Sunday, June 21, 2015


Are you ever happy for someone else? Seem like you get exited for them? That is the feeling I have for Mel. Remember when we walked into Hoover’s and saw the new Bernina longarm? (May 30th post) She bought it!
So now she is reconfiguring her house to accommodate the new machine. She is busy having her husband (and friends) redo floors, move rooms, etc.

(The room is finished but she asked me not to post it. It is a beautiful sewing room!)

Lar and I go ballroom dancing and after seeing this at
Hopeful Honey's photo.
 I thought ‘Oh that won’t take long, looks like 3-4 hours to make. WRONG!! 24 hours later I had a new skirt.
Such frustration! The instructions forgot to put in the most important step and dummy me did not catch it. The layers of tulle should have been basted together so they did not move around when sewing on the elastic I just pinned in place. Every time I went to stretch the elastic the pins would come out and the tulle would shift. Now that I know this I will be making the next one differently.  Red maybe???
I have finished my mini flag wall hanging. After putting the yo-yos on the background I noticed the light ones were on the same background color. I stitched a darker piece of fabric down for the flag to be on.

This is how I do my blanket stitch: I put my open toed foot on, press the needle down button; move the needle position all the way over so that the needle will come down right off the fabric on the left.

 The blanket stitch will come over unto the left fabric….  
I can use the presser foot as my guide so that the straight stitch part of the blanket stitch stays right next to the fabric.
 If you have any questions just ask.
For the next couple of days because my mouth will not say NO I will be painting my friend's bathroom. I thought I would be able to get the painting started Thursday so I could have it finished Monday (tomorrow) but she did not get anything done when I got there so I had to strip the wallpaper and prep first.
Do you notice all the cutting in that needs done and this is only part of the work?
It’s been a while since the BS’ers got together so we went out the other day. Food was OK, but I really wanted the Rueben, they were out. I will give them one more try.

Remember this?
My Pineapple Quilt which is….FINISHED!!  Now I’m getting hungry for some cake….

 I used over 3,964 pieces of fabric for this top.
I sewed some in and meandered the rest.

This is the stencil I made.
I came across a great site for blogging while surfing. Because I am still new to blogging I found some of their tips very helpful. Yvonne at

What a great idea!
When I am getting ready to can I get my jar lids out and go through them to throw out the rusty ones. If you clean and dry them instead of throwing them in a box or bag (I do) hang them up. They do not get rusty.
Have a great week.
D.G. L

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Starting To UFO Bust!

I have been off of work for 1 ½ months now and am not liking it on one hand but on the other it is great! I have my evaluation meeting this Tuesday so wish me luck on keeping my hours and position.
I started pulling out my old…really old UFOs some of which I forgot I had...

Do you know what this is?
 It is called a locker hook (see it printed on the package?) and you ‘weave’ a string through a strip of fabric pulled up through a mesh background. I know sounds confusing but it is easy and oh so mindless. If you have a lot of idle time on your hands OK but if not DO NOT BUY/GET THIS! I started a small floor mat (35” x 25”)  about 4-5 years ago and finally finished it. When I started it I even had the thought of making it a little larger. Thank goodness I didn’t. Every time Lar walked past me as I was working on it he would say something like ‘You know you can buy those at the bargain store for a few bucks’, or ‘You know they have machines that make those and sell them in stores.’ I replied with ‘I started it and I have to finish it!’ Notice I used the word have? I want to know who brain washed me into thinking I had to finish it?!?
(Notice date of signature:)
That's when I started this:
I bought the fabric (hand dyed cotton) because I liked what Glenda Sha of Liberty Homestead designed. No it did not take a picture of the finished design and no I did not buy the pattern, silly me. Now I'm not sure what it really looked like so I am just making something up as I go. I will post pic when finished and no I am not waiting another 5 years! It had better be finished by next week!

