This and That and a little bit more

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

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

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

IMG_20170425_181048

IMG_20170425_181547

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

IMG_20170430_090511

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

IMG_20170430_090417

IMG_20170430_090224

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

IMG_20170430_090110

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

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

20170413_164926

20170413_164943

20170414_161701

20170414_161710

20170413_164828

20170413_164854

20170413_164728

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

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

1948 Singer Featherweight

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

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

Do you have any May projects started???

 

Part 4 of Scrap Dance Mystery 2 Step

Say that 3 times – Part 4 of Scrap Dance Mystery 2 Step….Big title for a fun project.  I love a mystery, so I am having FUN with this little  project.  Little for me, as I decided to do a “twin size”.  Lately everything I have made has been double or king!

I am enjoying each month an hour or two of sewing something totally different than anything else I am working on.  Carole has great directions. If you are interested in playing catch up – check out the instructions on her blog here – Scrap Dance 2 Step – April info  . Carole releases the directions once a month and I “schedule” some time on my calendar so I can play along.  Carole has a great blog.  She writes about a lot of things besides quilting at From My Carolina Home on WordPress.

The directions for April have me using the hourglass (quarter square triangle) blocks and join them with a scrappy square –

Part 4 of Scrap Dance Mystery 2 Step

Of course there are 2 Steps, joining “bar units” and scrappy squares –

Scrap Dance 2 Step April Units

Now, I am second guessing my scrappy square choices……………I’m not sure I love them like I should…..but I am going to leave things alone and wait and see what happens next month.

(Note – my extra ironing board right now has 600 or more 4.5″ scrappy squares stacked up on it……waiting to be bundled up for the quilt show….so it must be scrap fabric envy!)

Overall, I am happy to say that all the fabric used for this project except the background neutral came from my “scrap box” and my scrap storage system.  I like scrappy quilts and I like the way each of Carole’s patterns have turned out; so I just need to practice a little patience today!  My units for this step are complete, and filed away in big zip locks and on the tray on the shelf to wait for the next part of the Scrap Dance  Two Step in May!

 Don’t tell anybody I spent time with the vacuum this weekend !  I thought when we bought that cute little Dyson Animal Stick Vac last week that the HUBBY would be the only one using it.  Honestly I would rather be quilting too, but the windows & doors have been open and the pollen has been coming in the house, and the darn cats refuse to operate the vacuum or the swiffer or even the dusting cloths.  It is “almost” time to set up our free standing a/c units, and the one for our bedroom needed a good cleaning before the season starts….(because we didn’t do it at the end of the season last year).  Hubby helped me get the entire cover off so we could get the vacuum in on the coils. We have 5 of these units, between the house & the garage sewing room,  and the filters are easy to remove and wash; but there are “intakes” that get covered in dust, lint, cat hair etc that you can’t easily get to, in order to clean.  It was like major surgery yesterday. And of course, all this took time away from any progress in the sewing room until evening!  Hubby agrees that the other 4 need to come apart, one at a time for thorough cleaning.

I was lucky to squeeze building these units in on Saturday night after I made binding for 2 quilts.  I did manage to get the binding made for 2 more quilts, and got 3 of the quilts trimmed and ready to attach the binding after dinner on Sunday night.  One more quilt on the table ready to trim, and then it will be time to get busy sewing the binding on those 4 quilts.

I am saving the binding attachment for my 3 day “sit & sew camp” later this week.  The good thing about “going to a sit & sew camp” is I won’t see the dust bunnies rolling down my hallway, or the laundry piling up all week!  Out of sight…..golly I need a housekeeper to follow around and pick up threads that I drop!

Since Downton Abbey is off the air, do you suppose the staff is looking for a new position?  I could give a few of them room and board!  I suppose they would require a paycheck beyond my meager means, so I guess I will have to continue “scheduling” the domestic chores…..My sister-in-law, Carolyn, who writes the great blog – One Block Wonder Woman reminded me that BALANCE is the key; and her formula is 2.5 mins housework, 2 hours in the garden and 8-10 hour s for quilting!  My schedule is Monday laundry – Tuesday toilets-Quilting the rest the week.  (I keep forgetting about those floors…..which is why I bought the hubby that cute Dyson….)

