Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Called Christmas!

Just had to post this video here. I love popular Christian music with a strong beat. This is fun and so appropriate for the season! Enjoy and share!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Apron Strings

This cute apron is from Cindy Taylor Oates' Retro Aprons booklet. It goes together fast and looks fabulous! This is the fourth one I have made of that style. This one is going to our favorite waitress at a local Chinese restaurant. Brianna loves to cook and she keeps asking us if we are coming in on the 18th. She said she is making cookies for us.

I am making the rest of the wait staff Christmas pillowcases and one for the owner's daughter, too. You'd think I would have enough fabric in my stash but I just might have to go get some more, always a good excuse to go to the fabric store!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Janome Cover ProCP 1000

Cool machine! Check out Janome's website for the details on the latest model with new design features and included accessories (extension table, clearview foot, and wide elastic applicator foot).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Easy Peasy!

When I told DDIL that I made Kool Aid Play Dough for Experience 4-H at the farmers' market on Oct. 3rd. She said she loved playing with play dough but when her mom made it, her sister always got the purple. I just had to make her some grape Kool Aid Play Dough and a pretty vinyl lined bag to put it it in. She and her niece, (her sis's daughter) can play with it. She is visiting this weekend so it is all ready to go home with her.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Practical and Pretty

I have been meaning to do this project for a long time. This week, the little ironing board it going on a retreat with 80+ 4-H teens and I decided the job just had to be done.

My little ironing board came with a less than adequate foam pad and cover. I saved some foam padded Teflon ironing board covers when we got new covers for the ironing boards at the county extension with the idea one might recycle nicely on the little board.

I traced my ironing board on the Teflon and added 1 1/2 inches all the way around. I centered the original foam pad on the foam side and secured it with zigzag stitching. The old cover just barely fit to keep the new pad in place.

Next, I created a new cotton cover that is reversible and cinched it on tightly. Now, I have beautiful and secure cover that will have fun at camp with the kids. I just love having attractive ironing board covers. They make me smile!

Next project with be a tote bag for the ironing board. I wonder when I will get around to that?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Quilt for the Fall Online Quilt Festival

I finished this quilt in May for my Mom and with everything going on with my parents moving and a new grandbaby this summer, I haven't finished the quilt I started in August. Since the quilt was late for Mother's Day, I was thinking about giving it to her on her birthday this month. Well, she is moving next weekend and to save her having to pack the quilt, it is now a house warming gift. I will give it to her in early November.

The quilt was a long time in the planning stages. I found two sets of 6 fat quarters a few years back when I was in grad school. The colors are my Mom's favorite and she has decorated her new house around them.

I purchased the fat quarters with the
Yellow Brick Road quilt pattern. I really thought I would make that quilt but the design didn't seem to settle well with me for my Mom. The rail fence design spoke to me and I completed the top with very few scraps remaining from the fat quarters.

If you want to see the quilting details, check out my entry for May 2009. And if you want to see why I haven't didn't get a quilt made this summer, check out June and July entries on the 4-H quilting camps. The kids deserve an look for this online quilt festival.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2009 Portland TOGA

We had a great TOGA in Portland on Saturday. Mike and Mary Rust were fantastic hosts. The location at Quilting Delights in Clackamas, OR was perfect and the weather cooperated, no rain! What fun seeing everyone and their lovely machines.

Thanks to all who made lunch and all the snacks absolutely delicious. Wish I had a few more hours to spend with everyone and didn't have to leave before dinner but I had a great time visiting with my kids, too. Check out more pictures in my
Flickr album.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Combined Boye Needle Charts

Kevin Pinkerton of Treadle On has just finished a wonderful resource for antique sewing machine collectors. With the help of Boye Needle Case owners, he has made a data base of the information on the the ingenious needle display. The pdf version of his charts are available for download in the right side bar of this blog and at Kevin's online album sites:

Many thanks to Kevin and contributing Treadle On members for a wonderful resource.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pincushions for the Sew Green Fleet

Last year, at our Sew Green activity at Walla Walla's farmers' market, I only had one pincushion among three machines. This year, each machine will have a pincushion plus one for the filling station.

The brightly colored pincushion at the top of the photo was made for me by Alyce Suzanne
on the treadle owners list. She very graciously made me one when my exchange partner failed to come through. Her pincushion is bright and cheery. The pincushion is weighted nicely as it is filled with poly pellets.

The pincushion on the left is made from a Birthday Bash block. I made too many for the exchange so I have to figure out where to use them up. It's a little wimpy. I didn't stuff it enough.

