Inspiration – At Just the RIGHT time

I want to share a post that I read at “just the right time” in my life.

BACKSTORY – Last week somehow ripped the top cuff on my bedsheet in the middle of the night. Looking it over the next morning, I recognized that the cuff was attached using an heirloom stitch which essentially was an “invitation to perforation”. Nothing like a set of pretty stitches that is akin to having perforations across the width of the sheet. I suggested to my husband that perhaps I could do better than “mend” a perfectly fine set of sheets. (Make do and repair before you buy new was my thought). Really, the rest of the sheet was in fine shape, no pilling, no wear.

(Am I turning into my grandma here…..mending sheets ??? )

You know the price of king size sheets is quite high, and as the sheets were washing, I did give some thought to how a quilter might repair the sheets. I thought about that as I was shopping on line for new sheets and placing an order.

Not long after ordering the new set, I tripped over the blog post below from Moda Fabrics. DIVINE INSPIRATION STRUCK!!! Pretty-fied sheets. Thanks Moda Fabrics ! Do go look, but come back for the rest of my story! https://modafabrics.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/pretty-fied-sheet-set/

A couple of days later, out in my quilt room, I was pondering borders for an autumn quilt, and had my baskets of 2″, 2 1/2″ squares out, plus a container of four-patches made from 2″ squares. While I was looking through those baskets, the hubby came up to the sewing room and matter of factly stated that those 4 patches look like they came from our Allietare quilt.

Clue 3 complete
I always seem to make “extra” when working on a mystery quilt.

When I emptied my Allietare project box the leftover 4 patches got stored in my 4 patch box! I had about 12 left from that quilt and LOTS of other autumn colored 4 patches. I just needed enough to span the width of the sheet, 104″.

New cuff on the sheets

In the Moda Fabric blog post, the writer used charm squares and yardage. I had a piece of yardage that had the greys of the sheet and the burgundy in my strip and prints, so I thought it would work well. It was a nice feeling fabric too. The burgundy was a piece of wide backing in the scrap pile.

The “end” of the project didn’t turn out quite like I had intended, but it did turn out ok. I had intended to do something quite different with that burgundy strip, but my execution was slightly off. Oh well….no sheet inspectors in my bedroom!!! I wouldn’t say it is “wedding gift quality” but it turned out well enough to be functionally pretty, and much better looking than a mending job on the edge of the original sheet cuff.

Making the sheets pretty

If you have ever done one of those pillow cases where you turn it “burrito style”, you will know how much fun it was to do the same to the king size sheet.

(check out the Missouri Star Pillow case tutorial )

Really, wasn’t too hard to turn it out. And now, the sheet can go back in rotation, and will last a bit longer.

The new set I had ordered, arrived on Friday as I was finishing this up. They are washed and dried and folded.

Note; not an advertisement or a negative to any company. The repaired sheet is about 6 years old, purchased at BJ’s warehouse store and was 1200 thread count Egyptian Cotton. The added trim is all from my quilting scrap box.

The new sheets I ordered I got at a reasonable price from My Pillow.Com, using every discount and coupon offer. They are also Egyptian cotton, and feel rather nice. The only negative I can say is that they are only 400 thread count, and I am disappointed, because I had expected them to be much higher. They feel REALLY good, even after washing. I am now concerned about how they will do over time. They came with a 10 year warranty and the following was proclaimed on the website –

  • Made with the world’s best cotton called Giza. Grown only in a region between the Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Nile River. Its long staple cotton makes it ultra-soft and breathable.
  • Its sateen weave gives them a luxurious finish.
  • Available in multiple colors, styles, and sizes.
  • Machine washable and durable – 10-year warranty
  • 60-day money back guarantee

So, watch for a report in a month or so after the new sheets make the rotation and the newly repaired sheet has it’s week on the bed. In all the advertising Mike says ““The first night you sleep on my sheets, you’ll never want to sleep on anything else.” Mike Lindell. I’ll let you know! I’m pretty good with warranty claims, as you may remember in my recent post about my FISKARS rotating mat!

I will also report back if the hubby has any complaints about the 4 patches on the cuff of the sheet.

Are you a “mender” or a “make do” or would you toss the old sheets in the rag bag or trash can?

Edit – updated to include a link back to http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/ OH SCRAP !

Costume FUN!

