Saturday, April 30, 2011

On The Road Again...Leaving Paducah

We are in the car heading for home this morning. We did make a stop at Eleanor Burns fabric tent out at the fairgrounds before we left town to see what the "color of the day" was for today. Every day one color of fabric is on special and the normal price is $5 a yard and the special is $.50 cheaper. The price for all the fabric is good but we all want that better deal.

The back of the SUV is full so guess it is time to head for home.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Grommet Bag from Indygo Juncton

Guess I am in a bag making mode right now as I just finished making this Grommet Bag IMG_1808from Indygo Junction pattern company.  I have had the pattern and this fabric for a year or two.  Guess I was just waiting for the right time to put the two together in this bag. 

I made a few changes to this bag like the last two I just made.  I added the outside zipper and customized the inside pockets.  This bag uses plastic drapery rings for the strap to be woven through.  The rings come in two parts and snap together over the circle cut into the fabric.

The fabrics I used are upholstery or drapery fabric so are a little heavier than quilting cottons.  The strips were sewn together then quilted on both sides of each seam to some fusible fleece.  This was a quick way to quilt the outside bag fabric.  The photo below is the main body of the purse all ready for lining. 
I was just sailing along getting this bag stitched up and had the pockets stitched to the lining.  When I say stitched I mean stitched with the divisions stitched, the straps to close the pockets stitched….all done ready to fold and stitch the side seams.

I guess I shouldn’t have been feeling so sure of myself.  I had stitched them on the wrong way….all of them on the wrong way!  Thank goodness it was wide enough (had to trim some width off but it wasn’t going to be deep enough.  My solution was to split it down the center and add a strip the width of the bottom of the bag which was just enough to fit the outside.  Looking at this photo you can see I just used interfacing behind the pockets not the rest of the lining.  I might have interfaced it but ran out of interfacing and didn’t have enough for that so opted to just get the back of the pockets interfaced, especially where the stitching was going to be.  I did use a piece of fusible fleece on this new section that I machine quilted in a cross hatch design.IMG_1779
 IMG_1780Here is what the inside of the lining looks like with the pockets all stitched.  I made the pockets from the same fabric as the lining so you can not see them on these photos so I outlined on the photos in the lime green to make them visible.  I stitched Velcro to the straps that will hold my cell phone and my wallet in their respective pockets.  The pocket that holds my red wallet has a pleated side to compensate for the depth of my wallet.  I did that on a pocket in the lining of the purple/black star bag too and it works really well.

Check out the tassels on the outside of the bag….one is used as a zipper pull and the other I stitched to IMG_1781the outside on the strap.  I am not sure if that strap tassel will stay or be a real nuisance and have to be removed. 

I plan to use this bag to carry my large DSL camera at times….will use it that way when I am in Paducah, Kentucky at the AQS show next week.  I am so excited to go again this year with my two sisters, niece and friend.  We have such a good time and it is amazing to see those wonderful quilts and get a chance to shop at so many vendors selling all that stuff we quilters can’t live without!


Thursday, April 28, 2011


So much for practicing last week so I could post while here in Paducah. I can't seem to get the photos to post.

I am having a great time and seeing lots of beautiful quilts, plus have left a little of my money at the vendors too. For those wondering about the weather we did have some showeres here yesterday.

For those that don't know the area around Paducah and this part of the US has had lots of rain and there is lots of flooding. The town of Paducah had to install the flood gates which necessitated the moving of the show from the convention center and Expo center which is between the floodwall ane the river so it is not protected from the rising water. Our paducah hostess said the decision was made just last weekend. I can't imagine what the people in charge had to do the last few days before the show opened.

There were a couple of empty buildings at the Paducah shopping mall so they are the new buildings for a lot of vendors and some of the quilt displays. The majority of the large quilts and the top winners plus the miniatures are in this giant pavillion that looks like a large marshmallow. The small wallhangings hace been hung at the Baptist Church. All the classes are located there too. There is a bit more driving but everything is working out fine.

