Monday, June 29, 2015

Designing Monday

I graduated from my Long Arm Quilting class this week and feel like I can tackle loading the quilt and some very easy quilting designs.  We only touched on using pantographs as that is taught in the second part of this class -- someday in the future.

I got half way thru this quilt last week after many thread breaks and two broken needles.

 The teacher had me take it off and committed to having me finish it this week.  So this week was a little different loading a quilt that was half quilted, but we did it and off I went.  Only my first stitch out, the thread broke.  And then it broke again and then the bobbin thread broke and then I had a bunch of skipped stitches.

 The teacher finally decided that the needle was at fault and it did have a burr on the tip when we removed it.  The needles we tried didn't improved the situation.  So then she sent me off to her quilt shop across town to pick up more needles that were a different brand.  This was a good thing as I was getting frustrated and needed a break.  The new needle helped tremendously and I was able to finish with almost no problems, except a few skipped stitches.  I was just glad to stop.  This quilt pattern is a modified Fons & Porter design.

My classmates also finished their projects.  Sue was quilting two pillow shams to go with a king sized quilt top she calls the Monster.  It is made of drapery or upholstery type fabrics that are very heavy.

Joyce made another practice quilt with some Packers fabric and a batik on top.  It was Joyce's birthday so we had to have some carrot cupcakes to celebrate!

Here is Jana, the teacher. She fell last week and injured both her wrists, so now she has splints on both of them.  Her customers had to cut their own fabric at her shop for a few days.  Hope she is feeling better by now.

I have started paper piecing these little trees.  So perfect for the Emerald Woods.  This is Bonnie Hunter's Crabapples pattern.  I have been wanting to make this quilt for a long time and finally it has come to the top of my list.  I have about half of the paper piecing done and I think there are 882  squares that are 1-1/2".  That should keep me out of trouble for awhile.

Check out more beautiful designs on Judy's blog.

Friday, June 26, 2015


My husband and I like to geocache on nice days and when we travel.  We aren't hard core.  It's just a fun pastime to get us out of the house once in awhile to enjoy some fresh air.  I especially like caching when we are in the woods or visiting some new area of the country.  I am particularly amazed at how many places we have visited in our own county that we never knew existed.

Yesterday we went on a new caching adventure called WhereIGo?  This is a little like a scavenger hunt using our iPad.  WhereIGo is an app that sends you to different locations where you collect digital items and at the end of the hunt you are given coordinates for a cache.  Our adventure yesterday took us to Bay Beach, an amusement park in Green Bay.  We used to go to Bay Beach with our kids for picnics and to ride the rides frequently.  Since our kids have grown, this was my first trip back in probably 8 - 10 years.  I thought I would show you a few photos of the park as it has a special down home feel to it. No long lines, no wrist bands, no fingerprint ID.  Just buy some tickets and have some fun.

When you first enter the park you see this beautiful building called the pavilion.  The park started back in the 1890's and my guess is this building was built shortly after.  I know that Franklin Roosevelt made a speech on the front steps in 1934.
 The left wing of the building was used for bumper cars when I first moved here in the 70's, but they now have their own little house.  The pavilion is also used for dances and bingo and other fun activities.

We started our geocache fun on the front steps of the pavilion.  It took us all over the park collecting virtual items.  This park is pretty retro and the rides have been purchased over the years from other parks that are closing down, so there really aren't any new ones.  I love all the kiddy rides...

I remember my kids riding these little boats and one of them missed the edge of the pool when stepping out and got soaked.

The park has had a train for many years and this beautiful depot building was added a few years ago.  
These train cars were donated this past year by a man in Milwaukee who had them stored in a warehouse.  He had never been to Bay Beach, but loved the idea of the park and was happy to give these cars a new home.  They look brand new.
There is a slide.  I love this thing.
It takes one ticket to ride the slide.
There are picnic grounds and at least a half dozen shelters.  
The park is located right on the bay of Green Bay and you can seen water forever.  There used to be bathhouses here for swimming, but that all closed when the water became too polluted.
This Zippin Pippin was added 5 years ago. What is it?
A huge wooden roller coaster.
It is the crowning glory of the park.  Why you might ask?

Because Elvis rode this roller coaster in Memphis.  It was moved to Green Bay and rebuilt. Can you read the sign?  Elvis made his last public appearance when he rode it and died a few days later.  It takes 4 tickets to ride the Zippin Pippin.

The most amazing part about Bay Beach???
Yep!  The tickets are only a quarter.  When I moved here in the 70's the tickets were only a dime.  The price was raised about 10- 15 years ago to a quarter.  It is the greatest deal in the universe.

So next time you come to Wisconsin.  Look us up.  This is a great way to spend the day.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Designing Monday

The fifth session of my long arm class has come and gone along with most of my patience and a little of my good nature.  We had two machines going this week and I got one that has been out of commission and is still not right.  The bobbin thread broke a couple of times.  The main thread broke several times.  And I broke two needles.  I managed to get half of my quilt done and the teacher asked me to stop.  She was frustrated too.  She has been after the school to get the machines fixed for several weeks to no avail.

