Oct 17, 2014

checking in (edited)

Almost a week since I posted.  It has been a different kind of week with some rainy mornings and increased critter detail with Oscar indoors more.  There was a threat of severe weather on Monday and Tuesday, to the point that I cancelled Tuesday's Bama Belle meeting ahead of time, based on the available data at the time.  (I did not want to be on the phone cancelling in the middle of a thunderstorm, hail or high winds  Just stay home and hope it doesn't happen.)

Home details have taken the forefront.   My poor neighbor has been over twice to help with those troublesome toilet innards.  It started with a broken chain and then the flapper and maybe the valve needs replaced or it is beyond hope and the whole tank might need replaced.  If you are going to have to replace half of it, should you just do the whole thing??   Now I know first hand what it took for DJ to try to keep the plumbing up and running as first one and then other would be balking.  For right now the water is completely shut off to mine and I am using his.  I can't have it flushing itself every 20 minutes or spraying water all over the place when the water is on.  Glynda and Robert's son is more the plumbing expert, Robert said but he is gone on vacation till late next week.  I'll try to hold off--and hold on to the fill valve I bought, just in case.

I've done a little baking but then opted not to go to the guild retreat after all.  See above--I may need to replace the toilet and the gas/food money/my part of the room rental fee may have to go to better use.  That and it is Talladega race weekend so there is more traffic to get over to Pell City. ( I shoved  all the brownies in the freezer.)  Other than that, the usual parts of homemaking have taken up my time minus a bit of sewing time.  Just a bit.


Nothing wrong with this cover really,  just the wrong colored red.  I can finally have things that match in here which was my goal.  (Pattern from Cotton Ginny).  My friend Pam helped me with putting in the piping but I severely messed up in making this and it has never really fit right either.  The cat part is cute!  I only use it to cover the Singer as the others have hard cases or I've already made them a fitted one.   Looking at this, picture I think I need to move that button back another inch or so to get that thread catcher to hang a bit straighter!!!  Add that to the to-do list.


I used a pattern that someone had pinned on pinterest which led me to a wonderful tutorial at Ellyn's Place.  I did not want another one that was fitted to the machine as I do use that cover over some of the others in my sewing arsenal when they are in use.  However, I did measure them just to be sure and basically, they all came out to about 16 1/2 x 27 for measurements.  Occasionally I need this to cover the machine while it is countersunk into the table so I don't care that it is a bit short when the machine is set on the table.

Mine looks so "blah" compared to Ellyn's!!  Honestly, I wish I had been able to use the gingham fabric for this but there was not enough yardage left after skirting the computer desk.  We all know that Riley Blake is only going to be making the medium sized check now.  The Save the Riley Blake Gingham/See you in September Hop did accomplish that much!  Since it is from an older 2010 line,  I doubt I will find what I am looking for online unless it would be in a the secondary market.

SO I varied my version by making, as Ellyn said in her tute, a small quilt.  Since my lining is the same as the front of the piece I just quilted the whole thing rather than sew and flip strips of fabric.   I almost started to mark it for cross hatching when I noticed how much of a directional piece the floral pattern was.  You could almost see the lines across the fabric when viewed from that angle.  Woohoo!  No marking necessary, just follow the flower stems.

A few other minor variances or design choices:
  • I rounded the edges just a bit to echo the shape in the machine mat corners and used bias binding.  Gingham, plaid, stripes all look great on the bias so that was partly a design decision and partly because of the rounded corners.  
  • I did have some red buttons I could have used but again, I chose covered buttons as that is what I used to suspend the little thread catcher on the sewing mat.   
  •  I don't know that this pictures shows you how cute the little side scrunchies are.  Take a better look at Ellyn's as hers had a good picture and far more contrast!  
  •  I used cording as I seemed to have cut my self made fabric loops a little too wide and I was using 3/4 inch elastic, not the one inch Ellyn recommended.  I cut my scrunchie strip just a hair less in width because of that.  
  • She had a great tip for hanging the scissors off her cover--using a small button behind the larger one to create a bit of separation.  I did not need to do that as I put my scissors in the sewing mat I just made.  Still, a clever idea!!
This would be laying down a bit better if I had taken the thread spool OFF the machine for the glamour shot but I am pleased with how it came out.  Simple and effective.

