Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The enabler........

She knows who she is.  

It never fails.....when I visit my sister-in-law up at the lake house, we tend to go to knit shops; and we went to two new ones to boot.  I had no intention of buying anything!!

At KnitKnorth in Traverse City, MI, I picked up this beautiful "Crazy Yarn" from StoneHedge Mills.  It is a self-striping yarn and the pattern used is called "100 x Simple".  

These are my choices of yarns and they read "cool" colors.  I know....I just couldn't resist.

My sister-in-law and I will name her here......Maria (the enabler) .....chose colors that read warm.

I think we quilters just get caught up in all the beautiful colors when we go into knit shops.  I certainly know that is my problem when I go into a quilt shop. 

Anyways,I thought I would show the progress after knitting up each ball of yarn.  Here I have one skein down, three to go.  You should have been there for this shot.   As I was setting up the skeins of yarn, one of them decided to roll down the paddle board.  I figured it would stop at the end. dropped off onto the sandy beach.  Did it stop there?  No.  It decided to continue to roll into the water.  That would have been a great photo op except there was a bit of an ebb and tide and I was watching my skein slowly drift out from shore.  I had to hustle to get it before getting more than my shoes wet.  Oh well.  That was cause for a little excitement!

Here we are at two skeins down and two to go. The white row is my provisional row and is removed at the end of the process.  

Three down and one to go.  It wasn't as easy as you would think when it came to trying to figure out if you should start your next skein in the middle or the outside of the skein,   Hard to imagine what the colors will look like side by side.  

Here I have knitted all four skeins and taken the provisional row off and loaded it onto another set of needles.  

The kitchener stitch attached the two ends.

The next two pictures are the front and back AFTER blocking the scarf.

There sure ended up being a lot of colors in this scarf.  I figured there were between 6-8 colors per skein.  

Even though we are still having some very warm weather, I thought I would model the scarf.  Not that I am wishing Winter here too soon, but I can't wait to wear this one.  It is 100% merino wool and I am loving it.  

Now to get back to quilting

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Turn for the better......

With the ways things were going the other day, things could only go up.

I decided to make my grandson a couple little pillowcases for his nappy pillow.

Of course, they had to be Minions.

He loved them.  In fact, my daughter said she probably wouldn't get him to use the white pillowcases anymore.  :D

Then my daughter and I did some peach jam.  We did about 31 - 8 oz jars. tastes wonderful.  I had to try it out right away. 

Got the binding on my Christmas quilt, washed and dried it;  and I do have to say that I am liking it a little more than I was.  

I started to cut out a challenge quilt and have some of the blocks up on a design wall; but .....because it is a challenge, I can't show pictures just yet.  Oh....that's going to be hard for me.  

Then today I decided to get a customer quilt on the Millie  and did a free motion design called "loopy clams".  It worked up pretty quick.  So now that one is done, too. 

Those are 5" scrappy stars.  

Here's some close ups. 

....and here is the backing.  

So...yes...things are looking up a little.  It always feels good to get some things accomplished.  

I am glad to have this stuff done and out of the way, so that I can enjoy the holiday weekend.
You all have a great holiday weekend, too.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016


This quilt has been on my "list" since I quilted it and was not happy with the red quilting thread on the white backing.  You can see what I had  to say about that here.

This project is OLD.  The blocks were won as a block lotto a few years ago and I finally decided to start finishing up some UFOs.  So, the binding has been cut for some time.  


I am 6 1/2 inches short!!!  How can that be?  I don't usually do that.  I used this red fabric for all my alternate blocks, the binding on this quilt and another quilt.  

Hmmmm......did I maybe use the wrong binding for the wrong quilt?


I searched high and low for any left overs and there are none; and that is probably because I am getting rid of any small pieces of fabric as I use them up in a quilt so  that I can pare down my stash a bit.  So, I added a piece that was  a close match.  Nothing like making this quilt even more undesirable for me.  

Then to top it off, I was going to sew on a binding (my daughter supplied this one) to one of her quilts that I had quilted for her quite a while ago. She hadn't gotten to it, so I thought I would help out.  It, too, is too small for the quilt.  Thank goodness I measured it BEFORE starting to sew it on the quilt.  Even though it is black....there are so many shades of black that I didn't want to add some of my fabrics, so she is hunting to see if she has anymore.  

I guess I just wasn't meant to do binding today.  

Ya's just been one of those days today.  We washed windows this morning and it has been raining all afternoon.  

Maybe I should just wait until tomorrow before trying anything else.  

Friday, August 26, 2016


This quilt was loaded onto my Millie just a couple of days ago.  

It is a paper pieced courthouse steps with the center piece being only 1/2" square.

With it having so many straight lines, I chose the panto Espresso to compliment those straight lines with lots of swirls and curves.

Let me tell you....this panto is intense!  If you let your mind wander, you start taking a path you have already been on and then there is some ripping to do.  Ask me how I know!

Spent a good amount of time ripping last night because while stitching my mind was wandering about "things".  Did the "rippit"last night and decided to start fresh this morning.  

So today I was determined to stay focused.

Here are a couple of good shots of the stitching.  

As usual, my customer has great backings for her quilts.

