Friday, February 18, 2022

A Little Getaway

Ray really wanted to photograph the eagles so we went to the Quad Cities and looked for some. Sadly, we didn't find many. This is my one photo taken with my phone. Ray got some really good pictures of the few eagles that we did see.

We visited two quilt shops: Quilting in the Valley in Moline, IL, and Expressions in Thread in LeClaire, IA. I was so excited that I forgot to take pictures. Both stores were empty except for the two clerks and one other customer which was perfect.

We spent time at the Quad City Botanical Center. We went just after noon and the place was almost empty. Ray was able to use his tripod which made him happy. I took a number of photos. I loved the pops of color.

Pink Powder Puff

Cacao pod on chocolate tree.

Bunch of bananas and their flower

Limequat - cross between a Key Lime and a Kumquat

The ladies working at the Botanical Center suggest River House Bar and Grill in Moline for a late lunch. It did not disappoint! I had the Oriental Chicken Salad - do you think that's enough chicken?!

Ray was very happy to see Jambalaya on the menu and the corn bread was wonderful.

We left with more than enough for another meal. We did add two pieces of corn bread to our 'leftovers".

The other major stop was Lagomarcino's Confectionery, a chocolate shop. The salted chocolate covered caramels were so good! It's not that we needed candy...

We spent two nights at Element Moline, a fairly new, very nice motel. We would definitely go back there. This was the night view out of our "living room" window.

We arrived home and had messages on our answering machine. Ray was put on a list for knee replacement a week ago. His surgeon found out he could retire and will not be doing surgeries after March. He called to see if Ray wanted him to do the surgery (YES!) or to wait for someone else. Life has been quite hectic getting appointments and all. It'll probably slow down after Ray's surgery in early March.

I've been doing a little sewing - I began a new (gift) quilt. I'm also doing my exercises and getting much stronger. Ray was a great caretaker after my surgery - I have a lot to live up to!

Friday, February 11, 2022

Yes, I cut the quilt in two!

I started Irish Chain with Solids at least a couple of years ago. I added the borders in July of 2020 and it was ready to be quilted in September of 2020. Somewhere along the line, I decided to use this quilt as a practice quilt for quilting with rulers. So I quilted each block with rulers or sometimes didn't. I just practiced on it intermittently.

When I got my longarm, I continued practicing on it. Sometimes I used rulers and sometimes I didn't, Recently I finished the quilting. Then I cut it apart, serged the four sides on each piece, and added the binding. The idea of cutting the quilt came to me  a couple of months. 

I think you can tell this was folded.
I still don't like getting on the floor.

I have beautiful tables that my machines sit on in my "machine room". To protect the tables, each machine was sitting on a practice sandwich. 

I really need to make new covers one of these days.

Now the tables look much better! The quilt was 63" square. One table in the machine room is 30" X 72" and the other is 22" X 72". The quilt is a little short on the ends but it works.

The quilting is all different and all practice. Some of it is rough but it will be fine for table mats.

I used Aurifil #2600 Dove thread and I also used Finesse #3285 Light Wool thread. They both look similar and I wanted to test both on my longarm. The back of the quilt is navy with white circles - it was in my stash. 

I really do need to make some new machine covers. I've been using small quilts that are quite old and faded. I always put the back side out because it looks better.

Practicing on this quilt also included loading a pinned quilt on the longarm, taking it off, and reloading it. It was great practice and helped me become more comfortable. I'm moving forward! 


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