Quilt magazines – Are they worth it?

Quilt magazines – Are they worth it?

Have you stared at the newsstand wondering if those quilt magazines are worth it or will they end up just clutter in your house? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether or not to make that purchase when you see a tempting quilt magazine in your favorite grocery store.Quilting Magazine

Would I Use These Patterns?

When you consider that the cost of one pattern is equal to one magazine, a magazine can definitely be worth it, if you like the patterns. So, before purchasing,decide your “must buy” number of quilt patterns. For example, I will purchase a magazine if I like three patterns and a “stretch pattern.”

I would also purchase a magazine they have very detailed instructions for a technique that I wanted to learn.

If you have your own requirements in mind before you enter the store, you can either stay strong against the lure of “one” pattern or you can buy a magazine with a clear conscience. Those are my requirements. What are yours?

But just don’t look at the patterns. Think if you can make the patterns work with what you currently have available in your stash. If you happen to love big, flashy prints, you will want to make a quilt that shows them off. Conversely, if you love fabric that “reads” as solid colors, using them in a big blocks could make a very boring quilt. Colorful quilt

You do not have to follow the color palette as laid out in the magazine. Luckily, most magazines will also show the quilts in different fabrics. Think in terms of color value and if you can interpret the quilt in colors that you love.

How Can I Alter This Pattern?

Think about combinations and permutations. Just because the magazine has the blocks set on point, doesn’t mean that you have to do that. Don’t discount a pattern just because a certain color palette is used. If you keep the same values, you can use the same pattern and it will look just as good.

How versatile are these patterns? Can you use the blocks as part of a tote bag or change the size for a table topper or wall hanging? It may just look like one pattern, but if you can get several looks out of it, it makes it easier

Follow these tips and you’ll never have to wonder if the quilting magazine you purchased was a “good buy.” You’ll not only enjoy your purchase, you’ll know and enjoy your quilt magazines, by actually using the patterns in them!

Questions concerning Sewing Machine Repairs

Questions concerning Sewing Machine Repairs

Question Vintage Sewing Machine Repair? okay, so after a few hours of messing with the darn thing and searching around on the internet i am at a loss and figured i would come to my trusty yahoo!Answers brethren 😛 I bought a Sears Kenmore 158.18032 Sewing Machine, a model from 1973 i believe, its motor runs fine and the lower belt spins fine, but the hand wheel and the belt connecting the hand wheel are giving me a laundry list of problems, the belt wont catch when the motor runs, i can hand crank to needle but it is difficult and takes forever, i need to get at the belt to see if it needs replacing or if the gear just needs a bit of oil. Unfortunately, a 1973 model rarely comes with a manual and this one didnt, i was wondering if anyone might have this or a similar model and if so, might know how to remove the cover, if possible, or how to get at this problem thanks in advance!!!
Best Answer I’d send you to talk to the nice folks at the yahoo group “wefixit”, where good information about diagnosis and treatment of old sewing machine problems is dispensed. Also, I’m going to send you to the Sears Parts Direct website, where you will find a manual and parts diagram for this machine. I believe Linda at Relics has a service manual for the 158 machines, also, for sale. Could be a bad belt, could be fossilized oil (especially if someone has oiled it with 3-in-1 type oils), could be a lot of things.

Question What’s wrong with my sewing machine and how much would it cost to repair it? While I was sewing, I heard a loud pop and then the machine sounded like it was running low on power. I turned it off and realized the needle was bent. So, I replaced the needle. But when I pushed the foot pedal the needle did not move, but I could hear the motor running. When I turn the nob on the side, the needle moves. Do you think it’s a belt, or something, that broke? If you think you may know the problem, how much would it cost to fix it?
Best Answer Impossible to say from the information given. Broken needles are generally the result of trying to push or pull the fabric under the presser foot instead of letting the machine transport the fabric. Or trying to sew through fabric too dense for the machine, or with too light a needle. Start by taking out your manual, turning to the section on cleaning the machine, and start by taking all the thread out of/off of the machine. Remove the bobbin, bobbin case, needle plate and any and all lint, bits of thread and needle shards you see. Use a vacuum, not compressed air, and brush to get the machine clean. Oil only as directed by the manual, and use only sewing machine oil, not 3-in-1 types nor WD-40 types, both of which will freeze up a machine (for different reasons!). Reassemble correctly. Once you’re done cleaning, rethread the machine from scratch and try again. Does the needlebar move? Does it stitch? (If it doesn’t, is the needle in the right way around?) Do the feed dogs move properly? Does it sound right? Is the machine in time? (see http://preview.tinyurl.com/smtiming) What you’ve done (new needle, clean machine, rethreading correctly) may fix the problem. I’ve become the neighborhood “last stop before taking the machine in for professional service” person, and in my experience, about 90% of the dead machines I’m asked to look at are magically fixed by cleaning and rethreading and new needle. My guesses as to what might be going on that you can’t fix with the above treatment include timing, a broken gear or cam, a broken belt (though most machines now lack one), an electrical fault, a broken sewing hook, a popped fuse or circuit breaker…. could be a lot of things, and the cost to fix may range from nearly free to “not worth fixing this machine”.

Spring Pants

I am in love.

With my girl and my hubby, of course.

But also with this fabric and these pants.

They pants are Anna Maria Horner’s Quick Change Trousers from Handmade Beginnings.

The pattern is for reversible pants, but I wanted something a little lighter for summer, so only made one layer with a cuff. They were so quick to put together and very easy!

