Monthly Archives: June 2009

New Patterns from Amy Butler

Two new patterns are out by Amy Butler, she just put the finishing touches on them.

Field Bag & ToteI was waiting for this day as I am sew interested in the Field Bag & Tote!!! Big bags are the in thing and this bag is really sharp. This design, depending on which you choose, can have a zippered closure or not. Can use one fabric or make with a coordinating fabric. The bag has lots of pockets inside for organizing your items and can be used for everyday use, crafting, week-end get-away or to the beach.

TunicAmy’s other pattern is her Mini-Dress, Tunic and Tops. This pattern comes in both girls and womens sizes. Lots of versatility. And depending on the style you choose, you can have pockets. Go to the link to see the sizes and other information on this pattern that Amy designed.

 

daisy chain strippy quiltCheck out Amy’s “FREE” pattern for her Daisy Chain Strippy Quilt. Go to Amy’s web-site or click here for the free pattern. As I am not a quilter, but from the looks of it, it looks very easy to put it together. The fabrics used to make this quilt is from Amy’s Daisy Chain Fabric line up. Don’t forget to check out all her other free patterns.

 

Midwest Modern fabricWhile your checking out her fabric line, swing over and see Amy’s new Midwest Modern 2 fabrics that she recently introduced. Some real nice fabrics out there. I love the fabrics from her Midwest Modern 2 line. I like the swirls and colors, as shown in her Field Bag and Tote.

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Flower Creations – Dakota Collectables Decor

DSCF3433For the past week I have been working on making daisies and asters from the Dakota Collectable Decor Design set – 970384. The package is called Flower Creations. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making flowers with the embroidery machine and see how they turn out. I acquired the CD from SewforLess, which by the way is currently on sale for 34.99. 

The CD consists of 26 designs to make four different types of flowers, daisies, asters, pansies and one other flower. Included in the CD are 6 gift tags. Perfect item if you like to personalize your gifts to family and friends. On the CD you get full instructions of how to put the flowers together using wire and floral wrapping tape. Of course additional materials are needed to complete the project. It is very simple and easy for those beginners out there. I don’t consider myself a beginner, but I’ve worked with floral tape in the past and once I got the momentum going I was whizzing through them quickly.

When I decided to make these flowers, I thought I would try a new stabilizer, as my supply is running low. And you say what Donna is going to change her brand, thats not like her. I went ahead and got a sample package of Wunderstitch from SewforLess’ site. The sample package includes 20 sheets of 9 various stabilizers, which include some of the following; medium, heavy soft tearaway, medium cutawy, tear and wash and sew and wash. Would also like to indicate that this package is on sale on the SweforLess site at 26.24, almost half price and it includes free needles. Since I had some sew and wash from another company, figured I would do a comparison between the two stabilizers.

When I started my first daisy on my off brand, noted that one layer of stabilizer was not going to do. Sometimes with the density of the item, you sometimes need 2 or 3 layers. So I trashed the first daisy that screwed up and doubled up on the stabilizer. Did several flowers with the off brand and then the remaining flowers I used the Wunderstitch Sew and Wash, otherwise know as Aqua Lace. I noticed that the off brand was thinner or weight was lighter than the Wunderstitch. When I dissolved the items I even noticed that the Wunderstitch was different in weight, it was heavier, only one sheet necessary. I even accidentally left a set of flowers outside on the table, as I was drying them faster in the heat, forgot to bring them in, rained overnight, still had plenty of body in the flower. 

Starting out the project did lots of flower pieces. Yes that’s right LOTS!!! My daughter saw what I as going to be doing and said, hey Mom can you do pink daisies for Kim, her friend. I said sure what the heck. So I gave her my container of pink threads from Metro Embroidery and said pick. LOL was that a mistake, not really as she picked out three colors. The mistake was me doing 4 of each color! What was I thinking? So pretty much 2 days later I had all my leaves and petals done. It pays to always have a second hoop on items that you are doing a lot of, worth the investment. 

DSCF3422After all the items were sewn, I trimmed the wash away stabilizer from the sewn pieces. I like to trim a lot of the excess because the water doesn’t get sticky/icky quickly. Say that three times fast! I put the pieces into a plastic container of warm water. Watched the stabilizer dissolve and then shook them to get more of the water off. Took them outside on the patio table to dry.

