Monday, May 26, 2014

Creased Wrinkled Fabric

Wrinkled fabric
How to avoid this when you're washing your fabric. 
Deep wrinkles with hard to get out creases

Okay now I know some of you don't wash the fabric before you start working but I do. Here's why I do:
 1. Eliminate shrinking
 2. Avoid having dyes running and ruining my fabrics
 3. Remove chemicals put on the fabrics in the process of making and/or shipping.
Some of those chemicals are harmful to us and so we need to remove them from the fabric.
Now if you'd like to keep the crispness of the fabric then you can always starch it as you iron and restore that crispness.
Okay so when washing the fabric how do I avoid getting all those nasty wrinkles? Well the first I always cut the corners of my fabric or pink the raw edges or surge them. This is just to eliminate any fraying that might occur in the washing and drying process. After I've done that I will take my selvedge edges and stitch them together to make a loop of my fabric. If I don't have selvedge edges then I just take two of the shorter raw edges and stitch them together again creating a loop of fabric.
Then just throw them in the washing machine. Don't forget your color catcher if you think you have some fabric that might bleed a little bit. Wash and dry them. You're ready to go. This is what they look like afterwards.
Very few wrinkles and no creases

Once they are dry all you have to do is trim off that little sewn selvage edge or the raw edges and you're ready to start creating.
Whatever wrinkles left are much easier to iron out of the fabric. Use starch if you wish.

Happy creaseless sewing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Here We Go Again!

Oh goodness I've been missing in action for so long.  I have been busy, I have been doing things. Here are some of the blocks that I've made for our guild monthly block exchange.
Red and White Block for April

Flower Basket Block for March
This is a little card that I worked on for another on-line exchange I participated in. I was late with it as I forgot what the deadline was and thought I had longer to work on it. Oh dear. But I did get it done.

Postcard for online swap

The project was to do a postcard that included paper and embroidery so I designed this little card. I had some postcards for my inkjet printer that I had purchased a long time ago and then never used. Perfect. Then I remembered my sketchbook with a little flower design I had worked on, again some time ago. I thought it would look great as a card. The other part of the challenge was to focus on the word create so I added some words to the card. After I printed the design I decided to color in the flowers with some markers.  Then came the fun of deciding what stitches to use and then piercing the paper. About halfway though I remembered I like to keep the first of any new idea I make. So I printed another card and this time added the hummingbird to it (another one of  my little sketches!). When it came time to embroider the hummingbird I opted for some metallic thread. It was a little tricky to work with but I love the results.  I received this one from my exchange partner who lives in England.
Postcard Exchange from England
I'm still trying to straighten up and get somewhat organized in my "studio room". I may have a new idea to share later about fabric scraps. Testing it out now. 

I've been rather busy with my quilt guild lately, mainly working on promoting the show that took place May 1 and 2. It was a good experience for me and I also got involved in the take down. What a lot of work goes into putting on a show! I still have some things to finish for the guild and we are already talking about next year's show.

I haven't done any Finish It Friday posts because I haven't finished anything on Friday lately. (Well I haven't started anything new on Friday either!)

For my 15 minutes a day project I've been concentrating on this vest.
Butterfly Denim Vest WISP

I've blogged about it before here. One thing that I keep reminding myself of is to keep track of the thread colors I'm using. I started this about 15 years ago - what!!?! I can not find the blue thread that I used on it to begin with. I have found a DMC light effects thread that comes close but that thread is a little more difficult to work with than the regular floss. But I'll manage. Right now I'm concentrating on doing an irregular running stitch on the lines within the butterflies. Here is a view of two butterflies, one has been stitched and the other one has not. I think doing the stitches adds a lot to the look of the butterfly. Why an irregular running stitch? Because I don't seem to be able to keep my stitches perfectly even in length! Plus I think irregular is more interesting than perfect. 

I keep thinking I need to add some flowers among the butterflies but that will mean an even longer time before this is finished. I do wear this vest every once and awhile just because I can.
Well that's just some of what I have going on at the moment. 

Happy Stitching!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Done and Done!

Despite problems with my sewing machine I managed to finish the three flash cards. So now I have four shape or geometric flash cards. The question is will I make more? I didn't plan these very well and did not leave enough room top and bottom of each design when I printed them on the fabric. I will be more careful with this if I decide to make more. I will continue to use an additional black and white fabric with as close to the shape in the card as I can find.  The circle fabric was a little too spaced out so it only looks good on the top portion.
Shape Flash Cards
The embroidered petroglyphs are also finished. I had to do some more painting first on the inside of the outside hoop. I realized when I went to put them together that it would show the original wood finish if I didn't paint. Then I placed the embroidery in the hoop and tightened the hoop as tight as I could. After letting it set for a while I loosened the hoop and removed the inside hoop without disturbing the outer hoop. By letting it sit for a while an indentation was made in the fabric that I could use as a guide to replace the inside hoop once I had placed glue around the outside of it. After placing the inside hoop back on the fabric I tightened the screw on the outer hoop and let it sit to dry. (I used a fabric glue that works as quick as a hot glue gun without the mess and heat.) 
Embroidered Petroglyphs
The back of the petroglyph embroideries had a fusible interfacing so I decided I would not need to cover the back of the stitching with felt as I have on other projects. I also may go back and add some narrow rickrack on the back of the hoop to try and hide the cut fabric. I've done that on other hoop projects too.

