Windowing stabilizer, The Twist and more

I’ve been doing masks on my embroidery machine and was going through large amounts of tear away stabilizer. I realized I had gone thru about 20 yards of my 12″ stabilizer and I had a stack of 100 sheets of 8×8 tear away in my bin.  After doing about 20 hoopings, I had a light bulb moment!  My storage retrieval system (aka quarantine brain) suddenly remembered a video I had seen through a blog post LAST year!  Lisa Capen Quilts shared a video about windowing stabilizer when doing the same pattern over and over. Some call it “framing” the stabilizer and others called it “windowing”.  Lisa’s video was exactly what I needed to use!

I’ve been using my reposition-able hoop for the Janome 11000, called the MA hoop. It is essentially an 8″ x 12″ hoop so I can do two masks at a time.

So, now I hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer and do the first stitch out.

Cutting table

The trick is to remove the mask “gently” from the hoop without tearing the surrounding stabilizer.  Then I replace the torn away piece with a “square of 8×8” over the top.  I use the Elmers glue stick to anchor it to the “frame” of the stabilizer remaining in the hoop.

windowing stabilizer

They don’t have to overlap, but I was too lazy to cut it perfectly and I vary the overlap. The glue stick takes a few minutes to dry, and I use the heat of my iron in the frame to speed it up. My big iron fits perfectly in the frame with room to move it around.  In my small 5×7 hoop I use my mini-iron to dry the glue.

This is what it looks like on the back of the hoop.  You can see the very first ones were rectangles, then I switched to a different pattern about the same size.  The stabilizer was starting to wear  on the left edge of the frame, so I glued on a patch!

back of the hoop

I did at least 7 set ups using this method before I ran out of Elmers Glue Stick!.  I tried liquid white glue and I had to let it dry overnight.  (Not expedient!)  I over applied and it wasn’t drying with the iron so I gave up for the night.

Creative Applique masks

The masks in the above photo are from Creative Appliques pattern https://creativeappliques.com/

I took a break for a few days from “in the hoop masks“, while I worked on the Community Mask Project for the local chicken processing plant. Got my 28 done for that request using the sewing machine and the information I shared about the pleating and ties – Fast Masks with Ties

28 masks completed

Can I tell you how I got excited with the things in the photo below?

PROJECTS

On the left are the directions for the mask project, and peaking out was Step 5 for the Scrap Dance Twist, which had to wait until my 28 masks were done. On the right, in the basket are two treasures!  My order of elastic arrived!  And I found another glue stick in the kitchen drawer!  (I’ve used 2 up so far windowing stabilizer, so I am pretty excited to find this one!).

I got busy with my Scrap Dance Twist Step 5 chain piecing the units for a king size quilt!  This is my FUN sewing time!

Chain piecing Step 5

The directions on Carole’s blog post From My Carolina Home – Scrap Dance Twist remind you to “try to make the units as scrappy as possible”.

Step 5 Scrap Dance Twist completed

This step went together quickly. If you haven’t started, it’s not too late. Go check out Carole’s blog and look for the Scrap Dance Twist button on the right side of her blog.

I’ve got everything back in the container, with the directions and the units, waiting for the next clue which comes out on May 1st.  If you are sewing along, be sure to go back to the blog and check for some corrections to units for a couple of the sizes.

Next up on my sewing schedule is working on the “senior quilt” for my church.  This is a group project that we started in February, and since the quarantine, it’s been a bit of a “round robin”. The group made most of the blocks in February –

Senior Quilt blocks

I finished up what didn’t get done during our group sewing and got it laid out on the design wall.

Senior Quilt on the design wall

One of the group members lives nearby and offered to assemble the quilt top.  I took pictures of the layout while it was on the design wall, and numbered the blocks /rows for her.  Once she got a break from “mask making” she assembled the top and delivered back to me. Now, it is time for me to “clear my cutting table” and do some measuring for the borders and get them sewn on.   One step at a time, but nice to be able to work on something fun.

