Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Sew" many steps for a new project

It amazes me how many steps it can take to accomplish your projects. I am lucky with this project because I caught that knit on sale at for 1.95 a yard and that was with free shipping. This was the first time I had every purchased fabric online-but it turned out to be a great experience. They emailed me and kept me in the loop as to what was going on, plus I received the nicest thank you note and the shipping was fast.

I have had trouble in the last 2 years , finding the color gray in the knit everywhere I had looked . But gray is the color that my oldest son likes - and had lots of gray! Whoopee!  So now I have the fabric and I know which person it will be for. Next comes the design! Sometimes it can take a while to hunt down the perfect design . I like hunting the design online because you don't have to worry about leaving home and you can multi-task as you go along. You know-like laundry when you need to stretch your legs.

I got lucky again because I only spent a part of yesterday evening and a part of this morning .

This is the pile of fabric that I am going to tackle and the reason it is a bundle is because I always prewash the fabric to eliminate the shrinkage problem. When I go to all the effort to make something for somebody - I sure do not want it to shrink up to a doll's size , like some of the store bought items do.

But it can be such a problem when I take it out of the dryer. It is like a live snake and I don't have the strength  to manhandle it into submission!The war is one.

Now I realize that I have not traced the larger size from the main pattern! O Shoot ! So, I pull out the soil control and lay it on top of the main pattern. See how easy it is to see the pattern below. But this always takes me quiet a spell and this time I pulled one of my dumb moves and copied the SMALL size -INSTEAD- of the Large size . This will be a good thing when I want the small pattern - but right now I did not. Sometimes I think my sewing angels are playing jokes on me. Weeelllll - that certainly sounds better than my marbles are getting loose!

Time stands still for no body-DH came in and I had to stop to feed us. He goes back to his wood cutting and I go back to my project. Since the fabric is so hard for me to corral I laid out the pattern piece on top on the fabric to see how much it will need and I am going to cut off a piece of fabric to make it easier for me to handle. If you notice the little red tool in the background-DH got this for me two Christmases ago. While we were visiting a lovely little fabric store one day and as the lady was cutting fabric this was the tool she used. You can use it for many things - even like cutting carpet or vinyl - but I keep it just for my fabric. It works perfect when you just need to make a straight cut and it really saves my rotary cutter!

Well, this is my shirt pieces compared to my bundle - I am making progress. I wish I had time to tackle finish my project - but seems like life just gets in the way.  :) :) I did get DH to call oldest son and ask him which he liked best - long or short sleeves on his shirts. He told his Dad that short sleeves are his preference- BUT_ no matter which he needs a pocket for his cigarettes. Pooh! I HATE pockets . I should really be tickled that he prefers short sleeves because that save quiet a bit of fabric!

But, I am happy because I got to do "something sewing " related. Sometimes it is the the details that bog you down. !!

Our weather was cold and clear today - nothing falling from our skies! But they are watching something for Tues. and Weds. Guess we will just have to wait and see.

I hope each of you have had a wonderful day too!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Shirt for my brother-in-law for Christmas. :)

Merry Christmas to me - merry Christmas to me-Merry Christmas !!! I enjoy Christmas all year long as I work on projects for my brood to make their day special . That is the one day that we all try to have - just to enjoy each other. O, except for DH's sister and her hubby -they live in W.VA. and we like to go out and spend most of the day - the week before . OOO , and of course the presents ! LOL But you see - their presents that they give are handcrafted too! And when you have a gift that some one created for you -that is the greatest gift -because you have a piece of them to take with you. Two years past Eddie gave us the most beautiful two story birdhouse!We put it at our pond and have enjoyed it so much because  a family of bluebirds come each summer ! How great is that!
   Eddie built them a "light-house" birdhouse. It is taller than I am and he even put a light in the top and a little handrail around the top of it. Well, last Summer a robin came and decided she wanted a nest on the top (not inside) but on the top corner with the handrail and the light. She and her mate raised their little brood right there!
   So this shirt in the picture is for Eddie . I have actually got it cut out and embroidered -sewed together and working on hemming the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt. My brother-in-law is not only a wonderful person - but in my eyes he is a hero because he served in Desert Storm. I thing all of our people in the service are heroes - putting their lives on the line to keep our country the home of the brave.I decided many years ago that when it comes to war that the two leaders should just go out and duke it out with their fists ! That seems a lot more fair to me instead of killing off our children. But that might be the reason that I am not a leader- :)

OK - time to iron it to help set the stitches and the design. I am still learning about Knits! This one was all cotton and one of the pieces that I ordered from Fabric. com and I really like it. It has a soft feel to it-but for some reason the stitches make it want to ripple???

