Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Super Busy Secret Sewing

Does it seem to you that all of the Secret Sewing projects happen all at once and you have nothing to share on your blogs for weeks at a time?

That is what it has been like for me the last few weeks.  It isn't that I haven't been sewing.  I have been sewing like crazy, but I don't have much that I can share.  Some projects are complete secrets that I can't even mention, while others are just projects that aren't ready to be shown yet.  It makes it hard to come up with ideas to post about.

One of the projects I have been working on is a new pattern.  I am hoping it will be my first magazine submission.  I am finding the information out there on submitting patterns to magazines a bit confusing.  Should I just have the entire pattern and a perfect quilt ready to go before submitting to a magazine? I am going to be frank and honest here, I am worried about this part.  I am a quilter on a strict budget and I can't always work with the latest fabric lines, nor can I afford to send my quilt out to be quilted by a professional on a long arm.  I would welcome any tips or hints on this.

The other project that has taken up a lot of my time has been a new Mini Hop QAL that Janice from Color,Creating and Quilting and I have been working on.  And Kate from Smiles From Kate has been helping us this time around. *Thanks Kate!*  We are hoping to make this a regular thing.  Jen & Jan's Mini Quilt Along.  We like those mini projects that you can get done in a day or two.  Maybe use up some scraps and have a good gift to give.  So, why not invite other quilters to join and share in the fun?  We will have a blog hop to go with everyone's mini finish too. But, don't worry if you don't have a blog.  We will have an Instagram tag so everyone can view all the fabulous finishes in one place.  We are almost ready for this, so keep your eye on our blogs and we'll be posting the invite and tutorial in the next few weeks.

And I have also been working on a signature wedding quilt for a cousin of mine.  She knows it is coming, but I still don't want to share too much until it is finished.  It is all in her pretty wedding colors.

Don 't mind the lighting, I just had to snap a shot of this stack of Kona Woodrose.

I just love when those points turn out just right.

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fabric Bowls

All these snow days have me all discombobulated.  I hardly know what day or date it is.  Don't get me wrong, I love having the extra sewing days, but I don't think I have been to work for 5 days in a row for over a month.  It makes me think I am forgetting something very important and I find it hard to focus on anything too intense.

So, I decided to work on something that wouldn't require too much attention.  Something that wouldn't be a big deal if I made a mistake.

I have had it on my "New Things to Learn" list for a long time.  Years probably.  And yesterday was the day to finally get to work.  I made my first corded fabric bowl (and my second and my third :) )

The first couple of loops were the hardest.  They weren't as nice and neat as I had planned.  And I had to figure out my stitch width and length too.  One of the tutorials I watched said to take the width as high as it would go.  But, my new machine (that has finally been named BTW.  Introducing Esmeralda, Ezzie for short) went all the way up to 9 I think.  That was way to high and would be going past the cord on both sides.  I moved it down to a width of 5 and I think that worked perfectly.  I put my stitch length to 2.

The first bowl turned out so nice.  That I decided to make another with a completely different color scheme.  I am now hooked!  I ended up making three small bowls and plan to go buy more cord tonight.  Many of the tutorials suggested using clothesline cord found at a hardware store.  I used cotton macrame cord that I had from Joann's.  It worked great.  And I believe it is pretty cost efficient too.

And I also worked on a semi-secret project to be revealed sometime in the near future.  Janice, from Color, Creating and Quilting and I have decided to do another mini quilt along.  You may have been a part of our first mini quilt along and blog hop where we did a Shadow Block mini quilt.  See a gallery of all the quilts HERE.  And the hop HERE and HERE.  This may become a regular thing.  All will be revealed soon.  When doing a quilt along, do you prefer some kind of mystery?  Would you prefer to see the finished product before deciding to join?  Let us know!

Linking up with:
Let's Bee Social
Needle & Thread Thursday
Finished or Not Friday
Fabric Frenzy Friday

Monday, January 9, 2017


This weekend I finally was able to sit down and work on my new machine! Who has yet to be named.  She is a bit shy I suppose, although I now know that she gives off a distinctly feminine vibe.  When she was new I thought for sure it was a male machine.  :)

What was my first project?
Jen over at Patterns by Jen is hosting Muggamo!  What is a maggamo you ask?  She explains her word creation brilliantly on her blog post, but basically it is a "Mug Rug a Month".  She will be sharing a new mug rug pattern each month.  Hop over to her blog for all the details!

Patterns By Jen

This year, one of my goals is to make some smaller items.  Things to use for gifts or to place around my house.  These mug rugs will be perfect!

The pattern was easy to follow and I picked the fabrics right out of my scrap bin.  With all this yucky weather, I felt the need to pull some bright Springtime colors.

See my new snippers?  Love them!

Pretty trimmings!  But I really, really need to clean that mat.

Part of me wishes I would have swapped out the yellow and the white, but the other part says, "Well make another one silly!"

See that fancy, new scissor thread cutter on my new machine!  Favorite thing so far, tied with the 1/4" stitch setting.

Trying out my new walking foot.  Pretend you don't see that tiny little pucker, that was totally user error.

Just look at those pretty, straight lines!  Loving it!

I had to try out the free-motion too.

I still have to hand-stitch the back of the binding, but that will get done tonight.
Overall?  Very happy with this little mug rug!  Thanks Patterns by Jen for the great tutorial!

Linking up:
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year - New ??

On my Christmas break, although mostly good, a horrible, horrible event happened.  ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!  My sewing machine broke.  :(  I spent hours and hours looking into to.  Cleaning it, re-threading it, changing the needles.  Finally I discovered a HUGE crack in the bobbin case.  

Gosh, no wonder it wasn't working right.  So, I had to spend the rest of the weekend without sewing.  I organized a bit, but it was truly depressing.  When the shops opened I went and promptly bought a new bobbin case.  Guess what?  Still wasn't working.  It was sewing for the most part, but it had an occasional hiccup and loop/knot on the back.  What was going on?  Finally, this last weekend I knew I had to take it to the shop.  The thing is, my machine was not a fancy one.  For the cost of the repairs, I could probably buy a new machine of the same kind.  I called ahead to make sure I went to the right shop.  The people at the shop (it was a Sew & Vac Save Stores) were so friendly and helpful.  That was so nice.  I can't tell you how scared I was that I would go in and get taken advantage of and spend unnecessary money.

He showed me new machines, explained their differences (including the prices) and answered all of my silly questions.  The truth is, I sew tons more than I ever expected when I bought that last machine.  It is what I do when I am not working.  That machine is going to be working hard, I might as well upgrade and get something that is meant for that kind of treatment, right?

I narrowed it down and finally decided on the Janome Skyline S5.  I knew it was the right choice for me.  It had a few extra bells and whistles that I knew I wouldn't use, but oh did it have some things I was longing for.  The thread scissors?  The extra throat room?  Pressure Foot pressure adjustment? Oh yes! 

It is so pretty on my sewing table.  Although, I really need to make a mat for it.  It doesn't scoot around on my table like the old one. I haven't had too much time to sew on it, just a couple of test pieces.  I did read most of the instructions though.  

They did take my broken one as a trade-in, but now I have a few accessories that no longer fit or I have doubles of them.  Any recommendations on what to do with these?  Like my Sew-Steady table is practically brand new (it fits a Janome DC1050 if anyone is in the market for one).  :)

I can't wait to try this bad boy out!  I should name him/her right?  I think it is a he for some reason, even though things like this are usually a she.   Do you have a name for your machine?