Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SewCalGal's Fall 2013 Machine Embroidery Blog Hop

DISCLAIMER:  This post has been written by my dear friend, Karin.  Due to my injury I was not able to fulfill my commitment so Karin offered to pitch hit for me.  THANK YOU KARIN!!!  (You'll find a link to Karin's Etsy shop on the left sidebar of my blog : Sew-Write Creations

I was so honored and excited to be invited to SewCalGal's Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop this year....of course, none of this would have been possible without Kelly's own personal "Fall", which occurred shortly after her Machine Embroidery Guild meeting last month.  I'm just tickled that she's let me crash hijack her blog once again!  So, let's get started, shall we?

Zandra Shaw, the owner/designer behind the Embroider Shoppe, is our featured designer.  Kelly had gone shopping before her accident and had selected a set of scissor keeps as the design she wanted to sew out. 

 I wanted to honor Kelly's original plan, so I elected to sew one of the scissor pockets for her, but which one was she planning on doing?  I really didn't want to pester her with embroidery questions while she was undergoing her therapy sessions, nor did I want to disturb her meals or sleep...what to do, what to do?  I looked at the 4 options, an owl, a lady bug, an ice cream cone and a bouquet of roses.  They were all so sweet, I knew she'd love any one of 'em.

Then it hit me; Kelly just looooves this picture of Farnsworth and his keeper that I took at the zoo one day.  Farnsworth is a Great Horned Owl that came to the zoo as a week-old baby and has been hand fed for the past year.  He's really quite special to us all and since he can't hunt for himself, he won't be released into the wild.  So, of course, I decided to sew out the owl pocket for Kelly!

A couple of years ago, I got hold of some samples of a new textile, from The Kunin Group, made completely from recycled bottles and other plastics, right here in the USA.  Its properties and feel are very similar to felt, but it isn't felt.  And it came in several colors and styles, but I thought this textured brown fabric would be just perfect for our little owl.

I read the Readme text file that came with the design, and it said if you want your finished product to look like theirs, you had to be sure to use the same colors they used.  Well........I don't usually do that....and this time was no different.  I picked out a lining fabric (they had suggested a small floral print - I chose a variegated batik with some speckles and swirls) and some Fall-inspired thread colors.  Here we are, all ready to sew.
I decided I'd better take a look at the instructions and Zandra's color recommendations, just to see if I understood the directions and had enough supplies all set out. 

Blue was the very first color to stitch.  Let me just say this about that....if you insert your bobbin and then  thread your machine and it makes funny noises, well, chances are, you didn't load that bobbin correctly.  And you might as well stop sewing and fix it before you get too far along.  Here's my trusty SeamFix seam ripper, hard at work.  It did away with those uneven stitches in no time flat.

 See how pretty they look after I fixed the bobbin thread?  That's one thing I noticed about Zandra's digitizing...she put lots of underlay stitches in there so the design fills up nicely without puckering the fabric.

 Here's a close-up of the detail that sews on each wing.  See how much coverage there is?  All those stitches lay nice and flat.  Oh, you may have noticed that little gap in the upper right corner...yeah, that might be a problem later..we'll see.  That's where the fabric shifted a little when I laid it into the applique outline.
 So here's my wing piece, all sewn out.  Looks pretty good, right?  Well, thank you, but I can't take any of the credit for that - I just load the thread up and push start.  (What could be easier??)
 So, here we go, sewing the back (body) piece.  Check out more of that solid underlay stitching.
 And the coverage of her fills...pretty cool, if you ask me.
Here is our finished owl, just hanging around, keeping my embroidery scissors safe and sound.  Do ya think maybe if I keep them put up in this little guy, no one will come steal them when the dog's fur is matted?  Well, probably not...as they really are WONDERful for cutting matted furballs out.  Ask me how I know that!
Here he is again, hanging out with Hugo's Amazing Tape, a little closer to my sewing machine (hint, hint...after all, these ARE embroidery scissors).
 Now he's down on my cutting mat, hanging out with some Wonderfil DecoBob prewound bobbins.  They make embroidery sooooo much easier and efficient!  Oh, and that little gap that was in the upper right section of the wing?  Gone.  I was able to trim the pieces to match each other and you can't even tell where I goofed up.
 I bet you were wondering where that batik fabric went, weren't you!?  It's used as a lining, inside the wing piece, and on the back, to cover up the "wrong" side and the jump stitches.  So, really, if you didn't have matching or coordinating fabric in your stash, it'd be ok...no one's going to see it anyway.

