I told y’all there were pink flamingos in Port O’Connor!!
You may recall, we enclosed the back patio on our home to become my sewing room in this post. Here’s a quick look at how I had my machines set up before. I only had one machine on top of the sewing table and if I needed to use the serger or cover stitch, I had to perform all kinds of acrobatics to make room and move machines around in order to sew a single garment. It was so inconvenient and I hated it.
I searched all over online and watched tons of YouTube videos to get ideas of what I wanted and what would work for me. I finally decided to go the IKEA route and used Linmon tables to give each machine its own living space. I wanted an assembly line of sorts to be able to use any machine at any time without having to move them around. I purchased two sets of Alex drawers to hold all my sewing notions and placed one at each end of the assembly line. I also place a little bamboo box within each reach of the machines that contain scissors, seam rippers, rulers, and other notions I use frequently. To keep things neat, there’s a trash can next to each machine.
To get from machine to machine, I simply roll back and forth. It’s heaven! Yes, I need another chair, but for now, this is what I have. That’s a memory pillow on the chair made from a couple of my dad’s old shirts. He’s always with me when I sew. 🙂
From bottom to top: Brother Quattro Embroidery Machine, Brother PQ1500SL quilt piecing machine, Brother PC420 sewing machine, Brother 1034D Lock serger, and Janome 900 Cover Stitch.
My first garment using the new set up was a pair of Jalie Clara leggings and it was such a joy to roll from the sewing machine, to the serger, to the cover stitch. I even completed the project faster than I had ever sewn anything before because I wasn’t stopping and starting throughout the process. And for once, I hemmed my garment right away with the cover stitch because, well…it was right there ready to go!
I’m so, so happy with the new set up! I’m certain my garment sewing is going to really ramp up with more projects in the works!
I watched a video the other day from Lisa Capen Quilts on YouTube (you can learn anything on YouTube) and I fell in love with a wall hanging she was making themed around candy conversation hearts. First, I LOVE candy conversation hearts. I used to go through them in elementary school and make sure that any I passed out to my classmates for our Valentine’s Day party didn’t include one that said “cute” or “kiss me” to a boy who I didn’t want to get the wrong idea. C’mon!! We ALL did that. Admit it. 🙂
Lisa’s method was the traditional way to print or draw a picture of the design, use a light box to trace the design and words, cut out fabric backed with Heat-n-Bond, and then using a satin stitch on a domestic sewing machine, she appliqued the hearts onto a background. At one point in her video, she said it was “a little time consuming”. Ya THINK??
I really wanted to do this but have absolutely no desire whatsoever for all that work. Especially when I have a power tool, a.k.a my embroidery machine, to do it for me. And I have a very nifty piece of software called Simply Applique whose mission in life is to assist lazy embroiderers like myself. Here’s how I did it. Oh, and I’ve started a YouTube channel! I would love it if you would subscribe! I do not, and will not, monetize my channel so any products I talk about are my own personal opinion.
The hearts are an image I grabbed from Google Images which I printed and scanned into my Brother Scan-N-Cut. Once scanned, I uploaded it into the Brother Canvas Workspace to resize. Then I downloaded the image back to the Scan-n-Cut to cut out the hearts. The hearts were cut from fabric already backed by Heat-n-Bond. The background dimensions are 10″ x 26″ Kona white and then I needed a few extra inches all around the outside of Warm & White for the batting and I chose a dark pink solid for the backing and binding. The hearts are from a fat quarter bundle of solids from Free Spirit and the border is a mini-charm pack called Surrounded by Love from Moda. All the fabrics were from my stash.
The interior stipple is from a stencil I have and I used a Frixon marker to draw out the stipple design, because I’m lame and cannot do a freehand simple stipple. If I had been thinking ahead, I’d of stippled the background first on the embroidery machine because I have several stipple designs. Or even a background heart design would be cute. I just did a simple “X” on each border square.
Here’s the final product! I think it turned out absolutely adorable!! (If I do say so myself!) Now I have a cute wall hanging to remind hubs how I feel about him this coming Valentine’s Day. 🙂
As promised, I’m going to show all the quilting and embroidery gifts I worked on throughout the year for my grand kiddos. The quilts were quilted on my King Quilter using a Butler robot. And before you wonder if I spent my Christmas morning blogging, no…I wrote this a few days ago and scheduled it to post at 7 AM on Dec 25.
