Block 12 and other bits and pieces

Welcome to new readers! I have had several new followers this week, and I haven’t written anything. It’s that busy Quilt Guild meeting week syndrome.  We had our “first meeting” of the fiscal year on Monday at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes DE where the new officers were “sworn in”, and it was membership renewal time.  Guess who is one of the co-chairs?  Yes…..(hard word to stop saying)…..At least I am sharing the job, and I don’t have a lot of “STUFF” to cart home!  We have 250+ members and over 1/2 renewed during the hour before the meeting began. Thank goodness for great volunteers, who worked the tables and who accepted checks, handed out membership cards and checked details for the roster. They did all the work while my co-chair and I helped 7 new members !  So exciting to see the guild continuing to grow.  If you are in our little part of the world, and you are looking for a guild, find our website Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Lewes DE.

Of course, along with the membership rosters to update, I had to “balance the books” with the receipts for the day, and spent Tuesday afternoon with the Treasurer getting checks ready for deposit. We got together at a local quilt shop, Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro DE, and filled out deposit slips etc.  Before she arrived, I did manage a little shopping.  I have a class coming up in Dover with Sandi Blackwell.  The workshop is called “Spiral Out Workshop” .  The pattern in the workshop instructions showed Christmas colors, and I decided that is what I would use as well.  I managed to get everything pre-washed, ironed, and pre-cut as instructed. It is all in a basket, and ready for Tuesday, a week from now.  Watch for that project in an upcoming blog post!  (This class is sponsored by Helping Hands Quilt Guild, Dover DE. )

Wednesday is the release for Pat Sloan’s block of the week, Grandma’s Kitchen.  This week she talked about the kitchen door leading outside from Grandma’s kitchen. Sorry, not  1 kitchen door story comes to mind.  My Grandma Bessie lived in an old fashioned trailer with a few rooms attached, and the door from the kitchen area led right out into the living room. Pat talked about setting out all your blocks and looking for colors that needed more representation if you were using more than 2 or 3 colors.  I did that before I chose my colors, but I pretty well decided after block 11 what would be next, regardless of the pattern.  I knew I wanted more yellow and more orange.

12 out of 25 Grandma's kitchen

I think there is a fair amount of red, pink blue green and purple already in the project. That yellow from block one, upper left corner, needed to be used again, and I played a bit with “which orange” to use. I wanted it to show as the “dark color”, so I chose the deeper orange.  I liked this one in particular because it had a touch of blue, and there is a lot of blue elements showing in the yellow patterns.  I used a tone on tone white floral again for the background, the same one as the “apron” block.

Block 12 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

 

I also was able to get my applique stitching done on block 11 and block 8, since my JANOME  8900 is finally home from the repair. (She is purring like a kitten!!)  I am happy to be caught up again!

I got a chance to go on a bus trip on Thursday, with the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. It was held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks PA.  Huge place!  Lots of quilts and lots of shopping opportunity.  Since I had a “big day” shopping for fabric on Tuesday, I restrained myself.  I did pick up 3 more red 1930’s reproduction pieces.  I am saving those for another block!

I took my “list” of Superior Threads on hand/needed, and only bought 1 cone of thread, and two packs of needles at their booth.  Usually I buy in bundles of 3, to save about $3-5 per cone. I had stocked up at the Hershey show in July, so I just needed 1 color.  (Talk about restraint, I wanted one of EVERYTHING).  I did treat myself to some “1 yard cuts” of fabric from a vendor who is “getting out of the cotton and going to wool” business.  You can’t pass up $5 / yard quilt fabric.  He was also selling his fat quarters for $1.25 which is about 1/3 of the price everyone else was charging.  I did pick up a few from him.  I was shopping for floral though, and he really did not have what I wanted in fat quarters.  I did find a vendor that had just what I was looking for, and I got 8 or 10. I then found another “bundle” at that same dealer, that had a lovely collection, and I couldn’t resist. No self restraint there.

My plan for the floral fabric is another log cabin cross wall hanging. I did all the cutting on Friday.  On Saturday, I managed to get 2 rectangular sections made. Then, I realized I had done 2 identical units, and they needed to be opposing units.  BIG SIGH.  The pattern I am following is one I have made twice before. You would have thought I would know better. I guess, since it was 2 years ago, I can forgive myself.  Last time I made this pattern, I wrote about it here –  New Log Cabin Cross Banner .

Oh well, I cut more fabric, and made different fabric choices too.  Before I started cutting more fabric, I decided to eliminate the pinks, and went with yellows.  By the end of the evening Sunday, I have the top ready to layer and quilt.  I’m much happier with the fabric choices too.

Log Cabin Cross

Course, I still have those 2 blue & pink rectangle log cabin blocks that I have to come up with “a plan” for.  Hubby said I should figure out how to use them on the back of this project!  Not sure about that idea, but I am sure I can ind a way to use them for something.

