Friday, May 4, 2018

Some tweaking required.....

I've so much to tell you, but I don't want the blog posts to be any longer than they already are. Make sure you come back as there is loads of stuff happening at my house and in the quilting industry. I can't keep up!

Our local quilt stores tend to be owned by a person or two, however, there are a few owners who have purchased a second shop. We have that scenario in the Greater Toronto area. I know of two different owners and they have purchased a second shop. Who knows - maybe quilt stores will become franchises?

For those of you familiar with Keepsake Quilting, it has changed hands yet again. So if you weren't getting that catalog anymore or went to the shop and it was closed, check out this article (link above). I've met the fellow who bought Keepsake and well - he will do stuff with that shop as well as his own business. The next Missouri Star???   For old times sake, I ordered a physical copy of the catalog even though you can browse the catalog online.

And if any of you want to be part of the Border Quilt Wall project, check out this link for more details. The bricks (blocks) are to be a certain size and are to showcase people's thoughts on the wall between the US and Mexico. There is an entry fee, and I believe all bricks (blocks) will be accepted. It's NOT a juried project.  Something to check out.

Speaking of the Border Quilt Wall project, did you know that many quilts over the years were created for various political reasons? I'm sure there is a book about them.

Oh yes - a quick search on the internet revealed quite a few. Here's the link to several of them. I must find one or two to add to my collection.

Quilts and Human Rights

Threads of Resistance: a juried exhibition of fiber art created to protest the Trump administration’s actions and policies

Speaking of books (see how one thing leads to another?), I was in my library account yesterday and realized that I have created lists. Lists? Oh gosh yes! I had created lists of books that I would like to read. One list was empty, one list had 8 titles in it and one list - well it was LONG! I'll never be able to read them all and some of them I deleted. A couple of how to detox.  I know how to do that, I'll use the program at the gym. Beat the sugar addiction. Been there - done that, no need to read the book. A few titles were no longer in the library catalog so those were also deleted. Let's just say that I'll never run out of books to read. Almost finished reading the Frasier book which is good because I think there are two, no make that three books waiting to be picked up today!

OK - NOW we can get onto the main program here. After getting more paperwork done, it was time to hit the long arm again. I'm happy to report that I did NOT have to refer to notes or the videos and I managed to create a new pattern and stitch it out! Let's see what happened. 

Community projects quilt - DONE
Another of my 17 community projects quilts is done!!! Two down - 15 to go.  I'm going to bind them at some point (bindings were NOT made for most of them) and they will be donated to my local guild so they can be donated to people who need quilts. 

The clamshell pattern on the quilt
I was messing around with the software and decided to try a clamshell. So while it's a clamshell, I really should have made the clamshell a wee bit shorter. Oh well - live and learn. The spacing is OK for the batting used and it went fairly quickly!

But even more important, I was able to set the safe zone - no problem. Remember to use that darn ruler on the tablet. Worked like a charm and don't forget to follow the steps. Don't forget to mark the pattern (top left), advance the quilt and SET the mark for the top left of the stitching box. I know that means nothing to you, but that is so very critical in the process and I remembered all by myself. Of course, I would after making that silly mistake the previous day!!!

I was happy with the placement of the stitching. Right to the edge at the bottom of the quilt. 

Pattern stitched to the bottom of the quilt
And it stitched right up to the top of the quilt as well. 

Pattern stitched to the top of the quilt as well
So that was very exciting news. 

Quilt being quilted - not by me!
I even threw in a bobbin running out and you can't see where that happened. I couldn't even find it to take a picture. But I think it's somewhere in this picture below. 

Bobbin change somewhere in there

I remember someone saying that once I got used to the computer, I would wonder why I didn't upgrade sooner? Well, it's only been two quilts and I'm loving it!!  Now I'm onto the next quilts. One of them got loaded this morning. 

Next quilt - loaded
This is one of the quilts that our group made (well Susan made it) at our retreat. And this is what I'll be working on for the next couple of days. 

Next batch of quilts to quilt

Yes - that says TEN quilts - all for #Humboldtstrong. Two were made at our retreat, two were made from blocks from the West End Modern Quilt Guild and (assembled by Marilyn and Lois), and six were made by Marilyn and Lois for family members that were affected by the bus crash as a family member was on the bus (he survived). It's a very emotional thing for everyone and at our guild meeting last night, there were more tops (I HATE sending tops!) that will be sent. I know I shouldn't, but I might ask how many tops. Drives me crazy that we can't get those tops quilted - the same thing as for the Great Canadian Sewing Bee (Ronald McDonald house project). If you only half finish the project, you leave it for someone else to do and that's really not fair! Even though they say, send blocks and tops. I need to learn to back off. 

So while the long arm was quilting for me, what was I doing? Something that I shouldn't have been. I was going through one of my scrap boxes - the multi-colored box and cutting squares.
Multi-colored scrap box
 Notice how I was able to tip that box upside down and the fabric came out in a brick!

I'm cutting 1 ½" squares. Don't ask - it's my next ender/leader project which I'm sure I've posted online at some point. You'll have to wait for it. I'm totally insane. I know that.

1 ½" squares for next ender/leader project

 I was online yesterday looking for a new panto to put on the hockey quilts. I found a great website and bought (and downloaded) a nice hockey themed panto. The trick today will be to load that into the tablet. Shouldn't be that big of a deal, but you never know. I also managed to slip two more pantos into my cart. Both of them with a very specific theme - I couldn't help myself and if you know me well, you'll know what they are. I'm sick - I have a disease! I know that and I'm OK with it. This is sad, but I'm sure there will be a few more pantographs that I buy because of the theme and then I'll have to make a quilt to match. There was everything under the sun on that page - sports, animals, flowers, you name it - it was there!!!  OK - who has specially themed quilts for me to quilt?

I'm hoping that the hockey pattern will slow the machine down a wee bit and give me some time to do some tidying up in that studio. It is a wee bit of a mess.

The cutting table

The messy corner
 Actually, the messy corner isn't quite as messy as it has been.

The sewing machine tables

The work tables

The next sit and sew days are at the end of the month so I now have three weeks to get that place in order. It's a hassle to keep moving stuff so if I can get everything cleaned up and put away, that would be awesome. Wish me luck - it's going to take a lot of luck to get that mess cleaned up (once again!)

In addition to putting the thread break sensor on the long arm (not done yet), I discovered something else yesterday. There were several loose pages at the front of the installation manual which I ignored. But when I was looking for the code to register the software, I scanned the pages. OH - that makes a whole lot of sense. You see I was thinking that the USB connection for the tablet was in a very weird position - too close to the bracket that holds it in place.

USB port too close to the bracket

When I read the new instructions, I realized that the tablet had been installed upside down. That made sense because when I first turned it on, the screen was upside down. Hmm - I knew how to unlock it and turned it "right side up". And then locked it again. Now I have to switch the bracket on the back so the tablet can actually fit the opposite way that I have it. Then the USB port will not be close to the bracket.

How it should be installed

So that should be an easy fix. Just a screwdriver and two screws. How funny!!!   Another problem solved by me!!!

Wish me luck as I attempt to get as many quilts done today as I can. I have a busy weekend - why do I always have a busy weekend? Well, this is the only one this month so I guess I can live with that.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow as there will be more craziness which is just the norm at my house. Oh yes - I pulled the embroidery unit for my embroidery machine this morning in hopes of getting the sashings for the Halloween quilt done. I figure I can flit between the long arm and the embroidery machine AND tidy up - all in one day. God, I'm a dreamer!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!


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