Sunday, May 17, 2020

In the beginning

How could one pass up such a beautiful day? I abandoned everything in the house and spent the entire day outside! I think I came in around 8 PM when it was starting to get chilly. I know! Not a single twinge of guilt!

I started the day by heading out on the bike. Managed to ride 46 KM. It wasn't warm when I went out in the morning but that's OK. It was beautiful none the same. There were loads of cyclists out. Probably more than I've ever seen in one day around here. And the traffic was practicing physical distancing with the cyclists so that made life a whole lot safer!

I stopped for one picture. The last time I was out, I went along this same road and there was this herd of sheep by the side of the road. No fence, just a herd of sheep. BUT there was also a SHEPHERD with them. Same thing yesterday. Seriously?? Who knew that people still did that? I don't think it was the property owner (the house looked way too fancy for the likes of the shepherd! but I shouldn't stereotype!).

A shepherd and his sheep

I hadn't taken any snacks with me so I knew it would be a shorter ride. I dared not attempt to eat anything on the bike or my darn crown would fall out! I even stopped for drinks as I had visions of the water bottle touching the crown, knocking it loose and the crown falling out only to be picked up in the tread of a car tire before I could rescue it. I was very careful!

I moved out to the gazebo when I got home where I listened to my audiobook, did a bit of ripping, and tucking ends in on the serged seams of the pet mats. And oh yes - I had a nap. Which is hard to do when you have those big headphones on. I couldn't move my head sideways and well - apparently, it wasn't pretty! Thank goodness, I didn't' drool.

I'm reading the Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance which is read by the author. Hmm - I've yet to see the point of the book. It's another memoir by a boy who grew up in the hills of Kentucky. OK -- so he was dirt poor, had a terrible family life, and turned out OK. Well, I guess I just need to get to the end. Let's just say that I don't think a memoir should be read by the author. I don't know why - I just don't like it.

So as you can guess, I didn't get much sewing or quilting done. Am I worried? Nope - it just means I'm going to have to work a little bit harder each day this week to catch up. I've committed to a lot and it ALL has to be done this week!!! Oh well - it's going to be rainy so do I care? Not in the least.

When I dropped the sewing machine off the day before, I knew that Karen would have no supplies. And how bad would that be to drop off a sewing machine and NO SUPPLIES? So I ran around the house to find stuff for her. I had some supplies that were given to me with just this purpose in mind. I had a long ruler, a rotary cutter, and a big cutting mat that got passed along to Karen. I gave her a smaller ruler as well. A spool of thread, snips, seam ripper, pins. I found a couple of extra magazines (I know there are more, but I was in a hurry) and I knew I had two copies of this book so she got that as well.

Two magazines and a book for Karen

I found one of the nicer pieces of upholstery samples and threw that in the bag along with a bunch of fabric samples that she could use to practice cutting and sewing and make something out of. She lives close to Thimbles and Things so she can pop in there at some point and get herself organized if she needs other stuff.

Upholstery sample

There's the bag of goodies that went with the sewing machine.

A goodie bag for a new quilter

That felt good to get rid of some of that stuff. It was all very good stuff indeed, but Karen will get more use out of than I will and it was all duplicate stuff so I won't miss any of it. 

I want to share something else with you today. I also gave Karen this book. Singer Quilt Projects by Machine. It's still available even though it was published in 1992. I started to seriously quilt in 1998. I've no idea where I bought the book, but I suspect it was Fabricland since I had no idea quilt stores existed.

Singer Quilt Projects by Machine
This was my bible for quilting. It's been sitting by the computer for quite a while as I wanted to share with you where and how I learned to quilt. Giving it to Karen meant it was now time to do so.

I opened the cover and found this receipt taped inside. Hmm! This was dated February 11, 1993. So it can't have been for quilting. I suspect this was the fabric that I purchased to make a duvet cover and drapes, but even then, the dates don't seem right. Plus the yardages wouldn't have been correct since I purchased a LOT of fabric to make drapes. And no - the pattern on the fabric was very simple, but can you imagine the dust? M wasn't born so it was nothing for her. I've no idea. But it was purchased at the Fabricland near me so who knows. 

A mystery receipt from Fabricland

When M was moving to her big girl bed (a queen), I thought it would be a great idea to make her a quilt. A BABY BLOCK quilt. See -- there's the pattern in this book.

Baby block quilt

So I did go to Fabricland and purchased three different colors of a chintz fabric. White, and two shades of blue floral. You'll see in a minute.

