Do you love buttons?

I can’t bring myself to get rid of all these containers of buttons that are donated to the quilt guild.  Shoe boxes, metal tins, ziplock bags, all full of buttons.  Hundreds and hundreds!    I am guessing I have over 20,000 buttons around, waiting for someone to love them!

They are HARD TO SELL at the meetings, because everyone seems to have a bin “just like it” at home. I’ve had “notion” sales at the guild meeting and the buttons sell here and there, but not a lot at a time.

And not all Quilters are crafters!  (I am the first to raise my hand and pronounce I am ‘not crafty’)

I was in Old Town Alexandria Virginia in January and saw “VINTAGE BUTTONS” for sale.

Vintage buttons for sale

There were many on cards, and I thought hmmm…..maybe I am underpricing my carded buttons.  I can’t give them away for 50 cents for 6 buttons or 10 cents for 3 buttons. Maybe I should RAISE the price…..

I’ve sorted and bagged matching buttons. I’ve got 4 cupcake tins full of sorted buttons right now to bag up.  Talk about labor intensive.  The more I sort, the more I love the buttons!  Should I raise the price and rebrand them as “vintage”.  Surely they are!  The metal buttons are my favorite!

  What to do???

My 2nd Time Around Co-chair and I have been pondering the question!  How to get people excited about buttons and ways to use them, beyond your typical garment sewing. How to sell them?   We are getting ready for the  Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show   on April 26 & April 27, 2019.  My 2nd Time Around committee is going to have a huge booth with lots of fabric for sale.  We are also going to SELL these buttons!  But before they sell, we have to INSPIRE people to buy them!

We’ve been looking at ideas  for crafting with buttons on Pinterest – and I have a “few pins” – Button Fun!

We made a few projects and I wrote about them here Feeling a little crafty   and here Fun with buttons and More!

Carole at  From My Carolina Home  has a great blog post today called Buttonmania Strikes Again !!  Over the years she has posted some very clever projects using buttons.  Oh, yes, she has a Pinterest board too and gives you “fair warning” about going down that rabbit hole!  (I have to set a 20 minute timer when I start on Pinterest).

So, all that said, there is no lack of creative ways to USE these buttons!

We have decided to sell the loose buttons at the show in a “fill a bag” manner.  A big bin of buttons to look through and square snack bags to load up with your treasures for $1.  We are going to display our “sewing room wreaths” to inspire others, and between now and then perhaps make a few more “button crafts”.

The other fun thing we are going to do is make “wreath kits”. Quart size bag full of assorted threads and notions, buttons and lace so you can build your “own” wreath.  We will make just a limited number and see if there is an interest.

Do you have a button box?  What do you save them for?  Have you done any button crafting?  Would you share your ideas?

Don’t forget to hop over to Carole’s blog post and when you comment, tell her I sent you there!

Happy crafting with buttons!

Be sure to check out the  OWQG SHOW  page.  Victoria Findlay Wolfe  is coming and has a special exhibit and lecture and trunk show! She is a spectacular quilter and teacher!  Check out her website –  https://vfwquilts.com/                                     

 

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Busy Queen Bees

I belong to a quilt bee called the “Queen Bees”. It is a group of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild (Lewes Delaware)  members who get together once a month and work on projects. Sometimes we work on a group project, and other times we work on our own projects.

We met this month in a new location and were happy with the lighting, tables etc. We will need to remember to bring our extension cords if we are bring machines. Imagine the “buzz” as 8 to 12 women gather with projects and machines. Good thing there is a door we can close!

One of my favorite parts of our bee is the show & tell time. I often forget to grab my phone to snap a few pictures. This month at our bee I remembered in time to catch these two pictures.

The first is a wonderful applique project done by Sharon J.  She told us the name of the pattern is Jungle Walk for a Cause, by Harebrained Happenings.

This quilt will go to a new niece or nephew.  It is stunning up close and in person.

Sharon's whimsical quilt

I just love the SHOES each animal is wearing.

The other stunning quilt that I took a picture of was by Joyce D.

Joyce redwork quilt

I love all the redwork hand embroidery.  Beautiful job Joyce!

Lastly – I want to share with you the quilt that was made by the members of the Queen Bees.  We made blocks at our October bee for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project. The block finishes at 12″ and is called the Perkiomen Valley block. This same block was used last year for the California wildfire quilts and is a great “fast sewing” block. I assembled the blocks and our member Sharon J. offered to long arm quilt the top. Marta B. is working on the label for the back, using her embroidery machine.  I will be binding it using my favorite method, “Susie’s Magic Binding”.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Quilt

We had a lot of other show & tell items, as this is a very busy group!  I just failed to get more pictures!

