Friday, July 31, 2015

Beginning, Middle and End

I have a couple projects that are in 'stages'. 

I started 8 snowmen mug rugs this week.  These don't have to be finished until January, but, it was nice to get them started.  So, here is my 'beginning'.

8 mug rug tops
My 'middle' was actually done last week, but, I didn't post about it.  The Frog Churn Dash quilt top is done.  Now to make the backing and get it basted and quilted.
Frog Churn Dash quilt top
Since the colors don't show well in the picture above, here are pictures of just the blocks, before I stitched them together.
blue Frog blocks

green Frog blocks
Now for my 'finish'.  I still need to stitch the binding down by hand, but, other than that, this quilt is DONE!  This quilt will be going to Illinois tornado victims thru Quilts of Compassion.
twin size churn dash quilt

 The colors are washed out in this picture, sorry.  Here is a better picture of just the quilt top.
twin size churn dash top

OK, not that much better.  I never said I was a photographer. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Repairing a quilt

Several people asked me how I repaired the quilt that the dog chewed thru.  It was pretty simple, really.
hole that the dog chewed
The hardest part of this repair was finding a white fabric that matched this.  The white fabric (and the red fabric) in this quilt are poly-cotton mix.  I don't purchase poly-cottons, usually.  I finally found a white that was close (all cotton).  I cut a circle out of that cotton, that was slightly larger than the hole.  I blind stitched it on the front of the quilt.  You can see the circle in the picture below.
white fabric stitched over the hole.
Next, since the batting in this quilt was a poly batting, I pulled out a scrap of poly batting and cut an oval shape, slightly larger than the hole in the quilt.  I pinned it on the back of the quilt (no picture, since I wasn't going to blog about this).

Next, I found a pale muslin fabric that was closest to matching the backing fabric.  This time I cut a larger piece, since the fabric on the back was damaged in a slightly larger area.  I cut a square with rounded edges and blind stitched it to the back (yes, I moved the pin that was holding the batting in place).  You can see the muslin patch in the picture below.
muslin patch on back of quilt
I then took my Frixon pen, and lightly marked where the quilting should go, on the front patch.  This stitching was enough to hold the batting in place. (picture of the quilting is in the top picture).

Here is the finished quilt repair.  I bet you can't find the patch.
finished quilt repair
Nina picked her quilt up this afternoon.  She was very pleased with the repair.  Happy customer, happy me!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

I was contacted a couple of days ago, and asked if I could repair a quilt.  Her puppy had chewed a hole thru the quilt.  This quilt was made in the late 1980's.
Quilt I was asked to repair
Here is the hole the dog made.
dog chewed thru quilt
This is a pretty quilt, but, both solid colors are not 100% cotton.  I finally found a white that matches pretty closely.  The backing is a bleached muslin, and the batting is poly batting. 

After I finish repairing the hole on both sides, I'll try to match the quilting pattern.  This entire quilt was made by hand.  Look closely, and you can see the stitches holding the 2 red pieces together.  Both the red and the white are poly cotton blends. 
all hand stitched and hand quilted
Thank goodness this hole isn't very big.  Unfortunately, no matter what I do, it will show the repair.  This is a special quilt, as a family member made it for her. 

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Red, White and True Step #4

I am participating in Jean's Red, White and True quilt along.  This is a fun and simple quilt along.  It is also quick.  I'd be quicker, if I wasn't making 3 different sets at the same time. 

I finished step #4 last night on all three kits.  I'll show the blocks from last week, along with this week's blocks, so that you will get a good picture of everything together.
Set #1, last week's blocks
Set #1, this weeks blocks
Set #2, last week's blocks
Set #2, this weeks blocks
Set #3, last week's blocks
Set #3, this weeks blocks
Jean has 2 different sizes that you can make this quilt, lap size and twin size.  It would be easily adapted to other sizes, too.  I'm making the twin size for all of mine. 

