Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

 I got the best Mother's Day present--my daughter made it home for a visit from college before she starts her summer research position! We have had a great day--breakfast burritos at our favorite taco shop, a Target run, a stop by my mom's, and we are going to the drive in tonight to see "I Feel Pretty" in her convertible Mustang. We also spent some time in my sewing room watching trash TV while I made these punctuation blocks for my Spelling Bee Quilt.
I made these picture blocks yesterday and used the magenta color in honor of my new Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2.
 I also made this throw pillow for a retiring friend out of some of his mother's old shirts.
I used the stretchy shirts for the envelope backing. I also whipped up three more pencil pouches for a few new fifth graders. We are starting our last full week of school tomorrow and I am definitely ready for summer and of course the royal wedding on Saturday!

Happy Mother's Day and have a great week!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

May is Underway

I have had a pretty productive sewing week! I finished piecing 55 of these blocks--I only need 49 of them for the quilt, but I may end up using some of the extra blocks on the backing...I finished binding the queen sized quilt I was commissioned to bind--it helped having Friday off!
 I made the Home Block for Spelling Bee Sew Along today--I am all caught up with those blocks! I am looking forward to putting this on all together soon. #summersewing
We have a bus driver that is retiring at the end of this school year--he is 85! He is "Bob the Bus Driver" and I think he needs a school bus quilt. I pieced together a large school bus block using Lori Holt's pattern and I think I am going to use her Spelling Bee book to make letters that say "Bob the Bus Driver." I think I will have his kids sign the quilt--stay tuned to see what I come up with! Our last day of school is May 23, so I need to put a rush on this one. This will be my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for May

I also need to make a pillow with some shirts from my friend's mom who passed away. I think I will embroider a quote and use the shirts to frame it and for the back.

What are you up to this week?


Sunday, April 29, 2018

April DrEAMi & OMG

Despite my machine dying this month, I still managed to have a Drop Everything and Make It (DrEAMi) project. My School of Fish Baby Quilt was started in April and delivered to the proud grandma before the month was over--definitely obsessed with it!

The School of Fish Baby Quilt is about 55 inches square and is a free tutorial you can find here:

Check out other DrEAMi projects here:
 My April One Monthly Goal (OMG) was to make these pencil zip pouches for all of my fifth graders as end of the year gifts.
http://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2018/04/one-monthly-goal-april-finish-link-up.html
 I spent all day Saturday cranking them out! It was a good chance to get used to my new sewing machine--the automatic presser foot lift and thread cutter made it so much easier. Those are definitely luxury features I am thrilled my new machine has!
Today for Slow Sunday Stitching, I need to finish embroidering this label.
https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2018/04/slow-sunday-stitching_29.html
I also picked up the queen sized quilt to bind, so I need to attach that and get it started. I want to spend some time piecing on the new machine, so I am off to my sewing room to play!




Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Clementine Month 4


This month has kind of been shot for me as far as sewing with my main machine in for repair the first part of April and the pronounced dead on arrival in mid-April. I did not want to get behind on the Fat Quarter Shop's  Clementine Quilt Along, so I sewed the month four blocks on my Singer Featherweight. You can find this month's pattern here:
https://blog.fatquartershop.com/clementine-quilt-along.html
Don't forget this is an amazing way to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Back in Business!


This week was hectic! I met my daughter in Denver for a day. Her university sent her out to recruit at an accepted students reception, but she needed to be back in time for her sorority's formal last night. She is in the pink dress--which we found shopping on Friday. She was going for the Barbie look which she definitely nailed! It was a delight to see her in action at the reception and spend time with her--she will be home in three weeks for a few weeks before she goes back to school for a paid research position the rest of the summer. Then, she is off to London for her semester abroad in the fall...she is living the life!
I used the time before she arrived in Denver to go look at sewing machines. I decided to replace my worn out machine with a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2. It has some new features my other Pfaff did not including:
a built in thread cutter
10 inches of throat space--it is much larger
more speed
large foot pedal
9 mm wide stitches
automatic tie off
automatic presser foot lift
electronic knee lift
automatic thread tension
As I explained to my daughter, I went from a VW to a BMW. It is a $2600 machine, but they were offering a special this week, so it was $1950. I can upgrade it within a year for the Janome if I decide to. That decision will probably hinge on the local service availability--there is a new Pfaff dealer in Grand Junction, but I am not sure it will last.
 I quilted my School of Fish today on my new machine. I have to say, I used so much less thread because of the thread cutter and there will not be thread tails all over the house anymore!
The wavy stitch is fabulous and the dual feed made this a breeze. This quilt is almost 55 inches square, but with all that throat space there wasn't any rolling or wrestling it through the machine.
I just put the binding on and plan on working on that this evening. 
As most of you know, I love to bind and I bind for both my local quilt shop and a friend--we are trading long arm quilting and a 20% shop discount. A lady was referred to me for my binding services, she has a queen sized quilt she needs bound by June. I don't have any idea how much to charge. I did a little internet research and it sounds like $80 is the going rate to attach by machine and hand sew the binding down. That seems pretty steep to me--I was thinking of telling her $50. What do you all think? The money I make can go toward my machine purchase...I spent so much in Denver my credit card company contacted me to see if it had been stolen! OMG!


