Monthly Archives: May 2011

Down to the wire..

The label is ready and I still have a few more passes on the longarm to get the quilting done. Then to attach the binding. I’m happy I learned the trick of attaching it on the longarm!

Binding on the LongArm.. saves time!

I wish I had already cut my binding and had it ready and I could have done the binding as I quilted! That picture was the last quilt where I was practicing attaching. With every quilt I learn something! I’m still a single fold binding person. It’s one of those preferences like “prewash fabric or not“, you have reasons but sometimes they only make sense to you.

I really wanted to be out of here by tomorrow morning. I’m not sure with all the other errands that it will be possible but I’m still shooting for it! You never know, it could happen! DD has cleaned the car so we have a clean slate to start with. Of course we know how messy it will be when we’re done! Yes, I’m taking a sewing machine and supplies. I thought I’d start on a crazy quilt while I’m there. You know, in my spare time! I should have had that redwork ready, but I’ve never been one to prepare ahead of time! SHOOT! I still have to run get the fabric and get it ready for the signatures! Yes, today! It has to be prewashed (let’s not get into that debate now) and treated ( I use bubble wash) so the signatures won’t fade much. Then I iron it to freezer paper so it’s easier to write on and the ink won’t accidentally bleed on another block. Then I’ll cut the blocks from the big sheets.

Gotta run.. lots to do before I sleep..

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Filed under long arm, postaday2011, quilt

Toyota Commercial 6 needle Embroidery Machine

I was selling it for my Duetta Fund...

I’m designing the quilt label for the wedding quilt today. I’ll set it up to stitch out while I finish quilting the quilt. Yep I’m one of those cheaters who have the embroidery machine stitch out my sentiments for me. No one ever bought my Toyota so it will stitch out faster than it takes me to design it. Did I ever tell y’all about listing it on Craig’s List?

Oh y’all have to hear this.. it is one of the big commercial 6 needle machines, yes it is old but it runs great. I listed it for a steal .. it’s a great backup machine for a small shop. But I listed it too low, least that’s what DH said. I had a bunch of emails and calls. I had an 70 something woman come and she had never run this type of machine or used the programs that digitize embroidery. (What was she thinking?) She was here over an hour .. lessons, demos and nope too loud and too complicated.  She was one of five who said it was too loud and a few more too complicated. Then there were the ones who didn’t like the demo! I didn’t go over everything on the machine, or I didn’t give instruction on the computer program used. The Ad stated that I would NOT train on the computer program or machine, it would be  a demo only. I included the computer, the programs on the computer over 15,000 already digitized designs, but the monitor was NOT included. That was exactly how I bought it. I told them all on the phone it was loud.. I even had them listen on the phone to the machine running. One woman would only buy it if I gave her the monitor.. that was the last straw. I asked her to leave.

So I started filtering the ones that called… only if you have used this type of commercial machine. I will set it up to run ten thousand stitches. No other demos or instruction, as is where is… they kept emailing and calling yet not one knew how to use it. I ended up pulling the ad, I had demoed enough designs to make a really nice quilt.

At that point I figured I should keep it.. it runs great and I can make any size design I need up to 20 inches. It runs 50%  faster than any home embroidery machine. Now all I gotta do if find a way to fit that monster in my quilt room.

Two days of rest and I’m still sick!  Is that wrong or what?  It’s not fair! I feel like stomping my feet and crying.. but that would take way too much energy.  I have a quilt to finish!

 Hoping you find pockets of joyfilled moments today!


Filed under postaday2011, quilter

Smart Plate kaleidoscope ruler demo

Having just made a kaleidoscope quilt the traditional way this new ruler just blew me away!! Oh, if this isn’t news.. don’t pop my bubble let me think it came out after I made that King sized quilt the old way!!

This is from Pickled Dish Blog…. 

