Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Happy Last day of the old year and Happy First day of the New Year!

I know You haven’t heard much from me. Let me up date you a little on what is going on. Back in November I decided to shut off my internet to save some money. I thought I could just go to the public library to do all my internet stuff. In theory that is a good idea but in practice it was a little different. Needless to say I haven’t been keeping up with my blogging or anything internet related.

Well then the local cable internet put out an offer I felt I couldn’t refuse and realizing how much I love to blog but not wanting to brave the elements at this time of the year, I am going with it. So next Friday I will be able to access the internet from the comfort of my own home. YAY!!

On my last post I told you I was having problems with my new machine. Long story short, they sent her back to the factory for a new updo. She had a loose connection and a few other problems that they fixed.
 I finally got her back yesterday and hope to have a busy and productive weekend. I am sure glad to have her back.

So that being said And this being the last day of the old year – 2010 and tomorrow being the first day of the new year – 2011 I thought I would put up my NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!

Don’t we all do that at the beginning of every new year? I know I start off the year with all good intentions and maybe putting them into cyberspace will make me a little more accountable. We’ll see.

New Years Resolutions are usually meant for two reasons, either we want to improve something about our lives, i.e. quit smoking, lose weight, or we want to accomplish something in the next year, i.e. learn to drive, landscape the yard etc.

My resolutions cover both areas and here they are:

1. Memorize 2 new scriptures a week or at least 6 a month.

2. Post at least one new blog a week

3. Make 6 quilts for Quilts for Kids

4. Quilt the tops I have pieced – that is 4or 5 tops right now

5. Finish Mom’s Green quilt and My brother Jims quilt

6. Finish my paper pieced quilt that my small group and I are making.

7. Buy, address and have ready Birthday cards for the whole year.

8. Start planning a super fantastic Christmas next year.

Oh yea, and lose weight. There are a lot of other things I want to accomplish too, like spending more time with my Mom and grandkids, start new projects and quilt, quilt, quilt.

So that is pretty much my resolutions. Tell me yours and maybe we can help each other really accomplish something this year. I look forward to hearing from you.

Take care and
Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. I got the binding finished on the Pink Baby Rail quilt. It looked so cute and went off to our newest grand-daughter born Dec. 14th. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of You who are following this blog.

I can see that I need to step it up a notch here. I don't have any pictures to post at this time. (Well I do have pictures they are just not with me as I am posting this).
I have gotten Quilt #4 off of my LA and Quilt #5 loaded but I have run into some problems with the machine and I am currently working out the bugs.
I hope to have more pics up soon and an update on how my long arm sewing machine is doing.
Stay Tuned!

My New Year's Resolution is to post a blog once a week for 2011. Let's see how well I do. (Who is even making resolutions yet??)

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween with my small group

The weekend is over and time to catch up alittle bit.

Halloween is not an event that I participate in and haven't for many years. For our small group meeting last week some of the girls wanted to have a Halloween party. I told them that I don't party for Halloween but I would wear black and help with a wall hanging project one of the ladies wanted to make. The evening was fun and I didn't feel out of my comfort zone at all.
Here is a picture of my friends.

We had a very enjoyable sit down dinner where we shared stories and really got to know each other better. This paper piecing group just started a few months ago through our new guild. Most of us didn't know each other before the guild came together. Isn't that exciting.
We met at Linda's house and here is a picture of the dining room table where we sat.
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I didn't take a lot of pictures, here is one of the fabric for the wallhanging that was going to be made. We ran out of time so we made up four kits for anyone who wanted to make it. I will snap a picture and post it at another time of any that are completed. The wallhanging is called "The Witch is in" It is appliqued not paper pieced. Some of the gals love Halloween and thought this would be a fun project, that is how it all came together.
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That was our small group meeting last Thursday night. We shared a lot, laughed a lot and hopefully built and strengthen new friendships.

I hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quilt #4

Fall is definately in the air. It is chilly here in Central Iowa today.

