Thursday, February 26, 2009

I sure missed quilting.

Yesterday I did a Happy Dance!
I enjoy my work, and yesterday I was back at it.
The Edge Rider wheels were installed, and I did a small
charity quilt to test the new wheels. A noticeable improvement
in machine handling. I am glad I made the switch, instead of
merely replacing the broken wheel. Replacing the wheels wasn't
difficult, just frustrating :) my anticipation level was high, and
patience level low. Not a great combination for "mechanical stuff".

I am not quilting today however, as I invited a group of quilters for
lunch. Last weeks hard work (housework) needs to be shown, it
isn't often that the place looks this good. Hopefully no one will
have the need to visit the studio, it took a beating yesterday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

UFOs now RTQ

What does a long arm quilter do, when the long arm is 'resting', other then
housework and bookkeeping?
I have six previous UFOs at the RTQ stage. (ready to quilt)
Three ufo's required backs to be prepared, 2 required borders & backs, and
one had only the centre basket blocks finished. I pieced the baskets this
past summer. The basket block quilt was a challenge, or maybe an adventure might better
describe it.

I purchased a kit, while visiting my ailing father in '06. I was in a weird head space
as I am not a kit person, nor am I fond of slime green but there ya go. It also has
a border print, which of course needs those wonderful mitered corners. It wasn't as
difficult as I thought.  "It will look better once it is pressed and quilted, even though it is Kermit green", she said hopefully.

I also dug out a bag of  3.5 " triangles made from sewing strips together. I read a tip about making strips from scraps, as one gets the scraps.  I kept them in a large ziplock bag, when the bag was stuffed I started sewing stratas.  Then I cut triangles. Now I have strips of triangles sewn together. I am going to make those into a quilt.  Stay tuned for the ongoing adventure.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

You are never too old

You are never too old to do a new stupid.  I don't know who said that, but it's true. Wheels for the longarm arrived  late yesterday afternoon.  I received the wrong set. On ordering I was asked the make, model and year of my machine. I got all that right. Really, I did.  What I did do was assume the party on the ordering desk was well versed in these machines and the wheels. I know better than to assume, I know I should check for myself...oh well. So not only am I not too old to do a new stupid, it seems I am not too old to repeat a stupid. Ya know what they say about "assume". As a dear friend of mine says "Watch out for stupid, there is plenty about. "

She's Gone.

It was a sad day yesterday. Willa our furry four legged gal went on her last journey. I miss her already. She was part of our family for almost 20 years.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Millennium is resting.

 I am not a happy gal, it is my fault. I have an APQS Millennium, (named Lenni, long before APQS developed a machine they call Lenni) and on Saturday I gave it a push, to send it over to its parking spot. I was using the circle lord and had not completely removed the stylus, which fell down and stopped the motion of the machine. This rather abrupt motion broke a wheel. At least this is my theory. The phone was ringing, and I knew I would be awhile, so as not to have a problem with oil on the quilt I gave it that fatal push. I didn't notice the damage until the next morning. These things never happen when one is not busy. That's a law. Murphy's Law. The quilt on the frame needed only one more block and a couple of  'corrections'. The first thing in a sheer panic I ordered wheels online.  Then I heard some not good things about these wheels, more panic, cancelled the order. The short version of this story is I ordered Edgerider wheels, and am impatiently awaiting them. In the meantime, I am trying very hard to get other work done....most of it paperwork, housework. But that was yesterday. Today I have a Guild meeting in the evening and during the day I am going to organize my studio. Better known as fondling fabric.  gudrun

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Thread of A Quilter's Life....or Thread Happens

I have thread.  I need thread. I like thread and its many beautiful colours. Check out the lost thread I have been saving, for no particular reason.
      I use to keep spools in containers, and it was a bother keeping it sorted and for clients to
see the possibilities. So I put them out in the open. Mostly they have wee bags on them, and 
they are out of the sunlight. There's no dust in the attic so I don't worry about it.  Or maybe there is but I still don't worry about it.

 This Quilter's darling husband likes thread too, read on.

