Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009- The Year Of The Depressories

My husband found this calendar called, "Depressories" which is my motto for this year.  Each month has pretty good evaluation of the year.  I'm tired of being positive and listening to overachievers.  This is the year of giving up and being anti-inspirational.  Just like this calendar.  

January's theme is:


It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to 0thers.  

So..for this month any of my mistakes are just warnings.  I'm not about to worry about my mistakes in quilting and in real life.  If I happen to make a mistake that really deserves you being warned, I'll post it.

Now off to bed because I really don't care about the new year.  Hopefully; my hubby isn't cleaning up toilet water now.  But I doubt it.  He'll just come in tomorrow, dump his wet uniform in the wash and take a shower.




Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nancy Chong

I had another "DUH" moment. I've been trying to find thread that matches my Mariner's Compass quilt. I have to order online as there isn't anyplace near to get thread. I can go to Lincoln or Omaha but I've found a lot of places don't carry a lot of thread colors or thread I like. Sigh. I'm sort of a thread snob.

I really like Aurifil thread but it's really pricy. DMC machine embroidery thread is another favorite. I don't hate Superior threads, but there's something about the company that really bugs me. I don't know what it is though.

I've been going back and forth between Redrock threads and Soft Expressions for thread but I don't feel like playing guessing games at 8.95 a spool for Aurifil. DMC thread is really cheap..2.70 a spool, but I really couldn't find the colors I wanted. I don't know why my OCD is so bad, but I want the perfect colors to work with this quilt. I plan on doing some intricate thread work and need the colors to match. I want this quilt perfect.

Then the DUH moment hit me. Nancy Chong!! She sells Aurifil thread in small spools and her site is fabulous! I went to her site and she has actual spools of thread to show the colors. I found the colors I want!!! Now I can go over to Redrockthreads and get the colors I need. Nancy only sells the 220 yard spools or I'd order from her. 

I did find a kit (see the picture) but not sure I want to do it now. Her applique designs are so beautiful and to die for, but I'm not feeling like hand applique or fitting it for machine applique at the moment. If you do like hand applique, her DVD is awesome. It's worth every penny.

Now to work out the quilting designs for the compass points. I know what I want. I'm just not sure how to translate my brain to paper. I wish I had my embroidery machine before I started this project.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Counted Cross Stitch

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  My kids had a great time and loved their gifts.  They each got an ipod shuffle and have spent the day charging them.  Still figuring out Apple does their software.  It's not hard, just hard finding your way around the web page.

My FIL's wife sent me these:

From Quilted with Love

From Quilted with Love

I knew about the snowman because I fell in love with him while we were at Hobby Lobby. I wasn't expecting the teddy bear. She has more patience than I do and her work is beautiful. I will treasure these forever. I can't even begin to imagine how many hours she's spent doing these for me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Flowers And Butterflies

I've been busy making some kitchen towels for a friend. I'm still learning about stabilizers and my fear is that the designs will distort over time. However; here they are:
From Quilted with Love

From Quilted with Love

From Quilted with Love

These were a lot of fun to make and I hope she enjoys them.  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hunkering Down

My mom is wonderful. She works part time at a candy place during the holiday season. I just got a huge box of candy from her. Chocolate covered cherries and blueberries (my favorites). Chocolate covered nuts and plain varieties as well. Yummm. They've come just in time for hunkering down for an ice storm.

I've insulated my pipes, stocked up on salt and food for the weekend. It was just starting to get busy when I left the store earlier. The kids got out early today in preparation for the storm.

I'm just worried about my tree out front. Last year we got 3/4 of an inch of ice. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone with the limbs breaking from the weight every few minutes. We lost several limbs off of our tree which thankfully landed in the yard.

The kids are out for Christmas break now. If the storm hits like they are saying, there won't be any school tomorrow, so I figure Christmas break started today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Sister's Clutch Purse

I got my embroidery machine back yesterday and finished up stitching out the rest of the panels for a clutch purse.  The hard part is cutting away the fabric close enough to cover the edges with a satin stitch.  I have yet to master that skill and have bits of fabric between the satin stitching.  It's really frustrating.

I'm still figuring out iphoto as well.  It seems to publish to an online photo album but I can't find how to have the photos come here.  With Picassa you can just upload and put in an online photo right to Google.  
While the photo makes the color look red, it's actually a really pretty orange.  My sister LOVES orange.  I hope she likes it.

Ahh..figured it out!  You can download Picassa for Mac and it works with iphoto.  Cool!
Here's the inside of the bag:
From Blogger Pictures

Can you see where the satin stitching didn't work because I couldn't cut the fabric close enough?

Here's the clutch with the flap:
From Blogger Pictures

Here's where I could really use some help. I don't know how to keep the flap shut. Any ideas? The directions said to do it any way I wanted too. I thought of velcro, something in front, and that's it. I would love to do a strap of some kind, but don't know how to do that either.

I'll keep thinking about it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Floating Blocks

I got my 3D quilt top done today.   I made it a lot smaller as doing inset seams was driving me nuts.  Regardless of how I did it, they weren't coming out square.  It's not the inset seams that are a pain, it's the diagonal seam that is messing me up.

BUT.. my quilt is still square and I got the borders on with ease on the Sapphire machine.  The sewing advisor is almost like having a walking foot and I love it.  I wasn't cursing my way through the borders.  I was even tempted to add another 1/2 inch green border.  Me doing 1/2 inch borders!  I'm going to bind it in green as I don't want to have a seam on the back of the quilt.