What did you work on this past week?  Anything exciting in the coming week???

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A Good week for quilting

Last week was a very quilty kind of week!  Monday was the monthly Ocean Waves Quilt Guild meeting.  Instead of a speaker & trunk show, we had a full morning of sewing for our various Community Service Projects.   Community Service Sew In is something we do every year.  Some years every Community Service Group we sponsor is represented, and other years the chairman of the Community Service Committee picks 3 or 4 groups that could use a massive boost!  This year we focused on just 3 groups.  Don’t worry, we are still supporting the other groups all year long!!  This was a great day to pick a project and sit and sew. First I worked on blocks for Quilts of Valor (QOV).  When QOV ran out of kits, I picked up a kit from the Quilts of Love table and set to work on it.  Silly me, I forgot to take any photo’s of the QOV blocks.

Before you knew it, time was up, and I hadn’t finished my little baby quilt.   (I must have been chattering too much!)  I took the kit home and finished it up last week.  I love the organization involved with preparing all the kits for the guild members to work on.  This was a cute and fun project to work on!

Quilts of Love baby quilt

I chose to do a simple straight line quilting across the quilt instead of tying the quilt with floss.  I also chose to make my own binding, using Susie’s Magic Binding method.  I pulled some bright gold yardage out of my stash, but had plenty of the blue backing to get the needed strips for the binding.  The backs were oversized  for a “no binding” style quilt, but I much prefer making my own.

While I was working at home, on this little quilt, my Janome 8900 started skipping stitches.  I did everything I could to fix the problem, and finally gave up and switched to my “little” Brother CS6000i, to finish the binding. I took the Janome into the shop on Saturday morning for servicing, when my efforts were unsuccessful. I had “re-threaded”; “cleaned the bobbin case”; “installed a new needle” ; “wound new bobbins,” “re-threaded again” etc.  The top thread was getting hung up in the race, and I could see where it was catching, but couldn’t figure out why.  No amount of head banging was going to fix the poor ol’ girl.

While at the shop, I took a photo of the inside of the bobbin case on the floor model.  The first picture is the shop’s floor model (which needs some cleaning I think!).  See that area I circled in red.  Well look at the little red arrow, and then to the left of it.  That’s what it SHOULD look like.

Janome 8900 bobbin area

The picture below is MY machine, and now look at that strange thing next to the red arrow!

My Janome 8900 not working!

That little hook near the arrow I drew was catching everything.  How in the world did it get up above the bobbin case ???  Definitely what my thread was hanging up on!  Because I couldn’t find any “close up photo’s” of how it “SHOULD BE”, I couldn’t explain to the hubby what was wrong.  He would have dissected the machine and attempted a repair.

Now, here is a question for you………….How often do you clean your bobbin area?  Do you always take out the bobbin case and clean underneath? Do you use a brush or canned air or a mini-vac?

I’ve had one friend tell me the repair shop told her canned air is ok to use, yet on many websites, I read NOT to use it, as it could add moisture around electronics and / you can blow lint back into place you just can’t reach to extract it with a brush or tweezer or vacuum.  So, what’s the real answer???

Meanwhile, the machine is down and out for the count for at least a week or maybe two.  I had my 2 blocks to catch up on from Pat Sloan’s pattern – Grandma’s Kitchen.  Once I got over my machine repair angst and got the blocks cut out, I got busy sewing them.  For some reason, I did block 7 first.  I fussy cut the centers of the stars.  I’ve seen lots of these blocks done on-line this week, and lots of variations with color placement.

Block 7 Grandma's Kitchen, pattern by Pat Sloan

I stuck with just the light background, medium centers and dark star points, and tried to keep the block consistent.  Several posts I saw on Facebook showed different colors being used for each star, and some for each star point.  I tried to keep it simple.

Black and White Version –

B&W of block 7

Pat Sloan called this her “Oh My Stars” block.  Famous words from a grandmother.

Block 6 is called “Wash Day“.  This block gave me trouble, only because I chose not to read the directions; when sewing the half square triangles (HST) or assembling the block.  (NOTE to self; after fighting with the machine, and working LATE, give it up and stop for the night!)

I had a great “fat 8th” of laundry on the clothesline fabric in the 1930’s reproductions.  Well, let’s say this – I have now got a container of “WHOOPS” blocks.  I ended up going back to the red from block #7 for my dark, and was only able to use one square of my clothesline fabric as the center square.  (INSERT SAD FACE HERE).  I decided when all was said and done, you would not be able to tell what the fabric was representing, as the piecework is so small ! And, I used up what I had, so (INSERT SAD FACE HERE).  I was “hoarding’ that fat 8th since I bought it 3 years ago…………it was something I had not seen before, or since.

Anyway, back to the red for the inner star, those circles look like soap bubbles, right??  I had to recut to make those red and blue HST’s, and the red and white HST’s after I discovered I screwed up!  At that point, I decided to lay out the block and call it a night!

