Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Secret Santa - please come join the fun.

The deadline to sign up is October 31, 2013 and there is a cap of 60 bloggers.  I participated last year and it was loads of fun.

It is a opportunity to meet bloggers and get to know someone you didn't know before.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Singer Genie 354 - Needle plate fix.

I received this from auntie sandy xo has left a new comment on your post "Singer Genie 354":

"have loved this machine and I do everything with it..don't want to break into a new one..."creature of habit I am"..but the sliding door which hides the bobbin will no longer stay in while I sew..slips out..any ideas?"

I posted her question to the Vintage Sewing Machines group on Facebook.  Cindy Huffman provided this information and photos: 

"Do you see that little black clip? That acts like a spring. She has to slide the plate from the needle side back onto that clip.
 Like this...."
My thanks to Cindy Huffman.  Auntie Sandy I hope this helps you out.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Denim Do it All Bins - basket making continues.

My sincere gratitude to Betz White for her wonderful tutorial.  Instead of a boxed corner, this denim bin has a circle bottom.
My basket sides, consisted of six  8 by 14 inch rectangles:
  •  two denim (outside)
  •  two 100% quilting cotton (thread spools print) 
  •  two quilt batting.  
The circles are 9 inches in diameter.
The seam allowance is 1/2 inch.  I pressed the seams open before pinning the circle in place.  The circle seam allowance is cut back to 1/8 of an inch to reduce bulk.
The print circle has interfacing as well as quilt batting on it.  I sewed the batting to the print circle using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
I think this print is totally cool.  Perfect for a thread basket.
The whole bin is only eight seams, which makes them so quick and easy to put together.
Next I pinned the lining sides to the bottom circle and sewed them.
With right sides together, put one bin inside the other, pin the top edge leaving about a three inch gap for turning.  Stitch a half inch seam allowance, trim to 1/8 inch except where the opening is, leave that at half an inch.
Turn it through the opening, then neatly fold the half inch allowance inside, press and edge stitch all the way around the top.
 This lovely denim bin/basket is finished.
 Look what I filled mine with.
As an added bonus, it is reversible.
My husband pointed out that it could be my new hat!
Since there is quilt batting in between the layers, it would be toasty warm!
 Yes, I am wearing pjs.
The hat photos were taken with my Iphone.  It is always challenge to multi-task by being the model and the photographer simultaneously.
Again my sincere thanks to Betz White for her wonderful tutorial.  The next denim bin I make will be using a rectangle for the bottom instead of a circle, that should be fun.
Happy stitching all.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Denim fabric basket - So much fun!

Thank you Pam for your fabulous tutorial!  I am going to teach beginner sewing lessons to  elementary school age children in November.  This lovely adorable basket will be their fourth lesson.
The tutorial is well written and simple to follow.  All my old jean denim was ripped to useable fabric years ago, so I just cut two rectangles the same size as the liner fabric.  This lining is 100% polyester outdoor fabric that is waterproof.  It was left over from repairing deck chairs
As the outdoor fabric is very stiff and strong, I omitted the interfacing.
I did not line up the side seams at the top of the bag before I sewing the lining to the denim outside.  Instead I staggered the side seams so the box corners are square at the bottom which makes it stand up really well. 
 This basket is reversible.
 No buttons, zippers, handles or fasteners. 
 Fill it with goodies for a wonderful homemade gift.
Thank you so much Pam!  Happy stitching all.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hibiscus blooms and herbs.

I enjoy playing with my cameras almost as much as sewing machines, fabric and thread.  This morning I was greeted by a stunning floral display courtesy of the dining room hibiscus plant.
It is always a challenge to capture the beauty of flower blooms, especially in the house.
This plant loves direct sunlight, which means most of the photos are back lit.
 Hibiscus blooms only last about 24 hours.
They sure are pretty.
 I used a flash to capture the back yard greenery through the window.
It actually has two different kinds of blooms on it.  The other kind is red and yellow striped, which I will photograph soon.
The Hibiscus is Hawaii's state flower.  I think it is pretty cool to have a wee bit of Hawaii living in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
This hibiscus plant was purchased in May 2013 after our vacation to Hawaii in April.  Since then it has been infested with spider mites twice!  The first time was the end of June.  I put it outside beside the Saskatoon berry bushes and sprayed it with dishsoap diluted with water.  By the end of July it looked lush and wonderful.  In mid August there was a threat of frost so I relocated my plant to the garage overnight.  The next day it was moved to a flower bed which unbeknown to me had spider mites!  Again the leaves were turning yellow and dropping by the dozens.  In early September, I purchased insecticidal soap from a greenhouse, with the plant in the bathtub, I sprayed daily for three days.  Then it was repotted and returned it to the dining room.  I have now sprayed all the houseplants with insecticidal soap and will continue to do so once a month.
On September 16, I dug up these parsley and rosemary plants from the garden.  I potted them to use in winter.  Fresh herbs have so much more flavour than dried.
These three plants are basil.  The little leaves and tiny flowers is a also a basil plant.  They smell wonderful.
Houseplants are messy, but they do a wonderful job of cleaning the air. I love having plants in our home during Manitoba's long frozen winters.  Currently, I have ten houseplants:
  • three hibiscus - the other two are in the master bedroom.
  • three basil
  • two rosemary
  • one parsley
  • one ivy  
My dear readers, do you have houseplants?  If yes, what kinds and how many?  Do you use fresh herbs?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Brandon University Anti-bullying quilt top.

I volunteered to piece these pink squares together to make a big quilt top.  The BU anti-bullying society plans to take it to Ottawa in November during the national anti-bullying week and display it on a big vehicle (bus?).  It was a challenge to piece as the squares are different sizes and some are rectangles.  I decided to serge the seams rather sew them to prevent fraying.
My two friends are holding the top while standing on my deck which is 20 feet across.
This quilt top measures roughly 15 feet by 12 feet and there will be another row to make it abou13.5 by 15 which is 202.5 square feet.
The anti-bullying society has been collecting signatures since spring from schools, colleges and community groups in Manitoba.
Someone donated the pink and white striped fabric, which turned out to be excellent to fit the different sizes together.
I hope the effort the group put into cutting fabric, hosting events and collecting these signatures will bring attention to this serious social issue. 

 My block in the anti-bullying quilt top.