Monday, September 26, 2011

T Words

You know how some words evoke a specific emotion?  All you have to do is hear them and they trigger a very real...often powerful...feeling from the past. Or maybe the present.

I honestly don't know how other long arm quilters feel about the word I'm about to share with you, but I can tell you it brings out the very worst in me.


I'm not talking about the tension you feel when another driver cuts you off, or your boss calls you into his office.  The meaning I'm referring to causes me to freak out, pace, obsess, write frantic emails, make frantic phone calls, lose sleep and sweat.

(I may be exaggerating a little.   Or not...)

I'm talking about thread tension.

The quest for the perfect stitch.  It's never ending.

My machine was skipping stitches and driving me nuts.  I did everything I could think of to fix the tension...everything.  EVERYTHING.  Finally, my good friend Cindy came over to help me down from the wall I'd been climbing.

Guess what?  It wasn't tension at all.  My timing was off.

There we were, one experienced long arm quilter and one incredibly green one.  I read the instruction book while she did surgery on the mechanics of my machine.

She's my hero.  And I learned there are two T words that can make me crazy.  And that it's really hard to fix the tension when there's nothing wrong with it.

I know what caused the problem and I'm here to tell you I won't be doing it again.

I've been quilting a lot, but not taking a lot of pictures.  Sorry, my bad.  I do have one, though...

Look at this amazing quilt!  It's so fun.  We decided to take a picture from a distance so you could see the overall design.

My buddy Janet made this for a guy we both know and love.  And let me tell you, he will love this quilt.

It doesn't just say his name, it shouts it.

Love the fabrics she collected...

Here's my favorite one.

Janet picked white minky for the back of this quilt...and in honor of the sheep on the front, she decided to have me quilt sheep all over.

Little black sheep!!

You gotta love a quilter with a sense of humor....:)

Here's to making friends with T words...!


Friday, September 9, 2011

The Positive

No, I haven't disappeared.

Did you hear a strange noise coming from the general direction of my house last Saturday?  That was my quilt machine computer crashing...or my heart sinking.  Maybe both.

After spending two hours on the other side of a webcam, my brilliant and techy son-in-law declared my computer dead. 

Let's observe a moment of silence for the dearly departed.  And for the time I couldn't spend quilting this week. Ugh!

But, never fear, I have a new computer at home waiting to be installed TONIGHT.  I'm so anxious to get back up and running!!  Everything is going to be clean, crisp and fast with this new computer.  It'll be GRAND.

I have so much planned...I will have many things to show you next week.  But until then, I wanted to share this picture and an email I received.

Look at PJ and Karen!  Their quilt had just won 2nd place at our local fair.   I love the beautiful looks on their faces, they are so proud...and they should be!  Here's the story PJ sent aong with the pic...

"The embroidery above the attic window represents prisms set into the windows of a 100 year old Toronto home.  The mother of pearl button that makes the  knob of the front door is from my great grandmother's button box and looks like the porcelain knobs I remember from visits to the farmhouse she owned.  The eyelet lace for the curtains came out of a box of trims I inherited from my Nana.  My mother bought the material for the quilt, Karen and I pieced it and you quilted it together.  So 4 generations of the women in my family, my dearest friend and you contributed time, talents and treasures to its completion.  It will celebrate my son and daughter-in-law's wedding for years to come."

Oh, my! 

Broken computer or not, I am so glad to be a longarm quilter!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

One More

I have one more splendid picture to share of the quilts I've made for my son and daughter-in-law.  Maybe someday I can get my favorite photographer to head up to Portland and take pictures of all the quilts in my daughter and son-in-law's house.

Now THAT'S a collection.

This was my son and his lovely wife's wedding quilt.  She picked out the pattern and told me the colors she liked, I chose the fabric.  By the time I was finished, I was afraid it was a little too busy for their tastes.

Have you ever done that? Decided your not sure you really like a quilt by the time you get it done?

I liked it much better when I saw it in their apartment.   A white duvet and black furniture really makes this quilt look great.

This was back before I began machine quilting; my friend Cindy quilted this for me.  I love this design; I think this was the third time I had requested it.

It's simple and not too flowery.

Thinking back...I must have been in a rut!

I may need to add this to my arsenal of pantographs.  I still really like it.

Hey, next up...I've got an interesting story to tell and a fun project to share.

Stay tuned!