Atlast! Forming of a Postage Stamp Quilt

It has been a couple of months since I ran my machine for anything.  And this weekend, it happened.  I started playing with fabric and it got me in the mood.  Screw my tiredness and not feeling well.  It felt good to have cloth running through my fingers and under the foot.  I got two sides sewn onto the postage quilt top made from vintage sheets.  The squares are on point and are really making their statement.  I thought the mitering of the corners would be hard, but it wasn’t as the interfacing grid I am using already has the line drawn out for you all you do is cut and then sew.  I hope I can do this again real soon as it will not take me more than an hour to get yet another side attached and ready for view.


After completeing one border of pink and then trimmed with squares, my plan is to go around again in pink and again in just one column of squares, perhaps cornering around just 2 corners or 4.   The jury is still out.

Prepping for the Ugly Fabric Swap

If any of you have been in any kind of internet swap, they are amazing.  You have access to fabrics that may have been retired or lingering in a stash for a long time that you have never seen before.  Usually fabric swaps have a theme.  I have participated in a polka dot swap, where all fabrics were polka dots.  That made an amazing quilt.  I had two difference pieces of polka dot yardage, trimmed it down to 10 inch squares, swapped with 35 people and ended up with 68 different 10 inch squares.


Another successful swap I was in was with fat quarters and vintage sheets.  See those results here.

The most recent swap I was in was called a summertime swap.  In this swap we each swapped 10 inch squares in the theme of reds, oranges, and yellows.  You can see the results of that swap here.  One day this will be a fun quilt to make, I just have not planned that one out yet.

And here I am starching, pressing, and cutting fabrics ready for the Ugly Fabric Swap.  Yes that is right, there ARE ugly fabrics out there.  Some of these fabrics I am working this weekend were given to me.  They were good quality quilters cottons, so I hung on to them.

During the making of En Provence with the quilt along Bonnie hunter had, I used oodles of the ugly in that quilt.  The quilt turned out pretty good considering it was of fabrics I did not care for.  Go figure


My plan with the ugly fabrics I receive in the swap this time around will make another tumbler quilt.  I have received one envelope of someone else’s uglies and I must say, I thought mine were ugly.  They are but not to that degree.

For those of you have a couple of fabrics in your stash that have been lingering a little too long, maybe it is time to swap them for something,,,er,,,,better?  Our group is currently closed, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have another one some day.  Learn how to join here.

And after much research, I decided to go out into the wild blue yonder called the internet and figure out what foot pedal I needed for my Bailey’s Home Quilter Pro15.


Those foot pedals cost between $79 and $100.  My research paid off as I found a generic cord on amazon for only $26 and some change.  After studying this machine closely and knowing my mechanical knowledge I think I am just going to order the part for the sewing machine and fix it myself.  All I need is an alan wrench and a screw driver.

I am actually feeling good enough today to sew!  After touching and feeling all that fabric it has gotten me all worked up, with romantic quilting thoughts.  So my love affair will continue, hopefully hot and heavy today!!!!

A Drum Roll Please! Introducing……

A week ago, I received a shipment that contained my longarm quilting machine.  I bought this machine used and in unguaranteed condition.  I purchased this as a risk, gambling on the odds of it working for me.

This machine does not have a power cord, so I will be hunting one of those up.  After doing much research on the matter, I can either find an old machine with this foot pedal, or go purchase a new one directly from the man who manufactures the machine.


Unfortunately, during the shipment/packaging process the bobbin housing was broken.  Cheap pot metal was used.  And it laying face down in bubble wrap cause the case to be pressed upon easily breaking the most integral part of the machine.

You see the bobbin, race, hook, and cap are part of the timing.  I called for an estimate on that and for the part would be around $100.  Can I fix this myself?  Hmmmm….that is to be determined.  The odds are in my favor.  Remember I have fixed my big screen tv and helped fix the car.  I will be ordering the part and finding out if I can fix the machine.  If I cannot, I reckon any sewing repair shop should be able to help me if I pay them enough.


