Saturday, December 04, 2010

I have gotten lost in old photographs. I brought home a box of photos from my mother-in-law this summer with the intentions of making a scrapbook of their married life for them for Christmas. This was their 45th wedding anniversary year. She sent so many pictures from their family. She had them in boxes everywhere in no order. It has been wonderful putting them in order and finding out more about my husband's family. Not much sewing getting done though! The above picture is of my husband's grandmother, his mother and two of her sisters. I love this picture and the story with it. They did not have much money and the girls helped pick cotton to earn enough to buy those matching dresses and then they sent the picture to their father in the army.
Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is what the nifty ruler I got for my birthday does! It is so easy and actually addictive. The hardest part is picking the colors and getting a good contrast. I didn't on the yellow ones, oh shucks I will have to do more!

close up of one of the bookmarks.

I also finished my two denim skirts. I ordered the material off line and was extremely pleased with the quality of it. Our local JoAnn's is closing in Jan. to move so they are not getting in any more inventory that's why I ordered this online. I went in the store the other day to pick up some snaps and elastic and found out they are not re-opening at their new location until April. Four months. We have a few local quilt shops, but I sometimes need more than 100% cotton material. I feel if I start shopping online I may find it easier and continue even after they open. This is sad to me.

So Long for Now!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The past several weeks I have been working on more skirts for me. I made a long skirt to wear to an event, I have two denim skirts and linings cut out and I have been working on those. I stopped to help a friend quickly put together a quilt for a pastor appreciation present and now I am to finish them in the next few days.
The picture above is of a an item I received for my birthday. I had seen this used to make the cutest bookmarks. I also saw a jacket embellished with diamonds made from the big ruler. I tried to find one locally and came up empty handed so it was ordered from Their shipping was very quick!
Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I found the cutest shoes for the dolls!

My three Salvation Army Christmas dolls are ready!
Our local Joann's is moving to a new shopping center in Jan. and they are not getting in any new inventory. I couldn't find any denim I wanted for skirts in the store so I went on line and found some at their website and on sale! I ordered denim and lining. I received an email saying the lining was shipped, but no word about the denim so I called customer service. I was told it was something to do with stock coming in and that it would be shipped later. Today I received an email saying the denim was shipped. Hopefully, by next week I will have both and be able to wash it and get ready to make at least two new skirts. In the meantime, I have been cleaning out my sewing room and trying to organize my patterns.

Sew Long for Now!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I finished two of the doll jackets and still have one more that I need to put the snaps and buttons on. I need to find some shoes and shirts to go with the outfits. I wanted to purchase those, but I may have to make them. I found an online tutorial for making shoes to fit 18 inch dolls. I have some brown leather like fabric, so I could make them. We will see. I have 2 more baby blankets complete, 3 1/2 left here to finish. I was thinking what I would like to do next versus what I need to do next. I need some more skirts, so that may get top of the pile status.
Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another baby blanket finished! Working on the jackets for the dolls.
Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's been a busy week around here, well every week is busy around here right now, but I did get some sewing in. I finished crocheting the edging on a baby blanket.
I also finished sewing up the three pair of pants for the Salvation Army dolls. Next I am making jackets to go with the pants. I also serged three more baby blankets to crochet the edging on. We received the forms to order tickets for the annual vintage ball. This year we have another member of our family who can attend. Next I maybe looking at making another revolutionary soldiers outfit. I do have a whole box of flannel sitting here calling my name, so we will see.

Sew Long for Now!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Look what I did last night! While my dear husband was cooking supper and we were waiting on the children to all come home from their various activities I sat at the supper table and cut out three sets of clothing for the doll project. I was so excited to get this done! I didn't get my oven cleaned, which is also on the list, but sewing comes first right! Now to get these sewed up soon!
Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I finished my bathrobe. It took two weeks, but I am very pleased with it. I was happy because everything lined up and I didn't have to do much ripping out. I can't even remember any!

