Saturday, February 6, 2016


Once again, I have neglected to update what is going on in Kentucky. Aside from the day to day operations at home… dogs, husband, guilds and house, we have had two major weather interruptions. One was for a ‘Snowmageddon’ type thing, which means more than a couple of inches of snow at one time. We did get a bunch of snow… about 8” overall, but certainly not the 12-14 plus inches that was hyped every day for a week on the weather. It snowed for almost 24 hours, but it was a nice dry powdery snow, and wasn’t the predicted wet and heavy… which is probably what kept it from becoming a disaster in Northern Kentucky. The second was in the last week, where a warm front and a cold front collided right over the Ohio River and was predicted to be more like a springtime storm system, which would spawn heavy wind, rains and tornadoes. Thankfully we only had a short spell of heavy wind and lots of rain.  Both storms required being prepared for long power outages and sheltering in place. Somehow Kentucky missed the memo on moving infrastructure underground, so we still have many of the power lines above ground for the trees, snow and ice to bring down.
I was slated to go to Tennessee for my second class from the distributor where we get more information on maintenance and some other longarm practice and fills. But the storm (with the predictions of ice) made me cancel my plans to go. I was going to pickup a couple of add on items for the system… But those will have to wait a few weeks longer.

In the meantime!

I have been playing in the studios!!! Both of them. Not much to show from the upstairs Creative Space… Although I have been working up there, preparing things for the downstairs Longarm Studio. I spent the first 2 weeks after the Longarm was set up, playing with a practice piece. I pre prepared it by marking some squares and lines and stencils…. 

Practice Piece#1
And once I did those things I filled in the empty space with some free motion doodling, just trying to get a feel for driving the machine rather than the quilt. IT IS VERY DIFFERENT!!! It felt at first like I was trying to drive a fish.  It was also very frustrating in the beginning, because the Leaders (what all the fabric parts are attached to on the frame) were a little too long and made advancing the quilt very difficult. 

Once those were replaced I put another practice piece on … and this time was going to do the same thing as before… mostly just playing.

I read, watched or heard that one of the best ways to work through some of the LA issues was to load a pantograph and do it to the end of the loaded sandwich, and when you are done change thread colors and do it again and again. I did it 2.5 times, put on a different pantograph and did it a few more times. The bobbin and top thread are different…. On the whole piece. I wanted to learn to balance the tension. And I DID! Neither color shows on either side, except where the new thread or bobbin came on line. YAY. It is one of the more difficult things to get done on a longarm… Of course that was with very similar threads and weights. But once I start experimenting with other threads, content and weights it might change, dramatically.

I loaded a top next. This top came from a stack of blocks I picked up somewhere in Virginia by way of a bonus…. Not what I would have purchased, but I threw them in the UFO/Orphan block box. I pulled them out, and sashed them with similar types of prints just to get it into a top large enough to quilt. I did not spend a huge amount of time constructing this nor cost of a border or backing. The blocks were made (by others) in a swap with various construction methods, various seam allowances, and each finished block size varied… and was way out of shape.

This one is to be titled Axels Dog Blanket. It is really just for practice/play on the longarm. To help set all the steps of loading, thread, tension, and the actual practice. I backed it with flannel, bright orange and I will bind it with a bright orange cotton as well.
Next I have another top of similar blocks, although these are baskets and had they had even more issues with size and shape, than this first set, and were also part of a swap … I also backed in flannel and quilted… I learned a few things… on this one too. Like bias edges … YUCK!!! It will be titled Linzis Dog Blanket.

Next up? A baby quilt. Well that is the plan at the moment!!

More Later!!!