As they were drying, took out the wire and floral tape. Originally was going to buy the wire that had the floral taped on it, but it was going to have to be wrap all together, so nixed that short-cut. In the beginning I cut the wire for the leaves and then wrapped the floral tape on the wire. Big mistake as I realized later, faster and easier to tape the wire and then cut to your size needed for the leaves. But them again, I don’t follow directions unless needed, rolling eyes!

DSCF3432Once all the wire was done and the sewn items were dry, I glued the wire and leaves together using tacky glue. While those items were drying started wiring the petals. Two sets of petals per each wire. Placed a dab of tacky glue between the two petals so they wouldn’t move. Waiting for everything to dry. Now to put together.

Started wrapping the floral tape to the stem of the flower and made sure it was at the base of the flower. Took one of the leaves and bent the wire and wrapped the floral tape around and continued to bring the tape downwards until I knew where I wanted to place my next leaf. Bent wire, wrapped, brought tape down and placed another leaf. When all the leaves were in place continued to wrap the floral tape all the way to the bottom. I dabbed some tacky glue on the underneath side of the petals.

To hide the wire on the daisies I purchased some itsy bitsy pom-poms. Now do you think they would sell a package of just yellow ones. NOOOOOOOOO, what to do as my flowers were pink and the contrasting colors in the petals were yellow. My daughter suggested to dye the pom-poms. Please I am not going to buy a package of dye for 12 itsy bitsy pom-poms!!! So took food coloring dye. They aren’t exactly bright yellow, but they aren’t white either. I was happy with the result. Took a dab of tacky glue and put the pom-pom to the petals. Project done!

DSCF3444I was impressed that I decided to make a bunch of asters, in different bright colors of course. Again I made 4 of each color. When making the asters I thought of my sister Susan’s purple room where her Mad Cow painting hangs. The painting contains purples, blues, yellow, orange and greens. Went through the whole process and the flowers look great. Going to take a bunch of the flowers up to Susan and then she can find a vase to put them in.

When I was completed, my daughter liked them so much she asked if I would do more but in her favorite colors from bands, uhm okay black and red, whatever. Planning on doing some more daisies in white and yellow!

Getting Organized – Ardmore with slide out table

We all get involved with projects and our rooms become a mess and months down the line we need to clean the clutter. Today I decided to clean up some of the clutter around my work area.

DSCF3478This is my work area. This cabinet admore was purchased a couple of years ago when it was on sale at a very reasonable price. The item is pre-fab and you have to put it all together. If I didn’t run into issues, I could have had it built within 4 hours. Should have built it in the sewing room/hall way instead of the living room. Once I had it built and put in the room, started filling it up with all my sewing machines and supplies. Everything I had in my 6 foot bookcase fit in this small area.

DSCF3474One feature of the admore is a slide shelf below the table unit. I use it to put my hemmer and surger on. Under that shelf is another one to put items. Most of the items that I don’t use regularly are on that bottom shelf. Accessing those two shelves are easy when the table is pulled out all the way.

DSCF3476One neat feature of the work area is a electric power strip that is easily attached to the pull out table. Here you can plug in your sewing machine, light, iron or any other item when working on your projects. There are four cubbies on the top of the admore for storage. You get additional shelves to make more shelf areas, but I left them with just the four cubicles. The unit closes up easily, by pushing the roll table leg back, folding the table top down and then putting the work surface into the cabinet.

You will notice that on the work surface there is a green mat, this was glued to the surface keeping it there permanently. The light fixture easily and quickly can be detached and folded to lie down when the table is closed up. 

DSCF3469These acrylic magazine/book holders were a great find for my sewing room. When my daughter worked at Target, I would frequent the store for their clearance items. These holders were reduced down to anywhere from $3 to $9, depending on the Target chain I went to. I found them at two different stores thus the difference in price. The regular price on the items were around $12.99. I wish I would have been able to acquire more of them to go all the way across the ardmore.

DSCF3460These particular plastic containers where purchased at a dollar store. Going through DSCF3461these shops you will always find a great deal. I only bought two of them, but they serve their purpose of keeping all my buttons organized and easily to see.

