Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Updating this and that

I updated the gallery of stuff I've made over the years. The link is to the right or you can click on the link here. Some of it may look familiar as I've been posting progress photos of items like Anna's and Alicia's quilts. The recent placemats photo uploaded are made with machine applique and strip quilting. You can find the placemat strip quilting tutorial in our links too.

Sometimes, I look back and go, "did I really make that?" Yup, I did.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hashtag Sewing

Good morning Twitter. Let's see what you have for us today! #Sewing
I agree with @lady_worm. Sometimes, we gotta keep that stuff to ourselves :)

@dotcomwoman offers a free pattern for a cool rag quilt. It couldn't be any easier to make from what I can tell. 

Speaking of free patterns, this is one for doll pants for your 16"-17" dolls. Love me a free pattern. Thanks to @chellywood1

Another quote I can relate to. @bellacraftsp has obviously done some real sewing. This is why my seam ripper is my most valuable sewing tool.

Fun tweets from sewing land. Share your own if you like :)




Friday, October 6, 2017

Hashtag Sewing 10/06/17

More from my favorite hashtag! #Sewing

@SewSarahSmith snitched this really cool cutter set from her husband. I have an Exacto knife that I use when making light switch covers. This kit, though, has a couple of handy blades that could be used for button holes. You can never have enough blades, right? 

 I'm loving @quiltingprofits daily quotes. It makes me feel better about my "creative mess."

Broken needles! Argh. I buy sewing machine needles in bulk for this very reason. Thanks for reminding me, @TheHomebirds, that I probably need more.


The sewing box that @VintiqueTree posted is exactly like the first one I ever had. I still have it, but the legs are gone. Alas, it's well loved. 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Egypt Play

I collected and made various props for The Egypt Play this summer. Included in stuff to make was a mummy. My good old children's clothing model (and my dog), pool noodles, and duct tape got me started.
An old mattress pad and more duct tape started the body formation. There are pillows in the body form and in the head. 
Lots of wrapping and a spray of tea and coffee for aging, and my buddy was done. I used 2 bottles of Elmer's glue too!

Crishawn and Rose had to have a picture with the mummy. Funny, I never named it. 
No mummy is complete without its mummified cat! You can see the cat on the stage in the picture below, just barely.  
This is the view of the stage when the "boat" was not yet a boat and the marketplace was set up. 
We needed puppets that depicted 20 Egyptian slave women. I chose to do them with batting, fabric, felt bodies, and gold bias binding. On the other side are the same women without their garb. Weathered hemp was used to hang them on a black rod. This is one of 3 rows of puppets on the rod that was finally used. 
I had to make a travel guide based on one from the 1880s, and this is now it started. Glue and clothes pins. Bottle 3 of Elmer's glue was opened for this one. 

There was more involved in the play than this (the Nile was represented by yards and yards of light blue sheer fabric), but this is pretty much the stuff that I made. I was on stage for this one dressed in black with a scarf around my head. You wouldn't have known it was me if I didn't tell you ahead of time. 

Theater!



Hashtag Sewing

Twitter sometimes costs me money, like today! #Sewing


I love this quote. I have it on my license plate holder. Thanks to @QuiltingProfits for posting it and reminding me! 

This pattern got me. I saw it and had to have it. Dang you, Twitter! Stop showing me things I want. 

That's it from the tweety box today!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hashtag Sewing

From time to time, I like to explore Twitter's #Sewing. I thought I'd share with you a few interesting finds:

@QuiltingProfits says it best. Sewing is definitely cheaper than therapy. It's my Zen even!

@MySewingBoxUK is having a 12 weeks of Stitchmas and I thought some of these projects were cute!

Lastly, @Haiti323Project is promoting their sewing classes. I love the intent look on the men's faces. 

Twitter can be fun sometimes! Check out #sewing or stop by here. You never know when I'm going to find interesting tweets to share.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Let there be music, or at least curtains for a musical classroom!

My friend, Jason, teaches music at a local elementary school. He texted me one day to ask if I could help make some curtains for his classroom. I asked him to take some pictures and show me what he needed.
These poor doors have had paper covering the windows for some years. Noooo, this will not do. 
This window by the front door had a black, blah, too long curtain and again, this just will not do.
Jason's first job was to buy some fabric. He also had some of this fabric in his stash and thankfully, with the bought fabric and the found fabric, it was just enough. And the print certainly goes with the theme of the room. Oops, pay no attention to the wayward thread on the fabric when I took the picture. 
Oh, "if you have any fabric left over, can you make a cover for my microwave?" Of course I can. This was made with some black fabric Jason had given me with strips of the music fabric that I had left over. It's kind of a wonky fit, but it looks good on the shelf! 
No more brown paper! 
The small panels turned out pretty much as I had hoped. They look much nicer than the brown paper. 
First fitting of the new curtain on one rod. Looks pretty good!  
Jason got his two rods and here's the final look of the insert curtain.  
Amazing things happen here - and the curtains look pretty amazing and on point. 
Another look from outside the classroom.

