Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For my students...tank top pattern and sewing it

Ok, talked to some of my sewing students, and the biggest request out right now is for a tank-top tutorial. Since clothing isn't my strong-point, this is extremely challenging, but thanks to the web...we have help!  I've reviewed this particular tutorial, and it's pretty darn close to how I was planning to explain it all. Using this help plus a few things I think my particular students need to know/ we go!

OK. Now that you've watched said my points.
1.  Use a thinner paper (or even use scrap cloth like muslin)....posterboard is expensive, and extremely hard on your scissors. If I find out you used your fabric scissors to cut your pattern, I'm going to be terribly unhappy. :(
2.  She doesn't address the issues between the fronts and backs of our bodies. Boobies (yes, using that word now) take up room. Boobies and style should be accounted for.
   a. On the pattern piece for the back (yes, make a second one), cut the neckline higher than the neckline for the front. This will make your tank look more like what you'll get from a purchased pattern.
   b. Between the front and the back, the arm holes should look slightly different. The ones for the front should be dipped down just a bit more. Easiest way to learn this is to cut your first one the way she does, try it on, and don't feel upset if it needs a bit of adjusting. The thinner you are, the less likely you are to notice the need for this. To make the adjustment, keep the same marking points, but make the curve in the armhole a bit deeper, and slightly more towards the center of the bust of the shirt, not just towards the "fold line" of the pattern. In her pattern, it's more towards the center of her neckline. Bigger busted girls should also raise their neckline slightly for modesty. This will keep coverage. You can always make it deeper, but can't add fabric back once it's cut off.
3. Make sure to note that the edge of the paper (or line you've pre-drawn) is the FOLD line. You fold your fabric in half, and this edge goes even with your fold on your fabric. If you accientally cut your fabric here, you're going to have a lot of fix work, that in some cases, is more expensive than it's worth.

That gets the pattern done.

NOW to the fun part of sewing it! Once you've cut your two pieces (one front, one back), the next step is assembly. The side seams and those with the 5/8" seam allowance. If you're using a knit (receommended if you're following her pattern method), you need to use a zig-zag stitch. Remember that this fabric will stretch, and your stitch needs to stretch as well. To hem the bottom, fold up the bottom edge twice to meet the hemline from your pattern, pin, and use the zigzag stitch on your machine to stitch at the edge of your folds to secure. To secure the edges of the sleeves and neckline, it's pretty much the same need to use a zigzag. You need to test your stitches on scraps of the same material, and see how they perform over different areas of the fabric. You want to test diagonally across, horizontally, and vertically on the fabric. Some knits work differently depending on the direction. You want to make sure your stitches look good, as well as don't come out before you wear your tank out on its first wear.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is There a Reason???

Drama is best kept on the stage and in the theatre system. At worst, kept alive by television shows, movies, and books. Drama is not best-served in person. It is truly best-served in small doses, as you watch on for other people to deal with. I have determined (although I admit, through a rather small sampling of the human population) that those who start drama and manage to persist in constant drama are they themselves unhappy with their own fortunes and/or lots in life.

My child's other biological parent is one of those such people. Through arrogance, sarcasm, and a very poorly developed sense of right or wrong, there is a constant stream of degradation and defiance coming from their home. I feel at a loss so many times to competently deal with the drama that is attacking me on a near constant basis.

Readers, in whatever you do, to whomever it's done to, please be respectful that you are in constant dealings with other human beings. These human beings are dealing with their own set of challenges, whether they be social, academic, or spiritual. NO HUMAN DESERVES MALTREATMENT. I don't care how much of an idiot they seem to be, each one has their own mission in life, no matter how trivial or substantial. I can't say it any clearer that I hate drama for the sake of drama. I also cannot stand to see words or actions used to abuse another human being!

Ok, rant over....Thank you for reading that one....I promise I'll post a quilting post next.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

If Only...

If only humans had tails like dogs.....then we'd all know the level of each other's interest, dislike, or mental state. Granted, that would mean that quilting wouldn't exactly be an option...

Alright, for what I mentioned on FB. I've had several major upsets in the past month.

I have been a regular guest within a group of supposedly like-minded individuals. I say guest, because as of earlier this month, I STILL don't quite feel like I belong. One group "member" advertised that they had tickets for a specific event, to which I and others wanted to go. Since these tickets had been given to the group, I assumed that I could have one. I really hate having to beg to get anything. Nevertheless, I felt like I had to state I-ABSOLUTELY-WILL-BE-GOING-AND-CANNOT-AFFORD-TO-WITHOUT-THESE-TICKETS to get one. Then the very group member who so "graciously" allowed me to have a ticket posted a group request asking when people would be at the ticketed event (being held over a few days) and when. While others answered (myself included), the original poster didn't. I ran into said person at the event along with someone else who'd not been at the get-together, or posted when they would be attending. Neither person said, "hello" to me. I get tired of the drama. This hasn't been the first case of secret groups-within-the-group involving this person and this larger group, but it's my last one to witness.

