Sunday, September 29, 2013

Welcome Back, Sewing Mojo!!

My sewing mojo ran away from home back in August.  Fortunately, she decided to come home last weekend so I have been getting lots done and loving every minute of it.

When my guild was collecting quilts for Oklahoma tornado victims, we were taking pictures and posting on Flickr.  One particular quilt caught my eye so I decided to try my hand at creating my own version.  I had recently received a fat quarter bundle from a dear friend on the quilt forum (Thanks Debra!)  and decided it would be perfect for this little experiment.  I cut strips, sewed them together, and then cut at an angle...learning experience....I wasted a bit of fabric, but all in all, I think it turned out pretty cute.  It's baby quilt size, and I am going to send it to a museum in Colorado that is collecting quilts for flood victims.

I have been working on a baby quilt for the new granddaughter of a good friend.  I had planned to have the quilt finished by the time little Callie was born, but since my sewing mojo ran away I am a bit behind.  I had the top made weeks ago, sandwiched it last weekend, and started quilting yesterday.  I am learning free motion quilting and did a lot on both of these little quilts.  I think I am getting better, more comfortable with it, etc.  I used Little Red Riding Hood fabric and a bunch of coordinating fabrics....lots of fun and can't wait to see it finished....I'm really loving it! I used a serpentine (stretched out zig zag) stitch in the sashing and like how that looks.  Here is just a sneak peek...

I bought a red and white stripe to use as the binding for this quilt months ago, but I can't find it.  I may have to come up with Plan B if I get the quilting done today - still got lots of tails to bury, etc...a few areas I want to rip out and try again....LOL  But maybe by next weekend, I will be ready to bind....


Sunday, August 4, 2013 Kate to Pippa...

An amazing thing has been happening in my quilt guild lately.  Many of these modern quilters are discovering the joys of vintage sewing machines.  A couple bought Nelco machines – very nice!  But the majority who are going crazy over vintage fell in love with the Singer Featherweight or her big sister, the 301.  One by one, the ladies are finding them on Craigslist, in quilt shops, estate sales, etc.  After looking at pictures of many of these beauties and getting caught up in the frenzy, I decided I needed wanted one AND I wanted a white one.  I casually mentioned this on our guild’s Facebook page and I received a phone call shortly after telling me where a white one was located for sale. 

My husband and I drove 3 hours Friday morning to go take a look at her in scenic Tahlequah, OK.  She is a very pretty machine with the original case.  She appears to be in pretty good condition and sews a beautiful stitch.  YAY!!!!  We packed her up and brought her home. 

The machine was made in 1962 in Great Britain.  Being from Great Britain, I thought she deserved a royal name.  As you may recall, I recently named my new Janome “Kate” because I thought the machine was so classy and sophisticated.  Hmmmmmm….what to do?  I posted my dilemma on the guild’s page and it was quickly suggested I consider Pippa, Kate’s sister.  What a perfect name!!!!  So here she is…Lady Pippa!  (Now I know that Pippa probably isn’t really royalty, but she is close enough for me.)

Have a great week!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lots Going on in Oklahoma...

There has been a lot going on in Oklahoma lately.  First and foremost were the tornadoes on May 19, 20, and 24.  Many people lost everything.  My guild - the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild - organized a quilt drive and made two beautiful quilts to be raffled off to earn money for charities involved in long term relief efforts.  To learn more about the quilt drive and how you can win one of these beautiful quilts, click the link above.

On a personal note, I was off work for two glorious weeks.  A lot of sewing was done during that time.  Caught up on the Sugar Block Club BOM.  The first one looks really dark.  I really want to redo it, but then again, I really don't!  We'll see...

Because all of my sewing stuff is in the middle of the living room, one of my goals during my vacation was to get a bit better organized and make my area look nicer during down times.  I bought some decorative boxes to keep projects in and made a cover for my sewing machine.  I looked at a bunch of sewing machine covers on line and finally decided to pull out some orphan blocks I had made over the years and put them together.  Rather than fitting the cover to the machine, I made a rectangle and put ties on both sides.  I think it turned out cute... 

Oh!  And I decided on a name for my lovely new machine.  She is KATE!  Because she is so classy and sophisticated...LOL!

I really want to donate quilts to the quilt drive, but I produce actual finished quilts at a snail's pace.  Then I remembered that I had one baby quilt on hand that I had made last year that hadn't found a home.  I am taking it to tomorrow's guild meeting to donate. 

