September and October OMG

I finished my September goal--bind two quilts.  I'm happy to have these completed finally!

Here's some eye candy.  :)

My October goal is to sew together at least one quarter of my For the love of geese quilt.  When I made the outer ring I did not sew some of the background fabrics onto the ends, so I need to do that first.

You can see the next quilt I'll be working on, made by Charlene.  I love the design she selected and look forward to sharing it with you.

I have been busy with quilting still.  I completed two client quilts this past week.  Here's a sneak peek of Cindy's quilt, quilted with the Soho pattern.  The other is a secret for now since it will be gifted.  Look for it in late October.

I'm also binding all the stuff.  Here's another completed Quilts for Kids quilt.  I shared the quilting on this one last week.

My guild makes quilts that serve as fundraisers for local charities.  The current project involves each of us making two blocks in Christmas colors.  We are all making the same block.  Here is my first attempt.  Oops!

And here they are, corrected.

The only other thing I have to share this week is this yummy comfort food recipe for chicken and rice.  While it took me longer than the 30 minutes the recipe says, it was easy to make and tasted great. 

Quilting Up a Storm

I have been so busy quilting!  I've even squeezed in a bit of binding.

I quilted two Quilts for Kids quilts and have finished binding one.  I like making Quilts for Kids quilts when I want to try out a new quilting design.

I quilted the Caticorn quilt with the Rainbow Hearts pattern.

The rail fence quilt was quilted with a border design that I made into a pantograph (all-over pattern).  When I did this, it looked a bit like a line of fish.  I did have to add extensions to my backing on this one since it needed to be loaded sideways for the pattern to work.

Next I decided to quilt a few minis.  Do you quilt your minis with a long arm?  Most of the time I do.  As long as the backing is big enough, it works great.

The green one is called Lucky Charm.  I bought a kit from Primrose Cottage Quilts on Etsy last year.  I decided to quilt this one with a tiny Pumpkin Seed pattern.  This helped me learn how to align patterns more closely.  Next, I quilted my surprise mini quilt with a basic swirl pattern.  Why is it a surprise?  If you've been following me on Instagram, you've seen many posts lately about my Water Drop QAL.  I've mentioned it a few times here on my blog as well.  Anyway, I had some chunks of fabric left from piecing my top and decided that it would be really fun to make a mini version.  I had some 1.5" half-square triangle paper that fit my leftovers perfectly.  The rest is history.   If you've been a long-time reader, you may remember my Postcard from Sweden quilt and mini.  I like working in mini scale.

I also quilted my full-size Water Drop throw.  I didn't get as far as I had hoped this week with it since I had some other deadlines to meet.  Anyway, here is a quilted, but not bound, in-progress picture.  I quilted this one with Raindrops on Water.  I LOVE how this turned out and I can't wait to get the binding onto it and have a picture with the regular and mini versions together!

I also worked on Nancy's dragonfly quilt.  I quilted it with the Dragonfly Dance pantograph.  Isn't it pretty?

I also quilted and bound a new quilt.  This is called Northbound and the pattern is by Lindsey from Yellow Umbrella Quilts.  Lindsey released this pattern today!  I made my version using Lella Boutique's Gooseberry fabric line.  Yay--I used something from my stash!  I was uninspired by the project I originally had set this fabric aside for, and when the opportunity to test Northbound came up, every single piece of fabric I needed was the exact amount I'd set aside.  It was meant to be!  I quilted this one with Ginger Snap and machine bound it.

And now for the garden and cooking updates.

Pears finally went on sale, so I had my husband get some when he went grocery shopping.  Canned pears are my favorite.  I actually prefer canned over fresh.  Anyway, I had enough for six pints with a few leftovers I ate for lunch the day I canned.

You might notice the jar on the left looks funny.  I dropped it when taking it out of the water bath.  Amazingly, the jar did not break, but it bend the ring and the lid, which then unsealed.  So we ate that jar of pears for dinner and I have five for the pantry. 

The monarch chrysalises are still there.  I think we have found around 10 now.  Three have hatched, one was eaten by worms and did not survive, one has been black for a week now so we think it won't survive, a few have a few black spots on them, and the rest are shades of green.  We've also had two caterpillars assume the position and then shrivel up and die.  

I replanted peas and lettuce.  I think the chipmunks have eaten all my peas, because they had sprouted and now there is only one plant left.  And I saw chipmunks running through that bed.  Most of the lettuce is coming up.  I hope it survives the chipmunks.  My compost tomato plant still has some fruit on it, but it has been cold at night and they are not progressing.  I might have to pick them and ripen them on the counter.

I'm trying to block out all the depressing national and local news.  We don't have network channels anymore, so while I miss Jeopardy immensely, I am happy to avoid all the political ads.  I often wonder if those ads actually persuade anyone.  Things are just so ugly in the world right now.  

I was devastated by the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  What a champion of equal rights she was.  Let's take a moment to honor her memory.

Linking with Longarm Learning at Rebecca Grace Quilting, My Quilt Infatuation, and For the love of geese.

Need quilting?  Visit my quilting business website to book.

