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

Won't This Be Perfect for Travel?

Forget where I saw this, but decided I had to share the idea. I always carry my earrings around all jumbled together in a small ZipLock bag. Every time I want a pair, I have to dump them all out and pick through them to find the two that match -- instant solution! Love it!

And don't you keep the extra buttons that come with jackets, shirts, etc.? Perfect use for them -- I usually lose them by the time I need them anyway.....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Palmdale CA

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Next Project Up.......

Continuing with my determined plan of attack of "One for Them and One for Me", the next quilt that I pulled from my stack to quilt was this beautifully pieced basket quilt belonging to my friend and local quilt shop owner and BERNINA dealer, Dawna Harrison. I believe this one is the longest in-my-possession-but-not-quilted-yet, as Dawna gave it to me in 2006! No excuses


This quilt has been folded up for a while, so I opened it up on my work tables to let the wrinkles ease out. The backing fabric is one of the coordinates from the same fabric line as the top. I had started it using a dark blue in the bobbin, but didn't like it. I didn't get too far, but gave it back to Dawna for her opinion; a friend of ours did the unsewing and Dawna gave it back to me for another try. This time I picked a green that goes really well with the backing fabric; it's Mettler Silk Finish (100% cotton) 50 wt. in color 903.

Now to get everything set up:

First of all, since Dawna IS my local BERNINA dealer, I set up my BERNNA 780 in my cabinet. I have ordered an insert from Dreamworld so that my surface will be level with my drop down cabinet space, but since it isn't here yet (no fault to DreamWorld; I just ordered it a couple of days ago and it is Memorial Day weekend) I'll work over the tray that came with the machine.

For the ditch work, I am using Mettler's Transfil nylon monofilament thread in the top of the machine and the cotton in the bobbin. To minimize the possible "polka dots" of green fabric to the top of the quilt, I have reduced the top tension. Most monofilaments work best with a top tension between 3.0 and 3.5. I chose 3.0 from the above "test". The second thing I did to minimize polka dots was to change to a smaller needle; the sample above was stitched using a Schmetz Jeans/Denim (I'm using Warm & Natural 100% cotton batting), size 70/10.

This is a picture of Dawna's shop, Bolts in the Bathtub. I ran over there to purchase a straight stitch throat plate for the machine; this plate will give me the best quality stitches with the least "polka dot" potential. Bolts is located in Lancaster CA about 10 miles from my house -- convenient, huh?

While I was there she told me about a trunk show collection she's getting into the shop next month; I really liked the quilt above because there is lots of space for killer quilting! Can't wait to get the pattern -- I really need another PHD!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Some Whole Cloth Quilts from HMQS

Rather than piecing or applique, my passion has always been for the actual quilting of the layers of a quilt together. So one of the first exhibits of interest for me were the whole cloth quilts.

The detail of the horses, feathers and other trapunto work in this quilt is gorgeous!

The size of the quilts isn't noted on the cards accompanying each quilt, but this one is easily queen size and was done on a domestic machine by an Australian lady. Had to get pictures of some of that detail work.

This quilt was entered in the Traditional Custom category as, by virtue of the fabrics pieced to give the creme brulee coloration to this quilt, it is not technically a whole cloth. But it is still stitched in that whole cloth style. I thought it was one of the prettiest quilts in the show.

Every year at HMQS, each teacher is given a ribbon for a Teacher's Choice award. Every year I agonize over finding just the right quilt to pin mine on. I want it to be a stellar example of machine quilting and I prefer that the quilting be done on a domestic machine rather than a longarm. Go ahead and tell me I'm biased -- I won't deny it!

This is the quilt that I chose this year and that's the black and white Teacher's Choice ribbon that I got to pin on it.

The entire quilt is done with thread -- I loved everything about it, the design, the colors, the workmanship.....Congratulations, Jennifer, on a stunning entry in this year's show!

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Location:Salt Lake City UT

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Aunt Barbie Has an Exhibit at HMQS!!!

Coming to the Home Machine Quilting Show is a big event for me every year.
I've been teaching in Salt Lake City twice a year since 2008, so I've made good friends and taught a lot of students.

This year I was excited to see an exhibit featuring my Aunt Barbie, known to the quilting community as Barbara Walsh, with six beautiful quilts!

Rather than retype all of the information on the cards displayed with each quilt, photographs of the cards are here as well as the pictures of the quilts.

This is one that I quilted for her.

Aren't the feathers pretty?

Congratulations, Aunt Barbie -- beautiful work!

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Location:Salt Lake City UT

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

All Done!

It's always a good feeling to finish something -- now I have both quilts done and ready to give to the girls at an opportune time.

To take this photo, I had spread the quilt out on my bedroom floor, then climbed up on a bench and took the picture with my iPhone while perched precariously on said bench. The bench is padded, so I was sort of trying to keep my balance at the same time as I was leaning out to get the best perspective.

There's probably a better way!

Leaving this afternoon for Salt Lake City; I'll be teaching at HMQS on Friday and Saturday and then at the Nuttall Sewing Centers (I believe in Riverton for a couple of days and then in Ivy Place) Monday through Wednesday. Then I fly to Pittsburgh for Quilt Market -- will I see some of you there?

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Location:Palmdale CA

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sunday Was Binding Day -- and Dan's Biirthday!

Champagne, check; orange, check; juicer, check; champagne glasses, check; guess I had everything to make mimosas to celebrate Dan's birthday.

Even strawberries for a colorful garnish! We're proponents of just enough orange juice to give the champagne a little color....

Then it was on to binding Lauren's quilt:

I used the striped fabric and I'm cutting it on the cross grain; in other words, selvage to selvage across the width of the fabric. Seven strips were needed.

I line them up with some overlap for two reasons: 1) Easier to see where the corners are, and 2) I don't have to trim off the selvages before I make that diagonal seam to join the binding strips together. Here I'm using the laser guide so that I can follow that line instead of taking the time to mark the fabric with a diagonal line.

Trimming the diagonal seam to 1/4", pressing the seams open and then pressing the binding lengthwise and I'm ready to machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt and then enjoy about 3 hours of handwork! Stitching binding to the back of a quilt is the only handwork I ever do and I think it's kind of fun. I'll be able to get in an hour on Sunday and maybe another hour on Monday, so the plan is to finish on Tuesday and get the quilt into the washer to remove the water soluble marker.

I haven't finished a quilt in so long that I've lost the little calluses that I had from using a hand stitching needle. Bet my fingers are going to get really sore!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Breakfast (aka Food Porn)

I got up REALLY early this morning, around 4:30, so decided to make a more time consuming breakfast than a plateful of scrambled eggs. There was leftover broiled salmon from last night and some cut up chives that I forgot to use as the garnish.

Using the recipe from one of my all time favorite low carb books, I whisked up 6 eggs, 1 c. heavy cream and 1 c. shredded Swiss/Gruyere blend, seasoned with a bit of Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning (mix of salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and some other seasonings in a small bottle with its own built-in grinder), folded in the chives and poured the mixture over the salmon in the pie plate. Baked at 350 for 40 minutes.

Dan liked it, too.....

To totally ruin my clean eating goal, I had baked some Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins last night (recipe is on my Pinterest board called "Foodie Things"), so had to round out my breakfast with one. I think I should get major good behavior points for not heating it up and buttering the heck out of it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Palmdale CA

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