Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's Official - I Love IT !

What, you ask????  Well, my George sit-down long-arm...


 I will tell you, I struggled mightily with this decision - did I want a traditional long-arm?  If so, I knew I wanted a BIG one...  so I went to a store, took some lessons, and rented one...  I know people love them, but it felt like driving a big old truck to me..   I hated loading the quilt, I didn't like going in rows, I didn't like standing up, and I had to start skill-building from scratch...

So, I looked at these machines - but frankly, wasn't sure whether one gained "enough" to warrant the purchase...  But, after a lot of thought, I bought it - thinking that I could always sell it if it didn't float my boat.... how's that for a confident purchase???? ha ha

Fast forward six weeks - enough that it doesn't frighten me any more -
and I am cranking out quilts like no body's business...  so here's what I think now:

1) The wide throat is fabulous - my quilting is better quality cause I am not struggling with the quilt.

2)  I love leaving it set up and a project in progress - I just sit down and sew!

3) If you already machine quilt, your skills will transfer very quickly - doesn't take time at all to be comfortable!

 4)  My stitches look soooo much better....

5)  Is it faster?  I don't know - I think I put in more quilting now, so probably not faster, but definitely better. 
 other points: 
6) It is simple - a little oil, a little canned air(yes, it's ok in this machine, not so your Bernina), a new needle once in a while, and off you go..
7) that scary "tension" thing is mostly about just buying the kind of thread the machine likes to sew with....

I LOVE MY GEORGE - and my stack of sandwiched but unquilted projects is shrinking at record speed...

NOW IF IT WOULD PUT ON BINDINGS!!

I close with some family photos:: DH with the kittens in their 'outdoor activity' tent... usually its just for the kitties, not humans...
 and a furry snuggle -  - their favorite bed is on a table near my sewing machine
 how did those tiny kittens turn into such loooong creatures????  I do love them so.
Happy Sunday everyone !!!!  I'm off to sew...

Kate

Saturday, March 16, 2013

HAPPY QUILTING DAY

oh, my , oh my, Happy International Quilting Day !!!!

What a fabulous day I had at my house - it was all quilting, all the time!!!!

Everyone - yes, everyone got involved:

Mystic quality tested a charity quilt that I finished binding:

 Bit did a softness test: (yes, it will go through the washer before donation)
 Bit watched Bonnie Hunter (ok, that was yesterday, but the photo was so darned cute I just had to include it)
 and DH??? he finished removing the paper from this big 'chunk' of my pineapple quilt... yippee, honey!!  more to come !!
 I kitted up some applique for an upcoming trip - I love doing applique on cars, planes, and buses!
 This little blue charity quilt got some quilting, when these quilty paperweights would get their little butts off it -  I explained them the idea behind free - MOTION quilting...!
 a few more blocks toward the 47 "One a Day During Lent" blocks - ooh 47 is a lot!
 and I got this floor area all tidies up and the vaccuum run... ok, NOT !
Oh, what a GRAND AND FUN day !!!  Hope you had a great International Quilt Day !!

Kate

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm Blaming This on Bonnie Hunter


Hello hello all - from the  completely nuts Quilting Professor...

I had a very strong expectation of finishing my Hexagon Quilt by April 1...

WELL, that is NOT going to happen !!!  I'm resetting my goal for July 1st...I'm working and working - it just takes a long, long time. 

AND THERE WILL BE A PARTY!!!!  GIFTS, MUSIC, maybe PONY RIDES !!! and BALLOONS!

I am blaming  Bonnie Hunter for this  -  it all started when I saw her making a nice hexagon quilt in red and green - but  I just HAD to do it with 3/8 hexies...  and I just HAD to copy a quilt in a European museum... or at least a part of it - believe it or not, the original was even BIGGER than this !!!! 

Stay tuned - only three or four months and the top will be finished!!!! 

Happy Quilting everyone !

Kathleen




Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fence Full of Charity Quilts !

