Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vintage Books Found in Kansas City

Lets start with the non-craft books:

Arnold SchwarzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger Book 2

I just died of laughter when I saw this book in the Salvation Army store in Overland Park, KS. Ah, the 70's... My husband is a weight lifter. He has an Arnold workout book that is a little more recent. This one was published in 1979. I love, rolling my eyes, the workout leotard ;). And, no, I did not purchase this one. Despite it's comedic/nostalgic value. Now on to the craft books.

Quilting Books from Salvation Army Store

Three books I rescued from a thrift store in Overland Park, KS. They were a dollar a piece. The pictures are dated, the 1980's, but the content is still good to apply to more updated  my projects. The books are:

The patchwork books cover quilting as well as using quilted fabric to make other types of projects like pillows, bears, cats, potholders, etc. The Machine Stitchery book covers applique and other stitch technique like in next picture.


This was a project inside the Machine Stitchery book. I like the technique. You stitch around what you want to remove. Then you remove the fabric and you get these great cut outs.

Polka-Dot Quilt Pattern

I love this quilt. I would, hmph, since I keep buying fabric with circle patterns. I think I would be able to do a more random dot pattern with this as a jumping off point.

1988 Heart Apron

Yet another "rolling on the floor laughing" moment for me in the thrift store. I love the vintage photos; it reminds me of my childhood ;) I held this up to my husband and asked if he could date the book. He was close; he guessed the early 80's. This book was published in 1987. Once again, I think I can apply the principles behind the patterns in the book to my future projects.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kansas City

We are vacationing in Kansas City this weekend. We hopped down to the Country Club Plaza yesterday and were able to get some really great photos of the statues littered throughout the plaza. It was a little humid, but we made it through with a little help from Winstead's ice cream and cheeseburgers :)

Here is some eye candy for you all:

Today we did some shopping related stuff with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. We also stopped by the art museum again today. We ended up in the contemporary collection. They had some lovely impressionist / post impressionist paintings as well.

We stopped by the Yarn Shop And More and Harper's Fabric & Quilt in Overland Park, a yarn and quilt store respectively. Harper's was recommended to my by Tall Prairie Grass Studio, a native. Though she recommended an even better one over in Larwence, KS. I will be unable to visit Lawrence this trip, but loved Harper's.

The staff was friendly and they have a nice selection of fabrics, notions, and patterns in the store. I went away with some Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabrics. I also purchased the Cabo Halter pattern from Amy Butler. Now I just have to figure out which fabric I want to use it with. I am still glowing with the excitement from my purchases.

We also visited a thrift store. I rescued some sewing books there. I will share some of the pages with you in a later post. They were published in 1987, so some of the photos are pretty funny. The information is still good. I will put them to good use.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Pinnacle Frame Assembly: Part 3

< Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 >

Continuation of the assembly of the Pinnacle frame from the Gracie Frame Company.

Step 4: Frame Assembly

This is the assembly of the main frame, or table. You will need to gather up your leg assemblies, left, right and middle, as well as the parts in the picture below. Hint: Keep your screws loose throughout this step. Getting everything aligned and all the screws in their holes took some negotiating. Not terribly so, but it will make the step easier. I learned this the hard way before my husband instilled the following bit of information to me.

The margin of difference not a reflection on the quality of the milling process of the frame parts. The parts are of high quality and the holes are in the right places. There are just a small differences in the placement of the holes when you manufacture a large kit like this, like maybe a couple of millimeters left or right of where it would align with another part. This is normal.

Take your time, keep the screws loose and it will all fit together.

WARNING: After this step it will be difficult to move the king size frame around since it will essentially be at its finished length. Make sure that you put it together in the orientation that you need it to be in to be used in your space. The frame can be moved forward and backward, but not around. At least not in a normal bedroom space like mine :)

Step 4: Parts

Step 4: Parts

All the parts to complete step four. All three leg assemblies, track supports and frame ends. The track supports are actually the front and back sides of your frame. They call them track supports because the plastic track will go into the top of them and serve as the track for the sewing machine platform to slide along.

Step 4-1 & 4-2: Attach Track Supports to the Front and Back of Right and Middle Leg Assemblies

Step 4-1: Attach Track Supports to Legs

I placed the right and middle leg assemblies on their sides in order to attach the track support to the back side of the frame. This worked pretty well for me even though my husband was available to hold up one end while I worked on another for this step. Red arrow is pointing to the set of holes on the right leg assembly where you need to attach the track support. You will also notice that the top brace is pointing toward the inside of the frame and the middle leg assembly. The other end of the track support will attach to the right set of holes on the middle leg. You need the left ones to attached the track support for the left half of the frame.

The blue arrow is pointing to the top of the track support. In the picture it is upside-down, but the top is thicker than the bottom edge and also has some yellow strips on it. You can't miss them :)

Step 4-2: Mistake, Track Supports to Legs

The red arrow show where I made the mistake of not attaching the track support to the outside set of screw holes. The track support end has to be flush with the outside of the leg assembly.

The yellow arrow show the top of the middle leg assembly. You can tell that it is the middle assembly because it has two top leg braces on it. The other leg assemblies are interchangeable. Just make sure that the top leg brace on the assembly points to the inside of the frame, as shown in this picture taken from the right end of the frame.

Step 4-2: Correct, Track Support to Leg

The blue circle show you that I now have the track support placed correctly; flush to the outside of the right leg assembly.

Step 4-3 & 4-4: Attach Right Frame End and Corner to Right Leg Assembly

Step 4-3, 4-4: Attach Frame End to Leg Assembly

This is the right end of the frame. The red arrow is pointing to the front of the frame. You will have two longer screws for the back corner piece compared to the two you will need to attach the front of the frame end. This is to accommodate the added thickness black plastic corner piece over the top of the frame end.

You will notice that I first placed the front two screws into the end assembly before attaching the back corner piece. I tried to do it in the order prescribed by the instructions, but it was difficult to hold and align the end assembly and the corner piece to place in the screws.

You will place the plastic piece over the top of the frame end assembly. The edge of the corner should cover both the end edge and the track support edge. They are rough, so the corner will help you from snagging and cutting yourself on the metal.

Step 4-5: Repeat 4-3 & 4-4 to the Left Side of the Frame

Step 4-5: Repeat 4-3 through 4-4 for Left End

This is a photo showing the track supports already attached to the front and back of the left side of the frame. The red arrow is pointing toward the front of the frame. You can tell it is the front by all the holes in the end assembly.

Step 4: Completed

Step 4: Finished

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pinnacle Frame Assembly: Part 2

< Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 >

Continuation of the assembly of the Pinnacle frame from the Gracie Frame Company. These posts are for assembling the King size version of the Pinnacle (123" length).

Step 3: Frame End Sub-Assembly

This is the assembly of the parts for the ends of your frame where the rails will be held in the rail mounts. The instructions have a typo where they list that you need 2 - Track Support Extrusions instead you need 2 - Left and Right Frame Ends.

As a result there is another correction needed in the instructions for Step 3-2: Slide the Take-Up Rail Fixture down to the middle of the slot of the Track Support Extrusion... instead you would slide them onto the Left/Right Frame End.

Step 3: Parts

Step 3: Frame End Assembly Parts

The blue arrows in the picture point to the top of the frame end part, the thicker square shaped edge. It also points to end, the one with all the holes in it, that will become the front of your frame where the rails for the backing, batting and top of your quilt will roll onto. The end with the two holes in it will be at the back of the frame and align with the leg assembly you finished in Step 1.

Step 3-1: Adding Screws to Take Up Rail Fixture

Step 3-1: Screws into Take Up Rail Fixtures

Make sure the screw are flush in the sockets, otherwise you will not be able to slide the Take Up Rail Fixture onto the Frame End. The screw heads will be facing the surface of the Frame End (see next step).

Step 3-2: Sliding Rail Fixture onto Frame End

Step 3-2: Slide Rail Fixture onto Frame End

If you hold onto the both screws as you slide the fixture onto the frame end, it makes it a little easier. As you can see from the photos, the fixtures have a rounded end and a squared, thicker end. Be sure to align them; and the fixture will only go on the correct left/right end, so you can't mess it up :)

You need to slide the fixture to the middle of the frame end in order to complete the next step. You are in the right place when the third screw hold of the fixture is over the long opening in the middle of the frame end.

Step 3-3: Adding Third Screw and Knob to Rail Fixture

Sorry for the fuzzy shot for this step, it was getting late in the evening when I was doing this :) The only tip for this one that I have is make sure that the screw is all the way in the socket and the knob is holding it securely, but not overly tight, in place. Eventually the two screws that you placed in Step 3-1 will be holding a rail mount in place with two knobs in Step 7. Which means that the screw head in this step will need to be flush so the rail mount will fit into place.

