Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stash Report Week 9 - A finish and an accident!

I got my sewing machine back from repair on Wednesday afternoon, and by that night I was back to sewing.  Of course the highlight of my week was getting my new Featherweight machine, and I hope to try it out soon (as soon as I know it's properly greased!)

My report is positive this week, some fabric out - about a metre of strings and strips given to my friend who decided to start her own Orca Bay quilt and a finish, a play quilt for my granddaughter, which will be completely bound tonight while I watch the Oscars.  And only a quarter metre in, a couple of fat 1/8's for the scrappy bin.

Used this Week: 3 metres
Used year to Date: 33.5 metres
Added this Week: 0.25 metres
Added Year to Date: 14.65 metres
Net Used for 2012: 18.85 metres
Here is the little play quilt for Zoey - I love the bows that can hold those toy clips so her toys can be easily reached.

And here is the full quilt.  My daughter didn't want it too big, so I left off borders. I still feel it's missing something, but she likes it!

It's made in flannel, a panel cut up and minkee on the back.  I did have a little accident - I ran the sewing machine needle through my finger - I haven't done that since I was 18. 

I split the nail but luckily the needle bent (and broke) and it didn't lodge in the bone, like it did the last time I did this.  That required a trip to the hospital and 3 needles of freezing. 

Luckily, I didn't get any blood on Zoey's quilt!

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm a Winner - Twice!!

I can't believe it - I actually won something!  A big "shout-out" to Kristen of Sew, Mama, Sew who so generously had a give-away last month, and I was one of six winners of a yard of fabric of my choice.  Aneela Hooley's "A Walk in the Woods" was sold out, so I went with this:

It's Ant Maze from Backyard Baby! My grandson is going to love this!

It arrived yesterday and just after I opened the package, I went to check out an item I was following on ebay.  Here is my big win of the day!!!  Check this out:

(Sorry for the blurry pictures - I was so excited to get these posted)  My first time bidding on Ebay and I won this 1947 Featherweight for just $217.50 - and the best part - no shipping!  The seller was local and drives right by my house on her way home from work, so less than 24 hours after I won the bid, I had this baby in my hot little hands. 

It is in fantastic shape.  The decals are in perfect condition, front and back: 

There's barely a scratch on it - only a couple of minor pin scratches. 

The serial number dates it to about late 1947.

(Those brown spots appear to be dried oil - nothing a little cleaning won't get rid of.)

It was even made in Canada!

It appears to have all the parts that it would have come with the original purchase including all the feet, 6 bobbins, a screwdriver, a tube of motor lubricant and even the original manual, barely used.  The only thing missing is the can of machine oil that would have come with it when first purchased.

There are a few minor things that can be expected with a 65-year-old machine.  The case has some minor damage on the bottom corners.

The power cord needs to be repaired near the end that plugs into the machine.

And the light bulb was broken off - it looks like someone tried to take it out the wrong way, but a replacement bulb was in the box!

This machine is going to be a beautiful addition to my sewing room. In a funny coincidence I already own the table that was made for these machines.  I bought it at a garage sale for $5 when I was just 20 years old, and setting up my first apartment.  I bought what I thought was a card table to put my sewing machine on, and it wasn't until about 10 years later that I realized the cut-out was possibly for a sewing machine.  It was only less than 2 years ago when I started reading quilting blogs that I realized I had a Featherweight table.  Mine is folded away right now, but it is in much better shape than this picture I found on ebay - this one sold for $80!!  I'm so excited to have a set ;o)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What to do? The World's Largest Hexagon Quilt

I saw this post on Bonnie Hunter's blog, which led me to this site, and for the last two weeks I've been in a quandry.

What will I do with my hexies? Early last year, I was working on hexies when I'm in the mood, not on the computer and want something to do with my hands.  I posted about them here...

and here...

I got stalled (and distracted by other projects) and after I saw Bonnie's post, I realized it was because I wasn't happy with my vision.  Originally I was going to sew the flowers together to make it look like a big mass of flowers, but it didn't really look like I envisioned it.  I love the pattern of the amazing large quilt the group of ladies put together in Australia, but it seems to formal for what I want.  So now I'm rethinking my design.  I still want a flower garden, but realize it needs some "greenery" and "paths".

This is the direction I think I may end up taking:

It's going to depend on the greens that I find - I want all '30s repros so I hope I can get enough variety.  In the meantime, I'm going to keep plugging away at flowers - I'm up to 64 completed, only 206 to go!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Christmas Basket

With my sewing machine MIA, there's nothing on my design wall, so I thought I would share my Christmas Basket projects. I've using this time to precut some projects for Christmas presents.   I bought a beautiful wicker basket at a garage sale last summer for $5, and I've been filling it with "kits", so I have something ready to pull out when I need something to work on (not that that is ever a problem!).

Please excuse the glare - a weird yellow ball briefly lit up the sky for a millisecond! I think it's called the sun.

Two of the projects are for the grandbabies - first up is Zoey's big bed quilt.  She'll be 1 1/2 at Christmas time, so it'll be a little early but that's okay! 

