Thursday, June 9, 2016

Creating This and djthreads and messing it up

So I have been trying for sometime to get an other little blog going.  It is  It will possibly take the place of this little space but until I can get it together I think I will do both.  Oh and there is also the blog at Classic Cotton Shop   So I think I will have blog land pretty covered! Now it is time to write!!!!

But first, I must apologize, confess, something!  I have a little store on Amazon, we were going to be gone for a while in April and again in May, we got back home right before Memorial Day, then my computer died, then there was a doctors appointment that was not fun, I decided to close my little store front, and now it is almost the middle of June.  I happened to look at Amazon and to my amazement........... I had orders! Oh I did not know they were there! I THOUGHT I had turned it off, and I would turn it back on after things settled down here.  But I have orders!  One order has been there since May 30th. the others not as long.  I will get them shipped in the morning, but I must say with new blogs, the adjustments to the physical store closing, moving all the inventory to Classic Cotton Shop and having to write more and needing to create samples, etc etc etc is way too much  for this person.  It is time to concentrate on a little less! So the Amazon store will close also!  Do I feel better, not really, but hopefully I can make peace with the Amazon customers.  If I could, I would apologize to the entire customer group at Amazon-I am so sorry!!!!

I guess the lesson here is, keep is simple!(?)

I guess that is it for now.  I'll be back soon Jan

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Jelly Roll Stars

I love stars! And making them from bits and pieces of left over Jelly rolls (also know as 2 1/2" strips) is awesome!

Do you have to use a Jelly Roll? NOPE! Charm squares, Layer Cakes, and even Mini Charms can be used (Mini Charms are 2 1/2" squares. If you use Mini Charms there is not a need to cut 2 1/2" squares but additional fabric pieces for the  background will be needed).

(Some of what I considered using for my stars. I ended up using the white Jelly Roll as the background and cut my own strips for the star pieces) 

You can also cut your own pieces from yardage, and if you cut your scraps into 2 1/2" strips you have pieces all ready to go!  

Now on to the Stars

Each star has a background and 2 pretty fabrics. 

Star size:  8 1/2" after they are pieced, 8" after they are sewn into the project. 

For each star 
 Background fabric cut:
4   2 1/2" squares
4    2 1/2"x 4 1/2" rectangle.

 Pretty fabric 1 cut: 
10  2 1/2" squares
Pretty fabric 2 cut:
2   2 1/2" squares
Yep that is it! Now on to piecing. 

Making the star points.  
Using 8 of the 2 1/2" pretty fabric squares, draw a line diagonally (from corner to corner)on the wrong side of the squares. 

Each star point is made up of 1- 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle and 2 - 2 1/2" squares. 

With right sides together place a pretty fabric square on one side of the 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle matching raw edges.  Sew on the drawn line. Press the square towards the raw edges so a triangle is formed. Trim the fabric from the back of triangle leaving 1/4".
Add the second triangle to the other side of the rectangle. Press the square towards the outside of the rectangle. 

Repeat this process 3 more times to complete all 4 sets of star points. 

Star Center: 
The star center is made of 4 - 2 1/2" squares. No fancy sewing and flipping here, just make a 4 patch. Sew a square of pretty fabric 1 to a square of pretty fabric 2, pressing the seams of the 2 1/2" squares to the dark fabric.  Repeat that one more time, then sew the units together, making a 4 patch.  Press the seam to one side.

All the parts are made, all that is left is piecing the star block! The Block is basically an "uneven nine patch".  

To piece the star, lay the pieces out as shown below.  Sew rows 1 and 3 together but adding a 2 1/2" back ground square to each end of a star point unit. Sew row 2 together by adding a star point unit to the sides of the 4 patch, make sure to match the center seam of the 4 patch to center point (where the two triangles over lap) of the star points. (HINT: Pin where the center point of the star point and the 4 patch will be sewn. I pin to each side of the center so the area is secure and will not shift when sewing.)

Press toward the 2 1/2" squares for rows 1 and 3. Press row 2 towards the 4 patch center. 
Now piece the rows to each other. Pressing towards center. Notice there is a seam allowance left on the edges where the star points are.  This is sort of important, not of great importance but sort of. If this 1/4" is not left on the outside edge, the points would disappear and the star would be pointless.  I don't find that having a few pointless star points makes my world tilt at all, I actually think they are a bit more "real" that way.  

I know a computer generated block isn't that pretty, so here is a block that is made from real fabric!

Here are my fabric parts all cut and ready to go.  I cut the pretty fabrics from leftover scraps, and I used a Bella Solid White Jelly Roll, Junior size for the back ground.  ( I have aspirations of using stars like the one show below in a quilt design.) So don't be afraid to mix your cut strips with precut pieces, you get to be the decider, and you can make it work. 
These are the pieces for my star block-ravels and all! 
My star block pieces are sewn, trimmed and pressed. 
The finished star block.  
So there it is, a simple star block that is easy to piece. Fun! 

Before I say goodnight, I must tell you about a ruler that makes cutting strips so easy.  It is called the "Shape Cut" by June Taylor.  
This is one tool that quilters who cut strips should own.  I love this tool (this is not a sponsored endorsement-I just really really like this tool!) 

