Thursday, March 26, 2015

She gave her all...

Miss Betty I aka HQ16, has just come to my rescue one more time - she gave her ALL, her main hook assembly, so Miss Betty II might finally be fixed:

See the drive shaft w/NO hook assembly or bobbin case?
It occurred to yours truly while trying to figure out one more thing to just 'try' to see IF we couldn't get Miss Betty II back to quilting ALL those Quilts of Valor patiently waiting, to see if a much needed hook assembly part from Betty I might solve our thread shredding/looping problems...

Blue LAVA top thread being yanked to the back in BIG looong loops on this Quilt of Valor

Notice just how sporadic the stitching is - looks good for awhile and then BLAM - blue pukey thread all over the place...

Not a pretty sight on the left!  Notice the 'swirls' in the middle that were quilted AFTER the hook assemblies were swapped - what a huge difference...
And here's the culprit of ALL these nasty stitches:

Multiple scratches and dings can bee seen near the top -
no wonder she was looping and puking thread!
Now that Miss Betty I has graciously 'donated' her precious hook assembly:

Miss Betty I gives her ALL
And look at the quilting stitches of the Avante now:

Checking the 'new' stitching w/old hook assembly swapped for Miss Betty II - looking good!
You can really see the difference here:

Now that's what good stitches should look like, right?
Miss Betty II will now stitch 'right to left' w/NO skipped/shredded stitches!
This was NOT an easy fix and one I'm glad to FINALLY be done with.  You'll remember, it ALL started way back in November:  Course now, we still need a hook assembly for Miss Betty I - I'm sure we'll be able to figure out something...

And of course, this 'intended' Quilt of Valor will need to be replaced with another, since the stitching on this one is completely unacceptable and will most certainly NOT meet QOVF Standards of Excellence.  However, it will serve as a gentle reminder ALL Miss Betty I & II and I have been through together these past few months...Whew!

In the meantime - we're quilting and Quilting and QUILTING away ;-)

Time to get back to it - we've got a QOV Competition quilt to finish up by Monday!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Irene's QOV is FINALLY on the frame!

I think Irene and those Quirky Quilters of Michigan were about ready to give up on 'Miss Betty' & I, and honestly, we couldn't really blame them!  We've had this quilt top longer than I care to admit - even spent National Quilts of Valor Sew Day adding multiple borders to it.  But now, it is actually on the frame w/Betty 1!

Irene's QOV getting quilted - for real!
What a neat quilt this one is and a real pleasure to quilt:

SID in the borders, a favorite Star panto in the interior - I'm going for 100 w/this panto,
McTavishing in the outer border and...a 'surprise' in the dark red/gold star border ;-)

UPDATE 3/19/2015: a Jamie Wallen continuous swirl it is for the dark red/gold star border!  I dearly LOVE this quilting design - I must since I've lost count just how many QOVs I've use it in...what's not to LOVE - it's Fast, it's FUN to quilt in, and looks wonderful quilted Jamie for sharing such a wonderful continuous quilting design!

Swirls and star quilting
We're quilting with King Tut Olde Gold solid in the needle, and it's quilting out great!

McTavishing the outer print border
Quilting back
And ALL finished up:

Irene's Quilt of Valor coming off the frame!
Prior to loading and quilting, had just enough time to finish up the borders on another of Doris's QOV quilt tops:

3 exterior white/blue/red borders added to Doris's QOV
Only five (5) more QOV quilt tops left to add borders to, and I'll actually be ALL caught up!

Time to get back to it...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Back to quilting on a QOV...

Finally bid the cold and snow w/scooping Good Bye and got back to quilting.  This time on Miss Betty I, since Betty II had to go to the longarm hospital for a spell - hopefully, she'll be back real soon!  In the meantime, Miss Betty 1 and I are getting re-acquainted quilting another of Doris's QOVs:

Miss Betty I back to quilting a QOV
And she didn't do too badly, once we got in the 'quilting groove' together ;-)

McTavishing in the flag borders

...and some of those Jamie Wallen swirls in the red star borders
I always enjoy looking at backs and this one turned out almost perfect:

Tension/stitch quality doesn't get much better than this -
LOVE it when this happens, don't you?!  WTG Miss Betty 1!
Turned out pretty neat, we think:

Another winning Quilt of Valor by Doris...Congrats!
And while Miss Betty 1 and I are enjoying our quilting time together, I'm still quietly pining away for Betty 2:

Betty 2 on the left, aka HQ Avante and
Miss Betty 1, HQ16 on the right - the first and still adored ;-)
just don't tell Miss Betty 1 or we might have 'issues'!  And we certainly don't have time for that!!  Hopefully, Betty 2 will get to come home sometime next week...

In the meantime, time for more quilting!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Not much quilting - LOTS of scooping!

Snow, that is!

Canine 'Supervisor' of the scooping ;-)
As much as I tried, Baxter was having NOTHING to do with shovels and scooping but, he and his brother, Theo, have NO problem running around in it:

The brothers romping in the fresh snow, waiting for it to be scooped
No time to waste - time to start scooping!

First landing/stairs

Main stairway

Second landing

Main deck and doors to quilting studio
While I feel very blessed to have my quilting studio - it's not without its caveats, and one of those being 'scooping snow'!

Four+ hours later:

Almost finished!

