Thursday, December 30, 2010

cordless iron review

 Christmas brought this new iron into my sewing studio and I have had a chance to use it a bit.  I like it :-)  From plugging the base into the electrical outlet to feeling the iron hot enough to use was about 60 seconds.  It has a nice weight to it and glides wonderfully smooth on the fabric. It stays hot enough, long enough for my purposes with quilting and heats up quickly when back on the base. As an iron in general, I'd probably rate it a 4 on a 1-5 scale but in the cordless range...I think I would give it a 5. I don't miss moving that cord around.
I don't usually use steam for my ironing but thought I should try that feature out to see how effective it was. I needed to iron a large amount of backing material for my mom's quilt (which I will post about later :-).  So in went some filtered water.  The water tank detaches easily from the iron and is easy to fill.  The heating time for steam use is longer.  And since I was ironing larger amount of fabric at the time, I could see if the heat held very well. seemed to work fairly well.  I used the button to direct an actual stream of water onto some of the fabric where I was trying to get rid of the mark where the fabric had been folded onto the bolt. This worked pretty easily.  Re-heating time when returned to the base unit took notably more time.  There is some kind of internal control that is supposed to turn off the steam function when the iron isn't hot enough to produce steam effectively. This is to prevent water drops and leaks onto your fabric. I didn't experience any unwanted leaks.
All that being seems to me that someone wanting to use alot of steam for pressing would be better off with an iron that wasn't losing heat while in use....meaning that one with a cord would be more consistently effective.  I got the iron (that I recently dropped) because I hated the automatic shut off system in the kept turning off while in use and leaked water frequently when I tried to use it with steam.  That is probably where I stopped using steam features period.  It is just easier for me to have a spray bottle of water that I can use for stubborn creases. Keeping that in mind...I personally would rate the steam function with only about a 3 on a scale of 1-5..I just like my water spray bottle better.
So enough about to another fun turn of events :-) 
The base does take up room on the ironing board so I looked for alternative places to keep it.  There are little shelves or 'iron holders' that can be added to your ironing board or come as part of one but I have a closet where I store my ironing board and can't allow for it to be longer.  So is this a nice excuse to shop for furniture?  Of course!
I had a messy corner next to where I iron that would be just right for a cupboard or something that I could roll right up next to my ironing board.  I looked in town at a couple of antique shops but didn't really find anything workable.  Then I looked online for ideas.  Nothing really showed up that was fitting my idea but a 2 drawer file cabinet from Pottery Barn looked promising.  Was close to ordering it but the $25 surcharge for shipping and the $30 actual shipping and then another $29 tax on the cabinet, the surcharge and the shipping really just started to make this item cost a bit more than it was worth to me.  But upstairs I had an old oak file cabinet that had belonged to my MIL...hmmm maybe that will work.  So upstairs we go and it works except that I had needed wheels on the bottom of it and this thing has nothing but the sides to bottom basically.  DH is thinking we could put a board for base but for some reason thinks it isn't going to work well.  I head off to walk dogs and come back to find he has shopped online and found a cute little jelly cabinet that he likes for it.  I'm not so sure but since he likes it, we order it.  Buyer's remorse sets in...and the next day, I find that this sweet company will cancel the problem.  DH heads off to help a friend out.  I head back upstairs to check out the file cabinet.  I empty it out and manage to slide it down the (carpeted) stairs and into my sewing room.  So now about those wheels...this thing slides pretty well just on the plastic protectors it has on the bottom...Hey :-) what about magic sliders....I look in the garage and we even have some right in our possession that are rectangle and just the right size to fit on the meager "bottom" of this cabinet.  Free and it works!  Now my ironing "center" is complete.  Short story made long...
So if you made it this far, you have persevered enough...I'll save the Psalms block for another post! Happy New Year :-) 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

did some ordering for my hubby

Panasonic NI-L70SR Cordless Steam/Dry Iron

My favorite iron took a hit the other day when I tripped on the cord.  It still works but I don't think it gets as hot as it used to and as the control for the heat died awhile back...well, it may be time to say good bye.  So hello Cordless!
Wish me luck with how well this will work out.  I will do a review after I use it awhile and I'll let you know what I think.  Amazon had some mixed reviews...most loved it, including some quilters...a few hated it for not staying hot when they wanted it.  But I will surely find out.  DH was lamenting the other day about finding gifts for me to open on Christmas.  This iron should work and not subject him to scorn since I picked it out myself :-)
To soften the purchase, I ordered the new Josh Groban CD as well.
So in my new soft socks, I'll be ironing away with wonderful music and a "fire" all in my sewing room. Merry Christmas to me!
And Merry Christmas to all of you too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

