Friday, December 18, 2020

Saved by COVID?


There's so much learning going on in this house, my brain is about to explode! I have a quilt that the customer insisted on being done custom. So that's OK, I've done custom quilts before, but not with the long arm computer. Thankfully, the quilt is not large, but it's on-point. That means there are setting triangles, alternating blocks, and corner triangles. The same design (chopped appropriately) is supposed to go in those sections. I don't know how to do this. 

Well, I'm happy to report that the alternating blocks are done! That was so easy! Now onto the setting triangles. The beauty of software is that it does all the hard work for you! But you have to instruct it to do what you want. 

Setting up the block to stitch the design

And here's the design stitching out on the block. 

Stitching the block on point

I learned how to rotate the design every so slightly to fit better for the setting triangles. I learned how to do a quick cut. But since I've gone this far, I want a few additional stitches removed. Now, how the heck do I do that? Well, I'm off to read the ^&**&^ manual this morning! I see the buttons on the screen, but I just can't figure out how to select just those stitches that I want to remove. I'm sure it's something so simple. Ah - learning is such fun. 

But this opens up a whole other world for me. I've been "afraid" of touching the custom side of Quilt Path - my long arm software. While a far cry from an expert, if I can learn the basic commands, I might actually be able to figure this out. I do have a few quilts of my own that need some block quilting like this, and well - it's time to get them done. 

And now it's time to get that T-shirt quilt together. I started by laying out all the T-shirts. Oh boy - lots of them had stuff on the back, so that was a challenge to see what I had. I whipped out my scissors and hacked them apart, so I now had the front and the back. After a bit of switching around, this is what I got. 

The first pass at the T-shirt quilt

I remember the first time I did one of these quilts that I was very timid with the hacking. Now, I just hack away. I saved the extra bits (the blank backs) as they'll make good practice samples for machine embroidery. Some of the fabrics are not your typical knit fabric. 

The design is sketched out, and all the sizes are more or less finalized. 

Oh great - look who just decided to plop herself in the middle of it all. I'm not too worried about pet hair since there's a lot of cat or dog hair on the T-shirts already and not from this house. But she did get shooed away very quickly and was given strict instructions to NOT repeat that naughty behavior!

AH - excuse me - that is NOT your quilt

I grabbed the bolts of black and white fusible interfacing for knits, and I'm off. The first block is done. 

Block one for the T-shirt quilt

I checked out the next block - oh - that one needs a bit of applique (low neckline) to cut the required block size. Most of the T-shirts are straight forward, but one or two will require a bit of applique. No worries. The worst part is over, and it didn't take long - I have a formula! And my trusty scissors love to hack. 

Starting to create the blocks

Thankfully, I got rid of all those tubs yesterday, as this is where the T-shirt quilt is laid out. I confess that I shoved the excess stuff that still needed to be sorted under the long arm, and well - it might just stay there. I made HUGE inroads this past year, so I'm not too worried. 

My goal is to get this quilt done by Wednesday. However, upon communicating with the customer, it turns out that she tested positive for COVID (not overly sick), and her husband is waiting for his results. The recipient of the quilt had to change plans and will be arriving in the New Year. But that does NOT mean that I can slack off because I have more stuff that needs to be done. So onward and upward. But I have a bit of breathing room. 

Yesterday was a crazy day. I didn't take a picture, but the back of my car was loaded with four huge tubs of samples. I doubt I could have squeezed anything else in the back. And the front seat was consumed by TWO sewing machines and an iron. I still had good visibility all around! 

Once I emptied the car, I loaded it back up again. A brand new embroidery machine. Wait for that one - but it's the NEW Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER Sapphire 85. I can't wait to unbox the machine and take it for a whirl!!

I also got a box of supplies for more samples and experimenting. 

Then I was on a road trip. I needed to pick something up from Thimbles and Things in Orillia. I decided to take the "back" route on the east side of the lake. I'd never been that way before, and it was a beautiful day for a drive. While I was there, I picked up orders from others in the area! While the car wasn't packed on the way home, it was full! 

I was very good and only bought two meters of white fabric that I'll use for my second Christmas Fig quilt. Notice how we rarely go to a store and ooh and aah over the neutrals, but it's neutrals mostly that I'm buying these days. I need fabrics for finishing off quilts! 

My boring purchase 

And in the spirit of helping each other, Ronda was in the neighborhood where I had a curbside pick-up waiting for me to pick it up. That hadn't happened yet, so she picked that up for me!! Then she popped by my house on her way home, and we switched bags of fabric!!! 

The fabric panel that I ordered a while back

So it was like a pony express kind of day!! Gosh - I've hardly driven my car since March! And then I had to go downtown Toronto last night. I haven't been in a car so much for a long, long time! I'm going to have to break down and visit a doctor. I have such issues with pain when I drive. I can't pinpoint the exact location, but sciatica? Tailbone? Pulled tendons? Ligaments? I'm not sure what the cause is, but holy - I was happy to get out of the car yesterday! Yep, my butt doesn't like long driving days!

Today is going to be another crazy day. One last planning session for our events for next year, and then it's off to read that darn manual and try to figure out how to finish off that customer quilt. The actual stitching will take mere minutes. Then onto the next customer quilt and that T-shirt quilt. 

While I'm a wee bit behind, I'm feeling 100% in control, and that's all that counts!

Don't forget the Virtual Retreat this weekend. 

Saturday, December 19   - from 6 PM  - 9 PM. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 828 3037 4208 Passcode: 150354

Sunday, December 20 - from 10 AM - 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 835 0153 5963 Passcode: 032336

I want to send out a HUGE shout-out to UPS. My package was delivered yesterday. Even though they say they cannot guarantee on-time delivery, they still will deliver it as close to the scheduled date as possible. One day late? That's pretty impressive with all the horror stories you hear about on the news today. That's the difference between other people and me. I'm a bit of a risk-taker, and I'm very trusting! Yes - the package could have been late, but it wouldn't be too late, and I was willing to take the risk. That cost me $35! A great deal!!!

I just opened the Quilt Path Manual on my computer, and OH MY GOD - I found exactly what I need to do to fix my design. OH - I need to run and try it out!!!  And I guess I really need to sit down and read that manual. Something which I've never done, but yet, I read other manuals. 

On that note, I'm out of here. 

Have a super day!!!!


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