Friday, December 28, 2012

Sewing Resolutions and a Cat

Happy Feline Friday!
It is resolution time again.  2012 was my year to improve and learn more about free motion quilting.  I had a great time following Sewcalgal's Challenge each month.  I also decided I needed to sew what I've got before buying more.  It sort of worked.  In 2013, I have decided to focus on fabric collage with free motion quilting.  I will try to do new work frequently (notice how non-committal I am). 
And here's the cat.
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Peace on Earth

'Twas the first day of winter, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a cat.

  The felines were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of tuna danced in their heads.

They had just settled down for a long winter's nap...

Best Wishes for a Peaceful Holiday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Not Too Late!

No need to panic!  You can still purchase PDF patterns and have them sent directly to your gift receipient here.  For immediate downloads- check out craftsy.  For locals, I offer prepaid sewing lessons and alterations!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Feline Friday- The Battle Begins

We put up the tree, decorated it and immediately the Light Block Battle begins!  The cats love this glass block with lights in it.  It warms up and they start hissing.  Here is Emma, temporarily Queen of the Block.  They woke me up this morning at 5:30am arguing over it.
Alice, looking pleased with herself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Months of Free Motion Quilting

No, they are not sewn together.  I used a mishmash of scraps for the samples, 17 in all.  I learned so much this year!  I had only dabbled in free motion quilting, but now I feel confident to at least attempt to add stitching to my projects.  I learned about marking, threads, using a pattern, free handing (my favorite), borders etc.  I had never stitched a feather before!  I expect some of these to become pot holders, tote bags, pillows.  I made Valentine's Day cards from one.  Thank you for hosting and organizing this challenge Sewcalgal!

Free Motion Quilting Challenge

December's quilting expert is Patsy Thompson.  She instructed us in borders.  Sorry it is so hard to see in the picture.  There are several different designs.  I loved what she calls "hyper quilting"  where she will add a second color and design inside of a feather.

I added a snail to the middle.

Here is where my feathers meet in the border.  I don't think I'll be so scared of feather borders anymore.  This wraps up a year of Free Motion Quilting with experts provided by Sewcalgal.  I have really enjoyed the journey and have learned a lot!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Artist Trading Card Slice Swap

We all made 9 cards of this pansy photo.  I used a cereal box with pretty paper on the back.  I glued fabric and paper scraps on the pansy photo.  Then I drew on top with oil pastels.  It still needed something so after cutting the cards apart, I glued beads and sequins on top and sealed it all with Modge Podge.

After the swap, here is the result!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sew Slippers for Kids by Julie Johnson

I recently came across this book from Annie's on sewing kid's slippers.  I thought, "they would make great gifts for my niece and nephew!".  The book has 8 patterns that could easily have many more different looks depending on your fabric choices.  I got my sister to trace their feet and then compared them to the full size patterns included.  So many styles to pick from- bunnies, booties, puppies, slides all for girls and boys.  Fabric suggestions include fleece, faux fur and recycled jeans.  I chose cotton because they live in Hawaii.  There is a layer of batting in the soles and non-slip grippy material for the outer layer.  The instructions were easy to follow.

Please notice the Hula Hello Kitty fabric- Happy Feline Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Craftsy has Online Classes

You all know I offer local sewing classes to groups through Quilting Adventures and Henrico County Adult Education as well as individual lessons, but I also like taking classes from nationally known teachers every chance I get!  Sandra Betzina hasn't made it to my area lately, so when I saw she is offering online classes through Craftsy, I was thrilled!  I love her books and patterns.  I signed up for "Pant Construction Techniques" and got a free pattern for the class.  It is V2948, a really nice, princess seamed pant with a side or back zipper.

