Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category


34.2 Kings puzzle borders cometh

February 23, 2014

The very exciting Kings Puzzle quilt was brought out again last week.

The quilt guild was lucky enough to receive a presentation about “something blue” by a local quilter – Barb Eikmeier.

During that presentation Barb showed a blue & white version of the King’s Puzzle quilt by Lois Hattleberg. Lois & Barb are friends.

Lucky me that I was able to show my red and black version of the same quilt top at the meeting Barb attended, so she got to see the version I made.

royal red kings puzzle shown at guild 2

And I opened my mouth & said something about making borders at the retreat the following weekend (last weekend from this time frame).

So I brought the top, and an assortment of deep red fabrics, and my graph paper.

The first evening of the retreat, just doing some drawing & some thinking I think I figured out what I want to do for borders for this top that will compliment & hopefully not detract from the wonderful piecing of this top.

kings puzzle border plan and ispiration fabric

Since the Kings Puzzle quilt in a bargello style quilt, mimics the style of an orange peel design, I looked at the red fabric with orange peel pieces that also reminded me of a cathedral windows quilt setting.

And I have made a cathedral windows style quilt with the 10 minute block method before!

So I came back to this quilt on the last day of retreat (had a few other things on the ‘had to do’ list first), and started thinking & playing with scale & design.

I have cut the center pieces of the cathedral window blocks, I actually am going to make a change to my first cuts so I can border the cathedral windows differently on some blocks, but I am still using the bright red fabric in the centers of the blocks.

I am going to make an outer border & an inner border of red that have some of those cathedral window blocks in between.

I wanted the very outer border to have a darker red border. I have two acceptable options.

Option #1 – the best option right now.

kings puzzle with first option border fabric

A close up of the same fabric (colors slightly off due to flash etc). This is what I like best right now still.

kp border solution 1

But this next fabric would be nice too, I think. I don’t have enough (yet) of this fabric, but I like the darkness of it more. But not so much the chevrons (doesn’t work as much in THIS design. Or the thing seems very purple to me too.

kp border solution 2

I have been thinking about next year’s regional quilt show, and wondering in the back of my mind if I can push through all the way to finishing this quilt to get it done before the deadline for that show. This is one that speaks to people a lot.

If not, I will try to enter my exothermic wonders quilt in the regional show. If they let me. The finish date for “Exothermic Wonders” was Christmas 2012 so by June 2015 it will be 2.5 years old which is .5 years out of the ‘acceptable quilt age’ for this particular show. So maybe not.

Better press on with King’s Puzzle.


34.1 Dragons Unleashed

February 22, 2014

My dragon was so scary on the gold, that an evil wizard decided to encase him in in wood.

dragon wood border

A valiant knight heard tale of this viscous dragon. He set off on a quest to try to slay him.

knight sihlouette

First the knight had to find his way among the circular maze of the Celts.

celtic knot original placement

The dragon then encased himself in a wall of fire & flame.

celtic section and dragon section

The knight, confused, warm, walking in circles, called upon the angels for help.

celtic angels

A castle in the background will be calling for help and the success of the knights’ travels.

Stay tuned for that portion of the story after these messages (other projects)


33.5 More custom Free Motion Quilting on Fans And Bows

December 10, 2013

I have been working towards quilting this red and white quilt top of mine for over the past week.  I have done a little each day, worked on a little every day, trying to figure out what to do on each section each day, getting a little further in trying to make the designs symmetrical.

I have not finished, but I have been doing an okay job at the FMQ on this red and white quilt.


I have these antennae guys in the corners between some of the red white 9 patches.

You already saw the corner arches, but I decided to go over the tops in red.


and I have some more red quilting in some of the other sections. Like on my fans. Here was the first day. Red on red if you can see.


The design on the fans becomes more evident when I quilted the red on the black.


And there is some overstitch of red on the quilting next to the fans. So I have a few more plans to cover over with red in places, and probably have some more white areas to do once I figure those out.

The back taken at some point really shows the quilting since the back is more black in nature.


And I haven’t yet made up the stitching in the brown sections of the border.

And I have a black lace that I have been wanting to add to this quilt for almost 2 years now.  But that will be added after the main base has been quilted.

I always wanted this quilt to have a lot of quilting. Glad that I waited until I could be “good enough” to quilt this, but not perfect.

I have used a lot of inspirations (no feathers as of yet), I have used a few techniques that I liked, double outlining things, doing rows of beads / a.k.a. pebbles (stone bridges). And swoops.  Now that I’ve started this, I need to keep inspiring myself to finish so I can knock off one inspiring quilt that has been on my list for a really really long while.

