Sunday, September 4, 2016

New Quilters - New Block Names

With each new generation of quilter, we see all of the old, old blocks or slight variation of the blocks with brand new names!  It's often said that there are only just so many ways to arrange squares abd triangles, etc to form a block.

Several years ago the quilting world was all agog over a quilt block called "Swoon".  Now, I'm pretty sure that the term Swoon was not used 100+ years ago.  So, if you look at the block, it is a variation of those blocks we know as Carpenter's Wheel or Bethlehem Star among others.

So, Indecided to try my hand at the Swoon block.  69 pieces in one block!  Thankfully the blocks are for the most part large (12-24 inches).  My block worked out to be 16 inches and I will make more once my other quilting and sewing demands have been met.  I probably shouldn't even have spent the day doing this one block with all of the sewing that I "need" to do before the holiday craft fairs begin.

Here she is, in Civil War Reproduction fabric, my first Swoon.  I must admit it's kind of pretty but I'm not sure I'm "swooning".


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Still stiching and now Vintage Machines!

I can't believe it has been more than 4 years since I have added an entry to this blog!  I'm still stitching and have added the restoration of vintage sewing machines to my list of "fun things to do" I think that Facebook has taken over as my platform for sharing my projects but there is just so much DRAMA!  And adding in the political garbage just sucks the happy right out of me.  So, let's see if I can make the move back to my blog. My days back in Michigan before we head back South for the Winter seem to be running short.  September 1st.  The grandkids are already back in school!  Where did the summer go?  I had such big plans for finishing up some quilt UFOs and of course have even purchased a new kit.  Why do I do that when I already have such a healthy stash?  One of these days I am going to do a real inventory.  I'm actually afraid of what I might find tucked away in my sewing area! My summer has been spent doing: That dreaded Yard Sale thing.  What a LOT of time and energy that takes.  I think from here on out I will maintain a bin specifically for donation items and when that bin is full,  off it goes!

Bionic Gear Bags - another project that takes a bit of time.  I love making them and I really love having one at each of my sewing machines.  I have several ordered by Florida friends and it looks as though I better get on it! These bags were originally designed for quilters to take to their sewing events.  Putting all of your "gear" in one bag made things so much easier!  Soon, people started seeing these bags and decided they would be excellent make-up bags, jewelry bags for travel, mobile office supplies, gun and photography tools, etc.  The list goes on and on!  I do have several for sale in my Etsy store (if you are interested)



Necessary Clutch Wallets - I LOVE, love, love these wallets.  They take a bit of time, but each and every one of them gets a little easier.




Lullaby Babies - another fun project that starts out on my embroidery machine and finishes on my sewing machine.  And, I just happen to have a few nieces having babies this year so perfect gifts!



 In addition, I finally mastered putting that prepackaged satin binding on the edge of the fleece blanket part of the Lullaby Baby.  Babies love the way that satin feels and while I'm not a big fan of that stuff for regular quilt binding, I'll use it for the babies.


 The Ionia County Fair also played it's normal part in my summer.  While the fair is so broke that First Place ribbons only pay out $1, it's become a bit of a competition between me and some of my quilting and sewing friends.  This year was an awesome year for me!  Lots of blue ribbons, a few best in class and one silly quilt that took such a nice ribbon that I won free VIP parking for all days in next year's fair!




 American Girl doll clothes,  Not as difficult as Barbie Clothes but hold a certain amount of frustration.  ha ha ha!


Having my HQ16 serviced was a big thing off my "to do" list!  I wasn't feeling to excited about tearing that big thing down and getting it in the truck to take it for a much needed cleaning and service.  When I called for the appointment, I was told that they would be happy to come and get the machine head, service it and return it when it was done for an additional $26 fee.  Money well spent!  Several days before it was time for the service man to get here, he called me and asked if he could do the service here?  Same price, all he needed was a table to work on.  You Betcha!  So, he came.  He serviced AND he cleaned and tuned up the carriage


 Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines! Let me explain.... I did not set out to try to restore an old machine or two.  I did set out to find a vintage machine that would sew through some of the tough seams in both the Bionic Gear Bags and the Necessary Clutch Wallets.  I was told that the Singer 201-2, made in the late 1930's would be perfect.  It was known as "The Rolls Royce of Sewing Machines".  Finding one wasn't that hard, in fact I found two.  But, they needed work.  Any machine that sits in an attic or a basement or heaven forbid, a barn in Michigan for 60-70 years is going to have wiring ripe for starting a fine!  In addition, no one works on these things!  Sewing machine repair technicians will most likely tell you to buy a new machine - one costing $10,000-$15,000!  I have a few of those.  They won't do the job!  So, you learn to fix them yourself.

