Machine Quilting continued…

The humid weather is gone after a few thunderstorms last evening. Perfect breeze off the lake. I even went for my usual walk.

Back to machine quilting today. After a warm up jumped right into my orphan blocks. I think these are from some book, maybe nearly insane, but seem a little too big for them. Oh well make great practice blocks. Yesterday I made a post it note to remember to change my stitch length and width, I obviously did not put it where I could see it as it was a bit before I dropped my length down. Today put it right by the foot.

The ones on the right are the first 2 and I wanted to focus on loops of different size and focus. Also threw in a few string loops. I was fairly please with those. The next two blocks I noted would be for purses. Jagged glass pattern was ok, would need to work on that one again and other block a few pebbles which also were ok. I decided that was enough of the blocks so have two for tomorrow. (We might be taking car in for rotation and maybe a movie).

Next up is my baby blanket. In outlined the elephant which is good practice following a line or design. It is a bit harder than it looks. So worked on some fillers for hat and spots.

Pebbles and kind of a circle pattern. I guess both were ok and will probably do the rest the same way. I changed top thread to yellow, thicker thread and it was ok. Started breaking and changed needle and that did the trick. For some reason more difficult to stay in the confined area, but possible I was getting a bit tired. So stopped. I am thinking the white background will be some kind of filler. Overall was pretty good and back just a few area of thread backing up. Again right size to do domestic machine quilting. I am using some grip it’s that take place of gloves and they work well. It is just when I stop I have to manually put needle down, not automatic on this machine. Some say you can time the foot pedal to stop with the needle down, but does not work on my machine or with me trying, so takes a little time.

Until next time…

Happy Quilting!

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Day one dedicated machine quilting

Wanted to share my machine quilting. I have tried this several times in the past. This past winter one of the Quilters gave an excellent workshop on machine quilting and I picked up some great tips and inspiration. As mentioned prior also following some gals on the internet/blog regarding quilting.

A few weeks ago I started quilting a small topper. It is certainly “free” motion and really is a learning topper. Goal today was to finish it. I only really had the outside blocks to quilt. I am using some polyester thread I picked up rather cheap. I also purchased a lot of top stitch needles that were recommended due to their large eyes and prevent thread breakage. Using the same thread on top and bottom. It is a light lavender but looks clear or silver.

First up is the topper made from scrap batiks.

So I worked on a few things. Meandering, I just cannot do those puzzle pieces, but like doing circles in both directions. The longer loops, working on consistency and size. Even did a few kind of flower designs. With time I was improving.

Next up are some orphan blocks that will be pot holders or parts of purse makings.

Front above, back below.

I do like the wiggly lines. So by end of day pretty good. Took a mid morning break for exercise and take hubby out for his birthday. Nice break in between.

Thing I learned…when thread begins to break….change needle.

Marine daughter called, she is starting her schooling this Wednesday her first class. It will last 1.5 months then two week break and then next class. So she is excited to be moving on. 105 degrees in TX.

Tomorrow we are headed to our favorite wine tasting place “VonKlaus” which pairs food with wine. We are also doing an afternoon hike at a nearby state park with picnic lunch. Probably no quilting tomorrow.

We also have decided that if we get an offer on condo, will put things in storage and move to a month to month furnished place until we can find a place. We really want to stay in the Green Lake area that has so much to do. Still leaning toward another condo in that area. With that being said most of quilting stuff would go into storage. Maybe that would force me to machine quilt all those UFO.s 🙂

Happy Quilting!

Spring /summer stash cleaning???

As we have our condo on the market most of my quilting things are in the garage.

I ran across a new quilter/group Holly Anne- String and Story. Check her out! She has gotten a great endorsement from Bonnie Hunter and they were on live Facebook together. Fresh and works with scraps as well has machine quilting. She currently has some classes that are free to get you quilting. I also have been following Angela Walters and her free motion videos-Quilting is my Therapy. So with two great gals and their enthusiasm I am sure to succeed! I have finally got my Schmitz needles and using top stitch needles. They have a bigger eye and should cause less thread breakage. As I am cleaning I have found several toppers and orphan blocks that will be great for practicing. If I have any goal this summer is to be more comfortable machine quilting to finally get to some of those finished quilt tops.

Yesterday I had clean out some cubby holes on a dresser top. Found some unfinished blocks and fabric so today I sewed them together. One will be a small table topper or candle mat, others will be potholders and mug rug. Yep good for practicing machine quilting. I wanted to clean and sort out top drawer of fabric. First drawer is blacks/grays and pinks/red stash. Humidity is coming back to Wisconsin so did not get quite that far. I did put a fan in the garage but did not use today. So kind of cleaned up those leader-ender scraps sitting on the side of sewing machine. I love to make four patches!

