Monday, July 21, 2014

We'll Probably Never See This Again!

I needed some pictures of my sewing setup and table placement for Craftsy, so I had to clean everything off to take the pictures. You don't even want to know what the rest of the room looks like! The above is how I set it up when I want to do large quilts --- need a lot of empty space so those quilts bank up against the walls as I sew them.

Looks like this when I get a big quilt coming through....

For smaller quilts, I condense the space so that the quilt doesn't lay out flat; I still want it "bunching up" against my barriers, the pretty boxes and the hard cover to my sewing machine.

This is what that setup looks like in use with a lap size quilt.

So now everything is all neat and pretty -- any bets on how long it will stay that way?

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Location:Palmdale CA

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's a Wrap!

Finishing the Craftsy taping with mixed feelings -- on the one hand, it was going so well, I didn't want it to end; but on the other hand, we needed to get the work done and get on to the next project in our lives!

A big thanks to Tiffany, the makeup artist who did her magic so I wouldn't break the camera....I know, old joke.....

It was fun seeing my name on the door of my very own dressing room -- star, no less!

And the room itself was adorable, even with all of my "stuff" thrown all over it. The floor was the absolute worst, open suitcases with quilt and clothing spilling out of them, so I just didn't go there with the camera.

Meant to get a picture of the crew members, but we finished all the shots, cleaned up the mess in a tornado of activity and I was back in my hotel this afternoon for a nap!

I have a 9am date with a shuttle driver who will take me to the Denver airport to meet my good friend Southwest Airlines.

Adventures to be continued.....

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Location:Denver CO

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Fun with Craftsy and Something I Haven't Seen in a LONG Time!

Day 2 of our class shoot went very well and the time just flew by. My producer JC and camera people Rob and Dana are just awesome to work with and so good at their jobs. One of the best outcomes is being able to brainstorm with them and coming up with new ways to present my teaching material. Their questions and suggestions have encouraged me to examine the way I say things and we've come up with some great ideas!

And look! Look! Look! Rain! You probably all know that California is in a severe drought condition, nowhere more so than the desert area where I live. It rained SO hard and I wanted to go out and run in it, but the hair and makeup person probably would not have looked kindly on this sort of behavior on my part. This was taken looking out the glass door of the Craftsy studio.

Tomorrow's our last day; just a couple of sections to go and I'm on my way back home to sunny, dry California.....

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Location:Denver CO

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why Exactly Am I in Denver, You Ask?

After posting a couple of locally colorful photos of downtown Denver on Facebook yesterday, several people e-mailed, texted or called to ask what I was doing there -- was I teaching for a guild? A quilt shop? A sewing machine dealer? I was being a little secretive about this trip instead of coming right out and saying what I was doing.

Well, I'm here taping a class for Craftsy! This was my first of three days of the shoot and it is going very well. The Craftsy people are knowledgeable, easy to work with and fun! I can't ask for more than that....

So after the day's work, I changed to sneakers, ate some lobster and shrimp enchiladas (YUM!) at Rock Bottom Brewery and then walked the 15 block promenade up down and all around in a big oval.

I took some photos of the promenade while I was walking around:

This one was taken about 7:40pm, still pretty light outside but cloudy. The temperature was perfect for walking.

Then as it started to get darker all the lights went on down the whole 15 block length of the promenade. It's really pretty!

Now I'll get a good night's sleep and have lots of energy for Day 2 of my Craftsy class shoot!

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Location:Denver CO

Friday, July 4, 2014

Good friends, food and fireworks -- all good ways to celebrate the birth of our country! Inspires me to show one more picture of a quilt I quilted earlier this year to benefit a Salt Lake City charity:

Or, since that picture was taken pre-quilting, maybe more than one:

Enjoy your long weekend, everyone!

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Location:Happy 4th!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Starting Dawna's Quilt on the BERNINA 780

Pretty much all of the machine quilting I do starts with straight stitching to nail down everything and get the quilt stable. I do all of my ditch stitching with monofilament thread so that it can't be seen -- that's the whole point of stitching in the ditch, right? So you can't see it? If I wanted those stitches to be seen, I would be stitching a few threads away from the ditch, not right in it.

The monofilament that I'm using for this quilt is Transfil by Mettler. It comes in clear and smoke. I use clear probably 90% of the time, but once in a while I'll be working on a predominantly dark quilt and I'll pull out the smoke.

First change that I make to the machine is to change the throat plate from a 9mm (zigzag) plate to a 0mm (straight stitch) plate. This is easy on this machine. All I have to do is press both thumbs down on that round circle at the upper right hand corner of the plate and it pops right off.

And the new one snaps right on!

Second order of business is to tell the machine that I have changed the plate. Once I have selected the 0mm plate, the machine will not allow me to stitch in anything but a straight line -- no zigzag, no decorative stitches, no broken needles because I forgot what plate I had on! Very very helpful for this kind of stitching!

I have already tested out the stitch lengths and tensions that I want to use for my ditch stitching. The easiest way for me to access these is to choose the stitch library. That will show me the last 15 stitches I have used. The stitch library is accessed by touching the bottom icon, the one that looks like a stack of books.

And there are the two stitches I am going to use, #1 and #2, complete with the tension settings appropriate for the Transfil in the top of the machine and the Mettler silk finish (100% cotton) in the bobbin. My top tension setting for these two threads is 3.0 -- so now I'm ready to sew!

The reason I use two stitches is so that I can toggle between #2, which is set at stitch length .8mm, and #1, which is set at 2.5mm. I do small securing stitches at the shorter length and the rest of the stitching using the longer stitch length. Setting it up this way and toggling between the two means that I don't have to constantly adjust the stitch length to start and stop each line of stitching.

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Location:Palmdale CA

Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy Dance!! Got a Mettler Box Today!

I get all excited when the UPS guy brings a box with this label!

This is my first order of the large cones, so can't wait to unpack it...

3000 yard cones, 2 to a box, of the 60 wt. silk finish cotton that I piece with....

...and one box of two 2000 yard cones of the 50 wt. silk finish cotton in one of my favorite colors, cream #703. I'll be using that in the bobbin of the next quilt I'm quilting for myself and possibly for some of the thread in the top of the machine as well. I have to decide whether I want the silk finish look or a shinier look like Poly Sheen would give me.

My friend Tiffany Hayes, of Needle in a Hayes Stack, did the hand appliqued blocks for me. You'll see a lot more of this quilt when I get to the actual quilting.

Lastly, the five colors of 50 wt. silk finish cotton in the small spools that I was running out of. So nice to have everything topped off!

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Location:Palmdale CA