Category Archives: Sewing/Quilting

Bye Bye Plastic Bags

As of March 1st, there will be new regulations for the use of plastic bags in New York State.  Are you ready?

I am trying to figure out just what an “exempt” plastic bag is.  Also,  does this affect me at my craft fairs?   I do usually use paper bags for my customers but I do put my hooded towels in a plastic bag.  Do I need to change that?

My hubby does the grocery shopping as a rule and we have been using reusable bags for that for quite some time now.    Now I will need to keep some bags handy in the car for when I do shopping, grocery or otherwise.   I am experimenting with a couple of different styles, including one that I can easily keep folded up in my purse.  And, of course, I am going to make them colorful.   I’ll post pictures of what I come up with soon.

So, if you want to find out what might, or might not, be changing come March 1, you can read about the new regulations and who can and cannot offer plastic bags, you can go to The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation website here .

I’ll be in my sewing room making bags that will make shopping fun for me.  Ok, no, they won’t but they sure will make me smile more than the plastic bags did.

See you soon.  Bye for now.

Ginny

 

A scrappy, snowy Saturday

The forecast for Saturday was for snow, sleet, some ice then rain.

wp-1579395898526.jpg A perfect day for spending some time in my sewing room.   So that’s where I headed.  What should I work on?   I took out some fabric for some plate cozies and worked on them for a bit.   However,  even after doing the post-holiday clean up,  I still had lots of piles/small bins of scraps around that were totally not organized and they were staring at me.   I find that I enjoy my time at my sewing machine more if the area around me is fairly neat and organized.

So I got my rotary cutter and ruler out and my iron turned on and I set to work to organize and tame my growing scrap monster.   I decided to start out by simply separating the scraps into two different categories…… longer strips and squares/rectangles.   Then I opened a bin and was surprised to find a project that I had started a while back and had forgotten about.  It was a whole bunch of tumbler pieces that I had cut as well as 4 rows of tumblers that I had already sewn together.  wp-1579395797725.jpg It was from a Bonnie Hunter leader/ender challenge from last year?  The year before?  I don’t remember now.  But I did recall what my idea was for this quilt.  I was going to call it Tumbling Seasons and cut tumblers in four different groups:   Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.  I have obviously only gotten the Fall tumblers worked on.   I got all the tumbler pieces pulled out of the bin and ironed them and the strips and put them all neatly back into their own bin.  I need to see how many rows I get out of what I’ve already cut, add more if needed and then I will work on the other three seasons.wp-1579395771127.jpg

Ahhhh,  but I am getting ahead of myself.  There was still the matter of the rest of those scraps awaiting my attention.  At the end of the afternoon,  I had gone through seven of the bins of scraps.   I didn’t get to the two bins of flannel scraps that were up on the shelf in the closet or three with cotton fabric.  I ended up with three bins emptied out and four bins of fabric pressed and organized and ready for further organization into color groups.  Then I will need to decide whether to  have one bin for each color or combine colors like blue and green, red and pink, etc.   I suppose that decision will be made by how much of each color group I have.   Sizes and shapes will need to be determined also.  I know I will keep some as strips because I want to try a making some strip blocks.    I will need to go back and read  Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Users Systems’ suggestions again to see what the best sizes for the rest of it would be. wp-1579395923489.jpg

Three more small shoe box size bins to go through.  Although I am pretty sure I have a larger bin of scraps hiding somewhere.   But I’ll not worry about that one just yet.

It was a good day’s work.  No sewing or organizing happened in the sewing room the rest of the weekend or today.  I will be back there tomorrow doing some actual sewing.   I will take the bin with the tumblers over to my sewing machine and use them as my leaders/enders  while sewing and get two projects worked on at the same time.   Love it!

I hope you all had a good weekend.   January always has me thinking about organizing, re-organizing,  de-cluttering, etc.   Do you have those same thoughts?  Are you working on any particular room/closet?  Besides my focus in my sewing room, we are also working on going through “stuff” in closets.    Good luck with your clearing out projects if you have any.   I’d love to hear about your progress and if you found any forgotten about items or projects like I did with the tumblers.

