Cat cave

Cat cave

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Button, Button

Well, the time for procrastination has ended and I had to tackle those buttons. My hubby drove me to JoAnn's to get the buttons I needed to finish the boys shirts and the dresses for Miss N. No more excuses.
 I tackle the dress buttons first. There were only 3 to do. The button holes turned out so very nice and even. My Bernina has a button hole feature that will take the measurements of the first button hole and repeat it for the others. I love this feature, but...well wait until I get to the rest of the story.
 Sewing the buttons on? Easy as pie. I learned to sew buttons on when I was a child. I think it was the first "sewing" I ever learned to do.
 And there they are, all in a row and neat and tidy. I was so pleased that it was going well, that I felt no trepidation for the rest of the holes to come.
 These are the buttons I bought, and some snaps. You would think that with all the buttons in that jar there, I could find what I needed, but nope. Not enough for two shirts as I needed 5 for each.
 Here are the buttons and the holes on the first shirt. They look good! However, I did not test the first button on the first hole, and the holes are a little snug. I fiddled with them and got them to work, but I was not happy with this outcome.
That brings me to this shirt. I made the top hole 1/8 inch longer and it seemed to solve the problem. But something happened with the machine setting to make the rest of the button holes the same. I am not sure what it was. I had to rip out one button stitched hole and re-stitch and the third one down is crooked, but I could not make myself rip another one out. It is so hard!! So I just pushed through, cursing and muttering the whole way. I am so glad it's done!

The snaps I bought were for a pinafore for Miss N. I knew I had some and I thought I had looked everywhere. So I bought another package of them and installed them on the straps. When I taped the little bag closed with the rest and went to toss it in a bowl on my sewing table, guess what was already in there? Yup. The other bag of snaps. Oh, well.

I hope you have a great day and I will see you soon, for more sewing adventures!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gemma...and More Gemma

I know I've said this before, but I love Rae's patterns. They are easy to make and the directions are very well written. I bought my pattern for the Beatrix blouse awhile ago and I have made one and I have two more cut out, one with short sleeves and one with 3/4 length sleeves. But summer is coming on early and strong here so I need something cooler and sleeveless.  Enter Gemma.

It's as if Rae read my mind, for the very day I needed such a thing, I received a post in my email suggesting the Gemma for summer sewing. I was so thrilled I bought the pattern and after reading the fabric suggestions, I ordered fabrics for 4 Gemmas!

The first two are done and I love them so far! Here is what I have made:

 This Gemma is made in Boardwalk Delight Jersey knit Ice Cream Shop by Dana Willard for Art Gallery Fabrics. I haven't sewn a jersey knit before, but with careful handling and a few google searches for handling advice, I think it worked like a dream.
 I like the way it fits and the drape of the jersey knit is wonderful. This is a very comfortable blouse and pretty easy to make.
 This is the first one I made, in Kaffe Fassett Collective Shot Cotton in Ice. This light weight fabric just screams summer time cool. This has a great drape to it as well.
I think it will get lots of wear, as it goes with everything. I must confess, I did not make a muslin as suggested, having done so with the Beatrix. I found the pattern to be true to size for me. I like my tops loose and flowing, pretty much. If you have never made a muslin, you should, just for the experience of fitting a garment.

The last two Gemma blouses are not made yet. But I wanted to share the fabrics with you anyway.

 This one is Hudson Bay Rayon Challis. It too has a light swishy drape to it. I love that for summer. I thought the colorful pattern would be a nice switch from the solids. I love solids, but I need some diversity, you know?
This last one is my favorite. This is Kaufman's Manchester Textured Yarn Dye Shirting in Poppy. Can you see the great texture created by the weaving process? This is going to be beautiful! I look forward to this one the most! I think it will be kind of dressy. And all of these can be worn with a cardigan or jacket to dress them up when things get cooler.

I hope you are having a great week and I will talk to you soon!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I'm Not Bored Yet

So much is going on here each and every day. My sister is traveling in Ireland right now, there is construction happening in the back yard, and I am painting parts of the inside of the house. The painting is winding down, which makes me happy. On days that I paint, I don't always get to sew.