A little sneak peek that is a relatively new UFO.
I started it last April and now all  I have to do is sew the binding down, clean it up, and slap a label on it.
Did I guesstimate thread close enough?
This is a pin cushion from the webinar mentioned in a previous post that was given by Margaret Moorehead. (BS'ers close your eyes.) Let’s just say I am starting to make this year’s Christmas gifts.
I finally put my tomato plants in the ground and am hoping to be eating fresh off the vine tomatoes before August. Hopefully all the plant food I am giving them will help. I also put some pepper plants, dill, and melons in the ground. Planted some herbs but have to go back to the store for the lettuce, spinach, and kale I forgot! Too many things to do on my mind I guess.
I also forgot the peat moss I needed for this:

I hope it turns out….
My house does not like plants or is it my plants do not like my house? Either way I only have 2 plants left out of the 100+ plants I had when I moved up from TN.
The small one (in center) is a ‘Christ In A Manger’ and the other is a ‘Mother In Law's Tongue’ (on right). The later plant was my mother’s and she passed away in 1995 so you know I have to baby it. The ‘Christ In A Manger’ plant is very interesting. It looked totally dead years ago when I was still in Tn. I put it outside to throw it away. Months later when I went to clean up the pots to reuse them,
lo and behold it was alive! It was a miracle!
The planter I received as a gift from Lar some time back and I brought it home from the studio. Guess that’s why it looks so good yet, the house hasn’t had time to kill it…

I saw this on the Penn State Master Gardener's site and thought it was a great idea.
They  said to use diapers and take the crystals out of them but I thought these 'jewels' were less expensive.
 I had a 50% off coupon and paid a little less then $2.50!
I could not find the post I saw this on originally but looked up water retention and found the same idea at:  Once there look up crystal, soil, polymer, water retention.
Maybe this is the trick I need for my house plants so I am giving it a try. I also put the jewels in the soil for all the other planting I did but I just sprinkled the jewels on the ground and worked them into the soil. I did not rehydrate them first.

Have a great week!

D.G. L

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Zippy How To

Good Morning! I had a jammed packed week again.
A recent customer called and said the fish panel I designed for her had to have hooks put on because she wanted to 'install' it over her sink. First I'm thinking she gave me the measurements and I made it to the size she told me the opening of the fascia would be. Then I'm thinking "hooks"? I didn't allow for hooks to be attached! The carpenter installs the panel from the back of the fascia into the opening using brads, easy peasy!
So I went to see what she was talking about. You will notice there is NO OPENING!
OK so it's open at the bottom but the panel was not designed to hang it was meant to 'sit', to have support on the bottom of the panel. If it hangs eventually the panel would start sagging for lack of support.
Now what to do??? I brought it home, soldered wires (multiple) to the back of the panel and she will have to wrap the wires around screws she puts up there somewhere.
I have been working on a 'by the month' quilt given by Karen Walker: for a few months. She is doing a ‘by the month’ tutorial on different techniques and skills and I thought this would be a great learning piece. It sews up really fast and easily and it’s not too late for you to join in before the bell rings for summer vacation! (She named the piece "School Bell Has Rung".) I am not liking the fabric choice I made in the center, the greenish teal around the purple. I auditioned the two fabrics (at bottom of picture) and chose the one on the right for the border.
 I would love to rip out the center and put something else there but I keep telling myself I need to be learning how to quilt proficiently not reverse sew. I already know how to do that! 