Sometimes I take the Grandma role seriously. Like in late September, when my youngest granddaughter, age 4, wanted to “come and sew”. Her mommy came along and talked about Halloween and the costume the kiddo had in mind. The young one has a one track mind, and she is not likely to forget the “GREAT IDEA” that she had 2 or 3 weeks prior. She had mentioned her planned costume at least twice previously! She was going to be TINKERBELL for Halloween and needed some Grandma Moofie help.

As they explained to me what the costume would look like, they asked me for help with one aspect. They wanted to drape a garland of leaves around the shoulders & neckline of the top she would wear. A quick search on Google gave us lots of images to look at, and one that stuck with me was something on Pinterest —https://www.pinterest.com/pin/720646377865548172/ , and that took the “GREAT IDEA” into a reality.

We picked through a stack of green fat quarters, and made a template, and I put my daughter to work with a rotary cutter. She cut the leaves out, and cut batting scraps and my granddaughter and I got busy sewing. Grandma guided the machine on slow speed, and the 4 year old used the stop/start button to do the stitching.

I decided we needed a few more after they left to go home, so I stitched up another batch and brought them into the kitchen to turn after dinner. (They still needed pressing and top stitching.)

making leaves

I measured the “drape” around her shoulders and came up with a length that I thought would work. I cut a 2″ wide strip of fabric the length I wanted, then folded and pressed, first in half, then folding the edges to the middle and pressing again. (Much like you do when making apron ties or mask ties.) I inserted each leaf in the gap, overlapping a bit. This is where that basket of little clips came in SO handy. I put matching thread in my machine, and stitched a narrow zig-zag along the edge to catch the leaf in the layers of the strip. When it was all finished and pressed again, this is what it looks like.

Leaves attached
leaf drape

I used snaps to attach to the collar ribbing on the shirt at the shoulders. Just one snap at each shoulder on the shirt. I draped the leaves on the shirt and picked a point that would be right for the drape and attached the other half of the snap to the leaf garland. At the back of the garland, where the tails come together, I put one set of snaps on the edges of the tie section. This makes it completely removable, and the shirt just has 2 little snap sections left in the neck ribbing at the shoulder. The shirt is from a set of pajamas ordered for just this occasion, but will be well worn this winter after Halloween is over. Costumes out of pajama base make for little waste at Halloween.

Costume

I love helping with the kids and their costumes, especially with a lot of lead time. This costume was helped along by Auntie Moose, who found the perfect set of Tinkerbell wings at the Dollar Tree. Not sure where the wonderful tulle tutu came from, but it will be glorious in the dress up bin for the year ahead. Grandpa has ideas that the color of the green is perfect for a Christmas garland and a St Patrick’s day garland! He is SO helpful!

The 4 year old and her friends from pre-school will gather for a little “distantly social” Halloween party “out in the countryside” at a friends home, and do “TRUNK OR TREAT”. The idea is to limit exposure and contact with strangers going house to house, but still have a fun celebration.

Halloween Tinkerbell 2020
Tinkerbell at Trunk or Treat party

I’d say the costume was a success and I was happy to play a small part. (You know I used those quilting skills, even if it is NOT a quilt!)

Do you enjoy sewing costumes for kids?? Or adults?

More Fall Fun with Machine Embroidery

Last post I shared my fun with the Acorn Table Runner I was working on. I got it finished Friday afternoon, and it is presently “on the table”.

What a fun project!

Table setting with Acorn Table Runner
Acorn Table Runner

The pattern from Sweet Pea Designs gives great directions. I think it looks cute with all those vintage candles around it on the table. The lighting in the sewing room was a little better right after I finished it.

acorn table runner finished
Acorn Table Runner

I used the 150 mm block, just a bit larger than the 6×6, with pellon fusible fleece instead of batting. I also used cut away stabilizer in the project, which is left in the block when it was sew into the project. The runner lays really flat on the table. It is not as thick as warm and natural batting. Because the applique pattern has all that stitching, when I joined the blocks and added the backing according to the instructions, I only top stitched around the edges and in the ditch around the blocks. The fusible side of the batting was against the stabilizer. (No taking that cut away off!!)

