Sunday, June 08, 2014

New toy!


  Don't you hate it when bloggers start off saying they've been "too busy to blog" if, other people aren't busy, too? 

HOWEVER, I have a very good excuse this time!!!!

DSC_3857 sm

That truck brought my "NEW TOY" to the house on May 3rd & it has been crazy-busy-fun times ever since.
I bought a 26" Innova Long Arm quilting machine on a 12' frame.
It has Auto Pilot robotics & Lightening Stitch, 
which is their super-D-duper stitch regulator that can do consistently even stitches, up to 3000/min.
  I could never quilt that fast!

Prior to arrival, I spent days cleaning/clearing spaces, & rearranging furniture to make room for it.

This is only 1/3 of my sewing room...the other areas have my sewing machine, serger & long cutting table.  There is just as much room on the other side, where DH has his work bench & I have my fabric stash...AKA "the dry goods store".  *wink*

I feel so blessed to be able to play & create in such a lovely area. It is what sold us on buying this house in the first place & I will never take it for granted.
I used to sew in a VERY small corner of our master bedroom in FL.  This is SEW much better!!


It took their technician, Rick, two full, very long days to assemble it.
It has taken me much longer to get the hang of using it! 


There is a learning curve to it, no doubt about it, but thankfully, the software is very similar
to my Embird program, that I've used for 15 years,
doing machine embroidery.




Auto Pilot comes already loaded with 532 different, very beautiful designs.
Some are specific for inserting into blocks & some look best when repeated, as in an edge to edge design or in long spaces, like sashing.

I've also found some freebies, online, 
for using on Quilts of Valor.  
(I am working on two of those right soon)


She is sleek & clean-modern looking & glides like a dream...
not heavy or jerky at all.

You'll have to help me think of a name for her.
All suggestions are welcome!

Don't you ♥♥♥ the pretty Turquoise COLOR I picked for my saddle chair?


We drove 5 hours, to Accomplish Quilting in Stevensville, MI for me to attend classes on its operation.  
They are very knowledgeable people with wonderfully helpful attitudes!
I highly recommend them.


My first project (after a few practice sandwiched swatches)
was this little baby quilt for my great niece, who is due in July.
I used an overall pattern, aka *edge to edge* quilting, called "Celtic Braid" that is built into the Auto Pilot program.
I thought that was appropriate for a baby who is the great-great granddaughter of my very Irish Mom, Peggy O'Neil.


Then, I made TWO quilts, exactly the same, to go over the foot of the cream bedspreads I have on the twin beds in my guest room.

It will be nice for the grandkidlets to curl up & snuggle under THESE quilts, when they visit, rather than climb under the bedspreads, just to read a book or watch TV. 
I won't have to remake the beds either!  LOL 


The edge to edge quilting pattern is called "Green Tea Leaves", by One Song Needle Arts.

To make the quilts, I followed this free pattern, called "Jelly Roll Jam" on the Fat Quarter Shop website.  Easy~Peasy!

There is even a wonderful video to show you how it is done. 
It looks much more complicated than it really is.

These took 2 jelly rolls apiece to make.  The video shows a baby sized quilt, made with only one jelly roll, so keep that in mind.


In hindsight, I wish I would have done a solid color binding on them.  I think it would have set it off nicer & looked much better.  It was a learning process & I'll do better next time.  I can't wait to make another one!

I used the narrow, 3" wide strips that were leftover from the construction of these, to make a baby quilt with wide, white strips in between.  Very modern looking! It is not yet quilted, so you'll have to come back to see it.
I'm calling it "Leftover Jelly Rolls".  ~big grin~
I crack myself up, sometimes!  LOL

Anyway, that explains my absence from blogging.  I thank you so much for visiting The Gazebo House today.
I hope that you'll come back to see more quilty goodness in the future.  I'm having SEW MUCH FUN!!!

By the way, the KISS quilt auction brought in $1400!!!
My two little projects:

sold for $40 & $50 respectfully.
I was astounded & honored that someone would pay that much for something I'd created.

I'm linking up with Marty's "Inspire Me Tuesday" at her blog, A Stroll Thru Life.  Thanks Marty for hosting the party! 


  1. Oh my word, these are amazing. I have hand quilted 3 quilts and that is definitely a ton of work. These look totally amazing and are so beautiful.

  2. Oh Marty, I could NEVER hand quilt an entire quilt! My hands cramp up after doing just the hand sewing of the binding to the backs of my quilts. I work on it in the evenings, while watching TV with hubby. I have to pace myself & not do too much at one sitting or I suffer the next day.
    Thank you for your sweet comments. I love to sew & this keeps me busy while my husband is sleeping so much these days.

  3. WOW! ...hey, that machine is awesome! I bet I would have killed for one when I was Young and quilted in my regular sewing machine Little quilts for my babies! Your creations are gorgeous and yes, they should even pay more! Congrats on acquiring that great quilting machine, sweet lady!
    FABBYyour machine

    1. Thank you, Fabby, for your sweet comments! I know exactly what you mean about struggling to quilt items on a regular sewing machine. I've done it for years & its is like wrestling a bear, sometimes! Plus, it is counter-intuitive. We draw & write by moving the pencil or pen, not the paper. Using a long arm is more natural & it is SEW much fun!!

  4. Wow, who would have guessed you'd go that route now at this stage of your life. I admire you but at the same time, I'm really surprised. Sew and quilt away, my friend, but most of all ENJOY yourself!

    1. I'm having a blast, Carol. I figured if I didn't take the plunge now, I never would. I'm young enough & healthy now so I intend to quilt well into my 90's, God willing.

  5. Sorry about messing up my comment. I have missed you but thought maybe that big machine was taking up your time. You are doing great!! Wow!!


    1. Thank you, Nonie! I know you will enjoy your upcoming free motion class. I can't wait to see the full sized top you've created, too. You GO, GIRL!!

  6. Oh, new toys are fun! Your quilts are beautiful Rett! That is a great work space too. I think your rain is very close... We just clouded up here, but it has been two gorgeous days, so no complaints:@)

  7. Good golly! That is impressive!

  8. Wow, this post showed up on my Bloglovin feed and I'm glad I came by to see your new toy. Do you need a pilot's licence to operate that thing? LOL It's beyond my comprehension but I understand how excited you are and that making quilts is going to be so much easier for you.
    Have fun, and happy quilting Rett!

  9. Green tea leaves is my favorite! My mama would absolutely be in hog heaven as she would say. But she wasn't into computers but she was smart she could have learned. She just refused. This is awesome!

  10. What a perfect toy for you, Rett! I had no idea these were as large as they are. Lucky that you have that wonderful space. I suspect you'll be quilting non-stop, and we will rarely see you here in Blogland. '-) Be certain to keep us in the know with photos of all the beautiful quilts you'll be making. "Sew" much fun in your future!

  11. Oh Rett, your quilts are simply stunning. You do such beautiful work. You are going to love making all those quilts.
    My neighbor got one and she really cranks out quilts and lap quilts. She makes them for the vets that are in wheelchairs.
    I gave her a lot of material that I had hoarded and she made me a lovely king size quilt for my bedroom.
    Thanks for sharing all your beautiful quilts and enjoy your new toy. I think you should call her jelly roll.
    Have a great week.

  12. What a magnificent toy! You're going to get so much pleasure out of this.

    I had to comment on your mother's very Irish name - love it. My youngest daughter's name was Shannon Breen - I thought that was pretty Irish, too.

  13. Oh my goodness, what a TOY!!! I actually love your entire sewing room.

  14. Rett,

    How absolutely wonderful! Not sure if you know that I will be moving. We want to be on one floor but I am adding a loft for my sewing room. Hmmm - I wonder. LOL Your work is wonderful and beautiful. I haven't been blogging much - consumed with making choices for house.

    Again, wonderful machine.

  15. Woo hoo for getting your long arm quilting machine, Rett! You certainly deserve it and you will put it to good use with all your wonderful projects. It's great that you have space to have it. I love what you've done so far and look forward to even more wonderful things.

  16. Wow, Rett, that is some machine! You will have such fun with it - will you ever want to blog again?
    I loved the peek at your sewing room - it's gorgeous. Now I will have to think about a space in whatever house we find..........I think it's a necessity!

  17. That's the best excuse I've ever seen for not blogging! Wow! and the work you have done so far is amazing. Beautiful stitch quality. But, you've been missed.

  18. That is a serious quilting toy! Wow! I love the quilts you've made and your family will enjoy them as well. Enjoy!

  19. What a great excuse! I'd be playing with a new toy like that for days, weeks, months. Actually, I love piecing quilts and hate the hand quilting. Next time I make a quilt (if ever) I'm going to send it out to someone for quilting. Love your projects and your sewing room. Such a magnificent space.

  20. Oh, my! That is one very special and fun toy! Congratulations! I love the new quilts for the guest room, and so will all your guests! Cannot wait to see what else rolls off this latest addition to your sewing room!

  21. Rett, that is one fine toy. I love your work on your quilt. It will be so fun for you to design your quilt all the way, from start to finish. You will have total poetic license!

    Will it be long before you start the custom quilting. Your edge to edge design is a great starting step!

    You have been missed...I'm glad I did a search on the Gazebo house tonight. Have fun.

    This is certainly just the medicine the doctor ordered, isn't it?


  22. Your excitement makes me want to jump up and start a quilt...I love that you have something you like doing this much. And all your quilts are so beautiful.
    That machine is HUGH and filled to the brim with beautiful quilts that you will create.....I am so happy you were able to house something this large.
    Congrats on getting your DREAM MACHINE.....;0)
    ok...RD is bound to be a good name...(Rett's Dream) hahhaa....whatever you name it, it will be a good name.
    XO bj

  23. Rett, I'm SEW excited for you, I can just imagine how much fun you are having with your new state of the art TOY! What a dream it must be, learning curve or not, to use! And what a wonderful space you have to create in...I wish I had that much dish storage :) I LOVE the combination of the greens, aquas and browns in your two quilts! I'm looking forward to seeing all your projects. ♥

  24. Sorry I haven't been here sooner, but, I'VE BEEN TOO BUSY TO BLOG! :) I just figure if people are busy, they don't blog. No excuses needed, life comes first!
    WOW, wow, wow! How amazing! I am going to have to replace my basic Singer with one of those babies. No, just kidding! I haven't figured out my embroidery machine yet, and it is 10 years!
    Good luck with your new toy, you are the perfect person to have such a jewel. Love what you made so far, can't wait to see what is coming up!
    Hope you are well!

  25. Name her "Flash"! So happy for you. I know you'll use it so well.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I read them all & each one is so very special to me & I try really hard to return the visit!