Thursday, January 28, 2016

First 2016 Finish



RedLetterQuilts
Pretty excited to have actually made the deadline for my January One Monthly Goal Link Up! This bed runner project was a challenge for me and I'm so glad I stuck it out.
 The quilting was done entirely in the hoop on my embroidery machine. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and just decided to go for it.

I bumped up the contrast in this photo so you can see the quilting a little better.
The binding is also done entirely by machine. A good place to try out those fancy stitches. Since this is intended to be a bed runner I anticipate that it might get a fair amount of washing so I need it to be sturdy. 
Hard to see the quilting but I'm happy with three of the four corners. I quilted the corners first and messed up the placement. I should have waited to quilt the corners until after I had done the borders, it would have been easier to determine where the corners should be relative to the borders. Lesson learned.
Bed runner measures 80"x25"
Linking up to One Monthly Goal Linky Party at Red Letter Quilts. Thanks Heidi for the push to get things done!
RedLetterQuilts


If you want to see the posts about the whole embroidery machine quilting process here are the links:
Trying a Change of Pace
My First Quilty Goal of the Year  
What I Should Have Done

Until next time,

Monday, January 25, 2016

It All Depends On the Weather

It seems like most of the US was snowed in this past weekend and while we didn't have snow here on Dogwood Lane we did experience our fair share of stay indoors weather. Rain, rain and more rain! Luckily we did not lose power so that meant that I was able to get a fair amount of stitching in and I'm pretty certain that I'll be able to meet my goal of finishing that bed runner quilting and binding.
This is what the back side of the runner corner is looking like. Some cleaning up to do but all in all not bad at all. I'm down to the last bit of binding now and then I'll be able to show you the whole project.
The long rainy days also inspired me to start on the quilting of my oldest existing UFO. 
If you're a fabric archaeologist you'll be able to figure out just how old this piece is. I almost decided to put it in the give away bag when I cleaned up the sewing room last year. I made it as novice sewer, the points don't match and it's kind of a mess. Still, something about it I find charming. I think it's the houses with their tile roofs and cute chimneys. I decided that I'd quilt it and my granddaughters can use it when they're here for their play time.
2016 snowstorm embroidered piece
Hope you and all your loved ones are safe from the storm and as snug as River and Shadow. They certainly know how to stay comfy on a bad weather day.
Until next time,

Linking up to design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Day in the Life

Taking a break from computer woes. I just have to step away from this dang machine once in a while or I'll go crazy. We're talking Windows 10 here people! The great switch over is going OK I guess but if you've ever had to change to a new device then I know you feel my pain.
"Is that computer stuff ever going to be over?"
The rest of my chores don't stop just because I have a tech crisis. The dogs still need their daily run and the hens still need to be visited. The weather has been alternating between freezing cold and rain, rain, rain. I'm not going to complain about the rain because I certainly did more than my fair share of complaining about the drought. It can rain all it wants as long as it's snowing in the high country, which it is. Tahoe skiers are loving this!
I break up the ice on the water tanks so the dogs and wild life can get a drink.
It's about three inches thick right now.
River and Shadow could care less if it's wet or cold as long as we get to go for a run. The minute I start to put on my boots they start whining and jumping around, that's their signal for outside fun.
Throw it!
The mandatory activity is ball throwing for 10 minutes and stick throwing for as long as I'm willing.
Shadow follows her nose
River follows me!
The hens are eager for kitchen scraps and this time of year a few scoops of grain are added to their diet for warmth.
 I throw hay into their run to help absorb moisture and give them something to scratch around in. They are late to rise and early to bed these days and are are not laying At All. I'm buying eggs at the market. The shame of it all! I don't provide artificial light in the coop so the ladies have a chicken vacay from their duties in the winter months.
Gossip Girls
Fluffed up against the cold
 As soon as the days warm up and start to get longer they will be ready to lay eggs again.
A day like any other here on Dogwood Lane. No sewing/quilting has happened so far this week and I need to correct that if I want to meet my first One Monthly Goal Challenge. Back to the grind of computer change out 2016. I still can't figure out my new router *sigh*.

