My new (mid)Long Arm Machine has arrived…..

I ordered an APQS Lenni (I think I will call it Lilly) machine two weeks and two days ago. With the information that was given me at the time of order, I assumed that it would take 2 1/2-3 weeks for me to receive the 7 boxes weighing almost 400 pounds. That was fine, I had my old (much smaller) frame, a small desk, a big desk and an antique wardrobe in that room and ALL of it had to be out of the room. I had a closet full of stuff (some of it not mine and a fair amount of it crap) and shelves with lots more stuff, which I had started moving (shoving) quilting stuff onto. The wardrobe part of the um, wardrobe had added shelves and they were full of fabric and much of the quilting stuff on the shelves were fabric also. Anyway, fast forward a little over a week and I was ready to move the furniture out of my quilting room. The wardrobe went on the front porch (enclosed) and now being called my quilting “annex” where I will be doing cutting, pressing and possibly piecing (depending on whether I can handle being in one side of the closet on the small desk after I finish sorting, throwing away, etc……getting closer). The large desk went in the other downstairs bedroom and hold my computer and I had LOTS of purging to do to make room for it in there. For now (until the closet is finished) the little desk is temporarily residing next to the big desk and will go in the closet and if that doesn’t work, will go back into storage in the upstairs of the garage (or maybe to one of the Grandkids’ houses. The small frame (qzone loop), carriage and previous piecing/quilting machine are all temporarily in the annex and in the next few days we will load it on the back of the truck and take it to my sister. She is “inheriting” that setup. So, furniture out, I starting sorting, reorganizing and pitching things on the shelves beside the closet and had just given some thought to starting on the closet when I get notice (one day short of one week) that my new machine and frame had shipped from Iowa. John & I rolled up the carpet in the room, it is small and I ordered casters for the frame to make working from either side of the frame easier, so the carpet (which was 30+ years old and starting to fall apart anyway) came out and it was decided that I needed stick down vinyl tiles on the floor. John’s brother and his wife were here during the weekend and Monday of the weekend things shipped and I really got very little work done in that room that week. I checked shipping progress on Sunday (one week ago) to find that everything had arrived in Indy that day. So, being proactive, I called on Monday morning to set up delivery for this past week. I had my choice of Tuesday or Thursday and picked Thursday (anything to buy me another day or two). John drove the bus all week last week, so there wasn’t much help there. On Thursday, I was waiting for delivery and the only thing they could tell me was sometime between 8 a and 8 p and they would call about an hour before they actually arrived. All 7 boxes arrived on a BIG truck around 5:00 pm. We get them into the house and then I headed to Mooresville to look for my peel and stick tile. Got something really inexpensive (remember the old saying about getting what you pay for). In the meantime, I tried to work in the closet a little (still not done) but I have told myself, even when floor is ready and we get the frame and machine set up, I will not stitch until the closet is clean because once I start quilting, it won’t get done. John started putting down tile Friday evening and got about 1/3 of the way done. It was not to bad in the box, not too great on the floor and each box is a little different color. Oh well, it will provide an easy to clean surface for the frame and machine, so that’s okay. Yesterday, John’s cousin and his wife were here for the day, so no work on Saturday and today he was going to work on tile until we went to Zianna’s birthday party but Josh had a vehicle emergency so, he worked a little more this evening and may (or may not) get the rest of the tiles down tonight.

I think I am going to have to have him help put the frame together. With the small qzone, I managed but the poles and rails are 10 feet long and rather heavy. Tomorrow his dad has two doctor appointments and we probably won’t get to work on it until again until later in the day or on Tuesday, if he gets the floor done tonight, I am going to try to finish the closet and may try to at least start on the frame.

So, I will keep you posted and post pictures as soon as I get everything put back together. More later…………….