Second blow, different group..
I've been attending a semi-local quilt guild's meetings, and offered my help during the quilt show they were hosting. I helped wherever I was needed until it became time to help hang up the quilts. Since my help wasn't needed in other areas, I started taking charge to get the quilts hung. I decided what groups of quilts should go to what building (of two), and took charge to get them hung in Building 1. I even got on the ladder and after having hung about 3 quilts, I made a wrong move and fell off of my ladder. I fell directly on my left hip, bruising it pretty severely. I STILL got back up on that ladder (because the people willing to be up on the ladder didn't need to be on it, either. I helped hang/arrange over 85 quilts that evening. I slept the night there, and woke up the next day extremely stiff and hurting. I stayed throughout the day, anyway, and directed the hanging of over 65 quilts in Building 2. I left afterwards, and headed home. I was BACK out there (did I mention it's around an hour drive?) by 8:30 the next morning. I got put at a table with the Hatfields. I guess I should explain. Within this guild there are two warring factions, specifically jointed around two ladies in particular. The McCoy's: their warring lady is on the board. The Hatfields, their lady hasn't been a major player in the guild in the last 3-4 years or so. I get along with both "families" and get asked by the McCoys to do one set of tasks, and the Hatfields leave me alone. So, back on topic, I'm at a table with someone considered to be a Hatfield, and inside the building are a couple more Hatfields. The McCoys give me instructions on topics they do not wish talked about with the Hatfields. So I'm supposed to my job in the freezing cold wind on a mountain in the shade, manning a table with a lady that I'm not supposed to talk on certain topics with.

So, I sleep the night at the site AGAIN with the two who've been there, camped out. I can't talk about my day, because it was miserable (who wants to hear about freezing your hands/toes off?), or anything I talked about (why would I repeat nonsense chit-chat about my family or upcoming projects, again). I also can't really describe the chatter and whispers I've heard from the Hatfields, as that's not fair to divulge one group's secrets and slights to the other when I can't reciprocate (and I don't like talking about it). So I talk about the one thing that I year's quilt show. The ideas I've spent all day working in my head (since I'm not supposed to talk quilt show with the Hatfields) get shut down at every turn. I can't bring up one topic of next year's show without getting told that "it's already been worked out" or "we're waiting for this before we'll even talk about it." I don't have anything left to talk about, and I don't have any energy to keep going for any other topics, so I just stop talking. I get to listen to one McCoy call her friends to exclaim her excitement about a rumor of a Hatfield leaving the group (rumor wasn't from me). I then get to listen to the both of the two campers being catty about others from the group. I also got to listen to my work (having decided what quilts go in what buildings) being criticized, as well as the number of ladies who showed up to work became a problem. I have never heard someone complain before about having too much help. There is a difference between having enough help, and knowing how to direct said help. I've run stores, and often not with my choice on work staff. I learned how to direct and demand attention, and I employed that during hanging quilts. It was quite disparaging to get told that "this was the most trouble I've ever had getting quilts hung" from someone who wasn't even in the building during quilt hanging for most of the time. I had some family stuff going on also, so I left first thing the following morning after making my apologies for leaving abruptly.

Now, I didn't post this to air dirty laundry. That's not my style, nor my intent. No one needs that kind of drama (thus the Hatfields and McCoys; no locations given; no names; no group names; etc.).

It is physically and emotionally taxing when people decide that through whatever reason, they have the power, right, or entitlement to talk about others in a negative light, keep things from the group to play keep-away from certain people, or criticize others because they feel they are inadequate in their own duties. I don't do drama. I don't post every day, or even every week simply because my only comments would come off as drama, or unnecessary chatter. I have made my final decision, come what may. To those who are affected unnecessarily by this, I apologize now. I am leaving/staying out of the groups/guilds where these dramas occurred. I will not return unless I sense a genuine change of heart in either of the main proponents of the drama in each group. I have no time or energy to devote to someone else's ego-trip, high-school-popular-kid's group routine, or micro-management. I already have a job that I'm really good at, and none of this is ever involved in it. I don't need it in the hobby world.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cathedral Windows and Such Ramblings...

I have been swamped trying to juggle school drop offs/pickups, during-school schedules, after-school schedules, workouts, and quilting.

Pardon the short post, but wanted to let you in on the quilting work I'm focusing on right now. The Mother-in-Law's quilt....a Cathedral Stained Glass Quilt.

This is not to be confused with this: (Although I have to admit that I have yet to do one of those, and plan to before I go to quilting heaven..)

I'm taking my focus from a window I can't place (I don't know where the window is, and I don't know the name of the cathedral, photographer of the photo, etc. ...I'm so sorry that I didn't grab all that.) I've got a picture I accidentally drew over in MSPaint that shows the whole window. This is the main part I'm focusing the quilt around.

While I'll admit, mine won't be quite as symetrical as it would be to be a replica, I have an intentional reason to not do so (I may choose to explain later, I may not). 