Making masks has eaten up a lot of sewing time for many quilters, and taking a break to work on a couple of quilt projects has been fun. My sewing room is a full blown disaster (as evidenced in many of these pictures!) and some “clean up” time is also in order.

Stay well, keep stitching!

 

Where did July go?

Just thought I would pop in and say hello!  Where DID July go?  I don’t know about you but 31 days buzzed by in record time!  We had the grandkids for a week over the 4th of July and enjoyed the holiday together! We got out “finally” to see fireworks at a local park and celebrate all together.  There was a lot of ooohing and aawing…and ice cream eating happening!

The youngest held on up to the grand finale!  So much fun~!!~

There was some porch sitting – but only on the cooler days!

Morning on the porch

and pool time with all the grandkids and some quiet time too in the pool.

Pool Time

Hubby and I took a long weekend to go to the Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle PA where he won 2 prizes for his truck!  His “celebrity pick” was a great honor~!!!

IMG_20190713_133910383_HDR

IMG_20190714_132124275_HDR (1)

The first place for his category was nice, but that “celebrity pick” was icing on the cake!  Lots more photo’s of cool cars in my album here – Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle  .

We met a US Navy man at our lodging at Carlisle Barracks with a pretty nice car and had lots of conversation.  He headed back home to his duty station on the day after the show finished. His route took him right past our house. He and my hubby had exchanged contact information and when he texted my hubby that his car broke down; we realised he was just 10 minutes away.

Hubby had all the tools; and they spent a couple of hours chasing parts to do the repair.  We knew that if they couldn’t get it fixed, then we would put it on the car trailer and tow him home to Norfolk.

His beautiful Dodge Charger was something to see on the hoist in our garage! I have to report I was of no help other than feeding them both supper! 

Oh; and for making sure they had plenty of approach shoring to back off the lift without dragging something on the ground.

7 hours later the repairs were done and he was on his way home to Virginia.

We have been out a couple of times to listen to music at the local state park and enjoy the company of our other grand daughter and her parents.

There have been a few bike rides, but less than usual due to the heat and humidity.

Raindeer going for a ride

 

Two granddaughters spent a week with us, and we had lots of activity — Magic shows at the library with the granddaughters with a fellow that had some great entertainment.

A trip to the Delaware State Fair with 3 granddaughters & one daughter.  Yes, that is me at the “welcome” sign!

Fun at the State Fair

We enjoyed looking at the animals –

Speckled Goat

and interesting vehicles on display too.

Natural Resources Police Vehicles on display

and to see the button crafts made by kids on display –

Button crafts Delaware State Fair

(I was inspired!)

A favorite activity was the “touch a truck” where the kids could climb up and inside various vehicles; like tractors and ambulances and even a police vehicle!

Harrington Police

We did lots of walking and eating and walking and then there were the rides for the big girls!  They had “wrist bands” and could ride as long as they wanted!  Three hours later they were running on “low battery” and we went home!  Perfect timing to get home, cool off in the pool before dinner.

After the girls went home, Grandpa asked for help with some yard work.  UGH…..  He had me working hard one afternoon loading the trimming from things he cut into his garden trailer.  It was fine until I saw this snake skin in one of the limbs we were cutting.   EWWWW…..

Snake in the tree branches

After the worst of the trimming was done I escaped to my sewing room for a few days.

It took me 2 quilt bees and a couple days at home to finally finish all the blocks and  assembly of the king size “Scrap Dance Minuet” . (Pattern by Carole – From My Carolina Home )   This was a mystery quilt we started in January or February; and the final instructions were given in mid June.

King size Scrap Dance Minuet

I’m going to let it hang on the wall for a while; and decide about borders and ironing and such.

