longarm quilting · machine quilting

Stash Quilting Report

I have been working away on some of my stash quilts.  I’m still stitching the binding on my first Gracie’s Star quilt.  A bit more to go, a label, and it will be a finish.  I’m hoping to have that done before this year ends.  I really enjoyed making that quilt, so when a friend asked me to make a commissioned baby quilt for her, I thought it would be the perfect choice for to showcase these western themed fabrics I already had on hand.  And, the pattern clearly states you may make them for personal use, OR for profit…so no copyright worries.  Gotta love that.  If you like the pattern, you may purchase your own at Quiltin’ Tia.  I’m not affiliated in any way. Just a a happy customer. And now, the quilt.

I quilted it with the Stetson & Boots panto from The Pattern Man.  I used red Signature cotton thread.  See the boots and hats?  I use this pattern frequently and it stitches out nicely, and fairly quickly.

I used Quilters Dream “Dream Angel” flame retardant batting for the first time.  I fell in love with the feel of this batting as soon as I took it out of the package.  So soft.  I will definitely use it again. I also did my first ever binding on the longarm.  It went pretty well.  I will definitely do that again, as well.

Yesterday, I sewed all day long, just for me.  I needed some instant gratification, so I finally pulled out that stash of fat quarters that has been waiting to be made into a chicken quilt.  I just used the Turning Twenty pattern, and now I have another flimsy to be quilted.  A few little peeks at it.  It’s not my usual color choices.  Mostly browns and golds…very warm, for the most part.  I think it will look lots better after quilting.

Some of the chickies:

And, I think I am just three and 1/4 blocks away from having enough blocks to make my mom a decent size lap throw.  This is Bonnie Hunter’s Oklahoma Backroads pattern, and I have been making these blocks using the leaders/enders method from her site. I went all out scrappy with this one.  I think the next scrappy I make might be a bit more planned, rather than using any and everything.

I am only working Monday and Tuesday this next week.  Then, I am off on vacation! Yes! Between the holiday days, my vacation days, and the weekends, I will have eleven days off.  I hope to get more done on my projects during that time.  I am really looking forward to it.

And that concludes my stash quilting report for this week!


Shopping, Organizing and Cleaning

I am working on getting my quilting room a bit more organized.  Thread storage was a big problem for me.  I had my quilting thread stored in three different locations.  A shelf on my fabric storage shelving that Greg built for me in my closet.  An actual shelf unit that I stuck in that closet.  And, I had some in the linen cabinet that I bought for quilt storage, located in my living room.  I had been given a $75.00 gift card from Target, as a Christmas gift, last year.  I finally spent it this week, on these rolling drawer storage carts.  They are the perfect size for the large spools, and they keep them protected from dust.  I was able to purchase three of them with my card, and for now, it’s enough space, though I will probably need to purchase one more in the near future, as I expand my thread inventory for my customer quilting.  They aren’t made for stacking, but as you can see, I did stack one on top of the other.  The wheels on bottom are removable, and it worked out fine.

A favorite find this week, though, are these storage boxes for my embroidery threads, that I found at JoAnn’s.  I love these! You can easily see your thread, and they have little “pegs” on the bottom, that fit into little receptacles on the top of another box, for secure stacking.  They hold thirty spools each.

Having all my thread neatly contained, easily accessible, and protected feels awesome! And, it freed up space on my fabric shelf for more of my fabric, that I had nowhere to put.  And, it freed up enough shelving space for these:

This would be the reason that I have decided to drop my quilting mag subscriptions.  These are the issues from the last several years, of at least three mags, that I cannot give or throw away because there is at least one quilt in them “that I want to make someday”.  Ok, so obviously I’m not going to live to be 250 years old…I cannot keep piling up magazines.  It’s going to be hard.  Not getting that little fix of quilter’s crack in the mail, every so often.  I may start to shake a little as I walk by the magazine rack in stores, maybe get a little sweaty, weak and nauseous…as the withdrawals hit…but I must be strong.  Because truth be told, there are a few more scattered throughout my house, and then there are the books with patterns, and then the single patterns that I have bought.  And the set of double wedding ring templates waiting to be used.  They are taking up too much space in my life.  I have more than enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life and probably most of my readers’ lives, as well.