Will close...please excuse my typing. Typing on my phone is not the easiest.

One more day here before we head home.


Black and Lime Green

(Disclamer...I wrote this post before I went to Paducah and am just having it posted today....sure don't want you to forget me while I am off having fun at the quilt show.)
On a whim I purchased a yard of these three fabrics on Saturday two weeks ago when I was in JoAnns.  The lime green really caught my eye and found two blacks I liked with it.  I am thinking of making another bag/purse with these.

I liked using the cording so much on the black and wine colored bag that I think I will use the lime as corded trim and maybe other spots of color on the outside then use it for the lining of the bag too.  I have not settled on what kind of bag to make yet but am toying with the idea of having one with a flap like the messenger bag I made - you can see it in this September 18, 2008 post.  I will be making it smaller than that bag though.

I have so many bags that I really like that I change more often now.  I had changed bags and gone to town last week to get groceries and when I went to check out I didn't have my check book so ended up using my cash instead.  The next day I was looking in the zippered pockets and found the checkbook.  I had forgotten which pocket I put it in.  I guess zippered pockets are OK if you remember what you put in them because sometimes it is out of sight out of mind for me!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beaded Beads for Paducah

IMG_1772I have had these beads finished for several weeks but didn’t want to show them on my blog until now.  Why you ask?  These 5 beads are gifts for our hostess and the gals I go with to Paducah, Kentucky to the AQS quilt show .  Another reason is that one of my sister’s reads this blog and I wanted the beads to be a surprise. 

The tubular beads are made by stitching one bead at a time over a drinking straw.  They each start with 12 beads in the first row and each row after.  I use a variety of sizes and types of beads.  The twisting look comes from off setting the color one bead on each row.

This other bead is made as a triangle with Delica beads size 11.  One tip of the triangle is bent over and stitched to the main body of the triangle using a large bead as a spacer.  My friend oohed and aahed over one I had like it last year so I made one to give to her.
I am posting this on Wed. the day we arrive in Paducah and the day I present them to everyone.  Now you can see them today too. 

It is a little strange talking about being in Paducah when in fact today, the day I am typing this blog post, is over a week before we leave….hope I am having fun!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Paducah AQS Show Here I Come!

Last week those of you who guessed that I was going to Paducah, Kentucky you were right.
Today I start on my journey to the AQS show in Paducah Kentucky.....YAY!!!  It is going to be a hop scotch type of trip there and back like in years past.  First I am meeting one of my sisters at 10:00 AM in southeast Nebraska, a little over a two hour trip from here.  She will leave her car at a friends then we will drive on to a Kansas City suburb to our friend Diane's home.  After eating lunch we three will pack up and drive to my other sister's home south of Columbia, Missouri.  We stay there overnight then the 4 of us plus my niece who lives near by will drive to Paducah and hopefully arrive by mid afternoon.  We will probably do a bit of shopping in Paducah yet on Wed. then take in the show two more days and head for home on Saturday.

I am hoping to be able to post from there with my cell phone but just in case I have written a couple of blog posts that will be published while I am the post date and time feature of blogging.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Eagles

On this Easter morning how about Easter Bald Eagles?  You might enjoy looking at the live link to the Decorah, Iowa Bald Eagle nest.  The three young birds hatched out April 2, 3 and 6th.  We have the video going most of the time on the side of our monitor and check them every once in a while during the day.  The birds have sure grown since they hatched.  It is fun to watch the parents feed the young and snuggle with them after feeding.

Use the following link to get to the live feed...Decorah, Iowa Eagles  If you can't get it to work just Google Decorah Iowa Eagle Cam and you should be able to find it.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Iris in Beads

These last couple of weeks have been wonderful in that I have been able to stay home.  I amIMG_1801 no longer going to physical therapy and don’t seem to have any meetings taking up my time so have had time to finish up old projects and start new projects.  I have shown you “Sweet Remembrance” my miniature quilt, I have shown you two new purses/bags I have made and today I am showing a wooden needle case I have finished beading.