Until next time,

Linking up to Farm Girl Friday

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Woe Is Me




It's happened again, this time for the last time. My desk top computer has finally given up the ghost. How long are these things supposed to last anyway? I think it is about seven years old which in computer speak may as well be a hundred. It was running Windows Vista which was perfectly fine with us but I'm sure you can tell how the rest of this story is going to go before I even right it. 
My printer died so I needed a new one. Those are ridiculously cheap these days (all the money is in the ink) but they all connect wirelessly. I needed a new router, again wireless is the new connection standard. You see where I'm going with this right? My seven year old computer just could not handle all this fancy new connectivity.
Off the Best Buy I go credit card in hand and I'm now poorer and I hope to soon be happier. I still don't have my new, souped up computer. It resides in the bowels of said Best Buy while they very helpfully transfer all the files from my old hard drive to my new 2 terabyte!! hard drive. For a fee of course. 
Once I get that baby home I'll be spending at least a day attempting the Great Set Up of 2016! So if/when you don't hear from me you'll know what happened. 
Writing to you from my lap top which I don't like using for blogging don't ask me why I just don't.

Until next time,

Monday, January 11, 2016

What I Should Have Done


Moving along with my One Monthly Goal of machine embroidery quilting this bed runner I laid out the templates on the corner and end to determine the placement of the designs. I marked the center line of the border on the fabric with a chalk marker and lined up the template center lines with that mark. Then I hooped up that corner and started stitching. I'll bet you can see the problem from this picture but I didn't see it until the corners were stitched - all four of them!
That's right, all but one of the corners came out too high for the rest of the design. You can clearly see it from the crosshatch chalk marks in this picture. 
The design from the back. There's a little bit of show through from the top thread and a couple of threads that need to be snipped but all in all, not bad. 
The first two corners were not a complete success but I did get better as I went along. Here's what I learned. DON'T quilt the corners first! I think I should have started on the long sides first because the true center line runs off those sides. DO look at all four dimensions when hooping not just right/left but diagonals when hooping corners. This is where I slipped up and it bit me in the butt.
I won't be ripping this out, I'm moving along. This is a learning piece for me and I'm learning A LOT! Besides, in the past my need for perfection has stopped me from completing projects and I'm moving past self criticism in order to learn and grow.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Thanks to Miss Judy for continuing this fun quilter's tradition which has kept so many of us connected through the years even though she is not so much into quilting these days.

Until next time,

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My First Quilty Goal of the Year

Back at the end of December I blogged about starting the quilting on this bed runner -
Of course Christmas pushed itself to the forefront (as it should) and I put the sewing machine away in favor of glitter and holly and all things Santa Claus. Time to get back to my quilting plan.
I've got the thread picked out. I'll be using the color in the front, it's a nice oliveish green and blends really well. Since I'm going to be trying machine embroidery quilting on this I don't want the thread color to stand out too much. I have a feeling I'll need to hide some mistakes along the way!
I stitched out the designs I'm using onto heavy weight stabilizer and marked the registration lines. The stabilizer will be sturdier than paper in the long run I think. This is the corner design.
This is the border design. I'll be using these templates to figure out the placement and spacing.
Here's a sneak peek at the first stitch out. This looks awesome! If only I can get the spacing right I think it will turn out so nice. 
My goal is to have this bed runner completed by the end of January. To hold myself to that I'm linking up to the Red Letter Quilt One Monthly Goal Linky Party. Today is the last day to link up so I'm just barely making it to this month's party - that's me all right always late to the party! Check out the other quilter's goals and consider what you might like to accomplish in a month. 
This looks like a contradiction of my Live in the Moment post from Tuesday but I did say I liked to set goals for myself, I'm just trying not to sabotage myself with long term, unobtainable goals. So, monthly goals may be just my speed right now.
RedLetterQuilts 
Until next time,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I Hereby Resolve...

Who am I kidding? Anything I resolve to do in January will be right down the toilet by February. That's my general attitude about New Year's resolutions, I'm just not that kind of woman. I am a look forward kind of woman though and I do set goals for myself but they tend to be more short term these days. Instead of resolutions I'm having more success with picking an aspiration to aim for in the coming year.
Here it is, my aspiration for 2016 - Live in the Moment! No dwelling on the past reliving past mistakes, wishing for different outcomes. No trying to look so far into the future trying to control all possible scenarios. Live in the moment. Enjoy the here and now, appreciate the present. We are only given today and what ever this day brings. Several events from the past year have brought this particular lesson home to me rather forcefully and so I will strive to be more mindful of my moments in 2016.
Those of you who have been with me for a while may remember my 2015 goal:
To be honest this one was a little hard to achieve as the past year brought a lot of bad news our way. While this gloom was not affecting us directly it did touch deeply people we cared about and cast a pall over much of the year. Still, I managed to start each day with a positive affirmation and so along with that I'll start my days in 2016 with a reminder to stay in the moment.
These little tokens go up on the wall in my sewing studio as a daily reminder of what I hope to achieve. No resolutions for me only aspirations. 
What about you, are you a resolute person or an aspirational person? Maybe a little of both? In either case good luck in 2016 achieving your goal!

Until next time,