Saturday, December 13, 2014

Uh-ohhhh! Drat!!!!

Drat that border - LOL

... it has to be right to make the corners turn correctly (oops, not shown!).  I didn't plan that spacing for hours to leave it with that error!!!

My solution was to add two more vertical strips (1 1/2 inches each, fin.) which then made the border 3 inches too long, so then I went over every vertical seam, sewing a hair deeper each time until finally, it fits.  This is border #3, and I have half of #4 yet to do ... uhhh ran out of fabric .... off to quilt shop...they had what I needed.  The corners turn beautifully!  8-)) 

BTW - I have used Judy Martin and Marsha McCloskey's wonderful book for almost 15 years, PIECED BORDERS, The Complete Resource - for border ideas.  I've never even copied the plans, just used them for inspiration. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Tumalo Trails (Cowboy Up), and Recycled Pet Food Tote #2

This is my Tumalo Trail, renamed "Cowboy Up" designed by  There are 6 x 8, nine inch blocks, with a 1 inch sashing.  I'm working on a 9-inch pieced border, no photos yet.
Below is my second effort at a pet food bag recycled into a usable, extremely durable tote bag.  I liked the black cotton straps, as opposed to making straps from the bag material. 
Here is the back - I was given this bag with the cute chihua?? chiwa???  uhhh, little dog.  The bag was too small to make a tote, so I used it as a pocket.   
This material is very tough - you cannot pin it - I used tape and strong clips.  I did French Seams - waaay not necessary - perhaps a zig-zag would have been OK as well.  It was difficult to turn the bag inside out, right side out.   I also cut out the lower corners, as opposed to just folding the triangles up to make square corners.  On the bottom, I offset where the black strap crosses - it was getting tough sewing!   This one is NOT lined - not necessary.  Before construction, I washed the bag material in the kitchen sink with a kitchen scrubber and warm water.  
Below is the front.  
Being inquisitive by nature always wondering "what would happen if?"

 I have several more bags and might do this again without French seams, but again, with the black braid. 

If you press this tough material with an iron, between waste fabric, it melts, crinkles up into an unusable glom.  (Someone will probably find a really good use for glom and make a million $$$.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Spiderweb Quilt

Basting issues are DONE!
Camera issues are DONE!
Sewing machine issues are DONE!
Food preps are DONE! 
I quilted the borders differently, just for fun, since the quilt itself is almost humorous, and because it's good to keep practicing.  Two borders are very casual feathers or hearts.  Then I became bored with that design and changed the last two borders  LOL

This one is leafy, viney, curlyques with a red/brown variegated thread.

This quilt back needed rebasting a second time -- not fun but the extra effort ended up positive.  Here is the back - I wanted to make diagonal binding as well as use it for the backing. 
Below is on the deck, where I like to just look at it, knowing I had numerous issues, yet did not give up.  The yard is pretty drab, isn't it?

I'm using a new "system" for this post, on the laptop, and transferring the photos via disk.  That might not sound like much of an accomplishment, but it turned out to be waaaay more than simple!   I'm still working at it!     I thought this photo was cropped. 

Another border - simple paisley teardrops, following an implied, chalked line. Spiderweb quilting design in light areas. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

More lessons to learn

Oh boy, new photo system, new to this computer, new to this brain!!!  Old camera (2006) not functioning as I remembered it used to, and I had been using an old 2003 Windows XP desktop in the past, but for now, it is not cooperating.  The little camera disc is also not reading to this newer laptop, not sure what to do about that, but I was happy to find out the camera cable will connect to this gadget - I DO  have a brand new rechargeable battery in the camera and that part is now making the camera work properly.  Duhhh, I didn't realize I was supposed to purchase new rechargeable batteries.  My camera is a Kodak -- rechargeable batteries were not easy to find.  However, my friend Fern directed me to, I called the Ft. Collins franchise, and they mailed me what I needed. 

Does anyone have suggestions as to why my camera disc won't read on this new laptop?  It used to a year ago, when last I tried it.  The laptop recognizes it is "there" but I get an "error".  Perhaps because the previous battery was dead it damaged something to the disc?

