Monthly Archives: May 2016

Auditioning borders

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Auditioning borders

This top will get a single framing border and I like to throw my possible choices up on the design wall while I’m working on the blocks so that by the time I’m ready to put it in, I’ve made my decision. Of course with my fabric stash in GA, I’ve got fewer choices but I found two possibilities and my initial choice is not the one I decided to use. 

I just need to sew the border on and this top will be ready to go to Big Canoe for quilting on the longarm. 


Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on Bound

I’m feeling under the weather today and didn’t accomplish a lot but I did knit a while and bound this HeartStrings quilt of mine. Technically, I should block this to smooth out that little waviness at the top but since it’s a donation quilt and not a wall quilt, I’ll toss it into the washer and dryer and let it crinkle up. 


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Biking

Keith’s been biking rather than walking because of problems with his foot. He’s been to the doctor and it’s improving but not quite enough – he did try a 5.75 mile walk with me yesterday but decided it was too much too soon. 

Today, I joined him and we biked across to Davis Island and had a picnic by the water. 

The speed and time stats are off because I didn’t pause the workout when we stopped to eat but the distance and route are accurate. 

I’ve been quilting a bit here and there this weekend and I’m almost finished with the HeartStrings quilt – I’ve even pulled out those lines in the spiral where my tension was messed up and I’ve already re-sewn them. 

Slowly making progress

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Slowly making progress

Let’s see, I had to take a nap this afternoon, to take my walk this evening…

… And to watch the Bolts win tonight but there is some progress being made. The rays are in progress and I’m going to break one of the rules of quilting that says the density of the quilting should be consistent. There won’t be as much quilting in the bottom half of this one but if you can see the sides of the quilt, that’s the spacing I’m going for. I’ve also got to pick out about three partial rows of the spiral because my tension is funky. I must have knocked the thread out of the guide as I wrestled with the quilt. Luckily they’re just short rows and typically it’s easy to pull out stitches where the tension is bad. 

I know it’s crazy to put this much quilting in this Heartstrings top but I’m enjoying the challenge and learning my new machine at the same time. A couple issues are the lack of a guide on the walking foot and for some reason, I can’t seem to pick up the bottom thread and bring it to the top before I start a row of quilting. I thought it was the auto thread cutter at first and left the thread longer but still couldn’t pull it up. The needle on this machine is sideways – maybe that’s the reason but I’ve got to say it’s kind of a negative. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very happy overall with how the machine is performing but this is just odd. I’m going to have to research it a bit to see if it’s me or if it’s just a flaw in the design. 

I’m also getting used to the new cabinet. The back extension is a big, big plus as is the tray on the right but there’s not really enough support on the left. I’m probably going to have to find some surface to extend the reach of the cabinet and to support the quilt on that side. 

Construction zone

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Construction zone

I’m loving the results but I’m so tired of living in a construction zone! The dust, the constant coming and going, the getting up early!!!

I snapped this photo of my cabinets today before they installed the mirror. Love the rectangular sinks. 

The master is done except for some minor touch ups and I had another bath after my walk this evening – loving being able to soak in the tub! The blinds were ordered from and I’m happy with them. They’re private, made for moist environments they’re white which matches the trim (and tub). I’m still waiting for them to install the correct spout – they needed some additional hardware so Abel put a temporary one on so I could use the tub. We’ve been very happy with our choice of contractor even though the process is slower than I’d like. 

They should finish up the tile in the hall bathroom tomorrow. You’ll notice I went with the same choices in both bathrooms. I stress enough about my choices that I didn’t need to go through that twice. I’m glad we decided to remove the tub and just go with a shower in here. If we end up reselling, a) the bathrooms have been remodeled and b) there’s a tub next door in the master bathroom if needed. 

All the items we ordered for the library came today but given that there’s so much construction dust, we decided to leave everything covered/in boxes for now. I can’t wait to get this room set up and ready to use. There’s a rug on the other side of the room just out of the photo – I’m still stressing about some of these choices too so it will be nice when everything is unpacked and unwrapped so I can know if I made the right choices in here too. 

