Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sewing Zen Workshop

Had wonderful time at the Sewing Zen workshop, put on by Jane Garrison of YLI and her sister-in-law, who is a Bernina educator.  If they are ever in your area, definitely take this workshop - and consider having your guild invite them!

We spent most of the morning learning about our machine and its inner workings and how to choose the correct needle for the thread of choice.  I have wondered for years what that felt disc that came with my machine was for, and now I know!  Also, do you know when to use the vertical versus the horizontal thread spindle?  Its the little things which make a big difference in your quilting.

We spent the remainder of the workshop (6 hour workshop) playing with the threads, choosing the correct needle for the thread, using different weight threads in the bobbin versus on top and just having fun.  I never knew you could use that delicate silk thread in machine quilting or that the metallic thread could be used without it breaking constantly!  Here are the practice "quilts" I worked on. My machine quilting has a way to go, but I did master getting the tension balanced with different weight threads and that was a major accomplishment for me.

The renovation continues.  We have the ramp on the front done now, and onward they move to the old porch, adding new railing, poles and covering everything in pretty white vinyl.  There will also be dark green shutters added as well as a paint on the door.

See that antenna on the roof?  We have had cable for at least 20 years now!  That antenna will be coming down as the new roof goes up, which should start today if the weather plays nice.  We are under tornado watch as I type this, so not looking too good.  Maybe this afternoon.

Hope you all have a good day and thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to you all.  I hope you have had as enjoyable a weekend as I have.

Between two family gatherings, an egg hunt, wonderful church service and and sittng under the shade tree there has not been much sewing going on here.

I did get ready for a workshop tomorrow with Jane Garrison, of YLI.  This workshop is called Sewing Zen and its all about how to use different threads and needles in machine work.  Hopefully after the workshop, I will no longer be afraid to adjust my tension!

 Construction continues on the house.  Here is the porch after Day 2.
And this is after Day 3.

These were both short days, as there were rain delays in the morning, and special Easter activities in the late afternoon. 

But its coming along very nicely!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, April 22, 2011

Timber !

Don't you just love an Oak Tree? One that gives lots of shade and is so nice to sit under during those hot summer days.  This tree, as you can see, dwarfs our house and if you look real close you can see the branches are touching our roof.  I just love this tree - but unfortunately its time has come to go. 

With the  recent hail storm and high winds, we found that we have roof damage and will have to replace the roof.  The limbs, while not the main cause (that would be the hail), are contributing to the decline in the roof.  Also - during those high winds, we had a fear that one of those limbs, or maybe even the tree was going to crash through our roof.

So it had to go.  I was at work the day, but my daughter captured the event in pictures. Here is the big hole it left in our landscape once gone. I was thrilled that they were able to save the dogwood!

And see the peek at our renovation?

We are adding on to the porch.  We had already hired a builder to do this work for us, before the hail storm.  So he has just added the roof to his work plan.

A before picture of our house.  The ramp was a hurry up job we did so that we could get my Dad in and out of the house when he had his stroke and was confined to a wheel chair. 

The paint continued to mildew, no matter what kind we used, and it was just a horrible eyesore.  Now that I was not sorry to see go.

And here we are, at the end of Day 1 - old ramp gone - new porch started.

We have a good many plans in this renovation project, including covering all the wood trim and siding on the back of the house with vinyl - no more painting.  Can you tell we are getting ready for retirement?

Stay tuned....more pictures tomorrow.

There is a wonderful exhibit in Rock Hill now called Quilts Tell Stories.  If you are in the area before the end of the month, you should really check it out. 

This quilt just blew me away.  Its hard to see in this picture, but it is a YoYO quilt.   I show this view in hopes that you will get an idea of how big the quilt is. 

The YoYo's are only the size of a dime!  There are over 18,000 yoyos. Can you believe that!  And here is a picture of the lovely quilter.  Click on the picture and you should be able to read the story of the quilt.

I will close with one more picture - this one of one of my quilts that is on display.  Its queen size and I call ir Christmas Beauty.  I designed it in EQ, paperpieced the blocks and machine quilted it on my home sewing machine. 


Saturday, April 9, 2011

All Hail broke loose tonight!

