Adventures in Longarm Quilting

Oh my goodness.  I am SO excited!  For the past 6 years (ever since I found out there was such a wondrous thing), I've been obsessing over longarm quilting machines.  For awhile, I made do with a "hobby" frame system, a 10' Grace quilting frame with a mid-arm Pfaff set on it for quilting.  I found that I love the Pfaff sewing machine - the frame, not so much.

My old quilting frame.

After trying out a few different models at a local quilt show, I set my sights on a Gammill.   Every 3 months or so, I would go on an all night binge of searching the web for a used longarm in my part of the world.  After flirting with a couple of machines, I have finally found the one for me!  A Gammill Classic with a 14' long table and no stitch regulator.  She absolutely purred when her former owner let me play on her for the afternoon.  (Thanks, Carol!)  Ah, love.

Introducing my new baby!

She sews such nice curves.

Moving it was quite an ordeal, mostly due to the fact that I had to drive a 20' U-Haul across California.  Dis-assembling and re-assembling the behemoth wasn't too hard, unless I put it together completely backwards, which is possible.

As you can see, I no longer have a living room that can be "lived in" by anyone other than me and my new baby.  And, like many new parent/child relationships, we're having a few issues. So, for the near future, I will probably be a little more stressed out than usual, and I'll probably be tearing my hair out just a little bit...but I'm confident that we'll be purring along again soon!

Doodles and the quest for the perfect circle.

Learning: Hawaiian Quilts

I love Hawaiian quilts.  I've been flirting with the idea of making one for ages.  I've collected tons of books on the subject.  I even took a class from the amazing Jean Brown.  But, alas, the block I started in her class lies buried in one of my cabinets - a sad study in poor applique.  I'll keep trying, but I'm just not sure that it's my thing.  Oh, how I wish it was!

Recently, my family celebrated spring break in Maui.  It was a great vacation.  So many wonderful surprises.

Humpback whales...
...sea turtles (That large round "rock" to the right of me!)...
...teensy, weensy frogs...
...and quilts!
We stayed the last couple of nights in Makena, and instead of having boring resort art on the walls, they chose to decorate with Hawaiian quilts!  There was no information about the makers or the patterns, which was a shame, but the quilts themselves made me very happy.   I ran through the hotel snapping photos (sorry for the glare, they were mostly behind glass).  I spied one gorgeous, huge pineapple quilt inside a conference room that had the door cracked, but was too shy to interrupt the ongoing meeting and ask if I could take a picture.  It made me wonder what was behind all the other closed doors!

Shopping: Gingham Napkins are Hot!

I  know it's almost summer because I keep getting these wonderful magazines featuring my Peppermint Pinwheels gingham napkins!  My red gingham napkins are in the cutest table setting in this month's Southern Lady Magazine (May/June 2012). 

Red Gingham Napkins by me!

And, being a transplanted southern lady myself, I'm lovin' it!