Monday, August 23, 2021

Fabric, Deboning and Cleaning

 This bundle of Cheeky by Moda is going to be the prettiest thing you see in today's blog post.  Purchased online from someone destashing on Instagram.  I just can't pass up a good deal.  There's no plan or need for this fabric, it was just too good of a deal to pass up.

I can't even let go of old blue jeans.  Mr. Podunk cleaned out his closet this weekend so he could paint it and put in a new closet shelf.  In the process he also decided to get rid of clothing he could no longer wear.  He knows my obsession with fabric does not stop at quilting cotton.  Anything made of fabric can't be sent to Goodwill until it has been approved by me to leave the house.  He brought me several pair of blue jeans to inspect.  Jeans are the perfect fabric for making very durable camping quilts. these can't go to Goodwill.

An hour later I had them deboned and ready to be cut into usable squares.   This will be a project for another day.  There's too many other projects in the works right now.  And I would also like to purge our flannel shirts to add to the blue jean camp quilt.  

Making a jean quilt is not going to happen anytime soon.  I've worked really hard the last couple of weeks to get thing done.  I was making great progress until Friday.

Then this happened.  If you watched my last YouTube video you might have noticed I was having some issues with my machine.  I didn't mention it in the video but my machine was having a hard time pulling the fabric through.  Going over a seam was a real chore.  I had to assist it almost every time.   Taking it to the shop is out of the question.  The turn around time is 2 or 3 weeks.  Maybe I can fix myself.

Well my goodness!  All this lint might be the problem.  Shame on me for letting it get so bad. What can is say, I was having fun and the last thing on my mind was lint.  Surprisingly there isn't much lint on the feed dogs.  And to be honest it's been much worse in the past.  The red arrow is pointing at the thingamabob that I think might be the issue.  But before dealing with it I need to remove the lint.  

I had some new to me products just for cleaning sewing machine lint.  They came in a couple Fat Quarter Shop Sew Sampler subscription boxes.  

The first one I tried using was Oh Sew Clean by It's Sew Emma.  They did nothing.  The little brushes just moved lint around.  The lint wouldn't even stick to the brushes.  I tossed the brushes in the trash and kept the plastic box they came in.  The microfiber cloth was also kept for cleaning my glasses.

Next was the Sewing Machine Cleaning Brushes by the Fat Quarter Shop.  They did a pretty good job at getting into some smaller areas.  I would give them a thumb up only because the lint did stick to them.  Would I buy them?  No, I just don't think they can do anything special that other cheaper tools can do.  But I have them and I'll use them.

One of the best lint grabbing tools is  my old dollar store paint brush with plastic bristles.  I've been using this thing for about 15 yrs.  They came in a package of 5 different sizes. I keep one at my sewing machine and one at my longarm.

The next best lint grabber is a plain ole Q-tip.  Cotton holds onto cotton.  Almost all quilters have a flannel(cotton) design wall because it holds our blocks so well.   Sure the other two gadgets look pretty but they can't get the job done.  I don't need pretty cleaning tools, I need effective cleaning tools.  But if I really wanted cute little colorful Q-tips for my Studio the Dollar tree has them in a rainbow of colors at $1 for 100 generic Q-tips. 

After removing the lint it was time to tackle the feed dog issue.  Let's go back to this picture.  I removed the feed dogs to get to the thingamabob(red arrow)  Adjusting it solved the problem.  The problem was my feed dogs had fallen and were not coming above the plate.  This has been an on going issue for a couple of years.  This isn't the first time I've had to fix it.  My version of fixing it before lasted about a year and the part I added eventually failed.  When I tried to do the same thing this time it didn't work.  So I had to call in an expert, Mr. Podunk.  He's a airplane mechanic/car mechanic/maintenance man/repair guy.  Oh how I dislike asking for his help but this one was over my head.  I knew where the issue was but I was afraid to actually try to move the thingamabob.   He looked over, manually turned the flywheel then left without saying a word.  Upon his return he had the tools I needed to move the thingamabob.  He showed me how to adjust it.  It took 3 tries but I finally fixed it.  Oh happy day!  I can sew again with ease!

The tools needed to fix it were a crescent wrench and an allen wrench(red arrows).  But the best thing was he also gave me a few really nice wooden handled Q-tips(yellow arrow).  They are one ended and much longer than real Q-tips.  Funny how the smallest of things can make me so happy. 

This weekend I also took a little time out to update my social media photo.   My old social media picture was about 5 yrs old and was due for a change.   Is this the real me?  No not really.  It's rare for me to do my hair and makeup.  I even go to the store with my hair pulled up in a bun and no makeup.  I wear makeup 4 or 5 times a year.  Holidays or special occasions is about it.  So I guess it was a picture worthy moment.   Hurry take a picture!  Lea Anne's hair is out of the bun and she put makeup on!  HA!

