Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ugly Is As Ugly Does! ((Or Death By Cheetos ---))

If you read my frustrated post from THIS AFTERNOON ---You will already KNOW what kind of defeated mood I found myself in.

And because of this fiasco -- my whole plan to show more MQX photos today went OUT THE WINDOW. Which is where this quilt back should have gone too --- just sayin'!

Tomorrow. I'll do more pics tomorrow.

How could ONE PERSON mess up on a quilt back when she had 10 yards of fabric to work with?

I’ll tell you how….

You measure and cut and piece the backing ……using the measurement across the TOP of the quilt….not down the SIDE….that’s how!

And it wouldn’t have been a problem except that this fabric is not only directional like a stripe, but directional as it can’t go sideways, and it can’t go UPSIDE DOWN either, because it’s buildings and cafĂ©’s and little street scenes.

So OUT comes the trusty Orphan Box.

The search began for something I had “enough of” to go all the way across the quilt from side to side, therefore adding to the LENGTH of the backing.

AHA! There are some REALLY hideous giant 4 patches on point that were a failed way-laid leader/ender project, and I know they haven’t seen the light of day for at least 5 years – this was way before we moved to NC!

I could alternate these with SOMETHING, but it had to be something that stood out against that Paris fabric….and you know what?

There was this ONE PIECE. The only one I liked color-wise…and it was in the “Use for charity” bin --- I loved the colors in it, it picked up the red in the Paris fabric ---I loved the pattern, it’s a very cool print – but I HATE THE FEEL of this fabric!

I’ve washed it, ironed it – it still feels stiff and yucky. No matter – it’s getting used, and will be GONE. ((I think it came from Joann’s – how’s that for a confession! I’ve bought good feeling stuff there, but this was not one of them – so go by the feel and don’t trust that something is going to soften in the wash.))

florabunda 030

Being in a green kind of mood…I pulled out my Singer 185J “Mean Judy Green.” She is a 3/4 sized machine and was born in 1954 ---I wanted to try the ecolux light on her --- and I know it’s really important to run machines every once in a while to keep them from locking up. I oiled her, cleaned her a bit, and set her to going….Sewing 4 patches on point to the red colored “stiffy” squares! LOL! Oh, do you see that MILLENIUM fabric front and center? Someone give me a high-five – it’s now USED!

*Note* I've been asked how I sew on different machines, and it's simple if you be sure to test and match your seam width with every different machine you switch to. If you have one machine that gives you a baseline -- you can use tape or a seam guide in order to keep a consistent seam allowance from seam to seam and machine to machine -- but TEST -- never trust a 1/4" foot to do the job for you, they are all too different.

vintage machines 036

This is an aerial view of Judy…and how I’ve been able to move the sew adjustable table by Sewing Mates to fit her base. She can’t come out of her base because she sits lopsided without it --- poor old girl! But I am loving how this table changes around to fit everything I’ve got!

florabunda 031

Plenty of light, plenty of space…plenty of ugly UFO parts….Oy! What am I getting myself into?

florabunda 032

I did a double row like this…and a single row. I think there are only 3 left-over 4 patches on point…..red fabric ALSO gone…that’s score 2 for me! But you know what? even at this point the backing is still 4” too short. (*&@#($*&(*&!

florabunda 036

So here’s where things get REALLY ugly..LOL I had left over 9-patch type strip sets from Florabunda’s border. Yellow, Print, Yellow.

I had left over strip sets print/white/print in the orphan bin that someone had sent me and they’d never been used…..I decided to sub-cut everything at 2” ((Yes, I remembered to double-check that I was using the 2” die for the Accuquilt Studio!)) and set to making a checkerboard border.

Only – it doesn’t look any better…LOL!

I think it would have been FINE to have the buildings sideways at this point!

florabunda 038

But here you go.

Paris Street Scene Fabric? GONE!

4 patch on point blocks? GONE!

Stiffy red horrid feeling fabric? GONE!

Leftover checker-board type strip-sets? GONE!

Also gone?

One 2 liter bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper

One medium bag of Cheetos ---

Yes, it was that kind of day ----and the quilt is still not on the frame, and it’s probably the ugliest backing ever, but it’s DONE!

