Joining

Daily Prompt:  Partake

I recently thought about a long-lasting outcome of a decision I made when I was a teen that still impacts my life today.

I was never much of a joiner when I was younger.  I never liked being told that I had to do something by someone else.  I was a chubby little girl so my mother sent me to dance classes hoping it would get me more active.  Needless to say, it failed miserably.  I was uncoordinated, I hated the repetition of the dance steps.  I hated wearing a leotard.  So I quit.

The next thing my mother put me in was Girl Scouts.  We met around the corner from our house in a church basement.  At first, I thought it was fun.  But it wasn’t long before I realized that it took a lot of dedication to earn the coveted badges for my sash.  I earned a few, but then I lost interest.  It wasn’t long before I gave that up too.  Maybe I lost my taste for girl scouts because my little brother had to come with me because my parents were at work.  You know how little brothers can be.

So I went along with my life of playing with barbies, going to school, and just being with my friends.  I ice skated in the winter, roller skated, rode my bike, and spent many hours in the pool swimming.  No matter what I did, I never joined any other clubs or groups.

As a teen, I finally decided to partake in a drum corps.  A friend from school talked me into joining.  It was the first time that I ever joined a group where I felt welcomed and at home.  I made many long-lasting friendships during my years there one of whom, Pat is my son’s godmother.

So when I moved here to North Carolina, I joined a quilt guild.  It has been the best thing I have ever done.  I never would have joined had I not given the drum corps a try.  It’s amazing how a decision in my teens made such an impact on my life now.  We are always told growing up that what we do as teens can impact the rest of our lives; usually when we have gotten into trouble of some sort.  I am happy that my decision impacted my life positively.

Wanda

 

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Bubbles At the Beach

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Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge April, 22, 2018

Here is my photo for this week.

bubblesonthebeach

Wanda

“Photos are our autobiography, a way of telling who we are.”  Jan Phillips

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S is for Scissors, Seam, Seam Allowance, Seam Ripper, Seamstress, Selvage, Serger, Sewing Machine, Smocking, Snaps, Spool & Stash

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Do you have any idea how many different types of scissors there are for sewing and quilting?  It is outrageous.  I hate to admit that I own over 100 pairs of scissors. For years my kids and husband would use my good scissors for just about anything they wanted to cut.  So my good sewing scissors were destroyed.

I now have several scissors that are for kitchen cutting, paper cutting, and fabric cutting.  Finally, they have gotten the message never, never use my fabric scissors.  Of course, they are adults now so I must admit they were slow learners.  🙂

There are scissors used for dressmaking.  They are usually long-bladed scissors with a very sharp edge.  There are scissors used for appliquê which have a flat curved edge on one of the blades.  There are scissors used for hand embroidery which are small sharply pointed scissors.  Scissors for machine embroidery have a bend between the handle and blades so that you can cut close to the fabric.  These scissors can also be used when using a long arm quilting machine.

There are big scissors, little scissors, folding scissors, stork scissors, snips, which have a small pointed triangle like cutter that is used to cut threads when sewing.  The variety is unbelievable.

A Seam is where the fabric is joined.  The Seam Allowance is the amount of fabric that is included in the seam.  Usually when quilting the seam allowance is 1/4 inch whereas in clothing construction it is 5/8 inch.  If proper seam allowance is not used, the seam will not hold.

Seam Rippers are one of the best inventions ever made.  They are used to unsew.  Everyone who sews has more than a few of them. seamrippers They come in all sizes and colors.  Here are a few examples.

The end of the ripper has a blunt end opposite the sharp longer edge to keep the fabric from being ripped as you cut through the stitches in the seam.

A seamstress is a woman that sews and usually makes her living sewing.   Image result for seamstress

The Selvage is an edge produced on woven fabric during manufacture that prevents it from unraveling.  This edge is on both sides of the fabric.  This edge is not used when sewing.  “The selvage, because it’s densely woven, is sturdier than the rest of the fabric, so it can be more difficult to sew through. And, the selvage can shrink during washing and drying leaving you with puckered and distorted seams.”  All People Quilt

               

The pictures above show the selvage ends on the fabric.  On the left, the manufacturer has indicated other colors that will go with this fabric.  On the right, you can see the who the manufacturer is, the name of the line of fabric name and number.