I also quilted and bound two quilt tops that a former member of the guild had made but hadn't had a chance to finish.  She received the blocks in a swap and then put the tops together.  I think the colors are very nice together and both would make a good snuggly for either a little boy or a little girl.

I had hoped to finish this quilt as well.  I put the blocks together into the top last weekend, but I think it needs to be bigger.  Haven't been able to decide on a border idea...still thinking on it....This was a BOM from a few years ago titled 'Sentimental Journeys'.  Borders and finishing instructions were never published so I am on my own...

I have been reading and watching videos about free motion quilting.  My first shot at it didn't turn out too bad.  I want to practice some more.  I bought a pair of machingers gloves Friday as well as a special bobbin case made especially for FMQing.  Having always wanted to go on a quilt shop hop, I finally made it Friday.  Along with a fellow guild member, I went to three different shops in central Oklahoma.   The shops were very different from one another but all three had some interesting items.  I hope to go again someday, but I totally blew my budget - practically at our first stop.  Oh well...It was great fun!

Next weekend will be my first ever quilt retreat!  I am calling it quilt camp because I love the Elm Creek Quilt Books and their quilt camps.  I know this will be nothing like that, but I am still excited.  I have narrowed it down to three different projects to work on and have been making lists of supplies to take. 

Take care everyone!  And have a great week...


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Two Blocks and a Border...

I said last week that the next thing I was going to work on would be the February Sugar Club block....well, I was wrong...or, more accurately, I changed my mind.  I decided that since I had caught up on the OKC MQG BOM last weekend and a new block came out last week, I should just keep the momentum going and do that block first.  So I did!  It was a fun, easy block to make. 

The instructions said to cut very carefully to ensure your strips lined up.  I think I cut correctly, but I messed up a bit on the stitching.  I haven't quite figured out where my perfect scant 1/4" is yet so my two pieced strips are a little off.  Oh well...doesn't bother me too much....well, just a little...but probably not enough to redo it.

I then moved on to the February Sugar Block Club block.  It was the dreaded paper piecing.  It wasn't too hard - nice big pieces, but I just haven't grasped the concept of knowing where to place the fabric on the back of the paper so that when it is flipped over, it covers the paper entirely.  I ripped two sections out over and over before I finally got it right.  And I think it was just luck.  I am sure there is a way and when I figure it out, it will be a real "Ah ha!" moment.  Can't wait!

After finishing the February block, I proceeded to the March Sugar Block Club block.  However, I had a bit of a problem so that's why the title is 'Two Blocks...' rather than three.  I assembled the various sections and when I went to put it together, I can't find one.  I know it is here somewhere so I have not remade it.  I have looked everywhere I can think of that it might have fallen or I might have carried it, but no luck yet.  If it doesn't show up soon, I'll remake it - and, of course, it will then magically appear.  Oh only two blocks to show this week.

As for the border in today's title, I got out the Civil War quilt I told you about late last year.  Originally, I had hoped it would be a Christmas gift for my Mom last year.  When that didn't happen, I thought it would be a Mother's Day gift (yea, next weekend) or a birthday gift (next month).  I'm thinking neither of those is a possibility; however, I have been working on the dog tooth border - stitching them up in pairs as leaders/enders.  I had no idea how many I had or even how many I needed so I started stitching them together and made four strips.  I got the quilt top out today and layed them out.  I still need to cut/stitch about 30 pairs and I'll be set.  Here's a glimpse of where I am.  Not a great picture, but I am going to put a narrow dark border all of the way around and then the dogtooth border.  The lighting in my bedroom is awful for photography...

So, it's probably time to start winding down and getting ready for bed.  I hope everyone has a great week.  Happy stitching!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Little Bit of This...

I think the hardest thing about blogging is coming up with a catchy title for each post.  My blog is mostly about my stitching, but there are only so many ways to say that...What I Sewed This Week, What I DIDN'T Sew This Week, The Beautiful Fabric I Ordered This Week (Riley Blake's Little Red Riding Hood - yum!)...not very catchy....I shall continue to struggle with that one...and not worry overly much about how catchy it is.

This week, one of the ladies on the Quilt Forum challenged everyone to show a picture of their cutting table.  Well, before I could post a picture I had to do some cleaning up.  In the course of cleaning up, I found a bunch of little bits and bobs of fabric that were too big to toss but too small to do much with.  I decided to stitch them together into crumb blocks...I've also heard them called crazy blocks...I ended up making five and plan to continue to make a few each week until I have enough to do something with.  These are 6" unfinished.  I chose 6" because that was the ruler I had in my hand at the time.  Real scientific decision-making going on here...LOL!