With the white Glide on top and white Fil-Tec on the bottom, the texture really shows up well without detracting from the great piecing.   

So here is the completed quilt with no more ripping today....thank goodness.  

I think she will like it.  

Now to work on something  mindless (easy).  My brain needs a break!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Busy couple of days.

Rainbow boxes was completed on Saturday and is being picked up on Wednesday.

Sunday was spent with my girls canning.

One daughter mentioned she didn't want to go overboard like we did last year when we did 4 1/2 bushels of tomatoes.  It was an all day job!

So, instead we did 2 bushel  which reaped 45+ quarts

AND then we did 20 quarts of pickled beans.

So, still ended up being an all day job.  Seems to me that was six and one-half dozen of another.  Now to remember that next year so we don't go overboard again.  

It was a good day though spending it with my girls.  

Monday I spent the morning helping my daughter at the kids' school preparing for open house.  My grands go to the same school their mom went to and I went to, so it was a fun morning.  

For lunch I met up with my gal pals (ended up being a LONG lunch) and we caught up on what's been happening in our lives this summer.  Summertime is always so busy, we find it hard to get together.   I did pick up a couple quilts from Nancy to quilt.  I loaded one of hers today (Tuesday) and it is ready to start.  

I know I have shown this quilt in progress in the past.  It is paper pieced and the courthouse steps are tiny. 

See that tiny square in the middle?

That square is 1/2" square.  I am telling you....these blocks are small. 

This is a gorgeous quilt and I hope I can do it justice.  

So, I may not have gotten one of my quilts on the longarm today, but this one will be worthwhile working on.  

I may not get her second one on as I am awaiting two bolts of batt to come in the mail.  I am at the tail end of the one I have been working from; so, if that takes too long, I do have a package of batt for my quilt.  Time will tell what will come next.  

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rainbow Boxes

I am going to call this customer quilt Rainbow Boxes because I don't know the original name and because she used a plethora of scrappy fabrics in creating these beautiful rainbow colored blocks.  

Fortunately for her, I didn't have anything on the machine when  she handed it over to me, so I loaded it right away and that evening I had probably two thirds of it quilted.  Now.....if it hadn't been Dream Cruise weekend on Woodward Ave in Detroit (my husband waits for this all year long), I probably would have had it done right away. to Woodward we went several nights this week and most of the day today (Saturday, the official day of Dream Cruise).  

So, upon coming home today after the Cruise, I decided to finish this one up.  

I used Black Glide thread on top and  black Fil-Tec on the bottom and used the pantograph called Ribbons and Roses.  I thought this was very appropriate as it is a bridal shower gift.  

So, it is all complete and ready to be given back to the customer in plenty of time for her to get the binding on for her shower.

Hopefully, I can get one of my quilts on the machine tomorrow.  The one I have planned is the last one on my "to be quilted" pile.  I do have a couple more that "should" be on that pile, but I am just not ready to do those yet as far as experience goes.  So, we will see what time allows.

Feels good to get another one off the machine though!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Taking this as a learning experience.

So, I am guessing that I am glad this quilt is mine.  

I loaded it just before heading up to the Grand Rapids AQS quilt show knowing full well that when I came back it would be ready and waiting for me.  

Well, after accepting three quilts from a customer yesterday....I thought I had better hop to it.  

I am thoroughly disappointed in my workmanship on this quilt.  I am sure you are looking at it and saying "what are you talking about?", but if this had been a customer quilt, I would have changed course almost immediately.

I started out using red thread on the red and green areas.  I like how it looks from the front, so that is one good thing.  These are blocks that I won at a quilt retreat  (block lotto)  and not all of them were pressed with seams going in the right directions and I had to deal with some VERY thick seams  which in turn "bumped" my foot from going in a nice smooth line.

Then I went back and did all the white areas with white thread doing feathers.  They didn't turn out too bad.

Then I went back and tried out the dreaded metallic thread for the first time.  I have heard so many horror stories about metallic thread...breaking, causing major headaches, etc.....and I had none of that.  I adjusted my tension and found that sweet spot immediately and all my spirals sewed up great.  I am really happy about that!

Here's a couple close ups of the quilting on top. 

Doesn't look too terribly bad.

Here's the back with the extra blocks that I had. I used up a lot of different whites to make the back.  No close ups though because this is where I am really disappointed in my quilting.  

I DO NOT like using a dark colored thread (here I used red) on a white backing.  It shows every wobble and discrepancy.  Lesson learned.  I won't do that again.  

I will show you the backs of the stars which aren't half bad, but the points just aren't what they should be because of all those thick seams.

The stitching on the alternate blocks is where the problems lie.  

Here is the completed top.   

I will bind it in red and then put it in the washer and dryer.  I find that sometimes when there is a quilt that you just aren't crazy about, once you wash and dry it and get that comfy, crinkly look, it changes the character of the quilt.  I will see if that will salvage this quilt for me; otherwise, it will make a great charity quilt.  

So....overall, it was a  good experience in that it was practice which makes perfect; my tension was good; I practiced feathers; and I learned to love metallic thread.  Those are all good things.  

I'll let you know how the rest of this goes.