Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Border and stitchey happy mail

I got that bottom border sewn together and trimmed. It is a bit wider than what I wanted. The motifs for the top border are smaller so I will trim that border narrower to keep the quilt from being too long. I pinned the completed border on the design wall and really like it.
The pieces for the top border are laid out and ready for me to start trimming and sewing tonight.
Any more the mail doesn't come until almost 6 p.m. I happen to look outside after it was dark and there was a box!
Wanda had come across some cross stitch fabric, charts, frames, and other goodies while she was organizing, and sent them to me! Stitchey happy mail is always fun to get. I didn't get a chance to go thru the bags of goodies, but I am looking forward to that! She also included some pieces of her fabulous striped fabric. I had mentioned that there was a quilt I wanted to make, and my stash of striped fabric was pretty sad so she sent me these cuts. The blocks don't take much fabric to make so these cuts will be perfect! Thank you Wanda!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Time to regroup

It is time to regroup and plan what I want to get done in the next few weeks.  I want to  finish up the tote bags over the next couple of weeks. There were quite a few left after the Lorain show, but we have another show on the 17th. Meanwhile it is time to get back to the t-shirt quilt. Last night I laid out the last two borders that need constructed and started cutting and stitching one together. I wanted to get this quilt done before Xmas so I had better get crack-a-lackin!
I didn't buy a lot of items with all the Black Friday sales, but there were several things I could use so I have done a bit of online shopping. I ordered a couple polo shirts that were 30% off and free shipping and the Fat Quarter Shop (FQS) had 20% off sitewide. The FQS carries quilting fabric as well as cross stitch items. I have been wanting to get some Fox and Rabbit hand dyed 32 count linen for cross stitching samplers. Fox and Rabbit is a married couple who live in Australia. They both cross stitch. The husband does all the dyeing and his wife cuts and surges the linen, and she also designs charts and charts reproduction samplers. They are a busy couple! I love watching their floss tube videos. They are a hoot! So anyway, I jumped on the FQS website and was able to get two one-yard pieces of Fox and Rabbit linen. The linen is around 54" wide. I would have bought half yard pieces, but that wasn't an option. I will have plenty of fabric for stitching now! I got a yard of Mayflower, the lighter fabric, and a yard of Duxbury. Cross stitch linen almost never goes on sale, so this was a real score especially since a yard costs $100.98 at full price!  Because of the pandemic, linen has been hard to come by.  First, the actual production of the linen fiber was down, and the production of the linen fabric was down due to the workers getting covid.  Then the supply chain issues with getting the fabric shipped, and the stitchers around the world hording any linen they could get their hands on lead to a shortage.  You didn't hear about that on the news did you!  I feel very lucky to get this fabric.

Monday, November 28, 2022

The big show

I stayed home Thanksgiving day (I usually do every year) and worked on tote bags. I got 40 done and twenty ready to be sewn together.
I left the house 11:00 a.m. on Friday to head to my brother's house to head to Lorain to the show. We were all set to leave and the van wouldn't start. Cool heads prevailed and we jump started the van and headed out. The GPS was plugged in and drained the battery. Here is the stage with the banners before the show started. I couldn't get any decent pictures during the show because of the lights.
The only other glitch was that during the second song Michael ripped his pants. He had taken them to be tailored and I don't know what they did but those pants just blew apart. He felt he had asked too much of me so that is why he took them someplace else. I assured him that if I thought I didn't have time to sew something I would let him know, but in the future ask me first. The one thing we hadn't prepared for was torn pants so he had to wear them for the rest of the show. Other than that the show went great. I didn't get to see much since the merch booth was in the entrance lobby.
After packing up and heading home it was 1:24 a.m. when I pulled into the garage. I was in bed by 1:45. Saturday I did some cross stitching and not much else. Sunday I worked on laundry, cleaning up, and worked on the tote bags that were almost done. I got 10 more finished
and have another 10 almost done. We have one more show in December so between now and then I want to get the rest of the bags sewn. I know we won't use them all but I will be ahead of the game for next year's show season.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


I'm plugging away on the tote bag handles. I have a bunch more pressed and ready for topstitching. I do not match the thread color to the fabric. I am using up weird colors and odds and ends. I am just giving these away; no need to be fussy.
So my big plans for the four-day holiday weekend are to make bags, work the show, spend some time recovering from the show, watch some football, and maybe get back to the t-shirt quilt. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Shield case picked up

Michael picked up the shield case last evening. The shield fit perfect. The only thing I needed to fix was the handle. It was too big. I ripped out the stitching that held one end of the handle, cut off about 2 - 3 inches, then restitched it. Michael was very happy with the case and was impressed that the shield fit perfectly.
I got home later than usual because of a dentist appointment, and I had a lot of minutes on the stationary bike to do to meet the day's goal, so no sewing happened. Michael was impressed with all the tote bags I had cut out. I will focus on working on them tonight.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Working on tote bags

