28 September 2018

Seeing Stars QAL Top Completed

While I was in line for coffee this morning,
I overheard the girl in front of me call it "gloomy" out there.
A fall day that happens to be overcast and cool is...
well, it's just that.  Fall!
And little Miss Pumpkin Spice wouldn't even be able to get
a pumpkin spice latte if it weren't for this season!
Hot drinks, colorful leaves, Thanksgiving, scarves, boots, sweaters...
I say it's invigorating and beautiful out but I guess to each their own.

Of course, it did put a little damper on trying to take pics
for the Seeing Stars QAL update yet again.
I really think when I get this thing all quilted up,
I'm going to wait for a clear day to get a picture
of it hanging outside--and no one will recognize it
because it'll be the first time it will actually be seen!

This went together in sections rather than rows which made
it all kinds of fun--a little like doing a puzzle.

But when I stepped back, I felt it just...needed....

A nice little border to suspend those stars a little.
Ah, yes. Now it's complete.
Which means next week will be spent quilting and
shop hopping.  Does it get any better than that!?!

Happy quilting!

26 September 2018

It's Home

My machine is fixed and back home where it belongs.

Isn't it just like life to try to be super-complicated?
Always get a second opinion.

Looking forward to some quality sewing time tomorrow!

25 September 2018

Last QAL Stars

Where has September gone?
Amazingly, we're already nearing the end of the Seeing Stars QAL
and today I'm sharing the last of my star blocks.

First, I want to share my thrifty version of making a template.

After printing the provided star pattern out on paper, I then
traced it on a lid from a quart-sized carton of yogurt.
I really do have template sheets but I've been saving them
for the Farmer's Wife quilt that I've been planning for, oh, something
like two or three years now.  That thing has a bajillion or so templates
which, now that I think of it, might be part of why I've been putting it off.

Anyhoo, let's say you don't have any on hand.  Or you, like me, would rather
spend your money on fabric.  Or maybe you, like me, have a personal rule to
try to get at least two or three uses out of everything...or something like that.
Then you'll want to go grab a lid.

For the record, yes, I do still make my own yogurt but because
 that means I'm making it once a week or so
[me + fruit smoothie for breakfast 6x's a week = lots of yogurt!]
 I like to take a break every now and then,
especially during the holidays or other super-busy times.

Oy!  Now that we've discussed thrifty tricks,
the Farmer's Wife quilt and how much homemade
yogurt I go through in a week, let's get back to the stars...

Here they are, the last of my stars for the Seeing Stars QAL.

I had everything cut out and ready to go last week but I waited.
And waited.  And waited for that phone call.  The one where
the shop calls and says my sewing machine is all good to go.
But they didn't call.  Ok, I was told "...about a week and a half"
and yesterday marked just a week.  Well gosh, a girl can hope!
A girl can also get some of her fall cleaning done with all that
waiting.  I now sew in front of a sparkling clean window. ;o)

I'm sure they will call tomorrow now that I'm all done.
But I'll take that.

How about a peak at the full quilt?
I just threw it out there so this isn't the final layout:

Well I'm off to enjoy this fantabulous fall weather.
Happy quilting!

21 September 2018

A Little Sewing By the Window

I finally got some solid sun time in the pool yesterday!
 Today?  Well, tomorrow may be the first day of fall but it seems
to have hit here already.  Overnight things changed.
Dark clouds, rain, and wind out of the north.
Coffee weather.  Sweater weather.  Sewing weather.
Bring it.

I know I keep saying I'm getting on that long arm but while it's in
the brightest room of the house, that also means it's in the hottest
room in the house--during the summer anyway.

The view is great in there and now with our forecast
I'm sure I'll get in there soon enough.  For now,
I've been having a lot of fun with my little impromptu project--

The fabrics are fun and bright, yet seasonal,
and most importantly, all from my stash.
I have all my 4-squares sewn up and made up a trial star.

As always, it's a great idea to make up that trial one before
the assembly line begins.  This one tells me that I might need
to pin that center seam to match it up a little better.
(Because of thickness, I pressed that one open so nestling together isn't an option)
I don't like pinning--one of the many reasons quilting is so much more
fun than sewing clothes!--but I do like well-matched seams.
I guess I can manage a pin here and there.

I want to mention a quick little read I came across this morning
by the Needled Mom.  Being on the edge of the "empty nest",
this made me really smile and will probably bring some happy tears
to your eyes as it did for me:   "THE Table" by the Needled Mom.

