Quilting with Feed Dogs Up

So, I purchased a singer darning foot for my older machines to try to FMQ.  The machine I was hoping for, it fit, but because that machine has a needle that is not centered on the needle plate, it would hit the foot.  I suppose I could figure out some kind of spacer and some day use this, as I can manually put the feed dogs down with that machine.


So then I called out the big dawgs and brought out my big high speed brown machine (I need to think of a good name for her), and put the foot on.  It fit, but I cannot lower the feed dogs with this machine.


The thing that worries me about not lowering the feed dogs, over time, that part will wear out.  My feed dogs have worn severely on my Janome MC9000, as I have used the dickens out of her.

So during quilting, with feed dogs, you are very limited with the correct rhythm.  On this old gem, because it was designed to be a treadle, when you take your foot off the gas pedal, it keeps sewing a few stitches.  Which made FMQ even more difficult.  There were two swoops that I cannot do on this machine.  The needle threads from left to right.  So if I ran over the thread in the process of moving in my loop, the needle would break the thread every time.  I sewed this pot holder with breakage at every loop for the first few loops, realized the movement causing the breakage and changed up how I was swooping.  Got almost all the way around to where I started and got in a hurry, and zigged when I should have zagged.  Bam, broken thread again.  But again, with an old machine, there are NO TENSION ISSUES!  I have battled tension issues with my MC9000 to the point of wondering if something is worn out.  It has an automatic tensioner.  After years of practice, sometimes it still gives me grief.  So the domestic will be perfect for straight line quilting and perhaps small projects that I will be able to spin 360 degrees to prevent breakage.

And my quilting is far from perfect.  But this will be a trivet, that sits upon the stove.  I noticed my stove top is acquiring scratches over the years.  (You would be scratched too if you were almost 70 years old!)  It will serve its purpose.  Made imperfect with imperfect hands.  I am ok with that, it is still very useable.  And what I learned is valuable.  It is a win to the second power!

These are the scraps left over from the spools quilt that is waiting to be quilted.  This trivet also served as an audition of how I will quilt the larger version of this block.

For those of you who know me well, know about the private details in my life, stuff I don’t write about.  I was commissioned (for free) to do a small job on towels.  I marked new wash cloths with slashes, a different qty for each day.  (nothing like doing more friggen laundry, but I remain silent) I had very particular instructions with drawing goodness and achieved happiness by the individual who commissioned the work.  That is all I have sewn since the pot holder on Sunday.


I also posted BBQ BLT’s, so if you are interested in the recipe, click here.  The weekend is almost here, and it will be a day longer, yay!  I used to wish for the weekend to hurry up, or for the clock to say 4:00 so I could go home to the hobby and sew.  I realized I was wishing my life away.  I have stopped doing that, and look at the time continuum differently now.  I know my goal, but do not wish for it to be here sooner.  Old age sometimes makes you go hmmmmm about things.

I hope to have something else to post this weekend, but this week seems to be a non-sewing week as I am so tired.  Once the weather changes, so will I.  As you age, you become a very good meteorologist.  You know when it is going to rain, or when a low pressure is in the mix, HA!  For those of you that know me are probably laughing because I am not old, but I am a day older than yesterday, and so on.  Perhaps this is not old age, but wisdom!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!



Nothing is better than a BLT on a hot day!  An easy quick meal, and low maintenance.  The other day I had a light bulb moment.  Why not use the turkey bacon I had used cooking my BBQ beef brisket and reserve that for a second meal.  Interested in how I achieved BBQ flavored bacon?  Here is the recipe I used, after cooking the brisket, but before making the sauce, reserve the bacon for later.  Don’t want to cook a brisket all day.  Take your bacon, turkey or pork, and skewer it on a bamboo skewer, slather with BBQ sauce and grill or oven bake.  Quick and tasty!

