Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two Finished Quilts

Today I mailed these two quilts to my uncle in California. The one that is all squares I named Precision Squares. The other one, done in strips, I named Chaotic Strips.

Precision Squares is made up of 6" squares sent to me from all over the country and New Zealand and from my fabric stash. It is machine quilted in the ditch.

Chaotic Strips is made from leftover squares and solid fabric purchased in Arthur when I went to the Amish shops. It is heavily machine quilted all over in whatever design struck me at the time.

I really enjoyed doing the machine quilting once things started to work on the machine. I'm waiting now for a different presser foot to arrive. The one I'm using now is round all around the needle and it is difficult to see where I'm stitching sometimes. The one I'm waiting for is clear, so I'll be able to see where I'm going and where I've been.

Planning to go to Paducah, Kentucky the end of April for a quilt show down there. Donna and I are going to it. We had to book a hotel room an hour away because they are all booked up close to Paducah! I never knew there were that many quilters...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Success at Last!

The old Kenmore was just not cutting it... I tried again to get the Singer up and running. This time I used a very heavy duty needle. Hmm... It worked! I drove almost an hour one way to the only shop I know of that carries needles for that machine and bought two packages today. I was able to finish the quilting on the chaotic strips quilt. I even got the binding sewn to the front of the quilt. I need to hand sew it to the back and that quilt will be finished. Going to give things a rest tonight, I think. Sewed for almost five hours today, plus traveled to pick up those needles.

Made spaghetti for dinner with some garlic bread. Last night I made a big turkey dinner. That was a hit. I logged quite a few hours of sewing in over the weekend. Tried to make meals that didn't need a lot of attention. Made clam chowder one night, and Italian beef in the crock pot the next.

The Saga Continues...

Last count, 20 broken needles on the old Singer. I gave up. The Singer won that round. I switched to the old Kenmore. It's not as easy to work with, since the Singer is a table model, but it will have to do. I'm going to mess with the Singer for a little bit today, but if I can't get it to work, I'm seriously thinking of banishing it to the basement. Or throwing it out the window...

Friday, February 15, 2008

As the Needle Breaks...

Frustration! I started quilting Chaotic Strips on the industrial Singer. Worked my way across the bottom 10" of it without a problem. Then I broke a needle. No problem, I have two packages of 10 needles each. I put in a new size 14 needle. Started to sew. It broke. Replaced the needle again. It broke. This went on for 5 size 14 needles! Thinking it may be the package of needles, I put in a size 12. It broke. Now I'm really getting mad. My friend stopped by to pick up a quilt pattern and she asked what was the matter. So I showed her. The machine sewed just fine. Okaaaaaaay. Told her she needed to just come over and sit in the sewing room while I finished the quilt. By this time I was so aggravated, I thought I had better quit on an up note. The machine was working. That was Tuesday.

Last night, Thursday, I decided to continue, thinking somehow I had solved the problem. Ha. I sewed for about 3" and the needle broke. I took the machine apart. Took the tension discs apart. Took the faceplate apart. Took the presser foot apart. Hmm. Presser foot. Needle alignment? Hmm. Okay, maybe, just maybe I'm pulling the needle too far to one side when I finish an area and it's moving the needle just enough that it's hitting the presser foot. The manual I downloaded from the internet says to pull the thread to the back (I was pulling to the right, since the needle threads left to right). Started doing that. It seems to have worked. I sewed for 45 minutes without a hitch. I am really hoping it will continue to sew properly, because I have a three day weekend in which I plan to sew up a storm.

Tonight I have some clam chowder ready for dinner. I made it from scratch last night. I put together some bread in the bread machine before I left for work this morning. Dinner will be all ready when I get home from work. I know I can spend several hours in the sewing room if I feel like it. Darling Daughter is working until 8 and since it's Friday night, I sincerely doubt she will be spending a lot of time at home. And since Darling Son is grounded, the last person he wants to be around is his jailer, so he'll be occupied on the computer or play station. Darling Husband is working afternoons, and even if he gets off early, it won't be until after 7. He's had a terrible head cold, so I would bet he goes home and goes to bed early.

Just a note, his union and the company he works for are in contract negotiations right now. I have to say, it's something that makes me nervous. He hadn't worked for a union before this job, and this is the first time their contract has come up since he has been there. Combine that with the fact that the company has been bought out by some big corporation that the union hasn't dealt with before, it gets a little hairy. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ready to Machine Quilt

Saturday I went over to the church hall and pin basted the two tops I finished, Chaotic Strips and Precision Squares. After not doing any quilting all week, getting these tops pin basted and ready to roll was a big accomplishment. I was in the mood to start sewing them this morning, but after church, making breakfast, and doing dishes, I think I'll just sit for a little while. Might get Nick's guitar quilt out and do some hand sewing.

I'd like to get a top cut out and ready to be pieced but can't decide what I want to do next. I am thinking of doing the square in a square pattern out of some flannel I have washed and ready to go. But I am also thinking of doing a sudoku pattern quilt. They really have caught my interest because I enjoy doing those puzzles.

Just as I do every year around this time, I start thinking about how it would be nice to give everyone a quilt for Christmas and I should start working on that right now. Ha, like it ever really happens... Well, one year I did make 19 comforters for presents, but I wasn't working full time outside of the home then. Anyway, as I thought about making things for people, I realized that when I give certain family members quilts they really don't seem to impressed or happy about receiving them. As much thought and work that goes into the quilts, I should at least feel like they appreciate them. So, my dilemma arises - do I even attempt to do this or do I pick and choose who to make them for this year? I have probably answered my own question here. I will probably decide who could use them and would appreciate them the most and start with making them quilts for Christmas. After theirs are done (if they GET done) then I can move on to others.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snow Storm

Here's what we woke up to this morning! Ten inches of snow! I love it. This picture is of Main Street in my little town. Not much going on, is there? I actually made it to work, but a few of my coworkers didn't. It's been a nice and slow day. I'm looking forward to doing some sewing tonight. I didn't sew anything last night. One of my t.v. shows had a new episode on, after a long dry spell, so I just vegetated in the chair. I should have been doing some hand quilting while watching t.v. Maybe tonight. Last night we had beef stew for supper. Tonight I think I will make some spare ribs and sauerkraut. Maybe some baked potatoes to warm up the kitchen a little.
I'm hoping my dear hubby doesn't get called off of work tonight. The last two Fridays they have called him off, which has resulted in smaller paychecks. With the power bills being what they are, this is a big crunch. Darling daughter is supposed to work today and tomorrow. The shop where she works had a fire New Year's Eve and this weekend they are having a 'fire sale'. They are planning on reopening and all, it's just taking time. Don't know what darling son will do tonight. He's grounded from his car because of bad grades, so he'll either be home or someone else will be driving.