Thursday, February 27, 2014

Low Volume Quilt

 I started pulling and cutting low volume fabric last night to get started on a scrappy low volume quilt. I'm still on the 30 Item Scrap Challenge, figure I will be at this for most of the month of March.
 I felt a little lost when working on the first block but after getting it together I realized I was over thinking everything. It is NOT a hard block!
Cutting all this fabric is the biggest challenge for me! Holy cow its a whole lot of cutting.

 Here is the first pile of scraps/stash for 10 blocks that has been cut. Ready to move on to the piecing then start building more blocks.
I know this quilt will be a long and hopefully happy endeavour so I went ahead and designated a container for everything.

One block done, only 19 more to go! Once I get all the cutting finished I think things will move along a bit faster. I have sew many other irons in the fire right now that I need to use the scrappy Low Volume quilt as my just for fun project.

I didn't realize how few low volume scraps I had in my scraps/stash until I started pulling fabric yesterday. Lots and lots of brights to pick from but the low volume not sew much. I refuse to buy anything other than backing for this quilt sew I will have to use a whole lot of repeat low volume fabrics.

I don't think this quilt will put much of a dent in my scrap/stash but what the heck every little bit helps right? The little Bernina London 7 is doing her thing thank goodness as the big girl will be spending an additional week in the shop :(.

What do you ladies do to keep a handle on your scraps/stash? I have nightmares of my scrap/sewing room being so stuffed with leftovers that there will be no room for some new yummy fabrics in years to come.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Back in the Sadle

My Goofy brain is on the mend. Another day or two and I should be back to normal, well what is considered normal for me! Ha After seeing the Neurologist this morning and having a battery of test to insure that the rocks in my head were where they should be. It was conclusively determined that Vertigo is just one of the side affects of having a brain disorder. Nice, add one more stinky thing too the lists. 

Before I began running into walls and falling down I was using this pattern with a few changes to work on baby bibs using scraps from my stash. I didn't care for the binding ties on the bibs, with a little change I did away with them. From recent experience trying to tie bibs on a wiggly baby is no fun, its Velcro all the way for me.

One of the requirements this morning before seeing the Neurologist was to be off the vertigo meds for at least 12 hours. I needed a clear head as well as being able to stay awake for all the testing. Last night I figured I would see if I could at least sew on buttons. Yep, it worked. The watermelon bib is finished.

Moved on to the buttons for the strawberry bib. Done! These two small projects were all I could get done before it was time to sleep off the meds for the night. What the heck, some progress is better than none

I have had a hankering to try this scrappy quilt out for awhile. I need a new project like a need a hole in my head (one of the few things my head does not have!) but...I thought some simple cutting might be something I could get done as I give my goofy brain a rest. The quilt is from February's issue of "American Patchwork & Quilting"

I think I can pull this quilt off using scraps and maybe some stash thrown in. It would go much faster if I were to just buy new fabric from the materials list but.. I need to use up more of my scraps. Who knows when the quilt top will ever be done but I plan on enjoying the process. After all it for me!! I do love me some leftovers.

Like the quilt from the magazine? Check out the blogs listed below who have participated in a quilt along.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Before Tyler arrived yesterday I whipped up another baby bib for DD#1's upcoming baby shower she will be hosting. The new girl machine is earning her keep!

Ty and I were working away on his Lego Camper when I started feeling odd, not anything specific just odd. Not feeling like cooking or putting anything together I took him out to eat. The odd feeling started turning into I don't feel so good, went downhill from there :(. Maybe rest on the couch, nope that just made the world spin. Maybe some fresh air would help, Na I ran into the door on my way out.

As the afternoon went on I realized I had Vertigo. Instead of having dinner out with the family for DD#2's Birthday a friend and I spent a few hours in the ER. Once the world stops spinning I will be back.

