Craftsy Sale Extended

Craftsy Sale Extended

Anyone who has followed me at all, knows how much I love Craftsy classes.  The do an awesome job and have a wonderful platform.  Right now they’re having a huge sale.  It’s not going to last much longer.  Go check them out if online learning is your thing.  They have some amazing teachers!

New Year’s Resolution …. fail

This is why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions ….

In my attempt to make the resolutions attainable, I went for two this year:

  1. Spending Freeze – No new fabric.  I have to sew from my stash and can only buy if I absolutely cannot finish a project from the stash.  I’m in the process of taking inventory so that I can monitor my progress.
  2. No UFO’s.  I read a blog (and can’t remember which one now!) where a sewist doesn’t begin a project until she finishes the current project.  I know I will not get THAT good, but I would like to keep it down to two or three at a time.  The numbers are a little intimidating right now.  I’m in the process of listing my WIP’s so that I can start marking them off.


As I said, THIS is why I don’t make resolutions:

DSC_0200_1201This was only week two!  I had made a trip to Stitch n Frame in Vicksburg, MS, to take a look at the Gammill Charm I won (yeah, I’m still bragging about it!).  The sale rack was calling my name.  I am SO ashamed of my lack of control.

DSC_0199_1200I also bought other supplies, but the wasn’t on my spending freeze list.  Honestly!  Fabric Only.  (What’s the emoticon for guilt and shame?)


So now I’m hitting ‘RESET’ and starting over.  Determination!  Conviction!  No More Fabric!  (Am I the only one crying here?)

Resolution Two is still intact, but only by the barest thread.  I am on a wholecloth quilt craze right now.  I just broke down and bought Cindy Needham‘s Wholecloth Quilts workbook, and wow, what a lot of information!  That same week Craftsy announced a new class by Cindy on Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts.  Just feeding my obsession!

WholeclothQuiltScottishThistleI already have a design I am working on and constantly editing.  I’ve already changed the corner motifs.  And I need to learn how to operate better in Adobe Illustrator.  I’m using graphics instead of line drawings and the overlay is cutting off the design in places.  Not a real problem because I only need 1/4 of the final design to trace onto the fabric.

If you’re wondering, I take the final PDF to a copy shop and have them run it on 36″ wide paper they have on rolls.  I’m creating one full size in 36″ square.  If I like it and want to go larger, I will have them print 1/2 of the design on 36″ wide, so that the final quilt will be closer to 70″.  But that’s being ambitious.  Patience, Patience, Patience.

BUT!  I can’t start the wholecloth quilt until I finish a couple other items on my list.  (I know I can’t wait till I have all my WIP’s done, so really, why be unrealistic?!)

In the meantime, I have been good on one front.  I’ve been working all week on my Little French Jacket and have made good headway.   Will be posting photos soon.

I hope your resolutions are going stronger than mine and that we all remember we can always re-commit when we stumble (or take a full out nose dive!).

Of course if anyone else is as bad as I am about resolutions, I would love to hear it.  Misery loves company, or so I’ve been told.  ;-D


2013 in Review – part 2

My favorites from 2013:

Made sewing table for Bernina 820 for quilting:


Finally found a Singer Featherweight in my price range!  Yay!

Singer Featherweight 221
Singer Featherweight 221

Just this month won a Gammill Charm.  It should come in mid-January.  I’m really excited, but REALLY need to make space for it.

Craftsy courses taken in 2013:

Wow!  Those are just the courses I have taken this year.  I have a few that I recently bought that are waiting to be viewed.  In review, I can honestly say it is money well spent.   As you can tell, I really focused on sewing and fit this year.  If you love learning new techniques and haven’t tried Craftsy, Do It!  You will love their class format.

So now it’s ‘out with the old, and in with the new.”  I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Sewing Your Own Jeans

A couple weeks ago, after I splurged on Crafty’s awesome $19.99 sale, I spent a couple days watching  classes on making jeans.

Angela Wolf has classes on Pattern Review as well as Craftsy.  In Sewing Designer Jeans she uses her own jean pattern to talk you through the art of making your own jeans.  Some great tips are on distressing the denim to create that broke-in look of your favorite washed and worn jeans.  Other tips include topstitching options and, my favorite, hammering those multi-seamed, hard to sew areas for a flatter, easier to sew seam.

