Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I love Down Under Quilts magazine

I was lucky enough to win the latest Down Under Quilts from a give away on Samelia's Mum Blog.
Thanks very much Anorina. I love the magazine and I love your quilt pattern Citrus Burst.




Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Busy Sewing


I know this week should be a Welcome to the North Pole update but it seems everyone has gone a bit quiet on that front, including me. I plan to do the next update in November. At least I will have my quilt out of storage and will have a chance to do some on it before then.

My time is now taken up with designing and making doll clothes. It is such fun. Not so much fun writing the instructions but I only have to do that if I want to publish them. The pattern business seems to be working out quite well so far. I have only had the blouse and the pinafore up for two months and I have made a dollar a day from sales. Whether it keeps going will be the test.

I published Snugfit Witch the other day. You can see all the pictures on my doll blog here.

Next I am working on Snugfit Carol, a cute dress with a couple of different sleeves and divided collars.
I have all the garments from my Knitfit Classic Skivvy design and that is going to be a free pattern. Before I publish either of them I am going to ask some of my PDF pattern friends to give me some feed back on Snugfit Carol. I don't want to publish the free Classic Skivvy as a showcase of what I can do before I get some feed back on what my layout and instructions are like.

This is pink Carol with the detachable collar -I am also working on a collection of detachable collars.



The collar will have a hook and eye but I can't find any in my sewing room just yet.

I also want to make a collection of vintage aprons. The tulip apron is my first.


Here is the pile of tops I made from the Classic Skivvy pattern.


Actually on the sewing table is red Carol. I made the ruffles with my gathering foot. I am getting quite good at getting it just right now. I also changed the thread on my overlocker so I could do white rolled hems on the ruffles. The cream thread had been on so long it had nearly run out. I am not a fan of changing the overlocker threads. Even though I just tie a knot and pull the new one through it seems such a nuisance.


I am going to make a Christmas fabric pinafore that will be just long enough for the red ruffle to peek out of.

I am trying to keep my latest projects wrinkle free so they are being hung up wherever I can fit them. Some are on the back of folders. Others are on my cabinet handles. I made the little coat hangers with pipe cleaners.


Other than sewing I have been reading a lot and walking on the beach and riding my bike. I love what I find on the beach. I was excited to see a hermit crab in this gorgeous shell last week.
I took the photo on my phone and it enhanced it a bit. It is a bit hard to see his little legs.


I am enjoying a book by Daniel Silva. He has written a series of books about a reluctant spy called Gabriel Allon. They are interesting thrillers.

And finally a picture of my new sewing room. It has tiles and a door and architraves now.



I hope everyone is well.
Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ruffle Roulette


I have spent a few hours trying to get the better of the ruffler foot. I have decided that the variables - tension, stitch length, fabric type and the way I hold my mouth -  make ruffling with the ruffle foot a bit random.

This is what the foot looks like:
You put the fabric to be ruffled under the foot as usual then slide the piece you want to attach it to in the slot.

Here is what I have discovered.

  1. The type of fabric makes a huge difference. Just changing from printed quilting cotton to homespun makes a difference.
  2. I have narrowed down the possibilities so I only have to do one test run to check if it works.
  3. The most you can gather reduces the length by nearly half. So you need at least twice as much length for any project to be sure the ruffled bit will fit on the unruffled bit. Not sure about chiffon. It may ruffle more.
  4. You have to guide the fabric with both hands to sew two pieces together. A very light touch with the left hand around the top strip and the right hand around the bottom strip. They tend to move left and right just a fraction otherwise.
  5. I also learnt that dolly ruffle skirts need only a little bit of ruffle in each tier or they just stick out funny. I sewed with tension 7 and stitch length 2 (my tension guide goes to 9)
  6. You can't fold the fabric and ruffle the raw edges. You need to do a rolled hem on one edge and ruffle the other.

I tried lots of different combinations and several types of fabric and wrote it all down like a science experiment.



My conclusion is that for my machine I will be using the following settings for most light to medium weight fabrics.
To sew a flat piece on while ruffling the bottom piece I will use tension 6 or 7 and stitch length 2.
For just ruffling I will use tension 6 and stitch length 3 or tension 5 or 6 and stitch length 4

I watched several tutorials on how to use the ruffler foot. They said attach it "like this" and "just sew and you get lovely ruffles". There wasn't much about what you could really do with it and how. I hope my little experiment inspires you to get your ruffler foot out and give it a go. I will definitely be using it more. It is so much easier than pulling up the threads and it tends to just sit there without unravelling like the pulled up thread does. There is no need to tie off the ends.

I will be making ruffles on doll skirts and little ruffle strips overlocked on each side and ruffled down the centre to sew on like lace. I may even make a cushion or pillow cover with ruffles one day.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sewing and Other Things

It is so exciting to see the house coming together. The kitchen went in the other day and the tiler is doing the floors this week too. I am really happy with the open plan.



The yard just up the road has some nice grass.


The Bushfire Brigade have been burning off along the edge of the national park. The smoke the last few days has been pretty bad. I think they probably timed the burn so the fire was blown towards the road and the town rather than into the park. There is already a wide ditch between the bush and the road so a controlled burn blowing that way is not a problem for the firies but a nuisance for us.


I found some pretty grosgrain ribbon at the cheap shop while I was in Brisbane. It is perfect for doll tote bag handles so I have been making a bunch of cute tote bags.


I called this bag the Resort.


Dolly hasn't changed her clothes for a while. She is waiting for the witch costume. She had to stand on a moving box for the photo shoot and I had to level her up with a snack pack of rope. It is hard to find places with good light.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val
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