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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

READY...FRONT...COVER...

In the Marine Corps your Battalion, Company, Platoon, Squad, Fire Team or Detail didn't make a move or take a step until everyone was aligned. The commands Ready, Front, Cover are familiar to those who have served. Keeping the quilt aligned during the longarming process is as just as important and requires the longarmers attention from beginning to end. I've probably viewed on You Tube or seen on other blogs, like any other longarming processes, numerous ways to accomplish that task. This is My Way.

My inventory of items I use.

Intake Sheet (it might even be a Sticky Note)




















Tape Measure and attachment devices. In this case two small bungee's on the right.





















Tape measure's Hooked Tab on the left.





















Now some obvious notations. I have an Innova and the Innova Frame works perfectly with this system and requires very little effort to fabricate. Just another reason why there are quite a few ways to accomplish the same thing. This may not be practicable on your equipment.

Once the tape is fully extended and the quilt is positioned for it's first row of quilting I take note of the left and right edge of the quilt in relation to the tape measure. In this case 34" on the left and 114 5/8" on the right.





















I make note of those measurements on the Intake Sheet for reference.





















As the longarming process is completed and the quilt is advanced, prior to basting the edges, I keep the alignment of the quilts edges consistent as possible with the measurements recorded on the Intake Sheet. On some occasions the top, left to right, is the same as the bottom. On those occasions when "perfectly square" (oxymoron) isn't applicable keeping the right edge (in this case the 114 5/8") may vary slightly. I focus on keeping the left edge (the 34") measurement consistent from top to bottom.





I use a steel tape, or Carpenter's Tape, for several reasons. It won't stretch like a cloth tape might if placed under tension. Being retractable I can quickly move it out of the way if necessary. On my frame it works well and does not rest on the quilt so it doesn't have to be moved out of the way when advancing. Unlike other methods I've seen the movement (advancing of the quilt) doesn't affect the tapes positioning. Not to mention over the years I've probably acquired a dozen or so. There everywhere I look. I have at least four in the Longarm Room. The one I use is also a one inch wide rule...so the numbers are bigger. Necessary when you can't find you reading glasses resting atop your head.

It has been my experience that when you start putting a lot of stitching into a quilt there is going to be some degree of shrinkage or displacement of size, in one form or another. This system helps me combat that and keeps my finished product as close as possible to the size it was when the piecer finished his/her crafting of the top. It may not be applicable to your equipment, or not suitable to your style of longarming and you may choose not to use a system at all. This is just My Way and it works for me.

Quilt till you wilt...we do.



Sunday, September 16, 2018

FREAKING Out!!!


All of the words associated with the above were short four letter words. Which is why the below linked video contains no sound...under the advisement of Elaine.

A recent development with Panto Vision, basically it crashed and burned. The problem started on Saturday, freezing up and having to restart several times to get a pattern loaded and finish a quilt. Minor frustration. On Sunday when I attempted another quilt...not so lucky. I was never able to get Panto to load without freezing up. Major, huge, humongous, gigantic, monumental, frustration. I sent an email to The Longarm Network, Monday morning they (Valerie) forwarded it to ABM. I got a call from ABM but the tech that placed the call couldn't determine a cause and said he would call back after doing some research into the problem.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_66e7P3jk4&t=1s


Before I got a call back, from a different tech, which did come four hours later, Greg from The Longarm Network, known in this house as The Longarm Whisperer, called and we started discussing the problem It was agreed we needed to start the process of replacing components. The least expensive option being the cable. Without Elaine's knowledge I 'borrowed' the cable from her 10 Needle Brother. She wasn't home...what harm could it cause? I removed the back of the longarm and disconnected the original cable. I connected the new cable and everything ran as it should. With a huge sigh of relief, it wasn't the blue box or the tablet or a deep rooted software problem, a hastily return of Elaine's cable and a trip to Walmart for a new cable, I was back up and running. With some excitement I called Greg back to let him know. Once again, Valerie, The Longarm Network and Greg, The Longarm Whisperer, saved the day. Happily when I got the call back from ABM I was in the process of longarming another Quilt of Valor. I thanked them for their call and getting back to me as quickly as they did. Thankful and grateful to say the least.



For those that know our area here on the Atlantic Coast we do want to express our sincere best wishes to those that had to suffer the impact of Hurricane Florence. We were blessed as its path stayed well south of us avoiding what could have been, as previously forecast, catastrophic to our area. Thankful and grateful again. I'm dead serious when I say I'd rather deal with earthquakes. There is something to be said about knowing after the fact, rather than having to live with the constant barrage of maybe's from a long list of just about everyone except Mother Nature, she really is the only one that knows, for a week before the disaster is at your doorstep. With all of the natural and man-made disasters we have to face only Tornadoes outweigh Hurricanes...IMHO. More than anything it is the uncertainty that grabs you by the throat. Stay, leave, volunteer evacuations, mandatory evacuations, go north, no west, how much can you fit in your car? At least with earthquakes the house may fall down all over your stuff...but it's still there to dig through. With tornadoes and hurricanes it's uncertain if your stuff will still be in the same county when it's all over.