Another class I’ve had in my Craftsy library is Kenneth King’s Jean-ius.  The idea is to take a pair of your favorite, best fitting jeans and create a pattern from them … without taking the jeans apart!  Since I no longer have a favorite fitting jean, I wanted this class more to learn to clone a pair of pants … any pants.  My favorite part of this video is the construction of the jean.  Kenneth talks you through so many why’s and how’s of putting together a pair of jeans and shares some of his favorite methods.  This is definitely a class I will be revisiting.

I recently purchased the Jamie Jean pattern by Named Clothing.  I’ve been a little obsessed with discovering what difference the European cut made in a pair of pants and my daughter has been needing blue jeans, so it was a good excuse.  I have the pattern cut and ready to sew… but no time!  It appears they may have to wait until after Christmas.  But many of the tips from those jeans classes will be put to the test.  🙂

And lastly, I found this post by Don Morin on drafting a pair of American Jeans based on your own measurements.  Creating custom patterns based on measurements has also become a bit of an obsession lately.  I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something that actually fits!

I measured myself, which is always dicey, and drafted a pattern.  I’m pretty proud of myself.  Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so we’ll have to wait to see how the muslin actually fits.

All of this activity was actually from a couple weeks ago.  With Christmas and high school football championship games, it’s been pretty busy around here.  And Christmas is next week.  I’m not ready!  Oh, and my husband is having knee surgery Monday…before Christmas!  It’s going to be crazy around here.

I really need to sew up a few zipper bags before Christmas….let’s see if I actually get it done!

I hope you’re doing a better job of organizing your time.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Ramona and The Iconic Tweed Jacket

In my recent post, I shared that was running an awesome sale on their classes.  If you read it, you know I had quite a few classes in my cart and was trying to decide if I should cut it down a bit.  However, it was too hard to choose, so I didn’t cut any classes from my cart.  Shocker, I know.

This weekend, I watched The Iconic Tweed Jacket with Lorna Knight.  There seems to be so much going on with this style jacket right now.  I’m participating (and way behind!) in the French Jacket SAL hosted by Inna at The Wallinna and Leisa of A Challenging Sew.  I also recently picked up Claire Shaeffer’s book Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan.  So when this class came out, I was VERY tempted.  At the same time I wondered how much of the information would be a repeat of what I already have available.  In the end, I took the chance and added this one to my Craftsy cart during their fabulous sale.

While some of the material does repeat, a lot of it is still fresh.  Lorna approaches this jacket a little differently in places.  I found myself mentally comparing the different techniques and choosing which I thought would be my favorite method.  To begin, she constructs her jacket using the seam allowance and not by marking the seams as I’ve been shown previously.  I love her method of stabilizing the front center, neck and sleeve hem.

Most of all, I enjoyed her teaching style.  (Of course I’m a sucker for the accent…I thought it might be Irish, but she appears to be British??)  She is very methodical and seems to anticipate the questions you are thinking in your head.  The pace was wonderful, neither too slow or too fast.  Lorna offers great tips along with her reasoning for the methods she chooses.  I will definitely be referring back to this class.

If we’re lucky, Craftsy will have plans to bring Lorna back for other classes!

Another review you might find interesting is Red Point Tailor’s:  The French Jacket courses review – part 1

I also watched most of Angela Wolfe’s, Sewing Designer Jeans, and I finally finished Sandra Betzina’s Pants Fitting class, but those reviews are for another day.

And by the way, did you see A Challenging Sew’s post yesterday?  Leisa is planning a sew along (SAL) beginning in January using the free patterns Marfy has made available.  For all you newbies to Marfy, and to current fans, this should be a fun SAL.  (See previous post for more info on these patterns.)

That’s it for now.  Happy Holidays!

Black Friday at Craftsy!

I just opened my email and found this!

I am a total Craftsy fan and find their classes well worth the cost.  But at $20 each?  That’s a fantastic deal.   If you haven’t tried their classes yet, now is the time.  They have classes on sewing, quilting, knitting, cooking, jewelry making, even photography.  I’ve really been impressed with the teachers and the quality programs they put together.  And I LOVE that I can go back and watch them as often as I want.  I have a few that are a total resource for me.

This is what my cart currently looks like!  I’m trying to decide if I can whittle it down a bit, but what to cut??!

Craftsy Sale

I wish you all a great ‘Black Friday’ and hope you find that something special you have been looking for.

Don’t spend too much!

