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Thursday, March 29, 2012

I have a love/hate relationship....

....with IRONS!  Or more correctly, with iron manufacturers!  This isn't the first time I've lamented about irons on my blog, so if you don't want to read it again, I understand!   LOL  I know there are bigger things to be concerned with in the world...and my iron woes are a minuscule problem in the scheme of things.  But, is it too much to ask to have an iron that works for more than 6-12 months?  I've tried them all...cheap ones, expensive ones, trendy ones.....they last an average of a year or so for me before they quit working.  Now, it's no surprise my iron's purpose in life is not to iron clothing.  99.9% of the time, my iron is used only for quilting projects.  :)  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that my iron stays "on" for hours at a time while I'm working on a project.

There are just a few things I look for in an iron...1) I like a "heavy" iron.  2) I like it to be nice and HOT.  and 3)  Most importantly, I want STEAM...and LOTS of it!  That's it... 

One of the first 'splurge' irons I had was the Oliso.  It has that nifty feature of lifting up on legs when you let go of the handle.  Really cool.  It took me a while to get used to leaving it "down" rather than standing it up like every other iron in the world.  This is actually a replacement iron, as the first one didn't work properly right from the start and I was able to get a replacement while on warranty.  After about a year, it just didn't heat up enough for my liking.  I think there is an issue with the steam too, but I honestly don't remember exactly.  I can't bring myself to throw it away...


The Oliso was eventually replaced with this Rowenta, but there were other irons in between (the cheap-o's that I don't have a problem tossing).  This was not my first Rowenta...I had one before the Oliso and it started leaking at some point.  I love this iron...it's heavy with great steam.  But guess what?  It leaks.  Not just leaks, it DRAINS.  No rhyme or reason when it will drain either.  It's done this almost from the beginning.  I can use it for weeks with no issues and then one day I'll turn around and my ironing board will be soaked with water because all the water has come out.  I pick it up and it will just drip, drip, drip from the bottom.  Sigh...  Again, can't bring myself to throw it out...it's still works great as a "dry" iron.

And then....along came the Reliable Velocity iron.  This one came with great reviews from quilters.  Was this the answer to our iron problems?  This iron seems to have it all...it's big and heavy, AMAZING steam and heat.  I love it.  I followed all the rules with this iron....only distilled water, drained it at the end of each day or when I knew I wouldn't sew again that day.  We were happy together.  About 2-3 months after I purchased it, the steam stopped working.  Really?  It was under warranty, so for the (not cheap) cost of shipping it to Canada, I had steam again and I think it worked better than ever.  I was once again living happily in steam bliss for about another year and Wham-O.  No heat.  Nothing.  Probably the heating element went out.  Of course, it's no longer under warranty.  I will probably look in to sending it back to Canada for repair...this time paying both postage and repair costs.  But maybe it's worth it.  I do love this iron...when it works.  Right now we aren't on speaking terms....


 And now...the stand in.  Yes, another Rowenta,even though I don't have a great history with Rowentas.  What was I thinking?  Well, I bought it with a 30% coupon at Kohl's plus a little Kohl's cash, so it didn't cost me much.  Let's hope this guy can live up to my demands expectations.  So far, it seems to be cooperating but it does "spit" a little.

Is it just me?  Am I expecting too much?  If there is anyone out there that can develop an iron for QUILTERS, I think you would become a millionaire.    Seriously...I don't think I'm the only one that feels this way.

By the way...my mom has a 20+ year old Rowenta that works like a charm.   I think the old saying, "They don't make 'em like they used to," is definitely true.

Happy Quiting...and ironing!!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

knock knock knock...Michelle?

I really am still here...lots going on the last couple of weeks.  My friend, Tammy (she's also my husband's cousin), came for a 10 day visit!  She is an avid quilter too, so we had a blast shopping, quilting, sightseeing, and chatting!  Of course she had to try out the longarm...she did great!  She also brought 3 other quilts for me to quilt for her.  I'll share pictures of those in another post.  This one is going to be loaded with pictures already!

