Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Machine Cover

I am soooo excited.  I have almost finished - just needs a little hand work - a cover for my sewing machine.   Saturday afternoon, (a week ago) after returning home from my monthly quilting day with my Bee Friend Group,  I decided that I needed a new cover for my machine.   I have never made a machine cover before, but I have the original one that came with my machine and I can copy that one. What would be so hard about that?  I measured the various parts of the old cover and wrote those down on a sheet of paper because I might want to make more than one and I might need to make some tweaks to the pattern.  I needed the usual:  front, back, sides, but then I would also need a front pocket for the table, a back pocket for the foot pedal and cords (machine and extensions) a couple of tabs for the opening for the handle.  Plus, the sides come up over the top and lap over the handle tabs.  I can do this!   I also thought it would need to be sturdy so I might need to add some canvas to give it that stability.  Not a problem.  I just finished a bag that I had added some canvas to and I had some left over. Let's get this started. 

Looking up at my design wall I made the decision to use some made fabric that I had planned on using to make a pillow for my couch for the cover.  I took that down, used some iron on fleece/batting and quilted that piece.  I cut it into parts and realized I was going to need a whole lot more fabric if I was going to make the entire cover from made fabric.  So, I got to sewing and sewing and sewing.  I would get a piece that I thought would be large enough quilt it, cut out a part and then  I would realize I needed a bunch more.  It takes a lot of made fabric to make this cover.  I used leftover binding to cover the edges on the handle tabs, top of the side pieces that lap over, the top of the pocket, the top and side edges of the table pocket.  Thank goodness I have kept various pieces of binding.  Not knowing what I would be doing with them other than maybe sewing them together to create a scrappy binding someday.  I now have several different bindings on this cover.  Like I said before, I am sooo excited!!!  Here is a look at my new sewing machine cover. 

Okay, just a sec.  I have to figure out how to get back to where the pictures are stored.  This is so frustrating to have to re-figure this out every time now. Hang on I am going to leave you for just a sec.
Finally. I had to go back and download it straight from the camera to here.  Never done that before.  I don't know what I did to make my computer not download it the way it used to.  Oh, well.  I got it done.  This front picture shows the table pocket with it's two different bindings - the top (blue) to attach it to the front piece and the red/pink/green binding that is the opening to slide the table into.  I need to find some Velcro and attach it so it won't slide out when I carry the machine.  I don't have any other angles of the cover yet.   It is totally lined - which is why I still need to do handwork to attach the lining to the top section and tab - both pockets are lined, also. It makes me smile when I look at this picture.  This is what I have been working on all week during the one to three hours a night that I have had this week.  I knew I wouldn't have much time this next week and I really, really wanted it finished before Friday and it is!! 
Now to finish up another project I started a couple of weeks ago.  It was a pattern I received during a shop hop or opening or something I went to this summer.  I almost gave the pattern away since the quilt picture on the front of the pattern doesn't do anything for me, but there was something about the pattern  that kept calling my name.  I finally pulled some 1 1/2" strips out of the box and sewed them into 9 patches, found some brown fabric for some setting corners and started sewing. I needed some more setting blocks, but I didn't have anymore of that one brown fabric.  I finally found something similar and put together the rows.  What to do for sashing? I auditioned some greens, another brown that was striped and then I saw a fat quarter in pink with a little green and yellow that had some birds on it.  Love the colors in this fabric.  After cutting it up, you can't see the birds, which I like.  This is the perfect sashing and first border fabric.  Now, to find the perfect next two borders.  I did realize after putting the sashing and borders that I should have gone back and trimmed my rows a bit to make the squares points perfectly meet the sashing, but oh, well.  It still looks great to me.  

I also need to add the next border round on these two quilts - our assignment is squares. 
I think I had previously stated that I didn't know what I was going to do with the top block since I didn't have any more of the background fabric, but I have since found another fat quarter of that fabric so, we will see how far I can make that fabric stretch.  On the bottom one, I am thinking it needs more color so I am not going to use the background fabric (well, that is the plan) on this next border and do it in the colors in the middle section.  (can you find the problem with the first block?  I may leave it or take it apart and fix it.  Can't decide what I want to do, but will make the decision before adding the next border)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Low and Behold!!!

I haven't been to Abby's site in well over a week so I had to scroll through several postings to see what was going on in her life.  Low and Behold!!!  My quilts are on her blog!!!  You can see the most recent quilts she quilted for me here.  I was so excited to see them and they are great pictures.  Much better than I could take here at home.  Now I am going to scroll through her blog to see if she posted my previous quilts.  I hadn't seen them on there so I am not sure if she posted them or not, but I am going scrolling! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Estate Sale Finds

Below are two quilt tops I found and purchased at an estate sale this past weekend.  I am going to take them to my quilt meeting on Saturday to see if anyone can tell me anything about the fabric in them.  I do know there is a variety of fabrics from a silky one, a knit one and some just plain cotton.  It looks like the 30's to me and I think there might be some flour sack fabrics, but I am not entirely sure about that.  We will see what my group has to say about them.  They are sewn by machine - there was a machine for sale, also, but I didn't purchase it - only these two tops and a stool (actually a chair seat without the back.  I have another one similar and I plan on painting these two)   Just wanted to share with you some things since I haven't taken pictures of what I am working on at home.  Maybe tonight will be the night I take my camera into the studio.   I took these at school with my new phone and sent them to my e-mail and posted them on Facebook.  That was a first for me!  I am learning how to use my new phone more and more each day. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blocks for Bee Balm Group

