Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Putting Together a Travel Notions Kit

sewing kit

In the past I’ve tried to put together a traveling notions kit — but invariably I dig into it when I can’t find something — or I add to it because I want to take my “favorite” notion with me.  In the end the boxes get rummaged through and I’m having to redo the boxes each time I head out with my sewing machine.

Now that I have a travel sewing machine, I’m going to try again. This time if I decide to take the “favorite” it’s going to go into a separate container to see if that helps. So, what’s in my travel kit?  Lots.

Working from the back towards the front.

  • Magnetic pin catcher and box of glass head pins
  • Extra bobbins
  • Zipper foot (it’s the only extra foot I have for this machine)
  • A couple of hand needles, thread puller, threader and dime (aka screw driver in a pinch) in a magnetic needle box
  • Size 80 and 90 machine needles
  • Thimble (I don’t know why, I don’t wear one)
  • Seam ripper
  • Marking pencil, extra lead, pen, pencil, Sharpie, fabric pen
  • Tiny Tigger (because all my quilt tops need cat approval)
  • Iron cleaner (found a one use tube, so why not)
  • Purple Thang
  • Paint brush to clean machine
  • HST line guide
  • Stiletto
  • Finger Iron
  • Screwdriver – flat blade reverses to Phillips
  • Snips
  • Stack of 1 1/2 inch squares for leader/enders
  • Flower head pins (partial box)
  • Tiny clothes pins
  • 3 AAA batteries for lamp
  • Scissors – large and small
  • Glue stick
  • Extra rotary blades
  • Curved basting pins
  • Retractable tape measures
  • Neutral thread
  • Rotary cutter
  • 1″ x 6″ ruler
  • Nail file, lip balm, hair band, tissues and glasses wipes

It’s a whole lot of stuff, but it all fits in my large pencil box.  When I get to the retreat, I have a cute little folding bag with pockets that I’ll sort the stuff out into so I’m not constantly rooting through the box.



Also going into the travel bag, but too large for pencil box is the led lamp on the left of the pencil box in the first picture, an empty spray bottle, a can of starch, the thread holder, a spool of painter tape, a sheet of freezer paper and the owner’s manual.

I’ve got a brief case which hold my extension table, a cutting mat and my chair “cushion”.

If I can keep this together I should be able to grab a project (fabric, pattern and any special notion not in the kit) and  the machine and travel to a sew-in on a moment’s notice. I’ve got a couple of “day” retreats later in the year.  We’ll see if it works.

Photographing Quilts




Photographing my finished quilts is always something of a challenge.  I don’t really have a good spot in the house to photograph large quilts. Lighting has to be right. Camera angles have to be right.  I know these things – but doing them is sometimes a challenge.

For Eye Fooler we got close. I promise the quilt is square — but the camera angles were off. Orca Bay on the other hand, I think I pretty much nailed it.

A few years ago my husband built me a quilt rack from some PVC pipe to fit on my fabric shelves.  The supports are permanently attached to the shelves, but the long rail stands in a corner somewhere.  Last night it was in the corner of the garage.


It’s two 8-foot pieces of 1 1/4″ PVC pipe (that’s the interior dimension) joined together in the middle.  To try to keep it from sagging we slide a 5 foot piece of PVC in the center. On both ends he drilled a hole for an S-hook.  Then another S-hook is hooked to it and the gutter. That gives me some place to hang the quilt.  But now I need a sleeve.

I don’t always want a permanent sleeve on my quilt — and I read something several years ago on Bonnie Hunter’s blog.  She was having to un-sew the bottom edge of the sleeve.  The KC Star photographer said they would crop out the sleeve above the quilt. So, with both of these things in mind, I made a temporary sleeve.

I took a 9 inch long piece of 108″ wide fabric (it was left over from Eye Fooler) I folded it in half and took a 1/2″ seam.  108″ is wide–it’s what I had on hand, and it allows me to hang a king size quilt if needed.



I lined up the cut edge along the top of the quilt and used my quilt basting pins to pin along the seam.  Sure the pins show from the front up close, but do you see them in the pictures up above?

Once outside, with help from my husband, we slid the pipe into the sleeve and hung the quilt on the gutter. The excess sleeve simply bunched up on either side of the quilt.


What’s great about this is there is no tell-tale lump at the top of the quilt.

This picture was taken around 7:15 PM.  The sun was far enough over the roof line I still had light, but no glare.   The camera was put on a tripod and I pulled out a level to make sure the camera was square to the world – horizontally & vertically.  Also it must be square to the quilt.

As it turns out the gutter is not square to the world.  So, once I uploaded the pictures to my computer, I used my photo editing software to make the top binding horizontal to the top of the picture.  Then I cropped the photograph from there.

As for the sleeve?  It, the pins I used and the s-hooks are all together waiting for the next quilt to be photographed.

Smaller quilts may still get photographed in the house — but I’ll use my new sleeve to hang it on the shelves instead of pinning the quilt to the shelf.

Disappearing Nine-Patch Fabric


The only reason we went into Jo-Ann’s today was to buy some fabric to cover a couple of bar stools. But, since we were standing in line anyway… and the fabric was 40% off….

