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Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's *big*

I know some of you may have thought that this would never happen, but I've finally finished the Winding Ways quilt top. ;) Yes, that's just the top that's finished. The next step will be to make the backing and take everything to my friend Gerda, who has promised to baste it for me on her longarm when she gets time. I don't even want to think about trying to baste something of this size, though I am going to quilt it myself on my Bernina 630. Anyway, this is a milestone in the making of this large quilt -- I really do prefer making smaller ones. ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

It really *was* fun!

I'm back from the Clean & Sew I mentioned yesterday, and it was lots of fun! It was a small class, and we each had a new Bernina 830 to use. Wow! What a machine! It's not coming home with me (though I'd love that extra harp space for quilting ), but I'm so impressed with its capabilities. We had a crash course on some machine embroidery techniques and came away with a pillow, complete except for adding the buttons that close the flap in the back and which I've since sewn on. 

The only machine embroidery I've ever done before today was free motion, so this was very different. We used some built-in decorative stitches, put them together into a "stitch recipe" (combination) for the design at the top right. Then we took a built-in embroidery motif and added a monogram for the bottom section. To form the feathers on the left, we used a built-in motif from a set designed Diane Gaudynski. Then we even used embroidery to make buttonholes for the back! 

The quilt shop provided all of the materials, including the pillow form to put inside the piece we made, and while we were sewing/embroidering my own wonderful Bernina 630 was getting a "spa treatment". What a fun way to spend a day! :D

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Packing up my machine ....

A couple of weeks ago, I received this invitation in the mail, and it sounds like such fun! :)

"My" LQS -- located a dangerous five minutes from home -- is Quiltique (that's their logo you see on the invitation), a beautiful store that's also a Bernina dealership. They've invited customers to come and sew on the wonderful Bernina 830 while their tech cleans and services our own machines. What a deal, huh?  Naturally, I expect they want to sell us either an 830 or an 820, but I can't afford one, nor would my almost-new sewing cabinet handle the weight of one, even if I weren't still in love with my 630. But who could pass up a generous offer like this one of having some fun sewing time and getting a free servicing? I'll be packing up my machine later today and heading for Quiltique tomorrow! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Winding Ways progress

I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything about the Winding Ways quilt I've been working on. That's mostly because I've been procrastinating and letting other things get in the way of working on it. I have to admit that I prefer making smaller quilts; bed-sized quilts just don't have the same appeal for me. However, we need a new quilt for our bed, and this one will be more like a bedspread, since it will come down almost to the floor. So it's onward with the project. :)

Today I finally finished putting all of the blocks and rows together! Yay! Now I need to cut the strips for the mitered borders, and this is where my next challenge comes in. That's because I've decided that my original choice of one of the three fabrics I will use is really not good. Do I have enough leftover fabric of one of the others that would work better? Stay tuned. ;) Meanwhile, here's what the center looks like -- and it's not really a trapezoid. I just don't have a design wall yet, so the quilt center is on the floor and I can't get up high enough to take a good photo. Oh well -- you'll get the idea. Do you see the circles?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Speaking of food ...

I've been meaning to try a particular recipe I found on the King Arthur Flour site, and today I finally got around to it. They have lots of really scrumptious-sounding recipes there, and this one sounded really good. They're called Scone Nibbles (click the link for the recipe). Unfortunately, my grocery store was temporarily out of the mini chocolate chips the recipe calls for, so I substituted Heath English Toffee Bits, thinking they'd be pretty tasty. They are, but I think the chocolate chips would be better. Still, these little scones are easy to make, and they're just the right size for a bite or two. They'd be good with breakfast or with a cup of tea or coffee. :) The glaze will help keep them fresh, too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Food ...

Since I've been writing as many food-related posts as quilt-related posts, and since someone suggested that this might be a good idea, I've decided to add a recipe section to my blog. I won't be able to add some of the recipes I use, as they're in French. Okay, I could translate them, but the French tend to use weight for measuring, while we in the US tend to use volume. It's the difference between cups and grams, for example. I simply don't want to spend the time weighing everything and then also figuring out how much that might be in volume, so I'll only post recipes that will work easily here in the US. It will save frustration on most of our parts. ;) 

I also won't be posting recipes that I've pulled from other sites and then linked to in my posts -- fair is fair, after all. Going to the links in my posts is merely a matter of a little click.

At any rate, I've now placed a link at the left (below the Labels list) to the recipes page of my blog. I hope you enjoy something there. :)