Block #6 - Wash Day

I was a little apprehensive using the blue for the medium, but in the B&W photo below it really works.

B&W block 6

So, I am caught up with the Pat Sloan – Grandma’s Kitchen for now, even using the back up machine.

Here they all are:

Seven blocks Grandma's Kitchen pattern by Pat Sloan

Thinking ahead to getting some more of that great yellow and green into one of the next few blocks!  Oh, and those black and whites I have pulled out with scottie dogs….

I went on an internet search today for the little bit of clothesline fabric!  First I searched at a place Bonnie Hunter had recently visited on a trip to Minnesota – Reproduction Fabrics – Northfield MN, but no luck.

So, I dug in the “dog bed stuffing pile” and pulled out the selvedges.  I tried a new search tactic. 

 I found it….and bought all I could get….not quite a full yard (like 31″) for $8.25.  I am thrilled.  What I love about this piece is it is all 1930’s reproduction fabrics hanging on the clothes line.

 So, THANKS to Two Bees Fabric of Texas for having the Sara Morgan Circa 1930 for Blue Hill Fabrics .

– 

“Two Bees Fabrics – you will find the traditional 1800s/Civil War reproduction fabrics along with the 30’s depression reproductions.  Look for the French influenced floral and toile fabrics too.  “

So now, I have this “snippet (30+ inches) of fabric” coming by mail and I will hoard it again until the “right block” presents itself.  I do hope Pat Sloan will give us a couple of blocks that will show off the larger prints in this pattern. If not, well, back to the 30’s bin it will go for future use.

There you have it, the drama of the (insert sad face) sick sewing machine, and the multiple attempts at building block 6, along with the JOY of knowing I could get another bit of the clothesline fabric.

 While I was at the Delaware Sewing Center store with my machine, I grew slightly overjoyed that I purchased my Janome 8900 when I did, as the price has gone up by $1000 since I purchased it in 2013.  (How does that happen??)  The sweet lady in the store did her best to sell me on one of the machines that had a feature “she” loved….but the throat of the machine was too small for me.  I just hope the cost to fix the machine is not too high. Keep your fingers crossed.  Meanwhile, I will slog away on the ol’ Brother CS6000i.  If it irritates me, I will bring my traveling Singer Featherweight up stairs to sew on.  

Time to sort some scraps!  Happy stitching.  

 

 

Trip to Quilt Odyssey Show – Hershey PA and a week of fun

Last Sunday, I made an early start, with 2 friends along for the ride and journeyed up to Hershey PA for the Quilt Odyssey Show.  My purpose in going was to see the Bonnie Hunter quilts on display!  A lot of “Bonnie” Quilts, all in one place, up close where you can study the detail, the fabrics, the piecing, the colors at leisure.  My friend Nancy said to me before that Bonnie’s quilts had “too many little pieces”.  I love working with scraps so seeing how she selects her neutrals (from white to brown paper bag), and putting them to work was inspiring.  Bonnie wrote a blog post about the exhibition here —http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2017/07/while-quilters-away.html

I didn’t take any photo’s of her quilts, as she asked others to  ONLY take for personal use, and you can easily see the photo’s on her blog.  I am familiar with several from the exposition, as I have worked from Bonnie Hunter’s wonderful patterns.

We also got to see the award winning quilt by Bethanne Nemesh – Into the Westward Sun – where Bethanne got a FIRST PLACE Blue Ribbon for Wall Quilt/predominately pieced.  I linked to the page on Bethanne’s website that shows this beautiful quilt. My photo’s don’t do it justice.  I did zoom in on one section of the quilt to show some detail —

Into the Westward Sun (2016) Bethanne Nemesh

I saw this quilt this Spring at the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting, in person, and enjoyed the talk that Bethanne gave about her artistic approach to the quilting.

One other quilt, worthy of a photo was this one —

The Greeter by Diane L Campbell

He is called “The Greeter, by Dian L. Campbell.  (I am currently in love with cat quilts).

Really, there were terrific quilts in the show, and many just to breathtaking to do more than study the piecing, the quilting and the overall design.  Of course, what would a quilt show be without shopping?   I did a “little” more shopping for 30’s reproduction fabrics at the.  I needed just a few more, and added 19 more fat quarters to the collection.  I can honestly say, now I have enough!

Monday brought an afternoon class at Helping Hands Quilt Guild, Dover DE with Heather Kojan!  I had taken a class with Heather 3 years ago at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, and still had a “project” in the box.  So, I signed up and went and loved the opportunity to sew again using her improv methods.  I will include some details and photos in a future blog post (meaning, I haven’t got around to taking any photo’s yet…)

Tuesday was the Queen Bees gathering and we worked on some little Santa ornaments for our Christmas in July project.  For some reason, my brain wasn’t connecting the dots, and I had a challenge getting going.  But now that the bee is finished, I have been slightly productive with the project. (Again, details and photo’s to come in a future blog post…)  (Can you sense 2 more UFO’s???)