I still haven't cut out the outfits for the three dolls so that's next on the agenda. I also have some flannel lying here I want to make some quilts out of. Our oldest son is home for a week before heading to his duty station on the other side of the U.S., but maybe I will at least cut out the outfits!

Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I cut out the flannel above for a bathrobe this week. I also cut out the pattern for the doll outfits. Now to find material for the doll outfits and start sewing!
Sew Long for Now!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another busy month with another long trip! We went to Oklahoma to see our oldest son graduate from Army basic. It was hot! 109 one evening. I was so glad to get back to our puny 90's. I got one project completed in the last month. I finished this quilt top that I started last fall. It's been claimed by my daughter, but I hope it doesn't take me until next fall to quilt it. I have a fence rail quilt in the closet I started many (many) years ago and I need to get that done. It is halfway quilted. Can I use the excuse I am hand quilting it to get away with how long it has been unfinished? I have three dolls to dress for a salvation army service project through our ASG chapter. I need to turn them in by November. I hope I can get them done in a timely fashion!
Sew Long for Now!

Monday, August 09, 2010

I haven't had time to take any pictures, so here is a nice picture from Kansas. I love the flatness of it.

After my little whine I pulled myself together and got determined to do something. I make my cards (birthday, get well, etc) and I had run out so my daughter and I sat down and spent a few evenings making cards. I think I am well covered for about a year! We did decide that the end of the month we would spend one night a week making Christmas cards and that way I wouldn't be trying to finish them crazy at the last minute.

I spent some time embroidering 4 aprons for a friend and hemming a tablecloth and adding lace for another lady. I also added a border to a quilt I started last fall. It still needs another border added to make it the size I want. I also began the lovely task of ripping up one of my husband's suit jackets. He wants the sleeves shorter. It's a messy task, not in actual mess you make, but in keeping straight how it goes to get it back together right.

I also got some work done in the garden. Oh, not to forget the 5 or 6 new dishclothes I knit! So, hopefully I can keep the momentum and get some things done.

Sew Long for Now!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Clock given to Dwight Eisenhower's parents as a wedding gift

A couple of years ago I took an outside job. I used to sew for people to help bring in extra income, but then as our children got older we had some expenses that we just needed a more steady income to cover. At first I delivered papers. I loved that job. The children helped and we had some of the best time together. You also only had to work a couple of hours a day and it was good money. The down side was that you worked everyday, 365 days a year in all weather. Also, it was really rough on your vehicle and so there was high maintance cost. I was able to change to a job that I work at home for a company taking sales calls. The job is a good one, but the hours are longer than the paper route. I get to be home all the time and my family can pop in out while it is slow to talk. I used to be able to sew between calls, but lately it has been so busy that I can't. I also have taken on a lot of overtime and when I get off I am so tired I just don't feel I can do much more.
Soooo I am feeling whiny about my lack of creative outlet. I have always loved to be creative. I wrote, drew, and painted when I was younger. When I found sewing and fiber arts I felt like I had found my calling. Now, with this stage of life and all the demands of working full-time and having teenagers, but with none with a drivers permit I feel tired and depleted. I need to find a way to get sewing and creating back into my days. I get jealous when I see things my friends have done and I would love to try all the ideas flying around my mind and just can't seem to get more done than repairing the items my family needs. I am desperately in need of finding contentment in my life. Pray for me. This past year especially has been a real struggle with a lot of things that have gone on in our lives.
I find myself shaking my head and laughing, just to prove the truth to my dilemma, it took 3 days of constant interruptions to get this post written!
Sew Long for Now

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!
(No this is not my sewing machine, it is my dream machine that I have on my future wish list!)
Sew Long for Now!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Another aspect of the Eisenhower Museum was some of Mamie's outfits on display. She was a very well dressed lady and was considered an inspiration for older women. She showed that older women could dress fashionable. The pictures are not the best because they did not allow flash photography. An interesting thing about the displays was that they rotated. I wish they would do that at the Smithsonian with the first ladies dresses.

