A little Anniversary

No, this is not a marriage anniversary, this is more a milestone.  One year ago I created this WordPress blog, and still loving this process.  A recap….

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Thank you readers and followers.  Your comments suggestions are inspiring and helpful.  The WordPress “family” of quilters/crafters is an amazing place!

Duck….Duck….Sock?!

While doing my evening pinterest interaction last weekend, I wondered aloud what one does with mis-matched socks.  So I typed that into the search on pinterest and pleasantly came across many critters sewn out of non-mated socks.

After looking at my children’s socks, I decided not to use theirs.  Children are hard on socks and they look rather…er….dinghy.  Is is lack of a great laundry maiden?  I don’t think so, they can get grime into the smallest of crevices.  So I went to my sock drawer knowing all of mine have mates, but as an adult, I wear my socks until they wear out, and these would not make the cutest sock stuffies.  So, I moved onto goodwill.  Goodwill had lots of socks mated and in great condition (better than the ones here….go figure).  And so using the methods called out in Sockology by  Brenna Maloney I was able to create some ducks, and some not so duck looking ducks.ducks3

This is her second book and I think I read in the book there is a third coming.  Here are the ducks on the front cover of her book.  Very ducky looking with all their color vastness.

Below are my first and second ducks and both were done within an hour or so.  The first one which is pale green looks like a duck on the top end, but on the southbound end, the tail got lost in the stitching.  Kind of a handicapped duck who lost his tail in an accident.  So the next sock stuffie I created, I nailed the tail but did not make the beak long enough so it looks more like a wren.  I like the unusual-ness you can create with weirdly colored socks.  This will be a big hit during playtime at my house with the imagination of stories created by young’ins.

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It feels good to be sewing again

The algorithm in life, things happen in threes.  First it was my car, then it was the TV.  Then the dryer.  All three things have been fixed by us.  All very technical but doable if you have the right tools.  I have had graduations, illness of the whole family, Dad was hosipitalized, and I worked overtime which all converged and became of cluster of time.  Things are normalizing!  Normal is lovely.

In my last post, Vintage Sheet Quilt in the Works, I showed you my preferred method of using vintage sheets because they are scootin’ little critters.

I have sewn the large interfacing panel and got that completed but I did not account for shrinkage with all those 1/4 seams….a duh quilter moment.

This is the size I started with

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In the midst of things, I snapped a few photos in between the start and the finish.

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And finally, laying on the same mattress (twin) I have ended up with this.

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No overhang anymore which is ok.  I will shear this off on the edges, add some white and have already started more gridded squares going for a row all the way around after the white.  Sometimes when quilters start projects and don’t plan ahead, you end up not knowing what to do.  It sometimes turns into a UFO.  But I am enjoying this process so much as it is quick and easy, that is it is just enough for my creative mind.

I have a whole shoebox left of squares and anticipating making many quilts with a grid theme.  My next one will be a square of smaller squares and then star points added with larger pieces of sheets.  Goodness me I have amassed quite a collection of these with another planned swap in late summer.

Pictured here is the back of the quilt top after all the rows were stitches.  It was so nice to sew and sew and sew and not have to iron.  I ironed at the very end.  I am curious to know how this will quilt up on my DSM.

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In other news, I am involved in a fabric swap with the members of the missouri star forums.  That starts today and we are swapping reds, oranges, and yellows.  I can’t wait to see what I end up with.  The last fabric swap I was in, the theme was polka dots, and I made this quilt from those 10 inch squares.  And I see I cannot go and retrieve that file because my archive expired.  😦 as the rest of the internet images of it on pinterest.

Here is a small thumbnail of it though, all polka dot fabric, front, sashing, and back with bubble quilting all over.

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I start working overtime again this week so my sewing will taper off again.  But because I am working with a smaller piece of interfacing I should be able to sew a snippet of this every night and still make progress, just on a smaller scale.

I look forward to hearing from you!  Feel free to comment about Random things in the comment section.  Comments are fun!