 For now it's meds and the bed for me.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baby Stuff

 I can't believe how bad these photo's look once they loaded on the blog, what the heck is that all about? This is a pair of hubby's old Levies, they look crazy in this picture, I promise they are just everyday jeans that he outgrew more years ago than I want to share! Ha
 I cut them up saving all the cool parts I might be able to use on something else. For today the something else was baby bibs.
 GRRR these photo's are making me nuts!! This is a really cute denim bid for Grand #5 with lots of decorative stitching.
 And an almost complete denim baby girl bib for an upcoming shower DD#1 is giving.
DD needs more window treatments. I think she called the top fabric burlap grey cat eye fabric. Its really cool. She wants panels for the breakfast room and a window treatment for the kitchen using this along with the grey tweed. The beautiful  green with leaves is for the media room (can't tell in this photo what a nice green it is) Again she just wants straight panels for one large window and a topper for the small window. Also recover sofa throw pillows with the same fabric as well as the tan fabric. I am SEW thankful she didn't find what she wanted for the family room!! I do believe this pile of fabric should keep me busy for a few days! Ha

Another update on the new girl sewing machine.

1.) Her 60 decorative stitches are great, I will never use them all but I really liked the ones I used
2.) I haven't received the walking foot for the new girl yet. I was a little afraid she wouldn't be able to handle FOUR layers of denim but she got r done. Not without some protest I must say. I don't know that the big girl could have done any better.

I plan on top stitching both bibs but not until I get the big girl machine back. I am afraid I would be pushing my luck to top stitch all those layers of denim without a walking foot!!

Sew far, the new girl is earning her keep!!

Holee ask about adult bibs yesterday. I haven't made any yet but I did have an idea/pattern saved in my nursing home files. I love the idea of making the adult bibs to look like aprons. Check it out here.

Bed time for me and the hound dog. It has been a very long day

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Fun

 As you can see Kara once again took over my mini ironing board today. Can you see the spit fire spirit in those eyes?
 Most of the time she is in motion, it's rare for her to be still.
 I played around on the London 7 after Miss Kara left for the day. More scraps for Sewing On The Go pouches
 Maybe someday I will learn how to take better photo's with my Christmas camera.
 Here is one of the many slip covers I took to the nursing home yesterday. I made them to fit what I call baby pillows, they are the 12 x 16 pillows found in any fabric or craft store. I saw the pillows in Walmart for $5.99 this week.
I never got a photo of the full pile of slip covers but here is a photo of about 1/2 of the ones I made. I used this tutorial, sew quick and easy!!

This girl....she keeps me on my toes and on the run all day long!!! Since it was raining all morning at least she was contained within the walls of the house so I didn't have to run her down all over the yard. Kara is VERY outdoorsy and eats like a grown man. Where do these little kiddo's put all of that food, oh my.

Sew after the rug rat left I sat down with the new machine to work on some To Go sewing kits. I'm still trying to figure out the back stitch/reverse button, very different than my other machine. The needle up/down function works differently as well. I time I will get use to the change (I hope)

What I don't like sew far is VERY little!! That's good ! Ha

Here is the good and not sew good so far

1.) It doesn't have a left/right needle function, it will only move to the left :(

I like to use a finishing/edging presser foot for top stitching with the needle moved to the far right. This gives me a very nice 1/8 inch straight top stitch.

2.) What I do like is the finishing/edging foot only cost $7.19. The foot is 1/4 inch foot, its going to be really nice when I do piece work (I hope)

3.) The reverse/back stitch function is odd. You press a button to back up, easy, however you have to push the button again to stop the back stitch. Humm

4.) I am finding it hard as heck to do the drop in bobbin. I think there might be something wrong for it to fit so tightly. Next time I go to the shop I will have them give her a look.

5.) Having the drop in bobbin deal means no cleaning or oiling after the 4 hour suggestion for cleaning and oiling my other machine. I feels like I am cheating since I am not cleaning so often :)

6.) While the machine doesn't purr like my other machine it does have a nice quite hum. :)

7.) I took a chance doing simple straight stitch quilting without a walking foot on the new girl. No problems at all :) BTW I did order a walking foot at a cost of $12.75. The big machine walking foot was close to $200.00!! HUGE difference!

8.) When sewing the back and front along with quilt batting for the To Go sewing kits the stitches were beautiful, no puckering at the end. Nice

9.) The one thing the new girl struggled with was pivoting at the corners when I top stitched. I'm sure there is a trick to get her over her corner pivot, I just don't know what it is yet.