The IntelliQuilter Has Arrived

After several long months of waiting, my IntelliQuilter finally arrived last Friday.  


We got it set up over the weekend. Here it is in progress.

Then I started stitching out samples to see how it works.  I was having a terrible time with tension.  I tried using the Towa gauge to see what the bobbin tension was and the indicator just jumped all over the place.  We loosened the tension spring on the case to the point of the screw falling out.  Still too tight.  Oh, and in case you wondered, if you completely remove the screw and try to sew, the machine will not pick up the bobbin thread.  We undid the top tension almost to the point of falling off.  Still bad.  I should mention here that I was using 50 wt thread on the top and a magnetic 60 wt bobbin.

I got to thinking about it, and the bobbin case I was using is one that I bought from a dealer, though NOT my dealer.  The case was cheaper than the standard bobbin case price and it also did not come in a box when it arrived.  I got out one I knew was legit (it had come in a box) and compared it.  Yep--the cheaper one was missing the Towa symbol on the case.  

I tried out the Towa original case and everything magically got better; I could actually get a reading on the Towa gauge as well.  Moral of the story:  don't buy a case that is a good bit cheaper than normal.  Be really careful to make sure the listing specifically states that it is an APQS product, not just that "it fits".  Not worth the agony and the wasted time.  The knock-off case did work well with the Glide 40wt magnetic bobbin when quilting by hand, so it's not a total loss, but why would a dealer sell a knock-off and not the real thing?  At least offer both or say outright that it is a generic.

So...back to trying out the iQ.  I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how to set up a quilt, how to adjust patterns to my liking, and how to realign after advancing the quilt.  It's very easy to get nice tension with the Lucey for hand-guided, but I haven't hit on the perfect tension for the iQ yet (and why is it different???), so I will keep trying that today; I had to buy more practice fabric.  My goal today is to perfect the tension, quilt a few of my own quilts for more practice, then, once I'm satisfied with how things look, start in on the pile of client quilts that are waiting for me.  I will not touch my clients' quilts until I'm sure I can provide the level of quality I want.

Things I like about the iQ so far:  much, much faster than the previous system (Quilter's Creative Touch/same as Quilt Path), both in the computer speed and the stitch out speed, no belts to adjust, more precise stitch outs, being able to set things up exactly how I want them and being able to independently adjust each thing, being able to chose precise points and zoom in precisely to where I want something. Things I'm not so fond of: learning how to set the motor speed and the detail/speed settings to the optimal combination to get the look I want. 

I have finished one of my two bindings that are this month's goal.  I decided to start with the smaller one to feel a sense of accomplishment.  I made this quilt in April with the old long arm and it's been waiting all this time.  The quilting design I used is called Faster Posies.  It's so cute.

Here's a look at the other quilt I need to finish binding--I'm about half way now.  It's quilted with the design Hot Cross Buns.  

I also want to share a few of the customer quilts I worked on recently while waiting for the iQ.

First is this heart quilt made by Amber.  It was quite large at 107" x 105".  I quilted it with a hand-guided loopy meander using Glide thread, which is a heavier weight and has a sheen.

Next is the 94" x 105" kite quilt made by Keetah.  The colors were so soft and girly.  I used the same loopy meander and Glide thread on this one.

I want to share Annie's Unity quilt again.  I quilted this one with Knit 1, Purl 2.  Annie did a lovely photo shoot with her quilt once she finished binding it.  Isn't it just beautiful?

I am so thankful that I get to work on so many beautiful, precious quilts.  If you're looking for a long arm quilter, I'd love to work with you.  My specialty is computerized edge-to-edge quilting with a nice density and I offer hand-guided loopy meander (like what is shown on Amber's and Keetah's quilts above) as well. My goal is to have your quilt back to you within two weeks. You can stop by my business website to find out more.  

Be sure to stop by my friend Denise's blog,, this week.  She's participating in a blog hop--there are contest giveaways!--and you will find a sale code too.  :)

If you've visited in the past, you know that I talk about my garden and nature in my yard quite often.  I'm happy to report that we have now found seven monarch chrysalises around the yard and two empty ones.  And the one that got eaten.  :'(  Plus we found two caterpillars getting reading to transform.  I was really surprised to find two chrysalises hanging on the dead flowers of a lamb's ear plant.  That doesn't seem like the most stable, safe place to rest.  They are right outside the front door.

Most of my gardens need to be weeded, deadheaded, and cleaned up in general.  Just not feeling like doing it yet.  Plus we've been hazy and smoky from the wildfires out west, so the air quality isn't great.  And now I'm scared I'd accidentally disturb the monarchs.  

Finally, I have to share this story.  We have a Google Nest doorbell because my sewing room is in the basement.  I kept getting notifications on my phone that someone was at the door, or motion was detected, lots in a row.  When I clicked on the app, no one was at the door.  Then I remembered I have the Hub or whatever it's called, so I opened up the door view on there.  Still nothing, though I thought I might have seen a flash of something.  My daughter was in the room with me, so we both looked.  All the sudden...there:

Can you see it?  A cricket was crawling around over the camera on the doorbell!  And with that, I leave you until next week.  Happy quilting!