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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ kyle’s quilt be ‘done’ first ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyone else want to try this challenge and post it to your blog??

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Franken’quilt’ Plodding Along

HPIM2629.jpgGood thing I’m not trying to break any land speed records with this quilt. I’m just plodding along, quilting a block, tearing the tissue, pining another into place, quilting, tearing the tissue .. etc, etc, etc .. I do like the way that it’s turning out tho .. very much! Kyle even thinks it’s cool, but then again, he could just be saying that ๐Ÿ˜‰ but i’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

HPIM2626.jpgHPIM2628.jpgI’ve reached the ยฝ way point with the inner top quilting. I think this is a good place to stop for tonite. Its almost 2am and I’m tired .. I just want to do some neo and fall asleep. I thought I would show you how I’m using the tissue paper for the quilting motifs. First of all I trace it from my ‘original’. I was using a dab of glue stick, but i found that the tissue shifted to much – so I scrapped that idea and decided to try pins instead. I figure that using the pins will keep the sandwich together in the block as I remove all threads / pins before I quilt. This prevents the batting from shifting as I’m using a poly and it doesn’t tend to stick to cotton as well as cotton batting does. You can see the before and after pics – heh, my quilting’s a wee bit wobbly, but that’s okay .. but you can see how it didn’t tear and the pins are still in place minus 2 that caught on my gloves.

HPIM2633.jpgHere’s a close up of where 4 blocks meet – I’ve rather been wondering about the diamonds in this quilt. I think I’m going to SID around them to anchor the quilt together more and to ‘define’ them as well. They just seem to rather lay flat right now and they stood out before I started to quilt.

HPIM2631.jpgHere’s a close up of one block (yes the red is the center of the block) sorry these pics are so flat, but they are nite time pics and it really can’t be helped all that much – this rather looks like the red square is being circled by the quilting, even tho there are points in the blue sections surrounding the yellow diamonds.

I have to go with my dad in the am for a procedure he’s having, so I’ll be bringing my knitting for that – I’ve my sleeves ยฝ way done (seems to be a pattern here LOL), hopefully, I’ll be home in soon enough tomorrow that I can finish the inner top of this quilt and then start on the borders .. well at least trace out the borders. I need to hit the dollar store for more tissue paper too ๐Ÿ˜‰

That would be so cool to call this quilted and then start hunting for binding fabric for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

2 Down 18 To Go

HPIM2624.jpgI was hoping to have more done yesterday but it wasn’t in the cards .. took a bit to finagle the right size (which could be larger, but i’m not changing it now), hunt down my scotch tape (which I’ve still not found – GRRR), cut down the last of the tissue paper to just get the block sections ready – will have to invade the dollar store for more – hunt down my glue stick (which I did find), and move my machine into the kitchen. I wanted the larger table to help support the weight of this quilt. I am sooo wishing I had thought of trying quilt as you go BEFORE I put the borders on this one .. and the borders are rather a Dr. Frankenstein creation on their own .. so that’s not going to happen! And of course relocate Princess Hiss, my Shadow Kitty – such a devote sun and cushy worshiper isn’t she???

HPIM2625.jpgI only did 2 for test purposes just in case I had to make some drastic changes instead of minor adjustments.ย  I did meet with a few challengesย  so far .. first and foremost is the block size .. these are 13ยฝ” finished and larger than I like to normally do .. I prefer to do 9 – 10″ for quilting ease mostly. Who would have thought that a double-sized quilt with poly batting would weigh so much (!?!) So there’s adjustments to be made there for the weight and size. Challenges – there were a few; I had the quilt all rolled up nicely and folded, but that proved to bulky to move that way, so I’ll just sort of tent it around the block that I’m working to allow ease of movement. I used a dab of glue stick on the first motif, but that shifted so opted to use pins in the second … that worked nicely ๐Ÿ™‚ For some reason my thread snapped in the same spot near the lower left corners – there might be more pull on the quilt than I thought at that spot due to weight – so I’ll be working thru these challenges and whatever else pops up. And I’m sure there’ll be a few more that I’ve not anticipated.

