Friday, December 31, 2010

What is Your Thread Preference?

QUESTION: What is your thread of choice?
I purchased these three spools of Sulky 100% rayon thread to experiment on my circular geese quilt. I have several questions for anyone who'd be willing to offer their two cents!
1. Have you tried this thread and what are your thoughts?
2. What types of thread do you prefer for machine quilting?
3. Could I fill my bobbin with a less expensive solid color to save on variegated thread or should I bite the bullet and spring for the bigger cones?
4. Any other suggestions or comments?
Thank you! ;)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Compass with Circular Geese...Again :)

You're probably getting sick of seeing this quilt...but every time I add even a small section to it, it just comes more and more alive! I just have to share...I'm adding the corners to make it square and give a lil' extra aqua kick. Looks like I'm not going to get it done in time for the quilt show, but I want to finish it right rather than just hurry it up to get it entered. Maybe next year? Lol* I need to run to the store for more yellow, and I decided on appliqueing the center star but need to pick up some more thread. I am already envisioning the quilting...I'm thinking feathers in these corners with a varigated thread. I have never done anything like that before, so I'm excited!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pineapple Progress and Christmas Presents

My little pineapple blocks are coming along! I am really loving the way they look all together. The original pattern calls for 120 of these 6 inch pinapple blocks. I'm not one for making really large quilts although I'd like this to be big enough to sleep under. I guess it's finished size will depend on how many scraps I have in these colors! Or how long it takes for me to get bored...

I wanted to share a few Christmas gifts I was very excited to recieve...

All three came from Connecting Threads...this is one of their wallhaning quilt kits
of a storm at sea pattern using all batik fabrics. I love the optical illusion it gives of waves.

This book I have been wanting for quite a while. I planned on ordering it months ago but things just kept popping up that were more important. So happy this came to me for Christmas!

Here's a little peak inside... If you're not familiar with Jinny Beyer your missing out! ;) Go check out her website for free blocks and patterns. This book has over 4,000 quilt blocks in it, with color pictures of the pieced blocks in Jinny's signature fabrics. I cannot wait to get a few minutes to really sit with this book. :)

Here's another book that just recently came out I was thrilled to recieve. Gail Garber has been inspiring me with her free form geese, and in this book she explains how to draft your own. My favorite is the quilt on the cover, the colors especially.

I don't even remember where I first discovered Gail Garber...I think it might have been through her blog?

In any case don't the colors in that quilt on the cover remind you alittle of something I've been working on?

Well it's not quite the same. ;) I started this long before I discovered Gail, but now as I'm finishing this quilt I'm finding myself incredibly inspired by her. Can't wait to look at her book more too!
One more thing I wanted to show and tell...these cute fabrics I found in my stash for a baby quilt. Did I mention, it's going to be a GIRL!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pregnancy Update

Just wanted to mention, I'm officially 5 months pregnant! I took this picture a few weeks ago, baby is really bumping out now! I'm headed today to find about the sex today, hoping baby cooperates! We tried at my last appointment with no luck. *Fingers crossed!* I really want to know before Christmas so we can buy a few things!

Here's a silly picture from Halloween I thought I'd share. A little late I know. Lol* This was trick or treating in a nearby neighborhood. My Hubby dressed up as Mario, and the girls were Princess Peach and Yoshi. My oldest daughter is Mario obsessed! Lol* Sorry Daddio, this isn't the most flattering angle for that nylon/polyester suit!!! Still a cute picture though. :) Hubbers is all gung ho now about dressing the "whole" family up in a theme next year. We will 8 year old is getting awfully independent, and might not be up for grouping in with the uber uncool parents next year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

For the Love of Featherweights

I know that quilters aren't the only ones who adore these gorgeous little machines, but I have to say it, the featherweight 221 is my favorite machine hands down for piecing. Now keep in mind I'm still a real newbie to vintage sewing machines, and though I own four of them I still don't know all that much about them. I am a full time stay at home Mother and we are raising our family on one income, so know that you are safe to assume my modern sewing machines are affordable econically priced machines. Maybe one day when I can justify the purchase of a brand new Bernina my feelings might change...but for now, there is just nothing like sewing on my featherweight. The way it sounds, the way it sews, the feelings you get just running your fabric through can you not adore it!?! For a sixty year old machine it's still more portable than any of my modern sewing machines, how's that for an outstanding product? I have taken this machine camping, to friends houses, to shops, to classes, in every room of my own home, it goes everywhere. It costs about the same as an affordable home sewing machine might and seems to give me less hassle. Oh how I adore it!

