Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crumb blocks, attic window

    I finally treadled enough crumb blocks, 6 1/2" squares to make a lap quilt. I love crumb blocks, they are like mini paintings, each one different and fun. I already did one with sashing. I decided to use attic windows because it will show off the blocks. I looked for some tutorials, and did not find one that was real clear. I don't want to do the simplified, put a half square triangle in the corner, because I already have enough seams. I can't get a clear idea how to add the second piece without starting to sew at the 1/4" mark which is harder than on the open end.
   I am sewing on the 301 because the treadle does not have reverse. When I get my new machine, the 237, I can treadle the strips on also. Any ideas how to sew attic window strips easier, I would love to know. I have 7 done on the wall. 
On the wall

Crumb block pile waiting for its sashing

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thread catchers

    I have already admitted it, I am 3D sewing challenged. Someone suggested I make a threadcatcher as a gift for someone who could use some sewing studio things. So, I found a super tutorial that even I could follow. I made two, I think I will keep one. I had some old painty hinges that I used to weigh down the pincushion. I cut a paint stirring stick in half lengthwise and widthwise  for the back of the bag. I used some vintage buttons to hold the pincushion to the bag. I think they are great. I can't wait until I can give it away!

Basting on the wall

    For the smaller, lap size quilts, I prefer to spray baste. I think it works just fine and saves my fingers from those pins. Last night, at my guild circle time, I sewed the backing and saftety pin basted the Split Decision quilt with the help of guild members who are always so generous with their time and advice. So, my fingers are smarting today. Today, since it was not quite freezing, I dragged out Emma's Star and the 4 patch square in a square, both comfort quilts, to spray baste outside in my garage on the wall. I have used Sullivans spray before and like it, but no store around me carried it, so I had to buy June Tailor from Joann's. Not so good. I don't like the lack of tackiness and feeble spray compared to the Sullivan's. Sulllivan's probably had some "bad" stuff in it, so I can't get it. Never mind that you have to use twice as much as the June Tailor to get some adhesion. I am including the pictures because some people said they like to see the process. So I am ready to quilt!
Backing taped on wall, batting adhered (sort of), extra fabric to be trimmed

Backing for Emma's Star taped up

Batting added on top

Emma's Star stuck down

The good stuff, have to mail order it around here
Very light tackiness, have to really load up the surface, won't buy again

Monday, October 28, 2013

Another top, another idea

    I was able to finish sewing Emma's Star for a comfort quilt top this weekend. I also have done a sketch for another denim quilt like Denim Lily. It is 18 x 36. I have to mark the values in, draw this on clear plastic, trace it on freezer paper yet. I am going to put Hollis' denim idea with Grace Errea's method of using Liquid Thread, which I ordered last week. I just can't do the zig zag denim pieces method and then cut out the seams. I will show my progress, complete with errors as it goes.
Ready for backing and then quilting, 48 x 60

Sketch for new denim quilt, 18 x 36

Sweet machines

  Over the past couple of days, I have been doing tandem cleaning. The 201 is mine, with the dead wires, but is now all cleaned. I took everything apart- hook (thanks to Rain's tutorial), stitch regulator housing, tension dial, cleaned and oiled every piece of metal. I could just gaze at the 201. I don't know what it is about its shape that is just so appealing. It is not dated looking and sits ready to do business. Now, just to get the motor rewired which I am going to leave to capable hands not my own. I just dream of what the straight stitches will look like.

Minus the handwheel and motor

All clean, just the picture is fuzzy, not the hook area now, isn't that scroll plate just gorgeous?

