Friday, April 30, 2010

Pink baby quilt is all done

I accordian fold all my binding as I press it. Then use selvedges to tie until needed. The folded stack fits great on my machine bed and unfolds like a dream. No need to roll into a ball or hand on a hanger.
I have not seen this sick squirrel today.
The sores started as a spot on her head.
(she is one of Stubbie's last year babies and she comes for peanuts too)
She is almost totally de-furred now. Poor thing....

I used King Tut variegated pinks for the top and a soft pink cotton thread for the bobbin. Lots of pins kept it all straight and even.

I am in love with diagonal quilting right now. I think I have been adding it to the last five quilts I have made. No marking I just eyeball.
This quilt is for a friend of mine, who commissioned this quilt from me, for a friend of hers upcoming grandchild.

Love the plaid binding....just says "I am done" to the quilt.

This picture is for Taya to see her choice of label for the back of this quilt.

Hubby was mowing the grass so I pinned the quilt back up on the design wall. He was not ready to hold a quilt up for picture taking.
I have one more smaller baby quilt to quilt then I can get back to my CRABAPPLE quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter

My new HP computer w/ Windows 7

AHHH! New electronic toys! Plastic bags and wire wrappers...posters with picture instructions. Gee! I am a computer least with the wires and plugging in part.

My stack of sewing software that needed to be loaded after I got Windows Office installed. And of course my ever present container of dark chocolate M&M's.
More serial #'s I am so glad I had them organized. But it took me 2 days to find the driver for my printer! And then when I plugged it in I did not need it! go figure!
I made a few little mug mats trying out embroidery quilting designs. I just throw them in the washer/dryer when needed.

I found a program on my new computer called Easy Transfer! I was able to transfer over all my pictures and patterns. It all came over BUT my e-mail program Outlook Express 6.
Guess I am not so much of a geek after all.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Scrap organization & Grandma's sewing machine

I am in love with Bonnie Hunter's designs and organization tips. (
I should buy stock in plastic containers. No matter how many I buy I manage to fill them all up!
These containers from left to right are "unit A's", LDL and DLD units. The container in the back is all neutrals. Gosh I love neutrals!!! The bins are seriously more empty now as I have all 112 Unit A's made. Now all I need to make is 112 unit B's.

I fill this basket then take it to the ironing borad. I keep this basket at the edge of my sewing table and as I chain piece I funnel them into the basket. If they would fall to the floor they would be covered in fur or become a cat toy. Gotta keep those kitties in line!

My Grandparents owned and operated their own dry cleaner business. My fondest memories are of me playing on the store front floor as Grandma sewed repairs and greeted customers. I played with the zippers, threads, buttons...anything I could get my hands on. Grandpa did all the pressing and the delivery of the clean clothes. You have to remember that in their era wool, silk, rayon polyester required dry cleaning. The fumes weren't too nice and the store was hot and humid from the steam pressing machines.
Now here is the long story:
Grandma passed away 35 years ago. This machine has been stored in my ex-motherinlaw's attic for that entire time. My EX-Motherinlaw passed away last November. I needed to get this item from the attic before the estate auction people clear out the home.
I have not seen this machine for those 35 years. It is a "White Rotary" machine. In my memories it was in much better shape than it appears in these pictures. I found no spiders or critter evidence in the cubby holes. But we were rained on with old small pins when we moved the machine into the truck. Teeny tiny silver pins. So hard to pick up and/or see. We spent more time picking those little pins up than it took to drive home with my treasure.

A piece of wood seems to be missing from the top of the table. But there is a swingarm lamp bolted to the top in the back where the piece would fit in, so I think it was removed on purpose.
Plus, I do not remember it ever being put away. It was a very hard working machine. Grandma sat at it everyday.
The machine and table are actually pretty light weight. I wish it was in better condition. I would love to have it in the house in working order.
The research I have done on-line makes it born from 1916-1921. The bobbin is still in the machine as is the needle. Hubby says not to trust the electrical cords. They are all really brittle and mended in places with electrical tape.
I do not know how long my hubby will allow this treasure to sit in his precious garage. I do not know if this machine could be refinished or not. Nor do I know where to begin the cleaning.

