Friday, December 27, 2013

I own a Singer Sphinx hand crank sewing machine! Who knew???

When did I buy this?
Why can I NOT remember?
I am sure I was infected by Our Bonnie Hunter of fame.

The scary thing is I have bid on a couple hand cranks for the last month. Well, after she sewed on her hand crank sewing machine during a quiltcam broadcast.

I did know I had a machine major buried in the quilt frame room. And I also knew it seemed much longer than my other wooden case Singer.

I was looking for my 800+ Spool blocks that I had made earlier this year. I hate it when I clean because I cannot ever find anything. More to follow on the cleaning urge...

And here she is! A very clean and beautiful Sphinx hand crank. Wooden case with key that works. ( this is sooooo heavy I had to have Hubby carry it out for me)

But what is the model #?
I am guessing a Class 15.
Am I right?????? I need a manual but they do have her threaded.
Serial # says she was born on January 12, 1923.
She has a round bobbin case that looks like the Featherweight's case.

No pin rash...some rust on the bobbin slide cover. And there are decals on the crank wheel too!!!!

The decals are in amazing shape. There are some paint spatters on the wooden case. Not bad at all...

Isn't she lovely? They had the crank wrapped up...I never unwrapped her! Never tried sewing on her! Sure could have spent some quality time with her when we lost our power for 6 days last year!!!

See the rust??? It looks as if the finish was scraped off from pins and then it rusted. Should I or can I replace this one lousy issue?

And this is what I was looking for!!!! A stuffed full box of 3 1/2" Spool blocks that were last year's Leaders and Enders challenge. We even swapped spool and background fabrics.

I rotated my sewing area. My back is now to the front door. I am facing the TV and the computer. I swept and dusted and organized...that is how I misplace my things!!! GRRR!!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Four Strip Twist quilts done for Christmas gifts.

Four Strip Twist quilts done for Christmas gifts. The Grand daughters get a quilt for each birthday. But I have not done the significant others in their families. Four quilts to make in less than 2 weeks. (that is when the idea hit me).
I did it!!!
Well...the black/red/white one (that I finished minutes ago) still needs to be quilted but I can knock that out in one day.

I made two green quilts. I made 20 blocks each. The quilts finished at 60 X 76.

I only made one blue one. It also is 60 X 76.
These three quilts were made with 2 1/2" strips per Bonnie's pattern.

This black/white/red quilt was made with 2" strips and I made 24 blocks. I also controlled the fabrics. Meaning I used only four fabrics.

I finally used up this white RocLon muslin. 50 yards!!!
Where did they all go?
 I have not used white -white in any quilts for eons.
I am thinking I must have used this for many backings in the very beginning of my quilting journey.

Bess is so hard to get a photo of. She is so dark that she blends into everywhere she lands. I lucked out today she was sitting in the sunshine.

Lucky Lucy is getting bigger every day. And taking more naps. So I am able to run the sewing machine a bit longer before she comes to "help" me.

I am also cranking out these baby afghans. 30" square. Made from Bernat Baby Sport yarns. No homes for these yet as the next great grand baby is another boy.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Progress on Celtic Soltice

I have been a veteran of all of Bonnie Hunter's mysteries. She has never failed to keep my interest, surprise me with the layout and LOVE her color sense.

I had a few extra batik units from the Eye Fooler quilt I made last year. And since I am a waste not want not quilter, I am going to begin with these units.

I took apart 30 (thirty) shirts for the sleeve swap on Yahoo last month. So I had 30 collars. I could not bear to throw them away. So I was able to harvest a whole bag of strings from the collars. And what better way to use them up but to make some piano key units. They will end up being a border somewhere. I make lots of units and never know what I will do with them. But I do use them up. And while I was searching for fabric for this current mystery, I found a whole large plastic container of finished string blocks. All shapes and sizes. WHOHOOO!!!!

This is the backside of a quilt I found hanging in the closet waiting for quilting. It was my first and only attempt at trapunto. Three layers of batting and a flannel back make for some tough hand quilting. I did use dissolving thread for the initial sewing before assembly. Then all I have to do is quilt around the feathers. PAIN IN THE PATOOTIE by machine. I gave up. And am now doing the final quilting by hand. It is not too hard. It is quite warm to be under while quilting and Lucky has found a new past time. Chewing on my left hand under the quilt. I love her so much!!!

Here is the front of one of the twelve blocks....