My next FUN Fall Project is my #AutumnJubilee2020 wall hanging. You might remember those blocks I made earlier in the month –https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/14/trees-and-leaves-autumn-jubilee-2020/

The instructions for finishing up the wall hanging came out on a few days ago on https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/26/autumn-jubilee-embroidered-mini-quilt-finish/ . I wanted to finish my Acorn Table Runner before I went on to the ‘next’ thing. So, once I did, I worked on the #AutumnJubilee2020 mini quilt. Not quite finished, still needs binding and hanging sleeve, but darn close. First thing I had to do is decide on block size, and I went with an 8×8 block. (I used much larger fabric and did a lot of trimming).

Trimming the squares
Made sure the embroidery was somewhat centered

Oh; while I am at it….DO YOU SEE that new grey FISKARS rotary mat??? I am so happy that it has arrived. Honestly, (no, I am not getting paid by FISKARS) – they have the BEST warranty of anybody in the quilting notions world!!! Do you remember THIS picture with the yellow cutting surface ?

Acorn Table Runner
WORN OUT FISKARS CUTTING MAT

That yellow Fiskars rotating cutting mat is something I bought around 2009/2010. I have cut/trimmed thousands of half square triangles on that rotating mat. I wore the lines off, and I wore off half the surface. I took a photo and filed a “warranty claim” on the FISKARS website, and in less than 2 weeks, they shipped me a brand spanking shiny new mat!! Absolutely no questions asked! (I did notice the new grey one has some cautionary wording about not cutting in the same place all the time. OOOPS….most of the blocks I trimmed were fairly small and ended near the center of the mat.)

Back to the embroidery – I played around with the sashing strips and arrangements of my #AutumnJubilee2020 mini quilt/wall hanging blocks and this is what I came up with.

Falling Leaves wall hanging
Embroidery pattern by Sew Sweetly.com

The blocks are 8″, the sashing & borders were cut at 2″. I did some quilting in the sashing. I might do a little “in the blocks” with a very neutral thread, but I am not sure yet what I might do. A quilted leaf or two in and around perhaps.

falling leaves bottom half
Falling Leaves wall hanging
Finishes up around 38″ long and 11″ wide approximately.

So, maybe a bit more quilting in the actual blocks, and then on to binding. I will use the leaf fabric for the binding with a pop of color for the flange. (Always use my favorite Susie’s Magic Binding which is totally done by machine. )

Finishing up Falling Leaves Mini Quilt/Wall hanging won’t take too long. i am almost ready for the final step in the #AutumnJubilee2020 Quilt Along. The instruction for finishing the row quilt just came out on the From My Carolina Home blog . Finishing up these small projects make it easier to tackle one that will take a little bit longer. (I’m well known for making tops and leaving them hang around waiting on borders!)

Our leaves are being blown off the trees before they have had a chance to turn their usual pretty colors. How are you spending these blustery Autumn days?

Machine Embroidery Fall Fun

Off and on I show machine embroidery projects I have been working on. The month of October has been fun working on the Autumn Jubilee projects that Carole on From My Carolina Home blog has posted. She inspired me to do some stitching out of “leaves” on my machine which I showed in a previous blog post. When I was searching some of my favorite digitizing websites in September for inspiration, I came across this fun pattern for an ACORN Table Runner. I wasn’t certain how the leaves would be used in the Autumn Jubilee in October, but I thought I would possibly find a use for this pattern.

Since I was “all caught up” with #AutumnJubilee2020 with my quilt along row blocks and my sew along tote back, I decided to work on a few blocks.

Acorn Table Runner
pattern from https://swpea.com//

I started working on it Saturday. I had my choice on block sizes and choose the 150 mm block, which I stitched out using my 8×8 hoop.

Working on the acorns
Set up to run on my Janome 11000
Acorn patch first
First block waiting to be trimmed.

The fun of these patterns is choosing fabrics and threads. I used the same gold fabric for all the tops of the acorns. The block design had a meander stitch for quilting and I made the error of choosing a variegated thread. No fixing it after I took it out of the hoop. I even tried doing my own meander on the sewing machine ‘after the fact’ and it looked so bad I ripped it all out. The variegated threads looked great on those open leaves in the corners though. Oh well, lesson learnt. Thread choice is as important as fabric choice.

After I got the second block done, I decided I better be serious about my fabric and thread choices. I chose 2 fabrics for background and a wide variety for the acorns and leaves.

Of course, on Sunday, the instructions came out for the Autumn Jubilee wall hanging that has the leaves. I played around with those leaf blocks and the first couple of acorn blocks, and decided NOT to intermix them. The scale was so different, I decided I would carry on making acorn blocks, make the table runner, and work on the wall hanging later.

