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Finishing projects

Happy Thanksgiving to you!  I hope this finds you rested and ready for the holiday season.  I have been finishing up projects and wanted to share what I have been up to.  Remember the chevron quilt I was working on?  Well, I completed it and it is proudly laying on my granddaughter’s bed as I type!  She is so excited and now has another “blanket” to cuddle up with at night and I hope she finds the satin edging comforting as she grows.

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And then there were stockings!  I found the pattern that I believe I used many, many years ago at McCalls stocking McCall stockings.  Mine were done as a very novice sewing person and by the looks of them now, they were made in a hurry!  However tattered they are now, they lasted many years and through many Christmas mornings.  They have many happy memories and each year they are still expected to be full to the brim with stocking stuffers.  So, it was not hard to imagine that when the time came for the kids to have their own memories, the stockings were the first thing that were needing recreated.  It was fun to make new ones and see the memories continue.

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Sorry the top photo is a bit dark but taking photos with my phone don’t always turn out.  I may need to look into getting a nicer camera for these shots!

I hope your sewing keeps you busy and creative!  I still have lots to complete so until next time.

Cheers!

nj

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Rainy Day Sewing

It is a rainy day here and even though I should have been working on sewing the binding on a quilt or begin quilting the quilt top I finished yesterday,  I decided to take a break and do some other “stuff”.   I attended a quilt “junk” show a few months ago and purchased some grain sacks. Of course, to us “junkers”  there was not any “junk” but a prized object just waiting to be made into something special.  Something, that when purchased already made, would cost more than what you could purchase the pieces for.  And I find it so much more enjoyable to be the one that is doing the making!  I made 2 envelope pillow covers.  I love them!! I must remember next time to allow an extra 6 inches instead of 4 inches for the envelope in the back.  The 4 inches made it a bit to snug for my liking but they turned out great anyway!

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I was able to use the imprint that was on the grain sack on the right and it fit the center of the pillow perfectly!  The best part is I still have extra grain sacks to use for other crafty items!

Now on to finish my Big Wonky Star Quilt from the Idea Book from The Missouri Star Quilt Company and Jenny Doan!  When I visited her shop I left with a lovely layer cake of Cotton and Steel along with extra yardage, just in case!  Thank goodness I did because it is coming in handy now!  I always hesitate to purchase more than a couple of yards at a time.  That is probably something I could change but I also like to piece my backing. So for this quilt I only needed a little over 3 yards and I was able to use some really cute Cotton and Steel and piece the sides so I would have enough fabric for my backing.  Once I have completed the entire quilt I will post but for now here is the front of the quilt.

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I can’t wait to finish. I love rainy day sewing!

Cheers!

nj

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It’s done!

I finished!  What do you think?  I am going to a birthday party next weekend for my lovely granddaughter who will be turning 2 years old!  I wanted to make something small but memorable for her that she will hopefully use for the next few years as her imagination grows.  I envision many dolls being covered by this doll quilt and my hopes are that it becomes old and tattered! Image

I hope she likes it.  I took a pattern from Moda that I saw a few years ago.  The pattern is called Urban Cowgirl and it is AWESOME!  I first saw it is a quilt shop, while on vacation, and loved the pattern.  I couldn’t wait to make it and as it usually goes, time got in the way.  So, I decided to make it into a doll quilt.  I first made it for my niece and I only used 4 of the 12 inch squares.  I really liked it, but wanted to do something a bit different this time.  I minimized the square and only made 4 inch squares.  Eight petals would have been to much, in my opinion, so I only used 4 petals and I love the way it came out! It’s a great pattern and would look so incredibly cute as a full size!  Maybe next time!

It’s fun to get some ideas and then try and change them to meet your needs!  Again, I’m anxious to give it to her….Surprise!!

Cheers!

nj

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Making a surprise!

How much fun is it to work on something and not tell anyone until that day when they are presented with the gift?  You try and play it cool but you are so very excited to see the response!  Well, that is what this project is all about.  Nothing big, no major sewing deal but I am looking forward to the present being open.  Of course, her mom will be the one I am anxiously awaiting the response.  She will know how much time has gone into the very small project!  Even thought the child will like it and be able to use it, I hope, the mom will appreciate!

I can only show bits and pieces though.  I did use this website Generations Quilt Patterns for my reference and what a great website.  I am not a math whiz so I was anxious to see how I could minimize my block.  For some of you, this may be very easy and probably a “no-brainer” but it takes me forever!  So, I was really glad to find this website. IMG_20150927_152316620_HDR

Here are the pieces.  I need to add some sashing and then add the petals!  I’ll keep you posted on the final product.  Until then Cheers!

nj

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Choosing a Needle

I know this sounds really crazy but I am always wondering if I am using the correct sewing needle for my project.  So, after a visit to my favorite quilting store and a conversation with the lovely associate, I decided that I should probably know the difference between all the choices of needles.

