Thursday, January 22, 2015

Yes, I Treadle a ZigZag Sewing Machine

I was asked for photos of my zigzag machine in a treadle.  Here they are:
 The treadle cabinet and irons came with my first treadle sewing machine, a 1919 Singer 66.
This machine is a Necchi BU manufactured in Italy in 1951 or 52.  I did have to enlarge the mounting holes with a 9/32" drill bit--took less than a minute.  The footprint of the machine was exactly the same as most Singers, so I was able to use the belt plate to the right of the machine that came on the Singer.
(By the way, I don't use the threads shown on the machine.  I'm using the thread on the thread stand behind the machine, and the spools are just there to guide the thread. The spool pin doily under the left spool is actually a window shade pull from the mid 20th century.  And the beautiful little spoon handle is attached to a real spoon one of my dear friends gave me that has a commercial doily, polyester stuffing, and a beautiful piece of fabric creating a wonderful pin cushion.)

 Close up of the needle positioner, the stitch width control, and the stitch length control.
Yes, this machine has been well loved and well used throughout its decades of existence.


When I removed the motor, I put a magnet over its hole since I didn't have a cover.  (I guess I should get a bigger magnet.)  The purpose of the magnet was to prevent anything from falling inside and to help keep the oil from drying out so quickly, since I live in a desert (although, all the snow outside right now kind of belies that fact!)

This is my favorite machine.  No, wait, all my others are my favorites too.  How could I possible choose just one?!  It would be like limiting myself to a single musical note--not pretty at all and much more boring!

Happy quiltmaking....and knitting,

Frogged, Re-done, Snow & Ice

I had to unquilt a lot more than I expected.

I wound a couple bobbins with darker thread, got the tension right, and re-quilted the sashings.

This is a very bright quilt that will definitely brighten a dark time for someone.  The outer border is printed to look like crazy patch. Now that it's done, I'm asking myself why I found it so hard to discipline myself to work on it.  It could have been done months ago!
 Judy pieced this with leftovers of dozens of interesting prints she's used in other Victory Prayer Quilts.

I haven't decided if I'll try to photograph all the different quilting designs I used or if it would just make more sense to add them to my sketchbook.

 In any case, I may get time to do that today since I-40 is treacherous and most of the schools, government offices, and courts east of the Sandia & Manzano Mountains are closed today due to the snow and ice.  Although most of the schools in Albuquerque's "doughnut hole" are open, I'm opting not to attempt those treacherous 40 miles.  Even the guy with the monster truck a few houses down hasn't ventured out.  More snow is predicted, but high winds are predicted as well, so I'm thinking I'll wait until the winds have had a chance to move the snow around before I attempt to clear any of it.  The storm should be in TX tonight, which means that with the clearing we may well see sub-zero temperatures tonight.  Brrrrrr!

With any luck, Aunt JoAnn's quilt should arrive at her home today.  (I tried to track the package, but the USPS website doesn't like the format of the number their computer assigned to the package.)
She suffered a stroke after her surgery, and the family is hopeful that she will be able to move from the hospital to the rehab facility today.  It's reported to be a "superficial stroke," but we know that a lot of events that look minor from the outside create significant challenges inside the brain and to the brain's owner!

Years ago I used days like this as an excuse to bake cookies.  I need to choose a recipe and do that today too!
Update: On our street we just had an visit from the snowplow.  That rarely happens, and it must mean the snow and ice are worse than even I would have guessed.  (We have some really nice people working here where I live.)

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sometimes It All Comes Together

Friday evening I returned home to learn one of my aunts had fallen Friday morning and had a rod and three pins in her hip and was coming out of anesthesia.
I asked her daughter about a prayer quilt, and she suggested flowers. I had no ideas for a quilt but pulled some panels and flowered fabrics, including a sweet American Jane sweet-pea fabric I've been wanting to use for several years.












My friend Mary finished sewing the binding to the back and brought it to me.

Never, ever before have I made a quilt so quickly.  We held a little blessing for three quilts, including this one, at the end of our Sunday school class yesterday despite the fact that each quilt was not quite finished.

