Friday, July 31, 2015

Don't Faint!

Don't faint..... I finally sewed something.  It may not be much, but it sure felt nice to hear the hum of my sewing machine and actually accomplish something.

I haven't joined a BOM for awhile.... I got a little overwhelmed with keeping up..... but since I've had a break, I couldn't resist the 2015 Mystery Designer BOM.  I love the fabric collection and loved the tease of the blocks that they kind of showed us before signing up.  So here's the before shot of Block #1, all cut out and ready to sew.......


Isn't this a cute block!?  I can see making a whole quilt using this single block....a whole neighborhood of cottages, lined up and looking welcoming.


Block #2, cut out and ready to sew.....


Block #2, finished.  The pattern called these "apartments."  I think they are really cute too, but I think the first cottage block may end up being my favorite block when the year is up.


My LQS is participating in a Row by Row this year.  Although I don't plan to do the Row by Row, I did want to get one of the license plate blocks.  I imagine I'll put this on a zipper bag at some point... or maybe a small wall hanging.

 
Had to show you these Bali Snaps that I got this week.  The Fat Quarter Shop had them on sale for $1.50 on one of their flash sales, so I couldn't resist.  I love Bali Snaps but this one in particular is called "Cockatiel."
 
 
Kirby, my cockatiel, is insisting that I make something for him out of this fabric and who can blame him.  I'm already making him a Christmas stocking, but I guess I should find some way to use these fabrics for him. 

 
Hope your summer is going well.  We've had record amounts of rain, but it has eased up this past week or so.  Our schools start on August 11th, which seems really early.  Summer is flying by, but I always look forward to Fall and cooler temps.  Enjoy your week end! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Featherweight Update

I cleaned up my 1938 Featherweight treasure and I'm even more delighted with her!  This is an "after" picture, although it pretty much looks the same as my "before" pictures in an earlier post.  In person, however, there is a very noticeable difference in her appearance.  She just sparkles and glistens!  I cleaned her insides, applied fresh grease to her gears and fresh oil to all of her "joints."  I didn't find much wrong with her inner workings.  I found one wire casing that was fraying but left it alone.  The wiring itself was still fine, so better off left alone.  She had been over greased at some time in her life and under oiled.....both causing her to be sluggish.  After her spa day, she ran like a top.  Secretly, I think she was happy to be loved again. 
 
 
 
When I finished her inside work, it was time for an exterior clean up.  I just took a cotton swab with water only, to reach into her crevices to remove any dust and residue.  After I was sure she was basically clean, I waxed her from top to bottom, being extra careful when I was polishing her decal areas.  Except for a few minor scratches and that minor wear on her front decals, she looks like she just came from the factory!
 
 
Here's her beautiful scroll face plate, which required no attention at all.  A little polishing cloth and that was it.


Finally, this is her first stitching after threading her up and filling her bobbin.  I didn't even have to make any adjustments to her tension.... top or bottom.  Everyone talks about the wonderful straight stitch that Featherweights make, and it's true!  As light as she weighs... around 11 pounds..... she has a very solid, strong feel to her when you are sewing.  No shaking or walking off of your table.  She purrs, just as I had hoped!


Now that she's back in working order, I'm not sure that I'd ever take her to a quilting gathering.  I'm a bit concerned for her safety and want to keep her pristine.  But even after saying that, I know she was meant to be used!  We'll see.  For now, I'm clearing off a shelf in my sewing room for her to be admired.  I'll put some of my children's vintage sewing machines with her to keep her company.  I haven't named her yet... waiting on the right name to come to my mind. 

Now.... on to cleaning up her original case.   It won't be as beautiful as it was originally, but it will still be looking better than it does now. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

God Bless the USA!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
 
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Newest Goodie

First of all, I'm sorry for such a long absence.  I've had a bad month+ of illness and have done little in the creativity department.  I'm feeling a bit better and hope to actually sew something soon. 
 
I do have something to show you today.  Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, you can shop from your home and have things delivered to your door..... doesn't matter if you are sick or not!  (Did you know this?!) Admittedly, this can also be a very bad thing!
 
I've been looking for a Singer Featherweight for several years.  Many things have stopped me from getting one..... couldn't find the perfect machine for me..... too much money.... bad timing.... whatever.  I cruise EBay frequently, always looking for the machine that "has my name on it" and I finally found it! 
 
Here she is, my first Featherweight!  I lucked out finding her.  The person selling this must not have known what he could have charged for this particular machine.  It was a BIN (buy it now) auction and was only listed for a couple of minutes before I bought it.  I knew if I hesitated at all, it would be gone.  He had few pictures, a short description, and didn't even mention her best features.  I took a huge leap of faith ..........
 
