Wednesday, September 30, 2015

More Rows!

This week is the time to work on the R by R, while I am in the mood! I love the PA row it looks so beachy, turned out very nicely I think with stash fabrics and it's pieced, so many many are all applique and those I am putting at the end of the line, they are not my first choice!
 I don't mind a bit of applique like this AZ row, the cacti in the background were fast and easy, and I may add a barrel or prickly pear cactus and a quail or something in the foreground. Also thought about putting an AZ. Route 66 sign on one end, so this one may still be a work in progress. I used mostly batiks to get the intense colors.
Although it's all applique I really wanted to make the Boston row and I am glad that I did it's very cute with the Citgo sign and the Swan boat.
I will have to make one or two of the Canadian rows from online friend Dawn, and I still have a few others here sent by my friend Dotti, so it may be a large quilt or perhaps two since some seem to be wider than others.
Busy day tomorrow so not sure if there will be sewing I may have to work on finishing up the family bathroom renovation but Thursday after the gym is clear.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Swimming Against The Tide

This is the title of the Row By Row from Homestead Quilting in Lakeland MA. It went together fast I am happy to say, and then I began to work on the Boston Bridge Row, it's applique so not my favorite! I did alter the design a bit, the fish were too plain so I added that red stripe!
 Grand Illusion is bound too, another crossed off the "to do" list which seems to grow in spite of my efforts!
The problem is that the bucket list continues to expand, too many ideas and too little time. This week we were out of town part of the week limiting sewing time, then I decided to paint the family bathroom upstairs, another day gone without a stitch sewn!
This is my antique New Home treadle, I had asked DH to bring it down from the Colorado house so I can use it sometimes. I bought it from eBay some years back and the pack and ship place in MA made such a sorry job of packing it that it sustained unnecessary damage. Fortunately DH was able to secure the head so that it works, but there's still some cosmetic damage to the sewing surface and I am preparing to give the cabinet a good cleaning. It is called a "parlor cabinet, it has "claw feet" and decorative molding on the sides.
I guess it was decorative in order to be displayed in living areas. A sewing machine was quite a status symbol so it isn't surprising that it would be on display, I think it's beautiful!
 As close as I can tell from online this badge indicates the age it says "Republique Francaise", "Exposition Universelle 1889" seems it was a celebratory edition for the French World's Fair for the 100th. anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. It was manufactured in Orange MA.  and that is where I found it so it had not strayed from the place of birth!
The head is dull and needs cleaning of the 125 years of gunk but it's a delicate task to preserve the decals. So far I have only used a damp cloth with a little soap, but I have read that kerosene is ok, I will test that out in an inconspicuous spot!
It looks better than it did originally, I suspect it was stored in a barn once electric machines became commonly available, but it has had a lot of use I can tell by the wear on the surface and I always wonder how many set of clothes, quilts and drapes it made for the families that used it.
Obviously it looks better than when I first got it, but I was very excited I couldn't wait to treadle and this is a sample of the first stitches I made with it, even the tension was still perfect!
It needs quite a bit of love and I will tackle it little by little and see how much I can restore of it's beauty without removing the lovely patina of age.
This looks to be an original oil can or at least close to it. I understand that antique machine collectors covet these old cans and pay top dollar for them, so I feel lucky to have this one.

The belt is rather worn so I will replace that, but everything else is in good condition especially considering it's antiquity and later lack of love!
The tin of attachments and instruction book are intact, quite a miracle I think. This would have been added much later, nothing similar appears to have been available at the time of manufacture.
They are all in good order, no rust or damage I can see
A couple of examples from the attachment instructions
 These are so quaint!
So I am excited to have my elderly lady here I hope I remember how to wind the bobbin and thread her up, it has been a long time!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

My Grand Illusion, Hot Off The Long Arm!

My long forgotten Grand Illusion is quilted, still need to bind this week.
 E toE feathers in the body of the quilt and separate borders. No design will show much on these busy scrappy quilts so an all over works best, but I like to make separate borders.
 As I quilted I pulled out all those annoying little threads that seem to appear in the seams they often do not release in the wash.
 Some years ago my friend Loretta gave me one of these………..perhaps I am a bit of a "nit picker" when to comes to quilting?
As a joke? But it works and it lives on my tool tray because I use it!
My backing was a little short so I had to insert a few inches in either direction.
I like it!
I forgot to attach the label before I quilted so I had to stick it in when I remembered right at the end of the quilting and unfortunately it is not straight!
 But it's almost done and in a few days I can cross it off the list!
The little Aspen wall quilt is in it's new home and the new owners sent me this picture. They said they had been looking for art to hang in this spot and had rejected everything they tried until now!
I love it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


