Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sewing for Fun...

 Here I am, sewing for fun.  I had purchased an embroidery CD that does cross stitch.  I used to do cross stitching but I was eventually reduced to doing so by wearing a magnifying glass around my neck.  Now I can cross stitch all with the simple ease of my embroidery machine.  Amazing designs.  I gathered up a bunch, grabbed up some fabrics and made a quilt.  I love it....

 I also have an embroidery CD that offers up designs with a tea time theme.  I did these napkins for a friend who loves to have tea parties.  Such fun....

As a side note, today marks the 6th anniversary of my retirement.  My oh my, I worked until I was 70-1/2 and I waited so long to retire,  to be home all day, sewing, making cards, beading and doing whatever I wanted with my new found freedom.  I am simply in shock to realize that 6 years have gone by me.  But I sure have had a lot of fun in those many months, and hopefully the fun will continue for many more retirement years as well.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Another Sweatshirt Jacket

Altered Sweatshirt.
For those of you who follow me, you know how I love to take sweatshirts and make jackets.  I have never been able to wear a pull over sweater or sweatshirt because I feel confined.  Long long LONG ago my parents gave me a pretty sweatshirt and sweatpants and the only way I could wear the sweatshirt was to make a jacket out of it.  It was glorious.  I appliqued southwestern fabric designs, I beaded, I added dangles and sequins and wherever I wore this jacket, I got compliments.  So from then on I was on a roll to alter sweatshirts.  Here is my most recent.  A pretty turquoise in SM, with flowery fabrics on the prairie points and pocket.  And a tote to-boot with a felt yellow flower.   Hope you think it is as pretty as I do.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hanging Dishtowels

More fabric fun.... I love making these hanging towels.  I bought some nice towels at Costco, and got two for the price of one since these are cut in half.  I had fun bringing out some of my fabric stash to coordinate with the color on the towels. This towel pattern is really a good one. I used some mesh stabilizer that I would normally iron over the back of an embroidery design to cover the thread ends but it works wonderfully to enhance the fabric thickness.   Instead of a buttonhole and button, these are secured with a small strip of Velcro. You can find this fun and easy pattern here: http://kleiosbelly.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/christmas-prezzies-6-1-for-you/.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Sewing Stuff

These are a few of my favorite things.  (sounds like a song, doesn't it?)... I have so much fabric and I never throw even the smallest piece away.  The photo below shows some little pouches, a credit card purse, and an eyeglass pouch.  Great little projects. 
 More coasters...the in the hoop kind in the dark green and the black with polka dots, some crocheted coasters and a few tissue cozies. For each ITH coaster, it only requires two 5x5 pieces of fabric.  The little tissue cozy requires a piece of fabric 6x9.  Easy peasy stuff.
 I bought an applique/embroidery CD for some fun sewing.  There are 10 little zoo animal faces that have a little fabric and a little embroidery.  I made those into cute little totes for some children to carry.
 My friend Kim called, very excited that she had seen a cute little lollipop tote on a Pinterest page.  She needed some of my supplies to make some and while she was on her way over, I whipped up one just to see how they were designed.  For my rendition, this is simply a strip of brown paper with score marks.... a Nestie embossed oval mount, a scallop circle punch, a smaller scallop punch for the turkey face, and a flower Sizzix flower die cut for the background feathers.... a little beak fussy cut and some googly eyes and there you have it.  At the top I scored a half inch and a small punched hole in the center.  The sucker goes into the 'slot' and the stick goes into the hole, the flat is folded over and secured. He's a little wonky, the beak is off center because I slam dunked the design.  Cute...
Can't wait for Thanksgiving to arrive.  My son and darling daughter in law and their sweet dog Daisy come to visit.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

In The Hoop Coasters

In The Hoop Coasters

I love to sew.  I have a new black and gold scrolled vintage-looking Singer sewing machine, I have a Singer Heavy Duty sewing machine, I have a Singer Serger... and I love them one and all.  I LOVE my Brother Innovis 2500D embroidery machine.  Notice I capitalized LOVE on this one.  I have drawers of embroidery design  CD's which delight me to no end, and I put those designs on flash drives so all it takes is to insert a flash drive in my embroidery machine, pick a design and go for it.  Ideas swirled around my head 24/7 for all-things-sewn.  Recently I have become absolutely smitten with "in the hoop" designs and if you saw my recent prior post of the little zipper purse or the cut coffee cozy, you can see why.  I make a lot of 'gifties' to share with friends and family, and that included making bright and colorful coasters.  Well now... even that project has been ever so simplified with an ITH design project.  I found this delight at GG Designs Embroidery here. 
This site has the cutest little designs of all kinds.  I selected, she sent the selection by email and I was off and running with all sorts of cute coasters.  And if you see my sewing items, you know that I love finding projects to use up the smallest of scraps.  Two 5x5 pieces of fabric will make a cute cute coaster. If you have an embroidery machine, take a peek.

