Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Purchases

The block today - a real scrappy one, indeed.  It seems a shame not to use up all the triangles I've already cut, so I pulled all the blues and yellows out to make this one.  Making do, for sure!

So here's what I bought yesterday.  This is not an entire quilt.  It's the leftovers of come cutter quilts - just a few partial pieces of quilts.  The bag full was only $2.50, so I couldn't pass it up.  I'm thinking I'll make a pillow or two from these.

The second purchase was this teal glass insulator.  I've always wanted one since hubby works in the electric utility industry and this one is such a beautiful color!  New knick knack for me!  And only a few dollars.  Good shopping trip.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Antique Outing!

I thought I deserved a little outing today, so I went to a local antique mall this morning.  It was so much fun!  And so BIG!  It took me over an hour to make my way through the entire place.  I thought I'd share some of the interesting things I saw.  The pretty bow tie quilt above is for starters.

And here is a cute cow softie made from an old quilt.

This made me look twice.  The tag says it's a redneck wineglass - ha!

Look at the handles on this purse - anyone need a fork?

I loved this quilt top!  It's vintage, but well made and in very good shape.  It didn't come home with me though.

I loved this old Rit Dye display shelf - I was very tempted here, but it was pricey and I didn't get it.

This was labeled "Singer Sewer."  From looking inside, I think it's an old buttonhole gadget.

Here is a child's dress made from yo-yo's.

I'd never seen one of these; it's a smoker's chair.  Can you imagine seeing someone sitting here smoking and dropping their ashes in the metal contraption on the floor?

Another old quilt.  The picture doesn't show the color well - the yellow is really VERY BRIGHT orange.

This gave me a laugh - Redneck Bubble Bath.  The bag is filled with dried beans.  Think about it.  It took me a minute to get it.

And finally, here's a strawberry quilt.  This was a fun trip.  Did I buy anything?  Yes, a couple of small things, but there are so many pictures in this post, I'll wait and share them another day.

Today's block is another mish mash, but it has nice contrast.  22 blocks done now!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Traveling Stash Giveaway!

I've been informed that I need to accept comments from those who want to win the Traveling Stash Box for a longer period.  So you can enter until Sunday, September 2, at 5 pm Central!!!

It's that time!  Do you want to win the Traveling Stash Box?  In order to win, you must have a blog.  You can take out as much as you want from the box to keep, but then replace it with things of equal value from your own stash - fabric, thread, patterns, rulers, notions, etc.  Then at the end of September you must have a giveaway on your blog to select the next winner.  Leave a comment by Wednesday, August 29, 5 pm Central time!

Block number 21.  If you haven't noticed I'm again using up some of my triangles from previous blocks - another mish mash block.  I'm not sure how big I'll make this, but I know it's not big enough yet.  I also have plans for a border.  I'm really enjoying spending a few minutes a day on this project.  It's amazing how much I've done.  I'm thinking there will be another block-a-day project after this one - it's great to use up ugly fabrics and create something fun!

Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm Allergic to WHAT?!

I went to the Allergist today.  I was thoroughly tested - it wasn't bad at all.  They poked my forearms a bunch, labeling each poke with a number.  Fifteen minutes later we had a verdict.  And what am I allergic to?  DOGS!

I was shocked!  We've had up to FIVE dogs at a time, and I'm allergic to dogs?  Nope, I'm not allergic to cats.  Go figure.

Anyway, there is no need to do anything drastic like getting rid of the dogs, thank goodness!  I can't imagine life without them.  We do need to keep them out of our bedroom.  So that will start tonight.  And I'm also allergic to dust mites, rye and fescue grasses, and one type of mold.  But the dog allergy seemed stronger than the others.

The doctor gave me a month's supply of a nasal inhalant to use once a day.  Hopefully, that will do the trick.  I go back in a month and if I'm not better, we'll talk about allergy shots.

It's getting self explanatory by now, but above is the block for today and the latest group shot.  Can't believe I already have 20 of these!

Here is the number 3 (March) Sue Spargo block for this year.  I learned a new stitch last night and I love it!  It's called the Woven Picot.  Aren't they adorable?!  I'm making them with a variegated Valdani Perle Cotton.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend Blocks

Here is yesterday's block.  It's not the best - I used a faux Mola fabric and the contrast varies so much.  Oh well.  I'm sure it will be okay in this particular quilt.

Today's block with cute doggies and a random brown.

After showing pictures of the tree coming down, I though I should show an "after" photo, with neatly planted sod.  It will green up with lots of water and sun.  And we will be getting lots of rain this week due to Isaac.

I spent some time in my studio this afternoon doing some cleaning and organizing.  Slowly, but surely....

I also hung some pictures in the house this past week.  It makes it feel so much more homey with our art on the walls.  Much more of this to do, but it's good to see progress.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tutorial for using an Accuquilt Studio Die Cutter

Due to popular request, I'm demonstrating here how the Accuquilt Die Cutter works and I'll show you some tips I've learned on my own.

The first question most people ask is which Accuquilt cutter to buy:  the Studio, the Go!, or the Go! baby.  The Studio is the biggest and the most expensive.  It needs a dedicated surface on which to live.  It's too heavy to take to a retreat.  But it has the most available dies.  And it can cut more layers of fabric at the same time.  

