Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Goals

Last week's goals:

  1. Add extra border to Yin Yang throw and backing, piece bias binding. I ordered fabric for this, as I simply don't have what I need in my stash, so, not done and will not get done until fabric arrives.
  2. Buy boxes for stash Not done, next time we go shopping maybe at the end of the week.
  3. Continue to set king sized Yin Yang quilt blocks ongoing
  4. Play a little with a UFO if I get bored. DONE! :)
This is the backing, border and binding fabric I ordered, it will go on both sides of the chicken batik I showed here for the back, plus a narrow second border in front . It is a Timeless Treasures Tonga Batik, pattern is Confetti Flower and the color is Maple

Leftover from the week before:
  1. Choose and piece backing for Moda strippy from stash, cut and piece bias binding. Half done. The ticking stripe binding is pieced. I don't like the backing fabric I chose.

Here is my goal for this week:
  1. Bias binding, for the Yin Yang throw and the red and white quickie project I pieced this week, shown below.
Jay had a quilt like this at his last sew in and I liked it so much I made one for myself.
I think mine is smaller at 60" x 72", there are thirty 12" blocks. I used up some very nasty old stash for this and have a nice bright red from my stash by Clothworks for the binding.

I also used 2 yards of plain solid white from Connecting Threads. While I like most of their (inexpensive) fabrics and am very pleased with the quality of their batiks for the price, I can't recommend this stuff. It stretches, I had to make sure it was on top while stitching or the feed dogs completely distorted it. I guess while the 'hand' is nice the weave is loose. I shan't buy more.

Y'all come back!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweet Heart

Almost all little girls love pink at some stage in their lives and my grand daughter was no exception. Her twin quilt, sized to fit a bunk bed, is definitely pink.

Lori the Dakota City Quilter used Hermione Agee of Lorien Design's pantograph Alfresco on it which turned out very well. The lazy flowers and leaves on hearts are as sweet as can be, just as they should, for a little girl, but more importantly the design is not too tight.

Why is this important? The piecing is dense, tiny little pieces, not only in the hearts but the entire background is pieced. For the block size I chose the largest piece is 1-1/2" by 4-1/2". Adding quilting with lines of stitching very close together would result in a stiff 'boardy' quilt. It is getting hard to find an attractive pantograph which isn't too dense. What are your favorites?

This quilt pattern is in a book called Sizzling Quilts from a Simple Block: Hot, New Ideas for Woodpile Quilts by Anita Hallock. Published in 1999 and long out of print it is still available from Amazon, both new and used.

Anita Hallock is one of the most underrated quilt book authors there is, I don't know why. Her methods are easy for beginners to get good results from, without looking 'beginnerish'. It is an old book and looks like an old book but by golly I am glad it is in my quilting library. I learned a lot from it.

At the time I made this I did not have much pink in my stash. I had a lot of fun making up for the lack. I made it up so well I had enough leftovers to make the Pink Salad quilt but that is a different story which I will save for another day.

Y'all come back!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monday Goals

Last week's goals:
  1. Choose and piece backing for Moda strippy from stash, cut and piece bias binding. Half done. The ticking stripe binding is pieced, I am still pondering how to piece the backing.
  2. Piece backing for Yin Yang throw, cut and piece bias binding. Re-targeted
  3. Re-sort and organize my batiks, I need a new box for mediums orange through rust, Not done :(
  4. and a separate box for my blues. Done :)

Yin Yang throw

Here are my goals for this week:
  1. Add extra border to Yin Yang throw (shown above) and backing, piece bias binding
  2. Buy boxes for stash
  3. Continue to set king sized Yin Yang quilt blocks
  4. Play a little with a UFO if I get bored

Y'all come back!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Peach Sherbet

The house was built in the early 1900's in a style known as Prairie Craftsman or Mission. See the shaped tails on the rafter ends? When I bought it it was white with dark green trim.

Click on the pictures to enlarge and admire the incredible blue South Dakota Sky.

At some point in the last hundred years the front porch was enclosed and a tiny back porch was added, probably so the arctic winter blast did not take all the heat out of the house when the back door was opened.

The detail inside is beautiful with generously proportioned rooms. The crown moldings are over 12" deep. Note the original thick beveled glass in the front door and side window. Floors are hardwood.

An inside bathroom was added in the late 20's or 30's with the very latest in pink marble tile and stylish back trim ...

Time passed and the white paint became shabby, I painted the house peach sherbet with cream trim.

My tenants did some landscaping and put up the big copper star on the gable. People in the town were moderately horrified ... but the color is growing on them, and I like it. What do you think?

Y'all come back!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Crocodile's Smile

I enjoy working an online jigsaw puzzle when I take a break. This one was quite challenging! Click to go play.

Click to Mix and Solve

Y'all come back!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time for Tea?

Every afternoon I brew a pot of tea and sit down on my front porch, which is really a deck, for a mental sanity break.

I have a variety of teapots which I use in rotation. I wanted to share with you the newest which I bought on Etsy from a shop called Nevermore Vintage and Primitives.

