Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quilt Club, October

The Quilt Club went on a shop hop for the October meeting. Any trip to a quilt shop from here is quite a hike. Living in the boonies has its good points, believe me, but being close to a quilt shop isn't one of them.

We went to Miles of Stitches in Merrill, Michigan first. Very nice store, tons of batiks. (drool)

This whole wall is batiks!

Nice big classroom.

Then we went to Common Threads in St Louis, MI. Much smaller store, but has a wonderful collection of precuts. I'm a sucker for precuts.

This bin is filled with precuts.

First time a shop owner has asked me what I'm going to take pictures of when I've asked for permission. Maybe they've been burned by someone taking pictures of samples? That's all I can think of. 

Then to lunch! Quilters have to eat!

A good day was had by all!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Testing, Testing. One Two Three

I am pattern testing for Cheryl, as I told you. She said we can post in progress pictures and stories this time.

The pattern is Looking Glass. It's easy to put together, but looks more complicated. Here's my fabric choice:

Really nice, bright colors!  Maybe a little heavy on the yellow side tho.

Did you know that 5" squares, aren't? These measured a little more than 5". Means I had to trim them down before I could begin. Part of the reason to use pre-cuts, to me, is that the cutting is already done for me. Not so.

So here's the first block, my test block:

I'm making a baby-sized quilt, but I'm afraid these colors would keep a baby up!

Here's my layout:

It's going together so easily, I'm impressed!

I did catch an error in the wording of Cheryl's pattern tho. She said, "along their savage edges." Those savages! How dare they! Are they savage selvedges?


Monday, October 20, 2014

Sweet 16 Problem

I'm having problems on my Sweet 16 quilter. I'm using Superior's Bottom Line thread both top and bobbin, and I am often getting shredded thread. Well, not exactly shredded, but separated. It is a two-ply thread, and it separates into its plies, and then one ply sorta disintegrates. I have been in contact with Superior, they have, so far, suggested I back off on the tension. I've tried that , and am now only going thru one of the pre-tension loops (instead of three). Tried two first. Now the thread pops out of the first two loops above the thread cone. Still separates, but not as often. It also happened with another brand of thread on this machine.

Maybe tomorrow I should call Handi Quilter.

Very frustrating especially since I want to get a lot of stuff done!

I've had it a little over a year, and really love using it. But his problem is getting me down. The thread has been shredding like this for a long time isn't something new. I just decided to get to the bottom of it.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Christmas in October?

I quilting my Christmas quilt. It is unusual for me to be this far ahead of the calendar, so the calendar must be wrong.

This is how I audition quilting patterns:

These are page protectors taped on top of the flimsy, then I use Crayola Window Crayons to mark up the designs I'm thinking of. The marks will wipe right off with a little piece of batting. What an ingenious idea! Sorry, I have forgotten who posted this, not too long ago.

The last couple days I've been doing the Stitch in the Ditch. Not a fun part, at all. This is almost like work! Almost.  Tomorrow I should be able to start FMQing. Looking forward to that.

I got inspiration from Angela Walters latest book:


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


My friend came over and I showed her my Celtic Solstice quilt. She kept petting it and saying how it made her feel so happy. Said this is a Happy Quilt. So I think I'll rename it to My Happy Quilt. I admit I enjoy petting it too. I love the texture quilting gives a quilt.

For more information on this quilt, please see September Finish.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mr. LQ

My husband and I had a really nice day together on Saturday. We went to look at some motor homes, then went to a golf store, then out to eat. First, the motor homes: Our dealer has just started carrying the Monarch line of motor homes. The ones we toured were $600,000+. I can hardly believe it! Of course, they were thoroughly luxurious! Remote controls for everything! They even had dishwashers! That's really roughing it, eh? But if you were going to use it for full timing, you'd want all the amenities from home.

Then the golf store: I wanted to look at women's golf clothes. The cheapest jacket I saw was $60. I refuse to pay that much for clothes.

So far, we haven't spent any money! Success so far!

Then we went to lunch. We like to try different ethnic restaurants. We passed a Persian restaurant in Grand Rapids, MI that looked inviting, and interesting. I can't remember what we had, and certainly can't pronounce it, but it was soooo good! A stew-like dish. Mr. LQ, ever dapper and suave, said to me, "Can you remember the last time we had a meal this good?" What's this? He doesn't think my Hamburger Helper can compare? huh!

Man hiding his face


Monday, October 13, 2014

Another Finish!

Back in August, Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs asked for pattern testers on her blog. We were given the pattern for Scrappy Tiles and given a turn-around time. I thought, no problem! I can do this in plenty of time. Well, life happened, as it does, you know. It took me until almost the end of the turn-around time to get it turned around. I did get it done several days before the end date, but I was feeling the pressure.

Still, I enjoyed the process. The quilt went together very easily, and I was able to add some insight into the writing as well. Cheryl's patterns are very well written. My suggestion was just a little one. She has great drawings, the cutting directions are very clear. I just made some dumb mistakes while putting it together.

It's a very simple pattern, that looks much more complicated when completed. I pulled fabric from stash and decided to make a baby quilt size, so used a bunch of kid prints and had fun with it.

Here is my quilt in progress:

My piles of cuts

And here is my finished quilt:

Doesn't the quilting look luscious??
Here are a couple close-ups of the quilting:

It's quilted with a large swirly meander with heart thrown in occasionally. Had fun with it. I enjoyed it so much, I have agreed to do another pattern test for Cheryl. This one I'll get started on earlier tho.


Scrappy Tiles by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs @ She has an etsy site too.