I don't even enjoy sewing on my treadles the way I enjoy sewing on this. It's not sparkling and certainly been well loved. It could probably use a good cleaning too. But I just had to gush a little, because after months of being out of comission I finally got my featherweight up and running again and I can't wait to sew.

Oh and while I'm at it, I wanted to mention this book. To a lot of you this might be old news, but I still thought I'd share. I bought this book the same time I recieved the featherweight, and it's been a great resource. It tells you how to maintain and refurbish just about everything on your machine, even how to repaint it if you are brave enough to do so. It's called The Featherweight and I, written by Dave Mcallum. You can visit his website at He has come out with a dvd that I'm itching to get my hands on as well.

Alrighty enough gushing and on to the sewing. ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow, Bowl Fillers, a Finish, and Pinapple Quilt

Well it's beginning to look like winter around these parts! I live in NE Ohio, and right now we are being hit by the first of what will likely be just one of the many snow storms we will be hit with this winter. From now until sometime in March our front yards will all look very similar to this...

The above picture is a view of my front yard from my front stoop and the road...the house accross the street that you can just barely make out is right next to a school...which has been completely blocked out by the white out conditions from the snow!

Below is looking from my front stoop in the other direction...

I had to include a picture of my wintery snow covered garden...I promise it looks much prettier in the spring. ;)

Oh and you all know by now that I finished my wooly sheep top. Yesterday evening I quilted it, nothing special just a primitive style echo/outline quilting. It's not fancy but gives the little top some texture.

I bound it this afternoon and when I get myself motivated I will add a hanging sleeve to the back so I can put it up in the kitchen. Or not. You never can tell. ;)

Here's my lonly little block...if you remember this pinappblock from more than a year ago then you've been my bloggy friend for a very long time! Lol* I wanted to use up some of the hoards of scraps I have laying around in bins so I got started making this very scrappy pinapple quilt. The blocks are only 6 inches or so and I'm thinking the final quilt will probably have a black or ivory sashing. Who knows though, I like to think up all sorts of things but when it comes down to it, seems like I always do something totally different than what I planned. Lol*

Oh and one more thing...wanted to show you the salt dough ornaments I made! Well the girls made ornaments and I made bowl fillers. I thought they turned out awful cute. Some will go in a bag of potpurri and be given out as gifts with a jar candle...some will stay here for me to enjoy. :)

Hard to believe that these literally cost me pennies to make. A few cups of flour, a cup of salt, cut, bake, and paint. I sanded them a little to make them look worn and watered down some burnt sienna accrylic paint to age them. I got the idea from Colleen at And Baby Makes Five...she likes to dip her finished bowl fillers in wax to finish them, and I would like to give that a try sometime soon. For these I just painted them with a clear coat of accrylic paint sealer but I am not nuts about the shiny finish it gives them. Still, awfully cute, thanks for the great tutorial Colleen! ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wooly Sheep Flimsy and Thrift Shopping

Yay! Look at me, finishing things! Lol* Well mostly finished...I have a birthday party to take the girls to early this afternoon, so I'll quilt this later on this evening. I've been itching to hang it up in my kitchen, so cute! I'm on a finishing kick so I think the next project I'll start on is the scrappy pinapple quilt I started ages ago.

Also wanted to show off my cute little dimestore sewing machine tea pot that I picked up the other day at Goodwill. I don't think it's worthing more than the 89 cents I paid for it, but it does look awfully cute doesn't it next to my poinsetta?

