Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks 15 and 16

Catching up in my sewing room after nearly 2 weeks away.  I was behind on the Pat Sloan project called Grandma’s kitchen. I am using 1930’s reproduction fabrics.  They come from a variety of manufacturers and I want to hit as many different patterns & colors as I can.  (Note – my collection grew to a wild number…..)

I got “caught up” just in time for the next step.   Here is block 15.  I am trying to bring in some more yellow and black into the blocks.

Finished block 15 of 25

and here is block 16 — I wanted to carry through some more pink and green in this block.

Block 16 of 25

Today Pat released the layout for Grandma’s kitchen and the first 16 blocks can be assembled into rows.  There are lots of “filler blocks” and sashing bits, so I will have to really look at the layout.  I may “wait” and assemble the rows after the last 9 blocks are made.  I have such a variety of colors that the balance is going to be very important to me for the overall look.

Here are MY sixteen blocks arranged yesterday, before the layout was published. I keep “moving them around and every time I do, I end up with 2 blues side by side (or 4 in this case) or 2 yellows side by side, or 2 blacks side by side etc.

Sixteen blocks completed

I may not “like” my color choices in the position that Pat gives, so there may be some “re-arranging” of those 12 1/2″ and 10 1/2″ blocks.  I have all my 10.5 in a row for no particular reason.  I know that the fabric choices for the future blocks will be guided by the layout Pat has given.  I have 1 other black fabric that I am “saving” – that great clothesline fabric I mentioned a while back.  I may use it in sashing, but will have to do some adapting to use it to it’s best effect, as the print is large. Most of the sashings are 2.5 or 1.5 or 2×2.  It is going to be interesting.

Check out Pat’s post today, and see what you think!  This is probably my “last” post on Grandma’s kitchen until December.  I won’t have time next Wednesday to make a block, as I leave bright and early on Thursday morning.  I am going to be away for a month, coming home late on the night before Thanksgiving. When I get home we will be in “full swing” with the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club Open House, and I will have a lot of catching up to do at home between weekends.  I still have my “Bonnie Hunter Talkin’ Turkey” hanging on the design wall.  (Pattern in Bonnie’s book STRING FLING(note – this is becoming a vintage project, as I started it in September 2016 when Bonnie was in Dover DE teaching a class….we won’t talk about the OTHER Bonnie project I still have in a tote…..)

1 row to go

It is 99% assembled, the borders are made and hanging there for MONTHS, just waiting to be sewn on!  That will have to happen when I get back BEFORE I can lay out Grandma’s Kitchen!

What’s on your design wall today?

Off to Material Girls Quilt Bee today….I am ‘late’, but going.  I’ll be working on my Autumn Jubilee (2016) placemats.  Carole   From My Carolina Home    had a great pumpkin and leaf pattern last year and I have made placemat tops.  Two are assembled and quilted, two are waiting for quilting, but today, I am going to build some more ‘leaves’ for 4 more placemats. 

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Class project and Block 13 & 14 and Fabric Acquisition

I am only a week behind, but I am blaming it on  taking another class!  This post was to be short and sweet, as I am leaving in under an hour for a “fabric acquisition road trip” with my friend Nancy, but I got to wordy, and never got it posted! I acquired LOTS of nice stuff on that f.a.r.t……………. We went to shop at The Dusty Attic, in Fruitland MD.  The shop is closing out all merchandise in the next 2 weeks, and we concentrated our purchases in the 50% off room.  I picked up several 1 yard pre-cut neutrals for the stash, and 4.5 yards of a fantastic brown that has a wood grain feel to it.  I also purchased several “book” panels and plan on more story books for the littlest grandchild.  They were cutting Insul-Brite from a 56″ wide bolt, and I got a yard of it; which will be awesome for pot holders or a casserole carrier in the near future.  All the books were going for $5, and I picked up one about machine quilting.   We got some great deals, but it is sad to see a business you have dealt with over the years have to close up for any reason.

