Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesdays Treasures And A Give-Away Win

My treasure this week is something my aunt got me when I was a child.  It's very tiny and was hard to photograph - that's a quarter it's next to.


It's a little pewter box.  The sides are also covered with unicorns.  As I recall, like every other little girl in the country, I was obsessed with unicorns.  This box has a secret - the little heads on either side of the big one are earrings.  They come off, and inside is a necklace too.


The lid of the box becomes a pin.


I'm not into unicorns anymore, but I still treasure it.  To see more treasures, go to Clare's Craftroom for Treasure Tuesdays, or link up and show off your own!

And the win - I tell you I was THRILLED to win Cheryl's latest pattern give-away, aren't these too darling??????


You'll have to go to her site to see better pics - and it came with a bonus pattern, Friendship.


Too, too cute!!!  Thank you so much, Cheryl, I can't wait to make some up - I think they'll make marvelous Christmas gifts!  I know, I know...I said I wasn't making anything this year....but how in the world can I resist these!  Naturally I'll have my own set too.  *G*  Although it might be hard to stick pins in something so darling!

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Amendment And Goings-On

First, I'd like to add something about my last post, the basting tute - I always use a flannel sheet for batting, and it stays very flat, doesn't shift.  If you use a poly batting, or a high-loft batting, this method won't work - you need a flat batting. 

Now, the goings-on.  My Sam, my baby, had his 16th birthday.  I wanted to give him a haircut for his birthday, but he preferred a laptop.

Sam 16 bday
Left to right:  my mom, me, Sam and John.  My goodness what a terrible picture.

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I finished my quilt for the FMQA, here.  I used fabric that I've had in my stash since I began quilting - I bought it for a project and now I forget which project.  My tastes in fabric have changed, and I no longer love this, so I thought it would make a good practice piece.  I also got a tool that I think will help:

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It's smaller than I thought it would be, but I think it will help a lot.  I'll let you know!

I also finished another Catchit bag from Clare at Clare's Craftroom, I really love this one, it's all in Sis Boom fabrics.

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Instead of a covered button, I used the Sis Boom Frayed Rosettes tutorial, free  tutorial.  Easy peasy, even though I didn't have a hot glue gun - I used Elmer's School Glue and pinned it on the bag.  I LOVE IT.

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Now I want to put rosettes on everything.

I'm also working on something secret.

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This is my own design, and it will be a freebie here at the blog.  I was a winner in Mary's give-away awhile back, and I fell so in love with these fabrics, my brain started churning right away and I've been tweaking this design ever since.  I hope you like it...I really do!

That's all for now, have a great week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Tutorial [Of Sorts] or, How I Baste Quilts

I basted my Sis Boom quilt today, and thought I would blog my process for it.  I have a sewing room that also functions as my computer room and bedroom.  Tight quarters, but no floor space anywhere else in the house, either.  I found this method back when I first found blogs, and I have no clue whose blog I saw it on, but I am eternally grateful.  This is how I do it.

I have three tables in my room.  One is for my sewing machine, this one is for ironing [notice the custom ironing pad - a vintage tablecloth usually covers it as it isn't the prettiest!]...

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and this one is for cutting.  My cutting mat fits it perfectly with a little leftover on the ends for tools.

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The table measures 26" x 48".  It's also my basting table.  Not very big, but it serves the purpose.  The risers make it the perfect height for cutting or basting.

First, I take my backing [a Laura Ashley 100% cotton sheet, queen size] and center it on the table.

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There's no need to tape anything - the weight of the fabrics will hold it nicely.  Then, I add my batting - in this case, a thrifted flannel sheet.  I fold it in half the long way, then in half again the short way, so I can find the center as I lay it out on the table.

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This is also where I apologize for the quality of the pics - sometimes I had the flash on and sometimes not.

After it's centered, I put the quilt top on, and smooth everything out.


And I start pinning, from the center out.  I never, ever, ever close my pins until the entire quilt top is pinned.  If you close them as you go, you will get puckers - the closing of the pins will cause the layers to shift.

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After I pin the part on the table top, I move the quilt - just sliding it along carefully until I get a whole new part to pin.

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See how wrinkled it looks?  I just run my hands over the top and it smooths right out.  If I need to, I lift a layer or two for stubborn wrinkles, but usually the weight has kept the bottom two layers just fine.

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Now it's nice and smooth, so I continue pinning.  I keep going, moving the quilt as needed and being oh so careful not to impale my toes on any pins on the floor.

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Once all the pins are in, I'll go back and close them all.  I have a bad habit of running my hands over the closed pins - it's not a recommended method for finding any open ones you forgot.  Then, I get the scissors and cut off the excess fabric around the edges.

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Makes it easier to move through my machine.  This method of basting has saved my back, and I've never had even the tiniest pucker on my quilts.  I do this for every quilt - whether I'm going to hand or machine quilt it.  For smaller quilts, table-top size or smaller, I do use tape - there's not enough quilt weight to keep it straight.

Now.  Anybody have any suggestions on how to quilt this puppy?  I'm open to all reasonable ideas, lol.  I may hand-quilt it.  Also, I can't quite figure out what color to use - I hate invisible thread, so that's not an option.  All ideas welcome!

