Monday, March 30, 2009

Rambling Rose Layout

From Quilted with Love
This pattern is driving me nuts. The written directions aren't making sense on the rose bud blocks nor is the diagram. You are supposed to have "extension" strips which I've added. But when I went to sew the sections, they don't fit. I'm going to email Pam Bono and see where I've messed up. Once I get the center together, the rest of the quilt will go together fairly quickly.

My Topaz was throwing tantrums again this morning so I pulled out my Sapphire from the basement and used it. It sews so amazingly well. In the 4 or so months I've had it, I've never had any problems with it unthreading. I wonder why the Topaz does as it's the same thing as the Sapphire.

I checked the settings on both machines. They are the same. I sewed on both. The Sapphire has more of a "growl" to it with less give on the feed dogs. The Topaz has a smoother feed but seems "loose" compared to the Sapphire. Since I had both machines up I used the Sapphire to do the detailed work and the Topaz to do the piecing. The Topaz behaved itself until about an hour ago which was really nice. Competition for attention between both machines? LOL. Too bad I can't keep both machines upstairs. My family doesn't need the kitchen table. It's always covered with quilting projects anyway. It would be nice to have the Topaz set up for machine embroidery and the Sapphire set up for piecing/quilting.

The construction guys came today with TWO cement trucks and did my driveway. I can't use it for another week though. My car has only been sitting out in the field across the street for two weeks now. But it looks wonderful!
From Quilted with Love
Then the guys asked if they knew what paint color the cinderblocks were as they wanted to match the new cinderblocks to it. If I didn't know, they'd paint the entire front a different color. They went with the tan of the siding. I can't believe the difference a color makes.  The cinderblocks were the same color as the garage door.

From Quilted with Love
After 7 years of being in this house, it's starting to really feel like it's mine.  We've added siding and windows a few years ago.  We replaced the gutters over a year ago.  Last year we replaced the water and sewer lines to the street.  

My poor front yard.  It keeps getting dug up.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My KAI Scissors Came!

My KAI scissors came today!  The question now becomes are they Bethany proof?  How long will it take before they die in my possession?  If they last longer than 6 mos there may be hope.
So far they are really nice from just a day's usage.  Even the little pair isn't flimsy.

I also started my hand embroidery.  Sigh.  I can't count and when it comes to counting spaces between designs.  I'm almost hopeless.  It took me almost an hour just to get that far with the first star.  Then today I knew I needed to get over 3 squares to do the next star.  I counted and messed up.  I moved the needle over and messed up.  Come on..LOL.  How hard is it to move 3 squares over? 20 minutes later...ARGHH

I finally got smart took some thread and stitched over 3 spaces.  DUH.  It took you THAT long to figure it out??  Now my eyes and brain hurt too much to work on it today. does look really pretty.

Oh!  The construction men got my basement stair railing done!  I love it.  There was just a rickety metal railing on it just waiting for someone to knock it out and fall down the concrete stairs.  
From Quilted with Love
And the wood came in for my front deck.  I'm not sure why they didn't get it all done on Friday but at least I won't fall out my front door now.

From Quilted with Love
Now if it would just warm up enough at night to get the driveway done.  My neighbors have graciously let me park our car on their land as you can't park your vehicles in the street.    

From Quilted with Love
It's going to look so much nicer.  The driveway and the front porch were original from 1962 and were a mess.  

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hand Embroidery, Roses, And My Topaz Case

I feel a little better after whining about retreats.  

I got my package for the hand embroidery today!  Wow!  I can't wait to get started.  Those beads are so LITTLE.  I have visions of accidentally spilling them all over and watching them vanish into my carpet.  Do I wait until I get all the rose bud blocks done or just start?  I have 3 done.   

From Quilted with Love
Here's the mess with the rosebud blocks.  It's really more organized than it looks.

From Quilted with Love

This is where I could really use any reader input:

I haven't done any machine embroidery because it's such a pain to get out the embroidery unit.  It sits in this box behind the machine.  It's not heavy, just awkward as all the weight is on one side.  I knocked over my entire machine embroidery thread collection on the wall pulling it out one time.  I had to give up and put all the thread in a bin instead of on the wall.  