Keep warm.  Stay cozy.   See you soon.

Bye for now.

Ginny

‘Tis the Season

What season you might ask?

The Fall craft fair season.  And the workshop officially opened today.   The cutting department (aka, Hubby) had his rotary cutter and rulers all ready and before long he had piles of 10″ squares ready to hand off to the sewing department (aka, Me!) and  then he switched his attention to some layer cakes.  No, not the eating kind, the 10″ squares of fabric kind.  Shortly thereafter, he had those 10″ squares cut down to 5″ squares that will become zigzag tablerunners in a few days.  20190813_134235.jpg

In the meantime, I was kept busy as the 10″ squares were cut and ready for adding batting.  Those batting squares were cut by my very efficient cutting department last week.20190813_134224.jpg

When the cutting department was finished with all that was on his workbench for today, he left the workshop for a bit of a break.  I felt the need for a bit of background music 20190813_144504.jpg  So I enlisted the help of the entertainment department (aka, my ipod).  Anyone care to make a guess as to what type of music was playing.  Here’s a hint:Elf

Well, as Scarlett O’Hara was famous for saying “Tomorrow is another day.”  But I won’t be heading to Tara;  I will be heading back to The Workshop.   We have three craft fairs lined up right now with two more on the “maybe” list.

Are you working on any projects for the fall or maybe some Christmas gifts?  Anyone doing any craft fairs?   I’d love to hear about what is keeping you busy these days.

See you soon.  Bye for now.

Ginny

Sunday Snippit – Cabin Fever Heat Wave Style

Usually when I am planning out what we need from the store and what needs to be taken care of in preparation for a couple days spent in the house, it is because we are expecting a blizzard.   But not this weekend.   It is going to be hot, hot, hot!   We did head to the beach Friday morning for a few hours.  The big heat hadn’t arrived yet so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to relax and enjoy the sound of the sea gulls and the ocean waves hitting the shore.   And those waves sure were crashing.  20190719_092422.jpg

So what do you do to prepare to spend a couple days indoors because of heat?  Well, I don’t know about others, but for one thing,   get up real early to water the flowers and veggies outside to help them get through the day. I actually didn’t do that but my sweet hubby did.   And then we did a very small bit of weeding that really couldn’t wait, went out to run some errands and then, we were home and settled in with the a/c.

My sewing room is upstairs and just way too hot to spend time there.  What?  No sewing until Monday!  Ha,  think again.  It’s a different type of sewing but well suited to a day spent inside.  I printed out my pattern pieces and picked my fabric for three more blocks from The Farmer’s Wife sampler.

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And then there is always reading.  Nice summertime beach reading  …. just not at the beach.    20190720_221629.jpg

The difference between winter and summer cabin fever : watering instead of shoveling, salads and sandwiches instead of simmering soups or chili  and drinking lots of water instead of hot chocolate.

So we are ready for another day spent inside.  It’s looking like we could get a break in the heat on Monday.   What do you do when you are spending a few days in your “cabin”?  If you are dealing with this heat wave, keep cool, hydrate and take advantage of a bit of downtime to do some reading, slow stitching,  or watch a good movie.   Hmmmm, maybe I’ll watch a few episodes of Downton Abbey.  I can do my hand stitching while visiting with the Crawley family.

Be well.  Keep cool.

Bye for now.

Ginny

Sunday Snippit on Monday

It sure has been a busy couple of weeks.  I missed posting last Sunday.  We had a quick visit with family and returned home on Monday.  I almost missed this week too but it’s  just one day later.

It has been pretty busy in the sewing room.  I made 5 sets of placemats.  Haven’t made them in quite a while.   I enjoyed putting them together.

I really like the wine bottle fabric and I can see some wine bottle gift bags made out of it.  The other four fabrics were very cheerful and summery.

While spending my time in the sewing room I was listening to a podcast of Leah Day’s.  (her podcast is called Hello My Quilting Friends if you want to give it a listen). Her guest was Stephanie Socha and the topic was organizing and decorating your quilting space.  (Stephanie also has a podcast: Make and Decorate with Stephanie Socha Design)  As I was listening I started looking around the sewing room to see if the way I organized my room was in a purely functional way or did it add to the decor of the room.  It made me think, what does the decor of my sewing room say?   So when I was finished sewing, I took some pictures of my space to see what vibes the different areas gave off.  Did they say utilitarian and functional or was there an element of fun and smile-evoking spots?

