Summary of the week

Summer came and we reached highs of 97, and then just like that it was way cool for this time of the year. Usually May is a muggy month where we have a bunch of gulf stream moisture with highs between 85-92. Last weekend a cool front came and cooled us off to highs in the 60s and low 70s. It has been a quilting kind of week!

I have been working on mom’s quilt. It is 90% complete. And the weekend is long so maybe I will get that finished up and get something else on the frame.

There is mega texture in this echo quilting AND it took the fullness out of the spots that needed it.

I am down to one seam left in the scrappy buckeye beauty quilt. I will probably add borders this weekend. I did place a poll on youtube for selecting a border. At the beginning of the poll, the two fabrics were neck and neck in the percentages. Make sure to go check that out so you can vote too!

And a while back I was viewing another Nolting longarm on youtube and noticed they had a CLX like mine but their handles came further to the front of the frame. I reached out to the owner (Ann) and she let me know that those are just extension bicycle handles (only $10 dollars on Amazon). She actually added two sets to make it more ergonomic for her. I only added one because I do ruler work. This changed has taught me a few things.

So for the few years I have owned this machine, I would leave my machine with a back ache. I mean the belly bar is a fulcrum on the body and you have to bend over to reach the rear of the quilt while quilting. This helped tremendously with that! My arms are bent at 90 degrees and kept by my side which is a very natural position. I did not need any technology to make this change but a screwdriver. And because I removed the foam pads that were original to the machine, when I do ruler work and grab that right handle, it fits marvelously in my hand. Those handle cushions are too big, which is not ergonomic for these chunky dunky hands (those handle grips were made for man’s hands….hmmm not well thought out Nolting). Was I able to do more quilting for longer periods? YES! I wish I would have asked a long time ago.

I did have a tension hiccup. I got jammed and the machine went into fail safe mode. I thought I broke the machine! I oiled heavily and left it rest for 24 hours. That dislodged a large piece of lint put off by the green thread I am using on the backing. My eyes don’t see green very well any more. I cannot see the lint below in the machine. My machine is still not just right. I presume there is another hairball this cat needs to hack up.

May is almost over, what does June hold quilt wise? Well, I am still waiting on grid interfacing! Yeah, after the wrong stuff was shipped, I ordered AGAIN and because I am relying on a drop ship, it has taken all month. I had hoped I could start on this.

I have decided to enter this 365 quilt block challenge in a quilt show. It has been on my table needing the binding added now for months. I did work on that a bit this week. As I see it all rumpled up on my table, I see how accurate my points and nested seams are. This quilt deserved to be seen! I will be making arrangements for a label as well as a hanging sleeve. I know when other quilters see it, they will be inspired and they will know how much work went into this. And I finally measured the quilt. It turned out to be 90 X 90. I was shocked by the measurement haha, it is spot on. In the description box to tell a bit about the quilt, I am listing I now hate red hahhahaha. Other quilters are going to relate to this.

Have a wonderful weekend! Be safe! Summer is officially here! Thanks for reading my blog!

The Scrappy Blues

I have not done much this past week. I was waiting for interfacing last week. They sent on point grid interfacing and I wanted regular 820 pelon. So I ordered more and am still waiting. If the pandemic has taught us anything is to be patient with what ever mail service you are using and expect delays. So the Embroidered Flowers Quilt is on hold for now.

And Texas summer arrived last weekend, which left me feeling tired and drained all week. So no quilting happened in the garage.

And I found out today another coworker is expecting a child, and knowing the time line, I have to get off my keester and get busy!
Most of the parents are not going to find out what they are having and others it is too soon to know. I kind of went into panic mode with the news of someone else expecting because I have one top to quilt for that regard. I have oodles to get done between now and then. So today I searched for a block that I could go scrappy. After clicking around with Moda Block heads I found the buckeye beauty block. Perfect! I had to go all the way back to Moda Block Heads II. If you are interested in this free pattern click here.

So after a few hours of starching, ironing, cutting and sewing, I have a nice scrappy sampling and am pleased with this so far. I shall get this top sewn this weekend, or at least that is the plan.

Scrappy Buckeye Beauties, what are you working on?