This quilt has languished since my April visit to Texas, and I think I will quilt it as is, I tried adding a piano key border of the fabrics in the quilt and I hated it!
Adding the white border satisfies me, sort of floating the blocks, but I haven't yet decided on a quilting design.
I made a little cover for one of my new chairs, just didn't like the feel of the chair seat without any fabric over it. There's one layer of a very thick poly batting in the middle enough for a smidgeon of padding.
These "I Can Quilt It" panels have been aging and it was a good use for them. The chair is more comfy and it took them out of stash and into something useful! I have more of this fabric that needs to be used so I will probably make another seat cover for the second chair.
Above the additional Aussie Aboriginal fabrics I found at One World Fabrics, the purple/pink second from the left is called "Grandmother's Journey". I am a grandmother and I am called Grandmother by all but the youngest grandson whose name for me is "Grandnanna" and I have had many journey's beginning with the first big one ll the way from Australia, so I had to have it! The gold one on the far right is called "Women's Business" so  you know I had to have that one too, LOL!
Next up on the long arm, my own "Grand Illusion" quilt.
The next Bonnie Hunter mystery will begin Thanksgiving weekend and I plan to substitute different colors from Bonnie's for a change.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Grand Illusion

This is Angela's Grand Illusion
I love this quilt, the colors are actually prettier than the photo,  it doesn't do them justice.
 Typical scrappy Bonnie Hunter quilt, it's so much fun to quilt I recognize many of the prints, might have some of them in my own Grand Illusion.
 Quilted with Edge to Edge feathers in the body of the quilt and separate borders.
Which reminds me, I thought before I quilted it I would check my GI to see if I wanted to do the same quilting- imagine my horror to find it still folded up in the cupboard - unquilted, completely forgotten out of sight out of mind!!
Before I know it we will be planning Bonnie's next mystery so I had better get this quilted and bound!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Another Fast One!

Well, it's only a top but it was very fast, it's an idea from Angela Walter's for a little top to try out new quilting designs. Hers was all solids but my stash has minimal solids so I used what I had and I love the result, it's another example of my current interest in modern quilt designs and the photo does not do justice to the fabric colors.
I think it will make a darling baby quilt but I love it myself if I had a use for a table topper in these colors!  The stripe is one of the new Aussie Aboriginal fabrics I purchased at Capital Quilts in MD. recently and I like it so much I wanted to get another yard but they have not responded to my email so I went shopping in my PJ's!
 I only found a couple of US outlets for these, the best is at One World fabrics.
This one is Desert Flowers by Maria Elena Ellis. There are some other beauties at One World Fabrics, these guys have a terrific selection of really stunning designs. Having grown up with Aussie Aboriginal designs on many objects they are dear and familiar and the recent trend by M&S Textiles in eye popping colors is irresistibly gorgeous to a quilter!
So I added another half dozen to my Aussie stash, and I am most anxious to get to work on a quilt with them.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Fast Finish!

The little hexie quilt is all done ready to go off to it's new home!
The gold leaves really do appear to float over the quilt because the stitching of the veins caused them to curl up a little on the sides and they are only tacked onto the quilt down the center, in the photo below you can see that.
The thread is a tan that blends so a lot of the quilting is hard to see especially in the tree fabric where  I quilted falling leaves. 
 I wish I were a better photographer so I knew how to bring out the best of my photos but I am no expert and I am using my iPhone 5s because it is so convenient! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Smithsonian Air And Space Museum

This post is just plane crazy! It's all about aviation but for an amateur historian still fascinating.
DH is an aviator and oldest DS would have loved to join the military but only if he could fly! Sadly for him, he is color blind an automatic eliminator. However he has become an airplane encyclopedia, there is very little he does not know about almost every airplane made! And he can still fly as a private pilot just not for the military or probably the airlines either.
 It is too hard to choose photos of these aircraft to show, so many fascinating pieces of aviation history.
 Here is one, the Blackbird.
 Models of some of the "flying machines" that litter the history of human flight.
So here is a quick trip around the museum, it is gigantic, massive overwhelming!
Not sure what this is but it looks dangerous!
Just one section of the building from the middle level.
Teeth to this one!
Engines, engines, engines DS#1 would be in heaven!
All wood, a glider.
Hmmmmm! Ungainly to say the least.
The uniform of a much decorated First World War aviator.
 The uniform of the famous Eddie Rickenbacker.
 And even some simulators.  Many years, decades ago our family visited Ft. Rucker Alabama when DH processed through fixed wing training. There we were able to take a ride in a helicopter simulator and I actually got to fly it!
Not sure which simulator this was but we ran out of time and the museum was closing so I had to make tracks to the gift shop to buy a couple of gifts! The four hours we had there were not nearly long enough to cover everything, a whole day would be better!