April 20, 2014

Just Playing Around

    I made these faux cathedral pieces from the tutorial at Diary of a Quilt Maven, the link to the tutorials is here.  She makes her faux cathedral squares into pretty pin cushions.  I haven't decided if I'm going to do that or not.

They were fun to make and went together very easily once the pieces were cut.  They just don't look at neat as hers do and I don't think they would make pretty pincushions. 

     I made a prototype granny square block.  I want to show it to DD to see if I make granny square blocks out of the jelly roll stips I have.  I was going to do something different with the jelly roll strips but last night I had a brainstorm and this I know that granny square blocks would make a much prettier quilt top than what I was planning.  I just have to get DD to agree and find out what color solid she wants to use on the border squares.  I used brown because I saw one with brown border squares and it was super pretty.  I also like the ones done in white and black border squares.  There are just so many options. 

April 19, 2014

Sewing on Saturday

    There's nothing like spending my Saturday morning playing at the sewing machine.

    This morning I finished setting my small stars with sashing and cornerstones.  This set of small stars will be pieced in the center of the back of the Big Star, Little Star quilt.  The material I ordered for the main backing fabric as well as the batting should be delivered next week and I'll be ready to piece the back, sandwich, quilt, and bind the Big Star, Little Star Quilt top I finished last month. 

   The other night I played with the ruffler foot on my Singer 401A again.  I adjusted the depth screw setting and the number of stitches setting to 6 stitches and this is what I got with a jelly roll strip. 

  That ruffler foot did a really nice job for a piece of equipment that had not been used in a lot of years.  After I sewed this ruffle, I oiled the ruffler foot and I hope to get a lot of use out of the ruffler foot.  I wish I had one for every one of my sewing machines.

   While I'm waiting for my fabric delivery I'm going to make some cathedral window pin cushions using the tutorial at Diary of a Quilt Maven.  The picture tutorial looks easy to follow and I love to make pin cushions.

April 15, 2014

Small Stars for the Back Are Done.

      I finished putting together the small blue and brown stars for the back of the Big Star, Little Star quilt.  This morning I ordered my green backing/binding fabric and my batting to finish this project.  I want to sash these stars with some white fabric and put some cornerstones at each corner.  When I get my fabric and batting (probably next week) I'll be ready to piece the back and sandwich.  So this project is moving forward.

     I have the jelly roll strips for the next quilt top out and I'm trying to decide what order to sew them in.  I also have additional fabric that I want to add to these fabrics and I have to get that cut into some 2.5" strips.

      I love the vintage and antique sewing machines and a couple of years ago, I had started quite a collection of vintage sewing machines that I was going to restore and use.  I soon realized I didn't want to use my little bit of free time working on machines, I really only want to sew on them, so I disbanded my vintage machine collection except for one Singer 401A.

    The Singer 401A was given to me by a friend to keep for her because she had to downsize her home.  She made me promise that I would never sell this machine.  If I find in the future that I can't keep the machine that I should contact my friend and let her come and get it.  So I'm just keeping the machine for her.

      When I received this machine it wasn't in very good shape.  She needed to be cleaned and oiled.  She also needed a new power cord.   I took her into my local Singer distributor and they fixed her up with a power cord and got her going with some oil in the appropriate spots.  It was worth it to make her pretty again.  My friend has given me a zig zag attachment for her, a buttonhole attachment for her and various cams and feet.  I had to clean the feet up to get some of the rust off but it was fun to see them shine again.

    I'm calling the machine her because she is called Ms. Elsie.  She is named after my friend's Mom who was the original owner of her.  Ms. Elsie was manufactured in 1959 according to her serial number and purchased in about 1960 with some inheritance money received from the death of a parent.  My friend's Mom had three girls and she made all their dresses on Miss Elsie while they were growing up.  Then my friend learned to sew when she was young, she made all her own clothes on her until she went to college.  So Miss Elsie deserves to be well taken care of.  Tonight I took her out to play.  I just tried to use the ruffler foot and have a picture of my first ruffling effort.  Fun.  Here's a picture of Ms. Elsie.

The ruffler foot

My first ruffle.

    I'm going to keep this machine out and play with the ruffler foot some more.

April 13, 2014

Little Blue and Brown Stars for the Back

    Today I cut out and prepared four blue and brown stars for the back of the Big Star, Little Star Quilt.   I always piece my backs with blocks and fabrics from the top and this quilt will be no exception.   I'm ordering the backing/binding fabric and batting on Tuesday and I should have it next week.  The little star on the top right is sewn and the others are awaiting sewing.  I cut these squares 3" and I got a chance to use my portable design board that I made a few months back.  These stars are going to look great in the center of the back of the quilt.   

      I had a really hard time deciding that these stars for the back of the quilt would be just two colors because I had 8 or 9 colors to choose from.  Everything about this quilt has been hard to decide.  I finally decided on the color for the backing and binding.  Wow, that took a while.  Next decision is how to quilt this baby.  I know one thing for certain, there will be not stippling or roundness in the quilting.  The quilting is going to be all straight lines like the stars themselves.  I just feel like that would be the best way to quilt this top.  I just have to decide where I want to put my straight lines.

April 12, 2014

Hats and Roses

I finished my two bucket hats that I cut out I don't know how many weeks ago.  I finally sewed them up and they are finished.  The back pony tail opening didn't pucker up like the first one.  I don't know what I did different, but I'm glad it looks better.  My daughter wants to make one for herself so now that I have lots of experience, hers should turn out pretty good.