I love how this turned out with the blocks floating in the air. Hmm..I think that extra green border might have to go in with another blue one to make it really seem like it's floating.  

I'm still figuring out how iphoto works.  I got the MobileMe gallery up, but I don't know if you can link from that like like I do Picassa.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Computers and Threads

What is your Rock Star Name?

1. Rock star name: Captain Americat Elantra
2. Gangsta Name: Mint Boots
3. Native American Name: Blue Moose
4. Superhero Name: Red Soda
5. NASCAR Name: John Eugene
6. Stripper Name: Rose Snickers
7. TV Weather Anchor Name: Brown Belfast
8. Spy Name: Spring Rose
9. Cartoon Name: Peach Jeans
10. Hippie Name: Honey Smacks Walnut

How did I get those names:
1. first pet name / current car
2. favorite ice cream flavor / favorite type of shoe
3. favorite color / favorite animal
4. second favorite color / favorite drink
5. first names of your grandfathers
6. favorite perfume or scent/ favorite candy
7. 5th Grade teacher’s last name/ City that starts with the same first letter
8. favorite season/ favorite flower
9. favorite fruit / an article of clothing you are wearing now
10. what you ate for breakfast / favorite tree

I haven't gotten anything done lately. My meds are out of wack and I've been feeling the effects. I had a seizure a couple of days ago because of it. I had a flu shot on Monday which hasn't helped. I just want to sleep.

While at the doc office hubby was told he had high blood pressure..160 over something like 100 so he's now taking medication.

Hubby and I went to Council Bluffs, Iowa to the Best Buy to get a steelbook edition of "Hancock". Men and metal boxes. I looked at computers as I want a new one. I'm torn between an Imac and..well..Vista. I really want the Imac. The problem is that my quilting and embroidery software don't run on the Mac operating system. My solutions are to get the XP for the Mac which means boosting up the Imac so it can handle two operating systems or getting a cable that connects my current tower to the Imac and working with one screen.

I have no desire to go to Vista and I've heard rumors that another version is in the works for Microsoft.

And of course, the price of a new computer. Hubby was so sweet to get me the Sapphire 870 and I can't justify a new computer. Mine works, it just gets hosed up and is slower than a snail at times. I've whined now. I feel better.

I stopped by the Janome dealer in Omaha and picked up more thread and needles. I'm turning into a thread junkie..LOL.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Scissors Are Cool

This turned out incredibly stunning!!! I bought applique scissors today as they were recommended for this type of work. It was so easy to trim the edges. I'm still shocked at how beautiful this turned out.

The water soluble stabilizer rinsed out pretty good but I will probably have to run it under again. I was thinking of giving this as a Christmas present, but I may have to keep this one too!

Now that I know how to put these FSL pieces together, this will be so much more fun.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Free Standing Lace Doily Done

I finally got it together after several hours of agonizing over how to stitch the pieces together. It looks fabulous and I love it. Well worth all the problems I've had with it over the past month. Each design takes around an hour to stitch out..and that's if your stabilizer works with you. I ruined a few of them.

I need a pair of applique scissors and hopefully hubby will take me to Lincoln tomorrow to get them. I've cut away the fabric as much as I dare with a regular pair of scissors.

My Sapphire 870 is AMAZING. It had no problem going through all the lace. I don't think my Janome 6600 would have done it as well using a small zigzag. I've tried using the 6600 before on a project that had thick seams and it choked up.

I love the Sewing Advisor. I had it set at medium fabric but it just didn't sound right. Plus the needle came out twice and I broke another. I set it to heavy and amazingly it worked!! No more problems. I still keep thinking the advisor is just a gimmick, but it's real. I love that the foot lifts up when you stop. It made going around the curves a breeze. No messing with a knee lift or the pressure foot lift.

I love that you don't have to hold on to the reverse button. Just press it and it goes backwards. I love the control I get with the foot pedal and the machine makes the most amazing looking stitches.

Did I tell you I LOVE this machine?? It's so nice having a machine you love. My Janome 350e is amazing as well. It sews out beautifully.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Free Standing Lace And Christmas Cat

Wow. I finally got the free standing lace all stitched out for a doily. 8 of everything makes for a lot of work. Especially if you don't have a clue what you are doing. I'm supposed to put all the pieces together and sew them onto white fabric. Then cut out the extra fabric and have a doily. Hmmm. Leave it to me to do this for a first time project. I had no idea how big this was going to be. I have no spacial awareness ability.

I got the second cat done on a dishtowel yesterday. Two more and I'll have them done. I love the socks and the reindeer antlers on his head.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Cats

If I've been coming across as "weird" it's because the manic-depression symptoms are back. Medication helps but I do go through rough spots. Just know I'm rather cranky and irritable about stupid stuff and just let any annoying posts go over your head. If you think my posts are annoying, be grateful you don't have to live me. I'm grateful for a loving family who helps me get through the rough spots.

I have been doing some quilting stuff. I bought my first ever quilt magazine subscription from Mark Lipinski and got my first issue the other day. The issue is just what I needed to read.

I've been working out numbers for my pattern. How many strips you need to cut out..etc.

I did get this done today with my embroidery machine. My first attempt was..well...pathetic. But this one turned out really nice. I did it on a kitchen towel instead of a bath towel and it stitched out beautifully. I love the set and got both the 4x4 and 5x7 sizes. They are going to be a Christmas present but I'm tempted to keep the set to myself. LOL.

I still need to finish up a doily. I have 3 more pieces to embroider and then attempt to make it all fit together.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Wow. I have a test pattern done for my 3-D block quilt! It's pretty rough and just has the directions for the block. The yardages and how many strips you need aren't correct as I haven't finished the blocks.

All I need is a few people to test out the directions for the block. Email me and I'll send it out. Don't worry about the colors or if it gives a 3-d look. I just need to know if the inset seam directions make sense.

The only problem I'm having with this block is that my rulers don't match up with the edge of my foot. My foot is accurate, it just makes drawing the lines with a ruler hard.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

3-D Block Quilt

I bought a new iron the other day. Wow. It's really nice and easier to use. So much lighter than my Rowenta.

I started working on my 3-D quilt blocks today. I pulled out my "Precision Piecing" DVD and watched it again. That's really helped and my blocks are coming out 9.5 inches like they should. It's taking forever to make one though. I need 30 blocks to make this quilt. 28 more to go! Kristie, you inspire me to put out blocks..LOL!

I really like how this is turning out. I may have to write up pattern directions now that I have a better idea of how to do this. EQ's rotary cutting chart is so useless. There is a really easy way to do this block with out cutting out templates or angled sides. I learned it from an old pattern I bought years ago. You cut out rectangles and squares and sew on the diagonal. Fold the square or rectangle over, press and cut out the extra underneath. Instant angle!

I had a seizure this morning while cutting out fabric. I'm SO glad I didn't cut my fingers. I usually have a warning before I have one so I was able to put the cutter down. Stupid epilepsy. Almost made it 3 months though. I just spent the morning sleeping off the seizure. Hubby said it was pretty long and hard. I still have my fingers..not complaining.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Pressing "Hump"

To buy a new iron or not? There's nothing really wrong with my iron other than it doesn't really press seams down as much as I'd like it too. I was using a friend's beat up old iron and it was perfect. No "hump" over the seams like mine does. That's the only thing that aggravates me..the "hump" as I call it. Where you press the seams to one side and you get a "hump" instead of a flat seam. That small edge that needs to go over just a little more. I know it exists because my friend's iron didn't leave a "hump". It was a beautiful pressed seam.

My iron gets really hot. It doesn't shut off so I can use it all day. It doesn't leak. It gets wrinkles out. I really don't have any complaints other than the "hump" problem. The problem is that I don't know why I get the "hump". Am I causing the "hump"? Does anyone else get the "hump" or is it a figment of my imagination?

How do I know that if I buy a new iron, I won't have this problem? Have you taken a look at the irons out there? Talk about overload. Apparently my friends basic Black And Decker doesn't exist anymore as a scoured the internet looking for one. Everything is now "space age" funky with all kinds of stuff that I'll never use.

I almost sound like Dr. Suess with the "hump". LOL

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Driver

Since hubby is my driver we spend a lot of time together. He works nights so he can get me to doc visits and run errands. That's why he's always with me at a quilting store. Of course it works backwards as well. I help him raid Best Buys looking for DVDs. I know what he's looking for and what he might like. I know what movies are in steelbook and what movies have special editions.

I was even evil and told him he could have a Blu-Ray player. He asked what he'd do with all the movies he has now. He didn't want to have to buy them over again. Sigh. I told him you keep your dvd player for the dvds and start buying movies you want now for the Blu-Ray player. You get the best of both worlds. He agreed that I was evil. The only reason he hasn't taken me up on the offer is that Blu-Ray players still full of glitches. And a lot of the movies have been copied from dvd and put on Blu-Ray discs making them pointless. He's happy with his region-free player for now. He just picked up "Knight Rider" and steelbook copies of "Indiana Jones" and "The Hulk". Next week we go pick up some more movies.

Back to quilting. My Sapphire makes a wonderful 1/4 inch seam. I put it to the test when I did some really small blocks that came out 1x2 inches finished. Wow. So far no issues with the machine. It hasn't blown up on me, eaten my fabric or made me want to kill it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Husband The Fabric Snob

I opened up comments again just to let people know.

My husband is a fabric snob. I didn't think he was one until today. He's never showed any interest in fabric, just picking out the patterns that he wants me to do.

We were in Hancock Fabrics to get some water soluble stabilizer for my embroidery project and they were having a huge sale on fabric. I realized that they had flannel and fleece on sale and asked him if he wanted some for backing on his other quilt. He starts looking through the bolts and feeling the fabric. Most of it is baby flannel, but he's rummaging around through the fleece and the fake Minky fabric. He finally looks up at me and says, "I don't like any of it. This is just junk and feels awful. I want you to order the flannel fabric that you made with my quilt. It's better quality and I like it." Then he gives me the puppy dog stare. It's his No need for the puppy dog stare.

I figure while we're here I'll get a 60 mm rotary cutter. I know they aren't cheap and I find the one with the ergonomic handle. I look at the price..Geesh. I finally find the basic one and hubby looks at it and said, "You can't have that one." Huh?? "It doesn't have the red button like your other one has and locks. Get the one with the red button." He's noticed there's a red safety button on my 45 mm one??

