Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Replacing things

Why is it when something has given you years of service, when it finally breaks you can't find the same thing again. Companies seems to tweak and change those items that work perfectly well. Why my mini-rant? After many years of service, my rotary cutter died on me. It had seen me through what felt like miles of fabric and many quilts. It was comfortable in my hand, and did what it was supposed to. Do you think I could find the same one again? Hardly! I went on line and tried to research the latest rotary cutters and they all had good and bad reviews. Anyhow I had a chance to get to JoAnn Fabrics today and found a Fons & Porter cutter made by KAI (like my last one) the handle feels comfy. It was on sale. I also found a Fiskars cutter that was cheaper but looked like it would be comfortable to hold. With arthritis in my hands, comfort is the optimal word when picking out a rotary cutter. Since I had a 40% off coupon, I went ahead and got both for basically the regular price on one. Now when I have the energy I can try both out and see which works best.

Even with my cutter broken, yesterday I managed to make some trip quilted blocks for the quilt I'm working on. They still need to be trimmed down and so it will be a good test of the new rotary cutters ability.

I had lunch with my mom today and in her late 70's she has taken up quilting too. So nice to have a quilting buddy, but very weird to have the woman who taught me how to sew asking me the questions now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

One Huge Project Finished!

Finally after several months of work my bedroom curtains for our new house are finished. I just finished the valances about a half hour ago and they look great. Once we move in and I get them hung, I will try to post a picture. I have never seen window dressings like these so I feel very creative! I took such a long time because of the massive amount of machine embroidery (about 20 hours worth) plus my own physical limitations (I can only sew for about an hour at a time). I have a great feeling of accomplishment and can hardly wait to hang them up.

Now to finish my father-in-law's quilt, curtains for the new bathroom, the sun room, the sewing room, living room, kitchen, office, other bathroom and so it goes. And somewhere in there I would like to make myself some clothes. Selling patterns everyday, I keep running into ones I'd like to sew but just haven't had time. My new sewing room has a huge picture window and I'm scared I'm going to be so mesmerized looking out the window into the woods that I will forget what I'm doing!

Holiday Craft Projects

Still looking for some great ideas for holiday craft projects? I found a site with a huge amount of project ideas. Check out This link to see all the great designs. They are based on machine embroidery and embroidery fonts. Even if you don't have machine embroidery capabilities, you could still use the ideas and decorate with decorative stitches, lace or appliques.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I did my cooking yesterday and have had time for a nap, a little reading, some sewing and some time updating my blog into the newer format. I'm looking forward to being able to add some extra content without the need for all the HTML!!!

I am so thankful for a wonderful hubby, my kids and family, a roof over my head, food in the pantry and hobbies that take my mind off of my infirmaties. God is so good.

Just a reminder for those of you how don't really like going out and facing the crowds shopping, we have some great items for sale in MoonwishesStore including lots of sewing patterns for great gifts, some premade items that you just have to add some embroidery touches, and counted cross stitch and needlepoint kits. Well, some of those kits might not be able to be made in time for gift giving, but everyone needs a chance for a little down time.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Free Standing Lace Nativity Set

Another internet search at 4 in the morning, but finally had a chance to check out The Embroidery Library latest newsletter. Just when you think they can't push the boundaries of machine embroidery any further, they come up with this, a Free Standing Lace Nativity Set! I can't seem to publish the picture, but it is worth it to visit the site to see. An industrious person could get this set sewn out in plenty of time for the holidays. The set comes in two sizes, for 5 x 7 hoops and 4 x 4 hoops and in multiple machine formats.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Couple of Neat Sites

The other night, I was hurting quite badly due to my arthritis and couldn't sleep so figured a change of position might help. I ended up in front of the computer at 3 in the morning and somehow found a wonderful blog called A Dress A Day. Not only was it informative, it was funny and after about a half hour visiting there, I was ready to go back to bed and was able to sleep. Anything that relieves pain and helps me sleep is a good thing and I thought some of you might like to check it out.

I found another wonderful site today -- can't even remember how I got there (oh the wonders of the internet!). It is called The Frock and contains detailed photographs and descriptions of vintage designer garments. It is a wonderfully laid out professional site that could probably keep you drooling over the clothes for hours. The best part is you can actually purchase these clothes. They aren't in my budget, but to see the lovely pictures should be inspirational in our own sewing.

On the home front, I finally finished embroidering all 16 motifs on the valances for my new bedroom curtains. At that point I had an urge to do a little quilting so made four more quilt blocks for the quilt I am making for my father-in-law. Maybe tonight I can get back into the sewing room and work on finishing the valances so I can move on to other projects. I liked doing the embroidery, but realized it was a long stretch without doing any quilting.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Busy Summer!

What a busy summer it has been! If I wasn’t sick, I was busy packing and getting ready to move (hopefully in just a few weeks). We will be moving into a house with a lot of windows, so I have been working on making curtains. Since I’m not one to change decorations often in our home, it took me awhile to decide what I wanted to make and then do it. So far for the bedroom, I’ve made lacey sheer under-curtains, curtains with a two fabric border and now I’m working on valances. As the main curtain fabric is black with beautiful flowers all over I’ve been embroidering bunches of flowers at intervals on black fabric. Total of 16 motifs to embroider, each taking an hour to sew out assuming everything goes well!

I had read in one of my embroidery magazines that picking your embroidery thread by the color spots on the selvedge edge of fabric is a good way to be sure your threads match or coordinate with your project. I tried that and it has worked out well. It is hard for me to embroider the same thing over and over without changing so I, of course, ended up switching threads and thread types. This in turn has taught me more about tensions and directions of the spool of thread while sewing it out. I also learned that embroidering on black with lighter, finer weight threads didn’t give me the coverage that I wanted but I found by re-embroidering those areas in the same color before moving on, gave much better coverage and a brighter look to the embroidery.

One thing that I really wish my Janome 300E would do is signal when the bobbin thread is low. Unfortunately it doesn’t, so you find out that your bobbin thread is out when it runs out. When an embroidery motif takes over an hour to sew out, it is very hard to estimate if you will have enough bobbin thread. This may be an area if you are looking to purchase an embroidery machine that you check to see if it has a low bobbin indicator. I notice that Janome has come out with another embroidery only machine, but the ads don’t mention a low bobbin indicator. I’m not sure why they left off this essential item as many of their sewing machines have this technology.