I <3 April!

April is birthday (and anniversary) month for Mr. LB and I so we decided to go shopping for our respective birthday presents. He got a new set of irons which he subsequently took to the driving range in 80 mph gale force winds. Poor guy but he said he had a blast.

I, on the other hand, have gotten to use my new present extensively.

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Ahhhhh! (Again, with the angels singing!) OMG! It’s a Juki TL-2010 Q. I’ve waited so long for this little workhorse I can’t tell you how good it is to finally own it. I already knew all its features by heart; I’ve had the Juki cut sheet posted on my refrigerator since last September. So I just walked into my local sewing center (which happens to sell and service Jukis) and bought it. The big selling point of this machine is the harp space which should make free motion quilting that much easier. I haven’t tried FMQ on it yet but it sews straight line like a dream. One of the things about my old machine was that I could not get it to sew a consistent ¼” seam allowance – a very, very important thing in quilting. The reason for that was that the machine allowed you to change the needle position left and right. This is a great feature but every time I turned the machine off and back on, it reset the needle position and the seam allowance was always “off”. In fact, the seam allowance would get “off” just through use. The Juki’s needle position is fixed. So while I miss the ability to move the needle to and fro, I also love the fact that the needle doesn’t move to and fro willy nilly. (I just had to say that “to and fro willy nilly”. It’s so darn cute!) The fixed needle position makes for consistent sewing. Sew happy!!!

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My first project on it was this pillow to match the quilt I’m making for my sister in honor of her wedding. I did the FMQ on my old machine but sewed the backing (with a zipper) and piping on my new one.

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I used this tutorial for the zipper backing – best one I’ve tried yet. I adore the striped piping! This is the same fabric I’ll use for the binding on the quilt. In fact, does this binding not look so much fun all rolled up and ready to go on that quilt?

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With Pinwheel Paradise waiting to be quilted, I moved on to my next deadline which is a commissioned quilt for a young lady graduating from 8th grade this spring.

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It’s a simple stacked coin pattern that I made from a 6-pack of Tonga Treats in Napa – I just cut the 6” strips down to 3” strips before stacking them. (I couldn’t resist taking this photo with the morning sun streaming into my kitchen while I pin basted this quilt.) Her favorite color is purple so it had to have plenty of purple in it but I wanted some contrast too.

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To that end, I used Tonga Escargot Dawn for the sashing and for some additional purple pop, Tonga Pig Tails Purple for the outer border. (I seriously would love a job naming fabric, ice cream flavors and/or crayon colors.) The backing is Robert Kaufmann Interweave Chambray in Wisteria – a beautiful muted lavender that is quite calming.

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I had wanted a little patchwork on the back, as I usually do, so I added a few cats from Oh Fransson!’s CatVent Quilt Along. The gift giver suggested the name A Purrfect Fortune combining the stacked coin reference and the cats.

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I’m straight line quilting it on my new Juki with a 45 degree angled grid at 1” intervals using Aurifil #2545. (Realy Aurifil? Numbers? Not colors? You seriously need to hire me!) I was worried it might be too heavily quilted but I really believe that it is just right. I’m hoping it will be a “soon to be” finish but because this still is a work in progress, I’m linking up to Lee’s Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Random Thoughts

  1. We had a bit of transparent precipitation last night in the Midwest (aka rain). It is amazing how a little moisture can give you ever so slight glimpses of green coming alive. Oh, how hope springs eternal.
  2. Have you ever had a most amazing meal that it gave you (what I call) food apathy for anything else to be eaten? We visited my nephew and his lovely wife, who is Italian, and they made us homemade pizzas (read homemade dough, homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella and fresh Italian meats from the Italian market) and cooked them on their own outdoor wood fired pizza oven. I adore pizza so I’m easy to please on the pizza front, but these pizzas were so ah-mazing that they literally ruined my taste buds for anything else. I currently have apathy for all foods (with the exception of desserts, of course) having lost interest in eating all together. Now, this could be a terrific weight loss plan but, in reality, it is quite the opposite. I’m eating everything in search of that one thing that will stand up in comparison to those glorious pizzas. Oh woe is me! This may require another 3 hour round trip visit to said nephew’s house just to reawaken my taste buds once again.

Life is good – it just is! TTFN!

Annette

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