Thursday, April 25, 2013

A small finish


My chair pads were in pretty bad shape and when I came across this fabric in my stash, I knew it would be perfect for summer chair pads.  Then once I was done with the chair pads and back covers, I had enough for a table topper.  I have had this fabric for years and I believe I probably bought it to make covers for the back porch chairs, but I do love it inside.IMG_0026This is one of my ‘vintage’ machines.  I had bought the cabinet with a non-working machine several years ago.  I have a couple vintage Singer machines and had the hopes of putting one of them in this cabinet.  After I refinished the cabinet, I was pretty disappointed that my Singer did not fit…  After my SIL passed, her husband sent this machine home with my hubby (along with tons of fabric!)  It was in a small square cabinet, but when I saw that it was a Kenmore, I knew where it was going.  This machine is in such good shape and I do enjoy taking it out and using it.  I just wish I had room in my sewing room for it.  It sits in my living room… Anyway, I was just straight stitch quilting the table topper, moving along at a pretty good pace and heard this sort of grinding sound and the needle was not going up and down!  I oiled the machine and checked the tightness of the belt… alas, I believe the motor is toast!  I know my late SIL put this machine to good use – she was an amazing seamstress and overall sewist!   My hubby is gone for a few days helping to get a youth camp ready for the summer season, but when he gets home, I’ll have him look at it.  I do believe if he determines it is the motor, I will take it in and have a new motor put on it….  

I am still on the lookout for a cabinet that can house one of my Singers.  I won’t care if it is in rough shape.  It can be renewed  Smile

So that is what I’ve been up to along with getting the kitchen cupboards cleaned out and reorganized.  I could have spent one full day doing it all, but I have discovered that I did not find it such a chore since I’ve spread it out over several days.


Sunday, April 21, 2013


Time – no matter how much of it I have, I never have enough (or so it seems).  I have discovered that the more time I have, the more time I waste.  I have always described myself as “organized confusion”.  I know where things are at (well, most of the time) but others would just shake their heads and throw their hands up.  When I was a working lady with kids to see off to activities and husband’s schedule to keep track of along with my own schedule, I really did a decent job of it.  The kids are off on their own, the hubby is retired and loving it.  I am unemployed by choice and loving it….  except, I can’t seem to get things done that I really want to.  When I was a working lady, part of my job as a manager was to not only effectively manage my own time but that of my employees.  My neighbor has a 90 minute drive to work and moved in over 2 years ago.  She and her hubby moved into his parents (his boyhood) home after his mother passed.  My neighbor is frustrated that she still hasn’t managed to get the house painted as she’d like.  Organized as she’d like.  ETC…. so in my infinite wisdom (being sarcastic here), I told her to devote 15 minutes time either before or after work to sorting, clearing, whatever needed to be done.  I told her to make a weekly goal and realistically plan her 15 minutes to achieve that goal.  I told her I would help her paint rooms, move furniture, whatever she wanted.  I told her – pick one room at a time and devote her time to that room only rather than a bit here and a bit there.  She called me during the week to invite us to dinner this evening to celebrate her hubby’s B-day and then laughed and said, “I still haven’t started my list.”  Got me to thinking,  “why don’t I follow my own advice and schedule my week????”  So… on my agenda today is to sit down and give myself a specific goal I want to achieve by the end of the week and then schedule time each day to accomplish that goal.   First of my goals is tear the kitchen apart.  Well not literally, but I do need to pull everything out of my cupboards and clean them well.  I have a ton of glass ware that I will donate for my G-kids school rummage sale.  I don’t think I have outdated food stuff, as I’m pretty good about rotating that sort of thing, but it’s a good thing to check occasionally. And even though I know it should not take a week to do all that, I’ve decided I’ll schedule my time to include sewing specific projects (I have a few), finishing up those ‘almost done’ projects and see if I can get my ‘wasted’ time trimmed down….

Well if you’ve made it this far, I might as well show you some of what I did this week:


The printed fabric was sent as a challenge.  It was a FQ and we were to add fabric and make as many 12” blocks, with the print being the main fabric, as we could.  We have one lady who comes to Sew Fest who does not sew.  She started coming with her sister and loved the time so much that she continues to attend.  She enjoys taking blocks and doing layouts for quilts.  So her challenge will be to take all the blocks that are made with this ‘focus’ fabric and create a layout for a quilt.  She knows about this challenge – she has not seen the focus fabric or the blocks.  What she doesn’t know is that she will receive the quilt when it’s completed Smile  Anyway, the blocks are what I came up with as my contribution.  The last one (with the pinwheel center) is what I called an extra.  The HST units are the trimmings from the previous block and I had just enough of the red and purple to put with them to make that block…. 