Here is the reserved bacon from my brisket.  Bringing it back to a warmer state by frying it up in the skillet.bbqblt.JPG

Slather some toast with mayo, or change it up a little with guacamole.  Add your lettuce, tomatoes (we do onions too).  Voila a BBQ BLT.  You could also just cook regular bacon and add BBQ sauce to the sandwich instead of mayo.  Easy and yummy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


HST’s Improv Around the World

So, a few weeks back I opened three charm packs, two of the Play Ball 2 line, and one white one.  I ran them through my accuquilt and made a bunch of triangles itchin’ to be sewn together.  At the time I was working on my leader ender Jewel Box Stars Flambė.  I used the play ball pieces as my leader ender and did not get far as there were so many pieces going on with sew many quilts.  I am back at it.


If you are interested in seeing the whole fabric line, it is not available online any more, been in the stash too long!  This is the sad story of my stash.  When I get to the fabrics I want to use, and need more it is no longer available and more improv sewing happens.  Ah well, such is life.

My plan is to make a panel of HST’s alternating color and white.  Then I will go around that with color HST’s around that, and then go around that with pinwheels, and then go around that with a square in a square made with hst’s.  I have not done any counting and realize this may not work.  If it doesn’t, my HST’s will be entitled Improv Playing Ball In Line…or Row by Row.

I have  some of the central pieces ready to be pressed and sewn again.


Some pinwheel blocks, QST’s, and square in a square triangles already pressed.  I have a gob that will require pressing, hence the leaning floppy stack in the center of this picture.

Today is supposed to be HOT.  So, this means a brisket in the crockpot to keep the kitchen/house cooler.  This also means, probably no ironing today as I cannot run that many watts at once.  Perhaps tomorrow more progress sewing will occur.

I am also on the mend again as I have pulled a muscle in my back.  Too much loafing on the sofa (which is in a sad state), so I will be nursing that a tad today as well as the last three days.  Normally it doesn’t last this long.

Since I have went coke and candy free my back has went out twice.  Does this mean I have not had the energy to do anything but sit?  Or does this mean the lack of phosphoric acid  in my diet is causing my back to need that……er…..supplement?  Probably a coincidence.  I did purchase a new pair of comfortable shoes and this could also be the problem, but I think it is the couch.  New/Used couch on the list of my purchases.  This one is 12 years old, and most of my couches from the past are pretty much done in after 10 years.

I am off to put the brisket in the crockpot.  If you are interested in my recipe, click here.

Here is the picture of the last time I made it, delicious!  Ooooo that fat cap is nice and charred, but never was on the grill.  🙂


I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my blog!  I hope you have enjoyed this post.  Have a great weekend!


So I am playing with words, but this post is a catch up from my previous post which had no new photos to share.  I am back up and running smoothly, clearer and crisper than ever before.

So here is the baby booties quilt, completed scrappy binding and all.

I see the neighbor’s pup peeking around the edge of the quilt, such a quiet, loving dog.

Here is some close up quilting.  I must say that quilting these boots was just as fun as the fabric selection.  When you look at a pair of cowboy boots, there are firebirds and ornate designs in the stitchings of the leather.

This fabric cries of cowboy boot.  Perfectly placed, fussy cut fabric and then stitched over imperfectly, but fun none-the-less.

And below is the back of the gray and black boot in the lower left corner.  I had to show you the backing I chose.  More boots for the babe.

Another fun design!

Today I took the quilt to work to give to the expectant mother.  She loved it.  Her mother proudly displayed it all day.  I heard so many people say how neat it was and how artistic.  One person said I should quit my day job.  Another asked how much I charged, and the Mother said nothing, and they were like “WHAT?”

I usually silently give the quilt to an empty seat and send them an email with washing instructions.  It is the humble thing to do (I would be horrified if they did not like it and can express that in alone time without me being there).  I usually get a call, or they come visit me and thank me.   Some parents snap photos of the youngins’ on the quilt and give me that photo.  I do not work for free, I do this for the smiles.  Occasionally, I get a hug too.

Each one of these quilts I make is an extension of myself, kind of a baby of sorts.  And so, I gift part of myself not for the parents, but totally for the baby.  A brand new baby quilt for a brand new baby.  Most parents could care less about a quilt.  Children however like to latch onto objects when they are young, and for the first few years of their growing selves, part of me will get to be there, even though I am not physically there.

The great thing about sewing quilts for expectant parents, you get to enjoy a small project.  Another checked off from the bucket list.  In no time you have a quilt, this one was started at the end of July and I leisurely worked on it, and voila, ’tis complete!

Now I am onto the other baby quilt with a sporty theme of HSTs.  I should be able to do a post about that work in progress this weekend.

Oh and I mustn’t forget the double knit, knitted pot holder LOL.


I also uploaded my pizza wedges post on my other blog the cookbookproject.  Click here for that recipe.

Happy Hump day readers!  It’s all downhill until the weekend!  Thank you for reading my blog!

Weekly Jump

apple fruit healthy food
Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

A long time ago, before usb flash drives, flash media was called a jump drive.  For those of you who are not technical, bear with me, I promise to be brief.  My set up for my Memory Craft 9000 uses 20 year old jump drive technology.  The size of the card is gianormous compared to todays flash drives.  My memory craft is a work horse and makes fmq possible for me, saving me thousands of dollars in custom quilting fees.

If any of you have a camera (not phone related) chances are it has a removeable media card.  I am fortunate enough to have a computer with a smart card reader.  I remove the memory device from the camera, insert it into the Mac, and voila, instant photos loaded to computer memory.

The mac is relatively new and under warranty, which apple so graciously repaired.  Because I do not have the mac I have no way to upload/edit photos for my blog.  What can I say?  We all know the world turns without technology.  So today’s post is named for the begining era of storage drives, which is the technology I am lacking today.

My weekly jump would be showing a knitted potholder

This is last weeks photo

made with tshirt yarn (I can now say I knit, even if it is using a pin loom).

not a new pic

The baby booties  has been quilted, binding sewn and finished with some hand stitching.  And I found another use for my cast iron wedge pan and would have showcased some pizza wedges.  The weekly jump will just have to wait.

On another note, I have made up my mind that in the coming months I am purchasing a 20 inch longarm and frame.  While at shows, I play with many and have narrowed it down to 2.  One of which will be at a quilt show I am attending next month.  I am excited, but a little un-nerved, it means I will be back in debt again.  I am not going to add any software/electronics to it, as I see that as a future upgrade.  Right now the amount of tops I have to get done is piling up.  My memory craft does great, but I can only move the width of my hand in each motion, which takes weeks to complete.  I am hoping to put others to work while I am at work, using the pantographs that will come with the machine, and therefore put a tad of money into savings for the upgrade package.  So this is probably fantasy about others working, but I have seen many men take interest in the hobby once a fine large machine shows up (I can just hear Tim the tool man Taylor from the TV sitcom Home Improvement giving his awe, ho, o).

So readers, I will have a post next week with picture goodness.  And thank you for reading my blog!

Quilt Show Pictures

As promised, quilters eye candy uploaded for you.  Which one do you like the best?  There were so many beautiful quilts.  This is just a sampling.  I did not take pictures of every quilt, but I took pictures of quilts with shiny silver metallic fabric, Asian satin fabrics, applique, piecing, embroidered, fabric painted with thread and with paint, and the list goes on.  Hopefully this group of quilts will appeal to you as well.  There were show stoppers, ones when you gaze upon them, it make you say OOOooooooooo, and Aaaahhhhhhhh.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Some of these photos were at weird angles.  There were so many people, and surprisingly I saw many people I knew.  I made the comment to one of the people I know, they needed to add cattleguard fence to move the cattle, lol.  Then she agreed with a MOOooove!  LOL!  So about the weird angles, I was there to photograph quilts, not people.  The flow of the people was weird this year too.  It almost seemed like the way it was laid out created hot spots outside the tri-quilt cubicle (not sure what to call this).  And there were many people with scooters, which take up a bigger footprint.  Lots of ladies were toting luggage trollys behind them.  And of couse, you had those who would stop in the middle of traffic to talk.  The amount of people got me out of there quicker,.  This one does not like crowds.  My impatience builds.  The urge too flee becomes too great.  I wonder why that is?

One day I will get my nerve up and submit a quilt.  I suppose the only thing stopping me is fear.  Fear of what?  The dreaded quilt police!

