Thursday, March 26, 2020

Same Stuff, New Week

I hope y'all are hanging in there and doing okay. I really feel for the parents who have their kids at home right now. It is tough. Keeping them busy, and happy is a hard thing. I just have to worry about myself, a much easier task. My husband is still working for now, although reduced hours and only a small group at his big warehouse place of business. Plenty of room for 4-5 people to distance themselves. Here is a peak into what I am up to right now at home.

I made this last Christmas, and decided it would be perfect for the Grandchildren for their Christmas ornament for 2020. I made that decision early, so I could work on them throughout the year since I have 4 to make. This is the perfect time to move this project along.
 I have already completed a pink one for Miss N. So I decided to do the three for the boys all in one big swoop. This is the beginnings of the hats.
 Coats and hats. Still need to stitch the trim on the coats here in this picture, but that is done now.
 Putting the bodies together with the pipe cleaners inside for stability and so you can pose them a bit.
 Santa heads with their hats on. I did all these yesterday and now wait for the glue to dry for the next step. I did so much these last few days, I may take a day off from this.
Also have the arms glued on and when they dry, I will stitch them to secure them. I feel like a week of intermittent work should finish these up. The pattern is from Larissa at MmmCrafts.
 This is a crochet project I am working on . I can't reveal it all just yet, as it is not finished, plus, it's a birthday surprise.
 Reading this. I love the shows on HGTV and Home Town is one of my favorites. I am enjoying this immensely. They seem like such nice people.
 I baked some sugar cookies last week, and my sister and I painted them with royal icing and a couple of clean water color brushes I had on hand. A fun technique to try.
 Here is another of our ways to spend time. We love puzzles and this one is 1000 pieces. It took us a couple of weeks to get it done. At times it is frustrating, but it really occupies your mind, which is good right now.
 And yesterday I used up some cherries I had in the freezer to make these scones. I do love to bake and it soothes me to do so.
 Here is the picture of the finished heart quilt top that I couldn't find the other day. I was able to cobble together several white on white fabrics and make it look intentional.

I hope you are keeping yourself occupied with lots of sewing, baking and puzzling. This may take awhile and we don't yet know what is on the other side. See you soon my friends.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Sign of the Times

Sign in, sign out. That's what made me think of the title for this post. And it's true. I do love to sew and as I am retired, I do sew every day. But now, it seems imperative to do so. It helps me focus on something besides the dreadful news that is everywhere. So here is some of what I have been sewing:
 A fun embroidery piece by Liz, of Cozy Blue. I love this so much I am doing another one called Mushroom Girl. I think this one is called Home Girl.
 This is the hanging diamonds block for my Penny Sampler Club quilt. Made with V and Co. ombre with the little white flowers on it. I can't remember the name right now.

 These are my pinwheel blocks for the Penny Sampler. They will go in the sashing strips that will be the same pale green as you see here.
 Here are my double diamonds for Penny Sampler. Not sure if I showed these before, but hey, no biggie.
 This is my first attempt at drafting a paper piecing pattern. I wanted a tea pot that looked more like a tea pot for my Penny Sampler. Not a bad first try. I am going to use it, even with it's imperfections.
 This is the bird block. I have decided not to embroider the feet on mine. But after seeing so many on Instagram I kind of want to make a quilt of them in different colors.
 These next three blocks are the beginning of something. I'm not sure what, but so far, I like them. I really need to use some of my Heather Ross pretties so this seemed the chance.

 Still crocheting too. This is my Dahlia blanket from the pattern by Attic 24. Love the happy colors in this blanket.
 I bought the umbrella fabric a couple of months ago, and the one with people with umbrellas. They are from the same line. All the rest came from my stash.
 It seemed like a good time to use them for something like this. The corners of the snowball blocks and the inner border are Ombre Confetti Metallic by V and Co.
close up

I finally finished piecing this small heart quilt, but don't seem to have a picture of it. I must remedy that.
And of course, Saturday was Pi day. So, I made chocolate cream pie. Recipe is on the King Arthur web site. I highly recommend it. Not too difficult either.

So that's what's going on here in my little world. Stay safe and healthy my friends. The world needs us quilters. Talk to you soon.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Let's Talk Sewing Machines

I want to talk about sewing machines today. I have two machines: my grandmothers Singer featherweight and my Bernina 440 QE that I bought in 2010 or 2011. That machine was my first big purchase for my sewing and quilting. I did not buy the embroidery module, since I knew I would never use it. This machine has made so many quilts and clothing and pouches and bags.
I sewed in my kitchen and finally in my sewing room after my daughter got married and moved out. I bought this machine, my first new one in over 20 years, because it came with a walking foot, lots of decorative stitches and the BSR-Bernina Stitch Regulator. That helps with regulating stitch length for free motion quilting.

But now, this machine is 10 years old and it has a few hiccups. I do take it every year for a check up. I clean and oil it regularly. But that costs me $100 every year. I have now spent almost as much keeping it going as I did to purchase it. And still, it doesn't seem to run as smoothly as it once did.

So I have begun looking at other machines. I have looked at pricing and reviews. There are lots of brands out there. It scares me a bit to contemplate such another big investment. I am wondering if a less computerized machine would be better. This will likely be the last machine I ever buy, so I want to do this right.

I am not married to any one brand. My Bernina has been good to me, but I do not feel compelled to spend quite that much again. Their machines are pricey. So, what am I looking for?

1. Not more than $1000. Preferably less than that.
2. Good harp space for quilting.
3. Reliable and long life of machine.
4. Don't need a lot of fancy stitches, but zigzag would be nice.

So, tell me, what machine do you use? And would you recommend it? Would you buy it again?
It may be awhile before I buy a new machine, but I want to start gathering info. Thanks for all your help, in advance.
Have a great week.