As I looked at the pictures,  I saw that there are things that bring a smile to my face in all corners of the room.   Yes, there are the functional parts like the two spaces that store my books and patterns and the pegboards that hold my scissors, rotary cutters and acrylic templates.  But mixed into those areas are items that are purely there just because they are “me”….. like the quilted Yankee wall hanging,  the “Officially Retired” sign and hat and the Charlie Brown clock that plays Christmas songs on the hour (ok, not ALL year;  I remove the batteries for that function in January).   And, while most of my fabric is either in the closet or in drawers,  I love seeing my Jelly Rolls displayed in a re-purposed cd tower.  Of course, the three machines in the room make me smile by just being there. Having pictures of my 4 boys when they were little hanging over my Featherweight, a stuffed puppy by my embroidery machine that reminds me of a very special grand-dog and a jar full of  thread on wooden spools that were from my grandmother and my aunt makes those areas even more special.

My conclusion was that yes, I try to keep my tools and supplies neat and organized and handy but I also see things in that room that definitely say  “This is Ginny’s sewing room”.    Do you have a room or a space somewhere that speaks to your likes, interests and  passions?   If you do,  I’d love to hear about it.  Leave a comment below and tell us about it.

I hope you have a good week.  I’ll be in my sewing room a bit each day enjoying all the special things in there.  Keep cool.   See you soon.

Bye for now.

Ginny

 

 

Sunday Snippit Time

It has been a busy week for sure culminating with a day spent in the city with my sis ending with a Hugh Jackman concert.   Absolutely phenomenal!  Words cannot aptly describe what an amazing performer he is.

With the 4th of July on the horizon, I did  have some time in the sewing room to work on some red, white and blue things.   First there was this paper pieced star made with Fabri–flair.  It was a lot of fun to make.

It looks cute on my mantel with a tin barn star, some seashells and little lights.

I also got a new pair of scissors that fit right into my red, white and blue theme for the day.  (do you love them BFF?)  I have designated them to be my batting and stabilizer scissors.  Now they will stand out and I won’t grab the  fabric scissors by accident.

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I also pulled this kit out of the closet and put it in my basket.

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It’s a Missouri Star Quilt Company kit that I got a few years ago.   Will it be completed by the 4th of July?  Heck no!  But at least it isn’t in the dark confines of the closet any longer.

I dressed up a couple tables in the house with some patriotic  decor.

The temperatures have gotten themselves up to summertime thresholds, the vegetable  plants are flowering, the herbs are growing beautifully and adding nice fresh flavor to our summertime dishes, there is red, white and blue gracing various surfaces around the house and the beach has become a destination on our weekly calendar.   Welcome summer.Summer sun

And let’s not forget our friends to our north who will be celebrating Canada Day on Monday, July 1.   Canadian flag clip art    Why don’t we just declare this week  one big holiday and have one full week of celebrating the two very special days with each other.

Have a good week everyone.  Talk to you soon.

Bye for now.

Ginny

 

 

 

Sunday Snippit & a little rant

I found myself being very annoyed earlier this week which is what my mini-rant is about.  What has happened to respect and courtesy?   I remember the days when, if you were driving and saw a hearse with cars following that had the “Funeral” signs on their windshields and had their 4-way flashers blinking,  you would show some respect and courtesy and not cut into the procession of cars.   Apparently,  there were quite a few people on the roads on Thursday that do not subscribe to that way of thinking.  It makes me sad.  OK, end of mini-rant.

On Friday evening, after a day of catching up with laundry and housework,  I  wanted to spend some time sewing but didn’t really have the energy to stand at my cutting table and prep my next project so instead I opted to sit in my comfy chair, watch the Yankee game and work on another block from the Farmer’s Wife book.

