Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to School

Back to school doesn't mean much to me, but it does to grandchildren, especially two of them who started kindergarten! Austin looks pretty excited... 
Austin, in Austin
...especially compared to his first day of pre-school last year!

The first week, he had homework to do. 

In Kansas City, the whole family had someplace to go on an early Thursday morning. Celina began her junior year; Tay started kindergarten; and Aesa continues to attend pre-school.

I'm pretty sure that of that family, Tay was the most excited.

And so was their mom, who established some responsibilities right off the bat.

I think often of these two busy families and pray that the children all have a great school year. 

Here at home, we picked up extra supplies in case we were stuck at home without power. We're enjoying the fact that the Erika was a whole lot of nothin'. Linda

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Some of Not Much

As many things as I've had going on, I don't have much to show in the way of quilting-related projects. But, I'll give you a heads-up. Put this on your September 17 calendar: "Visit FlourishingPalms blog."

On that day, it will be my turn to feature one of the 12 quilts from Christa Watson's new book, Machine Quilting With Style. My quilt is called "Candy Pop," and it will be the project I teach in Beyond First Time Quiltmaking classes starting next February. Stop by on the 17th for a chance to win a copy of the book!

My other project is related to the American Made Brand Tiny Quilt Challenge. I finished my entry a couple days ago. If you have time and want to whip up a 15" X 15" quilt using American Made Brand fabrics, you can enter too! The deadline is September 15.

Dabbling continues on My Small World quilt. I managed to add on a little more to Section 3 (of 6 sections).

Though it doesn't look like I've made much progress, I have done quite a bit of prep work for Sections 5 and 6. All of this is handwork! I've got 30 half-inch hexies ready to English paper piece; foundation paper pieced (FPP) arcs to sew together; a half Dresden to appliqué; clamshells to appliqué; and rainbow arcs to join together. These should be good for a few hours of stitching time.

Last week I came across this quilt called "Rainbow Rounds," by Jo Avery of MyBearPaw. It's from Issue 24 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazineI downloaded and printed papers to try this 12" block that I sewed with a text print background, and five shades of seafoam. Luscious! I know I'll be making more blocks, in other colors.

I also thought I'd try Amanda Jean's CrazyMomQuilts free CMQ Kaleidoscope FPP templates. A whole quilt of scrappiness is also very appealing.

While I'm sewing and quilting, I often listen to audiobooks. A recent finish that I obtained through my digital library was "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes, a British novelist. I highly recommend it. Then, I came across the newest book in "The Selection" series, by Kiera Cass, and immediately downloaded it to my iPhone and started reading. 

I couldn't put it down! Book number four, "The Heir" does not disappoint. I mentioned in a previous post how much I like this series - like a non-violent "Hunger Games" story. I was happy to see on Keira's website that Warner Brothers has purchased movie rights! One more book is anticipated, most anxiously by me. 

Yesterday, August 26, was our 43rd wedding anniversary. And it was National Dog Day. Is there a deeper meaning to this coincidence? Hogan was more agreeable to posing with me than my hubs. 
Linda

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Newspaper Article

Those of us in the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild are happy to have been featured in today's Daily Sun article - in the "Local" section, page C8. Member Mary, who has been going through the transition from traditional to modern quilter, is our "poster child."

Now if only the chapter's media coordinator, namely me, would have provided accurate information! I incorrectly submitted that our chapter meets the second Tuesday of the month, when in fact it's the second Monday of the month.

And I have a college degree in this stuff! Sheesh. Linda

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Prism Finish!

At long last, I can say: Prism is completely finished! With some extra effort to ensure that the binding was attached on-the-square, and that the quilt is equal measurements across each side, I also hand sewed a sleeve across the back (for hanging in a show), and made and sewed on a label. It's been at least two months since quilting began on this puppy - seems like it's pretty much the only thing I've been blogging about for forever. I'm tickled that I can now get back to "regular sewing," whatever form that takes!

Though the Zen Chic pattern states that Prism is 73" X 73" when finished, mine ended up 68" X 69". I can't even begin to guess at where that four inches - plus! -might have gone. Whether some of it was taken up in the quilting, or I measured incorrectly, I don't have the interest in figuring out why it's smaller. I just know that everything looks even, and I'm not about to question that!

Much of Prism was quilted using a straight Fine Line ruler to make straight lines in the print diamonds, and outlines of diamonds in the negative space at the top and bottom of the quilt.

The problematic rough edges of my Pfaff's throat plate hole haven't yet been resolved; the top thread continues to shred and break. I've taken the plate to a sewing machine dealer, and I hope to learn more soon. Worst case, I'll buy a new throat plate.

These pictures were taken in the picnic shelter at Big Cypress Rec Center, on a beautiful hot day.

I have Debbie and Debbie, fellow Big Cypress Quilters, to thank for being my quilt holders. This picture is a favorite because I managed to capture a golf cart going by on the street. We're blessed to live in a beautiful place! 

Did I mention? I counted 41 different quilting motifs in this quilt. No wonder I drove myself crazy quilting it! The top thread is a very pale yellow 50-weight Aurifil. Really, it doesn't show much differently than white.

