Thursday, February 28, 2013

Feb 28th Quilt Cam!

This is a bonus!  I ended up with other plans cancelled, and was able to work on some other things to free up some time for Quilt-Cam tonight!

See these lovely ladies?

This was the view of the retreat room while Quilt Cam was on the air last time ----I was at retreat virtually with these ladies.  Don’t they look like they are being productive and having a great time?

The little note Sandi sent said:

Boston Mountain retreat in northwest Arkansas...ladies came from the area, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas!
Thanks for sending the pic, Sandi!  Gotta love retreat weekends with the girls!

This is how things have been in my studio since last Quilt Cam:

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I sewed these 9 patches last session!

I’ve shown you before how I set up my seam guides to work on my machines, but I’ve had requests for some close ups so here is a quick run down:

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This is my guide with the needle down in the 1/4” hole.  And the Sticky guide made with the Scotch re-stickable strips and a piece of hotel room key (or gift card or loyalty card) stuck on top of it….butted right up to the edge of the seam guide.

Click the link HERE for more on making your own sticky guide…it’s the best EVER!

I find it best to take an eyeglass cleaning wet wipe and rub it on the area where the guide is going to be placed to remove any sewing machine oil, oil from our skin, or hand lotion from the surface of the machine to help it stick better.

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Here are my 9 patch sections being sewn while butted up against the guide!

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Always measure to be sure your seam is correct!

Here is my block after sewing it together!

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I only needed to Square Down this much!

((Pppppsttt!  Did you know there is no such thing as SQUARING UP!?  You can ONLY square DOWN!!))

It really is crucial to test your seam on EVERY project.  Things like different weights of fabrics, different weights of thread can make a difference from project to project.  If your blocks are always turnout too small? Guess what?? Your seam is too chunky and needs a diet!  If your blocks are always too big…fatten it up a bit!  Never trust a 1/4” foot to do the job for you because they aren’t perfect either…for the reasons stated above!

Let’s sew!!  I’ll be working at the treadle on my blocks!

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Out With The Old–in with the New-To-Me!

First off – Quilt Cam TONIGHT!  9 pm Eastern!  The time frame has opened up so I’m trying to get the word out.

This title has two purposes!  It fits the announcement I need to make that Colorado Lady IS doing yard sale Saturday in two days!

The first Saturday in March is the 2nd DAY of March—so I know it is really sneaking up on everyone.

I too have some things to list, so be watching for that --- the linky will be over at her blog so she can take care of all of that stuff – I’m just going to participate like everyone else.

The title of this post also fits the story I have to tell:

I have had a morning of running around…all necessary items as I get ready to leave for Houston on Sunday.

((Are you ready, Baytown and Tri-County girls?!?!))

I had to drive to the “main” post office and pick up a package that was marked “return to sender”.  Seems a book order was “undeliverable as addressed” and now I have to track down that quilter to find out of she transposed her house numbers or street address while ordering her book.  I hope I can find her!

Bonita Cross, if you are out there, this is what has happened to your book and I will get you out a new one as soon as I can double check your mailing address with you!

From there it was off to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  I took several bags of donated stash to a church Quilt Ministry in downtown Winston Salem.  They work solely off of donated fabrics, and were so appreciative of the fabric!

I have to start being a bit more realistic here.  I want to make charity quilts, but I don’t have as much time right now, so I can at least supply the fabric for such!  What a partnership that makes ---and helps me feel that I still have my hands in doing something for others.

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No sooner had I returned home from delivering these bags…..feeling a bit LIGHTER in the stash, here on my doorstep is a BOX!  in the box is ----OH BOY!!

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Sweet note from Sarah S!

I can’t wait to dig into this bag!  Small pieces I don’t have too much of a problem with --- it’s large pieces of yardage that give me the “whatever am I ever going to be able to do with this?!?” feeling.  Small pieces?  I’m planning on sorting these, and anything the right size will quickly be cut and kitted up into more leader/ender spools!  Isn’t it always more fun to play with everyone else’s fabric?

Countdown on the Golden Quilter Awards!