Am I really done??  Well, I still have a bit more of that floral yardage. Not enough gingham or brown dot to do much with.  I have a feeling those will be turning up in scrap quilts, bowties, etc for some time to come.  My friend Kitty will get some of the really scrappy pieces in the basket at some point, probably.

I was thinking of replacing the pre-quilted fabric on my portable sewing cutting/pressing mat to freshen it up. It is a good thing to have along on "sewing away from home outings" especially if they involve foundation piecing.  Years ago Fons and Porter sold kits for these with small "sheet of paper" sized mats along with the "boards", not sure what this stuff is really called but I think it is the same stuff that my dad used to cut me a table insert for the Singer.   The back was padded so you could open up the "book" and press on that side of the thing.  Inside it had a small cutting mat and I had added a piece of sandpaper on the other side of mine for hand piecing, marking lines for flippy triangles and the like.  I've got the directions around here somewhere but I don't know that they still sell the kits. I checked and either don't know the the proper name to enter for a search or they just don't do it anymore.  The  magazine it came in probably dates back to 1999 so long ago sold out.  They sent reprints for the directions if I remember correctly.  Anyway,  I know that the sandpaper side board can be saved as it tore that off already.  The mat side is really gooey underneath from whatever fixative stuff I had used.  I know that I still have double stick carpet tape around here and that was one of the products used.  Sound like a today project to me.

The room is set up to quilt as I figured I would start on that soon but you know me---like a dog with a bone until the job is done once I get an idea in my head.  Keeps my mind off tires loosing air and toilets acting up when I sew. (Can you say "ka-ching"? or OUCH!)

Once that is done or I decide not to do it,  I think I can finally say, I am done with that fabric unless there is enough left to make an apron or something, LOL, I'm thinking not though as I want a twill like chef's apron. ( I left my fav apron in Colorado when I was helping with the wedding food and my busy sister has not mailed it back! It may have been stained beyond all reason and missing half of one tie but it had seen us through a lot of meals.)

Off to find the directions for that sewing mat, I guess and move that button!!  Oh, and I need to put up the Halloween quilts and wall hangings or I will not get to enjoy them this year.  Thought of that a few days ago and still have not done it.  THX for stopping by and reading through the rambling.  That is how my mind works---------


Just finished this up after a run to the hardware store for the sandpaper, 2 sheets, thank you very much.  I was supposed to glue it down but with what?  Wood glue, Elmer's, hot glue sticks, more double stick carpet tape??  I remembered that I had gotten some spray adhesive stuff so used that but the wind gusted and I got it all over my left hand in particular and even some on my right arm.  We'll see how this works out.

I WAS calling it the wrong thing in my search on site.  It is called a "Take-Along Work Surface"  and first appeared in "Sew Many Quilts" back in July/August 98.   Then they reprinted it in "Fons and Porter Love of Quilting" in Sept/October 2005.  THX Google.  They DO sell it on their shopping site as a digital pattern.  I re-used the hardwood boards anyway.   Everything on hand except the sandpaper and it is possible there is some out in the shed but I can't find anything in there.  One of these days I am going to down size that space too but there is no electric source or lights out there and it is still too warm to want to be out in it long.


  1. i really liked your before too....well done Linda..

  2. Looking good!! - "Just follow the flower stems" - neat trick!! - ;)) And your friend Kitty is trying to get her own scraps under control - so take your time - ;))

  3. yay! it all looks great! what a cheerful well coordinated space you have to sew in now!

  4. The machine cover is very cute. The take along board would be an excellent Christmas gift for a couple of friends....hmmm.


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