Friday, August 29, 2008

New Fabric Pictures Arrived

Yesterday I received a disk with the pictures of the new fabrics I will be using to make a pattern and quilt for Quilting Treasures. I wish I could share them with you, but The fabrics are a big secret until Fall Quilt Market. I will tell you that one piece is a large panel, but it is not just one image. It has several imagines so it is really interesting. Some of the images are large and others are small in comparison.

The colors of this collection are calmer then the last two collections for which I made patterns and quilts. It is also based on the work of a couple very famous names in past art.

I was so excited about the collection I designed the quilt using the panel last night. The problem with designing quilts just from the images can be a surprise of slight differences in what the actual size of the print. In this case I took the side of safety and bordered the panel in a like fabric to the background so I can make adjustments if needed. It was also taking an ordinary block for the boarder and flipping and rotating it to make an interesting border.

This weekend I will design another quilt with out the panel using 8 to 10 of the other fabrics. I have a few things stirring around in my head. I want the quilt to be interesting, but would like it to be a rotary cut quilt.

I have sent my first design into Donna at Quilting Treasures and will send the other design in as soon as I finish it this weekend. Once she reviews the designs and they pick the one they like it will be time for me to do any editing they would like done on my design. Then it is time to wait for the fabric to arrive. During the wait I can start writing the pattern and do the drawings, but until I actually have the fabric I can not really finish the pattern.

I will post a picture of the finished quilt as soon as quilt market opens in October.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Testing Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble

I was asked by the owner of Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble if I would write a review of the under Thimble invented by his late mother. I agreed to test the thimble, but also told him that if I didn't like the thimble I would not put a post in my blog about the thimble. All that being said I did test Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble. The following is my review.

Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble is used on a finger under the quilt to aid in controlling the size of quilting stitches and it also keeps the needle from injuring the underfinger. The Thimble is cone shaped and will fit on most finger sizes. The cone part of Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble is flexible to fit to the shape of the choosen finger. If you go to the web site you can see that the shape of the thimble has a point at the end with a ridge to encourage the needle to change direction.

I first stitched a sample of my normal quilting stitch (row 1), then I started testing Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble(row 2). As with anything new it does take practice and a little work to think about how to use that object that is now on my under the quilt finger. Even with all that going on I immediately notice an improvement in my stitch. I don't hand quilt often now, but felt like my stitching would have been acceptable to me today. As I continued stitching my stitching improved. I did try curves, stitching right to left, stitching top to bottom an also stitching with my frame secure on a holder. I never have been able to stitch away from myself, so I didn't try to figure out how to use the under thimble stitching away.

I will use the thimble again. I liked not having to worry about the skin on my underfinger being hit with th e point of the needle. I believe also that with a little practice and using a stationary frame I would be able to actually increase the amount of stitches I could do per sitting. That will be a bonus to the stitches looking nicer on the top and bottom of the project. Sorry my picture is not better, but I am not a photographer.


Friday, August 15, 2008


Today we discovered what is wrong with our washing machine. To back up a bit it was working just fine last week. Wednesday I did a small load of clothes after Bill and I were working outside, because I didn't want any bugs to be let loose while sitting a week in the laundry basket. When the machine reached the point where the water should drain, nothing happened. First thing I thought it was the pump, but if it was the pump I thought the spin cycle should at least make a effort to start.......nothing. We were busy yesterday, so this morning it was time to make a decision on what to do about the washer.

I talked to my Dad and he thought it might be the switch that keeps the basket from spinning when the lid is up. I agreed with him and in fact had tested that switch to see if that was the problem. He is not able to help with fixing things at this point due to a fall, so I was running up and down the stairs following his instructions. We thought about calling a repair person, but decided that we could take that money and put it towards a new machine. I would rather put the money towards a dryer which we really do need.
So Bill and I decided to check a little more into the situation. I took one look at the back of the washer and said "I don't know how to get into this washer. It is not like any of the other washers we worked on in the past. There was just two screws back there and the rest was plastic inserted through the metal. We didn't know what held the back cover on. So we looked at the inside of the washer again at the switch. We saw two screws there and Bill removed those while I held the switch...yes the washer was unplugged. Sure enough I was able to get the switch out enough to see that it was attached to a long wire that didn't want to give at all. I looked in the parts catalog and it is called a switch harness. In terms everyone would understand the switch can not be bought by itself. You must buy the wire it is connected to and be able to plug that wire into something....someplace inside the washer area we could not get into. So I went again to talk to my Dad. He said to test the switch to see if it was bad we must plug in the washer and short out the switch with the washer on in the position where it stopped working. I won't tell you how to do this, because I don't want anyone to get hurt. I had seen my Dad do this many times and understood when he told me how to do the process. Sure enough the washer started to work.
Well now we knew what was wrong, but still had no way of replacing the part. I noticed in the directions one could order a book on self repair. So I could order the part and the book and wait a week or so for it to be delivered. I went upstairs again to talk to my Dad. We decided since this was just a safety switch and I am the one who does the wash most of the time....and we do not have small children in the houe it would be safe to bypass this switch. Again I unplugged the washer and did what my Dad told me to do with Bill's help. We again have a working washer. The best part is it didn't cost a thing. Our washer isn't that old...just barely beyond the warrantee period. I am happy it is working again.
Last night I said I needed to make a new purse. So I went to the see what I had that I could use to make the purse. I found many blocks, but most of them were pieced or appliques with a light background. I don't need anything with a light background!!!! It know it would look dirty in no time. I did find these blocks all sewn together in a row.

