Thursday, October 22, 2015

Some hand sewing

So surprisingly I've been working on some stuff lately. I know, right? :)
I finished my super secret projects, and also another one just came along as I was reading Valerie's blog, specially this blogpost. She is participating in Kat's blog drive , and while reading her blog I realized it's a great cause, and not much effort to make some blocks. So I did, and forgot to take a picture before I closed the envelope. A real bummer!
BUT... I did take some photos of the other things I've been working on! I went to house/dog/cat/guinea pig/chinchilla sit in the beginning of the month, where I had the evenings to myself alone, which I have to say was quiet nice. Literally.
I had an opportunity to listen to my book (Outlander series), and do some hand stitching without any interruptions. 
I took some 5" squares with me that I've cut previously (planning to take it with me this time). I used Sy, Elsk, Lev's very nicely written tutorial, I highly recommend it! The ornaments came out pretty good!

One takes between 30-35 minutes to make from start to finish, including sewing on the buttons and the hangers. I did the folded parts first, then sewed the buttons and hangers on all of them at the same time.

After I came back home I discovered some new episodes of  Lewis on Amazon prime, and started to watch those, and needed some sewing project at the same time. I found more tutorials to use on my Christmas Crafts Pinterest board. Specifically Katrina's tutorial which I found later via Youtube. These need some machine sewing. I varied the sizes, and made the first one out of 8" circles, then went down to 6" to see what those would look like. I found the 8" ones too big (for my tree at least), but if you usually have a floor to ceiling tree the 8" would look fine. I took a picture of the small ones in the company of the one bigger one for comparison.

Of course since the largest one was the first, I didn't realize I was supposed to use contrasting fabrics. DUH! But at the end I like the way it looks, so I just left it the way it is. 

Here is a close-up of the bigger one:

Finally I wanted to see if I can find some new card designs that I like, so I tried out Stich n sing's Somerset Star card tutorial. It's a bit tedious, but it was worth a try. All I can tell it'll be not the default Christmas card I'll make this year :) I got as far as making the star, will still have to "fix" it to the card stock I'm guessing by stitching...

Finally some Fall photos I took with my phone while walking. I love the colors!

I'll be away this weekend again, and will do some more hand sewing. Stay tuned for more photos!

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A birthday gift

Sally,  my very dear friend had her birthday last week.  I mentioned in my last post that I was making an apron for her. I was searching for free patterns all over google, but didn't find the type I wanted. So I went to my own apron which I got from my friends 3 years ago,  and thought I could make a pattern from that.  So I did!  It took me several trials and errors,  a few days of cursing trying to figure out what went wrong,  but at the end I did it.  She came over for tea,  and I gave it to her,  she loved it! She is the BEST person to make handmade gifts for,  she appreciates every single one of them. 
I didn't take a picture of the finished item,  but I did one of her wearing it :)

When she saw me making the sewing machine cover, she pointed out how much she loved the fabric, and the argyle patter is her favorite. So I knew it right there I wanted to make something for her birthday, and since She's cooking a lot, I thought an apron would be a good idea :)
Btw... The fabric is from Allison Rosen's (@WithinAQInch) de-stashing, and I'm in love with it. Thankfully she had 3 or 4 yards, so I still have plenty of it left :)))
Next project is super secret-y, I'm done with one, still working on the other. Will post about it when the time has come. I think I'll start my Christmas things after that, I'm gathering ideas for new Christmas cards (I always start too late, so I want to get ahead this year). I'll still have to order some laminated fabrics for the gifts I was planning to make. Wish me luck :)

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Some new things going on

Yes, it's me, the stranger again... I know :) But I'm not sorry. 
I'm glad to be back to sewing again, I'm planning Christmas presents in my head already. It'll be here before we know it. It always is.
In the meantime I had to get back to sewing as it's the beginning of the school year, and my friend asked me to *gasp* hem 6 pairs of pants for her son for his school uniform. Nothing fancy. It gave me an opportunity to get friendly with my sewing machine again, and also start watching the Outlander series while I was cutting/pinning/sewing.
After I was done I dug up a Youtube video I just watched a few weeks before about making a sewing machine cover. It's by Debbie Shore, link is here:
I can highly recommend her videos, She is an excellent instructor and makes things seem so easy.

