Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In The Hoop Cross-body Bag done in 4 Minutes

I really enjoy in-the-hoop projects.  They turn out great.  Look nice, and are always consistent in how they finish out.  I decided to have some fun the other day and record the actually process of making an in-the-hoop embroidery bag design.  Although they are not hard to do, they do take effort that some people may not realize.  In order to condense it down to something fun and reasonable to watch, I did it as a time-lapse.  Complete in four minutes.  Speed sewing at is finest.  :-)

I stitched a Cross Body Bag design from Embroidery Garden.  I stitched the 7" x 10" size bag.  It is nice for carrying just a few things and includes pockets for driver's license and credit cards.  The entire bag-making process is there in the video, starting with the cut fabric and ending with my completed bag.

So here is my very first You Tube video uploaded for your enjoyment!!

UPDATE:  I have been requested to remove the video of my working on this bag.   Plus other photos in older blog posts where I work on Embroidery Garden designs.  Apparently they want their designs to remain a mystery.  :-(   Sorry.

Happy Stitching (but not with Embroidery Garden)!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Sewing Escape Weekend

Sew much fun this weekend while attending the Sewing Escape retreat sponsored by Janome, Sew4Home and our local Sew Magarbo studio.

Our retreat was held at the National Conference Center, here in Leesburg, Virginia.  With it being so close to home, how could I not attend??  Friday night, Saturday all day, and half a day on Sunday of fun projects.  Everything was included, sewing machines, material and food!  I just had to bring myself.  Easy Peasy.

Friday night was a Mix, Make and Mingle as we made personal embroidered lanyards for our use this weekend.  Everyone got their own new Janome Skyline S7 sewing machine to use for the retreat.  For the embroidery needs, there were enough Janome Memory Craft 500E machines available for two people to share.

I spied one top-of-the-line Janome Memory Craft 1500 sewing & embroidery machine in the back row, so I definitely had to sit there!  Wow, that is a nice machine to work with.
Precious Lopez, our host from Sew Magarbo, welcomed us to the event.

Friday evening included a talk from Liz Johnson, Editor, from Sew4Home.  She shared insights on design color choice and fabric selection.
Liz Johnson, Sew4Home

Saturday morning's project started off with the tear-drop tote bag (free tote pattern here).  Janome Educators Erin Schlosser and Miriam Coffey were on-hand to guide us through their projects.  The project kit had the fabric already pre-cut for us which was an added bonus!
Each machine had a little chalkboard attached so you can claim and personalize it for the weekend.  :-) 

This tear-drop tote features a pleated design with embroidered 3D flower and leaves.  The interior is lined and has a zipper pocket as well.

Tear-drop Tote Finished

We pieced the patchwork pillow top and marked it for quilting on Saturday afternoon.  (The pattern for the patchwork pillow is here.)  Sunday morning we came back to sandwich and quilt the top, and then complete the pillow.  The cute little pom poms added some fun to this project.
Quilted, pom-pom trimmed pillow completed.

The last project for the weekend was a personalized zipper clutch (similar clutch pattern found here). This project is first started in the embroidery hoop and then construction completed with the sewing machine.

This bag used Pellon flex foam for the batting, which I had not used before.  I liked that it gave the bag some shape but was still flexible to the touch.

Overall this was a fun retreat that I would recommend if there is one in your area.  Nice, casual retreat with fun projects and relaxed sewcializing.  Perfect escape from this rainy weather we've been having.
Myself & Precious from Sew Magarbo.

Love this 3-D printed vintage sewing machine!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, May 20, 2016

End of School Year Gift Ideas

It must be getting close to the end of the school year.  Seems like I'm busy making items and doing embroidery for teachers and grads - for myself and for friends.   Also doing some logo shirts too.  Been busy trying to get lots of them done.  Some of the embroidery requests for grads are great ideas!  I have to get some for my own  gift giving.  :-)

Just check out some of these items from my sewing room lately:

- Logo embroidery for a friend's BBQ business
- Girl Scout Trefoil quilted and embroidered mirror and bag set
- Personalized travel mugs
- Personalized quilted duffle bag

- Personalized mirror and bag set
- Montessori logo embroidery on jackets
- More BBQ logo embroidered shirts
- Monogrammed tote bags

- Personalized fuzzy dog stuffy
- Birth record stuffed bear
- Monogrammed sports bag
- Wrist-strap reusable zipper bags

- Monogrammed tool bags
- Monogrammed Stackers

The last picture is of two graduation gift ideas that I love.  The photo on the left is for monogrammed tool bags.  I didn't think I could get those under my embroidery needle, but turning them inside-out did work for them.  I really like how they turned out.  The red ones cost about $20 and were available at Target.  
Tool Bag set which I embroidered.

The other photo above is the small sized Stackers Bedside Pockets from the Container Store.  These are bedside pockets that tuck under a top mattress and hand down the side.  They hold cell phones and a book or magazine.  Great for lofted beds in the dorms where there is no room for a nightstand.

Bedside Stackers

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Making Progress - Then Life Gets in the Way

So I had been making good progress on my Golden Tapestry.  Seems like that was all I was focusing on.  I finished the main design (Yay!), and started working on the borders....

Early in March, we noticed our water had a brown tint to it. We have a private water well for our home. When the water didn't clear and became worse, we called in for repairs. Long story short, our well has collapsed and we needed to drill a whole new one.  Apparently it is because of the limestone geology we happen to live on.  That, plus I think the small earthquake we had must have damaged our well.  To give you an idea of how bad it was at times, this is what came out of the bathroom sink one morning. Just awful. 😳 

   Had to go through county approval, permits and inspections and get drilling rigs in our yard.