Well , I completed it . I even made the sleeves 3 inches longer like they told me to do compared to the one from last Christmas.
Now - I even have it wrapped and put in the Christmas tote. Yea ! Sounds good, but we are already 2 months into our new year and I only have two gifts to show for it! This ole granny must not move as fast as she used to. LOL

Friday, February 26, 2010

DH 's third birthday shirt

I know you cannot see it very well - but I am starting at the shoulders. I was having problems deciding which side was right and which was not??? 

I have made it as far as hemming the bottom and also the sleeves . No matter how often I do this part I always have problems pulling this off ! Must be my "drunk " sewing ! But I do keep trying . :)

Hummmm? I am getting there! This year car was DH's second car and he was in the process of teaching me to drive! He took me to a dirt road that ambled through some fields , but there were TWO cattle-guards that we had to go over. The first one was great, but the second one I got too close and scratched the side of his car. Since he was in "good boy" mode he didn't seem to be bothered at all. I was the one who hated that I did it . He took me home and the next day when he was driving to his work place - a lady backed out  and right INTO the whole side that I had scratched and it totaled his car. !!!!

Here is a close-up of the design and I really do appreciate it because I seem to have problems coming up with Guy presents - you know - DH, grandson's , friends - ect???? So, when I discover a way to go - it always pleases me.

It is cold here in VA. today - but that is mainly because of the wind that is trying to blow away the house.We will have a fairly mild week -except for Tues, when it will be either rain or snow - depending on the temperature??? One of those cases to just wait and see.

I became a great grandmother this week, a little girl named Peyton Grace . Where does time go to???? It just seems to fly to me. I had a wonderful day because I got to sew and create something!  :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My DH's first car

     Well, you have to start somewhere -so I picked out a design of the first car that he ever had-I was so thrilled to find such a design. As I stitched it out - I had such High hopes of completing a  really nice project - IF only I had known - I should have known that it is so easy for me to get in trouble. First stage it was going nicely -I knew it would be successful because DH was going out doors to cut a load of firewood and I would have quiet to work in. NOT~ He came right back in the house and said it was too cold and too windy to cut wood , that he just wanted to stay in the house today.:(
     I knew I would have to keep it hidden as I worked on it . The first request was,"I"m hungry" will you fix some venison and gravy??? So , I trotted off and filled his belly  and cleaned up some of the mess and he went to watch TV. I trotted off and completed my design . I was pleased , I had not killed this one-so far?
     I started with the shoulders and then "Honey" (you do know that is a Code word - don't you) will you come in here and fix my computer? This went on until almost dark and I was trying to hem the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt -when -not DH - but the SERGER ! Started complaining and went completely out of adjustment! It started making the lettuce edge (which I normally love on my shirts - BUT - NOT on a man's tee shirt!!!!!!! For the next hour we fussed and fussed and I was beginning to think the serger was going to win!Let's just say that I have it sewed together and I did try to IRON the hem to set the stitches and pray that they would lay flat.

     Let's just say I got it sewed together , and the design is of his first car. I am hoping it will be a happy memory for him.!

     I do think I will have to wrap these shirts up so he will not "snoop" and find them before his birthday in April. Hummmmm? This makes two finished and I have one more tomorrow and I hope to finish it and have better luck - hoping that Mr. Serger will decide to "play nice" tomorrow and let me accomplish my goal.
     Our weather here in VA. was Cold today with a whipping wind that goes right through you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Sheltie shirt for DH birthday in April

     Well, as you can see - I am off to a bad start!GRRRR! But this design is a challenge because it has SOOO many layers of stitches. I was reading on their site where they said they like to make their designs as life-like as possible and it takes all these layers to show shading. . I knew it was getting out of control and just as I turned my head the machine gave a violent lurch from all the stitches and yanked my doggie plum out of the frame - so there was no saving that project.
     And because I am one of those people who tells you to do as I say and Not as I do??? LOL  I walked away and decided to call out the big guns and write two of my sewing buddies and ask for ideas Because right now my project is trash-can bait!
     Thank goodness for friends! Both of them suggested me to attempt the design again -on a piece of  fabric to test it and if I got it to work -then put it on my shirt like a patch.

