Monday, November 28, 2011

This week's sewing club = Aprons!! and a little sewing on my own.

This Saturday, our little sewing club met for its second class. This time after spending some time oohing and aaahing over the one gal's brand spanking new Janome (an early Christmas present from her parents), we spent some time learning how to wind a bobbin, insert it, and thread our machines. Then we chopped up some Mens cotton dress shirts (from Goodwill) and repurposed them into : Aprons !! We almost got done. Just the pocket to go, so we'll add that to next class. Then we took a road trip to the fabric store. Each girl chose her favourite bolt of flannel for pyjama pants. Once everyone was hugging a bolt - literally- we went to the cutting table, then chose thread, then they got to go home. We're meeting again this weekend to get back on schedule. The topic this week is zippers. We'll make a zippered pouch. This way they each have time to prewash and dry their flannel fabric in time for the next class which will be reading a pattern, and starting on our flannel pants.

My sewing time this week was spent finishing up the banners for the church. I also brought my first 3 purses to RedBird Designs for sale. I figured I'd better bring some in to see if the styles were what she was looking for before I had 5 or 6 done. She loved them so that felt good :)
Tonight I worked on a new bag pattern and made the first prototype. Of course, I forgot to get a longer zipper, so I improvised and used two small ones head to head. I kind of like it!
This purse is fully lined with one interior pocket. The front and back are upholstery weight fabric and the piping is made from another swatch of similar colour. Once I had the bag made I felt it needed a more substantial handle than a single webbing strap so I stitched two together. Once I added the strap, I then wrapped the joining area with another piece of webbing (to disguise a few boo boos). Then got out the FrayCheck and dabbed any remaining frayables.
I like this one. I think I'll have to use this pattern again = but I have to do some tweaking on the ends of the zipper where it meets the handle. We won't discuss how many needles I broke attaching the handle.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Freemotion Quilting Challenge

This is a year long, monthly tutorial for freemotion quilting. I am so excited to join because we all know you never stop learning - right? Learning new things keep you young and who doesn't like that.
Stop on the button on the left to check it out - and sign up today!

Friday, November 18, 2011

FNSI Results

Tonight's project was continuing to work on some banners that my church asked me to make into quilts. The design was already made, I just needed to interpret it into fabric.
I had decided that this would need to be out of a fabric with more character than quilting cotton, and after looking at some options, like upholstery cottons and the like, found them to be way, way out of the budget range.
So I went back to the fabric store for another look and happened upon the bridal satin area. Eureka. That was the solution. At $22/meter, that was far better than the $60+ that the other was.
The colours were available too, so then it was just the technique that had to be ironed out. I decided on reverse applique for the logo, and had the lettering done by a local embroidering company.
Once that was done, it was time to play. I found working on satin very soothing. It catches the light and plays with it while you're working with it and it slides through the machine easily. Then there is the tactile sensation of working with its silky texture, that is just amazing.
I used a freemotion design I saw on Leah Day's site. She is an amazing quilt guru. I follow her blog daily.
So swirling water it would be, somewhat symbolic, as water is used for baptism into new life, and this banner is in honour of a renewal, or "rebirth" of our congregation.
I soaked the quilt and blocked it by stapling it to a frame of 1"x2" bars. When it is dry, I'll be able to square it up and bind it.
So, without further adieu, Here is the Bethel Renewal Banner.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

eBook reader cover-more playing with Jay McColl's "Habitat"

I had more of Jay McColl's "Habitat" fabric, so I just had to play. I made a new eBook cover for my Kobo Touch. Since the last one was denim, this time I made it girly. I don't get to do pink and lace very often since I'm the only girl in my house of a boy and 2 men.
So here goes.
First cut a panel of light cardboard twice the size of your eBook, adding an extra inch and a half to the longer side.
Cut one panel each of the front and inside fabric, the size of the cardboard plus a half inch seam allowance on all sides.
Cut one strip of contrast fabric 3" wide by the length of the other panels.
Cut one strip of outside fabric 2" wide and 3" longer than the contrast fabric.
You need about 12" of lace,
cut a 1" square of hook and loop tape (both parts) and a small piece about 1/4" wide.