 Green lavender and white...
And when I am too tired to sew I crochet. This was a free pattern. Well the technique only called diagonal crocheting. Love it. When you get to the middle you start decreasing and the rows get shorter and shorter!!!!

Blue yellow and white.... 

And here is Lucky in another of her favorite places to play. There is no chance of her suffocating as there are several large holes in this bag. I swear she thinks she is invisible when she is inside the bag. She sure livens up this old house!!!!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Quilters are givers and sharers

 Our Bonnie Hunter says it all. Quilters are givers. Quilters are sharers.


I will see what I can drum up here in Subeeland. I am sure I can whip up a couple quilts. And I am thinking I may see if my quilts can be sent to Kokomo Indiana as they suffered a tornado outbreak too.
When we had the tornado warning, hubby went down to a neighbor's basement with a precious guitar. I stayed here to take care of the kitties. But I could tell by the way the kitties were acting, that there was no danger.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A cat's tail that refuses to allow me to sew.

This is what I have to deal with when I wish to sew and Lucky Lucy wants to help.

She does it from the side...

She does it from the back.
She plays "chicken" with the needle and her tail. honest....I have to barricade the sewing area at times. She gets lots of attention from us. She does not need to do this to me! She swipes it back and forth with real force. She is not doing it by accident. There is real intent to interfere with my sewing.

And when she is not trying to hurt herself with the sewing machine she tries to suffocate herself in a plastic bag.

Look at that face...defying death!!

Love her little pink toes...

And this quilt is all done. It is called Road Trip. But my mediums were too dark so I stopped at 12 blocks and will make more.

 Easy block to make.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Swaps all mailed out and the tile floor is done!

The tiling is all done except for sealing and trying to find the transition thingies for the tile to the carpet. We need a four foot and a six foot piece. We have not been able to find them at Lowes, Menards or our hometown carpet dealer's storefront.

Despite all the construction going on I managed to complete three swaps. Here is the back of my Explorer all loaded up with 46 packages. What you cannot see are the Priority boxes behind the row of totes.

I swapped red 2 1/2" strips, 1 1/2" squares and recycled sleeves this week.
WHEW!!! Talk about job security for the Post Office.
I was a real courteous customer and had the clerk total me out 4 times so the lines did not get too long. Small good deeds will always come back to me. Another reason I did that was I could not carry it all in at the same time! HA!!

It felt so good to get my kitchen back yesterday that I made a real nice pork chop dinner for my Hubby. I also made some whole wheat bread and a double batch of banana bread (with the new mixer). And then I had to do four loads of laundry! Construction can sure make a lot of dirty clothes and towels.


Friday, October 18, 2013

More than 1,552 2 1/2" neutral squares cut now!

Yes, you read the title correctly. I have cut more than 1,500 squares in the last two nights. I did this because I "thought" I had exhausted my supply of neutral 2 1/2" squares. I found the remainder AFTER I had these two massive cutting sessions. They were hiding safely in the brown container. That was the last time I used them to make the Shaded 9-patch Leaders & Enders per Our Bonnie Hunter.

This is the result. I am so OCD. But there are really plus sides to being a control freak. All the squares are with their sisters. And as I use them I move them to another container so I get a good random selection. So there is truly a method to my madness.

And as I was harvesting my neutrals I cut 33 1/2 yard cuts of neutral to gift to my quilting friend Vicki. She is building her stash up slowly. I have been giving her boxes and bags of my scraps. She gets to keep the container too. I am making elbow room by doing this. Plus it makes me feel good. She will call and say what she gleaned from these gifties. They do not remain idle at her home!!!

I really like these type of containers. They stack well and the lids are very secure. And I also love the lime green handles!

I made these stars as "return from the hostess gifts" when I do the sleeve swap on the Yahoo group Quiltvilleswap. Most swappers include gifts to me and I love returning the favor.

See the method to my madness? Lots of control. But I have a very determined kitten who loves to play with my stacks of units. ARRRRGGGG!!!!
I have been training her to be a "good girl" which is her laying down and asking for the play
and then rewarding her with laser play. She does it over and over until she tires of the game and starts to really torment me at the sewing machine. Then I have to stop sewing.

My small sleeve cuttings for Ohio Stars. I am waiting for the swap to be over so I can add more variety before I sew too many.

