Sunday, April 24, 2011

Default to stitching...

April has been a busy month! I have a list of projects in my notebook and more in my head that beg for attention, but I am struggling to actually produce a 'finish' before starting something new! I did get one or two things finished up this weekend, but not as much as I had planned - no surprise!

One the quilting front:
Earlier this month, I started a rag quilt as kind of a skill builder for machine quilting.

I found the fabrics in the remnant bin at Joann, but they were all one yard cuts, as if someone had gathered the fabrics for a project and then changed their mind before check out. And, since they were on 'regular' sale plus the remnant discount, they practically paid me to take them away!
I got pink, yellow, violet, green and blue gingham check and small dot flannels and I added a couple of solids from the stash.

Without much invested in the fabric (I used remnant batting, too) I decided to use a pattern for a 'crazy rag quilt' that I picked up on sale, just for professional guidance.

Which was a giant mistake.

I cut everything as directed, sliced up the 'crazy' squares, mixed them up and started sewing them back together, but they weren't big enough to trim to the required dimensions. Since consistent seam width seems to be an ongoing challenge for me, I measured and measured again and pressed and repressed, and finally decided to just make my seams a bit more 'scant' so the blocks would be closer to the correct size.

When I got them all sewn and trimmed, it was pretty late and I should have gone to bed, but I was pretty pleased with myself. I wanted to stack a few together and maybe lay a few in a row and see what they looked like. But, when I started reading about stacking the little sandwiches together, the pattern went all crazy on me. It said to put the 'flannel' square in the middle of the sandwich, despite the fact that earlier it told me to cut batting 1/2" larger than the flannel that was now mentioned ( I know that you can use flannel or batting in rag quilts, but I expected consistency within the pattern) and the 'crazy blocks' were described as a half inch smaller than the pattern earlier had referenced, as well.

The pattern had a website listed which turned out to be a quilt shop in Texas. The same pattern was for sale, but the dimensions listed were a bit smaller. No doubt someone, at some point discovered the error and adjustments were made.I emailed the designer and asked if she had the updated instructions in a pdf that she could send me. I know that I can figure it out without the instructions, but I was so irritated that I would have to re-trim the blocks and the batting! I just wanted to tell someone how frustrated I was at wasting so much time and the amount of 're-do' ahead!

The designer answered my email and said she would 'look into it', but I haven't heard back from her. I have gotten as far as re-trimming all the blocks and I re-cut the batting blocks to the right size. But it has been sitting in a bag for the past couple of weeks.

Anyway, after that frustration, I decided that I needed a project that didn't require so much thinking and figuring out!

I had stamped these onsies in February, with the thought that they might be a travel project for my trip at the first of March.
Blue Swallow
Space ship alien.
Coral Kitty
They are intended for a small girl in Utah. I hope they have just a few more weeks of 'long sleeves' weather so she might have use for them.

The designs are from Jenny Hart's "Sublime Stitching", one of my favorite resources for embroidery patterns. First, because she has so many cute patterns, but also because she is one of the few sources for transfers. Not that I'm lazy, you understand. I just want to be able to decide on a pattern, iron it on and stitch away.

Or at least stitch away after two months or so...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Taking the Tiny Car on the Road

This past weekend the 31st Annual "Southwest Unique Little Car Show" was hosted in Upland, California. The Mister and I loaded up the tiny car on Friday and headed out of town.
So shiny with a fresh wax and polish!

We stayed at the 'event headquarters', and there was lots to see in the parking lot!
This is a Zundapp Janus - it looks the same coming and going, with a door that opens in the front and in the back. The yellow car behind it is a Nash Metropolitan.

On Friday night, after check-in, about 80 participants "cruised" about 2 miles to the home of the couple that organized the event. I was not comfortable driving in Friday rush hour traffic on a busy street, so we drove the pick up and I took some photos as folks were arriving.

The driver of this tiny little Peel Trident had no reservations about driving in So Cal traffic. I guess he was sure that other drivers would see the smoke from his engine and get out of his way!

Doesn't it look like George Jetson's car? Only not flying through the air...
This was the scene on the street in front of the hosts' house on Friday night! (Please ignore the shadow of the photog!)
The flowers on this Subaru van looked like they had been on it since the 70's!
At the show on Saturday, there were about 125 micro cars and mini-cars. The 'rule' is that the engine must be less than 1000cc to enter. And most were from the 50's and 60's, but there were some interesting ones that were newer. No Smart-4-2's this year, though.

One marque that I had not seen before was this Singer! I will have to do a bit of research to see if it is related to my featherweight!

Here we are, parked at one of the main entrances to the show, so we had a lot of folks stop and look. I am not sure what model the blue and white car is. It was in 'survivor' condition and was missing all of the badges.

It was nice that the show was in a commercial setting. There were lots of shops and places to eat. I visited a few antique shops but my souvenirs came from the Upland Sewing and Vacuum Store:

I have been reading about 'that quilt' for a few years. I am not sure I will try to do the whole thing, but if I do, it will be red and white. I am guessing it will take me a long time to finish and red and white never looks old fashioned (well, not to me, anyway...)

We left before the awards ceremony, since it was getting late and we wanted to head home early today. I am pretty sure that we didn't win any trophies, this year. There were about 7 or 8 other Isettas there. Since it was not participant judging, I am pretty sure that others with more original restorations would carry the day.

The weather was nice and we had a great time, though. People who like funny little cars are an interesting bunch!