I am participating in the second annual #Scrapathon2223. I wonder how many scrap quilts I will happen this year. I think I have three that will probably fall into that category. We shall see, eh?

Make sure you swing by my youtube channel and hear about all the things judges look for at county fairs as far as quilts are concerned. Lots of good information. See below.

The blog is rather short and sweet this week. A first time for everything LOL! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Quilt Judging

We all have experience with the quilt police. We all have been told by quilt police something where they try to push their ideals on you. Many of us quilters have a quilt police story. I can think of a couple of stories that I could share, but want to keep the blog more constructive and less negative. Do you have a quilt police story? I would love to hear about it. Use #quiltpolice anywhere on any platform in social media. I will be reading your story. Or, you can just leave a comment below.

Last weekend I worked. No sewing happened. And, last weekend summer abruptly showed itself. Fall will show itself in Nov. That’s usually when it cools back down. Stitching did not happen at all this week.

I worked last weekend to prepare to be off during the week for county fair judge training. I am now a certified judge.

In this process, my mind started churning about very negative feedback my peers have given me over the years. I never really got any constructive criticism. I entered a quilt in my county’s fair back in 2006. I lost out to the only other quilt entered. I never understood why. I was up against a master quilter first of all, but that is neither here nor there. Normally when a quilt is judged you get a constructive criticism piece of paper. I never got that. I felt jaded all these years. I never understood why I lost. That chapter has closed.

On Tuesday May 17th at 7:30 pm central time, I will be live on youtube with the very quilt that was judged and I will be going over why my quilt was NOT a blue ribbon. I will also be covering what judges look for when they are judging a quilt. If you have comments or questions you will be able to ask me direct during the youtube livestream. My chat preferences are set. You have to be a subscriber 24 or more hours prior to my live. Does this interest you?

This video/forum will not tolerate quilt police. I will take comments in the chat very seriously. Quilting is art and deserves constructive criticism. I want my readers/subscribers/viewers to know that the quilting community wants to help not hurt.

While in ”learning to become a judge”, I was surrounded by other quilters. The quilt police came out in that meeting. But, I also saw constructive critique and the benefits from that.

In addition to judging quilts, I learned about photography, painting, crochet, knitting, rug hooking, as well as all sorts of other that is thrown into the textile medium and can now judge all of these. I am now in a database for county fairs in my state to call on me when they need these categories judged. No, I cannot judge in my own county.

I learned the most from the photography and painting segment since I do not really dabble in those things. Hopefully what I learned in those categories will get some better photos onto the blog!

I also started a vlog on making the embroidery flower quilt. Unfortunately I ordered some grid interfacing and they sent the wrong kind. The new interfacing will not be here until the 19th. This project has stalled. But, I managed to shop the stash for almost all of my fabrics. Putting those tidbits and scraps to good use.

I have finally started binding my 60 degree stars quilt. If I am on the couch, these edges will be coming together.

Today I will be back to work on quilting the dresden quilt and will do it in the weeee hours of the morning to keep cool.

If I am recalling info correctly, these dresdens I am quilting are made from happy birthday fabric. Isn’t that fun?

Well I have one more thing. A few weeks back, I posted about content and asked my readers to tell me why my numbers have dropped off. Well I figured it out. WordPress deleted all but 4 of my email followers. Shame on you wordpress! This has greatly impacted my traffic. Bummer. It took me 6 years to get those followers, some of which I have had since day one. But my numbers are not the only numbers down. I really think people are exercising their freedom to move about in the country now that most are vaccinated. We are practically hamsters left out of the cage, right?

And for those of you who read my blog regardless of the goings on, I thank you! I know you are here. It warms my heart.

Happy Mother’s Day 2022

I have been busy, but then again I haven’t.

In my last post I pondered who would win the battle of the backings. I am pleased to announce my Mom won that battle. I am custom quilting a dresden quilt with a dash of embroidered butterflies. I have uploaded a video of how to quilt and make a flower border using a circle ruler. The way the quilt is made, makes echoing around the dresdens the way to go. I have posted a video on youtube. I will share that here.