Back view
   The 15 belongs to a friend who just had it shipped from her mother's house by her dad. It is just lovely with its decals. The sun decal under the throat is spectacular. However, it looks like in the rays are some non-English writing. I wonder what that is all about, since the writing is not symmetrical in the rays. Inside, very dirty, especially the lint rug petrified in the hook area. Thanks to Andrea's advice, I bought some dental type picks at Harbor Freight and was able to remove it successfully. Getting the hook cover back on the hook was very hard, I don't know why, but it took a lot of muttering and prayer over a couple of days and I have no idea why it finally clicked together. The bobbin case has a broken latch, so that was interesting getting it off. The motor wires, toast. I have a motor from a Spartan that I may use as this motor is not an original but looks a little too light weight for me. 
   Sorry folks, this is my idea of a GREAT time.
Lint rug, not any more!

Pre-cleaning, just that one rubbed off spot of decals

Elegant spoked wheel

Uh, oh, motor wire alert!

Hook, pre-cleaning, hard to get back together, broken bobbin latch

Friday, October 25, 2013

Some Progess

    The newest care quilt is bagged up- book, quilt, card- ready to go!

   The patriotic quilt, strips sewn by my mom, blocks cut and sewed by me. I am taking the blame, because when I got it all together, even though I laid it all out, taped numbers to every block, I had sewed 3 of them facing the wrong way and noticed them when it went on the wall. Yikes. I had to rip out, resew, and a couple of the block corners are really bad meeting, but I do not dare rip anymore because I can see it getting worse. I am thinking of a thin white strip border with a thicker black (same fabric as in quilt) one. I need to only add 5 inches because then it will be 60 x 60, which I try to keep to so I can use a king size batting cut into quarters. I did not intend for this to be a square, but this size in the pattern is. The pattern is from Cozy Quilts, Tube Top. This is another comfort quilt.

Needs borders yet

Free Friday Pattern Giveaway, take 2

    Ok, no takers last week, so I am offering 2 patterns for FREE, free shipping, too. Just comment and share the blog with someone else. Let's see if this sparks any interest. I bought these, opened them, and said, nah, I want to do something else. When I actually start a pattern, I do finish it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

That Magic Moment

    Don't leave me out here by myself, but there comes a point in creating a quilt that it becomes a quilt- not a collection of fabrics, batting and thread- but a cohesive whole thing- an object who is more than the sum of its parts. It moves differently and feels different. This usually happens at some point when the binding is being sewn on. It starts to drape differently going through the machine and has a different kind of body- sort of sculptural. It is the magic moment. Today, sewing the 3 dudes quilt binding, it happened when I was sewing the binding, when I was sewing on the front, catching the back of the binding, about 8 inches into it. I just stop and marvel. No matter what the front looks like, now it is a quilt. Awesome.
   Pieced on a Singer 301, quilted on another 301, binding sewn on a Singer 401.
   All I have left is to put the pockets on the tote bag and pack it. I will wash both the quilt and the bag, then sew the pockets on as the bag really shrinks and would pucker the pockets. The clean quilt, bag, book and card will be put in a plastic bag, waiting to be given to the recipient.

Borders quilted with Squiggle Square, courtesy The Inbox Jaunt

Flip side, Back corner

Back of quilt, fabric donated by Esta

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More refinishing on treadle cabinet

   Still working on removing/cleaning the old finish on the cabinet. Now it is too cold to do this outside in the garage, not sure how to continue. The side pieces still need work, especially the scroll work. The drawers are so hard to do, to get in where the handle indent is. Counting down the days until I get the 237. Need more Formby's Refinisher and some more green scratchie pads. 
Side getting there

A ways to go, much tougher.
 3 Drawers almost done, the indents are still bad

Drawers before refinisher applied
   The tiger oak when exposed is just fabulous. I am going to use Minwax antique oil finish when all clean.

Bits and pieces of work

    Because I need to get some comfort quilts done, I have been piecing and quilting to get at least two done. The piecing is for Emma's Star. I have done one before, I get impatient doing the sashing, but the blocks are easy. Sewing the diagonal rows is an exercise in concentration. It is a beautiful pattern. It needs the rows sewn together now. Have to add borders yet to make it big enough.
    The quilt I finished the quilting on is one from Missouri Star Quilt Company, see tutorial. Real easy, I added more strips to make bigger blocks.