Now that I have all 10 blocks embroidered, I have found a layout with them that I think works for me.

Ten blocks completed
ready to put together

The fun of working on these blocks is that ALL of the fabrics for the acorns and leaves came from my “scraps”. Ever since I did that Knitting bag last fall, I have kept 8 small baskets with fabrics sorted by color, just for embroidery machine applique projects. It was handy to reach in and pull out little bits of fabrics for these machine applique pieces.

Next up is to stitch the rows together and figure out what to use as a backing. Pattern calls for you to “turn” this project and top stitch to finish it off. It should finish quickly as there is no binding required. Sweet Pea designs has a Facebook group, and I chatted with someone this week who had just finished her table runner and asked about how easily it turned. The secret is leaving a good opening, clipping the corners and chopsticks for poking out the corners after turning. I usually employ a long knitting needle for that job so keep your fingers crossed. I’ll post a finished picture in a few days.

Another interesting project I did this month was to stitch using my embroidery machine on card stock. Embroidery Library has lots of designs, especially digitized for card stock. I read though the tutorials and purchased one design. The design I selected has just over 8500 stitches of a 5×7 card.

EL for cardstock
First card
inside
I used a package of “quilting papers” I had to cover the inside back of the card, and my stamps to add a message of care to the inside the card. This was a fun card to stitch out, and I think I would another card again. The designs are specially digitized for cardstock and Embroidery Library has quite a few.

I have enjoyed really getting to know my embroidery machine in the last year. I have to say this is so much more fun than making COVID-19 masks!

What is happening this week in your sewing room? Do you have a favorite place to download designs? Do you like projects that incorporate machine embroidery with your quilting projects?

Virtual Quilt Show

I don’t often “cross post” other peoples pages or blogs, but today I make the exception. Back story – My sister in law, Carolyn, also known as the “One Block Wonderwoman” on her blog, often shows her quilting talents at her local “community hall” where she quilts with others. They have an annual Quilt show and her wonderful quilts along with others inspire new quilters. This year, of course, there are -19 reasons for ‘no physical show’. Someone (unknown to me) organized a VIRTUAL Quilt Show.

So; I invite you to pop over to that show and take a look. I don’t know how long it will remain on the website, but I hope the link will stay active for a while – http://www.hesperiahall.com/2020/10/18/online-quilt-show/

Note; I found that if I clicked on the first photo, I could make it full screen and tab to the right to see each of the quilts. There are some detail remarks with many of the photos.

Enjoy the show and congratulations to Carolyn on her beautiful work this past year, and overcoming serious injuries and still quilting!

Let me know if you enjoyed the show! Be sure to leave a comment on the Hesperia Hall page and let them know you visited, and where you are from!

Pumpkins and fall fun

Friday was the final row for the #AutumnJubilee2020 quilt along. The block was a pumpkin block. Pattern can be found at https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/23/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-4-updated/

If you read the pattern, then look at my pumpkins, you will see I went my own way with the block. I had LOTS of great oranges and golds in my scraps in varying widths, so I just went for an alternate look. These were pretty fast to assemble. Hubby and I went out to the sewing/train room after supper, and these were done in a couple of hours.

pumpkin row
Pumpkin row – click the photo for a close up view of the fabrics

While I was sewing, I had an audio book running on my phone, plugged into my computer speakers. Hubby, sitting ’round the corner’ at his model train work bench was listening to the book and I had to stop to give him the highlights of the previous 50 chapters…..Apparently he likes the writing style of David Baldacci. The book was called “Simple Truth” and was downloaded from our local library using the LIBBY app to my phone. Hubby enjoyed the last 12 chapters while he worked on his two passenger trains that needed lots of “interior” detail. He raided my scraps and found bits of fabric that he could use for wall paper and carpet inside this passenger train. This is an HO scale train.

on the workbench
click on the photo for a close up

It was a fun way to round out a nice fall day. We had an outing in the afternoon to a state park about 12 miles away. It is our “go to” place to bike ride since there is “sighno where closer we can safely ride. (That’s a long story and I spent my morning advocating for permission for bikes to be allowed at a new sports complex in town – a battle that meets with as much community support as with busy know it all’s telling me off.) I needed a break from the computer and FRESH AIR to clear my head. Hubby is a good sport, and agreed to go along.