Do you belong to a small group that quilts or sews together?   What do you like best about being in a small group?

From my standpoint, I enjoy the helpful sharing that takes place with this group. There were 8 of us at the bee this week, sometimes we really fill a room with all 12. We are starting our 4th year together and it is so fun to see the friendships grow along with the skills of the former “newbie quilters”.  They are NOT newbies anymore!

Happy stitching!

ps . for information on the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project, visit From My Carolina Home

 

 

Carolina Hurricane Quilts – Project Update and challenge

Many of my regular readers know that my blogging friend Carole Carter / From My Carolina Home is running a “block drive” for construction of Carolina Hurricane Quilts.

If you go to her blog post today, Carolina Hurricane Quilts , there is information about the number of blocks she needs, and the shipping address.  She has a pattern available in a PDF that she would like you to use, and discusses color/contrast/neutrals.  When you finish reading my post, pop over and visit Carole’s post.

Carole has also issued a challenge to groups and guilds and individuals in her post today. She is asking groups, guilds and individuals to consider making an entire quilt, and sending them directly to the distribution address she listed.

The need is vast, and knowing quilters, the response will be great.

My friends from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes DE who are part of the Queen Bees got together at our October bee gathering, and we made a lot of blocks.  I had more “ready to make” than I could possibly sew at that bee, and off and on over the last 2 weeks I have completed over 30 blocks.  Carole asked since we had so many, could we assemble our blocks into a top. I am waiting on some promised blocks to come to me next week, then I will put those blocks together, and send a top to Carole.

Carolina Hurricane Quilts

Queen Bees blocks on the design wall

 

So quilters – here is the challenge — Can you make a few blocks using your scrap fabrics?  If so, then sew!  And mail to Carole!

I posted about this project in late September and I know that others have already got blocks ready to mail! Go to Caroles blog for the address!

Can you get together with a small group of friends and make a whole quilt?   There is a huge need. For more details please go  Read Caroles Blog Post .

She has names of quilt shops in North Carolina who are drop off points, and also addresses for the shipping of completed quilts.  There are so many ways to help, and knowing my readers, there will be more quilts in the mail and blocks on the way soon!

Thanks!

 

On the design wall

After I came home from church on Sunday, I spent about 3 hours in my sewing room. I cleared off “most” of the stuff that was on my design wall, and started playing with the Carolina Hurricane blocks. Some of these blocks were made on Tuesday by my friends in the Queen Bees.  One of our members sent her blocks in by mail, since she could not attend the bee, and others have promised additional blocks. Queen Bees is associated with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes DE.

The blocks are all 12.5″x12.5″.

I set them on a 6 x 8 grid, and played around until I had a pleasing arrangement.  I currently have 41 of the 48 needed blocks.  I have 7 more sets ready to sew.  Those promised blocks are coming in this week and will add additional variety to this scrappy project.    This layout will produce a 72×96 quilt.  Getting “close” to that queen size.

Carolina Hurricane Quilts

Carole – From My Carolina Home commented on my post on Sunday, she indicated 42 (6×7 grid) blocks would make a full size, and 56 (7×8 grid) would be enough for a queen.

Making a 7×8 grid, I think a new “pattern” for the layout will be needed.  I will leave it “as is” for now and work on the rest of the blocks that I have “ready to sew” this week.

On Friday, 3 Queen Bee members will be at my house and maybe they can help “re-arrange” to make that 7×8 grid.  Maybe we will have enough blocks in by then to go for the BIGGER quilt.

I looked back at the previous quilts that Carole had assembled last fall in response to the California Fires to see those various layouts.  It turns out, she didn’t use this one at all.  So, I kind of like that it is different and unique.

Are you working on blocks in support of the Carolina Hurricane quilt project?  I know some of my readers are, and have them ready to mail in November when Carole posts the address.  Fingers crossed, maybe this quilt top will be sewn together!

Go check out Carole’s blog, link above, and enjoy the other things she has going on during her “Autumn Jubilee”.  Be sure to “tune in” on Monday on Pat Sloan’s afternoon http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilting-podcast at 4 pm (ET) and listen for Carole’s interview!  SO cool that Carole has gained recognition from such a famous quilter!

Let me know if you tuned in!

Are you having fun yet?

Fall is a time to get “ready” for winter, and those cold cozy nights ahead.  Of course, that means QUILTS. Or table runners or placemats or Christmas projects.

I love the colors of fall fabrics.  When the fabric colors are inspired by nature, how can you go wrong putting them together in a project.

