These are troubled times and we are all staying home to stay safe. We sewers have a nice advantage in that we can sew, embroider or quilt to keep us busy. Maybe this is the time we can get out those UFO’s and finish them up. Or, maybe you have had a project in mind that you wanted to do but just couldn’t get to it. Well, now is the time to be creative.
I don’t know about you, but I have at least 3 projects that I have started and hopefully I will get them finished or at least on the way. While other people are looking for things to keep them occupied, sewers never have enough time to do what they love to do.
Whatever you decide to do, be grateful that we can spend time doing what we love. I have a couple of UFO’s that are not sewing, namely blogs that I have started and need to finish. Maybe this is the time for me to get those done.
Whatever you do, please stay safe. Life is precious and this too shall pass.
I hope you enjoy my blogs and you pass my link on to your sewing friends. I try to make them informative and help you to enjoy what you are creating. If you haven’t already, please sign up to follow my blog as Google likes us bloggers to have followers. You will get an email each time I publish a new blog. Also, please check out my past blogs. They cover things like, stabilizer, threads, needles, etc. Use it as a reference source. Also, if something new or different has come on the market, I will revise that particular blog, so you are always up to date.
Here are some ideas for you to make quick holiday, hostess gifts, birthday gifts or cherished Christmas gifts for family and friends to use every year.
I said I would start adding You Tube videos that I thought my subscribers would like. Here’s the first one and it comes from our friends at http://www.emblibrary.com …I love these cute and fun napkins that can be made with cotton or washable linen fabric, and you can make them for any occasion. If you are an embroiderer, put a cute embroidery design that fits whatever holiday you choose, or a fun any occasion design that you can use year round. Not an embroiderer? How about an applique’ design. They call them Christmas Tree napkins, because of the fold, but with a non holiday fabric or embroidery design, they would just look charming on your table. Let’s face it, nothing says elegance like a cloth napkin.
How about a simple monogram on napkins you purchase at stores like Tuesday Morning? They are elegant and can be used year round.
Kitchen dish towels machine embroidered with a pretty design, make a great useful gift. Make them fancy by putting on a bottom trim of fabric, rick rack or ribbon. Pot holders are always another useful gift. Why not make them to match your kitchen towel, and you have a lovely Holiday, house warming or party gift. Better than a bottle of wine. Better yet, wrap the towel around the wine and tie with a pretty bow. Sounds good to me.
Place mats are always fun sewing project. Four can be made with a yard of top fabric and a yard of complimentary back fabric. Sandwich them with Annie’s Soft n Stable, add a decorative binding, and you have a one of a kind gift. Are you a quilter? Make a patchwork top and you have something really special. Before putting the binding on, quilt it with cross hatching (or in the ditch) and you have a very professional looking gift. Again make matching pot holders to finish it off.
Have a golfer in your family or circle of friends? How about a golf towel with a cute embroidered design on it and maybe even a name or monogram. You can purchase quality golf towels from All About Blanks or Discount Embroidery Blanks. They have beautiful velour tops with terry back for wiping hands or golf clubs. Towels also come ready with grommet and hook to attach to golf bag and they have a wonderful variety of colors.
Don’t forget bath room towel sets. Fingertip towels with a pretty machine embroidered design or monogram are great for a powder room. Bath towel sets with an elegant monogram is always a nice Christmas present house warming or wedding shower gift.
Don’t forget to machine embroider T-Shirts, Sweat shirts, and jackets to dress up your own clothes or for someone else. Kids love T-shirts embroidered by Grandma (or Grandpa) Be sure to put Sulky Tender Touch or Floriani Dream Weave on back of design to cover stitches so the threads inside the shirt don’t touch the skin.
These are just an idea of quick gifts that will be appreciated. If you only sew, then besides place mats, how about fabric bowls, rope bowls or wall hangings.
Ok. Now that I’ve inspired you, lets get sewing. I welcome comments or questions and would love to have you “follow” my blog, so please click the follow button, fill in your email, and you will receive a notice each time I publish a new blog. Don’t worry, no emails are ever sold.
PS. All kitchen towels, golf towels, and finger tip towels can be purchased at All About Blanks, or Discount Embroidery blanks. See Creative Links.