I did also quilt a quilt this week.  It was sent to me from one of our QFC members and it was a full size quilt.  As I was preparing to get it on the frame, I thought of the things that a professional long arm quilter must go through on a regular basis… I won’t go into that, but I have the utmost respect for those who quilt for others as a business…..

‘til next time,


Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14, 2013


I showed this quilt top in my previous post.  Here it is in it’s final state, all quilted and bound.  I really need work on my feather wreaths, so that is what I did.  I was not happy with them, but they aren’t horrible…. I did free hand meander in the ‘crazy patch’ blocks and for the borders just a simple vine and loops.

This is my next row for the row swap on QFC.  These are all just lined up on my design wall.  The recipient did not want her blocks sewn together.Sheryl's row

If you look closely, you can see that the pinwheels are not all turning the same direction.  No, I did not plan it that way.  I mixed up on sewing the black/white triangle units and when I realized they could become a design element, that’s the way they stayed! 

These are blocks from a block swap:

block swapI chose black, yellow & grey for my colors and the Brasstown Star  block for my block.  I am really loving these colors and the ladies I swapped with did an outstanding job with all the blocks.  My next decision will be whether or not to sash between the blocks.  I’ve already decided that if I do, I will use a solid black and then border with a black, yellow, grey print of some kind… I need to take a trip to the fabric store and maybe that will help my decision – find the border fabric and go from there.

And here are the first 3 “clues” from the mystery I’ve written:

IMG_0014I wanted a higher contrast between the black background print and the solid green, but I could not find a solid green that blended well enough other than this… The choices were either too bright, too light or too dark.  I looked at a couple ‘blenders’ and I felt they were too busy because of the print.  I’m hoping that once it all comes together, it works.  I need to send Clue #4 off today and start working on those.  Remember I’m working this along with the ladies… may be my biggest mistake!!!

I also have a “row along” to add to.  Cathy B. from QFC started a “Who’s Next” challenge.  She made a row then posted a picture with a “who’s next?” caption.  The first person to comment that they were ‘in’, had the row sent to them to add their row, then they post the “who’s next?”… Anyway, I’m person #3 to add and I also have that to work on…. So, guess I’d better get busy….


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Didn’t realize….

Oh my, I did not realize it’s been so long since I posted.  I actually have gotten a few things accomplished.  In my post before Easter I posted here about the black & white log cabin blocks:


When I get involved in swaps like this, I try to use fabrics from my stash.  I was / am sorely lacking in black on white or white on black fabrics.  For this block she had requested black on white and black background, so I used some scraps that had a bit of color but ‘read’ black.  This was to be a row swap, but some of the ladies requested that their blocks not be sewn into rows – I don’t think some of them understand the opportunity to be creative with a row….. Anyway, here is the row:

Tracy's rowTracy didn’t mind if her blocks were sewn together. 

I’ve also been working on a Scrapbook for the Quilters for Comfort Sew Fest.  We used to have a banner with the names of everyone who attended.  Each year we added another segment.  Well the banner got to looking a little sloppy,  choppy and I discussed with my co-founder the idea of a scrapbook.  So the decision was made to take pictures of the previous years and scrapbook them:

IMG_0005IMG_0008Here’s just a sample of what I’ve started….  This was the first year of Sew Fest (2008).  I still have 2008 to finish.  Then I have 2009 and 2010.  Cathy B. will do 2011 and 2012.  I enjoyed revisiting these memories as I went through, literally, hundreds of pictures. 

I’ve also been sewing a lot of Flying Geese units.  I’ve designed a Mystery quilt for Sew Fest and have written all the clues.  I have never done anything like this before and not sure I’ll do it again… I have not premade the quilt – I used EQ to design it…. But the first 3 clues have all involved flying geese – I’m getting pretty good at them Smile


This quilt top has actually been quilted and is awaiting it’s binding and label.  The embroidered blocks and pieced blocks were sent to me.  I chose the “X” layout for the embroidered squares which made me short on the pieced squares.  I pulled the fabric from my stash for the solid squares and it worked because of the color tones blending well with the prints from the other blocks.  I did not want to leave this a square quilt and decided on the sawtooth borders top and bottom.  Then to split the body of the quilt from the border.  Instead of trying to match the purples, I just went with a really dark purple for the narrow inner border.  The outer border I would have preferred to be a brighter yellow, but when one lives 50 miles from the nearest fabric store, one tends to make due with what’s available…….

Well, as usual, when it’s been a while since I’ve posted – I make up for it in one, lengthy post.  If you’ve lasted this long, I thank you for taking the time to read and would like to say “I’ll be better about posting on a more regular basis” but it probably wouldn’t happen……

Until next time,