Finally Getting there!

I so swear to God that I was ready to toss this quilt out the of the window yesterday! (altho it wasn’t the quilt’s fault) Just me and my stubbornness and a time where being determined wasn’t maybe such a good thing!

I used my Singer 514 to freemotion quilt the Michigan Left – had a few issues with it, but nothing to major as it was the first time I had used that machine for freemotion quilting .. I was happy enough with it .. so I left it out to do the quilting on this quilt. Jesusmaryjoseph!!! There was tension issues, but adjusted for them with this quilt being thicker than the Michigan Left, and I was breaking needles like crazy the first time thru – Like 4 of them. Figured I was going to fast. Then I ran into needle breakage issues in the last go round for Kyle’s borders. I think I broke another 4 on just the outer border alone .. then it didn’t like one of the needles at all and kept skipping stitches. It got to the point where I was incredibly frustrated and using some very inventive language – at this point, burning was too good for this quilt!!

HPIM2651.jpgI had 1 side and maybe 8″ of another side left to do and I broke 2 more needles and just about snapped. I was beyond flabbergasted and frustrated at that point. I know I wasn’t going to fast, but the quilting didn’t feel right while I was doing it either. Then another needle broke – I could have just cried. These were all good schmetz and dritz quilting needles too! So I grabbed my 15-91 and used that instead .. I should have done this in the first place!! The rest of quilted up easy peasy – no needles broken, no stitches being off.

I can’t tell you why I was so insistent to use this machine – I think it was because I didn’t want to bother swapping them out when I was doing the Michigan Left … I’m just wishing I had done it sooner 😦 My 15 is the best machine for freemotion. I’ve never broken a needle on it .. Geeze I broke more needles on Kyle’s quilt that I’ve done in I don’t know how long! The last time I can remember is when my 248 died last year!!

So the tissue is halfway ripped off and I plan to have the rest of it done today. Then to trim, and do binding .. I would love to get it to that point, but not sure right now – we’ll have to see how I feel about it then.

HPIM2650.jpgMy next quickie project is a colour challenge that I’ve devised for OST .. altho there aren’t many takers (gee I think 2 at this point – including me **sigh) What you do is pick one colour you aren’t crazy about / hate / uncomfortable with using etc and then pick 2 colours that harmonize with it .. Number of blocks, style of block etc is your choice .. I’m going to use the lighter purple (fav colour) for the background (ignore the dark purple – won’t be used), and use the orange (not my favourite colour) and green for the block part .. I’m going to do an abstract twist on a traditional block – a little 8″ quiltlet .. won’t take me long, but I’m not starting it yet πŸ™‚ kyle’s quilt be ‘done’ first πŸ˜‰ Anyone else want to try this challenge and post it to your blog??


Success – Plan B

It’s always nice when something works out πŸ˜‰ As you know from yesterday’s post, Plan A wasn’t very successful at all! Matter of fact I spent prolly 3 hrs picking the stitches out :\ .. Let me digress a bit here .. I usually use my Singer 15-91 for free motion quilting as it’s always spot on for me. When I got the urge to do this experiment, I really didn’t want to have to change over machines .. I remembered that I was given a feed dog cover for this machine and that I hadn’t tried freemotion on it since BEFORE I was mis-threading my machine – so I thought, why not try it out .. well Glory Be! The bloody thing works like a charm πŸ˜€ no having to swap over machines for this .. but of course I’ve never done free motion on this machine and was still getting a feel for it . normally i prefer to do a longer stitch when quilting – and believe me … these stitches were anything BUT long .. I was going beyond cross-eyed picking them out … they did get picked out tho

HPIM2597.jpgSo today, I start by printing out on tissue paper the quilting motif I wanted to use for this quilt – went pretty good, the paper folded a bit on the way the way thru, but I wasn’t going to toss it for that .. So with a few dabs of my glue stitch I attached it to the quilt and load it up on my machine ..

