Parisville and a favorite tool

I made a block for Michelle last night, for the One Block Over Bee.  I used one of my favorite notions/tools, and I don’t believe I’ve ever raved about them here before… so here you go!

I call them fork pins, but I think the commercial name for them is U-pins.  I bought mine from aquilt store, but they are also used in jewelry display, so can be purchased through a jewelry making supplier as well.  They come in this little blue box, and are used to pin seams, to keep your seam lines or points lined up as you sew your seam.  You can safely sew over them, because they are even finer than glass head straight pins.  
You place the pin through the seam allowances on both ides of your seam….

Sew your seam without removing the pin (you can remove it just before you sew over that area, if you really can’t make yourself sew over a pin), and voila!  Perfectly matched seams:

Michelle’s block is made from Tula Pink’s Parisville line, gorgeous colors and prints (even though the center medallion fabric kind of freaks me out)….

Here is the completed block:

On a totally separate note, I’ve been enjoying scones I made this weekend, from a 1996 recipe I dug out for a friend that asked if I still had it. 

We studied together in Yorkshire, England, for four weeks in 1996, and a lovely local woman shopped and cooked for us.  She brought us fresh scones every. single. day, and quite often a made-from-scratch chocolate cake.  Thank goodness for all the hiking and walking we did daily, or I would have came home ten pounds heavier!   I had completely forgotten about these recipes until Vicki asked me for them.  Next weekend, chocolate layer cake!

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What I did last weekend, Part II

Saturday morning, I went to look at the newest Janome, the Horizon 7700. I’ve been curious about this machine since I first read about it in April. It was released on May 1, but June 5th was my first opportunity to make it to the dealer’s store to play with it.
Saturday afternoon, I brought home a new toy. Yep. That’s right. After saying I wouldn’t buy a new model for six months or so, until I “found out if other people had troubles with it, or there were bugs to be worked out”, I brought one home 35 days after it hit the market. Loads of self-control, I have. Loads. But, I’m happy to say, after a week, I have no buyer’s remorse. This is a GEM!

It has all sorts of markings on the throat plate, which is self-adjusting for various modes, so no need to buy extra throat plates to change out. A fabric guide (LOVE!), which is that extra plexi piece in this photo:
It’s removeable, but it will be great for parallel lines, hems, etc. It also has a free-arm, that the earlier Memory Craft’s did not have, important feature for those of us who sew more than just quilts! It came with the plexi-glas extension table seen in the top photo… and it has “under-the-counter” lighting!!!! See:How smart is that?! I can actually sew at night without turning on my Ott-Lite! It also has a great lock-stitch, a built-in thread cutter, and a start/stop button that lets me sew without using my feet! The number of stitches blows my mind…I’m not a big bells-and-whistles kind of girl, usually, but this machine has me seriously excited!
Do you see stitch number #242 up there? Seriously cute. There is foot storage in the top, which unlike machines I’ve seen like this before, does not interfere with bobbin thrading one little bit.
It comes with three different variations of feet for free-motion quilting…
The first thing I noticed about this machine when I walked into the dealer’s shop on Saturday is that it is BIG. I mean, HUGE:
Here it is next to my Elna 6003, an average sized electronic machine, c. 2004. I’m going to be free-motion quilting a quilt this weekend, I can’t wait to push it through that generous sized throat! (a FULL 11.25 inches!)Other than playing with my new toy, I’m getting ready for a little trip… Next week, I’m hitting the road with my friend Toni…heading to St. Cloud, MN, to meet up with 10 Blog Quilters for three glorious days of sewing and talking quilts!

Victoria, a MN native, but present-day New Yorker, organized this retreat for us (THANKS, V!)

Shelly S, Shelly P , Andrea , Mary , Amanda, Toni, Terri , Rene , Heather, will be joining Victoria and myself. Toni is the only one of this group that I have met IRL (in real-life). If you are heading to the MN Quilt Show next weekend, let me know! I’d love to meet up… It will be a great quilt blogger’s weekend!