Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sewing, and On Line Puzzles

Cameron's Cowboy quilt

I think I've been decompressing since school let out on Friday noon. Open House went well, with 8 live baby chicks by Friday night. No pictures of the little guys, though, I seemed to forget my camera in all the work of the week! Overtime was put in for the last 2 weeks and some on a Saturday. Friends & a certain Grandma of a student this year helped with setting displays out during the day. My sweet Larry helped me in the classroom Wednesday night until 7:15 pm, and that made it so I could go home at 1pm (we had 1/2 day on Thursday of Open House), rest and come back to greet parents and students of this year and previous ones, plus upcoming students.
It's a really fun night, I look forward to it ~ after all the preparation is over!

So, one deadline was this quilt for Ginny's grandson Cameron, whose birthday happened to be on, you guessed it, that busy Friday, 4/22.

Really, I was doing fine meeting all the required dates ~I know why they call 'em d.e.a.d.l.i.n.e.s. ~ until the infamous neckpain of week one of April, and the next weekend 4/16 held sewing machine troubles of HUGE proportions ~ I'm telling you, there was crying and gnashing of teeth that Saturday!!!! ~ so, I was literally sewing each night until I brought this finished quilt to Ginny on Friday morning. Yea! I did it!

finished quilt and pillowcase!

But, here is the rant of said Saturday, I can speak of it and laugh only now (but stay out of the warpath that day, lol). I need more bobbins for my Grandquilter, and I cannot go just anywhere to purchase said bobbins. I had tried on 3 occasions to get some at the local Pfaff dealer, somewhat disappointed in their service. Oh, well, I thought, I'll go online, and I ordered through ebay the size needed for what was said to be Pfaff Grandquilter bobbins. Don't you know they were a great price? They came within the week of ordering, too. You do see where I'm going with this, I did NOT have the proper bobbins, but took me all day (yes, from 11am to 8pm) to trace the top breaking thread back to the bobbin trouble.
  • I oiled and re-oiled.
  • I cleaned the machine out again.
  • I changed the needle 3 times
  • (who knows, maybe the 2 needles from the first box were a bad batch?).
  • I re-threaded again and again,
  • including changing the thread 4 times.
I took breaks from sewing in between my over the top frustrations, too.
  • I cooked a pan of yummy from scratch cheese enchiladas
  • I made a great broccoli salad
  • (cutting everything up in iddy-biddy pieces, frustration spurred work, lol)
  • I laid down for 20 minutes.

At 8:15 pm, (yes peoples, I EARNED my name pokey) when that stupid top thread had broken more times than I can count ~ seriously, as much as 4 times in an 8 inch square ~ and I turned the quilt on one more agonizing turn, and saw...

  • a 2 inch pleat sewn into the back, two passes of the machine back
  • (which translates into about 12 inches of ripping that now must be done)
  • boo.hoo.
Lydia came home about that time and was worried about my crying (everyone was gone that day, another reason I was giving in to the tears, I guess) and she said my sewing pauses were apparently NOT long enough to stem the frustration (made me smile), and we started tracing the problem back to... those new bobbins. I needed to talk to another seamstress to figure it out. She also told me it's "buyer beware" on ebay, (I'm so trusting), and how she had bought Swarovski crystals that were everything but the real deal.

When I got up on Sunday morning, Larry teased me and said, "What do you know, the sun came up again. It's a new day." I thanked God for the new day, the new beginning and my loving family. I started ripping out that afternoon after church.

I think the fussy cut horse squares were one of the best parts of this quilt!

Now, I'm working on Ginny's quilt for grandson Weston, her firstborn gs.

Truthfully, this was her first pieced top, but we were meeting the birthday deadlines, and Weston's quilt was waiting for the early May date.

On Ginny's projects, she has been doing the sewing of the tops, and I bring in the completions with the backing, quilting and binding.

I love the blue variegated thread showing up on the solid squares!