Of course I had to take her to the Lancaster area shops....she took to them like a duck to water!  What quilter wouldn't!
look at all those shades of Kona!



A row of bolts at Burkholders!

Of course, I didn't need a thing, but somehow ended up with these beauties.   They are for an upcoming workshop I'm taking with Bonnie Hunter!

We also took a trip to NYC...

...and saw this show.  It was great...highly recommend it.

It was a quite foggy the days we were in NYC, but this was the creepiest.  This was getting off of the Staten Island Ferry walking back to our car, which was in the parking garage about 1/2 mile away.

On the last day of Tammy's visit, we met Peggy and Robin in Burlington, NJ, for one more quilt shop visit.  :)  We all bought fabric for purses and Tammy and I went home and started ours.  Well, we didn't start them until about 9pm that night and almost pulled an all nighter to get them done.  I had a bit of work to do on mine the next morning and Tammy took her's home still needing a few steps.  I love mine!  The pattern is Mini Miranda by Lazy Girl Designs.

I made a little bit of progress on the Florida Gator orange and blue quilt...

This is a dark picture, but this is the layout.  I'm still not 100% convinced this quilt isn't going to be so obnoxious no one will be able to look at it....but I'm just going for it!

Yesterday our guild had a "Sit & Sew" day.  One of the gals presented a Mystery in a Day quilt....well, almost a day.  If we had another hour or two, I think we could have completed them.  :)

The pattern called for 11 FQs.  I had a pack of batik FQs that were gifted to me a few years back.  Now, some of you know that I do not do batiks.  I can appreciate and admire the beautiful quilts made from them, but they just aren't my cup of tea.  But I thought....I might as well use this FQ pack up and also save me from needing to go buy 11 FQs.
Here are my FQs, all cut and ready for sewing.  You can see from the scraps on the left, it really did use up almost ALL the fabric....

One of the gals did purple/green...very pretty!

someone was working with orientals...

Another batik colorway!

 I got all my blocks assembled at the Sit & Sew and last night after dinner, I assembled them in to the top.  You can see Quilt Inspector #1 has no qualms about batiks....she promptly assumed her duties as soon as I laid the rows on the floor.

I waited until this morning to get a picture with better lighting...but the wind was blowing, everytime I turned to take a picture the corner was blown over again!  Grrrr....  Not a great picture...but you get the idea!  All in all, I'm happy with it.  It's definitely different for me, but it's good to step outside of your box once in a while.  It just needs a border and it will make a great gift for someone.  :)

Now, "orange" you glad you stopped by?  Did you see all the ORANGE projects I am working on?  Crazy!  


Happy Quilting!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Time is flyin'!

I feel like I've been sewing like crazy, but I can't show you most of it!  I completed a quilt top that our guild is doing as a mystery.  I'm working ahead to make sure there aren't any "surprises" in the pattern...but I don't want to show a picture and ruin it for a few ladies that might see my blog.  :)

I also completed a mini quilt that will be part of an exchange at retreat in May.  I took pictures of it though, so I'll show you someday!  LOL

I have been doing a lot of quilting too...this quilt was just delivered today.  


 The focus fabric is a "space" theme....

 The owner wanted circles, sort of like a solar system in the large squares....
...disregard the "X" in the middle...it's soap and will come out when she washes it.  :)

 The corners got some orbit circles too...

The rest of the quilt is "stitched in the ditch."