I cleared some space and did a little repair work on this bike seat. It goes on the frame at the back of my daughter’s bike to haul the youngest granddaughter.  The stitching had come out on the seat belt guide on the right side. She had gotten a replacement from the manufacturer, but I decided to do the repair.  I actually had the seat so I could make a carry bag for the back of it. In the picture below you see the straps (orange) and elastic for the carry bag.  Once I got the carry bag made, I took the binding off the red nylon seat cover and tacked down the seat belt guides.  I put a little stiff pellon stabilizer under neath to give the stitches some durability.

attachment points

Not sure if you can see the guide hanging loose on the right side. That is due to the stitching on seat belt guide pulling loose.

Repair complete

Both guides reinforced with stabilizer under neath the nylon seat cover.  Had to reassemble the interior of the seat and put the binding back on.  Stitching on the nylon is tricky as it wants to slip and slide and fray.  I did some “stay stitching” before I reassembled it.  It is definitely an improvement.

A promised project finally made!  My daughter I ride with asked if I could make a tote bag for the back of the baby seat.  It could not be “sewn” or clipped on the nylon; as it wasn’t strong enough to support the weight of the bag. I decided on adding a “band” like you see in the photo above that wraps around the inside of the seatback and goes “under” the shoulder straps. I was glad to have her “extra seat” here to help me think through the process.  I can’t wait to see this “on the bike”.  I may have to adjust the elastic band you see in the top picture.  This bag slips on the back of the bike seat with that band in the first photo.

Bike bag attached to the seat

I added snaps at the top so she could close it and keep the “stuff” from bouncing out.  The odd shape is due to the place it goes on the back of the baby seat and in front of the fender.  I might have to shorten it and make it even with the bottom of the seat.

Bag opening

I made the bag out of  “outdoor fabric” leftover from a project I made a few years ago. It is fully lined with the same fabric and should do the job.

Another month gone by with 5 more placemats made by the lovely ladies at the assisted living. I think they have enjoyed making them.    The stack is growing.  I am off to sew with them later today.

Hoping the rest of the summer is as busy and fun!  Enjoy !

Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery update

I am in month # 3 of the mystery quilt hosted by Carole – From My Carolina Home.  Check out this mystery at From My Carolina Home

So far, I am up to date and complete with my parts for a twin size quilt.  I have my 9 patches done.

9 patches are done

This step was called the Do-si-do, and the directions came out in February. I did most of the blocks in February and finished the last few up in March.

For the March step – “Coming Down the Middle” – we joined our 3 x 7.5″ strips – with our neutral.

3x7.5 rectangles joined

and our 2-1/2 x 6-1/2 rectangles –

Square Dance 2.5 x 6.5 pieces joined

My design wall is now FULL — (that is a sideways queen size flannel sheet on the wall that my pieces are pinned to.)

Scrap Dance Square Dance parts constructed

Did you see Superman and Elvis ???  There are also blocks with animals, cats dogs and llamas,  and lighthouse, and flowers.

Some fun fabric

Elvis is in the house!

It’s like an eye-spy quilt for grown-ups!  Superman fabric is well represented!!  All scraps, except the neutral!  It’s been fun so far!  April will be carried into May in my world, as I will be traveling when the next step comes out!  I will “catch up” in early May when I return from my journeys.  In the meantime, Elvis will keep an eye on things.  😉

Are you Square Dancing along on this mystery too?

Part 4 of Scrap Dance Mystery 2 Step

Say that 3 times – Part 4 of Scrap Dance Mystery 2 Step….Big title for a fun project.  I love a mystery, so I am having FUN with this little  project.  Little for me, as I decided to do a “twin size”.  Lately everything I have made has been double or king!

I am enjoying each month an hour or two of sewing something totally different than anything else I am working on.  Carole has great directions. If you are interested in playing catch up – check out the instructions on her blog here – Scrap Dance 2 Step – April info  . Carole releases the directions once a month and I “schedule” some time on my calendar so I can play along.  Carole has a great blog.  She writes about a lot of things besides quilting at From My Carolina Home on WordPress.

