Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Finger Puppets All Done

No sooner had I gotten all ten in-the-hoop puppets done, then DD2 had to try them all on.
I'm sure she will share with her sibs!

See my previous post for more info on these in-the-hoop embroidered Halloween Finger Puppets.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

In the Hoop Halloween Finger Puppets

I wanted to get these embroidered Halloween Finger Puppets done quickly because Halloween is coming up fast.  Hurricane Sandy is whipping the rain and winds outside, and I'm afraid we'll lose power at any time.  I closed the blinds on the window in my sewing room because I get nervous watching the tree outside that window blowing in the winds.

In The Hoop Finger Puppets....
In the Hoop Halloween Finger Puppets
I found these Halloween Finger Puppet embroidery designs on C-Some-Stitches website.  The set contains 10 different little puppets, but I've only gotten four made so far.  I think they came out very cute.  They were very easy to stitch out, and the included instructions were pretty clear.  Here is how I did them...

Materials needed:
  • Felt in various colors
  • Tear-away stabilizer
  • Temporary Spray Adhesive
  • Embroidery Thread
Stitch the back of the puppet first.  Use the spray adhesive to place the felt on the stabilizer, covering the placement stitching.  When done with back, remove from hoop and set aside.  Here are some photo examples of different puppets.
Stitch the back of the puppet on tear-away.

Back of puppet done - remove from hoop and set aside.
Stitch the front of the puppet up until the final satin stitching.  

Stitching the front of a puppet.
Use spray adhesive to adhere the back of the puppet to the back of the hooped-front of puppet.
Matching up the back of the puppet to the back-side of the front of the puppet.

Put the hoop with the front and back puppet pieces back into the machine.
You can see the blue top of the puppet on  top of the hooped stabilizer,
and the blue bottom of the puppet on the underside of the hooped stabilizer.

Finish the final satin stitching and trim the design.
Very cute!!

Before stitching the finger puppets today, I did a little monogram on a lacrosse bag for a friend.  It will be a gift for her daughter at Christmas.  I couldn't fit the bag on my machine due to the hard insert inside it, so we decided to do her initials on the strap so you can see it across the front when she wears is.  I used Monogram Wizard Plus software with the Exact Script font for creating this monogram.
Monogram on front-facing part of a lacrosse bag strap.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sewing Room (2) Redone

Hi!  I love looking at other people's sewing rooms.  It is so much fun to see how others organize and lay out their workspace.   If you would like to see over 200 sewing rooms, be sure to join the Yahoo! group yoursewingroom.
Come on in!!

Here is the sewing room plan I chose to go with to accommodate the new Sweet 16.

The new layout.

This is the first time I've had everything against the walls.   I used to prefer the sewing machine desk coming into the room so that the quilt tops could drape over the back when needed.  Since I now have the Sweet 16 for quilting, I can try the sewing table along the wall.

My sewing/embroidery on the left, Sweet 16 to the right.

My newest addition.  Let the play time begin!
 I do like having the sewing tables in a row so that they can act as table extensions to the Sweet 16 for supporting large quilt tops.

Storage closet and Cutting/Ironing Table.
My first little quilt up on the wall.  :-)
Singer 160 and dresser for storage.

I moved another thread rack to a wall inside the closet so I could have room for the quilt rulers on top of the small dresser.  I also took down the knitting machine and put my black Singer 16o on top of the small sewing desk.

Tall dresser with TV, small file cabinets, and design wall.
The door with the mirror is the entrance.
The door with the scissors is a walk-in closet.

Another view of that corner.
 I like being able to look out the window while I'm in this room.  This window faces out the front of our home, so I can see anyone coming into our driveway, and my older kids coming home from the bus.

I tried to merge two photos so you can see the general overall view of this side of the room.
My machine-embroidered cross-stitch design on the wall. 

I added a couple of photos so you can peek inside my closet.  It is a small walk-in style.
Closet inside wall & door

When I can walk in and see the carpet,
I know that this is the neatest it can probably be.

Thanks for stopping by my sewing room!

Happy Stitching!!

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Friday, October 26, 2012

She's here!

I've been meaning to post this since yesterday, but haven't had a chance.  My Sweet 16 has made it safe and sound from California!  I drove to the UPS center to get it as soon as the kids got on the bus yesterday morning.  I got home, and barely had time to set it in the table before I had to head out again.  My schedule has been busy lately,  I may not get to really give her a go until this weekend.  But she does look good just sitting there!  
My new (to me) Sweet 16!

Tomorrow is our sewing guild's Annual Meeting.  Looking forward to it.

