thompson’s free downloads

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On my needles

I didn’t pull the knitting out last night but I did tonight. Still working on the same garter ridge blanket. The goal will be to knit a little each day and maybe I’ll make some real progress on it.

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Tonight was date night … We drove down to the Sea Watch restaurant, an old favorite of ours on the beach. So nice when places are still there after YEARS!

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Trial and Error

Since I rarely make a quilt from a pattern, I have to figure out things for myself. The blocks for my HSTeria quilt can be assembled either in rows …

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Or in quads…

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and I tried both ways to figure out which was easier from an assembly and pressing standpoint and am assembling the block in quadrants. My fabric placement is a little more random since I’m sewing 4 HST’s together and just making sure that the bottom right one is different in each of the 4 quads (that’s where the 4 browns will come together).

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I’m making good progress!

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On a side note, I bought a new laptop the other day. While I use my iPad most frequently there are still some things I need a computer for and I have to say I’m loving¬†the combination of keyboard and touch screen on the Lenovo computer. I’m so used to touching the screen on the iPad to choose an item or to scroll that’s its cool to be able to use those same actions on the laptop rather than always having to use the keyboard. I will admit that Window’s 8 has a bit of a learning curve … it’s very different from previous versions and I’m having to hunt around to figure out how to do things I’ve done for years without any thought at all.

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I have a brown thumb

Gardening isn’t my thing but I love having a plant on my deck. In Minneapolis we had full sun all day long and geraniums were the only flowers that would tolerate it along with my over and under watering.

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I was thinking about trying hibiscus here on the deck in FL but Keith voted for bougainvillea. It’s supposed to be a hardy plant so here’s hoping I don’t kill it!

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I don’t need more inspiration!

I haven’t touched my knitting since I got to FL … So what am I doing on Ravelry adding shawls to my queue?!!!

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Tomorrow I’m pulling out my blanket and will try to knit a little each day.

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Tools

Since I finished the RWB HeartStrings top, I got to pull out a new project this morning … Vicki’s HSTeria sew along is finished but I’d just barely started mine when I had to pack everything for the move.

As I sew these blocks, I’m thankful for three of my favorite tools.

My Accuquilt GO die that lets me quickly cut all the half square triangles.

My straight needle plate for my Elna that sews the HST’s easily.

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And EQ7 that lets me play with different block and quilt layouts until I find one I love.

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We don’t always need or even use the tools we buy but they can make our quilting so much easier.

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Finished

The first RWB HeartStrings top is completed. I’ll offer this one to Kathy in WI to quilt and donate to veterans entering hospice if she has time otherwise I’ll set it aside for quilting in GA.

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Slowing down

I’m taking this move as an opportunity to slow down so you will see a much less frantic pace from me. The Minneapolis years got increasing busy with HeartStrings, traveling, volunteering with the library and Habitat and I felt like I was always running to catch up.

I’ll still be working with HeartStrings and traveling — in fact, I’m traveling to Lincoln in August and Maine in September for HeartStrings events but having my longarm in GA will force me (in a good way) to slow down in my quilting. I’m anxious to spend more time piecing that I’ve been able to do in the last 7+ years.

I’ll also be doing more walking to prepare for the half marathons in November and March – I don’t plan to run them, but having a training goal will hopefully keep me moving on a week to week basis. We’ll continue to travel and I plan on lots of down time, sitting by the pool and reading and finally my library time will be spent getting back to work on my family genealogy rather than volunteering.

West Broward library

Today is a library day and I’m enjoying the view from my table!

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Sewing along with HeartStrings

I’m assembling my first set of RWB blocks and didn’t take my own advice at first. I usually recommend using a walking foot to assemble these because of the extra layer from the muslin foundation.

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I couldn’t easily find the walking foot so I started assembling them without and even though I pinned the blocks … It was hard to get them lined up exactly because the top block was being pushed down slightly.

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While I’m not a perfectionist and don’t intend to take this out, it bothered me just enough that I went hunting through the bins for my walking foot.

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With the top and bottom feeding evenly using the walking foot … It’s much easier to get the seams lined up.

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Leftovers

I started the 2nd set of HeartStrings blocks from 2.5 inch strips and a set of fat quarters and now I have leftover fabric. It’s not unusual at all for me to make a quilt and then piece a leftover quilt and sometimes I even like the leftover quilt best.

I’m thinking of making this one from the RWB leftovers. I’d order a framing fabric and use the rest of the fat quarters.

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Brief instructions are on my website.

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