The directions for April have me using the hourglass (quarter square triangle) blocks and join them with a scrappy square –

Part 4 of Scrap Dance Mystery 2 Step

Of course there are 2 Steps, joining “bar units” and scrappy squares –

Scrap Dance 2 Step April Units

Now, I am second guessing my scrappy square choices……………I’m not sure I love them like I should…..but I am going to leave things alone and wait and see what happens next month.

(Note – my extra ironing board right now has 600 or more 4.5″ scrappy squares stacked up on it……waiting to be bundled up for the quilt show….so it must be scrap fabric envy!)

Overall, I am happy to say that all the fabric used for this project except the background neutral came from my “scrap box” and my scrap storage system.  I like scrappy quilts and I like the way each of Carole’s patterns have turned out; so I just need to practice a little patience today!  My units for this step are complete, and filed away in big zip locks and on the tray on the shelf to wait for the next part of the Scrap Dance  Two Step in May!

 Don’t tell anybody I spent time with the vacuum this weekend !  I thought when we bought that cute little Dyson Animal Stick Vac last week that the HUBBY would be the only one using it.  Honestly I would rather be quilting too, but the windows & doors have been open and the pollen has been coming in the house, and the darn cats refuse to operate the vacuum or the swiffer or even the dusting cloths.  It is “almost” time to set up our free standing a/c units, and the one for our bedroom needed a good cleaning before the season starts….(because we didn’t do it at the end of the season last year).  Hubby helped me get the entire cover off so we could get the vacuum in on the coils. We have 5 of these units, between the house & the garage sewing room,  and the filters are easy to remove and wash; but there are “intakes” that get covered in dust, lint, cat hair etc that you can’t easily get to, in order to clean.  It was like major surgery yesterday. And of course, all this took time away from any progress in the sewing room until evening!  Hubby agrees that the other 4 need to come apart, one at a time for thorough cleaning.

I was lucky to squeeze building these units in on Saturday night after I made binding for 2 quilts.  I did manage to get the binding made for 2 more quilts, and got 3 of the quilts trimmed and ready to attach the binding after dinner on Sunday night.  One more quilt on the table ready to trim, and then it will be time to get busy sewing the binding on those 4 quilts.

I am saving the binding attachment for my 3 day “sit & sew camp” later this week.  The good thing about “going to a sit & sew camp” is I won’t see the dust bunnies rolling down my hallway, or the laundry piling up all week!  Out of sight…..golly I need a housekeeper to follow around and pick up threads that I drop!

Since Downton Abbey is off the air, do you suppose the staff is looking for a new position?  I could give a few of them room and board!  I suppose they would require a paycheck beyond my meager means, so I guess I will have to continue “scheduling” the domestic chores…..My sister-in-law, Carolyn, who writes the great blog – One Block Wonder Woman reminded me that BALANCE is the key; and her formula is 2.5 mins housework, 2 hours in the garden and 8-10 hour s for quilting!  My schedule is Monday laundry – Tuesday toilets-Quilting the rest the week.  (I keep forgetting about those floors…..which is why I bought the hubby that cute Dyson….)

My projects are stacking up.  How about in your sewing room?  Do you have “more than one” going at a time?  How do you keep it all straight?

Note – linking up this post to Oh Scrap !!  Check out the button on the sidebar on this blog or use the link in this paragraph!  (I love the full name of that blog by the way, because I believe it!)

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Step 3 Complete

The monthly report on Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is ready!  I did promise not to bore you with it daily….so I hope I have met that commitment!

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is designed by Carole and presented on her blog – From My Carolina Home on WordPress.  The link is at the bottom of this post, and there is also a button on the side bar of this blog.  This post will be linked – up on Carole’s blog, and the FLICKR group.

