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!