Many weeks and headaches later, we have a new and improved well in operation and we have crystal clear water again.
So nice to have clean clear water again. 

Thankful for the kindness of family, friends and neighbors who allowed our family to do laundry and showers while we worked through the setbacks and delays along the way. Also thankful for bottled water that is readily available now. With our new well in operation, last night for the first time, we ate dinner using real plates and utensils that can be washed instead of disposable paper plates and plastic cutlery. What a treat!

So this is where my Golden Tapestry has stayed this spring.  Have done some smaller projects during our water crisis. Hope to get back to my tapestry soon.
Happy Stitching.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Gold Work Tapestry Quilt in Progress

Another week's worth of progress on the Golden Tapestry.  It is coming along!  Great news is that I've stitched the last green silk panel in the main design.  Happy Day!

 I started stitching the last panels together.  Will do the bottom right quarter of the design, then stitch it to the bottom left quarter, and then finally the top and bottom halves together.  I end up taking out my stitching and rejoining the panels at least once because the I am not happy with how the design matches up the first time.  Slow progress but it's getting there.

I have my gold silk for the border all cut and ready to stitch.  That will be next.

After the last green panel finished, I took a little break and stitched a couple fun signs for myself.  This tapestry definitely combines embroidery with quilting.

Embroiderer on Board and Quilter on Board signs!
Love the sewing machine motif border.  :-)

I'm sharing this post with Connie's Linky Tuesday and  Esther's Work in Progress Wednesdays.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, March 14, 2016

My Crafty Teen's Quick Kimono

Showing off the kimono she made.  :-)
My crafty teen, now 15,  is a big fan of Pinterest.  Especially for crafts and DIY items.  She has been eying this kimono she found online by Leann Barlow.  The kimono had an online tutorial, so we gave it a try.

Inspiration for making a kimono.
We had one yard of a silky-type of fabric to work with. 
Prepping the fabric.
First thing was to take measurements. My DD is slender and 5' 6" tall, and our measurements came out smaller than what was used in the tutorial.

First thing was to cut the sleeves.  We cut ours at 10" x 24".  They are folded in half and sewn along the short side.  Next time, I think we will cut them longer at 12" or 14" by 24" - based on my daughter's preference for a longer length on her arms.

The second cut was for the back of the kimono.  Our's measured 24" x 32".  It was folded in half to cut it even.  This fabric was really slippery which made cutting straight a challenge.  A bit was cut at the top for the neck and the bottom was rounded, although not as dramatically as it was in the tutorial.

The third cut was for the front of the front of the kimono.  Ours measured 7" across, and the length was down to where the kimono began to round down.

The  front of the kimono was sewn to the back, leaving room for the sleeves.  The sleeves were then set inside the kimono and sewn around.  I do not have a serger, so we used a zigzag stitch for the seams.

A narrow hemmer foot was used to hem up the raw edges around the kimono, and then it was done.

Happy Girl.

The kimono turned out a little bit smaller than what she wanted.  Next time, we will make some adjustments to the sleeves, and the neck line.

I am sharing this post with Submarine Sunday and Handmade Monday.

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Looking for Gold

I'm making progress on my Golden Tapestry.  Four more panels done to start the bottom half of the picture.  About 650K stitches invested so far.

I have been looking for gold silk fabric to be used for the border of the tapestry.  I was having a hard time finding a shade that I thought worked well for this project.  So I started requesting gold silk Dupioni swatches from several online places.  I didn't realize how many different shades of gold silk there are!

After five places, I have found a gold silk that I think matches well to the gold thread in this project.  I am using Floriani's Premium Metallic Thread in "G3 Gold".  Which gold silk swatch in the picture above do you prefer?

Here are the different Gold Silk Dupioni swatches pictured above:
  1. "Dupioni Silk Fabric Gold" from
  2. "Duppioni Silk Gold" from (they do have Dupioni misspelled on their site too)
  3. "Tibetan Gold Silk Dupioni" from
  4. "Golden Meadow Silk Duping" from
  5. "Rustic Silk Dupioni" from
  6. "New Gold Thai Silk Dupioni" from
  7. "Gold Thai Silk Dupioni" from
  8. "Victorian Gold Silk Shantung/Dupioni" from
  9. "Regal Gold Shantung Dupioni" from
  10. "Plateau Gold Shantung/Dupioni" from
  11. "Soft Gold Shantung/Dupioni" from
Costs for swatches varies from site to site.  Between all of these swatches, I have spent about $25.  So glad that a gold fabric has finally come in that I like.  Spending a few dollars at a time doesn't seem like much, but the costs do start to add up. was the most expensive per swatch price at $5 per swatch, but no shipping fee and it is a large sample piece.  The least expensive place that I tried was Vogue Fabrics.  Their swatches cost $1, and there is no shipping fee either, but their swatches were the most narrow pieces.  The most expensive shipping was at Mood Fabrics.

Swatch pricing for me:
  1.  $1.75 per swatch.  $1.50 shipping, $0.20 tax
  2.  $5 per swatch, $0 shipping
  3. NY Fashion Center:  $0.99 per swatch, $1.99 shipping
  4. Vogue Fabrics:  $1 per swatch, $0 shipping
  5. Mood Fabrics:  $1 per swatch, $5.50 shipping
So, which gold did you choose?  I am going with #11, the "Soft Gold" from Mood Fabrics.  Looking forward to getting it in!

I am sharing this post on Esther's WOW: WIP on Wednesday's.

Happy Stitching!

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