Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I'm still around for those of you (all 3) who may have been wondering.
It's difficult to work, sew, and blog all at once. I've been trying very hard to get Hans' brother's birthday present done. As I've said before I really hope he hasn't been keeping up on my blog because his present is in this post. I'm trying to make 10 quilted place mats complete with bound edges and they can be time consuming and somewhat boring. I cut out ten 13 X 18 fronts and backs. I fused batting to the backs and then machine quilted the front and backs together. I used the embroidery foot that came with my machine, dropped the feed dogs and just pushed and shoved (in a free style method) the sandwiched pieces through. Each one is a little different than the other, mostly depending on how much I'd had to drink at the time! Then using gold metallic thread I quilted through the leaf pattern on the print. That was an interesting experience! It took me most of Sunday to figure out how to do this.

My metallic thread looked just like a thin strip of gold, sort of like the tinsel that you put on a Christmas tree (The kind that our daschund used to eat, digest, and eventually present for an entire month as gift wrapped poop!). After several hideous attempts that involved different thread tensions and stitch lengths I got online and found some answers.This kind of metallic thread should be put in the bobbin only. Okay fine, except this means sewing blind as your fabric is now face down. But it worked!!!

Then I immediately ran out of thread and when I went to JoAnnes I found a gold metallic thread that was more thread-like and less shiny (and less dime store tacky) than my previous thread. Back to the drawing board. I found that it worked just peachy as the main thread and I didn't have to put it in the bobbin. I'm now using the first 2 place mats as guinea pigs. Poor Chlorox who had emergency surgery last week is now feeling very frisky and wants to roll all over everything that I'm sewing, so I keep giving her the prototypes but she ignores them and hones in on the 'good' ones. She's driving me nuts!

All of the place mats are now quilted and all that remains is the binding and I've already had issues with that too! I cut 2 inch strips of fabric, folded then in half wrong sides together and with 1/4 inch SA's attempted to attach them. However, they felt too thick and my mitered corners didn't want to miter!!! Again, this was done on one of the sacrificial mats. I've since found that by not folding the strip, sewing a single thickness instead, and using a 1/2 " seam allowance, it might work. I'll then fold the strip to the other side and turn under the raw edge. I'm also going to cheat big time and stitch in the ditch and not blind stitch by hand 10 place mats!!

I spent about an hour trying to upload pictures but Blogger was being difficult. Here is an idea of the place mats (I think before I added the gold accents). When I'm done I'll post the finished product.

Also, the other day I received a box in the mail from Angelia, who was cleaning out her patterns and sent some to me. I can't believe how many she sent!! My first thoughts were, "Oh my God how will I ever get to all of these! I want to sew all of them!!" What a nice gesture! Hans says hockey players and sailors are the nicest people you'll ever meet and I'm going to throw sewists into that mix!

But I think I have an attention deficit problem or something, because while I was working on Brother's place mats my mind kept going off in a whole different direction.

I think I came up with a really great idea for a really hot dress! It's been running through my mind for a few days and tonight I whacked out a muslin and I loved it!!! Of course that always happens with muslins, but tomorrow night I'm going to jump in and try the real thing! I still have a Burda dress sitting on the back burner that I was soooo close to tossing in the trash and finally figured out how to fix, but I have to be in the mood for it and I'm not!

Anyway, we're leaving for Paris and Geneva in 2 weeks and I have so much I need to do for this trip (like finish 10 place mats)! and I'll have to find out if anyone knows where we might go for some fabric! When we were in Germany last year (Hello Burda!!!) we couldn't find any stores and when we asked people where we could find some they looked at us like we were nuts.

Imagine that.


Angelia said...

You've been SO busy! Glad you like the patterns.
Making household stuff in general is boring to me but I'm making an embroideried table cloth right now.. which isn't to bad since the machine is doing all the work.

The placemats are going to be beautiful!!!
I'm wanting to see this "hot" dress thats distacting you from the placemats!

Katie Alender said...

At first I read that you were including SEXISTS as nice people, not sewists. That box of patterns makes me drool.

I can't believe you just made a muslin, like *poof!*. Don't muslins take as long as the finished product? I use such cheesy quilting cottons for everything I make that they're all basically muslins of themselves.

laura said...

Well, I only cut out the basic pattern (no facings etc...) baste it together for a quick fit and then what usually happens is the 'muslin' (cheap $1 Walmart fabric)turns out better than the real thing but of course since it's cheap ugly fabric it can't be worn!!

Marji said...

I'm so envious of your trip to Paris and Geneva.
There is a long thread on Stitchers Guild with a list of fabric stores. Another SG member is there now and collected all the recommendations she could for where to shop. And a lucky couple of SG members actually live there.
Ecole Lesage is also in Paris if you find yourself with nothing to do and can get yourself squeezed into a day of instruction.

LauraLo said...

You're going to have a great trip, Laura! Paris is one of my favorite cities, hope you'll like it.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.