Category Archives: Sewing

Fabric Shopping

I have been spending a fair amount of time lately looking for local wholesale resources for my fabric.  I purchase full bolts of the fabrics that I use large amounts of . These are a few bolts of ticking, toweling and a red dotted cotton that I love with the ticking!

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Yesterday I spent the day down in Portland, Oregon.  I have been picking up my toweling fabric and some of my ticking from Fabric Depot.  I love their store, and I thought that I would share some pictures with you.

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Yes, they are large!

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I have been coming down here for awhile and I love just browsing the latest lines of fabrics out.

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This store is a quilters dream!  Although they have tons of other craft items, patterns, home decor, a wonderful yarn section, etc.

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I just snapped a few pictures of the lovely selection of cottons!  And they were having a sale of 30% off of everything this week. They also do mail order, just a FYI!

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I try to refrain (which is not easy!), and stick to the wholesale department.  You can pick up whole bolts of fabric, provided that they have it in stock, for 40% off of the regular cost.  They also are very happy to special order for you!

The bolts of ticking I picked up at another wholesaler that I found, E. E. Schenck Company.  I’ll share pictures of them, and the wonderful warehouse they have, (and all of the fabric and goodies available) in another post. I spent about 2 hours just soaking it all in!

If you’re ever in Portland, Oregon, you have to make a stop at Fabric Depot!

Thanks for stopping by!

A Frosty Sunrise

My how time goes by!  It’s already past the middle of January of a new year!  I just took the picture in my header this morning.  The orange was so intense when I first spotted it, but just the few minutes it took me, to first check for new e-mail, and answer questions regarding shop listings, etc, it changed completely.  But I thought it was still worth taking.  Only 27 degrees, a hard frost, and the sun rising.  It’s going to be a good day!

I have been sewing and sewing, mostly to restock the shop.  But I do have pictures that I would like to share with you, from my completed, yes you read that right, completed projects from the end of 2012.

Colin's quilt

Here is the quilt that I finished for our new grandson, Colin.  He was born in November, a sweet little guy…

Colin - Newborn

I took some of the extra fabric and made him some matching washcloths..

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And then I made him a matching fabric basket with his name on it.

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I purchased an embroidery machine in November so that I can do projects like this one, and some monogramming on items in the shop, more on that later.

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And this was the quilt label that I machine stitched for the back of the quilt.

We also had another grandson in August, my son’s….

Zane - Newborn

Ducky Hamper

I picked up this old wicker hamper, which was somewhat beat up and all white, and painted it for baby Zane.  I thought that the ducky should be blue to match his room, and I made a new liner for it. I also made a fabric basket and covered memory board with the blue checked fabric, but gave it away before I took some pictures!

Like most people, I look to the new year to make resolutions, or promises if you will, of what I would like to accomplish or do differently this year.  I’ve decided to keep it simple this year, since I know how things change as time goes on.  One promise that I made myself was to finish the projects that I have started, and I have some that have been around for a long, long time, before I start new ones.  And I have tons of new ones that I would like to do.  So I am doing just that.

Lap Quilt

I don’t know if anyone remembers this lap quilt, but it has been setting in the closet folded up and waiting to be completed.  I actually had it all machine quilted and ready for the binding.  Then I noticed that all of the quilting needed to be removed.  The tension on my machine, don’t know how I missed it, but it was off.  And the stitching on the back looked terrible.  So I have started removing it.  I am about half way done.  This will be my first project to get completed. And I have someone in mind that I will be giving it to.

Then on to this one……

Orange Sherbert Quilt top

This is my Orange Sherbert Quilt.  I only did the top, then never assembled the quilt.  It is a crib size quilt, so I guess you know where I may be going with this one?

I have other projects, but lets just get these couple done first, ha, ha!

What projects are you tackling this year?  Please share with me! Maybe we can support each other and get them done!

Enjoy your day!