Just enough time to finish up the driveway & sidewalk:

Thank Goodness the SUN came out and finished melting off
some of this white stuff 'after' I scooped!
Alrighty then, time for a nice hot bath, beverage and maybe some time to sew a few borders onto a QOV:

3 sets of borders for a Quilt of Valor

Time to get back to it - now that the scooping is finished...tomorrow, after we get rested up a bit, Miss Betty & I get back to the business of quilting!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Quilting Doris's First Quilt of Valor w/Updates

Look what I got to work on yesterday:

Doris's patriotic Quilt of Valor
One of our valued East Central IL QOV members has been creating Quilts of Valor quilt tops at the speed of light!  With 'Miss Betty' down for the count for several weeks, yours truly had gotten so far behind in quilting these beauties, it was time to take action. I chose this particular quilt because Doris has yet to have me quilt just one of her QOVs - now that's just not right!  I hadn't really thought about it until I was trying to make a quilting decision, and when I kept counting ALL these QOVs of Doris's well - the decision was clear, time to quilt at least one Quilt of Valor for Doris!

SIDing this colorful quilt

I've started quilting my version of Jamie Wallen's swirls in the white border, Crazy 8s in the red border and Dave Hudson's Random Stars Panto in the interior of this wonderful patriotic Quilt of Valor.  We're using King Tut's Freedom - which accents this quilt nicely and shows up wonderfully well in the white exterior border.

No sooner did I get everything loaded and start quilting than, you guessed it - Miss Betty II threw another fit!  Time to re-load Miss Betty I, whom I've done very little panto quilting with but, to her credit once again, she performed like the true quilting champ she is!  Had NEVER quilted swirls with her, either, but she pulled that off, too.  I'll take additional photos and updates as the quilting progresses.

UPDATE 2/4/2015 - The Finish:

'Miss Betty I' pulled off those swirls and Crazy 8's just fine ;-)

Doris's First Quilt of Valor finish

For now, still working on a previous QOV, trying to finish up binding, and will begin quilting another neat Quilt of Valor over the weekend.

Time to get back to it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First QOV of the New Year comes off the frame...At Last!

This Quilt of Valor may hold the record for being on a quilt frame the least on 'my' quilt frame.  Been trying to quilt this QOV since before Thanksgiving!  You may remember, Miss Betty decided to develop an attitude and threw herself out of time.  After getting some new 'Timing Tools' plenty of much-needed timing knowledge, and several bouts of trial and error coupled w/flu, she's back to quilting ;-).  Here's that 'Thanksgiving' Quilt of Valor - now the first 2015 QOV to come off my frame, and doesn't it look neat?

Gold & Blue QOV coming off the frame...At last!
This entire quilt was quilted with LAVA Diamond Head - one of my very favorite threads to quilt with, especially on a Gold & Blue w/white Quilt of Valor!

Naturally, Dave Hudson's Random Stars panto is the star of the 'interior':

Random Stars panto by Dave Hudson in the interior
w/special border treatments to go with
I've used my own version of Jamie Wallen's continuous swirls in several quilts now - they're fast, effective, and most importantly...FUN!

They look really neat done in variegated threads, like LAVA Diamond Head, King Tut Freedom, and Rainbows Patriotic.

I struggled a bit to discover just the right quilting design for the gold sashing border.  Angela Walters to the rescue!

Her 'Wishbone' quilting motif - or what I like to refer to as the 'Crazy 8', was perfect for this border, and sooo much FUN, I'll definitely be using it again in future quilts.

Angela Walters' Wishbone quilting motif, aka "Crazy 8"
My version is a little more whimsical than hers but - that's the beauty of custom quilting, isn't it?

Swirls and Wishbone border w/McTavished navy border
I featured the navy border w/McTavishing in a previous blog here:

This Gold & Blue Quilt of Valor was wonderful to quilt - once I was finally able to quilt it...At Last!

And now, time for some binding and to embroider a special Gold & Blue QOV quilt label.

Adding the finishing touches to the binding
Back of the quilt and quilting

Finished Navy/White/Gold Quilt of Valor


Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year - resuming quilting a Quilt of Valor...

We've had the same Quilt of Valor on the frame since before Thanksgiving!  You may remember, 'Miss Betty II' developed a major attitude during the final quilting pass of a previous QOV, and because of time constraints, had to load 'Miss Betty I' to be able to finish in time:

'Miss Betty I' and 'Miss Betty II' on the frame at the same time!
After finishing the previous Quilt of Valor, and suffering through the most recent bout of flu/cold for the season, it was time to make a call to HQ and see what could be done.  Luckily for me, I hit pay dirt by getting hold of a wonderful HQ Tech, Mr. Salter - who was kind enough to walk me through the necessary steps to get Miss Betty II back on track.

A few new tools for Christmas definitely were a big help:

Opening the box - those are Lipstick RED T-handles, Miss Betty's favorite color!

T-handle and ball-end Hex tools

After a LOT of patience during the 'trial & error' learning phase of how to get her fixed, we were back in the quilting saddle!  Just look at these gorgeous quilting stitches:

McTavishing the left navy border

Along w/right navy border

Central quilting 'perpendicular' to the stripes in the top w/Dave Hudson's Random Stars panto - 
one of our very favs!
All of the quilting is being created w/LAVA Diamond Head in the needle - another favorite, and white Maxi-lock in the bobbin to match the white backing.  Quilters Dream poly blend was used for the batting, and quilted like a Dream ;-)

The panto quilting is ALL finished, time to do the final ditch & McTavish quilting, THEN go back and quilt continuous swirls in the white borders and 'something' in the gold borders...still haven't settled on a final quilting design...time for some quilt browsing...