Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Join me next Funday Monday

I've been having so much fun on my Funday Mondays with my friend Kathleen, I have an idea to try it out as a Linky Party so we can all enjoy Funday Mondays!  Would you like to join me???

I'll host a linky party next Monday, so we can have a virtual Funday together!   You can post whatever it is that you want to share - craft-related, recipes, whatever you are currently having fun with.  I hope you will link up.

I've been playing in Photoshop this afternoon, and was able to create a couple of buttons.  One is for my blog, and the other will be for the Linky Party.  If you would like either, please go ahead and add them to your blog.

Copy the code for the button you would like, and then add it to the Gadgets section of your blog using HTML.

The buttons will also be available on the My Buttons page and on the sidebar of my blog.

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Funday Monday

I only got a few things done today at Funday.  I embroidered a few aprons that will be part of the Christmas gifts for my friend's nieces.  These child aprons are part of a small child chef ensemble from Target.  Very cute.

Last weekend (before all the awfulness happened), I used my Sweet 16 a second time to FMQ-stipple my own jelly roll quilt for charity.  The first quilt on my Sweetie was my  Funday friend, Kathleen's jelly roll.

Today, I cut and sewed the binding strips for it.  Kathleen offered to hand stitch my binding again, but I saw a tutorial on how to all-machine sew the binding, and I'd like to give that a try and see if I like that any better.

Sweet 16 without the display and no c-pod (wires showing instead).

In the mean time, this is the current state of my Sweet 16.  I received the table overlay and TruStith regulator from HQ.  I disconnected the c-pod unit and small color display from my machine and have sent it off to Handi Quilter for the free upgrade so that it can support the TruStitch.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday last weekend, my package is still in route and will arrive at HQ this week.  I was told the turnaround time is 3-4 days, so we'll see how long before I get it returned.

I put the table overlay on my Sweet 16 table, but rather than permanently attaching it with the provided self-stick strips, I opted just to hold it in place with the Q-snap rails that are already on this table.  It holds it just fine.

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Won a Giveaway

I just received notice that I won a Giveaway over at SewCalGal.  That was a nice little surprise.

The giveaway for this week was for a choice of quilting books.  I chose the book Baltimore Blocks for Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide.  I love the look of the Baltimore Album quilts, but wouldn't know where to begin.  Now I'll have a book to begin with when I'm ready.

If you don't already, I would definitely recommend checking out SewCalGal's blog.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'll be back soon...

I'm not in the mood to craft at the moment.  We unexpectedly lost our beloved family pet Lucky, last night.  He fell ill and we took him to the local animal emergency center.  He had suffered a ruptured intestine and although he made it through the late night surgery, the recovery proved too much for his heart to bear.  The doctors could not determine what had caused the rupture.  They're thinking it may have been a cancer site at the cell-level.

He was the sweetest Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie).  Our constant companion, always near by, or right under our feet.  I often referred to him as my shadow.

Always with me in the sewing room.

Thanksgiving, November 24,  2011

Lucky was such part of the family, we were not prepared or ready to let him go.  Eight years was not enough time to spend with him and we are missing him tremendously.   

October 26, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012
When I took this photo, I had no idea this would be his last day with us.

I'll be back to crafting in a little bit.  Just wanted to share this sweet dog of ours one last time.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

FNSI - Jelly Roll Quilting

I spent my first Friday Night Sew-In quilting my first quilt on my HQ Sweet 16 long-arm.  My friend, Kathleen, joined me for FNSI, so it made the evening more enjoyable.

I did my first all-over stipple quilt.  This is Kathleen's Jelly Roll Race quilt for charity from WebFabrics.  If you haven't done a Jelly Roll Race before, it is a lot of fun.   I'll have to share our Jelly Roll race experience in a future post.

Back to FNSI...

Did my first all-over stipple on Kathleen's quilt.
I bartered with Kathleen - she binds my quilts, and I'll quilt hers.  Since I just got my Sweet 16, the first design technique I'm learning is a stipple.  So that is all I can offer at this point.  :-)

Beginning to stipple.

Kathleen's working on her blocks.

Overall, I love my HQ Sweet 16!  It is a lot of fun, and I really enjoy having the 16" of space to quilt.  I definitely need the table space to the sides of the machine to rest the quilt on as it would have pulled quite a bit under the needle otherwise.

Friday Night Sew-In was good.  I'll definitely sign up again.

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

UFO Crystal Star Quilt Finally Done

How long does a UFO take to complete?

This is the first full quilt I started in a class at JoAnn's more than two years ago.  I got the top done, but then it sat in my closet for a couple of years, waiting me for to  get the nerve to quilt the top.  I finally gave it to my long-arm quilter Nancine this past summer as I thought I would never quilt it myself.  (Owning a Sweet 16 wasn't a serious thought still).  She did a nice job with an all-over design called Almost Paisley.    I got it back and stitched the binding to the front, and then started hand-stitching to the back....

I have discovered that I really do not prefer to hand-stitch the binding.  :-)
I now accept that bindings are my least favorite part of quilting.  It has taken me months to sit for a bit at a time to get some of that binding done on this one.