We

Crafty Idea: Christmas Towels

I know that it is a little early, but I thought that I would get a start on doing a few small projects so that I  have a nice little handmade gift on hand for those unexpected guests  or people who I would like to give a little something to during the Christmas holiday season. And face it, there is never enough time during the holidays to do everything that we would like.

Today I decided to make some Christmas towels.  They are so handy to use to line a basket with food gifts, or as a little extra for a teacher or neighbor with their favorite cookies.  And you can whip up a few in no time.

The supplies that you need are as follows:

  • bar towels – I had white ones and red ones.  Any small towels will work.  Note:  wash and dry towels before embellishing them.
  • Jelly roll strips (you can also use yardage that you cut yourself, fat quarters, whatever you have on hand.) The set that I used was Moda, Ready Set Snow by Me & My Sister Designs
  • scrap pieces of rick rack and ribbon

For the white, blue and apple green towels I did two different things.  The first towel I took one of the jelly roll strips and ran a basting stitch down the middle.  I then gathered the ruffle to the width of the towel.  I folded the ends under, so the edges would have a finished look.  I then place a piece of apple green rick rack down the center, and stitched both to the towel.  I then removed the basting stitch.  Note:  when adding any ribbon, rick rack or any other trim, make sure you fold the ends under with the ruffle so that the ends don’t ravel.

The second towel, I just took a jelly roll strip and cut it to the width of the towel, plus 1/2″ so that I could fold the edges in 1/4″.  I then sewed down each side edge.  Next I pinned the ribbon along the top edge of the fabric, making sure that the ribbon ends were folded under, and stitched it on, making sure that I stitched both edges down, covering the raw edges of the fabric. Repeat the same process on the lower edge of the fabric.

Next I made these two red towels.  These were both made the same way.  I took one strip of the jelly roll fabric for each one.  I folded them in half, along the width, so that they measured 1 1/4″ deep (and there was a folded edge on the bottom).  I then gathered each piece into a ruffle (you can do this with a ruffle attachment or by hand.) I machine sewed them onto the bottom edge of the towel, making sure that I folded the ends of the ruffled fabric under on each end.  I then attached a piece of ribbon, by sewing along the top and bottom edges of the ribbon, covering the top raw edge of the ruffle.

That’s it!  An easy way to start getting ready for the holidays.  You might make some for yourself as well!

Thanks for stopping by!

Crafty Project: Covered Buttons

I love doing covered buttons.  They allow you to add a unique touch to your projects, and are so easy to do!

I thought it would be fun to make a few for some fall and winter crafts.  The buttons come in a wide variety of sizes and are generally sold as a kit, which means that you receive everything that you need, except the material.

You generally receive two types of backs, one with a shank to use as a button, and a plain back so that you can use them to make jewelry or other accessories.

I gathered up a couple of different Halloween fabrics that I thought would make cute buttons to use on tote bags. First I place the clear plastic template (they didn’t use to have this template, you had to cut out a piece of cardboard, great improvement!) over a part of the printed fabric that I wanted to show on the button.

I drew around the template, then cut it out.

Place the fabric, right side down, into the soft plastic cup.  Center your piece of fabric so it lays evenly inside.

Then place the rounded side of the button front inside.  Finger press the fabric edges into the center of the button front.

It should look like this orange one.  Then place the back that you have selected on the top.  Make sure that all of the edges of the fabric are tucked underneath.

Press down.  You can use the tool that they provide (the round blue item), but I found on these large buttons, that I didn’t need it.

Here it is!  So cute!  So I did more….

You can take all of your scraps now, and make all types of buttons or jewelry, or magnets.  Whatever your imagination can dream up!  And this is a great idea for kids!

Take care,

Crafty Idea: Baby Washcloths

Looking for a quick and easy gift idea for a baby shower, or just to add something special to a baby gift? How about some cute baby washcloths!

I don’t have time for too many projects that take too much time to do lately, so when I found a tutorial  over at Zaaberry, to make these sweet baby washcloths, I knew this was it.

