Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Hard To Get Motivated

When the weather is cold. Gloomy. Rainy. Windy. The body just wants to lay around and read and eat Jelly Belly's.  I had to really power through yesterday to get over this autumn hurdle. Once I power through for a few days, my body seems to adjust and we're off and running again. 

Today will prove to be day two since the weather is a duplicate of yesterday.

Ghost stitching and piano keys

Linda's Heart Quilt
This was worked on yesterday. And, despite my lack luster motivation, was completed last night. 

This is on the machine today.

Linda's Sunshine top
This is the third "kind" of these I've done in the past, oh, two months. The panels have all been the same, but each top has come in with different exterior portions outside of the panel. Which makes it kinda the same, but kinda different.

While checking e-mails this morning, AQS put out a blog on a lady who did a really cool spider web table topper and offered the pattern up free. I checked into it and it doesn't look too awfully daunting. I may end up starting that after my work day wraps up in here. We'll see how I feel about it as the day progresses. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Nova Star. Check.

Here it is. Fully completed and already put onto the pile of completed quilts upstairs. Some day, my poor kids are going to have fun sorting through all the quilts I've made.

Nova Star
Each of these blocks were quilted individually. There are two to three repeats of each 17 scenarios I worked up on my iPad. 

How I chose to quilt 2-3 of the blocks

This is a little app I down loaded called Sketches. I have paid for the premium version ($5.99), but the lite (free) version works pretty well also. 

This did two things for me: It gave me a reference to look at when I moved from one section of the block to another, and, it saved me from having to think about 'what am I going to put into this block that's different from the previous block' during the time it/I was on the frame. 

It also gave me the opportunity to change the quilting as I went along without having to rip out any stitches. I had decided, early on, the center star points weren't to be quilted, at all, in any of the blocks; unlike what this drawing depicts. The app gave me permission to make that decision after doing only a few of the blocks on the frame by showing me there was already enough thread going into this block. 

Much of my quilting time used to be spent thinking about 'What Next'? Now I  grab a pic of the customers quilt the night before I'm going to quilt it. Or, at least as much as I can grab (some of them are obviously too big) and draw on the iPad what my plan will be for tomorrow. It gives me permission to change and play with their quilts without having to unpick stitches on something that just doesn't look right once the thread goes down. And I DO NOT like unpicking. 

It goes back to the "those who fail to plan" scenario. It took me a while to learn but I'm finally getting to understand how powerful and useful technology can be with this age old craft. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Lazy Day

Every opportunity posed itself for me to work in the studio yesterday. This is all I actually accomplished.

Here pig, pig, pig

We spent the day together, without neighbors or family, just lounging, eating, and watching movies. Sometimes a battery recharge is needed before gearing up for another busy week. 

I did get my Addresses top together on Saturday. And the Nova Star is completely finished. 

Addresses Top

I don't have a pic of Nova Star. I wanted to grab one this morning, but Jack Frost visited heavily last night and it hasn't burned off yet this morning. And I'd like a nice pic to post on Instagram.

Jim has a dentist appointment down in Howell today and I'm going to tag along with him. There's a quilt shop on the way we've been trying to visit each time he goes down, but the owner was remodeling the place the better part of the last six months. She has a the 60wt. Glide thread I love to use and I am getting low on a few colors. Stocking up for the winter seems like the right thing to do.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

RIP Uncle Joe

Yesterday we attended the funeral of Jim's last uncle. Of course, it was downstate, which consumed our whole day. And part of the early evening. 

Once we returned, sewing therapy was needed. It always helps to get fabric and thread together to move through something as sad as a funeral.

The Address blocks are put together
Now I just need to get these into a top. Hopefully sometime today or tomorrow. 

The Nova Star is quilted! It was finished late Thursday night and wow, was my arm tired after working those last 21 blocks. This will need to be bound before Monday since customer quilts are rolling in again. 

Individually quilted by block
I have errands to run this morning but hope to work in here the remainder of the weekend once we return home. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. We did a little shop hopping to Elm Creek in Farwell and to Keepsake Quilts in Mt. Pleasant. 

A book from Keepsake Quilts

A pattern from Elm Creek

Some background fabric from Elm Creek

And we took a very wonderful color tour in our travels the past two days. This years colors are just breathtaking. But they will be short lived as today is rainy and very windy; which will strip many of our leaves away from their trees.

I did manage to start getting the last borders onto a few Addresses blocks.

The last border sections really make these stand out
Today, with the crappy weather, will be spent mostly in here. Oh Darn (she says sarcastically). There are still some leaves hanging out on the Maples out at the lake and that will make for a nice picture with the gloomy skies as a backdrop when working. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Nova Star Day #1

I have designed about 17 motifs to work into the individual blocks. Then ruler work into each of the sashing pieces. This is what it's looking like so far.

Nova Star Quilting
There will be duplicate quilting in 13 blocks, which gives me a variety to work from and makes the quilting not as boring. There's nothing worse than having to repeat the quilting over and over and over again. Especially on a larger quilt like this one. 

Once customers were received and long arming was done for the day (1/3 completed), I was able to get the next set of strips onto the Addresses blocks and get them squared up. They are getting too big to have them all fit onto the design wall, so here they are waiting for their next round of strips. 

Addresses blocks waiting for the next step
We had a thunderstorm last night and it brought some high winds and rain with it, but our little Maples are hanging on for another few days. The temps also dropped making the lake steam this morning with the rising sun.

Good morning Smallwood Lake
And the view today will be spectacular as I work in the studio from heaven!

My view today

Monday, October 12, 2020

Four Angles

Here's the completed Dream Big panel done in neutral colors with all four angles photographed. 

The only other thing I've completed over the weekend was purchasing fabric for the Addresses top to get the second borders in on the blocks, and loading the Nova Star top. It was take-advantage-of-the-beautiful-autumn-weather weekend with the neighbors. And...we bought a boat.

Nova Star ready to quilt this week
A what? A boat. A beater, redneck, barely running, pontoon boat. But, with our lake being not a lake right now, we don't want to put a nice boat in the lake because of all the damaging stumps sticking out and hidden just beneath the waters. Jim found a boat for sale on Marketplace, and the three families went together and bought the thing. 

Our new boat "Rows" or "Rose" from Titanic
This was the boys trying to get it loaded on the pontoon trailer to get it home. The seller obviously has a real lake. 

Today I have customers coming and going all day and will be working Nova Star. The kids/grandkids are coming tomorrow evening, and we're having lunch with mom tomorrow afternoon, so I'm not going to have much time in the next few days to long arm. And the weather outside is no longer stellar to complete the perfect machine quilting day.