March's challenge was from the Remembering Adelia book by Kathleen Tracy. This is one of the quilts that I really wanted to make, so I decided to make it using the full book pattern rather than the smaller alternative of a single block! Appliqueing all the basket handles slowed me down a little bit, but what really slowed me down and made me "miss" my self imposed end-of-the-month deadline was when my Janome Memory Craft 9000 decided to stop running 10 mintues into the machine quilting. Luckily, my wonderful husband had suggested that we purchase the Service Manual years ago, so he did the diagnostic testing and determined that either the motor needed to be replaced (about $110) or one of the 7 boards (A board = $650), n,eeded to be replaced. Since it had seemed a bit sluggish lately, even at the high speed, we decided to order the motor from a local dealer and see if that fixes it.
While waiting for the motor to come in, I was really stressed out and missed my machine very, very much. I decided that I wanted a new "back up" machine as an "early birthday present." I spent about a week reading reviews and had finally narrowed my choice down to 2 machines. I showed them both to my wonderful husband, and he suggested that I get the one that was the more expensive of the two (a Janome 2012). It arrived while I was visiting Longwood Gardens last week! I finished the machine quilting and sewed on the binding on Friday, and then hand sewed the binding to the back while watching movies with the family on Easter evening. I wanted to take a photo outside, but the winds were working against me today. Tomorrow ends my vacation, and I have to go back to work, so please excuse the "kitchen table" photo!
I made good use of my final day off, too! I photographed the apple blossoms and lilacs blooming in my yard (look for another post later this week), backed up my folder on our home server to my laptop's "scratch pad" drive, and pieced the April Small Quilt of the Month top, using squares from a charm fabric pack, my fat quarter stash, and some fabric left over from a dress I made for Felicity. April's quilt is a special design by Kathy that is shared in the files of the Small Quilt Talk group., rather than selected from one of her books. It is a nine-patch doll quilt - stay tuned for more photos in the upcoming days and weeks ahead.
I hope you are enjoying the Spring weather and finding time to do what you love!