He loaded up the bikes on the SUV and we drove the 12 miles on country farm roads to the state park and had a beautiful outing.

Bikes at the pond
Relaxing at the end of the ride

The trails we ride are mostly in the woods with a few peeks at the water, but we like to stop and enjoy the view periodically during the ride. It’s not a race, every pedal turn is towards better health and fun!

fall view at the pond
Leaves are starting to turn in Sussex Co Delaware

There is a wonderful spot almost at the end of the ride to stop and just take in the view of the water. There is a spillway close by so you get some wonderful sound effects.

Missing the water
Trap Pond State Park Delaware

I use an app to track my mileage when riding, and apparently I have ridden here enough in the last 90 days to be the “local legend” for a segment of the trail! ‘that’s so funny….this ol’ fat grandma, a legend!!!” I laugh every time I look at that. My ride times in the last 90 days are widely variable, depending if I am riding with my daughter, or with the grandkids, or with grandpa, as I did today. My daughter is a regular rider and she has no problem taking the trails at speeds up to 10 mph pulling her toddler in a pull behind trailer. When I take grandkids, the younger one has a hard time keeping up with the bigger kids on their bigger bikes. (They have much bigger wheels and she has to pedal twice as much!) Hubby is patient about going with me and I like to stop for his benefit periodically. We need to get his handlebars adjusted slightly, but seem to forget by the time we get home.

Seriously though, the “local legend” is something new in the app and it is a rolling 90 day “count” for the number of times you have ridden the same route. I like to keep track of the distance for the ride, but the rest doesn’t really matter. I was there, I know I enjoyed the fresh air, and the bugs didn’t bother us in the woods if we kept moving. Good fun for both of us. We won’t earn any medals for speed or time, but we do enjoy just being out on the bikes.

So, between the beautiful trails, the changing leaves and the pumpkin quilt blocks, I would call it a wonderful Autumn day.

What’s on your sewing table or work bench this weekend?

More placemat fun

In my never ending “clean up” I tripped over those batik placemats a month or so ago while picking things up and putting things away. Rather then shuffle them off to a new stack of UFO’s I decided to FINISH them. (The clean up is NOT finished I must report!)

In between all the Autumn Jubilee fun I worked on quilting the placemats with a variety of stitches available to my Janome 8900 sewing machine. I used my wonderful Superior Fantastico thread. It is a variegated blue and purple # 5021. You can see some of the stitches better on the BACK of the placemats.

back of placemats

The backing for 4 out of 6 was that deep indigo blue, almost looks black. I ran out of that fabric and switched over to this wonderful orange for the last 2 placemats.

back of 2 placemats
Hubby’s favorite color!

We now have a total of 12 placemats in this collection all done in a similar style with batik. I made 6 last year for me, and 6 for each of my daughters. https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/a-week-of-finishes-and-fun/

These will come out during the summer and go on the table with my batik “Fire and Ice ” table runner. https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/fire-and-ice-batik-table-runner/

Six finished placemats

The binding is a very pale yellow green, and I used a burgundy for the flange strip.

binding strips

I used my typical “Susie’s Magic Binding”. I think I made about 400″ for these 6 placemats. It is easy to finish them when it is all done by machine.

I’m sure there is more in the basket of batiks that could be made into table runners or placemats, but I think I can justify to myself that I am “finished” and can easily sort the basket out, putting the smaller pieces into my scrap storage and yardage back into the color appropriate containers. It will be nice to get that off the table so I can proceed to digging out what ever is next on my table.

I did a couple of little projects the other day after I finished my #AutumnJubilee tote bag. I got busy with that red polka dot fabric and made a 30″ square, hemmed on the sides, bandana. I could not get that hem foot to work for me and gave up. I quickly pressed a 1/4″ fold on each side, and then folded it in a second time. I have to say that CLOVER ironing ruler is a very handy tool when you are trying to get something close to straight !

bandana is done

One of my granddaughters is planning her Halloween costume and Rosie the Riveter needs this on her head.

I had some extra fabric left and I made a couple of headbands for the granddaughters. Marie Bostwick had given some instructions for https://mariebostwick.com/easy-diy-scrunchies/ on her blog recently and I just “expanded” the size a bit. I have one granddaughter who likes my headbands, and I hope she will enjoy this and share the other with her big sister.

headbands

That’s it for now. I am awaiting the next row for the #AutumnJubilee2020 quilt along which comes out on Friday morning and I have space on my table to work. I’ve “saved the whole day” for me to work on the next row !!

