January 29, 2012

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday---Machine Embroidery

As you know I've been busy quilting on the long arm, but I've been wanting to just sit in my sewing room and do some day of the week machine embroidery dishtowels---I do love to do machine embroidery. So, yesterday I started these cute dog designs.

They kind of remind me of someone I know and love!

January 27, 2012

6th Graders Quilt of Valor

I received this Quilt of Valor top last week. The quilt top is a project of the sixth grade class at Geyserville school in Northern California. Their instructor, Dora, did the sewing but they did the mixing of the colors and each planned their own block. It turned out very nice. Dora will do the binding after I ship it back to her so that the class can see that step of making a quilt.

The quilt will be done in time for the Cloverdale Citrus Fair and will be displayed along with pictures and hopefully some letters by the students. I'm so proud of these kids and their project!

Dora requested I send a picture of the longarm so the students can actually see what a "Long Arm" machine is and what it does. So here I am with "Polly".

The quilt is approx. 65 inches square. I quilted it with Superior Omni Thread in Bright Periwinkle. There are a lot of Star fabrics used in the string blocks so I used the Circle Lord "Milky Way" template boards.

January 23, 2012

Rain---and Quilting

It's been raining off an on for three days. 3-1/2 inches since late Thursday. Yay!

I loaded and finished Carolynn's beautiful donation quilt on the long arm yesterday.
The pantograph is "Fan Fare Grande" from Urban Elementz. A flowing easy to follow panto. It fills the space well

January 20, 2012

Finished Quilt of Valor

This is Mildred's 147th Quilt of Valor top that she sent me for quilting. Mildred does outstanding designs on her quilts, like the machine embroidery center block. Beautiful! This is the second quilt top I've completed for her, and I hope it's not my last. It is such a pleasure to work on her quilts.

January 19, 2012


Maybe I haven't mentioned it, but it has been approximately 86 days since it has rained here in Sonoma County.  It's also been unseasonably cold at night but warm during the afternoons. Lack of moisture was beginning to take it's toll on everything around us. Dry skin to parched plants. Well, today the rain finally arrived! I'm not overly fond of rain, and Sassy thinks it's dreadful. But it's delightful to see and feel ---at least for awhile. It's way overdue.

January 18, 2012

New Storage for Under the Long Arm

I've been looking for storage units to put under my long arm for almost as long as I've owned it.  I've had a mishmash of containers, plastic drawers, wine bottle holder and baskets.

I wanted something that offered protection from dust and lint, but that I could see into. Because I also lower the frame at times, it couldn't be tall storage containers. Something reasonably attractive as well.

The Sunday paper had Michael's Arts & Crafts sales ad and the Jetmax Modular Storage units were on sale. I have one of these units in my sewing room and it has stood up to sliding the drawers in an out countless times,  and the weight of thread and other items reasonably well. Not much wear at all.
The units are basically 14.25" inch cubes with a variety of options, drawer units, shelves available that you put together with with a phillips head screwdriver and they have good assembly directions. I chose these four units. Three with drawers with clear fronts, and one open cube to store pantographs and my cloth side extenders. I also purchased the pegboard kit with hooks that is available for three sides of two of the  cubes. All my Circle Lord stepping discs fit in one of the drawers. The drawers are tall enough to store cones of thread upright.

This picture is of the open cube on wheels for the pantographs.

Here are two of the units under one side of the frame.  No more wasted space under the frame, and some nice storage.

January 17, 2012

What's on the Long Arm

I've been quilting on this lovely red, white and blue quilt sent me to by a Mildred. This is her 147th Quilt of Valor top.  I played with my DeLoa Jones Boomerang rulers on the center Eagle medallion. Rolling on----

January 16, 2012

iPad Image Capture

My previous blog posting was about Adobe Ideas and how I just emailed myself the finished drawing.  This a.m. Heartstring blogger, Mary J. emailed me and asked why I didn't do an image capture or screen save.

Well probably because I had never did one with my iPad, and didn't know how.  Mary says:

Holding the round iPad home button and the iPad on/off button down at the same time snaps a photo of what's currently on the screen and Mary said she uses it a lot. 

I tried it a few times, and it didn't work for me at first, but then I learned the problem was I didn't do it quickly. You have to hold the buttons for just a second sort of like the camera shutter button. The iPad screen turns white, and you can hear a click. Ta-da!
This is a screen shot of a drawing I had saved in Adobe Ideas. The continuous curve quilting path for a 9 patch block. Image captured and it showed up in Photos on the iPad. From there I sent the photo to my email. It arrived as a .png file, but I converted it to .jpg in my desktop photo album software before publishing it here.

