Monday, July 28, 2008

QuiltNebraska 2008

What a wonderful weekend I had in Chadron at QuiltNebraska 2008. The drive out there was uneventful and the Sandhills were so green this year. Since I drove up and home on highway 2 there were few cars so it made it a more relaxing drive. Round trip it was 847 miles and am so glad I had the company of two friends.

On Friday morning I had a lecture by Becky Goldsmith that was very good - her quilts are fantastic. Friday afternoon I attended a lecture by Marsha McCloskey which was also very good. I enjoy listening to lectures of national teachers as you can pick up a lots of information and not have to drag a sewing machine to a class and still get to see their fantastic quilts.

Saturday I had a class by Aie Rossmann on hand applique. She is very knowledgeable and a very sweet gal. I felt sorry for her as she got stopped at Calgary,Canada by US customs and think from what she told us he must have been a real chauvinist and having a bad day too. She was not allowed to bring any of her finished quilts into the US unless she would cut them apart and write with a black marker "Sample" on them. Can you imagine! I bet they don't ask artists of other mediums to destroy their work. Needless to say she had to go find a place to ship all her quilts and step by step samples back to her home so she didn't have any to show in class. I was so looking forward to seeing her quilts as the photos on her website are wonderful. What a trial she had to go through to get here. The customs guy didn't understand why she just couldn't teach "sewing" to Canadians and why she was coming into the United States to teach. I told her he could make her send her quilts and samples home but he couldn't keep her knowledge of how to do the applique out of the US. I feel so sad that she was treated this way but she did a good job teaching us without any props.

The Saturday night banquet speaker was Ami Simms She was just the most delightful speaker and so funny. It would have been fun to take a class from her but can't get them all as QNE only lasts 2 1/2 days.

The entire convention seemed to run smoothly and the gals that chaired the event worked very hard as did all the committee members. If there were problems we sure didn't know about it. The photo below is of my 3 roommates and me. We have roomed together for many years at QuiltNebraska and try to get together several times a year too since we don't live close to each other. Besides these 3 it is always so much fun to visit all the other quilt friends I have made over the years - QNE is like a big family reunion for me anymore. They announced that there were 324 in attendance this year, smaller numbers than is past years but still a lot of quilters.

Next year the convention will be in Lincoln and again will look forward to it for months. I couldn't figure out who the national teachers were from the slide show presentation on Sunday morning as they didn't have any names listed but will check the NSQG website soon and find out.

Have been sitting here at the computer all morning catching up on my email and now need to get some laundry going and figure out what we are going to eat this noon.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ta-Da-Drum Roll

TA-DA - Drum Roll!!! I got my miniature quilt done last night around 11:30 pm. Was taken away from working on it by watering my flowers and garden, general household stuff and a friend stopped in to visit for about an hour in the evening or I would have been done by late afternoon. I was determined to get it finished last night no matter how tired I was. As you can see I added another folded strip of the gold fabric just inside the binding - it only peeks out a little less than 1/8" but like the way it pulls that gold through the whole quilt.

This second photo shows the size of the elements in the quilt. It is hard to tell size or to visualize it but hope the ruler laid on the top helps. The quilt size is 13 1/2" x 10 3/4" and I named it Morning Star Over the Pine Ridge. The NSQG (Nebraska State Quilt Guild) challenge is called Stars Over the Pine Ridge so played on that name. When I first designed it I was planning on having multiple stars on a dark background with the trees but when it came time to find fabrics I couldn't get a good enough contrast to make the trees show up and after piecing one star I decided that would have to do - was really tedious. Putting a star in a blue sky meant I had to think of why it would be there, thus I called it a morning star.

By the way I designed it in EQ6. I love the program and it makes designing and printing PP patterns so much easier. I got the quilting design for the last border from a mini program called Quilting Designs that can be linked to EQ6. This design came from Quiltmaker 3. Could re-size it to the size I needed when used through EQ6. This was the first time I used any of the quilting patterns from the program and it worked great!

I used the stitch regulator on parts of the quilting and the walking foot on others. I can tell I need lots more practice using the BSR foot. Not quite satisfied with the stipple quilting in the center but am going to leave it for now.

Now to get my supplies gathered and figure out what I am going to wear and get it packed for the trip to Chadron tomorrow. I plan to leave here by 8 am so need to get it all done today. I will be taking two other friends so we will have a jolly time on the long ride out there.

