Yep, I found this little beauty on the side of the road. She looked lonely, so I stopped to say hello. I noticed that she seemed to be a sturdy little girl. All parts were intact as she sat firmly along the curb. I began to wonder why she would be cast off, so I invited her home with me.
I find so much inspiration on the internet, especially on Pinterest. Obviously, I like to peruse sites that have sewing content and have collected some really great ideas that I want to try – every single idea. Alas, it will never come to be but I can give it my best shot.
How many times have you put a bowl of soup in the microwave and when it is finished cooking you reach in for the bowl believing it not to be too hot to handle and then quickly realize you were so wrong about that assumption? Then you proceed to run to the table, soup splashing as you scurry, and when you arrive at the table you realize you don’t have a placemat or trivet or pot holder to sit it on. Then you trip over your own feet to get back to your kitchen linen drawer to get something to sit the hot bowl on so you don’t ruin the finish on your tabletop. Heating up that yummy bowl of soup has turned into a dangerous mission. Ah, but there is a solution to this dilemma.
Today we celebrate Memorial Day – a day to honor our veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for love and freedom of country and countrymen. Their bravery and courage have provided one of the greatest blessings one can have as an American.
As we begin a season of patriotic holidays, I thought I would make a simple applique banner to celebrate this great country. I happened to have a little package of 5 denim pennant banners with grommets already in each corner, so I am going to make use of them. You know my motto – if you’ve got it, use it!
A friend gifted me with a nice collection of upholstery samples some time ago. They are nice samples of chenille and ultra suede. Some are placemat size, a few are pillow top size, and some are small in size – approximately 9 x 6 inches.
Weird title, right?
What does making a pincushion and staying out of trouble have to do with each other??
Let me explain.
As you know, I have mentioned teaching a sewing class at my church. One Saturday as I was helping one of my younger students individually, I felt a tap over the head with a yard stick. I looked up and my precious mentor had been the one to capture my attention. At first I thought she was just goofing around but then realized that I had broken a cardinal rule of a sewing teacher. I’ve sewn for forty plus of my almost sixty years and I had done a very bad, bad thing as a sewing teacher. It is something I have done all my sewing life but would have never wanted my students to know. I had a pin in my mouth!
I’ve mentioned the sewing ministry that we started at church here before. We’ve been plugging along now for about three months and this past week we made a zipper bag. It’s nothing new, but I sort of made things up as I went along and promised our most enthusiastic student that I would do a tutorial.
Go get a glass of sweet iced tea now because these instructions are long. I’m trying to cover everything for those who are new to sewing. Don’t be overwhelmed. This is really not a difficult project. I’m just the type that wants every single step pointed out, so I try to make my directions as concise as possible.
I’ve had a lot of fun lately with raw edge applique. It provides a great creative outlet without the tediousness of turning under the edges that I can never seem to get right.
I’ve been using the blanket stitch on my little Brother XR1355 machine and I love it. It does a great job; nice even stitches, and it covers the raw edges nicely. Actually it’s not easy to even see the raw edges unless there is a stray thread.
I made this project to hang in the Sewing Ministry room. Isn’t it cute?!
In the United Methodist Church, spring is typically the time that the youth of our congregation become members. At around 12 years of age and older, the youth is invited to become a member. They take months of classes to learn about God, Jesus, the Bible, and the practices and history of our denomination. During this time they are called confirmands.
All their hard work and learning culminates in being confirmed as a member of the church. If they were not previously baptized as an infant, they can be baptized at this time too.
The Prayer Quilt Ministry members prepared a prayer square for each of the confirmands. Here is the one that I made for a young man that is special to our family.
I’ve mentioned our church’s Prayer Quilt Ministry before. We make lap quilts from donated materials to give to members of the community when they are facing a trial of some sort, such as an illness or loss. Before being presented to the recipient, strings are secured around the quilt. The quilt is laid across the altar rail and the congregation is invited to come pray for the person and then tie a knot in the string. The knotted strings are a tangible reminder to the quilt recipient that they have been remembered in prayer. The purpose is to bring the peace, hope, strength, and comfort of Christ to them during a time of anxiety and suffering.
Being a part of this ministry is one of the greatest blessings of my life. It allows me to use my God-given talent of sewing for His glory. Getting to work with some very talented, loving women in the ministry is a blessing as well. I’ve spoken of my mentors in several previous posts here, here, here, and here.
Designing and piecing is my favorite part of creating a quilt. The ladies of the ministry are so gracious to allow me to do that part while they do the (boring and tedious to me) tasks of basting, quilting, and binding the quilt tops that I piece.
Definitely preppy, this quilt top is made from thrift store oxford cloth men’s dress shirts in pastel colors.
So you want to start sewing and don’t know what all you will need.
You really only need just a few basic supplies.
Here are my suggestions:
- A good pair of scissors is a top priority. Whether you think you will become a serious seamstress or not, investing in a good pair of scissors is a good idea. Be sure they feel comfortable in your hand. Above all, dedicate your scissors strictly to sewing. Never ever cut anything but fabric and thread with your sewing scissors.
- A seam ripper – yes, you will need a seam ripper! It doesn’t matter how long you have been sewing, this tool will serve you well. No seamstress, however experienced, is ever exempt of making mistakes and this little baby is a life saver. Be sure to have one in your stash.
- An iron, you say? Indeed, an iron is one of the biggest necessities for a seamstress. I keep an ironing board and iron right next to my sewing machine at the ready. It is very important to press your work as you sew. It can mean the difference in a good or a bad finished product.
- A measuring tool is obviously a necessity. Pictured above is a dressmaker tape and a seam marker. I use my seam marker a lot. I highly recommend that beginners invest in one as they are most helpful. It helps when marking and checking your seam allowances and hemming.
- Speaking of marking, its great to have a non-permanent marking tool on hand. I’ve shown dressmaker chalk and a water soluable marker. The white chalk is good for marking dark fabrics. It also comes in handy for marking hems so you don’t run the risk of your pins falling out when the garment is taken off. The water soluable marker is good for lighter fabrics. It makes a clear mark that will not come off (unlike chalk) unless you dampen the fabric.
- Dressmaker pins are a must. Personally I like long ones; no real reason why, just easier to pick up maybe. Mine above are gathered onto a magnetic pin dish. I had always used a pincushion until just a few years ago when a friend gifted this one to me and now I cannot live without it. When removing pins in a hurry, you can practically just toss them at the pin dish and it grabs them. Also if you drop a pin on the floor and can’t find it, just wave the pin dish over the area it was dropped and it will find the pin. Additionally, a good set of needles (sometimes called “sharps”) in varied sizes is always a good investment for your sewing box.
- A few spools of basic color threads is great to have on hand. I always have white, black, and beige. Of course its great to have a matching thread for you project fabric. Those three colors come in handy in a pinch. And I tend to be in a pinch on a regular basis, but that is a whole other post.
- While not a necessity, I threw a thimble into the mix because it can sure save the fingers. Get one if you like, or not, totally up to you.
If you’re just beginning and not sure whether a lot of sewing is in your future, I would suggest you find a very basic and inexpensive sewing machine. A machine with the most basic stitches will work fine. You might even look for one at a thrift store or on Craigslist. Sometimes a sewing machine repair shop might have some old ones for sale.
Now, go buy your supplies and get started on your sewing journey. I’m here to help any way that I can. Any questions, so far?