Learning the Longarm featuring Jewel Box Stars Flambé

close up photo of assorted color thread spool
Photo by Bartek Wojtas on Pexels.com

In the past 30 days, this old dog has learned new tricks.  A plethora of info pumped in from my longarm dealer, pinterest, and the old addage, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”

Pieced backings on a dsm, are no big deal.  On the longarm it is.  The direction of the seams can create slack or too much tension near the seam.  If piecing a backing, I will keep it to a minimum as you also have to run the seam parralell to your roller bars.  If I ever start doing this for other people, if they have pieced the dickens out of a backing I will turn them away.  Perhaps in time I will change my mind.

The tension dragon…..most new longarmers have this issue.  What you are not told, every thread is different.  So if you have the same brand threads, not all will have the tension screw the same.  I have learned for each thread brand, it is a good idea to have a bobbin case specifically set for that brand.  That way tension is just a minor adjustment.  Bobbins may also vary as well.  I now have a bobbin that is my favorite and am going to try to keep it empty for use on all future quilts.  Some bobbins are made defective.  The center hoke can be too large and so after filling halfway, it will just spin on the spindle.

The mechanics why longarm machine work better than a dsm?  The placement of the bobbin.  If you dsm has drop in bobbins and not a hook/race/babbin case, you will probably have tension issues.  Longarms are designed like the old mechanical singers with every thing to the side.  A featherweight would be great inlarged to a longarm.  PS, you can quilt on a featherweight with no walking foot.  Your throat space is the only real issue.  The placement of hook/raceand bobbin case to the side are best, and all longarms have this setup.

Towa gauge is useless unless you use it as a refernce in your own machine.  I have used much of my mother goose thread.  This thread I have had good success.  I know when installing this thread on/in the machine it is usually a small adjustment on the top tension.  I am going to start making a notebook of thread brand/color and tension setting.  In other words, once I figure out tension on the quilt, I would then place the bobbin in the towa gauge and record the number in my notebook.  Without a speedometer, you are running in the blind.  Gauge your stitches.

automobile automotive car control
Photo by asim alnamat on Pexels.com

Batting, for years I have used 100% cotton.  This worked well in my dsm.  On my longarm it presents a problem of possible stretch.  To keep my batting from pooling on the floor i used clothes pins to tack it like an accordion.  This keeps the batting from picking up threads, as well as me stepping on it.  In leaving it clothespinned overnight, the batting stretched.  Stretched batting is impossible to quilt without problems, of the puckering kind.  So pooling batting until I use the cotton stuff up.

brown leafed plant at golden hour
Photo by ‪Dima Visozki‬‏ on Pexels.com

My local longarmer always had polyester batting.  Polyester batting will act as a brillo pad rubbing  the cotton and over time, will wear through.  This always peeved me and you could not bring in your own.  She never charged for batting, which was a missed opportunity for her and more money.  I don’t think she was good at math so she left it easy for herself.  Also, by running the same batting on the machine, she would not have to worry about setting different tension, so in that regard she was smart.   So a combination of poly/cotton is the way to go and in the future will provide the batting as a surcharge.

The direction of the batting is important.  The needle felted side should go up.  In looking at the batting you will be able to tell the felted side, it usually is flat with a pattern of bumps.  In using bambo, if you place it wrong side up, you run the risk of pushing the batting through the backing with a dull needle (this did not happen to me, but was able to troubleshoot this for someone else).

In rolling the backing of the quilt on the roller, as you are rolling, you can start with an extremely wrinkled piece of cloth.  If you spray mist as you roll, it acts as an iron as it dries.  You can use straight water i  your mister, pr you can run a water vodka mix.  The good thing about vodka, it evaporates quicker, and if you get to frustrated you can mist some right in the mouth to take the edge of quilting off HA!  Ensure that the backing has square/true edges.  If not square them up then install them on your leaders.

Spray mist can also be done for the quilt front provided you are not floating the quilt.  I floated all my jelly roll race quilts, and then tried a pieced quilt rolled up on the roller (to keep it off the floor as it was black and would have picked up cement dust from the floor).  I will probably start rolling all my quilts.  Doing this also gives a good indication of if the quilt is square.  If the top is not square, this assists is keeping it true vs sweeping to the left or right.

My upper rails make coonection for my encoders, so just swiffering my rails is not good enought I have to actually wipe them down for good electrical connection.

Oiling the bobbin area…..you cannot over oil.  Jamie Walen has a very good video on youtube showing how to oil lots, and how to remove excess oil.

white singer sewing machine
Photo by Jonas Kakaroto on Pexels.com

My machine being in a garage, has to be warmed up.  So while winding my bobbins and loading the quilt top, the heater is turned on full blast right under the machine.  The bobbins and bobbin case are kept in my pocket.  In keeping this part warm, it actually assists in even tension.  Running the machine, allows the metals in the machine to warm up and expand.  Less wear on the machine if all is warm.