Step 3-3: Add Third Screw to Fixture
Step 3-3 a: Flip Over Frame End and Screw on Knob

Now that you have one frame end assembly finished. Go through the steps again for the other frame end to complete Step 3.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pinnacle Frame Assembly: Part 1

Part 2 >

I recently purchased a Pinnacle frame from the Gracie Frame Company. I am almost finished setting it up. As promised I documented the process and this is the first in a series of posts.

These posts are for assembling the King size version of the Pinnacle (123" length). The frame can be set up for Crib size too. I am keeping it assembled at the largest size so I can quilt for all sizes of bedding.

Unpacking the boxes

The frame is shipped by UPS in two boxes, (63" X 26" X 6") and (~ 48" x 26" x 6"). My Baby Lock Quilter's Choice Professional Machine came in one box that is about 25" X 23" X 15". The accessories for the frame, pattern guides, laser pointer, lamp, and speed control fit into a third box of 18" x 12" x 8".

Smaller Box

Top Layer of Smaller BoxBottom Layer of Smaller Box

The smaller box contains the parts:

  • Rail Coupler
  • Ratchet Wheels (red)
  • Rail Mount Ends
  • Table Supports
  • Take-Up Fixtures
  • Leveling Feet
  • Handle Brace
  • Legs
  • All the other little bits and bobs that are small...
  • Screws, Wrench, & Allen Wrenches

Top Layer of Larger BoxBottom Layer of Larger Box

The larger box contains the parts:

  • Top and Middle Leg Braces
  • Rails
  • Track Support
  • Frame Ends
  • Plastic Track
  • Table Surface
  • Parts for the sewing machine plate and handles

All the pieces laid out

All the pieces from the boxes laid out. This picture is missing the plastic track, leg braces and table supports as they are a little to the top and left out of the picture's range :) I have included close up of the parts as I go along, so you can see what's-what. And now on to assembling...

Step 1: Left and Right Leg Assemblies

Now before you start know that I combined steps 1-2 and 1-3 three from the instructions all into a step called 1-2 in the photos. Essentially, you have to move back and forth between the two steps anyway to get the leg attached to the leg braces. It is a snug fit, so take your time and keep your screws loose until you get all of them in for a particular step. You will not only want to do this for Step 1, but for all the steps.

Step 1: Instructions and Parts

Step1 - Parts

You will be assembling the legs of the frame together in this first step. Gather up all your parts. First screw in the foot levelers into the bottom of the four legs.

Step 1-1

Now layout the remaining parts so that you have two legs with the top leg brace at the top and the middle leg brace in the middle of the two legs, aligning that screw hold in the middle of the legs with the holes in the middle leg brace. You will have to negotiate the legs so that they are resting in between the open ends of the middle leg braces (see next picture).

Just like I outlined in red in the picture below, you need to make sure that the four screw holes on the widest part of the legs is pointing away from the top leg braces. You need these on the outside of the leg assembly so you can attach the track support pieces to the leg assemblies later.

Step 1-2

Step 1-2 b

Step 1-2 a

Now that you have the leg lined up. Start by screwing in the top leg brace screws. Remember to leave them loose until you get all of the screws started in the whole leg assembly.

Step 1-2 b

Step 1-2 d

Now that you have one side of the assembly with the screws started, flip it over and place the screws in the other side for the middle leg braces. You may have to skip back and forth between the top and middle braces in order to get all the screws in for both legs.

Step 1-2 e

Step 1: Finished Leg Assembly

Step1 - Finished

After finishing one leg assembly, follow the same steps to finish up the other leg assembly. These two legs will be on the ends of the frame. The next step will be to assemble the middle leg for the king size frame.

Step 2: Middle Leg Assembly

Step 2: Instructions and Parts

The middle leg assembly will follow the same process as assembling the two outer legs from step 1. The main difference will be that you need two top leg braces instead of one. The four screw holes on the widest part of the leg will still need to face out as well.

Step2 - Parts

Step 2: Finished Leg Assembly

Step 2 - Finished

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friends of Quasi

I have been reading the My Ugly Kitty blog recently and fell in love with both Renee's custom invitations and her "adorkable", Renee's term, not mine :), kitty Quasi.

Renee started a page called the Friends of Quasi to highlight "adorkable" and "normal" cat friends of Quasi. WARNING: If you click on the fiends of Quasi page, there are disturbing images of some kitties with bad injuries.

