Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Brother-in-law gave me a gift.

I realized today it has been over a year since Joe has seen his older brother,  James.  This is because he brought by a sewing machine and table he has had in his attic for at least 20 years.  Then we all realized even though James only lives 50 miles away, we haven't seen him since he was in the hospital.

He is busy with family, remnants of cancer, and traveling.  Joe is fighting M.S., so even though they email almost daily, an in person visit has not happened in quite a while.

A short visit, but James gave Joe a family trunk filled with papers, pictures, and other stuff. We haven't opened the trunk yet.  But I have already dusted and tried out what he brought me.  They are not sure if this is a family heirloom or not.  However, I already cherish it.

It happens to be a Singer featherweight built in New Jersey circa 1948.  Plus the table that goes with it.

Pictures of it as received:

A wipe with a damp cloth:

A beautiful machine that purrs.  I haven't even oiled it yet.

Thank you James!

Thanks for stopping.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Since my nephew Chase is three and can't quite read, I feel safe blogging about his Christmas present.

Being three years old, he loves dinosaurs.  Since he loves the pillow I made for him last year, I thought another pillow would be a great gift this year.  With a dinosaur theme of course.

It is hard to believe he is only three, he is so grown up.  Here he his telling Santa he wants "dinosaur trucks" for Christmas.

I used some green material I bought at the thrift store, some batting, and a standard pillow.  First I cut nine squares 9" by 7".  I embroidered dinosaurs on eight and did applique on one.

I sewed them together with a 1/4" seam.  Then I sewed the batting to the back of the designs by stitching in the ditch through all the squares.  I also sewed a piece of fabric over the batting to seal it in.

Making these pillows which are like miniature quilts is good practice for when I decide to make a full-size quilt.

The pillow can easily be removed for washing since I sewed two pieces to make the back and serged the seams so the inside would look good.

I used my White sewing machine and my Janome embroidery machine for this project.

It will be fun to see Chase's face when he sees all the dinosaurs.

Thanks for stopping.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Stocking

I did a quick embroidery project yesterday with no formal plans, just an idea in my head.  It started when I found a cute little embroidered reindeer design.  I thought this would look cute on a Christmas stocking.  My poodle Max needs a stocking for goodies, so I made this for him

I used some left over pink fleece and a scrap of white fabric.  I first embroidered the reindeer and "Max" on the fleece.  Then just freehand I cut out a stocking shape on the fabric folded over.

After sewing the stocking I attached the white trim, and Voila!  A cute Stocking.

If you would like the free reindeer design, it is available through 12-31-14 at Emblibrary.

Thanks for stopping.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkeys

I am being "crafty".   After finishing my Christmas Pillow I decided to try another Holiday project. This project is also from San Francisco Stitch Co.   It is a cute little embroidered turkey for a table decoration.  It also has room inside for a little treat, such as a Hershey kiss.

Li'l Turkey
As I said before, I don't like paying for projects.  But since this one is teaching me a technique, I thought $1.99 was reasonable.

I had a little frustration with the instructions.  I don't know if it was my "brain fog" or something else. I did get the turkey finished, it just took a while.  I rewrote the instructions for the second turkey.

The project comes in 4x4, 5x7, and 6x10.  Since my Janome MC200E does a 5x5,  for my second turkey I took the 4x4 and enlarged it using the Janome's built-in editing software.  I made it 120 percent larger.  This made it easier to work with.

Here is the way I did my second turkey.  I think my way is easier to understand than the instructions.

Be sure to fill the bobbin with brown thread, because the bobbin thread will show.

After attaching lightweight fusible stabilizer to two pieces of beige material that fit my machine's hoop, I embroidered the face on one of the pieces. I skipped the second stitch, it was redundant.  The first stitch is actually a placement line.  But since I know where the embroidery is going to be, I didn't need it.

While the the other piece of material was being embroidered with the body I cut the face out.  Again, I skipped the second stitching.

 I attached the face to the underneath of the embroidery in the hoop with a hand-basting stitch.  The instructions said to use spray adhesive, but I didn't have any.

 The machine bastes on the face to the body.  I removed the hoop to make sure it looked good. Removed my hand-basting stitch, then reattached the hoop to finish the embroidery.

Machine embroidering body.

Face basted on by embroidery machine.

Embroidery finshed

 Finally, I used my sewing machine to "fill in" some places.  I ran out of the brown bobbin thread, so a different color was used.  But it won't show when finished.

Face finished

Body finished

The turkey is folded into position.  A little piece of thread or ribbon is put through little holes in the feathers to hold everything in place.

Two Li'l Turkeys going to dinner.
Two Li'l Turkeys ready for dinner.

Hope you enjoyed my little tutorial on Li'l Turkeys.