DSCF3458We all collect beaded trim almost every time we enter a fabric store. Finding great buys. But how do you store all of them? Going to my local Wal-Mart I was able to purchase this organizer in the hardware section and got a free plastic container included in the purchase. My trims fit each compartment, easily viewed, free of dust and organized, my daughter would probably put them in color coordination (she did the colorful buttons). In the past what I used to store my trims in, DSCF3455Crystal Light containers. I would slit the top of the container and thread the trim, enough to see what was in it. Then I would lay them down, containers upon containers, viewing would be easier to find what one I needed. Since my stash of trim became so large, I went to the slide drawer organizer instead.

DSCF3466What do you do if you acquire cigar boxes? Reuse them silly. I have so many pre-wound bobbins that I took one of the many cigar boxes that my husband brought home and put all my bobbins in them. This way I see how many I have and know when to purchase more. I am not sure how many boxes are in this particular one, but it sits right next to my embroidery machine. I use cigar boxes for a lot of different items and I usually remember what is in them. Now where do you get them. I have purchased from flea markets and you probably can ask places that sells cigars if they would sell you the boxes. I always have my eye open for them.

Finally I have a reuse on bottles. These particular bottles I put all the buttons my mom removed from shirts andDSCF3467 collected through the years. Didn’t want to sort the colors out any more than they already are, but the buttons were small enough to put through the opening. I like the shape of the bottles and I can stack them next to each other or lying down. They add a punch of art to my room. If you like these bottles you can find them in the liquor department. The flavoring, I use in my lemonade as I am not a drinker. 

If you have any organization tricks you would like to share, please post a comment below. I know there are many out there for all of us.

Trip to Two Rivers, Wisconsin- Art Galleries and Studios Galorie

A few week-ends ago I took a trip to visit my sister Susan up in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. I was looking forward to seeing her and her family, Phil and Alex.

The drive up there was very nice as the weather was wonderful. Of course because I washed my car the day before I left, what usually happens when you do that – RAIN!!!! The whole week-end it was cold and rainy, but it didn’t dampen my visit. I enjoyed myself, the company and of course the two dogs, Archie and Sausage! I think I spoiled Archie….. I’m a true animal lover.

DSCF3319Susan and Phil had a new house built and I must say it is very nice, roomy and comfy! They live right on Lake Michigan. Could not wade in the lake as the water would have been cold. No matter what, I got some real nice pictures of the lake and their property. I really enjoyed the quietness from the hustle and bustle from my home town in Downers Grove, Illinois.

I especially liked what Susan had in store for us on Saturday. We went to several galleries and studios in Door County. Susan is an artist and has been doing artwork on her iPod Touch lately. She was featured on ABC News, click on the link for the webcast.

DSCF3441We first started off by visiting the “Flying Pig“. Susan Connor and Robyn Mulhaney are co-owners of this unique and different gallery. Their gallery consists of all forms of art work. My purchase consisted of a piece of jewelry and raku pottery. My sister bought another piece of raku for my up-coming birthday. I am very fond of raku pottery and have actually taken part of this technique when my daughter attended high school. I was allowed to do a few pieces in the past, will post my work later on. It is amazing to attend and watch the firings of pottery. The raku  pieces that I picked were from Nancy Briggs work. The purchased ring was created by Michael Thee. His pendants are out of this world. Will have to think about one of his pieces. Walking throughout my sister’s house I could see a lot of pieces of artwork that she has purchased from the Flying Pig.

One of the next places we visited was the Edgewood Orchard Galleries. If I am correct, this gallery had the most awesome glass work. Susan showed me a bowl that was out of this world. Unfortunately I do not see it on their web-site unless I did not go far enough. Then there were some other glass items that I was in awe.

We then continued our travels, had lunch at a real good pizza place.

Susan stopped at a gallery that she had never visited before. It was the Potters Wheel. It is owned by a couple who is celebrating their 54th year in Door County. Ginka Cohn is a spunky over 80 gal. Sweet and funny as heck with the biggest smile on her face. She runs the shop and her husband Abe does pottery work. Read about him on the link and they were featured in the Door Peninsula Arts Guide for 2009.

