ScrappyTripAroundTheWorld: Design Wall Update

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Any clue why this block is called Scrappy? I didn’t use scraps. I had to cut fresh 2 1/2″ strips from stash. I guess because it “looks” scrappy.

Anyhoo, I have been accumulating blocks since I first showed them to you up on my design wall the beginning of February. (On the bottom left)

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I had been making them on and off in between my other projects. After finishing the Crossroads to Jericho quilt top, my attention turned to Scrappy Trip Around The World (STATW).

When I first started making these blocks, the process seemed easy enough. Cut the strips, sew them together, press, sew one side to create a tube, trim the top for a clean straight edge, cut into six 2 1/2″ sections. Whew!! I am tired just typing that.


Cut and sew together six strips. 2 1/2″ by 15″

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Press with seams in opposite directions.

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Sew one side to form the tube.

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Cut tube into six sections of 2 1/2″ each.

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But wait!! Not finished. Next comes the fun part. Getting out the thread ripper and removing the seams you just sewed. Yep, you have to “undo” the seams to create those pretty columns. I prepared a few at a time so they would be ready to sew back together when the urge hit me. Pinning to match up the seams was sooo time consuming but I preferred it instead of ending up with unabutted (is that a word, 😀 ) seams.


Ripping out seams to form strips.

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The first time I did this, I was so confused and ripped out the wrong seams. It was a head-scratcher. Until I figured out the trick. The trick is this. Whatever fabric is on the BOTTOM is the fabric you rip the seam for next. It is like you are going bottom to top.

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Ripping done. All six strips lined up with the burgundy fabric going diagonally down the center.

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Each seam pinned before sewing columns together.

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And done… perfectly abutted.

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I pressed the blocks so I could see them all nice and flat up on my design wall.

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Not happy with the “pink” sections. They stand out too much. Thinking about pulling them and making a little quilt with just them. Right now the blocks measure 76″ by 76″. Six across and six down.

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One thing… I am so glad I decided to used a burgundy color for the centers. Easier to see the diamond pattern.

BTW, in case you are wondering… I am happily bonding with my new sewing machine. Janome Horizon Memory Craft 7700 QCP.

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It seems to sew quieter and is much faster than my old one. I had to dial the speed down. Couple things I have to get used to. The Up and Down Needle Setting won’t stay engaged. I am constantly pressing one or the other. My old Janome had a selection on the screen and when I selected it, that setting overrode the button I pressed on the machine. Does that make sense? So.. not happy with that and also it is awkward having to reach all the way to the back of the machine to lift up the Foot Lifter. My old one was on the side. Closer to me. Oh well.

But so far, those are two things I am adjusting too. Still reading. Still learning. The main reason I got it was for quilting. (Well, actually hubby “got” it. He paid for it. He was tired of me complaining I did not have enough quilting space. 😀 What a guy!!) It has three separate quilting feet. Loving that. Going to try them out today or tomorrow. Wish me luck!!

Have you jumped on the STATW bandwagon? How many blocks did you make? Do tell…

Go here if you would like to make your own STATW.

“MAY” Round Up… The Big Eye

Updated 7-18-12.

When I was little and piled more food on my plate than I could possibly eat, my mom would say I had the “big eye.”

When AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts posted her May Small Projects Sew-a-long, I signed on thinking what a perfect time to work on recent unfinished projects plus a few back burners.

So, I made up my list. Will Do and Want To Do’s.


  • Download embroidery designs from my PC to sewing machine
  • Embroider one design, maybe two
  • Faux Chenille quilt finished
  • One handbag with grommets finished 6-9-12
  • Machine Felting, start one project finished two projects
  • Work on Umbrella quilt finished quilt top -6 blocks 7-18-12
  • Make more zippered bags four finished


  • Finish 4th of July Picnic Blanket/Table Runner/D9P Finished 6-25-12
  • Make pincushion inspired by coffee mug Made two 6-18-12
  • Work on Game Boards for Family Reunion
  • Work on black/white/red Postage Stamp Quilt Panel #2 made, 6-5-12.
  • Finish Attic Window Bird Cage pillow

But guess what happened? Yep. You guessed it.


I was only able to cross off TWO items. How embarrassing!! But it certainly wasn’t for the lack of trying. (I will tell you more about that in a minute.)

One thing not on my two lists received the most attention. My charity pillowcase project I recently started. Throughout May I sewed and sewed and ended up finishing 41 pillowcases. I timed making one pillowcase and if piecing wasn’t necessary and I could just cut and sew, it took me exactly one hour. Piecing added an extra 30 minutes or longer. So roughly I would say I devoted about 50 hours making pillowcases. That included fabric selection, ironing and preparation time. But seeing them finished, folded and ready to ship brought me so much joy. Many smiles. I was delighted to donate the time and materials.

Here they are.

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In between making pillowcases, I managed to make one quilted handbag. The plan was to add grommets (and then I could have crossed it off my list) but I ended up using wooden handles instead. 😦

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One thing on the WILL DO list I completed was this little zippered bag. 😀

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It goes with the handbag.

