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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Here is a link to a great Threads article for a Fashion Sketching Tool Kit.


Threads is one of my favorite sewing magazines. I have learned so much by reading it - every issue no less!


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Great Little Sewing Light



I have the privilege of being on Amazon's Vine Review Program (sorry you can't ask to be in this program). Besides lots of books that I get to read and review, I also get all sorts of items to use and review. This little light I just got to review. It can clamp onto an embroidery hoop if you need extra light for part of a design. With the arthritis in my hands, I can't continually hold onto my embroidery hoop with even this little bit of extra weight added on. But if you are in a tiny very technical spot, and need extra good lighting this little light will do the job. I have also checked, and if I clamp it onto the accessory table that came with my Janome 7700, and then point the light to any unsewing I have to do. Don't you just hate unsewing? I know I do and with this little light I'll be able to see those stitches that are hard to focus on with bifocals.


 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Embroidery Library December 2014 Free Designs





Embroidery Library December 2014 Free Designs have now been posted and if you haven't picked up the November ones, they are still available through November 2014. December's designs are lovely ones that you can use for Christmas projects. One is a Christmas Deer called Prance and the other two are Poinsettia designs within a circle or diamond border. All three designs come in 2 sizes each so you get a total of 6 free designs. Be sure to pick them up while you can.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spring Floral Monogram Embroidery Designs



With the snow we already got--in less that a week!!--and so many machine embroidery sites promoting lots of Christmas designs currently, it was such a nice surprise to see this Spring Floral Monogram - ABC available for FREE at Hatched in Africa. Now the hard part, remembering to check the site on Tuesdays and Fridays until the set is complete. The whole set will be free as long as you pick it up within the three days after being posted.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Artful Machine Embroidery: A Visual Guide to Creating Clothing You'll Love to Wear

I just saw this book on a embroidery design site. I'm not sure how this book got past me as it was published in 2012. It looks like a terrific book to help you learn some principles and design settings for using machine embroidery designs to make your garments just that much better. The book is Artful Machine Embroidery: A Visual Guide to Creating Clothing You'll Love to Wear by Bobbi Bullard. The book is 227 pages with ISBN 13 - 978-1607055822 and is a softcover. It also come with a bonus CD with 20 machine embroidery designs. I always love getting some of the designs that are used in a book so that I can recreate the look. 

Back when I had my first sewing-embroidery machine, the Janome 8000, you could only buy designs from Janome and they cost almost $100 for 8-9 designs, all smaller than 4" x 4". Since Janome was the first out with a sewing-embroidery machine combo for home sewers, no wonder new designs were so expensive and would entail a wait of anywhere up to around 6 months before the next Memory Card would come out! We are so fortunate now that we have an abundance of machine embroidery designs and no waiting or extraordinary high expense to purchase them! I have probably several thousands designs that I got for free from the different companies so that you can test their designs before purchase. Way back in the early 1990's I would never have conceived of being able to get designs for free! I post many of the ones that I find on a Pinterest page and just in the last two years since I started Pinning I have over 400 free designs posted!

 


The Janome 12000 is my current dream machine!
 


Don't have a ton of money for a dream machine (which is why it is a dream machine!) The Janome 350 is a nice stand alone embroidery machine that can be used to embroider while you sew on your regular sewing machine.
 

Friday, November 07, 2014

November Free Machine Embroidery Designs from Embroidery Library

I don't think anyone can read this blog for long without realizing that my favorite machine embroidery company is Embroidery Library. The are generous with freebies and sales and their designs sew out so well. Over the years they have added extra features which has really helped including being able to run off a color chart of Thread Exchanges depending on which threads you use or have. I have a mixture of Robison-Anton, Sulky, Coats & Clark and Janome threads. However they don't have Janome threads, but they are hard to find anyhow except at a Janome dealer. So for each design you print out you can choose to print out several thread companies on one sheet of paper so you can see which colors you actually have that you can use and what you might want to buy or substitute. You can also print out a sheet with all the design info such as the size of the design, number of stitches, etc.

