Monday, November 13, 2017

Sharing the Love of Sewing

The grandchildren had a three day weekend from school due to Veteran's Day.  My 15 year old granddaughter surprised me by asking if I'd teach her to sew.  Of course I said "YES!"  She specifically was interested in learning how to make things she could gift to her family and friends for Christmas.  I debated whether to start her off "quilting" or "sewing".  Sewing won this time but I hope to introduce her to quilting soon as well.

A quick search through my stash produced a pattern for pajama pants (children and adult sizes) and a piece of juvenile flannel.  The flannel was just enough yardage to accommodate the pattern pieces to make her 7 year old brother a pair of pants.

I handed her a roll of pattern tracing paper and she traced the correct size pattern pieces needed.  Then she learned to pin the pieces on the fabric to "fit" the pieces and be frugal with the fabric.

Pinning and cutting begins...



Next she learned the basics to start sewing with my Pfaff.

She would have gladly started and continued until she was completely finished in one day but my body doesn't work that way. :) :)  We did the tracing, pinning and cutting Friday evening.

Saturday we learned to use the sewing machine and sewed up the outside and inside seams of each leg, attached the two pieces together and sewed the straddle.

Sunday afternoon we sewed the waistband and added the elastic.

Ta Da!!!!!!

I may have created a sewing monster.  She talked her mother into taking to her JoAnn Fabrics and buying another piece of flannel fabric on sale this week for 40% off to make her best friend a pair for Christmas next.  This coming Sunday JoAnn's will have a "door buster" sale and all their fleece, flannel, etc. will be 60% off.  She hopes to go buy more at that time.

Last night she traced out the correct size pattern for the next pair, pinned it, had me look to make sure it was correctly placed and pinned...then she cut it out.  Depending on the amount of homework she may come home with today, she might sew up some of the leg seams tonight.  I plan to just make sure she is on the right path but intend to let her do all she can on her own.  She really seemed to catch on rather quickly. 

I hope her excitement continues....time will tell!

Until next time!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Can't Seem to Catch Up

I'm truly hoping that none of you or your families have been hit with the sickness "crud" that keeps attacking our family.  I'm being reminded that having a house full of people (especially children that bring home every sickness they possibly can find) means that when a bug strikes one....its more than likely going to strike the entire family ONE PERSON AT A TIME.  Once it's gone around once, it will often make another round....just because it can!  UGG

We've been passing things around for a couple of weeks now.  Just days after returning home from the Bonnie Hunter quilt workshops the "crud" started.  Several of us are still hacking and coughing and not 100% better yet.

Since I think of this blog as my diary of life experiences as well as quilting projects, please bear with me as I attempt a few "catch-ups" today.

I sent my dear hubby off one Saturday not too long ago to an advertised local yard sale.  Specifically, he went to look at a motorized scooter/wheelchair.  We both have been thinking it would be wise to invest in one of these when the time is right just to allow me to participate on more family outings.  He didn't come home with a scooter, but instead came home with this....

This Bernina B 215 sewing machine is practically brand new, to the point that the lady selling it had not ever removed the clear protective plastic over the computer screen, etc.  She told my husband that she THOUGHT she wanted to learn to sew, bought the machine, made one pair of curtains for her kitchen and decided sewing wasn't for her after all.  Nothing was missing, came with all original extra pressure feet, etc. cover, sewing base attachment, owners manual and even the receipt from when it was purchased in 2012 (from a local Bernina dealer).  The receipt showed that this machine was purchased for $899.00.....would you like to guess how much my dear hubby gave for it?

$35.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THAT'S ALL....only $35.00 for a machine......a 5 year old sewing machine that cost $899.00!!!!!! 

This is a very basic model, light-weight, etc.  I'm thinking it will be a really nice machine to take to classes if needed or to pass along to a family member who may need it.

Because of our family "crud" I never found the time or energy (until today) to share my other Bonnie Hunter workshop.  This workshop was for making her Smith Mountain Morning quilt.