The Go! and the Go! Baby are both portable.  You can take them with you to retreats.  You can pack them away in a closet and pull out when needed.  There are lots of dies available for these, but they are all smaller ones.  For example with my Studio cutter, I have a die which will cut an 8.5 inch circle.  The Go! and Go! Baby can't cut a piece that big.

Are dies interchangeable between the three models?  No.   The Studio dies are thicker than the Go! and Go! Baby dies.  So Studio dies cannot be used in the Go! and the Go! Baby.  Plus as noted above, many of them are too wide to go through the Go! or Go! Baby.  However, Accuquilt does offer an adapter for the Studio to allow it to use the thinner dies of the Go! and the Go! Baby.  The adapter is a thick slab of plastic.  You may wonder why a Studio owner would ever need the adapter.  Why not just buy the desired die in the Studio version?  The answer is that Accuquilt doesn't offer every die made for the Go! and the Go! Baby in a Studio version.


Here's a picture of my Accuquilt Studio Cutter.  I put the scissors there so you could get an idea of the scale.

Here is the bottom side of one of my dies - this one cuts 3 inch finished half square triangle.  You may notice that the blades on the die are not lined up with the sides.  This is how they are supposed to be.  If you want your pieces cut on the grain of the fabric, you will need to slant it appropriately.

Here I have folded two different fabrics so that they are about the size of the die.  I used to use my rotary cutter and ruler to cut layers of fabric the correct size, but I've learned I can just fold up a fat quarter to fit - big time saver.  Above I have four layers each of two fabrics.  Place the wood side (bottom) of the die down and place the fabric onto the foam side of the die.

The die with fabric on top is placed on the tray.  Then I place the appropriately sized acrylic sheet on top of the fabric.

I push the tray and die so that it touches the roller.

While continuing to push the die under the roller with one hand, I crank it through with the other.

Halfway through!

Done!  Now I pick up the acrylic and retrieve my cut piece.

Often there will be a thread here are there that isn't cut all the way through.  Instead of worrying with having scissors handy to snip, I have found the quickest and easiest way to remove the cut fabric from the die is my "Pinch and Jerk" method.  Pinch a stack of cut pieces.

Then quickly jerk it away from the die.  This will sever any attached threads and works great.

So I pinch and jerk each stack of pieces and I'm left with some nice scraps to save for something else.  With one run through the machine, I just cut 48 perfect triangles.

They even have notches cut off each end for easy piecing.

I hope this help you understand how the die cutter works.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, August 24, 2012


The dead tree came down today.

The debris was removed, and sod planted in place.  One thing off the list!

Today's block has fabric that looks reproduction.  Gold and blue are my usually favorites, but they will fit in nicely.

Last night sunset was beautiful....

I didn't do a lot of sewing today.  I'm trying to work out a little problem I'm have with a quilt I'm designing - the pieces are not fitting together the way I want them to.  I've never been a great piecer!  I have the quilt hanging on my design wall.  It's supposed to be part of my next book, but I know I have to start over.  Bummer.  I will go ahead and quilt what I have so far for a small lap quilt, but it's definitely not book worthy.

I've had this quilt simmering on my brain for a few days, trying to figure out how I can remake it a better way.  And this afternoon (when I wasn't even thinking about quilting) the solution popped in my brain! Oh joy!  Now I can start making another one!  If at first you don't succeed,....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Little Progress

I was looking on my computer for a picture of my missing antique Singer sewing machine to attach to our claim form and found this old photo of Mickey and Prince.  Look at little Mickey!  I had forgotten how spotted he was when he was a puppy.  Now he's almost 5 and Prince is about 11 with a gray snout and chin.  Never did find a photo of my machine, so I just attached a photo of a similar machine.

Here's today's zig zag block.  Oh, I like this one!  The dot is a Kaffe Fassett fabric.  This is definitely a shouting block with wonderful contrast.

I didn't have as much time to sew today.  I had a visit from a plumber and the gas company, all trying to figure out why our fireplace is not working.  Hopefully someone will figure it out soon, especially before the weather turns cold!

This afternoon I had my first dental appointment here.  It was great - like a spa.  While my teeth were being cleaned they gave me a hot wax treatment on my hands.  I could have had a free massage, but I passed on that.  I know - should have done it - but I wanted to come home and check on the doggies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Shopping" From a Box

Ahhh, the best kind of shopping - where everything is free!  I went through the Traveling Stash Box to see what treasures I might want.  Gotta have these cute cherries on the turquoise background!

And I love this white/yellow/red fat quarter with the cherries.

I'm going to have to take this funky, modern Christmas tree piece.

And maybe these green precut squares.

And though I don't like this forest green background, I DO love the vintage sewing supplies on this one.  Of course, I'll have to replace everything I take with something from my own stash - I think I can manage that!

Different fabric today for the zig zag!  This one is very Autumnal, isn't it?  But when you squint it all blends together.  No, not much contrast, but that's okay.  This block will whisper.

I decide to turn the blocks on their side on the design wall to see how I liked them.  I think I like it like this:  horizontal zigs and zags.

Here was the view out my window this morning.  You'll have to click on the picture to see what you're looking at.  There are two geese just to the right of the tree.  But look closely; see all those head poking up?  It's the whole gang!  (I know, the whole GAGGLE!)