Isn't she pretty? Made in England by Sadler in the 60's she is in good vintage condition and was a bargain. I am hoping this will aid in getting myself into the Christmas spirit and will christen her right after Thanksgiving, if I survive Thanksgiving.

Note to self: put the other kind of Christmas Spirit on the shopping list.

I don't publicize other people's shops often, Nevermore is an exception for the following reasons:
  • remarkable collection of quirky and desirable kitsch
  • reasonable pricing
  • reasonable shipping charges
  • professional attitude with excellent communication skills
  • OMG the woman can pack!
I hate to tell you how often teapots have arrived here with the spout broken off, it is just so disappointing. Not this one. This seller knows how to pack. I will definitely be checking her listings each time I visit Etsy.

Y'all come back!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Goals

While I did not accomplish all my quilting goals last week I did manage to add to inventory, upload and list an entire shipment of quilt and purse patterns on Bonanza.

Last week's goals:
  1. I want to lay out the king size quilt I am making for my son and new daughter in law. not done :(
  2. Finish piecing a Moda strippy throw. done!
  3. Pick fabric for then cut and piece bias binding and a backing for a completed scrappy twin sized four patch done!
This is the backing fabric for the little Yin Yang throw I made with rejected blocks from my son's quilt. It is French Roosters in harvest tan from Island Batiks.

Here are my goals for this week:
  1. Choose and piece backing for Moda strippy from stash, cut and piece bias binding.
  2. Piece backing for Yin Yang throw, cut and piece bias binding.
  3. Re-sort and organize my batiks, I need a new box for mediums orange through rust,
  4. and a separate box for my blues.

Y'all come back!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Best Secret Santa

Secret Santa and secret sister gift exchanges are fun, especially when you open the group to overseas participation. There is a special joy in putting together a package that you hope will surprise and delight the person who receives it.

In these days of economic gloom and doom finding moments of joy becomes especially important. Any time you can get a twofer in the joy department is cause for celebration!

Last year Lori and I read a lot about a pattern called the Wonder Wallet, it is by Lazy Girl Designs. Reviews were all good. The Wonder Wallet pattern is enjoyable to make and several ladies made them as their main Christmas Gift. This sounds like a twofer! Have the fun of making it and the fun of giving it! Woo hoo!

If Lori ever gets herself dug out of a Minnesota snowdrift we will make some and post pictures.

We have the Wonder Wallet pattern in stock and are anticipating more Lazy Girl Design patterns to arrive soon.

Shipping to the everywhere in the USA (yes Alaska and Hawaii are included) and Canada is included in the price. Shipping to Australia and Europe costs $3 for the first pattern and $1.80 for each pattern thereafter when bought and paid for in a single payment.

What a deal! It's a steal!

Y'all come back!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yin Yang

Currently I am working on a king size quilt for my son and new daughter in law. The pattern, shown at left is by Daniella Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs. It comes with instructions for all sizes from lap or throw sized through king. Clicking on the image will take you to the pattern in my Bonanza booth.

This is a great pattern, easy, not at all intimidating for the beginning quilter, and it is fat quarter and strip friendly. When it is done it looks quite impressive, as if you had to put a great deal of effort into making it! It is so simple it works well for someone who doesn't have the luxury of spending hours at a time on their project. You won't forget where you got to since the last time.

I chose to make Yin Yang in a variety of Hoffman, Tonga and Benartex batiks in colors ranging from peach through orange to rust, tan and deep brown. Yes I am a fabriholic. These are the new fabrics I bought for this project, and of course many others were added from my stash. Some of the new batiks in my collection

I started making the blocks with mixed up light, mediums and darks, and quickly realized this resulted in something more to my tastes than my son's so I put those blocks aside to make a couch sized throw for my husband and started over using a Tonga Treat pack in the colorway meringue for the background fabrics.

My Treats were a gift from my friend and business partner Lori the Dakota City Quilter. 42 very light and neutral batiks, all different, gave me the variety I needed without looking too scrappy. One width of fabric strip makes four blocks, two each of light and dark. I was able to find enough very light batiks in my stash to cut the eight extra strips needed to make this enormous quilt.

This was my first experience with pre-cut strips, I have read other quilters who do not care for the ones with pinked edges. I like the Tonga strips which are not pinked and can be found really reasonably priced if you do a Google search online. Be sure to add the shipping price when comparing as often it pushes the price up to 'just darned expensive'!

Y'all come back!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's A Guy Thing

Scene: At the dinner table, early 80's.

Her: "Would you like another helping?"
Him: "Yes please!"

Scene: At the dinner table, 30 years later, same dish.

Her: "Would you like another helping?"
Him: "No, I don't like pasta."
Her: "Oh. OK."

Scene: In the kitchen, a year or so later.

Her: "What would you like for dinner?"
Him: "We haven't had spaghetti in a long time"
Her: "That's because you told me you didn't like pasta."
Him: "Spaghetti is not pasta!"

Y'all come back!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

French Reel

Last month in a moment of mad impulsiveness while shopping the sale batiks at Hancocks of Paducah I bought a Moda quilt kit.

