I have done many crafts over the years. The very first, when I was a wee girl was sewing and that obsession has returned with gusto. I tend to dive into the deep water and work in one area intensively for months. My most current obsession is quilting.
I just whipped up this little clutch this weekend. The textured effect is from using Inspira Fabric Magic Stabilizer. Once the embroidery is done, hit it with some steam with your iron and the Fabric Magic shrinks 30%, giving the texture. The lines of sewing stitches were brought into embroidery and all stitched out in the hoop before steaming the bag.
I added Inspira In-r-form to give shape and form to the body of the clutch.
On my way to SD recently I had a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Airports are a bit challenging for the vegan traveler. I was flying on United so that tells you which part of the airport I searched for something for lunch. I finally found Cibo Express . I purchased a hummus and veggie sandwich with a side of hummus and veggies. Comical right? My experience with hummus sandwiches is that most places smear it on thinly like butter and that’s just not enough for me. Great Barrington Bagel where I live is the exception. They are not stingy with the hummus and consequently make a good hummus sandwich. But back to Cibo Express and my sandwich there. True to form the hummus was just a sad smear but the bread was fresh and there was about 2″ of veggies. It was just right with the addition of the extra hummus.
Yes, I got to sneak in a visit to Mt. Rushmore. I flew into Rapid City, SD to teach 2 classes there. I then needed to drive 5 hours to Bismarck, ND, to teach 2 more classes, so I took a quick trip to visit this incredible monument. It is really breath taking and an amazing accomplishment. Here’s a link to info about the history of the park. For example, did you ever wonder why those 4 presidents? Or how long the monument took to construct?
Some of the walking paths were closed, since it was early in the season and right after a huge snow storm. Even with the paths closed it was worth the trip. Warning-there is not much around that area besides the tourist town of Keystone. There are a number of small amusement type venues that kids seem to love. You know the types of places-kids love them and parents feel like they must have been very bad in past life to have to spend more than 5 minutes there.
That corner of SD is ranching country so lots of wide open spaces and you certainly don’t want to put off filling your car with gas as the next gas station (or anything besides a solitary house) may be more than 100 miles up the road.
It was an interesting trip, with the visit to Mt. Rushmore and I taught a class in the town of Buffalo, SD, population 380! It was a great group of hardy gals and I may be showing my bias, but they were some of the nicest students I have had the pleasure of having in my class.
I also taught a class in Rapid City and the sponsor of the class- Anne from Quilt Connections bought me a roasted carrot tahini grain bowl from the Great Harvest Bread Co. restaurant, which was delicious. Other than that meal, healthy food was a bit of a challenge until I got to Bismarck. However, Bismarck has a small food co-op called BisMans and I was able to get the salad bar there with a tasty tofu dish on the side.
In Bismarck, I taught 2 classes at J& R Vacuum and Sewing. Cindy and Jim are the owners and they are wonderful people that are very involved in the local food bank, donating both their time and a percentage of their store profits.
I love these bobbin holders for storing my bobbins.
However for times when I just need to bring one or 2, these small hair bands work great for keeping the bobbins from unwinding in my bag.
After much long neglect, I have decided to once again try this thing called blogging. If nothing else it will be good for me to keep track of my travels teaching for SVP Sewing Brands (Singer-Viking-Pfaff). I will try to add some sewing tip/info to each post. So far this year I have been to Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Tennessee. Also I would like to keep track of where I have found healthy, whole food, plant based foods. This is to help other travelers (and myself for future visits to those places). Small towns and airports are often especially challenging.Road Warrior Healthy Eating Tips
My general strategy once I land is to find a Whole Foods or other large health food store. If they have prepared foods as Whole Foods does, I get dinner to go. If not then it is often a crap shoot/challenge. Ethnic restaurants are sometimes the best choice, but they also often utilize too much oil in their cooking. Steamed dishes at a chinese restaurant, mexican food, hold the cheese & meat, and Thai foods are usually available in even small towns.
When All Else Fails
Since I teach full day classes I bring a shaker bottle with a pea based protein powder, mixed with dried greens to my classes. I then add cold water at lunch time. I get these powders at my husband’s chiropractic office. I also bring a container of ground flax seeds to add to my oatmeal that I have almost every morning at the hotels’ buffet breakfasts.