Place the eReader on one end of the cardboard, 1/2" from the end. Mark this line on the cardboard. Do the same thing from the other end. You should now have a long rectangle with two lines across the middle. Score the lines and fold the cardboard along those lines, lay flat again and set aside.

Take the contrast fabric strip and fold under 1/4" along each long edge and press.
Place it centered on the right side across the length of the outside fabric and topstitch in place.
Take the strip of outer fabric and again press over 1/4" along each length. Center it on the contrast fabric, leaving the extra length extending out one side. Top stitch in place leaving the 1/2" seam allowance on the tab end free.
On the front of the fabric, stitch one part of the Velcro onto the center strip , 1/2" in from the edge without the extending piece.
Fold over the extending piece so the raw edge reaches 1" over the edge of that side of fabric. Mark the place for the other piece of Velcro and sew it only to the inside layer of the flap. Add decorative stitching at this point. Set aside.

On the right side of the inner fabric, center the eBook onto the right side, leaving 3/4" in from the right edge. Mark the top sides, 1" down from the top, and mark the top center. Mark the bottom sides 1" up from the bottom and the center bottom.
Taking one piece of lace, stitch the end (bar tack) to one mark on the top sides, measure it to the top center and add 3/4", then stitch it down at the top center mark, measure the same length and stitch that end to the mark on the other side of the top.
On the bottom, take a piece of lace 1" longer than the one you used on the top. Fold it in half and stitch one of the small pieces of Velcro to it so it sticks out like a tab. Now stitch the left and right ends to the left and right bottom marks the same way you did the top loops. Insert the eBook so the top corners go under the lace corners.

Top Bottom
Pull the bottom lace up over the bottom edge of the reader. Fold the lace down over the corners so it is similar to the top corners and mark the place underneath where the Velcro will meet. Set aside the eBook and stitch the other part of the Velcro at that spot.
Place the outer fabric and the inner fabric right sides together and stitch the 1/2" seam allowance around 3 sides. Be careful not to catch the Velcro piece in the side seam, and leave the end with the extending flap open.
Trim the corners, turn right side out and press.
Slide the cardboard into the pouch making sure the inside seam allowance stays flat and on one side of the cardboard so it doesn't bunch up.
On the open edge, fold in the seam allowance, folding the raw edge of the flap into the opening so it catches in the seam, leaving the rest of the flap extending out. Top stitch this opening closed.
Insert the eBook into the top lace loops and so the bottom of the reader is under the

bottom lace loop. Fold the lace over the bottom corners and secure the center piece of Velcro under the reader to the piece underneath. Fold over the cover and secure the Velcro flap.

Now, go read a book :)

Jane Burke, Inspirational speaker and quilter!

