Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Harley Quilt and Etsy Sale

Hello!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  I have been seriously neglecting my Etsy shop and blogs the last few weeks.  It has just been SO busy!!!  As I'm sure it is with all of you.  Gifts are almost all put away, so now I feel like I can focus on back on my sewing and craftyness a bit.

Here are some pictures of a Harley T-Shirt quilt I made for a woman my Husband works with.  Her boyfriend's father passed away, he was really into motorcycles and Harley's, so she had me make this.  Wanted to wait until after Christmas just in case he or she somehow found their way here!

Have a bit more straightening up to do around this house and hoping to get some more items on my Etsy shop this week.  If you haven't, check out my Etsy Sale!!!  ;)  http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kraynaks, A Holiday Tradition ;)

One of my favorite traditions that has developed with my little family over the years is making the trip each year to Hermitage, PA to visit Kraynaks, a locally famous garden center that puts on an amazing Christmas tree display.  We do it for the kids...but truly, we do it for us too!  :)  I thought I'd share a few pictures of our trip yesterday.  It was so fun!  :)  Above is one of my favorite trees in the display...plaids and gingham - sooooo me!  Their displays are truly jam packed and amazing...

Of course along with Kraynaks, part of the fun is stopping at Daffin's Candies in Sharon...

...that chocolate turtle is still pretty cool!

More of Kraynaks displays...aren't they wonderful?  This one is so sweet and reminds me of my girls...

...looking out the window, spying in the sky to see if Santa near...

...there tons trees and lots of decorating inspiration...

...this one is so beautiful!  Some day I want a tree that hangs from the ceiling...  :)

...pink trees, white trees, blue trees, green trees!

...penguin trees!...

This area, Northeastern Ohio and Northwestern Pennsylvania are also well known for all the Amish that live here.  Even those of us who've grown up with Amish in our backyards find this an interesting image!

...all the little children ooh and aww at the horse and buggy in Super K's parking lot!  LOL*  Tied right up to the back of a cart return!  LOL*

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ack! The Holidays are HERE!

Oh my goodness this holiday season is going by TOO fast for me!  Thanksgiving is already next week, I can hardly believe it.  Wheew!  Still getting up the Christmas decorations, trying to organize the house and clean to make all the cooking we'll be doing next week easier, and trying to keep sewing too.  I haven't done a lot the last few days other than clean and organize, but I did list a few more totes on Etsy.  This time some itty bitties.  :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Congrat's Dad and a Little Sewing :)

Congrat's to my Dad for selling one of his memory boxes on Etsy within an hour of posting it.  ;)  I told ya he's good. 

I know I've been quiet - ish, but it's only because I've been sewing.  Hubby's work is having a craft show the first weekend in December so I'm also preparing for that.  I don't do a lot of shows as I have little children and no whwere to put them when I'm gone!  :)  So I'm a little nervous but we shall see.

Working on a scrap quilt for our King Size bed...nothing terribly fancy but I wanted to whittle down my four massive scrap bins a bit.  Will show more pictures soon...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Dad's Etsy...

My Dad is an incredible decorative artist...and he's making over his Etsy Shop...here's a little sneak peak of what's to come...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Etsy Items

Added a few things to Etsy today...eek, Christmas is coming...FAST!  :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Machine Stitched Bindings

I haven't really done an "instructional" type of post in a while.  Well, I don't know how instructional this is, but what's going to happen here is I'm going to yap a bit about bindings.  Lol*  I don't by any means know it all, but these are some of my thoughts on the subject of machine stitched bindings.

How did you learn to bind your quilts?  My first ever "how to" quilting book was called The Art of Classic Quiltmaking by Harriet Hargrave and Sharon Craig.  At the time I didn't know it, but VERY good ladies to learn from.  :)  Anyhow, from their book I learned to machine stitch down my binding to the front, and hand stitch my binding down to the back.  I really love the way this technique looks.  It holds up great in the wash, and I'll tell you what, I actually really enjoy the process of completing a quilt and then laying it accross my legs to hand stitch down the binding.  But sometimes you just don't have time for that.  Or maybe you're making a baby quilt that will get a lot of use and you don't want to put that kind of time into your project.  For those times, maching stitching your binding down comes in awfully handy.  It's also a fun way to make use of some of those decorative stitches...