I went to the SCHMETZ website and there was so much useful information, I didn’t know where to begin.  imagesI had no idea of all the parts of the needle.  I just knew I sometimes had trouble threading them and needed different needles for different projects!  Through some reading, what I have learned is this.  The number on the needles, for example 70/10, comes from a system of labeling needles.  The 70 is an NM or number metric and is a system that cam about in the 1940’s to standardize needle sizing.  The diameter of the needle shaft in millimeters X 100=70 or .70 diameter.  They made a system where we would not have to use the decimal!  Then the 2nd number comes from a  system of  “merging” the Singer system to a US needle system.  Interesting!

When using a sewing needle all the components of your sewing need to meet up or you could end up with the Bermuda Triangle, all components meeting but the outcome is not a good one!   If you use to big of a needle, you could end up with gaping holes in your newly pieced project.  That could bring tears to your eyes, couldn’t it?  You need a needle where the thread passes through the needle with little friction. When choosing your sewing machine needle, you look at the wight of your fabric.  The finer the fabric, the lower the number of the sewing machine needle. For quilting, you would probably be using an 11, 12, 13, or 14 size needle.

Here are some of the basic needles we may use for quilting or crafting:

Universal sewing machine needle: slightly rounded point and sews on most materials, especially wovens and knits.

Microtex sewing machine needle: very slim needle with a very sharp point, good for piecing, precise, and makes a small stitch hole. (60/8, 70/10, 80/12, 90/14)

Quilting sewing machine needle: slim, sharp point which is slightly rounded so it makes it easier to sew through multiple layers (75/11, 90/14)

Topstitch sewing needle: long/large eye and can be used with heavier threads or poor quality threads, has a very sharp point to be used on multiple layers (80/12, 90/14)

Jeans/Demin sewing needle: slim, sharp point, reinforced/strong blade, this needle can be used for heavier fabrics and has a special shape to decrease stitch skipping (70/10, 80/12)

There are many more types of sewing machine needles but these are the ones that I personally use on most of my projects. If you need more information,  SCHMETZ and Joann Fabrics are wonderful resources.  Happy quilting or sewing and I hope this information helps with your next project!

Cheers!

nj

 

 

 

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Bag making!

I’ve made bags before but this one is probably my favorite!  The fabric is French ticking that I ordered years ago and was to afraid to cut!  I finally worked up the courage and wanted to write it all down before I forgot the directions I used.  I have included lots of pictures too!  I am a very visual person and if the directions are lacking in a pattern, as long as I can there is a picture I can figure it out!  Here is a picture of my finished French bag!

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I love it and use it all the time!! The lining and handles are American Jane fabric while the trim on the picket is Mochi Dots Linen all from Moda.

To begin you will need to cut:

2 panels of the outer fabric-18.5 X 13.5

2 panels of Pellon Fusible Fleece 987-18.5 X 13.5 (this is for the outer fabric)

2 panels of lining fabric fabric-18.5 X 13.5 inches

2 panels of Pellon 931-18.5 X 13.5 inches (this is for the lining)

2 pieces 5.5 X 1.5 inches for pocket (this is using 2 different fabrics)

2 pieces 1.5 X 8.5 inches (for second fabric in pocket)

2 pieces of fabric 6.5 X 41 inches for handles

2 interfacing 6.5 X 41 inches ( I used Pellon 911 F because I wanted a heavier handle that would “scrunch” up the more I used my bag!)

2 interfacing 6 X 35 inches Pellon 911 F (I doubled my interfacing again to make a stiff handle.  You can choose to do this or not, either way, it works out great!)

4 pieces of fabric for seam covers on handles ( I used the same fabric as my handles) 6 X 2.5 inches

4 pieces of Shape Flex 101 Fusible for seam covers on handles 5.5 X 2.5 inches

Let’s get started!  First, fuse your interfacing (Fusible Fleece 987)  to your outer pieces of fabric and set aside.  Next, fuse your interfacing (Pellon 931) to your 2 lining pieces.  Now, let’s prepare the pockets.  I used 2 different fabrics on pocket.  You can do this one use one piece, whichever works for you.  If using 2 different pieces of fabric, cut the fabric as described above.  Attach the 1.5 inch strip to the top of both of your pocket piece.  Sew pieces, rights sides together, leaving an opening at the bottom of the pocket.  Turn the pocket inside out and gently push out the corners to square the pocket off. Topstitch this seam.

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When you add the pocket to the lining, measure in from the sides of the lining fabric 5.25 inches and 3.5 inches from the bottom of the bag.  This should place your pocket in the middle of your lining piece.  Sew pocket in place onto the lining piece using a 1/8 inch seam,  making sure you tuck in the opening at the bottom where you turned your pocket inside out.

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Ok, now we are ready to assemble the bag.  Lay the outer pieces of your bag together, right sides together. Sew down the sides of the bag and across the bottom.  Do not sew across the top of the bag.  Now, do the exact same for the lining but leave a 5 inch opening on the bottom so you can later turn the lining inside out later.

