Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Stampin' and Stitchin': Elf Shoes

Hey Sewers!
there's lots of Christmas preparation and decoration going on around here
these cute, cute elf shoes were stitched using my Bernina 750 embroidery module

 the design is from Kimberbell
it is an in-the-hoop project
I used leftover fabric scraps from my stash
the base of the shoe is felt
the fabric is then appliqued onto the felt
all the embellishments (twine, button, etc.)
are Stampin' Up products


a number of fun items will fit into the opening
I chose these yummy Reese's peanut butter cup canes
I'm not in love with the look of the label, however,
so I chose some Stampin' Up envelope paper (it is a little lighter weight than the DSP)
in cucumber crush to cover those tubes
plus, the stripe looks like elf socks, don't you think?
I cut each piece 4 1/2 inches by 9 inches
added some tear and tape to the front and back of one side of the paper
and rolled it around the cane
there, that looks better

and here's a decorating idea that I came across in my 
Better Homes and Gardens Christmas from the Heart book (2015)
they used silver egg cups
I used my vintage silver bowl that I found last year at a local consignment shop
the greenery is from my shrubs that I finally got around to trimming
and I picked up the pine cones that dropped from the pine trees at the grade school across the street

are you preparing for the upcoming holidays, friends?
whether it be Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas
I would love to see your handmade goodness

Happy Decorating,

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Snow People and Winter Birds

Hey Sewers!
Here we are in early December and
winter is quickly descending upon us
If you are in a climate such as we are here in Utah,
the snow has already started falling, but it is also quickly melting
These little guys however, won't melt
I can't help but smile whenever I look at them

Tami, Ashley, and Brittni are my lovely sewing friends who brought them to life
at my Santa's Workshop sewing class last night at our local Bernina dealer
The pattern for these sweet little snow people heads is in Nancy Halversen's book,
Table Please Part Two
Another winter-themed project in the same book is this
winter birds table topper,
which I'm actually using as a wall hanging

The tree trunks are strip pieced alternately with the white background
the tree branches and birds are applique
I used wool felt for the bird appliques,
which adds great dimension to those feathered beauties

Appleton wool yarn is a perfect pairing with the wool felt and hand stitching


Enjoy your winter, my friends, and take time to do some
bird watching
and snowball making

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dog Blankets

Hello Sewers!

My friend, Linda, gifted me with a lot of fabric some time ago
A couple of pieces of dog print fleece were among the apparel fabrics
I'm not a huge fan of fleece for myself, but these are great for my two pooches

I finished off the edges using the wave stitch on my Baby Lock Ovation serger
Quite an attractive finish for something that will soon be covered in dog hair and slobber!

It is cold and snowy here today - their new blankets will see lots of use this winter
Don't forget to keep your furry little friends warm if you are in winter weather right now

Happy serging, friends!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How to Use the Bernina Rolled Hemmer Foot

Hey sewing friends!

Bernina offers several narrow hemmer presser feet.
If you are a Bernina owner, you know the feet are identified by numbers.
The narrow hemmer feet are numbers:
61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 68, and 69
Whew!  That's a lot of options.  Which one to choose?

First, you should determine on what type of fabric you plan to use your hemmer foot
(i.e. lightweight, medium weight, etc.)
Second, what type of stitch do you want to use
(i.e. straight, zig zag, shell)
Third, what type of hem will you mostly sew
(i.e. curved, or straight)

Now, armed with that information, head to your local Bernina dealer
and enlist the help of the knowledgeable staff
 - or -
consult your handy dandy Feetures book if you happen to own that gem

I put together this short video to give you some tips on using this presser foot:

The shell and hemmer foot is one that we use in the Bernina Customer Course.
Your sewing will have a polished, professional finish if you use it.
It is not included with your new Bernina sewing machine,
but you might want to add it to your wish list *wink*

Happy hemming!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall Triangle Banner

Hey sewers!
Here's my non-traditional colored fall banner.

Using a triangle quilting ruler, I cut those triangles from solid and printed felt squares.
The felt has some kind of a finish to it that makes it have some body,
even a bit stiff, which is perfect for this banner.

The dark "blobs" on the solid triangles are embroidered lace leaves in a dark, Merlot color thread.
All the leaves fit in one hooping on my Bernina 750.
I used two layers of wash away stabilizer.

Large ric rac, is sewn across the top of the banner
and a beautiful, wide lace adorns the top of the printed triangles.

I stitched the leaves on with the button sew-on stitch on my sewing machine.
That way, I can simply clip the stitches to remove the leaves.
Since the colors of the banner are not necessarily fall oriented, 
I will replace the leaves with snowflakes as winter arrives.

For the lettering, my sizzix dies and machine came in handy.

I planned to use white glitter felt for the lettering,
but the white felt blended in with the light color triangles.
Good thing I had a bunch of dark felt triangles left over.
I used the dark solid color for the letters and they stand out perfectly.