She's a May 1938 model and has the wonderful scroll face plate that I wanted so badly.  Overall, her condition is very good.  All of these pictures are her "before" pictures, as I have done nothing to perk her up yet.  She needs a good cleaning, lube and oil job, and finally, a waxing to restore her full luster.  I've been watching YouTube videos that demonstrate just how to do this the proper way.
 
 
 


Backside...
 

This is the main damage that I found.... just a little deterioration of the front decal where someone has rested their wrist over the years.  This is certainly expected on a machine that is 77 years old and this wear and tear is actually very minor for her age.


Here's her beautiful front scroll face plate... it's perfect!


This is her original case, which has several condition issues, but again, it's to be expected for a machine case this old.  It's all intact and in working order.  The handle is still very functional, even though the leather handle is splitting.  Both hinges work perfectly.  Although the case has dings and scratches, much of this will be hidden after a little cleaning and TLC.


This is the original tray inside the case and the goodies that were included.  Not much to speak of except that it has an original key.  There is also an additional foot.....hiding in the upper left corner.... the adjustable hemming foot. 

 
She may not be perfect, but she is all mine!  I'll post some "after" pictures when I get her all cleaned up and running smoothly.  Which, by the way, she does run but I think she may be a little sluggish.  After her cleaning, oiling, and lubing, I'm expecting her to purr.
 
And here's a Kirby update.  He's doing quite well.... he's enjoying a tasty snap pea in this shot.  He's in the middle of a major molt..... his crest feathers are all gone and those are new ones growing in that you see in the photo.  He'll be one handsome dude in a few months!  In my last post I told you that he could say "Hi Kirby" and that I'd be happy if that is all that he ever learned to say.  Well..... he's a regular chatterbox now.  He learns new words easily and can now say "Kirby is a good boy" ..... "I'm a big bird"...... "I love you" ...... "Kirby dance" (bobs his head when he says this)..... sings "Kirby, Kirby, Kirby.... Takes me a few days of saying a particular phrase to him and then he begins to imitate me.  He talks "people" about half of the time and "bird" the rest of the time.  His "people" speaking is much easier on my ears!


Thanks for stopping by today.  At least this post was sewing related, even if there wasn't a completed project to show......soon, I hope!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mini Finishes

A couple more small finishes today.  Two wall hangings that were pretty quick to put together.
 
The first one was a free pattern from Aurifil.  It's the Auriful Mini Quilt and there are a few in this series of free designer patterns.  I had some fabric from my stash that worked well for this.... "Cachet" by Marie Osmond for Quilting Treasures, given to me years ago by a sweet friend.  (Thanks, Kathy!)   Measures 15" x 17 ".
 
 

This one is from a pattern called Dwell Mini from Thimble Blossoms.  The fabric came from Connecting Threads..."Oh Clementine" from Windham Fabrics is the fabric line.  It was fun to decide what fabric to use on what house in what way....roof...walls...pinwheels.  Measures 13" x 16". 
 
 
And lastly, my gratuitous photo of Kirby.  Today is his 5 month hatchaversary.  His dried-on baby formula is finally coming off of his face and he is slowly learning to talk.  His repertoire so far is "Hi Kirby", so we have a lot more training to do.  Cockatiels don't always talk so I won't be disappointed if this is all that he says.  ;)
 
 
Have a great weekend!  I've been working in the yard the past couple of weeks on those nice, cool days, trying to make it more presentable.  Mow...mow... mow.... wears me out but it sure is nice to have the warmer weather back.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A 20 year old finish!

 
I finished this little wall hanging last week.  It's just 24" x 24".  It's been in my UFO's for years.  In fact, this pattern and partial kit was dated 1995.  Yeah.... it's been in my pile-o-stuff to finish for 20 years!  I don't know why I get distracted and don't finish projects.  This only took a few days.  One to cut the pieces....one to piece it.....one to quilt it.....and one to bind it.  Of course, this was only working on it a couple of hours at a time.  I suppose it could have been completed in one day if you stuck with it.
 
The pattern and kit came with about 2/3's of the fabrics needed to make the hanging.  I'm not sure why it didn't contain all of the fabric.  The fabric was nicely folded and looked undisturbed so I don't think I ever removed any of it for another project.  Oh well.  So if you recognize a few pieces of newer fabrics....not 20 years old.... that's why. 
 

The backside.  I used some of the included fabric as well as some added from my stash.


