Celebration Time

Today has been a busy, rainy day. While out on an appointment this morning, I received a call from Robert, at Grome’s Sewing Machine Company, informing me that my machine was fixed.
Robert had told me it would take up to two weeks, so I was happily surprised. Yesterday, Robert witnessed how upset I was with myself for messing up my machine. He kept trying to assure me that it was fixable and that I need not worry. Robert said they found a piece of the needle jamming the mechanism. Apparently, it took a few days for it to jam up. I am so happy with this shop.
I dropped off my Viking for a maintenance check when I went to pick up my Juki. I have not been able to sew this afternoon, because the storms keep messing with our electricity.
But, it is time for a celebration…more  apple pie and wine, perhaps?

Back Home and Ready to Go


Three days ago, I accidentally went over a very thick corner when I was sewing. The needle broke.
I looked everywhere for the missing tip, but I could not find it. I even took out the bobbin, the plate, and still found nothing.
For the next few days, my new machine kept on sewing perfectly. I even took it to my sewing class and had no problems with it. When I attempted to sew again later that evening, I noticed the top of a pin sticking through the plastic next to the plate. When I turned on the sewing machine, the symbol for “problem” popped up. I cannot believe that my new sewing machine that I have had for only 19 days already has a problem…and it is my fault.
I took it to the shop today, and they assured me that it looked like it was a  minor problem and it could be fixed. They said it looks like the timing is off, and that it could have been caused by the tip of the needle jamming. They will look to see what, if any, other damage has been done. I was just about in tears, but the service person was very kind.
I will not have my new machine for two weeks, since the shop has a back log of repairs. They repair and maintain Janomes, Juki’s, Vikings, and Pfaff machines. The store was busy with people dropping off and picking up machines. My old Viking is struggling, since I have not been good about taking it for maintenance…it is four years old. I think I will take my Viking in for maintenance when my Juki is ready.
The store, Gromes, also sells fabric. So, I tried to cheer myself up by buying some pretty fabric.
That helped a bit.
Maybe a slice of apple pie will help me a bit more.

Fun Day

Last summer, I tried making myself a dress. I had not sewn anything for myself since the ’70’s. The disastrous results were proof that I either needed lessons; or I needed to give up the idea of making my own clothes.
I asked my friend, Francine, the owner of Las Colchas, if she would provide a class in making a clothing item from a pattern. Two of my friends wanted to be included in this class.
Francine went out of her way to make this a very valuable and productive class. First, the store is closed on Monday, but she opened it just for us. Being in a fabric shop on a day it is closed is like being a kid in the candy store. I had to make myself stop looking and get to business. Francine arranged for another instructor, Jeanne, to be there for us. We learned little tips that only someone with experience can share. Both Francine and Jeanne made us feel relaxed. They gave us the push we needed to feel confident about the task ahead. Francine even provided lunch. We took this lunch time as a chance to discuss what we had learned so far, how we felt about our product, and any other questions we may have had.
We were supposed to work from 10-2, but we extended it to 3. I have only the finishing touches to add to the tunic that I chose as my product. One of my friends went to learn tips, but did not start on a product. It was a fun day!

This was our sewing work space in the back of the house.

Francine stayed close by to answer any questions and guide us when we got stuck. She is always working on a project herself.

Jeanne would go back and forth from cutting room to sewing room to assist each one of us at whatever stage on which we were working.

Francine and I go way back. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding.
A big shout out and thanks to Francine and Jeanne.
Hopefully, I will be able to finish the tunic soon. Depending on the results, I am thinking of making my outfit for the upcoming wedding.

Still Raining

It is still raining, and since I am stuck inside, I decided to get busy on some small projects. One of the projects is a small zipper tote. I followed the tutorial by Jenny Doan at Missouri Star. I had some of the sewing notion print fabric leftover, so I made two small zippered pouches.

