On And On

I’m back from my trip to Oklahoma to visit my son’s family and beginning to get back “in the groove” again.  The unpacking is complete, the house is clean, laundry caught up and I’m back in the sewing room.  Today I put together the “quilt sandwich” for the monkey quilt; I’m going to try to start quilting it tomorrow but I have some errands so won’t be home for an entire day for a few days.  After doing the doggy quilt I have found out that it isn’t quite as difficult as I expected it to be.  I was duly stressed during most of the project but it wasn’t as bad as I thought before I tried that first quilt.  I’m already thinking about what I’ll do for the 3rd baby quilt.  I have to, really.  Both of these quilts are blue and the bibs are blue, so that’s boy colors.  What would I do if the next baby is a girl?  I won’t be prepared!  So I’ve got to do at least one more after these two.  And more bibs, and receiving blankets; I could go on and on, couldn’t I?

I hemmed Mimi’s new fleece blanket today, too, so she’ll have a fancier addition to her crate.  Since she likes to lay in her kennel so much I hope she’ll enjoy having an additional blanket to pad her snoozing.  She has two solid blue blankets; this one is a print to jazz it up a bit.  I buy remnants that are on sale and make dog blankets out of them.  They wear easy, wash up well, are comfortable for the 4-legged babes and don’t cost me an arm-and-a-leg to replace them should someone (like Maximus) decide to chew it up when he gets bored.

I’m doing well on Weight Watchers.  I’ve never tried their program before but it’s easy to follow.  Thankfully they have multiple iPhone apps that make tracking food and exercise a no-brainer.  There’s even a barcode scanner app so I don’t have to punch everything in every time.  Too cool!  I joined a couple of weeks ago then went off to Oklahoma.  Thankfully my daughter-in-law took me to a meeting while I was there so I could weigh in and she helped me eat the proper food so I didn’t screw it up.  Worked out well.  I’ve lost weight both weeks and expect to show a loss this Thursday when I weigh in again.  As long as I keep losing I don’t think I’ll have any problem sticking to the program.  It’s when I plateau that I tend to get frustrated and give up.  I hope that doesn’t happen this time.  I want to be healthy and to be able to be more active without the joint pain I have now.  Wish me luck!

A-Quiltin’ We Will Go

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Doggy Quilt Complete
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Test Quilt

My first quilt is done and it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  Of course it’s only a yard square but it’ll make a nice baby gift for someone.  I do know that I don’t want to make any larger sizes because I had enough trials with the small one.  I did make a small trial quilt about 18″ square in order to try out the techniques before I ruined the bigger one with my learning process.  On the test quilt I put together two pieces of cloth with batting in the middle (quilt sandwich) then embroidered a dog outline in the center just to make sure my new sewing machine would sew this project.  Today I sewed the binding around the outside on the test prior to doing the binding on the doggy quilt.  I like the way they turned out; I even laundered both pieces to make sure my construction methods would hold with normal use.  The result was that I’d made a quilt, a real quilt for the first time in my life.  It’s not perfect by any means but I’m proud of it anyway, and proud that I figured it out on my own from watching YouTube videos on quilt-making, and reading up on the things about which I wasn’t clear.

Tomorrow I’m planning on quilting the monkey/elephant baby quilt but I’m planning on serging the edge instead of binding it, so we’ll see how it comes out.  Check back with me……….

First Quilt

O OI’ve never made a quilt of any kind before but last year I found these pre-pieced panels and fell for them.  I dug them out of my stash last week and on Sunday I quilted the first one (the dog quilt—-I still have a monkey quilt to be done).  In these photos you can see the overall quilt which is just a yard square, and the pattern I quilted into it.  I still have to put the binding around the edge but just bought that yesterday and haven’t been back in the sewing room to get it stitched on.  I’m pleased as punch even though it’s no way perfect.  But I did it all by myself, of course, after asking others for tips and watching a million YouTube videos on how it’s done.  Yay, me!!!!!!!

I did a couple of baby bibs last week and now working on two quilts so some sweet baby is going to get a treat this year.

Coasting

Maximus at rest
Maximus at rest

This is exactly how I felt yesterday.  I didn’t get much done the entire day.  It was a “pajama day” for me and the dogs thought the same.  I didn’t get dressed until 5 PM so I could go to Weight Watchers.  I was a slug all day.  Today, I hit the ground running.

I’ve never done Weight Watchers before but it came highly recommended, so today I had to go to the store to purchase “healthy” food.  Wish me luck!  Today I’ll have to play catch up so the washer is fired up and the dogs are, too.  I’m allotted a number of “points” per day and it’s 4 PM and I’m hungry, and I don’t know what I can even have.  Time to do research.  Hope you all have a wonderful day.

And, She’s Off!

Test Stitch Out of Horse
Test Stitch Out of Horse

finishedhorseIMG_0544IMG_0542Here are some of my current projects.  The horse is a design for the back of Ronnie’s blue chambray shirt.  We selected this design, I stitched it out and it was too dense for the cloth.  So I edited the design, halved the number of stitches and stitched it out again on the yellow fabric.  It worked, so yesterday I stitched it on the shirt and it looks great.  Now I only have to do the designs on the front over each pocket and that project is complete.

The two baby blanket quilt tops are going to be my first quilting projects.  Tomorrow I’m going to buy the batting and backing material and give it a shot.  Hopefully since they are small I’ll get a taste of quilting without the stress.  These two quilts and the bibs I embroidered today will be a baby gift for an as yet unborn little boy.  Wish me luck!