I have never done such a thing before. For that matter I have never bought a Jelly Roll, Honey Bun or Layer Cake either. I have several charm packs, bought on deep sale discounts, not that I have ever done anything with them other than look at them and think about what I might do. It is a sort of mental drooling.

I enjoyed my kit. The fabric line, Maison de Garance by French General for Moda is gorgeous. The pattern was simple but striking and of course totally made by the fabric, but I had some nits to pick. For example the pattern called for straight grain binding but the picture showed a quilt very obviously bound with bias.

Why am I such a stick in the mud? I have always made my own patterns but I do buy them too. I have made several quilts from patterns in magazines and books. What is the difference in buying a kit? Maybe it is the fact that someone else made the fabric selections, or that there will be many others fairly identical? Am I a quilt snob? I don't know.

Reading my Australian e-friend Mereth's blog in July where she writes about her experiences with Moda's pinked edges on a Jelly Roll I found myself nodding as she made each point.

My experience with the Tonga Treats, which do not have a pinked edge was good. They were not exactly 2-1/2" wide, maybe 1/16th wider, but they were totally uniform. The Moda strips in my kit were a bit disappointing. They were off grain, which meant I was dealing with a slight bias and they had a wowie at the fold. That annoyed me. Like Mereth I liked having a sample of each fabric in the line and they are lovely prints.

Will I buy another kit? Maybe, but probably not. Another package of pre-cut strips? As always that would depend on the price. At the full retail price of $35 the Jelly Roll works out to $12 per yard, 33% higher than yardage price for current fabric lines. I tend to shop the sale bins paying $5 to $6 a yard for the same lines a year later.

Yes, it is much easier to achieve a controlled scrappiness with material that is designed and made to go together, but, LOL, I could go round in thought circles all day.

What do you think?

Y'all come back!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Lovely Mrs Jones

My everyday sewing machine is a 1933 Singer 15 but I will occasionally pull out and sew on one of my other favorites like this lovely old lady from England.

Mrs Jones at nearly 100 years old still sews a beautiful and even straight stitch, I find the ticking sound of the boat shuttle clicking back and forth is very soothing.

On the back of my machine is a very ornate decal stating " by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Alexandra". Queen Alexandra was married to Queen Victoria's oldest son who became King Edward VII. She spent most of her life as Alexandra, Princess of Wales. This would date the machine between 1901 and 1910, as after King Edward VII died she would have been called the Queen Mother.

This decal is called a Royal Warrant and is given to this day to companies or tradespeople who supply goods and services to the royal family. I wonder if she ever sewed on it?

Y'all come back!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Goals

Here are my goals for the week:
  1. I want to lay out the king size quilt I am making for my son and new daughter in law. It will be a challenge absolutely impossible to find anywhere big enough to lay out 200 6" blocks so I am thinking to maybe just lay out the center rows first, it is set diagonally so that is the area of the quilt that will get most visibility on the bed (assuming it doesn't end up on the floor as a dog bed.) What do you think?
  2. Finish piecing a Moda strippy throw
  3. Pick fabric for then cut and piece bias binding and a backing for a completed scrappy twin sized four patch

This list could be a mile long but if a miracle happens and I accomplish the three measly targets I will celebrate and set new ones!

I alologise for the lack of pictures. My old camera died and I haven't a clue what I did with the box of the new one. I am missing the USB cord and the software. Software isn't a big problem, I can find it online and download it but the cord is proving difficult. Grrrr!

Y'all come back!

Welcome to Henrietta's Other Hat

I started blogging in a storm of rage and grief when eBay changed from a community built on a level playing field to a nasty place, a place that had no room for the thousands of small sellers who made eBay what it was. That blog was and still is Red Ink Diary. Red Ink Diary turned from a rant into a genuine eCommerce blog and moved off blogger onto my website on a self hosted Wordpress format. On Red Ink I review venues, payment processors, current affairs in the eCommerce world and things important to those small sellers like me who are trying to eke out a living on the intertubes.

This blog is for the other Henrietta, wearing my other hat as it were. I will write about my day to day life in the shabby, old, shamefully cluttered ranch style house on a half acre lot just outside a small country town where I live with my husband of many years who manages a ranch, raising both black and red Angus.

My sewing machineOur children are grown and gone. We share our home with far too many cats and dogs, many of whom had been abandoned or ill treated, all of whom needed a forever home. We do not limit the sharing to small animals, there are also far too many horses but they don't live at the house. I have four pet sheep, Larry, Liza, Emma and Olga, who live in our back yard, with Mr Quigley the pig. I keep chickens and grow a few vegetables.

I have a weakness for antique and vintage treadle and handcrank sewing machines, English transferware, quilts and quilting. I am sure you will hear about all of them, but mostly about quilting.

My everyday sewing machine is a 1933 Singer 15. It is a treadle machine but I confess I have an electric motor bolted onto the back. I make everything on that machine from clothes to rag rugs, drapes and slip-covers, and once a coat for an orphaned baby pig! I like to make patchwork quilts best of all.

Y'all come back!