My camera and my computer are having a major fight.  They are no longer speaking to each other!  It is so frustrating.  I may have to hire a mediator to get them back together.   It has taken me hours to try and figure out how to download the last 4 or 5 pictures of quilts and blocks from the camera to the correct file to be able to use it here on my blog.  I wanted to quickly share these finished blocks before I put them in the mail on Monday (today if I can find time to make it to the post office between school and volleyball) These are the latest blocks from a quilt group called Bee Balm.  There are 12 women in this group and we each have a month.  When it is your time, you are to tell the group what block you would like made and the group makes and sends you those blocks.   Most of the time, the recipient has sent some or most of the fabric for the blocks and you just need to add a bit to make it more unique.  So far, we have done blocks for February through August which these are for August.  This group is about half from the U. S.(Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Maryland, Kentucky, Mississippi) and half that are international (Canada, New Zealand and Australia), give or take one or two.  It has been interesting so far seeing the various choices.  These blocks are going to be used in a chevron quilt.  The owner sent each of us 4 - 5 inch squares and requested we use 5 - 5 inch squares to make the bright 9 patch.  She also sent the dark fabric, which is a dark gray with small black dots on it.  She has already done several blocks herself and posted them on our blog, Bee Balm.   I just went over there and several people have already posted their blocks.  I will be posting over there soon, also.  This is another great idea for a quilt.  I have so many right now, I don't know what to work on next. 
I do know the first thing I need to do is get another rotary cutter. I am still using the first rotary cutter I ever purchased - it's my favorite - and the center screw is getting loose which is making the blade wobble a bit (not much so don't worry) it just sometimes doesn't cut the fabric and I have to go back over it again and again. It's not the blade. I thought that at first and have changed the blade a couple of times. I have also taken the metal locking thingy (that is a technical term) off and bending it a bit more - I felt that the problem might be that it had flattened out too much. That wasn't the problem either. Last night I took it all apart again (15th time) and really examined each part and the wobbly bit was the center post/screw. I might could put some E6000 in there and stabilize it (which I will probably do eventually), but I think I will splurge (with a 40% off coupon) on another rotary. This is not the only rotary I have. I have 3. This one, a small one and one that you have to hold in to get the blade to come out and work.  (I will google a picture) I really don't like this one, but it would work if I could find it.  I have moved it somewhere away from the usual place it rests.  Oh, well, shopping fun!  Except, I can't purchase any fabric.  I bought sooooo much this summer that I have limited myself to NO FABRIC in September.  (okay, I might purchase some at the retreat at the end of this month, but only if I really, really have to have it.  Last year, I didn't purchase any so I know I can control this addiction - a little) 


Well, Swell!

I previously posted that I would be working my way through the book, Simply Retro by Camille Roskelley.  I started with the first quilt, Swell.  I knew I wanted it to be really scrappy so I pulled down my box of 2 1/2" strips and began cutting them to the right size.  I then found some muslin laying around the quilt room and  I was off and running.  Cutting, sewing, putting the small blocks together to make larger blocks.  It was all coming together.  I had even posted pictures of a few blocks and some of you commented on the fabric I was questioning.  Everything seemed to be going great.  That is, until I had all the large blocks together and began moving them around on the design wall.  I couldn't figure out how they were supposed to go together to create those little plus sign/crosses. So,  I get the book back out and look at the quilt and . . . I put the large blocks together wrong!!!!!    Here are some pictures of other peoples Swell quilts that are put together correctly.  This how the quilt it is supposed to look. 

Picture borrowed from Daydreams of Quilts Finished by Anita
this picture is borrowed from Jana Machado's blog
These are from Chocolate Dipped Quilts and are made by a mother and daughter duo
I really love the pale colors in the quilt above.  See how the blocks come together to create those plus sign/crosses?  Love them.  Okay.  I need to make a decision - take the blocks apart and start almost over OR just put it together as is.   Hmmm.   I decided to put it together as is.  I really didn't want to rip out all that stitching (20 blocks) and then sew them back together.  Nope, not going to do it.   I  decided that would take too long and I could make another one later that is correct.  I am calling this quilt, Well, Swell. I did it wrong.  
After seeing all those other quilts on the blogs, I will definitely be making another quilt using this pattern and I plan on doing it right this time.   That pale pear fabric that I questioned earlier, but decided not to replace, really fades out in the picture and is not helped by the pale blue block that is right next to it.  It makes it look like there is an empty spot in the quilt.  Don't worry, I am not going to change it at this time.  That is the completed top in my classroom.  I bulldog clip the top to two yard sticks and then hang the yard sticks up on my board.  Works great!  I am so glad I discovered how to get a picture of my quilts without having other people having to hold them up.  Not that I won't have pics of that in the future.