I don’t know if you are still watching the voting results or not….but this is going to be such a close call!  I’ve stayed away from the computer since this morning not wanting to know ---but as of a few minutes ago, there is just a mere 60 or so votes between first and second place in the Best Quilt Designer category!  I am really counting on your vote!

If you haven’t voted yet, would you please do so?  After today is over – I promise I won’t mention it again!

You don’t need to vote in all categories, just the first one…Click HERE to vote by clicking the yellow star beneath my name: http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2013/02/2013-golden-quilter-awards-voting.html

If you have NOT voted before and do not see the star – please refresh the page a few times.  I know several who have had trouble, and it’s those who have had trouble voting that I need to vote! 

It’s all so very exciting and very fun! :cD

And as always – I thank you for your love, support and scraps!

Just for the Legs!

This is the tale of a poor treadle cabinet, turned electric!

At some point in time, the foot pedal and the fly wheel were removed to make this cabinet work with  an electric machine…..and somewhere in that time frame this Singer 328k, manufactured in 1953, found a permanent home in the cabinet.

I picked them up, as is, at a local Salvation army about 5 years ago.

The 328k is a nice machine….but I really REALLY have wanted to get this cabinet back to original ---which is where this story begins.

I removed the 328k from the cabinet thinking I could just pop a treadle head in there at some point…..but what to do about the missing pedal and wheel?

Craigslist of course!

Last Saturday I found an ad for a very beat up cabinet that still had good looking legs and I emailed the advertiser.  I didn’t hear anything for a couple of days.

Monday I got an email back…..and I recognized the email extension on the address ---the same place my DH works!

This could be a good thing ---gives me some leverage  "Do you know Dave Hunter, he's my husband"----or this could be a bad thing ---no way can I keep this purchase from DH!

The seller agreed to bring the machine to DH’s office which is only 6 miles from the house – otherwise I was going to have to drive about 45 minutes each way to drive out to HIS house---so this is GOOD, right?

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Cabinet! in the back of the sellers pick up truck!

If I saw this thing driving down the road I would want to stop and adopt it right there on the spot!

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The front drawer had nice detail, but the cabinet TOP is in really bad rough shape.  You can’t tell it from the picture, but the veneer is cracked, grain raising up, peeling away, missing parts,  is really SERIOUSLY would take a lot of work to fix.  But remember, I want this just for the irons. ((All the metalwork underneath the machine is referred to as "the irons."))

**Side Note** It is extremely rare to find a treadle cabinet without at least SOME water damage ---many sport the obvious symptoms of "potted plant disease" as machines folded down into a cabinet in a living area were often adorned by plants requiring water from time to time ---BIG MISTAKE!

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The drawers are in okay shape….but what will I do with them?!

((This could be bad...but could this be good?!))

And then there is THIS issue:

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It came with a MACHINE!!
((is THIS Bad or Good?!?))

It’s not even a frozen up rusted out hunk of junk like I kind of hoped it would be.  It’s missing the bobbin slide plate and shuttle and bobbin ----BUT….

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C6565165 dates this machine to 1908-
This machine is 105 years old!

I already have a Singer 27 with Sphinx decals.  I bought it on My Birthday, remember? This new one is almost too pretty to make it a parts machine, though it does have a lot of good working parts on it….

But on the other hand…..could I turn this one into a hand crank?

And just how many hand cranks do I think I need?

This could be bad!  ((But then again, this could be GOOD!))

But back to the cabinet issue…….the irons from this damaged cabinet will fit the old  “electrified” cabinet top I have….and I’ll finally have a home for my Singer 115 with the Tiffany decals:

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This is the Tiffany ---in the poor electrified cabinet – I’ll also have the belt spring from the trashed cabinet to fill the gap where the belt goes on the right side of the machine ---and with the new "old" legs….perfection!

This machine and cabinet are up in the guestroom --- come visit me and you can treadle in the middle of the night all you want! :c)

But then there remains the question of what to do with the "electrified" irons?!?


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Race is Still On! Please Vote!

And get your friends to vote!  Please post the link on your facebook pages, your news groups, your twitter feeds -- anywhere that quilters gather!
The Amazing Race is still on!

