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Archive for the ‘long-arm machine’ Category

Feb 2017
This IS the BEST way to spend a February weekend!!  Dear, dear friend from Texas flew to visit ME!  I realized that in all these years, I’ve only had family visit, never a girlfriend.  This was the best weekend of quilting, sharing, encouraging, eating…. EVER!!

 

She is a hand-piecer but wanted to try my long-arm!  I let her!  LOL!!  My thinking was that I’d start it, she’d do a bit, and ask me to finish.  She loved it and did her whole quilt – a throw size.

This is in the evening after she had just arrived that day!  I’d be way too tired to think.  She did an amazing job!


Put any 2 ‘retired’ homeschool moms together and what do they do…?  We took a historical field trip!  This is an old stone bridge on some property we rent where a famous future President crossed following some local debates.  It is cool to see, the weather was so mild we were sliding in mud!, and it was a good time to be out and hike.  Thankfully, we took a driver and slightly OK photographer.


We were dressed for February, not for fashion photos!  It didn’t matter, we were together!


The middle of our mild winter, she saw a few bits of snow fall and the pond behind us had ice on it.

She got so comfortable with the machine she added her name to one of the near-solid blocks.  She also added a bit of glow-in-the-dark thread for fun on this quilt!  We were so excited when it really glowed!  (by Superior)

I added the binding by machine and she had her quilt ready to take home with her!  She left 3 other quilt tops for me to quilt and bind for her.   She hand sews the bindings.  All had wonderful labels that she lettered while she was here.

She also got a junior version of English Paper Piecing class.  I’m no pro but it was fun to play with fabric together.  She also organized and culled my batik fabric bin.  Clearly she didn’t cull enough as the lid still doesn’t fit on!

Monday night we threw in a trip to one of my quilt guild meetings.  In February, we don’t usually have programs scheduled but she loved it enough she promises to go to a local guild near her!  #cough

At the airport and sadly it is time to say good-bye.  We had realized we’d never run out of things to talk about.  I needed to get a jump on the traffic.  And really just.in.time!  It backed up a ton behind me and in the other direction as I headed out of the city.  Sad to send her back home.  Thankful over the top that she came to visit!

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September ~
I think that is what she said afterwards!  My mom got her 2 weeks of vacation with us!  (Well, this time with us… she gets a lot of vacations and loves it!)  You’ll see I had her working and busy and out & about a lot.  I’m sure she needed to rest after vacation!

Some highlights —
Day 2 – after church — and I love that she is great with selfies even tho she doesn’t have a phone to take photos
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She got to see her youngest (and tallest) grandson for a 1/2 day before he headed back for his last semester. He was drummer at church that morning.  I think it was 11 yrs ago she saw him drumming last!   😀
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She hung out in the studio with me.  One day, while I quilted, she ironed 3 yards of fabric “we” had dyed the day before.

~Often when I said “we” did this or that, she said it was more like “Betsy & I killed the bear.  Betsy sat on the fence and I killed the bear.”    Have you heard that phrase?

(a quick google gave me this:
“Betsy and I Killed the Bear” is an expression whose meaning has been lost. Like many of the things I work with, it is an evocative archaeological find whose significance is not immediately discernible. Its meaning – as nearly as I am able to reconstruct it – has to do with taking credit for something one has not done. But this meaning has become so obscure that it remains more or less a private one to the individuals in the photographs, in particular to my Aunt Dorothy, who mentioned it to me in conversation a few years ago; now 91…. (which fits the age range for “Betsy” in this case).  )

 

Another day, she had her knitting and I was quilting and with my barely long enough arm, I was able to get both of us and our projects in a selfie!  (not to be confused with my long arm machine for quilting! pardon the pun…)
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My Instant Pot was still new and she got to be a tester for some new recipes.  How about hot fudge brownie with chocolate raspberry swirl ice cream for a bedtime snack?  Yum!!
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Lunch outside on a busy day (for me) when we couldn’t take time to eat at the table AND catch some rays at separate times!
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Another day we had a quick run to the drugstore and she was given a $5 cash back coupon.  She said she didn’t use them.  Gasp!!  I asked if she’d like a snack for the trip home but she declined.  I said  I would use it and headed for the chocolate aisle.  I showed her one of my favorite treats, Dove Dark Chocolate covered cranberries, and asked if she’d like this.