Tuesdays Treasures And A Busy Week

What a great week.  Summer at its finest.  But first, my Tuesdays Treasures...I have more than one today.


This is where I talk at y'all.  The "desk" is a solid metal, six-drawer, triple mirror vanity that belonged to my great-grandmother.  The side mirrors move, so you can see your reflection from every angle.  I'm not fond of that view, so I turned it into my computer desk by adding a board across the top.  The mirrors serve as a memory board, I stick cards and letters and mementos on them.  The chair, which reclines, belonged to my grandmother - my mom bought it for her and my grandfather when she was in her teens.  The right arm, which you can't see, has a little piece that comes up and serves as a small table.  Both heirlooms are in serious, dire need of paint.  Wait - so is everything else in my house.  *sigh*

For more treasures, go see Clare at Clare's Craftroom - she links up every Tuesday to many blogs.  Why not blog your own treasures, and join in the fun?

Last week was busy.  We made it down to the Dream Cruise on Wednesday, before it actually started - but folks don't pay much attention to the date, they start cruisin' well in advance.  The entire week is controlled chaos on America's first highway, with vintage cars parked and rolling all the way through 8 cities on the route.

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My favorite car ever - Chevy BelAir.  I'll take two.  The Thunderbird pics are for my brother, who really really needs to GET HIS RUNNING so we can drive it in the next cruise.

We also made it to Port Huron for a beach day.  It was a lovely day, I wish my picture showed the color of the water....


The sand bar goes out really far, and the water is a gorgeous turquoise.  This is the same lake we were at the weekend before, only 125 miles south. The drive home wasn't so nice, we drove through a storm that produced 2 tornadoes and didn't even know it - we missed one by minutes.

On the home front, my Sis Boom quilt is now officially a flimsy.


I'm moving furniture around so I can baste it today, and will hopefully start quilting it tomorrow - still haven't decided on a quilt design, but it will be simple, this is a big quilt.  By the way, have you SEEN her new fabric line, Queen Street?  *SWOON* 

Enjoy your week friends, summer won't last much longer, get out there and enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dreaming Of The Beach

Last week, before my trip, I was feeling kind of blue.  And on the bluest day, the mailman delivered a little package from a sweet, thoughtful friend.  Carrie went to a quilt show and found something she thought I would love - and boy was she right!  Isn't that fabric gorgeous??  And the card too - oh it made my heart sing!

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Carrie, you just have a knack for making people feel special.  Thank you SO much, my sweet friend.  Not only did she lift my spirits [before I knew I was going to the Lake, imagine that] but she also got me started on a new set of stitcheries to go with the fabric!

Tonight while I was blog surfing, I came across a new quilt-along.  This is a good one - it's for free-motion quilting!  I really need this, I'm not brave when it comes to fmq and I really want someone to hold my hand and tell me how to go about it.  I think it will be GREAT fun.  Unless it comes out really bad, and then I probably won't tell you about my efforts.  Go see Christina at A Few Scraps to sign up - she's also having a give-away!

I probably won't post the rest of the week - we're hoping to go to Port Huron to meet friends at the beach there, and the Woodward Dream Cruise is getting into high gear, for the grand parade on Saturday.  It shouldn't be as hot as it was last year, so we're going to be there as much as we can.  I can't get enough of vintage cars - and there are some beauties!  Have a WONDERFUL week, everyone!

Home Again

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I'm home.  Weekends just aren't long enough, are they?  My aunt, my mom, my boys and I took a trip to Mackinac Island [pronounced MackinAW] early Saturday morning.  We left the island in the early evening and went to my cousin's home on the beach.  I hadn't been there in 30 years - it was magic.  We used to go there in the summer when I was a child, and while it had changed a bit, I felt like a kid again.  The pic above is their beach.

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This is the view from the driveway - the two guesthouses on the left, the house on the right.

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 The view down the bluff to the beach.

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A little something my other cousin built.

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He also built a bridge and boardwalk to the beach.  It's very, very long.

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My camera batteries died before I could get any great shots.  He's built a number of homes up there, log cabin mansions...they are amazing.  My other cousin's hubby makes these fabulous birdhouses from birch trees....

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Oh how I wish I had better pics.  Lots more pics on flickr.

But first, we went to Mackinac Island.  It was very, very hot and humid - it felt more like the deep south than Michigan, let me tell you!    It was nice and cool on the ferry, though, heading past the bridge...

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The butterfly house was so pretty!

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A hotel on the island....

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A picture in a shop that I LOVED....

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And Arch Rock.

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I was so disappointed, my camera batteries died soon after snapping these pics.  We took a carriage tour of the island, so I couldn't pop off and get more batteries.  You'll have to take my word for it, it's beautiful!

I'm ready to go back up north.  When you live in a big city, it's easy to forget how much beauty is just a few hours away.  And living in a state with so many beaches and gorgeous lakes, [the longest freshwater shoreline in the world, and more shoreline than any state except Alaska] you'd think I'd enjoy it more often.   But I enjoyed it this weekend, and I'm very thankful for that!

I hope you all had a good weekend too.  I'm probably not going to try to comment on all your blogs - you've been BUSY while I was gone, lol - but I'll read them all!  Enjoy your week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Leaving For The Weekend...

will try to catch up with all your posts Monday!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesdays Treasures

I'm not too late, it's not Wednesday yet - here in the States anyway...so here's my Treasure this week.

It's a picture of me and my mum.


We don't have many, and I treasure this one.  It's very tiny and pretty darn goofy and it sums up my mum perfectly.  We went through some very tough times, but got over them, and now we're best buds.  She looks at life through rose-coloured glasses, she can find good in anyone, and gets such delight out of life.  She never met a stranger.   She's the kind of grandma who pushes buttons on all the electronic toys at the toy store - as fast as she can, just to hear them all make noise at once.  The kind of mum who gave me ice cream for breakfast.  The kind of mum who had water fights with my dad through the kitchen window, him with the hose and her with a pitcher of water from the sink.   And we all adore her.  Head on over to Clare's Craftroom for more Tuesdays Treasures!

On the sewing front, I've been distracted. 

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Ever tea-dye fabric?  I love it.  And then there's a bit of mixing coming up....

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See?  Distracted.   I hope it looks like what I have in my head - it's going to be a gift.

For those of you that pray, my mom's neighbor could use some.  She was mugged last week, at the end of the street.  She had just gotten off the bus after cashing her Social Security check.  The guy ran at her, hit her and knocked her down.  When she hit the pavement she lost consciousness, and lay there for 15 minutes before painfully picking herself up and walking to my mom's house.  Mum called the police and ambulance - Ida is now in the hospital with 6 broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and concussion.  She's 80 years old.  Bless her heart.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mail Call

I've had some lovely things in my mailbox lately, and I thought I'd share.  Joanne over at Splitting Stitches had a give-away recently, and bless her heart, she didn't just pick a winner, she picked EVERYONE who commented.  She got a lovely new GO! cutter and look what she sent!

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And they're all backed with fusible web - oh glory - what shall I make with them?  I was thinking I could dress up a hoodie [love and live in hoodies], or some t-shirts, or make a small wallhanging.  They'll have to marinate for a little while til I've thought.  Thank you so much Joanne!   By the way, she does lovely machine quilting, her other blog is Insanely Cheap Quilting - check her out!

And then, my lovely friend Mary-Kay from Quilting Junkie sent me some tiny clothepins.  I had my stitcheries from Jenny hanging on a Moda tape from a jelly roll, but with the big, regular clothespins, and was looking for small ones.  She had some and was so sweet to share!

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I used the bigger ones to hang the stitcheries, I think I need to design a clothesline quilt for the really teeny ones - aren't they fun?  Thank you so much Mary-Kay!   And just to show you I'm really using them, here's a TERRIBLE picture of them in action.  It's dark now and the batteries are dead, or I'd try to get a better one.

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Those are a pattern from Jenny of Elefantz, oh golly don't you just love her patterns!   In case there's someone out there in blogland who doesn't know, Jenny just had surgery on her hand and could use your prayers for a quick and complete recovery.

Things are progressing slowly on the Sis Boom quilt, I had a terrible sewing day today though - I had to rip out one block three times.  I decided to quit before I sewed a finger into it.  Some days are like that, I guess.  I hope your days are full of smooth sewing this week!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Love This Song....

I can't stop listening...this is so where I'm at.  Do you ever have songs you obsess over?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Treasures

Clare of Clare's Craftroom started a neat thing - Tuesdays Treasure, where everyone shows off their treasures and links up on her blog.  This is the first time I've remembered, thank you so much Peg!

This was my dad's high school graduation ring.  It's solid gold, and the front has worn away a bit....

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And I just realized I put it in the case upside down.  It's from 1951 and has an eagle at the top.  My dad died when I was 17 and my brother was 6.  We still miss him dearly.  He was actually my adopted dad, my biological dad died when I was 2 and my mom remarried when I was 5.  He was the best dad in the world...gentle, loving, the kindest heart and the best sense of humor.  He reminded me of Bob Newhart - same kind of dry humor.  Every evening in the summer, all of our neighbors would gather in our driveway, to sit around and yack it up with my dad.  He was a quiet guy, but inspired such loyalty in his friends.


I miss him every day.

On the sewing front, things are coming along.  My 'design wall' is filled up and I need a bigger one, lol.  My Sis Boom quilt is all laid out and some blocks are stitched together already.

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I LOVE the Curve Master foot.  It's making the piecing so easy!   No pinning or clipping seams.  I also used her rulers, Just Curves, for the templates [borrowed from Cathy, thank you hon!].  To use the rulers, you really need a very small rotary cutter, which I don't have, so I just cut the strips and traced the curve with pencil, then cut with scissors.  Tedious, but it worked fine.  Look how well my first block came out, with NO PINNING....

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First curved piecing I've ever done!  I'm really happy with this foot!

Have a wonderful Tuesday, go to Clare's and check out the other Tuesdays Treasures!

Edit:  Wanted to clear up, I'm not affiliated with the Curve Master presser foot or the organization.  Just a really, really, really happy customer.


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