Apr 30, 2014

Great Granny Sew Along, Week 2

I'm participating in the Great Granny Sew Along, created by Lori at Bee in my Bonnet.
If you're new to this sew along and want to see all the host's blogs, I have them all in one area, on my "Great Granny Sew Along" board on Pinterest, here.
I finished my balls of yarn and crochet hook, it was pretty quick to cut out and sew!
They are all Lori Holt fabrics from "Sew Cherry", except for the blue ball of yarn, it is Lecien.
The crochet hook is Pam Kitty.

I like both blocks together :) 

I won't be posting blocks for this sew along for the next two or three weeks, as I will be out of town.
I won't be able to sew but I will post the current blocks to my Pinterest board as they are made available.
Happy quilting!
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Apr 28, 2014

I love Aurifil thread!

When I first began sewing, and for many years, I would buy my thread at Walmart, or wherever I could find the best deal.
This is hand quilting thread, which I used to run through my pleater when I pleat fabric to smock.
It is strong and durable.

I bought it in lots of pretty colors so that I would always have a good selection.

I used to buy my thread from Joann Fabric store.
I would buy this thread in white and natural colors, for piecing quilts.
Here is the link.
It would break now and then, but I was generally satisfied with the quality.

I found a better quality of machine quilting thread, and I also used it to hand sew bindings onto my finished quilts.

Two years ago, I found out about Aurifil thread, and it has changed my thinking about thread.
I won't use anything but Aurifil.
It never breaks, it's silky, it's strong, it has a nice sheen, and it's easy to thread through the eye of a needle.
It's made in Italy, and is 100% cotton.

Did you know that thread comes in different weights?
I prefer the 50 weight thread for quilting and machine quilting.
It's a little on the expensive side initially, but each spool holds 1422 yards, or 1300 meters of thread.
It lasts forever!
Here is a link to my favorite thread :) 
I only have 3 colors, including white and natural.
I sew with white most of the time.
I have one spool of invisible thread which I use when attaching dresdens to a block.
I discovered that Aurifil makes invisible thread, that will be next on my list!

Yes, I'm a thread snob.
Since I've discovered Aurifil, I won't sew with anything else :)
Here's a link to find the nearest Aurifil dealer near you!
If you haven't tried it yet, have I inspired you to try a spool of Aurifil?
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Apr 25, 2014

Modern Instabee 2014 (April)

I've told you before that I joined the 2014 Modern Instabee.
Our group is hive 11, there are a lot of quilters participating.
This is the book that we are choosing our blocks from.
It's a great book, I would recommend it to anyone.
There are 13 blocks, and they are in 3 different categories.
Beginner blocks, confident blocks, and intermediate blocks.

The quilter who chose the month of April, also chose the Painter's Palette, a beginner block. 
She wanted solid colors only, with a white background.
I don't have very much of a selection in solid colors, but luckily I had some that went well together, in a rainbow assortment.

I think the block turned out really well :)
Won't it make a cute quilt to have these blocks with many different colors?
I searched the internet to find a finished quilt using the "painter's palette" block and couldn't find one.
I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilt, I think it will be very original.
It was a great block to sew, very easy and quick!

If you're interested in seeing more of these finished blocks or any other from Hive 11, go to Instagram and look up #moderninstabeehive11.
If you want to see all of the hives, look up #moderninstabee2014.
Have a great weekend!

Apr 23, 2014

Great Granny Sew Along

I can't resist joining any of Lori Holt's (Bee in my Bonnet) sew alongs!
This is the first block.
A tisket, a tasket, a basket full of yarn, or Easter Eggs :)
I'm using mostly Pam Kitty fabrics, they're so vibrant and cheerful!

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Apr 21, 2014

Bernina 750 QE

A lot of people have asked me why I chose the Bernina 750 QE.  

The machine is huge, and weighs about 50 pounds.
It is not a machine to be lugged to retreats or on airplanes.
It has a really strong and powerful motor compared to a regular machine.
  • The throat area is wide and deep, letting you roll your quilt and fit it really easily to the right of the needle.  Sometimes I even keep a pad of paper with notes on the throat when I am piecing a quilt.

