Small projects

I took a break from long term projects and did something “small”.   I decided Friday afternoon to make another Chubby Charmer Bag.

There is, of course, a story to go along.  All month I have been sorting through, pricing and boxing up “Second Time Around” items in preparation for our quilt show in July. Check out the website for details on the show –  https://www.oceanwavesquiltguild.org/quilt-show   (If you are in the mid-Atlantic area in July, plan on coming – over 220 quilts are registered, and LOTS of vendors!)

My co-chair and I have been ruthless in “re-homing” things that we just can’t figure out a way to sell or that don’t stand up to the quality of product we want to sell.  So, among the box of things to go to a donation drop-off was a bundle of upholstery samples.  I didn’t want to give away my box, so I was tossing things from the box into a bag in my trunk.  As one hand put those upholstery samples in the bag, my other hand reached in and took them back out.  The fabric was kind of fun, great textures and weight.

I gave the “book of samples” to my hubby to cut off the rivets holding the book together. With the aid of his air tools and cutting blade and 10 minutes of high velocity spinning of the cutting wheel, he had the rivet head cut. Dang, those rivets got HOT in the process.  After they cooled a little, we pulled the book apart and I had a great little stack of fabric.  I got out my 60 mm rotary cutter and ruler and proceeded to cut them into 5″ squares.  Each piece in this small book of fabric had a label on one end and holes for the rivets and pins to pass through on the other end.  5″ squares was the perfect size.  Of course, this kind of fabric likes to ravel, and I had to handle them very carefully.

I arranged the pieces to make ready for sewing.  There are no duplicate fabrics, but some very similar to each other, either in texture or style.

Ready to assemble

I used fusible fleece on the back of the squares and quilted each panel. In the photo above only the panel on the left is quilted.

New Chubby charmer bag

The pattern calls for fusible fleece on the back side of the lining too, but I didn’t have enough on hand so I used Pellon Craft fuse on the lining and on the pockets.  I dug through my stash looking for a piece of fabric large enough to make the lining and pockets.  I found a tan with flowers scattered over it.  I didn’t want flowers on the handles, so I found another complementary fabric for it.  This second photo shows a bit of the lining.  I think the choices of fabrics all worked well together. I love the textures of the fabrics that make up the outside of the bag.

Side 2 of Chubby charmer

A small project gives me a chance to get something FINISHED! These bags will hold a quilt for show and tell!  Or lots of goodies when traveling, shopping, etc.

Pair of chubby charmer bags

So, now I have made 2 of these bags.  The blue one was done with charm squares as the pattern intended, and was made exactly to the directions of the pattern by Peggy Sturges. (Pattern ps024 Chubby Charmer – Quilts Illustrated)  (Note; pattern is available on Amazon, just type Chubby Charmer in the search box).

Meanwhile, many long term, big projects await my attention.  Sashing the blocks for my Talkin’ Turkey project is going well.  I have 5 rows sashed, 2 rows sewn together, and one lonely row awaits sashing. That is my project for this rainy afternoon.

1 row to go

Note – Talkin’ Turkey is a pattern by Bonnie Hunter, and can be found in her book “String Fling”. Check out her website/blog – www.quiltville.blogspot.com for more info.

What are you working on?

 

I love the 3rd Friday!

I look forward to the 3rd Friday of the month.  I “book” time in my calendar especially for the release of the “next step” in the Scrap Dance Mystery Two Step quilt by Carole – From My Carolina Home  .  Carole writes such great instructions, and today was the day for Step 5 of our mystery.  I love the way she breaks down the instructions into “Two Steps” !  It’s not to late to sew along!  Check out the blog post from today-use the button on my page or the link above.

I am making the twin size, (I think….) and this afternoon before dinner, and after dinner I got all 12 blocks constructed.  Of course, in the photo they are randomly placed, and this is not the final arrangement as there are 2 more months to go on the mystery!

Scrap dance two step Part 5

This is a pure SCRAP project, and I pulled from my “already cut” items in my Scrap Storage System!  (I am an avid follower of Bonnie Hunter and have been cutting the scraps for a couple of years and storing them in containers waiting for the “right” projects.)

