Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quilts for local charities

     I am so proud of our quilt guild.  Not only do we make Quilts of Valor for our local veterans, but for the past 3-4 years, we have been making quilts for local charities.  This year, we made 19 collectively, and they were shown at our guild meeting last Tuesday night.  I took pictures of some of them.  I got a late start so missed some of the early ones.  They will be presented to our local women's shelter and one of the nursing homes.  In the past, we have also donated to our Sheriff's Department and Police Department.

And here is mine…I know, I'm a real slacker, I only made one.
I have been interested in the big block quilts I have seen recently.  This is a free pattern on the Moda Bake Shop website.  It is called Moda Love and is available in different sizes, using different pre-cuts.

I quilted it using an all-over floral pattern.

     We had snow predicted today, so I cancelled my plans for the day to avoid slick roads.  The snow never did materialize, but I managed to accomplish something anyway.  I pieced the backs for two quilt tops, then basted and pinned them for quilting.  The best part is that I pieced them from my stash.  I love the look of pieced backs, but I hate making them.  It's something about all of those long seams and figuring the math, so you have it large enough and keep it symmetrical.  I tend to have a lot of 1 yard pieces in my stash.  I am trying to revise my thinking on this and buy larger pieces when I find something I like, especially when it is appropriate for backing.  What size do you buy for your stash?  I think it would be interesting to hear other opinions.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Week of Vintage Treasures

        I really didn't "need" any more vintage sewing machines, but I have recently had two more offered to me.  They both belonged to some extended family, my son-in-law's family members.  Here's some pictures. 

This is a Lady Kenmore Model 89, c. 1959 or so.  I have previously restricted myself to Singers, but after doing a little research, decided to welcome this one to the herd.  She was built in West Germany in the factory also making Pfaffs and has a pretty good reputation in the VSM world.  Apparently, her only problem area is the zigzag cams, which are plastic.  Everything else looks like it is metal.  We had to do some wiring before we could even plug it in, then had smoke from the motor, so thought it was a lost cause.  I had already sprayed with Liquid wrench and applied a liberal dose of oil, but she ran slow and the motor overheated.  Oh well, it was worth a try, we said.  Two days later, my husband decided to try again.  I guess she just needed to soak up oil, because she took right off and the motor stayed cool.  She has a knee control, which I haven't used since Home Ec class in high school, so that is presenting a learning opportunity.  Peachy, the pink Atlas seems happy to have another mid-century member of the family.  I have named the Kenmore Minnie, from the woman who owned her.  She was my son-in-law's grandmother.

This a Singer 128, crinkle finish, blackside.  Yes, I know, I already had one of those.  I declined at first, then after thinking about it, talked myself into taking it.  Here's my argument; it has all the blackside parts, it has the original manual, and is in excellent condition.  And, how often do you have two vintage blacksides come your way?  There is just some kind of karma going on there.  I have been wanting a handcrank to use for heritage demonstrations here in our little historic village, so I will take the other 128 and convert it to a handcrank.  
When I picked up the 128 from my SIL's parents, Beverly (mom) offered me this box of vintage quilt blocks.  They were made by her mother, Alice.  There are many different patterns, some hand pieced, some machine pieced, but all in excellent condition.  I think Alice loved the process of piecing as much as I do.  It looks like she wanted to try every block ever made.  I can relate to that.
   And then to top off my week, I received this antique darning egg in the mail this morning.  It is a birthday gift from friend, Lola.  The handle is silver and momogrammed. Isn't it adorable on one of the vintage blocks?
     It has been quite a week for a picker and stitcher.  I hope yours has been good to you too.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween


I reviewed a former post yesterday to make sure I hadn't repeated a subject and realized I had never shared my Guild Challenge for the quilt show.  The guidelines stated it should contain several stars and be some type of challenge to the maker.  I chose paper piecing as my personal challenge and made this little table topper from the vintage postcard prints and Halloween fabrics.  By the time I finished 10 pp stars, I felt I had mastered it.  The pattern for the stars is a free one on Carol Doaks website.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another Quilt Show

     Gina and I traveled to the Kansas City area on Friday for our second (hopefully) annual Lee's Summit Guild Quilt Show.  It is a big guild with several sub-groups and did not disappoint.  
This was very striking, contained some machine embroidery.

Butternut and Blue, a Kansas City Star quilt from several years ago.
Gina and I have both made this one.  Love the setting, the blocks appear
to float on the background.

I like the borders on this one.

I thought this was a great use of black and white.

