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………………

A package delivered

I mailed a package off last week and have been WAITING for it to be delivered and OPENED.  I sent 2 gifts in the box; one for my son-in-law who must WAIT for Christmas. The other was for my daughter, and I gave her “permission” to open on arrival!  (Selfish me wanted to post photo’s and blog about it!). Seriously, it was something she could use NOW for her holiday table.  (That’s my story anyway!)

You remember the Autumn Jubilee pumpkin/autumn leaves table runners I have been making ?    I asked her if she was interested in one, and she said yes.  Then, she tossed a design idea at me.  She asked for a “double sided” table runner. A “two season, I don’t want to store a bunch of stuff” request.  I thought that seemed like a good idea (and this is why I consult her frequently).   I  played around with the pumpkins and leaves and came up with this for the Autumn Jubilee side —

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner Number 3

I picked that border fabric on the Autumn side because I thought it had a more “modern” feel….not too “country” looking.

The “flip side”  is for Christmas —

Reverse side of Autumn Jubilee tablerunner

I believe the table runner finished out at  17″ x 51″

Three star table runner

It looks much better on her dining table than on my little workshop table.

Double sided table runner
I used the same fabric and star pattern for this table runner as I did for her Christmas Pillow covers I made last year.  I wrote a detailed post about them here – Star Pillows .

Thanks to all the great people who blog and write patterns and share them.  The Autumn Jubilee is inspired by Carole  on her blog- From My Carolina Home .  The Star Pillow is from a pattern by Melissa Mortenson http://www.polkadotchair.com/2014/02/patchwork-quilted-pillows.html/

The soft gold binding in my “Susie’s Magic Binding” was inspired by my hubby! I was struggling to find a binding that would work for both sides; and he suggested the soft gold that is prevalent in the star and on the background fabric.  Of course it worked well on the Autumn Jubilee side too!  (I’ve written previous posts about Susie’s Magic Binding  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/binding-and-other-projects/  if you want more info.)

I quilted using a walking foot and did variable widths of straight line quilting. I used Superior Thread 40 weight – CASHMERE – Fantastico 5035  .  Nobody is paying me to say this – I LOVE THAT THREAD.  I just opened my second spool.  That is, the 2nd  2000 yard spool!  The colors in this variegated thread blend with so many things. I highly recommend it. It was my bobbin thread as well.   The transitions in the colors are subtle, and it really is a pleasure to use that thread.  Anyway, with the quilting being rather dense, I think it gives “weight” to the runner and helps it lay flat on the table. (Even in the last photo, after it had been folded up for several days in the mail.)

I am very pleased with the outcome of this project.  Of course, I have more “pumpkin/leaf & star  parts” available, so I may make myself a Christmas runner at some point. I still have some more placemats to work on as well…but those are for autumn and Christmas is coming!

What are you working on ??  Any secret projects you can reveal yet?  Happy Stitching!  Don’t let the deadlines spoil your joy!

 

Update — Linked up to Oh Scrap!!   The Oh Scrap  button is also on the side of my blog!

A little fun!

I managed to sneak into my sewing room and have a little fun.  Thanks for putting up with my rant the other day.

I added another finish to the stack with 1 more placemat 12″ x 21″.  I like that size a bit better. I like the finish too, so I will probably make some more similar. Quite likely the borders/backing/binding will all be slightly different.  I have enough leaves sewn together to make 8 total.

Placemat Autumn Jubilee

Today, I showed this runner as a flimsy at my Material Girls Bee, along with the previous runner.  I  was able to work on it this evening and now have another finished table runner

2nd Table Runner

This runner is just a bit bigger (14×48)than the last one (15×42).  I added an extra row to fit my table a bit better. I didn’t use as wide a border either; so that it isn’t “in the way” if I put placemats on the table.  Did some matchstick quilting with variegated thread (Cashmere by Superior Threads).  I used that same thread in the stitching in the border. It is one of 300 stitches on my machine, and up close it looks like leaves.  The binding is the same fabric as the backing.  If you “zoom in” you can see I used Susie’s Magic binding on both the placemat and the runner.

Tomorrow morning is another “work day” with the guild stuff, but I hope I can play a bit in the afternoon and finish up 2 more placemats.

Note – the Autumn Jubilee pattern for both of these projects was inspired by Carole Carter – From My Carolina Home

What are you working on in your crafty space??

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/

Small Progress, small quilting machine, small child

So, I have made small progress with my Pet Mosaic Project – Mittens –  (really do wish I was sewing right now!).

I got his “cheek” put in on the right side.  And tried to show some of the “whiskers” in the fabric pieces I chose.

more design work

Then I spent a couple of days doing some stitching and pressing –

Webbing the sections

The method used is called “webbing”, so you keep your pieces in “order”. (Very useful when you have gone to so much effort to put “just” the right piece of fabric in a particular spot or when you have a square that is so much more than “square”.