The "runner up" in the Best Quilt Designer category has re-issued a call to her followers that I am the one to beat in this race for Best Quilt Designer!

If you haven't cast your vote yet -- please do so! this is very exciting! ((And of course, all in good fun!))

If you have not voted already, would you please do so? Go here, and click the star underneath my name!

The voting goes through tomorrow -- if you enjoy this page, my website, my blog, my quiltcam and my books and magazine articles, and have made quilts with any of my designs ---and feel like giving something back -- please go vote!

Thank you!!

iPhone-o-Gram! Sew Sisters Wednesday!

I was beginning to wonder if I could stop laughing long enough to even write this post!

Lisa, Karen, Shelby and I are sewing our brains out and talking as fast as the fabric is flying! :-)

Karen is working on her Easystreet quilt, Lisa has just completed the quilting on an adorable baby quilt and is now piecing on some more blocks –

Shelby of course is napping!

As for me, projects are being sewn– and I have the leader/enders under my presser foot to prove it.

Lunch is in the crockpot – and there is cake from Dewey's bakery, I Winston-Salem staple for dessert!

I really do not do this enough – note to self – must make more time to spend with real life friends :-)

More Basics for Bumblebeans!

I know most of you are aware of how special my friend Victoria Findlay Wolfe is.  The woman is a dynamo ---and one of the things I like about her is the fact that she is so intune to the needs of others.

Not only is she heavily involved in making and collecting quilts for those in need, but goes out of her way to be there for the deliveries.  She sees first hand the faces – the mothers, the children ---those whose lives are made just a bit brighter, just a bit better with the gift of a much needed quilt.

She sent an email  with the following information yesterday to those of us who have offered up links to our free patterns as a resource for those who are wanting to sew, but need inspiration on what they can do to get started.:

THANK YOU for your support of my Bumble Beans BASICS program!
You have all opted to lend me a link to your free patterns to provide inspiration to quilters, to make quilts for donation.
I have a post and video going up tomorrow (shown below) about the Newest CALL FOR QUILTS and LINKS to each of you to thank you!
ALL the info is listed on the site, but here is the general info for the newest gather:
For: Child & Family Institute of St.Luke's and Roosevelt hospitals in NYC, Parent-Infant Center
The details:
100 baby quilts
100 Toddler quilts.  ( Yes I mis-spoke in the video, saying 200 each, but it's really 100 each) Accepting until June 1st.
Clean, handmade new quilts.
There is a NEW FORM they must fill out on the project page, before sending me their quilts.
The emails generates a number for them to put on the outside of the box, so I can easily identify who the quilts are from.
I will then have proper information so they can be thanked.
ALL quilts must be shipped with delivery confirmation.
Note, I am NOT a 5013C as of yet, It is listed on the site, I can not send them a tax donation form.
Please note that Bumble Beans BASICS is not currently a 501(c)(3)   At this time we can not send you a tax exemption form. Please print out your online form and keep for your records.

A little Video with explanation from Victoria herself:

I know there are many of us who want to pitch in and make quilts for the children of St Luke’s & Roosevelt hospitals.
More information can be found by clicking the link to Bumble Beans Basics Project Page HERE.  If you scroll down the page, you will find the red link to the online form to fill out about your quilt before sending it in.
I personally don’t have as much time to make as many giving quilts as I’d like ---I have provided links to my free patterns to be posted on the Bumble Beans Basics page in hopes that YOU can help be my hands to fill this needy cause.
Are you feeling the winter doldrums hanging on?  Make a bright quilt for a child. It will lift your spirits and  swell your heart.
Just start sewing!  What if you made 2 quilts? One for a girl, one for a boy?
Together we can make a difference!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feb 26 Quilt Cam!

Two more days of February?? How can that be?!? 

This month has flown by ---as they all do.

But I have a question --- WHY is February the shortest month of the year?  Who decided all of that?  Why do some months have more days than others anyway, wouldn’t it be nice if they were all even? LOL

Okay, I know someone is going to comment on why things are what they are, and I accept that they are what they are but February is just SHORT SHEETED and that is all there is to it!

