Tuesday 14 April 2020

This Week's Stitching and Mum's Elna


After several days of not going into the sewing room and quite a lot of dithering, I finally decided what to work on and made a start on Friday.  I had to, as it was Friday Night With Friends.

I needed to get started on a Christmas project and I also wanted to give Mum's machine a run, so needed something fairly straight forward.

Finally, I decided to work on this kit by Anni Downs that I bought a while ago.

This is Mum's machine.

It is an Elna Air Electronic SU, made in 1981.  She bought it new in 1982 for $899.00.  They weren't cheap.  I didn't realise that they gave me my little Elna Stella the year before Mum upgraded from her old Elna to this one.  It hasn't been used for about four years, so after my machine running rather sluggishly when I got it out recently, I thought this one better get used too, so gave her a good clean, an oil and fired her up.  It did need it, as initially it was rather noisy and sluggish.  After a while it quietened down and was much more responsive.

As I had my own machine, I haven't used this one very much in the past.  I even had to get the manual out to work out how to thread it.  Before I bought my Janome I would go over to Mum's to do any blanket stitch applique, as my Stella does not have that stitch.  This machine has discs with different stitches.  The funny thing is that the blanket stitch is back to front to what we are used to.  You have to have the piece you are appliquing on to the right of the needle.

I use a thread stand on these machines, mainly so the plastic spools don't rub on the top of the machine.  I only read last week about the hole in the spool holder on the machine to feed thread through if you are using a spool stand, so the thread would feed into the tension unit on the top of the machine at the correct angle.  Yes, there it was, and it worked a treat.

You may also notice the engraved drivers licence number on the top of the machine.  Dad was very good at engraving everything to prevent theft.  The only downside, was that he engraved in a prominent position on everything.  Oh well, it is what it is.

So, onto the project.

The wall hanger consisted of simple nine patches alternated with blocks from a feature panel of fabric.  There were nearly enough blocks on the panel to make two hangers, except that a couple were cut too close to the print to be used.  There was also plenty of fabric to make more nine patches.  Therefore, I decided I would make a quilt as big as I could, with what I had.

Finally, I arrived at this layout.  I figured, by going wider, it could be displayed on the back of a couch, or be used as a bed runner.

This is where I got up to on Friday.  Not too bad for just an afternoon and early evening stitching.


As Scrub Stitchin' didn't happen last weekend, Chooky, being the sneak that she is, arranged that our project be sent to us, with strict instructions not to open until she tells us. We had previously had to make a choice of pink or blue.  I chose pink.

She decided that Easter Saturday would be ideal, as we couldn't be doing anything else.  

After a quick crash course in Zoom, we all linked up for the big reveal of our project. 

I think we were all rather pleased with our project.  It is a design by Anni Downs made especially for Scrub Stitchin'. A nice surprise was Anni joining in our Zoom link up for a while as well.

We logged in at ten o'clock in the morning and I logged out at five o'clock in the evening, having completed the stitchery panel.  Some stayed even longer. Who'd have thought we could sit a chat and stitch for so long.  OK, we all know that is quite possible.  We did duck in and out, but a lot of us were there most of the day. There were a few glitches with some internet connections not being strong enough, but on the whole it worked really well. Technology that has been available to us, but few of us have felt the need to learn to use it. Another side effect of COVID-19.  However, now that we know how to use the technology, there is a fair chance it will be used for often for catch ups like this.  Another upside was that I think I achieved more of my retreat project than normal.  Usually, I have other things I am working on, so don't do much, if any, of the issued project.


I was determined to finish my Scrub Stitchin' project.

As the morning was lovely, I sat outside on the verandah and did the little "Scrub Stithing" label before preparing the pouch panels and appliquing on the stitcheries.

As Mum's machine was still set up, I used it to make the rest of the bag.

Ta da!  It is quite large, being 12 inches by 8 inches.  Perfect for holding a project while working on it.

I'm so happy to have it finished.  It was a pleasure to make.  Thanks Chooky and thanks Anni.  This will also be a finish for One Project a Month.

While I still had Mum's machine set up I put the borders on the Christmas quilt. There was just enough in the kit. There isn't quite enough of the binding fabric, but by adding a couple of left over strips of the nine patch fabrics, I will be able to make a scrappy binding, which will still work well.  Now I just have to hunt out some batting and find a fabric for backing, both of which I will have here, then do some simple quilting.  Fingers crossed it will be finished by the end of the month, but if not, I am still happy to have a flimsy done.


Today I thought I had better make a start on my Happy Thoughts mini quilt, as I had made it my One Monthly Goal to finish it.

I made a little progress, but not a lot, as I kept getting distracted.  At least three of my corner blocks are now finished and the centre panel just needs the stitching through the grass area.  Then it is just the bottom panel........just......  I'll keep plugging away.

So, not too bad for the week.  I know I could have done more, given all this time at home, but I don't want to make sewing become a chore.  If I don't feel like sewing, I won't.  Having said that, I do always feel happy when I have made progress.

Now to see what I get done next week.


Pink Rose said...

Hi Janice you have been busy,I used to have an el a too handed down from my mum and it had the discs as well.
How clever to be able to still do a scrub Stitchin project ,I love the bag ,it's so pretty ,well done,I also love the quilt you are making,such beautiful work.

Susan said...

It was very sneaky of Miss Chooky....but what a great idea.....you’ve been very productive....good to get the Christmas one done and the little hanging.

Jenny said...

You have been so busy and productive. The stitch along was wonderful idea, connecting you all and I love the little pouch you created. I would be hard pushed to choose between pink or blue!

Fiona said...

Great projects and lovely to get so much progress done....

kiwikid said...

You have achieved a lot this week, your pouch looks fantastic, it was a great day wasn't it, I got most of the stitchery done, I am like you usually working on other projects. Your Anni quilt is lovely as is your mini quilt. You should be able to see when your are in the mood, not when you feel you have to.

loulee said...

You achieved quite a lot. Good that mums machine was able to join in.

Michelle Ridgway said...

Your Mums Elna did her proud on your new quilt...it's lovely. What a nice surprise to all get together and your project is so nice xx

Maria said...

Mum's machine was busy sewing up the kit and your mini looks great. I'm sure they'll both be done by the end of the month...
I really enjoyed joining in with all the Scrub Stitch and getting to met you all and chat while stitching.
My lunch is also finished and I added "Online" on the label ...

Maria said...

oh no must have pressed l instead of p to the pouch.... 🤔

Raewyn said...

Lovely to see what you've been up to Janice.... well done on completing the pouch...I got back to mine last night and it should be done soon...! Your Christmas kit/quilt is gorgeous - the panels have made a lovely, quick and effective project. It was great spending time with you on Zoom!

ButterZ said...

I enjoyed reading about your progress over the past week. Love your work. & how much fun that zoom stitching stay at home retreat was..

Chookyblue...... said...

So pleased you enjoyed the project.....it was so fun catching up on line. Definetly not as fun as the real deal but the best of a bad situation cancelling scrub stitchin'

Chookyblue...... said...

Oh and your pouch is great