     Boy! Did I put extra stabilizer on the top and the bottom of this test and this is what I came up with. It certainly is not perfect but what is that they say about flaws in your work just express personality ??? OK, We now have some personality going on! ~smile~

     OK- Now the deal is to cut the ruined piece out of the shirt and then patch the hole of the ruined piece with the new design ???? It makes me feel a little like when I was younger- I had the most beautiful gray mare that I totally adored and we were working on both of us learning how to jump.
     We would circle around the jump , sizing it up and as we approached the jump my mind was always in a flutter - wondering IF she was going to be a willing  student in our new endeavors - OR - was she planning to send me flying head over heels while she stayed put behind the jump! LOL
     Or the time I had only had her for about a week and I was boarding her at a nice barn. When she first arrived and I tied her up - she reared up and snapped the rope and her halter. I told her nobody was going to hurt her and she needed to learn to co-operate. I did some researching and on my way to the stables I stopped and purchased the heaviest piece of rope I had ever met. :)  I took her out of her stall and ran this piece of rope around her ears and down through her new halter and tied her securely to a monster pole -which was the biggest in the barn . The idea being that once an animal learns a negative habit - it can really get you -OR- them hurt badly and I had a friend standing by for moral support. I heard a sound like timbers rattling and I whirled to check out what was going on. She had reared back and put every ounce of strength that she had in her body into the effort of snapping her way to freedom. But . so far all she was doing was rattling the rafters - and that scared me - what if she broke this main beam in the barn? My heart started to beat a lot faster -fear for her safety and fear if I had taken the best route ???? After about 5 minutes of a "horsey tornado"   she dropped to her feet and resigned herself and she never tried again.
     But, she did get even with me the next day. I had taken her out of her stall and was grooming her -enjoying the wonderful aroma of Horse and for a minute she turned her head and almost smiled at me. Then ever so swiftly she gently placed her left front hoof ON TOP of my left foot - all 1800 pounds of her! I was caught off guard and tried to push her off - Hahahahah ! Yea - right and I kind of melted into the ground and when she felt like it she lifted her hoof off on my foot. The next morning when I rolled out of bed - I had the most beautiful , perfect Black hoof-print engraved on my foot! LOL You can tell it made an Impression on me because that was back in the summer of 72!
     A couple of years later we moved to the country  and got a friend for Satin - a snow white Mare to keep her company. One day my best friend came up and asked if you could ride. I saddled up both horses and gave her Satin because I knew she would be good and I did not know how the new gal would act -so I gave Pam the safer option - I thought.
     We started out onto the little country road -chatting as we went  and all of a sudden we noticed I was still going forwards - But - Pam and Satin were going BACKWARDS! It was so funny -no matter how hard we tried -Satin was jealous and she would only go backwards down the highway. So we traded horses and Satin was just a perfect Lady!  
     So instead of me owning a horse - I was owned and being trained by a horse. LOL
     Well , here is the finished project. At least with the help of friends my project was saved ! Yea! Hubby's birthday is in April and this is one that I was doing for him.
     I still have two more shirts that I have cut out and two more designs that I have ready. YES, ready to tackle another set of lessons!  So, Up and On!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A purple kitty????

Cats are known for doing things the way they want to - not in being trained like a dog. Dogs live to please their owners -but cats work hard to train their owners!

Well , this cat had a plan I had not  planned for. From the moment this kitty had her face -she had a mind of her own???????
This piece of fabric was left from doing that other lavender birthday shirt for my friend. I really need a couple of long sleeve shirts and I thought this might be the perfect time to use up that piece of fabric AND get me a shirt in the progress.

That was until I went to try it on???????? I know my guardian angel had to be somewhere laughing at me because the shirt did not fit me - but it would fit another girlfriend perfectly! SOOOOOO - no shirt for me -but a Christmas present completed . Now all I have to do is wrap it and be ready for Christmas! LOL
See, sometimes my guardian angels have a great sense of humor and a higher purpose than just me. Either way, that suits me just fine. ~smile~

It was another nice day here in VA. and we still have LOTS of mud and lots of water. My DH went out to cut us a load of wood - since he was having trouble getting to the woods to cut with all this snow and ice. But this time he got there - but with all this mud - it broke loose and he and his truck went sliding over a bank and it was stuck. We are so lucky because we have a wonderful neighbor who doesn't mind helping anybody and he came with his big tractor and saved the day. Angels certainly do come in all sizes . LOL

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Lavender story

     AAAAAHH! Come to me , my little lavender shirt! LOL Here she is cut out size  XXXXL and she has her "pretty face" embroidered on the front  -just begging to come to life.

