Friday, November 30, 2012

November review and future thoughts

My sewing room has been hopping this month! I realized there was a post published almost every day. Some interesting developments have happened (the sewing room came together, the addition of Sergio Fabrico) and new things were created (toddlers hat, car seat cozy, key wristlets) this month. There's more phases in the works as well, more on that soon! I am so excited over what is going on in my mind and what is coming out of my sewing room. It still needs quite a bit of organization but it is slowly coming together.

December will prove to be very busy. It is important for there to be structure in the planning for what gets done and when it gets done. I have many deadlines to keep so sticking to a plan is essential.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gift Idea! Key Wristlets

When you have a box full of stuff like this.......

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Car Seat Cozies - Quick Peek

The Car Seat Cozy has been checked out by quite a few people now and I am getting favorable responses over it! This means I must make many more. Some of the color combos I have put together are rather interesting. Here is a peek of a few in the works-

 the "sizzlin' western" look

 the "fab flowers"
and the "cool blue cogs"
Well, that is what I got cut up in my sewing room at the moment. Another night, I'll sew them all together with the wonderful flannel backing and there will be cozies ready-to-go. It's always a good time to be cozy! Which fabric is your favorite?

Monday, November 26, 2012

New! The Car Seat Cozy

Developed in my sewing room for you and your kids!
I was talking to a few people about this idea that I had. I asked some moms about the practicality of a blanket that can be used to cover a child while in a car seat. The responses I was getting were favorable so I began to develop it and here it is!
Don't you love this color scheme that is so bright and fun? Who says winter has to be dull? The back is lined with warm flannel in a toasty, chocolate brown and is soft enough for the most tender face. It's so cozy, I want one for myself! The unique part is there is an opening in the center (along the orange pieces) so the car seat buckle can be snapped in to keep your little one secure and to keep the cozy in place. No more kicking the blanket off with wiggly feet.
Speaking of feet - I made the top binding nice and wide. You can always tell which side goes by the face.
Nothing worse than putting the stinky-feet end of a blanket by your nose.
So there it is! Let me know if you want one. This size (32"high x 29"wide) is $29. Other color schemes can be done upon request, but not every scheme can be made forever. I only have so much fabric! Tell me your favorite combination and I'll make it happen. Can be made taller, for older kids, for an additional cost. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crush Cuttings Completed

All of the fabric is cut for Crush #2! Now the power sewing can take over.

These cuts will be part of the edges and corners.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Quick Peek Cuttings #2

The next part for the Christmas projects!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Introducing the Newest Member

My sewing room has a few select members. There's cutie-pie Minnie...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Crush Blocks

I finished sewing together six of these blocks today. 24 more to go... I can bang them out tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crush me! Power sewing on Thanksgiving Eve

It's Thanksgiving Eve. People are buzzing about the grocery stores, buying up the last minute ingredients for the big day tomorrow. The roads are full of cars. Moms are baking pies and planning what time to start cooking the turkey in the morning. Kids are home from college. Tables are set. Airports are busting with people trying to get to grandma's house for turkey and her dressing that no one else in the family can duplicate.

I'm not doing anything like that today. We don't cook, we visit, eat, and go home afterwards. So my evening is quite relaxed. I can look forward to several days off from work. It's rather enjoyable. And there's plenty of time to get into the Crush!

This time, I am not following the exact order as the mystery instructions reveal them. The 4-patches are done and now I skipped back a few steps and am making the red/black 1/2 square triangles (used the Easy Angle tool for that) and got 128 sets made.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quick Peek Cuttings

For Christmas!

Let the fun begin!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hemming Pants

These pants are loo long....... ok, I can fix that!

The first slice you take off the bottom of a pant leg, you kinda die inside a little. Would you agree with that? Now they are different lengths. One leg is finished and one is cut shorter. Then the second slice isn't much easier but there's no turning back.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Crush Progress - 4 Patches Done

Goal by Sunday - get 150 4-patch squares done for Orange Crush.
The fabric was cut out last week. The strips were all sewn together and I began cutting them out tonight. Why stop there? Two by two they were coming together. Before I knew it, the piles 4-patches started accumulating!

The Battle for 1/4-inch Seam Allowance

I really like my sewing machine. It's a Brother "Project Runway" model that is computerized with a whole bunch of stitch settings. Most of them I don't use, but it's cool to know they're there!
As I make things for myself, I can overlook little boo-boos or shortcomings in my work. Yeah, the seam is a little shy of its proper size but I can fudge it into place. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. When it does, yay! When it doesn't, it's a foible that says it's mine.
Sewing for someone else is a different monster. Now your work has to stand on its own. You will not be there with it to defend its errors or offsets. The new owner will let everyone they know that this is your work and you have to be 100% ok with what statement it makes. Thus, the battle over perfect 1/4-inch seam allowance begins!
Recently I saw a huge template that you can place on your machine that was covered with lines goind every which way so you can feed your fabric in straight and with accurate allowance. It was a great tool, I'm sure, but I didn't want it. There has to be an easier way to have guidelines without all that.
So out came the roll of masking tape. There are two 1/4-inch marking lines on my machine. One in the front and one behind the needle. The one in the front is fine to have but the one behind the needle is impossible to see. My tape gave the visual between the two markings.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Interesting Twists

For years I have been my husband's personal garment tailor. He seems to have the inbetween sized body that wants an odd sized waistband or inseam. Or he wanted a pair of fleece pants before they were in the stores or a jacket that had a certain look to it. I would always say, "I can make that for you" and the sewing machine would come out.