During my outing I was also able to use my paint swatches to find fabrics for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt.  She has dropped hints, so I am going with neutrals, sky blues, cheddar, yellow, and black.  I am convinced this is what she will be using, if not that is what I will be using.


The quilt activity here on the home front has not made much progress.  The Baby Booties quilt, is now about 75% quilted and I aim to complete that and move onto binding this weekend.

I frequent the thrift stores trying to find______________________fill in the blank.  A few months back I found a skein of jersey knit yarn.  It was only a dollar.  My intention was to make a rug with it, but the rug would not have been very big, so I held onto it for the right project.  I knew the right project would present itself.

Fast forward to Wed.  I found a rectangular small pin loom at the same thrift store for a dollar.  I watched a few youtube videos, and am now knitting a pot holder from the jersey knit.  I think it is funny and a play on words, I am saying this is a knit squared square.  I do not know how to make text to the 2nd power.  So knit, that is double knitted= squared square.  Whoa!

Here is that little project.  Frugal and utilitarian, right up my alley!


And nice and heavy for good protection.  Flexible enough to bend.  I did not find anyone on youtube knitting with double knit jersey.  It is extremely dense and heavy.

Well this concludes a snippet of my week, I wonder what adventure next week holds?  I bet a finish/ reveal…..stay tunned.  And thanks for reading my blog!

An Ah-Ha Moment

I am moving right along with the Baby Bootie quilt!  I have gotten it all sashed and have it sandwiched for free motion quilting.  This one will be complete in no time.  I was worried about mixing the white back ground with the off white boot strips.  It actually broke up the white monotony.  It will be alright, er…I think.


The row going opposite was supposed to be the middle row, but c’est la vie, or That’s life!  Babies tend to shake things up anyway, no matter how much you plan and I will probably pass this wisdom onto the first time Mom.  If you are interested in the applique pattern of the boot you can get the PDF from my previous post.  And today while surfing quilting stuff I actually found the static PDF on Fatquartershop.com.  Click on the pattern called caravan roundup.  🙂

Besides surfing the internet for quilting stuff, I also have my daily clicks where I visit daily deals, flash sales, and read Bonnie Hunter’s blog.  A couple of weeks ago, she dropped a few hints one day.  She had snapped a photo of an antique mall that she visits and said, “wouldn’t this make lovely colors for a quilt”.  The picture was of a terra cotta brick with gold accents, black trim.  She noted the blue sky and the one white cloud in captured in the photo.  A few days later, she showed a couple of black and white photos.  I know the contrast in the photos is impossible to read color.  But I am pretty sure, it involved black.  Then that got me to thinking about the subtle hint she dropped about a beautiful quilty picture.  I went back and found the pic and have now started gathering cheddar and blacks for my stash.  I found a layer cake with good variety of these two colors.


I wish I could bet all my readers fabric, and if I win, you pay me in fabric of those colors.  We shall see if I am right.  If I am not, this is probably going to be the next colors of the mystery quilt that I make when I follow along come black friday.

Speculating in oil can make the price go up.  I wonder each year when the colors are announced at the end of oct, begining of nov. if quilt shops run low on the colors she has selected?  I know I can never find what I want that coordinates with the theme online after it is announced.

And as promised I have the remainder of photos that I took of the quilt hop.  Here are a few that are familiar to me.