The first is a quilt for my 10 y/o step-granddaughter Lyric. She is all into that Monster High that young girls are into now. I found this Grimsely’s fabric and pattern at Mes Ames Quilt shop in New Orleans. I blogged how I finished the top in the RV before we even left the camp site! Sorry, I didn’t get a photo after I quilted it.
The next was for Aiden, my baby grandbaby who just turned 2 in October. They call him Aiden the Destroyer because he’s already built like a little linebacker and doesn’t mind giving a stack of toys (or a person) a tackle for no reason at all. It’s called Woodland Friends and was just a simple panel with borders. The quilting is Puffy Clouds from Intelligent Quilting. It has an 80/20 Warm and a poly batting to make the clouds extra puffy.
My local quilt shop had this kit on the wall – all except for the backing which I found on Etsy. It’s called Corner of 5th and Fun and I just fell in love with it. This one is for Callie my 5 year old granddaughter with the Christmas Birthday. I wrapped the quilt in Christmas paper to set it apart from the unicorn she got for her birthday. It too is a panel that’s cut into 3 parts and then pieced with strips of pinwheels and blocks in the border. The quilt pattern is Bunnies from Urban Elementz. I didn’t want it too dense so it might take away from the images on the quilt.
And last but not least, the Cute Monster Quilt from Craftsy by Wendi Gratz. If you haven’t already, please check out my YouTube channel for details on how I made it by using the Brother ScanNCut for the applique pieces. This one is for Calvin, my 7 year old grandson, and I was originally going to make him the Bjorn Bear quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. However, I started too late and decided the monster quilt would be quicker. I’m not entirely sure that was true! LOL I quilted it with Spirals Squared (a pattern that came with my robot Butler). If you notice, one of the monsters has blue glasses just like Calvin does! Third row/2nd monster. The glasses pattern is from the Bjorn Bear quilt pattern and I scaled it down 55% to make it fit. I cut them out on the ScanNCut as well. The fabric is from a fat quarter bundle designed for the Bjorn Bear quilt. The backing is a light gray Grunge. I had SO much fun making this quilt and it’s by far my favorite of all my quilts I’ve ever done. That’s my lucky gecko on the ceiling!
For Callie’s birthday present, I embroidered the Unicorn Embroider Cubbie. I blogged my acquisition of this adorable creature at the DIME Stitch Lab in Houston last Sept. It’s a little crooked…just like me. 🙂 I also made her the Reading Pillow as a Christmas present. I show it here on YouTube. It has an embroidered unicorn on it and the pocket contains a Little Golden Book The Night Before Christmas and an activities book. The back of the pillow is a minkey scrap.
That’s all for now. Enjoy what remains of your Christmas season and Happy New Year!
December 1st! Somebody tell me where the year went! Y’all, I have to tell you that 2018 has been a blessed year around our house and I hope it was at yours as well. Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past month.
Check out the cutting mat I picked up at the Quilt Festival in Houston last month. This thing is like a football field! I absolutely love it. I got it at the show price of $75. I’ve been butting up two large green Olfa mats for some time now and inevitably they come apart in the middle and the rotary cutter won’t cut there or if overlapped, they were like a ski slope.
I’ve wanted a heat press for some time as well, and I picked up this 6″ x 7″ for just $99 along with a mat and pressing sheets on Amazon on Black Friday.
I don’t do a whole lot of heat transfer vinyl (I don’t have the room in my world for that craft) but the girls at work decided we’d all look the same on Fridays this month and we all got this bling design to go on black t-shirts. I needed an iron right? My blogger buddy Joy would just love this!
Sorry Joy, when we bought the bling pieces at work, you and I weren’t in contact yet or I’d of made one for you. I’ll think of you every time I wear it though! Isn’t she a peach? You guys have to go check out Joy Bernhardt on YouTube and her blog at Joyful-expressions.blogspot.com. Joy is bubbly, happy, and always up to something. I just love her videos and following her around in her sewing room. That’s a new BabyLock Solaris hiding under the new cover she made for it. Can’t wait to see what she starts doing with that beauty!
When I went to the DIME Stitch Lab in The Woodlands in Sept, I bought a piece of software called Word Art in Stitches and let me tell you, I love this thing! I’m a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (I have like 13 American Revolutionary War ancestors) and my local chapter wanted to have matching embroidered blouses that we could wear to public events where we wouldn’t normally be wearing our ribbons like in chapter meetings or State conferences. I came up with this design and I’m testing it out right now on “like” fabric to see how it’s stitching out. The micro-fonts in WAS are exactly why I purchased this software. The lower case letters are about 1/4″ tall. Look how clear they are!
