Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Part 5, Grand Illusion Mystery

 This easy step was finished by last Saturday afternoon, but my life became very complicated on Sunday, so I am just now getting my link-up done.  Our family Christmas was delayed until Sunday, the 28th, while we waited for our grandson, in the US Navy, to start his leave.  We celebrated Sunday and Monday, then a granddaughter stayed with us for a few days.  I finally got back to my sewing room today and am trying to tie up some loose ends before Part 6 is revealed.  I am hoping we start putting some things together, aren't you?
To see everyone else's versions, take a look at Bonnie's site.

PS….the machine in the picture is a Singer 128, crinkle finish, Centennial.  I have added a hand crank, for the kids to use.  Its a sweetie!
Let's keep on stitchin'

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Keeping Christmas

    Here is my link-up for Grand Illusion Mystery, part 4.

Drop by Bonnie's blog and see all of the different color combinations people have chosen. This has been a lot of fun and I am really loving my little blocks.  This is a little "out of the box" for me as far as a color combination, but maybe I'm expanding my horizons.

You will notice that I have the two piles of
 blocks with stickers on them to keep them separate.  I also am keeping them pinned together.  Since I am only doing one-fourth of the quilt at this time, but cutting enough for the full size version, I am trying to prevent any problems when I pull it back out again.  I can see myself looking at all those units and becoming totally confused.  Therefore, they are all in baggies with (I hope) clear instructions.  We'll see how it goes. 

We saw a local stage production of A Christmas Carol this past week and I was struck by the phrase "keeping Christmas" as expressed by Bob Cratchett after being ridiculed by Ebenezer Scrooge for such sentimentality.  I like that phrase and intend to add it to my vocabulary.  What are the ways that we "keep Christmas"?  We cook, shop, entertain, decorate, and then many of us have to make some gifts for it to feel like the season.  I really had no plans to make any gifts beause of the Grand Illusion Mystery.  This is the first time for me to participate and I felt that was all I could handle with the cooking, shopping, entertaining and decorating.  But, as the holiday got closer and closer, I began to feel that itch to make some gifts.  Here's what I've been sewing;

Pillows for the granddaughter's new room decor'.
Some zipper bags for some neighbor children.
A needle case for a young quilter friend.

    My daughter had tea towels on her Christmas list, so I still plan to do those.  Our family won't celebrate until the weekend, so I still have some time.  
     So, here is what I think.  To a quilter, "keeping Christmas" has to involve some stitching, preferably for those we love.  I guess we'll just 
keep on stitchin'.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Moving on, step 3

     This step has involved a lot of speed sewing.  I cut my strips down to half WOF, to avoid that curvy migration long strips seem to take on.  They came out to the correct measurement on the first try, so that helped.  I have 40 two by four blocks completed with enough strips sewn and sliced to make 30 more.  I guess that I need to sew 12-16 more strips if my calculations are correct.  Here is a selection of the finished ones:
 I had to turn the overhead lights completely off to get the green to come out in true colors.

I'm really liking how these colors are going together.  They aren't Bonnie's colors, but they are using a lot of stash and I like it so far.
     Yesterday, while cutting green strips, I decided I didn't have enough variety.  I went back to my green bin, but had pulled everything I felt was right.  The 2 inch strip drawer was raided early.  So I'm thinking…"I'm 50 miles from a quilt shop, where else would I have some green?"  There was the Christmas fabric bin…nothing there, all the wrong greens.  How about the Autumn bin? Bingo!  Several perfect green scraps.  On to the Civil War bin…they used green in the 1800's, right?  Woo Hoo!  Two more greens to add to the mix.  I am running short on backgrounds.  When do you ever have enough?
    I will attempt to post this as a link to Bonnie's blog, wish me luck.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Days of Mystery

     Due to the influence of some of my quilting friends, I decided to take on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt this year.  I had never been tempted before because they consist of thousands of pieces, but I started the Split Nine Patch from her web site's free pattern list earlier this year and really enjoyed it.  BTW, it is not finished yet, but well past half done.  Bonnie will visit our guild next September, so I thought it appropriate to try it this year.  I got a late start due to some travel over Thanksgiving, but am finally catching up.  I decided I couldn't keep up if I did all of the cutting and sewing with each clue, but am trying to do all of the cutting and one-fourth of the sewing.  I think that will work pretty well.  Here is my progress so far.
Clue One:

     I have chosen slightly different colors than Bonnie gave for the mystery, titled Grand Illusion.  Her colors were chosen from the colors of the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island.  Mine are a more subdued version because that is what I use and was in my stash.  I am very proud, it all came from the stash except for the cheddar.  
Clue Two:
     These will be sewn in pairs to complete this step.  I had a large mishap doing this step, which resulted in this;
100 diamonds cut with the wrong angles.  I had my template taped to the wrong side of the ruler and was using it upside-down.  I could have cried,…..almost did, but instead, fixed the template and started over.  I now have enough cut to make 1/4 of the units, and have the rest of the week to sew.  I'm hoping a future clue will allow me to put these pieces to use in some way.
    On another note, I received my hand crank from Cindy Peters and have one of the 128's sewing away.  It is the favorite machine of one of the kids I am teaching to quilt.

     I am going to attempt to link this post to the Bonnie Hunter blog;  This will be a learning experience for me, so cross your fingers and 
Keep on stitchin'

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

       Thanksgiving Eve, not a creature is stirring, not even the cat.  It is a cold windy night in Missouri and the only sound is the wind whistling around the corners of the house.  We had our family dinner here on Sunday, so that part is done.  My daughter and I fly to the East Coast early tomorrow morning to spend the weekend with our Sailor, (her son and my grandson).  He has leave over Christmas, so we are taking Thanksgiving to him.  This is the first of the grands to leave the nest, so it is hard not having them here on those family occasions.  FaceTime is a great invention. At least, we can see his smiling face.  We crowd in front of the ipad and all talk at once.  
     Since I had some free time this week, I was able to finish a quilt top which has been waiting for quilting since July.  I attended a Saturday sew in at Sew Sweet Quilt Shop in Brunswick and did the piecing there.  
This was a pattern I picked up at Little Quilts in Atlanta in February.  I also bought the bunting fabric for the top there.  The stars are pieced from my scraps.  Someone said it would make a great QOV, but I think I want to keep it.  Call me selfish.
     I know I usually blog about quilting and antiques, but anyone who loves creating in one medium usually eventually explores others.  I have tried most of them; knitting, embroidery, crocheting, needlepoint, cross stitch.  I had always admired hooked rugs, so two years ago took hooking lessons.  I learned on some small projects and last year decided to tackle that first rug.  Here it is:
It is a Judy Cripps design, (  I attended a hook in where she was a vendor and she helped me select the wool.  I love those sheep.
    That's all for now.  Be thankful!

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'