My knock out roses are flowering. These are pictures of buds I wanted to post the other evening, but today those buds are flowering. I love the smell of roses. I will have knock out roses into November. Yeah!

I'm going to start on making some stars for the back of my bigstar, little star quilt top.  I'm ordering the backing fabric on Tuesday and I've decided on the avocado color for the backing and the binding.  Yeah. 

Off to do some yard work.

April 11, 2014

Pattern Making

   My daughter and I tried to make a pattern last weekend for a stuffed chicken.  We had a great time for three hours making this chicken.  I have to say that dear daughter drew the pattern (she's the artist) and I used my sewing skills to get it all put together.  I taught daughter about seam allowances, gussets, and about what order to make all the little pieces and how to put it together.   I would like to present our first effort ever in drawing a pattern and then sewing the pattern we drew, presenting  . . . FRANKENCHICKEN! 

    We won't be publishing any sewing patterns anytime soon, but it was a fun exercise.  It was one of those thing where you say, I can make that and we actually tried to make it.  I think it kind of looks like a chicken (a very folksy, primitive chicken) and it will be great for the purpose intended.   Daughter was very happy with our effort.  
    This was our second collaboration this year with a project where we had to work closely together.  Back in February we had to brace my 6 foot wood fence that was falling down in one section.   We found out that some of the posts didn't have enought concrete from when they were originally set.  Daughter was the lead in that project and I just followed her directions.  She was smart and did get some help with the plan for that project as well as help with digging the post holes.  Once the post holes were dug we were ready to get supplies.  That project took 11 hours (we split it up between Saturday and Sunday) which includes the time to get the posts, quickcrete and gravel from the homestore.  We did a really good job setting 12 - 10' posts with lots of quickcrete and getting the fence braced.  Those posts are not going anywhere.    We make a pretty good team when we get together to fix or make something. 
  This weekend I'm working on my bucket hats.  Really, I am.

March 30, 2014

Big Star Quilt Top is Finally Done

   Ta Da!  

       It's 58" wide x 86" long.  I love it.  I took a picture of it hanging in my dining room sliding glass door and it almost looks like stained glass.  I still haven't decided on a color for the backing and the binding so it's a good thing I can't afford to buy any backing/binding material or the batting for this beauty.  I'll have it done before the end of summer for sure.  I'm just glad the top is done.  I ended up redoing a whole row in one section of the small stars because I got crazy with the rotary cutter and sliced off a few of my star points.  I am so glad I took the time to re do that row because I really like this quilt top now.   By the way, I made the big stars with 10" squares of fabric and the small stars with 3" squares of fabric.  I used some of my favorite colors from the Mirage line at Connecting Threads.  Such pretty colors to sew with.  It was a fun top to make.

Here are a couple of pictures.

My next two projects are bucket hats for me.  

March 25, 2014

The Big Star Quilt Continued, Moving To Get More Light, And A Pretty Jelly Roll For Another Top

    I have been working on my Big Star Quilt top for the last week and a half.  I put sashing in between and around the four big stars I made, then I made eight smaller stars (using 5" squares) to make a top and bottom row for the quilt.  I want the top to be long but not wide.  Tonight I have to remove one of the border rows that I sewed on last night because I chopped off some of my star points when I sewed that row on and I want to fix it.  I don't know when I'll get this top done, but I'm not in any hurry, because I still have to get batting and backing/binding material for it.  I'm having a hard time deciding on a color or a print for the backing and binding.  I'm leaning toward gray or green but I'm still looking at options.


     Last weekend I made a very important decision for my sewing hobby.  I moved my sewing studio into the living room from my master bedroom.  The bedroom was big enough and I enjoyed my set up in there but that room is super dark and I had to have lamps on even in the daylight. 

     I've been thinking about making this move for a while now.  I don't get a lot of company at my house and my living room is kind of wasted on just me watching T.V. in it.  My living room also gets tons of light.  There are two big windows in the room as well as indirect light from the sliding glass door in the dining room, and light filtering in from the kitchen windows.  Another bonus is that I can watch T.V. in the living room and the dog can see me from his dining room/kitchen puppy kingdom where he is gated.  

     So last Saturday, I took an hour and a half out of my day and moved my sewing and cutting tables out into the living room and rearranged my bedroom a little.  I have to say, I really, really, really, like having my sewing hobby in the living room.  I'm also going to move my office furniture back into the room that used to be my offce so my bedroom can be my sanctuary with some pretty furniture to match my pretty bedding. 

     The living room space still need some work.  I have to get rid of the big leather sofa and replace it with some pretty wing back chairs, but all in all, I'm getting a lot more done in my living room sewing studio.


    After I finish my big star quilt top, I'm going to start another top for my daughter using two jelly rolls that I had in my/her stash for a couple of years.  It's from the Wildwood collection that Connecting Threads carried back then.  It's full of bright blues, greens, browns, and other colors from nature with some cool prints included.  Look here ----


   See you soon.

March 16, 2014

Big Star Quilt in Progress

I snowballed all my white corners and added a sashing with one corner stone to the blocks.  I love it.  I have plans to add more sashing around the quilt and then add smaller stars to a row on the top and a row on the bottom.  Thbis is a fun top to make.

This is what it looks like now.

March 15, 2014

Celebrating National Quilting Day.

I had fun putting my big star blocks together today.  I love all the colors.  I bought a yard of 8 different colors from the Mirage line at Connecting Threads and had a blast choosing which ones to put together.

This is just the beginning of this quilt.  I still have sashing to do and small star top and bottom borders.  It will be a lovely lap quilt.