Thursday, December 31, 2015

Prepping For The Move...

Now that Christmas is over I can begin preparing to move my sewing room down to the living room!  I can not WAIT to have a room this big to create in and, most importantly, with it located on the main floor of the house I can seriously reduce running up and down the stairs. 

So, yesterday I listed my sofa, 2 wing chairs, 3 tables, 3 lamps, mirror, a decorative hourglass and my Lowrey organ on eBay.   Within 30 minutes I had bids on the chairs, 2 tables, 2 lamps, the mirror and the hourglass.  Even with the bid, I still see people saving the items to their "watch list".  Maybe that means I will get more than my starting bid amount as it gets closer to the end of the auction.  But, since my goal is to empty out the room as quickly as possible...I priced these things to sell! 

I have had 32 people view my Lowrey listing and one person has placed it on their watch list.  Back in 1974 when my parents bought me the organ, it cost $ astronomical price!  But I had a gift and they were determined to do everything they could to help me reach my potential.  For the past 10 years or so it is impossible to buy replacement parts, so even if someone just purchased it to cannibalize it for parts...$25.00 is a steal! I think I may be quite emotional when "my baby" leaves this house, but I haven't been able to play it in making room for a hobby that I still CAN do makes a whole lot more sense. 

Tomorrow J and his girlfriend will begin moving things around so that at least a few items can be brought down from my sewing room.  We know it is going to take several days of lifting and moving furniture...but it will be a start! 

This morning I have purged through my sewing catalog drawer and have purged through one bin of fabric.  There is a LOT more to do, but slow and steady will have to be my pace. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Now that I have quite a few blocks cut from his clothing I will begin the design process.  Designing this one is a little bit "backwards" from how I usually work.  Since his clothing varies from newborn to toddler, I have to lay out the design based on the maximum size square I was able to cut from the clothing, and how many squares I was able to get out of each shirt!  I haven't decided if the corner blocks are going to just be trimmed down to match the size of the other blocks, or if I am going to turn them into pinwheels.  I am going to do a "test" pinwheel out of scrap fabric and see how the size works.  I can't wait to work on it more tomorrow!!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Okay, I'm horrible showing you the back first...but this is the neatest my FMQ has ever looked on the back (not that you can really see it)!  I think I have finally gotten the tension just right and I am darn proud of it!  I haven't done ANY free motion quilting in about a year.  Yes, there are a few line crosses...but I'm thrilled that there weren't more!

So here is the front...TA DAH!!!

I haven't tried it on my table top quilt stand yet because I had to glue the ribbon around the label.  I'm shaking WAY too bad the past few days to attempt to use a needle to hand sew!  I sewed on a button for my mom yesterday and stuck myself TWICE!  Thankfully I didn't bleed all over her off-white pants!  So I am going to wait until the glue is totally dry before I move it to its place of honor in my foyer.

Finally a finish to get my mojo rollin' again.  I have done very little "creative" this year due to the upheaval in the house with illness, etc.  BUT, I firmly believe that I really NEEDED the creative outlet on just those days.  So, for 2016 I am determined to "create" even if my life isn't cooperating!  I probably won't be around until after the holidays, so have a Happy, Healthy, Magical Christmas and a wonderful beginning to the new year!

I hung my mini quilt this morning.  NOW it feels like Christmas is on its way! 


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thank You, Bonnie Hunter...

Thanks to watching QuiltCams by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville's Quips and Snips blog, I have learned the time saving joy of chain piecing.  Chain piecing is when you feed your fabric sandwiches under the needle, one after another, without cutting the thread between.  Above you can see the "chain" being processed for a Christmas 12" mini quilt to grace my foyer this holiday season.  It truly is an incredible time (and thread) saver!

However, for the first few times that I employed this time saving method, I still used a pair of scissors to cut the pieces apart...even trimming the ends of the thread even with the fabric.  Egads!  It was cumbersome and wasted all of the time I had just gained!  Then I heard a "trick" for cutting apart your chains quickly and safely.  Enter the lowly letter opener.  I used a piece of "velcro" to attach the opener to my sewing machine for ease of use and removal.  Goodness how that chain just flew through the opener!  Within a few short minutes I had all of my pieces cut apart, ready to feed back through my machine for the next step.

I am now a convert to Bonnie's method and see LOTS of chain piecing in my future.  The only "process" recommendation I can make is to hold the pieces of fabric taut as you pull them down into the letter opener, the connecting thread centered over the blade to be sure not to cut into your fabric.  Give it a try and let me know your thoughts.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Gift From The Past Means Even More Now...

Last week my son, his girlfriend, and her little boy came over to help us around the house.  His girlfriend is a loving, considerate, sweetheart of a young woman.  She called me out to the car and, after reaching into a bag on the floor, handed me this adorable clock!  As she explained, this gift was a LONG time coming!  You see, my son and this young woman had dated for quite a while 5 years ago and apparently she had bought this for me way back then...only to have their relationship end before she could give it to me.  Life took them in different directions 5 years ago, but it has brought them back together again...this time with an adorable little boy as part of the package.  We couldn't be happier! 

Thanks to her I now have a clock near my sewing machine so I can keep track of the time without straining my neck to see the clock that is on the wall behind me.  Plus, it has an alarm to keep me from getting "carried away" (not that any of us ever do that!) with my sewing, possibly missing an important appointment.  The clock is a perfect color match to the zippered pouch that I use to hold machine needles close by on my sewing table.  It is bright, happy and Oh. So. True!!!  I need to live to 150 to finish all of the quilts that are floating around in my head!

As soon as the holidays are over I will be putting my living room furniture up for sale and will begin the job of moving my sewing room to the main floor.   This clock will have a place of honor as a gift from the past that means SO much more now.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Painting Through the Years...

One day last week I was thinking about Christmas.  No surprise there, right?  Most of us are panicking that it is already December!  But with a special little boy in our lives this year, my son wants Christmas to be an "old fashioned" Christmas like when he was young...a Christmas tree that grazes the ceiling, the "family recipe" Christmas cookies baked, and carols heard throughout the house.  That got me thinking back to MY childhood!

When my dad was young, a "tween", he would paint pictures on store windows to make money at the holiday season.  When I was in MY tween years my dad told my mom about his painting.  She was amazed that she had never known (they've known each other since the 4th grade)!  She immediately requested that he paint the large mirror over the sofa in the living room.  With a quick trip to the craft store, the painting began.  

Over the years my dad painted numerous scenes, and by the second or third year he even convinced me to have a go at painting the powder room mirror.  Gosh how I wanted to see those paintings again!

I called my folks and on Wednesday dad brought me a handful of photos.  Unfortunately, many have really begun to fade, but I am going to scan them into my computer for posterity before the images fade completely.  So between now and Christmas I will share these memories from my past...a time when life, and the world, was a simpler, safer place...

This is dad's favorite painting.  Unfortunately, you can no longer make out the scowl on the elf's face as he holds the sacks of toys from falling off of the sled.  It was totally precious!

This was my first attempt at following in dad's footsteps.  Not bad for a beginner!

So...anyone out there think they would like to give it a try?  Pick out your favorite holiday card scene, draw the design with an oil pencil and then paint.  Years ago we used "poster paint"...I'm thinking MAYBE a craft paint would work as well.  

From me and my family...let the holiday festivities begin!