When these are done I’m going to start garment construction for the first time in about 30 years.  I have fabric, patterns and supplies, and an online collaboration class in making and fitting pants.  Tomorrow, the world!!!!!

Sewing Room Revisited

IMG_4900Okay, they’re out of the boxes and the sewing room is changing every day.  I sold another serger today so I only have one more to sell and it’s posted everywhere I could think of.  It’s now packed away in that black and gold rolling case on the lower right of this picture.  Can’t wait to gain back that space as well.  Before long I’ll actually be able to create something in there instead of buying, selling and reorganizing.

Today was a day of errands, deliveries and friends.  I went to the Before Inventory sale at my local fabric shop and bought 16 spools of embroidery thread in colors that I was lacking.  It seemed as though I had colors for children and floral designs but no browns for animal prints.  The design I test-stitched for a shirt for Ronnie the other day (81700 stitches!) should have been shades of brown with it’s 22 thread changes but it ended up very gold, beige and gray.  Not good.  Since I intend to stitch dog prints for our dogs (and maybe to donate) I’m sure to use some of those hues I purchased today.  (Let me at ’em!!!!!!!!)  I’m actually going to do an inventory tonight and go back for more thread tomorrow….and this was sanctioned by my dear husband.  He thought the price sounded right, too.  I’m so glad he’s so agreeable.

Tomorrow is more errands and laundry that I didn’t get to today, but I hope I have time to sew tomorrow.  I want to try an embroidery design.  The embroidery attachment and all the hoops are in that gray, molded-plastic case on the bottom left and have yet to be unpacked.  We actually had to take pictures of the inside of the case (at the dealer’s urging) because there is no diagram of how to put it all back in the case once it’s removed.  The dealer said he suggests that all his customers take pictures before unpacking and has seen ladies use their cellphones to photograph them prior to starting a class.  Isn’t that strange?  Tonight I’ll start going through the books for the machines and inventory my embroidery thread.  My assignment is to read every word of the books and watch all the movies (the Ellisimo has movies on it that explain how to do things in case you get stumped), then to try all the stitches about which I’m comfortable.  If I get stumped after that my instructions are: 1) rethread the top and bottom threads, 2) reread that section of the manual, 3) rethread once more, and 4) go get a glass of wine and walk around for a bit.  If  I am still stuck I then can call for help.  LOL  I really love number four!

Here I am again and it’s after midnight.  I have thread to inventory.  G’night, All………

Baby, Baby, Baby

BLSOGsm1BLSOGsm BLSOGsm2

Meet the Babylock Ellisimo Gold.  This is what mine will look like when I go take it out of the box.  LOL  I went in at 2 PM today and trained on this machine and the serger (Babylock Evolution) for 3 hours.  I was so brain-dead when I got home that I just sat them in the sewing room and went on as if they weren’t there.  I was so exhausted but I had a wonderful day.  One of my old machines moved to Oklahoma today and I sold one on Ebay that went to Illinois.  I have the last 2 on Ebay and a couple other places so I hope they sell soon, too.

I think part of what I’m feeling right now is shock.  I’ve wanted these type of machines for years and now that I actually have them it’s hard to believe it’s really real and they’re really mine.  What a wonderful place to be at this point.

Evolution

This is the Babylock Evolution; it has 8 spools of thread that can all be used at once.  I will more than likely only use 4 at a time but I’m open to learning all I can; I’ve seen some YouTube videos that are awesome.

Supper is over.  The car is empty.  The dogs are in bed.  Ronnie is asleep and I am tired.  Another day in the neighborhood, another wonderful one……..

Look, Ma! No Sewing Machine!

IMG_4883Just talked to Ronnie, who is back at work today after the holidays, and he is on his way home.  We’re going shopping for my new sewing machine and serger.  I’ve been doing online searches and research and know which ones I want.  2013 will see me buying my first Babylock machines.  I want the Ellisimo Gold sewing/embroidery machine and the Evolution serger/coverstitch.  Alternately, I may buy the Brother Quattro 2 instead of the Ellisimo but they are somewhat comparable in features.  I’m so excited!!!!!!  I’ve been wanting this new machine for about 18 months and it’s finally reality!

Oops………gotta go.  BRB

Back online now……so, we went to look at the Babylock machines and I am sold!!!!!!  Also, checked out the Brother Quattro 2 but it looked so lame after seeing the Ellisimo Gold!   Got estimates both places but haven’t notified the winner yet.  I’m so happy I don’t know what to do with myself.  I feel like I won the lottery even though it’s me that will have to pay the price.  LOL  So, I am in selling mode tonight as I will have 3 extra machines that I will have no need for; the new machines will take their place and take up less space, too.  One machine has found a home, just 2 more to go now.  The small blue and white one (Janome Harmoney 9102D) on the right is for sale and the one in the roller bag (Janome Coverpro 1000CPX) is for sale.  The sales will allow me to buy whatever extras I’ll want for my new system.  I think some of my hoops will work on the new machine but I don’t know that for sure.  I have some specialty hoops that I don’t know for sure that are interchangeable but I’ll see.  So cool!!!!!!!!!!!!

My sweet husband helped me clean up and pack the old sewing/embroidery machine so it can be picked up tomorrow.  He’s so handy like that; what would I do without him?  (I sure don’t ever want to find that out!!!!)  And he’s so good about putting things away up high that I’d need a ladder for.  I just hand it to Ronnie and point to where it needs to go.  Ouila!  Right in place.  And he takes things down for me as well.  Men are just handy like that, aren’t they?  Of course, mine is pretty special so I’m going to keep hanging onto him.   <XOXOXOXOXO!!!!>  G’night……….