I wanted to get more done last nite, but The Biggest Loser came on and I watch that show every week .. I missed it last week and had to catch it at like midnight on Saturday as we don’t get the west coast channels that it repeats on later that nite – So, I worked on my sleeves for my “hoodie or not” instead – I still want to get that done while I can wear it this season!

HPIM2622.jpgToday will be to get all the motifs traced – that’s a pain of sorts since I can’t find my tape, just due to the block size that I’m using .. I do prefer smaller as it’s easy to control and fits on the bed of my machine easier. Once those are traced, then away go .. I did try the stitching thru a stack of them before, but it’s so hard to see – granted this isn’t as intricate as the motif that I used on my Michigan Left, but there are still enough lines that cross I can see myself going cross-eyed .. heh .. no pun intended ๐Ÿ˜› I am hoping that this will be quilted by week’s end – I’m seriously hoping that once I get into a groove, it’ll go much quicker – it’s just getting there that’s going to be some work me thinks …

I’ll never do a block this size again, unless I pick the quilting motif before-hand and it’s smaller than the actual block size – so remind me if I beta test a pattern to check on block size FIRST .. plus I don’t have a squaring ruler larger than 12ยฝ” – squaring blocks reduces frustration later on – and this quilt isn’t squared, but that’s okay .. I’m not going to worry about it, I’ll be tickled to call this one done .. I think this is going to be a nemesis quilt for me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Franken’quilt’ Boxed Basted!

HPIM2620.jpgGeeze O Pete!! This seemed to take forever for me .. I really struggled to baste this quilt. Granted I named it while basting it .. Franken’quilt’ Boxed seems to fit the bill for this quilt perfectly! Not sure if you remember this quilt. I started this quilt initially when Kyle was 2 ยฝ – 3 years old. It was supposed to be for his twin bed – his first Big Boy Quilt! Well life interfered (as it normally does) and due to time, space, etc – my quilting stuff was put away for several years. I pulled this one out last year when I finally got to unpack all my quilting stuff and didn’t want to waste it. I had enough fabric to expand the top to fit a double, but had to really stretch my ‘creativity’ for the borders. This post here goes into more detail – and this post shows a few of the challenges that I faced with it. I won’t go into the border issues I had with this .. that was it’s own separate entity and living thru it once was quite enough (!)

HPIM2621.jpgOh the name?? That was easy .. I’m not sure what I did, but there were some doozy of mistakes in this one … didn’t cut straight? Sew straight? Your guess is as good as mine – it was 10 years ago when I first made these blocks. And the basting! I started out doing thread basting – I didn’t think that I would have had enough pins for pin basting, so I figured – do each block separately as I’ll work on one block at a time. Well – it bloody well took forever!! It just dragged and dragged and dragged … I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere with it(!) I also wanted to do thread basting also because sometimes I don’t pin-baste close enough, and I’ve had enough issues with my backs puckering lately that I didn’t want to add that sin to this quilt on top of all the others I’ve committed with it pfft. But the pins came out, and then I flew thru this .. and thru my pins too – so back to thread basting I went. In this pic here you can see some of the issues that I created with this quilt.ย  See the imaginative piecing I did here??ย  There’s other places just like all over the quilt – poor thing.

I was hoping to get to get to the fun part tonite and actually print out the motif and get it sized right and start to trace out the 20 blocks I need. Not going to happen .. it’s almost 3am and I still have to press Reg’s shirt for the Regional finals (I think??) tomorrow in Sarnia .. (No I’m not going :D) They won the game on Sunday, and have to win in Sarnia in order to go to Ottawa for OFSSA – Let’s hope they win!!

Tomorrow I’ll do the fun part .. maybe I’ll feel a bit better too .. Reg and I seem to have picked up a bug and are suffering from some coughing, sneezing, tender throat and sinus icks. Hopefully tomorrow I can start to quilt!! Wouldn’t that be nice!