Speaking of Bonnie Hunter, I played a bit with my Talkin’ Turkey quilt that I started in her class in Dover DE last September.  I have started the sashing of the blocks, and have 2 rows sashed.  The first row is stitched together, and I still have some joining of blocks on the 2nd row. I like the way the sashing puts a little 9 patch between the blocks.  More to follow on that project.

Sashing done on a few blocks Talkin' Turkey

There are 30 blocks total to sash and join.  I have all the sashing made, but need to spend some time attaching it to the blocks etc.

I had to take the Talkin’ Turkey “off the wall” earlier in the week to lay out a quilt during my quilt bee with the Material Girls.  Our guild is making a quilt top for the outgoing president, and we all did a string block and signed the blocks.  The president of the guild is in my Material Girls bee, so we had to “keep her from looking” while we worked on the quilt.  I put her to work on “Second Time Around” fabrics, ironing and trimming and folding and pricing donations for the quilt show. She and a few other other ladies did an AMAZING amount of work while the rest of us focused on the president’s quilt top assembly.  Of course, since we were at my house, I had to flit from person to person, making sure my “Second Time Around” helpers were on task and answering questions.  I did manage to sew 3 rows of the President’s quilt, so I can safely say I wasn’t goofing off the whole time.  I tasked one member of our bee to take a wide assortment of 4.5″ squares, and to “bundle” them into groups of compatible colors.  She was amazing and got 99% of them into bundles that we will sell at the quilt show.  (I just knew she was the right woman for the job, and she was committed to NOT leaving the job unfinished!)

Working on bundles

I’ve had 3 days this week of working on 2nd Time Around in preparation for our quilt show in July. Today I tackled all those “non fabric” items that have been donated.  I ended up with 3 shoe boxes sorted & filled with various rick rac, hem tape and packaged binding.  Any of the packages that were already opened went into a box for donation to a charity our guild supports in Tanzania, Africa,  Sifa Threads .  I am boxing up notions, thread, zippers, seam rippers, and LOTS of rick race & prepackaged binding.  A member of our bee & guild will have her son take a suitcase full of sewing supplies to Tanzania when he returns later in the year. We are inspired by the Sifa Threads mission to teach young women to sew and at completion of the course, they earn a sewing machine of their own to take home. Hopefully they will find a way to earn a living for their families through the training and equipment provided.

Last week I was able to work on quilting my Pet Mosaic quilt – “MITTENS”.  I was inspired at a sit & sew the end of April to get it layered up and quilted.  I ordered a wide backing from Marshall Dry Goods . com and it arrived early in the week. I did a lot of “thread painting” on his (Mittens) ears, and general quilting of his fur.  I still have a lot to do, but on Monday, I turned in my entry for the quilt show.  He is coming along nicely, and I think if I have just “one more day” to work on the quilting, I will be able to knock it out.

Thread painting the ear

Quilting Mittens

I am working on my Janome 8900 doing free motion quilting, trying to capture the way the fur on this cat grows. (The squares in the quilt are 2″ to give you an idea of the scale).

I hope you are working on something fun, and have fun things to look forward to as well.  I find it so important in my well being to only do those things that bring me joy.  Not always possible, but I am striving to do away with the things that stress me (like those stinkin’ wisdom teeth)  and focus on the fun.

Happy Scrappy Quilting!

Gardens,Quilt show and Talkin’ Turkey

I spent 3 days in the garden this past week, working on 9 months of weeds! Yes, it is true, I gave up sewing time for working in the garden.  I made multiple trips to our compost pile in back in our woods to empty the trailer of the debris.  I still have “many” days worth of work in the yard.  I decided that I like quilting better than gardening.  I should be outside right now with a tool and a bucket working on some of that stuff, but then, who would write my blog post, or read yours?  Seriously, I have had to force myself to “schedule” yard work time on my google calendar!  But at least now, I can see the remaining tulips blooming, and know that the hostas are emerging from their winter sleep, and the sad looking azaleas will bloom once more.  The sedum have all been dead headed, and I started to split them for transplant in to other areas of the garden.