I got distracted last week and had to play catch up with the Pat Sloan’s quilt along.  Grandma’s Kitchen is currently on Block 14.  I finished Block 13 on Friday.  I thought it was time to work with the purple and the orange. I love the way this worked out.

Block 13 Grandma's Kitchen

This afternoon I was able to finish up Block 14.  Pat called it Salt & Pepper, and I thought about that when I picked my fabrics. I had this black & white Scottie Dogs fabric and think it depicts the pepper quite nicely!

Block 14 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

My collection of blocks so far look like this:

Grandma's Kitchen 1-14

Going to need more yellow, orange and black in the coming weeks for the blocks.  I still have lots of the 1930’s reproduction fabrics I haven’t used.  (Today I was tempted by another yellow fabric, but decided that the print was just too big for this project!)

Are you working on the Grandma’s Kitchen quilt along too?  Pattern is by Pat Sloan and can be found here – Sew Along Pattern  

Beyond Block 13 & 14, it was Quilt Guild week in Dover for me.  Monday evening was the meeting and lecture.  Three of us from “lower slower Delaware” drove up together and attended the meeting.  I drove up and back on Monday evening.  I had signed up months ago for the class on Tuesday.

The class this month at Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover Delaware was with Sandi Blackwell.  The guild meeting and lecture was on Monday evening, and the class on Tuesday .  (Next time I decide to do a class the day after the meeting, I am getting a hotel room! It is an hour drive each way to Dover, and I had to hit the road very early for the class.)  Anyway, Sandi lectured on her Square-agonals technique and showed a lot of her different quilts during the trunk show. (Take a look at Sandi’s website).

The premise of Square-Agonals is to learn a special construction method and not have to cut any setting or corner triangles.  It was a fun project. I did my pre – cutting last week, and I was ready to sew!  We started out making a basic square in a square block, and sashing it.  We then constructed some interesting blocks made with rectangles that we cut on the diagonal and reassembled.

Spiral Out workshop

She showed a technique for aligning the points of the triangle when reassembling those blocks.  (Tips & techniques are explained in her many books). I did my stitching using my trusty Featherweight Bessie!

Bessie is working hard

I thought I set my 1/4″ and seam guide, but I goofed it up, and I had FAT quarter inches on my basic block, and they turned out “too small.  Sandi gave a quick solution which did not include ripping out the seam, and I was able to “repair the damage”.  I also rechecked and reset my 1/4″ and seam guide.  I think I had it up “too close” to the needle, but once it was checked and adjusted, all went well.  I assembled my pieces according to the pattern, and then Sandi showed us how to “mark” with her special tape, and get it ready to cut apart.marked and ready Spiral Out

This view is from the “other” side of the table.

marked and ready Spiral Out

 

squareagonals

My project was in 3 pieces when I left for the day, and I came home, had supper, and got busy doing some reassembly. (Look for more photos on Facebook…     Helping Hands Quilt Guild on Facebook

(The classes are held in a church with GREAT lighting, and great organization by the current VP – Mary Dawn.  I enjoy going up to take classes, but can’t do it very often.    )

Once I sewed the 3 sections together, it looked like this –

Square-agonals project

See how the tape on it was now on the “outside edges” ? The premise is to stabilize those cut edges because they are all on the bias and might stretch.  It got removed after the 1st round of borders went on.

1st round of borders on

At this point I realized I left my pattern instructions at the guild, on the cutting table; so a quick email to the guild vice-president and the instructions were sent to me in the mail.  Since we had done the pre-cutting, and I still had that worksheet, I had a photo, and could piece it together.  (One advantage to having everything cut ahead of time I suppose!!)

Got the pattern in the mail yesterday and here is the final result –

3 borders on

The project measures out at 32×52.  This afternoon I got it layered and have started some very “basic” quilting.

What are you working on this weekend?

Small projects this week

This week was time for smaller projects.  I had the chance to spend some time in Ocean Pines Maryland earlier in the week with an embroidery group.  I invited two friends of mine to come along, and they were welcomed and felt that the time was well spent.

