August 30, 2009

Arriving in October

It was bittersweet as "Rosie" was loaded into the back of the new owners truck, and she headed down the driveway. I could feel myself saying---run after them and tell them you changed your mind!

But, I didn't....

I have felt it was time to upgrade to a new quilting system that could help ease some of the aches and pains in the neck and back which are probably made worse by my bending over the frame and the lack of adjustable machine handles among other little details which didn't help. Poor posture.

I've actually been thinking about a new long arm for several months now. It was the big decision to sell "Rosie" that was somewhat difficult as she has a memorable history from her previous owner, Rose Ottolini, and the many wonderful quilts Rose made for the children at Oakland Childrens Hospital over the years that she owned the machine.

I always felt Rose was looking down as I quilted a community project and nodding her approval and blessings on it. "Rosie" the long arm was really always Rose Ottolini's machine, I was just lucky to use it for a time..I'm sure the new owner, Susan, will love her as much as I have.

I've been emailed, phoned and messaged asking what are you going to buy now that "Rosie" is sold?

Well, it has been somewhat confusing. I already had an ABM Innova long arm picked out, or so I thought before I sold "Rosie". The 18" Innova.

But, after talking to the dealer and the rep. I soon realized this particular model was going to be too small compared to "Rosie". 18" of arm space sounds like a lot at first---but then you minus the 2" inch metal take up roller, add another minus of an inch or two for a quilt rolled up onto the roller and you are talking maybe 14" inches of actual quilting space as you roll the quilt and stitch along.

This would never do, especially since "Rosie" had a 20" inch arm. So, back to the drawing board and the 26" Innova became the second option---or so I thought until I realized that this particular model sits on a rather large frame that would jut out into our living room a full 65" inches! That is "living large"! any way you look at it. It just was not going to happen. I love having the frame at the far end of the living room by the large window, and the room is adequate with space for a sofa, a couple of chairs, entertainment center.

But, adding a really big frame would be a bit overwhelming in the room.

Since ABM Innova has no "inbetween" model, like a 22" or 24" inch machine with a smaller width frame---the whole idea of buying an Innova just disappeared. Poof!

But, then I remembered what I had really wanted long before I found "Rosie". I dug through my files, and there it was. The 24" inch Prodigy long arm. Hydraulic lift table, power take roller. Good lighting and visibility. Advanced digital stitch regulator. Micro handles. Adjustable power control handles....and an excellent reputation for quality in the long arm machine industry. Sort of my dream machine all rolled into one. How wide is the foot print of the frame sitting where Rosie used to be?....a perfect 46" inches wide! How much better could it get? !

So, in October the new long arm, The Prodigy will arrive.

I know unless you are a long armer, it may be hard to relate to the total perfection, excitement or beauty of this shiny metal frame and machine! But, it really is going to be wonderful!

During the waiting period I will be just as busy cutting, piecing and dreaming quilts in preparation for the new long arm to arrive. I've got plenty to do! I'm so excited! Happy Dance!

Whole Cloth Quilt

This is the last quilt I finished on "Rosie". I was literally unpinning as the new owners who purchased "Rosie" arrived.

This quilt has been a challenge due to the fact that there really are no "stitch here first"---"stitch here next" type of directions with whole cloth quilts as I found out. I was lost at first as to where to start a line of stitching and where I would end up if I started in a particular spot.

Like should I do the heart motif first?---or the feather near the base of the heart?---or maybe I am supposed to do the daisy motif and work my way back down the flower stem? It really is different than quilting on a pieced quilt where you are free motioning and have the reference lines of individual sections of the quilt block to stitch from one area onto another area of the quilt.

By the time I rolled and quilted into the center section of the design, I had pretty much figured it out. But it did take awhile.

This is a whole cloth quilt design by Sue Schmieden at

I used Superior So-Fine medium beige thread top and bobbin and Warm and Natural batting which I like for wall hangings. The quilt measures 58" x 58" as I added the outer border swirls and elongated corner wavy lines.

It was fun to do, even if it was challanging at time. Lots of ripping out of stitches, and retracing lines went on. Let's say I have a new respect and admiration for quilters that do a lot of whole cloth quilts! Hurray!

August 20, 2009

Juggling Works in Progress

This is on the long arm for now. Hope to complete it today or tomorrow. My first whole cloth quilt on the frame. It's been a challenge.

This is the 3" tumbler quilt top finished and off the design wall---But, not quilted.

And these quilt blocks for a baby quilt are up on the design wall to be stitched together. Sashing & borders needed.

Works in Progress!

