Sunday, July 26, 2015

Make Your Own Numbered Pins

Today I wanted to share a nifty little trick I came up with that saves me a lot of time and trouble. And money!

It's my Do It Yourself Numbered Straight Pin Trick.

In the past, I have torn up little squares of paper, numbered them, and then pinned them to the top left side of each row in my quilts as I have laid the pieces out for stitching together.  I don't have a design wall, so this entire Laying Out Process takes place in the middle of my living room, or as in this case, on my dining room table. (There's half a quilt laid out in the photo below.)

That method worked well, but takes time.  Then one day I saw a product online that had the pinheads engraved with numbers, so you could just grab those to mark your rows. Marvelous idea! But they were $25 for the set. For that much, I could rip up a whole lot of scrap paper to make my own rows.

But then one day the light bulb went on. "Why not make my own?"  So I did.  I simply took plastic, flat-headed pins, a fine point permanent ink marker, and numbered a set up to 21.

I then placed them in even and odd numbered rows for easy access, and put then in this cutest little chicken pin cushion that a local quilting friend had made for me.  Viola! A handy tool that looks fun sitting in my sewing room, too!

Bad lighting, I know, but I didn't want to move the entire quilt to demonstrate these pins!

What handy, time-saving tips would you like to share today?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with Pink Doxies The Pet Project 
Linky Tuesday 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Going for the Piggy Bank Challenge with Val

I'm always game for saving money! And found money is the absolute best.

In fact, when my kids were little, we'd go out for walks around the high school near our house, and often find all sorts of coins and the occasional dollar bill in the parking lot. Score!

And then one day, I decided to start collecting aluminum cans which were carelessly scattered around the parking lot.  Sounds odd now, but back in the day, cans were worth a pretty penny, and it was like a scavenger hunt for the kids to see how many cans they could find each day.  All in all, when I emptied the piggy bank, and cashed in the cans, we had $90. Which was enough for a shiny, brand new, red, Diamondback bike for our son. SCORE!  His first bike and we didn't have to 'save' for it.

So I like Val's idea of stashing money away for some quilty pleasure.  I'm in!  I picked up this great little glamping trailer piggy bank last year and it sits on my kitchen counter. Now I'll put it to good use.

Val's Quilting Studio

What am I saving for?  Hmmm.....I think I'd like to make another quilt camping quilt with great outdoorsy flannel, none of which I have in my stash.  Yep, that's what I'm saving for.

Join in the fun and see how much you can stash this year.  You know we quilters are good stashers!

Oh - while I'm at it, here's another fun pic.  It was my Christmas present from my daughter who is very talented at web graphics,  Illustrator and who knows what other programs.  Left to right is our son (a great Portland Timbers' fan), Me!, my husband, our daughter, and our hopefully-one-day son-in-law. And Misty and Camber, too. This is how we look when we get up on Christmas morning to exchange gifts.  My family!

Quilting with a smile,

Friday, July 10, 2015

Colors of Nature

This was the true color of the sunset last night as seen from our front yard.  It was astounding and the photo doesn't truly capture the intensity of the moments.

Now I ask you:  is there any doubt that man has a need to recreate the glories of our surroundings in art and items of daily living?  I know there is no doubt as to why I love working with a wonderful hue of colors in my quilting.  It's like bringing the outdoors inside!

Quilting with a BIG smile today,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July ALYOF Project

I'm running by the seat of my pants!  Here's my July project for ALYOF. I will get it quilted and bound. Yep, yep. I will!

Can't even get it to download right side up. Oh, well. I think it's Happy Hour . . . somewhere! 

Linking up with ALYOF

Quilting with a smile,

Monday, June 29, 2015

Taking A Chance Paid Off

An accountant friend of mine was administering an estate for one of her clients when she casually mentioned that I might be interested in some of the quilting items that were going up for auction.

What? Me interested in quilty items? She got my attention.

I looked through the listings of the online auction contents and was immediately drawn to a 1905 Singer treadle sewing machine that was in its original case, in excellent condition. Or did I want to bid on the Singer featherweight complete with carrying case, the original handbook and spare parts? Or wait - what about the multiple listings for quilting templates, scissors, thread, Otte lights and finished quilts?

Be still my aching heart. Just too much for a girl to decide upon.

So I made a list, wrote down the top amount I was willing to pay for each lot I was interested in, and then watched the bids throughout the week. When it came down to the wire, my plan was to wait until close to the buzzer to place my bids.

But then the worst happened. Our power went out! OMG. No lights. No internet. No computer. No air conditioning. No way to bid. What?

My husband, bless his heart, came to the rescue with his iPad and so we got online via his cell connection. Whew.  For the next hour I watched the bids, placed a few myself, and waited for the final hammer to come down.

I didn't get the featherweight - it went for $360 and was above my price range. I didn't get the treadle machine - it went for a whopping $2,600 and was WAY above my price range.  The lot that looked like it had every quilting ruler imaginable went for $205!  But what I did get was the lot that included, from all I could see in the photos, at least three pairs of Gingher scissors and a travel iron and some misc. quilty items.  I knew the value of the scissors, and so took a chance. My final bid was $92.50 and I prayed that I hadn't thrown my money away as we drove the 150-mile round trip the next day to pick up my allotment.

My goodness, I was not disappointed. Here is just part of what I hauled home:


In addition to the pair of Gingher scissors, there were more Ginghers. About 15 pairs more! And rotary cutters, a couple still new in the packaging, and replacement blades, and boxes of pins, and four measuring tapes, and snippets, and even a set of antique scissors.

And then there were the art supplies! Pastels and enamel paint and drawing pencils, crayons and Pentel markers, Micro pens galore, paint brushes of all sizes and descriptions, templates, compasses and graph paper.

And an entire box filled with containers of pins. And needle cases. And unfinished applique projects. And unfinished needlepoint. And redwork embroidery.

And oh my goodness.  For $92.50 a very special part of someone's life passed into mine. All I could think about as I sifted through these belongings, which were amassed through her lifetime as tools to aid her creative energy, was that she had lovingly used them for hours on end. Because you know, whether you know her/him or not, you know that every quilter quilts with love.

There are more scissors than I can ever use in my lifetime. But it's good. Because when the time is right, I can find someone special to pass some along to in the form of a gift or giveaway.  Yep, it's a good thing!

There was one item in this bunch that I don't have a clue what it's use would be.  It looks like a humongous clothespin. Does any one know what it is? It looks fairly old and is fashioned out of wood with a metal hinge. Maybe a very large binding clip?

Well, I need to get back to organizing this treasure trove and figure out where to put everything. My daughter is going home with a bunch of the drawing pens and supplies - she's a jewelry designer and was she ecstatic to see those micro pens.  Sharing the wealth is fun!

Quilting with a smile,


Linking up with Mollie Sparkles Sunday Stash


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