Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eenie, meeney miney moe

I told Marian that I would make this little bag as a sample for the store. It looked easy enough. The company is called Easy-Peasy; how can that be hard? The pattern had 4 sizes: Eeny, Meenie, Miny and Moe. I chose to do the largest size...Eeny. The easiest one, right?

You use this ruler to make the Double Diamonds. It has slashes that you use to cut the diamonds. Easy as pie? Not so much.

But after reading carefully, and then going online to watch the Double Diamond "How to" video, I finished the front piece and carefully pressed the diamonds into place. The front piece took 3 rectangles of fabric...the main floral piece, the contrast stripe, and the background which was a cream color. These pieces of linen were remnants from Mae's draperies.

After you get the diamonds pressed into place, you stitch a straight line through the center of the diamonds. Now THIS was finally easy! The edges of the diamonds are raw; I am wondering how the linen fabric will fray...
but I think that this is going to be a worn look that I will like.

The last step is fast, just putting the right stides of the bag together with the zipper half open, sew up the bottom and sides and then turn it. Before I did the final sew up I did a quick monogram so that I could give the bag to someone that is very dear to me!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

No Shrinking Violet

Miss Mae came by to visit this Sunday afternoon after her nap, and she was feeling good! Willie Nelson was softly singing Rainbow Connection, and Mae broke into dance, ending with this TA-DA moment.
The dress is in its third summer of wear, and it is one of Mae's favorites. It was also made in Nashville at the Children's Corner, and the pattern was designed by Susan, who I believe is one of the owners. The little leggins were just a Simplicity pattern, and they were a breeze to sew up on the serger. The dress has a button tab in the back, and the bodice is lined with a purple gingham.

The applique on the bodice was done the easy way, the flowers were cut from the knit, then fused to the bodice. We used a short straight stitch to just stitch around the outline of the flower.

I have to say once again that Children's Corner patterns are my favorites. They fit well, the directions are clear and easy to follow, and they are beautiful when they are finished.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sewing mends the soul~author unknown

In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer~Albert Camus

thank you friends. Bibi

Thursday, August 18, 2011

more monograms

I embroidered two gifts tonight and wrapped them up with ribbon before the photograph and didn't want to undo, so you will have to use your imagination a little on the first photo. If an embroidering expert should read this post I hope they will help me figure out WHAT I did wrong when embroidering this bathmat for Carly and Tom. Oh My. It was nice and thick, so I bumped up the pull compensation through the Artista software to a 3.5. Since I was enlarging the size of the design, I changed the fill stitch from a satin stitch to a step stitch. For the underlay, I changed to a step stitch and added a second underlay, an edgewalk stitch. I used solvy on top. Should have stitched out perfectly, right? Wrong! The first stitch out looked like a zebra print. The white background showed through the letters something terrible! So I worked in the software, changing the stitch density from 4.5 to 4.2, so the stitches would lie a little closer to each other. Then I sent it back to the machine, matched everything up, finished the design, and it didn't look one bit different. My only recourse was to either ditch the project or just stitch over it completely, and I chose the latter. Honestly, you can't see it in this photograph, but some of the white terry still poked through my black letters.

The second project was much easier, but almost as nerve racking. Two very nice pillow cases for a sweet young couple, and all I could imagine was a huge mess on this one. It came out fine but could maybe use one last blast of steam from my Rowenta!

Monday, August 15, 2011


This crazy quilt skirt was an adventure for me, but I enjoyed it so much I just might have to try my hand at quilting sooner rather than later. Issa came by this afternoon and we fit the elastic to her tiny waist. I love this pattern from Tricia Smith of Children's Corner; she has her own line of patterns now that are called Tricia's Treasures.

I love Issa in her big girl skirt. It is lined in the purple gingham and it fits really well. Tricia directs you to cut 1/4 inch from the top and bottom of the lining, and the side seams of the lining are 1/2 inch rather than 1/4 inch. That way, there is no saggy lining hanging from the hem.

