Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gardens and Projects, etc.

bush with flowers
 First, let me just say that I don't garden.  I have a brown thumb.  I can grow weeds and dust bunnies (LOTS of dust bunnies)!


My oldest son is learning to be a gardener.  This is the third year that he has planted and maintained the garden for me.  He does 

lavender plant

DH peaking thru the raspberries
a great job.  I buy plants, and he plants

them and keeps them alive. 
hanging basket

strawberry plant
block in progress

one more border needed

my block drawing
I have no idea what some of these plants are, but, they sure are pretty.  I DO know the lavender.  It smells so nice. 

My hubby is peaking through the raspberry vines.  These things are going wild.  I think even I could grow these without help.  Not many raspberries made it into the house last year.

I just love this funky hanging basket.  The colors are much better in real life.  I don't know why cameras can't capture color very well. 

I've always wanted a strawberry plant.  My son talked me into buying one this year.  I've already eaten half a dozen strawberries so far.

One of my quilt guilds is having a Santa block exchange.  I signed up for 2 sets of blocks.  This is the first block that I'm working on.  I just started on them last week.  We are supposed to exchange them at the July meeting.  I have most of the pieces cut out.  I only have to cut the rectangles for the last border.  I hope to have this set done before next week. 

I'm thinking about having an applique Santa in the second set of blocks.  I haven't worked with fuseable applique before.  I have the pattern and the fabric.  Joann's had the Steam-a seam lite on sale this past weekend. 

The finished blocks have to be 12".  They have to either have a Santa in the fabric or a Santa appliqued in the block.  The block has to have green in it.  It also has to be traditional Christmas colors.  The background has to be white.

Santa fabric was hard to come by this year.  I finally found this fabric online.  I had the green and the white in my stash.  I have two really big buckets of Christmas fabrics I've collected since the last Santa block exchange we did in 2005.  That was a fun quilt to make.  I used all my 'test' blocks and extra blocks on the back of the quilt.  If the applique Santa doesn't work out, it may be a 'test' block, too.  We'll see.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cardboard Boat Races!

The Military crew
The Military crew
Today, my youngest son's Calculus class held the annual Cardboard Boat races.  The students from  the Calculus and Statistics classes have to design and build cardboard boats.  They can only use 1/4" thick cardboard, and, it can only be 2 layers thick.  They use duct tape to hold it together. 

To get credit, they must paddle the boats all the way to the other end of the pool.  To get extra credit, the boats must make it all the way back to the starting point with out sinking.  The paddles must be made out of cardboard, too, but, they can be heavily taped, unlike the boats.

Help! We're sinking!
 My oldest son did this when he was in Calculus.  His boat was the winner that year.  He went with me to the races today.  We were predicting which boats would make it and which would sink quickly.  The boats that have reinforcements in the middle usually have a better chance. 

Money Bags crew
 Most of the boats made it to the finish line and got credit.  Some of the boats made it back to the starting line and got extra credit.  A few boats sank after a few feet.  The Military boat made it both ways.

Nintendo group
 Several boats almost didn't get to the finish line.  Money Bags boat didn't make it, but, they gave it a good try.

Money Bags boat is sinking

Pokemon boat
 The Nintendo crew made it both ways.  No, the 'Mario' dude didn't wear the head dress in the water.  He couldn't see with it on.

Oh No!  Money Bags is sinking!  Nintendo races past them to the finish line!  Poor Money Bags.

one heat in the race
 Look at Pokemon.  Isn't Pikachu cute!  They even had Pokemon cards taped to the front of the boat.

Pokemon got off to a slow start, but, they picked up speed and won the heat, making it all the way back to start.


Go Pokemon!

Go Pokemon, Go!

My Son's Pirate group

The next boat sank.  They sure tried hard, though.
My son in black

My son's boat

Now for my son's crew.  Their boat was a pirate ship.  My son is wearing his pirate outfit. 

 More pictures of my son's crew.

Lots of boats raced.  The Attack sank at the finish line.