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An Exciting Two weeks

The very end of August and the first 13 days of September have been very exciting. My sister and I went to Louisville, KY a little over two weeks ago so I could “test drive” an APQS Lenni Long Arm Quilting machine. They have this particular machine on sale right now, $2,000.00 off. I told a friend of mine, it is kind of like buying a car, the Lenni is the Volkswagon of the APQS machines and is still a really great machine. APQS Long Arm Machines are built in the US (in Iowa to be precise) and are the ONLY Long Arm option that I have found that have a lifetime warranty (that is my life not the life of the machine). Still you can’t beat that warranty. Second, there is a distributor of APQS machines in Louisville (about a 2 hour drive from my house). It is great having a distributor that close (more about that shortly). Anyway, I officially ordered my new Lenni two weeks ago and expected it to take at least 2 1/2 or 3 weeks for it to be delivered —– it was delivered yesterday afternoon. The space that Lenni will occupy is small and all the furniture needed to come out, I also needed to purge the small closet and shelves in that room, which was something I only did half way when I took over that space as my “quilting room”. Since the space is tight, I ordered casters for the frame so the whole thing that be moved against the wall when I am working from the front and away from the wall when I am working from the back. That meant the carpet needed to be pulled up and my sweetie is putting down peel and stick vinyl as I type this. I hope to start setting up my frame and machine tomorrow and will have to complete that on Sunday as John’s cousin and his wife will be visiting from Missouri tomorrow afternoon and evening. Even if the machine is set up and ready to go, I’m not going to put anything on it and start working with it until the closet is completely purged and reorganized. So, hopefully, early next week, I can put my test quilt on the machine and get the tension just right. I have a quilt waiting to be quilted and am anxious to try out one of the pantographs for the edge to edge quilting. Now, back to the Louisville distributor. I am signed up to go to Louisville the second weekend in October to take the Beginning class on Friday and the advanced beginning class on Saturday. Sharon will come over, take me down, she will check out a couple of weaving things in the area while I take my classes. Our hotel is really close to Quilted Joy.

Since John and I aren’t going to be able to make our fall trip to the beach, I asked him if we could go to Zinck’s Fabric Outlet in Ligonier, IN, which will be a very full day trip and we will probably go during MSD’s fall break since John is sub bus driving again this school year.

I’m really excited about my new Long Arm Quilting Experience and will share as I slowly start this new adventure. Not sure where it will take me, but looking forward to find out. Till next time…………… Life is Like a Quilt, take it one stitch at a time.

September ALREADY!

Not sure where time goes, but would like to find the “black hole” it is slipping into. The first two days of the month (including today which is 2/3 of the way over) have been very busy.

Early last week, my twin sis came over and we made a trip to Louisville, KY to Quilted Joy, an authorized dealer for APQS long arm quilting machines. APQS stands for “American Professional Quilting Systems” (I think). Anyway, they are having a sale on the smallest model and I decided to jump in with both feet and ordered a new Lenni on a 10 foot table. This is the absolutely largest setup I can have in my small space and in fact except for a closet and corner where there are currently shelves, that frame and Len will be the only thing in the room. Currently, I am defrocking the other downstairs bedroom of several years of accumulation of clothing —– did I really buy that????? Between the upstairs closet, the hanging rod in my quilting room and the shelves in the other bedroom, I have about 6 big bags of clothing to be donated. I’m almost there………then there are shelves in the closet and things on the shelves in the quilting room that need to find new homes (or the inside of a trashbag). Books, Melissa’s dolls, things I have bought for gifts, the list goes on and on, music books, Longaberger, a tote full of things I brought home from work and had no place to put it, so it is still in the tote. The big desk that holds my laptop, my mom’s medications, etc. (most the etc is quilting or sewing machine related) will be moved into the other bedroom, I have started clearing out that corner — gave away a wicker chair and the little cabinet setting next to the piano will go out on the front porch under the desk (cutting table) which resides out in my “quilting annex”. This also has my ironing board and the cabinet that hold “part” of my fabric will also reside in the annex. Lots of the fabric and “notions” will reside in the closet in the quilting room. The shelves beside will be removed except for the very top one and the large (high school age) school desk will be tucked back in the corner with my piecing machine. Even then, the quilting frame is going to have to be on wheels because my space is only about nine feet wide and the frame is four feet 5 inches wide, so I want to be able to move the frame closer to the wall when loading and quilting from the front and away from the wall when I am quilting from that back.

I should have my machine and frame in about 2 1/2 weeks or so and have “lllllloooootttttsssss” to do to be ready, oh, and once everything is out of the room, the carpet will be pulled up and the floor will be painted or I will cover it with a piece of vinyl, which is better than the carpet which is 30+ years old and when this space was Melissa’s room and she was going through her painting faze, the carpet was on the receiving end of some paint.

So, back to my sorting/cleaning/wishing this part was over. More later………..

August, ticking away….

 It always seems like I can’t get here with any regularity at all and post on a regular basis.  We have had a rough last part of July and beginning of August.  John’s dad fell the last weekend in July and broke his hip, spent almost a week in the hospital where during the first few days, we weren’t really sure if he was going to make it or not.  We were scheduled to go to MN during the first weekend of this month and we did.  We took the youngest step son and oldest grandkid (can you say FUN, not).  The wedding was good and as always, enjoyed visiting with Jim and Angie, but this is the second year in a row where our “vacation” doesn’t feel much like a vacation and now it appears that it will be the only vacation this fall.  Between my mom, John’s dad and low funds we are NOT going to PCB in September.

