Monday, 11 December 2017

Pyjama Pants

I usually make Scooter and Skip pyjama pants for Christmas or birthday.

I've used this pattern for Scooter several times.
I was smart and wrote pertinent info on the pattern envelope.

I always pre-wash and machine-dry flannelette because I want the final sewn size to be right. This pattern calls for elastic across the back and twill tape ties attached to each side of the elastic. I also anchor the elastic by stitching through it and the waistband down the centre back seam. I usually try to match the horizontal lines but this fabric only had vertical lines so I didn't have to do that.
I also ironed in this label, created for me by Jen1's dad for a quilting project they worked on. I hope the ink doesn't wash out.
Skip wanted pockets in his pyjama pants so I used the same pattern for Skip's pants. I just made them a size larger by just eyeballing extra width when I was cutting out the pieces.

I liked the Thunderbird motif and again, didn't need to worry about matching horizontal lines. Skip also got a nifty label for the centre back.

More Sewing Lessons

Jen1 came over on Friday to learn how to make a lined, zippered bag. She brought her sewing machine so I could make sure it was in proper working order and could show her some of its features.

She was very happy to finish the bag so quickly and easily.
She learned that directional fabric should always have the top at the zipper. She picked really cute fabric.
Then I taught her two ways to box the corners so it would stand up on its own. To give it some stiffness, we ironed fusible medium weight interfacing onto the wrong side of the outer fabric.

I then made a really skinny folded strip (like double fold bias tape but on the grain), poked it through the hole in the zipper tab and tied a knot. It's a perfect pull tab for the zipper.
After lunch Jen wanted to make a grab bag. She did a great job and learned that clipping the curves makes things lie nice and flat for topstitching.
She only stabbed herself once so a minimum of blood was shed. Here she is proudly showing off her reversible grab bag/project bag.
She went back to the fabric store and bought some more fabric to make more bags. She's on her way!

I had a scrap of Star Trek fabric left over from another project so I made Jen a pincushion for her wrist.
I used two juice can lids and some 25cm elastic. I cut a circle of the yellow fabric and stitched around the edge, inserted one of the metal lids and then pulled on the thread to encircle the lid with fabric, pulling tightly. I cut a larger circle and ran stitches all around its edge. This time, I stuffed it firmly with fibrefill and then inserted the other lid and encircled it by pulling on the running stitches. I then criss-crossed the stitches to make it really secure.

Using the yellow lid, I cut the elastic to fit around my wrist and added 1/2". I then sewed it into a circular band, zigzag stitching the ends together.

I then glued the two lids together sandwiching the elastic between them and set them between two books to dry. It was really easy and turned out great.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Another Finished Ornament

I've been wanting to finish this ornament for a while. It's from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue. I stitched it last winter when I was in TX. I hunted high and low for styrofoam so I could wrap the stitched piece around the front and the accent fabric around the back but couldn't find any to buy.

Since I had 9mm ribbon to wrap around it, I decided to cut two pieces of 5mm foam core and glue them together, then wrap the fabrics around them. Then cover the edges with the ribbon.
I like that the beads of the notes are actual beads.

I'm glad I finally found all the things I needed to finish this one.

I'm still trying to decide if I'll participate in the ornament exchange with my embroidery guild and if so, what ornament I'll part with.

Monday, 4 December 2017

I Thought This Only Happened in Movies

My sister's first husband and father of her children, Jaime, was up from Mexico visiting their daughters and and families this summer. It was a pretty long visit but Skip and I never got to SW Ontario to visit the family at all because I had many monarch larvae to feed and no one to look after them during our absence.

About a month ago during an exchange of Facebook Messages my sister, Valerie, mentioned she was working on some paperwork and anticipating a return visit from Jaime. When I enquired further, she informed me that they were remarrying - pronto. It was a BIG surprise for me because I had no inkling that this was even being considered as they'd been divorced for 40 years, and I'd not seen them interact in the summer.

So this weekend, Skip and I attended the remarriage of Valerie and Jaime at the home of their elder daughter, Tay. They have a lovely, spacious, new house which accommodated all of us comfortably.

The Mexico relatives didn't come up (the wedding couple's son, wife, and their three children) but all of the Canadian family except one of their grandchildren who is away at college were able to attend.

Here was the lovely couple exactly 50.5 years ago. The civil ceremony had taken place a month before. The traditional Mexican church wedding took place on May 4, 1967.
And here they were on Saturday.
Their two daughters stood up for them and acted as witnesses.

We took the opportunity to take a family photo afterwards.
Although it's taking us a while to get used to the idea of Valerie and Jaime being together again, we are happy that they are happy.

And it's always nice getting together with family.

Ornament Finishing

Many stitchers have lots of ornaments stitched but not finished into anything. Last week I had a couple of people over to finish some Christmas ornaments.

Jeanette showed us a bin of her finished ornaments. She also provided lots of useful tools and templates.

Barb is a new stitcher and did a beautiful job on this snowflake ornament.
Marilyn stitched this cute Santa. I love the different texture of his moustache.
She also got the hardware onto this bellpull sampler from Prairie Schooler.
I was so busy I didn't get any pics of Jen1's  ornaments that day but she went home and finished a bunch of other ornaments that could be used as gift tags. The dove on the bottom centre is the one she did at my place.
The next day, I finally got one ornament finished. It has a little bit of Hardanger on it so it needed a fabric behind it.
I used this nice burgundy fabric for that and also the back
and made cording out of DMC floss using my fringe twister.
As you can see, I stitched it in 2011. It's about time I got it finished.

I think we should have a couple of finishing days every fall. It was lots of fun and we got a lot accomplished.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole

Jen3 invited me to attend her rug hooking guild's meeting this month. It was their Christmas potluck as they won't be meeting in December and it would give me more information about rug hooking - which I am considering.

While there, I bought a punch needle I'd been looking for, a puffin rug canvas, and a rug hooking frame. The frame is an old one but is in perfect working order. It also came with a pink cover. But I can see making quilted covers for the sides which can be used during hooking narrower things and to protect my arm/hand from getting scratched.
The top and right side bars tighten to keep the canvas taut.
Jennifer tells me that some hookers add pieces to their smaller. canvas to go beyond the confines of the frame so all 4 sides can be anchored.

I had purchased a couple of kits years ago and got one out, started, and completed it last night. It's a 3.5" x 3.5" coaster. The back is kinda messy so I'm not showing that. I was glad to have this little piece to practice on. Now I need to finish/bind it.
I have another kit with 4 coasters that is hooked with wool yarn.  I'll see how I do with those.

Now I have another thing to look for when I go to fibre festivals. For now, I'm happy working on kits with the wool already included.

Cuddle Quilt

We are expecting a new baby in my extended family and will be seeing the expectant parents on the weekend.

I made another cuddle quilt - this time using dimple fabric and a cute flannel print.
Once again, I used the self-mitering quilt idea. I also stitched in the ditch along the miters and a big 'x' in the middle to keep the layers from shifting.
I ripped along the weft to make sure the flannel was square before pre-washing it.  I then stitched a 1/4" hem (straight stitches) before doing the miters. After getting everything tucked in and anchored with pins, I used a decorative twig stitch to finish the edge of the flannel and anchor the dimple fabric.
So there's flannel on one side and soft, dimple fabric on the other with a flannel frame.
 Easy peasy.