It was all about the tote bag this weekend. Between Friday night and Saturday, I cut out 129 tote bags. Eighteen of the tote bags were cut at 19" x `38"; those bags will be for the large drumheads. The rest of the bags I cut at 15" x 34". The handles are cut 4" x 26". I make the handles long enough so a person can put the bag over their shoulder. The only fabric I didn't cut of that fabric that my friend had brought me was two pieces of heavier weight upholstery type fabric.
Sunday it was getting some handles pressed and sewn. Here some of the handles are staged at the sewing machine. There are 44 here.
After I topstitched each handle, I tossed it into this bucket. There are 100 handles in this bucket.
Here is the stack of handles that need to be pressed and sewn not including the ones for the drum totes.
I did change out the velcro on my coat and then make a carrying case for a plexiglass sound shield for my nephew. The shield is 2' x 3' folded up.
My neighbor called at little before 5 p.m. and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I needed to get out of the house and away from the sewing machine, so we walked with another lady who was headed to a meeting at the high school which is a mile away. After we left her at the high school, the two of us continued and got in another 1.16 miles. He thought we ought to walk up the biggest hill in the neighborhood. Monday thru Thursday this week will be all about getting some bags finished for the big show on Friday.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Weekend plans

Last night I went to dinner with a friend. We had Mexican and I didn't get a picture until we were done - LOL!!
I needed to give her a Xmas present that I knew she needed to use for Thanksgiving. I bought her a dozen dessert plates. She had mentioned needing dessert plates when we went on a road trip about a month ago.   She brought me one of the gifts she bought for me. It now replaces Mr. Bones at my cubical. Yes, that is a spool on the snowman's head instead of a top hat and he has a tape measure scarf! So cute!
I was up early this morning and I got 12 more tote bags cut out.
My plans for the weekend are: tonight, cut out more bags, Saturday and Sunday - sew bags. I also need to make that carrying case for the plexiglass panel.  Doesn't like I will have time to get the other borders sewn together for that t-shirt quilt. This will all happen as long as I keep my energy up and I feel better. I feel kind of lousy right now. I hope I don't have to spend time shoveling either; it is snowing right now and starting to stick. I don't plan on going anywhere this weekend; too much sewing to do!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Sorting and cutting

Since there are now only 8 days until the big show in Lorain, I thought I better get crackin' on making tote bags. I sorted out all that fabric that my friend Peg brought me. Here is the pile I am going to keep for quilts
and here are the piles that will be for tote bags
There was a small pile that got trashed. I managed to get 15 bags cut out so far. I would like to get at least 50 cut out then I will start sewing this weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Geeze! What an evening!

Last evening was non-stop! First, I will show you that I finally got this cross stitch piece done.
After work I stopped at the library to drop of materials due, had to put air in the tires since my dashboard lite up with a low tire warning
got something to eat, threw a load in the washer, folded towels, cleaned off the big table because Michael was coming over, wrapped a present - it needs some ribbon
got a few minutes in on the stationary bike until Michael arrived. We tried sewing a length of PVC pipe in the hem of one of the banners. Decided it was too hard to nicely roll that long of a piece of fabric up so I took the stitching out and we just folded them. He showed me a picture of a display for a one time only t-shirt for the Lorain show next week. The picture of his head sticks out so the display is 3D. Isn't that a hoot?!
Then Michael needs a carrying case for a Plexiglas sound panel. I showed him a piece of heavy vinyl fabric that has a flannel-like fabric on the wrong side that Peg gave me Sunday. He thought that would be great and he had his dad, my brother, send me pictures and measurements. I need to get this done by this weekend.
After Michael left the clothes went in the dryer, I picked the meat off a chicken that had been warming up on the stove, got the rest of my minutes in on the bike, then went to bed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Improv piano key tutorial

Let me know if you have any questions. For this I used t-shirts that were interfaced with a lightweight fusible non-woven interfacing. The strip sections are short because I used little kid sized t-shirts. You can use longer strips out of t-shirt fabric as well as quilting cotton. At the end of this tutorial I will post some pictures of other quilts I made using this technique. Here are my two strips of fabric, one white and one pink layer on top of each other.
Trim off the top edge. The reason for doing this is because it makes it easier to align the top edge of the irregular pieces. Just keep reading and this will make sense.
Next I trimmed off the bottom of the strips simply because the strip was wider than I needed. I left a bit extra since I will cut a clean edge on both sides after I sew the sections together. I want the border to be 6 1/2" before I sew it on so I trimmed the strips to 7".
Slice the strips into pieces. Your piano key wedges can be thin, or fat, it is whatever you want.
Shuffle the pieces into two sets of keys
I moved one set over to the sewing machine. You will be sewing the pieces together from left to right.
Here are the two far left pieces. I flipped the white piece over the pink and lined them up at the top. Since the seam line is not straight, the pink just peeks out from under the white. I sew these with 1/4" seams.
We are working with curves here so as you sew down the seam, adjust the pieces to meet.
Continue to add one piece at a time to the right side of the strip set. Here are both sets sewn together
I want to join these two strip sets together so I over lapped the ends and sliced threw them. Remove the cut off pieces and sew the two sections together.
Done. I won't do the final trimming until I sew the entire length of the border together.
Here are some other quilts I have made using this technique.
In this quilt I did pretty much the same technique to get the inner border with the  wacky triangles.