Ohh..the Hancock Fabrics I was at has a Bernina dealer in it. Hubby was looking at the special edition Bernina machine that's hand painted. It's really cool but I don't need one and figure the paint will chip and come off eventually. The lady proudly says it was hand painted in Italy. He looks at her at says, " it's hand painted by little Italian street urchins? They sure want a lot for it." The lady looks at him, jaw dropped, and doesn't have anything to say. I'm thinking "Oh crap. She's gonna be so upset at him." Instead she bursts out laughing. If I had said that, I'd have gotten the death stare.

There's a small part of me that says if I can make it one more month seizure free I can do this all by myself, but then it wouldn't be nearly as fun without him. Easier, but not fun. Even if I can legally drive, I'm not sure I want to drive up to Lincoln or Omaha by myself. Even though I've been seizure free, I still have it and there's always that risk.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pattern Inconsistencies

I got the top done for my "Floral Meditation". Well..sort of. I don't think I cut down the panel right and it's off by a LOT. That's what I get for not cutting the panel first and adding the flower after it. So much for square.

Another part of the problem with the pattern is that the paper template is off on the border information. It's not 17.5 x 30.5 like the directions say. So if you followed the paper pattern with the corner pieces and the cutting, you really messed up as well. My other mistake was that I used one piece of fabric instead of making the six blocks and didn't adjust to make it right. The pattern was just really confusing direction wise with the layout. I got lost on the dimensions of the quilt because of the inconsistencies of it. I should have just kept to the paper template and gone from there with the measurements.

Here's what I have done:
From Blogger Pictures

It's still stunning though. I just need to finish up a few details and then will quilt it. I loved the border fabric and picked the colors from it.

It's a great pattern. The flower part was KISS simple but the confusion between the paper template and the directions really messed me up.

I loved doing the triple stitch on my Sapphire. What a beautiful job and it was so easy. The 1/4 seam allowance is perfect and even though the quilt isn't flat, the borders match up. I love this machine.

I also didn't like the fusible webbing my LQS had. It was a giant pain to work with. I'm not sure what brand it is, but I won't buy it again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beep! ,,,Beep!...Beep!...

What a day. Hubby said the computer was making a beeping noise and I took a look at it. Every minute it was beeping. My first thought was my hard drive is dying. I went through everything trying to find out where it was coming from.

I called my dad and asked him. He said to restart the computer and see if it still beeped. If it still beeped put it in safe mode. It beeped in both. Sigh. My computer is cursed. I know it. Finally in frustration after a couple of hours I shut the dang thing off. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Great! I have a ghost of a computer now. Then it hit me. Something else is beeping not the computer. I look up and realize my TracFone is beeping to remind someone to charge it. I still have that stupid nonworking thing?? Sigh. I've spent all morning trying to figure out my computer and it's my TracFone.

I have been working on things. I have my snowman panel quilt done for my hubby. Minkee fabric backing included as well. I even bound it folding over the minkee. Here it is:
From Blogger Pictures

And the Minkee backing:
From Blogger Pictures

I've also done some lace on my Janome 350e.
From Blogger Pictures

My machine has eaten a couple of them. Nothing like 80 minutes gone down the drain. Sigh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Main Motor Overload"

My Sapphire is an interesting machine..LOL. I was trying to do binding and it kept acting up and making a horrible noise. All of a sudden it said "Main Motor Overload" and stopped. I hate binding quilts.

My dealer said you didn't really need a walking foot because of the electronic sensor system. When I bought the machine, the owner threw in a walking foot to sweeten the deal as I wanted one. I put the walking foot on and it got all caught up again. Sigh. I really do hate binding.

Then I remembered I have the "Sewing Adviser" system which I really have no clue how to use. I get the idea but never really thought it was needed. I took a look at the adviser and put it on "stretch heavy" since I'm working with Minkee fabric. I started the machine it worked with ease the rest of the way. The walking foot is so wonderful! Guess that sewing adviser thingy really does work..LOL.

I did give up with FMQ on the Sapphire for today. I didn't feel like spending an hour quilting something I knew my 6600 could do in a few minutes. The Sapphire does a great job of FMQ. It just works differently than the 6600 and I haven't adjusted to it yet.

My camera batteries died so I don't have a pic to show of my finished quilt.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This is a test to see if my PDF program is working. I'm hoping that I can post a link to the file so that people can download the pattern. I did it as a rotary cutting page Here's the quilt:
From Blogger Pictures

Leave a post if you'd like to get the PDF file. I'll see if it works from there.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I Didn't Mean To..Really

I didn't mean too. Really. I just went over to look. Honest. It called to me. It knew my name. I couldn't resist it. I played with it. I fell in love with it. We had an instant connection. Even hubby recognized that there was a connection and let me do it.

From Blogger Pictures

It's a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 870 and it's amazing. It has everything I've ever wanted and more. It sews amazingly. It free motions beautifully. An exact 1/4 inch seam with ease. The features are incredible.

I got the borders on my flannel quilt done yesterday and today with it. No problems whatsoever. I LOVE this machine.

From Blogger Pictures

I'm FMQ my hubby's snowman quilt with Minkee fabric on the back with relative ease. Since my machine doesn't ft in my Janome table, it's on top. As I don't have it flush with the table it's harder to work with the fabric. All they make for it is an acrylic crappy table. They decided not to make the extension table I really wanted in the book. FMQ beautifully!

Did I tell you I LOVE this machine?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Got All 9 Done!

I finally have all 9 blocks done! WooHoo! I have them quilted but now I'm stuck. Do I make them into one big wall hanging or just bind each one and have a sleeve/tabs for hanging individually?

I was going to do the "quilt as you go" method but now I'm not sure I like the idea.

