No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one. – Elbert Hubbard

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Honey!! I’m home! Well I’ve been back a few days and doing all those post vacation things you have to do. I need a vacation from my vacation!

We did a lot of neat things and saw a lot of places on our trip, and I hope to post about those more later, but tonight I wanted to show you what I won!

I am a member of The Badass Quilters Society and also of the Speakeasy. Maddie does awesome giveaways on her blog as well as in the Facebook group. Last week I found out I had won these. 

Three awesome patterns from Colorwerx. I am so excited! I love them all, but especially the TV pattern. To top it off I had placed an order for some Badass Quilters swag and it came as well. 

I wore my shirt yesterday to our guild sew day and I swear it made me attempt stuff I never would before! Here’s a sneak peek!

I’ll post more about this when I get more done. This is the “A Perfect Form” pattern by Laura Heine and it’s a fabric collage. I’m having a blast with it. 

I also got these in the mail! 

Aren’t those awesome?? 

If you haven’t read the Blog at Badass Quilters, I highly recommend you do so. Very informative and entertaining and it never disappoints!  

Well, I’m off to Dreamland now. Happy Quilting!

“Give us the tools, and we will finish the job” – Winston Churchill

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As you can probably tell from my title, this blog post is going to be about tools. I’m not talking about wrenches or screwdrivers, though I could write a post about the tools I use when I repair and service vintage machines. No, this post is going to be about my favorite sewing tools. I have a few things that when I sew, whether it is quilting, bag making or garment sewing that I can’t live without and I’d like to share them with you.

  1. My favorite sewing machine. This is a Tan Singer Featherweight and her name is Precious. I love to do piecing on her and she’s small enough that I can take her with me if I go somewhere without too much effort. I have other machines that I like for other purposes, but this machine gives a consistently nice stitch and never lets me down. 
  2. Tula Pink 4″ Large Ring Micro-Tip Scissors. These scissors are awesome. The rings are big enough that they don’t get stuck on your fingers, and the micro tip is great for getting into small spaces. 
  3. Custom turned Seam ripper and stiletto. I don’t have to say what this is for do I? This is amazing and handcrafted. I picked it up at a quilt show and I can’t remember the man’s business name at the moment. I’ll edit this when I can remember.
  4. Yes… there are two pairs of scissors on my must have list. These are the Karen Kay Buckley 4″ perfect scissors. They are perfect for trimming threads and cutting off dogears. They have big rings too, so no stuck fingers!
  5. Wonder Clips!!! I can’t live without my Wonder Clips!! Multiple sizes and all the colors!
  6. 2.5″ x 6″ ruler. This thing is amazing. I use is for so much, that I actually have 3 of them so that I always have one handy. This one is branded from a local quilt shop, but I have seen them all over the place.

Those are some of my most used tools for sewing, but are by far not all of my tools that I use. Do you have a favorite tool that I haven’t listed here? If you do, please feel free to share.

Coming soon! My mom BikerChick and I are going on a Road Trip. That’s right! I’m taking this show on the road. We are going to North Carolina to see my brother, his wife, and my niece. On the way, we are going to be stopping at quilt and sewing shops and trying to do some Row By Row shopping. We are going to the world famous Mary Jo’s in North Carolina, and on our way home we are going by way of Paducah, Kentucky and are going to the Quilt Museum, Hancock’s of Paducah, and Quilt in a Day. We are going to have a lot of fun (I hope!) I plan on taking lots of pics and blogging when I can.

See ya next time! Happy Sewing and Stay Vintage!

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” Frederick Douglass

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I did it! I finally freaking did it. I finished all 30 of my Unit A pieces for the  Judy Niemeyer quilt Raindrops that I am working on. This thing has been eating my lunch. I love it, I do and it’s not that it’s hard, or that the directions are confusing (they aren’t); it’s just really, really intense. It’s not mindless piecing at all.

Precious doing her job!

It is paper piecing so that helps with getting things lined up and making good points. Each block has 17 pieces and there’s lots of steps to the process. I think this took me about a month, even though I did take a few days off here and there.   I am sooo happy to be done.