 Quilt top #4 went on the LA on Tuesday of this week. I am still slow getting her loaded but pretty happy with the results. Thanks Gammill for the tutorial posted on You tube, I refer to it frequently while loading my quilts on the frame.

This top was originally going to be the back to the Denim Throw. I wanted the back to be all dark blue denim, but realized I hadn't purchased enough for backing. I decided I would make 12" blocks out of the denim and use the red fabric as sashing between the blocks. Well one thing lead to another and when I  finished I thought this was too cute to use for a quilt back so I made it into a front.
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In the blocks I am quilting this heart pattern. It is good practice for eye/hand coordination. It is also good practice with the laser light and setting up patterns for a specific area. I am using a matching thread so my mistakes don't show. :)
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Tonite is my Paper Piecing small group meeting. I have all 6 of my blocks done. YAY!!! I need to get busy on the connecting blocks.
I am making Nutty cream cheese bars to take but first I am off to the library to pick up a book that I reserved. The book is written by Francine Rivers and it is her latest one but I can't recall the title right this moment.
Anyways, I will write more about that and tell you how I found this wonderful author at another time.
I hope you all have a wonderful day.

PS. I still haven't gotten the binding on quilts 2 and 3. It seems there is soo much to do and so little time. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pink Baby Rail is off

I am moving right along. YAY!!! I took the Pink Baby Rail Fence off the LA this morning. According to the time on my machine it took about 2 hours total to quilt it. I am not quilting a straight 2 hours though, I need to get some really good floor mats and then the standing won't wear me out so fast.

Here is a picture of PBRF on the long are, and the quilting in the first border.
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I also finished the border on the "Quilt for Jesus" Burgoyne Surrounded.
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Finally after starting this quilt nearly 16 years ago it is done.
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Just goes to show, Don't give up on those WIP'S. (Works In Progress)

Here is a picture of the quilting on the Denim Throw. Now I am putting the binding on this quilt. I am thinking that I shouldn't have cut the batting and backing until I had the binding stitched to the front of the quilt.
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I am already planning the quilting for the next quilt. I have been practicing something different.
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Still needs some work but I see a lot of potential here. :)

I think I will be finishing up these two quilts (DT and PBRF) before I put another one on the LA, but won't be waiting longer than a week. I am getting addicted to long arm quilting so have to stay focused on my regular sewing for awhile. It seems my unfinished projects have been put on the back burner but I am getting my pieced quilt tops quilted too soooo>>>> Quilting pieced tops/working on unfinished projects. It's a tough decision.  One I hope to have for a very long time.

Thanks for stopping by.
I hope you have a quilty day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Putting on Quilt #3.. Finishing up #2 and #1.

I finished up quilting the Denim throw yesterday and took it off the LA.  Now I have to get the binding cut and ready to sew it on. I did start sewing the binding on the Purple Burgoyne Surrounded quilt yesterday and plan to finish sewing it on today.

Early this morning I got up and I loaded the Pink Baby Rail quilt on the LA. I got the top on fine without help but had to go to tutorial to remember how to get the back and batting loaded on. Now she's all loaded and ready to go.
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I want to time myself and see how long it takes to quilt this one. I think I will just do a meander on all the light pink parts and loops and hearts on the dark pink. That's the plan anyway. I'm going to practice on paper first though so I can get the hearts nice and smooth.

Better get back to my bindings and quilting. I hope you have a fun and quilty day.
Thanks for stopping by.

Ps. My daughter had a Party Light candle party last night. Her demonstator had a beautiful set-up and the party was fun. Really put me in the holiday spirit with all the beautiful holders with the twinkling candles. I hope you have a lovely and stress-free holiday season.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

AQS Show in Des Moines

YES!! I went to the show yesterday with 4 of my quilty girlfriends and it was awesome!
We got to the Events Center right at 9:00am when the doors opened. There were already at least a hundred quilters ready to go in.
I saw the Farmers Dotter in line ahead of me so of course I had to say Hi.