I tried to find the font that was used so I could add a title of sorts on the top. I'd probably have to email the website.

I did play with EQ6 some but since I can't put the designs in the squares, it's hard finding colors that work.

I guess I don't have to do it now. I can still think about it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

House Rules #3

From Blogger Pictures

I got this done today. I have 6 more to go. These are turning out so nice!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Got Embird!

I bought Embird over the weekend for my embroidery needs. It's like EQ6. Janome's Customizer is overpriced (299) and under featured. However; if you want to use the Giga Hoop, you have to have it. Sewing machine manufacturers really know how to soak every penny out of us.

What I've really needed is a way to line up my design in the hoop so that I can do it 4 times. The Giga hoop is too small to put a 4.5 inch size design in. Customizer just prints out templates not placement. Customizer better utilizes the Giga hoop then Embird so Customizer isn't a waste.

Here's what I've done for doing my quilt block. I'm no expert by any means but it has worked for me. Embird lets you set your design anywhere and gives you X/Y coordinates. I set my design at -.50x1.5 inches so that it fits directly in the corner. The rest of the design is white so you can't see it. The next template I made I used brown.
From Blogger Pictures

I marked the center of the design and the center lines of the hoop. I also marked the edge of the design so I know where to place it on the fabric. That really helped with accuracy big time.

I cut out a 12x12 square of fabric and marked the center lines. I like even numbers..LOL.

1. Using the marked lines of the template I lined them up with the marked lines of the fabric. The marked line at the bottom of the design is used. NOT the hoop center line.

2. I marked the center of the design in all 4 squares. Next I marked the center lines of the template for use of the center marks of the hoop.

3. Using the center lines I hoop the fabric and then move the needle over to the center cross hairs and stitch out the design. I did this with all 4 sides of the fabric. It works! Here it is:

From Blogger Pictures

I made this picture larger so you can see the center of the design marks and then the hoop line marks. It's not completely perfect as I tried out the plastic template that came with my hoop. It's not lined right as I discovered. Just use the marks that come with hoop.

My next set of templates have the white design as dark:

From Blogger Pictures

I haven't darkened the lines yet.

I have also been working on these:

From Blogger Pictures
They are part of a set of 9 blocks that have wonderful sayings about family. I plan to make them into a quilted wall hanging. I put batting underneath the fabric and will add the backing later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Resizing Designs

I got my jeans done with the embroidered flowers down the side. It looks great and I love them.

I told DH I wanted a serger. I did take a look at one at my Janome dealer but figured I'd wait and see how badly I really needed one. It would just be nice..not a necessity.

I'm still figuring out how to put 4 designs together to make a quilt block.

Here's what I have so far:
From Blogger Pictures

I've had to move the 5x7 hoop around the fabric and have been trying to have the designs meet up perfectly in the center. Umm..for a first try it looks pretty good.

Then my dealer said to resize the design for my Giga Hoop. The size of the block is 4.5 inches square. By the time I reduced the block it was really little. Here it is:
From Blogger Pictures

That's really resized and not what I wanted. I'm back to rehooping with the 5x7 hoop. My last attempt was pathetic with another block. I just need more practice.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Embroidering On Jeans

I got this beautiful set of embroidery designs called "Simply Sublime" from "Reases Realist Designs" from the OregonPatchWorks site and did a pair of jeans with them.

I haven't taken off the water soluble stabilizer yet as I'm still figuring out to finish the jeans. I'm lost on that. I thought of these options:

1. Add extra flowers scattered randomly up the leg.
2. Go around the pockets..but I'd have to cut up part of the inside pocket seam.
3. From the top of the other leg go down with the flowers. However; that means ripping the seam all the way up.
4. Leave it as it is since I'm too tired to deal with it. LOL. I'm not used to having embroidered jeans for myself so I want to keep it adult like and not overload.

Here's a close up of the flowers:

My girls adore the patterns and want me to do their jeans as well. I love sticky back stabilizer as you just lay the jeans on top, add the water soluble stabilizer and go.

Monday, September 01, 2008

I Could Put My Car In This!!!

I got the peacock design done today! Those center parts took over a hour each to stitch out. Here it is:

Wow..I love it! I had no idea that this was a GIANT size tote I know what a tote bag is..LOL. I don't even carry a purse. That's what pockets are for. So the size right now is 12x16 inches. The directions have you add another 4 blocks making it a 16x16 size block. People have THAT much stuff?

Then you are to stitch out the blocks above for the back panel. gets bigger! The smaller sides are 8 inches wide x 16 inches tall. Heck, I could my car in that. Or my sewing machine...Hey..that's an idea! Make it a cover for my 6600!

Dunno..make it a tote bag or a sewing machine cover?

Bag: If I did a purse thingy, I wouldn't add the extra 4 blocks on the top or the 8 inch sides. I'd keep the size I have and made the side pieces a width like 4 inches. I'd also use a dark color for the other sides. I figured I'd make the other sides quilted. It's constructing all the sides that will be the death of me. I have it planned out in my head but it's still an overkill sized purse/bag. Hmmm ...anyone want to make this into a bag for me?

