Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quilt Odyssey

This past week was spent with my quilting buddy, Mary, and it has been a blast!  We travelled to Intercourse, PA on our way to Quilt Odyssey, an annual quilt show and classes at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA.  I'm particularly fond of this show since my baby sister, Missy Molino, is the founder and energy behind it.  Its web site is  Here Mary is posing beside the sign for the People's Museum in Intercourse, where one of her quilts is hanging for the next year.

Mary's quilt derives from a class she took with Elsie Campbell in 2008 at Quilt Odyssey and is her own special twist on Elsie's string "hazmat" blocks.

While we were outside the museum, we ran into one of the new teachers for this year, Bonnie Hunter.  Bonnie is famous for making every inch of scrap material count!  Her wonderful free patterns and pictures can be seen on her web site,  So we all decided to have lunch together and get to know one another.

Once in Hershey and all checked into the Lodge, we prepared our fabrics and tools for our classes the next day.  My first one was with Linda Ballard, who is known for her mystery quilt classes.  She is a very careful and methodical teacher and gives clear written instructions as well as demonstrating each step in the process.  I won't show you my quilt from this class yet, because it isn't finished.  Almost!

The second day I took a class for the first time from Pepper Cory.  Pepper is a southern gal who has gone back to her roots and recently found an antique and gorgeous string quilt done in cheddars and purples.  I call it the Sweet Potato Pie quilt.  She taught us how to make it using paper piecing, and the end result was a large, 18" block, which we finished in class.  When you put enough of these together, you get the quilt. 

I'm not going to show you my quilt yet because I still have alot to do on it, but I'll show you Pepper's antique quilt find.  Isn't it wonderful?!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


My table runner is waiting to be quilted.  I have a customer quilt on the frame, so, although this runner was ready for the festivities and got used as is, it won't get its "big girl" finish until the other quilt gets done.

I am doing my lessons on my Designer Diamond.  This was one of them.  It's on the Husqvarna Viking web site under Education.  Lots of free projects and lessons there.  This one will end up as a little wall hanging somewhere after I embroider the Welcome To Our Home phrase on it.

Yesterday was such a peaceful day for us.  No visitors, even though I would have loved to see the family.  Just hubby and I, each doing our respective projects.  We call it Multitasking, our way.  Educators call this parallel play.  Apparently children of a certain age engage in alot of this before they become fully socialized.  They will each do their own thing, but in proximity to each other in a loose social group .  Great training for adulthood!  Team effort is one thing, but when the chips are down, it's what you can do by yourself that gets you where you want to go.  Not to say that being socially tuned in, empathetic, helpful, etc. is not an important part of our humanity.  Sharing our knowledge, imparting the "lore", supporting each other -- those make us members of the tribe.  But somewhere someone decided to strike that flint against a rock all by him/herself to bring new potential to the tribe.  If we had all sat around doing the same old thing as a group, we'd still be eating raw meat. 

And I'd never get to sew on my wonderful machines!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Embroidering again

A few days ago I started taking lessons on my Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond, which I have had for over a year and understand the rudiments of, but realized that I owned a very expensive piece of machinery that was definitely not being used maximally.  Then one day, a glitch occurred that required me to travel hours to have repaired, and while I was waiting for the work to be done (can you believe it -- done while I waited?!) I talked to Sherry, a computer whiz who teaches the Diamond for the shop where I had my appointment for the repair.  One thing led to another, and I have become her student.

She lives in the same locale that I do!  So she came out to the house (a house call!!!  what a wonderful world!) for two hours the other day and began my education at the beginning, going over the embroidery part of the machine, starting with the design screen.  Each function was explained and then I had a series of exercises I had to do while she downloaded all the updates that I had not been able to figure out how to do.  Not surprising, since my security system on my laptop was keeping the download from occurring but not letting me know.  She, however, being a master at back doors and wrestling the wily computer to the ground, was able to get everything done, and voila!  My machine is now up to date.

Because I can only stand just so much of artificial practice exercises, I decided to make blocks from the Dakota Collectibles American Quilt disk that I've owned for about 10 years and have never opened.  I used her exercises to position, scale, combine threads, etc.  Everything fell into place.  It all downloaded perfectly onto my USB stick.  The stick then downloaded into the embroidery machine.  The stitch out was beautiful.  You can see three of the blocks above.  I stopped at five because I just want to make a table runner in time for the 4th of July.  
HAPPY FOURTH, everyone!

PS  We ate the tomato.  But never fear, another one is rapidly ripening even as we speak!