Sunday, March 11, 2018

Pride of the Prairie Quilt Show

This weekend my large quilt guild had it's bi-annual quilt show.  I love this quilt show.  It is one of the reason's that I joined the quilt guild. 

I had a booth showing off and doing demo's on some of my vintage sewing machines.  This is the 4th time I've had a booth.  No, I do not sell anything at the show, but, I do take my cards, and hand them out to people who have questions about machines. 

I took 16 machines this year.  I only take one treadle each time, since they take up so much space in the car.  Speaking of cars, it's been a crazy week.  We arrived home from Alaska late on Tuesday night.  On Wednesday morning, when I got in my car, it wouldn't move.  I thought the transmission was out, but, the parking brake was frozen to the back brake drums.  The car hadn't been moved in 3 weeks, after snow and rain.  Hubby started working on the car on Wednesday night, and, by Friday noon, he finally freed the last wheel.  Until then, I wasn't sure how we'd get all my machines to the show, since it takes 2 cars. 

1881 Singer 12 treadle

My booth is down the hall, behind this treadle.  I get the hall to myself, so I can spread out as much as I like.  They offered to put me in with the vendors, but, then I'd be limited by space.  I'd prefer the hall. 

more machines
Behind the treadle, I put my folding chairs that I'd decorated in January.  The wheelies were on the folding chairs.  The chairs and the wheelies got lots of attention.  I'm thinking that Menard's will be selling out of the furniture movers this next week.  Oops!  Menard's went up in price.  Oh well, still worth the extra $1. 

I had 2 long tables full of vintage machines. I used some of the antique quilts that I've collected, to display the machines on.
13 machines on these tables
Here are the machines I took.
Approx 1927 Frister & Rossman Model E

1927 Singer 15

early 1900's Gritzner VS (back, left) 1925 Singer 99 (front) 1914 Singer 66K (back, right)

1911-12 Bradbury VS, 1878-1885 Wheeler & Wilson #8

W&W #8 (back, left) 1939 Singer Featherweight (front, left) 1923 Singer 128 (back, center) 1930's Casige (toy, front) 1921 Singer 66 (back, right)

1921 Singer 66 (back, left) 1880 Willcox & Gibbs (front) 1950's Home Mark (electric, back, right)

At the table, at the front is where I sat and stitched.  The table is for a Singer 401/301 short bed machine.  I put one of my 301's in the slot for the machine, then set up another machine to sew on.
1953 Singer 301A, sitting in it's card table

Post WWII Universal Japanese class 15
I stitched all weekend on the aqua 'Universal' hand crank.  I am participating in 2 different block exchanges with my Treadle On group.  Over the weekend I finished 3 sets of blocks for the exchanges.

I finished a set of Chocolate 9 patch blocks (2 sets left to stitch).  I thought the 'mint chocolate' went well with this machine.
Chocolate 9 patch blocks
I also finished 2 sets of 4 patch blocks for the Spring Basic exchange.  I also color coordinated the fabrics to the machine.  Check out the aqua green sewing machine on the red fabric.  The other fabric is pins.
4 patch blocks

4 patch blocks
Half of my blocks are done now.  I never expect to get much sewing done, since it's more fun to answer questions about the machines than to stitch. 

I got to meet a member of Treadle On at the quilt show, and also a few people who read my blog.  Also, I already have 2 emails from people asking for information on machines.  Great!  I love to help people get their machines up and running. 

I know it was a quilt show, and you are expecting to see quilts.  When I finally got to go see the quilts, I forgot to bring my camera.  Sorry.  The only pictures I have are of my entries.

This is the Peter Pan quilt that is hanging in my new granddaughter's room.  I thought I'd show it instead of it's twin, that was at the show. 
Peter Pan quilt
Here is my Family Reunion quilt.  There are 2 of these quilts, too, one for me, and one that was raffled off at the reunion.

me, with the owner of the 2nd Family reunion quilt
Here is the Elephant challenge quilt. (only one of these quilts)
Elephant Walk

I also entered one of the purses that I've made.  It was the first one of this style.  It was from a class with my other quilt guild.  I've since made several of this style.
And my last entry was one of my project bags.  Yes, I've made quite a few of these.  I also made 2 project bags that were donated to the silent auction at the quilt show.  Several people noticed, since I also had 3 of my project bags at my booth, holding my sewing projects.
project bag

It was a fun weekend full of quilts, vintage sewing machines, and new (and old) friends.  I even got some time on Sunday to visit the vendor booths.  Oops!  I came home with more fabric (hey, who can resist those great, discounted prices)? 