    My wife is a professional long arm quilter, with a geezly (can't use geezly in scrabble, Wilma!)
great machine that could only fit in the bowling lane side of our attic.  The house is approaching the century mark and has settled as much as it's going to, but I still do a double take when I look at the wobble to the old pine floors below her machine.  But along with the knots in the pine...there are other things lurking at foot level. But first a little clarification on the division of labour is required.  You see when the long arm sewing machine arrived and the resident quilter turned pro, I offered to take on increased duties, vacuuming among them. Big mistake.  You see, not only do we have a brown carpet and a yellow lab (she who has already devasted 3 vacuums in her 13 hair ridden years) but said resident Quilter is also a devout stair climber.  She is up and down, to and from the attic a couple dozen times a day, bringing hand projects to work on while sitting on the couch, her collection of cups and plates and so on.  AND unbeknownst to her, every time she does so, she carries with her enough thread to keep the local spring flocks in nest lining for years to come. Bits and pieces of multi-coloured spaghetti cling fervently to socks, pants, blouses and particularly polar fleece, all of which participate in the thread transfer process from clothing to carpet and just about any other surface. Try as she may to de-thread at the top of the stairs (please note de-threading is different from de-materializing), by the time she reaches the main floor she has succeeded in turning our brown wool carpet into a rainbow berber. But I am the vacuum guy. I take my job seriously.  Yes the current vacuum is up to the increased duties, and as I've discovered it also does double duty as a sewing device.  As a professional, my Quilt Queen winds umpteen bobbins a day and has dozens of spools of thread scattered about the house in working stashes of project gear.  The cat enjoys her play time and not surprisingly the not-so-occasional spool hits the floor. Enter the vacuumer, blithely doing his duty, said vacuum turns into an industial bobbin winder with a voracious appetite.  The spinning carpet brush snags the leading edge of the thread and even though I am vigilant and fast on the foot switch, the beast usually doesn't stop before the spool has done its dizzying disappearing dance across the floor, following a retreating vacuum and its unwitting driver.
That vacuum can clean off a spool like nobody's business...the spent naked spool continuing to spin like a the delight of the cat,  and the dismay of the resident Quilter and her vacuum meister. "Gone in 60 sec0nds" is an under statement.
Next to fabric, thread is the stuff of my Quilter's life and it is with mixed emotions that we turn the vacuum over to follow the thread of her life. I used to dutifully cut the thread, cleaning the carpet head back down to plastic and rubber but recently I have begun to leave it.  It's not only colourful, but I imagine and or rationalize that it also acts as a 'pre ' air filter, as well as a vibrant reminder that life is too short to continually cut thread. Thread has become the multi-coloured link in our mechanical lives....her long arm and my vacuum.  And now that I've come to accept the inevitability of the threads in our lives mingling, I am a more relaxed cohabitant.
I've become zen like in my approach .  In order for quilts to appear....threads happen.

Wishing you a Good Day,

ps the carpet is a rust colour

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy New Year

I found something I hope you will enjoy.  It happened,  because I volunteered
to do a Guild newsletter.  This was written by my husband.
****January 2008******
So dear quilters,  it's a  New Year. Time for a fresh start. Time for resolutions. If you are anything like my dear  resident quilter here,  then the resolutions (and I speak of a fabric nature)will probably be similar to last year. Resolutions that curiously are so common they've become acronymed.
Yes. They are,  repeat after me :))
1. I vow to shop in my stash before taking any and all opportunities to run (not walk) to the nearest fabric shop. Why? Because my stash is STAABLE.  (stash totally at and beyond life expectancy)
2. I will identify all UFO's in my quiltorium. (unfinished object, a.k.a. unfulfilled opportunity)
3. I will FIFI all UFO's  ( find it, finish it.)
4. I will FIFI all PIGS within these four walls. (projects in grocery sacks) And if they are not in
grocery sacks  then I will put them in CLEAR bags so that in the future they can easily be FIFIed  and not accidently thrown out by the QDH (quilters darling husband) who assumes green garbage bags contain items intended for the big green circular filing cabinet.
5. I will complete all WIPS (works in progress) before FIFI ing UFO's and I will do so before the snow melts....ah before the garden goes in....ah  well before next year.
6. Any FIFI 's and UFO's that are found to be WOMBATS, will be repurposed and passed along. (waste of money, brains, and time/talent) 
7. I will do all the above before working on my WHIMMs. (works hidden in my mind)
8. I am not now, nor will I ever be a TART, (someone who will 
Toss away, regret tomorrow) life is to short.  And my Stash is STAABLE.
So before your WHIMM becomes a WOMBAT or a PIG make sure you FIFI your UFO and 
maybe then your QDH will take you on a FART....Fabric acquisition road that will make your stash even more STAABLE. 

He's right, my resolutions are much the same in 2009.