Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shop Hopper, flooding and new AccuQuilt dies

Memorial Day weekend, shops are closed, so my quilt 'shop hopping' was cut short, but at least I got to peek in the windows!  I'm sure there'll be a day this summer when I can go back and they'll be open.

Shop Hopper by Linda Winters at www.b-bumble.com


In our town, the river is flooding the worst it has flooded in 100 years, sew...what's a gal who's high and safe and dry on a hill to do?  Go to WalMart, buy water and snacks and hand them out to sand baggers, of course!  I would love to participate in the sand bagging, too, but physically am unable.  I will do what I can do best:  bake home-made goodies and make fleece blankets for the shelter sites!

Sand bagging site - it was raining :-(

These hungry, thirsty hard workers enjoyed their water and snacks!
God bless 'em!


I am in the creative process of making Linda Winter's "Shop Hopper" pattern, sew...
I stopped off at Hobby Lobby where they had light boxes for 30% off yesterday
and began to trace Linda's easy-to-follow templates

I auditioned fabrics and settled on these:

The two I like best are the dark pink fabrics with needles, thread and spools, plus the fuzzy flannel I chose for the rabbit.

This is Linda's version again:

I have a pair of my grandmother's costume jewelry earrings that will work perfectly for Shop Hopper's ear lobes and make her appear very lady-like :-)

My daughter assisted with cutting out the traced appliques - here's the sewing machine - sew adorable!

Linda has a complete tutorial on freezer paper piecing which I will study,
 plus I have a Better Homes and Gardens "Complete Guide to Quilting" book in my home library that has nicely detailed explanations and several options for paper piecing, too.

 Next, I have NEW PRODUCTS that just arrived from AccuQuilt!  Unfortunately, I do not yet have the 1 3/4" strip cutter (which is what Linda's Shop Hopper pattern calls for), but I will be adding that to my growing collection!  That's the great thing about AccuQuilt - they have SO many options!!

To make the strips easier to see, I take Lee Nakamoto's advice (he has youtube how-to videos on AccuQuilt products) and so, I will trace my dies with permanent marker as he did.

I use AccuQuilt because of the speed involved- you can cut up to six layers at a time!

 Each of the new die also come with free quilt patterns!  I clip and save all of these in a binder.
 If you've any questions, they have a toll free number to call... 1-888-258-7913
I appreciate the fact that no long distance charges would be involved!
Here's a good example of how I mark my dies:

I've already purchased the fabrics for this Alex Anderson die 4" finished triangular square

This says it all for me - and it's very true:

It'll be nice to save time and have this ready!

More free projects that come with the purchase of an AccuQuilt die:

I've marked my 4" fin. quarter square so it's ready to go when I begin cutting!

I'm going to get the 1 3/4" strip for "Shop Hopper" - the speed and accuracy AccuQuilt dies offer can't be beat, not to mention how it saves your hands and fingers!

I LOVE my AccuQuilt!!!

Do you have one?
What projects have you made?
Do you want to get one?
I appreciate all your comments very much
and promise to answer back.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!
Mary Ann @ RocknQuilts

Sunday, May 29, 2011

RocknQuilts at Quilt Inn!

Where does one stay for Memorial Day?  Especially when one is a quilter?

The Quilt Inn, of course!

All quilts at the Quilt Inn are made by local artisans and are for sale.
 Sunday morning at the Quilt Inn

I love this quilt with its lakeside and wildlife, plus sawtooth blocks.

Impressive flying geese

I love the "arrows" and geometry of this wall hanging in the common room.

This is a stand-out!  It has a Native American look to it.

A round butterfly quilt for $500.00

Mary Ann enjoying the Sunday paper and a little breakfast on the deck at the Quilt Inn.

Every embroidery is by hand and features the North Dakota state flower, the Prairie Rose.
Outstanding work!

Happy Memorial Day to you!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Machine Embroidery FUN!

My DD and her friend are going to take Kids Kamp classes this summer!
(Guess who's going to be the teacher?!?  Yep!  Me!)
I know I have at least two students - my DD and her friend :-)
My DD's friend has no experience with sewing or embroidery, sew...
of course, we had to show her!
First, I demonstrated the Brother HP2000 Project Runway version sewing machine which will be our summer kamp machines.  The Kids Kamp is for those 8 and up and is $20/day or $50 for all three days, June 14th-16th, 2011 from 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon.  The fee covers two hours of instruction on sewing and serging, all the supplies for the projects and snacks, too.  We will be creating a chalk board material tote bag with pocket, a roll-up pillow case and a triangular, zippered bag, too!  The girls are very pleased about the projects and can't wait for classes to begin!!
To sign up:  www.jrsewfun.com
(Click on Contact)
Sew....back to this afternoon after school....
At the quilt shop, I chose to demonstrate on the Brother Innovis Disney version
and the girls chose a very pretty design of Alice in Wonderland on pink paisley fabric.
They picked up the idea very quickly - teens are sew good with computers!