For close ups of these projects check out my Flickr account.
Now to get ready for next Friday!

Done feels good!

Wow it’s Friday already! Time for FIF:Finish It Friday!

I’m back to trying to finish some items on Friday. First up are the three Flash Cards I’ve been trying to finish for several weeks now. So fabric in hand and sewing machine at the ready here we go!

Flash Cards to finish

Next I’ve selected some embroideries I had done since April of 2011. Yes 2011 and the only thing they needed was to get permanently framed in hoops. Only thing was I wanted the hoops to be black. When I first tried painting a hoop the paint didn’t take well so I laid it all aside. Now I’ve sanded the frames, painted them black and I’m ready to go with the finishings. 

Embroidered Hawaiian Petroglyphs

I’ll be back later to show the results (hopefully).

Happy Finishing Friday!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hello there! WWW

Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts! My surgery went well. The tumor was a very small one and only Stage 1A cancer so no more treatment is needed, just watching me closely for a while. I’m feeling great just have to be sure I don’t overdo it with lifting etc.
I have been slowly getting back into stitching so this is what I have in progress this Wednesday.
I finished a block for my quilt guild’s monthly block exchange, I’m only two blocks behind now!
Scrappy Blues Block

My first fifteen minute project is now complete. It was surprisingly easy to keep it going. The day of surgery and two days of recovery did not see any stitching but I made it up later in the week by stitching extra fifteen minute periods. Thirty eight days later the monkey is now done but I think he will just go in the box with all the rest of my TAST2012 pieces. I haven’t decided what to do with them yet. (Please don’t ask how many French Knots are in that piece!) I did add ears which were not in the original scribble. Generally I do not add any lines or scribbles to one once the pencil leaves the paper or fabric but he just needed some ears so they were scribbled in.
French knot monkey 15 minutes a day priject
I’ve gotten back to working on my summer hexagon project that I started last year using embroidery designs from Wild Olive. I modified a few of them. This is my first time making hexagons and I struggled with sewing them together. I worked at it during a few of the Friendship Stitchers group I belong to. Then I decided I really want to get it finished (I have the designs for Fall, Winter, and now Spring waiting in the sidelines). So I started doing it as one of my just fifteen minutes a day projects but I got carried away with it and worked more than fifteen minutes. So it is getting done a little faster than expected.

Summer Hexagon Embroidery Pioject
Painted hoops
Next I painted some outer embroidery hoop frames in anticipation of another Finish It Friday project. I’m hoping this Friday to have some results to show.

Happy Stitching! 


Friday, February 14, 2014

The 15 Minute Project Update

Monkey French Knot Scribble 10 days later

Here’s my monkey scribble after 15 minutes a day stitching since the last posting. Can’t believe I’ve gotten this far with him. I do need to add his ears. I don’t normally add anything to a scribble but I am making an exception to this one for the ears.

Nest in Tree 
My other 15 minute project has taken a detour, I’ll explain later when I have some photos to show. But this is where it is at for now. I won’t be stitching on it for a while. Need to do some planning.
One more thing I did this week was for a special order in my Etsy shop. These are hope rocks in felt pockets. My son does the etching and I make the heart pockets. And I finished them today so they are my FIF (Finish It Friday) for this week! 
Hope Rocks in Felt Pockets
My posts will probably be sporadic for now since I will be having surgery on Monday. I hope to get back to a more normal posting schedule in a few weeks.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts!

Happy Stitching! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WWW - The 15 Minute Project

So I posted last Friday a picture of my scribble French Knot monkey that has been sitting in a pile of unfinished projects. I knew I had too much to do to be able to finish it in a Friday. So I decided to just work on it 15 minutes a day, you know, slow and steady. Here it is as of today.

Monkey Face 
Can you see the progress? I’m not the fastest stitcher for sure but I am actually enjoying my fifteen minutes a day with it. I read somewhere recently that our attention holds onto something for about 28 minutes. So we should set a 28 minute time limit for each project and at the end of 28 minutes go on to something else. Well I’m not sure that is really true as I know I can get started stitching and lose all track of time. Now when it comes to cleaning or organizing well yeah
about 28 minutes as all I can handle!

I’ve decided to take the 15 minute approach to some of my other projects that I have sitting around waiting for some attention. This is a piece I started back in 2012 while taking an online class from Sharon Boggon.
Bird Nest in a tree
It is a monochromatic encrusted nest in a tree. What you don’t see the encrusting? Right. It’s not there yet. I got stuck on the tree part. 
Here's a close up on the tree which I worked on today.
Tree stitching
I really would like to get it finished all though I’m not sure what I will do with it when I’m done stitching. I’ve added some more stitching (couching) to the main tree section and I’m happy with it. There is one stitch that sort of sticks out like a sore thumb but I think I know how I will fix that. Anxious to get started on the nest. You can read more background about this piece in this post

And I’m not sticking to my fifteen minutes on this piece. I may go over that time if I get really into what I am stitching on it. I think when I get to the encrusted nest part I will happily get lost in it.
Only time will tell.

Happy Stitching Wednesday!