Monday, January 30, 2012

Today I shall break in my Accuquilt Go!Baby.

I have visions of quilting going through my head. I've finally decided on a design. I have my Accuquilt Go!Baby and all the dies I need to finish cutting out my quilt. I really love the Go!Baby fabric cutting system. It makes really precise cuts, and my triangles have never been truer. I'm looking forward to adding the hexagons, drunkard's path, diamonds, tumbler, and apple core to my collection. I also want to add more flowers, birds, and other applique shapes as well. The only downside is the fact the dies are a bit pricey.

Will I ever get the Accuquilt Go!, the big sister to the Go!Baby? Probably. I have my heart set on doing a Wedding Ring Quilt. It's always been on my bucket list, but cutting one out has always stopped me and Accuquilt has the Wedding Ring die for the Go! It has other hard to cut out classics too, like Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, Winding Ways, and the applique dies by Ricky Tims look intriquing. Reminds me of Hawaiin applique.

I started cutting out some of the3" triangles. Now I'll need to cut out the rest.I got the rest of the dies for the 12" mix and match block set except for the 2 that won't work with the Go!Baby. (The 6 1/2 " square and 6 1/2 " triangle.)  I have some flower dies and the cute dragonfly/bee/butterfly die as well. I was originally going to do a windmill pattern, but now I'm thinking a sampler quilt so I can incorporate some of the other dies. The Accuquilt site has free patterns for a lot of different combinations for the 12" die set. Here's a link to get the free download:

I'm planning on using some of the block ideas, but I'm definitely goiing for my own tweeks. So I'm getting off this computer and I'm going to go make something!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I want a new sewing machine!

I want a new sewing machine. I have a Brother 8500D that I bought in 2000 as a reward to myself for graduating from nursing school. It's been and still is a great machine! It's older though, and the embroidery software is obsolete for my version of windows. The newer models have a USB connection and you can download designs directly from your computer or a memory stick. Anyway, I've been test driving the new machines and drooling! I find it simply amazing that a machine can do so much these days and absolutely love the concept of the the longer work area! I have tried to quilt on my 8500 D several times, and found it to be frustrating. The two machines I'm in love with now are considered midline. First is the BrotherInnovis 2800D.
 I love the Disney designs that come with it, 128 in all, plus another 82 non licensed designs. With all the grandkids, it definitely would be a plus for embellishing their clothes. It has a nice 11.4"x6.8" sewing area, Automatic Height Adjuster which would make the quilting easier, color touch screen, on board editing, and embroiders up to a 10.25"x6.25" hoop.(I can only do up to a 7"x5" with my old machine!) 314 stitches up to 7mm wide.   I can get a used one for $3000, or a new one for $3999 at Sewing World. Definitely tempted by the gently used one. Only downside is that the used one only has a 30 day warranty. If the newer Brother is as solid as my older one, that wouldn't be an issue. My 8500D has been a true workhorse and has never missed a lick in 12 years, never had to go in for repairs. Hmmmm, I really should take it in for a cleaning though.

 The saleslady was a little pushy though. She was wanting me to put one in layaway right then and there. I wasn't ready to buy yet, and I don't want to do layway, I want to pay cash. I want to test drive more machines, this is probably the last machine I'll buy for a very longtime! I wanted to look at Janome and Babylock, but she wasn't interested in showing them to me. "This is the machine you want!" Uhhhh, Not necessarily! I'm definitely factoring in service in my final decision too.

Next up is the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby!
Now I am really drooling over this machine! 14' x 8" work area and embroidery area! Woof! It has stadium lighting which means I can actually see what I'd be sewing! (Nana is getting older and blinder!) Ruby boasts about 1000 different stitches up to 7mm and a sidemotion feaure that extends the stitches up to 50mm wide, YIKES! 322 included embroidery designs.It has the touch screen with machine editing as well.  You can drop the pressure foot with a tap of the foot, and when you stop at the end of a seam, you can needle down and the pressor foot automatically lifts slightly so you can turn a corner.It also has a sensor for automatically adjust to different fabric thicknesses.  It has some extras you can get like cutting needles for cutwork. Arlington Sewing has them for $3849 .99.

