Quilting Poll-Viewers Coice

Well, this weekend was pretty successful with my tasks. I am saving all my photos to share on my weekend post. Goals met! And since we are up to the Independence day celebration I thought a fun thing for the blog readers would be to vote on content. Polls are open.

A while back, while I was making a quilt, during the construction choices, I ran a poll to question which layout and what direction I should take the quilt top. This was the viewers choice quilt and it turned out beautiful.

So, I have decided to make a list of things that have become ufos. I would like viewer input of what they would like to see as topics, projects, and ufo completions. I am going to set up a poll and leave it open for a couple of weeks to see what you want to see happen on my blog. Viewers choice.

Here are my current unfinished objects (ufos).

  • 365 quilt block challenge
  • Be Colorful Quilt
  • La Passacaglia
  • MSQC Triangle Quilt
  • Embroidery Quilt
  • Jack’s Chain Quilt
  • Quilt as you go hexagon
  • Row Scrap Quilt

Those are the projects I have on my shelves waiting to be finished. I am certain if I were to dig, there may be some I am forgetting. Some of these are a ton of work in the past or in the future. Some of these are all by hand projects. Regardless I need to move product. Your vote will determine my direction. I am going to try to keep the squirrels at bay.

Answering these question will help me out and it can also help you out.

Thank you for answering my poll and reading my blog!


Longarm Quilting Tip For June

Hello readers! TGIF! I have pushed myself hard this week to bring you content. I hope you can take away something and spread this quilting tip to help others.

Squirrels seem to be finding me bad lately. I really do not want to stick with one thing for too long. Is my attention span child like all of a sudden? Or Am I switching gears to try to get the most out to my readers for content? Or am I just being lazy? The answer to these questions is probably yes! HAA.

The Texas weather presented itself Monday. A huge cold front came crashing through our neighborhood. With it came quilting temperatures suitable for some garage quilting! So I took advantage. Next week the highs are only supposed to be in the 80s so I will again take advantage of it when it presents itself.

I took this quilt top…

And started quilting it.

Monday was the storm. Little did I know it knocked the electricity out where I quilt. This delayed me a couple of hours, but I did get some quilting in on Monday and Tues. Wed it was back to being too warm

I will donate this quilt as soon as I finish. This was mindless sewing when it happened. It was a moda scrap bag and some yardage. I chose lavender thread to ease the color vastness from light to dark. The lavender is a good choice.

While I was quilting, I learned to do something that helps me when I do Pantographs from the rear. Those of you who make money with your longarm, this could help you too. When I stay stitch the sides readying the quilt for the next row of quilting, instead of stitching straight up the sides, I do a squiggle. This assists with the random flip of the side seam when you are focused at the back following your line on the paper. (This actually happened previous on this quilt and it is so frustrating that you do not know it has happened until after you have finished your row and are advancing. I made a little video. Sorry everyone the sound quality is lacking. But you get the idea.

I hope this technique works well for all my subscribers/followers. Please give my video a thumbs up and subscribe to my youtube channel.

I got over halfway done. Here is the last photo I snapped. Perhaps this will finish out in the coming weeks.

I have made no more progress on this. Because of all my issues with quilt focus lately I am going to set some goals and get stuff done!

In the coming week I aim to do the following:

  • Finish Laundry Basket Quilts mystery 2021 top
  • Bind Laundry Basket Quilts mystery 2021 green quilt
  • Complete two more flowers for the Corriander Quilt along

In the coming month:

  • Finish the Moda scrap bag quilt pictured at the very top of this blog post
  • Send the moda scrap bag quilt and the green laundry basket quilts mystery to Sew Yeah Brothers for their chairty drive for Quilts for Alaska Homeless.
  • Bind the quilt below and get that ready to show at the quilt hop
  • Work on the Jan Stawasz doily

I have more than enough to keep me occupied for quite awhile. Will I stick to my plan? Stay tuned to see!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Volume and Value

Volume and Value are of critical importance when designing a quilt. Let’s take a look and define what exactly these words mean in quilting.

Value is color. Think about going to the paint store and selecting your paint swatch. That swatch has about 5 or 6 values of that same color. They go from a tinted white all the way to dark, but these are all relatives and in the same family of that exact same color.

