Archive for December, 2009

Beading and Stuff

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

The last three days have been pretty much spent beading and I am not even half way done! But this morning the sun’s rays hit the design wall and really lit the sparks in the sky and brought the flames to life as the beads sparkled . You can see the thread dangling where I left off yesterday.

Clearly, finishing in 2010 will not be a problem! But I’m sure I can make my Jan 14 deadline.

Yesterday, I got my entry sent in to AQS for the Paducah show, cross your fingers for me!

We still have snow as it has been very cold. A little melted but more came to take it’s place. We enjoyed our family Christmas gathering on Sunday this year and plan a quiet new Year’s Eve at home alone. Maybe I can get my jigsaw puzzle finished!

Snow Pictures

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

I just had to bundle up and get a picture of this 3 ft drift before filling the bird feeders destroyed it’s beauty.

You can see how horizontal the snow was this time as the trees are coated up one side but there is no pretty snow on the branches and you can see how swept the open spaces are to make those drifts. We got 8-12″ by the end but it’s hard to tell for sure.

Lots of fun for the dogs.

Not so much for the people.

New Fabric and Christmas Update

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Last week I ordered 26 half yards of batik on sale and on Christmas Eve day they arrived! Well, 25 of them arrived plus one quarter yard piece. I’m not sure if it was a freebie or if it was all they had of the 26th piece. Whatever. Today I will wash, dry and iron them all and try to find a place to put them!

You can’t really see them, but the whitish ones on the left were ordered for the next piece I am anxious to get started on, Mountain Goat kids. There are some nice leaves against blue sky prints that I am always on the lookout for and general nature texture type stuff. They were photographed laying on the back side of the “Spring Burning” piece which is finished except for the beading which I got started on yesterday afternoon.

We are hoping to be able to have our family Christmas on Sunday, but by the looks of the snowdrifts this morning — I don’t know. It all depends on when the wind quits as even if the plow gets through the road will drift shut again as long as the wind blows.

Snowed in Christmas

Friday, December 25th, 2009

The sun is not even up yet, but I can tell Christmas is canceled! This is the view from our front window.

We are snowed in with old fashioned drifts. I guess Christmas is postponed here!! By the looks of the drifts by the front door, I think our dead end country road will be impossible. I guess too many people prayed for a white Christmas! The churches have even canceled and the plows are only doing emergency routes.

The photo shows the view out the front window, snow caught in the screen and the drift beyond. Couldn’t open the front door so you can see where the dogs broke through the drift from the garage door.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are all safe and warm, especially the travelers…….

Machine Problems

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

I resorted to the forbidden – the unthinkable! – and messed with the bobbin case tension, but it resulted in success and I was finally able to complete the quilting on “Spring Burning”. Things are still not right with the machine though. After blocking the piece I proceeded to the trimming and making of the sleeve, documentation tag and bindings and got those sewed on. My plan was to get all of the machine work done and take the machine in for a tune up on Monday. But it sewed perfectly. Could it be it just doesn’t want to do machine quilting any more!?! Now I don’t know WHAT to do!

I plan to put the work aside for now, all that is left is the hand work. Sewing down the binding, sleeve and documentation tag, and the hand beading. I really don’t want to complete this piece until the new year so it can have a 2010 date for competition purposes.

Now I can turn my attention to Christmas preparations. The tree is finally up, the cards sent and the gifts are wrapped but there is still the cooking and the cleaning before the big day.


Thursday, December 17th, 2009

More ways than one……

No good news to report today. Yesterday I struggled with stitch tension problems so was unable to finish the quilting. I have a couple of things to try this morning and if I can’t resolve it, will have to take the machine in for professional help. It seems like this happened last year around this time. Maybe not tension but something that made meeting the deadline difficult. I hate when that happens!!

Still Quilting!

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Steady progress is being made but this piece is taking longer than usual. Yesterday I finished the sky and the pond in the foreground that reflects the fire.
I saw such a pond one night and it was a beautiful sight! I hope today will see the completion of the quilting on this piece. The deadline is in Jan. but I do want to do some hand beading on this one so there is no time to spare.

Meanwhile Christmas obligations nag.

Hand Quilting

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Yesterday I taught a hand quilting class at a local shop and there were five students there! Seven were signed up but 2 got sick or something. Isn’t it great that so many are still interested in learning the hand work skills in this age of machine quilting? It’s always fun and gratifying to help them get started right or to show them ways to make it easier and better. Of course I found some new fabrics to buy as well!

Since I was already in town with a couple of hours to spare, I decided to do a little Christmas shopping. I cannot believe Christmas is coming so fast! I am nowhere near ready!! Everything was busy and crowded, parking difficult and perhaps Saturday shopping was not the best idea.

Whenever I teach hand quilting I usually take this quilt that I have been “working” on for years as a sample.
I started it for an antique bed that we inherited. It’s all hand applique in the Oakleaf and Acorn block, so it needs to be heavily hand quilted I think. I used to be able to quilt one in three months before I got so busy with the business, so it irks me that this one has laid around for years. It’s because I don’t work on it often so I think I will keep it out where I can see it and try to work on it in the evening when I watch TV like I used to do. I did that last night and added bonus—I was able to stay awake for the ending of the movie!!


Friday, December 11th, 2009

It’s hard to tell how much snow we got because of the drifting, but probably only about 4″ I’m guessing. It’s lovely with it’s long blue shadows and diamond sparkles where the sun shines, but it is COLD! I thought about bundling up and going out to take pictures, but staying inside where it is warm won out.

Actually, I have not been out the door since Sunday afternoon when I attended the Topeka Civic Theater’s Christmas show “It’s A Wonderful Life- The Musical”. I was pleasantly surprised, it was better than I expected, better than the movie, but too long!

It’s great quilting weather and since my sewing machine seems to have recovered from the bad thread incident I have made good progress, though I am far from done!

My life this past week has not been very exciting, but this afternoon I will venture forth to do my volunteer hours at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery. It will be good to get out…..

Spring Burning Top Done.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Wow. That took a long time but the top is finally done. Because of the curved seam piecing almost every seam line had to be clipped and pinned so it does take longer. And it’s big. I had planned on working smaller but this one just seemed to want to be big.

Monday I got it layered and pinned and yesterday as the snow came down, I started the quilting. At first it went well, but then I started having trouble. Just about every 10 inches the thread broke. SO frustrating! I changed the tension, changed the needle, cleaned and oiled. Nothing worked. I think it was bad thread actually. When I changed the thread it seems to be better so I am hoping that today goes well.