Anything fun on your sewing table ??

Autumn Jubilee Tote bag

I’ve been following along with the From My Carolina Home #AutumnJubilee2020 this month, and this week was time to finish the tote bag in the sew along. Directions for the finish can be found on the blog here – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/18/autumn-jubilee-sew-along-finishing-the-bag/

When I read through the instructions, I decided for I did not want to do a Velcro closure on my bag, so I ordered some “magnetic” purse closures on Amazon. I was “waiting” for that delivery on Tuesday so I could finish this project. (Note...local friends…I have extra magnetic closures if you need them….they came in a pack of 20 and it will take me that many years to use them.)

I showed details on my chosen fabrics and progress recently on a post – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/06/stars-and-strips-autumn-jubilee/

Stitching is completed
Strip set sewn together and quilted with deco stitch

I waited a while to come up with my “panel” for embellishment. I was supposed to insert it before quilting, but I could not decide on the fabric for a few days. I chose the linen multi color block fabric that is in the middle of the strip set for my panel and got the embroidery done a couple of weeks ago.

Panel for inset on bag
In hind site I should have stabilized better because I had a lot of pulling of the linen fabric with the embroidery.

Yesterday I sat down to follow those “bag finishing instructions” (linked at the top of the page).

I had to first add fusible fleece to the back of my embroidered piece and then insert it in the strip set. Once it was in, I decided it needed quilting. I did some straight line quilting using the same thread as the ‘fancy stitches” on the strips, using Superior Threads Fantastico “CASHMERE” thread. (My all time favorite color!) The quilting and the fusible fleece helped make the wrinkles around the edges of my embroidery disappear.

panel inserted and quilted
Panel inserted and quilted

Once that was done it was time to trim up the piece. I just could not bring myself to cutting it down to the “pattern size”, so I squared it up, trimmed and measured and went with a bigger size bag. I ended up with about 16 1/4″ by 44″.

IMG_20201020_162449746
The fusible fleece and boxed corners help the bag to stand up nicely

I dug into my Autumn Jubilee bin of fabric and chose my bag lining and handle fabric.

As I was deciding on which fabrics to use, I decided that the bag NEEDED pockets inside. I had enough fabric of either color to make pockets. I used the fabric that was left after making straps and made two pockets for inside.

pocket for the lining
The pockets are attached to the lining before the lining is inserted into the bag.

I added the magnetic closure to the lining before putting the lining in the bag. I put a small square of fusible fleece behind the lining fabric where the magnet prongs go through the fabric to keep it from pulling out.

Inside the bag magnetic closure
small disk is the magnetic closure, one above each pocket
IMG_20201020_171901327
Bag finished and ready to be used
IMG_20201020_172019675
Ready to be used

I was very happy with this project and my modifications along the way. One thing I would have changed is the width of the straps and the method for doing them. These straps are about 1 1/4″ wide finished, which is ok for a bag this size, but I like a thicker strap. I know the idea was to use those 2 1/2″ strips from jelly rolls, but I cut from yardage and could have done bigger. They do have fusible fleece inside the handles, so they are going to be comfortable to hold. You might remember my story of the puny strap bag last year https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/taking-care-of-some-odds-and-ends/

I am dashing off to an outdoor quilt bee and will be taking this bag for show & tell. This evening I am going to practice on muslin for hem-stitching / rolled hem for a scarf. Wish me luck, and tell me your tips!

What is on your sewing table today?

Sewing for others

I had the opportunity this last week to work on making a few gifts for other people. I also spent some time with my quilt guild neighbor, working on a few masks. She was making those masks to gift to a great grandson.

We sewed wearing masks, which is not a lot of fun. I know people are wearing masks all day at work and it amazes me how they stand it.

Thank goodness for being retired. I’m sure if I had to go to work every day and wear one, I would suck it up and carry on, but honestly, if I have to wear one to go out & have a little fun, I’d rather stay home for now. (And if you have been following me for any bit of 2020, you KNOW how many darn masks in varying styles I have made).

I did recently purchase some mask inserts that were suggested to me that help keep you a bit cooler in the mask, pushing the fabric out away from your nostrils. (Look on Amazon for a “face mask bracket” or “3D mask bracket” and you will find silicone open frames.)

