Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Island Batiks top finished

Hi!  First, I wanted to share a photo of sunset behind my house.  I live in the Pocono Mountains, and my almost 1/2 acre lot backs up to a large undeveloped subdivision.  I'm minutes away from Tobyhanna State Park, and the game lands, so basically, this undeveloped subdivision is an extension, with all the trees and animals that live in these mountains.  I've seen wild turkeys, hawks, lots of deer, bears, and even a wild cat (Mountain Lion or similar) and a fox, plus quail and lots of squirrels and chipmunks.  I love the quiet and the coolness of the trees around my house.  It's a very pretty area.

As you can see, the trees have not quite begun budding for leaves.  I think it's later than usual, but we've also had much more snow and colder temperatures than usual.  Some of my perennials are beginning to show, but the daffodils and hyacinth and tulips are not visible yet.  This photo was from a few days ago.  It's pouring today, and will probably snow again before tomorrow morning.  Yes, on April 15.  Not totally unusual, but rare.

I wanted to play with some of the beautiful Island Batiks I have.  I've made a few Zig A Zag patterns with the strip packs, but wanted a change.  I like different designs, just to change things up.  

This is a Mango Salsa strip pack from Island Batiks, with additional fabrics for the setting triangles and borders.  I think the outer border is also Island Batiks.  I hope to have time soon to get this quilted.  The colors are very bright and vibrant.  It's just happy.  

Today's finish is in purples and aquas.  I love the border!  The Island Batiks Strip Pack is called Orchids.  I added a dark purple batik frame, pale aqua lattice, and purple tile printed border.  I tried to get the tile designs to match in the corners.  I LOVE this.  I can't wait to quilt it.  I have more strips left from this pack, and will be making something else with it.  The pattern is called Braid In A Day by Quilt In A Day.  I pieced the braids on my 1954 vintage Singer 15-91.  I need to choose backing and get this layered.  This is just another fun way to use 2 1/2" strips.  

Aren't the Island Batik strips gorgeous?  It's fun to play with pretty fabrics  The light color lattice (the area between the braids) is really a light aqua.  It has more color than this photo shows.  

One more, with detail of the corner. 

These will be quilted soon, and listed in my Etsy shop.

Next project is the tunics for the Quilt performance at the Lehigh Valley Charter Arts school production in May.   This portion of the presentation represents Beowulf.  The girls need costumes that represent the different parts of the poem.  After the tunics are done, I can quilt again.  

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Trapezoid Cabinet is DONE!!

I finally had a few warmer days to put the final coat of polyurethane on the Trapezoid cabinet top.  Of course, it's 2 sides, so 2 days were needed.  It's so pretty!  And now the cabinet is done.  I'm very proud of this job.

Here's the before:

I got this at a garage sale for $30.  The machine is a Singer 15-91 dated 1954, and it needed new wiring, which I had done at Pocono Sew & Vac.  I think they do an excellent job. 

I stripped and sanded the severely damaged finish of the top and sewing area, and then stained it and did 3 coats of polyurethane in a gloss finish.  The top almost looked like veneer and laminate before I started, so I took it to Home Depot to figure out if it was.  Joe determined it was flaking off, so it would be best to strip.  

Here's a photo of Joe's tests of products on the top. 

After stripping and hours of sanding.
After stain and 3 coats of gloss polyurethane.

Back together again!

I LOVE the woodgrain on the flip side. 

I LOVED this cabinet shape when I saw it.  It's not a rectangle, it's a trapezoid.  The back is wider than the front, and the left leg pushes out to support the top.  The machine isn't centered in the cabinet.  The front panel opens to reveal the drop down knee pedal (the regular foot pedal is in a clamp inside the cabinet.  The knee pedal pushes the small button on the foot pedal, so if I desire, I could use this with my foot, but I learned on a knee pedal, and it's kind of fun to use it again.)  There's also a little storage pocket on the inside of the door.  It holds a few spools and has room for snips, a seam ripper and tape measure.  
Yes, the top opens on an angle.  So cool!  

I do actually use the machine for piecing.  I'm currently doing some Hunter's Star blocks, and a Quilt In A Day Braid in purple Island Batiks.  I think it's really cool that I'm using a 60 year old machine to sew 2014 fabrics and designs.  I enjoy having it in the dining room, because I can sit while something cooks or bakes and sew.  Even if it's for 10 minutes, I can have fun.  

These braids will be a quilt top soon, then I'll quilt it on my Viking, which is about 6 years old.  

Now on to the latest Vintage Singer and that cabinet.  Same process.  Strip, sand, stain, and probably just a semi-gloss coat. I'll have to see how the wood looks after it's stripped.  See my more recent posts for info about Leona's Singer.  

I'm connecting with Quiltsy Team's WIP blog.  Go see what the others are doing!  Thanks for visiting.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Meet my new vintage machine

Meet Leona!  When I met my cousin Liz at her mom's house (my Aunt Eileen aka Godmother and Dad's only sister) a few weeks ago, she put this machine in my car, along with about 4 large bags of fabric and some quilts she wanted finished.  These are all from Leona, Liz's mother-in-law, who passed away last August, 2013.  Leona was a quilter and teacher, and had owned a fabric store.  She was one of the founding members of the Long Island Quilter's Society, and was still listed as an honorary board member on the show program, where I entered my first time, on March 22 and 23, 2014.

