Monthly Archives: July 2017


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Quilted

Mom’s poinsettia top is quilted. There are going to be big red buttons in those flowers so I did not quilt in the applique. Once they’re sewn on, the flowers should pop nicely against the background. 

This is #7 of 9 and Mom’s queen size top is up next so there might not be a #9 depending on how long it takes me. 


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Solved?!

I’ve had problems with the delivery of blog comments to my gmail account on and off for over a year and could NOT find the problem – not why it started, not why an occasional comment would get through, not why it worked sometimes and not others. It’s made it very hard to respond to comments. Today I took another stab at finding and fixing the problem and I think this Postman STMP plugin for WordPress is the answer. Apparently the way WordPress sends mail and gmail don’t always get along although I didn’t have problems during all my years of blogging until recently. 

Anyway, it seems to be working but I guess I’ll see over the next few days if all the email is finally getting through. I’m still working my way though responses to previous comments but I’ll catch up eventually! 


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Quilted

After Keith and Rae left this afternoon I had a homeowners meeting – ugh. I’ve been the secretary for a couple years now and will continue for another. It’s better than taking on the other board roles!

I was very, very tired when I got home but forced myself to go downstairs and quilt Mom’s 30’s quilt. This was a kit that I gave her and I think it was from Craftsy. 

Pantograph is Cotton Candy – very simple and quick. 

This is #6 of 9 that I’ve planned to quilt this month although I’m wondering if I’m going to hit that goal with all the time I’m spending with the kids. 

Dog Park

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Dog Park

Finn’s first trip to a dog park! He’s fast and I was worried we’d have trouble catching him when it was time to go but he was good and stayed fairly close. Buddy enjoyed it too but they were both tired when we got home. 

Chris and Becky came to pick up Rae and Buddy and took Keith to the airport so Finn and I have a quiet hour or so before I have to head to the homeowners association meeting. There will be some quilting later today!

Google Photos

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Google Photos

I’ve been using Google for a long time to organize and store my digital photos. Of course I make backups too although I admit sometimes not as often as I should! Google transitioned from Picasa Web Albums to Google Photos and I love their iPad app. In addition to seeing all photos – unsorted … I have all the albums I’ve created by event PLUS ones they create by place and person. They also have an “assistant” and today the assistant combined an old photo of Caleb with one I took the other day. I definitely recommend the app and even though the transition from Picasa was a little difficult for me, I’m completely happy with Google Photos now. 

He’s getting to be such a big boy!!

More fun with Rae

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on More fun with Rae

We had a great time at the swim club today although we paid later with a meltdown from an overtired little girl. Luckily it was nothing a nap couldn’t cure! She’s a sweetie for the most part but has a big stubborn streak. Again, lucky that I have lots of experience with stubborn kids after raising her dad. That apple didn’t fall far from the tree and I can hear Mom laughing as she reads this … she’ll tell you Chris inherited his stubborn streak too – from me!

Finn has gone from being very timid with other dogs to chasing Chris’ dog Buddy around the house. Buddy is old – maybe 14 or so and has a limited tolerance for playing with a puppy so we have to make sure that Finn gives him a break. 

Finn and I will be on our own after tomorrow morning. I’ve got a homeowner’s meeting mid afternoon and then I’m hoping to quilt the little 30’s top of Mom’s that I’ve got loaded on the longarm unless I need a long nap to recover from chasing two dogs and a 4 year old around for the weekend!


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Sleepover

Rae’s spending a couple nights with us while Chris and Becky get a weekend away … well part of a weekend anyway … they’re going to take Keith to the airport on Sunday afternoon for me. 

I stopped in at Joann’s when I went to pick her up this afternoon and found buttons for Mom’s poinsettia quilt and while Rae was watching a movie with Pop, I got one of Mom’s quilts loaded on the longarm. I should have time to get it quilted on Sunday after everyone leaves. 

Hot, humid, and buggy

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Hot, humid, and buggy

While it’s not as bad as Tampa, we’re still in the south so it’s just going to be hot and humid outside this time of year. My walk today was hot, humid, and very buggy but even with that I’d still rather be outside walking along the creek and listening to the sound of the water flowing along than inside an air conditioned gym on a treadmill listening to a machine hum. 

I got 4.21 miles in on my hike today and while I’m still about 2 and a half weeks behind, I hit the 1000 mile mark today. And just in case you haven’t been following my challenge – I’m walking NOT running – the goal is 2017 miles in 2017. I’m going to have to play a bit of catch up this fall I think. The goal is to not fall further behind but I don’t think I’m going to make up a lot of ground in the heat – so I’ll try to stay on track and when it cools down a bit, pick up those extra miles. 