From Quilted with Love
Here's the embroidery unit in the box:

From Quilted with Love
Viking doesn't make a specific case for the Topaz embroidery unit.  I think they make a case set for the Diamond but I don't know if they can sell just the embroidery unit case.  The styrofoam case is 22.5 x23 inches.  The dealer on the Viking Topaz Yahoo! Group suggested making your own or finding a suitcase of sorts.  The suitcase would work if I could figure out padding to secure the unit. 

I still run into the problem of storing it.  Here's my sewing area:

From Quilted with Love
You aren't imagining it.  It's the kitchen.  You can see pulling the box in/out behind the sewing table isn't easy and I can't leave it out for everyone to trip over.  I really don't want to haul it up/down the basement stairs and through the garage to use it.  I wish I could just lay it flat instead of vertical.  Pulling it out would be much easier.      

So..  Any ideas?  I'll call the dealer in the morning and see if I can order the Diamond Case.  I just see mega dollar signs. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sharing A Childhood Memory

It was so nice to share a part of my childhood with my daughters.  I had downloaded the "Anne of Green Gables" books for my Ipod Touch and wondered about the TV show I had seen as a child.  I checked online and they do make the set.  Hubby bought me the 5 disc collector's set and it came today.  

What fun it was to sit down with my 10 and 11 year old daughters and watch the show.  They were completely fascinated with Anne, Diana and Gilbert.  They kept asking questions about the time period and all the big words Anne used.  They loved the dresses and the hats.  When Anne hits Gilbert over the head with the slate, the girls felt so bad for Gilbert.  

I wasn't sure they would care, but it's so wonderful to share a part of my childhood and make "Anne Of Green Gables" part of their childhood as well.

And to make it quilty, it's wonderful to see all the quilts Anne has on her bed.  Every time they show her room, there's a different quilt on the bed.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rambling Rose Bud And Cross Stitch Designs

I have one rose bud block done.  Woo Hoo!  15 more to go!  I didn't think about the directional print when I bought the background fabric.  I spent most of the afternoon readjusting the cutting directions so that the directional fabric works right.  

My Topaz keeps unthreading through the take-up lever while piecing.  It does fine and then starts hiccuping.  I haven't quite figured out the problem.  My understanding is that it's the thread not sitting in the tension discs right causing this.  I've also heard Viking machines have problems with the take-up levers.  My Sapphire never had a problem, but it's in a box in the basement.  I'd love to have both machines out.  The Sapphire for piecing/quilting and the Topaz for embroidery.  I'd need a new house for that.  LOL.

While doing a google search for Dovo scissors, I came across this site:  Anita Little Stitches
I'm not into hand embroidery as I can't count to save my life or use a needle safely, but I fell in love with her designs.  I just had to buy a kit.    

I bought a set called "Mini Quaker Flowers Collection".  Here's a picture of part of the collection.  I think it's called an emery.  The collection has an emery,  a biscornu, a pincushion, and a scissor fob.  I love that the design looks like a LaMoyne star block and the thread colors are to die for. 

mini quaker emery pdf cover page

I've never done beading but for this project I'm going to try.  I can't wait until the kit arrives. I've only done cross stitch with ada? fabric not linen, so this will be new as well.  

I'll have several boxes coming next week. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've Died And Gone To Scissor Heaven

I have some of the mirror image roses done.   This is the center of the quilt.  I'm sick of piecing roses..LOL.    Even while chain piecing, these blocks take forever.  I still have 16 rose bud blocks to do and the lace edging of at least 100+ pieces.  I'm SO glad I didn't decide to do the queen size quilt.

The scissor thing is still driving me nuts.  Mine work despite the flaws in them hence feeling guilty for wanting some new ones.  I've had to use them to trim down blocks and the "dead zones" aren't helping.  I try to run my stuff into the ground before buying again.  I finally broke down and bought a gift set of Kai scissors to compare to the Gingher.  I'd also like a pair of serrated Clover patchwork scissors but finding them online has been a joke.  The sites that do carry them want outrageous shipping prices.  

*Falls Over Backwards while checking an online site  Ouch* 

 OMGoodness!!!  They have MY FAVORITE PAIR of scissors on this site !!!

I had the craft pair of this brand for ragging but lost them last year.  They were starting to dull after 5 years, but I loved them.  I just couldn't remember the name of the manufacturer.  *Hey!* They have different kinds of scissors!!!  

 Sold.  One pair of Elan 5" applique scissors.  Please.  Please.  Please be as nice as the craft scissors.   I've died and gone to scissor heaven.  I'll still give the Kai scissors a chance.  The set was a good price.  


Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Quilter's Home" Scissors Article

Was reading through my copy of "Quilter's Home" and was reminded of my lost Dovo scissors.  *Sniff*   He tested out several brands of scissors including Dovo.  *Sigh*  Nothing can replace those scissors.  So sleek, sexy, so sharp, so incredibly wonderful.  They fit perfectly into my hands and have the perfect weight.  *Sniff* 

So why not buy a new pair? Because mine were around 50 dollars and I haven't been able to justify the cost if I lose them again.  The set of Dovo scissors I really want is around 250 dollars.  Hmm.  I do have an anniversary coming up.  Think hubby would go for it?  LOL  

So..I've settled for *ick* Gingher ones.  Everyone says they are wonderful.  I've just never had mine last long.  I've had 3 pair and within the year that I've owned each pair they've been nicked, dented, scratched, and been just plain aggravating.  The first pair on the left has a nick.  The 2nd pair on the left has a "dead zone" where you can't cut.  I have a pair just as large as the one in the middle that had a huge gaping bend in them (not pictured as I couldn't find them).  The larger pair that is in the picture weighs a TON but I like that they are serrated.  The applique ones are awkward and don't fit in my hands very well. (Those were way overpriced even with a 40% discount)  

The 2.99 scissors pictured has lasted a couple of years.  No nicks, dents, and for the most part go through fabric okay.  They are perfect for fusible applique.  The smaller pair were 17 dollars and are perfect for machine embroidery and for cutting close.   

I know, just buy the Dovo scissors and quit whining.  I've just been disappointed with the Gingher brand that everyone raves about.  Even if I've gotten them sharpened they die out.  I have to take them up an hour just to sharpen them.   

I also had a pair of serrated scissors that were about 15 bucks that I can't find.  I think they were designed for rag quilts.  *Sniff*  If I knew the brand, I'd buy them again.  Mark said Clover has a pair of serrated scissors.  I'll have to take a look online to see if I can find them.

Mark also said that the Kai brand scissors ranked high as well.  The question is, Do they last?

Mark; you are evil to remind me of my lost Dovo scissors.  My heart is breaking again but the thought of losing another pair is just as devastating. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Horses And Roses

My package came today!! Kristie, you are going to die over this quilt:

The pattern is called "Spring Storm" from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. I fell in love with the pattern even though horses aren't my thing. This kit will keep me motivated to finish up some previous projects even though I want to start right now.

I'm slowly getting these roses done for my "Rambling Rose" quilt.  It's not that it's hard, it's just time consuming working with a zillion little pieces.  I need 6 of one direction and 6 going the other direction.  Here are 4 of them.  5 and 6 are being worked on:

From Quilted with Love
 Does anyone else's quilting area look like this while working on a project?

From Quilted with Love
Stacks of papers?  Boxes of stuff?  Fabric everywhere?  I really do have a method to my madness in there.  Maybe.  This quilt has made a HUGE mess with all the bags of labeled pieces and strips of fabric.  I still have about 200 pieces more to cut out with all the extra strips.

The next 6 roses will be fairly easy now that I know where all the pieces go.  The worst is going to be the lace border. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

4D Extra And Importing Fonts

It was great having my family come to visit over the weekend.  My mom loved the table runner.  
I was showing her my embroidery software as she loved the set below of embroidery blocks I had made.  There are 9 blocks in all, but only 2 in the picture.  I said I really needed a font that matched but the company I bought them from wanted 20 dollars for it.  I really needed a bigger size as well.  My editing skills are still really pathetic.

From Blogger Pictures
Then she said she had a cricut? and she could download free fonts off the internet instead of buying the expensive sets the company made.  She had purchased their software and my dad figured out how to download the fonts into it.   I wondered if I could do this with my 4D Extra as I knew it had a font section.  We downloaded a font and and it worked!!  Then we played with the size and the different ways of stitching out the font.  Way cool!!   I can add fonts to my machine embroidery to match the designs.  