Image result for selvage quilted bag

Many quilters have begun to use the selvages for small projects.  Look at how cute this little bag is.  Who would have thought that what we have thrown away for years is now a fashion statement?   Leave it to quilters to find a way to use every bit of fabric.  🙂

A Serger is a specific type of sewing machine that is used for cutting and overcasting the edges of the fabric to prevent fraying.  It is often used to finish seams in the construction of clothing.  Image result for serger definitionA serger differs from the Sewing Machine in that it can only perform overlocking stitches, whereas the sewing machines of today have a huge variety of stitches that can be used.

Sewing Machines have come a long way over the years.  The hand crank machine, treadle machine, electric basic straight sewing machines, electronic machines and finally computerized machine.  It seems that every other year a manufacturer comes Image result for sewing machineout with a new feature to make the sewer’s life easier.  I have collected many antique and vintage sewing machines.  I have a White treadle in a lovely cabinet, and I have three Singer treadle machines.  One is a reproduction produced int eh 1970’s in a cabinet that is Related imagenot very pretty.  I have a hand crank machine that sews beautifully.  I also have several Singer Featherweights which are a favorite among quilters.  Along with them I also have a Singer 301, which is referred to as the Featherweight’s Big Sister since it is gear driven and has the fold down tray just like a Featherweight.

Image result for featherweight sewing machineFeatherweights were manufactured from 1932 through 1964.  The machines were black until the sixties when they changed the color to white, made the plug and foot pedal a permanent connection, and shortened the size of the pull-down tray.  Other changes happened throughout the years.  Prewar machines had a scroll plate on the end of the machine.  After that, they were striated.  In 1951, Singer’s Centennial, a special badge was put on the front of the black machines replacing the usual badges.  The hand wheel also went through changes going from chrome to black.

Image result for tan featherweight 221 for sale The tan Featherweight 221K was manufactured in Scotland.   This model had a faceplate that matches the tan paint instead of a chrome one.  The fold-down table is the same size as the black machines.

The white machines were manufactured in the United States only. Image result for tan featherweight 221 for sale You can see the changes made to them.  Instead of having a metal S on the front of the machine, they replaced that with a gold sticker.  Featherweights were the lightest sewing machines on the market for a long time weighing 11 pounds.  It is the favorite piecing machine for quilters.  The stitch is beautiful and the sound of the machine is wonderful.

I also have an embroidery machine, a beautiful computerized machine that has a ton of stitches on it that I love to use when making clothes for my granddaughters.  Lastly, I have a longarm which I love to use.  It’s so nice to be able to quilt my own quilts.

Smocking is actually an embroidery technique used to gather fabric so that it can stretch.   This technique has been around since the Middle Ages.  Today the technique is done by machine and is used to embellish clothing, quilts, etc.

Snaps are used for closures.  They can be metal or plastic and consist of a male and female piece.  One is anchored onto one piece of the fabric and the other one is anchored onto the other.  There are a variety of sizes and colors of snaps out there.   Here is a sample of the type of snaps available today.

snaps

Spools are small wooden or plastic cylindrical devices on which thread or other flexible materials can be wound.   These spools have a hole that runs from top to bottom so that they will sit on the spool pin of a sewing machine.  There are all sizes of spools.
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Many sewers use old wooden spools for decoration.  Christmas ornaments, necklaces, scissor fobs and I am sure some things I haven’t seen.

Now Stash is what we quilters call our fabric.  We all have one.  I have a small walk-in closet full of fabric sorted into colors and themes.  I have a friend who has a closet that goes from floor to ceiling and is 14 feet long lined with shelves and loaded with fabric.  I can remember the first time I saw her stash I stood there with my mouth hanging open.

