Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The materials are awkward and heavy to haul around, the kids will make a real mess with the materials, most of them do not want to work with the materials, those that want to work with it have lots of fun making comments about vomit, glitter gets everywhere and they will break something.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Sew through all four fabrics to form the bottom of the tote. Then separate the fabrics and sew the side seams, pressng the bottom seam open.
To bag the bottom of the tote, form a triangle at each bottom corner and sew across the triangles:
After the triangles are sewn:
Sew around the top of the tote two or three times to secure the handles and join the two sides of the bag.
And Voila... a simple reversible tote.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
A very moving moment was when a very small boy read the Lincoln quote that the students had decided as the most important to them. It was "The struggle of today, is not altogether for today - it is for a vast future also, with a reliance on providence, all the more firm and earnest, let us proceed to the great task which events have devolved around us."
Just think, about seventy years ago Humble, where this school is located, voted to exclude blacks from the town. Not only did the blacks have to move outside of the town's legal limits but the local black cemetary was dug up and moved out of town as well.
Now the middle school celebrates Lincoln's life. Amazing! Definitely worth giving up a knitting club meeting.
One amusing moment - just before the photo was taken, one girl said that she wanted to be in the picture so that President Obama could see her celebrating Lincoln's birthday. I wonder if he will?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
How about five wool sweaters, one wool blazer and two sweatshits?
That was my loot today when I went shopping at the local thrift store outlet. Yup, we have a thrift store outlet in this area. When a Family Thrift store is finished with its merchanize it moves it to the outlet store (on the north side of Little York Road between the Hardy Toll Road and Hwy 45). I don't know if that is what it is called but every Wednesday afternoon and evening this store is completely restocked with merchandize and re-opens on Thursday morning with everything priced at $1.75 an item. Friday everything is priced at $1.50, Saturday $1.25 and so-on until by Wednesday morning everything is $0.25.
Today I decided to drop in and see what they had for $0.25 and scored great items for felting (all that wool) and transforming into jackets (the sweatshirts). The store closes at 1:00 pm on Wednesday for restocking and I got in and out with about 10 minutes to spare. What surprised me is that the clothing was all in good shape, did not smell and there were still some great items left... like the size 10 women's navy blue linen blazer and a black silk woman's jumper - both of which I passed on.
This store is not my discovery. A wonderful woman in the quilt guild is a real thrift store aficionado and she had been talking about this place for months. She even guided some of us on a road trip to the best thrift stores in the area. I never went on the road trip, so this was my first experience with extreme thrift store shopping. I am now forever in her debt. In fact, on a previous trip she found a jacket with great buttons. She kept the buttons but gave me the jacket as she thought it would look good on me. It does look good on me... I just have to find some buttons!
And wait until you see what one of her friends made from similar finds that I got to purchase from her for a mere pittance this morning... its spectacular! Photos soon.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
This first thing I noticed about the picture is that the tulips were a color I did not recognize and that they were sagging in a most un-natural manner. My first idea was to make a skirt the color of the tulips using a pattern called, appropriately enough, The Tulip Skirt. The pattern was in one of the Japanese sewing books I have. When I realized how many adjustments I would need to fit my non-Asian form I decided to find something else to fulfill the challenge.
Until yesterday, I did not know what my other idea would be. Then I found a pattern in the loot I have been collectiing for the KAQG Quilt Show. The pattern is called the "No-Sag-Bag", published in 1983 by Cloth and Sew On based in Ontario, Oregon. I have been unable to Google the pattern or the company but, then again, after 25 years that should not suprise me. My thought was I would correct the sagging tulips and make a bag out of them. I didn't say it was a brilliant idea.
What makes this pattern unique to me is that a center pocket is incorporated into the structure of the bag so that it really can't sag.
Here's a shot of the pattern packet and its one pattern piece:
And here's what I came up with:
As you can see I have a few problems. The hand dyed fabric I found in the stash is a good color match but there was not enough of it to make the bag as shown in the pattern. I rescaled the pattern to fit the amount of fabric available. When I rescaled the pattern I did not leave certain bits at the original size like the seam allowances for the zipper and the sides of the bag thus the pathetic article shown above.
I may try this bag again because it really is a clever bag design. I just need to get it done quickly so I can return it to the Fish Pond items.
Friday, February 6, 2009
From the depths of depression on Sunday afternoon (you don't want to know) to the high from a class I gave this afternoon this whole week has been a bunch of ups and downs. So here's what I am going to do... the week is over and I get to start fresh tomorrow. I know Saturday is not typically the beginning of the week for most of us (sorry Ms. M.) but I need to put away the bad stuff and relish all the good stuff.
I taught a great sewing class, introduced some friends to knitting, received a 'Heartfelt Thanks' from the Quilt Guild, participated in two middle school knitting club meetings, worte a pretty good post on making pillowcases, taught a fun bead class at YesPrep, got some Fish Pond stuff out of the house and recieved a cute 'Devil Doxie' figurine in appreciation from ASG.
Of course this was inter-twined with a bunch of CRAP but I don't care. I have a challenge project to finish, a doll quilt to make, another quilt to get borders on and some great 'new to me' fabric to sort and store. My name may not be Pollyanna and I may not wear rose colored glasses but I can't let a small part of the world drag me down.
Have a great weekend. I will.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Here's the link to the product at Petsmart. I got the one that looks like a cow.
Here's what it looks like now:
The head is empty of stuffing, so is the butt and the legs. The ears, horns and tail are gone. The rough stuff on the outside of the body and the little black heart shaped spots that made this such a cute toy are scattered all over the house.
