Thursday, January 17, 2019

~ UFO Plan B ~

Day 6 of the Podunk Studio Cleanup. Who would have thought it would take almost a week to clean and rearrange the studio. Am I really that messy?  Or am I just that slow.? More than likely it's a combination of both.  In my defense we re-purposed a couple of things and that meant bringing out the big boy tools like saws and screws.  In the cleaning up process I found a fairly new UFO.  This was started last year about this time.  And since everything was nicely organized and handy I staged a glamour picture.

My original plan was to make this a leaders and enders project.  It would be perfect if I could actually put the process into action.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.....I'm a get it done kinda quilter.  A one track mind.  One project at a time.  Organizing the leader and enders is easy but making it work is more work than I want to do.  So a new plan needs to be put into place.

Plan B:  Sew one Block a day, first thing before sewing anything else.  Sounds like a good plan but so did the leaders and enders.  I can do this!  It's not that hard.  It's just a little change in the daily routine.  So if I stick to this plan you should see a finished quilt top in about a month.  A little advice....don't hold your breath.  I'm a creature of habit, I like to think about change but as we all know change is hard. 

 It would be nice to have a new quilt in the spare bedroom.  All the squares are cut and ready to be assembled.  I planned on cutting the white background fabric from the scraps of whatever quilt I was working on at the moment.  But if I plan to do a block a day I'll need to cut from  yardage or my big box of white scraps.  Maybe that would be a better idea.  The whites are different shades of white but I think it would be okay.  Yep that's part of the new plan B...amendment 1a-01: cut white from white scrap box.  Lets hope this is the first and last amendment to Plan B.

All the really hard work has been done.  They are sorted into scrappy little piles.  I tried to arrange them so there was only one of each print per block.  How many fabrics total?  I'm not sure exactly.  But if I had to guess I would say around 30 different prints.  Not a lot for a scrappy quilt but enough.  I'll get a better count once the stitching begins tomorrow morning.  I'm looking forward to playing in this box of fabrics.  Blue and Yellow is my favorite spring color combination and I use a little touch of spring right now.  We've got another big snow storm coming this weekend to remind us Spring is still a few weeks away.  So what's your favorite spring color combination to work with on these long winter days?

Today is the last day of the Studio cleanup and organizing.  The last thing to do is to hang my quilts.  They have been waiting in this tote for 6 months due to the construction going on in the house.  2018 was a very dusty year.  Since everything is clean and organized I plan to do a video tutorial of my studio tomorrow.  Many of you have asked over the years for a peak into my Studio.  It may never be this clean again, so I better show you while I can.  

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

~ Deciding Their Fate ~

Day 5 of the Podunk Studio organizing was deciding if a sewing machine is worth keeping.  Let me first say I am in no way a sewing machine collector.  I have 11 sewing machines.  Three of the 11 I've purchased, none of the purchased machines are vintage or antique.  Two of the three I use regularly.  My Brother 450Q is my daily machine and then there's my Bailey Home Quilter for quilting.  And the biggest waste of money in my studio was a Singer Embroidery machine I purchased in 2006 because I thought I could make money embroidering....HAHAHA!  Two of the 11 sewing machines are still at my dads until I find a place for them among the others.  The rest of my machines were handed down from family members and are sentimental and display pieces.  All of them work and are serviced by me once a year on the birth date of the original owner.  

This little gem came home with me a little more than a year ago.  It belonged to Mr. Podunk's dad.  Before agreeing to bring her home with me I made sure the motor was in working order.  Now that I'm in clean up mode I need to decide her fate.  Will she stay or will she need to go to someone who wants a project?

The cabinet is beautiful even though she has a lot of wear and tear.  Obviously it was used as an end table by a drunken smoker.  See the cigarette burns?  The oblong shaped burns tells me a cigarette has fallen out of an ashtray and continued to burn.  My mom was notorious for doing this very thing, smoking not drinking.  This to me this is character and tells her story.  It in no way would play a role in whether she stays or goes.

The inside reveals a beautiful Singer 66-18 with a Godzilla finish.  I had no idea what I had brought home.  This is a somewhat rare find.  The Godzilla finish was made during WWII.  You can read more about the Blackside Singer Sewing Machines here.   To me she is just another sewing machine that may need a little love.  These older sewing machines are so nice to have around as backups.  Two of my new sewing machines are built to only be serviced by a trained professional.  That really chaps my bum!  $85 for a cleaning and inspection, what a rip off.  This old Singer can be fixed by a 10 yr. old with an oil can and a screw driver.  I'm not sure if the professional servicing of machines has come about from lazy sewist or greedy companies.  Whatever the reason I wish we could buy new machines with the option of self servicing.  

And look at the details.  Even this stripped down WWII era machine has some beautiful design elements. Granted it took me about 15 minutes of elbow grease to reveal the fine scroll work but it's a lot prettier than my plastic machine.

The detail work and craftsmanship is amazing.  No slapped on decals from China.

The one issue that most older machines have is the old rubber on the electrical cords.  The light on this machine doesn't work due to the deteriorating rubber.   Mr. Podunk assured me he can replace all the bad wiring.

It was kinda scary cleaning and oiling a machine with so many bare wires.  But my thought was, If I can get her running and she sews a stitch then we'll fix the wiring.

The really scary wiring was on the bottom.  What a trooper this ole gal was, she hung in there while oiling the badly gummed up innards.  The bobbin winder was completely ceased up but now runs smoothly.  The stitching was very labored but now purrs like a kitten.  Stitching just as beautifully as the first day on the job years ago.  Well I'll fix this old girl but she'll not stay with me for long.  I'll be gifting this to someone special within the next year.  I can't reveal who that might be because they might be reading my blog.

The next item on the chopping block was my old treadle machine.   This belonged to my Great Aunt Beulah and was handed down to my mom then to me.  She works but needs some love.  I've never used this machine.  But I do have memories of pushing the pedal for mom as she stitched up a new dress for me. 

Why keep it?  First and most important to me is that it belong to family.  But she takes up SOOO much space.  Second reason, you never know when we'll lose electricity.  If you watch the news and depending on what side you watch it could because our country is being invaded  at the border or our president is a Nazi.  No I don't want to talk politics.  Living in Podunk the threat of losing power is real.  It goes out when it's windy, rainy, snowing, icy or if a squirrel makes a bad decision.  So she too is a keeper.  This one will stay with me for as long as I can find room.

One of her charms is this cute little box.  I'm not even sure if it goes with the machine.

The date stamp on the top of the box is hard to read but I think it says 1908 February 19.

I've never tried to place the things in it where they belong.  It is how it was the day I brought her home.

The contents may not even be for this machine.  For me it's not important if they will work.  It just the fact that it belong to a family member.  The sentimental side of me sure does slow down the cleaning and reorganizing but I think it's important to occasionally ground myself about what brought me to this point in my life where I have a Studio instead of a sewing nook like my mom and grandmothers.  It times like this when I wonder what will happen to my collection of sewing and quilting supplies.  Will they be loved by my children or will they be bought at Goodwill by someone who is like me who wonders about their journey before reaching them.  

 Maybe I need to make a will leaving these precious items to someone who will love them.  My aunt let me know at my grandpa's funeral that I was added to her will.  She said I was the only person she knew that would love her machine and stash as much if not more than she.  Do you have a quilt will? 

