Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Few More Christmas Projects

These are just a few items that I worked on over/for Christmas. The knitting needle roll-up I used the vintage McCall's fabric. I made this for my boss. I made a roll-up for Taylor and it goes together pretty quickly and easily so I thought Connie might like one for when she travels.

The pillowcases were for my history major daughter Whitney. During the last retreat, I went to the quilt shop in Sister's Bay and saw this fabric. Actually, Laurie Ceesay saw it first and I decided that it might work for a present for Whitney. Laurie probably had her pillowcases made immediately. I had to get up at 5 on Christmas morning to finish making them and then wrap them.

The polar fleece blankets were made for friends of Lauren. She needed a little gift to bring back so we thought the embroidered blankets would be quick and easy. The stitch out for the names took a while because I think the font was about 3 inches high.

My Lucky Week

Last week as I was pumping gas in the bitter cold, for some reason, a visit to the thrift store popped into my mind. I was about a half a block away for a store. My rationale was that since it is the end of the year, I was hoping that people had cleaned out their closets (um, sewing rooms) so they could get a tax benefit. I'm always in the market for vintage sewing patterns. The last two visits have not produced any children's patterns. I think someone stalks the thrift stores then sells them on Ebay. Nasty people. After feeling despondent over the lack of patterns I was getting ready to leave, I then spied this cute little poodle flannel. Good score. $1.80 for two yards of this cute little print in great condition. I then moved onward to St. Vinnie's. Didn't score much except zippers for a quarter each.

My second really great thing of the week involved my zipper foot. I have been missing a zipper foot for at least 6 months. This foot goes to my Viking 105. My first Viking. I would use that zipper foot on my new machine because that foot can get into tighter spots. I racked my brain out. I looked under every piece of furniture. I tore the laundry room apart, the new sewing room apart, every bag that I ever took to retreat or class. My beloved zipper foot was never found. I slowly had to resolve myself into understanding that I would need to fall in love with my new zipper foot. Forget that presser feet are a pricey deal. My guess is that the little foot would cost at least $20.00. The real trauma is that Viking does not make that zipper foot anymore. I've gone onto Ebay a few times with the hope of buying an older Viking foot. I had determined that I must have lost the foot either at retreat or class. My machines have been in so many places this past year. Well, on Monday, I thought I would see if my walking foot would fit Taylor's machine. For those of you who don't quilt, a walking foot is really expensive. I think I paid about $85.00 for mine. It doesn't fit my new machine so I was hoping I could use it on Taylor's. I pulled the box out and was stunned to see my zipper foot. WTH is it doing in there??? I also found the little magnetic guide that I sometimes use. That little zipper foot really made my day. From the picture, you can clearly see the difference between my old narrow foot and the new zipper foot. I can't wait to see what the rest of my week is like!

Listen Up Kids, This is Why You Should Stay in School

I come from a business family. I think if you have a head for business, you probably have a head for numbers. I wasn't cut from the same cloth. My father was an accountant, my sisters and brother all involved in business careers. None of my dad's math skills was passed on to me. Math and phonics were my worst subjects in school. I would sit and daydream while the teachers were droning on and on. Well, didn't that come back to bite me in the rear. You see, as a teenager I sat there in class and thought, when will I ever need to know this outside of the classroom. Well, here is an example of maybe a geometry problem.

I saw a simple fabric bucket on the internet. I immediately thought this would be a quick, fun gift for so many people. Well, the pattern was not an online pattern, I couldn't download it. The pattern was only available through mail order and the pattern was out of stock. Rats, I really wanted to make a few over the weekend. How hard can one little bucket be? I mean, after all, it is a rectangle and a circle. Sweet. I can do it. Well, 4 days later and countless redo's I finally had a bucket to give to my boss. My goal was to complete 4 bucket over the weekend. I completed one bucket in 4 days. I decided to use a 7 inch basket from Ikea that I got from quilt retreat as my inspiration. I wanted my bucket to be 7 inches high. Useful as a little sewing trash can. I started out with my measurements plus additional inches to account for trimming. I somehow forgot to trim extra fabric under the embroidery so the basket ended up to be 9 inches tall. I don't think it's very useful. I think I re-cut the bottom of the bucket four to five times to make it fit. The lining was recut and re-sewn at least three times to make it fit.

My husband would die if he knew that I gave this bucket to my boss. He wouldn't think the embroidery design is an appropriate thing to put on there. Well, my boss had a good laugh. She told me that at the last board meeting she was at, she was called "Barbie" since she is always so put together.

So kiddos, pay attention in math class. I'm a fine example of needing math skills to complete simple projects. As you can see, engineering was not in my future.

The Year of the UFO

I decided that I needed to have a New Year's sewing resolution. I cemented my thought process by telling my husband (possible mistake). I told him that I really needed to start using my fabric. I'm sure most of you are confused. Why wouldn't I be using my fabric? Well, it's like giving away a family pet or something. My fabric has been with me a long time. There are some cotton prints that I just haven't had the perfect project to use on them. But, the realization is that I need to make headway in my sewing room. There (hopefully) will always be more wonderful fabrics at the fabric stores. I need to pry the fabric from my hands and use it for craft projects and garments. A couple of years ago I put myself on a 6 month no-buy. This isn't necessarily a no-buy year, just a year to try to work with what I have.

Well, I let Jeff know of my resolution on January 1st. On January 2nd, I found myself at the fabric stores. Let's see, I went to Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Hancock Fabrics, Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Yes the Home Depot was for supplies for a sewing project. Fabric and notions at every stop. I purchased some Alencon lace at Joann's. It was in their red tag section for 50% off. Now mind you, it's not great quality like true french Alencon, but hey, for $3.00 it was a steal. I was standing at the cutting table waiting for it to be measured when a lady came up to me and asked what I was going to do with the lace. I told her I didn't know. I had a daughter getting married and maybe I could use it for something. She said she picked it up and put it back since she didn't have a plan for it. Well, that just increased my score knowing someone else wanted it.

At Hobby Lobby, I wanted to see if they had any fabric that would work with a sock monkey design. Yes, I have sock monkey fabric but I'm getting hives just thinking about cutting it. I left there with the dotted fabric. Oh and a box of Milk Duds.

I then went to Hancock's. Lauren and I had seen this wonderful vintage sewing fabric. It has old McCall's children's patterns on it. She asked if I could make her a quilt out of it. Well, I still have her queen size quilt (labeled UFO) waiting to be finished. This fabric is forbidden fabric. It's forbidden because it is not on clearance and it's not on sale. I ended up buying 3 yards of one print of the forbidden fabric. On January 3, I went back to Hancock's and purchased 4 companion fabrics to the forbidden fabric. These are also forbidden fabric, not on clearance, not on sale. I only bought a 1/2 yard of each so I'll need to go back. I guess my 2010 resolutions are going so well. Busted with 24 hours.