Monthly Archives: April 2016

Paducah Here We Come!


The car is packed and I am chomping on the bit to leave!  The plan is to leave my house at 3:30 am to go and pick up Pam by 4.  The drive should take us about 8 hours or so, depending on how many stops we have to make on the way.  Paducah has been a dream of mine to go to for many years.  My mother, who was my first quilt teacher, had always dreamed of going to this Mecca of quilting destinations, but she never got the chance.  Now, so many years later Pam and I will be able to see and do all the things our moms would have loved to.  We will be staying at my daughters house who lives about an hour away from the activities of quilt week, and she and my grand daughter will come to the show on Saturday with us.  My eight year old granddaughter Elaina already has her own fabric stash and is so excited to come with us.  Besides seeing all the wonderful quilts and of course the glorious shopping, Pam and I are scheduled to attend a lecture on machine quilting on Thursday afternoon, and then go to an all day class on Friday. We will be sure to let you know all about the wonders that we see along the way!


Paducah Bound!!


Picture it, two old friends, packing a car and hitting the road for a trip to Paducah! We haven’t gone on a road trip in … well a long time. First time ever to a large quilt show.

So, we will leave way early in the morning next Wednesday…. for a roughly 8 plus hour drive! Luanne’s daughter Sandy and her family are kind enough to host us for our stay in Kentucky. (Sandy, Thank you so much! And I look forward to seeing you soon! I probably have a story or two about your Mom!)

We are pulling fabrics for our class on Friday. It promises to be a fun one called “Come Play With Me!” It will be good to continue to work in a playful way with fabrics that are solids, geometrics, patterned…. perhaps mixing things in a creative and intuitive way.  “Play” can bring about some unexpected results, and while that could be bad, I am feeling pretty optimistic that it will be freeing. Fairly regularly I do some “play” with my scraps, and eventually that will find it’s way into a block or a quilt. I am thinking that I will go into that further on another post, and talk more about what “play” looks like for me.

I am hoping to get pictures along the way, and am so looking forward to the adventure!

In the meantime, work on this Collaboration quilt continues. I am so close to pulling this off the frame. I have three blocks and the remaining bit of border to do!



Next up will be a Christmas quilt in some unusual colors. Lavenders, Aqua, Brown, Olive Green? Doesn’t sound appealing, but am pretty pleased with the outcome!

Enjoy the weekend!



As Ye Sew, So Shall Ye Rip!


Sometimes we think we are cruising along making some progress

20160405_172753.jpg and then thud!


This whole longarm quilting is pretty new to me. I have come a long way, and am now fairly comfortable with my machine, but there are still things that I don’t always know about it.. the little quirks. Most machines have quirks. In this case, my thread was breaking after very successfully quilting 2/3rds of the quilt. I knew to stop  and check the bobbin, change the needle, threaded and moved on. Still breaking… what I didn’t see is that the thread was no longer going through one of the tension discs. Thud!!

I finished the quilt after fixing the problem, took it off the frame and you guessed it… loops! Many, many loops! I knew that others have had to un sew… but still, so very frustrating. I spent 3 full evenings picking out stitches with a sharp seam ripper and a tweezers! Time I knew I could be spending getting the next quilt loaded on the frame.  (It is kind of my goal to get 5 quilts done by mid May)


Back on the frame it went. The cleared area was again quilted, and completed.


Lesson learned.. keep an eye on the thread path! Check it if you have thread breaking, check it just because when you change the bobbin. Add it to the check list when you stop for the day or are getting started on a quilting session!!

The good news is that I now have my “kitchen sink” quilt all stitched. The binding has been sewn on by machine, and then I will hand stitch it when I am ready to take a break from machine quilting.

I am almost half way done with my Collaboration Quilt on the longarm. Not taking anything for granted with the stitching this time!



AND.. while I have this goal in mind, I recognize that I need to remain flexible. Maybe only 4 quilts will be done by then. Maybe less, but hopefully not! Things like this will happen, just keep moving forward!

More quilting and PADUCAH coming soon!!



Pinning, Quilting, and Finishing!


When I posted last, I was just getting ready to sink my teeth into some machine quilting.  There as a lot of peep that goes into getting a quilt ready for the machine quilting phase.  Many people dread pinning the layers together.  I used to be one of them.  I would take my quilt over to our churches fellowship hall where the floors are nice and clean and there is a lot of room to stretch the backing on the floor and secure it with masking tape.  Next I would lay the batting on the backing and smooth it.  Finally I would lay the top of the batting.  The last step was the dreaded pinning.  I would need to get down on my hands and knees and pin the layers together.  This may not sound bad, but by the end of the quilt my knees and back would be aching.  Not a lot of fun at all.  I came across a method that would change the way I would layers my quilts and get rid of the pain for good!  I now use a folding table set on risers to do this task.  i find the center of the back and drape it over the table and use large clips to secure it down with just a little tension, keeping it all nice and smooth.  I can then add the batt and top smoothing as I lay each one down.  Here is a picture of the double wedding ring quilt clipped to the table.image

Now I can pin  the layers together comfortably.  The risers on make the table just the right height for me.  After I get done with one section I can unclip and move the quilt to a new section to be pinned.  Finally I have the whole top pinned and ready for the machine.image

I also pinned the collaboration the same night.image

I have always struggled how to mark my quilt top for quilting.  I am still more of a novice at the quilting process, but I am enjoying learning and am liking the results.  With these two quilts I decided to use golden threads paper to draw my quilting lines.image

The paper then gets pinned to the quilt top and I can follow the lines, quilting right through the paper.image

I used all over designs on both these quilts and am quite pleased with the results.  Now is the long and messy process of removing all the paper.  Time to sit in front of the tv with a garbage bag to put all the schnibbles.  It is kind of like unwrapping a present.image

Now on to binding!