In the picture below, Bonnie is standing in front of her own Smith Mountain Morning design.

Me and Marianne with Bonnie.....

Since I'm trying to continue shopping from my stash rather than buying new fabrics, I decided to go with reds and browns instead of Bonnie's blues.  Below are a few blocks I pieced at the workshop.

It's really fun to see all the different color variations the other participants had chosen.  We combined all of our blocks at the end of the day.....

I was out of town for her workshops from Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.  Marianne and I had such a blast being together.  I hope we can do it again soon.

After resting Thursday evening, I had another two day workshop (locally) for machine embroidery.  All day Friday and Saturday was spent at an Anitagoodesign retreat.  Officially it was called "Anita's University".  I TRULY enjoyed this opportunity and learned so much.  Plus I met and made some new friends.  (Sharon...if you are reading my blog, I've not forgotten about getting with you one Sunday to sew the day away!)  It felt like Christmas because I came home with a TON of freebies....won a bunch and was given even more just for attending.  My goodness, I'll never have time to make everything I want to make!!!!  

Well, I feel better having got this post ready to share.  Fingers crossed our lives can get back on track so I can not only keep you up-to-date, but I REALLY need to finish up some quilt projects before Christmas!!!!!

Until next time....

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tons of Fun with Bonnie Hunter -Texas Tumbleweeds

Last week was a blast....hectic, fast paced, wonderful fun!  My dear friend Marianne was able to get us both spots in not one, but two of Bonnie Hunter's quilt workshops.  The events were held near Utica, New York (about 2 1/2 hours drive for me).

Dear hubby drove me there Monday afternoon. Marianne was already at the hotel waiting on me.  She took me to a quilt shop she had found earlier and we both did a little stash enhancement shopping.

The next morning we headed off for the first workshop. The quilt we worked on was Bonnie's design called Texas Tumbleweeds.
Me with Bonnie Hunter in front of her Texas Tumbleweeds quilt.
Of course we had to get a photo of Marianne with Bonnie as well!

We had so much fun!  We met and made new friends and I even ran into old friends from the quilt guild locally.

Me and my old friend Sandi.

Progress....



Me and Marianne with our Texas Tumbleweeds blocks....

Letting my true personality shine through....

At the end of the day it was fun for everyone participating to put our blocks all together to see all the color choices others made....

Can't wait to share photos tomorrow from our second day of workshops!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pumpkins On The Wall

This will be a VERY short post.  I just had to share that the pumpkin wall hanging is finished and hanging in my living room.

I used a "Hang-It Dang- It" for the first time.  It has to be the easiest way to hang a quilt and hang it level the first time.  It comes in adjustable sizes. I used the smallest this time.  I highly recommend this product.


Until next time.......

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Block 5 Christmas Quilt-a-Long

The 'I Wish You A Merry Quilt-a-long" continues with Block 5.

Ta Da....


Once again let me remind you that this quilt-a-long is completely FREE.  A new design is released every two weeks.

You can find the pattern and tutorial for this Snowman block HERE.

Or if reading this blog post through an emailed message....


So many other quilters have added adorable creative touches to their blocks.  Mine is plain and simple.  I'm just too tired to get too creative this time. :) :) :)

Here are all of my blocks thus far.....


Hope you are having a grand weekend!

Until next time.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pumpkin Progress

Today was a good day.  I got to spend time downstairs in my sewing space. Having a house full of people and all the work that it requires to clean the house and keep them fed has drastically limited the time I get to spend sewing.

My dear hubby finally found the time to level my longarm frame and reset the timing on the machine itself.

Today was devoted to the pumpkin wall hanging.  I loaded the backing fabric, found a scrap piece of batting the perfect width, basted the pumpkin quilt top and got ready to start quilting.

I really wanted to find a pantograph with vines and leaves, but the ones I own are rather large scaled designs. I thought this small scaled project needed a smaller quilting pattern.  I looked through my choices and found this design called "Stacked Snails" from urbanelementz.com  


Honestly I'm not thrilled with my choice. The design itself is fine and will look great on other quilts I'm sure but for this one, it's just okay.

