Monday, March 28, 2011

Cougar Cutting

The cool part about my Cougar is that it will take the Electric Quilt programs!  I did a test on a tile block and this is how it came out:

Not bad!  The mat has lost some of it's stickiness and the machine got caught up, but WOW.  It cut out all those itty bitty pieces with ease.  That would have ended up 8x8 so you can get an idea of the size.

It will be cool to do my own designs and cut them out via the Cougar for piecing and applique!

Design Wall Monday

It's been a fairly busy weekend.  I made a cover for my Cougar.  It's passable and won't ever be in production, but it works.  As long as you don't look to closely, it's all good.  Finished is better than perfect. I just needed something easy to dust and lightweight.

I wish I could say I have some fantastic project done with it, but learning MTC software does have a learning curve.  The only mat available MTC has is with the Cricut and knowing where to place your design has proved difficult.  I did a couple of tutorials and have learned some things, but it's not easy.  You can import your EQ designs into the software for quilt projects and cut them out.  I need to work on stabilizing the fabric.

Last night I did work on my canvas work project:

The cream border is torture to work with and I hate doing it.  It's not easy to follow on the pattern sheet and I find myself lost.

I also worked on satin stitching my "My Tweets" block.  Friday I went to Lincoln to get tear-a-way stabilizer and get some feet from my Topaz.  She's been in the shop for two weeks waiting for a part to come in.  I can't believe out of the three stores nearby, no one carries it.  It has made this project so much easier with my open toe foot and the stabilizer.  I still have leaves to finish up and finish up block number two.

Check out Judy's blog for more design wall Mondays

Thursday, March 24, 2011

There is a new cat at my house.  He's all black and sleek looking.  He showed up yesterday and boy does he put up a fight.  I have cursed and screamed at him, and have cried over DH's shoulder out of sheer frustration.  He didn't come with instructions either.  Just a nice note that basically said, "Enjoy your black cat".

Now before you think I am abusing a real cat and want to send me hate mail, he's electronic.  I could never hurt a real cat.  I have Bandit sleeping on me as I type.

Wanna see my new beast?  He's a Black Cat Cougar cutter.  Now if I could just tame him enough to use it.  He hasn't played nicely in two days and you all know what happens when I try to set up a new toy.

The machine is actually really nice once I got it to work.  The setup is worse than you can ever imagine so if you get one, be prepared to pull your hair out.  It doesn't come with any instructions other than a welcome letter.  Apparently; (I didn't know this) I was supossed to get an email with a link to download the PDF files except I didn't get one.

The only reason I got any help is because I belong to the MTC forum (which is how I found out about the Cougar)  and someone started a Cougar Yahoo! group.  I finally got sent the link to the Black Cat Forum to get the instruction manual and downloaded it.

The set up was so confusing.  I went back to the MTC forum to figure things out.  Then I went back to the Black Cat forum and found another PDF file that gave me the information I needed.  I managed to install the drivers and put the right information in the device manager.

The letter said to use the blade holder they sent me and to use their blades.  I can't find the blades.  For half a day I couldn't find the blades.  I had seen them when I opened the letter.  I knew I hadn't tossed them out.  Turns out they were taped to the paper that had the blade list on it.  Sigh.

Okay.  Insert blade into blade holder.  Instructions in the small bag say to put some kind of ring on it.  There's no ring in the bag.  Instructions say to use the CD to adjust the blade height.  What CD?  I didn't get a CD.

The PDF file has you using the blade holder that came with the Cougar, but the letter said to use the one they gave me as it was better quality.  I can't use it because I don't have a ring.

I go back to the MTC forum and ask for help.  I don't need the ring.  I just need to adjust the blade using any CD you have.  Sigh.

I put the blade in the holder and put it into the machine.  Now how do I put the mat in?  The Cricut has a load page which automatically sets the mat where it needs to be.  There's no such button here.  If I put it in, how do I even know it's straight?  Turns out you have to manually put the mat in using the +/- keys.  Doesn't say that in the PDF files I got.  There's an align button that I can't seem to work right either.

I finally say forget it, load a design in from MTC and click the cut icon.  It starts cutting but it's not lifting to go to the next cut.  I have cut marks all over the design.  Once again to the MTC forum.  The people over there are amazing.  They had me check different settings and 2 hours later finally one of them came to the conclusion that maybe the "better" holder was defective.  Who knows...

