Friday, February 28, 2014

Change is Good

Pinned this morning via Jo Morton (love her style :0)
This just hit home for me
After a few bumps in the road with my new longarm
Jim came out at the end of his day in the dark and pouring rain to trouble shoot my machine
With a part ordered I am back on the road!

Earlier it was 'what have I done!'
I had to remind myself that I reached a dead end with my previous longarm and in order to grow I walked away from that machine and on to a new one. Change is good! I love my new Innova! 
Hand guided it is all that I was looking for and it makes me Happy!
Moving forward now and not looking back!!! 

Note: Big thank you to my customers for your patience! The plan was to be up and running by March 1st, that's tomorrow. Not quite there, we will be very soon! Jo

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Building a worktable

Yesterday Michael and I rebuilt my worktable. We broke it down to move it across the room to make a space for my longarm under the track lighting. It was about time to take the canvas surface off and flip it over anyway. A couple of people have asked how I build my table so here are some pix...
Start with four wood shelf units. Any type of wood shelf units will work, I picked these up from a home store. Wood is important because I screw into them. They basically become the legs of the table. 
Use two long 2 x 4s to connect a pair lengthwise and screw them on to opposite sides of the shelf units flush to the tops. Space the two sets apart according to the size of your table. Lay 4' x 8' sheets of 3/4 inch flooring grade plywood across the top, cut to size depending on the desired table width and length. It is nice to have some overhang to staple to. Using flat head screws, screw the plywood into the tops of the self units and into the 2 x 4s. My tables are 60 inches wide to accommodate drapery fabrics. This one is a little over 10 feet long.

Next I use soundboard, also available at home stores. I prefer the pressed fiber board over foam type.
Below are additional sheets, also great for a design wall.
They come in 4' x 8'  and 4' x 4' sheets. Cut to the same size as the plywood top. The first pic shows the table with the sound board laid on top. In the pic below I am stapling on fabric to hold the sound board in place. You can glue the boards down and skip this if you prefer. 
Next layer is batting or extra wide felt. I use a pneumatic stable gun which is really nice, but you can use any type stapler. Simply pull the edges under the table and staple.
Last is a layer of cotton canvas. I use a heavy grade and it will last a very long time depending on how you use it. Because of the sound board I can pin into it and with the batting it's a great surface to iron on as well. Below is the finished table with my tableling strips in place and my drapery bar (sets the length for drapery panels) at the end of the table... this is a standard drapery workroom table surface. Most shops build their tables with 4 x 4 legs and 2 x 4 cross ties. I like having the shelving.
You can see the 2 x 4s in these pix. The table is sturdy and works great for quilts too. I use it for pressing, squaring backing, trimming quilts after they are quilted and also for blocking my quilts.

This morning I started putting supplies back on the shelves and bolts of lining under the table.
The rest of the day was putting more items away, set up my desk and a new work space.

A pic of the boards that Michael cut for me and the canvas side leaders I mentioned in my last post.

Tiered, watching the last Olympic events right now. Looking forward to getting back to quilting!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, thanks for stopping by :0) 

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Innova is here!

My Innova longarm has arrived!!!
Set up in my studio and loaded with a pre-printed panel, something easy to practice on.
Definitely a learning curve on Auto Pilot.
 The first parts of the frame that Jim pre-assembled in his shop...

 the frame begins to take shape... back table in place
 The carriage for the sewing head.

Meet Jim and Nicky! The owners of Sew So Shop
 Really nice folk, I would recommend them to anyone interested in an Innova
plus a gorgeous quilt shop, classes, sewing machines, fabric and supplies. 
Well worth the trip or a stop in Yuba City, CA. 
Look for them as vendors at many quilt shows as well.
That's how I first met them two years ago.
 Here she is! All set up. Rollers and leaders on
 Michael made a little table for the mouse
 We have since worked on a few more additions. I made canvas strips to pin to the sides with dowels that Michael cut along with some wood strips to lay across the take up rollers for the single side clamps. He came up with the wonderful idea to add mending brackets to the boards for my magnetic pin bowls. I found a wireless hand held keyboard/mouse that will be helpful. 

Getting everything fine tuned. Considering switching to Reds Snappers and Red E Edges. Change is good, change is not so good. Learning new stuff ~ good, learning new stuff ~ not so good.
Looking forward to getting back into my comfort zone. 
Next: rebuild my worktable and finish the window treatment. 
A few people asked if I planned to name my new longarm, 
thinking about it. Suggestions anyone???

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Getting ready

This quilt top is actually the end of this week's progress.
The week begins with taking down a longarm and getting ready for the arrival of a new one!
Michael and I starting taking the Gammill apart. Moved out all of the boxes that were packed around the frame. Monday morning we had half of my studio empty and ready to finish taking the final parts off the Gammill frame and move the entire longarm to Kathy's shop in Orland. 

With four guys, the frame was disassembled and moved out of the studio. Kathy and Larry had access to a nice enclosed trailer for the move. BIG thank you to all the guys for their help. 
Taking the light bar off the frame
Rollers are in the trailer and the actual machine, PC, monitor and small parts are all safely tucked away in my truck across the street.
Of course, we got so busy I kept forgetting to pick up my camera and take more pix!
Magic... here is the Gammill with a very happy Kathy in her shop!!!

It was stressful, to say the least, just one broken part, a light bulb!!! My son Chris helped with the move and to make sure the PC was reconnected properly, all systems were a go!