Squiggle Square Pattern from The Inbox Jaunt
  Once I get the binding on, I will show the whole quilt.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Free Friday Pattern Giveaway

      Today I am going to try a new thing- Free Friday Pattern Giveaway! I have accumulated patterns that I thought I would use, but other things took their place. I still like the patterns, but they need to go to other homes. This Friday's pattern is for the holidays or maybe anytime celebration if you change the fabric. It is called A Pretty Package by Suzn Quilts and is a quilt as you go. Just leave me a comment if interested and I will draw a name randomly and send it to you, free of charge. If you could just pass my blog on to one other person to look at, I would be grateful.

     On the home front, I started quilting Aura Aura, and a new chemo care quilt, one that uses the pattern from the Missouri Star quilt company from 2 Dudes Quilting using two bocks of strips, sewn right sides together, strips in opposite directions and sliced from corner to corner.
     The refinishing of the new treadle cabinet is underway, slowly, using Formby's refinisher and denatured alcohol in stubborn places. I have gone over all the cabinet once, but it still needs more. I will try to photo that today.
     Today, my 2 quilts get shipped to the View in Old Forge for their Quilts Unlimited Show. Good thing it is an open show, as it usually has quilts way above my league. I plan on attending the opening with my sister in laws this year.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Journey Bag is Done!

   Today, I finished the Journey Bag. I saw it when I visited the vendors at Quilting by the Lake in July and bought it based on the finished one they had on display. The pattern photo does not show off the bag. To say I had difficulty with it is an understatement. My friend, Pat, came over and helped me make paper pattern pieces so we could see how the fabric was to go. This helped immensely. Second, there are too many pieces for such a small bag. I would like to make another one, but I have to rethink how to combine pieces and steps. Pat helped immensely to get all the fabric decided, cut out and labeled. All the interfacings also. 
   Next, my guild friend, Cathy, helped me sort out how to put the zipper in (20+ years since I sewed a zipper) and sew the bag to the lining and turn it. After I went home I could do that. I did not make the strap, I bought cotton pre-made strapping. So, I finished it and don't like the knot that ties on the handle. Have to figure that out. Looks lumpy.
   When I tried it on and filled it up, everything fits, but it is too tight. If I take the iPad out, I can get my hand in the purse. I don't know if I make it a couple of inches wider, if that would handle and solve it. I just have a hard time figuring 3D stuff.
   I like the fabric and the basic look, but the pattern needs to be simplified. Guess I need more expert help.
SIde with iPad pocket

Side with pocket for cell phone and two front pockets

VIew of bag from top

Inside pocket, tight fit

Better fit with iPad out of front pocket

Lots of inside pockets
   On Friday, I will be hosting a FREE FRIDAY PATTERN giveaway. You will just have to comment and let someone else know about this blog. I will send it to you, if chosen, free and free shipping.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The treadle irons- cleaned and painted

    Last Saturday, I bought the treadle. During the week, I cleaned them with GooGone oudoor grill spray. Great stuff, no fumes, really liquified the dirt so it rinsed off. My husband lightly sanded them and then sprayed them with the best Rustoleum. They look like an exquisite sculpture to me. So beautiful. Now, to get the cabinet refinished and put a Singer 237 inside. I think that will take a lot longer.

Some of the gold paint still on the Singer name

Some of the gold paint still on logo

The end of the search- a 201

   Ever since I saw how the straight stitch looks on a 201 courtesy of Elizabeth, I longed for such a stitch to piece and sew. I tried a lot of leads, but today, courtesy of Terri, an estate sale looking queen, I was able to lug home this 201 for small change. It has the manual and all attachments, but no spool pin and is very dirty, but not rusty. You cannot believe the cord. I did not dare plug it in. My husband did and blew the circuit breaker in the garage. Next, to open her up to see the wiring on the inside. Elizabeth has said she can rescue the motor if the wiring is scary. I cannot wait to get it running. I will ditch the cabinet. So very exciting!
The ultra scary cord