Every time I go, I learn something about hooping, alignment, stabilizing etc.  The group leader, Anna, is a wealth of knowledge.  I was able to do a little “show & tell” of the project I did the last time I attended.  We had embroidered “crab bibs”, and I finished the sewing in the interim.  These are “full size adult bibs”; which I will gift to some friends at Christmas.

Crab Bibs

The bibs are 2 layers of fabric, so should help keep the clothing underneath clean while those wonderful blue crabs are consumed.  I kept a paper pattern of the bib, in case I want to make them again.

Crab for bib

This was a fun summer time project.

As I got ready for this weeks gathering, I decided I would go for a fall theme.  I had downloaded this great, free (this month only) design from Embroidery Library -Autumn Elegance Deer #M15361, 12464 stitches. (Size is 3.87″x 3.18″).  The shirt is a golden brown, and I decided to go a bit lighter with the body of the deer so it didn’t get lost on the shirt.

TShirt

I love “FINISHING” a project when I start something new.  Now, I just need for the Fall weather to settle in….after next week.  I took with me another long sleeve t-shirt, in red.  I never got it stitched, but it is ready to go with stabilizer already on.  I am hoping to get a design loaded in and have it stitched out this weekend.

My other project this week was the log cabin cross banner.  I have it finished, ready to gift.  I used my “oops” blocks on the back of the banner.  I thought it would be fun to include them.  I quilted it with “glow in the dark” white thread (40wt Superior) on the front, and silver bottom line (60 wt Superior) in the bobbin.  After I finished quilting, binding, labeling and a hanging sleeve, I ran it through the washer & dryer, and while still damp, I blocked it to make sure it squared up nicely. (Yes, that binding is Susie’s Magic Binding. I went scrappy on the yellow flange!)

blocking the banner

I use one of those old fashioned folding cardboard cutting boards and use the lines to keep things square, along with my 6×24 ruler and my 12×12 ruler for the corners.  I like to block it, because I know it is going to hang and I want it square. The cardboard cutting board is on the floor and my pins go through the cardboard, the carpet and into the wood under the rug. I set a floor fan to blow across the project so it dries completely overnight.

Here is a peak at the label I made on my embroidery machine.  I like to fuse it to the back of the quilt, and catch 2 edges under binding. The other two sides get hand stitched.

Banner label

I did a hanging sleeve that will hold up to a 4″ rod.  I like to put the sleeve on before I do the binding, so it is nicely held under the binding edge.  Of course, the sides and bottom of the sleeve are hand stitched down.

Back of Log cabin cross banner

Other fun stuff this week include making bags for the food bank to use over the holidays, when they pass out large items (like turkeys).  I’ve finished 2, and have 3 more cut out and ready to sew. I am using donated upholstery / decorator fabric which is VERY sturdy.   They are also very colorful bags!  I hope to have all 5 ready when I go to Helping Hands Quilt Guild on Monday evening.

What are your weekend plans??  I hope you have a chance to do a little sewing and enjoy your hobbies.

 

 

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???

Strings and Grandma’s Kitchen blocks 9 and 10 and more

I have “put off” working on my Pat Sloan – Grandma’s Kitchen blocks while my Janome has been in the shop.

I heard from the repairman last Thursday that it will be at “least” 2 more weeks. My poor Janome 8900 is awaiting parts.  Apparently one of the feed-dogs broke (go figure), and bent the bobbin case “cushion” which caused a terrible clatter and was beyond our “tech skills” to fix.  I can’t go a whole MONTH without a machine, so I got out one of my other machines.  (And thanks to all my friends who have offered to share a machine during this time of desperation ! )

I’ve been sewing on my Brother 6000i since the big machine went into the shop.  Brother 6000i  has primarily been my travel machine, until I got the Singer Featherweight.  I was able to set the Brother in the sewing table the Janome fits in, using the Brother extension table, and sew at a reasonable “height” that doesn’t make me feel like my elbows are adjacent to my ears.

Anyway,  I got allowed myself to be distracted last week, playing in the strings that have accumulated.  

