Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Granny Sew Along

I'm so excited to start the Great Granny Sew Along! I've been wanting to do a sew along (and actually sew along, not doing it months later) for a while now. I've loved the granny square blocks since I first laid eyes on them. They are so cute! When Lori announced on her blog the sew along and I saw her finished quilt I knew I wanted to make one. My sister crochets, so I think this will be a great gift for her. :)

Lori's finished quilt top
If you want to sew along with me and everyone else check out the following links:

Bee in my Bonnet*
Jolly Jabber*
Great Granny Sew Along info page
*Check out these links for yardage requirements

I also included the sew along button to the right for easy access.

You need a copy of Lori's newest book to sew along
 It runs for 5 weeks and I'm going to do my very best to keep up with it. I'm digging into my stash and scrap bins for this one. I'm hoping that I won't have to buy any fabric (except for backing and maybe borders).

Check back to see my progress. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vintage Love

I just have to share my new vintage treasures.

I found this circa 1958 Singer 403A at my local Savers a few weeks back. It came with the wrong power cord and foot pedal, and was very dirty. But the price couldn't be beat.

 Yes, seriously it was $7.99!! I had to take her home. She's missing a few parts but a quick search online brought me to a few websites with replacements. I was able to clean up her exterior with good old fashioned rubbing alcohol but I haven't gotten to the inner workings yet. Truth be told, I'm a little intimidated. But I plan on doing the best I can to get her running again and if worse comes to worse, I'll take her to a professional.

I found this beauty about a week ago at the same Savers. I knew right away what it was when I saw it and thought it would be perfect for my little Singer.

Check it out! The front drops down for free arm exposure. How neat is that? I've never seen a cabinet like this before. I was able to find two others (here & here) with the exact same cabinet online, and one with a very similar cabinet. But there's no markings on it anywhere, so I have no idea who made it and what machine it was originally designed for.
 There's a bit of repair work to be done on some of the trim and there's a piece missing on the top (it's supposed to conceal the machine when not in use) but other than that it's a great little work table.

 And of course the price can't be beat! :) Funny thing is that the day I bought it they were running a half off sale on grey ticket items. I had no idea when I took it to the register, so I paid $7.50 for it! I can't wait to get it fixed and painted. It's going to be so nice having this extra storage and a spot for my 403A.

After I brought home the sewing machine, I began researching this particular little Singer. Come to find out, it's a really great little work horse! Seriously, Google it and there's a few blogs with the history and reviews of it. It's really an amazing little machine that was one of the first to have a lot of the features we see on machines from today.

Like I said there's a few websites that sell replacement parts for it but on eBay I found this box with the manual and a ton of accessories.
It came with 8 CAM discs and a ton of presser feet. I scored this auction for $15.50 plus shipping. So far, my most expensive purchase but so worth it. I look forward to getting this machine up and running to try out all the presser feet and CAM discs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grandpa's Shirts Turned Pillowcases

Remember Grandpa's quilt? Well, I still had quite a few whole shirts leftover and some of my mother-in-law's siblings who wanted a little something of their father's too. I decided on making pillowcases for the siblings (since more quilts would be a bit much for me) and came upon this inspiration on Pinterest.
click here for tutorial
It was a really quick and easy project, and I ended up making 7 pillowcases total. I still had 3 corners of the white handkerchief used in the quilt plus my mother-in-law gave me another blue handkerchief, so all 7 pillowcases had a corner of a handkerchief sewn into the front pockets.

All 7 of the pillowcases

All of them got the same tag as the quilt

3 of them used scraps from the quilt backing

Stuffed with an 18" square pillow form
She flew to Iowa for spring break and delivered the pillowcases to her brothers and sisters. They all loved them, which makes my heart so happy. I think at this point I only have a few shirt fronts left since the backs were used to make the quilt. So I may make a few more of these pillowcases using the quilt backing scraps for the back piece. And then all the remaining shirt pieces will end up being cut into squares for future projects. But for now everyone has a little piece of Grandpa so there's no rush to whip up another big project any time soon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Farmer's Wife: The Plan

So I've been admiring Farmer's Wife quilts for some time now but never felt confident enough in my piecing to even think about doing it. I finally got the motivation to start on it, however I'm still not happy with my piecing skills. But this will be a learning experience for me, and since there is no set deadline there's no pressure. I'm thinking this will probably take a year or longer to complete (I'm making a queen size quilt) and I plan to make a block or two in my down time, whenever that occurs.

I decided to use use Fig Tree's fabric collections, specifically Mirabelle, Honeysweet, Tapestry and Butterscotch & Rose, plus their coordinating cream solid. I think these fabrics are so calming and since this quilt will eventually be in our bedroom, calming is a good thing. :)

I already know that I will probably paper piece (my first attempt!) a few of the more complicated blocks, and I'll probably rotary cut a few of the simpler blocks, but I still want to use the templates too. So I will definitely be stretching my amateur skills on this quilt.

We'll see how this goes, I'm hoping my piecing skills improve as I go along. Will definitely keep you posted. :)

Pinwheel Sampler Top

I got my pinwheel sampler top finished this past Saturday. Despite cutting off a few points, I am happy with how it turned out.

I already got the binding cut and ready to go, but I'm still undecided on the backing. I'm thinking either a solid or tone-on-tone grey, so the quilting will stand out. I plan visiting the fabric store this week and then it's off to Abby for quilting. I can't wait until it's finished and I can snuggle with it. :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

{WIP} Final Pinwheels

I finished up the final 4 pinwheels last night for my pinwheel sampler.

Block 7
Block 8

I saw another pinwheel sampler that put block #7 in the four corners and I liked how it looked. But instead of making 4 of the same block I switched up the pinwheels for block #8. The borders are the same size as block 7 except the outer-most white border. I ended up making the pinwheels too small so I made the white outer border 0.5" bigger to compensate. Other than that it turned out great!

Now all that is left is to sash it and pick out the backing, then it's off to the quilters! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jenny's Happy Quilt

One of my dear friends from high school is sick. And not getting over the flu kind of sick either. She's currently on kidney dialysis waiting to get a transplant but you wouldn't know it by looking at her. Her attitude is so positive and she is just so amazingly upbeat about the whole thing.

Whenever she gets the call that a kidney is available, she will travel to another state for the transplant and recovery. She will be there a few months until her doctors give her the ok to travel back. I wanted to make her a happy quilt to use during her future hospital visit but also during her dialysis appointments and basically, any time she wants to snuggle with something.

I went with a layer cake of High Street by Lily Ashbury. When I saw it, it screamed her name so I bought it. The binding is the small pink flowers in the same line.

The quilt is really simple. I laid out the layer cake pieces in a 6x6 square then sewed it all together. The remaining 6 layer cake pieces I sewed in a row for the back. I'm so sorry, I forgot to take a picture but I'll try to explain the back. I bought some soft tone on tone grey flannel from Joann's, enough for a 60x60 quilt. I sewed it so there was no middle seam but two seams along the sides, the remaining layer cake square are about 20" up from the bottom. I hope that makes sense. I may have to snag the quilt from Jenny for a few more photos to show you.

I quilted a simple X in each square using a pastel rainbow thread. It shows up beautifully on the back with the grey flannel. I used the same thread to attach the binding, except that I used a specialty stitch instead of the typical straight stitch. It adds the perfect touch and I'm just kicking myself for not taking more photos.

Next time we meet up for coffee I will have to hijack the quilt for more photos. Promise.