Liz had asked me to finish one of Leona's quilts for her (see this post.)  I have another, plus more scraps, and 3 more quilts to finish.  I'll share those later, but today I worked on the machine.  It's the first nice day in a while, and I wanted to put the final coats of polyurethane on the top of the Trapezoid case, and this cabinet is currently in the garage.  Since machines are sensitive to the cold, I wanted to get this in the house to work on it.

Leona, the Singer, is a 1937 15 class machine.  The cabinet is in poor shape, and will need to be stripped and sanded, but I happen to enjoy doing that.  I'm thinking I can just sand and refinish the body, but the top will need more work, as will the front.

In the meantime, I got the machine out of the cabinet, and worked on her for a bit, as well.  

My favorite part?? The decals are really pretty, and in good shape.  Look at the center part!!

I LOVE the bird, and the filligree style edge.  It's very pretty.  So, part of the clean up involves getting the tape off, and removing the residual glue.  I tried a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, and used the resulting paste to scrub the glue off.  I'm soaking the remaining tape in sewing machine oil, and will work on it again later.  After I get the machine cleaned, I'll take it in to Pocono Sew & Vac for them to clean and check the mechanical parts, and I need to locate a bobbin case and bobbins.  I may have one, so I'll need to check my supply drawer, and if it needs the Class 15 Bobbins, I already have quite a few.  I did take the needle plate off, and removed quite a bit of very old lint.  I'll show more progress later, but that lighter section of residual glue above the bird is gone, as is most of the tape.

So, check back in a few weeks to see how Leona's doing.  I'm hoping she'll be happy here.  My Minnesota treadle is the oldest machine I have.  Leona is next, then the Featherweight, and the New Westinghouse and the 15-91 in the Trapezoid cabinet.  I didn't intentionally start out building a collection of vintage machines, but I'm really having fun with them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Latest!

First, this came in the mail on Tuesday, which happened to be my birthday.  I won it in a Facebook post on World Wide Quilt Day in March, from I Don't Do Dishes.  Since I LOVE Aurifil, this was the perfect birthday surprise.

Then, I finished the top (also known as a flimsy) for my next Zig A Zag quilt featuring Island Batik's Mango Salsa Strip Pack.  Pattern by Quilt In A Day.  I've made 3 of these designs in different colors.  

Here's a close up of the colors.  

I need to pick a backing, and will get this layered and pin basted soon.  Since my friends closed their store, I needed to find a place with a large table that I could tape the backing to, and then have time to baste it.  I noticed the American Ribbon Factory had built such a table, and asked them if it was available.  They said they would rent time on it, so I plan to have 2 or more tops to do, so I can get the best use of my time there.  So, I picked out the next 2 projects.  I'm still working on the blocks for the Hunter's Star in purple Island Batiks (up to 18 stars done) and I plan to make these two tops, as well.  I'm not sure of the sizes yet.  I think both will be lap sizes.  I know, I still have others to finish quilting, but I need to get some of the others started.  It fits my plan to pin a few at a time.  Then, I can quilt a few in a row.  A long arm machine would make this so much easier, but in the meantime, this is how I'll do it.  

Here are the upcoming ones. 

This is a Quilt In A Day Braid In A Day featuring Island Batiks in purples.  I sold the last purple braid quilt, so I think this is a good choice.  I enjoy making them, and needed a change from Zig A Zag.  Both use
2 1/2" precut strips.  I love the Island Batiks sets for these patterns.  I've made 2 braid quilt tops.  

This next is also a Quilt In A Day pattern, called Tossed 9 Patch. It's also one of  my favorites, and used 5" charm squares.  I had this set from Moda, called Spa.  I need to get this done, too.  All blues and white.  This is ready to sew.  The braid needs some cutting.  So, when I'm in the mood to sew, I can easily piece.  When I want to quilt, I'll have projects ready.  I've used this pattern quite a few times.  

Thanks for visiting!  Come back to see the new tops.  I hope to have them done soon.  Then I need to get the costumes done.  Always something fun!  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Busy Week

Hi!  This has been a busy week.

I drove to Long Island on Tuesday, then got my hair done and took Mom shopping on Wednesday.  On Thursday, I dropped off my quilt for the Long Island Quilters Guild show (my FIRST time entering any judged quilting show), took my parents to see Dad's sister, Aunt Eileen, and meet my cousin Liz, who's mother-in-law, was a quilter.  Liz had a number of items to give to me.  A vintage Singer and some fabrics were gifts from Leona's estate, and there are a few quilts Liz wanted finished for her family.  More on that after I unpack all of the stuff.  Then I took Mom shopping again, and got to meet my new Great Nephew, Brayden.  Brayden's puppy is Howard.

Friday was a more relaxing day, and I got my nails done and satisfied a craving for New York style pizza.  SOOOO good!

