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Moving, Quilting, & Sew Much More

2017 is the year we unlock the doors to Quilter’s Hideaway.  Every day we are one step closer and yesterday was no exception.

 

Millie moved into her new and final home at the shop yesterday.

 

Before we moved her I wanted to play with quilting a quilt using a custom design instead of edge-to-edge or a pantograph.  I still needed to quilt Playtime in the Past, so I decided it was the perfect starting point.

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I knew what I wanted in the solid squares, but I wasn’t sure what to do in the pinwheel blocks.  I really liked the secondary circle created by the design I quilted first, so I decided to play off that with a circular design over the pinwheels.  The result was perfect for this fun, playtime quilt.

Once Millie was set up in the shop, I was able to finish two more quilts.  It felt amazing to be working in our quilt shop and imagining what is to come.

This quilt is a customer’s baby quilt for a little girl.  It will be washed quite a bit, so a dense pattern-meandering circles, was chosen.  I love how it adds to the playfulness of this quilt.

 

The second quilt was a Disappearing Hourglass Quilt done in blue and cream.  It was a gorgeous customer quilt.  I quilted this with a damask pattern.  It was the perfect, subtle touch to finish off the quilt. Look at those points!

Aside from quilting and moving Millie, we were able to finish this 20 foot design wall for use in the classroom. Who wants to be first to have their blocks hanging here?

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This was a full and busy weekend: moving Millie, building design walls, quilting, and so much more.  We only have 32 days until our grand opening, and many surprises along the way! Make sure you are following us on Facebook and Instagram to be the first to know!

 

See you at the machine,

Care

 

 

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apqs · Finished Project · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing

Packing Away Christmas

My husband started taking Christmas down yesterday. I on the other hand retreated to the sewing machine and pretended that he wasn’t taking it down. I sure love Christmas and all the Christmas lights and Christmas trees, but I’m ready for what’s next. 

In 38 days our doors open, and we celebrate our grand opening. I am ecstatic… And a little nervous. There’s so much to do, so much stuff to finish, so many new things to learn, and I’m sure there are items that haven’t even made it on the list yet.  I’m ready to tackle it all.

Yesterday while at the machine I finished three more quilts. They were all customer quilts and they were gorgeous. I thoroughly enjoy looking at each customer’s quilt and the different techniques  they use and styles that they have. There’s an endless possibility for every quilt made, and I love seeing what different people bring to the table.

The first quilt one of my sisters made. We settled on a damask pattern and it looks lovely.

The other two quilts for a sweet lady. They were each panel quilts with cute borders for babies. We quilted a meandering, stipple pattern on both of them and it’s just subtle enough that it doesn’t take away from the panel. I love the bright colors of the fun animals and cars on each of these. 

With every quilt we quilt, my to-make list grows. I think I’m set for a lifetime with quilts to make, and I’m sure that list will just keep on growing.  I sure hope I’m not the only one with this problem. How do you keep up with making the quilts you want to make and getting them all done?
I’ve been off work for a long weekend and I have another long weekend coming up, so the quilt shop is high priority. We had another quick trip to IKEA to pick up a few last minute things and will be building those soon. 

We have lists and phone calls to make this week and fabric is almost on its way which is very very exciting. I’ll be sure to share when the first box comes in. 

Our website guy keeps asking me if I’ve done any YouTube videos or live videos on Facebook, but I’m so nervous and I don’t know where to begin with that. I might be adventurous and try some type of video when we unboxed our first box of fabric. Would you be interested in seeing a sneak peek of what we will be offering? 

We love, love all of your ideas and we cannot wait to get our doors open and welcome you into our place. We hope that you’ll share your likes, dislikes, and wants so that we can fully become everything you all are expecting. This is a new path for us and we are beyond thankful to be walking it with such sweet friends. 

We hope you each had a magnificent Christmas, and we look forward to celebrating the New Year soon! 

Now, I guess I better re-focus and help repack some of our Christmas decorations. Here is one last Christmas picture-a quilt I made years ago. I’m sure dragging my feet on getting everything packed away. 

Sew you at the machine, 

Care




apqs · Finished Project · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · WIP week · Work in Progress

Santa & Sew Parties

Do you have any fun Christmas or holiday traditions? I thought I would share a few of the fun things we did this weekend and a little about how WIP Week wrapped up. 



Over the weekend we had our good friends come over and we went to see Santa, ate dinner together, and even made it to see Christmas lights. There is a place in town that decorates with thousands of Christmas lights, and it is a common tradition to go walk through the lights some time in December. Of course, we picked a pretty cold night. A and I quickly learned it was warmer if we piggy-backed than if we walked alone. 









