Applique Away

After a week of figuring out some technology–hello, YouTube!–the computer is free for roaming. The snow has been beautiful. Everything is quiet and the cars move slowly along. The sunrise colors are delicate here. IMG_5120.jpg

Post Card Party Swap is a fantastic way to share small quilted pieces with other knitters and totally hits all my favorite categories: mail, pen-pals, quilting, and applique. The LQS offers classes with postcard ideas and this was a class I joined that used wool. It was my first time doing wool applique, and I love how textured and sturdy wool is to work with. When the snow began to fall, I decided to hand quilt circles as the background, enjoying it so much I worked on it until I finished.  Hand-stitching is calming, centering, and adds a beautiful finish to this little postcard!

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Practice makes for more experience and so out came the scrap bag and the rotary cutter, and I cut out six more hearts to applique. The squares are sevens inches by seven inches and the heart is a basic template. Since I’ll always have scraps about this size I plan on collecting at least one heart from each piece of fabric from here on out. When there are enough of appliqued I will make a quilt. Right now eleven appliqued hearts exist. IMG_5161.jpgIMG_5170.jpgIMG_5173.jpg

Savor Each Stitch arrived and it is a wonderfully written book with clear explanations. The first project is cut and ready to be basted. Basting, I’ve just learned after pinning ten hearts, is much easier to work with when doing needle-turn applique. What I particularly liked about basting is how smoothly the round edges turned under. It was a revelation to me, because the pinning seemed to cause distortion overall, but the basting kept all in place! Looking forward to moving ahead with this project. IMG_5154.jpg

Everyone is posting such lovely work! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog.

 

 

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Tutorial: Loose Cord Holder

With all the indoors time this week I noticed cords all over the place. The cords took up more than a fair share of the floor space. Cord wraps & holders are nothing new, but I had an idea modification yesterday, sketched it out & whipped up four this morning. IMG_5103.jpg

These cord holders are perfect for cell phone and tablet chargers. For bigger corded items  these holders work great too! My main goal here was to utilize as much scrap material as I could to make something not-yet-useful productive. The buttons are from a collection of odd buttons & I used all fabric scraps. Customization is easy here! To make a longer & wider wrap for a certain product, measure the diameter of the cord when wrapped & double that number. This will give you an almost perfect measure of how long to cut your fabric; make sure to add at least a quarter inch at each end for seam allowance.

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Materials

  • Fabric scraps –enough for 2) 2″ x5″ pieces
  • Sewing Machine or Hand Sewing Supplies
  • Buttons
  • Fabric Marker or pen or chalk
  • Iron
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter or scissors

 

  1. Press fabric. Measure fabric & cut 2) 2″ x”5″ pieces.
  2. Place Right Sides together & pin fabric. IMG_5023.jpg
  3. Using 1/4″ clip each corner.IMG_5027IMG_5030.jpg
  4. Sew with a 1/4″ seam (or 1/4″ foot) the top & two side edges back-stitching at each end. Press to set stitches.IMG_5031.jpg
  5. Turn inside out, gently, with finger & knitting needle or chopstick. Press. Admire! IMG_5062.jpgIMG_5063.jpg
  6. Tuck in top edge & top stitch about an 1/8″ from the edge. IMG_5064.jpg
  7. Mark the button hole along the top edge & sew. If making two button holes, mark the top buttonhole first & then measure to add a second. This helps make sure fabric shrinkage doesn’t affect buttonhole placement. This may not be something you experience on your machine, but I like to be careful! When marking button holes, I went between 1/2″-3/4″ for the top button hole & around & 1″ to 1 1/4″ for the second button hole. IMG_5073.jpgIMG_5078.jpgIMG_5068.jpgIMG_5079.jpg
  8. Mark button position on fabric. Again, place the top button first. When placing the second button make sure the cuff is buttoned & then find the middle, marking it with a fabric pen. Sew on all buttons.IMG_5085.jpgIMG_5082.jpgIMG_5083.jpgIMG_5086.jpg
  9. Sit back & enjoy a less unraveled environment! Please share any pictures of wraps you make & let me know if you have any questions or comments. IMG_5091.jpg

Thank you to everyone that has stopped by, commented & liked this blog. Sewing, in all forms, has been a passion I’ve had for a long time & it is wonderful to share it with any one else that is even a little bit interested. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  IMG_5107.jpgIMG_5112.jpg

Appliqué Thursday

I’m in Appliqué class, it’s my first time trying it & I’m smitten! Appliqué, as I’ve just learned, has a great blend of preparation & ease of carrying. There’re lots of ideas coming to my mind (lion, fish, stars, mermaids), because I can appliqué anything I can draw! Doodling is great for releasing my mind & allowing new ideas to form without interruption, so now the doodles have a new home.

