Friday, May 26, 2017

Thank You, Lord. You Blessed Me...You ARE so Good!!

I shared in my post detailing my sewing room or sewing area that one of my goals for my sewing space was to upgrade both my sewing machine and serger along with having a custom designed sewing table made.  I have found someone that will construct me a sewing table this fall.

I started sewing with a Singer.  Bought a Viking Emerald sewing machine in 2011.

Learned how to serge on a Singer serger and traded that for a Viking Huskylock serger in 2012.

Learned that there was a serger that used air to thread the loopers.  A babylock.  Wanted one.  Started saving my pennies and began shopping and priced them this spring.  Expensive.

Happened upon an ad showing a babylock air threaded serger for sale.

Called on it.  Was still available.

Drove 2-1/2 hours to check it out.  Liked what I saw and bought it.

Will need to learn how to operate my new-to-me serger.  Before driving to see the machine, I did a google search on the model.  Found out it's a good machine with some very nice features.  Babylock Imagine.


The serger came with the original manual and cheat sheet.  Some small tools, needles, plastic cover and foot pedal.  The seller gave me four bags partially full of Maxi-lock coned thread.  Various colors. That is a big blessing.  I use only Maxi-lock thread with my serger.

I've found the sewing machine (a babylock) that I want to upgrade to.  Will save for it and watch for a good deal or bargain.  My Viking serger will be gifted to a woman that sews and has been wanting a serger.  Not sure what I will do with my Viking machine.  Is a good machine.  Runs good, have taken good care of it.

Worked a bit last night on the next block on the Dutch Treat Design - They followed the Star. Took a detour on my trip today and picked up some more DMC #5 pearl cotton thread.  Should have enough now to finish the tabletopper.


They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 05/25/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 4

Thursday, May 25, 2017

WIP Dutch Treat Designs They Followed the Star

Redid my Q-snap frame so it was smaller and more manageable to hold.

Repositioned the fabric in the frame, found where I had left off and discovered I had miscounted.

Took out the top of the palm tree.


Restitched the area.  Finished the "block" last evening. 

One thing about this design is the direction of the stitches.  Chart says to stitch one side.  Turn.  Stitch.  Turn.  Four sides.  Three turns.  Direction of x's will be different.  My OCD tendencies are "wrestling" with that.  Want my stitches to be all uniform.  Looking nice.  


One block done.  Seven more to do.  Three corners with palm trees.  One block with a stable, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  One block with wise men.  One block with shepherds and one block with animals and figures.

Have to say kind of like working with this DMC pearl cotton thread.  Nice.  Will have to order more though.  Don't think I will have enough of some colors to finish this piece.


They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 05/24/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 3

Will position fabric in Q-snp frame and work on the stable scene. Goal is to have that block done by next Thursday.

Chart will be up for giveaway once I've finished stitching the piece.

Wanted to mention this chart along with the fabric and threads was gifted to me by my exchange partner in last year's Christmas ornament exchange - Judi (Mollydog).  Thank you, Judi.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Needleparks

When I've worked on large cross stitch designs with several thread colors, I've made my own needlepark.

This was one of two groups of thread used for Stoney Creek O Holy Night Nativity!!


I've repurposed styrofoam that was used as packaging or have purchased styrofoam from the local craft store.

First thing I do is, using a MS Word document, I make a table and list all the thread color numbers.  I also list the blended thread colors (where I have to use one strand of two different colors) and if applicable, other threads such as blending threads (i.e. Glissengloss threads)


As I stitch and make thread changes, I park my needle. I've found that this helps when I have to change thread.  Plus using this type of system makes the stitching time go smoother.  I like using something like this because I've stitched a few Stoney Creek designs and to be honest I've gotten some threads mixed up due to their being so close in hue or color.  Using a needlepark helps with that - keeps the right color with the right number or symbol.

If I am working in a section of the design, I can thread several needles with the thread colors needed and sail through the stitching.

When I am done with stitching for the day, I can put away my needlepark with the needles in tact.  When I want to stitch again, everything is as I left it.  

Needlepark with symbol used on the chart next to the thread color.



Needlepark in use.



When I've worked on more than one project at a time...

Two Blocks Left

Finished block four last night.

Took piece out of Q-snap frame to take a picture and move up fabric.

Only two blocks left to stitch.


POM Series 11/14 to 04/15 Life is a Gift
Stoney Creek
28ct Beige Jobelan, DMC, WDW, Classic Colorworks, ThreadWorx and 
Glissengloss Rainbow Blending Threads, Suggested Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started - 04/24/17
Progress as of 05/23/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Thus Far - 24

When completed, will custom order a frame and do the mounting, lacing and framing myself.  Will hang it in the living room along side my other three completed Stoney Creek POM pieces.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WIP - Stoney Creek POM - Half Way Point

Met my goal this week.  Wanted this block done by the weekend.  Put in the last stitch late last night using my flashlight!  Am at half way point with this design.   Only three blocks left to stitch.