I changed a few things, like I didn't have foam on hand that she was using, so I used the Pellon 809 Decor Bond iron on interfacing. That was the heaviest I had on hand.
Also I made the mistake of hemming the side of the pockets instead of just leaving the raw edges and let them be sewn into the seam allowance. It was a bit more difficult to handle the sewing of the sides, but no major issues. It came out OK, I'm sure it'll be better next time in case I need another one!

The view from the top :)

Handy pockets for scissors, rotary cutters, etc.

A bonus picture of the kitty in the background :) He's on bird watch duty!

I'm working on an apron for my friend's birthday this week, I have an apron that I really like and will use that as a pattern. I've sewn the ties so far :) I will have to cut the pattern out of the fabric and get going. 

That's all for now, I'll be back to post pictures later this week!

'Til we blog again! :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

What time is it anyway?

Oh, right! It's Bonnie K. Hunter's annual mystery quilt time! This year it's called Grand Illusion as she got the inspiration from the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. For the link, click here. I know what you're thinking right now... I should finish up the quilt tops I have already. But isn't it a lot easier to just start a new one? I have all the intentions of finishing the ones I have, don't get me wrong... But that would mean totally organizing myself, which right now I'm not quiet ready to do.
And I know Part 1, and Part 2 are out already, but I'm a little slow this year. I was away on Thanksgiving weekend when the first clue came out, then things came up, and I never started. Yet :) And to be honest, after I saw Part 2, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the Easy Angle ruler. Yes, I have to admit, I'm not a specialty ruler person, but since it's the 3rd mystery quilt I'm doing with her, and by now I noticed she loves to use this ruler, I might as well spend the $7.50 (+tax) it costs. Maybe it's me getting older, and lazier to calculate the math it's involved, or might be the person inside me saying why waste all that fabric making the diamond units with the cut-away-the-corner-triangles method, I'm not sure. It is what it is :)
Most important of all, I picked my fabrics. It wasn't easy, as I'm working with my stash (trying not bo buy fabric if I really don't have to...). The greens were a real challenge. I still haven't decided if I should use all blacks, or black and whites for the blacks, but seeing people's units for the first part, I think I'll be safe mixing up both. We shall see :)
Other than this, no sewing done since the last post, except that I got the belt and bobbin winder I ordered for the Singer 27. I think by now Fiance is not against me keeping it, I just have no idea where I'll put the table. Right now it's in the garage, covered all the way in the back, serving as a snow tire rack :)

So for this year's mystery I selected the following fabrics:

The whites are nothing exciting, tone-on-tones:

The 2 hand dyes in this pile were hand dyed by me about 12 years ago using the shaving cream technique as seen on Simply Quilts :)

Jaye (@artquiltmaker) helped me to pick out my greens:

All together:

I had an accident... when cleaning the vintage treadle sewing machine :( while trying to disassemble the bobbin winder, part of it broke :(

A close-up shot here (with cat hair and all now that I'm looking at it):

Luckily I could get the exact part by ordering online, I haven't changed it yet. In the mean time I ordered a new belt, which also came. Now we "only" have to bring the table upstairs and install the belt to see how it works. Fingers crossed!

During Thanksgiving break I had my name day (which we used to celebrate when I lived in Hungary, not so much anymore). DF got me this beautiful bouquet of roses. As you can see Roxy kitty was trying to have a taste. Lucked out with the little white flowers. Guess they didn't taste too good, because after the first attempt she luckily gave up.

When I came back home, I was obviously missed by Smoky. :)

And this little fella is growing fast! He is even showing his little white spot on his belly which is a rare moment to capture.

I will be back hopefully soon after getting my Easy Angle ruler to show my progress.

Finally I just have to share this video which quickly became my very favorite song, and listen to it first thing every morning, several times. I am a huge Lord of The Rings and Hobbit fan, and love this song! Hope you like it, too!

