Franken’Quilt’ Happy Dance

HPIM2657.jpgI did it .. I didn’t think I would get to the point where I could say that – specially after the other day and was actually wondering if I would run out of needles before I could finish!! hehehe .. you can see where I sneezed in the yellow part while quilting … that sneeze literally jumped up and bit me on the nose! I had no warning what-so-ever for that one! But that’s okay .. when all’s said and done, If I hadn’t of taken that corner for a pic, I wouldn’t have remembered it or seen it πŸ˜‰ You can see the itty bits of tissue paper still under some of the stitches, but those should disintegrate in the wash (when it gets to that point)

HPIM2656.jpgRipping the paper took a few hours, but I was able to watch tv and tear away .. made the time fly by pretty quick .. I did see some problem areas and marked them with pins from the other machine .. I might have to requilt a few spots because of skipped stitches that I missed, but I’m going to do a wait and see on those parts – if it holds up in the wash, I might not .. I’ve not totally decided yet .. I do just love how my pattern came out using the tissue paper – amazing! I’m just tickled pink .. There’s no way I could free hand quilt this this good .. I used to draw all the time, but using a 50 zillion pound, 2 mile wide quilt as my medium isn’t quite the same as pencil and paper πŸ˜‰ So ‘tracing’ my pattern works for me!!

HPIM2653.jpgI needed to wait until Kyle got home from school as I knew I would need help with this quilt .. it’s to heavy to clip up the normal way and it’s pretty wide .. my kids got a pretty good wing span, and we still needed to clip the corner. You can see the quilting pattern in the corners and a bit on the blocks – not a sunny day so it doesn’t show very well. I went digging thru my stash for a ‘red’ binding. i wanted to find a fire engine red one that matches the inner border bugt that was a no go .. I did find another one that I found in the remnant bin that is a pretty good match for the red with white-ish stars in the border. I didn’t want to use blue or green as those colours are right at the edge of the quilt, so that left yellow and red .. I didn’t even bother looking for yellow as I know i just have fqs of it and no yardage .. so that left the red πŸ™‚ oh the bottom corner on the right?? Orion of course just HAD to get into the picture .. what a ham!! So this is now on the binding pile with 3 other quilts. WOOOO HOOOOOO I’m making some serious headway on getting my WIPS done

I’m working on my colour challenge pieces and will post them later πŸ™‚

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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??

Was it the 13th today??

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I'm NOT moving!

Today was the sort of day where you keep checking the calendar to see if it was Friday the 13th.Β  A day filled with challenges.

First of all, I see flashing lights on my printer and I’m thinking .. now what?? I check the display and it’s telling me to check the colour print cartridge … oh jesusmaryjoseph!! Not that! Anything but that .. That error message is 99% that your cartridge has given up the ghost and is giving you the huge raspberry of the century! And of course there’s not another one kicking around … I refill my cartridges and don’t keep a spare since I’m not to worried about running out of ink. Of course my next thought is “Aw Crap! I’ve not printed out my border motif yet .. oh BLOODY HELL!!!!”. So I sit and do email, while wondering how to get that motif printed so I can trace it .. It occurs to me, that I can trace it off the screen πŸ˜€ So I do a 10px stroke around the lines to make it dark enough to see thru the paper – remember that I’ve not been able to find my scotch tape right?? So I grabbed some athletic tape .. now that we have all over the place .. no shortage of that whatsoever! So I take a small piece and just lightly tack it to my monitor .. the last thing I want to do is have the heat make super goo on my screen .. Oh first I had to get it to the right size so I could trace it .. 7″ on my monitor is not 7″ on paper. Get that all set and traced out .. Oi Vay! Not the best job I’ve ever done, but it’ll suffice as this is more a free flowing motif. Then comes all the tracing on my tissue paper – no major hardship there .. just tedious – but you do manage to get into a flow with it ..

Off I head to the kitchen, Kyle’s not wiped up his mess off the table AGAIN and the cats are not fixing to budge anytime soon from the sunshine and the quilt. That picture of Pixel is after the umpteenth time that I shooed him off my work .. as you can see, he’s not so inclined to move anytime soon .. you can see why I call him the Brat Prince! He takes being a snoopervisor to a whole new level!!

