I spy with my own eyes…

Happy Monday, Friends!  I am exhausted, but I was most excited heading out to the Post Office this morning posting my two quilts to their respective destinations.

In one of my quilts, I spy with my own eyes….

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… fabrics from Nancy Gere’s Low Country Indigo for Windham.   Read about Nancy’s fabrics here.

You know I love history, but the funny thing is that I really haven’t worked with any historic-themed fabrics until very recently.  I couldn’t be happier and excited about the prospect!!!  Stay tuned for some designs coming up I did using more reproduction lines — SO excited is all I can say.

So — curious mind wants to know if you like using reproduction fabrics in your quilts.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a lovely week ahead.  It’s time for me to catch up with laundry and housework… or, Miss Baby is going to say, “Mom, I don’t mean to nag, but I think you need to dust this lamp! I am seeing powdery dust on it.”  Yeah, about that… I shall get right on it!  Thus, the reason why my sister calls me the overqualified maid and underpaid chauffeur.

THE MACHINE THAT COULD #1 & Quilty THIS OR THAT #8

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you had a great weekend.  I worked (am still working) on this.  So far, I think I already have about 35 fabrics in it.  I was tempted to show you just how crazy my piles of fabric are for this project.  I decided against it because the sight is totally unappealing!

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SO, a couple of Fridays ago, I mentioned about unpacking a huge box that has the machine. I am happy to tell you the machine which I have nicknamed The Machine That Could is a Bernina 770 QE!

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One of the neat features that I love about the 7-series is their “eco” feature that acts as a power safe as well as child safety mode.  I like that the machine “locks” itself up when I am not at my machine because I do have a little one at home. Miss Baby was taught really young to have a healthy respect for my tools of trade, and we have never had any mishaps!  Nonetheless, the other kids that come through our door might not…

This machine is a little different from my Artista 640.  So, any chance I have before bed, whether it be midnight or 3am in the morning, I squeeze in time to read the manual, and marking the pertinent pages of information!

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Now to my obsession of reading manuals — when I think on it, I can actually remember reading the manual of my Dad’s Casio semi-scientific calculator when I was a kid!  Fast forward to my former life in the research lab… Since safety was a big deal, and the equipment with which I worked could be potentially hazardous (like burning the eyeball out if I accidentally look in straight at a high-power laser beam – and I am NOT exaggerating), I would spend days reading and re-reading (out of fear!) the operation manual of the equipment before I even turned on the power switch.  That eventually became a habit that I have maintained till this day.  I am a manual reader – if something comes with a manual, I always read it first… just in case!

And I have read the section about oiling the machine about 5 times now — this is for Dan at Rogers Sewing Center.

So, our latest installment of Quilty THIS or THAT is… Manual Reading, or NOT?  Or only when that dumb thing still doesn’t work?  This curious cat is anxious to know your answers! Remember, there is no right or wrong answer in our THIS or THAT game! :)

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Thank you for stopping by.  I will have much more to share about the Bernina B770 machine soon! Have a lovely rest of your week!

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Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #1. Click here for Vicki’s follow up post.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #2.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #3.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #5.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #6.

Click here for Quilty THIS OR THAT #7.

Preview of Upcoming Project & Life

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope your week got off a stupendous start!  Here is a quick preview of a project I completed over the weekend.  For this particular view of the project, I call it convergence

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Indeed, convergence seems to describe my life today!  I was out shipping the project to the editor at the Post Office. The Post Office was so crowded that I felt like the entire population of the city in which I live converged at that particular moment at the Post Office.  Then, I was at the gas station where there were at least 3-4 cars converging at each of the 12 bays.  And then…. the traffic, I honestly didn’t quite know from where all the cars had come!  I ran three simple and little errands only about 5 miles from where I live, and it took 2 hours!  I tell you…. city life!  I love where I live, 99.999% of the time.  But today on the way home, I longed for a retreat to the country where traffic jam is considered as having 5 cars on the road at the same time!

I also have deadlines converging on me this week.  So, I thought perhaps the “convergence” theme was quilted over the weekend as a foreshadowing of my life this week… ha!

Please don’t read that as me complaining about life.  I really have nothing to complain about. Life is just… life!  And I am reminded that God’s grace is always sufficient for whatever life circumstances in which He places me.

Have a great week, Dear Friends!  I hope you are all well, healthy and still enjoying your summer.

p.s.  THANK YOU for entering my Color & Count giveaway.  I read every single comment that you have left.  There is still time to win some cute fabrics!

Sheer Sherbet : Preview

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you are doing well. I came through a rather stressful weekend trying to finish a quilt to ship this morning.  It’s really not a hard quilt, but for some reason, I kept making dumb mistakes.  A friend told me that happened to her a couple of weeks ago — and I guess it was my turn over the weekend.  BUT… I did get it done!  What’s the loss of a few hours of sleep especially when one gets to work with these Sherbet-ish fabrics, right? So, from these fabrics,…

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…. four fabrics made it into the quilt!

