Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunrise on The Strip, and the winner was...

Over the weekend, the winner was chosen at random from comments left on my New2me Juki celebration giveaway post. Congratulations to M-R at Quilt Matters, who we all know from TGIFF! I was excited to pack the little Henna fabric bundle to a real Web-Celeb:-)
On my mind for some time now is a Vegas skyline quilt. Photos I have taken from my house are just a bit too far away to work with, so I drove in 4 or 5 miles this morning and caught a few pics. This is about 15mi SE of the Strip. (I know, I really have no business posting photos taken from my little point and shoot, but this is quilt-related!) I find it challenging to capture desert beauty in photos (without driving to some destination, like Red Rock Canyon).  I live slightly higher up from this vantage point, and I love to see the buildings shimmer in the morning. But from 20mi away, my photos just don't capture it.
I will draw a simple sketch from this photo, so for its purpose it is good, good enough.
On a sad note, I hit a jackrabbit on my way out this morning.
The poor little guy ran right out in front of me.
On a happy note, the book I reserved at the library is in. I thought it may be lost since it was listed in stock, but weeks have gone by. Hopefully it will show me what I did wrong on my donut applique patch:-)

Friday, June 21, 2013

TGIFF & Last Day of Fabric Giveaway

My little Henna Bundle Giveaway ends Saturday at Noon, PST. Link to Wednesday's post to enter

I completed the binding for Madeleine's Baby Quilt this morning!
Even though it was only 9AM, I rushed to the park to photograph it, to beat the heat you know, and get back to show off for TGIFF.
I felt like I was being watched..

This guy was out enjoying the heat. I followed him around, trying to get a photo. He seemed to enjoy running around the rocks, teasing me,
Then he stopped to show me his blue belly. I guess we know whose rock that is...
I used batting for the first time, called Quilter's Dream, and I do really like working with it, and the drape is nice after blocking etc..  I went with Bone binding, which may not be the most practical color for edges, but just so pretty and it feels good too:-)

I noticed a beautiful pillow finish at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, so I decided to add both of these finishes to her Whoop Whoop Party to share. The large one is backed with Chenille. I lined the back and put in a zipper so it would fit snuggly. For smaller pillows, I like to use the easier envelope style. My thoughts are racing with ideas for these for my Etsy shop:-)

For a sneak preview, I will share a new WIP. Actually, it is an old UFO. I took this photo when trying to figure a layout, about 10 or so yrs ago.
I did not care for the contrast of the sails, and I'd made a lot of these blocks, but ended up setting it all aside. For 10 years. This week, I pulled one out and started playing with it. Good grief, that blue batik is a nightgown from Nordstrom's, that was too big, but 100% cotton batik that I hoarded since who knows when. But it sure looks good with my little sails.
 So that's what I am up to you! Time to link around and see what other's are doing:-)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Appreciation for Dad

My father recently put some slides into photo format, and I thought I would post a few that evoke great memories for me, and remind me of the really great things he did for us growing up :-)
Here he is with his father near Carnation, Wa at a property we called Beaver Valley. My memories here are very young, they are of lots of family, and lots of mud.
They always worked hard, and definitely the Make-and-Repair-it-Yourself kinda men:-) This is the cabin at Beaver Valley. I am pretty sure I never saw it like this!

We spent a lot of time at Grandpa's cabin in Canada as well. The lake is TaWheel (honk if you heard of it!), N of Clearwater, BC. I am the short one, next to dad.
I am amazed when I think back on it, the work that must have been involved for the many family holidays we enjoyed as kids.

Here we are at the trailhead to Domke Lake, in Washington State. We arrived there by ferryboat, called The Lady of the Lake, travelling up Lake Chelan (in the background), one of the country's longest and deepest lakes. Huge Kokanee (landlocked salmon) can be caught there. From there, we hiked in up to Domke.
Am I the only one who looks happy about arriving at our campsite? I probably have a pack full of foam..., everyone else looks pretty tuckered.
Thanks Dad, for ALL the great childhood memories!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Free Motion Friday!

For my current fabric giveaway post, link here!

Of course, I have been playing with my New-To-Me Juki!
A little practice sandwich I made:

Turned into this: 

I am very happy with the FMQ performance of the machine. Still, I chose to first conquer an overdue quilt top, to get comfortable with the machine, and get a feel for the maneuverability of full size quilts. After setting up with a sample square, I chose to use the walking foot and outlined the blocks with that. When I began the inner stitching, I noticed the walking foot was actually gathering the fabric a bit, (aghh!) and I just yanked it off (to investigate later).

