Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Final Stitching Treat

Totally unexpected, but husband approved!
LOL, DH and I know we are having to cut back even more. As a sort of final treat he got himself a video game he wanted. I've had enough treats that I didn't even think I needed one, but I've got one none the less and have to share with everyone.

It took me only minutes to decide on it and get the order placed. My first order with Tilton Crafts, while their sale is still on. I ordered 2 RAK's and got myself a chart. I had super customer service as I'd made a mistake on my form re the RAK's and she fixed it, even though I'd placed the order after 8:30 pm on a Sat. evening!
I was dead certain of what I wanted when I went to place the order. I wanted Master! I especially wanted it. I'm going to post a photo of it. So why didn't I buy it?





I like everything about it! I want to stitch it. I want to support the artist so that I can buy his Vader as a chart in the future. But when it came time to pick out the chart I was choosing for myself this is what I bought.



She has been on my wish list for some time. Above her on my list was Amris and Master. So why did I choose Fantasy Blue?

I have no idea, but she is mine now, and I'm so glad! When DH saw her it was instant love. The first words out of his mouth were "You have to get the stuff for this one right away." Well, yay. lol. By stuff he means I have to kit her up as soon as possible. I've no problem with that my stitchy friends!

Now I know the only stichy and craft things I will be getting for the foreseeable future will be floss and a bit of fabric and I find I am perfectly alright with that. I have so much to stitch now I am more than content and a little overwhelmed. 

One of the blogs I love to read has posted recently about her stitching plans and limiting her projects for a little while and it has inspired me to get back to a plan of my own. I think I have it worked out and will tell you about that soon. Meanwhile my stitching mojo is home with a vengeance and I am a happy camper.

This was meant to be a quick little update. Will have more for you soon.

Happy Stitching
Karen

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Janome 8050 Review and a Finish Finish

This is my Janome 8050.




You may recall I bought it in a pinch when my Memory Craft 6000 finally began to fail and was lucky enough to get it on sale etc. So far as I can tell it is sold only through one big chain fabric store.

The first think I noticed is that it is very light weight so be prepared if your used to a heavier or bigger machine. It sews well, has a nice tension, everything you'd expect from a Janome. It makes nice buttonholes, though being different from my old one it took me a second to figure out the foot.
Speaking of which, it only comes with the basic feet but luckily many of the feet from my Memory Craft 6000 do fit it. Yay.  Otherwise I would have probably had to order some in.
This machine took a little playing with to get it to sew knits properly, but part of that is me not being used to sewing a lot of knits. It doesn't have an overcast stitch, which I really miss, but the zig-zag stitch works just fine for that. I widened the stitch a little because it seemed skimpy.
It also come with a speed control so you don't have to use the foot pedal at all and I'm still learning that, but it is very handy on certain items when I want to go really slow. When I want to zip along fast it does it with no problems.
Actually the only real area of concern for me is that it doesn't like thick seams. It has been so long since I had to think about the thickness of my seams that I had forgotten it could be an issue. I just slowed waaay down and it went well but I'm thinking it wouldn't pass the test of jeans, though I haven't tried it yet.
Over all a nice machine for it's price range. The LED light is placed a little oddly but I not only adjusted to it quickly I love it now. At first I thought I'd have to add extra lighting but didn't.
I've only had ithe machine a short time so I can't say if it will be reliable or last but I can say that so far I like it a lot. The bobbin winder is a no brainer. The only thing I really don't like is the storage compartment. Poorly done and annoying since there is no closure on the end and things can just slide out. I just don't use it.

Now to my Finish of a Finish! I finally made up my God Bless and it will be ready to hang after I hand sew the seam closed where I turned it. I didn't have the type of cord I'd wanted for the hanger so just used an old bit of silk ribbon.


Nice country look to it.

I've got a busy evening coming up but I'm still hoping for some stitching time since I didn't get any yesterday.

Happy Stitching!
Karen

Monday, April 22, 2013

Inspired To Stitch!

Now if I can only find the time!

There is still a lot happening keeping life busy. (I'm doing phone business right now, and waiting on calls.) Somehow I always thought that if I were off of work I'd have just loads of time for fun stitching and crafty stuff, but life has a way of filling in all that time.