Thank you, Thank you Mary!

Mary also has an 'apps' tab on her blog with other sewing and quilting related apps listed.

January 13, 2012

Using Your iPad for Drawing Quilt Designs

As a machine quilter I spend a lot of time practicing and drawing out quilting design.  I have  used a variety of materials in the past to draw with before I found this App for my iPad.

I doodle ---a lot on my iPad screen using an App called Adobe Ideas. It is not a free App, and when I downloaded it over a year ago, the price was less than offered now. However they have upgraded it and you have the option of layers so I assume that is why the price has increased. It is a worthwhile purchase for $5.99 for your iPad if you love to sketch and practice your quilting designs before stepping up the to quilt as compared to using a dry erase board or sketchpad for example.

 Adobe Idea uses the iPad screen as your drawing surface. You can use a finger tip to draw, but I prefer an iPad stylus. Either one works fine.  You can pick colors of drawing pencils, erase and chose the size of pencil point. You can upload a picture of a whole quilt or a quilt block and draw over it. Save it. Email it to yourself, and print it out if need be. You can pan and zoom the drawing or picture. It's simply a lot of fun to use. Here is your iPad screen with Adobe Ideas and the drawing tools are on the left.

You have a blank slate to draw on. Pick a color to draw with and start drawing.
One of the tools is an eraser. So at any time you can go back and remove a line or the whole drawing if you wish. You can save all your drawings and click back on any of them to review or revise. Here is a collection of some of my past drawings saved in the program.
This is a practice drawing of some feathers where I wanted to learn what direction I needed to move to stitch out the design. I am able to pick different colored drawing lines, and insert arrows to help me remember which direction I want to move when I'm standing at the long arm.
The other neat feature of this Adobe program is the ability to take a picture with your camera, upload it to your iPad Photos, and using the Adobe Ideas option at the bottom of the tools click "select a photo" and upload a photograph onto the drawing screen. If you have the iPad 2 you have your camera onboard. I'm using an iPad 1 with my Panasonic Lumix camera.   In Adobe Ideas you can draw over your photo any quilting design as many times as you want, erase the lines, delete the design line if you wish or save it for future reference.

 The one draw back I've had is the program sends the photo as a .pdf file, not a .jpg. I would prefer it to arrive in my email as a .jpg. But it's not a problem unless you are wanting .jpg photos of your drawings.

Here is a picture of a quilt I'm working on where I used some of the drawings I doodled in Adobe Ideas.
 There are a lot of drawing Apps for iPad, but this one works the best for me. Oh--forgot to say that Adobe Ideas instantly straightens and corrects any wobbles or bobbles in your drawing lines once you are finished drawing. How neat is that!


January 10, 2012

Pre-Washing Fabric Revisited

I've been lax at times about pre washing fabric.  A recent experience with a Quilt of Valor that a topper sent me for quilting, and subsequent washing disaster with this quilt before sending it to a soldier left me feeling perhaps I should revisit the fact that I frequently have gotten lazy about washing newly purchased fabrics.

I used to wash every fabric that I purchased. Lights to darks and everything in between! In fact I loved the whole process. Then I read more how some quilters didn't wash their fabrics and they didn't think it was necessary with the newer fabric manufacturers, that "quilt shop quality" fabric seldom bled. That it was nicer to cut un-washed fabric. That the sizing left in un-washed fabric made it easier to piece. All those suggestions gave me a good excuse to skip the washing process completely. Until that bleeding Quilt of Valor slapped me in the face! and made me revaluate what could happen if I went on my merry way making quilts with un-washed fabric.

I haven't bought fabric in ages---not since my huge destashing last year. Sad to say one of our local quilt shops closed this past month.  Happy to say she had a killer sale the last week before closing 40% to 50% off all fabrics. Among some of my purchases: half a bolt of Moda Muslin, and some Dimples in colors I was missing in my Dimples stash.  Today as one of my New Year quilting resolutions I washed all the dark colors.

Here are the results of cool water, gentle cycle, color catcher washed fabrics. Three Color Catchers pictured below the fabric.  The real culprit of the bunch looking at the color catchers is the dark colored purple maroon Dimples. My misguided notion was that quality fabrics like Andovers Dimples probably had very little dye release.
New Years resolution confirmed. Every dark red, dark blue, dark green, blackish, purple, brown, batik for sure---or anything with a dark background hits the washer first before it ever makes it to the fabric stash.

