Saturday, February 27, 2021

so many quilts- all off the UFO list!

several Black Fridays ago, i purchased 2 FQ bundles of Good Neighbors fabric from Connecting Threads. the bundles sat for a while {ripening} while i pondered what i'd like to do with them. 

Finally,  i decided on a churn dash block for one FQ bundle, and a 2by4 Block layout for the other. 

(loosely based on the tutorial found here.) there's lots of these 2X4 quilts floating around in SM Land, and i do really like the pattern! 

and above: a few close-up beauty shots of these quilts. the 2x4 is quilted with baptist fans, the churn dash is meandering circles. 

both these quilts are destined for the Guest Room- one for the double bed, one for the twin. as soon as we actually have guests, that is...

i recently finished this 4 patch quilt- it's got a strong coffee vibe going on. i used 2 charm packs of Moda's Bistro, along with some Kona solids and other random, matching prints. 

the 4th quilt shown has been done for a long time, ( i wrote about it here) but i just recently decided on a home for it. it's baby sized, and uses a Moda Bistro charm pack as well. i'm thinking to give these 2 quilts to my son N, and his to-be-born son, due in June. N is a coffee aficionado, buying and roasting his own beans. with a new baby boy on the way, i thought it might be fun for them to have "matching" quilts. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

look what happened at my house!

I've been thinking about getting The Holy Grail Of Quilters Sewing Machines for a couple years now. i've had a Bernina Virtuosa 150 for the past 20 years. she's worked great, and i've always been very happy with her, but i felt it was time to upgrade to something just a bit faster. 

i've always been a die-hard Singer fan, and I've been loyal to my Bernina for nearly as long. But that siren song of 1500 SPM finally won me over!

Enter: the Juki 2010Q!!! {squeeee!!!} 

my patience paid off: i got this for just a *bit* cheaper off of e-bay. (with a walking foot, too) it came on Thursday evening, and after letting the metal and gears warm up overnight (have 'ya seen how cold it is outside?!) i've got it *mostly* figured out. i was expecting a bit of a steeper learning curve (i've heard/read lots of those comments in my research) but the Juki worked great right out of the gate.

although, TBH, i'm still threading it the old-fashioned way. i also heard that the automatic threader is a bit complicated, and requires multiple YouTube videos to figure out. i'll save that for another day....

so last night, after all was working well i moved the Juki up to the sewing room, and finished up this quilt that i had just barely started with my Featherweight at our church sewing group, Scraps to Wraps. 

the lighting is terrible (sorry!) but the quilt is loosely based on Jo's free pattern found here. i cut out the pieces using my Studio2 cutter: 3½" squares and 3½" X 6½" rectangles. (the dark fabrics are multiple greens- a plethora of scrappiness. i think there are 20+ different forest greens. the picture should enlarge if you double click it...)

and can i just say: FIFTEEN HUNDRED STITCHES PER MINUTE? buckle your seatbelt and keep your hands inside the car at all times... FIVE STARS. would definitely recommend!!! i had already started this quilt, as i mentioned, but to finish it up last night was a breeze! it went so quickly. 

i can see that there are some applications where sewing that fast would be unnecessary (or dangerous!) but for general quilting, i think it's going to be fabulous! my friend joked that now i'm going to sew more things. haha! actually, i'm just aiming for sewing/finishing more of the things that i've already started, just faster! 


a bit of yellow to go with the winter-y weather (but watch out for the yellow snow!)

i've finished out my yellow RSCing for February. i'm happy with my (larger than expected) selection of yellow squares. 

14 shoo fly and donut blocks were added to the pink ones from last month. (i still prefer the shoo fly over the donuts, tho...)

i decided to make several of the wonky star blocks, in order to use 1 of each of my different yellows. super happy with how these blocks are coming along!

 i added 7 more waffle blocks- in 2 different "colorways". i have some more quilts that i finished this week (pictures coming soon!) and some other exciting news, too! 

click on over to Angela at soscrappy to see all the other cheery yellows from this wacky weather week!

also: defintely not QUILTY, but we're ready to rent out the little farmhouse in New Albany. the kitchen is done, newly "renovated" and with a fresh coat of sunshiney yellow, it's so charming! 

thought i'd share since it's a happy yellow to go with all our other yellows for February. 

Saturday, February 06, 2021

#full stop AND #fullspeedahead

good morning! just popping in zippy quick before dashing off (hubs and i are heading off for a short weekend get-away! can't even remember the last time we were alone together not at home...) so this will be a short and sweet post. 

i wrote a long post yesterday about the interesting things we found in our rentals as we were cleaning them out. (and it includes a really cool quilt! click over if you're interested...) 

i have my 2 rows done for the Full Stop quilt. as you can see, i chose to use the grey for the punctuation, and i'll be using the COM for the "background". loving this so far. if i can scrounge up an English teacher that i know IRL, i'll be happy to share it with her/him. 

 and finally: A's embroidery quilt is done! she did a FANTASTIC job- i'm so proud of her!the solids are Kona cotton (what else?) 

not gonna lie: i'm pretty sure this is my favorite quilt ever! 

go see what everyone else is up to this yellow Saturday. 