Pin It

Monday, August 16, 2021

Relax and Sew

 Hi-Diddily-Ho Quilting Friends!  Today is going to be a yippy skippy day!  The little me time/sew time yesterday evening has recharged my quilty soul.  It was a much needed break.  The last two or three weeks has been spent running around chasing my tail but somehow I was barely moving.  So I put on the brakes, dropped everything, went into my happy place and asked myself "What do you really want to do this evening?"  The reply was...Mindlessly sew and watch/listen to something quilting related.  There's a ton of projects to be finished, imagine that, a quilter with more than one UFO.  In the spirit of keeping it simple I chose the jar of triangles sitting beside the sewing machine.

It has an accompanying little tin of low volume triangle-ish fabrics and another larger plastic bin(to left with blue handle) with solid white triangles.  This is just the tip of the triangle iceberg. 

I've been pretty good about sticking with the leaders and enders project but it feels like it's taking forever.  Patience is not my strong suit when it comes to long term quilt projects, hence the many UFO's.  Boredom kicks in due to the lack of pretty progress, you know, a design wall full of pretty blocks.  So I decided to dig up the original photograph(below) of what the triangle pile looked like in the at the beginning of the project.  You can read more about it here.  I'm making progress!  It may not seem like it when I see it on a day to day basis but now that I see the before and after I'm quite happy with what I've accomplished.  And let's not forget that I'm constantly adding to this jar.  This photo gave me the will to continue on with my triangle journey.  

My instinct is to just keep sewing until the jar is empty.  Forget the leaders and enders, just sew, sew, sew.  Restraint and limiting my time in the jar is a must.

Setting a time limit was easy.  Find a video to watch.  There's a couple of different YouTuber's I like to watch on Sunday evenings.  One is health related and I'm not in the mood to be educated on how unhealthy I am so I chose the other quilting related YouTuber, Tiffany's Quilting Life.  She does two or three LIVE videos a week.  They usually run for an hour or more.

Last night she was auctioning off some of her finished quilts.  Most of her quilts have a scrappy vibe.  They aren't something I would make but I love quilts and quilters.  She's just your average Joe and I like that about her and her channel.  Tiff's hubby runs the camera and will often jump in and help with pressing the units as she makes them.  A quilters dream is to have a little elf in the studio and she has it!  Lucky girl!  
 Many of her videos are her creating a quilt on the fly.  The total opposite of me.  My quilt designing and making process is a little more rigid and structured.  She inspires me to be not so uptight.  Inspires is the keyword.  I'm not sure I could ever learn to be as free with my process but I also was leery about the leaders and enders, so who knows what the future may bring.  Anyway, take a look at this scrappy string beauty she was selling last night.  I fell in love with it and if I had the money I would buy it.   This picture does not do the quilt justice.  The colors are not in my normal color pallet but for some reason it spoke to me.   Some of the quilts didn't sell so if you like buying quilts.... here' a link to the auction if interested.  Of course she doesn't try to sell something in all her videos.  Most of them are just her and her sewing machine stitching away at whatever suits her fancy for that day.  I find it oddly relaxing to sew while listening to her sew.  It's like I'm at a mini retreat without packing, traveling or with sleeping with strangers.

It was time to get back to the triangles.  They are odd sized and shaped.  I do my best to match up sizes but I really don't worry about it too much.  These will be squared up to the largest size possible using my newly homemade locking HST ruler.  

As the video auction ended I knew I had to call it a day, that was the deal I made with myself.  Sew until the video was over.   Like a child I protested.  Mindless sewing is so much fun in my world.  Rules are rules said the mom inside.  She's so annoying.  Being a little rebellious, I reminded myself that I said I could only sew while the video played.  I never said anything about pressing or cutting.   If I can't sew then I'll at least press and trim. 

Well I hate to say it but the mom in me was right.  It's late and I really should shut down the studio.  These will need to pressed on another day.   There was far to many to deal with last night.  

Obviously I was getting tired.  Somehow this happened.  Of course it could have happened because I was distracted by the quilt action.  Yep, that's it, I blame Tiffany!  It couldn't possibly be my fault. HA! It would make sense had I ran out of thread or had a thread break.  Strange things happen when you are tired. 

And then I found this one.  Yep, it's definitely time to shut down the studio.

Before shutting down for the night I wanted to try out my new seam ripper.  A gift from my youngest son, Trever.  He found it at a pop up farmers market on Friday.

I've seen these online for years and have considered buying one.  They are a little pricey so I would always talk myself out of the purchase.   Silly me, this is wonderful!  It feels really nice in my hand.  The larger size and weight makes it easier to use than the many different plastic ones I own.  The points on both ends are very pointy and easy to get under the threads to cut them.   And it's pretty!   Thanks Trever, you're the best!

