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  This lady had an awesome step to step youtube video and I absolutely had to try this myself.  So 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.