I sent Renee pictures of my three lovelies, and realized I hadn't shared my furry kids with you all. All three are from the same litter; adopted from a family here in State College. They are approximately four years old and are not pure-breeds. Just adorable mutts :) They are also polydactyl, or more than four digits on their paws. They are all named from the television show "Fraggle Rock". So here they are...

Boo (A.K.A. Boober)

  • Sex: Female

  • Hobbies: Sitting on a cat pedestal meowing while we eat dinner; meowing for attention and not the food

  • Likes: Cat food, laser pointers, playing with stuffed mouse toy when it has gone under the foyer closet's door

  • Dislikes: Strangers and loud noises, like the doorbell

  • Quirks: Fetches, Purrs very loudly

One of my two tuxedo cats, she has an unusual coat of fur. Her tuxedo markings are on top of an undercoat that has stripes like a tabby's coat. She is a bit scared of strangers, but eventually warms up to them. So much so she gets a little pushy at times for attention. Named after Boober from the television show "Fraggle Rock", who was also afraid and cautious. Boober was one of the five main Fraggle characters.


  • Sex: Female

  • Hobbies: Sleeping, blanket tag, shoving her whole face under a running tub faucet

  • Likes: Cat food, laser pointers, fast moving objects past the bay window

  • Dislikes: Boo, her sister

  • Quirks: Likes to bit the tips our her owner's noses

One of my two tuxedo cats, she is the smallest of the three. Wembley also has the biggest back paws of the bunch with one paw having seven digits originally, but one was removed for health reasons when she was spayed. My husband affectionately calls her, "all terrain", like the tires since her paw are so big. Wembley likes to watch birds and other animals from out big bay window between her naps. She also sits up on her hind paws like a meerkat. She also squeaks if you call her name. We think she is say, "Yeah, whatcha want..."


  • Sex: Male

  • Hobbies: Being chased by my husband around the house, playing fetch with the rabbit fur mouse toy

  • Likes: Cat food, laser pointers, fast moving objects past the bay window, a feathered cat toy carefully tucked away in our hall closet out of sight since it turns Gobo feral when he plays with it

  • Dislikes: Face being blown into, meows when people sneeze - we can't figure out if he is saying "Bless You" or "Be Quiet"

  • Quirks: Fetches, likes to lay like a dog with his back legs completely extended behind him; his belly flat on the floor

My wonderful male tabby, Gobo. My husband and I love his front paws. They look like he is wearing mittens all the time. He sits on my lap like a human child would and doesn't mind it. He licks his owner's hair like he cleans his sisters' fur. He talks to us when we talk to him.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Arts Fest and Crochet Trim

Arts Fest

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts 2008; Friday night we braved the crowds to look at the art sidewalk sale. The weather was nice so there were lots of people out enjoying the art. My husband and I purchased some wonderful items that I will post later.What I find interesting is all the different medias present, fiber, metal, ceramic, printing, painting, drawing, recycled, glass, etc. One of our favorite booths was a quilt artist, go figure. She had some lovely patterns. My husband loved her stuff.

He is such a dear. He kept going from booth to booth looking at the wares. In pottery booths he would pick up a piece and comment on the weight, how well the foot was done and the fit of the glaze. In the quilt booth he was commenting on the craftsmanship of her binding, how the squares lined up and her choices of color schemes. I really enjoyed seeing him enjoy the night. I chuckled to myself. He is so married to a crafting geek. Not that he didn't have an interest in art before he met me :)

We are off to another show in a couple of weeks too. I drag him to them all the time and he takes them all in. He has always enjoyed art; he used to draw in grade school and junior high. He wants to get into watercolor and woodworking. Maybe the two of us can eventually retire early and open up an art shop...

Crochet Trim

I have a co-worker that teaches Irish dancing. I have always thought all forms of dance are interesting. Especially how they all have some grains of similarity. A while back she approached me asking if I had a crochet pattern for a collar and the edge of sleeves. At the time I didn't, but searched the web for her and found a few free patterns. She needed the pattern to finish her school costume. The Irish dance costume has lace collars and trim on the sleeves. Each school has there own school costume design, so the students where this costume during performances and competitions.

Then the other day a pattern went across the Craftzine blog, by The Ongoing Project. I sent it to her and also whipped up a couple of versions of the pattern last weekend. They turned out well. It was the first time I had actually finish a crochet project that used the crochet thread instead of yarn and a small millimeter sized hook. So, I decided to try a smaller thread size and an even smaller hook for my next project. The above picture is of my progress. It is from the 111 Easy Edgings (Leisure Arts #2924) book by Terry Kimbrough.