Fall color perfection

  My maple tree in the fall of 2016 was glorious! 

 

My husband and I were in the local quilt shop earlier in the month and I had to stop and touch every bolt of those beautiful fall fabrics.  I used great restraint not to bring home more fabric than what I went into the shop for specifically!

If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that I enjoy sewing along with Carole and her blog – From My Carolina Home .    Carole is in full AUTUMN JUBILEE mode!  The link above is to the B Block of the current sew along.  Last week was pumpkins, but I am not telling you what this weeks are…you have to go look for yourself. 

Regular readers KNOW that I keep a “container” of fall fabrics to make projects for the Autumn Jubilee (AJ) sew along. I like making half square triangles and sewing with these fabrics all year long.  I take my container of AJ with me to many quilt bees, and keep working with the patterns and projects.  (I think I bore my bee mates working on the same thing every month, but I LOVE having a container, ready to go, that I don’t have to think about!  I just pack it in the car and keep working. )

HST for Autumn Jubilee Quiltalong

This is the 3rd season I have followed along with Carole, and I enjoy seeing the new patterns and projects she comes up with. Truth be told, I did not make the 2017 projects.  I am still sewing blocks from 2016.

I will leave you with a look back at my previous Autumn Jubilee projects and projects inspired by Carole’s patterns –

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner

Table runner from Autumn Jubilee 2016

4 finished Autumn Jubilee 2016 placemats

Placemats from Autumn Jubilee 2016

Then there was this great quilt inspired by Carole, made by my bee friend Joyce —

20161122_140504

And my Pumpkins from 2016 getting prepped!

Pumpkin prep

And a table runner or 2 or 3 – from the 2016 Autumn Jubilee

20161116_221659

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner Number 3

First Autumn Jubilee runner

So, since the first AJ that I followed in 2016, I have had fun with the pattern. I finished the 8th placemat this year, and will work on 9-12 next year!

All 8 placemats are finished Autumn Jubilee

Hoping for a bigger dining table some day!

Just think, it all started with Carole’s great patterns and this little bundle I picked up at Quilters By The Sea Quilt Show in the fall of 2016 –

Bundles of fabric

The blocks that are showing up inspired by 2018 Autumn Jubilee month look interesting….and I wish I was able to sew along.  I’m saving the patterns for now, along with the 2017 “Stars on Autumn Lane”.  I have a few of those  hanging on my design wall…..

Are you following along with Autumn Jubilee and From My Carolina Home  ?  Did you know you can share your projects inspired by Carole’s pattern on a special Facebook group?  It is From My Carolina Home Project Sharing Group

I had fun looking back at my projects and sewing along.  I hope you did too!

Stitches and more

I am still hanging out…waiting on the stitches in my hand to be taken OUT in another week!  Things have been quiet on my blog because I haven’t been doing too much.  (Stitches are from surgery, not rotary cutter injury!!!)  Anyway, I am healing and puttering about trying to find ways to entertain myself and not get totally bored.

Two days post surgery I had a morning gathering of quilters come work with me on “Second Time Around” fabrics.  I was pretty useless, so I did things like pretend to iron, and organize, teach and answer questions.  My helpers were great.

The next day I was able to remove the surgical bandages and wash my hair~!~  (If you have been restricted you must know how great that was!) There is really nothing worse than trying to shower with you hand in a plastic bag all taped up! I am now using small bandages which I can change myself and do so everytime I wash my hands.

By the time the next round of helpers came on Monday to work with the “Second Time Around”, I was in much better shape and able to do the ironing with no difficulty.  We got a lot of fabric worked in the last week, setting some aside for the April  Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show.  I have a big booth to fill with fabric at the show for the guild, and there are going to be some beautiful pieces for sale!  One of my faithful helpers, Joyce, worked at home folding and sorting and arranging fat quarters.  I picked those up from her on Friday morning and I have to say, the arrangement is beautiful.  I think there were at least 75-100 that she folded in cute little triangles.  I am setting those all aside for the quilt show, along with those fantastic patriotic ones I got from another friend on Thursday! It’s hard to not put these all out at the OWQG meetings and to save them for the show, but I want to have the very BEST items at the show!!

I’ve been sorting through donated buttons too, bagging the sets up to prepare to sell.  My dilemma with buttons is how to make all the work of sorting and bagging pay off.  Buttons are a funny thing.  We all buy them, we save them in metal tins, and cute jars or funny boxes. We dig through the box looking for “just the right one”, and when we can’t find it, we go to the store, pay $2-12 for the PERFECT button, use one on the card and throw the rest in the button tin!  I’m looking for creative ways to “market” those buttons at the guild meeting and the quilt show. One of my daughters suggested some “button craft ideas” might help, so I started a Pinterest Button Fun page to gather ideas.