I have to start & stop sometimes due to the heat of my plug-in. Which also works out good for my shoulders too. This thing is one of my larger ‘wall quilts’ so it is probably considered lap size. I could consider quilting something bigger on Aquata, and maybe after this, I will do just that.



33.2 Kings Royal Red Puzzle quilt top complete

November 30, 2013

The main thing I worked on at the last quilting retreat, and the last two weekends since, has been the Kings Puzzle quilt.

The pattern is called King’s Puzzle, created by Lois Hatleberg, and published by

This past weekend I finished sewing all the blocks together and all the sashing together in the blocks.

kings puzzle top outside

The original pattern done with a light background and dark red blocks. Our LQS had a light background and blue for the dark areas.

kings puzzle quilt

And I had thought I was going to attempt this a year ago, and at that time I had cut out strips for all the dark reds. But I was missing something. I didn’t quite have enough fabric for the whole quilt to be that red & that black.

So in my mind I set out to do 3 different colors of reds. A dark, medium & light, but all very saturated reds.

Two days before leaving on retreat I found the right color of ‘bright (light value) red’ for the quilt, and I had already bought the other two reds.

It was hard to estimate how much of each red I would need since I knew I was going to separate out the middle and edge of each design. In fact I pretty much ran out of (twice) the middle color of red that dominates much of the quilt space.

Before I started actually cutting this time around, I did some diagramming & thinking.

kings puzzle self instructions page 1

First I had to know the general area for medium & dark & light and then I had to count them. Never underestimate symbols and colored pencils in helping plan out things.

I used symbols such as L for light, D for dark in sections that would be important.

And then I just had to flat out count what I had.

And then I redrew the strip sets & calculated (wrongly originally for the row 6 actually) how many of each I would need based from the drawing I had done above.

kings puzzle self instructions page 2 and 3

And then I had to estimate how many strips to make of each color and label, label, label.

labeled strips by width for each row

And then I could make strip sets.

kings puzzle strip set

And then cut the strip sets into strips for the final blocks.

kings puzzle strips and more strips

And then get the strips in order to make the blocks.

kings puzzle first block layout before sewing together

After making several blocks. This was the last afternoon of retreat how far I was some time in the middle of that afternoon.

kings puzzle quilt blocks on design wall

I worked then on getting all the sashing complete (or close) before leaving the retreat center.


And so upon coming home I had a few sashing pieces to rip out because when I changed one of the long sashing sub-pieces, I didn’t rename it a different name and so didn’t create enough smaller sub-pieces of the right size.

And then a few blocks to complete.

one chunked section of kings puzzle quilt

And so now I have the top complete, minus borders.

kings puzzle top complete inside

Good thing I had things ultra organized & sticky noted and grouped & pinned. It helped tremendously in getting the thing together without wanting to tear out my hair. Or stop. I would have stopped on this, I never would have gotten back to it.

Not complicated, but very time consuming.

A true bargello? I don’t know, but it is of the same style, strip sets broken up & resewn together.

And a border fabric? I have two possibilities!

kings puzzle quilt border choices


32.5 A Few Pictures from the AQS show in Des Moines 2013

October 27, 2013

I have  been slightly hesitant to post pictures of AQS show quilts, as I generally do not take the time/energy/camera battery life to gain the necessary knowledge to be able to post pictures of the quilts.  To my awareness, a point brought out by some discussion before the early October show, in order to post pictures at an AQS show, one needs to have the name of the quilt/creator to be able to post pictures publicly. This limits my pictures and makes me put off posting from the show.

First, if I post your quilt and you are the quilter involved & you do not want your picture posted, please kindly let me know. I tried my best to see the names through blowing up some of my pictures, and some names I am successful at reading more than others.

Some info about the AQS show from someone NOT ‘in the know’ about it.

It is held the first week in October in Des Moines, IA and I think it is the last of the officially sponsored AQS shows of the calendar year.

First, I want to say that the Machine Quilter’s Showcase that used to be held in Kansas City is a really good precursor/analog to what one sees at a AQS quilt show.  Vendors, quilts, special challenges/ groups. The Des Moines AQS show was bigger, but  very close to what one used to see here.

Des Moines itself is a fun place for a show, near the show are a few rivers, and a fun walking bridge.