Immediately, since she was also scanning this aisle that she’s probably never been in, she said, “What about trail mix?”  I asked what she likes in her trail mix and before she answered she asked about this can of snack mix.  Oh yummy!!   Great!  She chose her own use of the coupon that was hers to use anyway.  It was $4.99, we checked out and with the .01 something tax, I gave the coupon and we were free & clear!
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I put this in the bag she already was given and as we walked out, she agreed that was fun!  I didn’t even get my seat-belt on in the car and she was opening her can of snack/ala candy!  After almost 2 weeks, I still forgot to make sure she had her ‘2nd breakfast’ and she was hungry!  However, hungry with you & me is different than hungry and my mom.  She had 2 bits and was done!  I don’t have such willpower once chocolate starts in!  It was packed in her car bag for the trip home.

A few more parts to her visit to come….

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Once I had my detail guidelines marked and the ideas mostly in my head and a bit on paper, I was able to load and quilt.  I only got the detail quilting done and then the customer work was flowing in fast so I took it off my frame.  A hard choice to make but I knew I had enough quilting done, plus added a few pins for basting, that I could put it aside.

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I used a turquoise and purple variegated thread; Superior Rainbows 802 Brasilia Blue.

This was on & off my quilt hanging rack 20 or more times while other quilts were photographed!

Some of the detail quilting —

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So then it waited from early March until August.

I took a week to quilt a baby quilt and finish this mystery quilt.  The Olympics were on TV so I had that as my background noise a lot while I did the small fill-in quilting.  This took a bit over 10 hours of quilting time.  I quilted  during the day a few hours at a time and 2 nights until 10 p.m. or after to finally get it done.

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I knew my current bobbin was nearing the end as I was nearing the end of my quilting and prayed I’d make it without having to wind one more bobbin.  I made it with this much left!  Yeah!  10:20 p.m.  #yawn

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I had it just draped on a chair until a weekend when I could trim it and sew on the binding.  I walked into my studio one day and it was like this and I just had to have  a photo.  I was so glad to finally have the quilting done on one of my own quilts.

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I added the soloist turquoise for binding and once that was on, it had really completed it!

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I really like this and I’m not sure I want to give it away now!
Pattern is available at Colourful StitchesSymmetry Square  it is an e-pattern.  I suggest it!!  No special tools needed.

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Wholecloth, my hand-dyed fabric, my design, freehand quilting, … is there more to say?

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For a sweet great-nephew who has been waiting awhile for his quilt.

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100% cotton top, 100% Hobbs cotton batting, 100% cotton flannel on the back.  So warm & cuddly as I hand-sewed the binding down in the evenings.

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And he seems to like it!  🙂

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I finally got a chance to get back to quilting on my test pieces, aka doll quilts.

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They aren’t perfect or what I would do for something “real” (not tests) but this is for testing and learning and both are going on.

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This is a little bit of play and creativity as well as making test quilts.  I had the thought of small doll-sized quilts to test battings.  One has Hobbs 80/20 plus a layer of wool batting and the other is just the wool batting.  I’m also going to try out some new rulers I have.  I’m using a piece of my hand-dyed fabric for the top… as mostly it is just admired and needs to be used.

Saturday I did some drawings and worked through some ideas.

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Sunday I loaded everything and did a bit of quilting.

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…. to be continued

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I have some great-nephews that aren’t such babies anymore still waiting on baby quilts from G-Auntie J.  One is done and delivered!

 

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Accuquilt 12″ die pattern called Windmill.  Speed cutting and easy piecing.

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This border fabric begged for mitered corners!
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Then I played with the quilting.  A variegated yellow-ish thread was fun!

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with his quilt

The little man on his quilt!

 

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