And last weekend I started making the Embroidery Flower Quilt. This is a free pattern offered by tilda fabrics utilizing solids. Click here for the pdf. I did a massive fabric pull and went through 2 cans of starch during the cutting and ironing. After deciding on which swatch matched what fabric best, I managed to find 44 different fabrics in my stash that were either blenders, solids, or a very close match calico print. I had to make a trip to my LAQS to get the remaining two fabrics. I have cut all my color pieces. I lack cutting the background. I have cut some squares. I have cut some strips. I will be assembling this using the grid interfacing method. Be looking for that tutorial soon. And I will refrain from cutting so many small blocks and utilize the strip method instead for large hunks of background fabric

My method for this? As I paired a fabric to the matching swatch, I wrote on a sticky note the fabric number assigned and how many squares to cut. After cutting I bagged the squares and the sticky note together and hung them on my design wall. I have seen this particular pattern done using the paper plate method. I do not have room for 46 paper plates to be lain about. So, I am now a bag lady! I started a Vlog on youtube to document this journey.

And because I pulled the majority of these fabrics from my stash I am claiming this to be #Scrapathon2023.

As of now I am a bit stalled waiting for the interfacing to arrive. I worked my day job today (on a Saturday, I know right?) to prep for my time towards county fair judge training this week. So not much sewing this weekend. This will work out just fine with a little time. I can’t wait to sew and my whip out a project from my open gates quilt box. Not sure yet. The body pillow pattern they enclosed look lovely. Perhaps I may stitch a bit on that.

Happy Mother’s Day! Take it easy ladies! Today is your day! Enjoy!

And thanks for reading my blog!

Lazer Light Show

Did you catch me live? No worries if you didn’t. Here is the replay. I was at the longarm quilting this.

I basically explain my thought process on how I came up with the quilting design on this quilt. Some free motion and some ruler work. One baby quilt, done!

And then last week I also got some feathered star blocks completed. This too will be a baby quilt for someone. I came up with a simple border idea.

And in case you missed that live you can see it in the replay.

The first 4 minutes is me rambling and a dark screen. Oops the lens cap was on!!! I can laugh at myself, but gosh people must think I am an idiot!!!!

So instead of sewing my blocks together I came up with the idea of making a border and attaching it to each block in the opposite color of the block. I have one strip to complete and this will be a quilt top in no time. I have retired that accuquilt die for now. I will revisit it when I can go with a similar color scheme as the pattern is written.

I speak a bit of this in my video. I am not going to lie, but because I used a garment in the making of the memory quilt. The whole kit and caboodle was not square. My first thought was I would square it up with my lockers and stitch my cut lines. But I had purchased this inexpensive lazer level to trim my quilt corners and make everything truly square. I am happy to report, that the memory quilt was the squarest corner I have ever made and cut after the fact. Normally the ruler goes wonky and I have to make due with a line that veers. This worked peachy!

Because that quilt top was black, I opted not to photograph, but you basically lay this out on your cutting table at the corner you want to square. The line will run down the whole side of your quilt. You may have to actually use the floor for bigger quilts. It worked marvelously.

Most husbands have something like this in their tool box. Take it for a spin, I think I purchased this one on amazon for less than $15. That folks is cheaper than an acrylic ruler!

And now I will be thinking of another baby quilt build. I am not certain if I will go in this direction, nor what colors I will select. I am thinking FGV2.

Upcoming on the longarm will be one of three quilts. I have my jack’s chain. My mother has a very pretty dresden. And I was actually contacted by a fellow quilter to quilt her Alaska row by row. Not sure which one of these will make it on there next. The alaska quilt needs a backing. I have not reached out to her to see if she has acquired it yet. And Mom’s quilt needs a backing too. I need to sew the backing for the jack’s chain. It appears to be a race of backings at the moment. hahahahaha

I aim to get back to my pillow case lace.

I have curved this lace to get it all in the picture. But it is made as straight lace. I have it stacked the motifs on one another in the picture below.

I have signed up and will be taking training to become a county fair judge for textiles and photography. I am excited to learn about this process. And I am hoping the photography aspect of it helps me with this very blog. Plus it will help me get out of this house and see some quilts, and a carnival to boot. Maybe some cotton candy tasting. Gosh it has been years, but sounds delish!

In the meantime, I need to get stitchin’!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Small Steps towards ???

If you read my last post, my longarm broke. It was a simple repair. I am now a longarm technician as I fixed it myself without instructions, just small baby steps to figure it all out.

