And now, back to the Sewing Machine

I’ve been hanging out off and on with some lovely ladies at a local assisted living facility. My friend June, who is a resident there, asked me if I would come and sew with the residents. It’s really been a treat.

One day I came with a basket full of fabric, and this lovely lady in the photo below arrived (via her walker) with a tattered old pillow and case and asked to make a new cover for it.  She picked out fabric from my basket, and together we came up with a plan for an “envelope” style pillow cover. I thought it would be handy to have something removable that could be washed.  She liked my plan and I cut out the fabric.  She came with her “own” box of pins, still in their SUCRETS box (for the 1960’s I am guessing! She did all the sewing, I just stood by to rethread needles and wind bobbins, and iron as necessary.  In no time at all she had the pillow “slip-cover” made.  Then I took a look at the existing pillow.  Gosh, it was one of those pillow forms you buy and the actual cover of it was shredding.  My fingers went right through the covering and I could see where she had patched it over the years.

I suggested that the following week, we make a muslin cover for it, and stitch it closed.  So, the following week, I supplied an adequate piece of muslin, and again we  planned it out, I did the cutting and pressing and pinning, but Elsa stitched it herself. We stuffed her tattered pillow into that muslin case Elsa made, and sewed it shut. Then we put it in the lovely floral case that she made the week before.  It should last Elsa for many years.

Sewing with Elsa

Oh, by the way….did I mention Elsa had her birthday in early June?   She just turned 101 !!  My goodness she was happy to have that pillowcase!  (Did you notice her container of pins??)

I admired this grand “walker-tote bag” she moves around the assisted living facility with.  It has a lot of flair!  It was made by her daughter, and certainly was well done.

Elsa's walker bag

Our church project for the graduating high school seniors concluded in May.  We got together in early May and did the final layering and tying, then I brought it home to bind. (Susie’s Magic Binding of course….google it if you want to know more) Picture below is the finished quilt.

Lida Gannon quilt 2018

The quilt was presented on Mother’s Day, and the student in the photo below has the quilt over her shoulders, and is praying for her parents.  I just love the presentation at church.

Praying for parents The Gannon family

This is the first time in the 10 years I have been involved with this  program at church where we ONLY had one graduate.

My month of May was busy with a house hunting trip in the Washington DC metro area with my daughter. We spent a lovely week together eating interesting foods and wandering through countless rental properties trying to narrow down one that would suit her family for the next couple of years. I was in sticker shock over the costs of rental properties.

I had some time at 2 quilt bees, the Material Girls and the Queen Bees to do a bit more work on my “Autumn Jubilee” project.  I take the project with me when ever I go to a bee.  I now have 4 more placemats complete (except for the binding)!  No pictures until I get them bound!!

May and June also kept me busy with the From My Carolina Home mystery quilt – Scrap Dance Square Dance.  The final clue of the mystery came out in June, and was able to close the door on another successful quilt along. I had planned for a twin size, but once I had it all on the design wall, I realised the dimensions were just too small for my taste, so I made more blocks and “supersized” the twin.  (It is really a full according to the pattern, but I am calling it a supersized twin).

Scrap Dance Square Dance

It is 61×85 without borders or binding.  I will probably just layer it and quilt “as is”, because it is a perfect size. I love the spinning stars.  It is 98% scrappy. Only the white stars were created from yardage in my stash.

This project has been fun to follow on Carole’s Facebook Group – From My Carolina Home Project Sharing

I like seeing all the color choices others have made.

The pattern is still up on Carole’s blog page until the end of the month. Get it for free now, before she pulls it down to publish commercially.  It is quick, easy, and fun!

That’s it for me for now.  I have a sun dress pattern for a granddaughter all cut out and waiting to be sewn.  I am going to try to work on it “between things” this week.  I am handling the snacks at church again, all week, for the Vacation Bible School kids.  Right now, there are 113 kids registered. The shopping and organizing is done, except for ice cream and strawberries for later in the week. (And I have a volunteer who is handling that area).   I am gather motivation to crush 4 boxes of cookies in the food processor for VBS snacks tomorrow…..turning them into “sand” to go on top of vanilla pudding cups along with swedish fish!  And then there is the popcorn to pop for Tuesday…..wish me luck and pray for a wonderful week with the children.