Stable electricity.  I purchased an uninteruptable power supply that keeps voltage constant.  So if there is a surge, the hit is taken by the $50 device.  If the electricity drops, this device also equalizes the electricity to keep less wear off your motor.  Dirty electricity can cause this device to buck, which defeats the purpose.  So the cleaner the electricity the better.  I would also recomment having a special breaker just for your machine.  This will cost, but again piece of mind.

Traveling while quilting.  This is something that will take lots of practice.  First you will have to figure out a continuous line for you quilt, also known as Free Motion Quilting.  As I quilted my between king and queen sized top, I would forget segements and have to back and reclip threads start in a new area which is not smart.  The saying is work smarter not harder.  Don’t be too hard on yourself as this just takes practice.  Here is my example of continuous.  My account does not allow video, so here is time lapse drawing of my continuous line.  I hope this helps you.  Notice my drawn lines are not perfect.  Neither is my quilting LOL.  Finished is better than perfect!

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Free motion quilting will take practice.  Building your skill set is important.  Learning feathers/flowers is great practice.  It will show you where you are swinging to wide to fast. Slow down, and ease the grip on the handle.  Let the weight of the machine do most of the work.  Do not get frustrated if it is mot perfect.  Most of the pictures you have studied/seen on pinterest are professionals who have been doing this for years and have mastery.  Those years for you will come if you stay at it.  If it would help to get the memory of movement by doing pantographs, do some stipple quilting, or loop de loops with that method.  You will learn from that and be able to apply those same movements on the opposite side of the machine.

What pattern to quilt.  Be inspired by texture.  You are surrounded by it.  It is free.


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If purchasing a longarm, have some tops lined up that have very little time, money, or effort in.  That way you can practice and if it is not perfect, you are already aware it was not meant to be a masterpiece.  When learning to drive a car, your parents did not go out and purchase a brand new cadillac for you to learn on, that would/could have been an expensive mistake.  Start out cheap, just two pieces of ugly fabric or a cheapo purchase.  And then…..practice….practice….practice.

In quilting my jewel box flambe I got lots of practice that I can carry with me to the next quilt, or a quilt years from now.

I think starting out free motion quilting on your current machine is a great idea.  You will learn many things before graduating to the price of a longarm.  Do some math.  For instance, the jewel box flambe was 90 by 110.  I loaded these dimensions into MSQC and it gave me a price of $300.00.  If you have 10 quilts this size, that is $3,000.  Which can be put towards the cost of the machine.  Next, if you quilt for the public, this is good money towards an asset you will have for years.  Once paid off, it becomes 100% proffit.  To avoid sales tax, write it up as a labor charge.

I know I have forgotten stuff.  Your longarm journey will be fun!  It is NOT for everyone.  Think of learning a new band instument in school.  Each week you would learn a new rhythm or chord.  After a few baby steps, you can play a few lines.  In a year, you can play with the rest of the orchestra.  Sounding pretty good, but only because of practice.

I have failed to do any sewing for the Good Fortune Mystery quilt.  The clue has left me scratching my head, so when in doubt….wait.  I am itching to sew, but do not want to start another project.  I am excited as tomorrow may be the reveal and then it will be mega sewing as I have sewn a fraction each week.  Have you checked out the others in the linked up mystery quilt of Good Fortune?  If you haven’t you should, pretty neat details, all in the fabrics.

Thanks for reading my blog!



Quilt Storage Solutions

Early on in this hobby, the quilts were reserved for special use, or put in folded storage to be admired but not touched.  Fast forward 20 years and now all my quilts are used.  Some have become rags.  Sadly I have used them into oblivion.  But I can make more, I am a quilter and that is my superpower.

Do all of your quilts have a bed, or do you put them in folded storage, to be shuffled with other quilts throughout the year?  Do you have a favorite quilt you would like to display but do not want it on the bed?  Two solutions.  One is free and would cost you nothing, the other would cost you time hunting down a particular item for repurposing plus the cost of the item.  Have I piqued your curiosity?

First…freebie.  This advice I give to you with no strings attached.  All I ask is for you to tell your friends and try it.  🙂

Hang your folded quilt over an open door.  Simple no cost solution for display.  Mind you, it will have to be over a door that never closes like to your sewing/craft room.  Here is my example.  Jeeze, looks like I need to do some painting.

Below is Jewel Box Flambé quilted by me!  I chose a backing for this I got at the thrift store.  It was waverly cotton.  It was thicker than normal cotton, perhaps drapery fabric? The rest of the bolt I have left will get donated back to the thrift store where I purchased.  Too hard on my needle supply.  My needles dulled.  I did not time myself but on the longarm I think this took me about 10 hours.  Under my reg sewing machine this would have taken me months to do this pattern.

Not sure if you can tell this is a door but it is.