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I tried out this cheerful variegated thread from Aurifil — and loved the effect.  The color is 4659 (I call it Peach Cobbler) in case you are interested and want to get some for yourself. Here is a close-up to show you the peachy effect of the variagated thred. :)

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There are way cooler quilting effects in Sheer Sherbert – can’t wait to share them with you! Thank you for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later.

Patch upon patch: Sneak Peek #1

So…. I have been listening to Anne of Green Gables in audio book format while I work, and came across the following quote that brought a smile to my face.

“I do NOT like patchwork,” said Anne dolefully, hunting out her workbasket and sitting down before a little heap of red and white diamonds with a sigh. “I think some kinds of sewing would be nice; but there’s no scope for imagination in patchwork. It’s just one little seam after another and you never seem to be getting anywhere. But of course I’d rather be Anne of Green Gables sewing patchwork than Anne of any other place with nothing to do but play.”                                                                        ~Chapter 13, Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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I have been working with small pieces the last couple of days… My 9-patch units, shown in image below, finish at 3″ x 3″.  I am using my little trick here to make the units.  Most of you know I don’t always enjoy piecing, so I kind of empathize Anne of Green Gables with her assessment of patchwork.  But I do not agree with Anne about patchwork having no scope of imagination.  I think there is plenty of imagination to be had in sewing up the “seamingly” endless seams. :)  This particular quilt has a non-negotiable deadline because it is going to travel far for an overseas publication.

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Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek of Miss Baby’s latest stitching project.  She thinks she has arrived being able to stitch with variegated thread… ha!

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And on and off while I am supervising Miss Baby’s violin practices, I have been stitching a little… a very little… on Miss Baby’s birth sampler.

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And if you’re curious about the overall look so far…

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That’s all for now, Dear Friends.  Back to patchwork-ing I must go!!!  Thanks for stopping by.  Hugs to you all.

Engineer vs. Artist: Sneak Peeks

Hello Friends, I meant to check in yesterday, but I had an Engineer vs. Artist moment (thus the name of the quilt for now), and the Artist won.  You see, when piecing is involved, I am all engineer because of the precision aspect of things.  Then, when it comes time to decide what to quilt, oftentimes the engineer within me takes over for the efficiency aspect of things, due to project deadlines, and I have to be efficient with what I quilt within the amount of time I have…. but yesterday, the Artist in me won!

I was already late because the piecing took longer – piecing ALWAYS takes longer for me because I am a snail-speed piecer. I knew I had a limited amount of time to quilt the quilt.  I could just quickly quilt an allover motif, and be efficient, or I could go all out and quilt fancy, and really add to the quilt.  The battle raged on fiercely (!), and finally, the Artist won!

I won’t tell you how much sleep I got last night, because I will get in trouble should my Mom check in and read the post. ;) But suffice it to say all those all-nighters I had in engineering school amply prepared for a stint like last night’s!

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I was glad the Artist in me won in the quilting department of this quilt.  I really like the result. But the icing on the cake was when Miss Baby came downstairs and saw the quilt this morning… she said, “WOW, Mom…. this quilt is so pretty now (that it’s quilted)!” I guess she wasn’t quite sure about it before, and was too nice to say anything negative.

This quilt is now on its way to the editor.  Whether they would let me officially name the quilt “Engineer vs. Artist” remains to be seen.

Thank you for stopping by!  I need to start on the next few things on my list.  I shall catch up with you later.

p.s.  Through today only, you can still get my book Recreating Antique Quilts at a discount at my publisher’s website. Click here to purchase the book.

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Counting My Blessings: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I managed to find a green hair bow for Miss Baby that totally mis-matches her uniform for school this morning.  But a girl has to have a touch of green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Even though I am struggling to keep up with my schedules, I am counting my blessings!

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And when I count my blessings, I count you many times over!  Thank you again for your encouragement — please know that I am very appreciative.  I’d better get back to work.  Have a most lovely day, Dear Friends!

p.s.  Please know that if you have emailed me within the last two weeks and haven’t heard back from me, I am most certainly not ignoring you!  I am ever so slowly digging my way through my exploded inbox – that feels more like a 30ft sinkhole!

p.s.s. Have you voted in the latest round of March Madness at Sew in Love {with Fabric}? Click here to go vote if you haven’t.  Seven  of my designs made the last 16.

Calm Assurance: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, it sure was nice being able to ship out another quilt — albeit I had 45 minutes to pack the quilt, make a mad dash to the Post Office, and in time to pick up Miss Baby from school. But at least it is on its way to the editor.

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I tried out a new allover quilting motif on Calm Assurance.   It is not my original.  I think it is one done by Patsy Thompson although I am not certain.  This motif has LOTS of movement, and turned out to be perfect for a very geometric quilt.  But it took my little pea brain quite a bit to figure out moving one cluster of  “Palm Tree Leaves in a Monsoon” (that’s what this motif reminds me of) to the next.  And here I am, calling the quilt Calm Assurance.   HA!