We got through the entryway and OH MY GOODNESS.... There were vendors as far as the eye could see. It was this quilty girl's shopping dream but I was determined to stay within my budget and I didn't do too bad.(though I did go over just a little ). :) I did find a good deal on a Hoffman Batik at $8 a yard and it was the color I needed for my PP project so I snapped that up. I was looking for any super bargains and since it was the first day there weren't a lot but there sure was a lot of beautiful fabric and cool gadgets to look at.

I visited with a lot of quilters and didn't realize how many new friends I had made this past year.

 I did meet some new people at the show. There is one in particular that  I want to share about. There was a gal there that looked familiar to me but I couldn't think where I knew her from. It seemed that I kept passing her in different aisles and I kept thinking "I know her" ,then finally I and one of my traveling companions went to get coffee and here she came too. My curiosity getting the better of me I went over and said something like "Hi, I think I know you. Didn't we go to high school together?" As it turned out WE DID!!! LOL,What a small world it seems. We chatted for a bit, catching up and promised to find each other on Facebook and keep in touch.  That in itself was worth the trip.
After a full day of shopping and looking at beautiful quilts, my friends and I ended the evening with a delicious mexican dinner and headed back to M-town.

What a wonderful day with lots of sunshine, beautiful quilts and great friends. What more could this quilty girl ask for.  
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Sewing today.

I am taking my daughter and my grand-son to go see my mother today. She lives close to Kalona Iowa so maybe we can sneak in a quilt shop or two. :)
The weather looks perfect, a beautiful autumn day.
See ya soon,

Ps. I did get my Sept. BOM done. Will post a picture soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday, Monday!!!!

Hi Everyone,
I hope your week has gotten off to a good start.

I finally got my house back in order after husband being home for 3 days and then me off working all weekend. It's amazing how much better you feel when your house is in order. I feel more in control, more empowered, able to accomplish anything....

And then I got to my sewing room. AArrgg!!!

I have a quilt on the long arm to be worked on, bags to finish up if I ever want to sell them on Etsy, paper pieced blocks to finish up since we dooo have a meeting this week, my quilt that I finished quilting last week that needs the binding put on, 3 quilts in various stages of work that I could pick up on and a pattern for those neck pillow things to make for the hospital. YIKES!!!

Got the tea pot on and I am sitting in my chair pouring out my quilty woes to all of you out in blogland. What will I do when I get done here??? Probably read some blogs to get inspired and start a new and more wonderful project than what I have going on now. HELP!!!

Okay,okay, so I will get a grip here and prioritize a little bit. Paper piecing first since that meeting is this week and I do want to show I have been working on our project, then I will finish up the quilt on the long arm. Now how's that for a plan?

If you need help getting organized, better see one of those blogs on getting more organized (i think I will check those out too), but if you need sympathy for being disorganized and not planning your sewing day, you have come to the right place. I am here for you and I feel your pain. :)
We will get through this together.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you are doing to get your projects in order. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Glad for a new day.

I am sure glad yesterday is gone and today has come. Not that I want to be wishing my life away but I sure had a heck of a scare. I thought I blown up my brand new Gammill Vision!!  The computer part, that is.Whew! Thankfully I didn't..
I called my trainer in Beloit, Cathy, nearly in tears and said "I think I broke my machine". Cathy, being the calm person she is said "tell me what happened". After I told her what had happened, she walked me through how to fix it and then said "Didn't I tell you, you can't break these machines?"

I was so relieved to have my machine fixed that I was hugging her through the phone. Thanks Cathy!!!!!

Apparently I got a piece of lint and thread caught behind the bobbin assembly, so the machine got stuck and shut itself off. Once I got that cleaned out and pushed the reset button she came right back on. YAY!!!

