Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yard Art Complete.

Okay, so I sanded the bowling ball and then I filled the finger holes with some of the adhesive that I used to glue the glass gems on.  I had read that one person filled the finger holes with cement but I think the caulk is fine.  I let the caulk dry for 36 hours and then I leveled the caulked holes.

On Saturday, I painted the bowling ball silver.  It's hard to spray paint in the wind.  hehehe
I let it dry for overnight.

On Sunday I glued on all the glass gems covering every bit I could.  I was surprised how long this process took because I had to let each section dry for about an hour before I could move the ball and do a new section.  I worked on this from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

This is the finished piece of yard art in my gazing ball holder.

This one is done and that ugly bowling ball looks pretty in the garden now.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Falling In Love With Civil War Quilts and Reproduction Fabric

     I just bought my first book on Civil War quilts by Kathleen Turner "Civil War Sewing Circle."  Looking forward to making the Union Stars Quilt in this book.

  Link to the Amazon listing for the book is here.

  I'm going to start collecting my fabrics for this quilt.  I saw one on Google done in red, white, and blue.  It was very, very, very pretty.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I'm Working On Yard Art

    This project will probably take me about a week to finish.  Tonight I'm sanding a bowling ball.  I'm preparing to make it into yard art.  This is a project that has been waiting patiently for 7 years.  It's time to get it done.

   Back Story:

   When I bought this house over 7 years ago, I did a lot of research on yard art made from other items.  I found a site where it showed how to make a bedazzled ball from a bowling ball using sand paper, caulk, spray paint, silicon adhesive and glass gems.  It's supposed to resemble a gazing ball.  After I mention this art project to dear daughter, she gives me an old bowling ball for Christmas so I can create this yard art.  That bowling ball has been sitting in my extra bedroom since then.  I bought the glass gems on-line about two years later and they have been waiting for me to use them as well.   I bought the silver spray paint a few weeks ago when I was buying paint for my barn quilt because I knew I wanted to get this project done.  All I needed was the clear silicone adhesive.  I bought the silicone adhesive today, so this project is ready to start.

  So to make this bowling ball into bedazzled yard art I have to sand this ugly bowling ball, fill the finger holes with caulk and let that dry, then spray paint the ball, let that dry, then use the silicone adhesive to glue all these crazy glass gems onto the ball.

   Here's a link to the picture of a purple bedazzled ball someone made and posted on the web.  Purple Bedazzled Gazing Ball

    Bowling ball all sanded.

  See you at the end with more pictures.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Quick Curve Ruler

   I bought a Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Wonderful last week (it was on sale at Connecting Threads) because I saw this super cool video tutorial here.

  Here's the link to Sew Wonderful's free pattern pages.  I love this pattern and I can't wait to try my new ruler out.

Future Project, Making A Quilt Ladder

  I found this cool tutorial on the internet on how to make a simple quilt ladder.  I'm trying to talk my daughter into helping me.  I told her we could make two, one for me and one for her.

  Here's the link to the quilt ladder tutorial.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Finally, The Vinyl Project Is Underway

       I finally got going on my vinyl pouch project.  I made this huge vinyl pouch.  I don't know why I made it so large, but it's perfect to hold the fabric for a future quilt project I'm planning.  My favorite part of this pouch is the ruffle.  This was fun to make and since I have never sewn with vinyl before it was a new experience.

       I used my new teflon presser foot (fits the Singer XL 3400) to make this pouch.  I bought the teflon foot a few weeks ago and I'm glad I spent the $6.37 for it.  I was really worried it wouldn't work as well as I needed it to because it doesn't look like much but it worked fine.  The process isn't perfect because you still  have to put tape or something on the metal of the needle plate to keep the vinyl from sticking, but the scotch tape helps a lot.  I did have a few instances of the scotch tape coming off the needle plate and sticking to the vinyl and the machine coming to a dead stop, but I was able to work that problem out.

      I have a little bit of vinyl left to make a couple of smaller pouches and I will also be making the Gadget Girl Tool Kit pattern which includes vinyl pockets with zippers in the future.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Charity Research

      Yesterday I took the time to research a military charity I was interested in donating to.  They are supposed to be helping active duty military and veterans.  My donation is not large, but I did want to see what this charity was up to and I found all the information I needed on their website.  I looked at their annual report and I saw that they hold $185 million in assets.  All of that money was listed as some type of investment or investment income.  That's a lot of money to hold in reserve.  I also noted that a lot of the donations they receive are from active duty military, like payroll deductions.

    Their website said that in 2014 they collected $5.4 million in donations and disbursed $16.9 million in aid in 61,000 cases.

