Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 NewFO Challenge - January

Barbara over at Cat Patches is having the 2012 NewFO Challenge this year.  I tried to copy the button, but, it just wouldn't copy.  Sorry.  Barbara states "The idea with the NewFO Challenge is to have fun and to start something new.  And honestly, who wrote the rule that every project has to be completed, no matter how ugly, boring, challenging, frightening, tedious, or distasteful?  So shake off those old sewing projects that bind and be audacious!"

Well, here are my NewFO's for January!
'Candy' pincushions
'Candy' pincushions
I made these 'candy' pincushions early in January.  These were fun and quick!  I gave these two away, but, I still have one more.  Yum!

String Heart block
I made five of these blocks.  These will probably be turned into mini quilts for gifts.
more (almost) heart blocks
I made five of these blocks, too.  I still have to stitch the hearts onto these blocks.  One of them is for a 'block lotto' at one of my quilt guilds next Monday.
28 thread catchers
Overachiever that I can be (next month won't be nearly as prolific), I made 28 of these thread catchers.  7 are for my quilt guilds Valentine's Party next Monday, some are for my family reunion, some for friends, and at least one for my giveaway in the next few days.

These were fun to make.  Most of what I made in January was either made by hand (candy pin cushions) or on my hand crank sewing machine (all but the string heart blocks).  All together (including the pin cushions not shown) I made 50 items this month!  Don't expect this EVER AGAIN! LOL!

My one year blogiversary (Oops! I missed it this month) and my 49th Birthday Giveaway is coming in the next few days!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lots and lots of progress!

I've been sewing up a storm the last three days.  I started 5 different Valentine's blocks on Thursday.  I made them on my Singer Spartan hand crank.  I'll have to finish them on my Janome, since I have to do the applique on them.  I can't do the blanket stitch on my vintage machines.  Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the blocks.  I'll show them when they are done.

Remember this thread catcher?
Thread catcher
Val found the pattern here

28 thread catchers cut out, pinned and ready to be sewn
Well, as the over achiever I can sometimes be, I found several cute, coordinating fabrics, and cut out as many sets as I could.  I wound up with 28 sets. 
Singer Spartan (192K) hand crank

Back Tack lever on Singer Spartan
 The Back Tack feature on this Singer Spartan is great for making these thread catchers.  I could lock each end of each side sew much easier using this.
Sidewinder Portable Bobbin Threader
Another great thing is my Sidewinder Portable Bobbin Threader.  I can use this for my round bobbin vintage sewing machines.  This is sew much easier than winding the bobbins on the treadles and hand cranks.  I wish I had another one.  It would be great to have one at home, and one for 'travel'.  I'm always afraid I'm going to lose it (or put it up somewhere 'safe' and never find it again).
28 almost completed thread catchers
Well, I sewed all 28 thread catchers.  I just finished.  All I have to do is to sew on the buttons.  I have a couple of jars of buttons in the basement, so, that is my next thing to do tonight.  I hope I have enough cute buttons for each of these. 

I finally got time to visit a thrift store this week.  It was so busy November, December and January, that I really haven't been to the thrift stores much.  I think I'm having withdrawal ; )  Well, I found this cute bowl on Thursday afternoon. 
thrift store find
Well, I'd better be off so that I can go thru all of my buttons.  I hope you are having a great crafty weekend, too.

By the way, did you notice that I now have 100 followers???  WOW!  I think this deserves a GIVEAWAY to all of you wonderful readers.  Hmmm... now, what great things can I give?   I'll be back soon with the answer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Catching up! Progress! & Squishies!

YIPEE!!!!!!!  I have FINALLY caught up on my blog post reading.  I've been behind (sometimes as much as 3+ weeks) since before Thanksgiving. I missed the December blog hops, and lots and lots of giveaways.  I also missed my One Year Blogiversary earlier this month.  My goal was to get caught up before my Birthday early next month, and I did. 

My tiny guild is having a Valentine's party next month.  Everyone is encouraged to make a 12.5" block using Valentine colors and hearts.  I used scraps and fat quarters that had been given to me long ago (thanks Ann) and came up with five of these blocks.  I still need to applique the hearts on two blocks.  I have another block planned, too.  I plan on using the extra blocks to make mini quilts, like the Christmas Santa quilts and give them as presents next year.  I'll have to find a cute backing fabric for them.  I don't have hearts  or many pinks in my stash.  I still have to trim these down to 12.5", but, I didn't want to do that until the last minute. 

string pieced hearts
I used this cute mouse to help remove the paper foundation from the strings.  I found this little guy at a garage sale last summer.  His 'tail' worked great for sliding between the paper and helping to loosen it up.