STRING BLOCKS 

If you remember, I was prepping donated fabric for sale at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show for most of the last year.  Anyway, the show was in July, and the leftovers were dispatched to the person taking on the committee following my reign of terror. The new chairperson did not want the 2 cribs full of leftover scraps, so I boxed them all up, and carted them home. (Hey, being a scrap-a-holic is something I readily admit to!)

I spent the last month sorting those boxes out by color.  I dumped boxes, one at a time on my work table, and smoothed, ironed, trimmed, again, and into my plastic storage containers.  About 1/2 way through the 8 or 10 boxes, I started pulling the “strings” out and into a separate container.   To me, a string is anything less than 2.5″ wide.  I pressed and put them into shoeboxes. Before you knew it, the shoe boxes were overflowing and I decided to get busy and make some string blocks.

I follow the Bonnie Hunter – Quiltville –  string block method, using old telephone book pages to act as foundations.  (Yes, I still get phone books, and this is my preferred recycling method.)  (Check out Bonnie’s book STRING FLING).   I got out the paper cutter, pulled pages out of a smaller phone book, and cut 6″ blocks from the pages.  I started with 30 pages and quickly used them up.  When I stitch on the phone book pages, I shorten the stitch length significantly, so the paper comes off quite easily, after squaring up the blocks. Someone commented to me on Facebook about using fabric for foundations. I have done that, and I have also used a Pellon interfacing for foundation.  I really just wanted to recycle what I had, and the phone book pages and strings are doing that without buying something else.

I was also inspired by a quilt I saw on another blog – Quilted Twins .  Becky Petersen does scrap quilts and was working with a bunch of 2″ strings and the quilt in her blog gave me some ideas for my strings.  She hasn’t published a pattern yet for the quilt in the blog post, but I am certain she will soon.

I made a couple of blocks and then got an idea to “sort those strings by color”.  (They had been all stored together.). So, I went for blues to start with, and got busy. Then on to reds, pinks, oranges and yellows, browns and greens. Before you know it, I had 98 blocks.  The first 2 random blocks are still “waiting their turn” for a project; but they are not going in THIS project.

Working on String Blocks

I did not “duplicate” Becky’s pattern, rather, I used her setting as inspiration.  I liked the way the white set off the brilliant colors of the string blocks.  My hubby is not crazy about the “chaos” of string blocks, but he likes (I think) this setting –

4 rows string block quilt

I’ve been doing all the sashing on my little Singer Featherweight along with some of the sewing of string blocks.

Stitching string blocks on the featherweight

The Brother got tired of string blocks, it started acting crazy, so hubby carried the Featherweight upstairs to the sewing room for me. (I usually store it down at the bottom of the stairs in my to-go trolley).  Hubby spent 4 or 5 hours dismantling the Brother 6000i, and determined it was a “timing issue”. Thank goodness for the internet & you-tube videos.  I was ready to chuck it down those aforementioned stairs.  He has infinite patience and mechanical and troubleshooting skills, so he FIXED it.  Today, I will set the Brother back up, in my sewing table, which will give me “more space” for joining those two big sections together, and for adding sashing to the remaining 64 blocks.

GRANDMA’S KITCHEN 

Anyway, in between the “making of the string blocks” and the “sashing” of the string blocks, another Wednesday rolled along.  I decided to get busy and knock out blocks 9 & 10 of Grandma’s Kitchen.   Since I was pulling fabrics for “both” blocks at the same time, I pulled out LOTS of fabrics.

For block 9, I decided I wanted to “see something” out the kitchen window panes.  What would Grandma see looking out?  I think she would be keeping a watchful eye on all the grandchildren!

The Kitchen Window - block # 9 of 25

BLOCK 9 – GRANDMA’S Kitchen –

This block was fun to make!  I got to use my “design boards” for the first time.  I kept seeing Pat Sloan promoting the ones at the Fat Quarter shop, and I thought, heck, I can make those.  I even found a tutorial from the Fat Quarter shop on You Tube.

