Postage Sheet!

My excitement ensues to the countdown until I get my longarm!  In the process of ready-ing for the event, the ufo pile is going to get worked to it’s death or near death as I have much progress on these and they just need solutions to keep going.  One baby step at a time with no rush or hurry.

A few posts back I brought out the stars with embroidered blocks.  I am still at a stoppage, and think the solution may be to digitally scan the block and upload it to Spoonflower and print replicas of the block.  I think that would get the right color white and match the pattern/design where I can fussy cut and square out the quilt as it is on point.  What are your thoughts?  Have any of you done this?  This is an expensive option and will be my last resort.  Hopefully there will be a suggestion or idea that I see as it stores perfectly in it’s tote until that time.

or on point

And I started figuring out how to stitch my dodecagon blocks called Jack’s Chain Circles.  There are no free directions out there for pressing.  I think the way to go was to press the seams open on the blocks.  I have figured out how to join the blocks and it is working fine.

jacksringcircles2

I sew the blocks together and make sure not to catch the existing seams in the new seam I am making.  I fold them back out of the way and stitch 1/4 from the start.  Then when I place the triangle in, all the funny angles are already stitched at junctions that allow the last 1/4 seam to be added perfectly.  There is a lot of thread waste using this method, and this quilt was probably meant for paper piecing in the past.  This is working for me.  I made a grandmothers flower garden quilt years ago and stopped short of the 1/4 point for all the hexagons, and I still have the quilt with no ill effects of the wait and see how it turns out method.

I have about this many blocks together (as pictured).  Now I have a a brief intermission!  The quilt I sent off on July 12th for quilting services at MSQC has finally made it’s way home.  They do outstanding work.  This is the quilt I feared giving to my LAQ as it has bulky seams with the interfacing method of patchwork.  I knew if I sent it to the pro’s they would do an outstanding job.  This was sent off before I decided to buy a longarm.  It was expensive but you pay for quality.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  This is a postage stamp quilt, and since I made it out of vintage sheets, I am calling it Postage Sheet.

sheetedborder1sheetedborder2

These photos were taken during the piecing.  At this stage it is not quite finished.  My camera started malfunctioning and it was hard to get a good pic.  The backing of the quilt I picked up at an estate sale and is a vintage sheet.  I also have matching pillow cases.  I think the sheets were brand new out of the package and never used.  The white backing really softened it up even more with pastel goodness.

postagesheet1
You can see the white sheet backing here.  There is a band of pink florals at one end of the sheet.  Made a lovely backing, and 100 percent cotton (it could be linen not sure).

postagesheet2

I make many quilts, and I have a loved one in my life that doesn’t say much about my creations.  When this one was taken out of the package to view the quilting job, he said I should put this one up as it is probably the prettiest one I have made.  The ultimate compliment from one who never gives them.  🙂

Right now I am binding it and can’t wait to show you!  It is forecast to rain all weekend and a good part of next week.  I bet I get this one finished purty quick as it has become that time of year again.  I will have to wait until the earth dries out before I can get a good photo opp.  But, snuggly weather is coming…..I have been waiting for this for so long.

To wrap today up I will be making pumpkin pancakes, a recipe my daughter picked out that we will be trying.  Doesn’t that sound delicious?  Please check my other blog (thecookbookproject.wordpress.com) for that post.  There are other recipes already there, so check them out!

I would like to take the time to thank you for being the wind in my sails.  If it wasn’t for you readers/followers I am not sure I would continue with this extra little effort.  I kindly thank you for any comments or suggestions.  I enjoy reading those sew much!  Have a great weekend!

True Treat For October

Today was the day I got to visit the Piecemakers of Fannin, County Texas.  A friendly, knowledgable group of quilters/crafters/sewists.  And I got to teach all of them how to make a toothbrush rug during their retreat, the true treat for October.  I promised I would post links of how to start, how to tear fabric for perfect, or imperfect 2 inch strips for the rug.  We discussed what would make a good needle, or toothbrush device to weave your rug.  It was a blast!

I have never purchased a pattern, and like to figure things out on my own, sometimes winging it as I go, sometimes perfect, sometimes, rip and repeat.  A toothbrush rug is very forgiving.  For Pete’s sake it is just a rug, to cushion the feet, to keep the dirt at bay, to decorate, and to take the wear and tear.

How does one start?  If you are interested in this, I recommend going to this site.  Click on the link and it will show you exactly what I showed today to get a start on the toothbrush rug.

A couple of perfect images there showing you how to make those first few stitches.

