Friday, September 28, 2012

Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week

While surfing the quilting blogs, I found a quilt along, Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week. The blog has the weekly quilt along based on the Women's Suffrage Movement. It's a quilt along with a history lesson all wrap into one. Being a working woman, and having spent most of my working career as a single mother, I'm especially intrigue by these great women in history that stood up for  female equality.  Where would we be now if not for these pioneering women?

Ms Bessie hasn't seen any real action in a great while by the looks of her when I bought her, Now that she all nicely oiled up and the short in the foot control is repaired, I decided to use her to make these quilts. ( I making two of each block.) Let's see if she is up to the task at hand!

So far so good! She doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Ms Ruby, but her straight stitch is really nice, and she can do a scant 1/4" like a champ! Ms Betsy purrs like a little kitten, quiet as a mouse. The sound of her motor whirling and the needle going up and down is really soothing to my ears.

My favorite setup for peicing blocks. My Little Olfa cutting/ironing board combo, and my little Dritz iron. Sure makes it nice to peice and press the seams as I sew without getting up and down to the ironing board. The blocks will still need a good hard steam press upon completion, but the little Dritz is just enough to lay the seams flat. Up above you'll see my Martelli ergonomic rotary cutter and my Kai scissors. I love the Martelli ergonomic rotary cutter, I can use it without so much pain to my hands.(Arthritis, repetitive stress injury and what I refer to mouse thumb. The joint at the base of my right thumb stays swollen and painful from using the mouse at work.) Ok...enough whining! The Kai scissors are ergonomic as well. The bottom handle is large enough for all four fingers to fit into. Grips are cushioned, and the scissors are razor sharp all the way to the tips. Great for cutting out patterns! I really love these products! (No..I don't get anything for saying so. I just like to share the knowledge when something is really good!)

Here is the first Grandmother's Choice block complete! I can't make up my mind whether the dark fabric is blue or purple, Can you? I'm thinking it's blue, but depends on the lighting. Sometimes I swear it's purple!

Here are my two blocks together. If you'd like to join this quilt along, I have the blog button on  my sidebar.
Later! Have fun stitchn!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quilted Casserole Carrier

I was Magnolia Quiltworks again, and I spied this awesome kit! A quilted casserole carrier or cozy. Well, it just reached out and grabbed me! I might like one for myself, but I have two daughters that work in offices, and they are always cooking and bringing things to work. Here is a pic with the casserole carrier, and with the left over scraps, I made a matching hotpad. 
 Here it is, opened with an old casserole dish I have.plans to buy a new square casserole dish with a lid to put in it. I think it'll make a great Christmas gift! It has insulbrite as batting to keep things nice and toasty! You just set your casserole dish in the middle, overlap the rings on the side, and pull the handle up through the middle of the rings. Kewl, isn't it?
 Another view of the carrier. And yes, I need to vaccum the rug by my sewing machine! (I've been busy sewing and quilting!)
 And here's a close up of the machine quilting. I tried out my Machingers quilting gloves. They really help! It was much easier to control my quilting with them, they have just the right amount of grip. I give them a definite thumbs up!
 And a final close up of the matching hotpad made with the scraps. Now give me an honest opinion. Do you think the Casserole Carrier with a new casserole dish would make a nice Christmas gift?

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Been Too Long Again!

Apologies for being so long to post! I have been busy making a Twister Christmas Tree wall hanging. It's a fun little quilt, kinda like peicing a puzzle. I enjoyed watching the pattern take effect and the little pinwheels form. It's a crazy thing. You peice 2 1/2 in squares into a pattern, then take the 1 1/2 inch Itty Bitty Twister tool, and cut blocks yet again! Here's a pic of the finished 2 inch squares peiced. You'll note the tiny Twister tool in the upper left side of the quilt if you left click the picture to enlarge it. It's hard to see, it's so tiny! I was surprised to see the finished blocks reduced by half, but the resulting pinwheels was worth it!

 The almost finsished wallhanging! (Still sewing on a few sequins to accent the quilt) I love how it came out! Such a fun project done in plenty of time for me to make a matching Reindeer Twister quilt before Christmas. I echoed quilted the pinwheels of the tree by machine, and background is stitch in the ditch squares. I got fancy on the first little green border with some feathers, but alas, it doesn't show up well. I echoed quilted the Christmas Tree border. It was my first real machine quilting on Ms. Ruby. I am so loving this machine! I got some new Machinger gloves at Magnolia Quiltworks in Pantego. I'm told they will really help with the machine quilting, so I'll be breaking them in soon. Magnolia Quiltworks is also where I go the pattern and fabric for the Twister Christmas Tree quilt. They have the yummiest fabric there!
 Then to introduce my new/old little baby! 1947 Singer Featherweight! I have been coveting these little machines for 20 years now! I seen one long ago in a quilt shop in Burleson, TX. I fell in love, but it had a whooping $300 price tag. ( I know...the going rate now, but back then it was a lot!) I didn't even pay that for Ms.Bessie, after my dear old Aunt Bessie who was epitome of the Virtuous Woman in the Bible. I remember loving to go to her house, it always smelled of fresh baked goods, and she was the queen of pecan pies! She was a quilter and I wished I could have had one of her quilts. But I remember her voice, she was loud, always smiling, laughing, and made the yummiest foods.

The machine came with quite a few feet, some I have no idea what they are for. I've had fun surfing the web, trying to figure them out. I love looking at this relic of time, wondering how many quilts have crossed her path. There's wear on the decals on the front of the machine bed, so I know she's seen some action. She's still in good shape and makes the loveliest straight stitch you could want, and her motor just hums. Yes, I'm in love with her!!! Such cuteness! I hope this becomes a family heirloom and gets passed down through the generations as Nana  Walker's old featherweight.