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Soul of the Desert

Quilting

A Day in the Life of

A little bit of chaos.

Y’all may recall my search for the perfect shorts. Y’all may recall that I ordered some. Well, I’ve now been informed my credit card “may” have been compromised. AEEEEEIIIIII. So I spent the morning changing out the credit card (which mainly involves all the things on autopay that had to be updated.) Anyway, as I was going through files to figure out all the credit card stuff, I came across…wait for it…rejection letters!!! No, not from credit card companies. Just publisher ones. Ones I thought I had purged long ago. So in addition to killing off a file with old credit card info, I was able to empty another folder. There’s *almost* room in my drawer! Almost. Don’t get too excited. It’s still pretty crammed in there.

Since I’m taking a break from writing, I’ve been trying to clean up a few things–like the desk. I’d like room to be able to work at the desk or at least SEE it now and then. But that would involve filing and I have NO space in the drawers. None.

And just so you know, the shorts don’t fit well. Unless my butt moved, getting into the pockets involves reaching all the way to the far side of my person to reach what are supposed to be front pockets. Define FRONT. And no, the shorts are not all stretched out; they button and zip just fine. Although if you’ve ever worn pantyhose, you know how they sometimes used to sag at the crotch and drive you utterly batty all day???? Yeah. That’s these shorts. If I pull them all the way up, the waistband provides great support for my boobs. What kind of monkey is supposed to wear these things???

AEIII!!!!

And I can’t return the shorts. Because they can’t credit the credit card and who wants store merchandise credit at a store for monkeys???

Posted: January 21, 2012
Filed in Quilting

Dangerous Unraveling

So remember those frankenshorts I made a while back? They are in danger of being part of the headline: “Famous author seen with only a waistband remaining…”

Dang it. First the hems around the bottom kind of…loosened. Just at the seams, which was weird, but yeah, the one leg did have the back a tad longer than the front so there was a mismatch. It seems (seams?) you can’t really just sew up at an angle and expect those threads to hold it all together. It was annoying, but it did not stop me from wearing those objects of comfort. And yes, the pocket did sag more than at first because it wasn’t really installed correctly.

BUT! This morning! I pulled them on…and…the waistband came all the way up. The rest of the shorts…did not. There was something of a gap in the front. It would seem (seam?) that…well, you know how I said that in real shorts the parts would join perfectly and not show where the waistband and shorts meet? Well, they no longer meet at all.

It’s obviously my chance to sew that waistband on correctly, right?

Right???

Posted: June 29, 2012
Filed in Quilting

Dear Friend

Today I sent you a pot holder. I am telling you this because, given that I sewed the pot holder myself, you may not recognize it for what it is. But it is a pot holder, albeit a flawed one. In addition, I fear I must warn you that as I finished this project, I seem to have misplaced the needle I was using to tie off the ends. I do not think it is inside the pot holder, but given my sewing skills, we both know anything is possible.

I hope you enjoy the pot holder. I am nearly certain it is functional. Please ignore the crooked stitches.

Very best,
Your Friend Who Still Cannot Sew

Posted: November 10, 2012
Filed in Quilting

Embroidery and Sewing

Yup, I hit the machines again. They always hit back too. I made a couple of baby burp cloths. I’m not sure I got the size correct. I followed a pattern. Well, I read what the pattern said to do and then gave it the old Maria signature design. It’s not really square and the pattern actually had an indent for a mom’s neck, but that didn’t work out on my version. These are originals, folks! One of a kind!

The stitches in embroidery are dependent on the design. You can’t tell from the pictures but the blocks have “neater” design stitches than the bear. There’s a couple of small gaps in the bear stitches here and there, but it’s a very cute bear and the largest size my machine can handle. I wanted a dinosaur and a penguin, and bees in a garden, but those designs were a tad too expensive for my budget!





Both designs are from EmbroideryDesigns.com.

Posted: January 4, 2017
Filed in Quilting
Tags:, , ,

Fabric Samples

Stitch Simple got samples here … overnight! Check them out. The colors are even more vibrant when you’re looking at them in person. There’s some patterns here that aren’t in the poll and the blue vein one is missing! I thought I ordered a sample of it, but you know how it is. You get busy coveting all that fabric and before you know it, you aren’t paying enough attention…


(If the link above to Stitch Simple doesn’t work, try this one. Stitch Simple caters to quilters so they pre-wash the fabric and offer it in “fat quarters” in addition to “yardage” and even 1/4 yards.

