Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fun Mail!

It has been quite a while since I did a fun mail post, but there has been some fun mail coming all along.  I'm not sure where I left off, but here are some goodies that have come recently.

I'm still working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt blocks.  I've tortured the members of several bees to accumulate my GMFG blocks.  I figure I need 80 blocks and these 8 bring me to 64.  I'm getting closer!!!

I finally chose the color for the connecting hexies and ordered a bolt from Westwood Acres.  I'm not going to count how many of those I need - I think I'd be really discouraged.  I'm sure it's in the hundreds.  And all the same =( but I'll get through it.  And my friend has offered to help.  Yay for good friends!

Nope.  Not the one with the pin.  That one is just too bold, I think.  I chose 9900-24.  It's a bright yellow, but I don't think it will take away from the blocks. 

And I've gotten a bunch of the basket blocks for my basket quilt from the ladies in the Bee Awesome Bee. Many, many thanks to them!  These blocks have been sitting in the WIP pile for at least two years, so it's nice to finally see some progress on this one.  This is a finish-it bee, so I should be ready to put this quilt top together when I get the rest of these!!!  Yay!  I'm starting to get really excited about this quilt.

And in other news, I talked to the sewing machine doctor on Monday and Stella is ready to come home.  He even offered to come by my house and put the rest of her together.  He says when you know what you're doing, it doesn't take long.  I'm sure she looks much better now!

Woo-hoo!  I can't wait. 

Monday, August 27, 2012


Despite all the anxiety of having a potential hurricane barreling down on us, I did manage to turn off the Weather Channel long enough yesterday to finish up some quilty items.  I had planned to sew all weekend, but Saturday, when the storm looked like it was heading directly for us, husband went into the panic preparedness mode and we ended up shopping for things like bread, batteries and plywood.  Once the storm began to turn to the west, things got a lot more sane at our house, and I realized that turning off the tropical updates every 10 minutes was a healthy thing to do.

First, I made this pinwheel notebook cover for the Super Swaps covered notebook swap.  The pinwheels were the bonus HSTs from the mini-Swoon blocks I made for the 3x6 bee a couple of months ago.  I love it when things I might otherwise throw in the trash become useful and beautiful in another project.  It makes me feel so - thrifty!  I used a standard composition book for the journal.  They are inexpensive, easy to find, and a pretty nice size to write on.

Then I made a name tag for my partner in the RATZ (Rapid and Tiny Zakka Swap).  I thought I signed up for this swap and was perplexed when I didn't receive a partner.  I had just about reconciled myself to not playing this round, which wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen, when the swap mama emailed me and said that someone else was left out too, and asked if I wanted to partner up.  Naturally, having a chronic inability to say "no", I agreed.  This is a sneak peek at the name tag I made for her.

And finally, I finished my Raspberry Sundae Bowls with Borders mini quilt.    I took the photo with my phone, so the colors aren't perfect.  Overall though, I'm pleased with how it turned out.  Raspberry Sundae is currently winging her way to Germany, which is somehow fitting, considering that is where the pattern came from.  How ironic is that?

So, all in all, despite the distraction of the weather threat, I feel like it was a pretty productive weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Announcing Bowls with Borders Blog Hop Winner

The Kitchen is the {Heart} of the Home Mini Quilt
Thank you to all who visited during the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop.  Wasn't that fun?  So many fun bowls out there.  Isn't it fascinating how everyone can take the same pattern and come up with something unique and different?  If you haven't been hopping along, hop on over to Just Let Me Quilt for a complete list of the blogs participating in the hop.  There are something like 165 bloggers participating!  Special thanks to Regina Grewe for the use of her pattern Piling Up!  There's still almost a week left, so make sure to come back often.

I had a lot of fun reading and responding to everyone's comments.  It's fun how sometimes you seem to really connect with folks in blogland.  I really feel like I'm getting to know some of you very well and consider you friends.

Raspberry Sundae Mini Quilt

Meanwhile, we have a winner to announce.  I had thought that I wouldn't be able to do this until after work today, but here I am, so I thought I would go ahead and choose a winner, if the computer will cooperate.  This is about my 3rd try.  Here goes...  Drum roll (can you hear it?)  Mr. RNG chooses:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-08-23 12:56:28 UTC

Great bowls and I especially love the wall hanging .thanks for sharing

Who has chosen the Kitchen is the {Heart} of the Home mini.  

And I've decided that I really want to choose two winners.  This one is harder because I can't let Mr. RNG choose, since it has to be someone who chose Raspberry Sundae.  Let's see...

The first person who chose Raspberry Sundae was...