(If you aren’t familiar – check out  Lori Holt Fat Quarter Shop Design boards  )

I found other tutorials to make the design board, and one used pretty duct tape.  I decided to go for the duct tape, so I spent $2 at the Dollar Tree store, for the Foam Core Board and the pretty duct tape.  I got 2 boards measuring 15×15 with one little strip left over. I also used Elmers Spray Glue to hold my batting in place instead of hot glue.  Since I had the spray glue and batting already, I ended up with 2 – 15×15 boards for a total of $2.  (See the end of the post for a link where you can buy ready made 18×18 boards for a mere $12.98 EACH.….)

15x15 design board

The duct tape is pretty, but was a challenge to put on straight. It is sticking well to the paper on the back, but it wants to “lift” off the batting on the front. I have “smoothed it” back down a few times, so it is sticking, but I may “re-engineer” my boards. I didn’t want to use hot glue, but may have to.  Thus far, no fingers glued together with hot glue or spray glue.  And, other than popping into the Dollar Tree on day when I went for groceries at Redners, it took me about 20 minutes total!  

On to Block 10 of Grandma’s Kitchen

I had a pile of fabrics out, and I was looking at all my other blocks too.  I decided it was time to pop a little orange into the project.  I did my usual with the black and white photo’s so I could be certain I got my light, medium and dark right.

Plan B Block 10

I think it worked out after a “few” tries.  I was up to plan “D”  & “E”, but I will spare you the photo’s. You “get” the concept!

Block 10 Grandma's Kitchen

I took an extra minute and did a 2nd line of stitching on the “stitch & flip” corners, and got 4 bonus half-square triangles, which I trimmed up to 2.5″. No waste for me.  I tossed them into my “OOPS block” container that I am using for this project. They are not an “oops” but that’s ok.  I have a plan in mind for those little bits at the end of the quilt making!

Bonus Blocks from Block 10

For Grandma’s Kitchen pattern information – check out http://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/grandmas-kitchen-sew-along.html

To purchase a “ready made” design board – look at https://www.fatquartershop.com/teal-happy-text-bee-in-my-bonnet-design-board

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you might venture into “recycling” fabric scraps into quilts or “crafting your own design board”.

Linking up to Oh Scrap!  and  Pat Sloan’s link up  and OMG – one monthly goal for September

Quick note – I am establishing my One Monthly Goal for September – getting the String Quilt FINISHED….yes, you heard that….sashed, rows joined, and QUILTED & BOUND.  My heart wants me to get this ready for a Hurricane Harvey donation as quickly as possible!

Retirement is a time for FUN ! (and a little paper crafting)

This weekend marked the 65th birthday and the retirement of our friend, Pete – the Pilot.  (I do that with names of my husband’s train buddies. For example, some endearing names are Bob the bus driver, Biker Charlie, N Scale Ed, Paper Mill Charlie etc. Helps me to keep straight which Charlie, or which Bill or Bob we are discussing)

Anyway, our friend Pete, a pilot for American Airlines celebrated his birthday and retirement with a wonderful cocktail party at Brew River, Salisbury MD .  The restaurant sits along the Wicomico River and features local beer and seafood.  We certainly enjoyed the crab dip, the coconut shrimp and the wings seasoned with Old Bay.   The location was wonderful, and perfect for a guy like Pete, who would no doubt tie up his sailboat right along side the restaurant when need be.  We had great conversation with a couple who made taking photo’s of the event a sport!  They both did it with flair, and of course, everyone cooperated.  At the end of the evening, the card from the camera was gifted to the honoree!

Pete is a charter member of the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club, and we thought it would be fun to give him a little “memory book” with some photo’s taken over the years. Since the club was established in 1984, Pete has been pretty active.  Work of course, and sailing sometimes got in the way, be he is looking forward to pursuing his hobby with gusto in retirement.

Memory book for Pete

of course, we did have to share some wisdom —

Retirement advice

I won’t bore you with all the photo’s etc inside.  If you are curious, you can find the album here – Flickr Paper Crafting Album .