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And even though my Faux Chenille finished quilt/blanket was for a DOLL, I am crossing it off anyway. I went through the entire process. Learned it, sewed it, finished it. And have plans to make a larger one this month.

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So.. those were my two On-The-List finishes.

OK. Now let me tell you about my PROJECT ATTEMPTS.

I spent HOURS trying to figure out how to download embroidery designs to my Janome MC 10001 sewing machine.

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Everyday I would search the net, search Janome’s web site. Nothing I tried worked. The culprit? My operating system. Using my USB cable that came with my sewing machine, I could not automatically find the required drivers. And a manual search didn’t find them either. The program fix I found at Janome didn’t work. Because I have a 64 bit (????) system and the USB connected download only works with 32 bits. So… I am really frustrated right now. After I cool off (don’t want to be mean and cuss at the poor sewing center workers), I plan to take it all in and demand ask for help. Hopefully sometime this month I will be able to embroider one of the digital designs I bought five years ago.

Another item on my list that I can say a bit of progress was made was learning about my Janome Xpression Felting Machine.

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I have had it, I think, about 4-5 years. And never used it. I can proudly say, I am now more familiar with it, the tools and the process. More so than ever. I spent HOURS (about as many as on the embroidery issue) reading my manual, searching the net, watching how-to videos. I am certain I will be able to complete a machine felted project in June. How’s that!! One Machine Felted Item Coming Up!!

Though I only managed to finish two items on my list, I still count May as a success because of what I DID finish. (Photos below if not above)

41 charity pillowcases
2 pillowcases for me
1 doll pillowcase
1 quilted handbag
1 zippered clutch
1 faux chenille doll blanket
1 doll ruffled pillow
1 little girl’s purse

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Well, that does it for me. How about you? Did you complete your May projects?

Linking to:

5 Years And Hardly Know You

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For the last few days I have been reading my Janome 10001 Memory Craft sewing machine manual and watching the video that came with it. I know I watched the video 5 years ago but some of the bells and whistles are just becoming clearer and making sense now.

First off, I have been saying Janome all wrong. I had been pronouncing it Ja (like you would start off saying jug), NO, Me. That is not how they say it at all. In the video it sounds like they are saying Ja (like jaw) No May.

The reason I dusted off the manual was because I wanted to know more about the twin needle function. How to thread, what to use it for. Also I wanted to know how to download embroidery patterns.

Along the way, I found out I could blanket stitch applique pieces. Even found out I could lock stitch the last stitches when I come to the end. I had been backstitching and sometimes making a bunched up mess. I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with my embroidery screen prompts. My machine can do WAY MORE than I thought.

If you are like me, reading a manual to ANYTHING is right up there with scheduling a root canal. I Hate It!! But usually after finally taking the time, it ends up being so worth it. Time well spent. Hopefully I will be showing you some of my newly learned knowledge soon.

And time to dust these off too. I bought all of this embroidery stuff when I bought my sewing machine. I made a couple of practice pieces and used the Sulky spray adhesive. The rest… just collecting dust… somewhere. Got to go find them.

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How about you? What did you “wing” and not bother reading the manual? Did you ever go back to read it?

More IDEA Sandwiches

Only been one day and I am going through no-sewing withdrawal already……

I hated to part with it, but I took my sewing machine in for repairs yesterday. The repairman was off so I couldn’t ask him any questions. But the Sales Associate seemed knowledgeable about my machine, Janome Memory Craft 10001, though it is no longer on the sales floor. It is not that old. I have had mine for about 5 years. I guess it is now considered Grandfathered. An antique. Anyhoo, she quoted 10 working days and $150. 😦

So… since I couldn’t sew anything, I decided I needed a bit of fabric therapy. I flipped through my quilting books looking for pretty blocks easy enough for a person with limited skills.

And I played with my fabric stash.

Made these new Idea Sandwiches.

First, let’s discuss my obsession with Polka Dots. I LOVE THEM!! I think I have them in all colors. Different size dots.

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The 1st one looks great. But even better with a bit of color added.

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This purple and lavender combination makes me all knee-wobbly. I just want to get the rotary cutter and start cutting!! The outside print is from The Lennette Stash. It pulls all the other prints together.

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Sometimes it just takes adding newly purchased fabrics to your stash pieces. Like this combination. The center orange and purple floral is new. The others had for a while. They blend so well. It’s like I walked around in the fabric store putting them together.

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I love putting playful fabrics together. To satisfy the little kid in me. Novelty fabrics. They are high up on my Like To Work With list.

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This “sandwich” happened after I received this really cute guitar fabric from my friend, Nana/Betty. I had a couple ideas on what I wanted to make.

So I went through my stash and gathered up a few Fat Quarters. Then, at JoAnn’s, I saw this white background musical fabric.

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And on-line, I found this really cute Kitty newspaper fabric. I knew I had to buy it. Did a bit of fussy cutting to cut out the section I wanted. A cat playing a guitar. How perfect!!

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This next one… tsk, tsk, all you ladies listen up.

It is How To Keep Your Husband fabric. LOL!! Too funny. No clue where to get more. It was in the scraps I purchased from eBay a couple years ago. It is just a small piece. About 1/2 the size of a FQ. But I will add these other fabrics to it and come up with something.