Second is using on old baby crib.  If you luck out and find one that is not considered safe with the large slats, you may fork out $20.  The crib rails will have to be removed from the crib.  And display one or two quilts and lean it against a closed door or against the wall.  I populate mine with as many quilts as possible for winter drafts and storage at the same time.  I lean mine on my drafty front door when the winter weather is blustery.  It keeps the home warm and less like a drafty barn.


A definite draft dodger! 


The quilt at the bottom of this photo became a rag…All things pass away.  One of my early ones.

The yellow crib since this photo has been taken, has been disassembled so now I have 4 rails.  My plan to carry out in the future is to get some hindges, hinging them together upright for perfect corner storage display.  If you have your children’s cribs in storage and just cannot part with them, get them out and make them utilitarian!  Shoot once they see the quilts on them, they may want a rail for their home.

Storing, organization, neatness is on alot of people’s minds right now in thinking about all the resolutions.  I hope these tidbits for displaying will help all who read this post.

For some other storage inspiration, my mother gave me some homemade zippered pouches for Christmas.  I am choosing to use one to store my featherweight pedal as it no longer will stay in the lid.  It will help prevent damage to the machine as well as the pedal.  That thing is a real work horse.

My mom loves me, it is in every stitch!


I have tamed the tension dragon on my longarm.  Lets just say that it was operator error, and what I have learned will be a future post.  My Towa Gauge arrives today, which is good because I really want to use the thread I have, vs purchasing more.  I will be keeping track of bobbins by number and thread by bobbin with numbers set by the towa gauge.  Again a future post.

After spending two days trouble free in the tension dept, um….lets just say you can accomplish sew much more.  🙂

I am all about free motion quilting.  This is why I purchased a longarm.  I am currently not in the business of making money, I am getting some university training by the longarm.  Her name is Ursa, after the big dipper.  Money will come later in the picture as my skill set improves.  I have had a lady who has owned her longarm for a little over a year, telling me I should be doing pantographs.  I understand pantographs, they are the bread and butter of the quilting industry.  But if I can do it freehand in less time, then why bother?  If I was having problems with controlled movements, I think pantographs would help my hands get memory with the moves.  Any longarm quilters out there to clear my forest of question marks as to why I should be doing this differently, please chime in on the comments section. Do you think this was the quilt police at work?  I know she was trying to help.  But I could not complete my sentences.    I don’t think she really cared what I had to say.  She did ask me about feathers which I attempted once and my contol was not there yet.  I think I was going to fast.  I could not chime in on this in that conversation.  She did tell me about the time whilst new at the longarm and when she finished quilting, she found out her needle pushed the batting through the backing.  Yikes, she would not tell us what caused this, my mother and I assumed it was a dull needle.  After using my machine consistantly in the last week, I am glad I had the inner knowledge to know when to change my needle.

I am off to bind the quilt pictured on the door.  One long side done, three more to go.  And thanks for reading my blog!


Christmas AHHHHH

This holiday, may you find the time to slow down and relax.  Ease the holiday tension.  Enjoy the break from the mundane called work.  Just enjoy.  Before you know it…..it’s gone.

I enjoy giving each year and am amazed at the different and fun traditions that people endure.  I have heard of a presents exchange where you could not go over $3.00, doesnt that sound like quite the challenge?  Gotta love the quirky group photos of pajama land and ugly Christmas sweater city.

As I have gained some wisdom in the last few years, the recieving part is what I look forward to most.  Not recieving gifts for myself, but when others discover what has been underwraps.  The gathering, the giving….yup that is the peace.

This Christmas I gave away my En Provence mystery quilt.  During it’s making I said I was keeping and would never let it go.  It was featured at our visitor center for our annual quilt hop, a prideful moment for my hard work.  Never is a very long time….never, never happened.

My son is dating a very nice young woman for the last 2 years.  During this time, my son went off to college, and managed to put himself through college debt free (when there is a will there is a way).  During this time one truck broke down and then he hit a feral hog with his backup vehicle.  I have only one running car myself, and could not afford to buy a new car for myself let alone my son.  Sometimes when you give on the grand scheme, no charcter building happens.  I thought it was a good idea to step back and let him figure things out.

He came through, just as I knew he would.  His girlfriends parents lent him one of their’s (for lack of a better term….jalopys) a truck, and now his degree is in writing and on the wall.  What a kind gesture for his girlfriends parents.

In talking with my son’s girlfriend, she said that nothing matched in her parents house, which got me to thinking.  What if I send a thank you to those helpful parents and gift En Provence?  I mean not many homes can pull off purple in an average home.  So the idea, got wrapped in Christmas wrapping of pink flamingos on lime green backdrop, and was sent as a thank you gift wrapped in odd Christmas wrap.  They recieved their gift yesterday, and loved it.  Why would the not love it?  I certainly loved it.  It was meant to be.  The amount of effort put fourth by both parties…evened the score so to speak.

