Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


While reading Jean today, she reminded me of a conundrum that I experienced last weekend: the sewing machine electrical cord and foot pedal went missing.  And I mean nowhere were they to be found.  The last place I remember seeing the clear plastic sack containing those pieces was at the repair shop. 

That sack was lying last Friday morning on the repair office counter next to the cash register.  Inert, innocently bagged along with my name and phone number in case it was separated from the Pfaff.  It was just there.  I was trying so hard for it not to be misplaced.  But it was lost, or stolen, or taken by someone who had not a clue that it was important.

Two phone calls to the repair place assured me that the parts were not in their possession; intensive questioning of the husband revealed nothing (he carried the repaired machine back to its cabinet). A thorough car and then garage search revealed not a clue to the whereabouts of the missing parts.  Had I picked up that sack when paying for the repairs? I just cannot remember. So there was nothing else to do except order the missing parts from an internet source.  Sigh.  $120 could have been better spent.  Nothing to be done now but wait and see if the newly ordered parts show up via USPS.

Today is the first day that Julie will be at our house for a short visit since the first of the year.  Her visit will include lunch of fried trout that Gene and I caught last week at Corn Lake.  Julie was last here at the house on January 1 when almost immediately she became ill with that blasted virus that hit the manor, quarantining the place for about ten weeks until it had run its course of infecting all those vulnerable residents. From New Years' Day until today, Julie has either been recovering from illnesses and surgeries or otherwise incapacitated to the point she could not leave the manor/hospital for a visit home.  That is almost four months, so today will be a real treat. Pray it will be a "successful" visit: i.e., all bags stay in place on her body and she does not need to be returned to the manor for nursing care that I cannot provide. 

One of her nurses said yesterday that back in the early winter, Julie would begin throwing up on the mornings when she was to come over to our house because of anxiety that all would not go well.  That made me so sad to hear that.  I will endeavor to make light of any untoward outward expression of appliance glitches today, because it is likely Julie feeds on my nervousness.

Yesterday, I waited almost an hour at the manor for Julie and her entourage of care givers to finish up with her care before our visit.  (I brought tamales for our lunch.) While waiting, I finished this little piece in oils and pen, 5" x 7". 

Further dabbling yesterday with pansies and poppies in acrylics turned out nothing worth saving.  Tomorrow my friend at the manor who also paints with me on Wednesdays may provide something worth sharing.  I'll take a picture of the cardinal she is painting for show and tell.

The weather is truly spring-like, and by that I mean it takes its turn being cold and warm, with last night temps going down to freezing. Here is a photo of a few cosmos seedlings this morning.  They have spent the last three nights under a south window in my study.

About half of the seeds germinated, so it must be time to start planting and nurturing a second batch.

Last week a newly ordered kit with yarn dyed by KnitCircus showed up in the mailbox.  It is Rainbow Trail by Christina Gihrlanda.  Lovely colors! The color is named "Quoth the Raven." It will knit up into a striped sweater like this:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Happened this Week

Best new recipe tried this week: Lemon Ice Box Cake  by 12Tomatoes to be served at RCIA tonight

Finished Projects: A Line Vintage Dress (modified pattern) and Yard Clean Up ( trees, boxes, rose bush limbs) in time for city-wide trash pick up, likely today

source is our front sidewalk

Frustrations: Julie has been in bed two weeks; sewing machine tension is off, making sewing almost unacceptable; Julie does not keep her new phone charged

Successes: Julie was in wheelchair and playing cards in the manor activity room with only minor headaches Sunday and yesterday; Pfaff sewing machine taken to be fixed at the repair shop; went fishing today and we caught our limit of trout! Geese were present

Happiness Derived from Material Goods: New Merlot Leather Lazy Boy Recliner delivered yesterday so Gene and I now have Edith and Archie Bunker chairs

Blooming:  Iris in front

144 seeds planted on April : progress of sprouting as of April 14. half are up:

Electronic Update: The Fire was knocked off Julie's bedside table on Sunday night and is broken beyond repair; new phone for Julie is working (but hardly ever charged when I need to call her)

Trying to learn how to use Jack's Camera (macro lens):
actual size: a 50 cent piece
Ollie the Owl: still here, seen most often at dawn and then again about 10 AM daily

Reading: Almost finished another Rosamund Pilcher's Winter Solstice, and Pain in the Tuchis

So what is up in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fabric Bowls and Laundry Line

As usual, when Elizabeth posted her pretty fabrics bowls here on Washing-Line Tales, I had to copy her and make a fabric bowl also.  Monkey see=monkey do.

I had a bit of trouble envisioning how to start off the center part, but Link #6 below from Crafty Stylish gives a good picture of the beginning of the vortex of covering the laundry line.

