Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Any time is Quilting Time!

Any time is Quilting Time!, originally uploaded by Patsyquilts.

I began the first of two foot surgeries on December 3,2010.  Arthritis in the joint of my two big toes! I just thought it was a bunion that could be relieved by special inserts in my shoes. Since I'm on my feet constantly at work, I thought I better get this fixed. (Also - here comes snowy weather and I am commuting 2 hours a day!). 

This is the perfect opportunity to get back to basics with patchwork and quilting.

 I used to be a 'stay at home mommy ' who started watching PBS LAP QUILTING with Georgia Bonesteel back in the 80's. Living on a military base gave me plenty of  friends to learn new hobbies with. A couple of us went to the community college to take a beginner patchwork and lap quilting class one evening a week. Back then, it was the very basic class that taught you about straight grain, selvages, bias, scissors, card board templates or plastic (like the material used for shrinky dinks. Or, if you were lucky like I was, to have access to the material x-rays were made on!)

Earth tone colors were popular back then, everyone had rust, brown, tan, orange and avocado green in their homes. I started out with 1 yard each of 6 fabrics, needles (betweens and sharps), cotton and quilting thread. My patterns were handouts from our teacher, Kathy. I'm sorry to say that I forgot her last name, such a shame to forget that about someone who led me to my favorite pastime! 

After the class ended, I picked out my first book by Jessie MacDonald and Marian H. Shafer called Let's Make A Patchwork Quilt.

a cute little bookmark made by Amy in preschool, 1980
Placed in between the pages of LET'S MAKE A PATCHWORK QUILT


with ice boot off, foot propped up

I decided to dive into that old book again and hand stitch all of the quilt patterns , just like I did  in the 80's...

Sunday, Dec.5

Monday, Dec.6

Tuesday, Dec.7

Wednesday, Dec.8

Thursday, Dec. 9
I have been averaging 1 quilt block a day. They are 15 inch squares, very basic, but a whole lot of fun when I'm propped up on the couch with my feet elevated. 

feeling "some" pain

I do most of my sewing at this time!

feeling "no" pain

I do my wonky sewing @ this time (on pain meds!)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Sewing Machine (song)

I just came across this cute little video while cruising around on YouTube. I was searching for sewing tutorials and this baby popped up! I just love old funny movies and Betty Hutton always made me laugh. Remember Perils of Pauline?

vintage picture of a class in DRESSMAKING

 I used to feel like a klutz on the machine when I first started to sew. In fact my Home Ec days were a nightmare!! The bobbin kept tangling up under my work, it made me sooo frustrated. When you have only one hour to set-up, sew, and clean up; I REALLY HATED that class. It was required to take Home Ec in the 7th grade, I gladly switched to Spanish the next year.....!!!

Later on, after I got married and was expecting my daughter, I bought my first sewing machine. It was a Montgomery Ward, straight and zig-zag, basic sewing machine. I made a long sun dress from a SIMPLICITY Simple to Sew pattern . I still have the pattern but not the dress. Some of the scraps of material from it are in a doll size patchwork quilt.

Upgraded to a Kenmore sewing machine! It had stretch stitch, lots of decorative stitches (16), too! I used it for a long, long time. There isn't anything wrong with it. Lot's of p-jays were made on it. At my house everyone looked forward to "PJ'S p-jays THE CAT'S PAJAMAS", my artsy daughter, Amy, even designed a cat wearing pajamas on a hang tag for me!

Janome Memory Craft 4900QC, absolutely love it! Lots of decorative stitches (534) and features. The only problem I had was that the harp area was too small for my quilting.

Janome Memory Craft 300E, my embroidery only machine. This helps me make my special Birthday and Christmas gifts. I made towel sets, personalized aprons for the ladies at church, t shirts, and handbags the first year that I got it.

After listening to Jean from , I decided to get a Singer 201-2. This machine was made in 1941 and it runs like a dream! My quilts fit inside the harp area with no problem at all. I love free motion quilting. Some days are great and others- not so great. If I have a great list of songs on my radio or ipod, it goes fast and puts me in a graceful swaying mood.  I like to use those latex finger cots that you can get at an office supply store. Gripping gloves are okay, but I don't like my hands all covered up, these just cover your finger tips. 

vintage picture of HAND SEWING CLASS
This seams like a nice class to take!

vintage picture of a Home Economics class
Our mothers probably were in a class like that! 

 Even though there was a rough start in the sewing department, I came through it all with a real love for machines, thread, fabric, and of coarse - the seam ripper!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cold Mornings

Maggie, originally uploaded by Patsyquilts.
It was cold this morning, so Maggie took her morning nap beside the heating vent under the sink!

I go in tomorrow morning and also next Friday to have foot surgery . There will be lots of time for hand quilting and patchwork, but no sewing machine time until my feet are back in working order.
When I first took up patchwork and quilting in 1980. it was totally by hand. I wanted to be just like the pioneer ladies. Cardboard templates, pencil, scissors, thread and fabric was all I needed to get started. Everything I had could be stored in a canvas tote bag.
Now it's all over the basement . My Quilting Room contains quite a few plastic totes, bookcase, huge metal cabinet, etc...
I wouldn't dream of using anything but a rotary cutter, acrylic rulers, and mats now. Such time savers. Quick quick zoom zoom -done!
 Starting tomorrow (for a short time only), it's back to basics and hand stitching!
Group of Dresden Plates for Wall Hanging
Here's a closeup of a dresden plate made from the EASY DRESDEN template by Darlene Zimmerman. Very fast,very easy!