Monday, November 30, 2015

I love my Serger

I have had my serger for 20 years I'm sure... I use it in in fits and starts.  

Just look at that narrow edge using only
one serger needle..
This past week, I took a 3-hour class with 10 other serger owners to learn and practice how to do rolled hems with light fabric.   We learned how to set our machines for a rolled hems.  We tested flimsy, slinky fabrics using various stabilizers and techniques.  I had no idea that I could sew with three threads rather than my normal four threads.   I love the narrow seam that the serger makes with the three threads.   We even changed the threads by tying on a new color and pulling it through the loopers.   Pretty easy once you've had some help to do it the first time.  

I'm about to change the thread to black and I'll be making a few scarves for our guild's silent auction in two weeks.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pencil Cases for Madame Annie and Madame Venessa

Voila!!   They were a quick finish this morning.   Miss Aurora will be thrilled and proud to give these to her teachers.

Look closely...  Do you see the straight stitching? If you want to do it, just find the right blue thread and stitch parallel lines.  Then add a red straight stitched margin line.  I took measurements from a piece of loose leaf paper.  Easy peasy.

I practiced drawing the name on paper first, then  wrote the name on the fabric with a friXion pen. I hand stitched over my markings with red floss.  Any marks that showed, disappeared when I gave the pencil case a final ironing.

See, it's big enough for lots of pens and pencils. And
there's nothing like a little crystal zipper pull to make any
plain gift sparkle.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Making Teacher Gifts

Little Miss Aurora was here last weekend.  We spent much of our time in the sewing room making clothes for her American Girl Doll.    

During our conversations about school and what not, she told me how her grade two music teacher, loved Aurora's pencil case that had her name stitched on.    So Aurora asked me if I would make two pencil cases this for her regular teacher, Madam Annie and one for Madam Venessa.  

Aurora made me a note so I wouldn't forget.  Good thing, because I almost forgot. She even helped me by picking out the color of the zipper for each teacher.  

I stitched up some blue lines on fabric, added a red sideline to look like ruled paper.   Then came the hand stitching of the cursive name in red floss.  Now that the parts are finished, these two pencil cases will be a quick finish.

I'll show you tomorrow..

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Frogging - Ugg!!

I'm moving along nicely on my scarf.....and something is not right.    I realize that my bobbles are too big.   In reading the pattern, it said MB for make bobble.  I googled knit bobbles, and the first 3 articles I read had a 5 stitch bobble.   So I made 5 stitch bobbles.

 As I move along, I now have 15 bobble along the edge of my scarf and it was bothering me that they are not the same as the picture...  I re-read the pattern.... ug... they call for 4 stitch bobbles.

I knew it wasn't looking right...

Ribbit Ribbit....

It's only a few hours of work but I know I'll like it better with the more delicate bobbles.  I'm also taking the opportunity to use a cream colored yarn this time.  I wasn't crazy about the heathered light brown.    This yarn is Briggs and Little.    I have a couple of points done, and I like the size of the bobbles much better.   But now I'm concerned that the Briggs and Little is not soft enough.... Seems a bit course in knitting this bit...

I'm contemplating another restart with softer cream yarn!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Doing the Highland Fling

I haven't knit in months.   I thought I would get some knitting in this summer at Grammie Camp, but we were too busy.   So I never got to scratch my knitting itch.   

Last winter, at a sewing class that I was teaching ,I noticed a couple of girls wearing a nice hand knit scarf or shawlette.   I really thought it was nice.... it showed off the regular old garter stitch, but had bobbles and a fun edging detail.   I filed it away in the back of my mind, and thought I'll find the pattern and do it some time.     Well the cool weather is here and after searching for the pattern without success I asked my friend, Margie for the name of the pattern.     There it was, right on Ravelry.  I just didn't have the right name....  which is Highland Fling...  See it here on Ravelry.

Ahh, it feels good to knit in the evenings.  It shouldn't take very long to knit...  maybe a week if I do a bit every evening...    I'll check in at the half way point.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Drawing Feathers with a Pencil!

