Saturday, October 29, 2011

Organizing My Work Space: Order Baskets

Here's a tip for those that have a sewing business (or just a bunch of WIP's~ works in progress's).

I have finally found a way to organize that works for me. I have these canvas baskets that I bought from Walmart awhile ago. They used to hold all my scrap fabrics but I've done a serious destashing lately (use, toss, or donate). Things have greatly pared down leaving me with empty baskets.

I decided they'd be the perfect way to organize my current orders or projects. I put everything I need inside the basket and on the outside I pin a piece of paper that has all the information I need (what it is, date started, to-do's, etc).

Doing this has really sped up my process and allowing me to accomplish even more!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fabric Giveaway- Winner!

Drum roll please!

And the lucky winner is.....

Congrats Melissa!
She wrote:
'Great fabric - I especially love the cupcakes!'

I'll be contacting you soon!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Hiccup

We've had a bit of a hiccup in our schedule this week. Well, maybe a stomach bug isn't so much a hiccup as a monkey wrench. Of course, I just had to get it too! And all you mothers out there know that when mama gets sick the whole house practically stops working. I'm better now… thank goodness!

I've had several posts I wanted to write in the past couple days but I just didn't have the energy. So today I'll just do a little bit of randomness and then get back on track with things tomorrow!

I'm still doing well with keeping my TV viewing time to about 2 hours a day (including while being sick and sitting in bed). Now that I feel better I'll probably be too busy to even watch that much. Jameson, however, has not been doing well. I've let him watch way more then 2 hours a day especially while I was sick. I'm trying to cut him back down again. Ian hasn't gotten sick (hope it stays that way!) & he's been too busy with school and other things to be watching TV.

Sewing Machine
I got a 'new-to-me' sewing machine awhile ago. It's a Husqvarna Viking. This belonged to my step-mother-in-law (SMIL) and my father-in-law (FIL) finally decided to let it go (to me). If you know my FIL, he hoards. Last year he cleaned out SMIL's fabric stash. Well, he basically just brought it all to me to deal with and I'm glad because much of it was still good to use but the place it was stored in would have deteriorated it within 6 months. Anyways, this machine is supposed to be a work horse and I'm glad he knew right where to find it. It also has a deep and thin throat which is ideal when sewing those little armholes. But I got this machine specifically to sew my jean diaper covers on. Lets hope it works… I still haven't had time to turn it on! And let's see this machine makes machine #8… I collect sewing machines apparently. ;D

I've been busy piecing and appliquéing a new quilt. I'll just show you a sneak peak of the main block design. I've used all scraps from my past sewing projects which I can recognize and remember most of.

Ahhhh Hexi's!
My sister is starting a hexigon tutorial on her blog… hop on over and check it out! I'll be joining in. :)

Don't forget I still have a giveaway going on… hop on over to that post and add yourself to the comments. The giveaway closes tomorrow sometime (probably during nap time).

And lastly, let's hope for NO MORE monkey wrenches!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway! Christmas Fabric Scraps

*This giveaway is closed! Thank you to everyone who entered!!*

Attention all quilters (or anyone who just loves fabric)! I'm having my first giveaway!

I recently finished sewing up all the Christmas aprons for my shop and I have a ton of scraps laying around. I couldn't bring myself to toss this yummy fabric and I have no time to sew it up into a quilt or anything else! There is a bunch of different Christmas fabrics plus several solids.

So what do you need to do to win? Just leave a comment on this post. One entry per person and make sure you leave your email address or some way for me to contact you. Easy Peasy!

The drawing will be held this Friday, October 28, 2011, sometime during the day (probably nap time). I will edit this post when it's closed so you all know.

Good Luck!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The TV Free Me

It's recently come to my attention that I'm watching entirely too much TV. It's on practically 24/7. Well, I was getting a little fed up with it so I decided to challenge myself (and my 2 kids) to cut down to 2 hours of TV a day. Depending on your perspective that can either seem like a lot or seem like you've just had the rug pulled out from under you! Well, we are in the later category in my house. My husband is not on board with this new challenge and that's OK, as long as he keeps his TV watching to when it doesn't interrupt our 2 hour minimum. So far so good. :)

So how do I keep track of how much TV we're watching? Well, I wrote it up on our dry-erase board. (But I'm thinking I'll make a simple word doc design, cover it in clear contact paper, and use velcro on the tokens). We each get 4- 30 minute tokens a day. I also made up a few simple rules to go with it. We only get 2 hours a day, once that's gone then it's gone for good, and you can lose TV viewing time with bad behavior but not earn it back. Easy Peasy.

One thing that is tough for Ian (almost 9) is the boredom syndrome. To combat that I made up an 'Idea Jar'. There are all kinds of ideas in the jar, from chores to games to craft and sewing ideas. I wrote some simple rules out for this too. We are headed into the winter and times will be hard to get outside so the first rule is to pick an idea that's weather appropriate (inside and outside have been written them). He is also not allowed to pick and idea, not like it & put it back, once the idea is picked he must go do it, and with out complaining. Lastly, he's to have fun!

So how are we doing so far? We started mid-week last week.

Jameson is doing pretty good. He is still asking to watch TV pretty regularly although he's not throwing a fit when he's told no. He's learning to use his imagination and reading a lot. He just turned 2 on Oct 1st, by the way. :)

Ian is also doing pretty good. He was sick and stayed home the 2nd day of our new TV rules and did really well. He pulled several ideas from the Idea Jar and spent a good amount of time with his nose stuck in a new book. He is almost 9, by the way. :)

I am doing excellently! I've gotten my TV viewing time down to about 30 minutes a day. My days are just too full to watch TV now. I've been reading and journaling more. I've been piecing a new quilt together, working on custom orders, and taking care of my business in general, and even took the TV out of my sewing room. I've also canned quite a bit of food recently and have been spending more time in the kitchen actually taking my time to cook a meal. I've done a million things here and there! I'm so glad I took this plunge!

Scrappy Fan Quilt
Home Canned Goods
TV removed from my sewing room!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pattern Drafting 101: Sewing Machine Needle Primer

Choosing the right kind of sewing machine needle for your sewing projects can seem a little daunting. But it doesn't have to be! All you basically need to do is match the type of needle to the type of fabric you are using.

Sew Mama Sew had the most comprehensive information out there and it should answer all your sewing machine needle questions.

Sharp points (regular) are for use with woven fabrics (including cotton and linen etc) because they cause a minimum amount of puckering and produce an even stitch without damaging the fabric. These are not recommended for use with knits as they can cause skipped stitches. Sharp points are more slender through the shaft and should be used when edge stitching on woven fabrics, sewing on finely woven fabrics or heirloom stitching on very fine fabrics. They are also a good choice when sewing with synthetic suede. These needles come in varying sizes from the finest size 9 to the heaviest size 18.
Universal Point needles have a slightly rounded point that is similar to the ball point needle and is used for general, every day sewing of most woven or knit fabrics. The needle is tapered so that it slips through the fabric weave of the knit easily whilst still retaining enough sharpness to pierce the cloth. It is usually Universal needles that come with your sewing machine. They come in many different sizes with the 14/90 and the 11/75 being the most popular.
Ball Point needles are specifically designed to be used with knit and stretch fabrics. They have a rounded point rather than a sharp one (the larger the size of the needle, the more rounded the needle point) and they push between the fabric yarns rather than piercing them the way the Sharp Points do. The needles should be used when sewing with interlock knits, coarse knits and other fabrics that will run if snagged. The needles come in varying sizes from 9 to 16. The larger the size of the needle, the more rounded the needle point is.
Embroidery needles have a larger needle eye to accommodate the thicker embroidery threads. They are also designed to protect the decorative threads from breaking.
Quilting needles (called Betweens) have a tapered point that allows you to stitch through several layers of fabric (usually the quilt sandwich) and across intersecting seams. They have a tapered point to prevent damaging the often heirloom quality fabrics used in quilting. They are generally smaller and stronger than normal needles with a small eye. They come in sizes 9,10,11,and 12.
Topstitching needles are for use with heavier topstitching thread and as such have an extra large eye and a deeper groove. They can also be used with a double thread for a more pronounced stitch. Using the correct top stitching needle can make a real difference to the finished look of your project.
Wedge Point needles are used less often as they are designed for use with leather and vinyl. They easily pierce the fabrics and create a hole that will close back up on itself. The wedge shape makes it a superior needle for piercing tough, unyielding fabrics such as leather or suede. These needles come in varying sizes from 11 to 18. The smaller sizes are suitable for softer, more pliable leather, whilst the larger sizes are designed for heavy leathers, or multiple layers.

Understanding the type of needle is extremely important to achieve a high quality finished project, but so is knowing which size needle to use.
The general rule is that the needle size is judged by the type of fabric being sewn, although there are always exceptions:
Delicate Fabrics: When sewing with fabrics such as silk, chiffon, voile, fine lace or organza a fine “size 9″ needle would usually be the best choice.
Lightweight Fabrics: When using lighter weight fabrics such as synthetic sheers, batiste, taffeta or velvet would a “size 11″ needle would be the normal choice.
Medium Weight Fabrics: When sewing with slightly heavier weight fabrics such as gingham, poplin, linen, muslin, chambray, wool crepe, flannel, knits, jersey, wool, wool suiting, or stretch fabrics a “size 14″ needle is generally best.
Medium-Heavy Fabrics: Sewing with fabrics such as gabardine, heavy suiting or tweed would require a “size 16″ needle.
Heavy Fabrics: When using heavy weight fabrics such as denim, ticking, upholstery or canvas a “size 18″ needle is the most suitable.

The final and perhaps the most important piece of information that needs to be taken in to account when sewing, is that you should always replace a dull or damaged needle straight away. Damaged needles can be responsible for skipped stitches and tearing fabric as well as also causing damage to your actual sewing machine if they nick the bobbin case. And of course you don’t just change your needle if it gets damaged or if you change fabrics, you should also change them every time you start a new project to ensure that you are always sewing with the sharpest needle possible.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Christmas Aprons

This morning I sewed the last stitch on my newest Christmas Aprons! I took pictures, mind you with plenty of help from my just-turned-2-year-old helper, and got them listed just before lunch!

I've already sold the Christmas Cupcake mother/daughter matching apron sets but the other set is still available. I also have a couple other sets and individual aprons already listed in my shop in the Christmas section.

Have you started Christmas shopping yet? All I've done so far is go thru a toy catalog and circle fun looking things for the boys. I guess that's better then nothing!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eco-Friendly Gift Bags

This year I've been busy preparing my shop for Christmas early. I've added a new line of eco-friendly Christmas tote and drawstring gift bags. You can reuse these year after year and can be given as part of a gift too. The drawstring bags are my favorite and I need to make myself some!

You can see these and all the Christmas items I have listed in this section of my shop.

Total Pageviews