Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Finishes

I haven't really been posting any "Finish It Friday" things lately, but I have some free time and I remembered to do it.  :-)

Note: I had this post ready to go almost 3 hours ago but we lost power during a thunderstorm and that put an end to the post. The power has finally come back on and I decided I better do this now or I may just forget about it again. 

I've been playing around with the borders to my Stepping Stones quilt (a Judy Niemeyer pattern) for quite a while because I just didn't like MY fabrics and placement of them in the original pattern. (I love the original quilt, just not my border fabric choices.) I toyed with the idea of just not adding any borders, but I liked that even less. Here's what I finally decided to do. The borders look much more purple than in reality. I'll try to get a better picture, but in the mean time, you get the idea.

What have you accomplished today? Check out what other quilters have been doing today by going to Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  

Quilting with Friends

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to sew with some wonderful people - family and friends. As I was viewing some pictures on my camera, I realized that I never posted the pictures of their progress here. DUHHHHH

Better late than never. Right?

Here's Mary and the jacket she worked on while here. Can you say CUTE!?!

Here's Karen's batik quilt. She had the fabric cut but totally pieced it while with the group. Wow! It's pretty big too. I can't wait to see this quilted. I think we should all wear shirts to match out projects.  :-)
Paula was busy, as she made a bunch of purses. I really like the fabric combinations! The small clutch is Ann's and it is adorable. 
I had a picture of Janet's quilt but I took it with my phone and now I can't find the adapter to transfer it to the computer. Sorry Janet! If you had left the quilt here for me like I suggested, I could have taken a picture.  :-)
Becky spent the day cutting out the pieces for a Mitten Tree Skirt by Button Stitch Designs, which is simply adorable but has lots of little pieces.
We had a bunch of fun and I can't wait until we can do it again!
While looking at pictures, I saw the picture of Darla's quilt before she's added the borders. I think it is beautiful and soon after I took this picture, she had begun adding the borders and it looks even better. She's probably done with it by now and I can't wait to see it.
This has been Darla's "learning quilt" and it was really a mystery to her. When she first started it, I gave her a bag of scraps and we worked on increasing her rotary cutting skills. I gave her a list of pieces to cut of all different sizes and didn't tell her why. She didn't know she was going to make a quilt from these scraps. She thought she was just cutting to learn. (I didn't want her to cut her own fabric and feel bad if and when she made mistakes. I have a tub of fabric set aside for testing block construction, demonstrations, etc. so this was what I used and I knew she could make something pretty with it.) 
Soon after she was done cutting, we began working on machine piecing. She started by making a bunch of four patch units and then made the half square triangles. After she had those all pieced, I finally showed her the block she was going to make. She hadn't seen the quilt layout yet, though because there are lots of layout options and I wanted her to make that decision without my influence. I was happy she chose the sashed layout because that provided another learning experience.
Although she's made quilts before, this one has a lot more small pieces than she's every used before. She's learned every stop of the way and I think it shows. I think she's done a wonderful job! Stay tuned for the completed top.  :-) 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dr. Keith is AWESOME!

I should have written this post yesterday, but alas I got busy and forgot.

I took my 180 back to the shop after if quit working (see THIS POST) and was pretty bummed, expecting the worst. I just knew it had to be something major because I had just taken it in for a tune up, with no real problem, just needing to be serviced for the first time in a couple of years. (I know, I'm a bad girl because I sew A LOT and this machine deserves to be serviced on a regular basis.)

Well, Keith (I like to refer to him as Dr. Keith of Quilts and Kreations) met me at the hospital shop and got right to work on it. There was good news! A belt had broken and he had one at his house. He went home, got the belt and replaced it. Then he checked everything again, realigned everything and sent me on my way - for just the cost of the belt!

I sure am a happy camper...I mean quilter!!

Thanks Dr. Keith! You're AWESOME.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Oh No!!!!

I  was happily sewing along when WHAM! my machine stopped dead in it's tracks. The bobbin will not engage and the case just spins and spins.

If you recall, I just got this machine home from the spa shop where it had a tune up and some minor adjustments. I was so happy to have it back that I have been a busy beaver sewing lots and lots. I sewed binding on two quilts, finished quilting my OSU quilt and completely pieced one new one - the disappearing nine patch.

Of course I just returned Kare's machine to her! She's such a wonderful friend that the first things she said when I told her about the machine was "Come pick up my machine. I don't have plans for it."

I really hope you all have a good friend like that.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thank You!