Had just gotten the last cross stitch stitched at 11 p.m. last night when everything went total black due to a power outage caused by severe thunderstorms. I wanted to have everything done with this block before I went to bed.  Remembered I had a flashlight in the kitchen and shuffling my way along the floor (didn't want to trip over Leah), I retrieved the flashlight, propped it on my shoulder and finished the last of the block - outlining the hearts in the design.  Put things away and went to bed.

I was awaken when the power came back on at around 1:05 a.m. or so and I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up, repositioned the fabric in the Q-snap frame and put in the first few stitches in block four.

Goal for finishing block four is by next Monday.



POM Series 11/14 to 04/15 Life is a Gift
Stoney Creek
28ct Beige Jobelan, DMC, WDW, Classic Colorworks, ThreadWorx and 
Glissengloss Rainbow Blending Threads, Suggested Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started - 04/24/17
Progress as of 05/16/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Thus Far - 19

When completed, will custom order a frame and do the mounting, lacing and framing myself.  Will hang it in the living room along side my other three completed Stoney Creek POM pieces.  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

WIP - Stoney Creek POM

Been plugging away stitch by stitch on this Stoney Creek piece.

Finished block two last weekend.  Will do the clock hands (long stitches) after the piece is completely finished and out of the Q-snap frame along with adding all the cute buttons.

Started on block three - border and one letter is done.  Goal for this block is to have it done by next weekend.

Like the qoute in each block.  Okay with the thread colors.  Seems to be more autumn colored hues or subdued in color.  Am thinking some of the design elements are copying a few from previous completed Stoney Creek POMs I've done.  Will have to "watch" that when considering future POM purchases.


POM Series 11/14 to 04/15 Life is a Gift
Stoney Creek
28ct Beige Jobelan, DMC, WDW, Classic Colorworks, ThreadWorx and 
Glissengloss Rainbow Blending Threads, Suggested Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started - 04/24/17
Progress as of 05/12/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Thus Far - 15

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Gloria and Pat Framed Finish

Picked up my custom ordered frame yesterday from Hobby Lobby and had it mounted, laced and framed by the end of the day.

This is my second time stitching this design.  First time I stitched it, it was gifted to a woman who fell in love with it and I knew she would treasure it and display it in her home.

This design makes me smile.  Love what it says and that duck is just too cute! Plus it has hues of yellow in it.  Yellow is my favorite color.


February
Gloria and Pat (Precious Moments) Angelove Booklet #18
28ct Ray of Light Lugana with DMC Threads, Embellishments 
Stitched 2 over 2
Started 04/03/17
Completed 04/23/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece - 18
05/06/17 - Mounted, Laced and Framed By - Myself
Hangs on My Living Room Wall

Close up of the pretty buttons.  Straight pin in center - center point for foam core board and stitching.  I match center to center, then pin, then lace, then frame after all the pins have been removed.
 

Have put in a few more stitches to my SC POM piece.  Don't have much more to stitch on this block.  Had all the lettering stitched and discovered I was off one square.  Took it all out, started over and am hoping to finish it up today and if not today, tomorrow.  Almost at half way point with this series.  This is block two in a six block series.


POM Series 11/14 to 04/15 Life is a Gift
Stoney Creek
28ct Beige Jobelan, DMC, WDW, Classic Colorworks, ThreadWorx and 
Glissengloss Rainbow Blending Threads, Suggested Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started - 04/24/17
Progress as of 05/06/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Thus Far - 12

Thursday, May 4, 2017

WIP - Stoney Creek POM 800 Series

I don't know what the title of this series is or for that matter what the titles were for the other three that I've done and have hanging on my living room wall.

This one has six blocks.  I completed the first block this past weekend and started working on block two.


POM Series 11/14 to 04/15 Life is a Gift
Stoney Creek
28ct Beige Jobelan, DMC, WDW, Classic Colorworks, ThreadWorx and 
Glissengloss Rainbow Blending Threads, Suggested Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started - 04/24/17
Progress as of 05/02/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Thus Far - 8

In other news...

Mailbox has finally been repaired.  Snow plow had snapped pole in half this past winter.  Handyman welded an extension on.  Pole has been cemented in the ground and a fresh coat of black paint has been applied to the pole and support bracket under the mailbox.  Looks nice.  Finally, I can "move on" knowing this has been taken care of and is done.  In the process, I now know a local handyman who can help with projects.  