It is very difficult to look at fabric at a quilt shop and not buy something.  I always see a piece of fabric that would go perfect for a planned project. My favorite fabrics are reproduction civil war and 1930’s fabrics.  I never leave a shop that carries them without at least a fat quarter.  🙂

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about what the letter S has to do with quilting.

Wanda

“A stitch in time saves nine.”

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Weekend Coffee Share

Good Morning!  Join me for a cup of coffee or tea and let’s chat.  My life has gotten very busy for a couple of weeks now.

I was at the beach with a couple of friends on a little quilting retreat.  We had such a good time making purses and laughing over our silly mistakes.  I think we did more unsewing than actual sewing.

I enjoyed walks on the beach with Gracie.  It was her first time on the beach and she just loved it.  It took her a little time to get used to the water coming onto the sand where she was standing.  She would run away from them.  It was a wonderful eight days.  There is nothing more relaxing than the view of the beach while you are quilting.

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I got home on Thursday and had enough time to do some laundry before I left Friday for my granddaughter Alannah’s dance competition.  We always have a good time on these trips.  Alannah did very well with her solo, and her group dances were great too.  I am so proud of her.  🙂

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We drove home Sunday getting me home around 1:00, I grabbed my things out of Kelly’s car threw them in the house and hopped into my car to go to the fashion show.  My friend Ruth invited me to go.  I met her there and we had a lovely time.  The fashion show was a fundraiser for Cape Fear Catholic Charities.

By the time I got home Sunday, I was really beat.  I spent Monday watching the postponed Bristol race.

Tuesday it was sit and stitch and had a good time visiting with the girls there.  I took my crocheting with me and made a couple of newborn hats.

Did some things around the house on Wednesday, then Thursday Gracie had to go to the vet for her checkup.  On the way home, something was in the road when I swerved to avoid it, I hit a curb.  This is what happened.  tire418I had to drive it like this for about 2 miles.  That was the longest trip I had ever driven.  Gracie started throwing up from her shots.  I had blisters on my feet from wearing new sandals, and my iced coffee had gone through me and there was no way I could walk.  What a day!

Of course when I had to call to have the spare put on the van.  Do you know where that spare is?  You have to take the console out, then use a long wrench to release the spare which is under the van.  What a production.  I would never have been able to do it by myself.

So with the spare on the van, I drive down to the store to get a new tire.  Of course, they don’t have the right size in stock.  My new tire should be in on Monday.  Since the spare is a little on the small side, I am homebound until Monday when they call me.

On top of my busy couple of weeks, I have failed miserably with my blogging.  Before I went to the beach I had written my posts for the A to Z challenge and scheduled them to be posted.  I did something wrong and they didn’t post.  I also didn’t realize I was supposed to link them to the letter pages.  I hope to do a better job with it next year.

The other challenges I like to participate in went undone too.  But that’s what happens when life gets in the way.  Right?

Tonight is the first NASCAR night race.  It is in Richmond and it’s another short track.  I will be watching it with Gracie by my side and I might get some hand sewing done.  I am in the middle of a wool project and an embroidery project, so maybe I will get one of them finished.

I need a refill on my coffee so I’ll say bye until next time.  Have a good week.

Wanda

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”

 

 

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R is for Ribbon, Rotary Cutter, Ruffles, Ruler,& Running Stitch

R

R is another popular letter in the world of stitching.

ribbons

Ribbons are used for embellishment on clothing, quilts, and other needlework.  The variety of ribbons is extensive and they are made from different textiles.  Silk is especially lovely to work with.

 

 

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Rotary Cutters are a quilters best friend.  They have made cutting fabric so much quicker and easier.  There are many styles and sizes of rotary cutters, and most quilters own several of them.  But we all have our favorite one.  Mine is the large blue rotary cutter above.  It is made by Dritz.  The blade engages when you apply pressure.   Rotary cutters are used with cutting mats that are self-healing so that the cuts don’t create permanent ruts in them.   Here are a few more styles.