If you know a trick to rid my flowerbeds of the “mums gone wild”, let me know. Backstory – I planted several pots of “mums” one fall and they have turned into weeds, taking over the beds.  I have dug and dug and dug until I am crazy.  They never bloomed again after that first fall, and I just want them “out” of the garden.  The other thing I want out is the lighting system and soaker hose system, until at least I get the weeding done.  Over the years the lights have been damaged and the hose has felt the edge of the shovel when I was attacking some wild thing that sprung up.  Perhaps it was a great idea “way back when” but not today.   I’ve been ruthless removing sections, as I come to them, and will put the hubby back to work “laying fresh hose” once I have the mulch down.

More work to be done

There is still more weeding and mulching to be done!!  And, I have some time “blocked out” on my calendar!  

Meanwhile, between all the garden work, I went and picked up “more” donations for the quilt guild “Second Time Around”. Two trips, and two vehicles, and just when I saw light at the end of the tunnel, I have more “stuff’ to weed though.  I have had several workdays this month and lots of great helpers getting things pressed and trimmed and folded and priced to resell at the quilt guild and at our quilt show in July.  Gosh – if you are on the East coast in July you should plan a visit – details here – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show – in Lewes Delaware.  Last show we had over 200 quilts on display, and lots of vendors.  Of course, you can stop and say hi to me at the Second Time Around tables and get some great bargains!!

I did get a couple of opportunities to work on my Talkin’ Turkey project since my post about making those Flying Geese. This quilt pattern, is by Bonnie Hunter, in her String Fling Book.  By Friday of last week – I had a few blocks on the wall. — Do you recognize those flying geese from my last post?

Talking Turkey 19 to go

(Do you see the blocks all stacked up under the ones pinned to the wall?  Those are 4.5″ squares that were donated, and they are being sorted into “pretty stacks” for sale at the Second Time Around Table at the show!)

I got a bit of time on both Saturday and Sunday evening to sew, and I did LOTS of assembly!    There are 21 blocks up on the wall now, and lots of pieces “ready to sew” for the last 9.  I have all the units prepped and pinned on the blocks, and when I get an extra hour, I can zip right through them.  

21 done Talkin Turkey

Of course, at this point my brain has moved on to “other things”, like the next step in the assembly process.  (There are LOTS more steps to go in this project, with multiple pieced borders.  I saw a “finished” Talkin’ Turkey for sale on Etsy for $1200…… ) Anyway, I had to count out how many more neutral  and red squares I will have to cut, and check if I have the next neutral sashing cut yet or not.  I won’t start that step until all the blocks are assembled and I have a chance to really “arrange them” on my design wall so I get a nice balance of the “scrappy”.  I have several blocks that have “bright bits” that I want to spread out; like stripes in the center of the nine patch or polka dots (both black and white) that do jump out at me.  So, a bit of “design layout will be in order, and I will have to “clear my wall” to make room for the entire project. It is very satisfying to see it come to this point.  

A busy week ahead for me with a Quilt show meeting, 3 mornings with 2nd Time Around helpers coming over, an all day quilt bee and two days where I have ladies coming up to church to help “tie” quilts for our graduates.  (Hmmmm….when will that garden work happen or any more of my own sewing happen…..)

I hope you are having fun with your projects!

Talkin’ Turkey – 2nd round

I have been working off and on over the last 2 weeks making Flying Geese for my Talkin’ Turkey quilt.  The pattern is by Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) and can be found in her book “String Fling”.

If you are a “regular reader”, you know I went to a workshop in September and started this project along with a second one.  As per my typical behavior, the project bin sat from September until February, when I dug in at a 3 day retreat and got the “first round” of the blocks completed.  Check out the post I wrote in February when the first round was completed here – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/a-week-of-loading-and-unloading/

Before I could begin the “second” round on the blocks, I had to square them all up, and re-evaluate how I was going to make the Flying Geese (FG) for the 2nd round on the block.  I settled on the method from Jodi Barrows – using the Square in a Square ruler, option 3.  I have nearly 500 FG to make for this quilt, and I wanted to use the method that gave me the most accuracy.  Since I purchased the Square in a Square “system” last spring, I thought this would be the perfect time to use it.  If you are unfamiliar, check out this quick video where Jodi is demonstrating the ruler at Quilt Market — Option 3 Square in a Square demo .