Loveley bowls, "Raspberry Sundae" is my favorite one.
Greatings from Germany ! :O)

I`m going to be a follower !

So congratulations, Sheila and jatajomi.  I'll be sending you an email later on today.  And I'll get to work this weekend finishing up Raspberry Sundae and get it ready to mail.

Thanks to everyone who played along.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stella Part 1: The Unveiling

NOTE:  Today is the last day for the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop giveaway.  I will choose the winner tomorrow after work. 

So if you read this post, you will know that I spent part of my vacation this summer at my sister's carefully packing my grandmother's treadle sewing machine to ship it 3000 miles from Seattle to Florida.  I've decided to call her Stella.  A fitting name, I think, since that was my grandmother's name - her original owner.  And Stella Singer sounds pretty sweet.  It has a kind of old - timey charm, don't you think?

I hope you will find this post interesting.  I was actually kind of thrilled to remove Stella from her cardboard prison.  She has, after all, been given free reign up til now.  But she needed to be protected on her long journey.  Lots of hazards for a single girl traveling alone on a cross-country trip.

I'm sure that my sister thought thinks I am crazy, wanting to transport Stella such a distance, but she was a wonderful sport about the whole ordeal, and with her gift for research and her aptitude for all things spacial, came up with the perfect plan.  I didn't take very good photos of the packing, so I'm going to be very detailed in the un-packing.

First, there is the box.  It's a Home Depot medium shipping box cut to size.

Lots and lots of foam insulation in this box.  We used 1 inch construction foam for most of our packing material.  My sis is great with the hacksaw cutting the pieces to just the right size. 

And some styrofoam insulation.  Lynda cut it to fit perfectly.  See?  I told you she's really, really good at this stuff.  Doesn't it look tidy?

And underneath all the insulation is some polyester quilt batting.  Neither one of us use this stuff any more. 

And some high density upholstery foam - with a Target shopping bag thrown in for good measure.  The Target bag is holding the foam around the wheel, while the other miscellaneous bag is holding the foam around the machine.

And so it begins.  I pulled out the packing materials one by one.

And created quite a mess.

Until I got her alone in the box.

There she is, still shrouded in her most protective layers.

Lots of protective foam around her sensitive parts.

And a special piece of foam to protect the spindle.

And now she's just left with her "cast" as my friend called it.

Two layers of foam underneath her to protect her bottom.  Yup, she's pretty dirty.  But she's been sitting unused for at least 30 years and sitting in my sister's garage for 3 years.  I'd probably be dirty too.

We cut special holes in the foam so her gears wouldn't break.

There she is - free of all her restraints.  Now she's off to the doctor.

I was totally excited when he gave me the estimate:

$58 for the cleaning, including the outside.  (While you should never use WD-40 inside a sewing machine, apparently its a great cleaner for the cast iron outside.  Who knew?)

$6.95 for her new belt (a very inexpensive fashion accessory, I believe!)

$.95 for the rubber piece on the bobbin winder.

For a grand total of $66 plus tax.

Far less expensive than I thought she'd be.

Unfortunately, with WH unable to help me put the cabinet back together, it may be November before I get her all assembled.  But I've made a great start, and I'll be content with that.

For now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Swooning Along

Note:  You have one more day to enter the Bowls with Borders giveaway.

I spent Saturday swooning.  No, I wasn't ill - haha!  I was making Swoon blocks.  They are really not difficult, but they are a little tricky.  It's easy to mess up if you're not paying attention.

You know how with some block patterns once you "get it" you can just whiz along and put the pieces together and make perfect blocks?  I can't do that with Swoon.  I need to keep the instructions right there where I can see them.  I pin them up on my spool rack (a straight pin in a spool of serger thread makes a great bulletin board!) right above the sewing machine and look at them for every step.

The swoon pattern is all rectangles, squares, HSTs and Flying Geese, so the components aren't hard.  But somehow getting them in the right order baffles me.  I have found that once I finish all the HSTs and Flying Geese, if I lay them out in stacks and in sewing order next to the sewing machine it's easier to put them together correctly.  The 4 corners of the swoon pattern are all the same, so I stack them up and sew them assembly-line style.

Here are all those pieces in the above photo stitched together.  But one thing that blew my mind is that it is upside down for the next step.  I put several together wrong and had to take them apart.  Yes, my seam ripper is my {best} friend.  =P

It only takes a moment to flip the stack around so that it is "right side up", but boy did it help me.

Four blocks down.  Eight to go.  I'm swooning along.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bowls with Borders Blog Hop

Welcome to the Bowls with Borders Blog HopMadame Samm and Carol from Just Let Me Quilt have put together another amazing blog hop!  Over 165 bloggers are participating in this hop, which takes place over 28 days.  Almost a whole month of bowls.  Wow!  I'm excited to be a part of such a great event!