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Sunday, April 15, 2018

School of Fish Top

 I made all these fish last weekend--the quilt has 120, but I made some extras. I spent a couple of nights sewing the rows together. They were all stitched on my 1961 Singer Featherweight. It is about 55 inches square. I have the link to the tutorial a couple of posts back, if you are interested!
 Today, I have been working on the Clementine Quilt Along Month 4 Blocks. They are all cut and ready to assemble and will be revealed on April 25th when the instructions post for the public. #stjude There is a link on my right hand sidebar.
If you did not see my post earlier this week, I received terrible news that I have worn out my Pfaff Ambition 1.5. It lasted 7 years and I paid $1100 for it. My local sewing machine shop has closed, so the nearest sewing machine dealers are a little more than an hour away. My mom and I ventured up there yesterday to see what they had that would meet my needs. The only thing I found was this Janome $2800 (more with tax and bobbins)--I liked the machine very much, but not the price. I tried a couple less expensive Janomes, but they lacked a wavy stitch. I looked at a used Bernina, but was not really impressed with it--its wavy stitch was not very pretty and the bobbin loads from the bottom which is a pain when your machine is in a cabinet like mine. They also had a used Janome of this model, but it is older and did not have my required wavy stitch. Otherwise, I would have bought it! 

We also went to a new quilt shop and Viking/Pfaff dealer. I was not impressed. The only Pfaff she had was used and is a model, Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2, I am interested in, but she did not know how to thread it and we could not get the feed dogs to move--they had been lowered for free motion quilting. Obviously, I am not interested in that one. I also am wary about if she will be in business long for servicing! My next options are Denver 5+ hours away which sucks for servicing.

My daughter asked if I could meet her over in Denver next week. Her college wants to send her to an accepted students reception on Friday night. Of course, I will drive 5+ hours each way to hang out with her basically for a day! She will arrive on Thursday night and leave early Saturday morning to be back in time for her sorority formal. 

I will probably spend Thursday afternoon and Saturday sewing machine shopping. I am going to look at a couple of Pfaff models and some Jukis. The shop I am going to carries everything (Pfaff, Bernina, Juki, Janome, Viking, etc.) and has a program where you can trade in a machine within a year. I am thinking, I can buy the low end Pfaff like I had for $1100 or a Juki for $1000 and then save money all year and trade up to the Janome next year...Thoughts?

Not having my machine for nearly two weeks now has really made me frazzled, I have to get a new one soon! I have my Postcard from Sweden to quilt and the School of Fish, not to mention 20 zip pouches that all need to be done before April is over. This is my Postcard from Sweden top. The link up for that quilt along can be found here:



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

BAD NEWS!

No person died, but my Pfaff Ambition 1.5 is worn out according to the repair shop. I bought it in July 2011 to replace the Bernina 830 Record I used for 15 years--I wore that one out too!

Now, I need to decide if I replace it with an equivalent machine in the $1200 range or go to the next level the $2500 range? Or do I really go all in with a $5000 Bernina?

I am a very practical and financially responsible person which is why I bought this model to start with! I chose between the $1200 model and the $2500 model last time and did not even look at Berninas. 

Here are my bare necessities in a machine:
a minimum 700 stitches per minute
a good buttonhole stitch for appliqué
a built in wavy stitch (one of my favorites for machine quilting)
dual feed
easy change feet
feed dogs that can lower for free motion quilting
speed adjustments
needle up/down
good throat space for machine quilting
local service in Grand Junction, CO

At this point, I am considering Janomes, Pfaffs, and Berninas. Brothers are not being considered because I do not care for the local retailer/repair.

My busy sewing season, summer,  is about six weeks away, but I hope to make a decision and purchase before that. 

PLEASE SHARE YOUR ADVICE! I am really struggling with this decision!

Thanks!