Thank you to all the men and women who have served our country over the years.  Your sacrifice is amazing to me and one for which you should always be proud.
Thank you for your service!
Thank you also to the families of our men and women who have served over the years. I cannot imagine being in your position. 
You are all my heroes!
For those who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives, I thank you from the deepest part of my heart. And even though I can never truly thank you enough, just know that... 
You will never be forgotten!

Design Wall Monday

I finished both the T-Shirt quilt and the OSU quilt that were up last week. The T-Shirt quilt is quilted, bound and with it's new owner. This quilt was too big (90" x 110") to have Jack hold it by himself so he's got it hanging off the balcony so I could get a picture.  :-) Thanks, Dear!

The recipient is a swimmer and I thought that the Seaweed pantograph (I forget the designer's name - sorry!) looked like waves, so that's how I quilted it. What do you think?
The OSU quilt top is complete and ready for quilting as soon as I get the backing. I have fabric for the binding, but I'm going to wait until its quilted to get it ready because I might change my mind once I get the backing or after it's quilted. Speaking of quilting this, I think I'm going to stipple in the letters with coordinating thread and diagonally quilt the rest. Or, if I wait too long and this has to be done in a hurry, I may just choose a pantograph and quilt an all-over design. I'll post a picture when it's totally done so you can see what I decided to do. Details about this pattern can be found in this post.
Now for what's on the design wall right now....
Remember this post when I said I was working on scrappy nine patch blocks as a leader/ender project while working on the blocks for the OSU quilt? Well I finished the blocks and decided that I would make them into a disappearing nine patch quilt. I cut all the blocks and just tossed the units up on the design wall tonight to get an idea of what it would look like. 
I'm not going to fret about placement here, but if you see something that really looks out of place please let me know. I may just throw caution to the wind and start sewing them together and not even try to rearrange. Since I used charm packs that I had here, the nine patch blocks were pretty big (14") so each of these units is 7" -  unfinished. If I don't add any borders, this quilt will measure 52" x 65".  I have the black fabric that is used within the quilt, but I'd have to buy border fabric and that might be just enough reason to simply bind this in black and be done with it. Again, I guess we'll see how I feel and then I'll post pictures.
I may work on this later today, but in honor of Memorial Day, I'm going to begin a Quilts of Valor project. I'll post pictures later today of that progress.
Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Know What This Means?

Do you know what this is and what it means?

It's a pile of rhubarb leaves and that can only mean one thing -  PIE!

Now if the strawberries were ready I'd be making some strawberry rhubarb jam.

Pleasant Reminders

Quite often I am reminded of the wonderful people who have come into my life because of quilting. Yesterday I mentioned my awesome friend Kare who loaned me her machine while mine were not here or on the fritz. That's not the only things she does that makes her so awesome, but that would be a completely different (and long) post.  :-)

This morning, while doing some paperwork, I spilled a bit of my coffee and went to the sink to get a washcloth to clean up the mess. While I was wiping up the spill, I just had to smile because I was using the washcloth that my new friend Chris made for me. Of course, I was also using the mug rug she made for me, which I have done almost every day since she gave it to me because it is so darn cute!  :-)

Here's a close up of both items. I love the green; and for a couple of years now I've incorporated that shade of green or something similar in MANY of my projects - quilting and others.
Isn't this mug rug simply adorable? Now can you see why I use it all the time?
Chris is a relatively new quilter who has taken a few classes from me. Let me tell you, she may be new, but she does really nice work. Her piecing has been superb on the quilts she's made!
Thanks Chris!! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It's Home and Humming

My machine was in the spa shop for a tune up and since the tech had been gone, it took longer than normal for it to be returned to me.

This machine had not be in for servicing for quite a while simply because I just love to sew on it and hate to be without it. I do have another machine (a Bernina 135 S) and although I like it, it just isn't this machine. I know. I'm fickle.

I finally bit the bullet and sent the 180 to Keith, unpacked the 135 and started sewing. Everything was great until one day while I was sewing, the screen went blank. Mmmmmm. I thought that was strange, especially since the light was still working. Thinking it might be the foot pedal, I tried the foot pedal for Kare's machine but that didn't fix the problem. (I checked, and the pedals were the same model number.)

After turning the machine off and on a couple of times, the screen came back on and all was good - for a while. The same thing started happening pretty frequently until finally it would turn off so much that I spent more time with it off than on. ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!

Kare came to the rescue and loaned me her old Bernina 830 Record.
(Thanks Kare!!)

