Friday, July 31, 2015

Blogland Friends

I have a blog with a small following.  My biggest intention of writing this blog for for me personally to try to track and write about the things I enjoy doing.  I have three boys, that for the most part, could care less about what I do in gardening and crafting, so I wanted to do this just for myself.  Well, then my mother wanted to read the blog to follow what I am doing as she lives four states away, but she is now too ill and weak to read my blog, so I am back to just doing it for myself.  My stats tell me that I have to have at least a few readers out there, which is quite flattering.

Then during a link up sometime last year, I became friendly with another blogger who is clear across the ocean, all the way to England.  We have been communicating with each other and our posts for some time now, and during a post about the Cheddar Bow Ties, (and me needing 700 different prints) this blogland friend offered to send me some scraps.  I was beyond excited!  I have read different bloggers who have blog friends who exchange fabrics and gifts on a regular basis, but I would have never believe that I would have a blog friend.  I love technology just for this reason.  It brought two like minded people together to share the leftovers from projects with each other, and build a casual friendship that would otherwise never happen.  Most quilters I know are kind, generous, and sharing people and this blog friend is all of these in the package she posted ( I know it costs a lot to ship overseas) and sent to me.

Here is a small glimpse of what she sent in the package.  All of which will work perfectly in the scrappy Cheddar Bow Tie quilt I will be working on for the next ten few years.

This is the specific blocks after I got most of them cut out.  A great addition to the amount I am needing to accomplish the blocks.  Hopefully I can keep getting scraps so that I don't have any duplicates in the quilt.

She also added this darling tea towel with Union Jack flags in an assortment of colors.  Isn't it cute?  I had commented on her blog about not having so called tea towels here in America (at least not that I have come across in my shopping), much less ones that have such cute prints on them, so she included one in the package she sent.  Very Sweet of her, don't you think?

Not sure if I have the courage to cut this one up and make into pouches (you can read about them here) like she did with her tea towels, so I will have to think on something special to do with it in the future.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Tumblers Again

Well, I have been able to start sorting out fabrics for the 2015 leaders and enders project that I am following on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog.

Remember, I want to do my tumblers using 30's reproductions fabric, so I pulled out my stash, and I have about 200 different fat quarters to choose from (note: this is not all of my 30's stash), and a couple of orphaned charm packs.

This is my pile of about 200 hundred tumblers already cut of the 420 I am going to need to make a twin sized throw.

I am really glad to be using up my stash, and I am even more grateful that I bought fabric when I was working and have it available now for projects that come along.

I also have been working on my Cheddar Bow ties, I have about 200 made of the 700 I need.

Just putzing along this summer.  Nothing dramatic.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Going Vintage

There is a new trend going on in the quilting world.  Going vintage.  Vintage sewing machine that is...

Yep, there is a new sub culture of us that have decided that the older vintage sewing machines are just the perfect fit for our quilting needs.  Here is the first of a few that I am putting to use in my quilt sewing.

This is a White brand sewing machine that is a class 15 sewing machine patterned after the Singer model 15 machine. Many of the class 15 machines were made in Japan after WWII as a way for the USA to help restore industry to Japan after bombing with the atom bomb.  Mine is one that was made in Japan for the the White Sewing Machine Company. The class 15 sewing machines feature a low shank and oscillating hooks.  They use the standard bobbins called Class 15 bobbins and a regular 15X 1 flat back needle.   Nothing special to buy to run and work on them!    This is a straight stitch only machine, which is the only thing I need to do my quilting.   It is made of all metal, no plastic anywhere (including the pressure foot) and sews like a dream through four layers of denim.  

I have been quilting on my Husqvarnia Designer II machine.  This machine was very expensive (in the thousands), comes with an embroidery unit, and hundreds of decorative stitches.  But is has lots of plastic parts, such as the foot pedal.  Well this foot pedal of mine got a crack in it and will cost $280.00 to replace it, if you can find one.  Right after I bought this machine, Husqvarnia quit making the embroidery cards for the machine, and parts, so basically I'm out of luck.  So, I decided to join these quilters who have discovered again how wonderful these vintage machines are for straight stitch sewing and spent less than $100 for this one.   I packed up the fancy expensive one to be saved for use in my minor sewing needs such as clothes sewing, embroidery (using the couple of cards I did get before they quit making them) and other things that might need a zig zag stitch.

As you can see I tested out my new to me machine on the cheddar bow ties, and let me tell you, it is like being in sewing heaven.  The machine runs so smooth, hums rather than thrashes like my expensive machine, and hasn't had any snarls or fabric balling up when you start out at the beginning of a seam.  I couldn't be happier with the decision of going vintage.

As a side note, my Dad went with me on the trek looking for a vintage machine, and when he saw this one he made the comment that I should get it because it looked like his first car!  

I am up to 100 of 700 cheddar bow ties done.  


Monday, July 6, 2015

Leaders and Enders for 2015

Every July, Bonnie Hunter of (whom you should all know by now, I am following quite closely), has a new leader and ender project.  You can read all about leader and enders here to give you a better understanding what all the hoopla is about her system.

The cheddar bow ties were a past leader ender project from a couple of years ago, and last years was one called Lozenges.  Not sure I liked it well enough to make a quilt, but if I get more 3.5" strips of scrap fabric, I might consider it for a future project.

The leader and ender project this year for 2015 is called "Tumbler".  The tumbler pattern has been around for many many years.  Google it and you will find many vintage, modern, brights, and scrappy ones.  To find out more about this 2015 Tumbler project you can read about it here

Bonnie Hunter is using a dresden plate ruler to cut out her 2.5" sized tumblers.  Since I already have one, just not here, and not wanting to buy another one, I decided to make one out of template plastic material for a 5" size tumbler.  I give credit on making this size to this blog.

I picked up a charm pack of scrappy 30's maybe 40's prints from the same quilt shop I picked up the 6" scraps the other day.  I want to do this project is reproduction 30's prints.  Not sure I will use these exact ones in my project, as they are a bit loud for my taste, but I wanted to spend some time cutting them out with the template.  May need to make a table runner with this set, as I have a whole tub of the 30's reproduction prints at home.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Cheddar Bow Ties

Before I left to go out of state, I started the Cheddar Bow Tie quilt.  My goal is to not duplicate any print in the blocks.  Only the cheddar will be consistent throughout the quilt.  So I went off to a venture of finding scraps in the town I am currently staying.  I went into a wonderful shop here, told them I was making a scrap project and looking for bits and pieces of fabric.  The nice clerk lead me to a basket of 6" square scraps of fabric.  There were about 500 pieces and although there were about 5 - 6 of each print, I was able to get 100 totally different prints.  

Then I went to different thrift shops and picked up several scrap pieces!  Score!  So a good guess of the number of new different prints for the cheddar blocks is about 175 (I have approximately 150 at home).  I figure I am a little under a half of the way to getting a different print for each block.   Remember I need 720 blocks to make a twin size.

These bags are the left over scraps from the pieces from the thrift store.  They have been cut down according to the system that can be found here by Bonnie Hunter on 

I am ready to get home and start sewing again, and I now have some more prep and cutting done!