Thursday, May 31, 2012


Oh sheesh ... I cannot find the cord to my camera that downloads all my pictures to the computer ... I have plenty of quilting shots to show you ... then a friend said to me today "don't you have a disk you can just plug into your computer and download them that way?"  Hmm .... I bet I do, but right now I'm on my way to the airport to pick up my wonderful son and his girlfriend who is coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks before she travels home to Michigan.  I cannot wait to see my son ... I know it's only been a week and a half since I left him in Hawaii, but today he comes home for good ... words I have been waiting to utter for four years!  Can you tell he's a little special to me?????

So here are the graduation pictures ... finally!

In case you couldn't figure it out ... daughter, me!, son and hubby

Roommate, sweet girlfriend, sweet son!

Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have this darn camera thing figured out!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Grateful Memorial Day

I'm back ... well I was actually back last week, but have been playing catch up for a week!  We had a wonderful time at the graduation, and I have some terrific pics to share, but they're on our other computer, and I'm too tired to grab them right now.  So I'll share them tomorrow.  We got to spend a wonderful few days with our son, his girlfriend, and my brother and his family ... what better way to celebrate than a vacation in Hawaii!  We enjoyed some beautiful weather, yummy food, a few mai tais, a day of sailing, and everyone but me went parasailing!

Back to home ... I was scheduled for surgery to remove a basal cell on my face after we came back.  That was not very pleasant ... the worst part was the six shots he gave me before he stitched me up ... I'm sure that hurt less than having the stitches without the shots, but sheesh ... I kept saying "ouch, ouch ..."  Eight stitches later and a huge black eye ...

Isn't that awesome?  It's still red and bruised, but the bruises are turning more green!  I can see people look at me and wonder what's going on ... I do look like I got in a bar fight!

Before I left for Hawaii I got a quilt finished, but I knew I was having problems with my machine because the thread broke several times towards the bottom.  I was just trying to get it done and didn't want to worry about fixing it until after we came back.  Well I took the quilt off the frame, and there were a couple of spots in the back that needed to be fixed .... the thread just didn't look right.  So I tried readjusting the heighth of the needle bar, because I thought that's what the problem was ... I couldn't get it right.  I realized there was no way it was going to get done before I left ... I hate having problems with my machine ... it makes me sad!  I also have this thing in me that requires that I try to find and fix my own problems ... I knew I could call my dealer and he would walk me through the problem, but I really wanted to see if I could fix it myself.  Well after stepping away from the machine and then returning, it gave me a chance to clear my head and remember ... the last time I had issues and had to readjust the heighth of the needle bar, I had looked at a video ... but following the video still did not work.  When I called my dealer, he told me instead of being able to see half of the eye of the needle when it's at the lowest position, I should only just be able to see the hole ... I readjusted it and I'm back in business!!  I was so proud of myself for remembering this and being able to fix is myself!
I love the colors in this quilt ...
I just did a little loopy swirl ... I used Glide in the top and bobbin, and it was a perfect match ... think the color was light rust, or something like that.  I was a little nervous using a dark thread in a quilt with so many light areas, but it really gave the quilt so much character!

It's such a happy quilt ... beautiful!!

In conclusion I want to say that on this memorial day we should be thankful to all who have served and do serve our country, and for all those who have sacrificed their lives either in combat or not ... that we can live free ... I am thankful on this day ... but let's not only celebrate and be grateful on this day, but every day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exciting days!

Well my daughter's prom was Sat. and she had a great time!  I'm so glad ... all that anticipation, preparation, etc. turned out so well!  She went with a group of friends and my husband and I played chauffer!  Isn't that funny ... we had three kids in our car, and the other car had the other five.  Then when we picked them up at midnight we had five kids ... four girls and one guy!  That poor guy ... he was such a great sport!  There is nothing funnier than listening to a gaggle of girls dish on everything that went on at prom ... what couple was fighting with each other, did you see so and so do blah, blah, blah ... I got my entertainment for the night for sure.
She's the one on the right!  Yes she is tall, about 5'10", but the lady of the night shoes add about 4 inches!  My only regret is that we did not get a picture of her just by herself showing off the dress.  By the time we arrived at the friend's to pick her up, they had already finished taking pictures ... I just grabbed a couple really quick.

I had a lovely mother's day, as I hope all you mothers, aunts, grandmas, and special women did.  My hubby and daughter surprised me with my favorite flowers ...

