Sunday, 27 March 2016

Working Out in Style

I ate the peeps. They were supposed to make it to Easter. They didn't. I'm not sorry.

Ms. G made me socks! You should all make something for a friend. It makes them feel so good! Just think of the joy you could spread!

On the subject of joy - you know how we all sweat the fact that our stash will more than likely live on well after we are gone? I have found a way to live with this - guilt free! I plan to have my stash bundled by a friend who knows what she's doing (The Great P) and given away as nice gift bags at my wake. That way it goes to people who know what it is, where it came from - and will know just patting it and never making a thing will be just fine. And now, I don't have a 'finish' line! I can stash on comfortably, knowing my stash has a purpose and a plan.

I have also decided to sew that stuff I keep thinking I should keep for good. Maybe someone I don't like will show up at the wake and get that piece. It's hard to plan these things. Who knows who may show up?  I'll want to be a good wake hostess and treat everyone well. I'm going to sew it if I want to!

So I therefore took a lovely piece of thick linen and some wonderful canvas and made a bag for the gym. I joined the local gym. With a great bag I am now obligated to go and work out. I'll also need new workout gear and a swim suit. Love it! More fabric that won't make the wake!

This bag was an amazing make! I was using thicker fabric than the quilt weight cotton called for and that caused problems for me, but first let's just talk bag. The Nora Doctor Bag from Swoon goes together just as she says it will! I love it when complex parts fit together and sew perfectly around curves. These patterns are always well drafted and work. The directions are very complete. Good pictures but you have to read the directions to get all the details. I hate reading directions, but I don't mind for Swoon. She doesn't waste words and chooses her words well.

She calls for several different stabilizers. I matched what she said and it gives the bag wonderful shape. I did remove interfacing from the handles. More info on that below.

I did add another strip of inner pockets. I needed a pocket for my locker lock. Now about the thick fabric! OMG! I had to experiment a lot with thread and needles and even then I had some skipped stitches and absolute refusal. My conclusions. Go slow, let your machine do what it can and don't force it. A jeans needle was best, but go as small as possible so the hole to be 'punched' is as small as possible. I used 30 wt Sulky cotton thread in bobbin and needle. The stitch looks more balanced that way. I didn't know I could do that! Thank you Lori.

I did end up stitching the last thing on my Singer treadle. I had to stitch across the straps - so 8 layers of tightly woven canvas. The treadle did it! No skipped stitches! However, It was a bit akin to drilling holes. I often had to literally punch my way through for some of the stitches. But the treadle was up to the challenge! Mostly, perhaps, because it doesn't have a motor to give you a hard time. It is my Super Hero.

One change I did make to the pattern. She calls for boning for the top bag channels. I tried boning and it wasn't as stiff as I liked, and kept shredding threads and such. In my corset class we used huge (28") zip ties from Home Depot. They were perfect! Very stiff, perfect size and slid into the channel beautifully. Also I moved the closing tab up from its back position to get it to close like the picture shows. However, look at my Actual doctor's bag. The closing edges overlap. Maybe that's what I should be aiming for. I'll ask Swoon.

I'll need a custom locker at the gym so my bag doesn't get crushed. They'll understand.

I'm off to Easter dinner with the sisters, et al. I'm taking frogs (Purl Soho freebie). They're stuffed with lentils or barley and most posable!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Peep Show

It's supposed to be spring, but I'm still cold. My fingers, my toes - all cold. The flannel sheets are still my best friends. I love them. So soft.

I promised pics of my stuffy phase. It seems to be slowing a bit. I haven't stuffed anything in a week. I do have Easter stuffy plans, but that seems a natural. I haven't added facial features. Can't say I miss them. What if you end up with a naughty expression? What then? This way, it's left to the imagination. I think of my stuffies as home dec items. They add a cuddly touch and colourful touch to any room. I need a few sausage dog neck pillows. I fell in the curling club parking lot and have a sore neck. And a bump where my hipbone used to be.

All but the elephants were free patterns from Purl Soho. It is a most generous site with excellent kits and patterns for sale. I used barley and lentils to stuff the frogs.  Makes posing much more fun.
This is a quilt I made to showcase some neat fabrics at the store. The Great P added some wonderful variegated thread for the quilting. She is getting quite particular and accomplished! You should see her pat gently as she guides the machine. Just like a mother duck! 

This a row of bunnies for a 'bed scarf'. It's such a quick project to try out a quilting idea. In this case the pattern came from a book All In A Row. It has a wonderful variety of row patterns and matching filler rows. I wanted to try appliqué with this bunny idea. You cut the bunny in pieces on tagboard and insert paper fasteners. Then you can pose your bunny as you like before tracing it on the appliqué fabric. I also used a fine fusible batting (Soft and Stable?) to back 2 of the appliquéd bunnies. It raised the fabric a bit and the bunny looks much better with the machine blanket edging. I'll do that again!

This is my Mixed Mutts quilt. It's a match to the cat quilt I made previously. I think the best part of this quilt was working with friends to get the blocks started. Sewing should always be social. Especially when puppies are involved.
 I have a few quilts in various states of completion right now, but I'm letting them percolate. I need to sew something for me. I therefore made myself a cozy knit dress. I am waiting for this phase of droopy hems and saggy pockets to pass, but in the meantime I am on that bandwagon. I also signed up for a pant drafting class on Craftsy. So far it looks good and makes sense. The proof will be in the rear end, and we don't get to that for a bit. Fingers crossed!

Yes, Easter is on its way! This calls for a Peep display, and these peepers are in the spotlight on my kitchen windowsill.