I started beading it last last spring and had it about half finished when I got busy and put it away.  The beads are stitched around the wooden needle case in a peyote stitch with Delica size 11 beads.  Peyote is an easy stitch to learn but the pattern for this iris was awful to follow.  The iris flower was to have 5 shades of purple but the pattern which was a photo was so hard to distinguish between colors I only used 4 shades.  It looks good but was very tedious to stitch because of the pattern.  I certainly won’t be making another from that pattern.
I do like beading and plan to do some other projects as time goes by.  If you have not done it before and think it is difficult to do with these tiny tiny beads you will be surprised at how easy it truly is.  The beads are tipped onto the needle then stitched or woven to the one below.  When I first saw items beaded with these Delica beads I thought you had to pick them up with your fingers and place them on the needle and I knew that would be very tedious so was pleasantly surprised when my friend Fay taught me how to bead and I learned otherwise.  There are lots of free videos and tutorials on the internet to learn how if you are interested in giving it a try.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Red and White Quilts

Here is a shout out for the Selvage Blog!  Please check out Karen Griska's blog for several posts of photos of a fantastic display of red and white quilts.  She was one of the lucky people that attended the American folk Art Museum's display in New York City of 650 red and white American quilts all owned by one woman, Joanna S Rose.  From looking at the web page for the museum it was a great show and the display was so interesting and unique.  There have been lots of blog posts and write ups about this show in many publications lately.  Too bad I live in Nebraska and it just wasn't in the cards for me to get there.  Thanks to Karen for posting so many photos over several blog entries....just keep going backwards on her blog to see them all.
This is a promotional poster for the event which was held March 25-30, 2011.
Here are just a few links about the show that I found.  Some have great photos of the displays and the quilts.
Manhattan Local News
New York Times
Financial Times
The Daily Beast
one from China


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Farm Work

Recently as I was walking around the yard I looked across the road and saw our hired man finishing up fertilizing the ground that will have corn planted on it in the next few weeks so zoomed in with my camera and snapped this photo.  The tractor is pulling the fertilizer machine and two tanks of ammonia fertilizer.  The fertilizer machine has flat metal iron pieces called knives with hoses attached that cut into the soil and inject the ammonia into the ground.  The tanks being pulled behind the fertilizer rig hold the liquid ammonia under pressure which turns into nitrogen in the soil then the corn plant uses it to grow.  A simplified explanation I know but after all it is just a photo of day to day life here on the farm.


Monday, April 18, 2011


I am testing the ability to send an email directly from my phone to my blog. I have attached a photo as part of the test to see if it will post too. By looking at the photo can you guess where I am going?

(Just checked on my computer and it posted....Yipee!  Maybe I can post a few entries while I am gone now...that is if I remember how I did it!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Flowers

Photos of some flowers in my yard – the blooms are so cheery.  It is nice to see these first bursts of color after a dreary cold gray winter.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Faces

This is the time of year on our farm when we have baby calves and they are so cute.  This little black heifer has her tongue sticking out - wonder if she is thinking about milk or giving another calf a raspberry.  I know it is a heifer because the blue ear tag is in her left ear.  John tags little bull calves in the right ear and heifers in the left that way he can tell at a glance which it is.

Take a look at this cow below…in the first photo she is just standing there and the second one she is mooing at her baby.  Glad I caught that with the camera.  Her baby is the red/white face one.
IMG_1651 IMG_1652
One interesting thing about cows when they have calves is that they take turns baby sitting a group of them.  You can see that in the first photo.  There were 7 or 8 calves and a couple of cows watching over them.  They do this when they are all in the pastures in the summer too.  The baby sitter cows and their group of calves might be clear across the pasture from the the calves mothers who graze for a while then come back and another couple of cows will take over the baby sitting duties.  The calves do follow their mothers at times but must get tired and need to rest.  The older they get the less of this you see.
IMG_1644 IMG_1650
We have a mixture of breeds of cows – we have beef cows not milking cows.  We have some Hereford cows, some Limousin  cows and some of the Limousin are red and some are black then we have some cows that are a cross between Hereford and Limousin.  Our bulls are all Limousin, some are red and some are black.  OK, that is the genetics of our herd if you wanted to know. 

