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Showing posts from April, 2021

Working On It

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Over the weekend I had planned to start on the Blackbird Designs cross-stitch project, but somehow that never happened.  I did make a trip to Michael's on Friday night to pick up the poor man's Qsnap frame in a larger size...after spending an afternoon hour looking for a set I was sure I had.  Boy, going through my cross-stitching supplies turned up some old memories!   I stitched these Southwest cacti so long ago that they are back in style now :)  The framing stage is always my hang-up, but the time spent stitching these really does deserve that effort.  Lots of hoops, charts, and linens in this box, as well as some other half or nearly complete cross stitched pieces.  I have a wooden stretcher bar set in the box, but really like the snap type.  I bought an 11" set----reading reviews, it seems the QSnap brand sets are not interchangeable (as well as expensive), whereas the knockoff from Michael's I was able to combine with the 8" set I already had.   While I too

Friday Fun

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I had Friday off due to the doc I usually work for being out of town.  Grant took me out to breakfast at one our local favorite restaurants, where we sat on the patio in our own arbor.  Afterwards I made the 45 minute drive out to Simi Valley to pick up my sewing machine.  I was so pleased they did the cleaning faster than estimated, in only 9 days rather than 2.5 weeks originally allowed for.  They replaced the thread cutter blade--$9.95--which I hadn't been using as it was dull.  I'll have to remember to push that button after stitching once again.   A quick stop in the Quilty Pleasures quilting shop across the parking lot resulted in some purchases.  The yummy cheddar is a Ruby Star Society print.  I love that color and it can be hard to find just that shade.  The fat quarters I picked up go pretty well with it too.   Back home, I stitched on the label to the Humble Quilts doll quilt and got it mailed off to my swap partner.  I included a fat quarter from stash, and the tin

Design Wall Monday--4/19/2021

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 Design Wall Monday--see more great creative endeavors on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  Following my last post about tea-dyeing linen, having diluted my tea bath to about 1/4 strength, I cut off a big piece of the white linen, wet it and put it in the pot after reheating.  However, it did not take up any of the tea color after an hour.  Perhaps I didn't wring out the piece of linen well, or the tea bath did not have enough salt. So I dumped it out and started over Sunday morning with fresh water and three tea bags.  I carefully wet and wrung out the white linen and left it in the tea for 20 minutes or so, checking periodically against the prior dyed strips.  I rinsed it in plain water and then in the water/vinegar bath, plain water again, rolled it in a towel and then hung to dry.  Finally I ironed it. The white strip is the original linen, the smaller strip my first choice of  tea-dyed test pieces, and the background the final.  The gray background of my ironing

Slow Sunday Stitching 4/18/21

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 Slow Sunday Stitching --see lots of goodies on Kathy's Quilts blog.  Still working on the Humble Quilts blog doll quilt swap project, which lacked only the binding to finish.  I studied up on narrow bindings for little quilts and cut 1 1/4 inch strips from a dark gray plaid fat quarter. After joining the strips, I marked the wrong side of the binding with a 1/4 stitching line to avoid wavy edges while using the walking foot.  One hint I had seen was turning under 1/4 inch finished edge before pressing the attached binding away from the quilt top.  The impossibly tiny binding was then hand stitched down and behaved itself quite well. I love Clover binding clips for this job.  I used gray Aurifil thread and am happy with the way it turned out.  This needs a label on the back and then will get mailed off this week to a far away state.   Lots of other great doll quilts are being shown on the Humble Quilts Facebook group. I'll share the one I receive as soon as it gets here.  Al

Tea Dyeing Linen--Results Are In

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As encouraged by some commenters, a tea dyeing adventure started with me looking up on WikiHow about tea dyeing.  Lots of water, lots of tea bags, and some salt were advised. Recommended number of tea bags seemed like a lot, but I gathered 13 black tea bags and got a stock pot full of water boiling.  I trimmed a strip off the white Cashell linen yardage and cut it into 3 pieces. The kitchen smelled great.  I let the tea bags steep for a while--and checked the color strength. Seemed dark enough, so I took out all the tea bags as directed.  I wet the three strips of linen and put them in the pot.  I checked the color after just a few minutes and pulled the first strip out at about 5-6 minutes as it was getting dark already.  It went in a vinegar and water rinse and then got patted dry in paper towels; the others I let steep longer.  I cut off more strips; one I swiped through the tea bath for about 30 seconds and let it dry.  I let one strip stay in a couple of hours as an experiment.  