Make It Right Challenge – Follow Up

Textures Make It Right Front 1Textures Make It Right Back 1 A while ago I submitted this quilt for the Make It Right Challenge.  The idea was to use Angela Walter’s Textures panel and Art Gallery solids to create an original design.  The winners were announced here.  You should visit if only to see the first place winner.  It was pretty darn awesome!

My quilt shown here was chosen for Best Use of Color!  I was seriously excited.  There were some wonderful projects submitted so it was an honor to place in this group.

Last week I came home to a box by the front door.  There were some seriously wonderful goodies inside. Take a look.

TexturesChallengeWinnings2Included is Quilter’s Dream batting which is what I have been using lately.  It truly is a dream to quilt with.  I have a piece of their wool batting that I will be trying in the near future.

The ‘pink’ fabrics are Art Gallery Nature Elements and there are fat quarters of Angela Walter’s Textures.  I’m actually working on a medallion quilt using Textures, cranberry tones, and other coordinating fabrics.  These are going to come in handy.

There’s a signed copy of In The Studio by Angela Walters.  Sweet!  I have both of her books already.  They are my go-to when trying to decide on quilting designs or just to play.  I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to play with free motion quilting.  My copy, which isn’t signed, is going to my niece who is just learning FMQ.  The signed copy I’m keeping!  I got to meet Angela at Quilt Con when I took two of her workshops and she is not only extremely talented, but a total sweetheart.

TexturesChallengeAurifilThen there is a Bari J Splendor Aurifil set.  Love it!  I’ve been wanting to try both the 28 weight and the new embroidery floss Aurifil just came out with.  This set is the 28 weight thread in some gorgeous colors.  I started doodling with it and they are great to work with.




Lighter than DMC embroidery floss, but it shows up really well in embroidery designs.  I can definitely see how this would be fun to hand quilt when you want the thread to show.   There was no tangling and it laid on the fabric beautifully. 

Not shown above is the coupon included for a free Craftsy class.  I’m a huge Craftsy fan.  I have taken loads of quilting and sewing classes from them and have found them to be a fantastic value.  I’ve been wanting to take the Tilton’s t-shirt class for a while and took advantage with this coupon I received.

So that was my early Christmas present.  😀

So much fun!



Fun with dying fabric

I have such a blast with the Craftsy classes.  Today I was working again on dying fabric using tips by Malka Dubrawsky in her class.

I couldn’t find Pima cotton locally, so I looked through my white stash and found the finest 100% cotton I could find.  I started with two half yard pieces.  I knew I wanted to start with two colors that would both work with a third so I could use one dye bath on the second process.  I decided to start with a yellow and a dark orange, then move to turquoise.  The intension was to end with a green and yellow, and to discharge the orange and have a turquoise and orange.

1. Started with Dark Orange, 2. Discharged and dyed Turquoise, Didn’t discharge as much as I wanted and it is now more gray, but I do like it. 3. First dyed Yellow, next dyed Turquoise. Used a lot of wax tools for the Yellow dye (just to see what the effect was) and used the potato masher all over for the Turquoise., 4. Tools used to transfer wax. 5. Still had some small wash ‘crumbs’ on the fabric after removing the wax.

For the first piece, I was using almost every tool I had pulled just to see what they would look like.  My favorite tool was a toilet paper roll …how crazy.  One end was perfectly round and the other had gotten a little pinched and was a great egg shape.  I really liked overlapping them two or three times.  On this first piece I dyed yellow and then turquoise.  Since it’s so crazy with all the patterns, I will cut it and use in a charm or 2.5″ square type situation.

One tool I was excited about was some old wooden spools I had.  I pulled a really small and another larger spool, glued them to wine corks and tried them as wax tools.  I was really disappointed.  They didn’t transfer wax well at all.  I was hoping to see the spool end and small opening, but I usually just got blobs.  Not good.

On the second piece, I loved the initial orange.  It was a great rich color.  When I moved to discharge, I didn’t review instructions and started with 1 cup clorox and 1 cup vinegar in their respective bath buckets.  The orange didn’t discharge hardly any at all!  Says something for the colorfastness of the dye.  After about 45 minutes and little color change, I double checked the instructions and upped the bleach.  I was out of patience at that point and really didn’t allow the fabric to discharge as much as I had planned.  The background color turned more gray than I intended, but I do like it.  It had been a week since the original dye and I believe the original wax had gotten broken up and allowed the turquoise into the original white sections, so I did get some good turquoise after all.   Lucky accident.