Friday, March 25, 2011

Back home.

Encouraging words of the day:
Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.  ~ Psalm 37:24, NLT

We’ve returned home after 3 weeks on the road.  We had a terrific time in the Texas Hill Country and visiting our son in north Texas.  But, it’s always great to get back home.  I was able to keep up with some of my sewing as I have two sewing machines at our ranch home - two machines but not as much time as we spend a lot of our time hunting and enjoying nature.  Also, my parents were able to accompany us on our travels and we spent time enjoying their company.
I was able to accomplish a lot of my hand-sewing.  I completed 6 hexagon flowers on our road trip home and then forgot to post any of them on the “One-Flower Wednesday” blog. Well, now I have something for next week. 
With all the sewing we do, have you ever wondered how a needle is made? 

Surfing the internet, I have learned that: sewing needles are made two at a time, from coils of steel wire. The wire is straightened and cut to the length of two. Through a grinding process, points are formed at both ends. Using a grindstone, the needle is turned repeatedly until the point is fine and even. Next, the eyes are stamped into the wire near the middle; two flat areas are stamped first.  Another piece of wire is drawn through the holes (like dental floss after a cleaning) so when the needle wire is cut apart, two needles remain, hanging from the wire. Their heads are smoothed and rounded. Their bodies are checked for straightness, tempered for toughness, and polished for smoothness. Quality control and a wide variety of packaging vehicles finish the process before they are shipped to their future owners.  
 I never realized it was such an involved process. I guess I thought the metal was just poured into a mold and viola!

I’ve finished  Block 11 in the “Layer Cake Quilt-Along.”  Somewhere along the way, though, I quit using the layer cake and began choosing fabric from my stash.  Works for me.  Here is Block 11 designed by Vanessa Wilson and called "E-ccentric Quilt Block."

Today I need to start working on making a 16in x 10 in Kitchen/ Casserole Hot Pad for a swap I joined.  I also need to work on my niece’s prom dress.  It is all “sequiny” and itchy around the neck so I need to figure out  something there so she can wear her beautiful dress.  I actually probably need to do the dress before starting on the hot pad.

Giveaways I've run into while checking blogs:

"Pink Please" is giving away Moda's "Just Wing It" Jelly Roll by MoMo – ends March 31st
 "Jackie's Art Quilts"is giving 5 fat quarters - ends March 31st.
 "Green Fairy Quilts"   is giving a “Punctuation Jelly Roll.” – ends March 25th

That is all.


Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

Glad to hear that you had a wonderful time on your three weeks away. I recently learned that there is a right side and a wrong side to a needle eye (makes a difference when it comes to threading). Your block is wonderful!!

Sue said...

That was really interesting about the needle. I had never thought to look up just how they're made. Very neat.

Sounds so nice to be able to be on the road and travel like that. Glad you were able to get some hand-stitching in. It's so relaxing.

Enjoy your weekend and welcome home:)

Needled Mom said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip. Glad you are back home safe and sound.

What an interesting needle story! Who knew there was so much involved in a simple needle.

Have fun with your sewing projects.

Julie Fukuda said...

I really do like the fabrics in that block and look forward to see what it will become. Yep, family is great! and needles.. I have decded that some quality control is very poor and I will never buy that brand again.