Wednesday means the release of another block in the Grandma’s Kitchen Pattern, published by Pat Sloan.  Block 5 was fairly simple.  I spent more time deciding on which fabrics to use I think than sewing!  I was working with the camera to ensure I had the light, dark, and medium contrast, so I used another B&W photo.

Black and white for contrast  block 5

Block 5 of Grandma's Kitchen,  pattern by Pat Sloan

This block went together very easily.  We are up to Block 5, and I am trying to keep a variety happening in the fabrics.

First 5 blocks for the Grandma's Kitchen pattern  by Pat Sloan

Of course, over a week ago there was the release of a mystery quilt final setting, by Carole – From My Carolina Home, and I haven’t touched it yet.   Time will present itself!  Sooner than later.

Meanwhile, I tackled bamboo with the hubby in the yard, along the driveway.  This was step 1 this summer in bamboo containment.  (CURSES to the idiot who planted this stuff 25 years ago…………..) Every year we are fighting the spread.  Of course, the hubby chose the hottest day of the week to get busy…..and when he is willing I dare not say NO!)  I cut the bamboo that was growing in our forsythia and lilacs and  Crape-myrtle .  The only solution we have is to cut it out, and try to abate the regrowth by constant cutting.  It has gotten away from us in the last year.  (My garden looks WAY worse, but just weeds, no bamboo). I might try to do a little work in it in the mornings this week if it is cool enough.

Bamboo battles 2017

Sewing and gardening early in the week were followed by visits from the grandkids along with their parents.  Family photo’s were scheduled this weekend, and we all got dressed up in new outfits and paraded around in a local B&B’s outdoor area and barn while the lovely photographer took hundreds of carefully arranged shots, and some candid ones as well.  We dodged the rain by being flexible with our day, and in the end, it was all terrific. The family looked wonderful in their finery, the children were bribed with ice cream, and all seemed very happy at the end!  The rest of the weekend was ours to play and have fun.  Grandpa had the oldest out in the garage hammering on a “kid’s project from Lowes”, and they put together a corn-hole game set.  The girls came out to the sewing studio and got to play in the scraps that were donated for their entertainment.  They also helped me “sew” a bowl cozy for their mom as a surprise.  They each picked out a fat quarter, I squared the piece up, and cut batting, then they did the quilting, one at a time, and they helped stitch the darts on “their piece”.  I finished up the sewing and they were able to give it to the mommy before they had to head back home this afternoon.   All and all a great weekend!

This stitchinggrandma is headed to the freezer to find the ice cream they left behind, and to put her feet up!  How was your weekend?

Show update

I wanted to share with you that the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show 2017 was a huge success!  My little corner of the show was busy and we made lots of sales at the 2nd Time Around Booth.  Quilters loved the bargains and bags we filled at check out reflected that!  Lot of merchandise moved on to someone else!

My transfer of inventory has taken place, and my fellow guild member Lois is taking over following the quilt show.  I am “moving on” to another job in the guild.  (I truly believe that 2 years in any volunteer position is long enough.)  My next job is membership chairman , and I admire Melissa for doing it for longer than I have been a member of the guild.

As we wrapped up the show, I thought a lot about the more than 40 volunteers who worked with me in the lead up this week to the show.  Beyond that, in the last year and 1/2, probably another 40 have worked tirelessly preparing fabric for sale at the show and the guild meetings.  It has been fun, and a lot of work, and lots of friendships were made in the process.  My apologies to any & all if I was a tad short tempered by the end of the day today.  By 3 pm today, I just KNEW I needed some time alone and away from the booth, and I spent an hour walking the quilts on display; and admiring the talent and art that was exhibited by the show participants.

I spent a bit of time talking with the representative of the Fiber Arts Center in Denton Maryland after enjoying the 300+ quilts on display.  What an interesting organization!  They are creating a great directory of artists, teachers etc on the DelMarVa peninsula, and we had a wonderful conversation.   Their purpose stated is this:  “The Delmarva region is home to a thriving fiber arts scene! The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) was founded in 2011 to preserve and nurture all forms of fiber arts. From the pre-Colonial era through the Civil War, to today’s modern and fast-paced world, fiber artists have created works that reflect Delmarva’s culture. At FACES, we’re working to preserve this tradition.

We’re also working to build a vibrant community of fiber artists and enthusiasts. Perhaps more than any other visual art form, fiber arts are often social in nature. For centuries, women have joined together for quilting bees, sewing circles, and “stich ‘n bitch” groups. As more and more of our communication moves online, the face-to-face sharing of talent and ideas has become more important than ever.