Zandra's home is South Africa, but she's currently on a USA Tour giving free trunk shows, how sweet is that?!  You may want to check her schedule to see if she's giving a show near you.  If not, you can contact your local quilt shops or sewing centers to have them contact Zandra and see if they can schedule a special presentation for you and your friends.

Be sure to join me in visiting all the other talented ladies to see what they've sewn up for SewCalGal's Fall Embroidery Blog Hop:

Monday, Nov 4th
Tuesday, November 5th
Wednesday, November 6th
Thursday, November 7th
Friday, November 8th

A big THANK YOU to Kelly,  SewCalGal and Zandra...I had a lot of fun sharing my little owls with you all!


Want to make your own scissor pocket or one of the other beautiful designs at Embroider Shoppe?
If you answered YES, then hop on over to the Embroider Shoppe and leave a comment on this post telling me which design is your favorite.  The winner will be announced on Monday, Nov. 11th.

A little birdie told me that the Embroider Shoppe has 25% off all of their Christmas designs so you won't want to miss out on the sale.


It's Kelly here, I just want to say...we get by with help from our friends!

With much gratitude,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ya'All Ready For This?

A bit of music for the announcements :)

For those of you who are annoyed by music on blog posts, DON'T click on the you tube video. The rest of you....PAR-TAY ON!

 SewCalGal does an excellent job of lining up different designers for each of the Machine Embroidery Blog Hop and this time the Embroider Shoppe is being featured.  

If you are not into Machine Embroidery, WAIT....don't go anywhere....because I think you will still learn interesting things about stabilizing fabrics, threads, and alignment.  Many of the things I do in Machine Embroidery transfers to textile arts, quilting and other needle arts.   Did I mention there is a giveaway?  Yep, on the IHAN® blog you will have an opportunity to win a very fun item that all sewists will enjoy.
Here is the line up:

Monday, Nov 4th 
Tuesday, November 5th
Wednesday, November 6th
Thursday, November 7th
Friday, November 8th

For those of you who are philanthropists and I've never met a quilter who wasn't,  you might want to check this out:
SewCalGal is also hosting the "Quilters Bee Giving A Charity Fundraiser."   You have the opportunity to purchase virtual raffle tickets as well as bid on auction items.   Where else can you donate to well deserving charities and have the opportunity to win some amazing quilting notions and fabric?  Check out some of the auction items:

AND this is only some of the items available to bid on....then there are the raffle prizes!  Head on over and see it all for yourself...just CLICK HERE.  I've already visited and bid on some fun things and you know you don't want me having all the goodies now do ya?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quilters and Halloween

Happy Halloween

You know you are an obsessed quilter when you see a Mummy and instead of being frightened, you are wondering if those fabric strips are 2 1/2 inches wide....and just how long could they be?  Long enough for a quilt binding?

If you love Machine Embroidery, you will LOVE the Fall Theme Machine Embroidery Blog Hop, sponsored by SewCalGal.  It starts next week :)
Here is the line up:
Monday, November 4th
Tuesday, November 5th:
Wednesday, November 6th:
Thursday, November 7th:
Friday, November 8th:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Recent Adventures

I know many have e-mailed to inquire as to what has happened and to express their care and concern.  Thank you so very much....I have to say I feel very loved and that is a wonderful feeling :)

Last Saturday I went to my Machine Embroidery Guild (MEG) meeting for a wonderful presentation on machine embroidery greeting cards given by Ellen Snyder.  I had a great time and loved Ellen's power point presentation...it was excellent!   Another member, Carol, brought some hand made greeting cards from Germany that are thought to be from the 40's.  I took several close ups in preparation for a blog post (wasn't expecting the title to be "The Adventures of Calamity Jane" that's for certain!
I really enjoyed seeing these old cards and could certainly appreciate the time and effort put into making them.

This was also my first visit to Quilt Heaven's new location.  Wow, what  a big beautiful store Lois has....if you live in the area, stop by and check it out.  I took a few pix of the shop to share.
Oh....I gotta tell ya it was also the last day of a sale, 25% off all fabric and an additional 5% if you finished the bolt.  Yep....you know I  did some shoppin'....and then some more shoppin'.......  Taking my sack of fabric to the car and leaving to have lunch with my girlfriends from the MEG meeting... I was very happy.

That happiness came to an abrupt end when I broke my ankle.   Suffice to say since then, time has passed in a new way.  I had 3 fractures and a dislocation which basically means I was in a world of hurt like I never knew possible.
It was Wednesday before I could get my thoughts together and I still don't recall much of  Saturday night through Tuesday.  I was taken down for Physical Therapy on Wed. and when I returned to my room someone had cleaned it nicely.  Yep...that's my quilt....I took it with me in the ambulance to help me feel safe when they took me back to Toledo Hospital Saturday night late.  My quilt provided many opportunities for conversation and of course much warmth and beauty to an otherwise un-fun place to be.