I plan to make three different Disappearing Nine-Patch quilts.  The orange is part of the fabric I bought for the backing of Orca Bay, so it’s already been counted. It goes into the quilt for my youngest nephew.  The green — it’s a sagey/olive goes to the next youngest nephew and the red goes to the oldest nephew.  The rest of the fabrics will come from my recycled shirts.  I figure if I have them out might as well cut for all three.

Oh, and yes, we did find what we needed for the bar stools.  I’ll do before and after photos when I get that far.

Fun Find


I stopped by the quilt shop to pick up some “in your face orange” and black bobbins for the two quilts I’m quilting this month and they had a basket of pins by the cash register. This one spoke to me.



A Decision Has Been Reached



No, this is not the backing for the graduation quilt – it’s the backing for Orca Bay. My friend wanted orange. I think this counts. I’ll also use it as the binding.  By using this on Orca Bay, I can then use the black which I didn’t use on the Auction Quilt and was going to use on Orca Bay as the backing for the graduation quilt.

Of course if I don’t get it in gear I won’t need the backing.  Ten more full blocks and 32 half blocks plus a border to go.

The Garden is Planted


It doesn’t look like much, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Lettuce, spinach and carrots in the gray bin. Three tomato plants – Red Beefsteak, Super Sweet 100 Hybrid Cherry, & Cherokee Purple Heirloom. The 4th 5-gallon bucket is cucumber.  The green bin is lima beans and black-eyed peas and the blue bin is corn.

If I planted correctly, if I don’t over/under water (hopefully not an issue in the self-watering containers), if the critters don’t dig, if I’m sure there are others I haven’t even thought of, I should see signs of life in the next week or two depending on what it is.

Perhaps now I can get back to the quilt!

Progress – Shirts





When I started processing shirts, there were shirts in the box and the basket. Both cats checked out the box – but not at the same time.


A file box was found and the older tax stuff was moved to it, freeing up 4 “shirt” boxes. I’ve filled 3 with the shirts I’ve processed.


Now I have 8 boxes of shirts –


not including whatever is in this box:

shirts-tocut up


But since they are contained and not in front of my design wall, I think I’ll leave them for now.

So, as soon as I finish Orca Bay and Eye Fooler, I think there are a couple of shirt quilts in my future.

Out of Control



It happens so fast.  At one point things are moving along smoothly and then then the next minute there’s fabric everywhere and half a dozen projects or more going on, many which need to be done “now”.

I promise better pictures when I finally get the room put back together, but this one is not bad.  I really like the way my new desk area is working. But I really want to get the room fully functional sooner than later.  So here are the projects:

  • Clear the cutting table — that pile of stuff is primarily junk out of my old desk drawers. It needs to be gone through and put away. Which leads to the next project.
  • The desk drawers – I’ve simply dumped other drawer stuff into the new file cabinet without regard to whether that’s really where it belongs.  The top two drawers replace the pencil drawer and top drawer of the old desk and need to be cleaned up so I can clear the cutting board.  This is slightly circular in logic.
  • On the far left of the ironing board are de-boned shirts. This is a “now” project because there are two boxes sitting in front of the design wall.
  • The brightly colored fabric in the next three piles are for my niece’s graduation quilt. I’m a bit late getting it started.
  • Then there’s Orca Bay.  It just needs the borders before it can go into the to-be-quilted pile, but it’s not needed immediately. Do I put it away or go a head and finish it?
  • In front of the orange and pink fabric is the Star-A-Day quilt.  I need to select and cut more fabric for it.
  • Get to the design wall.  There are multiple projects just for that task.
    • The shirts
    • The scraps boxes
    • The boxes which had previously been stacked under the cutting table
    • The stuff which really shouldn’t live in this room.

So, I think I’ll go to the grocery store, then worry about all of this when I get back.


At the Antique Mall








This weekend I hit several garage sales and then a couple of quilt shops.  And I actually bought something!

The first sale I picked up the ruler, cutting mat, and quilt books.  Yes, I already own a copy of the first edition of the DWR book, but can I find it?  The second sale I picked up the crate of “strips” propping the books up.  Turns out it’s not all 100% cotton, but the crate itself is worth the price.  I will have new strips to add to my strips and string buckets just as soon as I go through them.

Now on to the quilt shop purchases. A friend and I drove up to Hamilton to Missouri Star. She was looking for something specific, I was along for the ride. I picked up the two stacks of neutral charm square for my Star-A-Day project.  Since the last time I was up there (either 1 or 2 years ago) they’ve opened up three new stores — a reproduction store, a holiday store and I a store I guess I would call “modern” – solids and blenders.  It’s my understanding they are planning a batik shop next.

Afterwards we stopped back in Cameron at Quilting Connections and I picked up two FQs. I’m going to need to buy the background fabric for my Star-A-Day quilt and I think one of these will work nicely. I want to get a few more stars made before I made up my mind though.

Speaking of stars, I need to pick more fabric as I’ve made up all the ones I traced off last wee.