I thought for sure I had knocked something out of whack sewing this denim throw. I am over half-way done and will finish it up today. Then I think I will have a binding party with the 2 quilts that I will have completed. :)

Now onto another topic that I keep forgetting I want to tell you about. I started a small group of people who like to foundation paper piece and we meet on the 4th Thursday (usually) every month. We aren't meeting tonite though because the gal who wants to have it at her house wanted to do it next week. Our project is the BOM by Carol Doak called Radiant Block of the Month. Carol has a yahoo group and every month she posts another block. It is really neat to see the different ways these blocks are coming together in our group.
Here are the blocks I have made so far.

This is the June block. This project started June 2010 and will end May 2011.
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This is July's BOM.
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Here is August's BOM.
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September's is out and I have it downloaded and printed up, ready to go. I still have to put the 4 blocks together for August, as you can see. When this is done we will have 12 different blocks and there are 13 connecting blocks that are like a background to set off the BOM's. This should be a pretty cool quilt when it is done.
It's nice to have a group to do it with. You feel a little more motivated to get things done. I also love the group we have put together. They are so different and yet we all share a common interest - quilting.

That's all I have today, though I wanted to share a few gratitudes because I have much to be thankful for.

1. I am thankful for Cathy Kleinschmidt. She is an expert with Gammill machines and has a lot of great stories to tell. Thank you Cathy for helping me to get my machine up and running again.

2. I am thankful for my new Long Arm sewing machine, I am getting my quilt tops quilted so fast, and with each top I am getting more skilled with my new machine. I may never be an award winning quilter, but I pray I will be able to quilt for others so that they will be able to enjoy their finished quilts as well.

3. I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, my Shepard. Help me Lord to be a faithful servant.

Thank you all out there in blogland for stopping by.
I hope You have a great day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quilt #2 on The Long Arm

Yesterday I put the Denim throw on the LA machine. It took me most of the day as I was trying to do a better job getting it on.

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I started quilting it today.
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This is the greatest picture of the quilting, but then the quilting still looks pretty amatuerish. I probably won't try a quilt like this again because of the "lump"s. The places where 4 seams meet. I pressed it, I thought, really good and yet I still am running into the "lumps"

Oh well, back to the sewing table. :)
Hope you have a great day.

P.S. This is my 50th blog. YAY!!! At my 100th, maybe I will have a give-away. :) Okay, maybe the 75th.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting my Quilt for Jesus done.

 Hello everyone,

Just thought I would give a little update on my LA quilting.
My machine has a timer on it that tells me how much time I have spent sewing on her. I can clear it when I start a new quilt and then know exactly how long it takes me to quilt that particular quilt.The actual time I have been quilting on this quilt is 2 hours and 14 minutes. I didn't work on it over the weekend because I had to work my part-time job and it is 2-12 hour day. Kicks my rear everytime but oh well, it gets me out of the house.
I am more than half-way done on this quilt and will finish it up today. YAY!!!

I may have told you the story behind this quilt before but just to refresh , Back in 1994 I took a strip quilting class where I first was introduced to a rotary cutter, mat and the various rulers. This was my very first quilt that I pieced. Since it was my first pieced top I dedicated it to the Lord. I started hand quilting it and only got about 1/4 of the way through until I set it aside. This quilt has sat in a box all these years. When I got my new machine I thought it only appropriate to finish this quilt on it. So I took out the hand quilting, replaced the old batting and will finally after all these years get her done.

I can't wait to see this quilt finally done. I am so excited. I hope you all have a terrific day.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2 days in Wiconsin - At The Heart of Quilting.

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At The Heart of Quilting in Beloit, Wisconsin. This is where I have been the last 2 days, getting training for my new Gammill 22 long arm quilting machine.

 I left my home on Monday at 3:30 am and arrived at the shop in Wis. at 8:40 am, just in time for training at 9:00 am. There were two other ladies, Mary and Char, also in the training class. Training went all day until 5 pm with a lunch break at noon.

