Saturday, June 29, 2013

Homemade Quilting Machine Still Does The Job!!

I am still trying to decide how I want to do the bedding in my room.  I have the  Mari Duvet and Shams and the Hadley Ruched Duvet and Shams from Pottery Barn.  I put the Mari Duvet on my bed and really didn't care for the way it looked.  It just looked messy to me.  I decided to put some batting in the center of it and quilt it.  I am not quite finished with it yet, but I am liking this much better. 

I originally had an old quilt on my bed.  Actually it was the very first quilt I ever made.  It was starting to fade terribly since it has gone through many washings.  I thought to myself what am I going to do with this old quilt.  I guess put it up in the closet for the next twenty years until someone comes along and throws it out.  I then decided to do what the Amish do and use it for my batting.  I have never tried this before and it was a very hard decision, but I thought at least we would still be sleeping under it!  I cut it up to the size that I needed and loaded it onto my quilting machine. ( My kids have plenty of other quilts to remember me by!) AND, this being the first was not my best work because I really didn't know what I was doing!!  No Internet or instructions back then!!
This will actually be a post in itself someday, but my husband made me my quilting stand and about 20 years ago when home quilting machines were just coming out, we had an old Singer sewing machine stretched into a quilting machine.  The picture might look kind of generic, but this really works great.  I was going to purchase a Gammill many years ago and we looked at it many times.  It was about $17,000.00 back then and I wanted it badly, but I had to stop and ask myself if I really would use it that much.  Quilting is not my first love, I get bored with the repetition.  Then we heard about a man that stretched sewing machines for quilters.  We talked to him and he did this for us with my husbands mother's old Singer sewing machine and my husband built the stand.  My quilting machine will now sew about an 12 inch area before I have to stop and move on. 
 We then traveled all over Ohio to look at every quilting machine made.  I looked at every ones ideas and then told my husband exactly what I wanted my machine and quilter to do.  He incorporated every idea that I wanted.  It does everything the expensive machines and quilters do.  It even has a laser to follow pantograms and everything.
Here is my duvet before I started.

Here is my duvet loaded onto my quilting machine!
This is the front of the sewing machine and I use these handles to move over the fabric.  I can sew the whole length of the quilt and about 12 inches forward.  Then I stop and roll up the fabric and start again.  I can also sew from the front or the back of the machine.
Here is the stitch, I am just doing a meandering since the batting has already been quilted once!
I have a great husband who will always accommodate me with anything I need for sewing!  He also has a great engineering mind!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Making My Euro Pillow Inserts!

Well I told you I decided to make my euro pillow inserts.  I used an old white blanket that I have had in storage in the closet for many years.  My euro pillow pillowcases are 28 X 28 so I cut my blanket 30 X 30 and cut a quantity of four to make two pillow inserts.  This gives me an inch seam allowance around the edge and it will make for a tight pillow insert for my euro pillow cases because it will be an inch larger all the way around.

 I sewed my one inch seam around all four edges and left about a 10 inch opening and turned the material right side out.

As I told you in the last post, I had saved my stuffing from our old couch that my husband tore apart and burned.  I had washed the stuffing in two old pillowcases that I would pin shut and after many washings I packed it all away for a rainy day.  That rainy day was today.  I had two overflowing leaf garbage bags full of industrial stuffing. 
I stuffed my pillow forms with the stuffing using one whole garbage bag full.  I just did a whip stitch to close up the bags and had my euro pillow inserts made.
You can still see some of the lumps and bumps here.  I wish I could blow it in like  they do at the companies.  Now you will see why I used such a heavy blanket to make the pillow insert out of.  After I added the cover none of the lumps or bumps show at all.  I like my pillows large and full!  Here is the finished project!  It is just as smooth as any pillow insert I could of bought and I am sure a whole lot nicer.
Today I am working on the bedding.  Pictures to come later!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Bedroom Ensemble is Slowly Coming Together!

I have a few things put together in my new bedroom.  I got my curtains hung and here are the pictures.  Hope you can see them!  I should of taken the pictures in the evening.

I also washed my Duvet cover and I put it in the dryer for about 5 minutes to get out the wrinkles.  I then took it outside and hung in up on my clothes line and left it blow in the wind.  It turned out beautiful and for being 100% cotton, I didn't even have to touch a iron to it.  I have it hanging over my couch at the moment waiting for me to get the rest of the bed items finished.  It is so fluffy and full and just hangs in waves, I just love it!

I have now started to make Euro pillows for my pillow covers.  I do not have Euro size pillows and did some price checking on them.  I think the cheapest that I saw was about $25.00 each.  I decided to make these this morning.  I was going through my stash because I wanted some batting to make the pillow covers out of.  I didn't have enough so I thought about cutting up an old blanket that has been packed away for years and never used.  It is white and I knew this would be perfect.  My Euro covers are 26 x 26, so I wanted my pillows to be 28 x 28 so they would be stuffed tight.  I had saved some stuffing also several years ago from our old couch.  My husband tore it down and burned it.  He asked why I wanted that and I told him some day this will come in handy.  You cannot buy this industrial stuffing anywhere that I know of.  I threw it a little at a time in a couple of old pillow cases and washed it in the washing machine and then packed it away.  I probably would only do this with something that I previously owned.  I will show those pictures tomorrow!  The reason I wanted to make the pillows with a heavy material is because when you stuff it, it shows bumps and lumps.  With the heavy pillow covers, this smooths out those bumps and they do not show.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Is Sewing Getting To Expensive????