Vintage Sheet Quilt in the works

Last summer in June a group of us forum members from Missouri Star Quilt Company put our thinking caps on and decided we could take one vintage sheet, cut it into fat quarters and share/swap with one another to benefit from great variety from all over the United States.  The swap was a huge success.  For more info on this you can read here.

A few months back I took those manageable fat quarters and using the accuquilt cutting system turned them into 2 inch pieces.  Working with vintage sheets can be frustrating.  A normal rotary cutting session is NOT normal.  Of course like all fabric they have a warp and a weft, and bias too, but because they are thin, they scootch even while being held down by the heftiest of templates and pressure.  That is when I realized to cut with scissors or to die cut.  2inchsheetsI have a whole shoe box full after this project to continue with vintage sheeting craftiness.

Because it was a simple square pattern piece, and because of the shiftyness of the sheets I decided to use a technique using gridded interfacing.

1interfacing

Oh a few years back I was watching Maxie Makes videos on youtube and discovered this technique.  It went back into the old rolodex files in my brain to be retrieved for this process.  I could not find that video, however, I did find a clear, concise one and here is the link.

The process involves ironing pieces to your gridded interfacing.  Easy.  Because I was using poly/poly-blend sheets I set my iron accordingly.

4ironsetting

I later got out a piece of parchment paper and turned the iron up all the way to get the best bond between the fibers and protected my project from melting.

First, the fun was laying out the pieces and deciding what went where.  I enjoyed this part of the process most.

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By the way, I selected on point interfacing grid.

I ironed a little section at a time until I had filled my pellon yardage full of squares.  The great thing with this system is your accuracy can be off and you still get perfect results.

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The piece I had almost covered a twin bed.  The bottom picture shows a closeup of all those pieces ironed into place.

Then it was onto sewing.  Dealing with extra weight when piecing was difficult for me.  Next project, I will cut my pieces into more manageable sizes.

The last picture shown I have sewn all my parallel lines going in one direction.  Clipped all the intersections and have sewn a few perpendicular lines.  The pieces look so small, but scrappy.  If you notice, because of this interfacing method, your seams nest perfectly every time, every row, every intersection!

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I am going to be the first to admit, there were some of these sheets that I did not care for.  Bright oranges, greens, and browns were not my favorites.  But once they were combined with the blues, pinks, and other pastels, those colors really grew on me.  My next vintage sheet buy, I will keep this in mind as it adds so much variety to the space.

In other news, the last month and a half were hectic.  Readers I apologize for not getting my keester here often.  I had overtime, graduation, hospitalization, family for graduation, and then illness for me (the summer flu sucks) and the whole household got the bug.  I had not sewn a stitch until last weekend  Three weeks for not sewing for me is a record and I hope I never break that record.

It is good to be back in the norm.  And yes I set aside my quilting of Jelly Roll Wrong which I renamed Just Smurfy.  Remember the smurfs?  If the smurfs were having a good day or a bad day they called it smurfy.  And because that quilt is full of blues, appropriately named I think.  Stay tunned as I hope to get back to quilting.  Thanks for visiting my blog!

Iron Caddy Tote – A great Mother’s Day Gift!

While perusing the internet a few weeks back I came across a pattern for an iron to stow away after class and to be able to pack it up without it cooling down.  Since my iron was made back in the 50s it takes about 2 hours for it to cool down.  My logic for this to just have around the house, I can actually bottle my iron up while it is cooling down and I do not have to worry about the children knocking it off the ironing board and getting burned.  The neat thing about this also, is the reverse side of the bag is made with aluminized fabric so you can iron your projects while in class, sitting down at your table and not worrying about burning or melting the table.  Dual purpose…I love utilitarian items I can make.  I made the spools one first and wish I had enough of that fabric print for a second one.  So Mom was the recipient of the spool caddy and loved it.  The second one, I made for myself.  I gravitate towards turquoise, and picked out that print for mine.  For those of you who attempt to make one of these, it is crucial that you have a walking foot to eliminate fabric layers puckering.  I found a free pattern here with a supply list.  I decided not to use elastic and buttons on the ones I made and sewed on hook and eyelet.  The pattern if you do purchase is a good buy because it comes with enough aluminized fabric to make one.  I purchased a yard of aluminized fabric and after paying shipping fees came close to the price of the pattern.  I also had to make my own pattern as instructed in the link.  You have to find the center line of your pattern and work outwardly.  It required thinking and math.  If you can’t or don’t do math I highly recommend the pattern here.