This is an inside view of my 7 days spent in and out of a narcotic haze.  See all these arrow buttons?  Do you think they all work? Nope!  Try to figure out which ones work and which one's don't while on narcotic pain killers is a very tough task indeed.  I pretended they were "needle up/ needle down" indicators and I was sewing...at least I was doing something I enjoyed...LOL.

Laying there I heard several things over the PA that mostly didn't make sense at the time but are quite humorous to me now.  The first was a Code Brown being announced.  Following the Code Brown came a description of a person and that they were in the West Wing.  My narcotic haze translation:  

Someone has had a toileting accident in the hallway...no...they wouldn't be giving a description of there person would they?  Oh don't tell me they are describing the the person as a brown person....I give up, I'll ask someone later.

When I asked I was told a Code Brown is a missing person....a patient who is not in their room and should be.  I was so relieved to know there were no potty in the hall...LOL.

Time as Relative

We've all heard that one...how long does a minute last?  Typically it doesn't feel like a minute is a very long time but since this accident...I  know know the entire length of 60 seconds VERY well.  When 60 seconds is attached to another 159 of it's friends and the pain is so intense all I could do was pant....well....I can tell you I have an intimate awareness of the passage of a minute.  There were several of those hours this past week and I never want to experience those again if at all possible.

THEN there were "THOSE THREE MINUTES" yesterday when time came back in to the center of my conscious awareness.  It was 12:58 on Saturday, October 19th and I had laser focus....what was I doing you may wonder?  Trying to sign on to Quilt In A Day TV for the 1:00 (my time) airing of Lady Eleanor's 35 Anniversary Party. 

There was a blank screen where you see Lady Eleanor and I was in a tizzy.  There was no way I was going to miss this program...I had my phone charged in case the ambulance transport arrived on time (little chance of that happening I thought) AND just to be 100% CERTAIN I would miss it I had my computer completely charged so I could watch while in the ambulance going across town to the Rehab Center.  The screen was blank until 1:03 when I started to hear the music play and my heart raced and I was back in my happy mode and time was fun again.  Hooray for me!  I was fortunate enough to watch 42 minutes of  Lady Eleanor and her beautiful family celebrate their 35 year Anniversary...then my screen went blank again and the streaming stopped.  I won't focus on the end....just those fun wonderful 42 minutes I so enjoyed.  Those grand babies are sooooo sweet :)

Congratulations Lady Eleanor....you sure are one very lovely role model inside and out!  I say "role model" and  I'm not referring as much to your amazing quilting career (you Quilt Hall A Famer you!!! :)  as I am to the fine woman you are and the fun you bring to what ever it is you are doing.  We need to make a beautiful red carpet just for you...a scepter  and a throne too!   Will someone get right on that as I'll be laid up for a while yet.

Last evening I lost all track of time while looking at every piece of sale fabric at Quilt In A Day....don't miss their big sale...you'll be very sad if you do! 

Until next time....thanks for hanging out with me here in the Rehab Center :)


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kelly's Moved!

Hello everyone, this is still Karin, posting on Kelly's behalf.

Late this afternoon, Kelly was transported to the rehab facility in Perrysburg, where (we like to think) she's resting comfortably.  Apparently, it wasn't all smooth sailing, but I don't have any details yet, so I don't really understand why, but she said her transition was "a comedy of errors."  I trust we'll hear more about that later.

In the meantime, I did want to share some photos with you...and, spoiler alert, they're pretty graphic.  Just in time for Halloween, too.  I'm going to recommend she post them up on her door when she gets home, just for fun!

Nice, huh?  I thought so too.  It's no wonder she was in so much pain!  I guess there will be no more MRI's in HER future!  And won't airport security become FunFunCity?  

I'll post again, when I have more details to share with you all.  'till then, happy stitching!

Just a Quick Update or Two - OK, maybe Three

Hello again!  Don't go gettin' all excited now...it's not Kelly posting yet...it's still Karin, her friend from down South.  Just wanted to let you all know that Kelly is still in the hospital, but she's finally getting a little bit of pain relief.  Of course, along with meds of that nature comes the horrible nightmares and insides of Jello, and the pain is still there, but it's beginning to be a little more tolerable, and for that, we're all thankful.