Above is a doll quilt I received as a gift when I was very young.  I have a photo of me when I am 4 and I have the quilt in my hand.  I do not remember the face of the person that gave it to me.  I am told it was my great grandmother.  I always thought my grandmother finished this.  This is the quilt I used as an eraser on the chalkboard and this is also the recipient of wood glue.  If you get wood glue on a quilt, a soak in water and vinegar will release the glue.  It did help this quilt as the glue has been in the fibers now for more than 42 years.  But the large chunks of glue are between the quilt top, and the flannel back (no batting).
Red on top is my Garlic Marina which was a quilt block swap.  I added sashing which created an irish chain affect.  The quilt below the red one was a quilt guild selling chances.  Beautiful batiks!
And here is the quilt while quilting it, the cat came and had babies before it was finished.  Thankfully the part she messed up had already been quilted.  After quilting and binding with a large blood spot, I gently used some peroxide and a little elbow grease.  Washing removed the rest.  I have been waiting almost 9 months to use this quilt!  I quilted this one half to death, and it turned out softer than I thought.
This used to hang in my mothers kitchen.  She is the owner.  Look at the locket, Look at all those pieces.  The maker of this is one of her friends.  Her friend did a lovely job.
As this reads, it is titled well!  Therapy, don’t we all know it!  Look at all those small pieces.  If you made something like this, would you be able to give it away.  I am not certain I could.
The piecemakers of our town have a challenge quilt every year.  Those who want to participate, all get the same piece of fabric.  They have to incorporate it into a block.  The winner by votes, wins all the blocks.  They then have to sew all the blocks together and make a quilt for display at the hop.  All of these blocks are winners, but the center block with Elvis  was the one that stole the show!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A slide show above captured some more.  There is a pinwheel made with clown fish (I love that!).  There is a 3 dimensional flower (I have made one of those before).  There is a ridiculous log cabin of tiny strips, then subcut and resewn into HST log cabin units.  It would have been easier just forgetting the log cabin part and sewing squares together.  But that is what us quilters do, we cut it up to sew it back together again!

This week I will be attending the Plano Quilt show!  Yay!  I will have photos of that to share within the coming weeks.  This show is not to big and not to small, but the quilts really pack a punch.  They usually have some nice show stoppers.  And I will get to play with my favorite longarm, the NOLTING.  One day I will get one of those machines.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for reading my blog!

Baby Booties!

I do not even have this quilt completed and I am naming it!  I found this pattern on pinterest, the link is funny and is no longer available at united notions.  You cannot just surf and find it.  I have tried to link it, it is a pdf, not sure how to get the address from pinterest.  Click the link below to download Caravan-roundup cowboy boot pattern compliments of unitednotions.com


Pulling fabrics for this was fun!  I made some hilarious choices, and some very cowboy boot looking choices.  It will be for a baby girl, so I am having fun with all colors in the spectrum.  These are awkward sized so I have purchased some cowboy boot fabric to compliment these in the form of sashing.  I am looking forward to free motion quilting these booties too!


And I forgot to include in my last post, the story of the slave quilt.  As I think about this quilt, it is uncertain how old it is.  Probably around early 1900s.  Therefore probably not a slave quilt, but more likely a share cropper quilt.

I spoke with a lady who carried that heavy woolen quilt from each stop on the quilt hop, showing and telling how she acquired it and where.  It is rather good condition for its age, wool only fears moths.  She told us that she was on the long garage sale that went for miles in the Carolina’s.  She picked up the quilt, it was wool and heavy.  The lady selling the quilt was a black woman in her 20s, or so the lady guessed.  The young black woman said that quilt was from her great-grandmother.  Now counting back with the age of the girl and the ages for child bearing long ago, she either had the story wrong, or it was indeed her great-grandmothers who received it from someone else made before her grandmothers time.  The surprise was, the new recipient only paid $10 for the antique textile.  A bargain no matter the condition.  She was going to look into giving it to a museum.

Since she did not get names and dates, a museum can display it, but not tell the story of it.  The story is the value.  I hope she does get it into a museum.  The second surprise, the rectangle blocks of wool were crazy quilt stitched together with the same stitch all through the quilt.  Some of the blocks had let go of better stitched times.  Peeking into those small areas void of stitches, you can see burlap as the batting, tow sacks!  I can only assume that whomever put that quilt together was extremely poor, and made do with what they had.  Perhaps it was depression era.  But I don’t think so, there was no colors at all in the quilt, they were all suiting wool of drab browns, blacks and greens, tans too.  The backing could have been silk or cotton, but of an army green.  Any of you textile experts any idea to the age?  This lady was carrying around the old quilt in a brand new plastic hobby lobby bag LOL.  Oh the story that quilt could tell.  The quilt found the right respect with the right home.  Sorry no picture :(.  At the time I did not know what the conversation would lead to and she slid it in and out of that hobby lobby bag so fast.  So what would you say the age is of the quilt?  I would say between 1890 and 1915.