My word of the year....Moo-ve.   Staying in motion, moving the body, mind or project.   In this blog post I was moving way to fast in some areas of my life.  Slowing down and moving this project along helped to move my mind into a better place.  Which reminded me I can only do so much.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Pin It

Monday, August 9, 2021

Fabric and Food

Hello Happy Quilters!  There's so many delicious things to share with you today.  Let's start with the new fabrics.  With so many new projects planned I needed a few of these.  A couple were impulse just because purchases but the rest were needed or so my obsessive fabric disorders thinks.  The first little cutie is Lori Holts Flea Market Jelly Roll purchased from our local shop, Back Door Quilts. This will go up on a shelf just so I can drool over it from time to time.  My plan was to use it but after bringing it home I changed my mind.  I designed a Christmas quilt that uses 2.5" strips and was looking for a bright Christmas themed jelly roll but sadly the local shop didn't have one that suited my picky quilty brain.  It was a lesson learned.  I love this jelly roll but I settled for something that didn't get me excited.  Oh don't get me wrong I love this jelly roll but not for the Christmas quilt.   

My next purchase from the quilt shop is going to shock most of you.  Believe it or not, the fat quarters you see here are not an impulse purchase.  They too were on my shopping list.  The plan for them is remake of one of my brightly colored quilts.  These will be put to use this week.  And another shocker is I'm excited to be working with them.  Seeing the same pattern in a different colorway is always fun.  Of course the finished product will be for Mr. Podunk.   The two yardage prints will be the background and the border.  They were not purchased from the local shop.  They are from Joann's.  My stash of creamy background is a fairly good size but they all seemed to yellow or white for this fat quarter bundle.  The background fabric is a lot tanner than how it showing up in the picture.

While at Joann's I had to take a look around and I found a print I just couldn't leave behind.  The plan was for one yard.  At the cutting table they offered me the remaining 3/4 of a yard at 50% off.    It was on sale to begin with so how could I pass up this great deal.  If your grabbing your purse right now headed to Joann's to grab some for yourself, look in the baby fabric sections for this fabric.

The last two fabric purchases were made online from Sew Yeah Quilting on YouTube.  I'm obsessed with this shop.  They have a brick and mortar shop in Vegas but have two weekly live YouTube sales.  Tuesday evenings are new to the market fabrics.  Saturday night is for older quilt shop quality fabrics at amazing prices.  $6 a yard!  These are 5 yard cuts.   The blue floral on the left was an impulse buy.  I love large florals for backings or borders.  I've no plan for using it anytime soon but it's there when the need arises.  The fabric on the right will be used within the next few weeks.  It'll be the backing fabric for the Christmas quilt I was talking about earlier.  I'm not in love with it and I don't think it's the perfect fabric for the quilt I have planned but for $6 a yd. it'll work.

I highly recommend Sew Yeah Quilting.  These three brothers are fun to watch because they love what they do.   It's not just the three brothers.  The entire family is involved with the quilt shop.  Their mom and dad, wife and kids, everyone pitches in.  They also have one video a month that is hilarious.  It's called "Will It Sew".   Every month they take suggestions from the viewers about how to abuse an older still working Bernina sewing machine and then see if it will still sew.  In each monthly video they also have a sewing challenge.   Most of the challenges require them to make a quilt block but there's a twist to what they can use to make the block.  Here's a link to the first Will it Sew Challenge video that got me hooked on watching these crazy quilting guys.   

When I can't be in the studio, the next best thing is watching or listening to others sewing.  Cooking and listening to YouTube quilting videos has become my new love.  This weekend I watched/listened to several of their videos while making Zucchini Bread.  I cook like I sew, assembly line cooking.  The first batch mix up and ready to cook.  Notice the food processor in the background full of more zucchini.   That's a lot of bread!

The first batch is ready to go into the oven. 

While they are cooking I prep for the next batch.  This would be so much quicker if I had more bread pans.  

Today I'll be making more bread and freezing it winter storage.  So as you can probably guess, when I went into town for fabric I also bought more bread pans.  This will cut down how many hours my oven needs to be on during 90 degree days.  Zucchini bread takes an hour to cook.  The longer my oven is on the more my central air runs.  It's cost effective to purchase more bread pans.  Electricity in the sticks is very high priced.  We pay about double of what I paid when I lived in the city.

Four loaves is all I made at this time.  One for Mr. Podunk and one for my dad, two for the freezer.  Today I'll cook bread until the shredded zucchini is all used.  While it cooks I'll be in the studio playing with my new fabric, YAH!   


Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...