Monday, November 29, 2010

Retraining - Serger Thread Tails

After spending hours sewing the dance tunics this weekend I am even more in love with my serger. It was such an odd concept to retrain myself on almost everything I knew about sewing. No longer having a bobbin and no back stitching were the hardest things to get into my head. But now that I have embraced the retraining it is a snap.

I have been using fray check on the threads when I make the scarves but that really wasn't an option for me on the blankets that were going to get alot of use and frequent washing.

There are several tutorials out there that show these steps but my flannel is so much more fun to look at.
Leave a long thread tail at the end of serging.
Thread it into a large eye, long needle. I have a set of doll needles I use.
Pull the needle and thread through the serged seam.
And it buries the thread so it doesn't unravel.

Snip off the remainder of the thread and it is all hidden.

Embroidered Ornaments

While visiting my Mom a few weeks ago my sister showed me the embroidered ornaments she made. Of course I had to give them a try.
They do take forever to stitch out on the machine. About 45 minutes each if the thread doesn't break. I like the depth of the varigated thread.
The metalic thread is so thin and breaks really easily. They are stitched on "wash and gone" stabilizer. Just dip into water and the ornament is all that is left behind.

Flannel Blankets

I was able to make a dent in some of the flannel I bought over the weekend.
Reversible flannel blankets. This one has the striped print on the back.
This one has the bright yellow.
Good thing I didn't have enough of the sequin fabric or I would have put in on the back of this one. Flannel was much softer.
The edges are serged together with rounded corners. It makes for a clean and neat edge
If you didn't notice they are a bit addictive once I got started. The two layers of flannel make these so super soft.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Fun" Sewing

Back to "fun" sewing.This is most of the flannel I bought on Black Friday. It is fresh out of the laundry. A few dark pieces are still getting washed.
And back to having fun again with a few eyeglass cases. I just need to hide the tails and turn inside out. They have a cute owl print on the other side.

Sewing for Fun

I did get up early Friday morning to go to Joanns. But not early enough. I was there by 6:30am and the $59 Cricut machines were gone. Probably for the best, I spent my money on flannel and thread instead. Spent $40 and my receipt says I saved $111 on my purchase. The Disney print flannel was not on sale but I had a coupon at Hancock Fabrics.
I put together a pair of lounge pants for a co-workers son. Had to add a little tag to the back so he could figure out which way to wear them.
I need more 4 day weekends. Now that the tunics are done I can spend some time sewing for fun.

Rainbow of Tunics

The rainbow of dance tunics are basically done. I need to add the little gathers at the chest but that shouldn't take too much longer. I will deliver them at some point this week ahead of schedule. It was fun to use the serger on the tunics. But I bore easily and am glad to move on to other projects.
My swap partner made me a sweet lady bug mini quilt. I really need to start hanging these on my walls.
I did throw in a couple holiday towels in the box to my Mom.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. I am so thankful for many things this year and where we are in our lives. Looking foward to an uneventful day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eyeglass Cases

As I get older I find myself switching between my computer glasses and bifocals more frequently. Unfortunately that meant I was constantly throwing a pair of glasses into my purse. They won't get scratched anymore with these eyeglass cases.
It is simply two pieces of fabric 7 inches square serged together. The inside fabric is flannel, which should reduce scratches. Great way to use up some of my fabric scraps also. I might just make a few more with a little embellishment on them.The fabric for the other six dance tunics was delivered. I hope to get a few of them finished this weekend.

If you are looking for a bargain this Friday Joanns has flannel for $1.29/yd and a coupon for 20% off the entire purchase if you fight the crowds before noon. I think I might settle for the flannel at Hackcock Fabrics for $1.49/yd hoping their crowds won't be as insane. I really don't need any flannel but it would be fun to stock up at those prices.

We don't have any major plans over the long weekend. Which means I can disappear into my room for a couple of days without any complaints to work on some Christmas gifts. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I thought you might enjoy a little glimpse into my sewing room. This was before I started with all the projects. The two tins are buttons from my Mom and Grandmother. I need to find a purpose for the tiny buttons I don't normally use.
I am a little late with the microwaved potato bags. I think they were all the crazy a couple years ago. The serger made quick work of it. I haven't tried cooking with it yet.
And more embroidered towels.
And more towels. 35 to be exact.
And the first of 8 tunics for the seniors dance group. Again the serger made quick work of it. I love the way it finishes off seams on knits. They still have a little give but are sturdy.
Not a bad weekend of sewing considering I was down and out with another migraine Friday night and all of Saturday. I will schedule an appointment with my doctor as soon as the holiday is over not sure how many more days like that I can handle.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Scarf

The photo is horrible but I hope you can get the idea. This is the scarf my sister sent me for my birthday. It is 15-20 strands of yarn fibers, we think about 6 feet long, then knotted 5 times. The key is to get yarns with textures. I am not a knitter so I don't have a stash of yarn, but this would be a great way to use up your stash. We made about 30 of these at my Mom's over the weekend using her stash. Easier to do with a second pair of hands at the other end of the table. Hopefully my sister will correct me if I am wrong. The woman selling these at the craft fair was charging $20 for the scarf without bead and $30 for the ones with beads.
I am wearing it today. It is fuzzy and shedding all over my black pants.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Head Band Links

I spent the weekend traveling to Iowa and back. Exhausted. And I totally forgot to take any photos. Saturday My Mother, Grandmother, two aunts, my sister and I (oops and my oldest brother) all got together to make scarves. I promise I will post of photo of a finished one by the end of the week, they are pretty darn cute. Great visit with everyone but sure am glad to be home. I was worried all weekend about one of us hitting a deer. As I left Sunday morning to drive the 7 1/2 hours home with my migraine I wasn't 10 minutes from my Mom's house and a deer darted out about 3 car lengths in front of me. Needless to say it was white knuckled driving for the next 100 miles. But I made it home safely.

