Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It's Tuesday Again. Where Does the Time Go??


My son's birthday was a week or so ago.  His name is Kevin, but you see on the cake hat the name is Keith.  I think that's some kind of a private joke between some friends but with him you can never be too sure.  He might have told someone his name is Keith just for fun.  Or not, as the case may be.

Anyway, I grabbed this pic off his Facebook page because my grandson is just so cute in it.  I'm always talking about the girls, sometimes the only boy gets left out.

This past week we had quilting at church.  One of the ladies brought her sister-in-law and the SIL's trunk show.  Wendy has won ribbons at the state fair for work so gorgeous that we could only drool in envy.  These three photos were on my FB page.  Of course the other pictures are on a device with a dead battery.  Maybe tomorrow I'll show the rest...

This wall hanging commemorates Haley's Comet in 1986.  Can you see it flying across the dark night sky in silver lame?

This pillow was made with small squares of polyester and makes a groovy accessory!

This is a doll quilt Wendy made to match the one you can just see on the table that was her daughter's.   Both were exquisitely quilted.
We have a bunch of UFOs to complete next month.  I brought this top home.  It was given to us in pieces already cut out, but no pattern.  Bonnie put the blocks together and the resulting flimsy was too narrow.  I'm trying to extend it asymmetrically.  First I tried five inch squares but the proportions were not right.  So I recut all the squares into 2.5 inch blocks and started over. 
I need something to tie the whole thing together, some kind of outer border.  Either that or it has to come apart and be rearranged.
Nah, not that!!

Sew on...

Friday, September 18, 2015

National Sewing Month

Did you know that September was National Sewing Month?


Back in 1982 then-President Ronald Reagan declared September "National Sewing Month" in recognition of the contribution that sewing has made to our country.  Since then, the Home Sewing Association which started things rolling has morphed into the Sewing and Craft Alliance, the American Sewing Guild, and many other organizations that promote the art of sewing in America and the world.

Of course everyone knows about DIY shows on TV, although there aren't as many as there have been, the reality shows where people design and sew clothing and home dec items, and of course the ubiquitous YouTube channels promoting everything from a to z with stops at beading, quilting, and hemming your children's jeans.

Personally I love YouTube videos.  Want to know how to cut bias binding?  Or sew the binding on by machine?  Maybe you don't know how to cut pieces for an Ohio Star... or how to shorten a skirt.  You can find a dozen or more how-to videos on anything you want to do.  People like Jenny at Missouri Star Quilt Company and Nancy Zieman of Sewing with Nancy fame have their own channels, along with about a zillion others.

The other day I wanted to find a video that might play the words and melody of a song that was running not very successfully through my head.  You know, how you remember the first three lines but the rest of it goes "da da da da da dum dum dum"...  So I googled the first line, and there were at least ten different versions of someone singing that song all the way through, some with the lyrics on the screen.

Ah, I can sleep at night again, knowing it's there when I need it.

So celebrate National Sewing Month -- there are 12 more days left.  Sew something fun.  Sew something for someone else.  Admire someone else's work.  Whatever works for you.

Sew on...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Red and White Quilts and a New Book

A few years ago in New York, there was an exhibit of over 650 red and white quilts that are the lifelong collection of Joanna S. Rose.  It was held at the American Folk Art Museum, and evidently it was a sight to see!

I was not able to go, but many people and publications reviewed it, so there was (and still is) plenty of opportunity to see the quilts in all their glory.

from several reviews -- the bird's eye view.

The inspiration for the name of the exhibition was a line from Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra":  Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety...

I love red and white quilts, well red anything and lots of red and white things in general.  It would have been awesome to be able to view even a portion of the collection.  But recently I was browsing and discovered that a book on the collection is available.

I am so there...

I ordered the paperback version and it came last week.  It was on the kitchen table when I got home from family sewing night... and I stayed up for a couple of hours just turning over the pages, trying not to drool on the book.


It's organized by type of pattern, from the simple to the sublime.  The one on the cover is called Vortex Quilt, done somewhere in the US about 1890-1910 according to the museum's web site.

The book is large, a coffee table volume for sure.  That makes the photos big enough to enjoy, although they're not proportionally depicted.  You have to read the caption of each to find the size, because they're shown mostly 4 to a page.  But this is a book I will treasure.

You can click on the link above and get your own copy, or click on the button for the Exhibition there and drool over your computer.

Two color quilts are such classics.  There's something I love about them.  But red and while is definitely my favorite combination.

Check out the exhibit, and the book.

Sew on...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sewing Assistants, or the Mini Sweat Shop

My next door granddaughters both show an interest in sewing.  Of course you know the story of the Princess and the Babylock... Miss E has really done some nice work on it so far.

Last year her little sister, who has just turned 8, decided she wants to sew too.

I believe in teaching kids things if they show an interest, but I was a tiny bit nervous about an 8 year old using a sewing machine... needles and scissors and pins can injure you before you can say ouch.  Ask me how I know this.  And sharp implements and power tools require respect.  So I told her she had to wait until her feet touched the floor while she sits in a chair, so she could reach the foot control.

Dang, that girl grew in a hurry!

This year, she reminded me of my promise, so one day we got out some small squares and went through all the steps of stitching on my Viking machine.

My sewing machine can be operated with the buttons on the front, so you can put the presser foot up and down with your finger.  She sewed some 2 inch squares together, and then some 2.5 by 5 inch rectangles, just for practice.  She presses pretty well, since I picked up the silicon finger protectors.

