Thursday, December 28, 2017

Quilting up a storm!

So while I'm not addicted to the computer and my technology tools, there are times when I feel like I'm addicted to my sewing machine! Obsessed with sewing? I suppose although I do squeeze in time for reading and other things.

It wasn't a super productive day yesterday for a number of reasons. Lexi mentioned one of them on her blog this morning. We have company now for the next couple of weeks but that's OK. The company is pretty self-sufficient, although there are a few things around here that I want her to sort through so I'll be cracking the whip on that one! Otherwise, what doesn't get looked at will get tossed. I'm on a tear to rid this house of all clutter.

I'm not sure what's happening with the quilting. I'm not the most dedicated person to the long arm, but this past week, I'm on fire. Stuff that has been sitting there for a while and I want to get it cleaned up. Like I said, getting laid off at this time of year has been a godsend! I want to finish the customer quilts, then I've two bunches of charity quilts that need to be done and then guess what - all that will be left are MINE! I'm going to be back doing customer quilts but I won't have openings until February or March as my long arm is going in for an overhaul in January and I might need some time to get it back together when it comes back.

BUT - there are a couple of issues that have come up with the last couple of quilts and I'm sharing them with you so that you can be aware and NOT make these mistakes when you take a quilt to your long arm quilter.

Here is the second to last of the Ronald McDonald quilts!

Community project quilt - DONE
 Here's the last one!
Community project quilt - DONE
 Just one wee problem with this one. There are THREE blocks with 3-D flying geese. While they are nice, how the heck do you quilt them? And on a long arm?

I ended up marking all the spots on my pattern where there was going to be an issue. Then I operated the long arm with ONE HAND (I could use a wee bit more practice on that) and used the other hand to smooth out the 3-D bits so they didn't flip! Yes - I had to lean over the machine in order to do that. Not ideal and if it were a customer quilt - well, I just wouldn't do it!

Quilting over the 3-D bits
 If you're planning on having your quilt long arm quilted, I would highly suggest that you do NOT include any 3-D elements. NONE, not even that cute flange in the border. NO 3-D bits for the long arm quilts. However, if you're using a machine that has a computer on it, this would be an opportunity to let the machine do the work and you could be on the other side of the machine smoothing out those 3-D bits. Still - wouldn't be something I'd recommend. Also, if you're going to donate blocks for whatever reason especially to a charity, the chances of those quilts being long arm quilted is high. DO NOT make blocks with 3-D elements in them.

I also pieced a small quilt destined for a magazine and it got quilted. It's super cute and I'm very happy with the concept of it. It's going into a trade magazine, but hopefully, I'll find a way to share it with you or you can see it through your local shop, as they'll be able to share the pattern/quilts with you.

The second of those four small quilts for the trade magazine is also pieced and I hope to get the third one pieced today and get both of those tops quilted today!  That will leave one small one to do and then three larger ones for the retail magazines.

I've had a box of quilt tops and batting for one customer for a while and it's time to get those quilts done! I loaded the first one yesterday morning. That was a wee bit of a challenge as the back wasn't the straightest and there wasn't very much extra backing that I could trim it straight. But after some messing around and having to join the batting, I got it loaded.

Customer quilt - DONE

See what I mean?  There was ZERO extra on that backing! 

Zero extra backing
 Nice fabric choice though - a bicycle collection that I've never seen.

Bike fabric collection
 All these quilts belong to one customer. Time to get them all done!

Quilts for one customer
 Well, all those belong to the customer except the bottom one which is for my Mom.  The next top (which had loads of backing) is loaded on the long arm and ready to be quilted today!

I've been piecing lots of batting and I was running short of interfacing that I use to join the pieces. And I needed some cording to finish off one of my UFOs for this year. I had been to the local Fabricland the day before, but it's moving to a new location and has now closed until they open in the new location. I hopped in the car and went to the next closest one. I went shopping like I had blinders on. I didn't look at any thread, no trims, no fabric - I just got the two things that I went for. I searched my wallet for my loyalty card and it wasn't there?  I did look briefly at the pattern books and saw one cute thing. But since I didn't have my card, I wasn't paying full price. Oh shoot when I got to the cash, I saw that patterns were $5.00.  I told myself NO and I paid and left. Less than $10!!  On the way home, I thought about where that card could be. Arrived home and found it right away!

Pointy things that need to be turned upside down
I need some advice - I'm using this sewing machine caddy thing to try and keep my tools organized. I only use three things - my snips, my seam ripper and my quilter's awl. All three are pointy, making them hard to insert with the point down so all the points are pointing up! I know one of the Monday ladies used some kind of a long plastic container that she inserted in those pockets. Any ideas on what to use for that container?

I'm still not liking this new keyboard. It's still very sticky and I just had to give it a good whack as the caps lock wasn't working properly. Here's a very bizarre situation and this is why we have young people around. I miss having my young person around! I hadn't cracked open that iPad Pro so of course, M was all eyes when we talked about it. She said she would get it set up. That's perfect. But that meant that I had to remember my Apple ID.  No clue and no idea what the password was either. Tried various e-mail addresses and got the Apple ID, but no clue on the password. Tried to set up a new account and that wasn't going to happen as well as my other e-mail was associated with the old account. After a call to Apple Support, I have to wait TWENTY FOUR hours for them to send me an e-mail with the information on how to recover my password and to reset the old account to reflect the new e-mail address. TWENTY FOUR hours?  Seriously????   That's just crazy!  Oh well - the kid is here to fix it up for me. Thanks M!

On that note, I'm out of here. I've a lot that I want to get accomplished before the end of the year - I refuse to tally my UFO projects until New Year's Day! There's still hope that a couple more will get done!

Have a great day!!!


Don't forget that there is another QUILTsocial post today.   This one has some great tips on pressing seams.


  1. Try stuffing some batting in the bottom of the pockets of your sewing caddy.