Once I got about 100 FG finished, I wanted to see how the blocks were going to look, so I got two blocks up on the design wall late yesterday afternoon.

Next step

Hubby thinks “BUSY“, but that is ok….he doesn’t have a vision of the “next round” which is neutral sashing and 9 patches that separate the blocks. Take a look at that link for Bonnie Hunter I posted and you can see what the “end” result will be.  In this round with the FG, I am going scrappy with the FG, but the rectangle that separates them, and the cornerstones on the blocks are all “constant”.  I think having a few constant elements on a scrappy pattern help to “calm” it down somewhat.  I believe my sashing is all cut and it will be “constant” as well.

Each of these blocks takes 8 FG, so I will be back to the “chain piecing” that Jodi Barrows referred to in her short video, I posted above.  For a more detailed look at the method – check out this longer, more instructive video – Square in a Square introduction  .  What I like about this method for the FG is that I can sit at the machine and stitch up 8 or 10 geese, then get up, stretch, press, and go back to sewing. Less of a sweatshop, and if I have just an hour or two to stitch, I can make a lot of progress!  I often bring a stack into the house with me,  save the trimming and cutting for the kitchen, while dinner is cooking and I can chat with the hubby.  I probably won’t “assemble” any more blocks in the “second round” until I get all 280 FG made; but I do have all the neutral bricks and cornerstones cut out and ready to go.

What method do you prefer for Flying Geese?  Have you been working on a big project lately?

Time to go…..more Second Time Around sorting, trimming, pressing, measuring and pricing for the guild (day 2 this week).

A tad bit of sewing

Greetings friends. Previous post indicates it was a busy week.  It continues.  I did squeeze in a little sewing and stuffing Saturday though, as I had a spare moment to play.  Remember the little bear?  Well, he is stitched, stuffed and ready to gift to a newborn.  This was a “test stitch out” of a pattern that I downloaded last week for some “charity” bears.  I loved the look of the muzzle, even though it took nearly 10,000 stitches.  The charity bears won’t have the muzzle, just the eyes, nose and smile.  The pattern source for the stitching is Embroidery Library . com pattern 3994.

test of the bear

The week has flown by. We “flew” home from Texas on Monday, getting in after 10 p m; then Tuesday I had a nice visit with my little granddaughter and her mommy for a couple of hours, then I was off to the “Queen Bees”.

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, and I “car pooled” with a bee/church member to pick up our sewing machines from the local sewing machine service folks, went to church for the service, and out to lunch. Home for a few hours, then off to the model railroad club annual dinner meeting. (More about that soon).

Thursday was a venture north to visit our dentist for our routine cleanings (& discussion of a wisdom tooth that is acting very unwise).  Friday morning was “Second Time Around” prep day, with 3 helpers.  We plowed thru another stack of donated fabric, pressing into submission, measuring and pricing and getting ready for Monday.  I have set aside Thursdays and Fridays all month (mostly) to work on getting the donations under control.

Friday afternoon I took everything off the cutting table, cleaned the lint and dust and turned my cutting mat around. It was getting quite worn in one area.  I spent the rest of the day cleaning up the mess I had made!  The back of my table tends to get piled up with scraps and things.  Took me all afternoon, but I sliced and diced and took control of the scraps.  I try to cut those scraps into manageable pieces, starting with the largest possible.  I cut 5″ squares; 3.5″ squares, 2.5″ squares, 1.5″ squares and lots of 2.5, 2, 1.5 strips.  Amazingly they all got stored away!

If you are “new” to my blog, let me tell you that my scrap storage system is a combination of Bonnie Hunter http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/scrap-users-system.html and Joan Ford https://hummingbird-highway.com/do-you-need-scraptherapy/. It works for me!  I have lots of pieces ready to go into the next scrap quilt. My overflow of 2″ and 2.5″ is telling me it is time to start making 9 patches!   I am going to “resist” temptation and NOT start another thing until I knock out a few UFO’s.   I do have a “running list” and have made a real goal for March.  Not telling…will let you know how it goes!  And no, not sharing my UFO list this year….too depressing to post it publically and NOT get it all checked off.  My goal is to enjoy each FINISH, not to feel guilty!