Enter my friend Kathleen who has a fondness for knitting and hand stitching.  She offers up a barter where she will hand finish the bindings for me if I use my new Sweet 16 to stipple quilt her tops.  Sounds great to me!!

November 2012 - My first quilt-top finally complete with binding.
The date when I embroidered my name at the bottom reads "Feb. 2010"!  
Kathleen got my binding done lickity split last weekend, so I used last night's Friday Night Sew-In to quilt her top.  That'll be my next post. :-)

So happy my first quilt finally finished!  It is now laying across the back of the family room sofa ready to keep someone cozy.

The back showing the quilting done.
This was done on a Gammill with the Almost Paisley design.
I love how my DD1 is missing one sock in this photo!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In

I've seen the Friday Night Sew-In button on a couple of blogs, but didn't really know what it was until June's post last month.  It is a virtual get together for sewing set for the 3rd Friday of each month, hosted by Handmade by Heidi.  I've been waiting for the next FNSI Sign Up to be posted since learning what it is.

DH will be traveling for work this Friday, so once the kids are down, I will be ready to sew.  When I told my friend Kathleen (at our Funday) what my plan was, she said she would join me too.  We both have projects to do.  Don't we all?

Is anyone else up for a Friday Night Sew In?

Happy Stitching!

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Icing on my Sweet Sixteen Cake

I'm in for an extra treat!

Stitch Regulation for the Sweet Sixteen

When I initially set out to get a sit-down long arm, my favorites were the HQ Sweet 16 and its twin, the Baby Lock Tiara.  I was leaning toward purchasing the Tiara simply because there is a good Baby Lock dealer located about 30 minutes drive from my home.  A new HQ dealer shop was going to open but that would be 90 minutes drive from home.  Then, I find a year-old HQ Sweet 16 for sale, and it became the one for me.

Fast forward a month, and the new HQ dealer in Fredericksburg, VA has just opened.  The store is The Crazy Cousin and it is a brand new shop owned by Rhonda Trahern.  I had her info from the Sew Expo, and found her on Facebook as well.  Her website is still under construction, but the feedback on Facebook is great.  We've communicated via email, and she has been so helpful - even in the midst of starting up her new business.

I know this is a Tiara, but it is the same machine as the HQ Sweet 16.
This photo shows the table overlay in place.
I was looking to get the Table Overlay for the Sweet 16 from Rhonda, and also asked about any upcoming TruStitch pricing for the holidays.  She was able to offer me a bit of discount on the TruStitch - which was the same price that was available at the Sew Expo.

But, the exciting news, is that HQ is having a Fall Special!  HQ is including the Table Overlay for free with the purchase of the TruStitch.  So, now I'm getting the TruStitch plus the Table Overlay - for one reasonable price, and having them both shipped to me directly.  Although I would love to meet Rhonda in person, and check out her new quilt shop The Crazy Cousin, I'll save the visit for a time when we are driving out her way.

Sweet 16 made prior to April 10, 2012 require free software upgrade.

One issue for me.  I watched the HQ Webinar for the Sweet Sixteen.  One of the slides presented indicated that if the Sweet 16 was manufactured before April 10, 2012, a factory-installed software upgrade is required to support TruStitch.  The upgrade and shipping are free to U.S. owners.  Since my machine is one year old, this is something I need to take care of before I can actually use the TruStitch.  Rhonda at The Crazy Cousin has said she will try to take care of everything with HQ for me when she sends the order in.  I heard that it may take a couple of weeks for HQ to actually complete a machine upgrade, so I better try and quilt the couple tops I have ready to go first.

Exciting happenings around here!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Funday Monday - In the Hoop iPod Case

My Funday Owl iPod Case
When this school year started, my friend Kathleen and I made a commitment to set one day aside where we would get together and sew/quilt while the kids are in school.  We decided to do Mondays, and we call them Fundays. We get together after my youngest gets on the afternoon kindergarten bus, and that gives us a few hours until the elementary buses return to bring the kids home.  We've also chosen to make the first Funday of the month be our lunch out and pedicure day.  Those really are fun days!!  :-)  We have both turned down other opportunities and events that pop up on Monday afternoons, just so we can still craft.

Today Kathleen brought over a bunch of 5" charms that she has a vision of a quilt for.  She has some light tone on tone, and some with a pink color to them.  The design is in her mind, and I know it will be nice when it is finished.

Kathleen working on her charm quilt.

 I decided to do another in-the-hoop embroidered owl iPod Touch case.  I had done one previously for DD2, and her BFF has asked for one as well.  The BFF picked out some fabrics from my small stash and is very excited to be getting a new case.

UPDATE:  I have been asked to remove the photos in this post that show my work on this project.  Sorry.

Happy Stitching  (but not with Embroidery Garden) Anyway!

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Friday, November 9, 2012

I've been Tagged

I've been TAGGED.  Cath at Bits 'n Bobs has tagged me to play along.  I've haven't been tagged before, so I'll give it a go.