But, I have been stitching, and being inspired to stitch. I think I have probably committed myself to a one day a week SAL beginning in June. I will update you on that when I know more.

This morning I was the lucky and surprised recipient of this adorable beauty.


Thank you so much Christie! I love, love, love it!
Well, we all know I have a sort of a thing for animal charts, with dogs being right at the top of my list. This chart is from Tilton Crafts. It is the first I've had from them, though I have several on my wishlist, and have for some time. The format is great and the pages appear easy to see. As an added bonus there is a sale, and proceeds from this one went to the Red Cross in Boston, so Christie and other are being a double blessing.

Other inspiration has come my way by seeing pictures of 3 very different HAED mini's completed in the past few days. They all look amazing.

So here is my little bit of stitching, fitted in wherever I can find time. I've also done a bit on my HAED BB sal piece but haven't included a photo today since I am in a confetti spot and there isn't much to show yet.

First, a little bit of Frederick:




It was night when I took the pic and the flash didn't do him any favors but he was stitched on and it was quite enjoyable except the black on black was a little boring.

Next is my bit of work on All Dogs Go To Heaven:



Fairly straight forward stitching on the blue at this point and I really enjoyed it, which is odd since I usually prefer a little confetti. Never-mind though, it is coming!

Stitching related, I sorted through a bunch of scraps and fat quarters to find the right fabric to frame God Bless in and came up with this one. Hopefully it will get stitched up this week as time allows.


I wanted a more country look and thought this quilting scrap fit the mood, though at the last minute I almost went with a Christmas look instead.

Well I had planned to put up a quick review of my Janome 8050 sewing machine today but this is getting picture heavy and I seem to be running out of time. I will definitely do that next time


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Google Reader

Since Google Reader is apparently going the way of the Dinosaur I have decided to begin using Blog Lovin
.<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5456247/?claim=xjyqfqp72gp">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>.

Here is a link for those who are interested. BlogLovin.

Happy Stitching Everyone

Karen




Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stitching Mojo Return!

I sent my first RAK back at Easter and it was a wonderful feeling to be able to return some of the kindness I have been shown over the past year. Then, out of the blue, someone sent me one. I won't name names as I don't think she would want me to. Still, it came at just the right moment, when I was having a down time and feeling dumb for a mistake I'd made.

Not only did it cheer me up, but when it came to me it brought my stitching mojo back with it! If you've ever had yours disappear then you know what a surprise and pleasure that was.

Here is the chart:






This is All Dogs Go To Heaven, by Heaven and Earth Designs.
Back story is that I've had this chart on my wish list in the past, then took it off, on, off. I was afraid the lighter colors just wouldn't come out well, and that the dogs wouldn't be really clear. But then someone posted their finish on Face Book. Wow, beautiful. So it went back on my wish list and I was blessed enough to have it sent to me right after that.

I didn't need another new start but I thought it couldn't hurt to just check and see how many of the colors I had. I only needed 8 colors, a total of 15 skeins. That my dear stitchy friends, was a sign. I know you'll agree!
Anywho...I did not have much fabric to choose from. There was a piece of 28 ct. but it wasn't quite big enough. But I did have a rather large piece of 14 ct. Aida. Usually when I use 14 ct. I use 3 strands for full coverage, but this time I'm going old school. 2 strands on 14 ct. aida, just like back when I first learned to stitch.
Here is the first wip pic.

I'm calling this a page finish. Yep. I generally begin on the right side of a chart and stitch the last page of the first row of pages first, then the second to last, etc. across to the first page. Then I like to go back and stitch the last page of the second row of pages, etc. My page was only 12 stitches wide but darn it, this is a page finish!

On the sewing front I still haven't taken pictures of the Taffy blouse. I have finally finished the Meringue skirt, putting in the last catch stitches today. When I get a pic I will post it, along with a sort of review. So two patterns from The Colette Sewing Handbook are down.

