Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving travel

We were out of town for a couple days but back home now. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. When we got home Istarted quilting one of the nursing home tops and was able to get it finished. There is light at the endof the tunnel!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tonight's progress

 I brought this sewing machine into the kitchen and cleaned and oiled it.  Then I thought it probably should be sewn on for a while.  I'm going to give it to my friend, Mary.  She wants to learn to quilt!  I will be seeing her on Friday and will give it to her then.
This is what I pieced together on the machine tonight.  It's the center for the final nursing home quilt.  It does need borders, but that's a lot closer to finished than it was last night. 

I called Nolting today and they are sending me a box for Gemma.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Preparing for shipment

I have Gemma off the carriage, and the front and back handles removed.  She is ready to be shipped.  Except the box I thought was the box she came in and that I have been saving all this time isn't the right box.  It's too small.  Sigh.  So now I have to call Nolting in the morning and have them ship me a box.

I am kind of proud of myself for getting her all ready to ship though.  It was a bit intimidating when I started, but I have to say the design of this machine is really user friendly.

Since I still have to get the nursing home tops done if I have time, I went ahead and pieced together some backings for the tops that are done.  Still need to make one more top.  Will go ahead and pin baste them, I guess and just run some straight lines down them for the quilting on my domestic machine.

A screeching halt

That's what I've come to.  A screeching halt.  Just got off the phone with Nolting and Dan said it sounds like the motor is giving out.  Sigh.  Well, I have to pack her up and send Miss Gemma to Hiawatha, Iowa to have her motor replaced.  I'm half tempted to go home and pack her up right this minute and get her sent immediately so I can get her back real soon!  The turn around time is only a day for the repairs, but the travel time for the machine is going to be a few days.  I'm thinking if I can get it packed up and sent off tomorrow they will have her on Monday of next week.  Will just have to get it done.

I'm not even going to attempt to do any more sewing on it because if the motor is dying, it may mess up the intellestitch, so that's just the way it is.  I'm done.  I'll see what I can do on the nursing home quilts on my domestic machine, but honestly, if I don't get them done before the 8th of December, they will be ready for next year.  It may even be a relief to not have to worry about them at this point.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A bit of trouble

I know Nolting will be able to fix me up, probably with a five minute phone call, so I'm not really complaining, but it is a bit of an aggravation to have the machine acting up.  Not it seems like the motor speeds up and slows down, even in non stitch regulated mode. 

I was able to finish up the two tops that were embroidery blocks, so at least I got something accomplished this weekend.  Really wanted to finish three total, but I'm pretty tired and probably wouldn't have gotten a third one done anyway.  Might go up to the sewing room later tonight and piece a couple backs if I feel like it.  Hey, worse comes to worse I will quilt the rest of the tops on the domestic machine if I have to.  But I sincerely doubt it will come to that.

I have some clam chowder simmering on the stove.  Today the temperature didn't even get above freezing, so it was a good day for soup.    Ev and I went with a few people to Edwardsville to the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant to watch the Bears and Rams game.  Ugh.  Bears lost.  I have a few wings left over that are calling my name...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Times two

This morning I pieced a large piece of material together so that it would be big enough for two tops.  Loaded it up on Gemma and quilted away!  I finished one top and have it still rolled up on the take up roller and started a second top.  These two are the ones I was apprehensive about.  They are the embroidery blocks.  So far, though, quilting them has gone well. 

I am having a bit of an issue with Gemma.  The machine is doing some funky things in stitch regulated mode.  Not sure what's going on but also not going to worry about it.  Nolting is such a fantastic company, I know that I can call them and get a lot of help over the phone if necessary. 

It's really getting cold here.  Down into the teens tonight.  Winter is on it's way!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A quilting we will go

Came home from work and started right away quilting the third nursing home top.  Got it all quilted tonight!  That made me feel pretty good.  Only ten more to go...

Got my hair cut tonight after work.  Feels good to have it cut a little different. 

