Saturday, March 29, 2008

Running on Empty

I had a great time in Phoenix, and we were able to accomplish everything on the list. We even got a new table at Ikea. It meets our needs wonderfully, as it can be closed up to 10x31 inches, or open up to 31x60 and fit 6 people. Now I just need to build it! :P

On the way home, we dropped off my sewing machine at the Bernina Sewing Center. They said it'd be about $25 (yay!) and 2 weeks (boo!), so I'm really hoping to get a phone call next week.

I haven't done anything quilty, my brain is telling me that I should be quilting the Puss in Corner and not moving onto other projects yet. But apparently I can't get away from making a blankie. ;)

Yup, started crocheting a giant granny square blanket. Keeps my hands busy, doesn't make me quite as twitchy that I'm unable to do my favorite hobby. :)

Last week (at 9pm!) the UPS gal delivered 7 Robin Hardy books from Amazon. I've spent quite a few hours cuddled up with the books. I've spent the last decade watching one site and 4 libraries for her new books to be released... it never crossed my mind to do a Google search! Huge d'oh moment for me. :) Turns out that at least 2 publishers quit printing her stuff and she resorted to creating her own publishing company. So I spent some time catching up, and she's releasing 2 more books later this year, so I'll probably place another order for the rest of her books around my birthday. :)

Then this past week I've been dealing with menorrhagia. It has completely sapped all my energy. I feel like I can't recover my energy levels. I even went to the gym on Thursday, did a light cardio work out and I was SO tired that night. My husband had to make dinner. When I went to bed, I didn't even have the energy to yawn. Something landed on my face and was making it itch, but I couldn't even muster enough strength to brush it away. I was unbelievably wiped out. Then on Friday I got up and put my contacts on, some clothes, turned on the computer... contemplated about getting breakfast and opted for a nap instead. Then took another nap that evening and still went to bed when my husband did.

I know I'm not feeling depressed and trying to sleep it off (did that several years ago). But I'm genuinely wiped out because iron levels are excessively low. My mental health is fine, I don't feel like I'm in a brain fog. My emotional feelings are pretty stable, not riding any roller coasters there. But my body? Feels like I climbed Mt. Everest. When I'm tired, I feel helpless as a newborn. It's very frustrating. So I'm working on rebuilding my iron levels (beef, yum!) and just trying to take it easy. I sure hope it doesn't happen again next month!

Let me just say that my husband is a total keeper though. He hasn't uttered a word of complaint about all the sleep I've needed. He took me out for an early dinner yesterday. We went grocery shopping afterwards, I love it when I don't have to push the cart! And then he filled up my car with gas on the way home. He's all mine. :D


Saturday, March 15, 2008


I'm off for a little trip with my husband, top secret location. ;) We'll be back on Tuesday.

Best part? On the way home we're gonna drop my sewing machine off at the Bernina Sewing Center. :)


Saturday, March 08, 2008


... I'm hiding from my sewing machine. :(

I still haven't gotten the tension problem fixed! If the thread is wonky on the bottom, I'll make a 1/10th of an adjustment on my tension dial and then it's wonky on the top! And we're not talking about little pokies, but where the thread completely dominates one side.

The whole mess has given me a headache and I've mentally pictured myself chucking the machine down the stairs. :P

Honestly, I think the timing is off. I think it all began when I was working on the quarter square triangles two months ago. To make sure I got the SCANT 1/4th seam allowance needed, I moved my needle to one notch over to the right. I'm guessing somehow sewing in that position over and over, and maybe even turning my machine off while the needle was still over to the right could have hurt things. I don't know. I don't see burrs or indications that my needle is hitting anything in the bobbin area.

At this point I still have a little more tweaking left with the tension (been fiddling both with the bobbin and top tensions) and for like 3.2 seconds it'll free-motion with good tension... then go out of whack. I just can't hold a consistent tension. I've cleaned and poked and prodded around the bobbin casein area for any flaws or problems. I long ago lost track of how many needles and re-threadings I've done. I've even used different bobbins (in case one was bent/out of shape). I'm really getting stretched thin on ideas and options.

Can anybody point to me how I could fix the timing on my Bernina 150 QE? Or should I be looking to see when I can fit a ride to Tucson for some shop time?

On the bright side... I don't have any deadlines or quilty commitments. I can survive without my machine. :)


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not having fun

I started to free-motion the Puss in Corner quilt... and about 5 inches later disaster hits the backing. The kind that you don't notice until you've been sewing for a little bit and wonder why the flow feels "off"...

Ugh!! Actually, it wasn't that bad to rip out, just really frustrating to see. I guess that's what I get for plunging in when I haven't free-motioned anything since the beginning of December.