The yellow field is VERY vibrant with almost orange flowers. It would make wonderful gift bags or great decorations for a baby room. I liked the purple Jane even more than I thought I would. It’s not on a stark white like I imagined. It’s a natural color and blends well. The gray swirls aren’t a gray as I expected. The one with flowers are every bit as gorgeous as I thought they would be. And that pink! Oh, it is lovely indeed!

Posted: May 29, 2012
Filed in Quilting

Frankzilla Shorts

So you will recall my search for clothes that fit. Since that failed, I decided to make myself some shorts–with the hope that by winter, I’d know how to make sweatpants that fit. Well. This has been interesting. I carefully measured and thought out the pattern. Three times. I sewed diligently. I thought they were looking okay, although there seemed to be a lot of material for just one pair of shorts. After accidentally putting the waistband on so that the ties were in the back…I became anxious, but not terrified. I redid the waistband. I tried them on. Hmm. Rather…large. So large, in fact, they are loose on BMHusband. He could wear them if he doesn’t mind that one pocket is lower than the other. I can fix the fact that one leg is shorter than the other, but not necessarily the pocket. And he’d have to use the string-ties (which I accidentally sewed in so tightly that at first instead of being a tie, it was more of a noose.) These shorts are a cross between Frankenstein and Godzilla. But the material is a really nice material…

Sigh.

Posted: July 6, 2010
Filed in Quilting

Get Your Sewing On!

Okay, you don’t have to do any of the hard work. Just help me pick the pattern for fabulous dream sheets! Recently, I received a sample yard from Harmony Art. —Wow. I didn’t even know santeen could be this nice. Until I saw and felt this fabric, I was pretty much dead set against sateen. This stuff is very strong, very soft and gorgeous. It’s combed, ring-spun cotton–the stuff that high-end retailers use (Jockey, Calvin Klein, etc.) Not to be confused with that 150 dollar t-shirt I posted about; I still don’t know what that was made from…

But I digress. I only have a yard of the whispering grass–which leaves me with the option of actually ordering one of several other sateens to craft into bedsheets! Harmony Art is one of the few places I’ve ever seen that carries fabric that is 110 inches long in a yard (which explains why the price looks high. 110 inches is almost two yards in one if you’re used to 60 inch fabric. It’s over two yards if you’re used to 45 inch fabric.) It’s organic cotton too, did I mention that? Harmony does all the designs herself and there’s a nice little paraghraph about each design telling you what inspired the pattern.

Anyway, the first thing I did after getting the sample yard was order swatches of the other colors from Simple Stitches. Yes, I had a devil of a time narrowing it down. Let’s remember all I have to do is sew straight lines here. Because when I saw these fabrics, my first instinct was that I *needed* several of these fabrics to make gorgeous outfits. Then I remembered I can’t actually sew. It’s a real drawback to making things.

But at any rate, I’d like your opinion on the various sateens. I had to eliminate the pink one–I LOVED it. But yanno. I just don’t think I need to subject my husband to all that glorious pink. (The pattern comes in a knit in purple. Now that would make a great little nightshirt!)

Here are the ones I’ve picked out. If you click on the name of the fabric it will take you to a larger swatch with the story behind the design.



Which pattern would make the most awesome sheets?

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And for all of you readers wondering “Is she working on the next novel or will we be buying fashion accessories here soon???” Rest assured, I have slaved away. I do the sewing projects while my beta readers are hard at work on Dragons of Wendal. We’re at the third beta reader now and the novel is really taking shape. There’s still lots to do–copyediting, cover polls, formatting…but what do you think of a late June release? Just in time to give as a wedding gift! (Can you imagine??? You might want to go with the fabric for sheets for the wedding gift…yanno. Unless it’s REALLY a book lover type couple.)

Posted: May 29, 2012
Filed in Quilting

In Stitches

Being a follower and having won a bag from Green Bag Lady I decided to try making a bag! She has the pattern right out there. How hard could it be???

