19 September 2010

FNSI Results, and a bunch of overdue pictures!

So, my Friday Night Sew-In didn't encompass any sewing at all. But that's just fine with me! I started off with finishing cutting out squares for my mom's quilt. The plan for the quilt is here:

Each of those boxes is going to be a maple leaf block. The letter in it (Y, R O, G, B) corresponds to its color (yellow, red, orange, green, brown). On the left is a tree and the bottom (where you can see the line sloping up to the right) has a little hill of grass. You can see all of my progress as I cut out the blocks because I crossed out how many of each block I needed and replaced it with the new number needed...I can't keep track of numbers in my head very well (short attention span) so I write down how many I need to do. I needed over 800 squares for this quilt, most of which were 2.5", but there were some that were 2 1/8" (to make the sky on the stems of the maple leaf blocks) and some that were 2 7/8" (half square triangles).

I finished cutting out squares on Friday, leaving this:

Yes, that's a TON of squares to cut, but I did have a bit of a break. I had made a baby quilt a while back that was various blues and greens in 2.5" squares and I did have some leftover. I know some quilters cut their squares ahead of time, but I use all sorts of different sizes of squares and fabric pieces (most of my fabric is either fat eighths or fat quarters) so I'd never have any larger pieces of fabric if I cut anything less than 1/4 yard!

After I finished cutting, I then reorganized my scraps into their color bags. That took a while, because I try to make everything nice and neat in the bags. That result is here:

Then, because my fabric was literally strewn all across the couch and living room floor (I didn't take any pictures of that!) I folded all of the larger pieces of fabric and put them away neatly into my fabric basket.

Hooray for a neatly folded stash!

Then, on Saturday, my swap partner for the Brown Bag Quilt Contest and I met up. She came over to my house (I was cleaning as my mother-in-law was going to call me on Skype that evening, so I had to clean...she's one of those people who has to clean the house for a week before guests come over) and we were both totally surprised when we realized that we were less than 10 years apart in age! Hooray for that! Here's a picture of the fabrics I gave her (the pieces were 1/4 yard or 1/8 yard cuts...most of which I cut myself).

And, tied up in a bundle with a bit of leftover ribbon:

She was certain that I would hate her for the fabrics she gave me, but how could you hate anything as cute as these?

I have no clue what I'll make with them, but look at the adorable (homemade) bag they were in!

She also gave me some (what I thought were) white chocolate truffles. When I bit into one, I quickly realized that these were alcoholic truffles! They have Marc de Champagne brandy listed as an ingredient...they're good, but the flavor is a bit strong.

And, just to share a bit of my life with you, here's a picture of my landlady's cat, Felix. He has a brother named Tommy, but I've only seen Tommy from a distance once, whereas Felix loves to rub all over my legs and try to trip me. He's really friendly, and it's like I have a virtual pet (since I can't have any in the apartment).

He's awesome...and about a minute after I took that picture, he rolled right off of the step. Classic!

And one last bit of my life - here's a picture of Mr. Rooster and his harem! Mr. Rooster and his ladies live in the house behind mine, and while Mr. Rooster isn't overly loud, you can definitely hear him challenging the rest of the world to a fight every half hour or so.

Then for some sad news...Jenny the Janome is broken. I was in the middle of sewing some of my maple leaf blocks for Mom's quilt and suddenly the machine seized up. I took off her needle plate and cleaned out the lint (I haven't cleaned it out in a LONG time), put her back together, and she still didn't work. I took the needle plate off again and hand-cranked a few stitches, and the thread from the spool is getting caught on the hook that goes in a circle around the bobbin that lets the thread catch on the bobbin thread (I don't know what the name of it is) but it never gets OFF of that hook and onto the bobbin thread. So the hook circle thing (anybody know what that's called?) goes around two or three times, and then the thread somehow manages to get looped around the feed dogs, which is when it seizes up. I think it might just be a timing issue, but we'll see.

The good news is that I found a repair place (in all honesty, I think it's an old guy who's mechanically inclined...his daughter says he fixes all kinds of sewing machines) that's less than 10 minutes from work for me, so I am dropping it off on Monday. I'll try to get a cost estimate beforehand, because the machine wasn't very expensive, and if the cost of the repair is more than about $125 (half the cost of my machine), my husband gave me permission to not repair it, but instead replace the machine. I'll probably go into N├╝rnberg to the Pfaff store and get a Pfaff if that's the case but I will see ahead of time if I can sell the machine to the old repairman since I don't know how to fix it, and it's probably silly to keep a not-working machine. Maybe I will keep it, though, and get it fixed when I go home to the states. Luckily, my quilting friend (the one who was the subject of the "I have a real life quilter friend!" post) is in between projects and she said that I can use her Husqvarna until mine gets fixed or replaced. I had one seam left to finish my 4th maple leaf block too...figures.

Anyways, long post with tons of pictures! Hooray! Hope you enjoyed all of that, and good job for making it down to the bottom!


  1. I admire your organizational skills. Hope you resolve the sewing machine issue quickly! No quilter wants to be without her machine.

  2. HI Emma, I am further south than you, close to Stuttgart International Airport. In terms of geographical distance, it may not seem as much, but with the small and clogged country roads, it's quite a trip.

    There are however a lot of American quilters in this area and quite a few quilt groups as well.

  3. I just love looking at stacks of pretty fabric!!!

  4. You made some real progress even though you weren't able to sew. I find that having your fabric organized makes a big difference in productivity. Hope you are able to get some answers soon on repairing your machine:)

  5. I totally love your graph of your upcoming quilt. I would be lost without graph paper; I even carry small little graph notebooks in my purse for when I really NEED to write down an idea, or for when I have some waiting time.

  6. Sorry about your sewing machine. I think that you are right about it being a timing issue. Having everything organized really helps give you more time to have fun :)

  7. Sorry to hear your sewing machine is out of action. Thanks for the tips re: brownies! All the best.


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