Sunday, December 30, 2007


I've always been intrigued by quilts, even as a child I loved to look at quilts and dreamed of making one. In the early 90's I started looking seriously at making some quilts but was intimidated by the process of templates. Rotary cutting and strip piecing was starting to be popular at that time but most quilt patterns I found still were along the lines of "cut 1000 of template A and a zillion of template B, sew together". Uh - no thanks!

When I first started quilting in the early 90's, I stayed with small wall hangings. Few pieces to cut, little money invested and quick satisfaction. In 1993, I bought the fabric for a queen size quilt. I finished piecing the top in 1998, which I guess isn't too bad. I started quilting it in 1999, the partially quilted quilt is stored nicely in the top of my closet. One will be finished.

The first books I had on quilting showed quilts made from solid colored fabric. Remember these were patterns from the late 80's and early 90's. So, I had it in my mind that you choose solids and maybe one print for a quilt. Around 1994/95, I went to a quilt trunk show and the woman pulled out quilts that were full of various prints! There were AMAZING! I didn't know you could do that! The woman explained that in a quilt you can put together prints you would never wear together.

Not long after that I took my first quilt class at a local quilt shop. It was odd to work on a wall hanging quilt that had a striped bunny on a print background. Those weren't realistic colors for a bunny! I pushed myself along and enjoyed the wall hanging. By this time I had numerous wall hangings. My then-husband said "If you sewed all those together you would have a quilt big enough to use." MEN! They just don't understand the practice involved before making that big leap to a "big" quilt!

Soon I became brave and decided to do a "big quilt". I even got brave enough to use 3 prints in one quilt. This was my first "big" quilt, done in the late 1990's.

Here is a close up....machine pieced and hand quilted.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Garment making with the Quilt Designer II

I made my first garments on the Husqvarna Viking QD II this weekend. The pattern is McCall's M3610. I modified the neckline on the tank to make it higher and made the straps a tad wider. I had made a tank from this pattern before and felt the neckline was too low. The tank is made from a crepe type material. The shirt is cotton lawn, which is very sheer, lightweight material. I can't wait for warmer weather to wear this to work. I think it would also look good with a pair of jeans.

What did I learn about using the QD II from this? Well, I learned how to use the Sewing Advisor. Instead of trying to figure out which seam to use for overcasting and how to set the tension, I told the QD II I had a lightweight woven and wanted to do a seam and overcast. The machine then choose the correct overcast stitch and told me which presser foot to use (the J foot). Everything stitched up just great. No puckering, no jamming of fabric.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Storage for Viking d-cards

With my Viking Quilt Designer II came 4 stitch d-cards and 2 Embroidery d-cards. D-cards are used in some Viking models to allow access to other stitches and Embroidery designs. These little cards have the information stored on the back in a little computer chip. I quickly saw I needed a way to store my d-cards to keep them safe and clean. So, I made a d-card pocket. This is what it looks like from the outside folded up.

I cut a piece of fabric for the outside 10 x 13 inches. I cut another 10x13 piece for the inner lining. Then a 10x13 piece of low-loft batting and a piece of muslin. I layered the outer fabric, batting and muslin together like a quilt "sandwich". I sewed a straight stitch around the edges to keep the layers in place. Then I used decorative stitches and embroidery stitches from my QD II to decorate the fabric and quilt the layers together. Here is the complete's difficult to see some of the stitching I did in white thread but you get the general idea.

For the inside, I cut two pieces of clear vinyl 5-1/2 x 10 inches for the pockets. Using a coordinating fabric, I cut 1-inch strips to bind what will be the upper edges of the pockets. I sewed the binding on one long end of the vinyl. Then I places the vinyl on the insiding lining fabric, aligning the raw vinyl long edge to the outside short edge of the fabric. I wanted my pockets to be open to the inside so once I fold the case, the cards aren't going to slide out. I then sewed a seam in two places on the vinyl --- making 3 pockets on each piece of vinyl. Next, I put the lining fabric with the quilted outside, wrong sides together and basted the edges. I attached a binding like I would for a quilt and the d-card case was done.

This was a good chance to try some of the different stitches and feet of my new sewing machine. Two fat quarters of fabric was enough to complete the outiside, inside and binding. I made mine to hold the 6 cards that came with the machine. You could modify this to hold more cards if you wanted. Another improvement would be to put a ribbon on it so it could be tied closed or a piece of velcro to keep it closed.

When sewing on the vinyl, use presser foot H --- the vinyl will not stick to the foot and the materials will feed properly through the machine.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Ornaments

Here are some Christmas tree ornaments I made 15 to 20 years ago.

This one was tatted. I love the look of tatting but it is time consuming.

These were done in cross stitch and then stuffed

And a few more....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mending Night

I took one evening this week to do some mending. Replaced buttons on shirts and restitched a few seams. One of the items I mended was a bulky sweater that may not look great but is comfy to wear around the house. It is cotton but warm enough for Georgia. Somehow both underarm seams had come out. I used an overcast stitch on my sewing machine and had the sweater back to wearable in 10 minutes.