  • As I mentioned before, the motor in the machine is very strong.  No matter what heavy duty sewing I am doing, the motor never sounds strained.
  • I can quilt twice as fast, the speed and versatility is unmatched.
  • There are sensors that alert you when the bobbin is out of thread.  This is a huge help, because I have sewn and sewn and sewn, before I knew I was out of thread.  There is also an alert that lets you know when your needle comes unthreaded.

The bobbin holds 80% more thread than a regular bobbin.

  • The machine comes with a stitch regulator.  I used to have such a difficult time keeping my stitches the same length when I was machine quilting.  Now, the stitch regulator keeps them all the same length no matter what!!!

This is a photo of my actual stitch regulator.

Here is a sample of stipple quilting that I did with my stitch regulator.  All the stitches are even!

There are many different feet you can get for this machine which are unbelievable!  This is my 1/4" foot that has a regulator that you pull down from the back.  It feeds the fabric between the foot and the feed dog without pulling or straining.  I love it!!!  Sewing is so much easier :)

All the feet have a sensor that let you know important facts on the screen monitor.  The foot knows that you can only choose certain stitches and it notifies you accordingly.

I saw a great wavy quilting stitch that I tried on my tee shirt quilt.

It's stitch 4, the width is 4.9 and the length is 2.5

The sewing machine also starts out taking a few stitches in place to stabilize the thread and when you are through sewing a row, you can touch the scissors button and the machine will take a few stitches and then cut the thread for you.
This is what the machine looks like when I turn it on.
It takes about 30 seconds for the computer to load.

I typed a personal greeting :)

You can select from a variety of colors for the background.  I chose aqua.

My Bernina was purchased at an authorized Bernina dealer, and came with 2 free classes from an authorized Bernina dealer.  I learned a lot about my machine but I know there's a lot more to discover.  Another nice feature is an arm that plugs in and you can sew by pressing your knee against it.  This is especially helpful when you are machine quilting. 
I absolutely love my Bernina 750 QE!!!
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Apr 18, 2014

Welcome Home Sean!

My husband and I were so excited for Sean's arrival from Brazil!
He had been traveling for over 24 hours to get here.
A nice lady named Dorothy, who was sitting beside us, offered to take our photo and our reunion photos with Sean :)

People started coming down the escalator.
Someone asked us if our son was tall with blonde hair.
They said that he helped a lady out by holding her baby the whole flight.
Finally, we saw him!!!
What a great feeling that was, after 2 long years!

A nice, tearful long hug for Mom....

and one for Dad :)

It's so wonderful to be reunited again!

It was dark when we arrived home, so you can't see the signs very well.

We took a photo the next day.
Welcome home!
Elder Horst has served the people of Brazil for two years.

Thank you for sharing a huge part of my personal life with me.
Now it's back to sewing :)
Several people have told me they want to buy a new sewing machine and wonder what I like about my Bernina 750 QE.
I always reply to everyone who leaves a comment on my blog.
Sometimes I can't though, because your name isn't connected to your email address.
On Monday, I will review what I love about my sewing machine, the Bernina 750 QE.

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Apr 16, 2014

My missionary son comes home today!

I haven't been able to get much sewing done lately, because.....
we are having a very exciting time around our house today!
Our son has been serving a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
He wrote his favorite scripture on our chalkboard before he left, and I kept it there and wrote new designs underneath.
This is to celebrate his homecoming.
He will arrive today in the early evening, after over 24 hours of travel!
He will be hungry and exhausted, and very emotional.
It must have been heartbreaking to say goodbye to some of the people he has grown to love....I got emotional myself, when I thought about it.
When he left us 2 years ago, he knew he would see us again.
When he left his loved ones in Brazil, he knew he may never see them again.....at least in this life.
He is traveling home with at least 7 other missionaries.
They will be laughing and sleeping and talking in Portuguese about their experiences and what they want to do when they get home.
I am busy making posters, getting American flags pressed, ordering balloons and trying to keep busy until we go to the airport.
Our hearts are full as this part of our lives come to a close.
We were only able to speak to him via Skype 3 times, and emailed each other every Monday.
Now I will be able to put my arms around him, and talk to him in person and hear his stories and get some of my silly unanswered questions answered!
Even though we missed him, it was so worth it!!!
Only my husband and I will be at the airport, we were the only ones at his departure.
We are having a reunion with our 6 children and 9 grandchildren, at the beginning of May, for a week.
We will all enjoy that reunion too.
I will post photos of Sean's homecoming on Friday :)

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Apr 14, 2014

My Sewing Room

This is me in my new sewing room that my husband designed for me! 
We recently moved a mile away from our previous home, and this loft area on the second floor is over twice as big as my previous sewing room.
Now I have room to lay quilts on the floor, etc.

