Friday, October 13, 2017

Sewing Difficulty: Improving


My broken arm is healing as well as can be expected.  And I am so, so very happy/thankful to be sewing again.  I can't do everything, but I can do enough to keep me from going bonkers!

Hand sewing is a little harder than machine sewing, from having to hold my left hand under the sewing item.  It helps if I wear my splint. 

Crocheting goes fairly well, unless I try to go too fast! 

My hand and fingers are getting stronger and stronger, which is gratifying.  However, my arm is not strong enough to hold down a ruler and use a rotary cutter with my right hand.  It is, though, strong enough to hold down the ruler so that I can draw a line on the fabric with my right hand.  Then I can use a scissors to cut the fabric along the line.  Not as nice as using a rotary cutter, but it works.  I feel  like I'm doing things the "old fashioned" way!  I have discovered something not very surprising:  cutting fabric this way is not nearly as accurate as using a rotary cutter.

Most of my typing of emails, etc, has been done without capital letters, as my left little finger is very weak, and still some numbness/tingling with it, due to nerve damage during my fall.  For some reason, my right little finger just doesn't know how to use the shift key!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Christmas Ornaments, Already!?!

Yes, I'm making Christmas ornaments.  I'm working on some embroidered ones (like I've made in previous years, like these), and also made a couple little spool ornaments.  

I love wooden spools!

For these ornaments, I simply used a blue sparkly fabric to cover the spools.  (No real explanation or how-to needed for this, I think.  Simply turned under edges and glued to the spool.)

Then I looked at the ends, and they looked rather ugly.  There were no labels, but unattractive glue residue.  I didn't really want to bother with painting, but I wanted those ends covered.  So I grabbed a silver sharpie and that did the trick in no time.  

Then I glued plastic snowflakes (bought for use in making cards, which I've done) on the ends, before finally adding some silver ribbon for a hanger.

As you can see, I made one in the horizontal direction, and one vertical.  I'm pretty sure I'll be making some more, in other Christmas-y colors.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Lacy Scarf

I've had a piece of fabric in my stash for quite a while, maybe about twenty years--seriously!  I am so glad that I kept it, because it has now become two separate scarves.


I thought it would be nice to add some lace as part of the scarf.  Both to be decorative, as well as to make the fabric go a little farther.  I had seen this done on Pinterest, so thats partly where the idea originated.

Below is a close-up of the fabric, which is a very delicate little floral pattern.  It also has that really fine feel of some Italian cottons, or Liberty cottons.  It is not, however, a Liberty fabric.  It really is quite old, and was once a full skirt for myself.  (MisterStitches even remembers the skirt!)   I think I added a lace trim to the bottom of the skirt, and might have involved some lace at the waistband.  I loved that skirt!

So here are the two scarves, one made with pink lace and one made with white lace, because I just could not decide.  I did have some trouble sewing the lace.  With my first attempt it gathered terribly.  So I put out a plea to my quilt guild, asking for help.  Right away I had several responses, several of which suggested using a stabilizer of some kind.  (Really, I should have thought of that!  Rookie mistake!)  Using the paper stabilizer fixed my problem and made the scarves turn out well.

As soon as I moved the chair to take these photos, KittyStitches had to jump up on the chair to get in the picture, too!

There is actually a little bit of cat tail on the left side of the photo below!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Scarf From A T-shirt

I saw a post on Pinterest about making a scarf out of a t-shirt.  (Here)  Then, when a friend (thank you, GS) offered me an unused t-shirt, I grabbed it up!  The directions are good, as well as simple.  

I simply cut crosswise strips (about 1 to 1 1/2" wide).  I used only the main part of the shirt, from under the arms to the bottom, but not including the bottom hem.  Since I broke my arm in May, I still don't have enough strength in my left hand/arm to hold down the ruler, which means that I can't use my rotary cutter.  So I had to use a scissors.  The only downside to this is that some of the strips had little jags or jogs on them.  But I don't think it's very noticeable.

Then came the fun part.  I stretched out each and every "circle" I had cut.  That makes the strips curl up into little rolls.

I took six of the strips and braided them together into two braids.  

Then I simply gathered them all up together.  For the "fastener" I cut some of the t-shirt fabric from an unused sleeve.  The braids got loosely sewn by hand into the bunch of rings.  

Then the fastener got sewn shut, enclosing all the loops and the ends of the braids.  Now I'm thinking if I had made the fastener a little prettier (maybe no raw edges showing), that would make it feasible to wear the scarf with the fastener partway down the side.  For another look.

Back side of the "fastener."

And here is my scarf.  I was actually wanting to make a scarf in a neutral tone, so this really worked for me.  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Half-Square Triangle Quilt

Some of you know that I love love love making and using half-square triangles!  Maybe it's something about the idea of sewing the seams and ending up with two blocks when I'm finished that turns me on.  I'm not sure.  

Anyway, I recently sewed some white squares with blue squares from my Bear Patch Bits.  

I press them four at a time, with the dark side on top.  First I press them as sewn, to set the seam, which I learned on Fons and Porter.

Then it's easy to "unfold" them and press the seam to the dark side.

Pretty ironing board cover is compliments of SisterStitches!

I put them up on my design wall, but it looked too small to me.  So I chose more blue squares, and paired a light blue square with a darker one.  Made them into HSTs, and put them around the edges of my first group of HSTs.

I like how the second group of blocks sort of "contains" the first blocks.  Now the plan is to add a white border, then bind it all up with a dark blue.  Should make a nice little baby quilt.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Skirt For GranddaughterStitches

While GanddaughterStitches was here this summer, I proposed making something for her to wear.  She said she'd like to have a skirt, so we "went shopping" in my stash.  And she chose a fabric which has many different colors in striations, one of my favorite fabrics.

I made a simple gathered skirt, and she loved it.

Then, after she left to go back home, I thought I'd take the fabric leftovers to make something to go with her skirt.  In town I found a shirt with our town's name on it. 

 I didn't have a lot of fabric left over, but I had enough to add a little ruffle to the t-shirt sleeves.  I hemmed the edges with a little decorative stitch.  It's fun to use those stitches once in a while!

Because the fabric is extremely variegated, the two sleeve ruffles ended up being different.

But that's ok.  As DaughterStitches would say, "It is what it is."

And here is GranddaughterStitches with her complete ensemble.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back To "Work"

I told you about breaking my arm/wrist previously here.

I'm happy to report that I've been improving a lot.  I now have a removable splint, which gives me more freedom to do things.  I've been going to physical therapy, and doing stretching exercises at home.  I still have a way to go till I have full mobility and strength, but I'm getting there.

I'll show you the before and after x-rays.

This is the original x-ray.  My arm is lying palm down on the table, and there's really not supposed to be a curve in the forearm like that!

This is the latest x-ray, after the second surgery.  Yes, sometimes once is not enough!  I can now call myself bionic, as I have a metal plate in my arm!  They told me it's not big enough to bother the airport metal detectors.

With all this improvement, I'm now able to sew on my machine.    A few things are difficult, such as changing the foot, because that's usually done with the left hand on my machine.  And my left hand doesn't bend like it's supposed to!  I'm really happy to be back sewing.  I tried a little crocheting, but that didn't work, as I needed to bend my left wrist too much and it was making it hurt. And today I tried some hand appliqué.  I thought I could do that because all my left hand has to do is hold the fabric, right?  Well, it does more than that, apparently.  I took four stitches, which were rather awkward to do, and they looked terrible.  So no, I'm not embroidering yet.

But soon.  I hope.