Monday, August 30, 2010

Pocket Tutorial Part 2

Here's where we left off yesterday, sewing the pocket to the lining.Next, pull the pocket lining right side out by pulling the pocket out of it through the opening you left in the bottom of the lining.Here's the pocket all the way out. Press the seam joining the pocket and lining and check for any pleats or problems with the seam. Poke out the corners of the lining--that's why I turned the corners of the lining bottom, way back at the beginning. Press. (When I say Press I mean press with a hot iron, generally with a spritz of water first, finger pressing won't give the same results. The key to nice finishing (or any sewing) is to press often and well at each step.) You can fold in the raw edges of the lining now and hand stitch the opening closed.Last, poke the lining inside the pocket. Press the top edge of the pocket so the lining stays inside. You can top stitch it if you wish.Here's the finished pocket.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pocket Tutorial Part 1

I promised a while back to post a tutorial for creating a lined pocket. This will finish any open object with a nice seam at the top. In addition to pockets, this technique works for Christmas stockings (and stocking ornaments) and purses. I made this sample to demonstrate finishing the pocket for the crewel chatelaine class. I was going to just show the technique using plain fabric but...I've been reading Judith Baker Montano's new book, Fiberart Montage, and decided to play a bit. I only used materials that were right to hand--this was a last minute idea. I had cut some pocket linings too small so I used them. This piece would have been much better (and easier) if I'd had used a larger piece of fabric that could have been hooped. As it was, I had a 4" square, precut. So here's my embroidery partly done. I used a piece of commercial gold cording for the "tree" and one of the blue scraps I'd picked up on my walks last winter for the sky. Step one, you need four pieces of fabric the same size. Pocket front and back and lining front and back. Sew the pocket outside on three sides leaving the top open. (right sides of the pocket and backing facing). Place the right sides of the lining pieces facing and pin. Sew leaving the top edge completely open and also leaving an opening on the bottom edge. I left about a 2" opening here. Back stitch at the opening to secure it well. Use whatever seam allowance works for your piece--just make sure the stitched size of both pieces is the same. Trim the seams and clip the corners on both the pocket and the lining to avoid bulk and help them to turn nicely. Turn your pocket right side out. Leave the lining inside out. Poke the pocket corners out carefully and completely. Press. Slip the pocket inside the lining. You may need to roll up the bottom of pocket a bit to get it to fit inside. Line up the open top edges of the pocket and lining. Match the side seams and pin. Pin the pocket to the lining all around the open top edge.

If you are making a hanging ornament or a purse with straps, this is where you add the handing loop or straps. The cut ends of the loop or strap match the cut ends of the top edge of the pocket and lining. Place the loop or strap pieces wherever you want them to be along the edge, between the pocket and lining pieces and pin in place. Tuck any excess loop or strap out of the way of the seam so it's won't get caught--you might want to pin it out of the way.When you stitch back over them to secure them firmly. Stitch a seam all the way around the top, stitching the pocket to the lining. On a small item like this it's easiest to stitch from the inside of the item. On larger pieces that will fit over the sewing machine arm, it's easier to stitch from the outside. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekend fun

Saturday was very hot and humid so we took in a movie in air conditioned comfort.We liked the first Nanny McPhee movie and this one is as good or better. It was a great deal of fun.On Sunday we went to a National Micro- and Mini-Car show up in Crystal Lake, IL. (about a 90 mile drive for us). Here several owners are giving rides around the parking lot to children.By not going up on Friday or Saturday, we missed some awesome and rare vehicles. I was content with the cool things we saw for those who lingered for Sunday (and the weather was much nicer). The car on the right is based on a motorcycle--it sits tilted like that.We spent a couple of hours wandering amongst the cars and marveling at them. Almost all are European--not to many U.S. mini-cars. There really is a bed in the back of the trailer. I have no idea where your feet would go!Sadly, they weren't selling ice cream. I grew up with Good Humor trucks winding their way slowly though neighborhoods, selling ice cream bars.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A little (very little) stitching content

This week I've been working on a doll nightgown and robe for part of our opportunity drawing for our Guild show coming up in October.This is the fuzzy robe.And this is the nightie. I've made progress since this photo and last night a friend's doll modeled the clothing for me so I could make adjustments. The nightie will get a ruffle at the bottom.

I completed the handwork on the robe last night (extra handwork since I stitched the embroidered collar on upside down and then trimmed the seams before checking. It's now embroidered on both sides.) It just needs a hem and ties or a belt (not quite sure which I'll do). I will finish this up this weekend.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The endless birthday

It's still going on! Last Friday a good friend took me for dinner and gave me this incredible tatted butterfly. It's really teeny-tiny. I have a crazy quilting idea and want to use it for that. Thank you very much! When we got married in 1976 (!) friends took the photos. They used Kodachrome color slide film. So we've always had slides of the wedding but I always wanted some prints. My sweetie made me a set of prints for my birthday. It took a while to get a couple scanned in. So here we are in our woodland wedding (Sand Ridge Nature Center), nearly 34 years ago (September 18). Above is my mom, his dad, me, him, his mom and my dad. (I'm now older than my parents were when this photo was taken! Yikes!) I made my dress (crochet yoke and trim, hand dyed and then assembled into the dress--I think the crochet pattern was in McCalls or Better Homes and Gardens (a magazine, anyway). I crocheted most of it on the bus, commuting to work in the city. I also made hubby's shirt, it's a kurta (Indian design). That's rayon embroidery floss. It was lovely but, oh, that was a labor of love! To this day, I avoid rayon floss! (Although in the intervening years, I have learned some techniques to help when working with it is unavoidable.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Neverending birthday

I think I'm just going to keep this birthday stuff going. I'm having fun here. Perhaps I can make it last all month!

