Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Something different

Sometimes, I think I have too much time on my hands, but then I think again and decide I have just enough time. No time, no sew.

As some of you may know, I have diabetes. I have to check my blood sugar a lot. I have a box I've been using for about a year. It contains my 'works' - blood sugar meter, alcohol thingies, pokey thingie, and some extra needles for the pokey thingie. All very technical. I got tired of looking at the black box yesterday. And then I remembered some special fabric I have that's just over-the-top enough to work as a cover.

The lighting is a little off, but you can tell it's my blood spatter fabric. I had some left over from a  placemat project and you know I couldn't let it go to waste. It pained me to toss the smidgen I had after covering this box!

Box covering is pretty simple. There are tons of sites that give step by step instructions, so I won't really repeat it all here. Basically, I cut the fabric a bit larger than  needed to cover and fold into the inside. I applied Mod Podge to the box and spread out the fabric with my hands, smushing out air pockets as I went. I let the top dry before tackling the sides. When doing the sides, I pretty much worked with the fabric like I would wrapping paper, again using Mod Podge on the box to hold the fabric permanently. I put a little inside for the folded over fabric. The tool I use to hold everything in place while the Mod Podge dries is the lowly plastic clothespin. Wooden ones stick too tight and are hard to get off. I used clothespins all the way around and turned the whole mess over so that the clothespins were the feet of my little blood spatter table until it dried. 

It's not beautiful, but it's ironic and unique. And I would guess you could say it's me. Not all scrap stitching has to involve stitching! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The smallest of things put a kink in my sewing day!

This is driving me crazy.

I helped my daughter with a school project. We did some color blocking on a tee shirt. She did the design and the planning, and I did the sewing. We both did cutting. Along the way, I needed 1" strips, so grabbed my handy dandy 1" x 6" Omnigrid ruler.

You probably have one or something like it that you use often. I have a 2" ruler, a 4" ruler, a 6" ruler (all widths); a curved corner template; wedge rulers; diamond rulers; 4" square ruler; and others. Each is used from time to time, often enough that if one disappears, it's the one I need right now.

Okay, back to the school project. I've taken to cleaning up after a project or cut out immediately so I don't have to face the mess in the morning. If I leave it too long, it becomes invisible and just lives wherever I left it. I know I'm the only one who does that, right? I gathered up scraps of fabric, papers bias tape, and other remnants of goodies left on my table. 

The next morning, I went to grab my 1" x 6 " handy dandy Omnigrid ruler and it wasn't where it is supposed to live! Argh. I made do with what I had on hand - a sort of 1" wide ruler. It wasn't the same. The wooden substitute was a bit wider than an inch and I had to eyeball the correction. It was probably 1/16" inch too wide. 

Then the "woe is me" set in. My handy dandy 1" x 6" Omnigrid ruler was gone. I don't know if I threw it away with the fabric scraps from the school project or if it was hidden behind something, but it's nowhere I can find it; that's for sure. 

God forbid I cut a thick piece of cardboard an inch wide. That just wouldn't do. 

It's a small piece of my sewing arsenal, but man, it is missed. It's like my last Clover seam ripper took a walk. I can't sew without that little gem being handy, even if I don't use it. I have 3 spares!

As I continued to obsess about my 1" x 6 " handy dandy Omnigrid ruler's disappearance, I decided it was time to fix this dilemma. Guess what I ordered this morning? I'm going to chain it to my table. And I will never do a school project with my 30-year-old daughter ever again. I'm sure there's a way to turn this around and make it her fault. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Scrap Stitching Wordle - Take 3

The last time I did a Wordle for Scrap Stitching, it looked like this - click.

The second time I did one, it looked like this - click.

I thought it was time to do another one today and see if it changed:

Wordle: Take 2

(Click on the graphic to see it better.)

I think the predominant word is sewing, don't you?

Update 01/30/18 - Looks like the Wordle links don't work anymore, which is sadness! They were fun graphics. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

September is National Sewing Month

Hop on over to for a bunch of ideas and inspiration or visit some of our favorite sites in the links over there on the right, try one of our projects or search this blog for projects and tutorials, and scoot over to Pinterest and see what others are sewing. You might even consider teaching someone else how to sew. With that in mind, here's an update to an article I wrote many years ago for, when I was doing community work for them.

Learning to sew can be fun and rewarding, but start small and work your way up. I've never been sorry that I caught the "sewing bug". 

The first stop is your public library. The Dewey Decimal System for sewing-related items in the nonfiction section of your library is here:

    640 Home economics & family living
    646 Sewing, clothing, personal living 

I have found that the children's section of the library is a good place to look for sewing books for beginners. Do a couple of the truly easy projects (no one has to know!) and then move on to something more "complicated" like a garment.

Browse through the stacks of sewing books. Some are great and others are lame, but there's sure to be one or two that suit your needs. Singer has a great set of sewing books, and the Reader's Digest sewing book is good for beginners. I've found "how to sew" books on eBay and at yard sales, so you don't have to spend a lot of money. As well, most pattern companies (Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, McCall's, to name a few) have basic sewing instruction books, and there is a Sewing for Dummies and a Sewing for Idiots, both aimed at beginners. If you're interested in buying any of the books you see, you'll at least have a good preview by borrowing them from the library first!

Fabric stores often offer classes. Find a reputable fabric store in your area and see if they offer craft or sewing instruction. Even if they don't, they may know someone who does. Check the bulletin boards at the store. Another place to check is your yellow page directory. Sometimes you can find instructors there. Check with your local Extension Agency or 4-H, if they are available to you. Again, the phone book is of great help in this respect.

If there is a sewing machine dealer in your area, check with them. They may already offer classes for the general public. If they don't you can suggest it to them! Some public school systems and community colleges offer community education classes for adults.

Consider looking for an on- or off-line mentor. Other people who sew at church, sewing associations, quilt guilds, online communities, newsgroups, email groups - all good possibilities for mentors.

What has changed since then? There are so many sites on line with how-to information, including this one. Google is your friend and with a few keystrokes, you can find pretty much anything you want to know on the web. Nothing substitutes for having the human interaction, and that's something we can do for others.

Recently, I was working with my 30-year-old daughter on a graduate school art project which involved sewing. I followed her design lead, she did the cutting, color choices, etc., and I did the sewing. At one point, as she was cutting, she looked at me and said, "I have a whole new respect for what you do, mom!" It was a great moment!

Happy National Sewing Month everyone. Make it a good one.