Moving onto the next masterpiece……Good Fortune.  At least I hope it will be as beautiful as En Provence with my color selection.  Linking up with the Monday link up.  My blacks are neutrals, blues are blues, and cheddar’s for orange.

Taken outside on a frosty, crunchy ground just as the sun was rising today.

Today consists of defrosting the fridge…yeah its a new fridge and I refuse to have it fixed only for it to do the same thing costing me repair fees.  Shame on samsung for knowingly putting defective drain valves in their appliances.  Boycotting them now.  My dollars are my voice, I will no longer be voting for them!

I also have one side left to bind on my freshly quilted Jelly Roll Scraps in pinks.  This one turned out gorgeous!


I also have one on the frame still trying to figure out why my tension hoses up after quilting 10 inches or so.  An inch on the bobbin side will be full of loops, and then the tension is fine again.  A mystery I suspect deals with a ball of lint trapped in my mechanism that I can’t see.  Yesterday I spent a good bit ripping out stitches as It was sewing fine each time I checked it, only to find out after I had advanced it, it was messed up.

Jewel Box’s Stars yahoo!  Getting there!


I will choose to look at this as good fortune.  Much tension accreditation coming under my belt, I will defeat this thread dragon!  And will be able to help someone else defeat their’s.

Merry Christmas and thank you for reading my blog!

Dirty Little Iron Secret And Good Fortune!

I have a Rowenta Iron that I bought at a discount store more than 10 years ago.  This iron was made in Germany (If you are interested in buying a new iron I would stay away from those made in China).  I have been very satisfied with it.  For a period of time, it was not heating properly and therefore not ironing properly.

I went and sought out an old heat sink vintage iron (with no steam) and started using it.  It worked too good and would actually scorch fabric if you were not careful.  So I went back to my Rowenta.

I noticed after I had not used the Rowenta in a while that, it no longer just glided on the fabric.  Good irons have skid plates that will glide flawlessly over fabrics.  It had become quite a drag.  I had started using a large amount of starch to get the iron to work.  It ironed out the wrinkles but would always need to have starch to get the wrinkles out.

I do not use starch every time I fire up my iron, so this was rather expensive, especially when ironing quilt backings.  I noticed caramelized starch on the bottom of the iron.  Iron temperatures are high, and I started thinking about the high temperatures I cook with.  My pots and pans get cleaned after every use.  But my iron, I had never cleaned.  I had read you could use an internal cleaner.  I did not see the point in cleaning the inside as I cannot see the inside, but the outside was filthy.  I come across a website on pinterest using a magic eraser to remove the grime from your iron.

I had some of the stuff and tried a small area on the iron.  Low and behold, it worked!  So here is a little tutorial on cleaning your iron.  This tutorial will only work for iron surfaces that are not teflon or coated.  It will have to be a plated surface.  If you are unsure proceed with caution and use a sample area before cleaning the whole iron.

Items required for cleaning:

  • A dirty Iron
  • Magic Eraser
  • A soft clean towel
  • a bowl full of water (I used distilled)


Notice the crack at the bottom of the iron.  Yeah it has taken about three very hard tumbles off the ironing board.  It still is working great.


Dip your magic eraser into the bowl of water.  Have just a corner barely wet.  Rub onto a dirty spot on iron.  Below I have magically erased half the caramelized starch!  Before and after pictures:



Repeat dipping a clean corner of your magic eraser into a bowl of water and get the corner just damp.  Rub your iron clean.  Do not forget the edges of the soleplate as they get gunked up too.

When dirty spots are gone, using a clean towel, dip the towel into the water and proceed to wipe the moisture remains from he iron.  You will be amazed how much gunk will end up in your towel or in the magic eraser.

Take the iron out for a cleaned test run.  I recommend using the clean towel on the clean area.


I have found that sometimes deposits from your cleaning will back into the holes of the skidplate, hence using a clean towel to iron.  That will boil out and end up on the ironing surface whether it is the towel or the ironing board.  Now you will be ready to successfully iron.  Easy, quick, and inexpensive translates to a win, Win, WIN!


Here are some Good Fortune Mystery sewing blocks that were needing to be pressed.  Pressed a whole lot better after the cleaning of the iron.  I wanted to write a tutorial based on this subject matter, but it took a while for my iron to get to the point of cleaning.

Ideally they tell you to spray your fabrics with starch and allow to dry.  This prevents the caramelization on the bottom of your iron.  I am an impatient person when I want to iron, I want to iron so I do not wait for the starch to dry.  That would be like watching paint dry.  So now you have two options, allow the starch to dry, or clean your iron as you go.

I hope you found this tutorial useful and thank you for reading my blog!



Good Fortune Sewing

I am gonna confess up front, I will not be building strings for the orange part of Good Fortune.  Yup, copping out.  Trouble is I just do not have pieces small enough, and cutting them into scraps to use as strings would just be extra work.

