Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
So..., since then I have been playing around with sewing suits with my serger. And I have to say that I love the finished look so much better. I've even used the serger to attach the elastic directly to the suit. You can certainly make swimsuits without a serger (I did it for YEARS), but if you have one--use it! It may take a little practice or getting used to but I find that the suits go together much more quickly using a serger. And it looks more professionally made.
I have switched to using 3/8" swimsuit elastic on everything except little baby suits. I haven't ever had problems with regular elastic breaking down from the chlorine, but I do think I like it better as far as the stretch and comfort.
Also, once again remember that you need only stretch the elastic the LEAST amount possible to fit into the piece. DON'T overstretch or it will not lay the way you want.
Here's the latest one I just made for my middle daughter. Shouldn't lose her when we're at the pool. Fully lined except for the back inset orange piece.
I've also adjusted how I topstitch my swimsuits. I use a STRETCH twin needle exclusively now. (and make sure it is a STRETCH twin.) It makes for a more professional looking finish.
This is what a TWIN (or double) needle topstitch looks like on the swimsuit. For the majority of suits I use a size 4,0/75 Stretch Twin. At times I use a 2,5/75 on baby swimwear (if I am using 1/4" elastic).
Most machines are made so that you can use a twin needle. Check your manual to be sure, but if there are 2 thread loops where your needle inserts into your machine for sure it is made to handle twin topstitching.
You can always check to see what's available at my shop too!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Check out all the loveliness I received! I'm real happy with the quality of the sheets and all the beautiful prints everyone sent in. Out of 65 FQ's I only got 6 that I didn't care for. I'd say thats not bad.
I've already got some ideas brewing in my head for these...
In other news, today it is snowing in my area! Can you believe it? Neither can I! The only good thing about it, is that I am having another marathon day of canning beans today and snow makes it a little easier to get in the canning mood.
In case you are wondering I'm doing red beans and white beans today. I use my red beans for chili and taco soup and my white beans for white chicken chili. I'd sure like to expand my repertoire so if anyone has a good bean recipe, please share!
Friday, May 21, 2010
I looked around for a very looonng time trying to find a truly "manly" design for him. When I came across this quilt, it was perfect in every way!! I worked on his Aggie version for months without him knowing a thing. He was totally shocked and surprised when I gave it to him for Christmas last year.
The quilting was a scary challenge for me. I don't own a quilting machine, per se, so I squished and tucked and pulled that bad boy into my little non-quilting machine. I can't tell you how happy I am with how the quilting turned out, though! I know there are flaws, but it looks exactly how I had envisioned--maybe even better!
Go check out all the Blogger's Quilt Festival entries on Flickr.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
You can't mention beans without mentioning gas. As far as that goes, we all know that the more beans you eat the less gas you have. So, I pretty much have the most regular family on the planet! :) But, one trick I do is this: one of the steps when canning any dry beans is to soak them overnight. To lessen the gas, I dump out my overnight water and refill with fresh water before canning.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Made from the leftovers of a yet to be revealed large quilt.
EDITED: Large Quilt can be seen HERE.
Fabric is Hello Betty by Moda
BTW, I finally found a home for my Boy Quilt. For 2010, Margaret's Hope Chest is providing birthday quilts to children who's parents are currently incarcerated. A little 2 yr old who loves sports/balls is going to get snuggled up in my little blanket. (Be sure to take a few minutes to read about the project.)
Friday, May 14, 2010
I first tried this technique last year on this suit for my middle daughter.
We used the basic racerback tank (Kwik Sew 3785 is the current pattern) and cut it to be a 2-tone suit. We thought the stripe might be just a little much for the entire suit. M. loves this suit. She received a ton of compliments on it last year too. This year it seems a little snug; however, she wants me to add another little piece into it so that she can still wear it. Since I still have both of these fabrics I may just start from scratch and go a size larger for her, because it was a cool suit.
Tikki Hut Print Suit
Navy & Floral Suit
Here is a little detail close-up of the straps and how they cross each other in back.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Quick Tip from Ball®: Add one or two tablespoons to smoothies and milkshakes or stir into warm Maple syrup for a special topping over pancakes and waffles. (***I tried this with syrup on Popeye Pancakes the other morning and it was Scrumptious!!! )
Recipe for Tropical Breeze Freezer Jam. Makes 5 half-pints.
Sign up HERE to receive the Ball® monthly e-newsletter.
I also want to try Pineapple Chili Salsa this year.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I still had to pick out all the quilting (basic cross hatch) I didn't like and sort of did that as I was doing the new quilting. Originally I had thought about quilting each whirlygig, decided that was too time consuming; however, that is exactly what I came back to. And I really like how it looks--it makes me much much happier, and considering how much work I put into it I want this quilt to make me happy.
Now it is D-O-N-E! As sort of an evolution during this past year of working on it I decided it would be an anniversary quilt. We celebrated 15 years this past week! Hubby made a simple quilt for me while we were engaged with the help of his grandma. Now it is my turn.
Finished size: HUGE!...actually 84" x 86"
(I'm not sure I'll ever do one this big again--or at least for a VERY long time. Give me some easy baby blankets any day.)
Embroidered Hearts found HERE for a free download.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I started sewing because our mom sewed and just wanted to try it. The reasons why change all the time. As a teenager I sewed for the creativity. I mostly made dresses for dances because I never really liked what was in the stores. And it was much cheaper to sew my own.
I didn't sew all through college and the first years of marriage. I just wasn't into it, but once I got pregnant with my first baby I got the bug again. I love seeing the girls in something I've made them. It is just so satisfying. I guess I've gotten sentimental about it. I want them to have things that their mom made them. I also like that they are one of kind items and almost always better quality than what I buy for them. And there's still the creative part that I love. Deciding on fabric, cutting, the whole process.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Here are my fixes:
So, I took matching pieces of scrap denim from my overflowing pile of jeans and put small squares behind each of the rips and tears. I carefully zigzagged close to the fray to lock the scrap in place.
The beautiful thing about denim is that when it frays, it covers up your stitches. You can click on the pictures to see more details.
The last fix involved finishing off the hem. I didn't want every pair of her shorts to be frayed at the end so I cut a strip of fabric 2 inches wide and made a sort of bias tape for the hem.
This picture is the pair of khaki shorts I did for the 3 year old. The 8 year old 's shorts are denim. I coudn't get any pictures because she put them on last night after she got out of the bath, wore them to bed, and wore them to school this morning. I guess that means she likes them, huh?
Renae's directions for hemming jeans into shorts.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Needless to say, I left pretty discouraged. I wasn't planning on buying a machine that day, but I wasn't really prepared to deal with someone who supposedly knew my needs better than me. For one, I feel like I am a pretty experienced sewer. I sew A LOT and I've sewn for a very long time. I'm pretty sure I know what I want. So my question is: Do sewing machine sales people really even sew? Or do they just sell machines?
My advice to them would be: Take a class in listening, 'cuz you aren't hearing what I am saying!
I feel better now, thank you...
In happier shopping news, I scored some beautiful sheets at my thrift store that I plan to use for the backs of some upcoming quilts.
Finally, here is a peek at a quilt top I recently finished. Now, I just need to figure out how to get it quilted by June with a busted machine.