It will be made from the panel and coordinating fabric line "Before the Kiss" by Avlyn, and the pattern is a free download from their website,  I bought the fabric from the local chain store, Fabricland, so I hope it is a first-run fabric.  It felt like a good weight, and the colours and patterns were crisp so I think it is.  Of course, I will make some changes and add my own touches, as I noted above, hopefully I can read my own shorthand when I pull it out again.  The finished version on display had hot-fix crystals where any stars, gems and water sparkles are, so I'm going to do some research and possibly add some bling to my version.  Supposedly, the ones I have are absolutely permanent and "the only ones authorized by the National Skating Association" for skaters' costumes according to the salesperson.  I'll believe it when I do my own research, but hopefully that is true and I can add some bling to this quilt.  Zoey's not one to put anything in her mouth, not even food, so it might not be an issue. 

I also bought enough fabric to make a coordinating pillowcase for a tradition my sister and I have.

This fabric my daughter brought home from New Zealand when they went there for Christmas this year (her husband is from Tuaranga, North Island).  She brought me 2 metres, and I'm going to use some of it to make a pillowcase for Alex.  I love the rugby-playing kiwis, but the pukeko birds are my favourite.  The pukeko are native to New Zealand, and run wild on Ray's parents' property so it will be a good reminder of their visit for Alex.

Our tradition of giving pillowcases filled with little gifts was started by our mother when our girls were small.  She made fabric bags and filled them with little things to keep the kids occupied until everyone arrived at my parents home for the family gift exchange and dinner.  One year she made the gift bags out of fabric printed with trolls dressed for Christmas - and they were used from then on!

Trolls seemed a little girly when our grandsons came along, so I made them pillowcases the year Alex was two (at that time, there were just the 2 boys old enough). They loved them so much that I've decided to make new pillowcases every year, and this year there will be a total of 6 to make! 

Zoey's of course is no problem, hers will match her new quilt, and Alex's will be the kiwis playing rugby.  My sister's grandchildren are all boys, including a new one due this coming June, so shopping for fabric will be interesting.  I go to Munroe, WA for scrapbooking retreats 2-3 times a year, so I'll be able to look around the Seattle area for some interesting fabric at lower prices than I can usually get in Canada.  I think I'll stick to a sports theme for the boys, and look for soccer fabric for 2 of the boys (brothers whose dad is soccer crazy), and baseball or hockey for the other little boys.  It doesn't matter that the newest arrival will be too little to understand it, but the older boys will question why he doesn't get one too!

The rest of the basket has precut fabric wallets, using Lazy Girl's Wonder Wallet pattern, a quilt using the Lil' Twister tool and 2 charm packs of It's a Hoot, a Christmas fabric book, a little stuffed bear kit, a couple of Christmas panels for my daughters, and all the parts and the pattern to make Nancy Halvorsen's Joy to the World wall hanging.  humm, I better get started!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week 8

It's that time of the week again, and I am so glad that I started keeping track of my purchases and my finishes.  It gives me the accountability I need, both to not buy what I don't need right away, and to use what I have. Of course it hasn't stopped me from starting new projects!  More on that later. 
In the meantime, I stopped by my LSS this week for a very good reason!  I took my Orca Bay quilt to a long-arm quilter recommened by my LSS.  Linda of Quilted Cats Hideaway does most of Hamels quilting and going to do a nice, simple meander on this quilt that has so many seams and fabrics in it.  Of course, the backing I brought was 10" too short (I was going to use muslin, but have stolen some strips off the end of it which made it too short).  I went to Hamels and they had beautiful wide-backing flannels on sale so I got a beautiful red with a black swirl. It's in the washer right now, so I can't show it to you, but trust me it is perfect for this quilt.  I had to buy 90", which translated to 2.3 metres.  Of course, it's 110" wide so it was a screaming deal at $15.97/metre for quilt-shop quality flannel.  I'm going to have to take another look at some of the wide backings for yardage.  I also picked up 4 fat eigths to add to my scrap bins, which some are looking a little empty since doing Orca Bay! 
Used this Week: 0 metres
Used year to Date: 30.5 metres
Added this Week: 2.8 metres
Added Year to Date: 14.4 metres
Net Used for 2012: -16.1 metres
No finishes this week, my sewing machine is lost somewhere - apparently the servicing was finished on Wednesday, but they don't have a tracking system to figure out where exactly it is.  So...hopefully it shows up tomorrow, or on the next delivery Thursday.  If not, I'll be doing the freak-out dance all over somebody Thursday night!
In the meantime, I improved my setup of my baby machine this crammed corner between my ironing table and me and my scrapbooking stuff to my right:

to the spot formerly occupied by my regular machine:

Doesn't she look tiny?  I've put a USB drive and my scissors beside her for scale.

At least, I got a few more scrap blocks done and started 3 more tiny houses.  By time I finish these three, I might be able to dump those scraps.  Not bad for stuff I would have thrown out hoarded forever.  I'm going to start filling a pillow for my dog, as she has taken over a piece of fleece and made a nest under the cutting table.