This is one of her inaugural gowns.

I think this may have been the other, but I am not positive.

This is a typical style of dress that she wore. There were several similar to this, all with matching hats.

This was her wedding dress, complete with a piece of their wedding cake in the chevron shaped container at the bottom of the picture.

Another of her outfits with matching hat. I think she gave Jackie O. lessons in style.
Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I have been doing some sewing, but don't have pictures of my sewing. I made myself two skirts and have a third one cut out. I did a lot of repairs and my pile is going down. We spent the last two weeks in June in Kansas at my in-laws. We went to The Eisenhower Museum and Library. On the premises was the house Dwight grew up in with items that had been there belonging to his family. I have included some pictures of sewing related items from the home.

These crazy patch pillows have names of the boys embroidered on them. There were seven sons, one passed away as a baby. The woven blanket under the pillows was woven by his great uncle.
Another crazy patch pillow with the embroidered name on it.

This is his mother's sewing machine. It is so interesting to see these things from the past. I have treadle sewing machine similar to this. The belt dry rotted and I need to get a new one, but it works great still.
Right now I am working on alterations on a formal dress we bought our daughter while we were gone. It laces up the back and it had two inserts to put behind the laces to keep the skin from showing. They attached using these teeny tiny snaps and they didn't hold well. Since the dress has a side zipper I removed the snaps and tacked the panels in. I need to adjust the straps, they are too long, and then see about the hem. It's great to look for formals after prom and wedding seasoning, you find real good deals.
Sew Long For Now!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May is drawing to a close and I am breathing a deep sigh. May is always a hard month around our house. We had four birthday celebrations; my Momma's, our oldest son's, my father-in-law, and my niece. Then of course Mother's Day and our wedding anniversary, which fell on Mother's Day this year. Add to that the final programs for some activities and the rounding out of the school year and testing for the two still being homeschooled and let's just say it is a bit overwhelming at times. I didn't do much sewing. Hemming this and that. I cut out two new skirts and they are in various stages of completion. I embroidered two shirts that got stains on them last year and have been sitting in my to-do pile to fix, and I embroidered the bag you see above for our youngest son to store some of his music for the piano in.
I am looking forward to June. Not just because there are large white spaces showing on our family calendar, but because we are going on vacation, two weeks out West visiting my in-laws. It will be a nice break from working. I doubt I will get to take my sewing machine with me, but I may try!
Sew Long For Now!

Monday, May 03, 2010

A beautiful buttercup my lovely daughter brought in a bouquet for me from our yard.

My second wee gown finished. I am also working on some more smocked ornaments. This time using ribbon. I finally was able to cut out a skirt and have it together. I just need to put in the waist band and hem it. There never seems to be enough time does there?

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Every other month our local sewing machine dealer has a workshop for those who have purchased machines. At these workshops they show us how to make projects with our machines and their accessories. Last month they featured a wall hanging using the circular embroidery attachment. It was also a feature in issue number 32 of Through the Needle. I loved the sample one. I had the attachment already and several spools of decorative thread, so I purchased the fabric and decided to give it a try. Warning this is not as easy as it looks! You make two quilt tops of pieced 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 blocks. Then you baste them together and decide where to place your circles. You can cut out the size using freezer paper and iron them down where you choose and then reposition them to reuse the same size circle. The first hurdle for me was deciding what size to make the circles and where to place them. Once that is done deciding what thread to use and which stitch to use almost drove me bonkers! Trying to sew circles through two layers while keeping the tear-away stabilizer intact was also a little difficult. Once you stitch a single line of stitching around the circle you cut away the material in the circle and then do any type of satin stitch around. It's similar to reverse applica. For the circle within the circle you do the stitching on the smaller circle first and then don't cut, but do a larger circle around it and then cut out between the two proceeding on to the satin stitching after this.