Believe it or not I even found this gorgeous vintage tablecloth at Goodwill for a dollar. It has a few small stains that were sucessfully removed with a little spray and wash. I'm using it as a valance in the kitchen currently, so cute!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

Seems like sewing is always on the back burner to something more important these days. The Husband is working longer hours these days to help with the expenses of Christmas, while my days are filled with some combination of cooking, cleaning, spending time with the children or babysitting. Where do the days go?
I'm currently 18 weeks pregnant...that's 4 and 1/2 months already! I can hardly believe how fast it's going. I've been feeling the baby move for a few weeks now and we had an ultrasound last Friday to find out the sex - no luck yet though! Baby is too small for the Doctor yet to be sure. I have another appointment for an ultrasound to determine the sex two days before Chistmas. *Crossing Fingers* I hope we will be able to tell then! It would be nice to begin shopping for baby and take advantage of the holiday sales.
I did manage to squeeze in some crafting time with the girls making salt dough ornaments to hang on the tree. We made these a few weeks ago, I've just got to find the time to seal them before Christmas! Lol* I thought they would make nice gifts for the Grandparents and we won't leave out teachers too. I got the recipe here.
These were the beautiful results from my 4 year old...
Here are my 8 year old's treasures -
The girls really enjoyed making these. I'm so glad we did this together! I made a few bowl fillers just for Mommy which I'll have to share with you in my next post. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

45 Halloween Treat Bags

45 Halloween treat bags, done and done. :) With two kids in school, I've got twice the treats to prepare.

Working on my lil' wooly sheep applique. It's so cute! I can't wait to see it all together...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mini Bow Tie Finish

I've posted pictures of this before, but I'm happy to say I finally got motivated and finished the binding! Woohoo! Lookee here, two finishes so far for October! Lol*

I love little projects. They are great for decorating and the best part is they go quickly. :) Next I'm finishing up the Wooly Sheep applique kit I bought a few years ago. Everything is cut to applique, just need to put the top together and get cracking! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Compass Progress

I'm not sure what to call this - medallion? Compass? In any case I love how it's coming along.

There are plenty of imperfections, but I learn so much from these ambitious projects. It's easy to get in over my head, I must admit! Of course I had toclose up on the one goose that has a little floating wing. Argh! Lol*
Things are starting to go together smoothly, the only major hiccup so far is the center star that I'm not crazy about. I've decided to change those colors. I am thinking I'm going to make the center background pink like the geese but the star itself yellow.

Email Spitting out Spam

Hey all, I just wanted to warn you, one of my old email addresses was hijacked and is spitting out spam. If you get a link from my quilt_mommy_2001 at yahoo dot com address, please do not open it and delete it immediately. I apologize for the inconvenience this might have caused some of you...I just don't understand why people do these things. I'm contacting Yahoo to see if it can be fixed, and will delete the account as a last resort. Thank you so much for understanding!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Working on this again...
and I'm thinking applique will be my friend. ;) The center star isn't piecing as swiftly and beautifully in reality as it did in my head! I'm even rethinking the colors on that inner part as well. The yellow just doesn't look right to me. I started piecing the purple rings toghether into blocks and they are a little tricky but going well. Luckily those triangles and batik's hide some of my sewing imperfections well.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Vintage Treasure: Singer Buttonholer

I am such a sucker for anything old. Combine old and anything sewing related and my heart will sing.
On that note, my Husband and I made one of our frequent visits to the local thrift shop a few days ago. He is usually looking for sports items, or things he can fix up and resell for a few extra bucks. I look for clothes for me, the kids, and things I can use for the house. Once in a while I find an old goodie, that may have been leftover from an estate sale, or maybe inherited by someone who has no use for it. Like this old buttonholer...

I was tickled to find this little treasure. It's in the original case, all the pieces are present, and it even comes with a manual. The booklet is dated 1949 - within a few decades of my featherweight's birthday. Leading me to believe this could possibly be an attatchment I could use with my featherweight. Yay! If not I have a 1950's Singer in a table that it should work with. It will be like Christmas playing around with it though. How exciting!
It makes me think of the woman (or Man I suppose!) who purchased this when it was new. I love thinking about who might have owned it and what they wanted to make with it. How fun. :)

The best part of thrift store treasures? This purchase was a whopping, $1.50. I couldn't pass it up. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin and Kitty Wallhanging - Finish

It's a small finish but it still counts, right? ;) I think this turned out so cute...

...binding got a little wonky in the back, I think I'm going to invest in binding clips to see if it helps me get a bit better edges. I also tried these nifty little corner triangles for hanging, something new. :)

Edited to Add: Quilting Nana asked how I like the little corner triangles for hanging - I put this up on my front door, using a small dowel rod, and I really like them! It's much quicker than making a hanging sleeve and stitching to the back...although I have a feeling it's better to use them on small projects. ;) Thanks for asking!