Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quilt #2

Thanks for all the concern for Chesty - he's still resting and will occasionally take a lick of one of those ice cubes in his bowl if I hold it up for him.

I loaded the 2nd of 3 donated HeartStrings tops I plan to get quilted for National Volunteer Week this afternoon. This is another top pieced by Nancy and her group.

I decided to quilt some freehand swirls on this one and add some echoing like one of the designs in Dawn's Pajama Quilter workbook - mine aren't too bad in spite of the machine vibration and my quilting being a little rusty but they could definitely use more practice.

Quilt donations

I had a email from Beverly in PA telling me that she'd made two quilts using my Quick Strippie instructions - these quilts will be donated to Hospice patients through her guild. I also received a package from Barbara in Florida with tops that I will quilt and donate through HeartStrings.

One of my favorite things about blogging has been meeting other quilters who have the same desire as I do to make and donate quilts that comfort those in need. Thanks for sharing your quilts Beverly and Barbara!

Chesty is still ill, not vomiting but not eating and very lethargic. He's sleeping right now and I'm hoping he'll feel like eating soon - I fixed some chicken and rice for him last night.

On the unpacking front - we've finally given up on being able to arrange the living room like we wanted and are in the process of making do. One of the things I dislike about moving is that furniture bought to fit in one living space usually doesn't work so well in another.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chesty's sick...

I was up all night with him - he was vomiting and then started with some diarrhea this morning right when we got out of the car at the Vet's office. She thinks it may be a GI virus he picked up while boarding and kept him for some fluids and observation. I'm waiting for a call this afternoon to see how he's doing. They don't have overnight services so he'll definitely come home, I just hope he feels much better.

Luckily, I received something in the mail today to help keep my mind occupied. I'd ordered the companion workbook to Dawn Ramirez's Pajama Quilter DVD and I'm going to pick a design for the quilt I'm going to load next and practice drawing it a bit.

I love quilting both Dwirling and Wonky Feathers but I hadn't had a chance to go back and watch the DVD in the last few weeks to pick a *new* design to try - the workbook is great, the only difficult thing will be picking which one I'm going to try.

I did finish up the quilting I started yesterday - this was a pantograph called Whirlygig by Willow Leaf Studio - they make and/or distribute many of my favorites. Excuse the poor photo - it was taken after dark in the longarm room. I've tried a couple things without much luck to fix the vibration on the longarm that showed up with the reassembly after the move. Luckily I can still quilt while I try to figure it out.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm frustrated but...

At I'm least I'm finally quilting again! I thought I had things ready so I could just load a quilt but I ended up running around looking for things, my power cord for the bobbin winder, my side clamps, my tape measure and then when I was ready to load the quilt - I realized the backing wasn't pieced.

Finally, I got the quilt loaded and started quilting and the vibration while I'm quilting is bad. I checked the table - it's pretty level (just a hair off but that was as close as I could get it in the apartment too) so that's not the cause. The machine moves freely along the tracks when it's not on so I'm guessing the wheels on the carriage or the wheels on the machine itself need adjusting due the move. I played with it a bit and maybe noticed a tiny improvement but not nearly good enough. I need to research this a bit and see if I can figure it out.

In the meantime, I'll keep quilting - the stitches look pretty good except for occasional small bobbles that aren't too noticeable (like the one in the photo below in the yellow strip).

I really hate this....I just want my machine running well without this vibration.

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National Volunteer Week - April 27 - May 3

We're home and as I was flying from San Diego yesterday, I read that this week is National Volunteer Week. So although my house is a mess and I have boxes left everywhere to unpack, I'm going to focus this week on my HeartStrings quilts and end the week with a Sew-in on Saturday May 3rd.

I've already pulled a top pieced by Nancy and her group that's been waiting for quilting and I'll load it on the longarm and get started.

My goal will to quilt 3 HeartStrings tops and finish the binding on another HeartStrings quilt I quilted a few months ago (I blame the move for it taking this long to finish it up!)

By the way, Chesty is home - he's exhausted from his stay in the kennel so he's resting now.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another lazy day

It's rare that I visit a city without doing a lot of exploring but this trip is just for relaxing.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the spa - the spa pool area was almost completely empty and the view was great. Hopefully when we head home tomorrow I'll be refreshed and ready to finish unpacking and get back to my quilting.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A whole day of doing nothing!

I've spent my day with Jack Higgins and Jonathan Kellerman and Keith stopped by in the afternoon for a brief visit.

San Diego

A restful couple days so far - walking a bit along the bay, sitting by the pool and lots of reading. The Kindle is so great on trips - as many books as I can read in one small package! Here's the view of the bay and marina from our hotel room.

Chesty hasn't boarded since the beginning of December so I called to check on him. He's been pretty unsettled by the move and I was worried about leaving him but Keith said he ran right in when he dropped him off. Today, he was resting out of the camera's view but they picked him up so I could see him.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pansy quilting

Take a look at the flowers here on Patsy Thompson's blog - I haven't ever re-quilted a design like this but doesn't it look great?

Since I do better with flowers using a pantograph - wouldn't it give it a unique look to quilt the top using a floral pantograph and then go back and requilt it freehand with a different thread like this? I might have to try it on a smaller quilt when I have some time to play.

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Settling in

We accomplished a lot this weekend but we're heading to San Diego tomorrow morning so we won't get much more done before leaving. I have a ton of errands to do today but I did get a postcard made last night - well, I still have to drag out the sewing machine and stitch the back on but the front is done. I can't wait to get back to quilting too.