     Here is her lovely face:  Friendship is a knot tied by angel's hands and it is a Celtic design and I added the butterfly because butterflies go through transformations as do friendships.

     This is the finished project and I like it very much. I am hoping that my "birthday gal" will be as happy too. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to surprise you , just to get you over the hump so you can let your light shine.

     It has been very mild here in VA. today -up in the high 40's and that white stuff is being "transformed" into that clear stuff that turns your dirt into mud. So you might say, we have a whole lot of "transforming" going on!Matter of fact the rest of the week is suppose to be very similiar to  today.
     I hope everybody has had a beautiful day .
Hugs , Linda

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Miffed !!!

When DH went to see our oldest son this morning I flew to the sewing room, as he went out the driveway. I had washed up the white knit fabric to fix the shrinkage  problem, so I grabbed them out of the dryer and away I go. LOL

 I was trying to be "sneaky" because DH has a birthday coming up in April and he is so darn "nosey" that I have a hard time trying to get anything over on him -especially since I have not driven since that wreck a year ago. It was not such a problem when I was driving and could  always hide stuff in the car until he was not in the house to sneak it in.

This was my first piece of white knit that I went right to work on  - cutting the shirts out for him and making sure that I was cutting the correct size.I worked diligently  through the morning -trying to be SO careful not to mess up. He very seldom leaves the house without me , so this opportunity does not come very often.

I have discovered that the one part of a project that I REALLY  REALLY  dislike is cutting out the project! I really try to be concentrating so I don't waste material. I guess that is why it takes me so long to get through that part of the project. And - if you do not get through this part - ???? You are just up the creek without a paddle , as the old folks say!.

     It doesn't show up very good but I am cutting out a long sleeve shirt for my brother-in-law so I can let that one "hang out " to be the one I am working on for him to see. So, this time and this fabric is very special to me. I almost get way-laid because I know that sometimes it takes hours to find the design I want? And I definitely did not have hours. To my delight I realized that I had 3 designs that I had found during my Christmas rush to make him something with and I actually knew where I had filed those 3 designs! YEA!

So, I am off and running as I hook the embroidery machine to the computer and download the first design which is a sheltie dog design. That was because last summer when we were walking at the park he would always take Dixie Doodle the little female. He got sOOO many nice comments from other walkers that he decided he had fun meeting new dog people. They actually became like a "second family" to us .

I load up the thread to get started and off it goes . HUMMM? It does not take very many stitches for me to realize I was going to have trouble. I had heard other people mention that they had problems with the designs from Embroider Library because they have a tendency to be too dense. YEA - dense is just a kind description as the brown is now thick as my dogs normal coat is and the knit is starting to pucker up all over the  place .Well , my heart is starting to sink as I wonder what to do??? I decide to write a friend who embroiders also and see what she can offer? But just as I hit the send button to send my plea for help and the machine gives a yank and the whole project is yanked up and out of the hoop!!!!!!!!!! Well Phoo!

Just looking at it breaks my heart. There is now no way that I know to salvage it. I didn't have enough of that piece of fabric to cut out another front ??? I need to just walk off and leave it and regroup. It has been a long time since I have had a mess-up , so I really need to just count my blessings and give myself a little space . It doesn't help that two of my teeth are hurting? I went to my dentist about 4 months ago and she told me to just leave it alone for now. I explained that I had cracked it while eating popcorn but she said it was just a shallow filling and I should leave it alone. SO , what do you do??? Now it hurts a lot and one of my front teeth is hurting also and I broke one of my front teeth on the other side. I guess I am kinda falling apart and some of our dentists are so money crazy that they don't care about the health of their patients because by now I have seen 3 dentists who have no answers for me.The last one said he could not save the tooth and it would cost 400.00 to Pull one tooth and would not offer me any information about choices I could make. So, I just paid my 55.00 for him to tell me that and left. It is kind of aggravating because about once every two weeks we receive a card in the mail with HIS smiling face saying how he wants to be our dentist and how nice he is. Doesn't seem that way to me.Guess it is time to get over my pitty party . O shoot - DH is home!  Gotta hide my treasures.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Lovely Saturday

     Remember when I ordered fabric from ? Well , here it is and the box weighs 33 pounds,but it even feels heavier. Wish I could find my dumb scales? That is another case of "put it up to keep it safe"-but the only one it is safe from -is me! ~smile~ Well, I will just have to start washing all these LOVELY knits , just to make sure what I make from them will not shrink up on the new owner and hopefully will last for a while!