I wish now I had more fabric so I could make one more for another family member who has the sewing hobby.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Time flies.  It has been awhile.  I have been sewing, but also have been working overtime.  The overtime is just enough to exhaust my energy bank.  This last week I have made 2 iron caddies, one for my Mom, which I gifted to her today, and one for myself.  Graduation is around the corner and weekends are booked up.

My pictures are absent due to the devices maintenence.  Time is flying by, and this girl’s flight feathers ain’t what they used to be.  Hopefully next weekend will grant a picture-esce filled blog.

Happy Mother’s Day!  May your time continuum be a little slower paced!

Oh Sheet!

This past summer I enjoyed a free internet swap of vintage sheets.  I had been collecting old sheets for about a year and wanted to be able to share the vastness of the fabric with others, meanwhile expanding the ole sheet stash.  It was nice to take a large double size sheet and turn it into 7 different fat quarters from other vintage sheet enthusiasts.

So, fast forward to April 2017, in our Monthly Estitchers meeting, the demo was showing how to make a booklet out of fabric to keep your quilt blocks while finishing the quilt.  Helen called this a Quilt Portfolio and it is a magnificent idea.  She handed out instructions and I saw some places I could improve upon and decided to ditch the instructions and wing it.  If I make another one, it will be improved on again, the concept is marvelous no matter how you make it.

For those of us that do hand work in the quilting process, for me right now that is la passacaglia, you work on your project intermittently for a long time (this could also apply to hand applique).  I had stuck my unfinished medallion in a drawer and thought, cripes…it is either going to get dusty/dirty, or wrinkled.

So I decided to join the fun of making a quilt portfolio and started going through my stash to see what I could come up with.  Either I found something I liked that was already spoken for in my long list of to dos, or it was too small.  So I decided to look through my vintage sheets and it just so happened I had a piece that I could quilt front and back with the same material.  And this sheet as much as I had cut out from this, the rest would probably go unused for a long time.

I basically make a book cover (like those you made in high school for the text books) from quilted fabric.  Easy.

When Helen was doing her demonstration, her hand applique blocks were beautiful but I noticed as she turned the pages, the fabric would not stay put to the page.  Her pages were made from simple quilted muslin, which adds a nice cushion to some of the depth of her applique blocks.  I wanted mine to be made so the blocks would stick to the pages.  I started thinking of design walls.  A design wall can be made from batting or from flannel.  Just so happens I received a bunch of flannel free a few years back and had nothing planned for those pieces, and they matched the sheet I used.  Perfect.  Now the blocks will cling to the flannel and each page becomes a keeper/design wall.

sheetbook1sheetbook2sheetbook3sheetbook4The blocks shown above are the progress on my la passacaglia.  Next is a block I made to turn into our Estichers meeting which will go toward a raffle to support toys for tots.  The next blocks are ones I bought at an estate sale for a little bit of nothing, which I will be able to turn into something one day.

NOTE:  I rugged-ized the front and back part of the portfolio with a piece of foam core board bought at the dollar store.  Besides my time, I only have $1 plus tax in this project.  For those of you who decide to make this, if you use spray starch be very careful.  Starch is sugar and will attract silverfish and other bugs which can eat your cloth.  If you have bugs, I recommend plastic storage.  We probably have a roly poly and silverfish in our home from time to time in the wet months.  Now I will have to come up with a place all its own to store the Quilt Book Portfolio.

