Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Other Stash...

It was almost exactly 2 years ago that I blogged about another Excess of mine.  I was finishing up the packing at the house in MA... and was down to packing the shed that contained the rest of my vintage sewing machines - I had already packed the ones I used and those stored in the basement.  I remember how cold it was and those machines just seemed heavier when they were cold.

I recently brought out my Tiffany... and put her back to work.  It's so relaxing sewing on a treadle - I've missed her and have enjoyed using her these past couple weeks.

Earlier this week I swapped a couple emails with another blogger Lori in South Dakota - who also has an affection for vintage sewing machines.

Those emails got me to thinking about my machines.  I had only unpacked a couple treadle cabinets when we moved in - this one is for a Davis 'Manhattan' 3/4 size machine.  Manhattan unpacked 007

When we moved - I removed all the machine heads from the cabinets and packed those in a separate box from the cabinets...

 Manhattan unpacked 008

Yes this cabinet needs a little TLC... but for now let's go look for the little Manhattan head shall we.  The basement has a room that is about 10 x 11 feet.  There is an oil tank in that room... and sewing machines in boxes.  And in the rest of the basement there is pretty much more sewing machines in boxes.  Here are some of the stacks.  See the box below with the numbers on it?  Just a rough count give or take a few - 123...


Oh then there are the treadles and other cabinets in boxes.  They are over in this other area.  It was much easier to stack the cabinets in the PODS if everything was in a box.  I didn't even try and count what's over here.  But hey - Look - it's not all machine stuff... I see a box of office supplies and a box that belongs to The Engineer with woodworking templates and jigs.  Oh I feel so much better now... see they aren't all mine!

Manhattan unpacked 022

Here is what we are looking for...


OK now I'm down to 122 boxes in the basement... give or take.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Design Wall Monday 10-26

Design wall Monday 4 001

It's been a busy week here but I haven't spent as much time in my studio as I would have liked.  I have the first block mostly done... there are still berries and a bird to go on before I call it finished.  This machine applique moves along very quickly!   

The other main blocks are now pieced.  I still need to make the sashing blocks that separate these - they are cut so I'll finish those this week.  I think my plan of attack will be to get all the vines attached.  Then I'll spend some quality time with my marker and light box drawing off the pieces for all the blocks.  Then I can play with picking fabric for the other flowers and leaves.

I have done some more hand applique on the Peas in a Pod but they are only partials and are still sitting next to the couch - they haven't migrated back up to the studio yet.

So what's on your design wall?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stash Report Week # 43... A Public Service Message

Judy L has certainly set the bar high for fabric accumulation this week!  Remember Envy is a bad thing... LOL

I did add 3 yards of homespuns to my stash this week.  But I'm not happy about it.  I hate it when shops have a minimum of 1/2 yard on regular priced fabric.  I don't mind if it's sale fabric because I realize they are trying to get that stuff out the door - but if it's regular priced goods you should be able to buy a 1/3 of a yard without paying an additional .25 per cut.

I went ahead and got 1/2 yard cuts... but I won't shop there as often as I might otherwise.

As a Public Service (to help y'all use up some of your stash) I've added a list of Links to Manufacturers Free Patterns over in my side bar.  I rechecked them all today to be sure they all still go someplace.  I'm sure you have nothing else to do today...

Speaking of doing nothing... I best get busy as I have a Porta Pocket Insert to make today to prepare for an upcoming class.  I'll try and post again later with pictures of my progress and links to the Pattern Mfg.

So 3 yards in - 2 yards out to a project... still no spreadsheet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Design Wall Monday 10-19

I'm participating again this week in Judy L's Design Wall Monday post.  If you've come over from there... thanks for stopping by!  If you haven't been yet... go check out what other quilters are up to.

I'm really pleased to see progress this week on my design wall - it's not much but it is progress.  Progress mostly because I decided to switch gears and machine applique a project rather than hand applique.  I had planned hand applique because initially I was going to make just one block as a sample for the quilt shop... but I really like the quilt and want the whole thing AND I can use it as my "Pick a Number Please" challenge - so machine appy it is!  The Pattern is Serendipity Sampler from Kim Diehl's new Simple Comforts Book.  Who knows if I get this one done I may make another challenge entry as well.  Anyhoo here is one of my Design Wall panels that I've got set over by the ironing board - I appreciate the portability of these things.  The first block with the vines stitched in place - I'll start on the flowers and leaves today.