Today, I'm leading a free motion feathers class in the Sewing Room at the Ville.  Yesterday, I spend some time preparing for the class.  I made up my own practice sandwiches of fabric... I like to give a paper hand-out to help people remember some key points.    I put pencil to paper and feathered.....
After using 10 pieces of paper, I finally have 3 hand-out pages that I'm happy with.    I realize that for me, stitching feathers is far easier than drawing them.   

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Here's Your Pants Back!

Last week while making wallets to go to Nova Scotia, I made a special one for my friend Willa.

Willa's Wallet with still more wool fabric.
Still enough for 3 more wallets
See, last winter, I was looking for wool pants to recycle into wallets.  I didn't find too much while scouring the thrift stores.  But in the spring, my friend Willa brought me a pair of her husband's pants that he no longer wears. They are a beautiful 100% wool in light grey.   He was a travelling businessman, and these pants were custom made for him in China a few decades ago.

A peek inside the wallet shows
the blue/grey batik.  

Well, she wasn't out the door and I had the pants de-constructed and the rescued fabric in the sink soaking in a mild detergent.  (you know, just in case she changed her mind and wanted the pants back, I'd better act quick :)).   In my recent wallet making spree, I cut a couple of  wallets kits out of the wool fabric pieces.   I decided to make one for Willa.   She hasn't seen it yet but she and her husband are coming for supper tonight.   I will give it to her, and say "here's your husbands pants back!"

 If you know Willa and her hubby, you know they will get a big kick out of it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bling for the Wallets

A little sparkle goes a long way.

After finishing the 8 wallets yesterday, I made some zipper pulls for the zipped coin pocket in the wallet.   I used glass beads from my bead stash....  I love that little stash..  It's only 2 cups worth of beads but it gives me, and sometimes the kiddos, a lot of entertainment...  


The finished wallets now have their sparkly zipper pulls attached...and they are packed up for their trip to Nova Scotia this weekend....

Here's the final poses of the wallets.   It always amazes me how much you can get done in small chunks of time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pose for the Camera!

Pose for the camera!!  I took this picture yesterday just before sewing up the sides of the 8 zip sections of the wallets.    Notice that the zip tabs are all pointing in the same direction.  

The wallets are almost done.  I'll give you the final wallets pose tomorrow.    Then they will be packaged up for the trip to Nova Scotia this coming weekend.

I'm starting to think of what's next on my sewing to-do list.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I'm Making Wallets - in my spare time

I'm making 8 wallets.   These along with a few others will be heading to Nova Scotia in 2 weeks.      I'm working on them in bits of my spare time.    Last week, just by working a bit in the mornings, I have the outside covers and flaps of the 8 wallets done.  

Today, I'm sewing the tabs on to the ends of the zippers.   If you have taken my wallet class, you'll recognize this step.    I thought this was a neat picture of my zippers.  It clearly shows the assembly line work.

Tomorrow I'll sew the zipper sections.  I would say it'll take me an hour and a bit to complete the 8 zipper sections....

With a quiet week ahead, I expect I'll have these wallets done by next weekend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Presenting - My First Mini -

The great thing about doing a mini is that they're quick to finish. The name of this pattern is Sunshine and Shadows by Joyce Newman.   As you know, even though it was a jet lagged week, I took the class from Joyce.     She had such helpful techniques.    Since the fabric requirements are minimal, it was easy to pull colors from my stash...

I finished it off at home by adding borders and then machine quilting.  It was done just in time to take to our guilds show and tell.

I like it.  I'm planning on making another with different colors.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Making a Cake with Mitchell

Grandson Mitchell, now a teenager, was here yesterday after school.   I was helping him with his science project.   He had to make and decorate a cake that depicts a cell.    After some research Mitchell came up with a plan.  He needed a rectangle cake and many colors of icing.  Light, Medium and dark purple, pink, light and dark green, black, tan, orange, blue and yellow.  

See all those years of practice of decorating Christmas cookies has paid off.  (See as early as 2008 here, and then later on here and here).   He decorated this cake all buy himself.    It's a cell.   As you can see there are many parts.   Who knew!!

After the cake was done and we were all admiring the artistry, Grampie said he should have made a cake of his iPhone.  "That's a cell!! " he said.  Mitchell and I both thought that was hilarious.   Mitchell is known as a comedian at school but I'm afraid, he might not have a got a good mark for the science class if he brought an iPhone cake.