To box the corners of the bag, match the seams together forming a “V” shape on each end as in the picture below, making sure the seams meet up with each other.

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I measured so I would have a 3 inch seam across the corner.

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Then draw a line that you will sew your seam on.

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Cut off the corners leaving a half inch from the drawn line.  Do this for the outer bag as well as your lining.  This is what it will look like when these steps are complete.

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Turn the lining right side out through the opening you left in the bottom.  Leave the bag so that when you put the lining into the bag the right sides are together.  Match the side seams, pin around the top of the bag making sure the edges match. Sew around the top of the bag.  When complete, turn the bag inside out by pulling the bag through the opening  you left in your lining.  You should now have the bag.  I used a denim/jeans needle to topstitch around the top of the bag due to the thickness.

Let’s make the handles and the handle seam covers (or tabs).

You have already cut these pieces:

2 pieces of fabric 6.5 X 41 inches

2 interfacing 6.5 X 41 inches ( I used Pellon 911 F because I wanted a heavier handle that would “scrunch” up the more I used my bag!)

2 interfacing 6 X 35 Pellon 911 F (I doubled my interfacing again to make a stiff handle.  You can choose to do this or not, either way, it works out great!)

4 pieces of fabric ( I used the same fabric as my handles) 6 X 2.5

4 pieces of Shape Flex 101 Fusible 5.5 X 2.5

Now fuse the interfacing for the bag handles to the wrong side of one of the handles.  Center the second interfacing on top of the already fused on interfacing so you have about a 1/4 inch on each side.  This will make it easier to fold the handle in and sew later.  Turn in 1/4 inch and again press. Once the fusing is set, fold the handles down the middle, long sides together.  Fold the end in so no raw edge is showing.

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Sew the long sides together.  I sewed 2 seams on each side of each handle for a more finished look.  Now take your handle covers or “tabs”.

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Again, fuse the interfacing to each tab.  Fold the long edges in until they meed in the middle and  press.  With the right sides together, sew the 2 short edges together and turn the covers inside out.  You can topstitch these if you choose.

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Set these and your handles aside and add your grommets.  Here is a nice link I followed as well as my pictures if you are a visual person, like myself.  Also, the grommets from Dritz come with a template and directions,  just remember if you have put a pocket in the lining, you want to make sure you are not placing the grommet over your pocket. This is where the rule of measure twice and cut once really comes into play!!

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Once you have the grommets snapped in place you are ready to insert the handles.  Take one handle cover and place it over the handle.  Then take the handle and place (from the front of your bag) through the grommet.  Make sure the handle cover is up about 5 inches from the top of your bag.  (Once finished you will want to slide the handle cover down and cover the seam you have on your handle.)  Fold the raw edge of the handle up to meet the back of the handle at 1 inch above your bag.  Pin in place.  Making sure not to twist your handle do the same for the other grommet that is on the same side.  In other words, I would put the handle through the grommets on the above pictured bag first, then flip the bag over and do the other side.

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Once you are happy with the handle length, sew your handles in place and then slide your handle overs down over the seam.  If you want a nice solid bottom to your bag, cut a piece of cardboard approximately 3 X 12 inches and a piece of fabric 7.5 x 13.5 and make a sleeve for the cardboard.  Don’t forget to sew your lining opening you used to turn your bag inside out and place the cardboard covered sleeve in your bag!

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I hope you have enjoyed the bag making tutorial!  I have enjoyed putting it together.  I hope the directions and visuals are easy to follow but I am human so if I made a mistake please let me know.

Cheers!

nj

 

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Change…

Change happens.  It arrives whether you expect it or not.  Everyone needs change, I think, but sometimes it is just hard.  We all get set in our routines.  We all have a routine when we first get up in the morning and follow our routines throughout the day.  If you have children, life works better if you follow some type of schedule.  If you work, you have to follow the schedule, and if you are retired…well, I guess you might have some type of routine you would want to follow!  Whatever the case is with you, change happens!

Every summer, I have a few weeks of change.  I love this time of change, embrace it actually!  That is the time I become pretty selfish, if I was be be honest!  That is my time to finish projects, begin new ones, rearrange, paint, plant, take morning walks, and enjoy the extra time.  This is the time I try out new ideas and think up new ones!  This summer, I attended my local quilting guild for the first time.  They brought show and tell to this meeting and WOW can they sew!!  I could have been a bit intimidated but because of change, I have learned that I also have something I can share.  It might not be as intricate as their projects but it will be just as nice.  I will not compare myself to others!  Another change!

Attitude is a big change!  A positive attitude brings about positive change and helps people around you. Have you every heard that it takes more energy to be negative?  Negativity is saps you of energy where positive energy flows!  Besides, it’s so much more fun!

Change is making lemonade from lemons!  Who knows who you will make happy because of a change in the way you see yourself or see others.  Try it and let’s see what happens!

Change is good! Cheers,

nj