Here are videos of Aunty Phyllis rug maker herself, showing how to make the knot stitch.

Click here

Here

And here

If you are a written instruction kind of person, you can go here for those.  My second go round of making rugs came from this site.

This is the start of a hot air ballon, 1970s panel of cotton/poly blend panel that is definitely a blast from the past.  Rugs are an excellent way to use up panels that have stuffed animals cut outs, pillow panels, and other fabrics that you cannot quite figure out how to use in other projects.  You can really move much from your stash as one rug may take upwards of 10 yards.  The larger the rug, the more it will take.  The rugs in the videos are nice a scrappy, just how I like it, Crap with an S.

retreattoothrushrug

There is nice variety in the panel that was used in the start of this rug, all of the different colors broken up, to not be so orange, or brown, and nice to see a tad of country blue in there too.

When I arrived at retreat the yard was full of Red Spider Lilies, these are also called Hurricane Lilies.  In Sept in our neck of the woods these come up volunteer.  I suppose there is an algorithm in what it means for winter and fall.  I have not looked that up, but I would say this year was a bumper crop.

redspiderlillyredspiderlilly2redspiderlilly3

Fireworks in petals, vibrant reds, naturally perfect!

Here is just a glimpse of what other retreaters were working on.  I did not take that many photos and wish I would have taken more.

irmasquiltembroideryteatowelsinapickelembroideryirisirissingle

And a bonus, these ladies so graciously gave me calendars, quilting magazines, a quilting template, a nice spool of 100% cotton thread, some Halloween fabric, in a lovely shopping bag and I am just in awe of their generosity!  These gals really know how to pay it forward, something I try to do and the older I get, the more I see results from this.  A heart happy event, and nice to know people are still good and genuine.  🙂

As we left, at the end of the property on the other side of the fence stood an old (I believe) oak tree.  This trees base was odd, it looked like it grew up and around something.  I cannot quite explain it.  I thought this old tree needed a face as I could see Old Man Tree staring back at me.  It looked like he had a story to tell, and I would love to listen.

oldtreemantreegrowth

See what I mean, peculiar, but interesting!

For those of you that read my blog and were at the retreat, it was splendid, and I enjoyed it!  I felt very comfortable amongst you, and would like to thank you for such a pieceful day!  Being out in the boonies is a lovely place to be!

Onto sewing blocks…..in last weeks weeks post, I came to a standstill with this quilt.  or on point

A trip to the quilt store, I found a piece of ombre fabric of blues and turquoise.  It was too much drama for this serenity.  I may scan the embroidered block and upload it to spoonflower.  That is expensive and back into the tote it goes until I think of a solution, or see a solution.

Another UFO out of the box, stitching along things going smoothly.  I have 36 blocks done which is enough for a quilt.  I have laid it on the bed, and The Jack’s Chain Circles really show up on camera, not sew much in person.  The block is call Jack’s Chain.  It involves Y seams and is an advanced pattern.  If you are interested in making this block full of challenges visit Marcia Hohns Free Patterns page, or just browse quilterscache.com for a plethora of ideas….all free!

jackscircleringsjacksringcircles2

I am off to cook supper.  Not exactly sure what, but it will happen.  Do you like to cook or collect recipes?  Visit my other blog thecookbookproject.wordpress.com for some delicious eating!  Thanks for visiting and reading my blog!

 

Scrap, that is crap with an “s”

So I utilized the assortment of 2 1/2 inch strips in my scrap bin, and yes the organization of it is crap plural.  It is Sew Scrap, and that is what I have named this jelly roll with no race.

I like it’s humbleness, and I am a sucker for the scrappy look.  My whole house is scrappy.  I purposely purchased new dishes in 8 different colors, because nothing matches in my house anyway.  Scrap is a way of life.  Once you live this way, it would be hard to go back.

I am perfectly content with no coordinating stuff in my house, some would not be able to cope.  But scrap is a coping mechanism too.  You just let go of perfect and settle for utilitarian.  Scrap, yep.  That is me.

scrapjellyroll

And then there is the UFO business that I did mention in my previous posts (I looked it up, my first post on the quilt below was exactly 2 years ago…jeez).  You can view those here and there.

I now remember why I put this in a bin and left it alone, I was going to run out of white.  The embroidered squares (which I did not do….found at the thrift store) are of a poly blend white, and the white I chose for the sashing is a different white.  The most notable thing is the different weave which will show up in the quilt, but by separating it with turquoise, one would really have to look to see it.  I have my sashing pieces paper pieced (my own design before I purchased the tri recs ruler).  And it is working, but how to fill the gaps without the white?

While stitching today I come up with a plan, of granny squares of various colors within the quilt.  Electric blue, navy blue, a light green and perhaps a gray.  I think this is the solution to frame it, perhaps it will be too bright as the rest of the quilt is so soft, calm and serene.  I will have to really brain storm on this, as it goes back into the tote.

I don’t think I am going to go with the straight method as laid out here.

straight

The flow of the lines in the embroidery, I think, are more suited for on point.

or on point

Styled on point, my rows will be 2 over 4 over 4 over 2 which leaves two corners with much to put there, but I am out of the white.  Perhaps thread painting feathers in those areas will not show the contrast so much of the whites.  Perhaps if I do granny squares I should select one color, perhaps the green which I have plenty of and mix and match off whites and ecru, and super white with snow white.  That would be softer, but not very dramatic.  What do you think?  Perhaps a floral with white and a bunch of these colors?  Until I figure it out, this is turning out too pretty to flub up at this point with a rushed idea.

Well, the car is fixed, finally.  I have enjoyed my week away from work, at the same time fretted about.  I will be back at work for a fun filled 40 hours, followed by dinners, prep, baths, and house chores.  I did not realize how much the commute really interferes with my stress levels concerning time.

My featherweight is turning out to be an excellent purchase.  I have used a whole cone of thread on him this week.  (Yes I named him after a man….Abacus, to be exact.  Seems like he is the only one I can count on besides myself.)

You will hear from me next weekend, with probably not much happening, unless I find the solution to the above problem.  I will delve deeply into Pinterest and try to find more than one idea.

I hope you had a lovely weekend!  Thank you for reading my blog!

 

Diamonds on a Shoestring Budget

Good fabric IS expensive.  All quilters know you pay for quality, and I adore Moda fabrics.  The thread contents feels right between my fingers, next to my skin.  I use other fabrics as I may adore the pattern or the perfect match in color.

And then we store our fabric until it is ready to be cut/processed into a quilt.  In the last 3 years I have done over 50 quilts, many just crib sized.  I used to throw away all fabric scraps (oh the horror of it….I know).  But then my mother bought a garbage bag full of strips from the quilter with the longarm machine.  She only paid $10 for it and made a beautiful string quilt.  Her genius in this quilt was saving old bounce dryer sheets after they had been used to form the foundation of her blocks.  No tearing away paper.  Frugal, green, keeping it all out of the landfill, nicely repurposed into a quilt.  When she made the quilt she even had left over scraps which she gave away as I think she made more than one quilt top from her strip jackpot.

At that point in my life, times were leaner than they are today.  So I started saving all of  my scraps, throwing them into baggies, with wild abandon.  No rhyme or reason for storage, just keeping the scraps for the right moment.  The baggies became too many and a tote was commandeered for the keeping of scraps.  There got to be so many that the tote runneth over.

Last year before Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt started, I took her advice and grabbed an out of date phone book and started sewing my strings.  I had a shoebox full of telephone book pages stitched to fabric ready for a quilt of some sort.

Since this was kind of a UFO, or a long term WIP, I decided that there would be just a few more foundation blocks to make before I could proceed to a quilt.  This quilt top cost me zero dollars.  The white fabric was gifted to me and came from Marshall’s Dry Goods store.  It was 108 inches wide and 2 yards long for less than 3 dollars.  My mom purchased this for me, knowing I would use it for something.  The something happened with this quilt top.

It started like this just a little over a year ago, and now it has formed into a quilt.

diamondshoestrings

Since these photos were taken on a cool, lovely September afternoon, I have added the remaining sashing around the outer perimeter.

diamondshoestrings2

These are my diamonds on my shoestring budget.  I wanted to stitch all the strings together back to back without sashing, but found the X to predominate and liked the diamonds better.  When I quilt this the secondary diamonds formed with the sashing will be more visible.

And because I was so deep into the scrap bin, I have started doing a better keep to this process.  Right now every thing of every size is just thrown into the fabric tote.  This has become overwhelming and unacceptable as a process for me, so I am now in the process of taming the scraps.  Some of these scraps will not make the cut.  I have a gob of tumblers left over from a quilt top waiting to be hand quilted.  Those will probably be a door prize/surprise to those attending the retreat I will be teaching at next month demonstrating the toothbrush rug.  (Ruth Ann, ssssshhhhhhhh)

scrapmadness3

Peeking next to the sofa you can see the top of my scrappy messy bin of fabric.