Here is a prime example of taking a photograph and seeking out the value of color within. Notice that most of this photo is just the value of green. It is very pleasing to the eye. This swatch was provided by https://design-seeds.com

Every few days or so the above website captures beauty in the value of color. I have bookmarked this site and go to it randomly. It fascinates me! The glorious photo. The wonderful color palette.

Lets say I was making a green quilt, I pick one fabric from my stash, I know the value of the fabric because I am touching it and I can see it before my eyes. The thing with quilt making when you incorporate many fabrics in your quilt, you are blind how it will turn out until you have it sewn. By keeping to the rule of value, you will be a better quilt maker for it.

Lets pretend I have all the greens in the swatches above. Would all these greens play well together in a quilt? Absolutely! Will all these greens play well with other colors? Maybe.

Will my greens play well with my neutrals? Maybe. If the above swatch was my neutrals in my fabrics, then the answer would be some, LOL! Some of the greens would marry nicely with some of the values of the neutrals. The lightest green next to brownish taupe 2nd from the top, the answer would be no.

Value gives contrast. If I used this whole palette of greens with this whole palette of neutrals it would be a fail. Why? Potential placement is the answer. If I took the lightest green and matched it with the lightest neutral there would be contrast. So how could this be a fail? Even though those two values work well together, if I used the remainder of the palettes it is possible that the lightest of green would get placed to a medium or darker neutral. This would then assign the value of that lightest green and make it a neutral. In your quilt pattern, the pattern will stand out if you contrast the values.

Now what about volume? If I were listening to the radio, no matter what I was listening to and turned it all the way up, it would be loud! Right? How does one turn up the volume on something that is color? The print.

Here is a prime example of green fabric. The background is the lightest of green. Some of the foreground robots are green. Is this a green? The answer is yes. But you could also assign it orange or blue since these are dominate in the print.

Notice the ruler at the bottom of the fabric. If I were making a green 4 patch with half the block being in green and half the block being neutral, this fabric may or may not work. If I were making a 4 patch that was 10 inches. This would be perfectly suited for that block. Why? Because you are cutting the pieces 5 inches you are capturing more of the value of the fabric. Because of the high volume of this fabric if I were making 4 patches and they were 4 inches, this would not work. The cut of the 4 patch may have too much orange captured in the 2 inch square therefore reassigning the value of the fabric because the volume was too large and loud.

Here is a neutral fabric swatch. This would work marvelously with the darker green value. Towards the lighter spectrum of greens this would dominate because the volume is too loud. The print is too large. This would work well for a border, but if you were cutting this up into smaller pieces there is black in this print. The value would potentially change for the color. So your neutral just went way too dark.

I encourage all of you to visit the hardware store and select some paint swatches. I have done this many times in the design of a quilt. I will pull my fabrics with the similar value of color. I will then take that paint swatch that matches to the fabric store and match exactly a shade lighter, darker, or spot on. A perfect match every time.

I would say for the most part if you were to define me as a quilter, it would include the word scrap. Working with scraps is a little less formal and the goal is to use up what you have.

When selecting the color on your swatch, it is advised to go up or down from the one color you really like. You can go lighter in value safely. You can go darker in value safely, but not too much.

So, in summary you can mix and match and it will still be a quilt, right? The mystery quilt below is a definition of value and volume. These two mistakes only affected one thing. You cannot see the pattern as intended, that is all. It is still a quilt. It will still cover you up. It is still green and neutral.

So taking advice from my own lesson, as you know if you have been reading my blog regularly, I am remaking the above quilt. I have nailed the contrast with the color selected. I am still using loud fabrics, but I am using those for the larger pieces. Notice the large pieces how instead of looking black it looks blue? That is the volume of the black.

Even though I have been working overtime, I have managed to get a tad farther along.

I am liking this! Who says you can’t manipulate your scraps and make them work for you?

The four outer corners are sewn and I have started sewing the next block to it. Perhaps this will end up a top by the weekend? Perhaps I will rest. Either way it will reveal itself eventually.

I wish I had more to show, but am too pooped. I see quilting in my future near the 4th of July. Until then it will probably be either, work or rest. Or both!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Scrap Happy June

Scraptologists! Welcome! HeHe! It is that time again where us scrappy quilters get together virtually and share our scrap projects.

Last month I worked on the Laundry Basket Mystery of 2021. I still need to bind this. So close to being done. I am thinking of donating this quilt, perhaps to the Sew Yeah brothers for their Alaska quilt drive for the homeless.