I'm ready for next Monday's directions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2015 Michigan TOGA

TOGA (Treadle On Gathering & Academy)

This past weekend was the Michigan TOGA.  I didn't take many pictures of Sharon's lovely machines this year, since I'd done a post on them last year here.   Most of the same people attended as last year, with a few additions.  Kathy from Kathy's Quilts blog came down from Canada this year.  She did a great post about the TOGA. It was sew nice to finally get to meet Kathy in person.  She is even nicer in person than she is on her blog.

me and Kathy at the TOGA
 At most TOGA's, not only do you get to meet other sewing machine enthusiasts, but, you get help with some of your 'trouble' machines, there is a raffle table, full of mainly sewing/crafty theme items, there are lots of machines and other sewing related items for sale, and lots of great food. 

I took my 'Challenge' sewing machine, since it was breaking needles, and needed a new belt.  It was used for the demo on how to convert a machine to a hand crank.
Japanese Challenge series 15 sewing machine
The motor is back on this one, and, it isn't breaking needles anymore.  Yipee!  I'm not sure how much sewing I'll be able to do on this machine.  It lives in a cabinet in my sewing room, BUT, the dog's bed sits under the cabinet, and I don't think she will be very happy if I move her bed. 

I also took a couple of other machines.  I got 2 new toy machines in late May/early June.  I knew that Sharon (our hostess at the TOGA) had a Betsy Ross toy machine, so, I was hoping that she would know how to thread mine (Sharon has 2 Betsy Ross toy machines).
Betsy Ross toy sewing machine

black thread is the chain stitch from this machine
This toy machine now works!  Woohoo!

I also took my new (to me) Singer Sew Handy model 40K toy machine.  I got the manual with this machine, so, I do know how to thread it properly.
Singer Sew Handy Model 40K toy machine
I did NOT get this one working.  For some reason, the hook underneath goes on the wrong side of the needle, so it can't grab the thread.  I can see what is wrong, but, I can't figure out how to fix it.  Toy machines are known to not work well.

The raffle table was full of great items, including several sewing machines.
raffle table

raffle table and raffle treadle
My raffle tickets didn't called very often, but, I came away with some great items.  My first choice was a 1881 Singer 12 treadle.
1881 Singer 12 Treadle

1881 Singer 12 treadle
Yes, it is VERY dirty, and, it doesn't turn.  The treadle irons are rusty, but, they do turn nicely.  The coffin top is in pieces.  I'll start cleaning this up soon, and see if I can get it unfrozen.  This is now my oldest treadle/machine.  It is also my heaviest treadle.  The treadle base weighs almost twice what any of my other treadle bases weigh (the head is pretty light). 

Every once in a while, someone would say that the next number called would get a certain machine that had not sold.  Well, I got an Elna Supermatic from Switzerland.  It doesn't have the electric cord, but, I should be able to get one for it.  I'll also need a manual, if possible.  The Elna comes in a cool metal case.
Elna Supermatic case

Elna Supermatic sewing machine, knee operated

the case becomes the workspace for the machine
Not bad, only 2 new (to me) machines came home this time. 

I did get some other great stuff from the raffle table, but, I didn't take pictures, sorry. 

One of the ladies that came made everyone a 'favor' to remember the TOGA.  It is a battery operated candle with a great embroidered cover (yes, she used a modern machine to make it).
Marge and the cute favor she made everyone
We also had a block exchange at the TOGA.  Here are the blocks I received.
2015 Michigan TOGA blocks
We also added something new this year.  We had an UGLY fabric exchange/challenge.  We brought at least one piece of UGLY fabric (at least 1/2 yard), and got someone else's UGLY fabric.  I brought 2 UGLY fabrics (no pictures) and got what someone else considered UGLY. 
UGLY fabrics I brought home
There is a couple of yards of each of these UGLY fabrics.  Personally, I love polka dots!  This isn't UGLY to me at all!  I guess 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' is very true.  We have to bring back a finished project (any size, any project) with our UGLY fabrics for next year's TOGA.  I already have an idea for my fabric.  I also took a picture of Kathy and her UGLY fabric. 
Kathy and her UGLY fabric
I want to see what Kathy does with her UGLY fabric.  This will be fun!