Motif N basting

Two million motifs later and I finally decided on one – it’s not all frilly and fru fru .. (do you know how hard it is to actually find a masculine-type quilting motif????), that works with the lines of the quilt and has an interesting pattern ๐Ÿ˜€ And a nice pattern for the borders too, which are 6″ wide on this quilt – well the outer one is, the inner is 2″ I think.

kyle-bed-main.jpgkyle-bed-border.jpgFor the main part of his quilt, I’m going to use this one here .. it creates a nice flowing design that seems to flow quite nicely .. but then again, I’m biased and slightly cross-eyed after going thru so many of them. The one on the right will be the border motif.

kylebedmotif.jpgHere’s a quick mock up of how it will look – I didn’t save this with the border motif in as the picture is rather cock-eyed and it’s hard to see just how it does look – but this one will be easy to create the corners with the looping curls cater-corner to the other. And I might put a star or some such thing in the corner or even his hand or footprint .. I’ve done that on his other quilts I’ve made .. sort of like a growth chart of sorts.

HPIM2619.jpgI finally got this one ready to baste the other nite, not made a lot of progress with it as it’s been silly crazy here this week. I submitted my resume for a CSR position two weeks ago, and I had 3 interviews in as many days and walked out of there on with a job. Not sure of the start date as yet as there are conflicting training schedules for another group they hired on, but I’m looking at maybe the 9th of March as my start date … so I’ve a week to get as much done as I can before I start back to work full-time and then the ensuing adjustments that happen from that .. I’m sure I’ll come home from work bone-dead tired and just sleep LOL .. we’ll have to see .. I might not. Add into this mix, the basketball semi-finals and finals for tier and city championships .. so there’s getting stuff ready for the game, washing uniforms, folding them, fixing them if need be, pressing reg’s shirts and then helping out at the school where needed – which has only been last Thursday ๐Ÿ™‚ But the city finals are tonite and we are going to stay for the game after as it’s reg’s friend and he wants to see how they do. I’m sure that Shadow (pictured) and Pixel will guard my basting and make sure it’s appropriately broken in for use after quilting ๐Ÿ˜‰

menus and galleries oh MY!!!

The past few days I’ve spent debugging my website and looking for tutorials for flash galleries .. I would prefer to find one close to how I want it and alter it from there, but not having much luck .. course it would likely help to NOT do this when I’m dog tired. I want to find one that allows a description and I’ve not found that yet .. all sorts of slideshows with or without thumbnails etc .. but nothing with a quick description. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any serious flash and I would essentially have to relearn it all again .. I’m hoping that the tutorials will help jog my memory on the coding.

I also tried to do php for my website .. that way I would just have to update a database, and upload a picture and voila, it would be updated .. but i’m having issues connecting to the server to test the database .. everything seems to be working right, but I just canNOT connect to that blasted server to test – **sigh** So i gave up that idea .. altho, it will stick in the back of mind and if a solution presents itself, I’ll be sure to try it ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve posted my ads on kijiji.com and there have been some decent amount of hits on them PLUS visits to my website – but alas, no emails or paypal notifications. It’ll come. Are you ready for this??? I posted kijiji ads in Windsor, London, Detroit, Saginaw and Lansing .. I check later and the ads for Detroit and Saginaw have been removed. Kijiji is supposed to be a community, free classified ads and I am not in those communities – okay .. i’m 5 mins from Detroit but 2 hours from London LOL!!!!! Go figure.

I can get the space at the Walkerville Trade Center, but wondering on the money issue for it, I was really hoping to have made enough at this last show to cover that cost, but that didn’t happen. I have to do some creative number crunching me thinks – I sent my link to the website to the owner of the trade center and this is what she had to say …

I took a look at your website. Your products are amazing. I have the perfect area that will help to display them off. I have an 8 x 10 foot section that has hardwood floors and a table with wall space that is 6′ high and two 8′ shelves. There is also a wall space that is 4′ high and 5′ in length. The area is $150.00 for a monthly rental. When you come in I will show you the area. You will fall in love with it. I figured it would be perfect for your products and it will really help you with having your own business.

bit more than the original quoted price, but this sounds almost like a double space???

Oh well, I’m off to play with coding .. i did find a flash drop down menu that I want to play with .. it’ll be very close to the one I have now, but won’t cause all the funky issues that this one appears to be doing. Once that’s done, I want to make these cute little pouch purses that Judi sent me a link too .. but am hesitant to make much more inventory as I’ve not managed to sell much of it .. it WOULD be nice to maybe finish my kitty quilt or get started on basting Kyle’s quilt .. but i’m driven to get all this website stuff done first ..