I really like the two in the middle. Here is one so you can see it better.
I made these blocks as a sample when I owned my store to try to sell some stencil kits I bought. The samples must be about 8 years old. I think it is time that I use at least some of them. They are dark enough and also have enough color to be interesting. I think I will place one on point on each side. I hope to work on this project tomorrow.
I slept much of the day today....right through lunch and then again through dinner. Good thing Bill can take care of himself and I took a chef salad up to my parents earlier for their dinner. I woke up during the night last night and could not go back to sleep until about 5 am this morning. Then I woke up just before 7 to fix breakfast for everyone. We did that repair job after breakfast and I fell asleep in my chair. When I woke up I found out it was after lunch time. You would think the smell of the polish sausage Bill had for lunch would have woke me up. I got up and checked to see if there was a condo available in WI for a trip. It was and I called to make the reservations....through a friend. After that I made my lunch and made the salads for dinner. Sat in my chair again. Had a cup of coffee and fell asleep again. When I woke up Bill had eaten his salad and already returned his bowl to the kitchen. So I got up. Finished my salad and ate my dinner, did the dishes and watched a bit of TV.
I love this time of year because we watch the Little League World Series. It is wonderful to see these youth playing a baseball game with such pride, skill and energy. I also love the fact that all the officials, coaches, workers etc at the park volunteer their time to make this world series inexpensive to attend. If you get a chance watch a game. Bill and I want to go to PA some day to actually experience the excitement in person.
Believe it or not I am sleepy again. Hopefully tonight I will sleep the whole night and not be so tired tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Purses and other random thoughts

Hi All,
I have a thing about carrying a purse until it must be replaced. The one I am carrying right now was made from a book cover that a friend had pieced and quilted for me many, many years ago.

I have a love hate relationship with my current purse. I love it because it was originally made by my friend Peggy and since I was no longer using it as a book cover I made it into a purse. When I look at it I see my friend and love her choice of colors. I have received many compliments on this purse and I can thank Peggy for that fact.

My hate relationship is kind of two fold or maybe three. I never added a handle to the purse, so I carry it under my arm. Funny thing about that is I have received several calls from my brother-in-law David. Apparently sometimes the phone when in the purse under my arm automatically calls David's phone. We have a nice conversation and go on with the day. The other thing I dislike about this purse is the inability to organize the inside. There are no pockets in the purse. I made it in a hurry, because prior to this purse I was not carrying a purse. I had a wallet that would fit into my jean's pocket and that was all I needed. Then I started wearing clothes with shallow pockets, or no pockets, plus I needed to carry more when traveling without my dh Bill. The third thing about the hate relationship with this purse is that I need to replace it....soon. The fabric is showing signs of wear.

So now I think I am going to make a variation of the tote I designed for Quilting Treasures. I loved the way the pockets were made on the tote, because they were easy to add, but I need to make it smaller, with handles and I don't think I want it to gather with a boot tie at the top. So basically I guess I only like the pockets on the tote and need to design a new purse. So I am off to do that now. One of the most difficult parts of this project will be deciding on the fabric. I need something that will go with many colors with out being flashy. I also need it to not be seasonal, because I know I will use it for several seasons. I will post a picture later. It may not be until this weekend, because I know that going to sew will lead to other projects for me.

Bye for now,

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Quilt on front cover of catalog

I was busy making dinner when my husband came to the kitchen all excited. He said I had a high priority e-mail from our friend Beverly in IL stating that my quilt I designed for Quilting Treasures is on the front cover of Hancock's of Paduch's newest catalog. I could not believe it. Do you know how many people look at that catalog and my quilt is on the cover! My name is on page 72 as the designer of the quilt. I know this is a method of selling the fabric, but I am happy to have my quilt on the cover.

I don't get the catalog, because we live just 65 miles from the store and if I want something from the store I just go there. Well you guessed it, today I signed up for the catalog! So DH and I are going to the store tomorrow to pick up a copy of the catalog. I would hate to miss out on having my quilt featured someplace and not be able to see the actual catalog. I was also happy to see that they have kits for the quilt.

The quilt is the Reflections of a Sunset Safari that I featured in a previous posting. I recently made a tote of the same material.

Back down to earth now. Dishes are waiting!