This and That and a little bit more

I just realised that my blog has gone silent, while I have been busy with This and That and a little bit more!

I better catch up~!~    April was a busy time and I feel happy that I managed to “finish” a few things!  I finished my 5″ charm square bag! (Thanks to Pam not letting me go home with it unfinished!). Pictures and details here – Chubby Charmer bag .

I finished a project at the Queen Bee’s gathering – a pop up container that is “just right” for taking along with your sewing supplies.  We had LOTS of finishers at the bee!

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I finished the binding on 4 Senior quilts for graduates at church. I had a 3 day “sit & sew”, and made the bindings ahead of time.  Love the walking foot for applying bindings.

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(Note the binding containment -Binding is  rolled on a thread spool and threaded up and over the thread stand arm)

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The accu-feed “ditch foot” on the walking foot really helps me stay in the ditch when I top stitch the binding. It is a little blade that travels right along the seam.  I slow the machine down just a little, and adjust the needle until it is perfectly in the ditch. I color match the thread to the piping/flange color.

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I just love how easy it is to attach Susie’s Magic Binding, all done by machine!  That little flange pops!  For directions – go to 52Quilts in 52 Weeks — 

Earlier in April, I finished some Easter cards too.  I went with a butterfly theme on these cards.  I have a “few” stamps, but nothing else really was suitable for SPRING and EASTER.

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I can see more stamps in my future!  I had a good time making these little cards.

Hubby and I spent last Saturday morning in class together.  We attended a class at a local quilt store on how to maintain the Singer Featherweight sewing machines.  I am not “mechanical” minded, and I told the hubby he had to come along so he could remember everything I forgot.  We oiled all kinds of places, cleaned out the gook from other places, and greased the motor and the gears.  I found a whole lot of thread wrapped up behind the bobbin case and managed to pick it all out with the help of tweezers.  My sweet hubby was helpful to 2 ladies who wanted to install LED lights in their machines.  He now knows how to remove the light assembly, and the instructor, George, showed him where all the screws are hiding.  Interestingly enough, George told us that when we take our Featherweights to classes etc, to GUARD our bobbin cases! I can’t imagine anyone I know would steal my bobbin case, but I will be watchful.

1948 Singer Featherweight

Bessie is now “well oiled” and no longer skipping stitches.  She is looking pretty good for being born in 1948.  She has a new LED light, (purchased on Ebay –Featherweight LED Lightbulb ) and a new  Featherweight belt, and she hums along nicely.  Bessie is all ready for another sit & sew or quilt bee gathering.

All in all, not a bad month of finishing!  As I look forward in May, I have grand hopes of finishing my Pet Mosaic project.  I was inspired at the sit & sew and have ordered the backing fabric. I would love to put the quilt in our guild show in July, so I better get busy and get it layered and basted so I can start quilting!  Deadline for entries is a week from Monday, so we shall see what happens. I have an “open calendar” for a few days.  I gave myself 10 days for “recovery” from oral surgery, and it is day 3; and I am chomping at the bit to get out of the house and out to the sewing room!

Do you have any May projects started???

 

More Mittens and good reasons

I’ve taken a long break on this pet mosaic project** because of more pressing demands.  The last two days I have spent working again on stitching sections together.  It will soon be midnight and  I have clocked nearly 10 hours straight! I started focusing on joining sections that were already sewn yesterday.  Today I got 3 more sections sewn.  Each section has 81 squares or can be counted as 9 rows across & down. .   Mittens is turning out pretty cute I think!

12 sections done

I really needed to move this project UP on the wall before I could lay in the rest of the design.  I have the next 4 rows on the wall, and need to move them up, now that I have made room.

Rows 28 to 32

I have 5 more rows to go to get his mouth and chin into the design. I packed up all my “containers” of squares 2 weeks ago so I could work on something else!  They are in a big container on the floor at the bottom of the design wall. No doubt I will be spreading them out all over the place before I finish~!~.  This is a time consuming but fun project.

Speaking of projects — remember those bibs in my last post??   Well, this is why I make them — Check out that smile!

The reason making bibs is so worthwhile

Where ever you are, I hope what ever you make brings a smile to someones face!