One night I decided to sew, and watch Bonnie Hunter QUILT-CAM.  Bonnie was talking on her live video stream about webbing, so I sent her a picture of my “webbed” pieces and of the project.  She showed them on her video stream, and talked about it quite a bit.   If you want to see what she said – check out this You Tube link —   QUILT-CAM Sept 7 – Fast forward to about 58:42.  (Now, dear Mittens, don’t get a big head….)

This is just how far I have gotten as of now – 8 sections stitched together.  I can do another 4 sections before I have to go back to the designing.

8 sections constructed

Life has interrupted though for a bit. – I would really like to get back to this project, but I had to get busy with the quilt guild responsibilities.  Maybe I mentioned I co-chair the Second Time Around Table at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes DE?  We “re-purpose” sewing items that members have “cleaned out” of their sewing room.  So, I spent nearly 6 days working with 3 other helpers, ironing, trimming, folding and pricing those donations for our Sept 12th meeting. I packed it all up in the hubby’s SUV the day before the meeting.

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We set this stuff up on tables starting at 8 am; and by 8:50 the members are shopping and finding great bargains.  We sold over $600 worth of items in just over an hour.  Then, following the meeting, I pack up all the leftovers, plus all the “new donations “ and load it “back up” in the SUV.  The new donations get carted upstairs into my sewing room for sorting/folding etc; while the items that have already been priced, stay in their containers on a shelving unit I have, for the next time.  I usually “fill” as many empty containers with donated items, as I sell.  It is really amazing what a little ironing and folding will do! It  takes a lot of time and effort, but is brings great results.

I’ve also had some fun setting up an Inspira Quilting Frame that I am “storing” for my friend Kathi. (Thank goodness for a hubby with a mechanical mind and a VHS video tape that came with it).

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She acquired it from her daughter in law, along with a stitch regulator earlier in the summer.  I spent a couple of days searching high and low for the “right” sewing machine to go along with the stitch regulator.  After my E-bay shopping did not pan out, I wrote to the company who made the stitch regulator, describing what I had, and asking about any other machine types that would work with the stitch regulator.  They gave me the info, and then, they also offered a machine for sale for a great price that was “gently used”. So, this week; the machine arrived.  It is a Janome 1600p; and it is all set up in the Inspira Quilting Frame.  It is a “small system”; with a small throat, but it will be a great starting point and something that I think, I can learn to work with.  I was really motivated when I visited a fellow guild member, Lana, and saw her using a similar set up.  She has been doing amazing work with this type of system, and I am going to try and follow her method for practicing and skill building.  Before I get too excited, I need to order some bobbins, and some spare needles!  I have lots of muslin that I can work with to practice.

Janome 1600 mid arm

Of course, the person who had this machine before only had 5 foot leaders, and silly me, when I set them up I set them all the way to the right. Now I have learned that they need to be centered!  Better new is I have had 2 different people offer me sets of leaders; and I am taking them BOTH up on their offers. The frame is set up in a 10 foot configuration, and the shelf on top where my “clutter” sits, is where you would set the panto’s for the laser light to “follow”.  I managed to get it threaded, and the bobbin thread pulled thru, but that is all I have had time for.  My wonderful sister-in-law sent me great instructions for loading the quilt top/bottom/batting.  She has a Tin Lizzy long arm and lots of experience, so I found her input invaluable.  Maybe once I get some “hours” under my belt with this system, I can “finish” some of those quilt tops I have on hangers!

The other quilt guild I belong to, Helping Hands Quilt Guild, in Dover DE is offering two classes with Bonnie Hunter at the end of the month.  I have pre-washed mountains of blues, reds, and neutral fabrics for the two classes, and have ironed all the red and blue.  3 cans of spray starch later, I still need to get my neutrals done. (My dear hubby did the shopping this week at the warehouse store, and brought me home 8 more cans of Niagara spray starch….talk about love and understanding!!!)   I also have some pre-cutting done for the 2nd class, but not for the first class.

In addition, I have spent two days with my darling littlest granddaughter……

6 months old Addison and Grandma M.

This sweet little one is teething, and Grandma needs to make some bibs that are more “absorbent” than the typical “commercial” bib.  I have spoken with my friend Nancy, who made LOTS for a grandchild and gotten great advice, and a great supply of fun fabrics to supplement my stash.  My daughter favors the “bandanna” shape like she is wearing in the photo with snaps.  I think I will work on some this afternoon following our church service.  Like I said, busy life has interrupted, and Mittens is taking the back seat for a while!    Not much progress, to report……..other than I have had a ton of fun playing on the floor with that sweet little one.  I finally gave her 2 quilts this week.  You might remember Addison’s Quilt  her double bed quilt and the much smaller “play pen sized” courthouse steps scrappy quilt.

Hope you are enjoying beautiful fall weather like we are!

MITTENS has 2 eyes!