All in all She is a pretty darn good machine!! I think I will keep her! Ha

If all goes as planned I am going to try out her decorative stitches tomorrow. I think some new grand baby boy items using scraps might be fun. I'll keep everyone updated as I continue to play with the London 7.

BTW I am in NO WAY affiliated with Bernina or any other company!!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Where Did Today Go?

My day was not spent on sewing I can tell you!! I did do a wee bit of sewing last night but being tired and learning a new machine wasn't a good idea. There is a learning curve for me with anything new.

I forgot to take a photo of Kara today when she took over my mini ironing board.
"Nanny you make me dis?"
No honey its' for Nanny's sewing
"I rike it"
Thank you
 Next thing I knew she had pushed it into the kitchen and set up a tea "Pardy" for two.

I might be making an additional mini ironing board for the little girls tea "Pardy's".

The BIG project for the day was delivering the minky slip covers to the nursing home after Kara had left for the day. I picked up a couple of pillows on the way just in case. Let me tell you the ladies at the front desk were squealing with delight!! As I did before I ask that they do what they thought was best as far as passing them out or putting them in the gift shop but I did want any of the residence who didn't have visitors or were feeling low to receive one for free.

I now know what a rock star feels like! Ha I was surrounded by staff in a skinny minute. They ask if I would personally deliver some to special ladies that they knew needed them. I didn't expect that...OK I'm game although I wasn't dressed, jeans and a tee is not something I would have worn if I knew I was going to have a chat with new friends! They assured me it was no big deal. Three hours later I was on to the rest of the errands I needed to complete.

What a beautiful three hours it was!!! The ladies were so excited to have company and a gift to boot, they were over the top happy. I had a time of it holding back tears. I was the one who received the gift :). OK, so I found this funny. One of the ladies almost ran me over in her wheelchair as she was wheeling that chair down the hall like there was no tomorrow. She couldn't wait to show her friend her new minky pillow.

I took enough slip covers that each resident could receive one. As I was leaving the ladies at the front desk let me know they would be passing them out during dinner tonight, the leftovers would go to the gift shop. They were afraid of a full blown riot if they didn't get them in the hands of everyone! Ha

Sew sweet and sew BLESSED to have had the pleasure of spending time with these wonderful people that are too often forgotten.

Early bedtime tonight as I have Kara tomorrow, we have a morning at the park planned. Last weeks snow was beautiful but this weeks temperatures in the 70's beats the heck out of that snow!!

Sew you want a new machine

 I learned to sew on a treadle machine much like this one of my Grandmothers. The only stitch I can ever remember doing on her machine was a straight stitch, I'm not sure it would do much else. Embroidery, ruffles, and hems were always done by hand.

 She was the second generation to have used her machine. How do I know that? Our Great Grandfather kept a daily journal for years and years. There are so many entries about others in the rural area they lived in coming over to stay for a few days to get their sewing done. I found that to be one of the sew many interesting things I learned from his journals. I ask my Aunt about it years ago and she shared that in that time most farm families couldn't afford a machine of their own. ladies would spend a few days staying with our great grandparents to sew in exchange for some other tool or farm equipment that our grandparents didn't own, others might share a skill. One of the things my aunt remembered was one family made hard cheese, they would keep our great grand parents in cheese year round in exchange for some sewing time. A good sewing machine should last for generations!
 My next sewing machine was from my future Mother In Law as a Wedding Shower gift. It was a 1970's era Singer from Montgomery Ward. Holy Cow talk about heaven here on earth!! The sewing machine alone was a good enough reason alone to marry hubby, HA. Over the years curtain, drapes, blankets, clothes for our girls, special occasion dresses, gifts, mending, you name it this lady could do it.  I drove that old gal for over 30 years until she died a painful firey death. As she was humming along one afternoon she caught on fire...My hubby can fix just about anything but my girl was a lost cause :( .

