Archive for January, 2013


No longer on the design wall, John’s Gift Quilt is finished!

This quilt was a joy to construct, I highly recommend it and it’s great for beginners. All you need are 20 fat quarters… Get the free pattern here.

The pink strippie quilt top is done. One tip I’d I’d like to pass along if you’re making this pattern or any other where you’re sewing strips together: I was taught that in order to keep your strip sets straight and not bowed, you should sew them together in alternate directions. To keep track of which was which, I just left the thread tails from the beginning of the seam intact and only trimmed the ending thread tails. That way I could tell at a glance which end I started on.

I’m going to make another child-sized strippie quilt, this time in primary colors. That will probably be on the design wall next Monday.

I’m also going to make one of those “Snap-Happy” bags where you insert pieces from a metal tape measure (get them at the dollar store) into the top. Because the metal tape is curved, it flexes. You sew tabs on both sides of the bag and pull on them to open it and they snap back together and stay closed. It’s not as securely closed as a zipper, of course, so choose wisely what you’re going to keep in it. I bought my pattern here (Snap Happy II), but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find similar directions on the internet somewhere.

That’s what I’m doing, check Judy L’s site for everyone else’s activities.



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eBay-how does this work?

I want a serger. I can’t afford a new one so I’m looking at used ones on eBay. I’m looking at one specific make/model, the Baby Lock Imagine. New, they currently retail for about $1,800. No can do. I’ve watched many auctions on eBay where they’re going for about $800 with some exceptions. That’s better.

I was looking at the bid history of a current auction the other day and I just don’t get it.

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 3.30.28 PM

Here’s the beginning of the auction, starting price $9.99. What, are you kidding me? So the first bidder bids 50 cents and then rounds it up to $50 in 13 seconds.

Watch what the second bidder does: in all of a minute, makes several small bids to get it up to $99. Let’s skip the next 3 bidders who are just incrementing it in small jumps, probably what I’d do. But then, whoa! bidder #6 jumps it up from $117 to $500? Who does that? And then bidder #7 bids against him/her self several times in 10 minutes and jumps it up to $810? Who does that?

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 3.30.42 PM

In this continuation screenshot of the bid history, bidder #7 is not finished and jumps it up to $1,000. I don’t understand bidder #8’s entry, two days earlier, also at $1,000? and then bidder #7 comes back and at the time of the screenshot, got it up to $1,025. (An important note is that this serger has a special feature called “the Wave” stitch that makes it more expensive than the one I’m looking for.)

So this is what I don’t get: why bid against yourself and drive the price way up? I read the bidding rules and it says shilling is not allowed. But let’s say I’m the seller and I want to start a bidding war. I’m afraid my auction might sell too low so I get a friend to drive up the prices. The rules says your bid commits you to pay for the item, but the friend could “pay” for it and the seller turns around and gives their money back. And then he puts the item back up for another auction. I can see this happening. How does eBay catch it? Or do they?

Am I just being cynical? Or is there more to this that I don’t understand? I don’t have much experience with eBay, but if I’m going to bid on something, I want a bargain. And by bargain, I’m looking for a steal ūüôā


robin siggy-dumb3

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Design Wall Monday 01.21.13


I’m working on another Strippie quilt, this time for Stitchers. I love the fabric with the circles and I think a little girl will love this one! There are just a handful of strips left to add.

I got my Featherweight back from the hospital, all cleaned and oiled and ready to go. The lady called me a week after I picked it up and said she didn’t get a chance to tell me there’s one more thing that could be fixed, and that’s the wheel that disengages the needle when winding bobbins. She said it would be expensive and I didn’t ask how much. At that point I hadn’t gotten the machine out of the box to try it and I couldn’t say for sure whether she meant to call me on this matter or someone else. I don’t know why she didn’t write it on the work order.

I named the machine “Sarah Emily” after my mother’s grandmother and took her to Stitchers with me yesterday. I had to wind a bobbin and sure enough, the needle went up and down as I pressed on the foot pedal. I don’t know how important this fix is and maybe someday I’ll have it done so that I can say the machine purrs like a kitten in every respect. I sewed all of the strips together that you see in the picture and my goodness, Sarah Emily flies at 100 mph!