Our lilacs are in bloom. The tulips are fading but still have lush leaves. The Hostas are growing right before my eyes. Everything is getting so GREEN! The Spring smells so good to me.
And I am surprised at my reaction to the warmer weather. I am a winter person. At least I have always been that way while I was working in a hot factory. I am starting my second year of retirement and I am enjoying the Spring weather much to my own surprise.

I have a pink baby quilt on the design wall right now. I need to make the border and then quilt it. A friend of mine ordered it from me for a May delivery. At least I am right on time for her order.

Sorry...repeat of picture by mistake!

I love this pale toille' of nursery rhyme scenes. It has been in my stash for many years. I finally found a perfect use for it. And the scraps will be very nice for my pink collection.
This pattern is from "Downey Touch of Comfort" program. I sent away for another kit to make for them.

Monday, April 19, 2010

This is my 200th post! 2010 Breekcreek Farms retreat

I tried and tried but did not get the checkerboard border done for the Crabapple quilt. But I really enjoyed sewing on my little patches.
BearCreek Farms really rolled out the red carpet for our group. We were well fed and sheltered for our retreat. This was my second retreat with my guild. I am looking forward to many more.
I know the squares look larger than 1 1/2" but that is what they are. I went through some containers of scraps and mananged to get them all cut up. That freed up more little containers.
I wore out my cutter! And this was after I put a new blade in it! Has this ever happened to any of you??????
As I was making the "bunny tails" for the costumes I had an explosion of stuffing. The gathering thread broke and all the stuffing exploded out. Too funny!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bonnie Hunter's Crabapple progress

Well...what think you????? I am a brown color lover. So I browned up Bonnie's pattern. She used a beautiful green (another favorite color of mine) I used a brown fabric with cream scattered trees. It seemed so appropriate for this quilt.
I used a rust Freckles fabric for the sashings. And a gold Fossil Fern for the cornerstones.

Bonnie sure loves the diagonal sets! I do not know what I would do without a design wall to slap up those blocks! In the old days I used the bed or the floor. Both are very cat catching. The background fabric I used is a cream with scattered cats. One of my favorite old fabrics that I keep using.

Next project in my head to do is Bonnie's Scrappily Irish pattern. I have "some" 2" squares but I have a bagillion 1 1/2" squares yet. I am thinking of using those. I am going on a three day retreat with my guild next weekend. This looks like a good project to work on. Not too much brain power needed and that leaves room for chatting and EATING!
OK............ now you are asking what is this? It is fake is suppossed to be a bunny suit. I am rescuing my neighbor. Her two girls are in the play "HARVEY". They are going to be in bunny suits and dance on stage. Tracy called me yesterday and said the woman who was making these got ill and could not finish and would I finish them. I said yes. My goodness. She needs them on MONDAY! All she had done was cut them out no sewing done, no thread, no elastic, no zippers and her math skills must have flown the coup because there was not enough cut of the ears or the head pieces. And no extra fabric included. So Tracy is trying to find some matching fabric for the head pieces and the tails...I have the bodies all done. This fabric is fluffy and VERY THICK. There is fuzz all through the house in my nose and eyes and the kitties even look coated. Real fake fur. I would have chosen fleece. The poor girls are going to cook in these costumes.
But the ears came out sooooo cute. I still need to make the headpieces as soon as Tracy gets more fabric to me.
They are like that bunny pajama set that the poor boy in The Christmas Story gets for his Christmas present from an Auntie. Darn, that beige zipper really sticks out like a sore thumb. It was all I had!
No good deed goes unpunished.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Big Baby, Bonnie's block & Dustin's Irish Chain