I'm taking a break, then I'll start putting machines away in the morning.  I don't think you can walk in my living room at the moment (the floor is covered with machines). 

I'm looking forward to the next quilt show, in 2020.

Monday, March 5, 2018

I'm a Grandma!

Gwendolynn Avery was born Thursday, March 1st.  9lbs 11 oz, 21 inches long.

Gwendolynn was two full weeks late.  We extended our trip by a week, so that we wouldn't miss her birth. 

I had made t-shirts for all of the grandparents to wear at the hospital. 
all the grandparents
Unfortunately, my son didn't tell me that the spelling was wrong.  It is Gwendolynn with two 'N's', not Gwendolyn with only one 'N'.  Oh well, we didn't care.  I'm sure Gwendolynn can't spell yet.

Here I am, holding my precious new grandbaby.

Gwendolynn and her Grandma (me)
Here are her happy parents.
Gwendolynn and her parents

Here she is, with her daddy, after she came home from the hospital.  The gown she is wearing was made by a friend of ours (thanks Crystal).  I took the picture before my son got to take his shower (hence the wild hair).  Sorry Connor.
Gwendolynn and her daddy

Boy are you lucky.  I only showed 4 pictures out of the dozen's I've taken.  You're welcome ;)

I'm seriously 'tech' challenged.  I just learned (on this blog post) how to get photo's from my phone.  My son has spent a couple of hours today, teaching me lots of new techy things.  

We fly home in the morning.  Just in time for me to get my machines ready for my booth at my large quilt guild's quilt show this weekend. 

March 10 & 11, 2018
Richland Grade School
1919 Caton Farm Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403

Monday, February 12, 2018

Odds & Ends

I've been stitching, but, I don't have much to show for it.  Most of my stitching has been hanging sleeves, and labels on the items that will go in my large guild's quilt show in early March. 

If you are in the Chicago area, I invite you to come see my quilts and 15 of my vintage machines at the show.

March 10 & 11, 2018
Richland Grade School
1919 Caton Farm Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403

I did finish one of the play mats I started in January.  This one is for my granddaughter, who is due Feb 15th.  Her nursery is Peter Pan themed, so, I used blue nautical fabric, and a pirates map fabric.
finished play mat

jingly toys hang from the hooks

up close of the bottom of the play mat

I didn't do much quilting, since I wanted it more 'fluffy'.  I also added double poly batting to get it fluffy.  The other play mat just needs to be quilted.  Since it doesn't have an 'owner' yet, I'm not in a rush.

I also made some t-shirts for the grandparents to wear.  Mine is the purple shirt.

Is anyone as tired of snow as I am???  The Chicago area tied 2 previous records for snow.  Nine days of snow (yes, EVERY DAY) with a total of 18 inches.  In the western suburbs (where we are) we actually got even more snow than that.  As Native Texan's (yes, misplaced) we still aren't used to it snowing more than 1-2 times a winter.  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Rest in Peace Mrs. Betty

Last night I lost a very special friend.  My oldest quilting buddy and mentor, Mrs. Betty.
Mrs. Betty
Mrs. Betty and I worked together at a preschool in Tulsa, many, many years ago.  My youngest son was still in this preschool, when we met.  Mrs. Betty became an honorary grandmother to both my boys.

In September 2001, a lady at my church offered a quilting class.  I signed up, and brought Mrs. Betty along with me.  We learned how to quilt together.  In 2003, I moved to Illinois, and Mrs. Betty continued on with our quilting group, formed from the ladies who took the class together.  They continued to meet for several more years.

Several years ago, Mrs. Betty couldn't see well enough to keep on quilting, but, supported me in my quilting efforts.  Mrs. Betty didn't have a computer, so, a few years ago I started printing off my blog posts, and mailing them to her. 

Over the years, Mrs. Betty would request that I make something for  her, or her daughters.  One of the things she wanted me to make was a quilt in one of her quilting magazines, 'Fat Cats in the City'.

