Friday, December 15, 2017

Back to Quilts

I'm finished the Christmas sewing I still planned on doing. I had other things I wanted to make, but my arm is throwing fits, not healing at all like I had hoped, so I have to be careful on how much I try to do. In fact, I am icing my arm as I type this. I've got the ice pack strapped on so I can use both hands.

Since I've finished the Christmas stuff I am making, I'm back to quilts now. I finished up the last units for DD#3's wedding quilt this week, and I've just started assembling the top.

It's a barn raising layout, so making big blocks doesn't really work. The units are only 3", so assembling the top is a big job. It will be 31 units by 31 units plus a border. I am laying out one fourth of the quilt at a time, then I'll assemble that before laying out any more.

I only got half of this fourth assembled today, and my arm is done, done, done! I stacked the remaining rows neatly, and I'll work on them this weekend as I can.

After I finished the Christmas sewing, I looked at the date on the calendar, and made a goal of assembling this wedding quilt, along with one of my niece's (her quilt is simpler and smaller) before January 1st. I may have to settle for just assembling this quilt top. I keep thinking I'm making smaller quilting goals, but my arm keeps telling me not small enough.

I, of course, also have a leader/ender project going. I had a container of bonus HST's that were demanding to be put to use. These HST's will finish at 1.25", so pretty small. My container was overflowing, and these are from multiple projects over the past few years. Once a container is full, it's time to do something with it, so I came up with an idea, which since morphed into something else, but today I drafted it in EQ7.

Right now I am only working on sewing all these bonus HST's into the little nine patches. Once I'm done that, I'll cut what I need to make the blocks, then eventually cut the sashing to assemble the quilt. I don't know how big the quilt will end up being, I'm just sewing up as many nine patch blocks as I can with the HST's I want to use. Once I have those done, I can figure out how many blocks I can make. I'm debating doing the sashing and cornerstones scrappy, but it was faster in EQ to just do it as a constant. I'll have to audition a few options once the blocks are made.

Here are some of my real-life bonus HST's turned into nine patches. This project doesn't have a deadline or anything, it's just an easy thing to grab to use as leaders/enders right now.

Now that my arm is well-iced, I am good to make DH more granola, and while it's in the oven, I'll be paying bills. Fun stuff!

Thursday, December 7, 2017


I feel like I'm playing leapfrog these days, jumping from project to project. I'm trying to stick with UFO's or deadline things, but it's the holiday season, so there are other things to be done as well.

We had our rescheduled Thanksgiving dinner this week. This isn't all of our family, but it was a decent turnout. Everyone in state made it! The weather was phenomenal, and we ate outside. Today I finally had to turn the heat on, it's finally cooled off in Southern Arizona. The perspective of this photo is wonky, DH is actually the tallest person in the photo, but he looks like one of the shorter ones. DH and I are in the back right, I'm wearing purple, DH has a white and blue baseball shirt on.

After a couple days of cooking, a day of socializing, and another day of clean-up, I finally got to work on the grandkids Chrismas gifts. I hunted down a vintage pattern to make something I had as a little girl. When I got the pattern, I realized it was published the year I was born.

I'm not putting up photos of what I'm making until after they are gifted on December 29th. We're moving Christmas as well as Thanksgiving. DH works every Christmas. If you look at he name of this post, you'll know what I'm making though... I hope to have them all finished by the end of this weekend.

As I'm working with vintage patterns, and some vintage fabrics, I'm also busting some vintage threads. If I can give the thread a good tug and it doesn't break, I figure it's still usable. Check out the price on this, marked down to 10 for $1.00 or 10 cents a spool! Crazy! It was also Made in the USA, which makes me smile. It seems like so few things are made here anymore.

Friday, December 1, 2017


‘‘Tis the deck the halls!

I didn’t make anything new to deck my halls with, but I’ve been busy making stuff for both DD#1 and DD#3. I just finished the last of it about 30 minutes ago.

This is DD#3 Christmas tree skirt made from men’s shirts and denim.

Here are the stockings I made to match the tree skirt. 

Did you notice the braided denim on the cuff? It’s actually belt loop fabric that I bought braided on eBay years ago. 

Here is DD#1’s Christmas tree skirt. 

...and the matching stockings I made. 

I made two more stockings for our house. Growing families means more stockings for Christmas celebrations at Nana and Pappy’s house. 

Now that all the decorative stuff is done, I can start making the grandkid’s Christmas presents. I’ve seriously reduced my to do list because of my arm, but I still have one thing per grandkid I’d like to make. 

Our family Thanksgiving got moved to this Sunday because of sickness, so I’ll be cooking tomorrow to get ready for Sunday. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Tin Lizzie

Finally, I got to sew on my new sit down longarm, the Tin Lizzie! Funny thing is, I didn’t expect any sewing time at all this weekend, but due to sickness in two families, we’ve rescheduled Thanksgiving dinner to December 3rd.

So, how did I like quilting on the Tin Lizzie? I LOVED IT!!!

I started out by watching this YouTube video. I find it so much easier to learn how to thread and oil a new machine if I can watch a video. This video answered a lot of questions for me, and I learned so much!

I needed two different colored bobbins, one for each Christmas tree skirt I’m making. Once I got those made, I threaded the machine and went for it.

It’s been quite a while since I did any FMQ, so I’m opting for a meander. I was using Madeira Polyneon 40 wt thread and I had no problems whatsoever. The tension was perfect, no thread issues, it was just a joy to be quilting again. I am so thankful I was able to get the Tin Lizzie, because I can already tell it’s going to make quilting a big quilt so much easier!

I did finish quilting this tree skirt, but didn’t take a photo. I’ll do that when I’ve got the binding on.

My arm was hurting after a bit of quilting, but I have a slow healing injury so I expected that. I talked with DH, and I’m not going to quilt anything large until I get Patsy Thompson’s quilt suspension system. I also want to buy a queen sized Supreme Slider, which will also help with drag. For the tree skirts it’s not a big deal, but for a big quilt both of those will help a lot. The quilt suspension system and the Supreme Slider are what I need to make quilting easier on my arm, but I need one more thing to make it easier on my eyes.

I knew I would not find the lighting on the Tin Lizzie adequate, and I was right about that. It was really the only reason I debated so long between the Handiquilter and the Tin Lizzie. I was not interested in the type of stitch regulator the sit down Handiquilter has, and I started FMQ without stitch regulation, so I wasn’t too worried about not having it. It mostly came down to lighting and price. Lighting is better on the Handiquilter, but the Tin Lizzie was significantly less expensive. Today I found an LED flexible light bar that should fix my lighting issues for $30. I’ll take before and after photos once I get the light bar so you can see if I’m right about fixing the lighting problems. Since the Tin Lizzie was 2k less expensive, a $30 light kit is not a problem.

The Tin Lizzie is much quieter than I expected it to be, it’s easy to use, and I had no drama whatsoever on my first time using it. I hope to have many years with my Lizzie!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Beach Find

I was gone most of the last week, so no sewing was accomplished. One of my niece’s was getting married in Malibu, and I was thrilled we got to attend.

All my nieces are beautiful, but this one was especially lovely on her wedding day.

After the wedding, DH and I headed down to Oceanside, CA to enjoy some time at the beach without as much traffic as the LA area.

We saw some gorgeous sunsets, pretty drastically different from day to day. 

We hit a couple thrift stores in Oceanside, and I bought three rolls of fabric for a total of $30.

This tag was on the fabric far right. The roll was full, and did indeed have 50 yards of fabric on it. The middle roll might have been full, or possibly had just a couple yards off of it, but the roll far left has about ten yards on it. So, I got over 100 yards of cotton fabric for $30, or less than 30 cents per yard. The prints are out of style, but I’m thinking they will be fine for quilt backings. 

I wanted to wash all this fabric, but washing 50 yards at once wasn’t going to happen. When I buy quilt backings, I tend to buy 120” wide backings, because a lot of my quilts run 108-110” square. With that in mind, I am cutting all this fabric into 120” lengths, knowing that I can piece it back together if I need to, but the shorter lengths make washing all this fabric much easier. 

If anyone is near Oceanside, California, I didn’t buy all the fabric rolls they had, and if you are into garment making they had some 98 yard rolls of knits, still at $10 per roll. I believe it was the DAV thrift store, but we went to several that day. Some people may think it was excessive to buy as much fabric as I did, I think I showed great restraint. There were other rolls of cotton as well as all the garment fabric, so the fact I limited it to three rolls, was good for me. Since all of the rolls I bought have neutral backgrounds, I think they’ll do fine as quilt backs.