September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I wasn't satisfied with my Swoon/Dutch Rose block for my BOM/Sampler I drafted a new one!

I based mine off of">this
I found, combined with the stitch and flip technique and measurements of">this one, to create this:

These things take a long time to put together!  thankfully, its not difficult, just a lot of pieces!

September 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I made a decision early this year to only work on UFOs.  I did pretty good, worked on a few, even if I haven't finished any.  That lasted until this week.  I sorted out my scraps into color coded bins, and after failing to compress all the blues into their bin, I decided its time to scrap bust!  So, super duper scrappy log cabin quilt it is.  

I grabbed a handful of scraps from each color bin, threw them together in a large bag and blindly draw them out to sew into 9.5 inch wonky-ish log cabins.  These go together super quick due to the not having to think about anything.  It'll never be a pretty quilt, but it will be interesting!  I'm making sure to be truly random, using any piece I pull out, no matter how ugly.

(and after making 16 or so bag of scraps doesn't  seem to be dwindling!  I swear, they are multiplying in there...)

A little progress on a block for the BOM/Sampler quilt...I am finding I dont like paper piecing that much.  Its too fussy, finding the right size pieces, lining them up...I love the precision, but just cant stand making these.

I'm also making progress on several other WIPs, trying to avoid the siren song of starting any more new projects...

(a christmas table runner may have snuck in the WIP pile while I wasn't looking...)

August 28, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Today's WIP Wednesday is my BOM/Sampler quilt.

Specifically, the Swoon block and the (sort of) greek cross.

I'm  not really into the Swoon block. I used an alternate tutorial that gets rid of some of the seams in the larger pieces, here is the tutorial I used .  its a little small, 16.5 inches instead of the 18.5 I need, so this particular block will be put to use somewhere else.  which is fine, I dont think the colors work with the other blocks in this quilt... yes, it is a scrappy quilt, but the rest of it is so bright, and this one block so pastel, it sticks out.

Anyways, the (sort of) greek cross I drafted out myself, having wanted the cross to still be orientated the right way while on point.  I put in the QST center in for the heck of it, and liked how it turned out a whole lot!  I'll probably post a quick little pattern or tutorial for it eventually, its not really that difficult to figure out.  

I also noticed this week, (or, my husband pointed out to me) is that two of my blocks are too small! both the modern dresden and the spring bloom blocks are 9.25 instead of 9.5.  

gah!  I'm not sure if I should re-make them entirely, or figure out a way to still use them.  I'm not super fond of the spring bloom block anyways, (thats the one on the bottom left)  its very dark.

So, thats what I'm working on this week.  What is everybody else working on?

August 22, 2013

I know, my BOM updates have stalled for a few months..but I ran out of white fabric scraps!  I have several blocks started, but not able to finish because I didnt have enough whites for the background.

I think I'm covered now.

2.5 in squares cut from 10 different kona whites. (some will be put towards a specific block for the BOM, the rest will be tossed in my 2.5in square bin for use in my Granny Square quilt.) 

August 15, 2013

Finished Object!

It happened!  I finished something!

But...I forgot to photograph it.

So quick text to the recipient and we have a photo!

Thanks Mom!

Its a wallhanging, about 16x20 inches. I raw edge appliqued on the circles over the background stripes.  Then quilted the whole thing.

In retrospect, it would have been way easier to do quilt as you go for those stripes instead of piecing and then quilting. (I ended up with some droopy curvy stripes because I forgot to alternated directions)

Anyways, the story behind this wallhanging:

The children's pastor at my Mom's church decided to move on to another church for personal reasons after many many years.  No bad feelings, just was time to move on kind of thing.   My mom and the pastor were good friends, so my mom wanted to give her something special to sort of commemorate her time as the children's pastor.  

The children's ministry uses a curriculum or philosphy called "Orange"  which is based on the principal that the child's time with the parents (red) mixed with the time at the church (yellow) work together to teach the child. (orange)  or something like that.

So I used the colors to create this.  Its not my style at all, but I think it is perfect for the children's pastor.