We invite you to join our community. Become a FACES member, subscribe to our e-newsletter, join our regional directory, or check out an upcoming exhibit or class on our regional event calendar. Happy stitching!  ”  Check out their website – http://www.fiberartscenter.com

I got pulled “away” from that conversation by the chairs of the show; and was delighted to be told, that my quilt “MITTENS” had won the VIEWER’S CHOICE award.   I was stunned, and overjoyed.  My thanks go out to all who voted for this art quilt. I’m so glad you took 6 steps back from the quilt and looked at it, as it was meant to be viewed.

Mittens wins Viewer's Choice at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show

Additionally – I received a 3rd place ribbon for “Addison’s Quilt“.  Now, I am sad to say, I never took a photo while it was hanging at the show with the ribbon beside it! (Insert shamed face here.)  I do have a few photo’s take at the time the quilt was made though —

20160810_201148

Addison’s Quilt” has an interesting reverse side, and I think that is what got it into a prize winning category!

Addison's Quilt back

So, that’s it for my show update.  I spent most of the show behind the cash register, while coordinating volunteers who helped customers during their shopping.

If you want to see more about the Pet Mosaic Project – “MITTENS”, I have a FLICKR album with a ton of photos –Pet Mosaic Project . I also have an album full of photo’s on the  construction   of Addison’s quilt — https://www.flickr.com/photos/92296158@N02/albums/72157666492829803

I’ve made multiple posts here on the blog in the last year on both of these quilts, and you can read more about them if you back track through the older posts.  🙂

Taking a little time off in the morning to head to Hershey PA for the quilt show there and looking for Bonnie Hunter’s exhibit. My reward to myself for hard work (and the hard work of my two friends riding along).

How is your weekend?  Tell me, if you enter a show and it is judge, what do you think about the report given to you????

 

Grandma’s Kitchen 1-2-3 and fabric shopping

Since I have “met the deadline” for the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild quilt show next week,  with 2 quilts labeled, sleeved, tagged and bagged, I needed SOMETHING to do for a couple of days, just for me….for FUN….

I decided I would start and catch up with Pat Sloan’s latest sew-along “Grandma’s Kitchen”.  I decided that on Wednesday afternoon, and downloaded the patterns, and started pulling fabrics. I had a plan, a theme, but then I decided I needed more……fabric…….

So; you know how it goes….a Fabric Acquisition Road Trip!  Because you can never have too much fabric!

I decided to use my collection of 30’s reproduction fabrics, which was mostly fat quarters and fat eighths, but not enough variety as recommended in the pattern. The 30’s reproduction fabrics remind me of my Grandma Bessie, and the house dresses she would make, the aprons she would wear, and they just make me smile.  I pulled some “other”  fabrics too that would speak of grandchildren and childhood etc. 

There is a local long arm quilter that is pulling up stakes and moving South and she has advertised a big sale at her home. I made plans last week to stop over and see what she had to offer.  Everything was going for $4/yard; and she was cutting from the bolt in 1 yard increments. She also had some “off cuts” from long arm projects; wide backings I would guess; as well as selling wide backings, fat quarters etc.  All beautiful quilt store quality fabrics. She is trying to lighten the load for the move. She has an internet business and will resume online sales after her move is completed.

So, I kept my eyes open at the sale and found 3 different reproduction prints that I did not have and got 2 yards of each. I picked up a few other things too, including 3 yards of an off white batik with an overprint of gold swirls.    I had such a good time the FIRST time I shopped, I left with $1 in my pocket and a HUGE bag of fabric.  That was Thursday.

A friend of mine went on Friday, and told me the seller was still putting out “new” fabrics, and so we plotted and planned and made a 2nd trip over to shop.  Today, I was in the “market” for MORE 1930’s reproduction fabrics, and green fabrics that would work with the 30’s fabrics. I ended up with 2 more reproduction prints, a fat quarter of green, and a TON of white on white, off white, neutral fabrics of all types.

Between Thursday and today I’ve washed over 30 yards of fabric!  I like to prewash before I start a project. I hung most of the fabrics to dry after they spent a few minutes in the clothes dryer. My effort to keep the energy costs down!

Drying fabric

After the washing and drying; most of the reproduction prints went out to the sewing room.  I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon ironing with spray starch. Went through an entire can if you can imagine that. The 12 or 15 yards I washed today will need ironing as well; but since they are not going into a project immediately, I am going to ruler fold, label with the yardage, and indicate the fabrics are washed. I usually don’t starch stuff that is going to be stored for a long period of time.

Last evening, after the ironing, I cut the fabrics I needed for the first 3 blocks of Grandma’s Kitchen.  Today, after my “2nd” road trip for fabric, I got busy and put the blocks together.

Here is block 1 of 25 – The Kitchen Table –

Block One for Grandma's Kitchen.  Pattern by Pat Sloan

I photographed it in Black & White to see if I hit the mark with the light – medium – darks

Block 1 in black and white.  Really shows the light, medium and dark.