How’s your sewing and June fun?

PS, if you are a prayerful person, pray for my friend June who broke her back in early May and is slowly recovering.

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The final chapter of my April travel adventures (and a FINISHED Quilt!)

PHOTO INTENSE POST – fair warning…..

If you have been hanging around reading over the last 2 months, you are aware that I took a lovely cruise for 10 days in April along Baja California and the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California.  This cruise returned to the Port of San Pedro California.  My next adventure began when my brother Rich and his lovely wife, Carolyn (AKA – http://www.OneBlockWonderWoman.wordpress.com) picked me up at the port and transported me (and all my luggage) North of Los Angeles to their lovely home in Monterey County California for a brief stay.  

There are a few different routes to take but my brother chose I-5 North out of Los Angeles.  Boy was I glad he did that!  We got to see the hills ablaze with California Poppies.  Disclaimer – I grew up in the Los Angeles area, and I vaguely remember seeing the poppies as a child traveling to see my grandmother.  Well, did we have a great show on the ride North.  Get ready – some of the photo’s appear a little hazy, because we were moving along at 65+ mph, and I was shooting thru the windshield from the back seat or the side window, so I apologize ahead of time.  Too pretty not to share!

Bright orange poppies

Poppies on the Grapevine

Can you believe the various colors in the hillsides?   All that orange and gold and (GULP) GREEN!!!

swaths of poppies

Golden hillside

Poppies and green hills

It is not vary often you see the hillsides in California SO green.  Spring must have been kind with the rains.

Hills ablaze in poppies

I remember when I lived other places, my mother would go on and on during phone calls about the poppies.  I honestly don’t think I have ever seen them until now.  I really timed my visit “just right”.

Now, if you are a “travel person” reading my blog, I am about to change lanes and return to my normal activities….and that is QUILTING.  I invite you to hang around, you might enjoy the rest of the photos or the story.

Those regular readers who have followed for any length of time might be aware that earlier in the year, I finished a rather LARGE quilt and planned to visit by brother and his wife and work on quilting it on her long arm quilting machine.  This is WHY they picked me up.  (Sweet of them to drive 4 hours to get me and 4 hours to take me home! )  California is a very big state!  I offered a night in a hotel so they didn’t do all the driving in one day….after all, Rich is my OLDER brother…giggle…..I booked them a room on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I figured they should enjoy a night “on board a ship” since they were picking me up from a ship.  There cabin on the QM was MUCH nicer than a modern cruise ship cabin.( Oh to go back to the old days on ships!!) If Carolyn (aka oneblockwonderwoman) ever posts her photo’s, I will link to them.

Now, back to the story – I packed up my quilt top, and the backing (see the post – In Betweens – for that story) and shipped it to California before my cruise, so it was waiting on my arrival. Dear Carolyn had thoughtfully taken it out of the package and hung both parts to “relax” when she got the package.  Since we arrived late Tuesday afternoon, and I was flying home on Sunday, our time together was very short.  We got busy and loaded a practice piece to quilt .  I learned a lot about loading a quilt, and using the leaders and basting the top and sides, and floating the quilt, and how to use the size clamps.  By 10 am the next day we were set up to stitch on Greta, her new Gammill long arm quilting machine.  I had LOTS of practice before we loaded my quilt.

Greta the Gammill

This is her dining room, with windows on 3 sides.  The sun is so bright that she has heavy drapes to block the glare.

Time to practice

Greta the Gammill has great LED lights.