Mouse 'tool'

I received two squishies in the mail this week.  I love these vintage bow tie blocks.  I wish I had some vintage fabric that I could use for sashing and cornerstones.  Maybe something cheddar colored, or yellow or even pink (not my usual color).  Any ideas?
vintage bow tie blocks

I checked these blocks out on the back.  There is a combination of machine and hand sewing on each of these blocks.  I haven't seen that before.
vintage bow tie block

I was in a Disappearing 4 Patch (D4P) block exchange late last summer with my Treadle On group.  The blocks have to be made on a 'people powered' sewing machine (treadle or hand crank).  I received the other blocks last fall, but, this lady didn't get to participate with the group.  She and some others (me included) swapped a few more blocks so that she could get some of the blocks, too.  I just received these from her, along with some lovely Civil War reproduction fat quarters and a cute charm.
Disappearing 4 Patch (D4P) blocks & FQ's
I just realized that I haven't shown the other blocks that I received.  I'll have to post them soon.  I even received some from Belgium.

Have a Great Weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Holiday Party goodies!

One of my quilt guilds (I belong to 2 guilds) has their Holiday party in January.  Sew much easier than trying to find a date and a place in December.  It's much more relaxed this way.  Well, the party was last night.  At my place at the table was my first 'goodie' of the evening.  A thread catcher one of the bee's made.
Thread catcher loaded with candies

top view of thread catcher
 The thread catcher is collapsible. I can put it with my 'to go' bag and it just squishes down, then pops back up when I need it.  It was full of yummy treats, too.

There was a Christmas block exchange (I didn't enter this one) and drawings for fat quarters.  You could bring a FQ in batiks, novelties and/or Civil War reproductions.  I haven't used many batiks yet and all my Civil War fabrics are in yardage, not FQ's, so I only entered the novelties.  Didn't win, didn't expect to.

There was also a pin cushion exchange.  I made the 'candy' pin cushions in the last post for this exchange.  I got a cute, tiny pin cushion.  It's just the right size to fit in the accessory box area of my Singer Spartan hand crank.  AND it's reversible.  I can decide which side to use.
pin cushion I received

back of pin cushion
I also won a $10 gift certificate to a local quilt store.  Yipee!  They have cute fabrics and great notions there.

On the tables, at our places, were also some Tootsie Pops with a tag that lists 8 uses for a Tootsie Pop.
Tootsie Pop Tool list

The Tootsie Tool

1.  Stiletto
2.  Water soluble adhesive
3.  Emergency freezer paper
4.  Thread spindle replacement for sewing machine
5.  Pressing tool
6.  Template for two 3 1/2" finished half square triangles
7.  Safety pin closing tool
8.  A special treat!

There was another use for this Tootsie Pop last night.  When the coffee was finally served, we didn't have any spoons, so, we all used our Tootsie Pop sticks to stir the sugar in our coffee.

Marilyn and I are thinking about making some of the cute thread catchers for the Valentine's party at our other guild.  We are supposed to be getting the pattern later this week.

PS:  Val found this link to the directions.  Thanks Val!  http://valspierssews.blogspot.com/



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teapot Tuesday! and some 'candy', too!

Newest teapot
Well, I'm still way behind on reading blog posts, but, I'm catching back up on posting here. 
candy tins

pincushion candy

pincushion candy
 This is my newest teapot.  My friend Betty sent me this teapot for Christmas.  She knows how much I love teapots.  The picture doesn't do it justice.
pincushion candy

pincushion candy

'white chocolate' pincushion candy
I have a pincushion exchange next Sunday for one of my guilds 'Holiday' party.  Yes, it is after Christmas.  That gives us all more time to relax and enjoy ourselves instead of stressing whether or not we can schedule in another party in December.  I saw some 'candy tin pincushions' on a blog a few weeks ago.  (Sorry, I don't remember which blog).  I thought they were cute.  I decided that I could make my own.  I found some candy tins at a thrift store, and bought some 'dark' chocolate, 'milk' chocolate and 'white' chocolate fabrics.  I used leftover cotton batting for the 'centers'. 

I just cut the 'chocolate' fabrics into circles, using the gold tins as a pattern.  I then folded batting and then folded the fabric around the batting and sewed it closed. 

For the little pieces, I cut squares of batting (about the same size as the tins) and brought the corners to the center a few times, then squished it together and wrapped the fabric around it and sewed it closed.  I then put each piece of 'chocolate' into muffin papers as I placed them in the tins. 

