Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt & A Little Free Motion Quilting

Hello everyone!!  It is so nice to be blogging again.  Thankfully, my son's laptop has not had as many updates as mine.  So far, blogger's system is tolerating my posting from here.  I hope that this will hold out long enough for blogger to finish fixing the problem...

I have not been idle this winter.  Do you remember my first quilt?  Shouldn't be too hard-- I have only worked on two.  LOL  Well, the plunge has been taken to quilt it on my own machine.  The preparation began on the batting... My choice was a thick wool blanket.  I was terrified of bearding, so a layer of cheesecloth was added to each side.  Let the pinning begin! 

The large safety pins were purchased at a discount store.  They are huge.  I bent them to make the sandwiching process easier.  To be honest, my finger and knees were sore by the time it was completed.  My cat sat up on the couch watching the whole time! ;)

It is hard to see, but the center was finished with a simple stitch in the ditch.  (Well simple for someone that is NOT a newbie! ;) )  The process was a lesson in patience for me.  Not only was I trying to get use to this big bundle of a quilt (the blanket was really thick) , but my need for speed was smacked down a few times.  Synchronization with the machine is definitely a necessity to get a nice smooth line.  With it being my first pieced quilt, there were a few flaws here and there to work around. ;)

Then came the free motion quilting.  I could have easily lost my patience over my own inexperience.  First thing learned-- the need to get the pressure from the foot right. My batting was soooo thick.  It was a shock how much it needed to be changed.  Second--  Sit higher than normal to have a birds eye view of my work.  When sitting at normal height, I found myself pulling the quilt causing an unfortunate needle break.  Third--  Never blame the machine.  Yours truly broke two needles by putting them in backwards.  I didn't even know that they could be put in backwards! LOL  That one cost me 20 minutes of hard thinking.  I just laugh, thinking back about it. 

I really had a blast fumbling my way through quilting.  It was something that I never dreamt I could do.  It seriously felt good to practice at a new art.  Hopefully, the future will find me perfecting my technique, but this quilt will always stand tall as being my first of everything in the quilting world.  My pride over floweth on this one.  It means the world to me.  Now, the next decision is the choice of binding.  I hope to have it finished by the end of the month! :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Problems With Blogger

I was determined to start off the New Year by blogging with more frequency. Evidently, Blogger had other ideas. Unfortunately, I have been unable to load pictures for quite some time now to my posts. Blogger says they are working on the problem but here I sit still waiting...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Story for The New Year

Here is a little story that you may have heard before.  It was sent to me from a fellow employee at work, and I just love it...

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 beers...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with a unanimous "yes".

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand...  The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The golf balls are the important things-- your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions-- and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.  The sand is everything else-- the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Spend time with your children.  Spend time with your parents.  Visit your grandparents.  Take your spouse out for dinner.  Play another 18.  There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.  Take care of the golf balls first-- the things that really matter... Set your priorities... The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.  The professor smiled and said, "I'm glad you asked.  The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend."