Monday, July 13, 2015

OK It's Monday Night Time for a Tip

Recently I've been working on this little project.
Sunflower applique
I finished doing the leaves and petals and am about to do the center. As I looked at it I realized the fabric I had originally intended to use for the center just wasn't working for me. It seemed too busy.
So I selected a few other choices from my stash but was having a hard time deciding what to use. So I thought it would be a good idea to make a color copy of my work and also a second copy of the black and white pattern I had been using. With those in hand I thought I could cut the middle section from the black and white paper and use it as a guide for cutting out the center of the color copy of my work. Then I could audition fabrics until I found one I liked.
Well because I also make a lot of fabric yo yos I could have just cut the circles from the fabric and made yo yos from the ones I didn't use. But then not everyone likes to make those and I thought this would make a great idea for my Monday night blog post. So here are some photos to show the results. (Sorry the photos are not that great but I think you will get the idea.)
Photocopies of the project and pattern
Original fabric choice
Fabric is too light
Color doesn't seem right
Fabric is a little bit better
Planning to use this one because I want it to be dark.
So there is where I'm at. I think I may look through my stash for some more dark browns to try. I definitely want a dark brown.
I could also have just scanned the fabric in and used my computer to try out different ones but I didn't have my computer with me so I did it this way.
Happy Monday

Friday, July 10, 2015

Just Another Friday Post At Long Last

It’s Friday Again! Let’s Move It Forward and Finish It.
Oh hello there!
I haven’t been around blog land for some time now. Some of you know I’ve been going through some different seasons in my life and well blogging just got moved aside. But I’m back!
Seasons have different phases and this season is no different. From caring intensely for a loved one to losing that loved one to a better world to trying to find where I want and where I need to be, this has been a trying season. I’m not sure where my writing will lead. I may even start a new blog, a new page so to speak. But for now I think I will just try and get back into the habit of blogging.
So since it is Friday here’s where I’m at stitching wise. I haven’t finished anything but I have moved forward on a few items. Funny when I started my Finish It Friday posts based on words of wisdom my paternal grandmother imparted to her family (see this post) I thought I was being different. I almost wrote unique but really is anything really unique? Since then I have found other bloggers who have being doing a Finish It Friday style post for years.
Well back to mine. I didn’t do any stitching for about 3-4 months. Why? I don’t really know. But I finally did get back to picking up needle and thread. Hand-stitching is my focus right now because my sewing space is in a mess due to reorganizing and relocating it. My machine is not set up so I can only move things forward to a certain point until I need to sew on the machine.
I took a workshop class through my quilt guild on back-basting applique taught by Barbara Eikmeier. I pulled it out and started working on the class project a little bit at a time. (Well I’m trying to do my 15 minutes a day method but some days I don’t manage any stitching and other days I’m at it for an hour or more.) Here it is in process.
Sunflower Applique
Today I will finish appliqueing the petals down. Next will be the center and then some embellishment. You might notice in the lower right hand corner that I have a little challenge. When I was adding the border applique I cut it in the wrong place and so I have a little dip that should not be there. What will I do? The choices are:
  1. Leave it
  2. Cover it up with some embellishment/applique
  3. Un-stitch it and redo it
What will I do? Stay tuned to find out.
Summer Hexagon Wall Hanging
Next up is my Summer Hexagon Wall Hanging. This I started a few years ago with embroidery designs from Wild Olive to which I made my own changes. I’ve now finished sewing the hexagons together and will be layering it with batting and a backing and then hand quilting.
Hand Embroidered Doll Faces
Oh yes and I’ve embroidered some more doll faces. Just need to rework the body pattern, cut and sew.
Shashiko and Butterflies Wall Hanging
While moving things around in my sewing room I came across a piece I had started when I still lived on the Big Island of Hawaii. I’ve decided to continue on with it since it requires some handwork. I’ve debated back and forth about the butterflies. Should I embroider them or should I applique them as the pattern called for? When I took it out to look at I was surprised to see that I had started to back-baste the pieces down just like the workshop instructor I mentioned above taught. I know the original instructor for this piece had us using a different applique method. How did I get started back-basting it in Hawaii? I don’t know. But I’m moving forward with it.

Until then,
Happy Moving Forward and Finishing!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Long Overdue Recap of WWW!

Wow the last WWW (What I’m Working On Wednesday) was in January and here March is coming to an end. Where does the time go?
Ok so I mentioned back then the Quilters’ Guild of Arlington’s postcard for the annual festival of quilts show. Done:

Then I mentioned crocheting drink cozies for the “Meet Samantha” party. Here are the photos of the drink cozies, the mini crochet dresses and some bunting made for the party:

The cloud and hearts mobile for her room still isn’t finished (just need to go over the hoop with another coat of white paint). Now how hard can that be. Not hard at all, just have to remember to do it!

About the fingerless gloves I had listed as a FIF project, they really did get done and turned over to my son to use.

At that same FIF I had mentioned some smaller microwavable fabric bowls. They were finished and the whole set was given as a gift.

So what else have I been up to? Well I made myself a needlework pillow to support my hands and arms when I’m hand stitching. Where’s the photo you ask? Well I left it where my stitching group meets so I will have to wait until I get it back this Thursday. I’m really pleased with it!

I finally got some headpieces finished for my granddaughter and a friend. Similar ones are being listed in my Etsy shop

Oh and I’ve also finally finished the little embroidered pendants and listed them in my shop also.

Recently I took a class on back basted needle turned applique. So I’m practicing that technique.

And I almost forgot the Wounded Warrior Quilt. I’ve finished piecing it together and will give it to a longarm quilter this week. I’m attending a retreat this week and will try and get a good picture of it while I’m there.
And I’m slowly (very slowly) getting my workroom back to some sort of order. And I think that’s enough for now, although I feel like I’m forgetting something!

Happy Stitching (on Wednesday and every other day)!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Just Bobbing Along

Homemade Bobbin Holder 
A long, long time ago I asked my husband to make me something to keep my sewing bobbins on. I had a lot of them and they were always getting tangled up because I kept them in a drawer or on my sewing table. I had purchased one of those blue bobbin keepers but I had way more bobbins than it could hold. So he put his creative head to the task and made me a holder for many, many bobbins. More bobbins than I had and then he bought me more bobbins. I used to do a lot of sewing with different colored threads so they came in handy.

Then a long time ago I found out I was using the wrong bobbin in my sewing machine so I bought some more bobbins of the correct size. But I had all of these already filled bobbins and couldn’t bring myself to waste them or the thread that was wound on them. So I carried them from home to home.

Bobbin Holder Hanging on Pegboard
When we put up pegboards in my sewing room in Texas I hung my thread racks and then figured out a way to hang the bobbin rack my husband had made for me.
Recently I was packing up a “to go” project (in this case it was making fabric yoyos or Suffolk puffs). I was adding thread spools to my small carry case and thought there should be a better way because the spools took up a lot of room. Then I spied my incorrect bobbins with thread on them. Perfect I thought I’ll start using that thread up. 
Bobbins with little thread, poorly wound thread, and wrong size
Then I realized I had some correct bobbins that only had a little bit of thread left on them. Now you know if you use those in your machine sure enough you will run out of thread before you finish sewing the seam. Ok I can use those up too! And then there is the few where the bobbin didn’t wind properly. Add those to the mix.
But I didn’t want to just put the bobbins in with the yoyos because the thread would just get all tangled up. What to do? Remember that blue bobbin keep I mentioned earlier? Perfect.
Blue bobbin keeper with threads
Now I’m making use of the bobbins and thread and the blue bobbin keeper.
What will happen though to all the empty spindles on the tool my husband made me? Well as you can see by my photos small spools of thread fit on them nicely.

Happy Bobbing Along!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Why I Keep Blue Painters Tape in my Sewing Room

 Aha you thought I forgot about my blog!
Not so. I check it every now and then and think “you know I really need to start posting more often”. Well here I go again and since it is Monday and that means hints and tips here goes.
I started making a project that required layering the top fabric, batting, and a piece of muslin. Does that sound like a quilt? Well not exactly. The pieces were only 18 inches square but they did need to be quilted. But the quilting needed was only 4 inches apart. I really didn’t want to mark my lines with anything other than my trusty Jergens soap sliver. Won’t go into all the reasons why here but I didn’t want to wash the square before I completed the project and washing it after was possible but not likely to happen. Only problem was I couldn’t find my soap sliver. Ok now what. I have a quilting guide that might help if only I could find it. Does that sound like someone needs to do some serious cleaning and organizing? Not going to happen right now I want this project done. Well I did find the guide but it wasn’t going to give me the 4 inch spacing the pattern called for. Now what to do? And then I spied my handy roll of blue painter’s tape.

Using blue painters tape to mark stitching lines
That will work just lay it down straight and stitch along the edge. Worked like a charm. Just watch which side of the tape to stitch along to get the desired spacing. I was done in no time.
And I won’t waste the tape. It won’t be thrown out until I’ve filled it up with stray threads. Yup it does double duty as a thread catcher. You can also write notes on it. I have a piece stuck to my machine right now to remind me what settings I need on my machine to do my ¼ seams.
Okay I’m planning to come back on Wednesday with some photos etc. of what I’ve been working on lately including this project (which is now finished).

Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Starting and Stopping

It’s Friday Again! Let’s Move It Forward and Finish It.
Last Friday I had every intention of getting a few things finished. That didn’t happen. Some were moved forward but nothing was finished. I will say in my defense though that this little girl has my priority. 
Fast asleep on Tutu Rose

So a lot depends on her and how much she sleeps. When she’s awake and not being fed we are playing and talking together. Not that you would understand our conversations because they are in baby speak but she and I understand each other. We have a lot of great conversations!
So here’s the plan:
Last week I intended to finish these items:
Fingerless gloves. 
Fingerlss Gloves

I started knitting these in response to a request from my son. They just need to be stitched up along the edges. Not a real time consuming task really. You can read about this request in an earlier post.

Bowls being quilted

Microwavable Fabric Bowls. Okay so I showed a set of these that I had finished in an earlier post. Well at the time I started those I also cut out three more of the smaller ones to be able to give a set of four. Last week I intended to get these smaller pieces quilted. Well I did that and then assembled them and all I have left to do is press and top stitch them. Almost done!

The other item was some knickers for the rag doll who is waiting to get dressed. 
So this is where I am at now:
Still need to do the fingerless gloves, finish the small fabric bowls and the knickers. But I also want to finish some work I started this week.

First Cupcake Hat
Cupcake Hat

I made a hat for Samantha when she was first born but she didn’t get to wear it much because it was a little small for her. So I started another one. It needs a cherry yet and the ends tucked in but I have a mistake on it which I will correct first. Just waiting for her arrival so I can check to see how it fits her. I’m also making some slippers for her using the same yarn.

New Cupcake Hat

Rag Doll
Second Rag Doll Face

I started another doll face. All it needs is some more eyelashes and then she will be ready for damp stretching. After that I need to make a modified pattern for her body and arms. And I have another face ready to be embroidered. This one will be blue eyes and reddish brown brows and lashes. Trying to decide if I want to stay with the red lips or try out some pink ones.

Today I will be watching my granddaughter Samantha so some of my progress will depend on how much she sleeps today. When she’s awake she has my full attention!
Oh yes and I did clean my cutting table and set it on bed risers to make it easier to cut without having to bend over. But alas it once again needs to be cleaned off.
If I don’t make it back today with an update I will try and do one tomorrow.
Until then,
Happy Moving Forward and Finishing!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fabric Bowls are Done!

Well I didn't get back in here yesterday but the Microwaveable Fabric Bowls did get finished! But not the doll or the cleaning. No surprise there.
Fabric Bowls
What I like about these bowls especially the smallest one is that they work for cold food too. Think a bowl of ice cream without getting cold fingers!
I'm still experimenting with the making of these and I'll share some tips and tricks later on one of my Monday posts.

Done is a good four letter word!