Our last stop that Susan wanted me to see was a fiber artisan that is showing her work at Fine Line Designs. Martha Fieber does hand embroidery pictures. No not pictures but landscapes. Unbelievable work and the time put into each piece. From viewing her work personally, you can see the layers of stitches in each piece. How she creates the shading and depth is breath taking. Last week-end she did a demonstration of her work. Wish I was there, as I have done hand embroidery and know the time it takes to do a simple design, but hers is out of the ordinary. Hey Susan, thanks for taking me to see her work!! Truly inspirational.

Sunday brought more cold weather and rain. But it didn’t stop me from picture taking. When it tried to clear up I went out an snapped all over. Early in the morning I stood on the third floor balcony and took pictures as it rained lightly. Looking at the birds overhead, swooping down and up in the wind. I tried to stay my distance from the edge, as I am afraid of heights, but that is why we have zoom on our cameras. There was suppose to be a possible wedding to have pictures taken on the beach front, but unfortunately the weather damped and did not take place. Susan and I went to lunch and drove around some more, as the stores are closed on Sundays up there.

Thanks Sue, Phil and Alex for the hospitality. I am looking forward to coming up again, when unknown, but it was a great week-end!

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Book Giveaway – Dorm Decor Remake Your Space – CraftStylish

dorm-decor2_lgDo you have a daughter, son, relative or friend who will be going away to college come fall?

Swing over to CraftStylish and enter their weekly book giveaway. All you have to do is post a comment about the book and you are entered (granted you are a registered member).

This contest continues until 11:59 pm, Tuesday, June 23rd. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Wednesday, June 24th.

There are 35 projects to decorate a dorm room in this book that was written by Theresa Gonzalez and CraftStylish editor Nicole Smith.

The book is divided into five sections, which have from five to eleven projects. The sections include; Where you sleep; dress; study; hang out; and wash.

Some sample projects include a reversible duvet cover, monogram shams, hanging closet organizer, embroidery hoop photo mobile, fleece robe, embellished towels and continuing with stylish lampshades, oversize floor pillows, curtains and message boards. These projects add style, organization, and comfort to otherwise cramped areas. There are projects that have little to no sewing, for those not handy with a sewing machine.

Lots of color photos with straightforward instructions and pattern pieces.

argyle-throw2_lgSew click on over CraftStylish and enter. You only have a week and you have all summer to sew those items for your college bound student, but it could be geared for others in small apartments.

And since you are there posting your comment, click on over and get the Argyle Fleece Throw project that requires 2 1/8 yards of two different color fabrics. An easy project for anyone at any skill level.

A Tree is Planted in Honor – ME!!!

My second week of vacation of all days, but a beautiful one at that, I decided to clean up the weeds behind our sheds.

With all the rain that we have been receiving, they have been growing like wild flowers and most of them where wild flowers.

This was the perfect day to dig them up from the roots and get rid of them, BUT it was my birthday. Should I have been pulling weeds, spraying weeds, weed whacking them and trimming bushes on this day? Why not! It got me out of the house and in the sun.

My faithful companion, Maggie helped. She stomped through the mud, laid in it and was sniffing out for mice! Sorry Maggie, no mice for you to play with today!

As I was cleaning up I found a young sapling, a maple tree. The tree was to close to the shed and needed more room to grow, as it was already a pretty good size. I decided since we had to remove most of our trees a few years ago, this one would replace and give us shade, especially for our faithful companion, Maggie. It would also help in sucking up all the water in the back yard during the rainy season (I hope).

DSCF3428I careful dug it up and placed it deep into the ground, hoping and praying that it would take.

The tree found a new home and family members noticed (and yes hubby I didn’t pay a cent for it).

It has been a week since it was planted. It is doing well, as it stands in our flooded backyard!

Happy Birthday to me, Wednesday, June 10, 2009. (Yeah I am catching up on my blog!)

Urban Threads – Freebie

UT1704_thumb2Day late and a dollar short. My last post I was suppose to post indicating that Urban Threads had  a new freebie that was offered on their site. I was tired that evening, thus I never posted.

Jumped on over to see if it was still there, but it was not, HOWEVER, they have a new free design for Machine Embroidery, Hand Embroider, and stock design.

Stop on over to Urban Threads for their new freebie. I’ll try to keep posts updated so that you don’t miss out on anything good.