Have fun making stars, talk to you soon, 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Machine Embroidery Designs, The Letter D

I love letters, I love "love letters" also
but letters are so-well graphic.  One of my favorite letters is the letter "D" because is is the first letter of the last name of the person who has written me love letters, AKA Mr. Handsome. Yes is it the first letter of my last name also, but Mr. Handsome started it!

The letter D:

Machine embroidery is a great way to get the letters you love on things like pillows, shirts, hats, shoes (yes shoes), bags, blankets, etc etc etc. 

But..... there is a side note to embroidery-called digitizing-scary! I don't digitize very well. I'm learning but it is a very steep learning curve. So I'm always grateful when I find businesses that create cute, well designed designs, and Nancy at Embroidery It is creating great usable designs.  She  has an Etsy Store, Etsy Embroidery It  so check out her designs!  

She asked it there were embroidery bloggers who would like to try her designs, I said yes and chose the letter D-the biggest one she has! This D  is for larger hoops and is digitized using a fill stitch, there are two additional letter "D"'s in this down load. (Get more information at her Etsy store).  The large D took a while to stitch out, but it was worth the minutes of stitching.  A little hint-use 2 layers of tearaway or cutaway, depending on what type of fabric you are stitching on, this helps support the stitches. 

The D is stitched in a copper brown color on a Moda Fabric, Prairie Cloth, this is a slightly open weave fabric, sort of burlappy but it is not scratchy! 
Here is my "D" and I wished the picture would do this letter justice. The design stitched out great, and has almost a painted look to it. Love it! 

And just so you know Embroidery It has a other designs like this Candy Cane Holder. This will be one of my next little projects! 
Picture by Embroidery It
I know we are all busy with holiday happenings, but take a minute and check out what Nancy has available!
Now on to the business side of stuff.  I know it has been sort of quiet at Stitching Adventures.  We had Thanksgiving, now there is Christmas and seasonal stuff (colds, slip and fall-no broken things though, and all the other stuff that happens this time of year). Oh please don't think I don't love Christmas and the holidays, I do, but I am looking forward to all the busyness of the season to slow down so the main focus is actually on the Joy of the Season. I am getting there!!!!

We left off with the need to visit about Terrifying Terrycloth, that is happening next Thursday.  There are also projects coming up including a 45 degree design, pillow tutorial, and an upcoming series called Make A (?) (yeti is willing to help with the Make A (?) so it should be fun) And there will be more learning about embroidery-I had a request for working with Minky type fabrics, embroidery on hats and getting ready for spring graduations, weddings and new babies. Sounds fun. 

Also before I go I wanted you to know that no money was exchanged for the embroidery of the letter D, I did receive a free file that contained the letter.  The opinions and stitching you see here for the letter D are strictly my own. 

Lets visit again soon, 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Multineedle Fear, frustration, and where to find help?

Yikes, how many needles? 16 needles! Really? But guess what, the machine only uses one at a time! So why so much fear and frustration? I think it is the steep learning curve, and there is a general uncertainty about this monster that is taking up so much real estate in what ever space it is in.

Oh the fear when my machine showed up! That feeling when things appear scary!

I wanted to run!

Then there was the need to learn about hooping and placement, stabilizers, toppings, machine settings, needles and thread. The list of things to learn seemed so long. But I kept telling myself, the machine only uses one needle at a time-that was not much help.

I sat and looked at the machine, for a while.... but then there is just the need to try! I messed up A LOT.  I hit the needle on the hoop edge, almost embroidered my fingers, ruined pieces and cried buckets of tears.  The worst feeling I had was not the machine but feeling all alone with my fears.

Then I started learning, trying new things and looking for real help.  I did not find much help because multineedle embroidery machines are used in businesses, and they don't want to share, they might give someone a competitive advantage. But there is a bit of help:

Check out you tubes that have information for single needle embroidery, Applique Corner
 has some tutorials that are helpful (and they have cute designs! this is not a paid advertisement, this is just my opinion without compensation).  Also there are gurus (please know I am not one of them, I am learning along the way just like you) like Debra Jones, Joyce Jagger and Eileen Roche.

Eileen Roche can be found at Designs in Machine Embroidery here
Debra Jones is on many sites, but look for her here
Joyce Jagger has amazing information. I currently am learning a bunch from her. She has a subscription service for learning that has been very helpful. You can find her here

There are also industry magazines that offer occasional articles:
All of these publications can be seen digitally and they offer advice and further resources for embroidery.

And as time goes on we will explore the wonderful world of Machine Embroidery here.  I have a long way to go before I feel comfortable with the world of embroidery and I will be happy to share what I learn, my successes and failures and I would love it if you would share also.  Together we can tame these beasts and create beyond our wildest imaginations! (Okay maybe I might be able to get through a pile of towels without spending weeks and hundreds of $$$.)

Next week we talk towels! And everything that is haunting me in the pile of terrycloth!

(Crab and octopus were purchased designs from Desgins by Juju )
Please note there was no compensation for any information given here. Only my opinion was given)

Now on to terrifying Terrycloth!!!!! And happily there will be designs from Emboirdery it