My patience is too short to deal with it tonight, I'll tackle it tomorrow. AFTER I practice on some scraps first. I suspect I have the upper tension off - it was on #4 on the dial, and usually I free-motion around #1 or 2.

I just hate how these kind of things put fear in me - I'm afraid something might be wrong with my sewing machine... but it's usually just user error. But until I know for sure, it makes me a little worried. I don't feel like replacing my sewing machine! :P


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A small confession

Come on, you didn't think I was a perfect girl at the quilt show the other week, did you? ;)

I didn't buy fabric, but I did buy this stamp. See... back in fall 2005, Nines posted about using the By Kate method of making hexes. I put the stamps on my Christmas list, but nobody bought it for me. So more than 2 years later, I found it at the quilt show! Of course I grabbed it up. :)

I'm planning to use the leftover fabric from my first batch of dyed fabrics. I have roughly a fat eighth left of the pieces. Since I moved onto higher quality fabric for dyeing, I'm not excited to use these up in a quilt any time soon. If I badly mess up trying to sew some stamped hexes together, I'm not gonna weep over the loss of fabric.

The only downside is that I haven't gotten the courage to give hand piecing a shot yet! I really struggle with the ending knot. I probably overdo it when I'm sewing down bindings, but I don't comfortably know what will and won't hold together. So making 7 knots is my way of assuring that it won't come undone.

Ok, maybe not seven. ;)


Monday, March 03, 2008

On the way to being quilted

Got the Puss in Corner quilt pinned for quilting tonight.

I've already selected the thread I'm gonna use. I'm thinking of a meander in the blocks, loops in the inner border, and feathers for the outer border. Phew. I'm not sure if I'm up to full feathers, but when is a better time to learn than now? ;)

The side perk is that the living room got cleaned and vacuumed!


Sunday, March 02, 2008

End of the Day

I'm ready to start winding things down and prepare for tomorrow, like making my husband's lunch and finding him dress clothes for work. At least I got a completed top out of the Quiltathon!

I already cut a backing to size, and doused it in water cuz it was so darn wrinkled. Hoping to iron it tonight too. No way am I gonna be pinning it though, I need to clean the living room first.

Between the entire top and the backing, a grand total of 5 yards of fabric have been used.
.5 yard of the pink/purple flower fabric
1 yard of the purple TOT (tone on tone) fabric
1.5 yards of light blue fabric
2 yards of 60" wide of purple hand dyed backing fabric.

My stash closet? Doesn't look any smaller. :P


Upside down top

Oops! Accidentally pinned the top upside down to my design wall.

Not that it really matters, it's not a directional quilt. It's currently 3x4 feet. Next up, borders!

Been having a pretty good Sunday. Went to church, got the laundry going at my in-laws, spent some time with my husband doing a few errands and getting lunch. We have a Quiznoes now, yum. :) Pretty blustery outside too.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Puss in Corner Blocks

I've completed the dozen Puss in Corner blocks I need for the quilt.

So far, no pins needed! I'll take mismatched seams any day. Sometimes I try to figure out why I hate pins so much. I think it's because it slows me down at the machine. You don't want to have the sewing machine needle hit the pins when said machine retailed for $1800 ten years ago!

Now I need a shower... but I'm really tempted to keep on sewing. :P


Jumping In

It wasn't exactly planned, but looks like I'm jumping in Judy's Quiltathon. Another easy quilt for me. Guess I'm still recovering from all those tiny pieces! ;)

I selected to do Puss in the Corner quilt from a book I got at the library.

My colors are kinda spring-like. I was going to select pink instead of blue, but I couldn't find a pink in my stash that I'd be happy with. And frankly, I can't see or easily access half of my stash because it's so crazily packed into the closet. :/

I did cut it VERY close with my fabric amounts that I did find.

That's all that's left of the three yards I used. I managed to get enough pieces for the quilt top, one small flower border, one large blue border and purple for the binding. Those scraps can go into string quilts, and then it'll be all over for those fabrics. :)

I got the pattern from the book "Quilts from the Quilt Maker's Gift"

I recently saw the author, Joanne Larsen Line, on Simply Quilts. I decided to see if my library carried both the quilt book and the children's storybook. They did! :) But I gotta hurry up and make the quilt, cuz the book is due on March 4th. And I've already renewed it once. :P

I was pondering on something, and was wondering if some of you would share your feelings. When I check out a quilting book from the library, and actually make a pattern from the book... how is it any different from copying a friend's pattern or book? I'm getting the pattern for free, and so are the other 473 people who check out the book. Obviously it isn't illegal, or else libraries wouldn't be allowed to carry quilting books. Or you'd probably have to sign something that says you won't use the pattern from the book... it's all very complicated, isn't it? :P