It is no secret that I did not like how this turned out, and by adding the green border I like it a lot more. But I have quilts and quilts, and more quilts so this one can go for donation.

Here is the pieced back.

So I decided to re-do this same pattern. I opted for scrappy again. But more of a controlled scrappy. I am going with yellow for the color and black for the neutral. I am still working on the pinwheel block which is the last blocks to sew.

I could not wait to finish that block, I had to see if I had made the same mistake twice in my quilt construction. The mistake being too loud or high volume neutrals. I have sewn a few blocks together, this is the center of the quilt. I am liking this!

What a difference! There is definition! There is contrast! There is still color associated with the black! I am scrap happy with this one!

In the last month I have purchased a non-running vintage sewing machine and got that running. That was a fun challenge. I figured everything out on my own. There is not much info out there about clone machines. Especially how to fix the tension dial. But it is all figured out, rewired, and works like a champ. I have rehomed it. If it’s new home does not work out, that is ok. It can come back here and be dropped into the cabinet.

I uploaded a youtube video of this sewing. I must say, the audio quality does not capture the true sound of a Japanese machine. Those of you who own a Japanese vintage machine know the sound it makes. It makes a hum unlike any other vintage machine. The sound reminded me of my mother’s old kenmore. It also reminds me of my first sewing machine gifted from my grandmother. They certainly have a distinct sound.

Sorry about the autofocus. The camera repeatedly wigged out. Might be time for a new one, or perhaps to start using my phone.

What does the future hold for this scraptologist? I am currently working overtime, so any tidbit of crafts will keep me afloat until I can be back at it with more time.

I have started a new tatting project. A new doily pattern by Jan Stawasz. His patterns are flawless and the beauty comes through with every hitch of every stitch.

In the upcoming month, I will be stitching a couple more flowers for the corriander quilts quilt along. The centers change each month. So far I have these done.

Maybe I will get back to the 365 quilt block challenge. Or hand stitching on the La Passacaglia

My options are certainly open. Now if time would permit!

Make sure to visit the ScrapHappy blog posts! There is some amazing projects out there just waiting to be discovered. Please click the links below and see for yourself.

Kate, Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid

Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn

Gwen, Bekki, Sue L., Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera

Nannette, Ann, Noreen, Bear, Carol, Pretti

Edith, Hayley, and Me.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Laundry Basket Quilts Mystery 2021

The weather did not cooperate, but I did get some photos inside. Had my daughter hold the top while on the top of the bunk bed. It works, but not ideal. This top, due to my chosen fabrics was kinda washed out. I added the green border which really focused the green and helped the top much. Incidentally the border of the quilt is new Edyta Sitar fabric. Her fabrics are scrumptious. It is quilted. I will eventually bind, but am in no hurry.

This is quilted with permacore thread color named camel. The panto I used is called Dragonfly by LEQ 1997. I used 2 layers toasty cotton batting. Quilters, if you really want your design to pop out, use two layers of batting, works every time and it makes the quilt an extra layer warm.

Linking up with Finished Or No Friday by Alicia Quilts and giving a shout out to Quilting Gail as her link back to the linky party Thank you for the linky party, it has been a long time since I have linked up!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

The Quilter’s Squirrel(s)

Squirrel is defined as….

noun, plural squir·rels, (especially collectivelysquir·rel.

any of numerous arboreal, bushy-tailed rodents of the genus Sciurus, of the family Sciuridae.any of various other members of the family Sciuridae, as the chipmunks, flying squirrels, and woodchucks.the meat of such an animal.the pelt or fur of such an animal:a coat trimmed with squirrel.

verb (used with object), squir·reled, squir·rel·ing or (especially Britishsquir·relled, squir·rel·ling.

to store or hide (money, valuables, etc.), usually for the future (often followed by away):I’ve squirreled away a few dollars for an emergency.

I am not too fond of the rodent, or noun version. Had one loose in the house one day. A post for a different day. However, us quilters are a little nuts, and we tend to store things away. Or if we are using the word squirrel in present tense, it interferes immediately with the project we are working on NOW.

All my good intentions of being well on my way to completion of the laundrybasketquilts 2021 mystery for the second time around, did not happen as planned. You see I had this squirrel show up.