HPIM2645.jpgOf course by the time that all’s said and done, it’s time to cook dinner .. **sigh Get that cooked, Reg comes home later than he said, then after dinner, he asks if I’ll go with him for some running around .. Okay .. sure .. he’s leaving on Sunday at 5am or so and I’ve not seen a lot of him lately due to the basketball playoffs and finals .. (BTW – they’re going to OFSSA for the playoffs and championship there in Ottawa – 10 hrs away – he’ll be back Wed some time ) We needed to go to Fabricland and grab some snaps to repair the warmup pants – I said “oh geeze, here we are going into a fabric store and I’m not getting anything :O!?!” LOL .. he asked what I had in mind so I mentioned more batting and variegated thread for top quilting .. sure thing πŸ˜€ We get the snaps (Those get fixed tomorrow) Check out the batting .. oh sweet!!! 78″ x 100″ poly for $7.00Β  (twin sized – perfect for lap quilts) … Now I can live with that .. and it’s a low loft poly too! So we grabbed 2 .. then off to check out the thread .. these sweet babies were only $1.00 each and are 125 yds … I can live with that .. I grabbed the blue for the Big Fan quilt which is on my list really soon! They had some other neat colours, but I wanted to be sure that I had enough of one colour for a quilt .. and I was limited to 5 πŸ˜‰ Since it wasn’t really in the cards to get anything, I wasn’t about to complain.

Then after that we did some other running around for some gatorade powder and a cell phone for reg so we could text each other while he’s gone .. That was a huge undertaking .. but we finally found one that he’s happy with and it’s all set up and charged now – We left around 7 or so and didn’t get back home until almost 10. So there went some quality quilt time .. but I wouldn’t have traded it.

HPIM2643.jpgFinally I start quilt around midnite or so, used up all the sheets I had traced, off to trace some more .. I managed to get 2 sides done and am about to start the 3rd, when I realize that I am TIRED! I look at the clock and it’s like almost 3am .. Okay, I’m done .. I’m sure I’ll have a battle of wills with the cats again, but that’s okay .. I’ve some pressing of shirts and pants to do for Reg and we are going to fix the pants too .. Plus fold and make sure he’s all packed and ready to go .. I’ll likely get to quilt on Sunday – but will try to get the border done tomorrow … There’s 2 passes on this border, so I’m doing the inner one first trying to keep the back even and from puckering to badly (which I knew it would), the the outer part of the border .. then I get to find binding, trim the edges and put it on .. I canNOT wait for that at this point!

Have a great weekend!

I’ve been icked!

Yup, I’m getting sick again .. **sigh .. bloody hell!

I wasn’t to motivated yesterday to get much done quilt-wise .. altho I did start on my Michigan left – did the border ‘frame’ – totally the opposite of what i normally do – mostly b/c this batting seems puffy to me and I wanted to see what it actually looked like quilted .. It’s not all that bad, but I knew I would have had to quilt closer together maybe – but wanted to do a patch of free motion to see what it actually looked like .. I decided on black thread for this – white didn’t seem right for some reason ..

So I get the ‘frame’ done, okay .. i think i can live with this .. then I start the freemotion – bah .. black upper thread, white bobbin thread .. *&^$^& the 15 was not meant to be my everyday machine so I only have one bobbin for it .. I have other bobbins that fit, but they don’t lock in on the bobbin winder, soooo 1 bobbin .. and I just wound this one .. so for now .. this one will go aside until I finish with this bobbin and then I’ll do some black … oh crap .. i’m using a light backing .. I wanted white thread for a reason .. might be time to rethink my upper thread .. maybe something dark-ish, but will work with white .. maybe yellow or a light green .. that might work .. the white thread doesn’t show on regular quilting, but does on free motion .. ah well .. anything more complicated than 1+1 right now is beyond my ken .. even then I have to use my fingers ..

While watching my Saints play like a high school team tonite (altho there were some GREAT plays .. Go REGGIE!!!) ahem .. i sorted thru my scrap bag and pulled likely reds, whites or WOW, blues, and yellows for kyle’s quilt (which has changed again btw – but more on that later) I’ve not measured these yet, and chances are they will have to be tossed back into my scrap bag .. (I think I should start to sort these by colour and pick up some cheapo baskets / bins at the dollar store .. ) measuring right now just seems like way to much effort .. i do want to get this started b/c you know as well as I do that time just zips past us – and I might be super busy in the next months with quilty stuff for gifts and whatnot ..

