Monday, February 25, 2019

Photos of some of my recent quilts.

I have been busy finishing quilts. The unfinished ones were piling up in the quilting room and falling on the floor.  It was getting too messy. Even for me! So I quilted and bound 6 quilts and there are even more waiting.   

This one is a Challenge for Dee Dee Menge's fall retreat.  I am ready early! 
It still needs to be quilted and bound but the sandwich is thread basted. 
It is tiny. No title yet, it is 13" x 18"
This one is DeeDee's fault also.
I had all the scraps sewn into Half Square Triangles but they were on the design wall in a square pattern.
Then Dee Dee showed me a picture of 4 stars, made out of hst's, and so this little quilt came into being.
It is about 27" x 37" and is known as "Warp Speed, Mr.Sulu"
This little Angel has been hanging around the house for about 12 years.  The pattern, Angelz, from Stargazey Designs says 2006.  About a year ago I refound her, and framed her with the scrappy blocks.  She rested like that for a while until the Minot Quilt Show (this coming March) sent me a registration form and their Challenge this year is to use piecing, applique, color or paint and dimensional embellishment. I found the border fabric which matched the center background and finished her up.  She is quilted with 12 weight thread in the scrappy bits and Glide 40 wt. white in a serpentine stitch in the background.  This picture was taken before I rouged her cheeks.  Note the cat pin at her feet.  I bought it in Montana when I was visiting family last year.   She is about 18" x 27 " and is called, brilliantly, Scrap Angel.    

This is the block I made as a sample for a beginner's Quilting class at Gail's Flutterby Quilt Store in Mayville.  The class was to make a Wonky Stars runner.  The ladies were not really beginners but they said they just wanted to restart quilting after not doing it for years.  They did great!   I made three stars for their samples but instead of a runner I made a quilt out of them.  
Here is the complete quilt.  The friend who gave me the half yard of the cat fabric has a young daughter and that is where this quilt is going.  Don't tell her. It is backed and bound with a golden yellow Cuddle that just matches the stars in the body of the quilt. Sadly this picture was taken before it was quilted or bound.
The Stars are made with nine 5" squares and each one measures about 14" unfinished. 
The body of the quilt is a yard of fabric.  It finished at about 42" x 50".
I have another one ready to sew the large piece of fabric onto the three stars...
This quilt was made to fit just behind my Lime green and silver tinsel Christmas tree.  It is a cat fabric called Jingle Cats.  A very simple pattern that was, once again, from Dee Dee Menge.  It is backed with scarlet Cuddle and bound with a red cotton fabric.  This picture was taken before the quilt was bound because it was Christmas and I didn't have time to bind it! I is now bound but not photographed...:-( 48" x 54"
More Christmas quilts. 
This tiny little table runner was a "class" at the Opherphun Retreat last November.

Here it is without cat embellishments.
This was going to be the Christmas Quilt behind the  Tinsel Tree but then I found the Jingle Cats fabric so this is still in a box.  I think I had sewn two or three strips before it got bumped.  :-(  I have been looking for it a little bit this last week.  It is one of those things that is in a "safe" place.
This is my "Black Cat Whirlwind" One Block Wonder Quilt.  It is 83" x 100 inches and will fit on our Queen sized bed.  This is just after I had decided on the inner and outer borders and sewn them on.  These difficult design decisions (borders) need the help of my Twisted Sisters Quilting buddies.  Thanks Ladies!
The following pictures are closeups of the quilted top before I put the binding on.  Also some detail shots of the quilting done by my friend Lois Koester.  Thanks Lois.  I love what you did.

Cat approved!

Lois calls this quilt pattern the Sand dollar.