I've actually talked to her on the phone a couple times today, and she's got her sense of humor back, that's for sure.  She's aware of all your concern and prayers, and she greatly appreciates the comments, cards, flowers and kindness from you all.  She's looking forward to moving to a rehab facility (possibly in the morning (Saturday)) that's only about 12 miles from her home, and much easier & more convenient for Mr. McSteamy and the co-workers to get to.  I'll let you know as soon as that move comes about.

And speaking of updates...did you know that Floriani Total Control and My Decorative Quilter have updates?  Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah they do!  That's one really cool feature about Floriani software - once you purchase it, you get updates for life.  Free of charge updates for life.  Not like some others, where you want the update, you've gotta fork over your firstborn or a whole lotta money...noooo, these are free.  For life.

So, how do you get them you ask??  All you've gotta do is connect your computer to the internet, however you normally do, then launch your Floriani product, and you can either wait for it to go check by itself (how smart is that?) or you can go up to the menu bar and click Help> Check for Updates, and then follow the on-screen prompts.  It'll ask you to Agree to their licensing agreements, and then will want a few "Next" clicks and finally an "Install" click, and you're about done!  It's really quite easy & painless.  If you have any troubles, post your questions here & I'll try to answer them or get the answers for you.  Not that I'm a Floriani expert, by any means, but I'm not afraid to go digging for information if I have to!

I've not had time yet to check out all the new features & functionality, but I'm sure they'll be a lot of fun when I do get to 'em.  Floriani is always looking for ways to automate the digitization process, and I know they listen to customer suggestions and feedback.

So, that's it for now, folks, y'all are as up to date as the rest of us.  Y'all take care now, and we'll chat again soon.   ~~k

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's Halloween, so Kelly's Breaking Bones

Hello everyone, Karin here; I've hijacked Kelly's blog for now and you'll see why in a moment!

Remember a couple of years ago, when Kelly fell at Houston's International Quilt Festival?  Remember she posted that lovely X-Ray of the pins they used to put her broken hand back together?  Looked just like one of those paper skeletons you hang up on your door at Halloween.  Well, here it is, Halloween again, so I guess Kelly thought we needed a new set of X-Rays or something....

She was out getting educated (and I'm sure also gathering tips & tricks to share right here) about what else, machine embroidery.  And you know how hungry you get sewing, right?  She's no different...after her guild meeting, a bunch of 'em went out to dinner at a local restaurant, and with considerable grace, our beloved Kelly flew through the air with the greatest of ease, just like the lady on the trapeze.  Unfortunately, during that short flight, apparently, her foot stayed grounded inside a bunched-up rug.  I know you can imagine what came next, and I'm also sure she'll fill you in on all the details as soon as she's up to it.  What I can share with you tonight is "foot fractured in 3 places" and more pain than any one person ought to ever have to suffer.

She's still currently hospitalized, after yesterday's surgery, and she has a nerve block attached (and finally turned ON) to help keep the pain down.  With any luck, she'll be released in the next day or two.

But, as you can imagine, orders placed over at IHAN will be slightly delayed.  Kelly is grateful for all your kind thoughts and prayers and appreciates everything everyone's done to help her & her family through this challenge.  She'll be back on both feet before long and will get those orders fulfilled just as quickly as possible.

So, there ya have all the news that's fit to print.  For now, anyway.

On Kelly's behalf, hugs and smiles to you all!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lights, Camera....

Blog Post!  LOL....I know you were thinking I was going to say action...but not this time.  I am however very pleased with my new 6 LED Light strip for my sewing machine and I used my camera to take a photo to share :)

I measured the upper surface of my sewing machine an thought a 6 LED Light Strip would fit nicely there.  It seems no matter how much light I have, I always want more when I'm sewing.  Call it age...that's fine by me...but what ever it's called...I want more light.  The 6 LED Light Strip I purchased for my machine is a "complete" LED Light Strip which means it has the electric cording and on/off switch.  The LED Strips are available to put on other sewing machines and you only need to purchase the cord and switch the first time.  I bought second 6 LED Light Strip for my embroidery machine.
 I like that these are thin so they don't get in my way.  The strip comes with a peel off adhesive but I don't use those on my machine.  I always put a 3M Command strip so I can take it off easily without ever leaving any residue. 
 These little lights are nice and bright....just wait and I'll show ya.

 It looks like a landing strip for a very small air plane...LOL.
Hopefully you can see the little command strip hanging out on the end.  If ever I don't want the light on there I'll just pull the tab and off it will come.
Another very nice feature is the on off switch. 

The LED Light Strips come in a variety of sizes.  I think these are neat for long arm machines as well.  You can see all of them HERE.
Did You Know?
Lady Eleanor and the QIAD team are celebrating their 35th Anniversary!!!!!

