Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Vintage genealogy sampler

A vintage genealogy sampler sewn by Susan Weston, Massachusetts, 1812-1813. An example from the sampler collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pinter-test Tuesday - Stuffed Lovie Sleeping bag

The moment I saw this stuffed animal sleeping bag on Pinterest, I knew it would be loved too much not to try it.

Original pin. Stuffed Animal Sleeping bag by Autumn of It's Always Autumn as posted on Ucreate
My son has a teddy, affectionately named Mama Bear, that was a perfect fit for this project. I waited until fleece fabric was on sale at Joann (sign up at their website to receive additional coupons, too) and we went and chose what else? Pirate fabric.

The tutorial on Ucreate by Autumn of It's Always Autumn was crazy easy to follow and I whipped this up in probably 45 minutes from cutting to finish.

I've been told that Mama Bear is very pleased with her sleeping bag. I bought 1/2 yard of fleece and have just enough left over to make a smaller version for a small lovie. Autumn's tutorial is great and this is an easy, inexpensive project...something the kids could probably make themselves.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free historical French embroidery patterns

I really enjoy embroidery, in fact, it was my initiation into the craft world when I was a girl. I found a link to Motifs pour broderies, available for free through Open Library, a French book that showcases many beautiful embroidery patterns, albeit in French.
These patterns, which appear to be from the 1920s (my French is non-existant), include floral patterns, borders and alphabets. Let me know if you create something with these patterns...I would love to see them!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shopping Saturday - Where do you buy fabric online?

For my hexagon project I'm trying to pull from my stash, but I need just the "right" red fabric. I can't tell you what right is, I will only know when I see it. I'm sure you have been there.

That being said, I have been trolling the online fabric stores for just the right fit. Here is a list of fabric stores I have either bought from or that I would really, really like to get a $500 gift certificate to spend there. ;) Where do you buy fabric online?

This link leads you to a multitude of online fabric stores.

At this site you can actually upload and print your own fabric designs. Sweet!

There are many, many small fabric vendors on Etsy, a great resource.

Monday, July 9, 2012

English paper piecing hits and misses - sewing

Following my hits and misses with English paper piecing cutting and basting, I ended up with a nice stack of hexagons. Now on to the piecing together of these sweet shapes.

My first error here was my thread. I normally piece all my quilts with all-purpose white sewing thread. Nothing fancy here, as I figure no will ever see it and it will be strong enough to hold my quilt pieces together well. So I moved forward with piecing my hexagons with the same type of thread.
On my first go-around I chose to follow a tip I read that suggested you create a whip stitch in one direction and then return to your start point with another line of whip stitches. As you can see the white thread is very obvious and my stitches are uneven. Not to mention that this was just too much work. I can see the benefit of strength, but it doesn't add much if it is this noticeable.

I then changed threads to 100% cotton hand-quilting thread by Gutermann in Medium Grey. The difference is clear: matching thread rocks.
I still was not pleased with my thread choice. I loved the strength of the Gutermann thread, but it was still too obvious to me. Then I switched to 100% polyester Poly Sheen thread by Mettler. It is a little thinner and not quite as wiry as the Gutermann option.
My two thread options. You can tell the difference in thickness.
But after sewing with both I found the thickness of the thread was not the culprit for my dislike. My problem was my stitches. I needed to pay more attention to my stitches. The thread thickness did not matter as much as paying attention to creating small, even stitches.

One of the best parts about paper piecing is it's portability. Throw some cut fabric, your templates, thread, needle and scissors into a bag and you're ready go. It was great having this project on a recent long car trip. I am also enjoying stepping away from the computer and the sewing machine to do some hand work.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Follow Friday - Design Seeds

I have always been passionate about color. I was the little kid that put all of my crayons in rainbow order. I'm happy to say I have found a kindred spirit in Jessica, creator of Design Seeds. She provides color inspiration by taking captivating photos and creating color pallettes from them.

You'll see Design Seeds all over Pinterest. You can even find pallettes that match a favorite color using her Pallette Search tool.