Category: Tips

Organize UFO’s from the Holidays and 2016

October Wall HangingChallenge Quilt








Did you make everything on your sewing list this past year?  Or was it close? Or no where near where you wanted to be?

Every year tends to be different for me but this year I’m starting with a list!  I’ve decided to make a gift a month.  But more importantly I’ve decided to write down each project!!  Even if I’m unable to complete everything I will be a little further ahead come October (which is when I usually think of gifts and the upcoming quilt show).  This will also enable me to pull out everything I need for each project.  So often we find ourselves running to the fabric store for the ONE thing and coming out with ANOTHER project.  This way I’ll have a list and be able ‘splurge’ on the next upcoming project needs.

So grab a piece of paper and dream of what you want to make this year!  Remember January is the time to start on that awesome, million pattern piece project NOT in November. Or the heirloom quilt for your child, friend or relative.

Save Your Batting

Saving pieces of batting that can be made into a larger piece is a great way to save some sewing $. (More for fabric!). The pics show how to layer the edges, cut the overlapped edges in a smooth, gradual curve, sew with a three step zig zag and you’re good to go!  A wonderful way to have pieces for wall hangings and small projects.

Marking your Seam Allowance

One of the best uses for blue painters tape is on the bed of my sewing machine.  It will mark your seam allowance.  If you add a dash mark across from your needle you will be set to sew curves also.  Line your fabric up to the blue tape without covering it up and guide your fabric while the machine sews so that it follows the tape.

Sometimes it hard not to look at the needle while the machine is running. But it’s very important to use the blue tape as your guide.  You can reposition it many times before it loses it’s stickiness. Most machines don’t have lines that are easy to see or extended far enough to use.  This solves both or either of those problems.


Time Out!

Take time out to….?

Remember when timeout was a punishment?  Now I wish for a timeout from my hectic, busy life.  So as of today, I’m granting myself with a timeout each day.  (Not because I was bad but because I was GOOD!)

To sit quietly and dream of the next project or work on something already started (and who doesn’t have those).  As parents we were taught that timeouts should be 1 minute for every year.  Hmmmm, that’s a nice chunk of time. 😉

The minute rule works in a lot of instances.  As a new mom there’s not as much available time for timeouts but as your children grow sometimes we can actually carve out a little more time.  Think of the gift you will be giving your child.  Teach them that they should give themselves a little time to dream also.

These 2 pictures would generate very different results for me!  How about you?
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Organizing Sewing Tools

The shelf is from Michaels a long time ago, I painted it and added cup hooks for the scissors and rotary cutters.  I’ll be putting my glass jars on top with notions.  Just noticed that all my pics have the drill.  I guess that shows that I’m a little impatient 😉  Will have to add overall pictures when everything is put up and cleaned up.IMG_2858

The studio is being set up!

Getting the embroidery area(s) set up has been a little challenging.  Since the room is smaller I’ve had to give up one table top  (a big one) and had to cut down the embroidery bar top that I’ve used for years.  Thanks to my wonderful husband and his handy jigsaw skills the table has been cut and the embroidery bar is getting set up.  This took away the space for the thread cabinets so those were hung on the walls of the landing to the studio.  Now there’s a splash of color as I come up the stairs!  A very inspiring sight as I start to work.


What a Mess!

The year ended with a bunch of boxes unpacked in the studio but believe it or not there are two machines under there that were used.  Here’s hoping that there will be less boxes and more room in the new year!  I will be posting a couple pics showing finished areas as the month progresses and some of the projects that actually were finished!  Stay warm and happy stitching!IMG_2123 IMG_2124

Multi-Size Patterns Can Be Confusing

Highlighting YOUR size!

I have found that multi-size patterns can become a little confusing after you have pinned them to your fabric and are ready to cut them out.  Highlighters are the best thing for finding your way.  BEFORE you even pin them to the fabric, find your size and highlight the lines that intersect.  This way you’ll be able to know where to cut and not make the mistake of cutting off anything important!

Sewing Machine Manuals

This posting is a little late tonight, but I wanted to address the issue of sewing machine manuals!  It is sooo important to have a copy of the manual that goes with your machine.  Each sewing machine can have little differences between other machines, even the mechanical machines but especially the electronic ones.  How a bobbin is wound, or the machine is threaded and don’t get me started on buttonholes.  Sewing machine manufacturers can get very creative with your buttonhole makers.  So I’m adding a link for a website that lists the manufacturers websites.  A lot of manuals can be found online.  It’s really important to have that manual with you when you sew. In order to get the most benefit out of your machine you really need all the information your can find. The manual also addresses troubleshooting and cleaning, which goes a long way to keeping your machine in good working order. If your machine needs oil, make sure your oil is good.  No yellow oil, please!  I’ve also added a link from Craft Nectar with photos on how to clean a front loading machine.  Yours may be a little different, always follow your manual for where to oil and clean your machine, but these pictures may help.

Happy Sewing! Sewing  Craft Nectar