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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I can't believe it took me constructing 5 blocks before I realized that my 1/4 inch seems were a little wide. I had a very hard time with BOM V. I needed to get this problem resolved before the next block arrived. I started playing around with the different presser feet that I have for my machine and discovered that if I use my #0 foot and move my needle one position to the right that I get a perfect 1/4 inch seem. You wouldn't think that the little bit that I was off would make such a big difference but the more pieces in the block the more the problem escalates. I'm very happy with BOM VI. It's called Sunrise Star and it was designed by Margot Languedoc. The points are all lined up nicely and the finished block is the right size. I'm so happy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Travelling Casserole

I saw this cool casserole carrier in an issue of Crafts 'n Things. There is a piece of cotton batting sandwhiched between the two layers of fabric so it acts like a hot pad too. First you create 2 rectangles...cotton batting between the outer fabric and the lining. Next, you lay one piece over the other to form a cross. Stitch along the 4 borders where they meet. Add some ribbon to form a casing. Slip wooden dowels through the ribbon to create handles. Add velcro to the other two ends and done. Very simple and very handy.
This picture shows the carrier after construction...all laid out, lining side up.

Next, place your 9 x 13 inch casserole dish in the center (preferably with food in it).

Then bring the velcro ends up to meet each other and fasten. One piece of velcro is attached to the lining side and the other to the outer side.

The wooden dowels are easily removed so that the casserole carrier can be washed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My First Time...Shirring That Is.

Remember the pleating tutorial? Well, it's finally finished. The smocking took longer than I expected but the thing that was really holding me back was the thought of shirring the back. I've been sewing a long time and it has never come up. Basically, it's a form of gathering. You buy good quality elastic thread. You have to hand wind your bobbin, putting slight tension on the elastic as you go. You use regular thread in the needle. Then you just sew. Yea, right. Might as well give it a try since the back was 3 times wider than the front and something had to be done. I didn't take pictures of the process but basically I placed lines along the back where I needed to sew and then jumped in. Oh yea, don't back stitch at the beginning and end. I have to say that it was very easy and I'm pleased with how it turned out. You can actually move the fabric along the sewn lines to bring it in more. Heavier fabric requires more tension on the elastic thread when you are winding the bobbin. I started with 8 rows of shirring but ended up with 7. I snapped the thread on one of the rows but luckily it was the last one. Anyway, here is my completed smocked sun dress using one of my favorite fabrics from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern collection.

Full view:

Close up of smocking:

The shirring:

A very cute pin:

So pretty!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Also known as "Peppermint Star" by Vicki Bellino. I've been struggling with pieced quilt block squares lately. Not sure what my problem is because I'm so careful when I cut and sew. Ugh. This block should have been 12 1/2 inches square when done but only measured in at 11 1/2 inches square! I'm not happy since I somehow managed to end up with 12 1/2 squares with the first 4. I talked this over with my friend Lisa and discovered that the presser foot that I've been using is NOT the 1/4 inch presser foot for my machine. Are you shi(*(*& me? It's more like a weak 3/8ths or very strong 1/4 inch. When piecing blocks with many pieces it's very important to sew seams that are exactly 1/4 inch. I'm going to have to put a 1/2 inch border around this guy when I make the quilt so that it all fits together nicely. I've since gone out and ordered the 1/4 inch foot from Bernina and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival. Here is the horizontally and vertically challenged BOM V.