Featherweight 221

April 12, 2014

DSCN0925Living in the same house for 23 years, a person can accumulate a lot of stuff.  I’ve been sewing for over 20 years and have managed to fill my cupboards, drawers, and closets with a large collection of sewing supplies.  In looking at the overwhelming amount of stashed fabric, books, and sewing paraphernalia, I believe this is a borderline addiction issue for me.  And… although I have done a pretty good job at hiding my habit behind closed doors, I have decided it is time for me to start to de-stash and clean out.

This is still my plan, but embarrassed to say that on day one I have already been distracted!!!

The story is that 14 years ago, I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I would love to have one of those cute old-timey featherweight sewing machines.  And… tadaa.. the next thing I knew she had found one as a gift and generously and thoughtfully sent it to me from Colorado!  I was so excited and  remember opening up the box, and taking it out and plugging it in the wall. Yep, the light worked!  And, that is where it ended!   I unplugged that baby, and put it back in the box, and  on a shelf to save for another day.  I was nervous about using it.  I had some idea that it needed to be oiled and although I had a book to tell me how-I never pursued it any further.  So up on the shelf-my featherweight has lived for 14 years.  Well, I thought I might sell it, so brought it down from a deep corner in my closet… and I still want to sell it, but gosh darn-it!  I am going to try and figure it out and take a stitch before I do!!

DSCN0937Today, I am feeling the same excitement that I did 14 years ago… I’m pulling this out,  reading the book, and going to take at least one stitch with this beautiful machine!   Wish me luck!!




Churn Dash!

April 3, 2014

DSCN0870Back in the olden days, folks used to make their own butter.  The process started with a good cow.  After milking the cow, the milk was placed in a shallow dish so the milk settled and the cream rose  to the top.  After waiting for about a half of a day, the cream was skimmed off and ready for the churn.  A churn is a tall upright container usually made of wood. The churn dash is a stick that is continuously moved up and down by hand until  the cream magically turns into butter! I read that the process of moving the churn dash up and down to make the butter was charmed along by singing a little song similar to this one:


Come, butter, come.  Come, butter, come.

Peter’s standing at the gate, waiting for a buttered cake.
Come, butter, come.
(A traditional song)


Well, I don’t really see what making butter has to do with the traditional churn-dash quilt block, but I sure had fun trying to figure it out!  I used the book “Simply Retro” by Camille Roskelley to make this quilt because her directions and pictures are so fun to look at and easy to follow!  This quilt was made for Carly, a dear friend of my son’s. I used green and blue fabric in this quilt, which are her favorite colors. I wanted this quilt  to be really cozy so I used some cuddly, pre-washed flannel and paired that with the fabric line “Florence” by Denyse Schmidt.

I suppose my song should go like this:

Sew, Debbie, Sew.  Sew, Debbie, Sew.
Carly’s blocks of green and blue will soon be a cozy quilt-that’s true.
Sew, Debbie, Sew.

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Thanks to my mom for hand stitching down the binding and helping to get a nice picture of this quilt. Just a lucky coincidence that she happened to be wearing shoes that match!



Welcome Spring!


The Quilty Fun Sew-Along is into it’s 18th week and perfect timing in that this week we are stitching a flower block.   I am very happy I joined up with this sew-along and have had so much fun making the blocks in Lori Holts scrappy patchwork book “Quilty Fun”.  There are many projects and ideas in her book that I would like to make someday.

All of the blocks in her book use the same concept in that she uses cute scrappy fabrics cut in simple measurements of rectangles and squares and makes many of her designs  by sewing on various size squares of fabric sewn diagonally onto the corners of the base fabric to create a simple shape.  In the process of making the blocks there is typically quite a few corners of fabric that get hacked off and discarded.  I’ve been gathering up the wacked off corners and making miniature bonus blocks.

I thought I would share how I made a bonus block today:

This is an example of how a square background (white) shape of fabric is  sewn onto the base fabric and stitched along a pencil line drawn diagonally onto the background fabric. After I stitch on the pencil drawn diagonal line I make a second row of stitching a little less than 1/2″ away from my first line of stitching.









Then I cut in between  the two rows of stitching and head to the iron.

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After the iron- I sew them together with a generous 1/8″ seam allowance.  Sometimes the pieces turn out really wonky-but I sew them together anyways because after all they were headed to the trash.

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I decided to sew them into a couple of tiny flying geese strips.  I think they would look great included in a scrappy little project  in the future or  I might even use them to border a quilt label for this finished quilt.



Yesterday was the third Saturday in March, which means that it was National Quilting Day!    I spent the day catching up on a couple of projects!

Kristy at Quietplay, designer and host of the Sew kitschy paper pieced bom released her March pattern a couple of weeks ago and I finally had a chance to get this adorable block stitched together.  Her Mixing bowl pattern can be downloaded for free in her Craftsy shop for a limited time and all the details of her bom can be found here!