Thursday, February 04, 2021

one man's trash is another man's treasure... OR: Jennifer the Packrat

 our newest venture is as Mr. & Mrs. Landlord. in the past year, we've bought 3 houses (!!!): first was a 3 unit apartment in New Albany, PA. 6 months later was a flipper house on a corner lot in Sayre, PA. (good bones, but still LOTS of work to do on that one before we can even think about renting it...) 

just last month, we bought a cute little farmhouse, also in the tiny PA town of New Albany. it had been vacant for a few years, and although we don't know the story behind why this family home came to be for sale, it is a charming, old-fashioned 3 bedroom home, that had obviously been in the family for many decades. the H family seemed to be a frugal, thrifty, sensible and somewhat sentimental family. we found lots of interesting stuff- some of which i thought it would be interesting to share the pictures and story of here... (i'll apologize in advance; this is a long and picture heavy post.)

i've never been one of those trendy and popular bloggers that all the "cool folks" click to first thing in the morning as they sip their coffee, and no one has ever called me for fashion advice, either. BUT: you could say that i have a decorating style that is a combination of a farmhousey/industrial/re-purposing  kind of vibe. (that is, if you were being polite. if you weren't, you might just say that i have a bunch of old junk around. haha. i may have heard *certain* members of my family mutter just those words...)

we closed on the house in NA early January. this house was not nearly so full of junk as the other houses, so we only needed a 24 yd. dumpster this time. there were quite a few treasures to be discovered, as well. second order of business: painting over the all the electric sea foam green in the upstairs. we chose a soothing grey... 

it was all hands on deck for this rental project. A & B have improved in their painting skills leaps and bounds this past month! we are nearing the end of all the painting at last.

while Dave was busy with other house projects, like updating the wiring, insulating the attic to R30, fixing the roof leak damage in the breakfast nook, moving the gas stove into the kitchen, installing new lighting in many of the rooms, fixing the sagging porch (or at least temporarily until spring), putting new vinyl flooring down in the breakfast nook and fixing the bathroom floor and toilet, the girls and I were busy using about 9 gallons of paint, and hundreds of yards of painters tape. 

we painted walls, ceiling, trim, doors, steps and floors. 

and now, in no particular order, are the cool/interesting/vintage/useful stuff that we found, gathered and brought back home to be incorporated into our own family life and memories: 

this glass with the chickadee is a fun find, i think. especially since a chickadee is my favorite little bird, and their whistle is our family whistle. (much better than shouting: "HEY CHILD OF MINE THAT IS TWO AISLES OVER IN THE GROCERY STORE WOULD YOU PLEASE GRAB A GALLON OF MILK") 

this is a song sheet (it's really hard to read even in real life) that's obviously intended for printing use. it's aluminum. part of the top is cut off, and has some sort of damage. it was probably used for patching something or other around the house. we found it in the basement. i don't think it's a printing sheet: the letters and notes are indented, rather than raised. but it's still pretty interesting. 

more cool printing/lead stuff we found: two different fonts of printers letters. i seem to be the only one fascinated with these, however. the girls both thought the letters were dirty AND boring. 

and that was even after i was so excited to show them (with samples!) where the saying comes from "mind your Ps and Qs". 

for now these letters are in a small wooden box, but i am considering selling them on etsy or e-bay. even at $1/each, they would bring a nice little sum. 

this cupboard is in the cellar. it's still there; we've not carried it upstairs yet. it seems not too the worse for wear for being relegated unceremoniously (i'm imagining) to the bowels of the house. our guess is that although it was useful, and relatively well made, it fell out of favor and fashion. Harry (a name we gave the Man of the House) might have said "Doris! I'm tired of that old thing! Let's put it in the basement for my tools and other junk!" so, there it has sat until Mrs. Landlord came along and said "Dave! Look at this lovely cabinet i found in the cellar! Let's take it home to our house!" 

and here we have a car seat! these are from back in the day (waaaay back in the day) when life was slower, cars were bigger, and children were born of much hardier stock. this "car seat" was hooked over the front seat of the family boat car, and little Johnny would sit contentedly and gaze out the window at the passing cows and buttercups. perhaps he would also quietly play with the colorful beads so helpfully strung across the front. 

anyone who knows me In Real Life will be relieved to know that this car seat did not come home with us. you can see that here it's hung over the side of the dumpster. after snapping this picture, i closed my eyes and threw it in. 

in all 3 of the houses we've found various wooden boxes and metal crates. these are from back in the day when things were well made. no need to recycle when you can just re-purpose! any that are in good shape come home with me. we clean and scrub them up, and i enjoy finding just the right "new" use for them.  

the above box holds the baby toys. it's sturdy, and baby A is at the age where she likes to choose her own toys, and pull herself up to stand on the box. 

