Sunday, 29 December 2013

Happy Holidays!

It has and continues to be a lovely holiday. It's been snowing lightly, just like a postcard. We have been doing pretty well nothing. Oh joy!

But I did finally finish the big gift for the man. Yes, I built him a car. With lace. When I spied this beauty in a pattern book, I knew it was destiny. I started it in September and plodded on till just yesterday. I certainly learned a lot. People (you know who you are) said I could do it. People should have had more sense and kindness in their hearts. At times it was painful. If you look and think, is that right? It probably isn't. There are many mistakes, and I took out a lot of rows. A lot.

Enough whining. It's a perfect addition to his man cave plans. A volkswagen made in lace! It took me over 100 bobbins (other lace makers would say 50 pairs, I'm not one). I have it ready for framing now. He says it's too nice for the man cave. He is SOOOOO wrong.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Girls

I have been on  Christmas sewathon,  and the girls are part of that. This project turned out better than I had hoped! It's from the Pellon website, and the girls keep your buns warm. They are sitting on their bread baskets.

Get your minds out....

There are two bound holes under the wings. I assumed they were for letting the steam out, but the Greta P though they were for getting out buns without cooling off the left behinds. Again, that's why she's the Great P. You use one of those thermal battings to underline the hen, and quilt the layers together. I like to have my lining seams hidden inside, so I quilted the outer layer to the thermal lining  first and added the lining before I cut the wing holes and bound all layers together. I free motion quilted hen feathers. Very impressive of me, if you don't count doing the second hen in the wrong direction - giving her a ruffled look. Oops.

Now, when the meal is over you pop the hen off the buns and pop her over the teapot. Multi tasking hens. A woman's work is never done.

I've decided to make myself some kitchen things. Obviously I need a hen of my own. Then I'm thinking an apron and oven mitts. I have a table runner that uses these vivid fruit and vegetable prints, so I'm planning to use more of these.

I couldn't come up with a hen print in the fruits and veges, although I did find a great bread print for the basket. We did just get a wonderful brown batik at the store that has a perfect feathery print. I'll use that for the hen and also to unite the collection. Some hot mats and napkins and placemats would be useful.

I also like the idea of oven mitts that have washable covers. Therefore I'll need seasonal covers to suit my whimsy. Now, where can I get a birthday print for July?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


I needed to put buttonholes in my little wallets. I went to my Pfaff 2048 as my Pfaff CV is at the spa. I got out the book and set up for buttonholes. After more than 30 minutes I was not ready to throw it through the window, but close.

The buttonhole stitch was too wide. The memory for length wouldn't set. The stitch got bound up. I needed 10 identical buttonholes, and this was not doing it.

Off to my faithful Featherweight and Singer buttonholer. Oh faithful! Why did I ever abandon you?

Look at this darling! I threw 30 wt thread in the top and 50 wt thread in the bobbin. Imagine! Not even a burp. I screwed on the attachment and popped in a cam that seemed to be about right. Those cams are a thing of beauty. They spit out identical buttonholes till the cows come home.

Previously I made a strip of sample buttonholes so I could check buttons for size. As the cams never vary or fail me, that's all I need. You can set stitch width and density with two little switches on the side. You can go round and round the hole if you like.

And look how pretty! The 30 wt is a bit beefy. But the buttonholes are thin and lovely - with a good centre space for cutting. Give me old technology any day. It's so smart.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Little Card Holder Wallet

This quick sew is perfect for holding gift cards, or all those customer appreciation cards you don't want cluttering your wallet.

You need a template to trace around. I am not giving you the template. Mine is about 6" wide and about 8 "tall. Take some paper about that size and fold the top part down to make a flap. Give the flap a shape and perhaps trim a waist indent where you turn the flap down. When you are happy with the shape, trace it onto cardboard or template plastic. Mark a line on the template where you want the top card pocket to land. I have lowered the line on mine about an inch since I made this template. You don't want the pockets too big.

First, get a selection of lightweight scraps. They should be at least 6" wide.

Remember. The joy of this wallet is that nothing gets trimmed until it is sewn together. It will look messy. Very messy indeed!

You need a front and a back. You also need 3 pocket dividers. I use 5 different scraps.