And, I bought another kit, jelly roll included, with a pattern book this week.  Yep,  needed another project to put on the list.  See?  I have a problem. This is the rest of the loot from my excursion this week.

I don’t know how much I will use that calculator, but it was on sale for $19.99.  And, when I made that apron recently, it called for bias binding.  Since I’m already short on time in this life to finish all the projects I would like to make, I decided time shouldn’t be spent on making that stuff myself, so I bought an assortment of ready made, to keep on hand.  I also picked up several colors of rick rack to have handy, for projects. Of course, you know that when the time comes, I still won’t have the right color.  Isn’t that the way it always works?

Now, I must get back to the cleaning part. I have dust bunnies to chase.  Have a great Saturday!


Productive Day

Today was some work, some play, but all in all, a very nice day.  I finished up a customer quilt.  Lots of laundry done.  I played with my embroidery machine a bit.  I wanted to try Christmas embroidery on some kitchen towels.  I used a heavy cut away stabilizer, and a wash away stabilizer on top, as is recommended…and they are ok, but nothing awesome.  I don’t like how you can see white spots in the green leaves, but I don’t know what you can do about that.

I have a love/hate thing going on with the embroidery.  I’m trying to build my design library, which is certainly not cheap.  And I buy the stock packs from OESD.  My machine, a Bernina Bernette Deco 340, reads exp files.  And that isn’t a problem, except if I want the colors to load to the machine, I somehow have to convert those files to exp+ files.  NO ONE seems to be able to explain to me HOW to do that??? My machine dealer just kind of looked at me…told me my machine wouldn’t have the thread colors in it for the designs I buy and put on a stick, I just have to print out the color charts.  Well, that takes a ton of paper, and then you have to store all those printed sheets, and then you have to flip through all of them to find the one you need.  I am new to embroidery…only had my machine a little over a year…so tell me you wise experienced embroiderers…is this how it’s supposed to be? It’s really quite a lot of trouble…not to mention $$$$.  I’m just not getting it, I don’t guess.  But, it would be really nice to get a good explanation of how I’m supposed to convert to exp+ without it costing a gazillion dollars, which one answer I got would have.  I asked about this on the Bernina blog…and was told I could do it with embroidery software, and of course Bernina’s is recommended.  That’s a pricey answer.  And I still wasn’t told HOW it works, just that I could do it with the software.  I’m pretty sure that stuff cost more than the machine…like around $2,000.00.  Not that big into embroidery.  I know I’m still pretty ignorant about this craft, so if  anyone can enlighten me, I’m all ears…or eyes, I guess, since I’ll most likely be reading the responses. 🙂

I finally got around to fixing my binding booboo on my Gracie’s Star quilt, too.  Now I can get back to the hand stitching, and have a finish soon.  I really love that quilt.

Gotta go hang up laundry! And cheer for the Longhorns!

longarm quilting · quilting

Trying To Get Caught Up

Hello again! I have had a lot going on lately.  There was some illness, some sadness, some fun times with family, and some customer quilting.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but will just start trying to get a bit caught up with quilty stuff!

In this post, I will share a couple of customer quilts that I was privileged to quilt.  Every quilt Joanna has sent me to quilt has been wonderful, but this one may well be my favorite.  Quilted with Signature cotton thread and Linda Taylor’s Stars & Loops pantograph.  I loved this quilt! Isn’t it fabulous?

After I finished it, and had boxed it all up for it’s return trip home, I was about to walk out my front door to get my mail from the mail box, when I looked down and noticed (once again) that it really is true that quilters come with strings attached. 🙂

Next is one I fondly referred to as Wild Thang, from one of my local customers.  This is a really fun quilt and I enjoyed watching it “quilt up”.  It is a Christmas gift for my customer’s granddaughter.   I used Superior’s Lava thread on top, and Superior’s So Fine on the back.  Quilted up beautifully! The pattern is Jodi Beamish’s Cat’s Paw panto.

So, there’s a start on catching up. I’ll be back soon with a bit more!