Friday, January 27, 2012

Civil War Crossings – Day 1

Was able to work on this top for just a little while today.   We’re off to a sort of plain start.  We’ll have to see where this one goes …


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today is Tuesday …

Got the hexagons stamped on some black fabric for my Grandmother’s Flower Garden piece …


… and the pieces cut for my next quilt …


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yellow Brick Road: Indigo, Pewter & Honey – Day 2

Got the rest of this top pieced late Friday night.


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Downfall of the Sewing-Machine Monopoly (1877)

The following is an article from the Ohio Liberal (of Mansfield, Richland Co., Ohio)newspaper dated 23 May 1877 (Vol. 5, No. 6) …

One of the greatest patent monopolies the country ever knew has recently expired by the running out of the Batchelder continuous feed motion for sewing-machines – without which no machine had any market value.  This important patent was controlled by a combination of the four great companies of Grover & Baker, Wheeler & Wilson, Howe and Singer who fixed the scale of prices for themselves as well as the weaker companies outside the ring and were also obliged to pay a royalty of from three dollars to twenty dollars each machine made.  The combination it is estimated, have made within the twenty-five years duration of the patent a profit of no less than $50,000,000, and naturally these powerful companies did not let this wealth-producing patent expire without great effort for its extension.  A cool million, it is said, was pooled in by them for this purpose, and patent lawyers and lobbyists have been exercising their utmost ingenuity at Washington in favor of the patent, but to no purpose.  It had already been twice extended, and the law would not allow any more.  Now the parties interested have settled down to legitimate business once more, confident with the advantages at their command of still controlling the market and making a comfortable profit at half or less of the former prices.  The simple fact is that the “margin” of profit in the sewing-machine business has been so enormous as to allow manufacturers, agents and canvassers a joint profit of 400 to 500 per cent on their wares.   The actual first cost of the sixty-dollar and seventy-dollar machines sold by the leading companies is, on the confession of their own officers, from eleven dollars to fifteen dollars apiece.  The additional 500 per cent was distributed in royalties, commissions to agents, commissions to canvassers, taxes, office rent and profit to the manufacturer.  The canvasser rarely made less than twenty dollars on each machine sold and when as in the case of the Singer and other large companies, the year’s sales are computed by hundreds of thousands, the amount which the “middle-men” receive becomes enormous.  The manufacturers claim that their own share of profit is only about 80 per cent, and that a large portion of this is swallowed up in the maintenance of their immense establishments, in taxes and in constant and expensive litigation, which the protection of their respective patents entails upon them. The extent and value of the sewing-machine trade may be gathered from the fact that the Singer Company, which last year sold over 260,000 machines, has from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000 invested in its business.  The Howe Company has $7,000,000 to $8,000,000 and the Wheeler & Wilson and other large companies have amounts in proportion.  The companies admit that the business must be considerably revolutionized in the future.  The agency system must be relieved of some of its extravagances, and the practice of “lease sales” has got to be either done away with or greatly narrowed.  In short, a cash basis for the business, and, as far as may be, direct dealings with the companies, are the necessities recognized in the case.

Yellow Brick Road–Indigo, Pewter & Honey

Finally a Yellow Brick Road quilt just for me (since I’ve made about six of them for everyone else!).


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wonder Clips and other updates

Loved the 10-count package of Wonder Clips that Santa brought me so much, that I ordered a package of 50 of them from ($32.99 regularly – less with the 40% coupon).  They came today – so they’ll be ready for action when I am able to start quilting all of my recent tops.  (BTW, I tried getting them at the store but they weren’t available there … had to order on-line.)


According to the UPS site, my HQ-16 upgrades should be arriving on Friday – although it looks like they haven’t left Salt Lake City yet.  (eeek)  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  Will hubby be working that day?  Will we be able to start putting it together?  Will find out soon.