There will be a brief (hopefully) interruption in my plans to sew all 5 patterns because DH went and treated me to a surprise.
The pattern and fabric for a dress. I had just discovered this pattern yesterday:




Re-Release of a 60's pattern. Hubby came home from work and asked if I wanted to go to the store with him, I agreed, and he took me to the fabric store and told me to pick what I wanted. The simplicity patterns were on sale for  $1.00 so I couldn't resist. We picked out the fabric. This was love at first sight. Purple lt. to med. weight denim. Love! Zipper and thread were bought too, and I will be ready to go as soon as I have time.

I did take pics of the denim but they all refused to show the color so I see no reason to post them.

What about you? Has spring got you changing your routine? Making new starts, pulling out old ufo's or swip's? Doing a different craft than your usual? I've been looking at crochet patterns and that is forbidden territory but I can't resist just looking.

I will try to remember to take a pic of the top and skirt and put it up this week. It ought to be easy but DH has been sick, there has been insurance stuff, and now looking for a used car, plus all the usual stuff, and I forget. Also, seriously, I'm really enjoying the housework and doing things around the house and cooking. Even dishes don't seem so bad, so I find myself lingering over stuff I used to rush through. Huh?

Happy Stitching this week. Hope you are all enjoying yourselves.
Karen


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another Project...Or Two

This one is neither stitching nor sewing, but sort of applies to both.
I have been sewing a little lately and needed a table for things like tracing out patterns since I'm learning to adjust them and such.

Now this table has been around the house for literally years.






We have used if for everything imaginable and actually have another one in use somewhere else.
It is really very sturdy and seemed like it would work well.   Ignore the stain on my ironing board cover please, it will not come out with washing and I am not ready to make a new one yet.
So it has two problems. The laminate is peeling, and it is too dark. I had to throw a white sheet on it when I used it because the table is brown, the pattern pieces were tan, and the paper I was tracing onto was white. I couldn't see the lines well at all and the white sheet underneath everything fixed that.
Determined to have a better solution for next time I bought some white contact paper to cover the table, first taping down all the icky laminate pieces. A word of advice, contact paper doesn't stick to this hardboard, or mdf or whatever it is called. The first piece went on really well I should have known this would mean trouble!

The first long piece:

Obviously the paper isn't as wide as the table. No problem right? Just overlap them and there you go.
Um, no. The second piece fought, argued, wrinkled, stuck to itself and me and just wouldn't smooth out. Pull it up and try again, same result, only this time it pulled at the piece I had it overlapping and got it all stretched and lumpy and wrinkled. Forgot to take a pic of that, sorry. Then I spent some time re-smoothing the first piece. After that I decided to to it in sections.




Small, manageable sections.
Which seems to have worked.
It isn't very pretty, but it was effective.
Here are a couple of pics with some sewing accessories to give you an idea of scale.

So over all, I'm not too disappointed. I did what I set out to do. I've just noticed you can see where I tossed the waded up paper in one of these pics. Oh well. I did put it properly in the trash shortly after.
I've already used it to take pics for my last blog post so it was well worth the time since I will get a lot of use out of it.







Project # 2:
Bias Tape. I've made it for quilts and bought it in stores for sewing projects, but I've never made it for sewing other than quilting. I've had this handy 1/2" bias tape maker for a year or two. I'd only ever used the 1" kind for quilt binding, but it worked so why wouldn't the 1/2" one? I was so confident it would that I decided to try this continuous bias binding. Before I've always made the strips and sewn them together so this looks good to me. I'd tried it once years ago from  seeing instructions on you tube or somewhere, but without the instructions in front of me I messed it up and forgot about it.



This time I opened up Colette's sewing handbook and followed those directions.




There is that stain again. I should have taken more pictures, but anyway it worked like a charm.
Until I went to use the bias tape maker.
I was really not pleased with the result. The fabric was great or I have doubts it would have worked at all. I think I might rather just press this myself, the old fashioned way, as this was pretty annoying and stressful. Perhaps I need another brand of bias maker, will have to research that. Meanwhile, the continuous bias was definitely a success. I may give the tool another chance with a different fabric, though this one was very nice. I must say, I now know why store bought bias binding is so starched. I think it would make it much easier, though really, I never recall having any trouble or needing that before.


I know I'm wandering a little from my usual stitching posts, but this is what I've been doing, as well as a little stitching. I hope you enjoy all of it just the same.

Oh, and there is quite a lot of that Contact Paper left. I'm think the shelves in the bathroom closet, but who knows where it will end up?