I just have the basic Embird program so I don't know if I can download fonts with it.  I love both programs.

Better Camera And A Wonderful Embroidery Design

I had a friend ask how a design stitched out on the Topaz. Here's the design:

I love this machine.  It stitched out everything perfectly.  I didn't have the purples that were in the design, but the colors I had turned out wonderful.  Question:  Would this work just for a towel, even though it's a one directional design?  My OCD says, but it's one have to flip it and make it even.  I do this with all one directional designs. 

I got a different camera today.  I took the other one back and bought a Canon PowerShot SD790 IS and I LOVE it.  It's all metal and fits perfectly in my hands.  I liked the features and how the photos look.  I took the above picture with it.  I took a quilt with me to Best Buy and took a picture of it with this one.  The guy helping me LOVED the quilt.  Guys don't normally love quilts.  It was my Mariner's Compass quilt with the turquoise, gold and rust fabric.

My son loves the camera too..LOL.  Leave it to a 13-year-old to figure out the settings faster than me.     

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It Can't Be THAT Hard?

Ever tried looking for a digital camera?  Here's how my day went:

Start looking over the cameras.  Geesh.  Is it just me or do all of these look cheap?  If I drop it, I'm so messed up.   The one I have is virtually indestructible.  These are all so small too.  Who came up with pastel pink??  What am I.  10?

I have a Nikon Coolpix 2100 that my mom bought me a few years ago.  It boasts 2.0 effective mega pixels.  Which I guess for the time was pretty good?  Now they are all 8 and up.  Mine has a giant 64 MB Compact Flash card.  Are those obsolete now?

Well, I like my camera so let's check out the Coolpix line.  I want to stay under 200 bucks.  As I start looking around I realize there are 2 kinds of cameras.  Those with AA batteries and those that don't.  Mine takes batteries.  

I pick up a Nikon S220.  Nice screen.  Mine is 3/4 that size..LOL.  Still seems rather flimsy but I know how the camera works.  So, I ask the Best Buy guy.. (like he really knows).  He says it's an okay camera.  He says to get a Canon one.  After debating, I buy the S220.  I know how to use this.

I get home and try it out.  Eww..the flash is so bright it kills everything around it.  Or it makes everything this odd yellow color.  Hmm.  

So..the yellow looking quilt is the S220 and my old camera is the other one.  For some reason it worked today and I hadn't touched anything.  Sigh..of course it works now.  At least for the quilt picture.  The quilt on top is mine, the one below is the S220.

I'm thinking about taking this back.  I like some features, like the nice big screen, but yellow is NOT cool.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Done!

From Quilted with Love
I got it done! My mom will love it!

Something Quilty

This is day 2 when you try to do what she did.  Well, it sort of works..LOL.  She had mine poofier.   I have really thin hair, but a lot of it.  I had a couple of people ask for better pictures.  My husband loves the wispiness around the back. 

Once I get some sunscreen and some good foundation the redness isn't as bad on my face.

I had someone ask what cut I had.  I'm not sure what the name of the cut is, but it's halfway between the style where the back end is really short and has a sharp angle toward your face and cutting it short.  She  razor edged a lot of it.  

Now for something quilty.  My friend Gina sent me these fabulous heart blocks for my mom.  My mom is having a rough time as they face the possibility of losing their house of 26 years.  My dad isn't getting paid like he should and she's a wreck.  I thought a small quilt would cheer her up some.  She's been terribly depressed and as I'm a pro with depression, I know what she's dealing with.  It's hard to do anything when you don't have the energy or desire too.

Gina, the blocks came just in time as I got a phone call from my mom saying she'll be at my house tonight as she's now in Indiana!  I made a tablerunner from Gina's blocks:

From Quilted with Love
I still need to finish up the quilting and get it bound.  Hopefully I will have it done by 10pm when my parents show up.

Gina, the blocks are wonderful and I love the colors.  Thank you! camera is dying.  The last few pictures have been awful and it's not battery related.  I've only had the camera for about 5 years..LOL.  It's a Nikon CoolPix 2100 with the giant card.  Now the memory cards are no bigger than your thumb.  Wow.  I've loved this camera so much.  My mom gave it to me for my birthday and at the time, it wasn't cheap.  I've dreaded buying another one but I may have too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hair Cuts, Construction, And Genealogy

*Nothing quilt related in this post*

It's been a long day but a productive day.  It started last night when I switched over to the XP side of my computer and downloaded genealogy software.  I spent several hours furiously entering names and updating my information.  I found a possible relative and emailed him.  Turns out we are related and he was happy to have the information I have.  He asked if I would look up some names for him as I have record books from the same county his relatives are from.  We are both stuck at the same beginning family.  Sigh.

Sometimes it helps to move forward with names as someone distantly related may know something.  I found a relative that we thought his father or grandfather had died without marrying.  I found him in the 1930 census in California with a son that may still be alive.  I spent a week tracking down the name and found him.  He about fell over backward when I asked for information.  We still keep in touch.

Today we went to Lincoln to celebrate my son's birthday.  He wanted Olive Garden *gag*.  As usual it wasn't that great and I felt sick.  We stopped off at Game Stop so he could get a new game.  The people at Game Stop take FOREVER to go through used games that you have and they don't have a "woman" chair.   I asked hubby if I could get my hair cut as there was a place two stores down.

I chopped it all off.  Well, 3/4 of it.  Umm..90%?  My hair was about halfway between my shoulders and elbows before the pic.  It's now..well...short.  I apologize for the awful picture.  We took several but the graininess wouldn't go a way regardless of what we did.  I hate having photos taken as the lamictal I'm on makes my face red.  A good foundation and sunscreen help, but all that has worn off during the day.  A lot of seizure meds make your skin sensitive to the sun.  Plus I have a dorky smile.  I had jaw surgery when I was in 8th grade and I have lost some feeling on one side.  It's enough to mess with the smile. you know what I look like.

We are doing some renovations to the house in the next week or so.  I spent part of today talking with the contractors and the building inspector.  Building guy says we need escape windows for the basement and that's changed some plans.  I'm assuming my house is going to have cinderblock dust everywhere when they cut into it to put in the windows.  That will be around for months.  I know, because we had a small section of the basement floor cut out so we could add a water pipe in and there is still dust in the basement a year later.

The nice part about living in a small town is that it takes no time to get a building permit and get your lines flagged out in your yard.  I should have it by Tuesday and then the contractors can come demolish a front porch, build a deck and replace the basement windows.  Even the gas company came out and put flags down the yard where the lines are today.  I expect on Monday the water and sewer lines will be marked.

I've  babbled on enough.  I'm wiped.  Tomorrow I plan to do some embroidery or quilting.     

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Half Square Triangles, Roses, and Genealogy

I'm tired of half square triangles.  They aren't hard, it's just a pain.  I'm never going to get these rose blocks done.  I finally got bored and started working on some genealogy.  So now I have papers and fabric all over the kitchen.  I had everything on my old computer and thought I had a pretty good paper trail until I started rooting around.  Now I've spent most of the afternoon catching up via where I have my records.

The PAF program I have doesn't exist on the Mac so I may have to download it to the XP side and work that way so I have a physical paper trail.  I couldn't find a template on that you could list families and print out a family group record.  You can print out census forms and other blank pages for records.  

Well, break time is over.  Back to hunting down names and maybe get back to those roses.  If you can't go backwards, go forward in genealogy.  You'll be amazed at the people you meet via email or on the phone.   


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Embroidery Software For The Mac!!

I received a wonderful email yesterday from a lady who told me that there was  embroidery software program for all of us Mac people.  I downloaded it today and after a few user error glitches I have it working!!  Thank you Kathie!

It's called "Convert It" from and so far I love it.  It converts your designs to most formats and lets you see your designs on your computer screen.  Now I don't have to go to XP just to convert a design to VP3. 

Once the design is converted, I can put it on my USB stick and put it into my Topaz 30 (or any embroidery machine)   

It gives a thread list but it didn't say which thread list it was Madeira, Marathon, or something else.  When I talked to the lady, I think I had her a little confused about the threads, but it does work.  Now I can see my embroidery designs!  I haven't tried printing anything out, but it says you can..templates too.   It doesn't edit anything, but I have software on XP that I have for that.

I also learned how to take a snapshot of my screen from the lady I talked too as she wanted to see where I was having problems.  Neato!  I have some uses for this handy trick now.   