I have been trying to do a project a week. Last week I worked on updating a pattern I did in AZ on a purse/water-bottle cozie. The Sunflower Quilters will have a little competition designing their own.

Our group wanted to make them just a bit taller and with a longer strap. I made 3 of them, one for myself, my mom and for the Quilters boutique. I tried it out this past weekend when we went to Strawberry fest nearby. It worked pretty well. My mom is a Red hatter so she will enjoy her’s.

Here is her egg skirt, she will love this as well. Also finished up her batik quilt “Sugar and Spice”, so I have had some accomplishments! I have to get a picture of that. I made a matching pillow case which I will stuff with the quilt.

She has had some difficult times with rude neighbors and recently my dad had another blood clot in the lung. Had pain two weeks prior, but did not find anything. This time they found multiple clots. So now he is on blood thinners for life. Turns out it came from vein in leg, asymptotic. In and out of hospital. So we saw him in hospital on Father’s Day. Luckily caught it in time.

Finally got our daughters Marine graduation picture. She is in a holding platoon awaiting a spot for her schooling. No real assignments just night watch. Last weekend volunteered to help with boat racing which I guess is popular in TX. Called a few days ago and is in good spirits.

As for our condo no offers and no showings this week. We actually looked at a cute log cabin a little outside our desired area and certainly very private. We would need to make a few changes but it has many of the things on our list. So it is privacy vs close to city with things to do. We have joined a health club continuing with our routine in AZ. So it is a difficult decision. We think it is priced a little high, so we will wait a bit as we have no offers on our place. We looked at a condo lease option in Green Lake, but it was small and just did not feel right to me. So we will wait patiently and see what the Lord’s Will will be.

Looks like we may kayak tomorrow. We like to go across the lake and hit a bar/grill place for a bit to eat and head back home. My back has been doing very well. I don’t think I twist too much kayaking so I should be fine. Rain, cool weather and wind has prevented us taking our first voyage across the lake. Then next thing on my list is a short game of pickleball. Maybe after the humidity leaves.

So for now Happy Quilting to all!

Marine Gradation

It turns out that we are spending our last week here in AZ with triple digit temperatures! It is just plain hot. Just had air on for an hour here and there, the ceiling fans work great. Today the winds crank up leading to red flag warnings. It is very dry as the last rain was back in February and that was not much. House is cleaned and most things are packed. Spouse cannot believe we are coming back with so much. Well a girl has to take some quilting stuff back you know :). Anyway I always find some cracks as he packs where something can fit.

Graduation

So cool to be on the island early and the other recruits are already training. You can hear the cadences and the rifle shooting in the distance. We found our parking spot by 0530 and yes people were lining up for a good seat for graduation. We ran into friends that came down for Abi and they said they would save us spots and we decided to go to raising of colors. Every military base throughout the world has this special event Friday morning at the same time 0745. Well we were quite early for this so we took a walk past 4th Battalion quarter and saw the female recruits working hard. Some doing drill and some doing ammo can lifts. We walked down to one of the rivers near by than run into the ocean. By the time we got back some people were sitting down. It was a beautiful ceremony with the Marine Band playing several selections. The commander of the base was there and gave a very personal speech. Quite the funny guy. I guess he will be leaving in June for reassignment. We then walked back to the parade deck where all the celebrations were held.

Such pageantry and tradition. Was a great program about an hour. My daughter said they could not look around so did not see anything. I guess that is why they encourage you to purchase the DVD.

Abi and my spouse not eating to take pictures and she wanted to get off the island quickly. Actually it went fast. Graduation over around 10 and we returned to our town house by 1030. The she changed, repacked some of her things, threw out some things and activated her cell phone. It was so funny that if felt so foreign to her. Even going out for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings all the TV’s overwhelmed her. No TV or music for 13 weeks. A real culture shock. Then she was eyeing everyone’s uniform and what they were doing. She of course changed into civilian clothes. We also saw how much and how quickly she ate her food. She held open the doors for people behind her. We saw a lot of little details that were engrained into her.

She has a few more days prior to leaving for Camp Pendleton for her non-infantry training that will begin early in June. She has touched based with a lot of her friends. She has probably eaten things she missed but also has worked out. We came back to AZ. We both picked up a cold and hoping it will leave us prior to our west trip.

Happy nurses week to one of my daughters and Happy Teachers week to the other.

Welcome to new gals following my blog!

