Monday, September 26, 2016

The Sewing Machine Saga

Sew, I've been wanting a sewing machine so much! You have heard the story up to the point of me expecting to get a 560 within a few days..


I got another call from the dealer - the lady with the machine needed to use it for another week, then she would trade it in.  Aargh, OK. At the end of that week after I had already left my house and was on my way to pick it up he calls me again to tell me that she went out of town and would be gone for a week. Seriously?

Then I get a call from his assistant and she tells me that they aren't sure when this woman is going to trade in the machine, and I'm thinking of all this wasted time that they could have been shipping one from somewhere - AAAHHH! So I call the dealer on his cell phone to see what we should do about this. He apparently was unaware of this latest development and called me back to say he would have it for sure in a week. I have my fingers crossed AND I'm holding my breath now...

So the next week he finally calls me and says it is there, ready for me to come and pick up! I have to wait until the next day because Roy was busy that day, and I try really hard to not drive here, it's crazy! The Big Day finally arrives!! We go to pick up the machine, and he has a woman there to help me become familiar with the machine. As she is showing how to change the bobbin I can see this big blob of lint in there. I stick out a fingernail to snag it and a HUGE glob of lint follows! Excuse me? They were supposed to make sure all was well with the machine and clean and oil it...  So, I refuse to take the machine because I want it serviced before I take it home!

I was not a happy customer by this time. He threw in 3 spools of thread to make it up to me. Yep. 3 spools. yippee.

The dealer promised to clean it and oil it and he would deliver it to me the next day... and he did. Whew! I have the machine! Wahoo!

I looked EXACTLY like this when I walked in with it, well maybe a little older.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sewing in Jerusalem - or trying to...

Well, I've been looking for a sewing machine almost since the moment we arrived on August 6th and I still don't have my own machine!

Shopping here is so different.  There are two sewing machine stores in Jerusalem - a city with about 850,000 people in it.  When I drive to Idaho Falls, a small town by comparison (55,000) there are three stores, they each have many new machines and are ready to send three home with you at any given moment!

The first store I went to here did not have a single new machine in the store, and it was pretty dirty. They said they could get some from the warehouse, but it was a brand I don't have confidence in. All they had was worn out, used machines. I don't have anything against used machines, if they have been maintained and work like they should...

The second store I went to was cluttered, but clean.  They had several new machines, but they were all the basic models, not the ones with the bells and whistles I have become used to and now feel are necessities!  I need to have a walking foot, needle down, needle threader, thread cutter...

The second store sold Berninas, so I decided to go with one of those, even though I haven't been able to sew on it yet. I asked them to order me a 550.  He called me back the next day and said they don't make those anymore, but he would get me a 560, I said great! Then he said it would take 3 weeks. Aaah! OK, order it! Then he called me back a few days later and said he had sold one to a customer two months ago, and she was willing to sell me her machine for a low price. I suspect he has talked her into something from the 800 series. "The machine is basically new!" he says. And, I can have it right away, he will honor the warranty and all that good stuff. I decide to go with it, and here I am still waiting.

They did give me a loaner machine so I can at least be sewing. Of course, I'm not paying for it until I run that machine through it's paces! I'll do some free motion quilting, a buttonhole, decorative stitches and anything else I can think of to make sure it really is as good as new. I even looked up how I can check to see how many stitches it has sewn, just to make sure it really is barely used.

I'll report back and let you know, I'm hoping I will have it in the next few days...

Meanwhile, here's something to smile about:

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tone It Down Quilt

My Amazing Quilting Friend friend got several of my other quilting friends together and we made the "Tone It Down" Quilt, you can find more information about this quilt here.  It was a quilt along with American Patchwork & Quilting. I don't know why I didn't get pictures of all of our quilts, they all looked so different, even though we were using the same pattern!

I've been thinking that little by little I'm going to make queen sized quilts for each of my children, and someday I will give them each a quilt. As I began to choose the fabric for my quilt, my husband very gently told me that all my quilts look "girly" and my sons might not be as thrilled as I hoped :(

So I changed up what I was planning, and in my opinion this is a very manly looking quilt! Blue background, brown sashing...  But I have to say I don't love it as much as I would have liked a more girly one!

I do like it though. I laid it out over the quilt on my bed to take this picture. I still plan to put a border around it, and I'm doing red and black polka dots because I like them! I have that fabric in the red Xs, and it is one of my all time favorite fabrics, I am sure to learn to love this quilt once that happens!

But, the border is going to have to wait. For two years. Argh. I'm in the middle of packing up and next week we are off to Jerusalem for a two year stint. My hubby is going to be an administrator at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.

You may wonder what I am going to do -- I was wondering that too, until I gave him my terms :)  I am getting a new sewing machine when we get there, and I sent over a suitcase full of fabric with him when he went for training last April. It has all the fabric for a quilt I'm super excited about, and more fabric and some patterns. It is just sitting there waiting for me - I even cut out all the pieces for the blocks, and have them in ziplock bags - I CAN'T WAIT!  I decided I will make quilt tops while we are there, but I won't quilt any of them, it would take up too much suitcase room when we come home.