I have quite a stack of 2 1/2 inch strips in this tote.  Here is what I have sorted so far, nothing even cut.  A huge scrappy jelly roll there ready for some stitches.

scrapmadness1

And then I have a stack of neutral and colors for 2 inch strips, I will work those into a mystery quilt at some point provided the color scheme fits.

I have a large stack of 5 inch squares, probably a good random assortment for a simple quilt.

scrapmadness2

And in the throat of the featherweight are squares left over from a fish quilt I made for a coworker’s newborn who is now 8 and the coworker is now my Boss!  Those will become potholders or something.

I have gobs of strip sets that will also make good pot holder/trivets as mine have grown rather grungy with use.

I am not certain the direction I will take for the next sewing/quilting projects as I now have a stack of 9 to be quilted, only one of those will be given away.  Perhaps I will get out the memory craft and the On Ringo Lake quilt and start FMQ on that to get it finished.  This quilt did not turn out pretty to me and I am disappointed in my color scheme as well as the quilting I chose for some of it.  Not a show piece so it will go into immediate use.

Did you catch my recipe post on my other blog?  Click here to view Smoked Turkey Leg Soup recipe, or visit thecookbookproject.wordpress.com for a great assortment of time savers and delicious meals.

Enjoy your weekend!  And thanks for reading my blog!

Busy Busy Busy Bee!

This just in.  The car’s fuel pump started making a funny noise on Thursday.  Friday, someone else got to drive the car and I asked for them to listen to see what they think is wrong.  A trip to the mechanic, and my 12 year old car is finally going to get money spent on a repair.  Oh sure there are other things that I can live without that need repaired on the car, but a fuel pump is pretty important.  Sadly, I just filled up with gas when this was discovered.  So, the mechanic will get a free tank of gas for his effort as a bonus!

The part is ordered, and now we wait.  I have not went to work for the last couple of days thinking it might hurry the shipping and repair along.  This hurried nothing, it only amplified the anxiety of it being on the fritz and not knowing when it is going to go caput.  Since the full moon is today, my bet is, it will no longer work tomorrow.

So taking advantage of this down time, and keeping my worried hands busy, I have gotten up before the alarm every morning, including all weekend.  In the wee hours of the morning, I tatted my hands away, enjoying the relaxation.  Tatting is different than quilting.  While I quilt, my mind thinks and wanders.  With tatting, I have to count over and over, and so my worries are not worried about.  I wonder if there is another meaning for tatting?  Well another surprise, so I looked it up.  It appears to also mean a tangled mess!  HA…subliminally my mind astonishes me.  I guess this is my way of working out the tangles!

My favorite piece is the blue with green chain in the center.  I want to make more of these but every time I pick up a shuttle, I end up not having a big enough piece of thread on the bobbin.

tatting

I have gotten very good at joining my stitches.  The large lower left is the one I received while at TOGA from the lady who taught me to tat.  Interested in learning?  She is a great teacher and is on youtube.  Here is her link.

https://www.youtube.com/user/ginabea1630

And then there was some,….er….unfinished business.  And after completing it, I figured out what it was that was amiss with the play ball II quilt top.  I kept struggling to go further.  I just put my big girl pants on and ignored my inner self and got going on it.  I work at a buffet in a dark corner in the living room and work by a single clip on lamp.  This lamp must have a yellow bulb in it that does NOT have natural light.  Usually when I iron, it happens in the kitchen.  Yesterday after getting the center done, I proceeded to add some white fabric around the perimeter.  I am one to finger press as I go and then move to the ironing board to do it all at once to conserve my energy as well as the electric bill.  There are two windows with no curtains in the kitchen.  And the minute I laid it out on the ironing board, I saw finally my road block, right in front of my eyes.

The whites were not created equal.  One looks snow white while the other is off white.  *GASP*  But at this point, I just kept going.  The baby will not care and the yellower white reminds me of baseballs, so that is what I will tell the mother.  This also will affect how I quilt it.   Probably going with a red for baseball stitches in those white triangles.  More work ahead *sigh*.

baby quilt

And in anticipation of my arrival of my quilting machine, I am trying to get as many tops as I can completed.  I whipped out the jelly rolls today.  I chose one that I got as a bargain from Nancysnotions.com as well as one made from my scraps.  You cannot mess these quilts up and did both of them this morning.

I see that I accidentally incorporated some selvage into them, but I don’t care as they will be used and abused and worn out within a couple of years as the quilts I made for the children when they were just babies are now official rags, with many tuck in’s at night, and washings for my filthy crew.

scrapjrr11

The male cat coming to investigate.  A good cat, from the time he was born, he was quiet, and I assumed smart.  All the other kittens we have had of late are a bunch of cry babies.

