Confession of a Fabric Snob! And A New Plan!

Yesterday I posted about a moroccan tile pattern I was going to try.  My plan was to purchase some black patterned fabric to start this pattern.  I went shopping and realized I have become a fabric snob!  I went to Joann’s and Hobby Lobby and was not satisfied with their selection.  I refuse to shop at Walmart and have not done so in 17 years.  Their fabric dept suffered greatly when I made this decision.  Years ago I had a conversation with a quilt shop owner about not purchasing fabrics at those locations.  She too denied those merchants.  She called me an official fabric snob, and we giggled about it.  So, off I  go to the quilt shop Tuesday.

In the meantime I wanted to try my version of this pattern with some fabric for practice because I have plenty of it.  The pattern was for cutting up charm squares which made the finished quilt as well as the pieces very small.  I try not to put a lot of work into piecing of a quilt which is gifted to a coworker.  You never know it could end up at the Goodwill in a couple of years.  So on the same concept of the pattern I used the drunkard’s block accuquilt die.  Those turned out cheeky!  But the dimension of it coming to the rectangles was too half moon-ish.  My idea is not going to work.  My day of play has led to greater things.  Discovery…..brainstorming….recalling, and voila I have figured out a new plan.

Switching gears before you start is not hard.  I still need to purchase fabric and this will let me know how much.  After looking at my pattern really closely, the drawing for the half moon triggered a memory of watching a youtube episode of quickly quilting.  I couldn’t remember what they called their version of the pattern.  But this is the effect I will be getting, just using an easier method with no template costs.  Click here to see their tutorial and quilt backdrop goodness.  When I had originally come across this pattern, some weeks later I was at Marcia Hohn’s Quilters Cache and found out what the old fashioned name was for this block.  Her version is much, much easier and it is free.  The pattern is called butter and eggs.

Yesterday I took all my fabrics from the great stash and pressed what I would be using, dropping my swatches over the wooden clothes dryer (I just love this thing, especially during strip cutting).  Today I will start cutting my fabrics at the Quilters Cache specifications.  I have always wanted to do this quilt.  But, doing it baby size it will not take as long and I get that checked off my bucket list.

In summary, I wasted gas, wasted a 3 1/2 inch strip of fabric and a 4 inch strip of fabric in  the havoc of trying to design my own block.  I haven’t had this happen in a while, and even though I have nothing to show for yesterday stitching, I enjoyed this process I call quilting, and have a better plan!

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A decision and a little play time

So my last post, I knew what I would be working on but there was no definition.  Makes it a bit hard to make something when there is NO thought in your process.

In May of this year I will be doing a demonstration how to use a snap press.  The stitching club I belong to owns this piece of equipment as an asset and it is the industrial version.  No one knows how to use it.  I knew what it did but had never used it and so I volunteered to learn about it and demonstrate how to use it.  Very user friendly piece of equipment.

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In my schpeel for this snap press, I had to brainstorm what one would use it for.  Before I recommend to my peers what it can do, and what it can help make, I had to use it for myself with a little project on the side.

I had run across a WordPress blog that offered a free pattern for a dishtowel.  Click here for that pattern.  Making a dish towel for some is no big deal.  Others see the idea of making a button hole and run the other way.  I deemed this a perfect use for the snap press.

I had a piece of brand new chenille fabric with no use other than to donate.  HA, now it will not be a donate but utilized for these ever so useful items in the kitchen.

And here is the easy snap to install which took about 5 seconds per side.  Easier than a button hole, and no hand stitching.

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On Thursday about 2 hours after I wrote my blog post, a special registered letter arrived that required my signature.  It was from Hungary!  I knew exactly what it was.  I had ordered the ruler for the Capella 10 inch star pattern.  If you are up for a wonderful video to see how they use this ruler click here.

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So I will be making a quilt using this.  Probably a baby size with only a row of stars, or partial stars.  That will be coming soon.

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And in my post The Next Quilting Challenge I announced the colors of a baby quilt I will be making of the lime and aqua colors.  I have pulled from my stash and realized I need some form of black or black print.

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I have chosen to make the Moroccan Tile pattern by Anka’s Treasures.

A splash of black will really make this pop.

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I will be breaking open the newly sealed companion set by accuquilt for the drunkard’s path dies which will get me going towards the Moroccan Tile pattern, but doing it my own way.  I will be fetching some black fabric, hopefully tomorrow.

Right now I have all these deadlines and it kind of gets in my mojo and makes it hard to focus and shift gears towards a goal.  I shift gears too much which is unproductive and makes too many UFOs and PHDs.  Just speaking of them drives me nuts.  A deadline is a deadline.  I want to get these quilts done before babies are born.  I supposed the babies will not care.  All they will want is sleep, milk, burped, and a clean diaper.  But I think giving a baby quilt to expecting parents builds their anticipation.  All the baby accessories to use but no baby.  Two baby quilts by April should be no problem provided my sewing machine does not break down!  Thank you for reading my blog and stay tuned for more Quilty posts!