 

All 30 blocks laid out on my design wall. I feel like I am the most badass quilter in the world.  Now, me being me, I didn’t use batik fabrics like most people do. I’m using fabrics from my stash. I still think that it looks pretty freaking awesome.

Oh and … boy can quilting be messy. Look at this mess from trimming the blocks.

I’ll be busy cleaning my sewing room, and then starting Units B & C (I must be insane) if you need me.  See ya next time!! Happy Quilting!

“Life seems so much simpler when you’re fixing things” – Anakin Skywalker

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“Life seems so much simpler when you’re fixing things” – Anakin Skywalker

It has been quite a while since I’ve worked on a sewing machine other than just general maintenance on the ones my mom and I use regularly. Yesterday though, after I had been sewing awhile, I saw this pretty girl sitting in the corner of my sewing room and she just called to me to work on her.

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I got this machine last year. Interestingly, I found it on OfferUp or 5 Miles or one of those websites and I needed it. Unfortunately it was a bit of a drive away and I was working. My good friend Laura was going to be in the area though and I made arrangements for her to pick it up for me. I was going to give her the money for it when we got together for me to get it from her. Well… wouldn’t you know it, but sweet Laura decided to give it to me for my birthday, along with a Madame Alexander Bride doll. I was so excited about it, but it has been sitting all that time and I hadn’t even looked at it.

So, I put it up on my table yesterday and grabbed my handy bottle of sewing machine oil, a screwdriver, and a rag and got to work. I put oil in all the usual places and then tried to turn the hand wheel. NOTHING. It was frozen solid. I plugged it in an disengaged the clutch on the hand wheel and it spun freely, so I knew where the problem was. I kept applying oil and turning that wheel and in about 10 minutes, I had this.

Purrs like a kitten! She needs a lot more work and cleaning before she’ll be ready to sew, just look at the rust in the bobbin case!! I may just have to replace that instead of trying to clean it.

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This is not the first Pink Atlas machine that I have owned, I have had two before. One, a straight stitch like this one, and the other a zig-zag machine. I cleaned both of these up and sold them and have regretted it ever since. I think if I can get this one sewing a good stitch I’ll be adding her to the herd.

It’s a lazy Sunday, but I have some piecing to do, so signing off of here for now. Hopefully, next time I post I’ll have a nice update about my Judy Niemeyer quilt.

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

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…Or so they say.

I’ve been away a while. Things have changed in my life, and I didn’t much feel like blogging. I won’t go into the details, but I had both a job and relationship change. I think they are both for the best, though, so I’m taking those as positives.

Anywho!! I’m baaaack. Did ya miss me? I will have to spend some time catching up on all I have done since I last posted, but I’m not going to post it all today!

I did want to share that mom and I are joining a quilt guild. Last month and tonight we have attended the Tyler Modern Quilt Guild meeting. Everyone is very nice and we will be joining at our next meeting in July.  Oh! At today’s meeting, I won a prize!

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This is a really cool book and right up my alley!! They don’t call me Scrappy Diva for no reason. 😉

I can definitely see me doing some of the projects in here.

Also, when I got home my “you just got done teaching summer school and you deserve this” present to myself was in my mailbox.
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TULA PINK SCISSORS!!! Squeeeeee!!

I’m a fan. 😉

Ok, enough for now, but watch this space for more from me soon!

I just have to share this

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I have come across the most wonderful site for people who sew. If you knit or crochet, you are likely  familiar with Ravelry, the awesome site created for people who yarn by Jess and Casey Forbes. I am a member there, and back in the early days I was also a volunteer helper manning the “help line” (basically dealing with emails and answering questions in a chatroom), editing designers and yarn lines, and doing other things on the site.

Over the weekend, I discovered a new site, set up under the same premise as Ravelry, but for people who sew. The site is Textillia. The site is 6 months old, and growing rapidly. You can enter your projects, with photos and details about them, look at others projects, chat with others in the forums, and browse the pattern database. The patterns (mostly) aren’t on Textillia, but the entries are links provided to where you can find the patterns. I have entered some of my garment sewing, quilts and accessories. You can check my page out here. (I think you may have to sign up first)

The site is free right now, and I  hope that they can keep it that way. So far things seem to be smooth and easy to operate. Come join me at Textillia!!

(more on my garment sewing in a day or two!)

