Flat Grammy

For the past three years, I have attended the elementary school Grandparent’s Day activities at the invitation of my granddaughter. This year, I have a schedule conflict that will keep me from attending the event at my granddaughter’s new school. I know I will be arranging a school lunch date with her some time in the near future, but I am really bummed out to be missing the event next week.
Then I remembered about Flat Stanley. My granddaughter and I have a lot of fun joking around. I think she would get a kick out of me making a Flat Grammy for her to take to school in her backpack. I drew a selfie on a scrap of muslin and used fabric crayons and pencil colors. I ironed the muslin onto a one-sided fusible stabilizer. Then I added a grey floral fabric backing before stitching along the drawn lines. Pinking shears were used to cut around the fabric doll. Now, I just have to write a corresponding note.
I would still rather be there in person, but this will have to do for now.

October Baby

My daughter-in-law sent me the latest sonograms and updates on our October baby boy. Both mom and son are doing well.
I have finished making all of the Batman things for the baby shower that will be held soon. My son painted the baby room this weekend, and there is already a framed poster of Batman on the wall.
I finished binding the quilt, and all the burp cloths and bibs are complete. I bought a Batman canvas bin to hold all the goodies. And I just couldn’t resist buying Bat Bear. I may have gone overboard on the theme.

I love the bat quilting pattern.                      The back is a very soft flannel.

Murphy’s Law

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.

The raised box quilt is finally finished. I am thinking this quilt should be named Murphy…after Murphy’s Law.
This quilt began with the best made plans. First, I drew the design on graph paper and colored each section. I listed the measurements for each cut and sub cut of fabric. Then, in my typical fashion, I discarded the plans and started cutting. This mistake led to MANY rips and redos.  I had to rip the whole bottom section because I had cut the yellow strips for the squares a half inch bigger than the those in the top rows. This meant I had also cut the black shadow strips incorrectly. What was I thinking?
Well, I guess I just wasn’t thinking.
I was also unhappy with some of the fussy cutting I did. I cut some more character fabric to try and get better images to showcase in the raised box squares. I was starting to fixate on getting the right image fussy cut, and finally decided that I was over thinking this process.
Then, of course, I had sewing machine drama. I fooled with the first machine way too long, and had to rip and redo seams that came out loopy. Things got much better when I pulled out my old sewing machine to finish the job.
In spite of all the mistakes and drama along the way, I am happy with the finished product.

Now, I can move on to my next project.


Stay focused
Stick to a plan
Get sewing machine fixed

Raised Box Quilt

Even though I got my Juki 2000QVP  to stop beeping and start working, the tension problems continued. I found myself having to rip and redo loopy stitches. I followed all suggestions and manual directions, but the irregular stitch tension continued. After struggling with this situation on the first row of my quilt, I decided to give up on using the Juki. I pulled out my non-electronic Viking Emerald and continued working on my quilt. No problems with the Viking.
My original plan for making a super hero quilt was to make simple framed blocks. Then I started looking at different tutorials for making shadow box and attic window quilts.  Rose Smith has a great tutorial on how to make a raised box quilt. I decided to use her technique for making the super hero quilt. There are many super hero quilt pattern ideas on Pinterest. There were a few different Pinterest posts that had an example of a super hero quilt by Fiscalini Designs. This quilt uses the same raised box technique that was in the tutorial by Rose Smith.
This is as far as I have gotten with the quilt today. I would have gotten more done if I hadn’t spent so much time trying to make the Juki work correctly.

Here I Go Again


The fabric for the blocks is all cut.
This is as far as I got before my sewing machine started beeping at me.
This is the second fail in two months.
I had the Juki 2000 QVP serviced in June.
In July, I made it a point of frequently cleaning out the machine.
I hardly used the Juki in August, since I used my Viking for projects like mug rugs and coiled fabric plates.

Initially, I was very happy with the machine which is just over a year old. However, I never did like the set up for winding the bobbin. The mechanism bobs up and down and shoots off the cap. When I had the machine serviced in June, I was given a small part to hold in the spool, but it still doesn’t work well.
Today, I noticed the tension was not right. It took a lot of trial and error to finally get a good thread tension. Then, as I was about to sew the third block, the machine started beeping. It is not the continuous beeping that occurred when I had to take it to the shop in June. At that time, I was told that the electronics jammed because the cleaning I did was not deep enough to reach the parts. The service man suggested using canned air to clean, even though the manual instructs not to do so. I have not used canned air.
The beeping today is a series of 3 beeps. The manual directs one to clean out the bobbin area, since this beeping indicates there might be a loose thread in the bobbin. I have cleaned the bobbin area  repeatedly, and the machine still beeps.
I truly regret purchasing this machine. I will pull out my non-electronic Viking machine to finish this project.
On Monday, I will be calling the dealer to see what can be done.
In spite of all this hassle, I am happy with the blocks I made so far.

Ready to Go

Even though I make it a point to clean up my sewing room each time I use it, the room still gets out of control. This week, I have been making numerous small projects. I finished with all of them today, and the sewing room was a mess.