If you have been reading lately, you will know I have kaleidoscope blocks on the brain.  Kaleidos can be made using paper foundations or by cutting templates, or by the use of specialty rulers.  I recently bought two different rulers, and I am using one of them, the Smart Plate, to make the quilt I am currently grappling with.  I thought I would show you how the ruler works to make the blocks.  Sharon Sebrow’s book is not required to use the ruler, which comes with pretty good directions on its own, but there are some nice examples of how versatile this block is and how they can be combined to make fabulous patterns.
Smart Plate and Sharon Sebrow's book
This is the Smart Plate ruler.  It allows you to make kaleidos from 2 to 6 inches (finished) in size.  The blocks for my quilt are 6″ blocks.  This ruler lets you make 12-piece blocks and 8-piece kaleido blocks.  I’ll show you a 12-piece block, since that is what is required for my current project.   If you are looking at the writing right side up on the ruler, you can see it has a flat top (see the pencil), flat sides, and three angled sides on the bottom.
Flat side
There are two straight lines on the ruler that are used to place the ruler properly (see the pencils).
First straight line
Second straight line
The construction of the kaleido block using this ruler requires that you begin by making a pinwheel block out of HSTs.  There is a chart with the ruler that tells you the size of the HSTs that you need to make, in order to end up with the right-sized kaleido block.  In my case, I began with 4 7/8″ squares, made HSTs out of them, and then joined them to make a pinwheel.  To turn the pinwheel into a kaleido, I place the ruler on the pinwheel block, aligning the straight lines on the ruler with the seams of the pinwheel.  The flat side of the ruler is nearest to me.
Initial placement - flat side nearest you
Since I am right-handed, I use the rotary cutter to begin cutting away the fabric from the right, cutting as far as I can around the ruler.
Start cutting (right handed)
Not being Elasti-Girl,  I won’t be able to cut all the around the ruler without turning the block.  In the photo below, the pencil is pointing to the fabric segment that will be closest to me when I rotate the block.
Preparing to rotate the block.
Now I have rotated the block, with the tan fabric segment nearest me.  The ruler is placed again with the flat side nearest me, and the flat edge of the ruler is aligned with the edge of the fabric.  The straight lines on the ruler are again over the seams of the pinwheel block.
Block has been rotated - flat side of the ruler  is still nearest you
This lets you finish trimming the fabric around the ruler.
Finish cutting
Ready to attach the corners
You are now ready to add the corners.  For a block that finishes at 6″, the chart says to use 2 5/8″ squares cut on the diagonal.
Sew triangles to the corners to complete the 12-piece kaleidoscope block
Press and trim.
12-piece kaleidscope block
EDITED to add:  Some of the comments about wasted fabric made me go back to the chart of sizes to double-check, and I found that I was indeed making my HSTs too big – in fact, I was using the size needed for an 8-piece rather than a 12-piece kaleido block (fewer pieces mean each piece has to be bigger).  So I should be using 3 3/4″ squares to make my HSTs, rather than the 4 7/8″ size I have been using.  Doh!

via Pickle Dish: Smart Plate kaleidoscope ruler demo.


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Is it the process or the results that keep you quilting?

Twenty finalists were chosen for McCalls Design Star and nope I didn’t make it.. not surprising but yes a bit disappointing. I have already picked my favorite and am voting for them to win . You know I’ll be asking you nicely to vote for them too.

Thursday evening I spent a few hours looking through an old quilt book “The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America, by Carrie A. Hall and Rose G. Kretsinger”. It’s one of my favorites even if it’s just to read and look at the blocks. Just for fun I graphed out a couple of the blocks to get a feel for them.

I added the star centers but that isn't sure yet.It's the block set on point in the top left..

I thought it would look best with different colors for each dark rectangle the centers being the same (background color) and then adding something to the centers. I tried out the stars first but it could be any applique. I even thought of making them all dominoes.. I know corny but I was still pretty sick then!

It's the block set on point in the top left..

 I also graphed out another and tried way to mix it up but couldn’t come up with anything exciting with it. I have seen this block done and it is an amazing quilt so maybe I don’t need to change it.

Garden Maze.. it would look good two color or scrappy!

 I had a lot of fun playing with these blocks. Even when I can’t sit and quilt I usually have something my mind is going over or trying to fit into a quilt.

