Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Being Selfish…a little

…is not always a bad thing.  According to Made With Moxie.  This week has been declared Selfish Sewing Week.  The plan is to spend one hour each day this week sewing something for yourself.  Not a bad way to end National Sewing Month.  Well I decided to do it all at once!  Kira and I took a sick day yesterday…a very productive sick day.

Here’s my selfish project!  It’s called a Fat Quarter Sewing Bag.  This is the version that inspired me and this is the original pattern and tutorial.  And yes, I found this one on  Pinterest too!

Fat Quarter Bag Sept 24 2013 011

I can’t tell you how happy I am with how it turned out.

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When I make another one (which I can’t wait to do) I think I’ll stick with the original size (20″ square).  Mine was made from a 30″ square.

Fat Quarter Bag Sept 24 2013 012

My favorite feature is the closure.  It’s a small strap that fits over/around one of the handles so the bag is closed but still open enough for easy access.

Now because mine is bigger I had some extra fabric and decided to add pockets to the outside (front and back).

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Isn’t the fabric perfect? It reminds of an old carpet-bag but much prettier!!  I bought it at Joann’s.  It’s Waverly Home Décor (it was on sale!! NICE)

Now for the inside.  I don’t know what I love more the ticking fabric, which matched the color of the floral print perfectly or all the wonderful pockets.

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That’s a shawl in progress that I’m finishing for a friend.  Fits perfectly with room to spare…

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A place for everything and everything in its place!!!  I love my new bag!! And no I don’t feel an ounce of guilt about my selfish sewing project.

Now that all that selfishness is out of my system, I’m off to make something for a new mom!!!  Have I mentioned lately how much I love to make things!!!!

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By Hand

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again there is nothing like a quick project to motivate you.  I’m definitely drawn to simple, fast projects these days not only because I can get them done so quickly but they are a great canvas to try/practice new things.  As I said in my last post I really want to improve my hand sewing/quilting and this was a perfect little project.

Who wouldn’t love to get one of these with a surprise inside?


My stitches are not perfect but that’s the point…practice, practice!



CUTE!  So everyone….this what your gift card envelopes will look like from now on.  Think of all stitching and embellishment possibilities depending on the occasion.  I can’t wait for Christmas!!!

To answer a comment question, no US Post for this, hand delivery for sure!

Check out today’s POTD!! Excellent tutorial!  I’ve been following her directions.  And yes, I used perle cotton #8 for this project!

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We have all recovered from last week and getting Kira and her class ready for the end of school.  Summer vacation has officially arrived for us.  While I’m excited for the time off, it also means I’m going to be “ON” for the entire summer.  It’s just my girl and me,  and I’ve got lots of stuff planned for us.  You’ll be seeing the fruit of our labor quite soon.  In the mean time, my own summer fun has begun.

The Wild Olive Summer Stitch Club 2013 has kicked off and oh how excited I am.  Here are a few of my hexagons!!!  I loved this fabric line, then I didn’t, now I do again!!!  Choosing the fabric is really the hardest part for me.


And here’s the club’s first embroidery pattern! I did it last night while watching Game Of Thrones (that’s a topic for another post, actually not for this blog at all).


I decided not to use a hoop and was surprised how easy it still was to stitch!  Didn’t want to deal with overly wrinkling it.  I’ve also decided to use a natural color linen instead of white.  It just looks like a better fit with this fabric line.  Opinions welcome…


I’m totally smitten with this project!!! And the pattern that arrived this morning is even cuter than this one.  I’ll get to work on that one tomorrow night.

Today is my 7th wedding anniversary and tonight it’s all about me and my hubby!!! Stitching and hexis can wait!!!

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We all collect things.  Some more than others, some for sentiment, some for monetary value, some…just because.  I am one to collect for sentiment.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you should know by now what a sentimental sap I am.  An emotional gush is always at the ready.  That said, this post is über sentimental and emotional, and for good reason.

During our vacation in Barbados last June I asked my Auntie Pam (the oldest of my mother’s 9 brothers and sisters) to begin making arrangements to have two sewing machines shipped to me.  Well it took 5 months for them to get here (dealing with US. Customs is not fun…), then another 2 months for me to get them cleaned and maybe even working again.    It was all worth the wait!!!!

Allow me to introduce you to my collection…..

This is the machine featured in the post I wrote last month about wanting another hour with my grandmother and great-grandmother.  In a way, Santa gave me my wish. 

