Monday, December 31, 2012

iPhone-o-gram. It happens

Happy new year everyone.

I am traveling and teaching and on the road and unable to answer everyone's personal emails.

Please cut 19 5-1/2" green squares for the quarter square triangles in Easy Street part 6.

Due to my travel schedule and my files being on my home computer I am unable to edit the printer friendly PDF copies. Please make note of the changes on your copies.

iPhone-o-Gram! Pfeffernusse!!

We are attacking the strings today, having fun swapping and sharing and sewing our brains out!

Not a fan of brown or red? Simply choose two color families you like together plus background and sew, baby sew!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

iPhone-o-Gram! Mui Caliente!

Just imagine my wide-eyed surprise and delight when I walked into my classroom this morning to find Sandra's gorgeous shiny cherry tomato red Singer 301!

So I can't wait to send in my beat up black 301 nicknamed ugly Betty – she so wants to be purple!

Isn't she yummy?! :-)

iPhone-o-Gram! Whoowhooo!

What a terrific way to end a terrific year!

A shop full of quilters – machines humming and fabric flying

If pictures are worth a thousand words then this handful of photos is worth way much more!

Pati’s Sewing Boxes!

I have really enjoyed the antique sewing boxes and goodies you have sent my way along with their stories!

I received a fun email with some gorgeous photos from Pati who encourages me to share them with you.

This box is made out of an abandoned “coffin top” treadle machine cover!  PRETTY!!

Pati writes:

Bonnie, I am sending you pictures of  treadle sewing machine top covers often referred to as a coffin box. 
My Dad made these into chests with feet and side handles.  One is walnut and the other is oak.  I would love to know what brand they are, but I have not been able to identify them over the internet.  They are great in my sewing studio to store sewing supplies.  Pati from PA


Contents of Walnut box!  Look at the Dachshund fabric and quilt!


Pati’s Oak box!

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Easy Street Goodies inside!!

Thanks for sharing your treasures, Pati!

While I wouldn’t advocate using a treadle top that had a treadle it belonged to ----I think it’s a great way to preserve a beautiful piece of our sewing heritage.  In fact – I bought one of my own this summer!

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I found this at the Vermont Quilt Festival!

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While Pati’s is a box….mine has 3 drawers!  It’s fun for little momentos and things, but the drawers are very shallow.  I think 2 drawers would have given the drawers more depth and they would have been more useful.  It’s a beautiful piece of sewing memorabilia and I’m happy to have it here in my studio!

Today is a MYSTERY CLASS with Fabric Fanatics in Plano TX!

Because it is a Mystery, there will not be a class slide show, but we will be sure to get some pics of the girls in action and the fun we are having!

Tomorrow?? Easy Street PART 7!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

iPhone-o-gram! Plum Tuckered in Plano!

We arrived in Dallas about 6:30 PM –

All the luggage made it too!

While I ran off with Janet and made a pit stop at fabric fanatics to check out the new shop classroom space – the hubster picked up a rental car and met us later back at the hotel.

A quick run to the spaghetti factory for dinner – and back to the hotel with bellies full and bodies exhausted. Travel just wears me out!

Did you know that class sample quilts are also great to sleep under?

Pfeffernusse, seen covering my feet, is our Monday class!! Sunday and Tuesday class quilt not shown---it's a mystery!

Night night, everyone!

Duck Dynasty Sewing!

We are at the airport waiting for our flight -----

Along comes a link in an email with a “MUST WATCH” message attached to it…….

You know, I’ve joked about The Hubster being addicted to Duck Dynasty, and that I can only stomach small amounts of it – but this had us laughing silly!

I hope you enjoy it ----

Happy New Year!!

Kitting It Up, Ready to Fly!

This is what I spent my evening time on last night --- I know it doesn’t look like much, but this is all the contents of a “kitted-up” quilt!

I am working on a joint project with my friend Mickey Depre ---I get to do the scrappy happy background to showcase her wonderful pieced hexies!  I had a great time last night pulling fabrics to go with the hexie rosettes she sent me.  We are hoping to include this in her next book ---and this will also be the retreat project when we get that pulled together.

((Stay tuned on the retreat idea ---the first venue of Montreat, NC was not cooperating and Karen and Lisa are hard at working finding us another suitable venue!  When we know more, I will post it here!))

What does kitting-up mean? I’ve had many questions of what I do to kit.

For me it means more than pulling together a bunch of fat quarters and yardage and leaving all the cutting for later.

Kitting up means I pre-cut everything I can, pinning things together in sets.

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These are the fabrics I am using!  Ooh…love that chartreuse against the darker green and pinks!