We are on our way to Hawaii tomorrow for our son's graduation ... so very exciting!  I'll probably be silent until next week.  We have a good friend housesitting with the animals, and I'm a little nervous!  She's never housesat for us before, and these dogs are my babies ... I'm sure they'll be fine and won't ever miss us!  Have a wonderful week and may you get lots of sewing done! 


Friday, May 11, 2012

Land's End saves the day!

Well after my rant from the other day about bathing suits, I happened to be passing through Sears the other day on our search for prom shoes and I saw Land's End bathing suits ... they looked like they had underwire in them!  No time to try them on then ... so I went back today!  They have a whole slew of suits with underwire in them ... I am a happy camper!  I came away with a bathing suit that is cute, youthful, and most important supportive!  Hurray ...
The bottoms are navy blue, and look weird here because they're darker inside
A close up of the top

Here's another quilt I worked on this week ... this is a Christmas strip quilt that my customer bought in December from our store, and gave me about 6 weeks ago ... I'm always so impressed with people that get their Christmas projects done early ... I always have good intentions, but I don't know why I even THINK I'll get started early ... I just never do!  Time has this way of really getting away from me.
This is only her second quilt, but she is a very precise and particular piecer!  The quilt layed really flat ... with a little bit of wave in one of the sides and the bottom border, but nothing that I couldn't ease in.
A little hard to see, but I quilted a stipple pattern using a Glide lime green in the top and bobbin.  It showed up nicely on the dark colors and gave the quilt a little pizzaz!
Didn't she do a great job?
When I talk about how the borders lay, or something a little off in the quilt piecing, I want you to understand something ... it is never meant to criticize the piecer.  I only mention it as a teaching tool ... I think we all have issues with our quilts, whether they are ones we piece ourselves, or ones we are quilting for others.  By discussing problems we have while quilting, we can help solve each other's issues.  I've talked before about the proper way to measure for a border ... measuring horizontally and vertically through the center of the quilt, and then attaching the borders using those measurements.  While that wasn't the way we were taught years ago, this seems to be the preferred method now for acccurate borders.  That being said, I can tell you that most people I know do not measure their borders that way -- they just cut a strip the width they need, start sewing it on, and then when they get to the end of the quilt, they just wack the strip off.

This doesn't work and I'm going to explain why ... I know it's easy to do, but ... when you sew a quilt, you are cutting and piecing, pushing and pulling fabric, ironing, etc.  By the time you get to the outside of the quilt, you pieces that are laying on the edge of the quilt can really be distorted from the whole process.  Take your measurements on the outside of your quilt top, and then measure through the center ... see the difference?  I guarantee you there will always be a difference, no matter how careful you are when you piece.  It is just natural that the outside edge is going to have stretched out of shape.  If you just add fabric to that outside edge, it's going to not be straight beause it's stretched here and there, and when you just add a length of fabric, you are adding to the craziness.  You have this center that is a different size, and now the outside is just doing it's own thing.  If you measure and add the borders based on the measurement through the center, you are controlling that top, easing the waviness in, and squaring the top up.  I hope that helps someone ... I can tell you that when I take my time and add my borders in this manner, my quilt lays so much better ... try it on your next quilt!  You'll get used to the process and it will be just as easy as your old method, but will produce much better results!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hi friends!

Sheesh, is it really Thursday already????  I have been a busy little bee this week ... getting ready for daughter's prom this weekend, entailed a horrible shoe shopping experience on Monday.  Ugh and grrrrrrr!!!!  Three hours later, I said "whatever you want" ... although for the most part we aren't that far apart on fashion, I learned when it comes to shoes, I am old!  Do you know everything now is what I call "hooker shoes?"  They are horrible the shoes these young girls wear ... anywhere from 3 to 5 inches, straight up so it puts for foot at the weirdest angle ... it is really ridiculous when my daughter says "of course I can walk in it ..." and she looks like a baby calf trying to learn how to walk without wobbling so much ... whatever!  She wound up with a red pair of hooker shoes and I'm sure she'll only wear them from the car to the restaurant, and then from the car into the prom for about 10 min.  Then they will undoubtedly come off because they will be entirely uncomfortable ...we did agree on a lovely little ivory clutch, and an ivory pearl necklace and earrings that will look really pretty with the dress.  Of course I'll post a pictuyre next week!

Okay ... I've been doing other things besides shoe shopping ... been quilting!  I'm trying to get all my customer quilts done ... I usually only plan on a quilt a week, but besides going on vacation next week to our son's graduation in Hawaii and then our daughter's graduation next month, I don't want to get overwhelmed with work ... I want to enjoy this wonderful part in our lives ... I can't believe my babies are so grown ... it makes me sad ... the best thing I have ever done in my life is having our kids ... my family is so important to me ... I just want to relax and give them my full attention!

