Monday, December 31, 2012

Quilt Drop?

Happy last day of 2012! I worked on this baby's scrap quilt over the weekend and hope to finish it before the ball drops tonight.

I guess there are lots of copy cat ball drops everywhere, but in North Carolina, we have a Pickle Drop, a Possum Drop, an Acorn Drop, a Flea Drop and more.

I will be at home when all these odd things "drop".  Maybe we should sponsor a Quilt drop???   I might be willing to attend that.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sewing Room Organization

I'm deep into the organizing and cleaning of the chaos that is known as my sewing room!

Here's a small idea that I love. Zipper pouches that kids use for pencils in their notebooks make good places to sort like items, such as pins and needles.

I bought these three for a dollar each. Look for the ones with the see through plastic on top. They are better than zip style plastic bags because they are stiff and stand up better. You can also put them in a notebook and put the notebook on a bookshelf.

One of these holds all kinds of pins and needles. The second one holds all kinds of purse making supplies. The third one holds several packages of all sizes of elastic.

Today I plan to go back for a few more of these so I can continue on with the organization of the sewing room this weekend.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Grid Quilting From The Back of a Project

I learned this easy way to make the diamond pattern on purses a few years ago from a booklet that has since been lost. I have looked and looked for the book, but its just not going to turn up!

This method will work for projects where the back will be hidden. For example, the lining in a purse or tote would cover the lines you draw. Just don't use a thin lining fabric that the lines would show through.

You make a quilt sandwich, with your outer fabric, quilt batting and the back fabric and pin baste. The back fabric can be any fabric you have on hand because it will not be seen after you finish the project.    It does need to be light enough for your drawn lines to show up well.   Then using a ruler, draw the lines on the back.  I used a black pen.

Then sew your lines from the back of your pieces starting in the middle and working your way out. You could just as easily mark the front of your project with a regular quilt marking pen,but with the lines on the back, you don't have to worry about removing the marks.

Here are two tote bag panels ready to put together. The lines on this project are 2 inches apart, but one inch lines would be very nice too!

I forgot to take a picture of the finished project, but the bag is an Alabama University bag for my son's girlfriend.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Some Free Christmas Gifts You Can Give Yourself

Merry Christmas to you!

There are some free crafting, sewing, and quilting on-line classes and a free Ebook available that would make nice little Christmas treats for yourself.

1.  Click HERE to access the free classes.  I am not being compensated in any way to advertise for Craftsy, just thought it would be a nice Christmas Eve thing to do.

At Craftsy there are several free mini classes available. I signed up for several which include bag making, cake decorating, quilting and sewing.

The neat thing about these online classes is that you have unlimited access to them and so even though probably none of us have time to watch the classes for the next few days, we can watch them later at our leisure.

Of course, there are classes that you can pay for and until Midnight tonight many are on sale. I plan to watch my free classes first to see if I like them enough to buy a class later on. I would love to take a beginning knitting class and many others. The names of the free classes I signed up for are:

1.  Bag making basics - Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch
2.  Bag making basics - Drawstring bag and Bucket Bag
3.  Creative Quilt Backs
4.  Craftsy 2012 Blocks of the Month
5.  Sewing Machine 911
6.  Modern Butter Cream (cake decorating)
7.  Micro Torch Basics (jewelry)

2.  There is also a free E-Book right now at Fons and Porter which is entitled, Build Your Best Log Cabin Quilt.  Click HERE to download your copy.

I hope that you will enjoy your freebies!

May all your celebrations be a Blessing to you and yours.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Truth about the batting in The Winter Quilt

I was ready to finish the Winter Quilt a few weeks ago and discovered I had no quilt batting large enough. I didn't want to make a trip to the store for the batting which would have taken too much of my quilting time.

Its not recommended that you piece quilt batting, unless its maybe just two large pieces.  But I pieced the entire batting using left over strips from other quilting projects.

I felt comfortable doing this because I knew this quilt would be mostly for display and would not receive the heavy use and laundering that a baby quilt or bed quilt would receive. I laid the quilt top on a bed and then laid out the strips in different shapes and positions until the top was covered.

To make the strips fit together snugly I overlapped them and cut through the middle. When I removed the two little strips on each side of the cut the pieces fit together better.

Then I hand sewed together the strips. This did take a little time, but was much less time than making a trip to the store. We don't live too near any stores that sell quilt batting and besides, this was a no cost batting.

Then I pin basted the quilt as I normally do.

The small free motion quilting that I did also serves to secure the layers, including the pieced batting.

So, now you know my little secret....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

String Pieced Quilted Tree Skirt.

I made this small string quilt from Christmas fabrics a few years ago. Its perfect to use for a tree skirt

I'd like to do some more string quilts in 2013! Sure do have plenty of strings!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cutting Edge Technology...

As you know, my Hubby has been housebound for a while, recuperating from his knee replacement surgery. Recently, his plumber/friend came to make some repairs and visit him. When he saw my sewing room and found out I sew, he went out to his truck to retrieve this:

Its a 1960 Singer Sewing Machine Buttonholer.  All of the parts and the instruction manual are contained in the space ship shaped plastic case.

The story of where he got it is interesting. We have been driving by an old building down the road that was leaning precariously for years, kind of like the leaning tower of Pisa.  Recently the building finally fell. When the area was cleared, this Singer buttonholer was found in the rubble of that building.

I got a chuckle when I read the first page of the instruction book!

"This attachment is intended for use on SINGER Family Sewing Machines and makes straight and keyhole buttonholes in a great variety of fabrics without any special skill on the part of the operator. The buttonholes are produced automatically in a fraction of the time required for hand work."


That's exactly what I need! A sewing gadget that requires NO SPECIAL SKILL ON THE PART OF THE OPERATOR! LOL

My Grandmother's antique treadle machine is not a Singer.  Also, I think the buttonholer would be too modern to work on it, even if it were a Singer.

My vintage 70s Singer machine would be too modern for the buttonholer and I already have the one that fits it. I've never used it, however. I just never took the time to learn to use it.

But you never know.  With my love of collecting things, I may acquire a Singer Sewing machine that this buttonholer will fit.  For now though, its an interesting piece of vintage sewing machine history and conversation piece.