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At first I found the stitching & using my needle a little awkward. After the second heart, I was totally engrossed in the process of tucking in the fabric & not pulling too tight. What I enjoy about hand stitching is that it will never be perfect (for me), but there is a consistent rhythm that develops & I love that feeling.

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I admire many people working with appliqué & ordered Savor Each Stitch by Carolyn Friedlander (her work inspired me to start sewing regularly again).

Whose work do you like? What are you appliquéing on this snowy day? IMG_4986

 

Merino Wool Bump Blankets + Easy Pattern

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There were six merino wool bumps around the house. Now there are no bumps around the house! The bumps are from Bag Smith & are 94% merino wool with 6% nylon (mainly to provide structure for the wool) & each have 125 yards of yarn (it feels like the softest rope). My sister gave me these as an exchange & I love how soft the yarn is to knit with.

IMG_4939.jpgI taught myself to knit about five years ago & have enjoyed it ever since. Knitting on size 50 needles made my hands feel a bit like jellyfish. The needles tap each other & a nice rhythm develops. It was a great reminder to me about making sure I don’t knit too tightly in general. This winter weather has everyone inside & I was kept cozy under the wool being knit!IMG_4965.jpg

To make your own blanket you will need:

  • Two Merino Wool Bumps ( or around 350 yards)
  • Size US 50 (25 mm) needles
  • Scissors
  • Finished size: 45″ x 45″
  • Gauge: 1 stitch/inch
  1. Cast on 34 stitches
  2. Purl next row (WS)
  3. Knit next row (RS)
  4. Repeat steps 2&3 by purling all WS stitches and knitting all WS stitches.
  5. After purling the 39th row, cast off.

***Of note: While knitting three throws in a row I noticed that the length of yarn in each bump was not the same. All of the bumps had enough yarn to make 39 rows + cast off & bind off. If you have more yarn & would like your blanket to be longer keep knitting, but make sure to leave enough yarn for casting off.

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Snail Mail Friday!

Receiving mail is thrilling! Writing letters to my friends & family is one of my hobbies & I love having return mail. At nine I signed up for a pen-pal program & was given a writing friend located in Canada; we exchanged letters until age thirteen. Now I exchange letters with friends & cousins, but I also love to receive packages of fabric in the mail too!

Today some fabric arrived for future quilts & bags I’m planning to make. I ordered some of Lizzy House’s Natural History, Carolyn Friedlander’s Carkai & two more slices of Honeymoon from Sarah Watts. All of the prints are incredible, inspiring, & ready to be made in to something!

What are you working on this weekend? Receive any exciting mail? IMG_4915.jpg

What I Sew On

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Meet one of the most exciting pieces of technology in this house, my sewing machine, the Janome 2212. Purchased off of Amazon when I wasn’t sure if sewing would be to my liking or not, this machine turned out to be great for what it is! Totally sturdy & great for a beginner. It doesn’t always handle the larger projects I’ve worked on perfectly, but I’ve been satisfied & don’t feel held back. The 1/4″ seam foot did not fit, & that was annoying, but I used tape to mark the throat plate. This summer, in an excitement, I bought a vintage Viking off of eBay, it didn’t work & returned it. After that I decided to work with the Janome 2212 & feel things out. Here I am loving every minute & a more advanced model is in my future! Honestly, having this model allowed me to understand what my expectations & uses of a sewing machine may be in the future.

Sewing Machines I Have My Eye On:

Janome’s 1600P-QC: This machine seems sturdy & the reviews I’ve read are great. I love Janome’s machines already, having had a great experience with my current machine. Straight-stitch only is what I’d like, and I’ll use a serger. Simple is best for my capabilities, in terms of technology, & this machine allows for great free-motion quilting.

Juki’s TL-2010Q: My seamstress auntie recently purchased this machine from her local machine shop ( she got a great deal!) & she loves it. Her work is always beautiful, but her free-motion quilting on a set of potholders blew me away! Each stitch looked fantastic. This machine is also straight-stitch only with great reviews.

The local sewing machine shop here carries Janome & I’m not sure I want to buy another one off of the internet. What has your experience been buying sewing machines off the internet? Do you use either of these machines? Any likes or dislikes (within reason!)?

Embroidery Work

Embroidery first entered my life through a sampler of a kitten in a dress given to me by my grandmother. Over the past couple of years, with the help of a few books and fantastic people, I’ve started to feel more comfortable with floss & needle. This Alison Glass sampler caught my eye while browsing Super Buzzy & I started it as soon as possible. IMG_4785.jpgIMG_4788.jpg

This little pup decided she wants in on the action! IMG_4790.jpg

Backstitch is beautiful, versatile & fun. It is my favorite stitch. I love that this sampler has opportunity abound for backstitching & look forward to trying some of the others in the collection.

What samplers are you working on?