Odds and Ends

So many things going on! There are several short blog posts I’d like to write. Instead, here’s a mish-mash of a few.

First, I’m excited to be presenting to the DeKalb County Quilters’ Guild tomorrow (Thursday) evening. I’ll be discussing design basics for medallion quilts and showing a few quilts in my portfolio. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm. The address for the presentation is
St. Mary’s Parish Activity Center (PAC)
322 Waterman Street
Sycamore, IL
Guests are welcome. I’d love to see you there!

Besides that, I’m working on a quilt with my sister Cathie. (Okay, make that two quilts. This weekend we’ll be quilting that hourglass together.) We’ve done “round” robins before, passing a top between us using a medallion format. Today I made some flower block parts for the next border of our current round robin. In fact, I’ll pass the flower parts on to her. Then she’ll get to decide whether to use them or not. Here are four of the blocks (not fully assembled) arrayed on my design wall in a bouquet.

I’m a member of the yahoo group called Stashbusters. Recently we’ve had discussions on chain-piecing with leaders and enders. Here is a post I wrote previously about that.

Another post I wrote before was on paying attention to your machine. I take good care of mine, cleaning out the lint regularly. Recently I had my main machine serviced to take care of the parts I can’t reach. It was a fairly small investment, less than $100. But today it was making noise as I sewed. I tried listening to it to determine what might be wrong. Ultimately I decided a new needle was in order. Listen to your machine. Often you can take care of the small problems yourself. (A related post you might enjoy is A Stitch in Time. It shares a little history and information on how your machine actually makes those stitches.)

Friday is my mom’s birthday. She would have been 83. I keep a picture of her on my wall and am always glad to have her with me.

And to the more trivial, I finally got my hair cut this week (!!!) and my new business cards came today.

I’m keeping busy. My life is full and I am very blessed.

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14 thoughts on “Odds and Ends

  1. katechiconi

    Love your ‘scrappy post’! I had a look at your previous one about chain piecing. I agree it’s a very time-saving and efficient way to sew things together, but I rarely use it, for one simple reason: memory. Adjacencies are important to me; I lay out all my quilts in advance on my design wall, and what fabric goes where is decided after much deliberation. If I then take down a whole stack of pieces to chain piece, I simply lose track of what should go where. I take photos, make notes, but my chemo-damaged brain has lost the ability to remember what’s going on. So I take the easy route, and sew 4 patches together, always in the same order, always nesting the seams. What I lose in sewing time, I gain in not having to pore over pictures and try and work out where I am… Sadly, I’ll never have a big collection of enders and leaders!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I don’t use the leaders and enders concept, either. But you can do chain piecing even with chemo brain. Just slip a thread bunny under the foot between stitching for each seam, so you have fewer snips and less thread waste. I always have about 3-4 thread bunnies going, so I can start with one, do my seam, and end with one. (And of course they fall on the floor, which is why I need more than 2.)

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  2. Tammy Hutchinson

    Looks similar to the Block Lotto currently in progress! I’m cross country camping (motel night for showers and laundry) but can’t wait to get home to my sewing machine. Love the idea of L & E but have not got that far ahead of myself so I also use bunnies also.

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  3. snarkyquilter

    It’s not exactly leaders and enders, but I have a very small tub of 1.5 inch HSTs I made by sewing an extra seam when I made pointy rectangles. I then cut between the two stitching lines and squared off the resulting small HST. My supply has been diminishing as I raid that tub for projects. And I have made whole baby quilts with squares sewn together as leaders and enders.

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  4. Kay

    I made the Block Lotto tulips, unfortunately I didn’t win but I enjoyed making them and seeing other peoples work. I am making a Leaders and Enders quilt too – the secret is to have a very simple scrappy quilt. In my case I pre cut all the tumblers and they are joined more or less as they come – no brain required! I love your hourglass quilt too

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