Kathy and I after we ran all the system checks and the oil program,
She is ready to quilt :0)
and here is my studio with a big empty space were the Gammill used to be.
My big worktable will be moved into it's place. Now I will have wall space to mount a rack I built for holding bolts of lining. It will also be used to hold rolls of batting. The rest of this week was clearing out the other half of my workroom, removing everything that was packed in, on, under and around my table. There was allot packed into that room. Right now it's all stacked all over the house!
Notice that lovely window treatment? Yes, it's a plastic table cloth with a flannel back held up with nails! This by a person (me) that is fully capable of making really nice window treatments! 
Before taking down my table I did something about that. This is a quilt kit I purchased at our guild's last quilt show from In Stitches, one of our vendors. I rarely buy kits but this was just the right colors (I painted the walls a light grey) and size for one of my work room windows plus the pattern is easy, in fact it is called The Big EZ :0) 
Sashing and corner stones are in the bowl and the four patches are ready.
While cutting out the next pieces I had to make some changes. Just can't leave things alone!
I didn't care for the large floral print and how it got lost. Above is a picture of the original quilt. Using a red Sharpie, I drew in the red frames and like it. So I brought in another fabric, the red, also purchased at the show from a different vendor. Sashed the floral fabric, made a few more changes in the layout, added more of the paisley blocks because I love that fabric.
Quilt top in progress, ready to put more rows together and add the borders...
The finished quilt top with borders (pictured at the top) is ready for my new longarm to arrive...ready to be quilted and then made into a Roman Shade for the studio window. Stay tuned to see how I do that, it's pretty cool. When the shade is down, it looks like there is only a quilt hanging on the wall.

This quilt is so different from my usual style. Very contemporary and not even one HST! 

Today is breaking down the table and getting the room completely clean and ready.
SOON my Innova will be here!  

Update: The reason I made the decision to move my table is to take advantage of the track lighting for the Innova. My Gammill had a light bar which I loved! I choose not to add that option to my new machine (expense) because of the track lighting we installed in my workroom 5 years ago. 

We built my table 5 years ago too and forgot that we built it like a tank! It would have been easier to move the track lighting!!! Happy we did it, now everything is clean and dusted too :0) Batting adds allot of lint in a workroom! Happier that we are done. Putting it back together will be much easier and hopefully this time it will be for 10 years :0)
My worktable in pieces
and the new space for the Innova with lots of light! 
Now I am ready!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Last two quilts!

Last two quilts done on the Gammill. 
First up is a quilt made by Claudia...
in MidWinters Red fabrics. Love these colors and fabrics!!!

Quilted with one of my favs, 
Feather Meander in a gold thread that worked really well with Claudia's backing fabric.

Second quilt also made with stars, this is made by Tammy
Large queen size quilt in golds, yellow and burgundy on a light background.
This beauty is quilted with a variegated gold cotton thread
with Pearls and Swirls. 

It was kind of sad when I unloaded this quilt knowing it was the last one to be done on the Gammill. I am going to miss this wonderful work horse of a machine. I have to admit, there are aspects of this machine I like, as well as one function that the new machine doesn't have on the computer. Update: Innova updates their software frequently and this function IS on my new machine!!! It's at the Sew So Shop in Yuba City right now and Jim is getting it ready! It is available as a stand alone option. I do like the Gammill's frame, it is solid and heavy. Not really looking forward to moving it tho! 

Kathy was here in my studio training on the Gammill both Thursday and Friday. It's so weird to have to stop and think about the things I do and put it into words while showing someone. We were both exhausted and brain dead by Friday afternoon. Kathy did really well, after lunch on Friday she worked on her own for the most part on a jelly roll quilt top she made. 

We were hoping to move the Gammill this weekend but it's raining. Saturday allot, not so bad so far today. Will see if that works out. Update: We ended up with pouring rain so today was out! We are moving the longarm Monday! Yea, after moving lots of boxes this morning, DH and I have all of the leader bars removed, cords tagged and the PC packed up.
Set up time has not been scheduled for the Innova yet. I am not going to put off my set up, I have too many quilts lined up for March and April plus will need time to practice on the Innova.
Thank you to all my customers for your patience :0)

Meanwhile here is something pretty funny. Also posted it on Ramblin' Rows...
 Enjoy your day, stitching away (even in your jammies) !

Saturday, February 1, 2014

More distractions than quilting this week

Only one customer quilt finished this week. A baby quilt made by Donna. Really cute embroidery blocks Donna made on her new embroidery machine. Cute pink sashing and yellow minkee backing. Quilted with FMQing on my Juki with a fill and outline around the embroidery. It's really cute but I can't show you because the distracted person that I am forgot to take a picture before Donna picked it up on Thursday!

While I was working on Donna's quilt on my Juki I did load one of my quilts on the longarm.

Now you'll have a picture to look at :0) I'll post more about this quilt on Ramblin' Rows.

The day before the playoffs I felt a cold coming on. Now two weeks later, tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and yep, still have that cold! Mom has allot going on and I received sad news earlier this week, a long time friend and very close friend of my late husband, had a stroke. Larry Ferguson passed away yesterday. Tough news, the kind that brings what's important in focus and re-setting some priorities. Hard to believe it's the first of February. It's going to be an interesting month breaking down the longarm and setting it up in Kathy's shop. Getting some ideas on reorganizing my longarm studio, setting up my big design wall and a good cleaning! 
Enjoy your weekend, hope you get some stitching in  
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