Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hotel Stitchin’ Time!


I’m cozied up in my room stitching Wild & Goosey blocks!

It’s amazing how resourceful one can be when needed ---after dinner we stopped by the Dollar Tree so I could get some outlet extenders --- Hotels never have enough available plugs. These will now live in my suitcase for future use.

I must say however, that the iron is driving me nuts --- it’s one of those that shuts off in 15 minutes, and I have to un-plug it and re-plug it to start it up again. UGH!

I'm laughing at the caption on the iron ---because my BRAIN feels the same way quite often too! AUTO OFF after 15 minutes --- UNPLUG to reset!

Let's just say that my evenings in my room stitching away is the equivalent of "Unplug to Reset".

Don't you agree?

I evidently forgot to pack my small travel iron ---maybe I need a second one of those to just LIVE in the suitcase too?

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But now that I have the plug extenders that is a lot easier to accomplish than crawling under the desk every 15 minutes!

That round tray? It’s the tray for the ice bucket and it’s perfect to keep the crumbs from falling off the desk and on to the floor. I find it easiest to just grab a handful of crumbs.....and work with just that handful until I can't work from it anymore...rather than digging through a large bucket and being faced with too many choices when looking for the "right thing."

When the variety starts to be lacking in the handful I'm working with, I add another handful to it to spice it up a bit, and keep going.

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My crumbs are contained in a plastic zipper pouch that a sheet set came in. Do you save all these for quilting totes too? I probably even BOUGHT these sheets for the simple fact that they came with a zippered pouch! Not like they would ever be used for sheet storage --- but they are perfect for transporting crumbs in the suitcase….

The zip lock bag holds some odd sizes of squares that were gifted by someone – they are working great for the larger side triangles on my blocks ---

We had a great day with our workshop --- I’m going to spend some time and get those pics ready to post in the morning so be looking for that ----

I’m winding down this day with a bit of TV as background noise, my jammies, a hot cuppa tea, puttering on the computer, and stitching up some MORE Wild & Goosey blocks!

iPhone-o-Gram! Live from Moline!

We are quilting our brains out in Moline, IL---our class is being held at the "Garage" of the home of Kathrine Deere Butterworth, who was the daughter of John Deere, Tractor King!

We are working on the Smith Mountain Morning blocks---having a great time!

Do you recognize Kelli and Jo Kramer of Jo's Country Junction??? Fun to spend time together again!!

Bonnie

Golden Quilter Awards! Please Vote!

This is the last shameless plug --- because it is the last day that you can cast your vote!

It's the last day to cast your vote! I've been nominated in many categories ----If you haven't voted yet, would you take a minute to do so!?

All the info is found in this post HERE!!

Thank You!

This is a sign I found at The Machine Shed last night at diner..don’t you love it?!

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The Long Way to Iowa!

WHAT. A. DAY! Mother Nature, you are a force to be reckoned with ----

I spent much of my day sitting in terminals with THIS crowd.

Take a look at the two Chinese guys…they look identical! They crossed their legs the same, they dressed the same ---I didn’t even notice it until I uploaded this photo. FUNNY!

But you can imagine me here ---- sewing hexies…and sewing MORE hexies ----and listening to my book on my MP3 player ---and occassionally checking gate information.

I missed my connecting flight when I got to Chicago too late to catch it.

A thunderstorm in the Chicago area yesterday morning set off a chain of events that is probably still not quite untangled…..and I consider it lucky to be only 5.5 hours late to my destination! The only sad part was that I didn’t get into Davenport early enough to do any sight seeing like we had planned ----

The 3pm flight I was to catch NEXT was pushed back until 5:38 PM --- and they didn’t even KNOW if they would have a plane then --- so I went to the customer service counter to see if I could get booked on another flight --- and they had one that finally left Chicago about 5:30pm. I’d been sitting around the Greensboro airport for 3 hours more than I should have, and then spent 5.5 hours at O’Hare!

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But at least GETTING here HAPPENED! THIS was the best thing to happen to me this whole ordeal --- I got upgraded to FIRST CLASS! For a 45 minute flight. But hey, I’ll take it!

When I got to Davenport --- I made a beeline to the baggage claim, hoping that my bags had made it. I had changed flights so many times, I wasn’t sure if the bags stuck with me or not.

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Upon entering the baggage claim area…WHAT do I see in lock up behind glass doors? MY BAGS! See them? Two big army green duffels and my grey suitcase is the one with the pink fabric strip tied to the handle..LOL Tell me HOW my bags made it before I did if I missed that connecting flight ? Maybe they had already closed the boarding door, but luggage still have time to make it on? At least it was there, and it was DRY and waiting for me.

