Friday, November 17, 2017

Let Me Introduce . . .

Ruthie 2! 

She was an early Christmas present according to my hubby.  Pat went wild and traded in my old long arm, Ruthie, and bought the newest NV by Nolting.  Here she is! Well, here she is before she was mounted on my frame. 

Mike, of Memory Lane Quilting, and his wife, Bonnie delivered and set her up today. 

Here are the two long arms -- the old Ruthie was taken off the frame. (Hum, she's hanging upside down on a holder in this picture.)  Ruthie 2 is waiting in the background. Rutihe 2 is 24" while Ruthie is 18". And what is cool, Ruthie isn't going to be sitting around in a warehouse.  Someone bought her right away.  She'll be stitching away, doing her best, for another quilter.   
 A few changes had to be done to the frame before the new one could be loaded on the frame. And then she was put on the frame.  Here Mike is teaching me what the buttons on the pad do.  That's the blue pad on the head of the machine. And, wow this machine has some cool buttons.  The black tablet on the right is the computer that drives the machine to stitch out patterns. 
Here's what it looks like from the front. It will take me a few quilts before I figure out what all the buttons do and to look at the right tablet to start the electronics instead of starting the machine to hand guide quilting. 
So once she was up and operational I had to figure out which quilt was going to be loaded and quilted first.  I didn't want a huge quilt to start out with.  I didn't have any backings ready for baby tops.  I didn't want to start with a customer's quilt. So I pulled a charity quilt out and got it loaded.  Here's the first row of quilting.  I'm going to be reevaluating the speed and stitches per inch settings. But I'm thrilled with how well she stitches.  And, she's smooth.    
I have a number of my own quilts to do, quite a few charity quilts as well as customer quilts. Unfortunately it is now getting to be concert season. A rehearsal and a concert are scheduled over the weekend. I have to wait until Monday before I can finish quilting this quilt.  And then Christmas is sneaking up on us.  I still have doll dresses and ornaments to make.  So my quilting time and piecing time will be limited. But I'm excited to be using Ruthie 2.  (Did anybody notice I said I would be playing on Ruthie 2 on my goal list on Thursday? Big hint about what was to come!) 

Today I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?.  Take a break this weekend to see what others are working on in their sewing rooms and studios.

Happy Quilting Alll! Bonnie 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Meandering 11 - 13 - 2017

Here are some successes from last week's goals:

I showed the pattern and my fabric here. Here is "Kit" modeling the dress almost done.  I have stitched the lapels back but there are some roses that still need to be put on the dress.  

I've cut out a top and a pair of shorts.  The shorts are done but the top still has a little work to go.  Next up will be another baby doll outfit.  Quilting and piecing have taken a backseat to these doll clothes. 

I won Kit with a trunk, clothes, accessories and quilts from Village Quilters in Catonsville, Md at least 10 years ago. When she came to live at my house I displayed her.  When Jenny was home from college she would often change Kit into one of the many outfits she had.  When the grands came along, Kit retired to her trunk because Jenny's doll and clothes were available.  Needless to say, she was very happy to get out in the world again wearing this fabulous outfit! 

The Country Piecemaker's pillowcase day was so much fun! Sharon came down and we traveled the hour and half to Powhatan, Va together.  The guild made 152 pillowcases Saturday.  All were cut out and in kits before the day began.  Some were already pinned in "burritos."  We had more people stay this year to do the sewing and all the turning, pinning, ironing and etc. that goes into making the pillowcases.  Rumor has it that only 110 were made last year.  
Sewers in the front, pinners in the back.  Standing folks were ferrying cases from one location to another.
Becky, Bonnie and Nancy sewing away. You can see cases ready to sew and ready to turn in front. 
Through the 8 years that Country Piecemakers have been making and giving pillowcases for sick kids we've contributed 2,685 cases.  Amazing!  The funds and/or fabric are all donated -- the guild does not provide any financial assistance. Hats of to Colleen, our intrepid pillowcase leader, and her special elf, Donna, who cut the fabric and put together all the kits.   I will continue to make pillowcases for this -- in fact I think I bought 5 yards of Easter fabric when I was up in Lancaster.  

