Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blasted in Buffalo

     I am sure if anyone watches national news, you are aware of the snow situation here. Actually, I live just north of the city and am out of the persistent band. I have only had about 5". However, my friends and family are literally trapped inside their homes. As a lifelong resident of Buffalo, I have never seen so much snow all at once. We are talking 5-6' of snow against homes. This is not the norm around here. I have been glued to the radio and on the phone to my mom and friends. There is no way to get to help them. 
     I have tried to get back on track sewing since last week I watched my grandkids 24/7 for a week while my son and daughter in law took a long overdue vacation, but the situation is serious here. My new lens came in and did not function properly, so I sent it back and with the mail situation, I am still relying on my crummy point and shoot. I continue to quilt away on Circle Dance and cut fabric into a workable system.
     My 4 year old grandson was able to make this pillowcase that he used all week on my Spartan handcrank. We both had a good time. I used Elmer's washable glue to hold the seams instead of pins. Worked great.

     The Frozen panel that I reluctantly bought in Houston has been sewn into a top. I cut off the terribly ugly pink border and added two solids and a snowflake border to make it a nice size for a 2 yr. old. Now it needs to be quilted for Christmas, so I need to get Circle Dance done.

      Also, I continue to cut fabric squares for a colorwash quilt and sort them on cheap cookie sheets. I think there is enough and it is daunting to know where to start.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not quite an angel

     At the Quilt Festival, I managed to dent my credit card with fabric. Even standing trying to be an angel in the park across the street was futile against the siren call of fabric.
     I tried great restraint. I only bought what I knew I could not find anywhere else at this time except for the Frozen Panel and snowflake panel to make my granddaughter a quilt. I do not like and buy Disney things, but when a two year old looks at you with her big blue eyes and blonde curls and says, "Grandma Linda, make me an Elsa blankie?", I cannot be held responsible for my actions. The photos are not great until I get a new lens for my Canon Tli instead of this point and shoot.
New thread from YLI that is a 70 glazed cotton piecing thread for sewing my small scraps, quilt magnets, and yes, fabric
New Kaufman Pointillist Jewel fabric
Hand dyed spiral from Joy Fabrics

Drinking out of a firehose

     I have been back from Houston and the Quilt Festival since Saturday, but I am still in numb mode. It is not just from the long airplane jaunts. I was told by others that it would be overwhelming. I have been to NYC numerous times, so I thought that can be overwhelming, but I survived. As a visual artist, so much can be too much to digest and process.
     The Convention Center is 6 city blocks long by 2 wide. It truly is. This Festival filled it all. The Quilt Show is actually many embedded shows, all separate shows in themselves. So, think of every quilt show you have been to and put them in all in one spot, at once. The vendors stretch forever and are not limited to quilt stuff, but any kind of jewelry, clothing, skincare, and on and on. Non-quilters could drop big chunks of money as well as fabric fiends.
     Please keep in mind that I only had my inadequate point and shoot since autofocus died on my Canon Tli and could not adjust for the lighting. I am only going to include some photos. All the award winners are found much better elsewhere. This is meant as a sample of the quality and creativity.
Vendor Mania

Red Pipes from top of corner of the Convention Center as viewed
from the park across the street
Only a small portion of the Stunning Red and White exhibit
Exquisite drawing and amazing quilting in the background
Quilting designs just amazing
Notice this quilt is not solid but has cut out areas, can't fathom the construction
Dynamite quilting, composition and colors

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Stitches for now

     It is almost time for my big adventure. Tomorrow I am leaving for the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I can't believe it. I have never been west of the Mississippi. I am flying with some friends who invited me to go with them who have been there and know the drill. I pray I am not overwhelmed by the size and commercialism and make wise purchases.
     I finished the pumpkin HST little quilt and FMQ it all in leaves motif. I gave it to my daughter in law as she loves fall decorations.
      The made fabric Lemoyne Star has had some additions around it. I want it to be rectangular, so I am adding different borders instead of symmetrical ones. Someone gave me a bunch of HST that are perfect for using here. I am going to add more to the top and bottom and probably an all around border before it is done, but that is all for now.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lots of miscellaneous stitch ramblings