I did not get one of the labels for this quilt until later, so I was unable to fix it to the backing before quilting, so in one of the photos a line is visible from attaching that label.

We hope that Aunt JoAnn will sense all the prayers that it carries.  As well, we hope the post office delivers it quickly.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting......


Monday, January 19, 2015

A Quilting Goof!


I'm really treasuring my days off work lately...at least when I can spend them making quilts or visiting with friends or both.  But today, I had a goof like I haven't had in ages....
This is the back of a quilt I began quilting last spring.
I've used a sand colored Magna-Glide bobbin for the entire quilt.  Since all the quilting threads on top have been fairly light, that was working great.

However, Judy had used some 1.5 inch black sashing between the blocks and as a frame around the blocks.  Even if I had wanted to, I don't have any black Glide. So my best choices seemed to be silver or this deep, dark blue.
I decided to go with the blue--but, then I got lazy and decided not to wind a bobbin in that color and just keep using sand.  However, I needed to adjust the top tension so the I wouldn't have little dots of sand bobbin thread showing.  I over-adjusting, didn't discover it at first, got all these lovely ribbons of blue, started ripping, and then I decided it should be an activity to accompany sitting and watching TV or something.  It could have been worse, since I could have discovered it after I'd stitched quite a few feet, but I think I'll only have to rip about three or four feet of bobbin thread.  I remind myself that I'm much more patient now than when I was younger.  (My goal was to have it quilted by 5:00.  Didn't make it!)  Oh, well.

It would have been done hours ago, but since I have a day of, a friend and I decided to meet at the Dough Re Mi Bakeshop in Edgewood for a pot of tea and a scone.  We knitted and chatted and then stopped at the Salvation Army store, where I picked up two sheets, one vintage (and the same design as one of my sheet sets when I rented my first house--long time ago!).  My friend needed to pick up something from the quilt shop, so we stopped and visited there too!  I think it would be so lovely if there were a way for me to work just four days a week instead of five--not something that is very likely for a teacher.

Happy quiltmaking, and knitting.....





Saturday, January 17, 2015

AQA Albuquerque 2015 - a New Mexico Quilter

One of the things I did love about the AQS Albuquerque quilt show was seeing some quilts made by New Mexicans.

 Looks like I moved the camera when I took this photo, but I love what she did with this quilt.  These are definitely colors that speak to me and reflect fabrics that I've had in my collection for nearly 25 years!


I love the colors of the threads she used to quilt this.

I went looking for her on the web but didn't find a blog.  I did find her on Pinterest.
In any case, if you know Becky Denham of Farmington, NM, let her know I loved her quilt and am glad it made it into the show!

Happy quiltmaking....and knitting,

Friday, January 16, 2015

AQS in Albuquerque January 2015

I have been looking forward to AQS's Albuquerque show for months--since I first learned there was going to be an Albuquerque show! The weather was so questionable early in the week, that I was a little concerned.  (One day the administrative assistant just sent me home, asking me why I even tried to make it into work, and telling me I'd better go back home or I wouldn't be able to get there.  And the next day I really couldn't get there!  However, by today I was able to leave my coat in the trunk of the car when I went into the show.)

I've been to only two previous "big" shows, both AQS regional shows in Knoxville, TN several years ago.

At this show the quilts were much better than they were in the Knoxville shows (although there were several stunning quilts in Knoxville), and, even better, this show had several other really high quality displays of larger quilts, including a great display of quilts by AQS authors. (The other AQS shows I attended had seemingly endless displays of challenge quilts, and I rarely enjoy seeing those.)

As do most quilters,  I have a few "quilting heroes" who inspire me to persevere and do more things that stretch my skills. It was wonderful to see their work in person.  I took a few photos, but their work is so spectacular that I knew better than to even try to capture its richness.


One of my inspirations is Karen Marchetti.  Here's a photo of her honorable mention.

I had a detail photo, but blogger won't let me upload it; Karen takes much better photos for her blog anyway.

Karen also quilts for others.  She blogs about those at Creative Longarm Quilting by Karen Marchetti.


Below is a Margaret Solomon Gunn's Quilt entered in the same category as Karen's. Margaret blogs here. Her quilting business is here.

This was quilted by Judi Madson.  Quite a few of her quilts were in the show.


Actually, I suspect these quilters had many quilts in the show.  Sometimes people have these great quilters quilt their quilts and then don't acknowledge them when they enter their quilts.  I really think that borders on fraud because so very often quilting makes the quilt.

This was the quilt Marilyn Badger and Claudia Clark Myers entered.  It has been quite a while since I've had the chance to see Marilyn's work in person.
I also saw Marilyn in person working in the APQS booth, but the entire time I was there she was talking with the same couple, and I decided not to interrupt that likely $30K+ sale to tell her how much I admire and am inspired by her work.

I did not take photos of the top winners.  They are posted on the AQS website usually on the Saturday evening of the show. One of the prize winning quilts was quilted by Renee Haddadin, and it was wonderful to see her work in person too. (Oklahoma's Channel 6 has posted the names here.)

Most of the quilts were high quality, although there were several that I was astounded had gotten into the show.  But they probably impressed someone during that ten second window that quilts have to impress the people on the jury.  There were quite a few quilts entered that had been made from other people's patterns, and they were on display, but it didn't look like any of them had won ribbons.

There was a fairly large display of "tent hangings" by the tentmakers of Cairo.  They were interesting, but aren't something that appeals to me.  There was a display of Navajo rugs; I'm sure they were interesting to visitors from other parts of the country.

The other part of these large shows that I just love is visiting the vendors.  There were lots of sewing machines and mid- and long-arms.  They took up lots of floor space, and clearly some dealers were more interested in selling machines than others.  There were lots of pattern vendors and a few vendors selling fabric. The only quilting rulers for longarmers were in the HandiQuilter booth, and the only other rulers I saw were the Block-Loc rulers from CO that I haven't found carried by anyone locally.  I didn't buy a thing.  In fact, I'd bought a two day ticket and handed the second day portion to someone coming into the show so she didn't have to buy a ticket.

When it comes to shopping show vendors, I have to say I had a lot more fun and made a lot more purchases at the Rusty Barn Show last year; that expo will be back in Albuquerque in April. I'm thinking the booths for the AQS Albuquerque show were just so expensive that many potential vendors decided not to participate.

But that's okay, because the quilts were really wonderful.  I was inspired by the quilts and by seeing the work of some of my favorite inspirations in the quilt world.

The only other downside to this show is that my daughter is away at NMTech, so she didn't get to attend the show with me.

I also saw a quilt made by Becky Dunham of Farmington, NM that I'll post later (because Blogger won't let me add it now).  Years ago when I lived in or near Gallup, I became acquainted with several Farmington quilters, but I was unaware of Becky until today.

Since I didn't blow my budget, I'm thinking I'll order more rulers and thread on-line.  Sounds like a good plan, doesn't it?

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Birds in the Windows

I am so grateful for my time off work (and hoping the school construction will be done and ready for us on Monday).
I just finished piecing Aunt Naomi's quilt and a backing for it. I sewed on the label that identifies it as hers, but I ran out of our prayer quilt labels, so I'll have to get some when we have our workshop at church on Saturday.


 I decided to go with a two part attic windows setting because these blocks are so small that I needed to group four together.  In hindsight I should have used slightly different fabrics, but these reminded me of her, so this is what we have.
I did modify the piecing so that I used half square triangles instead of mitering the corners.
Also, since the top was too wide to fit within one width of fabric, I used longer side borders than top and bottom borders so that all the birds in the batik could be upright.

I made a table runner for a dear friend from the gold cardinals at Christmas, so I was able to pair that fabric with some of the batik for a backing.

Now to go choose a batting and start the quilting.

Happy quilting....and knitting...,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Not Harriet's Fault--a Future Quilt

I could blame part of this on Harriet...