This toy gets a qualified thumbs up. It has lasted but I had to disembowel it a lttle while ago to remove the squeaker thing before Alex could find it. I did put all the stuffing back, and then some, so he should stay amused for a couple of more hours tomorrow.
I just wish these doggie toys were more durable without sqeakers!
Monday, February 2, 2009
Common to all pillowcases:
Finished size - approximately 21" x 32" with the opening at one of the short ends.
Fabric - cotton or a cotton linen blend. Does not need to be quilting cotton so check out the drapery fabrics for some interesting choices. Pre-washing is a personal choice. I usually wash after I have made the pillowcase to ensure there are no wonky edges.
Equipment - A serger makes a nice clean edge for the long seams, just shorten the stitch length for good results. A sewing machine is needed for hemming, french seaming (if desired) and adding decoratons.
Cut or rip your fabric approximately 2 yards long by 22 1/2" (which happens to be half the width of standard quilting cotton as it comes off the bolt). Fold the fabric, right sides together, to approximately 1 yard by 22 1/2". Serge the long sides together using a short stitch length. When you are serging remove the selvedge edge at the same time. Press the open edge to the wrong side with a 1/4" hem. Fold to the wrong side again about two inches to form a hem. Sew the hem from the wrong side. Turn right side out and press. Because you are working with two yards of fabric you can get two identical pillowcases from one length of fabric. Here is a picture of a simple pillowcase with a peak at the interior.
I got this fabric many months ago from J Caroline Creative and I think it is an older Amy Butler fabric design.
Cut or rip your fabirc (assuming quiting cotton again) approximately 3/4 of a yard long. Cut or rip another accent fabric about 1/3 of a yard long. Additional trim can be added of 3" of fabric or 45" of covered piping. Attached the trim and accent fabic to one raw adge of you fabric with a tight serger stitch. With right sides together, folded to approximately 22 1/2" by 27" plus accent fabric, serge the plain end of the fabric and the long side removing the selvadges. Fold the raw edge of the accent fabric to the wrong side about 1/4" then fold and press again to line up with the serged edge of the joining to the body of the fabric. I try to fold the 1/4" hem over the serged edge for a neater look. Sew the hem down, turn right side out and press. Here is a finshed example of this complex pillowcase with a look at the interior:
This pillowcase is made from several Moda Fabrics that were sold as a kit by Sun Flower Quilts here in Houston.
Use lace for the accent and trim fabrics. It saves the step of making a final hem or you can add another strip of fabric to have a clean finshed fabric, non-lace edge.
Finish off with a french seam. Essentially a french seam is constructed with the pillowcase serged with the wrong sides of the fabric together. The pillowcase is then turned wrong side out and the serged edge buried in a sewn seam.
Drag out your embroidery files and embroider the accent fabric before attaching it to the pillowcase.
Add a pocket to the backside of the pillowcase to keep the pillow from slipping out. Basically you will be making a simple pillowcase with an extra long back hem doubled over to make a little cover for the edge of a pillow. Extra fancy pillowcases you find in the stores usually have this feature.
Try the 'burrito' method of attaching the accent and trim. Essentially you pin the accent and trim to one end of the pillowcase fabric right sides together. Roll the body of the pillowcase fabric into a tightish roll then bring the right right side of the accent fabric over the body and re-pin. Serge/sew the accent/trim edge, pull out the body of the case, press, then top stitch the accent and trim into place.
These are very basic instructions but pillowcases are almost a no brainer once you have made a couple of them. They make great presents by themselves or as additions to the present of a quilt. One great place for inspiration is at an upscale bed linens' department. Check out the construction methods and adapt them for your own use. You will probably find that the even the fanciest pillowcases are made in one of the two ways I have shown above.
The National Charity project this year is pillowcases for Ronald McDonald House in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Some people brought fabric and the storage locker was cleared out of all its cotton. Although some of us did not even make one at the Retreat, 89 pillowcases were finished and no kits were leftover for us to take home and finish. I made a dozen of them last year and I am trying to limit my participation this year as projects like this seem to take over my life sometimes. I did see about a dozen ways to construct pillowcases and I willl try to post a summary of the techniques I saw demonstrated.
I went to the retreat with two quilt tops to complete, one bias rayon scarf I have been wanting to try and a checkbook/wallet kit I won at the KAQG as a door prize. Back in 2006 I bought a Charlotte Angotti quilt kit and I have worked on it off and on since then. I got that top finished but now I realize that I need to add some significant borders if I want to use it on any of the beds in this house. I also started on another Angotti quilt top. That one will take a while a get finished but I am about one-third of the way through the construction and I am quite pleased with how it is coming together. Here is a shot of the quilt top (minus borders) that I completed.
I did not get anything else completed but I am quite content to have only one thing to show for all my hard work.
One of the best thing about these retreats is that people show up wth stuff to share with others. This year about 10 cartons of fabric from the storage locker was available for taking as well as one woman's stash of bolts of fabulous fabric and another woman's wonderful silks, patterns and other bits that she was giving away before she moves homes. It was like a feeding frenzy but very polite. We all have enough in our own resouce centers (read 'stash') to last us quite a while but some fabulous corduroy and several good patterns really caught my eye and made it home with me. I guess I better start culling out some well aged fabric in my own resource center to make room for the new, to me, acquisitons.
Oh, and if the fabulous Joanne is reading this... you can now start talking about the threes B's again... that is boobs, butts and bugs. You had to be there!
Have a good week!