I decided it had been over due to stop by the antique mall and have a look around. I have a favorite booth, the one in the corner. They usually have old grain sacks among other oddities that appeal to me. On this occasion, I wandered thru the corner, and rounded the corner in the corner (clever how they have the serpentine path set up to not miss a thing!), and there it was, just sitting there. An old sewing machine. I moved the hand wheel, and it was jammed. Price tag, $40. Challenge accepted. Turns out the thread take up lever was slightly pushed over which caused it to hit the tension. Easy fix!

So I bought said machine, and it has entertained me delightfully several nights this week. I knew this was a rebadged singer, but did not realize that this one is a clone. That is ok. More on this later.

What really caught my eye on this was the 3 leaf clover gold trim. I had never seen this before, and it made me smile.

If this had no decals you would recognize it shape as a singer. What model singer? Well after googling a side tension plate on a singer, this is a replica of the singer 15. This machine was made in occupied Japan which dates this between 1945 and 1952.

So other than wiping the grime and dust of 60+ years from the machine, what did I do with this every night? One night I rewired the motor and oiled the machine. That was the first night. The antique booth seller guaranteed that the motor works. So for $40 this would be useless without that working. Why was it not working?

This was one reason….

The scary thing about these bakelite plugs, the antique dealer could have only known the motor worked by plugging it in. YIKES! These were in the broken state, and I have no doubt he plugged this in like this to see if it worked. I took the existing cord and found a quick terminator and plugged that into the outlet for safety. Turns out that was not the safest thing to do either. 60+ year old copper wiring has tarnished within and probably cannot carry the same amount of current as it did when it was new. I am not going to say it melted the insulation of the wire, but it caused the inside of the wire to get very hard. Hard enough to the point I could snap the 16 gauge wire with my bare hands. So it worked long enough to know I needed to rewire the motor.

Next night, I had to figure out how to thread this thing. I had never owned a 15, so I had no clue. After trial and error, I got that right. That take up spring was the tricky part. But I figured out pretty quick that someone (unsure if it was the antique dealer or someone before) had taken the tension assembly apart and did not put it back together in the correct orientation. Took me an evening to figure it out. I then figured how to install the needle. Based on my featherweight of the same era, I was close. The scarf of the needle had to be turned the other direction.

Did I mention previous owner also did not know how to install the needle clamp? It was installed on the wrong side and therefore hit the presser foot. After fixing that, I got it to take a few stitches, but they were so tight.

Next night I had to figure out why it was not stitching to a normal length. I moved the stitch regulator all the way up, that was reverse. I moved it all the way down….no change. I engaged the handwheel, and would disengage the handwheel like I was winding a bobbin. I could not change the stitch length. I then realized that I did not press down on the lever all the way. Something clicked, and finally a perfect normal stitch.

At this point, I needed to see after my motor rewire job if it would sew. (Keep in mind this did not come with a foot petal….on order now). So when you plug in a sewing machine motor with no foot control it will sew wide open, so you better be ready. And it sewed so fast and was so quiet. I learned that the Japanese machines actually ran quieter than their “copied” ancestors.

I would entertain the idea of taking a business like card back to the antique shop and giving them my card for selling working machines and getting more money for them. We are upon a quilt hop in town. This machine could fetch atleast $150 with everything working. Far more than he probably paid for it!

After working this for three nights I finally got this off my table. And was able to get back to a brief night of stitching a clue. 9 Patches complete taxi cab color way shown in the upper left below.

And this weekend another squirrel…..I have to work! As much as I want to sew, this has stalled.

I did make the most of my time this week even though it was not sewing since my table was congested with a machine. I picked up my tatting shuttles and really struggled on these oblong shapes. I kept adding in an extra ring! I did not do this once, or twice, but thrice!

Under my tatting belt I can now say I know how to open a closed ring. In one instance I had to untat two rings.

I am using front side/backside tatting and it is turning out beautifully!

I loaded up two very large shuttles and have been using both of these and have gotten this far and not had to reload my shuttles yet. I thought I would dislike the size of these shuttles, but if I hold on to them closer to the tail, they are perfect for my grip. I am not using the dolphin head and have purchased a 1.0 mm crochet hook for this job. Am using the picot gauge as well. I am liking the uniformity of my picots and double stitches.

Perhaps I will get to more clues in the coming week. I mean I do have off on Sunday, so I should be able to get something accomplished. Until then I will just enjoy what I can when I can!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!