We had fun gathering the photo’s and putting the booklet together for him. It was nice to be included in his retirement celebration and to see the other facets of his life separate from the model railroader that we know.

I printed most of the photo’s in a 4×6 size, and used a 5 x 7 cardstock pad to mount them on.  The cover was made by backing  the nautical cardstock with the stripe.  Both of those came from my Nantucket paper collection. We punched two holes near the end and tied the pages together using 2 strands of bakers twine, run through twice, and tied in a bow.  I did just 3 stamp greetings on the cover, raised up on foam squares.  (I think I impressed MY hubby using some of the supplies I have been acquiring off and on for the last year!)

My sage advice to the newly retired is to go out and have fun every day!  I am constantly exploring and learning new things, and I am enjoying dabbling in card making and paper crafting too.  Last weekend I did use some of the cardmaking supplies for a project at church. I was asked to make a Capital Campaign Visual Aid, and this is what I came up with –

Capital Campaign visual aid

I knew I could get some fun things for the display at the local Dollar Tree store.  The thermometer, the 2 verses and the baskets, along with the tri-fold display all came from that store.   The baskets are mounted using a stick on velcro product that I picked up in the hardware area of Dollar Tree.  I think I invested less than $8 in the project. The rest is my own handiwork. Give me a printer and some cardstock and a tape runner and I can do something!

Speaking of Dollar Tree – that is the place to get foam mounting squares and bakers twine! I have a good supply now, but going to restock from the $1 place instead of  Michaels craft store.  I went looking for tape runner’s at Dollar tree and got two tiny ones, that let me finish the visual aid board.  I was able to restock my supply of Elmer’s at Wal Mart and discovered you can buy REFILLS for your tape runners.  That makes me very happy, and after I was finished with the project for Pete’s retirement, I was able to EASILY change out the tape runner in the Elmer’s brand holder.

Busy week ahead with the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting tonight, and my Queen Bees gathering tomorrow! Scrap boxes are still being sorted, only 1 left I think unless there is more hiding somewhere.  My Janome is still “in the shop” , so cleaning up, scrap sorting and general sorting is what is happening in my sewing room.

What are you doing for the big “ECLIPSE” event????  I think I will let NASA do the watching, and will view from the live feed on line.  My youngest daughter has traveled with fellow science teacher friends to a location for viewing the “TOTALITY”….oooh….aaaahhh…..  We live in a 70% zone, so won’t get the full effect.  I won’t be outside with a cardboard box on my head.   I “might” make the NASA cereal box one tho….check out this link for directions : https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/EclipseCerealBoxViewer.pdf

#400 and more fun stuff

Wow; I am reminded as I logged in to write this blog post that this is the 400th post I have written to share.  I started out back in November of 2012 just writing about my projects, and am happy to now have 511 people who follow through WordPress, Blogger and Facebook.  Some folks have been with me since the very beginning, and I am honored they have hung in for this long.

Recently, I had a great time working with 2 ladies in my “Queen Bees” quilting bee.  They are both owners of new embroidery machines, and we spent a bit of time talking about how to “organize” all those fantastic designs they have been purchasing.  I shared my methods, using the computer and a “notebook”.

Whenever I download a design, I make sure I give the stitch file, and the thread change pdf/doc similar names, incorporating the names the designer has used along with a name that makes some kind of sense, months down the road.  I encouraged them to also print out the pdf/doc file, and put them in folders or behind dividers that mirror the “file folder” they used on the computer. The goal overall is to make it easy to find the file you are looking for.

I have several thousand designs “stored” on my computer, and I use file categories like Animals, Holidays, Flowers etc.  Inside those file categories are sub-folders.  So for instance; if I am looking for a Christmas design of “Jingle bells”.  I am going to open the HOLIDAY file, and look for the sub-folder called Christmas. Inside the Christmas folder will be my JingleBells.pdf (the thread change document) and the JingleBells.pes file (the stitch file).  In the 3 ring binder I keep the printed stitch file pdf, I will have similar tabs or dividers, so I can flip through and make some design choices.  (I am on my 4th big 3 ring binder!) Recently I printed out the file directory, and went through my binders, rearranging slightly, and putting names on the tabs that really reflected what was in the computer. Big improvement!