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A few weeks ago, Miss Baby music teacher impressed upon her that a teacher should always still be learning and practicing.  It resonated with me because I believe a quilting person is one who keeps on learning as well.  My thoughts on that are sprinkled here in this post.  My Palm Tree Leaves in a Monsoon can use to improve, I think — and I can’t wait to quilt the motif on another quilt to fine tune my stitching path, my swirl curvature etc.  And there’s another thing Miss Baby’s music teacher stresses – to perfect the basics, and THEN one can build on the basics! He cannot be more right than that!

I hope you are doing just that, my dear quilting friends!  Thank you for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later.

Autumn Comfort: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, here is peek of another finished project!

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I have traditionally used quite a bit of neutral (white, cream and gray) in my designs for contrast. For Autumn Comfort, I experimented with not using any white or cream at all!  I have to say it’s nice to get out of one’s box and do something totally different and expected — because the result was (in this case) unexpectedly pleasing as well!

I also experimented with my Sand Dunes background quilting to go with feather quilting in this project.  More about that tomorrow — so remember to come back for a seriously overdue Thread Talk post!

So, what are you working on today?  Thanks for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later. Ciao!

Malady, Mistakes, Momentary Setback, Motivation!

Hello Friends, I have been working with these fabrics, and they are entirely related to my drama earlier this week, though not responsible.  am to be blamed.

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Malady — Over the weekend, I had a relapse of my flu I had a few weeks ago.  So I was back to the head pressure, Muscle aches etc.  You get the idea.  But then since I had looming deadlines, and the fact that I wasn’t flat on my back… I kept going.

MistakesMonday Morning, I was feeling pretty good about my quilt top because all I had left was 5-6 blocks, and I would be able to get the quilt done within the next 12 hours or so…. until I noticed 24 of the completed blocks had to be redone due to glaring Mistakes!!!  What a Mess!  Don’t get me wrong — the construction had been so Much fun!  The quilt is a fun quilt, I promise!!!

[Are you seeing all my M words yet?! HA.]

Momentary setback — I had planned to have the quilt completed and shipped yesterday!  The thought of having to take out stitches and redoing all 24 blocks sent me straight to the depths of the Mires of Melancholy. There was quite a bit of feeling sorry going around in our house that day. My husband felt sorry for me.  Miss Baby felt sorry for me.  I felt sorry for me.

Motivation — An editorial assignment is something to be Made happen – and that is the Motivation I needed to keep going on!  So, Many hours later (the un-stitching and re-stitching took the longest), and Motivational speeches directed to myself, I have a sneak preview for you!

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I have to say that I am thankful for the editorial assignments in my life – because they Make sure I complete My quilts!  And that brings up to My next series of questions…

#1.  What you would have done if the quilt wasn’t for work, per se… would you just set the quilt aside for a while and work on something else and then come back to face the Music?

#2.  What tactics you have employed to help you get past Multiples Mistakes you spot on a quilt top — do you just leave them as they are, or do you embark on an un-stitching crusade?

#3.  If you are the type that sets aside the quilt, what do you do to get yourself back to the project?

Thanks for stopping by – please note the humorous undertone of this post!  I am not about to jump off a cliff (though the thought Might have flashed through My Mind for a Millisecond). Hugs to you all.  Till next time!

Winter Blues: Sneak Peeks

Friends, it’s one thing when the weather is bitterly cold, but it’s totally different when a wind advisory is added to the bitter cold!  We had the cold and wind today.

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Here are a couple of sneak peeks of my Winter Blues quilt:

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I shall close out today’s post with just a few more visions of blues – my kind of blues! :)

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And here is a quilt named China Blue I made for Quilt Magazine in 2012.  Click here to read more about the quilt.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have yourself a lovely weekend, won’t you?  Hugs to you all — I shall catch up with you next week!

Project Sneak Peek & Fabric Preview & Giveaways

Happy Monday, Dear Friends!  I hope you are doing well, and your week has gotten with a great start!  Since showing you the precut bundles featuring Pat Sloan’s The Sweet Life fabrics, I have completed this sweet project.  More details to come.

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IMG_9205I have been playing with these blue precuts from Island Batik!  So tell me, are you one who would make a blue/white quilt?

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Meanwhile,  there is still time to enter the following giveaways:

1.  Benartex Leap Frog FQ bundle, offered on Sew in Love {with fabric}’s Novelty Prints blog hop.  I shared a tutorial for a quick pillow caddy project.  Click here to find out more.

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2.  QuiltShopGal is offering a giveaway of a copy of Fons and Porter’s Table Toppers book here. You see, the cover table topper is designed and made by yours truly.  You can read more about it here.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  I shall catch up with you tomorrow!