Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hashtag Sewing and what's what

I haven't posted #sewing gems lately, so thought I'd bring you some today.

I agree! Moving a sewing machine is full of muscle building movement. Maybe we should move them around just for grins!
I responded to this one by reminding the Twitterverse that #Sewing is my cardio.

For me, it's all about the blouse making. More on that below.

Day Dreams Sewing had asked earlier what your favorite sewing machine was. I responded and she responded back. I mean it, too. If it dies, I'm getting another just like it!

Now, about that blouse. 

I've been working on a wearable art blouse in a block style for some time now. I've made blouses and boys/mens shirts galore over the years and never hesitated to get them done. There's something about this Kwik Sew pattern that has me stymied, though. The collar instructions are a little funky and the cuffs have me scared to proceed. I've never been this way with a pattern before! I need to get over myself and just finish the damned thing; it sits there cut and half constructed, taunting me. Maybe this is the week? Have you ever had a situation like this? Hard to believe I'm letting a lil ole pattern intimidate me!

On the other hand, I've finally adjusted a pattern to make myself pants that fit. It's amazing to not have the crotch hang down and the butt be baggy, and to have the rest of the pants fit right! Store-bought pants for women just don't have enough pocket space. My pants do! I adjusted the seat of the pants by taking the pattern up a bit; that way, the crotch fits front and back. I also adjusted the length ever so slightly to make up for the part I took up in the upper part of the pattern. Lastly, I took some of the width out of the legs to create a more modern style; they're not painted on, but they're also not super wide legged. Store-bought pants also sag and bag on me due to the shape of my body (long story short, abdomen!), and it's wonderful to have a pair of pants that fits. I have to nice pieces of denim to make jeans and have made a couple pair of these already. Who cares if they're all the same style? They fit like a glove. 

Sew on. It's that time of year when it's cooler and the machine makes one feel warm. 

In progress:

Cathedral Window quilt. 
Peter Max tote bags.
Slacks galore.
Tops with pieced inserts. 
Rock painting - hey wait, that's not sewing! My rock page on Pinterest

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Traipsing back & another bag

When my children were young, I made many of their clothes - shirts, shorts, dresses, vests, overalls, you name it. We were, as most couples are, young and pinching pennies, and there was a fabric store in town that was known for selling cheap and inexpensive fabrics. Since kids grow so fast, I shopped there often, especially their remnant table. For my boys, I had a particular shirt I liked to make for warmer weather and I wondered if the pattern were still available.

I scoured my brain and the internet both, looking for just the thing, and I found it. It made me smile because I also made my older son many pair of slacks from the same pattern. I have been saving some fire and rescue fabrics and decided to go ahead and buy the pattern to make a shirt or two out of it. And so I did!

I finished this shirt today. It's 100% cotton, so it may wrinkle a bit, but I hope some young man enjoys it.

Love the band on the sleeves. 

The pattern called for piping and a band on the pocket, but not this time. 

It was a trip down memory lane making this shirt and I think I just might have to do it again.

I had energy to burn today, so I made another Peter Max bag and put it on eBay.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sewing Peter Max fabric

I've collected vintage Peter Max fabric for quite some time. I had a lightweight piece cut to make a tote bag and finally got around to putting it together today. It's so scary cutting and then putting modern thread and machine to this 1970s fabric - What if I make a mis-cut? What if I stitch it crooked? What if ... ? But sometimes, you just have to do it. (I still have a piece of silk that my mother hand when I was a child; I'm not sure I'll ever cut that!)

So, here we have it, a simple tote with Peter Max face fabric.
You can see the face in the center. Or you can ignore the face and enjoy the artsy fartsy fabric.

On the reverse side, the face is looking the other day and the colors are a bit different.

I made sure to get a signature on both sides (toward the bottom, in the center). 

This bag was lined with a mottled yellow fabric and the pocket was made out of the original PM fabric. I always attach my little tag. It doesn't show because it's on the inside of the bag when all is said and done. 

