First Thursday Mystery Reveal

17 09 2014

Based upon the number of posts I’ve made this year, one could assume all I do is going to work then come home and collapse at the end of the day.  And while that is often the way I feel, it isn’t in reality the case.

One of the things I’ve been doing over the last twelve months is leading a mystery.  Participants enrolled last fall and paid for the first block.  After that as long as they brought their finished homework on the next first Thursday of the month they got their new kit for free.

Big deal you say, all you have to do is construct the block each month.  Not so, I chose the fabrics each month, cut and packaged the kits for each participant (yes, the cutting was mostly at work, but eventually the packaging came home with me).  I had to make my sample (before class — what would I ever accomplish without deadlines?) as well as demo pieces.  If that wasn’t enough, I decided to do video tutorials for anyone that missed the demos in the store.  So if you’ve missed me, you can actually go watch the videos on the Ruth’s Stitchery Channel on YouTube.  I sound like I’m in a water tank because I removed background noise with software, maybe the background noise would be better.

I demonstrated several techniques that were not included in that pattern.  For instance, the pattern used starch and press exclusively, but I demonstrated starch and press, fused, freezer paper, facing and back basting applique over the months.

The mystery started in October 2013 and the reveal was this month.

First-Thursday-MysteryNow that it has been revealed, I can say the pattern is Blackbird at My Window by Under the Garden Moon.  I am starting another mystery in October.  It is the same concept, but a completely different quilt.  If you are interested, registration is open until September 21, 2014 at Ruth’s Stitchery in person or by phone.  The kits can be mailed, but in that case they are $5 per month plus postage.  Anyone that doesn’t come in on the day of the demos also must pay $5 for the new kit.





Polka Dot Pinwheel Quilt — Free Pattern

3 04 2014

I’m thinking Spring, although the several inches of snow today would make the season questionable.  I love polka dots and wanted to do something with a few of them.  Polka dots are a happy print, and  pinwheels are a happy block.  So I combined the two and added an alternate fabric to come up with this baby quilt.  I finished the binding this morning.

Polka-Dot-Pinwheel

Once again I had a piece of fabric that was almost big enough for the back.  So I pieced scraps from the front to get it wide enough.  I don’t try to space my pieced strips evenly.  I just pick a spot and slice the large piece of fabric.  I added the squares and it still wasn’t quite wide enough (because there was a hole I had to cut around in the striped fabric), so then I really was down to the last of the fabric and just put together anything I could.

polka-Dot-Pinwheel-backThis will hang at the store and many quilters could figure out how to make it with out a pattern.  However, I did write directions and the hard copy will be free at Ruth’s Stitchery with a fabric purchase.  But because you are special, you can download it here by clicking on the title!

Polka Dot Pinwheels

 





Five a Day

2 04 2014

These adorable Needle Keepers were made from the pattern Fruit Salad by Wooden Spool Designs.  The ones in this first picture were my samples for the Monthly Wool Projects group I lead.  The covers for the apple and watermelon were made from hand dyed wool and pretty much everything else is from National Nonwovens Wool Felt.

Fruit-Salad-Needle-Keepers

Cathy decided to take these along with the pattern to the Quilt and Stitch Expo of Pueblo this weekend.  She decided to only take the Wool Felt and I said I’d make new samples for the watermelon and apple.  Now because I work best under pressure (insert a touch of sarcasm), I waited until this morning to start on them (they are packing up for the show tomorrow morning — hey I still had more than 24 hours).

Fruit-Salad-Needle-Keepers2

I ran into the store this morning on my way somewhere else and grabbed the buttons.  I got a little bigger this time and I think I’m going to need to change out the one on the watermelon, but that can wait for later.

These needle keepers have several layers for storing your pins and needles.

Fruit-Salad-Needle-Keepers3

I told my group these are fast and easy (not everyone agreed).  I made the first five in just one evening.





Sweet Pea Under the Sea

29 03 2014

I finished another sample for the store this week.  The quilt is made from the Sweet Pea pattern by Anka’s Treasures.  I’ve done this pattern before, but this time a made a few minor modifications.  Rather than the throw size with 30 blocks this is a baby size with only 16 blocks.  I fussy cut the centers of each block and instead of the flower from the pattern I made star fish appliques to go with the main fabric.

Under-Sea-Sweet-Pea-FrontI could be called cheap, frugal, or creative but I played with the back (I love pieced backs).  I only bought one width of fabric for the backing and then had to make it larger somehow.  So I pieced scraps from the front.

Under-Sea-Sweet-Pea-Back

 

I used up almost all the remaining fabric from the front for the scrappy binding.  Oh, and the corner stones in the borders on the front were added so I didn’t have to piece the border fabric.

No my blocks are not wavy and neither is the strip on the back, just the result of standing on a chair and hovering over the quilt to take the picture.

The quilt should be at Ruth’s Stitchery next week.





Vintage Friday — Singer 128

28 03 2014

On the same antiquing trip where we found the pinking machine, we picked up another sewing machine.

Sitting under a table we spotted this bentwood case.

Singer-128-in-caseI was hoping it was a hand crank machine!  The case was locked so we had to see the clerk for the key and then it was a bit of a job to get it unlocked and the case open.

Singer-128

Turns out it is a Singer 128, sadly not hand crank.  I don’t usually buy vintage electric machines, but this one was in pretty good shape.  And the deal was sealed when we tipped the lid up and Guy spotted an oil can in the holder.  (If you’ve been tolerating me long enough you know he likes to collect the oil cans.)

Singer-128-lid

It’s in the upper right corner of this photo.  The knee lever to run the machine was also in the case (no foot pedal).  The price was right so it has a new home.

At some point Guy will replace the wiring.  It turns out the serial number was pulled in December 1924, so while not technically an antique, it is not too far from it.

 





Something Odd Happened Today

18 03 2014

Yes, indeed, something very odd happened today.  I finished a class sample almost 3 weeks in advance rather than in the wee hours of the morning prior to class!  I was at the store about an hour early this morning, and in that hour I put the last stitches in this candle mat.

Spring!The pattern is Spring! from Penny Lane Primitives, and is the project I’ll be discussing in the Wool Projects class in April.  The entire mat was made with Wool Felt produced by National Nonwovens.   I prefer items that while they will work for specific holidays, they can also carry throughout a season.

I left the actual sample hanging in Ruth’s Stitchery today.

 





Vintage Friday — Singer Pinker

14 03 2014

Guy and I went antiquing in Florence, Colorado last month right before my birthday.  We found a few fun items.  Today I thought I’d share the Singer ball bearing hand operated Pinker.  I’d at seen them online before (and possibly in antique stores).  The timing on this expedition made me more open to spending the money (thinking a big milestone birthday here).

We found this one with the box, instructions, clamp and pinker.  The box is a little beat up, but the “machine” is in fantastic shape.

Pinker

It just clamps onto a table and then there is an adjustable guide to set for how far away from the edge you want to pink your fabric.  While the machine came with a pinking blade, the directions  say there was an optional Strip Cutter and Trimmer available at any Singer Shop. That blade looks very much like a precursor to rotary cutters.

The box says it is for pinking cloth, felt, oilcloth, leather, etc.  The directions  say it shouldn’t be used on metal.

pinker-2

Since I was taking pictures for you, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

pinker-3It works like a charm!

I don’t know the exact age of this particular machine, but the copyright on the directions is 1933, 1934 and 1935 so sometime after that.








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