August 17, 2009

Searching for a Moon Glow Quilt Kit

Does Jenny Beyers "Moon Glow" quilt kit look familiar to you? Maybe it's something you bought at a quilt show, or from a catalog. Maybe you want to sell this quilt kit now because you're not going to ever make this quilt. Cleaning out your fabric and pattern stash? I would like to buy this quilt kit at a negotiated reduced price if you want to part with it.

I know the places that sell it new, but I'm hoping to buy it for less than the catalog prices. Email me if you have one to sell.

Update: I listed this ISO of a Yahoo group and have had several responses of kits that quilters want to sell. So, it looks like I have found one! Yipee!

August 13, 2009

Sold!---Rosie- My Long Arm is for Sale


If you are interested in owning a nice long arm machine---She has been good to me! "Rosie" my APQS Ultimate II is for sale starting today. I'm finishing up a quilt, and then she is ready to move out of here. Rosie is not upset as she is looking for a new owner to love her! Not that I don't, but I'm upgrading to a newer machine in the near future, and Rosie would feel crowded with the new machine sitting next to her. She needs her space! Here is a brief description.

Ultimate II with Intellistitch IS/Turbo Stitch Regulator. Large 20" by 8" arm area . Smooth Edgerider wheels. V Groove tracking. Smooth operating carriage with built in Laser light. Front and rear handles and controls. Needle up/down/positionar. Flywheel cover. Size L bobbin. Will include many aluminum bobbins and 3 bobbin cases. Quilt EZ Stylus. Acrylic Hartley slide on ruler base. Four Kimmy Brunner clamps with Velcro side tension. Round 1/2" foot. Good visibility and lighting under the front handle assembly. 9' foot professional steel frame with wood surface and wood side roller mounts. Cotton duck leaders. Clear pantograph plastic cover. K-Kraft stand alone bobbin winder.

Well maintained and in good working condition. In use at the present time while I complete a quilt. Sorry, I can't ship due to the heavy table. "Rosie" needs a new loving home.
Price: $4800.00

August 09, 2009

What's Ready for Pickin!

Gravensteins are ready Jana! Bill picked four 5 gallon buckets yesterday! (Jana is our daughter in law who makes great tasting pies! ) They are early this year! Come on down! Cool evening and misty mornings have produced a bumper crop.

The Golden Delicious apples are next---hanging out until we finish with the Gravs'....


August 06, 2009

Salvaging Fabric

You may recall all 5" inch 30's print fabrics I cut with the GO cutter that were inaccurate. Well, I re-cut it all with Pat Yamin's small 3" inch tumbler template using my Brooklyn revolver. All those those cute fabrics are turning---literally, into a baby quilt.

A stack of 10 five inch squares on the revolver! (the lessons we learn---)

I've had this
Brooklyn Revolver for years. It's what I used to cut the I Spy quilt and also the Fanfare to Hero's quilt among other things.Why did I forget how great this revolving cutting system works---10 layers cut accurately with Pat's template in less than 30 seconds! Zip-zip!

Pat even has a 6" inch Tumbler template! I could have used to make the large Tumbler quilt had I investigated this more. I just received that template. I guess I thought new was better, when old ways are resurfacing and turning out to be even better than I thought!


I'm into getting healthier this season of my life.

There is a new blood test now that my doctor is encouraging all women to have. It tests your vitamin D level. Which is critical to your overall muscle, tissue and bone health. I was surprised to find I was low in vitamin D. Levels should be above 30, mine is 15. While I have good bone mass, no signs of osteoporosis thank goodness, I'm still not up to par with this important vitamin. In an effort to increase my levels, I now spend more time outdoors in the sun with no sunscreen (which is the new advice given by the experts to increase vit. D levels)--- and I am eating healthier, outdoors more, and exercising.

Sitting and quilting or standing at the frame for hours is not really conducive to your health I'm finding out.

Yogurt has become a main staple in my fridge along with a glass of 1% milk every day. I can't stand low fat "grey" milk, so the 1% has always been my choice except for cooking, grey doesn't matter for the cooking part! I like yogurt with fruit as a mid afternoon break treat, or an evening dessert.

I started investigating yogurt makers recently as I heard making your own yogurt is easy and better. I found this easy fun maker on Amazon. The "Easiyo" real yogurt maker.

Here is my first batch of low fat Apricot Yogurt with fruit! It has a custard texture to it! and is very yummy!

You make it in with the EasiYo bio yogurt mixes many of which are at Amazon or on the EasiYo website. The Yogurt maker was a bit larger than I expected.
(12" x 6") sitting out on the counter. Hard to miss that pink capsule!

I picked the pink---it just looks pretty in pink! There are only 3 steps to follow for mixing the yogurt powder with water, putting it in the pink EasiYo, adding hot water and letting it sit overnight.

I can see why they named it EasiYo!