Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stash Report, Week 52 - Year-end wrap up!

It's been a whirlwind of sewing and shopping this month, delayed by many hospital visits.  My brother-in-law finally got his triple-bypass surgery on December 11th, 3 weeks after his initial heart attack.  He was home in 4 days, but of course it will take a long time for his extra-thick breastbone to heal (but like the doctor said, "I have a bigger saw!").  Unfortunately, he caught a cold and is having to try not to cough.
He did enjoy visits from his newest grandchild, Lexi, finally a girl for my sister's family after 4 grandsons:
My sister, her husband and I are very close. Having been on my own for almost 30 years now, I have often had to call on Sanford to help me with things that are too heavy or difficult on my own.  Of course, I reciprocate when I can, like hosting the whole family for six months while their home was being rebuilt after a house fire.  His friends joke that I am his second wife - poor guy!  I love him dearly, and I'm so grateful that he got through the surgery with flying colours.
On to my stash report:
Added since my last report: 2.6 metres
Added Year to Date: 72.7 metres  
Destashed since my last report: 16 metres

 Destashed year to Date: 69.9 metres
Added for 2014: 2.8 metres

 Total spent  YTD $380.19= $5.27/metre
I would say that is about as close to break-even as I am ever going to get!  And I didn't break the bank either.
I added 2.6 metres to use in my Grand Illusion quilt.  I had to get my yellow constant, and some blue since I'm using pastels instead of neutrals, as I have pretty used up my stash of those and I had some coordinating pastels in the line of fabric I chose to use for the mystery quilt.  I didn't take a picture of the fabric, but you can see it in these units.

 This is pretty much all the blocks I have done so far.  This December was just not conducive to elective sewing this year.  I hope to make more progress in January!
I made a grand total of 6 pillowcases this year, but I've already had to remake one, thanks to my dog, Daisy. 

She ate a quarter-size hole in Zoey's to get at the chocolate inside (she's fine!).
 I made 10 infinity scarves in various colours, 3 for my daughter's birthday and 7 for extra gifts at Christmas. Each one is made from a 20"x30" or 20"x40" piece of minkee, mostly scraps leftover from quilt backings.  It worked out to 4 metres removed from the stash! I even took photos to do a tutorial, which I hope to have posted this weekend.
Christmas PJ's for the kids was good for another 5 metres out.

And at the last minute, I also made tag blankets for the babies, for another metre out.  16 metres total out, not bad for a busy month.
And my newest obsession for my scraps and crumbs are Bonnie Hunter's Wild 'n Goosey block.  You can find the instructions in the May/June 2013 issue of Quiltmaker magazine . Those adorable corner blocks are only 3 1/2" square!
Check out Patchwork Times for more stash reports - I love watching people's progress.

Friday, December 26, 2014

My Christmas Presents

A Christmas spent with my babies, and canvas-wrap photos for my wall was the best present of all.

But a very close second was this pretty girl!
It's a Singer 201K3.  Unlike American-made 201-2s, this Scottish/Canadian girl has a belt and the light is on the back of the machine. 
Her serial number EH866646 dates her to numbers issued February 9, 1953 at the factory Kilbowie factory in Clydesdale, Scotland. The motor was made in Canada, which means the body of the machine was shipped to one of the assembly plants in Canada before distribution. 
She's pretty dirty, and has a ding near the bobbin spool pin, and needs a new power/foot pedal cord.  I'm confident I can get her cleaned up and running myself!
This machine is often referred to as the Cadillac of Singers, and was the top-of-the-range model of its time.  When they were first introduced, they could easily cost the average labourer 6 months in wages.  Singer was instrumental in introducing the concept of paying on time, so many people would make weekly payments over a number of months or even years to own one of these hard-working machines.
She came in a case that looks like it a 301 case, so I'm not sure if it is original to the machine, so I have to do some more research on it.  I can't wait to start the cleaning process.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from BC, Canada - I'm joining Bonnie's Christmas Eve Linky Party!

