Friday, April 18, 2014

Making The Trade!

I did something this past week in Tennessee that I have never done before.

I just became a MACHINE SWAPPER!

As in – “Yes dear, I can justify bringing this new machine AND her cabinet home with me because I did not BUY it, I swapped it for one I already had!” 

Does it matter that the machine and cabinet traded for are way larger in size than the one offered in trade?  No…bigger than a bread box did not come into the equation at all.

The little photo you see here is of a Singer 24 chain stitch machine that though lovely, I was not using. Click HERE for more info!

Diane had talked to me about this machine previously, and it had become part of our regular conversation banter: “If you find you don’t want that machine, talk to me about it!”

The moment arrived!  Diane had posted that she was considering "re-homing" her 3/4 sized parlor cabinet, and I offered up the 24 in trade.

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Sure I have room for a cabinet in the back of Shamu!

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And the machine? She takes up no space at all!

I drove from Tennessee to Kentucky and back home again with the cabinet and machine safely in the back of my van.

Lela, the Singer 24 has found a new home with Diane, and I have finally found the 3/4 sized treadle cabinet I was looking for!  And while I thought I was only getting the CABINET, Diane sweetened the deal by giving me this sweet little Singer 99 to go IN the cabinet.  How could I say no?

This morning we headed up to Quilt Villa and I have placed the cabinet under the window in the sewing nook area in the basement.

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Doesn't take up much space at all!  Does it even look like a sewing cabinet?

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Open the lid, and there she is!

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She’s got a great view from here of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

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A view of my work area – yes, that baby quilt is being worked on while I’m here.

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Cute accessories box on the inside of the door!

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Check out the pedal!

The petal is cut from the wood floor of the cabinet, and has a rubber “Singer” mat affixed to the top.  This is a very quiet pedal system, no “clanging” at all!

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EG055947 means she was born in  1950 and she is wearing a blue centennial badge!

In her earlier life she WAS a motorized machine, but Diane gave her a motorectomy and switched out her solid hand wheel for a spoked one for use as a treadle.  The cabinet itself is earlier in an art deco style.

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Using my favorite tubing belt and connectors!  Click HERE for more info on where to order!

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This little bit of retro also came home with me.

Up at the cabin, we can get power outages, and digital land lines don’t work if there is no power, so as a safety measure, a REAL phone still works!  I plugged it in this morning – We called it and OH, how I love the ring of a REAL PHONE!  How funny that I had to find this at an antique mall when it was such an every day item growing up.

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Our cloudy view as of right now.

I’ll be working on this baby quilt this evening, and a bit tomorrow.  Today we stopped to visit our friends Rick and Mona, and finding out they had no plans, we invited them over for dinner tomorrow night.  Our first dinner guests with friends from our “neighborhood” on the mountain. 

Now how to figure out how to not freak them out over the fact that there are now FOUR treadle machines living at Quilt Villa.

Maybe, just maybe, they won’t notice!

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Sew Expo Show and Share!

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My favorite time of the day!

Show & Share happens at the end of lunch before we get back to working on our designated projects –and it is so GREAT to see what the students bring to class!

A couple of years ago I taught at the Bluegrass Quilt Festival in Kentucky, and students were bringing back tops and quilts they had finished since then.  I know they put in a ton of work on these, and to see their fabrics and color choices is just thrilling for me.

This top is Virginia Bound from my book Scraps & Shirttails.  I’ve loved this quilt in every color combo I’ve seen it in!

Including this one:

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The quilting texture showed up so well on this one!

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Celtic Solstice made it to Show & Share…in KING SIZE!

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And one in the smaller size ((Which is still plenty big!))

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So Did Star Struck in bright wonderful colors!

((You will find Star Struck under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog))

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Christmas Lights was the first mystery I did with Quiltmaker Magazine ---

You can also find this pattern toward the bottom of the Free Patterns tab, down where the archived mysteries are.

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A Wonderfully Off Center Scrappy Trips from the Free Patterns tab!

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Here’s another Scrappy Trios nearly king sized!

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Oklahoma Backroads from the Free Patterns tab made from a jelly roll.

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Ginny made Four by Nine using one of my Addicted to Scraps column blocks as her inspiration.  LOVE THIS!

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Pineapple Blossom from the Free Patterns tab!

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Easy Street from MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders has made it to top status!

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This is ALSO Easy Street, in a different color way – quilting done, and binding in progress!

Thank you ladies, for bringing your quilts to share and inspire us to sew up those scraps!

If I am coming to your area, please bring your quilts to share with us during our workshop day.  I love it, the class loves it, and we get to cheer you on for your hard work.  Even if your guild forgets to mention it, just bring them. I love to see them.

I want to wish everyone a Pieceful Good Friday and Easter weekend.

I have pledged to my heart and to my family that there will be no “WORK” for me until  after Easter Sunday.  These three days are for reflection, reconnection, counting blessings, rededication, and most of all…REST.

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stopping for a walkabout!

Long car drive days mean stopping every couple of hours to stretch my legs and work put the kinks in my back.

Isn't it fortuitous that I just stumbled upon this antique mall near Charleston, WV and that there is also a Chinese restaurant around the corner for lunch?!  