Just so you can see what I'm going to do, I'm making this quilt that I have fallen in love with! I saw this on Pinterest and knew it was the quilt I had been looking for all of my life. Tracking down the pattern took a lot of time, and then the pattern cost more than I have ever paid for a pattern in my life - I haven't even paid that much for a book full of patterns! But, I'm gonna have this quilt someday!

My next blog post will be from Jerusalem - Shalom!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Embroidered towels for tots!

I went to visit my grandchildren who live across the country, and while we were there we went to Cape Cod to spend some time on the beach! I decided to embroider some towels for the kids to take to the beach. When I got done with the towels I thought they looked so great, I wanted to do some matching T shirts...  I probably would have embroidered some underwear too, but we had to leave  :)

This towel is an unusual color, don't you think? If you want a towel this color, buy a yellow towel and a blue towel, and wash them together. Ack, I really know better than that, but I was in a hurry. I used cold water and crossed my fingers, but obviously that didn't work. I thought about washing the T shirt with the blue towel, so they would match, but decided I couldn't guarantee the results. Oh well, my grandson didn't seem to notice!

In case you want to know, these adorable little creatures came from the Embroidery Library.

I didn't embroider a T shirt for Paige, her little shirts are so small I was afraid that if I shrunk the design to fit, it would not turn out well. 

And here are two adorable boys who were happy to model their new shirts! I love it when children are this age and they love everything you make for them! I do know the day will come when that won't be the case, but I will enjoy it as long as I can :)

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Curtains for a Sewing Room

I moved my sewing room to a larger room in our house :) !!! I LOVE having more space, and I am much more comfortable in there, able to spread out and make a bigger mess, I guess! This room has two windows, instead of one, like my old sewing room. I looked around online and saw that someone had put quilt blocks into a curtain, and I decided that was perfect! I got out my orphan block collection, chose some blocks and made a couple more so there would be enough, and here are the results!

In this picture you can see some of the mess I was talking about, ha ha! I couldn't back up enough to get both windows entirely in the picture, but this gives you an idea.

And here is a closer look. Of course, I had to put red and white polka dots in my curtain ya know! I love how they turned out, and this time I am older and wiser than when I made my last sewing room curtains - I'm OK with the wiser part. Anyhoo, I put the left over fabric and some measurements and directions in a ziplock bag, just in case I someday get an even BIGGER sewing room, and have THREE windows. Do you think that might happen??

Have a happy day!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Method for Rotary Cutting Strips

I was working on a quilt the other day, and thought I would share what I do when I'm cutting small pieces off a long strip.

I went down to the hardware store a while back and bought the heaviest washers I could find, and I use them for weights. I use them on tissue patterns so I can cut with my rotary cutter.  I also use them to keep my long strips in place while I make my cuts.

It keeps me from having to readjust the strips each time, and I feel like it gets me a more accurate cut.

I even off the beginning, then just move the weights as I get to them. It's amazing how many helpful little things actually come from the hardware store instead of a quilt shop!

Have a happy day!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Crocheted Slippers

I don't know how to crochet, but my daughter spends all of her spare hours making things!  I wanted to show you what she made us. She used up all of her leftover yarn on her own slippers, so they don't match, silly girl!

Mine are the red ones (of course!).

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sewing machine accessory you need!

Does your machine have this feature?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Quilts = Money $$

That doesn't even include the cost of sewing machines, rotary cutters and mats, scissors, rulers, patterns and snacks! I've got a fortune stashed away in my stacks of quilts :)

My net worth just increased by an impressive amount!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Red Gingham Curtains

The other day I took down my kitchen curtains and discovered that they were really looking sad. Then I started trying to remember when I made them - uh - how embarrassing, I think they are 15 years old or something. I do sometimes wonder about myself :)

So, here are my new kitchen curtains! I like red, I like the country look of gingham, so perfect for my kitchen, and sooo much better than my old dusty faded ones!

Ha ha, I can see my hubby's reflection in the picture. He didn't realize he was posing for me in his pajamas!

Since my kitchen has an apple theme, I embroidered apples along the border. I had no idea it would take so long - 4 hours! I like how they look, but I'm sure there is a way I could have done more quickly, but once I got going I just decided to continue. Oh well, done now!

Have a happy day!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cute Baby Headband Bows

Since I now have two granddaughters, I am enjoying making little girly things for them!  I found a free and easy and cute (SCORE!) pattern online for these bows! HERE is the pattern.

I use fold over elastic to go around their head, and glue the bows on, or just wrap some of the elastic around to cover up the place where the two ends meet. Quick and easy, but so darling!
Don't you agree?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Purse/Tote tutorial

I like purses! I like looking at purses in stores. I like making purses and I like hoarding purses in my closet! :)

I made myself a purse/tote, and used one that I really like the shape and size of to make my pattern. I like it so much, that I'm sure sometime I will want to make another one, so, I'm making a tutorial so that I won't have to figure it all out again! If you want to make one you are welcome to use it too. My thanks to clever people on line who provide tutorials that I give links to!

This is the bag that I really like, so I decided to use it as my model, only with more pockets. It has one zipper pocket inside, and a pocket that my sunglasses will fit in. My Ipad fits in just right, along with misc. stuff!

To make this you will need:

1 yard of outer fabric
1 yard of lining fabric
1 yard of fusilbe interfacing
One 7 inch zipper that matches lining
1 yard thin cord to make piping (if desired)
1 yard thick cord for handles

Begin by cutting out all of your pieces, a quick job with your rotary cutter!  ** All measurements are in inches, seams are 1/4 inch unless otherwise noted.

From outer fabric cut:
2 - 15 1/2  X  11 1/2  (front and back base pieces)
1 - 9 1/2  X  4 1/2  (bottom), round corners
2 - 4 1/2  X  11 1/2 (side fronts)
1 - 8 1/2  X  8  (front center outside pocket)

Front lining fabric cut:
2 - 15 1/2  X  11 1/2  (main front and back lining)
1 - 9 1/2  X  4 1/2  (bottom lining), round corners as you did the outer fabric bottom.
2 - 13  X  6 1/2  (for inside pockets)
1 - 8 1/2  X  8  1/2  (to line outside pocket)
1 - 8  X  14  (inside zipper pocket)
1 - 2 1/2  X  width of fabric (for piping)

From fusible interfacing cut:
2 - 15 1/2  X  11 1/2, fuse to front and bake base pieces.
1 -  9 1/2  X  4 1/2, round corners, fuse to bottom piece.
2 - 6 1/2  X  6 1/2, fuse to each pocket so half is covered by interfacing.
1 - 8 1/2 X  8, fuse to front outside pocket

Front Outside Pocket
With right sides together, sew top of front outside pocket to outside pocket lining with a 1/4" seam
allowance.  Press lining up, the over top edge of of pocket so there is 1/4" of lining showing on right side of pocket.

Center pocket to to lower edge of front base piece. Baste pocket piece to front base piece along sides and bottom edge.

Take front side pieces and put them right side down on the front base piece, ling raw edges with raw edge of pocket. Sew 1/2 seam and press to sides.  Baste sides and bottom to front base piece. You should have a nice looking front pocket! Now sew the front and back purse pieces together at the side seams using a 1/2 inch seam.

Lining Pockets

 If you would like to install a nice zipper pocket, there is a great tutorial HERE. For the other inside pockets, take your two pocket pieces, fold them in half along the top edge of the interfacing you already fused. Sew down each short side of the pocket, turn right side out and press.
Now play around with how wide you will need the pockets. Are you going to put your sunglasses in one? Your wallet? What might you store in the pockets? Once you know the sizes you will need, decide if you want to put pleats in the bottom to accommodate your items, and add pleats accordingly. Sorry this is kind of vague, but if I give you measurements you will have to put the same things in your pockets that I do...  :) To make the pleats I just pinched what I needed, and sewed them 1/2 inch up the bottom edge, backstitch to keep them from coming out.

The opening of your pocket is going to be about 4 inches down from the top of your lining, but you want to sew the bottom of the pocket down first, so the raw edge is at the bottom, inside of your pocket. Put the pocket face down 8 1/2 inches down from the top edge of lining. Sew across bottom edge only. Now flip the pocket up, and sew pocket to lining, stitching close to the side edges of your pocket. Backstitch at both ends. Sew front and back lining pieces together at sides, leaving an 8 inch opening in the middle of one side to use later for turning your purse right side out.

I also installed an inside slip pocket in front of the zipper pocket Just install the pocket the same as above, but no pleats. I sewed up two dividing lines in the pocket (but don't sew those lines through your zipper pocket, flip it out of the way!).

Attach Purse Bottom

Make sure you have rounded the corners on the bottom outside and lining pieces. Turn outside of purse wrong side out. Matching center front and backs, right sides together, pin purse bottom around the lower edge of your purse front and back. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures... When you get to the corners, pinch little pleats into the outside purse edge, pin, and baste around the bottom with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. It takes a little fiddling to get it all right. Once you have it the way you like it, sew over basting stitches. Attach the lining bottom to the lining in the same manner.

Finish Purse

If you would like to put piping around the top of your purse there is a great tutorial for making piping right HERE.  Baste the piping to the top edge of the purse, matching raw edges, piping edge facing down.

Now you need to make the handles.There are many different kinds of handles you can make, I used the one HERE. Baste handles on to the top edge of outer purse.

With the outer purse WRONG side out and the lining RIGHT
side out, slide the lining inside the purse. Sandwich the piping (which you have basted to the outside fabric) and the purse handles in the middle of the lining and outside fabric, sew completely around upper edge of purse, making sure you only catch the edges of the handle in the seam, you may need to pin the rest of the handle out of the way.

You are almost done! Now you are going to turn the purse right side out, using the opening you left in the side seam of the lining. It's a bit of a a squeeze, be careful if your handles are pinned inside somewhere, the pins are sharp (ask me how I know...).

Now close up that seam in the lining...

and topstitch around the top and you are done!

Now look at this perfect purse/tote/whatever!

I put some additional little do-dads like a magnetic snap and some purse feet...but this tutorial is long enough! There are loads of tutorials on line if you want to do that! I'm lovin' my purse!

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