Wednesday, July 18, 2018

All the Thread

A couple weeks ago I told you about my thread problem. I've been working on getting my upgraded thread rack built and installed in my thread closet (yes, I need a closet to hold it all, I'm not even sure all of it is in there).
Here is a look at what my thread storage looked like before I started.
This woodworking project took two people and more hours than I cared to count. We cut a bucket-full of pegs. Mostly because my planning was more than a little off. Not that that work will be wasted.
We drilled hundreds of holes. I was overly proud of this jig to help me evenly space the holes.
We constructed the frame. The staple gun paid its rent on that day.
And I glued hundreds of pegs into those holes. 
In the end, I had a new thread rack, with the capacity to hold about 280 spools of thread.
I grabbed my bin full of thread and started sorting. 
I don't know that this is the final layout, but it is a start. I didn't realize how many cones of tan-to-brown thread I had compared to the other colors. Not nearly enough blue and purple in my opinion. Good selection of grays, though. All the cones on the far right are King Tut and Fantastico, for those times you need a variegated thread. The others are my very favorite long arm quilting thread So Fine#50 from Superior Threads.

This doesn't include the threads I still have on small spools. I'll need to build another rack for those. Thank goodness I still have some materials left over.

Tools (affiliate links)

Monday, July 16, 2018

In The Hoop: Roberta Cross Body

I've been working on several in the hoop projects over the last couple weeks. I'm intrigued by the steps and how to incorporate them into an embroidery design. Basically, I'm learning the whys of stitch order and how that relates to bag construction.
I picked up a the Roberta Crossbody Zipper Bag from Designs by Little Bee. The design includes three sizes: 5" x 7", 6" x 10", and 8" x 12". This one is the 8" by 12" bag, which means it is big enough to hold an iPad Mini. The directions are very clear and include loads of photographs. This wasn't my first lined bag made with an in the hoop design, so I had some experience with the technique. I you're wondering why that anchor is stitched onto the stabilizer, it's because I didn't look at the anchor design in detail before starting and wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before I stitched down the fabric. That's the placement line for the anchor. The stitching after that secures the anchor and does the details.
I added batting to the bag and that may have been a mistake. My machine was less than pleased sewing through all those layers on the final round of stitching. The applique has raw edges and I didn't use a fusible. The edges of the anchor should soften and fray a little with use.
Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome. I learned so much by making this bag. I learned some limitations of my machine (if I want to use batting I won't have the embroidery machine do the final round of stitching) and that I should wait for the hardware to show up before making more (I have placed an order with Strapworks.com for sliders, wire loops, and even some webbing so I don't have to sew the strap.

I'm going to go stitch out the smaller bags to see what else I can learn. Have you found any great in-the-hoop designs you would like to share? I would love to know about them.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Road Trip Crochet

We recently had an unexpected road trip to help out family. I grabbed more than a small amount of yarn for the trip. I finished two projects and started a third.
I've been working on this shawl made with Red Heart It's a Wrap for what seems like ages. It was the first project I finished on the trip. 
I blocked it to open up the lace and I think it payed off. 
This one came out as a really big shawl.
I had another ball of It's a Wrap but I decided I didn't have it in me to make another like that, so I used a technique called Navajo Plying (includes a video for you visual learners) to triple the strands as I worked on this V-Stitch Vortex shawl. I'm definitely glad I added this technique to my tool kit.   
This is how far I had gotten on the first day of the trip. This is a great pattern for working in almost any gauge and it is really easy to stitch. I only had to rip back a few times because I failed to add the second stitch of the v-stitch.
Blocking opens up those v-stitches very nicely. I'm sure I'll use this stitch again, too.
I blocked it to open up the stitches and again I was rewarded.

Tools:
Clover Armour Crochet Hooks (set)
Knitter's Pride Blockers Kit
Knit Picks Blocking Wires Kit
Balance From Puzzle Exercise Mat with EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Short, Sharp, and Snippy

Yesterday my two copies Short, Sharp, and Snippy, more cutting edge quilt humor by Megan Dougherty showed up on my doorstep. If you don't know what quilt humor is, I recommend you check out Megan's website The Bitchy Stitcher. Sometimes irreverent, sometimes saucy, always my favorite quilt humorist.
I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it will be on my nightstand for bedtime reading. 
I love it when I get to add another signed book to my growing collection of quilt titles. This one will go well with Megan's first book Quilting Is(n't) Funny (Amazon affiliate link). Let me just point out that quilting is funny and if you can't laugh at yourself you're just plain doing it wrong.

Want your own copy?
Short, Sharp, and Snippy from Amazon (affiliate link) both print and Kindle versions

Don't want to wait for shipping?
Short, Sharp, and Snippy in pdf format directly from Clever Notions (Megan's webstore)
Quilting Is(n't) Funny in pdf format directly from Clever Notions (Megan's webstore)
Both titles in pdf format directly from Clever Notions (Megan's webstore)