    Sometimes, the way my brain works, I can only work on something for not very long, when I have to stop and change because my thinking is racing somewhere else. Yesterday was like that. My husband was due to arrive at the airport from a business trip at 5 pm, but did not arrive until 1:30 am and I had to make an airport run with toothpicks to hold my eyes open. Which means I never knew, minute by minute, when his flight would be a reality. So, I skipped around trying out some ideas.
    First, I spent a couple of hours quilting Circle Dance and am about half way. Just lugging queen size quilts through the machine is wearing. Here it is in a heap on the machine.
    I fell in love with a pattern I saw in the Keepsake catalog, but I hardly ever buy kits. I found the pattern on Craftsy, Bright Birches. I probably could have figured it out, but I bought it because I always think everyone else is much smarter. I was disappointed to see the blocks were from 15" blocks. This is not a size I have a lot of different colors in. However, I had some 10 x 10 solids, and pulled them out. I tried one block. I love to sew small scraps by chain stitching and then cutting them into useable fabric. Here is one block. I will have 30, 5 X 6 arrangement.
      I had bought a small Lemoyne Star template from Victoria Findlay Wolfe at QBL in July. I had cut out a star with made fabric and it was sitting on the wall. So, last night, I pulled out fabric for the edges. When I had sewn it together, I realized that the background fabric was so busy, that the star disappeared. So much for working past my bedtime. So, I ripped it all apart and used the yellow scraps. Much better. Because the autofocus went south on my lens, I did not take a picture of the wrong fabric. I am using manual focus which is just about impossible to get right. In my old film camera, the center for focusing were prism rings that came into focus when it was right. This Canon Tli has none of that. I have emailed a few places about repair costs, but no one answers me so far. So, I apologize for blurry photos.
This is about 20 x 20. I am wondering if I can just add border ideas to make this lap size. I have no more of this particular yellow to make more background for other stars. Or would it matter?
    I also continued to polish Grandma's 66 and am making slow progress. There is a shine that emerges. Yay for TR3 and elbow grease and cotton balls.
     Lastly, someone generously gave me scraps that were triangles of pumpkin/fall fabric. I sewed the triangles into squares and made a small quilt/table runner. I have finished FMQ it on my 301. It just needs a binding. My daughter in law loves fall decorations, so it will probably go to her. Just love using up those precious scraps.
it is about 14 x 20

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spa time for another 401

    This 401 was rescued from a rural auction in Springville, NY by a friend's husband for $25. It was mighty dirty, but surprisingly, the electrical was very good. There was rust on all the metal surfaces, but not very deep. Between the TR3, KrudKutter, and Mother's aluminum polish and lots of cotton balls and wooden sticks, it finished up very, very nice. The piston for the zig zag was not frozen up. It just has a little nick out the edge of one gear tooth in the top gear which is not impeding the stitching. I can hear it though as it runs. 


     After I saw this photo, I cleaned the lower part of the machine under the bed and took off the hinges. Never unscrew the hinges from the cabinet like this- unscrew the set screw that holds the pin of the hinge in the machine and slide off the machine. They were dumping the cabinet which I think is why they did this. Anyways, it is shiny under the lip edge now.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Small steps in starting some new ideas

    Because I love Wanda's colorwash quilts so much, I decided to try to collect and cut squares for this. After a lot of collecting, I am still woefully under the different fabrics I need if I am going to make a quilt at least 40 x 44. I started putting them in shoebox lids, but now, I bought those aluminum cookie trays at the dollar store and am stacking them in single piles. I probably have 120 out of the 150 different fabrics I need. The squares are 2.5" and I am having a hard time getting mediums. I can't really even lay them out on the design wall yet.

     Earlier this summer at QBL, I won a charm pack from Patchwork Plus in Marcellus, NY. I paired it with a black and white charm pack from Missouri star quilt company and made half square triangles that I showed trimming in another post. The next time, I will try to use the Easy Angle ruler to cut these and not do the two lines and cut down the middle approach. Hate cutting slivers off. I put them on the wall and rearranged a number of times. The last photo I think is it. I have to label and take them off the wall tomorrow.