Thursday, March 31, 2011

Apparently 2 is under the limit...

so here's a couple of pictures I can share while I wait for my photo storage account to be expanded (which should happen within the next 24hours).
 Okay, back to my project... I designed a new cover for my serger using those patchwork crosses I shared with you last week.  It is such an improvement over the thin, plain white, soft plastic, completely worn out cover which originally came with my (20 year old) Janome serger.

I'm really happy with the details on this new cover - like the cheery red piping I made for the end panels and that yummy cherry print binding along the bottom edge.  I won't even go into just how giddy the dotty aqua fabric I used for the side panels makes me. Oh, I heart dotty fabric. lol  So fresh and pretty!
Funny, how much that new cover is brightening up my sewing space.  It's definitely inspiring me to come up with other projects to refresh my creative space - perhaps this is the start of a Spring- Makeover for my sewing room.

Uh-oh...I've reached the limit

I was all excited about sharing photos of my completed project using those patchwork crosses... only to be thwarted by the news that I'd reached my limit  for free photo storage for my blog.  How nice to not have any warning on this!  Funny thing is that I remember checking my account not that long ago and as far as I could tell, I was nowhere near the limit.  I just tried to buy some storage space, but that went sideways (not sure why it wouldn't accept my payment) and now I have to wait 24hours before it will allow me to try again.  sigh.

Anyone else have this happen?

Not only no photos for this post -  apparently, I can't even link to a prior post now.  I learn something new about blogging all the time. ;o)   I will be posting those finished project photos as soon as I can sort this photo storage business all out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Patchwork + Vintage = sitting pretty sewing

It's hard not to smile over the results of a recent makeover for the padded sewing bench that is original to my 1948 Singer 15-91 (lovingly known as Belle).

Fashioned from fabric from my scrap basket, the new cover is a far cry from the original dark green vinyl.

 Piecing all those fabric bits to a foundation fabric gave me the first project to make using Belle.  It was a great way to get to know my "new" machine. And. I fell in love with my vintage machine.
 She's not just a pretty face, she's straightforward and easy to operate.  Tensions are easy to set, she can use the same Schmetz needles I use on my modern machine, her bobbins hold more thread than my Janome and she sews lovely, balanced stitches, consistently.  She's just perfect for piecing! 
It seemed only right to thank my vintage beauty with a bit of modern patchwork.  Now my favourite spot to sit has a fresh and pretty new look.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's not just my fingers that are crossed,

so are the blocks I've been stitching up for a new project to be used in my sewing space. 

 It all started with a white linen skirt I scooped from a thrift sale for $2.   Here's  the one half that remains of the lovely skirt. ;o)

Next, I went searching through my bins of left over strips and came up with a colour scheme (it's still looks like winter outside my window, with all the snow we keep getting, so I found myself thirsting for something lively in terms of colours).

Oh, how I love seeing the blocks come together! Trying to come up with a final layout involves lots of dreamy time arranging and rearranging those blocks.  Oh, how I enjoy playing with fabric.

Whew, I've just finished machine quilting, but don't be fooled.  This isn't going to be a quilt or a pillow or a bag or a table runner....

So just what am I making with all these crosses?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Button Giveaway!

A sweet giveaway that runs until March 28th.  Click here to find out more.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How do I know

 when it's time to clean my floors?
When I need a clean floor to layout a new quilt top! ;o)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Making it Girly

Yesterday, I gave a sneak peek at what I have been working on showing you the different tools I was using.  Today, I'm going to show what the tools helped me make!

The transfer pencil and tracing paper were used to make this cut-away rose.  Setting my machine up to applique, I stitched over all the lines of the transferred design using some variegated pink thread. Once I had completed the stitching, I cut away the light pink fabric (very, very carefully), to reveal the darker pink fabric I had placed beneath the main fabric.

My bias tape maker was used to make the binding I used to accent and finish the zippered top of the bag as well as the side seams (on the inside of the bag).

My serger was used to finish the edges of the strips (which became ruffles) with a narrow hem in woolly nylon.  My ruffle foot was then used to turn those strips into all these flirty ruffles!

Here's a glimpse of the elastic topped pocket I included inside the bag.

Want to see those ruffles again? A bit of vintage ric rac seemed the right touch to finish off the row of ruffles.

