Saturday, February 26, 2011

My First Quilt/Pillow

I can't believe it! I spent more time staring at those little squares than I did sewing and cutting. I never would have realized how much time can be spent arranging and rearranging those squares. I even changed my mind on the pattern I was going to use.
Did I learn anything? You bet I did. For one thing if I'm going to have 2 white items together just make it one large item. I don't like how you can see the seam allowance in the white squares. Another tip I learned  is to write down a plan. I did this without a specific plan in mind. I had this jelly roll that I bought at Joann's just sitting around. I also took 1 large pillow that we didn't think was cushy enough for our heads and split it into 2 pillows. I sort of knew what size I wanted to go with but again not planning didn't make the sewing much easier.
Another great tip I learned is to walk away when you have your strips laid out. I looked at these strips until I was blue in the face and I still ended up with 2 patterns right next to each other. When did I notice this - not until 2 hours later - ugh!
This picture has nothing to do with a learning curve except this is the fabric I used for the back.
Now since I had no plan and I was practicing per say - I just did plain borders around the pillow. I wanted to try my hand at mitering the corners but since I was using scrap fabrics I didn't have enough nor did I cut enough to miter the corners. Next time for sure when I have my plan. I have the other half of the pillow and more of these little squares so we'll just try again. They say practice makes perfect and I'm pretty happy with my end result. Now I just need to find these colors in my house! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

A New Machine

I got a new machine! It is a Husqvarna/Viking Huskylock s15 Overlock/Serger.
My reasoning behind this major purchase is so it will make reupholstering our livingroom sofa so much easier. We already reupholstered our two chairs in that room and the fabric threads were all over the place. They were in the diningroom where I cut the fabric, in the livingroom where I measured and then all over the garage where the real work began. I zig zag stitched a lot of it but what a pain that was. To be honest I really know nothing about sergers. I know what kind of stitches that they use but I have no clue as to how to thread, sew and just plain use the darn thing. After I made room for this baby, I studied and read the manual. I finally had to get a piece of paper out just to take notes. I have no clue as to what a stitch finger, thread unreeling disks, thread overlock converter, differential speed and even upper/lower loopers are. Loopers – is that a word?
At least I do know where all these things are that came with my Husky and even where they are on the machine. What I really wanted was to jump right in and sew something so I started to thread. I didn’t know there was an order to threading a serger. What I thought was a complete success considering I followed the directions exactly, didn't turn out to good. Where were my loops? It was time to insert the disk that came with the machine. I reworked my green, blue, red and yellow threads. Same thing – sugar! Off to the sewing store I go in the newly released Weather Advisory. “Blue goes over green” she says, “that’s why it’s not looping”.
Come home, look at my machine, look at the video once more and try it. Halleluiah Success! Time to serge!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Naked Couch

I've finally taken all the fabric off the couch. Luckily there really aren't as many pieces that I thought there would be so I'm hoping the construction will go pretty smoothly. There were so many staples that I think the people who constructed this couch had bets on shooting staples into the different couches that they built to see who would win. I think mine won hands down!
I started with the cushions first knowing that this would take the longest and be the hardest part. I learned from experience after doing the chairs that this was really going to be a sew. rip. repeat. process. I'm glad I planned on doing this because I didn't get as frustrated moving the pins around. I also wanted to make sure that I was going to like the color of the new couch. I purchased this fabric from a friend who's daughter works for a design house in Chicago and got it for a steal. I consider it a steal because I purchased 27 yards of fabric for $32.00! WOW! So my theory was that I could use this fabric somewhere else if I didn't love it on my couch.
I think I'm going to love it! (Notice how I even had to dress up the naked couch with a throw pillow from the chairs.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Coupons = Money

I've been trying to save some moulah for the last year. Trust me I love spending money on all my craftiness projects but since I work part time there are more important things I should be spending money on. I discovered coupons and who'd a thought that I would become addicted. Yesterday I needed wanted to make a fast trip to Riteaid and Meijer. I knew they were both advertising specials that if you bought this item they would return the favor and give you the same amount back. So in my morning of bargains I spent $106 worth of merchandise, I paid $15 in cash out of pocket and then they paid me in their money for use at their store $27. Woolah! I wish I thought of taking a picture but obviously I didn't. Some highlights of what I bought were: 6 Gain Fabric Softeners, 3 Dove Deodorants, 2 Dixie Plates, Shampoo, Hot Dogs, CFL Light Bulbs and more odds and ends. If I didn't save this much money I never would have believed it - do you coupon? Have a great day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day Sidetrack

I've been seeing all these amazing towels that great bloggers have done. They've added ruffles and even appliqued on them. It was time I got out of my comfort zone and just tried it. My ruffles are only 4 inches wide and then folded in half making them 2 inches. I used whatever length of fabric I had available and hoped that I had enough to ruffle with. The lace of hearts was something extra that I didn't even know I had. I have a bag (I mean literally a Ziploc bag) full of extra notions. I was so happy when I saw the lace in the bag. To cover the edge I just place a 1/4" grosgrain ribbon on top of it and stitched it down.
You can't see the lace very well at all but it has hearts all over it. Quite Valentiney (is that a word?). Now the applique. I cheated. I've never really done applique so I just embroidered it on there. I wish I could remember where I got the applique heart because when I first got my embroidery machine I was a mean, lean, downloading queen. I downloaded so many designs that now I'm embarrassed to say I didn't right down where I got it from. If it's you, feel free to email me. Here's a close-up:

So I now have Valentine towels and can throw away these ugly, gray, put your finger through the hole towels. Enjoy Valentine's Day with the one you love!
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