I have pre-cut and matched together things that will be strip pieced and sub-cut later, pinning them to their corresponding block parts.  Stacks of squares are also counted out and pinned together so that I don’t have loose pieces getting shuffled all over.  Small sets of triangles are already matched with right sides together and cut…and those are in a sandwich baggie to keep them together until it is time to sew them as well.

I honestly don’t know how I could live without zip lock bags!

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The entire quilt is cut  and ready to go here ---amazing how it all fits in a one gallon zip lock bag!  I’ll squeeze all the air out and it won’t take up any space in my suitcase at all!  I did include a few “extra” strips of each fabric just in case I run into a snafu….but it’s all in the bag!

The BEST part about having everything pre-cut as much as possible is that when I have a few moments to sew a block….the pieces are ready to go.  There is no fumbling with having to iron a wrinkled fat quarter or find a place in a hotel room to use as a cutting surface.  Instant sew-ability!

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SO yummy together!

A sweet friend, Allison – is loaning me her Featherweight, Lola while I am in Texas!  I have another loaner featherweight waiting for me in Arizona.

This year I’m going to see how it goes borrowing a machine at each destination I fly to, rather than trying to fly with one.  We will see how it goes.  I will be able to travel with a machine on driving trips, but for flying –I’m not wanting to risk a machine again.  I’m gun-shy after what happened last July.

And with that – I better get that trunk show packed up!

My OWN hexie project awaits in my busy bag for airport/airplane stitching today too…..

Best not forget my thimble!

Much love, everyone!  It’s been so great to be home the past 5 weeks ----

Friday, December 28, 2012

Leaving On A Jet Plane….

A text conversation with a friend has had me singing this all day ---John Denver, we miss you!

It’s nearly 9pm here.  I thought I might have time to do Quilt-Cam tonight – but I’m still in the midst of kitting up a project that needs to travel with me – one that has a close deadline.

I haven’t packed my suitcase, but laundry is running ---Texas and Arizona are not going to be much warmer than North Carolina in the coming 2 weeks that I am planning on being gone!

I need to pack my busy bag of handwork because I’ll have plane and airport time.

I have to pack the trunk show of quilts and make room for the class sample quilts for the 4 groups I’ll be teaching on this trip.

Needless to say – Quilt-Cam is just not going to happen!

I do have some good news though:

The demolished machine issue has been resolved with a full refund.  Gentler calmer conversation with the seller and with Paypal has resulted in my favor.  Therefore I have deleted the original ranting post.  Case solved.

I also have some BAD NEWS ----I’m stuck with the boat anchor machine because the seller doesn’t want it back. LOL!!

Oh, and I guess I get to keep the free bath towel it was wrapped in too – ;c)

I’m not sure what will happen with this machine.  I honestly think it has a bent shaft because I can turn it a bit and then it stops….gets really really hard to power through, and then you can turn it a bit again.  I need to get it to my machine guy when I get back from TX & AZ and see if HE thinks it’s totalled. 

If we are able to fix it -- I will probably at least re-imburse the shipping cost to the seller.

Dang, I really wanted this machine to work!

I guess it will make a nice door stop for a while?

Have a great evening, everyone ---and we will catch Quilt-Cam when I return Mid-January!

Good Things DO come in the mail!

Today a big box arrived in the mail….and of course the DH was looking at me like “Okay, WHAT did you order NOW?!”

I’ve been so excited about this arrival!

 And it was packed SO WELL I had to dig through layers and layers of bubble wrap to find the contents in the box.

Emails have gone back and forth with the folks at SewingMates about a “class room” sized affordable extension table for use with my featherweights –that would fit other machines too!

The issue with featherweights is that some are long bed, and others – like my Bea ---are short bed.  ((The white ones are all short bed if I remember correctly)) and the other plexiglass table I had for my black long-bed featherweights left a big gap between the edge of the bed and the inside of the table cut-out if I tried to use it with a short bed machine.  I would have to have TWO featherweight tables in different styles to fit my machines.  For this reason I put off buying one for Bea.

I also didn’t like how the paint finish on my featherweights was getting scratched up by having to lift the machine bed from between the Plexiglass areas to change a bobbin.  There was no way to avoid “the rub!” against the hinged areas of the machine bed.  It was a pain to completely remove the machine from the table to access the bobbin area.

Look how SIMPLE this is!  And it won’t take up too much table space for classroom or retreat sewing!

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Front view!  Perfect!

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Side view!  Perfect again!  See the convenient carry handle?

This is small enough that I can put it in the bottom of my suitcase with the legs pointing up and pack my stuff around it --- or the legs are easily unscrewed to lay the table completely flat as well.

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Hand lathed aluminum legs make this table completely height adjustable for any machine!

I am impressed that Sewing-Mate tables are made here in the USA.  It's a family run small business ---the Greers live in Oregon ((I think I made the mistake by saying WASHINGTON on Quilt-Cam earlier, but I was close!)) and each table is hand crafted by them.