Design wall Monday 3 001

The other 2 Design Wall sections are still on the other side of the room - top right the same ole Peas in a Pod blocks (also from Kim Diehl's Simple Comforts book)... nothing new there just rearranged.  Below that are those leftover strips I sewed together last week - I didn't like them just strung together - so these are folded in half and pinned on the board next to each other with the light blocks running down the center.  I'll ponder that a while.  Bottom left is a second block background for the Serendipity Sampler.  Top left are 3 orphan blocks I ran across whilst rummaging through scrap bins... not sure if I want to do something with them or if they'll go in an 'Orphan Block' bin.  I'll just look at them for now.Design wall Monday 3 002 I also have this vinyl tablecloth hanging flannel side out on one end of my room.  It's just a catch all right now - nothing I'm working on just stuff I don't want to put away just yet.

Design wall Monday 3 007

So what are y'all up to this week?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 42 Stashbusting Report

This week in Judy L's Stashbusting Report she notes that there are just 10 weeks left... 10... only 10 weeks to this year.  Did someone spill coffee on a 'Master Calendar' somewhere?  We seem to be zipping along.

This week I am reporting yardage for a double duty project.  I'll use it as a sample for the quilt shop and as my selection for a 'Pick a Number' group challenge with quilty friends.  You could join the challenge too - as always the More the Merrier!  Check for a later post titled Pick a Number Please!

Stashbusting Report - I picked up a yard of green and a total of 4 yards worth of FQ's in reds, blues and greens for the project so they'll show as an in and out this week.  I also pulled from my stash another variety of FQ's and misc. pieces - that's 3 yards.  pick a number please 006

I know I've got more fabric pulled than I need - problem with applique projects is that you use a little bit of a lot of things to have the variety... but I may also make this project bigger too so it won't be wasted.  After looking through no less than 6 small scrap bins I've decided that I need to start cutting up my leftovers rather than just setting them aside. 

Interesting thing I noted as I rummaged through my FQ and Scrap bins... I have no purples outside of a few in the vintage fabric category and those are few and far between.  I'm just not a purple kinda gal - so when I am accumulating fabric for no other reason than to accumulate - purple just isn't on my radar.  In my life I can only remember buying one purple shirt... it was one of those billowy smock type maternity tops we so fashionably wore in the 70's.  I hated it when I bought it - but it was better than the bright pink ones on the rack.

Oh and speaking of color... check out this cheddar colored cauliflower I bought this week.  I was after the white... But the Amish farmer had 2 heads for $3.00 - or I could get 3 heads for $4.00 so I grabbed the cheddar colored one too.  Guess what other color he had that I passed on?  Purple... LOL

Cauliflower 002

Purple would have looked funny in this soup don't ya think?  I hadn't added the cream yet in this picture. Boy was it yummy!  I took a quart to my in-laws and put a 2 qt and 1qt container in the freezer.  I may freeze up some individual servings today after lunch... if there is any left. Cauliflower 003

So my report...

  • In this week:  5 Yards
  • Out this week: 8 Yards

Still no spreadsheet... but that's not new - I'm pretty consistent about that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pro vs Rookie Gardener...

I found my pictures from last year when I pureed pumpkin.

This is the Fairy Tale Pumpkin I purchased from the orchard last year.  If you want a tasty, meaty pumpkin for making pie... this is a variety you want to look for.fairy tale pumpkin 003 (Small) fairy tale pumpkin 007

The orchard pumpkin had much thicker walls than mine shown below... and a richer color too.  I have something to aim for next year! 

Fairy Tale Pumpkin 001

Fairy Tale Pumpkin 005

I'll need to start growing my plants earlier... and fertilize more often... and give them more room to grow... and read them stories when I tuck them in at night... LOL 

end of season garden 008

Speaking of tucking them in... I wonder if this little fella out in the garden is gonna need a blanket?  It's been unseasonably cold - but at least we haven't had snow like some places here in PA!

