Rambling Friday ~ 12 July 2013

Just a few rambles for today. Been insanely busy at work with the new fiscal year, but still was able to take a few days off here and there.

On one of those days off I made SWEET and SAVORY RHUBARB SAUCE that I found on on Mennonite Girls Can Cook’s site. I added a few more cloves of garlic and dried peppers, and I think it could of used a bit more. I used the chicken recipe that they suggested with the recipe, and dinner was wonderful that night! I used a water bath with my batch.

rhubarbbbq

I had the day after The Fourth off too…and made Beer Mustard. Overnight I soaked brown and yellow mustard seeds in Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale (had a bit of ale left for me!).

mustard_making

I probably shouldn’t have drank the rest of the ale as I could have made the mustard a bit more “runnier”…I love it though! It has a BITE to it and sorta makes your nose run. I was able to can 3 half-pints with the recipe I used, will have to find the smaller jars to give as gifts and sell at the November craft fair.

mustard

I DID IT!!!!! I paid off my sewing machine on layaway! Yesterday I brought her home with me…but all I had time to do was take her out of the box, look at all the extra feet, and wind one bobbin.

nx800c

I LOVE the thread compartment…kitties can’t get to the thread now.

nx800e

My first project will be the Labyrinth lap-size quilt top that I’ll make in class this coming Monday. I even have all my fabric cut out for class. :)

labyrinth_cut

Have a great weekend everyone!

11 July 2013 - Reno, Nevada Sunrise

11 July 2013 – Reno, Nevada Sunrise

Another Quilt Top Finished Waiting to be Quilted

I’ve had a very lovely Brother Innov-IS NX-800 at Windy Moon Quilts waiting for me to pay her off and take her home. With the help of my dearest friend, APRIL, and me penny-pinching since February, I should be able to bring her home next week!

Brother's Laura Ashley's Innov-IS NX-800

Brother’s Laura Ashley’s Innov-IS NX-800

Which is a good thing as I have FOUR quilt tops that I’ve pieced on my wonderful work-horse, the Singer 301 Long Bed. While I love piecing quilts with the 301, I don’t like quilting with it.

Singer 301 - Mocha Long Bed

Singer 301 – Mocha Long Bed

I finished my latest quilt top last night. I had a lot of 1930 reproduction feed sack fabric squares leftover from the WONKY STAR quilt along so I decided to make them into HST’s (half square triangles).

Diamond/Square Dance

Diamond/Square Dance

I’m just calling it a diamond pattern, but I’ve seen it called Square Dance too. Fun and easy to make. I’ve lots more HST’s left to make another quilt top, been looking at my PINTEREST quilt board trying to decide which design to use next.

Just one more picture to throw at you ~ my quilting partner, Lucy, plumb tuckered out from helping me arrange the HST on the design board.

Lucy

Lucy

I put a sewing machine on layaway ~

After a lot of brain-storming with my friend APRIL, I visited three local quilt/sewing stores, in Reno, over the last few days. My last two machines have been Janomes and I really loved them…but thought about a Baby Lock and a Necchi.

The first quilt shop I stopped off at sort of pissed me off. I went in asking to see her line of Baby Locks, specifically the Melody.

Baby Lock Melody - Quilting Sewing Machine

Baby Lock Melody – Quilting Sewing Machine

When I asked how much, and received an $1,800 answer, I about spewed. I paled and may have let slipped that I can buy a Janome 6500 for that price and have enough left-over for another sewing machine. Or as April stated…LOTS OF FABRIC. I don’t think she was impressed that I wanted to stay under $1,000. Told me to go look at the other machines on my list and come back to her afterwards. Wouldn’t even let me test drive the machine.

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The next day I went to the second quilt/sewing center and had a very pleasant hour or so test driving four machines. She spent time asking what level I was at, what I wanted to do with my machine, and how much I was comfortable to spend.

I really was impressed with the Baby lock Melody…nice stitches, easy to use, very very quiet motor. It was $300 cheaper than the first shop and she would knock off even $200 more on top of that.

Next we moved onto the Pfaff Ambition 1.0.

Pfaff Ambition 1.0

Pfaff Ambition 1.0

All I can say is WOW…those Germans sure are great engineers! Just WOW! LOL! $999 was the price she would give me on that machine. No auto thread cutter, and it scared the crap out of me on the first stitch (growled)…I thought I broke it, but very very very nice handling. Loved the stitches on that one too. It has a built-in walking foot that is to die for!

Scooted down a few machines to the Pfaff Expression 3.0 after I told her my goal is to be pretty dang good at FMQ’ing. The asking price was $2079 but would come down to $1,699, with 25% down and 4 months to pay it off.

Pfaff Expression 3.0

Pfaff Expression 3.0

I sighed when sewing with it. I actually FMQ’ed…AND IT LOOKED GREAT! But I knew full well I couldn’t afford that fine piece of German machinery, even with the discount and layaway plan. I would need more time than 4 months. I still asked for the quote and told her I’d get back to her by the 2/29 deadline. If I had the money, I would buy that machine in a heart beat…should I ever fall into money, after paying off all debt…that baby is coming home with me. :)

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Onto my last stop where I wanted to test drive the Janome 3160 QDC, Necchi EX30, and the Brother NX-800. I was eyeing the Janome 3160 as it’s a popular quilting machine.

Janome 3160-QDC

Janome 3160-QDC

The Janome had a $1000 price tag on it, but with new pricing I think it was $200 off. I wanted to try the Necchi EX30 as it’s the same machine as the Janome 3160 (built by Janome with a Necchi body and name) and at $700 it’s less money. And let’s face it…I love the buttons. LOL!

Necchi EX30

Necchi EX30

April suggested looking at the Laura Ashley Brother machine…so I googled and came up with the NX-800, but she meant the NX-2000 (another machine that I can’t afford). When I saw the Brother NX-800 I did a double take as it was the EXACT SAME MACHINE as the Baby Lock Melody! EXACTLY! I was told at the shop that Brother makes the Baby Lock, just as Janome makes Elna and now Necchi.

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

The Necchi was a great machine. Easy to use, good basic 30 stitches, light weight…would make a great machine to haul to classes (12 pounds), and stayed put when sewing.

Ultimately I picked the Brother NX-800. While I love everything about Janome…I enjoyed sewing with the NX-800. Nice stitches, quiet, you can do lateral stitching, auto-thread cutter, ease of bobbin winding, great accessories.

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 7.01.01 AM

Can’t wait to pay off my layaway bill and bring her home.