Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Studio Redo...

Who knew that in a mere five years one could accumulate so much... Yes, I must admit, I am a collector. No, not anything in particular... I just collect! I am about to share pictures with you of an awful mess -- those who are neat freaks and/or offended with messy chaos should turn away.

The studio redo all started with a request for extra lighting. Perhaps I should start with... a five year old request for extra lighting. Oh, and by the way, my husband is an electrician. That would explain the five year wait right? Yep, shoemaker's kids never have shoes and electrician's wife quilts in the dark! Until now...

I do have to mention that since installing the lights the fan has requested a raise. The high-hat lights add just a wee bit of extra heat along with the extra light; so the fan runs just a little faster than normal now.

Okay, on to bigger and better adventures. Next is the true mess. Joe decided that since the room was in total disarray why not paint! Why not? Did you know that when you paint everything (yes, everything - even things you didn't know you had) must get piled up somewhere?

I am truly a disorganized pack-rat (and yes I can admit that I have a problem). What most don't know is that between the disorganization and my ADD I actually have mini panic attacks when attempting to organize anything. I hate the part of making a bigger mess while trying to minimize the original mess. This entire process was very difficult for me and thank goodness for my Mom (aka the Organizing Saint). She spent her entire visit here helping me re-find my studio!

Here we have some of my sample stitches, my mermaid, and most of the ribbons back up on the wall. I'm still missing a few ribbons and I also have to get my magazine interview up there. But other than that it's returning to normal.

My awesome husband made me custom thread racks to fit various sizes of thread along with a ruler hanging rack because I am always losing my rulers.

And here is the entire room

It still needs little bits of organizing and the curtains for the french doors are in-process (LOL), but it has come miles and miles in a very short time!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bad Borders Gone Beautiful!

Okay, here is the bad border post. Keep reading, it turns out beautiful in the end...

For those that know me... attaching borders properly is one of my biggest quilting peeves. It is much too easy to fix just about anything that is askew or un-square in your quilt if you attach the borders properly and it only takes a few minutes extra. Any pattern that tells you to cut you borders "x" inches and attach is wrong. Any pattern that tells you to sew your fabric on and then square-up the ends is wrong. The proper way to cut and attach a border is to take three measurements -- one down the center and one of each side. You then take the average of these three numbers and cut your side borders that measurement. You pin it at the center, and also at each end, then you ease the fabric between the pins -- sometimes you have to ease the quilt, sometimes you ease the borders. You then repeat this process with the top and bottoms borders, measuring each, and also across the center and then use the average of those three measurements for cutting your top and bottom borders. See, a few extra minutes will totally correct any issues in your quilt top and result in beautifully smooth non-pucked un-wavy borders.

So, I was working on a quilt... and guess what... yep, wavy, ripply, OMG borders. Here are some before and after pictures while I was working on the quilt:

And, after all that pulling, pinning, tucking, smoothing, and meandering, here is the finished quilt:
In the end the quilt turned out beautiful.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gammill dilemma...

The other day I was quilting along when... plop. Yep, just plop. My tension assembly fell out.

No, prior to the plop I did not experience tension problems, and the best part... the machine kept stitching away. It was I who stopped to scream and grab the oily assembly off the quilt as fast as possible. The only thought going through my mind was "oh no... it's 5:30 pm who can still Fedex today!" I called my longarmer friend Natalie to see if this had ever happened to her... Nope! But, good news... she happened to have a brand new tension assembly! YEAH, joyous news -- now I only had to wonder if this were the only problem...

Anyway -- two hours and a new tension assembly later the machine was back up and running smoothly. It turned out that the set screw that holds the tension assembly in place was worn and my assembly was still good, just "old" -- could use new pads and springs, so its new purpose in life will be the emergency-use assembly!

Needless to say, it was just another daily dilemma in the life of a longarmer. Oh, and not a single drop of oil got on the quilt - woohoo!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Long overdue...

Wow, it has been almost three weeks since my last post. I knew I was overdue for a post, but never realized it had been that long. So very sorry to my blogger fans, that was extremely rude of me.

Okay, a quick summary of customer quilts would go like this...
Jeri's "Grandmother's House" -- super cute!

Jeri's Santa Sampler -- another super cutie!!

Darlene's star quilt (it reminds me of summer and watermelons).
Penny's two Baltimore Halloween quilts.

Yes, I know... the studio walls have been painted... the details are coming in another post!

Mary's Feathered Goose -- an awesome pattern by Judy Niemeyer

Ruth's Baltimore Album (raffle quilt for the Blandford, MA fair)

Okay... that sums up almost everything. I say almost because I will have a separate post on another "bad border" quilt, a separate post on my latest machine dilemma, and also on my studio redo. I didn't want to overwhelm everyone -- LOL, no posts for three weeks and then bam! For those of you that follow on facebook this is all old news. But for those that don't I will soon be back to my normal posting schedule. Thanks for bearing with me!