Unbelievable!!!   I have never seen hail this big before.  I stood on my porch and "listened" to it come.  The sky was so weird, and then it started getting colder and then I heard the racket coming through the woods. 

My husband scooped these up from out front yard after the storm passed.  absolutely incredible.

A couple of hours later, another storm came through, much smaller hail this time, but the winds and rain were something else.   The roof in my sewing room started leaking, never has before, so I am afraid we may have some roof damage.

I want to send out a thank you to Janet at A Hug Delights.  I won a one year subscription to Quick Quilts, offered as a give away on her blog.  I just love reading Janet's blogs about farm life in South Dakota. So different from the life style I lead, but we share a common interest in quilting.  Drop on over to her blog and see all the snow!

My quilt club, Stitchin Friends met today.  We were small in number today, but big in fellowship and good times.  We worked on our double wedding ring table runner and I promised to show how the rows go together on my blog, as we did not get quite that far in today's class.

Half my design wall is yellow, the other half white - so that is why it looks so odd.

The table runner has three rows - as I have labeled them in the picture. I think there are probably several ways you can put this together, but this is the way I am doing it.

How about this Darlene R - you do have to make some of the complete circles - see you did it right after all.

Row 1 is composed of two blocks. 

The first block just has two melons sewn to the center piece,  to the left and top sides. 

The second block has all four melons sewn on.

Make sure you check the order of the melons as you sew them on to make sure you have alternating colors in the four patches where you join the melons.

Row 2 is made up of three blocks.

The first block has all four melon pieces sewn on.  Now this can be tricky - just make sure you have four patch blocks in the correct order, or you are going to be ripping it.

The sescond block just has two melons pieces, sewn on the right and bottom.

The third block just as two melons pieces sewn on  the top and right sides.

Finally the third row has two blocks.

The first block has just has two melon pieces, one on the left and one on the bottom.

The second block all four melon pieces sewn on.

Maybe tomorrow I will have all three rows sewn together and hopefully it will all fit.

Happy Stitchin,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Now how did that get there??????

Have you ever gotten something caught in your quilt sandwich and discovered an unusual bump once the quilting was done? 

Think about just leaving it there as a kind of curiousity for the future? 

Hmmmmmm....well I did...see that kind of odd shaped bump there? 

It's hard, too!
After about 15 minutes of picking (but not grinning - remember HeeHaw?)  I started to get a peek at what my "treasure" was.         Going to have to actually remove some of the quilting though to get it out - now that is a real shame. I worked hard getting those quilting stitches in there.

Now how the heck did that get in there!   I think  have a screw loose somewhere :(

I finished quilting this top on my John Flynn frame.  Several of you have mention that you are waiting to hear how I liked it.  The jury is still out on that one. It definitely has its limitations, the operator being the main one.  I need to practice more before I can decide if I like it or not.    

I found it cumbersome to keep the rollers from rolling off the table, and the quilting area to be very restrictive. Basically you can quilt around a 6 inch wide strip across the width of your quilt before you have to roll the quilt back up and reveal another 6 inch wide strip to use.  As you get towards the end of your quilt, the quilted quilt roll is all on the roller that is behind your needle and your quilting area becomes a little smaller.
On  a more positive note, I found it kept the quilt very nice and tight without any pleats or wrinkles under the quilt. Once I unrolled the batting from the roller and let it hang free [don't we all like to hang free :) ] the process went a lot easier as I could see more of the quilting space and move the machine easier.  I am thinking this will be a great tool for basting a quilt for hand quilting!  I'll let you know how t goes the next time I try it out.

Saturday, we traveled to Charleston, SC to see Ellen (daughter) and Aaron (son) run in the Cooper River Bridge 10k run.   There were 40,000 runners and it was amazing to see them all coming across the finish line.  We missed my son coming across - it was really hard to spot them in the crowd - there were 700 people per minute according to the announcer coming by.  Ellen is in the center of the picture waving.  Notice the fence with the banners?  I think the fence was a great idea with that many people coming across, you gotta keep them moving or a bottleneck forms real fast, but did they have to cover the fence with the banners - couldn't they have hung them a little lower so we could actually see our loved ones cross the finish line???  We managed to find a high spot to watch, but that is why the picture is so far a way. No time to zoom in as they were moving right along.

Thanks for stopping by,