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

~ My Oldest UFO ~

Day 4 of the Studio organizing and hopefully the last day.   Who would have thought it would take so long?   What surprises me the most is the things I've kept.  Notebook after notebook of scribbled quilt ideas, shipping boxes, fabric bolt boards and every little scrap of fusible webbing.  Really?  is fusible webbing that expensive?   The trash man is in for a big surprise this week.   However in my digging I also found some hidden treasures.  This chicken scratch alphabet was made in 1987, my senior year of high school, in an elective class called Needlework.  I already knew how to do most of the projects in the class such as embroidery, crochet, and sewing clothing.  But I had never seen chicken scratch embroidery. I fell in love with the lacy look.  The piece below was the starts of a matching pillow for a baby quilt I made using the entire alphabet.  I may need to finally finish this little cutie.  The old gingham is thin, very poor quality compared to today's gingham.  Some fusible interfacing would probably be needed to make the fabric easier to work.

 How cute is the little heart balloon!?  Even way back then I had a love for hearts and gingham.  Oh my goodness that mushroom brings back memories of my first kitchen after getting married.  Yellow and white gingham curtains with mushroom decor.   Times sure have changed.  It was hard to get a spot in this class.  We would start applying for Home EC classes as soon as we started high school.  It took 4 years before I could take this particular class.  It was an easy credit for me since most of the things they taught I already had been taught by mom.

Finding these little treasures caused me to slow down a bit and enjoy the moment.  I was getting a little overwhelmed and kinda irritated at my messy Studio.  The old UFO's reminded me of a simpler time when life didn't move so fast. 

Now to tackle this, again.  My old desk/ catch all is being made into my new sewing table.  Hubby cut the hole in the top.  I made the recessed table, he attached it to the table.  Today I will put the top back on the desk and drill a hole for my knee lift.  It may end up looking like swiss cheese, wish me luck!

Linking up with some really fine bloggers today!  Hop over to be inspired by blogger around the world!


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Monday, January 14, 2019

~ First Finish For 2019 ~

This weekend was a working weekend.  I spent the entire time cleaning and rearranging the Podunk Studio.  My intentions were to move everything out, sweep and mop, dust and organize.  Once things started getting shifted around I thought what the heck lets just rearrange it all!  Then one thing lead to another and I forgot about photographing the Good Fortune quilt.  Mr. Podunk loves this quilt.  So much so that I couldn't find it this morning to take pictures.  With the house being a disaster due to my studio project I thought I had misplaced it.  Searching everywhere but the obvious.  He had already claimed his quilt!  I found it under the comforter on the bed.  Sneaky man!

Please excuse the foggy photos, its really cold here today and I wasn't going to wait for the camera to defog.   You can still see the simple quilting through the fog. 

I was headed back into the house when I saw the garden fence and thought it would be a great backdrop for this quilt.  But it's so cold out here, 23 degrees but feels like the arctic.  It's so cold the chickens won't come out of their coop.  Can't blame them I'd rather be in my nice warm coop right now too.

  The new fallen snow is so pretty, so just a few minutes more.  On the way to the garden I spied some footprints in the snow.  Looks like a deer.

A few quick photos on the garden gate.  The garden is enclosed due to the deer.  They don't eat much out of the garden in the summer they just stumble around and make a mess of everything.

Before heading back to the house I take a moment to look around.  I love the snow.  It brightens up this dull winter landscape.  The path leading to the pond looks so tranquil and inviting...sigh...but I'm not dressed for a hike today and I don't have the time.  Maybe later when I'm finished with the studio I can come out to play.  Maybe even build a snowman!  That sounds like a good plan.  Everyone needs a little playtime.  Even as adults it's good to behave like a child sometimes, well as long as your not throwing a tantrum.

So it's back to my warm and toasty studio for one last picture of the backing.  This is a Joann's Fabric wide backing I purchased last week with a coupon. I thought the gold color would work well with my bright golds on the front of the quilt.  My little trip to the garden has inspired a new name for my quilt.  The Path to Podunk.  It suits my version and Mr. Podunk.

 Now to straighten up my mess quickly so I can go play in the snow!

This post is being linked up with the following blogs.  Please take a moment to visit one or two for quilty inspiration!  


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