Did you know you can make bread in your Crockpot?!?
I make a lot of things in mine, but did not know about the bread. I tried it and it really works! I like it better then baking it in the oven because this method is moister and the bread stays moist. When I bake the bread in the oven it seems to be dry by the next day. One little hint though. Make sure you have your thermometer on F not C. I kept waiting for 200° and after 2 hours noticed that my thermometer was set on C. Thankfully it was the perfect timing for the bread to be done. YUMMMY!!!!
****(Make sure to put water in the bottom of your crockpot so it does not crack from getting too hot. Put a bowl or something on bottom to set your bread pan on.)
For a while now I kept getting a gunk build up on my iron’s sole plate.
I cleaned the iron out with vinegar thinking it was the water I filled it with. I scraped the gunk off with a knife because nothing; and I mean nothing, would take it off! (I tried a scouring pad, more vinegar, vinegar and salt, a Mr. Clean eraser just to name a few ways.) I just couldn’t figure out why this build up was happening causing my iron to stick to the fabric. One day while I was complaining to Lar about this he asked me if it could be the spray starch. Of course right away I said ‘No’ I’ve been starching with a great product for years!
As an afterthought (and when Lar walked away) I sprayed a spot of starch on a towel and set my iron on that spot. WHAT?!?! There was a gunk spot on my iron!!! How did Lar know that the starch was causing the build up??? Does anyone out there know if there is a ‘shelf life’ on Best Press? I use this brand because I like to starch my fabrics before I cut them and like the smell. I am very leery to use this brand anymore because it takes too long to clean my sole plate
I have a large sage bush and knew it was time to trim it. My son has a fire pit and he and his friends love to sit out at night by it. They do not like the bugs however so I made him these.
I tied a bunch in bundles, cut them and now all he has to do is throw a tied bundle on the fire and the bugs will be deterred.
I absolutely love ‘zippy bags’! They make such wonderful gifts for all occasions!
I have these in my purse.
I make them in all different sizes for my suitcase: shoes, makeup, jewelry, for my purse: all sorts of purse stuff…so when a friend asked me to make something for her for as a baby gift I thought of these right away! ( I call them ‘zippy bags’ because they zip and you can make them in a zip.)

Here is a step by step ‘how to’ the way I make these bags:

Start with 2 pieces of fabric, one is your fashion fabric the other is the lining.
Usually I use muslin (inexpensive) for the lining but because these bags were for babies (twins) I lined them with vinyl. (If you are unsure as to what size to make your ‘zippy’ start with fabrics measuring 8” x 16". After you make your first one you will have the technique and then you can make whatever size.)
After cutting out both pieces of fabric the same measurements I use 505 Spray to ‘glue’ the wrong sides together to make 'one piece of fabric'. If you want you can quilt them together or sew them together, just so you end up with 'one piece of fabric'.
Open up your zipper, place it down on the right side of the fashion fabric (right sides together), pin in place then sew to the top of your bag. (Use the general sewing directions for zippers.)
It does not matter how long the zipper is  as long as it is longer than the fabric, you will be cutting the excess off.
Now sew the other half of the zipper to the other top (or bottom if you choose to call it that) of the bag, making sure to close the zipper to line up everything. Pin in place.  Reopen the zipper. (Don’t forget you have to turn down the edge so you will sew the zipper face down to the right side of the fashion fabric, right sides together.)
Notice how I just 'met' the top and bottom.
Sew in place.
Top stitch zipper.
Close zipper.
Decide where you want the opening to be. This can be at the top, not on the top, in the middle, on the back, anywhere.  (No, your fabric will not change colors when you do this, I forgot to take pictures of the pink one before I sewed the first side.)
Mark “the top fold” with a pin and turn so that the wrong side is out (You will be sewing the right sides together).
Sew a ½” seam on one side.
I sew back and forth over zipper.
Measure to make sure the zipper is even on both sides. Pin.
Make sure to open zipper.
Sew other side.
Clip corners. Cut extra zipper length off.
Turn bag right side out.
Of course I just bought 10 yards of zippers about 2 weeks ago but not a one white, pink, or light blue.
I buy them for $1.00 a yard and cut them to whatever size my 'zippy' is.
Do you get aggravated by your thread coming off your bobbin instead of winding onto your bobbin?
I string the thread around the bobbin once then hold ‘the tail’ down with my finger. I then turn my ‘bobbin starter’ on with my free hand, remove my finger, and no more unraveled non wound bobbins!
Have a great Week!
D.G. L