Granny Fowler’s sewing machine before…

Here it is after a week with a very talented “repair man” at Hartsdale Fabrics.

1939 Singer Sewing Machine manufactured in England.  Just look at it….I didn’t even know that plate was silver.

Best part…it works!!! As Larry (the owner) wrote on the report, It Lives!! and sews beautifully. 

I can spend time with her now (in a unique way) on her machine.  Sewing to my hearts content.  No I can’t do any “heavy” work on it but a little piece of all my quilts can now be sewn on it.  A simple seam, a quilt block…a little something made together.

The base needs a little repair, which hubby is more than happy to do for me.

There is also a little mystery surrounding this machine.  When Larry was showing me the work he’d done he pointed out the wear and tear on the hand crank.  That type of corrosion he said usually happened when sewing machine were used on or near the ocean.  When I told my mum we both thought that this machine may have been a gift from my great-grandfather (a mariner) to the woman he loved.   But the dates don’t really work.  Suffice it to say (without airing all the King family laundry) that the  incurable romantic in me would like to believe that it passed through both their hands at some point.  And now it rests in mine, maybe even Kira’s someday.

It keeps getting better.  Here is the other machine that was shipped.  It belonged to my mum’s  Tanti Emlynn (not a real aunt but one of those women you grow up calling auntie, I had tons of them as a child).  She is the talent behind my mother’s wedding dress and those of 3 other sisters (7 total).

Here it is before…

And after…I’m in love.  My mother’s wedding dress was sewn on this beauty!! And now it’s mine

I tried finding the model number to date it but the numbers gave no results.  I’ll keep digging.  But I estimate it to about the 20s or 3os.

That is the little storage box set in the base, very handy.

and a bit dirty…Larry left it that way for me to clean but I think he must have known that I would leave it exactly as is.  Another reminder.

Clearly it has no effect on the machine’s stitching ability.  Another one I get to play with.

Now this one is dear to me in a completely different way.  At the beginning of last June (a very busy month for me) I passed by some signs in my neighborhood for an estate sale.  I thought why not.  So my little one and I took a walk.  As I walked around the house it was obvious that the woman who lived there had been a hoarder of sorts.  Everything was everywhere, floor to ceiling packed.  Thank God Kira didn’t mind still being carried in the Ergo on my back.  As I entered a particularly crowded room I saw this case.  There were some other people in the room too (no idea how we all fit) so I peeked in, closed the case headed out to pay.  I had a few other things, old microscope, books, tea cups.  Final cost $40…NICE!!!

Not bad….

1954 Singer Sewing Machine manufactured the US.

Now don’t ask me why but something made me go back into that room…Jack Pot! All the sewing attachments, threads, notions and even the original manual. 

I have no idea who the woman was who owned this machine but it is clear that she took care of it and used it.  It was a bit sad to watch people riffle through her things and even make “not so nice” comments about the state of the house.  Having this machine makes me feel like I’ve been able to preserve even a small part of her dignity.  By the way my buddy Larry cleaned this one up too and another success.  It works like a charm.

The collection grows.  This Singer, maufactured sometime in the 80s, was given to me by my Auntie Fay (my father’s sister) when I was  about  18.  I’d watched my mum sew (on a Sears Kenmore) for years and wanted one of my own.  Wish granted.  But I was young and had no discipline for it at all so it sat.  It sat for 20 years until Kira was born and I asked my mum to make me a sling to carry my baby girl.  She loved the machine and tried to show me again and again how to use it but again the timing was all wrong.  A brand new babe to care for in a one bedroom apartment.   Even if I’d wanted to there was no space or time.  So it sat some more.

The collection continues.  Not as “pretty” as the first three but I owe quite a debt to this baby. To put it simply I learned and fell in love with sewing on this machine. This is what I took to quilting class almost every Monday morning for months. It served me well and I  learned some valuable lessons. And not just about sewing.

When I worked in a knitting store I was a complete snob toward anyone not using Addi Turbos or who wanted to knit “just a scarf” or (God forbid) only wanted to knit with acrylic yarn. I was rude and condescending. When I ran into a problem one day with my Brother machine and asked for help. I was told (my friend you know I’m over this event and only using the story to make a point) well, if you had a Bernina….

In the moment I was so upset but later had a “ton of bricks dropped on my head” realization.  That’s how you’ve sounded you Den…I apologize to everyone.  I’d purchased the Brother because I didn’t have much experience sewing and didn’t feel ready for a fancy machine.  I also couldn’t really afford a Bernina.  You have to work with what you’ve got and I had no respect for that.  I more than do now.