Here he is showing his inquisitive self.  Perhaps he is hypnotized by the Kaffe Fasset fabric.  LOL

scrapjrr12

I encourage all of you who have large stashes to grab what you like from it and pair it with similar fabrics.  I think this quilt could have used one more color,  but this is what it ended up being.  Back in July when cutting my pieces out for the Jewel Box Stars, I took each piece of fabric and cut an extra 2 1/2 inch strip and then rolled it up for an easy, scrappy quilt later.

jrr10

Finally a day of sunshine.  Friday, Sat, and Sun we got almost 14 inches of rain.  Although it did not affect my household, or its contents, those who live by our area reservoir ended up with water woes.

Today, while taking these photos, I noticed the neighbor lady was mowing her grass, and all the dust it was kicking up, you would have thought we were in a drought.  Right now I have very little grass in my yard.  Not because of high temperatures, or too much rain, or drought.  Oddly enough, we had an army worm invasion.! They pretty much ate all the grass, and left the weeds in the yard, and then left or died, it is possible they could have drowned.

Now I will get out the string tote and start sewing on the string quilt again.  I already have several pages done and probably will not have to work it long.  If I get tired of it, I will pack it back up into the tote it is currently living in, and work on another ufo from the pile.

My excitement is building….the machine can be delivered as soon as the quilt show in Houston is over……ready for change, ready for speedier quilting, just ready for this new path in my life.

Well, I have salisbury steak meatballs in the slow cooker and will have to get supper served up pretty quick.  This weekend I tried out an new recipe and was delighted with how it turned out.  Ever had smoked turkey legs?  Me neither!  Be looking for a recipe using smoked turkey legs for a delicious new meal for the aftermath of thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading my blog!

The Last Supper ~ A quilt show

Last weeks post I communicated how much I am in a slump with work on the PlayBall2 quilt I am constructing.  It is just mindless sewing, and I just cannot muster much enthusiasm.  I cannot focus, I just do not want to.  So this week after a brief period of getting this far, I have tatted and knitted and am liking the down time with small projects.

1playball2

The center of this quilt is done.  I will be configuring the borders and hopefully will hurdle this quilt demon that shows up every now and then.  Ocean waves in the center framed by pinwheels on the edge.  It may be about 20 inches, I have not measured it.  This fabric was cut all the way back at the beginning of July and wholly cow it is mid September and still not finished.  I think I have reached a point of saturation and that is my personal issue.  I just need to put my big girl pants on and sew.

Yesterday was National Sew a Jelly Roll Day.  Did you get into your stash and sew up something for this event?  I didn’t, instead I celebrated by visiting a local quilt show.  Photos will be posted soon on that.

The little bitty town I visited was also have a vintage market day where vendors were set up with antiques, and homemade stuff were scattered on the square with live music.  It was a warm day, but for mid Sept., pleasant enough.

I managed to walk away from the quilt show with a very expensive purchase, and a few bargains, even a freebie.

As a door prize I won a pressing sheet.  I did not have one of those, so this will come in handy and I can quit using the roll of disposable parchment paper.

1pressingsheet

My most practical find of the day was at one of the vendors set up outside for the vintage market.  A man had devised a clever way to utilize the clover thread cutter.  I have been wanting a stand thread cutter for a while and have just not gotten around to buying one. He took the little chotsky charm and mounted it on a nice piece of hand turned wood.  A small stand, and small enough to fit comfortably in the hand, if needed.  This will be used like the dickens.  Pictured I have it laying down for it to smile and say cheese.

1threadcutter

Not pictured are the vintage sheets I purchased and a wad of fabric (which I thought would make lovely rugs).  The total price for that was 35 cents, but I went ahead and gave the guild a whole dollar as they had done a marvelous job of the comings together of the quilt show.

My mother is in a local informal quilting guild.  Some of my subscribers are in that guild.  One in particular, Ruth Ann, (Hi Ruth Ann….thanks for the invite!) asked me yesterday at the show if I would be interested in coming to their retreat and demonstrating the toothbrush rug!  I am excited to do this as I know all those sewing mavens have gobs of fabric in their stash ready to be used for a project that may take them only a couple of days.  I am looking forward to this.  Ironically one of the ladies in the guild allowed me to borrow her toothbrush rug instructions when I did my first one.  Now three and a half years later (I returned the instructions) I am still making them, and making them confidently enough with out instructions and also venturing into experimentation.  I look forward to this teaching moment, as I will probably learn some from them as well!