And Mean Judy Green was just a CHAMP! She was made in Canada, and this model was made to replace the old black Singer 99’s. I found this YouTube video of an old commercial for the Singer 185. It was considered the Young Budget Machine. You could buy it on the Budget Plan for $119.50 ($12 down and $1.25 per week). This ad is too cute not to watch….Enoy!

What a hoot! I love how the hubby is inspecting the dress after she looks like she says “PUT DOWN THAT (*&@#$(*& Freaking Newspaper and pay attention! LOL!

iPhone-o-Gram! Oh! No!

I just went to load the Florabunda quilt in the machine.

Remember I'm using
Paris street scenes as the backing!!

I measured the wrong side of the quilt! And now my backing is WAY too short. If I turn it the other way ((which usually doesn't matter)) my Paris Cafes are going sideways.

This will NOT do!!

I think I'm going to inset something to make it look planned. Off to raid the orphan bin.


Let There Be LIGHT!!

A couple of weeks ago while visiting with the Mississippi Valley Quilters in Moline, IL --- I noticed that Jo and Kelli had some AWESOME lighting on their machines --- in places I’ve never seen lighting before!

You know, the “new” machines come with LED lighting and visibility is SO important….

There are bendable little lights you can buy that will shine right on where the needle action is --- but have you ever felt like the rest of the throat space of your machine was in semi-shadow?

Jo told me she’d tried out these lights from Ecolux Lighting, and she gave me a card --- and before I was even able to contact THEM, they contacted me!

Okay—the really cool thing for me is that they are from BOISE, IDAHO ((GO BRONCOS!!)) Where I used to live ---and having family that is still in the Boise area makes me very proud to claim Idaho as a former home, and I’m always pumped when someone-from-somewhere-I-know comes up with something SO SUCCESSFUL!

So I get this email from Kim asking me if I would like to TRY their product ---absolutely!

The box was here waiting when I got in the door from Rhode Island --- and I didn’t get to try it out until last evening, but let me tell you what a difference this makes to my machines – especially vintage babies like Barbie above!

((As if you couldn’t see it already?))

RhodeIsland_2012 415

This is the light bar, turned on --- in the 6 LED size! 100,000 hours of life on the light. This will last me a long time!

RhodeIsland_2012 418

This is the smaller 3 LED light bar, perfect for featherweight sized machines…..the bulbs do NOT get hot --- and I think it would be really hard to break one…they are in soft pliable plastic ---

And better yet, the cords are interchangeable ----you can buy “Just the light bulb part” for more than one machine……and just transfer the cord and the on/off switch between the machines…

RhodeIsland_2012 416

On/off switch – easy thumb button!

RhodeIsland_2012 417

The plug-in part just connects here so you can use it with another machine. Or of something DOES go wrong with your light, you just replace the light part, not the whole cord/switch/plug in.

RhodeIsland_2012 407

I think you’ll be seeing a lot of happy quilters using these lights! Check out the website at http://ecoluxlighting.com and tell Kim that Bonnie sent you!

RhodeIsland_2012 420

Shine, Barbie, Shine!

Oh Yeah, and don’t forget to say “GO BRONCOS!!” :cD

Monday, April 16, 2012

iPhone-o-Gram! Chiro Fun!

They haven't tallied up the jelly beans in the jar yet---I got more guesses today!

Not only that, they've upped the excitement---with the addition of a fully loaded garden tote!

Of course, it's the tote itself and it's quilty possibilities that has me giddy;-)

When is the drawing? Not sure---but I'm having fun with this place!! Lol! I mean, be honest---does your doctors office do this!? Huh??

Don't you wish they did?? :-)


For those who still haven’t printed off the directions for Orca Bay ----time is running out!

With the next book release in July, I need to pull all the directions for Orca Bay from the website on MAY 1ST ---that’s just 2 weeks away.

Please print what you need because I won’t be able to help you with missing steps after May 1st!

The clock is ticking…….

Click HERE to print the steps --- links to everyone’s link-ups to show their progress will remain after I remove the instruction pages.

iPhone-o-Gram! When the Cat's Away----

A view from my kitchen counter--

It looks like the Hunter men have survived quite well in my absence, feasting on whatever their little hearts desire---Good grief!