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Quilted

The beast is quilted (#5 of 9 to be quilted this month) … of course I still have to trim and bind Becky’s quilt and there are a couple very small places I want to go back to and potentially restitch but I feel relieved to have this one off the machine. If I do have to restitch a couple places, I’ll use the clamps to hold it in place on the longarm or will use my home sewing machine. 

I mentioned that I was having some stitch quality issues at one point during the quilting – I’ve been doing this a while so I ran through my troubleshooting list but I always check online to see if I’ve forgotten to try something. This article by Dawn Cavanaugh is a good overall review of tension issues. She calls what I was experiencing direction tension trouble most likely caused by needle flexing. I’d done all the correct things to minimize it and but really slowing way down was the solution after changing to a larger needle, loosening the quilt in the frame, and decreasing the stitch length to 11. 

I won’t get another one quilted this week because we have Rae coming to stay for a couple nights tomorrow. She called all excited tonight because they found out the sex of the baby today. I forgot to ask if I’m allowed to tell yet so I’ll leave you all in suspense for now!

Family time

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Family time

I’m getting extra days with the kids so no quilting today but that’s OK, I should finish Becky’s quilt tomorrow. Can you tell Rae is practicing being a big sister?!

Will I hit my goal of quilting 9 while I’m here?! I’m not sure but I won’t pass up precious time with the kids even if it means falling a little short. 

Sometimes I love it, sometimes I don’t

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Sometimes I love it, sometimes I don’t

Quilting a top on the longarm can be quick and easy but sometimes it’s not. The top on now is really too big but I’ve rigged up an extension for the leaders and got it on but there’s no room to get to the machine if there are issues and today there were issues. I wasn’t completely happy with my stitch quality so I did a little tweaking but didn’t get any improvement so I rethreaded the machine and that created a big problem — I could not get the tension adjusted right. So the bottom of the quilt had to be unrolled and I had to work my way through a troubleshooting list which included me trying a different bobbin case and destroying it. 

I finally got acceptable tension after taking apart the intermittent tensioner and cleaning some thread out that had wrapped around it. I also am having to slow down … sometimes when I’m in a hurry to finish something I find myself  jerking the machine around. Taking a deep breath, slowing down and concentrating on moving the machine smoothly helps. 

Sometimes the fabric makes a difference too. The stitches are good here. 

Not as good on this fabric. 

The quilt is reloaded and after quilting for a couple more hours I’m done for the day. It’s going to take another day to finish unfortunately. 

Back to work

Published / by Mary / 74 Comments on Back to work

Thank you all for your kind comments regarding Keith’s sprain. As I’ve mentioned many times, the blog is a journal for me of my family, my travels, and my quilting and Keith’s unexpected but relatively minor injury is a part of our story. Believe it or not, I do have a filter and there is a lot that happens in my life that doesn’t appear here. 

While keeping any type of public journal leaves me open to negative comments I fail to see why someone would write a rude email rather than just stop reading my blog. If my content doesn’t interest you, please feel free to visit other blogs rather than come here and there’s no need to write and let me know how unacceptable you find my content like this reader felt the need to do. 

Your husband must really like having his pictures taken. It is unbelievable that any man would consent to being in a furniture store, sitting on a display love seat and pose for a picture while holding swatches of fabric! The best is of him on the ground after a fall. Then, in emergency, showing off the dressing on his foot! Wouldn’t the doctor and nurses pose with him to make the situation more dramatic?

There has to be a good lock and bars in your bathroom doors or pictures would come from that area in your house. 

Pictures of quilting are more interesting.

And for those of you who like the quilting content but suffer in silence through all the other posts … here’s Becky’s quilt on the longarm. Loaded today and the spiral quilting has been started but I’ve got a long way to go. 

Bonus quilt

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Bonus quilt

Kayaking again today – such a serene mountain lake and I almost had it to myself! Just a couple pontoon boats out there in the distance. 

I decided to get one of next week’s tops loaded and before I knew it, it was quilted and coming off the longarm. This is one of Mom’s tops – pantograph is Jilly and it has a soft Minkee backing. Someone’s going to enjoy this one!

This is quilt #4 of 9 and I’m one ahead going into the weekend. Chris, Becky, and Rae are coming in the morning so no more quilting until Monday.