Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Starching Kitchen Curtains!

Now that I have my bathroom and bedroom finished, the rest of our house needs a good cleaning.  That dust from sanding just travels everywhere.  So I am spring cleaning in the fall.  I just washed and starched my kitchen curtains and thought this might be something good to talk about.

My curtains were not that expensive but I thing they look wonderful.  I wash them and then I dip them into straight liquid starch.  Hand wring them out and let them line dry.  They come out almost not even needing ironed, but I did to get the points nice and straight.  The liquid starch is getting harder and harder to find but I still had some on hand.  I would like to get another bottle, so if anyone sees it anywhere, would you please let me know what store carries it? 

Now when you dip your curtains into the liquid starch they will look like they have a tint of blue to them.  When they dry this disappears and you would never know.  Here are the pictures of my curtains.  They hang so pretty and are very stiff and won't even move out of shape.  This was a technique that my grandmother Mergel use to use for crochet.  She made all kinds of things, but I remember a pair of little tiny high heel shoes the most.  They were green and white and oh so cute!! I use to love looking at them when I was small and dreamed of wearing them.  Isn't it something how little things stick into your mind and stay there your whole life.  She also use to mix up sugar and water, I believe, to also stiffen things.  Does anyone have the recipe for that? 





You can click on the pictures to enlarge for a closer look.  At least I can on my computer!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A New Technique Using Your Ruffler Foot and Oh So Beautiful!!

I have my new video finished and it is my new technique using your ruffler foot.  I saw a pillow in a magazine that I just fell in love with.  I wanted to try and recreate something similar.  My first plan was to use Floriani's new product called Heat N Steam.  You iron their interfacing to the back of your fabric, do some quilting or stitching, and then steam it and it shrinks up.  Looks really pretty!  I looked at JoAnn's for it and they didn't have it, so I looked on line and it is very pricey!  It was $20.00 for a small sheet!

I then decided to play around and see if I couldn't do something on my own that would look nice.  I don't know what made me grab the ruffler foot, but it just seems like this giant foot should be able to do something besides make a simple ruffle.  Then I hit the jackpot, and created row after row of ruffles on a single piece of fabric and it is beautiful!!  It also is very easy to create.  I took something that looks like it would take days to create and did it in 45 minutes.  You must watch my video and see how I made this pillow.  I Love It!! 

Here is the link:

http://youtu.be/5FPOAk7r8Js


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lining For Baskets!

I made some liners for my baskets over the weekend.  They will be going into my bathroom.  My new cabinet is open under the sink and my plan is to put these baskets on the bottom shelf and I measured and they just fit perfectly.  On the top shelf, I am rolling bath towels to keep there.  I don't have enough and the store where I purchased them has been out of them.  They told me they would be in last Tuesday and they didn't come in.  I checked yesterday and still no towels.  It is making me a little nervous.  I want them all to match!  Here are the baskets that I covered.
 
I also have been working on a new video and I would like to finish that this week!  So you can watch for that!  Cynthia

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How To Custom Fit Your Bath Mat!

Well, I am still buying bits and pieces to finish my bedroom and bath.  Today I purchase a new microfiber bathmat.  Oh so soft and cushiony when you step on it!  The only problem I had was with the fit.  As you can see in the following picture, it just did not fit where I wanted it to go.  It was just a little to large. 
What I did was I took my seam ripper and removed the stitches that held the binding on in the area that I was going to remove.  I did not cut the binding or rip out stitches any farther than was necessary.
I marked the area that I was going to cut out as you can see the purple line.  I trimmed a little at a time to get a nice tight fit.
Now here was the hard part for me.  I had to finally learn after all these years the necessity of hand basting.  This was one of those projects that the hand basting was necessary.  I did the hand basting on the top and bottom of the binding to replace it on my new cut edges.  This was necessary to hold the top and bottom  binding in place while I sewed.  For some reason, I just don't like to take the time for this step, but I am learning how much this step helps in these tricky sewing projects.
I have the binding all sewed back on.  There was a rubber substance on the bottom of the mat, so to sew this, I placed a piece of tissue paper under the bottom of the mat.  If I did not use this, it would drag on the sewing machine and be unable to advance to sew.  This is what the rubber substance is for, to hold the mat in place and it did a really good job of that. The tissue paper enabled me to sew easily. After sewing, I just tore away the tissue paper off of the back side of the mat.
All Finished!  Here is what the mat looks like now!  A perfect fit!!  What do women do that don't sew!!!  I just can't imagine!!!

 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jean Shorts and Fabric Painting!!

Allura, my granddaughter,  has been at it again with the fabric paint.  Tara, my oldest daughter, (Allura's Aunt) sent her a picture of this pair of jeans and she fell in love with them.  She changed things around a bit, but this is her version of the flag shorts.

First we cut an old pair of jeans off to make them shorts and gave them a ragged edge.  All I heard yesterday afternoon after we fringed them and washed them, is are they dry yet??  She was so anxious to get started.  Here are her steps to creating the jeans. 

First we put some old towels in the shorts just in case there would be any fabric paint bleed through.  She then started one edge and used fabric paint to paint the entire section royal blue.
 
 
 
Next she started on the left panel and taped off with painters tape one inch sections and striped the shorts red.  She covered up the fringe at the bottom and around the pockets with the tape, so she would not get any paint on those edges.
 
She then moved back to the right panel and used a stencil and added the white stars.
This fabric paint drys pretty quickly so by the time she finished the stars she could go back over to the left side and she put painters tape over the red paint and added the white paint and she was finished.
Here are the finished jeans!
Aren't they cute!  Please leave her a comment for encouragement.  She is only 12 and really starting to get into designing her own look!

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!