I acquired the necessary tools and I learned to take apart and put back together one of these old mechanical machines.  Then I learned to braid electrical wire.  I learned to solder and I learned how to put rebuild a motor and put new electrical leads in place.  Then I learned to put these newly rebuilt motors back in place.

Look at this melted wiring under the receptacle where you plug it in!

This foot pedal has crispy wiring too!
uck! 70 years of old grease and lint.

                                            
                                              Pretty as a picture and running like a top!

In addition to refurbishing two Singer 201's for myself and one for a friend, I also did a National Rotary machine from the 1920's.  My sister-in-law found it at a yard sale in a cabinet for $7
She's all redone and so pretty!

  Do you see any quilting here?  Me neither.  But, I still have some time before I pack to head South for the Wnter.

Still stiching and now Vintage Machines!

I can't believe it has been more than 4 years since I have added an entry to this blog!  I'm still stitching and have added the restoration of vintage sewing machines to my list of "fun things to do" I think that Facebook has taken over as my platform for sharing my projects but there is just so much DRAMA!  And adding in the political garbage just sucks the happy right out of me.  So, let's see if I can make the move back to my blog. My days back in Michigan before we head back South for the Winter seem to be running short.  September 1st.  The grandkids are already back in school!  Where did the summer go?  I had such big plans for finishing up some quilt UFOs and of course have even purchased a new kit.  Why do I do that when I already have such a healthy stash?  One of these days I am going to do a real inventory.  I'm actually afraid of what I might find tucked away in my sewing area! My summer has been spent doing: That dreaded Yard Sale thing.  What a LOT of time and energy that takes.  I think from here on out I will maintain a bin specifically for donation items and when that bin is full,  off it goes!

Bionic Gear Bags - another project that takes a bit of time.  I love making them and I really love having one at each of my sewing machines.  I have several ordered by Florida friends and it looks as though I better get on it! These bags were originally designed for quilters to take to their sewing events.  Putting all of your "gear" in one bag made things so much easier!  Soon, people started seeing these bags and decided they would be excellent make-up bags, jewelry bags for travel, mobile office supplies, gun and photography tools, etc.  The list goes on and on!  I do have several for sale in my Etsy store (if you are interested)



Necessary Clutch Wallets - I LOVE, love, love these wallets.  They take a bit of time, but each and every one of them gets a little easier.




Lullaby Babies - another fun project that starts out on my embroidery machine and finishes on my sewing machine.  And, I just happen to have a few nieces having babies this year so perfect gifts!



 In addition, I finally mastered putting that prepackaged satin binding on the edge of the fleece blanket part of the Lullaby Baby.  Babies love the way that satin feels and while I'm not a big fan of that stuff for regular quilt binding, I'll use it for the babies.


 The Ionia County Fair also played it's normal part in my summer.  While the fair is so broke that First Place ribbons only pay out $1, it's become a bit of a competition between me and some of my quilting and sewing friends.  This year was an awesome year for me!  Lots of blue ribbons, a few best in class and one silly quilt that took such a nice ribbon that I won free VIP parking for all days in next year's fair!




 American Girl doll clothes,  Not as difficult as Barbie Clothes but hold a certain amount of frustration.  ha ha ha!


Having my HQ16 serviced was a big thing off my "to do" list!  I wasn't feeling to excited about tearing that big thing down and getting it in the truck to take it for a much needed cleaning and service.  When I called for the appointment, I was told that they would be happy to come and get the machine head, service it and return it when it was done for an additional $26 fee.  Money well spent!  Several days before it was time for the service man to get here, he called me and asked if he could do the service here?  Same price, all he needed was a table to work on.  You Betcha!  So, he came.  He serviced AND he cleaned and tuned up the carriage


 Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines! Let me explain.... I did not set out to try to restore an old machine or two.  I did set out to find a vintage machine that would sew through some of the tough seams in both the Bionic Gear Bags and the Necessary Clutch Wallets.  I was told that the Singer 201-2, made in the late 1930's would be perfect.  It was known as "The Rolls Royce of Sewing Machines".  Finding one wasn't that hard, in fact I found two.  But, they needed work.  Any machine that sits in an attic or a basement or heaven forbid, a barn in Michigan for 60-70 years is going to have wiring ripe for starting a fine!  In addition, no one works on these things!  Sewing machine repair technicians will most likely tell you to buy a new machine - one costing $10,000-$15,000!  I have a few of those.  They won't do the job!  So, you learn to fix them yourself.

