Sunday, December 4, 2016

Welcome, December can that be?  I'm fairly certain that this year went much faster than it should have.  Ready or not, here it is.  I know I am not alone in disbelief.

The crud has struck like a vengeance around here so accomplishing much has been a bit of a challenge.  Thankfully, commitments and entertaining have forced us to keep moving.  We had our big Thanksgiving last weekend - in the rain - and then our annual Christmas dinner here last night.  Now that those two big dinners are behind me, I managed to slip away into my sewing space today.  I have missed the dates with my sewing machine. 

There is no way that I can keep up with the annual Bonnie Hunter's Mystery quilt during these busy days.  I am partway through step one, but worked on step two today.  Although these are not "my" colors, I love the way they are all coming together. 

My sister is also doing the Mystery.  This is her first time doing one and we've been having fun sharing our photos with each other.  Although I have not been able to convince her to start her blog YET, she is posting her progress on her IG account (alaskanquilter) along with some amazing quilts that she has been creating.  If you follow her you will also see some spectacular views from her Alaskan sewing studio.

December was the final month of our MCM Bee.  Elizabeth is the queen bee this month and requested that we make a block of the block that we requested when we were queen bee.  Isn't that a great idea?  This was the block I sent her.

The only other sewing I have finished is my postcard from Sheila's postcard swap. This one went off to Brazil.

Do you remember the cope that I reconstructed?  It was a thrill to receive a photo of it in use.

When the whole gang is here for Thanksgiving we try to get a group photo.  The rain canceled our attempt this year so we gathered after church the next day for our photo.  We were missing one who had to head back to college early that morning.

I have an update on my iron.  I did contact Oliso as Candace suggested.  Even though the guarantee had expired, Oliso did offer to replace the iron for about a third of the price of buying a new one.  It is so nice when a company stands behind their product. 

It looks like winter has finally arrived to the better part of the country.  Our temps have also taken a dip.  It is the time of the year when the fires in the fireplace feel really good.  I guess it is December.  Enjoy the days ahead.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Death of My Oliso

 It's a sad tale.  Yes, indeed it is.  My Oliso died yesterday.  I loved this iron.  It had amazing steam, it didn't shut off after a few short minutes and it did a great job.  I must admit that it was not easy to get used to the fact that I did not have to lift it upright when not in use. is amazing how hard it is going back to one that does need to stand upright!  lol  I also was not crazy about how difficult it was to empty the water when finished using it.  All the same, I will miss my Oliso.  When I went to fill it yesterday the water ran out of the bottom of it and the red light keeps flashing.  Now it is back to the old Sunbeam standby.  Will I replace it?  I'm not sure the price of it was worth the time it lasted.  Mind you, I am hard on irons and tended to replace one every six months or so before Ms. Oliso.  It's just a good thing Mr. Sunbeam has an alarm to remind me that I have left it flat! 

It was a rainy weekend for us so that meant I had some sewing time.  With Thanksgiving coming up this week I know I will not have that time as the week progresses.  I had a lot of little HSTs leftover from my autumn stars quilt and decided to use them as the center of our Minis and More project this month.  This month's choice was a tutorial from Sherri.  It will look cute on the sofa for Christmas with my new Christmas tree skirt.  Be sure to check both Sherri's and Michele's blogs on December 1st for the Minis and More Parade.

Also this weekend, I got out all of my great Spelling Bee words to try to pull them together.  There was a lot of space to "fill in". 

The little sewing notion paper pieced blocks were added next.....still more fill ins needed. 

Looking better....... now to sew it together.

A few spacers were added and some blocks changed.  Once it was all sewn together I felt as though I lost the words.

How about some striped sashing between the rows?  Yes, the words look much better now.  The quilt now measures  60x68 so I am not sure about a border.  What do you think?  The "spool" block next to the word "pattern" looks like two wine glasses to me.  Guess that would be a good block for all the ripping I did. 

I'm going to link this one up with Quilter's Monday.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you will have a wonderful day.  There is so much for us to be grateful for and it is nice to have a special day to remind us of that. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Trunk Full of Quilts

How do you ever choose a favorite quilt?  It's like choosing a favorite child!  Soma at Whims and Fancies is having her annual Trunk Full of Quilts show where we get to show some of our favorite quilts.

Since it is fall I will start off with the quilts that are currently up around my house.

Then, of course there are the little quilts that are so gratifying and fun to make.

There are quilts done in QALs which are always exciting......

.....and blog hops.....

I think that mygreatest joy comes from the quilts that are gifted to others. I wish I had been taking photos before I started blogging as I have made a quilt for each of the grandchildren.  Now, some of them want "grown up quilts" which make this grandma's heart sing.  Whether it is for family or needy causes, quilting for others is a great feeling.

Christmas is quickly approaching and the Christmas quilts will soon be brought out for enjoyment.  

Of course we can't forget the swap quilts.  The x and + quilt was one of my favorites.  I love the scrappy goodness of it.

This will be my next favorite bee quilt.

This is just a small sampling of the joy that quilting has given me through the years.  To see some really spectacular work be sure to visit the links on Soma's blog.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Divine Inspiration

Do you ever have a difficult project to tackle and the solution hits you in the middle of the night?  Sometimes those wakeful hours are productive and result in your sewing space looking like this the next day.

It all started about a month ago when our pastor approached me in need of help for a vintage cope that he had recently acquired.  He had spotted it at a children's play, being used as a costume.  He managed to convince the school that he would replace the costume if they would give him the cope. say that the garment was in need of repair would be putting it mildly.  This had definitely seen better days.

The original label was still inside so that is where my research started.  They were great help in dating it for me - the 1950s - but were unable to offer help in obtaining original fabric, trim, etc.  Thus began my search.

The fringe is a metal bouillon fringe with large sections missing.  One phone call led to another and another and another, but I eventually located some.

The fabric was a dead end so there it sat.  I could use a different fabric that "blended" but felt that the impact would be lost.  That is when the middle of the night inspiration came to me.  I could use the fabric under the gorgeous trim.  I could replace it with a neutral fabric as it would be under the trim when I sewed the trim back in place.  The lining fabric would be fine just blended.  The red velvet trim is in remarkably good condition.  That would have been really hard impossible to replace.

 Complete deconstruction started.  It took a full day for that.  Patterns were made and work started.  Parts were so badly worn that it was hard to even make a pattern from the old, but I managed.

Then there was the black paint!  Oh my!  The cope was apparently worn around a wet stage.  ;-)  Fortunately, I managed to only need to remove 3/4 of an inch from the length.  The garment has extra length across the back anyway so it will not be noticed.

After several days of sewing the final hand stitching was completed today.  The Cope is now ready for another 75 years.

Onto a new project .... are you joining in for Bonnie Hunter's En Provence?  It all starts in a few weeks.  There is still plenty of time to join in on the fun.