This scenario was easier to deal with than having my bags block the chute on the carousel in Little Rock!

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Davenport is, of course, the home of the John Deere Museum….and being as I was STARVING we thought it would be fun to head over to The Machine Shed for some home-style grub – what a fun place! It’s family style…and you can get a hay ride before you go in and eat!

I was so hungry I was afraid I'd start EATING the hay --- so we opted to pass on the hay ride and go straight for the food ---

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There are all kinds of old farm machinery out front – and what little kid wouldn’t love climbing up onto this huge vintage Farmall tractor? This little guy was bouncing in the seat, just ready to plow or harvest, or do whatever it is that farmers do on a tractor.he was ADORABLE to watch!

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Can you tell his legs are blurry because he couldn’t stop bouncing on that seat spring?! Adorable!

We ate our fill, talked and gabbed and got to know each other, two guild ladies and me --- and before I could take my last bite I knew I was done for the night --- it had been such a long day – I just wanted to see my bed and crawl into it.

I’m staying at the Stoney Creek Inn in Moline –Another neat place! It’s VERY lodge-y inside….in fact, I was greeted by a moose when I walked into the front lobby:

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Do you see how the ceiling is painted like sky?! Cool effect ---The whole place is decorated like woodsy hunting lodge ----

But the best part is---

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My Room! Lodge Theme included! How comfy does this bed look?

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How great is this desk for setting up my featherweight and doing some piecing while I’m here in the evenings?! Check out that chair made of “twigs” :cD I”ve got a beaver for a mascot!

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You might see fridge, coffee maker, microwave ---

But this girl sees ---- CUTTING TABLE! :cD

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Even the little bathrom is woodsy and cute ----I’m so comfy here!

But I can’t stay comfy for too long. Wendy is picking me up at 8am and we are headed out for our first of 3 workshops while I’m here. Today is Smith Mountain Morning. I understand she is serving BBQ pulled pork sandwiches for us for lunch. I’ve got ladies coming from several different states to join in the fun ----It’s going to be a great day!

How are you spending your Saturday? Hope you get some time to put at least a FEW stitches in -----

Friday, March 30, 2012

It’s Raining ((Machines!))

This is getting to the point of hilariously ridiculous – seriously it is.

But what’s a girl to do?

Just walk away?

I don’t THINK SO!

The story goes like this ----I just went to take a couple book orders to the post office yesterday afternoon, trying to keep things caught up before I left for Iowa.

Innocent enough, I assure you!

On my way back, I saw a “parking lot yard sale” at a local little strip mall place that I have to pass on my way home. I tried not to look. Honest, I did ---but….there was this CASE?! I *KNOW* the shape of that case – and I just had to see what was inside ---

And not only that – there was ANOTHER one next to it…AND…

Well, Peeps, I FOUND KEN!

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This is Low-Rider Ken --- LOL! His center of gravity is hunky, chunky, and lower to his base than either Marilyn or Barbie –I asked the guy doing the selling about him, and he thought there might be some issue with the motor on this one because it heats up and smokes.

NO THANK YOU! Sorry, Ken, but this Chiquita is a Non-Smoker! This just won’t do ----but you know what? Ken had a friend! Meet "Joe Cool!"

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And he is a two-toned handsome devil with a steel-grey metallic paint job accented by ivory and oh --- he’s got the same body style as Barbie…. ((can you see the difference in how much more space this guy has in his mid-section than Ken?

Now, I wasn’t going to buy him. Honestly, I wasn’t – but to the right is an accessory box part – and IN IT was a part that I needed ---not for myself of course, but for MARILYN!

And I couldn’t get the guy to sell me just the part --- but Marilyn can’t live without this part because of her home needle position being left to the center and unchangable ((It’s like Nemo’s Lucky Fin, ya’ll – you just have to work with it!)) So – I told the guy, I really don’t NEED this machine, I need the accessories that come with him, so --- how much would you sell him for?

"$30.00."

$30.00 is a lot for a seam guide that will work with Marilyn, but because Marilyn is a lefty ---and the regular seam guides can’t get close enough to 1/4” without being ON the feed dog – and I didn’t know if I would ever find another seam guide like this….out came the card.

Now Barbie doesn’t have KEN ((He’s kinda short and fat and squatty anyway and he SMOKES! )) She has the flashy Grey Wizard….and Marilyn?