This is a little goodie that I picked up at the Hallmark store in the drastically reduced bin.  It's a Boyd's Bear little hinged box and they were almost giving it away.  I love little sewing items for my sewing area.


This inside held this cute little sewing mouse.


Here's the sweet quote that was under the lid.


And lastly, Hank Sarducci holding his new friend.


Happy Sewing.  Hope you find a UFO that calls your name this week too.  It felt really good to actually finish this cute little hanging!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kirby Cockatiel

As many of you know, I have been pet-less since last July when my sweet Oliver crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  I have been hesitating to get another cat....not sure if it is because it would be hard to find as great a cat as Oliver or what.  He would have tough paws to fill.  I just haven't been able to bring myself to adopt another cat.  That may change, but for now, I'm holding back.
 
So... recently, I came across the little fellow below.... a cockatiel.  I decided I needed a friend as I was talking to just about every inanimate face in my house... pretty pathetic.... so I decided to adopt him.  His name is Kirby and his hatchday is 12/02/2014, making him just over 4 months now.  He was hand raised and is now quite tame, enjoying as much time as possible with me, interacting....playing... watching TV....whatever.
 
Now here's the rub.... I'm allergic to him.  Not an airborne allergy, but on my skin where he walks on me.  His little claws just barely scratch the skin but it's enough to cause an itchy rash.  I found this out right away and have been trying to find him another home.  Last week.... I found a girl that was really excited to adopt him from me.  At first I was really excited too, then the reality of giving him up hit hard.  Long story short.... I couldn't bare to part with him.  I have had him just over 5 weeks and he's now just part of my family.
 
Here's Kirby carrying a clothespin up one of his ladders.  He's pretty easy to entertain. 
 


Kirby at Easter time....riding on his lambs.


Kirby apparently has "David Letterman Disease" and enjoys throwing things off of the top shelf of my bookcase where his play stand is located.  That yellow stick is a toothpick and it's actually in motion, falling to the ground.  If he can get it in his beak... he will throw it off the shelf and watch it fall.


He loves, loves, loves his veggies.  It's important to have your bird eat a variety of foods and Kirby is a good eater....takes after his mom, I guess.  ;)  The brown/tan spot you see around his eyes is dried baby formula, hard as a rock.  It will eventually come off but it looks a little crusty right now.

 
 
Here he is enjoying a laugh with Steve Harvey.  The gray lump that he is standing on is my folded up leg.  It's his favorite spot to preen and nap.

 
 And lastly, he likes to help me read my email.  He likes to peck at the things on the screen.... on my phone too... and has even tried to remove the keys.  Needless to say, he has to be supervised at all times.  A bird is a perpetual 2 year old and I hope I'm up for the challenge! 


I won't bother you with lots of Kirby pictures from now on.  I just wanted to introduce him to you.  I'm hoping my allergies will be manageable.  I've ordered some of those thin white gloves that they use at the quilt shows... hoping that they may help a bit.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  I've yet to let him into the sewing room....too many things for him to get in to.  Right now, the Sarducci Brothers are still my main sewing models and will be keeping their jobs.  They were quite happy about that!

Thanks for visiting and meeting Kirby!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Misc

More odds and ends today.  I have several projects that are ready for quilting and binding and will get those posted one of these days.... you know how that goes.
 
This is a little zipper bag that I made for a birthday gift last month.  My friend likes anything pink.
 
 
  Inside....blurry shot.....

 
 
This is a little fabric basket that I made this afternoon.  It's a free Craftsy pattern called 1 Hour Basket Tutorial.  I'm thinking it took me an hour and a half...but then I'm pretty slow.  It was quite easy and once you've made one, the next ones probably would be easily completed in one hour.  This is a great size to hold a bunch of FQ's.
 
 
 
 Inside.....


A little stash acquisition.  These yummy fabrics came from Missouri Quilt Company.  If you haven't already signed up.... they have a daily deal that is pretty inexpensive.  I don't remember now, but this charm pack was probably $1 or $2.  The catch is... and this isn't much of a catch.... they have a flat rate shipping cost of $5.  This still brings it in much less than the normal price of a charm pack, plus you can add other fabrics and goodies to this same shipping price.  They have fabulous service.


More stash acquisition.... This time from Shabby Fabrics, another one of my favorite shops.  They had a wonderful sale of Tim Holtz fabrics for $5 a yard.  I just love his style and picked up several fabrics.  This is another shop with fabulous service and products! 