I put the blade in the other cutter, make the adjustments according to the PDF file, used an old CD to make sure the depth was right and hit cut.  No problems.  It cut beautifully.

I wish the company had done several things:

1.  In the welcome letter packet,  let you know that there is an email that is sent to give you PDF files and which ones I should look at.  If you don't get an email, let us know. (turns out she had forgotten to send it to me)  Maybe it did say that.  I seem to have put that away so well I can't find it.

2.  You don't need an O-ring to use the blade cutter.  Change the instructions on the card or let me know in the welcome letter.

3.  That I just need to use an old CD to align the blade depth right so I don't dig through the box looking for one.

4.  To put the mat in, you do it manually by moving the arrow keys. If it's spitting the mat out at me at full speed, my alignment button needs adjusted or something like that.  Still haven't worked that one out.

5.  How to align the mat with the different software versions out there.

6.  A PDF file with a beginner tutorial of getting the mat to load and to cut out a basic shape.  Maybe I missed it while trying to figure everything out.

7.  Put all the PDF files in one place so I'm not looking through the Black Cat Forum trying to go through the posts.

8.  Include several blades, not just two.

Or maybe I just don't read manuals very well...

It was just frustrating jumping from one forum to the other trying to figure things out.

What I've decided to do was keep a notebook next to my cutter and write down what works and what doesn't and any specifications that need done.

Tomorrow I'll do some more basic playing and I plan on doing some satin stitching on "My Tweets".

I'm crawling into bed now.  It's been a frustrating couple of days.  That's what you get going from the bottom of the line cutter to the top of line one..mass confusion and a splitting headache.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cricut Cutting For "Hearts Desire"

After multiple attempts I got my Cricut to cut out block 2 or 3 (don't remember) of "Hearts Desire".  Make The Cut doesn't work for Mac and I don't have much on my XP side since I only use it for my embroidery/quilting software.  It's an easy program unless your design isn't in the right format and you don't know how to change it.  After going through the forums and some help with PDF files, and 3 or 4 days I was able to cut this out on freezer paper:

There is one mistake and I didn't realize that until I cut it out.  Do you know what I did wrong?  Yes, I know right leaf is missing a part. I need to REVERSE the pattern so it turns out like the above when it's done!  Arghhh!

The Cricut only cuts 12x12 (not really, it's 11 and something inches) and Hearts Desire is a 16x16 inch block.  I'm not sure I want it that big but after doing a 12x12 I think I would lose my mind piecing it.  A 14x14 would be a nice size.

BTW,  Make the Cut no longer works with the Cricut if you are thinking of getting one to do stuff like this as Provo Craft has won the lawsuit.  Your best options would be a cutter from Black Cat like the Lynx or the Cougar or a Gazelle from another company.  I know there are other cutters out there besides these.  Those just are the most popular.  I think I'm good if I don't update the Cricut or the software.
While at my LQS the owner had cake pincushion patterns.  I don't get into "cutesy" items but figured what the heck.  I bought the pattern and the filling.

I pulled out my FQ bundle that I bought a few weeks ago and found three fabrics I liked and started in on it.  Now it doesn't look bad after I have it done, but I'm not fond of daisies and I hate this style of button.  I like flat ones.  These seem to poke out and catch on everything.  I thought they were flat when I grabbed the package.  I wouldn't have bought them if I had known.

It's a little lopsided despite my attempts to put in the filling, but at least it's not dented.

Now before you think I truly hate it, I don't.  My Ruby did a fabulous job with stitching it together with ease.  I had hoped to use some of my fancy stitches, but nothing seemed to fit.  I had to figure out how to scale the stitch design so it would go around perfectly and I didn't feel like taking the time to do that.  

I love the blanket/buttonhole stitch on this machine.  It's perfect.  This stitch isn't one I'm fond of but I like it here.

Would I make it again? No, it way too big for my taste and filling the dang think took two jars instead of the one she insisted would work just fine.

If you like it, the pattern is from Taylor Made Designs and is called "Baby Cakes".

Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

What a weekend.  Does anyone else get obsessed about making something work until you exhaust yourself?  Between the "Fiesta" quilt problems and figuring out the Make The Cut software, I've been a mess.  DH finally told me to get off the computer and made me watch TV last night.  The mania just doesn't let you stop.