Back to the show. There were several categories of special exhibits at the show. I may be forgetting one or two, but I remember seeing quilts in the following categories. Sort explanation of the types of quilts found based on the best of my knowledge.

  • Quilted in Honor – quilts for service men & women. These were fantastic, and not all red/white & blue, and many had so much meaning wrapped into the quilt
  • Masterpieces – quilts that were exquisitely done, works of art on fabric
  • Claudia Pfeil – Fire & Ice exhibit – her quilts are amazing with tons of colors & quilting
  • Modern Quilt Challenge – quilts that were a part of the modern quilt atheistic
  • Tentmakers of Cairo – hand applique quilts with many colors & pieces
  • The Go quilt Challenge – quilts that were made using pieces from the Acuquilt Go cutter
  • Des Moines quilt guild quilts – local quilts, also had a subgroup of quilts that showed quilts over the generations
  • The Cow Parade – quilts using Mary Lou Weidman’s cow quilt book: “Out of the Box with Easy Blocks” that had cows in hilarious situations – a RIOT
  • Colorplay – 12 small quilts made by 12 artists that highlighted a specific color or group of colors. These were so much fun to see.
  • Applique Artistry – can’t remember details about this exhibit. Maybe these were some of the quilts for sale

The main show had 3 different sections to my knowledge.

  1. The general show
  2. The author’s section where sometimes authors did demonstrations of things from their book & stuff
  3. The quilt museum (this was a strict no picture area) where they had the miniature quilts display and when they say miniature, they mean miniature!!! Blocks the width of my finger with massive amounts of detail.

Plus a healthy section of vendors, area for classrooms etc.

A quilt or two from each section? I’ll see if I can do that.

Quilted in Honor.

This quilt: Patriotic Stars II by Sarah Vedeler of AZ



This quilt: Piece & Quiet by Cynthia England of TX


This quilt: Kentucky Dogwood by Natalie Sewell of WI


Claudia Pfeil

This quilt: Fire & Ice (I think) I have seen this before – from Germany


Modern quilt

This quilt: I C U – Do You C Me? by Birgit Schuelier – from Germany


Acu-Quilt Go quilt (modern style)

This quilt: Playing with Color by Sandi Snow of FL


This quilt (2): Cherry Blossoms by Sally Manke (Manike?) of MI


Applique Artistry

This quilt: Arabasque by Patricia B Campbell


Color Play

Orange quilt set – by 12 different artists – cannot read details very well but including the description as a second picture below.



Cow Stampede (Cow Parade)

This quilt: Captain a-MOO-rica by Julie Post


This quilt: Moo-dy Blues by Laurie Latta (sp?)


Tentmakers of Cairo / Stitch like an Egyptian

This quilt: Dendon


We saw Mary Lou Weidman’s talk about creativity

This quilt – the House that Jack Built


The Main Show (other room)

This quilt: Shoreline Log Cabin by Karen Barr (one of my aunt’s favorite quilts). Most of the pieces are close to 1X1 inch, but looking closer, there are probably some 1X2 inch pieces in here.


This quilt: Mickey & Friends by Jim Gropper (posting for my one very dear friend who loves mickey & minnie so much there was a M&M theme at her wedding).


Author quilts:

This quilt: Through the Moongate by Karen Fisher from the book “Easy Grid Quilts”


And at some point after this my camera died before getting a good picture of the grandprize winners.

So I hope you enjoy the pictures. Even a month late, it’s never too late to enjoy good quilting!

I have more to share about my trip to Des Moines, and I will try to get them into separate posts. Local quilt shops local to Des Moines & bridges to come.  Also a very special Vetrans quilt.


32.4 Post AQS Des Moines Report Pre Show Self Shop Hop

October 9, 2013

Things have been interesting in the last two (or is it thee) weeks since I last blogged.  Health & computer issues mainly, but I did get to get away from Kansas to head to Iowa for a trip.

My aunt lives in Des Moines, and last year I had wanted to visit her for the AQS quilt show held there in October.  Last year, I had issues that kept me away, so this year I made it a priority to go.

And what great timing! Running out of fumes from work, a 3 day break was exactly what I needed.

I have all your requests down from the last post, some of which I have done, responded, some of which I need to go back & look up & complete. I liked all of your suggestions. Thing is that I’ve either been working or sick when I haven’t been gone at AQS.  This afternoon was the best I felt all this week since Sunday when my camera wouldn’t transfer any of my AQS pictures.