I love to sew, but it seems like anymore the prices are getting way out of line.  My husband and I just remodeled our bedroom and the bathroom.  I wanted to purchase a new bedding set for our room with new curtains and things.  I looked in the stores around here and did not see anything that I liked.  Then I went online to the Pottery Barn and fell in love with the Hadley Ruched Duvet & Shams with the Mari Duvet and Shams.  We painted out bedroom and bathroom gray with white trim and this would look so pretty in there!!!
After adding up the price, it was between $400 and $500 dollars.  WOW!!  Then I would need to purchase two Duvets!!  Well no way was that happening.  I thought, well I have a picture and I am sure I could make this much cheaper.  The Ruched Duvet was made out of Voile fabric.  Then I searched it out on the internet and found it for $5.99 a yard at the cheapest.  I also searched for something similar to the Mari Gray print fabric and found something for $7.99 a yard.  After figuring out how much fabric it would take to make these items along with the sham covers.  I could not make it any cheaper than I could buy it.  That is just so so sad!  What is going on?  Sewing use to be an economical way of life.  Now it is a luxury to sew with any kind of quality fabric. 

Well the happy news is that I did end up getting the Mari duvet set and the Hadley Ruched Duvet set on ebay.  I did a little searching and found both sets new still in the package in the correct size for well below half the price of Pottery Barn.  I wonder where people are buying these sets at and how they can sell them so much cheaper than Pottery Barn.   Anyway, I am  happy!  Now I am working on curtains to match.  I went to Walmart and found sheer Voile curtains for $9.00 a panel.  Now this isn't going to be cheap either.  Curtains always use to come as a set, this is for one panel.  One panel hanging up looks skimpy.  Now I have to buy four panels for each window and then I purchased an extra panel to make a valance. I had to take the panels apart and sew them together so you could not see the seam.  After I made this I realized that the valance looks a little skimpy also, so I need another panel for that.  Now I am up to $60.00 a window.  I have two windows in the bedroom and one in the bathroom.  That brings my total up to $180.00 and I have to remake the curtains!!!!!!!!!!  I hope my husband does not read this post!!

I guess I will just throw in a couple of panels each week as I grocery shop until I get enough to do my windows the way I like them.  I guess I just have not shopped for a while.  I need new lamps now also.  I looked in Walmart and the lamps are one price, then you have to purchase the little piece of hardware that your shade sets on and then another $20.00 will get you the shade.  So this means that a light from "Walmart" would be $50.00 each!  What would it be from Macy's?  I also want new towels for the bathroom, new accessories for the bedroom and bath!!  Oh my gosh, I should of went to the bank for a loan for accessories!! LOL!!  Oh well, when I get it all finished, I will post some pictures, but I guess it is going to take me a while!!!! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

French Bread "Yum"!!!

I love to bake, but don't do much of it anymore.  I just look at bread or sweets and I pack on the pounds. Back in the good old days, I use to bake everyday!  I miss it.  I saw a recipe for French Bread and it just looked so good, I just had to try it.    It really turned out great!  I made two loaves and they were gone in a couple of hours.  Of course, I had my two granddaughters here and they helped.  My oldest, Allura, loves bread and I think she was the biggest contributor.    I also put a pork tenderloin in the crockpot with a little BBQ sauce and then shredded the meat, cut up a bowl of fresh fruit and that was our supper.  Here is a picture of how they turned out. 

I used the recipe from this link: 
If you try this recipe, my bread rose much faster that what they called for.  Maybe my kitchen was warmer.  So keep your eye on it.  Also, it browned in the oven faster than the recipe called for, so I just reached in during the baking when I saw that the tops of the loaves were nice and brown and turned the loaves over and left them brown on the bottom too!  They were yummy!!!!!
Let me know if you try this and how yours turned out!  Make sure you soften some real butter to spread on your french bread!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cuddle Fabric Winners!

The two winners for the "Cuddle" fabric from Shannon Fabrics have been picked by  The two winners are:

Mary Kolb and Debbie Weishaar

Congratulations to you both! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Turn A Long Sleeve Regular Shirt Into A Short Sleeve Shirt That Now Ties At The Waist!!

Well, like I have told you before, I am always being asked to do the unusual.  It was my daughter April who always had unusual requests and now it is my granddaughter Allura.  She has a shirt that she wants me to remove the sleeves and change it from a shirt that just hangs down to a shirt she can tie in front.  Also could I have it done yesterday???

Well here is how I accomplished this.  The shirt is an Ambercrombie cotton shirt.  First, I was going to open up the sleeve area to remove the sleeve.
Then I decided to just cut off the sleeve and leave around 1/2" to try and hem to the inside of the shirt.  This would be a real time saver. 
Now I folded in the cut seam twice to the inside of the shirt and pinned it in place.  I also remove as much of the hard serged edge where it meets the seam line under the arm.  I did not want to add all of that bulk.
Here I pinned it in place.

I then just did a whip stitch after folding this to the inside of the shirt.  You would never be able to tell this shirt use to have sleeves!  So simple!
Now to tackle the tie part of the shirt.  I remember these well.  This was a "70's" thing and I wore these all the time.  I was telling my granddaughter what will be next.  Cullotes, Bell Bottoms, Poor Boys, Hip Huggers!  Do you remember any of these?  O.K. back to sewing, I had her try on the shirt and I marked it at her waist in the back.  I cut just the back about 1/2" below this line.  Then I folded the two sides of the shirt together and cut it in sort of a semi-circle down to the button down placket front of the shirt. I left about 1/2" also from the side edge of the placket.
Here is what I cut off.  You can see the back is straight and the sides are curved.
Now I used my 4mm rolled hem foot and hemmed around the bottom edge of my cut shirt.  This 1/2" was just enough to have the hem meet the placket and look like it was always made like this.
Well its all finished and as you can see it put a big smile on Allura's face and she said: Mamo, I want to learn how to do these kinds of things!  Now that put a big smile on my face!!!!