Here is one of the November 2014 Freebies from the Autumn Birds Department.

 
 
The next design is a Suzani Fall Flower Trio in one large design or for those with a smaller hooping capability two smaller designs that can be joined to make the larger one. You can see more Suzani designs in the Suzani Department.
 
 
These are only available for this month, November 2014, so be sure to get them soon!




Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Machine Savvy: Tips for Creative Sewing

I just discovered a Craftsy class last night that I hadn't seen before. It is called Machine Savvy: Tips for Creative Sewing . The teacher is Linda McGehee. She uses Janome sewing machines for what she is sewing and teaching. Best of all the mini class is FREE! I love finding instructions for doing things based on the brand of sewing machine that I have, although I don't see Janome projects very often except on their website http://janome.com/ so I am extra excited about this class! Most of the projects for this class provides a foundation for making bags of all sorts and who doesn't need another bag?

If you have a Janome sewing machine, or any machine for that matter (although you may have 'transpose' some of the instruction to fit with your machine) this should be a great class to learn some of the techniques to take your sewing and crafting to the next level!

Here is a book that might be of help to you as you do the projects in the class and then want to finish the samples into bags. This book isn't written specifically to go with the class, but should provide some good guidance in making your bags.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Birthday Present from Embroidery Library

One of the great things about Embroidery Library is all the terrific Freebies they give out during the course of the year. Even better is the birthday present of credit they give you in your birthday month. So I want to share with you what I have picked out for my present(s). I could have chosen one design pack with my credit or get as many packs as I wanted half off and I chose the half off deal as there are a couple of ideas swimming around in my head of things I would like to make with these two sets. And I had enough money in my PayPal account to pay what was left owing.

 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sewing Tutorials



One of the great things about the internet is how you can bring learning to your home whether in the middle of a city or living out in the country, you can access the same educational opportunities. When it comes to sewing some of us learning from watching mothers, grandmothers, aunts, or home ec teachers. But for those of us that never got a good grounding in the basics or have machines that are so advanced from what we learned on, we need more instruction.

One of my favorite sites for learning is the Bernina Sewing Machine site. Do I have a Bernina? NO, but that doesn't mean that I can't learn. Many sewing machines have the same type of presser feet and decorative stitches, so with some simple transposing you can follow along with the written lesson, the videos or webinars that they present. You can also download e-books with different skills. I always love the ones about combining stitches to get the look of a larger design. They call this stitch recipes or other places call them stitch stacking. Whatever you call it, be sure to use this technique whenever possible. On different forums, I have heard that some sewists have machines with over 200 stitches, but only use the straight stitch for quilting or sewing straight lines. Break out of your box and learn a new skill! Only have a machine that does straight stitches? Perhaps the time is ripe to get an advanced machines so you can see all the many ways you can use your sewing machine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Doll Houses


 
I don't know what it is about doll houses and their furniture that catches my eye, I only know that they do. Since I have no need of yet another hobby, I tend to put these items up for sale at my store Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts. I noticed this one the other day and had to get so it could go to a good home. Specifically one where there is a little girl that loves her Barbies and would rather help make some doll house furniture that is pretty and comfortable with her mom or grandmother than use molded plastic furniture. This pattern booklet uses no sew techniques, in other words uses glue, etc. to hold pieces together. It is geared for children seven and up although I think they would need an adults help. You can find this pattern booklet with all patterns intact here.  We also have a nice selection of doll clothes, stuffed animal patterns etc. here for those who want to get busy on their Holiday sewing.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Janome MC12000 Horizon Demo





A nice video about my "Dream Machine", the Janome 12000 which I will probably never get, nor do I need, but boy would I like to have one at my house for awhile!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Inspirational Reading

One of the things that is most frustrating to me with this blog, is the days I can't post and the things that I want to. Having a chronic disease that never lets you be in control of your schedule is rough. The last few weeks, or lets be serious, most of this year has been grueling which means not only am I not posting as much, but I'm not getting much sewing done either. That doesn't mean however, I have lost my interest in sewing. I had a 3 1/2 hour Remicade IV session on Wednesday and was still exhausted from it on Thursday, so the mail was exciting for me. The latest Threads magazine (Oct./Nov issue) with an interesting article on making shirts using Simplicity 1279 as the base, but any shirt pattern would do.