Here is a look of the inside of the seam, you can see where some sweater threads are missing...

Here is the outside of the one will ever know...

I feel so thrifty and virtuous :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Garment Sewing

I decided recently to try again at garment sewing. Here is my first attempt. This is McCall's 5538 view C done in fleece. It is very warm and comfy even if the sleeves are a little too long. The pattern called for the zipper to be fully exposed even when zipped closed. I didn't like that so I sewed in the zipper so the fabric would cover most of it.

This next one is not so great but I tried to at least learn a lot from it. It is McCall's 5191 done in a woven polyester faux suede that I got on sale at Hancock's. At least I didn't put a lot of money in it. This fabric was not easy to work with and I had some fitting problems in the shoulder area. I can at least wear it around the house.

I used the Viking Quilt Designer II to do the buttonholes on this jacket. I learned a very important lesson about the QD really does adjust the foot pressure based on what you tell it. I had a difficult time with the first couple of buttonholes then I realized the machine thought it was sewing on lightweight woven. I changed the setting to heavy woven and the buttonholes came out fabulous! This machine will make perfect buttonholes all day long! Take a look at this...all I had to do was tell it heavy weight woven and the size of the button in millimeters (use the handy-dandy measuring stick painted on the machined) and it produced this....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Moldy Christmas Ornaments!


I opened up a plastic bag that contained many Christmas ornaments to find green mold growing on a few. EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! After a few moments of panic, I calmed down enough to find a face mask and start sorting out the ornaments. All cloth ones went in a lingerie bag and into the washer on the hand-washable setting with mild detergent and non-chlorine bleach. The non-cloth ones got a wipe down with a clorox type wet wipe. Some were cross-stitch in little plastic frames. I carefully removed the fabric and washed them by hand.

The instigator of this incident seems to have been a cinnamon dough ornament brought home from school by my son at least 5 years ago. It had green growing all over it :(

I think all the other ornaments are going to be okay. A few had to have trim glued back on after going through the wash.

I guess I need to be more careful in how I store my ornaments. The cross stitch ornaments were ones I made about 20 years ago. Some of the ornaments in the bag were hand painted wood ornaments given to me about 30 years ago. They have a lot of sentimental value.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sewing Machines

When I was growing up my mother would not let me near her sewing machine until I was about 14 years old because she was afraid I would sew through my fingers. The machine is a 1956 Singer Model 301A. It has two speeds - off and FAST!

When I was about 14 or 15, she signed me up for sewing lessons at the Singer Sewing Store. I was the oldest in the class and got to sew on one of the new computerized Singers that cost way over $1,000!

As an adult my first machine was a Kenmore with about 30 stitches. It was okay but I often ended up with tangled threads. In 1998 I bought myself a Pfaff 7510. baby. A great machine that I got on clearance. It doesn't do embroidery like it's big sister the 7570 but it is a wonderful sewing machine.

Recently I happened across a Husqvarna Viking Quilt Designer II on clearance price. It came with an embroidery unit! This thing does perfect buttonholes like you would not believe!

It has feature to cut the threads when you are done. It also has what is called a sensor presser foot. You don't have even to lower the presser foot to start sewing, the machine does it for you! Amazing! I'm still learning about it a little each week.

I'm torn about selling my Pfaff since I don't really need 2 machines. Pfaffie is a dependable girl and has many good years left in her.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Other things in my life

I love to watch Project Runway on Bravo. I don't watch much TV but am obsessed with Project Runway! Since it comes on at 10:00 pm my time I record it on DVR and watch it the next day. I just finished watching last night's episode...the one where Jack leaves and Chris comes back. I was glad to see Chris come back but hated to see Jack leave, especially under those circumstances. I cringed during the runway critique part because I didn't want to see any of the bottom three leave. Sad to see Stephen leave :(

I was happy for Christian. That was a fierce outfit he made for the lady.

I also thought this "every day woman" challenge was much better than Season 3's version. They should not have let the Season 3 designers choose who they would design for, it should have been assigned to them. But that's just my opinion and Bravo doesn't consult with me :)

Of course for all things Project Runway you must read and

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Welcome to my Blog!

My name is Pat and I like crafts!

I've always have liked to create things since I was a small child. I took oil and acrylic painting lessons as a child and teen. I learned to sew when I was about 14. I started quilting about 1992.

I have not quilted much in the past few years but just recently got back into it. I'm also trying once again to try to make garments for myself.

Let's start off with a picture of an antique quilt I'm blessed to own.

Grandmother's Quilt

This is a quilt made by my Grandmother, who passed away in 1981. This quilt was probably made in the late 50's or early 60's. Some of the fabrics are cotton and some are rayon. The quilt is machine quilted AND hand tied. I don't remember Grandmother quilting because by the time I can remember her she was in her late 70's and didn't do much.

Here is a close up - you can see the shapes that were pieced together to make this quilt.