So there they are, my beautiful sewing machine.  Now I just have to find a great place to display them (They also need covers which will be sewn on its respective machine of course).. That may have to wait for a little while until I find a good space and Kira gets a bit older.  The temptation to push buttons and turn handles is just too over whelming right now.  In the meantime I can move and use them when I want to.

Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics,

when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew;

especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied.

 ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859

I’m never more at home nor is my heart more happily occupied than when I am creating and now with such dear and inspiring company.

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It’s amazing what you can get done while your child sleeps.

As promised…Here’s a super quick project (nap time today was 90 mins) that is cute and functional.  I also got to use the Edging Foot on my sewing machine for the first time.   Great little tool.

Oh, and did I mention that this is another Pinterest Pin

I don’t know what I love more, having a carry-case for my phone, learning new skills on Big B or the fabric…

I think I bought this from Fashionable Fabrics but it ‘s been so long since I’ve had it…

I followed the instructions to the letter and it fits perfectly.  The only thing I had a problem with was figuring out how to find 3/8″ on my machine.  The instruction said to sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance.  I just winged it and success!  But I do think that’s why it fits with the hard case.  I may have given myself a bit of extra room.

None the less, it works…and I got some long over due sewing done. 

Next project…a new baby quilt, which I’ll be sandwiching tonight.

Thanks for pining this one for me May May…

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While I posted on Friday that I need to get my butt in gear and get ready for Rhinebeck.   My sewing machine is beckoning…like the whale to Ahab…

They say as you age the best thing to do to keep the mind sharp is to learn something new.  So how about a new project to keep old age at bay.  Today is my 41st birthday and while I had absolutely no problem welcoming 40 (as you remember last year I posted for days about it) for some reason I’m in a tail spin about 41.  9 freaking years away from 50…dear God….

Seriously I’ve been in such a funk…but I think this will pull me right out of it.   An applecore quilt!!! The first time I saw one of these I fell in love and even started one by hand (that didn’t last long).  I had made the template myself and it worked but not well.

The charm pack is Strawberry Fields by Moda which I ordered from the Fat Quarter Shop.   As you can see I sort of botched them a bit while I was experimenting for another project and wasn’t sure what to do with them.  But this project is perfect. 

I ordered the template from Missouri Start Quilt Co. (I’m doing the online course Quilting Quickly I & II on Craftsy).  One of the lessons in Part II is an applecore quilt.  Perfect.  There are two templates, on for a charm pack and one for a layer cake, again perfect.

Not a bad way to spend my birthday.  Breakfast with family, chatting with friends and other family on the phone and online, playing with my girl, starting a new quilting project and I may sneak out tonight to see a movie…ALONE(one of favorite things ever and a rare treat these days)!!  If you’re wondering about my darling Hubby.  His gift is on the way…the man loves and spoils me to death.  I truly don’t deserve him.

Happy Birthday to Me!!

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Remember the scene from the movie Castaway when Tom Hanks character finally makes fire and he’s standing in front of a huge bon fire and says I…HAVE MADE FIRE…then starts singing “Light My Fire” by The Doors.  That’s how I felt this weekend when I made my first garment…a pair of pants for Kira.  It was almost, but not quite, as good as when I made my first knitted item, a hat (that I still wear).

Of course there are mistakes but who cares…I’m learning.  (I can hear you speaking to me Teri)

Here are some action shots.  As you moms out there know it is almost impossible to get a toddler to stay still much less model but my girl was a true sport.

Especially when she has a bag to fill/play with.

I added elastic around the ankles since the pants were long.   I think it makes them even cuter and more comfy.

This child is obsessed with my sewing machine.  “How works mummy”…”Turn on for me”…

I love my girl…look at that face…

Oh right I’m talking about pants…

Only my mum and my sister are going to get this picture and her pose.  Like mother like daughter.   A little background for you.  Absolutely every time I try on clothes I end up putting my foot out just like that.  I don’t know why but I do.  It’s drives my mum and sis nuts.  It’s one of those silly family things we have to pick on each other for.  When I saw Kira do it I almost fell over….she is more me and I am myself.

In general I think they fit well.  There are things I would do different but not bad for a first start and with no pattern.  I did use this tutorial though which was incredibly helpful.

The fabric came from Joann’s by the way.  Yummy, comfy flannel…I have to make a pair of these for myself.

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