The Retro-Kitchen style of the Sew Kitschy patterns remind me of JuneCleaver from the 1950′s TV show  ”Leave it to Beaver.”  “Leave it to Beaver” depicts a picture perfect reflection of a postwar suburban family in a world seen through the eyes of a child.  Barbara Billingsley plays June Cleaver, a loving stay at home mom dedicated to her family and is often shown in her kitchen chopping vegetables, basting a roast, or icing a cake.  She always looks glamorous in her pretty dresses worn with pearls and high heels.  I can just see her holding this paper-pieced mixing bowl and stirring up a little cookie dough for her 2 sons, Wally and Beaver!

mixing bowl

Cookie Jar Sew Kitschy Mitts


Road 25!

March 3, 2014


DSCN0799During a recent visit from my oldest son, he mentioned that he would like me to make him a quilt.  I was so excited and started searching for a manly quilt pattern that would be appropriate for my soon to be 25 year old hard working, kind hearted, fun, easy-going, so proud of him-son.  I wanted to make a quilt that was modern, yet still a traditional classic design.  I decided to make a simple half-square triangle quilt and use the modern fabric line “Road 15″ by Moda along with a few solid colors of Shot cotton!  I started to lay this finished quilt on the floor, and “Coot” couldn’t wait long enough for me to get it straightened out on the floor, before he decided to try it out!


I named this quilt Road 25 in celebration of my sons 25th birthday! 

Thanks to my mom for doing such a great job on hand stitching the binding down! 



It looks like Coot thinks it is his Birthday Quilt! 

Happy Birthday to my Sweet son!
Time to wrap this up and get it in the mail!  


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Sew Kitschy February Block

February 15, 2014

Kristy @ Quietplay has done it again!  She has released and shared another pattern that can be downloaded for free, for a limited time from her Craftsy shop.  February’s block is the second block in a nine part series of fun retro-kitchen themed paper piecing designs.  This adorable “Cookie Jar” block was truly enjoyable to stitch together!!  Great variations of this block can be seen  Quietplays Flickr page.

 Cookie Jar

Cookie Jar


Happy Valentines Day!!

February 10, 2014

While going through my feed at bloglovin I stumbled on a challenge being hosted by Sew Mama Sew called “Little gifts of Love challenge.”  The challenge is to make a project that celebrates the sweetness of Valentines day.  I had a little free time this past weekend to paper piece a free pattern designed by Kelly from Kelbysews called “Love letter.”  The pattern can be downloaded at Sew Mama Sew, and goes together really fast, which is a great thing for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of time but still wants to participate! 

Happy Valentines Day!!!!


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Quilty FunI had a little time to sew today, and happy to say that I am keeping up with the Quilty Fun Sew along!  This is week 8 and we are sewing Quarter square triangles.  Last week I had a nice surprise and won a prize!  Fat Quarters Shop sent me the Thimble Ruler Set by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet!

DSCN0747I’m so happy to have these great thimble templates and will be putting them to use soon.  I’m looking forward to next week and can’t wait to see what we are making next!



 Quarter Square Triangles

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Making Progress

January 11, 2014

This week the Quilty Fun Sew-along is working on week eight and making the tree block from Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnets new book “Quilty Fun”.  This is the perfect project for me.  The blocks go together very fast, are easy to make, and her new book is so much fun to look at!  Most of the fabric I’m using for this project is “Flower Sugar” from Lecien.

Quilty Fun Trees

Next, Kristy at Quiet Play released her first block for the Sew Kitschy Paper Piecing BOM.  This sew-along releases a new block once a month for nine months, so I ought to be able to keep up with this project.  The first month is the easiest block and will get more difficult through the months.  I’ll be using primarily the fabric line ”Flirt” by Sandy Gervais for Moda on this one.  The first block is Sew Retro Kitchen Oven Mitts. “Here’s to looking at you Betty”.

Sew Kitschy Mitts

Last, Aurifil  and Pat Sloan have organized a 2014 Designer of the Month sew-along which is a once a month release as well, so I ought to be able to keep up with this one also!  Starting this project with  Enchant by Natalie Lymer for Riley Blake fabrics.  The block is called Spools.

2014 Aurifil DOM Spools

Off to start something new…..




2014 Wish List

January 5, 2014

DSCN0708 There are so many great projects and sew-alongs showing up online.  I couldn’t possibly  make them all, so  I decided to put together a list of the top 10 projects I want to try to accomplish this year.



Continue with Quilty Fun Sew-Along at Bee in My Bonnet.

2014 Aurifil Designer of the Month Sew-Along.

Sew Kitschy, A Paper-Piecing BOM by Quiet Play.

Participate in a project at San Diego Modern Quilt Guild.

Economy Block Quilt with Red Pepper Quilts

A quilt for my oldest son. HS Triangle.

Continue with My Farmer’s Wife Quilt.


Finish the missed blocks from Big City Girl QAL.

Complete my 2013 Aurifil DOM quilt.

I feel so much better having written this down!