This coming week is “quilt guild week” for me. Meeting on Monday, which means the SUV is already loaded to the roof, with containers of fabrics and other odd bits to sell prior to the meeting.  Fingers crossed we have just as good a day in sales.  After the meeting, I hope to swap vehicles with the hubby, and take off for points south in Maryland, and an “embroidery club” that has formed. An informational meeting will take place and I want to give my input on the who/what/when etc.  I look forward to meeting the members of that club and sharing info about this hobby.  Thursday and Friday coming up will be more “Second Time Around” workdays with guild members coming over to give me a hand; a guild board meeting squeezed in there too.  Hoping I will get to do some sewing of my own on Tuesday & Wednesday.   Wishing I had something finished beside the little bear to show, but that will happen as I am able.

Hope you have had a great week and are ready to start all over again tomorrow!

Happy stitching!

 

Scrap Dance Two Step – part 2

Had a little “dancing” today in the sewing room!  The 3rd Friday of the month is when Carole releases the “next step” in the dance….Scrap Dance Two Step  I have my calendar marked for the release of the pattern each month, so I set aside some time to “dance”.

Are you “dancing” ???  There is STILL time to play along.

What size are you making?

You might remember I was only doing the throw size, but I am now “up to” a twin.  I like the way Carole sets this pattern up with all the cutting done at the beginning.    I did cut into yardage for the neutral portions, but the color bits all came from the scrap bins.

Step 2 of the Scrap Dance Two step

Step Two of the Two step

Here is a quick picture of what I have gotten done so far-Step One and Step Two

Scrap Dance Two Step

This went really quickly today!

I finished attaching the last of the string “triangles” on my Bonnie Hunter – Talkin’ Turkey blocks today.  Laid them out on the work table and counted 31 blocks. Oh well, now I have an extra.  Still need to get busy and trim the blocks to 9.5″.   Feel like I got quite a bit done today!  (These were all done “after” I spent 3 hours sorting and ironing and folding 2nd Time around donations!)

31 Talkin' Turkey Blocks

More to follow for sure!

 

 

A quieter week

I’ve had a couple of quiet days, and time to play a bit more with my Brother PE500 embroidery machine.   I made a few more bibs for the littlest grandchild and delivered them on Thursday when I went to babysit.  As I worked on these I was reminded how important it is (to me) to have an organized filing system.  I say this because I was having trouble “finding” the design that I was looking for.

When I download designs from a website, I try to print out the “color change sheet” at the same time. My intention is to always name the file something that is “close” to what it was called by the designer, and to include any “file code” names as part of the name. I have an embroidery download folder on my computer, and many, many, sub folders. I  break those sub folders down by “type”; for example, Holidays-Valentines Day/Christmas/Easter/St Patrick’s Day; or Animals; Food; Verses etc.  I place the color change sheet in a 3 ring binder in a similar way, using page dividers.  I am up to 4 – three ring binders!

Well – wouldn’t you know, I have a HEARTS folder and a Valentines folder.  Many of the HEARTS are NOT specific to Valentines day.  Darn if the file I was searching for didn’t land in the HEARTS folder, not the Valentines Day Folder.  I wasted a good deal of “stitching time” looking for the file.  (Like 3 days wasted….)

At one point, I gave up and I started with a St Patrick’s Day design, while I “looked” for the elusive Valentine/Heart file.  I did a little stitching and searching.  Finally I selected an alternate Valentine design and set it up to run.  Well in my haste, I had not “removed” the St Patrick’s Day design from the machine before I started the stitch out on the 2nd design.  1/2 way through the first color, I realised it was stitching out my St Patrick’s Day design all over again.  Well, you decide if you like it in pinks and purples instead of the greens!