I have a few more chisel blocks/half chevron blocks, but not many.  Things are just too busy here.  Now that I am looking at my color selection it looks rather like caution tape which is not what I was going for.  We will see things as they unfold.

My neutrals are blacks, my oranges are cheddar!  My greens are yellow.  I have good contrast and we shall see where this Good Fortune mystery road leads to.

I am excited to share the link so you can also check out many hundreds of people sewing along posting pictures of beautiful fabrics each week.  Take a glimpse at this weeks progress by clicking here.


And thank you for reading my blog!

Seeing Reds!

Seeing reds, yellows, even blues and blacks.  I have been busy!  Quilting and making time does relieve the stress of the season.

red wooden surface
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com


close up photo of yellow surface
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
blue and red brick filled
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

Lovely textures in these photos, it is very inspiring.  Quilting game on!

My longarm machine has not been used in two weeks!  Everyone Panic!  The good news is, that I tried to quilt Wed, found out by Friday afternoon that I have a bad M class bobbin.  It would seem the inner hole is too big and will not catch on the bobbin winder. I thought the bobbin winder was broke.  The sales rep asked me to check all my bobbins as I probably have a bad one and will graciously replace.  I have one that is bad and one that will not fill all the way before it looses grip.  Weird.  I will probably need to invest in more M bobbins.  We all know you can never have enough bobbins, and if you do, they are already filled with the wrong color! Ha!

So last night in about and hour and 20 minutes I had completed the meandering/stippling on the homemade jelly roll made from scraps from my jewel box stars quilt.  I am really loving the colors together, and cannot wait to get the king sized quilt on the longarm.

seeing red.JPG

Earlier this week I took my last two jelly rolls out of the cupboard (my it sounds like I am talking about food lol).  I managed to get two more tops ready for practice, but I need to stop doing that because I have a huge pile that I need to quilt as it is.  But the need to sew over-ruled that rule!

I may gift these away not sure and am in no hurry to get to these.  The price I paid for these was hardly anything.  I knew before I started the tetris quilt that it had a lot of few fabrics so the randomness of it is not there in the beginning.  I do like that I decided to get a coordinating color and block the jelly strips and then sew them together.  That small green block randomly in the quilt is right in the scheme of tetris.  And then there was the pretty yellows jelly roll.  This will be gorgeous when quilted.  Solid jelly roll strips create the most amazing quilts.  And with solids you can quilt the dickens out of them for an even more beautiful effect.

At work we had our White Elephant gift exchange.  It was a fun wonderful lunch hour of extremely intelligent people giving goofy gifts, much laughter ensued.  I ended up with this.


The next day at lunch us ladies were laughing at the combinations of very uncommon phrases that you could use.  Someone at the break table overheard us and looked up shakespeare words.  Did you know he invented over 1700 words?  Many of these words we use today.  Funny that they are insulting words.  Many of these words are now in the dictionary and he just made them up.  Here is a link of words if you are feeling the need to be wordy lol! (I suppose this is no different than Brexit, or ShAmie, or other paired couples worded as one like Bradjolina).

Here is a snippet of the book:


So calling someone a Beslubbering pigeon-livered dunghill would translate as:


A slobbering fearful heap of excrement!  Whoa, if you actually said that to someone, they would not be insulted they would be scratching their head because they would not know the meaning.  It would be more confusing than insulting, perhaps that is the best insult of all.

I am not one to use insults in situations, but you just never know when it will come in handy!  LOL!!!!

Onto mystery quilting for good fortune.  I was worried I would not have enough cheddar for my quilt so imagine this picture, cut up into rectangles.  Yup, going the easy road.  I figure the same will be true for the neutrals soon.  Not doing strings of that either.  I refuse to cut up fabric pieces for strings if I do not already have them.  I save my scraps but my scraps all fit in a 20 gallon tote.  Nothing is color coordinated, so yup, going the easy route.

Imagine these fabrics as rectangles lol!

And next week vacation starts,  Longarm here I come!  I will be stitching for hours hopefully.  I am planning a turkey dinner and leftovers (easy reheating not cooking) so I can dedicate time to learn more of the do’s and don’ts of my machine.

I did pick up a new cookbook at the thrift store and will be investigating that for recipes. I have not posted a recipe in a while, for shame.  It is not due to lack of cooking, I cook everyday (except last night), but my main staple recipes are all uploaded.  And it takes something special for it to become a favorite worthy of share.  There is a recipe for olive oil cake.  I may try it out as I have never had such.  Be looking for that post in the coming week on my other blog, thecookbookproject.wordpress.com.

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!

Cluster of Events With Good Fortune

Friday has come and gone.  My son now is officially titled with an associate degree from college.  We had quite a travel to get there, but my parents did not want to drive and my cars as you recall are gimping along.  So, I agreed to drive in downtown Dallas traffic in their automobile.