Today my muse, Bonnie Hunter is hosting a Linky Party to share our favourite Christmas sewing projects!  I first discovered Bonnie in 2010 when I discovered the wonderful world of quilting blogs, and I haven't stopped sewing since!
I first learned to sew when I was a child, and designed and made my own Barbie clothes. I made Christmas presents for my daughters every year, even if I didn't do any other sewing for the year.  Since my sister and I became grammas six years ago, we revived our mother's tradition of "goodie bags" but the bags are now pillowcases!
This year's lineup - packed and ready to go!  I'm glad I have a room in the process of painting and new trim so that I can hide everything.  My sister and I have a deal, she does the shopping and I supply the fabric and make the pillowcases (I think I get the better end of the deal cuz I hate shopping for anything other than fabric).  They're just filled with small, inexpensive items like toothbrushes, socks, a small toy, coloring books and crayons, etc.  It gives the kids plenty to do when we have our joint family gathering on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas for my American friends).
Last year's lineup.   The two purple ones went with my Easy Street quilt that I gave to my daughter and her husband (I like to make matching pillowcases when I gift a quilt, and use one to wrap it in.) The last one is a Super Mario pillowcase for my oldest grandnephew, to go with the quilt that is still under construction.  Now that the Christmas sewing is done, that's the next project on the list.
The kids love their pillowcases so much that they insist on having a pillow in each one.  My grandson now has six pillows piled on his bed!  My daughter wants to kill me - just kidding!
Christmas 2014
I also make pyjamas for the kids every Christmas.  Zoey calls these ones her "Frozen" pyjamas because they have snowflakes on them and insists on wearing them every night, even during the heat of summer.  They still fit a year later - I'm glad I made them a bit big.
The Christmas project I am most proud of is my tree skirt.  (I must remember to take a picture of it quilted.) It is foundation-paper-pieced from a Judy Niemeyer pattern and I love how it turned out.  I used all batiks except for the white areas, they have a silver snowflake pattern printed on the white.  I love how it sparkles under the tree.
Have a wonderful Christmas, Kwaanza, Hanukkah, Diwali, Solstice or other holiday you may celebrate as this year ends, and I hope you have the best year ever in 2015! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Slow and steady will get me there!

As I have done in previous years, I am using Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt as Leaders and Enders while I finish my Christmas sewing.  Last night, I finished a Christmas Countdown calendar from a panel for my oldest daughter:
I put my snips to show that behind each door is a little pocket, created by folding the fabric. She plans on putting little notes for activities they can do leading up until Christmas.
I did a fold over of the backing to create a self-binding, and I tried something new - making a mitred corner with the self-binding.  It was a little tricky and not perfect, but with practice it will improve.
Tonight I finished the five pillowcases I started on Sunday:
And I managed to get 30 more HSTs done on my Grand Illusion quilt.
My sister and I use the pillowcases as "Gramma goodie bags" for our family get-together on Boxing Day.  She's in charge of finding the goodies (little gifts like colouring books, small toys and socks) and I make the pillowcases. My mom started this tradition when our kids were little, and we are carrying it on in her memory. I've written about it before - click here.
 Two pillowcases were already done, and I only needed to make four, but I made an extra Olaf one. Now I've decided to use the Olaf ones for my older grandkids on Christmas Day, so I have to make one more for Boxing Day!
After I finished up for the evening, I got the next 20 HSTs ready for sewing.  Now I have no excuses when I have 15 minutes of free time! 

Grand Illusion total:
50 of 280 Half-square triangles done
100 black squares cut
Still need to buy yellow fabric (waiting for my local quilt shop's Saturday sale, on the first of every month they have all regular price fabric 20% off)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusion Week #1 Link Up

I didn't think I would be starting Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt with the rest of the world because I was supposed to be on a beach in Mexico, but a "Series of Unfortunate Events" allowed me to join the fun (read more here).
My fabrics have been chosen - all from my stash.  I still need to get the yellow constant, but I am using these beautiful Jason Yenter prints I bought late last year.  I'm going to substitute the pastels for the neutrals (and I still want to get a soft blue), and I'm using blue instead of the aqua.  The yellow I want to get is a creamy yellow, like butter, which is in the backing fabric on the bottom and in the background of the top piece of pink fabric.  I have 4 different tone-on-tone blacks/dark greys, including one that has a cat and one that has sharks!
I've done all the cutting for the first step, with the exception of the yellow.  It's not a problem because until I get all my Christmas sewing done, these will be my leader/ender project.
I will be piecing on my 1937 Featherweight that I acquired thanks to Bonnie introducing me to vintage machines. I do the majority of my sewing on this little beauty!
Last night, I was ready to start!  I've started the 5 pillowcases I need to make for Christmas and in between, I fed those HST through the machine!
I had 20 done in no time!  Thanks, Bonnie, for another beautiful mystery quilt.  I can't wait to see the reveal!
Linking up to Bonnie's Monday Link Up - check it out to see how many others are participating this year!