The remaining two are from upholstery samples. In March, my 4-H Super Saturday class was in the home ec. room at the middle school at the end of the block. The teacher had tons of boxes of fabric swatch books. She let me and the other volunteers in my class take as many sample books as we wanted. What fun and a great reward for our busy 2 hour session.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Coming Attractions

I have been busy making some thank you gifts. Three special people who have blessed me in the last year deserve a little gift. All three will be a TOGA so I made the gifts all alike. ;

If you need a seasonal grocery tote like the ones pictured, you can download a tutorial at the line below:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Portland TOGA: Sneak Peeks

The Treadle On treadle owners are having a gathering in Portland, OR, on October 10th. I am working on some quick projects to share and samples of what vintage attachments can do. My first project is a thread snips basket. This is a handy little scrap catcher for thread trimmings. The shape is reminiscent of a style of ash tray from the 60's and 70's. The tutorial for the project was up at another blog but it appears to have been taken down.

The basket is made from 2 squares of fabric and Pellon Fleece or Warm and Natural Cotton Batting. I used a 12 inch squares as a foundation for my strip piecing, then I trimmed up to 11 inches.

If you want to know how to make this handy little basket, you are going to have to come to TOGA in Portland.

Note: I finally found my bookmark for the tutorial. The freebie had to come down. There was a copyright infringement. The project has another name: Fabric Catch All from Liberty Weaver by Diane Bachman in Leola, PA.

If you want to try a slightly different version of the basket that is free, check out this one:

It is a free download, made from a 12 inch quilt block featuring small blocks in each corner instead of tacking the corner down with a button, and the dart on the side is angled differently to form a straight corner instead.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pre-wash or Not?

I generally pre-wash all my fabrics before I use them in a project. Above you see a pillowcase made from a Connecting Threads kit last fall and the one I completed recently. I pre-washed the fabrics in the rose and green version. Since they shifted some in the process, I had to square up and trim off the serged edges. As you can see, there was a considerable amount lost to the prep process.

I will take measurements and see what happens to the more recent pillowcase made from a Connecting Threads kit. Stay tuned.

Note: Test results are in. I washed and dried the pillowcase with a load of laundry. There was no shrinkage. The pillowcase was and is 30 inches long and 21.75 inches wide.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I splurged last week and bought kits from Fabric Depot and Connecting Threads. The kits from Connecting Threads arrived on Tuesday. I should have been cleaning house but the lovely fabric was too tempting. I made up one of the pillowcases. The fabric is just wonderful!! It is going to be hard to be satisfied with fabric from the local chain store!

he pillowcase is from the Backyard Friends kit and it is pictured with some pins that I wore in the '60's and a mug a friend gave me in college.

Connecting Threads sent enough that I could interchange the brown with the lime green. The green is now the narrow trim for both versions and I have a pillowcase reminiscent of my favorite colors in high school along with my favorite flower. I think this is going to be mine. I am always giving away the pillowcases that I make but not this one.

Midori, the Japanese New Home head in my Singer cabinet, did the honors. She has to earn her keep if she lives on the main floor. I wanted to enter her in the Sustainable Living recycling contest on Saturday but DH won't be home to help me take her down to the farmers' market to display her. :(

If you are looking for instructions for the pillowcase, you will find a great tutorial for the same method in the Connecting Threads kit at With Heart and Hands. It is known as the magic or burrito style/technique. The seam for the band and accent strip are encased inside the band and then French seams are use to finish the rest. If you don't have a serger or just like professional looking construction methods, this is for you.

The band is cut 1/4 yard wide, the narrow trim is 1.5 inches wide, and the main body of the pillow case is 3/4 yard. I used 1/8 seams inside the French seams and 1/4 inch to encase them. Also, the seam allowance inside the band is 1/4 inch. I like to attach my narrow trim to the front side of the main body with a 1/8 inch seam first, then I fold the band to quarter mark it. I use the quarter marks to match the band when I attach it to the body with the attached narrow trim. Matching the quarter folds and pinning carefully prevents ripples and shifting.

Instructions for a pillowcase with serger finished seams can be found in the Tutorial Links in the right side bar of this blog. Have fun sewing and remember, pillowcases don't have to match your sheets. Make them for holidays, in honor of personal special occasions, and change them to suit your whims.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Lessons from the New Home 443

The 5 dollar lesson machine, a Janome 443 straight stitch machine with drop feed, a cool bobbin winder, and a cord and plug to the light was a pesky little beast. I thought after I got the machine cleaned up and lubricated, it would treadle nicely. Well, it did, silently and smoothly. BUT, it would not pick up the bobbin thread easily and if it did, it made birds' nests with the needle thread as if there were no tension on it. The tension worked perfectly, though.

