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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring shop...

If you ask Elaine, Winter, Summer and Fall would also quality for a time to shop. I mention Spring because it just sprung. I was going through my tools and supplies doing an informal inventory before I knuckle down and really concentrate on my longarming. Not that I'm under any pressure but looking at the QOV shelves...well there is no more room. That lead me to updating my list of online vendors for new as well as replacement items if needed. Luckily, at this time I can leave my credit card in my wallet. But just in case these are some of the latest numbers I've gathered on items I use and who knows when replacing may be necessary.

Towa Gauge..
Several on ebay for under $50.
Superior Threads at just under $53
both plus shipping.
Amazon Prime is as well under $53 with no shipping for Prime Members.
You can also find the new 'digital Towa' Body and L or M insert. The body is $104.77 and either insert is $19.63 with free shipping. This is out there for info only. This is one of those instances if it ain't broke. The old style Towa is like the old style me...not fancy but works well.

Havel Scissors and Notions
I couldn't function without the 5 3/4" Double Curved Applique Scissors
$12.99 plus shipping.
I've seen these at numerous quilt stores and fabric stores for $30.
They have a great selection of scissors for all needs and a good selection of 'Left Handed' as well.

You'll also find a good selection of Batting Scissors under $40 on Amazon.

Rotary Replacement Blades.
This is not something I use often, but Elaine uses them constantly. While looking for something on Amazon...a pretty frequent occurrence...I ran across these. I ordered them for Elaine. She now swears by them and found no less quality and performance between this brand, Improved Cut, and Fiskar or OLFA.
The 45mm pack of 10 is under $15 and the 10 pack of 60mm is under $23. Both with no shipping fees on orders over $35.

Longarm Needles. 
I use Groz-Beckert 100/16. I'm a loyalist here. As well as my threads...Omni and Omni Variegated, I purchase my needles from Superior Threads. Currently the 100 Pack is selling for $27.95. I choose the Titanium Coated. I've broken two in over 500 quilts. In both cases working on quilts that incorporated shirt blocks with buttons...I hit the buttons. I use a new needle for each client but have gotten 8-10 quilts out of one needle without any sacrifice in stitch quality. I have tried the recommended #18 for Omni threads but did not find them as efficient as the 16.

I firmly believe in floating my tops and batting. In doing so the magnets have become a essential part of my longarming routine. Harbor Freight is still the best place to purchase. The 18" magnets are still under $5 and watch for coupons and sales. Something any JoAnn's shopper knows about. 

New toy...
For some time now I've wanted to do videos. I finally purchased an 'action camera' similar to GoPro without the price tag. I've been playing (learning) with it. Not as easy as pushing record it turns out. Once I have learned the in and outs I'll be posting some videos of how and why I do it the way I do it. I was working with it yesterday and between filming, quilting, playing back, advancing, filming I somehow managed to quilt over the same place in the pattern I was working with. Okay, I got lost. So after spending an hour with Jack the Ripper I put the camera away and just quilted. I'm going to need a lot more practice filming...I've got the quilting part down pretty well. Seems to be a case of not being able to chew gum and walk at the same time. Wish me luck. When I do get it down I'll start posting the videos...thee Leatherneck Kilted Quilters POV. 

That's it for now. 

Quilt till you wilt...we do. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March Madness...

Let's just say March Madness today has a lot more to do with weather than basketball. Looking at the weather maps today Virginia Beach, VA is more like Orlando, FL if you compare us to Lancaster, PA. Here we are again on the doorstep to Spring and Mother Nature says "Wait just a minute, I'm not quite done with here Northeast...have a blizzard." Well thanks a lot Mom.

Since our last little talk Elaine and I have made some QOV Award Presentations, made our annual trek to the Mancuso Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest, again setting up a Quilts of Valor Booth, promoting our passion, raffling off a reconditioned Singer Featherweight, a Calendar Quilt, raising some money for our group, Not Forgotten QOV and a new sister group, Grateful Threads of Elizabeth City, NC. Like our sister group in Corning, NY, Southern Tier QOV, we will never be able to thank those Quilts of Valor volunteers enough for their support to the Foundation and our service members and veterans. Elaine and I are so grateful for their never ending support. We would be amiss if we didn't mention those that so unselfishly support Not Forgotten QOV.

  • The Longarm Network/Virginia Longarm
  • A Different Touch Sewing Company
  • Mancuso Show Mangement
  • Events Management Group
  • Combat Veteran's Motorcycle Association (Virginia 27-1)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW 4809) Norfolk, VA
  • Superior Thread
  • Y-Not Pizza - Kempsville
  • Members from the The Tidewater Quilters Guild
  • Olah's Restoration & Service

The Singer was completely restored by Olah's Retorations & Service in Moyock, NC. Their work is, in our opinion, unparalleled. You can follow them on Facebook. Give them a shout if you need some work or service on an older machine. In this case older means there is no computer involved. Like our latest Featherweight. Now we are on the hunt for next years raffle Featherweight.

Our Raffle Singer was a 1951 Featherweight "Fire" and the winning ticket was drawn by Dave Mancuso. Our winner was Mary G. from Norfolk, VA.

Dave also drew the winner of the Raffle Quilt, a Calendar Quilt donated to Not Forgotten QOV by Debra Harding one of the many who contribute to the success of Not Forgotten from the Tidewater Quilters Guild.. The winner, Linda N., was still at the show and quickly made her way to the booth to claim this beautiful quilt. Congrats to both. 

We've been having a good time, weather and all. So here is a medley of a QOV Award at Mancuso, our booth and some of the latest to come off of the longarm. 

Carol W. Retired Navy getting a little "Quilty Hug."

Elaine ready for the days events at Mid-Atlantic. Below spreading the word about QOVF and the many volunteers, nationwide, that make it what it is. 

Here is a T-Shirt wall hanging that Elaine crafted. You guessed it...a Dark Shadows fan. 

It has been, so far, a slow start for me and 2017. That includes, golf, motorcycle rides and longarming. But here are a few of the latest to come off the Innova. 

So as Spring nears, Mother Nature has the last word about Winter, Elaine gets ready for March's Sew Days and Events Management Group's Spring Market preparations get underway, I'll change needles and load another quilt.  

Quilt till you wilt...we do.