Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Tip

Have you ever had trouble quilting on gray fabric with gray thread or black on black, etc?  Today I was working on a t-shirt quilt and ran into that very problem.  Each quilt I finish on the longarm teaches me something.  Mostly humility, but today I had to dig back in my memory on how to solve this issue.  I remember visiting with Jamie Wallen in his studio in Michigan City and he showed me light bars he hung on his longarm.  This allowed the light to shine sideways and you could see the texture of where you had already quilted.  It also helps sometimes to turn your overhead lighting off in the room. 
So here is what I rigged up on a moments notice.  I taped my battery operated light to the tube my batting had been wrapped on. 
I adjusted the angle of the light by running a piece of tape from the tube to the up take roller and pinned the tape to hold the light at the right angle to make the thread show up so I could see where I had already quilted.  Blue painter's tape is a wonderful thing.  It does not leave residue behind. 
Below is one view of the gray thread on gray t-shirt. 
This is a little lower angle, with overhead lighting off. 
This may also be a problem on your domestic machine when free motion quilting.  Try turning your room's overhead lighting off or down and using an Ott light at the side or back of your machine.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, July 21, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I had to work at the mall each day but got a chance to come home and hang out with my family, also.  Saturday, we joined the neighbors for a picnic and bags games.
Even the dogs had a play date.  This is Daisy the Silky Terrier in the front and Rascal our Yorky in the back. 
Rascal liked hanging out with Ashley.
After the picnic I went home and sewed.  I had a baby shower to attend the next day.  I made this Shannon baby quilt.
Below are the expectant parents, Chance and Jade.
The cake was yummy with butter cream frosting. 
Chance built this marshmallow toaster.  You light the sterno cans and roast your marshmallows and they had jars of chocolate and graham crackers for making smores.  I'm not sure who was the biggest kid here?
This was a co-ed shower, so the guys played bags and then switched to this life-sized game of Jenga. 
It was about 5.5 feet tall before it tumbled down.  Watch your toes! 
It was a fun shower and they received many great gifts for the baby.
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Finishes

Happy Friday!
We all survived another week.  It was a busy one but happy one.  It was so good to see my dad and step-mother this week.  It is especially great to see my dad feeling so well since all his health issues last fall.  He sure is like a Timex watch, "takes a licking and keeps on ticking".
A very special Happy Birthday to my step-mother, Pat.  Today she is 80 and doesn't look or act like it in anyway, shape or form.  Many more happy birthdays, Pat.
This morning I had cinnamon roll waffles for breakfast.  You put Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls in you waffle iron and get....I butter them.  This is three rolls.
Then add the frost that comes with them. 
Below is just one roll. 
So what have you all been up to today?  I ran errands this morning, i.e. groceries, quilt store, paid the barn rent for the horse,
met with the carpet shop for our home remodel as well as met with the kitchen planner. 
 Then came home to work on a t-shirt quilt.
Since I didn't post a Friday finish last week.  Here is the Thimbleberries quilt I finished last week.  It is queen size.
The quilting pattern is called Tole Painting and the thread is Omni 3014 Maple.  I wish the picture quality was a little better.  Didn't have any help around to hold up the quilt. 
I also have my two July blocks finished for the BOM Barn Quilt at Quilter's Garden.
I am heading to my second job at the mall.  I will have more Sales Lead training tonight.  I am really enjoying the experience.
Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday

Today was a good day.  After seeing my husband off to work, I got cleaned up waiting to hear from my dad and stepmother.  We were able to have a nice dinner with them last night as well as sit and visit to get caught up.  Then this morning my son and I were able to meet them for breakfast.  It is so nice to see my dad healthy and back to his old self since last fall.
My dad and stepmother had made a quick trip back to Princeton for a funeral.  I am happy to say that I received a text this evening and they are home safely.  Thanks Dad and Pat for breakfast and the yummy sweet corn.
Today I had my customer, Stephanie, who has brought me many quilts, stopped by with another quilt and stayed to visit.  We caught up this morning as well as picked out the quilting pattern and thread for her latest quilt.  She also brought me some selvages for my collection.  I have a dream of  making a selvage quilt.
Stephanie had not seen the Block magazine put out by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. so I showed her one of my issues.  She was as impressed as I am with the "no ads" and the quality of the magazine.  There are You Tube videos to match each pattern to help you learn the technique.  My quilty friends and myself met Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Co at the Chicago International Quilt Show.  She was a joy to visit with and we would love to take a trip to her new retreat center.
This afternoon I went to work at my mall job.  Today was the start of my training to become a part of the Sales Lead Team.  Its exciting and a lot to learn in a very short amount of time.  I will try to keep a positive attitude like the Little Engine that Could book, "I think I can, I think I can!" Tomorrow night I will learn closing procedures.
Tonight I needed a little quiet time.  Not much energy left in this body but a little fabric therapy will sooth the soul.  So now both of my BOM squares are complete for the barn quilt at Quilter's Garden.
Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Way to a Man's Heart is Through His Stomach

I wanted to do something nice for my son as he is coping with a broken heart.  So on Facebook today there was a copycat recipe for Avalanche Bark.   I thought, "Why not make a batch"!
WooHoo! It put a smile on his face and he ate a big chunk.
He told me that its about as close as you can get.
I am one happy momma.  I got a glimpse of that beautiful smile as payment.
(Doing the happy dance!)
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday Tip

Starting off my day with some yummy muffins.  Apple Cinnamon muffins from an Aldi's mix.
They are tender, moist and easy to make.  As you can see they don't make a large batch.  My family also loves Aldi's Brownie mix.  They are fudgy, chewy good.
Last Thursday our guild sponsored Polly Perkins, from Lucky 2 B Quilting in Pecatonica, IL, as our guest speaker.  Her fun speech was on "My Bag of Tricks".  She talked about several tools that I have heard of but there were several new ones. 
This one is called the Ultimate Marking Pencil by Hancy.  It marks dark to medium fabrics.  You may sharpen it like a crayon and it just irons away.  As much as I love my white Clover pen, they dry up and this Ultimate Marking Pencil will not dry up.
Many of the longarmers flocked to the table to buy one of the pencils.

Another tip Polly talked about and I also shared yesterday  HERE was using Best Press.
Hope you are enjoying wonderful weather where ever you are.  It is a comfortable 72 degrees here.  The windows and doors are open and no air conditioning.  Just loving it!
Today I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Do you ever have one of those days or weekends where you just want to say, "Stop the world, I want to get off!"  Things are so busy around here since the week of the 4th of July.  My husband and I are like a tag team, we take turn doing the chores around the house.  Since the week of the 4th of July he has been working long hours with an hour commute each way, so I have been trying to take care of all the chores while he is working so hard.  Next, my mall job had about 6 ladies give their 2 weeks notice.  Never, never did I imagine that I would go from the bottom of the pile to the top.  This is not quite how I imagined my retirement days.  So I have agreed to take a temporary sales lead position from now until January.  So this will give me 20-30 hours a week at the mall store.
We are anticipating doing a remodel on our home.  This is why I took the additional hours at the mall.  Originally, I only wanted a few hours to get out of the basement and socialize.  Better to work outside the home than to listen to all the pounding and banging with the remodel.  Also, I may not be able to quilt while they are working on the house.  The longarms may have to be moved and taken apart to make room for the carpenters.
So today, since things seemed a little overwhelming, I stopped and worked on piecing a few blocks.  I find piecing to be great therapy for a busy mind.
These are blocks for the Barn Quilt that is a BOM at Quilter's Garden in Princeton.  Below I am checking the size of my flying geese blocks and they are righ on!  I use Best Press on my fabrics before I cut out the pieces.  It really helps the fabrics from stretching and gives me good, sharp folds.
Working on the square in a square for the center of the second block.  We make two pieced blocks this month. I am proud to say all the fabrics came from my stash.  Using up those scraps!
Tomorrow the plan will be quilting a t-shirt quilt and then onto three lap-size quilts.  Hoping for a great Friday Finish Blog this week! :)  Also, my dad is coming home for a quick visit, so a little housekeeping is in order.
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,