Pumpkins and Flowers...

This week I finally cut and cooked up my Fairy Tale pumpkin - a pumpkin that I grew in the garden this year.  It's not as big as the one I bought at the orchard last year - but it's big enough for my needs and there's still a couple in the garden yet.  My kitchen scale only weighs up to 5 pounds so I couldn't weigh it whole.Fairy Tale Pumpkin 001

Fairy Tale Pumpkin 003

It weighed 12 pounds cut up... Fairy Tale Pumpkin 005

Fairy Tale Pumpkin 006

I steamed it in two batches and then pureed it.

Fairy Tale Pumpkin 007

I am low on my pint containers since I threw out a bunch when my freezer wasn't a freezer this past summer.  I froze 14 cups all total - I have 5 containers with 2 cups each and 4 with 1 cup each.

Fairy Tale Pumpkin 008

What I'll do sometime soon is pop the frozen puree out of the containers and seal them up with my FoodSaver so I don't have to be concerned with freezer burn.  And I can use my containers for other stuff - like the cauliflower and broccoli I picked up at the Farmers Market yesterday. 

I've been arranging flowers a little bit every evening this week too... appy flowers

At this point they are just pinned on the design wall - after I get all the pieces prepped I'll match them up and decided their location and start stitching.  I've still got leaves and berries to prep along with the bottoms of these flowers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily Rambling...

The Engineer kicked on the heat this morning and I am some kinda glad because I was cold ALL day yesterday - the sun never poked it's head out and this place never quite warmed up.  Being cold just makes me cranky.  Yahoooo... I'm warm again!

When it warms up a bit I'll head outside and get a few things done in the garden - seems the weeds I've been ignoring haven't gone away.  Then I'll fetch the fairy tale pumpkin off the porch so that it can be cooked, pureed, and frozen.  There are still 2 growing out in the garden... so we'll see what happens with them as it gets colder.

I visited a few quilt/fabric shops Monday that I hadn't had an opportunity to check out before.  One of them I'll never go back to.  I was greeted when I came in - which is always nice - but then she went about her business talking out loud about how much she had to do and how behind she was.  I guess it was her way of explaining the clutter.  She was also talking over the noise of the TV which you could hear everywhere in the store... a 'daytime talk show' was on and the 'guests' were ranting on about the man who had fathered both their babies but wasn't supporting them.  I'm sorry but if customers come in - turn it down or turn it off... since she did neither - I left.

My new ironing station ended up in the same location I had been using the ironing surface... I just needed to relocate all those bins of fabric that were supporting it.

stash storage 001Before:






ironing station 027











A big PHOOEY this week too... I had hoped to go up to MA to work the Shop Hop that Southampton Quilts participates in - but I can't go... and I'm really unhappy about it.  I was sooo looking forward to seeing everyone at the shop - oh and my kids that live up there too!  LOL

BAHHH HUMBUG, RATS, PHOOEY.... and all that...

Guess I best get this bad mood up and busy...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Design wall Monday 2 001

The thing I like best about my design wall is that it's portable.  Last week I had all three sections set out and they were actually on the other side of the room about where I'm standing to take this picture.  All the stuff was removed and the individual panels were moved out of the way while I rearranged things to make room for the new ironing stand.  Right now the third panel is behind the other two. 

On my design wall this week:  top right are the few blocks I've completed from the peas in a pod quilt.  The others are sitting next to me waiting for me to get off the computer and stitch a few.  Below that is a panel that will be for another applique project... more about that another day as I'm still picking fabrics out of my stash.  Top left are some strips from a quilt I made 5 years ago for a class I was going to teach...  I found the leftover strips while digging around though one of my scrap bins.  I spent a couple minutes this afternoon and sewed them together to make two sets - not sure what else I'll do with them - they are too narrow and too long for individual placemats so maybe I'll join them together and make a long table runner. Here's a picture of the quilt - it ended up a gift to my son a few years back.  Allegro is an Atkinson Design pattern.Allegro 004

I backed the quilt with flannel and used the leaf print on it as my quilting pattern...Allegro 006

Sorry I got distracted with a trip down memory lane.