I am much happier with the performance without the foot. Hopefully I will finish this up today;

The Juki is perfect so far for FMQ, and I am thankful to have it in combination with my old workhorse, the Bernina 1020 (which still has excellent performance with the walking foot!). A couple comparisons if you are interested:

The cutter on the foot pedal is hard to get used to. Well, I don't care for the cutter feature much anyway since it leaves such a tiny tail from the bobbin thread, but I have turned my pedal a bit sideways to avoid accidentally stepping on that big cutter button on the pedal, which I have done several times now!

I am also not used to the needle up/down button. I like the feature so far, as long as I remember to use it, rather than the foot pedal when I want to pull my bobbin thread up to begin FMQ in the middle of a quilt. I am used to the needle up feature I use on my Bernina foot pedal, rather than a button...

I love that the Juki is: Fast, Sturdy, Quiet, it has Reverse that seems to keep the same stitch length as the fwd is set to, The Juki also has a bit longer stitch length option - nice for quick stay stitch. I also like the needleplate (increment) markings. And the throat space is great!

I am linking up with Lily's Free Motion Quilt Friday

And, for the first time, with Confession of a Fabric Addict Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Juki Celebration - Fabric Giveaway!

It just so happens my new blogging buddy, Hydeeann over at Splish Splash Stash purchased and brought home a new Juki the same weekend as me! Hers is a brand new model, and I was drooling a bit when I looked at all the photos of her sparkling new machine (especially after spending so much time cleaning mine!)
To celebrate her purchase, Hydeeann has a very generous fabric giveaway underway. To join in the fun, I made up this kinda generous bundle of Henna Garden by Sandi Henderson for Farmer's Market. (Hey, I have to keep the giveaway in proportion to our purchases!)

 I do love these fabrics! I cut 5" strips so you will have options for use; strips, charms, a great binding perhaps?

Please leave a comment to enter! Giveaway is closed for entries!

Winner will be selected and contacted via email on Saturday, June 22!(entries close at noon PST)

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Warm Welcome..

Introducing my new JUKI!
Turns out, the gal I purchased the machine from is quite an accomplished art quilter! Rickie is a Blogger, and I really enjoyed seeing many of her masterpieces and works in progress. She does a lot of thread painting on canvas that she has first painted with oils. I found it quite inspiring and look forward to trying out some art quilting with my new-to-me machine!
My husband and I did not bring our dining set when we made the long move to Vegas, and we chose not to purchase one. Instead, our dining area is a kind of lounge area and gets more use this way. Point is, I really have no place to set this up.
For now, it is on a wobbly old card table...
I went to quite a few garage sales Saturday in search of something sturdier, but only brought home a $1 office chair. Since the chair I sit on at my Bernina is cornered in there, and has to be lifted to more, I thought this was worth a buck. It was in super bad nic, in fact they probably thought I was nuts when I offered the buck, so I spent several hours yesterday stripping it down and re-covering it with some purple denim. Funny, now that I see the photo, it is the brightest thing in the room!
Rickie spent some time with me showing me the ropes, and although it seems she has spent many hours at this machine, and it has some wear, she gave me a great price I could not pass up :-)
I have not had much time to play with it yet. I gave it a cleaning last night and made a few stitches before bed.
It is way faster than I am used to, and it has a couple functions I am not used to. (Twice I have cut the threads by stepping on the thread cutter button instead of the power on the foot pedal!). Today I will play with some different threads and tension a bit. When using the walking foot last night, I noticed the bottom seems to gather a bit, so I need to figure out what is causing that..
I checked the bobbin tension with the dangly trick and it seems OK. The feed dogs seem quite high to me; maybe there is an adjustment I can make. And the bobbin thread was lighter weight than the top thread. I only have sz90 needles for it so far, so I have not tried any Aurifil or 50wt yet.
On another happy note, our heat wave has broken, and some wind and cloudage has kicked in. Course this photo is three hours ago, and it now reads 102 outside, but yesterday at this time it was over 110 degrees. Hot and sticky, even for me. Visibility is low too, and I could only see a surreal kind of outline of The Strip this morning.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Should I buy the Juki TL-98E ? Any Advice?

