Monthly Archives: April 2016

Automated house

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Automated house

I’m a big fan of technology although we haven’t automated the house yet … I took a baby step today and added a couple light bulbs that I can program via an app to turn on and off, to dim, and I can even schedule the lights to turn on and off while we’re gone. I didn’t want to buy a hub and have to connect it to my WiFi so this was simple. I bought the light bulbs, put them in my lamps, downloaded the app, and set the schedules. I really need to add a thermostat that can be programmed remotely both here and at Big Canoe too.


Published / by Mary / 15 Comments on Results

I spent all of March and April here in Tampa except for a week we spent in Big Canoe and I had a list of goals I wanted to achieve in that time. We also started a major renovation of our upstairs bathrooms which is ongoing but in spite of that, I managed to accomplish all but one thing on my list plus a lot more. 

I did not complete the hand quilting on the pink and purple quilt. The chair that I quilt in is in our bedroom and since the bathroom renovation started in the master bathroom, I haven’t been able to get in there and stitch during the day – at night, I worked on binding and knitting. 

11 tops were quilted 

  • 5 were quilted on the longarm at Big Canoe
  • 5 were child size tops quilted here in FL
  • 1 was a doll quilt finished here in FL

9 quilts were bound – two of the tops quilted were Mom’s and I trimmed them and mailed them back to her for binding. 

5 tops were pin basted for quilting and I might get one last one done today. 

10 tops were pieced

  • 5 tops are sofa sized and will go to Big Canoe for quilting on the longarm
  • 4 are child sized and will be quilted here in FL
  • 1 is doll sized

4 quilts were cut for Mom


  • One scarf was finished
  • A scarf and hat were knit for my sister
  • Feather and Fan blanket started and halfway done. 

And I walked over 350 miles!

I lied

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on I lied

When I left MN 2 years ago I said I wasn’t going to build up another stash in FL and I’ve done so-so with cutting and kitting projects while I’m in GA which is where the stash got sent along with the longarm. I’ve been buying kits — some with the intention of making the quilt like the Bow Ties others where the kit is deeply discounted and I plan to use the fabric for one of my own quilts, like the Churn Dash. I’ve also bought a bunch of precuts BUT I’m using it and finishing quilts so I won’t feel too guilty. 

I like to walk in my sewing room and work on anything I want without having to go shopping for a project. (That includes batting. I order these small batts from connecting threads when they’re on sale.) 

I’m all set to do some pin basting today. The batts and backings pulled from my stash. 

The simple pinwheel was from a jelly roll – discounted of course, the Strippie was kitted up from stash before I left MN, and the Rainbow HeartStrings from my string bins. 

For the first time in a long while, I feel like I’m finally in a groove with my quilting!


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Finished

The Bow Tie quilt was a Craftsy kit and was the first thing I pieced in the new sewing room back in July 2015 before I’d even organized my supplies and fabric. Meandered on the new Babylock Jane. 

The Coins doll quilt is also quilted. I have 3 other doll size tops to quilt and I’ve decided they’ll make great practice pieces before attempting a quilting design on a larger top and by larger I mean baby or child size. Anything larger than that goes to GA for quilting on the longarm. 

Getting to know Jane

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Getting to know Jane

I started off quilting this little doll quilt. A simple meander in the center and a rather funky looking fern in the border. 

It was maybe a little less funky by the last border and I kind of like it. I’m not sure why I decided to stay with a contrasting thread – it blended well in the center. 

In general I’m not a fan of plain meandering but this Bow Tie top was the first thing I pieced at the Tampa house last July and I decided a simple meander would give me a chance to get the feel of the machine on a real quilt – starting, stopping, removing pins, controlling my speed… I couldn’t believe how much difference the amount of throat space made. It’s going to be even better when the machine is sitting flush with the cabinet. 

I think I’ll piece a Strippie next and get some more practice. 

So far so good

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on So far so good

I set up the Babylock Jane and played around a bit. I think it’s going to work well for me. The stitch quality is excellent, much better than the Elna, when using the free motion foot. For now it’s on top of the sewing table but it has an extension table which will work until the new cabinet is delivered. 


Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Assembled

The churn dash top is assembled. I know it’s small – approximately 40×54 but the top was finished in just a couple days including design time and time out to buy a sewing machine. 

 I’ll need to practice quilting on the new machine before I try quilting this one or maybe I’ll hand quilt it. There are others in line first so it will wait a while!

Sewing machines

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Sewing machines

I’ve been threatening to buy a new sewing machine for years and have twice gotten Keith’s agreement and not followed through. I love my Elna but it’s 14 years old and doesn’t have a knee lift or thread cutter and most important – the throat space is really small which makes it a challenge to quilt on it. 

I’d intended to buy a Janome 1600P-QC but they didn’t have one in the store. I tried out the equivalent Baby Lock machine and left the store with it. Of course, I can’t sew without a  cabinet which cost more than the machine. I bought the least expensive one but they only carry Koala so it wasn’t cheap but it is solid. 

They also service machines and so I’ll take my Elna in for servicing. It’s overdue!

I’m thinking those doll quilts will make good practice and help me get used to the new machine.