In other news, I got the binding machine stitched to my husband’s quilt and it’s ready for the hand stitching. I thought I might get to that this weekend, but I was engrossed in a good book. So, I’ll work on that this week during my early morning before-work sewing time.

A friend wants to bring her new project over so that I can supervise her cutting and initial sewing. Eek! That means I have to clean up my studio so that there’s room for her to set up her machine. Hopefully she’s not allergic to dust, because that room is covered with it. My studio is one of those that desperately needs to be organized but where to begin? It’s overwhelming. And if my sewing stuff wasn’t bad enough, I also use that room to store my genealogy papers and files. More overwhelm (is that a noun?). So I spent a little time in there this afternoon putting projects in those 2.5 gallon Hefty bags. Now I have those corralled but where to put them? It’s never-ending.

So that’s what’s happening in my studio, get on over to Judy L’s page and see what everyone else is up to.



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Design Wall Monday 01.14.13


I made this healing quilt for a special friend who is battling cancer. The pattern is “Quick Strippie” by Mary Johnson (maryquilts.com). The pattern is designed for children utilizing WOF (width of fabric) strips, but I had to enlarge it for an adult. I backed it with Minkee (no batting) and it is so soft and cuddly.

Next on my list is to bind my husband’s “Gift Quilt.” Although it may not get cold enough this season for him to actually use it.

That’s what’s on my design wall, visit Judy L.’s page and see what everyone else is up to.



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Design Wall Monday 1.7.13


Not really on my design wall anymore, I finished this Christmas table runner just before New Years. I only had about 6″ of binding left to hand-stitch when we left for Florida and I just didn’t feel like taking it with me. I had plenty of time on the road to sew, but I find it difficult to spread out my “stuff” in the front seat.


This pattern is designed at 40″ wide and meant to utilize the width of fabric. In my case, I didn’t have enough usable fabric between the selvedges to give me the extra I like to have around the edges, so I pieced the back. Problem solved!


I made some little corner labels to use in situations like this when I don’t need to put a whole lot of information on it. It worked well!

I got my husband’s quilt back from the longarmer last week, so I have that to bind after I finish a secret project that I will reveal later.

That’s what’s going on in my studio, visit Judy L’s page to see what everyone else is up to.



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Superhero Fail


Gotta love local TV news.



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11 year-old UFO finished


Back in 2001, I had been a member of the Cyberbees online quilt group for a couple of years. One of our members, Kay C., was married to a man who was the director or manager of a Boy Scout camp in North Carolina. She organized a retreat for us at the camp and it was a wonderful venue! We set up our machines in the mammoth dining hall and slept in the camp cabins. There were no scouts in attendance and we had the whole place to ourselves. It was wonderful to meet some of the Bees in person and we had a fun time.

Kay had us working on a mystery quilt. By the end of the weekend most of us had one block completed, except for Joyce, the overachiever.


I had purchased fabric I liked rather than fabric that matched any of my decor since I didn’t know if I was going to like the pattern or not. In the months after the retreat, I finished the quilt top but that’s as far as I got. Other new projects were pulling at me, as only new projects can do (tip: don’t buy quilt magazines or even look at them on the newsstand, watch quilt TV shows or internet shows, or quilt books, because there’s no ¬†escaping inspiring distractions) and I put the top away and didn’t give it much thought.

Until 2011-2012, when I made it my personal goal to finish UFOs. I have a couple that are still awaiting my attention, but I’ll get them done this year, I promise.


Here’s a closeup to show you the pansy fabric. I just loved the colors in it! After so long a time, the fabrics were no longer available of course, and I hadn’t purchased backing and binding fabric. I matched the yellow for that as closely as I could and ended up piecing the backing because the store didn’t have enough on the bolt to make the whole thing. I couldn’t find a purple blender that dark, so I pieced it with something lighter. I’m not crazy about that decision, but what the heck, it’s on the back.




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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2013 FB cover

I’m a little late with my greeting, everyone else posted theirs yesterday or Monday.

My excuse, which I’m sticking to, is that we were out of town for Christmas and I was setting up my new computer over the weekend and haven’t had time to do everything I would have liked to do. You notice I missed the last two Design Wall Mondays? I will remedy that next week. There’s been a heck of a lot of sewing going on at Casa de Kaspar.

I wish you and yours the best year ever!


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