A great patriotic pattern.

A fun appliqué quilt.

A fabulous flannel and wool.

Gina just finished a bulls eye quilt and we thought this was a unique take on that pattern.

I have been very attracted to medallion quilts lately
as well as red and white quilts, so this really caught
my eye.

A string quilt.

I love row quilts and want to make one sometime.  I really liked this one.

A Bonnie Hunter pattern, Orca Bay.  Very pretty.

This one was called "Got Mail".  Cute

Unusual, but striking.

A pretty little churn dash.

A fun halloween quilt.

My favorite, a Dear Jane!  What an inspiration.

Isn't this a striking patriotic quilt?

This was a doll quilt with great piecing.  It doesn't show well in the picture.
For some reason, they displayed the small quilts near the floor.

We did manage a little shopping and I bought the cheddar to go with my fabrics for
the new Bonnie Hunter Mystery, Grand Illusion.  These are mostly from my stash, but needed the cheddar for the
"yellow constant".  Naturally, these are not Bonnie's choice of fabrics.  Hers are much brighter, but this is my color palette and will work in my house much better.  This will be my first experience with one of her

     Moving on to another subject; I recently ordered a repro hand crank from Cindy Peters at Stitches in Time for that electrified Singer 127 I bought recently.  The information kept mentioning something called a "motor boss" and I thought it meant the bolt that attaches the motor.  I finally decided I needed to confirm my thinking and sent the first picture to Cindy, asking if I had the right machine for the conversion.  Well, I don't on the 127, but the second picture has the proper thingy (motor boss).  

The motor boss is that squarish molding in the machine casting with the groove down the middle.  Cindy has a great post about it on Treadle On, in case you are confused about this too.  I decided to keep my order active on the hand crank and either put it on the 128 or find another machine with the motor boss on it.  (Any excuse will do).   

Last, but not least, here is what I'm working on this week.  This is a free pattern on the McCall's Quilting site called Country Spirit.  I think it was designed as a patriotic, so I thought it might work as a Quilt of Valor.  I had this jelly roll I wanted to use, so adapted the pattern to 2 1/2 inch strips and made it this week.  I really like it, but will simplify it a little if I make a Quilt of Valor.  It has star-pieced borders which are really effective, but pretty time-consuming.  

     My next project is a charity quilt for our guild meeting on November 11, so I need to 
Keep on Stitchin'

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Little Picking

      I dropped by the local vintage shop last week and this machine followed me home. It is a 127, I think, and dates to 1892 by serial number.  Most of the decals are gone, but the spoked hand wheel sparked my interest and the price was hard to pass up, even to use it for parts.  Although, we have now bonded and parting it out is not an option.  I think she will become a hand crank.  It looks like she started life as a treadle, had a motor and light added at some point and was put in a case.  The case is marked Montgomery Ward and is sturdy, though ugly.  The motor started smoking when we plugged it in, so the decision was easy to make.  The hand wheel turns, bobbin winder works and the shuttle case is there.  She deserves another chance at life.  I will order the hand crank this week and keep you posted.

     I also picked up a couple of new/old pincushions.  That's actually what I was shopping for, not another sewing machine.  Here they are:

I also have been watching eBay for a sewing bird that I could afford.  I don't know what happened, but managed to get this one at a reasonable price.  Of course, it is clamped to the treadle.  Where else?

That same day, I attended the Country Patchwork Quilt Show.  They had a lovely display of antique doll quilts which grabbed my attention.  Here are some pictures of them.

Aren't they great!  I love the blue one on the left in the second picture.  

Here are some of my other favorites from the show.

And there was a Dear Jane, very well done.  

Isn't it gorgeous!

   I have been sewing, too, not just shopping and going to quilt shows.  I finally got the "Follow the Leader" quilted and bound.  It is on the bed, waiting for a label, so it can go to our quilt show this week-end.  I should have kept track of the hours of machine quilting involved.  It measures 96 X 112, so I know it was a lot.  I was really proud of my Viking Mega-Quilter.  After the initial problem with the skipped stitches which was solved by the needle lube, it handled it like a champ.  Here are some photos.

     Thats all for now, but am saving some photos to post after our guild meeting tomorrow night.  I have finished my challenge project, which was "Reach for the Stars".  It was to contain multiple stars and to be a personal challenge.  I chose paper piecing as my personal challenge and finished 10 blocks as well as several Dear Jane blocks.  Paper piecing no longer holds a hatchet over my head.  Thats a good feeling.  Until then, Keep on Stitchin'.