My wonderful mother-in-law gifted me this 1901 Singer sewing machine several years ago. I think it was in 2016. (That was the date on the receipt for the new belt.) At the time, I couldn’t get it to stitch. I gave up. My husband said that he has not seen this machine being used since before we were married…over 37 years ago.
It has the original treadle. Everything moves freely…squeaky, but moving. Did you know that the treadle gets oiled, too?
Someone painted the machine a lovely copper color and added new decals. They did add a layer of clear coat over the decals to protect them.
This weekend I bought a book to help me get my iron lady stitching. The timing for the bobbin was WAY off. It only took two hours or so to figure that out.
Now she is stitching like a dream!
The bobbin winder is still being a little difficult. It turns and spins, but the bobbin doesn’t…hmm. I added a small scrap of cloth under the spinning end. Voila…temporary success.
Last evening, I used temporary 1/4″ marking tape on the throat plate to mark the seam allowance. Now I am ready to sew.
I meant to post this yesterday, but my motivation got lost along the way. Oh, well, it gave me something to do today!
This is block 11 of 12 for my dresden crumb block quilt.
I pieced this block last week. It was not a total success, but it was not an epic failure either! I thought I could piece this using shapes cut with an accuquilt die. You will notice that it is no quite square. I wish I could blame it on something…drunk quilting, maybe…but I can’t.
This is what I have learned about basting. Sometimes the prep work is well worth the time it takes to get it done. Thread basting is much less painful than pinning with applique pins. It is also quicker and easier than glue basting…no glue to wash out later.
This time of the year drives me crazy. I want to dig in the garden and play in the dirt, but I know in my heart that it is too early. If I uncover those tender plants, they could freeze. I am fairly certain that the groundhog was wrong about an early spring.
The time change is next week. I am eagerly anticipating the change…more daylight for being outside in the evenings!
My husband saw the first robin in our yard on February 8th, a good two full weeks early. Spring is coming…hope Springs eternal.
Remember, I said that I was not the only maker. My DH made this for one of my sister’s co-workers, who just lost her 30 something son unexpectedly. Tragic. He graphed out a poem that she had written and added butterflies from another pattern. He is amazing.
How are your resolutions shaping up this month? or for the year so far?
We woke to ice in the trees and bushes on Friday. Thank goodness the temperatures were in the 60’s on Thursday, so the roads were still warm enough to not be super slick. The trees looked like they were encased in glass. Thank goodness it was a still day and the sun appeared to melt the ice with only a little damage to trees and branches…no power outages in our area.
We did have quite a bit of fog. The mountain was beautiful shrouded in ice and fog, but I did not get a picture of that.
I am working on block number 9 of my paper foundation dresden blocks. I need 12 to make the size quilt that I want. I have not decided what setting I will use for these blocks yet. They are approximately 14 1/2 unfinished.
I also have a couple of other teal/aqua blocks to make for the RSC. They are cut and ready to be sewn. February is quickly becoming history. I need to buckle down tomorrow and get blocks made.
2/22/22 was a great Twosday. I won’t remember the twin theme at school. I won’t remember the two minutes of crazy dancing we did at 2:22 in the afternoon. What will I remember? It was our first day in school in almost two years with no mask covering our faces.
I realize that masks were used to keep us healthy, but I think they were more to keep us silent and take away our identity. There has been no science to prove that masks work, but there is science to prove that they don’t. Enough ranting for now.
Let me say that even though I now possess roughly a mile of 1/4″ white and the same amount of black elastic, I hope to NEVER have to make another mask.
They were not difficult to construct. I used two rectangles of fabric and two pieces of elastic. I pleated the sides twice to make it fit over the face better, but not too tight. Everyone needs to be able to breathe and communicate. Do you know how hard it is to read aloud or give directions to a 10 year old with your face covered and your voice muffled all day? I did not want it sealed tightly to my face. (I did buy a microphone that picks up sound and could be worn on top of a mask. Add in reading glasses and feedback from the speaker and you have a whole new nightmare of existence!)
