Leader Ender Modified! And Acrylic Pour Painting!

Two things about this post.  Originally the idea behind a leader ender quilt is to have pieces ready to be sewn next to your machine to prevent clipping/wasting extra thread, and to prevent the tangle of beginning sewing as you will always have something under presser foot preventing the birds nest (another thread/time waster and this may be a run on sentence ha).  I have scrapped the idea of leader ender for the Jewel Box Stars Flambe.  !

First of all,  logic behind this change, it is going so well that I am treating the play ball charm packs cut by the accuquilt as the leader ender, and am totally focused of Jewel Box Stars Flambé.  It is fast and furious and have come a long way since the 2nd when this was announced.

Secondly, I really liked the reds in the corner of the stars and thought what if I were to lay out the stars every other one with whites in the star points.  Perhaps I thought this would break up the pattern and you could actually see the star.  What do you think?

Every other star in this is white and red.  It looks nice on camera but in real life even squinting the stars get lost with all the colors and not so neutrals.  A lesson in value of fabric here.

So proceeding I will continue with every other star in white and then red.  I will be sashing these and am in search of ideas.  I would like to have randomness with the sashing but no so much piecing with the assembly.  I am also thinking of a wedge border, which would be beautiful, and I certainly have enough fabric.  We will see if I lose steam.  I have 24 sixteen inch block sewn, and will be making 5 more.

The true leader ender is now the fabric line called Play Ball.  I am working these like a row quilt, some will be like the ones pictured, some with be just hsts.  I really have no plan for this quilt just a lazy idea.  We will see where the lazy idea takes us.


Also above is another homemade jelly roll for a race one day.  It will go into the box ready for a flaming race one of these days.  You know I used to dread cutting and pressing fabric in the start of a project, but I am changing my mind on this.  It wasn’t the actual process that I dreaded it was the  lack of space.  I would iron, only to have to iron again and again.  Since my thrifty purchase of a wooden clothes dryer, I set a day aside to pull fabrics, starch and press them regardless of size.  Once perfectly crisp, I drape them over the rungs of the dryer, and that is where they stay until I pull them off to make cuts.  Strips are easily stored there as well, ready to be subcut.

I recently took a class on acrylic pouring.  What is acrylic pouring?  Google it, you will be amazed at the beautiful sedimentary designs this painting technique produces, and you could be 5 years old and have the same success as someone who is 100.  In other words, no skills required!  Click here to see a youtube video of this painting in action and directions/how to.

I snapped a photo indoors and though, geez, when I photograph a quilt, I take it outside so the color is true.

So here are photos of inside and outside.  I would be interested in selling or trading something for this painting if anyone is interested and totally smitten with it.  This painting will probably lead to another hobby.  Which is ok, as my dream is to create a canvas, and then create fabric from that most original design.


The funny thing about this painting, when you take a class, you are doing it somewhere else, so you have to make it home with it wet as wet can be.  They provided pizza boxes for transport.  As much paint was used in the making of this, it was puddled on top.  I did not pour it off the edges like some do, and so my flowers, taking a curve in the car, ran off the top edge.  My flowers turned to butterfly wings, which is not a bad thing at all.  (note all paint ran into the pizza box, so the car was fine, another note as old as my car is, it would have added something pretty to it I suppose).  I am still amazed gazing upon this painting at the little eddy currents that formed and then the sediments in the paints brought some to the surface as a lighter sediment.  Very earthlike, and very nature like too.

If you have any suggestions for sashing the Jewel Box Flambé drop me a note in the comments section.  And thank you for reading my blog!





I have done p-didley squat!  Zilch, zero, zip.  Summer has started heating up, the humidity has zapped my energy.  Usually I can muster through, and manage to find pleasure at the sewing machine.  This year I have slowed down.

I hope to have a day today.  I hope to atleast touch fabric.  Perhaps the sight and feel of cloth in my hands will revive the flatline rhythm in the sewing dept.

On a positive note, I have been working on some new recipes, 3 in particular.  I experimented, and my next meals made with the recipe will be tweaked a bit more, and then posted on my other blog, thecookbookproject.wordpress.com .