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She is now sporting her new curved seam guide that rides out in FRONT of her wider "Lucky" presser foot so she can get a good 1/4” seam and sew happily ever after!

I’ve been looking all over for more on Marilyn Morse – here is a video to see how she runs. You’ll see the gal doing the demo even talks about these being permanent lefty machines when it comes to the straight stitch. ((right after it hits the 3 minute mark on the video --)) But these machines can sew through 5 layers of denim, no problem -- she sews through 3 layers of leather --doesn't slow the machine down. WOW!

This all happened yesterday after 3pm. Is there any wonder why I waited until I was out of town to post this? I didn’t tell DH about the new Wizard addition yet -----

Now that I’m far away in Iowa ----I’m safe!

And yes, this post does come with a theme song --- try to get THIS one out of your head! I couldn’t --- after I replaced the word “MEN” with “MACHINES!!

IS there a cure? Do I want one?

iPhone-O-Gram! Weather Delays!

Hello from Chicago!

Yes, I'm still n Chicago. Actually, I just GOT to Chicago. Because my flight was delayed out of Greensboro due to Chicago storms.

I'm still on my way to Moline-- just a few hours late.

I hope the bags stay with me, or at least are waiting for me by the time I get there. If there are no people flights, how do bags get there ahead? I have no idea but it happens!

Here is a pic of the hexie section up to date. In case you wanted to know how many hexies you can add from Greensboro to Chicago, the answer is. ((Insert drumroll)).....13!!

I've got 2.5 hrs til the next flight boards so I'm sure that number will increase!

I should arrive in Moline about 4pm now---barring any more weather upsets!

Old Timey Day–The Report!

The day dawned bright and lovely ---

It was 69 degrees as I pulled out of my drive at 7am to make the 25 mile drive to Lewisville Elementary School to take my place as Quilt Assistant for our “Old Timey Day 2012” pioneer demos.

Do you see that sun rising big and golden in my rearview mirror? The radio was on, the weather report said “Today’s high – 80 degrees” and not a cloud in the sky!

I got there in plenty of time to load one body-bag of antique quilts onto my little rolling cart and make my trek across the parking lot, down the side walk, and to the doors to the gym where our portion of the event was being held. Old Timey Day is a special treat for the entire 3rd grade ((I thought it was 5th, I was wrong!)) and have this activity after studying the history of NC through the colonial years and into the civil war era ---and they dress up!

Today Karen and I were cracking up at one little guy who looked quite the dandy in colonial day knickers, lace-trimmed ruffled shirt, vest, tricorn hat ---a real Beau Brummel to be sure!

And next to him, his fellow classmate was dressed in a civil war uniform complete with red stained bandage around his head.

What was even funnier, as this civil war soldier went from demo to demo to demo – they get 15 minutes at each station --- his bandage changed locations. First it was on his head, then the next time I saw him it was wrapped around his leg --- and then it finally wound up ((literally –WOUND UP!)) around his arm!

I love the kids this age, their bright smiles are full of big teeth, and they are so eager to learn.

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I displayed the quilts over the bleachers ---I thought they made a very fun display!

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Karen arrived and we set her teaching handouts and other object lessons on the table – the log cabin quilt is a family heirloom passed down from her hubby’s side – it’s about in shreds, but the fabrics in it are SO COOL! And the crazy patch quilt was given to her by a friend and dates to about 1920. It wasn’t long before the bell rang…and students started coming. The WHOLE 3rd Grade! Divided up into groups of 8 ---They had candle making---

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Popcorn stringing! Though I think they got more on the floor, and more in their mouths than they got on the strings --

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School house cursive writing with pen & ink, butter churning, so many different activities! And of course, they had QUILTING!

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LOVE the pants tucked into socks and the suspenders and hats..and of course the girl’s outfits were fun too. At this age they aren’t worried about “looking dorky” They just PLAY!

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Since each group only got 15 minutes with us…we got right down to talking about fancy quilts ((whole cloth and applique)) and how only really wealthy people could afford to by long lengths of fabric specifically for quilt making. And we talked about the old scrap bag and how patchwork patterns evolved over time to use even the smallest of scraps, many quilts being made out of the good parts left from worn clothing.

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Of course, most weren’t interested in the lecture part --- they wanted to start arranging shapes to make blocks!

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Turning those triangles the right way and putting them on the flannel board is not as easy as one would think, right!?