Am anxiously awaiting my paycheck from my last speech so that I can order a couple of things.  I want to get the Fat Eighth bundle of the 1862 Battle Hymn line from Hancocks of Paducah, and a couple of 10” square collections from Keepsake.  I’ve got another speech in February, so I’ll probably order part of that stuff now, and wait for the next speech to order the rest!  (can I resist the temptation?)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tumbling Blocks

I wanted to learn how to hand piece, so I started a tumbling blocks quilt.


I used Kathleen Tracy’s Tumbling Blocks quilt from her book Remembering Adelia as my inspiration, but since it was my first experiment with hand piecing, I made the diamonds a bit larger than she called for in the pattern.

I had soooooo much fun with this hand piecing project!!!  I looked forward to t.v. time every night so that I could work on it.  Within just a few nights I had enough block units assembled into rows, and I could start putting the rows together.

I added the borders today and got the binding cut.  Can’t wait to get this one quilted.

And because I enjoyed it so much, I started a new hand piecing project Tuesday night!  The new one will be a Grandmother’s Flower Garden style piece in Civil War repros.  For that I’m using the template stamp that I got over at Good Wives Co. last week.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Commemorative Civil War Quilt–Day 3

Here’s a picture of this one now that the sashing strips and borders have been attached.


Commemorative Civil War Quilt – Day 2

Worked on more flying geese units late Sunday morning, and early that afternoon.  Spent some of the late afternoon in the family room watching the football game, and ended up falling asleep.  (I still haven’t recovered from my speech Tuesday)  Went back up and worked on assembling the rows before dinner, and finished it up after dinner. 


I’ve got my sashing strips fussy cut, but I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to attach them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Commemorative Civil War Quilt – Day 1

Started on this lap quilt kit this morning.  This is another one of the great kits that I’ve gotten at Good Wives Co. (Marion, Ohio).   Yes I’ll say it again – I just love that store!


Yes it’s all about Flying Geese units, but there are some (fussy cut) sashing strips that will go between the rows.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pink Lemonade – Day 4

Spent the morning in my office working on genealogy paperwork, and then it was into the quilt room for a bit of clean up.  Finally about 4:00 p.m. I was able to put my Pink Lemonade blocks together.


Once it was all trimmed it really looked nice!  Now, to decide what to use as a binding.

Thursday errands … Whew!

Yesterday was a loonnnnggg day.  I had so many things to accomplish, and I wanted to get them done before the snowstorm hit today. 

1.  Walgreens
2.  CVS
3.  Office Max
4.  Meijer
5.  JC Penney
6.  Pizza Hut

Since hubby was working ‘til 8 p.m., I was on my own for dinner.  By this time I had been in and out of all of these places in the rain, I didn’t want to get out of the car again.  So I sat in the mall parking lot after leaving Penney’s, and got on my iPad to order a pizza.  I know I shouldn’t be amazed at this point, but boy was it cool!  I went to their website, found the pizza hut down the road by entering the zip code.  Then I told them I wanted a personal pan pizza with onions, bacon and mushrooms.  I hit the order button and it told me that my pizza would be ready at 5:46.  I drove down to Pizza Hut and parked for a few minutes in an out-of-the-way spot until it was time to go up to the drive-thru window.  When it got to be about 5:44, I drove over to the window – told the kid my name, handed him my credit card and he handed me my pizza.  Super slick!  I pulled over to a parking space and sat there eating my pizza while listening to the radio and watching the busy traffic go by in the cold, drizzly rain.  Pretty soon it was time to head home to get my groceries put away. 

When I walked in the door at home the phone was ringing.  Wow – it was the gal from HandiQuilter calling to tell me that the carriage upgrade had been completed, and that, along with my frame and track upgrades would be mailing out Friday or Monday.  Woo Hoo!!!!! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A trip on a blustery January day …

Made a trip to Good Wives Company (Marion, Ohio) yesterday.  It really has become one of my favorite shops.  They are pretty much a Civil War repro. place, and that is 100% fine with me.  Here’s a picture of what I got …


The blue fabric in the background is for a binding, and the pink will hopefully be a border on a project I may be starting soon.  The cheddars in the foreground are to help replace some of my cheddar collection that I’ve been using up lately.  And the lighter blue stripe – well, that one just struck a chord with me and I had to get some of it!  The main reason I drove over there was the kit that you see on the left.  It’s all done with flying geese – it should be cool.  And I bought the hexagon stamp for some more hand piecing fun!