 

**Mittens Pet Mosaic Project – Class by Cheryl Lynch – http://www.cheryllynchquilts.com/

Fun with Bonnie Hunter!

I have been waiting nearly 2 years to attend classes with Bonnie Hunter and have finally done so! I spent Monday and Tuesday in class.

Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover Delaware hosted the class. Several of my “other guild” friends from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE attended.  In fact, there were people from New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland and even a lady from Germany in attendance.  We were in a beautiful church facility in Wyoming Delaware with great lighting and LOTS of space.  That was a good thing as there were 50+ students each day.

Great Room for a Bonnie Hunter class

Day One was the TALKIN’ TURKEY class; from Bonnie’s book – STRING FLING .   Bonnie had her quilt hanging on the stage and it was nice to be able to go take a look at the elements that made up the quilt.

Talkin' Turkey by Bonnie Hunter

I was so busy I didn’t take many photo’s.  The block for the quilt had MANY elements, and we were using the Companion Angle ruler and the Easy Angle ruler for much of the cutting.  I took this class specifically to learn how to use those rulers.  Bonnie teaches you to use the Easy Angle ruler for half square triangles; and both of the rulers for making  flying geese.  The main focus was in getting your finished units to “measure up” properly.   Well, I spent a lot of time arguing with my sewing machine about “scant” quarter inch.  This is why I have NOT used those rulers for that type of unit in the past. (Remember those HEADLESS GEESE from the Allietare Mystery Quilt last winter…..I do!)  Of course, she offered the suggestion to make either unit in your favorite method, but she was teaching these specific rulers.  I found it very helpful and absorbed lots of tips & techniques.  Meanwhile….that scant quarter inch eluded me all day and my progress was SLOW. I did however get nearly all the string blocks completed.  One of the guild members, Kate Ruper,  was wandering around helping people, and  she sat and visited with me while she “de-papered” about 40 string blocks for me.  It was nice getting to know her a little bit. Visiting with her helped me become a little “less stressed” over that darn SCANT quarter inch!

The evening of Day one was the Helping Hands Guild meeting where Bonnie Hunter did a lecture & trunk show.  Rather than repost all the photo’s, hop on over to my Flickr page  – Bonnie Hunter class album.  The descriptions tell you which book the quilt pattern is from.

Day two was the MY BLUE HEAVEN class.  This pattern is available for free on  – Bonnie’s blog

My Blue Heaven - by Bonnie Hunter

I did SO much better with the specialty rulers on the second day!  I solved my “scant quarter inch” problem.   I removed my quarter inch foot, and put the standard foot on,  stopped using the default settings, used the little yellow seam guide ruler that you put your needle through, and set a “card” stop on my machine. PERFECT after that. (The lady to my right was fighting the same issue).  I also bought a 2nd seam guide ruler from Bonnie to “always” keep in my travel bag.   Anyway, the blocks we were making for MY BLUE HEAVEN used those 2 rulers again.  So, more tips & techniques and MUCH success.  I wasn’t fast, but I learned a lot.  I think I look happy here – 

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My Blue Heaven blocks

I got 4 blocks done…and I was thrilled!  My friend Edna was too!

Edna's blocks

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Bonnie has done a much better job describing and sharing pictures than I could possibly do, so I will share a link to her blog for each class I was in.  Be sure to check out her picture links!

Talkin-Turkey on Bonnie’s blog

My Blue Heaven on Bonnie’s blog

I was tickled to meet Bonnie Hunter.  I have made several of her quilt patterns.  Also pleased that she signed a square for me for my Allietare label.  She also signed every book ! She was energetic and gracious.  Check off one from the “bucket list” !  🙂  NOTE TO SELF – 2 days of classes in a row with 2 different projects is insanity. I now have 3 giant bins of project fabric to deal with…meanwhile the rest of my quilt life/real life goes on!  More tomorrow!  Happy stitching.

Working on UFO # 1 – Swirly Bird and more

Oh, was I ever disappointed that when I looked at my UFO list, I discovered that my “Crusty Crab” was #2, not #1.  My new quilt bee – The Queen Bees has a UFO challenge and # 1 was the project that needs to be finished by TUESDAY!!!!!  Dagnabit!