Well, I went over to Yahoo on the Vintage Japanese list and asked what was the problem. Bill Holman suspected a bent cushion spring. Well, he was right but I never succeeded in getting both screws loose to change the cushion spring. Even after Bill suggested swiveling the cushion spring to help turn the screw. But, after swiveling the cushion spring out twice, I made two attempts to reshape it. On the second try, it was a good fit and the machine is now back together and sewing beautifully!! Considering the time I have in on this machine, it has become very pricey. ;)

I will treadle it for awhile in the Singer cabinet with a borrowed bobbin case. I might even make a quilt top on it. Since the machine is short shank side clamper, it will use common feet and accessories, then I will bring it down to the Portland TOGA where it goes to Emily if she can supply the correct bobbin case and a Singer cabinet.

Now, a name for this pleasant stitching machine. Since the machine is a Japanese New Home, two tone green in color, and now a "green" environmentally friendly treadler, she is Midori (Japanese in origin and meaning green).

Hmm, Midori Ito was a figure skater. Maybe this machine will become a graceful free motion quilter. But probably not in my house. But just to show you I can free motion, I free handed my name on a test strip of fabric I used for testing the stitch quality. I must admit, Midori is a charmer and she will be hard to give up.

The $5 Lesson Machine

On Saturday, DH and I went on an excursion down into eastern Oregon to ride the Wallowa Union Railroad tourist train. Of course I had to work in a junk store, yard sale, and antique store to check for machines. However, I don't seem blessed with the knack of finding machines easily so it becomes work, especially when it is over 100 degrees in the afternoon sun.

Driving through Imbler, OR. We spotted a church yard sale. It was pretty late in the day and there was an over abundance of clothing but I had hopes there was a SM that I could make into a hand crank for one of he 4-H families that would like one for their 6 year old.

Well, towards the end of my perusing, I was surprised to find a two-tone green Janome Streamliner model. I just recently converted one to a hand crank and it made a lovely one so I was excited. A guy overseeing the sale apologized for no foot controller but I just brushed it off and checked it out. It had heavy splotches of dust in places but it did turn reluctantly and the finish looked like it would clean up without any evidence of its past. Without the missing FC and the bobbin case (a pretty standard class 15), I figured I would offer 5 dollars. The guy was pleased and I carried my prize back to the car.

My efforts to locate another SM were not rewarded. I stopped in an antique store in LaGrande. I was pleased to find an older desk-top Boston pencil sharpener. DS wants one. This one is in excellent shape. The suction grip is still very strong and the blades are sharp. He will be pleased. For 8 dollars, it was only one third the cost of a new table-top model.

When I paid for the pencil sharpener, I asked the lady if she had any SM's. She said no but the thrift store a couple blocks over had just gotten one in. She described a Lotus or Singer Genie from the sounds of the case and warned me the shop closed in 20 minutes. We headed over and were disappointed to find that they had closed early. The store was locked and the sign in the window said closed but the hours on annother on the door indicated they should be open. Well, that was a bit of a downer to say the least.

On that note, we called it a day, got some gas and headed home. Feeling still a bit sorry for myself, we ate dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Milton-Freewater, OR, on our way into Walla Walla.

Well, now you want to know what the 5 dollar lesson is? Check the clutch knob on the handwheel!!! I easily noticed the motor mount but didn't even bother really looking at the handwheel, I just turned it. The shaft is totally different. I will take some pictures later. To say the least, I have a very nice class 15 head that will probably make a very nice free motion quilter and it has a nice little cord and plug that will work the light. I am intending on putting the head in my Singer cabinet for a bit and then maybe I will bring it down to the Portland TOGA. If I don't find a class 15 bobbin case, the person who wants it will have to supply it. All of my orphan cases have found very nice new homes. Pun intended because I have a couple of New Home Janome machines in the fleet. ;)

Oh, now my Sew Green activity needs to be edited. I need to add specific info on indicators for a standard Singer type shaft.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Super Quilt Camp in SE Washington!

(Click on pictures for a larger image)

Great kids, great parents and volunteers, and great quilts! We had a wonderful camp setting sewing at the fairgrounds. The building is an ideal facility in a beautiful location. What a super spot for the last camp of the season!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Safety Grip Handles for Rotary Cutting Rulers

We had an accident in quilting camp. One of the adults (I don't allow the kids to use the rotary cutters) sliced a portion of skin off her finger while cutting fabric for the kids' quilts.