These three have fairly large pieces in them.  The other two had much smaller pieces, but I didn't get a picture taken of those.  Maybe next week...

I also made a couple of Scrappy Trips blocks.  You can find the pattern for these on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog here.  I really like the way they turned out, but I didn't really enjoy the process.  I may have to tweak it a bit, and I am wondering how they would look if you used a larger strip - these squares finish at 2" for a 12" finished block.  I have a 12 1/2" ruler for squaring up.  If I made the blocks bigger, would I need to get a bigger ruler????  Or could I just use the lines on the cutting mat?  I wonder how big they make rulers...I bet the bigger ones cost a pretty penny!

I spent this morning catching up on the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild BOM.  I made both March and April's blocks.  I am doing in all solids and am enjoying the look.  I am looking forward to May's block and will try to make it in the month of May - what a concept!

I plan to work on February's Sugar Block Club Block next.  It is paper piecing, and I haven't really done much of that so I have been avoiding it.  But I hope to show a picture of it next week. 

Once I get caught up on the Sugar Block Club, I will start on the Lucky Stars blocks - those scare me.  These stars have about a bajillion pieces.  But I signed up because I wanted to learn how to paper piece.  Should be interesting. 

I am also gearing up to start a new project soon - the Butterfly Quilt on Red Pepper Quilts.  This is such a beautiful quilt and will make a wonderful retirement gift for one of my best friends.  Fortunately, I have more than a year and a half to get it done.  I'm going to need it.  By my calculations - which could be wrong - to make the quilt 60" square, I will need 225 butterflies.  And I think it would be neat if every butterfly were a different fabric.  I must shop!!!!  I've also been collecting some text fabrics for the butterfly body here and there - there won't be 225 different text fabrics...Fortunately, I'm not that crazy....But I am going to have to track down a few more.

Have a great week!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

There's a new gal in town...

I don't believe I ever explained the name of my blog, but I named it for my two favorite vintage Singer sewing machines.  Eve is a 15-91, and Ruby is a 404.  I really like the older machines with their ease of use and rare breakdowns - plus I found them very cheap at local thrift stores - and my dear husband can do maintenance on them.  However, I started dreaming about getting a new machine a few months ago - thinking, yea, someday I will get a new one.  Well, someday came last weekend.  YAY!!!!  I got a Janome Memory Craft 6300.  I haven't gotten to use her a lot - and I haven't figured out a good name for her - needs to be a modern, sleek name.  But I am enjoying her so far.  Quiet, fast, does more than just go straight....LOL...

I have only made a few blocks so far but I am having a blast.  I finished up a batch of Farmer's Wife blocks for a swap - but I forgot to take a picture.  I did make a couple of blocks for the April Stash Bee swap - Road to Oklahoma - and I got a picture of each.

 I will be the Queen Bee for next month's Stash Bee blocks, and I have chosen the Selvage Blog's Asterisk Block.  I made a few this weekend and am going to ask the others to make them in red, white, and blue for a USA patriotic theme.

I have one more thing I want to show.  I finished it earlier this month for my guild's Madrona Road Challenge.  I was given a few fat eighths of Michael Miller's Madrona Road fabric and challenged to make a mini quilt.  I chose to make Elizabeth Hartman's Octagonal Orbs pattern.  It's an easy to follow pattern, but I cannot imagine making more than one of these blocks.  It took a while, and I left mine as an octagon rather than putting on the corners to make it a square.  Made binding it a bit of a challenge, but I like it a lot.  I will probably give it to my mom for Mother's Day.

I recently discovered Instagram - so fun!  So many neat pictures posted all day every day.  My user name is bwquilts.  If you are on Instagram, I would love to know your user name so I can follow you too.  Have a great week!  I plan to be back next week with a report on more accomplishments and adventures. 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Long sewing....

I had a long 3-day weekend, but I didn't get any sewing done.  What a shame!  Took a quick road trip on Saturday to see some property my husband and I recently purchased in Sallisaw, OK.  Long drive...but we are making some plans on what we want to do with's 20 acres in the middle of nowhere....perfectly quiet....yummmmm....

Sunday, I sat around and did a whole lot of nothing.  I did play with some fabrics - I never did finish Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery in December - I got Steps 1 through 7 done and lost interest.  I got the pieces I had finished out and played around with the layout.  Not sure when I will actually get back to doing anything on it...