I made a video to assist those who have my brand longarm, if this part ever breaks on them, they have this video as a reference as the manufacturer has NO INSTRUCTIONS or VIDEOS anywhere on the net.

I lacked a few passes of work to get the quilt top shown in the above photo done. So I ensured while stitching this one out, that it worked and all was well again with the machine. The octagon quilt is done. I will bind this later when I am not in a pinch.

And so the memory quilt will make it to the longarm very soon.

I now have all the new pieces added all appliqued down. I am going to line this polyester quilt with muslin to help prevent bearding. I am brainstorming on a quilting motif. I am thinking linear lines that follow the rays with bubbles quilting to add to the texture in the negative space. I am to start this in the coming week. Baby steps and you get to where you want to be.

And a while back Accuquilt introduced the feathered star die. This block has been on my bucket list for years, but the difficulting of cutting this puppy out made me turn my cheek and opt out of the idea. Well, anything that will assist cutting a difficult block with weird angles precisely is worth a try.

Soapbox/advice with this particular BOB die (block on board). This block the cutting is easy. However, the instructions provided with the die, do not tell you how many pieces to cut out for a block like mine above. The pattern they provide is for 3 and 4 color blocks, so you have lots of figuring out to do since you are only doing two colors. I had a bunch of seam ripping. Ultimately I got there in baby steps. Very easy to get turned around with this since there are so many weird angles. And it has a Y seam. So ease of cutting makes up for the difficulty of construction I guess. I would say of all the blocks I have ever done in my entire life, this is by far the most difficult to set together and get it right.

When using this die, I cut 9 1/2 inch strip wof to pass through the machine of both colors. What the pattern does not tell you and what is not obvious, the die has two small squares that are different sizes. There are also the perimeter HST pieces that also have two different sizes. So, if you construct this, make sure you use your alphabities to keep things straight.

The picture below is the opposite of the first one I sewed. This also added difficulty because you are copying the block you just did in the opposite. So even on the second block there was some seam ripping because I would get turned around a little lost. I even laid out the pieces on my design wall to keep them straight.

There is a particular order you have to sew the block in, NO DEVIATION or the block will not come out to the right size. Above is the Y seam I was speaking of. Because of the funny tips on the star, those on the bottom row and top row can be sewn without Y seams, but the middle row with different sized pieces HAS to be sewn in a Y seam. I do not recommend this block for those of you who are beginners or intermediates. If you are a beginner or intermediate you will need to just use a similar colorway with the diagram they give. And to all skill levels you HAVE TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS precisely.

This will become 4 squares in total and a baby quilt with a simple border of the same color solids. It is a beautiful block, but it BITES!

And a couple of months ago Tilda’sworld.com offered a free pattern that had me swooning as soon as I saw it on the website. And before anyone posted about this on instagram I wanted to do it. But I have TOOOOO many projects going to start it. Well now that some of those projects are a bit better controlled I will be able to start cutting my fabric pull into 2 inch square to use as a leader ended. Although I am tempted to use the grid interfacing to make this work even faster. Some of my colors are not solids, but to think of going and purchasing more fabric when I have the fabric that same color just in a print sounded ridiculous to me. So I shopped the stash and really toiled over a couple of these prints not being close enough. But, I am not totally decided and after the fabric pull I have not determined if I even have enough of some of these smaller scraps.

This is called Tilda’s Embroidery Flowers Quilt because it resembles a needlework design.

Stunning isn’t it? I do not have background fabric this color so I may opt to go with a white. Black would be beautiful. That part I am undecided about. A dark green would be marvelous too. I think you can purchase the quilt kit right now with or without interfacing.

And last Saturday I went live on youtube. I will be doing this again and hopefully next time in a more primetime slot. I am debating either a Saturday night or a Tuesday night.

As I write this it is very warm in the house. It is that time of year again when the nights are not that cool, so during the heat of the day, the house temperature rises to a “too warm” level. It makes you not want to do chores and be lazy. The humidity sucks the energy right out of you.

Wish me luck at staying energized! And thanks for reading my blog!

The Longarm is Broken

This title probably sounds worse than it is. I sent a text to my son telling him I would not see him in the morning at work because my longarm is broken. He was just waking up and read it as I broke my arm! Thank goodness THAT did not happen! So, like I said, it is not as bad as it could be.