(Added in the morning:  you may be wondering what is that wall hanging above the television behind me?  That is not what you might think it is...actually that is the very first red, white and blue quilting my DD ever made in a quilting class at age eight and it is a set of four triple strip sets unfortunately sewn together in a fashion that misrepresents what this actually is...she was only eight and didn't even know about those things.)
Mary Ann of RocknQuilts in her basement sewing area

I just realized that I've never brought my bloggers downstairs to my embroidery/computer/printer/cutting table area - why not?  I guess I've been busy piecing upstairs, it's been a while since I've used this space!
This is my seven year old Ellageo that I purchased used last year in October.
It uses floppy discs, which are challenging for me, but a breeze (thankfully!) for my DD!
She hopped on the computer and downloaded a unicorn design, entered it into the computer, they set up the machine and were off and running, because it works similarly to the Brother Innovis at the quilt shop which they had learned on earlier today.

The white bobbin thread was coming up heavily, sew...
I changed the tension from 4.0 to 2.0
and things looked much better!

I switched the needle out from an 80/12 to a 90/14.
The larger needle size can handle embroidery much better.

Just for fun:  last summer, I found the following trio of quilty items during our local street fair.  They were too adorable to pass up, hand-painted by a gentleman from a nearby town and are now happily adorning one of the basement sewing area walls.
Here's info on how you can get yourself a set, too...
The Craft House
Jamestown, ND
Bonnie or Don Nelson

Normally, my scissors rests in the far left wooden holder, but it was in use this evening!
How do you like these?  Everything is made of wood and hand-painted to look like quilts!!

Sew...I want to know...what quilty thing(s) did you do today or do you plan to do this coming weekend?
Do you bring along your sewing bag when if you go camping on Memorial Day?

Thank you for your comments!  
I try to respond to each and every one :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scratch that idea...a new idea came along!

I can honestly say that it's sure nice to have internet back.  The repairman from the cable company came out and replaced our router, so now we're in fine shape.  Anyhow...
I have a story to share :-)

I was at work at the quilt shop today at www.jrsewfun.com
decided to trade back in my Baby Lock Quest Plus and New Generation Frame/stitch regulator
what I had been falling in love with at the store!
The Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0!!!

Piecing on this is a dream - there's both 1/4" foot without a guide and with a guide
Free motion on this baby is a dream :-)
The darning foot that's included is round and completely clear

Sorry about the dark pics, it was late...
the 4.0 comes with a hard case

Here's my new baby - I'm SEW happy!

I love the clean lines, but the integrated dual feed is what makes it great
and keeps all the layers moving together smoothly.

The up/down is taken care of by the knee presser or by a touch of a button

This machine in combination with the Pfaff Fab-U-Motion works like a DREAM in a small space!!
Unfortunately, small space is what I have to work with.
But, that's OK!
This all fits right on top of my sewing cabinet,
behind the couch,
between the living room and dining room
and there's still room for a full-size ironing board!

Here's a really good, clear picture of the Fab-U-Motion table
which comes with a stitch regulator:

The table is on bearings, so rotates completely around!
This isn't a fabulous video, but will demonstrate the point (and it's quick!)

I tried out a real quick sample - really love the stitches (the ones on the inside and the VW Bugs!)
How cute are those cars???
It also has sailboats, turtles, elephants, etc.

Here's the Fab-U-Motion
It came with an instructional DVD and the stitch regulator is MADE IN THE USA!

I selected Stitch Width Safety and
Sensormatic free-motion

This clear free-motion/darning foot comes with the 4.0
The stitch regulator keeps everything smooth - even if I speed up or slow down
the speed is controlled with your hands, not your foot - I like that type of control

A British friend of mine always says, "The proof's in the pudding!"
and here it is:

The front

The back

It just amazes me that both front and back are the SAME!
After struggling with the tension during the 14 day quilt challenge, this is very nice to be able to do so quickly!

4.0 + Fab-U-Motion


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