     So, while I am washing and drying I had that piece of green left over from the green kitty shirt . It has a Lycra feel to it and I will attempt some more work gloves for DH.

     I get them all cut out and "thinking I will be smart" - I decide to make front and back of the gloves with a double layer on each side. Surely that will be warmer -since those fleece gloves did not pass for DH. Turned out my baby son liked them more than Dad did?? That really tripped  my trigger. LOL  I would Never thought he would have even took a second look at them . Makes me think of : If I Make them - They Will Come! LOL

      This is the finished pair and I trot off to find my "guinea pig"??? I cannot believe my rotten luck. They fit his good hand and still a rotten fit for the crippled hand? He even accuses me of cutting the pattern down smaller to make them "not fit" . Men! "snort!"
     SOOOO - as a test I go back and cut out one more glove and sew it up as a single layer???? Yep - it works a lot better on his crippled hand.  Darn it, -Guess I missed that "Designer Boat" when it came in! He is still hanging onto one of the first pair that I made him for Christmas -they were a dark green . They have really had a hard life???
     I am beginning to think I will have to stick with the single layer - because he can pull and stretch them over his crippled hand-but it worries me that his hands would get cold faster and that was why I was tying the double layer to keep him warmer. But the double layer just will not stretch like the single layer???? I sure am glad they don't make you take tests in order to purchase your sewing supplies or I would be in deep trouble!
     Our day here was very nice - up to 40 degrees - so we are having a heat wave - OR maybe my down under friends have found a way to "PIPE" that heat  up here ,to take some of the heat away from them! O boy - I will sure take it! Now, if only we did not have to have SO Much Mud! Yuck!  And tomorrow is suppose to be even warmer than today. HUMM? -wonder if that means Spring is trying to sneak in???? ~smile~
Of course heat and ice mean water and water means -big mess - with lots of water everywhere. Humm? We might all have to get in touch with Chris from Diet Coke Rocks . She is making the cutest little ducks and DUCKs Love water????  Humm? Ducks and Heat from New Zealand - sounds like a good deal to me!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday already? But for New Zealand it is Saturday !!!!!!!!!!

I can not believe it is Friday already and another day is almost gone - matter of fact already gone for some. But , for me - I have made progress. This is one of the shirts I made for my friend and I am happy with it. I believe it would be a 4 X and I really enjoyed working with this piece of fabric. It is a piece of knit and it has kind of a  slick finish to it that feels nice against your skin. 

     This is a close up of the embroidery design that I selected for this project. I really do think it is cute -but this is the one that I got mad at for not staying in the outline correctly. But since it is kinda comical to begin with -the mess up seems like part of the picture, so it is not a total loss.
     All in all - I am fairly satisfied with this project and it makes me smile because of its whimsical nature. But also because she is the type of friend who is an artist herself and she knows how much work that it takes. She will brag on me for doing it (which I dearly love because not everybody does) and I am honored that I make her happy.To me this is a win-win situation - isn't having friends so much fun????? :)   :)

     Our weather here in Va. was really decent today. We still have snow and ice ,but with the sun shining it is starting to  melt a little everywhere. There is a plentiful supple of mud and my floors hate that , but that comes with "being human" I believe.
     I would like to believe that everybody has had a wonderful day .
Hugs to all.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Alright dear Lavender

     Alright my dear lavender , Let's attempt to make some progress and not make too many boo-boos! My next step is to sew the front and back together with right sides facing each other. I even used the selvage edge to help the shoulders keep their shape and not stretch out of shape.
     I always like to talk to my projects and hold in my mind's eye how lucky I am, for folks to love .Sometimes I feel down right sinful when it comes time to give the person something that I am hoping they will love and use.It completes my progress of the project =coming to fruition of my goal..