I love the border vertical stripes. They go up to the points of the inner black border.
She also ditched the beige inner border perfectly. 
It is only 1/2 inch wide and she ditched it on both sides!  Amazing

This is another One Block Wonder.
It was not sewn by me but by my student Marion.  She was at one of Faye's retreats where I was teaching a class and she wanted to learn the cubes.  You notice she put quite a few in her quilt!  She finished it up at the Opherphun Retreat and I got a picture.   It is going to her daughter for a wall hanging because it is the same material as the quilt that Marion made for her.  
This Two Fabric Bargello pattern is addictive.  This one is still unquilted and the one below is not completely sewn yet.  Already I want to do another.  These are also the fault of Dee Dee Menge.  I don't know if I could quilt without her inspiration.  They are wall hanging size.  About 45" x 60". 
This one is still two fabrics but I cut the secondary fabric into two strips and separated them a little bit. I am sewing it slowly while I play with a few other things.

This is a bag I made for my Stripology Squared ruler after I decided I needed to protect it.
I broke one of the half inch separations somehow.  Grrrr.
(I repaired it with Sally Hansen Hard As Nails clear nail top coat.)
The bag is made with a foam batting so it is soft but strong and the front pocket fits the Mini Stripology Squared ruler.  Both pockets also have room for a cutting mat.  The larger one is a folding mat so it is really nice and big.  :-)

Helen Howes pattern "Twelve Trees".
Helen is a British quilter and I love her improv work. 
You can buy the pattern online and download it.  I used a few more than 12 trees
and only Benartex Fossil Fern fabrics. It is about 45" X 48".
A scrappy quilt.  The binding, not shown in this picture, is a black repeat of the tiny inner border.  I have lots of fun playing with my scraps to make the blocks for this.  I think the black and white stripe helps quiet it down a bit. I am really enjoying making these smaller quilts.  Again this is a lap size one. 
Finished about 48" x 54"

I can see three more unfinished quilts from where I am sitting at my sewing table.  I will try to keep up with them a little better.  I will update the posting when I get pictures of the completely finished quilts.  I promise...LOL.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Rest in Peace, Abbie the Kitty

Hi Sisters,
Abbie the Kitty had been losing weight for the last few years.  According to all the tests we did she did not have any specific illness.  Just that she was losing weight.  On February 16th after 4 days of not being able to eat or walk she died.   
She was with us from 2002 to 2019.  
Seventeen years.  
We miss her.

She is not sure she wants to share the bed with those other cats....
One of her last pictures.  

Asking for food.  She was always asking for food.  But never gained weight.
Abbie in fattier times.  Still begging for food.
Halfway up the stairs is a place where I sit.
Here she is waiting for us to go up to bed.

Abbie was a certified Quilt Inspector.
She loved to watch the birds and squirrels and bunnies.
Photo op!
One of her best quilt inspections. 
Making sure I put the binding on correctly.
Sometimes while inspecting you have to get real close.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Needles for Vintage Sewing Machines

A friend called me the other day and told me there was a box of old needles at a garage sale in a town nearby.  Off I went.
I should have taken a picture of the mess that box was before I started removing, dusting and attempting to organize it.  But, as usual, I didn't.
Curved needles!  Singer # 29?
Howe Needles.  I don't have any Howe machines.  One package marked
2/110 and one marked 3/110.
Mystery package with no ID, but it has a tiny Allen wrench with it.

Here are all the packages.  Up at the top the boxes marked "Lewis"  are needles that are curved for a "felling" machine.  On the lower left are 3 small packages that I hope I can use.  The furthest left says Singer and then 12.  The one with the thread around it says Wheeler and then there is a piece of tape covering the rest of the box.  :-(  
If anyone can ID some of the needles for me I will be willing to share. You pay the postage and I will mail the needles.

Most of the needles are for industrial machines and I don't have any of those.   I am heading off to the River Rat Toga on Wednesday the 12th so will probably get back to you after that and I can get you better pictures of any you are interested in.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Making a lined zipper bag

Dear Jeni,

I am going to give you a little tutorial on how to make a lined zipper bag.  This is for you and your sewing friends up in Canada.  For this little bag you need an inner (lining) fabric and an outer fabric, a batting and a zipper. I am not giving you sizes.  I am giving you this rule. The zipper has to be longer than the width of the bag.  About 3 inches longer will do.  In this case the purple print is the outside and the white is the inside (lining).  The batting is an iron on fusible but it doesn't have to be fusible.  Any light batting will do.