We are about 3/4 done with having calves and have had really good weather for calving until the rain and snow we had earlier this week.  It is so much nicer for the cows and calves and Mr. Farmer John when it is dry and warm and thank goodness nice weather is back and the snow didn't last.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Mother - Sewing and Sewing Machines

My mother learned to sew from her mother on a Singer treadle sewing machine.  When visiting with her recently I asked her if she remembered the first thing she sewed.  She told me a story about sewing through her finger when she was 4 or 5.  Her mother had gone outside to do some work in the garden and my mother said she wanted to run the sewing machine even though she knew she was not supposed to play with it – guess she was a typical child.  She ran the needle in and out of her finger and remembered that it hurt but she doesn’t remember what her mother said but did remember she didn’t play with it again without my grandma in attendance.

She told me one time when her grandmother came to visit she and her sister a year older got to sew quilt blocks.  Mom thinks she was 6 or 7 at the time as she knew it was before she was in 4-H and she started in 4-H at the age of 8.   Mom said she remembered making pink and white quilt blocks but knew she didn’t get enough made for a quilt but later her mother finished the blocks and put them together for a quilt that she machine quilted on her treadle machine – see machine quilting has been around for a long time as that was 1927 or 1928.

My mother was in 4-H for many years and took many sewing projects during that time so she did a lot of sewing as she grew up.  My grandmother was an excellent seamstress and taught all 4 of her daughters to love to sew.  Mom went to college after high school, graduating with a bachelors of Science - Home Economics Education degree in 1944 as did her older sister the same year.  There were 3 sisters close together in age and they took turns working as a teachers to help the other two with their college expenses (in those days you could teach right after graduating from high school.)

My mother was hired after graduation as a Home Extension Agent in the Nebraska county where I grew up.  She wanted a sewing machine of her own but at that time they were not available as the Singer sewing machine manufacturing plants had been converted to make items needed for the war effort.  The plants were closed from 1942 until 1945.  When my mother got her job and moved to the community she drove an hour west to another town to put her name on a list get a sewing machine then went home and waited and waited.  Can you imagine not being able to buy a sewing machine when you wanted one?

She said she originally thought she would get a featherweight as she wasn’t sure she would always live where her first job was and the featherweight would be easier to move.  She needed a sewing machine to demonstrate for the women’s extension clubs and 4-Hers for her job in those years she waited for her own machine and told me there was a woman in town that would lend her a machine to take to those meetings.  What a nice gesture and so trusting to allow her machine to be transported all over the county for my mother to demonstrate sewing techniques to 4-Hers and Extension Club members.  

When her name finally came up on the list it was the spring of 1947 and she decided to get a full sized machine in a wooden cabinet instead of the Featherweight.  She was engaged to my father by that time and knew she would be staying in one place and a larger machine would be a better choice for her.  She sewed her wedding dress on it for their wedding in September of 1947.  I can’t imagine how happy that made her to finally get her new Singer 15-91 in a nice wooden cabinet.  My aunt also found a job as a Home Extension Agent in western Nebraska and she too had to put her name on a list to get a sewing machine.  I don’t know if she got her machine about the same time as my mother but she did get married about two weeks before my parents to a fellow she met near where she worked.

Mom sewed on that machine for years and years…I learned to sew on that machine as did my two sisters and it always sewed a perfect stitch.  My sisters and I sewed a lot of garments on that machine for 4-H projects and just for the occasional new outfit.  Mom always sewed our clothes and I don’t ever remember her not sewing.  

