Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Even though it is only the last week of March my daffodils are already fading. Here in the Chicago area we have had some really warm weather, think 70 to 80 for a couple of weeks. This caused all the flowers and plants to come up early. Even my cherry trees have bloomed and are losing their petals already. I fear a late snow will come and kill the cherry crop. Oh well, you just need to enjoy nature as it comes.
This past weekend I spent working the Sewing and Craft Expo in Schaumburg. I was helping my friend Pattie Otto in her Great Copy booth. I still had time to wander around and look at all there was to offer. I bought some quilt templates and books. Also a pretty batik strip set called Mango Salsa. Found some paper beads made in Uganda that I am going to use for purse handles and of course a new bracelet. There were so many other things I would have liked but I only had so much time and money;-)
The weekend before I was at a quilting retreat with my friends at Homestead Retreat. The weather up there was incredible also. We even ate lunch outside a couple of times. Usually we are more worried about snow than sunburn. I did piece a Turning Twenty quilt top for my niece's graduation and did most of the piecing on a quilt top for a wedding gift in June.
All this exposure to sewing has made it more difficult to concentrate on housework and such. I did manage to spend a couple of hours on Sunday cleaning up some of the flowerbeds around the house. Hopefully we will have some nice weather this coming weekend and I can get in some time at our garden plots. We decided to get a second plot this year because we needed more room for the pumpkins and zucchini to spread out. The one plot we had last year should be fairly easy to work as we cleaned it well in the fall and added a layer a grass clippings for mulch. The other plot I believe was not used last year and is quite overgrown with weeds. That one will be more of a challenge.
Looking forward to having the girls back from spring break next week. I should have a new student on Monday.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
No more jackets to post about right now, I bet you are all glad though I do have some ideas in mind for at least one or two more :-)
I just want to tell you all what is happening with my after school classes. Julia finished her cozy fleece pants and will be starting a new project after spring break, Lauren just finished an adorable apron with pink and red hearts fabric. She added some lace and bows for a great finishing touch. Hayley finished her back slit denim skirt. She just thought it was the neatest thing to put on her buttons with the sewing machine. She couldn't wait to get home and wear it.
Anna is almost done with her bathing suit cover-up, just a few more hand stitches and she will get to wear it on Sanibel Island for spring break. Izzy finished her pig pajama pants and is now working on a pink nightshirt that she will embellish with some of the pig fabric. Meghan is so happy to be done with her banded blouse and is now working on a much easier sports blouse while Katie is working on a square neck blouse.
We will be taking a break from sewing classes next week for spring break. I will be finishing up the samples for summer camps. I have a couple of photos here of two of the purses we will be making in Purse-onality Fun 4 camp. The other camps will be two beginning sewing camps, a Children Sewing for Charity camp and Organizing Your Sewing Room. I look forward to the camps where the children can complete several items in just four days.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Well here is one more jacket. This one started out as a tablerunner. Many years ago at a retreat I did a class that was a mystery quilt/tablerunner. I had done all the piecing, pieced fabric together for the back and layered it with quilt batting. Everything was pinned down and ready to go. Then it sat just waiting for me. Our challenge for the past month was to do an UFO (unfinished object for those who aren't into the sewing lingo). I unearthed this tablerunner and was ready to quilt it and put on some binding. When I looked at it I decided there was no room in my home that this would fit into. What else could I do with it? I picked up the jacket pattern pieces and low and behold they fit!.
Went into the stash and found some yarn made from recycled silk from Tibet and couched it down. Then a few more lines of quilting and I was ready to cut. Only the front and back would be able to be cut from this piece.
Next decision was what to do for the sleeves? There was enough pieced fabric from the backing that I could cut out the sleeves but I needed a lining. Into the stash where I found a great stripe. Layered it with some interlining, a few straight quilting lines and some more couched yarn and I was ready to cut the sleeves. A few seams and the jacket was ready for binding. The stripe cut on the bias was perfect.
A few buttons from the stash and done! The colors make me smile and it feels so spring like. Much better on the body than on a table :-) Not sure I will make any more jackets, my closet is overflowing it seems like. Enjoy the weather and smile.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Our challenge for the month of January was to recycle a sweater. This is one I had but as you can see it is way too baggy. I loved the color and feel of the Coldwater Creek sweater so I hadn't been able to part with it. I took the sweater apart at the side seams and removed the sleeves. I left the collar and shoulders intact and used the Capri Jacket pattern to reshape the body. I cut 1/2" strips of Aqua Mesh Plus and applied them to the cut edges to prevent them from unraveling or stretching out of shape. I sewed the seams with a straight stitch and then overcast the edges on the sewing machine.
Found a piece of sand washed rayon in my stash that I layered with interlining and a cotton batik from my stash. Quilted it together using a decorative stitch on my sewing machine.
Cut my sleeves from this as the sweater sleeves were not long enough. Finished the raw edges with binding from the rayon.
No need for buttons or buttonholes as I used the fronts as they were. Just washed it then to remove the stabilizer. Since there was still sweatering left I made a purse using Linda McGehee's book, The Perfect Bag. I fused a knit interfacing to the sweatering and then a fusible fleece. Used Clover's Create-A-Strap and the rayon for the bag strap. The cotton batik was used for the lining. Found some yarn in my stash that I braided to create a loop for the button closure. Now I have a well fitted jacket and matching purse.