Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodby 2014-----Hello 2015

2014 has been a great year.
#1-  I made the choice to retire April 1.
Not as much sewing as I dreamed about but what I have completed has been fun.

I joined the RTW fast and only slipped a couple of times to purchase a couple of t-shirts.
Made several outfits and planned many more.  This is a sample   I am still learning how to fit myself after years of no sewing. I did not make anything other than simple things to get back into the flow.

Quilting projects were few but I did complete  Thomas(grandson)'s quilt.  and pieced a quilt top that has not been finished

I did make several items for the grandchildren, some Christmas gifts, and some sample quilt items for the Main Street Fabrics.

2015 will even better
Some of the sewing goals are:
--Continue the RTW fast so that I will continue my growth in garment fitting
--complete the unfinished quilt top and do some machine quilting with a design other than stitch in the ditch
--complete 1 Christmas item per month
--complete some home deco projects that have been in the planning for several years
--make 1 quilt for charity
-- make 5 children's garments for charity project
--use embroidery on a garment for me

Some personal goals:
--continue to walk 15 miles a week
--eat healthy
--drink lots of water
--enjoy life outside more, ie in the garden and yard
--volunteer some time each month to help others
--think positive thoughts
--pray and thank God for all my blessings daily

I hope that your 2014 was wonderful and that 2015 will be even better.


Thursday, December 25, 2014


May all experience the Joy and Blessings that God shared with the world for Christmas.
Let us never forget the true meaning and put Christ first in our lives throughout the year.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Starting Christmas

I have begun working on Christmas projects.  I know that I am running late....but that is my usual pace....behind.

I have decided that the grandchildren will fall under the theme of Bedtime and Books for Christmas.
I started with pillow cases, will follow up with pajamas, and end with either books or magazines.  Each of the families are very limited on space and home school the children.  So, I decided that this would be practical and educational.

Girl's pillowcases.

Boy's pillowcases.

Next I was asked to put together a lap quilt for the holiday open house at Main Street Fabrics.
This ended up being my first venture into quilting, not in the ditch.   I did quilt part of this in the ditch and drew the diagonals and used the walking foot to quilt the center of the panel. 
I then drew the quilting design on the green and orange borders and did this by FMQ(first time ever).
I was only give a set amount of fabrics and the way that I decided to put the  front together  required that I had to piece the back.  I used the 'left overs' from the black, green, and orange from the front binder strips to create the striped strip.
Very hard to see the quilting in the photos and probably good.....not just real good.  I told Christie at the store to hang this high so that it can not be inspected too close.
Then I needed to get the final groceries out of the garden and prepare the winter plants for the upcoming cold weather.
Last of the tomatoes and peppers.

My hubby used PVC pipes and 6mil plastic to created covers that can be easily rolled off and on depending on the weather to protect from frost and freeze yet allow for watering and sunshine on warmer days.  Hoping to continue to get lettuce, cabbage, greens and cauliflower for a while longer.

Last project for the week was a request from my sister.
Hope you all are planning a great family Thanksgiving.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat

Now been very diligent at the sewing machine the last couple of weeks.  Have a lot to get accomplished before Christmas.   But, Halloween was first.

My Daughter in Law had requested a trick-or-treat bag for Thomas when she was home for a visit early October.  Thomas saw the red shirt that I had made for cousin Julian and wanted one.

These were shipped to Florida last week.

I also needed to get Grandson Nathan set up with a Halloween bag.  This one was shipped to Texas this week.

Now on to Christmas preparation.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Back to Children's Clothes

After I spent many days cleaning up the sewing room and putting all my fabrics on bolts,  I got that urge to make garments.  It is so nice to be open the closet and look on the room shelves and see what to work with next.  Here are the pictures of the fabric stash.

The first thing I made were some shorts for two of the grandsons.  They both live in locations where shorts are usually worn until December.  I had found this "Hot Wheels" fabric recently and the boys keep their pockets full of hot wheels.

Next was a baseball print fabric.  This has been in my stash for some time. I thought that I had used this for Julian, but his mom said no.  Decided it was time to sew this up before all of the children outgrow the fabric.  The shirt for Thomas was constructed.

I have had the striped knit fabric in the stash for several years.  I have never been comfortable sewing on knits.  It was time to dive in.  I had purchase a See & Sew(B6005) pattern mainly for the legging pattern for the girls.  The top was very much the style that Lola would love.  I had purchased the turquoise spandex to match another fabric that I have for Lola.  When it was finished, Lola came over and tried it on.  She loved it!!! Oops, the top was too short.  Not much way to correct, but all is not lost, Alliene is younger and shorter so she will be able to wear this.  I have promised Lola a trip to pick out more fabric and she can have another one of her choice.