     I am pleased that I have got two of the shirts sewn together with only one "hiccup" . As I was sewing around the sleeve I let a little pinch sneak in on me - so I went back and ripped out the stitches that were involved-then I stretched the fabric so it would all lay smooth.  Now I have all my seams pinned -so that I can iron them and sew my seams in place.
     While I was working on these two shirts - one of the grandsons and a friend of his stopped for a minute. He asked me what I was working on and I told him shirts for a girlfriend's birthday. He said that I should go into business making jackets and have my own website. I was VERY moved that he liked his birthday jacket that much! He will probably never know how big a compliment that was -coming from a young person!  I told him that I was still working on my craft -striving to be perfect and that I know I am far from my goal. 
     But - I really think that it made my head swell - as well as my heart! To me that is such a honor!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A little progress??

     It was a lovely day - even with cold winds beating you ! After breakfast and the  mess cleaned up I escaped to the sewing room . Since I had cut them out yesterday - today would be the day to do the embroidery work on them. This was the last project and it will be mine. I have had this kitty face for quiet a while , but never had the opportunity to use it ???? So, I gambled on how it will turn out?

     These will be the two shirts for my "bud". The lavender one came along nicely and it has a Celtic design and says, " Friendship is a knot tied by angel's hands. And I picked a butterfly to go with it because to me friendships transform individuals as Butterflies are transformations.
     Now the green one is a "Different story"! I loved the fabric and I loved the design of the kitties and I added the quote , To Each  His Own -BUT ! when it came to the final part of the design where it outlines every thing - the dumb thing took off like a drunk person , not following the design like it is suppose to! I paused and restarted it several times until it finally started acting like it was suppose to. GRRR! I had to fuss at someone - so I said how wonderful it is to have sewing and embroidery machine MECHANICS who are so honest and do such good work!!! Because that was one of the reasons I sent it to the shop! The other reason was the sound like swords clashing together - which it did again too as it also cut the threads where it was not suppose to! GRRR! My DH asked me if I was going to take it back to the shop and I told him most definitely NOT! I will keep struggling along for now , but I will definitely not take it back to the first shop and have to wait three months to get it returned and have the same problems as it started out with.
I really do love my machine because of the ability to connect to the internet to download the designs , but I wonder if I am the only one who has problems with this Brother PE-700II  . Maybe since this is a fairly new model there are bugs that need to be fixed???? Hopefully some "bug" and not just me being "buggy"!:)
     Then DH came in and his chainsaw was broken. Darn it - we have to have a chainsaw because we use wood heat. Off we go to a local chain saw dealer who had some decent used saws .The one that DH had wanted was gone , but there was another one , which we got. I really like purchasing from the small dealers instead of the "big box" companies because I believe it is healthy for there to be competition . This gentleman has been there almost as long as I can remember, so he is really knowledgeable
     On the way home we had dark clouds and really pretty snowflakes ! Especially Pretty because they were not calling for anything that snow flakes . I do love watching the show .  It is so magical to admire the beauty -each snowflake is different and you can look at it from different positions and it reminds me of a kaleidoscope - where you twist it and turn it and you always get a different picture , kinda like our lives -where each day is a new adventure.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Girlfriend's Birthday coming round the corner.

     One of my e-buddy's birthdays is coming up next month and I just cannot believe that another year has come and gone ?I just had to show you my fantastic storage for my fabric - A nice big trash can because a trash can holds more and costs less. I definitely have to have somewhere to put it airtight to keep critter hairs from claiming it as theirs or the wild mice from stealing it for their beds. Many years ago I had some material that I kept in boxes , like Mama did - but Mama did not tell me that mice would destroy fabric and I learned that the hard way when some neighbors moved out of a rented house below us ! I had fabric upstairs and I had just put apples down in the unfinished basement. I did not even know the neighbors had moved until I went down stairs to the basement for some potatoes and it was the most awful mess. Apples were everywhere and everything was a sticky mess- I was bumfuzzled until DH figured it out. It was rats that got the apples and it was mice that got the fabric. GRRRR! So, at least now I have trash cans and I keep my hard earned fabric. LOL

     If you look behind the trash can you can see "Miss Rosie" - the sewing cat  and she is hoping I will leave the room so she can INSPECT the fabric and she is the only cat I have ever met who can make it snow with her fur.

