Monday, May 2, 2016
Would it surprise you to learn that I'm not a big fan of mending? Frankly, I don't know anyone who is! However, I AM a fan of making the things that I and my family own last as long as possible. Sitting on the top of my mending pile is a pair of jeans belonging to J's girlfriend. She gave them to me last week and asked me to mend a rip. The rip is located below the waistband and is a tear in the actual denim...not a seam. They are a well loved pair of jeans and she was hoping she didn't have to trash them. We all have those well worn jeans, don't we? I told her I would do my best to try to match up the fabric as closely as possible. She said that "close" would be fine since she usually wears her tops "out" as opposed to "tucked". As long as the tear was closed/covered, she would be happy!
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the before. That is probably because I didn't decide to add a bit of creativity to the repair until after I had begun the mending. The first thing I did was to look for a bit of denim in my stash that wasn't too "off".
The denim that matched most closely was a pair of her 4 year old son's outgrown jeans. She had given them to me to add to my denim collection months and months ago. Oh how absolutely PERFECT! By mending her pants with his old jeans, she could carry a piece of her son's clothing with her!
The first thing I did was cut a piece of denim that was significantly larger than the rip...about 1" all around. Using Wonder Under I "appliqued" the square of denim to the inside of the jeans. Now how to handle the outside patch?
Anyone who meets this sweet young woman realizes very quickly that to her "family" is everything. One of her favorite quotes comes from the movie Lilo and Stitch. Having never seen the movie, I may be misquoting here but you will get the idea..."Ohana means family and that means nobody is ever left behind or forgotten". Ohana...the perfect word to tie her son's jeans to her mending!
So I cut another piece of denim and after trying a few different fonts on my sewing machine, I embroidered the word "Ohana" onto the denim patch. I chose a thread as close in color to the top-stitching as I could find. I then cut the denim patch to size and using Wonder Under attached it to her jeans. A bit of blanket stitch to make sure the patch stayed in place and it was done!
The finished mending...
She hasn't seen these yet, but hopefully the significance of the patch fabric and her favorite phrase will make her smile. To me it is certainly better than a simple piece of denim slapped over the tear. When you think outside of the box, even a bit of mundane mending can ignite your creative spark!
Monday, April 18, 2016
My bench pad is finally finished!!! I am so in love with it. It still needs a good pressing and I'm waiting for an Office Depot order that includes 3M Command Strips to attach it to the bench so it stays firmly in place.
I used the leftover fabric from the pillow in the above photo to make the geese. The red stripe fabric is the backing on the pillow.
The backing is a prequilted fabric that I received for free. I added an additional piece of polyester batting to make it a little more "cushy" for the "tushy"!
This is my favorite kind of project...completely made up of scraps and freebies! Hmmmm...what to make next?
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Shortly after moving into my new sewing room I discovered two things that were missing...and sorely needed...seating and storage for oddly shaped items! I had an opening directly in front of my window but did NOT want to cover the window completely. I wanted egress to the window in case of emergency, and I also did not want to block any of the glorious light from entering my room. It can get DARK in here...even in the daytime!
Dear Hubby suggested a bench of some type. Immediately I realized that a bench could help me store my most problematic item...the embroidery module for my sewing machine! At my "training" session after purchasing my machine, we students were warned that the embroidery module was a sensitive piece of equipment and grabbing it by any of its "sticky out parts" or storing it in a not level position could prove hazardous to its function. I tried, unsuccessfully, to store it in my Ikea Pax unit. DARN that thing takes up a LOT of room! And because it is recommended that owners NOT store heavy items on top of it, this one piece of equipment would render an entire shelf useless for storing anything else. Without a closet like I had in the bedroom used for my old sewing room...storage is at a premium!
I took a quick measurement of the general height, width and depth I had available in front of the window, and the measurement of my embroidery module to see if I could find a bench with adequate size and storage.
I found this bench on the Houzz.com website. However, the site neglected to include the inside measurements of the two cubbies...a critical measurement if I was to store my module. Using the name of the manufacturer and name of the bench I was able to find it for sale at HomeDepot online..for $5 less than Houzz.com! Fortunately HomeDepot gave all of the measurements and it looked like my module would juuuust fit! My fingers flew over the keys to order it.
Unfortunately it took a while to arrive because it was shipped in from out of the country. But the assembly didn't appear too difficult (at least my son didn't seem ready to pull his hair out during the assembly process) and it is really sturdy and pretty. Best yet, it gives me a place to store my module, with the lightweight hoops and a zippered pouch of accessories on top. In the other cubbie I have used six multipocket folders to hold all of my machine embroidery pattern color sheets. The top one holds the stack of patterns I have yet to sort, patterns with no clear category, and PDF printouts of machine embroidery techniques and tips.