Old Sewing Machine and Doll Quilt

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I'm making progress on the doll quilt for Lori of Humble Quilts' swap, which needs to be mailed off in another 10 days.  My newer Husqvarna Sapphire sewing machine needed a cleaning and after work on Tuesday I took a long drive to drop it off in a shop which sells the same brand machines.  It was good to get out of the house on a nice day, even if I did miss my exit and have a 15 minute rerouting adventure I hadn't planned on!  The place is very busy and I was told to expect a two week stay for my machine, at a minimum.  I'm confident they know the brand so it is worth the wait.  I had constructed the doll quilt backing with the newer machine, but had to get out my older Husqvarna machine, a Lily, to do the quilting.  Fortunately I had the insert for my sewing table as well as all the accessories and instruction book easily accessible so it was not too much trouble to get set up. I had bought a walking foot for this model and a different one for the newer machine, and I

Slow Sunday Stitching --Decisions

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Slow Sunday Stitching on Kathy's Quilts blog comes round again--lots of lovely things to see.  I've been ignoring the cross-stitched sunflower I was working on since I made a counting error, and turned to a Blackbird Designs booklet I've wanted to stitch since I bought it at a thrift store several years ago. I've shown it several times on the blog before.  While I like the Alabaster linen color in the cover photo, I have not been able to buy any matching linen locally and have been thinking about tea dyeing this white Cashel linen I was able to find at Hobby Lobby.   Having never tea-dyed anything, I'm a bit hesitant as I don't want it to be too dark, or blotchy, or too brown rather than creamy like the cover photo. Sigh. The embroidery thread has been purchased and waiting for some time to be stitched up, and seeing it in the photo, I think it might be just fine on the white, after all! I did find this Maman Chat  kit at my local fabric store... The scarf and g

Doll Quilts Underway

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 Lori of Humble Quilts has again invited us to swap doll quilts.  It is a big job to match up signees and get us all connected, and I so appreciate her efforts.  I showed the parts for the doll quilt I'm making in my last post.  It is all sewn up now.  I haven't decided yet on backing, quilting or binding, but will get this off to my swap partner by the end of the month.  These stars were from Barb's (Fun with Barb) last swap.  My block is in the center there, with the chrome/black and red--some readers may recall that my blocks exploded from the mailer and were saved by a postal worker, but got to Barb after the swap.  She mailed them all back to me, along with HER blocks. I told the sad story here .   I put together a few of the swapped blocks many months ago, and stalled at one point in a design decision.  I didn't put one of my stars in the quilt, as I insisted Barb keep one.  Quilt Math is the hardest math, isn't it?  I decided would  cut sashing for the corner

Sewing and Remembering

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Playing with options for Lori's Doll Quilt Swap on her Humble Quilts blog.  I've been sewing some while remembering our dear Uncle Fred, who passed away last weekend--just over a month after his severe frontal stroke. Sadly, no one was allowed to visit him on his last night, as a staff member of the nursing home had tested positive for COVID.  I visited three times the last week, and he was the same, nonverbal for the most part, though did make some sounds.  He remained unable to swallow, but could move his right side and turn his head, rub his face and chest, and look out the window.  He offered his hand to hold at times, and looked at us.   Our brother Kevin has been handling most of the heavy work, setting up for burial and in contact with staff at the nursing home and his senior living home.  My sister and I spent most of one day boxing up all of Fred's belongings from his studio apartment.  Not much was organized--we found odd things together in drawers, cupboards and