Next I have to layer the batting and backing to make the wall hanging. It's not really my style and I don't know what I am going to do with it, but it has been a wonderful learning experience for a new technique. I was thinking that my bedroom is yellow with blue trim and it would be nice to use some shades of similar blue for the top quilt and some shades of similar yellow for the bottom and do something similar, but not so abstract looking.
Sew Long for Now!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Have you ever had one of those "duh" moments? Recently, I read an article in Threads March 2010 issue called "Vionnet: Master Geometrician." It spent some time talking about her edge finishes. At one point it was talking about how she cut bias and sewed that to the edge and then in another article I read it spoke of using bias again on heavy material to keep the bulk in the seam down. A few days later our youngest son was gifted with more jeans. I had hemmed a slew of pants for him recently because he has had a growth spurt. When I did the jeans I broke 3 needles in the progress of completing the hemming job, so I was dreading hemming more jeans. As I was contemplating this task one day I had a "duh" moment. I remembered dh having some jeans his Momma hemmed when we were first married. She had used bias tape to do the hem and I had never seen anyone do that. Then again when I married him I had never seen many jeans hemmed by anyone other than the store or dry cleaner, but that's another story. It dawned on me that I could hem these jeans using bias tap to cut down on the bulk. I have lots of bias tape that I was gifted with a few years back. A couple pair of the jeans I cut off for shorts and a couple I left long. I pressed up at least a 1 inch hem on all of them. Next, I sewed bias tape to the right side of the hem allowance and then turned up the hem and folded the bias binding over the raw edge and sewed it down. No broken needles, no hump jumping problems at the seam! Sewing was a breeze and it took hardly any extra time to do the extra steps involved. I am one happy camper. So, tell me am I the only person in the universe who just got this or has everyone always hemmed jeans like this?
Sew Long for Now!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

For the past month, one of the big projects I have been working on is a bow tucks bag. I finally finished it. It turned out nice. It has lots of pockets on the inside.

And of course the detail that gives it it's name.

It also calls for one pocket on the outside, but I cut out two so I gave it two on the outside. You can never have enough pockets! I also finished smocking an angel gown, but I didn't take a picture of that before I gave it to the lady who collects them. I started another gown. I would like to do one a month at least. My next big sewing project (besides making shorts out of old jeans for my son) is going to be make me some new skirts and I have some smaller projects in the works.

We got new bees and they are drawing out their own comb. This piece fell off when the boys released the queen yesterday and I was just amazed at the perfect cubes in each comb. I tried to capture it, but a photo doesn't do it justice.
Sew Long for Now!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Last Monday I spent the whole day sewing! It was great, I helped other members of our ASG chapter make soldier bags to send to troops serving overseas. As of Wednesday we had 124 to turn in.
Now I must interrupt for some serious cuteness! I had been missing having a dog. My husband and I had talked about getting two black poodles. Monday afternoon he comes home with the name and number of a lady we go to church with who had 3 month old poodles, 2 litters. We went to see them and came home with a chocolate and apricot. The chocolate is named Smith and the apricot is named Wesson. I forgot how much work house training puppies is!
I did get the pillowcases finished to match the children's pj's I made them. I used the directions at Modalissa's blog. The only snag I had was that I used flannel and the method she showed for the roll method was neat, but the flannel didn't slide very well. It took a bit of an effort to get it flipped. I think I would like to make some using cotton. It was actually fun once you got it flipped!
I also finally cut out my bow tuck bag, now to get it sown up! Wow, I feel I am actually accomplishing something lately.
Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I was on a roll and since I finished smocking my 2nd ornament a month ago, I went ahead to finished it up.
I am looking forward to learning to do the other type of ornament in April.