Mrs. Betty with her new quilt

When a quilting blogger buddy taught me how to make purses, Mrs. Betty wanted one.  Hubby was with me when I took this purse to her.
Mrs. Betty and John

Mrs. Betty with her new purse

My youngest son started college at Oklahoma State University (Go Cowboys!).  Betty and her daughters were fans of the University of Oklahoma, instead.  Great rivalry between the 2 schools.   Mrs. Betty asked for some OU purses for her daughters.  If anyone else has asked, I wouldn't have made them, but, I'd do most anything for Mrs. Betty.
first OU purses

Several years ago, I made a Leg Lamp mini quilt for my stepfather.  Melvin loves the movie 'A Christmas Story' and anything that is in it.  I decided to make 2 mini quilts at the same time (bad habit of mine to make 2 of most things), and, when Betty saw the pictures, she claimed the 2nd Leg Lamp quilt. 
Mrs. Betty and her new Leg Lamp quilt

I learned how to make a different purse back in 2016.  After seeing pictures of that purse, Mrs. Betty mailed me more OU fabric, to make some new purses for her daughters.
OU purse #1

OU purse #2

Mrs. Betty also asked me to make a quilt for her soon to be newest great-grandbaby.  She loved all my churn dash quilts that I've made over the years (easy and fun to make).
for Mrs. Betty's newest great-grandbaby

Of course, I've made many other things for her, over the years.  Going thru my pictures, I think I made more things for Mrs. Betty than for anyone else.   She so appreciated the things I made.  When she couldn't quilt any longer, I quilted for her. 

I was luckier than most, in that Betty's daughter called me Sunday night, to let me know that the end was near.  She put the phone next to Betty's ear, and we got to say goodbye to each other. 

This morning, at 2 am, I lost one of the best friends you could ask for.  My family and I were blessed to know this woman.  I know that she is with Jesus now, and I'll see her again one day. 

Goodbye Dear Friend.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Chocolate 9 Patch Block Exchange

Treadle On, my people powered sewing machine group, is having a fun block exchange. I am the hostess of this exchange.  This blog post includes all the info about the exchange.

Who likes Chocolate???  Who likes chocolate mixed with other, yummy flavors???  Who likes fabric???  Who has a people powered sewing machine (treadle or hand crank)???  I can answer 'YES' to all of those questions. 

This block exchange makes 9 1/2" unfinished 9 patch blocks (3.5" squares, with the 'chocolate' color on the 4 outside corners and the middle block).

Use colors of chocolate (milk to dark chocolate) and add in other colors that are in different chocolate candies (mint, raspberry, peanut butter, caramel, strawberry, almonds, etc).  (Any other 'flavors' you come up with???)

Number of Blocks in a set: 8
Max. number of sets: 4

Here are the 'flavors' that I chose to use.

Since these blocks are 9 1/2 inches, your squares need to be 3 1/2 inches.  I chose to cut strips and string piece my blocks.  It's more accurate and much quicker. 

From you 'chocolate' fabric, cut 5 strips, 3.5" wide, by width of fabric.

From your 'candy' fabric, cut 5 strips, 3.5" wide, by width of fabric.  Set one of these strips aside for now.

Stitch 2 sets of 'chocolate', 'candy', 'chocolate' fabrics together.
Stitch 1 set of 'candy', 'chocolate', 'candy' fabrics together.

Carefully cut each of these sets into 9.5" x 3.5" sections.  The photo below shows mine cut, and sitting next to each other, in sewing order.

Stitch these units together to make your 9 patch block.  Here is my finished 9 patch block.
finished block
Using this method, you end up with 11 blocks.  8 blocks for the exchange, and 3 bonus blocks for you.

Now, take your extra 'candy' strip of fabric, and cut it into 3.5" squares.  These are your 'signature' squares.  Sign them (with a Pigma or Micron pen) with all the proper info (your name, location, what machine used, 2018 Chocolate TOBE).
one of my signed squares
Attach your signature square to the back of your block. 
signature square attached to back of block
I just basted my signature square to the back of my block, with a 'loop' of thread.
square basted to block
The signature squares can be added to the back of your quilt, so that you will know, by matching the fabrics, who made each block in your quilt. 

