Monday, March 27, 2017

Dear Easter Bunny

Easter is on it's way.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Easter Bunny brought us a basket like this....
I am teaching how to gather at the next BERNINA Club so I have been putting ruffles on everything,  
I bought a $1 plain looking basket at the dollar store.  
I used a pinking rotary cutter to cut 2 - 3 1/2 inch strips, sewed the strips together and used my ruffler foot to gather it up.  
I love this ruffler but there are many other ways to use your BERNINA to gather.   
I'll show some in upcoming blog posts.
I glued the ruffle to the edge of the basket, added some white rick rack over the stitching line, glued on some buttons, and made 2 bows.  
Fast and easy to way to fancy up a plain basket.  
I hope your Easter basket is filled with a few BERNINA goodies.  
Happy Sewing.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

flap your wings and fly

  2 months from tomorrow is my son's wedding.   I'm chugging along on projects here.  The big project is the double wedding ring quilt.

I have finished two rows of the "rings".  I was getting bored, so I switched to doing one of the borders.  I'm echoing the flower and the leaves, then using my BERNINA rulers to sew straight lines in the background.  I love the way it looks, so old and antique, just the look I wanted.  Not sure if I will have it finished by the wedding.  I'm just going to keep working slowly and carefully.  When it's done it's done. :). 
Project #2-  my dress.  It's done, just needs to be hemmed.  now I have to start the matching jacket.  
My BERNINA 780 and foot #10- the edge stitch foot did a wonderful job on the facings.   I'm going to add some machine embroidery to the jacket.  Stay tuned for that. 
Project #3- the clutch-
It's made from lace and trim from my mom's wedding dress and veil.  Her dress had confetti inside the lace and lining, so I put it in my clutch.  When I was a little girl I remember looking at her dress and seeing the confetti still inside it.  
Project #4-  I'm not sure about this one, but I want to make myself an old fashioned handkerchief
.  I bought a piece of white fabric, kind of like a thin linen.   Then I pulled out something I haven't used in a long time.  The wing needle.

The wing needle is a needle you use for heirloom sewing.  It punches holes into your fabric as you sew, creating a beautiful design.  I wasn't sure what stitches to try, no worries there, I used the built in help guide on my 780, looked in the section on needles, and there was a whole write up on wing needles.  It listed 3 stitches to try.   I cut a small strip of my fabric, got some stitch and tear stabilizer
and off I went.  

I tried the 3 stitches here, on my 780 it is stitch 701, 702 and 8.  I'm going to cut a square of this fabric, narrow hem the edges, then use one of these stitches around all 4 sides of the handkerchief.
Maybe I will embroider the date on it.
I better get back to work, time's a ticking here.  
Happy sewing

Saturday, March 18, 2017

68 days.....

 I started my mother of the groom dress.  I did go look for a ready made dress.  Frumpy, that's all I could see.  I am not a dress up type of girl.  I don't like a lot of sequins, or fancy fabrics.  Give me cotton, I am happy.  Last summer I took a road trip to Colchester Fabric Mill in Colchester CT.  Quilting fabrics galore, but also garment fabrics.  I found this very pretty yellow fabric.  It has some texture to it, I"m not sure what it is made of, I just know that I liked it.  I bought 3 yards.  Buyers remorse when I got home, and they sent me the rest of the bolt... 3 1/2 more yards.
My dress is plain, just a simple sleeveless dress.  I had to fancy it up a bit,  I toyed with embroidery, but then I found some pretty lace in my stash,  I lined up the lace with the center fold down the middle of the front of the dress.  I used a very narrow zig zag stitch to stitch it down.  Then what?

I decided to do some decorative stitching.  On the back of the dress, I marked 2 lines, 2 inches from the center.  I needed a way to transfer those lines to the front.  I used the basting feature on my BERNINA, but you could also just use a long straight stitch.  I was afraid to mark the front of my dress with any marking pens or pencils, so this was a way to give me a line for my stitches.  I used foot 34D, with a layer of Stitch and Tear underneath the stitching... this is a scallop satin stitch.  