Happy Stitching Everyone!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Projects, Projects, and then more. . .

You get the idea.

Last week I started the black and white Mini Cheshire Cat I was RAK'd some time back. It only got one day though, so no pic. Life just got so busy.
It should look like this one of these days.
I've also added a tiny bit of stitching to QS Mystic Garden.

A bit of a dark pic but it was not bright out.

And here is a pic of the tablecloth that I forgot to post time before last. Only just begun.




I'd forgotten how it is to do a stamped pattern and I'm not sure if I am enjoying it or not, but so far so good. Have you ever done one of these? I used to do the pillow cases and table runners when I was a teen, and I have a pillowcase set unopened in plastic that I got on sale a while ago. That would probably be a bit more instant gratification than the table cloth.

Speaking of instant gratification, my husband and I went and picked me up a sewing machine on Sat. after mine broke down on Friday. Now we shouldn't have spent the money as we really didn't have it to spare, but in the interest of using what I've got I worked on my Taffy Blouse. I'll do a post on that soon. The sewing machine had to be inexpensive and had to be a Janome (New Home) if at all possible. I'm hooked on their quality. I found a pretty basic one I wanted, with great reviews from pretty much everyone, then realized it was still more than I could spend. So I resigned myself to looking at the ad for my local Hancock Fabrics and choosing something that was on sale in my price range. Lo and Behold, the very machine I was wanting. With sale and discount it was nearly one third off and that is what we bought. The Janome 8050 does not of course compare to the machine I had, that was, lets face it, well over a thousand dollars more expensive even years ago. But it is a nice little machine and so far I'm really happy with it. I will do a thorough review of it for those interested after I have played-er-sewn with it for a few weeks more. For now I'll just say it sews beautifully, and makes a nice buttonhole.
So I decided to whip up a quick hot mat with some paneled fabric I had, since we need some of these for placing warm things on the glass shelves of our refrigerator.  I did only the one today as an experiment and it is reversible with some poly batting.
Here are some pics of it.







 I added a loop for hanging at the last minute. I need regular sized hot pads for picking up hot things and coasters as well so maybe I'll try those soon.

Wow, this is getting so long. I still have to show you the table and my sad attempt with one of those bias maker things. I even took pics, but I think that I will save that for another day since I've let this one get a bit pic heavy and long. I did warn you I had a lot of projects going on! Can't seem to settle to one thing for long but it does relax me to be working on something so I'm making time when I can. A stressful couple of weeks and did I mention that on top of it all my dryer is acting up? Yep, definitely need the de-stressing time.

Happy Stitching to you all.
Karen



Monday, April 1, 2013

A Quick Update

Hopefully with another to come either later today or this week.

As many of you know my husband was in a car wreck in my car on Friday March 22. I am so grateful that he is alive and recovering. I thought I'd show you a pic of the car at the tow truck yard that I took last Monday when I went to release it to the insurance company. The sun was wrong and I couldn't see how the pics were coming out. This one shows some of the front damage and you can just get a peek of the air bags that deployed through the windshield.


The Jesus decal was put on just 3 days before the accident and though you can't tell from this pic, in another it is remarkably untouched. DH jokes he will put another on as soon as we have a car. We are waiting to find out today if it will be repaired or totaled. I pray they can repair it as it is paid for and I doubt I'd get anything in as good repair as this one. My poor sub-compact.

I'm not going to post the other pics, but thought I should say something and not just ignore the incident.
I normally try to only post projects and hopefully positive things and I count this one as a positive thing in that my husband wasn't killed or crippled etc.

Believe it or not, there have been other things going on. Dealing with still being unemployed, sewing the Taffy Blouse and having my faithful sewing machine (A gift from my mother 26-28 years ago.) begin to die right in the middle of it. My Memory Craft 6000 has always been there and I posted on Facebook that I was grieving for it, which is true. There has even been a little stitching!
I plan to get some pics on here and show you all of that very soon. I want to return to my regular stitching and sewing posts and not have any other drama to report!
Meanwhile, thank you to everyone who has been kind and offered prayers and words of support this week.

I hope you are all having Happy Stitching and enjoyed your Easter.