I acquired the necessary tools and I learned to take apart and put back together one of these old mechanical machines.  Then I learned to braid electrical wire.  I learned to solder and I learned how to put rebuild a motor and put new electrical leads in place.  Then I learned to put these newly rebuilt motors back in place.

Look at this melted wiring under the receptacle where you plug it in!

This foot pedal has crispy wiring too!
uck! 70 years of old grease and lint.

                                            
                                              Pretty as a picture and running like a top!

In addition to refurbishing two Singer 201's for myself and one for a friend, I also did a National Rotary machine from the 1920's.  My sister-in-law found it at a yard sale in a cabinet for $7
She's all redone and so pretty!

  Do you see any quilting here?  Me neither.  But, I still have some time before I pack to head South for the Wnter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Log Cabins - a FREE ebook from Fons and Porter




I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  Mine, was very quiet,  which was very different for me.  We as a family, celebrated our Christmas several weeks ago, before we packed up and headed south from cold, windy, snowy Michigan to our balmy winter home in Florida.  

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by Eric from Fons and Porter's Online Media group asking if I would be interested in reviewing an ebook from Fons and Porter.  Of course I would!  Who doesn't love log cabin quilts?  And an ebook put together by some of our favorite quilt makers, Fons and Porter, available as a download so that I can have it NOW, and -the perfect price, FREE.

This 24 page book is chuck full of  patterns and ideas.  It even has some great tips on binding using a photo tutorial.  If you are one of those people who learn best be seeing a picture, you will love this binding tutorial!

From traditional log cabin settings to some great new setting ideas including a walk "on the dark side", there is something for every quilt maker.

I do not yet have my sewing studio set up in my tiny winter home in Florida, but you can bet that reading this book, savoring each and every pattern and tutorial really got me in mood to sew.  That project will be next on my list!  

Follow this link Build Your Best Log Cabin, and get your copy today!



Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hidden Wells Fun

A group of online quilters have decided to tackle the Hidden Wells quilt pattern.  I could not resist!
After pulling a stack of fabrics from my stash, determining the size blocks I wanted to cut from each strip set, i started to sew.  I made just one full strip set and cut it up for the blocks to see how the fabrics I selected would work.  I am quite happy with the results so I will continue to make strip sets and cut into blocks.




Orca Bay is Done. done, DONE

Done, done, done!  Pieced, quilted and bound!  And, I like it now!  Over 4000 pieces and a year to put it together.  I guess I'm glad I plucked it out of the trash.


I was trying to decide on a name for this quilt.  The original quilt done in shades of blue, black and white, did indeed look like Orca Bay.  This one, in this colorway does NOT.  When my daughter saw a picture of the finished quilt, she thought it looked like Summer fruit; strawberries, kiwi, grapes and lemonade.  So, possible Summer Fruit Frenzy would be a good name.

It feels good to jave completed this project.  Now, I'm on to the next.  My Civil War Tribute quilt is waiting in the wings.  It was originally a "block of the  month" quilt but several years have passed.  But first, I'm itching to try my hand at a Hidden Wells quilt.  And, a Scrappy Bargello, and....... You get the picture.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Orca Bay Progress

I can't believe that I am still working on this quilt top.  I started this Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt called Orca Bay a year ago.  Once we started putting the billions of pieces together, I realized how much I HATED the fabric colors that I had selected for the project.  The quilt as a whole is gorgeous - the way it was designed in blues, whites and black.  My selection of red, green and gold - not so much.

I have given myself permission at least 4 times to THROW THIS THING IN THE GARBAGE.  I have plucked it out each time because I have an unbelievable amount of time in this thing.  Cost?  It's all done from my scraps, so I'm not out much, but the time I have invested.......

So, I keep working on it.  As of today - I have completed to the borders.  My next step is to start piecing the border and then get it on the frame to be quilted.  At this time, I have decided that I WILL finish it.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it once it's finished but I WILL finish it!