Thanks for your visit.http://www.ggdesignsembroidery.com/

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slam Dunks-At It Again...

Every year before my son and daughter in law visit me for Thanksgiving, I start making their Christmas cards as well as mine.This year was one of those push push projects.  I knew I had to get started but my creative mind said "sew sew sew"...  Nonetheless, here are my efforts.  The Cricut created cards have several different styles and these will go to my son and daughter in law.  My cards this year are a bit off the beaten Christmas Card for Carole path.  I bought some darling punch out kits. 
 I used all of the Christmas themed Cricut carts in the designs.  A free for all fun.  I think my very favorite is the polar bear with the flowing red ribbon.

 This wreath is a metal die rathern than a Cricut Cut, as is the large ornament in the card above.
 The sets below are simple simple simple.  The designs are punch outs in circles, and I cut the "doily" cut from Wild Card for the base card.  A Nestie scallop circle in white paper was placed inside to show the sentiment and my signature.  I've added one of the smaller Christmas greetings with one of my clear stamps. A little added embellishment is a holly punch with vinyl dots in red.  Simple simple...  Not my usual kind of cards but I think these will be received with a smile.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beading and Sewing

I used to love to bead.  I made woven beaded hat bands, belts, bracelets.  I have always beaded on clothing, pillows, handmade purses and totes.  One thing I love to bead, and something that my friends love to use, is an eyeglass necklace.  I decided I needed to use up some of those 9 trays of beads so for about 2 weeks I sat at the work station and happily created one beaded eyeglass necklace after another. I made 65.  Yup.... time just flew.  And although I used trays of beads, I still have trays left so back in the craft closet they went to sit until another day.  Here is a view of the tubs containing the 65 beaded necklaces.  
 I just pulled out 2 necklaces to give a better view of the construction.  Long ago I found a lot of the shell discs which I have always used.  This little disc allows the wearer to insert the earwire of their eyeglasses in and the eyeglasses hang safely at their neck.  For myself, I am always laying down my glasses "somewhere" and then I spend stressful trips in every room of my house frantically looking for my glasses.  This necklace will prevent that....  When I used up the shell disc, I found there were not available at the popular craft shops so I bought some round silver findings in different sizes and they work fine.
 Ahhh, back to my In The Hoop Embroidery projects.  Here are some more Coffee Cozies.  I use little bands for braids and ponytails for the loop to hook on the button.
 More more more... I love making these little zipper purses.  Amazing process.
that's it.... it what keeps me busy with a lot of fun and enjoyment to go along with it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Coffee Cozy

Coffee Cozy projects are so much fun.  I've made these by cutting out the pattern and sewing on the Singer, but this particular Cozy is one of my favorite processes:  In The Hoop.  Like the zippered purse posted prior to this one, all I need to do is take my 6x10 embroidery hoop and place some tear away stablilizer in it.  Into the machine it goes, and the first step, the ITH design sews an outline of where the fabrics go.  The first layer comprises of a thinner batting, and the top fabric.  The second step is to sew around the shape to anchor the main design.  Then the quilting process begins and it finishes in a snap.  The last two steps is to put in the button hoop (I use the little elastic bands for pig tails), lay down the back fabric and the machine sews around the shape 2 times, leaving a small area that allows me to turn the fabrics right side out.  Voila.  All I have to do is remove the fabrics from the hoop, remove the stabilizer, trim and turn right side out.  Add a button and it's done.. And it's cute.  It's so much fun to change the fabrics because I feel like I am doing it all brand new.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Zippered Purse with Embroidery

When I work on my Brother Innovis2500 Embroidery Machine, I sit totally mesmerized at each step.  Doing embroidery designs for totes, quilts, tee shirts are a snap.  Next comes applique embroidery where you use fabric pieces that are individually added to the design with satin stitches. I am always a wee bit nervous when I start one of these but they fall together easily so long as you pay close attention to the messages that come up on my embroidery machine screen. .  My machine has a nice large digital screen that goes thru each step with a very clear picture and instructions. I just purchase a little CD that has about 30 animal faces that are appliqued and embroideried and I can see a baby quilt being made very soon. 

Now to the task below.  I love making gifties and the little zippered purse is just that.  I bought an online design from http://www.charmingstation.com/.  This lady had an awesome step to step youtube video and I absolutely had to try this myself.  So ...here it is...

Step #1 is to put tear away stabilizer in the hoop.  In this design I used a 5x7 hoop.  Here you see the 3 various sizes of fabrics (for the upper and lower parts as well as the back of the purse) , the spools of thread and a long long zipper that can be cut to the necessary size. I started out using an 8 inch zipper and I ruined 3 attempts, and broke 3 needles.  The larger the zipper, the better, and I had a difficult time realizing that in the end result the zipper can easily be resized in the sewing process. I am using a 12 inch zipper in the 5x7 purses.  

 Step #2.  The design sews single stitch lines that show exactly where the fabrics are to be place as well as the Zipper.
 Step #3.  I lay the zipper down, with the metal closure about 2 inches above the stitching line, and the metal end of the zipper is at least 2 inches below the bottom stitching line.  I failed to do this properly and broke those needles that slammed into the metal parts.  I tape the zipper so that the zipping part lays exactly on that middle line.  I use just plain ole scotch tape to secure the zipper.  Then the machine sews down each side of the zipper, anchoring it into place.  If the needle sews over the scotch tape, it is very easy to remove when it is time.
 Step #4.  Next instruction is to sew down the lowest part of the purse. The folded edge is place in the center of the zipper itself. This sews so easily that I don't really need to tape down parts of the fabric to the stabilizer.  However, I do...just in case.
 Step #5.  Now I sew the upper part of the purse.  Again I place the folded part of the fabric to butt up against the folded edge of the lower portion which covers the zipper.  The machine then sews down each side to anchor the fabric.
 Step #6.  Now the fun begins.  The embroidery machine design sews a delightful rick rack design  along side the zipper, and that really anchors the zipper.  Later today I actually tried to lay down some real rick rack. I tacked it down, and made sure it ran along that stitching line and it turned out nice.  In this scene, however, this is rick rack that has actually been embroideried.
 Step #7.  The next step is to embroidery a cute little message on the purse.  This particular pattern gives  12 different messages.  I like this one that says "Friends like you make life sparkle". Before I start this part,  I unzip the zipper from the top down to about 2 inches from the bottom.  This will  keep the zipper head out of the way of the constantly moving embroidery process...and it will allow the zipper to zip up the final area that will soon be captured under seams.
 Ok, the front of the purse is finished.  The Zipper is in place and zips up and down nicely, the rick rack  gives a fun little embellishment and my little sentiment is stitched out perfectly.
 Step #8.  I cover the front of the purse with the back fabrics.  It lays nicely, and stitches on easily even without taping. This sews around 4 times to really give a strong seam.
 Step #9.  I remove the stabilizer from the hoop.  And I need to tear away all of the sections that have stabilizer on them.  It isn't difficult.   In this final section, you can see the tail of the zipper with the metal end.  This is snipped away.  The metal zipper head is in the center of the purse, the upper part of the zipper has been sewn at the seams.  I will snip away that upper part.  The zipper is in full function at this point.  Again, using a much longer zipper makes this process very easy.  Otherwise trying to keep those metal ends away from the needle is a huge task and one I failed at..three times...!!!
 This is a picture of the purse that has been trimmed all around very close to the final zig zag stitching...and it is  now ready to turn right side out and press.  I have to use a polyester zipper so I make sure the iron doesn't touch that part.
 Here we are.  A finished little zippered purse.  I added a ribbon and a gold embellishment for ease of opening and closing the zipper.  I've pressed the upper part and the lower part, making sure to not touch that polyester zipper.
 I love making these.  With each change of fabric, I get a new thrill.  And I have used several of the little messages...I loved the 5x7 purse so much, I went back and ordered the little 4x4 hoop purse.  On these I can use up my 8 inch zippers without any problem.
Hope you liked my tutorial on my fun fun sewing adventure.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Good Little Wiener Dog Macintosh

Macintosh The Great Gecko Hunter

My friend Brad (who runs a wonderful Historic Phoenix site) has the cutest little doxie named Macintosh (Brad has a Mac computer, so there ya go).  Macintosh loves to hunt down the geckos in Brad's yard, and she is always on patrol.  It's a funny thing to hear about because my friends Judi and Greg had two doxies who Gecko Hunt and my sweet Springer Spaniel Brig used to be on Gecko Patrol all the time.  Just for a while, I stepped away from my sewing rant and pulled out my Cricut to make a little sign just for Macintosh.  The cute doxie and the "huntin' dog" were cut from my Paper Pups cart, and the Geckos were cut from Life Is A Beach.  I put in my Cricut markers and used Base Camp to print out the titles.  

I am sure little Macintosh loves her new sign.  I sure had fun making it for her.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Doggy Bibs


Oh my, these are precious little ones. 

My son's high school friend Kathleen is very active in a local Rescue Group for dogs and cats and they take 3 at a time from the kill list at the Human Society and Shelters.  When Kathleen posts these darling little fur babies, my heart goes out to each to have a wonderful much deserved forever home.  Kathleen says they all will go to a forever home, and they are kept in loving foster homes until that happens.  The dogs were wearing dog bandanas with the Adopt Me message, and she asked if I would like to do about 40 for the group. YESSSSSSS, I squealed.  I love catching projects as they fly overhead and this is such a worthwhile endeavor, as that.  I tried the triangle doggy bandana style, but it appears that when the bandana is tied around the dog's neck the embroidery work is not showing as it should.   So I went to the drawing board and I came up with a bib design.  Three sizes for the large, medium and small dogs.  Kathleen came and picked these up yesterday. Today she will feature two of the dogs at one of the PetSmart stores in an adjoining city.  One of the dogs, she tells me, is a boxer and I was on the verge of being interested just as Riley The Cat leapt into my arms and said NOOOOOO.

Say hello to sweet Kathleen who does so much for these precious fur babies.

Thanks for stopping by.  I know I have become a naysay blogger lately but I assure you I am busy and not sitting by the pool eating bon bons.  Stay well, my visitors.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Little Bitty Baby Bibs

Still sewin', still havin' fun....  I just made a "batch" of cute little baby bibs.  The photo shows bibs that I made for my son and daughter in law who are trying to adopt a baby.  Some of you may know that my wonderful son, Brent, was adopted.  He came into our lives when he was just 23 days old.  He is my light, my wonderful son.  I was divorced when Brent was just 2-1/2 years old so he and I took on the challenges of life together.  He is now 44 and a most wonderful young man.  His wife, Lee, is the brightest light,...she shines like a star full of  love and personality.  Together they will make the most fantastic parents.  
If you would like to see the adoption link for my son and daughter in law, here it is.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Laundry Room Decor

Laundry Day As They Say
Is just a Basket away
I recently was delighted to have my huge walk in pantry reduced and my laundry room increased in size.  The walk in pantry was room sized and the perfect culprit that allowed "oh well, just shove it in the pantry".  It had shelves in a U-shaped design, 7 in all with vaulted ceiling and the shelves were loaded with ...well, lots of stuff...!!!  My laundry room, on the other hand, was nothing more than a "hallway" with the washer and dryer crammed in next to each other.  In the garage there was an alcove that had carpet rolls and shelving units store.  The front and back pantry walls were knocked down, the shelves removed.  In the garage that alcove wall was sealed up and that became the new smaller and very functioning pantry.  The back wall was rebuilt to house a pocket door that opens to the pantry.  The old pantry now accommodates my new dryer, and a table Rodney my handiman built that I use to fold my clothes on after removing them from the dryer.  This table is tall enough to accommodate Riley's liter box.  What a  wonderful benefit because previously his liter box was in the hall bathroom and I couldn't look down the hall without seeing it.  

Here is a shot of the area where my dryer sits.  I bought an LG washer and dryer set.  These little sweeties sing to me when I turn them on, sing a little song when their cycle has completed.  How cool is that?

 Here you can see the washer.  Next to it, I have a cabinet that houses all of my cleaning supplies.
I have driven myself crazy looking for some paintings or artwork to hang in the new rooms.  The paint is a soft sea foam green, and I know I will eventually find something suitable.  Meantime today I used my wonderful Cricut machine to do a wall hanging.   It'll do for the time being.   

 Just so you know I am not loafing around, I am also sewing.  I got so tired of the towels falling down from the oven handle.  Well, maybe falling down is a bit of a stretch.  Let's rephrase that.  How about Riley the Cat swiping at the towels and pulling them down?...  I remembered years back I made a towel that folded over the oven handle and buttoned to secure it.  The newer ones shown here actually close by Velcro.
Thanks for taking a peek at my delights.