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          rotaty1          rotary3

Ruffles are used in clothing and quilting and even in furniture upholstery.  They add a soft edge to whatever you are making.  Ruffles are added to blouses, skirts, dresses, hats, baby clothes, curtains, edges of quilts and quilted wall hangings.  Ruffles add design to any outfit.  Just look how cute this outfit is.

Image result for ruffle

Rulers are a quilters best friend.  We all own a variety of makes, styles, and lengths.  They are used to cut fabric and give it a crisp straight edge.  Quilters spend a lot of time cutting their fabric to create the patches for the patterns they are creating.  Here are a few samples of the rulers we use.

            Image result for quilters rulers

        Image result for quilters rulers

Image result for quilters rulersIn sewing, rulers or tape measures which are cloth are used for taking body measurements for clothing construction.  A small 6-inch ruler with an attached marker is also used to create a straight evenly folded hem on pants and cuffs of sleeves.

Dritz Sewing Gauge-6"

A Running Stitch is just what it sounds like,  It is a simple evenly spaced stitch that runs in and out through the cloth without overlapping.  This can be accomplished by hand or by machine.  Its purpose is to connect two pieces of fabric, in both quilting, clothing construction, curtains, and upholstery.  It can also be used as embellishment.  Here are a few examples of a running stitch.

Image result for running stitch

 

Image result for running stitch in quilting

 

Image result for running stitch in hand piecing

 

I hope that this has inspired you to pull out your sewing machine or that embroidery project that you started a while ago and do some sewing.

Wanda

 

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Q is for Quilt

Q

April 2018 Challenge

According to Wikipedia, a quilt is a multi-layered textile, traditionally composed of three layers of fiber: a woven cloth top, a layer of batting or wadding, and a woven back combined using the technique of quilting, the process of sewing the three layers together.

The pattern of stitching can be the key decorative element if a single piece of fabric is used for the top of a quilt, (a “wholecloth quilt”), but in many cases the top is pieced from a patchwork of smaller fabric pieces; and the pattern and color of these pieces will be important to the design.

In the twenty-first century, quilts are frequently displayed as non-utilitarian works of art[1] but historically quilts were often used as bedcovers; and this use persists today.

But quilts are so much more.  They are a hug that can wrap around you anytime you need one.  They are warm, comforting, and they give support in times of trouble or need.

Many of us remember our grandmother’s handmade quilts while we were growing up.  I was not that fortunate.  Neither of my grandmother’s quilted.  My dad’s mom sewed beautifully and made me new dresses all through my teen years.  It wasn’t until after I met my husband and went with him to the Amish country in Lancaster that I discovered the beautiful quilts.  From that moment on I was hooked.

 

I have loved quilts for years and wanted to learn how to quilt.  Finally, after moving to North Carolina I found a quilt guild close by and joined.  I was fortunate enough to meet wonderful, talented women who taught me so much.

It wasn’t long till I was teaching others how to quilt. Well, how to piece.  The quilting part was difficult for me.  I was a poor hand quilter and just could not coordinate my hands and the motion to machine quilt on a domestic machine.

My husband got me a Grace frame with a larger necked domestic machine and I had a ball with it.  I was turning out quilts right and left.  However, I longed to have a Long Arm Quilting Machine.

My dream was realized.  I have an 18-inch Babylock Longarm machine.  I love how it stitches and have learned a lot of patterns that add both depth and interest to my quilts.

It amazes me that I have been quilting for 13 years already and still have so much to learn.

Many vintage/antique quilts were made using feed sacs in the 1930’s.  Civil War era quilts were made from fabric from the era of the war.  I have seen some beautiful vintage quilts and would dearly love to own one.  Maybe one day.