Throwing out the "Fiesta" blocks made me feel amazing.  If something isn't working, you don't have to toss it, but put it away until you can work it out.  I did email Karen Kay Buckley about my invisible machine issues and she said it was the thread, not me.  It's so wonderful that so many quilting professionals will help via an email.  It means a lot.

I do have a block to put up as I finished it this morning:

How did I get this done so fast?

I figured out to draw on the sticky side of the fusible webbing with a pen.  A pencil will rip up the fusible webbing making it useless.  Then when you pull off the paper, your pieces are ready to cut out.  You don't have to reverse your pattern or deal with your webbing coming off the paper while you trace.

I used a circle template to get perfect circles.  Karen Kay Buckley's circles are wonderful.  Now if I can just find the bag to put these back.  I'm sure the ring is for putting all of them on, but I use it to keep track of the ones I'm using.  These came out perfect.

Now to finish satin stitching block 2 of "My Tweets" if my eyes don't give out first.  I have loved doing this pattern and it's going to be stunning once it's done.

Check out Judy's blog over at Patchwork Times to see more designs.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cutting Fabric With Your Cricut Testing

On to better things..

Since "My Tweets" is done using fusible webbing, I thought I'd use my Cricut and see if it could cut fusible webbing with fabric on top.

My first attempt was to put my fabric on the fusible webbing, tape the edges, press down and go from there.  I chose a simple heart.

It got caught in the fabric and tried to cut it out:

Second attempt was a little better but the cutter didn't go through the fusible webbing:

I had pulled off the back to see if it worked right.

Third attempt.  I'm smarter now right?  Starch it to death so it's stiff.  Done.  Press to fusible webbing.  Done.  Tape in place.  Done.   Move the blade over and down so it doesn't get caught up in the edge of the fabric.  Done.  Push button and...

One perfectly cut heart already to be fused down.

The next test is leaves.  Will the Cricut cut several leaves without getting hung up?  I hope so.  Even if I do have one leave at a time, it sure beats tracing and cutting manually.  Will let you know how it goes.
My very wise but brutally honest DH confessed when I was whining over my block that he despised it.  He hated the glaring bright colors and the black background fabric and thought the invisible applique looked cheap and nasty.  "Just toss it out and make a new one with soft colors and NO black.  It makes me sick to look at it" he said bluntly.

Wow.  DH has never hated anything I've ever made before and he's never been this vocal either.

Don't worry Sindy, He LOVES the quilt design itself.  Just not my fabric choices.

I think I'll put this quilt pattern away for awhile until I figure out a decent fabric selection.  I do feel better dumping it for now.

I can get to work on "My Tweets" and maybe start "Hearts Desire" now.
I'm really not liking this look.  Those orange petals look retarded.  The problem is ripping all of this out isn't worth my time or my sanity.  Keep going and just deal with it because maybe it's not as horrendous as I think it is?  Any way to cover this up?  This is giving me a huge headache trying to keep myself accurate as well.

Ruby is doing a beautiful job though.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Invisible Machine Applique

Quick question.  Does the invisible applique stitch look like this?

I'm using a 60/8 needle, the smallest they come yet all I see are giant holes.  The smallest I can get is a 1.0.

Oh..wait.  I can do a .5.  Is this what it should look like?  That seems like it wouldn't hold very well.  However; the Ruby does a beautiful job.

Here's the screen:

Any input welcome!
Woo Hoo!  I figured it out!!!

Thanks to the helpful people at the Cricut and Make The Cut Yahoo! groups and YouTube, I got it to work.  My Cricut does work on MTC as I found out this morning.  I really don't need to invest in another cutter unless I was so angry I refuse to buy any product from Provo Craft and sell off the machine.  While I don't agree with their business ethics, I'm not one to boycott products.  If I wanted to be picky I'd have to buy an 18 inch machine costing me nearly a thousand dollars to do these projects.  I'm not that desperate nor do I have enough quilts to justify it.   

The only thing I need to figure out now is how to cut out blocks larger than 12 inches.  The "My Tweets" blocks are 14 inches finished and "Hearts Desire" finish at 16 inches.  I'm thinking it's a percentage issue to get the right size for the block.  It would just mean several cuts that go through the cutter which is no biggie.

