Sunday, August 14, 2016

Playing With Pinwheels

I originally had a different quilt all ready for our neighbor who is due to have her baby soon.
I tried four times to take it over and four times she wasn't home. What are the odds.
However, I had a nagging feeling about it.
It wasn't the right quilt for her or her baby.
You see, we had had a conversation about colors in the baby's room.
She had mentioned grey and white with yellow.
What is important here is she doesn't know what sex the baby is.
She and her husband made a decision that they didn't want to know.
They never have with the other two children, boys.
They don't want to know now.
So, I needed a gender neutral quilt.
The one I kept taking over, well, it was definitely more boy, than girl and definitely not gender neutral.
It is a difficult thing this day and age to create a gender neutral quilt.
Almost all fabric is one or the other.
Just try.
Unless, you do just solid color blocks in yellows, grays, greens, it will somehow be one or the other.
So, after being unsuccessful in taking a gift over. I stopped and created a new one.
I went for a pinwheel pattern. 12" squares using grey and some patterned fabric I had that was more gender neutral than before.
Because I wanted to get it done...I didn't do anything terribly fancy on the quilting, just all over meandering. However, I did have a bit of fun and quilted "Baby" into one triangle.
The backing too was carefully chosen...a grey with little white triangles.
I felt pretty darn good about it when I took it over.
Except for the fact that I rang the doorbell.... and woke up the boys who were having trouble taking their naps!
Oh, well, mission accomplished. The Dad gave me a hug and said he couldn't wait to open the package......



Hope you have a great day!!
Nancy

Monday, August 8, 2016

Quilting, quilting, quilting

Ok, so those that follow know it's been about a month since I have had had my sewing machine working. Well, I am happy to report that Casey from Pal's here in Costa Mesa, CA will be my repair man for life! And as an added bonus, he is close!
He was able to fix "Big Bertha" in four days and she is running beautifully!
I picked "Bertha" up on Friday after trying the machine out in the shop.
He had to replace the "hook assembly" which had seen better days.
In addition, all the "work" that Moore's was supposed to do over the course of years that I have taken my machine in, was never done. He said it was so filthy!
He also took pictures....
IN any case, I wanted to let you know that I was able to finish the two quilt tops that were hanging in the craft room....one partially quilted the other just a top.
Those have now gone to their new homes.....
Then, I received the order of a darling quilt kit that has a super adorable quilt panel that I just had to get for our grandson. It speaks to his room decor. It is so perfect for his big boy bed.
So, that got put together, and enlarged as it was only 40 x 40. I made it 45 x 62 which isn't really quite big enough for his bed just yet, as he has a twin XL....but, it certainly will be bigger than the baby quilt he is using....
What do you think??
 Here is the fabric panel.....
 Here is the backing .....
 This is the quilt all done....
 I traced with the machine all around the castle, dragons, and clouds to raise them up and then everything else got all an all over meandering quilt design....
The little horses got a bit of embellishment on their manes and tails....the little knights and dragons are so cute.....
Yup, loving my machine back where it belongs....
If you live in So. Cal. use Pal's for your machines or buy one from them. They sell Janome, Elna, and Bernina....but can fix just about anything. I have a friend who has started collecting and using old, old Singers....they fix those for her too.
Hope you have a super great day!
Nancy

Friday, August 5, 2016

Our New Smoker

This is not a paid for advertisement, just a personal note about my Hubby's new pellet smoker.
We absolutely love it.
Not question at all.
We have now smoked Chicken, try-tip, salmon and stuffed zucchini.....



Because of the this smoker's design you can do whatever you'd want to do in an oven, in this smoker/grill....
The premise is at low temp longer cooking you get more smoke.....
Higher temp, less time less smoke flavor.
But, because it is not direct flame, you get ease and deliciousness.....
It is computer programmed to run an auger to feed the fire box to maintain a temp.
so, basically it's almost "set it and forget it"....
The flavor on the food is totally amazing and just what we were looking for.
Hubby can't be more excited. His biggest gripe with the old smoker was that the thermometer was not accurate. And then he'd have to keep feeding wood chips.
A pellet grill does all that for you, so you can concentrate on the recipe and cut of meat, or fish, or veggie.
And, you can do breads, pizza etc in this too.
When we were in Hawaii we fell in love with an outdoor oven that a chef used to make our lunch.
We started looking at outdoor ovens....and nixed the idea as most were just too expensive.
Well, we now have one!
It is easy and wonderful.....
I just had to give you our input on this.....
Today we will be smoking a small (2.18 lb pork shoulder). I'll let you know.
Hope you have a great day.
Nancy

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Money Down The Drain

I don't know about you, but there are times when money is well spent and others it's not.
There are times when you think you are doing the right thing, like going to the "authorized dealer" and times when you do not.
Remember my saga about my sewing machine?
Remember I took it in and it wasn't right?
I took it back, another week goes by and it still wasn't right.
They had the audacity to tell me it was my "technique" that was making it not work right.
They said it was working fine.
HA!
I was in tears.
I am angry.
It is not working right when it doesn't pick up the bobbin thread.
It is not my technique.
My technique with free motion is just fine thank you.
My technique has created over 80 quilts for a year and a half.
My technique knows when a sewing machine feels like it is driving through gravel.
My technique knows when my sewing machine is not working right and it is not.
I took it to an independent guy here in town who sells Bernini, Elna, Janome and such. He doesn't sell Brother (which I have and love).
However, he said he would look at it, free of charge and then call and let me know what he thinks has happened. He ran it while I was there. No, it didn't pick up the bobbin thread. No, he said, it feels like and sounds like it is dry. (Um, that it was supposed to be clean and oiled)
So, here I am in limbo...again. Week three, going on four.
Four weeks of no sewing machine, no quilting....
Am I frustrated? You bet.
Oh, who was it that "serviced" the machine? Moore's
They are the only one and only "authorized" dealer in Orange County....there are 6 locations including Riverside County and the service center is in Rancho Santa Margarita....all machines go there.
So, if you have a Moore's forget them.
My Hubby is furious....he spent a HUGE sum of money to buy this machine 7 years ago and even more for service.
Their gimmick is for you to buy their service plan ($600) and then to try and sell you a new machine if you don't. Yeah, we bought that service plan when we first bought the machine and all was well. But since we haven't "re-upped" the service plan things started happening with so called service.
They just want me to buy a new machine.....
So, we will see what happens next....
Casey at the shop will call me today and let me know what he finds....
Sorry for the venting here...


This is the last quilt I did before taking it in. I did free motion feathers, no stencil, no marks. There is nothing wrong with my "technique"....It actually is pretty good, and was getting even better....
So, here's to hoping the machine comes back working.
What is to say he won't try to sell me a new machine?
Nothing.
I have to trust someone.
So, here's hoping I can....
Have a good day.
I'm going out with a friend today...
Nancy

Monday, August 1, 2016

So, here it is, the finished painting.....
It has taken three weeks of painting and well, the sewing machine isn't back yet.
What do you think of my paint by number??
I think it turned out pretty well....

Nancy