I have watched a quilt cam involving Bonnie Hunter this week.  She dropped a hint about the leader ender challenge which starts in july.  So I have been scavaging 5 inch squares, cutting up small pieces or strips of fabrics, and making them a little smaller.  Having a double duty project going at the side of the machine is great, amazing how fast you can get a second quilt top finished with the leader ender concept.

And yesterday while at lunch, I had an interesting conversation/revelation.  With vintage machines, prior to WWII, you had ornate decals covering the machine.  After the war, the amount of decals became a whole lot less.  This is my thought, but why did it happen like that.

Ultimately, wouldn’t the woman of the house decided which machine she wanted?  Did the decals show up better in the catalogs, making more sales?  Did the decals go away because the woman had more buying power after WWII?  Lots of women did earn income at this time and after.  Were machines of the day so decorated with decals to add something pretty and ornate to your surroundings in your house?  Were the decals fighting for sales more pre-WWII, vs. after?  Were the decorative sewing machines a sign of status?  And then after the war, everyone had a machine, so they became less stately?

I saw the sales slip for an old singer before the war that cost the owner more than 100 bucks.  Back then, that was A LOT of money.  Perhaps the decals offered more of an incentive to purchase under the revolving debt plan.  Depression era machines are to highly decorated.  Perhaps the only people who could afford to buy, were the wealthy.  I have no idea how to search for this infomation, or if it is even documented out there.

At the turn of the century, the industrial revolution was really just starting to mass produce.  Were the decals a way of enticing someone who handsewed to take the plunge and own one of those beautifully decorated machines?  I know of no elderly person of 100 years of age to ask.  My parents have only seen post war goods with their baby boomer eyes.

What I think is true, the buying power of the woman completely changed after the war.  They had jobs.  They had money, and the husband would be less involved with the decision, therefore the work of decals was not a money maker.  Most people had these devices in their households after the war.  Before the war, the people who used them or needed them on a regular basis would have one.  Perhaps the sale of the machine was a much harder sale before the war, but economies flourished after, and the fight for your piece of pie was easier.

For thought, here is my machine pre war:


Here is the post war machine of 1947:


And the machines of the 60s only have the badge…..nothing ornate.  Most all machines bought today only have the logo on the machine, no decoration.  Perhaps this would be a money maker for the companies to ake the machines more beautiful to the eye, like fabric, as beauty has the power.  Us sewist know all about beautiful fabrics and how they call to us.  If the nicer machines made in japan started revisiting decals from the past, there might be a resurgence of sales.

In reflection, post war machines were starting to be made in Japan, perhaps this is a clue.  If any of you can comment and add to this debate, I would love to hear your point of view.  Please comment below!

A point to ponder….in the meantime, have a great weekend!

Tumble Bumble Along

The trend these days in blog land is join/participate in a quilt along.  And some of you are participating in my sew along without even knowing it.  How is this possible you ask?  If you have ever sewn a leader ender, or are doing so right now, then we are participating in the sew along together.

A leader ender is a simple quilt pattern where you can have blocks setting next to your sewing machine albeit strips, 4 patches, HSTs or tumblers.  As you end a seam of your current project, you always sew part of the leader ender and have a piece under your foot so you don’t waste so much thread and it also helps older machines from getting hung up and nesting on the back side of your stitches.  I started work on my tumbler leader ender in October and got so far.  Then I set it aside to sew On Ringo Lake.  My leader enders at that time were the small HSTs that I trimmed off the corners of the flying geese blocks.  I wanted to make sure I utilized all that expensive fabric.  Now that the flimsy of On Ringo lake is behind me I wanted to get the tumbler leader ender out of my way.

I don’t know how many times I have moved it, touched it, picked it up, and put it down.  I had made great progress but still had all these single blocks as well as paired and quad strips that would be in my way and get relocated, until they were in my way again.  (A frequent occurrence if you sew in a small space).  Yesterday I sewed the main part of the quilt with one border side.  I counted the pieces I have left and will have to delve into the scrap bin and stash for the remainder of the three sides and start accuquilt cutting those.  This is what I love about a scrappy quilt.  You can add a different fabric at anytime with no one being the wiser.


For the borders of this quilt, I decided to turn the tumbler block 90 degrees and am happy with this effect.  I will do this on the remaining 3 sides.