Am wanting to redo my sewing table.  Wanting a bigger area for fabric to lay on when I am sewing. What I have now is nice.  It works.  However, in sewing my quilts last year, I realized that the fabric was sliding due to the type of surface on the countertop.  Was constantly having to move the fabric up so it wouldn't slide down and on to the floor.  Would like a finished wood surface instead.  I have the plans as in pattern on how I would like my new one made.  That will probably happen later this fall as spring and summer is a busy time for the handyman with outside construction projects. That's okay.  I can work on cleaning out a few things from the basement thus opening room for the new table.   

Weather has turned nice.  Sunny.  Warm.  Have new wind chimes hanging on the front porch and two very pretty medium sized ceramic pots with pretty pink geraniums.  Babied those flowers as we've had rough weather here and I thought they weren't going to make it.  Noticed today they are thriving and their blooms are so pretty.  Bought a new patio table,  It's small and round.  I can sit out on the porch and read or stitch. 

Leah has been growing and doing well.  Plays with her "babies."  She puts them to bed in a kitty cube I have near my bed.  At night I hear her running and tossing them about.  It's cute to watch her carry them around the house.  

Will continue to work on the above project and once my ordered frame for the Pat and Gloria piece - Happiness in the Heart - comes in, I will frame that and get that one on the wall.  Waiting for a few back to back sunny days where the lighting is good and I can spend some large chunks of time in the basement.  Want to do an inventory on my DMC threads and put away all the threads that have accumulated from finished projects.  Seems like they are multiplying like little bunnies.   

Framed Finished - Heart in Hand Design

Picked up my custom ordered frame yesterday from Hobby Lobby.

Mounted, laced and secured piece in frame this morning.

Is hanging on my living room wall.

Like what the quote says - "A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart."  Like how it turned out.  Wooden frame is a soft walnut color.


Inspirations
Heart in Hand Needleart
28ct Ivory Lugana, GAST and WDW Threads and Suggested Embellishments
Stitched 2 over 2
Started 01/04/17
Completed 03/29/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece - 19
005/04/17 - Mounted, Laced and Framed By - Myself
Hangs in My Living Room

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tutorial - Fleece Chemo Caps

These caps are very easy to do up.  Doesn't take long to make one.  Plus with the variety of fleece, these can be so colorful, bright and cheery.  

Before I begin, let me explain a few things.

Size - (this will make sense as I go along in the tutorial)

infant - 11"x15" rectangular piece with a 5" circle
young child - 13" x 17" rectangular piece with a 5-1/4" circle
teen - 15" x 19" rectangular piece with a 6-1/2" circle
adult - 17" x 21-1/2" rectangular piece with a 7-1/4" circle
medium adult - 19" x 23" rectangular piece with a 7-1/2" circle
large adult - 20" x 24" with a 7-3/4" circle

Be sure and know which way the fleece stretches.  With the rectangular piece you want the larger number to be the stretchy part of the fleece - horizontal direction.  The direction where there is give to the fabric.  This is what will be sliding down over the head.  With chemo patients, the head is tender.  Don't want pressure.  Want comfort and something soft.  Also be aware with some fleece there is more give than with other types of fleece.

And if applicable, there is a right side and wrong side with fleece.  You will need to know that when adding the top piece to the body of the hat.

When I've sewn these for hospice centers, I've batched them.  In other words, I get several cut out and then sew them assembly line style...doing all the body pieces, then adding all the tops to the body. 

The picture shown below has two plexi-glass templates.  One rectangle (body of the hat) and one circle (top of the hat).  I had a set of these templates made for my use.

A ruler and cutting matte along with a circular piece of cardboard or circular quilting template would work if you aren't able to make a set of plexi-glass templates for yourself.


When I make a fleece cap, I take the fleece and fold it in half making sure that the fabric lays so that the larger number of the rectangle is horizontal.  I cut out the rectangle pieces.  Once cut, I have two pieces and this will be the body for two caps.



With the remaining fabric, I cut out the tops for the hats.  EACH hat will need two circles.  I cut out TWO pieces PER cap.


I have enough cut out now for two hats.  Two body pieces - one per hat.  Four top pieces - two per hat.

Now I work on putting the hat together.

Once all the pieces are cut out, I take one of the side pieces and fold the vertical edges together (folding the sides together that don't stretch or give).  Keeping the right sides together I serge a 1/2" seam (think long tube).

If you don't have a serger, machine sewing a 1/2" hem will work.


After this seam is sewn/serged, I fold the serged tube in half.

I bring the bottom up to the top, serged seam inside.  I make sure the edges are together and even.  I even out the material with the fold making it nice and smooth.  Wrong side of fabric is inside, right side of fabric showing on the outside.



