Sunday, September 4, 2016

Just say NO!

I was at Tim's yesterday morning getting my tea on the way to the dog park. Guess what I saw?

Pumpkin spice muffin!

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!    I love those muffins, but I refuse to buy them. I used to eat a lot of those muffins. I think I would buy one every day. Then I realized something - there is a LOT of calories in those muffins.

Depending on the muffin, there is between 350 and 370 calories per muffin!  Doesn't take long to pack on the pounds if you eat one a day.  That's what happened to me and how I gained about 8 pounds when I didn't need to. It's all muffin! And I've got muffin tops to show for it!!!

Even this morning, I was so tempted to order a muffin to have with my tea, but I just said NO!  The more I say NO to things like muffins, the easier it becomes to say NO to extra calories. And since I'm a bit incapacitated these days - imagine what would happen if I started to eat those muffins and can't walk?  Well - we won't go there!

Knee is swollen and it hurts even with the pain killers. Can't begin to imagine what it would be like without them. I wonder how medicinal marijuana works? Does it actually make the pain go away or you are high and don't care?  Hmmm - how do I get me some of that magic stuff?  I'll survive and will not stop living because of a bit of pain, but I can sure appreciate the mobility issues that people have. It's not the flexibility of the knee that hurts, it's putting weight on it. I got out of bed this morning and just stood there - willing myself to take a step. My bladder said MOVE and my brain said NO WAY - this is going to hurt!!!   I wonder if a cane would help with that????   Once I get moving, I'm sort of OK - it's just the going from sitting to standing that's a bit of a challenge at the moment.

Oh well - on with what happened yesterday.  I spent the entire day chained to TWO sewing machines and I was happy as a clam. I was exhausted when I shut them both down after dinner. You can't see what I did on the one machine until it gets posted on QUILTsocial, but I can show you what I did on the other one.

Yep - I started another embroidery block. Thought I would show you some of the tools that are necessary to make this happen.  I have these knife edge applique scissors that I bought years ago.  They are made of stainless steel (they sound so nice when you close them - not the same sound you get with plastic scissors!)

Applique scissors to trim 
 Because of the flat edge, you can trim things nice and close.  Notice that you don't take this out of the hoop to trim - you are trimming in the hoop!

Trimming the batting
 And then the sky goes on.

Sky is stitched in place and trimmed

I mentioned these pre-wound bobbins the other day. While I like them, my embroidery machine does NOT sense when they are empty and will continue stitching away. If I'm around, I can hear the difference when the bobbin goes empty, so I need to keep an eye on that.  The bobbin ran out the other day when I wasn't around and it did a LOT of stitching with no thread! But so cool - when the thread is gone, the spool is flat!

Full bobbin, empty bobbin

I'm not sure if this is how the jump stitches are digitized in the design or whether that is how my embroidery machine deals with them. I do know from messing with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC and the Husqvarna Viking Ruby Royale that the jump stitches are taken care of by the machine. However,this is something that I will have to check with my sources - this may be just a result of the way the file was digitized.

Jump stitches that need to be trimmed
 And there is a cool pair of scissors for trimming them
Curved scissors to trim jump stitches and other thread ends
 Remember - you are trimming those threads in the hoop and sometimes under the foot of the embroidery machine.  The curve really comes in handy!

Curved, angled embroidery scissors
 I've hardly ever used these, but now they are being put to the test!!!

There are a "few" thread changes. I'm not working with the brand of thread that is listed in the booklet. No worries - I just select a color that I feel is appropriate and I've changed a few. Well, there area few yellows in the blocks. I choose one yellow for something, then felt the next yellow I needed should be a bit lighter and then for another part, I felt the shade needed to be different yet again, so I picked another yellow from my embroidery threads.

Well, imagine my surprise when I was rifling through the threads in my tin and noticed this!

Same NUMBER!!!
 Yep - I had selected the SAME yellow for all three spots. Imagine that I had three different spools of the same yellow. How does that happen????

As was suggested to me, I'm keeping all those threads I'm working with in a separate space for the duration of this project.

Threads in use for this project 

I'm sure there will be more. It seems that I need to pick at least one different color per block, although I think I've got most of the colors I need now.

And I'm getting good at the applique. I no longer cut a piece of fabric (except for the sky and the ground - those are standard sizes). Nope - I just place the entire piece of fabric, stitch it in place and then trim it!  Way easier that way!

Placing the applique fabric

And so what exactly did I get done yesterday????

The witch block

The scarecrow block
The vampire block

I know - I couldn't help myself. I was having so much fun even though I had other stuff to do, but I was on the other sewing machine so it wasn't like I wasn't getting anything done!!!!   I now have FIVE of 25 blocks completed!  And one of those blocks had almost 50,000 stitches in it!!!  Thankfully, the other two were in the 36,000 range.

Five blocks DONE!!!!

I think I mentioned this yesterday, but there are a few issues with the steps in the booklet and the digitized images. They don't match!!!!  While I can figure most of them out, the one I didn't like was the thread change that happened with NO STOP in between.  Luckily I was sitting at the machine at the time that happened. Otherwise,  my scarecrow would have had a green outline around his face!!!!!   I'll be writing a little bit of feedback to the company because of the five blocks I've done, there has been an issue with FOUR of them. I'll be polite - don't worry.

However, in trying to figure out some of the issues, I did learn something.  You see the design layout below - it has a whole bunch of weird colors on it???  And you see the bars of colors on the right hand side - each of which has a number???  Well - those numbers correspond to the numbered steps in the booklet and the colors correspond to what is on the screen. DUH!!!!!   OK - so it took five blocks for me to figure that one out.  It helps a bit, but the fact that that thread change wasn't indicated anywhere and was in ONE STEP - that's a problem.

The colors and steps are coded to match!

Well, that's it for the day!  Today is a new day and there's a bunch more exciting stuff waiting for me!!!

Have a great day!


OH - I think Lexi has something to tell you today! She's such a nut.


  1. Your blocks are beautiful. But, this machine embroidery is too complicated for me. I will stick to my slow stitching hand embroidery and let the professionals handle those complicated machines. Lol.

    1. Ariane - I hear you! While people would say, oh that's easy, it take a bit of knowledge to make it happen and it's darn time consuming and you're changed to the machine! Hand embrodiery is much more relaxing!

  2. I take off the paper washers, the bobbin is so tightly wound that it doesn't need them, that way the machine will tell me if I am out of bobbin thread.

    1. Gail - thanks for that tip!!! Now I just have to remember to take the paper off. Sometimes I have a hard time trying to find the thread end so maybe that will help as well. Elaine