the little things . . .

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Yesterday was a day when two very difficult weeks eased into a distant memory, and I was left feeling great appreciation and satisfaction that it was successfully over. After two weeks of having my bone densitometer not working and having to cancel patient after patient appointment, six service visits from four engineers, and having electricians in to rewire the lab, everything was repaired and put back into order. The culprit that wreaked all this havoc was a tiny 1/4″ washer that was blocking the x-ray beam. Who knows how long it had been there – it was in a part of the machine that was sealed. The machine movement caused the washer to migrate over time until it got to a place that caused all this trouble. It was so tiny that four engineers worked on this machine and no one saw it.

In this country where we have too much to do and not enough time to do it, each engineer was trying to get the work done quickly and go on to their next appointment. Each of them came from a distance and still had far to go. They replaced every part in the machine that could have been causing trouble. The engineer that came yesterday came from farther away and had another call in the evening when that lab was closed. So, he had all day to spend with us, and he was kind and patient. He was more experienced than any of the previous engineers and worked quickly, but methodically from top to bottom to make sure each part of the process was exactly right. He was of great assistance to me because he knew the machine software even better than I do, and he gave me great advice about how to maintain my unique configuration.

 It was just before noon when the lab technician came in to show me the washer. I’m going to have it framed.

Continue reading “the little things . . .” 
 

How to prevent seam shadows on your quilt

When piecing a quilt, one should not be able to see the edge of the seam allowance of the darker fabric showing through the light fabric when a seam has been pressed to  the light side. Now I admit, I’m a little compulsive about this. We’re always told to press to the dark if we can, and there’s nothing wrong with pressing to the light side; it can be a good thing if it makes our seam intersection flat. But sometimes that dark fabric just wants to show through. There are ways to take care of it when we’re piecing.

 If it has already happened, there are remedies. I’ve been told that you can go back and trim the dark fabric to be shorter than the light. I’ve tried that and it takes FOREVER!!!! as well as being pretty risky if you accidentally nip the quilt top or trim it so short that it unravels at the seamline.

 So, I took some photos while I was piecing some brown and yellow blocks to illustrate one way to avoid those dark slivers. This is what I usually do if I can.

Continue reading “How to prevent seam shadows on your quilt” 
 

Current project

Here’s one I’ve been working on today. Norma pieced this one. Batting is Dream 100% cotton Select weight, thread is Aurifil 50 wt on top and Bottom Line 50 wt in the bobbin. Have had tension issues for the first time in ages. Finally put a silicone washer in the bobbin and it seems to be doing better. haven’t had as many thread breaks. Feathers are free-style–drew spine w/ blue water soluble marker and then started quilting.

Cream Bricks Quilt on frame  closeup of feathers - on frame  closeup of feathers - on frame #2 
 

Kindness

People are so kind. We’re going to Phoenix soon to The Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center to have the baby evaluated by the doctors there. We reserved accommodations for a 2 bedroom suite through Expedia. We got a call from the manager and when she found out why we were coming to Phoenix, she upgraded us to a much more comfortable suite. It will truly be appreciated. It is so hard to keep a baby cooped up, and the extra space will be well used.

BNI has been the leader in the US for treatment of children with hypothalamic hamartoma tumors. We are anxious to connect with doctors who have extensive experience with this and to have them provide medical care for Ezri.

Here are some recent photos of that gorgeous baby (cooped up in her “Pack and Play”:

always happy    chewing the pack and play    what are you thinking   

look at those teeth 
 

Graceful Geishas

This is what I finished today. It’s a printed panel called “Graceful Geishas”.

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This was fun to do. I used Isacord thread in the top and Bottom Line thread in the bobbin. The batting is Dream Blend Select. I used my Quilt EZ double spiral template to quilt the large spiral and then used free-hand quilting for the rest. The binding seems a little tight, so it may need to be blocked. The hanging sleeve was stitched into the top binding and then a machine hem stitch was used on the lower edge. I was hesitant to pre-wash the fabric because it was so shiny and pretty. Sometimes polished cottons lose a little sheen when they’re washed. Here’s some of the detail.
  

Detail 036   Detail 011

Detail 012   Detail 013

Detail 007