It will be a bookmark for my sister. I hope she doesn't read this blog until later, since it is going into her birthday box :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Festivals, Festivals, Everywhere A Festival

The weekend of arts festivals has finally arrived in Centre County, PA! Our yearly arts festivals, yes plural, started yesterday. We have two different festivals that occur the week after July 4th, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and People's Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts.

Now "local folklore" would have it that at one point in our town's history there was only one arts festival. After much ado, the second one came about in reaction to the way the first one was including, or in some cases ignoring, Pennsylvanian artists. Taking all of this past history with a grain of salt, our area is blessed with two great festivals at the same time. They bring in quite a few out-of-town and out-of-region visitors. I participated in the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts for two years and found it ran professionally.

I had reasonable sales of my pottery both years. The sales figures were because of my lack of inventory and I was new to the arts festival. I was lucky enough to share a booth space with my then studio host/friend, Moose Run Works. Terri was gracious enough to let me use some space in her studio to create my stuff, collaborated on some pieces together, and shared booth expenses. She helped me get my feet wet in the world of retail craft shows. And I am so thankful for her help and guidance.

Back to the festivals...

The two festivals have different flavors. Central Pennsylvania has a sidewalk sale of local, regional, and international artists. In addition to the sidewalk sale that is placed in downtown State College and on part of the Pennsyslvania State University campus, there are dance and music events held at venues along the sidewalk sale route. Lots of good, er... bad for you, food vendors and other great festival fare. People's Choice is place at the Boalsburg, Pennsylvania Military Museum lawn. There is also art, music and dance at the festival. Not to mention the bad for you, but yummy vendor food. The major difference is that the People's Choice is only open to Pennsylvanian artist while the Cental Pennsylvanian festival is open to international artist. I would recommend visiting the festivals to everyone.

From an art/craft person perspective, I get so energized to do my own work after seeing all the lovely items that the artists at the festivals have to offer. I believe that both show have ample visitor attendance and a reasonable price for booth fees for a four-day show. I would recommend applying to the show if you live close to the area. The festival offers some housing to out-of-towner vendors, so check their websites. If you want to visit the festivals before applying, I have had good luck discussing the show with the vendors themselves. Most are helpful and are eager to talk "shop".

I will be posting some photos of both festivals over the next couple of days. Until then, here are some shots of the participating artist:

Wild Duck Pottery
Warrington, PA

Anna Shapiro
Providence, RI

Molly Dingledine
Asheville, NC

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Yarn Adventure

My sister-in-law, Heather, and I spent yesterday afternoon visiting the specialty yarn shops in and around my hometown. Heather is a knitter and I took up crocheting about two years ago. I took her to two shops, Knitters Underground and Stitch Your Art Out. Knitters Underground recently moved to a larger space then what they had in Centre Hall, PA. Boy, is it a big new space. They are still settling into the space, so things were a bit jumbled on the one side of the store. They have lots of yarns, weaving looms, needle craft notions, as well as friendly and helpful staff. It is also and adventure getting there off a rural road near Spring Mills, PA. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it as a stop on your crafting tour of Central Pennsylvania.

The second shop, Stitch Your Art Out, has both yarns and quilting fabric. The ladies there are also helpful and they have a good selection of wool and novelty yarns. They also have classes :)

Although we didn't visit another of my favorite shops, Fabrics Galore, in Centre Hall. We had loads of fun perusing all the yarn options in the stores we visited. Heather ended up with some sock yarn and some Lambs Pride to make a knitted skirt. We then preceded to look through my own stash and give some of my skeins of Patton Classic Wool a new home at Heather's house. She is way more likely to use the stuff since I am currently obsessed with fabric, quilting and bag making.

We also visited my favorite fabric shop in Altoona, PA while my sister-in-law was visiting. I love looking at all the fabric that Surplus City has to offer. They have a really good selection of home decorator fabric. Don't be scared of how the building looks when you pull up. It is a surplus warehouse and is a little rustic. But the fabric and other merchandise is well cared for. You will need at least an hour in the place :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Under the Weather

I was trying to keep up with posting to my blog daily. But I ended up sick for a couple of days. I will try to write more tomorrow about the fun day I had on Saturday sewing up curtains with a friend of mine, Heather.