If you are just starting the hop with my blog, I hope you'll take a minute and hop on over to the other bloggers who have exciting new bowls for you to explore.  I'm sharing today with:

August 17th

 And, if that's not enough bowls, you can go back and visit the great "bowlers" from previous days, and of course check in every day for the rest of the month to see what folks have cooked up.

And before I forget, many, many thanks to Regina Grewe for her pattern Piling Up!, which she generously donated to everyone who participated.  Thank you Regina!  I had fun working with your cool pattern.  While you are there, check out some of her other patterns.  There are several adorable patterns to purchase, and some are even free.  Not to mention a bunch of tips and tricks for successful paper piecing, a lovely gallery of items made with her patterns, and a whole wealth of other information.  Regina, you are the best!

Now before we get started, I just want to encourage you to read to the end of the post.  I'm not telling you that you have to....  I'm just saying it might be a good idea to do so.  (Yes, that might very possibly have been a hint.)
My first bowl
 When I started out, I had no idea what I was doing.  AND I had no idea what I was going to do with this project.  Honestly, my first goal was to successfully make a bowl.  I have been quilting a long time, but paper piecing has always intimidated me, and I still don't consider myself very good at it.  There's something about thinking inside out and backwards that befuddles my brain every time.  Add to that the fact that I am working on the paper, not the fabric, and it kind of blows my mind.  But after a few false starts, I came up with my first bowl.  It turned out OK.

So, I added another.

And another.

Hey!  The bowls really are Piling Up!!!

And finally, I had an idea of what to do with them.  It required a little ripping...  See that white strip at the bottom of bowl #1?  It had to go.

Back to eighteen 25 for a cool new font.  This one is called - you guessed it - Cut The Paper.  (If you haven't explored eighteen 25 click on over there when you finish here.  She's got some great fonts and some other fun stuff on her blog.)

Then off to get the fusible web (for a mini tutorial on using fusible web, go here)....

for a little applique action...

Then I added my very own paper pieced design (yes, I drew it myself)...

in two parts!

It's really coming together now!  I'm getting excited!

A little more stitching.  Some quilting and binding, and voila.  My very own kitchen mini quilt.

Best of all, this project was made entirely of scraps.  (I really love scrappy projects.)

That was so much fun, a couple of days later I had another idea.

I blew up the pattern 200% and made a bowl...

Then I made another bowl and put it upside down on top of the first  one.  I added some minky "whipped cream" and a button "cherry"...

And I had a raspberry sundae!

It makes me hungry just looking at it.

I imagine I'll be making more bowls one day.  Meanwhile, thanks again to Madame Samm and Carol for a great blog hop and especially to Regina for her fun pattern.

Now, at the risk of this being scorned as a "giveaway blog" (since this is the 3rd giveaway in three weeks), I think you deserve a reward, don't you?  Well, here's the deal - you can have your choice of either of these two bowls projects (yes, I'll finish "Raspberry Sundae" if that's the one you choose.)

Here's what you need to do:

1.  Just leave me a comment letting me know which of these two Bowls projects you would choose if you win.

2.  Be a follower (or become one) for a second entry.

Be sure that you give me a way to get in touch with you.  If you are a no-reply blogger and don't leave me an email address, I will immediately choose another winner.

The giveaway will close at midnight Central time on Wednesday, August 22, and I will choose the winner on Thursday, August 23rd.

Thanks again for dropping by.  I'm off to see the other Bowls with Borders blogs!  I'm sure they all have something exciting to share.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Announcing: Milestones!! A{nother} Giveaway Winner!

Thank you everyone for such a wonderful response to my milestones giveaway.  I truly enjoyed reading your comments.  I tried to respond to everyone.  If I missed you, I apologize.  It wasn't intentional.  I had a few technical glitches this week, which I hope are resolved now.  At one point I thought my poor computer was on the fritz, which was truly upsetting, given that it is almost new.  Apparently with all the rain we have had, our internet provider was having issues. 

Meanwhile, it's time to choose a winner in the Milestones giveaway.  There were 208 comments on the blog post and 18 comments on FB for a total of 226 entries. 

Mr. RNG seems to be working today.  He says:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-08-16 11:37:40 UTC

Who is...

I am newly following :)
Congratulations, Jennie!  I hope you enjoy your delicious bundle of DS Quilts fabrics.  I'll be sending you an email shortly to get your address.
And thanks again to everyone who entered and helped me celebrate these bloggy milestones.  It seems I'm nearing another milestone, so I just may have to have another party soon.