The state that I live in did away with mask mandates in public places a long time ago. The only places that were mandated were schools and some medical facilities. I had 1/6 of my students wearing their masks yesterday. One that constantly had his on his chin when it was mandated wore it more yesterday than he did in the last week! My husband is a high school teacher. His unofficial tally of mask wearers was about 1/3. Some, he said, were wearing them on their chin. Maybe for comfort and personal security reasons? Some of our colleagues wore masks also. Only a few.
It was great to see the smiling faces of the children and our co-workers. Let’s hope the masks never come back. I hope to never construct another one!
How many masks did you make for family and friends?
I am not the only maker in our family. My wonderful husband does some fantastic cross stitch. He is currently working on heirloom stockings. He has finished the stitching on the one for our sweet daughter-in-law.
My favorite colors! I should have a LOT of scraps in these colors, right? Uh, no! I had to dig scraps from the green bag and the blue bag to find something to work. This is a much smaller selection than the red basket in January.
I started with some Dresden plate blades this morning. They always look better when they are trimmed. I foundation piece these to scrap paper that is trimmed on the accuquilt cutter.
I have been home today with an ear ache. I have never had an ear ache before…now I know why small children cry when their ears hurt! OMG! While I was sewing and recooperating, I could hear a turkey. One of the neighbors has a tame turkey. It spent a considerable amount of time on my porch…and being stalked by another neighbors’ cat!
Turkeys are not smart, based on the amount of time he spent on the porch. I am really glad it is the neighbor’s turkey and not her rooster!
What RSC project are you starting for this month? Turkey dinner anyone?
Did you know that most snowflakes are hexagonal. I do LOVE snowflakes. These hexies could be in star formation, I guess.
I have been working on these for a while. I have another new star to add, then this row will be complete. I think the next row is going to be an extra large flower or a diamond.
The filler blocks all have a minion!
I do love the minions. They misbehave, but everyone still loves them.
I do have the accuquilt cutter to cut the fabric and paper shapes for this hexagon project. Hexagons finish at 1″ at the outside edges. I recently bought the box set for other shapes, too. I haven’t made any blocks from those smaller pieces yet.
Making quilt tops…piecing..is my favorite part of the quilt-makeing process. Several years ago, my husband bought me a Juki sewing machine on a Mini Pinni quilt frame from the Gracie company. My friend, Diane, has quilted more tops on it than I have. My goal this year is to change that statistic. I have lots of tops to work with.
This is my project for January. I found this top buried in my quilting room while I was organizing. I think I can finish it by the 31st, especially if we get more snow.
The quilting always looks better after a good washing. It puckers up and looks comfortable and old. My goal with this section was to make the background look like wooden boards. It will look better when washed.
I haven’t quilted on the machine for a while. I had forgotten that practice makes any skill better. By the bottom edge, I was feeling much more relaxed and confident. I tend to tighten my hands on the handles and hunch my shoulders tightly. I took more breaks and found the process much more relaxing.
I will share more pictures after this is completed, bound, and laundered.
I love turning scraps that would be destined for the trash into a beautiful block. I have 8 of these dresden plate blocks already made. I only need 12 for the quilt I have planned. This is the first red block. I am using red scraps because of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for January.
I use scrap paper cut to a size that is 1/4″ larger than the finished cut out size on the Accuquilt Dresden die. I foundation piece the scraps onto the paper. That way I can use smaller scraps to crumb piece my Dresden blades.
In the early morning on weekends, when I cannot sleep in, I get up and turn on You Tube to watch quilting videos on the big tv in the living room. My husband bought it so he could watch sports on the big screen. Quilting shows look pretty good on the big screen, too.
Recently, You Tube has been suggesting studio tour and make over videos. Ugh! Sometimes life is like a train wreck and you can’t turn your eyes away!
Some of these ladies are not quilters, but clothes makers. That is how I started sewing at the age of 6…making clothes for dolls and my Grandmother’s Dog. Some have many hobbies, like cross-stitch, embroidery, or using a cricut.
I did not make my first quilt until I was in my mid-twenties. My grandmother got me interested in quilting, but she was not really into quilting and piecing. All of her quilts were heavy, tied, practical creations.
My first sewing area was a sewing machine table in our laundry room. When we moved, I graduated to a desk with a hutch top in the corner of our bedroom. After my son moved out, I graduated to the entire room and we moved into his bedroom. I now have the largest room in the house as a sewing room. (My husband really likes to watch football in peace! And I am his queen!)
