Saturday, April 30, 2011

Not Serging Forth

The good news is that I was able to thread the serger and set it on a four thread stitch. The bad news is that it wouldn't cut the fabric. I read the instruction book and it said to change to the extra upper nife, so with David's help I did. The serger still isn't cutting so I have to take it back to the dealer today. I'm sure I won't have it to work on my skirt, so there is no way I'll have it done by Monday. I guess I can sew it on my Quattro and use the side cutter, but that is much slower. Just doesn't seem to be my year for finishing the ASG Creativity Content.

Had a great time with Sydney on Thursday and Friday morning. I picked Sydney up and we went to Half-Price Books. She picked out a book on Vampires. We also got a book for Sean, and I bought a book for me on making pillows that came with an embroidery CD. Then we came home for a bit and I set up the little machine for Sydney to sew. I discovered that the regular J foot was missing. I hope I didn't lose it. Then we walked over to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to go to McDonald's for lunch. I used the tickets I won last fall to take Sydney into the regular part of the Museum. It was pretty empty so she she got lots of attention. She volunteered for the Chemistry show and she was allowed to hold fossilized dinosaur poop! Then we went back to McDonald's for her chocolate cookie dessert and then we went to the Butterfly exhibit. She liked the exhibits but not the live butterflies Then we walked home, got a drink and went downstairs for a swim in the pool We had the pool all to ourselves. After an hour we came back up and changed and waited for Dave to come home. Then we went out for Chinese Food.

On Friday, Sydney played Scrabble with Dave. Then we had to take her back to Linda. We did have a wonderful time. After a trip to Costco we came home and had lunch and then I did laundry, changed the linen, and watched the Royal Wedding reruns. Then Lynn called and we went for a walk around Hermann Park  and then we walked over to pick up Peyton from his dancing class. Then we went out for NY Pizza.

The Royal Wedding was a treat, the Space Shuttle Launch was cancelled and unbelievably over 300 people were killed by the tornadoes in the South. Now I'm up in the middle of the night. Just not sleepy so I am catching up on my blog.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sewing Class at last

Last night I listened to the ASG Webinar on Serging. The best tip was to release the tension, take the threads off the stitch finger, and separate the threads when it is necessary to rethread one of the loopers or the needle. Then you don't need to rethread the other looper or needle. I'm going to try this because I need to put a different color thread on my serger tomorrow. I wish I had a serger with an automatic threading system, but I don't really use it enough yet to justify the cost. Maybe for my 65th birthday!

I bought my Brother Quattro at the Quilt Festival in Houston in November 2008 and now I am finally getting to take the Introductory Classes at Sew Contempo. This is because the classes were always during the week, and I was always traveling during the week. Most of the material I knew already but I did pick up a few pointers. Apparently one problem with my embroidery tension may have been caused by the bobbin thread not getting into the tension all the way. They suggest you hold the bobbin down while you thread it. Also I never saw the Make an Applique function before. That might be useful for my embroidery for my ASG Wearables garment. The women in the class were really nice, but I knew a lot more about computers than the instructor did.

I cut out a skirt this morning from the Simplicity Pattern2287 taking 7" off from the top. Simplicity responded to my email suggesting I draw a hip line 9" down and then fold out the amount I needed to shorten the skirt, but it would really require me to redraw the whole line of the seam. I decided I could use the extra inches in the waist and took the length out from the top. I'll work on it more after Sydney leaves on Friday. I'm looking forward to spending the day playing with my grand daughter tomorrow.

I also need to prepare for the Saturday ASG group program. I saw one of the patterns today for the Snap Happy II bag, but it just looked like the same bag in a different shape. They sewed strips or "strings" on a foundation and then cut out the bag in a cosmetic bag size case. I think I can figure this out just from the pictures of the envelope I saw on the Internet.

I'm re-reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet for the Book Club I'm leading next week, but I'm also reading South of Broad by Pat Conroy and I'm enjoying that a whole lot.

Another recruiter sent me a job description for a job at BP. Do I really want to go back to work? Some days yes, some days no. I am enjoying having time to sew and read and have lunch with my friends.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Care of Textiles

I found this interesting pamphlet on the Textile Museum  web site.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sewing with Sydney

Today Sydney was visiting from California. I gave her my ipod for a birthday present, so I spent time the last few days putting music on it that I thought she might like. I also decided to try making one of those little Snap Happy bags with the Carpenter's Tape to house her iPod. Here is a picture of her with the case.