this wire crate perfectly holds 2 stacks of the girls' books on the schoolroom table. (we do try to be neat and tidy, but sometimes it's just so hard!) the wooden wrench box was from the apartments, which used to be a hardware store. it's great for lots of our school supplies. 

so far i seem to be the only one who likes this little vignette at the bottom of the stairs. although the drawer unit Dave bought at the thrift store, the other things are from the houses. maybe next year i'll put little nativities in the bottom desk unit. or maybe it would be useful in the sewing room. i'm still pondering... 

most of my visitors will know this as a quilt blog, with some gardening and grandchildren occasionally thrown in for good measure. so, imagine my surprise when A ever so casually mentioned that they had found a quilt in the attic! 

the quilt was quite heavily soiled; a more impartial person would have thrown it away instead of putting it in the attic to begin with. i'm imagining, however, that it was a quilt made or given by a member of the H family, and therefor had much more value than can be found in just the thread and material. (if you double click on the pictures, they'll supersize, if you're interested in seeing details) 

i left the quilt in the snow for 3 days. then 4+ rinses in the laundry room sink. after that, i put it in the washing machine. after another 6+ rounds in the rinse cycle, i felt it was clean enough to run the wash cycle. 3 times washed, with a double rinse, and finally it's clean! 

this quilt is very well made (after all, what i put it through was not for the faint of heart. all those go rounds with the water and washer were quite strenuous!) and it came through relatively well. the edges are a bit frayed, and some of the fabric has disintegrated, but overall i'm happy with this unexpected treasure. the center and salvageable part of the quilt is about 50" square, and already i'm thinking of what i can do to get a few more decades of use out of this quilt. (aside from sleeping under it, of course!) 

i've written about this ladder before, and i am really loving having all our snuggly quilts neatly at hand for reading, watching TV or just winter napping. i found the ladder in the garage at the Sayre house, and after a bit of vigorous scrubbing, it's just what i wanted. 

this M&Ms tin is not antique, nor even vintage, but it's still useful. last week B filled it with homemade peanut butter cookies, so it's a keeper in my book. 

if the bottom ever drops out of the stock market, or we find ourselves truly destitute, i guess we could take up cobbling. 

with adult and child size shoe forms that fit the stand, we could always learn how to fix our shoes when they wear out... i have no plan or re-purpose for these cast iron gems, so i'll have to ponder that for awhile as well. (i'm thinking that i should hide that stand, tho. it looks like it could be lethal in the hands of the grandsons)

this interesting tri-set of pots made the trip home with us as well. as best as i can tell Super Maid cookware was sold door-to-door, and was made in Switzerland. it was popular with housewives in the 1930s. i think the girls found this set in the attic. it's interesting because all 3 pots nest together quite nicely. i feel like they would work really well on a cook stove (wood fired) rather than our modern cook tops. there is a definite art to preparing dinner in numerous pots on a cook stove, all vying for the hot spot. it takes a bit of talent to have all the components of your meal done at the same time. ( i learned to cook and can on a wood stove, so i could immediately see the benefit of having pots that can nestle closely together.) also, though it's hard to see from the picture, the handle is interchangeable between each part of the pots. interesting and handy, too! the handle just lifts right off, and slides down into whichever pot you want to lift next. 

perhaps this useful set of cookware was relegated to the attic, to save it from being melted down for the war effort during one of the WWII scrap drives. we'll never know... 

whew! that's alot of pictures! and a lot of junk interesting stuff! not every interesting thing made it home with us, or had its picture taken. there were, as is to be expected, lots of old books. history, fiction, school books and farm books were mostly what we found. a few vintage games, an old leather baseball mitt and the insides of a grandfather clock bear mentioning. down in the cellar is an old (and i mean old) refrigerator. i have it on good authority that it's probably 80+ years old. the compressor is located on the bottom of the fridge, and the aluminum ice trays are still in the small top "freezer" compartment. since the basement has no outside access, and i'm not up to the task of helping to carry that old behemoth up the steps, it's likely that it will stay in the cellar for posterity. 

and the kitchen: i never mentioned the kitchen. maybe i'll share pictures another day. we've given the kitchen a face lift, and it's a charming, cute and appealing room, painted a bright and cheery yellow. the (metal) cabinets are old-fashioned, and the sink is an enamel double drainboard delight. ( i wish i had it in my kitchen). after looking at so many different houses over the last year, i chuckle to myself when i say charming, cute and appealing. that's really just realtor-speak for The Kitchen Is So Out Of Date That It's Come Back Around To Being In Style Again. 

and: are you still reading? thanks! i haven't mentioned on my blog, but Grandchild #6 will be making an appearance in early June. son N, along with wife P are expecting a baby! this little one will join big sister E (4). but here's what i think i forgot to tell most people, even the ones i know in real life: this Baby Bean is a BOY! so now i see a blue quilt in my future- Grammy needs to get busy making a Welcome To The World Quilt for our newest little bundle!


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