QuiltNebraska is always so much fun I am really looking forward to it and seeing and visiting with my quilting friends from across the state. It is almost like a family reunion so many of us have gone yearly since the beginning. The quilt displays are usually just grand and it is always fun to shop at the vendor malls besides the wonderful lectures and classes.

Guess that is all for now - talk to you later when I get back after Sunday.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bernina 830 & Miniature Quilt

Well I watched the much hyped Bernina live feed video for their new 830 last night. First it looks like it will be a great machine for those that want and need all the features but the live feed was rather a disappointment. I thought the singing was cheesy and you couldn't really see what the gal was pointing to a lot of the times. Some of the new features do sound great though.

I do agree that it will be fun to actually see one in person but I have no need nor do I want a sewing machine that large or expensive. If I am going to spend that kind of money I would get one of the less expensive long arm machines.

Here are a few photos of the miniature I have been working on and trying to get done by tonight. Want to leave myself some time to collect the stuff I need for the class I am taking at QuiltNebraska and to get my clothes ready on Wed.

This is how I inserted the small 1" star into the quilt. I chose to machine applique it and used freezer paper with a circle drawn on it and ironed it to the back of the quilt in the position I wanted the star. I cut out a circle of fabric leaving a little more than 1/8" to be turned under. Used a glue stick and turned the edges under and glued them to the freezer paper.

This is how it looks from the front before I put the star under the hole.

This next photo is a close up of the star stitched in place. I used clear nylon thread on top and Bottom Line on the bottom and used a small stitch that looks like a button hole stitch. Of course you shorten it to almost nothing and turn the width down to catch only a couple of threads. It is such an easy way to get out of piecing the star into the quilt. With all my seams in the other part I just couldn't figure out how to get it pieced and not have a mess. When things are this small I sometimes have to figure out a better way to get something done and this technique worked for this quilt. Oh, forgot to say that you take the freezer paper out after the stitching is finished. Another thing I did was tip the star over on it's side so I wouldn't have to match the seams - thought that might be just a little too tricky with something this small. Every little imperfection looks large on miniatures.

This last photo is of the quilt before I started quilting on it. I inserted a small gold piece of folded fabric in the seam between the blue and the green. Think I will use a small piece of the same gold near the binding too. Just needed to pull that gold out and use it in the quilt more than in just the star.

Back to the sewing machine as time is getting short.


Monday, July 21, 2008

BSR - 830 Unveiling

Just a note here as I am taking a break from quilting my NSQG challenge. Used the BSR on the trees when I should have used the walking foot as it was hard to get straight lines and because the quilt pieces are so small I had to be very exact. I am using Bottom Line for the underneath thread and it is doing a great job so far anyway.

Also taking a break from sewing to watch the grand unveiling of the new Bernina 830 online. With all the hype that has been out about this machine I want to see what it is like. Don't think I am even remotely interested in purchasing one but just the same I want to see what it can do.

Better get off this website now as the live video is about to start.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fabrics for Miniatures

I am taking a break from sewing to show you how much I have gotten done on the miniature. So far I have been making pretty good progress on this miniature even with all the breaks I take. The log cabin blocks are finished and the 3 trees are stitched and I am now working on two wandering geese strips that will be used as side borders. I hope to get the star done today as well.

When I paper piece I starch my fabrics pretty stiff using a spray starch and really like using batik fabrics since they seem thinner than other fabrics. I can get some color variations with the batiks over using solid fabrics too. I have to watch pattern in the fabrics I choose for my miniatures since the finished pieces are so small. Obviously large designs just don't work unless you can fussy cut out a portion for color. An example of that would be the petals of a flower can be cut and stitched into a small miniature and the fabric will look like a small print or solid fabric in the finished quilt.

I got out of mowing this week - yay!!! Since it rained and my husband didn't have anything pressing as far as farming goes he did the mowing today. I asked him kindly yesterday if he could do that and didn't get any answer but after things dried off this morning I heard the mower going.

This time of year is especially bad for me outside as I am allergic to corn pollen and right now the corn has tasseled and the pollen is thick in the air. I have enough trouble after I mow anyway with the dirt that gets stirred up and then add the get the picture.