HPIM2598.jpgWhat I decided to do before I went to far with it, was to do one ‘row / column’ of the pattern then check it out .. you can see that the tissue paper didn’t get all tore up like yesterday and that was even going back and forth over the tissue .. I did keep my eye on the back of the foot just in case. Oh, I discovered something else too .. once the first bit is stitched on, it’s pretty well attached and stabilized so you really don’t need to be adding more glue (I found this out later and learned a few more things .. share in a bit ;))

HPIM2600.jpgChecking my work after I got that first section down … not to shabby at all me thinks! I would have preferred to use a green thread for this, but damned if I could find one!! And I ripped a few places apart (no I didn’t check my closet – I prolly should have tho :() and no dark green thread that i was looking for … (altho I did find the blue I was thinking of using for my case 128 fan quilt ;)) I find the tissue came off fairly easily – I used the back of me seam ripper to weaken the paper a bit more since I was using a longer stitch. You can see in a few ‘points’ where there’s some paper (I also went a wee bit cross-eyed picking the paper out) I didn’t quite get right to the edge while starting this and I will extend the spots I miss later – that will come with time and practice using this method.

HPIM2602.jpgI went really cross-eyed here picking at the paper after I had done about 2 rows / columns in the design. I wanted to see a more overall look than the itty bit that I had pulled off earlier .. again the back of my seam ripper to weaken the paper, or using the flat of my seam ripper to lift the paper and it came right out! Oh for variety you can also scratch the paper away with your nail ;). There’s a few bits n pieces still in there, but I was going cross-eyed at that time and I’m really hoping that what I miss paper-wise, the washer will take care of ..

Repeating patterns can create a stack of paper you didn’t really want .. I need to do more than just see the repeat, I need to print just the ONE pattern out – else it does create many lips of paper that you have to watch for and more to pick out of the stitches later – less is better in this case ..

HPIM2603.jpgSo after checking the first column I got busy and printed out what I hope will be enough tissue for the rest of this quilt .. if not, i can print out some more .. what I do want to do is maybe skinny out the lines on this or even use 20% black for the ink instead of 100% .. it doesn’t really need to be that dark or big.

I wanted to have this done today (and I still might), but watching a movie and a repeat of a weekly show I watch but missed last week over rode my quilting time .. I’m almost done the 2nd column – since i have the hang of this it shouldn’t be all that much longer – and tomorrow will be a busy day with the tier championship happening.

I learned a few more things today (shock surprise right?? Course I did – that was the whole point!)

  1. reduce line weight of pattern, use a lighter ‘black’
  2. avoid overlapping to many pieces of tissue paper
  3. Keep a steady pace – mach one will tear your papers – slower is better
  4. glue isn’t necessary after some of the pattern has been done
  5. watch your repeats in the pattern!!!

All in all, I’m pleased with this method – I learned a lot and will use this method again and again .. once i got a system down with printing on the tissue paper, it wasn’t all that bad .. i only had my printer eat 2 – and i needed an extra bottom of the repeat for the bottom of the column anyways, so that rather worked out πŸ˜‰ I’ve also got to get more comfortable with the edge, but i’ll put that down to first attempt as well as not ‘seeing’ exactly where the border was .. getting this down will come with practice – this is going to be quicker than marking a quilt as I perfect my own system for it.Β  I also won’t have to worry about marking lines not coming out – they normally do, but strange things do happen .. this is me we’re talking about afterall …

I hope that everyone who wants to try a technique does – even if it doesn’t go as planned, you will find ways to make it work – and always you will learn from it.Β  Hope you find my experiment helpful – Have fun with it!


HPIM2413.jpgI finally posted yesterday that I won the 2nd drawing in the Charms for Charity contest on Michele’s site Quilting Bloggers, well talk about your timing .. my little package of goodies showed up today! How cool is THAT!! I got 6 of my originals back (Not shown) and some other’s that I just LOVE LOVE LOVE .. how cute is that snowman ..there is even some Woody fabric .. now where was that when Kyle was smaller!

I brought my machine in earlier today with the dim bulb syndrome – no questions asked, he replaced the bulb for me .. now there is a difference between the old one and this one .. the old one was frosted and this one is clear .. he said that sometimes the bulbs from China are just bad – he’s even had to replace 3 in one day! WOW .. but didn’t cost me a dime and now I can see to sew on my machine again .. just in time for doing the ‘appliquΓ©’ for the mystery quilt from planet patchwork

Remember the Vogue Knitting Fall issue that I found on ebay and had to do the LONG wait for .. well I JUST won it πŸ˜€ how cool is that .. in the last 3 mins the price went from $3.00 to $5.50 – the BRATS!!! Even with shipping, I figure that this is going to be less money than purchasing it from publisher for $9.99. So I’ll be able to start on my mittens when it gets in and there is this absolutely GORGEOUS and I mean GORGEOUS cabled cardigan in there too!

Well I didn’t work on the spinner quilt yet today .. rather got caught up on watching my auction and doing emails .. so that will be later – but I will finish Clue #3 of the mystery and get started on the next clue!

