T-Day Tips

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As I was sewing tonight, it came to me that I could share some of my “wisdom” gained the hard way. So as I gain this wisdom, I am going to write little one or two paragraph tips. Hopefully, I will keep up with this and after I get I few going, I will create  a page with a list and links.

Today’s tip has to do with a special product I found through a friend. We were at a retreat and of course we had our tool boxes and supplies with us. Well, when it came time to rip the stabilizer away from our embroidery work, Sandy had these neat tweezers.

Uncle Bill's Sliver Grippers

They really are goo for more than pulling out those little pieces of stabilizer. They also are great for picking up all those little thread when you have had to rip out stitches. They fit into your hand without being bulky and come in a little tube to keep them from getting lost in your tool box.

Click on the pic to be taken to Amazon where you can purchase these.

 

PS: I am not being paid to advertise or anything like that

T-Day Tips

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It came to me that I could share some of my “wisdom” gained the hard way. So as I gain this wisdom, I am going to write little one or two paragraph tips. Hopefully, I will keep up with this and after I get I few going, I will create  a page with a list and links. No, I don’t think of myself as some awesome genius or anything. It is just I have been sewing for over fifty years, have taught sewing for many years and have learned a few thing here and there.

Today is about using weights to hold your fabric when cutting. Do you constantly have to reposition your strips as you cut them up? perhaps you need to reposition your fabric as you cut the strips.

Most of us have heard of pattern weights, but I never really tried them. There was something about the idea of using weights to hold patterns to the fabric that did now seem so good to me. Perhaps it was the fact that once the pattern piece was cut out, the fabric and pattern would come apart and then you could not make all those tailor’s marks that were so important.

But when cutting for quilts we don’t usually even used paper patterns. We use the ruler and rotary cutter and cut over and over. Only it seems that each time we cut, the fabric moves and it then has to be straightened up again and again and again.

Well, I was not going to spend a lot of money on pattern weights, so I went looking at my favorite notions store – the hardware store. ACE Hardware has the neatest things and I love prowling through their aisles.

What I found were large washers. They were/are about four inches across and are heavy. Yet they slide smoothly when I need to move them. When I position a piece of fabric on my cutting board I place a few of these huge washers here and there on the fabric and that piece of fabric is not moving until I want it to. It sure saves me a bunch of time.

Huge Washer

Kitty Needs Your Help

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demonainwindow

Please help me find a home for this precious kitty. She is so sweet to us, but our kitties just can’t stand sharing. My sweet Clio has turned into a monster bully and won’t leave her alone. I am afraid one of them is going to end up with serious injuries.

Mona just had her shots updated, is “fixed” and has her front two paws de-clawed.

I will drive to take her to a new home as far as 200 miles. Just let me know and I will get her to you some way.

We inherited Mona when her owner passed away and now it breaks my heart to have to find a new home for her. But, like I mentioned, I am worried about serious injuries.

To Clean or Not to Clean

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Have you ever had an issue of having your creativity crushed by the room being too clean and neat? While it sounds like an excuse, clean, neat craft and sewing rooms really stifle me. I noticed them way back when I finally had a whole room to devote to scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking was a messy proposition for me. It always took stacks of papers, embellishments and more to create one page in my albums. Of course I did not use everything that was out, but I did need to get it all out to make decisions and to get inspired. On the rare occasion that I cleaned and put every little thing away, it would take days to get me back into my beloved room.

It is the same now with my sewing room. If all the fabric is put away, pins in their pincushions, thread in the thread boxes and so on, then I am not interested in sewing. Something about such a clean room is intimidating. I can wonder around in the room looking at this and that, but find it hard to settle.

So, to clean or not to clean? Of course right now there is no question. I have a big mess that is slowly getting put away – more about that later. But, what about when this mess is taken care of? I have about one more complete day to get it all done.

One way I do get around this and still get things put away, it to always have a project out and in mid task. That makes it easier to slide right back into the groove.

But there are times when it is necessary to get things all tidy. Like when company is coming. Or perhaps when the grandson is expected for a visit. At five years old, messy rooms are an invitation for disaster and MiMi’s house is supposed to be a fun place, not a disaster place.

So then what do you do?

Oh and here is just a portion of the problem.

sewing room

Bright Boxes

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brightboxesquilt

Got your sunglasses ready? The new quilt I will be teaching in Waco is plenty bright.

It takes one jelly roll plus 14 more strips for the borders. The classes will be May 6 and June 3. These are the days I teach the Sew and Quilt club there in the Waco Sew and Quilt store.

The quilt top may also be made in different colorway – with a minimum of five colors.

bbcolorway2 bbcolorway3

I really loved making this quilt top. It is the second one I made using this layout. This one just took six hours for me to make.

Supply List

Feedback or Criticism?

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Lately I have found it hard to find the line between feedback and criticism. In January I had to go to the Emergency room where it was discovered that I had gall bladder stones. When I got out of surgery, it was also discovered that I had Influenza A and E. coli in my blood. The flu had become so bad that I had pneumonia which is why I had gone to the ER in the first place.

After six days in the hospital which was quite eventful, hubby brought me home and has had to do a lot for me that he was not used to. This is where the problem comes in. Do I tell him when something is not quite right? Or do I just ignore, suck it up and keep my mouth shut?

Of course, many would say let him know so he can do it right the next time. But, what if there is a lot of “letting him know” going on? Would not this tend to be overwhelming for him? He really is trying and is so sweet in what he is willing to take on.