Julian is getting so large, it is hard to choose items to sew for him.  He still seems disappointed when Lola gets new things that Nana makes and he does not have anything.  I got the guy a shirt with motorcycles. Fabric Robert Kaufman screen print #4822.  He has not been over to try it on, but he has seen the fabric and was excited.

Lola was in a fashion show locally early September.  One of the items when she was trying on clothes to model was a denim vest that was supposed to be bolero length.  Lola is so small that it would not fit for her.  Lola is 8 1/2 years old and I can still sew her clothes by a size 4-5 pattern.  Along with tiny she is also short.  Buying clothes for her in the styles she is leaning to is getting very hard.  But I have the denim vest covered.  Using 2 Burda patterns 9610 and 9581, Lola has the outfit she wanted.

The last sewing project completed is a peasant top for me.  I have had the Robert Kaufman flora print for probably 5 years.  It is very light and flows well.  I have wanted a peasant top for quite some time and never could come up with the pattern.  I purchased Kwik Sew 3065 and made it work for me.
I did not want elastic around the neck; I did want an opening at the front neck.   The pattern called for the elastic.
To modify, I created me a small facing to make the opening in the neck.  Then to stabilize the gathering and get the neck opening to the size I needed; I sewed 3 rows around the neck using the elastic thread.  This allowed the neck to come to the size needed and be stable enough for me to put the bias binding. 

Wa-la.....The blouse I wanted.

A finish of a busy week.  Glad to back in the swing of sewing, makes me feel so good.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Busy 3 Weeks

I have had a very successful, busy 3 weeks.  From sewing to kitchen, little time to relax.

In the kitchen, I have once again been in the tomato production business making both oven roasted tomato sauce and salsa. Many hours peeling, seeding, and chopping fresh herbs.  Results were fantastic.

On to Sewing:
I generally purchase my fabrics from Main Street Fabrics in a small Mississippi town of Ackerman.
This town has one street of businesses.  The owner, Christy O'Kelly, had mentioned to me in early summer that she had been invited as a vender for 2 quilt shows in the fall.  Her previous vender/market had not been real profitable. 
I then ask if she generally had room to display quilt samples and if she felt it would be useful.  She assured me there was room but she no one to make samples.  Well, guess who volunteered.  I have had a great time.  It was a challenge......
I usually start with an idea of materials and patterns and if the test pieces do not turn out as I expect, I just make another trip to the fabric store to find something to make it work. 
With this project, she chose the fabrics and left the patterns up to me.  These were fabrics that she wanted to showcase at the Quilt show, so I could not say....."not for me" and go back for more.
I used patterns that I had never tried, I made some samples before I cut into her fabrics.
This first pattern was from a Fons and Porter magazine, September/October 2012, Gallery Walk.
My Sample

Finished Sample:  I did have to go back to get the green dot.  I just could not get the stripe to work without some separation.  I think that it Pops!!!
The second sample was a cut and dry.  Beautiful fabrics and the  pattern just jumped at me as I was flipping though old magazines.  This one was made from Quilter's World, June 2010, Titled Summer Shimmer.
The last set of fabrics were my greatest challenge.  I found nothing that seemed to fit.  I then decided that I would try some of the TNT patterns.  I have an old book that all blocks are 12".  I began to play with some of the patterns that I like.  Spider web, Card tricks, Drunkard's Path.  I had never tried the Web or the out come the scraps and below is the samples from my stash.

Turned out very cute but did not exactly fit for the fabrics that I had to work with.  Now a trip to the newsstand to look at new magazines.  I purchased the current McCall's Quick Quilts......not for this project but for one that I see coming in the near future.   But, after many times through the magazine and the fabrics on the table, the pattern Marquise caught my eye.
I still liked idea of using some of the basic patterns and one of my hubby's favorite is the faithful log cabin.  So I put it all together and this is the final result.
When I had made  the trip back to the fabric store, my sister sent me on a mission with patterns and general guidance of colors for her to make a couple of new fall garments.
Beautiful gold and grey polyester for a lovely vogue pattern she has had in her drawer for some time.

Four quilting cottons to make the New Look that she has had for quite some time.  She will be making the view on the right just lengthening.

Can't wait to see her strut her stuff in these new outfits.
Now the final project was something for me.  I have had this page turned down in a Fons & Porter Love of Quilting since Summer 2012, Funky Chick.
Once I get it quilted it will hang somewhere in my breakfast room.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Milky Way

I first saw this pattern about 2 years ago in a Fons and Porter magazine.  That magazine got borrowed or lost and the pattern was gone.  But, I knew that it was meant for me when the free pattern came in an offer to renew the subscription.  I then filed this in the definite to-do folder.  I could envision this as a very "Happy Quilt" made in bright fun colors.
I decided to make this a scrap quilt. I wanted to prove to my hubby that all that 'stuff' that I hold on to could become something beautiful.  I began to search my scraps to try and make each spinner completely different.  To do this, you begin to destroy any organization that you have built into your sewing stash.