My next quilting challenge

In the mix of quilting, sometimes life happens.  Projects become PHDs (projects half done).  In my case I am still quilting the Orange On Ringo Lake quilt.  A few blocks every night, with more machine stitches accomplished on the weekend.  This is going to be put aside for a bit.

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In my post of expectations for 2018, I knew I would be doing a couple of baby quilts.  The jury is still out what I am going to do for either of these quilts.  Today will probably become a gathering day for one.  I found out yesterday that the color scheme for one of these babies is lime and turquoise.  I will be shopping my stash trying to figure out this challenge.  Perhaps one side will be turquoise and neutrals and the other lime.  I have never attempted these colors together.  Maybe I shouldn’t pick neutrals but go with black to really make it pop.  What pattern am I going to use?  I will be brainstorming on this one, probably using my Pinterest account to see what I have pinned in the past for baby quilt ideas.  I love a good challenge, don’t you?

I have three upcoming workshops, one for the jelly roll race, one for the garlic knot swap, and one for the iron caddy tote.

I have started gathering supplies to make another iron caddy tote but this time making it into a lunch bag with oil cloth goodness.

I have also come across a jelly roll with 50 strips all in earth tones.  Beautiful colors and will get to this one someday.

I was also deciding about labeling my quilts.  The labels you buy pre-made are a tad expensive, and I would use many, so I came up with my own label to make.  Whichever quilt is finished next is going to get this label.  I have spent $2.00 on this plus tax and should be able to get 15 labels out of the 2 bucks.  I will probably date it and say “made by me”.  I look forward to sharing all of this with you. Oh sew many irons in the fire, and so little time!

Patina Quilting

After finishing my On Ringo Lake Top I took a bit of pause to figure out how to free motion quilt this gem.  Because I was a tad too bright/strong in the orange dept, I knew I needed to tone this down.  But how to tone down orange?  How about another color in the quilt that is complimentary.  I knew I could use a neutral but also knew that would give the orange a washed out look.  My other options were brown or turquoise.  I went a shade darker and chose turquoise.  I am hoping this impacts the quilt positively and breaks up the monotony of too much orange.  When looking at my quilt top it reminds me of copper.  What do you get when copper tarnishes?  A nice patina, provenance…… and the color turquoise.

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squiggle

I am attempting to scribble out the orange with this ribbon candy loop de loop.  I have chosen to squiggle this on all the diamond sashing pieces.  One more to go and I am still brainstorming for my next free motion quilting option.  I want to accentuate the 9 patch so maybe a floral there.  I am thinking of keeping the turquoise and running that through the flying geese with a trident style loop de loop.  I am still looking at this with a very open mind.  I have gotten out my Saran Wrap and laid this out on top of the block and ran my permanent marker over the Saran Wrap to mock stitches.  TBD….to be determined!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Ringo Lake Quilt Top

I have pushed myself, amongst my family having the flu, and gotten the top all together.  I knew the orange was going to dominate.  It is definitely dominating, more than I care for.  I am wondering how to free motion quilt this to perhaps takeaway some of the orange.  I know if I used an off white top thread that I can quilt the dickens out of this and perhaps lighten the orange load.  I think I am wanting to do that in the sashing as this is the problem area.  The sashings would have been better if they were just neutrals or even browns.

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I have looked through my stash and am disappointed with my backing options.  All the fabric that was recently given to me is NOT 100% cotton like once thought.  I ironed two pieces today and you could smell the polyester at the cotton setting.  Those got moved to the donate pile.

So I will have to piece my backing.  That is okay.  I am really not liking this quilt, but will enjoy it’s completion so I will go forth.

I got my machine fixed.  Turns out the wick that is in the bobbin area decided to leave.  Not sure if this happened when I cleaned the lint with a pipe cleaner or if what it was serviced a year ago that they did not put one in.  It is rusting now, so I suspect it fell out a long time ago.  It is now oiled by me and is working ok.  My 1/4 inch is still off to the foot. I move the needle and it moves right back.  This will have to get fixed.  So I suspect something is still wrong with the machine.  It is becoming quite the drama mama for me.  I hate drama.

So what is next for this blog?  I have two baby quilts to make.  One for a girl and one the parents are awaiting the birth to find out what they are having.  I will be free motion quilting the top pictured here today.  I will be using my embroidery machine to label some garments.

I have been snookered in to giving a class on the iron caddy tote.  This I am not really looking forward to because a lot of the women who show up for these kind of events are not thinkers and you have to hold their hands through each step.

After showing my quilt to our fellow E-stitchers, they all wanted to learn how to free motion quilt.  I will gladly show them this.  I had one lady ask if I made those feathers with my walking foot.  I answered no, you have to have a darning foot or free motion quilting foot.  Due to this being an expense, I doubt I will have only the serious minded for this class.  This one should be fun.  I also dread this a bit with all the different sewing machines and how they work.  I know how to do it on my machine and not sure if I will be able to help out.  I figure tension will be the biggest hurdle for this class.

I have two ufos that need to be pieced and quilted and look forward to this for the remainder of the year.

I have a barbecue brisket cooking in the crockpot right now….mmmmmm the house smells so good.  For the recipe visit my other blog TheCookBookProject or click here for the recipe.  Have a great weekend and sew on!