SS Royalty didn't even get a forth of the way before they sank.  They looked cute, though, while sinking, with their tiara's on. 

SS Woo-Pass won overall.  Congratulations crew!

The Attack

SS Royalty

SS Woo-Pass

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prizes and other stuff

Last month I entered my quilted jacket in one of the weekly themed contests at Quilting Gallery and won!  I won a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.  I took several weeks before I finally ordered something from there (its been a busy month).  Well, here is what I ordered.  Fons & Porters's Fussy Cut Templates, and two washable markers.
  The Fussy Cut Templates come in 5 different sizes, 2", 3", 4" 5" and 6" finished block sizes.  I am in a Santa block exchange (due in July) and these templates will help me, I'm sure.  Since I hand quilt, I'm always on the look out for marking products to use.  The Fat Quarter Shop was great!  My order arrived very quickly.  I was surprised at how quickly it arrived, since I didn't ask for the 'fastest' delivery option.  I think it took 2 days after I ordered for my order to arrive.  WOW!  Thanks Fat Quarter Shop and also Quilting Gallery for hosting the contest.  Thanks also to those who voted for my jacket.  I
 I've been trying to purchase this 'Students Manual of Machine Sewing' by Singer from the local Restore that just opened for about a month now.  I found it in the drawer of a beautiful Singer 201 machine.  They didn't know it was in the drawer and pulled it out to price it separately. 

  I wish I could have come home with the Singer 201, but, it is in a cabinet, and I just don't have the room for another machine in a cabinet or treadle.  Well, I've been waiting for almost a month for them to price this manual.  They finally priced it and called me back.  Needless to say, I probably paid too much for it, but, it's now MINE!  Cool!  I actually have this on PDF, but, now I have an original copy, too!

I found this great "Automatic Hand Machine' at the local Salvation Army store.  Isn't it cute!  It really works, too.  It makes a great, tiny chain stitch.  The feed dogs move backwards from regular machines, but, after some practice, it was fun to sew with.  The price was right, too.
Automatic Hand Machine
The last picture is of my littlest dog, Katie, sniffing the tulips.  Katie is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  I'll show more pictures as the garden gets more work done on it.  This is from Mother's Day.  My guys grilled me steak (yum!) and they all did lots of yard work.  I mainly supervised.  I really don't like gardening, but, I LOVE to look at all the flowers.  My oldest son is now my gardener/planter.  He does a great job. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sewing Machine Thursday

Toy Singer ZZ machine
 This cute little Singer Zig Zag sewing machine is my latest 'find'.  All it needed was new batteries to make it work.  Only $3 at Goodwill.  It even came with the instructions, and extra needle and 2 more colors of thread.  It is a chainstitch machine, so, no bobbins.  It makes really big stitches and vibrates a lot.  You can see that the light is on if you look closely.  I think a hand crank would be much better for a child to use. 
1921Singer 66 Red Eye
face plate on Singer 66
Bobbin area on Singer 66
1910 New Home e-machine
Foot peddle for New Home e-machine

This is my 1921 Singer 66 Red Eye machine.  I was hoping to turn it into a hand crank, but, the hand crank doesn't fit it.  The grooves are wrong, and there isn't anywhere to attach the hand crank to the hand wheel.  This machine is VERY DIRTY.  I really need to clean it up.  It moves well despite the dirt.  It came from a treadle.  The man gave me the head but kept the base and legs of the treadle.  Since I have 3 Singer treadles (full machines and bases) I think that I'll clean it up and put it into one of the other bases.  I really like the fact that it uses a regular bobbin, like on my Singer 15 series treadle.  I have a bobbin winder machine that works to wind the bobbins with out having to treadle them.  Treadling bobbins is tiring.  I am missing part of the bobbin.  The decals are in pretty good shape.  The rust seems minor.  I'm hoping that with a good cleaning it will come off.  I haven't cleaned a head yet.  I tried with my first treadle, before I learned what to do, and I silvered some of the decals on that one.  That has made me scared to try again.  I'd really like to bring this machine to life and sew with it.