There will be a party at QIAD on October 19th.  For all of us who don't live near Quilt In A Day ....Lets knock Lady Eleanor's socks off by sending her congratulatory cards to the address below:

(Send your cards ASAP so they arrive before Oct. 19th)

(address info compliments of SewCalGal)

Flamingo Update:
This is the first time I have ever seen Flamingos fishing....gives new meaning to "Gone Fishing" ay?  Giggles!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Machine Applique Class with Diana Trost

Classes are so much fun and I was fortunate enough to take a machine applique class with a local woman, Diana Trost, this past Saturday.  Diana won several ribbons at a recent show and I've always wanted to know her secrets.  Here is one of her winning quilts:
"Aunt Millie's Garden for Lydia" made and quilted by Diana Trost

This is Diana's own design and the pattern for our class.  The rose is beautiful and the quilting enhances this pillow so beautifully.  Now, I'm not saying mine will finish looking like Diana's but I will say that she shared enough of her techniques and supplies that mine should be pretty darn nice.

Here is another version of the same pillow using different fabrics:
Using different shades of red on the rose and the buds accentuates the rose differently.  

Our supply list included a variety of red, pink and green fabrics.  One gal brought several neatly cut squares of the variations of fabrics.  What did I bring?  A bag full of every red, pink and green I could find.  What is up with me?  I don't like deciding in advance if I'm not sure what I'm making so I bring everything and the kitchen sink too.  LOL...and did I mention that I borrowed some red pieces of batiks from a girlfriend during class....oy vey!
Here is my pillow so far.  I used the practice piece that Diana provided to practice my machine applique stitching so I didn't mess up my "pretty" piece.  I have to say Diana not only did a good job of teaching us all that she knew about perfecting the stitching but also provided us with some of her favorite machine applique supplies including Soft Fuse and Pellon Stabilizer.  We received printed instructions so we could finish the project at home....including a hand drawn pattern on freezer paper with the quilting design too!!!  If I were to teach a class like this and do all that she had done to prepare, you bet our bottom I'd be charging over a hundred bucks...LOL.  

Thank You Diane for arranging the class and Thank You Diana for teaching such a wonderful class :)

A Finish:
I came home and finished these pillowcases for my sister.  She is studying for a big exam and I thought I'd give her something to smile about before the big test.

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  If you've taken any classes recently I'd love to hear about your experience too.  If you've blogged about it, just leave a link in your comment and I'll hop over and read all about it.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Old Habits Die Hard...as do....

HP Computers! 
Yep...I only used my HP laptop to do my blogging and now I'm paying the price.  I feel like I'm blogging with new glasses even though all I'm doing is using a Mac Book.  A bit different...yes...and...I can do this!

So, what have I been up to you ask?
I've been working on this quilt for my mother's doctor.  I know he'll be very surprised when I mail it to him.  The fabric is a Parson Gray (I love this line) and the pattern is Perfect Ten by Swirly Girls Design.  I still have a border to put on but that will be done by the end of the week....my fingers are crossed.

While working on my "Perfect Ten" I learned something interesting.  I was using my Featherweight machine and mindlessly sat down and started to sew.  Then I noticed something.....do you see anything in the photo below (or should I say is there anything missing?)

 Sewing....sewing.....sewing along.
That's right, I didn't have flip the power toggle on the lower right.  But how then could I be sewing and sewing and sewing?  Apparently my Featherweight works when plugged in and the toggle switch only turns on the light.  Does yours do that?  Ya learn something new every day.....at least I do!

Oh yes....and then there is my youngest co-worker.  Mr. McSteamy and I have spent so much time helping Zach adjust to 4th grade.  He is really struggling and he is an A student.  I can't imagine how difficult this must be to adjust...I can't imagine it because I can't remember that long ago.  One very good reason not to have a child at 40...LOL.  You've heard the joke about the woman who had a baby at 65?  A visitor arrives and wants to see the new baby and she has to wait for it to start crying because she forgot where she put it....not so far from reality....giggles.

While I'm trying to find the rest of my photos from iphoto and picassa....still working out the Mac Book thing here....I want to share a beautiful quilt I saw in the ladies room at a church.  I fell in love with this quilt and it gave me a great idea for using vintage hankies.

Such a great way to show the beautiful hankies.  I've run across some that had stains and the corners could be used so don't throw them away...if you don't want them...send them my way!

Sharing a giveaway!
The Heart Zipper blog is giving away this bundle of Northcott Magical Dragons Fabrics...be sure to stop over and leave your name.


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