I got some gifts from friends that are needlework or stitch related. Some are unusual and I thought you might be interested. I have a good friend who always finds the most amazing things to send.

Durham quilting is whole-cloth quilting done on satin or sateen from the far north of England, on the border of Scotland. The book begins with the life story of the author and I was immediately drawn in. There are large and small projects. The kit on the left is Networks by Barbara Frey. I'd never heard of it or her. She layers embroidery and colored netting to give the illusion of complexity and depth in nature pictures. I half wish the photo was better and half think it will be fun to experiment on my own and not have a picture to follow. The instructions look to be very clear. Next is a piece of vintage black-gold fabric from my friend's mother's stash. And last are some really yummy dark chocolate ginger patties. Oh, my, they're good. A nice variety of interesting fibers from a guild friend. I need more time!Yesterday I received this wonderful book in the mail. I love Country Bumpkin publications and I'd been dithering over this one. I have a baby blanket that was mine when I was a baby and I keep thinking that I'd like to add some embroidery to it (it's off-white wool with a satin binding).This is one design that really appeals to me for my blanket. It's all Appleton Crewel wool, which also makes it doable. Now I just need to find more time. I hope you've enjoyed sharing the revels.

I have been stitching, I just can't show it. I completed a project to teach at Homewood Guild next year. The "great reveal" will be in September and I'll post it then.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Birthday

In spite of my cold, I had in plenty of birthday fun. It was great to see everyone and I was amazed by the wonderful Facebook wishes. I don't use it much and I was blown away! In spite of my "no gifts" rule, I received a pile of really caring and lovely gifts. Thanks, everyone, for making it so much fun.

I want to share a few special gifts. Hubby treated me to a lovely Indian dinner with loads of leftovers for lunches! One friend gave me a lovely memory. Since it happens to also be one of my favorites, it was really cool to hear read her telling of it.
Another friend made this lovely picture for me from pressed flowers from her garden. Isn't it gorgeous? I have pressed petals over the years, mostly violets from our yard, but I've never figured out what to do with them or how to do it. This has me inspired to try myself.And a sweet friend made me this lovely pendant from beach glass (green glass, it doesn't show up well in the photo--it's translucent when held up to the light) that she collected on the Lake Michigan shore. I will wear it often.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stash sale

The sale on Saturday was good and not so good. It rained.Here's my booth with the wet pavement. It didn't rain hard, just off and on. And the rain kept the blazing sun away, so it was good. I set an umbrella over the books and relaxed.My booth was set up next to a friend, Genevieve. She had wonderful kits for sale and this big bag of perle cotton that came home with me. Happily for me, her daughter took three boxes of magazines that didn't sell to recycle at her children's school. I was happy not to haul them home! I met some very nice people and sold enough to pay my expenses, for the perle cotton and lunch, so I'm happy!Much of the day I sat and worked on the crochet tote and got a lot done.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stash Sale!

For the past few weeks, each week when I do laundry, every time I came back up from downstairs, I would bring up a few items for the stash sale:

Come to the 4th Annual
Saturday, August 14, 2010
House of Stitches back parking lot
1700 Lincolnway Place, Suite 4
La Porte, IN 46350
219-326-0544 or 800-455-8517
Think of it as the world’s best yard sale…all dedicated to stitching!
Enjoy socializing with other needle workers!
I'm looking forward to that last bit most--the socializing!
My trunk is full to bursting and I still haven't loaded it all (I think some organization will help with that--at least I hope so. I still have to fit the tables in!) I have mostly magazines and some books to sell, along with odds and ends. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Under the weather

And this is some weather to be under! It's very hot and humid here (and everywhere, it seems, unless it's flooding! My, oh, my!) First I got a summer cold and then I got strep throat on top of it. I'm fine, just tired. I sat last weekend and worked on finishing up bookmarks. I have ten done now. Here are four more sequined ones. I finished up the other six with a tassel and ribbon backing, too.At my recent birthday party, my sister-in-law gave me this lovely wool shrug. We didn't think to take a photo with me wearing it. (when I get one, I'll post it) It's gorgeous. The yarn in person is just wonderful (two yarns, actually, held together throughout). There are two elbow-length sleeves and a lacy edge all around. I'm always amazed by her knitting! Thanks!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Haven't even picked up a needle lately...

I've gone from working long hours trying to clear out the mess of conference-related paperwork to having a draggy cold/sore throat and not wanting to work at all (so far I have been coming in). I didn't even get close to stitching last weekend. My walks have been very sporadic lately, too. That doesn't mean I didn't have fun, though. My family threw a birthday party for me...not a surprise but there were surprises. A big "0" birthday is coming up soon.We held it in a pavilion in the park at the end of my street--very close to home and handy. This is my sister-in-law, husband and brother setting things up.My family brought photo albums and things I'd stitched for them through the years.Of course, we had loads of goodies. My brother made the angel food cake from scratch (11 egg whites). It's my favorite. They also brought raspberries and blueberries and whipped cream for toppings. Friends who came also brought goodies--yum!And my brother-in-law serenaded us--I hope the neighbors like bagpipes as much as I do! (this is also an example of why you need to pay attention to the background when taking photos! My sister was taking pix of the family-piper, too, and I hope hers are framed better!)

The piper was also the official photo-taker and hopefully I'll have more (and better) photos soon.