I had three days of fun, only one of which involved the actual quilt show.  I took a self guided “shop hop” on my way from KC to Des Moines, visiting shops that are either ‘close’ to my area, but definitely not shops I have been at before. Allow me to relive my travels by sharing my experiences.

Shop 1 – Quilter’s Quarters - Levenworth, KS

quilters quarter levenworth ks

Notice the ruby slippers? So Kansas.

This shop was cute. The front was several civil war sections, the middle was batiks, and the back room was sale fabrics and/or classroom stuff.  I liked the staff I talked to, it was a great way to start a shop hop.


This shop had several BOM’s that were fun, and I liked several quilts in this section.

Look at their cute way to package their kits!


And this quilt kit was just amazing, and just my style. Love the paint can. I didn’t purchase, trying to keep in mind I had lots more to do & see.


A good start to my day.

Then I traveled to Missouri, and this shop didn’t allow pictures at all, so I didn’t get any pictures. On the way there I passed the bridge and had a lovely drive.


Shop 2 – Peddler’s Wagon – Parkville, MO

This shop was right across the street from the mini golf course that I absolutely loved that I discovered a few years ago.


The shop was nice, on a fairly steep hill, downtown Parkville. There is a touristy feeling about this section of “KC”, The store itself was one level, with a kind of ‘cut out balcony’ section above that rings around the central shop area that has many many examples of completed quilts on the walls & railings.  Also sale fabric was found on the upper level.

More about the shop I found interesting, that on the outer ring on the lower (main) level there were sections. They were separated by walls, and left many many different alcoves, which provided natural separation of types of objects. One section was halloween, one section was baby quilts, one section was notions, one section was books, several sections were fabric, many different kinds of fabric, and many different fat quarter rolls.

Then a little bit of a drive later, and into northern Missouri, there were two shops within about 20 miles of each other just along I35.

Shop 3 – Crossroads Quilting – Cameron, MO


This shop was probably a couple of stores molded into one larger store, possibly clothing stores. There were different kinds of little alcoves in this store that reminded me of dressing rooms.


This style of fabrics were a little more ‘country’ colors for me, but I was fascinated with all the displays and the bags and all of everything they had placed in the store & how it was arranged like a house!



This was the first time I had ever seen a vertical quilt hanger like this.


There are many more pictures of this store since it was so unique.  But here’s the first bed I saw on the journey too.


Then just down the road, probably the most “internet famous” of the four shops.

Shop 4 – Missouri Star Quilt Company – Hamilton, MO


Wow. Since I have seen and heard so much about Missouri Star Quilt company online in the last several years, I was kinda nervous & excited to be there. So much hype, but they also lived up to all the hype as you will see.

Small town Missouri but a big & expanding store, run by family & close knit group of people, but a large group of people in & out and about on a Wednesday afternoon.


By far, MOStarQuiltCo had the most amount of bolts of fabric over every other store I visited in person during the whole week.  Not so many precut fat quarters, but several precuts, although the bolt fabric was really really high.

Each of these (look at the picture below to see what I am talking about) ‘walls’ of four bolts high of fabric was repeated about 8 times or so, in addition to the many shelves, other areas, minkie & backing areas.


And the staffing there was numerous and fantastic as well!

The fabric was organized by type / designer / line way more than it was by colors. Except for some areas.

Here you can see how ‘far back’ the store gets.


Or maybe you can’t see that, I don’t know.

Anyway, what I failed to take pictures of was Jenny Doan’s studio where she shoots her videos from. I could see some stuff set up for taking pictures & videos well in the back.

When I told one of the employees that I was excited to be there, as Jenny came to our guild once and gave a presentation, they introduced me to one of her grand-daughters.  Jenny was in the newly acquired retreat center doing some kind of “live podcast” which I didn’t hear as much detail about, so she wasn’t around during the time I was there, but I did strike up a conversation with several people.

I got to see (no pictures) the large family picture they took, and Jenny has 7 kids herself, with such a large family it sounded like many of them were somehow involved with the store in some aspect or another, and many of them seemed happy to be there, and friendly to themselves and the customers.  I asked the granddaughter (sorry for not remembering your name :( but it was nice to talk to you) if there was a lot of pressure to quilt, and if she liked quilting at all, and she’s done a few quilts, but hasn’t done all that many.  She was helping me find the minkee for a guild scarf project, and then I was given to someone else to cut the minkee.

She talked of the expansion, the number of online orders they do every day, how they used to have classes, but haven’t had the space to do them for a while, how they have several buildings in Hamilton that they are considering breaking down into specific types of fabric shops, perhaps one that has chevron specific fabrics for example, and about the retreat center that was brand new.