A few years back my youngest who was just 14 months old when she got sick, was very sick and so for several months, the longest stay was three and a half weeks, we would travel to Children’s Hospital in Dallas sometimes daily.  Either one of us would stay down there during her healing process.  I learned then (scared to death) to  maneuver Dallas traffic in the downtown area.

There were days we would only be 10 minutes away and Woodall Rodgers would be bumper to bumper and those couple of miles traveling under Clyde Warren Park tunnel, would take an hour and a half.  Nerve wracking, but now behind me.  My child forced me to learn something when she was sick.  Among being a nurse for her condition and learning medical procedures I learned the way to get through downtown.  Without those days of illness and mastering the art of driving in that area, I would have missed my son’s graduation or probably figured out the long way to take to avoid driving in that traffic.

Friday was a rainy day, but the rain did hold off for the downtown excursion.  As we finally got onto 35E South (yeah a road with an East in it’s name actually travels south), the rain started.

My father made the comment that he could never drive down here, I assume his butthole was puckered and his knuckles white, to whatever he was choosing the grasp.  The further we got the more relaxed the driving, even though I was still in unfamiliar territory it was just the interstate, pretty much a straight shot to Waco.

My dad also reveled in the gas mileage his car was getting.  In retrospect, the wind was behind our sail and so that is probably the reason for 31 MPG on the way down.  The way back was less by about 4 MPG.

Just as we made our last turn into the apartment complex my Son lived in for the last year and a half, we were rear ended.  My parents car was a Kia Soul, the truck that ran into us was an F250 with some kind of hook knobbies sticking out of the bumper.  She hit us on the driver’s side rear corner.

She admitted fault as her son had dropped his bottle and she reached back to pick it up and in that instant did not see us in time to maneuver a better plan.  Because I had my foot on the brake and was turning, it caused the Kia to be pushed violently in a jerky movement in the driveway of the apartment complex.  I could tell we had been rear ended because of the noise and the jolt of my hair.  The noise was the back glass breaking out of the Kia.  (Yeah away from home, raining, and now no back glass).  My hair is very thick and long.  I assume I could go on a hair diet and loose about 5 lbs if I cut it.  Instead I just twist it up into a bun and put some major hair clips within which does the trick and usually by the end of the day, the hair clips are still in the right spot, maintaining my hair.  But during the wreck the G-force knocked them almost all the way out of my hair.  My neck did hurt in that instant, but it went away.  I can only assume the adrenaline happening was some kind of pain blocker.

My parents both in their 70s seemed physically to only have bruises from their watches jarring either the back of their hand, or their wrist.  My mom’s pinky fingernail was bleeding, not sure how that happened.

So for Friday so far we are in a major wreck, and are awaiting a graduation ceremony to attend.  My sons fraternal grandfather wanted to move him back home on the same day, so for this day it will be an accident, a move, a graduation, rain, quite the cluster of a disorganized mess.

I felt sorry for my son as my ex in-laws were very hard on him.  I no longer wanted to drive in the town of Waco, and he offered to carry me to walmart to get some plastic for the back window and some duct tape.  I also purchased paper towels to wipe the wet car off and a nice pair of scissors.  My parents and I had not eaten, and he also carried me to the local drive in called Sonic to get each of us a hamburger to tide us over.

The accident occurred at 2:00.  Not sure when the officer left but it seemed like forever.  And then dealing with christmas traffic on the streets as well as the store, we did not get back until 3:30.  That time flew by.

When my son and I got back to the apartment, parents now being fed, he was chewed out by my ex in-laws and I quote “I am not sure if college made him smarter, or lazier, as he is not here to move his stuff”.  What they were not understanding is he was helping his other grandparents and me by doing what he did.  I believe he did the right thing, the rest of it was just stuff and totally an agenda can be disrupted by an accident, I mean come on people.

Why would they want to move him on the day he graduates?  I figured it was to get christmas money with the deposit money coming back.  But it should have waited until the weekend.

The idiots that they are even packed up the toilet paper, so you could not use the restroom.  There was food in the fridge, and we all know how expensive groceries are.  Some frozen chicken breasts, but they opted that would go bad and not be any good for the graduation ceremony and travel home.  Since it was only highs in the 40s and now in late afternoon the chicken would have been fine.  They opted to pack and keep the 1/2 eaten box of cereal.  A box of knock of fruity pebbles. ???? Another reason I know I chose better, as they make horrible choices.

This day was reassurance to me repeatedly that I am glad to be disconnected to my ex and his family.  The family talk bad about women in general, and after the separation from the state of marriage, I realize they were masters of disguise.  You see they would flag someone in the family and ride their but about something really unimportant.  As removed as I am from them, I can see it clearly now as they run someone down, because it keeps the family from talking bad about them.  A gang up routine, were the men pick a woman and talk bad about her, run her down.  In essence controlling the rest of the family from saying anything bad about the men.  Strength in numbers and very misbehaved people.  I am still sad for my son as he will have to deal with their mentality.