Back to the machine to sew, sew, sew!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Aie Rossman class-QuiltNebraska

I did get the fabric washed and pressed for the Aie Rossman class I will be taking in Chadron at QuiltNebraska. I am so excited to get to take a class from her and learn some new tricks with applique. The photo on the right is the class project and the photo on the left are the fabrics I have chosen to work with (I think.) I have several other choices I plan to take along in case I just don't like these when I get there. You can see more of Aie's quilts on her website
Today I am working on stitching small (.75") paper pieced log cabin blocks. I am not working too fast it seems as I keep having to stop and do something else but did get those done and now working on some PP trees. If I work fast I may get the miniature wall hanging done for the challenge at QuiltNebraska. The theme they chose is Stars Over the Pine Ridge and my quilt will have trees and a star. Will take photos of what I have finished maybe tomorrow. Not sure I can get it done as we will go to our granddaughter's birthday party on Sunday and that will be an all day event since we live 3 1/2" hours away.
We got more rain last night so everything is really wet. It rained 1" last night and 2 1/2" on Tuesday night. When you live on the farm you are always aware of how much rain you get and it was so nice to be able to shut off the irrigation wells for a while anyway. The price of diesel makes running them very expensive so anytime we can turn them off is good and money in our pocket.
I should be out mowing but decided the grass could grow a little more - maybe I am just lazy or maybe I just want to sew! Maybe John will feel the urge to mow tomorrow morning so I don't have to. Keeping the lawn looking nice is not too hard nor time consuming but mowing all the other areas around the farmstead takes a lot of time and usually results in a dirty face and very hot body. Since I don't do sun well I have to wear long jeans and shirt plus wear a hat and gloves - all that can get pretty hot in the middle of the summer. I am reluctant to use sunscreen too much as I have developed an allergy to a lot of the sunscreens on the market. I have a couple I can use but don't use them too frequently as I don't want to develop an allergy to them too.
Back to sewing my PP trees now.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coiled Mats Done

Yesterday I finished the last of the three mats I was making using the cotton clothesline. They are sure quick projects and it is fun to see what the fabrics will look like after they are wrapped around the clothesline. The patterns in the fabrics disappear for the most part and you just get color.

I ended up taking a nap yesterday afternoon too - something I never do but I was so tired. Having the granddaughters for a week plus the other company we had this week was tiring. I was hoping the nap wouldn't keep me from sleeping last night and it didn't, thank goodness. I feel rested and ready to tackle the next project. Have not decided what that will be yet though.
I will have to go shopping this week and am thinking tomorrow is the day. When you live about an hour from any shopping area besides the local store for groceries you have to plan ahead and usually it involves a full day. If you drive that far you better get all you need at once, especially now that the price of gas is so high.
Need to get backing for my mystery quilt and some fabric for the applique class I will be taking at QuiltNebraska in Chadron next week. I had my friend that owns Quilter's Delight in Holdrege order the pattern that Aie Rossman is using for this class. She will get it to me at convention but had her email me the yardage requirements. Think I have fabric here for the flowers and leaves but need to get backing yet. Since I usually only buy fat quarters I don't have any piece big enough. At least I don't think I do - have not checked my stash yet. One of the granddaughters is turning 7 so need to do birthday shopping too plus general supplies at Sams, etc.
Listening to the silence in the house ....ahhhhh, wonderful!

Question - can anyone tell me why I can not separate my paragraphs now. Have entered spaces between the paragraphs and they disappear when I publish the post. Makes it hard to read with all paragraphs run together. It didn't used to do this so don't know what happened. I have resorted to putting in a bunch of periods between the paragraphs to help.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sewing with Granddaughters

This has been a hectic week as my two granddaughters came for a visit. They wanted to sew pillows for their rooms this year so I helped them make 4 patch pillows. They thought it was fun to use my new sewing machine and did a nice job getting them pieced. I also let them stitch their names on the backs of their pillows and they told me that was the Coolest! Have put a photo of them with their pillows below but blurred their faces. Just don't like to put them on the Internet for anyone to see but you can see the pillows they made.
Besides the girls staying from last Sunday until Saturday afternoon we had a cousin and his 5 yr. old son come on Thursday and leave this morning, the girls parents came Friday and left on Saturday and our other daughter and her sons came on Saturday and left this morning. Whew!!!!
I can say I am tired of company and tired of cooking. Have been wanting to sit down at my own machine and play this week but just couldn't. Seems like when ever I started doing something the girls would run in and call - - - Graaaaa....maaaaa! They brought their bicycles and did a lot of riding around the yard but poor #2 fell so many times on the rocks and scraped her knees 3 or 4 times. She is tough and didn't cry but it sure looked like those bloody knees hurt to me.
We packed in a lot of things this week, went to the library twice to check out books, went swimming, went 4-wheeling, etc., etc. I think I went to bed earlier this week than I have in a long time.
Hopefully in my next post I will have something to say about some project that I am working on but think this afternoon I may take a nap!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Applique leaves and berries