Pet Mosaic Update — Mittens really does have 2 eyes!  My quilting sister-in-law asked at some point if he did, and now, I can show evidence!  I have worked on this project off and on this week; primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I fed my dear hubby dinner at 9 pm tonight because I was on such a roll!  Here is a look at him over the last few days.

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August 25 2016

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Aug 27 2016  Spent some time building in the right ear and side of his head

Mittens Aug 28, 2016

Aug 28 2016 – head taking shape

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Aug 31 2016 – Working on the left side of his face and the bridge of his nose.

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Sept 2, 2016 – And now he has a nose and I am starting on his left cheek!

Kind of like watching paint dry, but it is fairly exciting to see him coming together.  There are areas that I will probably rework a little bit around his nose, nostrils etc before I move on to his lips.  My next goal is to finish that left side of his face.

Hope you enjoy the project process.  Thanks to Cheryl Lynch  ( Cheryl Lynch Quilts )for her wonderful instruction and to Carolyn Lingor (  One Block Wonder Woman) for her great advice too.      (My hubby has been kindly giving his artistic point of view on some of the pieces with transitions and it has really been helpful…right up to the point where he said “I never thought you would stick with this”; at which point I threw him out of my sewing space….)  (I did let him come back in to look at it today!)

This soft fuzzy thing is Smokey, the brother of Mittens.  He has much softer fur, and very soft stripes.  He looks dejected because he is not the star of my Pet Mosaic Project.  He claims ownership of me, as “HIS” human.  If I sit in a chair, he will instantly be in my lap!

Smokey

Mittens

Mittens was selected for the project because of his highly defined markings.  He looks a lot like his mother – Momma Cat; but she doesn’t have the pretty white above the sweet pink nose.

Momma Cat

Momma Cat is a cat with attitude.  She does like to talk alot, and is in mid conversation when I took this picture.  She lives “outside”; and likes to share her food with every stray that wanders in the yard.  (This is how we acquired these 3 cats…they moved in and took over).   She is all settled in to her nice little igloo, waiting on the coming storm.

As the Tropical Storm Hermine heads up the East Coast of the USA, I hope you are safe and sound where ever you are. Looks like we are going to get a big hit from the storm beginning Saturday morning, with 3 days of Tropical rains and winds as the storm is predicted to settle just off the coast of Delaware.  As my sewing room is “out over the garage” I may not be able to venture out to play with this project, so I will have to settle  and play with the real cats in the house!

 

Two Scrappy Quilts completed

I have been in my scrappy element the last several weeks working on a variety of projects. I have been “hurrying” to get some of these projects finished, so I could move back to my Pet Mosaic project.  Ever since I saw how Carolyn’s rottweiler, Fannie-Mae turned out, I have been motivated to get back to my cat Mittens. If you haven’t seen her yet, go check her out~  Creating a dog from scratch can be Ruff

I unrolled the “portable felt design wall” and have it pinned now to my big design wall and have started numbering rows and sorting out my bins of 2″ squares in various greens, grey, black, tan, brown and white. Carolyn sent me more grey’s and blacks to use, and I went through my 2″ squares that I have “in Scrap Storage ” and pulled more there too, along with some more green.

Before I could get to this, I had to finish up Addison’s quilt; and the 2 other small quilts I have been working on.  Addison’s was finished last week – Addison’s Finished Quilt .  So this last week I finished up the Scrappy Stars Quilt.  It will be going to a Benefit Auction at the end of the week.

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It finished out at a nice 52″x 52″.  I hope it brings a nice auction price to benefit our friends.

Today I wrapped up my Happy Scrappy Courthouse Steps Log Cabin Quilt.  This was a Pat Sloan Scrap Challenge. Check out her challenge here!

It is made of 1.5″ strips, except that final round on the block where I bumped it up enough to square things up.  And it is bound with scrappy binding. (Susie’s Magic Binding of course).   I always save those extra bits of binding that are leftover from my projects. I think it is a fun way to bind a scrappy project.

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There is “cork” binding from Ronnie & Terry’s Wedding Wine Quilt; grey and coral from Addison’s quilt, polka dot green with purple from the Scrappy Stars quilt, a grey with burgundy from the cross banner. The only challenge is joining all those pieces and setting them out to make sure you don’t have a join at a corner!

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The only “non scrappy” part of this quilt is the bird fabric on the back!  I got it on a whim when I was buying grey fabrics for Addison’s quilt, but the yellow was too much for that project, and I set it aside.  When I had the log cabin up on the design wall, those little birds called to me!

It finished out at 45×45, just perfect size for when a grandchild comes to visit!  If you click on the photo, you will see it is full of fun fabrics!

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I still need to hand stitch the labels, but I declare these two “done”, and it is time to move on with the Mosaic!  That means it may be a good while before you see another “finish” post from me….

Hope you are having a great summer and staying cool where ever you are!