Friday, December 12, 2014

At Last! Sewing Chest

For years, probably most of the 21st century, I've wanted one of these.  
(I'm not sure what those white flecks are on the front--just something the old camera picked up.  There are no white spots in real life.)
No, it's not a box for a vintage sewing machine, although that too would be nice, especially if it were a chain-stitch machine.
It's a nicely finished wooden tool box.
 This one even has  [un-numbered] rulers on the inside of the fold-down "door."  I checked the measurements with a quilting ruler, and they are accurate.
The green is green felt and lines every drawer.
 It has a multitude of drawers so I can corral a lot of sewing accessories in just a little bit of space and can have separate drawers for long and short-shank sewing feet.

For a few years Lowe's had wooden tool chests on sale at Christmas time, but either I didn't have enough money or by the time I could get into town, they would all be gone.  The last few years they've not even stocked them.

So, where did I find this one?  At Costco!  Reasonably priced--so two could fit by the tree, one for tools and one for sewing stuff.  I'm quite happy with my one, but if there is someone in your house who has prized tools, a pair would be nice....

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting...,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quilting Goodies in the Mail!

I've been waiting impatiently for these:

I love the time I save when I can quilt instead of wind bobbins!  I also love Fil-Tec Magna-Glide Bobbins and Glide thread.  I can use their L size bobbins in my class 15 machines (although sometimes I need to pull off a few yards).  They work wonderfully.  I ordered boxes of 72 bobbins in the colors I use most.  I ordered a lovely pink and a lovely sand color in cones for quilting too. They also sell jars of 20 L Bobbins (or 10 M bobbins) in even more colors.  Because their bobbins were designed for long arm quilters, they are wound very tightly.  The L bobbins have 76 yards and the M bobbins have 136 yds (I think).  Because of the magnetic core, even when I stitch very fast, I never get a backlash, where the bobbin keeps spinning when I stop sewing.  They unwind very, very smoothly because that magnetic core clings gently to the bobbin post.

A closer look reveals the 10 rotary blades and a lighted tweezer that I ordered from Eleanor Burns' Quilt In A Day when they had their after-Thanksgiving sale.

I absolutely love getting goodies from Bobbin Central.  Their colors are luscious (my machines love them, as do my quilts), and, as I've claimed for years, just looking at them and touching them is every bit as delightful as a candy banquet!  Fil-Tec has even begun promoting them as "Candy for Quilters."

Now that I have the bobbins and thread, I can begin a couple of quilts that have been lying around awaiting their arrival!

Happy quiltmaking....and knitting (if you can find time for both!),

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another Quilt Inspired by Bob Warr

The 1st Bob Warr quilt led to a second ,a third, and now a fourth, this time for a colleague's preschooler.

This little girl is in her "pink and pooahple" stage.  I saved fat quarters for months and gathered more over a few more months and paired them with two lovely Asian fabrics from my collection.

I tried to choose a group of fabrics that won't embarrass her in ten or twenty years.  When I was about her age, my favorite colors were pink and chartreuse.  If I'd made a quilt in those colors, I'd have a hard time finding a place to hang it in my house today! (I did make my niece Audrey a quilt using pink and fresh green on a lot of white a couple of years ago.

 I cut the large blocks 8.5 inches.  That meant the triangles all touch each others--so they are more like a crown than barbed wire.
 The sashing stripes are in a slightly different rearrangement.

Much of the quilting was done with a pale orchid thread.  If I were to do it again, I would have quilted with slightly deeper purple on the lavender panels at the top and the bottom.

I designed a new curled feather for the borders and quilted it in a peony pink.

I still need to cut and attach the binding.  I'm thinking I'll go with the same pink that is in the border.

I so enjoy the variations that this pattern promises.  I need to write the pattern and a worksheet for planning measurements, but that will mostly likely not happen until the semester is over.

I have some more panels and blocks so I can make a few more variations.

Happy quiltmaking,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bob Warr Number 2 - Baby's Quilt

Here's a baby quilt, built fairly quickly on the same type of theme as Bob Warr 1, but for this one I cut the blocks at 9.5 inches.