This was block #33 of the 99 in the book.   As I complete each block,  I  keep them in individual plastic bags and put them in a basket.  20190616_220400.jpg

I think I’m going to need to get a bigger basket in the not too distant future.  My bff in California and I are working on these blocks together and it will be interesting to see how different each of our quilts will turn out.   Sharon, it’s time to pick our next batch of blocks.  33 down and only 66 more to go!

Of course, I have many projects on my to-do list to keep me busy but the next book I will be making blocks from is

20190616_220416.jpg   However, those blocks will not be done by hand.  I will be stitching them on my Featherweight.  I am also not sure about making a full-on quilt  from the blocks.  Since many of the blocks are kitchen-specific themes,  I am leaning towards making a wall-hanging for the brick wall in my kitchen and  potholders, placemats, etc.   I have a while before I need to make that decision though.

I cannot end this post without sending out Father’s Day wishes to all those special men out there who, even if they are not their actual dad, are role models,  encouragers,  advisers, supporters and givers of love to younger people in their lives.  I hope you all had a wonderful day.  (and don’t forget to teach those younger people not to cut into a funeral procession  — oh, wait, I was done with that rant wasn’t I) .

Bye for now.   I hope Monday treats you well tomorrow.

See you soon.

Ginny

 

 

 

What was in my craft basket last week?

After returning from vacation, I felt the need to get into my sewing room and create something.   I knew I couldn’t get a quilt finished in a week and I wanted to have something that I could say was “done”.   So I looked around for some UFO’s, gathered three together with the supplies needed to complete them and set to work.   The first thing I worked on was a wall hanging that my BFF in California and I worked on together while I was out there.  20190519_140909.jpg

I added the thimble borders to the top and bottom and a hanging sleeve on the back and it was  ready to hang on my wall.

Next I decided to finish a heart shaped potholder for another friend.  I needed to add the binding and the hanging loop and then this could be considered done too. 20190519_140849.jpg  Boy do I love those binder clips.  Sure saves a lot of pokes in my fingers when I was using pins.  They are especially helpful when you are trying to put binding on something with a lot of curves like this.

OK, two UFO’s down, one to go.   This one is actually a project gone wrong.  Someone, whose name I won’t mention,   was attempting to make a couple of microwave cozies but something happened with the placement of the darts or something and they came out more like little boxes with wings.  20190519_140702.jpg   She was going to just toss them but I said I’d take them and see what I could do with them.   So, here is what I decided to do:

First,  I stitched the sides a bit more closed, then I  grabbed my jar of buttons and picked out four buttons for each “cozy” to use to sew down the wings, pinned the wings down                                             and voila’!      20190528_214207.jpg   UFO #3 finished.

Maybe they could be binder clip cozies?      20190528_214334.jpg  Or maybe chocolate candy cozies?    Whatever they wind up being, I’m glad they made their way out of my UFO pile and into my basket last week.

And for now, my basket is empty      20190528_214444.jpg   I will let you know what I fill it up with.   I have so many things on my “to do” list.   Maybe it will be filled with the Christmas scraps for the scrappy Irish chain quilt.  Or maybe with the pieces for the log cabin quilt.  Or maybe with the two rag quilts I need to make.   Actually, maybe I just need more baskets.

Bye for now.  Be well.

Ginny

 

Scrappy and Semi- Scrappy Quilts

Scrappy quilts are the perfect way to use up all the leftover fabric from all my other projects.  Let’s face it, fabric is not a cheap investment and I don’t like just throwing my money into the trash.  Not to mention adding to landfills.  I am trying to be more mindful of being good to the planet and  would prefer to have the leftovers re-purposed into something useful and be more eco-conscience.  I have made a more controlled version of a scrappy quilt in this lattice quilt

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I used a layer cake by Benartex called Ambrosia.  I wanted to make a lightweight, summer quilt and this line said “summer” to me.  There were so many cheery colors in the line and the quilt came out great and had a very scrappy look.   Now I want to try and be brave and make a true scrappy quilt.  I am going to make a scrap quilt using Bonnie Hunter’s pattern, Happily Scrappily Irish from her book “Adventures with Leaders & Enders” .  Using Bonnie’s leader/ender method, I can be working on getting my units ready for this quilt while working on other projects.   Multi-tasking!  I was thinking about using scraps in autumn colors but I actually  have so much more Christmas fabric scraps (just ask my BFF) that I am going to head in that direction instead.   I do like the Irish Chain pattern.  I made one about 10 years ago in blues. I actually hand-quilted that one.  Please don’t look too closely at the stitching.  But it has held up for 10 years so I guess it wasn’t too bad.   I enjoyed quilting it by hand but won’t be doing that for the Christmas one.  Not if I want to have any chance of using it this year.

