Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Stocking Upgrade

I wonder if my crafting buddies are feeling like me this week; having had an awesome Christmas yet looking forward to once again being in back in my own little world  studio.

For me, here in The Underground, the best part of Christmas was having my daughter-in-law and granddaughters with me, and yes, we did have a bit of time in the studio. My oldest granddaughter, now 18 years of age, has out grown her baby stocking (Santa just can't get all her wishes into a small felt stocking).

Not wanting to part with it, we decided to make a larger one and attach the juvenile stocking to the front. So, out comes Miss Wilma and away we go, quilting the fabric.

Alison carefully marks the quilting lines.

Sister, Camille, helps with the quilting.

Now she has not just a stocking, but two stockings in one. Somehow I have a feeling that will not be enough!

The girls have returned to their home in Florida, leaving Handy Randy and I a bit lonely. No worries, in no time we will be consumed with projects to feel that "empty" place.

Wishing all of you a healthy and happy year full of crafting in 2017!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Will I ever get it right?

Why is it when I come up with a really cool design, I botch the construction; when I do a really good job with the construction, the design is underwhelming?

I am giving a gardening gift and thought it would be oh so cool to present it in a nice vegetable theme market bag. I just happened to have the perfect fabric.

This was to be a really nice, lined market tote with a pocket. It was a new pattern (actually it wasn’t a pattern just an inspiration in Somerset Studio Haute Handbags magazine,) so I carefully cut the pieces and took my time stitching. Everything was fine until I got to the pocket; well let’s just say that didn’t go so well.

Time was kind of short as this gift needed to be mailed so I defaulted to a previous bag project from Linda Matthews Creative Bag to make a simple bag. The fabric I intended for the lining became the fabric of the bag. I used French seams and only had to rip one out due to sewing right sides together instead of wrong sides together, (if you have done French seams, you know what I mean.)

It turned out fine except when I switched thread from Coats and Clark to Sew-ology; the stitches were not as pretty. Is this a universal problem or could it be my machine doesn’t like the Sew-ology thread? Not perfect but then it is handmade.

Now that you have listened read my woes, I will leave you with a little tip; seam guides. I ordered this vintage Singer Seam Cloth Guide for Miss Wilma from The Featherweight Shop; it is invaluable, especially for top stitching.

The Sew-ology magnetic guide from Hobby Lobby works just fine on the Brother Machine.

Will I ever be satisfied with the design and construction? I will work on it, but for now it is all about Christmas in The Underground. The granddaughters are coming and I must be ready!

Second thought; after sleeping on it, I took another look at the bags. I really do like the original design; questioning if the stitching on the pocket will really be that noticeable. I think the gardener recipient may get the one intended for her.   

Monday, December 5, 2016

Meet Miss Wilma

Miss Wilma was gifted to me by HR’s first cousin once removed (at least I think that’s the relationship as she was HR’s father’s first cousin.) She once belonged to HR’s grandmother. The family lived in central Kansas and was very active in the Lutheran Church. Miss Wilma was frequently carried to the church for quilting bees. Okay, when Miss Wilma participated in the quilting bees, she didn’t have a name.

Actually this little girl was just a portable sewing machine back in the day. Not so these days; she is part of an elite group born manufactured between 1933 and 1968. Sturdy and reliable, these little beauties continues to be sought out by quilters and collectors. When Cousin Wilma offered this one to me, I didn’t realize what a treasure I was getting. (Yep, she is Cousin Wilma’s namesake.) I don’t think Cousin knew either. She knew I liked to craft and was traveling around in an RV, and thought it perfect sense that I would need a small sewing machine (and she was right!) Miss Wilma has become a very good friend and traveling companion, traveling coast to coast in The Wanderer and is very much at home and useful when we are hanging out with family in Texas and Florida.

I have learned so much about this little machine on The Singer Featherweight Shop website (where I can get parts and attachments) and Singer Featherweight 221 and 222K Facebook page, (with about 12,000 friends!) One of the things I learned is Featherweight owners quite often name their girls. When Cousin Wilma passed away a few weeks ago, I thought it only fitting that my little sweetheart should be named Wilma.

When gifting the Featherweight to me, Cousin Wilma had one stipulation; I was to never sell her. So, I am encouraging my granddaughters to become acquainted in hopes one of them will adopt her when I am no longer able to play with use her.

HR loves doing her checkups.
They are both 1953 vintages.

Carman over at The Singer Featherweight Shop has a free and very informative tutorial on maintenance of the Featherweights.

Miss Wilma is now back in The Underground, tuned up for Christmas crafting.