Instead of them realizing that perhaps that was not the best choice to move on another day, they would not admit that they were in error therefore running my son down, for helping out someone who ACTUALLY needed help.

The cluster of Friday is behind us.  He has graduated.  The pain will subside.  As expected my parents who seemed fine Friday, the ache of the G-force….they are feeling it.  From my shoulders down, I have no pain.  My neck however is very tender.  I have free movement but everything is sore to the touch.  There is the front right side I have no pain and tis fine, I am assuming this is the side my chin and head rotated to for the jarring.  The left side of my throat hurts, but only if I touch it.  If I pick up my youngest child, I feel the muscles in my neck begging me for a different course of action.  I assume I have whiplash.  I am taking aleeve, and will mend.  Tomorrow if my symptoms are worse, I will head to the doc.  But today I am more stiff in the neck than sore.

Yesterday I took it easy and wanted to quilt so bad, but wanted to mend and was afraid to do anything too strenuous.  So I decided to bind my second machined quilt.jrr10

This is now sandwiched and quilted.  Glad I managed to sneak this one in a couple of weeks back for the sandwiching.  Perfect for a day like today.  Mending the body, stitching is somewhat mending eh?  I did hand stitch the binding.  Binding is now finished this afternoon.


The fabric strips were by Moda and was a collection for a cause that was sale priced at nancysnotions.com for only 17.99.  I snatched that up in a heart beat.  The backing is also from a collection for a cause by the owner of Moda, but of years past that I picked up at a quilt shop when it was closing and purchased that yardage cheap.  The two collections meld wonderfully together.  I did piece the back with the dust rose color which is in the color scheme of things.  This was very inexpensive to make and wonderful to practice stitching on since I am new to my longarm.

Even though Friday was a cluster, I still have Good Fortune!  We all do!  And today I sat down and tried Bonnie Hunter’s method of drawing the line and attempting to get my spare HSTs with that method for the mystery quilt called Good Fortune.  It worked, I do not like the scant seam allowance.  And I am not going to make very many of these.  I was not fond of these in On Ringo Lake.  I thought they took away from the block with too much busy-ness and they were directional for one block and opposite for the next.  Here are mine.  Remember, my blacks are my neutrals and my yellow is my green.  A nice contrast and we will see next week what unfolds for the mystery.


I am off to do oodles of laundry.  I am linking up for the Monday Link up of GOOD FORTUNE.  Have you checked out other peoples fabrics and progress?  It is fun to see the masses all going down the same path with such variety of fabrics and colors.  Click here to check those past linkups.

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!

Amalgamation Complete

The homemade jelly roll of scraps and left overs from other peoples quilts through the years has come together with a few stitches, an amalgamation representing sew many memories.

Jelly Roll Race quilts are fun and quick.  I estimate without binding that this quilt I probably have less than 5 hours in it, including the quilting.

To dissect this quilt visually for me brings back so many memories.  I see part of the

  • Tree of Life,  I see
  • Green Lemonade,  
  • Star Capella,  
  • garlic knot Marinara
  • Baby Booties
  • Butter And Eggs
  • Farm Fresh II
  • My Aunt’s Memory Quilt of preserves made from my Grandpa’s clothes and my Grandma’s fabric.
  • The binding is made from a cheater quilt that was my first free motion experiment, and is now made into a car seat.  I rather like this binding as it is scrappy looking without any extra effort (note to self great use of panels that I have no use for!)
  • I see quilts that have not been quilted yet just ready for the next step in this quilt, the memories are waiting lol.

I highly recommend each time you are at the cutting table.  Cut a strip for your project you are making now, and cut a spare to be tucked away until you have a roll of 40-45 strips, and let the sewing commence.  You do not have to match a thing, scrappy is home around here.  This quilt was meant to be, it is just right for us.  I am glad the little effort I put into it, will go many years or a long way.  I have named this Amalgum, short for amalgamation.

Tomorrow is graduation, my son is graduating from college.  He is my best example of the wonderful child.  A sweet boy, who is now grown into a man.  A lovely girlfriend, and his whole life ahead of him with so many choices.  So far, he has such a level head on his shoulders, he surprises me.  Even  more level headed than me.  He is already making the right choices, and I hope it continues for years.  I am sad, but a whole lot more happy than sad.  I love ya son!

I will try to get some sewing done for Good Fortune, but the thread I ordered for the long arm came in and I hope to do that first.  I have another jelly roll race to quilt up, this one is in pinkish hues and am looking forward to the needle punctures and design to be determined.  Hopefully I will get a bit of stitching done this weekend.

Toodles!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Bee Butts and Chicken Beaks

This is the stuff of life eh?  No really, I am just describing my mystery Good Fortune HSTs.  I have sewn more than the bee butts and chicken beaks fabric.  But isn’t it fun the different fabric novelties and choosing those lovelies for your quilts?