I had considered doing something to pull this window: 
Which is the South Rose Window of the Chartres Cathedral. While beautiful, it is currently far too intricate for my timeline of 4 months, and I can't really change the colors or themes to reflect the recipient's choices of reds and golds. to get walking to pick up youngest school person, then off to pick up next one. Tomorrow, driving the oldest one off to college again. I promise I will eventually get back to this thing. (Today, I just got the 4 main pieces drawn and freezer-papered for templates to use later. Woot! Progress!!!)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Travesty Called Time...and Other Ramblings

OK, Everyone....

I'm kinda back (again)....

To explain my absence (not really necessary, but will comment anyway), I have to take a two-fold approach.
One, my health has been really iffy in: not sleeping, hyper-sensitive to everything (light, sound, touch, etc.), and stress. We're still working on figuring out this sudden change, so please be patient while I expect to start playing russion roulette with meds again next month to see if we can find the problem.
Two, there've been more than a few "outside affecting issues" preventing me from wanting to post. I've held off in deference to detracting from the issues others have going on (where my posts would help some, it would distract others from paying attention to those truly needing it). I've also been swamped with multiple different things (and one of those is in the form of much-needed, paying work).

Now, to update you on the few things that are GOING to happen (I'm holding off on the "has happened" for a very, justifiable reason).

1. Christmas is upon us....Yes, it's the latter half of July, but that is when most quilters who've put off Christmas stuff really start worrying and preparing things for gifts. So that quilted pot holder or simple pajama pants that you got from us last year? was in the works since MUCH earlier in the year. If not, it wasn't because something a bit bigger was in the works.
I've got one super-large order for Christmas. Last year I gave out three quilts to members of my family. This year, it's my Mother-in-Law's turn. I promised her last year that she'd get a quilt this year, and she finally gave me her color choices. My current plan (please don't hold me to this....anyone!) is a stained-glass, Spanish-Gothic inspired quilt. I'm planning to use window ideas from Spanish and southwest-Americana stained glass windows along with some of the features of her furniture from the room that the quilt will go into.

2. I am planning (hoping, really....planning may be too strong a word) to do some webcasts with sewing projects and/or sewing techniques. I've got some young sewists who've learned the art and procedure to sewing from me....and most of them don't live nearby for one reason or another. Most of them do, however, have internet access and would be happy to have my that's the plan/hope.

3. School starts in little less than a month for my boys (one high school, the other elementary), and for my daughter (college) I'll be running around like crazy with that in addition to work.

So....among the things that are going to happen...none of them leave me much time for this blog. That doesn't mean I won't be trying (I'm very trying at times), but it does mean that I'm now going to have to schedule time to work on it. See you in a couple of days again, methinks! (Sooner if I nail down ideas or finish ANYTHING!)

Monday, June 10, 2013

7 Months in the making...

I swore I'd share this quilt with the public after it's debut last Tuesday. It's a celebration quilt for the Blount County Quilt Guild's 25th anniversary. I've been working on it since last December (when I started the idea and requesting the blocks, photos, and name lists to complete it).

There are 41 current members, and currently 7 "sustaining" members from the guild's first few years. All 41 names are listed on the sides, and on each of the 7 pieced block sections, the name of a sustaining member is embroidered.  The photo on the left is of the original guild members, and the one on the right is current as of 2013. There is an Established Date block in the lower right hand (it's in place of an 8th block). The center is also embroidered in two different shades of silver. There are also 7 hand-pieced/hand assembled pink dogwood blooms in the center block. The quilt was quilted with clear monofilament thread on top and grey cotton underneath. The quilt also has a false back covering the white back of the quilt. This false back uses pink, grey and white fabrics from the front of the quilt. I put it there to protect the quilt for many years of wear hanging in the guild house. The binding is white, and hand-sewn. 

(Several of the sustaining member blocks were hand-pieced. There will be/has been a photo with a group of the sustaining members published in local newspapers as well.) 

Now, to make things even more interesting, my little boy has just finished his first quilt top!  I normally don't share people photos, but this was too good not to share. 

He started this quilt top back in December after prodding me for a couple of years to let him machine sew. He's always been proud of buttons I've let him sew on or embroidery work I've let him do (all by hand), but he's been longing to get behind a machine and use an amazing power tool. And yes, I just called sewing machines power tools.....I rather love my power tools.... but moving on....
He was extremely proud to hold his quilt up in front of mine to show his ties to an even greater legacy I hope he's really starting to understand. I should have known when just over a year or two ago he watched in amazement as I made a couple of purses as Christmas gifts that he'd be using one of my old machines by now. 

His exact words regarding the purses: "When I grow up, I want to sew purses for people just like you, Mommy!" 

Whilst this definitely isn't a bag of any sort, it's something that he'll keep and cherish for a lifetime. He already knows that it's hard work and plans to hang the completed quilt on the wall in his room after it's made a few quilt show rounds!

He was excited enough that he immediately wanted to baste his quilt and get started quilting it. 

I think the bigger challenge for him will be getting it done in time for the next local quilt show in October!
:) Whew!