Rowing the boat without an oar!

My quilting hobby has costs.  Usually it is the consumables like fabric, needles, and thread.  Three weeks ago my best machine that I have used for all my sewing projects for the last 3 years, including all FMQ, finally decided to take a rest.  Or perhaps I should say, part of the machine decided to take a nap.  Whatever stopped working affects the automatic tension controls.  I am afraid if I continue to piece the On Ringo Lake project, and when the quilt is completed and washed it will fall apart. That is how loose the stitches are.  I suspect the controller card went out.  I used it to embroider, and when the unit switched back it was not right.  Embroiders beautifully, but won’t sew a seam right.  I know this is going to cost at least $150 to be serviced plus whatever part has failed.  The good news is, I have the cash because I have NOT spent money on fabric.  So a piece of my pie goes to a different person.

After fiddling with the machine trying to figure it out, and then giving up, I snuck out to the storage shed with a flashlight and got out the machine I have had since the 4th grade.  Thanks to my Grandmother’s wisdom, her gift keeps on giving.  She had the foresight in the very early 80s that machines were going plastic.  She specifically sought out an old metal machine to give so I could learn to sew.  She knew how to thread it without an instruction manual.  She knew what adjustments to make when it did not sew right.  Fast forward 35 years and oh so many moves, I still have the machine.

About 10 years ago I thought I had burned up the motor in it and took it to the last sewing machine repair shop in town.  Turned out it was the foot pedal that went bad.  They fully serviced the machine and it is still sewing.  The lady at the repair shop who is now desceased told me, “You hold onto this machine, they don’t make them like this any more.”  The mere idea of getting rid of this perfectly chosen gift oh sew many years ago is unfathomable.

I am here today using this old gem again.  Am I sad about my other machine?  No….but when you use a machine as much as I have used it, it becomes so familiar that you reach for the presser foot lever, or flywheel, without even having to look.  It is like driving a standard transmission vehicle.  When you get into an automatic you find yourself reaching for the gear shifter that is not there.

So, I am crossing the waters of Ringo Lake.  They have been choppy, but I refuse to let myself sink.  I may have drifted a bit off course with no oars, but I am not treading water.

I figured in a week’s time that I would have all 50 blocks sewn together, but the conditions did not allow it.  Progressed happened, just slower than anticipated.  I am thankful that I have my backup machine.  She’s a real trooper for choppy waters, and has been there ready to be used at a moments notice.  Practically an old friend, but truly the gift that keeps on giving.  This old machine will probably outlive me, and can be passed down to my children.  And my Granchildren far into the future will get to sew because of their Great-Great Grandma’s wisdom!

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I will be linking up with the Monday Link up for the Mystery quilt On Ringo Lake by Bonnie Hunter.  All the instructions to make this quilt are provided under the ON Ringo Lake tab on her website.  The pattern is totally free at this time and will eventually go to a digital download that will cost you money.  Go there now and get the directions while the getting is good.

Checkout of my other blog the Cookbookproject for tasty recipes.  This weekend I am making spaghetti and meatballs from scratch, that recipe share is here!  Thank you for visiting and reading my blog!  I enjoy reading your comments, don’t forget to leave one!

Rowing my Boat On Ringo Lake

The holidays have come and gone.  I have spent several hours in the last two months rowing my boat on ringo lake, the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter

I have learned a few things along the way.  Have gotten oodles of use from my Folded corners ruler.  I cannot say I have mastered it as there was a hiccup along the way.

  • My feed dogs are so worn out that the last three weeks of stitching I have basically been stitching in the blind.  You see my 1/4 foot was no longer 1/4 inch.  With my machine when it starts stitching the needle moves slightly to the left and the foot torques just a tad and because the feed dogs are so worn, this caused the 1/4 inch foot to rub itself into oblivion causing it to malform the black edge.  I will be working to get a new one.
  • In the meantime I will continue to wing it.  I am also having trouble making over the humps of the flying geese when stitching all those layers together.  I suppose I can adjust my pressure foot tension but then this causing the bottom layer to scootch at a different rate than the top fabric.

I am not going to say all my work was for naught.  Much has been accomplished in the last few days.  All of my 3 1/2 inch blocks are stitched.  I am working stitching the diamond sashing.  All of my cuts have been made.  All of my leftover fabrics from this challenge have now been put away.  All that is left is assembly.

I am glad with my bright fabric choices.  I am not going to say I was disappointed with the mystery quilt reveal, but I will say that if you used the wrong colors, the busy-ness of the quilt pieces with the paler colors will make the quilt very washed out looking.  Like I said I am happy with my bright oranges.

Here is a snapshot of the pieces I have stitched, not pressed laid out as a glimpse of what is to come.  Nothing like dangling the carrot before me to put the wind beneath my wings, eh?  I suspect other Ringo Lake boaters will entertain the idea of different layouts and go a different route.  We shall see.  I have the rest of my entire life  to work on this and hope by next week to have a couple of rows sewn for the link up.

Let the letdown begin…..*SIGH*

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