It’s bloody cold!

Oh Boy but it’s COLD today!! Windsor weather at says it’s 21ΒΊ F right now with some light flurries and our wind is at 14 mph – not a good day for the furnace to stop working me thinks … Last nite about 3am when I was getting out of the tub, it was bloody cold in the house – I check and it said 66ΒΊF (ESH!!!!) and the temp was dropping .. I’m guessing our furance had stopped working around 2am as the bathroom felt chilly when I went into the tub, but it wasn’t COLD – so I emailed the landlord and warned them, I’ve spoken with them today and the furnace guy should be here anytime .. he called me about 3:30pm saying he would be about 2 hrs – but he IS coming today. With space heaters and the oven (every hour or so), I’ve managed to keep the house around 68ΒΊ, so it’s not to bad. Altho I would kill for a heated toilet seat right about now πŸ˜‰ So today I’ve not been inclined to do much else besides try NOT to think about my cold toes, fingers and nose.

To add to this, I’ve got a bug of some sort .. I wake up feeling fine, but tired – then as the day wears on, I start to feel like absolute and total crap .. This rather explains my lack of energy and enthusiasm for quilting right now .. it just takes to much energy .. I would rather plop myself on the couch with some knitting and keep busy that way … it keeps me busy enough so that I’m not bored.

Erica’s borders still aren’t done, part of it is trying to get that placement border done in something I can understand – the templates that are kicked out are just wayyy to weird for me right now .. they make no bloody sense .. I can handle the inset seam part .. but it’s just wayyy to much effort .. so I’m back to the original plan of using the wrong size blocks as borders with the dyed fabrics and the purple that I picked up ..

Just to jog your memory these are the borders I was fiddling with:

ericaborders1 ericaborder21 ericaborder3

with these fabrics .. for the border and the backing:


borders - backing


I’m looking at the 2nd border layout – I really do like the asymmetrical look in quilts … it’s been something that I’ve been using more and more – starting with the spinner quilt – it seems to add a new dimension to a quilt and almost makes it look bigger than it is ..

Yesterday I was kidnapped by my dad for about 4 hrs .. dinner included .. but I did manage to turn it into a reverse kidnapping of sorts as we went to Walmart πŸ˜‰ … I wanted to grab some yarn as I’ve been wanting to knit myself some socks πŸ˜€ I’ve only done one pair before for kyle when he was a baby, and I figure that socks will knit up pretty quick .. I decided to grab a mess of yarn so I wouldn’t have to go back out anytime soon or try to get a way there .. In the pic, you’ll see numbers .. 1 & 2 are going to be for regular sport weight socks; 3 will be for finer socks, and I got 4 for various household stuff, dishcloths, trivets, towels, etc .. I’m going to be using the purples for the first set of socks .. hmmm .. the one looks more pink that purple doesn’t it .. it didn’t look that way in the store or in my house .. I might have to rethink this one **cries .. I did some serious hunting and came up with some cool socks (least I think so, but that’s what counts in this case, right??) I finally settle on this one – puffin perky – I was seriously looking at this one too, but didn’t have size 6 DPN (I do now tho ;))Beginner Sock – other contenders were Maizy Crop Socks and Quick Knit Eyelets. I’m sure that I’ll end up doing them all – gee maybe that’s why I picked up so much yarn?? **innocent whistle

While I was out, I grabbed a new light for my sewing machine and that’s all good to go now πŸ™‚ So, I’m sort of a happy camper – once I get my furnace fixed and then shake off this cold, I’ll be even happier .. I sure hope I feel better soon (or at least energized), as Reg has a tournament this weekend and I’ll have the house to myself, so I can get some stuff done .. God willing!

AHA!!!! Furnace guy is here .. God willing, I’ll have heat soon !!

Have a great day!!

Well I have heat again **kittyhappydance Now to get it regulated again .. we are going to get a new thermostat – I hope – and then the temperature won’t be so hard to figure then .. it’s a nice balmy 70ΒΊ right now and it needs to come down a bit .. He has to order the part and the closest place for my furnace is in London (bout 2 hrs away) sooo – he rigged something up so that at least the furnace works and heat comes out the vents!!