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In fact, now that I think about it, I have made two other versions of the Irish chain quilt; one in burgundy,  forest green and white and the other one in green and white – a true “Irish” chain quilt I suppose.   I guess I really do like that pattern.

I will be pulling out the bin with my Christmas scraps sometime over Memorial Day weekend and work on getting the fabric ready for this project.  Ok, maybe it might be two bins of Christmas scraps.    What do you think the chances are of me getting this quilt ready to be used for this holiday season?   I’m going to give it a good try.   Of course, before I left for our 2-week trip to California I did pull out the fabric for my guest bedroom quilt too which is going to be a log cabin quilt in shades of black to grey with the center square being red.  It sat on my cutting table patiently waiting for me to return so I do need to give that some attention too. Looks like I am going to be pretty busy.   Do I really need to sleep?

I should go get some sleep now since I am going to be so busy in the sewing room.   Maybe I’ll just be a midnight quilter like Angela Walters.  I can always watch her videos while working on my projects at midnight.  Quilters love company.

Be well.  I’ll be back soon.

Ginny

 

 

New addition to the Family

My sewing machine family that is.   While wandering around an antique store on our trip to Connecticut we came across this sweet little girl.

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Now I have come across treadle tables like this before so when my dear hubby called me over to where he was to show me I figured it was just another table but in pretty good condition.  What I was looking for was one that actually still had the machine in it.   Well, I was quite surprised ….. and happy….. when he told me that he checked and the machine was in there.   Oh, be still my heart!  So, we carefully opened it up and got the machine out into the light of day.   Judging from the newspapers stuffed into the cabinet that were dated 1978, the machine was untouched for a number of decades and was a little bit dusty and one of the pins that held it to the cabinet was undone but not missing so that was easily remedied.  The bobbin was there, the pedal easily moved,  the belt was in the cabinet but, of course, it would be unusable.   I took a picture of the serial number on the machine and over the next couple of days of our trip I did some research as to what year it was manufactured, model and availability of parts and information on being able to get this beauty back into working order.   I found out it was manufactured in 1910 and it is a Model 66 — and a redeye which I actually knew as soon as we raised her out of her cozy cabinet.    Parts are available and there are many You Tube videos, blogs and vintage sewing machine groups out there sharing information and support.   So, I decided that, yes, we would stop on our way home and bring her home with us.

The cabinet and machine  have gotten a bit of a preliminary cleaning and I will be working on getting the machine oiled up and gently getting the gears to move smoothly.   The cabinet needs a bit of work but overall, it is in good condition.  All four drawers are there and slide in and out nicely.  The only thing missing is the knob on the tilt out drawer.  And there is no rusting on the metal works.

I am so happy to have finally found what I have been looking for.  She does not have a name as yet.  I am sure the perfect one will come to me as I work on her.   So I now have machines spanning from a non-electric 1910 to a modern embroidery machine named Minnie that uses  a flashdrive to stitch out intricate designs with just the push of a button.

The rest of the members of my sewing machine family:

Emma- 1949 Featherweight,    Bertha –  White – date unknown,   Anna – 1950’s Singer          as well as a few more machines that aren’t pictured …… Beau, a 1990’s Brother machine,  a Dressmaker Model 201,  and Phoebe my Pfaff and  main sewing machine…..  are happy to welcome the new addition to the family.

I am looking forward to learning about the workings of a treadle and learning how to sew with it.  I am hearing that they have a wonderful, straight stitch.

So wish me luck on my treadle adventure.  If anyone has one and you have any words of wisdom,  I would welcome any advise.

Be well.  See you soon.

Ginny