Here is an example I'm working on now.  I've been making a few little totes to sell for some extra Christmas money.  I decided to use the blanket stitch on my machine to close my binding.  I find it a lot easier to use a wide binding for this, so I cut my binding strips at 3", and then folded it in half.  Once attached to the purse, Instead of folding in half again I folded it all the way down so I have a quarter inch binding on the front, but the stitched won't be right next to the binding, but rather, in a about an inch or so, making it look more as if it were just a decorative stitch added to the purse for fun.  Here's the front...

Here's the inside...

For the blanket stitch you want to use an open toe, or a zig zag foot.  When you begin you want to make sure your needle is in the middle.  This is where your straight line stitching is going to go.  I line this up right next to, or maying a thread or two into the binding.  Now I don't know how you other ladies do this, but I do backstitch.  I backstitch only the straight stitches though, because the little "chomp" stitch looks like a zig zag and not a blanket stitch when I backstitch.  So to keep it neat and uniform I try to avoid that.

Here you can see the needle hopping over to take a "bite" of fabric.

I find it really helpful to use these little binding clips when I'm doing this.  I don't use them to hand stitch down my binding, but when doing something like this they are really helpful.

If you have an extension table, it might help to take that off too for a tote.  If you're binding a quilt you may want to leave it on.

Oh and here's another little hint...I'll tell you what, to some it may seem silly but I never knew this.  You know that pressure dial for your foot?  USE IT!  :)  Mine is  set at 2 for the majority of my sewing, but when doing purses and totes I find I have a lot of thick bulky seams.  When I scoot up to a seam like this...

...I drop my pressure down to zero.  Now I'm using a size 14 needle and I slow down, but it goes through nice and smooth without the pressure.

Then I just turn the dial back up once I get through the seam.

Ok so a different post for once.  :)  Not really a tutorial but maybe helpful to somebody out there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

(A day late...I'm actually putting up the Christmas tree today!!!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

I Definitely Have a Problem

LOL*  I can't believe I bought another old sewing machine.  Another $5 Goodwill special.  I think this must be a pretty common machine because I see them all over the place.  The only thing wrong with it, is it was missing the power cord.  It has a knee bar and a foot pedal, but the knee bar isn't connected and the foot pedal has a crack in it.  I brought it home and hooked it up to the foot pedal of another machine and voila - it sews!  LOL*  There is some cracked rubber over the wiring which I am debating tackling myself.  But who knows, it may be too much a job for me, I am not yet sure.  I'd like to think I can do just about anything myself so long as I am motivated enough.  Lol*  Anyhow the whole purpose of purchasing this machine was to experiment.  It only cost me a few bucks and I want a machine I can pull apart and fiddle with and not feel guilty about it.  I'd love to refurbish this myself, and see if I truly can do it without paying someone else.  This will probably be an ongoing project, so I'll keep you posted.  Lol*  :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Custom Diaper Tote

I haven't been able to add things to Etsy lately because I've been busy with custom orders...this is a good thing though!  :)  I made this custom baby diaper tote for a neighbor...I think it turned out so cute!

**Oh, and I am thrilled to mention that the teacher friend who ordered the two zippered totes was so happy with them, she ended up keeping them both!  LOL*  She had purchased two, one for herself, and one to give as a birthday gift...what a compliment!!!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wheeew, Totes and More Totes

Well now that my sewing machine is back home, I sure have been keeping it busy.  I made a couple custom order totes for a teacher at my daughter's pre-school.  I hope she likes them!  Hopefully I didn't send my machine back to the sewing machine doctor either...I don't like the sound it was making after sewing through all these layers of fabric and batting to attach the straps...I was bad though...I did break a needle hitting the zipper on one of these.  Zippers are NOT my favorite thing!  People don't always understand that there is a difference between a seamstress and a quilter.  I'm good with quilts.  I'm comfortable with quilts....but my MOM is the seamstress!  Lol*  :)  So zippers are a bit of a daunting task for me, but I'm learning it's probably worth it to get more familiar with them.  Let's just home my sewing machine lives to learn with me!  :)

Here's a few pictures of the totes...and their zippers!  LOL*  Not as pretty as some of you pro's out there with the zippers, but they are functional and pretty much hidden so I don't think I'll get any complaints.  :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Sewing Machine is Back!!!