I didn't have the pattern, only the notes I took at the demo at the ASG Retreat. It was very easy to make and only took about 1 hour. I did find that I didn't get all the layers in when I sewed the sides of the bag together and had to sew them again and then even sew the outside of the casing by hand. I'll have to be more careful sewing the edges on the next bag which will be for my Kindle. I'm supposed to demonstrate these bags at our next neighborhood group meeting so it will be good for me to get my mistakes corrected before May 14th.

I found the fabric when I was in Tuesday Morning. It was a good deal, 8 fat quarter coordinated bundle for $6.00.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sewing, Reading, Passover

The ASG retreat in Navasota was lots of fun but my plan to make a T-Shirt with the Lorelei embroideries didn't work because the tension on my machine was acting up. I made another turtle for the Painted Turtle Camp and sewed about 50 Cool Ties for the community service project. I sewed the Cherrywood Fabrics jelly roll strips that I bought at the Quilt Festival a few years ago into three stratas and a package of 5" quilt squares that I bought at a shop on our vacation in New Hampshire into 9 patches. I still need to figure out what I want to do with the fabrics.

The next Monday was the ASG Adventures in Wearables group. There was a nice demo on fabric manipulation techniques. I tried cutting out a Muslin for another Jacket Pattern. After the group, I took my machine to Sew Contempo. Basically there was a wad of thread stuck in the bobbin area. When the dealer showed me how to pull it out, the machine was working like new again.

At home I sewed the jacket muslin together. I still cannot get the jacket I wanted to make for the ASG Creativity Contest to fit me correctly after this second muslin. I am giving up until after I take Lorianne Reeves "Fit for Life" workshop next month at Fabrics Etc. I'll try out the skirt or pants pattern so I have something for the Wearables group in May. Now that the embroidery function is working again, I should be able to put some thread down the side of the legs or on the hem of the skirt.

The sewing inside the loop group had a field trip to Hi-Fashion fabric and then lunch at Van Loc. Joanne Carpenter was not up to leading the group next month as scheduled, so I also was volunteered to try to teach the bags that snap together with carpenters measuring rules. We saw them at the retreat and I found some info on the net so I will work on that. Sydney is coming to visit next week so I have to start on her Turtle tomorrow. Lots of sewing projects to work on.

I purchased the Threads book and the Fabric Embellishing Book for the Wearables group from Amazon. They didn't have them in the library or at Half-Price Books. I also purchased a membership to The Quilt Show so I have been watching lots of quilting videos on the Internet.

I have many books out of the library. I am almost finished reading "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen. I am leading the Warwick Book Club next month so I need to reread "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" by David Mitchell . I loved it the first time and I'm sure I'll love re-reading it. I also have "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy and "The Sewing Circles of Herat" about the women in Afghanistan out of the library. I also have the "Hip Kosher" cookbook. The recipes have a lot of ingredients I don't usually use and I'm not sure whether we would like them or not. I still have a few books on my Kindle that I haven't completed yet.

I have three sewing books out of the library:
1) "Ready, Set, Serge" by Georgie Merlot. I have wanted to try her ideas after seeing her on Sewing with Nancy. I took some notes and will try them out after the other deadlines are met.
2)"Doll Fanshionistas" by Ellen Lumkin Brown. The book came with a DVD of her with Nancy Zeiman. I don't think I'll have time to get into doll sewing with all of my other projects but it is fun to look at.
3)"All Dolled Up" by Joan Hinds. This has patterns to make for girls size 4, 6, and 8 and matching outfits for 18" dolls. These would be perfect for Sydney, Shayna, or Danielle. Don't know that I'll have time for this until the summer. I'll measure Sydney while she is here and then maybe make a back to school outfit for her. I'll have to trace off the patterns before I return the book to the library. I have other 18" doll books so I probably have doll patterns I can use. The pictures are really cute.

I have been getting calls from many recruiters about going back to work. Today I said to myself: "What would you do if you had an extra year's income?" I couldn't think of anything I would like to do that I don't have the money to do now. I have so many projects planned and I am starting to make some friends among the retired. Perhaps I will stay retired for now.

We had two wonderful Seders with good friends and Lynn and her kids. It's nice having Dave home for the week but I did miss having my own kids with me for the Seders. Maybe next year.
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