I won’t go into great detail, but the bag is larger at the top than the bottom. It’s also kind of crooked. I quilted it because I always have to ignore the simple instructions. Worst of all, I sewed one of the bag handles down into the middle of the bag while fixing another mistake. It’s like a one-armed bag with a severe limp.

I’m thinking giveaway on the blog. One of a kind!

If a burglar ever breaks in, I will shout, “I have a sewing machine, and I know how to cause extreme damage with it!”

Anyone with any sense will run for his life.

Posted: November 8, 2012
Filed in Quilting

More Complicated Gifts

Not every gift can be in the 10 dollar category. A few years ago I took up quilting. I did a couple of very small lap quilts, but the true quilting–cutting blocks of cloth, forming patterns and then quilting a top and bottom–was too much work. I switched trains and began buying lovely patterns such as the one in the picture. It’s still quilted–the back has a bunch of little bears all over it (I always get a busy or colorful pattern on the back because it hides my mistakes!). The inside is a very nice punched cotton that resembles felt. The entire quilt is cotton–nice and heavy and most importantly warm.

I quilt along the patterns, outlining the bears, the rocks, and the clouds. The trees have quilting too, but that is more random. I think the quilt turns out looking a lot nicer than when I tried to stitch blocks together. I don’t have the patience to do fancy patterns that way. As it is, a lap quilt takes me almost three months. I do all of it by machine except for the mistake corrections, which are little repairs that require some finessing.

This particular quilt went to dad for Christmas. Really, he was cheating because I already made him a quilt. The problem is that dad saw this material for another quilt I was making. He immediately decided he *needed* one with this pattern! I still have to make him a pillow sham, but with this type of Christmas gift, you get it when it’s done…and not a moment before!

Posted: November 26, 2008
Filed in Quilting

Not an Expert

We were on our way home yesterday from an appointment and school was just getting out. Lots of kids were walking home or to after school activities. We saw one teenager walking along with his guitar. No case, just carrying it…by the strings. Now, I’m not an expert in these things, but it seems to me that the function of the strings is not really as a “carrying device.” It seems to me that maaaaybe the guitar would play better and last longer if you didn’t carry it by the strings. Sadly, said teenager didn’t ask my opinion so I didn’t offer my sage, but inexpert advice.

In other areas where I lack expertise: When I bought my serger machine (a finishing type of sewing machine) the lady from Craigslist insisted that I also take the Necchi sewing machine that she had. It was broken, she said, but maybe I could fix it. Well, why would I want a broken sewing machine? But if I wanted the serger, I had to take the broken sewing machine. Hmph.

IMG_1392I took them both home, cleaned them both up and in a couple of minutes had the broken machine fixed (the sewing foot was on crooked, and it kept the needle from going down.) Boy, am I glad I spent all that money on an engineering degree.

At any rate, the Necchi sat in the garage for, uhm, a couple of years. I have a sewing machine and wasn’t in the mood to learn a new one. The Necchi was at least as old as my Kenmore and my Kenmore only has one real issue. When the movers dropped it they broke the function that allows the needle to be still when threading bobbins. It does the bobbins, but the needle is engaged.

Learning a new machine is cumbersome for us types who can barely sew. But there comes a time when you need the space in the garage. A year after that you give in and actually take the machine out of the garage, clean it up again and thread it. You *could* read the instructions or go at it like a man refusing to ask directions. Guess which method takes longer?

At any rate…wow. This thing is *quiet*. My old Kenmore sounds like a train taking off. The serger sounds like a plane crash. The Necchi sews tight little stitches. And I mean tight. If I ever have to take a seam out, it might take me all year. My Kenmore has some pretty fast and loose stitching. If I want a straight line I have to hold things right where I want them and watch the feed every second and sometimes in between seconds. This thing doesn’t meander all over the place as if it’s looking for directions or designing its own lace pattern on my pants.

IMG_1394 Oh, it could still use a professional cleaning. And it has those oddball electronics that require you to plug the light in rather than a switch to turn it on. But it might be a higher end machine of the same era as my old one.

Of course, I’m going to have to sew with it because that is the ONLY way to tell if I can make the thing work. And we all know I’m not very good at sewing. In fact, I’d given it up completely until I needed to hem those pants. I suppose I could give it a drive around the block once or twice. Just to see if it’s any good at the job.

Posted: February 12, 2014
Filed in Quilting
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