This dilemma has become apparent in other parts of society. Look at the Special Olympics where the only feedback allowed is positive. Look at school classes where students are not given criticism and instead allowed to “just do their best”.  Human Resource Officers frown on bosses who criticize and harp on employees who are not getting the job done right. Sometimes it even is called a “hostile workplace.”

I can understand the Special Olympics. These children NEED positive feedback, they need the praise and encouragement afforded to them in these events. But what about in the classroom where progress needs to be encouraged and mistakes need to be corrected? What about the employee who costs the company money for not getting it right over and over?

When the girls were in ballet and hubby and I would go to the yearly recitals it became obvious that some classes were not ready for a recital. Hubby believed that giving them applause was sending the wrong message. He said they would believe they were good and not strive to become better. Me, I wanted to clap for the effort. In my mind it was the teacher who was at fault not the children. Besides, who could resist those cute little three year olds in their tutu’s and tiny ballet shoes?

Criticism, feedback, applause, praise. When do you use them? When you withhold them?

In the case of myself and hubby who was trying to do the impossible and please a difficult wife it has become a tightrope that both of us walk. If he fixed me some scrambled eggs that were swimming in butter, then I sucked it up and ate them. I just did not ask him to fix those for me again. But, I did tell him the toast was wrong because that will be something he would be fixing for me again. Then just last night he mentioned getting in trouble for doing toast wrong – so he did not take that feedback very well. Or I did not deliver it very well. Or perhaps I should not have said anything.

A little something for the honey

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Here is a little bit of fun for your valentine honey. It’s a key chain or a fob to put on a memory stick or whatever.

marble keychain

 

Some of you may remember when we made necklaces out of tubes of fabric, marbles and beads. We would slip the marbles inside the tube and use beads that we slid on outside of the tube to hold the marbles in place. The resulting necklace was pretty heavy but we thought they were great.

This keychain is made out of a tube of fabric that has only three marbles inside and uses hex nuts instead of beads to hold the marbles in place.

For more detailed instructions, I created a pdf file for you to download. Click on the link below. You will need something to open up pdf files to read it.

Marble Keychain

New Kitty

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Well, she is really not a kitty, but a grown cat at least six years old. Poor baby belonged to hubby’s cousin who passed away last week. This precious kitty has been just about on her own for a year in her mama’s house while mama was in the hospital and assisted living and it shows. She has gained weight and is real reclusive.

Precious Demona

Precious Demona

But she is gorgeous. She is a tortie and has great markings. When we used to visit her mama she would come out and say hi and let us pet her and love on her. So we know she has it in her to become a great family member.

We are still working on convincing our other two that this will be a great friend. There is lots of growling and hissing going on now days. Demona has been living for over  a week in our guest bathroom. We get her out when the other two are put up for at least several times a day, an hour or more at a time.  Well, last night we started letting all three out at the same time. Demona is really taking it easy and not pushing it. At times, like now she just stays in the bathroom even though the door is open. Of course, if we both leave the house, we will shut her up to be sure our two cats don’t hurt her or that she does not get into something that would hurt her.

But I just thought you all might have some input on how we might make this transition go easier on her.

Changes

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Its been a while and a lot has happened.

Friday, DigiScrapStation closed down for good. It has been a long time coming and frankly, overdue. The store has not made little profit for several years. In addition, my health has not been very good for almost two years and it has been hard to do my share to keep the store going.

So what am I going to do with myself? As you can see by a quick tour of my blog I have become involved in sewing, embroidery work and quilting. I have even been teaching some classes on these subjects in the local quilt shops. My sewing room took over my computer room and now it is strictly just for sewing. The desktop computer gave way to a laptop and everything computer is done on the laptop. In fact, the desktop is no longer part of our household.

Due to my health though, I have had to cut back on the classes that I was teaching. Now I am only going to be teaching four classes a month, with two of those being on the same day. So that means I only teach three days a month. Hopefully, this will ease the stress and work needed to keep up. Actually, I might even be able to get some of my personal projects done!

So keep tuned, I hope to get some of my projects and patterns posted here on this blog as I Move On to a new phase of my life.

New Embroidery project/class

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I really tried to keep this simple. Really!

It was to be an apron with some embroidery on it. But well, as I started making the apron after digitizing the embroider work and stitching that part out, I just could not stop. At first the embroidery piece was to be the bib. Then, it was just to have a straight skirt, no ruffle. Well, the embroidery piece just needed more and a straight skirt was so boring. AND I had this cool fabric but wanted to do it justice.

So, it ended up with two layers of skirt, two ruffles, one on each layer. Two layers are on the bib, the embroidery piece that was backed and then the bib it was sewn to. BUT you don’t have to make this that way – you could just sew it with one skirt and no ruffle, or one skirt and two ruffles, or maybe one skirt and one ruffle. You could just make the bib out of the embroidery piece and not worry about two pieces to the bib. But, of course, it will look cuter if you do the whole thing. LOL

Here are the pics. As you can see, it really needed it ALL! and OH, I also made another embroidery design for an alternate. Personally, I like the second one better, but thought the first one would go over better.

 

 

June apron

 

 

June apron, Scrappy Cats

 

Bee Happy Machine Embroidery, Scrappy Cats Designs

Download the embroidery files and instructions by clicking on the words below

Bee Apron (8 downloads)

Files included in the download include: ART, EXP, PES, HUS,SEW and directions on how to make the apron

 

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