We’re in Paris!

I’m going to keep the words to a minimum because it’s been a while since I’ve slept. I got lucky and had 3 seats to myself on the way over the water so got to lay down and sleep. Good thing because we were at it until 8:00 this evening.

Linda and I posed on a bridge over the Seine.

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Tomorrow I need to get Paula and Judy.

I’m going to post this and see if the images upload. More later…

Sent from my iPad

The downside to travel…

…is this.

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My time in Canada has been great! Met lots of wonderful quilters. The weather was cool/cold and wet which was fine with me because of the drought and fires at home. I could wish some this for Texas.

Soon I should be boarding a small jet for Boston and later I’ll go on to Paris! There should be good photos then!

Sent from my iPhone

From Toronto…

It’s still a bit cold in Canada. In fact it snowed during class today. It didn’t stick but it was pretty. (FYI – if the photos appear to be too cropped, click on them and they will open full-size.) My class was wonderful – a good time was had by one and all.

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Today’s class was in a wonderful elementary school, one with an emphasis on art. I should remember the name, but I was too focused on class. I took a few photos. There were at least two of these art pieces hung near the ceiling. Look close, they are branches covered with all sorts of colorful stuff.

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Close up….

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And in the trophy case there were some mighty cute trophies…

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and this one:

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Legos are so versatile!

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The sweet sixteen….

I’m late writing this but there you go. I love my Sweet Sixteen and here’s what I’ve learned:

The key is learning how to adjust the tension. You just have to accept the fact that every time you change the top thread or bobbin, you have to sew on a test quilt and adjust the tension on top and/or bottom. Pay attention when you get your training because the bobbin adjustments are tiny. Once you get over being nervous about it, it’s kind of empowering.

Brush the lint out of the bobbin area often. I do it every time I change the bobbin. And I add oil pretty often as well.

I got the table that comes with it and I’m not a fan. I used paste wax on the top of the table to help the fabric move on it better and that helped. But the edges of the table are sharp and when your quilt falls over the edge it stays there. Why can’t they make these table with rounded edges? And, if you stick with this table you will definitely want the ‘wings’ the make it bigger.

I’m lucky in that Steve is going to build me a table to match the rest of the furniture in my studio. The top will be smooth and slick and the edges will be rounded. When it’s done I’ll post photos.

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Steve installed my quilt-holding clamp system above the sweet sixteen. I’m working on my iPad and it’s hard to go back and find my original posts about this system. Basically I’ve got an inexpensive quick-release clamp on nylon cord that runs through an eye-bolt in the ceiling. The cord runs through a toggle so that it’s easy to raise and lower the clamp. I only need two here.

The controls are simple. Really simple. It takes a little getting used to but I like it. I’m running at 50% speed. The needle can be set to stop up or down. It takes a little bit to get used to the speed (or lack thereof) at the beginning and ending of your stitching. I’m used to it now and like it.

There is no knee lift. In fact, the presser foot does not raise in the traditional way.

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The foot control is very sensitive. And the slope seems high. I put a paperback book at the base of the foot control. I rest my heel on it and it has helped me control the stitching speed and my ankle is less stressed.

I like a lighter weight quilting thread and I have had the best luck sewing with Aurifill’s 50 weight thread. I haven’t used much else so can’t report on that.

Pay attention when you change needles. If you don’t put it in just right you will have problems. There is a trick to getting the needle straight and the person who trains you should show you how to do it well.

I hope this helps any of you who are considering this machine. As I said, I’m a fan.

I’m off to Canada in an hour. I go to the Royal City Quilt Guild in Guelph first and then on to the York Heritage Quilt Guild in Toronto. I’m teaching every day until I go on to Paris but I’ll do my best to blog on the road. Happy stitching!

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Good things vs. bad things…

I know everyone has this sort of day. There's even a saying that goes with it: "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away."

Today I got my braces off! If you've been counting you know I only had them on for a few months. Like maybe 2 1/2 very expensive months. But my top front teeth had been moved out of their original position by a deformed bite guard and, happily, my teeth really wanted to move back into positon. I'd share a photo of my teeth but really, who needs to see that?

This afternoon I went to the eye doctor about the on-going conjunctivitis in my right eye. Guess what – that's not what it is! Today my eye had goo, lots of goo (I'm sorry if you don't like thinking about this sort of thing). In layman's terms (because I can't remember the actual diagnosis) the bottom of the drain from my tear duct that drains into my sinuses is completely blocked. And it's infected. And I need surgery to fix it. And I can't travel for 5 days after the surgery. I leave in 3 days for Canada and then France. Oh my.

After much discussion we all decided that I could leave town, use antibiotic eye drops, take antibiotics, and pray that everything is OK until mid-May when I am home for 2 weeks. But my braces are off!

So. no gross photos of teeth or eyes. I'll leave you with this. It's a photo that mom and I took with several others to be framed by The Frame Team. This is me and my sister when we were little.

Becky-Christy-Pony

And because I was soooo cute back in the day, here I am in a princess dress!

Becky-PrincessDress

It almost makes me want to grow my hair long again.