Saturday, April 22, 2017

Many Recent Projects

Been stitching whenever  I can, but haven't posted the pics of many projects.  For project ideas and inspiration, here is a collection of what's been under my needle, but not shown before.

Easter Table Runner
From Advanced Embroidery Designs, I made this Easter Table Runner with free standing lace.  This project took a lot of thread!  Each design took well over an hour to stitch.  I used the same Floriani polyester embroidery thread in the top and bobbin for each.  Each designs required a few bobbin changes as well.
The website included detailed instructions on how to make this table topper.  Finished it in time for Easter.  🐣

I monogrammed a quilt patch blanket from Target, and made a stuffed bear for my sister's neighbor.
New BabyGift Set

Digitized a logo for my friend's husband's company.

Monogrammed a fleece pullover for my girl.  ❤️
This font came from The Itch 2 Stitch.

Made a mirror and treat pouch gift set.

Embroidered a wide ribbon for a Game Night Gift Basket:
This design came from Embroidery Designs.

Made a variety of zipper bags:

I digitized myself, a design for my friend's daughter at VCU.

Monogramed a circle font for my friend's daughter:

Embroidered a set of napkins for a teacher gift:
This design came from a $5 weekly set at Anita Goodesign.

No sewing required on this.  I completed two Quilt Magic kits that completed the Nativity scene I had done over the summer:

Made a Nativity tea-light set for my mother-in-law.

Made a Falling Leaves table runner with appliqué and embroidered-quilting.
The table runner and leaf appliqué, and embroidery design
came from American Sewing Guild's membership page.

I made a fall tea-light set for our own Thanksgiving display.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sewing Room Rearrange

With the new design wall, I once again rearranged the room a bit.  Am I the only one who changes things up often?  I missed having my regular sewing machine out.  Also wanted space for my laptop to be near my main sitting area.  The room is narrow, and space is a premium, so I once again pulled out the now laminated sheet of paper with the sewing room floor plan, and the envelope of my sewing room furniture pieces of paper.  Tried many options, took photos of each, but decided to go with the following:
Sewing Room Floor Plan Layout
I decided to fold down part of the cutting table, and orient the large sewing/embroidery machine into the room.  I like having the full table open, but it is too large to have out on a continual basis.  Most of the time I don't need to have the full table, so I'm hoping this arrangement will work.  There is room to open it when needed, but I like the extra space provided by folding down part of that table.

I also wanted to open up the sewing desk (labeled "Knitting Station") and use it for my laptop.  I missed having my laptop in a nearby, easy access to me where I mainly sit.  That label is old - I haven't used the knitting machine for years, but the dimensions are correct, so it works.

New room layout.  View from the entry door:
Pano-View of room
View from the standing at window:

My main work area.  

HQ Sweet 16 Sit-Down Longarm Quilting Machine

View of Design Wall, Singer Sewing Machine and Scan-n-Cut

Storage Closet in Corner, Folding table, sewing desks.

The room is so clean.  Time to mess it up with a project.  😃

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, March 31, 2017

DIY Gridded Quilt Design Wall

Make Your Own Pin-able Quilt Design Wall.

I had been using a large piece of craft felt that I had stapled to the wall years ago.  It worked OK for light fabrics, but is was not well suited for pinning since there is hard drywall behind it.  I bent many-a-pin trying to stick that wall.  Time to get a real board that would work well for cling as well as real pinning.

My new and improved design wall.
I started with a tutorial on using an insulation board as a design wall (found here).   The issue I had was that I could not find a flannel bed sheet that it called for.  With spring time here, those warm sheets are no longer on the shelves in the stores I visited.  I didn't want to buy flannel fabric at the craft store because it would need a seam, which I did not want either.  I didn't want to wait for an online order of a flannel bedsheet to arrive, so I decided to pick up the vinyl-backed flannel Design Wall by Fons & Porter.  I found it at Joann and used my %-off coupon which made it equal or less than the cost of a flannel sheet.

Foam Insulation Board of your own desired thickness.  This product is very lightweight.
- Gorilla Tape
- Drywall Screws
- Finishing Washers
- Staple Gun with staples
- Fons & Porter Design Wall (use your coupon!)

  1. Measure your available wall space and trim the insulation board to size.  Safely use a box cutter or razor to slice one side of the board, then snap it back to complete the break.  

  2. Open the design wall, and lay it flannel-side down (vinyl side up) on the floor.
  3. Center the insulation board (unprinted-side down) on top of the design wall.

  4. If needed, ensure your board is trimmed enough to have at least 3" on each side.   I trimmed a little more on the short sides to make sure the grommets would be hidden on the back.
  5. Use your Gorilla Tape to secure the design wall taught to the back of the insulation board.  When you are happy with the tape, go around and secure additionally with the staple gun. 
    Taped and ready for staples.
    Design wall is ready.
  6. Use the drywall screws with a finishing washer to secure the board to your wall.  The Gorilla tape is very hard to puncture with just the screws, so I used a stiletto to assist. 

    Screws in, board is up!