And lastly..... and the best....  I picked up this little lady on Ebay.  As always, I was looking for a bargain and I found one.  Not sure why I was the only bidder but I was thrilled to win this sweet children's machine.  It came with the original instructions as well as the table clamp.  And this may make you wince.... it came with the original box too.... but I tossed it.  I know.. you always keep the original box but this one was in horrible shape.  One side was almost completely chewed off by some sort of rodent and the other sides weren't much better.  It had to go!
 
So there's a little update to let you all know that I'm still out here.  I'm not sewing as much as I would like, but I am nipping away at one thing or another.  Stay tuned.......

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mug Rug Angel

Here's an update on the mug rug swap that I posted about recently.  My swap partner was unable to  fulfill her swap assignment so I did not receive a mug rug.  Lindsey, our swap hostess, got to work and lined up a Mug Rug Angel to step in and complete the swap.
 
My mug rug arrived yesterday and I was surely happy to find this in my mailbox.  I don't know who my Mug Rug Angel is.... this is all I had to go by... no name and address.  Because of this, I'm unable to send her a thank you note so I'm hoping that she may come across this post and see that the mug rug was received and is appreciated.
 
 
This is the little note that she included, along with a couple of tasty tea bags.  I may not know who she is, but she has great calligraphy skills!
 

OK... here's the mug rug!  It's made of up a ton of little fabric strips...  I love the colors and I love the text prints.  Cute as a button!


The backside is a nice bright print and the only quilting lines are around the focal flower.  This picture doesn't show it very well, but it's pretty cute.  You can also see the quilting lines in the picture above.

 
So, Mug Rug Angel..... whoever you are..... I thank you very much for being kind enough to send me a mug rug, even though I was not your swap partner.  I wish I could thank you directly, but this will have to do..... THANK YOU VERY MUCH!  Blessings to you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tree Bird Hop

 Apologies...this was scheduled to post and didn't....anyone having troubles with Blogger?

 

Just in time for spring comes this great blog hop..... Tree Bird Hop!  I can tell you that the birds are actually returning to Indiana in full swing with temps in the 40's and 50's.  The snow is melting and will be soon be gone ... my shovel will be retired to the garage and the mower will come out to take its place.

This is another hop from dear Madame Samm.  She continues to keep us "hoppin!"  And I also have Lana to thank for being our hostess.  There are lots of participants in this hop and it has to take a lot of checking and rechecking to keep us all under control.  A HUGE thanks to Madame Samm and Lana!!

This hop was all about the birds.  We were asked to make something bird related.  It was suggested.. only suggested.... that we might want to use some fabric from Elizabeth's Studio called Beautiful Birds.  It was designed by Tracy Lizotte.  Well, I loved the fabric so much that I really wanted to use it in my wall hanging.  I started with this panel of several birds nested in their colorful houses. If you are interested in this fabric line, there are many different bird fabrics, all colorful and delightful. 

 

And then, Pat, my sweet blogging friend, sent me this panel.... an empty tree, just waiting for some colorful birds.  Thank you so much Pat for sending this to me and making the vision that I had in my mind come true.



And lastly, a picture of Oliver that was printed on fabric.  I had intended to thread paint this, but it just didn't work out.  I'll have to give it a try on a future project.


 

Here's the finished hanging.  Although Oliver is no longer with me, I have tons of memories of him sitting by the window and "chatting/cackling" at the birds in the backyard.  I took a few of the birds from the bird panel and combined them with some "blank" tree sections from the tree panel.  I had intended the tree to kind of extend as one into the window sections.  Somehow, when I added the borders and the seam allowances, they were far from lining up.  Oh well... the eye really doesn't pay much attention to the fact that the tree doesn't exactly flow from pane to pane.




A closer look at Oliver.  I added a layer of fusible fleece under him to make him look like he was in the room and give him a bit of a 3D dimension.



These shots are trying to show that I actually did quilt this wall hanging.  Even in person, the quilting lines kind of disappear.  I didn't do heavy quilting, but quilted all of the trees and the window sections.  I think it would have turned out better if I had used a thicker batting.



 

This is a little template that I made to do the window sections.  It was the first time that I had done a version of Attic Windows and was concerned about messing up the Y seams.  With this little template, I just marked the intersections and stopped sewing at the marks.  I machine stitched the whole thing and they went together perfectly, without a glitch.  I was a happy camper!


 

Thanks for stopping by today and checking out my Tree Bird project.  There are other talented bloggers joining me today and here are the links to visit their blogs.  Please fly over to each one and let them know how much you enjoyed your visit!

Tuesday, March 17
Gracie Oliver Arts-You are here!