I started on the second bra purse, but my heart wasn't it. My heart wasn't in much because I got a case of the whiney's. Our youngest son was growing out of his pants and shirts so the general and I went shopping in my favorite place - the attic. I had boxes and boxes of clothes saved from our oldest son and I have a friend who has two boys and she gave me the clothes they outgrew. When we pulled down the last four boxes I was amazed that was all that was left. By the time we went through them one only had one box to put back up. What made me so melancholy was the fact that my baby is growing up. He will be 13 this summer and as I watch his body grow into that of a young man it's hard. I will no longer have any babies or children. Our oldest turns 21 this year and so this year is marked by milestones with our two boys. One becomes an adult and one becomes a young man...sigh...I hope they remember the book I used to read to them when they were little, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as your living my baby you'll be."
Off to hem pants for the young man.
Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ok, so I should really be in bed since I have to be at work by 7 a.m., but I finished my bra purse and this is the back of it. I had started to put beads on it and then I took them off. It was just too much for me. I have another bra, I got two in the package I bought and I am thinking of making one more and seeing if I can't embelish it on the machine instead of by hand.
I was excited this week because I finally completely finished one of the smocked ornaments I started 4 months ago. The pattern called for a 3 inch ball and the finished project was too big for that size ball. It seems other ladies at the smocking group had this same problem so I can't chalk it up to beginners booboo. I padded the ball with quilting batting and that made it fit better.

Next month the lady who leads the smocking group is going to show me how to make a different ornament with ribbon.
I also finally got around to washing the material for a spring bag I am making. So maybe this coming week I will get my other smocked ornament completely finished, my bag cut out and worked on, another bra bag worked on, some pillow cases cut out and made, and a bathrobe cut out. I always have more ideas than time!
Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What is that old saying about the best laid plans? I have so many plans to do things and then I get so busy they just don't materialize. One of the things I had planned to do starting the beginning of this year was to get back into blogging more consistantly. It hasn't happened. I have been sewing though. This interesting thing above is one of the projects I am working on right now. It's a purse. It's not finished. It's being made out of an interesting object. A bra. It's a lot of hand sewing also. I hope to finish it in the next two weeks. I will post pictures of it when it's done.

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I signed up to sew these post op pouches for breast cancer patients in October. I finally finished them today. I am trying to get some ufo's and mending caught up.
With the New Year, Tuesday has become one of the busiest days here. This morning we all went to the dentist, then I dropped our daughter off at Math class while our youngest son and I came home, him to finish his lessons and me to sew. After I picked her up from Math we all three did chores and I cleaned the bathroom then I took her to violin lessons. I dropped her off and picked up our youngest son to drop him off to meet his Dad for a missions trip meeting and I came home to fix supper. I now await those two returning so we can eat and maybe watch the first half of Return of the Kings, the extended version. We are working our way through the LoR extended version movies this week.
I need to see if I can find a zipper to finish a pair of pants for a lady at church and then attack that mending pile!
Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I know I have been missing in action for a while. I have spent the past two months working on outfits to be worn to our annual vintage ball. This is a contra dance for homeschoolers in our area every year right after Christmas. It is tons of fun. My husband really gets into this dance. He loves to dress in the style of the 1800's. He also really wants an authentic outfit. This year I tried really hard to make him one.

This is the vest. The easiest piece I made.

I wanted to chuck these pants more times than I can count. The instructions with the pattern are just beyond comprehension. I finally told him I was going to make them the best I could to look authentic as possible. This pattern caused me many tears and I have seriously thought about trashing the pattern because it was such a pain.

This the jacket. He wanted it in the authentic wool, but I talked him out of it. Since we were dancing indoors and with heat I thought it would be just too hot. There are more than 24 pewter buttons on this coat. I also didn't make the buttons actually function. This piece took me the longest and there was so many more things I could have done to make it more authentic, but time wasn't on my side. I spent more than 6 weeks working on it.
This has been one of the most challenging projects I have done in awhile.
Today to wind down from all this I cleaned my sewing room and worked on hand quilting a fence rail quilt I am working on.
Sew Long for Now!