Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Out With The Old...

I have long needed a new clothes pin bag... 



My make-shift bag made of a an old pant leg would barely stay on it's hanger... And today I retired the bag!  

With the help of a tutorial I found on line (http://joanne-threadhead.blogspot.ca/2010/03/clothespin-bag-tutorial.html ) I have a wonderful new bag.




Now I need to go finish taking "inventory" and see what other sundries I might feel a need to create in order to round out my selection of items available at the Farmer's Market.

By the way, I will be offering special prices on some of my Red/White/Blue items as well as a few of the items that have been hanging around for more than two years.



Monday, June 29, 2015

Such Decisions...

I made a purse today... I used the same pattern I have used for several years and have made nearly 30 of them.  Because of the many layers, seams and seam binding it is hard on my machine.  Since I have been using my back-up Brother I took full advantage of the situation and didn't have to worry about damaging a very expensive, and sometimes, temperamental machine.

When I started the purse I had full intentions of having it available to sell at the Farmer's Market...





The difference with the purse I made today is the 
size of the pockets I put inside. 


Normally the purse has two pockets... one on each side about 6" x 5"... large enough for a pack of tissues or business cards, etc to fit in.  This purse has one pocket the original size and a second, larger pocket on the other side.  this pocket has an area large enough for a check book to fit in and a smaller pocket for a phone or other small items... so that everything doesn't end up in a jumbled mess buried on the bottom of the purse.

I feel it is just what I needed... oh, wait, I was making the purse to sell... Hmmmm... I might have to think this one over. I mean, after all, the straps on my current purse are wearing thin...  Hmmmmm....

Maybe if it doesn't sell on Saturday I will keep it... Of course, I have to other purses in stock...   Hmmmmmm..... I really, really like this one....

Such decisions...






Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lesson Learned...

I had noticed that my Babylock Serenade was having issues with the tension.  I had to adjust the top tension far beyond the normal settings for the stitches to be acceptable.  I took the machine in to the shop for a tune up and pulled out my back-up work-horse - the mechanical Brother.

I made pretty good progress in my list of projects to have ready for the upcoming Farmer's Market. 

   





And then I got the call from the repair shop.  There was a need to replace a part, a pulse motor, but the part was on back-order and it would be a month before it was in. **sigh**

I asked about continuing to use it and just making the proper adjustment in the tension, would it cause further damage?  "No."  I picked up my Serenade and was excited to finish the Harley Davidson t-shirt quilt that I had ready.



I had planned on doing just straight-line quilting, nothing fancy, so I adjusted the tension and started in.  I watched every line carefully, checking the back of the quilt for any indication that the adjustment wasn't correct...  I came to the end of the day and felt satisfied that I was making progress.  Then I sat down a few days later and started again... I adjusted the tension, and watched carefully the first few lines of stitching again... all was good.  Go for it!  I continued on stitching line after line... and and felt accomplished when I finished....

And then I looked at the back. **sigh** The stitching had gotten progressively worse with off-set, loose stitches... **hangs head**  Ugh!



THIS was unacceptable and the bad stitching HAD to come out... So I sat and picked some stitches... Lesson learned.  

I moving on with a different plan... The Harley quilt is hanging in the closet until the Babylock is fixed properly.  So, as I wait for the replacement part I will pull out the Brother and work on a quilt that I have had on my "bucket list" for some time. I will be using up most of the old jeans that I have had in a box under my cutting table for this...


Lesson learned... pay attention!  Happy quilting!




Monday, June 22, 2015

Preserving Part of A Family's Story

I was asked by a friend to help with the preservation of a special pillow that her Dad had made more than 60 years ago...






It was in a really rough condition... But she wanted to preserve it and have it framed for her mother.

I happily hand appliqued it on to a black quilted background and added some borders.  My customer had picked out a black eyelet and a plain red, which was a perfect compliment to the needle work.  I have to say I was quite pleased with how it looked when I was done. 



It looked so different from when I received it!

And then she had it framed...


Stunning!

The story behind it...

This punch work flowers picture was originally created as a pillow by Steve Olafson and given to his Mom as a gift.  He created it when he was in the VA Minneapolis Ft. Snelling hospital after his return from Korea.  He created it approximately 1952.  

Uncle Kris brought Grandma and Grandpa to the Hospital to see Dad after his lung surgery.  Not sure if this is when he gave her the gift.  Grandma passed the pillow to Mom sometime before 1981 when she moved to CA.  I remember it being around the house “forever”!  

The pillow was worn and falling apart.  I brought it home after Dad died and enlisted the help of Melva Nolan, who was happy to help restore a family keepsake.  

After getting the project fixed I had it framed at Michael’s using acid free inserts and a display case so the glass does not damage it by being right against it.  I gave the framed gift to Mom for Christmas 2014 as a new and old reminder of Dad.  She had wanted to get it refinished for years, now she can just enjoy it.   



This was only one of the cool projects Dad created while in the hospital and if you are lucky enough to end up with it know that the love that was put into it and passed on not only from Dad, but Grandma O (an amazing lady) and of course Mom are great reminders of our amazing world and blessed lives... Continue to share their love and their story when you display this.  (Colleen Olafson-Frizzell-2014)

I am happy to have been a part of preserving one of the family keepsakes. And thanks to the Olafson Family for the opportunity to save and share some special memories. <3 Our family stories are so important for the future... don't lose them.




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Monday, June 15, 2015

Getting Past the Distractions

Last week I set the dates for my days at the Trinidad Farmer's Market... July 4th & September 12


So... it is time to begin building up my inventory.  Already, I have made a few therapeutic rice bags (that can be heated in the microwave or placed in the freezer like an ice pack) as well as some microwave potato baker bags that can be used for much more than just baked potatoes.

And currently up on my design wall is a Harley Davidson quilt!


I don't have an overly busy week with errands, appointments and such, so getting this done quickly should not be a problem... 


The problem is...



I have the burning desire to whip up a few of these really cute and fun chicken pincushions!  They are small and should come together really quickly as well...

The last time I was distracted from what I "should have" been doing I made this...


I have never had a love or need for pincushions... until recently when I found a tutorial about making the adorable little tea cup pincushions.  While digging through a box of passed along fabric I came across this suede-like fabric that  I decided to use to give the look of a fancy latte.  I love it!

So, I will sign off for now and go make my little hen and then get busy sewing items to sell at the market. 

Happy stitching!

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Still Square Dancin'

I finally had an entire week at home!  Woohoo!  The first since before Mom's knee surgery... and OH! It felt SO good!

And with my time at home I was, naturally, in my sewing room.  This week I was able to finish the Frozen II quilt, deliver the Fireman's Patch quilt, fix two misplaced blocks in my second Addicted to Scraps quilt and play with a few Idaho Square Dance blocks to create a table runner.

The retired Fireman loved his quilt!  When we originally planned the project he talked about it being a gift to his son... when he proudly walked out of our house he was holding it closely and wasn't too sure about giving it away. Lol!

I was pleased with the final product of the Frozen II quilt.  You can read about that one here...  Frozen II  I am certain that some sweet grand-daughter is going to LOVE this one.

You will learn about the misplaced blocks sometime in August... I will sum it up in this "The queen-sized quilt was done and ready to be be photographed for Quiltmaker.  And then I saw it!  Two blocks that were turned the wrong way! And I couldn't leave them that way."  'Nuf said... you can read about it later when the quilt is revealed.

When I had started the Idaho Square Dance blocks I was intimidated by the number of  1-1/2" squares that were in the block.  So I played around with some larger blocks.  This is the result...


Using 6-1/2" center squares, 2-1/2" squares and 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles I quickly had three 14" squares and a table runner ready for quilting...  After completing one block and giving the project some consideration I chose to not alter the pattern... but this was a fun, quick project!

My time in the studio for the week is done, but you can bet I will back in there soon... next on the cutting table is denim for file holders for the summer NRA Gunsmithing students. Hey, this girl doesn't just quilt... I am a multi-faceted sewologist!

Happy sewing!


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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Frozen II

I have been working on a second Frozen quilt for a friend... this one has pieced snowflakes.



I planned on doing free motion quilting to outline Elsa and Anna but was at a loss for what to do over the snowflakes... I thought about diagonal lines. I considered stippling or loops and swirls.  And then I searched youtube for a tutorial on free-motion snow flakes.  I was convinced that I HAD to do them!


Off to my studio...



I am really excited with what I have started... the top left flake was my first attempt - really bad!  Just figuring out what direction I wanted to working helped me.  #2, just below the first one, improved, yet was too close to the first one... #3 is still not perfect, but something I would be able to live with.

While I realize I have soooooooooooooo far to go with improving my skills as a free-motion quilter, I no longer fret over some imperfections in the stitching.  

Sometimes you just have to face your fear!  So go ahead... jump in... You can do it!


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