When it comes to sewing, the list is endless and seems to grow more quickly than I can finish things and cross them off. Part of that is due to the fact that I am now sewing clothing, as well as quilts. That was my first sewing love, really. I hate shopping for clothes. If I sew some, I don't have to shop!

Last week I made a few things for the kiddos. Sewing in a smaller scale is fun and much faster. Now I am sewing for me. I will show that off in my next post. But for now, some quilty goodness.

 This is the top of a pillow for Miss N. I need to quilt it up and attach a back to it. It matches the baby quilt I made for her when she was born. I really love that raindrop fabric!
 This little wall hanging is one I started back in NC. This is for my middle daughter. She requested some small quilts she could hang as art in her house. This is in some fabrics that she chose from my stash. I have a whole box of her choices to work with. This is the first.
 Straight line quilting in the background behind the leaves, curlicues in the borders and hand quilting with pearl cotton on the leaves themselves. A bit of everything.
And for the back, this print that has sat in my stash since it was released. I would have to look at the date, but I am guessing 2012. It is the bottlecap print from Going Coastal by Emily Harrik. I never could figure out how to use it. So that is what I have been doing this week. Have a great weekend.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Little Garment Sewing

I got my start sewing clothes for myself and my two younger sisters. I loved sewing even back then. I consider myself a quilter, but also a seamstress. An old fashioned word maybe, but my grandmother taught me to sew and she was a seamstress. So here is what I am up to now, and yes there is still quilting going on as well.
 This is a Geranium dress for Miss N. I love this pattern by Rae of Made By Rae. It comes in a bunch of sizes so you can continue to use it as they grow. Also now there is an expansion pack that includes sleeve for winter and fall wear. I think I will have to get that too.
 I love the details on Rae's patterns. Take these sweet pockets. Girls need pockets as much as boys do. There is also a version that puts the pockets in the side seams for older girls. N is still a toddler, so maybe later on that.
 This is the back. It needs buttons and button holes, but there will be a whole day for that very soon.
 Here is a shirt for my little man B. I saw this Art Gallery fabric on sale somewhere and the color is his favorite so I just had to do it. The pattern is by Liesl of Oliver +S. She is another pattern maker that does a great job with instructions and details. I have used her patterns before.
 I love this pocket. I think it makes the shirt look like a man's shirt and B will love that.
 Another great detail on the back of the shirt is the box pleat at the yoke. This is so cool.
 And Liesl offers multiple sizes in her patterns too, so this one goes from size 5 to size 12. So of course I had to make a cool one for my young man V. I hope he thinks it's cool. The fabric is Kaffe Fassett.
 Look at the detail she gives you for reinforcing the pocket. Such nice touches are always in her patterns. I put the pocket stripes going in the opposite direction for fun.
 The back has the same great style. I still have a bit of top stitching to do on this one, and buttons of course. One big button day coming up.
So now I have some clothing done for my little gang. I still need to make something for J, but I need to consult with his mom to see what would be good. Maybe some shorts, or another one of these shirts. Sky is the limit here. Retirement makes for more sewing time for sure. Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Swooning Over Pillows

What do you do when you have two square European pillows from a guest bed you no longer have? You make Swoon blocks as covers to make big floor pillows. My sister had these when we moved in and since our room is no longer the guest room, she asked if we could cover them for floor pillows for the living room. It was a great idea as they are the perfect size. She chose the fabric from my stash and we added some Kona solids for the edges and the back, which is just an envelope closure.

 I love the Swoon pattern. I love it even more when I can make and quilt one block. These pillows are the perfect use for this block if you have never made one.
 I quilted each of them the same, with the lines crossing in the very center to add some interest to the otherwise rather large, plain area.
 Then I quilted around the other parts of the outside star. This was to add definition and to anchor the batting to the inside. I always quilt a pillow top. Not so the back of a pillow.
              They even look good outside on the patio.


