Friday, June 10, 2011

Making the move to Wordpress

I've decided to try hosting my own Word Press blog on the Sewtropolis website.  So far so good, but I can't seem to transfer all my followers. Boo!  I knew there would be a chance I might not be able to do that so I'm hoping you will all make the move on your own.  To entice you a little bit I'm doing a giveaway for enough fabric to make the Ziggy Quilt top.
Visit the new site at to see how you can enter.  (it's really easy)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shelves, Shirt and Serger

In case you missed it, Drew and I finished making the first set of shelves today. It's a good thing he is a math wiz and I know fractions like the back of my hand.  It took a little configuring but we managed to get it together and loaded up with fabric.  
I swear sometimes my neighbors must think I'm a little nuts with the projects I take on around the house, and now I'm sure my neighbors around the shop feel the same way.  For the record, I don't always use a circular saw while wearing a skirt and heels.  
After we got the shelves stocked Drew wanted to start on a sewing project.  He's actually been sewing since he was about 6 and had made about 8-10 quilts. Today though he thought he'd make himself a t-shirt.  

I helped him lay out his fabric, after that he was on his own.  

Cutting out his pieces....

... and once I showed him how to use the serger he was on a roll.  However, once he made a mistake on the serger and saw all the stitches he would have to take out, all the fun stopped.  
He then decided he really didn't want to make a t-shirt anyway and gave it to me to finish.  Which I did, along with a pair of shorts and I now have a nice summer pajama outfit.  Something I needed anyway. 
Drew decided to stick with quilts for now.  I'll show you what he's making once he gets a little further.  

Let's get Ziggy With It

It's so hot outside that we actually broke a few records yesterday, but I am still NOT complaining.  Not that I need an excuse, but I do feel the heat has given me one to stay inside and finish my Ziggy Quilt by Cluck Cluck Sew:  
The last post I showed you how to use the walking foot to "Stitch in the Ditch". Here is a close up of when it worked: 
Can't see any stitches can you?  And here's a picture of when it didn't quite work: 

See those stitches sitting on top of the printed fabric?  Sometimes that happens and I don't stress about it.  I'll drive myself crazy if I do that.
One of the things I like to do is stitch the binding on entirely by machine. (I'm very open about the fact that I do very little hand-sewing.) Normally the binding is stitched to the front of the quilt and then fold it to the back.  But because I use my machine I stitch the binding to the back and bring it to the front.  This way I can see where I'm stitching, making sure that everything looks nice.  Something that would be hard to do if I were sewing it from the back.   
It's hard to see in this picture, but I used a zig-zag stitch to stitch the binding down. I will often use a decorative stitch because:  1. I think it looks better and 2. It's a lot easier for me to do then a straight stitch (remember that Stitch in the Ditch gaff above?)
Here's a shot of the back.   
So with this post and the last we covered the Walking Foot, Stitch in the Ditch and Binding.  Who's ready to make this quilt?  Stay tuned because on Friday I'll be giving away enough 5" squares to make this quilt.  Till then try to stay cool!   

Monday, June 6, 2011

This Foot is Made For Walking

Today's weather in Minneapolis was hot and humid!  There was even a heat advisory issued, but so far I haven't heard anyone complaining! We've had such cold, wet weather that this heat is feeling kinda nice.
However, that doesn't mean I wanted to stay out in it too long and since I was going to be inside anyway, I decided to try and finish up this quilt for the store.

This pattern is Ziggy Baby by Cluck Cluck Sew in Amy Butler's Soul Blossom line. To quilt it together I decided to 'Stitch in the Ditch" and to do that I need a Walking Foot.  For those of you who don't know what a Walking Foot is, it looks something like this:

 If you don't have a foot that looks similar to this you should be able to purchase one at your sewing machine dealer.  It's a handy gadget to have, especially if you like to quilt.

Stitching in the Ditch is a term used when you quilt in the seams.  So you can see by this picture that I have my foot/needle lined up on the seam of the solid and polk-a-dot fabrics.  If everything works out just the way I want it you won't be able to see my stitches ..... because they'll be hidden in the seam or the 'ditch'. 

I want to use the walking foot to do this because if I use a regular (universal) foot the feed dogs (teeth like things under your presser foot) will pull the fabric through the machine, while the universal foot will create a drag on top of the project, causing the two fabrics to be fed through the machine at two different rates.  If you are quilting this is especially problematic because your quilt top will shift creating puckers.  (Fun Fact: there is a formula tailors use to account for drag when sewing sleeves and pant legs.  Once figured out they will cut one piece shorter than the other so that by the time they reach the end the two pieces are even)

By using a Walking Foot I can avoid most, if not all, the drag.  The way the Foot works is like this:  the walking foot has a arm that sits on top of the needle bar.  You can see in the picture above that the needle is down, the arm is down and the foot is up off the fabric.
In this picture you can see the needle up, arm is up and the foot is down.  So if you flip between these two pictures you'll see that the foot is literally walking along the project as you sew.  

No drag means no puckers when you get to the end of the rows.  :-)) 

No puckers on top either and by Stitching in the Ditch all my stitches are hidden (well most of them anyway).  Now who's ready to take a walk?