Really foggy here.  Supposed to get colder.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A finish and a start

I finished quilting the first green nine patch quilt and started loading the second one tonight.  Have to keep moving on these puppies!  It's crunch time!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Mom thing

That's what I have been doing - the Mom thing.  Darling daughter tells me she has to get her wisdom teeth out.  She tells me this at the end of last year.  Now, she is an adult (at least she keeps telling me she is, with all of her 23 years of wisdom) so I give her information about who to call and all that good stuff and tell her it would be a good idea to get it done over Spring Break.  Hmm.  Spring Break comes, Spring Break goes, and she still has wisdom teeth.  Then I gently suggest she get it done over the Summer Break from college.  Summer comes, Summer goes, but the wisdom teeth remain.  Now, I tell this lovely young woman the facts are this - dental coverage from Dad's plan ends when you graduate college - in December.  Get the appointments made and get it done.  Hmmmm. 

What do you suppose happens over the past couple days?  The wisdom teeth flair up and she is in pain.  So now it's a scramble to get an appointment before the end of the year so she will be covered by insurance (do you know it's around $500 a tooth for an extraction without insurance?  yikes!).  Her extractions are scheduled for December 30th.  Cutting it close?  Yes.  Am I happy it's the day before New Year's Eve and she won't be able to party?  Take a guess...

Nothing new

Didn't have anything new to post yesterday, really.  When I got off of work I went to the grocery store and picked up a small beef roast and some hamburger.  I made beef roast and gravy, mashed potatoes, and a pea casserole for dinner.  I also made a huge pot of chili.  It was funny because while the chili was cooking I kept thinking I had forgotten an ingredient.  And I had - the peppers!  It wasn't a big deal because it still had a long time to cook.

I also picked up a turkey while I was at the grocery store because they were dirt cheap if you spent $25, and with buying the beef and hamburger, spending that much was a given.  I put the bird in the freezer where he will just have to mellow out until it's time for a big ol' turkey dinner!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday stuff

Yesterday I finished up the one quilt on the frame and loaded a second one.
Once again, I compromised on my goal to put feathers all over the nursing home quilts.  I did put feathers all over the first one, but the time it took was just too much.  So I'm going to make sure I have some feathers, in this case in the border, on each quilt.  I'm doing a simple meander on the inner part of this quilt.

I wanted to use some of the YLI thread I purchased in Paducah, mostly because I had a pretty sage color that would have looked very nice, but it kept breaking on me.  This happened with the other YLI thread I tried before.  I even put in a smaller needle, but it still broke.  I'll keep trying another time, but I just don't have the time to do it now, so I switched back to the Connecting Threads cotton thread that I have such good luck with.

I did decide to quit using the stitch regulator as such a crutch.  Going to have to master that too, so I started with this quilt.  Here's a close up of some of the quilting in the border. 
When I was working on the previous quilt I kept getting these little specks on the quilt that I couldn't figure out what they were.  It was suggested that they might be excess oil mixed with dirt and that I should take the cover off the side of the machine head and wipe it out.  I did that, but there really didn't seem to be that much excess oil in there.  Here's what it looks like inside the head of my Nolting.
I always find seeing how things work interesting.  Pretty neat.

Last night Ev and I went to see the movie "Captain Philip" with Tom Hanks.  It was a very good movie and I would recommend it. 

I had made a big pot of chicken rice soup last night and today I made stuffed peppers.  We have something to choose from for a couple days at least.

Tonight I was sitting in the front room just enjoying a cup of tea in one of my favorite cups.  Now what isn't to like about this?
Haha...  I had some of the tea I got when I met a friend a few weeks ago and we visited a tea shop.