quilter's group gift exchange


Merry Christmas!
Not sure where I got this picture of the cardinal but I love it.  We don't see birds or snow covered branches around here so it's nice to see them in pictures.                                                           
Been busy as everyone has, getting gifts and decorations ready for Christmas and enjoying meeting up with others to enjoy the          season.                                                                                  
Our quilter's group met Monday evening for a dinner of soup and desserts to exchange gifts for the quilter who's name we             drew.  The gifts I received were very fun! In addition to a Ball jar filled with Hershey's kisses :-) I opened a package with especially warm and soft socks that actually somehow have a layer of lotion in there to soften your feet while you wear them. I don't really feel the lotion but I wear them to bed to keep my feet warm and magically, I must say, my feet feel softer in the morning. Amazing and cozy!                                                                               
 And this adorable little quilt welcome wall hanging was specially made for my home at the beach. Very fun colors and very beach cottage.                                                                                                                                                                       

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Faux Fireplace

My DH was playing around with my computer while I sewed away on many rows of floral fabric....then had me come look at what he had done.                                                                             
I now have a crackling fire in my sewing room :-)
That's my computer screen with a fireplace screensaver running. Silly but fun.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 22, 2010

cat,quilt and flowers

 I am a bit behind here in sharing what projects I have been working on. I'm still sewing Psalms blocks, working on a large quilt with Robyn Pandolph fabrics for my mom, crocheting an afghan, and needing to get several other small quilts quilted. Last week though, I decided to make a small quilt for a co-worker going through some rough changes.  Quilter's Cupboard, my favorite LQS, helped me pick out some beautiful fabrics and plan this quilt.  Elinor is helping with the ironing and then also modeling the finished work.

This is my new favorite quick quilt pattern called "Just Can't Cut It"
I altered it by making only 9 blocks and shrunk the block size to 75% at that to make it even a faster project.  I was pleased to get it quilted using a panto called Woodcut Camilla (sorry I can't find a link to show it to you). The fabric is so busy that you can't hardly see the quilting on it...even when holding the quilt. But it was fast and worked well with the large flowers.                                     

My latest Psalms block is called God's Eye. We studied Psalm 139. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made..."                          
And finally to some flowers.  Several months ago, I planted some sunflower seeds. They sprouted only to be eaten by bugs when they were about 1-3 inches.  I abandoned them.  Then about 6-8 weeks ago, I noticed that more Wild Sunflowers (that was what the package had labled them) had grown up to about a foot high...and then the deer starting eating them.  I put some mesh around them and they continued to grow unharmed.  Now I have blooms :-) 
The big yellow bushes on either side are a pungent flower that the deer won't eat. They also require very little water. Perfect for Cambria.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

help in the sewing room

Just after finishing my post yesterday about sewing rows of quilt blocks together I turned to see Elinor promptly lie down on them.
 Marianne then got up to give direction.
 Yes, this will work.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hard Times

 Kind of a boring quilt block here but I got alot out of the Psalm it was representing.  Psalm 142 was written by David when he was hiding in a cave to avoid being killed by King Saul.  David's hard time at that moment was surely more challenging than what I face and yet I can hear myself at times whining complaining or fretting about troubles or worries but without the focus that I read in this Psalm.  I'm thinking it might be more fruitful to memorize this Psalm and use the words David wrote down...and get my mind back to knowing God is my Source and Refuge.
One thought that opened my eyes a bit was the line "deliver me from my persecutors".  I think the only one persecuting me around here is me!  Women in particular often are our own worst critics. Wendy posted an interesting thought today on Stash Manicure  that encourages me to change that habit. And Psalm138:8 also gives me a better focus, "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever".
Here is a quick photo of Marianne...I'm documenting 'progress' in my attempt to get her to use the Crinkle Sac that I bought because  "cats Love them" ...or so I was told :-)  She is at least sitting in front of it on some crinkly tissue wrapping paper. I maintain such lofty pursuits! :-) She isn't as annoyed as she looks.  Just the wrong second for the camera to shoot.
Today I am sewing together the rows of lovely Robyn Pandolph fabric.
Hope you are doing something beautiful today too.
PS  Something happened to my typing issue here!  The words just justify normally and not all from the center. Yeah! Thank you Blogger or Google or whoever fixed that!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Psalms block #16