Decisions, decisions!!! I'm really leaning towards the Ruby. I love the work area. I test drove it, and it's like going from driving a Ford to a Cadillac! I liked the salesman, Brad,  at Arlington Sewing too. He was very patient, and wasn't pushy. I was given the opportunity to ask about the different makes of machines and wasn't pushed towards just one machine. He was knowlegable enough to be able to give me the pros and cons of each machine. I really enjoyed my test drive!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Simply Chili

I promised to post my Chili recipe. It's really simple, and I never have left overs, so it must be pretty good. First of all, in a good sized stew pan on a medium high heat, your going to brown 3 lbs of a lean ground meat.  I've used beef and I've used turkey. If you use turkey, your going to need to add about 3 tbsp of olive oil first.
As the meat is browning, add1 heaping cup of the PictSweet Seasoning Blend. I get mine at Walmart in the freezer section. It's a nice way to cheat if your a working woman, which I am. Or you can chop up 1 medium onion, 2 stalks of celery, and 1 red bell pepper. Once added, keep chopping up the ground meat and veggie mixture with a spatula until the meat is separated and the veggies are cooked.
 Now add 3lb can of undrained Bush's Pinto Beans (I personally think they taste the best, but use what you have), a large 1 lb can of diced tomatoes, and 2 packages of William's Chili Seasoning ( don't substitue here, it's gotta be William's). Give it all a good stir. Now I use the beef base instead of salt, and a few good shakes of garlic salt. Now turn down to medium low, and let it simmer...the longer, the better. If you have to work, then put the whole thing into a crock pot after you brown the meat and veggies. You'll come home to some tasty chili! And by the way, when your seasoning, keep in mind the crackers have a lot of salt, so don't get too heavy handed with the beef base.
PS- If you like a bit of spicy, add a can of Rotel too. Yummy!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chuck E Cheese...Where a kid can be a kid!

 Aiden and Addi's birthday days are about 28 days apart, so we did their birthdays together! They wanted Chuck E Cheese, and the mouse himself delivered the birthday cake! Look at the happy little faces!
Happy Birthday Aiden 5 and Addi 3 ! They said it was the best birthday ever!!

PS- Next post....Making Chili!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rainbow E2 Series Vacuum

My new to me Rainbow E2 series vacuum system complete with the AquaMate II shampooer. Lord, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this vacuum! It really sucks!

Ok, I had a Hoover Wind Tunnel with Hepa filter. I loved the bagless thing,  but it only lived for a year. It also blew dust all over the place. I noticed after we vacuumed, the television cabinet would be covered in dust. If you have an asthmatic child living in your home, you'll know that your just asking for a severe asthma attack, and each time we vacuumed, Aiden would indeed have an asthma attack. So I research the web, and discovered Rainbow with it's water filtration system, recieved high marks from consumers and allergist specialists. Well, the latest new system  is about $2500, give or take a couple of hundred $. I didn't have that kind of money, but really wanted a rainbow, so I researched Craig's List. (Did I mention I'm a Craig's List junkie?) I found this little beauty for $275. It's in perfect condition and what I vacuumed out of my carpets today is absolutely disgusting. I didn't even have half the living room vacuumed, and the water in the tank literally turned to mud! . The carpet definitely regained some of the nap from it's youth and feels so soft and well, clean.It looked like I had shampooed the carpet! I have to rate this vacuum 10/10, it's expceptional! So if you really want a great vac at a reasonable price, think about stalking one on Craig's List. I'll never own any other vacuum again!

Update...just recently tried out the shampooer attachment. WOW! It did a really great job, and so did my DD Amy! (She worked very hard!) Aiden hasn't had nearly as many asthma attacks lately either, now that's impressive!

French Onion Soup with a Texas Twist

Oh this is crazy easy, and oh sooooo yummy! French Onion Soup with a Texas Twist!
First, take one can of Campbell's French Onion Soup and add one can of Rotel tomatoes with chilies into a pan. Place on a medium heat until hot. While your waiting, take a couple of slices of french bread, butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place the bread under a broiler until browned. Pour the soup into a bowl, add your toast, and enjoy! See, told you it was simple!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas scarves made on my knitting machine.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a great New Year day! I certainly did and now I'm finally getting around to blogging about my latest completed projects.

The first scarft came out nice. Took in excess of 6 hours to complete. Mostly due to user error. Little problems like the thread breaking, and watching in horror as my stitches slip off the machine into a sac pile at my feet. Anyway, the first scarf is lined. This pattern is nice, but the floats are too long to make the reverse side presentable. I like the idea that it's reversable too. My daughter's fiancee seemed to like it. My machine is a Brother KH940. The yarn is 2 colors of Tamm.

The next scarf I really liked. I made it using a solid navy blue, alternating with a sock yarn in blues and greys giving a nice graduated effect. The knitting pattern had tiny floats in the back that didn't need to be lined. I was glad of this. I was still having user error issues, and this was the result of 3 failures. I whipped this scarf up on Christmas Eve before I had to work. Not bad? I love my knitting machine, it's instant gratification! This is my DD Sarah with her boyfriend. Make a nice looking couple, don't they?