Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Few Things

My Birthday was last week, so, I've gotten a few fun things.

I have a Secret Sister at church.  I think she knows me well, can you tell?
sewing themed candle base (battery operated candle)

not only does it have 'sewing' items, but, it even has a boot, since I'm a born & bred Texan

this was the sticker on the card
Another friend also gave me some cool stuff.
coloring book and colored pencils

this card reminds me of my sewing room
She also gave me a cool, zipper bag, that is in the picture with the jelly roll strips that I won at Inchworm Fabrics.  Thanks Jeanette!
zipper bag (gift), and jelly rolls I won
Back in September, I found a sewing machine table.  At the time, I wasn't sure what machine it would fit.  I've since found out that it is a Singer 401 table, but, it will fit a Singer 301 short bed machine.  Both my Singer 301's are long bed machines (I do have a Singer 401, but, I haven't stitched much on it).  Well, a lady with a Singer 301 short bed machine traded beds with me (they just screw on and off).  She has the table for the Singer 301 long bed, and there was a gap, since her short bed didn't quite fit.  Well, now we are both happy.
Singer 301 with it's new short bed
We knew that the colors would probably be a bit 'off' but, that doesn't bother either of us.  Now I can use my table!  I was hoping that my new Featherweight would also fit in this table, but, I found out that the Featherweight is slightly wider than a Singer 301 or 401, so, it doesn't fit :(
Featherweight sits 'on' the table, not 'in' the table, oh well
I guess I'll just have to keep looking for a Featherweight table:)  I did get myself something for the Featherweight.  I've burned my hand 5 times now, on the light on the Featherweight.  I'm not used to machines with lights, and, this machine is shorter than my other machines, so, I keep hitting the light (Ouch)!  I found a LED bulb for Featherweights at Nova's Featherweights.  It shipped quickly.  Sorry that the picture is blurry.
new LED bulb
This bulb gets warm, but not HOT.  MUCH better!

I have been doing some stitching.  I've made lots and lots of half square triangles.
I'm making this pattern. 
top half of twin sized quilt (bottom will be the same as the top)
This is how far I've gotten so far today.
top corner(s) of pattern
I still have lots of stitching to go on this one.  It's for my nieces graduation, in the spring.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Red, White & True quilts

I finally finished all three of my Red, White & True quilts, from the quilt along.  This started back in July, but, I got busy this fall, and didn't finish mine.  The centers have been finished, I just needed to put both borders on each top.

I did have to re-draft the pattern, just a bit, so that they would all fit the size requirements for Quilts of Valor.
re-drafted pattern
All I did was take the middle row out, and use the 'parts' from it to make the borders.  Now all the quilts measure 60"x70".

I finished this one at the Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday.
Red, White & True #1
Today, my large quilt guild had a sew-in, and I finished the other 2 quilt tops.  It was windy outside, so, sorry for the pictures.

Red, White & True #2

Red, White & True #3
This was a fun and simple pattern.  I'll probably make this again.

I have the bindings made, and I just have to piece the backings. 

Thanks for the quilt along, Jean!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pin Cushion Thread Catcher Tutorial

pin cushion thread catcher

Usually, when I make these, I make several at at time.  These are very popular at my Family Reunions, with all the stitchers. 

Supplies Needed:
1 Fat Quarter for Thread Caddy
1 Fat Quarter for Pin Cushion
1-2 cups Play Sand or Crushed Walnut Shells
19"-20" Package Strapping
Non-Slip Shelf Liner

Cutting Directions:
Thread Catcher Fabric - cut 2 - 9"x18" pieces
Pin Cushion Fabric - cut 2 - 6"x8" pieces, cut 1 - 4"x7" piece for straps
Non-Slip Shelf Liner - cut 1 - 3.5"x6" piece


Walnut Shells
 You can get this at pet stores. 

Package Strapping
Ask at stores if they have any strapping that they haven't thrown away yet.  I usually get mine at Sams, or, hubby brings it home from the office.

Strap Construction:
Fold 4"x7" strap fabric, right sides together, and stitch on the 7" side.

stitch along the 7" side
Turn right side out and press seam along the center.
Cut strap in half, creating two 3.5" straps.  Lay aside.
cut in half
Pin Cushion and Lining Construction:
Layer lining fabric to wrong side of the pin cushion fabric (I use the same color fabric for both parts).
lining fabric against wrong side of pin cushion fabric

Place shelf liner along one 6" end of pin cushion fabric. Place both straps, seam side against top of shelf liner, about 1" from the edges, and baste.
pin shelf liner & straps (seams against shelf liner)

baste along edge (less than 1/4")

Zig Zag stitch the other end of the shelf liner to the pin cushion fabric (I use a straight stitch machine, so, I stitch 2 lines of stitching instead of using a zig zag).
Pin shelf liner to fabric in several places, since the shelf liner will want to 'walk' with your sewing foot. *(You can also put a piece of paper over the shelf liner, making sure to tear it off after you have stitched the end.  The paper will only tear easily if you straight stitch, not zig zag).
pin well, since the shelf liner 'grabs' your sewing foot

stitch close to edge of shelf liner

**you can use paper along the edge, so that the shelf liner doesn't 'grip' your sewing foot
Fold pin cushion fabric, right sides together, to measure 4"x6".  The straps will be on the inside.
Sew all three sides, leaving a 3" opening along one 4" side.  This is where you will place the sand at the very end of constructing your project.
leave a 3" opening on the side
Turn right side out.  Set aside.
top of finished pin cushion

bottom of pin cushion
Thread Catcher Construction:
Fold one 9"x18" piece of bag fabric, right sides together, and stitch along the 9" side, creating a tube.  
stitch along 9" side
Press and refold so seam is centered along the back.
seam centered along the back
Sew along the bottom edge.

sew along bottom edge
Square the bottom by bringing the bottom up to the side seam, creating a triangle.  Mark seam line.
bring bottom up to the side seam

measure 1.5" from the point, mark the line to stitch
stitch along line
Trim to 1/4".

trim to 1/4"
Repeat with the other side.
bottom of bag with boxed ends

turn right side out.
Repeat with the bag lining, leaving a 4" opening along the center of the long seam.
leave 4" opening in center of seam

Pin right sides of straps to right side of lining, along the back.  Baste.
right side of straps against right side of lining (piece with open seam)

baste (less than 1/4" from edge)
Place outer fabric inside lining, right sides together, matching and pinning raw edges.  Sew.
pin right sides together, lining up seams

pin well


sewn seam
Turn through opening in lining.  Press seam.
press seam

press seam
Insert package strapping. 
insert strapping thru unstitched seam

Pin strapping WELL!
pin well before sewing
Sew as close to the edge of the strapping as you can, starting and stopping at the back seam, by the straps.
stitch close to strapping
Stitch lining closed by hand.

Fill pin cushion with sand.  Sew the opening closed by hand, using small stitches. 
*I find it easier to fill if I use a funnel.

You've finished your pin cushion thread catcher.  Enjoy!
finished pin cushion thread catcher

 **I use a straight stitch machine.  I have a 1/4" foot  for my machine.

regular foot, and 1/4" foot
I switch between both feet for this project.  If you look closely at the pictures, you can tell which foot I'm using.  The regular foot is great for basting close to the edge (less than 1/4") and for stitching close to the strapping.