I'll have to ask.  What I can't figure out is Sure Cuts A Lot.  Anything I import comes in at 24 inches wide and something like 37 inches long.  There must be a setting somewhere.  Unless I buy the software, it too will draw lines through the center of my cuts.  I'm sure PC is suing them as well.

Feeling so much better now!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I didn't know this until today but Provo Craft has banned 3rd party software and if I understand this right, their cricuts no longer will use software.  Great.  I get a cricut and this comes out.  I *think* I'm okay as I bought the MTC software the other night, but this really sucks.  Had I known this I would have bought a different cutter.

DH and I were talking about this and he wondered why we women get the shaft on our products.  He can go in, buy a modified DVD player from a 3rd party and the company doesn't care.   Toshiba isn't out suing another company for modifying a player to read both in PAL and NTSC formats. The video game industry isn't suing 3rd party companies for having accessories like controllers and headsets.  The sewing machine industry isn't suing 3rd party embroidery systems.

He said men just find a way to modify what they want.  He honestly thinks these companies prey on women and exploit their products thinking we don't have a choice.  If it were guys buying the products these companies would bend over backward to give them the features and the price they want.

Part of me wants to take the machine back to JoAnn Fabric and ask for a refund but I looked at the other cutters and they were really expensive.  I don't hate the cricut, I hate that a company has nothing but misplaced greed in mind.  If you limit a product's capability, you limit the people buying it.  Obviously PC has a right to protect their interests, but they won't even come up with software to enhance their cutter to compete with 3rd party software.  All I wanted was the ability to make freezer paper templates for the applique projects.

The cheapest way out is to use a pair of scissors and a pencil.  That's what most of us do anyway.  I don't have 500 to 1000 dollars to blow on a cutter even if it cuts my templates 400% faster than I can trace and cut.

I'm keeping the software though.  PC, quit being a Utard and get with it.  You could make millions if you really wanted too.

Rant over.  I feel better.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have been busy the past couple of days.  You'd think I'd have played with the Ruby but I've been busy setting up obnoxious software programs.  True to reputation, Viking's "upgrade" to accept the Ruby crashed my 4D Software and the computer wouldn't accept my dongle.  I'd put in each of the the USB ports and I'd get a nasty error message saying it wasn't there.  According to my device manager it's there and working just fine.

I go through the usual routine of checking to see if the dongle light is on, is it just one USB port or all of them?  Surely all of them aren't bad since my printer is working and so is my keyboard.  I finally remembered that I could check the logs and went through them.  It catches the error but doesn't really explain why it's not working.  Just that the computer can't open it.  I give up.  It's not like I use it anway.

So I start playing with "Make The Cut" and use the cricut to cut templates for block three of "Fiesta".  My editing skills suck.  All I want to do is delete one section and then make 4 of the set I need.  I spent some time figuring that out and somehow ended up cutting the middle one twice but templates are made.    The cricut does do a good job of cutting freezer paper.

I realized I wanted my edges turned under for the Fiesta quilt and used this nifty little glue pen from Karen Kay Buckley to glue the fabric to the freezer paper:

It's small so you aren't moving a chunky glue stick and fits perfectly.  The only drawback is that it dries super fast so you either have to work in small amounts or keep putting glue down.  It's not messy and I think it's now one of my favorite tools.

Today I started working on block three:

My only problem is the little pieces that sit above the leaves.  I may have to fuse those.  The cricut cut the inner circle perfectly and it was so easy to paste the fabric in place.

I decided to buy "Make The Cut" and went to copy and paste the registration code only to find out that I can't copy/paste with my Apple keyboard.  Well, maybe there is a way, but I'm too frustrated to google it.  Instead I go up to Radio Shack and buy a keyboard.  While talking with the guy about my USB issues and that I have more cords than my computer allows he said to buy a 4 port hub and see what happens.

I put the USB hub in and place my 4D Extra dongle in and the stupid thing works.  I set my keyboard up, copy/paste and get my official software going.  The past two days haven't been too bad now.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

What a weekend.  Ever driven three teenage boys and one girl over to the indoor skatepark?  Boys are boys and one girl surrounded by three of them made for great entertainment.  By the end of the day, my head was splitting, I was broke, and hated malls even more than I usually do, but all those kids had the best time ever.  But I had even more fun than they did.