When the bathrooms are done, we’ll talk to the contractor about the kitchen and get an estimate. I’m going to need a break over the summer but I don’t want to wait too long before we tackle that project so maybe late fall?!

I worked on some of the spiral quilting today – I might have mess things up. I didn’t want the spiral to extend beyond the green so I’m doing partial lines to fill in the rest of the green, yellow, and orange before moving on to the “rays”. This one might look better in my head than in reality but we’ll see. 

No more procrastinating

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on No more procrastinating

I’ve been home a week and I needed to fix the error in my Feather and Fan afghan. I knew if I didn’t get it done, the project would be set aside and end up not being finished.

I had no lifeline in this project so I carefully pulled back past my error and using a much smaller needle, got the stitches back on. It helps to lay it out on a table so the weight of the project doesn’t cause a dropped stitch before I can get it back on the needle. Even with care, a few stitches needed to be redone with a crochet hook. I don’t usually worry so much about the orientation of the stitches as much as just getting them back on the needles. I learned a few years ago that rather than taking a twisted stitch off the needle and reorienting it before knitting it, that it could be knitted through the back loop to untwist it – much easier!

Once the stitches were on the small needle, I was able to knit them back on the project needle, put in a lifeline, and knit up this mess. Whenever possible I like to knit back to the point I had to take out without moving the yarn – it’s much less likely to get tangled. 

Now I’m back in good shape with this project, my new ball of yarn is attached, and I’ll set it aside for now and work on re-pinning the HS top so I can finish quilting the spiral. 

I’ve shared this information before but it bears repeating. I’d been using the JKNitHD app for my knitting patterns but I wanted a way to add notes and to use counters right on the same screen when I’m knitting from a PDF project and neither of those options were available even in the Pro version. Now I’m using Knit Companion and love it. I can even access my Ravelry library directly from the app which is convenient. 

A day for challenges

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on A day for challenges

This morning I walked for 3 hours – 10 miles – my longest walk since we restarted our training in February. Of course, it took me an hour and a half to clean up and recover so I was late getting to the sewing room. 

I finished the last block for the Bargello, assembled my new chair, pulled out the back leaf on my cabinet and started quilting.

Why didn’t you guys talk me out of quilting a spiral on this top?! Wow, not the easiest thing to do and somewhat wonky especially in the beginning. I’m finding the spiral is pushing my fabric out even though I had it well basted (or so I thought). 

Luckily, it’s pushing it out evenly and I’m going to smooth it out and re-pin. It will be a little close on the bottom of the quilt but I think I have enough batting and backing there to cover the scooting. 

When I planned this quilting I hadn’t bought this machine and it’s been a mixed blessing because this walking foot does not have a guide so I’m having to use the edge of the foot to space my lines which makes them closer than I’d really like not to mention its taking longer. On the other hand at the top of the spiral the entire quilt is under that arm so the extra throat space is very much appreciated! Overall, it looks better than I thought so I’ll continue on – definitely no perfectionist tendencies here!

Just say No

Published / by Mary / 20 Comments on Just say No

I was distracted today by a blog post on weaving. As I wandered around the Internet, following one link after the other I had this idea that weaving tapestries on a small scale would be fun – you know, postcard size. I looked at looms and read reviews but I think I’ve come to my senses. I don’t have time to make all the quilts and knit as much as I want to much less add another crafty thing to my life although I do have lots of yarn around here ….

What other crafts are calling you? 

Big day

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Big day

I have a shower door! We can’t use the shower until tomorrow morning but the curtain came down and the glass door was installed today. My bathroom is done except for the installation of the mirror and some minor paint touch ups. The hall bathroom still has a ways to go

My Koala cabinet was also delivered. We need to move the daybed out of this room and into the one across the hall but for now I’ll leave the cabinet here where the design wall usually sits. I’ve got an insert coming for my machine and I can’t wait for it to get here. It’s so much easier to sew with the machine even with the table.

I can pull it out and extend the backing when I’m quilting or leave it folded down when I don’t need the extra support.


For now, I’ve got the design wall propped up in front of the closet but that won’t work for long.


Everything will be a bit of a mess until these bathrooms are done and I can reorganize.