Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Resumption of Quilting Activity

Our visit by out of town family is over. Four days of dinners, drives, long talks and general catching up, ending with a drive to the airport yesterday.  And now I can return to my quilting but first a little cutting.  Why cutting? Because one of the long drives over the weekend was to JoAnne’s; where they had a 40% sale.  And I caved, succumbed, bent to the pressure of hurting wrists and fingers, and bought the Accuquilt Go!.   In addition to the basic machine I also got two dies, the 2.5” strip and the 2” squares. 
So today now that I have time to play with it, I set up in the dining room and went to work.
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With two tables to spread out on, and an ironing station to tame any unruly pieces, I cut all afternoon.
Final total:
2.5” strips: 105
2.5” squares: 86
2.5” HST: 105
2” sq. : 470
4.5” sq: 58


And a very happy quilter.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Spring Cleaning

Dear Hubby pointed out last night that I hadn’t posted in a while, and I retorted that no one wanted to hear about my spring cleaning marathon,  which is what it feels like I have been doing .  But that is not fair, there have been other things going on.  Like another machine. Like quilting on the Baby Star.
The machine was pure happenstance. Dear Son and I popped out Monday eve to drop off some stuff to the thrift store, and of course do a walk through. I headed right to the fabrics and notions where I spotted a baggie of threads, spools and spools of thread. That usually is a good indication that some one has dropped off their mom’s sewing stuff. And a great piece of neutral fabric. So headed down back to the furniture to see if there was a machine. Just an empty sewing cabinet.  Maybe they kept the machine. Did a walk through anyway and on another desk spied a white plastic case looking almost like a suitcase except on the handle it said Kenmore.
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Isn’t that so cute, roses all over it and inside, a Kenmore 158.104520140407_172133

Just the sweetest little 3/4 size, solid metal, zig-zag.  With no foot pedal or power cord. I didn’t grab it and run, in fact checked out ( with the fabric and two more shirts to cut up) and came home and told my DH. Who immediately said “why didn’t you get it”.  I posted it on the facebook Vintage Machines group and they all said “grab it”.  So the next day, while I was working, hubby went and bought it. We drove to Niagara Falls to a sewing machine  store and he had a power cord/foot pedal combo that worked.  Happy ending

Best part - machine $23, foot $20 = grand total $43 !

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The house cleaning has a happy ending also. Back in September when
my DD2 moved back home I posted a picture of my living room. Looking like this.

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Before
Well, now after considerable effort, it looks like this:
Still a little pile of stuff down to the left that needs to go ( especially that old TV) but I feel much better about it.  
And the Baby Star Quilt: 
Just need to quilt the border and put on the binding and it's ready to ship. But my quilting table are repurposed for the weekend to accommodate a family dinner so all is on hold.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Challenge Accepted

One of my sisters asked me to make a baby quilt. Not going to go into the reason she wants it, it's a verrry complicated and slightly sad. However, here is the challenging part, she is not a big fan of my scrappyness. In fact, can't see what my baby sister sees in the Strip Twist, came right out and declared she doesn't see the pattern in it. ( which goes a whole lot to explain why she isn't getting it as a 50th birthday present plus she won't admit she turned 50 last year).  In addition to restraining my pallet, she also wanted the baby's name on the quilt.
This is what I have so far.  The name in the centre will be embroidered. Just auditioning a border here. The pattern is from Quiltmaker, one of their Big Blocks Series. I loved the look when I saw it and the light bulb moment happened when I realized I could substitute the 4, 4.5" blocks that came together in the centre with one 8.5" block and then put the name on it. So now I am off to practice my embroidery, not liking the price I was quoted for getting it done by machine at my LQS.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Terrible Blogger

I’ve been a terrible blogger this month.  I just realized I’ve posted nothing.  Have mostly been working and sewing on the Strip Twist, trying to get it ready to send to my sister. Finished the binding last night and will label it and wash it today. As a break from the Strip Twist, on the Saturday of International Quilting Day I tried the Mystery Quilt on a facebook page.  It was a jelly roll race type and I used up a bunch of the strips I was tired of sewing with from the Strip Twist. This is the end product so far. It was a lot of fun to just sew, not worrying over light vs dark or matching anything.  In hindsight, I would have ironed more. The video I watched on the Jelly Roll Race from Youtube said to just go for it and not worry about ironing between rows, but I have some mini-volcano's that might have been avoided if I’d ironed (I think).
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The Strip Twist, finished and washed. First quilt out on the clothes line this year.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Finally..

Finally close to finishing the Adirondack Autumn top. I haven’t felt like posting anything until I had progress that was worth reporting. Today I sewed all the  blocks together and just have to put on the borders to call it ready to quilt.
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 So far the only oopsie I’ve found is a pinwheel spinning the wrong way and it can just stay there.  It is so incredible how clean my work area looks with out all the pieces of this lying about.

This hasn’t been the only project coming to a close. I actually finished a quilt a week ago. This was a top I completed several years ago, Before Bonnie.  Easy tospringquilt tell, as I am trying to be coordinated with my fabric choices, and if you could see the back, oh the threads everywhere.  But is is done and the new mother-to-be (one of my daughter’s friends) is very happy with it.  This is her receiving it  at her baby shower.




And I have another in the middle of being quilted. This is Bonnie’s Strip Twist that I was making to use up the left-overs of the Scrappy Trips. My baby sister loved the pictures of it I posted on Facebook, so I decided to finish it for her birthday in two weeks. She is turning 50 so it seemed a good time to send her a special present.
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Once I decided this was her quilt, I threw in some fabrics reflecting her interests. And for the border I used a fabric with a sewing theme and actually says “Sewing Queen”. For the cornerstones I wanted some that I had with cats and yarn on cheddar background but could not find it anywhere. A whole day was spend going through every piece of fabric, sorting and folding and organizing. My fabric is in a better condition but still no cats.  All I found was a 2” strip less than 10” long. All I can thing is I sliced what was left into strips after I used it in a Trip Around the World last year.  So instead the cornerstones are headshots of dogs fussy cut. I’ve quilted diagonally through the quilt and just need to come up with a motif for the centre of the block.
She liked the pattern so much she is making one herself, LOL. When she posted that I had to message and tell her this one is coming her way. She was thrilled especially since the one she is making was intended for someone else. This making things for others seems to run in our family.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Final Mystery Link-Up

The mystery linkys are coming to an end and here I am, bringing up the rear.  Very pleased to say I have made more progress. It is much easier to get pieces sew once they have been cut LOL. So a great deal of cutting going on to bring things up to speed. The only units still outstanding are of course chevrons but more than half are done so I put some blocks together.
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So far, sew good.
Hiding at the top are the Strip Twist blocks. At least the ones still on the wall. I found a great way to clear off a design wall. Get DH to service my Necchi. I asked him to oil her and of course he had to vacuum first. Next thing I know, blocks are flying everywhere.  On the plus side, I now have a truly random placement of blocks and a clean machine to sew them on.
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Strip Twist blocks sewn into groups of four, awaiting further sewing.






The cut off bits of Strip Twist that I had been considering for a 16 patch have been re-purposed. Bonnie posted a link this week that really caught my fancy. It is a 25 patch, sashed with  individual blocks floating on a background ( here is the link Film at Five ). It was love at first sight. No pesky light/dark separations, just random blocks sewn.  The strips of four that had been trimmed off the ends of the strip twists just needed a block sewn to make them 5’s and off we go. Got 5 blocks done already.
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And if that wasn’t enough, I un-earthed two more projects while cleaning up that can use up the extra 2.5” pieces. The shaded nine patch and Oklahoma Backroads both have around
20-30 blocks done. So I have them set out ready to go and am trying to do one or two every day I sew. May be by summer I will have enough to do something.
Now to link up with Bonnie and see what everyone else has been doing.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Brrr

It is cold again and the only thing to do is stay inside and sew. Well, there is lots I could be doing but I’m trying to get Adirondack Autumn finished. Still have about 50 unit five’s to finish. Had to cut more orange and yellow to make more  HST’s. And I think I’m still short 30 chevrons, haven’t counted them yet. While working away on these pieces I’ve been using the Strip Twist blocks as leaders and enders.
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Here’s what I have so far. Bonnie shows this in  a 3 X 4 setting, in her free patterns, so need another 4 blocks, which means another 16 sets of strips.




I did venture out into the cold for a little retail therapy one day last week. Wandered around thrift store checking for sewing machines. Didn’t find any but found fabric. Not that I needed either.
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But I couldn’t resist these delights. Although what I”m going to do with 4 yards of Christmas print escapes me at the moment, if my imagination fails me I can fall back on giving it to my very imaginative sister. We have been swapping fabrics back and forth this year. The African ladies dancing is so gorgeous, I’ve been looking through my books for something special to do with it. And that red batik is a ginormous 4 yards also.  The red and white is tiny red hearts and feels like a broadcloth but should have lots for binding and backs from it.

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All that cleaning up in the sewing room paid off when DH wanted to use his machine.
Here he is making a pocket for his new cell phone. His is the 99-13 in a beautiful cabinet. He is usually sewing with heavy duty fabrics, like canvas and denim and the 99 handles them well. This time it was with a fake leather that came in the Great Fabric Acquisition Road Trip (only picture is of it in the back of the van here ). Unfortunately this only used 10” of fabric – still have several yards still to use up.

And just to demonstrate  how imaginative my big sister can be, here is a quilt she just finished. Inspired by the umbrella fabric in the sashing, she found a bunch of applique blocks with umbrellas and then designed some of her own when there wasn't enough for the layout she wanted. I especially love the little elephant in the bottom left as she did them on a quilt for my oldest daughter.