Friday, August 01, 2014

A View of the Workroom

A View of the Workroom--or how to use your antiques in your studio!

It has been a while since I updated the blog! I will share all the quilts I have been making this year in a later post. First I want to share some photos of how I changed up my workroom. We basically removed the full sofa sleeper and a few smaller furniture pieces in the studio and moved several vintage sewing machines into it. I did streamline (ie get rid of) two big bags of rubber stamps and a bunch of knitting items to the thrift shop. I also donated a bag of non quilt fabrics--again! I tend to have to do that every few months as they creep in with the garage sale finds. Rearranging the suitcases trunks, tins and bins to accommodate fabrics and quilting supplies as well as all my existing paper crafting supplies was a juggling act worthy of this blog post.

To the photos! Explanations of how I used my existing vintage items for storage are given below each photo.  Enjoy!

 One of my own Mary Engelbreit inspired disappearing 9 patch quilts hangs on a curtain rod between two inexpensive shelving units. Inside the shelving I used to store all my rubber stamps but now it is fabric storage. The stamps have been moved to my laundry room shelves.

 We use the extra thick quilt as a design board too. The best part is my stash is handy but not on view all the time. Since I share my stash with my students freely, they can "shop" easily.

 Left of the fabric storage is a wire bakers rack with my top four or five projects in progress. These get top priority and keep me focused.

 This view shows where the sofa sleeper USED to be. Now there are suitcases with varied large fabric yardage for backings. The table that my husband picked up free on the curb allows for a cute vintage viniette of thread spools, an old iron, my Standard shuttle sewing machine head, and other antiques. Nearby are my great grandmother's knitting box and sewing box. To the left are two more vintage machines and some of my paper crafting supplies. Above are the eleven baskets I made in the 1990s. And what would we do without music to create by?

 Another vintage machine in its cabinet topped by a vintage hip basket holding my flannels collection.

 Next comes my modern machine and workspace. I use a vintage swing arm desk lamp, tins for my threads, and more baskets!

 I decorated my own lampshade with rubber stamped wording (similar to this one at right) and it sits next to a short tower with some of my paper crafting supplies.

The white cabinet and adjacent shelving have all my Copics and Tim Holtz colorants and scrapbooking accents. I use vintage tins to hold lots of these items.

 Threads in a wooden holder in rainbow order above an antique tool box. Our class sewing tools are in this toolbox. One of my favorite pieces, it was found at a garage sale.

 It holds a lot of scissors, cutters, notions and tools.

 My Cricut cutter and more paper crafting supplies are in the genuine Hoosier cabinet in the corner. Glitter, beads, brads, paper and more!

 Love watching DIY shows while I craft. The middle of this unit folds down to a desk space and the drawers hold card making supplies.

 A darling green vintage Viking in its original table and a vintage green wooden ironing board were meant to be partners. I use a printer box for my thimble collection and other small antiques bits.

 I have two vintage gumball machines in the studio for a bit of whimsy. One is for buttons and this one is for small wooden spools. Now that is my kind of treat!  The Scandinavian shallow hutch holds more small pieces of fabric, some fabric bolts in the bottom and more vintage sewing knick knacks in old blue Ball jars and enameled bowls.

 This 1940s steel desk is so sturdy it can hold 200 pounds of paper punches in the drawers! On top, I have my Big Kick cutter and dies which double for use cutting both paper and fabric shapes. A spare sewing machine can be pulled out when needed for class. Don't forget to use your thicker crocheted pieces as drink coasters!

Lastly I have large tables in the middle of the room to seat 8. At center I have two vintage Coca Cola bottle boxes and I use the dividers for all kinds of paper tools.

Vintage pieces can add a charm that nothing else will. As you saw, old crocks, baskets, boxes, tins and bottles all play a role in keeping things corralled at my house. And I consider old suitcases to be treasures! Look around your house and garage for cool items you can re-purpose in the studio too! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Celtic Solstice is DONE!

Celtic Solstice- UFO number 1 for 2014 is DONE!

So excited to share photos (in no certain order) of my Celtic Solstice mystery quilt project. A mystery quilt is shared by a designer one clue each week but the final look is not revealed until the end.  Start to finish this took me about 8 weeks. Bonnie Hunter is the designer and she revealed one clue each week for 6 weeks.
All this was from stash fabrics and scraps. Mostly my civil war reproductions and small print calicoes. I pieced and quilted it on my Pfaff Quilters Expression 4.0 domestic machine. I will be keeping it on my bed. It is double bed sized with the addition of two extension piano key style borders at top and bottom. The very first pic below is the backing, which is also from the stash.

Thank you to Bonnie Hunter of for hosting this mystery quilt challenge. I am glad I took a chance and dove into it!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!
I have been making progress on more quilts since I last blogged. And since I can't seem to upload my photos to one of my quilting groups today, (just a technical glitch) I can share my progress here on the blog instead.