So, even though I am now an owner of a longarm, I cannot use it until the kinks are worked out.  I have quilt tops waiting patiently.   My Memory Craft 9000 does an awesome job, but it is quite a workout with the larger quilts since the throat space is only 6 inches.  I will now have a large 15 inches which will definitely get the job done.

I will also have to fabricate a piece of plexiglass to use as a platform for quilting until I can get a table that I want.  I am still debating on a used ping pong table with a modification to the right corner to drop the machine into.  And when I am done for the day I can just fold it up.  This machine is considered portable weighing less than 30 lbs.  Or I could buy one of the manufacturer tables for $600.  As simple as the footprint is of this machine, a piece of plexiglass for any table I find should be easy enough to cut, hinge, and use.  I will have to have plexiglass for the front portion anyway because it has the singer class 15 bobbin case and bobbin which is awkwardly at the front.

As crude as this machine is, there are online videos showing you how to fix and maintain your machine.  This was a selling point to me because I would not be out an expense of cleaning and maintenance.  Once a year the Janome has to go into the shop for this purpose and that cost $150.  So it is another form of savings in the long run.

A drum Roll Please!  Introducing the Bailey Home Quilter Pro15


Crude looking machine, but all mechanical.  If you start at the bottom of the barrel there is only one direction you can go….up!



The word acquisition means to obtain or acquire.  When I look at this word, I see many other words.  I see accurate.  I also almost see the word quilts.  My brain wants to turn that second letter “i” to the letter “l”.

These blocks that I have recently acquired, once sewn together in their hodge-podge vintage selves, I will probably name “The Acquisition Quilt”  A fun play of a word that describes simply that I acquired them.

Many many 6 inch blocks.  Just look at those calicos.  I wonder how old these fabrics are?


And as an afterthought, I decided to check these pieces for accuracy.  Bingo, on the line, trimmed just fine!  I wonder if the previous owner of these was a Bonnie Hunter follower?  She preaches on the line cutting.  Helped me tremendously by just a simple little gesture.


I received oodles of blocks, above are 6 inch.  Not pictured are gobs of 4 inch and some 4.5 and still yet more 3 and 3.5.  I did not picture these.  They will reveal themselves soon enough.

And then the amazing 3.5 inch unfinished blocks of the friendship star pattern done in what I think is reproduction fabrics.  I say reproductions, because the fabric is not thick as if they were genuine feedsack.


Look at the hand stitching and scant seam allowance used.  Wowsa!


And lastly there are 39 sailboat blocks.  These will be a challenge as they are not square.  Easy enough to just sew them together, however to balance them I would need to acquire just the right white fabric which may become impossible.  Perhaps these will become part of a medallion or row quilt.  These are vintage, I can tell by the quality and feel.  The person who made these was quite the quilter.  Some of the pieces hand stitched, and some machine stitched.


See the back.  Look at the fine, even, perfectly spaced stitches.  I can tell this person had done lots of hand quilting and had perfected her 8 stitches per inch.


So I have more UFOs.  My UFO is quite a pile now.  If I were to have a life altering event that prevented me from ever buying another piece of fabric.  I would be set for quite a while.  I have planned much.

On a more machined note, my longarm machine was shipped to me.  Not sure (because I purchased used) if the bobbin housing that connects to the shaft was previously broken or broke in shipment.  For those of you familiar with bobbin guts, some machines that have the front load bobbin have two black eared tension  knobs that you move to remove the hook, wing and race in the bobbin area.  The potted metal that was used for the whole assembly of the bobbin is what broke.  It was actually cracked in two places and then when I removed it from the machine, was able to snap it into another two pieces.  Odd, perhaps a titanic like defect of alloy used.  Because this deals with a potential timing issue, I am not sure what my next step will be.  I will be talking with the original engineer of this machine next week and find out what my options are.  I am hoping I can just purchased a whole knew assembly with shaft and gears that will just slide into the machine and await some oil.  But I am excited…… and feeling better.

Summertime Fabric Swap Complete

A small group of us gals in the Missouri Star Quilt Co forums got together and swapped orange, red and yellow fabrics,  The results came in the mail today.  This was a very successful swap.  The colors selected are beautiful together and will make a marvelous quilt one day.  I can’t wait to start cutting and stitching on this beautiful fabric.  Perhaps soon.  So did the group do well?  You decide.