So this week I am first up on the one good machine left out of three and I will finish my quilt.  It is a donation quilt for a returning soldier.  I tried loop-de-loops and stars this time.

 I am pretty darn good at those loop-de-loops.  My stars were good as long as I kept them in the same orientation, like if I were drawing them with a pencil.  But I had a couple of bloopers when I tried to change direction with them.

Rhubarb is in full swing here and I made a rhubarb coffee cake with lots of cinnamon and brown sugar on top.  I wish I had put some cinnamon in the cake and it would be even better.

Peonies are also running amok.  This is my second bouquet and they are still blooming in abundance.

Hop over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Designing Monday

Did I tell you that I am taking a beginner long arm class?  We are so fortunate here that the local technical college has decided to invest in artists and craftspeople by offering classes in sewing, quilting, jewelry making, ceramics, and woodturning.  Each craft has a room for their equipment and materials and dedicated teachers and technicians.  You first must complete a course for certification and then can use the equipment during open studio time for a fee.  All very reasonable.  The point is to introduce people to new crafts or trades and provide business info as well in the event you want to take it to the next level and earn a living from that craft.

Anyway, here is the outside of the building. Looks like a weaving or quilt that is painted on.  It is an unassuming building that was once office or factory space.

Here is the front.  It's called the Artisan Center.

 Across the street is the Art Garage.  That's a whole other blog post.

So I am in week 5 of my 6 week class.  There are only 3 students plus the teacher.  She is a great teacher and I have learned a great deal.  In weeks 1-3 we learned how to mount quilts to the long arm frame and practiced stitching on small muslin pieces which then get donated to the local animal shelter for bedding.  In week 4 we had to mount the quilts with minimal help from the teacher and then we each got to quilt our own quilts.

Here is Sue working on her quilt as a gift for a new baby.  So bright and colorful.

Joyce is giving her advice.

I brought this little owl quilt which is a donation quilt for the guild and it will go to a pediatrics ward.

My first quilt on the long arm.

I found this clip art online and then made a machine appliqué.

Here is a close up of the quilting.  Lots of loop-de-loops and hearts.

So now I have to prepare another quilt for this week.  Since I have a closetful of unquilted tops, this should not be a problem.  LOL!

Hop on over to Judy's blog to see some beautiful designs.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Designing Monday

I have finished the piecing of this little table runner.  It is a Jo Morton design called Rhubarb Crisp.  I really love all the dark pink rhubarb in the piecing.  Whenever I put together a top like this I am always second guessing my fabric choices even though it is all scrappy and everything should just moosh together.  I kept thinking too much dark brown, too much green, too much this, too much that. But now that it is all pieced, I think it is perfect!!!!  Makes me want to bake a rhubarb crisp right now.

Rhubarb Crisp
Hope you like it too.
Looks good enough to eat!

It is pouring buckets outside and I just managed to get one tomato plant in before the skies opened up.    Guess I will have to wait til tomorrow or the next day to plant my seeds.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Designing Monday

I started a new project this week -- a Jo Morton design called Rhubarb Crisp.  It's all browns and reds and pinks.  Since it's rhubarb season around here, that seemed like the perfect way to go.  Also a great excuse to add a few more pinks to my stash.  Pink is one of my go to colors.

Rhubarb Crisp is a table runner with stars and loads of flying geese and pink and red corner stones.  Can't wait to have it all laid out.

Lots of stars

Even my cutting mat is pink!!

Tons of Flying geese in the Sashing

We spent last weekend in Door County.  It is always such a great place to visit.  Some friends invited us to share their condo for the week.  We were only able to stay 4 days, but that was such a fun packed time.  We took our GPS for geocaching and introduced them to this.  Everything was just blooming and leafing out so it was a perfect time to comb the woods and beaches and rock ledges looking for caches.  We played Bocce and hiked and took boats out on the lake.

Geocaching in the rain
Enjoying Maifest Arts & Crafts Sale

We celebrated my husband's birthday at a restaurant owned by one of my high school friends.  We had lunch at a fun restaurant designed for kids.  It used to be an old country tavern and now the bar is graced with a little model train that delivers your food and drinks.  Since it is a popular place for families there is usually a wait for seating.  So the owners have created lots of outdoor activities to keep busy while waiting -- giant pedal cars to ride through the woods, a giant chess set, basketball, ping pong, etc. all outdoors.

 Lunch at PC Junction

At church yesterday a friend of mine who had ordered the altar flowers in memory of her daughter gifted me with one of the bouquets.  Such a sweet thing to do and now I have beautiful color in my kitchen.

Hop on over to Judy's blog for more wonderful designs.