Yesterday Miss A came over to put the final border on her small quilt.  Of course Miss E came with her, and that set up the competition.  "I want to iron", "not yet, I need to iron", "Then I want to sew", "not right now, I'm sewing!"

OK, how about if Gramma sets up another sewing station?  I have a small travel machine, so we cleared off the project desk where Miss A normally sits to do her "on line school", and made it into a third sewing station.

I fear for the electric bill!

This is where Miss A will sit and sew squares together.  The ironing station is off to the left.  There is a nice padded chair.

This is where Miss E will sit and sew.  The ironing board is behind her.  She has a padded hassock for a seat.

I'm directly opposite her, the farthest from the ironing board, but that's OK, maybe I'll get some exercise!  The only problem now is, there's not a huge amount of walking around room.

But it's fine, since they seem to be enjoying themselves, and I'm getting some of my UFO's cleared up while they make use of the stash for their projects!

If you have the opportunity to teach a young person how to sew, you should take it.  If they're interested, they'll have excitement and passion.  It will renew your own enthusiasm, and it's fun.  There are literally hundreds of easy projects on the internet and in magazines for them to try.  So far we've done pillow cases, a tote bag and a small quilt.

And Miss A is making a serious dent in my box of 'left-overs'.

Eventually I might get some real work product out of them!!

Sew on...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Buzzing, Stinging Things

The insect saga thus far:

There was a boat on the patio.  It had been there for so long that a nest of insects of some sort made a home there.  They really didn't seem to bother too many people, although if you were sitting on said patio with a beverage, they could buzz you to see whether they'd like a sip or two.  Sometimes children screamed about them, but they were mainly harmless.

Until August.

The boat was removed.  The insects were displaced.  Poor things, it couldn't have been fun to have their home destroyed, although I can't bring myself to feel much sympathy since I am definitely NOT an insect fan.

One day, sitting on the patio, DS observed insects crawling around and entering the overhang of the sliding glass patio doors. 


Time to get the spray...  DH went into action.

How do you tell a wasp from a hornet from a bee?  There seem to be many different types of flying, buzzing, stinging insects, and who wants to get close enough to tell the difference??  Not moi, that's for certain. 

Scientific fact:
 Or the 'kinder, gentler, Canadian' version:

I already told you the story about Miss A got stung. That was NOT a good thing.  And it kind of got my dander up.  Sting me, OK, I can take it.  Sting my grandchildren??  Not so much.

So the buzzing, stinging things are now displaced from the back yard.  And just where did they go??  Around to the FRONT yard!

One evening when I got home from work there was my son-in-law in my front yard armed with a FLY SWATTER... banging away at the insect population.  <sigh>  DH went out to assist.  More spraying ensued.

It wasn't exactly Armageddon but you get the idea.  I said "you guys had better be careful or someone else is going to get stung."
I also suggested contacting a real live pest control company.  After all, how long will it take two guys to swat or spray all the bees or whatever they are that are now living in the front porch of our house??  Really, people, just get it over and done with, right??
One night a bit later in the week DH reported on the progress.  "I got stung today.  IT HURTS!"
I refrained from saying I told you so.  Well, I refrained from saying it OUT LOUD.
This week the "Official Professional Pest Control Company" came and sprayed.
It appears that the buzzing, stinging things are pretty much gone.

Buzz on...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First Day of School

So the Grands all had their first day of school today... DH was going to go out for coffee with the neighbor guys and DD was home from work to see the kids off.

I left before the crying started.  Well, only one person was crying, and maybe the dog.

DD said to DH, "Dad, stay away from McDonald's today.  They're having Coffee and Kleenex day for all the parents and grandparents who are sad that school is starting."

I said to DD, "And where is the party for the parents and grandparents who are doing the happy dance in the driveway when the bus departs??"

DD:  "Right here in MY driveway!"

Here's the crew.

Second grade.  Happy.

Fourth grade.  Happy.

Third grade.  Thrilled!

Eighth grade.  Not so much...
Party on!

Monday, August 31, 2015

"Almost" is Finished!!

Almost Twilight is finished!!  My friend Suzi and I were comparing lists of unfinished projects recently.  I'm happy to say I can cross this one off as done!

The binding is on, and I did it completely by machine.  Usually I would sew it on the back and hand stitch it on the front, but for expediency this time I did it all by machine.  I sewed it to the back as normal, trimmed down the seam allowance and with my walking foot stitched it to the front of the quilt, with thread as close to matching as I could get.

The light was not good in the bedroom on Sunday, kind of cloudy and overcast...  As to size, it completely covers the top of my queen sized bed but doesn't extend over the sides.
Machine sewn pinky purple binding.

Looks good even with the back!
I guess this is officially a full sized quilt.  It's long enough to hang over the end of my bed but not wide enough to hang over the sides of the queen mattress.  It would cause quite a tug of war on a cold night!  But it will work as a second cover if I turn it the long way across the bed.

Or I could find someone in the family with a full sized bed and gift it to them.

It was my first experience quilting with batiks.  I really love the colors and Suzi B did a wonderful job on the quilting.   So a big finish.  I think this was the largest of my UFOs.

I also quilted and bound the charity quilt for my local guild, but no photos, it's just so -- so -- ugh...

The back is pretty though!  Hope someone loves it.

 Sew on...