I think it works!

Here is block 2 of 25 – Sticky Buns –

Block 2 Grandma's Kitchen,  pattern by Pat Sloan

Again, I did a black & white, because I thought I might have gone too dark with the medium.

Block 2 in B&W

And finally – block 3 of 25 “Keyholder”

Block 3 Grandma's Kitchen,  pattern by Pat Sloan

Block 3 in black and white

I think I made the light-medium-dark thing work, and will do some photos of the fabrics before I cut the next block just to be certain.

Now, I am caught up and the next block won’t come out until Wednesday – next week.  If you want to participate, check out Pat Sloan’s website for Grandma’s Kitchen Free pattern for more information. There is still plenty of time to get started, especially if you have a nice stash of fabric and don’t “NEED” to shop  (I know “crazy talk”….we need to shop for fabric!)  The pattern is released weekly, starting June 28, and will run through Nov 22.  Pat said in the intro that there will be 25 blocks and the finish project is “large lap sized”.  These three blocks measure up at 12.5″.

Are you doing any sew-alongs?  If you do them, how do you manage to “keep up” ???  I hope to stay on track with this project, as it goes along, but I remind myself it is not a race!  (Told my hubby I was crazy for starting ANOTHER project when I have so many UFO’s…..tomorrow I will tackle the next round of borders on Talkin’ Turkey!)

Wherever you are, enjoy your projects!

 Don’t forget – if you are in the Mid-Atlantic area, plan to visit the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show – 

“Peach Blossom – Quilts in the Orchard” – July 21 – 22, 2017 at: Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes, DE.

10AM-5PM

Admission:  $8 per day; $14 for 2 day pass

Free Parking  along with,

Judged Quilt Displays, Challenge Quilts, Lectures, Workshops, Demonstrations

Merchant Mart, Raffle Baskets,

Second Time Around Shop,

Food Service on-site, and

Community Service Projects

Door Prizes too!

 

Quilt Show Lectures and Workshops Sign-up

Friday, July 21:

11 AM ♦ Terry Kramzar, Lecture and Trunk Show

1 PM ♦ Laurie Simpson Workshop, “Big Stitch Hand Quilting”.  Class is $50 and limited to 20 participants.

Saturday, July 22:

11 AM ♦ Laurie Simpson, Lecture and trunk show

“Pieced Quilting in Layers”.  1 PM ♦ Terry Kramzar Workshop, Class is $50 and limited to 25 participants.

To reserve a class (space is limited) contact:Ellie Hatch.

Entry fee for the lectures is $5.00 (at the door)

More show info at https://www.oceanwavesquiltguild.org/quilt-show

When you come, be sure to look for me at the Second Time Around booth!

 

Castoff’s turned to treasure

IF you are a regular reader, you will no doubt know that I have spent the last 2 years working with “other people’s castoffs” from their crafting and sewing rooms.

My quilt guild – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes Delaware,  has a Second Time Around committee.  I took this committee on with a partner 2 years ago following our last quilt show.

In the course of 2 years, repurposing those “castoffs” has made nearly $6000 for the guild.  People bring things to the meeting they no longer want. I go pick things up from other people, often times filling the car or SUV to the roof.  One lady I know was downsizing from 2 houses into one, and we made 3 trips with 2 vehicles to take the things she no longer had use for.

All those things come home with me, and my helpers sort, press, trim, fold and make the fabrics look “new again”.  We have been given YARDS of fabric, still with the price tag from the original sale, tools, hoops, beads, zippers, scraps etc over these 2 years.

We fix it up, make it look USABLE again, and take it back to the guild meeting to sell back to the members as a fund raiser.  Those sales take place in the hour before the guild meeting starts and we usually fill up 6 or 7 tables full of yardage.  We set the price LOW, so the fabric and notions etc will be a great value to the person wanting to make a purchase.

With the upcoming   Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show ; I have been prepping items 2-3 days a week for the last 6 months or more. Sometimes I have as many as 4 helpers doing this prep.  We have FILLED 40 bankers boxes and 10 plastic totes with fabric and other sewing items for the show.

One thing that crossed my mind many months ago was “how to merchandise” some of the items.  I have been collecting wicker baskets from friends, and purchased some small plastic baskets and have “run out” of ways to “display” things.  Two weeks ago, someone on a Facebook group I follow posted a link to a free pattern on the Craftsy . com website for a One Hour Basket.  Turns out, I had downloaded that as a free pattern a while back, and the size was PERFECT for what I needed.

I contacted members of the 2 quilt bees I belong two, and we got busy making those baskets.  I offered the bee members an opportunity to come pick ANY fabric they wanted from the 2nd Time Around stash; and they did.

I think they had fun making these baskets.  They get to take the baskets home after the show.

Check out the photo’s of the great baskets !

