Saturday, May 30, 2009

Visiting in Maryland

Hi All!  I didn't drop from view, really.  I'm down in Maryland visiting Jenny who is recovering nicely from a bit of surgery.  I'm the official dog walker, bend over person and general do what Jen can't quite yet.  I've done a little quilting (very little) and enjoyed reading a bit.  She's gotten more done than I have quilting-wise.  Of course, I did cut out some of her blocks for her.  
Jen's had a couple of friends visiting her and I've enjoyed seeing people I haven't seen for a couple of years.  All very enjoyable. 

Tomorrow's plan is to put the binding on the little quilt I did on the long arm.  And, may be do at least one of the Bunny Hill blocks.   I also downloaded a nice block of the month pattern from Sundrop Designs. These are nice blocks with an added twist of a cat silhouette to applique on the block.  Any of the blocks would make a great quilt all by itself.

Happy Quilting All!  

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Worn Out

It's been a fun day but I am totally worn out!  My floors are really hard (they are beautiful cherry wood but ... not much "give" to them.)  I wore an older pair of tennis shoes -- support must be gone!  And, I wanted to quilt all day! 

I got my first little quilt done on my new Nolting 18, now named Ruthie after my beloved grandmother.  The first thing I did after I got the quilt, backing and batting loaded was change the thread color on Ruthie.  It shouldn't have given me grief cause it was the same thread top and bottom.  But, no, tension was messed up.  I played. I got it ok. And I got one pass done quilting. Then I rolled the quilt forward and the tension went hay wire again.  

Sounded like a good time to take a rest and do some laundry.  And, fix dinner.  I decided I would fuss with the bottom tension.  Tried again and voila! It worked.  Not 100% perfect but not so bad.  I think my first purchase is going to be a tension checker... called a Towa, I believe. 

Pictures of the quilt will come later after I get the binding on which is ready to go.  I'm driving back to Maryland for another visit with Jen.  We are having a mini sewing retreat and going to my Maryland guild's end of year party.  I mostly plan to do hand stuff but may make some more blocks for the million block quilt.  I'll keep you posted.  Raggs is staying home with Pat.  We'll see how he does.  

Happy Quilting All

It's Here!

Ok, I lied, so sue me! I'm having lunch and want to share the fun! 
Here's the photo history of the new toy!  Rails and poles in what always seemed like a big room! 

Mike and Steve, of Memory Lane Quilting work on getting the table set up.  Oh my, that room is getting smaller by the minute! 

And here comes the machine head.... Mikey, Mike's grandson is helping. Yes, he was a big help at the beginning . . . he just couldn't do much when the tools were brought out.  I was impressed how well behaved he was. Lucky Mikey, school got out last Friday. 
Now for the "staged" picture... thanks for taking the picture Mikey! 

I wasn't really quilting at that point but I had already done some. Mike's supervising.  Hey, Mike smile! 

Below is my practice work.  I have about 60" to practice on.  Gee, I hate "wasting" the fabric but I guess I should think of it as practice not wasting! Luckily this was only $1 a yard so it didn't hurt much. Hey, that stipple is ready to go on a quilt.  The feather isn't definitely NOT ready for prime time!  

My next big step is to name my machine. I will be happy to accept suggestions on the comments.  I'm leaning toward Ruthie named after my grandma who used to sew doll clothes for me.  

Time to pop a load into the washer and then finish up the practice and move on to a "real" quilt.  I need a finish this month.  Remember, I've been buying fabric like it is penny candy!  (hum, I should be able to remove that 120" of fabric from the collection.  It is now going to be used to cover the machine when I am done with it for the day. It's as finished as it is going to get!) 

Happy Quilting All!  

It's Coming

My new Nolting 18" long arm is coming this morning!!
I won't be posting much until I have finished quilting one quilt today.  

And, if it is going smoothly, two quilts today! 

Lots of pictures will be coming next post.
Off to dress, walk the dog and be ready for the arrival!  

Happy Quilting All! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Stashbusting Downfall!