Kyle’s favourite colour is red .. and while looking at his layout – I seemed that I didn’t use as much red as I could have, so I started to toss colours around and what not. Plus the idea of all that white in a 13yo boys quilt .. nope .. not gonna happen .. so I minimize the amount of white and just kept it for encircling the stars, but made the main background colour red and ‘created’ a sawtooth star in the center that will be UofM’s colours, backlit in red, just like the friendship starΒ  .. so voila! I think that this is soo much better .. and will be more tailored for him

Update on the flea battle ..
I wanted to find out some information on the life cycle of a flea, so I looked it up .. I finally found some information that I hadn’t before .. Basically the female can lay up to 50 eggs per day and she can live 4 – 6 weeks .. Okay that’s not so shocking – rather fits on how prolific pests are .. But NO ONE had told me that the eggs just drop off the host animal!!! So my plan of vacuuming every 3 or 4 days is useless as these puppies can hatch anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks later (!) .. So Lord knows how many new batches of fleas I’ve missed that are starting the bloody cycle yet again (!!) ..

So vacuuming daily, flea comb daily and bathe them .. Oh another ‘myth’ was debunked too .. The lady at the pet store said that the residual chemicals from the flea shampoo stays with them for a week .. Well guess what .. NOT TRUE!!! Residual effects from a flea bath .. 24 hrs TOPS!! So for that week between baths, the buggers were merrily breeding away and dropping eggs all over the house that were hatching every 2 days and just infesting my babies .. I mean .. why would she tell me the truth .. cripes! It’s not in her economic interest to tell me the truth – that means that the store would lose sales of flea products to me .. and the line that they really push and recommend, isn’t cheap **sigh .. So all this time, I’ve been working my butt off to get the fleas killed and it’s not working b/c I missing their life cycle and Lord knows how many batches of the buggers have been starting a new cycle over and over again .. bloody hell!

Oh yeah .. Searching life cycle and researching MYSELF would have saved me about 2 weeks of fleas and I might be almost done the battle .. Bloody hell! I’m so blasted mad bout this .. And Pix has an open sore on the back of his neck from where they are getting him … So the flea collar went back on last nite to hopefully keep them away from his neck .. The poor baby .. I looked at his neck a short time ago an the sore is healing – so maybe the collar is keeping them from that area.

I HATE misinformation – it’s so bloody costly .. Specially since the stuff we use gets used up and we have to replace it and it costs MONEY .. gee you think that was her point!!Β  blasted TWIT!!!!Β  Bloodyhell – and it’s not even that .. my poor animals are the ones that are suffering, Orion is banished from the bedrooms (but this one), the cats are banished from them too .. and they don’t understand why they can’t go into any of these rooms with soft beds and sunny ledges ..

Section 1 all secured …

I never thought it would get to this point .. I really didn’t .. but it did and it’s here and going too πŸ˜‰

WOOO HOOO I started to quilt on my 1800’s quilt πŸ˜€ **kittyhappydancing**

I was so happy and nervous to get this finally started .. i did my usual trick of printing the motif on paper and then ‘glueing’ to my quilt, but I was afraid of the stitches coming out when I removed the paper (or at least getting really loose, so I opted to draw them in .. that’s why you see orange marking on 2 of the ‘arms’ of the central motif.

When I first put it together I had excess ‘batting’ and backing. I quilted the center motif with it that way too. Then I was getting ready to start the sisters blocks and I remembered that the ‘batting’ needed to be 1/4″ less than the top and back. This is so that there would be no bulky seams when the sections were put together. I can’t exactly dovetail flannel, so I’m pretty happy that I remembered that. Otherwise I would have been pretty ticked when I got to that point.

Quilting with flannel as my batting was different but not earth shattering. It’s thinner than cotton batting and lighter .. MUCH lighter .. (I still used my gloves tho) But I didn’t get all the extra fluff that was mentioned. I’m going to hazard a guess that this is because it was between a top and back and the ‘fluff’ stayed inside. Which is great as I don’t have to stop and clean my machine all the time. Oh the gloves I use .. simple cotton gardening gloves with rubber dots on palm and finger parts. Cost me like $2 at the hardware store ..

I just outlined of the star in the sisters blocks and then went around the edges of the sister’s blocks as well – nothing fancy or earth shattering .. other than the fact that it’s FINALLY underway!!!!

Not sure how well you can see this, but you might be able to pick up some of the detail from the center motif.

I’m so happy to finally have this started. My shoulders are tight and I need to stretch them out a bit, but I’ve not really quilted anything ‘large’ since I did Reg’s quilt .. all the other things I have done have been my small quiltlets and wallhangings. So I guess I just need to get my quilting muscles back in shape .. Lord knows there’s a few projects waiting to get done, and with the weather chilling now, these quilts might be WANTED. One is a quilt for kyle’s bed, another is my kitty quilt, and then there’s this quilt and of course a winter quilt for our bed.

So many quilts, so little time πŸ˜€

Challenge, Inventory, health n stuff

Please click on the images to view larger versions in a new window πŸ˜‰

It’s been a nutty week – with Reg’s basketball team season winding down, my challenge and getting sick.