I waited patiently for Step 3 to be posted yesterday morning, and when it was, I got busy!  Because Carole designed the pattern to have you do all of your cutting in Step one, and all of your half square triangles in Step one; assembly of the blocks is rather easy.  That is…if you follow directions~!!~

You may remember that I need 1430 half square triangles (HST) for a king-size. They are all constructed and I am trimming the last 300+…. still.  I do 10 or 20 every so often.  And, because I was so focused on getting all those HST constructed and trimmed, I left some of the cutting for “later“.  Well, since I  did not have enough of the neutrals cut,  I had to take a few minutes to cut more.  I did a little math before I started so I would not “over cut”.  That’s what I mean about “following directions”.  I was hoarding my neutrals until I had all the HST constructed, and I knew it wouldn’t take much time to cut those “other pieces” from step 1 when called for.  

I love the Robert Kaufman Quilt Calculator app for Android phones.  There is a piece count and a pieces to yardage area function, so it is easy to determine how many strips to cut to get my additional 2.5″ squares.  I use the June Tailor Shape Cut, a slotted ruler with 1/2 ” increments and it makes fast work of strip cutting and subcuts into squares.

Once I had 288 neutral squares cut at 2.5″ I pulled out my 2.5″ half square triangles and took out 288 of them. I have been keeping my squares and HST  clipped in bundles of 10 for easier counting. Keeping them in baskets and trays helps too.  It took me longer to press the fabric than it did to cut those squares.

I did lots of chain piecing –

Beginning of the assembly line

Then lots of ironing – still chained together – still in groups of 8-10 —

Working in small groups

Working on Step 3 of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Then more bundling into groups of 10 with a little color sorting as I ironed —

Step 3  assembly

I made lots of trips with 2 patches to the ironing board….then I sewed some more…..and made more trips to the iron with 4 patches!  And by dinnertime I had 144 of those cute little 4 patches finished. 

Step 3 complete Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Now I am starting to wonder what the pattern will look like, since in step TWO- in February –  we constructed 4 patches that looked like this-

144 made for step 2 of the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Oh I love a mystery!  This is a SIX MONTH mystery, so patience will be necessary!  🙂  I am also wondering what we will be building NEXT month!  (I have travel plans in April, but the 2nd Friday is the 8th, and I am hoping to be at it EARLY that day!  I am going to beg Carole to get her post ready and schedule it to “publish” early on the 8th!  You think I can convince her????)

 Meanwhile, I have some trimming of HST to complete, and might now finish cutting the rest of my neutral blocks!!  And, I can get back to my Allietare Mystery Quilt.  It still needs to be trimmed…..and then there are those two UFO’s for my Material Girls Bee….# 8 and # 9…..I better dig them out and look, because we have a bee on Wednesday and ssshhhhh….don’t tell I haven’t touched them………and the UFO challenge was my idea!

 Don’t forget to SPRING forward this weekend if your area is doing it this weekend.  I did not realize until I went looking for the “official” name (Daylight Savings Time in the US), that some countries have already  Sprung forward, and others will do it later in March and April.  There is a great chart on this website Time and Date Daylight Savings Time events  .  Could be helpful if you are making international phone calls or traveling in the next few weeks to know what is happening at your destination.  For me, I am happy to be able to remain in bed until 7 am!  I find the winter is tough because I always feel like I am up before the chickens!

What are your sewing plans for this weekend?

You can get more information and steps for Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt on Carole’s blog –From My Carolina Home

The FLICKR group is located here – Scrap Dance Tango Flickr group

 

 

 

 

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt

I jumped in with both feet and got underway with the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  This quilt was designed and presented by Carole at From My Carolina Home blog on WordPress.  There is a button on my sidebar to the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt , or you can follow this link-Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt .  This will take you to the first clue.

mystery is always fun, because you have no idea what you are making, you just need a level of trust in the designer.  This is my 3rd project that Carole has designed, so I trust her instructions.  What I don’t trust is my sanity!!  I still have the Bonnie Hunter Allietare Winter Mystery Quilt up on the design wall;  Blocks constructed  but not assembled.  And of course, there are the other UFO’s that beg to be finished….but, what can I say….I love a mystery.  (See my GOODREADS book list if you don’t believe me!)

