Friday, July 27, 2012

New Toy!

I got a new (to me) toy for my sewing room.  Here it is in pieces on the (messy) sewing room floor:
You can just see the machine in the upper left corner of the tarp.  Here's the picture from the craigslist ad:

It's a vintage Singer 31-15 industrial machine.  I haven't pulled the serial number yet, but I suspect it's about 1930's or 40's vintage.  It looks like it has a new(er) motor assembly.  It was owned by the seller's mother and used for all her daily sewing.  I think she's in ill health now and has had to move, so the seller just wanted it out of his basement.  So my husband and I went down to take a look.  It's in beautifully maintained condition and sews like a champ (once I rethreaded it).  It's a bit grungy on the outside (mostly dust) and will need a good wipedown.  My husband broke it down (love you honey!), we put everything in the back of the car, bungeed the trunk shut and took it home.   Quite an adventure.

I really wanted it for free motion quilting.  It goes full speed at about 1700-2200 stitches per minute.  And it has a huge 11" throat space.  And it's within my budget.  Table and machine ran me $200.  Since the whole setup weighs about 200 lbs (machine alone is 60 and the motor is about the same), it's about $1/lb.  Cheaper than grapes at any rate.

This machine also takes standard long shank feet, making a darning foot for FMQ easy to find.  It was also produced in such quantities that parts are easy to buy.  It also uses a standard class 15 bobbin.  So a very easy industrial to maintain.

I'm very excited to get it up and running soon.  This is definitely my Whoop Whoop! for the week.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Christmas Preparation

Not a quilt, but something quilty nonetheless.  I bought this tote pattern from CityHouseStudio.  I'm going to be giving several of them for Christmas presents this year.

I'm very pleased with how everything came out except the lining.  I think I'll cut the lining down by 1/4" next time to make it fit a little nicer.   See how it's a bit bunchy?  I'd like to have a nice, smooth lining.  I'll probably keep this one and make some more for gifts in custom color schemes, etc.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WIP Tote

These are eventually going to be the front and back of a totebag that will end up being a Christmas present for my mother-in-law.  (Sorry for the bad pics.  You can really see the Moire pattern on them.)

The letters were an experiment in paper piecing (which I had never done before) and the spools were from Jacquie over at Tallgrass Prairie Studio's tutorial.

Linking up over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesdays.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Finished Baby Quilt

There seems to be a slew of babies being born right now.  So this is another baby quilt I just finished that's going to go to its new owner.  I made this one using a fat quarter pack and the tutorial found over here at Two Little Banshees.  It worked out great, and I was able to use some of the scraps for binding.

I used a scrap of high-loft 100% poly batting I had from old projects.  I'm reminded why I vastly prefer a blend or 100% cotton.  the quilt didn't "crinkle" at all in the wash, and I love the crinkle and drape of a quilt w/ a good batting that's washed.

I quilted it with large circles to offset the square nature of the piecing.  I think in this one, I used salad plates and cereal bowls as the templates.  I do like the effect and the quickness of this quilting motif.

For the backing I used a brown piece that mimicked the circles in the quilting.  I pieced the binding out of 2" scraps I had leftover.   I prefer working with 2.5" binding, but hey, "waste not, want not."

So overall, two thumbs up on the pattern and design and a big "meh" on the finished product.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday

The nasturtium quilt is coming along.  I have a large pile of finished blocks and a potential layout.  I tried out lots of other layouts, but I think this one is the winner.  This is the BQ3 pattern from Maple Island Quilts.  It's a great pattern because it's so fast to put together but still flexible in the final layout and design.

Linking up at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesdays.  Even on the 4th of July!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, June 30, 2012

An Experiment Gone Right!

I love it when I try something new and it turns out well.  I recently saw this video from the Missouri Quilt Co. on how to make a "self binding" baby blanket and immediately wanted to try it.  I actually already had two pieces of flannel washed and ready to go after scoring them cheaply at a Memorial Day sale.  It turned out wonderfully.

This picture shows the center fabric as well as the backing/binding.  I started with squares that were a different size than the ones in the tutorial, so my finished blanket has slightly different proportions.

And this picture shows a close-up of the two fabrics.  The mom-to-be has a thing for turtles, so this fabric was perfect for her.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

True Love

My husband has been into Freecycle lately.  He's been dumping some of our old junk and keeping an eye on it for bargains.  A few weeks ago he scored a non-working ride-on toddler train for free.  He had it working in under 2 hours.

Yesterday, he scored a box of free "quilting fabric."  Apparently, a lady had gone to an estate sale, bought the box, took what she wanted, and was dumping the rest via Freecycle.  I was skeptical, because a lot of things are labeled "quilting fabric" when they're most definitely not.  But, hey, the price was right.  And worst case scenario, we'd have to make a trip to Goodwill to drop off the fabric.

Well, he brought back a copy paper box full of honest to goodness quilting cottons.  I started going through it and realized there was a lot of good stuff in there!  Some yardage and A LOT of fat quarters.  In fact, there were two washing machine loads worth of fabric.  I didn't even keep it all.  I got rid of a lot of the 80's-esque floral prints in coral, blue, and brown.

Here's my haul (sorry for the poor pictures.  I was rushing to take pictures before the baby woke up):

There were 5 Kaffe Fasset shot cotton fat quarters:
And 8 batik fat quarters:

And 17 homespun fat quarters plus a yardage cut:
And 27 miscellaneous fat quarters:
Then there were these 11 textured fat quarters.  They're obviously from the same line and look like they have a spray paint texture on them. 
Then there was all the yardage...  These cuts ranged from 1/4 of a yd. up to about 1 1/2 yds.  A huge variety.

And that's how I came to love my husband's Freecycle habit.