Thanks for stopping.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Christmas Pillow Part Two

I finished the center piece for the Christmas pillow in part one.  Now it needs the pillow part.  This is like a small quilt.  The fabric is cut into strips 2 1/2" wide.

Then two strips are stitched together good sides facing.  And pressed.

Next the strips are cut into 2 1/2" wide pieces.

Finally the pieces are sewn sided by side to create the checkerboard look.

Here the pillow front is shown finished.  I assembled the tree to the pillow face.  I also embroidered snow flakes on it.  The big flakes are white, which makes them more texture than popping out.

The red piping is sewed on.  I looked online to see all I had to do is snip the corners of the piping to make it curve..

Here is the finished pillow.   Might need a little more "shaping".
My Pillow
Not too bad when compared to the one made by San Francisco Stitch Co.  Mine actually looks homemade.  Since this was supposed to look hand, not machine made, this is probably good.

San Francisco Stitch Co.  Pillow

I have another "crafty" thing in mind.  Be sure to come back and see what it is.

Thanks for stopping.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas Pillow Part One

I like to use my embroidery machine.  There is something soothing about watching the machine stitch out designs.  A gentle beep lets me know when to change thread color and the last beep lets me know the machine is finished.

My Janome 200E is smart.  It will let me know if the thread breaks, is threaded wrong, or the bobbin runs out.  This is good if I want to do something else while the machine is working.

I started the Christmas Pillow project, and worked until the center piece was finished.  I can't believe how good it looks.  A few scraps of material, some stabilizer, and thread made a wonderful little tree.

This is my second project from San Francisco Stitch Co.  It is called the FlipNStitch pillow.
I am doing this project because instead of a satin stitch to attach the fabric and hide the edge,  the stitching is hidden.  This makes the little tree look hand sewn.
San Francisco Stitch Co.'s version

The embroidery machine stitches the outline of the tree.  The hoop is removed, fabric is added, the hoop is reattached, and the machine stitches the fabric. The process is repeated until the design is finished.  Then the machine embroiders some decorations on the tree.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of how the project is progressing:

Tree trunk and background on.  Tree bottom stitched wrong side to good side of tree.

Tree bottom folded to good side out

Next piece stitched and folded up.

And so on..

And so on...

Top background stitched on and folded back.

Square stitched to hold background down.

I satin stitched the square, then added the border.


The tree is shown on the fabric I am making the pillow from.  But first I have to cut the material into squares and stitch together to give the "quilt" appearance.  Then snow flakes will be embroidered on the squares with white thread.  Then the pillow assembly starts.

Thanks for stopping.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Back To The Seventies Finale

I did a couple of projects between my last post and this one.  One of them was a  T-shirt I embellished for my nephew's sixth birthday.  He loves to play soccer, so a soccer themed shirt seemed appropriate.

Here is Sam during his party at Red Robin posing with his shirt

After Sam's shirt was finished, I returned to working on my Simplicity 6249.  I top stitched it with my Singer 626.  The stitching makes the shirt otherwise it would be too plain I think.  The faux-flap pocket adds a little Je ne sais quoi
Look out Brady Bunch........Here I come!

I am starting a Christmas pillow project.  It is from San Francisco Stitch Co.   Unlike the Mystery project I did from their site in which the instructions were given out over six weeks.  This one  was downloaded immediately.  I usually don't pay for online projects, but for $3.75 this one looks to be interesting and educational.

Thanks for stopping.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Back to the Seventies

I decided to make another shirt from the seventies since I like the last one I made so much.  This Simplicity 6249 from 1974 is a unisex pull-over top. I am using a lightweight broadcloth material I had in my stash.
Simplicty 6249

I decided to try on the pattern to check for size and length.  I ended up only adding an inch in length.

Original Length

One Inch Added
 I am sewing this with my Singer 626.  I picked it up at the thrift store for a few dollars. This model does have neoprene gears.  Some have metal.  I am certain the gears were replaced because they are opaque.  Not black like the few gear bits I found in the bottom of the case. Also, I don't think it was used much at all after the gears were changed, because they and the whole machine look like new.  So it should last a long time.

This machine has just a few decorative stitches, and does not use cams.  The wind-in-place bobbin works great.  Some machines with this feature have problems, but on this machine it works easy.

You have to love the color!
Singer 626 Touch and Sew
 Back to the shirt.

I was confused when sewing the pocket, because the instructions did not state it was a faux-flap.  I kept trying to figure out where the flap was at in the picture.  Finally, I figured it out.  All I have to do now is sew a button on it to finish.
Faux-Flap Pocket
Since the decorative stitching looked great on my previous shirt, I decided to put my Singer 626 to work.  As seen on the pocket and collar.
Decorative Stitching on Collar


Next Comes Sleeves.

Thanks for stopping.