And now they are ready for use on the living room floor. Have a great weekend. Link up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Penny Sampler Progress Report

I must say I am truly enjoying the Penny Sampler class taught by Rachel at Stitched In Color. I chose to do the 12 month class for a couple of reasons. The big move, which took me out of sewing for about a month and to make it last so I could savor the process. I do not regret this decision. In May I was able to catch up with the April lesson and also complete May's lesson. Bite sized these lessons are in the 12 month version. So, here is my progress, so far:
 I am currently sewing together the Snowflake block. It is pretty straight forward. Mostly it is HSTs. I am not an expert, but I am pretty good at HSTs.
I have them laid out on the ironing board and I am chain piecing them. I don't know about you, but I find it easier to do it this way so I don't get confused and make a mistake. I only pin when I have to, for accuracy. HSTs don't really need this unless they are very small.
 This is my stacked pine tree block. Again, a very easy one to assemble. I love the way it turned out.
 This is the largest section yet, the hanging diamonds. This one took me a few hours. There was fabric selection, even though I had the background picked out already, starching and cutting. I have never starched before cutting, but this was amazing! Just a little spray starch made that fabric behave! And this is one reason I took this class was to learn new things. Always keep learning new things!
 This is a shot of some of the other components of the quilt, pinned up on the design wall so they don't fall off. I need to look at it like this to be able to make fabric decisions as we go along.
 This is a strip of Jeni Baker fabric that I am auditioning for this spot. I had another piece there, but it did not look very harmonious with the rest of the quilt. I will live with this while I make other blocks. I don't have to decide yet, but so far I am pleased with it.
This is the left side of the quilt top. I am please with how these blocks look together. Little bird is so cute and was fun to make.
And this is a shot of the whole thing so far. The lighting isn't great in here for pictures, but you can get the idea. This is also my new design wall. I made it following directions from Sew at Home Mummy. It is on a shade roller that my hubby helped me to put together and mount on the ceiling in front of the closet in the sewing room. So far it is working for me. I can just roll it up when I need it out of the way. That's it for today. Talk to you soon. Linking up with Lorna at Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Begins

So now, it is June. I know that summer is not officially here until the 21st, but to me, it is summer. The kids are all getting done with school, and I am looking forward to summer visits from the Kids and grand kids.  At the end of summer, I will be going back to NC for my first visit since the move. For now, I am going to try and sew as much as possible. To that end, here are a few things I have been doing:
 I took some scraps from my pillow cover to make this pin cushion. I love the Charleston line so much I can't bear to part with even a scrap of it.
 I made it just like a small quilt, pieced, quilted and bound and then stuffed it with crushed walnut shells. I only quilted the front to some batting so I could stuff it.
         A larger scrap of pineapple fabric was perfect for the back of the pin cushion.
And here it is in my hand so you can get an idea of the scale of the pin cushion. A bit larger than I usually make, but it will get used, because I love it!
 Next, a project born out of necessity. Years ago I began making these cell phone wristlets from a pattern by Carolyn of Trillium. I wanted to get away from carrying a big purse full of junk. The small wristlet holds my cell, my id and credit cards and a few dollars. That's all. Sometimes I need a place to put my chapstick or I wish I had room for a pen. I still wanted small, though. I also wanted to be able to be hands free, like at the ball park, but I didn't want to set it down. So I enlarged the pattern by two inches. Perfect! I also put a long strap like a messenger bag for cross body wearing. I won't use it every day, but when I need this, I am now ready.
 And the inside will hold just what I need, but not be overly full. I will let you know how this works out as we are going to the ball game next weekend. I think it will be perfect.
 The third thing I worked on this week is a criss cross back jumper for miss N. I have long loved the simplicity of these and the fact you can wear them over a top or without, as a dress or a top. They are very versatile.
 And this one is reversible.  So it's like getting two dresses for the price of one. It is also a very quick sew and there are several free patterns on the internet for such a thing.
All it needs are buttons and buttonholes. I will do buttons on both sides so it is easily reversible. And that is what I have done this week. I have also cut out pieces for a couple more projects so that I can just sit and sew as time permits. I am still doing some painting here at the garden house and I took last week off from that. This week I hope to get most of the rest of the living room finished. Talk to you soon.