Well, I tried to renumber the list, but the “challenge Queen” said NO WAY GIRL…..

So, I got out # 1…and worked on it some on Saturday.  The pattern was by Linda Poole, and I took a workshop from her in June of 2015 when she came to Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE. By the end of the week of the class, I had all the applique  stitched down, and I just needed to add tail feathers and an eye.  But, I was busy and the project went in the “box” and in the cupboard.

The UFO challenge has me pulling it out to see what I need to do to finish and move on. I added the tail feathers using variegated embroidery machine thread, but using my Janome and one of the fancy stitches that is built in.  I did trace the general shape from the pattern, but went “free form” with the stitching.  Hubby helped choose the clear button for the eye from the mason jar o’buttons.

Once the tail feathers and eye were on, the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to “play around” with some “thread painting”.  This is the result….and no, I am not finished quite yet.

Swirly Bird

Swirly Bird pattern by Linda Poole

Tail Feathers

The green thread is not supposed to be there..just a loose thread to pick off of the project…… I picked a stitch that is built into my sewing machine and just played with it to make tail feathers. I used variegated embroidery thread and put some tear away stabilizer behind the feathers.

Bird feathers

Played with the same variegated thread on the wing. Dumped out the button jar and hubby picked the clear button for the eye.

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This is the “first flower” I played with doing a little “thread painting/stitching”. Again I chose the variegated thread, but this time orange/yellow/green.   It was fun!

And then I went nuts and here are some of the other parts…..up close……

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I still need to do a little something on the green stems. I did the leaves, but forgot to take a close up.  You can get an idea if you click on the picture of the full project (first photo) and zoom in.  Anyway, once the stems are “stitched”  I can layer it up and quilt it.  The size is about 22×22.  I really had fun playing with my embroidery thread collection as I worked on this!  So many choices with the wonderful threads I was given. Having it all on thread racks makes it so easy to choose too!!

Hoping to knock it out this afternoon.  My sewing room was hitting 85 degrees yesterday; with 2 a/c units running; so not sure how much I will get done.  My room is over the garage and in this heat, it is tough to get it comfortable.  Our whole house is struggling with the temperature. The house is over 110 years old, and not the most “efficient, and no central air. At least the pool is still refreshing, though I may have to add a little cold water to it this afternoon.    What are you doing to stay cool during this heat wave?

(Note – my “other bee” – The Material Girls is also doing a UFO challenge, and I have NOT kept up with them!! This project was on that list too, but I can’t remember which number it was…)  I keep saying I am not starting any new projects until I finish a few things….so if I can get this out of the way, I won’t feel so guilty!

Update on June’s Quilt — I mailed it to my wonderful sister in law, Carolyn ( One Block Wonder Woman ) and she quilted it yesterday for me.  She is amazing!!  I had ordered the backing and she just got it on Wednesday and she is finished already!! June will be so tickled.  I have the binding all cut, but need to prep it.  While I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the fabric that I used for the borders.  I bought what was left on the bolt (4 3/8 yard). June wants to recover her fabric headboard, and I didn’t have enough of any of the fabrics left, so this should give her what she needs. Any leftovers, I will turn into matching pillow cases or a throw pillow or something. I was tickled to find that fabric again, and this time I didn’t have to pay for shipping!

Update on Addison’s Quilt – it is still on the big table and I am still staring at the borders.  But…..I did get a wonderful thread that will look great on the borders at the quilt show on Friday (Quilt Odyssey 2016 – Hershey PA). I had a visit to the Superior Thread Company booth and got a wonderful grey variegated – Fantastico #5169.

