This and That, February Version

Dilbert work-life balance

This made me laugh this week, as I had NO life, yet TOO MUCH work.  A bit out of balance.  Papers to grade, lessons plans to prep, more grading, ACK!!   Finally, yesterday afternoon I pushed back from the computer, and went outside to breathe in some balmy Southern California air.

Justin Genius

First, a visit to the Genius Bar at an Apple Store, where they exchanged my Christmas-present phone for a new-to-me phone.  That should fix the battery problem, the Genius said.  Thanks, Justin.

Goal Sign

Next, writing out my quilting goals for a couple of months.  I tried to be judicious in my choices, not throwing EVERYTHING up there, but just the things I’ve committed to, or think I can do. I’m not doing the Finish-A-Long this quarter, but do like the push it gives me, so I have to generate my own push.  I think I’ll tackle the quilting on my Tiny Envelopes quilt.  It’s been pinned together for several weeks, waiting for me to finish my grading.

FMQuilting Notes

I always “test” my quilting in a doodle, then mark right on the fabric what the upper tension needs to be.  Here are a few other test drives.  I’m using King Tut thread by Superior Threads in the top, and So Fine thread in the bobbin.  I LOVE So Fine.  I often use Bottom Line thread in the bobbin, but then need to loosen the upper bobbin tension more.  Bottom Line is very fine, so “sinks” into your backing nicely.  I found the upper tension also varies between using my free-motion foot (needs to be lower), and my walking foot.  Test, test test.

Quilting Envelopes

First, quilt the little envelope shapes.

Postmark 1

Then I started looking up ways to quilt the larger design on the quilt, looking at all different kinds of postmarks on Google Images.  Did you know you can send your envelopes to North Pole, Alaska and they will cancel your Christmas letters for you, with a postmark that says “North Pole”?

Postmark 2

I thought this design had some potential, but I kept looking.

Postmark 4

The one in the upper left corner — a square with wavy lines — that was the one that pushed my quilty buttons.

Quilting Doodles Tiny Envelopes

I always print out a “faded” version of my quilts onto paper, then doodle some designs.  I’d been doodling for a while before I found that one.  I recreated it in the upper left corner, then went to work.  I Googled “wavy lines template” and found one here:  cutting_wavy_lines.  Click on that link and you’ll get a PDF file of some wavy lines.

Tracing Wavy Lines Quilting

I traced one of the wavy lines onto some heavyweight plastic from an old binder divider I had laying around, then traced the wavy lines onto my quilt with an air-disappearing marker.

hitting the wall baseball players

After a couple of hours of quilting, I hit the proverbial wall, but since the marker is a disappearing marker when exposed to the air, I knew whatever marks I had made would be gone in the morning, so I quilted until I ran out of thread in both the bobbin and on the spool.  I got the message, so called it a night.

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