My sister and I were talking about fabric head bands over the weekend. I went to look for the old tutorial I used instead I came up with this one that is even more simple. This is actually the tutorial link I was looking for to share with her. And my sister also needs a tutorial for a flower on a head band. So I found this one.

If you have any other links I am sure my sister would love to have some additional ideas.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stand Mixer?

Do you have a stand mixer? What do you like about it and what do you dislike about it? Any advice for buying one?

I am seriously thinking about letting my husband buy me one for Christmas. I have a no appliances rule for holidays but I might make an exception for the right mixer.
Of course he is looking at nothing but wattage. I am looking at the pretty colors. Is there any other way of buying an appliance? If you know me I am totally not looking at just the color, even though it will have to be red. Strong enough to mix bread dough and whip up a cake or two. And one with the meat grinder and pasta attachments would be the bomb.

Black Bottom Cake

Quite some time ago my sister gave me some black cocoa to use. It looks alot like soot so I was a bit intimidated by it, I finally got brave enough to use the stuff this week. The only way to eat it this cake with vanilla ice cream to cut some of the intense chocolate.

I found the recipe on


1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. water
1/3 c. oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour into 9x13 inch greased and floured pan. Combine cream cheese, egg, salt, sugar and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto batter in pan. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and confectioners' sugar.

Monday, November 08, 2010


My quick break yesterday turned into a 4 hour "shhh... be quiet" marathon. David was on a conference call all afternoon. I couldn't run the serger or the embroidery machine without interrupting him. So I changed gears and pulled out my dresden plate template I bought many moons ago.
It still needs to be pressed but it was pretty simple to put together. Totally from scraps. I could see myself making more of these in the future. Just need to decide what I want to do with this one first.

I will pay you a small fortune if you can figure out where I hid my camera charger. I normally leave it plugged in to the outlet but it has grown legs and wandered off somewhere. Funny how small things snowball into bigger problems. I can't find the charger so I thought I would be smart and plug my camera directly to my computer. Well that instantly disabled all my USB ports and my mouse quit working. I couldn't get it working, David got tired of listening to me and thought he could fix it. He couldn't get it working. Then I remembered this happened once before and we had to remove the battery from the laptop to reset the ports. An hour later I could use my mouse again but I still can't find my camera charger.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

On Break

David is on a conference call in the room next to my craft room. So I had to take a break. I finished 25 scarves Saturday morning. I think I refound both my mo and jo that went missing last week. The red and pink floral is my favorite. The scarves are all different sizes. Mainly 12x60 inches and 30x30 inches.
The animal print on the far left is one I will wear to work frequently. Just serge the edges and fray check on the corners. Very simple.
I did finish my mini quilt for my swap partner also. She collects Santas so what better mini quilt than an appliqued Santa.
And as I found my mojo again I was curious of where the term actually came from. According to Merriam Websters:
Definition of MOJO
: a magic spell, hex, or charm; broadly : magical power
Might as well grab some lunch now while I have a break.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Michigan Made

I finally found the website that had the cool scarf necklace that I fell in love with.

Here it is in Michigan Made. $45 is more than I would pay. But if I can get Mom to make me one (or two) I will be thrilled.


My sister sent me an awesome fiber/bead scarf for my birthday. I need to take a photo and show everyone, save that for another day.

In the process of trying to find information about it I ran across a different way to make a fiber scarf. If you are a knitter this would be a great way to use up your fiber stash.

And then I came across this awesome scarf necklace. I am totally in love with it. Partly the color but I could so wear this to work. I have no desire to learn to knit or crochet. I do not need another hobby. But I love the look of this. Will see if I can find a bead and yarn I like to deliver to my Mom when I visit next week.

And the scarves I am making are not even close to this. I sent a couple to my mom and she gave them away. I think I take that as a compliment. I sent two to my sister for her birthday, that were returned for more postage. I blame the woman at the post office for that.

It must be the cooler weather that has me thinking of scarves.


Going green is all the craze right now. Somehow I ran across Furoshiki. I was probably looking for something Japanese for Mason and found this site explaining furoshiki. The Japan Ministry of Environment even came up with this graphic to show its uses. If you are a more visual person try searching YouTube for "furoshiki wrapping". My favorite video is this one on tipnut, scroll down towards the bottom for the video. There is even a really cool book called Wrapigami. With the holidays coming up I think it is a great way to stash bust some fabric. I love how they turn it into a shoulder bag. It is quite simply just fabric. If the fabric is woven and has a pattern on both sides I would just hem. Or in my case I will just serge it. Or layer two fabrics together for a double sided reversible furoshiki. I really think any stable fabric would work.
My plan for the weekend is to start and complete a mini quilt for a partner on swapbot. Serge the scarves. I have 8 fabrics and can make at least 3 from each. Guess I had better get busy on that. Make at least one furoshiki, how hard can that be. Put lining in the Christmas stockings for a co-worker.
Got to get that all done because someone asked me today if I would make 8 tunics for an senior citizen dance team. She is getting me more details before I totally commit to it.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Lost It

This is the last pair of towels for the office. If you can't tell she is a Disney fan.

I think I have totally lost my crafting mojo. David and I made a quick trip to Nashville on Friday. We were home early Saturday morning and I accomplished nothing all weekend. Absolutely nothing. Walked by my room and just kept walking. Didn't even stop to peek in. I sure hope I can find my mojo again soon.