    Design Wall is ready!
I'm inspired now to put that board to use and complete some unfinished projects.  😃

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day Table Runner

After seeing a Saint Patrick's Day table runner online, I decided to make one for our kitchen table.  Based on the size I had available on our table, I worked backwards to determine the size of the blocks (8" finished), sashing (2" finished), and binding (.5")

  • Shamrock (Greenwork) from Embroidery Library (I did not stitch out the stars)
  • Shamrock Wreath from Embroidery Library
  • The clovers are built into IQ Designer on my Destiny II machine
  • The background stipple was also done using IQ Designer on my machine.
  • Three 8.5" squares of white background fabric
  • Ten 2.5" x 8.5" strips of contrast green fabric
  • Eight 2.5" squares of white background fabric
  • Backing fabric
  • Cotton Batting
  • Insul-Bright
My fabric choices - found at my local JoAnn store.

Preview of table runner done in Electric Quilt 7.
To Make the Table Runner Top:
  • Embroider each large block.

  • Use 1/4" seams.
  • Stitch two green 8.5" strips to the left and right sides of each wreath-embroidered block.
Make two of these.
  • Stitch two small white 2.5" squares to both sides on four green strips.
Make four of these.
  • Stitch two of those green/white strips to each of the wreath-embroidered blocks to complete them, matching up seams.
Complete two of these blocks.
  • Stitch two 8.5" green strips to top and bottom of the 8.5" center block.
Center block.
  • Stitch the center block to the adjoining wreath-blocks (matching up seams)  to complete your table runner row.
Complete table runner top.

To Quilt:
  • Lay the backing fabric, face down on your cutting surface.
  • Add a layer of cotton batting.
  • Add a layer of Insul-Bright to allow it handle hot dishes.
  • Lay the table runner top on top of this.
  • Pin-baste the quilt sandwich.
  • Quilt as desired.  😃
    • I hooped the quilt sandwich for each main block and used my Destiny to scan the hoop.
    • Based on embroidery design, I used IQ Designer to draw an outline around the embroidery and added stippling around the design inside each large block.
    • I re-hooped and scanned the quilt sandwich for each block and added the small clover built-in design.
After my quilting.
Close-up of in-the-hoop stipple quilting.
Finishing the last of the self-binding.

You can see this table runner's embroidery has extra dimension for the extra layer of insult-bright fabric that was added.  I like it!   ☘️

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Golden Tapestry Finished! and The Real Cost

I have Good News and Not-So-Good News.  I have been meaning to post this, to show I can actually finish a bigger project.  😉

First the Good News...  It's finished!  Took me the whole year, and needed over 2 million stitches.  I had the design and main silk for a few years and made it a resolution to complete this project in 2016.

My finished tapestry of gold metallic thread on dark green silk. 

I modified a quilt label from embroidery library and happily stitched the label for the back.

I finished it at the end of December - just in time to hang for Christmas. Resolution Complete. ✔️

Now the Not-So-Good News...  I now know how much I spent on it.

Do you know the cost of your projects?  I recently went through the records I had for this project, and totaled up the cost.  Time invested is priceless, but the material costs really add up too.  I knew it would be pricey because of the silk and metallic thread.  I must admit, the total was more than I thought, probably because I purchased some things before and had them on hand, so I didn't think about their prior cost.  I also spent a little extra on purchasing gold silk samples in search of the perfect shade of gold border to match this project.

Here are my costs (rounded to nearest whole dollar).  I tried to shop sales and uses coupons/codes where I could:
  • Anita Goodesign Golden Tapestry Embroidery Designs -  $74
  • Main Fabric - Dark Green Silk Dupioni - 3 yards - $57
  • Border Fabric - Soft Gold Dupioni Silk - 1 yard - $35
  • Backing Fabric - Forest Green Cotton - 3.5 yards - $18
  • Bobbin Thread - Brother 5-pack of 1200 yard spools - $38
  • Embroidery Thread - 6 spools of Pacesetter Deep Green 1100 yard spool - $37
  • Metallic Embroidery Thread - 9 spools of Floriani 880 yard cone - $126
  • Fabric Interfacing - Armo Weft fusible - 20" x 10 yards - $42
  • Batting for quilt top and sandwich - Pellon Nature's Choice Cotton - 90" x 2 yards - $11
  • Stabilizer - Floriani No-Show Mesh - 5 rolls of 12" x 10 yards (double layer in hoop) - $70
  • Quilting Top Thread - Sulky King Size Clear polyester - $7
  • Quilting Bottom Thread - Gutterman 500 M Dark Green SewAll -$5

  • Machine Needles - Schmetz 75/11 Embroidery - $15
  • Gold Border Fabric Swatches - $27
My total material costs:  $562 

If you are looking to make this project and wonder what exactly I bought and from where, I have a PDF copy of my actual costs and resources here.

I don't usually track expenses for a particular project, but this one was such an undertaking, that I happen to save the receipts.  Not sure I will do this again - I don't think I want to know.  😉   But this does show that hand-made quilts and projects like this are expensive to start - not including the time invested to create your masterpiece.

I totally love my Golden Tapestry and proudly hang it in our living room.  I hope it will be passed down for generations to come.

Happy Stitching!

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