January 08, 2012

Back to Quilting after the Holidays

I just finished this customer quilt. The fabrics are shades of orange and purples. Lovely colors.
One block wonder quilts have so many seams and are usually very busy in appearance, so simple edge to edge designs seem to work out best.
I used my trusty Circle Lord Swirls template boards on this beautiful top made by Cora.

I quilted the swirls with Superior Lava "Pompeii"

An orange, green and purple variegated thread with Fil-Tec magnetic pre wound  "Rust" in the bobbin. The batting is Legacy 80/20. I'm finding the Legacy batting seems to have a warmer feeling then my once upon a time favorite Hobbs 80/20.

January 04, 2012

Blogging Reflections

It's the new year, and I felt like redoing my blog. I don't know which is easier. Redoing a room, or the blog! :o) It's been difficult to decide on what color to paint the blog, just like it is difficult to pick a paint color for a room. Dark or light? Bright or subdued. Fonts, text size and color. right or left options, triple or double. I'm still testing all my options, and having fun looking at templates. Learning a lot in the process. So, maybe when you visit next time---who knows what it will be like here! :o)

Then there's the "widgets". Those areas on the right side of the blog screen. What text, what color, what to leave, what to remove. Move them up, down, delete them?

And now I really don't even know why I named the blog Timber Hill Threads ---years later why am I pondering that? It's sort of a done deal on blog-land once you give yourself a name.

I was looking for something that described where I live, and catchy sounding with what my hobby is, which is sewing, making quilting, machine quilting and I use a lot of "thread". And I have a ton of thread! But, now I think the name makes it look like I sell thread, which I don't. But, I meant it to mean the "threads of my life" in a nostalgic philosophical sort of way----Timber Hill Threads. (get it) oh, maybe not.

I've been looking at other peoples blogs and it dawned on me how much they advertise things and link after link to other things. Some for sale, some not. I tried the advertising for a few weeks. I think I was supposed to make money if you clicked on the ad. I don't know if you did. Don't tell me. I never got any money. I also felt like a commercial. So, scratch that Ad widget. If I like something, I'll just tell you. If you think you might like it, you can try it. O.K.

What about links to other blogs. How do you feel about those? I noticed how many bloggers don't have a widget or list or link to other bloggers blogs at all. They just blog, and if you find them on the internet or on another bloggers "favorite blogs" list, it's all chance that you get to read their blogs. I have noticed many visitors here use my blog as a jumping off point to explore other bloggers. Like I may be keeping my "favorite bloggers" list just for their use. I don't even know if they read what I write. Oh well, I'm serving a purpose of sorts.

I wanted to write something under my header about what my blog is about like many bloggers do. So far I have not succeeded. It's such a mish-mosh of things I do and write or reflect on. I don't post on any regular basis either. So, you can't rely on me to keep up with a daily blogging diary.

Just some thoughts on blogging.

January 02, 2012

Blog Revisions

I'm changing some things on my Blog. Work in progress.....

January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Here it is the first day of a New Year. One of my resolutions is to make 2012 more productive, and memorable so that I can look back on this year next January and say I accomplished something on this first day of 2012, instead of day dreaming about it.

2011 passed by so fast. Of course as the years have progressed I feel more and more like that. It must be my age. However, I also hear the younger generation remark about this same feeling, so perhaps it is the fast paced time we live in more than the actual ticking of our clocks and torn away calendar pages that make time pass so quickly.

Deny it or not, or if I should write it down here or in a journal, or else where---I still make a few new year resolutions. Not so much voiced or in print, but I know what they are. Even knowing full well many of them will not be completed or accomplished. It's more about the joyful feeling that on this day of the first of January 2012 with a clean slate and the new year stretching before me that I plan to fulfill some of those resolutions.

I don't know if I would these thoughts resolutions. I think they are more about hope---I hope to achieve this goal or finish that project. I hope to spend more time doing this or that. I'm hoping that this will happen and so forth..... The saying 'hope springs eternal' could apply to many of these resolutions.

With that philosophical thought in mind I celebrate the first day of January filled with hope, and I wish all my family and friends a new year filled good health, fulfilled hopes and dreams and a successful 2012 whatever your new year resolutions may be.