Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bernina 730 Purchased

Well I took the plunge and purchased a Bernina 730 sewing machine yesterday. Since I really don't have any interest in doing embroidery on my machine I didn't get the embroidery module. So glad I made it up to Lincoln yesterday as it was the last day of the scratch off coupon and that helped reduce the price some. Am so looking forward to getting it home and playing with it now. I am selling my 150 to my sister - hate to let it go but don't need two good machines.

Don't have any quilt photos to post or any quilt thing to talk about much so posting photos I took this last weekend. This photo was taken as the sun went down. Looking east the clouds reflected the colors of the sunset. It was beautiful. Nebraska has the best sunsets!

The next day about sunset we had a quick shower then an almost full rainbow as the storm moved east so stepped outside and took this photo from my front porch. The rainbow was very bright in color and had a smaller, dimmer one on the outside of it.

This next photo was taken as we were riding the ATVs on Sunday. I was on the back of the one the John was driving so set my camera to a fast shutter speed and took photos of the scenery as we whizzed by.

These last two photos are of bird nests in our small blue spruce trees in the windbreak on the north side of our place. The two baby birds are doves and that nest is in a 4 year old tree - the nest being hidden inside the full branches about 4 feet from the ground. The second photo is of a robin's nest and it is in one of the small trees planted 2 years ago. The nest is in plain sight and is only about 2 1/2 feet off the ground. The mother birds don't like it when I have to mow around their trees but it has to be done. I probably wouldn't have spotted the nests if the mother birds would have sat tight. Want to check out the nests periodically to see how they hatch and grow.

We had company here at our house from Thursday until yesterday (Monday) morning so today it is back to usual. We had a good time with them and showing them the farm. They all live in cities (3 from the Seattle area and 2 from New Jersey) and some had never been on a farm or knew what farmers do, etc. It was enlightening to the 27 yr. old to find out the amount of technology that a farmer uses and all the equipment needed to make a living. He even enjoyed riding the horses after he got over his fear that they were going to bite him. Of course I can't talk about that as I don't ride and really don't trust the "beasts" myself but I put on a brave front for anyone learning to ride.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day in Lincoln - Sewing Machine Shopping

I had such fun day yesterday. My husband had a Nebraska Cattlemens meeting in Lincoln so I rode along and visited my 94 yr old aunt in the morning and took her out to lunch at Red Lobster - YUM! I don't get to Lincoln often but like to visit her when I do get there and we had a good time catching up on family news and just plain chatting. She looks so much like the way I remember my grandmother looking when I was a kid it is really kind of strange. I wonder who I will resemble as I age - I know I resemble my dad who also resembled my grandmother so maybe I will carry on the Sarah Anne Elizabeth Pickering Batie look too.

The afternoon was just as much fun. I spent the day at the Bernina dealer finding out about the stitch regulator and just playing on the machines. I am toying with the idea of getting a new machine and selling my 150 QE but wanted to know if I would like the stitch regulator on these machines before I committed to buying one. I had never tried one out other than a quick try on one at the Bernina booth at Paducah and didn't want to invest the money on a newer model Bernina unless I knew I would like that feature. That is really the only reason I would trade up as my 150 works great. I really did like that stitch regulator and could run the machine and my first efforts looked pretty good. One concern I had been if I could see behind the needle. From the photos of the machine it looked like the stitch regulator foot was directly behind the needle but it actually is slanted more to the right of the needle so you can see really pretty well.

A feature I did like on the 730 was the thread cutter. You get to the end of your stitching and push this little button and the machine puts the needle down pulling the top thread to the bottom and cuts both threads under the feed dogs. Amazing! It has a needle threader too but didn't try that out - just watched Joann show me how it worked. Tried out several of the stitches but mostly concentrated on the stitch regulator.

Of course there are many other features on these machines and have literature here now to try and digest. Want to compare features between the 640 and 730 and decide which model I really want. There is a new Bernina being announced in July but if it is something I would rather have I can always trade up - a nice feature of the Bernina company.
Now to ponder....which machine?


Monday, June 9, 2008

Cecropia Moth

This is a photo of a Cecropia Moth that John found on the north side of his shop on Saturday afternoon. He picked it up and it was just sitting on his finger for sometime before it flew away, guess it wanted it's picture taken. It is a huge moth as you can see from the photo. I read on the Internet they don't have mouths and only live 7 to 10 days after they come out of their cocoons and they are mostly flying around at night.

This second photo was taken also on Sat. evening. We had a small shower before we headed down to one of our pastures to check on the cows. While there a partial rainbow appeared just above these cattle on the hill. The light was getting dim but I did capture the pretty colors and the cattle.

Yesterday I was really lazy and read in the afternoon plus took a little nap. I usually read a few pages each night before I go to bed so it takes me a while to complete a book but I do like to read and miss it if I can't read some each day. This book is very good and is about a leprosy colony on an island in Crete set before, during WWII and after the war. The book is called "The Island" by Victoria Hislop.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Roses and Grandmothers Flower Garden

Just looked at my blog and realized it has been a long time since I have posted anything. I thought when I started "blogging" I would be adding something everyday or so. Think I was waiting for something profound to happen or needed to wait and post only quilty things. Maybe I will just post a note about what ever is going on that day instead of waiting to post quilt news as it seems right now during the summer I don't get much quilting done.

My flower beds are looking pretty good now with flowers blooming here and there. I do love flowers and have planted quite a few. I planted some bushes a couple of years ago when I got the beds going but they are very small. I didn't want to spend a lot on larger bushes so went cheap and got the tiny ones at Wallmart.

I try to plant a few perennials each year and plant annuals between the little bushes, which are growing slowly. I figure by the time I don't want to have to take care of such a large area of flowers the bushes will be large enough there will not be space for flowers. Either that or I will have to hire a gardener to plant and pull weeds for me.

I had only one rose survive a year ago, it is a full peach rose with a wonderful scent - don't remember the name. This year it leafed out early and had multitudes of buds on it and I was so excited. A week ago it started blooming - Red and Peach roses. The buds were mostly red and two peach ones and am figuring part of the grafted rose died back to the hardy root stock which was an old fashioned red rose. There are two stems that have the larger peach roses on it. I hate to cut all the red ones back as it is really covered with red blooms and looks so nice - almost like a Knock Out rose.

Aren't they both pretty?

I did start quilting on my Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt named "Lady in Waiting" but it is slow going. Hand quilting takes me a long time and I am doing a lot of quilting on it. I do a lot of quilting on my miniatures as I want them to look like large quilts. I am quilting in the center of each 1/2" hexagon and think there are over 800 hexagons in the quilt besides the applique around the edge. I am hoping to get it finished to take with me to the Nebraska State Quilt Convention in Chadron the end of July to hang in the teachers display. I told them this is the quilt I would be bringing so need to get moving to get it done in time. Don't know why I do things like that to myself. Should have just planned to take a quilt already finished. Below are a couple of photos of what the quilting on this piece looks like so far.
All for now and I will try to do better from now on.



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