Another view...

Oh well, the important part is that it is now quilted. Haha. I surprised myself by getting the binding made and machine sewn to the front, along with a hanging sleeve. I will share a photo of the finished project when it is all done and hopefully hung in my living room.

All that's left is to hand sew the binding and sleeve down on the back.  I plan to do the hand sewing in the evening hours while I watch tv.

I hope all of you were able to get some sewing time in today!

Until next time!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Full House

I've mentioned several times in previous posts that our home and our family have undergone several major changes over the past couple of months.  There are so many things to share but I only have the energy to share a little at a time. :) :)

Those of you who have been with me for a good while know about the loss of our son-in-law, husband to our oldest daughter.  This month, Sept. 28 will be the one year anniversary of his passing. Our daughter Shannon and our grandchildren have had an extremely difficult year to say the least.

Towards the end of May this year, Shannon told us that she and the children were unhappy and just could not continue to live in the house in Tennessee now that Greg was gone.  Ray and I invited them to move in with us.  Shannon left the decision up to the children, whether to move to New York and be with us, and in the same town as her sisters, or move to South Carolina and be near Greg's side of the family.  In the end, the children chose to move to New York and live with us until Shannon could get back on her feet and find a house of their own.

On July 28th, Ray and our other three daughters drove to Tennessee, rented a moving truck, packed Shannon and the kids up and brought them back to New York to move into our home.

Our entire family attending the New York State Fair a few weeks ago
(minus our youngest daughter who is already back in college and our little Ava Jean).

Many things had to be "shifted and relocated" before Shannon and the children could move into our house.  You may recall that our daughter Emily just bought her first home this summer.  As she prepared to move into her new home, our daughter Amanda started preparing to move out of our downstairs and into the small home that Emily was leaving.  (Ray and I purchased a small home in the village five years ago and our girls have taken turns renting it from us.)

Once Amanda had cleared out the downstairs bedroom, I started preparing it for our granddaughter Abbi.  As you will quickly see from the pictures below, Abbi ADORES elephants.  With little time, and a little budget, I got to work.  Ray had already installed the new flooring in this bedroom a year or so ago, when Amanda decided to move back home.  Although the flooring was in place, he had not finished the trim work, etc.  As he worked on the trim and minor touch-ups, I used a shower curtain extension rod and hung this adorable cloth shower curtain I found on Amazon.com as a closet "door".

The window in this downstairs bedroom is an odd size.  Strangely enough, I found this $4.99 cotton scarf/wall-hanging on Amazon.com in the perfect size.  Once it arrived, I used some black quilt backing scraps from an earlier quilt I had made and backed the cloth to give it more shape, insulation and room darkening qualities.  Then all I needed was a set of curtain "clips" and it became a very unique and cute curtain.

Ray installed a ceiling fan.  I am a "light" person...a room can never be bright enough for me, especially in a downstairs, dark room.  I love the LED light bulbs we used!

Next came these VERY inexpensive tapestry pillow covers.  After stuffing them with 18" square pillow forms I couldn't be happier with the finished product!

Couldn't resist this elephant head to hang on the wall...

This was actually an outdoor garden decoration but I thought it would be perfect as part of the d├ęcor in her room....

Abbi was only planning to bring one tall chest of drawers, her tv and a purple moon chair.

We already had a twin mattress/boxsprings set stored in our garage that had been our youngest daughter's until she moved up to a full size bed two years ago.  The bedding set (comforter, sheets, bedskirt and pillow sham) had also been Kirsten's and I had packed it away.  Abbi's favorite color is purple so Kirsten's things turned out perfect and saved me quite a bit of money!  The rug was a new purchase. :)

We placed a desk, chair and new purple desk lamp in the room for homework.  You probably can't tell, but I even placed purple ink pens in the new lamp and a new purple journal on the desk.