Practice on plain muslin

Carolyn taught me some of her favorite stitching elements.  I wanted to tackle each block independently and I had fun learning to operate the machine, and not drive it like a drunken sailor. Thank goodness for a great stitch regulator!  She even taught me how to work with a ruler –

Practice and planning

I decided I needed to “draw” a couple of quilt blocks so I could get a better handle on exactly where the needle was stopping and planning out some layouts for various blocks.

Since time was short, after 2 practice pieces (and lunch), we loaded my quilt on Greta’s frame.  That took us over an hour, getting everything “just right”.

Quilting at Carolyn's on Greta the Gammill

This is not a small quilt and nearly fills her frame.  I can see why my brother is often referred to as the “Quilters Assistant”.  It really seems like a 2 person job getting the quilt, the batting and the backing all set up right.  Because I had a pieced backing, I was extremely careful about the placement of the backing on the machine so the quilt top would be centered.

I won’t bore you with all the close up photo’s of the quilting.  Let me just say, if you really want to see them, they are in an album all together with the quilt construction photos, and you are welcome to browse through them.  Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks  .  There are lots of notes in the album about the various names of the blocks etc.  I quilted each block taking into consideration the elements of the block.  99% was done free motion with no stencils, drawings, markings.  2 blocks were done with ruler work.  We spent a lot of time working on the quilt.  I took a shot of the screen on Saturday –

LOTS of stitches

Even though we had been working since Wednesday, the machine said we had an actual 6 hours of stitching time, with over 152,000 stitches in the quilting. The “timer” only clocks when the needle is going up & down, not when the machine is on. (Has something to do with time for oil and cleaning if I remember correctly). There is a lot of “in between time” that happens.  Advancing the quilt, taking practice stitches along the side, and the distractions of where I was in California.  Their home is on several acres with gardens and meadows and the weather was perfect.  The home was constructed in the manor of a California Adobe, with tiled roof, walled garden area and arches.  The view out the windows is amazing.  What a great place for a break and a stretch!

In the courtyard

The sound of the fountain was so relaxing –

View from the window while quilting

Those of you who follow Carolyn on her blog – https://oneblockwonderwoman.wordpress.com know about what lies in wait on the other side of the gate in the grape arbor, just outside the courtyard wall.

Grape Arbor

And of course, in between times, we had to eat breakfast lunch, dinner, drink wine and go for walks.   Check out the great area they live in – quietly nestled in a little valley down a dirt lane.  There are vineyards and cattle and farmers all around. It was good to get out, stretch my legs and enjoy the beautiful Central Coastal California.

Enjoying a walk

My sister-in-law is well known among her neighbors and has several quilting friends that stopped over to meet me. It was so fun to visit with the people I had heard so much about who get to share time with Carolyn all the time!  (Thanks for sharing Mona!!)

We ran out of time on Saturday when all of a sudden the top tension went nuts when we changed bobbins, and nothing Carolyn adjusted could make the machine sew right. There were big loops on the bottom (thankfully I had an extra 6″ of backing all around and she had a place to test stitch.) Many phone calls to her dealer tech rep, and to a friend with a Gammill still left us unable to stitch.  So, we stopped, left the quilt on the frame and the next day, I had to fly home.

After 2 weeks of “adjustments, and a visit by her friends with a Gammill; she was able to finally get things working again, and she finished up my quilt.  Carolyn did the center of one block, and finished the last 2 blocks and quilted the border for me.  I was very thankful that she was able to do this and ship it home.    She trimmed the quilt for me and saved the cutaway backing pieces. She knew I was planning to use them for the binding.

 I spent a couple of evenings with the seam ripper removing the stray stitches on those saved pieces and made my “Susie’s Magic Binding”.  I got the quilt bound just in time to put it on the guest room bed!  I had family coming and I want them to be cozy under a new quilt!  I finally got to show it at the Material Girls Quilt Bee this week.  Still needs a label, but the hanging pocket is on already. I will enter it in our next  Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show April 2019

My quilting is a novice attempt, so I will enter in the non-judged category.  Overall, I love the outcome, and I declare the project FINISHED!!!

Grandma's Kitchen - queen size

                            GRANDMA’S KITCHEN by Mary Deeter

Note – Pattern is by Pat Sloan, block of the week quilt along (Jun-Dec 2017).

Hope you enjoy the pictures included in this post and take time to check out the link to the FLICKR photo album.

Have you had any fun travel or quilting adventures lately?

Retreat and UFO

Every year, since I have been a member of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, there has been a retreat in early February.  I’ve attended many of these retreats and always enjoy the time spent with so many creative, talented people. As in the past, we meet at a lovely beach front hotel in Ocean City Maryland, where we are greeted most mornings with spectacular sunrises in our ocean front rooms. 

640 Dawn's early light - Ocean City MD Sunrise

There are 9 more photo’s in this sunrise series you can see hereOcean City Sunrise photo’s

It is inspiring to wake up early at this retreat, so you don’t miss the glorious sunrise.  Breakfast is at 7:30, and we are sewing by 9 am !

I took with me many items to work on at the retreat.  Turns out, only ONE project captured most of my time and energy.  I dug out one of my oldest UFO’s and brought it along, with the intent of quilting.  Just how old is it?   You can read about it back in 2012 here – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/unfinished-projects-starting-to-bug-me/

and here https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/crossroads-pattern/

and here-  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/playing-with-borders/

About a year ago, I came across a bit of fabric that was in the same deep red/brown tones and I tucked it into the box for backing of this project.  So, when I pulled it out to take to retreat, I just needed a bit of batting.  This project was about 44″ square.  I am happy to say I finished all the quilting during the retreat. I cut the backing and batting and pin basted in our hotel suite on Tuesday night, so I was ready to start stitching when the classroom opened on Wednesday morning.  I worked two solid days quilting this, and thought it is small, there were TONS of starts and stops, and turning constantly. I decided right away I was going to “pull up” the bobbin thread, and use my lock stitch on my Janome for my start & stops, and not burying all those threads. It’s a wall hanging and a 6 year old UFO !  (I’m not putting it in a show, so hush you quilt police)  (Oh, and by the way, I KNOW there are a few crappy HST and a few geese that lost their points in this project….they jumped out at me while quilting….hey it was before I knew what I was doing…..)

Quilted and bound

 

I did most of the quilting using my walking foot. The exception is in the wide border of hearts, I used a stitch that is connected hearts, and in the narrow red border I did the same stitch.  On the outer red heart border I did some wavy stitching.  I like to use these built in to the machine stitches if possible.  They make quilting a lot easier.  If you want to see close-ups of the various quilting that I did, look at the photo’s here – UFO Finish  .  (There is also a photo of the back where the techniques I used really show). 

Yesterday,  I trimmed it down to about 40″ square, as I felt the final borders were TOO wide.  I used up a bunch of left over bits of the red to make a scrappy binding, and did the Susie’s Magic Binding technique. (Some call it binding with a flange or piping) If you have never tried this method, check out the tutorial here – Susie’s Magic Binding Tutorial(Watch the video’s too…)

I used the same fabric that is in the area around the flying geese in the flange for the binding. I love that little pop of color along the edge. I added a hanging sleeve while I was doing the binding, and the last thing that needs to be finished is to hand stitch the bottom and ends of the hanging sleeve and make a label!

Since this was the “big deal” for me at the retreat, I will stop here and ask – what is the OLDEST UFO you have sitting around, and WHY didn’t you finish what you started?  

I will tell you why this went “in the box”.  We were doing a new project every week in the class and I was overwhelmed.  I also could not figure out how to “finish”.  Our instructor had scaled the pattern in Pat Sloan’s “I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting” down to just a 1 block project instead of a whole quilt, and I didn’t “know” what to do at the time.  Of course, a few years of experience were needed under my belt before I could say, enough is enough and a wall hanging is just “fine”.  🙂

More about the retreat in the next post!

 

Autumn Jubilee – circa 2016

In my last post I mentioned I was would be working on my Autumn Jubilee 2016 placemats during my sewing time at the Material Girls Quilt Bee.  I am HAPPY to report that I have completed 4 placemats in this project.  But not, AT the bee.  

Doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment really, since I have been piddling with them since January or February.  Once a month this Material Girls Quilt Bee gathers, and we sew.  I decided to keep a ‘project in a box’ ready to grab and go.  Every month I would make 2 or 3 more leaves.  In August, I had enough leaves together for 4, and made some choices about the border fabrics when I came home, I got the borders on.  I wrote about it on this post –  Still play with Autumn Jubilee

Since our last gathering in August I just needed to assemble the backs and quilt. We didn’t sew in September, so the box has been languishing on the floor under my design wall.  And I had totally forgotten what was and wasn’t done!  (I really should read my own blog!)

As I went to “pack up my gear” for the bee, I had to look at what was in the box, where I was at on the project etc, since I hadn’t touched  it in 2 months.  So,  Tuesday (after I finished my Grandma’s kitchen blocks)  I got the box off the floor and took a hard look.  I re-discovered the backs were made and pinned to the front with so I didn’t have to even think about which back went with which top. (They are all unique).  I just needed to dig out the batting and QUILT.  I used batting pieces that were wide scraps, some of it pieced with that great Pellon tape.   I even managed to quilt one before I packed the car!  The remaining ones were all pined, and I left all four at home to finish “after” the bee.  (Disclaimer – one has been completely finished for MONTHS)

So, what did I work on during the bee?  I took my Autumn Jubilee box (now neatly sorted and organized) and made some more stems, and half square triangles, and built 2 more leaves.  I do have enough parts in that box for at least another 4 placemats.  (This should keep me going at the bees for another few months!)  I do like to have a project that doesn’t require great amounts of concentration while all the conversation is going on all around.  I’ve got all those parts, so why not!

When I got home, after the bee, I unpacked and decided I was going to finish the quilting on the remaining 2, and that went quickly.  I’m not sure you can see the quilting but I did a spiral from the center out over the leaves, then straight line walking foot in the borders.

I made the binding for all of them, and started putting it on.  Each placemat has different binding, to coordinate with one of the border fabrics.  I used my favorite method, Susie’s Magic Binding.

I ran into a snag.  I would get to the “corner” of my binding and my stitches were not “locking”.  I had a 1/2” or inch of space where the top thread and bobbin thread did not lock. I fussed, and fussed and fussed.  Thread changed, bobbin changed, needle changed, machine cleaned, bobbin race cleaned and still no stitches.  I must have tried 15 times and no luck. (Seam ripper engaged numerous times to take out the excess). I reverse sides, I changed tactics and started in the middle stitching to the corner etc. AGGRAVATED & getting cranky when things don’t go right!  (Does that happen to you??)   I knew it had to do with the thickness in the corner, but could not figure out a solution.  I gave up on Wednesday night and quit.

Chatting with my hubby on Thursday he suggested a different TYPE of needle.  I put in a heavy duty needle and sailed right through the corners!  (I love his fresh perspective and that he understands sewing!) This is what happens to me when you are TRYING so hard to finish something!  (FUN FACTOR GONE….you know!)

So, Thursday afternoon, I bound all of the placemats and declared DONE (for now).  We even used 2 of them at dinner last night!!

4 finished Autumn Jubilee 2016 placemats

Each one has different borders and backing.  Here is a peak at the back side.

Autumn Jubilee 2016 placements

I love fall fabric, and my favorite is the top left, as it has a shimmering gold through out.  Note, all of these fabrics for the backs, and the leaves on the front, the borders etc were “scraps”.  Amazing amount of variety.  No “new” fabric was used in the creation of this very scrappy project, and no “new batting” was used either!

The original pattern was by Carole – From My Carolina Home on her blog in 2016.  I’m not sure if it is still available, but she has a new pattern out for Autumn Jubilee 2017, so go check her out – https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/

Do you have any projects languishing?

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.

 

 

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.  

 

 

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????