Put it this way---no one got into the bag of apples or clementines I left for snacks--

I guess the V-8 would be considered by them to be "healthy"??

It's a good thing I do come home every once in a while!

MQX, Part One!

My flight home got me into Greensboro about 10pm last night….I hexied until I couldn’t see to thread a needle anymore ----it was dark OUTSIDE the plane, and those little reading lights “in the panel above your head” just aren’t enough for these old eyes to see even where the EYE of the needle is in semi-darkness.

I gave it up, listened to a book on my MP3 player and dozed ----I’ll have to back-track on that story to find what I missed out on!

This morning --- it’s a put it all back together kind of day. First things first –those MQX photos!

There is NO WAY to tackle all these photos in one upload!

I decided the only way to make it through the editing was to do it in batches – you see, when they come off the camera they are high res, huge photos – inch wise it says they are about 45 inches in the widest dimension, which makes for slow loading files and takes too much storage space, so I have to edit and crop and fix every photo I upload to the blog for easier web viewing – with the exception of the “Iphone-o-Grams” which come live from the phone as they happen.

I grabbed a random sampling of the first photos I took at MQX --- there is likely to be commentary on some --- and some need no explaining.

Because I was trying to take pictures around people who were standing in front of things, I may have missed many of the descriptions stating who made what and what their explanation is – just because I couldn’t take time to wait for every single person to finish reading and move aside so I could take a pic of every paragraph.

When I visit shows, I’m really guilty of taking partial pics of quilts….a piece of border, an alternate block, a corner treatment, maybe a fun sashing….so you are likely to get bits and parts!

I posted pics of Sharon Schamber’s quilt in THIS Iphone-o-Gram –the first quilt I looked at as we made our way up the aisles and I knew I was in for a feast for the eyes…

RhodeIsland2012 100

There were also close ups like THIS……the quilting was incredible, and yes, all that lattice work is open, you can see right through to the other side.

RhodeIsland2012 101

This is typical for the kind of shots I take at quilt shows! The blue you see through the lattice work is the carpet on the other side ;c)

RhodeIsland2012 105

I’m really drawn to quilts that are “DIFFERENT” than the kind that I make. I find it so amazing how other artist’s minds work ..these quilts were so unbelievably detailed!

RhodeIsland2012 106

Doesn't this just blow you away?? WOW!

RhodeIsland2012 107

This is the flying bird at the top…..even the rays of the sun were feathered ---- just gorgeous!

RhodeIsland2012 108

This one is so Wild and Goosey! It just radiates happiness and free spirit to me ---

RhodeIsland2012 109

Look at this quilting detail! Do you see the textured background BEHIND that pink swirly feather? Under/Over lattice work! Makes me think I can just QUIT pretending to be a quilter now and just go home!

RhodeIsland2012 112

Thread painting so unbelievably REAL looking! Get closer, come on, you know you want to!

RhodeIsland2012 114

The EYES have it!

RhodeIsland2012 113

I found it hard NOT to pet him! This was just so cool!

RhodeIsland2012 115

And for the doggie lovers out there....look at this little guy ---his nose was the most realistic of all…get a load of this:

RhodeIsland2012 116

Look at that texture! I know I’d never be able to make quilts like this –it’s a whole different kind of art form that I so appreciate, and so envy in those who see fabrics and thread through their eyes and hands this way.

There was also a great display of white on white quilts. A whole page of white on white quilts might make a very white blog post, so I’m going to upload those in an album for your perusal. Be sure to click and biggie size – the quilting is phenomenal

I'll post another batch tomorrow!

So this girl is home ----and you know what I say about how things change in a week? Up in Rhode Island, trees aren’t leafing yet ----the forsythia is still blooming with reckless abandon, flowering trees are starting to drop their petals and the leaves are starting, just barely, to emerge – but when I woke up this morning, THIS is the sight that greeted me off my back deck:

RhodeIsland2012 444


RhodeIsland2012 443

This week is DEFINITELY brought to you by the color ---GREEN!