The tension spring broke.

I have about two passes left and this will be done. When my last bobbin ran out, I did my normal routine by winding a new bobbin and threading my machine by pulling the thread through, because it is already threaded. That’s another post all together.

When I started quilting, I always start on the edge of the quilt (which will be hidden in the binding edge in case my tension is not good..) Everything seemed fine. I moved to the center of the quilt where the bobbin ran out, and after a few stitches, the machine sounded different, had different drag. I stopped, checked the tension on the bottom. All was good and I proceeded to continue quilting. What I did not know, the tension spring completely broke off.

There are no repair videos out there to replace it. My machine has about 5 months left before the warranty is out, but without even asking, I don’t think the spring is covered because this is something that is made to wear out. I can go back to the manufacturer and purchase one for less than $10 and then pay to have it shipped and be down for a week or more. Or I can trudge myself to the big city and locate one there through a longarm parts specialists. It seems there is may cost around $5. Or I could order it online and spend gobs of money to have it shipped 45 miles.

And the urgency to get this fixed is REAL. I was planning on having the 60 degree stars quilt off the frame this weekend so I can get back to this and quilt it up.

Last week you can really tell that spring has sprung. We have new kittens. And I have never seen newborn kittens responsibility to be shared within two days of being born to another mother!

And for fun this weekend, I decided to try my hand at Indigo dying. It was fun and I will do it again. I learned much and look forward to this process again soon!

I decided to do some random stuff. The balloon experiment was a great success, so were the glass furniture coasters. The binding clips were neat on the edges, but really not much to write home about in the folds.
Even the stir stick turned out neat!
In the speed queen they go.
And here they are nicely pressed and folded. I used my kona white and my unbleached muslin. In the end, it did not matter which one I used, they both worked.

I went live on my youtube channel. And I was not alone! Yay! If you missed the live you can always go back and watch it after the fact.

I presume I will be posting a repair video for my longarm and will learn this as I go and video it, so I can go back and make sure I have re-assembled it correctly according to how I took it apart.

Wish me luck! And thanks for reading my blog!

Scrappy Friendship Star Free Pattern

While making this, I just made up my own pattern for the friendship stars. This block will have a finished measurement of 6 inches, and 6 1/2 inches unfinished. I have drawn up a pattern and am giving it away for free.

If the slide show does not work for you, I am giving an alternate option. You can download/print the free pattern.

I will be scheduling a youtube live event, Saturday April 16th. The time slot has not been scheduled yet, but it will be early around 7 or 8 a.m. central standard time. Grab your scraps and chat with us Saturday and learn how to make this easy beautiful block. Click here to go to my youtube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and like my videos. And hit the bell so you don’t forget when I go live.

And so it happens to be so very close to the middle of the month, I am going to wrap this scrappy post with the scrap happy post too. Please click through all these links for additional scrap happy posts.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

And have you heard?

I have also joined the 2023 scrap-a-thon. Why not? I sew so many scraps I might as well vibe with a tribe. Visit @daybrookdesigns or @letsquiltalong for more details and sign up. My calendar is filling up. My project cup runneth over.

This is now quilted. This was a free mystery quilt. Here is my version, and here is my mom’s version.

I have been tatting away on my pillowcase lace, which is now triple this length.

I have this loaded on the frame and am quilting straight lines in the stars and a wavy grid in the neutral zones.

This is back on the design wall to add some more circles. Wish me luck, I have a lot on my plate! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

The links for the video

Here is the link for the free basket block pattern.

Here is the link for the free charming hearts pattern.

Here is the free key fob pattern. This pattern was originally in the open gates quilt box in march. I found the pattern free on the sallie tomato site.

Here is the memory quilt I am working on.

Here is the Rob Appel Video where I got the inspiration.
Here is the link to the free pattern by Kathryn Kerr for the 365 quilt block challenge.

And here is the tatting pillow case lace I am working.

There is a freebie with this also. Joelle gives this on her youtube channel. So if you know how to tat, her channel is supreme! She also has a blog

I hope this blog give you inspiration and the video helps assist with that as well.

Thanks for reading my blog.