Until the next time….. happy sewing!
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With all the heat we have been seeing around the country, it may seem a little premature to be talking about plaid flannel or even cotton plaid. But, the weather will get cooler and those flannel PJ’s, quilts and throws will be looking pretty cozy soon. Even in the south there are times when flannel feels awfully good. Flannel backing on a cotton top quilt makes your quilt feel so nice and snugly when curled up on a couch with hot chocolate and a good book or movie. Flannel quilts give your home a country cottage feel and it doesn’t matter if your decor is modern, sleek or country. Flannel also makes nice rag quilts and you don’t need batting in between the top and backing unless you live in the frozen north of Greenland or even Northern Canada where temps average 20 or 30 below.
Flannel does need special handling and if you don’t know these things, a beautiful quilt, that you put a lot of work, heart, and soul into, can end up looking awful over time. The most important part of working with Flannel is the prep work. It’s vital to not only pre-wash, but also machine dry and starch, because Flannel shrinks significantly. Continue reading “The Do’s and Don’ts of Plaid”
It’s been a busy “Snowbird” season and I have been busy teaching. It’s slowing down now and I plan to get back to finishing several blogs I stared last summer and fall.
Because I teach machine embroidery, I get a lot of questions about where to get good embroidery designs. There are A LOT of great places to buy embroidery designs, but the links I have on the blog are people I have done business with. I know they are reputable and the quality of designs is excellent. Most, also give free designs each month. Like EmbLibrary.com. They give you 2 free designs in all formats and sizes every month. They also have an amazing website with lots of tutorials, idea books, and THOUSANDS of beautiful designs that stitch out well.
Something else neat, most companies have a place to look up past orders so that when the dreaded hard drive dies and you lose all the designs you downloaded, you can go back in and download all your orders again. It’s like having a back up to all your designs. Continue reading “Embroidery Designs Galore”
Woven cotton, quilter’s cotton, silk, dupione silk, damask, jacquard, chiffon, terry, batiste, corduroy, flannel, and on and on. It’s enough to drive a person crazy. Add these to all the stretch fabrics and you could get a headache trying to figure out what fabric to use where.
Today we are going to focus on 3 fabrics. Most people have no trouble telling the difference between cotton, silks or knits. The fabrics we get confused about is jacquard, brocade and damask – what is the difference? Continue reading “Cotton & Silk & Damask Oh My!”
We’ve talked about threads, needles, stabilizers, etc. but let’s get to the best part of sewing, …. fabric! We’re getting ready to start a new project and we look through our “fabric stash” but somehow we just don’t have all the right fabrics and colors we need for what we want to do. Sound familiar? So, we have to postpone starting the project until we can get to our local fabric stores. They have some of what we want, but not all. We go home with our new purchases and then go online to find the rest. Now we wait until the newly purchased online fabric arrives…… Meantime, we are itching to make something, so we go back to our stash and find something to temporarily satisfy our desire to create.
Solution! When you see a fabric you like, buy it! Don’t know how much to buy? Decide if the fabric is a “focus” fabric or a small print or marbled “blend-able”. If it’s a focus fabric like a large print that’s very distinct, buy at least 1 yard and if you can afford it buy 1 1/2 or 2 yards. Distinct fabrics are generally only produced one time. When the fabric is gone from your local quilt shop, you won’t get it again. If desperate, you might find it online at Equilter.com, Fabric.com, Connecting Threads, Missouri Star Quilt Company or Keepsake Quilting. (see creative links on right). They have the warehouse space to purchase a lot more bolts than your local quilt shops can. Continue reading “Never Enough Fabric!”
The weather is getting cooler, and those flannel PJ’s, quilts and throws are looking pretty cozy about now. Even in the south there are times when flannel feels awfully good. Flannel backing on a cotton top quilt makes your quilt feel so nice and snugly when curled up on a couch with hot chocolate and a good book.
Flannel needs special handling and if you don’t know these things, a beautiful quilt, that you put a lot of work, heart, and soul into, can end up looking awful over time. The most important part of working with Flannel is the prep work. It’s vital to not only pre-wash, but also machine dry and starch, because Flannel shrinks significantly. Continue reading “Flannel Plaid is “Rad””