I left the mall and headed over to the sewing machine store.  I had dropped off my Viking Topaz on Friday and was lusting over the Viking Designer Ruby once again.  I had asked her what she would give me for a trade-in on my Horizon and decided it was worth the the trade-in.  Saturday after dropping the boys off I went over with my Horizon and came home with my new Ruby.  I will never own another Janome.  They are great machines, but I don't love them.

I bring it home, unpack everything and show DH who is quite impressed with the touchscreen.  Because it was late, I started setting up things today.

Viking doesn't make anything easy.  Their site is hard to navagate through and finding the right updates has proved difficult.  Then when I updated 4D Extra my computer won't recognize the dongle (very expensive USB hard drive)  I can't do further updates w/o the dongle or get into the embroidery software.  I can't get my computer to recognize my Ruby and my machine wouldn't update with the USB stick.  I give up for now.  

But the Ruby is a dream.  I sat and played with her for a couple of hours having the dealer go over the options and the menus.

Right now I want a couple of Aleve and a nice nap to overcome the temptation to throw my dongle at the wall.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Fiesta" Templates via Cricut

Oh yeah baby.  Get that paper roller going and "Make-The-Cut" gives me....

"Fiesta" Block 3 partial set of templates!  I used cardstock as a test.  I'll have to cut up some freezer paper so I have actual templates.

I tested out the templates on the outline template.  They run a little small, but fit.  I may have to enlarge it some if I want it truly exact.  THIS ROCKS.

It's Working!

I'm number one.  Well, I made a number one via the cricut machine.  I was so excited I knocked the mat over.  LOL.  According to my mom, you are supposed to use the paper load/unload buttons at all times.  I got a number to cut out though!

I called my mom and told her the problem.  She had no clue what I was talking about.  She turned hers on, used a cartridge and her mat worked.  We then figured out that my metal roller isn't turning.  Great.  Leave it to me to buy a broken machine.  I have visions of calling the company and arguing that my machine has died and I didn't do it.

I did a Google search and found out you can reset the machine.  It says nothing about this in my manual.  I do the reset dance (it's not like there's a reset button) turn it back on after 15 minutes and same problem.  Sigh.  I turn it off, turn it back on and it makes this sreeching noise but the rollers are moving!

I put the mat through, hit the 1 button and there you go.  A perfectly made number one.

I think I had better just play with the machine functions for now instead of trying to think I'm more advanced than I am.  This has huge possibilities in the applique world since some of the cartridges have some really nice designs.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Cricut Machine

I bought one.  It was on sale at JoAnn's and I got the last one.  All excited I bring it home, download trials of "Make The Cut" and another program (can't remember) that works with the Mac.  Y'all know this is not going to go well right?

I realized I needed the USB cable and that comes with the cricut software to use the 3rd party software.  Up to Wally World to get the cricut software.  At least that's 20 miles away.

Installed the software on my Windows side and updated it.

All excited I put the cartridge in and the thing that sits on top, picked a design and pressed load paper and cut.  Paper doesn't load, but the blade starts making lines across the top of the mat.  Great.  I can't get the $## machine to load paper.  Did a YouTube check for this. All of theirs actually loads the mat into the machine when they press it.  Mine won't roll in.  Great.  I have scratch marks on my new mat.  Yes.  I put the mat in with the arrow up.

I tried the first software on my Mac.  Couldn't figure it out after an hour.  Heck with this, I'll try Make the Cut. 

Then I read you have to update the machine to get it to use the Make The Cut.  I go through the Cricut software and can't find anything.  Back to YouTube and 10 minutes later got the machine updated.  Cricut software isn't that intuitive or I wasn't looking right because I was so excited. Tried again.  The paper won't load.

I start playing with Make The Cut just to see if I can get any of my patterns to work.  I put the Fiesta Block 3 in and pressed cut and the paper won't load.    *&&^ machine.  I do a google search and find a tutorial on this and it appears you have to load a cartridge the first time to get the machine and software to talk to each other.  Fine.  Put a cartride in, clicked a circle on the Make The Cut and clicked cut.  The blade slid back and forth on the mat creating cuts.  Good news is that the machine and software are at least recognizing each other.