Sewing Notion Pouches

Zippered Pouch
These pouches will come in handy tomorrow. If we get out of the low water crossing and flood alert, I will be meeting two of my friends at Las Colchas. Francine, the owner of Las Colchas, is opening her shop on Monday to give us sewing lessons. It has been years since I made clothes for myself. I need a refresher on how to fit the pattern and make necklines and sleeves. It should be a fun day…if it stops raining!
I also made some small zipper-less pouches. Vanessa, at Crafty Gemini, has a tutorial for these small pouches. These pouches are good stash busters. I plan to gift them at a luncheon I will be attending.

It has been a productive Sunday.
I hope you have enjoyed your day.

Sewing Machine Cover

Las Colchas had this bright, happy, sewing notion print-fabrics. My sewing machine makes me happy, so I thought this fabric would be perfect for making a sewing machine cover.
I viewed many tutorials on Youtube, but I found that the Crafty Gemini had the easiest instructions. I love to view Vanessa’s tutorials. She has tutorials on just about anything you can think of making. I made some changes to the instructions by adding a lining made from remnants and scraps. I quilted the cover using masking tape to make my diagonal lines. Vanessa talks about making crisp corners. My corners are a bit mushy but that’s okay. Binding is something I dread since I am awful at making mitered corners. I gave it a shot, and the results were not too bad.
When I was cutting the fabric for the main part, I cut it in the wrong direction. The sewing machine prints were upside down. I did not have enough fabric to re-cut, so I covered the upside-down sewing machines with heart appliques made from the fabric that had the pin print.

Inside Lining


Back (with the boo-boo hearts)


It has been raining and dreary for three days. Making this cover made things a bit brighter.
The sewing machine cover has made my Happy Place an even happier room!

Block # 37~ Friday September 14

In my post, Quilting Grandma, I shared some memories I have of time spent with my grandmothers. I have spent the past two rainy days just thinking back to special moments with my family, especially my grandchildren. This led me to think of a design for my hexagon block for this week’s fabric journal entry.
The elephant is one of my favorite animals…so majestic and beautiful. I read that the elephant is a symbol of family, love, patience, strength and good luck. The elephant has strong memory. It is a symbol of the gift of remembering beautiful moments of joy and happiness.
I have a collection of small elephants that my mother collected. I have also added some of my own elephant figurines to the collection.
So, I decided to make an appliqued elephant to represent the gift of special memories.

Collection of Elephants

Block #37~ Friday, September 14
Gift of Special Memories
Light blue print; pastel leafy background
Technique: Applique

Quilting Grandma

This Grandparent’s Day got me thinking about my grandmothers. Both my grandfather’s had died before I was born. I got to have eight years with my grandmothers. My maternal grandmother was Emma Almazan Martinez. My paternal grandmother was Manuela Ancira Virjan.
Both grandmothers were very strong women who had large families. My mother was the youngest of 10 children; my dad the youngest of 13.
Grandma Emma was stately and quiet. I remember being allowed in her parlor where she played records on her Victrola. I used to love our visits.
Mama Mela was loud and feisty. People were afraid of her, but I could make her laugh. She doted on me and laughed at my pranks. I once poured ketchup on my leg and started yelling for help. She was besides herself trying to help me when she saw me lick the ketchup. She laughed it off and thought I was so funny. She didn’t laugh when I ruined her perfect rice, though. She used to brag about her rice being perfect and she made the rice for dinner since she said mom didn’t make good rice. I had my older sister distract Mama Mela, as I poured uncooked rice into her “perfect” rice. The look on her face as she crunched on her perfect rice was priceless. I’ve never had poker face, so my mom knew I had something to do with the rice fiasco. Mom gave me a smile of approval.
This week, I attended a Grandparent’s Day lunch at my granddaughter’s school. Her teacher greeted me with “Hello, Quilting Grandma”. Apparently, she has heard all about my quilts and things I make for my granddaughter. The name, Quilting Grandma, reminds me of a porcelain figurine that belonged to my mom. It portrays and old grandmother with her grandson. I have it in the curio cabinet that I also inherited from my mother.