Reg’s team won their quarter final game on Wednesday by 15 I think .. it was a game that the ref’s were absolutely HORRID and Herman led by at least 5 the whole game. It was good to see it! I had a splitting headache, was sicker n a dog, but enjoyed it. The semi’s are tonite and I’ll be going to this game as well. If they lose, they are out, so I want to be there to support the team.

I spent 2 days being sick and almost missed getting my candle mat in for the challenge. As it was i sent it up just before midnite and the email at midnite :\. This is the candle mat that I entered. I did the birthing method for quilting this. Made it quick to put together – I’m likely going to do this method for all the smaller items that I can; while I wish it had that pretty defining binding as a frame, i can always add an extra 1/4″ to the outside for the appearance of a border. I used green thread for the quilting and did flowers and ditch stitching.

This is the candle mat that I wished was ready. While the colours are striking in the other one, this one just speaks more to me. I used a variegated thread for the quilting and did different flowers, butterflies and ditch stitching on it.

I used mum’s machine on for the decorative / applque stitches for these mats. It only jammed on me one other time and that was right at the beginning just after I did the bobbin. This machine has such a tetchy petal!! It only has one speed – SONIC – so speed control was a huge issue for me .. but all in all, no serious problems while doing it – it was just nerve wracking is all .. thank you all for the prayers, naked moonlight dancing and burning feathers πŸ˜‰

This is a finished basket; I say finished like that as I still have to tack down the flaps on the inside. This was very easy to make, altho I did have to man-handle this while I was sewing down the flaps to make the basket .. I’m just so glad that my machine was able to do this :D. For this I just did ditch stitching for the sides and meandered along the bottom for stability.

I’m still not feeling 100%, maybe 55% right now .. have another headache, and am still suffering from this cold – but i’m better today than I was yesterday and specifically the day before – Thank God!

Extremes / Seascape Quilt / Kitty borders


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Today was a day of extremes for me. The right side of the bed did NOT exist for me today. Might have been due to the fact that Kyle managed to wake me up after 2 hours sleep – and he wasn’t watching the dog when he let her out this am. She managed to get the gate open and escaped (didn’t go far, but not the point – she was after cats down the block) she’s about to go into heat and he wasn’t quiet about opening the doors, slamming them, yelling for the dog .. woke Reg and I both up .. Okay .. so Reg wakes up to a pin dropping on carpeting .. i DON’T!

I knew I needed to center myself, I was frustrated beyond all belief by not being able to find a rotary cutting pattern for a mouse (!) (and i started last nite). Even getting my DSL back today didn’t make me feel better for long. I was ready to cheap out on my kitty quilt and just do fish. BUT .. I stepped away from it and worked on my Seascapes (Sea LIfe???) quilt that Joy gave me. I could’t start it until after supper tho as my table can’t come away from the wall to accomodate the boards I use. I did Sharon Schamber’s basting method again and this time it worked VERy well for me. I took shorter stitches, longer thread, had the quilt on my cutting mat and really really really paid attention to the tension i was putting on my stitches .. I believe that might have also been a larger part of the problem for me the last time I tried this method.

After basting this quilttop, I felt soooo much better – Like I had actually accomplished something .. and while I was basting my mind was working away on my kitty border issue. They resolved themselves in the back of my mind. I printed out my quilting motifs, grabbed the sullivan’s and started to plot. I realized that i couldn’t try the appliquilt on this quilt after I had laid all the templates out as it would make it to busy i think. I have the whole quilt covered with a sea scene and I just think that that would be overkill. If you look, you can see the seaweed and fish in the bottom left corner, 2 bigger fish swimming around, shells in the corners and waves and shells for the borders. I really don’t think that I want to add anything else to this .. that does disappoint me tho as I would have liked to tried that method, but there’ll be other opportunities – if not, I’ll create them πŸ˜€

Now for the borders on my kitty quilt; I was at the point where I was just going to do all fish and be done with it. I did NOT want to do paper piecing, nor particularly applique at this point. I am so bloody close, that I want the top DONE NOW. well I almost short changed myself, but something kept me from doing so .. I have come up with what I think is going to be the perfect finish to this quilt .. All i’m going to say right now is it involves fish, meeces (appliqued) and kitties. Oh and it will involve math LOLOLOL But i’m feeling better about everything right now – borders are under control, Seascape is just about done .. I think that I’m going to see about using up the scraps that Joy sent me along with some other fabrics I have here and doing a scrappy binding.. I think that just might be the perfect finish to it