The Gypsy Quilter has been offering safety suction grip handles for rotary cutting rulers:

These are merely dent pullers (the dual suction handle is also sold as a shower grip handle). You will find them for great prices at places like Harbor Freight and similar tool outlets. The whole set will be under 25 dollars.

Buy some for your friends. ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quilts from 9th Annual 4-H Quilt Camp

(Click on images for a larger view.)

After a few challenging obstacles, 3 campers who missed a day of camp, and one mishap with the rotary cutter, we finished the week with 9 quilts and one quilt top to be completed later in the summer with one of the volunteers (aka the camper's 4-H leader). It is so rewarding for the volunteers, parents, and camp participants to see the results of their hard work and perseverance. A big thank you for all who helped make this year's camp a huge success. Without the helpful hands of parents and volunteers and the donated space at the local Catholic school, we would not be able to run this special program.

If you would like to make the pillowcase, you will find the instructions online:

For a CD including the complete program guide for the half-day camp program see the link below for details:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mom's Quilt

My recliner is modeling another quilt. This one is for my mom. I have been intending to make her one since I found 2 sets of 6 fat quarters in her favorite colors several years ago when I was in grad school. At the same time, I picked up the pattern, Yellow Brick Road. But having second thoughts about the scrappy look, I decided on a slight variation of the traditional Rail Fence pattern.

In an effort to develop my quilting skills, I worked on creating a new quilting pattern of free form flowers, loops, and leaves over the blocks. My border has vines of leaves and a flower in the center and each corner. You can see I cheated a bit and did some embellishing of the inside border with my domestic sewing machine. ;) (Click on pictures to enlarge for detail.)
Now to get a special signature block made on the embroidery machine. If I don't dedicate the quilt to her, my mom will be asking me in two months if she can give it to someone. She has done that with other things I have made for her. Not that I mind, because I generally make small, practical gifts like placemats and shopping bags.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Online Quilt Show

Amy @ Park City Girl is having an online quilt show. Entries are favorite quilts of the contestants. Well, mine is a repeat because this quilt is a favorite. I always wanted to make a quilt from the scraps left from my kids' summer jams and finally, I did it! Here is the Treadle On Mystery Quilt for 2009. The pattern was perfect for my scraps and I had fun making the quilt; so many special memories were sewn into the quilt. Thanks for letting me share!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Signature Blocks and Starch

Last spring, I participated in a pinwheel block exchange. We were instructed to starch our fabrics before we constructed our blocks. I followed the instructions but had a nagging feeling that starch may prevent the ink from penetrating the fibers of the fabric. Today, I ran a little test. I starched one sample twice with spray starch and pressed it flat. The other was pressed and signed. On each sample I used the same 4 pens, a Sakura Pigma Micron Pen, an Identi-pen, an Uni-ball Signo (a water resistant ink for check signing), and a Zig Ball Pen. After writing, I heat set the ink for 10 plus seconds and then ran the sample under hot running water in a strainer basket but used no laundry products.

As you can see, the starch does keep the ink from penetrating the fibers deeply. The Micron Pen and the Identi-pen did the best in the test so far. Now, I wonder what laundry products will do to the samples.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sneak Peek

Shhh, don't tell, but I am posting a picture of a quilt I finished for the Treadle On 2009 mystery quilt event. The Mystery Quilt Show won't begin until next week and I used a Janome Jem Gold to construct the top because I made all the kids' clothes on a Janome New Home my DH bought me in 1978 when my T&S Singer 758 gave out when it was less than 5 years old. ;)

The quilt is made from the Hawaiian fabrics purchased for shorts my kids wore in the 80's and 90's (well, one fabric was the apron my daughter made for 4-H). It brings back many memories of happy summers including a week spent on the beach and then another in Southern CA at Disneyland and Sea World.

Well, just for the record, the link to the Treadle On Mystery Quilt Show was posted Monday night (April 6, not April 15 as I thought it would be), so if you want to see the rest of the quilts, visit Olde Treadleonia:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Last Blast of Winter

I have always said that the weather can change in a blink of an eye in Walla Walla. Last night, I was on a roll. I stayed up until 4 am hand stitching the binding down on a quilt. Sometime after 2 am, I put a load of laundry in the dryer. Our basement felt cold and damp - colder than it was when I put the load in to wash; like a winter fog had just rolled in. When I returned upstairs, I looked out the window in our living room from where I was curled up with the quilt over my lap, no sign of fog.