Sandra Betzina starts off with an overview of choosing fabrics.  While watching the intro, I am already inspired to get started.  There are class materials to download and a way to ask questions.  In between lessons you have "homework"-preparing for the next step.  Her class is chock full of great information and easy to understand explanations.  I would recommend taking her pant fitting class before this one if you have any issues.  I thoroughly enjoyed my class with Sandra Betzina!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

McCall's 4878 Jacket

I sewed this unlined jacket out of an ecru cotton.  McCall's 4878 has patterns for pants, skirt and a camisole top as well.  Great pattern, but always check the sleeves.  Frequently the sleeves are drawn or photographed with out gathers in the cap, but in reality, they end up with excess fabric there.  For a good shoulder fit, I had to move the seam line in a little so that took care of the problem.

My husband gave me these beautiful copper conchs buttons for Christmas last year.

I used cotter pins to attach them (make an eyelet on the machine).  This way they are removable for washing and I won't have to worry about them doing something strange and
leaving marks on the fabric.

And here is why I usually don't model my clothes for this blog!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday & Cyber Monday on Craftsy

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale on Craftsy!   Online Sewing Classes are $19.99 or less!!  This is a great time to try them out.  I've signed up for a pant technique class.  Don't forget to check out my sewing patterns too!

Feline Friday

Happy Thanksgiving!
From Alice and her turkey.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Review- Babies On The Go- 10" Doll Clothes

A new book from Annie's and House of White Birches- Lots to Love Babies on the Go! 10" Doll Clothes by Lorine Mason, available from www. .  (Sorry about the flash on the baby's face-my fault!).   Full-size patterns and instructions for both girl and boy dolls are included- dress, vest, pants, romper, pool side, sleeping bag etc.  With just a fabric change, you could get lots of different looks.  I have not had the chance to make any of the projects yet, but I read through some of the instructions and they sound easy and straight forward to follow.  There is a general sewing techniques section that explains the operations needed for completing these cute outfits!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Feline Friday!

Come visit me tomorrow from 9-4 at St.Mathews Church
corner of Forest and Patterson at the Annual Sewing Guild Bazaar!
I will have gift items from $1-$130!
Also my pattern samples will be there in person in case you've been eyeing a pattern...
Speaking of patterns-
Catsongstitchery PDF Patterns are available from Craftsy, PatternSpot, and Etsy!
Etsy has added direct checkout so now you can easily use a credit card for purchases.
Craftsy and PatternSpot offer automatic downloads- no waiting!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas

Now is a great time to buy pdf sewing patterns!
All patterns are $7.00.  I am happy to email them straight to the recipient or to you.
Check out the selection - catsongstitchery
With just a change of fabric selection, you could tailor a special gift to suit all the folks on your list!
Locals- Don't forget about the
Annual Sewing Guild Bazaar
Nov.17, 2012
St.Matthews Episcopal
(corner of Forest & Patterson)
Lots of great gifts!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Feline Friday- Free Motion Quilting

The Free Motion Quilting expert for sewcalgal's November challenge is Sarah Vedeler.  I really tried to make straight rows of swirls, I really did, but I guess I'm just not a straight row kinda gal. 
More practice will help.  I am having a great time with the assignments each month and I feel like I have learned so much!  Emma came to inspect.

I can't decide if she likes my stitching or just likes having her picture taken!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Red Riding Hood Cape

I whipped this together real quick for my daughter for Halloween, but I am hoping she will wear it for other events like over her cotillion dresses or for Colonial dancing.  She is about 5'1" tall.  I bought 2 yards of a thick poly wool blend fabric (no lining).  I measured down 17" from the top and gathered the full width of the fabric.  I hand gathered it because I was in such a hurry, I didn't want to risk having to redo it if the thread broke.  I sewed a fabric tube over the gathering to reinforce it and to act as a tie.  I hemmed the bottom edge, but just left the selvages for the front edges.

