Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lazy Thanksgiving Weekend

Well, it's been lazy so far today, at least for me.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I surely have a lot for which I am thankful!  I cooked -- gasp! -- and have tons of leftovers for the weekend.  Ham, not turkey.  I had to work yesterday until 4:00, and then went to dinner with my late boss' wife.  We had a lovely time.

This morning I got up raring to go.  I had been thinking for days that I was going to finish up a quilt top that needs very little work to get it done.  You know what?  I can't find it.  It was sitting right over there < < and now it's not right over there < < .  I think when the sewing tables were switched out, it was stuck in a tub that's now stacked in the garage.  Since I can't lift on those tubs, that project will just have to season a bit more.  Darn!

I did finish up two bindings.

I save bindings for the days when I am not able to do much else, but both were done on Thanksgiving while the food was cooking.  It was relaxing to sit watching a DVD and stitch.  Now I don't have anything to do!

I am going to try to pin a quilt today for grid stitching.  I say try.  I'm not moving very well as I took a tumble bright and early on Thursday morning.  I have a badly skinned and slightly swollen knee, and a really really sore right shoulder.  I hope I didn't undo anything there.  And to add insult to injury -- or injury to injury -- I wrapped a heating pad around my knee while I was stitching, and managed to burn a quarter size spot on the back of my calf.  I didn't notice it for a couple of hours and then it started burning like heck.  I cleaned it well, debrided it, and now it just has to heal.  I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday so I'll ask him to take a look at it, but I don't think there's anything to do for it at this point.  If I had burned myself cooking that would have been, well, honorable.  I don't think what I did counts as honorable at all!  I'm so dumb sometimes that I amaze myself.

Anyway, I was looking around this morning for something easy to sew that would use up a bit of fabric.  I just recently picked up a charm pack and a few fat quarters at a tag sale going on at Brenda Riddle's Acorn Quilt & Gift Company.  I spent a very pleasant hour or so this morning looking for something to do with them.  I pulled out Simplify by Camille Roskelley.

I'm thinking the "Coming Home" pattern might work.   I'll use Kona Snow or Moda Bella White, whichever looks best with it.  I have a bolt of both in the stash room.  I'll have to get a bit creative with the outer border, but I'll maybe just use the snow/white and do a little simple applique on it using the fat quarters.  We'll see.  I'll sew on the center guts today just to get the Bernina humming a bit.

Did I say I now LOVE the Bernina 750!  I surely have a lot more to learn about her, but I know enough now to make forward stitching progress.  Well, except when I go backwards with the seam ripper like has happened a lot lately ........

It's so quiet here today in the house.  Penny is snoring and the neighborhood is still.  I think everyone may still be in a turkey coma!

Oh, oh, don't forget it's the last day of the Fat Quarter Shop Black Friday Sale! I didn't!  Backing for Nantucket is winging its way to me, as well as new blades for my rotary cutters, and a couple of extra things!  Have fun shopping!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nantucket Done!

I spent all morning unsewing and resewing and unsewing ....

It's done!

It was such a fun, easy quilt to make.  The problems were mine, and I take full responsibility for them!  In my next sewing room, I will definitely have a design wall.  All could have been avoided if I had one.  I see the flash washed out the colors on the bottom there.  I'm certainly not a photographer.  Heck, after making this quilt, I'm beginning to suspect I'm not even a quilter! 

For all the trouble I had, I still love this quilt, the pattern, the fabric, everything.  A huge thanks to Thelma for encouraging me to make it.

I think Penny likes it, too!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Unsewing Again!

I had one more border to put on Nantucket. 


I have to unsew  the last border. 

The computer guy was here fixing a problem with my computer and tethering all the devices, and I was pinning while chatting with him.  Guess I can't do two things at once!

I already have gone back and fixed a couple of like-fabrics-touching on the first border.  Now I unsew again.  You may feel free to call me Rippit!  It's been a long time since I've used the seam ripper this much on a quilt.

My Blackberry finally died after five years, so I picked up a new iPhone last night.  It may be a question of the old dog/new tricks thing, but I'm going to give it the old college try.  Famous last words - I said I wasn't buying any more "i" things!

Sigh ...


Edit:  Turns out I have to take off two borders.  I flipped the second one. 

Sigh ...

Monday, November 18, 2013

One Nantucket Border

This is all I accomplished yesterday.  Errands and delivery of Dr. Seuss to the quilter took up most of the day.

I'm going to try to get this quilt finished next weekend and so I can get to one other thing I'd like to get done before Christmas.

Hope everyone in the path of the storms yesterday are safe.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dr. Seuss Done

Excuse the very bad picture.  I got up at 3:00 a.m. this morning to get the borders on this thing.

I'm SO done with Dr. Seuss after making two of them!  Don't get me wrong - it's cute fabric and all, but I'm just ready for something calmer!

I'm going to get the backing done and then get moving.  I have a couple of errands to run and I want to get back home early enough to get back to the reds and whites of Nantucket.

All of the nine patches are squared and I'm ready to start over sewing them to the plain squares.  I will *never* again make the mistake of continuing to sew when the sewing machine is acting up -- well, let me correct that -- when I don't know how to use a new machine.  Sheesh ...

I have a project that I'm itching to start but I need to study it a bit and maybe make a block or two before I announce out loud what I'm doing.  I would hate to have to admit defeat to everyone!   :)

Friday, November 15, 2013


I started pinning the Nantucket nine patches to the plain squares, and there was a huge problem.

They were oversized on ONE side of the nine patch.  What?!!

How in the heck did that happen?

Oh, yeah, new machine...........