 Saturday morning the gals left the guys to go to
Capital Quilts. (They were just going to Home Depot to order new kitchen cabinets and counter tops for Jen and Brian.)  Capital Quilts is a lovely shop and while there, Jenny and I decided to assist the economy.  Jenny bought a backing and another fabric for her square in a square king size quilt.  She is really plugging away on it.  I bought some fabric to use on the Bunny Hill Designs block of the month.  I wasn't going to do it right away but I keep seeing all these cute finished blocks on people's blog and... well, I'm tired of my scrap quilts right now.  So, I got new fabric for the bom.  I also bought one of those cute rubber (?) or plastic (?) thimbles.  And the best news is Capital Quilts is only about 15 minutes away from Jen's house.  Or 30 minutes in awful traffic!   

I also want to let you know of a give away over at Silver Thimble Talk.  Pat is giving away a lovely selection of prizes including a layer cake, a jelly roll, thread, patterns and a surprise she isn't revealing yet.  Stop by and comment on her May 21st blog.  Tell her you saw it at Institches with Bonnie. (of course, I will be winning something wonderful so don't get your hopes up too high -- just kidding! But I do hope I win!)  She also has a recipe for Salsa that sounds great. 

This morning it took me a couple of hours to get the first Bunny Hill BOM (which is actually block 2) ready to hand applique.  Yikes.  I thought I was very clever on the basket handle but I may try a different method on the next one!  As soon as it is stitched I'll share it with you.  I'm heading back to Maryland on Friday and hope to have several baskets ready to hand stitch and at least one binding on a quilt hot off the soon to be delivered Nolting!  

It's down to less than 2 days.  But who's counting... 36 hours or so ...  I was working like crazy to get another quilt ready so I might be able to do it before I leave Friday.  I'll keep you posted.  Now, back to 

Road Trip by Santa Dog

Don't tell Bonnie I've grabbed the computer to post MY road trip.  Hey, did she post all about our trip yet? Nooooo, so why shouldn't I have my squeak? 

I was ready to leave early but not the rest of them. 

 I helped put the luggage in. 
Raggs just looked cute.  
We got to sleep on the way down. 

And, we had a chow and watering break.

Once we got down to Jen and Brian's it wasn't quite as much fun.  In fact, it got down right boring for a while.  Raggs and I got put in solitary confinement. Harumph! We didn't do anything and they slapped us in the crate. So we slept, after Raggs drooled all over me. Oh please, give that dog a bib! 

Even though we had been good, we got slapped in that crate again the next day. Really, get over the chewed papers already! 

It was a bit dicey that afternoon when lots of folks came over.  But it was nice to see Cassie, the wild woman, again. Butt sniff right back at you, doll. 

Sunday morning was great.  We all went on a walk at Sligo Creek.  That Kona sure knows how to walk that leash. Raggs and I tried the bottom of the slide. 

Show off Kona went down the slide.  

We had to keep on our toes so all those bicyclists didn't hit us. 

Those dogs with their tongues hanging out.  Honestly, you guys are a mess. Can't you just keep a smile on your faces and keep going? 

Sligo Creek Park is really a nice place to hang out.  Take some pictures, sniff the ground... 

Hey, wait for me... just cause I was getting my picture taken you didn't have to leave with out me!! Wait, hold up guys. 

Raggs volunteered to carry me for a while until he realized he couldn't pant and carry me at the same time.  Guess what he decided?   Ok, help!  Someone come get me.  Don't leave me.  

Aren't the flowers pretty?  Wait, you think it is poison ivy?  No, Bonnie isn't that crazy to put me in the middle of poison ivy.  Oh quit your kidding around, you nearly gave me a heart attack! 

Those crazy dogs were so wiped out after the little walk.  

We left to come home to PA after lunch.  They wouldn't even get me ice cream at Brusters.  So why did Raggs get some then?  Huh, huh?  

I'm pretty worn out from the trip. And, hey, it ain't that easy typing with mushy hands either.  

Maybe this will motivate Bonnie to tell more.  But, I know she is getting ready for the long arm to show up on Thursday.  

I don't know anything about this quilting thing but hope you have a squeaky fun day.