Since I plan on starting on a new quilt tomorrow, it was time to do a major cleaning and reorganization of my sewing room. I love the excitement that comes with planning and starting a new quilt. I have never made an attic window quilt, so I am looking forward to trying it out. I have been looking at different pictures and tutorials of the attic window quilt, and I have finally decided on the one I want to make. I drew the blocks on graph paper, and took the plans to my friend at the Mesquite Bean. She helped to figure out the amount of fabric I would need. Since I tend to miscalculate, I wanted her input. I found some great fabric at the Mesquite Bean to make the attic box around the trademark character fabric.

I plan on making four rows of three blocks. There will be 2″sashing, a 1″ inner border, and a 6″ outer border.

One of the small projects I completed today was a shopping bag for my daughter-in-law who is a seamstress, crafter, and quilter. I used the Time to Go Shopping Sack pattern by Fishsticks. ( I just read that Fishsticks is going out of business.)

My daughter-in-law loves anything Halloween, so I am including a Quilter’s World magazine I saw when I was grocery shopping. The magazine fits very nicely in the shopping bag. The Quilted Tricks & Treats issue has 22 fun projects. There is a wall hanging with haunted houses that I was tempted to make myself, but my To-Do list for August and September is already too long.

My room is all set up and ready to go. Hopefully, I can start fussy cutting the character fabric for the attic window quilt tomorrow. I also want to work on some of the blocks for my house quilt. I had purchased some Halloween fabric for another project, and I was able to fussy cut some of the Halloween characters for the house doorways.

Plates and Mugs

My three siblings are all good cooks. The cooking gene missed me all together. In fact, I think my kitchen is a waste of space. I would like to remodel it into a third sewing room.😁
My brother, Joseph, is an excellent chef. He is self-taught, and has taken lessons and training. On his last trip to Spain, he took a class and learned how to make paella…my favorite dish!  I will be visiting him soon, and I am looking forward to some great meals. I do not want to go empty-handed, so I made him some fabric-rope place mats. I used the remaining material from the plates to make some coordinating mug rugs.

It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier, has directions for making the coiled plates. I have made these before, but each time I have learned new tricks to improve the process. I used to wrap the fabric around the rope all in one sitting. I thought this would be better in order to not have to stop while sewing. However, it was tedious to wrap 15 yards (X4) of the clothesline. Also, the clothesline tended to twist. Now, I wrap as I go along, and I find this is much better. When I stop to wrap more fabric, I also take the opportunity to see if I missed any of the zig-zag stitches. It is easier to fix a section as I go along, instead of waiting to the very end. This book has so many wonderful patterns for baskets, purses, and different shaped bowls. I hope to make one of the purses one day.

The mug rugs are from All People Quilts. There is a Coffee Time Quilt block pattern on this site that is very easy to make. I added a heart on one of the mugs to make it special for my brother.


Now, we will have some pretty place mats to use for that delicious meal he will be making!

Fabric Bird Journal

This past week was spent with one of my son’s and his family. I also got to spend a day with a friend and her grandson. Needless to say, it was a busy, fun, happy, non-stop action week.
When I returned home, I decided to unwind a few days before I got back to the projects I left in progress. I like to relax by hand stitching while I watch classic movies. It just so happened that it was Irene Dunne Day on Turner Classics, so this was perfect. 👵
My Process

  • I have a bin with muslin and batting already cut in different sizes for making small-to-medium sized signatures for journals.
  • My threads, beads, scissors, and all necessary items for a small hand stitching project are in a pink box, that was formerly a jewelry box. This box was a gift my youngest son gave me back in the ’80’s, so it has a lot of sentimental value.
  • I began the fabric collage process by looking through the scraps trying to find particular designs that I could shape into a bird body or wing
  • I free-cut the bird shape and wings by following the designs on the fabric.
  • Then, I use an Elmer’s Glue Stick to secure the bird to the fabric.
  • This makes it easier to hand stitch the birds.

Fabric Journal

  • The muslin signatures for this project are about 8″x 12″. The measurements are not exact, since I prefer the unfinished, uneven look. The bird fabric journal I made is very simple compared to the beautiful, elaborate fabric journals on Pinterest.
  • I used the sewing machine to zig-zag the edges of the signatures.
  • The wrap cover was made with strips sewn onto canvas.

This journal project was a great way to relax and unwind. The unfinished projects are calling me, so I will get to them this week.

Oops!

My math has been totally off on these last two projects. I was short on fabric for finishing the border on my quilt. Now, I am short on fabric to make 4 fabric rope plates. Each plate takes 3/4 of a yard. Instead of using scraps, I purchased 4 different blue fabrics. Alas, I only purchased enough to make two plates. I finished one yesterday, and today I went back to the Mesquite Bean to purchase what I needed. I think my car is beginning to just automatically drive to this quilt shop. I need to take a crash refresher course in math measurements. 😁
I am making these fabric rope plates for my brother who will celebrate a birthday next month. He is a fantastic cook, and he always sets a great table.

Today’s Spread the Word: