Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catching up

Hello Everyone!

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been swamped since I came back from Innovations.

I finally got my Innova frame together and the leaders on the poles. I taped them down and have been pinning backs to the leaders and floating the tops; I’ve always pinned the bottom of the quilt top down, after sewing the top to the batting.  I have completed 2 charity baby quilts and learned a lot.

I did free motion on the first one, using some of the techniques I learned at Innovations, especially the Hooked on Feathers technique from Sally Terry.  From the back, it doesn’t look too bad, not great, but not too bad. It is made up of 14” pinwheel star blocks, with the middle block being a 14” print which doesn’t match any of the other colors at all (red, yellow black print on white background).

I used a connecting curve from corner to corner on the blocks, which I’ve never done before, and I wobbled a lot. I used a light pink for the quilting, and if I would have been thinking of it, and if I would have had red on hand, I would have used that for the large Hooked on Feathers design in the middle, so it would have actually shown up on the front.  You can see the photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/cjloves2quilt and it is the First Charity Quilt album.

I figured out that I do not like pinning and want to switch out to a Velcro system.  Someone in one of the Yahoo groups mentioned attaching the leaders to the poles using industrial Velcro straight to the pole, and I can see where that would work out REALLY well! The leaders aren’t as straight as I would like, and the back one could be longer, too, so I might just make a set of them up myself…or not! That’s part of what got me into the pinning anyway, is that I couldn’t decide what to do, or how long to make anything and I was anxious to get going. Besides, I have to order that stuff and it will take some time to get it, then make it, and I want to quilt in the meantime.

It has been getting colder and rainy here, which is perfect quilting weather.  I hope you are all making progress on lots of projects!

Take care!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's here!

What a busy two weeks! I went to Innovations, the machine quilting conference and quilt show in Tacoma, WA and had a blast! I met some really wonderful ladies and learned a lot. And, since the Innova arrived the day before I left, there has been no chance to set it up until now.

Yesterday was the day, and it was a long one. Well, I'm still not done, either. We put in 9 hours together and then my DH went downstairs to start grilling and I worked on getting the dragging sound out of the wheels as it rides on the carriage. Took some doing, as it seems that it would do it where the bolts were inserted so there was the back and forth of "is this too tight, maybe loosen that one, no, tighten it back up".

Space is another issue, as it always is when you are talking about a substantial piece of furniture. My sewing room is a 10' x 20' bonus room over the garage. I started out sparingly with my sewing table, fabric, and cutting table. Eventually I started filling the space as I started fabric dyeing, put up a design wall, put in a wall mounted TV , and eventually added a loveseat .

I bought the 12' frame so I can do large quilts. I mean really large, as the first quilt I made was 109" x 129". Some people say that you need a 14' table for something that large, but this one was quilted on a 12' frame so I'm pretty comfortable with this decision. It is essentially a bedspread for a king size bed, and I love it. Someone else quilted it for me, and she did a great job, but I wanted to do it myself. Thus, the journey began.

So, this morning we are going to finish up, but I just couldn't resist putting up a picture of the results of yesterday's work. Now, I'm going to have to figure out where to put the rest of my sewing room!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's coming!!

I have been notified that my Innova long arm sewing machine will be shipping today!  Not sure exactly how long it will take to arrive, but now I have lots of work to do!  We are getting the carpets cleaned and I need to re-arrange the furniture in the sewing room, so lots of that will end up in the office.  Oh, my!  I can't wait to see it finally set up!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ABM Innova!

I don't know if you've heard the buzz about the ABM Innova quilting machines by ABM International or not, but let me tell you....they are wonderful!

Define "wonderful" is what my mother would say, so here goes:

ABM has been making commercial quilting machines for 70 years and now they've turned to the home quilting market. They offer 18" and a 26" throat machines on 8', 10', or 12' aluminum frames, all at the same cost for whatever size frame you order. If you want a 14' frame, that is available also, at an additional charge.

The timing mechanism is separate from the hopping foot, the stitch regulator lets you actually stop and think about something without it making a blob of stitches and then easily start again, or go as fast or slow with it as you want, up to the 3000 stitches per minute limit of the machine.

The motor is adjustable to add more power when needed (I need more technical terms on this point), it has the ability to sew thread that other machines can't (just wait 'till you see this!!), the machine is very quiet, and it's lightweight.

Overall, the cost point on this machine is much lower than the more established brands but, in my opinion, it does a better job.

Have you guessed yet? I've got one on order, can't wait to get it and set it up! Looks like I've got some re-arranging to do!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Family milestone

My grandma died on Tuesday, Aug 26th in Sentinel Butte, ND.   She was 100 years old.  I'll be traveling to the funeral, which will take place on Sept. 5th, so I will not be home for a week.

Grandma was a farm wife for many years, and made things for us as kids, and even for my wedding 10 years ago, she made a hand crocheted doily.  She will be missed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Artisan Late Summer Updates

Many quilters are gardeners, too, and with the summer coming to a close our thoughts turn to our next quilting project (or the one we just didn't finish this Spring).

Just as the seeds of my garden have been growing and producing wonderful veggies, and even a cantaloupe (!), ideas are sprouting for the store. You'll find more inventory, especially books and patterns, but also some great tools that I adore, especially the Quilter's FabriCalc calculator. Use it to find the yardage you'll need for sashing, backing, even individual colors in blocks! I'll soon be posting an online demo to show how easy it is to use, but until then you can view it here.

The Curve Master presser foot is another one of my favorite tools, and I can't wait to get more practice with it! It makes sewing curved pieces as easy as straight seams! I have been wanting to make a Double Wedding Ring quilt as long as I can remember and this is just the tool to help me out. I might practice on a Drunkard's Path pattern, first, though, or one of those baby bottle shapes I've been seeing. I'll post photos of my practice projects so you can see how easy this tool makes curved piecing!

I love hand quilted quilts, and especially admire those who can produce such beauties, but it's no secret that I am a machine quilter. I want to offer lots of information and resources for both areas; hopefully you will find a balance of each.

I will be adding features to download quilting patterns and Block of the Month patterns so check back to see the progress and let me know if you have a specific product you'd like to see.

Until next time...


Friday, May 23, 2008


I started an online quilting store because I love quilting! I'm also a gadget freak, and I just had to share the cool tools, books, patterns, fabrics and tips that work for me. I hope you enjoy the site!

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