For the last twenty plus years we've had a print hanging over our fireplace. So to spruce it up some we made a wall hanging to take the prints place. Now we need to find some wall space for the print. But in the newly painted and refurbished Family Room it is a welcome addition.



Not Forgotten QOV was set up at the Tidewater Quilters' Guild Biennial Quilt Show, once again in the spacious Field House at Cape Henry Collegiate School. As always we had a great time. Re-united with some old acquaintances, made some new friends, saw some beautiful quilts and shared in our commitment and passion for the Quilts of Valor. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to TQG, its gracious members, board and Quilt Show staff. A fabulous show. We enjoyed every minute. Stick-It-To-Me (pin cushions) was one of the participating vendors...I think we only added a half dozen to our collection. The water can below and the two flamingo's are but a few. I think I have six in the Longarm Room...and I hardly ever use a straight pin...but I love the pin cushions.






















We still have two more events this year, they are listed on the website calendar at wequilt.org.
The AQS event is in October and the annual Christmas Craft Market will be in November. Both will be held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. We hope if you're in the neighborhood you stop by and say hi.

The longarm has been getting a workout...QOV and others...I finished quilt number 133 for 2018 yesterday...which puts me over 840 since the Innova, (Mother Teresa, Elaine's Mom) quilted her first stitch.


Two inches wider and I have to change the leaders. 


Just a dash of color.


Harry Potter Fan...maybe.



This is 133.








Elaine and the 10 Needle have been busy as well...doing some shirts and labels. I have some samples hanging in the Longarm Room for those that may want a custom label for their quilts. They really do add a nice touch. Whatever you do, custom or otherwise...please label your quilts.


I just happen to stumble upon this photo the other day...

THEN


NOW


I'm running out of wall space. This is not good news for Hobby Lobby.

Well I had better go see what has got Nikee's attention...


I leave you with this factual piece of information...



Elaine will attest to that...

Quilt till you wilt...we do.




Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Really Good Weekend...

So the Tidewater Quilters' Guild Quilt Show 2018 is in the books. It was a fabulous show, full of fun, friendship, finely crafted quilts and a fantastic array of local and out of area vendors. We added at least four Stick-It-To-Me pin cushions to our collection and I'll need to work off two pounds of cookies from The Custom Cake Shop.




Not Forgotten QOV, once again, was the recipients of a gracious invitation to set up a booth, meet up with old friends and QOV Volunteers and introduce many others that were not aware of the Foundation and its Mission. We are already looking forward to the 2020 show. Our heart felt thanks to Karan Fisher, Show Chair, the Quilt Show Committee Members, all the volunteers and members of the Tidewater Quilters' Guild for allowing us to participate in this years show. The overall theme this year was close to home, like every service member, veteran and Quilt of Valor..."Every Quilt Tells A Story." What a memorable experience for Elaine and I...again.





Elaine had the hand crank Singer up and running much of the time making blocks for future QOV's. But for a short time on Saturday she had to leave. She went to the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Associations Monthly Meeting...with good cause. We really don't have abundant time or space to thank the Association enough. A life span would be to short. Now there is a slight amount of bias here. We are both members of CVMA, myself a Full Member and Elaine is a member of the Auxiliary. They live by the creed of "Veterans Helping Veterans" Many of the Full Members, Support Members and Auxiliary proudly express that on their vests with the embroidered patch "Vets Helping Vets." The list supporting that creed, Nationwide by Chapters like ours, Virginia 27-1, is truly endless. This year CVMA 27-1 selected Not Forgotten QOV to be the recipients of the proceeds from their annual "Ride to Remember." Elaine accepted the check at the meeting. 

Accepting the check from Commander Mike "Iceman" Arndt. Elaine's smile is not as big as the check. The donation to Not Forgotten QOV will go along way to replenishing supplies of fabric, threads, batting and notions to continue our efforts to award comforting and healing Quilts of Valor to our deserving service members and veterans.

In attendance from Not Forgotten QOV are volunteers standing on the left, from left to right Nell, Paula and Gene. 
I should mention here that Gene won a Blue Ribbon First for his quilt "Barn Raising Under the Stars" at this years Quilt Show in the "Hand Quilted Pieced" category. Congratulations Gene. 

