Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kaleidoscope Memories

Although I finished the Kaleidoscope quilt back in September, I gifted it January, when I was able to hand it to our friends in Minneapolis.  Yes, that was 6 months ago...  Well, I am posting some more pictures of it because I found these on my camera and just felt like putting them up :)

Our friends loved it, and agreed to pose it on the wall where it will eventually live. They both have great eyes for art and design, so I hope it meets their high standards!  I installed a hanging sleeve, so hopefully it is up and being appreciated right now :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer in the West

We are spending another summer out West.  This time we are in Oregon, making memories with my sister and her family!  Eight kids, seven adults, three pools, two trampolines and one BIG house makes for a hectic and fun summer!

It has been HOT so far.  A week of mid- to upper 90's and a couple days we hit 100 degrees, so there's no shortage of sun around here.  Above is a picture my nephew on the Oregon coast, where it was almost 30 degrees cooler last week.

As is my M.O., shortly after arriving in town, I hit a couple of the local thrift stores in search of quilty things, and wouldn't you know it?  I found a sewing machine to use for the summer :)  The king size quilt top I made for my sister has been sitting in a box for a year and a half, waiting to get bound after it was quilted by a local with a long arm machine.  My little project during my visit is to bind it for her, so I needed a machine, right?  Well, I probably should have just borrowed one from someone in town, but then how can you resist a bargain like this... Anyhow, back to the thrift store...  After 5 minutes of wandering around the store I see someone pushing a shopping cart full of sewing machines toward the housewares section.  Now that was like a Largemouth Bass seeing a frog swim by!!!  I stalked him until he began unloading his treasures.  One of the first things he put on the shelf was this Bernina 1000 Designer machine.

Similar to the still-in-production Bernina 1008, this mechanical machine is prized by the Amish and Mennonite communities because the motors can be removed and the machines worked with a treadle- the main difference between mine and the 1008 is that mine was made in Switzerland rather than Thailand.

I snatched it up lickety-split, and after a quick plug-in test, I brought it home.  It doesn't have an extension table or any feet, and the bulb was burnt out, but it ran in the store so I figured it was worth dropping $30 in hopes that it worked OK.

After a stop at the local Bernina dealer I got a piecing foot ($5) and some jealous Oohhhs and Aahhhs from the technician, who said it was worth $1000!!! That was welcome news, as I already have a 440 QE at home, and don't really want to lug this on the plane ride home!

After the initial test run at home, it emitted this electrical burning smell and the bulb didn't work, so I brought it in to the technician, who said it wasn't just a burnt out bulb, but an electrical problem, which could be dangerous if not fixed.  So...$121 later it's tuned, purring like a kitten and...still smelling like a small electrical fire!  I will take it back in when I finish my goal project of binding my sister's quilt.

Here's the quilt on the long arm, with just a few stitches finished.  Duck Duck Berry Duck is the name of this quilt, and here's a blog post about it.  It looks great with a generic flame-like quilt pattern (sister didn't want any flowers) in green.  On second thought, I should have gone with a yellow thread, but live and learn- I think the green detracts a little from the quilt top design, but that's only a minor gripe.  It looks fantastic, and even better to have such a large top quilted by someone else!!!  It gives me a headache imagining doing that on my home machine...NO THANKS!

I also completed a few gift projects for my daughter and her cousins: the girls got FROZEN tube-top dresses and the boys got custom pillowcases (two got Pokeman fabric and one got antique cars and baseballs).  Picture to come!