Happy Almost Halloween

Scary, but true, I have finished my pix-elated Sugar Skull mini! Woot Woot!

I’m so proud of myself, I can’t stop taking pictures of it!




After my quilting triumph, my son and I took a break to visit a small local park called Rock City. It was my first trip there and it was amazing. The views were lovely and the stroll through the giant formations provided lots of opportunities for reflection and introspection. We decided that we will have to take Cindy and her DH for a hike next spring when Rock City reopens.




I’m liking the lichen!


This look says “way to ruin the moment, mom”, doesn’t it?

We may or may not have rediscovered a delicious seasonal spot for sweet fresh apple cider and donuts on our trip too. When I was in college, my mom and dad would bring cider and donuts from Cummin’s when they stopped by to see me on Mondays in the fall. (You see there was a cow sale nearby that they attended nearly every week. They’d come and pick me up for lunch and drop off cider, donuts and homemade cookies). The goodies were as yummy as I remembered.

On our way home, Wes and I made a pact to explore another hiking trail next weekend as well. There is so much beauty around us, it’s not right to spend so much time indoors!



Machine Quilting Makes Me Talk Like a Pirate (Maybe even a sailor)

Arrrgh, me hearties — I’ve been at it once again — I’m talking about machine quilting !!?#*&&!!!

My new (to me) Bernina Virtuoso 153 Quilter’s Edition, wonderful and steady as she blows, cannot (apparently) save me from my own mistakes.

I’m determined to machine quilt my pix-elated sugar skull wall hanging. So I decided to use my walking foot and quilt it on the diagonal — easy as begging for candy from neighbors, right?


Just before the real “fun” began.

As I began quilting, I was struggling with the pins and I was having trouble keeping the stitches even. Despite the walking foot, the weight of the quilt kept slowing the stitches down and making them very uneven. It was bothering me, but I was trying to learn to live with it. Then I turned the quilt over to take a peek at the back side….

ARRRgh (more pirate talk) (even more sailor talk *&$#@@!!!).


This bulge is so large it was mistaken for a space/time ripple from observers on the International Space Station.

For this failed attempt at machine quilting, I was using a new “jeans” needle, my walking foot, safety pins to secure the sandwich and my usual piecing thread in both the top and in the bobbin. The stitch length was set to 3.

After I stopped with my pirate soliloquy, I picked out every one of those stitches and then threw the backing and the top into the wash in an effort to remove all of the tiny bits of thread clinging to my quilt like barnacles on a sea cow.

Here are the steps I’ve taken before beginning my second attempt:

I went to Joann to buy some machine quilting thread (all my quilting shops are closed on Sunday). I purchased a Sulky 12 weight thread, hoping to make the stitches more distinct.  Next, I found a great blog post on QuiltSocial.com from Jennifer Houldon on using this thread to machine quilt. I also purchased a can of quilt basting spray. I switched out my walking foot for a free-motion foot, guessing/hoping that I can begin in the center and make a tight stipple pattern that will reduce fabric bunching.

Finally, I am trying to figure out where and how I can protect my floors from the basting spray. I thought I had a large sheet of new drywall in my storage shed to use as a base, but I do not. This isn’t supposed to be this hard, is it?

Any and all advice welcome on any and all of the above! I don’t want to have to keep the eye patch I have on order.


The dude in red and I speak the same language!