I hope Jason and his students can enjoy the look of the curtains for years to come. This was a simple, but satisfying project. I always like giving back to the schools. As a fun aside, I put the rod pocket on the wrong ends of the curtain by the door the first time and had to put new rod pockets on. For color and fun, I used a variegated rainbow color thread for accent and decorations on all the pieces. That also helped tie together the microwave cover with the curtains since I had to incorporate some black fabric. 

What's next? 






Anna and Brian quilt, now known as Catherine's quilt!

The quilt is done (May 28 - October 1, 2017). The baby's been born. Now to bring the two together. It's taken time as I've been working on a play and doing some other things, but here's the result and I hope they love it.

This is a 4x5 block log cabin design. The first fabric I chose was the train fabric, a nod to Catherine's father, Brian. I found muted ROYGBV fabrics at Joanns and created the log cabin around a 2" piece of the train fabric. 

I had plenty of the log cabins left when I was done, so decided to create a small pillow to go with the quilt. I fashioned a ruffle out of strips of fabric and there you go!
The back of the quilt, which was made quilt-as-you-go, is train fabric.  
Here's a closeup of the ROYGBV log cabin. I used 2 strips of each color, but all the prints are different. 
I created binding using the strips I had cut for the log cabin itself. I reinforced all the seams in the binding since the pieces are so small and I want it to hold up to as many washings as needed. Everything except the binding was machine stitched. I like to hand stitch the binding on a quilt. 
And the pillow. I added strips to an original log cabin until I had used each of the color designs twice. That made a nice size (about 12") pillow. But it needed a ruffle! I had plenty of strips left from the quilt itself to make a ruffle. For the log cabin side, I used train fabric.....
....and for the train fabric side, I used the ROYGBV strips. I think it looks pretty cute! 

I'll be seeing Anna soon and will deliver the quilt, pillow, and some other goodies in person. I'm excited to pass this along and hope Catherine drags it around the house, gets it dirty, loves it, and who knows what else with it. It's hers now. Welcome to the world Catherine Jenkins!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sewing room progress

We have been renewing/remodeling the house over the past several months. One of my projects has been to reclaim the sewing room. When I had to empty it, I made sure to divide fabric and "stuff" into keep, give away, and not sure piles. I have gotten organized before, but this time, am taking the opportunity to get organized and keep it that way!

After the carpet and painting was done, I bought two shelving units and tons of see-through plastic bins that snap easily (hands are aging and the old one were getting harder to open!). I got 18-gallon bins for most things, smaller for other things, and kept 4 of my large bins for things like junk jeans and bigger runs of fabric.

As of today, I'm about 85% done moving my sewing goodies back into the room. It's so organized that I almost can't stand it! I ended up with 2 large boxes of fabric to give to my friend.

One side of the room has my 2 desks for sewing machines. I'm talking to a furniture builder about making a custom desk. The size of the room is a limiting factor, but I do like the size of these desks. I'm used to it. I have a folding table stored on the opposite wall to use for cutting. The only down side of the whole space is that the ironing board is in the other room, but that's a small price to pay for a good sewing space. 

Example of the shelves. Everything is categorized and the bins are marked front and back. I have 2 quilt tops that are done on the top shelf; I need to send those out for quilting. I know I'm never going to do it myself. On the other side of the room, I have an old reliable bookshelf and another small set of wire shelves. We will use the small shelves for items that we'll need outside (this shelf is right by the sliding door to the back yard). 

I told my husband today that I'm ready to retire and get to sewing! The new space is making me really want to get going.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Anna and Brian quilt, take 3

I finished a row today. I feel pretty good about that! Four rows to go. The nice thing about quilt as you go is that the whole thing is pretty much done when you finish the rows.

I'm running out of train fabric! Thankfully, the person I bought it from on eBay had one more yard and I found a yard from another seller. Doesn't always seem to be that way? I underestimated how much it would take to make the foundation blocks. Thank you, eBay.

I may not finish this quilt before the baby shower (July 1). So, what I think is going to happen is I will take whatever is done to the shower and let Anna unwrap it, then bring it back home to finish it and mail to her when it's done.

More pictures as I get a little further along!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Anna and Brian quilt, take 2

I'm trying to work on this quilt every day so I have it ready for her baby shower on July 1. I'm determined to make it so!

I played with connecting the blocks today (quilt as you go) and I think it's going to look pretty cute.