Contact us @ Nadelfrau.com

Although. I must admit. I didn’t start them until about 10:30 at night. And, I had a TON of work I was supposed to be doing. BUT, what’s a girl going to do when she finds adorable fabric–on sale no less– and it’s just staring at her? Taunting her.

Sew me! Sew me!

So I sewed. And drank quite a bit of coffee the next day!


I think it was worth it. (Karis does too.)

I wanted Karis to show off her new trousers at church, but thought they needed a little dressing up, so I made a quick bow.

I used, roughly, this pattern from The Purl Bee.

LOVE it!

I think more of these fabric flower bows may be in Karis’ future.

And, definitely more of these pants!

We’re linking up with Fabric Tuesday – check out all the cute projects on their site.
(Girls, we missed you!)


Fabric Drawer Liner

Yesterday was bathroom cleaning day around my house. I hate this chore. Mostly, because I always find something that could need more organization, a more thorough scrub, or just a little something more than a good scrubbing with vinegar.

Yesterday was no exception– and what I found was the drawers.

No matter how often I wipe them out, little bits of hair (from my husband’s razor) gets in them. It makes them messy and look quite disgusting. I was thinking I needed to go to the store to buy some more drawer paper to change it out, and frustrated by; (1) going to the store, and (2) having to change out the drawer lining again, when a thought struck me…

Why not line the drawers with fabric so that I could remove the fabric occasionally, wash, and replace.

Much more earth friendly than sticky drawer paper.

Especially when the fabric I upcycled from a shirt in the “donate” pile.

I measured the drawer and cut a piece of fabric from one of my husband’s old shirts to fit inside.

Then, I placed velcro on the bottom of the drawer and on the backside of the fabric.

Voila! The fabric stays down, the drawer stays clean(er), and mama stays sane(er)!

Quilt Sandwich Time

All done with the top of my muddy colored string quilt!
Time for a quilt sandwich… except that, because I’m moving in two weeks, my safety pins are PACKED!
Time to go “old school” and use a needle and thread!
Curved needles and thimble are packed too. Really?
What was I thinking?
But now I have a whole new problem! Why does Kip love quilt sandwiches? He was thrilled with the fun catch the thread game as I pulled it through the fabric.
Can you hear him purring???

Okay, let me just say that I love my curved safety pins!
Sooo much faster!
At least I’m done and ready to start quilting
Did I get too crazy with the back?


Bubble Skirt for my Bubble Girl!

Last week, I decided Taylor needed a little spring skirt to add to her wardrobe. It was so easy to make!
I love this chiffon watercolor fabric! It’s perfect for gathering and has just the right amount of bounce for the perfect bubble! The lining is just some cotton I had extra of – since I tend to always over-buy fabric! The important thing is, Taylor loves it! I see more skirts of this nature in our near future – maybe even one for mommy!

Lancaster County, PA

My brother and sister-in-law came to DC for a visit this last week and on their
last day we made a trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – the heart of Amish Country.
There are a lot of fabric stores and places to buy handmade/hand-quilted quilts!
This is just ONE… The Old Country Store
(check out their online store!)
They have it all: beautiful fabric, quilts for sale, and even a quilt museum.

Here are just a few of the quilts in the museum!

Sampler by Ada Martin
Confetti by Elsie M. Campbell
Bargello Wave by C. Jean Horst
Pyramid Tumbling Block by C. Jean Horst
Love My Stash by Elsie M. Campbell
Crazy Quilt by Maribelle Steffy
Bargello Abstract by Janice Maves
Postage Stamp Colorsplash byC. Jean Horst
Cathedral Windows by Reba Degan
And here is the store!
Quilts for sale!
And of course we passed lots of horse and buggies!

Meet a Mama Monday – Meet Robin!

Happy Meet-a-Mama-Monday. Today, we have a very special mama for you to meet.

Her name is Robin. She isn’t a mama yet. Although she will be any day now!

Right now, she is in that all important nesting phase. She is busy gathering all things necessary to keep her little ones (that’s right, multiples!) safe and warm. She is tiding things up. She is scoping out her surroundings, making sure it will be safe when her dear babies arrive.

Remember that time? Right before you had your baby. When you looked around the house, and thought, oh dear! The walls are not washed. How can I ever bring a child into this world when the walls are not spotless?

And, you ironed all your fabric stash before color coding it (again). After all, how can a babe thrive if the fabrics aren’t pretty and organized?

This mama is doing a little bit more important nesting than wiping down walls and organizing fabrics. Not that those aren’t important. But, this mama is nesting.


She is building a nest.

As in, a nest with sticks.

Meet Robin:

(pictures coming soon)

Karis and I first noticed her out Karis’ window this weekend. I thought, how funny, that bird is sitting so still and for so long. Then, when we came back later and she was there again, I started to wonder what was up with this bird.

She must have decided Karis and I weren’t too dangerous, because she started to build her nest a few hours later. We’ve watched it grow the past two days. And now, it looks ready for some eggs!

We’ve also enjoyed spotting Mama Robin in the yard, eating my neighbor’s newly planted grass seed, much to her chagrin.

Karis now wakes up from her naps saying, “mama bird.” I don’t know if this is, “Mama, bird.” As in,

“Mama, there is a bird outside my window!”


“Mama Bird!”


“Mama, come get me right now, this bird is looking at me again and it’s kind of freaking me out.”


“More, more food! The bird has food, I want a snack. How about some jelly beans? More, more!”

It’s probably the last one. But, I’ll pretend it’s the first.