I looked around at some of the other fabrics, and then when I was checking out I noticed a lady who I recognized from one of the videos. I admitted I couldn’t remember which one, and she, like me, said she felt nervous about being on the video, was glad to do it, but it wasn’t her most favorite part of working on the store to be in front of the camera.

We talked about podcasts, since she was the one who said something about “live podcast” but she didn’t have a ton of details about it, I was just about a half hour late to see that in person from their retreat center. We talked about blogs and how it is so hard to have time reading people’s blogs and since google reader went away, how it was hard to sign up for blogs. I mentioned feedly & bloglovin and it was so busy that I bet she didn’t have time to record any of the info I gave her. But I understand not having time as well.

We probably weren’t “kindred spirits” but it was so nice to be able to chat so much about so many quilting topics with all the ladies at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was a very good side trip and I was very glad to drive the 20 miles from the interstate to see the place in person.  They had some kind of 5 year celebration they tried to get me to come back for, and I very well could have done so on my way back from Des Moines, but by then I was quilt shopped out.

One Last Stop – the Most Important One

And the last part of my ‘going to Des Moines’ quilt show was the meetup with Jackie, from Sew Excited Quilts.

I was running a little late with all this quilty goodness that I saw on the way to Des Moines, so I was almost at my aunt’s by the time we were going to meet up for dinner.  We met at Spaghetti Works in Downtown Des Moines, not all that far away from the quilt show.

It was so like meeting an old friend even though I think we have only met in person like 3 times before now.  It was great to catch up in person, see what we’re up to, compare lives, catch up with my aunt and have her meet Jackie (and her DH) as well.


And wow I shared a lot about my trip, and this was only DAY ONE. The next post I will do will be about the AQS quilt show, but who knows when it will be written as it takes a lot of time to do this, and time is limited with all the work I am doing, and the quilting I am trying to do on an older project.

Take care everyone! Don’t get sick as it is hard on you when you’re trying to do a lot of things already!


32.2 Fitting in teeny bits of time

September 15, 2013

Two weeks ago during the holiday weekend, I was honored to actually get to sew with everyone.

Well it was warm and I sat and watched movies, and you tube videos of my first favorite detective (Hercule Poroit).

Did you know that when you watch Spinal Tap with the options, you can hear the “bands” comments about the film – in character for the entire length of the movie? It’s a mocumentary/mocommentary fun ball and adds a whole other level to the film.

And did you know that after watching the musical Chicago the songs get stuck in your head for almost 2 weeks straight? “He had it comin …”

And the combination is just a weird strange mess of wonderful?


During the labor / movie day I actually didn’t sew anything, I was ironing some recently acquired fabric, and then starting to get my scrap pile under control.

I have a plan to do a pin cushion but the plan is too complicated for now … needs to wait until I figure it out.

But that was perfect to be able to watch movies, cut, iron & size.

Then the following ultra – hot weekend summer came back & tried to kick us all in the behind, causing the AC to act up, and the temp inside my sewing room to creep to 90 degrees.


But I did get a layout of a black and white quilt settled that I have been making blocks for slowly over the last 3 years.

black white hot air layout

I’ve had an asymmetrical idea of this quilt for quite a while,

I always knew I wanted to do something different in an imaginary border between a middle and an outside section of these little (somewhat) swapped 4.5 inch square in a square blocks. From the time I entered hobby lobby the day several years ago and found the funny white & black braid, I had a vision of doing black & white with purple & teal colors in the border.

Later I decided to do a hot air balloon about 2.5 years ago. and at a retreat 2 years ago, I planned on the background being ‘less intense piecing’ behind the hot air balloon, and came up with this idea.


So I am working toward sewing this together, although the final layout has another row of small blocks on the bottom and left side

I don’t know the quilt’s intentions yet.

It’s quite large for a wallhanging, but it’s going to be too delicate and/or small to fit on my bed.


And I can only do the black white for a while.  But I transferred all the pieces to the design wall in order to get them ready to sew together.

black white border plan

And today a large portion of blocks on the left had to be replaced & sewn together.

Currently have the middle off center piece done.

middle section sewn hot air quilt

And am slowly working my ways through the rows.


But now that it’s not screeching hot outside – finally & thankfully – it’s not uncomfortably hot inside anymore, but now I am just tired all the time due to all the work they want us to do.