 My paper doll quilt is hanging on the wall, and that is a drafting table that where I cut my large pieces of fabric.

This is an antique sewing machine, it might be a milliner’s machine because it's really little, and a different shape.
 I keep my antique sewing finds (buttons, bias tape, rick rack, etc) in a little wooden box on the table, along with a pitcher that belonged to my great grandmother. Below the table is a wooden pepsi crate that I use to store fat quarters.

This is an interesting piece of furniture that my husband purchased at a consignment shop. I keep all my quilting books in it, and some favorite photos on top. The basket on the floor holds some of my WIP projects.

I love the storage pieces of furniture, the tall pieces have display windows on top and hidden storage on the bottom.

I made a fabric pennant banner and a pom pom banner to hang over the window.

Here’s a closeup.

Behind my sewing table is a lot of fabric, mostly in half yard and 1 yard increments. I try to keep it neat and tidy and it’s easy to choose a piece of fabric when I need it. The storage boxes on top hold odd pieces of fabric which are organized by color.

This red chair is so comfortable and it swivels. I can sit here and do handwork, and when my husband comes upstairs to visit me while I'm sewing, this is where he sits.
The quilts hanging over the railing are waiting to be quilted.

This is a side view of my fabric shelves.

This is my brand new sewing machine, I love it! It’s a Bernina 750 QE and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sew on another sewing machine again. My favorite brand of thread is Aurifil.

This is a closeup of my photos. Me, with three of my grandchildren, my wedding photo, with a Photo Booth slide of my husband, son and I at the California State Fair. The little photo frame is me and my brother when we were small.

This is a close up photo of my cross stitch which won first place at the county fair, many years ago. I love the cross stitched quilt on the brass bed. It symbolizes me as a mom when my children were young. Lots of chaos at times!!!

This is a beautiful cross stitch that my daughter Rebecca made for me. I love it because she spent many hours making it for me and that makes me feel loved and special :)

This is a beautiful poem that my dear friend Joni Hilton, an author and playwright, composed and gave to me. The mat is covered by an antique quilt. I cherish this gift, Joni really put her heart into it and personalized it for me!

This is a closeup of one of the shelves in the tall piece of furniture. My vintage Nancy Drew books that I collect, a beautiful child’s book about quilting, and a music box sewing machine that plays “Buttons and Bows”.
On the middle shelf is a mason jar holding my washi tape collection, a mini Boyd’s bear, sitting on top of “wishes” tickets, and a cute Altoid tin. On the bottom shelf are more fat quarters and my collection of twine in lots of different colors!

This shelf sits above the TV, under the window. Some of my favorite fat quarters are displayed here, along with two beautiful fabric strawberries that my friend Joanna made for me. Woody belongs to my youngest son who will be coming home from a 2 year stay in Brazil, on Wednesday :)
 I have been keeping it for him, because I enjoy having a memento of him in my sewing room.

My husband purchased this clock when he designed the room. I love it and have no trouble seeing the large numbers, wherever I am in the room :)

I keep strips and squares in these clear containers with chalkboard labels. It is so easy to choose pieces for a scrappy quilt project from these bins. It saves a lot of time, since they are already cut to the right size.

 I have some bolts of fabric for backs of quilts, some fabric rick rack on an antique spool, and milk jars full of buttons. The brass bell used by my children when they were sick. They would ring the bell when they needed something.

The fabric “C” is for my name, Cynthia. I have a collection of Anthropologie bowls, each one is different. 
Sometimes I’ll take one out to hold some chocolate to nibble on while I sew.

My mother is a sculptor and she designed the lady quilting in a wing back chair. More pretty trims that make me happy!

My paper doll quilt is all hand appliquéd with lots and lots of hand embroidery.

This is a view of my sewing room as you come up the stairs. Lots of windows and natural light!

I hope you've enjoyed the tour!
Thanks for stopping by :)

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