It's now after midnight and I started this at 8.  Either I'm a retard or the machine hates me.  This has got to be user error.  Please say this is user error.

If I can get this working, this machine will rock my applique world.  I'm going to call my mommy tomorrow since she has one of these blasted machines.  I would have called her earlier but being all stubborn I wanted to make it work on my own. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Cricut Machines

Someone doing the "My Tweets" used her Cricut to cut out the applique shapes for the first block.  She had used 3rd party software to do this as technically you have to use the cartridges.  I almost went out and bought one from Wally World a couple of hours ago but they just had the small size and after talking to my mom, she said to get the Expression.

Ahem..To major companies, IF you would be smart enough to give us the software enabling us creative people to make full usage of your product, 3rd party people wouldn't make so much money off of you.  Even my 3rd party embroidery software does more than my expensive software that I was dumb enough to purchase.  When I checked out Cricut's software it didn't seem to be of much worth either.

Now I get needing cartridges, but we creative people have to use our creativity.  We don't like being limited.  The ability to take any applique pattern and make perfect freezer paper or possibly Mylar templates from the Cricut machine would rock the quilting world.  I despise tracing and I can't cut out shapes to save my life.  Even if you made open cartridges for our creativity, you'd have one up on all the cutting machines out there.

So..if you have a Cricut machine, is it worth investing in?  The Go! Cutter was a huge waste of my money so I'm leary.  Paying a fortune for dies is ridiculous and most of what they have I can do in a matter of minutes with a rotary cutter.  The Cricut dies are to be made for scrapbooking, which is why mom loves hers, but I can see the possibilites with applique work.
DH found a small Mexican restaurant the other day and we thought we'd try it.  These aren't the national Americanized Mexican food chains, it's closer to authentic because she had menudo on the menu.

Menudo is cow stomach stew.  Before you start gagging, the tripe is actually good.  It wasn't rubbery or full of gristle, but very soft.  Rubbery is octopus and squid.  It was the stew part that was killing me as it smelled like cow manure.  The owner either felt extremely sorry for me as I couldn't get it finished or was proud of me for eating the tripe part that she gave it to me for free.  I did have to pay for the barbacoa tacos though.

My applique DVDs came yesterday and spent some time watching through most of both.

Both are worth every penny.  With all the applique projects going on, I really wanted to see how the masters do it.  As I was watching, I realized I have been doing both hand and machine applique right.  It's hard being self taught because you don't really know how something should look like.  I still get caught up in the "what if I'm doing it wrong and everyone is laughing behind my back?" syndrome.

I think I do that because while at a quilt store, a lady came in with a block that was truly awful.  The owner was nice and sweet while working with her and then when she left started laughing hysterically about how bad the block was and that it was the worst block she'd ever seen.  She kept going on about how stupid the lady was. I've been mistrustful since then even though I know I shouldn't.  I thought it was a great attempt at trying out piecing and felt like she had done a great job with what she knew how to do.

I also bought some of  YLI's Wash-A-Way Paper to see how it worked for applique.  It does appear to completely wash out when I ran some water over it.

I traced the pattern onto the paper, cut them out and glued them to the fabric.  I used a light layer of Roxanne's Basting glue which held really well.  Then I dotted the fabric with the glue and folded over.  The glue didn't seem to dissolve the paper so I kept going.

Here's the outcome:

Those itty bitty flowers are going to be the bane of this project.  I hate them already.  Trying to get a perfect curve has been driving me nuts.  Maybe that's one where I make a plastic template, run a stitch through the fabric and pull it.

Karen Kay Buckley showed how to use the invisible applique stitch by machine.  It was great to see it shown instead of a picture.  I'm still not sure I like the look, but it's nice to know that I have been doing it right the couple of times I've played with it.  It would work with the "Fiesta" Quilt as I don't want a raw edge and those pieces would be murder to satin stitch.

Monday, March 07, 2011

My Topaz needs a trip to the dealer for a good cleaning as she keeps eating thread.  I was going to take her today, but the moving company called and I needed to be there to sign papers and make sure everything was taken care of.

I'm not the one moving.  I don't plan on leaving my house until I die or start drooling all over myself.  Then I told DH to just put me out of my misery if that happens.  Sweet man that he is, said he'd take care of me forever.