About 2 years ago, I wrote a blog post Machine Embroidery Resources, and did a refresher recently with a bunch of new links Updated Machine Embroidery Resources  .  In both of those posts, I talk about all the free designs available from various sources.  I also mention stabilizers, thread etc.  I have also written about “moving files” Moving files between the computer and the machine .  If you are new to machine embroidery, you may find all 3 of those blog posts of interest.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a Material Girls Bee on Wednesday. It is always fun to catch up and just sew for a while and visit and share projects.  Of course, I forgot to bring my show & tell.  I was the hostess, so I was fussing about getting the fresh fruit in the car, and happy to know that I didn’t forget any vital sewing items.  I love walking around and seeing what others are working on.  My table mate Barbara was working on a Quilts of Valor project. We got to ooh and ahh over Cindy’s wonderful “under the sea” applique project she is doing. There was another applique project going on by Kathi, and it was her “quilts around the bay” beauty!  Jean was working on stitch & flip rectangles for her husbands patriotic quilt. She had a few hundred of them to sew.  Judy was basting a beautiful quilt that was all applique done with asian prints. It just shimmered with those lovely metallic shots of gold. Francie finished a mug rug and was starting on a baby quilt. Gayle was cutting for a new quilt, and I am certain I looked at what Cheryl was doing, but now have forgotten completely! We have been privileged this year to use the fellowship hall at an area church and have great space and great light.  The ladies arrive and help set up, bringing irons, extension cords, pressing mats/boards; pvc pipes cut “just right” to raise the tables for ironing and cutting etc. So, my job as host is really just bring a few snacks and cart home the leftovers.  Clean up is just as easy as set up.

Wednesdays are fun too, as the hubby has his train club and I can sew as “long” as I can stay up!  I’ve been working on sorting scraps into color waves, and have been through about 5 boxes so far.

In between the scraps, I managed to do my next block in the Grandma’s Kitchen project by Pat Sloan.  Block #8 of 25 is called Grandma’s Apron.  I was able to get the stitching done on my little Brother machine, but will have to wait for the big Janome to come back from repairs to do the blanket stitching.

Block 8 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

My Grandma Bessie always had an apron on. She was a bit rounder in the waistline than this dress would imply! I remember they were always floral dresses or floral aprons.  I am enjoying finding various 1930’s reproduction fabrics that go nicely together and can carry over from one block to the next.   If you have been following, you know that I used yellow and green in block # 1.  As I have done since the beginning of the project, I converted the photo to black & white to make sure I captured the “light/medium/dark” the pattern was suggesting. I upload my photos to FLICKR from my cell phone, and the B&W option easily available during the upload process. It does help me see if I am getting “close” on the contrasting colors.

Block 8 of 25 Grandma's Apron block

If you want to “stitch along” do go check out Pat Sloan’s website and join in –Grandma’s Kitchen Free pattern

I will be linking this post up on her page too!

Other fun stuff — Hubby and I went and previewed an estate auction on Monday evening. An former co-worker, Ed, let me know about the auction, as it was full of model railroad stuff.  He thought my hubby might have an interest and other friends who might also.  One man’s treasure might be something we would treasure was the thought process I think.

Turns out, my hubby had known the owner of the home and was familiar with the things he collected.  What he didn’t know was that the gentleman’s wife was quite the crafter, and had an entire crafting room that was ONE lot .

We had previewed the listing on-line, and there were things that caught my hubby’s eye, and we took a ride and spent a few hours browsing about checking lot numbers against the listing, and making sure we understood what the lot looked like and were able to make some value determination.  Now, in case you  missed it,  I said it was an estate auction.  I am keeping my eye open for a vintage dining room table for 12!  So, I studied the listing carefully.