I love to get my thread at the shows, because you save a couple of dollars on each spool if you buy 3 or more.  So I came home with 3 spools of Fantastico (5035-cashmere- variegated) (5169 – grey variegated) (5075-silver black variegated), and 3 spools of Masterpiece.  The Masterpiece I use for piecing and my colors are boring – granite # 156  – canvas #151 – and graystone #155.   My spreadsheet of Superior Thread is growing longer.  I dated the bottom of the cones of all the ones I bought this time and last March, so I can see “how long” they are lasting me.  I am on my 3rd greystone cone since I started using it and my second canvas. Those cones are 2500 yards! I am on my second spool of the cashmere too.   What thread do you love to piece with? Do you have a “go to” color for quilting?  My go-to is either the cashmere or Bottom Line Silver #623.  I am on my 2nd cone of it too.  I also love playing with the embroidery threads that I have.  My daughters have gifted me so many and I just love having so many color choices.

Time to go! Enjoy your day and stay cool!

Finished a UFO – Crusty Crab!!

Crusty Crab Mosaic is finished.  I started this in a class in Aug 2014.  All it needed was trimming and binding.  Well, that and I did not like the look of the back which was white and all the stitching from the little “tiles” looked horrible.  This spring when Michelle Scott McColligan came to lecture at our guild, she showed us a trick for “fixing that”.  The trick was to put “another” layer of fabric on the back, do a little “minor quilting” to hold the layers together.  It was a great way to hid all those stitches.  I simply outlined stitched around the crab, then trimmed and bound the project.

 

It is 22×22″ and has a hanging pocket on the back.  Such a simple thing to finish, and I wonder why I held on to it for so long.    I am so glad I took this project with me to our Sit N Sew at Reformation Lutheran Church yesterday!!

Last week I got Addison’s quilt pin basted, and then hubby and I went to a car show for the weekend.  I left the quilt “under the needle” for 3 days, abandoned …..I got busy early this week and spent Monday and Tuesday finishing up the quilting.  My friend Nancy came by and we layered and tied 2 string quilts for charity on Tuesday.  She also helped me “move some tables” and assorted STUFF around in my room above the garage. The goal was better light over the table that we use to lay things out on.  It was a success, and I have since also spent a little time straightening up the chaos that happens up stairs!  Shhh…don’t tell….I even vacuumed!  In the process, I came across a little yellow stacking basket gizmo in storage, and today I gave it a good washing, and I am planning on “color” sorting the scraps that have started to take over my ironing table.

I have had this piece of fabric for the binding set aside for the last 2 years….

Crusty Crab Tile Mosaic

Crusty Crab Back

What are  you working on???

Scrap Dance Tango Step 2 and Poll results

Thanks to so many of you who took time to comment on my last post about “tearing fabric” and online quilt store shopping.  The results of the poll thus far :poll on my blog about cutting vs tearing

It was a great discussion point with my quilting friends all week too!!

Yesterday brought the second step in the From My Carolina Home “Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt”.  These directions are coming out once a month, and because I decided to “go big” I am already behind, but have enough done that I can move forward with step two.  You might remember I said I need to make 1430 half square triangles (2.5″).  I have just over 1000 done and ready to use, and have the 3″ squares in the “prep stage” .  But since they are all not being used in Step 2, Carole said we could “move ahead” and keep making them while we work on the new step.  I had to print out the instructions late yesterday and get a few of the new blocks constructed.

And we are starting step 2

Need to make lots more, and this assembly part doesn’t take too long. I did these 9 in less than 30 minutes.

So, I have a lot more to make, and more HST to mark, stitch, press, and trim.  I had an assembly line going for the trimming in the kitchen last week.

trimming slivers

Trimming those HST makes lots of scraps.  I am filling a stretchy mesh onion bag with the scraps, and will hang it in the tree for the birds to use for feathering their nests.

More HST to trim

I have just today left to get my act together before I leave for Texas and a visit to the grandkids! So, no more work on the Scrap Dance project until I return!  Happy Stitching.

Setting Triangles again

Yesterday I wrote a long post about “setting triangles”.  While I was working on something else on my computer I tripped over this great graphic I saved a while back.    I’m sorry that I don’t know who to credit as the source. ( My apologies if it was your chart.  )  disclaimer – accuracy is not assured!

setting triangles

Feel free to save it, for quick reference. If you click on the photo, it will take you to my FLICKR page and I believe you can download it from there.

Hope you have a fine stitching day! We are getting ready for a first “real snow” this afternoon.