Nautical Quilt Blocks

Nautical Quilt in Progress, Pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew : Fresh Lemons Quilts

We are now on the 5th day of school…and my 1st grader is home with a fever. Poor guy! Secretly, I have missed him a lot during the transition back, so I don’t mind the extra cuddles. (And he seems to be brightening up too!)

I was pretty productive in those first few days of school though. I bought Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew’s Nautical quilt pattern. I was looking for a quilt design with Nautical flags and was very excited to see she had one in her shop. She always has great directions and this pattern is no exception. I breezed through making 50 blocks in 3 days while catching up on some tv.

Nautical Quilt in Progress, Pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I am using the same color scheme as the cover quilt. I noticed I didn’t have a lot of blues in that shade, so I’ll be on the hunt to work on my stash in that area. Anyone have suggestions for the backing? Once I get these blocks together, I will have two quilts to baste! I see some quilting in my future. :)

Back to School and August Bee Blocks

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The kids are officially back in school. I promise my blog isn’t going to turn into only pictures of my children, but we did stitch up our August Not Your Mama’s Bee quilt blocks in the days before going back. The last two months, I’ve found it a bit challenging to help both kids make their blocks at the same time. I still do the ironing and rotary cutting…and my son needs a bit of help with the machine. So this time we worked on two different days.

This month we made blocks for Angela’s daughter. She requested simple blocks of 16 squares, cut 4″ x 4″, and featuring Heather Ross prints and other fabrics that were pink, blue, yellow and purple.

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I mentioned before that my daughter is getting pretty self sufficient on my BERNINA 440QE. You can see her set up in the above photo. The only thing she needs is a couple books under the foot pedal! We did our sewing on a Saturday morning, and it was pretty wonderful. I sewed next to her, finishing up my Picnic Point quilt top. She made her block. I think this was the first time we sewed side-by-side like this. It was such a great memory.

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My son had fun picking fabrics (as usual) but was less interested when it came to waiting for mommy to cut the fabrics and iron the seams. :)

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I learned this month that sewing a long straight seam is harder for beginners than several short seams. It was a lesson in patience (and seam ripping) when we tried to have a consistent seam allowance the entire way down the block.

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We also ditched him sitting in my lap, and I had him stand at the machine and push the foot pedal while I stood behind him and helped guide his hands. Still getting the hang of it!

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I’m now enjoying a bit of quiet while they are gone for the day…and my mind is full of ideas as to how to spend the next nine months until another summer vacation!

A “New” Friend Joins the Party ~ Singer Featherweight 221

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have a bit of a confession. A “new” friend came to live with me last week. Meet Betty Bee. She is a Singer Featherweight 221, born in 1950. Sharing her this week is sort of timely, as yesterday was the anniversary of Isaac Singer’s patent of the sewing machine.

A few weeks ago, during my weekend in Wisconsin, I spent some time eyeing Jeni and Holly’s featherweights. Such great machines, and wow, just amazing that something with that many moving parts 60, 70, even 80 years old can still work perfectly!

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided that a Singer Featherweight would be a perfect travel sewing machine…and even a “kitchen table” sewing machine. My house is tall and narrow, so my sewing studio is up on a third floor. I love the idea of having a permanent, lightweight machine that I can stitch on in the kitchen when the kids are home, and then store away on a book shelf when not in use. I know a lot of these machines are listed on eBay, so I started there. I was pretty overwhelmed and honestly, I am not an eBay person. Just tell me the price and end the games! :) But after looking over listings and finding one that appeared to be in good shape, I did some bidding and actually won! Meet Betty Bee – named by my 8 year old daughter.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Betty Bee had one owner before me, and previously lived very nearby in Wisconsin. In fact, so close that she took less than 24 hours to arrive at my house. The original owner’s name was on a piece of paper in the case (that also included the name of her former employer), so I Googled her and was able to print out a little history to store with the machine.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She is in great condition. As with any machine, learning to thread it and get started can be a process. (Yes, it took me some time to realize I had the needle in wrong!)

I joined a Singer Featherweight 221/222 group on Facebook, which has awesome information in the Files area related to the machine. I also followed some online videos to help me clean her, switch the bulb to an LED, and replace the felt drip pad. (I bought the bulb, felt and a couple other maintenance items at April 1930’s Featherweight Specialty Shop.) She came with the original manual so I used that to make sure she was oiled and lubed in all the right spots.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides apparently being addicted to sewing machines, I also have a weakness for Lululemon. I managed to get a bag there that fits Betty Bee and some supplies perfectly.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Here it is, next to the original case.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I am sure you will see more glimpses of Betty Bee popping up here and there. She came with a bunch of presser feet, some look more like torture devices. But I’m guessing I will mostly piece with her.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She will be much cared for and used in her new home, and my daughter has already claimed her for once I die. Ha! A long, long time from now. 😉

Not Your Mama’s Bee ~ July

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

July was the second month for my kid’s Not Your Mama’s Bee. If you happened to miss June’s post, a group of friends have put together a quilting bee for our kids! We have ages 5 to 9, boys and girls. And I think the parents are learning as much as the kids.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This month happened to be my daughter’s month to request blocks. Recently we have been talking about giving her bedroom a little makeover. I decorated it back when she was 2, and although I think it still works great for an 8 year old, she is ready for a change. I can’t really argue too much with her, as I change things here and there all the time.

She really likes the idea of a navy, pink, turquoise and gold room, so she requested Star Quilt Blocks of any size in those colors. She made a wonky star herself, and my 6 year old son made a sawtooth star. Not sure I’d recommend making flying geese with a 6 year old again, but we survived! :)

The kids are doing great with the sewing machines. I have my daughter using my BERNINA 440QE and she can now pretty much sew independently on it. My son is sewing with my help on my BERNINA Ambassador machine (the 750QE). He loves to push the thread cutting button when we are done stitching. This month I started letting him push the foot pedal, but I still help guide his hands as he guides the fabric. To say he’s accident prone would be an understatement! Much to their dismay, I am still keeping the speed turned way down on both machines.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So far she’s received 9 of her blocks. Above you’ll see the 6 we had back when we took the photos. She is talking about doing a random layout with blocks of solids/prints mixed in. (Similar to my Starfall Quilt).

And now we are already into August, and ready to sew a new block for a new friend!