SIGH……It made me very sad to see that no one in this gentleman’s family wanted/had room for/ or an interest in his fantastic model railroad. The train layout was the 3rd stall of a 3 car garage. It was amazing, and done with expertise using the finest quality items.

Someone (my daughter….) recently told me to read an article that pretty much summed up the attitude “Your kids don’t want your old junk”.  Type that phrase into Google and you will come across article after article about Millennials not wanting Great Grandma’s antique breakfront or Seth Thomas mantle clock or those fabulous cut crystal dishes you worked so hard to collect.

As we walked through this home, that had been well loved, and admired the collectibles, the model railroad train layout room, we came across the “craft room”.  That room was 6×16, filled with shelving, a treadle sewing machine cabinet (no machine), a 1960’s heavy Kenmore sewing machine; and a work table filled with every kind of crafting implement known to be used up to the beginning of the 21st century. The shelves were filled with carefully labeled boxes indicating the contents, with holiday decor for every season. My friend, Ed, who told us about the auction ended up bidding on and winning the lot.

I spent this afternoon helping Ed, his wife, and four of his favorite co-workers (young strong fellas) pack up and load up this craft room.  Ed’s wife really wanted that craft room, and she has a big job ahead, sorting out the stuff we hurriedly packed.  I never in my life have seen so many individual bottles of craft acrylic paint, and every other type of craft paint known to exist.  There must have been 60 or more  aerosol  cans of spray paints along with every kind of adhesive known to exist.  I was amazed!  My hubby and I had been tempted to bid on the room because we knew there had to be some hidden treasures.  I think I found the one box that will pay them back for the investment they made on the room.  It was a box of cut crystal dishes, with an inventory price sheet inside.  It was tucked away under a desk with junk on top.  The heirs of the estate at this particular auction, could have made a lot more money if that craft room had been “sorted” into multiple lots.  Hindsight I am certain.

It was interesting to see the number of people coming and going with their prized “lot” they won during the on-line auction.  Seeing the happy faces of the winning bidders pick up their items, it affirms what I have told my kids….”don’t worry about our old junk – call the auction house and they will sell everything from the china and silverware to the collectibles and the old toys to the junk in the craft room(s).”  They won’t get rich, but someone else will do the hard stuff, like sorting things out.  And, it is a lot easier than trying to deal with it on their own. Seems the whole generation is  “on the move” and would rather keep it simple, keep it light, etc.  I get it, sorta.  Hey, I moved 7 times between 1974 and 1986. My one daughter has moved 4 times all locally in this millenium, while the other has moved around the country and world  at least 10 times in the last 14-15 years.

As we age, it is a good reminder that it is time to start using up what we have, and paring down what we no longer need, so the heirs don’t have to do too much when the time comes (down the road).  I’m glad I didn’t bid on the craft room, was happy to help my friend Ed & his wife get it packed up, and happy to know I didn’t bring any more stuff home with me.  I was VERY tempted, and if there had been more sewing stuff and less painting stuff, I might have succumbed to temptation.  After spending the last 2 years sorting through other peoples sewing room donations, I do know that I must think about what I am keeping, what I should be getting out of my house! And, to stop acquiring things at a rate faster than I can use them……like all those embroidery files I am never going to stitch out!  My dear Aunt Jean said there was a time in life when you learn to “Admire rather than Acquire” and I think I am at that point.

So, what’s your plan for your beloved treasures, that “junk” your kids don’t want?

In closing this 400th blog post, I want to tell you some of the things I learned by writing this blog.  I learned that the connections I make with the readers is through their great comments. The comments are conversation, and often times I “chat” back and forth with the reader. I’ve made some “virtual friends” I think with this blog, especially amongst those who have been following from the beginning.  I’ve exchanged email discussions and conversation with several readers, sharing information, and learning from them too.  I  love that readers are sharing my posts.    New readers continue to find their way here, and I welcome each of you!  When new readers are also bloggers, I try to find their blog right away and follow it too.  So, thank you for finding my page, and for taking the time to read along as I share my quilting and sewing projects, stories about domestic life, and sometimes travel, pets and other fun things that life throws my way!