Remember when I was having such a hard time the first day I sewed on it?  That was a couple of Saturdays ago.  Well, I figured it out.

Thread was breaking.  Stitches were skipping.  I was poking buttons (I'm VERY good at that) trying to figure out what was wrong.  I must have moved my needle to the left at some point during all that poking.  About a third of them need to be trimmed - on ONE side. 

I've just gotten to the point in the stack that they're the right size.  Those were probably made after I got back from the sewing machine place and had figured out what was wrong.  I cleared the settings and turned off the machine so I could check the bobbin.  Everything corrected itself.

At first I thought I'd have to remake all the nine patches, but they're okay once they're trimmed.  The center square is, well, centered.

Sheesh ...... so much for that extra hour I had this morning to sew!

And note to self:  Clean your rotary cutter!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nantucket Progress

I sewed a bit this weekend, but spent most of it running back and forth to the hospital for testing, testing, testing.  Honestly, I feel like a pin cushion.  At least I got the big stars together, and all of the other components are made.  I'm assembling those now, but probably won't get to sew much this week.

The scrappiness still bothers me, but not so much now that the stars are sewn together.  Oh, well, I'm committed at this point so I'll keep going.  The quilts that I fret over while I'm making them end up being my favorite ones.

I feel like the weekend was wasted.  I need a day to recuperate but it's off to work tomorrow.  However, I did find out that the freeways are just as crowded on Saturday and Sunday as they are during the week!

I'm sure I'll be caboose on this project as everyone else seems to be making great progress.  I can't wait to see everyone's version of Nantucket!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


A little perspective that made me laugh out loud.  A Temecula Quilt Co. star sitting on top of a Nantucket star.

Samson and Goliath!

I'm just grabbing fabric and sewing together for the big star.  Man, I can't do scrappy, even when it's all from the same line.

Maybe I should plan them a bit better, huh?  It looks like the top points are chopped off, but that's just poor photography on my part. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Nine Patches

In fact, 90 nine patches.

Since I was still in the Midwinter Reds mood after my failed attempt with this machine yesterday, I decided to go ahead, on Thelma's suggestion, and start the Nantucket pattern by Minick & Simpson.

Everyone knows Minick & Simpson is one of my favorite fabric and pattern designers.  Both of them.  Minick AND Simpson! 

Just wanted to make that perfectly clear!

Anyway, I was happy as a pig in mud (need to quit saying that) last night and today playing with this fabric!

About the 750, I went to the Upland Sew yesterday to pick up the table insert.  I took a sample of the problems I was having.  Rosalie was so sweet to sit down with me for an hour to go over a few things.  One problem is I had hooked an extra thingy when I threaded the machine.  We went over the bobbin winding and insertion, and I had done that correctly.  This probably sounds silly since I was using a 440 for seven or eight years, but I didn't know how to use the needle threader.  (The first time I tried to use it on the 440, the blasted thing fell off and it never was important enough for me to address.)

Now I need to cut more fabric to continue on with this pattern.  I was so anxious to sew yesterday that I only cut what I needed for the 9Ps. 

Yes, my back and neck are hurting, but sometimes you have to pay to play!

Penny ..... when I got her I wasn't sewing much.  She just doesn't know how to act or what to do when I'm at the machine, and I was getting really tired really fast of her whining.

I thought back to how good Daisy was when I was sewing.  Then I remembered that I had a bed for her in the corner between the cutting table and the machine.  So I took an old bed and put it back there with her favorite quilt right out of the dryer.  She hopped in there and stayed until it was time to chase the sunbeams up the staircase.  Problem solved!  I guess I need to get her a new bed since that one is about worn out!  And get her a new favorite quilt that I don't like as much as that one!  LOL.

Two happy puppies here today at LA Quilter!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Itty Bitty Block

Well, it was the case of the Itty Bitty Block versus the humongous 750.

The 750 won!

Note to self:  Do not ever try to make a block this small for the first venture on a new machine!

Okay, I'm sure it was operator error.  In fact, I'm positive it was operator error.  Absolutely positive.

First, I figured I didn't need to use the dual feed.  Never have owned a machine with dual feed.  Don't need it now.


The machine was eating up the block, chewing it to pieces.  So I lowered the dual feed.  That baby fed right on through like it had good sense.  That problem solved.

Then I decided I didn't need the knee lift.  (The knee lift was misplaced by the maids, and I located it at 2:00 this morning tucked away in the hall closet.)  But after all that searching, I didn't need to use it.

The 750 doesn't have a presser foot lift lever on the back of the machine like every other machine that exists in the world.  Well, there may be other machines out there without a lift lever but I'm sticking with that statement.  I was getting whiplash and carpel tunnel and high cholesterol reaching 171 times for a lever that's not there.  There's a button on the front of the machine to lift the foot.  I could not make myself hit that button, or I'd hit the wrong button.  I think I accidentally automatically cut my thread about 169 of those 171 tries.  That button makes the presser foot go all the way up or all the way down.  There's no in between.  You know how sometimes you just need to lift it a touch to straighten your block or whatever.  Couldn't do it.

I wondered if it would work better with the knee lift.

Yep.  That problem solved.

One hour.  One itty bitty block.  One awful looking itty bitty block.

This is a block for Temecula Quilt Company's Countdown to Christmas project.  I still want to make this quilt, but I need to wait until I'm more familiar with the new machine before trying again.  I'm really glad I decided to just cut fabric for one star out of this gorgeous Midwinter Reds by Minick & Simpson.  I'll just tuck away the layer cake for now and pull out a bigger project to work on.

But I still have Midwinter Reds on my brain.  Hmmmm...........