TOGA – Treadle On Gathering Academy Continued

I am still feeling the wondrous day I had last Saturday at TOGA.  I have posted once about this and in case you missed that post you can catch up with more details by clicking here.

I have stitched a gob on my little featherweight.  And I must say my expensive embroidery machine is now being retired for only FMQ as I am THAT impressed with the stitching on this 70 year old machine!  It is the perfect piecing machine.  I have North East Texas TOGA to thank for that.  I purchased this machine on Valentines day and did not want to sew on it until I was sure it was oiled/greased.  I am glad I waited.  It is true perfection.  Thank you TOGA for giving me the courage and the right information for this job.  I am a hands on kind of girl and I am still reeling from this a week later.  Total awe readers, I am still in total awe.

Where to begin?  How about with more of last weeks adventure in Lone Oak, Tx?  I will delve a bit into the classes I attended.  All of these classes gave away freebies.  For instance, in Dorise’s class you could make a sewing neck caddy, Brilliant!

doriseThis is a handy thing, especially if your set up goes from room to room like mine.  Always extra footsteps because you forgot the blasted scissors in the other room.  This would solve that problem with scissors snapping to one end and a pin and pincushion built into the other.  A tape measure with a clear vinyl window around the neck….you will never have to hunt down the cloth measuring tape again.

And Anna gave a class on making block boards.  What is a block boards you might ask?  They are pieces of foam board you purchase at the dollar store cut to various sizes with batting glued to the surface with a pretty fabric edge, a small design wall.  She also figured out you can use washi tape.  If you are doing blocks with lots of pieces like dear jane, you probably need to craft one of these up.  I had seen these before but never understood why……Anna made me understand.  I feel so in the know now!  Thank you Anna!


Incidentally this board is almost standing straight up.  None of my wrinkly fabrics are falling off…..GENIUS!

Dianne gave a class showing how to make a quick bag.  This bag can be put on a potted plant to dress it up and give as a gift.  Cute little tute.


Dianne is centrally located in this picture wearing black.  Janet was wise cracking sitting next to her, slapping her hand on the table.  Janet decided this bag would make a perfect goofy hat.  She was right.  Janet you are such a goof!


This was probably the funnest class as everyone had high energy and was in playful mood.  Dianne also gave a tutorial on making continuous bias binding as well and making the magic eight half square triangle method.

Just look what Dianne made with hers!  A Scrappy beautiful star!


Seated on the other side of Dianne is Kay.  Kay reminded me of someone, but I can’t put my finger on it.  I either know her from somewhere, or I know someone with the same awnry glint in her eye.  She was a hoot, and a valuable asset to TOGA.  I suspect Kay did a lot behind the scenes that I know nothing about.  I did not know one person could have sew much personality.  I liked her instantly!

I attended a skrinky dink class, do you remember these from the 70s and 80s?  Well guess what they are totally customize-able today.  You can purchase the sheets either clear or white at the craft store.  Using a rubber stamp and ink with permanent sharpies, you can write, color, stamp, anything you want on a piece of plastic and shrink it down to dog tag size.  These were the examples she showed us.  Something I would not necessarily be interested in on my own, but am glad for the experience because this would be a great craft for a rainy day with the kiddos.  Thank you sew much for re-introducing an old technology with new customize-able goodness!



I saw this machine while at TOGA.  I am not sure if this is a 99k or a 15.  Not a sewing machine expert (it is a hand crank!).  Someone made a wooden extension and a nice little pin cushion.  This machine stood out from the others, too neat!

There was a parade with float goodness, yeah can you believe it at a sewing machine retreat?!  This year there were only two entries.  Both winners!  The way the parade works, the machines are decorated like floats and moved to an area so that you can parade by them.  You would then vote on your favorite float.


This parade float was decorated like a cake with the 100 year old hand crank sewing machine at the top, and all the notions around.  I was in awe I got to stand that close to a celebrity.  You are probably wondering who the celebrity is?  Why, the sewing machine of course.  This sewing machine was used probably before electricity was delivered to homes.  This machine has seen the great depression, and still stitches on.  Pretty damn amazing if you ask me!  (By the way, this float won the competition)

And second runner up went to the toy machine.  The set up is too cute!


There was a toy doll along with the sewing machine in the pull toy.  Very playful!


The dinner line!  Chow is ready!  We had a marvelous smoked beef brisket, potato salad, catalina salad, rolls, chicken, barbecue sauce, cole slaw, and cookies.  I was stuffed.  (Pssst….they fed us and it was free if you attended, that is what I call hospitality!)

And then on to the raffle of garage sale items.  Everyone attending brought in their stuff from around the house they did not want any more.  I gave a quilters pounce and some patterns.  If there was something you saw you liked, you purchased tickets and put your name on the back of the tickets.  Tickets were drawn out of the bowl.  If your name was called you went up and helped yourself to one item.  When it got down to hardly anything left but utter junk, my name was called and I didn’t have any tickets in the bowl!  A couple of gals saw me standing empty handed and went up to the tables and grabbed a scarecrow and a needle point loom.  The needle point loom has facinated my oldest daughter and is no in her arsenal of the toy box.  (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure eh?)