Now I’m going to hit the couch with my yarn and needles and hopefully I’ll feel better soon!

windows n ears

I was going right to town on my earwarmer – Knitting can be so mindless sometimes and so relaxing .. if I’m in tv mode, it’s great as I can keep my hands busy while watching tv. I’ve sort of been in that mode lately .. doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I like to have handwork to do … maybe I just get in handwork modes and would rather do two things at once?? No clue .. but I now have 2 earwarmers πŸ˜€ The last one I had to many rows in the lining, this time I’m short .. I think another 2 rows would have done well with this .. not sure if I like this one or the other one better .. Maybe this one . .. **shrugs ..

This time I used a sport weight yarn for the lining and it did go much better – some of knitting is off in the lining .. no clue why .. as it’s the same weight .. but guess what??? That part’s against my head and no one will see it but me πŸ˜‰ so, while I care .. I don’t really care LOL ..

I got caught up on my bloglines today and one of Mary’s posts was regarding her sewing room .. I answered her that my sewing room was neat-ish .. and explained what I meant .. stuff on the table, ironing board and printer (but there is always stuff on my printer), and I thought I would take pics of what my room looked like before I put away the few things that were out ..

cutting table

ironing board


So while it’s not immaculate, it’s nothing like it was when I had to put on the breaks and do some cleaning the last time.Β  Just a few minutes to pick up the papers and move the stuff from the ironing board to the top of the printer .. no I am not kidding LMBO!!Β  and I was good to go.

Well Matthew’s quilt top is done! Today I put the sashings, inner border and outer border in (on????) I took me next to nothing to get it done either .. and my measurements were all the same for both borders when it came to measuring, so you know that makes me super happy!! That means that this quilt should (operative word here is SHOULD) squared and be able to lay flat … I’ve not tested that yet as I would really love to vacuum up the floor first .. this black is amazing on what it decides to gather to it .. all sorts of things stick to it … now is this just black or all fabrics, but we don’t notice on all other fabrics as they are lighter???

Binding will be red, but I’m seriously considering using black to outline it more. I almost did the same border that I did with the Fallabrations quilt, but changed my mind – or rather couldn’t make it up, so just went ahead with my original plan – but that would have looked stunning and then I definitely would have used black for the binding.

Now all I’ve to do is the borders for Erica’s quilt and I’m good to go for basting .. I am still thinking about over-dyeing the backing for the spinner quilt .. maybe tomorrow ..

Altho I do have to get a new lightbulb for my machine .. I go to turn on my machine and the stupid thing has burnt out (!)Β  How DARE it do that to me .. sewing in the dark .. pfft

Machine Flu Vaccination

hpim2185Well my machine has been vaccinated for it’s ‘flu’ – to bad the owner couldn’t get a ‘no-twit’ vaccination .. yup .. it was all me this time .. I had the bloody thing threaded wrong .. and it had been threaded wrong all the time .. You see that little itty bitty tab just to the bottom on the right of the tension dial? Well the thread has to loop around that before it goes into the tension disks – I had totally bypassed that loop-de-doo .. I had actually been sewing all long with it threaded wrong and didn’t have a problem until I went to quilt – the heavier material brought the gremlins that had been just waiting oooooh so patiently out to play .. **sigh ah well .. least I managed to clean and oil it without to much of an issue :\ .. but it’s ‘fixed’ and ready to go ..Β  I really need to get that manual now .. Time to knuckle under and just order the blasted thing .. **pfft

I’ve been thinking about what I need to get done and sort of trying to prioritize these tasks ..

  1. laundry – reg is wearing 2 shirts and 2 pairs of socks a day for work .. yeah so my laundry is breeding before my eyes .. need to get that moving and keep it front of mind as I’m likely to be doing wash now at least twice a week, if not three times ..
  2. put erica’s top together
  3. start on matthew’s quilt – print out the foundation patterns and decide what colours to use for his ‘windows’ – dye pieces if necessary
  4. wash erica’s border fabric and muslin for dyeing
  5. dye backing for kyle’s quilt; dye borders / backing for Erica’s quilt
  6. baste all the above mentioned quilts and start quilting
  7. in between plot and sew other little giftees
  8. try and get Michigan Left quilted

So maybe getting this stuff down will help me feel more organized, because it sure seems like I had a LOT more to do than that (!) .. besides general house stuff like cleaning and cooking supper type thing .. hmmm .. I pray that nothing really important just fell into whatever black hole is yawning in my memory right now ..

Ah well .. machine is ‘fixed’ – I sort of have a battle plan .. well at least I have it written down and can start tackling it that way ..

Have a great day ..

