Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quilting along

Well my frustrations with my machine have been taken care of for now thanks to awesome support from ABM Innova headquarters and my dealer in Utah. The original problem was my timing, and the secondary problem being my hopping foot height, and then the height of my needle bar. I seem to be back in business humming along!

Sunday I had finished a quilt for my friend, Jayne. See the beautiful pictures here ... It is her own design, and she will be teaching it on the new class schedule. Jayne likes simple quilting, so I did my signature swirly design; I used Glide in the top and bobbin. I love the simplicity of this quilt. And the blue and white fabric is so pleasing ... It is a happy quilt! And if the front isn't enough .. Look at her back ... I love it!

I was inspired to do a little cleaning out in my sewing studio by a friend that just reorganized her sewing room. So I grabbed a bin that I knew had unfinished projects in it. I decided to be ruthless and toss stuff I wasn't going to ever do. I got to the bottom of the bin and found a mostly finished block of the month from several years ago. It is a JAM pattern, Angels Surround Us. All the embroidery was done and at least half of the blocks were together. So I got inspired ... I sat down and finished the whole thing! What a great feeling to finish an unfinished project! Go grab one out of your closet and finish it! I challenge you ... You can do it! Then let me know you finished and send me a picture and I'll post it on here! So that is my first unfinished project of the year .. I am just getting started. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday thoughts

A work day today ... My attitude when I get to work is how can I make every customer that walks through our doors feel special? Some are repeat customers, some new, some visiting ... When I was a customer I loved going to the Country Loft. Not only was I inspired, and found beautiful fabrics, patterns, gifts and antiques, but what kept me coming back was the people. Kathy always greeted me with a smile and always remembered what was going on in my life. We don't know how she does it, but she remembers everything! What fabric you bought, whether you have that plate already ... It is just a mystery how she can remember all that! So .... We have all been in stores where you feel ignored and insignificant. I want to help you pick the right fabric, find out about a class, learn a new technique, or even point you in the direction of another quilt store if we don't have what you need. It's hard not to be in a good mood when you work in such a special place.

I came home to pork ribs that were in the crockpot ... That's a good way to start the evening! I decided to make some yummy muffins that I had read about on Pinterest yesterday ... Peanut butter chocolate chip ... Yummy! They are low in fat and sugar, and are packed with protein. They would be great for breakfast or a mid morning snack. There is very little fat in the muffins; they are dense and moist because of the peanut butter. It calls for chunky peanut butter which I did not have, so I used creamy peanut butter and chopped up some peanuts -- perfect! You can find the recipe here: kaitlininthekitchen.blogspot.com

Then I decided to organize my patterns ... I have all my small ones in this crappy plastic box ... I bought a nice wire basket at the store today. I grouped the patterns by season, and then patterns that aren't seasonal. At the back I have all the patterns that are not quilts; bags, pin cushions, etc. I also was ruthless and tossed a bunch of patterns out! Much better! How do you group your patterns? Random order? Alphabetical????

I'm working on a quilt for my daughter-in-law to be ... Her room is currently brown and she's going for turquoise accents. These are not my colors, and it is difficult to put a quilt together when you're out of your box. I think it's coming together well ... I picked a sashing and I never thought I would find one. I can't wait to get to that point! And I wrap up my day by looking at this picture of my sweet granddaughter ... What an angel!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What a week!

Oh my I have been a busy bee! In the last week, I got 7 quilts quilted! I had 5 done and then when I started the 6th my thread started snapping every once in a while. Ugh! So yesterday I called tech support at ABM and after 4 hours back and forth with pictures and coaching from their end, I got my timing fixed. I didn't think it could be such a sensitive thing ... But it is. The thread has to get pushed by the hook through the needle. The needle position has to be just right as well. My needle position was a little high, and my hook was hitting the back of the needle too low. That's why my thread was shredding. I finished my quilt yesterday and it seemed to be fine after a pass and a half, so I hope that took care of the problem.

The first quilt is Ellen's Cotton Club quilt. Her quilt has a different border than the other two I did. It was beautifully pieced ... Just amazing! I used King Tut on top and bobbin. I used an entire cone of King Tut on those three Cotton Club quilts. That's a lot of thread! See what was left? I was worried I was going to run out of thread.

The next quilt was a kid's quilt that is a pattern called Sophie's Quilt by JAM. She played around with the piecing some ... The quilt is so cute! I used Glide in the top and bobbin with my swirly loop.

I taught a Mystery Quilt Friday night complete with dinner. I like mystery quilts ... When you take one of those classes I show you one block, but the idea is to create a quilt without all the planning you normally put into picking fabrics and colors ... It is very freeing, or scary ... Depending on your perspective! I made a Mediterranean pizza and salad and cookies. Dinner was delicious and the quilting was a blast! There were 5 students and I loved every single one of their quilts! They were all so different! One was in 30's fabrics, one was in a 3 Sisters red, brown and gold fabric, one was dark with Kansas Troubles fabrics, and one was in beige and jewel tones with Snow White fabric ... So cute! They have promised to send pictures when they are complete and I will share them with you! My quilt was a mix of yellow, gray and red ... I couldn't find the sashing I wanted, but I wound up with a different look. I found the polka dot print this morning to use as binding... It makes it more fun! I did a different design in my quilting ... I did a spiral circle over the whole quilt in different sizes. I like the way it came out. I used Glide in the top and bobbin. I washed the quilt after I bound it. I like it a lot better now that it is quilted, bound and washed.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday doings

Took our daughter back up to school tonight. I am ever so grateful that she only goes to school 1 1/2 hours away. It is wonderful having her so close. We had a great Easter and the Easter bunny visited and brought lots of yummy goodies. I made popovers for breakfast ... Yum!

I actually quilted yesterday and was able to get a couple of small quilts done. Shhhh ... Don't tell Mindy because she is going to be so surprised I got them done. She just gave them to me on Friday .... I snuck them in. Aren't they cute? The red one is a table topper that she made using a 2 1/2 square grid; I used a tight swirl (she loves a tight design), and used Glide in top and bobbin. The green quilt I also believe she's using as a table topper. This is all fabric from the French General line ... The green is a really different color, but I like it. I made the swirl a little bigger and used the same cream Glide in top and bobbin. I did have the thread break on me once on the red quilt, but I decided it was because the tension was too tight on top.

Do you longarm? If you do, I'd love to hear from you about bobbin tension. I often have the problem where I run a test piece and the bobbin looks good. Then when I stitch through the first row and roll it up, I see little pokies ... grrrr ... The top tension isn't tight enough. It is so aggravating. What do you do to insure you don't have this problem. Please leave me a comment! Have a great Tuesday ... Don't you love my "Easter bunny?"