Archive for October, 2007

Birch Trees

I had to try another postcard before bed but I don’t know that this second one is any better. The first one is on top (in the envelope ready for mailing). I’m still not crazy about the zigzag edge. I haven’t been fusing the top and back to the Peltex – maybe that would keep things from shifting on me.

More organizing

I don’t know if these bins are going to function any better but for now they’re neater – remember the mess blocking my ironing board? Today, I went out and bought these open bins , sorted my strings by color, and stacked them in the corner.


I still have to figure out what to do with the bins on the ironing board. Some are project *leftovers* that I’m hesitant to toss in the new bins because I can get another project out of them – I just don’t know if I can keep them sitting around until I get back to them unless I find some other spot for them to free up the ironing board. I really miss the space I had in Marietta!

Halloween costumes anyone?

Chinese Coins #6

There was ONE thing I wanted to mark off my list today and that was this top. Before stopping to make dinner I had it together except for the top and bottom borders and I just now sewed those on and tossed it up on the design wall for a photo. My clock says it’s 12:15 but since I had to clean up dog vomit and retake the photos I know it was done before midnight!

The sashing looks black in this photo but it’s actually a deep purple. For those interested, you can find instructions for this Uneven Chinese Coins quilt at MaryQuilts.com .

Back at work!

I realized today why I should always work on these Chinese Coins quits here at home. I use a lot of pins when sewing these vertical rows together and it is SO much easier to stretch them along my longarm table than to crawl around on the floor like I was doing at Mom’s. This top is together except for the top and bottom border – yeah!

I took my new Janome Jem Platinum machine out of it’s box and decided to make sure it worked before packing it up for my HeartStrings sew-in on Saturday. One of the features I didn’t think I would use is the start/stop button you see in the photo below. This machine can be run without a foot pedal – believe or not it was pretty easy and I kind of like it!

I think I’m going to love this little machine!

Seriously, tomorrow I’ve got to get back to work!

I’m not very artistic but here’s my interpretation of the birch trees we saw this weekend on the North Shore. Maybe I should have studied this photo first and made a pieced background. This is my first attempt and I’ll probably give it another shot but not until I get some *real* work done.

With the upcoming Sew-in for HeartStrings coming up on Saturday, I went out and bought a *portable* sewing machine to take along. I’ve been debating buying a small machine for a while and finally decided to just do it.

I’ve heard lots of positive things about the Janome Jem machines and bought the Platinum 720. It has needle down and a blanket stitch (I don’t like machine applique but I occasionally do some) so I chose it over the Jem Gold even though it was a bit more expensive. The dealer told me that my Elna was made by Janome and I found the machine had some similar features. I was particularly happy to find that the 1/4 inch edge foot is the same as mine.

I probably should just let this go…..but

After reading a post on Deb’s blog yesterday I had a feeling someone had made some kind of nasty comment so I wrote and asked her about it.

I couldn’t believe when she wrote me back that she’d had an anonymous comment that said “sisters who don’t get along, should not play together in public and annoy others with their rivalry”.

I try to be nice but people like this really piss me off. If I don’t like how a blog is written, I don’t bother reading it – how hard is that?

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I also had a question from Pam about what I’d charge to quilt a king size quilt. Sorry Pam I don’t do any quilting for hire. I have more than enough to keep up with with my HeartStrings quilting and the quilts I do for family. Deb, Judy, and Bonnie all quilt for hire just to name a few.

Happy Birthday Chris!

My oldest son turns 24 today (yes, I was just a baby when I gave birth)! Hope you have a wonderful day Chris.

You can see photos of Chris from his wedding last year. He will also celebrate his first anniversary this month.

We’re Back

We had a great time this weekend driving up to Duluth and the North Shore. Hopefully, this week I’ll get back to work!

Messy!

I should be too embarrassed to show you this photo but this is why I’ve had to clean today. I’m looking for a solution for storing my strings since the bins are taking over in this corner of the room but I’ve got so much stuff piled up you can’t see the bins! I don’t have a lot of room between the sewing table and the ironing board but I know if I find something that uses the space going UP then I should be able to have my strings and scraps more organized.

The rest of the apartment is messy too so I’ve been cleaning and doing laundry but still have plenty to do. Tomorrow, Keith and I are going to take off and head to Duluth for a couple days. No plans – we’re just going to let the GPS guide us around. I’m excited about seeing one of the Great Lakes for the first time!

Keith’s off at a company event tonight without me. They’re celebrating 50 years and while they have their sales team in town they’re having a Gala – no spouses and he has to wear a Tux! Can you believe that this is the first time he’s worn a Tux in 18+ years of marriage and he walked out the door without me. Bizarre!
I’m going to go sit in front of the TV for a couple hours and stitch on my doll quilt.

Judy’s Design Challenge

Since this challenge was to design a quilt we might actually make, I decided to work with Christmas colors in a size suitable for a table topper. See Judy’s blog for the challenge parameters.

