Monday, January 27, 2020

What I'm Sewing...

I graduated from physical therapy - yay me! I'm still supposed to do my exercises at home, but my range of motion has greatly improved. BUT...I still can't sit and sew at my sewing machine for hours on end. So I do things in small spurts.

The next top I'm trying to finish is Marshal, a Jen Kingwell mystery quilt that was patterned in the 2019 issues of Quiltmania magazine. Each day I try to sew on one border. Slowly, but surely this will be done. Once I finish the borders I'll do some appliqué to finish it.

If you are making this quilt, you're thinking, "Appliqué??? What appliqué???"
After I made all the parts and pieces, I took liberties with the design. So yes, mine will have appliqué.

So many quilters are challenging themselves to buy no fabric in 2020. Not me! When we downsized to our last home (the cottage), I also downsized my stash. I gave away lots of fabric I didn't love any longer. Since we'll be moving into our slightly bigger home in the spring, I've decided to pick a color each month and buy several fat quarters.

January is for GREEN! No, I didn't buy all these...some were already here at the lake house. But I did add several to my stash.

I selected green because I wanted to work on these cute Christmas trees. I happened on this pattern by Sterling Sewn and thought it was so cool. You can buy the digital pattern HERE - it's only $4.00. Don't you love the little prairie points???

The pattern has an optional tree trunk and star. Some of my friends and I are all making these as a swap. What fun!

Auburn gymnastics is one of our 'family things.' We have 6 season tickets for all the home meets. Hubby and I usually park ourselves in the middle so we can chat with both girls and their hubbies. Always a fun time!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Singer Treadle Cobbler Machine

Yesterday was chilly and damp. So we headed up the road to our local thrift store to see what we could find.

WOW! I'd never seen one of these before! A Singer treadle machine for shoe making!

Look at this fancy device to put over the spool of thread! I'm surprised it's still there.

And some of the cobbler's shoe forms are included.

This machine doesn't have feed dogs. The bottom of the presser foot is grooved to push the fabric (leather) though. I checked and the machine is not locked up, but it could use a good cleaning and oiling.

If you collect machines, this would be a dandy to add to your collection. And it's priced REALLY WELL at only $300. These can go for hundreds more than that. These machines are in demand, used for leather stitching, maybe purses and totes. It can sew through 1/4 inch of thickness.

The machine is located at the Children's Harbor Thrift Shop in Alexander City, Alabama.

Isn't it the coolest thing?!

Friday, January 17, 2020

A Finished Quilt Top! Bring Me Flowers

I finally finished this today! Yay! I LOVED the journey of making this with hand piecing and appliqué. So much fun! Can't wait to get started on another Jen Kingwell pattern!

I had a dickens of a time photographing this. Above, Hubby is holding it from the upper deck at the lake house, hence the wrinkled up top edge.

I tried draping it over a chair on the screened porch. Cooper was trying to help, unfortunately.

And eventually I laid it across a bed. Hexies in front! Click any of these pictures to make them bigger. The pictures don't do it justice.

It has been a busy and stressful week. But we fit in the Auburn/Alabama gymnastics meet last week. We have season tickets with our kids. Such fun to enjoy these meets with the entire family.

I got questions about Whole 30. You can find out more about it HERE. One of our lunch staples this month is homemade chicken salad, made with olive oil based mayonnaise. Here are my tips for making this quickly.

1. I cook frozen chicken breasts in my Instant Pot - done in about 12 minutes.

2. I put the warm, cooked chicken in my mixer - it's shreds it so fast, no chopping required!

3.  I cracked eggs into a small dish (after spraying it with olive oil cooking spray!)

4. I cook these in the instant pot - done in 10 minutes!

5. I put this in the mixer with the shredded chicken and whir it again. Now the eggs are chopped and mixed with the chicken at the same time.

6. Now all I have to chop is some onion and celery (and anything other items that sound good: olives, carrots, bell pepper). Add olive oil mayo and I'm done!

I make this once per week and we enjoy it for lunch along with some cashews and a piece of fruit.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Bring Me Flowers

When we moved to the lake house in August, I brought plenty of sewing supplies. I have my Bernina and some assorted fat quarters. I brought a few WIP's also. One of these was Bring Me Flowers (by Jen Kingwell). I had not worked on this quilt for over a year (because of breast cancer). The flower blocks were all complete and I had the alternate blocks prepped for appliquéing the arc pieces. You can read about my starting of the quilt HERE. Yes, that was almost THREE years ago!

I have found in the last year that my arms and shoulders are weak after 3 surgeries. Hand sewing has been easier for me than machine sewing. So a few months ago I pulled out the alternate blocks and worked on them. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I was one with these. Yay!

At this point I needed to cut setting triangles for the outside edges. So where was my rotary cutter??? I hadn't seen it since before Thanksgiving. I remember putting away all my sewing stuff living in the kitchen/dining area. I looked for two days before giving up. I ordered a new one from Amazon. All this delayed my progress for about a week. 

Once I got the new rotary cutter, I cut the triangles and began sewing the blocks together.  But I wasn't done yet. There is a pieced border on the four sides. I cut these pieces. I should have been done  with the top by now, but life keeps getting in the way. Finally yesterday I made one border and have it pinned in place. I'm hoping I can get a least two borders stitched in place today. 

I have bought the backing and batting. I plan to machine quilt in the ditch and add some big stitch quilting. Hopefully I'll have a finished top to share SOON! I will say that I have had more fun making this quilt! It's a fun one!

Other news:

1. I started physical therapy this week. I have a bit of cording under one arm - a common occurrence of scar tissue after breast surgery. Plus my left arm and shoulder (cancer side) have a very limited range of motion. This is why I can't machine sew for very long at a time. I can tell the therapy is already helping. 

2. We are expecting dangerous storms here tomorrow afternoon. Hubby has been busy moving outdoor stuff (bicycles, furniture, plant pots) under the house. He's using bungee cords to tie some things down. He has also fixed us a 'safe place' to retreat during the storm in our crawl space. It's a pretty tall area, so he has set up a couple of chairs under there and has our bicycle helmets ready for us to use. We take weather threats very seriously. 

3. Hubby and I have been doing Whole30 during the month of January. He is totally on board with me - it's much easier when we are both eating the same foods. I can already tell that my energy level has increased - I love the way I feel when on Whole30!

Enjoy your day!