Trace the pattern on the wrong side of one of the pieces. I use a pen. This piece usually ends up as the outside layer. This line is the stitching line. Do not cut it out.

Trace the top part of the template (above the marked line) onto some fusible interfacing. Use one with a bit of body. Cut it out and fuse it inside the traced outline.

This interfacing looks wonky, but it's just the camera angle.

Cut 3 card pockets. They need to be at least 6" wide. They need to be a minimum of 6", 7" and 8" tall. Again, none of the pieces need to be trimmed or exact.

Fold the card pocket pieces in half, right side out and press.

Arrange the pockets from short to tall, about 1/2" apart.

Lay down the unmarked (green) outer piece of fabric right side up. This should end up being the inside of the wallet. Place the card pockets face up on the fabric. Lay the interfaced outer fabric (red) face down on the card pockets, with the top of the pockets in line with the interfacing edge.

Stick a pin or two in place. Sew through all layers starting just below the top left corner and ending just below that point - about 2" below it. This gives you a small hole through which to turn the wallet.

Finally you get to trim! Trim through all layers closely, rounding in at the corners. Leave the opening seam allowance a bit larger.

Turn the wallet right side out. If the pockets seem inside out, just flip them to the other side. Press. Sew the opening shut by hand, or topstitch the flap and catch the opening then. Add a closure and you are done!

A Bounty of Goodness

I find lots of great patterns on the web, and many of them are free. This is a good way to test drive a pattern line or designer. Show your appreciation by promoting, respecting and supporting this generosity.

I have tried some, but not all of these patterns.


The Kennedy Bag by Sew Sweetness

10 excellent bags from Sew Mama Sew

A pop open coin purse

Tohoku purse

Purse Organizer from Hot Patterns


Threads Cardi Wrap

Sorbetto top and cute knickers from Collette

Bucket hat and other great patterns from Oliver and S


Patterns printed to your measurements by Lekala

Burda Style  - search free patterns

T-shirt by Maria Denmark (you will need to sign in)

Wild Ginger software for pattern design - some software (Wild Things) free for download

Satin Stole

Other Things:

10 minute table runner

Craftsy Patterns - lots of free patterns - in other categories as well

Sunday, 1 December 2013

A word from the Great P. Always carry a candy in your purse - in case of emergency, and you might need one to stave off cannibalism.

I prefer Robertson's candies. They are locally made and remind me of Christmas. When I was young it was a true treat to get one of their barley candy moulded toys in your stocking. They also make the best chicken bones! Lately I pick up their regular candies at Superstore in the natural food section. They're huge, $2 and excellent. Excellent for staving off cannibalism.

I decided to give myself a pedi last night. After a lovely soak and scrub I trimmed and buffed. Then I sat back. Ooops. My back wasn't ready for that and now I am feeling the pain. Oh the pain! No Pilates for me today. This is why we have professionals to handle these tasks. Pedis that is. I have to do my own Pilates it seems.

Update on the Pfaff. It's off to the shop because it started to clunk. The more a machine will do, the more sensitive you have to be to its needs. When it coughs, you see a professional. Sadly, as I am considered staff, my machine goes to the bottom of the list. I have panties to embroider for Christmas!

I've been cutting out quilt pieces lately. I set up a table in the TV room so DH can keep me company. I have 2 quilt tops ready for quilting and 3 more being cut. It's not my fault. There was a fabric sale, and it was excellent. And then there are all those lovely patterns! If you want fun (and a duck that quacks) watch Missouri Quilt Company on youtube. Jenny does a fab job of teaching quick and cute quilts. For a bit of her sense of humour, watch this video. It is hysterical!

I like traditional quilts, but what I'm working on currently are more modern. I want to practice up before I get to really complicated piecing. Meanwhile I seem to be assembling a stack worthy of the Princess and the Pea. I may bring my treadle down to the TV room for piecing.

This quilting is not at all like garment sewing. It doesn't really require the same thought all through the project. The quilt colour selection and pattern decision is intense, but after that it's pretty much cut and sew. Then there are quilting decisions to be made, but then it's back to sewing. With garments you have to think and check and rethink all the way through.

Well, anyway. I can see me separating these two activities into two spaces. They are two different frames of mind. I can see me parking an Airstream in the driveway soon. Hmmmm....