Humpty Dumpty

We all know the nursery rhyme about humpty dumpty with all the kings horses and all the kings men, who could NOT put humpty dumpty back together again.  Poor cracked egg.  In retrospect, I wonder if this old nursery rhyme has a dual meaning?  Out of curisoity I looked it up, and you can read the theories and the understoods from way back when.  Interesting, but still somewhat unknown.

I always refer to something I have vastly tore apart or deconstructed as humpty dumpty.  I use it at work, and use it at home.  It fits.  This weekend was about my latest sewing machine find, so named Tina, after Tina Turner, a famous singer that had an awful life.

The problem, Tina has cancer.  Yes, rust in her bones.  The prescription Rx to allow her to heal?  A gallon of Evaporust.  I had never heard of the stuff, and in my research of how to remove rust from the parts of a sewing machine, this came highly recommended.

So, I took some of her apart.  I knew the main problem in her mechanics even though she still worked was the bobbin area.  The bobbin, the bobbin case, the hook, the race had just enough of a start of some rust and some black stuff that If I did not coat everything in oil and use her, it would be a just a matter of time and Tina would get a toe tag.

I braved out of my comfort zone and took all of it apart.  I removed the feed dogs, the hook, the race, the bobbin, the case.  I also removed her shoes LOL.  There are 4 rubber feet on the bottom of the machine.  They were so bad that one was cracked and brittle to the point of chiseling the hardened rubber out of its nook.  The screws were rusted too.  All of the metal parts went into a gladware container of Evaporust.  You soak the parts for 12 hours.

evaporust

I removed all of the bobbin components, this is the timing of the machine, a seriously scary venture…… YIKES.  The most important part of a machine to run right is the timing.  Youtube is fabulous and a couple of videos showing how to remove and re-install got humpty dumpty back together again!

video one

video two

The first time I put Tina back together, the hook/race mechanism did not like the needle.  And then I realized that I did not have something perfect, went back, took my time, and saw I did not mount the set screw on the right flat part of the shaft.

In dealing with this sewing machine, and watching my other hook/race assembly go, Singer designed a counter balance weight on the drive shaft and it is very clever how it works, and if it is a tad off, it will not sync.

Back together, running a bit slow, and I imagine after using her for a few days, she will loosen up a bit and become “more comfortable” in her new home.  I sewed a few Half Square Triangles with her to see how she behaved.  She did so well with the HSTs that I put the other featherweight back in its case.   That one is named Abacus because I really count on him.  He has sewn all of my quilt tops since his commission, 2 1/2 years ago.  I am counting 12, but I think that number is too low!  Plus numerous UFOs!

This machine does not want to kick the end of the seam to the side.  It sews perfectly straight up against the seam gauge.  And the throat plate is perfectly even with the bed of the machine, so none of my nested seams flip.  Also, the throat plate has measurements on the newer machine, like seeing the 1/4 mark.  Perfect for us quilters.  Those are my only three comparison differences between my 1947 and my now 1952.

As far as the light encasement, yup, the clear coat is coming off.  I read to lightly oil the spot and voila, the spot is gone!  She is not as shiny and pretty as the other machine, but she sure does a good job of stitching just like a champ!

Before and after photos, yes I took some!  There are still parts within that will need to be soaked in the Evaporust.  Parts that I do not have the right tools to get to hidden screws.  I fear I will have to buy the right tooling, and that will set me back around $40.  We will see how she holds up to my marathon sewing days.

Before:

cancer fw

After:  Notice the set screw on the housing, it is rust free!  Also the hook arm had rust on it before, and now has none.  She is looking very dry on this photo, and I have oiled her down since.  I also had to take some bar keepers friend to remove the black from the rust.  I still see a shadow of it, but it is nothing like it was before.

bobbin after

Because of Tina being in surgery, it took up real estate on my large table for cutting.  So this kind of slowed me down for the sewing over the weekend.

But I did manage to go BLUE for my wedding ring blocks!  Sky blue and other hues to be exact.  Tina sewed one for me today, and will sew more in the coming week.

blue wedding ring

I have failed to set goals the last couple of weeks, so here are my two goals in the next 7 days.

  • Finish quilting the Kaffe Periwinkles quilt
  • Make 9 or more wedding ring blocks in blue.

periwinkle

  • If I can figure out a way to hold the camera, the ruler, and run the quilting machine, I will get a video of making the stars and asters.  I am envisioning elastic around the top and bottom of the camera placed on my forehead.

I have been bustling about today.  My feet are tired, my tummy is full.  My bones need rest.  Nothing like being prepared for Monday, going to work to get rested?  haha!  No, not really, it is just a different kind of tired.  Farewell weekend, you have been good to me, thank you for your time, and thank you readers for your time and for reading my blog!

 

Quilting the Periwinkles!

