Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vintage sewing machine

The other day on TQS (The Quilt Show) Bridget posted a picture of a vintage sewing machine cabinet and she indicated that there was no room to have it open.  Her post inspired me to post pictures of my little beauty. The Wilcox and Gibbs that I have open in my living room is a family heirloom that dates back to a great-grandmother.  I could not bear to leave it closed up in its cabinet.  My little Wilcox and Gibbs actually does sew.  My husband fiddled with it and with a little digging on the internet, we found out how to thread the machine.  I quilted a set of placemats on this machine. It does a chain stitch and it does not have a bobbin.  If anyone is interested, there is a little history about this machine that dates back to the 1800's at this website Wilcox and Gibbs.  When people do notice the machine, it becomes quite the conversation piece.  This is the second house that I have had the machine open and on display.  In the other house it was in the foyer.  The dresser scarf protects the cabinet, but it also covers the space left for the missing drawer.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We are ready for the road

I knew it would not take long before we had another RV.  The reason for having an RV is to have additional sleeping room in the event that we were to have company requiring a place to sleep.  With all of our hobbies and interests, and as often as we have overnight guests, it makes more sense to use the house for the more necessary purposes.  We have been on the outlook for a replacement for the RV that we sold last summer, and one finally became available that seemed to be just the right fit for what we thought we needed.  The trailer is only 15 feet long, which means that we will have no problem keeping our current truck.  The 2007 Aljo is in excellent shape and even still smells like a brand new trailer when you open the cupboards.  It has a nice little kitchen area that includes an oven, and the bathroom has a shower.  We have no immediate plans to take it out on the road, but we do have it pretty much accessorized already because we had all the extras that we packed away from the other RV.

I may just try baking a cake in the trailer oven today just to make sure that it bakes good.  The lady who sold it to us never used the cook top or the oven... on the road she was strictly microwave. 

On another front, I have completed my One Block Wonder quilt top.  I have no clue what type of design I will use to quilt it, but it is a milestone when you complete a top.  The appliqued flowers are at the bottom because I felt they would be more visible there when on a bed.  The top is folded over in the photo because my friends were not going to stand on chairs to hold it for me to take the picture.  The pictures I took with it laying on the bed did not show the whole top very well.

 I cannot put a quilt on the bed without Boston knowing a picture is about to happen... even if her face doesn't show.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring is here

I have been sitting in my chair with the window next to me open... the aroma from the backyard is amazingly springlike.  I went out to take some pictures of the abundance of bluebonnets and three of my kitties had to see what I was doing out in their playground.  Now all of these bluebonnets are directly off my back steps.  Last year we didn't have any because of the drought, but they are here in abundance this year.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: BlueBonnet Kitties
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Friday, March 19, 2010


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Vicksburg Road Trip
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thread storage

I am working on a couple different projects, like I normally am all the time, but I don't want to show my OBW again until there is significant progress since the last time I showed it.  The main body of the One Block Wonder is sewn into strips, but now the border has to be added. No new picture of that today.

My next topic, thread storage, was inspired by a post on another blog.  It reminded me of the process we went through to get my thread closet built.  I used to have an embroidery business, and that was all about thread.  I had hundreds of spools of thread when I first started, then started adding more and more cones of thread.  It is a good idea to keep your thread in the dark to protect it from light exposure, and covered to keep the dust off. There is actually a big florescent light in the ceiling above the closet so matching colors is real easy.
My handy husband went to Home Depot and bought a pre-hung closet door, built a simple frame to set it in and added adjustable shelves. He put together a document with the plans way back when he first built it.  I can email a copy if you send me a request.
You would not have to build a closet like this, but you could simply attach the racks to the back of an existing closet door in your sewing room.  The shelves came in pretty handy for my cones as the racks were meant for the smaller spools, but the racks on the door makes access super easy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Old Wooden Spools

About a month ago I went shopping at Ikea, and it seems I always come home with way more than I need to.  It is just that they have so many neat things there, I keep thinking as I spot things walking through the store... I know I can find something to use that for... no matter what it might be.  Actually, one good thing is I do talk myself out of alot of things. Well, I saw this square vase that was fairly heavy and I really don't need a new vase, but this one really could end up being used for something neat... I never had a square one before.  So I bought it.  This past Monday I happened upon a bag of small wooden spools of thread in a box that someone dropped off at church for our quilt group.  You can't use the thread when it is that old, but the spools can inspire new creations.  I have a necklace made from some old spools, and I know there could be other things you can make with them, so I decided I would give them a new home in my sewing room.  I got home and looked at the bag of spools and I'm thinking it looked like about the right quantity to fit in my square vase.  So now I have an appropriate decorative accessory for my sewing room, at least until I find something else I might want to use the spools for.

I am always finding something new to dabble in.  I don't know what made me think of the beads that I remember making when I was back in elementary school.  Yes, I probably have made them a few times with my kids, but that was also a long time ago.  Anyhow I cut up some magazines and made these tube beads that end up in a variety of sizes.  I went into my craft stash and found some beads to go with them and started slipping them on some gingham ribbon I had.  I could not believe how nice it turned out.  Now it isn't something I'm going to wear with a fancy dress, but with jeans and a shirt, this necklace can look pretty cool.  It has a simple bead closure.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

OBW and Managing Your Waste

It has been a while since I posted here... but I want to tell you, it's been busy, busy, busy.  I started working at sewing the strips together for my One Block Wonder.  The OBW has been a long and tedious process.  Once I take those colorful blocks out of the border... this is going to be the layout.

I made a brilliant discovery yesterday when I was emptying my trash boxes that I have in my sewing room.  I like to have a trash receptacle wherever I am working.  Nothing worse than having a mess piled up because the trash bin is too far away.  The Cheerios we buy at Sam's comes in a really big, sturdy box.  If you fold the flaps in and put a plastic bag inside, it makes a pretty fast and easy trash basket.  Trouble is the plastic bag falls in.  I looked at it yesterday and a light bulb turned on.  Now I typically staple the flaps to the inside, so I unstapled the two side flaps and with them sticking up, I'm thinking these were perfect handles to hold the plastic bag, but what could I do to keep those flaps sticking up so the bag handles don't come off.  Velcro does the trick very nicely.  I took little squares of Velcro and put it on the flaps.  Now when you stick the Velcro square on, leave the hook side stuck to the loop side and peel the tape off, then when you turn the flap down it is perfectly aligned.  Slip the handles of the plastic bag over the flaps and fold the flaps down so they are Velcroed in place.  Plastic bag will not fall in anymore... how cool is that!