Check out the site if you have a Mac and do machine embroidery.  It's a little pricy but worth every penny.  I use it for reference when I'm doing an embroidery design as my Topaz 30 has a black and white screen.  I can just follow the color chart without having to print anything.  It's been a huge timesaver.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wireless Quilting

I finally got to Lincoln today as we needed an oil change.    You have to love JoAnn for their 40% off coupons.  I bought a much needed mat.  Those mats should only cost what I paid for it on sale. Put "quilting" on it and you can charge twice as much you know.

I am not a wireless thief anymore.   Hubby stopped off at Best Buy and I bought a wireless router. For those of you that do have wireless, be aware that if you don't have it password protected, anyone walking down your street can pick up your signal.  I don't know if someone more technical than I can hack into your computer, but I'm assuming the threat is real.  If you need to know if your password is secure, borrow someone's 10 year old kid and see.

I have LOVED downloading books for my Ipod Touch.  My local library is awful and anything I want to read needs to be purchased online.  In some ways I'm not saving a whole lot, but the instant access is wonderful.  The free Kindle Application is awesome.  

I also found another Touch application called Stanza that does the same thing but has more books that are free.  They are public domain books and nothing really new, but I found a few books I had always planned on reading but never got around too that I downloaded.

I did download a quilting book called "Quilted Gardens" by Ricky Clark.  It's a history book on quilting and talks about how floral quilts from the 1840-1870s were designed.  Questions the author brought up were, If there were no printed patterns how could quilts from two separate areas look almost alike?  What inspired the designs?  The colors?  Why choose the block settings?

I've loved the book from a historical point of view.  Ladies got their quilting designs from architecture, ladies magazines, their own gardens, from the fabric that was being manufactured, and other sources.  The layouts we use today are the ones these ladies started.    

Having ancestors that crossed the plains, it was easy to see how patterns/quilts were taken with them and used  for other quilts, explaining the similar quilts.  I think we forget that people didn't stay in one place for very long.  At least mine didn't.  Every census, my family is somewhere else.  Even I've lived in several places since I've been married. 

If you like history, check out the book.  While the pictures are wonderful, under Kindle they are black and white even though my Touch can do color.  




Monday, March 09, 2009

"Rambling Rose" Block 1 Done

I've gone through 2 rotary blades cutting out this quilt and I'm still not done.  I still have 300 plus more to go!  But I do have the first of 12 rose blocks done!  Now that I know how to put it together it will be a piece of cake.  I'm SO glad I didn't decide to make the larger quilt.  

I'm now going to chain sew the pieces.  Ie, all the 1 and 1a's together so I can get these done.  

From Quilted with Love

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Just Tired

Never try to cut fabric when you are tired.  I messed up 4 cuts thinking I could do it.  Sigh.  I need a new mat and more fabric.  Maybe on Saturday I can get them.  It's been a very long day.  

I found a wonderful new site with great quilting blogs:

I spent at least an hour reading wonderful quilting blogs.  It's nice having blogs in one location.

Saving For Quilters

Let's face it.  Quilting is expensive.  Fabric, thread, notions, books, classes among others.  It's cheaper than therapy as I always say to people who don't quilt.  Usually they think I'm nuts anyway.  I started thinking about ways to save money.

1.  Regardless of income, it's important to plan and keep track of what you have.  You waste money by having to buy things over and over because you can't find them.

Go through your stuff.  Do a little at a time.  One drawer or a pile.  If you start doing too much you'll get overwhelmed and quit.  Don't make it complicated either.  Put "like" stuff together and them put them in way that works for you.  

2.  After number one, plan what you need.  Rotary blades?  Rulers?  Pins?  Now when you go to the store, you'll know what to buy.  Get them on sale.  Never pay full price unless you have too. Carpool with some friends to the store to save gas if you live long distances so you both get what you want.  Plan your trips so you aren't going up every other day.

3.  Check your UFOs.  You can save a lot of money by working on one instead of buying another quilt you may eventually get around to doing.  Start with one you don't quite hate and almost have done.  You'll feel so much better even if you get one done.  A couple of UFO's done in a year will save a lot.

4.   Keep your machine maintained.  Get it cleaned up every year.  Your machine will last longer.   If you need a new machine, you can haggle with the price.  Get one you will be happy with and can afford.  Don't settle for less.  It's a waste if you do as you won't be happy with the machine.

