Saturday, January 18, 2014

I think it's finished :-)

Today I sewed the label/pocket to the back of the vintage quilt I've been working on from time to time since last spring. I made the label in the form of a pocket so that I could insert a brief synopsis of what I know of the quilt's history and the repairs I effected, and a couple pictures of the process.

As often happens, when a large project is finished, I feel a mixture of joy and sadness. It was a good project and I learned a lot. I met some nice people along the way

Friday, January 10, 2014

Asian Influence

I was furniture shopping with a friend today and spotted a bunk bed that made me laugh. Here's a photo:
Anyone interested in Japanese antiques has probably come across this type of steep narrow staircase with drawers built into the steps.  They look impossibly small for one with rather larger feet and taller stature, but such staircases were common in older Japanese houses. Here a replica provides the steps to get to the top bunk for American children. I just think it's interesting. (The sheet of Plexiglas is fixed in place temporarily to keep customers' children from climbing up.)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snow Birds Arriving Daily

Many folks around the world have heard about the weather here in the US over the past week. Here in Central Florida we have, as usual, avoided most of the unpleasantness and have just put on an extra sweater and an extra blanket. Today is warmer, cloudy with intermittent rain showers.

I took the opportunity between downpours to walk to the mailbox. Just outside my door, however, I was met with the sight of the latest arrivals from the frigid north.
 Nothing like a soak in the hot tub after a long flight. For my British friends, these are American Robins, which are quite different from your Robin Redbreast.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Back to basics, and a hint on sewing knits

In my effort to work on my goals for the year, I entered my sewing room this morning, wondering what I should put my hand to.  On top of the "pile" were some mending/slight alteration projects that had been multiplying slowly as these things tend to do.  There is some colder weather predicted in the next week or so and there were several cold weather tops that needed their sleeves shortened.  There was also a new skirt I had gotten on a too-good-to-pass-up-sale, even though a size too big. All it really needed was to have stronger, shorter elastic inserted in the waist. So, now I have two over-
shirt/sweatshirts and a purple knit skirt ready to wear. Sometimes you can get as much satisfaction in taking care of these kinds of projects as you can from something entirely new.

I'd like to pass on one tip to those who would like to sew with knits and especially have difficulty with machine hemming.  I am fortunate to have a sewing machine that has special settings for different types and weights of fabrics. But, even with out this advantage there is one thing many sewists can do to make the process go better.  If your machine will allow it, decrease the pressure on the presser foot. Check your manual or the shop where you purchased your machine if you don't know what I'm talking about. There are also numerous explanations and videos if you type "presser foot pressure" in to your search engine.

This adjustment reduces the machine's tendency to push the top layer of fabric ahead of the bottom layer and causing your hem to skew out of shape. You can see that I used the same stitch on all three projects. It's a triple stitch zig zag -(three stiches up the zig and three more down the zag.) It provides stretch and coverage. There are many other ideas about sewing with knit fabric, but I am always impressed how much this adjustment helps, without adding adhesives or changing feet or needles. I hope you can incorporate it into your bank of sewing knowledge. Maybe you won't have to say, defensively, "I don't hem knits!"