     Decisions, Decisions????? First it took me a while to decide which fabric to use - so I attempted to look up the colors that I had made for her in the last 5 years - trying hard not to repeat myself because there is just too many things out there to do the same thing over and over.

     This pattern was one of the first few that I latched onto . It was at a little country fabric store and she had placed all of her used patterns up for sale .It turned out to be the best deal I ever got because I just love it. This was my first time trying to figure our how to keep multi-sizes??? I knew I would need all of them because for the folks that I make it for - are all of the sizes. So, being my first time - I bout some 1.00/yd thin stuff , but it has been perfect for saving my pattern in all the different sizes.

     Here is the second color I have chosen. I have learned something since I started blogging - it is kinda like a diary  and when doing pictures of your projects  it seems to help me pay better attention? For instance I now know that cutting out projects is my Least favorite part of the job!!!!!!!!!! I really do hate that part!


     This pattern only came with short sleeves and I need long sleeves for now , so I am attempting to add to the short sleeves  to have long sleeves.

     Ok, this looks like a sleeve - I will know more when I get around to this part because this one will be for me

     Well I have made some progress. Another thing I have learned is that it takes more time than I thought to complete a project. By the time I figure out who or what I want to do - then pick out the fabric - then hunt a design- THEN embroider the design- and finally work my way through the "sewing process" - it can usually take me 3 to 5 days? But then that is counting cooking , cleaning , laundry , ect. and attempting to keep DH fed. Each day that I can sew - I feel like  my soul has been fed.
     Another thing that I have learned is that an idea pops into my head now - I put up a clipboard so I can jot the idea down before I loose it. That is helping me stay a little more on track. Before when I finished a project I would be at a loss for what my next project would be. But so far this year - the clipboard has been such a big help. That seems so funny to me - the fact that I just die wanting to get a project finished so I could be at a loss for what to tackle next??? We humans are such funny creatures.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mondays are killers!

     Well, it has been one of those days when time flys by in the wink of an eye! I really hate those kind of days because I just get a little older so much faster. ~smile~ I can remember when I was little and my Dad would sit out on the front porch and watch the traffic most of the day. Then he would come in and eat supper and get ready for  bed and I would always hear him say, "It's been such a long old day". LOL There have been very few long days for me in this lifetime. It just keeps on  scooting down the road .
     Our snow is slowly leaving here in Va. and I think everyone is so glad
     I have decided what my next 3 projects are to be . I have a girlfriend who lets me yack my head off any time I need to and she will have a birthday next month so I better get ready . I make her some oversized tee shirts and since I will be making her two - I thought I would reward me by making me one also. I really love that pattern! I have the fabric in my stash and I am looking for the "perfect design " for a"perfect friend" ~smile~
     I am hoping to find something to do with cats and - or- friends??? I have already spent 2 hours searching ????? I am "on the hunt" - just like a cat! LOL  Wish I knew how to digitize designs and that way I could make them the way I want them! But since we had that car wreck - it is very difficult for me to learn anything new - hard enough to retain what I barely can hang onto.
     Well, I better go hop into bed and try to get some sleep so I can work on it more tomorrow, hopefully! It truly amazes me that when I am going to bed - my friends down under- are just getting up and starting their day!Also the fact that while we are having snow -my friends are having heat!  Life is so amazing and the older I get -the more amazing it becomes. 
     Thank you , my friends for sharing this journey with me!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How Do Days Get So Busy???

No sewing this day because our house was full of grandchildren and our Son and daughter-in-law. The grandkids came up to help PawPaw  and the gals kept me company. After they came in they all dived into the beans and cornbread and a few tales of adventure to share.

Now I have lots of dirty dishes and muddy tracks since we have lots of mud to go with still lots of snow and ice. It is where we walk that the mud invades. I hate mud - you just cannot walk in it going up and down hills and then it sneaks into the house and I always thing "YUCK"! LOL

This picture is the grandson that I worked so hard this week to make the fleece jacket for and he was tickled to death. You might notice the dragon jacket is hanging over on the door - Paw Paw would not let him wear it and get it dirty. (Paw Paws are just like that)

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day - I had forgotten all about it until my daughter-in-law wished me a Happy Valentine's day as she was scooting out the door.