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Let’s take some stab stitches in the quilt in the hoop --- this is NOT as easy as it looks either to keep those stitches small and close together so the quilts don’t fall apart too quickly! What is always so interesting to see is that the BOYS love the sewing part, and often don't want to stop to move to the next station until they've finished all the thread on their needles!

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Doesn’t this sweet girl just look like Holly Hobby?! I LOVED their effort on the costumes!

(photo by Karen Fridy)

We really did have a great time, and noon and lunch time – marking the END of our activities was there before we knew it!

I “almost” missed not being dressed up in my pioneer dress. Next year, Karen, RIGHT?!

(Photo by Karen Fridy)

I’m off to Davenport Iowa this morning. Very excited to be meeting up with several quilters I’ve only known via the internet ---we have a great time planned out, and I can hardly wait to get there --- yes…hexies all the way!

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Those Wooden Tables ---


Unless you are a wood worker, this is going to REALLY bore you ---so call your hubby over, and go get a pedicure while he reads all this stuff, and that’s ONLY if he is the wood working type of guy!

I told you I’d at least post pics of the wooden table so that IN CASE someone knows someone who knows someone who likes to tinker ---you get the idea?

I couldn’t do this, nor do I know anyone who would do this, but perhaps cabinet maker types would.

Maybe someone's hubby is very into wood working --these would be the perfect thing for an etsy shop or ebay -- and if you do it, maybe in thanks for me putting this out there and helping you, you'll make me one.. :c)

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This is the TOP of my wooden extension table. There MAY Be easier ways to make these….I’m not sure… but basically the top is a piece that measures 22” X 15 3/4”. It’s 3/4” oak finished plywood, stained and varnished. If I remember right he did them in other woods too –I just like the sturdiness of oak and thought that scratches, which are bound to happen when working with pins and needles and scissors and seam rippers and other sharp stuff--wouldn't be as visible on lighter oak than say, dark cherry or mahogany.

You will notice that the hole has many layers and grooves etc--- this is what I meant by saying that if you lived close, it might be easier for you to “borrow” mine than to just give you the dimensions and have you work one up. The two hinges you see were taken from an OLD machine case ---and properly spaced so that the machine could fit them, the same way they did in the case itself ---finding these may be an issue, but probably not impossible…especially if the case comes with a really nifty machine in it – it’s kind of NICE that way! :c)

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The opening itself measures 14 3/4” wide at it’s widest, not including the little lip inside….

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It’s 7” from front to back. the front has a 1/4” lip – the back does not. Could this be made with a lip all the way around and get rid of the “need” for the hinges? Just a thought. As it is – I find the differences in machines to mean that sometimes this table is just a bit “too narrow” for some bases. They are not all the SAME – I guess that is why they are called “clones”. For instance, it fits my singers perfectly, and the blue wizard. It fit’s Marilyn --- but Barbie? her bottom is a bit wider, and doesn’t set down in that lip. Do I dare ask DH to dremel it out a bit farther? NO!!! Then it would be too BIG for the machines that do fit it properly. ((See, this is another touchy thing and why it is best to have some vintage machines to try it out on …))

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This is a close up of the grooving going on on the right side ….different machines have different wiring and things that need spaces cut out for….

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The left side with it’s grooves and notches ---

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The front lip is only 1/4” deep ----((But I said, it could be more for Barbie..but she’s just going to have to let her bottom hang over – not risking changing the hole size!))

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The spacing of the hinges is pretty cruicial….they are recessed circle holes, just deep enough to drop the hinge parts in so they lie flush. They have to be spaced just right so they fit the holes at the back of the machine base. ((Is this scaring you off yet?! Can you still make these, you think? I hope SOMEONE can!)) What I found is it’s 10” from the OUTSIDE of the far left hinge to the outside of the far right one…. ((technical enough for ya?!))

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This is the bottom side….4 holes are drilled partway through to allow the 4 3” peg legs to fit. You can see the washer and nuts that hold the screws from the front of the hinges.

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As I said, these are 3” wood pegs that should be pretty readily available. I also bought some little foam circles that stick to the bottom of these…it keeps them from shifting on the table top.

Here’s a pic of my Blue Wizard in the table…fits great! I love how this table fits so MANY of my machines….((Even if Barbie has an issue with it!)) I was piecing a small amish stringy for Tonya back in 2008!

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I’ve also got a table for 3/4 size machines such as my Spartan and my Singer 99. This one has “different” measurements --- let me know if you need them and I’ll get it out and measure.