This little photo came from Gail who writes:

Linda Frantz has Monkey, and I have Blue.  I’m allergic to fur, so this is my sewing companion….(We would have several cats and dogs if only I could be around fur but I make up for it in fabric enhancements….)
Cute cute cute!

If you were around last Sunday for Quilt Cam, you will remember that I am re-making a new sample of my Sister’s Choice Quilt.  42 blocks this time set 6 X 7.

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I’ve spent some time today ironing the strip sets that I sewed on Sunday – and cutting them into 4 2.5” sections . (the leftover you see on the right end is for squaring and trimming)  All the sets have been matched with their one extra square that will be the 4th corner of the 9 patch.

This is how things get laid out and counted at my house:

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All along the long arm take up rail!

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I’m feeling the need for some treadling tonight, so this is where you will find me assembling these puppies.  I have ONE assembled….41 to go! How many can I get done in about 90 minutes? Let’s see!

Come bring a project and sew along!

(PS – if you are reading this and have NOT VOTED in the Golden Quilter Awards….and you enjoy what you find here on the blog and website and appreciate the time I give it – please VOTE!  I am running a close second in a couple categories and I really need you.  Your vote DOES matter!  Voting ends Feb 28th.  DO IT TONIGHT! )

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iPhone-o-Gram! Really?!?!?

At the grocery store –

Doesn't the slogan go something like "no one can eat just one!"?

How about – can't stand the thought of eating just one!?

Chicken and waffles flavor? Really?

Whatever happened to just good old plain potato chips? :-)

Thanks to this little bag, I passed by the whole section untouched and headed over to the fruits and veggies instead!

Better on my budget, better on my belly – and need I say – better on my breath! :-)

Did You Vote?!

This is the last call for votes for the Golden Quilter Awards, 2013!  The voting runs through Feb 28th, which is fast approaching!

I am honored to have been nominated in the following categories:

Best Designer
Best Quilt Book Author
Best Teacher/Instructor
Best Quilt Book published in 2012 (String Fling is in the lead!)
Lifetime Achievement Award

I am so happy to be included amongst those others who I have found so vital to the craft.  These are the ladies that inspired me to keep sewing and doing what I love to do. I have learned so much through my 30+ years of quilting from these fabulous women.

No matter WHO you vote for, I’m asking you to please let your voice be heard in EACH CATEGORY. (I am currently in second place for life time achievement award ---don't forget to vote there!)

The voting process is simple.  You click the star under the name you want in each category.  You don’t have to leave your email address, you won’t get slammed with spam after voting.  It’s completely easy!

There will be prizes given – I’m donating a book of their choosing to a lucky winner, and yes, that includes overseas as well as within the USA.


Click HERE and GO VOTE!

String X Day in Cape Town!

There are a bunch of ladies having a whole lot of fun on the other side of the world and Annamarie sent photos to prove it!

While we are still bearing the cold and winter storms, feeling like spring will never come --- it’s extremely hot and sweaty down in Cape Town ---A Sew In can provide the perfect respite from soaring South African temperatures!

Annemarie writes:
Thank you so much for giving me permission to use your notes in South
I made a few blocks and invited about 18 friends to a 'Bonnie Hunter' class.
Here are some of their blocks. We had a wonderful day starting at 8 un till
about 4 o'clock.

Last week I gave a class to the under privileged ladies in my 'outreach'
group, but did not have my camera. I will see them in 2 weeks time.
Thank you, thank you so much!!!

From an extremely hot and sweaty Cape Town, South Africa
Annamarie Gillmer
The photos say it all ---don’t you agree?  Take a look!


Beautiful blocks on the design wall!

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Friendship, hugs and laughter around the layout table!

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Chatting and sewing face to face!  Don’t you agree we can solve all the world’s problems when we are stitching?


Monica shows a beautiful block in blue and white!

If you are just getting started in string piecing, why not check out my String X Tutorial?  Sew Easy, Sew Simple, Sew Fun!

Thanks for sharing the photos, Annamarie –I can’t wait to see what your ladies get up to in the future!

Is your group working on projects for a good cause together using my tutorials? If so – please send pictures! I’d love to spread the scrappy joy here on the blog!

Today is a rainy rainy dreary day in NC.  I’ve got a quilt top that was pieced by my friend Charlotte for my son Jason in honor of his graduation – it’s GOT to go on the machine today. I’ll be working on that and enjoying my time home while looking forward to Quilt Cam tonight at 9pm Eastern!

See you then!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Evening Edition: Free Kindle Book!

I bet you thought I stopped reading!

I haven’t.  But I have a kindle full of stuff, and I stopped myself from going looking when I had so much I was already trying to read.

My reading time is pretty much limited to about 30 minutes before I fall asleep, or that time on the plane or in the airport when I can’t be stitching.

I do listen to audio books a lot --- And I like to do that when I’m driving in the car, especially long distances, but even short ones keep me in touch with the story I’m listening to.

I spent all day today buried in book orders, working on getting my online calendar back up to date, and doing some much needed inbox reorganization, filing and email answering.  It took ALL DAY!

I wanted to load a quilt on the long arm this evening, but the backing needed to be prewashed as it is quite the saturated color – so while that churns and sloshes in the washing machine – here I am!

How about this one?

Death's Imperfect Witness (Main/UK), by Pam Leonard, is free in the Kindle store, courtesy of publisher North Star Press.
Book Description:

In this Midwest Book Award Finalist, Zoe Lawrence, a physician and former cop, finds herself drawn into the hunt for a serial killer.

It's a journey that forces Zoe to navigate her uniquely porous boundaries separating right from wrong and into a reckless relationship with a man who should have been off-limits.

In the process, her own violent past looms. And while it causes her to question her own goodness, it also comes with a keen understanding of the killer's mind -- and an irresistible pull. Ultimately, Zoe's troubled past and present collide against a backdrop of sleep deprivation, hospital liaisons, and murder.
It sounds like the kind of book I can throw myself into ---and I downloaded it so it’s ready for my trip to Houston on Sunday!

Be sure to check before clicking that it is still free for you ---it was just a few minutes ago for me.

Time to throw that backing in the dryer ---and curl up and read while it tumbles!

And while I’m thinking of it – I’m planning Quilt Cam for tomorrow night (Tues, Feb 26) at 9pm Eastern!  Write yourself a reminder and come join me!

Have a good night, everyone!

More Machine History!

There are historians amongst us!

Remember my Benford hand crank machine that I had ZERO info on??

I received this email from Rosemary who writes:

Hi Bonnie,
When you last mentioned the old machine from Brighton I meant to see what I could find out about E G Benford, but didn't get round to it.
Your blog a couple of days ago has prompted me to do it this time. The weather is cold and snowy and I'm stuck indoors because our road is on a hill and icy.
As it happens I only live about 15 miles from Brighton. I gleaned all this from the UK census 1841 to 1901 and the indexes to births, marriages and deaths 1837 to 2005.
Edward Gillman Benford was born in 1841, probably April, the son of Edward Benford and Lucy probably Gillman. Edward Sr was a gardener.
In 1861 Edward G was a bookseller's assistant.
He married Alice Farrar in July, August or September 1865 and by 1871 they were living in 16 Castle Square Brighton, possibly over the shop, where he was a dealer in Berlin Woolwork. 10 years later he was a dealer in domestic sewing machines. By 1891 he was living elsewhere in Brighton but still trading in domestic machines.
In 1901 he was in the same house but now into house furnishing.
16 Castle Square was a haberdasher's before Edward moved in, was empty in 1891 and a hairdresser's in 1901.
Edward and Alice had 3 daughters and a son.
Alice died in October, November or December of 1906 aged 67. Edward G lived on until 1933 when he died in the first 3 months of the year at almost 92. Their son died in 1937.
I do promise to see what else I can find out, but not until the weather improves.
I hang my head in shame and admit that genealogy is slightly more important to me than quilting!

I am SO fascinated, and appreciative of this information!  Thank you, Rosemary!
Oh, I know I say it again and again, but if only these machines could SPEAK!
It’s a “paperwork” day for me….I have an inbox that severely needs cleaning out and things filed into various folders, and a website that needs calendar updating. 
Thank heavens for little email breaks like this one that can bring a bit of respite from business-work and keep me entertained along the way!