Friday, September 30, 2011


The Jacob's Ladder Quilt A Long that I joined has officially kicked off, thanks to Freda ~ our wonderful hostess.  I've learned so much from her in recent weeks with ample encouragement all along the way.

Today I have 2 blocks to show, and thankfully, there's only a teeny tiny minor issue with my machine...I'll figure it out eventually, but for now I'll tolerate it.

Sept. 29 - #1 by Sea of Glass
Sept 29 - #2 by Sea of Glass

Here's how they'll look together in a quilt.  The colors didn't photograph just right, but I love any shade of pink!
We are to make 1 or 2 blocks each week, more or less if we like.  I'm told that the quilt police won't be around to count, and glad to hear it because I just cain't stop sewing toward my first quilt!

I already have 6 other blocks, some of which I posted previously, but I've decided to use them in a separate quilt because the measurements weren't working out right. The cut sizes have been adjusted, and these 2 blocks worked out much better.

You can view photos of other participants' blocks at the JL QAL on Flickr.

I plan to use plenty of these lovelies in some more blocks. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Middle Name

You know I've just begun sewing again...I tried to avoid using the machine over the years, for a few reasons, one being that I had no place to keep it available for use; it had to live in its case.  Another, because it was always a fight to make it run properly...actually, it never did.

So, finishing up some star blocks today, I decided to try servicing the machine again (myself), as it continued to be loud and wouldn't begin sewing when I said would hum loudly and stall, get thread caught in the shuttle hook, knot up in the fabric, and then stop sewing.  Sound like a good time to you?

I started by cleaning the feed dogs again, oiled it (again) in all the places the manual showed with pointy arrows, and still nothing changed.  I thought --- something must need oiling that I'm not seeing.

Upon closing the manual, my eyes fell upon a few important words:


That's it!!!  I knew it immediatly! The belt is too tight causing the loud noise and delay in starting!  I read the instructions, and fixed 'er right up!  I also changed the location of the shuttle thread ejector; at some point, it had gotten moved too far left.

She's a smooth sewer now...I'd even say she sings!
Which should make her a singer (but no, a Vogue Stitch, she is).

I'm a happy girl!  

And yeah, my family has called me "Mrs. Fixit" for decades... it's my middle name.

1st Star
2nd Star

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Star Blocks for a Soldier part 2

In my recent post about John'aLee from The Scrappy Appleyard, I described her request for star blocks to make quilts for her grieving daughter Tori, and the family of her fiance', Chris ~ a fallen soldier.

John'aLee would appreciate star blocks in muted colors of red, blue, and white.

I used a pattern from Sew We Quilt by guest blogger, Jennifer, called Starflower.  I liked the ease of the pattern and especially thought the name was suitable ~ a compound word that seems to come together and relate to each person of the couple.

I've had the pieces cut and ready for a few days, and now that my glass class is behind me, I was able to focus on some sewing.  The tutorial was concise and easy to follow.  Here's the first one I made.

I haven't made too many blocks, but after making 6 Jacob's Ladder blocks (thanks to my terrific quilt mentor, Freda), this one seemed a bit easier.

You still have time to contribute if you'd like, as John'aLee would like to receive them by the end of October.

I plan to make a few more and send them on to John'aLee next week at
The Scrappy Appleyard
3218 Knobview Drive
Nashville, TN  37214

My thoughts and prayers are with Tori and all the families.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stars Blocks for a Soldier's Family

John'aLee will make quilts for Chris's brothers, parents, his best friend with who was with him when he died, and Tori.  She hopes to involve Tori in the sewing of the blocks to help her through so painful a time.

The star blocks should be made from muted blues, reds, and white.  You can visit her webpage for complete information, but I know that she is accepting 8" blocks and 12" blocks. 
She has an example of a block on her Blog, shown below.  They don't have to be the exact style of star or pattern. 
To see instructions for this block, Click Here

I am a new quilter, only having pieced together 6 or 7 blocks, but I plan to make some to send in honor of Chris and all those he held dear.  My mother's heart goes out to John'aLee and to Chris's mother.

If you would, please send them by the end of October to:

The Scrappy Appleyard
3218 Knobview Drive
Nashville, TN 37214

Monday, September 19, 2011

Road Trip!

What a great joy to meet Freda in person again after so many years!  Thanks to her gracious invitation, I have a great foundation in beginning my first quilt, a Jacob's Ladder Quilt, which is the choice for her QAL.

She showed me some shortcut cutting techniques 
(my table ~ her tools are more fancy ;=)

and how to arrange the pieces for the block. 

the secret code to opening and ironing seams and intersections when you have so many,

and vi-ola! I have my first JL quilt block!  (Welp, my first THREE; only one pictured)  Looky!

Imperfect, but not too shabby for the first try.

We started out this wonderful day stroking fabric at her LQSs and lunch with another friend, then returned to her home to cut and sew the afternoon away.  And later she made a delicious soup to squelch the damp chill in the air! 

My wonderful hostess and mentor suggested that I clean and oil the old machine I have on hand (with gratitude to my sister and her MIL).  I came home the next day and by Monday I was able to get the "Vogue Stitch" machine rockin'!

Still having trouble with the feed dogs, as they refuse to run all the time, and I oiled them puppies good!  Maybe my Missy cat in the room has them troubled?
Nah.  The Fabric Ferry looks harmless ta me.

Well looks like I'll be taking over a corner in the guest bedroom...already did!  (I'll post pics of it next time.)  And ~ tada! I was able to make another block!

With pieces for another ready to go.  Yes, I do love my purple magnetic pin cushion.

More cutting/sewing/ironing play tomorrow ~ I'm hooked!  Thank you Freda!
Impera Magna n me (gee I'm short)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

From COE to QAL

Welcome to my second BLOGSPOT! This one was created to separate my old hot passion...

(COE 104 ~ CIM ~ DSP ~ SIS ~ EDP ~ DH...)

from my cool new one...

(*JL QAL ~ HST ~ FQ's ~ BOM ~ WIP ~ LQS...)

Fire and Fabric were getting testy being together in one blog!  The acronyms wrestled, causing their nomenclature* to collide and jumble in a heap (see def. below).

Like naughty children, they've been separated, so on with my new adventure! (If I have any glass bead fans/readers ~ fear not, I will continue with that medium as well!)

Recently a special friend invited me to join her newly formed Jacob's Ladder Quilt-A-Long (JL QAL), and because I've been pining to make a quilt, I wanted to keep a cohesive record of the journey and progress.

These FQ beauties (and some yardage) were purchased in July upon visiting my very first quilt show.  They should do quite nicely for the Jacob's Ladder Quilt I'll be making, along with several other ladies.  

For my glass buddies and other non-quilters who may read this, the QAL is not a joint quilt ~ we each make our own quilt.  A QAL could be the cyber version of an old fashioned  "quilting bee", as we track along with each other in progress via blogs and photo-sharing sites.  With lots of support and encouragement for newbees like me.
Photo from

This week I went to Joann's to audition solid fabrics which will be integrated with the patterns ... spent WAY too much time there, but here's what I finally settled on ~ the green.
Let the Sewing commence! (as soon as I get/win a machine!) 

* Nomenclature -noun - a set of system of names or terms, as those  
    used in a particular science or art, by an individual or community.