Thank goodness too.  This stay at home Momma goes a little batty if there's no sewing going on.  :)  The best part - NO MORE SKIPPED STITCHES!!!  The true test happens in a few hours here, after dinner I'm going to put in some monofilament and see what happens.  My order arrived today from Patsy Thompson Designs for a spool of Superior's Polyester Monofilament.  I'm thinking it must be good stuff since they are sold out on the website.  LOL*  Right?!  I haven't tried it yet but I can feel a big difference.  It's not stretchy and it feels heavier, or thicker.  I don't know how it will work out for quilting but we shall see.  If it doesn't skip or loop on me then I'll be a happy girl!

So of course I've been busy now that my machine is home...

I made this bag today for Etsy.  I am proud because I finally figured out and made use of my ruffler attachment for my featherweight!  Here's a couple shots of the attachment in action...

WOW am I sorry I didn't learn to use this little devil sooner.  Ruffles go SOOOO much faster with it!

Also attempted a 10 minute block...the picture is horrible but you get the idea.  It makes a cool block that's kind of like a cathedral window...but minus the window.  I really like it!  I have had a few people ask me to make cathedral window projects, and they get costly with all the time, handwork, and materials, but boy this would be wonderful to get a similar effect for a more affordable price.  Well...that is if I can part with it after I make it.  LOL*  I've decided I'm pretty awful at selling my work because I want to keep it all...and I do keep some!  LOL*  Oh well, it's not as if I'm ever going to NOT sew.  I can always make more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sewing Machine Down. :(

All these sewing machines, and don't ya know it, the one that I use for all of my quilting is down and out!!!  I took it in yesterday after I bought my THIRD pack of needles to try and remedy the skipped stitch problem I've been having for some time.  I had thought it was the polyester, and the monofilament, but when I switched back to my normal recipe of size 14 quilting sharps with 50 wt. cotton thread, I still had skipped stitches and this time worse than ever.  Here's a picture of what was happening...

I have quilted several big projects on that machine with no issues, but now all of a sudden this is what my stiching looks like.  They suspect it could be the timing going because my thread has all of a sudden begun to break with brand new fresh needles in place.  Argh.  How frustrating.  I don't even know what to do with myself without  my sewing machine.  I can piece my heart out, but it's the quilting that I need to get done!  He says hopefully a week...oh I hope it's sooner!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Old Sewing Machines

Alrighty well ever since I brought the 301a home I'm on an old sewing machine kick!  A friend who recognized my obsession sent another oldie to my house even!  LOL*  I'm a lucky girl.  I just thought I'd post a few pictures of what I have in my little collection right now.  I didn't really set out to collect these things, I originally only wanted a treadle to sew on, and a featherweight.  The others just sort of fell into my posession...and now, I'm HOOKED!  :)  So here it is...

Singer Model 15 - this one I just discovered the model of thanks to some help from the "Vintage Sewing Machine Shop" on the Quilting Board.  I always thought it was really neat, and I guess it's special and I didn't know it because it has an "oscillating bobbin" instead of a vibrating shuttle.  Lookee...

...there...see the bobbin?  I guess this was one of the first machines to use these bobbins and these in particular don't often come with the Sphinx decals...or so I'm told.  Ok I'll be honest I still don't know enough about these machines to really know how significant that is, but now I'm hooked and have to learn as much about it as I can!

If you've been here lately you've seen my "new to me" Singer 301a.  I am PSYCHED to try free motioning on this.  :)

Singer Model 15-91, or at least that's what I think it is.  :)  I have been told that this is a good one for free motioning on too...

...and of course I have a featherweight!!!

Sears and Roebuck model "Howard".

I adore the pretty ornate cabinet...
A little toy machine the Hubby gave me for my birthday....

...and you've seen this cutie my parents recently gave me...

...and here it is!!!  My monster machine came home today!!!!!  It's a Kenmore model 58...ugly as heck but really neat!  It has a knee bar which I am fascinated with.  Lol*

...a little yucky, needs some cleaning...

...and it came with one of my favorite surprises...attachments that haven't been touched in a VERY VERY long time!!!