Machine flu; blocks; shopping

W here to begin?? Yeah, I know .. at the beginning .. pffy πŸ˜› okay fine .. that’s where I’ll start – soon as I find it …

Yesterday evening I got the house to my self and was planning on doing the rest of erica’s blocks, taking pics for the tutorial, and making a SM thingee for myself since I have no case for this machine – meaning no cubby holes .. so I needed a place to stash my stuff so it would be there when I need it .. instead of getting buried under fabric, moved (normally happens, but), or squirreled where I’m not thinking it should be .. All I needed to do was sandwich and quilt 2 FQs, bind it, doing a fold, then stitch in dividers .. for some stupid reason, my new machine went all loopy … seriously .. loopy .. all on the back .. for a bit there I thought the bobbin thread was breaking, but my tension appeared to be fine .. so I did more sewing – you could actually hear something ‘letting go’ as it were .. when that would happen my spool would spin like it was on speed .. so I stopped sewing, pulled back on the thread and kept my finger on it to add tension (mind you, this was after 2 hours of farting around with it .. never said I was lightening on the uptake at times) it stitched perfectly when I held the top thread – ergo .. upper tension .. well i wanted to get it in today to get looked at, but nope – Reg wanted to go shopping in Detroit okay … he had a few bribery issues and used them with a vengeance .. so that means, Tuesday is when it can go in as they are closed Sunday and Monday .. how DARE they NOT be open (pfft) .. I finally threw in the towel (or the sandwich as it were), pulled that machine down and brought the 15 back up ..

hpim2164I finally finished all of erica’s blocks after this – stupid o’clock in the morning, but they were done (!) and the rest of the pics that I missed for the tutorial are all taken as well, strips required and a change of piecing this too πŸ˜€ … Now I just have to finish up the 4″ blocks that I’m going to use for the border … easy peasy .. and I’ll do as much as I can while the dark pink fabric holds out .. Good thing i’m plotting an asymmetrical border.

hpim2170Hmmm .. I mentioned bribery didn’t I .. well of course that was a trip to Joann’s .. could have done that shopping here, but okay, I’m game .. I picked up the border fabric for erica’s quilt – same stuff I used for gran’s binding .. first time I’ve ever bought the same fabric twice .. I should have brought one of the blocks with me, but I did want dark to offset the light and the light mauve / lilac in the flowers is picked up by the lilac colours .. if I decide that this just will not do, I have a ‘spare’ yard of this fabric in my stash πŸ˜€ .. I’ve never bought the same fabric twice like this before – so you know I really like it ..

hpim2161I grabbed 5Β½ yards of 90″ muslin for the backing for both Kyle and Erica’s quilts .. the bahama blue dye will be for erica (and I think that I might use some bits n pieces for her border or another blue .. we’ll have to see) and the indigo is for Kyle’s backing … in total I’ll need 3Β½ yards in total (or there abouts) so I’ll have some more muslin to play with ..

hpim2162Val sent a link of a dishcloth she is knitting … it is soooo cool!! I just have to do this, maybe two and grabbed some cotton for this – I’ve been using (or trying to use up) the yarn that I have kicking around here, but even after blocking, my dishcloths tend to roll up .. so I relented and grabbed some cotton for this .. I don’t want this to turn out looking like a dead spider on it’s back … this has CABLES!!!! I LOVE doing cables! Even when I was a newbie knitter, I tackled cables head-on with just the basics under my belt and never looked back – I like doing cables better than a fairisle pattern on the round(!!)

Now for the other bribe .. I’ve had the same glasses since 2001 I thinks .. during my last eye exam in 03 or 04, my script didn’t change that bad, so I decided to live with it as no optical insurance and my script is VERY expensive due to my astigmatism – well I got a quote from Lenscrafters the last time we were in detroit 2 weeks ago .. they are running a 50% off sale on lenses that ends today .. so he finally decided that I would do this for ME .. and well I did πŸ˜€ .. I love my new frames – they suit me quite well .. now – to get my damn hair cut!! I’ve been trying for a week now LOL ..

2001 version | 2008 version

2001 version | 2008 version

So I think I’ve covered everything .. machine ‘flu’, erica’s blocks, tutorial pics status, yarn for snowflake, border fabric, backing fabric, new glasses .. oh and I grabbed more wonderUnder LOL ..

Oh and a magazine and 2 new books .. but I’ll post them later .. and i’ll post a tutorial soon too πŸ™‚ .. later as meaning tomorrow or Monday

Hope your weekend is going GREAT!