I only made a couple, but it takes no time at all, following her tutorial, to make several of these sweet and soft washcloths.

There are a couple of things that I did differently, and that’s because I am always looking for a shortcut.  That’s what happens when you never have enough time in a day, lol!

Where she made a template to use for her sewing line (and a wonderful idea she has to use old file folders!), I used a 6″ square ruler to draw mine.

I use a water-soluble marking pen to draw my line. Don’t forget to leave yourself an opening….I almost did!

When I was done sewing around each one, I clipped the corners before turning. I didn’t clip my seams, because I thought that having the seam allowance larger would keep them from coming apart of a lot of use. After turning the cloth right side out, I pressed it with an iron.

I then edge-stitched about 1/4″ from the edge.  This also closes the opening.  That’s it!

So, so easy! 

I just used remnants of some chenille and flannel that I had on hand to make these.  What a great idea! I think that I will make some more with cotton on the top now.

Thanks for stopping by, and stop over at Zaaberry for tons more inspiration!

Sewing Tips: Measure Twice, Cut Once

I thought that I will start posting a series of sewing tip posts, hoping that some of the sewing techniques that I have developed over the last 30 years or so may be helpful someone who is just learning how to sew, or may be a reminder for those of you who have been sewing for some time.  Some of the tips will only be a few lines, other times a story (lol!).

I am sure that you have heard the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” Nothing can be more true when it comes to sewing, and saving yourself the possibility of many hours of frustration and tearing things apart.

I don’t use patterns too often to make most of the things that I sew.  I have learned that in order to save myself a lot of frustration and time tearing apart seams, I measure, pin and measure again, and then cut.

These are the tools that I use the most.  An extra long tape measure, my rulers for rotary cutting (I have many, many shapes and sizes.  This one I use nearly daily), my water-soluble marker, pins, my small rotary cutter (again, I have several different sizes) and my cutting mat.

My example will be my table runners, since I am currently making quite a few. Depending upon the size of the runner, the cutting mat and the tape measure are both crucial for measuring.  I use the mats to get a general idea of my length and width, and I generally add a couple of inches on my original cut.  Because I know that ticking doesn’t always cut nice and even and can distort a slight bit, I’ll add on a couple of extra inches. Since I need to make sure that the stripes are even, this has saved me from having to abandon a piece of fabric and start over again. After my initial cut, I measure again with the tape measure. I sew one end, measure, then sew the other end.

It’s hard to measure a length very long without my extra long tape measure.  Sometimes I also use two cutting mats, but I am always verifying the measurement with my long tape measure.  This is where I also use my water-soluble marking pen. I only pin and sew one side at a time, always stopping to measure the width after sewing each side.  This helps me keep the stripes straight and consistent.  I use the same process when I am sewing each end.

When I am getting down to the basics, the small ruler with the sliding adjustment is indispensable for me.  It really keeps me on track, making sure I am consistent and evenly hemming the sides.

And although I haven’t mentioned it yet, the plate on my sewing machine is also a valuable measuring tool, making sure that when I am hemming and doing topstitching, I am keeping my sewing lines even.

Using these tools, and double-checking my measurements before I sew, and during sewing, keeps me from having to start over or getting frustrated because my project isn’t coming out as planned. It make take a little longer to get my project sewn, but this process is a time saver in the long run.

I hope this helps you too.

I think that I am obsessed…

no, in love.  That’s it!  My almost favorite (more about this another time) new gadget…..

my ruffler!  I absolutely love this attachment, I can’t stop making ruffles!

First I brought out my scrap/strips of fabric, most of them vintage (in fact all of the fabric in this picture is at least 20 years old).

Then I pressed some of the strips….

Most of the strips are 1″ wide, a few are 2″ and many are random.  These are some of the vintage pieces that I stripped a long time ago for other long forgotten projects.

And then I just started making ruffles!  Some have raw edges, some are folded in half and have a finished edge.  I just couldn’t stop!

What am I going to do with them?  Stay tuned in, more to follow…………