Mail by dates: International, May 6, 2018, USA, May 12, 2018

Now that you have all the info, who wants to join this block exchange?  Go to Treadle On, and join the group, and get the rest of the info for block exchanges. 

I have one set made, and 3 more sets cut out.  

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Elephant Parade is Finished!

My large quilt guild, Pride of the Prairie, issued a challenge for the upcoming quilt show.  It is a paint chip challenge.  I posted all the info about the challenge on this post. The challenge was issued at the January 2017 meeting.  I got started right away.  This is only the 2nd time I've done one of the challenges for the quilt show.  Most of the entries are 'art' quilts, and that is way out of my realm of comfort.  I'm pretty traditional, not artsy. 

I figured that just using 3 colors from paint chips was something that I might be able to do.  Off to Home Depot I went, and collected tons of paint chips with colors that started with either a C, H, or E (the first three letters of my first name). 

I narrowed the chips down to just 3, and got started.  Once I'd seen the name 'Elephant Gray', I knew what I wanted to do (no, I didn't use that paint chip, since I couldn't find a gray fabric that matched the paint chip).  More info on my next moves are on this post and this post (mainly about the tail). 

After those posts, I put the elephant aside, since I had several things that had 'due dates' long before the elephant challenge quilt.  Then, I found out that I would be a first time Grandma, and, of course the elephant was put aside for the Peter Pan quilt. The Peter Pan quilt took me from August thru December to complete.  Poor elephant, no time to work on it.

Last week, I finally pulled the elephant quilt back out, and got started on finishing it.  In the last 24 hours, I've attached the tail and stitched button leaves to the tree. 
leaf buttons on the tree

A friend thought I should add embroidery to the little elephants for mouths and eyes.  After playing around with a drawing, to see how the mouth should go, and where the eye should go, I decided to add ears to the little elephants instead.
ears on the little elephants
 The ears look much better in person, than in my bad photos. 

Here is the finished elephant quilt.
Elephant Parade, finished

I have decided that this quilt is DONE!  I really like this elephant quilt.  I've done sew many things that I'd not tried before. 

The challenge says that the quilt can't be smaller than 24" or larger than 45".  My elephant measures 31.25" long and 43.75" wide. 

We also have to use at least one handwork method on the quilt (binding doesn't count), and I hand appliqued both little elephants, hand stitched on their ears, hand stitched the buttons on the tree, and braided the tail and attached that, too. 

If you are in the Chicago area, I invite you to come see my quilt(s) and vintage machines at the show.

March 10 & 11, 2018
Richland Grade School
1919 Caton Farm Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403

Friday, January 26, 2018

Sewing Chairs

Back in April, I saw some great chairs at the Channahon Quilt Show (bottom 10 pictures on the post).  I figured that I could recover a couple chairs myself.  I'd just recovered a sewing machine chair a few weeks before. This summer, I bought 4 folding chairs just for this project.  I've recovered 2 of these chairs.  The other 2 chairs will just have to wait their turn to get recovered.  I've written a tutorial on how to recover these chairs.

First, you need to get chairs that the chair pads screw onto the chairs. 
4 screws hold the top chair pad to the frame
4 screws hold the bottom chair pad to the frame

I got these chairs at the local Meijer grocery store when they were on sale.  They were about $15 per chair. 

The fabric is all from my stash.  I have a nice stash of 'sewing themed' fabrics that I'm finally starting to use.  I used fusible fleece as my backing for these.  I didn't want to add a 3rd layer, since the screws are short, and too many layers would make it hard to screw the chair pads back on the chairs. 

First, I took the chair pads off.  I labeled the direction on the bottom of the chair pad so that I could get it back on correctly.  I then cut some fusible larger than the chair pad.
fusible fleece as backing for chair pad

I then fused the fleece onto the back of the fabric I wanted to use.  Make sure it lines up nicely.  I then quilted thru the layers.  I don't free motion quilt, but, this would have been a great 'practice' for free motion quilting (or ruler quilting).  I was in a hurry, so, I just did straight line quilting on one chair fabric, and cross hatch quilting on the other chair fabric.  You can't see the quilting from the front in the pictures, so, I took a picture from the back of one.  I didn't really want my stitching to show, so, I used white thread in the white areas and black thread in the black areas.
straight line quilting from the back

I used part of a panel for one chair, and cross hatch quilted it.  I had a tiny bit of coordinating fabric to use for the top of the chair.
panel section, quilted

coordinating fabric for the top of the chair

Ok, that was the easy part.  Now for the harder part, attaching the fabric to the chair pads.  You will need a stapler and a hammer.  I had to go buy the correct size staples.  I used 1/4" staples.  Anything longer might poke thru when the chair is sat on.  Ouch!  The hammer was used to finish driving the staples in.  No matter how hard I pressed down, the staples didn't go all the way in, so, I hammered them the rest of the way in.  Do this on a firm surface (I was bad, and used my cutting table). 

