Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Saga Continues...

We once again join the young woman to see how she's doing. She works hard all day with her multiple tasks and at night, at night she misses her lovely sewing machine. She is contented that she never became upset at her dear husband, for it was the machine that kicked the bucket. Her time has been spent with the workload that she has just put aside thoughts of sewing any time soon. One day she will look over the makings of it and find the simple solution, but for now she will write stories for others to read about the importance of being quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.

I'm knitting a scarf/headband. I dunno how it will turn out since I'm making it up as I go to keep it interesting. (or rather, to keep it boring enough so I can daydream about all the sewing I would like to do!)

Haven't had time, except once per week-if that often-to post. One day I will sew again and I will have plenty of pictures and things to discuss. That's all here.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Tale Of A Quilt

Once upon a time, a young lady wished to make a quilt. She did not have the right tools for the job, but she was a hard-worker and knew there could be another way. She decided that if she couldn't make her first choice quilt, then she would look to see if there was something else she could make from other fabric. She did find a lovely quilt-along with wonderful prizes and a place where the beautiful quilts were to be shown.

Alas, for the young lady was easily distracted by pre-cut triangles that danced in her box of fabric.
They had been bought for a mere pittance at the town's day of sales and there they were, no scissors required to begin piecing this quilt. As she began to pair the pieces to be sewn, five of her six children (for the youngest slumbered) begged to play with the dancing triangles. They quickly paired the dancers and all was ready to sew. The day progressed, much work and toil above the regular duties of the young lady (for she worked strongly beside her husband in his labors), but she looked forward to seeing those lovely triangles turn into squares.

Finally, the time came and she dashed away to the sewing machine to begin. The storm began to rage outside, but its cool breeze refreshed her. She was just getting a rhythm of motion, when suddenly, out of the dark, gloomy sky...the machine stopped working. Checking everything, the young lady resigned to the fact that now was not the time for such joyous splendor of fabric.

As she finished checking her correspondence, her husband came upstairs from working in the grueling restoration of their Lord's castle. The young lady told her woes to her husband and asked if he had worked on the electrical. "Yes" he said. She told him to what that certain wiring was connected and then he said, "Just the sewing machine?!" incredulously, since the oil lamp had not been extinguished nor any other item affected.

So, as you can surmise, the young lady saw that she had been drawn away from the lovely quilt, but bearing no ill will toward her husband, would soon return to her endeavors.


This is the skirt. I already wore it & I didn't iron it for the picture. I added a panel to the front because I was too quick to cut it out that I forgot to add the seam allowance. It's definitely roomy, but I don't mind. Next one I'll pay attention and make to fit more trimly.

My mods were: panel to front, french seams, pleated ruffle, no zig-zag stitching.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I really can't believe I thought I could make a quilt without a ROTARY CUTTER!!!


Yeah, I returned my mom's rotary cutter, still have the cutting mat and 12 1/2" square ruler thing, but cutter, NO! I know, I was knitting everything and thought I'd knit the rest of my life. I didn't think I'd make such a dumb mistake!! It would take me years to just cut out a quilt with scissors! I know, I did it before, but that was when hubby was at work for 9 hrs and I was the only one at home with no babies yet!!

Here's one tutorial I found after I was already done. I really like the embroidery!

Ok, here's the progress of my tea dyeing. I just put some water (didn't measure, maybe 2 or 3 cups?) to boil and added 4 bags of tea. Let steep until it looked like tea

just poured it over the fabric in a bowl.

It sat in the tea for two and a half hours.

I rinsed it next, then put it in the dryer and then I'll iron it. I'm hoping for lines and markings.

This is next to the refrigerator for comparison. It seems very even in color.

It's a very simple process and unless you are looking for an exact color, don't bother to swatch.
I guess you haveta use tons of tea (or coffee) to get a darker color. I don't know how much darker it would be. Black tea gives it a very light brown color, coffee gives a grayer color and camomile gives a golden color, or so I've read. Good rule of thumb: it will look just like you spilled the drink on your favorite white blouse, not like a traditional dye. I read that it will also come clean with regular detergents, but I guess I'll wait to see that as well! I was going to skip the rinse, but I realized it would probably do something to the rest of the quilt the first time I washed it.

So, I won't be cutting out my quilt tonight. *sigh* I guess I might put together the skirt and do some cutter-hunting online. I did like the Dritz reviews for the package of ruler, cutter and mat at Jo-Anns.

Well, gotta figure out what to do now. Ciao for now.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just One More Thing...

I forgot to mention that those three fat quarters in front of the shirt material are William Morris Prints. They are just the loveliest fabrics. My mom and I went to a quilt shop when I was in my teens or early 20's and she said for me to pick out a few that I liked. A few...William Morris!!! One day I will own bolts of his fabric!!

I also remembered that it hasn't been 20 years since I last quilted. I made my first quilt 20 years ago, but then the first 2 weeks my hubby and I were married, while he went to work, I cut out (with the only scissors I had-pinking shears) and pieced (with my Bernina sewing machine wedding gift from my parents) my first quilt after being married! That was 8, almost 9 years ago. I also started a yellows/golds/creams pinwheel quilt when I was expecting our first born-that would be about 8 years ago. So, I haven't been without for as long as I thought, though it has seemed that way.

Ok, while surfing and looking for ideas for quilt blocks, I happened upon a way to cut out a perfect 5-pointed star. I love symmetry, so here's the link so you can have a fun paper project with the little ones or even show your buddies what you can do!

Since I was hitting a mental road block as to the design of my quilt, I decided to ask hubby. I showed him a few quilts that I liked the colors and blocks and he would mainly say, "no" but when he saw this one:

he said it looked like it belonged in "gramma's log cabin" "something you just want to wrap up and be warm in". I figured it must be the design to use. I even showed a quilt with similar colors, but he didn't like the colors or design! Ok, that finalizes the design & I only hope that the colors I have to use will work! I'm thinking of possibly tea-dyeing the white fabric I have before I even cut out blocks from it. Hmmm...I guess you'll just haveta wait and see!

I did get out my fabric tonight, after being way too long looking at quilts online. I'll get to actually cutting it, Lord willing, tomorrow. I've figured the math and am satisfied that I have more than enough fabric (I didn't figure the border, yet) and am eager to begin the wonderful process.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Quilting Bug

Yesterday, I picked out the fabric I would like to use for my quilt. I started to take apart the dress (gold flowers on burgandy) and I need to take apart the shirt. I guess this is called "repurposing". This shirt is something my hubby won't be wearing and I just loved the paisleys and thought it would be perfect for something one day. The day has finally come!

I have several ideas floating around my mind, but I think simplicity will rule over anything else.
I've determined to have 12" blocks with 6" and 3" designs. I don't know exactly what all I will incorporate, but I figured I'll just make one 12" block at a time. I must remember that 12" is the size I want it to be finished, so back to figuring before I cut anything.

Here are the fabrics, except for that blue floral next to the pink is supposed to be with the darks-I was on autopilot. It's mostly divided (clockwise starting with far right) darks, lights and mediums. I also have lots of white, some muslin and some sheets that I had used to make pillow cases.

Hope you enjoy the progress as much as I enjoy the sewing!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Adorable Skirt and Ruffle Top

First Sewing Project:

I didn't realize how much I enjoyed sewing. I went through my "bucket" of fabric and sorted from clothes to make, things I haven't figured what I'm going to make for the past 15 years and quilts. I have my container of quilt makings in storage, so I had to find more cotton!!

I cut out this adorable skirt as my practice skirt in this stretch (only slightly stretch) cotton. Now all I need to do is sew it together.

I want to see how this comes out then I have a lovely light blue floral that I intend to make into jumpers for the 2 baby girls (Purple-age 3, and Red-age 2), and a matching outfit like mine for the 7 almost 8 yr old (Pink). Here's the Ruffle Top I'd like to make to match the skirt.

I'm going to be trying to do my sewing in the evenings. I am actually jumping up and down in excitement to be back to doing what I truly love!! SEWING!!!