Sewing/quilting on a budget.  It can be done.

And on previous posts, it is a woe is me run of things breaking down.  I have added one more thing to this list.  The dang TV went on the fritz.  It is only 3 years old.  So we will be doing without that for a while.

I am still quilting on the jelly roll wrong quilt and am looking for a new name for it.  This will probably be completed within the next couple of weeks.  I am ready for this one to get washed (get the blood out) and move onto another fun project.  This quilt book portfolio was a nice break from quilting.  Sometimes it is nice to stop the long project for a bit and start and finish something else.  Finished is nice.

Just dropping in to say hello!

Life has it’s ups and downs.  I probably don’t have to tell you that.  I do have a bit of good news.  My sewing machine foot that was broken (keyword was), I have fixed for now with some clear epoxy and have been quilting away on the Jelly Roll Wrong quilt.  To see the quilt with little detail you can click on the link here.  Yup that is me the pudgy one sporting my t-shirt that has Bob Ross on the front that says “No mistakes, just happy accidents”, which could be my motto.

On the note of Jelly Roll Wrong, when I started quilting it, my sewing machine prefers a heavyweight thread.  And so for years I have been buying vintage Star thread which is no longer made.  You can also buy a newer version of this heavier weight thread at joanns but only in black and white and I really like color.

So I picked out a blue periwinkle and knew I would run out, and that has happened.  So alot of the strips of the quilt will be with blue thread and now I am using white.  Not so bothered by that as it is a quilt to use and one day someone will gaze upon it and note how I must have struggled to get it together (ha-ha).

On a same but different note.  One of our female cats was pregnant slated to give birth sometime in late may.  Earlier in the week you could tell something was not right.  She did not feel good and just kind of laid around but did not offer any social interaction with us humans (some of you are probably thinking this sounds normal for the average cat).  Yesterday she had 1 live baby and 3 dead ones, with the live one not being taken care of.  They had all their extremities and were just very tiny and premature.  Sadly, where I was quilting the quilt, she must have found comfort being close to me in my absence on my project and had one on the jelly roll wrong quilt.  So there is afterbirth and blood on a portion of the quilt that is still under my domestic sewing machine.  I know I can get the blood out with peroxide and then using a stain remover (and because nothing was prewashed all the sizing is in the fabric and will help out with stain removal, but I cannot do this until the quilt is finished.  So this jelly roll wrong quilt may be renamed.  The good news is the portion she aborted on, was quilted so I will not be needling that area.  I will take any suggestions offered to take command over the stain removal and how to proceed with this unplanned event.

The car is still broken and due to my skills I have built up over the years, I am going to attempt to fix it myself.  With the wonder of youtube videos and being good with wiring and a wrench, I think I can I think I can :).  I may only be out the costs of towing, dealership diagnostic fees and purchasing a new brain for the car.  My repair bill will hopefully come in just under $1000.

Each month this year, something terrible has happened.  It started with my mother having a stroke and her recovery.  Then I hit a dog.  Then the car stranded me deciding to break down.  The cat had dead babies.  I wonder what next month holds?  None of these things are truly bad.  It is just a string of ongoing madness.  I will remain optimistic on all these things and wonder what doors are being opened for me down the road because of said strings.

Thank you followers and readers for your positive encouragement!   Sometimes a kind word to a complete stranger goes a long way.  You have became the wind beneath my wings and have uplifted my spirits and I will quilt on.  It is good therapy!

Sunday Sign Off

Priorities are sometimes necessary evils.  If I did not go to work to earn money, I would not have the computer to type the text you are reading today.  I would also not be able to support my hobby.  However, if I had no money the hobby budget would get cut first because of its low priority.