I'll put this bag on eBay. I have a giant sized bag that I use for a swim tote.  I don't sell them all. One was passed along to an art group in Richmond. Here are a couple more I've blogged about:

Pink tote bag and pieced bag and others.

Whatever your passion, don't let it intimidate you. Dive in and sew to your heart's desire!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Halloween is coming

Time to start sewing for the creeps and goblins. 

I decided to embellish some hand towels with brain fabric I keep around. I've made and posted about making tote bags and potholders in the past, but wanted to try something different. As I had recently decorated some hand towels and wash cloth for a redecorated bathroom, I went with that - hand towels (new towels, of course). It could double as a kitchen towel, but that's up to the user, right? 

I used a smaller brain pattern and did not quilt the folds this time. I machine appliqu├ęd the brain and stitched on the accent piece. A friend commented on one of them, so she got one as a gift! I told her not to compliment my sewing unless she wanted one for herself. 

Also recently, I made another set of pumpkin placemats:

Then I cut up most of my Halloween fabric into 5" squares and sold them on eBay. I kept some of it for myself, of course, but it was time to let some of it go. I have yards and yards and yards and yards of it! You can't have enough fabric, right?

So, get your scissors out, go through your stash, and set your machine to whirring. Before you know it, it'll be Christmas and winter sewing time. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Last Cathedral Window update and other sewing stuff

I shared with you how I've started my last Cathedral Window quilt. I have all the fabric and years to do the hand sewing. I thought I'd share a couple of updated photos.

Pretty traditional design. I'm sewing what I can when I can and am putting no pressure on myself to get it done quickly.

Denim tote bags have been on my mind lately too, and there are a few ready to sell. I'm using up some old Grandmother Flower Garden flowers I made some time ago and have been saving.
As a fun addition, I used recycled blue jean pockets inside each bag, attached to the lining.  

Another bag design included using a wedge ruler to play with design and shades of blue. This one is much more striking in person. Again, there is a cotton lining and a recycled blue jean pocket inside.  

And if I didn't have enough recycled blue jean fabric sewing projects, I made a set of placemats. Patchwork denim with Grandmothers Flower Garden patch on one side and strip quilting with a cotton that I also used for binding on the other side.

And then there's painting. Not sure where I got this idea, but I did and here it is. Acrylic paint on a wooden plaque.

Keep sewing and creating. Let me know if I can help you learn something along the way!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Mike's Cathedral Window Quilt is done

I've been working on a lap quilt for my brother for a couple years. I finished it last week (and now I work on my last one as I mentioned in my previous post) and he came by today to retrieve it. He and his wife are both artists, so I played with ROYGBIV a lot for patterning. It's not your grandmother's Cathedral Window!
I used the primary colors for the frames and black for the windows. I've not seen it totally unfurled until this picture was taken. Me likie!

The back shows the ROYGBIV patterning a little better.

I think I might love this quilt. I was very proud to hand it over to him. I can't believe I finished it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Last Cathedral Window Quilt on My Planet

I've made Cathedral Window quilts, both small and not so small, before. I wrote instructions on how to make them. (You can see some of my earlier Cathedral Window quilts and see instructions here.) If you happen to use my instructions, I make them this exact way. The one I'm making now is starting with a 9" square of a kind of dark blue ivy fabric:

The blue is darker than shown in the photo. I will be making 670ish of these to make a queen cover. I have 555 to go. There are always more! My husband honestly described this type of quilt as "the most labor intensive" of anything I've done. I'm not sure that's true, but I'll take it!

Now why do I say this is the last one? I will be hand sewing for about 3 years or so on this, I'm sure. I'm 62 now and my hands are not what they used to be, so it'll be slow going. I'm sure I'll make other patterns of patchwork and quilting (I have too much denim not to), but I'm fairly certain this is the last of this particular breed. And I'm okay with that!

My in-progress sewing includes:

  • Jack-o-Lantern placemats. 
  • Two tunic tops for me.
  • A long skirt or two for the summer.
  • And then some..... 

I'll update the quilt over the days/weeks/months as it progresses.

What are you sewing?