Did you know that you could do machine appliqué circles and decorative stitches with a simple attachment? Take a look at this video using my Designer Epic sewing machine in sewing mode. Many brands of sewing machines have these optional attachments.
I was recently interviewed on the Just Wanna Quilt Podcast. The interviews are part of a large research podcast run by Dr. Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a Tulane law professor. She is researching copyright in the quilting space and she interviews people from all walks of life that are involved with quilting. She is a very good interviewer and her podcasts are great to listen to while sewing.
How To Design Your Own Quilt Blocks For Machine Embroidery with Quilt As You Go Method. Part 1
This is obviously one of the oddest looking oven mitts right? Well it is designed to loop over your oven handle when “resting” and your hands are slipped into the gloves on either end when in use.
This mitt was designed by me starting with Premier +2 digitizing software for machine embroidery. I used the Quilt Block Assistant wizard which really made the process easy. I then machine embroidered each block using a quilt as you go method by putting the batting and backing in the hoop before embroidering. After that I added the sashing and borders and made the mitts and attached them.
My next post will be on how to use the Quilt Block Assistant. Stay tuned…
I am now, in addition to being certified as a Martha Pullen Beginning Sewing Teacher, I am also a certified BurdaStyle Sewing teacher.
Above is a picture of the last project that I did for BurdaStyle.
The pattern is for a cropped jacket, but I wanted something a bit longer so I added to the length of the jacket, front and back, as well as my usual need to lengthen the sleeves to accommodate my longer than average arms.
The embroidery was done before assembling the jacket and is from the Premier +2 software that I use for machine embroidery.
Here’s a picture of the jacket inside out so the lining is viewable.
I recently went through a bag making obsession that lasted about 18 months. I read bagmaking posts on Facebook groups, took related Craftsy classes and joined the Bag of the Month Club and made bags along with the group and a local friend. That obsession has passed but I thought I would post some of my bags while I still have some of the photos.
Currently I am finishing up the BurdaStyle Certified Sewing Teacher Course. So far the assignments have not been so "photographically" interesting, but I have some ideas for the next assignment that hopefully will be worth posting.
This is the finished jacket. As I cut out the individual pieces, I machine embroidered the designs. Kind of says gypsy carnival barker to me, but I like it. My husband said I should make one for him and we can recreate Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I think not.
The tricky parts were:
-the 90 ° turn at the collar
-I did a floating hem and it was time consuming and took some finagling with the back because of the way that part falls
-the front hem also was a bit of a struggle to get it to hang right and not stick out at right angles from my hips-not an attractive look. I would suggest, if at all possible, to have someone pin the hem while you are wearing it.
I recently made this pattern. I cut out my size and I ironed on thin interfacing to the back of the pattern as I don’t really like working with the usual tissue paper.
I buy the interfacing by the bolt when I have a 50% coupon from Joanns. I like taking the time to do this for a few reasons:
1) no pattern pieces skittering across the room with the slightest breeze
2) the interfacing sort of grips the fabric you are cutting a bit and less pins are needed
3) without a doubt increases the lifespan of the pattern without having to trace everything including markings
4) I like to mark the seam allowance and pin the pattern together to check on fit before I cut anything if it is a casual garment and I’m not willing to put in the time to do a muslin first.
After pining the pattern together at the seam allowance I realized that I needed to take 1/2″ off of the shoulder seams and add 1″ at the waist area to make it longer since I have a long torso. I usually have to add at least 1″ in the sleeve area but with this pattern I didn’t need to make any adjustments there. I added 1″ to the hem of the lining since I had read on Pattern Review that there were issues in that area.
Part 2 to come soon and it will complete this review with a picture of the finished jacket.
I learned to sew back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth-yes it's a little known fact that dinosaurs had opposable thumbs and sewing machines. Singer sewing machines in fact. Big ones with needles like in the video above.
In all seriousness-I have been sewing for a long time and I learned a lot about needles in this video. When I was young I used to throw all caution to the wind and sew over pins (gasp!) and only changed my needles when I broke them doing something boneheaded. Don't worry, I long ago changed my ways and now practice good needle handling.