Here are the rules:

  • every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
  • the person who tagged you asked 11 questions, answer them
  • ask 11 questions for the 11 blogs you're going to tag (the people you tag should have less than 200 followers)  I realize now that I forgot about the # of followers part for a couple of my tags - sorry!
  • mention the blog that tagged you, but don't tag them back.

Let's get started:  11 things about me

  1. Born and raised in the United States in the suburbs of Maryland, outside of Washington, DC.  I now live not too far away in the suburbs of northern Virginia.
  2. I am a first-generation American.  My mother is from (former) East Germany, my father is from southern France.  
  3. I love my hubby (married 15 years) and being a mom to our four children - ages 5, 9, 11, 14.  I say I am a Golf Widow, but that is OK because he says he has become a Quilting Widow.  
  4. My husband and I are both the youngest of four children in our families.  
  5. My parents, siblings and in-laws are all local, which makes for large family gatherings at the holidays.
  6. After college, I had my professional career for 15 years in IT as a software engineer and database administrator.
  7. I love weddings and had my own business as a wedding planner.
  8. I like to be organized and I cannot function in clutter.
  9. I bought my first sewing machine at the age of 40 (just five years ago).
  10. Absolutely love machine embroidery and quilting.  Wish I had discovered it earlier in life.
  11. I've run the US Marine Corps Marathon twice while in my 30's.  Wish I could run like that again.

Now here are the 11 questions I got asked:

1.  How many pets do you have?
     One - A sweet Shetland Sheepdog named Lucky.
2.  What is your favorite city in the world?
     Williamsburg, Virginia - would like to retire there.  
3.  What kind of books do you read?
     Biographies and mysteries
4.  Where did you last holiday?
     Our last vacation was at the beaches of the Outer Banks, in North Carolina.
5.  What is your favorite animal?
     A dog.
6.  What is your zodiac sign?
     I am a Capricorn.  ♑
7.  What is your favorite TV show?
     I tend to watch The Voice and Dancing with the Stars.
8.  What was the best bargain purchase you ever made?
     Our office cherry wood L-shape desk and credenza bought at auction for $25.
9.  What is your favorite season?
     I enjoy autumn.   Love the colors and cool air.
10.  Do you like to garden?
     I wish, but no.  Tired it, but not very good at it.  :-(
11.  If you could, would you make  "treechange" or a "seachange"?
     I'd probably vote for a "seachange" since we live near lots of countryside currently.

Now here are the questions I want to ask the blogs I tag:

  1. What time of the day or evening do you do most of your crafting?
  2. If money was not a concern, what would be the next machine or toy you would buy for your craft?
  3. How long have you lived in your current city?
  4. How many states and/or countries have you resided in?
  5. Do you have any pets?  What kind?
  6. What is your favorite TV show?
  7. Do you prefer to read a physical book on use an e-reader device like a Kindle? 
  8. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
  9. Do you prefer to dine-in or go out to eat?
  10. What is your favorite recipe you like to prepare?
  11. What did you eat for breakfast?

Blogs I tagged:

It's a fun way to learn something new about our blogging friends.  I'm looking forward to reading their responses.


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Monday, November 5, 2012

My First Stipple on Sweet 16

I'm so excited I had some time to sit down and start practicing on my Sweetie.  My first impression with my first try is that this is fun, but boy do I need practice!!!  ☺

I've got my quilting gloves on, and I'm free motioning it!
Am I a long-armer now?

I'm new to all this long-arm business, so the first thing I did was watch the included DVD, and wind a bobbin.  The included bobbin winder has got to be the most intimidating bobbin winder ever!  It definitely is not your home sewing machine's simple bobbin winder.  It's a separate piece of equipment on a heavy board with the parts anchored to it.  It's got a powerful little motor too.

All this for a bobbin winder.

Threading the machine is a little unusual as you have to loop it around three times on one of the thread guides.  I'm new to using a bobbin in a case too, so once I got that loaded, I was ready to give the machine a go.
Threading the Sweet 16.

Front side - first practice
Just a meander with no plan on where I was going.

Back side - first practice

I used the preset maximum speed at 25% for this practice run.  My stitches are far from even and it's going to take more practice.  Good thing I bought lots of extra fabric and batting just for this purpose.  It was a lot of fun to use though.  I'm looking forward to more practice time.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Free Standing Lace Turkey Bowl

Since it is now November, I put away the spiders and ghosts around the house, and got out my turkey bowl that I made before.  I thought I would share it with you since he is festive.
Mr. Turkey

I use it as a candy dish for some of the leftover Halloween candy, or some chocolate kisses.

If you are not familiar with Free Standing Lace (FSL), it is when the embroidery design is stitched on a water soluble stabilizer.  After stitching is complete, soak the material in water to dissolve, and all that remains is the thread.  The design has to intended for FSL, otherwise it will not hold together once the stabilizer material is gone.

I found this little guy at Starlight Dreams (scroll to the bottom of the designs page), and it is done in the 4x4 hoop.  Each feather was stitched separately, plus the panels for the body and head.  I simply zig-zagged the pieces together to finish it.

Gobble Gobble!

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