The door stayed open to the closet for days and the scrap boxes were strewn across the floor.  I am usually such a "neat freak" that when my sister came by the house she was blown away that my sewing room was such a disaster.

The planning began to take shape.
It took about a week to select and 'fussy cut' all the pieces.  As I worked through it, I found several scraps that contained pictures.  Some were 'girly' some for boys.  I considered mixing but changed my mind and decided that maybe in the future there would be a boy's version.
Once I got the spinners planed and sewn, it was time to  build the stripping between the center and the  4-square border.  The pattern showed a white strip.  That did not work for me.  I then tried taking short strips of many of the fabrics but it seemed to be "too" scrappy.....needed some color continuity.  Several trips back through the closet and I uncovered this lavender print.  Yay!!! It worked for me.
So for now, I have a Friday finish of the "Milky Way" for girls.
It has been packed away as I have several other projects with deadlines laying on my table.  I plan to machine quilt it myself, probably during the winter months when nights come early and seem to last forever.  During those gloomy days I will need the bright-fun colors to cheer me up.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stripes and Plaids

I continue to work to master the fit of sewing for myself.  I am using fabrics that are in my stash.  Many of these were originally purchased with the grandchildren in mind.  But, as life has buy more than you use and as the children grow and develop opinions.....these did not fall into something "liked" category.

I started with a shorts pattern that I have had in the drawer for a year. Simplicity 2191.  Since my last goof with the red stripe knit top,  I did go to the Pattern Reviews of this pattern before cutting.  Reviews were positive and gave me confidence to continue.
I basted and found that very little adjustment necessary.  I was using this pattern to try and replicate a RTW that I have just about worn the seat out of.  The RTW has a front fly, is somewhat fitted with  darting but has a draw string waist. 
To get this combination, I trimmed down on the waist of these shorts 1/2 inch and cut a band to be the finished width of 1".  I worked the buttonholes just to the side of center and added the draw string.

I then opened the stash closet to see what could be used for a top.  I had the option of white or a yellow stripe.  Stripe won.

Using a dress pattern that I had used earlier in the season and new that it fit, I begun to modify
to duplicate a top that I had seen in a RTW catalog.  The pattern that is becoming a TNT is Simplicity 5989.

The neckline is almost a square but fits nicely.  I wanted this to button up the front as the RTW that I was copying.  This was a very small piece of yellow stripe and I did not have enough material to cut double fold front placket.  I then felt the need to trim in some way to tie the stripe to the plaid.  The decision there was a simple piping around the neck.  This was fine but I wanted to add some 'decoration'. The curved scrap from the armhole was uncovered and the pockets were born.
I have worn this and top and shorts are very comfortable.  I think that the fit is good.  I am sure that both of these patterns will be used multiple times.  They are both quick to make and very versatile for the fabrics and trims that could be used.

Friday, July 11, 2014

White and Red

I have been trying for a while to get a complete outfit sewn and have finally made it. 

The pants are a white stretch denim purchased in Tyler, Tx @ a Hancock fabrics.  I used the  pattern M5142 that worked with in an earlier post and it will be one of the TnT's.
The top was a New Look experiment.  I was using some rib knit that has been in my stash for many years.  The plan was to make the short sleeve version with a contrast yoke.

As you notice, my version does not look like the pattern.  This was a very strange pattern.  The yoke(neck binding) was impossible for me to conquer.  It was supposed to be cut on the straight and folded.  In the picture see how straight the pattern is with only the curve seam to create the shoulder. My first attempt was with the white contrast. 
This buckled in both the front and the back.

I then tried to make my own pattern with more contour, a little narrower and a seam at the neck edge to get the rounding that I thought would make it lay against the chest.

This did not work either.  I then made a trip to pattern reviews to see if this was a known issue.  I found that others have had the same problem. (should have read before I started, lesson learned)
I asked my hubby to give me some help in determining how to save this top.  I had planned to put the bias binding and maybe some additional straps to assist in keeping this on the shoulders.  He pinched out a small amount in the back seam and it tightened up the neck line.  His idea was that the additional straps might look odd since the shirt did not drop off the shoulder completely.
The pattern had the seam in the back so it was easy to take it up.  The sleeves were very short, so I then added the bias to give them a little more length rather than turn them up to hem.

I am still not sure that the top will be comfortable.  Guess I will have to wear at least once to decide.  I am very narrow and thin through the shoulders and if the top stretches much....not sure it will be a keeper. Or, will add the straps later.