You can't really see my heart surprise. I found a little 1 inch seam where I missed my decoratve stitching, so I embroidered 2 little pink hearts, one for Issa and one for Bibi. She can look down at her left knee during the day and be reminded that Bibi loves her!
p.s. and I've been humming Patsy Cline all day.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Old way applique

I did this little t shirt to go with my crazy patch skirt. I wanted to do the applique the old fashioned way, and it was fun! I first placed my leaves, then sewed down the rick rack on top of the edges of the leaves. For the applique, I used Wonder Under, ironed it to the back of the fabric, cut out my petals and leaves, peeled off the backing and pressed them down. To sew the petals and leaves down, I decided to use stitch #754 on my 200, which is a tiny blanket stitch. It was easy to go around the raw edges; I did not have the patience to turn them under. The little iron by Clover made it easy to press the fabric petals. You can see one problem with the little iron, though. It gets nice and hot, and if you leave it a little too long on any surface, you will get a good scorch mark. I must be a slow learner, because as you can see, it has happened more than once.

Issa always requests, if I forget, that I put "that soft stuff on the back". Sometimes the embroidery is scratchy to her skin, and I use a fusible product from Floriani, I think it is called Dreamweave. Cut a portion large enough to cover the applique on the wrong side, round the edges, then press it down rough side to the t-shirt using a press cloth. Nice and smooth for tender tummies!

One little yellow button finishes off my flower.

Friday, August 12, 2011

sew and flip

Trisha's second skirt is done with the "sew and flip" method of crazy quilting. I am eager to start learning to quilt, and this seems like the perfect method for me! I was puzzled by the entire technique for awhile, but after letting Margo look at the directions, and then just putting my mind to it, I was amazed at how simple it was. The center piece is placed in the middle of the backing fabric, another piece is placed on top of it right sides together, it is sewn together with a 1/4 in seam (with the trusty 37 foot), flipped and then pressed. You keep adding pieces, sewing, flipping and pressing...until you completely cover the basic pattern piece.
I used a little of the rick rack that Trisha gave us in our kit, but I decided to fill in the the rest of the seam lines with some of the fun decorative and quilt stitches that are on my machine and that I never use. I used a couple of different feather stitches, a bubble type stitch, and a few that I have no idea what they are called. While the colors and concept were not at first to my I finished the front panel it is beginning to grow on me!

So today's task is to finish up the skirt and get it on a cute little girl!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Remember who you are

My girlies will not have any problem remembering who they are, with all the little personalized t shirts. Both appliques are from designs by Ju Ju, Issa's font is Tinker Toy, and the swirls on Mae's t shirt are from my Band to Bow CD. Once again, the t shirts are from Target. I haven't completed Katelyn's...wish she were here!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bibi love and a Happy Dance

Only a grandma would do this. And only a grandma friend would help her do it.
Mandy got Issa the beautiful matching backpack and lunchbox from Pottery Barn. Issa loves it so much she hasn't taken it off in 2 days. Really. It hangs on the back of her chair during meals. And with my expensive embroidery machine, I could not allow Mandy to pay to have it embroidered. I WOULD DO IT! No Problem.
The lunch box was done, and in the middle of stitching the backpack, the foot came off the machine with a terrible clatter, broke the needle and looked like I had done some serious damage to my beloved Bernina. I was heartsick.
Issa was sad.
Very long story short, with the help of a good friend, and many miles on my car, the backpack is done. Mandy reports that our very quiet Issa, when she heard that she could carry her backpack on the very important First Day of School, did a Happy Dance and sang a song with the words..."I get to carry my backpack to school...Yay...I can carry it on Monday and Tuesday, too!"

p.s. and I think my Bernina is fine

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hot August

It was so much fun having Esme here sewing away. Like the rest of her family, she is very creative, and she made lots of little pillows and doll accessories. Esme took a day class at the sewing center with Jan Conkwright, and came home with a precious gathered skirt and pretty blouse.

Esme cut 2 rectangles, we embroidered her name on one, she folded the top edges under and pressed, added a zipper, unzipped, and sewed around the other 3 sides. She was proud of her designs and will go home with some new fabrics and notions to play around with while she uses her little brother sewing machine.