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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Velveteen Rabbit of sewing machines

     A blast from the past. That is what this machine is. It belonged to my husband's grandmother, Grandma Okie. She was the absolute best. She taught me how to cook out of what was in the house and make it scrumptious. She taught me how to sew on her treadle. She had sewn for a living at M Wile doing piecework for men's suits. She could alter/salvage everything. My sister in law got her treadle and I put sewing on the back burner for too many years. It took Bonnie Hunter's quilt cam and the generosity and friendship of Elizabeth and Andrea to get me back on the right path. I now own a parlor cabinet treadle like Grandma's. I am restoring a second treadle cabinet to put in a Singer 237 so I can zig zag treadle.
   So, my sister in law asked me if I could restore Grandma's machine. Boy, it is in serious need of rejuvenation. So far, I have scraped more gook and lint out the hook area than I have ever seen. All the metal has serious brown varnish encasing it. I am using alcohol and KrudKutter to dislodge it painfully slow. If Elizabeth were closer, I would ask to use her ultrasonic cleaner. It is missing the screw in the handwheel to secure the clutch and it is missing the wheel in the bobbin winder. The paint is rather sad. This machine sewed so much in its time with so much love and care. I just have to get it back into useable condition.

Blown away by Giveaway Response!

Tree from Niagara on the Lake last Thursday
  Omigosh!! I was totally unprepared for the response to the Fall Giveaway I linked to Vicki Wesh's page. I had tried a pattern giveaway before. I was going to give a free pattern every Friday for 8 weeks. I had no takers. So, I thought I would put a big pile together and try again for at least one someone. Well, the outpouring of quilters was amazing. 
  I have been the recipient of generous quilters, especially in fabric, as I make comfort quilts for chemo patients. Lots of scraps and FQs have come my way so I can keep sewing and giving.
   I was pondering what to do and it hit me that I should spread the wealth around. I am going to split up the patterns to a number of  you who identified an interest and pattern, I am going to email you for your mailing address and send to more than one. I pulled some magazines and a few other patterns that I know I won't get to. I am going to contact about 6 of you and see if that works for you. I will just pay more postage, so what! 
   Remember, if you are a no comment responder or a google + responder, I don't know your email to reply.
   Thanks so much for responding and sharing a bit about your quilting!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Giveaway Linkup

   Vicki Welsh has a giveaway promotion on her blog right now. I am linking up with it and hope someone wants the whole bunch of new quilt ideas for free! Here are the patterns I will pack up for you and send in the giveaway if you would comment and let me know something about your quilts! Make sure I can get intouch with you and that you are not an unreachable blogger!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Some tops out for sun

     I am not sure if I posted the whole You've Got Mail all quilted. It is ready to go. It is the time of the year that the sun is lower in the sky and leaves shadows on the area where I photo the quilts. The white areas are all white.
    The exploding squares pattern is back and this time I used 4" squares to start out and used 4 total squares instead of the 3 when I start with a 6" center. This needs a back and quilting yet.
    The 3 Dudes quilt is also back. This time I used alternating white strips in the strip sets. I don't really like it as well. There is going to have to be some serious quilting on this to make me like it better.

Monday, October 6, 2014

HST trimming

     I won a charm pack at QBL this summer. I put another black and white charm pack with it to make HSTs. The print charm pack was short squares and the cuts seemed off. So, although I matched the squares and drew two lines off the center with a little ruler tool, when I cut them in half, they were not even. I used my 4 1/2" square ruler on the diagonal line to trim them as in the photo. They are closer to perfect than when I do not trim, but just sew them together. I am trying to be more precise and professional. When I get them all trimmed as it is time consuming, I will arrange them on the design wall.
The HST opened and it is not square and has dog ears.
The HST folded back in half, see the uneven?

The HST with the diagonal line of the ruler on the seam line

The HST edges and dog ears trimmed

The HST the best I can get it with those pinked edges
and keeping it 4 1/2" square.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Another made fabric star

     Since I bought a smaller template from Victoria Findlay Wolfe this summer, I used some new made fabric (from the treadle) to make a smaller star. I am thinking of making four to use in one quilt. I have to treadle a lot more scraps. I don't know what fabric to set them with. I have some nice light gray. I don't know if I want to use a patterned fabric there. Might be too much?
   I also used some made fabric to make a larger Maverick star than the ones I made in Bonnie's class. They were four and a half inches. I made each of these squares 4 1/2". I used dark fabric as the setting because it show off the star colors better I think. I am thinking of making a lot of these, but I don't know how I would arrange them. Not sashing.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quilting around Chautauqua Part 2 eye candy

     Besides dropping money at vendors, I was amazed by the quilts. One of the raffle quilts was the exploding squares that I have done a tutorial for and use all the time for comfort quilts! Done in white and rainbow and exquisitely quilted, I bought some chances.

Detail of block and quilting

A great scrappy quilt!
     One of the exhibit spaces is done by some sisters. They make these sort of panoramas of a scene with all sorts of props and hang the quilts inside. It was spectacular. It was in such a cool building on the Lake.

Detail of border from quilt above

Look at that quilting detail!

quilting detail
quilting detail

quilting detail from above
quilting detail
Crummy photo, but check out all these pieces!
If you see this Robi, all these tiny pieces are for you!