I will share one photo of a quilt from the show, since it is Sunday.  I am not a very religious person, but I do have my beliefs.  There was a man at the show who looked to be about 100 years old.  He was on stage talking about the quilt he pieced and quilted himself.  His voice just above a whisper into the microphone, slumped with old posture sitting in a chair, explaining the work of art he accomplished.  He made a pixelated version in quilt format of the Last Supper.  Huge and impressive, artistic, something musuem worthy.  Isn’t it breath taking!

thelastsupper

And lastly, the expensive part.  I have been tormented about purchasing a longarm for a few years.  After pricing used/guaranteed and new the price difference was not that different, so I have decided to purchase new.  I am getting a 20 inch CLX Nolting.  I am looking forward to quilting in half the time as my shoulders are quite muscular doing it under the 6 inch throat space I have been using for 3 years.  I do not have room for this equipment in my house and so it will be put off site so to speak.  The reason I chose this brand over others?  Ladies if you are contemplating this purchase, you must get out there and test drive the ones they have set up at shows,  You will know exactly which one you like best.  The smoothness of the Nolting vs the babylock (and many other machines just like it but rebadged much like a gmc vs a chevy) there was too much bounce in the  machine.  Not only do I think that is hard on the machine, it will be hard on the person driving the machine.  I liked the Juki, it was smooth, but the noise it made was irritating, LOL.  They are all similarly priced.  I did not get any extras except the large bobbin upgrade.  I like the fact that I do the maintaining of the machine and will not have to crate it and send it somewhere to get worked on.  Pretty much this machine I will be able to handle after the warranty is out, help is always a phone call/ text away.

I am excited about the machine, but at the same time, going from debt free to a large payment each month is a downer.  Who knows perhaps this is a door opening for me as another is getting ready to close.  You just never know where life will take you.  I am ready for whatever journey.  I know I have three quilts ready for my new learning journey.  I know my mother has many too.  This will get me in shape to perhaps take it that step further.  A wait and see moment with no commitment.

Happy Quilting, and thanks for reading my blog!

Geese In Everlasting Trees

Boy, Howdy Monday!

A productive weekend, the weekend lasting one extra day.  Breathing in, exhaustion gone, stitching a mile a minute.  It is amazing how much more you can get accomplished by adding one more day to your weekend routine.

Sometimes I surprise myself.  I just started the flying geese top on Friday evening.  And voilá, a quilt top finished, regardless if it small for a doll.

honkin wonky geese
from this to….
geeseflimsy
this!  By placing a neutral strip in between the rows of geese it created another pattern, Tree Everlasting!  Whoa!

So I completed my strips of flying geese, as wonky as they are (the doll will not care and neither will the children).  I have severely diminished my baggies of HST scraps.

geesequilted
Whoa, and I even got it quilted!

Binding will happen sometime this week.  I really wanted to quilt this with the fabric I purchased a whole bolt of at the thrift store.  The bolt did not say what kind of fabric it was.  I ironed it, it appears to be cotton.  Thicker than regular weave.  I think it is a jersey knit.  So this miniature version of a quilt was a rehearsal for the king size quilt I will be doing in the future with this same backing.  The quilting had issues on the back so I may rethink that for the human size quilt.

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What else have I got going?  Well, I had this package of cotton clothesline.  It kept getting touched and moved from one spot to the next.  I touched it again this weekend and decided, this is the last time I will be touching packaged stuff, taking up valuable real estate.  Time to get stitching.

So I have been romancing the notion of looming socks.  I do not own the right kind of loom and have been window shopping on the internet for this process.  During my virtual shopping, I came across a yarn bowl.  They are wooden and expensive around $20.  I understand their purpose, and I also understand it is not a necessity.  But what if I make one!  So I did.  I did not make it very big, and turns out this is perfect for my tatting yarns.

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What makes a yarn bowl, a bowl strictly for yarn?  A catch.  A place that you hook the yarn through.  The ball of yarn will unwind, never leaving your lap or table, or getting tangled up because it fell to far.

And I had extra clothesline left over.  I envisioned a purse.  Will probably finish this off with fabric later.  In the mean time, it is a perfect holder for all my yarn!  And the loom too!

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These bowls are very quick and easy to make.  Select the widest zig-zag on your machine and get colorful with the thread.  A great way to free up your bobbins!

