Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dood Day!!!

My small group met and we had a birthday party for Kelly.  I gave her a little quilt I had made for a guild challenge.  She liked it, and said it will look great hanging in her sewing room.

My new Innova longarm machine was delivered and set up yesterday.  Yippee!  I am so excited that I got up early and went right out to the studio to play.  This machine does not look like an Arabella - it looks too modern, so I decided to name it after my Dad who was a scientist. That seems more appropriate for such a high tech looking machine!   I'm calling it Dood, which was his family nickname.  Apparently when he was a baby before he learned to walk, he scooted around the floor on his bottom using his hands to pull himself.  His parents thought he looked just like a doodlebug and called him that.  Eventually it was shortened to Dood, and I can remember my Grandmother still calling him that as an adult. 

While I was waiting for the arrival of Dood I had lots of free time so I totally cleaned and re-arranged  the studio.  My Gammill had a 14 foot table and I decided to switch to a 12 foot table for my Innova, which gave me a little more room to work with.  Peter says women must have a gene that men don't have: a gene for re-arranging furniture.  He just doesn't get why anyone would re-arrange their furniture once it is in place for a few years. 

I decided to move all my quilting books and magazines into the house, since that is where I usually look at them.  That meant I first had to start moving stuff around inside the house to make room before I could bring the shelves in and start hauling books.  (I didn't make Peter move anything except the big stuff I needed help with!)  It was a long process.  Before I started moving I made a little scale plan of the studio and cut out the furniture to scale so I could play with it and find the best arrangement.  This is another thing that just makes Peter shake his head in amazement, but it really saves a lot of time.  It's also fun, kind of the grown-up version of playing with a dollhouse. 

I put Dood on the short end of the studio.

This machine is smaller than Arabella, I chose a 22" machine.  Since I do mostly custom quilting, I quilt mostly at the front of the quilt.  I feel like I lose control if I try to quilt further away from me.  I don't do pantographs and seldom do freehand edge to edge designs, so I think this will suit me.

The sewing table and ironing area got moved closer together, which is more convenient.  I spent several days refolding my stash.  I started this over a year ago and had gotten stuck halfway - it looks so much better now!

The cutting table is now near the design wall (which has Mary's still uncompleted quilt on it).  This is an improvement, because we use the design wall for photography and it's real easy to wheel the cutting table out of the way for that purpose.  The sewing table used to be in the way and that was a pain to move.

This is my Mom's old dining room table which gets used mostly to hold piles of stuff.  Since I just cleaned up there aren't any but they will soon start reappearing.

I think I need to finish this up so I can go out and play!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wonderful quilts, none of them mine!

I wish the quilt above was mine but no, it was made and quilted by Carla.  She did a program for our longarm group and showed many of her own quilts.  There were so many wonderful quilts but I only managed to get good pictures of a few, peoples heads and things like tables and boxes kept getting in the way.  This is another of her quilts:

Prairie Quilt Guild had a meeting last week with Edie McGinnis as the speaker.  Edie worked for the Kansas City Star for over 20 years and has published many books.  She is a long time collector of feedsacks and feedsack quilts and brought many examples of them.  I learned a lot about feedsacks from her talk and she had our guild laughing - she is a hoot!

This is the first quilt she made from feedsacks:

I like that she used white feedsacks for the backing:

More of her quilts:

This one is definitely not made from feedsacks, instead she used her collection of Daiwabo fabrics.  She says this is her best quilt. 

I'm stilll waiting for my new Innova quilting machine.  Hopefully I will hear this next week that it is ready to be delivered.  In the meantime I have been getting lots done!  I have cleaned and re-arranged the studio in anticipation of the new machine,  finished the top for my guild challenge quilt ( I can't show it because it's supposed to be kept secret!), marked the top for a new miniature wholecloth and have actually cooked dinner a few times. My next job is to sort through my old quilting magazines and donate the ones I don't need to our guild library sale.

Here are Elsie and Lily pursuing a cricket - it finally disappeared down a crack leaving one leg behind.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disappearing nine-patch

I won't have any pictures of quilts I have quilted for a while - it will be a couple of weeks before my new Innova arrives.  These are pictures from my small group, we don't have an official name - we just call ourselves the Little Sewing Group.  When I first moved here these ladies invited me to join them twice a month.  We don't all quilt, some are knitters, or crocheters or embroiderers, but it's a good excuse to get together to sew and eat and talk.

At our last meeting Evelyn showed us how to make a Disappearing Nine-Patch block.  It's really fast and easy (even I can piece this!), you make a nine patch, cut it into quarters, move a couple of the pieces 180 degrees and sew it back together.  We met again today and got to see the finished projects.  Although we all made the same block,  it's amazing how different they look in different fabrics and different sizes. 

Up above is Betty's project - she is obviously an over-achiever since she was the only one to make something bigger than a table runner.

I only had enough of the Japanese fabric to make two blocks, so I made a short table runner.

Kelly made three blocks in three different sizes.  I couldn't get the third picture to go where I wanted it to, so here are two of them.

Madeline made small blocks.

Dee made a Halloween runner.

Evelyn, who showed us the block, finished two table runners. 


Virginia is hand quilting hers, it will be a doll quilt. 

I have lots of projects planned for my vacation from quilting.  Maybe I'll get them done, or maybe I'll just spend the next few weeks lying on the couch, eating chocolates and reading trashy novels!    

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Going, going ... GONE!

I really tried to finish Mary's quilt before today but I just couldn't get it done.  I did get enough stitch in the ditch finished to stabilize it and basted horizontally every four inches or so just to be safe.  While it was on Arabella (her last quilt for me) I noticed that the colors are very similar to those in my Turtle quilt, hanging behind the machine.

This morning we got up early, cleaned the machine, cleaned out underneath the machine and cleared a path out to the driveway.  Here she is before we started cleaning up:

Here she is all ready to go,  I found about a million pins and many dust bunnies underneath her!

Luckily, her new owner Melisa, is very nice and very excited to have her own Gammill longarm machine.  Melisa, her husband Larry and daughter Lauren showed up about 11:00 this morning with a 16 foot trailer, all ready to take Arabella to her new home in Oklahoma.  Peter gave some tips on maintenance,

And then it was time to start taking her apart.  We removed the rollers and wrapped them in old batting scraps to protect them and the canvas leaders.

She is on casters, so she rolled right out the door onto the little deck and then...

Oops, Houston, we have a problem.  The opening in the deck railing was too narrow to let her through.

Larry is a handy kind of a guy, so he removed the deck railing and onto the trailer she went.

She's well packed up and ready to go and Larry even put our railing back for us!

Bye Arabella!

She's GONE!


Can't wait for my new machine.