I plan to take my computer with me and hopefully will be able to catch up on some blog reading while I'm gone.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Stashbusting and Progress report

Nothing to report here this week....except maybe the progress on unpacking my sewing room and stash and a renewed goal of using what I already have on hand rather than purchasing more fabric. Unpacking and sorting through your entire stash will really make you think about the wisdom of stashbusting rather than stash-enhancing.

I'm much further along than this photo shows - just 5 or 6 more boxes to unpack!

Oops - I just remembered I bought 2 fat quarters this week to make a postcard. My intention was to make it while I was waiting to unpack the stash but the stash got unpacked (mostly) before I made the card.

No stash used this week
1/2 yard added (minus a few inches from each fat quarter for the postcard)

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Slow progress

Can you see all the boxes in the bathroom in the far right corner?? Those have all been emptied now.
Keith wants to know how long the fabric will stay neatly folded. Probably not long enough to make it worthwhile to fold it all so carefully. Having to unpack all this fabric is a good incentive to continue my stashbusting efforts.


Since we can't unpack the kitchen or living room yet, I've been able to work on my sewing room. Both shelving units are up and I'm unpacking and folding fabric. The shelves survived reassembly better than I expected with just one shelf getting banged up.

Tempers are high and we've been fussing at each other on and off all day - I keep having to remind him to keep his voice down - we don't want the new neighbors to hear us yelling at each other.

Right after I got mad about him about opening my sewing room boxes (I want to organize as I go) he came across my bobbin winder for the longarm - since I need that to start quilting and wouldn't have come across it for several days - I'm kind of glad he wasn't listening to me!

We tossed a weeks worth of dirty laundry into a box on Wednesday morning and have been searching for that box for a couple days so we can get laundry done before our trip to San Diego - just when we were worried that it didn't get dropped off, I found it! Normally at this point I'd leave the laundry for Keith but I'm still having fun with my new machines!

Friday, April 18, 2008

New kitchen counters

There's a lot of light in my kitchen and I think that makes these counters look a little lighter than they actually are - the last photo is probably darker. The plumber comes back Sunday morning to hook things back up. I still have to redo the tile backsplash but I haven't decided on the tile yet.

Kitchen remodel

Because I don't have enough stress in my life, we're doing some remodeling. The painting was first and today they're putting in the new counter-tops. Here's a before photo for you.

Life is easier now that I'm not running back and forth between here and the apartment. I'm heading upstairs now to assemble the 2nd set of fabric shelves.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It fits

The longarm is set up and it fits better than I expected. I'll only walk around one side (I did the same at the apartment so I'm used to it). If you remember, I downsized to a smaller machine and to a 10 foot table when we moved last year but this room is slightly smaller than the one I used in the apartment.

Deb uses the space under her machine for storage and I might give that a try. In the apartment, I moved the machine back and forth so it didn't make sense to put stuff under it but I don't think I'll be moving it here.

That's my desk in the corner - already kind of messy but I've been *working* off of it for almost 2 weeks now. I need to do some filing.

It looks small in this picture but there's more than enough space to walk around the machine.


I've had a few comments and emails from readers surprised that I've continued to blog. I admit after 2+ years of blogging - I'm addicted to it. In my everyday life I'm constantly thinking - "I've got to get a photo of this for the blog" or "I need to write about this on the blog". I bet the other longtime bloggers are the same and once it becomes a habit it doesn't take but a few minutes to write a brief note and post some photos.

So, here are today's! I had wonderful suggestions to spend some time reading and cuddling with Chesty so I took about an hour this morning and started reading the new Benni Harper mystery by Earlene Fowler (thanks to Mom for sending it to me!). You can see Chesty is still kind of bummed but he'll adjust - just don't tell Keith that he curled up on his pillow!

Since I can't unpack the kitchen or living room yet and Keith isn't home to help me put the longarm table together, I started on the fabric shelves. The first is almost done....

I just need Keith's help to muscle those last few pegs into place.

Speaking of Keith, forget all the nasty, terrible things I usually write about him (just kidding). He earned big points this morning by going over and cleaning the apartment by himself and has already done the walk thru. I can't believe we escaped without any *deductions* or charges. I'll admit there's a ding or two in the walls in the sewing and longarm rooms.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Even though I thought we downsized significantly last year with the move to Minneapolis, we've still got too much stuff!

I couldn't figure out why these last two moves were so *difficult* and then I realized I had just started quilting about a year and a half before we moved to Atlanta. I had one bookshelf with some fabric and my sewing machine. Now after 7 and 1/2 years I have too many quilting books to count, way too much fabric, the longarm and all the supplies that go along with it.

That's my downtown view along with the truck.

They're going to put in our countertops on Friday so we won't even unpack the kitchen stuff, of course that means we can't get the living room organized either.

The master bedroom and bathroom are completely unpacked! Sheets have been washed, the bed is made and I'm heading up there shortly to join Keith.

This is the sewing room and I managed to move all the stuff out of my way so I can reassemble my shelves against the far wall. Somehow my instructions to leave the entire middle and right side of the room empty didn't get through!

I'm afraid to show the longarm room yet - it's a tight fit and I'll wait until I get the table set up to show you.

Thanks for all the comments and well wishes on the move - I appreciate all the encouragement.

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