And wait….there is still more!  A while back, a co-workers quilting Grandmother gifted me a gob of fabric.  I have used this fabric, made many quilts with pieces here and there. I donated the rest.  While going through the pieces I did find some poly cotton that just would not make the cut in any of my quilts.  It got tossed aside.  Again, I am tired of touching, moving, and shuffling, again and again.  So, last night I tore them into 2 inch strips for a rag rug.  It is well on it’s way.

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My stitching in the toothbrush rug is getting very symmetrical.  The pastel purple had some kind of staining on the fabric.  Stain and all, hidden within the fibers of the rug perfectly.  Also, there is some very dated 80s check in red and tan.  When I ripped this fabric there was so much sizing in it that it automatically curved the sides of each tear.  This stuff is stitching up nicely too, glad this is going into a rug.  The selvage said VIP on it which was probably from Cloth World or some other old big box fabric chain.  I will probably be adding to this as I find more pieces that are questionable about cotton content.geeseall

This picture sums up the weekend nicely.  Look at all that work and all the work to come.  Imagining things made with yarn.  Any of you sock makers know if you can use #3 or #10 tatting thread for socks?

Today will be a few household duties and relaxation, Boy Howdy Monday!

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Honkin’ Walkin’ Geese

With limited energy Friday evening, I managed to get some time at the sewing machine.  As tired as I was, it felt good to hold fibers between the fingers, step on the gas and hum the sewing machine steady, soothing, the week easing.  The tiredness of the mundane, slipped to a different more meditative state.  Breath in ~~~~~Breath out.  Stitch.  Perhaps the breathing as necessary as it is, it better with stitching, hence the therapy relationship.

National Sew a Jelly Roll Day is coming up on the 15th of September.  So I got into my small box of precuts to see what I would be sewing that day, and came across my two stuffed ziplock baggies full of trimmings from the On Ringo Lake.  While sewing On Ringo Lake, I also sewed all the additional corners trimmed making the flying geese.  It was a gob of extra effort to keep the pace, but I did it.

And boy am I glad I did this step.  I decided in that box I was staring into, they have been saved long enough.  What kind of maintenance did I need to do to these HSTs?  Really nothing.  I did trim off the dog ears with scissors, finger pressed and then started pairing them up with other HST’s.  And so the doll quilt has began.  This one I will do with flying geese strips.  Not sure how many strips at this point, but they will probably be separated by a neutral scrap.

Curious at the sight?  Well here is a very non photogenic pic, but it is a pic none the less.  Unpressed, sewn, wonky.  So these geese I picture to be walking along on the ground and in a perfect row.  Un-natural, unsymmetrical, imperfect, captured in stitches.

Again I have stalled on the Play Ball 2 quilt.  Why?  I do not know.  It could be because I am not as close to the coworker I am making it for.  My excitement for this is at a lull.  Not sure why.  Perhaps I need to self reflect a bit and overcome what ever the hurdle is.

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I estimate the geese will be about 3/4 of an inch by 2, but I have not officially measured them.  Perfectly sized for a doll quilt, keeping fabric from the trash bin.  I just love all the varied neutrals in this, a tad of color with the dominate orange and brown, soften it a bit.  As I picked up each piece, I recalled when I had previously stitched other quilts with the same fabric.  Or, I even recalled who gave me the fabric.  I see watermelons, peas, some thrift store ric-rac white and pink, cotton and steel, some left overs from En Provence, and some orange that I shopped my mother’s stash for.  🙂

Well, I am off to do other weekend duties.  Hopefully I will get Honey Garlic Chicken cooked and photographed for another recipe post here.  Be looking for that.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great weekend!

Quilting with Feed Dogs Up

So, I purchased a singer darning foot for my older machines to try to FMQ.  The machine I was hoping for, it fit, but because that machine has a needle that is not centered on the needle plate, it would hit the foot.  I suppose I could figure out some kind of spacer and some day use this, as I can manually put the feed dogs down with that machine.

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So then I called out the big dawgs and brought out my big high speed brown machine (I need to think of a good name for her), and put the foot on.  It fit, but I cannot lower the feed dogs with this machine.

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The thing that worries me about not lowering the feed dogs, over time, that part will wear out.  My feed dogs have worn severely on my Janome MC9000, as I have used the dickens out of her.