                                                    (picture is from

I've used that machine before and love it. The stitches are wonderful and even though I kept pushing buttons that weren't there (they're on the 180 and I'm a creature of habit), it sure didn't take much to get used to it.

I finally got the call Friday that my machine was ready for pick up. YEAH!!! I loaded up the 135 and headed to the shop (Quilts and Kreations in South Amherst, OH). I did the switch and since I'm sure it's a mother board issue, I know for certain that the repairs needed on the 135 will be substantially more than the tune up on the 180.   :-(

I packed up the 830 and set up the 180 . With just a flip of a switch that familiar hum started and all was good.  AAAAAHHHHHHH

You can see that I'm working on the OSU blocks again and I started a scrappy nine patch that will probably end up a disappearing nine patch. I needed a leader/ender project and this charm pack (Ticklish, by Moda was just sitting there and Kare and I had just talked about it earlier today. So I figured, why not? . Anyway, look how far I got with the OSU blocks.
I'm ready to start sewing the rows together. Stay tuned!  :-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I had a pretty productive weekend. I finished the T-shirt quilt top that needs to be done later this week and I'm piecing the backing later today. Hopefully it will be quilted Wednesday afternoon (I'm teaching all day tomorrow so I doubt I'll work on it at all tomorrow) and I'll be working on the binding Wednesday night while I'm watching the baseball game. Here's the t-shirt layout before the sashing was added and the rows sewn together. I like to take pictures at this point so I can reference it if when I get confused and have to make sure the shirts are in the right place. Of course that doesn't help when I sew a complete row upside down and have to rip and re-sew. (FYI - that is not super fun to do when you are working with t-shirts and you choose not to interface them!)

Anyway, that quilt now has sashing as well as borders added. YEAH!
Here's what's up on the wall right now.
It's the OSU quilt that I referenced in THIS POST. Can you see the S and U? This isn't going to be very large, but it's going to be perfect for it's recipient. I can't divulge the recipients name right now just in case that person checks out the blog. I'm making a couple of OSU quilts for people so I have to keep them guessing.  :-) 

One of the quilts I finished up recently and forgot to post a picture was the log cabin variation that was a commissioned piece. It is BIG - 110" long x 120" wide. It's wider than longer because the individual has a headboard and she wanted the final outside border to be eliminated so she didn't have to tuck it in.

After discussing multiple quilting options, the decision was made to use a simple meander stitch with a bit higher loft batting. I like how it turned out but would have loved to see some cool quilting in it.
I have to run, but I have some more fun things to show. I had the pleasure of spending some quality quilting time with some friends and family this weekend and there was a lot work done. I'll post pictures later.
Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Exciting Acquisitions

The last few days have seen a couple of exciting acquisitions for me! On Friday I brought home something in this little box. Can you guess what it is?

Yep! It's a featherweight!

It is even has the manual and a few attachments.
This machine runs nicely and I can't wait to use it for a whole project! The carrying case stinks a bit and so we're airing it out to try to see if that helps. After some research, that the drip pan pad on the base of the machine may be the culprit and by replacing it and letting the case air out in the sun may solve the problem. Now, if we just had some sun.  :-)
I've been feeling the desire for a featherweight and treadle for quite a while, but have not actively searched for either of them. I think it's funny and pretty darn cool that this machine just "showed up" and presented itself to me and now I own it!  
So, yesterday Lynn called me and asked if I knew anything about a sewing machine named "Damascus Grand" because her sister-in-law had one she was putting in the community garage sale. They knew nothing about it except that it was in a wooden stand, it was old and looked pretty cool. Lynn wondered if I was interested in buying it. After a quick internet search, I found out a little bit about it and told Lynn that if it was in decent shape, the parts moved and there was a bobbin case I'd be interested in it. We discussed a price (really low) and told Jess that if someone offered her more, take it.
Look what Lynn and Ty brought over today!
I now have a Damascus Grand treadle sewing machine!!!

We had to play with the chain to get the machine to open up properly and once that was fixed we were able to examine the machine a little more closely. As you can see, the stand needs some work and the whole things needs a good cleaning. We know it needs a new belt and I'm sure a couple of other things but I'm excited.
This has a lot of attachments and it even has a manual for using them.