I made a very large quilt for a wedding gift and it definitely has given me the “longarm quilting” bug.  APQ has a small model that is on sale and I am going to make a trip to Louisville to “test drive” the machine.  I would like to turn it into a “part-time” job and try to earn a little money doing quilting for others.  I don’t need to make enough to pay for the machine but maybe help pay for it and help pay for a real vacation at some point before we turn 65 and become medicare eligible.

So, here are pictures of the quilt I just finished along with the bride and groom (nephew Eli).  I think it looks really nice, don’t you.  On to the next project, a quilt for my friend Sharry and I am making it reversible! 

It’s a work in Progress (I’m a work in Progress)!

So here it is, the 20th day of July, I really don’t know where time goes. However, it sure marches on. Our youngest son, Jeremy bought a house and took possession on the 28th day of June and had to be out of his apartment on July 12. He originally had many, many plans of work he was going to do before he moved in and between the move out date shrinking from 3-4 weeks to 2 weeks and many things that needed to be done that he hadn’t counted on, he is now living there without flooring in several places on the main level, without a tub or even a full bath on the main level and many other things that still need to be done. I went down and worked many days in the first two weeks and John is still spending at least part of everyday down there, plumbing, tearing out, etc. I’m sure he feels like it is a live sentence at this point. This week it was my plan to get the king size quilt (sandwich) put together and on the frame to get the quilting done. Monday was a the day I laid everything out on the living room floor to get my pin basting done, it is a really go thing I had the house myself, because after taping the backing down and the batting down, I actually laid on the floor on my stomach to pin baste the top to the other two layers. Since this is a king size quilt, that seemed to be the only way to get this ready to go on the frame.  So the quilt is on the frame and I am almost 3/4 of the way done with the quilting.  It has been a little bit of a challenge in that on my little Q Hoop frame, each horizontal row is stitched in 3 sections.  My frame will only quilt a little over 36 inches at a time, so 97 inches means 2 moves for each horizontal row.  It is going quicker than I thought it would and even though there have been many interruptions, I am on schedule to get it off the frame in the next 2-3 days and then I will have almost a week and a half to get the binding put together, sewn on the top of the quilt and then get the hand sewn back of the binding done.  We will leave on Friday morning (early the 2nd of August) to attend a nephews wedding in Minnesota on the 3rd.  I have never sewn the back of the binding on my machine and didn’t figure this was the time to try something new — I’m still not real good with mitered corners and sewing the front on to begin with —– practice, practice and more practice.  Doing this big of a quilt on my small frame and with a 9 inch harp on my machine, means many moves, many rows and a lot longer job than if I had a mid-arm machine and possible a bigger frame.  A mid arm machine would mean my horizontal rows would be at least twice as deep.  I do flip my quilt half way through so at least my rows don’t get much smaller than 5-6 inches deep, however, the thought that my rows could be 11-14 inches deep sounds like a nice dream.  However, short of winning the lottery or a sweepstakes, not sure how I will come up with the 4000 for a mid-arm and then I will probably want a queen or king size frame and that means some major cleaning, moving and reorganizing space.  Oh well, what will be will be.  I don’t want to finance it because then I would feel like I needed to do quilting for hire and I don’t ever want to not have time to quilt my stuff because I’ve promised a quilting job(s).

 My best friend since 7th grade lost her husband to cancer early last week and the funeral is tomorrow on the northside of Indy, so I don’t expect to get much quilting done tomorrow, but hopefully a row or two and then can finish quilting on Tuesday (fingers crossed). I’m signing off for now, more hopefully sooner (including pictures of my newest quilt). 

Again, I can’t seem to come back here with any regularity. It might help if someone besides me was actually reading my posts.

Seems like time just flies. I have finished several quilts and will post pictures at the end of my rantings. My Mom continues to push buttons, have hallucinations, be mad at me about things that I didn’t do etc. I don’t understand, but I do know enough to try not to rationalize irrational behavior. There is no reason for any of it, it is the product of her dementia or as she likes to say where she is “at”.

I have come down with a summer cold “YUCK”.  It started a couple of days ago and I should have started my Zicam then, but didn’t and it has blossomed into a full-on snot fest.