It was put together with a stitch such as this:


I have several more pictures I want to show you, but am out of time.  I have oodles of quilt hop photos to scale and edit for you.  Perhaps next weekend some more will appear as time is passing by sew fast!  Promising to make time.  Please enjoy every second of everyday, you just never know.  Thank you for reading my blog!


Quilt Hop photo gallery continued

So last week was our community’s quilt hop.  All us quilters drop our quilts off at the visitor center, and the director gets these quilts hung up all over town.  It promotes tourism to bring people to our community and those people get to see the sights all over town, with quilty goodness.

Today I am featuring Alice Wilholt quilts.  She is an author of books about applique and quilting.  I knew nothing of her before the show, and her quilts are magnificent works of art.  Very contrasting, very colorful, very quilted….very beautiful.

I am going to start off with my favorite, I believe this was called Fireworks, but did not take notes, and am relying on my brains memory card which may be throwing an error!


Absolutely stunning! Below are some more of Alice’s quilts.  We have a free motion educator, quilter in the area.  She is like the Angela Walters in our area, her name is Jackie Brown.  I wish I could afford her services, but at about $3000 I would never use that quilt, which in my opinion would not be getting my moneys worth.  Perhaps one day I will create a quilt that will tour America with quilt shows, trying to win some ribbons, and perhaps I may take that quilting plunge.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And here is a quilt that started me down a much different quilting path.  On Valentines day this year I played hooky from work.  This was on the frame at the SNAP Center being hand quilted on that day.  This was one of the hand quilters pieced tops, which is now lovely and LARGE.  She made it from beautiful fabrics and it ended up being king size.  It was so large that the view was obstructed by one of the vendors set ups.  Nice to see that finish!


On Valentines day this year, was quite an adventure which led to my ownership of Abacus, my featherweight, so named because I can really count on him.  This led to vintage machines, which led to TOGA, which led to getting a non-running vintage  machine going.  Many blog posts were because of this day, over this quilt.

Here are more photos not so much grouped specially, just quilts I really liked looking at while at the Hop.

The lines from the contrast in these fabrics is quite fractal, and I love this!
The white over the oranges is actually lace, a different technique and definitely worth a share.
I believe this is the Lawn Chair pattern and is a freebie at modabakeshop.com.  I can see the back of my Jelly Roll Wrong quilt here too.
And this quilt was entitled “Quilt Hop”, very nicely done too!
This is the last quilt I am showing today, but stay tunned for next weekend as I will have one more post with a gob more of quilts.

So what have I been up too?  Well, I figured out backing for my Jewel Box Stars Flambe.  I found a bolt of flannel at goodwill that matched my colors perfectly.  I need to get this one quilted as it is just too big for me to handle.


And I started another baby quilt.  While at the quilt hop, there was a quilt that I took inspiration from.  I thought I could make a lovely baby quilt using a cowboy boot motif.  I found an old pattern at unitednotions.com and will link that up in my next post.  It is a simple applique of cowboy boot pieces.  Choosing the fabrics for this one was fun!

Ok, so by the looks of lighting in these photos I need to get a white light instead of whatever is in there now.  It has cast a such a yellow glow.  This is actually white fabric.  Sorry for the picture quality, I am getting used to my new camera.

And lastly, I have purged fabric.  I am a bit sad, as my stash represents all my good intentions.  At the same time, going through and finding fabric has become overwhelming.  The amount I was having to touch to get the right piece, was just too much for my space.  I probably donated 100lbs of fabric.  Today my sewing group is having a workshop to make pillowcases for children with cancer and kennel quilts for dogs (not sure on the specifics on that one).  So, obviously not all poundage will get used today, but I passed it on to a group that can bring joy to the lives of others with it and it will get used.  I have made many quilts with that fabric, and I have enjoyed using the fabric for what it was meant to be used for.  Even though I have given away the fabric, I still get to enjoy it as it is in my quilts, in my memories, and will keep me warm for years to come.  Every time I look at one of the quilts I made scrappy from my gifted stash, I will think of the people who gave me all that fabric, the joy they brought me, the joy I got to create, the joy someone else will create.

Have a great weekend!