Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jan 31 Quilt Cam!

I don’t know where this day has gone – but I know how I’ve spent it – RUNNING!

I’m getting the van all packed up for heading out to the Atlanta Georgia area in the morning….boy, I have a lot of stuff to haul!

I’m glad it’s evening time and I can slow down a bit and piece!

This is Mystic, sent in by Kathleen who writes:

Hi bonnie - my kitten Mystic loves QuiltCam !!  Here's the photo!
I am making a Pineapple Crazy quilt, and he sleeps in the string box and while I paper piece! It's going to be beautiful!
If you look closely at the far LEFT of the photo….there is another kitty hiding as well!
Kitties are such good Quilt-Helpers!
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As I said this morning…I’m going to be playing with a bit of hand-crank stitching this evening!

This is my Serata machine, and it was manufactured in 1910.  According to those who know more than I do ((Some other vintage machine friends!)) This is a machine made by Stoewer, and badged “Serata”.

The machine has absolutely wonderful decals, even though the main bed decal has a serious case of pin  & scissor rash:

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Lion decal on the bed.

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This machine is one of the early ones to have reverse stitching capabilities!

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Beautiful handle design of inlaid wood.

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Beautiful cover detail!

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Turned corner adornment – and a fancy key to lock it all up!
The shape of the cover reminds me of a loaf of bread :c)

Want to come join me?  Bring a project!  I’m turning on the cam in the studio for a while!

You can leave a comment in the comment section below, or leave one in the guest book by clicking the blue guest book button in the left hand side bar, While I can't answer them all ---I do pick randomly and try to answer questions and comments as I sew!

I've got to leave early in the morning -- so I"ll probably only go until 10pm tonight ----

Golden Quilter Awards, 2013!

It’s that time of year again!

SewCalGal is hosting the annual Golden Quilter Awards, where you get to choose your favorite Quilters from several categories!
Every year, there are some core categories of the Golden Quilter Awards (e.g. Best Teacher, Best Quilt Store, Best Author, Lifetime Achievement Award, etc) and some new categories. 
This year, there are twelve categories of awards for those in the business.
  1. Best Quilt Designer
  2. Best Fabric Designer
  3. Best Quilt Book Author
  4. Best Teacher/Instructor
  5. Best Quilt Store (physical)
  6. Best Quilt Store (online)
  7. Most Innovative Product (software)
  8. Best New Product Introduced in 2012 (physical)
  9. Best New Product Introduced in 2012 (software)
  10. Best Quilt Book Published in 2012
  11. Lifetime Achievement Award
It is up to YOU to nominate who you feel best suits each category, and we need your votes to be heard.

You can nominate ANYONE you want as long as they fit the criteria given.  Several quilters are already listed (including myself) and the rules and info for nominating your favorite quilter are found on SewCalGal’s site HERE.

The nominating finishes on Feb 9th! Voting stars Feb 10 and ends on Feb 28th! It is a very exciting time of year!

Help spread the word, and get your favorite Quilt Line-Up nominated!

There will also be prizes -- -I have offered a book donation, the title to be chosen by the winner of the drawing!
PS --- are you still planning on Quilt-Cam for tonioght? 9pm Eastern!

Strippy Stuff!

The other night while I was sewing strip to strip to strip, and butting raw ends when one ran out and there was some of the other left…just laying them in there ---

There were several questions on “Why aren’t you sewing the ends together first? Why do you have all those raw ends??”

I’m just making 4 patches.  And the strip sets are going to be cut apart anyway, so I don’t need seams that I am then going to have to cut away when I cut my twosies.  I just piece in one long chain like this….

((Don't you just love a big tangled clumpy mess of strip piecing?!))

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Where the top strip ended --- just butt another strip on!

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Before pressing, I cut apart the strip set wherever there is a break in the piecing.  It’s too difficult to try to press this all in one long length because some of the shorter pieces are on the top, and some are on the bottom.  Cut them into sections with scissors! 

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A pile of cut-apart strip sets!

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All pressed and ready to match into pre-cut pairs!  Those short ends?  I'll match them with each other.

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Streamline your piecing wherever you can!  Don’t just cut individual twosies into a basket and spend all this time picking one of these and one of those to match up.  If I end up with 5 or 6 four-patches in the quilt that are identical – will it be noticed?  Well, not as long as they are not close together!  Place two strip sets right sides together with the center seams opposing.