I am currently in a similar swap like this that closes Aug 1st and deals with 10 inch squares of ugly fabric.  If you are interested in joining, read my previous blog post and learn how to join.

I look at these colors and it definitely communicates summertime to me.  Reminds me of heat/ flames and the hot sun.


I contributed the 4 on the right.  All of these were fabrics given to me by a work mate.  Nothing spoken for as far as projects, but workable.  Nothing like taking fabric from your stash and making a layer cake of so many different prints.

Two Thumbs up!

Fabric to the second power

Or another way to say fabric to the second power is fabric cubed or fabric squared.  Simple quilts with just squares and no angles can be quite striking.  I have acquired a twin size quilt top.  These look to be velveteen, velour,  or corduroy, I didn’t ask because I think their texture is neat and it will become yet another utilitarian quilt, to be used and abused until it cannot take our abuse anymore. Now I am dreaming of FMQ on a longarm waiting paitently, excitedly.  I think this top deserves a quilt motif like the one in this Angela Walters video.  Or how about this paisley feathers video.  I know I will be able to do the paisley one on my DSM at anytime because I have already practiced feathers on two large quilts, which really refines your technique and embeds it within so you do not forget said technique when you do it at a later time.


I have also acquired some sail boats which will make another small project sometime.  There is something about someone elses’ UFO that really appeals to me.  Finding something, someone else worked hard on, but for whatever reason was unable to finish.  I find the idea of completion kind of romantic in that it was that objects destiny to be completed.  (Yet I have all my UFOs romantically waiting in their storage.  Delusions of Quilting Grandeur)


And I also acquired some rail fence with 9 patch goodness.  These are so hodge-podge I have no clue as to what do to with them.  Perhaps something for the kitchen.  Any of you have ideas please share them in the comments section.


Still no sewing on the home front.  I am having somewhat of an health issue (which I have had all my life, but for whatever reason is rearing its ugly head way too frequently now) makes me so tired that I save my energy for work and family and sometimes family gets cheated.  All hobbies are closed down temporarily.  But that does not mean this girl is stopping her quilting dreams.  Better said in this song.

I look forward to hearing from you!  Thank you for following/reading my blog!  Don’t forget to visit my other blog.  You can read all my recipes here.

No Sheet

No progress in the sewing dept.  But I did fix my camera so I am going to repost with new photos so you can get a more accurate look of the vintage sheet postage stamp quilt I am making.

So I have done absolutely no sewing.  Things going on are preventing me from visiting my sewing table.  However, I have found a long arm machine that I am going to purchase.  I will then have to get a table for it, I don’t have room for a frame.  I have located one of those very reasonably priced as well.  My whole setup will only cost less than $1000.  And I will post that once it happens.  🙂

Something about red eye settings and any of my cameras past and present does not like (perhaps this is my eyes seeing it differently than it is).  The oranges, reds, and yellows all go askew and are greatly contrasting and grainy as compared to now.

Also, for those of you interested don’t forget I am hosting an ugly fabric swap.  I would be delighted if you join.  The more, the merrier!  Visit the details here.  And please visit my other blog, the cookbookproject.  I have recently posted a recipe for delicious  homemade biscuits.

Off to catch up the dishes and the laundry!


Lanyard Tie

Having a large lot of silk ties, a while back I had made a silk lanyard for keys for my son. He drapes the lanyard out of his pocket while the attached keys on the ring fall to the bottom of his pocket.  He used this for a couple of years and wore it till it was threadbare.  Here is his replacement.  I snipped off the bottom of the tie where it starts to widen.  I then stitched a decorative stitch on the edges.  I encapsulated a key ring at the base and made sure I bulked up but not too much.  I did this a while back but did not have time to blog about it.lanyard

Sheet Quilt Progress

Slow and steady wins the race, right?  I have made great strides in this sheet quilt.  The center postage stamp design is completed.  I have added a pink border.  In my previous post I elected white as my border, but after looking in my stash, I had no white.  The off white I have, has a funny sheen to it like polished broadcloth and inappropriate for this quilt.  I did find yardage in my stash of this lovely pink.  You can read how I acquired that fabric here.  I do have more postage stamp on point borders to go around this pink section, but those are still being worked on and not ready for reveal.  This interfacing grid is amazing and things stay so square!