Hubby's Minnesota Retirement Quilt!
UPDATE! Here is the quilt top with all the pinwheels on and more borders added. After the navy blue border I added a print with bears, moose, trees, and wolf paw tracks. After that I added the pinwheels all around. I think there were 36 of those! All from plaids and from flannels in outdoor prints. The blue outer border was purchased from a garage sale and was perfect! It has old fashioned steam trains (which hubby loves), Mt Rushmore, Mount St Helens, Lady Liberty, Space Needle and several other places my husband and I have traveled together. Onward now to sandwiching, quilting and binding!

From a previous (but related) posting:

Primarily sharing my projects since August!

Starting with a medallion quilt which is still a work in progress quilt in the Medallion Quilt Along with Melanie in Iowa. For me, this is WIP number 37 for this year and I am making it for my hubby's retirement this past July and also celebrating his birthday this November month. This quilt incorporates many of his favorite things. The central panel is Camp Wilderness Boy Scout camp here in Minnesota. I included a Flying Geese border as we have kind of a thing for the geese here in our hometown. Pinwheels being added now for his sense of fun and humor.Will add a few more borders later this weekend and next week. Debating adding a log cabin block of some kind too for all the times spent at his grandparent's and parent's cabin. Right now I am still making 16 MORE six inch pinwheels in addition to what you see below so that I have enough to go all the way around the navy blue border.

2013 Review:
The projects below are varied UFO and WIP that I have completed recently.

This is just half of the pinwheels needed for the WIP # 37 Mike's Retirement Quilt!
WIP 31 baby girl flannel quilt before binding (done now)

WIP 32 cheater cloth and strips flannel baby quilt for charity. Using it up!
WIP 33 Baby Boy twin flannel 1

WIP 34 Baby Boy twin flannel 2

WIP 35 Baby Boy flannel 3 for Benjamin C
WIP 36 a tester potholder log cabin style to see how I did on pebbling free motion quilting.
Those are the Works in Progress (things started and finished this year) In addition we have UFOs that were technically cut and started before this 2013 calender year. Starting where we left off last time, I had completed UFO 11 in August from Depression era blocks.  Here are the more UFO creations since then!  ENJOY! 

UFO 12 Depression era hex blocks from a summer garage sale with remaining star border.

UFO 13 Russ's birthday quilt in wools and tweeds.

UFO 14 is a Disappearing Nine Patch using up some precuts and scraps from donations.

UFO 15 was our Primative Star table runner using leftovers strips and an orphan star block. Our cats love these mats on the buffet to sit on and take in the view or nap on. I call these runners Cat Mats now. Haha

UFO 16 Missouri Log Cabin made from Grandmother's Dresses. Uses clothing from 6 generations of people in my mother's line and our immediate family.

UFO 17 Miller Estate quilt finished up and on display. Uses blocks from the 1900s in blacks. indigo blues, and tans.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

UFO 11

All that practice on the tablemat WIP #29 and #30 was in prep for doing the same center flower frond shape all over this lap sized authentic 1930s-1940s sampler quilt completed this month from  34 extra Depression Era blocks. Most of these hand quilted blocks were rescued from a musty garage sale oblivion. (126 blocks in a shoebox for $1.00)

My goal in 2013 is to get ALL my UFOs done. That includes things that have been on the shelf a while. So, I used another 1940-1950 bowtie top (seen below) for the back. The bowtie piece was given to me free with another garage sale quilt top purchase and it needed a use.

However, the bowtie top was not a strong enough top to visually or practically stand on its own as a front. Putting it on the back of the 30s sampler was era-appropriate and a great solution! Happy choice for a back. Coral colored binding going on it this week. Done will be good!
Here are some of the quilted fronds in the front of the 1930 block sampler. I do all my own free motion quilting on my Pfaff Quilters Expression 4.0 with 50 weight cotton Aurifil threads. I try to challenge myself to a new fee motion design with each quilt or project. Bit by bit, I get better.

They say sewing teaches you patience with a project, well, free motioning teaches you patience with yourself!

Be patient with yourselves. Keep moving along. And have a wonderful week!

*UFO- Unfinished Object is a project were fabrics were cut into and started any time BEFORE the current calender year --by anyone-- and it doesn't have to have been you. Hence my rescued quilt blocks are always UFOs. *WIP- Works in Progress are things that you yourself have started during this current calender year. They were not planned or cut out before January 1st.

WHOOHOO!! Completion of WIP number 30!

This one is a baby quilt. I didn't know I was going to make a baby quilt last week but when I was done with the last UFO, I decided to pick up a couple things around my sewing desk. At the bottom we a small stack of about 90 miscellaneous pastel charm squares from the six totebags I did for my mom's bible study ladies. Well that was just enough to make a baby quilt! Here are the pics! And I used the same flower frond design to quilt it. Not too shabby for extras! It may go off to charity or if may become a gift. Not sure yet. But it is always good to have one in reserve.

Plus it was great to get the sewing area cleared up a bit! Now those charms are sewn up and useful!