Florine Johnson Designs - Hand & Fusible Rooster Appliques for Quilts & Crafts

Making space, using machines and grinding wheat.

What do you do when you need space in the cupboards?  Take out some of the old things in there?  We did and we found some sealed buckets of grains purchased at least 5 or more years ago.  One was of unground wheat. 

We also have a Vita Mix machine that's about the same age, but until recently hadn't been used as it could have been.  Being a bit adventurous, we decided to put the Vita Mix and some of the wheat together to see if we could make flour.  Then we could test the flour to see if it would make a good small loaf of bread.  So we did.  The flour tasted fine so we went on to the next step.  Using our bread machine, we put it to work and in about 5 hours, out came a terrific small loaf of bread.  The bread has no preservatives, the wheat was still very good, the machines worked perfectly and we are tickled about the result of our experiment. 

My husband has been using the bread making machine for some time by buying flour at the grocery store.  We will be experimenting with the other grains we have discovered in those high up shelves to see what else we can make.  If we're ever without electricity, we may have to get a grinding stone to make flour and learn how to knead bread by hand.  Oops, guess we'd have to have a solar oven to bake it though.     

Sewing lessons & finishing

The other day I decided it was time to finish a big project.  All that was left was to finish the binding on 1 1/2 sides.  When I looked at the quilt, I realized I did not remember which needle was in the sewing machine when I did the other 2 1/2 sides, I didn't know what the settings were on the machine as to length and width of the stitch, nor did I know which thread I had used to sew it with.

After making a couple of sample stitches, I figured out the length and width.  Only after going through that process did I realize that I had, indeed, made a notation on an index card of that information.  I still needed to match up the thread, even if it would not show on the finished quilt. 

This quilt was cut and basted in the 1940's.  It's a large (approximately 100" x 100") Hawaiian quilt of red on white background.  A friend purchased it from the cutter/baster's son in the mid-1990's.  I hand appliqued it in exchange for some hand quilting on another quilt of mine.  It took more than a few years to do that.  My friend, Alice, sold it to me in 2007, as she decided she didn't want to hand quilt it.  Now we're up to 4 owners and 2 workers. 

I put off getting it quilted for a long time as I debated trying to get it hand quilted or have it machine quilted.  I do not hand quilt and, besides, I would be insane to make my first attempt at hand quilting on something so big and scary.  

I took the quilt to Richard Hood, in Buford, GA, to do the honors of quilting it on his long arm machine in 2011.  I brought it home and let it sit for a long time.  Then I realized it was taking up too much room in my sewing studio and I should "get to it and do it" as a great aunt used to say.  I could have written a book about the quilt on the label but got it cut down to the basic information. 

Now I'm ready to finish the binding in the next few days.  My lesson learned?  Always make a note about the project I'm working on as to thread, needles, length and width settings and any other pertinent information about the project....just in case I don't get to it in a year or two or 73!  I plan to write all the information on a card and attach it to the project or the pattern, or the main fabric before putting it aside for another day.




Saving versus Tossing Out

I confess.  I'm a Pilot.  I "pile it" into files, onto all flat surfaces and then, too often, spend valuable time searching for something which exacerbates the situation.   I'm trying different solutions to alleviate these problems in my life.  Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks.

Simplify, simplify they tell us.  But what they don't tell us is how long it takes to get there.  Now as I come across something I've "saved" way too long and it's something I no longer need or want or, if I can find on the internet, I'm tossing it.  Maybe I'll live long enough to get the job done. 

Designating a "home" for general use items helps stop the frantic searches around the house.  Our house keys are always put into a basket near the most used door.  All it takes is to stop for a minute and think about the best way  and/or place to do this.  Putting out fires constantly is not only frustrating, but is stressful. 

Today I have pulled out 2 1/4 inches of old reports out of two files.  Due to personal information, they will have to be de-stapled and run through the shredder.   That will happen as a minute here or there is available to actually do it.  Pages without personal information will be separated and taken to the recycle depot in town. 

Have you got any tips to accelerate this kind of procedure?  Email me.  I need all the help I can get.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.








First day of my blog

Today is the first day of this new blog.  I will occasionally write something I'm doing, thinking about, learning or even grousing about. 

My sewing machine, the wonderful Janome 6600P, has a walking foot built in and miscellaneous buttons to push.  It also has a speed regulator.  I usually have it on a slower speed because it can take off without me when it's set at the full Indy 500 speed record.  That's about 1000 stitches a minute or some other scary thing.  

The other day I was working on a panel wall hanging just for the practice.  I plan to conquer that machine one of these years!  I've had the machine for more than a couple of years and could never seem to stop the needle exactly when I wanted to.  It always stopped too soon or ran over a stitch or two.  Have you ever had that problem? 

Then it dawned on me.  I could stop a couple of stitches prior to where I needed to stop and just push the "up/down" button until the needle was where it was supposed to stop.  Eureka.