Using up odd bits of fabric from the closet and discarding the rest, it was a good way to not only have fun seaming up a quick bowl, but it helped in de-cluttering pieces of fabric previously used in Liturgical Art projects.

These links will give you all you need to know about how to make a fabric bowl if it does not come to you intuitively. Links will also lead you to some very pretty bowls made by other bloggers.

1 here (Mrs. Tittlemouse)
2 here (Radiant Home Studio)
3 here (Pretty Prudent)
4 here  (This Year's Dozen) explains continuous strips and a button decoration idea
5 here  (Cynthiaf) her dog sports one of her bowls on his head, sweet!
6 here for Crafty Stylish
7 here for Craftsy coils at the end
here  Wikihow shows the zig-zag stitch in detail

Besides reading and learning from the links above, my further suggestions include the following:

  • Cutting the strips of fabric about 1.25 inches wide on the bias makes twisting the fabric around the laundry line much easier and cleaner looking

  • Use a cording foot; my trust old Pfaff machine came with one in its box of attachments

  • use coordinating fabrics (I did not, so the resulting bowl looks like it was made out of Depression era materials)

  • Take your time and enjoy the process!  It took me about two hours total to make a bowl out of half a package of $5 cotton laundry line purchased from True Value Hardware

  • Find a decorative piece of jewelry or crochet a flower to cover the ending tale of the bowl

  • Now go out and do as I say, not as I do!

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Love Me Some Linen

    The following is an unsolicited advertisement for an online store that sells quality linen.  No bribes or money has been transferred to garner the following endorsement for this store.

    Linen, medium weight, color: cardinal.
    All Purpose Linen, IL019
    and here are just a few more of their colors from this site:

    This is the finished garment.  It has good drape and can be worn either as a blouse or as a jacket over a tank top or tee.
    Loving it so much I ordered more fabric in this color to make the same Jac Shirt:

    Pattern: Jac Shirt from Tsutti in Melbourne, AU
    Details here

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Card Table Toppers: Easy Sewing

    Following the advice of my mother from years past, one should not put plastic on the table, be it flowers or vinyl tablecloths.  That maxim has stuck with me.

    So when we use a card table, I usually end up folding a tablecloth in half and throwing it over the card table. Inefficient.  But this week I decided to use fabric on hand, as well as purchasing a bit of new semi-coordinating cottons and made two card table toppers.

     Yellow Brick Road fabric
     Fleur di  lis
     Cabbage Roses

    They make me happy.  Half inch seams all around.  35 inch squares for the top; envelope sides, 18" deep. Easy peasy. Coordinating cloth napkins are in sewing process.

    Now for eating alfresco.

    Son in law Jack's picture of a rabbit in his yard this week, taking a break to scratch his ear before hopping away:

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    Wednesdays Are For Fishin'

    Got me a new Fishing Shirt with all kinds of bells and whistles on it that includes loops and pockets and more loops.  It is a man's shirt, all cotton, and of course I was glad I had that big one ordered, knowing all too well the properties of cotton being tumbled in a hot dryer.  Oh, and it is pink and white striped.  It takes some king of macho guy to wear that color fishing.  But for me, pink is great.

    Gentle readers, don't judge me, but I failed to report that last week I caught seven rainbow.  This easy, quick aioli sauce is my favorite to use with trout: no bottled tartar sauce for me, thank you.

    For the sewists:

    Look at the Tessuti site from Australia that was recommended by a friend.  Boy, was I glad to find this shop.They even have free downloads, so of course this shirt was a must:

    The Fave Shirt found here and free:
    Downloads are about 40 pages long, but only have a few lines on each page, so the printer ink is minimal. Then you fit the pattern together like a jigsaw puzzle, ingenious.  Be sure to get the A4 paper, not the American paper that comes in 8.5"x11".  I purchased a ream from Amazon after going to Office Max where I was told no place in the USA carried this style paper (wrong, don't believe everything you hear).  And as for the printer settings using A4 paper, be sure to also set your printer for that size paper.

    It will be a fave top; already made one and another is on the machine all cut out and ready to go. It uses a twin needle for hemming the top, so that was another foray into finding the one called for.  The first top I made was a bit snug on the forearm, so it was increased at the bottom of the sleeve for my fat arm accommodation.

    Look what opened this morning...
    from zinnia seedlings started in April...

    The kiss of the sun for pardon, 
    The song of the birds for mirth,
    One is nearer God's heart in a garden 
    Than anywhere else on earth.    ~Dorothy Frances Gurney

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    Tote Bags - Easy!

    Thanks to Abbi, I came across her tutorial on how to make a simple double sided tote bag.  How serendipitous that just yesterday I purchased two fat quarters of fabric to make such a tote!

