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………………

Scrap Dance Tango – Step 5 complete and more

I finally got to sew.  After dinner last night, I went out to the sewing room and got busy.  It was nearly 11 pm when I finished, but I have all 142 – 4 patches completed for Step 5 of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  Be sure to check out the instructions by Carole – From My Carolina Home

Scrap Dance Tango Step 5

This month’s “clue” was posted on Friday, May 13th.  I was “just” a little busy with the grandkids. That day we were having a birthday party for a certain little girl and the household was all a-buzz.  We took them to the airport on Saturday morning, and when I got home,  I got to work for a couple of hours, assembling one side of the block.  Carolyn arrived the next day, and we had a FULL calendar.  While she was here, I gave her “exclusive” use of my Janome, and I spent the time while she was sewing putting things away, getting more fabric out for our Pet Mosaic and squaring up 5″ HALF-square triangles for my newest grand daughter’s quilt .

We didn’t have much “at home” sewing time during her visit. She did however, show me her “newest” ruler and block.  There is a bit of a back story first tho…..You see, Gloria Stickney of Sew Fabulous Inc,  Winston-Salem, North Carolina was going to be the guest speaker and teacher at  Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE while Carolyn was visiting. She was teaching a workshop with the Jodi Barrows Square in a Square ruler.  I had added the workshop on our “things to do” list, but the timing was tight.  Carolyn & I had seen Jodi Barrows demo the ruler at the Houston IQF, so we were familiar with the tool. Then I found this video – Square in a Square overview VIDEO  .  Well, one thing led to another, and before her visit, Carolyn ordered the ruler, and 2 additional books, and brought her blocks with her to work on during the visit.  The books are so well written that it is “easy” to teach yourself, and of course, there is always You-tube to back you up!  We attended the guild meeting and the quilts that Gloria Stickney showed that were all done with the Jodi Barrows “Square in a Square” ruler.  There are so many OPTIONS with the ruler, and every thing is done with strips and squares.  Having seen Carolyn work with hers, I bit the bullet, and purchased my own, along with 2 books.  Now, I have to get busy and play with that tool and see what I can create.  I will let you know when I use it and how it all works out.  (We could not go to the class taught by Gloria, as I had a gathering with my “QUEEN BEES” . )

Also, while Carolyn was here, speaking of busy, we attended 2 “Quilt Bees”.  One was with the Material Girls and the other was with the Queen Bees.  At the Queen Bee’s gathering, we brought our machines, set up and got right to work, building string blocks for charity quilts. And of course, we socialized, and ate, and planned for the coming months, played a fat quarter swapping game.  The Queen Bees really like to get together and work.  We are also lucky in the Queen Bees to have a member who made arrangements with her neighborhood community center for space to work in.  One thing about both Bees is the “planning” ahead for our Fat Quarter swaps!  We have colors selected in both groups through August, and I was able to shop for those FQ on our Fabric Acquisition Road Trip to Lancaster County, PA.

Next in the stack of projects, now that Step 5 is finished, – get more 5″ HST blocks squared up!  I am making a grey, coral, turquoise  and white quilt for my grand daughter Addison.  I picked up a couple more “grey” fabrics and more white during our trip to Lancaster.  I have started  laying out the design of the quilt. (Ok, so she is now 2.5 months old, and she doesn’t have a Stitching Grandma quilt yet, but she hasn’t graduated from college yet…..) Seriously, she will get her quilt before she is ready to exit the crib!!  I have given up sewing days to go cuddle with her, so that is my story, and I am sticking to it. Besides, her mommy said don’t bother with a baby sized quilt, make it a double…for her big bed!  So, I have my marching orders and I am not feeling too guilty for not getting it finished yet.  (I posted about the quilt here – Half Square Triangle fun  )

Today, however, I have a card making class & must gather my materials and come up with a plan for a lovely Birthday card for my friend June.

Happy stitching and crafting!