My projects are stacking up.  How about in your sewing room?  Do you have “more than one” going at a time?  How do you keep it all straight?

Note – linking up this post to Oh Scrap !!  Check out the button on the sidebar on this blog or use the link in this paragraph!  (I love the full name of that blog by the way, because I believe it!)

Binding containment

I knew it was going to be one of those weeks, but golly, I need a day of rest!  I had 3 mornings where ladies came to work on Second Time Around fabrics; and while they helped press, trim, measure, fold and price fabrics, I was able to sort through the stuff that was “not fabric”.  I sorted out thread spools; separating the old wooden spools from the modern plastic. I tossed the really yucky old thread, set aside other threads to be donated, sorted boxes of embellishments, lace; rickrack and seam binding. I feel like I made some headway, but come Friday afternoon, I could not see any empty flat surface in my sewing space.  I gathered up the boxes I was sorting into, and stacked them all up, and now I can see my cutting table, and my big work table again!  I needed my “space” to work on Senior Quilts.

Two days this week I worked on our Senior Quilt project at church, and we managed to get 5 quilts tied.  We use crochet cotton, and tie at the intersections of the 8.5″ squares.

Pinning Senior Quilts

Senior quilt for Eagle Scout

I brought home 4 to bind, and I have a 3 day sit & sew camp this week, so that should go fairly easy!  Now that the work table is cleared off, I hope to get them trimmed this afternoon. 

3 quilts overloaded my bag

I have made the binding for 2 of the quilts; and of course, I use my favorite method, Susie’s Magic Binding  .  I love this binding as it is all stitched on by machine, which is great on quilts that will get heavy use.  Making it does take the “extra step” but it goes quickly. 

 I was inspired to “change methods” for storing the binding by a Facebook post I read today.  Usually I roll it onto a cardboard tube, then stand that tube on my thread rack on the back of my machine. These quilts take about 320″ of binding.

Susies Magic Binding Dakota quilt

 I read all kinds of methods, and tripped over one I which inspired me.  Anne Sidell – Confessions of a Serial Quilter posted about a method she uses – How to Tame your Binding  – on her blog.  I modified because I discovered her method and my machine were not compatible.  My adaptation was to use the empty “cone” from Superior Thread to store the binding.  The cone will fit on my thread rack, and I will run the binding up and over the thread stand guide of the machine.  (I will post a photo when I am at that step)

2 spools of binding

I’ve got 2 spools loaded with binding for 2 senior quilts.  This afternoon, I will layout the other 2 quilts, select the fabrics for the binding and get it made, and “wound” on the spools.  I think I will store each spool with the quilt in a ziplock bag to keep the fraying on the edges done until I can get it attached this week.  I KNEW there was a reason I didn’t throw those empty cones away.  Note, I tried to roll the binding on neatly, but it got to be too thick of a spool, so I “layered” it up and down the spindle as I wrapped.  Hard to make it look as pretty as the ones that Anne Sidell did using her method.  

How do you “wrangle” your binding???

 

 

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??

Made it to the table

Gosh, last night I was in such a rush to get this little table runner bound, and washed.  It is “quilt guild Monday” and I wanted it ready to go to the meeting today for show and tell.  You see, I worked on this during our Sit & Sew last week. Everybody had so many “finished items”, but I was building the bits and pieces!

Well, now here it is, dry and on the table – just in time to pack it up & go!  It finished about 14 x 42″.

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner finished

I will be making several more as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post.  I made lots of the components during the Sit & Sew last week, and they are scattered in my sewing room, waiting to be constructed!

My inspiration for the colors came from the tree in my front yard that is currently in a blaze of color!

20161104_160242

20161104_160201

This is also my view from the window in my sewing room!  Just love it!

Thanks again to Carole for the inspiring pattern!  Carole’s blog – http://www.frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com   (Sorry, the link won’t stay active in the post today for some silly reason!)

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.

20160813_165315

20160813_165448

20160813_165244

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.

20160815_170040

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!

20160815_125310

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!

20160815_125756-1.jpg

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!