Here's a quilt I did earlier in the week ...

Wait until you see the rest of the pictures of this quilt ... this is the string quilt that I have taught a couple times now.  This customer did her quilt in batiks ... she said her house has a Hawaiian theme and she couldn't wait to get this quilt finished to go in her house! 

I don't normally like batiks, but I absolutely love what she did with this quilt!  The colors were breathtaking, and I really felt while I was quilting this that I was in Hawaii!  It was so relaxing. 

My favorite color in this is the coral ... and it looks so much better in person!!  I used Glide thread in the top and bobbin, and the aqua color looked like it was hand picked for her quilt!  I just did a simple stipple. 
Aloha is all I can say!!
Sophie is just exhausted from all this sewing ... she needs to take a nap!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


The other day when I received my record amount of deliveries in one day, one of them was an order of thread.  There is a thread that I love ... it's called Glide, and made by a company called Fil-Tec.  I order the thread through a website,  I have a thread card and it has the color names as well as actual strands of the thread itself, so it makes ordering so much easier.  I have been wanting to stock up on some of their prewound bobbins called Magna Glide ... they are the best!  Of course you get more on a bobbin when it's a prewound, and these have a special magnetic core that is supposed to perform superbly in your bobbin case eliminating backlashing and tension issues.  Want to see my thread order?
Now this order consisted of six large cones of thread, two small cones of thread, and three different bobbin thread colors, each containing 10 bobbins.  The whole order cost around $80, and I received it about three days after I ordered it ... their customer service is awesome.

I really placed this order because I needed this thread to match a quilt I have to do ...
The color I needed was the light burgundy color second from the left in the back.  I'm really trying to branch out a little from the 25 colors of beige/brown/taupe in my collection, so I think I did well with this order!  Light burgundy, peppermint stick, cornflower, aqua (a color I already have and am almost out of) and prickly pear.  Of course there is also the cream color to the left in the back, but this one I was trying to match to a Superior king tut thread color I have.
Pretty good match, huh?  The thread on the left is the King Tut, and the color is papyrus.  I just love the color, but wanted to try that color in a Glide thread ... I am very pleased with how well the Glide color matches.

 The bobbins I ordered colors of cream, warm grey and leather.  I also decided to order a couple of other colors, and I never noticed before that they have small cones so I thought that would be a good way to audition the color without having to invest in a large cone.
Meet denim and army!

Someone please send me a quilt that has this color Peppermint Stick in it ... I really want to use this thread and only ordered it because of the name!  I've been coveting this thread for a year now!  It's a little misleading here, but the color is a cross between a bright pink and a coral color ... I am going to have to take the thread with me to a store and pick fabric to match the thread ... has anyone ever done that before?  Ha, ha!  I first saw this thread when I went to longarm training last year in June, and I really wanted to buy the color, but I knew it was impractical.  Well, I just couldn't resist any longer!!

In my quest to get caught up on my quilts, I did a small table topper for a friend's mother the other day.  It was really fun to do because it was so small!
Isn't it cute?  She did such a nice job piecing it ... I did a loopy swirl, and used am Omni light blue in the top and bobbin.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bathing suits

Okay, I realize this post has absolutely NOTHING to do with quilting, but I just had to vent!  I hate buying bathing suits like most women ... even though I'm at a healthy weight and wear the smallest size I ever have ... it's just not good enough ... I know I'm being ridiculous, I really do!  Plus, I'm 51, and so my skin just isn't as tight as it was when I was 20, and I always focus on my flaws, not my attributes ... I have several questions/comments for people that merchandise bathing suits:

1.  Why do you put the most horrible, unflattering lights in stores?  Do you not get that if you put a flattering light in a dressing room, you would generate loads in sales $$$.

2.  Where are the bathing suits for large busted women that aren't plus sized?  This has bothered me for years ... I have a large chest and it is almost impossible to find suits that will fit me in a regular store.  Forget those cute little stores you find on vacation that have lovely bathing suits ... the tops are only made for very small chested women.  My current bathing suit is one I bought at Target several years ago ... two pieced, but for some reason, the top that is an x-large actually fits my chest.  I thought, okay, I'm going to order a bunch of suits from Land's End ... I know all their clothes are well made, and certainly I can find a bathing suit there.  I just ordered four suits from them (remember my post the other day -- the large box was full of bathing suits) ... every single one of them FIT in the chest, but not one of those suits had underwire in it ... my size without underwire is not a pretty sight (or practical for that matter) ... none of them looked good at all.

