Monday, June 30, 2014

I have a few new links on my left side bar.  One is for an upcoming hop in September, See Me In September, where we will all make three items to show.  One of the projects must be made out of Riley Blake gingham.  I love having a blog hop where I can make anything that I want and I don't have to rush to meet the deadline.  Of course, that means that I have to get started sometime soon.  We all know how fast time flies and September will be here soon.

Here's my gingham for my project.  I have several ideas floating around in my mind.  That brings me to the other link...the Save The Gingham link.  It appears that Riley Blake may discontinue their gingham line and there is hope that if we express enough interest their gingham, they will keep producing it.  Click on the sidebar link to find out more details.

The other new link is for another hop....It's a Sister Thing Swap.  We will have secret swap partners and we can make anything that we want, trying to base it on their likes and dislikes.  All participants have blogs, so we can browse their blog to find out about their tastes.  I'll get my partner's name tomorrow and can start thinking of what I'll make for my new blog "sister."

Last Christmas, I posted some pictures of a Yoda bag that I had made for a friend.  I wasn't happy with my zipper so I remade it last week.  (Better late than never)  I made it twice as thick and quilted it this time.  My friend carries his GPS in this and thought it would be better if it were thicker.  It is now 8 layers thick...4 of fabric.....4 of batting.  It was a little hard to turn but overall, I'm pleased.

And here's my latest treasure!  I was hopping around on Ebay and came across this cute little machine.  It was on the sidebar where they give suggestions for you, based on your searches.  Anyway, for less than $20....she was mine!  For those of you who bid a lot on Ebay, you know that the title of the auction is what you search for, the key words.  This particular auction only said "Diana" description....nothing else.  If you were searching for any kind of sewing machine, this auction would not come up.  Because of that, there were only three bidders and I managed to snipe in at the last second to grab her.  Another one is listed on Ebay right now....for $250.  I think I got a great deal!  After she arrived today, I gave her a drink of oil and she turns smooth and quietly.  She's in mint condition and such a beauty!
This is on the back.  She was produced in the 1950's.
I have several child/toy sewing machines, but for today, Diana is my favorite!
Happy Sewing!

Monday, June 16, 2014

I finished my runner kit that used the "pile" of fabric that I showed you in my last post.  The pattern was free from  Samelia's Mum, called Stack & Slash, and was really quick and easy.  In a nutshell, you use 4-10" different squares of fabric, stack them, then slice them in half-ish at an angle.  Then you mix them up, and sew them back together.  You could use different sized blocks or more blocks to make a longer runner.  
I used my Pinmoors for the first time to baste this runner.  I really liked the ease of insertion and it was even easier to remove the pins and Pinmoors as you quilted.  I think I would have still preferred to use my usual spray basting method on this small project, but these were certainly fun to try.  The next time I use them, I'll use a shorter and sturdier pin as I bent a  couple of pins just slightly when I was attaching the Pinmoors to the pins.  
 Here's the finished runner.  It's 36 1/2" x 10 1/2", a nice size for my small table.
Backside.  I like both sides and will switch them back and forth.

My friend Kathy introduced me to a new binding technique.... new to me, anyway.  I had never tried this before, in fact, had never even heard of it.  This is a tutorial from Pat Sloan that shows you in great detail, how to use this technique.  (Interestingly, the fabric in this runner is also from Pat Sloan.)  The binding is machine sewn on both sides for a quick, finished binding. You use a blanket stitch sewn from the front side.  I really like the look of this finish and you could certainly use other decorative stitches for more variety.

Now here's a picture of what NOT to do.  Pat explains this clearly in her tutorial.  When you sew your binding on the front of the quilt, you are to follow the stitching line that you made when you sewed the binding to the back.  If you stay on this line, your blanket stitch will fall neatly on the binding on the back.  When you don't use this line, your blanket stitch will be off kilter.... like my back side.  Now that I fully understand what I'm doing, I'll make sure that I stay on the stitching line the next time.  I don't object to this line of stitching and chose to leave it as is.  (I meant to do this....right?)

For my quilting lines, I just made several straight lines at 1/4" apart between the block pieces, then filled in the open space that was left with a wavy squiggle. 


"Action shot" (my runner at work on my table)
I hope you'll check out the links above and give them a look-see.  The runner went together in an afternoon from start to finish....would be great for gifts!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I haven't posted in awhile and although I have been working on a few projects, I haven't had the chance to get some good outdoor photos.  Meanwhile, here are a couple of odds and ends to show you.

First up is a new sewing for me, that is.  It's a Circle Foot or Flower Stitch Foot, depending on who's selling it.  Basically, it makes a small circle of stitches that can be varied by the type of stitch you choose, the size and width, etc.  It can be very small, resembling an eyelet or much larger.  The foot is attached to your machine like a walking foot with the feed dogs down.  It then takes your fabric and rotates it in a circle, advancing the fabric with each stitch until you have made the full circle.  I've seen some really cute effects with different colors and stitches to make some sweet embroidered looking flowers.

This is my first sample without changing any settings or tensions on my basic zig zag stitch.  It's not perfect, but you get the idea.  I'm looking forward to playing with this foot, maybe making a fabric post card with some flowers on it.  Oh, this is about 7/8" in diameter. 

Next up, some fabric!  I had a certificate that was going to expire soon so I went to my local quilt shop and had my way with it.  Five yards of pretty fabric.  I love this color combo, kind of a red orange along with a spring green.  No plans for this fabric yet.

This little pile of fabric is going to be a table runner.  It was sold as a kit with the directions included.  When I make the runner, I'll post a link to the free tutorial.  More great fabric combinations!

And finally.........
Happy Sewing!