Start by lining up the chair pad against the back of the quilted fabric.
chair pad lined up against back of quilted fabric

On one chair, I used fabric with stripes, so, it helped to get the fabric lined up nicely.  First, fold the fabric back over the bottom of the chair pad, and staple one side, in the middle.  Then do the top, then both sides.  Turn the chair pad over to make sure everything is lined up nicely before you start putting in more staples.  *Tip:  Leave the screws in the screw holes so that you can find them easily, and so that you don't accidentally staple into the screw holes.  Yes, you will be covering up the screw holes when you staple the fabric down. 

When you are sure everything is lined up nicely, then finish stapling all 4 sides, leaving the corners till the end.  You will need to 'pleat' the corners in a few places, to get them to look nice.  Here are the backs of the chair pads.
pleated corners are stapled down

some of my pleating on the corner
The bottom chair pads are the easy part.  That is why you want to do them first.  You can learn on the bottom, easy part. 

Now, to do the harder part, the top chair pad.  With the curves, you need to go slower, and be more careful.  It isn't hard, it just takes more care.

First, line up the quilted fabric against the front of the chair pad (back).
lined up, ready to start stapling 

Put one staple along the top edge, in the center.  Then put one staple along the bottom edge, in the center.  Turn over to make sure the fabric lines up like you want it to. 

Next, put a staple along the bottom, one on each side of the staple in the middle.  Now do the same with the top edge. 

Now you need to put one staple along the curves on the side, slightly stretching the fabric as you go.  Do the same with the other side.  Turn over and check, to make sure it looks good. 

*Tip:  I put 2 staples in each place, one slightly lower than the other, on all the chair pads, to secure the fabric well.  

As you go along the curves, you will need to 'pleat' the fabric, and staple each pleat.
pleated the edges along the curves

up close of the pleats along the edges

I stapled close to the edge of all the chair pads.  This was only a problem in one area, the bottom of the back chair pad.  You can see some of the staples from the back of the chair. 
one staple peeking out after the chair back is attached 
Personally, this doesn't bother me, since no one is going to be looking at this part of the chair.  They will only be looking at the chairs from the front of the chair. 

One more thing before you attach the pads to the chairs.  Remember those screws you left in the chair pads?  Well, now is when you need to cut away the fabric around those screws.  You can 'feel' for the screws, then carefully cut around the screws to expose them.  Using sharp, pointed scissors makes this much easier.  Keep trimming until the entire screw is showing. 
showing fabric cut around the screw

Remove the screws, and line up the holes with the holes in the chair.  Make sure your chair pad is going the correct direction.  Put the screws back, thru the chair screw holes.  *You will need to press hard to the chair pad, to get the screw to engage.  Do NOT tighten the screws until all the screws are attached (in case you need to adjust the chair pad).  When all the screws are attached, tighten all the screws.  Do this with both chair pads (bottom and back).  Woohoo!  You are DONE! 

This is the chair I finished last night.

up close of the chair pads

And here is the chair that I finished this morning.

up close of chair pads

*  You can also paint the chair to match the fabrics, if you'd like.  I had thought of this, but, since it is winter (way too cold to be outside), and I was in a rush, I didn't do this.  These fabrics look nice with this color paint.  Depending on the fabrics I pick for the other 2 chairs, I might spray paint them before recovering them.  Just take the chair pads off, get some spray paint you like, and spray the chairs.  It would probably take 2-3 coats to cover everything. 

These chairs will be in my vintage sewing machine booth, at my quilt guild's quilt show in March.

March 10 & 11, 2018
Richland Grade School
1919 Caton Farm Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403

Come visit me (and the chairs) at the quilt show!  I'll have some 'wheelies' on these chairs, too.