Honest...this is Baby's favorite place to be. All 20+#'s of her on the skinny back of my sewing chair. Her legs hang over each side as she balances on her belly. I am usually in the chair. I spin around and get up and down. She hangs on giving me kisses and taps. She and Macy are my shoulder kitties. But Macy's 12#'s is much easier to carry than Baby's weight. I call her a belly with legs. Macy can leap from the floor to my shoulder on command. But all Baby does is hop and ends up walking on her little back legs. Too funny!
Bonnie Hunter of sent me her tutorial block from her new book Adventures with Leaders & Enders. I am going to use it as the label on the back. I used a constant background on my treebases and Bonnie's block just stood out too much. But then I may change my mind as I do not have the quilt assembled yet!

Sorry this is so dark. It was a cloudy day yesterday. Also it is so hard to take a closeup picture. This is the label for Dustin's Irish Chain. It is all done and was shown at last night's quilt guild meeting. I did manage to make a pillowcase from the deer fabric. I had a piece that was the perfect size. Sometimes Fate just steps in ya' know??

I simply did a diagonal quilting on this quilt. No measuring at all...just eyeballed it.
He will be really using this quilt as only an outdoor guy can so I made sure it was made for rough handling.
I save all the trimming for the last step. I also make sure I always draw the bottom thread to the top. I used a nice varigated King Tut thread for the top and a deep green for the bobbin thread.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crabapple progress and Dustin's Irish Chain

I have totally enjoyed all the small piecing on this pattern by Bonnie Hunter from

And I loved the paper piecing of the tree bases. The reward was adding the crowns to the trees. I made all 25 blocks in one mega sewing day. They were all up on the design wall. I was sitting and admiring my work. I have always liked the Tree of Life pattern. And I think this is a variation on it. I love it and will keep it for me as there is a block made by Bonnie Hunter in this! I LOVE IT!

DH comes in and says he does not LIKE it! Slap me with a wet noodle!!! What is not to like? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MEN!

Today I added the final borders and piecing the backing for Dustin's BD quilt.
It now measures 72"X90". I added some of the deer fabric into the backing too. The backing and quilt are now draped on the quilt frame. My goal is to baste it up tomorrow and start quilting it. I want to be done for Monday night guild meeting. Am I asking too much of myself???????

Dustin is an outdoorsy type guy. That is why I decided on the deer fabric as a border. I plan on making a pillowcase to match. That way he can store this quilt in his truck. Who knows it may save his life someday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My forest of trees and one from Bonnie!!!!!

Bonnie Hunter: quilt designer, quilt maker, longarm quilter and teacher of the world (in my own world that is) sent me her tutorial block to add to my own! You can find her at:
Quilters are so generous and Bonnie is an excellent example of this. She included a sweet note that I will save forever!
I was never a wild fan of music makers or movie stars in my younger years. I liked music and movies but never understood screaming fans. Now I do. And here I am at 60 becoming a "drop dead in my shoes" screaming fan of this wonderful woman.
I moved my sewing space 90 degrees durning a spring cleaning fury. I made all these trees in a short sewing session today. The test went well. I am happy with this space for now.
I am still not quite happy with the arrangement because I need to plug the iron in across the room so as not to be on the same electrical line as my sewing machine. They do not play nice together when plugged in on the same wall.
But all that said, it does feel nice to NOT have the sun shining in my face. I can still see the bird feeders and the world can go by outside my window.
Yet my back is to the front door. I do not like getting spooked when the doorbell rings.
I am also facing the TV and the computer. To the left is where I place the small iron and ironing board. All can be reached from my comfy chair. But I do not eat or drink anywhere near my sewing machine or computer. So that is a good reason to get up and stretch.

And some new places for the kitties to lay in the sun. Our weather has been unreal! It was 81 today and will be the same tomorrow. Hubby took off work early and mowed the lawn. Yummmmm! I love the smell of freshly mowed lawn. But I could really do without the noise.