Having a best friend who doesn’t live in the same town is rough. Recently we have both been so busy that this was our first visit in quite a while. Thankfully, we have planned a longer get together around the New Year with movies, fort-building, and popcorn. I’m looking forward to it. 



After they left to head home, I scurried off to the sewing room desperate to finish up a couple projects. I knew my Saturday was booked, so my only chance to get things knocked off the list was late Friday night. Thankfully, I got quite a bit done burning the midnight oil, and I was able to wake up early and finish it the rest of the way on Saturday morning.





Earlier in the week an SOS had been issued. A friend needed to get a t-shirt quilt done fairly quickly and a group had pulled together to help. I told you I might show up and help you finish projects during WIP Week. You never know, you might be next!



Anyways, Saturday I knew would be filled with her t-shirt quilt and it was. We were able to cut, sew, and quilt it all in one day. I even heard that the binding was sewn on and it had been through the wash before the weekend ended. That is a pretty successful sewing party. 





It was too funny. Two were sewing frantically, two were pressing, and one was handing pieces out to sew and cutting away at the sashing, borders, blocks, and binding. Things were crazy. We kept the quilt laid out on the dining room table, but there were times where pieces were at each station and nothing was on the table. Sewing started around noon and by 5pm we were loading it on Millie. A simple meandering pattern was chosen and Millie got to work. 







Be careful when you issue an SOS, things will start flying and projects will get finished. 





After quilting and attaching the binding, they left to start sewing down the binding, and I got to work on another quilt. I was determined to quilt the quilt I had finished that morning. I couldn’t decide on a pattern, but Mom said I should go with Meandering Feathers to help smooth out the geometric pattern in the quilt. I wasn’t sure at first, but I have been loving Meandering Feathers, so I went with it. The quilt turned out perfect. I really like this one and might have to remake one for myself. 





I’m a huge fan of half square triangles and all the things you can do with them. I think they have been appearing in every quilt I have sewn this year with few exceptions. Do you ever get caught up on one specific pattern or block?

Although last week was WIP Week, I think this will be another week of finishing up a few Christmas projects before I drag out anything new. There will be plenty of quilting, sewing, and rambling in the near future. Stick around.

See you at the machine,

Care

apqs · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Uncategorized

Are you Millie?

It has come to my attention that not everyone knows who Millie is.

I have been asked if I made this name up, if it is the name of one of our pups, if it is a family member… I’m surprised no one has been brave enough to ask if I have an imaginary friend.

For those of you who missed the introduction of Millie, let’s play a game: Who is Millie?

Along the way I’ll even introduce you to a few key players.  Let’s get started.


 

Are you Millie?

No, this is NalaJane.  Nala joined our family about a year ago and has fit right in.  She is one smart cookie and passed puppy class with flying colors, though you have to be careful, she is part kangaroo.  We got Nala as a puppy and I think (*knock on wood*) we are finally reaching the end of all the puppy-ness.

 

 

Are you Millie?

Nope.  This is KylieBelle.  Kylie was rescued over 6 years ago. She is such a good pup and loves to model quilts even when she isn’t asked.

If you haven’t noticed, our puppies are our kiddos.  They are spoiled, loved, and think our life circles around them (it actually might).

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If these two aren’t Millie, then who is?

 

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Are you Millie?

Not quite.  This is the latest picture I had in my phone of my husband, Dalton, and myself.  We were on the amazing Toy Story Ride at Walt Disney World.  Dalton and I have been together since High School and got married in September of 2014.  We are both avid Disney fans and he is calm and collected while I’m a little scatter-brained and chaotic.  Most of the time he avoids the sewing room, but occasionally you will see him make an appearance.  Often he is called My Love on the blog and in real life.

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Are either of you Millie?

Well, no.  This is my mom and my mother-in-law.  Also, my dad is there in the background.  I was blessed in the momma department and gained an amazing lady as a second mom too.  All the iffy stories out there about crazy mother-in-laws do not apply to me at all.  We are all able to do things together and enjoy one another.  It sure makes family get togethers and holidays fun!

 

If none of these people are Millie, and I can’t take a picture of my imaginary friend, then who on earth is this Millie person/thing I reference in almost all of my blogs?

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Are you Millie?

YES! This is Millie! If you look closely under the red bow you can see her name.  Millie is one of the APQS Longarm sewing machines.  Her full name is Millennium.  APQS creatively names each of their models: Lucey, George, Lenni, Larry,  and Millennium (Millie) are just a few examples of their different machines.

If you remember, although our machine is Millennium, my brother-in-law renamed her to Millennium Falcon.  I will almost always call her Millie, except in his presence.  🙂


 

Now you know.  I wonder how many were clueless in the past posts.  Looking back and reading the blog posts without knowing who Millie was sure makes them sound strange.  I had quite the giggle as I was looking over the blogs.  As least we were able to clear this up a bit.  Feel free to look over past posts including when we opened Millie for the first time!

 

Don’t forget we are making our first public appearance at Gift’s Marketplace TOMORROW at Tri County Technology Center in Bartlesville, OK.  Doors open at 5:30.

 

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See you at the machine,

Care

apqs · Christmas · Design · Finished Project · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

Sewing Saturday

Saturday was all about getting things done with the help of Millie.

I had several projects that needed finished up and Sunday will be a busy day (Its my husband’s birthday!) so that left Saturday.

I started with a beautiful, scrappy quilt made by a sweet lady.

 

Up next was a table runner I made this week. I used double batting and I could not be happier with the outcome. It took forever to finish due to the dense and detailed pattern but the snowflakes were the perfect addition. The cream fabric has a very light snowflake pattern on it that worked well together with the quilting. All it needs is a tiny red binding then to be rolled up and packaged.

 

Next up is a baby quilt I made earlier this year. I used the magic ruler and showed how to make each block on previous posts. I finally had the chance to quilt it. I wasn’t sure how to quilt it at first, but we had played with this ribbon quilting previously and I really liked it. The decision was made and now it is all quilted.  Another quilt ready for binding.

 

 

While Millie was handling her business and quilting away I sat next to her and worked on more planes. Three more finished, three left to go. Hopefully they will fly away this week and I can get that quilt wrapped up soon.

By the time I finished the baby quilt it was late and I needed to pack up and head out. A pretty successful Saturday in my sewing world.

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We are nearing towards Christmas and this is the first full week of December. You know what that means? It’s WIP WEEK! Find a project that needs worked on or finished and let’s get them completed together.

 

 

 

Share what you are working on and feel free to tag us in pictures. It’s the last push to get things finished up in time for Christmas. Let’s do this!

 

See you at the machine,

Care

apqs · Design · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Pattern · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

Weeks are Packed Around Here

apqs · Design · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

Quilter’s Hideaway

apqs · Challenge · Design · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

Standing at the Start Line

Everyone has to have a starting point. This is mine.

 

Not that long ago I wrote a blog post about us opening some very special boxes. Once we assembled our Millie, I spend almost every waking moment wanting to sew with her.

This weekend, I was able to take a two day class on quilt path, Millie’s brain/computer quilting system. There was so much information and I am very tired, but I have 20 pages of notes to hopefully pull me through and remember everything that was said.
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It was an incredible class that was both informational and fun. It also left my mind wandering to new quilt ideas and more projects (because we all need more of those, right?). Saturday’s class started at 9am and we dove right in. When class ended around 5pm I just wanted to jump behind the machine and apply many of the skills we had learned in simulation mode during class.

After class I drove straight to my parents house, loaded my first actual quilt, not just pieces of fabric sandwiched together, and got to work. Nerves were high as I leaned in to push the SEW button, but everything functioned fairly well.
There was a bobbin change, a thread break, safe zone areas to set, patterns to resize, repeat, and nest, and so much more.  I think I might need a checklist to remember the common steps for the next few quilts.

My weakest area is either setting the numbers for pattern sizes and thinking through that aspect of the loading process, or the last partial row at the bottom of a quilt. This row was causing a few challenges last night while quilting.

I thought I just had a problem with my pattern or a setting. I wasn’t sure, so after finishing my first quilt I loaded a second– determined to figure out what was happening.
I should clarify that the problem I was having was manually working through the jumps and a system error between the computer and the machine. There may have also been a few errors with the users brain. It happens. It was still sewing fine, occasionally there would be a thread break sensor go off when the thread was fine or it would start tracing a pattern when it was supposed to be sewing.  With each issue I was able to back it up and restart at the stitch the problem started on without changing the end result of the quilt.

With the second quilt loaded, a pattern imported, and settings seemingly happy I dove in. Unfortunately I had the same issues on the second quilt as I had with the first.
Thankfully, when I returned to class today I was able to ask a handful of questions and come up with a game plan on trouble shooting to find an answer. No matter what, she still sews beautifully and I can work around this hiccup manually instead of automatically for now.

I am just so thrilled with how each quilt turned out. I love watching Millie sew and thinking through how to enhance different quilts with different quilting designs and concepts. It opens an entire new element to quilting.
Sew you at the machine,

•Care
apqs · Challenge · Design · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · Work in Progress

Flying Away On Fabric

Does life seem like it is flying away without you? I sure feel that way some days. 

I’ve been working on a new quilt and pattern that has me flying with the fabric. It is an airplane block that I have been messing with different sizing, trying to come up with the “perfect” size of each section in the block. I have a certain little one in mind for an airplane quilt, so hopefully I am able to finish this up quickly. 