     I'm sure what was disbursed was helpful to the people who received it, but just think how many more people they could help if they doubled that $16.9 million or even tripled it without a thought for their reserve.

    I'm still looking for a charity to donate to.  I know I won't find the perfect charity that disburses 100% of it's donations but I think any assets listed should be less than $10 million.

Friday, March 20, 2015

All the Lovely Thread, Lots and Lots of Thread

         I have a collection of all purpose thread in these boxes.  This thread collection goes back a few years.   When I was making clothes and home decor projects this was the only thread I ever bought.  All purpose thread has the best variety of colors.

       This is my cotton collection for quilting.  This container is supposed to be storing a knitting or crochet project, (it's called a Yarntainer by snapware) but I'm not really doing any knitting or crocheting these days, so I put these cotton thread spools in it this morning.  It's perfect, the container is round and clear making it so easy to find my thread.  I'm sure my cotton thread is happy in its cool round home.

          Look at this, 180 little spools of polyester thread for my embroidery machine that I purchased in January after I got my embroidery machine.  I keep it in this big plastic box because I have cats, but I'd like to organize it.  It would be nice to put it in clear boxes like my all purpose thread.  That would cost me a bunch of money.  I'm still looking for other ideas for storing this thread.  I'm not  even going to show you a picture of the box of prewound bobbins I bought for the embroidery machine.  There are 144 beautiful bobbins full of white polyester thread for embroidering.

     My serger thread collection only contains four spools of grey that I bought when I got the machine and they stay on the machine.  I never got around to buying more because I don't use my serger as much as I thought I would.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kitchen Drawer Fix Up and Clean Up Project

    I live in a mobile home.  I love my mobile home.  I bought it new 7 years ago and I love the floor plan.  My kitchen is huge and it opens into the living room and the dining room with a door to the laundry room.  It also has a great pantry (no pictures, it's kind of messy in there now and needs to be cleaned up).  My kitchen has tons of cabinet space but I only have three drawers in the entire kitchen.  It's really sad.  I like drawers and I wish I had a few more.  While I'm wishing for more drawers, it's time to fix and organize my existing drawers.

  View from the dining room looking straight to the laundry room door.

This is the view from the dining room looking at the pantry door.

This is the view from the living room with my homemade curtains on the windows.

    Yes, the counter tops were cleaned off to take these pictures.  The counters are normally covered with all manner of kitchen things, dish soap, hand soap, and hand lotion by the sink; dog food, cat food, and dry cereal under the cabinets by the refrigerator, dish towels hanging on racks set on the cabinet doors, and pot holders by the stove top.


      These drawers were not built for heavy use.  The front of the top drawer I was using for silverware has come off two different times.  In examining the top drawer for problems when I cleaned it out, I realized that the right side slider mechanism of the top drawer was placed lower than the left side slider mechanism.  I unscrewed the bracket and placed the bracket in line with the left side bracket.  I hope this solves my top drawer problem and I can use it without the front coming off.  I was only using this drawer for small items that I never needed so I wouldn't have to open it.


   Bracket fixed.  You can see the hole under the bracket where it was originally placed and it was way too low.

   I have been using the second drawer to store knives, but I have too many in there.  This drawer needed to be cleaned out and I also checked the slider mechanism for this drawer to make sure it was working properly.

     I'm ditching these old, old, old, chef knives [so tired of sharpening them] and I ordered two new chef's knives from Amazon on Monday.

      New chef knives.

    This is the bottom drawer and it holds all my large utensils.  I thought the basket would help keep everything under control, but the drawer is clearly too deep.  I weeded out all the unnecessary stuff, cleaned the drawer and put my crazy utensils back in the basket in the drawer.

  Here is the top drawer all cleaned up.

  Here is the knife drawer all cleaned up with my new chef knife set.

   I'm really happy with my drawer fix and clean up.  It was interesting trying to find a good position so I could reach the back board to put that slider mechanism bracket back on.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Disappearing Hourglass Quilted Stand Mixer Cover

      I've been wanting to make a disappearing hourglass block since I saw the video by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company demonstrate the process.  I even bought fabric to make a quilt top with this block in the future.

     Yesterday I decided to make a stand mixer cover to replace the one I bought many years ago.  I was only going to make the blocks and jimmy up the cover with some white borders, then I thought the whole thing would look better quilted.  So I put borders on the blocks, added some white fabric at the top to pull the two blocks together.  I used the white fabric as backing and leftover batting from my last quilt to sandwich it.  I quilted it with straight lines and put the blue binding and blue ties on it.