Queen Bees baskets

I think they look cute with patterns in them –

Basket full of patterns

I used donated deco fabric for the outside of the bags I made – fat quarters for the inside.

I even used upholstery fabric for 2 bags –

1 hour bag with upholstery fabric

Some baskets were made out of “stash on hand” at home.  Barbara lives near a beach community and did these cute ones with seashells.

One hour basket made by Barbara

Pam arrived at the Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday – ready to go!  She is marking her quilting lines on the In-r-Form before she starts to sew.  Most of us used In-r-Form between the layers of the lining and the outer part of the basket.

Pam marking the quilting lines

She was prepped and ready to work !  I am impressed with her efficiency!

Pams Stack

I thought it would be a good idea to “label” the basket with what the types of patterns-

My helpers sorted LOTS of patterns and gave me a great list to get busy making “labels” for the show.

Vintage clothing patterns

I have more baskets coming in, waiting to be filled when we set up for the show.

Yesterday I did the happy dance that ALL the donated items are prepped, boxed, and ready to sell.  No more “work days”.  Now, I need to get busy with my own sewing!

note- The basket pattern is now on for sale on the Craftsy website….for $1

The Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show will be held in Lewes DE on July 21 & 22 with over 300 quilts on display.  There are vendors and teachers and demos!!  Check out the website for more details! Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show

When you come, stop by the Second Time Around Tables and get some great deals!  And say hi!

Make plans to come, bring your friends and share the show info with your friends on Facebook or your blog!

If you use Facebook, help us by sharing the show page ( https://www.facebook.com/Ocean-Waves-Quilt-Guild-presents-Quilts-in-the-Orchard-Quilt-Show-1243973002325463/?ref=br_rs )

Happy stitching!

EDIT – I want to give credit to the original designer of these baskets — Kelby Sews  .  We got the pattern from Craftsy as I mention above, but I first saw it on Kelby Sews awhile back.  Thanks for the cute project!

The Chemistry experiment in the back yard

June is almost over!  I can’t believe how fast it has gone by!  We jumped right into summer after Memorial Day with hot weather!  Air conditioning on, windows closed, pool opened.  Sort of….

I have a funny story about our swimming pool.  We have used a non-chlorine product called Baquacil in our pool since it was installed in 2010.  Hubby had always used that product in an above ground pool prior to the in-ground pool going in.  I had a pool at my previous home and for 16 years, always used Chlorine products.  So, when Hubby & I  got married over 10  years ago, we started discussing the pros and cons of pool systems.  We have been debating the good/bad/ugly of these types of products and the Hubby won the battles of pool products…..for a while.

4 years ago, our local pool store suggested “adding” a product to the water that was a “one-time” thing called Endure – a borax based chemical, that was supposed to “enhance” the other products and keep us from constantly adding chemicals …blah blah blah.  Well….it was a giant fail!  I won’t go into the details, just know that the manufacturer’s product rep and I spent all of July and August on the phone that summer, and our pool was one problem after another.  (This ended my trust of the local pool store too).  From that year forward, we have battled with our pool every summer. The end of that story is that the Endure and the Baquacil were incompatible, and the chemical reactions to each other really were ugly. (And expensive beyond reason!)

Last year, I had “had enough” of the big chemistry set in the back yard.  Swimming pools are supposed to be relaxing, right? My one daughter (the science teacher) and her hubby had converted their chlorine pool to a salt water pool, and the more we discussed it, the more my Hubby began to see the “light of day” or the “cool blue pool”.  Salt is supposed to be easier on your skin, less chemicals etc, the very reason he liked the Baquacil…..but much less expensive to run annually.  Initial start up with the purchase of the equipment not cheap, but ideally, it will “pay for itself” in 2 years.

So, fast forward to June 2017 and we FINALLY made the switch. Equipment was purchased in the spring, plumbing bits and pieces acquired,  electronic controller mounted and wired….and you would think – ready to go….well…not so much.

The “switch” from a chlorine to a salt pool is simple. The “switch” from a Baquacil pool to salt…….like everything else…not so easy.  You see…the premise is…a salt water pool has a “chlorine generator” …. “A salt-chlorine generator uses the simple process of electrolysis in combination with the water to separate the chlorine and sodium molecules and then reintroduces them into the pool as liquid chlorine. ” info from-   https://pinchapenny.com/info/salt-pool-basics

We knew diving in, that it would be complicated. We had prepared last fall by the way we closed the pool.  NO Baquacil in the closing process….ok, I started to trust the pool store again!  We added “non chlorine shock” in the fall; again in January and April, in order to eliminate any residual Baquacil in the water.  But, when we wanted to turn on our salt system, we still had “too much” of the Baquacil in the  pool.  We had 27 PPM of Baquacil sanitizer, and the goal was 0 PPM.  Early in June the “experts” at the local pool store had us use “non chlorine shock” just like we did over the winter and at closing last year.