So during quilting, with feed dogs, you are very limited with the correct rhythm.  On this old gem, because it was designed to be a treadle, when you take your foot off the gas pedal, it keeps sewing a few stitches.  Which made FMQ even more difficult.  There were two swoops that I cannot do on this machine.  The needle threads from left to right.  So if I ran over the thread in the process of moving in my loop, the needle would break the thread every time.  I sewed this pot holder with breakage at every loop for the first few loops, realized the movement causing the breakage and changed up how I was swooping.  Got almost all the way around to where I started and got in a hurry, and zigged when I should have zagged.  Bam, broken thread again.  But again, with an old machine, there are NO TENSION ISSUES!  I have battled tension issues with my MC9000 to the point of wondering if something is worn out.  It has an automatic tensioner.  After years of practice, sometimes it still gives me grief.  So the domestic will be perfect for straight line quilting and perhaps small projects that I will be able to spin 360 degrees to prevent breakage.

And my quilting is far from perfect.  But this will be a trivet, that sits upon the stove.  I noticed my stove top is acquiring scratches over the years.  (You would be scratched too if you were almost 70 years old!)  It will serve its purpose.  Made imperfect with imperfect hands.  I am ok with that, it is still very useable.  And what I learned is valuable.  It is a win to the second power!

These are the scraps left over from the spools quilt that is waiting to be quilted.  This trivet also served as an audition of how I will quilt the larger version of this block.

For those of you who know me well, know about the private details in my life, stuff I don’t write about.  I was commissioned (for free) to do a small job on towels.  I marked new wash cloths with slashes, a different qty for each day.  (nothing like doing more friggen laundry, but I remain silent) I had very particular instructions with drawing goodness and achieved happiness by the individual who commissioned the work.  That is all I have sewn since the pot holder on Sunday.

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I also posted BBQ BLT’s, so if you are interested in the recipe, click here.  The weekend is almost here, and it will be a day longer, yay!  I used to wish for the weekend to hurry up, or for the clock to say 4:00 so I could go home to the hobby and sew.  I realized I was wishing my life away.  I have stopped doing that, and look at the time continuum differently now.  I know my goal, but do not wish for it to be here sooner.  Old age sometimes makes you go hmmmmm about things.

I hope to have something else to post this weekend, but this week seems to be a non-sewing week as I am so tired.  Once the weather changes, so will I.  As you age, you become a very good meteorologist.  You know when it is going to rain, or when a low pressure is in the mix, HA!  For those of you that know me are probably laughing because I am not old, but I am a day older than yesterday, and so on.  Perhaps this is not old age, but wisdom!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

HST’s Improv Around the World

So, a few weeks back I opened three charm packs, two of the Play Ball 2 line, and one white one.  I ran them through my accuquilt and made a bunch of triangles itchin’ to be sewn together.  At the time I was working on my leader ender Jewel Box Stars Flambė.  I used the play ball pieces as my leader ender and did not get far as there were so many pieces going on with sew many quilts.  I am back at it.

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If you are interested in seeing the whole fabric line, it is not available online any more, been in the stash too long!  This is the sad story of my stash.  When I get to the fabrics I want to use, and need more it is no longer available and more improv sewing happens.  Ah well, such is life.

My plan is to make a panel of HST’s alternating color and white.  Then I will go around that with color HST’s around that, and then go around that with pinwheels, and then go around that with a square in a square made with hst’s.  I have not done any counting and realize this may not work.  If it doesn’t, my HST’s will be entitled Improv Playing Ball In Line…or Row by Row.

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I have  some of the central pieces ready to be pressed and sewn again.

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Some pinwheel blocks, QST’s, and square in a square triangles already pressed.  I have a gob that will require pressing, hence the leaning floppy stack in the center of this picture.

Today is supposed to be HOT.  So, this means a brisket in the crockpot to keep the kitchen/house cooler.  This also means, probably no ironing today as I cannot run that many watts at once.  Perhaps tomorrow more progress sewing will occur.

I am also on the mend again as I have pulled a muscle in my back.  Too much loafing on the sofa (which is in a sad state), so I will be nursing that a tad today as well as the last three days.  Normally it doesn’t last this long.

Since I have went coke and candy free my back has went out twice.  Does this mean I have not had the energy to do anything but sit?  Or does this mean the lack of phosphoric acid  in my diet is causing my back to need that……er…..supplement?  Probably a coincidence.  I did purchase a new pair of comfortable shoes and this could also be the problem, but I think it is the couch.  New/Used couch on the list of my purchases.  This one is 12 years old, and most of my couches from the past are pretty much done in after 10 years.

I am off to put the brisket in the crockpot.  If you are interested in my recipe, click here.

Here is the picture of the last time I made it, delicious!  Ooooo that fat cap is nice and charred, but never was on the grill.  🙂

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I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my blog!  I hope you have enjoyed this post.  Have a great weekend!