I finally finished stitching the appliqued leaves and berries to this mystery quilt I started last fall when it was a project for our guild. Had one circle of leaves already done but had put it away for a while to do something else I guess. Pulled it out a few days before I went to Lincoln to get my new machine and started preparing the pieces I needed to finish it. Had all the parts glue sticked (is that a word?) down in readiness when I got the new 730 up and running.

I was rather slow getting all the pieces stitched down as I kept getting sidetracked with something new to learn or find out about the machine. Today I was determined to finish it and get the borders on it. I really don't like the way it turned out as the applique leaves are too much the same as the printed green fabric and don't show up as much as I want - just looks way to busy. When I chose those fabrics I just used what I had in my stash since I live about an hour away from the nearest fabric shop. I had already done the one set of leaves, etc and had to cover a hole I had accidentally poked into the light background so I couldn't take it off and start over. At one time I thought I might applique a vine around the outside edge but am not going to spend the time doing that now.

What I am planning now is to machine quilt the vine using the BSR. I love playing with it and can't wait to quilt an actual quilt with it. I don't have backing for this quilt yet so it will have to wait.

I started this blog the other day and got interrupted and never got back to finish it until now and it is Saturday night already. Don't know how Blogger will post this if it will post it for today or the 5th.

Let me see - what have I done since I finished the quilt....I have done some gardening, cleaning, cooking and laundry for starters. I am working on some coiled mats right now too. Will post photos later as they are gifts.

I did get my class assignments for QuiltNebraska and I was so pleased to get an applique class by Aie Rossmann. It was my most wanted class so was thrilled.

There were not enough sign up for the lecture I was going to do at convention so they had to cancel it. That is ok as I know those things happen. I did get to sign up for a class/lecture in that spot so that is a bright spot. I will be listening to Becky Goldsmith during that time slot and got another lecture by Marsha McCloskey.

I always enjoy QuiltNebraska so much each year and I would hate to miss it now. I have quilt friends that I only see once a year at QNE so look forward to wonderful catching up sessions. I have the same roommates each year and we have roomed together for years and years. I knew one of them from my high school days but met the other two through the Nebraska State Quilt Guild and we have all become good friends.

Another nice thing about QNE is that it moves around the state. Chadron is a favorite of mine - I love the Sand Hills. The college works hard to make the quilters stay comfortable and the town of Chadron is very welcoming.

Guess I had better post this as I am rambling and it is getting late.....


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Bernina 730

Well I got my new baby home yesterday and sat down and played for a while. I quit after several hours and tried to read through the manual but got overloaded with all the new stuff to learn. Some is just like the 150 but there is a lot of new stuff to learn. I think the classes for the machine will be well worth the drive to Lincoln. They don't offer them again until September but by then maybe I will be a little more familiar with the machine. Think that helps me anyway to not have everything new to learn at one time.

As soon as I post this I want to sit down and do some machine applique I have been preparing the last few days. The quilt will be way too busy but have already appliqued one motif on so felt I needed to do the rest too. Not sure what I will do with it when it is done. It was a mystery quilt our guild did this past year - will post photos when I get the applique finished.

With smiles on my face....Lynn

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

All Ready for New Machine

Today is B-Day (the day I bring my new Bernina home) and I am so excited. I am going to Lincoln to pick up my 730 machine and bring my new baby home. A quilting friend is going with me so we can talk quilting on the way up and back and that will surely make the time go faster and make it a pleasant way to travel too.

I have been working on getting some machine applique ready to stitch the last few days. It is the appliqued mystery quilt we had for our guild. It is way to busy looking and the applique doesn't add anything to the quilt but am going to finish it anyway but not sure what I will do with it when I get it done. It will be a good practice piece for the new machine. Think I will layer some other small quilts that are in my UFO box and practice quilting on them.

Got the sewing table cleaned off and ready to drop the new machine in as soon as I get home today. I know I will want to sew right away so got my yard mowed on Sunday, and cleaned up the house and did laundry yesterday too so won't have any of those nagging chores keeping me from my sewing.

I told my DH today feels like Christmas morning when I was a kid.

Happy quilting.



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