I am very close to finishing the hand quilting on my mom’s quilt. May start the borders on our trip.

Our first stop is Sedona on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Blue and yellow

Two of my favorite colors together and yet I don’t think I have made anything with those colors. I was gifted some scraps with these colors and decided to do a mini scrap vortex layout for a purse. Today I pieced the scraps and have completed for the front and back. I like it very much. I don’t usually sew many purses, but decided to do one for me for spring. Tomorrow I will add the batting and practice some free motion quilting. I like the idea of sewing scraps and putting them to good use. I will be doing a class on the scrap vortex next year and this is perfect for those who don’t want to do a quilt. One could easily do a table runner or placemats.

This will be my final sewing project. We have a community guided quilt we will be doing this week…lasagna quilt pattern. I think there are about 4 bins full of 2.5 fabric strips. I sort of did a small table runner and it was quite fun and not stressful. I think the gals will love it.

We got a call from our Marine daughter yesterday. We were not sure if she would call but talked to her for 20 minutes. She is doing fine. The crucible was challenging, but walk back was not bad. She was going to head to subway to eat some real food. They did have a Marine Breakfast after the crucible, she had pancakes, French toast, cinnamon rolls, bacon and chocolate cake. Some people ate too much and payed for it later. Mostly classes this week and then Battalion inspection the last thing before graduation. She is looking forward to the down time. We will leave on Tuesday and return on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing her and the base she trained on. Her one sister is meeting us in Charleston at the airport. We also know her good friend and mom are coming to surprise her. We are all flying Southwest so hopefully they get all those engines inspected. This is one trip we need to get there and for Abi to return to Milwaukee for her 10 day leave.

Happy Quilting!

New hand quilting project

I actually started handing quilting my “Sugar & Spice” quilt. This was a quilt our quilting guild did back in January. It is a fun pattern which we all used batiks. This is my first batik quilt. Took me forever to pick the colors. Backing is a fun owl pattern as this is a present for my mom. She loves hand quilting so I had to hand quilt it. Found out from others that batiks can be difficult to quilt. I however am not finding this to be a problem, I am doing a simple quilt design and it is coming right along. It is a nice project to do outdoors with our weather here and some gentle cool breezes. Meanwhile my home state is suffering with heavy snow and blizzard warnings. It has been a ruff month back home. So I am hoping to have main blocks quilted and maybe I can do hand quilting in the car on or Western swing of states prior to coming home.

So this is a very important week. Abi is getting close to completing her training. Past few letters are positive and applying the classroom things with actual events. She is really to get this whole thing behind her.

The crucible begins Thursday at 2am and ends around 8am on Saturday. Of course we are praying for her and all recruits in PAPA & KILO Companies for strength, wisdom and safety. We might even get a call on Sunday for her acknowledging her success. Lots of other testing early this week. So please remember them in your prayers!

I have also made some progress on my last charity quilt doing free motion quilting. Just started the border. This is a larger quilt so trying to get used to pushing it thru my machine. Goal is to have it completely done by end of this week.

Those of you who do machine quilting on your regular machine, I learned a lot from Superior Threads discussing thread and needles. Terrific site with great information.

Education

Check the above link and go to education. I ordered some thread and hope to try it out. I especially liked how to position thread, cone vs spool vs normal spool and how thread comes off the spool affecting the stitches and even adjusting the tension. They also recommend topstich needles only. They have a groove that thread lines up with. I already have switched to topstich needles 100/19 and thinner tread (poly) in the bobbin. Tomorrow I will try the things I have learned as I was having some issues with thread breaking.

Plan to do some hiking again this week, maybe Tuesday as tomorrow is in the 90’s. Last Friday it got that warm and I had to stop more frequently, especially with no breeze.

Welcome to many new followers. I post mostly my quilting adventures and some family events. Soon there will be some travel adventures, first one will be to Parris Island, SC and some Marine education for all!

Happing Quilting!!

Sunflower Quilters – Mirana Mystery

We had about half of our guild participate in this year’s challenge. Several basic blocks to work on our quilting skills. The group had fun sewing the blocks and even more fun putting them into a pleasing to the eye quilt. So here are the results. Each person had to choose a fabric color with their first name.

Had to get some outdoor pictures in Warm Arizona…

Many are now getting ready to return to their home but had wonderful times this year in sunny Arizona. Today we met as board members to plan next year.

I made several kits for snowbirds to take back home to make for our craft fair.

I am sorting my take home projects as well. I finished one baby quilt working on some free motion quilting. I have another medium size one to machine quilt as well as a table runner.

No pattern just scraps.

Happy Quilting to all!