DH's new toy thanks to Hurricane Sandy arrival.
Hurricane Sandy is heading our way later this weekend and into Monday.  They are predicting storm outages beginning on Sunday afternoon.  Our back yard is an open field and we can get a ton of wind coming across the back.  We frequently lose power during the storms, so DH stopped by Home Depot on the way home from work, but of course they did not have any portable generators on hand.   I called the store tonight at 9 PM to see when they would be getting some in.  I was told that they literally just had a truck arrive with 67 generators on it.  My DH left immediately for the store - about 5-10 minutes away. When he came back home, he said he got the last one they had.   I didn't think there would be a crowd at Home Depot after 9 PM on a Friday night, but I'm glad he got a unit!   I'm thinking that if we lose power, I may be working on my treadle.  I have a small project (quilted potholders) that I have planned to make without electricity using my treadle, so this may be the right time for that project.

Updated Sewing Room coming soon...

Happy Stitching!!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Sewing Room Layout

I've got my new Sweet 16 delivered today!  Well, sort of.  I received the box with the table, and the box  with the bobbin winder and extras.  I wasn't home at the time of delivery, so I did not receive the machine itself as it requires a signature.  I called up UPS and had them hold the box at the customer center, and I will be by to pick it up in person.

Two out of Three (boxes) at my door!

I got my Magic Sliders out, and played with the room set up since I had the table in.
This was my original sewing room setup:
My Original Sewing Room Layout

I went with Option C from my previous post since it involved the least amount of changes.  I just moved the little file cabinet out of the way, and moved the small 4' table 90° over to the right.  I put the Sweet 16 in the middle where the small 4' table was.
"Option C"

I didn't like the feel of this at all.  The new table is shorter and wider than the 4' table that I had along the wall, and it really made the works space feel tight and closed in.

A reader had sent me a plan with everything laid along the walls of the room.  While her specific plan didn't work because of some quirks with my room, I did use her plan as a base for some more options I hadn't considered.  So, Thank You Michelle!  

I opted for a new Option D:

The Chosen Layout

It's a different feel to have everything along the walls.  I will have to roll my chair between my embroidery and long-arm, or else get another chair.  My initial thoughts...

I love having more open floor space.  Mine is a narrow room, and this makes it feel more spacious.

My cutting table is not 100% walk-around.  It has a short side along the wall and a bit of a corner along a table edge.  So it's a bout 75% walk-around enabled. I think that will be OK.  The table does have some clearance along the wall and table edge to allow fabric to drape over if necessary.

I took down my knitting station and made that desk to be my small sewing desk with my Singer 160 Sewing Machine.  The knitting station hasn't been touched in over a year, and I would rather have my Singer out and available as needed.  The prior Small Sewing Desk is now a computer desk.

I like have the Sweet 16 table between the other two tables.  These tables can serve as extensions to the long-arm table when needed.

I was thinking of maybe getting another smaller 4' table to use instead of the 6' table.  That would give more space around the cutting table.  I just don't want to spend money on furniture if not required.

I like my Design Wall where it is and am glad I didn't have to move it.  I also like where the two dressers are and didn't move them either.

As soon as I get the Sweet 16 machine in place, I'll post some photos of the room.

Any thoughts so far?

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012


Our DD1 went to her Homecoming Dance last night.  It is the first Homecoming for us since she is our oldest.  Thought I'd like to share this photo because it made me cry when I took it.  :-)  She's growing up fast.

Have a wonderful day!

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fitting It All In - Sewing Room Plans

I'm looking forward to getting my Sweet 16 long-arm soon.  Now my issue is where it will go in my sewing room.

My current Sewing Room layout, plus the new table that wants to move in.

My DD2 made a floor plan for me the last time I wanted to rearrange my room.  She cut out shapes to represent the furniture I have to work with.  I'm so glad I saved her work!  It is so much easier to play with the plans on paper, than using physical labor first, then decide it isn't quite right. ☺   I definitely recommend doing the moving around on paper first.

I made a new little square of paper to be the Sweet 16 that is coming.
On the graph paper, each square represents 6", so 2 squares for every foot of distance.
The right half of my sewing room has a sloped ceiling, so I prefer to have my cutting table on the left half of the room.

    I really would rather not lose any of the furniture I currently have in my sewing room.  I can fold down the sewing desk that is being used as a knitting station, but  I prefer it fully open and extended.  I use the full top to store rulers and other things behind the knitting machine.

    Here are some of the layout options I have come up with so far...

    Option A:
    Shift the sewing tables 90º to the right.
    Add long-arm table to the center of room.Switch Knitting Station and small dresser positions
    Move cream file cabinet to lower right corner.

     Option B:
    Replace Knitting Station/Sewing Desk with Long-arm.
    Switch Design Wall and Tall Dresser positions.

    Option C:
    Replace Knitting Station/Sewing Desk with Long-arm.
    Switch the short & long sewing tables with each other.
    Move kid table next to tall dresser.
    Move black file cabinet to other side of tall dresser.

    I think I know which option I prefer so far.  I'm still playing with it though.  Any thoughts??

    Happy Stitching!

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    Monday, October 15, 2012

    I've found one!!

    WOW, that was quick!