First cut your fabric, both inner and outer and batting all the same size.  *Making sure your zipper is longer than the bag will be wide.  Your fabric is going to fold up at the bottom and down at the top (to make both the front and the back) so it will be twice as long as the bag ends up.

Above are the outer fabric, the batting and the inner lining to show you all are about the same size.  
This bag started out 11" x 8.5.  
I will be fusing the outer fabric to the batting with an iron. If you don't have fusible you can thread baste all the pieces together with a long basting stitch.

Once the batting is fused or basted to the outer fabric you put the lining next to the outer fabric, right sides together, 

Square off the short edges of all three pieces.

Stitch across both narrow ends, about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam.  

Turn the pieces inside out so the batting is in the middle.  Iron both ends nice and flat. 
You are now ready to sew on the zipper.

This is to remind you that the zipper has to be longer than the bag is wide.  You will notice that both zipper ends are outside the edge of the fabric.  That is correct.

Carefully pin the zipper close to the end of the fabric sandwich making sure you will be able to open and close it without being too close to the fabric.  Using a zipper foot or moving your needle to one side helps when sewing.  I am using a vintage piecing foot with a 1/8" width. 
hint: It is easier to sew with the zipper open.

Sew the other side of the zipper to the other end of the fabric sandwich. Again have the zipper open during the sewing,  It does help to close the zipper when you are pinning it to make sure it is positioned correctly on both sides of the bag, but open it once it is pinned in the correct position.

Check the zipper to make sure it opens and closes correctly.  Note that both ends of the zipper are outside the bag.  (I know I know I am repeating this a lot but you really need to know this.) You are going to be sewing right over the zipper to close the sides of the bag and then you will be cutting off the extra zipper. 

Now is the time to decide how close to the top of the bag you want the zipper to be.  It usually is about 1 - 1.5 inches.  I think that is about 5 centimeters?  

Now is the time to move the zipper tab closure in the center of the bag.  You have to leave enough space for you to get your hand inside the bag once the sides are sewn.

Turn the future bag so the inner lining side is outside.  In this case the purple print goes inside and the white lining is now facing up.  
Also, in other words. RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER!  I have issues with RST so I put it in caps.  You might want to pin the edges to help keep your sewing smooth. Especially about the zipper.  It won't hurt to iron the bottom and top folds so they stay in place while you sew.

You are now ready to sew up the side seams.  Again make them about 1/4" to 1/2".  I like to start below the zipper and go over it to the top of the bag and then back down to the bottom of the bag and then sew back up to the top so I sew over the zipper 3 times.  This has the advantage of having no loose threads at either end.  
After you sew the first side make sure the zipper tab is inside the bag or you won't be able to open the bag when you have both sides sewn.  
Now sew the second side just like the first.

Once you have sewn both seams you can trim the seams and clip the corners to it will turn without making a big lump in the corners.Also now is when you trim off the zipper.  Both sides.  This is when you find out whether or not you left the zipper tab inside the bag. Because if you didn't you are in big trouble cause you just cut it off your zipper.  OH NO!!!

Turn the bag right sides out through your open zipper.  Poke the corners out carefully.

Use your "purple thang" or another "Not Too Sharp" tool to push out the corners.  I like to use the plastic tool shown above. If you want you can add a cute ribbon pull on your zipper tab.  

Now you are finished.  And, Jeni, if you look into the last box I sent you you will find this bag.  I think you will like it.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 at Christy and Neil's house

I didn't take a lot of pictures at Thanksgiving and the one of Grandpa Brian is not mine but these are some of the pictures from our trip on the Amtrak Superliner to Whitefish and then by car (with Mary and Brian) down to Missoula.

Grandpa Brian
Eastern Montana farmland out the train window.
Sunset from the train.
Ruby Jo with one of her three cats. Grandma Jeni in the background.
Grandma Mary on duty.
Rowan James can't believe great Aunt Nancy is making baby noises.
But they sound OK to him.
Mary and Elliot on a walk
Jeni Nancy Mary.
First time together in 1.5 years
The last time we were together.  Thanks Cousin Mike.