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Trimming off one end to give me a good square end.  The excess red/cream set can be matched with something else for more variety!

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Pre-matchd pairs, ready to be fed through the machine, no muss – no fuss!

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If I am doing a TON of four-patches, I’ll take it one step further….stack my strip sets up on the Accuquilt Studio…..and cross-cut them through in already matched pairs.  Here I’ve already picked up several pairs off of the die tray ---very little waste pushed over to the right…pieces too small to save!

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A whole tray of pairs with right sides together ready to sew!

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I’m all set for Quilt-Cam tonight!  9pm eastern ---I’m going to be sewing on my Serata hand-crank.  She’s a sweet girl even if her Lion decal is about worn off in the center.  This machine was designed to also sew in reverse--That was quite the engineering feat in 1910 when she was made.

My day today consists of a meeting with hopes of getting a North Carolina retreat under way for August!  We’ve had a difficult time finding the right place, things were not gelling –it’s a huge amount of work behind the scenes for the gals doing the planning and arranging, and we may have some good news today.  So as soon as I know more, you will know more so stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Helpful Quilt-Cam Comments!

Last Night’s discussion on Quilt-Cam had us talking about different ways we can get our 1/4” seam allowance.

I demonstrated my sticky solution, and the reason why I like my seam guide to go not only in FRONT of the needle, but to continue behind it as well. 

My reasoning is that I want a very straight seam – and to achieve that I have to start before  I reach the needle, and the fabric has to stay straight as it follows through ---much like a tennis swing needs to push forward to have the ball move forward, because if you curve away by bringing your arm up too soon, you are going to get a ball  that flies too high in a curve and not in a straight path.

So much for my tennis analogy – we spent last week watching the Australian Open!

A question came as “What do you do when you don’t have a straight stitch machine, and the feed dogs are wide?”

I have a couple of solutions for you from Quilt-Cam watchers!

Carol wrote of her dilemma:

Hi Bonnie, I can never get the where I can post a message while you are live on Quiltcam. Really enjoyed it tonight - working on a binding while watching. Glad you discussed about the 1/4" seam markers - I tried to put them on all our machines out in the Quilt Cabin today - with partial success.

Worked great on some, and not on others, found out why, wide feed dogs - these are not all straight stitch machines,just old ones, and some have zigzag so will have to try something else for those.

Had ten ladies sewing Scrappy Trips - to show them the pattern - now they can make them at home later.

Also rainy and stormy here today, seems like it was everywhere today, but cleared up in time to have computer on for Quiltcam!

Jane writes:

Hi Bonnie:
Enjoying Quiltcam again tonight.  Cutting up cuffs and collars ready for strip quilting.
When using my machine with wide feed dogs I use a magnetic ruler as my seam guide.
Note that I have notched it out.  I still use a piece of tape at each end to ensure guide does not slip.

So Jayne has notched out an area that allows for the width of her feed dogs, but enables her to sew straight beyond the needle so that her seams don’t veer off course.

Another suggestion was made to move your needle all the way to the right --- and then mark your 1/4” seam from there, so that both feed dogs are in contact with the fabric for your 1/4” seam.  This way the feed dog will not be in the way of the seam guide at all either ----

I hope this helps several of you who are still searching for that elusive 1/4” seam!

Afternoon Walk-about!

Yesterday warmed up to a very balmy 70 degrees here in the Piedmont area of North Carolina.

70 degrees in January?!

I knew it wasn’t going to be long lasting, but I threw myself out the door with my ipod playing in my ears to see what was out and about in my neighborhood.

There are definitely signs of things beginning to emerge from the ground, and trees and bushes getting ready to push forth into Spring, but I hope it is not too early!  There is a storm system coming, and a cold front following that – this ALWAYS happens in Winter here.  The end of January and the month of February can bring ice storms that take down trees and wreak all kinds of havoc.  ((I love the word wreak!  How come I only use it with the word havoc attached?!))

For instance – look at these forsythia about to burst forth:

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It was so warm I tossed off my usual over-throw of denim shirt over t-shirt and tied it around my waist as I went up one hill and down another.

I was sweaty when I returned home!  It’s rare days like this when I would rather be outside up above than inside down below in the basement.

Quilt Cam was fun last night!  My Eatonia chugged right along ---poor thing.  We decided she sounds either like a motor boat, or a lawn mower ----and then the thought came that I should name her SHERMAN, as in TANK!  I sewed until her long bobbin ran out and we got to demo how to wind a long bobbin live on cam.  A bit scary for me as I hadn’t wound one on this machine before, but we did it!

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My goal today is to get these pressed and subcut – I’m just making 4 patches.  My plan was to use them in a border and I hope they give the look I want.  If not, I’ve got Quilt Seeds for another project!  Sewing strip sets was just an easy task to try out this new machine find.

One thing I'd like to mention about Quilt-Cam.  I'm getting emails from people asking if they could be personally notified of when Quilt-Cam is going to be.

If you have signed up for my email updates in the right side bar of the blog, what you are getting is a digest of posts that comes at the end of the day.  I can only choose one time of day for the posts to be sent.  I choose end of day because I write several times a day.  There is no option for notifications to be sent with each and every post individually on feed burner that I have found.  And do you really want THAT MANY notifications from me in your inbox? :c)

If you want to know WHEN Quilt-Cam is so you don't miss it -- you need to come to the BLOG itself.  Not wait for the digest to come.  I mentioned twice yesterday, once in the morning and once in the afternoon that Quilt-Cam would be at 9pm last evening.  If you rely on the email notices you are going to miss reading the information.

Other places that you can get posts closer to real time is to add me to one of your circles in Google Plus. I share my posts when I write them with Google Plus.  You need a gmail address for google plus, but if you have a blogger id, you've already got that.

If you are on Facebook, my blog feed is pulled directly into our Quiltville Friends list and will appear in your news feed so you can stay up to date with my posts that way.

I hope these options help you.  But seriously ----check out the blog in the mornings.  That should help you plan accordingly.

BTW -- our next Quilt-Cam is planned for Thursday evening ((tomorrow)) Jan 31st at 9pm Eastern.

I hit the road on Friday!  My time home is almost over again ---this time I’m headed for the first of 2 trips to Georgia within the month of February.  It’s going to be a lot of fun --- and it’s a driving trip, which means ----ADVENTURES!!  Can’t wait to see what kind of trouble I find myself in, there are lots of thrift shops and antique malls in Georgia!

Not to mention my route takes me right past Mary Jo’s in Gastonia NC heading down I-85!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jan 29th Quilt Cam!

This is April’s Kitty!

Here’s her story:

Hey Bonnie,

On New Year's Day I was sewing and I heard alot of meowing outside.

It was -10 below or more so I went to check and it was this very small black kitty, cold to death and so skinny she was close to death from no food.

So I picked her up and brought her inside and we’ve been trying to save her since. She is so pretty and doing better .

We named her Moony and I thought she was 4 months old cuz of how thin she was but she was 12 months old. So she likes to come by me sometimes and on top of my sewing cabinets.  Here I have her in the pic watching quilt cam!
What a rescue, April! And I don’t know who is luckier – You or Moony!  I love seeing kitties getting into the act!
I just had a very close call – and not a fun one….

I was quilting away on the quilting machine, and all of a sudden something went wrong and the cables were flagging and the machine was stitching over previous stitching and making a mess!  WAAAAAHHH!

And Quilt-Cam is about to happen.  What to do, what to do?

Leave the problem for later, I guess. There will be some picking out to do, and I hate to pick out pantographs!

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I’m all set up to do some strip piecing on the Eatonia.

I’m not sure how long that will last – I’ve had a bit of a trouble with the belt staying put.  Remember, her mountings were for a friction motor, and that motor is shot so I popped this Singer Spartan motor on.  The groove in the balance wheel doesn’t quite line up with the motor pulley ---close, but not quite so the belt is at a slight angle.  If I get to sewing too fast, as I often do……..Wwwiiiiiiizzzz! Off goes the belt.

I figure if it gives me too much trouble, I’ve got a “stand by” machine waiting in the wings.

I am hoping that this bobbin runs out so I can test out the bobbin winder :c)

Want to come join me?  Bring a project!  I’m turning on the cam in the studio for a while!

You can leave a comment in the comment section below, or leave one in the guest book by clicking the blue guest book button in the left hand side bar, While I can't answer them all ---I do pick randomly and try to answer questions and comments as I sew!

How's It Hangin' ?? :cD

You guys are a wealth of knowledge and inspiration!

