Tuesday, July 29, 2008

coming back to life

My, my, I have been overwhelmed with too many jobs, concerns, opportunities, responsibilities, personal issues, heat, quilt shows and events, etc. Gonna try and start again, on SLOW! LOL

After hearing horror stories of quilts stored in black plastic bags and then mistakenly thrown in the trash, I have been purchasing these see-thru bags. I am posting this photo because some of you may not know they exist. They are found in the regular grocery story, in the plastic bags section. They come in 3 sizes - this is the middle size and plenty large enough for 2-3 quilts. Larger is just tooooo large. I think the package of 4 bags is about $6.00. They are extremely durable, and have a handle, and square bottom.
Thanks to all who wondered if I am still alive, and to those who honored me with one compliment, or award, or special notice. There is no way I could choose among all you quilters who have inspired ME, along the way, so if you are reading this, consider yourself one of those clever people who have given ME courage and inspiration!

I've just returned from State Quilt Convention (4 days), and am slowly recovering from all the fun, inspiration, heat, walking, exhaustion, and friendship. As I plopped in DH's Lazy Boy when returning home, I put up my tired legs, and looked at my swollen feet and ankles and wondered who they belonged to -- they were totally unrecognizable!

And I am ashamed to say, I did not take ANY photos! Frankly, I was too busy! Next post I will talk about the wonderful classes I had.

I was honored by being named State Quilt Guild District III Representative. That 2-year commitment starts in January. Thanks to those who have confidence in my abilities.

Next week, I agreed to be a quilt judge at the County Fair. However, after I agreed to judge ONLY THE QUILTS, someone said I would also be judging needlework (huh?), embroidery (what?), ceramics (yikes!). Hey, hope they don't throw hogs and sheep in that mix! Yeeee hahhhhh!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hibernating again

Too hot, too many life issues, too many quilt-y events! Whew! I'll be back when I'm able.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A tip, and DONE

I presume you've all seen this type of Label Panel? Aren't they all just too clever? Wouldn't a yard of this be a wonderful gift to a quilter?

The next photo is my big pin cushion. While I LOVE my magnetic pincushion, it stays by my machine, but when I pick up the pins, needles, threads, thimbles for sewing binding, something invariably gets forgotten or dropped between my studio and the TV where I'm planning to sew. A big toothpick holds bobbins of thread. The thimbles always got dropped or lost, so I cut 2 pieces of PVC pipe, the right size, and glued them onto the pincushion. Works PERFECTLY for me - they don't roll away, under the sofa, etc.

This Bargello Baby (below) is DONE, DONE, DONE! I'm calling it Autumn Venture. Venture because a lot of what I tried/risked, WAS a venture into unknown territory. I AM sewing some veins on the green leaves and have to sew on the label. This goes into the 2009 Quilt Show category -- too late for this year. There is more color than is apparent in the outdoor photo. And to think this was just a UFO in a dusty corner without a purpose. I quilted a small leaf and vine in the narrow border and did close meanering on the last border.

Happy and safe July 4th to everyone!

Feathers, and Technology

Excellent video - it takes a few moments to load, but it's 8 minutes long! Since the video gives me the option of "Embedding", that's what I'm going to do. This came from Youtube.com, a new-found toy. I searched videos on "Quilting" and found this one from Sharon Schambers. Until recently, I didn't know who she was. This is good advertising, isn't it? I would love to have HEARD her instructions, and it goes too fast, but her feathers are amazing, even without hearing her voice.

Many machine quilters wanna be's think feathers are just too "hard" ... frankly, those curvy lines, and swoops and swirls are not as difficult as you think. The curvy lines hide inaccuracies much better than straight lines. Note, that when she begins, she only does one single motif at a time. Obviously, she's experienced.

When I first started reading blogs, I was all gah-gah at the technical talent bloggers had, and then learned how to blog, post, and insert graphics. Now, I am all gah-gah at videos, and want to learn that! (Oh yeah, then I'd better have something to actually video!)


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Dogs UP or DOWN

I have been machine quilting (free form) for several years, and usually know the basics of what I'm doing. I'm in the process of quilting a large project. This morning, when I resumed free-form machine quilting from where I left off last night, I noticed I had apparently left the feed dogs in the UP position, meaning I must have been quilting last night with them in the UP position. Began wondering if the quilting could be done with dogs UP or DOWN. This machine (Janome Memory Craft 6500) just chugs along so nicely, and YES, I quilted both ways, and it works just as well with dogs down or UP. There is NO difference in stitches, front or back. My foot pressure is set a bit over 1 (I hardly ever change it). My thread is just 'regular' 100% cotton, both bobbin and spindle.

Does the use of the darning foot take over the need for dogs down?

This confuses a lot of rigid instructions, doesn't it?