So today it's just some stress-free sewing in front of an open
window, enjoying the coming season the way a quilter should.

Happy quilting!

19 September 2018

September Block

It's a "BOM day".
The September block is done--nine down, three to go.

I really want to give this quilt to a friend who has an October
birthday but, of course, as a Block of the Month quilt, I won't have
the final block till December so that won't do.

I even considered stopping with just nine blocks but I want
it to be big enough for snuggling.  And besides, this girl
is no quitter so no bowing out of BOMs early.
This might just have to be a random surprise.

Speaking of surprises--I just realized that the shop hop is in
mere two weeks.  TWO weeks!?!  I need to get things
hopping in the sewing room so that I am prepared for it.

I kid you not when I say it is an overwhelming day of driving
and shopping so for a successful shop hop, I've found you
really can't be too prepared.  I take along fabrics to match up,
patterns/pattern books of any planned projects and all requirements*
of anything written down (see note below).
So you see, it's pretty serious stuff! ;o)

Happy quilting!  

*One trick I do with WIPs:   I put these in a large clear bag
(usu. 2-gal size Ziploc, unzipped); on the front I write what is still
needed to complete the project and the quantity that is needed, ie:
"Border--1 1/4 yds, Backing--6 yds"
I'm usually able to match fabrics to these without even taking
them out of the bag which avoids any damage especially with
so many UFOs having "open"/unknotted stitching exposed.
I also do this on regular trips to a shop if I need more than just
a couple things because, let's face it, all that fabric
can be pretty distracting!  ;o)

18 September 2018

New Stars With An Old Friend

Even with a trip to NY and a sewing machine off for its tune-up
and repairs, I still managed to finish this week's blocks for the
Seeing Stars QAL....though I am cutting it a little close.

The pic is a little dark but no time for great photos--
the sun was shining, the temps were hot and I had
just a mere 30 minutes to grab out in the pool.
Any one of these days could be my last out there so I'm trying
to squeeze it in whenever I can.  Fall is just around the corner.

Because my machine is in the shop, I enlisted the help of an old
friend to finish the 11 star blocks.
It's been years since I've worked with " Ol' Faithful" but she
still runs like a champ.  No bells and whistles--
just a good solid machine, and a great back-up to have on
hand for just such occasions,  Tomorrow we'll be working
together again when I get caught up on my BOM.
After that I'll move to the long-arm.

Happy quilting!

Update on Sewing Machine

Though it is not absolutely certain,
it does look like a different shop here in town can easily fix
my machine--hopefully within the next 10 days...unless they
have to order a part though that would be unusual for them.
He also mentioned they've never
had to ship one back to the factory for repair.

I'm trying my best to keep my temper annoyance in check,
especially until I get clarification from this shop but it is looking
very likely that I'll not step foot in that other one again.
Of course, I just need to wait and see.
Keeping my fingers crossed it's fixed and back home soon.

Meanwhile, I got the ol' Bernina out and just maybe today
I can get caught up on my QAL stars for the week.

17 September 2018

A Quick Trip to NY

When I said I'd be too busy to sew this past weekend,
I left out the little part about heading out to NY.
Okay, maybe not so little!
What a fast trip, and I'm still recovering but I thought
I'd throw out a few pics.  I have so many and some great
videos but I think I'll keep it to just these for now.

I can't say I've ever wanted to visit the city but it was nice to see
that fantastic and notorious skyline.  Above is the view from the
airport; we didn't actually go downtown but did see other areas
when we drove through on our way to our destination.
Someday we'll have to plan more time and actually get to see
Central Park and the Statue of Liberty.

George Washington

But this time, we headed up north. 
What a contrast to the city!  It is such a beautiful area!
As a child growing up in KS, I never got the chance to take in any
of our country's earliest historical areas so my interest in history
came a little later in life when I started reading more about it.
Now history makes up the majority of my reading.

Last June we enjoyed a great visit to Boston where we took in such
sights as the Freedom Trail, Peacefield (John Adams' home), Cape Cod,
Sam Adams Brewery, a game at Fenway Park, Plymouth Rock and Salem.

This weekend, we took the history lesson south to West Point,
the US Military Academy (USMA).
What a breathtaking view of the Hudson General Washington had!

Links of the actual chain

Though most of the time I'm sure he had other things on his mind,
like putting that chain across the river to keep the Brits out.

And, while this kid loves military history too,
he also had Blackhawks on his mind...

Pre-game.  Nice seats, huh?

...and we all enjoyed some football.