At work, we consolidated & absorbed a large portion of work from another lab we purchased, and just now am getting people in to help replace some people we lost (not related to the work we got or the lab we purchased).

And they want us to all work overtime (a lot), and everyone in every department seems bedraggled & rugged & worn out, but the work is still here, and there is still a lot to deal with. I could go more in detail but it’s best not to do so.


And I am trying to plan to go to the Des Moines show in early October. Anyone want to stop say hi? Anyone have a specific date to meet?  The dates I have off are the 2nd through the 5th of October, but trying to decide which half of that is travel, and which half is staying home & resting.

Currently open, and currently my aunt has said she’s open to dates as well.

I hope it’s not another month until I update, but I don’t know how it will be with all my free time used elsewhere. And when I get home after a long day, I really want to veg out a lot.  Talk to you all later.

paper piecing backgrounds for name tags


30.8 I understand why Carlotta was kicked out of the opera

July 7, 2013

First off, many thanks for those of you who responded to my last post where I decided to step away from podcasting.

I have listened to many of you, and I know that a lot of what I said in the episode I posted was about (my) hurt feelings and that is a portion of the reason to step away. There was a little something else though. A constant feeling of “oh you’re not recording this week, why not?” that was constantly playing in my head.  A solution to that monologue would be to record every week, but the time & effort I wanted to take to do that would have been too great.

I was very calm when I recorded, but by the end of the day last Sunday I was sad & weepy about the whole thing.  I have listened to myself in the episode and the calm reassurance is there that it was the right decision at this time.

What’s funny is that since last sunday, I’ve been really wanting to “audio journal” things, say them outl0ud, get myself sorted through. And I think I am going to do that anyway, and just journal them for myself and keep them for myself. Strange how that happened that I want to go back to the mic to get away from the mic.

I’ve purposefully waited until the (virtual) dust has settled before posting a new post (this one!)

***** sweeping away the dust for now *****

Okay, the title of the post is about Carlotta. My sewing machine.


Now this is totally my fault for not getting it taken care of sooner, I had a whole two months where I wasn’t quilting anything at all, just sitting around playing Sims video game.

So during THAT time (middle of May until end of June) I should have either taken Carlotta in to get serviced, or the hand-me-down Bernina that I have had since Christmas time which is old & has all the parts, but I haven’t wanted to use until I get a nice cleaning and good bill of health for.

Did I do either of these? NO. Of course not.

And guess what is coming up, slamming itself faster and faster towards me?  The biannual quilt show.

For which I should have gotten a few more of my larger projects done, but I also HAVE to finish my charity quilt to give away.

There is something wrong with the sewing machine’s take-up lever.  The part that has a spring on it that lets the thread travel back toward the top of the machine. This helps to balance the tension on it, I would assume that the spring allows the thread to be able to handle a change of tension on the bottom and can help the thread adjust accordingly by reducing tension through the spring in the lever.

Well the take up lever is not really moving or acting very springlike anymore.  For the life of me I don’t know what it looked like before I noticed it, but now it’s either stuck too low or stuck too high and nothing about the whole thing is very springy.

So the top which I already had to set the tension to pretty much zero BEFORE the tightening spring problem is way too tight on the top now.

Sometimes it works. Carlotta is temperamental. Like the opera star in the Phantom of the Opera. Very beautiful voice when working, but otherwise, just good at being a B@TCH, and being stubborn.

Which is why I named her what I did.

So I was on the path to microstippling the auction quilt.

I finally had a plan. Last weekend through the 4th of July I worked on the middle section. I put Carlotta in time-out and got out Molly, my original machine that I haven’t touched in the last two years.

And Molly is gone. Her motor started up “okay” when I started and within 3 minutes the motor was not running at all.  I need to properly ‘bury’ Molly (aka throw her away somehow), and as you can see she can be easily & cheaply replaced.


I got Carlotta back out & swore I could deal with the broken needles (broke 4 just trying to slowly microstipple before putting Carlotta in time out).

And on the 4th I was able to sew straight lines (with my darning foot, pretty straight and great practice for control I might add) on the outside of the quilt for the auction.

hexadaisy quilted inside outside one sectionAnd Carlotta cooperated long enough to sew the microstippling in the middle of the quilt.

microstippling in the middle hexadaisy

And I wanted so badly to continue this look of microstippling bands on the outside of the quilt, to mimic the center and the outside to tie the thing together. So I got these three lines done with only minimal birds nests (3 I think).

microstippling in corner on hexadaisy

Yesterday morning (saturday morning) I sat down to do this on all the other corners of the quilt, in addition to the two sides one section of microstippling.