I figured out how to pad the palm of my hand successfully so I could go bike riding, 1 week post op. I have enough grip strength in my right hand to operate the back brake, and to hold on to the hand grips.  This week we got in 2 rides, so I  am happy!  (Last week I only got in the one ride on Sunday at the State Park, so I needed to get out!)

I rode on Wednesday night in the Lifecycle Community Slow Cruise with 25 or so folks.

bike ride milford wed 10 10 18

Headlights, tail lights, bright clothing are in order when you ride just after the sun sets.  I added a light to the back of my bike helmet that flashes red, along with the usual ones on the bike.  I also put on my bright yellow reflective safety vest that I picked up at the local WalMart.  I want to make sure drivers can see me at dusk and later.  Here is a picture of our group right before we set out for the ride.

Bike ride wed night 10 10 Milford

Our usual Thursday morning ride got “rained out”, so I asked my daughter if she would like to try for Friday morning. Hurricane Michael passed through our area on Thursday as a tropical storm, and the weather changed to FALL on Friday.  We got together at Lifecycle and 4 of us went for a ride.  Check out this great video & post. Burley babies  .My daughter led the ride, pulling her toddler a Burley trailer.  I am trying to keep up with those young parents, and do ok most of the time. Our Friday ride was wonderful, great crisp weather, though half way through I had to stop and take off my red windbreaker and stuff it in my backpack.  (Note to self…bring the thinner one next time or wear a long sleeve tee-shirt!)

My daughter leads this route and the only challenging thing is crossing one road near the fire station in Milford.  Took us about 5 minutes to get a break in traffic to get across.  There is a wonderful path in front of the shopping center along the highway, and around the corner…then it just “ends”.  No crosswalks etc.  And no real way to cross at the traffic light.  So we try to cross just down the road at the next corner, but it is tough, because there is so much traffic from the highway, and so much traffic coming out of town toward the highway.  Overall, Milford is a very bike friendly town.

bike ride Milford Friday 10 12 18     5 miles

For the most part, drivers in Milford are very respectful of the Delaware bike laws, which gives bikes “the lane”.  Delaware Bike Code is also very “bike friendly”, yet a lot of motorists are not aware of the latest changes.  A prominent citizen was hit and killed last year on a bike and the driver went to trial recently. The driver is awaiting sentencing later in the month.  Basically, the law requires that vehicles can pass a bike in a lane only when it is safe to do so, giving the bike at least 3 feet of space between the vehicle and the bike, or by going into the opposing lane.  There are not many shoulders that are safe to ride on (unpaved), and attitudes about bikes are all over the spectrum.  One reason I like riding in Milford is, for the most part, the streets in town are wide, all have 25 mph limits.  Bikes are allowed to ride 2 wide in the lane, and operate just like a motor vehicle.   The more I ride in group events the more I see drivers who are aware of the laws.  I observe the other riders giving friendly waves to motorists and see the friendly waves coming back.  So, being seen is good, being acknowledged by a motorist is better with a wave. Did you know, in Delaware, it is illegal to HONK at bike riders to facilitate them to get OUT of the motorist way.  We did have a friendly tractor trailer driver give our big group a nice air horn “toot” when he was traveling in the opposite direction the other night.  He was waving out the window too.  That type of honk was friendly & fun, not scary!

After riding, I did need to ice the hand a bit.  Keeping it in one position on the grips was challenging, so I did try to adjust periodically.   I am trying to follow orders, so I am keeping the ice on periodically through the day to prevent/reduce swelling.  This makes it tough to do any real sewing or spending long periods in the sewing room.

I did make some pot holders on Sunday. My husband has been my assistant, taking things in and out of the oven and was complaining about our old thinning pot holders.  My friend Nancy tossed a scrap bit my way Saturday that was perfect for pot holders, and using my Fiskars 60mm stick style rotary cutter and a fresh blade, I was able to cut the pieces and some batting and Insul Bright thermal batting to size.  Sewing was easier than I thought, and since these were 8×10 pieces, they were easy to quilt. I quilting some warm and natural to each piece of fabric, then sandwiched the Insul-bright in the middle, and added just enough quilting to hold the layers together and keep the Insul Bright from shifting.   I had a terrible time binding them, as my fingers were just not “nimble enough” yet.  They are about 7.5×9.5 finished, and they work, but every time I look at that binding I cringe.  Not my best work, but I do have an excuse and they function.  I certainly won’t take the binding off to fix them at this point. He likes the Insul Bright layer, but said they were rather “stiff” .  I think washing will help to soften them up.

worlds worst binding

There was “just enough” of this cute fabric to get 3 pot holders.