I get to go test drive the Juki TL-98E in the morning, and I just hope someone following me has used, or knows something about this machine, specifically regarding free motion quilting. I did find some nice ratings online, but I am hoping for some first hand knowledge from a quilter:-)

I have been the proud and happy owner of a Bernina 1020 since 1991. Here is a little bitty about it, and why I justify an additional machine, (even though I have no idea where I will put it!)
I wanted a machine that would last a lifetime,  so I went for this all-mechanical machine. The cams are all metal, and it is a 25-30lbs workhorse. It runs over heavy fabrics with only the occasional pause (do I have to go over that?), and has all the stitches I have needed over the years.
No decorative stitches, but great utilitarian stitches. It has had heavy use, without many problems over the years and I love this machine. I have read that it is becoming a collectible machine, and I know why!

I was even lucky enough to find a Bernina table on Craigslist about 10yrs ago that seems to have been made for my machine. And I found a CutNSew on Ebay, (good thing it was a bargain since I haven't used it much).
 The biggest downside to this machine is when Free Motion Quilting. I have never outsourced quilting, nor have I ever taken a class. I did a lot of straight-line quilting in those early years. I have managed to work around the small bed space, but when I began branching out to FMQ, I quickly realized that not all advice I was receiving at the quilt shop, in books, etc, actually worked with this machine. It tends to skip stitches, and needles are generally thought to be the cause of this. But there are certain threads I just avoid, and I have to change needle types ALL the time. I regularly use Universal and Topstitch needles to Quilt, in sz 70, 80, and 90.   I have needles with notes on them all over the place since I change them so much. Actual Quilting needles have never worked with this machine. Using Bernina brand needles, or Fons and Porter did not help either. I like the stitching on the back to look just as sharp as the front. So, over the years I have just found what works for each project, and made it happen. However, I spend a lot of frustrated time trying to set it up to work well each time, and often use my second choice in thread. And when I find a happy combination of needle, thread, wadding and tension, I will still occasionally have skipped stitches when stitching a curve , (usually moving the quilt to the upper right).

If you have any Juki experience, I appreciate anything you can share before I make this purchase:-)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Add-a-Border Block Swap

Today I tried a technique I really liked for circle applique! I first found it at hyacinthquiltdesigns back in January in a post titled 6 minute circles. The technique was aired on HGTV at this link. It only shows how to do one round circle, but Cindy, from Hyacinth Quilt Design, bought the book, (Pieced Curves So Simple: No Applique, Pinless Piecing), so I am thinking there are probably good instructions in there for the donut type circle she posted, and that I attempted. My first circle came out swell, and when I went to add the other I put the freezer paper on the wrong piece, and ended up having to sew the seam on the inside of the circle. Tricky, but I did it and it seems usable. I will definitely use this technique again for regular, especially large, circles. And I would like to get my hands on the book, so I will check my library:-)

Linking up with What A Hoot for BOMs Away Monday  - maybe someone linking from there is interested in the swap I found.  I am sending this block in to participate in the Add a Border Block Swap I came across yesterday. I think it looks like great fun, and a good way to use orphan blocks too, so I will be digging around for 6.5" blocks today as well. Since they are not concerned about a timeline, I figure I will mail two or three blocks in to get started.
Well, that was easy! I just found the book in stock at my local library, it is actually called "Pieced curves so simple : the 6-minute circle and other time-saving delights"

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Breakfast

 Late breakfast today. Because I am from the Pacific Northwest, I am a bit of a granola girl. Even though city life is amazing there, most Seattleans are pretty outdoorsy at heart. Berries are one of the things I miss the most, and they don't grow like weeds here in the desert. In fact, they are amazing expensive here in the desert, so I buy mine frozen. I through mine on top of plain yogurt, leave in on my pink countertop for an hour or so, add granola, and think of home:-)
This morning I started more yogurt cheese. This turns out just like Greek Yogurt without the hefty price, and the longer it sits (in the fridge of course, not that pink counter!), the thicker, so it can be used like cream cheese in recipes.
We often made our own yogurt growing up, and I am on the lookout for a good maker.
After finishing the quilting up, the baby quilt needed to be blocked...

The edges were a bit wavy...
Should be able to add binding tomorrow. I used threads in colors that matched the fabric, and I used the same bone color on the back. I am happy that the colors don't show much,


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...