Monday, my husband and I ran a few errands, ate at a Chinese buffet, and went fabric shopping - OK, I went fabric shopping and he wandered aimlessly around the store.  Bought a few solids for the various BOMs I am participating in.  I made this block last weekend and my husband really liked the colors....I'm thinking I'll do more blocks in those colors for him a quilt.
                  OKCMQG January Block

This is the January block in the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild 2013 Block of the Month.  I am really happy with it.  Speaking of the OKCMQG, it was announced today on the blog that the Red Cross quilt is complete and chances to win it are being sold - not sold actually, make a donation of $10 to the Red Cross or Empire State Relief Fund and get a chance to win.  You can get all of the details on the blog

I got another BOM block made last weekend.  This is the January Sugar Block Club block.  I messed it up a bit, but in the long run it came out OK.  She uses odd measurements, and they threw me off.  The center 9-patch was supposed to be 7 5/8".  Mine was 7 3/4", but I got confused on my ruler and thought it was too small - when it was actually too big.  Sheesh!  I ended up stretching the flying geese to fit - by the time I figured out I should have cut down the 9-patch, I had already trimmed the geese.  If I had ripped it apart and tried to fix, it would have been too small.  I told myself I would be the only who a few more people know....LOL!
                   Sugar Block - January

These are the fabrics I've chosen for the year.  Rather than going out and buying a fat quarter bundle, I remembered I had gotten a bunch of FQs last year in a birthday swap - so I went through those, picked 17-18 I liked and chose the brown for the background.  I think it will be interesting, and I feel good about working from the stash vs more shopping...
                      Sugar Block Fabrics

The next row of the Bee in my Bonnet Row Along came out - twinkly winter stars.  I did get some of my fabrics cut, but I did not get them all cut nor did I get any sewn.  Oh well....que sara sara!  Whatever will be, will be....I will eventually get there....

I still have pictures to share....see you next week - have a good one!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Resolutions? Uh, no....

I don't make New Year's Resolutions - mainly because I know I will fail!  A resolution usually requires a huge behavioral change, and I know that's something I am not good at.  However, I do have a goal for this year.  We recently had a conversation on the quilt forum about those special fabrics that we've had for a long time and just cannot bring ourselves to cut into.  I have only one of those, and it's a beaut!


I have two yards of it, and best I can recall - I bought it in either 2009 or 2010.  I've initially chosen it for a mystery quilt a couple of times, but I have always chickened out at the last minute and went a different direction...So my goal for 2013 is to find a pattern for this beautiful piece of fabric.  Wish me luck!

Back to the things I worked on during the Christmas holiday...I have some pictures...

I finished the leaves quilt.  If you recall, all I had left to do was put the binding on.  And YAY!  It's done.  I machine stitched to the front and hand sewed to the back.  I had been machine stitching to the back the last few, but I wasn't really happy with the way they were turning out.  This took quite a bit longer and made my hands hurt for a little while, but I think it was well worth the effort.

Leaves Quilt

I made a few heart blocks from 30s fabrics for a friend who has been sick.  Another friend is putting all of the heart blocks together that she has gathered from several to make her a quilt.  Such a lovely thing to do...

Hearts 3

Just in time for the next row of the Bee in my Bonnet row along, I got the mittens row completed.  It went together quicker than I had anticipated.  Wonder what will be next - next clue comes out this Wednesday.  Not too late to join in....

Row 8 Mittens!

One more picture...This is a small quilt I put together for another friend who is not feeling well.  She is going to get showered with mini quilts over the next few weeks.  I can only imagine how that would make a quilter feel --- to get quilts from friends all over the country when things are looking bleak.  I really hope it brightens her day.

Mini Quilt

I had made these little 3" blocks in December 2011 when the Temecula Quilt Company hosted a block a day - 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'.  The block for Day 1 had one piece, the block for Day 2 had two pieces, etc.  I had also framed them back then to make them 5" so they went together very quickly.  Used a fat quarter for the backing, used scraps to make a scrappy binding, and just a few hours later - a mini quilt was born! 

I am not only proud of the quilt, but the fact I was able to put it together so quickly with things that were already made.  That is my goal as a quilter - to be able to put something together to brighten someone's day without a lot of fuss.  Now I know why I do all of these block of the day, block of the month, etc.  It's not only the camaraderie of doing something with a group, but it's also having a variety of things on hand that can be tossed together quickly.

Have a good week!  I have a few more pictures for next week.