I inserted them into the pocket of the masks on the style I made with pockets. On the most recent style (see my post https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/09/23/trying-out-a-new-mask-design/ ) I slipped the 3D mask bracket inside the layers before I stitched across the end closing it up. Those masked I marked an UP arrow with a sharpie on the inside of the mask, as the bracket definitely has an up and down.

3 d mask frame
3 d mask insert

They do really push the mask out from your nostrils and mouth, but you need to still have a snug fit over the bridge of your nose and under your chin, and that will happen with a good fitting mask like the one in the link I previously wrote about. You can also slip this frame BEHIND a ready made mask without a pocket, but the silicone touches your face, and you should be aware of that if you have an allergy. I did that with an older style mask and it was not uncomfortable. I think that is where you get the most benefit of holding the fabric away from your nostrils. The pack I bought had ten, and so I have played with various options. They even make them in kids sizes.

I can say that the mask frames that are inserted loosely inside my masks go through the washer and dryer without a problem. I just straighten them out when I take the mask out of the mesh bag from the clothes dryer. (REMEMBER your mask should be washed EVERY TIME you wear it, in HOT soapy water, and machine dried to kill any germs. DON’T wear the same mask over and over without washing!!!)

Other fun sewing….I want to go visit my friends, Walt & June at assisted living this week, and promised last time we talked that I would bring her “fall” placemats. I made two this weekend using a block pattern from Carole’s Autumn Jubilee 2017, Stars on Autumn Lane (pattern still available for A block and B block –https://frommycarolinahome.com/2017/10/13/stars-on-autumn-lane-block-a/ https://frommycarolinahome.com/2017/10/20/autumn-lane-block-b/ )

(You know me, I love the patterns from Carole’s blog – FROM MY CAROLINA HOME. Go take a look!)

I added a 3″ border and corner stones, then trimmed them to 2.5″ after the quilting. I used Pellon fusible fleece for the batting. The border fabric is right out of my friend June’s boxes of fabric I have stored. It is very “1980’s” but the colors were perfect, and I hope she recognizes it as “something from home”. I cleared out her sewing room (it took me 3 days with my hubby packing along side me) when she moved to assisted living 3 years ago. I often take her pieces of fabric from her boxes I have stored, to use, but she isn’t sewing too much anymore. When I was able to volunteer there to sew with the ladies as a group, we primarily used June’s fabrics and that made her very happy!

placemats for Walt & June

I decided to “turn” these placemats instead of bind them to get them finished a little faster. It is NOT my favorite method, but they are DONE. ( I can never get a good closure even trimming away the batting at the opening. Anybody got a secret method? )

Another fun project — One of my daughter’s is having a birthday, and we all got together yesterday for a fun party, where she cooked for US, including the best carrot cake in the world for her own birthday cake. (She loves to cook and to entertain.)

I made her a new apron from fabric I bought a few years ago. (So nice to have it in my stash waiting). It is a very durable twill fabric with a delightful print. I am certain it came from Hobby Lobby. The “last” apron I made for her I wrote about here – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/a-sense-of-accomplishment/

I wish I had made a note in that blog post of “which” pattern I had made for her. I dug through my file drawer and pulled out my patterns and thought I would try this one. I’ve made it before, but honestly can’t remember which modifications I made. After she wore that apron (2017 edition) she made some comments about fit…which I intended to save and have lost. SIGH………

Apron pattern
vintage pattern

I did like the pockets, but of course, I had to slightly modify them. In the B view of the pattern the pockets bloused out too much, so I made it into 2 pockets by running a stitch down the middle. The inverted pleat gives you extra “room” if you need it.

big pockets on the bottom

There is also a top pocket, and I left it as a single pocket. I tested, and my phone fit right in.

Top pocket

No need to divide that top pocket for a pen.

A new apron

I used the Medium size, but am annoyed at how “long waisted” it seems. It doesn’t look it laying on the table, but the minute it was finished and I tried it on, I was annoyed. It’s just FINE for my 5’11” tall husband (I made him one a long time ago from this pattern). My daughter is about 5’5″, so it will fit her better than me! First thing I did after trying it on was to pull it up at the apron ties and insert a little fold. I guess it will have to do. It’s done, and gifted! I pre-washed the fabric, so I can’t hope for much shrinkage. It does have a good “wrap” so your lower half is protected.