Then I take four straight pins and pin four equal places...at the folds.  I pin at opposite points with the first fold.  Then I open the body of the hat up, bring the pins together and pin at the new folds.  At this point, I have a sewn tube folded in half, right side facing out and pinned in four places.

This step is important.  This helps in having a nice smooth top.  My fleece won't bunch up as I sew.  

You will understand this later in the tutorial.



The body of the hat is now ready for the top pieces.  I prepare them first before attaching them to the body of the hat.

I  take the two circle pieces, put WRONG sides together and fold in half and pin at the fold on the opposite edges.  Then I open up the circle, match the pins, fold again and mark with two more pins.  I now have two circles, wrong sides together, pinned in four places.




The body of the hat is done.  The top is done.

Here is where having those straight pins is important.

I match the pins up and pin.  Securing all of the hat pieces together.

Once those four areas or points have been pinned and secured, I pin the remaining portion of the top to the side.



Top is pinned to side.

I sew a 1/2 seam all away around the hat first, this anchors all the layers of fleece together and I can remove my pins for when I serge.

Now I serge the top to the sides, serging a 1/2" seam.

If you don't have a serger, sew the two together with your sewing machine, then zig zag around the edge.



Next I trim the threads, turn right side out and fold up.



A few others I've made...

This one I made for myself.  When I wear it, I'm always told, "I like your hat."  To which I say, "I do too.  I made it."

First time I wore it, a little girl, being carried by her daddy saw it and said, "I like your hat."  I smiled and said, "Honey, you made my day.  Thank you for the smile."  She was so cute!!


Made for a neighbor who was undergoing chemo treatments.   Body length no sew blanket and two hats.


Baby hats for a cousin's newborn baby boy.


One of many I made for hospice patients.



These make wonderful chemo hats.  They soften after multiple washings, they stretch and are warm.  Plus they aren't heavy to wear.

WIP - Stoney Creek POM

Have started a new Stoney Creek POM (pattern of the month) series.

Been stitching on it a little each night this past week.

Almost done with this square.  There are a total of six squares in this series.  Life is a Gift, Live Every Moment, Share From Your Heart, Learn From Mistakes, Remember Who You Are, Never Ever Give Up.


POM Series 11/14 to 04/15 Life is a Gift
Stoney Creek
28ct Beige Jobelan, DMC, WDW, Classic Colorworks, ThreadWorx and 
Glissengloss Rainbow Blending Threads, Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started - 04/24/17
Progress as of 04/29/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Thus Far - 6

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2014 Machine Sewn Finishes


18" Doll Slicker, Hat and Boots
McCall's Sewing Pattern #4066
Cotton and Vinyl Fabric, Working Snaps
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 01/05/14


Working snaps in boots.




Adult Sized Hat
Fleece Fabric
Serged Seams
Completed 01/12/14

This was a custom order, woman supplied the original doll - Rachel - and I designed a pattern to use. Shared about the experience on my tooth fairy pillow tutorial.

Tooth Fairy Pillows
Cotton Fabric, Lace, Aida Fabric Faces
Machine Sewn
Completed 02/07-08/14








Needlebook
I Designed a Pattern to Use
Cotton Fabric, 1/4" Ribbon, Felt
Machine Sewn
Completed 02/09/14




Towel Toppers
Purchased Towel That Had Fabric Overlay
Cotton Fabric for the Top of Towel, Working Buttons
Serged Towel Edge Inserted into Topper, Machine Sewn
Completed 02/09/14




18" Doll Shirt, Pants and Shorts
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #5276
Cotton Fabric, Ric-Rack, Elastic, Working Pockets and Buttons
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 02/12/14



Close up of collar - Was happy with this one.  It was centered and it looked nice.



Pillowcases
Pattern - Missouri Star Quilt Company Tutorial
Cotton Fabric
Serged Seams
Completed 02/20/14



Towel Toppers
Cotton Fabric for the Top of Towel, Working Buttons
Serged Towel Edge Inserted into Topper, Machine Sewn
Completed 02/21/14


18" Doll Panties
Simplicity Sewing Pattern #5276
Jersey Knit Fabric, Rosettes, Elastic
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed 03/02-03/14


Pillowcases
Pattern - Pillowcase Tutorial on Missouri Star Quilt Company
Cotton Fabric, Serged Seams
Completed 2014
First Three Pillowcases Sewn for Veterans in Hospice
Fourth Pillowcase Shown Given to Neighbor






Caroline's May Faire Gown for 18" Doll
Designed by Kathy of Farmcookies (etsy shop)
Cotton Fabric, gimp trim and picot ribbon and buttons
Seams machine sewn and serged where able to
Completed 06/28/14

Teardrop Hat for 18" Doll
Designed by Diane Ethington of Ethington House
Cotton fabric, buckram and embellishments - feathers, ribbon trim and bows