At the time she went up in flames I was doing some work for a scrapbook designer who had incorporated sewn journals in her classes/retreats. I needed a new machine and I needed it fast to finish the order I was working on.  I was confidant purchasing a new machine from what I had thought was a good company (I won't say who) their product had been wonderful in the past. Not sew much any more. I was embarrassed to even pass it on to Goodwill it was such a piece of crap! Lesson learned, they don't make stuff like they use to and NEVER ever buy sewing machines from a big box store.
Sew I started saving and saving, and saving some more for what I knew would be a work horse of a  machine that I might even be able to pass down to our DD's. I researched on line for over a year, maybe even longer while I saved extra money here and there. I knew the ball park price of what I was willing to spend and I knew what I wanted out of a machine. I was laser focused when I went in to the shop for a test drive. However...
Once I was in the shop ready to lay down the cash I became overwhelmed with all the bells and whistles the new machines had to offer. I left the store empty handed with STICKER shock!! I eventually went back with a better grasp on what I really wanted/needed but still wasn't ready to let go of that cash. After test driving what I knew was the right machine for me I had the shop add my name to the waiting list of a used/trade in machine. With each trade in they called me on the machine that was offered was more machine than I wanted. I needed/wanted a basic machine.
Finally the day came where I was ready to just pay full price and be done with it. When I walked in the store they were running a sale, be still my heart!!! SOLD, load her up. The price? $1,200.00 ouch, but that was with $300.00 off the original price. I went with the Bernina 330. It's a basic machine that sews like there is no tomorrow!!
I was afraid to even turn it on, will I ever learn to really use it? Oh Ya baby did I ever. The dealer had free classes on Saturday mornings each month. Not only did they show you hands on what your machine would do they also let you use the shops million and one presser feet and attachments. I wanted them all until I saw the price. Holy cow, I thought the chrome hubby seems to always need more of on the Harley was expensive. Who knew presser feet could cost that much! Over the past few years I have bought a few that I knew I would use often, as a matter of fact I bought another new one yesterday :) Money well spent

After a few years with the Bernina 330 I decided I just might like to step it up a little now that we were in the grandparent stage of life. So many cute things for the grands had monograms or machine embroidery on them. Time to save and research again. I knew I wanted to stay with the Bernina brand but I just couldn't justify the price of an all in one machine EVER. Now maybe if I were too sew as a business I would feel differently but I sew as a hobby.
 The best learning experience for me was taking sewing classes offered at the shop I bought my first Benina from. Ladies would lug in machines of all shapes and sizes, brand spankin new machines, as well as 30 or 40 year old machines. Not only was I learning new to me skills on my machine and taking home cute FINISHED projects I was also able to observe what the high end machines could do.
Put two ladies together with a love of anything and you know we talk. Oh how we talk. A room full of ladies with a passion? Watch out, we talk a LOT!
Here is what I picked up
1.) Some of those all in one machines weigh more than the ladies dragging them along to class.
2.) All the gizmo's and gadgets for those machines needed a U Haul to carry everything around.
3.) Many of the ladies had to pull out their user manual to remember what buttons to hit to do regular sewing
4.) A whole heck of a lot of them had more than one machine. WHAT????
OK, this is nuts. These are not inexpensive machines. Why do you need more than one? It was time to get answers from the ladies themselves goodbye goggle.
Every single one of the sew sweet to share ladies said the same thing. It's was a pain the the butt to switch over from machine embroidering to a regular sewing mode. All gizmo's and parts would be all over the place. You need to use different thread therefor different bobbins for embroidery and sewing. It was easier to have one machine to embroider another to sew.
Hummm. SEW I bought a Bernina Deco 340 stand alone embroidery machine.
It's perfect for my needs (wants is a better word) The largest design I will ever be able to do is 5.5 X 7.9 which for me has worked out great! I have done some upgrading with fancy computer software that I will never learn all there is to know but I am a happy girl. Cost of the machine? If I remember right it was around $1,500.00

What the heck is yet another sewing machine box doing on the kitchen table? I have been researching once more. The first thing I looked up was "Addiction", I am thankful to report I do not fall in that category yet!