As I read the article I thought back to the last time I made shirts and blouses with button fronts, collars, long set-in sleeves with cuffs, etc. and realized it was 1985 when I made myself some clothes for nursing school. I came out of nursing school and for most of the next 14 years lived in pullover scrubs.  The tops I had gotten down to making them up in about 45 minutes. Now, buttons aren't part of my life. Still the article was interesting about those small details that can mean so much in making your garment look great. In sewing the clothes for school I made 11 garments in nine days! A bit different than the pair of shorts I'm making for hubby ALL summer when I feel up to sewing. Maybe today I can get them finished.

Besides the Threads magazine which always fascinates me, I got a cookbook from Amazon to review called Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More . It seems like most of the cookbooks that I have gotten to review lately weren't my cup of tea, with most ingredients missing from my pantry, but this books I have many of the ingredients and many of the recipes, I wanted to go make then and there they looked so yummy. I will definitely need to spend some more time with the book and try a recipe or two before writing the review, but this looks to be a good one. They even include a few recipes that are gluten free or can be made gluten free, but that isn't the thrust of the book. Yumminess is!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Free Machine Embroidery Designs - Christmas


Since they opened their business, Embroidery Library has been my absolute favorite machine embroidery design site. Not only do they give bountiful free embroidery designs monthly, but I know when I buy a design or use one of the free design it will sew out perfectly. They also have a color match page where you can tell them which threads you have and they will tell you what color threads to subsitute for the Madeira threads that they use in their deisgns. this is great for when the color is 'honeysuckle'--what does that mean? They also publish many of their designs in multiple sizes so you don't normally have to take a 2 inch square design and try to increase it's size to 6 inchs in your software. If you haven't signed up for their weekly news flash of latest designs and latest freebies, you should now so that if they do the Christmas Club as they usually do each year you can take advantage of it. Club members get lots of Free Christmas designs, generally all coordinated, but you also earn points towards more designs.



Yesterday they came out with three Christmas designs that are only free this weekend, through August 24, 2014. There are three designs and all come in 5 different sizes. I'm pretty sure I have mentioned this before, but I take advantage of downloading all sizes even if my embroidery machine can't accomodate them since I never know when Santa might bring me a Janome 12000 which could take all sizes. Hmm, maybe I could just save my Amazon reward points for the next 1000 years and then I could buy the machine myself. Anyhow, the point being, just because you don't have the capacity NOW for sewing out all the different sizes, download them just in case next year you  or the year after you move up to that bigger capacity machine.

                                                                
 
 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Today's Patterns: McCall's Sewing Pattern 8032 & 8033

 


I used to dream of one day having a little girl and making us matching dresses to make cookies in and other fun activites. Well I had two great sons, but no little girl, nor do I have any little grand daughters (at least at this point!). So that is a dream I have had to give up, but that doesn't mean that I don't notice patterns coming through that can make monther daughter clothing. McCall's Sewing Pattern 8032 is a great mother's dress and it looks as if it is loose enough to wear for the first 6-7 months of pregnancy as well. McCall's Sewing Pattern 8033 is the same style only for little ladies. What fun it would be to dress up alike to have a tea party!