Machine Cover: I have the cover to my 350e that I could use as a template. I'd have to do some adjusting but could get it to work. I'd have the best looking 6600 cover for miles. Then I could find a pattern for a smaller bag and get the "best of both worlds" according to Hannah Montana. LOL! I have little girls..can you tell? Hubby picked up the dvd for them.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Using The Giga Hoop

I tried out the giga hoop today. The giga hoop lets you do larger areas without having to rehoop. It's basically 2 5x7 fields. You do one side, flip the hoop and do the other side. What it doesn't do is one large section starting from the middle. There isn't enough space to the right of the needle. The biggest catch to this hoop is being able to line up both sides perfectly. It means careful marking and careful editing.

Here's my first attempt:

Using Customizer I imported the design and opened the "Easy Gigahoop". I played with a couple of different layouts and decided on this one. I zoomed in to see if everything matched and got them as close as I could using the guides. I saved the design to my USB stick and stitched it out one side at a time. I'm off some..but in this case you wouldn't notice. My center marks are off just a tad and maybe the design as well. I'm pleased that it came out so good.

This is perfect for quilting! I can do large blocks this way. It took two hours to stitch this out though. I thought I'd picked a quicker design but for a test run, it worked.

I've also been working on my purse squares. Here's what I have so far:

Somehow you are supposed to zig zag the blocks together to make this purse. Each block is quilted so it will be relatively stable. Still not sure this is going to work.

Actually; this is really easy as well, but tricky. The design stitches out the outline on water soluble stabilizer. You add the batting and the top over the stitching. The machine stitches another line over the two layers. The first couple of blocks have pleats as I was out of basting spray. The spray is a must so the layers don't shift. I thought I could away with it. After the design is stitched out, you add the backing behind the stabilizer. It does another outline stitch and then you trim the fabric as close to that outline as you can. You take the hoop off the machine, but you don't unhoop the project. That's still a skill I need practice on as it's really hard.

This pattern seems to be off on the edging as it doesn't quite line up with the basting stitches. I don't know how to fix it. When you trim the batting and fabric, it doesn't line up when you do the last satin stitching. I have the top row done and was working on the one of the 2nd row blocks when the inner hoop popped out while trimming the layers. 30 minutes down the drain..LOL.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Machine Embroidery And Quilting

I played with the editing feature of my machine last night and came up with this:

I played with the rotation of the design and liked this one. It would be great for a border for a larger piece like a table cloth. I added the border with my Janome 6600. I had to take out part of the side design (try undoing all those tiny leaves) as I had a major pleat when the lines met. I hate when this happens. I used the border to quilt the design. It's still really hard to get the block square because of the quilting. It puckers the fabric and distorts it.

I'm not sure if I should finish it or attempt a "quilt as you go" using different designs. The dang quilt wouldn't be square when I got done though because of the distortion between all the blocks. The block is 8x12.

My thread for my peacock purse will be in Wednesday according to UPS. Stupid shipping cost half of what I paid for the thread and I went basic ground. Maybe I should spend the money to get software to convert to thread I buy locally. It would still have to be mailed out but I'd get it the next day and it wouldn't cost me more than a couple of dollars.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Machine Embroidery Tips

I ordered my threads today for the peacock bag. I'm slowly understanding the machine embroidery world of designs. Here's what I've figured out:

1. Check Your Sizes. I almost ordered a 9 inch design by accident. My largest hoop is a 5x7. Also check if your design is too small..or has enough designs that are in scale to one another. I ordered a set thinking they were different sizes and they weren't. There are no exchanges or refunds in this world.

2. Check Your Format. Janome runs on JEF. Before ordering make sure you buy the right format. Now, if you screw up and have a spiffy software program you can convert designs, but I don't. I've found that a lot of "freebies" only come in certain formats.

3. Know What You Want. People are out to get you to buy their stuff. They offer freebies, discounts, special pricing for joining their groups/newsletters, and funky sales ideas. It's almost like watching "QVC" all day long. LOL. It's really easy to fall into the trap of buying things not because you want them, but because they hype it up. Hmm..don't they do that with fabric too? LOL

4. Back Up Your Designs. If your computer crashes, you are out of luck. I copy mine to CD and label the discs. I have some on a USB drive as well. Actually; someone on the Janome group had a great idea of backing up all your personal stuff on a USB drive in case of emergency and you have to leave your house ASAP.

5. Don't Be Afraid To Try New Things. I fell in love with the peacock design on the purse but had to decide if I wanted to try the purse. I took the risk because the design was on sale and I liked the design of the purse. The site had 2 other peacock designs on sale as well, but I knew they weren't for me. There are TONS of purse patterns out there, but I liked this one.

6. Check The Quality Of The Design. It might be a stunning design, but if it seems "off" it might be. 99% of the designers I've used are incredible and I haven't had a problem. I have been to other sites that have been plain awful.

I love sites that show examples of their work and work from other people. As a newbie, it boosts my confidence and gives me ideas of what to do with a design. I'm not so much interested in freebies as I am with workable projects. The peacock purse had directions, thread lists, and actual pictures of the purse. While the designer figured I knew what I was doing when she wrote the tutorials, having pictures is wonderful.

7. Print Out Templates. I have a 3 ring binder full of print outs of the designs in their sizes. It helps me plan out a pattern and I have instant access to designs. Yes, it takes time and space but it really helps.

8. Organize. I'm still working on this one. I know they have software out there for organizing down to the tiniest detail but at this point, I can't afford them nor do I need it. However; if you stick everything under your embroidery file, it's easy to lose things. I do have subfiles and that helps some. This is where the physical template binder helps. I can be more anal there.

