Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yay! Snow!

Before you shoot me, let me explain. I used to ski, a lot, before the arthritis put an end to it. When you're a skier, your whole attitude about snow and winter is different than the general population. A skier is trying on their gear in October in preparation for the season. So, this skier may be off the hill, but the attitude is still in my heart.
With that said, "Yes! Finally there is snow!" To top it off, the weather is cold enough for the snow to actually stay on the ground.
However, the weather people are predicting +7 degrees C in two days. Sigh.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Have you signed up for the Free Motion Challenge? It starts Jan 1

Well, have you?
This will be a year long challenge that will guide you through boosting your FMQ skills. And there's prizes too.
What have you got to loose?
Hit the button to the left on this blog, and then make sure to "Like" SewCal gal on Facebook to get daily updates and chat with other quilters.
It all starts January 1, 2012, so fire up your sewing machines, get the quilt sandwiches ready and let's quilt!

Ah, Christmas !

I love it. When there are little ones around, it only gets better. I have 3 great nieces, age 7, 5, and 2, and a great nephew aged 3. They were a hoot. The girls' gift was the box of doll clothes, and they dove in with squeals and wide eyes. The youngest kept pulling things out one by one like she was tossing fat quarters out of a stash basket! lol.
The little guy got a battery operated car that lights up and makes noise. What better gift for a 3 year old boy!
The family gathered around, we noshed all afternoon, and had a great time.
It helps when you have a family that can laugh, cry, and talk together forever!
I am blessed.
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Selling my Featherweight

I have to do it. She's pretty, and she sews beautifully, but she needs a home where she'll be used and maintained, not stuck in a closet.
She is a 1947 Singer 221 "Featherweight" She's in remarkable condition, and comes with the original case and all the trinkets. The case is in "good" condition, but the bottom edge has been reinforced with a duct tape that blends in colour.
If you know of anyone, or a Santa, that is interested in giving this girl a new home, please email at I'll consider any offer over $300 Can, plus shipping.

A new project

A little while ago, I met a woman who asked me to make a quilt of her late husband's neck ties. Although I had heard of them, I had never made one. I was grateful then, that she had a photograph of what she had in mind. So home I came with four hangers full of ties, and a plan.
It took me a while to get started on this quilt, I did a lot of planning in my head , while I finished up some projects on my schedule. I spent some time taking the ties apart and removing the center interfacing.
So, now I've started. I made a paper template for the center medallion. After pinning the ties in place (half the circle at a time) I used a ladder stitch (#108 on my Horizon) to join the ties together. Some of this was a bit tricky as the silk ties tend to slip and twist because they're all cut on the bias.
I'm not going to post photos until the quilt is done and given to its recipient, but I will describe how it's going.
The background fabric will be the same satin that I used for the church banners, even the same colour.
The backing will be a beautiful forest green flannel.
Check in once in a while for an update. I'll be glad to "see" you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Packing up Santa's Workshop

I finished up the lot of doll clothes that I've been sewing lately. The box is full, so I'm done. Here's a few pics of the last creations - some dresses, some hoodies, and some pant and vest sets.

Hoodies, and lacy blouses
Dresses of many colours
Summer jammies, and doll quilts
Vest and pants sets - retro to the '70's
Vest over lacy blouse, and another hoodie for the small bear
Sundress, shortie overall, denim vest set and dolly diapers!

Now I have to get down to some serious quilting. I miss it!

The second FNSI for December is this Friday, however, it coincides with my son's school Christmas concert so I'll be there instead of sewing. This year, his grade is in Junior Band. He'll be doing his first school concert as a drummer. He was wondering aloud tonight if he'll be able to use the big drumset that's in the church, or whether he'll have to just use the snare drum from school. I was amazed when he said he'd prefer to use the big drumset! Usually he's so shy about any kind of public performance. Could it be ?? that he's getting over that? (fingers crossed)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Doll clothes production still in progress...

The factory is still in production. Since I posted last, the collection of doll clothes has grown. The box now has 3 more dresses, 2 skirts, 3 doll quilts, 3 camisoles, and 9 dolly diapers. The diapers were a request, I guess the girls at my niece's house are really "into" changing diapers. Ha ! Just wait 'til they get older!!
So, anyway, the box is filling up. I plan to keep all the clothes in one box, wrap it up and let the 3 girls dive in. Should be fun to watch!

Friday, December 9, 2011

More Santa Sewing for FNSI

For FNSI this week, the doll clothes making continued. First, new leotards for the crew from some repurposed knit from a shirt bought at a thrift store . Muslin Sally is a standin for my great niece's "Lucy", who's well loved and all her stuffing has squeezed down to her bum!

Add a little tutu and they're ready to dance :)

Eyelet fabric makes cute summer nighties.....

Then it's dress up time. "Muslin Sally" has a trenchcoat and skirt combo, Goldie Bear has a pink/red/yellow print dress with poofy sleeves, and Spot is sporting her favorite yellow number with a bow on the front.

The designer is pooped for now, so that's it for tonight. It's a good start to the 'box' of clothes for my great nieces. I've suggested to my niece (their mom) that when they graduate to "real" dolls, that she get them the same size doll. That way they can practise sharing clothes, to get ready for their teen years when they'll be doing it for real !

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A little gift-y sewing

This week I've gotten very little quilting done. Instead, I've been sewing doll clothes. My friend's 2 youngest girls are getting American Girl dolls for Christmas, so she got a McCall's pattern for 18" doll clothes and well, I've been "using up a few scraps" and leaving them in her mailbox.
Then, last night I was speaking with my niece and asked if her girls (age 7, 4, and 2) had dolls that she wanted clothes for. She jumped at the chance. Her girls are in the stuffed "animal-doll" stage, so I had her give me some measurements to work on. Luckily, one of the dolls is a "Build a Bear" and my son has one of them, so it was pressed into model mode.
First up - pyjamas. The oldest child's doll has been well loved, and her stuffing has headed south, so pants will be a problem. She gets a nightgown.

The next one is still loved alot, but has held her stuffing in place, so she'll get pyjamas.

The third one is going to have to wait until tomorrow, because I got into my stash of "loud" fabric. Now this cat's going to Hawaii.

Uh oh, she's gotten into the margaritas! This saga may have another chapter!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sewing club does it again = zippers!!

Our little sewing club is moving right along! This week we finished our aprons by making a pocket and sewing it on by topstitching around the three sides, leaving the top open.
Then they got to go crazy picking out two 7"x10" rectangles from a collection of brights I have in my stash.
They sewed a zipper into the top seam - and everyone got it right - the first time !!! Yay! They're 11, they've only had 3 lessons and they've conquered the zipper! So folks, the bar has been set. Anyone who's been sewing for longer than they, has no excuse to avoid zippers now. ha ha.
Once the zips were in, the folded the fabric in half and sewed the side and bottom seams. After clipping half the seam allowance, then they zigzagged that raw edge.
To box off the bottom, they cut 1 1/2" squares out of the bottom two corners and then refolded that corner and sewed across it. Everyone got it !! Woohoo!
The rest of our time was spent going over sewing machine maintenance. Each one learned how to open up the bobbin area and clean out the lint. The machines all had a good collection of lint so they really got to see what a difference cleaning your machine makes. Good idea to make them take the responsibility for cleaning their own machine right from the start.
And now, the big reveal. BTW Miss C, someday your face might freeze that way lol .