Friday, October 10, 2014

October Finish!

We had 20 mph winds on Wednesday Oct. 8. Guess who was golfing. It managed to get up to 50 degrees by noon, with this wind. Am I crazy, or what?? Wait, don't answer that. (If you do say I'm crazy, that only proves you know me.)

Things were blowing around. More naked trees now. Poor trees. They get to glory in their lovely colors for such a short time, and they get robbed early of their prettiness. So unfair.

That's a plant stand that is on our deck. Must have made a tremendous crash when it came down. I was out golfing. Guess it's way past time to get this cleaned up anyway. Just a gentle nudge from Mother Nature.


Now I'll talk about my finish. Melons and Creamsicles is finished! Taa Daa!

These are after washing and drying. I had a good time making swirls thru out the creamy white background. I wanted the pin wheels to pop. Check out the back, where you can really see the quilting.

You can see my circles in a couple of the pics. I used a spool as a template. My wonderful Mr. LQ got me a template of all sizes of circles. It came today. So next time, I won't have to use a spool.

My "feathers" are a somewhat different species than I usually use. I borrowed them from LuAnn Kessi's blog. She calls them Big Leaves. I'm calling them Molar Petals. I think they are the shape of molars.


Melons and Creamsicles
Pieced in Florida, starting winter 2013-2014
Mirabelle Fabric 
Warm and Natural Batting
Size: 58" x 64.5"
Was 62" x 70" before quilting and washing.


OK, now I'm asking for help. Does anyone know how to clear the thin applicator for Roxanne's Glue Baste It? I thought I washed it out completely last time, but one (you get two in a package, thank goodness) is sealed with glue. It is soaking in water, even as we speak. Does anything dissolve it once it is completely dried? The applicator is so skinny, I can't fit anything down it to work at the glue. 


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Spray Basting

Someone posted a tutorial on spray basting on your ironing board. It looked like a good idea--the ironing board is up vs. setting up my 6-foot buffet tables, I wouldn't have to drag everything to the basement, vs. right there in my sewing "studio."

I used this technique to baste Melons and Creamsicles and thought it was great. You lay your batting centered on your ironing board and center your backing on top. Fold back backing and spray lightly on backing. Fold it back over and press it to the batting. Move to new area and repeat. Boy, does it look fine after the pressing.

Then I tried it for a queen-size quilt. Not so great. Just too much quilt to process. Whoever it was who posted this said she does queen quilts with this method. (Sure wish I knew who it was who posted this so I could check back on the method, and give attribution.) I ended up with wrinkles all over, and puffy parts. Not happy.

Got out my 6-foot tables anyway, and took things apart. I was able to get rid of the wrinkles and re-iron it down. I really like spray basting because I don't have to quilt over to where the next pin is and remove that. All of the quilt is attached, not wiggling around between pins.

I got overspray on my carpet. Think I can just use some carpet cleaner on that part to remove it? Lots of threads sticking to my slippers now too.

I uses 505 Spray, What do you use?

Sorry, no pictures today. Should I take a pic of the 505?


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Quilting Today

I've been quilting on Melons and Creamsicles. I got all the ditching done easily. I'm using my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen for the quilting and Superior's Bottom Line thread in off white for all the quilting on it.

Now I'm making swirls in all the negative space. I practiced in my sketch book first to see what kind of scale I like best and how to continue to the next swirl. Then I just moved into the game with the quilt.

I can tell I'm new at swirling. I'm using my Tru Stitch regulator and it whirs at me when I move at different speeds going thru the curves and straighter parts. I think it sounds like an angry chipmunk. But the beauty of the regulator is that even when it's angry, it is making my stitches all the same size. I know from experience doing curves, that I would be having bigger stitches in the curves because I move faster then. So I think the Tru Stitch is a good addition.

 Some of the swirls look too much like they're marching along the seam allowance. Amazing how much more you can see in a picture than looking straight at it. Have to remember that. I guess that's why "they" tell you to take a picture to see if the colors are placed where you want them to be.

Well, some areas look cooler than others. Too bad I didn't take a pic of the really cool areas.

I can really tell when I'm more relaxed. The swirls flow better, the points turn out better.  Some of the areas look sort of lacy. By the end of this quilt, I should be an expert. I guess this is the way to learn, eh?


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Next Item on the Agenda

Next up for me is to quilt this baby. It has been sitting in the queue for a few months. It's time!

The pattern is called Dilly Dally from Thimble Blossoms by Camille Roskelley. Due to my color choices (this is Mirabelle), I've named it Melons and Creamsicles. It measures approx 64" x 72", before quilting. I'll have to measure again after quilting for binding, so it will be interesting to see how much it shrinks. I'm planning on quilting the ditches, then allover swirls in the cream. No idea now what I'll do in borders.

How much do you think it will shrink?


Yesterday we went to a Renaissance Festival here in Michigan. First time we've done that. Lots of people, of all ages dress for the festival. We didn't. It seems to be requisite that the women have low-cut tops with lots of jiggle. I felt so overdressed...

Lots of crazy get ups! People carrying weapons--swords, hatchets, etc. Pirates, dancing girls. Very crowded! We didn't stay too long.

Thought we'd go to Frankenmuth, Michigan for a wonderful chicken dinner, but couldn't find parking. Lots of other people out enjoying the beautiful weather. So, OK, we'll head for home and find something along the way. After 2 detours, we decided we'd eat at a steak house about 1/2 hour from the house. It's closed. Ended up at Ruby Tuesdays.

It was fun being together, but not the kind of day we expected.