Monday, June 23, 2008

Shop Hoppin' to the Border.......

WARNING: With my older girls gone I'm feeling quite watch out.....long post....

Ever since I realized I forgot a fabric for my Lucille quilt, I've been chompin' on the bit to get to some quilt shops.

Yesterday I drove an extra 25 miles north of where I needed to drop off my 3 oldest girls to camp, just to see if a shop had it. (well, not just to do that.....I had to drop off my oldest who is a counselor 3 hours before I could drop off my other two, who are campers!!) So anyway...I check the website for this shop and it says open Sundays 'til 5 p.m. I get there at 3:20...SHOP CLOSED!!!! There was a piece of paper covering the 5 p.m. with a 3 written on it!!:-( I was so incredibly bummed.

So today we head north again.....but this time much farther north. The first stop was in St. Cloud, MN. I stopped by the sewing center there to see if they had a 1/4" foot for my Featherweight. Hubby had stopped by a store in the Cities to ask about a quilting foot, but they gave him one with a guide on it....personally I hate those....I was looking for one without a guide. The sewing center in St. Cloud knew exactly what I was saying and handed me a foot that was $7 cheaper than the other one hubby had found......I like a good deal. They were also super friendly in the store. I think I'll have to go back.

I checked Gruber's for my missing fabric.....NO LUCK!! And Gruber's is one... if not THE.... largest quilt store in MN.

Then on to two more shops in small towns in MN that I won't mention the names. I was not impressed at all. The selections in these stores were rather slim. Not much to mention about these stores. In fact I was beginning to get a little disheartened. After yesterday's experience and then walking into Gruber's.....who has a large selection, then these two small shops with no selection....bummed I was.....but we continued on......

On to Fergus Falls, MN. This is where I hit the jackpot!! Quilter's Cottage HAD MY FABRIC!!! At first I didn't see it because there was just so much good stuff to see in this shop. The fabric line was right near the cash register.....which is normally the last place I look. (Don't you find yourself doing that?.....going away from the cutting tables and/or cash register when you first walk in a shop? Well, I do...) anyway.....hubby is calling me to tell me he is done with his appointment when I rounded this corner and I let out a squeal...."THEY HAVE IT!!" He takes that as a "She's not done yet!"

I not only found my fabric I got a pattern and fabric for these cute little crayon/marker purses by Clothsline Quilts. My 7 year old loves taking markers, paper, and coloring pages with her to church, but she has a hard time keeping track of her markers......and they make a lot of noise. When I saw this sample I knew it was what she needed. I showed the sample to her, but she had a really hard time understanding that she didn't have to choose those fabrics. She kept saying she didn't like it, but what she didn't like was the fabric, she liked the purse. These are the fabrics she chose......aren't they just yummy!!?!!!

Oh, I wanted to walk out with so much more and spend more time. But I only have so much money, and with the family waiting only so much time. I did end up writing down many notes for future reference!!

We went to one more "dud" shop, but after that I was spent. No more shops!! Maybe on the way back we'll try one or two that I missed.

I really, really wanted to bring my Featherweight and sew, but I had to be realistic, who am I fooling? I would probably bring the machine along and never have time to get it out of the case to sew!! So instead I brought my knitting. I finished two washclothes along the way. Not bad considering my wrist has been bothering me.

I'll end with a crazy family photo....well, part of my's been incredibly weird having just a 7 year old and 5 year old. So this is what it's like with just two kids this age? I never had the time my two oldest were this age I had two more. So this is fun.....yet my heart is aching for my others. I wonder what they are doing, if they are sleeping o.k.....and then tonight we watch the news from back home to find out they'll be getting severe thunderstorms at their camp.:-( So yes, my heart is aching and longing to chat with my older girls, but for now I'll take the memories we're creating with my youngin's!!:-) So......on to the crazy family photo......

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Singer Featherweight 221.....

Finally, after two years I pulled out my Singer Featherweight sewing machine. I've been dreaming of this day since I first received the machine.

I didn't want to start using it until I knew it was oiled and lubricated. Since the machine was well cared for and didn't need any major repair work, I was able to use the book, Featherweight 221: The Perfect Portable by Nancy Johnson-Srebo, to help me figure out how to get it in tip top shape. Now it just purrrrrs!!!

Of course it took me all afternoon....and part of this evening.....but I knew it would....and that's why I am sooooo relieved to get it done. I want to be able to take it with me when we travel. I have a paper-piecing project I started two years ago and can't wait to finish. Now that this baby is up and running I'm sure to get it done......hey, stop laughing.....I will!!

As you can see it came in the sturdy case. I know, I know.......I can just hear the Featherweight enthusiasts snicker at the fact that it's not "original". Well actually it is in a way. If you can see in the picture the black box is encased with the wood, plus the clasps and handle appear to be original.....but not absolutely sure about that. It does have the "musty" smell as is characteristic of these machines.....or their cases!!:-)

This particular machine is dated to be manufactured between 1935 and 1938. But according to the book the type of scrollwork on the faceplate means the machine was made before mid-1937 when they changed the plate. It's kind of cool knowing the machine is 80 years old and works like a gem.