My friend, Tammy is coming on Thursday for a week-long sewing/shopping/sight-seeing vacation...we will have tons of fun, I know!  I'll try to snap a few pictures of our excursions, so you can keep up with the fun!  :)

Happy Quilting!
Sunday, March 04, 2012

Weekend Recap

Wow!  The Yard Sale link up was fun!!  And successful!  Thank you to all who purchased my items.  I hope they will be happy in their new homes.  Everything is packaged up and ready for the post office tomorrow.  I'm already looking forward to next month's sale.  :)

In between checking Yard Sale emails, I made a little bag for a blogging friend that gifted me with some goodies, so I am going to return the favor.  I bought this zipper bag pattern a few months ago, but this was my first time trying it out.  We've all made zipper bags in one form or another...but there is always another fun pattern out there to try, isn't there?  :)  I love Terry Atkinson's patterns and this is no exception.  The instructions are super clear and the "tips" are great.  
Here the bag is partially assembled...I loved those little quilted panels just like this!   It's a "quilt as you go" type of pattern, and I used fusible fleece.
I wish I had some big ric-rac to use...maybe next time!
Isn't it just so cute?  This is the "medium" size bag from the pattern and measures about 10" wide at the widest point and about 6" tall.
Look at all that nice space...perfect for a sewing kit, make up bag...who knows??

Remember the orange and blue fabric I showed a couple days ago?  I finally got started  sewing the units for the Double 4 Patch quilt.  It turns out you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.  During the Orca Bay Mystery project, Bonnie suggested keeping the units connected while ironing.  Then clip them apart.  Wow....it works great and you aren't fussing to get the individual pieces in the right spot.
Smokey spent the afternoon inspecting the rest of the orange fabric.  :P

A little note about how one little comment from another can make a difference...I listed this Quilter's Calculator for sale yesterday in the yard sale.  I had noted that I was looking for the instructions and hoped I would find them before sending it off to the buyer.  Shirley took the time to leave a comment and let me know that there was a secret little compartment in the calculator and the book should be located there.
Well, what do you know?  There is even a little diagram....

Pop open the little door...what's this??  It's upside down, but hey....

Surprise!  Look what's inside!  Now...did I EVER know that book was in there?  hmmm...that's a mystery we may never know.  LOL  Thank you Shirley!  She wanted me to know so I wouldn't waste time looking for it....isn't that sweet?  I really appreciated it...because I had already looked and looked and couldn't find it anywhere!  It would have always bothered me, because I knew it should have been here somewhere.  LOL
 Hope you all had a good weekend.  I'm hoping for sunshine this week...but I haven't even looked at the forecast yet.  I'm afraid to.  LOL

Happy Quilting!
Saturday, March 03, 2012

Saturday Yard Sale Link Up!

UPDATE:  I've already had "no reply" comments...I can't respond to you as your email doesn't show up!  Sorry!

I'm linking up with Bonnie Hunter's Saturday Yard Sale!  I've not tried anything like this before, so bear with me.  I think it should go pretty smoothly though...feel free to contact me with any questions.  Click on the images for a larger view.  Email (afwife85 at yahoo.com) or leave a comment if you would like to purchase an item...include your email if you are a "no reply" blogger.  All prices INCLUDE postage within the US!!  International postage will be higher.  I prefer payment through Paypal....all paid items will be mailed on Monday!  Here we go!

Star Machine Quilting Thread...brand new spools, never used.  1200 yards each.  The left spool is a variegated olive green, the right spool is light to dark tans.  $6.00 EACH.

Invisifil 100w polyester thread $6.00 EACH

$2.00

$5.00

$4.00  SOLD


Quilt in a Day Flying Geese Templates....$5.00 for the set  SOLD

$10.00....I will look to see if I have the instruction booklet.  I haven't located it yet, but I think it's here somewhere.  :P SOLD

$7.00 SOLD


$2.00

Flying Geese Ruler....$4.00  SOLD

Omnigrid Ruler....$4.00 SOLD

Easy Eight Star Template...$4.00  SOLD

ScrapMania Book...$5.00 SOLD

$2.00  SOLD

$2.00  SOLD

$2.00  SOLD
$6.00  SOLD

Olfa Circle Cutter...$10.00  SOLD

Apple Core Template...$3.00

Drunkard's Path Template...$3.00

 Remember all prices include postage to US addresses.  Email me (afwife85 at yahoo.com) or leave a comment to purchase an item.  Be sure to check out all the other yard sale blogs....you'll find them listed here!  Happy Shopping!