Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 A Goal to Sew


 Though I keep trying to sew clothing, I still have not mastered fitting. You would think after 40 years of sewing I would get it, but I haven't. So, I am venturing on into machine embroidery. A couple of years ago, I purchased a Janome 9500 from Craigslist. It's one of the best purchases I ever made!! I LOVE machine embroidery. For Christmas, I made the grandsons Thing 1 and Thing 2 t-shirts. Who would have thought such a great look could be had on a Walmart t-shirt?
 I, again, made the wine bags, but this year added machine embroidery. I thought I was writing "Enjoy" in French, but I wasn't--I was conveying the idea of appreciating and savoring a wine but not just enjoying the wine. The cute little chef is from Designs by JuJu.
According to Jess, S'amuses is enjoy in French. So, I re-did the bag correctly. *Sigh*

This is an upcycle project using legs of old jeans and scrap material for the lining. These were not quilted and I did not stuff them with batting. I did, however, add interfacing to the handles to make them more sturdy.

So there is 2014, and here's to 2015. I'm busy (aren't we all) with work and grad school, but I hope to continue my sewing throughout the year. I'll try to post more diligently, hoping to inspire other sewers to keep trying new things and to not be discouraged by failure. Also, I encourage everyone to look for the TNT (tried and true) designs and patterns that work for you. Keep in mind I made the same quilt 3 times and each one looked different.

I'm going to keep trying to sew clothes, however, I will limit myself to tops only. I can make a top fit--pants just make me say bad words. 

Until our next visit,


2015: My New Beginning

2014 was a good year for me, though there were many ups and downs--twists and turns. By the time the year ended, I looked back with fondness and overall good feelings. I did not even scratch the surface with my sewing goals. Like every other year, I have these delusions of grandeur of all the gifts I will make for family, friends, and co-workers. Though that didn't happen, I did make some really cute items.

I began with my youngest daughter's wall hanging quilt. The pattern, Hello Handsome, came from a Quilty magazine. I fell in love with it the minute I saw the photo and hoped Jess would like it, too. At the time, she worked in an office; I thought it would make an interesting geometric wall hanging. Unfortunately, she didn't get to hang the quilt, and I failed to take a finished photo before mailing it. Oh, well, here's an idea of what it looked like while I completed it. BTW, the quilt top was machine sewn but the quilting was hand done. It took me around 6 months to finish the handwork.
Then, I started purse organizers. The pattern is from Studio Kat Designs and comes in two sizes. I made the large one first, but it's too big for my liking. This is the small one that I made to coordinate with a coral, leather purse that I gave my eldest daughter for Christmas. Since I haven't seen her use it, I assume this was a bust, too.

The idea is a good one, but the design is just too busy for my purse. The elastic pockets don't serve a purpose for me since my cell phone has a clip and there's nothing else in my purse that size.  I won't spend time making another one, though I have made one as a gift that was well received (and, hopefully, used).

My next project was coasters. I love this modern flower. Done on the sewing machine, it's fast, cute, and uses up scraps. I overstuffed these, though, so drinking glasses and soda cans don't sit flat. However, the denim is scrap left from a recycle jeans project (another bust). I think this would make an excellent mug rug if made bigger and the stuffing limited to just an extra layer of fabric sandwiched between the front and back fabrics.

This pattern came from the Internet. At the moment, I cannot locate the original, but I do not take any credit for the design. I will provide an appropriate link when I can find it.

 July began my Christmas sewing. I started with Christmas ornaments. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph copied an idea I saw on Pinterest. I made a freehand pattern, and cut the pieces out of polyester felt from Michael's, then sewed them together with a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. Somehow, they were cuter on Pinterest. In fact, this Christmas, I started a new tradition:  Whomever makes snide comments about my crafts or crafting abilities wins an ugly ornament by default. This year, everyone got one.  What's that say about my family and friends?

Then, I made gift card holders--another idea from Pinterest. I made my own patterns and cut out the nose, coal, holly leaves, etc free hand.

I got lots of compliments, so I stopped my pity party about Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. These are sewn on the machine using a blanket stitch around the edges, and the designs are tacked in place by hand. These took about an hour or less each to make and dress up a simple gift card.

I purchased gift certificates from the bakery at work and gave them to co-workers for Christmas.

My next endeavor is another Studio Kat Design:  the Quattro Bag. I LOVE this purse. This was my first venture into purse making, and I made it for a fun, summer bag. I have had such fun with it--and receive compliments everywhere I go.

 I made another for my friend and neighbor, Joy. She teaches small kids, so the bright colors and butterfly just made the bag for her. I did add a heavy interfacing to the bottom to make it more sturdy.

After the two purses were finished. Babies decided to pop onto the scene, and my sewing changed back to quilt making. I began with a gift for my eldest daughter's sister-in-law. She had difficulties with her first pregnancy, so I wanted to send happy thoughts and a smile to her from Texas. I found this fabulous bird print at Joann's and built a quilt around it. At first, the yellow-green seemed too much. However, as a framing color for the quilt blocks, the color is perfect.

The baseball quilt is the same pattern just in different fabrics. I made this one for a friend at work who's daughter was expecting the first grandbaby--a boy. They planned the nursery in a baseball
theme using the father's old mitts and bats for decoration.
I think it's gorgeous--but there are a lot of baseballs in the design.
Sticking with the design,
I copied the pattern again
for my daughter's nursery.
That's Jess, with her Americana version.