Go visit Judy L over at Patchwork Times and see what's up on other design walls...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 41... Usage and Re-Usage

Is Re-Usage even a word???

I did some reconstruction and recovered my older ironing surface with 2 yards of fresh muslin and then took it into the quilt shop to use in the classroom.  So that's my 2 yards used this week from stash!

Originally I had covered it with the Teflon Ironing board material, a layer of cotton batting, and then a muslin cover.  My mistake was stapling all of these layers in place.  It didn't take too long for the original muslin to start looking icky - but removing all those staples would be a pain.  So I borrowed an idea from my friend Neen up in Maine and used quilting pins to attach a new layer of muslin (right over the old) that could be removed when necessary and washed. 

I figured this week I'd just get that old icky original almost cardboard muslin off and replace it with a canvas type material (drill) that I stapled over the teflon and cotton batting and then pinned a new muslin layer in place.

I also had to cover the board that will go on the new stand The Engineer made...  here it is still naked on the new stand.ironing station 024

Isn't the stand pretty!  The Engineer re-used some old wood to construct it - I like it that I've got some history built into my stand as the wood is from both this house (new garage doors put in and we removed wooden supports and hung the new doors from the ceiling) and our old house in MA (wood from old stairs that were rebuilt).  To cover some holes in the wood he made some decorative inlaysironing station 013 - I appreciate the time he took to make the heart and spinning star shapes.  It's a nice sturdy stand - has locking wheels - a full shelf below and pegboards on each end.

I covered this board also with the teflon material, a layer of cotton batting and the canvas - each stapled in place.  Then I washed and pinned my old muslin top from the other board onto this board - this is my Re-Usage!

I want to put a decorative cover on - maybe a pretty toile?  I'd like to try and put ties or elastic cord along the edges so I don't have to pin it in place but that's going to take some figuring out so I'll just be happy with the old cover for now.

ironing station 017I'm all kinds of ready to iron!  Well - first I have to finish shoving things around and decide the best place for this to sit... light is my biggest problem up there.

Nothing else used... 2 yards is it... still no spreadsheet...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Welcome Back Tiffany!

You have been gone too long... I've missed you!

Tiffany 003

I hope you are well rested after your storage in the attic Sabbatical.  Oh and I do apologize for not removing that layer of fluff from around your feed dogs... could I convince you that it was packing material for the move from MA?

I am so happy to have this machine back in operation.  She is a beautiful Singer model 15-30 dated 1920 with Tiffany decals.  She sews a lovely stitch and is an expert at machine quilting as well. 

Tiffany 006

I kept out the small parlor cabinet to use up in the studio - one of these days I'll spiff up the cabinet but until then it works nicely and doesn't take up a lot of room when not in use.

It took me a while but with The Engineers help I located my 'Machine Bucket' with all my tools and stuff for working on my vintage machines... I did not even have a bottle of machine oil in with my regular sewing stuff and was quite concerned that I was not going to get Miss Tiff up and running yesterday. 

Tiffany 012


I'll just keep the bucket over by my 201 cabinet... maybe I'll find out where the box is stored she's spending her Sabbatical time and convince her to come back to work also.



I'm busy re-arranging the studio because The Engineer has just about finished a stand for my ironing surface... so I'll be rearranging my stash pile as well...

stash storage 001

I'll be moving my computer stand over in this corner and I'll have to sort through these bins and see if I can unpack or consolidate stuff.

I actually have 2 boards that we made years ago but only ever covered and used one.  I'll be taking one to use at the quilt shop... the other will go on top of my new stand.  Pictures later this week....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Design Wall Monday...

Judy L over at Patchwork Times has been running a series called Design Wall Monday - encouraging quilters to show what's up on their design walls...

Now that I'm actually working on things again I've got stuff up on the design wall...

Design wall Monday 1

Most of the blocks are for Bonnie Hunters Double Delight from back at the beginning of the year.  All of the double 9 patch blocks are finished and while I watched NASCAR Sunday I pinned more of the star blocks together... those will be sewn later today.

