Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Stash: I Call Her Jemmie

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love my Juki.  And I love my Singer Featherweight. But my Juki weighs a ton, and is really a pain to carry to class.  And my Featherweight does a lovely straight stitch -- but only a straight stitch.

I needed a lightweight, portable machine with multiple stitches to take to classes and quilt retreats.  In February, our local Janome dealer offered an incredible deal -- buy one Janome, get a second for one cent. One penny!  Or find a friend who needed a new machine, and persuade her to split the cost of both machines.  So we each got a new machine for half price! (Thanks, Joy!)

Here she is, folks, Jemmie:

Her model name is Jem, but she is named for my favorite Air National Guard boss of all time, Col. Jimmie L. Winders.  I learned more about leadership, and more about being a boss from him than from anyone in my entire career.  He taught me to drink Miller Lite, how to say "it's my hit" and how to chew someone out and have them thank you afterward.

My Jemmie weighs less than 12 pounds and has lots of stitch choices.  Plus, she fits perfectly in my red sewing machine roller bag, so I can take her to class without throwing out my back.  And half price, who can beat that?

Last weekend was the Pueblo Quilt and Stitch Expo.  I didn't buy much, but I couldn't resist the modern quilt display put on by the Stitcher's Garden.  They had a sample quilt from Modern Quilt Relish, "Picnic."  Friend Mary and I want to persuade some of the Front Range Modern Quilters to do this quilt as a BOM at Front Range Modern Quilt Guild meetings.

I also scored some collector's Tula Pink, "Full Moon Forest."  This little bundle will probably never be cut up, it is just so pretty!

Come back tomorrow for "Scrap Basket Sunday."  I'm having fun with my Block-a-Day quilt!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, April 12, 2013

Miscellaneous Friday Finishes

It's not been just a "quilty" week, I've been knitting also.  I'm behind on my "52 Quilts in 52 Weeks" schedule, so I sort of hope it doesn't warm up enough this weekend that I want to work in the yard!

I do have one quilt finish to share, #13 for 2013.  This is the December ""Fat Quarter Fun" project from Ruth's Stitchery.

I had it all finished and ready to take to class for Bring and Brag, when I realized one of the outside nine-patches was in the wrong place.  Thanks, Barb, for your fast un-sewing so I could fix it in class!

The pattern is "Nine to Five" by Mary Ellen Hopkins.  I used two Timeless Treasures fabrics, one from the "Library" collection -- it looks like the endpapers in old books.  The other is a brown "blender" fabric, and the background is a brown polka dot from Robin Pandolph.  At first, I was disappointed that there wasn't more contrast between the two brown fabrics.  However, looking at the photo, I think it's OK.

I hadn't made a quilt with a pieced border like this before, but I will look for more patterns with this feature. Although laying out the quilt on the design wall was a bit of a challenge, it looks neat when it's finished. This one doesn't have a home yet, but I think I will quilt it and send it to Idaho to donate to the nursing home for a lap quilt.

I realize I have never shared the most recent Sew Sweetness bag I test-sewed for Sara Lawson. The Aeroplane Bag is a big bag, large enough to hold all needed for a weekend trip to Ohio for high school graduation.

If you notice that the red peeking out from beneath the blue and brown bag is my sewing machine carrier, you can imagine how large this bag really is!

I used Sweetwater's "Pure" deco weight for the blue, and brown upholstery fabric for the brown.  This bag has a long zipper across the top and two of Sara's signature zipper pockets inside.  I confess this was not the easiest of her bags I've sewn, but it is totally worth the work!  Here is a link to Sara's post showing all the Aeroplane bags test-sewn. And here is a link to all of Sara's patterns. I really enjoyed testing Sara's patterns!

You may have heard that we had a little Spring blizzard here in Colorado this week. We didn't get enough snow to make it worth the trouble, but boy howdy, we had wind!  Because my sewing machine sits in front of a window and the wind really whistled around that corner, I hunkered down in front of the TiVo and knit hats while watching "Monarch of the Glen" on Netflix.

