Tag Archive | Halloween

Why I love to Sew

Credit goes to Smashed Peas and Carrots Facebook Page

Credit goes to Smashed Peas and Carrots Facebook Page

Found this on my Facebook page the other day accompanied by, “This is your thought process, right?”

A few other comments followed making reference to the cost and need of expensive computerized sewing machines.

First let me admit that I don’t make doilies and probably never will, but yes, an expensive machine would more than likely be necessary. Who wants to attempt heirloom sewing without the proper tools? (Feel free to compare this to your favorite past-time or profession; drills, sanders, paintbrushes, high-end cookware, etc.Don’t even get me started on motor sports; bikes, cars, airplanes, boats…..oh my.)

So why make it, when you can buy it for less money?

First of all, the sheer joy of creating is in itself reason enough. Now imagine your family and friends admiring your work and cherishing that Halloween costume,  table runner, quilt, wall hanging, tea towels, whatever and associating that feeling with YOU; the creator. Memories made..,by you! How awesome is that? Perhaps they will fight over it when you die. (Ok, that might be stretching it, but one can dream can’t they?)

Regardless, said homemade creation is now being enjoyed by future generations. That $2 doily has long been trashed and decomposed…. or not. If it wasn’t made with 100% natural fibers it’s sitting in a landfill; who wants that guilt?

Eventually one of yours or your friend’s great great great…..great grandchildren will make a snap decision to part with above mentioned memory. All they know is that some person, generations ago made it, rendering putting it in the trash unthinkable. So after many many years of being loved by countless people, it will be donated to a charity. This act will provide job security to some, much-needed support to others and create countless volunteer hours to a few thankless individuals.

Still need a reason?

I made all my daughter’s Halloween costumes from the time she was 1 until 18. Many years, she helped. While she was in elementary school, Hippy costumes were all the rage amongst her friends. On the day of the school party, she had the most fabulous flower power print outfit, along with a headband, wire rim glasses, and crimped hair. Walking out the door, my eyes got teary eyed when she exclaimed, “Mom, I’m gonna have the best hippy costume, cause you made it.” Honestly, I’ve never looked back and will continue to make things that my family loves and cherishes.

You can’t really put a price tag on that now can you?

Happy Birthday Discount to Me!

Quilting fabric, patterrns, and booklets

My Birthday Haul

 

Yesterday, I went to two local quilt shops to cash in on my birthday discount. One shop offers 20%, the other half your age. The one day it actually pays to be older!

I came hope with 2 jelly rolls and fabric to make gifts for friends. A quilt kit for me!  Seriously, I actually bought something to make for myself. Picked up a Halloween applique pattern and a few free motion books. One of these days, I’ll conquer free motion. For the icing on my cake, I added quilt themed microfiber cleaning cloths. If you don’t own those, you should.

Hope you’re lucky enough to know quilt shops that offer birthday discounts.

Spooky Table Runners…just because

Spooky Table Runner

Spooky Table Runner

Have you ever seen something that you just had to try? Perhaps a recipe, a patio table, or even a new route to a familiar place. For me, it’s almost always a fabric thing and if I don’t jump on in right away, it ends up in the forgotten, “Someday” file. That file exists in my head, but I’m working on getting it out of there and into a digital format. This table runner was one of those things.

The pattern is called, Triangle Frenzy™ Swirl.  I love the simplicity of cutting only one fabric and ending up with an eye-catching design. I chose Halloween themed fabric, well cause it’s that time of year and it was on sale. I made the larger one first and had enough fabric to make the smaller one. They will find homes with my two daughters.

I considered a few quilting options, but I’m really practicing not over thinking things and not making them more difficult than they need to be. I pulled out my walking foot and went to work.  I used a very narrow zig-zag stitch; perfect for the Halloween theme and much more forgiving than a straight stitch. I now have a few go to table runner projects for when the mood strikes.

quilting up close

quilting up close

 

 

September: Haunted Cottage

Haunted Cottage

I have numerous holiday kits and decided to get this one out. The pattern, Haunted Cottage© by Jain Barrett , was available at one of the local quilt shops. The basic method is fusble applique with numerous opportunities for embellishing, which I did not take full advantage of.  GO ME for not over-thinking this.

For the fusible, I used Misty Fuse®.  I really love this product. It doesn’t add weight to your fabric, you can lift it up if need be, and it doesn’t leave any gunk on your needle.  None! Plus you don’t have to reverse the pattern when tracing. If you’ve never tried Misty Fuse®, I suggest you do.  Basically you trace your shape onto parchment paper, place the Misty Fuse ® between your fabric and parchment paper and iron. This process transfers the pencil onto the fabric. GENIUS!

The fun begins when you get all your pieces cut out and then start placing them.  A few years back, I taught a technique where you prequilt your background before appliquing. This pattern is so fun  to look at so it didn’t need anything extra. I used a very narrow zig-zag stitch for this process. I didn’t follow any lines, just enough to hold it together.  This is a wall hanging; not a quilt that is going to be washed on a regular basis.

Once the shapes were fused onto the background, I begin stitching. This stitching also served as quilting. I used a small blanket stitch. I could have stitched down each piece before fusing the next, but I really wanted to practice my blanket stitch and didn’t want to add bulk. (I have a big fusible project on the tarmac and perfecting, well at least improving this skill will come in handy.)

I had fun digitizing some of the pieces. The spider web was stitched with Glow in the Dark thread; the fact that I actually remembered having this product is in itself amazing. I must tell my daughter; she sometimes thinks I’m losing my mind.  The cat and pumpkin were done with Bernina’s DesignWorks and the owl, tree, and bats are machine embroidered that I digitized.

Glow In the dark thread

Glow In the dark thread

The pattern showed squiggly lines on the prairie points, so I spent a little extra time doing that. I love how a basic stitch like a zig-zag can add so much whimsy to a piece.

I’m giving myself a pat on the back for getting this done well ahead of Halloween.