Not much sewing action this week.  I have placed orders for bolts of cloth, books, sewing machine parts, and a toolbox that houses the new Featherweight Tina perfectly.

periwinkle

This has created a bit of chaos on my sewing and cutting surfaces with their arrival.  So things will get back  to normal as the weekend allows.

The Kaffe periwinkle quilt is progressing.  I am certainly enjoying my 4 in 1 ruler.  The same ruler made the 4 point stars as well as the 8 petal flowers.

The wedding ring quilt blocks are coming along.  The green ones are done.  I have pulled browns.  Got the fabrics starched, pressed and cut into strips.  I have went as far as cutting many stacks of HSTs ready to be sewn.  Only one block is currently ready to be pressed.

greens3

I have also pulled blacks, but am on the fence with the combo of pinks, greens, browns, and blacks.  Somehow I don’t think black is a cohesive flow with the other colors.  I need to go back and perhaps pull some blues. No hurry for that.  It will happen when it’s ready.

Can you believe that September is coming to a close?  September was originally the 7th month until the Julian calendar changed that!  Julius Caesar’s empire changed time as we know it today.  I wonder back before the julian calendar, if the 10 months flew by as last as the 12 we use today?  May time be on your side!

black calendar close up composition
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great weekend!

 

Weekends are the best!

Nothing like a weekend to recharge the battery.  Especially older batteries like inee, which take longer to charge and probably do not get charged all the way.

I must say that my Saturday was WONDERFUL!!!  I spent time with my Mom and my Son.  Exchanged stories, laughed, loved, and marveled!  Did a bit of antiquing, a quilt show, and even some quilt block construction.  The trifecta!

I failed to take my camera with me to the quilt show.  Through the years going to quilt shows there would always be a new technique that would catch my eye or something nicely quilted, or even beautiful fabrics.  Yes it is nice to gaze upon them, nice to comment about them, and just plain nice.  We discussed ribbons, and how judges can over look beauty and declare something kind of ugly as the winner.  We wondered about how things were judged and who the judges were.  Nothing really new to me there……

And then there was shopping at the event!  There was one table that the ladies were trying to get rid of all the fabric.  Stuff a bag for a $1.  So I came home with some more neutrals.

I took notice of the guild’s table for pamphlets free to take, several on thread, and since I am now bobbin lacing, snatched up some of those freebies to look into purchase.

I came across the dream big panels, buy 2 get one free.  My daughters fight over the purple one I made, so another purple one will be made.

dream big

I grabbed a turquoise one because that is my favorite color, and then they had an orange one that I had never seen before.  I will probably go orange the next one I quilt.  Now that I have rulers that will be a whole new experience!

In the downtown area of this community that hosted the quilt show was also a flea market going on where the streets were blocked off and oodles of antique vendors with their booths with crowds of people looking for their “find”.

I scored big yesterday.  I came across a vender that had a featherweight.  Just being at the quilt show and seeing the pristine machines with the cute little price tags that were deemed unaffordable, I was surprised to see a featherweight, not already snatched up at the reasonable price of $150.  After inspecting it, it no longer had a bakelite foot, replaced with something much newer, no case, no attachments, and had a cogged belt (which was out of place).  This quilty friends, translates into bargaining power!

We looked up the age, it was made in Dec of 52 (later seeing the centennial badge).  And because of all these oddities I new someone had not taken care of it and just could not reason with the lady trying to sell it.  She kept telling me if I were to go buy the bobbin case it would cost me $50, and that She would not take $140 for it.  So I sat it down and told her that it does not have the attachments, the case, and the belt is not right.  The lady was kinda cranky.  So I sat it down and moved along.

As we were getting ready to leave, I gave my son $125 and said, go and see if she will take it for that amount.  She said no again and kinda was frustrated cranky with my son.  She said let me ask my husband, and he gave it the thumbs up, and over ruled her decision.

After getting the featherweight home, it did not have any grease on the gears, and because it rained the day before and probably got wet, already had a bit of cancer waiting to get worse because of the neglect.

So I cleaned (and probably need to clean some more).  I oiled, I greased, and it runs like a top. My two concerns are with the finish on the light as well as the cancer in the bobbin area.

fw build upcancer fw

Overall I am pleased with my purchase and it will be a good machine for my daughters to learn on.  They are so curious and love helping me press my foot control to make the machine go.  So family sewing lessons are coming soon.  That should prove to be interesting.

I probably need to swap this rusty machine with the good one I use everyday just to keep that little machine and all its parts moving to help prevent the cancer that could grow.

After I cleaned up my machine mess, and oh boy was that a filthy girl I started thinking of names for her.  She didn’t have the best life, but she is still good at what she does.  What famous singer could I name her after.  Tina after Tina Turner.  Yup, she has much patina…..so Tina it is.  She sings beautifully, just like this singer sings beautifully in spite of the facts of the life it has had.

Into the sewing scheme of things, I managed some of that this week.  Overtime got cancelled after only working a day.  I swear I wish it could be more streamlined at work without the ebb and flow of the “work tide”.  It is what it is.  I finished my pink blocks which now equal 10.  I have made good headway on the green blocks, with 8 of those completed.

I am currently dreaming of a different color and know brown would be nice, but not sure if I have enough to make it good and scrappy.  So I think I will have to go back through my totes and see what stands at my attention saying “pick me!  PICK ME!”

Today will be laundry and cooking and cleaning with a tad of sewing.  On the Cat side of news, each of the momma cats coming around we now know that one momma had three kittens, we were able to give them some love.  My daughter named one Snake because it hisses and spits at you, LOL.  I saw three babies this morning running around across the street where the other momma goes, so I reckon we will be getting acquainted with them.

I cannot add any more text to this post to convey any more message except, thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!

 

NS-aJR Day!

NS-aJR Day stands for National Sew a Jelly Roll Day, and guess what?   That is today Sept. 21st, 2019.  Are you celebrating?  This year I am going a bit more difficult than previous years and jelly roll race quilts.  I find those are quick, and beautiful!

My favorite is the scrappy one made from random scraps.  The prettiest one is the one just above.  Those fabrics are stunning.

You could go more difficult and trim your strips to 5 inches and make a Brick Street quilt.

 

And for more complexity you can make a humming bird/periwinkle quilt like this.  For the tutorial click here.

You could have fun quilting your jelly roll quilts!

You can practice ruler work!

You can make 81 patches or nine patches!

It is time to have some sewing fun and use up those precuts!

I will either be at a quilt show, or quilting this, periwinkles 2     or sewing some wedding ring old fashioned quilt blocks.

This block is jelly roll friendly.  For the wedding ring tutorial, click this link.  I have made some pink ones and now I will be moving on to green ones.  These are sew much fun!

the finish

Celebrate your day!  Look at fabric, feel fabric, sew fabric, and make some masterpieces!  You will be glad you did.  Enjoy your party!

#projectjellyroll

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!

Embroidery Playtime!

I have a very nice embroidery machine and hardly ever use it.  Those that do not have one and want one question why I do not incorporate embroidery into quilts, much less use it for embroidery.

This machine was a hand-me-down.  My Mother told me long ago I would inherit it upon her passing.  Between now and the time she said that, she has since upgraded and they would not give her much for her machine.  Her machine came with a 50 year warranty and is a very well made machine.

It seems like yesterday when she first got it and that was more than 20 years ago.  I have owned it about 4 years or more.  It was my go to machine for free motion quilting.  Now that I use my longarm, it’s job is strictly for the walking foot or heavy duty work like altering jeans.

A while ago while on pinterest I came across a lady on facebook who makes wonderful Singer Featherweight embroidered accessories for those machines.  Beautiful Work!  And it got me to thinking.  I have the 20 year old scanner for the PCI flash from 20 years ago that load into the machine, why could I not print off the singer decal pictures online and it digitize the logo?  I have everything to make this happen, except time.

Today I took the time to bring my idea full circle.  I see a featherweight accessory personalized in my sewing future.  Will it happen quickly?  No.  My guess estimate, it will happen within the year.

This week I will be working overtime, so I suspect all my sewing dreams will have to play out with eyelids closed.  I have worked hard this weekend to get everything ready for a grueling work week.  I have made supper easier for the week.  I am going to take it easy in the hobby dept, as I probably will want to sew, but will be too tired.  I will be very happy if it happens, but will also be glad to kick my feet up and get a bit of rest for my tired feet.

Here is what I stitched out.  Nothing fancy, and I purposely ran a bunch of stuff through the scanner to see how well the edge decal as well as the floral motif and logo would stitch out.  I look forward to this.  A project has made the list.

I used some rayon thread and because I stitched this out in their software it had much thread trimming which then fuzzed after cutting (my small trimming scissors is probably a tad dull).

Mom, what do you think?  Purty good for an old outdate piece of equipment, if I do say so myself.

🙂

singer

Wedding Ring Block Tutorial! (jelly roll friendly)

Does this sound complicated to you?  If you said yes, did you know there is a friendly version?

When the phrase Wedding Ring Quilt is mentioned you think of curved and complicated seams of construction.  I have always wanted to try making one of THOSE quilts and have probably enough experience to do so, but at a much, much later date.  A screen capture of Pinterest wedding ring block.

wedding ring screen shot

Today’s focus will be on making the old fashioned version of this block.  This relies on accurate HSTs (half square triangles) and squares.  Choose the size of unit you are most comfortable.  Today’s tutorial is utilizing the 2 1/2 inch squares, but you could certainly go smaller or larger.

Tools required:

  • spray starch and pre ironed fabric
  • color way of neutral fabrics
  • color way of your assigned color fabrics (today I am using pinks)
  • Easy Angle ruler
  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • thread

What are we aiming for?  This is the block.

the finish

 

Starch and iron all fabrics you plan on using before any cutting.  After successful starch/ironing cut your strips to your desired width.  Mine are 2 1/2 inches

tools needed

Next lay a neutral face up and a pink face down directly on top of one another.

angle cutting on bias

Square up left edge (if you are right handed).  Notice my 2 1/2 inch strips are right at the 2 1/2 inch line.  Cut your bias edge with the line on the 2 1/2 inch mark.  (not any fabric showing from under that line, and not the line under the fabric, but resting on top of the fabric).  Cut.

anglecutting on bias repeat

Rotate your ruler and cut your 90 degree edge.  Flipping your ruler repeat this process down your strip set.  Set your triangle cuts aside for sewing.  For each block you will need 16 HSTs.  If you are going for a scrappy look, involve as much variety from your stash (or the store) as you can.  A two fabric only look for this block would be just a beautiful.

sew your hsts

Sew your paired cuts of neutral and pink feeding the flat side of the angle in.  This will prevent your machine from pushing a point into the machine and causing a nest of thread and a gob of frustration.

finger press remove dogear

Finger press your seam open and trim the dog ear.  Notice you only have one to trim!  That is the great thing about this Easy Angle Ruler, it is accurate, and it saves you yardage.  That extra dog ear you normally trim if making a full size quilt of nothing but HSTs would amount to vast yardage being thrown in the garbage and therefore not utilizing your fabric to it’s full cost.  That would be like buying a yard of fabric and throwing away an 1/8th of that yard!  Fabric is too expensive for me to do that!

This is a good time to take a measurement.  Make sure your 1/4 seam is a scant seam which allows for the thread bulk as well as the fabric to fold over itself.  After finger pressing, your HST should measure 2 1/2 inches square.  If it does not, adjust accordingly.  Success for this block will require an accurate scant seam.  If your block is larger, enlarge your seam allowance (or trim your block).  If your block measures smaller than 2 1/2 inches square, make your seam allowance smaller.

Remember you will need 16 HSTs, for this block, so you can either sew them all up or you can sew as you go.  I like to improv when doing scrappy quilts so I only sew a 4 patch at this point 4 times, but find your rhythm and proceed.

The block tutorial:

  • 4 four patch HST units
  • 5 neutral squares
  • 4 pink squares

Make an HST 4 patch.

make 16

Sew your 4 patch.  Pressing is tricky.  For two of your 4 patches you will press the top row toward the pink, and the bottom row toward the neutral.  This will create perfect nesting for the next step.

sew 2nd seam of 4 patch

When feeding the seams through your machine, the most ideal situation for perfectly nested seams, is to have the seam on top towards the presser foot.  So if things don’t go perfectly at the begining, the lip of the seam will wedge itself to the seam below and lock it into place providing the best nesting experience.   Two blocks will be pressed like this and two of the 4 patches will be pressed the opposite way to provide non bulky seams through the whole block.  Do you have to do it like this?  No.  If you prefer you can always do whatever you normally do, or you can press them open.  Whatever you like, it is your quilt, you are your own quilt police HA!

fingerpress and spin seams

The end result will be this.  Notice I have spun my centers.  This is ideal for your quilt.  It allows flatter seams and less bulk during quilting.  If you count the fabrics right there, the count is 12 layers.  No needle should have to sew that.  By spinning your seams, it will be less wear and tear on your machine, especially if you quilt it later.

repeat but press block in opposite direction from first

Repeat this 4 patch once exactly like you just made it, pressing and all.  Repeat this 2 more times but press in opposite directions.  This will enable you to spin the seams throughout the wedding ring block.

cut some scrappy squares

Cut some pink squares at 2 1/2 inches as well as some neutrals.  You can use the easy angle ruler for this as well, or use what ever ruler you are comfortable.  Make sure when cutting the line is ON the fabric.

press center blocks opposite 4 patches

Notice the direct of the HSTs.  They are pointing to a common point.  That will be close to center.  The edge on the right place a pink square between the 4 patches and then place a neutral opposite the pink.  sew that seam and notice both your 4 patches the seam is pressed to the right.  You will want to press your seam to the neutral.  This will allow for perfectly nested seams and allow you to spin your seams.

second seam in top half of block

Now sew the next seam to the squares.

finger press in on both seams

You now are almost halfway done!

Repeat all of this in a mirror image of what you have just sewn.

And now you are 75% done, the easy part is left.

line 5 center sewing

To complete this block you will need three neutral squares and two pink.  Notice their placement and chain piece them.  During chain piecing, sometimes I sew HSTs for the next block to keep threads utilized.

keep spinning those seams

Notice the finger pressing not perfect but manages to keep the seams spinning.  Just one more seam to go!

the finish

One last step, press.  Since you have finger pressed everything so far, it is a matter of laying the iron on the block and getting flat seams.  No distortion which creates a perfect square block.

And there you have it, the old fashioned version of the wedding ring block.  Your pinks make a ring in the center, and HSTs are nice facets around the perimeter.  If this was done in something shiny, it would sparkle like a diamond wedding ring, eh?  The block finished out at 10, 10 1/2 inches unfinished.

Three years ago I would have never attempted this block.  But after many successful quilts later using the Easy Angle Ruler, I am so on board!  For the quilt I am making, I will make a few pink blocks and a few green blocks.  There will be more colors in the quilt I am making, but I have not yet decided which colors.

This will go relatively fast if you have many strips precut and stack of HSTs already cut just ready to sew.  Sometimes I use the leader/ender technique while in the middle of this block, sewing for the next block, streamlining the process.

The reason this ruler works for me is, I do not like to be slowed down by drawing lines plus having extra tools lying about.  It is just cut and sew.  And that is what quilting is all about!

I hope my blog inspires and teaches.  Would you tackle this block?  Having the right tools helps.  I like the genius of this block in that I only have one measurement I constantly cut through the whole quilt.  No 1/8ths.  No drawing lines.  And it is jelly roll friendly.  Just in time for National Sew a Jelly Roll Day on Sept 21st, 2019!

Thank you for reading my blog!

 

 

 

Ready, Set, SEW!

Well, I am back on the sewing track!  All Aboard!  Trains have been mentioned in my blogs of late.  ….Referring to time chugging out of control.  After a bad migraine, and rested hands (which kinda drove me crazy….like to keep my hands busy), my sewing adventure continues.

people doing marathon
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

I have a couple of finishes, and a start, and an in between.

I would first like to share the Stars Upon Thars 81 Patch quilt top.  I have it sewn and it is glorious!  It looks old fashioned, but with mostly new fabrics.  During the last couple of weeks making this work, I took notice that all of the blocks were sewn at very different times.  These 64 patch blocks had been started by hand, and then sewn some more with the same thread but by machine, and then sometime later sewn with much thinner thread (I presume polyester).  And now it is conjoined with my fabrics and thread, for a old fashioned, scrappy traditional looking quilt top.  I would like to take the time to thank all my readers and voters on social media who made this the best possible outcome.  Your votes counted, and thank you on helping me make that decision!

81patch hand stitching

We don’t ever look at the back of the work much, but I wanted to show how even some of the stitchings are.  And I see feed sack and shirtings, I wonder if this was started in the 40s when money was scarce and sewing machine factories figured out other means for manufacture.  Then I presume machine stitching happened after the war probably in the 50s when machines could be afforded on revolving debt.  These blocks have waited so long to become something.  And now 60+ years later, it is on its way to being done!

on the twin

Here it is, on the twin bed, which is much too small to show case all its glory!

on my couch

On the couch! still too big, but you get the picture.  I was very afraid that where I had trimmed the 81 patches to square things up, would make it look horrid.  But it kinda is lost with all the squares and their uniformity.  Far away you do not notice it, up close, yup, it sticks out like a sore thumb, but it is done!  I have only two star blocks left over that can be made into a hot pad or large potholder.  One was the yellow lady bug one that just did not work with the old look.

layoutAnd my tree one I cut the wrong way, so it is not in this.

not making the cut

I will have fun at a later time with these orphans.

And after completion of a big project leaves an emptiness in my sewing soul.  I had to start stitching, but what….

First I got out my Moda Scrap Bag, sewed a bunch of 3 inch strips with the idea of making a jelly roll race.  But the strips were cut with the grain, and were not 45 wide but only 36, and some shorter.  So I have a nice start to something to be finished in the future.  My plan is to sew some solids to each side and call it modern/minimalist.  Too be photo’d at a later time.

Still itching…..in checking the mail, got some correspondence junk mail from a quilting magazine that I used to subscribe too.  In their little packet of junk, there was inclosed a free Bonnie and Camille pattern, it was beautiful.  So beautiful in fact, that a new project is well on its way.  The pattern does not give the block a name, but after looking into my reference quilt block book, quickly found the name of the old block.  This is called the Wedding Ring.

Here is the start.  I have 4 pink blocks made with several in the works.  I am utilizing my skills that Bonnie Hunter has manage to connect and get into this quilters cranium.  I am utilizing some wild neutrals, and all shade of pink.  Some neutrals are a bit dark, but that is ok, I am using it up.  Much of these were scraps, and glad to have them into a piece that will eventually become something other than living dead in a tote LOL.

I have started on my greens, but have not made one yet, just pulled and starched fabrics.  My scraps all seem to gravitate to an olive green.  Glad to use those up.  Probably not the best color to go with the pink, but it will certainly make a statement.  In nature these two colors reside side by side in many flowers and greenery.  So out of the stash you go into something productive.

And if that wasn’t enough, I made a sewing kit for my purse.  This was a nice hand project using things about the house, not having to shop for a thing.

sewing kit

It doesn’t look like much.  It is about 4 inches by 1 1/2 inches.  I failed to use a fastener.  I am just using a rubber band.  It works!

sewing kit openned

You can see the wool helps hold the pins and needles.  The container itself is perfect for a small spool of thread, thimble, and a fold up scissors.

sewing kit conents

And I have managed some time on the longarm, doodling away.  Finding out that my one ruler I have, does not have a loopy small enough clamshell for the current design.  So ruler work is kinda at a loss for now.  I will be in search of a smaller arch.  My arch is so flat on these blocks it looks like a sloppily outlined a stitch in the ditch.  So major doodling for now.

My mother called to say she was done hand quilting a 100 by 110 quilt and it is soooooo beautiful.  And will be mine!  With its completion will come bragging rights to this blog.  Proud as a peacock, I am.

🙂

I have gotten much done, with a bit more to go, to get me through the monotony of the week, to the weekend excitement of sew-a-palooza.  I plan on stitching much, like a marathon.  It will require hydration and probably chocolate.  I can handle that.

Ready……Set…….SEW!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

 

A Migraine!

It is not what you are thinking.  My project was not a headache, nor did it give me a headache.  But a massive headache happened.  One that allowed me to sleep, A LOT!

So, briefly, I made some achievements before it’s onset.  But I did not meet my goals.

Here is what I managed to get done before it hit.

81patch

All the vintage blocks that inspired these 81 patches, I now understand why their project was left unfished.  This was a lot of hard work, working all these different fabrics out of the stash.  I had to make several of these, and you get tired of getting new fabrics from the stash.  The good news is, I used alot of vintage prints.  The other good news is my 2 inch baggie leftovers now has only 3 squares left for something else one day.

Hopefully in the coming week I can marry my stars and 81 patches into a top.  If the headache passes, then it is sew on!

I did manage to play with bobbin lace late Sunday eve.  Made a bookmark.  It was not my first attempt.  I wound my paired bobbins all in different color sewing thread, and started practicing realizing that the thread was way too small for the grid I was using.  And a massive tangle happened….nightmare.  All that thread was discarded and I got out my Lizabeth tatting thread.  Worked well.  So this is my 3rd attempt.  I want to learn the torchon ground and rose ground stitches, but probably need to get a book for this.  I have latched onto some youtube channels that will help me with this journey as well.

And here is some ruler work that I did get to.  LOVED Ruler work!!!!!  I learned the key to ruler work is not so much the difficulty in using the ruler, it is what you put with those perfect arcs or straight lines.  When you fill them, it really makes a wow!

Here is my favorite, a chevron zig zag across the quilt and then filled in with ee’s and l’s.

rulerwork5rulerwork

Made a fishy.  Good to know I can do this, but was probably not good for a terrarium quilt top LOL.

rulerwork4

I look forward to more of this mixed with free motion.

rulerwork2

Imperfect as I was learning what no to do!  But perfect to donate.  I will need to bind this, but because it does not have a destination just yet, it will be put on the back burner.

Goals for the upcoming week:

  • Oil/Grease, de-fluff the featherweight
  • Sew the stars and 81 patches together to make a top
  • Practice more ruler work
  • Practice more bobbin lace

On a side note, back in November of last year, I purchased several cones of perma core thread from the thrift store.  I was pleased that I got a cone of white, teal, and burgundy.  I have used all three.  These threads are probably not mercerized and are very linty.  Except for the white one.  The lint was practically non existent with that thread.  And it gummed up my tension discs, eyelets and bobbin case area.  I could not figure this out.  I asked in forums if anyone had oil residue left on/in their quilting machines after using thread.

And then in researching thread (linen thread to be exact for using in bobbin lace), I found much of the linen thread out there is waxed.  This was a massive cone of waxed thread.  Not sure what this would be used for in the crafting world, but, the wax dampered the lint factor and would just pack it into the bobbin area on my machine.  I never had tension issues using this thread as it was self lubricating.  But now, I probably need to figure out a way to get the residue out.  I am hoping just a clean cloth with wipe it away.  It only took me 9 months on three quilts to figure out that this thread was not the correct thread to use for quilting.  So, I am out a dollar and it is now in the trash.  It resides in three quilts.  One of which was one I kept.  It did not affect fabric or quilting after many washings.  So all is good.

Here it is the weekend, and I am itchin’ to stitch but my mind will not cooperate.  Migraine be gone!

Thanks for reading my blog!  Have a headache remedy?  Please leave it in the comments section.  Have a great weekend!

 

Derail

In my last post, All Aboard!, I expressed my concern about how fast time is traveling by.  Locomotive fast, one day it is August, and the next September!  I blink a few times and the month is gone!

bridge clouds cloudy dark clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With the non-abundance of time in the continuum, I am relishing my extra day off.  Gosh I love labor day!  Thank you teamsters for making Labor day possible.  I realize if it was not for you, I would sure to be overworked by twice the hours and 1/2 the pay.

This weekend I set the following goals for the week:

  • Practice more with the versa tool
  • Research options for more rulers, for curves that perhaps are bigger with inside and outside curves.
  • Finish the 81 patches and sew the stars to have a completed top
  • Oil, grease, and clean my 221
  • Enjoy my extra day off, Happy Labor Day to me!  And to you too!

Two developments may have my plans derailed!

I sewed three more 81 patches, as I thought this would get all the stars incorporated, every other block.  Well, guess what, I think I had some of my pile in the other room, so the number stands at 7 more 81 patches, YIKES!  Eighty-one times 7 is a gob of pieces!  A gob of fabric being pulled from the stash, ironed, cut, and a few pieces used in each block.  This goal may or may not be successful, but I am on my way.  I am sew excited about this quilt, and how it will look once it is a top, curiosity has got me intrigued enough to keep me going through the thick of it.

I am enjoying my extra day off, and have had an idea percolating in my brain for a while, but never seem to kick the brain in gear at the right time to make it come to fruition.  When I am at the longarm, I lay by scissors down, or press the locker down to keep the machine from creeping, or lay the wound bobbins all the way across the garage on the bench.  And then I start stitching at the front of the machine go to clip my threads and have to walk all the way back around the other side because they are out of reach.  (I do have a retractable scissors and forget to put those on before I start so I have to walk around to the other side, regardless)

I decided long ago I needed to make a longarm caddy, but wherever I could carry that, it would probably be out of reach.  Then I got the idea, why not an apron.

Let’s back track a minute.  One of my goals is to research rulers for the quilting machine.  I was on pinterest viewing many samples of ruler work, and then all of a sudden in my feed showed up an apron.  The lightbulb of moments happened, the Longarm Apron was born.

This was a quick project of less than an hour.  And it will work wonderfully for me, as long as I load it up before I start work at the machine.  I love the cuteness and utilitarian/upcycle craftiness of it all.  Easy, fast, and will have much use.

denim apron

When I cut the rear pockets off my old wranglers, I left the rear part of the pocket in tact, in case I drop my scissors into them and that way I have an added layer of protection so they will not poke me.  The accent fabric I got a Hobby Lobby off the clearance for $2 per yard this spring.  I cut about 7 strips into 2 1/2 inch by width of fabric.  I sewed two together for the belt.  Pressed each raw edge to the middle, and then folded it one more time.  This will tie in the back, some of you skinny quilters could probably get by with tying it in the front.  The pleated ruffle is three strips, less part of that last trip.  I slowly pleated this as I sewed it, all this is, 2 1/2 inch wide fabric pressed in half, pleated to the right side of the denim, and then flipped to the wrong side and stitched down.  It is leaving plenty of raw edge and not really a finished edge on the inside.  I suppose as an afterthought I could have done that part differently.

I had to make sure to keep as much pocket power as possible, so I took the existing front pockets and pulled them outward while I was sewing because I did not want to turn an hour project into an hour of sewing, and a ripping session, with another hour of sewing.  I also did this for applying the rear pockets to the front.  You could dress this simple apron up and make it fancy.  You could even embroider on it sewing related/cooking related things.

I am pleased as punch how this turned out!

This was just derail number one.  Derail number two……for years I have wanted to learn the art of Bobbin Lace.  For those of you who are not familiar with this craft, this is how lace was made before the industrial revolution, it was all made by hand.  It is fascinating to watch, and now I have acquired some supplies that I may dally in this new hobby this week.  The internet is my teacher.  I look forward to sharing what I have made and it will probably be simple at first and gradually grow I hope into pieces I can put into a quilt block or doilies, or both!

Here is the magic, via youtube.  Look at her go!

I have the cookie pillow and the wooden bobbins (all free by the way via my card points and my rewards from work).  I never really wanted to be out that kind of money and then not like it.  So a bookmark may happen this week, we shall see.

