Archive for January, 2019

New Additions

January 13, 2019

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with furniture with cubbyholes and other storage items. Wonder why that is? I have always wanted one of these:


This is a Wooten desk. The open picture is not the same desk as the closed picture. They made various versions from 1870-1884. Very hard to come by these days and can be quite pricey. When I lived in Chicago in the mid-1970s I saw one in a shop window for a while on my daily bus ride. I lusted after that desk but I couldn’t afford to buy one back then. The only way to find one at a reasonable price is if one comes up at a rural local auction. The asking price for the desk on the left above is around $25,000. No Wooten desk for me.

Another thing I’ve always wanted is a card catalogue. I think everyone I know wants one of these. One guild member told me she offered to work 3 more years at her library if they’d give her a card catalogue. They said no.

My friend Vera and her husband are in their 80s and recently moved to a continuing care community at the insistence of family. Vera was not at all ready to leave the house and all her wonderful things. One of the wonderful things she had that she wasn’t able to find a place for in the apartment was this:


Her son got it for her from Duke University. When I found out it was going to be in their tag sale, I got my friend Caren to join me at the sale. I sat here the night before pondering: where would I put it and what would I put in it? I couldn’t buy it without answers to those two questions. I decided it would fit in the fabric room where the piles of bins were. The bins are easy enough to relocate. I decided it would be good for storing strips. One drawer for one color or style in one size. Caren and I got to the sale early and when it opened, I made a beeline downstairs. I was able to buy it!

There are 60 small drawers. So, three for each color/style to store 1.5″, 2″, and 2.5″ strips. The 4 large drawers were made for Vera by her brother-in-law. I don’t remember if the original drawers were missing or she needed somewhere to store clothing patterns. Not sure what I’ll use the large drawers for yet. Probably some sort of scraps.

So, I paid for it. Now I had to get it home. It was bigger than I realized and wouldn’t fit in my Honda CR-V. We thought it would fit in Caren’s car but it was a whole lot heavier than we’d imagined. We couldn’t budge it, even with the drawers out. Oh, no! What to do? We had to have our purchases out of the house by 2 pm that afternoon. Although I could probably have made arrangements with Vera to get it later, the person in charge of the sale would have been very unhappy with us. Somehow we managed to piss her off before the sale ended.

Caren called our handyman, Ray, to see if he could come help us out. He responds faster to her because he is her realtor and manages the rental of her old house. Well, he had an appointment but could come after that. Great! I was as antsy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Ray does good work but he piddles around and doesn’t show up when he’s supposed to. I was worried he wouldn’t get there on time. While we waited for Ray, Caren and I took the drawers to my house and unloaded them into the garage. When we got back to the sale, we found more stuff to buy and filled up both cars. I picked up a very nice quilt rack for $10. Ray showed up with his helper in the nick of time and got the piece loaded into his truck. It just barely fit. I treated everyone to a late lunch before we headed out to my house to unload. I have some strips ready to put into some of the drawers but I need to clean it up a bit first. As I cut for the Bonnie Hunter mystery I also cut strips for the cabinet.

My other new acquisition also came from Vera. When she was showing me through the house she pointed out the treadle cabinet and said she wasn’t able to take it with her. I said I’d buy it so it wasn’t in the sale. Vera decided she wanted to gift it to me as a thank you for picking her up and taking her to Mimi’s grad school group. I was NOT expecting that. I’d noticed that Vera hadn’t been there for several months. When I found out it was because she was having vertigo and was afraid to drive that far by herself in case she had an episode, I started swinging by to get her. When I broke my ankle, other people hauled me around so I’m paying it forward.

I did a little google search and discovered that this machine has no feed dogs. It is the motion of the needle that moves the fabric. Apparently it’s quite desired by machine quilters which I am not. I wanted to get someone out to do some cleaning and maintenance on the machine before I try to learn how to use it but I intended to wait awhile. Unfortunately, I wasn’t being careful enough when I opened the cabinet to take the picture and it is now stuck in the open position. It looks like the chain that raises and lowers the machine jumped its track and I forgot to pull the belt out of the way before completely raising the machine so it’s stuck between the machine surround and the side of the cabinet. Sigh. I didn’t want to push too hard and break something so, for now, it’s staying open. Now I need to track down someone to work on it sooner rather than later. There is a company in Baltimore that sells industrial machines that used to have someone who worked on treadles in the home. I hope they still do.

Snowmen Will Melt Your Heart: January

January 1, 2019

I’ve have not been good in the past at documenting my quilts. There’s no better time to start doing a better job than January 1st.

One of the projects I selected for 2019 is Snowmen Will Melt Your Heart by Curtis Boehringer. I’m doing it as twelve wall hangings rather than a quilt with 12 blocks. What really attracted me to the pattern was the borders on the wall hangings. Linda came over this afternoon to sew. I chose fabrics and started prepping the pieces.

Here’s January:


The pattern shows it done in black, white and grey. Mine will be more colorful. January is drab enough.


These are my background fabrics. The bottom is for the center and the top five are for the borders.


The snowmen fabrics. The bottom two are for the center snowmen. The top four are for the borders. White on white doesn’t show up well in photos, so from left to right a sort of crackle looking print, a print with little dots, a cat print and a Y2K print.


From left to right: the coal pieces, hats (this fabric is sparkly), arms on the large snowman, carrot noses.


The two on the bottom are for the scarf, mittens and hat for the large center snowman. The top 5 are for the border scarves.


One of these is for the hat bands, probably the bottom one.

All of these came from my stash. It’s days like this when I don’t feel bad about having an extensive stash. I can’t even begin to imagine having to find that many fabrics at one time in the shops.

Two of my machines are in the shop so I can’t proceed to get to the sewing step because I need to use the machine to prep for one of the techniques I’m using. I could drag out the old Bernina but it’s a pain to set up a machine in the table only to change it out a short time later. I may do that if I run out of other things to do in the meantime. My travel machine is ready to pick up but there’s no point in going until the other is ready because the shop is an hour, hour and a half away. I’m anxious to talk to the technician about the 9400. Am I crazy or does he agree that the default tension sucks? Not to mention the other issues. Hopefully it won’t wind a bobbin for him, either.

I’m also in a wait state on Good Fortune. I’ve cut clue 5 and some of clue 6. I need to cut more strips for clue 6. Clues 5-7 need to be sewn. I think clue 7 had a typo because the math didn’t make sense. Haven’t checked yet to see if she’s made a correction.