'Til we blog again! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happenings Part II.

Sooo.... the wait is over, and the  cat  sewing machine is out of the bag... so to speak. :) My twilter friends already know, but in case someone missed it, and of course for the rest of the followers, a few weeks ago we bought this sewing machine at an estate sale. The family Grandmother died, leaving behind several children and grandchildren, who decided to sell her house. Entirely! Furniture, belongings, and all. She had this beautiful Singer 27 treadle sewing machine, which dates to July 28, 1904. My Fiance saw it, and sent me a photo. My heart just skipped a beat at that moment. I told him to buy it, it was priced to a $150, including the table. We didn't know if it was in working condition, or not, but I thought we could take the risk. I have memories with this type of sewing machine, as my Mom owns one, and I learned to sew on it. I'm sure I could still use it, as it is like riding a bike, right? You can never forget once you know how to do it.
I was at work, and sent my Fiance back to buy the machine. He started negotiating with the guy who was selling it, and the guy stated they had someone to come and estimate the value of the belongings, and they priced everything accordingly. Fiance started to reason that we don't even know if it's working, it's rusty, blah blah blah. He offered $60 for it, so they settled at $80. I was so thrilled, I couldn't wait to get home! We went to pick it up together, and it's in a lot worse shape than it was on the photo, I have to say that. But nothing a little cleaning can't help with. I turned the wheel, and the needle is going up and down. I will have to buy a new belt, which I looked up on eBay, it costs about $5-6. I cleaned the table the same day, and sat down to clean the machine, and got about half way through in an afternoon. It is beautiful I can tell that already. I oiled every single part with sewing machine oil, and I can't wait to get it finished and working. I took a ton of pictures before I'd set to work, so I can show those, the after pictures will be in a little while, as Fiance will have to restore the table a little bit. I have not decided if I will keep it or not, as we don't have room at all in our apartment. I will have to come up with something really clever to convince him to store it here. We shall see!

In the meanwhile here are the photos! WARNING: There are a lot of them :)

That is all for today, I will have to start to get ready for Christmas, so I'm sure I will be back with some quilty goodness soon!

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happenings, part I.

I've been wanted to sit down to write a blog post for a while, but life always got in the way. It seems like when July rolled around my life just got into speed up mode, and come to November finally it looks like will slow down just a bit. However today's post will be a little off topic, but with lots of photos.

Since my Grandparents died I've been talking to my Mom more than I ever did. She changed so much over the years since I left, and it's quiet surprising at times :) For example, she got into taking care of plants. I mean, she is recovering almost dying orchids that people wanted to throw out, and I have to say with quiet a success. She sent me a photo a few months ago, and my jaw just dropped. I had some orchids I got as presents over the years, and stopped blooming, and was wondering what I did wrong. Between my Mom's advice, and a guy called Brad I found on Youtube, I can say I successfully saved my orchids that were dying as I just realized lately. I will not go into details, but I replanted all 3 of them, and after 2 months one of them will be blooming soon, and the leaves on the other two are coming back to life.

Here they are after potting them, on September 12 for the before photos, and as of today on the following ones.

This one was in the worst shape out of the 3. See how the lower leaves are all wrinkled?

Same one from a different view:

And here it is as of today, after the weekly bath. Notice the little leaf that's growing in the middle?

This was in a rough shape, not as bad as the first:

The new leaf  grew a lot, and the wrinkles are almost gone:

This was in really good condition, I think due to the latest purchase:

And here it is, with the stem growing for the flowers (the dark green one under the leaf):

As anyone can see they are a bit more weathered than they used to be due to a couple of accidents involving Paw and his curiousness (is that the right word?) resulting knocking them over twice within a week, once at midnight... Oh, the joy of kittens :)

And a bonus: One can never be unguarded in the bathroom... :)

Besides all the work I'm doing I got involved in making kombucha. I'm really excited about it, as it is also a "growing" thing :)

I will be back with a different post as I realized how picture heavy this one became, but I have a very exciting news to share, in case you're not on twitter :)

'Til we blog again! :)