Even if these aren't the patterns for you, if you want mother-daughter or father-son patterns we do have a category for that in our store that you can go to by clicking here.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Today's Pattern: Butterick 3039 and 4950



When I want to sew, I want to make something that is quick and easy because anything that is slow and detailed might take a year for me to make! I spent 6 weeks once making a lovely top with hand sewn facing, etc. and about my third time wearing it I got a bleach splash on the front that chewed holes into the fabric and I never could figure out a way to cover them up. After that fiasco and the time it takes for me to sew due to my physical problems, Butterick Sewing Pattern 4950 has become one of my favorite patterns to use for myself. I have lost track of the number of tops and skirts I have made off of my copy of the pattern. However, I only have one copy of Butterick 4950 left for sale but a customer reminded me today of a very similar pattern, that is Butterick Sewing Pattern 3039 . We still have copies of Butterick 3039 in all three size ranges so you can purchase it in sizes 16W-32W. If you want to make something fast these patterns will do the job for you. If you want to spend more time on a garment, I have seen patterns resembling the pullover top in many variations with different embellishments. The joy of sewing comes from your fabric choices, embellishments and colors you can always have a unique wardrobe suitable for any occasion.

These two patterns are just 2 of many that we sell in our Women's Plus Size department and we invite you to come and look if you haven't already here. For a shorter Plus size woman, we also have some rare, hard to find Half-size patterns here.  Of course for any other kind of sewing pattern you can check our store Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts where we have over 8000 uncut sewing patterns in all sorts of sizes and styles. We also have many patterns that aren't yet listed and we would be more than happy to check for you to see if we have it. We do need the brand and number of the pattern and the type of garment as the major pattern companies repeat their pattern numbers about every 8-10 years. In the meantime enjoy your sewing!




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tips on Sewing

Just wanted to share a tip I saw about sewing with vintage patterns. Many older patterns that have the cutting lines printed on the tissue paper are much thicker than the lines we get currently. Those line can be up to 1/8" thick, which means depending on how many seams in a garment, you could be making it an inch larger or smaller than you need, and if you cut out the armscye and sleeve pattern differently then you might have a bit of difficulty setting in the sleeve. Most vintage style patterns can be quite fitted, so stop and take the time to measure from side to side on each pattern piece to decide where you need to cut and where your seam line should be. The cutting lines shown below are 2mm wide which is 1mm shy of being 1/8" wide. the width of the lines may differ from each manufacturer and what era, so be sure to double check before cutting.


Don't forget for all your pattern needs, stop in at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts first as we have over 8000 new, uncut sewing patterns in all styles and sizes. I list new patterns almost daily as my health allows. While the pattern tissues and instructions are in factory folds on the patterns we sell, their envelopes may have wear, tears, writing, sticker residue, etc. The inside of the envelope is generally what is important. If you collect patterns for their looks, please be sure to double check with us the envelope condition.

Today's Pattern: Butterick Sewing Pattern 5143 Misses Dress


Yesterday I was so busy listing patterns, I never got a chance to post one here. This is one of the patterns that I posted yesterday. It is Butterick Sewing Pattern 5143 Misses Size 8-16 Halter Neck Sleeveless Sundress Dress . As soon as I saw it I thought it looked familiar and then it dawned on me, it is very much like the halter neck 'Pillowcase Dresses' that have become so popular lately. Everything old is new again for sure. While this isn't an actual pillowcase dress, the lines are similar and the halter neckline is cleanly finished with a better fit than a pillowcase dress would give you. It would make a great sundress or even a dress to wear at the office if you have a jacket or bolero to wear over it. After work take off the jacket and you are ready for the grocery store or a date. That is one of the joys of sewing; depending on fabric choices and embellishments, you can sew up a dress and have it ready for any occasion that you like. Try this pattern or any of the thousands more that we have at our store, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts.

If you are looking for a particular pattern in our store and can't find it, we have plenty of boxes of patterns that we don't have listed yet and we would be happy to look for the pattern for you. We do need the brand and pattern number and type of garment you are looking for. Pattern companies repeat their pattern numbers about every 8-10 years, which is why even with the brand and number we still need some idea of what we are looking for. We can not however, look for a certain garment pattern without the other information as I can't remember every single pattern that we have tucked away to list. I've gotten to the point that I have a certain amount of senioritis based brain leakage!