February Bib Fun for Addy

I decided to just keep on stitching and while it was busy stitching; get the fabric prepped for an alternate Valentine!  So, 3 new bibs completed and that will be it for a while.  The littlest grandchild will be a year old next month and has quite a collection of “StitchingGrandma” bibs.  (Somewhere in the bib process in the last couple of weeks, I lost the great “Bandana” pattern, so she got traditional shaped bibs.  Clean up was in order at the end of this project; and again, the lost pattern was found and stored away properly!)

I took the new Singer Featherweight 221 for a spin on Wednesday.  My quilt bee – Material Girls – had an all day sit & sew; and that new little machine had a great debut.  Tuesday night we got her oiled up (must be 90 oiling / lube  points). She is clean as a whistle.  Had a few challenges “winding” a bobbin, and had to engage the hubby to help.  Got 3 bobbins ready with his help and determined what was causing the trouble.  He adjusted the belt a tad and it worked much better.  (Nice to have a guy with a mechanical mind helping out).

Today, the LED light I ordered arrived (Thank you EBay!).  I installed it and am pleased with the brightness and lower temperature.  The Ebay seller I purchased from had a few photo’s showing the difference in temperature on the light- from 172 degrees on the incandescent  bulb to 74 degrees with the LED bulb.  That will save an accidental burn on a wrist!  The difference in the light was significant – from 139 lumens to 205 lumens.  Hubby said the bulbs look similar to automotive tail lights. He thinks that the new bulb will last a long time, and because it is LED, will be less likely to break due to the handling of the machine transport case.  I will be ordering 2 belts soon, just to have one on hand and to replace the current belt which is at it’s limit of adjustment.   All in all, I am most pleased with this little machine, which was made in January of 1948. She stitches well and should be a fun travel machine!

I have assembled a tote ready to “travel” with the Autumn Jubilee project material.  I can just “grab & go” to a sit and sew, and not have to “think” about what project I am going to take to work on, or worry over what to assemble ahead of time.  (One of the Bee members said this is how she operates and the only time the project gets worked on is at a bee)  I did manage to get 6 more blocks made on Wednesday using the Autumn Jubilee pattern.  I have lots of pieces cut and ready to assemble. My intention is to make 6 – 8 placemats with the lovely leaf pattern. Once I get a “few” more leaves made I can start building the placemats.  At this rate, it will be August before I can set the table; but the timing will be just about right for this project.  I like the idea of “no stress” on which project to take.  The fun of a going to a sit & sew or quilters bee is the company.  I like being able to dedicate a whole day (or 2 or 3) and not have any other tasks taking me away from the fun!  (Note – the Autumn Jubilee project is from a pattern by Carole – From My Carolina Home)

I worked on my Talkin’ Turkey blocks again Wednesday night and again this afternoon.  I have 4 left to add the corner string blocks to. They are “pinned” and ready to stitch.  The Talkin’ Turkey pattern is by Bonnie Hunter and can be found in the String Fling Book. Bonnie Hunter’s blog

I will need to  square up the blocks next.  I am thinking about how I am going to tackle the  “next round” which will include a LOT of flying geese (8 per block x 30 blocks= 240 flying geese units.)  The pattern by Bonnie Hunter suggests you use the Easy Angle and Companion Angle ruler for the Flying Geese or your “favorite method” .

I plan to use my new Square in a Square tool/method –OPTION 3…by Jodi Barrows.  Using the Square in a Square tool by Jodi Barrows,  flying geese will be done with strips and squares; and if I do the math right; it is done with 120 squares and LOTS of strips!! I just have to sit down with Bonnie Hunters pattern and find the “finished unit size) and then check my Square in a Square book and the chart and figure out what size squares and strips I need to start!  More to follow! I like the “methodical” building of units for a big quilt.  240 Flying Geese doesn’t scare me after I did that quilt last winter with 1400+ half square triangles.  I will be making about 4 “test units” just to make sure I have them sized properly before I begin!

Check out the video on you – tube if you have never seen this ruler or method.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekwRp8_cGU     and    www.squareinasquare.com 

What fun things are you working on??   What is your favorite method for flying geese ?  Do you have any “new tools” or “toys” ??  Do tell………………