This being on my mind for a good 24 hours, I kept wondering how am I going to do the cornerstones of the quilt and then it came to me in the wee hours of this morning.  I will sew them and create a curve and trim them up to fit the corners.  Not there yet, but hopefully by the weekend be done with this top.

I have already signed up on a long waiting list to get this hand quilted, and hurray it costs no more than if I were to get it long armed with a pantograph pattern.  Once I get this quilted (which is months out) I will pass on the price and contact information for those of you wanting their services.  All proceeds benefit our city’s senior citizen center for supplies and nice treats for the seniors lunch.  (On Valentines day everyone who came ended up with cake and ice cream)

After sewing my top I trimmed up the edges which looked like this and then sewed the flat tumbler tops and bottoms to the now trimmed edge.


I am still working the star quilt and am liking the affect of star tails.  I need to figure out an overall fabric for the rest of this quilt and will probably have to go to my LAQS to help with this as the only color I have is white.  And if a baby quilt is going to get used, white is not a friendly color for mom’s laundry schedule.star8

A balmy 70 degrees this evening and we will see what the night offers my needle and thread.  Thank you for reading my blog, Happy Monday!

Postage Sheet Quilt

Boy howdy!  I am on the final strips for this monster squared to the nth power.  I have made three sides of corners stones.  Here is the interfacing strip piecing firming up those vintage sheets as well as getting an accurate grid.


After trimming these down, they are easily sewn to the perimeter of the quilt, placing this strip of squares on point making them appear they are floating while cornering two corners of the quilt.  This strip as well as another pink sashing all the way around is all I lack from having this baby ready to sandwich.

I am debating using my good cotton batting or taking this to the longarmers and having them use their poly batting.  The longevity of the quilt is affected by poly batting.  It gives a quilt great puff and lift, but at the same time through the years acts as an abrasive to the cotton on top slowing scrubbing it away.  I always thought my older quilts were oxidizing, but oxidation is something that happens on old quilts.  I recently read an article by Bonnie Hunter who explained my phenomenon best.  On the referenced article above, if you scroll down to the “T” block quilt, she starts talking about the use of polyester threads and batting.  This explains much for me.   Since most of these fabrics are poly blend and I plan on using a poly blend vintage sheet for the backing as well, I am on the fence about batting.

Here is the floating cornerstone.


And here is a closeup.


Sorry ’bout the wrinkly appearance.  Notice how the interfacing part is not wrinkled?  This is another reason to use this stuff, you only have to iron it once!

While sewing the last strip sets for the postage sheet quilt, I have also been sewing on my tumblers leader/ender.  I actually counted how many pieces I have cut which are all sewn now in pairs or quads.  I have lost count of how many I sewed this past weekend.  I have 596 cut.  The quilt will probably by about 24 tumblers by 24.  That means I will be digging in my stash again and fishing out suitable prints, plaids, neutrals, and solids to make up the extra 350 blocks.

This is what I did get accomplished last weekend on the leader ender project, as the pieced blocks are sewn into a 4 tumbler strip set.  This tumbler thing is growing on me.  And I am not out any extra time for its creation as I always leave a pair of tumblers under my sewing machine foot (and getting my stash used to boot).  As I piece a part of the quilt above, I start sewing another tumbler.  The thread savings is fantastic as you are putting your thread tails to use instead of cutting them away and discarding them.


Next post this weekend is apple pie on my other blog, the cook book project.  And stay tuned as next weekend I aim to have the postage sheet quilt top completed and pictures posted.  Have fun with your projects and explore all your options!  🙂


Progress times 2!

Last weekend I worked hard cutting up some of my stash, inspired by a leader ender method that is promoted by Bonnie Hunter.  You can read all about this adventure here.   This morning while thinking about it, I can actually know the exact amount of seams I have sewn this week.  Here is my stack of tumblers.  The cows on the top have been in my stash since I made my grandmother a Cow broom in 1993.  This is too long to be carrying around fabric baggage of cow kind.


Drum roll please…….I have sewn 57 seams in the postage stamp sheet quilt.  This is just one side of the inner squares border.


Some of the fabrics in the pile of tumblers below I acquired last month.  By the looks of them they are probably from the 70s when rust and orange was trending.


The idea of my leader ender is to contrast with every other one, dark and light.  Sometimes with the right darkness I can use a dark neutral for the light.

Sew, how many seams have you sewn this week?