Now, I just need to figure how to wander thru this new interface.  It was not as difficult as I had imagined. 
 I was asked to make a small quilt for an auction.  I called it "Gifts" meaning we all have gifts to offer not just the kinds that we wrap up.  It's about 38" x 40", and would be artfully positioned in a small antique sled.  I quilted winding ribbons all over it first in one thread, then another. 

Time was short so I started with a lovely Moda Charm Pack - I have never done that before.  What a time saver! 

The feathers on the outside border were easy.  My friend Jody calls them "fat ladies on a barstool"!  LOL

The backing was PERFECT. 

Below is my Scrappy Spider Web I've been working on between machine problems.  Did ya ever have whole months when NOTHING was working properly?  Ok, got that fixed, and improved my stitching issues with Sewers Aid liquid lubricant.  What a great improvement THAT made! 

The first spider webs were in a creamy tan thread - didn't look quite right, so I changed to a white shiny poly that had some silvery look to it - much better. 
I deserve a GOLD STAR after struggling with a variety of geekie issues.  I stuck with it, didn't cry, didn't curse and swear, and didn't give up!  8-))))  I am woman, hear me roar!!!!! 8-)))

Friday, November 07, 2014

Tumalo Trails, an Auction gift, and an Apron Idea

Last weekend was our Guild 3-day Retreat, and I was able to get these blocks together in rows. They were inspired by Bonnie Hunter's Tumalo Trails.  48 blocks, set 6 x 8, blocks finished 9 inches.  A while back, I had started making a gazillion small 9 patches, and someone gave me an extra large plaid shirt, knowing I used them in quilts.  The items were both piled on my sewing table, and suddenly it hit me, "Elaine, use that shirt with the 9-patches!"  I renamed my project "Cowboy Up".

Below is a small quilt made for an auction in about 10 days.  I machine quilted an overall ribbon, covering the quilt 2 times with 2 different threads.  Hint - if you do this with 2 different threads, be sure and quilt with the darkest one first - a light thread first (in this case) made it difficult to follow with the second stitches!  I'm pleased with the end result (not shown in the photo).  This was the first time I purchased a coordinated set of charms - oh my, that made fabric choices so easy!  I added a few charms of my own, given or won from other Guild members.  This little quilt is about 40 x 44 in.

Below is a clever apron idea by Tina, a friend and Guild member who was also at the Retreat.  Those light patches are family recipes, now printed on fabric - what a great idea.  The handwriting is clear, and even the fingerprint smudges from the recipe cards are included on the patches.  She's making several for family members, who might even recognize their own fingerprint smudges on family favorite recipes! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Totes -- one delicious, one dorky

This lovely little tote bag was a gift from Nancy and Gene, who are quilters and computer/embroidery people who faithfully arrange for the local sewing/quilting gals who meet each month.  I had admired this project during it creation and Nancy told me it was for her Mom.  Is that a lie?  8-))  Thank you so much, Nancy and Gene - I LOVE it.  

 I've wanted to make a few tote/utility recycled bags from the amazingly strong large pet foods bags we see.  They seem to be made of Tyvek or similar - hope I am using the right word.  If you haven't made one, you will re-learn the word "wrestle" as the stuff is strong.  You will need strong clips instead of pins.  I wanted the cat to show, not necessarily the "Kaboodle".  I stuffed a medium-sized quilt inside.  I wiped out the inside of the bag with a damp cloth and lined the bag - lining was not necessary but seemed like a good idea.   This can be used for my quilt basting supplies that currently hang in the garage.  How about a strong book bag?  Show and Tell? 

Here's the back.  I squared off the bottom so it could hold a lot of groceries.  Finished project is almost as large as a paper grocery bag.

I was given 7-8 more bags, with dogs, horses or cows on them.  My job would have been easier if I had used the free arm on my machine, instead of a flat surface.  Instructions and great photos were found at  What would you use it for?  Is it too dorky?