Here’s a little tip I got from Amy in Wisconsin who encouraged me to share it with you:

Amy writes:

I've been meaning to share this idea with you for a while, but I keep forgetting!
My new favorite way to hang small wall hangings is Command strips cord organizers.  

They slip right over the binding.  Instant and easy hanging. 
The clear ones can barely even be seen! 
Love it :-)

And here is Amy’s little hanging being held by the little cord clips:

Perfect for little changeable items – especially seasonal!

Thanks for sharing your tip, Amy!  Cute, cute wall hanging too!

If you have something you’d like me to share with our readers, please send me your info and photos!

This is what’s going on here this afternoon:

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I am pinning in the gigantic back in hopes of getting the quilting started.  While I am doing this, I am watching “World Without End” on Netflix!  I saw the first part “Pillars of the Earth” But never got around to watching these ---I am SO GLAD I was born  when I was and not in 1400-something!

See you tonight at 9pm Eastern for Quilt-Cam!  I’ve decided that the little Eatonia is best served by easy tasks – strip piecing some 4 patches should keep me busy for a while!

In The Land of Eatonia ---

Once upon a time in a land not so far, far away --((In Canada!))

There was a department store named Eatons.

Eaton's grew to become a retail and social institution in Canada, with stores across the country, buying offices across the globe, and a catalogue that was found in the homes of most Canadians.

Eaton’s purchased sewing machines manufactured by the National Sewing Machine Company, and had them badged with their own brand, Eatonia!

Where is this leading?

Well, Yesterday --- did you really think I could just go in that mall and pick up the quilt and walk out with it THAT FAST?!  If so, you should know me better by now!

Let’s just say it was you ---and you found yourself wandering.  And you spied this box:

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Heavy Green hand crafted ((probably)) box.

And this tag was on it:

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Would YOU lift the lid?

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Oh! Goodness!

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At the time, I’d never HEARD of this brand (And it was hard to read with that danged light in front of the name  ----but for $30, I was going to take a chance on it.

Before you buy any machine ---check a couple of things especially if it is a machine brand you are not sure that parts will be available for.  Are the slide plates there? Yes.  Is the shuttle inside?  Yes!

Upon getting my treasure home I removed the machine from the box to give it a closer look ---

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Pulley driven friction motor.  Jerry-rigged with a spring and a green wire.  Not so attractive!

I also noticed that the pulley tire was FLAT on one side…probably because it had been sitting against the balance wheel for all of eternity since this thing had been sewn on last.  My first desire was to turn this cutie pie onto a hand crank machine.  I thought I could simply purchase a hand crank mechanism and away I’d go.  But not so easy.  The reproduction handcranks fit singers ---of which this is NOT ONE.  It’s a National, so the mounting places and screw holes are all in the wrong place.

Still, DH and I worked to remove the old motor ---the wiring was suspect anyway, and a plan emerged.  Of course, it meant that one of my other machines would become a temporary organ ((motor)) donor….

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Here she is!

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A close look at her bobbin tension --- the top thread doesn’t really show on the fabric I was using…..pretty good!

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Spartan motor mounted from behind.  My broken fuscia featherweight was a donor for the screw that mounted the motor to the side of the machine.  She keeps on giving too!

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This was before cleaning last night…there is some gunk yet to be gone here – but this is the serial number. 3199907  I’m hoping to find more about her age today.  My guess is somewhere in the 1930s ---and that is guessing by the wiring to the old motor.  But we will see!

She sounds like a tank when she runs.  The base is hollow, so it echoes something fierce beneath her. I might see if I can do some simple strip piecing on her tonight for Quilt-Cam ---are you up for it? 9pm Eastern!

Monday, January 28, 2013

IPhone – O – Gram! Dinner out with the girls!

It doesn't happen often that I am able to meet up with the guild girls for dinner out on the town.

And when we can get together, there is much talking and laughing and catching up on things that have happened in the interim.

Thank you to whom ever suggested we meet at Basil Leaf for Thai cuisine – scrumptious!

It's been a while since I have uploaded a food post – but this was just so so good!

Fresh spring rolls, and "drunken noodles" which I cannot even pronounce in Thai!

Here we are all gathered at the table – Lisa is the only one absent from the photo, she is the one behind the camera!

Thanks for a great evening ladies, it was a pleasure to be in your company and I hope it is not too long before we are able to see each other again. :-)