Thursday, July 23, 2009

Home Again, Home Again...

Summer has been a little slow in coming to Erie, Pennsylvania this year. Our temperatures have been in the high 60's and low 70's for most of June and July. If I wanted to see summer, I had to take matters into my own hands. Fortunately, We have family in Jacksonville, Florida. Last week Honey and I headed south. We took the motorcycles. The little puppy boys (That includes my Great Pyrenees) went to Camp Diane and Camp Bonnie. Diane NextDoor watched the cat for me as well.

The weather was a balmy 65F when we left Friday evening. We made it to Clarksburg, WV on Friday. If you are ever near Clarksburg on a motorcycle, make sure to head East on 50. What a great road. Unfortunately we missed that side trip this time. We had 700+ miles to go. The mountains were beautiful as always. Very misty which turned into rain at the higher elevations. We rode the rollercoaster between rainy and cold at elevation down to hot and muggy in the valleys. Ah well, the joys of riding. Once we cleared the mountains, the weather was beautiful.

Most of our trip was spent visiting family. Honey's brothers, sister, and mother were all happy to see us. We took a short 300 mile (round trip) ride to visit my sister in Tallahassee. What a beautiful town. I agree with her the live oaks are stunning and Tallahassee has plenty of them. She also has a really cute quilt shop. I stopped in the Quilting Patch and looked around.

My sister-in-law has the same crazy infatuation with fabric that I do. She took off an afternoon so we could do a little shopping. We visited Paula's Fine Fabric and looked at the Bernina Sewing Machines. Neither Chris or I are really looking for a new machine, but it was fun to look at what is new. Paula also had rows of beautiful apparel and handbag. I love the Michael Miller collections she carries. Paula's focus is clothing, not quilting. She did have a few quilts that must have snuck in her back door though. She also has a service person in the store on Wednesdays. Chris and I agreed it would be nice to know you could drop off your machine Tuesday and pick it back up on Wednesday when it needed a cleaning. After Paula's we went down to Old Green Cupboard. They have quite a fabric collection. We were there a long time. I bought fabric to make a new bag and more of the In The Beginning Wintergraphix snowflakes. It's really too bad we can't buy more time to make the beautiful things. Old Green Cupboard has plenty to offer in addition to fabric. The store was full of pumpkins last week. They were all so cute. It's a good thing we brought the bikes down, or I might have brought many more home with me.

Unfortunately we only had a week to spend in the south. We took 2 days to come home. The weather cooled off again as soon as we hit the mountains of West Virginia. It's still in the high 60's and low 70's here at home. I hope summer arrives before September. I would like a little warm weather before the snow starts to fly.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Time for a Vacation

This week has been a crazy week. I started a new top on Saturday. I have not made too many knit tops. Just a silly fear on my part. I decided that fear of knit was irrational. I know, I know, when is fear ever rational. It was time to have confidence and move forward. I used Butterick 4886. I was able to do most of the sewing on my serger and that was a good thing. My regular machine stuck it's tongue out at me. I had to take it to the shop to have the thread cutter fixed. My sister said it needed a vacation.

I did get out my old machine in the meantime. This is the Singer I learned on. It's older than I am. A little cleaning and a little oil. It runs like a champ. The top is finished. It's not perfect, but it is wearable (with a cami of course).

I move on to a little quilting on my longarm. My machine is in the basement which is great most of the time. This week though it has been a little damp in the basement. Time to get out the dehumidifier. It as been in the high 60's and 70's here all week. Not exactly our usual July weather. Why does all that matter? I've been having tension issues. I think my thread has absorbed some of that dampness. Similar to paper kept out of the package this time of year tends to jam the copier. So I spent last night and this morning ripping out stitches. I don't really mind taking them out if they come out easy, it's the thought of having to put them all back in an no guarantee the tension is fixed (heavy sigh). Maybe I'm the one that needs a vacation.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th!

I can't believe it is July 4th already. Honey and I are getting ready to take a ride down to Fla. It's about 700 miles to his brother's house. We have the quilt shops already scoped out, a trip to Tallahassee to see my sister and maybe a little ride down to St. Augustine to see a few ghosts. The little boys are all excited about going to Camp Diane (Diane Next Door).

My bag did wonderful on it's test ride. I took it out to Warren, Pa which is about 90 minutes from home. I stopped at Quiltessentials in Pittsfield, one of my favorite quilt shops! I bought this wonderful purple butterfly fabric that I have no idea what I will do with.

Then on to Warren to the shop there. They were having a Shop Hop. I missed the tour bus, but they were still very busy. I found this great Galaxy batik to play with. I wished (as always) that I had a bigger fabric budget to play with. That would also mean I need a bigger time budget to work with all that extra fabric.

Getting back to the purpose of my trip. My new bag certainly gets quite a bit of attention. I need to devise a rain cover for it if I am going to take it to Fla. I don't think I can make one that fast enough. We may have to bring along an extra large baggie for it. I am taking quilts back to my sister-in-law so I'll have plenty of room for any extra purchases while we are gone.

I've been working on placemats again for my fall classes. I like the smaller projects for class. We can take home a completed top. The blue mat is for my paper piecing class. The brown/black is for my curves class. I've also been working on a few seasonal/holiday ones, but they are nowhere near finished yet.