The train fabric is going to connect the theme and I chose to use a wider sash than the logs in the log cabin. Yup. I think I love it.

I am going to bind the quilt with the ROYGBV fabrics somehow. I haven't figured that out yet. I think binding with the train fabric might be too much.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Anna and Brian's baby quilt

Brian is an engineer, so choosing a train theme was a no brainer. I wanted, though, to make sure the train fabric was suitable for either gender, not that anyone sticks to gender rules anymore! I found some fun train fabric and went to the fabric store to pick ROYGBV pastels.  Here's the first square; they'll all be the same, but with train fabric sashing around all four edges:


A simple log cabin style that will hold up to many washings. I can't wait to work on it some more!

Coming up

We've been redoing the interior of our house, including my sewing room (our formal dining room). I am currently moving my fabric and notions back into the sewing room. Before I put things back, I'm going through every single item and have purchased two sets of shelves and lots of storage bins (clear), and it'll be as organized as all get out when I'm done. I've ended up with a large amount of fabric I'm giving away, and I feel good about passing it along. Within the week, I want to be done getting set up. And then comes my list of sewing:


  • Western baby bibs using bandannas for applique decorations, similar to this one I made years ago. Two things have I have in abundance are denim and bandannas. 

  • Baby quilt for my daughter's best friend. This is their first child. Her husband is a train engineer. I have everything but the batting cut out for a cute little log cabin quilt.


  • Halloween placemats. I have a lot of ideas. Below is a set from the past. I'm not sure I'll duplicate this pattern, but I do have several Jack-o-Lanterns cut out already. (Here's my tutorial for making placemats of your own!)



  • Lastly, I want to make Christmas stockings to give away. I have some Hanukkah fabric as well. Who knows? I may make some of them. I also have some dachshund fabric to make bone shaped dog Christmas stockings. 

I've been working on some hand sewing during the transition, but I'm ready to get my hands on my sewing machines now!

What's on your agenda?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

On Golden Pond - It's all over now

The show closed Saturday night. I have to say it was some of the best theater I've been involved in thus far. A local reviewer also reviewed me! Go figure. The costumer never gets mentioned:

http://altdaily.com/local-review-on-golden-pond-by-the-williamsburg-players/

The costumes followed the months as they flowed in time on stage. From long sleeves to short sleeves, and subtle changes along the way helped with the passage of time. Charlie, the mailman, wore a pith helmet per the director's suggestions. I found images on the internet, printed them on fabric, and stitched the patches to two shirts (one long sleeved and one short sleeved). Norman, the husband of the couple at the center of the play, was envisioned as a crusty curmudgeon with casual clothes save for the one scene where he needed a tie. For that one, I took a long sleeve Oxford and cut it down to short sleeved. We picked out a bright, salmon colored tie. Ethel, the wife, was seen as someone who would wear button up shirts over tees. She did switch to overalls for her strawberry picking scene. I wanted a floppy hat, but that idea was shot down. Chelsea, the daughter, was dressed in travel casual dresses, and at the end, she wore one of her own skirts and top. I saw the skirt on her at a rehearsal and it was perfect for her at-home wear toward the end of the show.

Bill, Chelsea's shy, dentist boyfriend, was seen to wear an Oxford shirt and tie. He was such a buttoned up character! I put him in a polo shirt for the end scene. Billy, Bill's son, basically wore his down clothes save for the fishing vest and hat I procured. I did have him scruff up his hair to look a bit more rambunctious. The telephone operator dressed herself. She also worked back stage, so hers was an outfit that needed to transition to black backstage wear easily.

Bill, Chelsea, Ethel, on meeting Bill.  

Billy going fishing. 

Better view of Billy's fishing vest.

Charlie and Ethel on porch. 

Charlie's short sleeve shirt. Ethel wore a different robe for the show that we had embellished to look like a frumpy, but strong woman's robe with ruffles. 

Meeting Billy. 

Chelsea's second look. The dress was hanging in the wardrobe rooms unfinished. I finished it and put the label in the front instead of the back. Oh well!

Norman's second shirt. A little warmer now, sleeves rolled up. 

Ethel's first outfit. 

Ethel's last outfit.

Bill ended up in a polo shirt at the end, not this button down shirt. 

Curtain call. Norman wore a dark blue windbreaker for the show and again, Bill wore a polo, not a button down. 

Norman's fishing outfit. Again, I took a long sleeved shirt out of wardrobe and cut it down to short sleeved.

Norman and Billy getting ready to go fishing, from the wings on a show night. 

I didn't really "make" any costumes for the show, but I altered a lot of what I picked out. I'm still not sure whether I like costuming or not, but for this show, I did!

I hope to work with this director again next season. We'll see!