Yes, I starting quilting the wedding quilt. It was a rough start but it is actually gonna be a cute quilt pattern. I may have come up with a system that works for me. Lots of marking but that’s part of the fun. I went with the meandering shamrocks and large row of shamrocks for the border.  Unfortunately I had a bit of a set back yesterday. Seems I had adverse/allergic reaction to some of the medicines I have taken for my cold/flu combined with what I’m already taking. So I’m back on bed rest for a few days.. I may not be able to travel next week after all.. But whatever.. I’ll be there in time for the wedding and that’s the important part!

Hoping that you enjoy the process as much as the results!! 


Filed under postaday2011, quilt blocks, quilter, quilting patterns

Totally Tubular!

Easy Half Square Triangles! Demonstrated by Cindy Alford Of the Alford Inn in Texas.

No having to square them up after sewing the strips together! Since I’ve got a quilt in mind that needs about 300 or more this is going to make it a lot faster!

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Filed under postaday2011, quilt blocks, thoughts

Why didn’t I practice?

Timmy is ready to GO Baby GO!!

Before loading the quilt on the table?  Why didn’t I practice with Timmy more? I mean seriously I used to have a tester quilt loaded just to spend time with Timmy. But that was years ago.. instead of making all these quilt tops that’s what I should have done! (You’re wondering who Timmy is? He’s my Tin Lizzie I name everything, just about!) You guessed it. I have the wedding quilt loaded on the table and now… I have cold feet! I spent an hour doodling yesterday just to see which patterns I would be able to get my hand to do.

As you can see my hand is really shaky...

 It was pretty shaky so I hoped by getting some rest and getting up fresh would help. Nice try .. unfortunately this is as good as it’s gonna get. The last few quilts I did, I went really slow and had points to hit marked. I may have to do a bunch more marking just to make sure this one flows right. I’m using a variegated green thread and it’s going to show up on the white. I did leave tails on the borders to test tension so I’ll play a little there first. I will also be attaching the binding while it’s up there.

It would be easier to echo quilt the green squares. I have a straight edge to help, maybe I should do that instead of meandering. See! I’m driving myself nuts here.

I’m learning to accept my limitations and while pushing my limits.. hope you find your happy place today!


Filed under long arm, postaday2011, quilt, quilting patterns

When I can’t quilt.. I read about quilting…

I just didn’t have it in me to get the quilt top mounted on the table. Maybe I’ll try this morning but I’ll tell ya, yesterday afternoon I was too sick to use my arms like that.  Fevers are not happy times for me and my illnesses. I did get to do a little reading.

I just finished a historical fiction book ‘Trail of Thread’ by Linda K. Hubalek. It was a great book! I can’t wait to get the rest of the series.

Hello from the Kansas prairie!

I’m pioneer writer Linda Hubalek, roaming the Internet—via my laptop—on a WOW! Book Blog Tour. Because my Trail of Thread book series weaves stories and quilts together, the Quilting Gallery is a perfect stop to tell you a little bit about the series.

I’ve written ten books about pioneers; about women that forged trails and built homesteads during the 1860s to the 1910s. These main characters were my ancestors who decided to make the Kansas frontier their home. A woven mixture of facts and fiction, you’ll be drawn into their pioneer stories.

Quilts and quilting seemed like a perfect theme for the stories of my mother’s side of the family after my mother told me the story behind one special quilt she’s had since she was a teenager.

In 1938 my mother’s great aunt Martha Pieratt gave her a quilt. At that time the quilt was over 100 years old and had been handed down through her mother’s Kennedy family. Doing some research on it while planning my Trail of Thread book series, it turns out to be the Cleveland Tulip pattern and it traveled with Martha’s mother Maggie Kennedy when she moved from Ohio to Kansas in 1858.

Cleveland Tulip

So I wove a quilting theme into the titles and the Trail of Thread book series by featuring twelve quilt patterns in each book.

My Trail of Thread book was about my ancestor Deborah Pieratt’s wagon trail journey to the Territory of Kansas in 1854. The second book, Thimble of Soil featured Margaret Ralston Kennedy’s decision to move her family from their safe Ohio home to the unsettling territory in 1855. And the final book in the series, Stitch of Courage, followed Maggie Kennedy Pieratt during her young years as she marries James Monroe Pieratt during the Civil War.


Filed under postaday2011, quilt blocks, quilter