Before the game four parachuters jumped from 4500 feet to land
exactly in the middle of the Army's black knight logo on the field.
The fans were also treated to a flyover of three Blackhawks and
one chinook.  To finish, our Army beat Hawaii and then it was
off to the airport we went finally arriving home just before midnight
on Saturday.  What a whirlwind three days!

Now to get on the phone and deal with that sewing machine repair issue.
Not exactly what I expected to come home to but, life goes on.  LOL.
I do get to work with my long arm today so it's all good.  :o)

Happy quilting!

16 September 2018

Help! Sewing Machine Repair Issue

As you know I took my machine in for a tune-up.
I should mention that, though it has been running fine, the
needle position has been off for over a year.

I just easily adjusted it every time I turned it on.
I have an Elna Excellence 720, 4 years old.  (Posted here)
What I did not expect was for the repairman to call and say he
was unable to fix it.  His suggestion?  That they mail it off
to Janome....and I might get it back in about 30 days.

Let me back up and provide some more info.
The original man who sold me this machine was the
co-owner (with his wife) and repairman of the store.
I would have trusted him with my machine.
Unfortunately, he passed away a little over a year ago.
It took several months but the wife eventually
hired a new repairman who spent another few weeks
undergoing training for specific machines.

A friend of mine took hers in last year and still has not
seen her machine, but because they gave her their floor
model that is exactly what she had, she chose to just give up.
This is actually why I waited another year before I took
mine in; I wanted to make sure he had experience first.

The last thing I want to do is ship my machine off 
but maybe if they give me my exact machine to use?
I do plan on getting on the phone and calling around to see
if there are any other repairmen the stores in some
of the smaller towns around here that could fix this problem.
That would involve a drive, though I don't mind if it's not too far.
There are two other places in our city but I haven't had good
luck with either in the past...though that has been a good 20
years or more.

Any thoughts on this?
Maybe my biggest question is:  Is this normal for the newer
electronic machines?  To ship them off??
I can't imagine doing this, especially now!?
At the time of year I do about 90% of my sewing!?

12 September 2018

Happy Anniversary to....

My Long-Arm!
Maybe it's a silly thing to celebrate but it was just one year
ago that I bought my long-arm.
It's not a "hot rod" and it was just slightly used
but it has been a very perfect fit for me.
It looks so tiny here set up to only 6 feet.

And how funny that I thought I'd actually keep it like that most
of the time,  It didn't take long before it was set up to 12 feet,
And there it has stayed!

I thought it would be a good time to take a quick look back
at how much I've been able to work with it.

I think that's everything in just a year--wow,
sometimes a look back can be pretty encouraging!
I know there will be lots
more to come--gosh, even just over the next few months!
Lots of fun stuff going on in the sewing room this season.

Happy quilting!

11 September 2018

Another New Project and Machine-Separation Panic

My current three projects are progressing and nothing has been
cast aside so here I am starting a fourth.
Three has always been my limit but do BOMs and QALs
actually count?

While the QAL project has been fun for working with my fall fabrics,
I still haven't touched any of my Halloween stash.
And fall is just a week away.

Star Patch Quilt Tutorial-- Missouri Star

Jenny's latest tutorial came across my feed a couple days ago
and the lightbulb went on.

 So out came the stash and I cut my own "jelly roll"--
but with fewer fabrics and a little less "rhyme".
Like most of my quilts these days, it's going to
be a little on the scrappy side.
Plans for this one?
No idea!

Today I sewed up the strips and cut sections for the
four-squares--not too bad for Day One.
But I have no idea when Day Two will be.

I'm not admitting how long it has been since my poor machine
has been in for a tune-up.  I've talked about it for a long time but
really, when is there a good time to be without it?
You understand, I know.
But tomorrow is the chosen day so off it goes,
The turn-around, I was told, is "just 2-3 days."  Dare I hope?
The days ahead will keep me too busy to sew.
I hope to have awesome news but it's still not official so I'll wait,
and just take lots of pics.

Anyhoo, if next Monday finds me still without my sewing machine,
I have a quilt ready for the long arm and that should tide
me over for another couple days.  After that I might actually
have to start some fall cleaning.  There are worse things...
except that I do have 4 projects going and I did give my word
to keep working on them!

This UFO has been on hold for months till a backing came along.
That collection of colors still isn't my fav but it turns out
that cheery little yellow border upped my opinion of it just a bit.  
I just found the backing at a great price and it's all pieced and ready.
My plan is to donate it to a church bazaar this fall or one in February.

Till next time,
happy quilting!

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