    As part of my quest for a sit-down long-arm,  I added a post to a Wanted thread in the HandiQuilter's Sweet 16 forum.   I received an email response from a lovely lady who has one to sell.  After several good email conversations between us, I have agreed to purchase it!!  She has allowed me to share her pictures.


    She bought this machine only a year ago, so it is near new condition, and still under the manufacture's warranty.  She is selling it because she has gone back to work full time, and so this machine sits unused most of the time.  The stitch count is 800K, which equates to 6 or 7 quilts, plus lots of practice time.


    She has bought some extras that are included in the purchase as well.   You can see the Q-snap rails on the table, as well as the other accessories shown in one of the photos.

    I am so excited!  It is hard to find these machines used for sale.  The Tiara is too new to find used, and there are not many used Sweet 16 being sold.   Maybe everyone loves their machine too much to sell them?

    Bobbin Winder

    The time it took between my initial Want Ad post, and the decision to buy this unit was only a few days.  I really liked this seller, and thought her machine is the best scenario I could hope for when looking for a used one. I know there were other interested parties to her machine, so I had to decide quick before someone else did.  Now I can cancel my shopping trip to the Baby Lock dealer this week.

    Extras to be included!

    This machine is in California and I am in Virginia, so once we finalize the details, it will take about a week to get here via UPS.  To sweeten the deal, this seller is covering the shipping and insurance costs as well.  Gotta love that!

    Almost all packed for a trip to the east coast!

    There are a couple things I'm considering purchasing for this machine:
    1. The Table Overlay.  I thought the fabric didn't always glide the smoothest across the table when I tried the machine before.  I've read that users love this accessory for that reason.
    2. The TruStitch Regulator.  Not cheap.  Because this machine shipped before April 2012, it requires a (free) factory-installed upgrade to support it.  The HQ dealer is not super-close to me either.  I may wait until the next quilt show comes around and see if I can get a good price then.  
    Anyone have experience with either of these?
    Table Overlay
    HandiQuilter TruStitch Regulator

    Santa did come early for me this year.  I'm looking forward to having my Sweetness arrive!

    Happy Stitching!

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    Sit-down Long-Arm Resources

    I have been gathering a lot of information on the HQ Sweet 16 and Baby Lock Tiara sit-down long arm machines.  For those of you interested, here are good sources for information:

    HQ Sweet 16

    HandiQuilter Sweet 16
         YouTube Videos:
    Baby Lock Tiara
    Baby Lock Tiara  - this product is new to the market, so there are not as many links on it to be found yet.   It is essentially the same product as the Sweet 16.  I've read that the Tiara is built for Baby Lock by HQ. 

    Quilting Related Forums & Boards & Lists
    Let me know if you have more resources to add to these lists.

    Happy Stitching!

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    Sunday, October 14, 2012

    Beautiful Fall Day

    It was such a beautiful day today!  I hope you got to enjoy some time outdoors where you are.   I got to sit on the back porch this afternoon and work on a quilt binding while DH watched Sunday football and the kiddos played outside.  Our oldest DD hibernated inside to study, but she was outside in spirit!  I thought I would just share some moments from today.

    What's in your lap?  I've got a quilt to bind and my Lucky nearby.

    DD2 playing on her iPod

    DS and DD3 playing on skate boards.

    My neighbor learning to paramotor-glide across our back yard.
    How uncommon is that??

    Happy Stitching!

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    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Sit-down long-arm Quilting Machines

    After last weekend's Sewing & Quilt Expo, I'm in love with the sit-down long-arm machines.

    Baby Lock Tiara

    My favorites are the new Tiara by Baby Lock and Sweet 16 by HandiQuilter.  From what I've read and can tell, these two machines are the same, just relabeled for each manufacturer.  I'd love to hear people's thoughts or experiences with either of these machines.

    HQ Handi Quilter 16
    I've played with the Sweet 16 at previous shows, and always liked it, but there isn't a HQ dealer close-by where I live.  There is a good Baby Lock dealer however, within a half-hour's drive of my home, so that is something fun to consider.  I know a few sewing-guild friends that teach classes there.

    I would love to be able to free-motion quilt, but I don't have the room for a long-arm on a 12' table in my sewing room.  If I invested in one of those machines, it would need to go in the basement, and I would need to quilt for others in order to pay for it.  But then if I quilted for others as a business, I would not have time to quilt for myself.  My husband said he would rather me get a smaller machine that I can use to quilt for myself, and not do a quilting business - just because he does our finances and he doesn't like doing all the tax-forms and financial book-keeping that come along with running a small home-based business.  He has experience with this from a different small-business I had years ago.    Sooo, I'm thinking that means I can shop for a sit-down long-arm for Christmas!  ♥  This will be fun!

    Happy Stitching!

    UPDATE:  Click here for my post of online resources for both the Sweet 16 and the Tiara!
    Click to see the post of online resources for these great machines!

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