This picture just shows the area around the door of her bedroom, the small table with purple scarf topper is for her little television.  The wall to the left will be where her tall chest of drawers will go.

I am so pleased with how everything turned out.

Below is a short little video tour around the bedroom.  I've never attempted to insert a video in my blog so I'm crossing my fingers that it works properly for you!

More reveals later....until then....smile and enjoy your day!  I hope you get some sewing time in as well!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Christmas Memories Block 4 Quilt-A-Long

Ta Da......FINALLY finished Block 4 of the free "I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long".  This block is called Christmas Memories and it is a beautiful block BUT it was a humdinger to applique.  I'm sure for those of you who do applique projects often and enjoy doing them you would have a blast with this one.  For someone like me?  Someone who detours around applique whenever possible?  Boy, oh boy.....let's just say there was an audible sigh of relief when I completed this block last night.


I challenged myself in the very beginning to ONLY USE SCRAPS and NOT CUT INTO LARGE PIECES OF FABRIC OR EVEN FAT QUARTERS.

I have a large box of scraps, assorted sizes of chunks and strings of fabric from past projects.  I dig through it until I find a piece that is just the right size to make whatever the next step needs.  Granted, there are a couple places that I'd prefer something different if I was willing to shop for or cut into FQs and yardage pieces....but scraps I have and scraps I will use! :)

You can find the free tutorial and pattern to download HERE:

And if reading from an email....


Here are my first 4 blocks together....


It's not too late for you to join in all the fun if you haven't already done so!

I'll be working on other projects while I wait for Block 5 to be released on Tuesday of next week.

If you are in the path of Hurricane Irma....PLEASE BE SAFE!  My prayers are with you!

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Santa Suit Block 3 - Christmas Quilt-A-Long

New blocks for the free I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long are typically released every two weeks.  For this two week period, there were actually two different blocks released.

Block 3 is called Santa's Suit.


I normally do not change a designers vision for a pattern, especially for something like a quilt-a-long, BUT, in this case I did use a little bit of creative freedom.  The designer's tutorial calls for the suit to be solid red, no white strip down the center.  This block is adorable, simple and very quick.  As I started cutting pieces to assemble, I thought of the Santa suit we own that my husband will be wearing on Christmas morning when "Santa" delivers gifts to our grandchildren.  Our Santa suit has a white fur strip down the center....so...I added the white. :)  As other participants are sharing photos of their blocks I've noticed that I'm not the only one with the same idea.

You can find the free tutorial and downloadable pattern HERE:

For those reading this post as an e-mail, below is the actual website...

http://www.sliceofpiquilts.com/2017/08/i-wish-you-merry-qal-block-3-tutorial.html

First three blocks together...



Block 4 is a doozy!  I'm working on it now and will hopefully share it with you within the next day or two.

Until next time!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Moving the Longarm

If you've been following my blog, you will recall that my longarm has occupied my front living room for as long as I've owned it (five or so years now).  Changes in our household made it necessary to find another spot for it.

The only other space big enough was our downstairs.  Our daughter Amanda had been using our downstairs as her apartment for a year or so but moved out into her own home a few months ago.

Top priority was to put in flooring.  Dear hubby had a big job to do.  I forgot to snap pictures before he started.  In the photo below he is almost finished.

Left end finished.....where longarm will go.....

Opposite end where machines, cutting table, etc. will be placed once odd furniture pieces are removed.

Breaking down the longarm to move downstairs....

In place along with a couple new book shelves for supplies....

Placing items from upstairs sewing rooms into one big room.  There is still so much more to move downstairs.  I'm already running out of space.  Do quilters ever really have room enough for everything?  Haha

I'm so excited to have an upstairs living room once again!

All of the shifting of rooms is the reason I'm still unable to quilt yet, dear hubby needs to level the frame. Also moving the longarm machine must have messed up the timing so he has to reset the timing as well.  I'm just thankful he CAN do everything.

Until next time!