And NO was the answer I got back from Carlotta. Not only NO but “H@LL NO”. Birds nest after birds nest. Rethread after rethread, cleaning out the bobbin area after recleaning, switching types of needles, switching bobbins, putting the magic genie washers in the bobbin area, taking them out of the bobbin area.  Broken needle after broken needle.

I went on an hour walk to calm myself, came back and still the thing wasn’t cooperating. Still, still, still.

So I decided to rip. Rip Rip Rip. I wanted some good break up songs to break up with my stitches.

But you know how long it takes to rip out microstippling? Or how long it takes ME to rip out microstippling? An hour a strip. To get all the threads off the thing, and catch everything. And I had to rip out 3 sections of good microstippling, and one section of bird nest microstippling.

stupid birds nest could not get rid of these

The bird nest parts did not take an hour, they took less time since there was so much mess. But I had to come back off and on to the quilt, it made me so frustrated!  If it would have worked the way it was supposed to, I would have done the original design by 8 or 9 in the morning, not taken me until 4PM to remove all the hard work that I had liked that I had done.

This AM I have worked on getting the binding pressed.  A light binding, but a fun one.

hexadaisy before binding

And now before I sew it down, I am going to make two sleeves, one for the side and one for the top, so it can be hung either way by the recipient, as the recipient chooses.

And yes I am giving this away to our guild, I have another version of this that is larger that I am keeping for myself, but I do not want to touch until Carlotta or my other machine has been in the shop. And I am NOT going to do either until after this week is over, I have TOO MUCH other things to do before the show.

If I get my act together, I may reintroduce you to the quilts I am hanging in the show at the end of this week (friday & saturday).


30.5 It’s coming

April 14, 2013

After two weeks of blog silence, I am finally organized enough to say … it’s on its way.

I am working on a podcast that highlights the past March-A-Long progress of everyone so far.

I am certain that this year 2013 is one of the busiest yet. Overall. Everyweek is CRAZY, even my days off. Especially my days off. And we haven’t even started with lawn chores yet.

Anyway in terms of the end of March-A-Long podcast preparation, I have copied, pasted, looked at blogs, looked at my own blog posts, searched, printed, color coded, written numbers everywhere, and I am attempting to get the entire month of march narrowed down into a list of sorts (or two) to help me prepare.

Some statistics so far:

I have counted 62 separate entries for the March A Long, the inlinkz posts were done by 9 different bloggers overall, and I have counted 23 different quilters that have commented on the March-A-Long blog posts or added their own links for this year.

I tried to copy quotes from all people, and I may have to cut down my quote list a little bit from what I have printed out (5 pages yikes) since all of you can come back and read the March-A-Long comments for yourselves. As of this time, I may have a quote from everyone on the list, or I may be “really really close” to everyone on the list.  After I record all of this (or during if I can’t pick up the pace a little bit) I may search & decide to cut similar things said by different people.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate ALL your hard work during the month of March and ALL the time you took either organizing or telling me about it.  Whew, we did great!!

In addition to searching my own blog, I also tried to revisit the blogs that were listed in the inlinkz and I have a small sampling of things that were written on their blogs too.

But in organizing all this, I am done with my allotted time for today, leaving no time for recording.

So it’s coming, and it’s ready, and I am trying out a new mic, but it is not recorded but I have not forgotten you in the last busy two weeks.

I did get a tiny bit of sewing done since we spoke, which is ripping out backs of hexadaisy, getting it on the design wall, and finally this morning, sewing the blocks together as a center of a quilt top.  And I finished my embroidery block for guild, and I had a “blowout envy rage thing (very unflattering of me)” over missing blocks from my own guild blocks box. To help the blowoutrageenvything I ironed two whole stacks of fabric I received from a fellow quilter.

And since the most positive of the things mentioned in my own sewing is the center of the hexadaisy, here it is:

hexadaisy finished center

Talk to you all as soon as I can!


29.3 More progress on the Star Struck Quilt

January 13, 2013

Slow & steady is how we win the race. Every weekend I have done something that has a little bit of progress.