Here is the little monster in a seldom seen position. Sound asleep and being an angel kitty. She is also tormenting James back in the family room. She KNOWS that climbing the screen door is a no no. So she runs and bounces off it before James can grab the water bottle. She is so defiant!! But that is the joy of Siamese cats. They have such strong personalities.

To give me more sewing time I bought this laser toy. It has a timer and many speeds. She has it figured out though. She will just lay down and grab at the light as it turns by. Smart kitty!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Playing with the shirtings I have to use the Blue and Gray pattern book.

I bought this book a couple weeks ago when the Yahoo group decided we wanted to swap Civil War fabrics in January 2014.

This was the pattern that drew my eye. I am thinking because of the 16 patch blocks using 1 1/2" squares. You all know how I love that size of patch!

But before I ever commit myself to a quilt, I do what I call "cut as I go". This saves a lot of heartache down the road. Believe me when I say I have cut out an entire quilt and then found my error! GRR!!

It does make for a messy sewing session. But I found my first mistake. I faithfully use the EZ Angle  and Companion Angle rulers. There is a learning curve to change someone's cutting instructions to work with these great rulers.

I was converting a 3 1/4" square cut on the diagonal twice to using a 1 1/2" strip and the Companion Angle. But the instructions from one side of my brain to the other was garbled. I was cutting with the EZ Angle ruler not the Companion ruler as I wanted. I soon learned my mistake. So see what I mean? Sample cutting and sewing is a good habit to have.

One 6 1/2" block made...despite all of Lucky's help. I have been distracting her with a laser light. But she eventually decides that messing with the sewing machine is more fun. I am sure she will grow out of this dangerous habit. So I put everything away and give her my undivided attention.

The pattern only calls for 18 star blocks. I did make 19. Then decided I wanted to use some of the shirt fabrics I had prepared for the current swap. Back to the cutting room.

And then another memory of a shirting swatch card I had bought eons ago on E-Bay. But where have I stashed it? Two days later as I was searching for something else and I found them!!!! 5" X 9"...enough fabric to cut one block!!! WHOOHOOO!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October is a busy swap month!

I am a hostess on two Yahoo swap groups.
There are times when the two groups' swaps come due on the same date.
This month three (3) swaps arrive at the same time.
I have my 1,250 1 1/2" postage stamp squares all ready.
I have my sixty (60) sleeves all ready.
I am washing my reds today. They will be pressed, cut and packaged by the day's end.
With all these packages coming due to mail back at the same time, my DH will have to help me get them to the Post Office! I will also call ahead and make sure they have two clerks at the desk so I do not hog the whole little Post Office.

Dh went to a garage sale and brought back two nice dressers. One is living in the garage and the other made it to under my design wall. It sure looks nicer than a bagillion plastic containers!!!

I gifted to myself a new mixer. I bought a KitchenAid Pro 600. The thing is massive. It makes my old mixer look like a child's toy.

And then I needed a new mixer cover. this fabric was languishing in the bottom of a container. It took three (3) bobbins worth of thread to pre-quilt it. Then only a short hour to assemble the cover.  I even made a small mat to put under the darn thing so I can move it around the countertop.
Life is good!

Friday, October 4, 2013

I am back!!!! Shirts galore!

I am the hostess on Yahoo's Quiltvilleswap.
We are swapping shirt sleeves from 100% cotton mens shirts.
I was not playing as I already have a large stash of fabrics.
I was sure I did not need to start a collection of cotton shirts.
But after half of the players' packages arriving, and me drooling over the wonderful variety, I had to play a little.
So, I bought 10 shirts and packed them up to play.

Then Lynn D.'s package arrived with 60 sleeves...oh my such beautiful fabrics...
So I went back to Goodwill today and bought 20 more shirts.
And here are all 30 shirts totally "de-boned". The sleeves are all packaged for the swap.

I made sure I only picked browns, grays and rust colors as it seems the majority of the sleeves arriving have been in the blue family.

But I did buy a wild blue paisley shirt that reminded me of John Travolta. HA!

I have the cuffs all gathered in a separate bag. The collars all together and the plackets all together.

The collars were in a nice pile before I took the picture. But Lucky wanted to play in the fabrics so I let her plow through the collar pile. She is so fabric oriented. But then so am I and she is my constant companion. I guess some of it is bound to rub off on this newest addition to our kitty family.

In my spare time when I am not sewing and not knitting I turn to my favorite thread hobby. Crochet...this doily is almost done. Just need to weave in the thread ends.