I also got a neat pincushion, but it’s downstairs and I need to take a better picture of that.  It’s so cute!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pink Lemonade – Day 3

Spent a large portion of the afternoon working on the blocks.  Would have gotten more done tonight but I spent the evening watching t.v. and hand piecing some more tumbling blocks down in the family room.  Still working on color placement, so none of this is stitched together yet.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Pink Lemonade – Day 2

Started choosing the fabrics for this piece on Saturday, and was able to do some cutting and sewing on Sunday.  The idea for this quilt called Pink Lemonade is from the Humble Quilts site (  It’s a fantastic blog if you haven’t seen it.


Don’t think my husband is too keen on the colors that I’ve selected.  He gave me one of those “that’s nice dear” looks when I showed him the inspiration quilt at the Humble Quilts site, and I got the same look again when I showed him some of the fabrics that I was pulling from my Civil War repro bins.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Block withdrawal …

Well this is the first weekend without a Civil War block to do since the beginning of 2011.  It was such a bummer to wake up yesterday and not have a block to check for.  I still have to select my sashing for those blocks, and then get it finished up and quilted.

In other news, my cold is slowly getting better (I think).  There are football games to watch today, and a quilt to work on … better head in there and get to work!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas Mystery Quilt (1/6/2012)

Well here’s to my first finished quilt of 2012.  I finished up the 12 Days Of Christmas Mystery Quilt last night, and with hubby getting home late – I didn’t feel like running around with the camera to take pictures and get them posted.   I liked the way it turned out overall.  I wish that I had cut block one from the red version of that fabric, rather than the brown version that was going to end up in the top border.  Oh well.  I ditch quilted around each square, and then used beige #100 silk to quilt an X in each block.  I did some freemotion meandering with blue silk and brown silk in the side and top borders.  And for this piece I used a single-fold binding – my first time attempting that (normally I do a double-fold).  It turned out very well, and gave me a chance to use the Wonder Clips that arrived in my stocking from Santa a couple of weeks ago!  (they worked great)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas Mystery Quilt – Day 11

This cold is still sticking with me … but I was able to finish today’s block!


Redware & Harvest – Day 3

Finished up this quilt top this evening.  The picture is sort of fuzzy.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas Mystery Quilt – Day 10

Again, a little late today – but my Day 10 block is done.


Redware & Harvest – Day 2

Finished all of the individual blocks, tomorrow I'll put them together.  Have been auditioning reds for the setting blocks.  Can’t make up my mind.


Monday, January 2, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas Mystery Quilt – Day 9

Still not feeling well – got a late start on today’s block. 


Redware & Harvest – Day 1

Well today was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quilting.  Early this morning I finished a small quilt top called Point Of View (pictured elsewhere on my blog).  I also completed block 8 of the 12 Days Of Christmas Mystery Quilt (again, pictured elsewhere on my blog).  I took some time out to fix New Year’s Day dinner … traditional pork roast and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc.   After dinner I sat in the family room and started a HAND PIECING project … a first for me.  I was pretty happy with the results.  I’ll post more about that tomorrow or Tuesday. 

Later this evening I returned to the quilt room to continue working on the Redware & Harvest quilt that I started earlier.


I’m using four different dark fat quarters, but only one shirting.  I’ve chosen four different cheddars to use for the larger triangles, and I’ll probably end up using three dark reds.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas Mystery Quilt – Day 8

Despite not feeling too well today, I finished up block 8.


Point Of View – Day 2

My first quilt top of 2012.  The picture makes it look brown, but the outer border is actually in shades of blue.