Grab a cuppa and wrap your self up in a quilt today!  There is nothing like it.  🙂

Wanda

 

 

 

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P is for Patchwork, Patterns, Pin, Pin Cushion, Pinking Shears, Pleat, Pocket, & Project

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April 2018 Challenge

Wow! P has a lot going on in the sewing world.  I’ll start with Patchwork.  This is a term used in quilting.  It is when you sew small pieces of cloth in different designs, colors, or textures together to create a block.  Here is an example.

Related imageYou can see that different fabrics are sewn together in a random pattern.  They could also be sewn together to create a specific pattern.  When many different pieces of fabric are used, the type of quilt is referred to as a scrap quilt.

 

Now Patterns refer to the directions for creating a quilt or an article of clothing. There are many types of patterns used in quilting.  Appliquè requires a pattern for the shapes of the objects to be put on the background.

Many times there are patterns in the form of templates when you are making purses, toys, dolls, etc. and when paper piecing which is a way to create a quilt block that has a specific object in it.

Clothing patterns are made of thin paper with lines designating the direction of the grain of fabric to cut along.  The paper is pinned to the fabric, then cut out using pinking shears.  The pattern includes markings for the seams, darts, and areas that are matched up with the attaching piece of fabric.

Clothing patterns have improved so much in the last fifty years.  The directions are written well and the patterns themselves have improved.  Cutting clothes out is still not my favorite part of the operation, but with the new sewing machines with the variety of stitches, it makes it possible to use regular scissors rather than the pinking shears.

Related image   Image result for image of paper pattern for clothes

Here is a typical clothes pattern.  On the left is the pattern itself which is pinned to the fabric so that the shapes can be cut out.  On the right is a picture of the outside of the envelope that pattern comes in and then the description of what pieces are used for what options you choose.  Finally, there is the pattern layout.  The width of the fabric you are using determines the layout of the pattern so that there is minimal waste.

You can make your own patterns as well.  When my granddaughter was little I used to design cute little sundresses for her.  They are simple to make and work up so quickly.

Pins, they are just what you are imagining.  There is such a variety of pins that are used in quilting and sewing.  Dressmaking straight pins, appliquè pins which are thin and shorter, glass head pins, pins with directions on the top, safety pins, large hat or corsage pins and I am sure there are some I have not thought of at this time.

When quilting to keep your seams even and your blocks nestled into each other, use of pins is helpful.  Some people never pin, some always pin.

When constructing clothing pinning is essential to a good fit.  First, the pattern is pinned onto the fabric, then the pieces are pinned together for sewing.  No matter what you are making pins are always a part of the process.

Pincushions are simply where you keep your pins handy for use.  There are many different kinds of pin cushions.  Sewers and quilters love pin cushions.  The cuter the better.  I will mention here that even the magnetic pin holders are referred to as pin cushions.  Here are a few examples.

Image result for pincushions  Image result for pincushions  Image result for pincushions  Image result for pincushions   Image result for pincushions

Pinking shears have serrated blades that leave a zig-zag type of edge on fabric so it won’t fray.  See the difference between the pinking shears and regular scissors?

Hui Tong fabric pinking shears, sewing scissors ,Pinking Shears, pinking scissors,grey 5mm serrated               Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears

Pleats are a double or multiple folds in a garment or other itemImage result for pleated skirt made of cloth, held by stitching the top or side. These create extra room in the piece.  For instance a pleated skirt.

Image result for pocketsPockets are added to all kinds of things.  Clothing, pocketbooks, lap quilts, and wall hangings to name a few.  They are not only a useful thing to have in your garment, but are also a design element.  I have included a selection of jeans pockets that are used by various manufacturers.  As a quilter, I have added pockets to purses, quilts, and clothing.  You can never have too many pockets.

That brings us to Project.  In the quilting and sewing world what we are working on is referred to as a project.  Usually, quilters have more than one project going at a time.  I am not sure how this happens.  Maybe it’s because in the middle of one project you need to make a new baby quilt, or a wall hanging for a friend’s birthday, or you take a class, and sometimes you just get bored with what you are doing and need a break from it.

That wraps up the P.  I hope you have learned a little something while visiting me today.

Wanda

 

 

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