Hat #1 is the "Fishtail Lace Slouch Hat."  It's a free pattern from the Cascade Yarns blog, available here. An easy knit, the lace pattern is quick to memorize.  I made mine from Louisa Harding "Grace" silk and wool blend. It's not machine washable, so it can't go to Hats for Sailors.  But as Mama said "the right person for every (hat) will come along."

This one is for Hats for Sailors, thought.  It's the Christine Knitted Slouchy Tam Hat, designed by the Dishcloth Diva herself, Deb Buckingham.  I test knit this pattern for Deb last summer and it came out too short.  She edited the pattern to increase the length of the hat and it turns out to be a very cute, slouchy hat. The yarn is Cascade 128 Superwash.  

See?  Modeled by the adorable receptionist at European Wax Center, Amelia.  Thanks, Amelia!

I have some other things to add to the gift drawer.  I started these "Irish Hiking Mittens" a couple of years ago and finally finished them.  I had just enough yarn to make a sort-of short "Irish Hiking Beanie" to match. Sadly, I tossed the yarn ball band, so I don't know what yarn this is.

Here is another not-for-Sailors hat, but made of yarn I couldn't resist! The pattern is the Malabrigo Head Thingie, the yarn is Crystal Palace Taos.

The last Hats for Sailors hat is Cascade 220 Superwash, but alas, I can't remember or find the pattern.  I love this color, though, it's Lake Chelan Heather.

I'm not the only one in Colorado Springs who is knitting Hats for Sailors.  Look at this lovely stack of hats knit by a fellow quilter, Betty:

And she attached this lovely thank you note to each:

If you're a knitter and interested in Hats for Sailors, there are several free patterns and instructions for donating on their website here.

Linking up to Thank Goodness it's Finally Finished Friday, hosted this week at Quilt Matters, and Richard and Tanya Quilts Link a Finish Friday #62.

Just wait 'til you see what I have to share tomorrow on Saturday Stash!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, April 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday: A Hat Trick

You've probably heard that Sinta and Sherri are hosting "Vintage Schnibbles" this year. The first Schnibbles quilt is "Hat Trick."

Image of Hat Trick PDF ~ No. 411

This is one of the first "Schnibbles" patterns, so if you don't have it in your collection you can download the PDF version from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. here.

When I think of "vintage," I instantly think "30s reproduction fabrics."  I have quite a collection of 30s repros -- nearly 20 years ago when the 30s reproductions first came out, I bought a fat quarter of each fabric.  Soon the number of prints was overwhelming, so I had to back off.  But I still have two bins of 30s fabrics!

What fun to dig through the bins and find light-and-dark prints to make the 20 little nine-patches.  My problem is the setting squares.  Should I use light prints?

Or plain muslin?

I only have ten blocks complete, so they will probably be rearranged in the final quilt.

What do you think?  Print or plain setting squares and triangles?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday

Hooray!  Both the quilts I'm working on this weekend are from my scrap basket!

First up, this month's Fat Quarter Fun class at Ruth's Stitchery.

The pattern is "Currents" by Sharon Winter, published by Brookshier Design Studio.  If your LQS doesn't have this pattern, you can call Ruth's Stitchery, or get it from Quilters Warehouse.  Sharon says this pattern was "inspired by 16th century tilework in a Portuguese palace.  It was fun to see how it worked up in various colors, I used purple!  Because I have a ton of purple scraps I've collected for my next Scrap Squad quilt.

I only made one block, because I want to save this project for next month's quilt retreat.

Another scrappy project is the "Vintage Schnibbles" at Pink Pincushion and  A Quilting Life. I didn't have a charm pack that really grabbed me for this little quilt, so I went to my enormous collection of 5" square scraps and decided to use 30s repros for "Hat Trick."

I have the squares cut for the 9-patches.  I think I'll use muslin for the setting squares and setting triangles.

Linking up to Kim's Big Quilting Adventure for Scrap Basket Sunday!

Scrap Basket Sunday

We're expecting a major snowstorm tomorrow night here in Colorado, so I should get a lot of sewing done in the next few days!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature