Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Celebrate Dude!

We interrupt the schedule of posts to celebrate our Dude who turns 33 yrs old today!

When we welcomed your wife into our family, we gained a new daughter (in-law), a second photographer, another computer guru, a fellow crafter, and a great friend. J, you are a terrific person, a wonderful son and a kind heart!

Happy Birthday my dude!

maman et papa

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Snapping Lolah!

I love every aspect of longarm quilting! Even loading the quilt using pins but recently, I had to reload a quilt sideways in order to quilt the borders and thought how quick this job would be if I had some fast way to load!

An Internet search produced a few options but one caught my attention: Red Snappers from Sew Much Smarter. You can see in their videos how easy this job becomes. A true time saver if you're longarming as a business. So I placed an order... and waited for delivery!

Here are some of the parts that come in the package.

First I had to remove the zippers from the canvas leaders:

The tubes that fit inside the casing on the leaders are put together with these screws; I found it easier to work both tubes at the same time twisting in opposite directions.

Then slide the tube in the casing on your rollers.

There are tubes to fit all three rollers. Someday I'll replace the canvas leaders that came with Lolah with some that are wider; there's quite a loss of quiltable width in these.

Here are the clamps that will attach the quilt backing/top to the tubes.

I also took the opportunity to purchase the Red Edge clamps.

My old method consisted of some canvas pieces with a dowel that I pinned to the side edges of the quilt backing.

It was time-consuming to un-pin and re-pin every time I advanced the quilt. The dowel helped spread the "pull" with the clamp in place.

I didn't have time to test this new system before leaving on vacation but I'm anxious to do so and will report on their ease of use (or not) soon.

So Lolah got a touch of my favorite color... here's hoping it was a snapping good decision!



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lolah's toys & library additions

A few new toys arrived last week. One is a 16" square which folds up for easy storing. This should be very nice design with and for checking corners for square but NOT it's not intended for longarm ruler work. The other is a 4X12" ruler for longarming. It's nice to have a few rulers of different lengths. This one will be very handy for ditch work around blocks.

Longarming rulers are thicker than regular rulers... for Lolah, these have to be 1/4" thick or thicker. Some require 3/8" but I don't have any of those.... yet!

I was also on the receiving end of this order placed on August 31st during C&T Publishing sale. Two of my choices were on back order hence the delay in shipping. There were great deals to be had as a lot of these books were selling for $3, $5 and $10. Can't beat that!

I will be taking 2 (of 9) classes at Road to California in January from Gina Perkes and thought I'd brush up on her work and get some inspiration.

I'll also be taking a big leap into unknown territory with a class in painting on fabrics! Love Mickey Lawler's projects in this book!

I joined the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild recently and hope to get to one of their meetings soon! Alissa Height Carlton is a founding member.

Other titles interested me... 

 And of course one can never have too much inspiration! I consider these toys for Lolah too...

Love the smell of new books don't you? Reminds me of the first days of school! 



Monday, October 21, 2013

Hot to Press!

While folding fabric, I happened to knock my old iron off the table to the floor. :( Nothing broke and as I shook it, nothing rattled so I kept ironing. It looked exactly like this one!

It was an old Sunbeam with an auto-shut off switch that I purchased at the thrift store for $3.50 years ago and was used specifically for quilting. I loved that I could sew for quite awhile before it turned itself off and I never worried if I happened to leave it plugged in and walked out of the studio. This was a very rare occurrence mind you as one of my greatest fears is of fire!

Well a day or two later, as I prepped some freezer paper for applique, I noticed the ON light blinking which it never did before. No amount of shaking could get it to stop blinking, and the iron wasn't getting hot anymore. OOPS! I guess it was time to toss it in the recycling bin!

Enter the new iron: a Target special... it's heavier and bigger than my old one :( and the water tank seems to hold more. Good thing because this iron shoots terrific steam. It's more than I need for freezer paper prep which requires a dry iron on a lower setting. I was hoping for a much smaller iron but this will do for now.

My "REAL" iron is this one I purchased at the Long Beach International Quilt show many years ago (perhaps 7yrs). I LOVE this iron and it's my go-to wrinkle-busting workhorse! With it, I can iron 14 of my husband's dress shirts in 1 hour and 6 pairs of pants in 30 min! It will iron 2 pant legs at at time!

Since it's a closed-steam system, it doesn't work for freezer-paper piecing. But it's great for those fabrics that have been stored too long and have as many stubborn wrinkles as a dried up prune!

What's your favorite iron?



Thursday, October 17, 2013

More stash folding

A friend and I have enjoyed morning walks along the streets of West LA for the past 7 years but since our move to the valley, our treks have been less frequent. Now I combine the walk on the day I bike with friends. It's my way of avoiding heavy traffic by leaving the house earlier than others making the morning commute for work.

Recently, during our early morning walk, I found this unit while previewing the Goodwill shop in West LA. I knew I'd have to come back here later in the morning to investigate... and I was happy I did. It's a Besta from Ikea and is exactly the same as the black one I got years ago at the same Goodwill!  I got it for $25. SCORE!

So I turned the black unit around to face the back under Lolah (which happens to be the front of the machine), and put the white unit in front to have easy access to fabric.

The day before this fabulous find, I had emptied the blanket box and folded the fabrics but had stored them in the under-the-bed containers until I found the right shelving. 

How fortunate to find that Besta unit at this time. I love how deep the shelves are! 

One more blanket box to go but I assure you I'm nearing the end of my hidden stash!



Monday, October 14, 2013

Giving Thanks!

to my Canadian family and friends! 
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Love you all! Will see you soon!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pause for celebration

Happy birthday to our first-born who turns 35 yrs old today!

A wonderful daughter...





An all-around great person, a dedicated and loyal friend!

Hope you have a terrific birthday M!! Sorry we can't be with you to celebrate but perhaps we'll see you soon.

grosses bises!
Maman et Papa

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stash cleaning and folding

While preparing the guest room for our son and his wife's stay, it was imperative that I move the fabric stash out of the closet. I also moved a few pieces of furniture as they will most likely bring their own computers and therefore will need a desk or a table.

So with that closet clearing in mind, I moved all the storage boxes to my studio to see if I could sort the stash and make it look orderly... perhaps even empty a few of the boxes onto the shelves?

I started folding fabrics late last year after I found this tutorial by Angela Pingel. I loved how her fabrics looked on her shelves and thought what a terrific idea to keep my stash in a similar way. I ordered the Comic Book Boards from Amazon and as soon as they arrived I started folding! Soon I was looking for places to put the folded fabric as the one piece of furniture I really needed was a bookcase! However, at the time, there was no more room to allow another piece of furniture; the sewing studio was also my scrapbooking room!

So I looked for convenient locations to store the stash... this is a file cabinet I found at my favorite thrift store. Then the folding stopped for lack of space to put the fabric.

In March, I found 3 bookcases at my favorite thrift store while waiting for the delivery and set-up of Lolah and slowly restarted folding my stash and filling the shelves. I believe my studio is constantly evolving depending on my mood and what I find at the thrift store! :)

The first two bookcases sit behind Lolah against the wall and away from direct sunlight. Someday I hope to have a large enough closet or cabinet system to put all my fabric behind doors.

This one I've shown you before: it's my project fabric stash.

I ran out of Comic Book Boards a few weeks ago so I have several large cuts of fabric that need to be re-folded once the boards arrive from Amazon. Also there's not enough room on the shelves to store all the fabric so I had to keep some in the plastic containers. 

This is part of the pile before folding...

These are large bits of fabric, cut squares, some orphan blocks...

These are strips in various widths and lengths...

The pile of containers will remain in the studio for now. Yes they are in front of the window but I put several layers of tissue paper over the window to prevent the early morning sun from bleaching the fabrics. The boxes will return to the guest room closet as soon as son and his wife have moved to their own home.

My stash is modest... last week, I was in awe of Teresa Rawson of Fabric Therapy as she described her Quilt Cave 2 and her new re-organization. WOW! I don't know what I'd do with all that fabric! Well, perhaps I do... :) 

I do like how she divides her fabrics into groups/colors; I especially like what she did with her little bits of fabrics. I haven't had a chance to organize my stash into such groups yet; I want to fold it all then perhaps I will divide and conquer the piles!

OCD? Me? perhaps to some degree... but not as much as Teresa! With that much invested in quilting supplies though, you have to be organized to keep things neat and accessible. Otherwise, what's the point of having all that "stuff" if you can't make it look pretty and easy to find?

Next up... the blanket boxes! Yes... there's more to fold!