Top left is one block I've sewn from a strip pattern... once I have a complete block done I'll give ya more details.

Bottom left is from another strip project - a pattern I drew up when I worked at Southampton Quilts in MA.  The sample quilt was made by one of the owners and it is a very popular pattern to go with the strip sets they sold at the shop.  I've always wanted to make one... I've got the blocks done - now I need to make some rows!  Maybe I'll use the blocks as leaders and enders... hmmmm that's one way to get them stitched together!  LOL

So that's what's on my design wall today...

The Key to Having a Good Day...

Sunday was a beautiful Fall day here in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

The Engineer and I went up the road to a little Diner that we enjoy for a breakfast of Grilled Sticky Buns and crispy bacon.  Oooo so totally not good for you yummy!

Since it was still early (9:00 am) we went over to Renninger's Antique Market in Adamstown to browse through their outdoor area.  We've found that if you go later in the morning or heaven forbid at lunch time... there are hardly any vendors left and those that are there are busy packing up.

Having arrived early we had the pleasure of browsing through a fairly full compliment of vendors.  I saw 2 Featherweights that were each in fairly nice condition - $375 and $275 as well as 2 of the folding tables for the Featherweights - $75. 

There was also a strange abundance of chicken items.  Yes - chicken related items.  There were the usual assortment of iron chicken door stops, and pictures of chickens, and dishes with chickens on them.  But there was also a large welded chicken statue... like 6 feet tall kinda large... I kid you not!  But I laughed out loud when I saw the 8 foot round rug with chickens on it.  Where would you put something like that?

I'm going to have to start taking my camera when we go there.

As I wandered around I found a lovely avocado green enamel pan for $3.00.  I like finding things I can use!  And the color goes nicely with the avocado green mixing bowls I still have from the mid-70's. Green Pan 002

As we headed back to the car I was thinking that we'd had a Good Morning... breakfast out, a couple hours poking around antiques on a beautiful fall morning and a cool little green pan for my kitchen...

Then I reached into my purse for my keys...

...they weren't there.

They weren't in my jeans pockets, or the pockets of my vest...

They were gone... I had lost my keys!

I've never done that before - it's not a good feeling.  After retracing our steps up and down each lane of vendors - I stood over by the car while The Engineer went to check at the office. 

Fortunately they had been found and turned in!

I had learned that the Key to having a Good Day is to not loose your keys! 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stashbusting Week 40...

I'm killing a couple fabric birds this week.

For the winter teaching cycle I've picked out an applique project out of Kim Diehl's new book "Simple Comforts".  We are expecting a new Moda Civil War line later in November that I can use in this project but in order to get started now and make sure things are really scrappy I pulled from the Civil War reproductions I have been collecting over the years.  This quilt is called Peas in a Pod... easy little curves to applique that I've been able to prep in advance and then work on while The Engineer and I watch some TV in the evenings.

Peas in a Pod 014

I've pulled about 2 yards of reproductions from my stash... which only goes to offset the 2 yards of background fabric I had to buy... LOL  Here is my start - I wanted to complete a few of each blocks with what I had on hand. The rest of the applique I'll just put one or two curves on each block so that I can add some from the new fabric when it comes in.

Peas in a Pod 004

And since I'm loving most of what's in the Simple Comforts book... I decided to use this book for my "Pick a Number Challenge". 

I'll tell you later in the week about the challenge (you could join the challenge if you like) - but for today I'll tell you that I've pulled 6 yards of fabrics out of my stash for that project.

Still no update on the spreadsheet...

This week :

  • 2 yards Purchased
  • 8 yards Used

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just a peek...

Seems I've got several things going on at this time - but I've only got one picture this morning...

I made a fall bag using the Wallet & Grommet pattern I had used to make a Santa bag a little while back...

fall grommet bag 001

 Wallet & Grommet 004

I love this pattern - I made the fall one after dinner last night - just a couple hours including the quilting!

Gotta run and get breakfast ready and head off to work!

Sorry but I forgot to tell you about the pattern...

It's called Wallet & Grommet by Maple Island Quilts.