 She phoned and told me to order these when Missouri Star Quilts had Elenore Burns "Zoey" on sale.
However, I'd been eyeing this fabric for a Dora Quilt since I first saw it last fall, and I'd been home to see the Daily Deal, so I'd already placed an order.  I always love it when fabrics arrive and are even more beautiful than they looked on line.

No, I have not decided how it will be made and am willing to let them age for just a few weeks while I finish some Victory Prayer Quilts.

Then, today, after picking these up at the post office, I stopped by Bethel Thrift Store and found this little jewel of a pillow case.  I love how the main part of the design was created with hem-stitching.  I'm thinking this will take almost no time to embroider in a beautiful thread to match the Zoey fabric.
And, if I can't find some tatted lace in my stash of lace I've created in the past, it will take much, much longer to create an edging.

I always wonder if people just lost interest in finishing a pair of pillow cases or if something happened that prevented it.  More often than not, when I come across finished pillow cases, there is only one.  However, I know from growing up on the farm that the guy's pillow case often wore out first. Let's face it, I'm so blessed by single pillow cases that I seldom feel sad that I don't have the pair.

And in reference to the farm where I grew up, today our little town looks much like many of those flat Midwestern prairie towns. We were expecting snow today, but the prediction has changed--so we are just socked in with clouds so that although we are surrounded by mountains, none are visible.  The prediction is for frozen fog--which can be amazingly beautiful if it freezes on the vegetation.  If it does, I'll venture out to take photos! Since it's twenty degrees warmer here than it is in El Paso, IL, for the time being I am quite happy to take that along with the 6000 feet higher altitude and almost 1200 miles farther southwest.


My daughter did return to college yesterday--I was able to knit on a pair of socks while she drove.  We stopped at a little restaurant in Mountainair  called Alpine Alley for a delicious sandwich, and were disappointed that the new bakery was not open. The restaurant is cozy and homey, and if I lived closer, I'd have to round up some knitting friends for a sandwich and knitting. It was a beautiful drive because the roads were clear but there was still snow from last weekend, even in areas that seldom get the benefit of moisture.

I was happy to get back home shortly after dark, work on a quilt, and start my Downton Abbey Mystery Knit Along shawl while I watched the show on PBS.  However, I made some errors and will have rip it out and start over--that's okay, because I do love the colors.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting...,

Friday, January 2, 2015

Quilt Back and Fabrics for Another Quilt

I remembered my dear friend Mary had given me some 2006 Timeless Treasure daisies, so, although the daisies and the fabric are very different, I pieced a back for Dancing with Daisies.
 I pieced our prayer quilt label and the embroidered name label my friend Ruth made for me into the backing so that if anyone decides to take off with this quilt, at least there will be evidence that it belonged to someone else.
 These are the fabrics that won the auditions to go into Aunt Naomi's bird quilt.
 I'm toying with the idea of doing some kind of attic windows setting, because these are small, and I don't want wide strips around each little block.  However, I think that in sets of four, they would make good windows.
My cousin Florence did say that she's going to see if she can get permission to set up a bird feeder outside Aunt Naomi's window.
I don't know if I'll start piecing this tonight, because I'm filled with anxiety and need to keep moving.  The cause of the anxiety is that the little storm that was supposed to move through tonight is now predicted to be far bigger and more consequential. The College Girl decided to go to town with friends.  I did text her and ask if she has a place to stay in town if she can't get home.  She replied that it's not snowing where she is!  Well, her home is 2000 feet higher, and it is definitely snowing here! Sometimes the only way some people learn is by facing unwanted challenges, and I'm afraid this could be one of those times for her!
Stay warm.
Happy quiltmaking, happy knitting, Happy New Year,

1-3-15 Update: She got home about 11:00 p.m.--I met her at the truck stop, and we drove very carefully while the friend who brought her headed off in a vehicle with four-wheel drive.  This morning we got to shovel about eight inches of snow in order to leave for an appointment. Plenty of wind--the driveway was drifting when we returned; there's been plenty more wind.  I'll wait until tomorrow morning to even think about digging out!
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