I made all of these pieces of 'chocolate' Sunday evening while I was at a Venturing meeting with my son and hubby.  I was only there as an 'extra' leader, so, I had plenty of time to make these.  The kids thought they looked like real chocolate turtles. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My New Treadle!

I have a new (to me) treadle sewing machine!  It is a Free Number 5 in a parlor cabinet.  I've never had a parlor cabinet before. 

parlor cabinet
The front door opens to show two lidded cubbies and places for thread, shuttles and bobbins.  The side door also opens to help support the lid and to give more room.  There is even a 'lock' on the front door to lock it closed (I guess to keep the kiddies out).

lids to drawers (cubbies) lift up

foot pedal raises when the machine is hidden

Free No. 5 parlor treadle cabinet

The serial number is 'C241622' and the Patented dates range from Feb 11, 1902 thru May 20, 1913, so, I'm guessing this machine is around 99 years old.  I'm hoping to find more information about it from my treadle group.  There is a wealth of information with the members of that group. 

The Free No. 5

end plate and foot

bed decals

arm decals

needle info

made in Rockford, Illinois


bobbin winder and decals
This machine came with one bobbin and shuttle.  There wasn't a needle.  I'm not familiar with this kind of foot.  There weren't any accessories, other than 2 belts.  I need to find out what needle to use with this machine.  I hope one of my seam guides will fit on this machine, since I can't use my 1/4" foot with it.  I haven't cleaned this pretty lady up  yet.  That will happen another day, after I figure out how to take the machine out of the cabinet.  It doesn't work like my Singers. 

An update to my boo-hoo sewing from Thursday.  I finally got all the seams ripped and the sashing sewn together and attached to the quilt square strips.  This quilt has been sewn on my Singer Spartan hand crank. 
1949 Singer Spartan hand crank
I love this hand crank.  (Thanks Caryl Ann).  She is sew much fun to sew on.  My hubby and I are trying to watch all of the Harry Potter movies, and, last night, I sewed to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Tonight it will be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  Maybe I'll get this quilt top finished before the movie is over.  It depends on how often I stop to 'watch' the movie and not just 'listen' to it. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bread! and other stuff!

I (chest pounding like Tom Hanks in 'Castaway') Made BREAD!  Woohoo!
My first loaf of bread

The bread maker
 Ok, I guess you don't understand.  I LOVE breads!  I've tried many times over the decades to make bread.  Usually, it is REALLY DENSE bread.  I've only found one bread that I can make consistently well.  It is a beer bread, and I don't make it very often.  My hubby and I bought this bread maker a few years ago at a garage sale.  My hubby found me the manual online and printed it off.  Then, I got cold feet.  Was it going to work for me?  Many times I've thought about trying it out, but, usually, either I don't have time when I think about it, or, I don't have yeast that is in date, and, I've never had 'bread flour' either.  Well, this morning, since I had the whole day to do what I wanted for the first time in months, I decided to go to the store and get the flour.  I read the directions (yes, you read that correctly, I really DID read the directions first, it HAS happened before), then added the ingredients and turned it on.  NOISE!   The machine is LOUD when it is mixing.  The dog didn't like it, so, she kept barking at the machine.  It took quite a while to get her to stop.  Funny!  3 1/2 hours later, I had a real loaf of bread!  I cut it, slathered it with honey butter, and gave it to my son and his friends (and myself).  YUM!  My kitchen smells so GOOD!

From Amy at A Quilting Sheep

OK, I have been really busy, and I haven't posted about some great things I received last month.  I won this pattern and template from Amy at A Quilted Sheep last month.  Sweet Amy included a card and two fat quarters.  Thanks Amy! 

spool pin doily

spool pin doily
Cheryl at DragonPoodle Studio sent me these lovely spool pin doily's in early December.  I took pictures of them on my Janome machine, but, I didn't post again for almost a month.  Sorry Cheryl!  They sure look cute on my Janome.  I have some for some of the vintage machines, but, the modern Janome was getting jealous. Now it is a happy machine!

I went to the Thursday 'sew-in' yesterday at the LQS (first time in weeks), and, boo hoo!  Everything I sewed I'm having to rip out.  I hadn't worked on this project in a few months, and I forgot that I still had to make strips to go between the parts I had ready to sew together.  I'm still ripping out the last seam tonight.  I was hoping that I'd have that quilt top done yesterday so that I could give it to Quilts of Valor. 

Tomorrow, my hubby and I will be picking up a new (to me) treadle.  Woohoo!

Check out Barbara over at Cat Patches.  She has a new challenge.

2012 NewFO Challenge and Monthly Giveaway