Saturday, Christine and I went to the quilt show.  Although I didn't get a ribbon, I was pleased with the judge's evaluation.  My goal for this year was to improve my piecing, and she said this quilt was good.  I know I've improved since I pieced this top.  She did say the quilting design was excellent, and loved the metallic thread.  I knew I had some issues with the tension, but that's typical for metallics.  Most of the issues were before I switched to Superior thread.  I'm MOST excited about another friend's daughter picking my quilt and the silver thread as her favorite at the show.  Thanks, Ryan!!  I'm so glad you loved it.  Christine and I also celebrated our upcoming birthdays at Cheesecake Factory!  Yum!

Of all the photos I took at the show, the one of my quilt was not that good.  Shaking my head.  

Today I took Mom shopping again.  I really needed something from JoAnn's, but they just redid the store here, and I couldn't find what I needed.  It was a mess, and lots of fabrics were not where they belonged, and lots of other things were not stocked.  I hope they get it back to being a good store.  When the renovate stores, it's not always an improvement.  I'll have to look again in Scranton this week.  Then I went to go pick up my quilt.

I've been working on this Zig A Zag featuring Mango Salsa strip pack from Island Batiks.  I'm almost 1/2 done assembling the top.

I did quite a bit more after this photo was taken.  I was hoping to have the top done and pinned before I return home.

I'll be sharing the quilt show quilts and more about the machine and Leona's quilts soon.
Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

World Wide Quilt Day

First, I'm linking up my latest finish to GoGoKim's blog.   Click the picture above to see who else is celebrating a finish today.

I finished the Strawberry Ribbon Twist runner.  It's so cute!  My friend, Bernie, had this fabric, and I grabbed some for a runner or two before they closed their store.  I had wanted the fabrics for a while, so I'm glad it's finally a finished item!  This will be for sale in my Etsy shop.

Yes, there's still snow in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. More is melting every day, but there's a possibility of more to come.  But, I have strawberries to remind me Spring is coming!

I used Aurifil 50 wt Mako for piecing and quilting.  The quilting uses variegated red, white and blue, color 3852.  I wanted some blending, but also some color in the quilting.  I'm working on my feathers, so this has a hand guided feather wreath, as well as feathers in the borders.  I just drew a circle for the wreath.  

Isn't it sweet?  I'm happy.  I'll be working on more stuff later.  Maybe the Hunter's Star quilt blocks.  I have 14 so far, and need 30.  Or maybe I'll play with the new Island Batiks from the ambassadorship!  I also have more runners like this ready to sew.  I designed them, and enjoy playing with fabrics and colors.  Each one looks a little different.  I think it's fun!  

Go see who else sewed today! 

Thanks for visiting. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

My first official Ambassador box!

I have been waiting for DAYS!!!  I got an email from Island Batiks and UPS saying the box would be arriving on Monday, March 10.  YAY!!  Then, I noticed the box would weigh 10 lbs.  Um, how much fabric weighs 10 lbs???? That's a LOT of fabric!  Some of my friends estimated between 20 and 30 yards.  YARDS of #IslandBatiks Ambassador fabrics!!  Some could be revealed today, and others could only be teased until May, when others will see them at Quilt Market.

Of course, this morning, I was supposed to go drop off dance costumes.  But I didn't fall asleep until after 6 a.m. and the headache that usually accompanies insomnia has not made this a JUMP for Joy day, even if I wanted to, because this BOX is filled with AWESOME stuff!!  I'm quietly celebrating, though.

Outside my door this morning was a box.  A nice size box.  I picked it up, brought it into the cutting table, and slit the tape carefully.

A letter explaining the program and fabrics, and some packing paper.

OOHH, some color under the plastic!

I love color cards, especially ones with real fabrics.  Look at those COLORS!! Great shades, and really pretty designs.  I do LOVE playing with "blender" type fabrics.

This YUMMY bundle of 1/2 yard pieces is called Tanzanite, and could be found NOW in your favorite stores that carry Island Batiks.  What? Your store doesn't carry Island Batiks?? Ask them why not!  I'm working on a Hunter's Star quilt in purples, and I'm pretty sure some of these will be added in to that quilt.  I'm also thrilled that the SKU numbers are included, so I can look for more.  So vibrant!!

So, how much was in the box?? 25 yards PLUS of beautiful fabrics.  My mind is spinning with possibilities.  Two of the groups are more Holiday themed, and also have metallic accents.  What does 25 PLUS yards of Island Batiks look like??

I KNOW you can't see all the prints.  This is just a tease for what's to come in the next few months.  Watch for projects from me, as well as other Ambassadors.  More will be shown at Market, too.

Who wants to come over for a play date??  BUT, you WON'T find these beauties mixed in with my regular fabrics.  They are in a special area, and protected until the inspiration hits and I can reveal more.  In the meantime, I'm planning, and working with other Island Batik fabrics I've purchased.

Being an Island Batiks Ambassador is already more fun than I had hoped.  Thanks again for choosing me, and for letting me play with these collections.

Thanks for visiting!

Okay, one more tease!!