The New Home e-machine is from 1910 and made in Orange, Mass.  I blogged about finding it in an earlier post. I've plugged it in, and the motor works.  The plug needs to be re-wired.  The plastic that covers the wires is almost melted.  I was scared to even plug it in.  The foot peddle has been rewired.  I've never seen a foot peddle like this one before.  I want to turn this machine into a hand crank, but, I can't get a hold of the man who makes the hand cranks for New Home machines.  The decals are in pretty good shape, and it would make a pretty hand crank.  I was hoping the hand crank (in the Singer 66 photo above) would fit it.  A nice lady from New Zealand mailed it to me for that reason.  Unfortunately, it doesn't fit either machine.  I really want a hand crank.  Oh well, I'll just have to keep looking.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New (old) things

Sewing Bird
 I have a Sewing Bird!  I'd heard of these, but, I'd never seen one, or, at least I hadn't since I knew what they were.  My mother gave me this one.  My mother who doesn't sew (AT ALL).  I'm not sure where she got this from.  It could have been my grandmother's (I doubt it) or it could have been my great aunt Clara's.
1889 Singer Treadle with Coffin Lid
1889 Singer 27 VS2 Fiddlebase

Darner box
Darner and box

antique curling iron
Mom has lots of Clara's things.  Personally, I don't think it looks like a bird, I think it looks like a dog, but, it's still a sewing bird.  I attached this to my oldest treadle.  I have three treadle sewing machines.  This one is a 1889 Singer 27 VS2 (vibrating shuttle) fiddlebase.  It was given to me last September, along with another treadle machine  I'll post about another time.  It is a lovely   machine.  I cleaned the irons and the wood base, but I still need to clean the head and adjust the tension.

I found the darner, in it's original box when I picked my oldest son up at college this week.  The original price states 50 cents for the darner, and 25 cents for the extra spring.  The box and the darner are both in really good shape.  Mine didn't come with the 'spring', but, since I probably won't ever use it, that is ok.  I'm sure I could use it on one of my ZZ (zig zag) machines. 

Japanese teapot

vintage table runner

vintage doilies

wood 'foot'
The curling iron came from my grandmother.  Mom has had it for quite a while.  Mom's been remodeling half the house, and wants to get rid of some stuff.  Since I love vintage things, I got the curling iron and the sewing bird.  They will both live in my guest bedroom, which is full of antiques and quilts. 

I found the Japanese teapot in the Goodwill store in San Angelo, when I was in Texas over Spring Break.  They had it behind the counter, but, they had a great price on it.  I love teapots, so, I just had to have it.  I am showing it from the back so you can see where  you put a candle in it to keep the tea warm.  In the opening there is a little china insert that will hold a tealight candle. 

I found the 1930's table runner at an antique shop in San Angelo.  It is damaged, but, still nice.  It is hand pieced and hand quilted.  I was surprised at how little they had it priced at.  I snatched it quickly before they could change the price ; )

I also found lots of doilies while on Spring Break.  I found some in Iowa, most in Missouri and some in Texas.  The ones at the bottom are more spool pin doilies, like I've posted about before (Thanks, Linda).  I couldn't believe I found them.  Now I can pick and choose which one I want to use on each machine.  The teal and the gold & cream doilies are just a bit larger than the spool pin doilies, but, I can use them on my white Janome e-machine.  The cream spool pin doilies don't show up on the e-machine.

I want to use the wooden 'foot' to make a thread holder like one I showed in an older post.  The other thread holder uses 'found items' to make the thread holder.  Now I just have to 'find' a few more pieces. 

*An update to an earlier post.  My friend's home is safe, thank goodness.  The fire stopped and turned just a mile from her home.  Unfortunately, another friend's ranch burned.  The firefighter's saved the house, but, everything else burned, including the barn that held his parents antiques.  Luckily, the 'Wildcat fire' didn't have any homes burned, but, it burned through over 158,000 acres.  There are still several wildfires burning throughout Texas, and more start every day.  Tornadoes throughout the South and Southeast, and flooding in several places.  So many people to pray for.  Now to find ways to help.