And I have practiced more with the versa tool.  I will be practicing more, but it is a slow process that I want to be faster at.  I craved the speed so much I started ditching the ruler work for just free motion on the jelly roll race quilt I made using the Terrarium fabric line by Elizabeth Hartman.  I must say that I was not thrilled by the color scheme, but now that I am quilting it, it really pops.  The jelly roll was less than $20 (yes I watch my sales), and will probably be a donation as the backing was more $2 per yard fabric at Hobby Lobby.  I will have less than 30 dollars in this quilt, YES!

funpay

Continuous line stars, easy.funplay2

The first line of the quilt above is making m’s for the span of the strip.  Then I came back with my curved ruler, and made the rest of the heart, unintentional but worked well together.funplay3

Some leaves as well as some script, sleep well!funplay4

Pebbles is a lot of work and I do not recommend it if you are in a hurry for your project finish.  I certainly love the texture this gives, and since the line is terrarium, perfectly incorporated I do believe.

Hopefully I will be back at this soon.  Enjoying the days, I decide when to wake up, when to eat, what to sleep, no borders of alarms or deadlines of starts or stops, life is more fluid for me when I am off and have the freedom to chose what and when.  It is truly wonderful!

I am gearing up for National Sew a Jelly Roll day, that is coming this month.  So many projects, so little time.  Now I am off to give my little featherweight a day at the spa, she needs cleaned and oiled.  Perhaps I will add a bit of wax too to make her bling again.

…..almost time to go back to the grind.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

All Aboard!

Can you believe that August disappeared in a blink of an eye.  When I closed my eyes Saturday evening, and opened them it was Sunday and September.  Wholly toledo!  This year is chugging like a locomotive faster and faster.  All aboard!  Boarding now, September, lasting 31 days.  Next stop, October.

black and yellow train near green trees during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Before I know it, 2019 will be completely history!  The train has to slow down.  I cannot cram enough into my days.  I need more time, I feel like it is running out.

I recall the glory days of attending school.  The clock went ever so slow, and then after having children, they seem to suck up all of your time leaving you with scraps of time that does not allow anything to be accomplished.  For years, while at work, I would say aloud, “come on 4 o’clock!”  And then one day it hit me, I was wishing my life away.  The time continuum at work goes just as fast as time at home.  Every now and then I have a Friday that seems to creep.  I relish the creep days.  They used to be every day in my youth.  Now they are few and far between.

So how does this parlez into the quilting dept?  Well, you probably guessed that not much got accomplished.  I did not meet all of my goals.

My last post, I stated my goals as the following:

  • Stay cool~ these were the hottest days of the year.  Such a drain on my energy.  Not executed flawlessly, but ended on a lovely note.  Friday we had a cool front, cool enough to turn off the AC and let the fresh air and the 76 degree temperatures permeate the whole house.
  • Finish quilting the chandelier quilt….done!  It is officially quilted to death.qtd
  • Finish the 81 patches.  These are done with a couple of hitches.  First problem, after squaring them up they were so wonky that more than one row had to be added back and then re-trimmed.  Upon laying out of every other block of star and 81 patch I realized that I do not have enough 81 patches.  So even though I met the goal of the existing, I have to make 2 or three more.  This is a great task to pull so many fabrics to achieve a random look.  I am currently working those now.81 patches
  • Play with my new ruler base and ruler work on a quilt…..in the works.

During playtime with my new ruler mechanics, it is going to be quite the learning experience.  I have the versa tool from Handiquilter.  This ruler is small and probably designed for sit down machines.  The curves are small and hard to navigate on the outside loop to make clamshells.  I find it hard to keep to the ruler.  The machine is so heavy (which I usually quilt one handed anyway), but your arm tires more quickly because you are going slower.  I need to become ambidextrous to use both my arms to run the machine, but fear my left arm would be worse.  I am enjoying it, and it is very pleasing to make perfectly straight lines.

I did actually accomplish another project for the week but failed to take pictures.  A long time ago Nancy’s Notions sent me an order, and they sent the wrong fabric.  After contacting them, they told me to keep the fabric in error and they would just send out the right fabric.  The fabric that was wrong, was a double knit tshirt fabric.  Very nice fabric, but not for most of my projects.  While digging around looking for fabric to pull for the 41 patches, I came across it and made some diaper inserts.  All I did was rough cut 4 layers of this stuff pinned together and stitched with a knit stitch to secure it all together.  We needed new ones, had the stuff, took me less than an hour.  Done.  Utilitarian.  Me, very happy!  Made a small dent for other fabrics to move in (insert Cheshire cat smile).

This week has left me feeling a bit like a pincushion.  (Stick a pin in me and call my job done!)  Acquired at a local antique store.  Not sure if it is old, but I like it and the price is right.

pincushion

My goals for the upcoming week:

  • Practice more with the versa tool
  • Research options for more rulers, for curves that perhaps are bigger with inside and outside curves.
  • Finish the 81 patches and sew the stars to have a completed top
  • Oil, grease, and clean my 221
  • Enjoy my extra day off, Happy Labor Day to me!  And to you too!

I hope you feel you have utilized your time wisely by reading my blog.  I appreciate all my readers, thank you!