Been a long time….

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Wow!! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged huh? In my defense, I am a teacher in my real life world, and this time of year is absolutely CRAZY!

I’ve been sewing, but not as much as I should. No new (to me) machines either. 😦  BUT!! This past weekend I went to the North East Texas TOGA! If you’re not sure what a TOGA is, it stands for TreadleOn Gathering and Academy. Basically, it’s a get together of people who like, use and collect people powered sewing machines. There are various TOGAs around the country (world?) but this one is located in Lone Oak, Texas. I went last year and had a blast so had to go again! (as always you can click on any picture to enbiggen)

They do a block swap, and this was my first time participating. My blocks are on the left, and the ones that I got back are on the right. I did all mine on my 1913 Singer 128K Handcrank.

There’s always lots of pretties to look at. Isn’t that Frister & Rossmann gorgeous??  And a purple Featherweight?? **swoon** There are Doctors on call to work on machines, I had my 128K looked at and Dr. Snow determined that my shuttle was just completely shot, so I got a new one and we’re all good to go now. I’m fairly good at working on my stuff, but sometimes I get a problem that stumps me. It’s good to know that the Doctors are there to help!

There’s always some sort of competition with the machines. Last year they just had categories (Prettiest, most feminine, most masculine, etc), but this year they had a design a float contest. There was a lot of creativity on display here!

The TOGA is free to attend, but of course there are costs to holding it. In order to offset these costs, the organizers (in addition to donations) hold a “raffle.” Everyone brings things they no longer want/need. You buy tickets and then after dinner (which, by the way is awesome BBQ!) they start calling out names. They do it rapid fire, and you have to go up and grab what you want. You know what they say…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! That pile up there is a combo of my stuff and my mom’s. There’s lots of laughing and joking around and just lots of merriment. They have a raffle quilt as well, and I managed to not snag a photo of it, and I did not win it. DARN!!

20160402_220412If  you see a TOGA posted in your area, I really recommend that you go. It’s one of the highlights of my year.

 

Collecting is more than just buying objects. Eli Broad

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So, I added a new baby to the herd yesterday. I have a weakness for the people powered machines, and my good friend Laura knows it. She found this machine on Craigslist and picked it up for me. We met for lunch yesterday (yay! for school holidays!) and she delivered it to me.

These are her before spa day photos.

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Pretty Singer 28K

Isn’t she pretty? She’s a Singer 28K handcrank. Serial Number shows alloted in 1919 in Clydebank, Scotland. Her decals are in fairly good shape, but her metal needs a lot of work.

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Pretty Singer 28K

See what I mean?? I’m going to try a really fine grit sandpaper and hope for the best.  I opened her up and started cleaning and oiling and she turns really well. BUT look what I found when I removed the back inspection plate….(click for a bigger view)

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ACK!!!

I am soooo glad those were dead already or I would have hit the front door running and not stopped. Ick! Spiders make my skin crawl! I wonder now where it had been stored. I’m going to get back to work on her tonight. Hopefully I can talk The Hillbilly into helping me polish the metal parts and I can get her put back together. I think I may want to take this machine with me to the Bonnie Hunter classes I’m taking in two weeks!! (more on that later!)

TTFN!

It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish. J. R. R. Tolkien

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Can you tell from my title what I’m going to post???

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Alletare

I finished the top! I am so excited! Even though I know that it isn’t perfect, I love it. I worked hard on it and learned a lot from the process. Now to save the money to buy backing and batting and I’ll move on to quilting it!

I also finished something else this weekend. My mom is addicted to making bags and purses from the design company Swoon. I have a couple she’s made for me, but hadn’t made one of my own. Until yesterday that is.

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This is for my mother-in-law to be. I think I see know why my mom is addicted. This only took maybe 3 or 4 hours and looks so nice. Of course I see my imperfections, but I know what to do now and would make it better next time. Oy… Like I need more to do.

I am between projects right now, not sure what to start on. I did print out the 365 Blocks Challenge blocks so far, but I’ve only made one (so I’m 10 days behind) and just not feeling it. I have a Bonnie Hunter Class at the end of January and need to be prepping and finding fabrics for that. I also need to finish my Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilts.  So much fabric, so little time!!