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This blue fabric with mustard hearts is from The Lennette Stash. Imagine my delight when I saw the exact same fabric in red at JoAnn’s. Add in the other prints and I should be able to come up with something nice.

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This last one will probably be a Dresden Plate Something. They just scream “make me up in the round”, don’t they. Can’t wait to get to cutting them. I have even more purple prints that will go with these. I will use them all. The more the merrier!!

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Well, that does it. My New Idea Sandwiches. The fabrics are all set. Now just need to decide on what to make. (If only I had a sewing machine.)

2 Weeks of Sew Petite

Tuesday, August 4

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Look what I found in the closet. Open, but still in the box.  I had pulled everything out to make sure all the parts were there… about 2 years ago when I bought it. Haven’t touched it since. Until yesterday.

Was I surprised to find NO on-off switch!! How the heck do I turn it on? Back to the manual. It turns on automatically by touching the foot pedal. Who knew!! And no LIGHTS!! LOL!! Is this a toy? Nope. Right on the box states. Not a Toy.

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OK, back to the manual. The main thing, actually, THE ONLY THING I am interested in, is how to wind a bobbin. Lucky me, the bobbin it uses is the same as my Janome 10001. Now we are cooking!!

What a racket!! The needle thingy goes up and down the whole time it winds the bobbin.

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But it got the job done. I wound four bobbins. Then I decided to give Sew Petite a rest after it sounded like it was going to fall apart.  😀

I don’t think it will last the 2 weeks my REAL machine will be away from home in the repair shop.  If you start to see me posting about beading, then you know Sew Petite is Sew Kaput.

Cut and Waiting Its Turn/Bobbin Winder Broken

Tuesday, July 28

Today was all about organizing fabric and putting them in piles. Prints and patterns I wouldn’t normally mix. Thinking outside the box here. Getting my creative juices flowing.

I cut some strips. Used scissors. So glad these don’t have to be perfect.

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These are waiting to be cut.

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I am so excited. I love making these fabric bowls. I am trying to make them different. Changing up how I end the coil. What I do for the handle or IF basket will have a handle.

I wish my sewing machine was loving me sewing on it. It’s only a couple years old. I bet I haven’t used it more than 100 times and the bobbin winder called in sick. I can’t get it to move. I guess it is stuck on “leave me be”. I cleaned the bobbin case. Now, how could the two be related? One is inside the machine and the other is up on top of the machine. When one is moving, the other is not. But HEY!! What do I know!! I cleaned it anyway.

Still didn’t work. I don’t know what else to do. I went through my manual. They is nothing on bobbin winder won’t move. Will be calling the repair shop tomorrow. I hope they can fix it on the spot. Don’t want to leave it. Just when the urge to sew is so strong.

Oh well… I have plenty of fabric to cut up.

Psst.. You are probably wondering why those yellow and red rings are sitting on top of the fabric. You will have to wait for my post on Fabric Bowl #4. 😀

Fabric Bowl #2, Fall Leaves

Wednesday, July 22

If someone had told me I would be glued to a sewing machine for four hours and enjoying it, I would have told them “no way, not gonna happen”.

BUT… WAY, it did happen!! Well, off and on, between cutting fabric strips, wrapping the cord, sewing, stopping, wrapping, sewing, stopping…

This fabric bowl took me about 5 hours to make. The bowl posted on Craft Stylish took 4 hours. So I guess that makes me a slow sewer. I am OK with that. Especially when they come out LIKE THIS!!

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I selected the fabric to make my 2nd bowl sometime last week.

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I added some fat quarters, ended up using just one. Thread I already had. And I used 8mm macrame cord instead of clothes line. It is working out really well.

Here’s my sewing machine in action. I have a Janome Memory Craft 10001. I am actually loving it!! It does all sorts of neat tricks at the touch of a finger. I kept altering the width and length of the zig zag stitch. Cool!!

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And I put all those years in the corporate world to good use. 40 years of organizational skills learned. I created a “strip organizer”. 😀

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These are pictures taken as I was almost finished.

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The STUMPER in making this bowl is what to do with the cord end when finished. ???

I think I solved it. By twirling it around and adding a crochet flower and a button to somewhat cover it. Looks good to me.

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Go here for instructions to make your own. I altered it a bit.

One Day of Rest & Back To Sewing

Tuesday, April 29

OK, I feel rested now and ready to go. Back to Sewing!! Cause Macrame Month is around the corner. (As if anyone even remembers or cares what it is, LOL!!)

But today I need to make a visit to the Janome store. I want them to tell me how to sew through stacks of denim. My sewing machine, Janome 10001, doesn’t seem to like heaps of thick fabric. And for the price I paid for it, it should sew through gold!!

I don’t normally pay much attention to needles. Just turn the machine on and go. That is, until I break one. Several days ago, I broke a needle sewing on denim. I switched to a size 16 and that seemed to fix the problem but today it jammed again and would not go through the fabric at all. Oh, what a racket the machine made. I guess it told me, don’t even think about it!! I have no clue what size needle I need so I will let the experts tell me.

So…if you are looking for me, that is where I will be. BBL