Archive for April, 2010

Just A Quick Trip To The Fabric Shop….!

April 22, 2010

I needed to get some fabric to make a reinforcement strip on a nylon cover for a 10’x10′ gazebo. It’s tearing along the area where the velco straps  hold it in place on the framework. So…off to Joann’s to get some canvas, duck, or some such fabric. Found some…suitable color & weight, so that’s that.

But then, as I headed for the checkout, I happened to see that they had some of their quilt bundles (5 – 18″x21″ pieces) 30% off!! Well…how could I pass it up? Was quite conservative…only bought 2!!

I need to make a Sewing Machine Cozy for my new machine, so one of these might be quite nice. I’ve been scouring the internet looking for inspiration & have a few ideas in mind. So, after I get this gazebo cover done, and closer to complete on Black, White & Fushia All Over, I’ll get busy with this.  Well, except that I need to finish the cushions I started for the boat…and then….oh well…so many projects, so little time. I need to retire!

Caution: Under Contruction Patches Ahead

April 20, 2010

So, I pieced together the top of my quilt, sandwiched it with a backing and batting, and am now using the decorative stitches on my machine to outline the patches.  Both the front & back are stitched with the pink. It’s not the fastest job in the world…my iPhone gets quite a workout  with my music collection.

I purchased black & white embroidery bobbin thread on eBay…got a pretty good deal, I think. It’s not name brand, but as as beginner, I thought I’d get ‘student grade’ material, until I’ve progressed a bit.

Geo & I went grocery shopping the other evening. He found this odd plant..It’s called a ‘Volcano Plant’ & is growing from a piece of lava. No soil…just water in the tray to wick up thru the rock.  He was pleased…just what I need…another plant to work around in the kitchen!!!

Scraps Are Fun!

April 15, 2010

I’d made a quilt for Geo’s new grandson this spring. From the scraps I made these:

This  is a triangular totebag. I saw this shape on a website somewhere & thought it was just too cute! I added black square beads up the front opening & a decorative brass zipper ornament. Several people have actuallly thought it WAS a zipper! The handle is 2 strands of the silky ‘rope’ you use as tie-backs for draperies. It’s knotted and then hand stitched to the bag.

With more scraps I made these little bags – a small bag to hold knitting/crochet projects, a zippered bag to hold my Sony Reader, and a smaller bag to hold my electronic accessories:

Sony Reader Quilted Pouch

 I added braid trim & brass trinkets (jewelry making supplies) to the Reader pouch, and a brass trinket & bead to make a button for the closure on the electronics pouch. These 2 items have batting and lining and machine quilted (with my faithful Singer Genie…this was before getting  my Brother)

Electronics Accessory Pouch

This little Hobo pouch can hold a small sewing project. I often have a larger tote bag for my ‘stuff’, and got tired of lugging my current knitting or chrochet  project in it stuffed into a plastic grocery bag…kind of tacky doncha think? So I made this little bag  to hold whatever ‘craft of the day’ inside my big totebag…a lot classier, practical & cute.  It’s also lined, but no batting or quilting.

Having read about quilters accumulating huge amounts of scraps, I’m wondering if maybe by using up scraps from project to project (or 2 or 3), one can keep a handle on the stash/scrap bins.  Since we plan on living aboard a boat, I won’t have the luxury of space to store much, so I figure if I get in the habit of using scraps up promptly, I can avoid the perils so many quilters have fallen into.  I realize that seems a bit unreasonable, but when we sell the house I won’t have any choice. So might as well try to develop good habits now.

My Last Quilt Top…Unearthed

April 15, 2010

Geo’s Mother moved in with us a number of years ago, rather unexpectedly. At that time I had to hurriedly disassamble my room to convert it to her new bedroom. So everything was boxed up & stored away for the past 5 years or so. As Mother is now in a nursing home, I have reclaimed my room, and have gotten it set up again.

In unpacking I came upon a quilt top I was working on “pre-mother.” It’s not completed yet, but more done than not. I’ve hung it on the wall in my room, so as not to allow it to go out of my brain again, and plan on getting it finished in the somewhat-near future.

When I started it, I planned on decorating my bedroom with these colors & fabrics.  Now, years later we’ve gone in a different direction, and this wouldn’t be suitable at all. So…a quilt-to-be with no home.

Practice is all it takes…

April 15, 2010

I decided to do a monochrome quilt with contrasting thread to try out features of my new machine. I selected some black & white fabrics, one of which has a bit of Fushia. So the quilt will be Black & White & Fushia all over.

I’ve started on it..basically just a random patch quilt with a few white blocks, embroidered in Fushia. I purchased some Gutermann thread to try out, as this is all so new to me. Now I know that machine embroiderers will pooh-pooh me, but I used serger thread as my bobbin thread. It worked just fine, and my embroidery turned out pretty nice!  I only have one type of stabilizer that I had purchased at the Sewing & Quilting Expo a couple weeks ago. It seems sort of heavy, but after it was torn off, it appears that it did what it was supposed to.

I’m anxious to get it all pieced together so I can begin the decorative stitching. I looks rather bland & not pulled together at this point. I’m also going to use the remainder of the top fabric to do the backing. I’ve only just discovered that there is no reason not to make the back nearly as attractive as the front!

I understand the weather for the weekend is going to be not so nice, so I have every excuse to stay in & sew!

Our 1st Play Date!

April 10, 2010

After a quick trip to the fabric store for some remnants, I spent the day playing with my new toy. Only a few false starts, and we were up and running. It’s very easy to use, and between the manual and the on-screen tutorials, it’s rather intuitive.

Rather than just doing random stitches, I decided to make a tote bag & try a couple of things. I sucessfully did a small embroidery, using the only backing I had. A tear off made for medium weight fabrics, which worked fine. I don’t have any embroidery thread, so I just used what I have on hand.  It’s certainly not perfect, but it turned out pretty nice, and I’m pleased with my initial attempt.

So much for my 1st little project…Geo is gone for the weekend, and so I’m planning on spending the rest of my free time experimenting.

I’m really getting to like my new friend, and our 1st play date was a lot of fun!!

My New Toy!

April 10, 2010

My new friend was delivered Thursday! I’m hoping we’ll get along just  fine.

I purchased my machine from a lady in Louisiana, who was moving up to a better machine.  It’s a Brother Innov-is Duetta Disney 4500D with 1948904 stitches. 

One can never replace her 1st love, and my 1st and only love has been a Singer Genie, circa 1974. This sweet little machine has been my one and only sewing machine for my entire adult life, purchased new as a young bride. I tailored suits and coats, sewed silky evening gowns and costumes, constructed heavy denim carriers and bags, and sewed countless miles of stitches on it.  It still runs fine, and I would never think of parting with it. But I think that perhaps it can take it easy for the 2nd half of it’s life, finding a restful easygoing life on the boat.

However, at the least bit of prompting from my honey, I decided to update myself a bit, and after much searching and REseaching, decided on the Brother. I’ve never had a machine that did anything besides straight stitches and zig-zag. So this machine is sort of a whole new experience for me. I’m hoping that between my common sense and my experience with software it won’t be too dificult to master, or at least tame a bit.