5.  Swap with your friends for items you both like.  Give stuff you don't use to someone who will use it.  

6.  Trim up your extra batting.  You can use it for smaller quilts or if sewn together make a bigger one.    Practice FMQ with them.

7.  Work with your weaknesses.  If you can't resist fabric, buy some, but don't over do it.  Same with gadgets and other notions.  Think about the purchase.  Are you just excited?  Impulse buy? It's a waste if you buy it and never use it.  

8.  Be thrifty but not cheap.  Cheap is cheap.  Some things are worth the expense.  Shipping is one.  Free shipping is never "free".  Don't pay the most expensive price, but you aren't saving if you spend 100 bucks just to get free shipping.  If you really need it, get it.  Running your rotary blade into the ground is asking for trouble.  Dull blades are more dangerous. 

9.   Buy online and buy in bulk if you go through a lot of it.  I live an hour away from major stores.  It's cheaper to buy online.  You have more options online.  Don't stop shopping at your LQS.  They need your support too.

10.  Cut back on quilting magazine subscriptions.  If you don't like it anymore or have moved on, cancel it.  Or, if you are buying off the rack every month, get a subscription.  *just checked the mail.  How did McCall's quilting mag get my name?  I don't have a subscription nor do I plan on it.  I don't give out my personal information at all.

11.  Pay cash.  If you are going into debt, you aren't saving anything.  Interest charges are not your friends.  There are times when you do need to go into debt but do it on your terms with your card.  Quilting supplies are not worth ruining your credit score.

Store credit cards have outrageous interest charges.  My Bernina card had a 24% interest rate.  I didn't think to check that.  I canceled the card when I saw it.  Be aware of "interest free until X time".  Nothing is interest free.  If you don't pay off the purchase before that, you will be slammed with the interest.

And lastly;
Don't make yourself miserable trying to save money.  It will just make you resentful.  Do what works for you.  We all save money differently.  What works for you won't work for someone else. 

Rambling Rose Fabric Cutting

Jen..are we still doing the Waun a Quilt?  Cause I have over 300 pieces cut out for my "Rambling Rose" quilt.  I still have several hundred more to go.  LOL.

From Quilted with Love
This is only a small part of it.  Pam Bono does very complicated but easy piecing.  If that makes sense.  Once I get started piecing, it will be much easier.  The secret to quilts with hundreds of pieces is to label them.  Pam does a great job with labeling the pieces.  I just label with paper and a pin the information to the fabric.  The next step is putting the same pieces together and labeling them as "rose" so I don't have go digging through the different fabrics looking for fabric as I go.

It doesn't look like much in the bags, but there are smaller pieces behind the larger ones.  I'm going to need a new mat after this.  And a box of new blades.  

I also marked in my new thread chart all the spools I have.  That will help when I need to buy more thread.  

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Another Electronic Orgasm

The first electronic orgasm was my Ipod Touch.  I've wanted a Kindle 2 for the past week or so.  My house is really small and books take up so much space.  My husband's collection of hardback comic books takes up most of it.  LOL.  Men.  They never grow up.  Which for me is a good thing and I don't mind.

Back to the Kindle 2.  My concern is wireless connection.  Or possible lack of it.  And *cough* the price.  After getting a Yahoo! Answer back that I could just use my USB port to transfer books with the Kindle 2, it's more tempting.  Then....  I discovered I could download Kindle for FREE on my Ipod Touch.  Does it work?  You betcha.  I've downloaded a couple of books by err..borrowing someone's wireless internet that my Itouch has found when doing a scan.  Maybe I need to go wireless.  I don't like "borrowing" even if it is for less than 30 seconds. 

 *A couple of hours later after feeling guilty about borrowing someone else's wireless connection--  I followed the signal to a neighbor and said that I was getting wireless internet from her house and if she knew it.  I told her how excited I was to download some books from her service.  She started laughing and said it was okay.  I feel much better but hate to take someone else's connection.  I wish I could just download directly from Amazon right to my Itouch*

You can even get quilting books on Kindle.  Not great ones, but it's nice to know that.  Maybe I should email the companies and beg for them to put quilting books on Kindle.  