3.  Is this too hard?  I don't get it ... please, please, please .... make a bathing suit that is of good quality, with underwire, for large busted women.  I would pay $100 for a suit like that ... it would certainly be worth it.

So today I took back all of my bathing suits to Sears as they accept Land's End returns.  Then I decided to go take a peak in the women's section and see if they carry Land's End shoes as they have several styles that I thought were really cute, but don't want to go through the hassle of ordering.  Well ... I didn't find shoes, but I found just a few things ...

------bought two dresses, two light summer cardigans, two linen shirts and one belt ... let's just say that it would have been a lot cheaper to keep the bathing suits!!  Ha, ha ... but at least I am excited because I finally have something to wear to my son's graduation in Hawaii in 2 weeks.

Now I'm off to quilt because I have to generate some income to pay for all those clothes I bought today ... yikes ......................................

Thursday, May 3, 2012


My mailman is the absolute coolest!  His name is Eddie, and he has had our route for about  12 years.  Because we have two dogs, and I'm sure most mailmen do not trust the "oh, they're really very friendly," thing that most people say while their dogs are acting like they want to rip the mailman apart, Eddie does not come down our driveway to deliver a package unless he is in his postman-mobile and the doors are closed.  He only opens his door long enough to lay the packages outside our gate -- we have a super long driveway, and a big electronic gate that holds the dogs inside, where they exuberantly protect their territory and people. 

Eddie doesn't want to throw my packages over the gate because he's afraid the dogs will eat them (and I think he's afraid they might be able to jump over the gate and eat him in the process!), so he does the most wonderful thing for me ... he texts me to let me know that he left a package.  How cool is that?  He's noticed in the last year or so that I get deliveries from quilting suppliers, so yesterday I ran into him and he was asking me about quilting and did I make them, and sell them, etc.

Usually I don't get packages very often ... I had been waiting for the part(s) to fix my longarm machine for a few days, so I was excited when I saw Eddie's truck at the gate ... there wasn't just one package ... there were four!  Wow, how exciting ... like Christmas.

The parts finally came for my machine (yay!!!!!), a thread order that I had just ordered -- they deliver so quickly, a box of bathing suits from Land's End (that time of year again), and a small package of Hobbs Tuscany batting that I ordered to try.  I usually use Hobbs 80/20, but I thought I would try their 100% cotton and see what the difference is.

I hope you all remember your mailmen and get good service ... we always remember Eddie at Christmas with some goodies to let him know how much he's appreciated!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Roller coaster ride

... not really ... that is the nicest way I can describe my life right now ... let's just say that when I went to our granny flat yesterday at 4 p.m. after a hellacious day, I discovered the bottom lock was locked ... that would be the same lock that we don't have a key for!  My housekeeper was over there on Monday, and she thought she was doing me a favor by locking the door.  All the windows are new, burglarproof, etc., etc.  Last night at 9 our daughter has one of her high school friends over who knows how to break into a locked door (I don't really want to know how he knows this!!) ... after about 20 minutes he does get the door opened.  The handle won't catch on the door jamb anymore, but at least I can get in there and try and sew!  The door can still be locked with the lock we always have used, a deadbolt, until we can get the doorknob replaced ... and that was just the end of my day!

Here are a few pics of the quilt I promised you pictures of the other day .... I used a King Tut thread on top, and a 50 wt. DMC thread on the bottom ... my friend gave me this DMC thread for Christmas and while it feels lovely, and performs well, it's not my favorite thread.  It is really thin and I am finding that I like the heavier threads better.  At least when a thread is thin and it's a poly, it has more weight to it ... this thread is 100% cotton and it's really silky, so it feels good, but just thin!  A thread can be too thin (even though I can NEVER be too thin!  Ha, ha).

Just a simple all over swirl ... I am really liking this stitch, and will probably forget how to do anything else since I've been using it so much lately.
Isn't this a sweet quilt?  My friend designed it and she just used leftover scraps ... it came out so darn cute! 
My friend loves the old, classic and simple quilt patterns, and she is always a pleasure to quilt for ... she only ever wants simple quilting, and that's what I like to deliver!  I'm still learning it's okay to be a whatever-you-want-to-be quilter ... I compare myself to others and that's ridiculous.  We all have different styles, and just because my style is simplistic, doesn't mean I am not talented ... can you hear me yelling at myself!  Sheesh ... I have issues ..............