I have played a bit with my embroidery machine this week.  I was able to get something hooped and stitched out.  The project turned out well. I took the embroidered piece and incorporated it into a project for a Christmas gift. No pictures until after Christmas. Secret stuff……  

My embroidery club had the monthly gathering on Tuesday, and I stitched out some free standing lace (FSL) ornaments.

Free standing lace ornaments

I got a little worried when the 2nd one was stitching, thinking I might just “run out” of the gold thread!

Close call

 I still need to put the item back in the hoop and get one or two more stitched.  I learned from one of the members to cut a “larger piece” so I could get more than one in the hoop.  This saves on the stabilizing products. The next ones I stitch out will require a different spool of thread I think!!

 I had a couple of Free Standing lace  (FSL) “FAILS” on Monday when I stitched up a couple of designs.  I don’t know if it was bad digitizing or poor efforts on my part, but the designs fell apart when the vilene was washed out. I was so disgusted, as one design was more than 20,000 stitches.  That was a lot of wasted thread!  I got so mad I deleted all the designs in that group from my computer !  They looked perfect until you washed away the vilene!  Keep your fingers crossed on these designs.  I have 3 friends doing LOTS of FSL to decorate a Christmas tree for a charity event, and I thought I would give it a try.  I am going to survey them to get info on the designs they had success with to order and add to my collection.  

I got a little “design crazy” with embroidery downloads this week, and have some plans for gifts.  I found myself overloaded with the “color charts” that I print when I download a design.  I added 3 new “notebooks” to my filing system, and spent an afternoon “filing” designs in them.  I broke out a couple of categories into their “own” notebook.  I belong to several Facebook groups that send you in search of free designs, so I didn’t spend much on the designs, other than ink and paper.

I read comments/questions from people in groups about how to organize your embroidery design downloads.  I feel like I have a good system.  I have a folder on the computer for all my embroidery design downloads.  Inside that folder are many subfolders, by category.   I have 53 MAIN categories, the rest of the folders are “sub” folders.  My categories are things like Animals, alphabet, verses, sewing designs, Christian, transportation, holidays, seasons etc.  Inside a category, like SEASONS, I have sub folders, WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER, FALL.  Inside each of those sub folders are many ZIP folders with the designs.    I have 1.5 g b in files – 8007 files in 500 sub folders.  That is a LOT to contend with if they were not organized.  

Usually when you download a design it comes in a ZIP folder, so that accounts for the number of sub-folders!  When I print out the color change sheet, I try to file them in a notebook under a tab  that mirrors what is on the computer.  This helps me “find” the actual design on the computer when I want to use it.  I also try to “add” detail to the automatically assigned file name when I download, using what is printed on the color change sheet so I can make sense of it later when I want to stitch out the design.  All in all, this seems to work for me. Most of the designs I have were freebies.  I’ve posted previously about my “sources”.  I very rarely buy a design.  Hubby saw one the other day while I was working on the computer that he wanted for a gift project, so I did break my “no buying” rule.    I am curious how others organize their designs.  I have a friend who just keeps them in the “download” folder on the computer, but has challenges finding what she wants.    

I hope you have been taking the opportunity to follow along with Carole’s Autumn Jubilee posts.  Her post yesterday included an Autumn Jubilee Placemats Sew Along.  Be sure to follow her blog and sew along for a chance to win great prizes.  Are you “sewing along”?  I am following along this season due to my limitations, but enjoying all her posts!

Have a great weekend!

 

Autumn Jubilee 2018

If you have been reading my blog for at least a year, you know that I enjoy all things “Autumn Jubilee” by Carole Carter of the blog From My Carolina Home .  This year Carole has a list of sponsors that include the Fat Quarter Shop, Aurifil Threads and many more.  Hop over to her blog, and see what she is talking about, and be sure to follow!  You can win STUFF too!  Carole has a wide array of things she posts about (yes, there is more to life than quilting…..go figure).  She will share recipes, tablescapes, have some type of sew along, talk about fall decorating and much more. So, please, go take a look.  Enter the contests to win stuff~!!!~  And be sure to comment and tell her I sent you to visit.  I am super excited about all the opportunities to win cool stuff, but even more excited about what patterns she had created for us to stitch!

ps….if you make any of the projects from the blog, be sure to share photo’s on her Facebook group!