I did bring home something else from the TOGA.  I bought this sewing machine chair from Sharon (our hostess).  I will recover it sometime in the future.  I already have an idea of what fabric I'll use.  It will just take me time to quilt the fabric before I can cover the chair.  Too many projects, not enough time.
sewing machine chair
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend!   Well, it was fantastic UNTIL about 4 miles from home, when my transmission went out on my SUV.  At least I was almost home, and not on the highway.  I limped (very slowly) into a parking lot, where hubby rescued me.  It took 2 trips to unload all the stuff from my large SUV into his little SUV, and get it home.  I'm getting a whole new transmission, but, until it is finished, I don't have a car.  Also, while loading my machines and stuff into hubby's car, I pulled something in my right hand (the ligaments by the knuckles) and my hand has been swollen and I am having a hard time using my middle fingers for most things.   It is getting better each day, thank goodness.  That has slowed me down on sewing and cleaning and playing with my new machines.  All this typing has made my hand sore, so, I'll sign off now.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

This Weeks Stitchin' & Triming

I've been working on all three Red, White & True blocks.  I'm enjoying this quilt along, so far.  I must be, since I'm working on three different sets at the same time. 

I am behind on trimming my strips on one set, but, all of my quarter square triangles are done, and trimmed.  Not bad, since I started cutting out two sets just this week.
first set

second set
third set (strips need to be trimmed to 4.5" squares)
 Sorry about the pictures.  The colors are much prettier than the camera shows.

This quilt along goes pretty fast, so, you still have time to join in.

I got up early this morning and made 2 pincushions for an exchange with my Treadle On group.  These still need to be stuffed, then I'll sew a button in the center.  I'm only exchanging one of these. 

one to keep and one to exchange

signed on the back
As usual, all my stitching this week has been done on my hand crank.  It even went with me to the Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday, where I worked on sewing the strips for 2 sets of Red, White & True.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

More projects, etc.

I just keep stitching, and cutting.  I don't like cutting, but, I went ahead and cut out 2 more Red, White and True quiltsHere is the one I already started, for the quilt along...
1st Red, White and True quilt
first step for the Red, White and True quilt along
I need something to work on at the Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday, but, I don't want to cut out the borders for one top (all it needs is the borders) (Oops! no pictures of the top, sorry), and I don't want to work on the other quilt top that I've started (I'll get back to it).

Well, now I have 2 more Red, White and True tops to start stitching on Tuesday.
2 new Red, White and True quilts
All the strips are cut out, but, I still need to finish cutting the 4.5" & 5.25" squares.  Since I don't need them yet, I figured I could finish those after I get these strips all stitched. 

At my guilds sew-in, a week ago, I didn't get to one project.  My other guild is making walker bags for the veteran's homes.  I had 2 cut out, so, I stitched them this afternoon.  Both are the same fabric.
1 of 2 walker bags

I added pockets, and made them bigger

a pocket for a magazine, and pockets for bottles, etc.
I REALLY need to finish thread basting this.
twin sized Churn Dash

quilting lines marked
This one is half basted, but, all the quilting lines are marked.  I don't know how people can baste on the floor.  My knees just wouldn't take it.  I use my dining room table. 

I have also gotten a bit more stitched on the Frog Churn Dash, but, I don't have any pictures of what I did.  I'm liking it better and better, as I stitch on it. 


Back in April, I told you that we got a new dog, Ratchet.  I also told you that he has heartworm.  He's been going thru treatments for the heartworm.  It includes 3 injections, in his back.  They had to shave his back for the injections (and to be able to see if there is any inflammation, etc).  His first injection was the end of May.  They shaved one side of his back then.  The next 2 injections were earlier this week, one on each side of his back.  You can see the darker area, where he had his first injection.  We think it is darker due to sunlight (a dog with a tan). 
Ratchet's shaved back

The hardest part is keeping Ratchet restricted for months in a row.  He either has to be crated, or, locked in one room, with one of us.  He can't come upstairs, or, even go for walks, other than to potty.  Activity can cause the dead or dying heartworms to act like a blood clot, and kill him. 

The vet's office just loves Ratchet.  They spoil him rotten when he is there, and fawn all over him.  One of the vets came in on his day off, just to be there when Ratchet got his injection. 

We are hoping that his next test (end of July) will be clear.  If it is, then, hopefully we will be able to start taking Ratchet for walks, and getting him back in shape.  Ratchet had been in pretty good shape, since he is a retired weight pulling champion.  We got him AFTER he retired. 

Well, I guess it's time for me to go get more stitching done.  I think I'll work on some hand quilting.  I need to finish my guild challenge mini quilt.
guild challenge