I was happy that I left a note in the pattern to not try to “turn” those apron ties. I modified how I made them an did them like “double fold bias binding”, folding down the center and then folding in the edges and pressing and top stitching. Maybe a little narrower than the original design of the pattern, but functional. I did leave a note in the pattern this time about how long waisted it is !

My hubby laughs at my angst, because he said “IT’s an APRON, not a designer dress”.… and I know my daughter will splash and wipe her hands in a hurry like she does with all the other aprons I’ve made over the years. She puts an apron on every time she works in the kitchen at her house and mine, so I know it will get used ! Functional!

My last little project was for one of the grand kids. She is going to dress up like ROSIE THE RIVETER for Halloween.

During dinner last week we chatted about her costume, and I had shared a red bandana I had. Her mommy said I could help with the costume by making a mask that she could wear while she was out in her costume. This is the idea we came up with –

Halloween mask

I used Superior cotton GLOW IN THE DARK white thread when stitching it out on my embroidery machine. It kind of glows green in the dark which she just loved.

GLOWING

Don’t panic about all the holes that machine embroidery does…..the back of the mask is TWO layers, with a filter pocket. Her mom can add a piece of cut away stabilizer in the pocket for a filter. That will keep her safe….

I did the whole mask “in the hoop” on my embroidery machine. I had a pattern for the mask from Smart Needle.com that I used. I did the placement and tack down stitch, then switched over to the wording in another file that I had done up on Embrilliance using the built in block lettering.

Set up to stitch

I adjusted the wording to fit in the mask and loaded that glow in the dark thread. (LOTS of thread breaks with that cotton thread).

Mask making

Once the front was finished, I added the elastic, making sure there were knots at the ends and taped them down. Then I added the two backing pieces on the TOP of the mask, returned to the original “smart needle” pattern in the machine, and ran the placement stitch and the tack down stitch again (twice). I didn’t want a lot of top stitching on the mask, so I removed it from the hoop, tore away the stabilizer and trimmed the mask and turned it . I’m so happy with my machine and all the little tricks I have learned over the course of the year where I can interrupt the machine and easily modify to suit my needs. It took me about an hour to make, including the test mask. The test I did as a child size and it was VERY small. 🙂

Test run

I have “one more” small project to work on for the same granddaughter . Can you guess what I am doing with this?

Can you guess

I went in search of this fabric on Friday and ended up on a 63 mile round trip ride! Any advice for a rolled hem would be appreciated! I’ll practice on muslin first!

What is happening in YOUR sewing room? Any Halloween costumes? Christmas stitching? Do tell.

Another Row for Autumn Jubilee 2020

It is fun to get up on Friday morning and find a new “row” for the Autumn Jubilee 2020 quilt along happening at the blog – From My Carolina Home – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/16/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-3/

I had fun after dinner on Friday night pulling the fabrics for each of the 5 blocks. It really doesn’t take very much and I was able to get what I needed out of some small pieces, partially used fat quarters and a few strips left in my containers. I even used up some of those background blocks left over from my “indecision” last week with the trees.

My first block finished is my “feature fabric” from the row of trees that were row # 2.

Leaf block for AJ 2020
Small print leaf fabric

I mixed up the background fabrics in this group of blocks since I was using the “same” fabrics for the actual leaf. (Gotta get my scrappy look!)

The second block was a much larger print fabric.

getting the leaves made

Sewing progressed pretty well. I chose an orange that is a bit of a tone on tone, and in hind sight, wish I had chosen a print. It just doesn’t pop like the other fabrics. Could just be the crummy lighting .

Green and orange

Up close it does look a bit better, as does the red with the gold print.

Red Yellow and brown

Overall, it didn’t take long to get the pieces cut and stitched and into a nice looking row.

Row # 3

Row three is complete for the Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along.

Ready for the next project. I was just thinking that I have 4 rows made (2 stars, 1 tree, 1 leaves) for the quilt along. I also have the embroidery blocks made for the Autumn Jubilee wall hanging, and the strip unit made for the bag. It will soon be time to start finishing some of these up. It’s not to late to start if you want to pop over to Carole’s blog and choose a project.

Are you quilting along with #AutumnJubilee2020? Or maybe you are stitching one of the wool projects or making pillow cases? Be sure to share on the Friends of From My Carolina Home facebook page.