Monday, March 30, 2020

Down In Mississippi

This week's quilt is made with a vintage block called Mississippi. I used light fabrics in lime, aqua, lavender and cream. The large 13” blocks were easy to cut with AccuQuilt dies. I used a Blue Wren strip cutter die for the narrow sashing.

Down In Mississippi finished out at 45” x 60” size. I quilted with cream thread, using Angela Walters' Elvira ruler to free motion stitch wavy lines. It was great practice and so enjoyable.

Down In Mississippi
I've had plenty of time to quilt the past two weeks, since we haven't left the house because of that nasty virus. It isn't a hardship to stay in because my home is a refuge, a place where I'm comfortable and happy.

I like puttering around, sitting on the porch, hanging out with my husband. I can always find something to do. So far, we have enough supplies and food. I really don't like grocery shopping anyway, so I haven't missed that a bit.  My fabric inventory would probably sustain me for a year.  

I wish more people would take this pandemic seriously and just stay at home. Sure, I miss breakfast at our favorite diner, our April camping trip was canceled, I'd like to shop for spring flowers, and I won't get my hair cut on schedule. But I don't think any of that is more important than our health or our lives.

The number of cases, and sadly, the death toll is rising quickly.  STAY HOME, PEOPLE!!

Accuquilt dies used:
55010 5” Square charm
55147 Half square triangle 2 ¼” finished
55731 Signature 4 ½” finished

Blue Wren die used:
6015 1 ½” strip cutter

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sweet Music Man

My all time favorite singer is gone. The distinctive voice of Kenny Rogers caught my attention back when he was with The First Edition. But I fell in love with him at a concert in 1978 when he sang Sweet Music Man, She Believes In Me and I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again.

So many memories made with his music. I spent the night on a sidewalk outside TicketMaster to score front row seats on several occasions. We never sat further back than the 6th row, at all his Nashville area concerts.

Kenny used to toss signed tambourines to the audience and I'm lucky enough to have several. I knocked over a good friend to catch my first...I gave her the next one I caught the following year.

My favorite memory is a Christmas concert at the Grand Ole Opry House. He asked for volunteers from the audience and I popped up like a red headed jack-in-the-box. We were to help him sing The Twelve Days of Christmas. And I do not sing well at all. 

Being first, I had partridge in a pear tree, so I got to sing with him twelve times. On the Opry stage. With his arm around me!  My feet didn't touch the ground for days.

He had much better luck with some of his duet partners: Dottie West, Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap, Lionel Richie, Gladys Knight, Sheena Easton, and Kim Carnes.

His music is timeless in several genres: jazz, folk, pop, rock, and country. He kept his signature style but tried new ideas over his six decade career. I love his many hits but the album cuts are some of his best. If I had to choose my top five, they are Lady, Through The Years, Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight, Crazy, and Sweet Music Man.

I will truly miss this wonderful, talented man. He always made me feel like he was singing just for me, even at a packed concert. I have photos, memories, and music to heal my broken heart.

"Nobody sings a love song quite like you do"

Monday, March 16, 2020

Little Green Apples

Wearin' of the green for St. Patrick's's a natural at our house!

I'm sewing with green, too.  Little Green Apples is a lovely baby quilt in shades of green and white. These prints are old fashioned, just like the pattern. The curved seams in the Apple Core die went together perfectly on my Janome 9400 machine.

I quilted in white thread, using straight stitch and following the curves. The outside borders were stitched in straight lines. This little beauty was a delight to sew, and finished out at 42” square.

I have several projects cut and ready in case of quarantine due to the current pandemic. In fact, I'm thinking about staying home anyway. Who wants to risk getting sick? I need to spring clean, and I'll use ANY excuse to sew all day.

Accuquilt dies used:
55036 Apple Core
55017 2 ½” strip


Monday, March 9, 2020


As many quilts as I make, fabric scraps multiply quickly. Every few weeks I have a cutting session to keep the remnant baskets from overflowing. 

Using Accuquilt dies, I cut my most used sizes of squares, triangles, strips, and tumblers.  I sort them into inexpensive kitchen storage boxes, then label and stack in my cabinets. With all these pieces organized, my sewing room is neater and I'm able to sew a quick quilt anytime.

Today's project is made up of 4 ½” hourglass blocks in bright, cheerful colors and cool white/cream/gray neutrals pulled from my stash. It's an adorable 40” square baby quilt called Dreamtime. After piecing the blocks, I arranged them on my design wall to balance the colors before sewing them together.

I quilted it on Rockette, my latest Singer machine (see last week's post for that story). I used white thread in a straight stitch 3/8” from each horizontal and vertical seam line.  Perfect, neat and simple.  Love that Slant-O-Matic!

Accuquilt dies used:
55398  4 ½” finished Quarter Square Triangles
55017 2 ½” Strips

Come with me,
where dreams are born,
and time is never planned.
~ Peter Pan

Monday, March 2, 2020

Singer Slant-O-Matic 500 Rocketeer

Singer Slant-O-Matic 500
Do you know what sometimes happens when you're just browsing around, not intending to buy anything? Yep, that item catches your eye and you are hooked.

I've been bad. I certainly didn't need another sewing machine, especially a vintage one from the early 1960's. But this Singer Slant-O-Matic 500 is so cool looking, so space age and interesting that it is commonly known as the Rocketeer. Price was only $49, including the original manual and accessory box, so I figured why not.

My sweet husband and I cleaned, degunked lint and grease out of the gears, replaced a worn bobbin winder tire, broken spring, and a few other parts. We polished this well built gem to a shine. I love working on projects with my guy.

She sewed beautifully, even before we cleaned her up. But now, what lovely stitches! I had attachments from my Athena 2000 that fit, but ordered some cams and bobbins. My investment is around $100 so far; I call that a bargain!

Rockette won't be my primary machine, but I will use her often enough to keep everything running smoothly. I tested her out by quilting and binding a small project and she sewed a dream.

Rockette at work
I've got to stay away from antique malls, thrift stores, yard sales, and online marketplaces. I'm too easily tempted! I don't have space or funds to go crazy collecting sewing machines. But, if I win the lottery...


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