Now I can take projects with me when I travel and I won't have to worry about damaging my machine....this thing is built to last!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I was able to cut out most of my Lucille quilt last night and start sewing. There are a lot of half-square triangles in the quilt so I decided to use Thangles. They are supposed to save me time, fabric and be quite accurate. Triangles in the quilting world can sometimes cause I'm hoping they deliver as promised.

It can be quite a mess!!

Whatcha do is cut your strip 1/2 inch larger than the finished no more weird measurements using 7/8ths. Then put two strips right sides together with the lighter color on top. Then pin on the Thangles paper. Sew on the dotted can strip piece. Cut on the solid lines. Iron.... keeping the paper in keeps the fabric from pulling out of shape. Then tear off the paper!! Pretty slick!!!

Only one little dog-ear to cut off!!:-)

For full info on Thangles.....check out their website.......then buy them at your local quilt shop!!:-)

Shield of Faith....

The kids have been learning about the armor of God in VBS this year. Yesterday they made a "shield of faith."(Eph. 6:16) Today I got out of the shower to this on the living room floor....

Hmm....."No, swords yet!! We'll have to use fly swatters!!!!"

I don't even want to know what was going on while I was in the shower!!:-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


......note to not hit enter before writing a blog post!!!:-)

Man O' Man....was I excited for tonight. I knew I'd sit down to watch KG and his team finish off the Lakers while starting on a quilt I'd been dieing to start for weeks. The good news.....the Celtics smashed the Lakers......the bad news.....I forgot to buy one of the fabrics for my project!!:-(

A month ago my grandmother in Nebraska fell and broke her neck. I spent many hours with family at the hospital waiting......and waiting.....and wondering.....and waiting. A couple of times I was able to steal away for a little breather....and where did I go? The nearest quilt shop. Quilting is a stress reliever for me so going to the quilt shop just seemed like the natural thing to do.

While I was there my eye caught a quilt pattern by one of my favorite designers.....Carrie Nelson from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.!! I said in my head the typical quilt fanatic phrase.... "Oh, that's a cute pattern." But then I caught sight of the name of the pattern.........


Lucille is the name of my grandmother. (Or do I say it WAS her name.....she passed away that week.) I knew I wanted to make that kind of a memory quilt. The problem was the sample was made from grandma hated pink!!! And the suggested fabrics were florally....again....not so much my grandma. I decided to take my quilting whiz daughter with me back to the shop when she arrived for the funeral. I knew she could help me find something.

(As a funny side note.......I am on the floor of the shop with fabrics all around me and my daughter is across the aisle from me. So I call out to her....."HEY CHICK, come help me figure out these fabrics since you're so good with colors!!!" The moment I said that one of the employees walks right in my line of sight with my daughter. She stops and gives me this look and I burst out laughing trying to explain my "rude" behavior.)

So anyway.....this is the fabric we found. It's Hemming House by Brannock and Patek for Moda. It kind of looks florally but it's not so much!! I decided to not make a queen size, but a wall I've adjusted the pattern slightly.

The problem is I forgot to get the inner border fabric!!! I kept telling my daughter I had forgotten something. I was a mile away and said "We forgot a fabric." We looked and didn't think we had. Then I get home and look through the fabrics, and tell her again...."This doesn't seem right." It wasn't until tonight when I was making the final cutting instructions that I realized I was missing the inner boarder!!! UGH!!! This quilt shop isn't just around the corner!!! I can't just run in tomorrow and get what I need!!!! UGH!!!

Hopefully I'll be able to find this line in a quilt shop next week when I head to Canada with hubby. He's agreed to let me do some shop-hopping along the way!! He even printed out a list of shops along the route we are taking!! What a guy!!! But bumming is that....I could have this finished by the weekend!! What?? I must be joking!! Of course I can't finish it by this weekend.....but maybe pieced!! Now I'll have to hope and pray I find the missing fabric......

I'll keep you the meantime if you're a quilter (or a cat lover, or a purse lover) check out this site...she's having a contest and the winner gets a quilt... machine quilted for free!!:-) I'm going there to make my guess now!!

Ta-ta for now!!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Home is for free expression.........


I just love that quote from the movie "Your's Mine and Ours".(the newer one!!) Although I'm not totally like the main Mom character in the movie, I am very much like her when it comes to creating things.

In the movie she designs purses and her "studio" is......a mess!!! But she loves it that way. Even though it is a mess she can find what she needs and creates much better in that atmosphere.
That is sooooo me!!! When it comes to my creative endeavors I absolutely thrive in the mess.

It seems my kids are picking up the habit. A few days ago they decided they wanted to use the sewing machines. I allowed them to get out boxes of scrap fabric and create!! Both Allison and J.J. were learning how to use the sewing machine for the first time!! Jess was off at work, but the rest of the children created all afternoon. Allison designed clothes for her doll, J.J. made "pockets" and pillows, Sarah and Hannah worked on pillows and quilting 9 patches.

The B's Sweat Shop
Hannah at the Machine...J.J. Learning 2 Use a Sewing Machine
Home is 4 Free Expression.....

It was a total disaster in the basement. BUT I LOVED IT!!! FREE EXPRESSION!!!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...