I am doing prep work for my first ever king size quilt, which will be a wedding gift for John’s nephew.  The wedding is in early August and if I am not diligent, I won’t get it done in time for the trip up to Minnesota  and the wedding.  I am doing one of my favorite patterns,  square dance.  I have done this as it is written as a 77×77 quilt, smaller 57×77 and now as a larger 97×97 quilt. I am also adding panel pieces to the “tween” triangles along all four sides, which means more piecework.  Even though the pattern calls for 5″ squares, there are 25 nine square blocks and 16 5 piece blocks, as well as 16 tween triangles and 4 corner triangles (since the 9 square and 5 piece blocks are set on point) and then 9 rows to put together for a whole lot of piecing before I can start quilting, no to mention binding and sewing the binding on by hand to the back of the quilt.  Doable, absolutely but I can’t be a procrastinator if I hope to have it done in time.  This evening I plan to try to get my panel pieces sewn into my tweens.  I think I have all my cutting done and after the tweens are ready to go, I will lay out my blocks in preparation for piecing.

These three quilts are going to be offered for sale at an upcoming craft fair.
This quilt was donated to my guild which donates to the group who does taps on the square every Friday night and they give to family who have lost someone to a war.

The start of another week

It has been an interesting week. We filed the paperwork recently to have a Guardian for my Mom. My Sisters agreed that I should be that person, since Sharon is two hours away and Millie is still working and a non-confrontational type person. So, on Tuesday this past week after a very long day which consisted of lunch in Bloomington with a friend, attending the IU Long Service and Retiree Recognition Program (I retired from there the end of February 2018) and a pre-beach spa pedicure, even tho’ I wasn’t sure we were going to get to go to the beach this month due to the Guardianship Hearing on Friday (5/10). After returning from Bloomington, I met the elder law attorney, at his office and we went to my Mom’s for him to execute “service” on the paperwork for the hearing on Friday. I really expected anger, yelling and screaming or at least ANGER and there was NONE of that. The attorney new my Mom from years ago when he and his wife lived down the road from her and she sold Avon to his wife. She came out the door when I pulled up and I said, where are you going, she said, it’s prayer meeting night, NOPE, that is Wednesday night and so I steered her back toward the house and said Roger Coffin (do you remember him) is here to talk to you about something. The first thing Roger did when he got in the door was sit down at her piano and play a couple of songs, he couldn’t have done anything better. He explained to her about the Guardianship and the report from the neuro-psycologist as well as the letter from her family doctor about needing help because of her moderate to severe dementia (think he actually said memory). She was calm and her only question (which was asked over and over) was did that mean she couldn’t stay by herself). After he left, I told her I was going to call her best friend Bert (who my Mom looks at like a sister/mom rolled into one) and ask her to come down to tell her about the guardianship. After the call was made, I told Mommy that I wanted someone to be with her until the hearing on Friday in case she got anxious and thought disappearing was the way to go. Bert came down, I told her about the hearing on Friday and asked her to stay with Mommy Tuesday night and Wednesday during the day. Millie came and stayed with her on Wednesday night and I had to relieve her at 6:00 am on Thursday morning.

I was with her from 6:00 am until 9:00 pm on Thursday and let me tell you, that was the LONGEST day of my life. She slept until almost 8 and then it started, the same things over and over, with slightly different twists, but none the less the same things. My little old Christian Mom talked about Men, Sex and the Incest with her father, over and over. We went to Bloomington and had lunch and then I took her to the salon to have her first spa pedicure and manicure. So, I did get a reprieve for the hour and a half that she was in the chair. She was in a good mood and didn’t seem at all anxious about the hearing on Friday. Sharon got there at 9 on Thursday evening and stayed with her that night.

The plan was to bring Mommy in here so Sharon could try to work (she works remotely) and when Sharon had to get her up on Friday morning the worm had turned. Snarky, mad, really unhappy at the fact that we had disturbed her sleep. She wanted to have her friend Bert go to the hearing with her and after she had been here about an hour, she called Bert and asked her to come get her. When Bert got here, Mommy went in the bathroom and Bert said, you know she is going to ask me not to take her to the hearing, I apologized for putting her in that position but as wound up as she was, hoped that Bert could “talk her down”. When they arrived for the hearing, Mommy was happy as a clam, just like nothing had happened that morning. I asked Roger if Bert could sit at the table with Mommy and that seemed to help also. Roger was asking me questions and when I mentioned dementia, she said, real loud, I don’t like that word. She chatted with Bert the whole time that I was answering questions and then she said, I have a question, and asked, what happens if she want to have a gentleman caller at the house and I say no. The Judge said, if that happens, you write me a letter and I will hear your side and her side and I will decide if your caller can come to the house. That seemed to appease her. Permanent Guardianship granted and I am just waiting on the signed order from the Court.

What a week………………………………..

More later…..