Braving the Elements

Today I'm heading out without adult supervision for the first time in quite a while. The wind has died down and the rains have abated, at least for a little while. There is still no sunshine in the forecast for the next two weeks. In fact, snow showers are forecast for a week from Wednesday, but I never pay much attention to that. (As I was proofreading this, I happened to glance out the window. Snow is falling in big fat flakes. Ha!)

Like I said last week at this time, there is a quilt display going on at the main branch of our library from a group that calls itself "High Fiber Diet". I want to head over to see that, and then I'll just cruise on over to another library branch where my own Snowbirds quilt is on display. You might remember the Snowbirds quilt, finished a couple of years ago:

There might be other quilts on display along with it. I won't know until I get there. It's in a tiny library in a slightly-larger-than-tiny town, but it's still fun to see one's quilts on display, no matter the venue.

So there's that. Yesterday, I was able to finish the Quilting Snowladies top. When I had the first row sewn together, I knew I was going to love it.

Of course, I ran out of bobbin thread during this process, but it gave me the opportunity to show you a new feature that came with the latest software update to my machine. My Bernina 750QE is really just a computer with a needle for sewing, and so its software usually gets updated whenever I take it in for service. It has always stopped sewing when the bobbin thread runs out...a feature I happen to love...but with the new update, it actually shows you a low-bobbin indicator. It still stops sewing when the thread is gone, but you have some idea you're coming to the end when this little flashing bobbin icon appears. Cool, huh? A little geeky in a nerdly kind of way. When you live with an engineer, you can't help but have the geek and/or nerd rub off on you.

So, once I had the bobbin rewound, I added the second row. Here, I had to call on the Resident Engineer for a design consultation. 

My plan has always been to add at least one border using the snowflake fabric (which will also be on the quilt back). The decision I hadn't yet made was whether to also add a stop border in the blue fabric. When I saw the two rows sewn together, I started thinking it didn't need any borders at all...just the blue for the binding. Lucky for him, the Resident Engineer agreed.

So on I went, sewing away, until the end of the afternoon when the top was finished. Ta-Da!!

And I'll just say I'm super happy with how this turned out. It ends up at 60 x 80 inches...a good size. The first embroidered block was started on February 12, 2013, and so I've been working on it for nearly three years. The embroidery was designed by Carol L. Steffensen of Chickadee Hollow Designs. A few of you have asked, and so I'll tell you that the patterns are still available on her website as individual blocks or as a set. You can find them right here. I made a mistake by going to her website because I couldn't resist buying the entire set of Special Mini Charms.

Each one stitches out at 2 inches square. When I saw them I was thinking it would make a cute mini quilt set with those bonus triangles you get when making half square triangles. Think of it as my way of spending money while simultaneously being thrifty. It might have been more cost conscious to discard the bonus triangles, but there you go. These also have some teensy tinsy buttons on them. She has the buttons for sale on her site, but I wasn't sure which ones were the right ones. I have an email out to her, but so far, she hasn't responded.

So...that's my prattle for the day. Time to head out to the libraries and then on a few errands. Probably, I'll take a vacation from sewing for today.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I just made that recommendation to Juki - an alert when the bobbin is low. Would love that feature. I am not a border person, but I really don't think this needs a border - it would distract from the pretty snowladies.

Lana Ku said...

Thanks for the snow ladies pattern info. They are so adorable. I love how you have put them together in the quilt top. I'm sure you are so excited to have it almost finished. I'm thinking about maybe doing 3 of them as a wall hanging. I don't think I could ever do all 12!

Janarama said...

For the most part, I prefer quilts without borders. Of course, this depends on the design of the quilt. Your Snow Ladies quilt is beautiful. I haven't purchased a high-end sewing machine since 1992 or 1993 when I purchased a top-of-line (at the time) Viking #1. It does beep when I am almost out of bobbin thread, but it doesn't stop sewing when the bobbin is completely empty. Funny thing is when it does beep, I seem to sew faster hoping I can complete my seam before it runs out.

gpc said...

That bobbin alert is a neat trick. My ancient machine scoffs at the thought, but I love the idea. I love love your snow ladies -- I love them even more than I thought I would, which is saying something!

Kathy H said...

I really like how you sashed etc. the snow ladies quilt. It turned out great. I have stitched a few of her designs. They are always fun to work on.

SJSM said...

That cracks me up. Sewing faster gave me a real chuckle! Thanks for starting my day with a smile.

Kate said...

Very cool looking Snow Ladies. Congrats on getting it all stitched together.

Brown Family said...

I love the Mini Charms! All three sets! I will add them to a wish list!