Friday, July 25, 2014

Today's Pattern: Butterick 4448 Misses Size 6-12


While I have seen every single pattern that we have in stock at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts, sometimes when someone buys a pattern and I get it out of it's box, I'm surprised with delight. When someone bought a copy of Butterick 4448 today, it happened again. Butterick Sewing Pattern 4448 Misses Size 6-12 is a lovely and feminine summer dress that would be great for parties, weddings, and dates. It comes either sleeveless or with cap sleeves, a slight cowl neckline and several options for an asymmetrical skirt. Fitted enough to show off a ladies figure without being immodest. I could wish all I wanted that I could fit into this dress, but I have never been in that size range. We currently still have one copy left of this dress, so if you want one, you had better get it before it is gone. Never fear though if it has sold, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts has over 5000 uncut Misses patterns, so you have plenty of other choices!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Today's Pattern: McCall's 2930 Girls Size 6-8



I find it funny that on TV before school had even let out in our area of the country, they were already advertising back to school sales and each day it gets worse. I trust I can be forgiven for bringing up back to school thoughts here, but if you sew for your child, that does mean a bit of pre-planning and sewing ahead of time. McCall's Sewing Pattern 2930 Size 6-8 is the perfect school outfit with it's jumper in several variations and blouse with long or short sleeves. We currently have several copies of this pattern available and also some in Sizes 4-6 . I do have one question about the model photo on this pattern, does she really need glasses or is this just another attempt to show that studious kids all need glasses? For more selections of  over 1000 children's uncut sewing patterns, stop in at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts: category Children's.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Today's Pattern: Butterick 3909 Size 10



Butterick 3909 Misses Size 10 is another pattern that I wish was in my size. Over the years I have come to love bateau or boat necklines. Ever since I had surgery on my thyroid, I haven't been able to stand anything tight on my neck and this type of neckline fits the bill. I also generally wear skirts and dresses after having my knees replaced to avoid the problems with my legs swelling. The problem with a skirt or dress is sometimes they actually aren't the most modest solution. However culottes or split-skirts can be, especially when as full as this split-skirt would be. Butterick 3909 is available at our store Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts where we have over 8000 uncut sewing patterns in all styles and sizes up for sale.




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today's Pattern: Simplicity 9904 Misses Size 12



As I list patterns almost daily, I often run into one that just speaks to me. I want to make it. I want to be the size shown so it looks right on me. I can see how it would just fit into my life. Some patterns, it just doesn't matter when they were printed, for by using today's fabrics you could still have a great outfit. Simplicity 9904 is one of those patterns. Because of the many different garment pieces you can make with this pattern, in my store, I call it a wardrobe pattern. Other than the shorts being a bit too short, I think it would make a fantastic set of summer clothes especially if they were made of coordinating fabric. Just think, several different colors of tank tops, a couple of shirts, and a couple pairs or pants and a some skirts and you have an organized wardrobe or set of clothes to take on vacaction and still fit within a luggage allowance. This pattern is currently available in my store, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts because unfortunately it is a size 12 and I haven't been that size since the mid-70's!


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

When Pigs Fly!




When Pigs Fly! We have all heard the expression, but now they can, thanks to the help of the great designers at Embroidery Library! This design that comes in two sizes and is free until the end of June 2014.

Embroidery Library has also just come out with lots of great summer designs for decorating beach bags, towels, etc. Come and check them out!

Monday, June 30, 2014

July 2014 New Releases





See the latest Christmas in July of Anita Goodesign For lots of lovely machine embroidery Designs for Christmas and other December Holiday's such as Hanukah.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Organizing Machine Embroidery Designs


I have wanted to do a project for several years as I got more and more buried under paperwork. I do machine embroidery and one company, Embroidery Library, is very generous with free designs. I have always printed off the page showing the design so that I wouldn't lose track of the designs I had. Well I ended up with a huge stack of papers, but with no way to punch holes in the papers until a month ago when I got to review this three hole punch by  Swingline It was terrific for putting the holes in the papers.