And at the very end, they raffled off the quilt.  Beautiful!  This was all stitched by the Crankies of Greenville Texas on old treadles.  And here seated in front of the quilt is Vonnie.  She has easter egg hair!  Her egg hair represents her colorful personality.   I enjoyed sitting and chatting with her.  Another person I will not forget, there seemed to be alot of those here.  Normally I am really bad with remembering names.  But these people were so memorable!


The quilt was won! …..not by me 😦

The woman who won the quilt, cried, which turned my eye faucets on too.  It was going to the perfect home.  She was so happy she won, I was so happy for her.  Yet more visible love!  I can’t wait for the next TOGA!

After attending TOGA, I kind of got the fever…..the fever to own another vintage machine!  So I purchased one.  It is being shipped now.  If I cannot get it to power on and make the plugs and cords work, I will figure out a way to make it a hand crank and show up next year with something extra special.  I can’t wait to show it to you!

In the meantime, I have been practicing with my tatting shuttle.  I had a hard time with allowing the cord to be able to adjust last weekend.  I figured out what I was doing wrong.  After making a picot, I was not closing the stitch properly.  I visited Gina Butlers channel on you tube and slowly but surely and making progress with a bunch of practice.  I have almost used up all of my shuttle thread and will be seeking out more because sitting down and doing this is very relaxing after a hard days work.  (Even more relaxing than quilting—whoa I would never have guessed I would even type those words).

I have also been working on more TOGA blocks that I modified two corners of.  I almost have all of my rows done.  I still need to incorporate the swap blocks and will probably not alter those and make those around the outer perimeter of the quilt.  I have also been trimming down HSTs left over from using the folded corners ruler.  I am linking up with for the oh scrap linky party!


Jeez, have I left anything out?  Probably, but then you would not have any thing to look forward too in my next post!  Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!



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!  🙂



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.

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.

Organization and Homemade Jelly Rolls

My stash is out of control due to no real estate left in my house.  @#$!

My boss knows that I quilt.  Each of his children have received one for their births.  His wife sews and sells on Etsy, and has quite a thing going.  Last weekend, his wife did some spring cleaning and decided to purge fabrics from the past.  Most of these fabrics were quilting cottons.  The oldest piece I found was dated 2007.  All 50 plus pounds were slated to go to goodwill.  He redirected and saved the three boxes for me.  So I had a major stash gain!   Beautiful new fabric to pet and admire.  But what to do with them????

Last year I had went through my existing stash and categorized by color and then folded all the smaller than a yard pieces and put them into ziplock bags, keeping them sorted as such.  It was so easy if I needed a small piece I could look through my clear tote and see if I might have something, or I could pop the lid off and skootch things around to see if I had a specific fabric that would work for that particular project.  I could take everything out of the tote entirely and put it all back in within minutes and nothing would become unfolded.  It worked.

Then I had my sheet swap and had about 35 fat quarters I had to make room for plus the left over sheets from cutting up my fat quarters.  So I commandeered a dresser and the bottom drawer became dedicated to nothing but vintage sheets.  But then my vintage sheet population out grew its home and now part was in the dresser and part was in a box.

So right now my storage is an issue.  I still have my smaller pieces in baggies but moved those to the dresser.  With the new fabric editions, they simply will not fit anywhere.  I am afraid if I go buy a tote and put them out in the shed, I will not dip into the tote and use up this part of my stash.  Then an idea happened.

I have all this fabric not being used, all scraps with no purpose.  All sorted already, I just whipped out my accuquilt cutter and started going to town.  I enjoyed the jelly roll race quilt so much that if another baby event happens to someone I know I can easily turn out a quilt in a weakened.  So I used the 2 1/2 strip cutter and went to town.  I cut up all the reds, oranges, pinks, yellows and blues with a hint of blacks and greens.  Pictured is my final result minus one which I gave to my mom.

I have been saving strings whether it is the selvages or just narrow scraps of fabric for a string quilt.  Some pieces are less than an inch wide, some are a tad bigger than 5 inches.  I took my ziplock baggie system and put all those pieces together in a large worn out pillow case to throw into the tote.

It looks like this will be a quilt in no time.  I am not sure how many years I have been saving, but the number is definitely plural.  I used to throw them away (gasp).  But those little scraps do add up.  Future quilt in a bag.

And I cannot forget my vintage sheets.  I accuquilted all these down to 2 inch squares or 3 1/2 inch squares.  I have never made a vintage sheet quilt but know by the thread bareness of some of the sheets, it is a good idea to back it with interfacing for extra strength.  So my stash also consists of gridded interfacing on point which will make these lovelies all the more lovelier.  For those of you who have cut vintage sheets, it cannot be done with a rotary cutter.  It is impossible to keep things square.  Interfacing is your friend.

And yes I am still sewing on the En Provence mystery quilt.  I have gotten a couple more purple blocks done. epmqblock

Due to all my organization, my sewing area became a huge mess for such a small space.  I still have a box of fabric that does not fit anywhere and due to an unforeseen incident my stash grew yet again this past week as I received a $50 gift certificate to my LAQS.  No more pretty fabric purchases for me for a long time!

Stash is non busted but workable.  More scraps have gravitated to the tote.  My sheet drawer is a little more empty.  Night night stash, sleep tight.