I find that organizing by designer helps more than organizing by subject. Then within the designer you can put in flowers, quilt blocks, etc

9. Join The Groups/Newsletters That You will Buy From. With everyone wanting your attention it's easy to join everything. I've had to scale down to the sites that I do want instead of everything. There's no point having someone that you don't want, emailing you every day to buy their stuff. Joining up with some groups has let me find sites that I would never find on my own.

10. Buying From Different Sites. I've found that designers are on several sites that are like being in a shopping mall. Each "mall" has different payment types and offer different types of "rewards" and clubs. Some "malls" I don't like so I don't use them. Designers have their own site but belong to "malls". I watch the specials from each "mall" and buy that way to get the best deal for me.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Machine Embroidered Napkins

I picked up a set of napkins at Target the other day to practice some machine embroidery. I'll be honest. Our family doesn't have fine china, table linens and any else like that. It's not that I don't care, I'm just a simple person. And I can never find what I like anyway.

The hard part wasn't the embroidering. It was trying to figure out where to put the designs. My free trial of Embird has expired and since I don't know how to use it anyway, I'll wait for now. It seems like the software was for putting designs within a hoop, not for laying out an entire design. However; I couldn't print out templates to adjust around the napkins. Unless..someone else knows of another program to do that. Or of a book..or something to layout your designs.

So, I did it the hard way.

I drew diagonal lines and lines going in half. Ohh..the napkins aren't square either. Fun. Thankfully the design page had the dimensions of the pieces so I started with the corner. I got out my ruler and guesstimated where I wanted it to go. Then I drew lines to make the center of this square. Sigh. This gonna take forever. Since I was using a corner, I machine basted the fabric to the water soluable stabilizer, lined the hoop up with the center lines and put it under the machine. WOW! It stitched out beautifully.

Now to get the other designs next to the corner. You want them straight and equally spaced apart right? After a half hour or so of playing and stitching out the design for a template I got what I wanted. Or so I hoped. After several hours of marking, stitching and satin stitching here is the finished piece:

Here's a close up of the corner:

I love the open cutwork designs. They are so beautiful and really easy to do. What I really wanted to do was add more of the side design around but don't know how to do it so it all matches up. I also think it needs more blue to balance the white. Or the corner design in the opposite side. Which I wasn't in the mood to do after trying to make this work for a couple of hours. It's not stitching out the design, it's knowing where to position all the designs. I know there's a KISS way to do this, I just don't know it.

BUT..if I can do this, anyone can. The information online is incredible and the downloadable designs are usually very good. My Janome 350e is a wonderful machine and I adore it. I did the satin stitch with the 6600 and it turned out beautifully as well.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Minky Fabric And My Husband

If you ever happen to stop in Urie, Uinta County, Wyoming, just off of I-80 you HAVE to stop off and visit "Valley Fabric Shop". The store was fabulous! She had display quilts of everything. We had stopped off in Urie on our way back from Utah because my grandmother was born and raised there. I hadn't expected to find a quilt shop so it was quite a treat.

I dragged DH and the kids around and suddenly hubby points at a display quilt and says, "I want that one". I took a look at it and laughed. Wanna know what he picked out?

I'm not kidding. He wanted a snowman quilt. It's a snowman panel and strips of the coordinating fabric. On the back of the display quilt was purple Minky fabric. Hubby falls in love after he strokes it and wants it as a backing as well. Now..I know Minky is EXPENSIVE and I figured he'd give up after he saw the price. Nope. He didn't choke at the price at all. My jaw dropped as he ordered 2 yards of purple Minky fabric since she was out. I should get it next week some time. I'm in shock now. Pale purple Minky fabric and a snowman quilt kit??!! Wait. It gets better.

Hubby picked out the fabric for the above quilt. I'm NOT kidding. There was a display of this quilt in these colors but she didn't have a kit. He decided he wanted that quilt and I started pulling out greens, browns and creams. He would say whether or not he wanted the fabric. You know..he's picky. He was finally happy with the above selection with a moose fabric border. It's done in flannels and he liked that it was a "manly" quilt.

I've decided he's going to help make those quilts. Even if it's just cutting strips with a rotary cutter. You know, our husbands know more about quilting than they'll ever admit too. It's wonderful that my husband takes such an active role in quilting. He never used to care, but to see him running around a quilt shop picking out fabrics for the above quilt was so incredibly sexy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Embroidering Shirts and Quilt Blocks

Been playing with my embroidery machine and got a design on a shirt. Once I figured it out, it was really easy. I just need help with the placement..LOL. I found a couple of sites that gave specifics on where to place designs on shirts, pants, towels..etc. Next time I will do a better job.

Here's a close up of the shirt:

Here's my daughter wearing the shirt:

I hadn't taken off the water soluble stabilizer yet. It turned out really good.

I've been working on quilt blocks as well. I have the first 6 of 30 designs done.

What I'm not sure is if I have messed up the black fabric. You can tell some of it is lighter even though it's the same. I did check the fabric and the front and back. Hmmm.

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Addition! I Did It!

I did it! I got brave and did it! I now own an embroidery machine! I got a Janome 350e today. The dealer was SO wonderful to work with. He answered all my questions and was really honest with me. So...Here she/he is:

I know most people name their machines but haven't come up with one for this one yet. However; I haven't named it "Frustrating" LOL.

My biggest concern was that I am easily frustrated and worried about not liking the machine after I bought it. He was honest and said that I will get frustrated. It won't always work the way you want it to and I will screw up the designs. was okay if I did. Sigh. Finally. Someone who doesn't say, "Oh..this machine is the best machine out there. You won't have any problems with it. Ever." Ummm..yeah.

