Tuesday, October 08, 2013
This past summer, our area had some truly funky weather. A very wet spring that moved into a fairly cool summer and then a week of heat that felt like we were in the desert. At that point I knew I needed another summer dress and I needed one that was easy to make. So I figured that since pillowcase dresses are easy to make for little girls, why not make one for this grown up girl? I pulled out some fabric that has been mellowing for over 20 years that I had bought in Antigua during a Doreen Speckman quilting cruise. I measured how long I wanted it from above the bust line to were it would hit on my legs. Added on enough to make a fairly wide casing at the top for 3/4" elastic as well as enough fabric for a 2" hem. Used my rotary cutter, ruler and mat to cut the piece. Sewed the casing and ran the elastic through it. Adjusted the elastic so it wasn't cutting off any vital circulation and yet wasn't so loose that I would have a wardrobe malfunction. Cut fabric for straps (made from wide fabric tubes) and then with a bra on tried to adjust the straps so that not only would they stay up, but would mostly cover my bra straps. I realize that it is the latest fashion apparently to have all your straps showing, but that isn't my style! Added some patch pockets to both sides and I was done. This actually took me several days to do all this, but actual sewing room time was probably only an hour and half at most. I just run out of steam sooner than I used to.
The nice thing was I actually had several short sleeve tops that coordinated with some of the bright colors in the dress that I can wear under the dress if I go into town so it works very well as a jumper. I'm hoping to make one out of somewhat heavier fabric for winter. It isn't that I don't have some really great sewing patterns that I could use (see my store), but my sewing time is so limited by my health needs that I need to make things faster and easier if possible. So if you need a sundress quick, this is a style to try, especially if you get last minute tickets to a Caribbean cruise this winter!
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Available October 1, 2013, Janome's latest "baby" the new Janome Memory Craft 15000 sewing/embroidery/quilting machine. From what I've seen, I'm getting that "Be still my heart" feeling, especially when I saw it quilting. Although my machine set up is very good at this point, quilting by machine using embroidery/quilting designs is still difficult for me as I only have approximately a 5" x 7" area before I have to re-hoop which ends up with puckers and designs that aren't always precise when coming together. I generally end up doing a modified stitch in the ditch with decorative stitches, especially on my Project Linus quilts. I would love to see what I could do with them with this machine.
I just have to face it. I love Janome sewing machines and the more do-dads and features the better I like them. I am however, waiting for the day they come with the ability to cut fabric and also dispense chocolate! LOL
If you are interested in seeing what this machine can do, here are some links to YouTube videos of it in action. I'm sure you will be as impressed as I am.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Well I am behind in keeping up with this blog and with making my blocks for the Craftsy BOM 2012 class. I had to stop trying temporarily doing the 2013 class as one class was taking me awhile. I'm on a new medication that is actually helping my arthritis (Remicade), but it involves trips to the doctor's office for the IV infusions every 8 weeks, and since I am feeling somewhat better, I've been trying to catch up with things that haven't been taken care of. My life is a constant round of playing catch up, and just when I think I'm getting on top of things I flare up. Oh well, such is my life.
I'm very proud of some of these blocks even though there are some errors with them. I try and try and measure and do what I think I'm supposed to, but every time I applique something onto a block I get it lopsided. :( Some of the blocks were very easy and the types of things that I have done before, but others without this class I would have NEVER in my life attempted. That is the whole point of taking these classes for me. I promised myself that this year would be a year of learning and NO skimming something because it looked hard and I'm thrilled with my results. I've made close to a hundred quilts at this point, but I knew I was not doing some of the finer details correctly which was throwing off my blocks. The biggest thing was getting my needle set in the right position so I truly have a 1/4" seam. That is so huge of a point to know when piecing quilt blocks. I wish I had done this long ago. I have my sewing machine set to always bring up the right needle position and the right amount of stitches per inch each time I piece so I don't have to reset everything each time I come back to sew. Saves a lot of grief. On my Janome 7700 it is stitch 93 with the needle position at 4.6 (it barely misses the side of the presser foot.
The really new thing I learned with my April blocks (showing at top) was how to make hexagons by HAND and sew them together by HAND!!! I have never attempted doing English paper piecing prior to these two blocks but with the help of Printable Freezer Paper that can be printed on in my printer and a website that will make up the right size graph of hexagons for you, it became very easy to do. I enjoyed making the hexagons and want to make more of them and do more projects with them including doing something like embroidering on them as I have seen in Pinterest. I just LOVE Pinterest for all it's great ideas! One of the hexagon designs was supposed to be a minimalist landscape but that didn't go with the colors I have been using, so I went for a fireworks type block. It was fun but yet again I had it appliqued off center.
Several of the other blocks involved using what I would consider scraps. Since those blocks started fairly early in the 'year' of this class I was being forced to cut into whole chunks of fabric to get some of the pieces I needed. The whole time I'm hoping that I will have enough of the larger pieces of fabrics as I come to the end of the blocks I have to make. With my BOM 2013 it won't be such a big problem as I'm doing those blocks in florals and will never run out of those types of fabrics. While this is supposed to be one quilt at the end, I'm hoping to be able to make two Project Linus quilts out of the blocks.
Currently I'm working on blocks that are made with Dresden Plates, yet another type of block I have never done and one that would not have turned out at all unless you sew an extremely accurate seam.
Friday, September 06, 2013
In celebration of September, National Sewing Month, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts has all its patterns discounted 10% for the whole month. Except for a very rare pattern, all our patterns are uncut, unused, factory folded. No having to root through a pattern to hope all parts are there and in the right size. We have over 8000 sewing patterns currently in our store in all sorts of styles and sizes. Patterns for Men and babies, boys and girls, pajamas to wedding gowns. Come and visit
soon to see us and experience our outstanding customer service.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
It is time to join the Embroidery Library 2013 Christmas Club now so you don't lose out on benefits such as free Christmas designs, discounted prices, and earn points towards a gift certificate to use at embroidery library.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Okay, I know it is way past March at this point. When I signed up for my classes, I was really hoping that I would feel well enough to do 4 blocks in a month. Unfortunately, I didn't and I just this past week managed to get these two blocks finished from the Craftsy BOM March 2012. I enjoyed making these blocks, but really feel that logically they should have come at the end of the other blocks when there would be a lot of scraps left over and we wouldn't need to scrounge scraps that matched. I was scared I'll run out of the fabric that I have set aside for the other blocks I'll be making (as I get to them). I will be using these blocks in a Project Linus quilt, so they are in bright red, white and blue colors for the most part. Scrap blocks are always my most favorite type of block to make.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Not only was I able to buy some embroidery floss as stated in my post yesterday, I was also able to get two more all purpose embroidery books. Why does someone need more than one? Well why not. Also since I review books I look at them in regards to completeness and which one might be the best to reccommend. In this instance, if you have the money, buy all three. If you don't have the money and are a new embroiderer and just learning stitches, then I recommend The Embroiderer's Handbook. It contains several photos of how to make the different stitches and so whould be easier to learn from. The other two books, (my new ones) are Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Needlework and Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. Both these books would be a good choice although they do have their differences. Donna's book has a lot of embroidery history, a large bibliography of other embroidery works, several lovely projects and a stitch index. Mary's book has a bit more detail when it comes to the stitches and also something I didn't see in the other books. Her books have what they call composite band stitches. This is the same as what machine embroiderer's call stitch stacking or building. They show combinations of the different stitches that are used to make fancy bands which either can take some of the thinking off of you or inspire you to try bigger and better stitch bands. Each of these books are unique and would be good references for you.