Friday, May 25, 2012

Quilting Bloggers

I am relatively new to blogging and have built my blog page by trial and error.  One of the best things I did shortly after building my blog was to join Quilting Bloggers.  By doing so, I have been connected to many other great quilting blogs plus get regular updates from Quilting Bloggers for special things like fabric giveaways. 

When I first joined Quilting Bloggers, I chose their very pretty square blog button which is located to the lower right of my blog.  Today, I wanted to add another style that they offer:

Quilting Bloggers Logo

I love its bright colors and the way that each letter is place in a square, and it just looks quilty to me.

Joining Quilting Bloggers is one of the best things I have done for many reasons.  If you would like to join in on the fun of belonging to Quilting Bloggers, click the above logo button or click the Quilting Bloggers button located to the upper left of my blog page.  Either way you will be part of a community where you can share your creativity plus get motivated and inspired by many other quilters who also enjoy blogging.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oh, No! I can't sew!

On May 7th, I had yet another surgery . . . this time on my neck (cervical spine). I am blessed to have had another successful surgery, and the arm/shoulder pain I was experiencing is gone.

Now, here is the reason I can't sew:  

It kind of looks like a holder for an iron, right?  Well, I wish that was the case but it's not.  This is the contraption that I have to wear for another 4 weeks ~ ugh!!  Here's what it looks like around my neck:

I have to say that it rates right up there with the most unpleasant things I have had to go through.  At first I thought that I may be able to do some hand piecing or hand applique . . . but I soon found out that this thinking was wrong.  That square-like thing at the bottom stops me from tilting my neck down.  So, now all I can do is sew vicariously though my friends and watching them progress on various projects.  I am also browsing through magazines and Internet sites, looking at all the beautiful quilts, fabrics and gadgets.  I also have a lot of time on my hands to do some online shopping and believe me, I have already made quite a dent in the pocket book.  So, you see, I really need to find something, anything to keep my hands busy.

So, this is the story of why I can't sew.  I've worn this hard-collar neck brace for 2 weeks and have 4 more weeks to go.  I'm "X"-ing off the days and looking forward to the day that I can get this contraption off for good and get back to my sewing projects again.

Stay tuned . . . there will be quilty things pictured again . . . I promise!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Quilting Frames

Finding a good hand quilting frame that works for you is definitely trial and error.  I have taken the advice of many of my quilting buddies and purchased products based on that advice.  Well . . . as you know, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.  So, here I am having been making quilts for 20+ years and I still haven't found a hand quilting frame that I like.

Hinterberg Floor Stand Hoop
I have 2 types of Hinterberg frames ~ a sit upon lap hoop and a floor stand hoop.
Hinterberg Sit-Upon Lap Hoop

I have trouble getting comfortable with the Hinterberg Lap Hoop while sitting in my favorite chair.  I've found that you really need to be sitting on firm chair for it to work . . . at least that has been my experience so far.

The Hinterberg floor stand hoop is nice; in fact, I think it is actually a pretty piece of furniture.  You can tilt it in any direction depending on how you like to hand quilt.  However, I have the same problem with this hoop as I do with the lap hoop, and that is the fact that I can't sit in my comfy TV chair.

I heard that Jasmine Heirloom Quilt Frames are good so I checked them out.  I ended up purchasing this one:

Jasmine Easy Spinner Hoop
They call this hoop the 'Easy Spinner' because at the base it has a ball and socket type of mechanism so you can spin it in any direction while you are quilting.  This is a nice feature and so far this has been my go to hoop for hand quilting.

Even so, I still find myself looking and hoping to find the perfect hand quilting frame.  Some ladies in my quilting group really like the Grace Z44 frame.  It is a 'no baste' frame and folds almost flat for easy storage when you're not quilting.

Grace Z44 Hand Quilting Frame
This one appeals to me not only because it adjusts for king, queen, twin and crib sized quilts but also because it is a no baste frame.  To better explain all the great features of this frame check out this video:

But even with this frame I'm left with the fact that I can't sit in my comfy TV chair when quilting.  I'm beginning to realize that this is somthing I need to accept if I want to continue hand quilting my quilts.

If anyone knows of a good hand quilting frame that is 'no baste' and allows you to sit in an easy chair, I'd love to hear about it.

Until next time . . .