Let me tell you about clue # 1.  All the cutting for the quilt is done in clue # 1.  Did I mention that I am jumping in and doing a KING SIZE??   (CRAZY…..)  I looked and looked at that chart before I jumped in, trying to decide if I was up for the piece count.  I decided I LIKE big quilts, so why not! (DISCLAIMER –  I have 1 king size waiting on final borders – Summer in the Park – a retreat project from 2013, the Allietere and THIS project!  It was recently suggested to me that I need to get a bunch of “big quilts” finished, and take a trip to California to visit my favorite sister-in-law and brother, and use her long arm!  What incentive!)

I still need to cut about 115 more 3″ squares, and I am eyeing the bag of green scraps for that last batch. I need 715 -medium to dark 3″ squares; and have 600 cut. As I was looking at the ones I cut last week, I realized there was a color missing! There is a little green showing with a print that had a lot of red and gold, but I think I will dig deep in the green scrap bag.

I enjoy making half-square triangles when they are a size that works with my June Tailor Perfect Half Square Triangle ruler. It only works with 1/2 inch finish sizes, so I couldn’t use it with the Allietare Quilt, and I ended up using the conventional trimming methods.

Trimming using the June Tailor Perfect half square triangles ruler

Last night I got 100 squared up.

First 100 2.5" HST ate trimmed. 1330 to go.

I am going to follow the advice Carole gave in the instruction, and work a batch every day or so. She did say that we can work on these over the course of the next couple of months.  Good thing, because I have other projects underway, and the dreaded UFO list too! (I am going to write a post about my UFO Challenge with my quilt bee on another day!)

I have sewn a lot – and have a basket full ready to be trimmed.

Many more ready to trim

The “waiting to be sewn” basket is still full, and I still have those 115 green squares to cut, and about 435 more neutral 3″ squares to cut as soon as I pick up some more neutral fabric.

This clue also has a large quantity of 2.5″ squares to be cut, both neutral background and medium dark.  I will be looking in my containers of 2.5″ squares first to pull what might be appropriate for those pieces.  I did cut a few of the smaller squares when I was working the scraps to get the 3″. Sometimes you just have a bit that won’t go to 3, and I was able to get 2.5″ out of it, so it all works out.  No waste in my world. And, I haven’t run out of scraps!

Disclaimer — All the neutrals are coming from yardage, as I just don’t have that volume in scraps.  The medium and dark squares did come straight out of my scrap storage system (ala Bonnie Hunter method) or from the wonderful scrap bags that are gifted to me by my friends.

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is spread out over 6 MONTHS, which, hopefully, will make it easier to work it in and around other projects.  I think I am going to “limit” my posts about this project to 2  per month.  I will let you have a peak at where I am “today” and then I won’t post again until near the time of the next clue, which is the 2nd Friday of the month.  Carole said she will be putting together a “linky party”, so those who follow her blog and are making this quilt can share their own blog postings with each other.  I do enjoy looking at the photo’s the other quilters have posted so far on FLICKR. I do enjoy seeing the fabric choices others are making.   My pictures will be with the group, or can be seen by clicking thru my WordPress posts.

The snowstorm is over here in Delaware, the outdoors looks serene with the coating of snow and downright cold today!  But the sun is shining, the sky is blue and we only have broken branches scattered around the yard from the last 48 hours of high winds. We are very lucky we are not near the water.  It was a full moon when this storm came in, and the tides were extremely high.  All along coastal communities there is terrible flooding where dunes were breached and sea water came into the streets, stranding people in their homes and flooding cars and shops.  Today is “clean up day” outside, so there won’t be a lot of sewing time.

What is going on in your sewing room and outside your window today?