This quilt also started my desperate search to find specific rulers. The book used this EASY SIX to cut the diamonds required for the quilt.

Easy Six Ruler
I don't remember where or how I searched for that ruler. Keep in mind that we didn't have easy access to the internet like we do now. But I found it! And I cut and cut and cut.

The Easy Six ruler in the project box

I guess I could say that this is my oldest UFO. I made two placemat-sized pieces that were for her night tables.
My night table covering of baby blocks

There are pieced sections in the box, as well as blocks (three diamonds sewn together), diamonds, and yardage. I wonder what I should do with it? I could cut everything that's there and make something as big as I can make it. At least use up all those cut diamonds. I bet my seams will be a bit neater. Yes -- I put a lot of work into this project - I should finish it! Or at least use up what's in the box.

Bits and pieces of the baby block project

I also found this that I was going to use as the label for the quilt.

Original label for the quilt

So what did I do with all the fabric once I realized that I was in over my head with the Baby Block Quilt?  (This is also known as the Tumbling Block quilt).

Back to my Singer book and I choose the Ocean Waves quilt. I'll use the same fabrics and that should work. And there's my Ocean Wave quilt inspiration in the book.

Ocean Waves Quilt in the book
 Here's my version of the quilt. And yes - it's queen size. And yes it's finished. All the stitch in the ditch quilting was done by Carol Cunningham. I had her leave the center white square unquilted as I was going to HAND quilt something in there. Well, that didn't happen, so I ended up machine quilting something in those squares.

Ocean waves quilt

I don't think M ever used it on the bed. It took me a long time to get it finished. But it even has a label on it!!!

I ended up taking a quilting class with Mary Dodd. I finished my first project in her class and before the class was over, I was onto a second quilt. Back to my Singer book where I was intrigued by this quilt.

A pieced sashing

I loved the sashing and thought the gradations of value were extremely clever (still love that today). There was also this picture of using bright colors for the sashing.

Bright colored sashing
Well - I liked that a lot and this is what my quilt looks like. Look at those wonky log cabin blocks. I've no idea where that idea came from. My sashings were made from striped fabric, but LOOK how they match up at the cornerstones! Oh - I was hooked!!!!

My second completed quilt

I think you'll love this next picture. I wanted to stitch in the ditch and I had NO IDEA what that meant. This is my attempt at the stitch in the ditch quilting.

My first attempt at Stitch in the ditch quilting

You gotta love that. This is why we keep those first quilts. It's hilarious and I guess I can say that I've come a long way!!!!

There was also a section on string quilts so that was always in the back of my mind and I've done loads of them. I do love making string quilts.

Instructions for String-pieced quilts

 There was also an excellent section on machine applique. You can't beat those pictures. They were excellent.

Great pictures on machine applique
 I don't want to say that everything I learned about quilting, I learned from this book, but it certainly influenced my direction in quilting and YES - I learned so much from this book. Even though the darn thing is almost 30 years old - it's a very valuable book. I hope Karen gets as much pleasure and knowledge from it as I did. Of course, there were many other projects in the book, but I didn't do them all.

 Even though I did a lot of walking yesterday, I did some without the dogs and that alone made a huge difference. I've just come to the realization that they are too unpredictable to take for long walks. If only I could communicate that to them.

We passed the local high school and saw this sign in the window. The world is just in a very weird place right now. Things are getting back to normal slowly. But will it ever be the same normal? I doubt it!
Sign in the local high school

But we're strong and resilient and we'll make it through to the other side! DH was on the golf course yesterday. The system crashed when they attempted to book their tee time. They finally got something like 5:20 PM. I don't think they cared - they just wanted to play golf. I know all the golf courses I passed on my bike ride were jammed!

On that note, I'm off to cut and sew and write and take pictures today. ALL day - no slacking!

Have a super day!!!!


Don't forget if you want to participate in the Virtual Retreat that you should be getting your stuff ready to make the most of the sewing day. I've always found that prepping takes forever and then you have no time to sew. The dates for the Virtual Retreat are May 27 - 31. I'll be hosting a ZOOM meeting all day from 9 AM EST - 9 PM EST. You're welcome to join in and share what you're working on. If the connections are good - we can chat all day! I'll be posting the links for the ZOOM meeting nearer to the event.

1 comment:

  1. I won't be able to make the whole retreat (we are hitting the road again for a month) but I hope to be there for a day or two! I live that old Singer book!