Not sewing related, but would you look at the price of fuel here in South Texas? WOW!
We had an amazing feast for Thanksgiving at the Hurricane in Port O’Connor. There was so much food with great friends. The restaurant provided the turkey & ham and everyone was asked to bring a side. I brought two homemade pecan pies. We had a wonderful time and I didn’t have to kill myself cooking and cleaning. Perfect! Keith gave the blessing and it’s got almost 400 Likes on FaceBook.
While we were in POC, I stopped by Beefore It’s a Quilt in Port Lavaca, and picked up a kit for this quilt. It’s just perfect for my house in LaVernia. It’s really lovely and the photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s a Villa Rosa pattern and sometimes the simplest patterns make the prettiest and most satisfying finishes.
I made a couple of these embroidered toilet paper rolls as a gag and Keith took them in to the office as a show-n-tell. Now I’ve got orders for 5 of them! Thanks for adding to my to-do list! Ha! If you want to know how to make these, there’s a bunch of videos on YouTube.
The Christmas Scenes quilt is off the longarm and bound. It turned out so pretty!
My local quilt store, Scrappy Quilter in Schertz, Texas is moving. They found a place twice the size across the street from their old shop. I stopped by to lend a hand and they put me to work moving about 100+ bolts of clearance fabric from a huge pile on one end of the store into a display on the other end. I had a blast!
I’m working on a quilt for a grandchild for Christmas. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.
I’ve got to get this finished, longarmed, bound, and mailed in the next two weeks. Yikes! I need to quit blogging and get sewing! What are you working on?
I’ve had a busy sewing November so far this month. Hubs and I planned to visit the Houston Quilt Festival and we made the trip from our coastal home in Port O’Connor, Texas to Houston.
We ran into Angela Wolf from It’s So Easy on PBS.
I read on Facebook that you should take along a backpack to tote all your goodies so of course, I had to make one.
I loved the Urban Elementz booth. The owner lives in New Braunfels, Texas which is near our home so I like to support our local artists. I picked up the cute giraffe measuring quilt kit. Love those shades!
How cute is THIS? Adorbs!
I made up some mug rugs for my local quilt shop, Scrappy Quilter, that come from Kimberbell’s Holiday and Seasonal Mug Rugs, Vol 1. Jo put them display! Here’s the cardinal.
And here are the gingerbread, pumpkin, and spider. So cute!
Here’s the embroidery display area in the store. They are moving next month to a new place across the street and Jo wants to expand the embroidery offerings and I can’t wait to help her by making more store samples.
I’ve got my Christmas Scenes quilt on the longarm. One mission I had at the Quilt Festival was to visit the Quilt Butler computer folks and get some assistance with the nesting feature to make the quilted rows come out evenly. Mission accomplished! The decals on Elvis are also from Urban Elementz.
And lastly, a coworker’s wife is expecting a baby girl next week so I made her a nursing cape and a couple of bibs.
So that’s what’s been under my needle. What’s been under yours?
And on the practical side of my life… You’ve heard the old saying “Preacher’s kids are always the worst?” Well, here are my current potholders. Pretty sad, huh? They’ve definitely seen better days.
I have no idea how old they are. I just loved the whimsey print on the front and while I could have purchased new ones for next to nothing at WalMart, why would I do that when I can make my own? That thought has prevented me from dropping the $5 to purchase new ones for years…and years.
I found my crosshatch design on Etsy. I used cotton thread for the embroidery in the top and bottom because I was afraid a synthetic might melt over time.
There’s an old saying in the machine embroidery world too, “There are those that test, and those who wish they did.” I’m in the 2nd category on this project of course. I figured ‘how hard can this be?’ I hooped some stabilizer, added my chosen fabric and two layers of batting and off I went. I ended up with beautiful stiff pieces of cardboard. Note to self, don’t use stabilizer next time. The thought was to make the front and back the same, that’s why there are 4 pieces here.
So on the 2nd go, I used black backing fabric as the “stabilizer” itself and then added two layers of batting and another piece of fabric from the same group of fatquarters. It worked out perfect!
Again, I used two pieces of 80/20 batting. Now you might be saying, “But what about Insulbrite in the batting?” Nope. I have some, but I don’t like how it sounds in the finished product and after inspecting the innards of the old potholders, they didn’t have it so…
I rounded the corners using ginormous washers from the hardware store, a.k.a my pattern weights.
I made 2″ bias binding from the same black fabric as the backing.
I love my new potholders!