Had some scary weather today.  We were lucky not to have any tornadoes, but they had them to the south and east of us.  It was extremely windy here and we did get some rain and a bit of hail.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

In the home stretch

Almost done with the first quilt of feathers!  Less than one pass to go and it will be ready to come off the frame.  I went downstairs and did some sewing this morning for an hour.  Ev's finally up and moving so we are going to grab a bite to eat.  Probably going to head out to Lowe's then to pick up the stuff to put a railing on the front steps and have to stop and get a chicken to make chicken rice soup tonight.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday night funk

Well, I wanted to get downstairs and finish up the quilt, but got sidetracked.  I wasn't feeling very well this afternoon at work and ended up coming home early.  Went to bed for a while, then got up and ate a bowl of soup.  I'm just taking it easy now and I don't want to go downstairs and get cold.  So, I'm hoping tomorrow morning I'll feel better and get some quilting done.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another hour in the books

Tonight after work I came home and made dinner then went downstairs and sewed for an hour on Gemma.  I was thinking earlier that I would push to get the quilt done tonight, but I made one pass of lots and lots (and lots!) of feathers.  Once I turned the quilt I put more feathers in the side borders and started to do the bottom border but I just ran out of steam.  There's one pass left and this quilt will be ready to be bound.  Tomorrow is another day.  I will say this, the feather motifs are becoming a bit easier each time I work on them.

A compromise on my goal

Okay, as you may or may not know, I set a goal for myself that I would quilt feather motifs on every one of the quilts for the nursing homes.  13 quilts filled with feathers, good or bad.  Well, I found out today that the date I need to have them done by is a week earlier than I previously thought!  Argh.  So now I'm scrambling.  I've decided that I'm going to continue along making them with feathers, but after Thanksgiving weekend I'll start doing a simple quilting design just to get them done.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Did some more quilting

I went downstairs and worked on quilting the first nursing home quilt some more.  The feathers in the borders were easier than I thought to do because I had a defined space to work in.  It was a little more challenging for me to do an all over feather pattern across the top with the nine patch and plain blocks.  I'm not completely satisfied with what I did in these areas so far, but it's okay.  Not great, but okay.  And these are my practice feather quilts, so I am at least learning how to make feathers.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I. Made. Feathers.

The first try at feathers really wasn't too bad.  Except for the fact that the tension was bad on the back and I had to pick a whole section (second picture shows some of the stray threads...) I feel pretty good about them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Load 'em up!

Managed to choose and piece two backs for the nursing home quilts today.  I loaded up one of the tops and backs on Gemma.  It's all ready to go! 
The backing is the darker green.  I didn't have quite enough so there is a chunk of the lighter green border fabric attached to the backing.  I think it will work just fine.

Here's the next one in line for Gemma:
And I'm still not very confident about doing feathers....  I'm determined to do them, though!

Really enjoying the new furniture addition.  We bought it at Lowe's and I will warn anyone interested in getting one - it comes in a LOT of different pieces.  Took the hubster and son all afternoon yesterday to put it together.  But it sure was worth it.  Makes the room all warm and cozy.  And we need that tonight.  Rainy and cold.  Might even see some snow flurries! 

I just hope when my hubby comes home from work he realizes that the smoke smell is from the popcorn I burned and not the new electric fireplace...  oops.

I done did it

Yup.  Here's the finished quilt.  And I have to say that looking at these pictures, the quilting doesn't look all that bad!

And here's a view of the Old Lake.  Most of the Fall foliage has faded, but I still think it's a pretty lake.  I love to ride out there and just take in the calmness of the water.
My husband and son spent most of yesterday afternoon putting together this:
Our t.v. used to sit on an old coffee table that I had to put metal "L" brackets on to hold it together!  This unit is a combination t.v. stand and electric fireplace.  I love it!  Oh, and see the wall hanging behind the t.v.?  I guess it's time to switch that to something Fall related.  But I do like 'Joseph's Tulips'.

Hope everyone has a nice Veteran's Day!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday (almost) finish

I finished quilting the butterfly quilt and have the label on it and the binding on one side.  I hope to get upstairs to finish the binding yet tonight.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Before work play

I was up about half an hour earlier than normal, because Ivy had it in her head that there was something outside she had to investigate immediately.  When I went to let her back in the house I wanted to go get a picture of the quilt on Gemma for the blog.  Well, I was down there and had a half hour, so I figured why not sew?  So I sewed!