We Raffled off a $100 Gift Certificate for Longarm Services from thee Leatherneck Kilted Quilter. Our winner, Becky, is a new quilter and was certainly a happy new quilter with some longarming service to look forward to in the near future. Congrats Becky. 

The longarm has been busy...and there is no end in sight. 

Alwasy plenty of QOV's in queue. 

You might recognize this from a short video on Elaine's Facebook Page and thee Leatherneck Kilted Quilter's Page. This was our grandson's first quilt. He picked the theme panel the and border fabrics. He did some sewing and some longarming as well. We'll make a quilter out of him yet. 

There is always time for a baby quilt. Always fun to longarm a baby quilt. 

As a reminder...we are close by. We are getting a fair amount of traffic on the website... wequilt.org. It is on the website where you'll find two Photo Gallery slide shows. You might see one of your QOV's in one. The other is directed towards other quilting activities we are part of and other quilts I have longarmed. On the website you will find a link where you can contact us via our Yahoo address wequilt@yahoo.com. There is a calendar that we keep updated with upcoming events and sew days and when possible we will post upcoming QOV Awards were we have the authorization to invite Not Forgotten QOV Volunteers. On those occasions where we have assistance from NFQOV Volunteers our gratitude would overflow Hoover Dam. Without you we don't exist. So proud to be a part of such sincere and dedicated quilters who are committed to our service members and veterans. As a Vietnam Combat Veteran there is a place in my heart that for a long time was just a void...you have filled that void. 

The blog is getting a little more of my attention, Elaine's Facebook Page is very active and now there is a new page that I manage from my personal FB page, Thee Leatherneck Kilted Quilter. If you get a chance pay it a visit. No, we aren't going to tweet. Instagram is a thought...but not currently on the calendar. As silly as it might sound...if I'm attending to social media...I'm not longarming. I already take enough time away from the longarm room with golf and the motorcycle. I must admit three passions makes for busy days. I've told Elaine I need to get a full time job so I can get some rest. 

With that...My latest Stick-It-To-Me and the latest signage added to the longarm room...


This is a fact...not an unconfirmed rumor. Just ask Elaine. Why else would she say, "You are just the same as when we met." We met when we were 15. 
Quilt till you wilt...we do. 
















Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Milestones...small but still Milestones.

At the end of the day I will have completed 100 quilts for the used up portion of 2018. Nothing major but a milestone for me anyway. The most I've completed in one calendar year was 152 so it looks like I'll break my own record by the time the New Year rolls around. Either that or I'll get in a lot of golf and motorcycle rides instead. 

Another small milestone was the completion of my 800th quilt. Like the first quilt I ever longarmed it was a Quilt of Valor. It was crafted by one of the many Not Forgotten QOV Volunteers, Nell H. We look forward to awarding it to one of our active service members or veterans in our community.



You may have noticed that we have finally gotten our first video series going. This has been something that we have wanted to get off the ground for sometime. So like...finally. It is hoped you enjoy and that there is something you can take away from them that is useful to your craft. If you have any feedback you can comment via our website...wequilt.org...love to hear from you. 

In regards to the website...please pay it a visit. When we lost We Quilt on Facebook it was a set back. Now with the website and a new Facebook Page, Thee Leatherneck Kilted Quilter, we hope to reestablish contact with those lost when Facebook Admin Deactivated our We Quilt Page. It was tough to loose five plus years of communication and sharing of our crafting, longarming, events and photos without any opportunity to save our data or photos. 

In case you missed it...not sure that could happen...it's Shark Week. Okay, so this is my first Shark Week. I've never participated before, not even for one second. But tomorrow we will be picking up our grandson for a visit for the first time. He'll be sharing our time for the next several weeks so Gramps has had to catch up. I had to binge watch the Jurassic movies and watch Shark Week episodes so that I'll be on the same page with him. Apparently he is a huge fan of both. 

Elaine's Brother PR 1050X embroidery machine has been busy as well. She has made Shark Week T's for the three of us. Here's mine. 


Like spiders and snakes I'm not a huge fan of Sharks. But a Gramps has got to do what a Gramps has got to do. Elaine has a long list of activities so for the next couple of weeks we'll be busy. Hey, spoiling takes time and effort. 

With that...I'll leave you with some photos of some of the latest quilts, QOV's and otherwise, that have been completed. We will soon be working on another video for the My Way Series. So there is lots going on in Studio 708. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you enjoy our brief exchanges. Whether here on the blog, at wequilt.org or on Facebook at Thee Leatherneck Kilted Quilter. 
















You can keep up with our activities on the website calendar on wequilt.org. We have several things coming up including the Tidewater Quilt Guild Show in August and the AQS Event in October as well as our annual Christmas Craft Market in November. Hope you all have a fabulous day, week, month and what's left of 2018. Later...Les...

Quilt till you wilt...we do.