Around 1968 my mother purchased a newer Singer but kept the old Singer in the basement as a back up.  The new Singer Futura had a drop in bobbin and was a big headache for her for many years.  (I don’t have a photo of this machine nor could I find one on the internet.)  Mom said the repair guy finally figured out the needle bar was bent from when she first bought it….no wonder it didn’t sew very well.  She had wanted a machine that could do a hemming stitch and a zig-zag as she was making all the curtains and drapes for the new house she and my father built.  She never loved  that machine but used it anyway for many years.  She sewed everything…she made clothes for herself and even tailored a suit for my “little” brother who at the time was so tall and skinny that they couldn’t find any ready made suit to fit him.  Mom tailored a lot of garments over the years for herself so this was not a lot different.  Mom was a beautiful seamstress and very particular….hmmm….I think that is where I got my perfectionist tendencies!  We would be amazed that when she would buy a garment she would then proceed to take the collar off to adjust the back a little or maybe take the sleeves out and re-set them to make them fit a little better, raise or lower the hemline just a bit, etc.

Around the early 80s my father surprised CIMG2092webmy mother by buying her a new Bernina for Christmas.  My Dad consulted my older sister who had a Bernina at that time on what model to get and so he purchased a Bernina Matic 910 Electronic machine.  I asked my mother the other day if she had any idea that Dad was getting her the Bernina that Christmas and she said it was a complete surprise.  I remember her being absolutely thrilled when she opened her gift from my dad during our family Christmas gathering.  She used that machine to sew lots clothing and did make a few quilted items before she had to give up quilting about 3 years ago.  This blog post on September 28, 2008 is about the sampler quilt she made.  She has a shake in one arm and it has gotten worse over the years so when she moved to an assisted living  apartment she gave her machine to one of our daughters.  Now my mother’s great granddaughters are learning to sew on her machine and that makes her very happy.

The old 15-90 still sews a good straight stitch and belongs to my youngest brother but the wooden cabinet was retrofitted by my father to hold Mom’s Bernina 910 and now resides at my daughters house too.

I found the following information on this webpage about my mother’s 15-91 Singer.  It was made in Elizabethport, New Jersey and was one of 35,000 allotted on December 20, 1946.  Here is another interesting webpage on identifying old Singers.
Further reading….as if this post isn’t long enough. 
Webpage about the Singer company during WWI
Webpage about Isaac Singer….he was quite the character
Webpage about Singer Sewing Machines 1880-1940

I know this is a long post but want to get my mother’s sewing machine story down in writing.  We have talked a lot about her machines and sewing the last few weeks when I call her and that has been very enjoyable.  My sisters have helped me fill in some of the details as she can’t remember some things I wanted to know.  She will be celebrating her 90th birthday this summer and sewed up until 3 or 4 years ago so if you consider when she sewed those pink and white quilt blocks until she had to give up sewing she probably sewed for over 80 years.  I can only hope I am able and still enjoy sewing for that many years.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Furniture Inspiration

Look around your house or antique stores for furniture that has pretty carving or drawer pulls for inspiration for your quilting. Take photos of these features and keep a file for reference.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Metal Inspiration

Look around where you live for design inspiration.  The large photo is of a doorknob and the first two photos in the bottom row are two pieces of flatware, 3rd photo is of part of a chandelier, 4th is a ceiling fan and last is the decorative trim on a metal bowl.  Try to think of how you might interpret these designs in your own way.  They could be quilting patterns, applique patterns, trapunto designs and even the design on the door knob could be interpreted in piecing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sandhill Cranes