Next to the bench is a large box filled with different types of stabilizers. The box came from a HUGE box of Russell Stover chocolates that J bought a few Christmases ago. One of these days I will cover the lid with pretty fabric!
I am currently using the scraps left over from making my Pretty Petal Pillow to sew up a lightweight pad for the top. I want to protect this beauty from blue jean rivet and zipper scratches! I hope to have the pad finished soon! More to come...
Friday, April 1, 2016
Please excuse the unpainted doors and covered windows...but my welcome sign is DONE. I am SO HAPPY!
Here is a close up. Now I REALLY need to finish my doors and put away the last minute things that are STILL lying all around my sewing room! This sign is definitely giving me inspiration to finish it all so that I can take you on a proper tour! Soon...I hope...
Thursday, March 31, 2016
The french doors have been installed at the entrance to my new sewing room. They have been primed by the supplier, but still need a coat or two of glossy white. This weekend I will pick up a quart of paint and spend a few minutes each day working on "finish" painting.
Many moons ago I purchased this black and white panel. After retirement, quilting truly did become my therapy! Following years of working 12 hour days, I needed something to save my sanity and quilting was the solution. This piece would make a great "welcome" quilt at the entrance to my sewing room!
I decided to use Prismacolor pencils to fill in portions of the fabric. I didn't want to color in the entire piece as I felt it would be "too" colorful and busy! Sometimes less is more. After I had added just the right amount of color I placed the design face down on top of a paper towel covering my ironing board. I pressed it with dry heat from the back to "heat set" the colors. Now how to connect the saying strip to the main body of the picture?
Several years back I had designed a fabric at Spoonflower. It was a series of colored pencils lined up and then photographed as a closeup. All of those pencils would be wonderfully bright and colorful as a dividing strip...and the fact that the design had been colored with pencils?...PERFECT! I found the sample and cut 1" strips, which I then sewed end to end making a strip of fabric long enough to fill the gap between the picture and saying below. I'm lovin' it!
While moving my sewing room I found a piece of prequilted fabric. I almost included it in my Freecycle giveaways, but something stopped me. Now I know why I hesitated! This super thin batting and backing all in one was just what I needed! Once I have finished a small amount of quilting, I will decide if the piece will be bound into a mini quilt to hang on my door, or placed into a frame to hang above the entry. Either way it is the perfect WELCOME to my room.
I sure do look happy sewing away, don't I?
Friday, March 25, 2016
Something is missing from my desk this morning! Murphy is at it again...I was on my computer last evening and I heard a "pop" like the sound an old fashioned television made when it shut off. My screen went black and then up popped a message that said "Your computer shut down because there was a problem". I tried to restart it. No chance. I texted J and he said to pull the plug immediately. He did NOT like the pop I heard. J and his girlfriend and her son came over and J took it apart. Not just because he is mine, but he is so danged GOOD with computers. Within 5 min he called me out to the kitchen table..."Look here, see how nice and shiny. Now look here." It was definitely brownish. Something about the capacitor going which means if I had not unplugged it I could have had a fire! We discussed spending $169 on a new part...but we don't know if anything else was damaged when it broke...and the computer is already 8 years old. Ancient in tech life. We looked up another iMac and the prices are astronomical. Can't do that. I suggested a laptop, though I really don't like typing on a laptop. J laughed...they cost even more. So I am getting a Mac Mini. It is a teeny box that is actually a computer! J has a monitor I can use, although if he finds one cheap I will get new. My keyboard and mouse will still work. He is buying me an extra usb hard drive so he can run something called Timecapsule which will back up my entire computer every so many hours. He took the hard drive out of my computer in the hopes that he can transfer over to the new. If not, I have lost a lot of photos and the excel sheet that I use to do my folks' veterans paperwork every year. That can be recreated with effort. The photos...gone. For Xmas I asked for a high capacity thumb drive so I could back up all of the machine embroidery patterns I have accumulated. I just backed them all up in the last week or two. Wish I had thought to back up the photos! Sigh...... Once again, in the big scheme of things, losing my computer is totally inconsequential. On the aggravation scale I give it a six. I just went outside and cut a hyacinth and put it in a jelly jar with some water. I am breathing deeply and enjoying the calming scent. Better than Calgon... Toodles...