Again, please keep in mind that this is not my best work.  I just want this quilt done.  But it's not really that bad, I'm just my own worse critic sometimes!  I got it almost all the way finished when I ran out of bobbin thread!  It will take about five more minutes and it will be ready to come off the frame.  Hope to get that done tonight before I go out with friends, but if not, for sure tomorrow. 

Have a three day weekend and would like to get a few of the nursing home quilts quilted.

On another note, I have become a bit obsessed with acquiring new sheets!  Yesterday I was in Wal Mart and texted this pic to Ev asking which flannel sheet set he preferred:

He picked the dark plaid, so that's what I bought.  I kind of liked the wilderness scene, but not so much that I would get both sets right now.  We already have one set of flannel sheets and really like them!  Since this bed isn't heated like the waterbed was, I can put flannel sheets on and we don't get too warm!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A revealation

Something that I've kinda known about myself, but really came to light...  If I am aggravated at someone, I don't want to work on a quilt for them.  Now, that isn't the only reason I don't work on quilts for people, but if I have one I need to get done and the person who is to get it is aggravating me, it's hard for me to want to work on it.

Tonight I had a couple gals come in to clean house for two hours.  Since I wanted to stay out of the way, I went in the basement and worked on the butterfly quilt.  The fans are sloppy.  I'm not at all pleased with the way the back looks.  I should have used a fabric with a busy print to hide the sloppy fans.  But it's too late now.  I turned it to almost the very end.  I can see the bottom edge, but the machine won't reach, so it will need another turn, but the end is in sight.

Then it will be power sewing to get the nursing home quilts done!  I'm looking forward to clearing out a lot of stash for backings to those quilts.

Made chicken bacon ranch sub sandwiches for dinner tonight.  yum!

A pretty quilt

My friend Sandy made a very pretty quilt and brought it over for me to see.  I think it's just stunning.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A mild complaint

This has nothing to do with quilting. 

Yesterday two members of my and my husbands family had a birthday.  I'm not super close to either individual, but close enough that I wanted to wish them a happy birthday.  I sent each of them a text saying happy birthday. 

I did not get a response from either person.  Not a 'thank you', nor a 'go to h....' or a 'bite me'. 

Just venting here, but I think that was a bit rude.  Oh well.  Certainly not losing any sleep over it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Maybe a fan of fans

Not sure if I'm a fan of the Baptist Fans or not, but since this is just the first quilt I've used them in the quilting, I'll reserve judgement.  Not doing any quilting tonight (Monday night funk and all that...) but may get back to it before the weekend.  Probably Wednesday.  Planning to go visit a friend tomorrow night then watch Sons of Anarchy.

I am still looking for a continuous line drawing to use for a Christmas mantel runner.  I wish I was artistic.  Maybe I should take an art class...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A good day yesterday and today

Yesterday I was down in Fairview Heights and passed by this statue in front of an animal hospital.  A live dog was sniffing around it, but I just had to get a quick picture out of my car window.  This just made me smile!

Something else that made me smile was getting this quilt loaded and started quilting it.
I got about one turn done on it today.  Doing the Baptist Fans for the quilting.  It's a little sloppier than I would like, but it's not a show quilt, so the mistakes are okay.

I remembered seeing online somewhere that someone made a 'sling' for the batting to be in under the longarm when a quilt is loaded.  It was made out of a shower curtain cut in half longways and sewn together at the ends.   Then it was hung from the table and the batting rested in it and not on the floor.  I made one and am pleased with the results.

It is hung by bungee cords and I made the back hang a little lower than the front.  It's like a large open envelope for the batting.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday night naps

Why is it that I fall asleep on Friday nights instead of getting a jump on sewing for the weekend?  It happened again tonight.  Well, at least I got two loads of laundry done.