Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

It's been a long day......
Went shopping all day and I'm beat.
It's starting to get dark outside and the little goblins are starting to knock on our door. We don't get too many any more but Don still buys enough candy to feed the multitudes. I think he really buys so much so he'll have left-overs. heehee

I'm going to register for Stories in Hand class by Jessica Sprague! It's FREE and sounds like something I might be very interested since I've been wanting to start digital scrapping.
Class starts Nov 9th so go check it out.
I saw the link at Mary's

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Time to change....

Yeah I did it again. I just get so bored so easily with the same-ol' same-ol'. Hope you like the look of the blog. I'll probably change it again soon.

Won't be around tomorrow. I have a Dr. appt and from there will stop at LQS to pick up some batting and a backing fabric for Michael's quilt. I'm slowed down on it after all. Yeah yeah what else is new huh? hahaha But I do have the blocks put together and the first border on so it won't take much longer to get it on the frame. I did have to order some more thread today though. I don't have a single one that will work on this blue. Sooooo quilting will just have to wait till it comes in.
Maybe I'll pull out something else to work on while I'm waiting.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Since you asked Jacquie...

http://www.superiorthreads.com/education/316/
Here is a page from Superior Threads that will start to explain the difference between threads.
Alex Anderson touts Masterpiece as the best piecing thread. I had heard her tell about the thread and how it doesn't bulk up in the seam as much as a cheaper, thicker thread when you press the seam. A good thread takes up less material in the fold and it could be as much as one or two thread weaves of the fabric. In a multiple seam block....that can make a lot of difference. It did in my block yesterday.
But... of course I was skeptical and (as stubborn as I am sometimes) kept using the cheaper stuff and .... kept coming up with blocks that were just not quite the right size. Frustrating!! I just couldn't believe that a different thread would make that much difference.
Next step....I tested my quarter inch seam by sewing on a recipe card and by sewing three strips together and measuring etc. I adjusted my needle and kept testing until I found the sweet spot and my perfect 1/4" seam.
And I had used Masterpiece when I did both tests. Not because I was testing the thread....but because that's just what was in my machine at the time and I was trying very hard to sew a perfect quarter inch seam....not paying attention to the thread at all.

When I first started quilting (sewing) I was buying my piecing thread from Walmart because that's the only place I had access to for thread purchases. The more complicated the blocks I was piecing the more I ran into problems. My blocks always came up a tad bit too small.
So I ordered a cone of Masterpiece after hearing Alex talk about it so glowingly and I could tell right off that the cone looked a slight bit finer and smoother.
In this picture you can tell a very small difference between the two threads. Masterpiece is the spool that you can't see off camera and the Walmart spool is the one showing.
But stubborn me and beat me on the head.....I had several spools of thread I felt I should use up.... I kept right on grabbing that thread occasionally.
Until yesterday. That proved to me that I have to re-think my thread choice if I want to consistently get my quarter inch. The more seams in a block the more it really makes a difference.
To me and the way I sew.!!
And now .... back to your regularly scheduled sewing.... ;)
Happy Sunday!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

two down and one more started....


I've finished the quilting on Gina's quilt and I'm now in the process of sewing on the binding and the label. Then into the wash it will go. I really like the QD poly batt I used on this one.

This is how Evelin's came out after washing and drying. Just enough crinkle to suit me.


Now I've started on Michaels. These pics just don't do it justice. The colors are much nicer *in person*. Brighter and clear.
This is an easy pattern so I should be able to move right along on it.

I have made a discovery about threads that changes the way I will sew from now on. I have learned that my 1/4" setting is absolutely perfect IF I use Masterpiece from Superior Threads. (These strips are supposed to measure 6.5" wide to be cut in same length). If I use a regular sewing thread that I'd picked up (and what I'd been using since I'd started making my tops).... my strips are off by about one 1/8. Here let me show you...... These are the end pieces of the strips.
My first strip sewn with regular cotton thread. See how much the thicker thread takes up in the seams! Amazing!!
This is the next strip set sewn with Masterpiece.
Perfect fit!!



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday fire.....

I was up before the sun this morning and as I was sitting here at the puter I happened to glance through the blinds to see the sunrise.
It was awesome.
So I took my trusty little camera out the front door and stood on the porch and started clicking.

*** The thing is....I also changed the mode to 'sunset' (Of course I didn't realize that I really needed to have the camera on a tripod because the pics turn out way to blurry otherwise). I didn't know that since I'm just a born point-n-click kinda gal.

But by playing around with some settings.... it is kinda awesome the way some of the pics turned out don't you think?
To create the "fire" I remember moving the camera down before it was finished taking. (It seemed like it took forever in that mode to 'take')...and I had to look at it to see if it was going to work. hahaha So the fire is a result of operator error. But cool anyway!!

AND....I have upgraded to Picasa 3 and this collage is one of the new features. Love the upgrade!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

quilting finished.....

I just took Evelin's quilt off the frame. Quilting is finished.
I used a panto design from Linda Taylor's Longarm book and printed about 10 sheets and taped together. Worked great.

I originally planned to use a variegated King Tut on top (which is what I usually use) but after frogging that first row of quilting....I decided I really didn't want the top thread to interfere with the design. So I used So Fine mushroom and I like it much better. Bottom line pre-wounds in the bobbin as usual.


But what I'm really pleased about is the batting I used this time.
I ordered a package of Quilters Dream Green and I really like the way it quilted.
It's very smooth and consistent and the lint in my bobbin was unbelievable. I bet there was only about as much for the whole quilt that I usually have with just one quilting pass with all cotton Dream Select. Very pleased about that. I will definitely use it again.
Now I"m anxious to get it bound and in the washer to see how it comes out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Homecoming...

OK so I'm a couple of days late. Homecoming was Friday and I'm just getting around to showing off some of the pics of the girls. These were taken at the pep rally that afternoon.

As the parade began the cheerleaders are riding on the truck with the football boys as it drives downtown around the square and back to the stadium.
(.... Yeah I know.... what's with the riding?
We used to snake-dance through the streets back in the good ol' days!! )
Each class had a small float and the school band played. And yes....they did march!!
All the cheerleaders and the Pacers (dance team) do a joint routine for the rally and the game halftime. The Pacers are in white jerseys and they performed in front of the cheerleaders who were doing different cheers that led into lifts and builds and ended in the final pose. (See last picture)


When the girls start the 'builds' Bethany is a flyer and Alivia is a base catcher. They all worked sooooo hard in the weeks leading up to this. And it sure paid off. They looked so good.
The routine went so well and so fast that I couldn't get enough pictures of all the flips and flying and twirling/falling and building that actually went on. It was exciting and very well done!















Click on the pics to get a better look-see.






Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My top finished...

This is the top I started in Jeanne Poore's class this last weekend. The pattern called for one more row of stars but I chose to leave them off so it would be a square to fit my dinning room table. It now measures 45" square.
After a bit of playing in EQ to figure out a border that would be quick and super easy.....I settled on this one. I cut the strips 1 1/2 inches and then cut the sewn strips into 3.5" patches.
My pure LUCK that the patches in the border fit so perfectly!!
I still need to get it quilted (and that may be awhile) so I'll wait till then to get a close-up of the material and quilting together. I was pleased with how it turned out.

And then I decided to walk out in the yard for a quiet break this afternoon.
It's Fall for sure!!
Enjoy a piece of it's beauty



Sunday, October 5, 2008

My weekend...

This is the weekend our guild brought in Jeanne Poore (an international quilt teacher, designer, author and lecturer from Overland Park, Ks).
Friday night she had a trunk show to "Celebrate the Seasons" and we opened it to the public. We had a very a nice turnout considering there was a BIG show going on in Grand Island at the same time. Goodness she has some beautiful quilts and I was struck by the way she pieced most of her backings instead of using just a plain backing.
Yep I learned something new!
Then Saturday (8:00 to 3:00) she taught a class on her pattern "Morning Star". Such an easy pattern but what a difference the choice of fabrics make!! [it's showing in the background in this first pic] The gals are going to have some mighty pretty quilts when they're all finished. I chose to make the small size for a Christmas table topper. I got all my blocks sewn together....even as slow as I am... and I did manage to get 4 of the rows set together before class ended. I'm pleased with the way it's turning out. Picture to follow later.
This was our sewing area with the cutting tables set up at the other end of this room. Because of the wiring situation we had to plug in all the irons in the kitchen to keep the breaker from flipping. (that's why there are so many empty chairs). But it did us all good to get up and move a lot. My machine was at this first table and boy oh boy was I ever wishing I had brought my own chair. It didn't take long before my back was screaming at me. But I persevered and popped a couple of Motrins....which didn't work very well by the way. :(

This was the first *class* I've ever gone to and it was well worth the money. So fun to be sewing along with all these gals and being able to see up close and personal how everyone else interprets a pattern.
Yep....I did learn a lot.

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