He didn't try to sell me extra stuff. In fact he discouraged it until I was more proficient with the machine. He said to try the built in designs and learn from them. He explained stabilizers and the hoops. I just bought the machine, some stabilizers (not the rolls..just some packages), a starter set of thread (beautiful colors), needles, and a machine embroidery book. He threw in most of the stuff for free so that was nice. I paid half price for the book too.

He didn't have the software but said I got 10% discount with every class I took so I'd get the software and clothsetter then.

I brought my 6600 in and he got my bobbin winder to work much better. it first ever embroidery thingy:

The only problem I had was the thread kept falling off the spool when it was unwinding. It got caught under the spool and messed up the design. If you can't find it, even better. LOL. I don't know if I described the problem right to the dealer as he was lost. He said to bring the machine in as it shouldn't do that. I think it's just I probably don't have the thread in right. I just held the thread lightly as it went through the first guide so it had the right tension. Everything else went perfect. Wow..that's a first for me. I figured it would start eating fabric or making a huge mess.

My girls went nuts over the butterfly. They each wanted one on their shirts and some down their jeans. Sigh. I've created a monster now. They were loving all the built in designs and wanted me to make more. The butterfly took 20 minutes to stitch out. I'm tired.

The machine has automatic thread cutters which I LOVE. It's so easy to change threads that way. I love that I can hit the stop button if I notice there's a mistake or just need to stop it. It starts right up where it left off. You can even move the needle back some or forward if needed to work with the design.

It does have a USB port so I can transfer designs from the computer.

It has a touch screen as well. Really cool and easy to use. That's always nice. Even the manual was user friendly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Machine Embroidery And Janome Lesson

Sigh. Never go into a sewing machine dealer and just look. *homerdrools* She showed me a Janome embroidery machine that I think I want. It's the 350E. Now, I've never done machine embroidery but always admired it from a distance. They had a quilt that was machine embroidered that was stunning. *really homerdrools* That didn't help either. I just stood there and admired it.

I had my lesson and it is me. She showed me how to work with the seams so that the machine doesn't choke up when I get to one. She showed me how to pin fabric together so that your machine works with it. Yeah..there is a trick to that pinning. Most of all she told me to RELAX. The machine isn't going to break and the more tense you get the harder you push down on the pedal. That starts an endless cycle. Because you push down on the pedal when you tense up, lower the speed. I have generalized anxiety disorder, relaxing is something I don't do very well. Add in bipolar frustration and it can be a nasty mix.

Now..I was told that Mode 2 #13 was the piecing stitch. She said it was for using the decorative stitches and I should use Mode 1 #1 stitch. You can use it for piecing, but said because the stitches were so small, going over seams would be really difficult because the fabric isn't moving as fast. The machine gets hung up on the bulk and stalls out. Hmmm.

Machine Embroidery Questions

Okay..anyone ever used the Janome 350 embroidery machine? Is machine embroidery worth it? I just see dollar signs. You have to buy the cards (aren't cheap), threads that match the designs, and stabilizers. This one has a USB card port as well. My computer sits next to my sewing machine so if I needed to use it, I could. I know the cards came in collections but what if I wanted the butteryfly from collection A and the roses from collection B? Ouch on price. What if I only use that card a couple of times and never use it again? That's a waste. She said that it would be expensive to get started but would even out over time. I appreciated her honesty on that. Of course she said she'd give me a package deal. LOL

I hate to spend the money and find out I hate machine embroidery. All you do is sit there and watch the machine and change out threads. Would that get old? She did tell me how to do jeans. You open up the side and do it. And..everyone knows that I get FRUSTRATED so easily. I can't just go up to Omaha every time I get stuck.

Back to work on these blocks. I took apart the ones that had pleats and have redone them. I hope to get the rest done today.

*Edited* It works!!!! My machine isn't possessed! At least for now it isn't. The pinning was so easy! Starting with the needle down means my thread doesn't come undone from the hook thingy. Slowing down the speed has helped too. Pinning more (now that I know how to do it) has made my seams more accurate.

Being self taught and living in the middle of nowhere Nebraska makes quilting difficult sometimes. You know you are doing something wrong, but can't figure it out.

*Another edit* I figured out why my thread is coming out of my take up thingy! It gets caught under the handle and jams! Not sure why yet, but at least I know what is going on.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

DVD Steelbook Quilts

Hubby was so excited. He got more steelbook DVDs in the mail and laid them out to admire them. LOL. He said "See, I can make a quilt too!" *rolls eyes* Then he says excitedly, "3 more and I have a whole quilt!" ROTFLOL

I had no idea he had this many. Most come from Futureshop, a store in Canada from someone on Ebay.

I made his day when I did a search for "steelbook" in the Ebay search. I found him the "Indiana Jones" trilogy steelbook for pre-order. He was dancing around so excited.

"I never thought of looking that way for them. I just put in titles to see if they had one", he said.

*sigh* This is the man who can find DVDs for ridiculously low prices yet can't search for them in Ebay??

He's now looking for the last X-men movie steelbook because, "It has claw marks from Wolverine etched into the box!!!" It's only found in the Futureshop stores who can't or won't send items out of Canada. (Idiots) The last copy he found went for almost 300 dollars on Ebay the other day. All this for a metal box with claw marks on it.