 Here is what I thought was a problem for me (excuse to buy another machine). I use my sewing machine.... as in often!! Sometimes I think by golly these machines are so good they could build a house. I'm not really sure about that but I know having one will cause a house to fill up with fabric pretty fast!
I sometimes sew on the go. Taking classes hasn't been a real problem as my 330 isn't terribly heavy but there has been a lot of times when I am making something decorative for the DD's that it's easier to just take my machine the their house to do the work. Once a year it along with more supplies than anyone should have is loaded into the baby SUV for a long GF's weekend of creating. Someday I have visions of going to a sewing retreat. Vacations? Ya, I throw my lady in (just in case).
I wanted a lightweight machine To Go. I was also interested in knowing what a beginner machine would do and feel like. Sew many of my friends and friends of our DD's are beginning to get the sewing itch. It's hard to tell them when ask that an good entry level machine costs between $1,200.00-$2,000.00. See what a good friend I am...I am willing to buy a THIRD machine just so I can pass on good information and tips! Ha

And Sew I am now the proud owner of a Bernette London 7. I will be giving her a workout today with some scraps (30 item scrap challenge remember) I will share in the near future what I like/dislike with this machine. Right now what I know I like is
1.) The price! $449.00
2.) Additional presser feet are reasonably priced
3.) Very simple to use
4.) Has a needle up/down function (is that what it's called?)
5.) Small and lightweight.
6.) A manufacturer who stands behind its products
7.) A store that goes above and beyond on customer service
8.) A store that has a wonderful service department
Well is this a long post or what! Maybe I should be a spokesmen for the Bernina company.
I am not here to knock other brands or manufacturers but you do get what you pay for and where you pay for it!
Here are some things NOT to do when buying a sewing machine
1.) DO NOT buy from a big box store!!
The brands and models sold are for the most part so low end that you will spend what should be a pleasurable time of creating in a mess of trouble with plastic crap that just won't work.
2.) DO NOT buy the cheapest machine you can find because you are not sure you will really enjoy sewing. Trust me you will not enjoy sewing on them!!
3.) DO NOT buy on line. first off you need to test drive the machine. Second, that box of plastic might not hold up well in the shipping process.
4.) DO NOT buy a machine that can't be serviced. You may be able to have the cheaper machines serviced but beware, the service, parts, and repair's may cost more than you paid for the durn thing to begin with!
5.) DO NOT buy what you can afford. What? No really you need to buy more than you can afford but SAVE up for it!!!!!
Do This
1.) Research different machines and manufactures, it's free!
2.) Know what you want from a machine!! A GOOD basic machine from a local dealer is worth it's weight in gold. How many ladies really use all of those million and one decorative stitches?
3.) Visit as many local shops/dealers as you can to test drive the machines. Is the shop/dealer friendly and informative? Do they service the machines on site? Take along some fabric to test drive with, if you know you like to work with heavyweight fabric, upholstery and such bring it along, cotton fabric? yep throw some in you would be amazed at how many machines will chew lightweight fabric up. Quilting? take along a quilt sandwich
4.) Don't buy on your first trip!! It will be hard to walk away once you fall in LOVE but keep on walking anyway. Once home list all the things you loved, now list any questions you have that you forgot to ask. Get on line and check out reviews. Ask friends and relatives what feature they wish they had or what is there must have feature in a machine. A good shop/dealer won't mind you bugging the snot out of them, they want long term happy customers
5.) Make sure the shop/dealer offers classes on the model you choose. With many of the higher end machines classes come free!! Take them! In addition check class schedules for additional pay as you go classes. You might be amazed at what all that basic machine will do and you get to take home something super cute.
6.) Be willing to save for your girl. Many/most of the high end manufacturer's offer financing. DO NOT DO this!!! There is no reason to go into debt for a sewing machine!! Get your name on the gently used list, the work horse machines are worth the wait. Keep on saving for what you want!
Sew that's my story and I am sticking to it. I am in LOVE with my Bernina's. I Love my local shop just as much. I say local shop but really there are other shops in our area I could have bought from that are just as close if not closer to our home. I went with the shop that I found friendly, knowledgeable, and who LOVES what they do. It's not just a store it's a passion of theirs its contagious...and I have the products to show for it :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sewing on the Go with Scraps