I feel I have GOOD FORTUNE enough to have these fabrics.  And yes the blacks are my neutrals and my blues are just a different shade of blue.  I am hoping the black “neutrals” will really make this quilt pop.  For now I am just sampling a few blocks each week, crossing my fingers that it is going to work well and play nice together.


By the way I am really enjoying my thread cutter.  I purchased this at a quilt bazaar.  I had been wanting to get one for the string piecing that happens.  This stands up perfectly on its own, or fits beautifully in the palm of my hand.  The man who crafted it, was elderly and the ladies said my purchase would make his day.  He did a very good job.  This has more character and appeal to me than a hunk of plastic for the same price.  And when the clover thread cutter wears out, I can just wedge a new on in its place.bbcb2

I finally got Ursa the Purple Princess up and running.  Let’s just say the tension problems I was having were from operator error.  I have corrected and am binding my first ever scrappy jelly roll race quilt on my big machine.  Enjoyed this immensely.  The fabrics are all pulled from my stash.  They are a amalgamation of years of quilting.  Each strip in someone else’s quilt, now these will reside in mine.  Great memories of stitching for the last 20 years.

A strip from the memory “preserve Jars” I made for my Aunt

A strip from the charity quilts donated to the E-Stitchers of Greenville.

Lots of strips from various baby quilts made for those expecting.

Some scraps from a huge bag of scrap goodness from the local goodwill.

And so on…..

As I was quilting this, I thought it being my first it would turn out so ugly that I would donate it, but the more I looked at the fabrics, the more I realized I could not donate my stitch’n memories.  When it is completed (binding is now being hand sewn), it is right where it was meant to be.

This is free motion quilting that I just made up as I was doodling on a practice fabric before the first quilt was loaded.  I like my design.  Feel free to try this on a jelly roll race quilt.  It’s kinda is neat.


For those of you wanting to see others progress in the mystery quilt of Good Fortune, here is the link.  I urge everyone to take a peak at all the lovely fabrics and color schemes.  A wonderful time of year to come together for Good Fortune.

And thanks for reading my blog!


Free Motion Quilting

Ahhhhhh….at last, finally quilting, free motion style.  One third of this bird is complete.  And then tension problems.  I have figured out thread is somehow getting hung up in the hook/race mechanism.  I have been doodling with tension issues, and so out to the side of the quilt, have quilted the dickens out of scraps, trying to get it right.  I will have to invest in a pair of hemostats to get that little piece of thread out.  Other than that hiccup, just cruising along.

Here is the pattern I am winging under the needle.  It is easy, fast and looks like a quotation box.  Better than bricks for this Jelly Roll Race quilt, a more feminine touch.


Here is the row that gave me problems and I played with it until I had it almost right, and then I ran out of bobbin thread, and the bobbin thread got stuck in the machine mechanism…*SIGH*.  No hurry I have  my whole life ahead of me to quilt onward.  🙂  Sewing has taught me much patience through the years….come to think of it, so have my children!


Back side homespun with the “tension” issues.

Last night I managed a few Good Fortune HST’s.  A nice couple of days doing what it is I love to do (with other unfavorable things like, cooking, dishes, laundry ha!).


Some “raw” HSTs unsewn.


And some ready for pressing.  In the Good Fortune Mystery, my blacks are the mystery neutrals, and my sky blues, are the mystery blues.  Yup going dark for my neutrals.  I have seen people go gray with neutrals so why not.  Neutrals blend and the colors will pop against it.  I am not sewing the full set, but enough to see if I will end up with a twin size/lap size/ or wall hanging.  The mystery of not knowing is kinda fun and challenging, a thrill with my stash.

And as promised here are my before and after photos of the garage once my machine was set up.  The quilt on it now is the jelly roll race above in this post.  This picture looks almost magical.  No magic, just labor LOL!





You can see in the margins of batting where I practiced and practice to get the tension right.  Looks like I will try to go back tonight and see if I can pull that little thread out.  I need a tweezers or hemostats, something that will lock onto it.  The quilt will have to come off the frame as kitty a.k.a. Dummy will probably want to snooze on it.  Mom thinks the cat will go to her highest perch on the cat tree (almost to the ceiling) and bask under the heat lamp.  If I were a cat, a quilt is mighty tempting.

I am looking into what I can load next as I have only red, teal, and white now as workable thread.  Industrial thread to be exact as this is is a speedy machine, which is too fast and breaks OTC (over the counter) thread.  Thread has been ordered with a more pastel colors, stuff that will blend into the quilts.  That will probably be here Monday.  I have another Jelly Roll Race quilt that is already ironed and ready to go, but kinda want to hold off until I choose a better than what I have currently thread.

A beautiful day with lots of sun (after a night of rain).  Highs in the low 70s, sun on the face, wind in my hair.  Thread in my quilt.  Another wonderful day in the life of me!   May yours be just as wonderful and THANK YOU for reading my blog!