This block is called Cornucopia and is for Psalm 85. "Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Psalm 85:11-12
I am in the midst of a few projects and have started yet another one which will be for my mom. It is a kit purhcased at our local  quilt show..a couple of years ago!..and is made up of some  beautiful Robyn Pandolph fabric. Floral pinks and aquas that will make a nice bedspread quilt for her.                                       
This was my favorite.
And here are the girls, faithfully helping me in the sewing room.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Made it to PIQF! (warning lots of pictures)

After some serious persuasion...I was blessed with a friend to travel with to PIQF on Thursday! Thank you, Rana, it was wonderful!  I had a small list of items to shop for and one very special quilt to see and all was acomplished!  So here are some pictures of the show...
Here is the quilt on my most important list!  This is 'Bay Bridge   Series' by Nancy Brown.  Very worth the trip!  I love her applique animals and am always amazed at the personality she captures.  What made it even more fun was getting to see Nancy at the show as well.                                                              

Note: Not sure what to do with the difficulty I am having with blogger...can't seem to figure out what is happening with sentence alignment! Hope you can follow along till I figure out what is wrong. And it is only letting me load one picture at a time. Period. I've had to save and close the post, wait and come back to another 'editing' session to add additional photos. And the word alignment starts in the middle and justifies left only when I type enough words in a line.  This is a bit crazy!  Any hints?
Just look at this elephant face.

OK they did also have a few other quilts at the show.

And yet another quilt inspired by Nancy Brown by students.

The vendors were rich with beautiful fabric and inspiration.  I loved seeing the Fig Tree booth with Joanna sharing her wonderful design and color.
I also was able to meet John'aLee of The Scrappy Appleyard with her beautiful booth of fabrics. She was stitching on her Buttercream Summer BOM which looks even more delish in real life.                                                                                   

A long but amazing day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall into Fall Giveaway Winner!

Just a quick post to announce the winner of the sweatshirts and pattern I have for the Fall into Fall Giveaway. 
Stormy Days, who has an adorable dog, is the winner.  I will just need the mailing address and I will get the giveaway items in the mail.  Congratulations! 
Thank you to everyone for participating.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PIQF this weekend

PIQF is this weekend and I really wish I was going! Nancy Brown is showing a quilt that I want to see...bad!  And then there are all those vendors who practically present a quilt show all on their own...too much to miss. 
Just in time for PIQF, Library Gal and One Stitch Off will have some new jewelry they are making to be shown off at Honey Run Quilters booth.

In the meantime, there is some nice stitching going on in my own neighborhood.  I hosted the Piecemaker quilt group here last night and was gifted 11 delectable mountain quilt blocks that I had handed out the previous meeting. I'm hoping to make a charity quilt or a Quilt of Valor out of these blocks.
The Psalms block I finished this week is called Day and Night.  "Yet the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me," Ps. 42:8
My 'Acorn Crisp" is coming along.  I found some wool at the LQS that will work better than what I had for the leaves.  I also got a tip from Laurie at Cat Haven Crafts and will be able to try some more wool projects in the future. Thank you, Laurie!
The Fall into Fall Giveaway is going on till October 15 so if you are looking for that post :-)  Click here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Autumn project

(If you are looking for the giveaway here)
The girls stayed up late with me last night to help make a little table topper that was featured by one of the designers in the Fall-o-Ween blog hop.  It is called Acorn Crisp and was designed by Kari at New Leaf Stitches. Check out the pattern here
 It calls for flying geese blocks and I sewed an extra seam as I have seen others do to make the portion of fabric that will be cut off to be already sewn into scrap HSTs.

I had a picture of Elinor for you and I had another picture of the rewards of the extra seam to show but this new Blogger format is 'killing me' in that I can't move the pictures around with any ease at all.  I gave up and deleted the photos because it wouldn't let me place them.  

And now it is not letting me type....
Here is the topper ready for me to add the leaves and acorn applique.  I'm looking for the right colors of wool so this may wait till I'm off work again next week.
Here is the latest Psalms block completed.  It is called Paths of Peace for Psalm 25
"Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me they paths. Ps. 25:4