I used EQ6 and came up with as many variations as I could before weeding them out one by one. I kept 5 of the 16 plus versions I came up with from simple to more complex to help illustrate my process. The one pictured below is probably my favorite and the others can be seen in my Picasa album.

Well I asked……

First, the binding on the card isn’t as dark as it looks in the photo but it does have a strong contract. I was surprised that (almost) everyone preferred the look of the zigzag edge as I personally prefer the binding. I wanted to be able to do the zigzag well enough to use it in pinch. I’ll probably continue to use both as well as try some other suggestions too.

The pen I used on the back of the first two was too thick and messy looking – I found one that writes with a thinner line AND I stayed further away from the edges when writing. I debated about NOT sending the first two I made but heck, the recipients will understand that I’m in a learning phase!

Mailing the first one was a challenge yesterday as he tried to tell me I had to mail it as a parcel (versus a letter). Luckily I was reusing Deb’s envelope and was able to show him the stamp she’d used to mail hers. He also said that since it was in the clear envelope, it was not a “postcard” (I knew I couldn’t use the same postage I’d use for a postcard ). We’ll see if she gets it! (He did hand cancel it as I asked but told me it would go through the machine anyway saying “everything does”.)

I printed some information from the site where Deb bought the envelopes that I plan to take with me next time.

Finally, for those of you interested in learning more about fabric postcards I found a site that has several tutorials listed. Thanks to Vicki and Deb for inspiring me to try these.

More postcard experiments

I finished the binding on my first fall postcard and made another one trying the zigzag edge again using some of the tips I got from you all. As you can see it is much better than the 1st attempt.

I’m tempted to take out the FALL stitching on the first postcard because the 1st *L* is right against the binding – but I think I’m going to leave it. I have a 3rd one to finish tonight but won’t post it until it’s received.

So my question is – which edging do you prefer – the bound or zigzag? (Click on photo to enlarge)

I’m declaring a week without lists!

I have lots that I should be working on especially after being gone for so long but I’ve decided this week I’ll just work as I please. No lists, no pressure.

Next week I’ll start working my way through my *need to get done* list but for now I’m just going to play.

Thanks for all the suggestions for the postcard edges. I’m going to give them a try but I went ahead and put a binding on this one covering up the ugly sewn edge and just have to stitch it down tonight.

What’s the trick?

I spent part of the day running errands and unpacking. I didn’t feel like loading a quilt or finishing up the coins quilt so I made another postcard.

Can anyone tell me the trick to doing the zigzag edge on postcards? Mine kept getting pushed down into the throat plate and I finally had to do the last side from the middle out. As you can see I didn’t do a very good job.

Fall?

Looking toward the park from our balcony there’s still a lot of green but if I look across the street the leaves are changing. So far I’m not too impressed with my first autumn in MN. I miss fall in Kennesaw and the North GA mountains!

I seem to have a serious lack of will power! I was up last night until after 2AM working on a fabric postcard. I gave into my desire to work on doll quilts but I planned to resist the postcards. Deb, do you have any of those clear envelopes you could send me?? Or you could just share the link for me to order some.

Garmin GPS c340

Keith and I tested out the GPS unit today. It was great – we were easily able to make a couple unscheduled stops. Since I don’t know my way around the areas outside downtown Minneapolis, we would have had to come home and look up the address and directions without the GPS.

I’ve been working on recreating a quilt I made after Sept 11, 2001 but wasn’t able to put my hands on a photo. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a file of the photo on one of my backup CD’s. I posted an instruction sheet for this one and for the 30’s Roman Stripes quilt. Hopefully I found all the typos!

Amazon Prime

I’m home from Virginia and found multiple packages from Amazon.com waiting for me. In addition to the GPS system from Garmin, all these books were waiting (and I still have a couple coming).

Just before leaving for Mom’s, I signed up for Amazon Prime. I pay an annual fee of $79 and I get two day shipping with no additional charges. It’s a great deal for me and rather than waiting to order several books, I just order them as I want.

My flights weren’t too bad – only an hour delay coming out of Atlanta but I just qualified for Silver Medallion status with Delta so I was upgraded to business class for the Atlanta to Minneapolis leg!

Reading List

I don’t know if anyone has noticed that I’ve moved my reading list to Shelfari. I haven’t gone back and added the books already read but I have been adding them going forward. Clicking on My Reading List in the links section on the right will take you there.

I can’t count!

I miscounted the finished blocks last night and thought I needed another 20 for the Project Pink quilt. Mom was up this morning and made 12 more blocks and as I was trimming those and recounting my stack I realized we were done – 48 blocks ready to take to our HeartStrings October Sew-in.

As you can see, I have plenty of strings left so I hope to get some blocks made to send to Jennifer for the group quilts.

I head home tomorrow. It’s always nice to visit Mom but I miss Keith and Chesty and I’m ready to get back to work on the stack of tops I have waiting for quilting.

Walking
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