John and I recently traveled along the Platte River in central Nebraska and luckily I had my camera with me to snap photos of some Sandhill Cranes.  We took a side trip along a gravel road to see if we could get closer to them and hoped to find a large group or two.  The day before there were thousands and thousands of them along the Interstate 80 Highway but overnight a large percentage of them left on the next leg of their migration trip.  The spring and fall migration of the Sandhill Cranes is really amazing here in Nebraska and once in a while Whooping Cranes are spotted with them.  Tonight on the news they reported that 6 Whooping Cranes were spotted all in one group….think there are only around 250 in existence so that would be quite exciting to see.  Without further chatting from me here are some photos.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bag/Purse Zippers

I have been using quite a few zippers in the bags I have made recently.  Zippers can be very expensive but the ones I have on hand didn’t cost me a lot and I have a great supply right now.  When ever I am at a flea market,  antique shop, Goodwill store, etc. I look for zippers.  I usually buy all I can find and most are priced around $.25 each or sometimes as low as $.10 each.  Great price don’t you think? 

When making a bag I just look through my drawer and find something that will work.  Some may not be as good a match as a new zipper but I think they work just fine and that keeps the cost of my bags a little lower.   Some of the zippers were taken out of clothing but are perfectly fine to use too.  I do like the ones that have plastic teeth as they can be cut down to the length I want more easily than the metal ones.  I don't worry about the length as they all can be cut shorter.

I am telling you this info on where to find them as I am presume you don’t shop at the same places I do …. sure wouldn’t want them to be all gone when I start looking again.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Batik Bag…Black Stars and Purple Leaves

The second bag I made this week was using these fabrics that I purchased last April in Paducah with the intent of making a purse/bag out of it sometime.  Getting it stitched up within a year is doing good for me.  This bag started again with Geta Grama’s Belle bag pattern from her web page Romanian Quilt Studio, even though it doesn’t look like it now.  I wanted a smaller bag again and since I had trouble with the pink bag being too narrow at the top and too long I took care of that right away by reducing the pattern 75% then straightened the sides instead of leaving them tapered like the original pattern.  I played with the type and size of the different pockets again too.   It is good to have a good basic pattern even though I made the changes that I did.
I fused interfacing to the lining pieces and quilted them just to keep the interfacing attached with use over time.  Sometimes fusible interfacing comes loose if bent enough times and this will keep that from happening hopefully.  The inside has pockets of course….I made a pleated pocket with Velcro on the strap to hold my wallet inside the pocket.  Above it is a zippered pocket to hold my check book and on the other side is another pocket with a Velcro strap plus a skinny pocket for a pen.  I quilted the front fabrics to fusible fleece to give them some body.  The outside back has a zippered pocket and the front has a curved front pocket that is divided into two sections and decorated with buttons.
On this bag I used cording inside the purple fabric stitched to the sides of the strap and to the top of the bag.  I did use a larger cord for the top of the bag and a smaller cord inside the fabric to trim the edges of the strap.  I really like the way this looks and think it will add some strength to the strap and maybe keep the top of the bag from sagging after using it for a while.  If I wouldn’t have already had the front pocket finished I would have added cording to the top of it too but wasn’t going to rip it apart just for that.  Originally I made this pocket wider and was going to insert elastic to sort of gather it up but after putting it in I didn’t like it so removed the elastic.
The first two photos are of the outside of the bag and then I turned the bag inside out so you could see the pockets in the lining.  As you can see I also have a magnetic snap at the top of the bag.  I love those snaps as they really hold the bag together.

I am not so sure those buttons on the front of the bag are such a good idea.  They look great on the bag but only carried it once and ripped off the large black button when it caught on something in my car when I was getting out.  I did sew it back on but if continue to have problems with them they might have to be removed.
This bag too has a long shoulder strap….my favorite way to carry a bag.  I just have to remember not to fill the bag too full so it can be as light as possible.  I have pared down and pared down the items I carry so have a fairly light weight purse/bag to carry.  I picked up one of my daughter’s purses last weekend and I swear she had at least a couple of bricks or maybe a cement block in there.  My back and shoulders would complain if I carried a heavy bag.

Not sure what I will work on next….guess we will all have to wait and see.



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