I cannot say I am an expert seamstress. I am not. But I have learned my way around the world of tailoring, alterations, and basic garment making. His hems have been shortened, his jeans have been made more straight (the relaxed fit doesn't fit him), his waistbands have been adjusted. I've made him fleece hats, fleece pants, fleece jackets. I've even made him a lined jacket with red and white stripes with a blue section that had stars on it.

He hasn't been the sole recipient of my work. I've made plenty of things for myself as well. Shirts, skirts, pants, costumes. Took up my own hems. Took in waistbands. And let them back out again.

It's all "sew" interesting (yes, pun intended) the twist of my range of interests. When I think of the usefulness of tailoring and how our garments are not custom made and yet we put up with wearing things that simply do not fit well. I am happy to say, "I can make that for you!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Side Project - Bond Style

No, not James Bond. The Bond knitting machine! (cue fast-talking voice over: extender needle bed, yarn, and stitch counter sold separately)

Even after all these years of using it, I am still amazed at how this....
can turn into things like this!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crush #2 - The Sewing Begins!

The beginning of sewing the 4-patches has begun! Right now they are in strips but it won't be long before all 150 of them are done.


Monday, November 12, 2012

FMQ Practice - Triangle Paisley

How can you learn paisley without trying out different things with it? This is Triangle Paisley and I think I like it BETTER than paisley! Who would have guessed? This is what I love about FMQ and thread art, it's amazing!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

FMQ Practice - Paisley

One of my favorite patterns out there is paisley. I think it is so artsy and interesting. It getg me thinking of Paris or a fancy shirt or a sophisticated silk scarf. Fabulous!
In my free motion quilting efforts, I was excited to learn how to draw paisley on fabric with thread. It's a good looking filler! Don't you think?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Sewing Room

After having my sewing things spread throughout the house, we decided it was time to dedicate a room to set up and do my work. It's been a work in progress. Having a space that is all for sewing and quilting is amazing. I can make messes and not worry about them. I can have enough room to do what I need to do. The tabletop machine has a claim on the work table. There is still enough room to cut or iron or sort through scraps.
The long arm is ready to go whenever I need it.
When I'm done, I close the doors. Even with them shut, the room looks inviting. I am inspired when I walk in there. I love my sewing room!
What is your sewing room like? Does it inspire you? Take some pictures and blog about it. Then share it with us!

Friday, November 9, 2012

FMQ Practice - Lost Data

I have embarked on free motion quilting (lovingly referred to as FMQ) on my home machine early in the year, thanks to Leah Day and her Free Motion Quilting Project blog. My nerves have calmed over time and the thought of trying out new stitches is not so scary anymore. Thanks for your help Leah!
This past week she taught the "Lost Data" stitch. This one works really well along a border or as a strip filler. There are the jagged lines and some of them are filled with a stippling type filler called zippling.
I have to admit that I have not practiced as much as I should but now that my machine is all set up in its own space, it will be much easier to get into doing more FMQ. Still, isn't it fun?!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Toddler's Hat

It's cold out there! My niece (another one) asked for a hat for her daughter and this is what I came up with. I added a yellow button on the flower's center. It came out so cute and was a hit!

Crush-ing All Over Again

The "Crush" is a gorgeous top. I am gathering the material needed for a second one that has been requested to be made from someone, along with matching pillow shams. How could I say no to that? Another person has asked me for one, because her favorite colors are orange, green, and yellow, and I will probably tackle that one after the holidays are over. I'm gonna know this pattern by heart! It is a delight to make and I look forward to every moment of making them both!

Crush me!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Boy Blanket

My niece was going to have her second baby earlier this year and I really wanted to give her a hand made blanket. The strip quilt was just right! When I pulled the football material out of the stash, I knew exactly what to use it for! The back is lined in green with a white stripe so it's easy to find the top (or bottom) with a quick glance.

I hope it is a source of warmth and comfort for many years.

Here's a close up of the top.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Double Delight Mystery - Solved!

Here is Double Delight solved and laid out on my floor! It reminds me of a flower garden. Maybe Johnny Jump Ups. What do you think?

Casserole Carrier

We made Casserole Carriers in the quilting club I belong to. They were really pretty! Check mine out. I have a 9x13 baking pan in mine that is full of Apple Crisp that I made to bring to a birthday party for my Dad.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Double Delight Mystery - Block #2

More power sewing tonight brought the second block together. Streaming the fabric through the machine, one set after another, let these 20 blocks come together quickly. No pinning. No fussing. Just butt the seams and feed it under the needle. Nice!

The little Nine Patches were set together into a bigger Nine Patch! 

Here are the two blocks side by side. It is doubly delightful! Which one do you like better? Tomorrow I will sew them together as a top. Can't wait!

Double Delight Mystery - Block #1

Moving along on part 4! It seems like all that prep work is finally paying off! The lining up of the corners of the squares takes a long time to do but it makes sewing those points together just right.
There's something exciting about sewing together that last row on your block!