It has been a long week.  I am employed and enjoy my job.  I missed a few days because one car was getting recalls repaired, whilst the other car decided to completely break down (did I mention, no phone, in the middle of no where, with plenty of farm dogs.  Farms don’t just have one dog these days they may have 3 or more.   And a 2 1/2 mile walk to safety.  The nearest town became guardian angels because it died in the middle of the road as I was unable to push it to the ditch, fire trucks surrounded it in the lane to protect it from those yaking on their phones and driving way too fast,  The sheriff dept also cameo’ed in the midst.)  The repair bill will exceed $3000.  Corrosion in the wire harness that goes to the computer which all is under the hood and is exposed to the elements.  To this point both cars are paid for however, the one that left me stranded is only 5 years old and out of warranty.  My mind goes a bit crazy trying to figure out why this happened.

In my previous post I spoke of my machine being down.  My hoping foot broke.  This foot exceeds $50.  So, I will put off quilting for a bit until I can recoup my losses.  I can always piece together one of my UFOs and that is an option to relieve all the stressors around me, gnawing my craw.  Sewing is not a monetary priority, but I will figure out a way.  I did manage my hobby when I was dirt poor, so my make do attitude will give me a good kick in the pants.

In the meantime I will continue with EPP and La Passacaglia.  It is a slow even process that is calming, but when you have little ones around it is not all that calming until after they have went to bed.  I will have time to do some rearranging of the sewing space and getting out a UFO to finish piecing.  I really hate not finishing Jelly Roll Wrong, but I am certain it has more patience than I and will wait for another day.

I will not abandon this blog, but I think I will take some time to focus on something else.  Perhaps work overtime to get closer to my +$3000 repair bill.  So today I am signing off.  No pictures, just words, afforded by having a good life.  Will you hear from me again?  Yup.  When you ask?  That is do be determined.  Now I am off, probably to go mow the lawn or something.  If you miss my posts too much you can always go back in the time and read all about my past quilting adventures.  Thanks for visiting!  And come back soon!

Machine Down (sounds like a movie title) And Steps of La Passacaglia Processes

This weekend I made marvelous quilting progress on my Jelly Roll Wrong quilt.  And then it happened.

I noticed the last time I moved to a different area on the quilt after feathering, I lowered the foot and brought my bobbin thread up, and the foot seemed to be loose.  I tightened the thumb screw.  It was already tight.  Why was my clear, see-thru, hopping foot at a funny angle where my needle wasn’t centered?  I took the darn (no pun intended) thing off to find out it had cracked and broken and was still together but causing it to look askew.  So, I will be visiting my LAQS to order/purchase another.  So the Jelly Roll Wrong has been stalled.

The machine is down and my hands want to do something (other than be bored and find food I do not need to eat).  I sat down last night and started stitching on my La Passacaglia block again.  My pieces for this block are not quite accurate as I traced them from a copy from the book Millefiori.  So a copy of a copy looses accuracy.  And I do not want to go to all that work and throw accuracy out the window.

First you must copy your page from the book.  Without removing it from the book it would be hard to get it without the roll or hump of the page that could affect your pattern.  The tools needed for your template making are as seen below, plus template plastic.  I used plastic with a grid.  Next cut out the shapes you have copied.  It feels kind of naughty to cut paper with my good scissors.

Next, trace your paper copies onto your template plastic.

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When cutting out the plastic, you have to trim all your ink lines to get the most accurate shape.

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Using your book page lay your template plastic on top of the shape and see if it overhangs.  You want the shape to fit INSIDE the outline in the book.  Once this success is achieved, you are ready to trace onto freezer paper.

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I trimmed the pentagon on two sides.  Look at the slop the pencil lead created while tracing at the various point on the pencil and the angle while tracing.  A quilting tip for this tracing process, a sharp pencil will get you the best accuracy.  Once you have your freezer paper cut out, align it with the template plastic and trim any overhangs of paper to again get the best accuracy.

Creating the papers for this block is a tedious process full of inclusions of inaccuracy.  I wish they sold papers for this and they were reasonably priced.  Perhaps I will make a special die for this and send it off to Accuquilt.  So my hands are making up for no machine.  What is your superpower?