Isn't it really neat that both of these machines appeared within a matter of days? I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time reading about these machines and learning a lot. I've found a number of websites that should help and I think I'm going to check the library and Amazon.
Did I tell you that I'm excited about these machines?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Design Wall Monday and More

I threw some leftover flying geese blocks from my Totally Decaffeinated up last night and started playing around. I'm not sure if I'm going to use them, but I have five or six star blocks left as well. I'm done with both the top and back of the Totally Decaffeinated quilt and it's ready to be quilted this afternoon, but for some reason I never took a picture of the finished pieces. I guess I'll just post them after it's quilted.

Here are two potential layouts so far, although I don't really like either one. Just remember that I'm playing here and don't ask me why there are only six flying geese on the bottom right row....

My thoughts here for the first picture are that more flying geese would be added to the sides to create "boxes" that house the star blocks. I have the geese, but just didn't put them up. In the bottom picture, I thought about the same "boxes" but not including the stars. In the open space I would quilt something special.
These are all scrappy and anything that I add would probably be as well. Any thoughts? I'm open to suggestions.
And now for the MORE mentioned above...
I am so blessed! 
I told you HERE and HERE about the wonderful packages I've recently received in the mail, well I was completely blown away on Friday when I received another one. Check out what Alice sent me.
Ten fat quarters from Andover Fabrics Fairmount Park collection!
I met Alice last March/April while I was attending the Judy Niemeyer workshop at Tennessee Quilts. She and I sat next to each other for the last two sessions and I really enjoyed talking to her. We've "messaged" each other on Facebook now and then, but it's been a while since we've even done that. (Any by the way, she does a wonderful job of piecing quilts and has a great color sense.)
Alice sent along a very nice note that touched me very much. It's almost like she knew that I've been fondling some of the greys and muted fabrics in my stash trying to decide what to do. When these arrived, I just knew it was a sign to get something going. I have narrowed down my ideas and hopefully will start some cutting later this week. I'll keep you posted. THANKS ALICE!!
As I type this, I have two dear friends dealing with loved ones who have some serious medical issues. I feel pretty darn helpless in being able to do something for them, but I also feel so fortunate to not be facing the same type of situations with my loved ones. I know it's easy to forget about the fragility of life, but these two situations have really grounded me. I need to step back and recognize that it's not the end of the world when that big piece of fabric I bought to use as a backing has a major flaw right down the middle. Really, it's not that big of a deal when you put things in perspective.
I have a wonderful family and great friends. I have a passion for quilting that just keeps on growing and overall, LIFE IS GOOD! I sure hope you feel the same way. And remember that if you or a loved one is struggling, there are people who care.
Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Friday, May 3, 2013


I've been playing around a bit trying to organize my work area better and I like how I've added a few inspirational items. I've had the picture of Mom on my sewing area since it was given to me but it has often been pushed to the back and not visible.

I really needed something to contain the cord around my light (which my brother Jerry gave me for my birthday) so the controller is easier to use and the big flashy diamond ring from Mom is the perfect solution. See the flower in the pencil holder? Mom made that for me a few years back and it's the top of a pen. I use it frequently and since the flower is removable, it's easy to transfer it to a new pen when needed.


I have a picture of Dad close by too. It's on the left side of the sewing machine just under my embroidery thread. I've always like this picture!

Maybe it's because Mother's Day is fast approaching, but I sure do miss Mom, Dad and John. This little set-up is helping me feel like they are close by, providing even more inspiration and are my constant sewing partners.

Another Squishy Received!

Getting the mail the last few days has been really fun! Even though there have been some bills in there (YUCK!), there has also been some squishy goodness.

I don't often buy kits, but about a week ago, I ordered and received a kit that I ordered from Creative Quilt Kits.  This is an Alphabet Soup Quilt pattern by AD Designs and I had some contact with Alicia DeBello, the designer. She was really easy to deal with and if you'd like to see all of her patterns click here. She'll gladly e-mail you a pdf catalog.

I added the black fabric because I'm thinking about using that instead of the little grey and red squares that are in the center of the letters. We'll see. I have a couple of people that would really like OSU quilts and since I have another pattern also, they won't get the same quilt. YEAH!

Remember this post when I showed my winnings from Loris at Lucky Pup Quilter? I just started reading the book and am enjoying it so far.

If you can believe it, yesterdays mail included more fun stuff! Check this out.

I won this from Cathi at Quilt Obsession during her April Showers Blog Hop giveaway. Be sure to check out what she made using the fabrics above by clicking HERE.
I know the squishy goodness mail call has come to an end (unless I get busy and order more kits), but it sure has been fun. I hope you get enjoy some goodness soon too!