I love the dimension that emphasizes the quilting. Doesn't it almost look like trapunto? Loft was achieved in the quilt sandwich made with Quilter's Dream Request Cotton on the bottom, and Quilter's Dream Wool on top. I'm also smitten with this little insertion of two orange prints in the otherwise all-white Kona binding.

White quilts are great for showing off quilting, but a bugger of you're on Plavix (blood thinner) as I am! If I accidentally prick myself with a basting safety pin, needle, or seam ripper, I need to have a water bottle and white washcloth handy. Sigh. (I'll likely be on Plavix forever because it helps prevent plaque from forming in my blood. It's all what comes from having critical PAD -  peripheral artery disease. Darn.)

For backing I used a white-on-white print that has a circular pattern. The bobbin thread is white 60-weight YLI.


Prism is ready to be delivered to a friend who will take it to QuiltFest of Jacksonville (Florida) for judging and display at the show September 24, 25, and 26.

Que sera, sera. Linda

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Catching Up!

It's been little but free motion quilting around here for weeks now, so there was no need to post last week about more of the same. 

However, my frustration level grew as I quilted "Prism." More and more frequently, the top thread broke. It happened only when I was moving the quilt south - when stitches were being made behind the sewing machine foot. To fix the problem, I tried changing tension, unthreading everything and rethread, cleaning out the bobbin, and changing the needle. Nothing made a difference. When I posted this broken thread photo to Instagram, I received some helpful responses.  

Sue, a longarm quilter suggested I check for a burr on my throat plate. While this Pfaff has a regular throat plate, it also has a detachable throat plate placed on top of the regular plate for free motion quilting. (Feed dogs continue to engage and move beneath the detachable plate.) Sure enough, the edges of the small hole were quite rough! Makes sense that the thread would rub against the edges of the hole and shred.

So, hubby used his Swiss Army knife (thank you for that gift, Edith!), opening the corkscrew, and pushing the tip through the small throat plate hole. Doing that at least loosened some of the coarsest metal shavings. He followed that with a light brushing of 150-grit sandpaper. I thought it made a big difference! On my test quilt sandwich, using my Fine Line Ruler, I made a beautiful straight line while moving the quilt south.

But after a couple days, the thread began to shred again - like three times in an eight-inch pass! Sigh. This time I used a small emery board to smooth the top side of the throat plate hole. Again, it's better, but not perfect.

Happily, I've finished quilting Prism, and will take this throat plate to a sewing machine dealer who can make it right. I was told that there's an emery cord that can be run through the hole to smooth the edges. I hope that does the trick!

When I needed a breather from the frustrations of quilting, I sewed another Dress A Girl Around the World pillowcase dress. I enjoy making these so much! This one was made from a sale piece of seersucker, found at JoAnn's, and Lizzy House Mini Pearl Bracelets.

For now, I'm hanging onto the three dress I've made because I'll be teaching how to make them. There will be charge for an all day workshop, but if students will come to make a dress and donate it to Dress a Girl, the workshop is free. When a workshop date has been determined, it will be added to my Teaching Schedule (see tab above).  

My online friend, Amanda Jean Nyberg (author of Sunday Morning Quilts), celebrated her 40th birthday in July. One of her friends asked us to make and send this signature block for a quilt the friend is putting together. The block is only five inches square, so I hope Amanda Jean has lots of pals! I admire Amanda Jean's work so much. Her penchant for scrappy (see my Scrap Vortex quilt, initiated by Amanda Jean!) suits my tastes. And she seems like such a nice person... another quilter I know I'd hit it off with if we met in person.

A friend in Australia, Emma Jean Jansen (who I have met in person, twice!) is the designer of this bright and fun collection of 19 prints called "60's Scrapbag." I'm on a mission to find it here in the US, and thus far, I haven't located anyone selling it. Only Australian shops. 

Shipping from Australia can be more than the cost of fabric, so I'm holding out until I find a shop stateside. In the meantime, I added this "60's Scrapbag" to MassDrop, for people to vote for. When 200 people have voted, MassDrop will negotiate to get it. Fingers crossed! Linda

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

Company's gone. No other visitors are expected. Hogan has reclaimed the guest room as his personal "office."  We're thoroughly into the dog days of summer. 

Every day it rains. Every day it's hot. In fact, at 82 degrees and 93 percent humidity, this is what happened to my Canon PowerShot when I stepped outside to take a picture. It fogged over! Still, I'll point out the lushness that daily rain and storms bring. We can practically see the grass and palms grow, and the blooming bushes are blooming madly. That red plant is a gone-crazy impatiens planted last fall!

My sewing room continues to seeing the same daily activity - free motion quilting. Thus far, I've logged about 23 hours of quilting - and unquilting, and burying thread tails - in Prism. I might be about halfway finished. 

My personal deadline for finishing is the end of August. Prism has been entered into the QuiltFest Jacksonville (Florida), September 24-26.

I just hope this spool of pale yellow Aurifil #2123 holds out until I'm done. 
Linda

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