Sunday, January 8, 2017

Quilting is slow, Knitting is slower.


It is a thought that has crossed my mind though, several times, over the past year since I learned to knit.

Just to try out a little idea I have for some socks, it will take a while.  I have to figure out how to fill in the rest of the foot with the plain color yarn.

Once I finish the heel.

And do the other sock to the same point so I don't get mixed up later and do the second one differently by mistake.

You would think I was engineering a bridge or a building with how much brain power this has been taking up lately.  I love these type of problems!
And, if I just break down the parts into sections, I find it easier to know what is the next step I have to figure out.  So far, it is going good!

Anyway, I have been thinking about painting again, just for the immediacy it offers in terms of results, as in pictures out of your brain and out into reality!

Something to put on the front burner for 2017.

In the meantime, today is a crazy, blustery, stormy day, a lovely, stay inside and continue to be delighted by this delicious yarn, lazy Sunday!

Life is good!


This, just in...

And then there is the magic of awesome, from Fairy Little!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Repairing an Antique Quilt. Photo Story.

This is bound to be a pretty nerdy post.  But if you are interested in this type of repair, there is lots to see.

This seems to be roughly made in the 1920's, a one-patch hexagon quilt.  There are a lot of older than that fabrics in it, like late 1800's, possibly earlier, but who among us doesn't often have their mom's or grandmother's scraps in their stash?!

It was very lightly soiled, which I was not tasked to correct.  My job was simply to repair the several ripped or shattered patches.

To begin, I marked the damaged patches with the yellow scraps to identify them all.
Then, I made a cardboard template the finished size and traced around with each fabric and adding seam allowances as I cut out.

When making the template, I considered the maker when deciding on a size.  Of course measuring each one, a bit different, hmmmm.  But if you think about it, whomever it was that made this did not use a slide rule or a micrometer to draft it.  Guaranteed.  Each patch was like some weird number across, like 2 5/8 or 2 7/8, because of course, she probably cut her template out of cardboard and just kept it in her scrap basket. Maybe she traced it out of a magazine.  The edges wore down over time and time tracing around it. Also the quilting and the washing has drawn it in some.  But I felt it would be an easy number. So I rounded up to 3" to allow the patch to draw up with the quilting.

It is good to keep on hand a selection of these types of fabrics, collected from here and there for just this type of occasion! If not an exact match, I tried to imitate the shade and style of the original as much as possible.

Once all the patches were cut and placed, I appliqued each one on, matching the points, and then quilted to match the original style of hand quilting.
A light (very light!) steam and pressing with the iron after that was just the thing to get the new patches to exactly blend in texture-wise.

I did keep the yellow markers on there as I went and until I returned the quilt to the customer.  

Because even I had trouble finding them all.

A good sign of success!

I hope this was helpful to you!

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Trouble with Traveling Circs...

It's just a ball of yarn and one sock, in progress with 2  24" circulars.  How can that get into sooooo much trouble?!

I place everything carefully into my purse, one whole side of which I reserve for this use, like a built-in project bag, so I can pick it up during kid's hockey practice or whatever.  Like ya do...

What on earth is going on in there, I do not understand but it is mayhem!  You have all the needles neatly in your hand, place them in the bag but somehow, they just go crazy!  I was constantly getting stabbed, having a tangled mess, or not noticing one needle got loose and woe to anyone who was behind me in line at the grocery store!  

So, I came up with this solution

A small sleeve, easy to make, works perfectly!

If you drop it, it still stays on...

And sanity is restored!

I have made a bunch of them and find that the same sleeve works for any size needles or cable...
Here is the same type thing on my Denise needles with the big fat cable:

It is such a pleasure to now reach into my project bag and find more friendly, squishy, tidy, goodness!  No more stabs or tangles!

Here's how to make one:

Main fabric:  2.5"  x  15"  (cut 1)
Lining fabric:  2.5"  x  8"  (cut 2)
Fusible interfacing:  2.25"  x  7.5"  (cut 2)
Small loop:  1.25"  x  4.5"  (cut 1)
Velcro:  .75"  x  scant 2.25"

Regarding the Velcro, or whatever hook and loop tape you have at hand, it should be the fluffy kind for this project, not the really flat type, which is now available for jackets and such.  The fluffy one is more effective for surrounding and grabbing the cables inside the case.  Also, not the adhesive kind, can't sew through it without gumming up your sewing machine needle!

center and press fusible interfacing pieces to wrong side of each lining piece according to the directions for your interfacing.  And while you're at the ironing board, press one end of each of the pieces up .25". That will make it easier for a later step which is the bottom hem for the lining.

Make your loop:

Stitch down both sides.
Press in half lengthwise.

Press edges into center.

Next, sew the Velcro pieces onto the right side of each of the lining pieces, centered and .75" away from the not pressed hem end. I like to use washable glue stick to baste the Velcro on, instead of pins.  Just a dab keeps it from wiggling around while you sew it.
You want all the edges of the Velcro firmly attached.  I use a zigzag stitch, right over all the edges.
And just tack the loop on to one end of the main fabric piece, within the .25" seam allowance, like an eighth of an inch or so.

Flip those lining pieces up over onto the main fabric, right sides together and sew both the ends with a .25" seam allowance

Press those seam allowances open.

Now, it should look like this!

 For this next part, it will be a bit easier if you just cover one side of the Velcro with some masking tape! I just discovered this trick today!  Make sure to keep it out of the .25" seam allowances though!  You don't want to sew through it.  Just cover the Velcro only.

Next, fold the right sides together, matching the seams and the lower folded end.

Like this:
Yikes!  This one is kind of blurry, sorry!
But at least you can see where you are meant to pin!

Sew both long edges with a .25" seam allowance.  Go slow over those matched center seams so they don't get shoved wonky.  Trim corners.

Ready to turn!  I find a hemostat works super great for this task!  

Reach it in, pinch the other end and pull it on out! 

Push out the corners, tidy it up, and give the main fabric a little press at the ironing board.

Then you can sew it shut at the lower end opening.

Now, again, the hemostat comes in handy to pinch the end and push the lining into the sleeve. You can also use a stick to do it just as easily. 

That tape is still doing a great job! The main thrill of the tape is that while you are getting this lining in, the Velcros are not grabbing each other and being annoying!

Once you have the lining all the way in,  remove the tape.  You could be done now, but I think it looks a bit nice to have the topstitching around the top edge.  You don't really have to do this step, and it is a bit fiddly, but here is how it is done, in case you would like to try it!

 Ta-Da!  Ready to go!

The Velcro holds the cables securely.  And the loop is handy, not only to hang the case and to hook your clippy stitch markers to, but also functions as a tab to more easily open the top when inserting the needles.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun making lots of these handy needle cases for yourself and your friends!

You can make some to match your favorite project bags, omg it is so cute!

A quilted one is really nice also, by using light batting, 2.25" wide x 14.5" and quilting it to the main fabric, you can then omit the interfacing.

So, there you have it!

Please, if you have any questions, let me know!  Of course I am happy to clarify any step you haven't understood.

Please also, if you would like to share this, be sure to credit me with the invention by linking to this tutorial, and ask my permission before selling completed items.  This is a free pattern and not for resale.

Copyright 2016, Sarah K. Martin

Let's Knit!