   I really like this stand mixer cover and it was the perfect project to get me out of my daylight savings time slump.  Now I can move on with my vinyl pouch project.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Craft Organization

     I spent the evening organizing.  My project list and project material box were out of control.  I was starting new projects before getting the older projects done and that is not good.  I'm a little obsessive about doing things in order and I really needed to revise my crazy long crafting project list.  I numbered every project in the order I want to do them, then I took all the materials to make most of these projects and organized them in separate numbered bags to correspond to the list.  All I have to do is pick up a bag and everything I need to get started will be there.  I didn't take a before picture of that messy box because it was just a jumble of material.  Now my project box looks like this:

Teddy Bears and Rag Dolls

       I have a teddy bear making supply stash.  Here is mohair to make 4 bears and also disks for joints for those bears.

I bought this mohair about 13 years ago and every time I see it I think about making bears and then I move on to something else.  I like making teddy bears, it's fun.  These mohair fat quarters are just enough material to make this bear:

    Thinking about bears got me to thinking about rag dolls.  I was looking at rag doll patterns on etsy the other day and I found a couple of indie patterns that I liked, but then I found this McCalls pattern that I loved because it includes a doll, a cat, a bear, a bunny, Uncle Sam, and clothes to cover them.  This is perfect for me.   I also found a cool YouTube video series that shows how to sew a rag doll, paint the face and make the hair from yarn.  I probably won't be painting the face, but I will try my hand at embroidering the face.  Rag dolls will be fun.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mindful Shopping

      I like to shop.

       I shop a lot on the internet.  I don't buy everything on the internet but I do buy quite a bit of stuff.  I like the convenience of shopping on the internet, I love getting free shipping when I can, and sometimes I can only find what I want on the internet.  In the last year or so I have had about five very unsatisfactory shopping experiences and in three cases, I was completely ripped off.

      Paying for items I don't receive or items that arrive broken is not my idea of a good shopping experience.  Even using an on line payment site that claims it will protect me from being ripped off, was completely useless in one instance.

     I'm not going to name any of the places that I have had a bad experience with, but I don't think I'm the only shopper that is having this problem.    

      I'm tired of being ripped off by websites.  I will not shop at the stores/sites that have ripped me off or that have given me bad customer service.  I'm keeping a list of good stores/sites and bad stores/sites, as well as deleting the bad sites from my favorites.

     From now on I will be more mindful of where I spend my money.



Remembering Mom On St. Patrick's Day

        I'm counting down to St. Patrick's Day.  This is just one of the days of the year that I remember my Mom.  My mother was 100% Irish and very proud of her Celtic heritage.  One of her favorite days of the year was St. Patrick's Day (March 17th).  I like to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in honor of Mom.  I don't drink green beer (why ruin a perfectly good refreshment with food coloring), but I do wear green and listen to music by the Chieftans.

This is one of my favorite Irish blessings:

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping.

New Fun Fabrics Coming Out

   This is one of the fabrics from the Time With Friends line by Lynette Anderson.  Those doggies and kitties are super cute.  I love Lynette Anderson's designs.  I have her book, "It's Quilting Cats and Dogs" and although I haven't made anything from the book, I love looking at it and dreaming.

    This is Elizabeth by Tula Pink.  I pre-ordered a yard of this (this is the tart colorway) from an etsy store this morning.  So pretty and so pink.  It also comes in sky colorway and plum colorway.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Christmas Quilt Is Finished.

   Here it is.  It's kind of ugly but it will give me a a pop of red and green color in the living room during the holidays and it's something that the most destructive kitties in Christendom cannot tear up.  You can see the black/red/green poinsettia flowers on the binding material.  It kind of blends in with the top, but it shows up nicely on the back.

      I'm making fun granny squares to cover a pillow for my pink and green bedroom.  I'm using a 16" pillow form, pink yarn leftover from my afghan project, and the pink rose fabric leftover from my pillowcase project.

   I'll be working on vinyl pouches after I finish covering my pillow.

   I still have to varnish my barn quilt.  I want to do that job outside and I'm waiting for drier weather.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Ugly Christmas Quilt Is Quilted

     I quilted the ugly, ugly Christmas quilt this morning.  I did straight line quilting in a grid with diagonals throughout.  I used my walking foot on my Bernina 1530 and it was easy and quick.'''

   I have the binding ready to sew on.  I'll have this quilt done in a couple of days.

   I'm also finishing up my barn quilt.  I have a couple of things to fix with the paint, then I will be ready to varnish.  Unfortunately, the weather has been absolutely awful so I have to do all this painting in my laundry room.  Very inconvenient.