It's just road trip karma watching over me!

I found another little universal travel iron in its original box for $10 and a fire king bowl to replace the one I broke for $12!

After a bite to eat I'm back on the road again--you all know the song!!

Building Houses, Building Friendships!

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Love these girls!  How fun they are to be around!

We joked and laughed and encouraged and arm twisted – they came to me right off and said that they wanted some help in NOT being so matchy matchy…and every time I made a suggestion it was….”I don’t know if I can do that!  You want me to put what where?!?”

Hahahaha!  But by the end of the day they HAD pushed their boundaries and the houses were so much more interesting because of the fun mix of fabrics they were finally allowing themselves to put next to each other.

Sometimes it is baby steps when it comes to letting go and letting the scraps play where they might class a bit more loudly than you are used to, but it makes for a much more fun quilt to work on, and the blocks never get boring this way!  Go for the unpredictable!

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Neighborhoods growing as houses are erected one by one!

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Once we get them “On the tilt”  They get really fun!

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Happy Houses, Indeed!

I’ve uploaded all the other photos into a slide show for your viewing pleasure!

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device. You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.

Happy Scrappy Houses, Carrollton, KY 2014

After class was done, and the van was loaded --I did what I'd been wanting to do since Monday --It was only 4pm and I had an hour to head downtown and check out that antique shop that was closed on Monday when I had walked by.

And I found THIS:

Vintage Iron Love!

This is a twin to the same universal iron I already have, but this one is like brand new, never been used, in its own original carrying case which says "travel iron and sewing kit."  SEE the goodies in the lid??  It also has the original box!  I'm
tickled to find it!

I'm on my way home this morning -- who knows what goodies I'll find along mjy route -- it's going to be a long day.  It's a 9 hour drive.  The MP3 player is loaded with audio books and I'm hitting the road...

Catch you from home!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sharing the Oldies #2

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What thrills you about antique quilt finds?

I’ll tell you what thrills me ----


((Of course!))

But mostly, the humble fabrics that were used to make them.

Quilts used to come out of ordindary every day scraps, the bottom of the bag, the less usable pieces that were too small for making clothing, or the cuts left after making clothing, or sometimes the salvageable parts of clothing after they had lived their lives as wearable articles.

We often look at old quilts and find places where two smaller pieces of the same fabric have been seamed together to make a piece big enough to cut out a patch the size and shape needed for the quilt block ---sometimes those seams were indeed, already there ---and templates were just placed over the seams in clothing and patches were cut – with the seam wherever it already was.

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This is a lovely Album quilt owned by Terri Ayers!

This is another one of those quilts “sold on the cheap” to her by a couple of young uppities who didn’t want “old stuff” and didn’t know the value of what they had.  Were they selling off Great Grannie’s quilts?  ((Check out the quilt I shared last night HERE!))

I love the almost patriotic appearance of this quilt – but there are some other “non flag” colored fabrics going on in these sweet blocks too….check it out:

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Some brown and some double pink!

Love those shirtings and backgrounds!

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This fabric is a surprise!

There are a lot of more masculine prints in this quilt, plaids and indigoes and stripes especially, but this dress print…can you SEE this as a dress?

I was thinking at first that this was a quilt from around 1900, hut this dress fabric might be from just a bit earlier --

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One purple gingham in the center!

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More purple gingham in the center, but framed by a lavender stripe around the outside edge of the block.  The pastel purples make me think around 1920 for them --this quilt came from a deep scrap stash!

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Some dress print, some indigo – and LOVE those huge polka dots!

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If it’s blue, it goes here!

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Or here too!

I really wish these old quilts could talk and tell their story.  This one was quilted by the piece in each block, and on the diagonal in one direction in the alternate red setting blocks.

I love the connection to quilters past and the time honored recognizable blocks they made –each changing them and making them in their own way to suit their own personalities.  I imagine them working on their blocks, laying them out carefully, pulling fabrics they thought would work here or there, that feeling of finishing the top…of stretching the top, backing and batting in the frame, those first quilting stitches taken, that moment of completion, of sewing down the binding – and finally, finally, spreading the quilt over a comfy bed and snuggling in for a long night next to someone she loved dearly.

Yes, antique quilts are all that and more to me ---and I just can’t get enough of them!

The Sewing Expo has come to a close.  I had such a great time with everyone – I’m staying the night because it is too late to start a 9 hour journey home this evening – so I’ll get a good night’s sleep and hit the road in the morning.

Tonight?  I sew!

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iPhone-o-Gram! Houses Under Construction!

Lunch break at the Sew Expo in Carrollton, Kentucky –

Boy, is this day flying fast –

We started out our master building class by stockpiling rows of chimney sections – the chimney section is the trickiest of all –if  seams are too big, the chimney section will not measure correctly and will not fit the rest of the block – it seems are too narrow – the chimney section will be too long – and our chimneys will be hanging off the edge of our roof!

Once we got the chimneys built to their specific measurements – we were able to go onto the rest of the houses with reckless abandon –

Whole neighborhoods are now appearing!

Wait until you see all of the fun houses that are coming out of this class –

Much love from Kentucky,