That leads me to my title for this post. Recently, the ceiling fan/light in my room died. I have lots of task lights around the room, because the ceiling fan light has never been spectacular. Now I have a new light fixture with one of those bladed shop lights in it. WOW! My room is now brighter than the sun…and I can clearly see all of the mess. Time to organize. Yuck!
Here are a few before pictures:
Here are some after pictures:
I don’t hide things in cabinets, so my space will never be as cute and organized as some of the ones in the videos. I like to see my stuff…right out in the open!
I can only stand to work on this a little at a time, so as with everything in my life, it is a work in progress.
Once a year, I go to “Quilt Camp”. It is organized by a wonderful retired teacher who is on the board of the local 4H camp. We meet in the dining hall to sew, socialize, and sew some more. Some of us stay in the dormitory…aka the “bunk house”. We have a challenge every year. A few times in the last couple of years, I said I would participate and then totally crapped out. This year, however, we are using a challenge that was posted a few years back by another on-line group, Raincross Quilt Guild. This challenge was used by them in 2015-2016. I am having a great time amping up the blocks they made!
My most recent hand sewing has been on these cut dresden plate flowers. In my quilt these are corner blocks for the next round.
I still have several more blocks to make. This quilt just keeps growing!
Even when I am not making resolutions, I try to participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Every year, soscrappy.com hosts this wonderful challenge. I make it through the first couple of months…and then life gets in my way. Some years, the author of soscrappy designs a quilt. Sometimes she suggests a block to be made in many colors. Sometimes it is just the color, like this year.
January is the color red this year. I have started by making 10 crazy blocks using the Accuquilt block on board die.
She always shares her work and posts a link so everyone can share.
I also made 10 paper foundation pieced crumb blocks to get me started. I have a small bin of red scraps to work with…enough to keep me busy.
Many of these are strips.
I use pages from old Reader’s Digest magazines. I can cut them to a convenient size square for my foundation. I sew the crumb pieces to the paper…trim…flip…and stitch some more.
They look rough.
Then I use my Accuquilt 4 inch die to trim them to the exact size. It is amazing what trimming and squaring up can do! Now they look like usable blocks. (I love those little monkeys!)
I will remove the paper while I watch TV this week. I have a bin of hundreds of these finished blocks…and I have designed a quilt made from them. More on that later this year. I will also do a red RSC update at the end of the month…maybe I will even find some of the previous RSC blocks!
After thinking about my needs and/or wishes for the new year, I came up with 5 goals…and a plan to keep on track.
Goal 1: Quilt top finishes
My husband says that I am not a quilter. I am a topper. I have created many, many tops. A few years ago, I donated several tops that I decided were never going to be quilted by me to a friend to turn into charity quilts. She was happy to have them…I was glad to share, but I still have a good size pile of tops to finish. Some of them have a backing with them, some don’t. I think I easily have enough to keep busy If I quilt at least one project a month. I have a Gracie frame with a Juki machine on it. It does take up a sizeable amount of real estate in my sewing room. Time to put it to more use.
Goal: Turn a quilt top into a finished product every month.
Goal 2: Blog more
I have not been a very productive author during the pandemic. Last year I only wrote 5 blog articles. This year I am setting the bar a lot higher.
Goal: Publish 2 blog articles a week.
Goal 3: Sew more for my own sanity
I have been reading articles about reducing stress and increasing your self-care. One of the suggestions was increasing the time you spend on activities you enjoy. Sewing entails a long list of activities when you break it down. Here are my qualifiers:
hand sewing (applique, binding, English paper-piecing)
machine sewing (quilting, piecing)
cleaning/ organizing my sewing area…okay…room (I am a spoiled princess…my husband likes to watch football in peace!)
cutting fabric (Accuquilt is a gift that keeps on giving…)
sorting fabric (I am a scrapaholic.)
Goal: Complete a sewing activity from the above list at least 80% of the days in the year…that is 292 days.
Goal 4: Read to self
My mother-in-law loves to read. When she finishes a book, she gives it to me. I have been stashing books in bins in our “library” loft for more than 5 years…getting ready for my own retirement. I love to read, but I sometimes have a problem putting down my tablet to read a book. I also have conditioned myself to fall asleep while reading…not good for reading an entire book in a timely manner.
Goal: Read at least one book a month.
Goal 5: Read Aloud
I admit that I would never have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy on my own…or Winds of War…or War and Rememberance. My husband never would have read Gone with the Wind on his own. We started turning off the tv and reading together when our son was in high school. It drove our son crazy. Now he and his wife do this, too. Mwahahaha! Recently, we are drawn more to the enticing, mind numbing glow of the television after a long day of wearing masks. Time to get back to entertaining ourselves.
Goal: Read to each other at least 2 days a week.
I found this great little blank book to keep me on track. I have set up a section for each goal to keep me going. All I have to do is add titles, dates, etc. Since I invested some time to get this little book set up, I think it will help me keep going.
So what habits do you want to form? What soothes your soul when you are stressed? Share in the comments. I love to hear your thoughts!
Last year was challenging for many reasons…and wonderful for many reasons, too.
We lost some dear friends and family members.
Now on to the wonderful additions to our family! My son bought a beautiful new home and got engaged on the same day…why not have all the big changes in life at one time? He got married on Veteran’s Day to a wonderful woman. We are glad to welcome her to our family…she doesn’t know what she got herself into…I hope she doesn’t figure that part out…
For the record, I am still working on the bibs that I posted about last year. I need to think about some goals for this year…some things to help me get through to retirement…maybe I should learn how to create a go fund me page!
I will think about my list and get back to you shortly…
Until then, what are your goals for 2022? (When I was graduating from high school in 1984, I couldn’t envision 2000…and here we are 22 years after that!)
Good morning or day…whatever the case may be. 2020 was a hell of a year. We are coming up on the year anniversary of all of the craziness that we have had to accept as the “new normal”. (I personally HATE that term, and refuse to accept anything! HA!)
Hopefully, we are starting to emerge from our confinements, quarantines, and isolations to a healthy world. There are many new quilters and sewists among us. (I am not using the term “sewer”. That is spelled just like the underground lines where poop goes…so…uh…NO!)
I have a Sunday morning ritual. I get up to have a cup of coffee and watch some quilty things on the big screen TV that my husband bought for himself…to watch sports, of course. I have a long standing argument with a family friend that quilting should be considered a sport, just like Nascar. I say, “You have to push a pedal to make it go.” He says that is not the same. He has obviously never been on a deadline to get a quilt finished for a graduation, wedding or baby arrival. He says, “No, it is hot in the cars.” Well, I don’t have air conditioning, so sometimes it is hot in the sewing room, too. Maybe I just need some sponsor stickers for on the sewing machine and a nifty sponsor outfit! So when I am watching quilty things on the tv, is that the same as watching sports?
Back to this morning’s discovery…I am a big YouTube fan. I am fairly certain that I could google anything and find a video to do it, fix it, etc. I recently did this at the parts store. The person working “wasn’t allowed” to help. I have a word for that…lazy. Thank goodness for free wifi to their parking lot. Fixed it myself! I digress…this morning’s discovery is all about quilty inspiration. It looked wonderful on the big screen, just like a sporting event, but better…because it was quilty and there was no fear of losing! Enjoy my find! Road to California quilt show 2020…filmed by Jolly Molly TV.
Remember…sometimes it is good to take a deep breathe and enjoy life as it comes to you. Have another cup of coffee!
Here is the original quilt layout in McCall’s quilting magazine from March/April of 2018. This version is a little smaller than my version. It contains odd size blocks. I prefer to use pieces that I can cut with my accuquilt cutter. My finished quilt will also contain 9 blocks, but it won’t need sashing because the blocks are much bigger than these in the picture. I’m spending Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday relaxing as our nation prepares for the inauguration of a new president. This project is to take my mind off of all that is in the news that I don’t even want to contemplate.
Here is a picture of my third out of nine blocks. The first two were peach with the same dark green. This one is a lovely teal and purple. The entire quilt is cut from stash and scrap fabric. It took about 2 hours to assemble this large block.
Hopefully as the long, cold winter continues, I will be able to finish the other six blocks to make the quilt top complete. Here’s to keeping busy and out of trouble.