We did that and were able to reduce to only 21 PPM.  The pool was crystal clear, but, after doing that for 2 weeks we still could not make the switch.  So, another water sample to the “experts” at the pool store.  The “experts”  said we “think” the only way to get it moving quickly was to introduce chlorine into the water. (The alternative was to continue using non-chlorine shock until the Baquacil stabilizer dissipated over the summer).

Chlorine shock would make a chemical bond with the Baquacil.  Oh, they also told me that I should enjoy the reaction.  Trust me, I took photos.  We had a crystal clear blue pool and the first sprinkle of chlorine turned the pool LIME green.  (I was REALLY glad they warned me it would happen the way it did!)

Adding chlorine to Baquacil

This looks terrible

Chemical reaction

Now, this was a bit of  a scary experiment, because I was not convinced we would have a pool this summer!!  However, as I read and read online forums, and knew eventually it would sort itself out. (This was a good read –Tired of Baquacil ) (And this – Pool Spa Forum ).  At one point in the last few weeks Hubby and I were CONVINCED this was going to be our daily routine all summer.

Watching the transition became our daily fun.  Basically, the chlorine acted like little PAC-MAN, eating up the Baquacil.  We spent 3 weeks, putting chlorine (3# at a time) into the pool in the evening.  It would “bloom lime green” ; and by morning, it was crystal clear and blue again.  The little chunks of Baquacil would get swept up by the turtle, and we would empty his bag.  Whatever went through the filter got back washed out every day.  (Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day near the end of the process.)

 Comment – we did determine that the chlorine shock from the pool store was a better investment than the stuff we picked up at Walmart for 1/2 the price.  The pool store product was a much higher percentage of actual chlorine, and it dissolved much better than the stuff at Walmart.  We figured we were “saving money” but it ended up not worth the savings. (So, that said, if you are buying shock at the local pool store, overall you are saving money because you are getting a better bang for your buck!)  I think that using the cheaper product slowed us down some.  Several forums direct you to use straight out of the bottle chlorine bleach from the laundry aisle, but I was not sure I wanted to take that route. I stuck to official pool chemicals.   

Each morning, the water was sparkling blue and swimmable. Each time we added the chlorine, the transition time from lime green to blue shortened.

On Monday, it cleared within a few minutes, and on Tuesday, there was little change in color at all. The last step was to “clean the sand filter” (more chemicals) and I did that overnight on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, the filter was clean and we were READY!  The Hubby switched out the plumbing parts, installed the “cell”; and plugged in the business ends of things and flipped the switch.  He set the electronic controls, and we were ready to go.

Oh, I forgot….FIRST someone had to put 480 POUNDS of salt in the pool …. Those 40# bags just about wore out my arms.  (Ice on elbow all evening last night for me…..) I loaded them on a little hand cart and pushed it along the edge of the pool and cut the bags open one at a time and let the salt “sprinkle” into the pool like a salt shaker !  It dissolved quickly and if there was a bit of a pile in the pool, our little turtle floating around would “sweep by” and stir it up and help it to dissipate.

As the cell was switched on we had a little clouding initially, but it seemed to clear up quickly.  One bottle of “stabilizer” was added, and hopefully that will be it for us!  Of course, we have to monitor like we always did, keeping the various levels right (PH, Alkalinity, Hardness etc).  I will take a water sample in for an “official” test to make sure we are “RIGHT”, and our test strips are giving results that match up with the pool store.

Overall, it has taken us 25 days to make the switch.  I think I could have shaved a week off had I not bothered with the cheaper product midway in the transition. (I was trying also to avoid the 30 mile round trip to the pool store…..). 

I think it looks pretty good this morning!  Day 1 of the Salt water pool

Salt water startup

Day 1 of the Salt water pool  — Crystal clear, sparkling  and ready to swim.

Note – the turtle (Polaris Turbo Turtle) floats on top, runs off of a Polaris fitting we have on the side of the pool, powered by a  water line return. He skims the bottom and sides of the pool and I empty his little mesh bag every day.  Saves us from vacuuming the pool.  His name is Earl, our pool  butler!  Between Earl, and the salt system, I am hoping for hot sunny days of relaxing in the pool, in a lounger with a book.

How do you plan to spend your summer ?

PS….Hubby needs to spend his doing some serious yard work……right after he gets over his run of bronchitis.  I can dream of those relaxing hours, right after I finish getting my quilts ready for the show and the last of the 2nd Time Around donations priced and boxed up for the show. ….  wait…another shameless promo –

“Peach Blossom – Quilts in the Orchard”

Quilt Show

July 21 – 22, 2017

at: Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes, DE

over 300 quilts; vendors, nationally know speakers and classes….and of course my 7 tables of 2nd Time Around !!

https://www.oceanwavesquiltguild.org/quilt-show