All I can say is "breathtaking." Yesterday morning, I went with my senior quilting buddies to see and hear a presentation by Jane Burke of Oakville, Ontario.
She presented her life story, with its ups and downs, through the story of her quilts. Wow. First she's a wonderful, warm, exuberant lady. She is so easy to listen to that 2 hours flew by. She has had several trials in her life, not the least of which is coping with her husband having Parkinson's Disease. She could have shriveled up from the world and withered away, but instead expressed the stages of her life in her art.
Born of missionary parents, and then serving herself, she has seen an amazing amount of this earth. Her spirit is amazing.
Then you see her quilts. She loves colour and it shows in her quilts. She shows the triumph and the pain in the designs. God has given her an amazing talent.
One particular quilt was "The colour wheel". Yes, it looked like a colour wheel, but as she told us about God being the potter and we are the clay, she showed us the back ground of brown tones representing the clay. Then showed how each "block" of colour was really a pitcher with handle and rounded body, with liquid showing at the brim of the complementary colour from across the wheel. She told us how it represented harmony in this world and how she thought she was feeling at the time.
But then she turned it around to show us the back. It used the same wonerful colours, but this time it was in a pattern called "Broken dishes." "This is how I really felt inside" is what she said.
Later she showed us another quilt, "The gift." She told us how it had been a block challenge - pieces of fabric in a kit with instructions to use the theme "the gift." She interpreted the gift as that which we received through Jesus.
She showed how the cross through the middle was Jesus' cross, the center trapunto "ball" was the earth. Then, if you looked close enough, you could see the shape of the Christmas tree - representing Jesus' birth a Christmas. Breathtaking. But there was more.
When she took "The Gift" and held it in front of "Broken Dishes", it fit exactly over the center, covering all the brokenness . She had not measured, nor planned it that way. But it happened. I wish I could post photos, but since I didn't ask permission, I can't. But I will say, if you ever have a chance to hear her, go. It will be a spiritual event in your life.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Sewing Club

Some of my son's classmates have been bugging their moms to teach them to sew. The problem is, many of the moms don't sew. Home Ec is not offered in grade school anymore (in my day it was compulsory in grades 7 and 8). 4H clubs are hard to come by too.
So I thought about starting up a sewing club. I had several "maybe" replies and three that confirmed. So we had our first 'meeting' on Saturday.
Two girls brought machines, one we couldn't get to work.
The third didn't have one, so a couple of my machines pitched in.
This way we had 1 mechanical machine with a drop in bobbin, 1 mechanical machine with a side entry bobbin (my Featherweight) and one computerized machine (my older Janome). The girls got to play with all three.
Once they could sew a straight line on lined paper, they moved up to curvy lines. Once they passed that, we went for my stash to get some fabric for tote bags. The girls were amazed at my stash!! They each got to pick out the fabric for their tote bag. I helped them cut the piece 80 cm square with scissors. Then introduced them to the rotary cutter for cutting the piece for the straps.
They folded the large square in half, right sides together and stitched around the outside 3 sides, leaving a 10 cm space at the end to turn it right side out. Once it was right side out, they stitched the opening closed and pushed one half into the other half to make the bag. Using a piece 60 cm long and 10 cm wide, I had them press it in half lengthwise, then fold each half in again so it ended up four thicknesses with the raw edges inside. They topstitched this length on both sides and then cut it in half to make two straps. They sewed the straps onto the top of the bag and then folded them into the upright position and topstitched around the whole top of the bag. That's it. The bags were done, we were on time (2 hours) and the girls were ecstatic at what they had made. We all had a lot of fun, and I think we've started 3 girls onto the great hobby of sewing!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Checkbook wallet and PINK Bobbins!

Yeah! More playing with fabric. In this case (and the
coupon wallet) I'm playing with Jay McColl's line called "Habitat" combined with some Kona solids.

I used a similar technique to the coupon wallet but started first with stitching the accent stripe of Habitat to the orange outer fabric.
Then I made a pocket in the front center section to hold a checkbook.

Then added a little flap because I use duplicate checks, so this prevents the copy of one imprinting the next copy. It's just two layers of fabric fused together and cut to size. No special finishing needed to the raw edges because the 'glue' also prevents fraying.

I added a zipper to two of the inner flaps to make it a coin purse. This involved a bit of creativity to get it in place, but it finally worked.

The last fold is a pocket for bills. You know, the $50's and $100's that never come to visit me. :)

And finally = the front and back views. Now I'll have no problem finding my checkbook in my purse.

When I was in my local Janome dealer today, they had these cute little boxes of pink bobbins. I don't know if they're a pink product for breast cancer awareness or not, but they had to come home with me. Now I'll be able to tell my 'good' bobbins from the cheapos that also inhabit my space.

That's it for now. Got to go bug my DS to get his homework done.