Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Did Diana need it????

Well, it is after Christmas.  My family has all gone back to their far away places.  My nephew will be back for a few days then he also goes far far away.  I have done nothing .....I was and still am tired.   It was so wonderful having everyone home this year.  It had been 2 years since my son and his wife had been home and even longer for my nephew to be here to see him. But what did I do yesterday?????  I went to Wal-Mart to get stuff to do laundry and I casually "visited" the fabric department.  The long wall that held their fabric was GONE!!!!  It was reduced to one table!  There had been rumors of a restructuring that was to happen sometime after the first of the year. Well, a sale started the Monday before Christmas!!!   All fabric was 75% off!!  So what did I do???  I loaded up a cart and bought fabric!!  Did I need it?....probably not but I had to have it.  I missed out on a lot that I had been 'watching'  but was still able to get some.  I ended up leaving with 2 huge bags of fabric.  Now I get to find a place to store it until I can get to it to create something special.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Generous Friend

My friend and former neighbor gave me this mug:
(And, look, I'm wearing my new Christmas Scottie Dog pajamas!)  I have never seen a mug like this before.  It's called the Handwarmer Mug.  It has a flange handle so your hand is warmed by your coffee or tea or cocoa!  Visit http://www.clayinmotion.com/ for more info.  I love this mug!  My hands are always cold and this feels so good!

My friend is so generous.  She gave Tony a pig bell for his motorcycle.  (Tony was a hog farmer many years ago and still has a fondness for pigs!)  She even remembered our Scottie dogs and gave them some special treats in the shape of a Scottie dog! 
They were very tasty!  Yes, we tried them.  Chicken and cranberry.  If I'm in the mood for something crunchy and we have no potato chips, watch out, puppies! Visit http://www.gourmetpettreats.net/.  And, if that wasn't enough, she gave us some smoked salmon from the Northwest!  She does way too much!

Here's the legend of the motorcycle bell: 

Legend has it that Evil Road Spirits have been latching themselves on to motorcycles for as long as there have been bikes on the road. These Evil Road Spirits are responsible for mechanical problems and bad luck along a journey.

Legend goes on to say that by attaching a small bell onto your bike, the Evil Road Spirits will become trapped inside the bell where the constant ringing drives them insane, making them lose their grip until they fall to the ground. (Ever wonder where potholes come from?)

Legend also has it that the mystery of the Guardian™ Bell carries twice as much power when it is purchased by a friend or loved one and given as a gift.  Visit http://www.guardianbell.com/.

Thanks so much, my friend!  I miss you!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What a Treasure!

My big ol' gruff, rough and tough, soldier husband visits antique shops after work when he is out of town.  Can you imagine the looks on the little old ladies who run the shops when he pops in?! 

Here's how it usually happens:  My husband, in uniform, walks in their quaint shops.  He stops at the door, removes his beret, scans the areas, walks with a purpose to what he spied.  The little old ladies are usually speechless at first.  Then curiosity gets the better of them.  After recovering from her shock, she says, "May I help you?"  When he says, "I'm looking for antique quilts for my wife", their whole demeanor changes.  Now this intimidating soldier has become the most wonderful, big ol' teddy bear of a man!  With a beaming smile on her face, she helps him scour the booths until he finds the perfect one! 

Take a look at what he has bought for me on his last two trips:

You done good, Tony!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How To Make A Pillowcase

¾ yard for body of pillowcase for standard, 1 yard for king
¼ yard for hem for standard, 1/3 yard for king
1 to 2 inches by width of the fabric for decorative trim

Wash, dry, and press all fabrics. Straighten fabrics. (See Tutorial)

With right sides together, lay pillowcase body fabric (green in picture) on cutting mat. Lay hem fabric (red) with right sides together and trim fabric (white) with right sides together on top of body fabric, lining up fold edge.

Use a finger press if desired to get the fold edge flat.

With these fabrics, the red is the narrowest of widths. Using the red fabric as my guide, trim through all fabrics, making sure you are cutting off the selvage.

Pin across side and one end of body. Sew with a ¼ inch seam allowance and zigzag (or serge).

Pin short sides of hem. Sew with a ¼ inch seam allowance and zigzag (or serge). Pin short end of trim, if desired. Sew with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Zigzag.

Turn and press all pieces.

Open trim and fold in half, wrong sides together. Press.

 Open hem. Along one raw edge of hem, turn up ½ inch and press.

Lay folded trim to right side of body, raw edges together. With edge of hem that you did not press, lay right side of hem on top of trim. Match seams and pressed side creases. Pin and sew through all layers with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Zigzag. Press seam allowance toward hem, being careful to keep trim down.

Fold pressed edge of hem just over stitching line and pin from the front.  Make sure you catch the hem evenly.

Stitch in the ditch from the front. Press hem.

Here’s the finished pillowcase!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

What Happened Today

I was upstairs on the computer in my sewing room this afternoon.  I was still in my pajamas because I had decided today was pajama day.  Tony had gone for a ride on his motorcycle.  The dogs were outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  All was quiet and peaceful until Maggie started barking at the patio door.  Our dogs have different sounds to their barks to mean different things.  There's the UPS man bark, the somebody's-walking-their-dog-on-our-sidewalk bark, the play-with-each-other bark, the there's-birds-in-our-yard, on-our-tree, on-our-fence bark.  But this bark was different.  I had never heard this bark before.  I run down the stairs, open the patio door and in runs Maggie.  Usually, Fergus comes in first.  (He lets Maggie bark at the door for the both of them.)  I poke my head out, expecting to see Fergus coming around the corner.  But there's no Fergus.  I poke my head back in the house, thinking did I miss him in the house?  Meanwhile, Maggie is running in and out the door.  Finally, the sense of urgency in her bark becomes all too clear.  I step out in the yard to check the gate and it is open!  Fergus is gone!  I call him repeatedly, but no Fergus! I close the gate, run back in the house, grab the phone, start calling Tony, check out the front door, and then change clothes as fast as I can.  Tony answers his phone.  Thankfully he is inside one of the stores on his errands.  I tell him to come home, Fergus is gone.  He can hear the panic in my voice.  I can't move fast enough.  I grab their leashes and my keys, leash up Maggie, and race out the back door.  I'm calling his name as I head down the alley behind our house.  There is no Fergus.  I get down to the end of the alley and around the corner comes two boys with Fergus on a leash!  "Ma'am, isn't this your dog?"  It is!  Maggie is so excited and is bouncing all around I can hardly get Fergus's leash on him. I get him leashed up, the boys make sure he is on his leash before they release their leash, and then the tears come.  I thank the boys, ask where did they find him, thank them again and head home.  In a few minutes, Tony is home.  I tell him what happened and the tears come again. Tony fixes the previously unknown problem with the gate while the dogs play around us. 

Of the two dogs, I would never have suspected my couch puppy Fergus, Eeyore Fergus, laid-back Fergus to be the one to leave the yard.  And I am pleasantly surprised that Maggie not only stayed in the yard, but let me know something was wrong! 

So then, as the tension subsides, we start coming up with titles and sayings to make us laugh about it.  Fergus's Day Off, Fergus's Big Adventure, there's going to be no living with him now, The Adventures of Fergus, The Hunt for Fergus.  The laughter helps, but I need a good cry.  So I do. 


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Straightening Fabric

You know how sometimes you can wear a piece of clothing and it just won’t hang straight? Or you are constantly adjusting it because it feels twisty? Or you lay out a piece of fabric with the selvages lined up and it won’t lay flat? That’s because the fabric hasn’t been straightened. Without going into the warp and weft and 90 degree angles, etc. (I’m not writing a thesis here!), here’s what I do to prepare my fabric for cutting:

Wash, dry, and press the fabric.

Hold the fabric by its selvage between your fingers and thumbs.

Look at how the fold of the fabric is hanging. Is it nice and straight on both sides?
Or is it hanging wonky?

Another way to check this is to hold your fabric by the selvages off the edge of your cutting table and pull it to the top of the table so that the edge of the table is smoothing out the fabric. When the fold comes up you will see if it is laying flat or if the fold wants to curl up on one side.