 The two rows of sashing around each block brings the finished block size to 17 inches.  I was giving equal attention to other things while I pieced these and didn't realize until the first row was on that I'd forgotten to put the triangles in the corner of the block, so I added them to the sashing.

Claudia, one of the Victory Quilters passed her mid-1990s children's fabrics on to me.  I love these fabrics because they remind me of my early Scott-Foresman readers and of the paper dolls that brought so many hours of joyful play into the  1950s.  In my mind paper dolls disappeared sometime around the time Barbie became ubiquitous.  I used 11 fat quarters from Robert Kaufman to cut the sashing and borders. These are so reminiscent of 1940s fabrics.

This quilt is for a colleague's new baby.  I'm hoping I have enough scraps of the fat quarters to complete the binding.  I've finished quilting it but haven't yet taken photos of the quilting.

Happy quiltmaking,

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Quilt Named Bob Warr

I pieced and quilted this recently, but didn't get it posted to the blog.  Sometimes life gets really intense, as it has been for weeks, but most of what has gone on has been good!

The block centers were left over from four other Victory prayer quilts.  The brown wheat print is left over from a quilt I started (made completely by hand) back in the late 70s, and the other prints were part of the stash.

It's called Bob Warr because it reminds me of barbed wire and because of something that happened when I was little.  I grew up on a farm near El Paso, Illinois.  My dad asked me if I wanted to go to Gridley with him, so we took off in the 1940s Studebaker pick up.  I wandered around the store learning about different kinds of nails from one of the employees.  I've always loved hardware stores.
Eventually, Dad finished visiting with everyone, and we climbed back into the truck.  As he backed out of the store's garage, I asked him where Bob Warr was.  He told me, "In the bed of the truck."  I got on my knees and looked through the back window, but all I saw was several boxes.  Of course, later that day the whole family had a good laugh about Bob Warr.

I've been asked to teach this process for a Victory Quilts project day January 7th.  So I've used that as an excuse to buy some printed panels; of course, then I discovered I didn't have the right fabrics to coordinate with the panels, so I bought some more fabric.  Got it washed this afternoon.   I still need to write a short article for the church newsletter.  So much to do in so little time!  I'm guessing a lot of people are feeling that way about now!

Happy quiltmaking,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Quilt Finish--Sort Of

"Sort Of" because all I did was quilt it.  I love it when my friends in Victory Quilts hand off a quilt for me to quilt.  It's going back to Ruth so she can bind it and launder it for our next prayer quilt blessing.

 This is a split nine patch that I shared with my quilting friends years ago.  The ones I did on my blog were called Split 9-Patch Windmills.  Ruth set hers together differently.
 Please excuse the "ravelins" on the quilt.--I need to leave for Jubilee Players practice and choir practice, but I was so pleased at how quickly this quilted up that I just had to share!

 I tried a lot of feather variations that were new to me.  They just kind of hopped out of the needle!
 The border was very narrow, so I tried new things there too.
 This quilt has a lot of surprises--like the curls at the ends of some of the feathers.

Lots of fun.  Quilting went fast.  I did have trouble seeing the threads I chose since I was quilting at night, but it was still mostly okay.  Furthermore, I'm sure it will provide comfort and pleasure to a recipient facing a serious health challenge.

I can hardly wait to start the next one--but of course, my day job takes precedence!

Happy quiltmaking....and knitting,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reorganization, Explanation, New Quilt

I'm back, more or less, and wondering how long it will take me to catch up on blogs.

First came the reorganization of my quilting studio--which I've worked on for weeks and still has a ways to go but is a vast improvement.
I have a lot of shelves of organized fabric including many of the hand dyes I've done for the last couple of decades and have been somewhat reluctant to use:
                                                                   Yes, still a ways to go!

Reorganizations of lots and lots of prints:

Little curtains over the shelves to protect them from light:

 I still have boxes of fabric, etc., about which I need to make decisions.