    Here are the fabric pieces.
    This is Mrs. Pfaff.  She came home yesterday after cleaning and repairs at her spa: Adams Vacuum & Sewing Machine Sales and Repair.
    Mrs. Pfaff says to hurry up and get her settled into her cabinet home so she can get back to work.
    And also for Works in Progress Wednesday, I am starting my second repeat on the Creature Comforts Cardigan

    Visit others' blogs at Tami's for WIP Wednesday.

    Saturday, April 20, 2013

    Making Double Sided Napkins

    Tiring of my used and chipped dinnerware, I replaced it with Fiestaware in a turquoise/bright blue.  Newly painted dining room and kitchen walls are in a light peach color.

    And did I tell you how much I like the Behr paint with primer?  Why yes, I think I did back in a post here in January.  So more Behr was added to walls and baseboards, not only in the prior color of Indulgent Mocha but also in a peach color for the kitchen.  Thusly:

    Now to go with these blues in my Angry Birds and Fiestaware, I needed coordinating cloth napkins.  (Yes, there is a trip to Good Will scheduled soon with used linens.)

    This tutorial told me everything about sewing double sided napkins.  Thank you, FiberFantasies.

    A few of the steps are here in print form.

     Peachy and turquois-y fabrics sewn together (squares were about 18" before seaming) and turned inside out.

    Oops, I see a bit a thread that needs snipping 

    The magnets were a gift from my sweet daughter Julie.  Don't they just add a bit of zing?  And just to mix it up a bit, stair-stepping fabrics for a unique one:

    Fun to make, with just a bit of cursing involved in machine sewing.

    Linking to Tami at Finished Objects Friday

    Friday, August 31, 2012

    How to Make Two Sided Baby Blankets

    Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)

    Hot off the press (ironing board, if you will) are three baby receiving blankets.  On each, one side is flannel and the other side is decorative cotton material.  Piping in contrasting fabrics is sandwiched between the sides.

    These blankets are versatile.  They are large enough to use as a nursing cover, as extra warmth for a newborn, as a swaddling blanket, as an impromptu diaper changing area...or just maybe the baby will later want to use one as their very own Banky to wag around!  Hand sewn blankets can be much prettier than the ready made blankets available for purchase.  And who does not want something that you have personally made for a sweet new life?

    The Knitmore Girls Podcast (click here for their blog link and be sure to listen to their podcast) raved about two sided baby blankets.  BTW, the Knitmores are a multi-generational knitting production with the youngest member of the troupe still in diapers.  And the new mama is ga-ga over these blankets.  So I decided to forge ahead and make up a few, along with a quick tutorial about how they were sewn.


    Materials: Each blanket requires one yard of flannel and one yard of a coordinating cotton fabric, along with matching thread.  Piping is optional, but adds a decorative touch.  A piping tutorial website is linked here showing how to make bias binding from fat quarters.  Ingenious!  Purchase medium sized cording for covering your bias tape if you make it yourself.  Get out your coordinating scrap materials or buy fat quarters to make bias binding for the piping.  And remember that a piping foot for your sewing machine makes things much easier.

    (hand made bias seam binding that covers cording sandwiched between right sides of fabric, ready to be sewn as outlined in second step below)


    • Trim pre-washed and machine dried pieces of one yard flannel material and one yard of a pretty coordinating 100% cotton decorative material into square of cloth the same size.  Press each piece of material to make it wrinkle free.  It is cotton, after all.  Put them together with right sides facing each other.  Then measure your fabrics and cut them (one on top of the other) to made all sides equal.  One of the blankets I made turned out to be 37" x 33" after both fabrics were squared up with one another and the selvaged edges removed.  (Receiving blankets are usually 34 inches or 36 inches square, but since you are making this blanket, you can approximate lengths and widths.)
    • Sew the optional piping using the tutorial above (four yards of it), or purchase piping (four yards per blanket), or leave off the piping altogether...sewer's choice.
    • Right sides of fabric together, sandwich the piping between the two fabric pieces, ensuring the piping edge is between the fabrics with the cording side to the left of the seam.  Sew around all four sides of the fabrics, leaving a 6 inch space free.  Turn to the outside. Smooth out the blanket and baste closed the six inch opening in the side, catching the piping between your basting area.  Close to the hand basted area, stitch "in the ditch" close to the piping, making sure to catch your basted areas with the machine stitching.
    • Press again.  You might want to go around one side of the piping with a machine stitch all the way around each side of the blanket to further flatten the fabrics together, but it is not necessary.
    • Sew your personalized tag onto the blanket to autograph your work.  (Thanks, Charlotte, for reminding me of those tags I bought back in the '70's!)

    Such pretty and practical blankets for that new little one.  (Beatrix Potter would approve.)