Hold the fabric again as in the first picture and move the fabric back and forth between your fingers and thumbs until you get the fold of the fabric hanging straight on both sides. Once you have it hanging straight, lay it on the table.  Using your ruler, line up your ruler with the fold edge or the selvage edge, cut off the long edge of the fabric to have a straight cut (In this example, I cut on both sides for the pillowcase hem). Sometimes you might have to cut off a lot, and sometimes you don’t have to cut off very much at all.

Obviously, scraps or small pieces of fabric that come in kits can’t be straightened by this method and rarely need it anyway. I look at the threads and try to line them up with my ruler and get it as close as I can. For the big pieces of yardage, I just do my arms length at a time and straighten as I go.

So, why go to all this? Well, we want our quilts to hang straight, we want our pillowcases to not twist up, we want our tablecloths and napkins to lay nice and flat and then, when it’s time to put away, fold up nicely. Straightening the fabric helps all that.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

I'm working on another "commissioned project which can't be shown".  So, no pictures.  Bummer.  But, trust me, it's turning out nicely.  Unfortunately, part of what I did today was unsewing.  Fortunately, I'm an expert at unsewing, or would that be unfortunately?!  Anyway, I'm trying to break the threads, every third or fourth stitch (a technique taught to me years ago by the grandmother of a good friend of mine...you cut every third or fourth stitch along the line of mis-stitching and then, from the other side, pull out the intact thread) and I notice that I'm having a hard time.  I mean, I'm having to work at this. Gosh, I think to myself, this thread is really strong.  I continue on for quite a bit, really working at unsewing when it dawns on me....it's not the thread, nitwit, you need a new seam ripper!  Just how long have I been using this same seam ripper?!  I dig out a new one from my drawer and, wow, what a difference!  It really wasn't the thread at all!  Man, do I feel stupid!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stubborn Dogs!

Fergus and Maggie are 3 years old. Every morning we go for a walk. I think they must have a love/hate relationship with our walks. They want to go; they love being outside, walking the neighborhood and smelling all the smells. It would be just so much better without leashes! Sorry, puppies!

They wait patiently beside me while I’m on the computer. As soon as I move from the computer, they jump up and wait on the landing.

When I go down the stairs, it’s a race between Maggie and me to get to the bottom. Meanwhile, Fergus waits at the top.

I get the leashes out, poo bags ready, and then the battle begins. Maggie immediately runs behind the loveseat and peeks out from behind. I can go from one end of the loveseat to the other trying to reach her and it’s like we’re playing tag, back and forth we go! Sometimes she comes out on her own, and sometimes, when she’s feeling especially stubborn, I have to move the loveseat! Once she’s out and leashed up, then I have to get Fergus down the stairs. He’s so stubborn, even though he wants to go, has been whimpering to go, he won’t budge!
I usually have to go up the stairs, leash him up and then get him down. Now you have to know, he and Maggie run up and down the stairs for what seems like a hundred times a day, playing chase, sounding like a herd of horses, they’re going so fast, but when it’s time to go down the stairs with the leash on, those feet dig in. He acts like I’m taking him to his death! Every day when I put the Halti collar on, this is the face I see:
Despite all this, they become different dogs once we are out the door. Tails up, head proud, walking fast and strong! You’d think they would know by now that I am always going to win, but I guess it’s that stubborn Scottie dog personality that keeps them trying!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Well the sewing room did not get organized.  The house needs cleaning and fumigating and it is too cold to open the windows to air out the house!!  My entire family including me have been sick and are recovering....even my husband who NEVER gets sick has been to the doctor and is actually taking medicine.  Today is the first day that I have been able to talk much less feel  like doing  anything.  But of course the grandchildren have been bouncing off the walls and climbing the furniture...again!  I can barely keep up...I could hardly wait for nap time today!!

plans changed.... again!!

Today I was going to try and make the dust ruffle for my granddaughter's bed ( that I have been wanting to do for awhile).  I finally found and bought the fitted sheet that I needed..... had it all washed and ready to go....tried to put it on her bed so I could get it marked ...and IT WOULD NOT FIT!!  Even though all of the packaging SAID that it was a queen size...it was not!  Talk about frustration and aggravation!!!  Now it is going to have to wait longer. Oh well, guess I'll try to clean and organize my sewing room to get it ready for Christmas so people can sleep in there...everyday I have tried to get in there for longer than 5 minutes and it just doesn't seem to be working out.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...