I didn't even stitch each letter to the banner.
Since it is felt on felt, they stay up there nicely.
I will remove them when I replace the leaves with snowflakes
and the new word will be "snow".

It's officially "fall", do you have your seasonal decorating started?

Happy sewing, friends.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friendship Quilt

The Friendship Quilt will be a new class offering at Nuttall's Fabric Store.
Before it is offered as a class,
we (the employees) are sewing blocks to exchange with one another.
You guessed it, the friendship quilt is a block swap.
We each make 10 blocks and exchange them with one another.
We each end up with 10 different blocks than those with which we started.

The color 'rules' are:
  • White background
  • Blue star points
  • Red corner
 The Winter Star block pattern we're using is from this book:

 I fussy cut all 10 of the block centers from some fabric I had leftover from this skirt 

Fussy cutting may be a new term for you.
If you're curious, here's a short video that I recorded on fussy cutting fabric:

 Now that all the cutting is done, I'm ready to sew those 10 blocks!

Exchanging quilt blocks is like giving presents.
Sew much fun!!!

If you are in the local area, check with the Layton store to sign up for the Friendship Quilt.

Have you participated in quilt block swaps?
Please leave a comment and let the rest of us know your thoughts.

Until next time, my friends, keep sewing.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to Easily Sew China Silk (and other slippery fabrics)

I'm sewing another Painted Portrait pattern.
This time it is a blouse instead of a dress.
The bodice lining is China silk.
I love to use China silk for lining.
I hate to fiddle with slick, misbehaving fabric.
Above are some of my favorite tools to use with such fabric.
First, a tip from Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns:
lightly spray the fabric with Sullivan's Fabric Stabilizer
(be certain to test it on a scrap first).
Then, I like to lay out the fabric and pattern pieces on a cutting mat.
Finally, I cut the fabric and pattern using a rotary cutter instead of sheers.
Works like a charm!
After my pattern pieces were perfectly cut,
I began sewing the lining together at the shoulders.
Ugh!  Look at the difference between the left and right shoulder seams.
I sewed the first seam with my general purpose presser foot
(Bernina Foot #1, Reverse Pattern Foot)
The fabric got hung up under the presser foot and the seam slipped.
What a mess!
I switched to my non-stick zig zag foot
(Bernina Foot #52)
What a difference.
Look at how smooth and lined up that seam stayed.
I've now added the non-stick presser foot to my
group of favorite tools to use with slippery fabrics.

Are you shy about sewing with specialty fabrics?
Do you have any tips to share when sewing with these fabrics?
Please share with the rest of us.
I love to learn new tips and ideas.

Have a smooth sewing week, my friends.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cup Organizer

Kwik Sew 3886
Happy dog days of summer, friends.
It's time to take a break from the heat
and have a seat in front of your trusty sewing machine.
Here's the organization cup that accompanies the a fore-posted
I call it a mug apron.
This one is so quick and easy.
I probably need one in several rooms of my home
It can be used to organize office supplies, crochet implements,
or even personal care items such as makeup brushes,
combs, and lip stick and lip gloss.
The apron lies flat, but when you insert it into your cup
it magically molds to the shape of the cup.
Love it!
Not only do you have storage in the little outside pockets,
but you have additional storage inside the mug.

This one, along with the sewing space thread catcher,
will be offered as a kit to make and take at Nuttall's
Witches Night Out on October 10.
Join us for some sewing fun and for some tasty potluck dishes.

Happy and stylish organizing!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sewing Space Thread Catcher

My local Bernina dealer where I teach classes uses thread catchers similar to this one.
There have been numerous requests for a class on sewing these handy little items.
I located a pattern and quickly sewed up this one in great vintage inspired fabric by Kaye England.

The top of the holder has an attached pin cushion.
The pattern calls for sand as a filler.
I used crushed walnut shells because I had them on hand (don't ask).
Straps connect the base to the bag.
The strap is sewn on in such a way as to provide loops for notion storage.
A common, inexpensive tile ($.16 at Home Depot) is inserted into the base under the pin cushion.
The unit tends to slip just a bit.
Next time, I would use a grip fabric on the underside of the base cover.
One could drop an awful lot of thread snips into that thread catcher.
The pattern called for plastic tubing and a dowel in the rim to give it shape.
I used 1/4" boning because that's what I had on hand.
Worked like a charm.
The only other change I would make is to add a lightweight stabilizer
between the bag lining and outer bag.
It could use a bit of a shaper,
Speaking for myself as well!!!

The pattern is Kwik Sew 3886.
You can sew this up in an afternoon.
Be sure to save your thread from the project
When you finish you will have somewhere to put it.

Go on, get busy keeping your sewing space tidy.
Enjoy, friends.

If you are in the local area,
please send me an email or give me a call if you want us to offer this as a class.