We make a pillowcase to match. She pays me, though, and I get to quilt as desired.

I'm quilting this one in scrolls, and the directions I'm following are from Wendy's blog post here. Wendy's projects are beautiful, and she encourages and inspires many of us!

King Tut from Superior Threads.

And the puzzles I mentioned? I've always enjoyed a good puzzle, and Sue of Featherstone Quiltworks posts her own puzzles through Jigzone. Sue takes some of the prettiest photos of wildlife, mostly birds, you've ever seen. The puzzles are addicting....

So, the Easter break is on day three now, I'm quilting an new design, and doing puzzles. Tomorrow we're joining our friends Beth and Jerry for a few days in Big Bear before it's time to go back to school on Monday. I talked a lot today, sorry for the rant. What are you doing? I hope it is creative, and refreshing to your soul.

Psalm 9:1 "I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Thy marvelous works."
Here is another treasure from Virginia, well, really from Japan.
My family lived there when I was a kid, Daddy was stationed in
Japan and served in Vietnam for 4 years.
Daddy bought 2 of these 9 foot by 6' tall screens,
and Happy and I each have one now.
Mine is beautiful in our dining room.


  1. The quilts are truly beautiful and so unique!! I'll have to check out the puzzles because I do love a good puzzle fix!!

  2. Hi, Pokey! Thanks for the mention! I post the puzzles because I like them, and it's always nice to hear that someone else enjoys them too! I bought a bunch of bobbins from e-bay too, and although I haven't had the problems you had, I know they aren't as good as the originals. Glad to see you're quilting is going more smoothly! Sue

  3. Bless your heart! You did have a tough day. It will be good for you to get away with your friends. Loving Cameron's quilt and the scrolls. Nicely done!

  4. It's interesting just how important bobbins are.... sorry you got some bum ones on Ebay...

  5. Your quilting is beautiful, Pokey. That screen is amazing! Doesn't it remind you of a quilt?

  6. Pokey, those swirls are are BEAUTIFUL!!! I love them. :) You did a super job!!!! HUGS!

  7. The quilting you have done is so pretty...her quilts are really nice too....most of us want to made our grands a quilt. I hate you had so much trouble with the bobbins....being pressed for time seems to bring these times on. Wishing you a much better week ahead. Blessing Trish

  8. The quilts are just wonderful. Sorry for your bobbin problems; I do love your quilting.

  9. Sounds like you had a rough day, Pokey! Glad things are looking up. Your quilting is so pretty - you do great work. Carol

  10. Oh man...give yourself so much credit for keep on keeping on! I think I would have cried and stopped right there!
    Well good for you for getting the job done!
    I'm proud of you Lil'Sis!

    Enjoy the great outdoors of Big Bear......what a beautiful place.

    Happy Sewing

  11. What a frustrating time! Glad you got it all figured out and accomplished so much. The quilts are wonderful and your quilting is great. I really love the screen. Hope you have a great time in Big Bear before heading back to work.

  12. Your quilting is beautiful! I miss the long arm at the shop I used to work at. I was just starting to get the hang of the easy stuff....
    You day far beat out any of the rough days with the machine I ever had! I find it highly annoying that people can be so cruel as to sell the wrong thing. Seriously, why shouldn't you have trusted that they were right??? Thank goodness for friends to talk through things with!
    The quilt turned out lovely.

  13. Great horse quilt==I'm sure your friend will love it. Breaking thread is so so frustrating! I had this problem a hundred times in my daughter's quilt and was about ready to give up but changed the needle one last time, and that was the solution. Glad you found yours before the quilt became tear stained! Enjoy your time off and thanks for showing the beautiful screen.

  14. Sorry you had such a frustrating time; I hate those days!

    Thanks, too, for showing close-ups on the fabrics. I like the overall look of a quilt, but I also like to see what made up that look.

    Hope your time off is refreshing.

  15. Such a cute quilt..sorry about the frustrating day....ugh..glad they are not the norm huh!!!


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