I was more successful with my goals this week. Here's last weeks:
November 6, 2017
Make first doll outfit
Retime Ruthie, the longarm
Attend Pillowcase day in Powhatan√√
Finish one cross stitch ornament
Catch up on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge √ mostly

November 13, 2017
Finish 2nd doll outfit
Cut out baby doll outfit
Work on another cross stitch ornament
Continue to work on Rainbow Scrap Challenge
Play on Ruthie 2
Attend Spotsylvanian’s rehearsal and first concert of the season

A lot is going on this week so I may fall short on some of these goals.  

Check out my favorite linky parties:  Oh Scrap!Monday MakingMain Crush Monday, and Moving It Forward.  I'm going to spend a bit of time today cruising through the Internet to see what folks are working on. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday Meanderings 11 - 6 - 2017

Yikes!  How did the last week vanish so quickly?  I had a slew of appointments this past week.  Let's say having a filling and 2 crowns started just wasn't that much fun and it did cut into my stitching time and motivation.

I've pretty much finished the pinwheel blocks for Pam, the EQuilter of the month.  She asked us to pick a half yard of fabric and make pinwheels to go with it.  She will be making quilts for Project Linus with them.  3-D pinwheel blocks shouldn't really be hard. But I had a heck of a time with them.  Check out this blog post to see how to make them. 
Here are some of my good blocks.  I have to redo several blocks because the points weren't meeting in the center.  Oops. The next Equilter's blocks were shared today and I love them!  Should be lots of fun and easy.  (The colors are off in this picture especially that yellow -- it is much more vibrant.)

I recently found MadebyMarney.  Mary Hertel designs fun, whimsical paper pieced patterns.  I started by downloading a couple of free Halloween patterns. Then I saw the darling patterns in her new Christmas book, called Sew Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  (You can see some of the patterns at the link above.) I probably won't have time to do any of them this year but maybe I should plan to do one a month during 2018.  (Note to self: remember this when I write some goals for 2018!)   
Here are a couple of the designs.  First the penguin.  And then the Snowman paper pattern.  Hum, I don't really like the color on the pattern so I guess I'll need to remember to print in greyscale.  I definitely want to make something from this book, sooner rather than later! 

My goals last week were pretty skimpy.  I knew I was going to that bunch of appointments so I didn't go wild.  But even with skimpy goals I didn't do very well on them.  Bummer.

October 30, 2017
Make and mail FCQ Equilter pinwheel blocks √ not mailed and I need to rip 3 blocks and resew the last seam. 
Start more doll clothes Eek! nothing done on this.
Finish quilting charity quilt Nope – nothing on this either Ruthy needs to be retimed.
Work on cross stitch ornaments

But there is always a new week.  So here's what I'm hoping to do this week! 
November 6, 2017
Make first doll outfit
Retime Ruthie, the longarm and quilt the charity quilt
Attend Pillowcase day in Powhatan
Finish one cross stitch ornament

Catch up on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I'm looking forward to Sharon's visit this weekend.  We are going down to the Powhatan guild to participate in the Pillowcase Day.  Our November meeting is always a marathon of making pillowcases for Ryan's Case for Smiles.  Lots of hard work but also a lot of fun.  I've been doing this for years and always look forward to it.  I'll have to see if I can make a pillowcase or two before I go down.  Hum, I think I bought some fabric for a pillowcase while I was in Lancaster. 

I'm linking up with my regular favorites! Oh Scrap!Monday MakingMain Crush Monday, and Moving It Forward. Hope you can spend some time checking out what folks have been working on. 

I'm hoping to get a lot more of anything done this week -- doll clothes, RSC blocks, and maybe a few pillowcases.  We'll see how I do next Monday.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November OMG & Stashbusting Efforts

It's time to decide on my November One Monthly Goal.  While I was trying to decide what to work on this month it dawned on me that I really had to have all Christmas presents bought and wrapped by the second weekend of December because I had all sorts of other plans for the rest of the month.  So, knowing that, I decided to make my goal present-oriented.  Natalie has her new American Girl doll so I will be making doll clothes for it.  My goal is to make 2 complete outfits (sans shoes...) during November. 
I bought this great book a couple of months ago at Quilter's Corner in Midlothian, VA.  It has quite a few different style outfits including 2 dresses, several pants, the coat and pjs.  And, notice the little dog.  Hum, do I want to try to make the dog?  
Here's the dress and jacket I've already cut out.  Both the bodice and the jacket are lined.  Unfortunately the shoe pattern isn't included.   I'll be starting on it soon.  So two doll outfits is my goal for the month.  