Tomorrow they are calling for 3 more inches of snow - I guess we will just have to wait and see and have another adventure.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Hard -Won Success

     I got a nice early start this morning . I found this design and used Embird to rotate this design to go two different directions - on each side of the zipper and this white is the topper that I used on top of the fleece so that the stitches do not sink down into the fleece.

     I was studying the instructions that came with the pattern and as I studied it - I got a wild idea about the zipper?? They had you putting the zipper in pretty close to the end - BUT- I kept thinking IF I put the zipper in first I could lay both sides of the front on the table and make sure both sides line up?? And , I normally line the zipper up with pins - LOTS of pins- but this time I thought I would try out basting the zipper in -for a different experiment. Those Big white stitches show up nicely and they were really easy to remove and they really did help me keep the zipper seam nice and straight.

      This was after my first attempt with the "zipper foot" that came with my machine . I was not pleased at all and I got to searching until I found a zipper foot from a different machine !

     This was my second run and I am very happy with it ! No drunk sewing this time. That holding your breath gets "tricky" though! LOL  I was making good progress for me because for some reason the pieces were just falling into place like they knew where they belonged. BUT then DH hollered and said we would have to leave IF we were going to sneak in on older son while he was at his job. He was doing some welding for his boss on a dump truck . Shoot ! I hated to leave when it seemed that for the first time In my life I knew what it felt like to have something behave like it was suppose to. So, I gathered up the 3 shirts  that I had made for him and off we went. It was a fun visit and little short visits like that seem like the only way that families have to see each other in these busy times.

      This is my first born son and he turned a big 36 today. I told him I would like a picture of him in his "birthday cap"! LOL  Sometimes I think it feels odd to have children that I can remember being that age?  I think God gave me the two boys to teach me that there are good men around and when you have grown them from the beginning up it is like watching a miracle unfold right in front of your eyes.


     I was trying to capture a picture of one of the dams that we drive by going home. We couldn't get any closer because the snow in the lot was up to the bumper on my little Tracker and with the hard ice on the top I didn't want to scar the little vehicle up. But next we pass another little dam on the opposite side of the road!

     Here is other dam  and IF you can see down at the water were two gentlemen fly fishing! I had to laugh - they Must really love fishing. I could not even figure out how they made their way down to the water as walking was treacherous! 


      Well, we finally made it back home and ate some beans and cornbread  and then I retreated to my sanctuary. But, I was not having the same luck as before .

     This was my first lesson - I know it is hard to see, but the back of my project turned out to be considerably shorter than the front. So, I sat and pondered how I was going to remedy this obstacle ???? I did not have enough fleece left to cut out a whole new piece, plus I did not want to lose all that embroidery work! I could not cut the front down to match the back on account of the zipper???? SOOOO - I decided to cut a strip to make a band out of to make it the same length as the front.


      This shows better how much shorter the back was from the front. I had to rip out one of the pockets so I could sew it back on the band to match.


      This shows that I removed the green pocket and still shows how much difference the front is from the back.


     I laid it out on the table to make sure everything was lining up correctly. Since my sewing room is small - and we all know how nice it is to have something to cut on  . My DH took a piece of plywood that is 4 x 8 feet and two hinges at the back and screwed the hinges to the back of the plywood and to the wall. Then he added two little legs on the front with hinges. I really love it because I end up chasing fabric all over the surface and if I Need to get under the table to clean I just pick up on the front and the front legs fold up and the table top folds up also to be flat against the wall. It takes up just about half of the room's space.

     This shows that I was successful in placement of his name on the sleeve. (More holding breath!)

     I was really getting tired but was determined to complete this project so I put the hood on and finished up the hem and this is the front  and the name on both of his arms.


     This is the back view with the dragon in the center and the writing above is his name in Japanese. I thought that was really cool.
     Now everything is in place and it took four days to complete and I am good and tired. Then I realized that I had to spray the topper with water so it would dissolve and only leave the stitches, But, it turned more of a mess and was like glue- icky - sticky! Yuck , so I gave up and put it in the wash machine! And, more holding breath! I am very happy that another project is successful . It never ceases to amaze me at how you can take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into something that someone can get some use out of  - or like the quilters - they take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into a piece of art. But to be able to preserve our craft is very precious to me , as I know it is for you too.
     Well, we get one more day of nothing falling from the sky - and then they say we will get 3 more inches on the first of the week. . Since I can not do anything about it - I just won't worry about it. I will count my blessings and know how truly blessed I am .