Last weekend was sewing the back & basting.

basting star struck on floor

Last weekend I also started the black echo quilting lines. Three echoes, and then going back through and stitching the ditch (huh, I think I did that backwards)

And the middle of the black stars are left unquilted.

black echo stitching lines

Thursday I worked up a tracing of the quilting for the multicolored stars and drew the design on paper several times.

quilting design traced on paper

This built in its own backtracks into the design just fine, but keeps the design within the center of the stars. This could have worked for the black stars too if I had come up with it before all the echo stitching.

quilting completed light block highlight

And it works fantastically on a quilt. The multicolored thread I put in both the bobbin and the back as the original black thread was showing too much.

This was the first time I had used king tut brand thread, and I don’t know if it was my machine, my needle, my constant tension problems, but I didn’t like it half as much as aurifil. If only I could find these large spools of variegated thread in colors I adore & would use!  I need to start looking for some, I had several broken threads.

As you can see I stitched the lines by hands, no rulers templates or walking feet. I recently downloaded a craftsy class about template quilting, and after watching the first 10 minutes, I thought it was a nifty idea, but I had the problem of having a darning (quilting) foot that is not symmetrically surrounding the needle.

Maybe later in the class there is something about how to transfer all the longarm stuff to domestic machines.  Maybe. If not, I have the class for “way in the future”. The straight lines of the template rulers really appeal to me.

I remember there was a category “tools of the trade” at last year’s MQS show which the quilts had to be made with rulers or other tools on the long arm or they wouldn’t qualify for that category.

Now I can visualize how that’s done.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the baby quilt as it stands now. Patiently waiting for the ends to be cut off and the binding sewn on.

quilting completed on star struck whole quilt

The binding is picked out and I just may get that sewn & pressed later tonight.

And here’s one more picture of the quilt a little more close up.  I need to take down all my overhead lights and clean them, my house seems very dark if I don’t have external lights going on, and this is proving weird color sheens on my quilts.

quilting completed light and dark

The secondary hourglass patches will not be extra quilted except for their stitch in the ditch.

I need to start up talking to my cousin and see if she’s still interested. If lucky, I can get this finished by next weekend or so, only a month and a half late.

Otherwise this quilt could really find a place to stay here ….



Update on the previous post about decisions to make

And for people reading my blog in ‘real time’, who saw and responded (or thought to) to my last post about my decisions.

I know I am overthinking things too much. If you know me, you know this should not surprise you.  I have sent a couple of emails to people, and no I haven’t yet replied on my own post in the comment section myself.

I did worry a few people with the ‘tone’ of my last post. And this is a true tone. I have been obsessing over something that I shouldn’t be obsessing over for almost 2 months now.  And I do always feel better when I write out what’s bothering me.

Nonnie suggested that I try to blog positively from now on, and I may take her advice to the next level and start my own journal.  Since I do a lot of my thinking while writing out things, this may be a better way to express my doubts instead of putting them all out there for you.

However, this doesn’t mean that a journal will “make everything better” or that I won’t take things too personally in the future as I did in this case.

I am trying to take steps to figure out how to handle things that bother me, and boy do I do the wrong thing about that most times. But I have made a couple of changes already in the last week that I hope will help my frustrations at least temporarily.  And I wouldn’t have made those changes if I hadn’t posted about how I needed to make decisions.

And I want to learn how to make even more changes to help me out. It gets scary to see that I face the same demons that I faced several years ago in terms of fear over the podcast.  I have to battle within myself over something that 3 different bosses have told me is holding me back (maybe 4, I forget). So maybe like most people, I don’t really WANT to change.  And if so I have to figure out how to be OK with that.

I do need to make small changes, small experiments, and see how things go. I still need to think about the direction, duration, schedule, and type of quilting podcast I want to make.

People seem to keep telling me that they like the “just talking part” of podcasts, and for me, those are the longest & least thought out, most rambly, and unstructured parts of my own podcast.  The topic part, yes I probably do go on and on, but I do cut the topics off WAY before I cut off my own quilty rambly thoughts.

Honestly … I find myself scared / angry / frustrated / nervous to lean towards doing a podcast with “only the home sewing front part” that everyone seems to crave.

And then, I worry too much about that whole thing all over again.

So perhaps a compromise is in order, sometimes topic, sometimes just talking???? This is a thought anyway.

Which is why I am sitting down and trying to make the decisions before I record again.

And I still plan to “March-A-Long” in March, doing 15 minutes every day quilting during the month of March, I still plan to podcast the March A Long weekly like last year, I still plan to highlight others who are marching along with me.

So if nothing gets decided between now & then, we’ll at least have that to look forward to. ;)

Well, I’ll keep thinking, and you keep sending me good thoughts. And I’ll try to be better at mirroring those good thoughts back.


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