Back to more quilting/embroidery related subjects.  I got a box today!!  Woo Hoo!   Wanna see what I got?

From Quilted with Love

Enough bobbin thread to last a lifetime. Total yardage? 20,000. I bought some NEB prewound bobbins as they work too. The only catch is that the Topaz won't know to stop when you run out of thread. If I wind the bobbins on the Topaz bobbins, the machine stops. I love that there isn't a low bobbin sensor where you have to guess how much you have left.

Having real thread color cards is almost essential when doing machine embroidery. The software doesn't always transfer colors right especially if the digitizer uses a different format that you have to convert or a different brand of thread. Embird and 4D extra will convert threads for you. Embird does a better job of it. If you need to order thread, you have the numbers for easy ordering. What I hate is when companies charge outrageous prices for their thread 40 bucks. Forget it.

Anyway, it's been a good day.  

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Quilting For The ADHD Quilter

I can't help it.  I really can't.  My attention span is pathetic.  I can't watch movies.  Getting anything finished is practically impossible.  I can't remember things and I can't always blame my medication for it.  My mind wanders constantly along a meandering path of ideas, dreams, impossible plans of greatness, and sometimes into the depths of depression.  

This post is one of those moments.  I really want to cut out fabric for a new quilt.  I had plans all morning to do this.  Instead, I'm writing a post.  My husband is in inservice all week meaning I have most of the day to myself.  All the grand plans of quilting, piecing, etc are zilch.  Nada.  Nothing.

From Quilted with Love

I bought fabric for this quilt last week. I've wanted to do this quilt ever since I saw the book a couple of years ago.  I finally bought the book last month.  Then I read the instructions.  It's at least 20 yards of fabric just for the top.  Ouch.  So, I decided to do the smaller lap size quilt.  

I got up this morning planning to work on my rose.  I took one look at it and realized, forget it.  I don't want to work on this.  It's giving me a headache just looking at it.  In fact, I have no desire to finish it.  I just don't have the attention span to work with finding the right piece of fabric for each piece to make it work.  That requires an attention span of more than I have today.  Then guilt sets in.  I should be able to do this.  Eh..forget it.  Start something else.

So I started cutting out the background fabric for the above quilt.  I got that done and then I wandered over to the computer and starting writing this post.  I have to concentrate to cut the fabric for this quilt.  x number of 5 inch strips.  X number of 3.5..  Oh NO!  I have to keep track of what I'm doing.  This is going to kill me.

Then I thought of things that would help me and came up with a list:

1.  It's okay to let your mind wander.  You can mentally work out problems or dream about your next project.  Just don't leave the iron on your fabric for too long or try to cut off your finger with the rotary blade.    

2.  Get up and walk around.  You will just beat yourself up in guilt that you should be able to do this.  Watch some TV for a few minutes.  Stare off into nowhere.  Write a post..  

3.  Do what you can.  If you can just cut out one section or piece a few blocks, be proud.  You did it!  Even if it takes twice as long as you think it should, congratulate yourself.  

4.  Plan a system to keep busy before you start piecing or quilting.  As hard as it is for me, it does work.  Cut a few strips.  Wander off.  Cut a few more.  Get a drink.  Start cutting a new section.  

No.  Not that way.  Work it out so that you are constantly busy with different parts of your project.

*mind wanders*  Oh.. what was I doing?  Cutting white fabric I thought.  How'd I end up here? Time to wander off again.  Eventually I'll get back to cutting fabric.

*1 minute later* Umm..I'm back.  Good thing I wandered off to write a post.  I just realized I wasn't done cutting white fabric.  I would have started another one and then be upset that for some reason I don't have all the pieces.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Further Progress On Rose Quilt

From Quilted with Love
Been working some more on this rose.  I bought some sheer pink fabric  and played with it some, but it's too shiny.  Plus, I don't know how to adhere it without glue or some obvious stitching.

I added some pink fabric which actually seemed to work, but didn't get it in this picture.  You can see one piece off the side.  I've just never been a pink/yellow together person.  To me they clash but it softened the rose.

It needs some more contrast.  I'll keep working with it.   Maybe I can live with some pink in it.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Quilt Qua

I was invited to join this site. Thank you for asking!  It's a great site and check it out.  I think I may have it linked right.  If not, I'll keep working with it.