The morning of the first day we practiced setting up and sewing pantograph patterns. In the afternoon Cathy (the instructor and owner) went over machine maintenence. She was so thorough with step by step instructions that I wanted to go home that night just to oil and clean my machine. I realized that I hadn't been doing it properly but alas had to wait another day until I could get home to rectify that. Cathy also gave us some tips on starting a business of our own. Day one was worth the trip just in itself.

Day 2, we started right away loading up a small top that Cathy had prepared beforehand with areas drawn on it for specific stitches and techniques that she wanted us to learn and practice. I thought I was pretty good with some patterns that I had been practicing at home but quickly realized I still needed a lot more practice. We ended the day around 4:30 and I was back on the road to home by 5. My car was loaded with my roll of batting that I got with my gift certificate and a few extra items to help me along on this adventure of owning a long arm quilting machine,

After picking up my dogs in Des Moines from my daughters house I finally arrived home at 12:30am. I was soo tired right before I pulled into the driveway but by the time I got the dogs settled back in and the car unloaded I couldn't wait to go and oil my machine. I had to tell her (my machine) how sorry I was for not giving her enough oil and hoped that from now on our relationship would go a lot smoother. By 1:30 am I was ready to go to bed.

7:30 this morning I was up, letting the dogs out and checking my machine. No oil drips!! She was dry. WOW!
I have spent all morning practicing various stitches and winding bobbins and now at almost noon I am getting ready to load my first quilt.

Here are a few pictures of At The Heart of Quilting Shop and Classes.

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This is the one side of the shop. They carry a lot of thread for the LA quilter and machine parts for your machine. I bought another bobbin case and an item to clean my rails of oil and lint. They also carry batting by the bolt and I got a bolt of 80/20 cotton/poly batt for all of my quilt tops at home.

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This is the classroom and as you can see it will accomodate at least 6 quilters - 2 at each table.

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Here is Cathy teaching different stitch techniques. She had a lot of great stories that made it all so interesting. The time really flew.

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Cathy showing us a different way to draw leaves.
That was my training in beautiful Wisconsin. What a great 2 days and now I am home ready to get started.

Here is my machine all loaded and ready to go.
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So now I am off to go a-quilting.
I hope you have a wonderful day.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Brothers Quilt

This year my brother Jim turned 50, August 10 to be exact. Happy Birthday Jim.
My Mom turned 70 in May this year as well, that is another quilt story. Anyways, back to my brother...

I saw this quilt on the cover of the August issue of BHG's American Patchwork and Quilting and thought of my brother Jim right away. I thought this would be a great pattern for him. He lives in Texas, which is very sunny and well he is turning 50 this year so I wanted to do something special for him. He is a very special guy.

Here are some pictures of what I am doing so far.

This is a picture of the quilt, if you didn't see that magazine.
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The pattern.
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The fabrics  for the points.
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Here are some of the completed half circles. I need to add the centers and the outside edge to finish the block. I am doing all of the paper piecing first.
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Here is a completed block.
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I need to make 64 blocks for the quilt top. I have one complete block and 17 half circles done. It is coming together pretty well.
At this rate he might get it for Christmas. :)

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The New Machine is Here!!

The new machine is here, all set up and running great so far. I am having an electrician come today to check the electrical and make sure that there is enough to go around.

Here are some pictures of her arrival.
This is the table before being put together. Let me tell you, that baby is heavy. I helped carry it in and we had to make a few stops to rest before the final resting place. (Rest for me that is. )  :)
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This is the table all together. It has a pivot bar in the front that helps with loading the quilts and then quilting.
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And here she is.. My new Gammill 22:10. It is the newest machine in their line. She just came on the market a little over a month ago, I am told.
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I have been practicing stitching. When I finished the piece that they brought to practice on I bought some inexpensive fabric and loaded her up myself. These are some loops that I stitched.
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I have 2 days of training with the shop that I bought this machine from. That will be in September, the shop is called At The Heart of Quilting  in Beloit Wis. I can't wait!

I hope you are having a wonderful day. I will be practicing and keeping you posted.

Thanks for stopping by.