Oh , but I do so enjoy making charity quilts...  and I save them up til I have a big ol' stack...
Recently, it was past time to turn in the big ol' stack... so first I took a "group photo"!!!  This is about a year's worth for me...I like to let the stack grow for a while!!!

 Aren't they just fabulous all hung out in their glory?  I did not make them all, I should hasten to say - many were tops made by others that came to me for quilting. 
So, since I was running out of storage room, and these needed to be put to good use,  Dear Hubby packed them all up and drove them over to Stockton, CA, where they will be labeled for the Sunshine Quilting Guild.
 From there, they will go to San Francisco, to the Rotary Warehouse, until they go on a medical mission to some third-world country with a bunch of hero medical people who do surgeries on facial disfigurements... and these quilts will be on some sweet little one when they wake up from surgery!!

See lots of nine-patches?  Yep, a challenge, to honor a former member - we collected 1200 nine patch blocks -  the tops and quilts are still being assembled!!!! 

I'm so proud of all the charity work quilters do -  what a nice bunch we are!!

Happy Quilty Sunday,

Kate






Thursday, March 7, 2013

Searching for My Silver Spoon

Hi everyone -

Last week I had the opportunity to sneak away from my conference in DC and visit the Museum and Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution...  So - what IS the DAR:  well:  "Non-profit, women's organization for the descendants of individuals who aided in achieving American independence."  

While there I did some research on my family in the DAR geneology museum.  My mother's family was surnamed BYRD, as in Admiral Byrd, and William Byrd - big names...  why, then, was I not issued the expected "silver spoon" upon birth???  Something must be amiss...

It only took an hour or so to discover that the Virginia family of "Byrd"s were very important BEFORE the Revolutionary War - and then became silent AFTER the War - why, I wondered?  Well, DUH - it said in the book, plain as day that the BYRD family supported King Charles III, and worked AGAINST American independence...      ooooh.... perhaps a different choice would have been better. 

So, that said, I got my tote bag and quietly left the DAR - guess I don't have a charter membership there...

Before I left, I went through the Museum - and found goodies::::

Beautiful clothes:
 Painful clothes:
 and then - - aha !!!!

 Look at this fascinating setting of log cobin blocks - from the 1800s - but so very contemporary in design, isn't it???
 An alphabet quilt from the turn of the century.
 and from 1904, a memory quilt, with lots of signatures, each with gorgeous penmanship (yes, they used to teach penmanship in school - remember?)
Great fun, the DAR Museum...    even though my silver spoon was not to be found!!!!  oh well...

Happy quilting,

Kate


Monday, March 4, 2013

Quilting - A Family Activity!




Hi - Mystic the super sexy kitten writing here... from my favorite perch - the string box...

Mom tries to get these strings out of the box, and I grab them and pull them back from her....

what great fun !!!!
She has been away on a business trip - and I keep waiting for her to come home...
come home!! come home!!!!  the strings are multiplying like little rabbits - 

Tomorrow she will be back and we can sew some strings together - yippee!

Mystic

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Quilting at the Hotel

Well, hello everyone from Washington DC, where I am at a higher ed conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel...

I always feel very nostalgic at this hotel, because this is where Jackie Onassis and Jack Kennedy had one of their first public events during their dating period - there are wonderful photos of them so young and beautiful...

I know people who say "I hate hotels" and "I can't sleep in hotels" - well, let me clear that up:  "I love love love hotels"... nice ones, anyway - I won't be singing the praises of a Motel 6.  But, a great bed, a spatial room, lots of great little ethnic restaurants in walking distance... what else could I need...

WHY, SOME QUILTING, of course...

So, I am working on THESE...aren't they just stunning??  I brought the pattern copies, and the freezer paper, and now am using the hotel iron to put the designs on the red fabric, which will become a red on white cutaway applique...  these are patterns from a quilt design by Sue Garman called Sarah's Revival - wonderful cutwork designs....  I'll probably be working on this for quite some time!!!!

In meetings of the conference most all day today.   But these lovelies will be waiting for me tonight!!

Happy Quilting,

Kate



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