Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tech Sunday - End of Year

This is the last Tech Sunday post for 2012.  Right now I am working on getting all my paper work wrapped up for sending to my CPA.  It is amazing to me how long it takes me to get everything together to send in.  I try really hard to make sure I have everything up to date through out the year.  I have done post on how I use Google Drive (used to be Google Docs) to track things like my mileage so all I have to do is create the equation to sum that column.   That takes maybe a minute.  It is gather all the utility bills that usually gets me.  I hate doing that.  It's not like it's hard and most if it is online. I just need to get organized enough to do it quarterly so all I have to do is create the equation.

That is my goal this year.  To get my business organized to where the paper work does not get out of control.  I have been working on cleaning the office and getting rid of paperwork for 3 days.  That is no fun at all.

We have ordered an additional desk for the office.  It will be here this week.  Our current set up is just not working.  We have a u-shaped which was designed for one person and two of us have been using it for the last 7-8 years.  It was what would fit at the old house and we just put it up here and left it.  I did not take a before shot of the office, but picture every surface covered with paper and then throw in random quilts, quilting stuff, and boxes... everywhere.  No wonder that those doors stay shut. It had become a really big, unorganized closet with huge window at the front of the house.

We have packed away all the old paper worked to be stored in our storage closet upstairs.  I have gotten as much as I can get done for the taxes until paperwork starts coming in next month.  And I have cleaned out a bunch of useless stuff.  Who still needs 3.5 floppy disks?  I have a box of unused ones.  Yikes! And cables that were out of date before the Millennium.

So for the Tech Sunday, take some times to get your your home office in order.  I will take before and after picture of the office set up.  I was not brave enough to take a before of the mess.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tech Sunday - A Tale of Three Quilts

One of the hardest decisions to make is what design to quilt.  I had the opportunity to quilt the same quilt 7 types a couple of years ago.  Yep!  Seven times, in a row.   Some of them were custom and some were edge to edge.  They were all for the same person.  This first picture is of one of the custom quilts.  I did a  dense back ground fill, holly in the green parts of the wreath, c's in the red board and bead board in the dark green border and changed threads.  The quilt looked great.  
 Here is a close up of the background fills
And here is the back so that you can see the holly and the stitch in the ditch.
On the next quilt I did Holly in the outer border, loops in the read border and did and all over border to border fill in in the wreath.  I still changed thread.
Here is a closer shot
 On this last quilt I did an edge to edge of all over holly with no thread changes.
I could have quilted every one of these quilts the same way.  But I like that they each have their own personality.  All three quilts turn out great.  There is no one right way to quilt a quilt.  

These quilts were quilted with 3 different budgets in mind. The bottom quilt is currently hanging in my studio, because, in the case, the customer was my Mom.  The top one is Mom's and the middle one I think is at my sister's house.  The other four were given to family and friends.  They are all unique even thought they are all the same pattern with different border fabrics.   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Funky Feathers

Having sew much fun today! Lettuce leaf feathers in a bright sage green on solid black. Yum!!! Love it when the feathers show! I am using Aurifil MAKO 50 cotton thread, which is favorite cotton thread for longarm.

4th Bloggerverisary

Hard to believe, but I decided to start blogging 4 years ago today.   I still feel like I am talking to myself.  I know people read my blog because I have people mention post when they see me in person.  But I don't get very many comments.  I have decided that it is okay that I talk to myself.  As a good friend told me talking to myself is okay, answering myself is also okay, but when I start saying who said that, I have problems.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tech Sunday - Needles

There is a debate about whether or not to use titanium coated needles.  I personally do not use them in my longarm, but do use them in my domestic machine.  I have used them in my longarm with any issue.  I actually did not realize that they were titanium.  I went to load a needle and realized that the package did not look like I remember and compared it to another pack.  There are 2 needles missing from the pack so I know that I used them.   The pack on the left is a the type of needles that APQS is timed to use; the one on the right is the same type of needles but is titanium and ball point.  I apologize for the picture it is I could not get a clear picture that you could read with the flash and the flash is shining on the glossy paper.  
First off notice the difference in the the way the name of the brand looks.  On the steel needle, it is dark print on white and on the titanium it is white print on gold.  The word Gebedur tells you that the pack on the right is titanium.  But I also want you to notice that they pack on the left has an R, and the one of the right has FFG/SES.  The pack on the right is a Sharp, that is what the R means.  FFG/SES means that they pack on the left is a ball point.  This is really important because I don't want to use ball points on most of my quilts.  They might want one if you where quilting a double knit quilt from the 70s or possibly a T-Shirt quilt.  That being said I usually use sharps on T-Shirt quilts.  Without getting into the whole debate about titanium needles.  I will say that they are dipped in titanium nitrate which makes them stronger and means they have less flex.  When timing a machine you are looking for that flex to get the perfect stitch.  So, for now, I will be staying with the needles on the left.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reindeer Tablerunner

Last summer Wish Upon A Quilt hosted a Trunk Show from Disa Designs. Mom was here visiting and we made 2 Reindeer tops. Today I decided to treat myself and quilt mine.

It is quilted with Prickly Pear Glide thread. I seem to use this color a lot. I wanted a shiny thread and a color that would show on the dark green background. I love the way the lighter green shows up and I love the shine from the thread.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tech Sunday - Bobbin Cases

Most of us don't think about our bobbin cases very often.  Usually we only pay attention to them when we are setting our tension.  They are an essential part of our machines and we all should pay a little more attention to them.  When we don't they have a tendency to make us pay with things like tension that we can just not get to balance.  Frustration until you want to throw something or scream.  That little metal case can cause a grown girl to cry... literally.    I don't know about you, but every once and a while I drop a bobbin case.  I try not to, but it happens.  Even dropping it on my carpeted floor can knock that case out of round.  It is important to really look at your case if you drop it.  If it is out of round replace it.  It is just not worth the headache of trying to balance tension with a bobbin case that is not round.  Trust me, I have tried.  I have even trying to reround the case and that has not worked out very well for me.  Bobbin cases are relatively cheap.  Always have a spare or two.

There is a little finger on the outside of the case that the thread goes through.  It is a place that loves to collect lint.  I use a very thin pin and drag it under the finger to where from the screw down to the area the thread comes through.  I do this a couple times a month and almost always get lint out from under the finger.  If you can't get your bobbin tension to work out right.  Check to see if there is lint under the bobbin finger.  

Another place that can cause a problem is the check spring.  The spring is the disk that is inside the bobbin.  It is designed to hold the bobbin away from the back of the case and to prevent the bobbin from spinning backwards when you change directions or stop quilting.  When you put the bobbin into the cause you should be able to feel that the bobbin springs back towards you slightly.  The bobbins should look like is slightly too tall for the case.  If it looks like the bobbin is indented into the case, take it out and bend the 2 little arms on the check spring so that it holds the bobbin a little farther out of the case.  Eventually you will need to replace the spring. 

There are magnetic bobbins that are designed to work without the check spring installed.  I actually have 3 bobbin cases in use at anytime.  One with no check spring for MagnaGlide magnetic core bobbins, one that I use with prewound Superbobs and one for bobbins that I wind myself.   I also keep a couple brand new spare bobbin cases on hand.