Granted it is a bit expensive but if you have kids in school that needs paper holes punched in paper or your own crafts that need a 3-hole punch, this is a marvelous machine. I have even punch out a stack of misprinted paper so that I can put it in a notebook and use the unprinted side to write on.

 But then how do I sort them all and keep them divided by category as just the Christmas designs was a stack over an inch thick? Well again I got to review something that worked wonderfully well and it was these transparent tab dividers. 


 
 


Instead of writing on actual tabs and then realizing you wrote things wrong and need to start over and then you end up with a mess and not enough tabs. This system works so well because you can print the 'tab' headings on one piece of paper through your printer. You can get the file to use to set up the page at the website listed on the packaging. The packaging also tells you how to set it up yourself, but I was a bit to lazy to try that. So I printed out the tabs I needed. Since I had such a huge stack, I ended up using 2 sets, which equaled 16 tabs. I'm not sure that I have the divisions the way I want them, but it is nice to know that I can just make up new tabs as needed.




At that point, I popped everything into this 3 D-ring  Binder and I was good to go. I opened and closed the binder multiple times while sorting the papers and never had a bit of trouble and the D rings help to keep all the papers sitting in a nice stack when not being used, instead of being bent on the circle rings that most binders have.

All told with the help of three (free for me!) Amazon Vine review products, I was able to tackle a project that had been on the back burner for a long time. I was very happy with all of these products. And very happy that it is easier to now find the perfect design when looking for it.



Friday, June 13, 2014

Frogs for Project Linus




Several years ago I was given a box of juvenile quilting fabrics including yardage of frog prints in different sizes and in pink and blue color ways. As my last few, well actually most, of my Project Linus quilts have been in the red white and blue color families, I was ready for something with a change of color palette. In February 2014 The Quilter Magazine had an article on making a child's quilt called "What a Hoot". It was the perfect size for a Project Linus quilt and as it also used fabric in varying sizes of the main print, I decided this would work for my newest quilts using the frog prints. However as I started setting up the blocks and seeing how it would look, I realized that some changes were in order since the background of the prints was the identical blue or pink background and so I was having too much of a good thing. Still basing the quilt layouts on the owl quilt, I did some adjusting and swapping fabrics in places and got a pink frog and then a blue frog quilt top finished including the borders. Also when sewing the pink quilt together I mixed up the blocks and for the life of me couldn't figure out how they were supposed to go together so I did my own thing. I have also set aside a length of yardage for backing for each of the quilts.

I still have a good amount of yardage left and also some precut squares and strips in various sizes, so now I get to do what I really love, making up scrap quilts that looked planned but are basically 'happy accidents' depending on what I have to work with. I once read a letter to the editor of a quilting magazine that asked why anyone would want to make scrap quilts as she hated them. All I could think was why would anyone want to make a quilt with two fabrics and 12 identical blocks when you could use 100 fabrics and have twelve similar and coordinating blocks? The joy of quilting is we all get to do what we want to do! I'm hoping to be able to make at least three more quilt tops before I run out of the frog prints and coordinating fabrics.                                                        

Monday, June 02, 2014

Benefit for Eric Hawley

One of the great benefits for those of us that sew is being able to 'whip' up something for a charitable thing when needed. Well I don't actually 'whip' up anything anymore, but I have enjoyed making a project to benefit Eric Hawley a husband of a friend of mine who was in a very serious car accident about 2 months ago followed immediately by a stroke. So not only did he have to recuperate from the accident injuries but the stroke ones. I think he spent something on the order of a month or more in the hospital. With three young children at home, a full time job, his wife Bailey was going in all directions. At this point he is home and continuing to heal but the bills remain. His friends and family are throwing a benefit for him to help raise money to help pay off the bills and all that out of pocket stuff like parking, extra gas to go back and forth to the hospital etc. If you live in Northwestern PA, you are more than welcome to attend the benefit, here is the link from Facebook for the details https://www.facebook.com/events/1417878755141713/

