Spring!

Spring arrived in the form of a box on my doorstep Friday afternoon 🙂  It was my Yo-Yo Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties package!!!!  Aren’t they great?  Just too much fun watching the reactions when I tell folks what I did 😉

b-springThe box arrived just in time for too……we had 4 inches of snow Saturday night!!  The snow was completely gone by Sunday afternoon and the daffodils seemed to have survived.

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I got the binding machine sewed on the first Mountain quilt this weekend and have gotten binding-1about a third of it sewed down by hand.   There will be no sewing room activity this coming weekend as I’ll be gone.  That means I’ll miss the First Saturday blocks 🙁 so I’ll have to arrange to get April’s blocks later.

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I finished one of the Dinosaur tops.  As you can see it’s a quickie with hardly any thinking needed but I think it turned out pretty cute.

b-dinos

Mountain Quilting

First let me say that Cranky is not “all better”, I have simply adjusted my quilting process so I could get the first Mountain quilt finished.   I’m still not happy with Cranky 🙁

That said, here is the first Mountain quilt with the quilting all done:

mountain-quilted

mountain-quilting-2

Since I have the binding already together, I hope to get it sewn on this week….then all that’s left is the hand sewing and label, YEA!!!

I was messing around with the free pieced lettering ala Lazy Gal Quilting and am pretty happy with my first attempt 🙂


mo-cherie

Lastly, I have two more Dino quilts in the works and let me tell you, these colors really cheer you up when Cranky gets you down!

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She Has a Name

I’ve been working on coming up with a name for my long arm quilting machine.  The original owner called her T-Rex.  I don’t think my mom had a name for her, other than “the older or other” machine.  I’ve tried out a couple of different names but nothing really inspired me until this weekend.  Her name is Cranky, it fits her perfectly.  I had such high hopes of getting both mountain quilts quilted this weekend.  I even dreamed of getting the binding sewed on by machine.  Cranky had other ideas.

I got the first quilt  loaded, did a trial run at the stitch on the excess at the edges….the stitches looked good so I started in…..then the thread broke.  I know this pattern well, it means I have to time the machine, AGAIN.   Timing really isn’t that complicated now that I know what to do but it is awkward since you have to determine the needle position by looking under the rails.  I was feeling good though because the first timing job did the trick.  I was off and running.  I got to what I hoped would be my last turn of the take up rail when I realized there was  just a little quilt left on the rail.  See that little bit left on the roller on the right.

a-mountain-quilt-2

Almost done, right?  NOT!!  When I started Cranky up, she jammed immediately and the hand wheel would not turn.  There was a thread caught in the hook assembly, in the race I think is what my dad called it.  I gently pulled and tried to coax the thread out and finally just jerked it loose.  It felt like it broke so there was nothing to do but take the whole thing apart.  It just wouldn’t turn no matter what.   How can it be sewing so nicely and then WHAM?  I was holding the threads when I started so that wasn’t it but perhaps there was a loose thread on the underside.  While contemplating the problem, I decided to go use my Featherweight (which also needs a name by the way) that almost never gives me any trouble.  I finished the two first Sat blocks and made some more 9 patches.  The red Kaffe Fassett print did not photograph well.

a-1st-satalt-1st-sat

After some therapeutic piecing, it was time to work on Cranky.  So I now have experience taking the hook assembly completely apart.  I found quite a lot of black, oily lint built up but strangely no thread.   So all the cracks and surfaces were cleaned and the whole thing back put back together again.  It was getting late.  So I decided to wait ’til morning to do a test run and see if Cranky was happy again.

Evidently Cranky wasn’t put back together well, because she just won’t sew properly.  Grrrrrrrr.  I spent an hour & a half early Sunday morning trying to get the timing set but I think it must be more than that because, in addition to breaking the thread, she’s skipping stitches.  She only skips stitches when moving counter clockwise from about 6 o’clock to 11 o’clock and then she starts sewing again.  Grrrrrrrrr.  I know my Dad’s first question is, “is the needle in right” which it is…..scarf in back and clocked so that the eye is centered.

a-mountian-quilting

So there she sits with a temptingly close-to-finished quilting job.  When I feel like talking to Cranky, I will remove the hook assembly, again, check that all the screws are tightened down and then perhaps call my Dad to see what is next on the trouble shooting list.  Grrrrrr.   Now you know why her name is perfect for her 🙁


Mountain Progress Etc.

I had Friday off and spent a some time in my sewing room after getting three packages sealed up and off to the post office.  I spent most of the day Sat & Sun in my sewing room as well so here’s what I accomplished.

Picture of my second hand quilting project:

cherry-wood

I finished the first of six blocks in the first in the series of “Geese in the Forest” by Tiddletails, a BOM.  I’m not liking the freezer paper method referenced so I’m going to try another method to see if I get better results. What’s cool about this BOM is it’s inspired by this quilt that was in the Tokyo International Quilt Festival in Japan and I saw the quilt on a blog and liked it BEFORE this BOM came along 🙂  Trendy, aren’t I?  Let me know what you think of my color choices.

geese-in-the-forest

I cleaned all the Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons, tags and bags off my cutting table.  Basically I took, back my sewing space 🙂  So next up was the backings for the mountain quilts.  Before I could work on the backings for the mountain quilts, I needed to decide on which shirts to use for the bindings and cut all I’d need.  Since the fabric was cut, might as well sew it, right?

scrappy-binding-ironing

Scrappy binding for the smaller of the two quilts…..

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Binding from just one fabric for the larger of the two quilts.  This quilt doesn’t have borders so I thought the binding should all be the same.  binding

Now I could cut big pieces for the backings.  Here’s the first one for the larger quilt with the left over quilt blocks.  Don’t mind the pile of stuff on the back right corner, just t-shirts waiting to be cut into “yarn” for a rug:)  The second back is in 4 seams away from being done as well.  The quilting machine is going to get some more use right quick!

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