I sewed the top seam to form a big, floppy hood.  She loves it!  I figure I can always go back and line it later if I want to.  It survived Halloween and that was my main goal anyway.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Annual Sewing Guild Bazaar

You are all invited to our Annual Sewing Guild Bazaar!
Lots of great gifts!
I'll be there with sewn items and information on my sewing classes and sewing patterns.
November 17, 2012
St.Matthews Episcopal
(corner of Forest & Patterson)

Saturday, November 17
9 to 4
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
1101 Forest Avenue
Richmond, VA 2329

Featuring needlecrafts and Handmade Special Items!
Find those special gifts and
complete your holiday shopping.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Feline Friday-Fabric Collage Vest

Here is my finished fabric collage vest using Rosemary Eichorn's Sewjourner vest #6!
I am really happy with how it turned out.  I've already worn it and I got lots of good feedback on it.
I left off the buttons because it didn't seem to need them.  Plus, I like both the fronts and
didn't want to cover one up.

The back View.  You can see a little of the lining- I added the red flower for fun.  The slice of orange sun is peeking through the trees.

I added little animals in my magical forest.  A cat and below is a snail.

A bird is in one of the trees.  When it came time to bind the vest, this bird was too close to the edge.
I didn't want to lose her tail, so I cut the binding at that point.

This shows the raw front edge meeting the bound edge.  The whole vest is free motion quilted.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pattern Review- Butterick 5030 Dress

This pattern features 6 easy variations of a very flattering flared wrap dress.  I chose view A with contrast bands.  Easy to sew.  The waist is secured with two hooks inside.  I used a knit that is printed to look like lace and a black knit contrast band.  This really started as an inexpensive test fit garment, but I like it so much, I will definitely be wearing it often!  I plan to make another one soon, in a woven peacock print without contrast bands for a different look.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Feline Friday

Because we are so close to Halloween, I had to include a black cat, glaring down at me!

Cloud the rat and Alice.  I wonder what they are thinking.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Alterations and Repairs Class

It comes in very handy knowing how to alter and repair your own clothes.  You can save money as well as make some when sewing for others.  Don't miss my class at Hermitage High School.  Starting Nov.6, Alterations and Repairs class through Henrico County Adult Education.
 If that isn't convenient, remember, I also offer private lessons!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Feline Friday- Cats in High Places

Here is a glimpse into my sewing room/exercise room/laundry/homework/extra freezer- you get the idea!  Alice is as high up as she can get, without standing on the roof.

I have a problem overloading these shelves.  They fell down once.  I'm trying to do better, but looking at this picture... Somehow I don't notice the mess as much in person!  My problem is, I'll need it if I get rid of it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free Motion Quilting

Teri Lucas is the featured expert for SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilt Challenge.
First I practiced my doodling, then I stitched on silk- totally changing my design!
I tried out some different threads that had been haunting a back shelf.  Most worked fine, but the gold in the upper right hand corner stretched as I stitched and caused the fabric to pucker.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Skirt Class

I will be teaching an easy skirt class starting Oct.19, 2012 at Quilting Adventures. 
They have all the details!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Feline Friday

Alice, on my To Do List.

A rare moment- the sisters have compromised and are sharing their favorite basket.

Emma- I love a sleeping ball of fur!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bag Class and Alterations and Repairs Class

Be sure and sign up soon for the Barbados Bag class at Quilting Adventures on Oct.15 and 22, 2012.
Also, starting Nov.6 is an Alterations and Repairs class through Henrico County Adult Education.
Both taught by me!  If those aren't convenient, remember, I also offer private lessons!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Feline Friday- Fabric Collage by Rosemary Eichorn

You have already heard me raving about the workshop I attended with Rosemary Eichorn, well here is a fabric collage by her, perfect for Feline Friday!
She has written a wonderful book The Art of Fabric Collage too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tennis Racket Case

I sewed this tennis racket case for my daughter, using the instructions from Gig Bag.
Fully lined with a zippered pocket and a zippered closing.  The strap is a cotton web belt.
It actually matches a skirt I made for her, earlier this year.

Remember to allow an inch at least, all around, for ease.