Back to moving.  My best friend's husband joined the military and she's in Oklahoma right now but her stuff is here and I've been supervising.  For my help, I  was given a box of shotgun rounds two cans of gas/oil mixture for a weedwacker, a fire extinqisher and something else the movers wouldn't take.  It's not like you can dump this stuff in the garbage either.

I figured the person who would know what to do with the shotgun rounds is over at the gun shop.  He said he'd take them and was glad I dropped them off.  He also said you can get some huge fines for dumping them in the garbage.  He wasn't sure where to drop off the oil/gas mixture.  I don't have anything that needs it so I'll have to make a few phone calls to find out how to safely dispose of it all.

I got presents in the mail today!

"Lindy Jr" and "Fleur" came!  I now have "Amelia" and "Lindy Jr" as a set.  

I didn't realize "Fleur" was so little!  She's so sweet looking with her flowers and little details.  She came from  "Glass Dragon Bears" and I love her already.   

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Main Motor Overload

Don't you hate when that happens to your machine?  I wasn't doing anything except satin stitching around a leaf and this pops up on my Topaz screen.  The machine shuts down and refuses to do anything.  The only thing you can do is wait until it cools down.  Probably because it's had enough of satin stitching as well.

I think I'm on Main Motor Overload as well, but the bipolar won't let it go and it's running me into the ground.  I want off this crazy roller coaster of an illness.

I am SICK of satin stitching and I've only worked through two blocks.  I am SICK of leaves and green thead. I am SICK of changing thread colors every few minutes and feeling like I'm getting nowhere on these blocks.  I am SICK over that Mettler only makes small spools of their fine embroidery and silk finish thread.  What I do like is that I have light, medium and dark greens instead of doing it all in one green.  It really does set it off.

My log cabin blocks are a drain on boredom.  I sit there and guiltily look at the two bins full of baggies and wonder if I should just give up.  I'm beginning to hate pink and brown fabric.  Am I allowed to stuff it away for another year?  There are thousands (abt 7000 if I remember right) of brown and pink pieces in those baggies from .75 to 3.5 inch pieces.  

I'm sick of getting through part of a project and then dying of boredom letting it sit for months at a time.  Then I feel guilty every time I think about it.  Any one else do this or is it a bipolar thing?

Fusible webbing despises me.  I have pieces falling off of my "Fiesta" blocks.  

I want to start on Esther's "Heart's Desire" but I can't find fabric that I want.  It would help if I knew what I wanted.  Something luxerious but not overdone or cheap looking.  Every fabric line I've looked at has more "medium" fabric and no contrasting fabric and is in puke colors.  I guess I'll wait until the next block comes out and see if I have a better idea.

Then out of frustration, I went and spent money (DH said it was okay).  I do have a love of teddy bears, but "collecting" in my world means clutter and clutter drives me nuts.  That makes it hard to collect...LOL!  After adding several bears, I need to rethink how to display them before they all fall off the computer shelf.

I picked up "Amelia" yesterday (she's in the pink outfit with goggles) and have her partner, "Lindy Jr" coming soon.  The outfit is so ugly she's kind of cute.  My DD thinks shes adorable and begged for her.  She's got a wooden face and wooden paws.  She's numbered 755 out of 10,000.  

"Sir William" is in the vest (my first boy bear), "Bonnie" is next and then is "Adeline Labearsley" in the hat.  I can't resist hats.

The last two I bought (I have no room for them on the computer desk/bookshelf are "Timperley" in green and it looks like the last one doesn't have a name.  He's made of Boyd's version of Mohair and feels so soft.  My other DD wanted him so badly.  (They don't know that they will probably inherit the ones they want eventually)

I thought it would be really nice to have a true "handmade" bear and went to the Etsy site.  That site is evil in the fact that some of the stuff produced is beyond your belief and some are truly stunning and gorgeous.  I found "Fleur" there and have her coming soon.  Picture will arrive when she gets here.

I wish I had original boxes, but the lady at the hardware store says they just come in one cardboard box and puts them out on the shelf.

Now to convince my bipolar self that I do NOT need to learn how to make teddy bears so I get the look I want.  Can you see me cursing on making a 3-dimensional item?  Yeah.  Me too.