I have so many special memories of my grandmothers.
And I am having special times with my grandchildren.
Happy Grandparents Day!

Coiled Fabric Bowl

Months ago, my brother sent me  designer upholstery fabric, along with an order for fabric bowls.
Since his birthday is this weekend, I thought I better get started.
The fabric is beautiful, but it is way too thick and difficult to handle. I didn’t use the strip-wrap method because the material frayed too easily.I just about pulled my hair out trying to get this done. The results are a bit wonky, but it is the best I could do.

Getting the coil started was difficult.

I had to go back and hand-sew places I missed because of the bulkiness of the fabric.

The other material he sent is even thicker, so I do not think I will even try to make another bowl.
I’ll pack this up to mail tomorrow.

Meemaw Tour

“There is nothing that can’t be done. If you can’t make something, it’s because you haven’t tried hard enough.”
Sakichi Toyoda

Today, my Meemaw friends and I took a field trip to the
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas  plant. Of course, we started out with a breakfast before we traveled, in a rainstorm, from the Northeast side of town to the very end of the the Southwest side of San Antonio. It was well worth it. The biography of Sakichi Toyoda is very interesting. His most famous invention was the automatic power loom. This loom implemented the principle or autonomous automation.
The plant has very strict rules and dress codes for visitors. Once inside, I could see why. The robots and machines are amazing. I am in awe of the people working these machines and factory lines. They have four, two hour shifts, with 10 minute breaks in-between. They change stations every two hours in order to avoid repetitive motion injuries. Workers have a mandatory time to spend in the on-site gym. They have a doctor and nurse on site, along with the cafeteria.  Every station is ergonomically designed to help the workers from over use injuries. Everything is so precise and measured to the second. Seeing the body of a Tundra moving above the chassis; and then landing right on top, fitting exactly onto the chassis, was quite amazing. The worker’s movements were as precise as the robots. They did not miss a beat.
I would be like Lucille Ball in the I Love Lucy Chocolate Factory episode. There is no way I could do this type of work, eight hours a day.
When I returned home, I read some more information about Sakichi Toyoda, and I found the above quote.  I posted this quote above my cutting table as a reminder.

Early this evening, started making a table runner and some place mats. My daughter-in-law to be had shown me this fabric she liked. I didn’t tell her that I bought the fabric later, planning to make her a set.
I tried out one of the stitches on my new machine to decorate and secure the fabric on the table runner. I finished the table runner, and assembled the place mats. I just need to fancy stitch the place mats.

Table Runner

Place Mats

Rainy Sunday

For the past two days, we have been hit with  a lot of rain. This morning, the water rose high on my porch, and we had a rushing stream of water on our front street. It all went down by noon, leaving us with another day to piddle around inside. I am not complaining…we sorely needed the rain.
I made my journal block for this past Friday. I had to spend time straightening out the hexagon.

Corrected Version

I started prepping for making some table mats, but I got sidetracked into making another tissue pouch for my grandson. When I was with him last, it seems like we were always looking for tissues. A few years ago, I had made him a pouch. I called it a Moco Monster.

I can’t remember which one of these three was his. It is no longer around. So, I thought I would use the last of the Pokemon fabric and make an updated version. This pouch is called Mokomon.
I made a Pokemon trading card to go with the pouch.

I am looking at different tutorials for making a sewing machine cover. The other day, I found some cute fabric at Las Colchas that will make a cute cover. I hope to get started on this soon.

Tomorrow’s plans involve a tour of the Toyota Plant.
Don’t ask me why we are touring plant.
My Meemaw friend thought it would be a fun thing to do.
I am always in for fun, but I do wonder how this tour fits the description of fun.
Of course, we are starting or day meeting for breakfast.