For now, I have been practicing and playing with scrap fabric. I never really understood the desire for mini quilts, but I am beginning to jump on board. Some of these trial blocks are just too cute to adios. I’m thinking they might get quilted up and turn into minis. I’m sure I can find a few homes for them.

What have you been working on?
Ever since we unboxed Millie, I have been dying to get my hands on her at every available moment. Keep in mind, Millie is at my parent’s house which is a little under an hour away from where I live. That doesn’t stop me. I spent most of last weekend standing behind her, and I even went up last night to get in a couple hours of playtime. 

This weekend, my mom and I are taking a two day quilt path class. Quilt Path is the computer system that APQS offers for their longarm machines. I expect to walk away with my mind blown. Hopefully I will be able to pick up the pieces and learn everything I can. Gosh I just cannot wait.

I will be sure to share different tricks and tips we learn. Sharing this journey from cutting the tape on the box to learning how to use Millie is something I plan to do.  I am planning on posting the good, the bad, and the ugly and dragging you along with me. Strap on that seatbelt, things could get crazy around here.
For now I will dream of flying away to a land of no clocks, no commitments, happy sewing machines, and full bobbins. Care to join me?

See you at the machine,

Care

apqs · Challenge · English Paper Piecing · EPP · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

Millie Hums

We went on vacation this last week and I completely checked out on technology. It was wonderful, but I am happy to be back!

I missed WIP Week for this month, but I did spend some time working on an unfinished project. I hope you did too! See my last post for more about my WIP Project. It was an English Paper Pieced quilt designed by Mickey Depre (Her patterns are fabulous!).

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We flew back home late Friday night and yesterday (Saturday) I spent on a date with Millie. If you remember, we had a few boxes delivered the week before I left town. Those boxes turned into an amazing, APQS longarm machine. I AM IN LOVE! Sorry My Love, you might have a little competition.

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Back to Millie- Her full name has turned into Millennium Falcon thanks to one of my awesome Brother-in-Law’s suggestions. For short, we will still call her Millie. The week before we left I was able to get her all assembled, we plugged her in, saw lights turn on, then I had to leave and drive back to my house. This was so tough! It was just before midnight when we saw her lights turn on, so we were not able to actually hear her hum.

The week was crazy and I wasn’t able to get back to her before leaving town. Thankfully, I had a great distraction-Disney World. Though I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about sewing with her every day.

Back to yesterday. Yesterday I finally got to not only turn her on and hear her hum!

At first, I loaded on a couple fat quarters to check tension and play with settings on QuiltPath, the computer program she is able to work with and we have conveniently named “Millie’s Brain”. Here is what we came up with.

After this was finished, I decided to work with a larger area and loaded a little over a yard top and a backing then played more. This time I didn’t have a plan and just wanted to try different things.

I wasn’t looking up tutorials or spending too much time fighting through settings because I am taking a two-day class next weekend. This was just a time to get my hands dirty.

The first row I was hoping to alternate a teddy bear and crosshatching. Everything went well for the teddy bear, then it moved to do the crosshatching, but instead of making a jump, it sewed the transition line. “It is just a test piece,” I reminded myself, though I was already looking for a seam ripper to mend this mistake. On the next jump from crosshatch to teddy bear I thought I could trick it and stop her right after finishing the crosshatch then move it to the start of teddy bear and search for closest stitch. In theory it sounded like a fabulous idea, but in action it just didn’t work. I moved along to a new row.

Another issue I came across was that sometimes after starting a block, setting the safe areas and where the block should sew, Millie would move through the pattern, but wasn’t stitching. I was able to jump in the middle of it and get her to start stitching again, but I couldn’t figure out how to back up and get her to fix what she missed.   I’m hoping to clear this up with a YouTube video or in class next weekend.

I’m very happy with how everything is going so far even with this learning curve. I’m glad I was able to start playing and come across these issues ahead of time.

After coming across a few issues I decided to take a stab at freehand quilting. I turned QuiltPath off and unlatched her from the belts to give me full control. Once ready, my mind went blank and I had no idea what to quilt. I started with a simple “hello!” and I forgot halfway through how to write cursive- brain fart!

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Next up I played with writing “Quilter’s Hideaway.” Remember that surprise I hinted at a few posts back? Here is another part of it. I’m going to let you slowly put pieces together as I share hints and clues.

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With that, I moved on to some meandering, straight lines, and a box. I also tried pebbles in a smaller box, but my goodness, this will need some work.

I hope you enjoy this journey with Millie. I cannot wait to continue learning and sharing along the way.  I already realize I will need to come up with a better option for getting pictures of the quilting.  Often it was hard to get the stitches to show up.

 

See you at the machine,

Care