Saturday, July 20, 2019

Randomday with Catastrophe

 First the good news. Celtic Solstice has been finished for about two weeks, and is going to live with my brother in Virginia. I haven't been finishing quilt tops very fast for several years, and I would like to do better at supplying my family and friends with quilts. So this one's for Andy.
 She looks so innocent, Muffball does. But no!
This is the brain of the stitch regulator that was attached to my Megaquilter setup. I took the machine off the carriage so I could replace some worn carriage plastic tracks, as I blogged about after finishing Celtic Solstice. I was very optimistic that I could whip out those six quilt tops that need quilting. But I dawdled a bit with re-lifting the machine onto the refurbished carriage. And yesterday when I came home, I realized the entire carriage had been toppled over off the tracks, and the framework of the apparatus that goes around the heavy machine had fallen sideways onto the far end of the frame. This caused the wires leading into the red box to wrench out, and broke at least two of the black components on the circuitboard. It's a $500 piece of high-tech equipment that I can't possibly fix and can't really justify replacing right now. So now, instead of looking forward to zipping out lots of quilts, I'm going to have to try quilting with no real control of stitch length and speed. I used to do machine quilting on my little machine, not the frame, without a stitch regulator. But... grr. I can't even figure out how to dis-assemble the stitch regulator and replace it with the speed control switch that came with the frame, or whether that will even work. It unquestionably deflates my happiness in being able to solve the (relatively inexpensive) problem of wobbly tracks. Technology and I do not get along.

It was almost certainly the cat. Wish I could have been home to see her terrified reaction to jumping on the carriage... but only if I had hidden the stitch regulator first!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Airing of Quilt Tops

The Megaquilter is disassembled, and I successfully put cut the track segments needed to replace the worn ones on the carriage.
They are now inserted into their grooves and the carriage is back on its tracks, which aren't worn enough to need replacement yet. But I haven't put the machine itself back on the carriage yet. It's still sitting on the round table in the family room where all the stuff gets put. I've stitched a bit with it to put it through its paces, and I think I'm almost ready to put it back on the carriage now and load another quilt.

I made this cute little thread-holder on July 4, in patriotic colors. It's replacing an old brown-paper lunch bag that was held on with masking tape. I love how it looks like a pair of suspenders!
This is how it will hang from the carriage assembly. It's very easy to snip threads and reach back and put them in there when I am having a marathon quilting session.

Also on July 4, I hung out the finished Celtic Solstice on the clothesline. Then I decided I needed to see all my quilt tops awaiting quilting. I definitely need a kick start on getting some tops finished.
I didn't have enough clothesline. These are the Bonnie K. Hunter mystery quilts I haven't quilted yet. Left to right are Good Fortune (last year), On Ringo Lake (year before that), En Provence (year before that), and Grand Illusion (2 years before that).
 I tried the panorama feature, but it came out kind of weird. I HAVE finished four of the mystery quilts since I started doing them: Allietare (2015), Celtic Solstice (2013), Easy Street (2012) and Orca Bay (2011)
 I took a close-up of On Ringo Lake.
 I have two tops that are not Quiltville mysteries.
 The Tone it Down quilt was the APQ quiltalong a few years ago. It's enjoying another round of popularity on Instagram, but I've had this top finished for a few years. It's a Burgoyne Surrounded block, but in scrappy low-volume fabrics.
 And this is one I've been saving for maybe the longest... I call it Country Stars and it was inspired by a quilt I saw years ago in a Lake Oswego quilt shop.
Photobombing provided by Quarta.

So I need to get some backings ready and just dive in to quilt these.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Celtic Solstice - A Finish

Celtic Solstice was the 2013 Quiltville mystery; I finished piecing the top in 2014, almost exactly 5 years ago. I started machine quilting it in November of 2017 and just finished it last week.
I hung it out on the clothesline on the 4th of July. It really sparkles with those vibrant oranges, blues, greens and yellows. I totally need to spur myself onward with getting quilts quilted. More of that in another post.
Closeups of the wave quilting on the borders. The outer border fabric and the binding come from that epic estate sale I went to over 5 years ago.
I have a set of rubber stamps with designs from the Book of Kells... I decorated some plain fabric with them once and decided to use the fabric here. Celtic kitties...
and Celtic knot patterns.  The quilt measures about 78"x81" - better for a Full than a Queen size. I used navy thread for quilting and, aside from the wave pattern and some outline quilting in the borders, an overall squiggle/loop/star pattern that is my go-to, standard pattern for most quilts.

Also, since it's a new month, the UFO challenge random number is #1, and for me that breaks down to my long-neglected "classics" tote bag, and spinning the light green with silver glimmer fiber that I bought at Sock Summit. Both of those are theoretically possible, but I haven't worked on either so far.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Randomday and Family

It's once again Randomday. So since I have figured out how to upload videos (actually, download from cloud, then upload onto blog), here is a random bird that crashed into my bathroom window several days ago, then started squawking about it with a few other friends. I think it was a woodpecker. Hairy or Downy? Any guesses?
This is a potato plant in bloom. I was surprised that I had never seen what their flower looked like before.
Raspberries are in season, or will be for a few more days, and blueberries are starting.
 Quarta is the Washington State winner for the Trig-Star contest, a trigonometry test that is sponsored by the surveyors' association! Really proud of her outstanding math skills, which she definitely gets from her father!

Tertia and I are going to a wedding this afternoon. A good friend and classmate of Daniel's, who is also back in town to be in the wedding party. So we had a family dinner last Sunday. Peter is just back from his annual training, too. It's great to have them all around the table at once!

I've been working on an family tree for myself ever since I got the test for a Christmas present from Steve. He got his from a birthday present from me, and his mother started it off by getting herself one. She is still looking for her elusive grandfather, Henry M. Brown, born around 1850 in Maine, and died in Florida 1932. He is a mystery man. But my family is pretty easy to trace. For 4-6 generations before me, they were in Ohio on my mother's side and Indiana on my father's side. Early settlers in the Ohio River Valley. Steve's mom did most of the research for it back in the 90's, and I have her notebook. My mom and grandmothers contributed to some notes and charts. But of course when you add the DNA element and computer research, you can find out a lot more. So now I find myself mildly obsessed with one particularly interesting branch of the family that goes all the way back to the Norman conquest. I've joined WikiTree and will probably spend way too much time trying to connect myself to the gateway ancestors listed there. Hey, it keeps me off the streets and away from the knitting thought police.

On the Fourth I found myself wondering, if 50 million American kids lit a billion sparklers all at once, could it be seen from space? We did our small part.

To Ian and Ashley: may your marriage be blessed with faith, love, family and friendship.