But soon a heavy slushy rain came pelting down. It was almost hail but not quite. It splattered and started to cover the ground. I stood and watched and all of a sudden, a huge thunder clap broke through the sound of the pelting rain and lightening lit up the sky followed by a sound that could have been a jet breaking through the sound barrier. The sound was so low and close, I almost expected to hear a crash but only silence came and snow fell heavily.

By the time I went to bed, there was probably over an inch of fresh heavy snow. When I woke up to blue skies at 8 am, it looked like there had been about 3 inches. But did the sun last? No! It is now snowing heavily again. There is always a last blast of winter at the end of February in our valley. It brings a cruel halt to the signs of spring and often surprisingly warm days.

And the quilt? The binding is on. I will do a label for it after it is washed. The batting is cotton, I like to see how the shrinkage shows up the quilting.

This quilt top was made on my Sweet 99, Minnie, a hand crank, on Christmas Day. We didn't get to be with family due to snow. I had to celebrate the season by making a Christmas quilt. And, I love sewing on hand crank sewing machines. There is just something so relaxing about the process. I forgot my disappointment over Christmas with every turn my hand made to stitch the quilt.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Postcard Perfect

Sometimes the right inspiration just happens. Our niece is attending a Journey with Christ retreat. We were asked to send her a card or letter with a special message.

Robin loves Irish dancing, so I spent an afternoon googling for an Irish blessing I could use on a quilted postcard. I found the perfect one and then found a Celtic Sun embroidery design with the symbol of the Trinity looped four times inside. Since St. Patrick's Day fabric is in for the season, fabric selection was easy! Now to get it in the mail. Trips to the PO are not my favorite thing to do.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sew Funny

Frank & Ernest

January, '09, Reader's Digest
In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it is running.
Attributed to: Jeff Bezos, owner of and Blue Origin

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First Quilt for First Grandbaby

This quilt is a first - first project made on the Davis Vertical Feed treadle (Victoria), first quilt quilted on the HandiQuilter 16, and first quilt finished for our first grandbaby to arrive in June!

Originally, I intended to quilt the top on a friend's machine on a quilting carriage and frame. I tested the set up and loved it!! I decided that a HandiQuilter 16 with their Portable Professional Table was the perfect quilting machine and frame for my needs and space.

I spent about three weeks bonding with my HQ16 and then loaded the baby quilt on the frame. Being a newbie, I didn't do everything just right. Despite the fact the borders were fine when I started quilting, I found I had too much fabric to ease in when I attempted to do them last (after watching Kim Brunner's video, I now know what my error was).

I took out the quilting in the borders and what looks like ruler-work on the HQ16 was actually achieved with individual arcs of freezer paper that I arranged repeatedly to create the rows of scallops. The batting is Soft and Bright by the Warm Company. It allowed me to use a hot iron to position the same seven waxed freezer paper templates on the quilt border. I stitched with a regular sewing machine, following the edge of the freezer paper template. (Note: Don't attempt to iron freezer paper templates with just any batting. You must test the batting between layers of your fabric, first. I have used cotton batting and Soft and Bright with great success for this method of marking a quilt.)
Now to get a label made for the quilt, a job for the Janome MC10K v. 3.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Yes, I am late but we haven't celebrated Christmas with our family, yet! The snow kept us from traveling this year, so I have had a little more time to get my projects done. I just put a label on a quilt that I started in '01 or '02. I finished the top promptly but the back was not completed until I was in grad school. I finally quilted the project in October of '08 and designed the label soon after but I just finished stitching it down. I need someone to hold up the quilt so I can get some pictures but I thought you would like to see that I really do use a modern wonder once in a while. ;)

Just in case you are wondering, I make a quilt block with my embroidered design. Then I place the block face down on the fusible side of the lightest non-woven interfacing I can buy. I stitch all the way around the block with a short stitch length and trim the seam allowance with pinking shears. I slit the middle of the interfacing so I can pull the block through to turn it right side out. I carefully pull the block through the slit and push out the edges and corners. Then I press the block, interfacing side down, on a Teflon pressing sheet or a piece of paper from paper-backed fusible web. Make sure you remember to use the pressing sheet or the shiny side up on the paper backing. You don't want your quilt label stuck to the ironing board (or your iron)!!

Next, I place my block on the back of my quilt. I use Warm and Natural or Soft and Bright batting by the Warm Company. Even though Soft and Bright is polyester batting, I can press my label on the back of my quilt to baste it in place without damaging the polyester fibers. Then I hand stitch the label in place in three places, each ditch of the seam and the edge. I start on the inside seam and work my way out. The label is secure and looks so cool! Now to get two more quilts done for the other two kids and their spouses. But first to get two tops quilted for the first grandchild to arrive in June.