 This pattern from "Lily Ashbury" for The High Street Travelers Sewing Kit has been sitting on my sewing counter for too long. I am sew glad I finally got around to giving it a try. In keeping with using up the scraps challenge this month I dug around to see what I could come up with. I like the results!
 The inside of the pouch has lots of little places to stash great travel sewing kit supplies
 A 4 inch pair of scissors in one pocket, cost just under $3.00
 A removable pin cushion
 Pages for needles
More pages for straight pins and safety pins
 And a pocket for notions. One of the notions I tucked in was a mini tape measure I found at a big box store for .99 cents
 I wanted to add several colors of thread to my notions pocket but it wouldn't hold more than two full size spools. Instead I bought these pre loaded bobbins in black and white in addition too a set with lots of colors. I don't know why anyone would buy pre loaded bobbins but in this case they worked out great
Figured I might as well make two while I was at it.
I'm pretty excited about these travel sewing pouches. Super easy to do with great instructions and frugal to boot. I'll be making more of these for sure, they would be great gifts for students headed off too college, honeymoon, special trips, fancy cruise, sew many idea's.
Now that hubby is headed back to his current project I filled most of my day taking a software class for the embroidery machine and test driving a lightweight sewing machine. I have been wanting (not needing) a machine that is light enough to travel with, is still a work horse, needed a good warranty, and no mess no fuss service. I do believe I bought what I was looking for.
I hope to play around on the new little girl tonight if I can shake this terrible headache.Tomorrows post will be all about purchasing a sewing machine for yourself or as a gift for someone else. In no way will I be trashing other companies, just sharing what I have found over the past 39 years of sewing!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

No Scrap Shall Go To Waste

 Check out this lap full of love. AJ the beagle gets so out done when the grands all pile on Papaws lap. When hubby is home his lap belongs to AJ
 Here is the travel system we got a super duper deal on. Regular price $259.00 our price on clearance with and additional 15% off coupon. $115.00!!! Ya baby. Our newest grand will be riding in style and safety at a great price. It's never too soon to instill frugal habits in the grand kiddo's
I used the scraps from the Valentine mug rugs yesterday for this little jewel. The design is a combination of ideas I had seen on pintrest. No waste for this ongoing (as in all year) Charity project.

I noticed at Sunday dinner yesterday that the ENTIRE family seems to have an extra twinkle in their eye's when hubby is home to join us. The laughter is louder, smiles seem bigger, jokes are exchanged at a quicker pace, even their appetites seem to go up a notch. He is our sunshine! And we all miss him so much :(

 It's sometimes hard not to complain about all the traveling he has had to do for the past few years, we never thought at this point in our life and his career he would be off on projects but then again who would have ever thought the economy would be is such a mess for so many years :(  Coming from military/DOD backgrounds helps a WHOLE lot. We both understand separation well. We both were brought up knowing that to do ones duty you must often be away from home. When I get down and out I ALWAYS think back and remember that hubby unlike our military men and woman is in a safe place. He is not living in a tent in some far away place where people intend on killing him at the first opportunity.

Could he give up the career he has been at for the past 40 years? Ya, he could. We would both have what we want and have it now but....Retiring early in this economy is just not something we are willing to do. So for now we are thankful he has a job he loves, with a company that has been very, very, good to our family over the many years.

Cramming so much family living and loving in so few days stinks! I'm not a technology kinda gal, I can do without all the modern gadgets the world has to offer. You will never find me in long lines to get the latest and greatest the world has to offer. However all these gadgets and gizmo's are such a blessing for our family in that they allow hubby to communicate with the big and little kids every day. The cell phone, I Pad, Skype, Facebook, and whatever else it is they use has them all plugged in to each other. Its so sweet when one of the grands get to talk and see Papaw on one of their gadgets.

 Hubby and Tyler used our free Lego tickets today, I had to stay home to catch up on laundry. They LOVED the movie!! Both have requested as soon as it comes out on DVD that we get a copy. After hearing their play by play of the movie tonight I am thankful that I had to stay home and do laundry, just saying!