I do feel like I'm still healing from the "mystery virus," and I'm still not accomplishing as much as I'd like.  The good thing is that throughout this time my brain has continued to heal so that I now hear things, especially in music, that my brain is processing for the first time since its injury over 2.5 years ago.  Given how much I love music, that's a huge blessing.

I am back to quiltmaking at last, and tonight I get to layer this for quilting:
It's a prayer quilt for the husband of my grade school/high school friend Pat Orr.  Dave has finally been matched with a donor for a liver transplant, so I need to get this quilted, blessed, and on the way to Illinois.  I'm thinking his donor may need a prayer quilt too. However, the latter quilt can be selected from the  quilts waiting for distribution.

The panels in the above quilt were purchased several years ago, and I've been collecting additional fabrics to go with them, but up to this point the only thing I had used them for was for a door hanging.  They remind me of autumn during my childhood and youth on our farm near El Paso, Illinois.

School moves forward, and sometimes I do too! The polar vortex is headed in our direction (despite the fact that one of the writers on Accuweather said the Southwest would be spared).  I'm grateful our introduction to this one will probably not include the snow it's brought to much of the country.  (It's obvious I'm getting old because I talk about the weather!)

Happy quiltmaking...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Medical Mystery

No pictures for this post because they would be ugly!
I revisited the doctor this afternoon--they now think this isn't shingles (because of it's failure to stick to a typical pattern)--so I came home with a "powerful ointment" but no longer have to worry about passing this on to someone.
Both doctors say I can just think of myself as a medical mystery.  Probably as close as I'll get to being a princess!!!

Happy quiltmaking

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just a Bit Late

I seem to have gone missing again--and, in a way, I did.

First order of business is an array of photos from the It's a Sister Thing Swap in which I participated.

I shared a box of goodies with Needled Mom.  You can find her post about it here.

The secret sister who sent me a box of goodies was Jeannie of GracieOliver.
With the exception of the fall ribbon, "a decadent blend of black teas and vanilla" from Spice Merchants, and a little pin, here's what Jeannie sent to me:

 A wall hanging--that is going on my door to replace the patriotic hanging now that Labor Day is past.

 A really classy black and white tote bag.  I love the gingham print and the dots.
 A sweet lady bug button adorns the flower.  (Although I've never collected them, ladybugs are special to me because I adopted from China.  Frequently, there have been a flurry of ladybugs about the time referrals have been sent to adoption agencies.)

 Locally made milk chocolate.

And from the Amish store near Jeannie, some yardage of scripture based fabric that I've never before seen. 

I love the way these are printed,

and they are longing to become part of some special quilts, including prayer quilts.

Thanks, Jeannie, for such truly wonderful gifts.  (She says I'm hard to  blog stalk because I don't talk about myself much.  Hmmmm, I thought I did.)

Last week, when most people were posting about their swap items, I was north of Pagosa Springs, CO at a women's retreat where two friends and I helped with music.  It was kind of a shock to my system to get away to such a wonderful event in such a lovely place--probably the most relaxing few days I've had this summer.  I missed my quilting, but did work on some socks.

My new adventure, if it can be called that, is a bout of shingles.  Yes, I've had the vaccination, but it is estimated to be only 80% effective.  I confused three doctors who came to take a look in the doctor's office yesterday because I have it on both sides of my body (mostly my face), and most often people get it on only one side of their body.  My practitioner prescribed a stronger antihistimine (in case it's something else) and an anti-viral.  She assured me that even if I have shingles despite the vaccine, this will be a much lighter case.  By today, it's pretty clear this is shingles.  However, now I'm home from work because children who have not been vaccinated against chicken pox can catch them from someone with a shingles outbreak.  One of my friends from jugband had them earlier in the summer, and she shared with me some more natural things to do that sped her recovery. I'm just very happy that so far I'm itching but not having intense pain as I notice more little dots popping up not just on my face but also on my arms, chest, and belly.

I'm still behind in a lot of things, but also very tired, so we'll hope I can catch up on at least a few things.

(I'm not ignoring 9-11, but other than praying for comfort for the survivors and their families and wisdom for our country's leaders, I won't dwell on it.)

Happy quiltmaking,
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