These little blocks all measure 3 1/2 " and will finish at 3".  I'm not sure if they will appear in the same quilt yet, but it's a possibility.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Stash, Week 7

Used this Week: 3.5 metres
Used year to Date: 30.5 metres
Added this Week: 2 metres
Added Year to Date: 11.6 metres
Net Used for 2012: -18.9 metres

My sewing machine has been gone for its annual servicing for two weeks now, and I'm starting to go into withdrawal.  I've been sorting pictures, sorting fabric and even resorted to dusting the sewing room.  (Still not very organized yet!)  Yesterday, I set up the half-size machine I bought for the grandbabies to learn on someday, and made tiny scrap houses (see yesterday's post).  That didn't go so bad, so I tackled a flannel quilt top that I am making for my granddaughter to play on now that she is sitting up and starting to crawl.  That tiny machine put in a good day's work and at the end of the day I managed to get it finished - once my regular machine gets back, I'll have it quilted in no time!

Imagine a picture here - my computer doesn't want to read my camera card :o(

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Building Houses from Scraps

Have you heard of "Building Houses from Scraps"?  I joined the blog challenge that started on New Year's to make a house a day for one year - FAIL! I finally got my rear in gear tonight and tried out a couple of these little houses - my goodness, they are small! I've used a flower-head pin for scale.

They're not as crooked as they look in these pictures.  I took them at 11 p.m. and didn't use the flash, so I was trying to avoid shadows.

I'm foundation-piecing them as that is the only way I can get any accuracy.  These ones were pieced on my half-size machine, cuz I sent my regular machine in for servicing two weeks ago, and it's still not back.  I was suffering from withdrawal, and had even resorted to cleaning and dusting my sewing room!

There are four of these on each sheet of paper - look how tiny those pieces are - perfect for crumbs!

I've decided on yellow for windows (to simulate the glow of lights or candles) and red doors, and blue for the sky.  Other than that, anything goes!

Green House:

Scraps from a diaper bag I made for my first grandchild (green dot), blue roof is leftovers from his crib quilt, and a '90s calico in the chimneys. The rest is from scrap bags I bought at a couple of quilt shops to fill out my stash a couple of years ago (and never did anything with until Orca Bay came along!)

Purple House:

Purple gifted from a friend's scrap stash, chimneys from my granddaughter's crib set, blue starry fabric has been in my stash for about 10 years, rest from scrap bags.

I'm pulling the reds and blues from my crumbs that are left from my Orca Bay quilt.  They look so pretty in my jars!

Once I've made some crumb blocks and a few houses from the usable pieces, I'm dumping the rest.  I have a hard time getting rid of scraps, but I think I've done my best with these!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Orca Bay Wrap-up!

Bonnie Hunter is doing a final linkup on her blog,, so we can all share our Mystery Quilts.  This has been a good incentive for me to actually finish a quilt on a timely basis.  I started on November 18th and finished the top January 19th, pretty amazing for a quilt with over 4500 individual pieces!

I love the secondary directional lines created by the "birds" - half-square triangles with wings!  The black/blue lines create a unique sashing effect around the red squares.

This block wasn't planned, but I love it and it shows up in the top corner, so it catches my eye everytime I look at my quilt top.

But this little Heather Ross fishee is my favourite (my mom used to use a fish to mark her ceramics, and I hunted this Heather Ross fabric down to make labels for my quilts) - I just had to add him to the top as well!

I learned so much doing this quilt.  The best thing I learned was webbing the top.  I'm not sure if I got it exactly right as per Bonnie's instructions, but I worked out steps that worked for me.  I'm working out a tutorial on how I did it. 

I used tools I've owned and never used before.

When I was webbing my top, I used my Fons & Porter pins to label which way the blocks should be directed - these ones are marked on the "Up" side.  I put a pin on the top of each column and used a sharpie to put the column number on the back.

Then I labelled the first block in each row. In this case, "R" stood for Row, not right. Again, I numbered the back of the pins.

 I learned how to use my companion angle ruler that I have owned for about 7 years, and never used.  I used it for both quarter-square triangles and to trim down my red string blocks.  I also learned how to make string blocks! I perfected my chain piecing technique, learned that ironing those pieces were a lot easier if you did it before cutting them apart. I learned that anything can be accomplished if you break it down into smaller pieces - now I'm viewing all my UFOs with a different eye! 

Thank you, Bonnie, for a great mystery! I will be joining you for your next adventure!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week 6

I had nothing to report last week, but this week I have a little purchase.  I started "Just Takes 2" in January, and thought I would start with leftover aqua prints from my Pure quilt, Blue Raspberry Bella Solid and Bella White. 

I did the first 5 blocks and although they are nice, they just didn't have any "oomph".  So off to Hamels, my LQS, I went.  I picked up some Kona Ruby and nice red pin-dot that I might use down the road, so I will be doing a red and white quilt after all.  I'm going to finish the last block of the first 6  "Just Takes 2" blocks and make a pillow cover out of them, they will match my sofa nicely. I'll count that yardage once it's complete.  I also have another top just about finished - if my sewing machine gets back this week, I'll have lots to count next Sunday!

Used this Week: 0 metres
Used year to Date: 27 metres
Added this Week: 2 metres
Added Year to Date: 9.6 metres
Net Used for 2012: -17.4 metres