Its bound with a knife edge (or known as facing, I think.) so that the binding doesnt take away from the quilt.  This was also the first time I sewed on a hanging sleeve.  Its not very neat, but it'll get the job done!

August 7, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Today's WIP Wednesday is brought to you by my broken brand-new-to-me awesomesauce Elna.

Yes.  I said broken.  As in, had her 4 days and now cant use her.


I was trying to bend the thread take up lever back to its original postion (it was scraping the side of the machine!) and it snapped.  I found a replacement lever on Ebay, but I dont know if I have the skills to replace it myself...

Anyways, back to the fun stuff - WIP Wednesday!

Granny Square time!

Yes, I am behind on the Granny Square quilt craze...i've been saving 2.5 in squares forever for making a super scrappy version.  But, this being the year of finishes and all, I thought, why not just start the darn thing.  I'm going to make one little change though, and not sash it.  I dislike sashing immensely.  Not the sashing itself, mind you, but the actual process of sashing.  Its hard to line up, long strips get wobbly and unwieldy...

Plus, piecing it on the diagonal like this eliminates waste from trimming the blocks!  I'm trying to use up scraps, not create more!

I've also made it  my goal to cut as few squares from yardage as going through the scrap bins, people. Already found some treasures I forgot I had.  Like that blue seashell-y print on the top left...thats leftover from my very first quilt! (of course, its low quality fabric from a big-box store, but it has sentimental value! and it has held up rather well in that first quilt...)

Anyways, I'm off to do something to take my mind off of sad broken sewing machines...maybe its time I cleaned this house..

August 5, 2013

New baby...

of the sewing machine variety, that is!

She's an Elna Transforma, from the mid 50's. I've been scouring the thrift stores around me for an inexpensive free arm machine for quite some time and finally I found her!  She's a bit worn, obviously been used many, many, many times.  the paint is worn completely off a good portion of the free arm.

I knew nothing of Elnas prior to bringing her home, and truthfully, was quite nervous because she has some features I didn't recognize.

Anyways, I got her home, nervously showed the husband, who sighed and said all right. (had to show the boys too, they were ecstatic that I brought home a fun new toy...even if it wasn't for them! Ha!)  after some Internet research, learned about the knee pedal ( I thought it was a presser foot foot pedal on this baby!) Oiled her up and away we went!

I'm in love. L.O.V.E. love.  Love the knee pedal, love the sound, love the army green color!  She sews so much more accurately than my old singer.  which I still also love.  ( Think the Singer is jealous.)  He (yes, i have a male sewing machine.  he's a cranky old man.)  decided to sew perfectly after I put the Elna away and got back to finishing up a UFO on him.  Singer and I have a rocky relationship.  Threats work. 

 The only thing is that She doesn't fit well into my sewing table, because of the knee pedal.  Its a pain to get in and out, plus I'd need an insert to get a smooth surface for non-free arm needs.

But!  The genius Swiss designer who designed this thing, did a really amazing bit of product design on the case.  It folds open to become A FREAKIN' EXTENSION TABLE!  

Yes.  that green thing is the case folded open.

Ingenious.  Why cant product design these days be so useful?

I don't know if I want to use the case on a daily basis, so I might get the husband to cut an insert for my current table.  Or something.  I can tell you though, that this little lady might just become my primary machine. 

Sorry Singer 301.  You were fun, but its time to move on. 

Some notes about her, just in case someone is looking around for more personal reviews and whatnot, there isn't a whole lot of info beyond the history and specs - She's not hard to thread, just feels a little backwards from most other machines.  The thread goes around the back and comes up the front.  The bobbin I find tricky to load, but its not too hard.  just have to finesse it into the tension spring.  Knee pedal takes some getting used to, but I'm digging it.  Oh, and the only oiling spots that the manual says is necessary are painted red.  I think there's three spots.  maybe 4.  I oiled more places though, because I didn't know how well it was taken care of previously. Important!  the needle goes in with the flat side facing back. thread it from front to back.  this caused me hours of Internet searches to find out. It will not work any other way.

She's a joy to sew on.  Really.  If you are into sewing on vintage machines, The Elnas are fantastic.