Santa Dog! 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Graduation Day!

It was a glorious day for graduation! The sun was out. But we didn't see it during the indoor ceremony.  Here's graduation in pictures with a little commentary!

Jenny on her way out of the townhouse.  The School of Music was lucky to have the 9:00 am time.  No parking conflicts.
Here's part of the stage before the event begins.  
Here she comes ... a little fuzzy but she's the second one in this line. 
Some wonderful musical entertainment came before the speech and the awarding of the degrees. After some wise words those who had earned the Doctor of Musical Arts were called.  As each student was announced they came forward to have their hoods put on.    
While that was being done a statement by their faculty advisor was read regarding the graduate's accomplishments during their doctoral studies.

Here's the graduate, Dr. Jenny!  Notice that big white envelope?  That's her diploma in her hand.  The neat thing is doctoral students actually receive their diplomas rather than a note about how to pick up their diplomas.

Here's Dr Jenny and Mr. Dr. Jenny!  Brian was super supportive all the way through her three years in the doctoral program. (And, just a little side note, she and Brian were married at the end of her first year.  So, the first year she worked full time, planned a wedding, took classes and played recitals for the doctoral program!  YIKES!) 

And here are her cheerleaders! 
Dad, Pat; Mom, Bonnie; godmother, Barb; Dr. Jenny; husband, Brian; mother-in-law, Tonya. We are all so very proud of Dr. J.  

Needless to say no quilting has been happening this weekend.  Stay tuned for further pictures of graduation day and the rest of the weekend. 

Happy Quilting! 

Friday, May 22, 2009

G - Day Is Here

"I'd be happy to drive on this road trip! Ah, why not, you can move the pedals, and you can be my eyes . . .  be brave let me drive!"

Hi All!  We leave in one hour for Jenny's graduation ceremony.  Lucky her! She gets to wear a red velvet gown.  And, she will be officially hooded with her pink hood.  All very snazzy.  I hope the air conditioning is pumping away!  And, no Santa Dog, you are not allowed to go.  You'll be keeping Raggs company.  

I'll post more tonight or tomorrow.  But needless to say Pat and I are popping our buttons proud of all of Jenny's hard work.  Would it be gauche to hoot and holler when her name is announced?  

Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Not Much Quilty Going On

I have actually done a little quilting the last couple of days but not all that much.  I continue to work on the million pieces quilt. I may have to raise that to a billion pieces due to inflation... As of this morning when I cleaned the cutting table a bit I had 30 9 1/2" blocks made.  I'm not sure if I will make it to the 60 or so I think I want.  Time will tell. 

Raggs and I took the car to be serviced on Tuesday.  We left the car and walked across the street to a big field where he immediately did his thing.  But, he got to run around a bit off leash and we did a little training on "come".  Sometimes he comes, sometimes he doesn't.  And, sometimes he sits carefully and watches me.  Ok, I think I am confusing him on stay and come.  Will retrain trainer and see if we can fix that.  Here he is with Santa Dog who is rarin' to go on a road trip!  We'll see if Raggs is rarin' to go later this week. 

This morning before I went to quilting I decided I want to make Bunny Hill Design's block of the month.  So, I did a bit of the prep work.  I looked over the cream fabric and I should be able to find a backing fabric from my collection.  And, now I have to decide if I want to buy a layer cake (oooh wouldn't the blocks look nice with a coordinated line of fabric?) or use what I have.  Easy (layer cake) or hard (pick fabric from all over the studio)?  Cost money or free?  Help the economy or help the studio?  Only time will tell.  I'll keep you posted. If I order tonight or even tomorrow I should have a layer cake by early next week.  Hum.

Time to get on to fixing dinner.  Happy quilting all! 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quick Post Before Off to Bed

If you're tired of seeing the Ragg man, sorry but this just struck me, as well, wrong funny. He's watching me take the picture this afternoon but he's getting sleepy.  And, then, he's out. I am not sure why he has taken to sleeping on the stairs.  When I got home from quilt group he moved to the stairs to sleep. An hour later he moved to his great room bed. (not to be confused with his bedroom bed.) 

For those of you who like to see quilts, here's one that was shown tonight at guild.  Marie made this darling quilt from her hand dies and a cute bear fabric from Wal Mart.  What a great way to use string blocks.  I'm going to have to ask her about the size of the blocks.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Pineapple Thoughts

It struck me yesterday as I walked by the room with the pineapple quilt displayed on the bed -- 
what would it look like if I turned the border around?  Hum, the 9 patch would hang on the out side of the quilt rather than closer to the inside.  What do you think? 
Do you ever do mending any more?  Honestly, I really do very little.  Maybe a seam here or there but, not much.  And, I don't have a mending "pile" or basket of mending.  So, what has changed?  Well, Raggs has changed that.  His Santa Dog was ripped.  He was losing stuffing from a wound to his back, his nose had an unsightly piercing,  his hat was coming off.  What's a new mother suppose to do?  Yea, you got it on one,  I mended his Santa Dog.  Here's S. Dog after a lengthy surgery.  He might be a little high on pain meds still but he's ready to get back in the game.  

Lots of things out of the house today so not as much quilting got done.  I probably won't get a  whole lot done over the next few days either.  Pat and I are going down to Maryland this weekend for a little ceremony and a big party!  More later on the weekend event. 

Happy Quilting All!  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shopping Trip

I went to my local quilt store for their buy 2 yards get a 3rd yard free.  Woowee!  I was buying backing fabrics -- and found 3 nice pieces.  So here's my shopping results. (I'm not going to be thrilled when the month ends and I have a net gain in fabrics... but watch out June!) 

Wonky 9 patch -- the binding will be the same as the border. I forgot to check what this is called but it reminds me of Quilters Suede that was out in the 90's. 

String X -- Pat suggested trying this dark blue piece after I had tried it in purple.  I like it!  It will also be used as a border. I believe it was an older Moda Triangles. (I think I might actually already have some or I've used it before...) 

And, finally, Simply Squares. This was a mystery quilt that I tested for Marge.  She now sells the pattern on her relay site to benefit cancer research.  I'm not putting a border on this one.  I thought this would be a bright backing for this dark, medium and light blue quilt.  

Now, I need my Nolting 18" to arrive and for me to get proficient at it.  I'm sure I can do a nice stipple but I'm going to want to do some thing more involved with some of these.  I've got a small border to put on the streak of lightning I have been working on and then find a backing in the stash.  It'll be my first attempt on the new machine.  I've also found a panel of green with houses and streets and such on it.  I think I'll make a backing out of pieced blocks and then quilt it around the streets and buildings.  

The rain has started up again.  I think we had two days with no rain but now it is raining pretty hard.  Time to read email, surf a bit and then start in on my recent book.  Happy Quilting All.   

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pineapple Quilt

I promised pictures of the Pineapple Quilt -- 
First what I thought I was going to do. I'll probably machine applique these angels on some other piece -- they are cute. 
Here's the whole piece with the 2 sample pieced borders.  I made a mistake on the first one as I really like the 9 patch look of the second one.  But, this was enough to get an idea.  I will have to put a spacer border in to make either of these borders fit.  I'll figure that out later. 

Here's a close-up of the tiny border. Those strips are 1/2" finished. (Am I out of my mind -- this would take forever! 
And finally, the border strip bigger and with the 9 patch look.  I had to really think about how Judy Martin did this in the book.  This one is my favorite.  

 I only have a bit of the white left.  I'll probably have to add another white from the stash to get all the white squares done. And, I'm wondering if I will have enough of these older red christmas prints.  I would love to use them all up!  This might become a stashbusting quilt after all!

It is now time to actually DO some sewing.  I am planning to go to my local quilt store to buy some backing fabric.  She's got a buy 2 yards get 3rd yard free sale going on.  I've got a couple of quilts waiting for backing.  I tend to buy much smaller pieces so don't usually have backing hanging around.  Sometimes I piece it but not all the time.  Hopefully in June I'll start getting more things finished! (long arm is arriving at the end of this month! YEA!) 

Happy Quilting All!