This bag is just about as girly as it gets!  It's also the first project I've made with my ruffle foot.  Years ago, I used a ruffle foot quite frequently when I worked as a drapery seamstress, but I never had that specialty foot for my own machine.  I wanted one, but kept thinking it was not so necessary, since I'm not a ruffle wearing kind of girl and being a mama to two boys, I couldn't justify it.  I just relegated the ruffle foot to a "someday" wish list.

My "someday" arrived when I bought Belle last month and I found a ruffle foot included amongst the original attachments.  Wahoo! (and a little happy dance....) Just because I don't wear ruffles, doesn't mean I can't add ruffles to projects I don't wear, right?  Ahem.  Consider yourself warned. ;o)   I suspect this  Can-Can Kit bag is only the start of me making a few frilly projects.

*Oh, by the way, this is my second variation on this bag.  My first variation can be found here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What can you make

with a transfer pencil, tracing paper,

a bias tape maker,
a serger,

and a ruffler foot?
Something pink,
and a whole lot of fun!
I'm in the midst of trying out a new design idea I hope to share with you soon (maybe as early as tomorrow...).  Hope your week is off to a great start!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Make a Mini Back Pack Coin Purse and Key Chain

Hello and welcome!  

This is where I originally shared a tutorial to make a cute mini back pack coin purse.  Unfortunately, continuing troubles accessing the link to the pattern pieces occurred for many of those interested in sewing one.

To serve you better, my tutorial has been re-formatted into a PDF pattern. 

The pattern is now available here!

Click here to purchase and then download my  pattern.

 I appreciate your understanding and your patience!   I hope you will enjoy the new format  Revisions will be completed by July 9th, 2013. Done!.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The temptation was too strong

so I grabbed my rotary cutter and found myself playing with pretty fabrics
rather than grabbing my seam ripper to to de-construct this quilt top (which in honesty I've decided that I just don't like - so why would I go ahead a make it into a quilt?).
The inspiration for my latest obsession is the "Salad" pattern found in this book that I showed in an earlier post.
Looking at the top above that I decided that I don't want to make into a quilt, the glaring truth for me is that I just didn't love that fabric.  It was made using fabric that I had thrifted and was coming from a limited quilting fabric stash at the time.  I was using what I had on hand, which is good, but also can be limiting.  At this point in time I have a larger inventory of fabrics to choose from and I have been adding fabrics that I love to that stash.    It's a simple truth I've learned - you just have to follow your heart and use fabrics that you love  - which sometimes is something I find challenging because I tend to hoard or "save" my most favourite fabrics.  So, I decided enough is enough.  Grab those "special to me" fabrics and get busy.

My trusty Belle was up for the challenge and after a couple of afternoons of piecing,

I've managed to cover my "design wall" with this.

The original pattern makes a lap quilt, but I'm so in love with these fabrics and this fun design that I've decided to make a quilt to fit my bed.  I'm having a blast working with fabrics I love and  can imagine the joy I will feel seeing them on my bed.  So I have no regrets giving into the temptation. ;o)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It had to be patchwork!

 Playing around with the one piece design of this bag, from this book, I made a patchwork version.

There's just something lovely about combining quilting cottons with linen, especially when they're shades of blue.  I find it irresistible.  Every time I make a project with linen, I want to make all future projects in linen.  I love it that much!

Along with changing the basic design into patchwork, I also lined and quilted the bag.

One of my favourite features?  Using the lovely blue cotton I received from Nicolette, to make binding for finishing the seams and for the lining of the bag.  I have been waiting for just the right project to use some of her gifted fabric.  Thank you, my friend!

From a friendship started in blog land, I learned that Nicolette shares my love of the colour blue, linen and patchwork and quilting.   It seems only fitting that I call this new version, "Nicolette". 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inspired by a simple design

 Can you believe that this bag design is made from a single piece of fabric?  Okay, it's actually oilcloth, but still, I made it using only one pattern piece.  One piece!  What could be simpler?
 Now my mind is dreaming up all kinds of ways to jazz it up for variety.   I've sketched up at least a half dozen new versions and can't wait manifest those ideas.   Simple designs are such a great place to start and they always inspire me.
On another note, perhaps it's time I ask for help in simplifying.  How do I keep a (scanned in at the right size) pattern from changing sizes when I convert it to a pdf file?  I'm sure there's something simple that I'm not doing right and it's the whole reason I haven't shared my mini back pack tutorial - you can't make my design without the correct size pattern pieces - and I'm not sure where I'm making a mess of it.  Or if there's a better or easier way than going with a pdf file to share the pattern pieces (which fit easily on a standard size of paper), I would love the help.   Any suggestions?
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