Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vintage Sewing Notions and My Gift

Are you as crazy about vintage sewing notions as I am?  I found this mini ironing board in a shop in PA recently that just tickles me.
I believe it is a sleeve board and I don't really iron many sleeves....but does that matter?  NOPE

The sewing machine you see in the back ground belonged to my girlfriend, Mary Jane (you may recall she passed away Aug. 20th).  I remember when she got it brand new from Leon at Hoovers Bernina Sew in Mifflinburg, PA.   Mary Jane really enjoyed this machine and was always saying great things about Leon at Hoovers....which means there is a lot of positive energy in this beauty!  She insisted I learn to use her new machine even though I was very intimidated by the size and the fancy buttons.  We were sewing together one day and she said to me, "when I die, you are going to have this machine."  Naturally I burst into tears and told her I didn't want that sewing machine, I wanted her so she could just take that thought right out of her mind.  Thankfully several years went by before her pride and joy was passed along to me.  I only wish it had been 30 more years before her 820 came to live with me.

Mary Jane's sewing machine has been sitting where my machine used to be.   My mind was telling me..... turning on her sewing machine would mean she is really gone.   I know that thought makes no sense....but grief in my experience isn't rational or's just a process.  I can't seem to get used to seeing her things at my house.....this new reality will take time to embrace.  Today I turned on Mary Jane's sewing machine and began to sew.  The tears streaming down my face made it difficult to see to wind the bobbin....but I managed.  What an amazing, beautiful and life changing lovely girlfriend Mary Jane....not her sewing machine. I miss her every day.

Irrational and Appreciative Smiles!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fabric Play-Change the Fabric, Change the Quilt - Review

Are you a hard sell when it comes to quilting books?  I have grown more and more difficult to please in the past few years.  The books I'm willing to purchase must provide inspiration and instructions that are thoroughly explained.  With limited sewing time and a big stash....finding the right book and/or pattern really increases my motivation and desire to make a quilt.   If you are anything like me, Fabric Play by Deanne Moore, certainly fits that criteria. 

Most of you know, I love a paint factory explosion of color, so the cover of this book didn't hit my sweet spot.  I'm glad I didn't let that mislead me....this book has fourteen different designs that can be as individualized as the person who makes or receives a quilt.

Check this out:
"Go Your Own Way"
I love, love, love this pattern and to be honest, I'm certain what grabbed my eye was the Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Once I saw the quilt on the right, using different fabrics, my mind was opened yet again to other fabrics I have in my stash that would be beautiful with this pattern as well.

The point here, is "Change the Fabric, Change the Quilt"....but are you capable of seeing a pattern made up and then visualizing your fabric choice in its place?  My eyes can confuse my brain (yes, that does happen) and Deanne has the solution.

Her solution: Design Sheets 

A Design Sheet for each and every quilt in the book.  Once I saw the blank Design Sheet, my eyes and brain began working together.  I can now venture into my stash and see so many more possibilities.  Fabric Play is an excellent choice for stash busting.


How many of us have those fabrics with large prints or panels and we don't know what to do with?   I can see all your hands raising now (You didn't know I can see you on the other side of the screen?  Go comb your hair because I do see you :).  "Structure" is a perfect pattern for all those panels and fabrics that you have in your stash that you have wanted to use.  I can see this quilt being loved by children, teenagers and adults....depending on the fabrics you use.  Fabric Play certainly dishes up a heaping helping of versatility.

Being visual, I really like diagrams and photos that describe the instructions.  Written instructions alone are almost useless for me.  Deanne has provided ample diagrams and photos that illustrate the instructions ....WELL DONE  Deanne MooreFabric Play is appropriate for all skill levels....from a beginner to the experienced quilter.

I Have A Notion ® will have Fabric Play at the beginning of October.  If you must have it now,   Fabric Play is available on Deanne's website, Creative Sewlutions @ The Quilt Haus as well as  Martingale. With 14 different patterns to choose from, there are definitely enough options to put a huge dent in our stashes.  You know what that means right?  More fabric shopping trips....which could include lunch and chocolate too....I better stop before I drool on my keyboard.


    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket Quilts was at the Checker Open House 2014

     It's true...and you know what?  I missed it!!!  :(  Unfortunately I was at a memorial service for my dear friend who recently passed away.  I do my very best not to miss out on the great vendors and classes at the Checker Distributor Open House each year, but it could not be helped.

    Edyta's latest book, "Handfuls of Scraps Pieced into Amazing Quilts " lines up perfectly with what I've been thinking about lately.

    My girlfriend who was very ill before she passed did not use her quilts to keep warm during her illness.   Most of Mary Jane's quilts are show pieces and not "everyday quilts."  I want tons of "everyday quilts" not only for myself but to give to people that I love to keep them warm when they are cold and/or sick.  Show pieces are wonderful, don't get me wrong....but an "everyday quilt" now that's my kind of quilt.

    In Edyta's new book, "Handfuls of Scraps Pieced into Amazing Quilts," includes 15 scrappy patterns that are perfect for "everyday quilts." 

    Below are some of my favorites:
    "Looking Glass"
    "Let It Shine"
    Now  these are what I call truly scrappy quilts.  The type of quilts I would wrap up in and proudly carry back and forth to the hospital etc.  They are beautiful and useful....right up my alley!

    If you want to add some pizazz to your scrappy quilt you can add borders that include some of Edyta's Silhouettes (pre cut applique shapes).

    I wished I could have visited with Edyta but it wasn't in the cards this time....hopefully sometime soon because I have always admired her work and she is a lovely gal.

    Speaking of lovely gals....Waldo needed a binding sewn to one of her quilts and I was tickled to be able to stitch it for her.
    This was yesterday and I finished the binding....this is such a beautiful quilt.  
    It is 50x70 and it was quilted by Joanne from Splitting Stitches blog.   Hand stitching is so relaxing and Waldo thought I could use some relaxation recently....she offered more quilts that need binding and I may just take her up on it.  Friends, fabric, quilts....sounds like a shot in the arm to me...makes me happy.


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