Next up is my stash busting statistics.  I just realized I didn't post the September results.  So here are the stats for both months.
Fabric In Month
Fabric In Year
Fabric Out Month
Fabric Out Year
Total In or Out Year

I bought a lot of fabric in September because I was shopping in Lancaster County.  But I added to the stash in October too.  Luckily, I had a couple of  finishes that counter-balanced the additions to the stash. In October I made lots of pillowcases to donate to hurricane relief and to Ryan's Case for Smiles. In October I finished my Christmas Trip Around the World.  That used up a nice amount of fabric.  What tickled me about it is I was able to use up several smaller bits of fabric that I'd had for a long time.  

I suspect I won't have much fabric used during November.  But I will be getting some doll clothes finished! 

Link ups for today include Elm Street Quilts' One Monthly Goal November Goal Setting and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation. I'm heading over to these two sites to see what sewists are up to today.  Hope you take a look too. 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Meanderings & OMG Success! 10 - 30 - 2017

Let's start with the success!  Yes, I was able to complete the "Ninja Stars" top this month. YEA! It was last month's goal in the One Monthly Goal challenge so I am happy with the finish. I'm not sure when it will get quilted as I have to find/make/buy a backing.  But here it is in all of its cuteness. (You can click on all the pictures and they will enlarge.) 
I really like the concept behind this quilt.  Cute conversation prints with blenders make up the stars.  What I failed to realize is it's a pain to deal with those corners where so many layers of fabric meet.  Some corners met perfectly but lots did not.  I'm not worrying about it as whoever gets this quilt will no doubt love it.  It will be a charity quilt but I haven't decided on which charity I'll give it.  I hope to get it on Ruthie to quilt soon.

Did I mention I won one of the drawings for the August OMG challenge? No, I didn't think I did.  Well, yep, I did -- it was a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter shop.  OOOOhhhh.  It took me a while to make up my mind.  But after careful review of all the wonderful products I made my decisions.  
I chose a small charm pack called Ready for Take Off and a small jelly roll of batiks.  These were both considered "small" because there weren't as many pieces in the packs.  I believe the charm pack had 20 pieces and the jelly roll -- maybe 20 too.  I know I'll use the charm pack for a baby quilt for a NICU but have no idea what I'll do with the jelly roll.  It'll be fun to work with these though.  I'll need to find a go-with fabric for the charm pack and get going on it. 

Guess what?  I FINALLY cleaned off the front of my cutting table.  It was a total mess. Left over fabric was layered on it.  It was like a archeological dig going through some of those fabrics.  One from early spring, a couple from mid summer, and a few leftover pieces from Ninja Stars.  Right now the table looks great!  I could actually cut on both sides of the table or open up the Go and cut some pieces.  It helps that I put away a container I was collecting blocks from my FCQ Equilters.  And, I filed some papers. (Or did I just move them somewhere else?  I'm not sure which.  Oops.) But I'm pleased that I could actually cut something out there if I wanted to. Let's see how long it will take to fill it up again?! 

My goal list is, well, ok is all I can say.  Not fabulous and not horrible. You would think with only 4 items I could finish them all.  Not to be.  Ruthie is unhappy with the thread I chose for the charity quilt so she isn't cooperating.  Or she was  cranky.  Who knows.  
October 23, 2017
Make last kite block and sew blocks into top
Make and mail FCQ Equilter pinwheel blocks ugh… no
Pick a charity top and quilt it √ Loaded
Clean the front side of the cutting table

October 30, 2017
Make and mail FCQ Equilter pinwheel blocks
Start more doll clothes
Finish quilting charity quilt
Work on cross stitch ornaments

Linking up with my regular linky parties: Oh Scrap!Monday MakingMain Crush MondayMoving It Forward and Elm Street Quilt's One Monthly Goal Finish Link Up .  Hope you can spend some time checking out what folks have been working on. 

I'm going to spend a little time checking these links out and then head down to the studio.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie