Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Just Love Ripping

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Good work, Kristine!
She made a post on her blog
even though she is so busy
with her Japanese and History classes.

Back to the quilt...

Oh no, this is bad.
I made this in sections that worked,
but it doesn't look good all put together.
Then I covered the flowers with the silver blue.

So, I ripped it all apart.
Starting over is good.

I laid out at least 5 more maybe layouts
but none of them worked either.
Then I tried the two large prints together.

Yikes! These guys don't like each other.
Too busy!

Nice colors.
Well, at least these colors get along together.

I wanted to make Kristine a quilt.
So, together we picked out the fabric that we both loved.

The beautiful fabric swept us away.
So we ended up with enough fabric for two or three quilts.

What I need to do now is figure out
what pattern or design I will use.

I'm getting a sore throat that is interfering with my thought processes.
Well, that's a pretty good excuse for a drought of ideas.

I'll be searching the internet tonight
looking for some quilt patterns
that will work with
Japanese prints.
I didn't realize how hard it would be
for me to figure out a design.

Hey, look what I found
Tokyo Quilt Festival Quilt Photos
to click through
and here
and here
and here
and a quilting site here too.
Those are some amazing quilts.


Friday, January 30, 2009

What to do, What to do?

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Here is the top half of the quilt.
I'm down to cutting the last piece.
Should I use the silver blue or

the more colorful flower print?
I spent way, way too much time trying to enlarge
the katakana characters for my daughter's name.
Next step is to try out the freezer paper method
and see if I can make fabric letters.
Never used the freezer paper method.
I'm still playing around with the fabric flowers.

I've decided tomorrow
I need to lay the whole quilt top out on the floor.
Because that is the only way I am going to be able
to figure out what color strip to cut.

I have this idea running around in my head
about a tree of some kind
appliqued on/over the quilt top.
Something to tie the quilt together.
Maybe stitch the silhouette?
Or needle turn?
Or something fishy?
I'll have to wait until tomorrow and see the whole thing.

I'm getting to this scary place
where I don't know if I like the choices I made.
I do like how the colors go together.
I remember a quilter telling me that it is very hard
to make a quilt when someone else is picking the fabric.
I'm out of my safety zone.
Sometimes something really neat happens
when I try something new.

Here is a photo of my drinking water!
This lake supplies the water for our little town.
And it is a great place to picnic!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Origami Fabric Flowers

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I found a couple of sites that have origami 
fabric flower folding that I like.
One shows how to make this flower here
and one is Amazon here.
(click on flower and Amazon)
Wish I could get the book.

First I tried out the folding with my origami paper.

I used pins to hold it together.
I think I can do this.

So, I tried it out in fabric.
Actually, it was a lot easier using the fabric.

Then I pretty much worked on the quilt all day.
I got it all cut out except for 2 long pieces.

My back started hurting so I stopped cutting.
I make too many mistakes if I'm not comfortable.

I'm thinking of doing some needle turning applique
with some of the flowers, leaves and vines
in the purple fabric.
I'll cut some out and give it a try.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009


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Good Grief!
I know I have always said that I never wanted to do any applique,
but I think that is exactly what I need to do for this quilt.
The plan keeps changing.

I found a site here that will translate your name 
into Japanese characters.
So, I've decided to try and put my daughter's name
on one of the blocks.
And I have found shapes I want to applique
in some of the blocks.

It is much easier to have a quilt pattern and cut
out a number of strips and squares,
follow the directions, etc.,
and sew them up and, bingo,
you have a quilt top.

Instead, for some reason I would rather
go through this process
of indecision and inspiration.
Oh well, that's just me.

It warmed up 10 degrees or so today.
Much better!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Plan, The Plan

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It's still cold and there are bits of snow outside.

This was plan #1.

This is plan #2.
It took me all this time to decide to get rid
of the long narrow strip.
I know, I'm slow.

So, I finally got this far.
I pieced the water around the dragon
to make up the piece because
I ran out of dragon fabric.
I think I may turn that piece
so the dragon faces up.
I'll try it out.

I'm looking forward to having the quilt top finished
so I can get to the fun part.
I love quilting.
I'm not that good at it yet
but I like the hand sewing best.
It's very relaxing.

This is the book I am re-reading.
If you are a Lord of the Rings fan,
do you remember the first time you read the books?
Did you want to read them again?
Well, I have the same feeling 
about the books that this author writes.

There are some books that get better
every time you read them.
Her books are like that.
I'm going to go read now.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Brrrrr... Cold

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This was yesterday.

And this is this afternoon.
There is still a little snow left,
but it is even colderrrrrr...
I can't get warm.

For some reason it feels colder now
than it did when we had several feet of snow.

We didn't go shopping!
We'll go next Monday.
And I think I have figured something out
so I won't need extra material.

No sewing today.
I'm back in the planning mode.

Instead, I'll share a photo of a treasured chair
given to me by a dear friend.
This chair had been in her family since
around the time of the suntan specials
which started up in 1927 and operated until 1940's.
On Sundays the train carried people from
San Jose to Santa Cruz's beach and boardwalk.

She said either it came from a hotel
her family had owned in the Santa Cruz mountains or
it had been a family piece.

I don't know the age of the chair.
I don't know if this design of chair has a name
or if it was mass produced.
But, I do know I love the little chair.
People must have been smaller and lighter then because
I don't think it would stand up
to use as an everyday chair these days.

The chair is not really little.
I just think of it as little because it is light weight
and seems fragile compared to modern chairs.

I haven't done anything to it
except try and keep the dust away.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lazy Day

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This was a lazy, cold, Sunday.
It snowed last night 
and left a light covering
that is still outside in places.

I sewed a bit on the quilt and then stopped
when I suddenly realized that I needed to
use the pieces as patterns for cutting.
sewing on the border strips would make it harder
and I don't need harder.

Tomorrow the plan is for us to go
to the quilt store.
I'll try and remember to bring my camera
and get some photos.

These are some patterns I've made.

We don't have a rooster anymore
and never did have one that was mean,
but this sign made us laugh
so we bought it and put it in the coop.
The hens don't mind.
I guess you have to be a chicken person
to find the humor.

This is my new sewing storage.
I need to put the wheels on it and
organize my sewing stuff.
I'm a new quilter so I don't have
very much "stash" and
The plan is to keep my stuff to a minimum
because I only have a small sewing area.

Daughter is happy
because she gets her storage drawers back.

The last photo is of a wreath I made
for us this Christmas.
It is still hanging outside and looks good
so it can stay  up until it dries out
and gets ugly.

Then I'll take it apart
and show you how I put it together.


I'm going to go make myself some hot chocolate.
I'm cold.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rainy Day Photo Blues

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(click photos to enlarge)

Today I did work on the quilt for a while
straightening  the edges and cutting some fabric
only to find out that I don't have enough
of the "dragon in the grass" fabric.
I will be going to the quilt store on Monday
to pick up more fabric.

In the meantime
I have a slew of photos of the New Home Treadle.

It is hard to believe I spent most of the day
dragging the treadle around the house
looking for places to park it while I tried to get some
decent photos of its sweet self.

The rainy day made the house dark and the overhead lights
made reflections in the photos.  Yuk...
I do have some that are fairly good.

I got brave and took the bobbin shuttle out
and laid it on the peeling cabinet.
I even managed to replace it.

This black iron ? something was in the black box
with the attachments.
Don't know what it is or does.

It is hard to see but there is a #2
stamped into the metal
under the big round thing on the right.
Amazing how all this works so smoothly.
The bobbin is in there
and swings back and forth past the needle.

These are the slider plates.
I had to take them into the kitchen and lean them
on the cook top to get a decent photo.

This gizmo is the bobbin winder.
I'm not sure what the slider gauged thing is?
Stitch length adjustment?

This is a photo from the back of the machine.

And a photo from the front.

End view showing the holes the belt goes through.

I plan to strip the paint off the cabinet
and refinish the wood.

This shows the design well
and rust on the wheel area
that the belt runs around.

I need to find out how to get the rust off.
So, far the only really rusty areas 
are where the belt ran.
Don't know why.

          Everything is slow and sleepy around here today.
The rainy dark day makes me feel like I should have stayed in bed.

I'm trying to find out more information about how long the treadle
has been in the family.
I'll be posting more about future developments with
"Lovey" my New Home Treadle.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Time for a Tea Break!

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(click on photo to enlarge)

Cutting this fabric up has made me very tired.
I need tea...

This quilt layout that I made in OmniGraffle
is the general plan  I followed
when I cut into the beautiful fabric. 

But first I changed out to a new blade
and stored the old blade in a case labeled "used."
I put old sewing machine needles in there too.
Sometimes, I can use them instead of nails to hang a picture.

First I laid out the fabric with the color I think
will work between the pieces.

Then I began cutting.
Cutting up these fish was not fun.
I didn't have enough material
to make a mistake.

I did it!
Here the sections are laid out in the order I will sew them.

I tried to cut the pattern so that the dark
water would flow across the width of the quilt.

Next step is to cut the green fabric for borders.

I started with the fish because
the size of these sections will determine
the size of the rest of the sections.

This piece is all that is left of the beautiful carp.
I will try and work it into the quilt somewhere.
For awhile I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough fabric
to make up the four sections.

Glad that's over.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

8 Pot Holder Blocks

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(click photo to enlarge)

These are the blocks I made
out of the thin small pieces of scrap fabric
I didn't use in the quilt blocks.
The rest of the little bits of scrap will go to stuff a pillow.

Now I have no more excuses and
I have to start the Japanese quilt.
I'm still afraid to cut into the beautiful material.

Jean gave us this green and turquoise
candy dish in addition to the
treadle sewing machine.

It is lovely!
And I love it!

And here is a closer photo
of the plates off the treadle New Home
with identifying numbers.

I found a New Home site
that says that it was made in 1899.
If that is the model number?
If I'm reading the chart correctly?

At first I thought the number was
but the . was dirt.

We had rain today!

          I spent a lot of time searching the internet looking for information about the New Home treadle. I wonder if the numbers on the slider plate are really the model number or if there is a model number on the machine. I did look all around on it and on the underside, but I couldn't find any other marks. I joined a yahoo group that deals with old sewing machines and sent a post (which yahoo didn't want to do) and some photos. I hope it really got sent. I will check again tomorrow and see if they are posted The group is called wefixit.

          Tomorrow's weather forecast is for rain, which means I will have lots of time to work on the new quilt. I will be brave. I will be brave and cut the fabric.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Home Treadle

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Is this cool or what!

This is a New Home Treadle Sewing Machine
with attachments.
Given to me by Jean.
Thank you, Jean!!!
I love you.

Take off the wooden cover and

you find the sewing machine.
New Home
S. M. Co.
Orange, Mass.

There is a middle drawer,
four side drawers,
the needle will move up and down, and
the treadle works.
But there is no belt.

A repair person is looking for a belt.

I'm going to call her Lovey
because that is the first name that came to mind.
And, besides she looks sweet.

In need of cleaning.
I'm looking into what I should use to clean
without harming her.

There are also attachments and
old packages of needles.

I slid the metal pieces back and found the bobbin.
It looks something like a large bullet.
I have no clue how to remove or wind the bobbin
yet... :)

I love all this stuff!

I spent most of the day doing google searches
looking for information about this machine.
But I couldn't find this exact model.

I would love to sew some blocks
using the treadle.

I have read references to these old machines as
boat anchors!
There were hundreds of thousands made.
I'm sure this machine has no monetary value
but it is priceless to me
because it belongs in the family
and Jean gave it to me.

I want to play with it and sew something!
And have fun!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009!

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What a day.
I didn't get anything done
except watch the inauguration on TV all day,
check the computer, give the chickens some lettuce,
and walk the dog.

I do so hope that the unity we saw today
will continue and that politicians will work together
for what is best for the country
and not for what will win them elections.


31 Blocks!

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Scroll Down To See Chickens...

(click photos to enlarge)

I'm finished making blocks!
And I finally figured out what I should have been doing,
unfortunately after I was almost done.
Instead of making a large piece of fabric out of scraps
I should have been making blocks
just a little bit bigger than my square template.
Live and learn...

I do still have some strips left but
they are mostly blue.
I suppose I could go ahead and try the new method
and sew them up into blocks.
Ugh! I'll see how I feel about it tomorrow.

Now I can start my Japanese quilt!

Ahhh... so cute!
1 day old chicks
that we raised that turned into
these large hens.

This is Pastey. She is a Light Brahma.
Notice the feathers on the feet of the Brahmas.
The feathers are supposed to help
keep their feet and legs warm.

This is an Orpington.
She is very calm.

This is an Australorp.
Also a friendly hen.

This is a Buff Brahma.
She is a bit more worried about the camera.

This is a Golden Lace Wyandotte.
She just wants down!

This is Curly. She is a Cochin.

She has feathers on her feet too.
She lays small eggs.

We didn't try to catch her because
she is easily frightened.

This is a Dark Brahma.
I love their markings.

We wanted large winter hardy chickens
with friendly personalities
that could free range.

The Wyandottes are a bit aloof
but they blend in with the leaves
and haven't been caught by a critter.
We still have four!
The Cochin is goofy.
The Brahmas and Australorps are gentle.

Two chicks were roosters.
They went back to the feed store.

We now have:
3 Light Brahmas
3 Australorps
3 Orpingtons
1 Cochin
2 Dark Brahmas
2 Buff Brahmas
4 Wyandottes

These hens are between 7 to 10 pounds.

is a great site to learn more about the different
breeds of chickens.

Our chickens are all heritage chickens,
which means they are on the
watch or recovering list
of endangered chickens.

We enjoy our chickens as pets and
as eggs producers.
Plus they eat up a lot of bugs!
And they are fun to watch.

Below is a photos of the girls
investigating the yellow squash.

Morgan is doing fine.