Monday, October 14, 2019

My New Chair Side Hand Sewing Station


A purchased hat box, and a re-purposed table base, it stands 24" high 
and sits next to my favorite chair for having my hand sewing supplies
ready to use.

The lid has a pocket for my pattern.


This is the hat box, empty - showing the plywood stabilizer.



Here it is filled with a current project.
Scrap wood, dowels, an empty spool, tubing, and Epoxy 
were used to make a caddy.


This is the empty spool before drilling, and gluing.

The cardboard hatbox will be replaced with 
a wooden cheese box
that will be sanded, lined and finished.

But - I couldn't wait to use it!

It is a copy of one I bought at an
Arts and Crafts Fair in the 1980s, 
and lost in a move.

Monday, October 7, 2019

How to Sew by Hand


  • Thread the needle

If you thread the needle before cutting the thread, 
you know you have the twist of the thread going in the right direction.
The cut end is where you would have a knot, if you had a knot.

  • Cut the thread but do not knot it.
A knot is a bump that is subject to friction, and can be worn away.
Instead, take 3 teeny tiny stitches in one spot.

If you plan to remove the thread, for basting: you may knot it 
and enter the fabric a little ways away from where you start to stitch.
A basting stitch is by nature easy to remove.

If I am doing hand appliqué, I bury the end of my thread 
in between the appliqué and the foundation fabric.




My friend Malgorzata J Jenek made the video on hand sewing.
She is a delightful lady in Germany.
Her Etsy Shop is:MJJenekdesigns

  • While you sew, the thread becomes twisted. It may look like this:


The solution is to twist the needle between your thumb and finger
 til the thread relaxes and lays straight.

  • Finish off with 3 tiny stitches, and either cut the the thread, or bury it, then cut.

Happy Stitching!


By the way: the appliqué pattern I am stitching is from Connie Sue Haidle,
of  ABQConnieSue.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

My Preferred Method

For making a Circular Patch


I make 4 "Drunkards Path" blocks at a time using the following method.


To determine the size of the block, including seam allowances:
  • Find the radius of the circle. If your Drunkards Path Block is illustrated in actual size, you can find the radius by measuring from the curved line of the circle to the center. It may look like the illustration below from Patterns From History  The diameter of the circle is two times the radius. To draw the circle with a compass, you will set the pencil point the same distance from the compass needle as the radius because the compass is measuring the circle from the center.
Solomon's Puzzle Quilt Block Pattern


Note that the curved line of the entire circle is called the diameter.

To Make 1/4th of the circle:
  • Cut out the paper pattern and remove the seam allowance along the curve of one piece.
  • Attach the two pieces with glue or tape, making sure the outside edges match.

  • Make 4 to have a pattern for a complete circle and glue or tape them together matching up the cutting lines of the blocks.
Note that the circle is not a true circle, due to the seam allowances for the Drunkard's Path Blocks.
In order to have a true circle you would remove the seam allowances within the the block.

An easier way to make a simple circle in a square

 is to draw a circle the diameter you want

within a square that is any size you wish and add seam allowance.


How to sew the circle block? 

  • The stitching line of the circle is basted, cut out, and the seam allowances are clipped.
  • Lay the circle fabric (in this case, white) on the foundation fabric (tan) and pin.
  • With the sewing machine set to the blind hem stitch and presser foot: Baste the circle down onto the foundation fabric. Only catch the circle fabric edge with the blind hem stitch.
  • Lift the circle fabric. Remove the basting thread that marked the stitching line. Your guide will now be the dots that are visible from the blind hem stitch.
  • Machine stitch the circle, using the dots, and pressing crease as your guide.
  • Remove all basting and press.

  • The finished Circle in a Square



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Another way To make

 a Split Leaf Appliqué

This is posted in support of Connie Sue Haidle's
instructions for QuikPrep Appliqué™
Connie Sue teaches through her YouTube videos
and her closed FaceBook
group titled Apple Blossom Quilts Group.

To draw the template  you will need:

  1. Compass: Speeed Bow from Pacific Arc is optional*
  2. Cardstock: 12" X 12" allows for extending division lines.
  3. Protractor:  Used to divide the circle into 8 sections
  4. Pencil or pen
*Pacific Arc Speed Bow Compass is available from: Pacific Arc
The deluxe set is under $20.

Two Templates are drawn as one, and cut apart:

Draw a circle the diameter you need on cardstock 
  1. Divide the circle into 8 equal parts using a protactor.
  2. Divide the circle in half with a line.
  3. To one half, add 1/4" seam allowance to the concave curve.
  4. To the other half, add 1/4" seam allowance to the convex curve.
  5. Cut on the solid lines to make the template. The dashed line is the stitching line.
  6. Place the template on a fabric square and draw the cutting line.

To Make the Fabric Patch:

  • Cut two pieces of contrasting fabric, using each of the templates. 
          Size should be about 2 inches wider and longer than finished leaf.
  • Clip the seam allowance of the concave curve, near but not on the stitching line. You may wish to draw your seam line on the fabric with chalk.
  • Pin the two pieces together matching division marks. 


     The piece on the bottom will be flat, while the piece facing you will have  folds radiating from the stitching line, and the seam allowance will spread where clipped.

Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance and a 1.8 length stitch.

Finish the Patch

  1. Press the patch flat.
  2. Trim one seam allowance slightly smaller than the other to reduce bulk.

Apply the Patch to the Background

and make the QuikPrep™ Stitch



A pin at the beginning and end of the split leaf seam 
on the pattern 
will indicate the placement of the fabric patch.


Vogue 9167 Misses

A Basic Princess Line Pattern

with options for A, B, C, and D Cup sizes


Those who know  me know that I normally avoid
using an American made commercial pattern.

This may be the exception.  

Notice that it has different sizing for the different size bra cups!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Inspiration from St. John, V.I.



The Virgin Islands are beautiful, but none more so than Cruz Bay, St. John.
My linen wardrobe was ideal.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

I've heard of blocking knits,

 but why block woven linen?



I wanted my linen fabric stretched before cutting. 


I cut a piece of brown packing paper as wide as my fabric,
and as long as the amount I needed to cut on the bias.
This is my template. The corners are no longer 
90° - but are 75° in the acute angle.

I covered it with contact paper to protect it from moisture.

I used 5.3 oz. 46/37 tpi linen - which is 
a medium weight, not tightly woven cloth.

The linen was wetted with a spray water bottle, 
and laid on my template.
I smoothed with the palms of my hands
til the fabric lay along the template edges.

Wet linen relaxes and expands; as it dries
it contracts, so pinning is not recommended,
unless you only pin one side of the cut edge
and one side of the selvedge.