So here are a few pictures of this quilts progress.  Notice how grainy my photos are.  I have messed with my camera and the hues are funny.  Got that fixed and now I have a grainy-ness.  I hope this does not mean I need to purchase a new camera.

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Going backwards in time with this slide show.  From sheet fat quarters, to squares, to layout, to stitched together, to the present.  Oh and always remember your gift is the present.




Free your ugly fabric from it’s prison!

There is a saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Those of us that sew, have fabric that has accumulated over the years.  We buy said fabric when it is on sale.  That fabric waits for us to use in our projects.  Some of this fabric waits and waits.  And after time lapses you go through your stash and touch that same piece of fabric over and over, nothing seems to go with it or match it.  The relationship you have formed with that piece of cloth changes from excitement from a great buy, to wondering why you have allowed it to take up valuable real estate in your stash.  We keep hanging onto that piece of cloth and become frustrated because we cannot sew with it.  So, what does one do?

I have created a group that will be having an ugly fabric swap.  The idea of this is one of adventure.  Like I said beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What I may deem is ugly, could pleasantly surprise it’s new owner.  Those of you interested in joining this swap can click on this link.  You will have to have an account to be able to join.  Doesn’t this sound fun?  The picture I have associated with this groups ugliness, I do not deem ugly, but unuseable.  Will you be getting this fabric?  No….it is something that came up when I searched for ugly fabric.  I actually think it is cute.IMG_0007

This swap will be for 10 inch squares.  Just think of the ugly quilt you could make with all those squares!  All it will cost you is postage.  You will be freeing that fabric from it’s prison!

Here are the rules:  note please refer to the rules for changes within the link above

This is for fun, and you may get skull fabric, or ladies with fruit shaped butts (I don’t think the fabric selected for the picture is necessarily ugly, just inappropriate for my sewing needs.)

The dont’s : no holiday fabric, which includes Christmas, thanksgiving, Easter, st Patrick’s. No flannels. No selvage included in your 10 inch square cut.

At midnight on August 1st this group will close and a head count will be tallied. The headcount will determine how many baggies you will make. So, if 22 people join the group, each person is responsible for stuffing 22 baggies with 2 ten inch squares inside each baggie. Which equals 44 squares, you will only send 21 baggies and keep one for yourself. The fabrics in your baggies have to be two different fabrics. I understand if this is successful with a large number of participants, you may not have two pieces of fabric large enough for all those baggies. Go to that stash and find more you do not like, just make sure each baggie has 2 different fabrics inside.

By signing up for this fun group you will be responsible for making the Aug 15th deadline. Once I receive all envelopes, I will sort baggies to new envelopes and return back to you. Please include proper postage for your return envelope. The best way to achieve your return envelope is to make an envelope out to yourself and visit the post office and prepay the envelope. Or you can send me the money for postage and I will take care of it getting back to you. The priority mailing envelopes are free at the post office and come in 2 sizes. Size/price will be determined by number of participants. If you can fit all your baggies into the envelope, chances are the return envelope used will be the same size so plan accordingly.

I am the moderator of this group and can change things up, because I may have forgotten something important. So check back and read this the rules in the forum link stated above,  to make sure the communication lines are open. By moderating this group I have a responsibility to get the envelopes back to you and will do so in a timely manner. After I receive the last package I have seven business days to get them back to the post office so you can see what surprises await you.

Please put your nickname/name on or in the baggies. Please include allergen information regarding smoking and pets. Who knows maybe your “ugly” fabric may be a hit with the group and the forum members can contact you about acquiring more of your “ugly” fabric.

I hope I have not forgotten anything. If you have questions I will do my best to answer them timely. Let’s have some ugly fabric fun!