I wanted to contribute to help and since I'm not up to attending or cooking anymore, I made something for the auction they will have. It gave me a chance to do something for someone else and fine tune some new sewing skills that I have been working on, especially making and using hexagons. I made a butcher's style apron with coordinating potholders. On the potholders, I tried echo quilting for the first time and it was a bit tricky with all the angles and when appliqueing the flowers down I had deliberately set them at angle and only decided later to do the echo quilting. Bear with me as the photos are my first attempt at using the digital camera. If you like what you see here, go to the benefit and see if you can win them :)

 
My favorite apron pattern design McCall's 5174 (out of print) . Easy to make so you have time to embellish. Being modeled by Annabelle.

 
The pocket started out as a large hexagon . Sewed the two layers together, turned them inside out, folded the flap down and then appliqued it to the apron with an applique stitch (#45 on the Janome 7700)

 
Hexagon flowers and a hexagon flower bud with a rick rack stems. I didn't have the right color of rick rack, so tried to tone it down with more thread, but I'm not sure it worked very well.

 
Hexagon flower potholders with echo quilting. Flowers and binding is sewn down with an applique stitch (#45 on Janome 7700) They are about 8" square. My own design, no pattern.


 Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts is one of the books I have been using as reference in my quest to lean how to make and use hexagons.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sew Better with Staystitching Fundamentals - Threads

Sew Better with Staystitching Fundamentals - Threads  Need a bit of a refresher course in staystitching? Here is one. I'm always tempted to skip this part but know not to. It did take me a long time to learn that for curved necklines, to only staystitch from one neckline down to the base of the curves, stop, and then go to the opposite neckline and sew down to meet the prior staystitching as doing it in one operation can cause the curve to straighten out. Look at the direction of the arrows on your instruction page for the pattern. Same thing when actually sewing the neckline or adding a collar on. I added a lace collar to a dress once and couldn't figure out why one side didn't look as good as the other--because I did it all in one seam instead of 2 parts. Taking that extra minute or two does wonders for the look and hang of your garments.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Chicken Scratch Embroidery


One of the things that I like most about Pinterest is that we are literally bookmarking items that we might want to see and study later. So last night I clicked on my Hand Embroidery board on my Pinterest page. Earlier I had pinned a Chicken Scratch embroidery picture and since it was a bit different than I had ever seen before, it was this picture that I wanted to follow and learn more about this newer concept.

I have done chicken scratch embroidery in the past, but was very happily surprised at other's genius with changing what they were doing, whether with the design itself or the colors and weights of threads or a combination of all. When clicking on the photo, it took me to PinTangle where there were lots of new and different combinations for doing chicken scratch, and also lots of links to see what others are doing. And of course, the embroiders are doing more than chicken scratch so you get lots of ideas on other types of embroidery as well. PinTangle had bunches of other links to other embroiders and by the time an hour was up, I had barely 'scratched' the surface of all the information that was there on the different pages. The great thing is, with just that one photo that I have posted for all to see and be inspired, I also have all that is needed to find more information about the latest in chicken scratch embroidery. As needle workers, we have no reason to ever be without an idea of something to make, since if we can't bring up a creative thought on our own, thousands of others that have come before have done so!

One of the nicest things about embroidery is that at the most basic, it is an inexpensive way to create something beautiful and to embellish clothing or other projects. My re-interest in chicken scratch was brought out by a tiny little booklet that I got for a dime at the thrift store that had chicken scratch as well as ways to use rick rack with embroidery floss in ways I had never seen before. On one of the links, I found several samples of rick rack in combination with chicken scratch and it was amazing how lovely the designed looked and how inexpensive it was to accomplish, assuming you live near a great thrift store that I have bought lots of rick rack from.

Checking to see what books Amazon might have on the topic, I only found a couple as well as some design booklets. This first one I put on my wish list as it looks like something I would like to study.