If it doesn't say Greer, it's not a Sewing-Mate!

I’m not even sure Barbara has put this on the website yet, but you can drop her an email HERE and find out more info and get yourself on a waiting list.

I am SO excited about my new Feather-Mate table!  I can see myself using this with my other vintage machines as well….

And as always – no affiliation in any way other than a very very happy  satisfied customer!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tramp Art Sewing Box!

Are you familiar with “Tramp Art?”

I love coming across pieces in my travels – running my fingers over the almost “prairie point” like triangles in the wood carving.

These items are quite sought after, and go for a much higher price than my budget usually allows ---- layers upon layers of carved wood texture, often personalized with a date, a name --- In this case we’ve got both!

Here is the story from TLC:

I thought you might appreciate this tramp art needle box from Holland dated 1914.  The DH and I purchased it at an auction in Germany.  I'm afraid my emotional attachment got the best of me.  There was a bidding war and the DH was determined to get it for me.

Our antique dealer was The Rag and Bone Man.  He would win bids to clean out old estates.  Then round up everything and bring it to auction at an American Military Base.
There's a pincusion in the center top.  The name is Harderwyk and the inside reads Henri 1914, Louise 1915.

We also picked up a very large foldout sewing cabinet, but don't have a picture of it on me.  It's in son#1 abode being used as a TV stand..............
Thanks again for sharing your enormous talent with the world!
Now to move to the sewing space and catch up with "quiltcam".  The weather outside is frightful, but the stitching is so delightful......SW OH has their first major snow in 2 years.  The base is shutdown. The DH is snoring.  And I have all the leftove Christmas sweets left at our house calling me while we're snowed in.  Carrot cake, grasshopper pie, pecan pie and all sorts of cookies.  Somebody stop me!

Thank you so much for sharing this treasure!  Doesn’t it make you wonder who Henri and Louise Harderwyk were?  How did this family piece end up at auction?  What kinds of things did they store in it?  It was definitely a sewing box ---there is a pincushion on top of the lid!

If you are interested in more tramp art samples…click this link HERE.  You will get an eye full!

Do you have any antique sewing items that you are willing to share with our readers?  Email the photos and the stories to me.  I'd love to see and share what you find dear!

Yesterday I was in such a funk because I thought YESTERDAY was Thursday all day.

I know.  Silly!  Now that it really is Thursday – I feel like I’ve been given an extra day this week to get ready for leaving on Saturday.  I’ll be spending much of the day getting tomorrow’s and subsequent Easy Street clues ready to auto-post, so be watching for those….our big finish is right around the corner and we may jump you off of your regularly scheduled programming! :cD  Check back daily to see what I have in store for you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What’s Cookin’? Holiday Ham & Beans!

Whenever there is a holiday that involves a bone-in ham ---Holiday Ham & Beans are sure to follow!

I love my crockpot.  I’ve had a long standing love affair with slow cookery since I received my first crockpot as a wedding gift in 1981.

Nothing frees up a quilter’s mind and time more than throwing together a meal early in the day to have it simmer for hours-- making the house smell wonderful – resulting in a yummy meal ready to serve without stress come dinner time.

This is one of my favorites ---and I had to write things down as I was cooking because I usually cook by pinches and bits off of the top of my head ---not by measuring.

3 cups (or 1 lb) dried beans.  I use a 16 bean mix.
Wash and soak beans overnight as directed.


Rinse beans in cold water. Put them in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Bring almost to a boil (small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot), cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain. The beans will be "soaked" and ready to cook.

Alternately you can soak beans on low in the crockpot over night.  Drain and rinse before continuing.

In the morning:

Place soaked beans and ham bone and any other meat you wish to use in the crock pot and cover with 6 cups of water.  Cook 4 to 6 hours on high. 

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Yummy shredded ham off the bone!

You can tell by the sides of my crockpot that this has been simmering for hours!

When meat falls off bones, strain bones and meat from the crock pot and allow to cool until you can pick through it, removing any fatty bits, cartilage, and bones. Pull apart big pieces of meat into shreds or cut into small chunks.  Add meat back to crock pot with beans. Continue to cook until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.

When beans have reached soft stage and are almost ready to eat add the following:

1 medium onion, chopped.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp dry yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste.

Cook until flavors have blended and onion is soft.

Serve with a salad and  cornbread hot from the oven --- YUMMY!

*NOTE*  I tend to add more water  because I like mine to be more like a soup vs a thicker side dish as in Boston baked beans.  I also don't salt until the end because the ham has a lot of salt already.

We will be enjoying this until we leave for Dallas on Saturday.  Any leftovers freeze wonderfully!