Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Toys!

Meet my new Janome 7700. I wasn't planning to buy a new sewing machine - just yet anyway. But... well we were killing time in Kelowna between dropping Eric off to get his grad gown and the actual ceremony. At Joe's suggestion (I am conveniently blaming him!) we went into a couple of quilting stores. The first one also carries Janome machines. I was very clear that we were just "killing time" and that I would look at fabric, which I didn't need more of. The sales lady must have been having a slow day - she offered to show us some machines, so why not?

This Janome is the new top of the line - manufacturers introductory price, many features, etc. And it has this very cool table that it fits into. I said - no - not today - besides, in BC there is an additional tax that we don't have in Alberta. So we went off to the next store that, in addition to fabric, also carried Bernina machines. The fellow there, also apparently bored, explained all about how wonderful Bernina machines are. And they are!

But that price point for the Janome was very good. By the time we got home, I was thinking very hard about getting a new machine, so stopped by our local Janome store and got the sales pitch there. Same price. I also checked out the Berninas - which interestingly are $500 MORE in Alberta! I know the B's are the Cadillac of machines, but the price point is the thing - that and the Janome has an 11 inch arm - and we all know that for quilting "size matters"!

I asked a couple of friends how they like their Janomes - they are both happy with them. Sandy has one she got a year ago and "loves." Dorothy has a 15+ year old Janome that she's always been happy with and she wanted to get a new one.

So... Dorothy and I decided to go in and ask for a good price for two machines. I'd called some other dealers in AB and found that Red Deer had the same machine/table for $150 less - so that's what we asked for and the store matched the Red Deer price. We both brought our machines home yesterday.

Above is the machine and the first thing I stitched with it.

A few weeks ago, I picked up EQ7. I decided to get this after my last quilt - Colour Outside the Lines - ended up a bit bigger than I wanted. I thought it would be useful for planning quilts in advance - at least in a cursory way - to be sure the sizing, etc. would be what I expect. It will take a bit of time to learn it really well - but so far I'm having a lot of fun with it!
I've actually designed my first EQ7 quilt - that will be what the maple leaf in the pix above will go into.
As you can imagine - I'm pretty excited about my new toys! Now I'd better stay away from the stores for awhile and start stitching up some of my fabric!!!! I have many projects waiting for me.

Here is the "old" and the "new" - my little Phaff 1471, which was top of the line when I got it about 25 years ago. And my new Janome. One comment is that my Phaff was in the $2000 range when I got it new way back when. Considering the fact that 25 years has passed, and the prices of other things, sewing machines really have not increased in price all that much.
Sew - I'm off to play with my new toys! Tee hee!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Denver and Sherri Bain Driver

DH and I recently spent a week in and around Denver, Colorado. Through a series of events, we found the publishing office of a whack of quilting magazines/books. Sherri Bain Driver is one of the editors and apparently a well known quilter/author of quilt books/instructor. There was a display of her quilts - all of them prize winners - in the lobby. We were allowed to come in, look and take pix. So below is a pix of each of the extremely FABULOUS quilts by Sherri Bain Driver.

I think this might be a "self-portrait"!
As a bonus - the air conditioning was great - it was very hot there! We northern folk just aren't used to that kind of heat!

Divas Days of Summer - Aug/10

Once again we convened at Diva Kristie's. Here are some of our finished quilts - I spent some time in the last month or so with Harley - quilting them - then Diva Joan took them away and did the binding! We have a good system!

Front above and back below. This is a small quilt made with the "left-overs" of a bigger one we did earlier. Diva Kristie snuck this one in on her own. I really like it.
"Spice Train" below.
The blue/white (below) is what we were working on this time out. This was where it was at when I left. I understand it was pretty much finished by the time everyone else left a bit later.
And of course - what would Divas' Day be without Gourmet Diva Sue's contribution? As usual, lunch fit for Divas!

We ate out on Kristie's cozy deck. I rounded up the Divas for a group shot - they are all smiling and it didn't hurt a bit! Divas Kristie, Sue, Dorothy and Joan. I am the invisible one.

Kristie's condo backyard - really lovely!