When it was time to sew the other side, I mirror imaged the stitch, and off I went.  Slow and steady, this is not a hurry up get it done project, ( not yet anyway).

 This is what I have so far.  should I stop or keep going.   I've taken some of the scraps from the dress and have tried different stitches. Nothing really shows.  The fabric has a texture to it, so the cross stitches that I love kind of sink in.  I could do more satin stitches, or my other idea is a ribbon.  
Stopping for now.  
The back of the dress is done... I put in my invisible zipper....
Thank you to the person who invented BERNINA Foot 35, this zipper went in like a dream.
Sometimes I wonder if I have too many presser feet.  Then I work on projects like this, it's wonderful to have the foot you need to make your project turn out beautifully.  Our BERNINA machines have a foot or attachment for so many types of sewing.  
If you don't have this book yet, it is a must have for every BERNINA owner, it has detailed information about all the feet and accessories that BERNINA makes.  Beautiful color pictures and easy to follow directions on how to use the feet.  
Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

wedding bells

 I need to make a clutch purse for my son's wedding.  I've been putting this project off and off, but with the blizzard today I think it's a good day to do it.
First - look for the pattern-

I had bought this pattern awhile ago... size is right, but not sure it is really what I want.  
I found her other pattern.  Size is a little small, so I am going to make it a little deeper, so I can fit my keys and phone.   Now the hard part.  I want to use part of my mom's wedding dress in this clutch.  That way I will feel like she is there.  
She never had her dress preserved. For as long as I remember, it was folded pretty quickly and put into a box, and it sat at the top of her closet.  I remembered feeling it now and then as a child, remember once in a while she would take the box down.  I saw that the dress had confetti still inside of it.  When she passed away and we closed up her house, I took the dress, and put it on top of my closet.  Today I took it down.  
The bridesmaids are wearing sky blue.  I found a nice piece of solid sky blue.  I did some decorative stitching on it this morning with sky blue Aurifil thread.  
Now I am not sure what to do.  I can attach the overall lace from the dress on the blue.  My stitching won't show, but that's ok.  Or I can cut the lace motifs from the veil and attach them, 
All suggestions welcome.... Part of me wants to cut the part that has the confetti and add that to the clutch.  
Stay safe in the snow.
Happy Sewing

Friday, March 10, 2017

Time for the bar....

  I am very lucky.  I have the chance to work for 3 amazing fabric/quilt shops.  I teach BERNINA club at Pins and Needles in Mt Kisco,  next week I will teach and demo at Christie's Quilting Boutique in Norwalk Ct and I teach a class called Friday Frenzy twice a month at Quilt Basket in Pawling NY.    Each shop is different,  but each shop is wonderful.  And each shop has BERNINA machines.  So for me, each shop feels like home.
I was supposed to teach today at Quilt Basket, but it snowed.   So I decided to work on my project for the April Fabric Frenzy class.    Friday Frenzy classes are 2 hours and we make easy to sew, fun projects.  Our project for April is the Fold and Stitch Bloom Wreath

This pattern is from Poorhouse Designs.  She has several versions of this wreath or table topper.  They are all made the same way, just using different shapes.  This one uses hexagons.

I love using my BERNINA for the project, because you can use some of your decorative stitches.  I put my 34D foot on, and did this quick and easy feather stitch.  
The hexagons have a stiff interfacing inside, but my BERNINA sewed through them perfectly.
The last part of the pattern says to hand stitch the edges of the hexagons together, to form the flower...
Hand stitch?  I don't think so.  First of all, by the time I found a needle, found my glasses, threaded the needle... etc etc etc, I can have this done.  I went to my BERNINA and found this stitch called "Bar Tack".
It's a great stitch that just goes back and forth then does a securing stitch.  Just to hold 2 things together.   I used it on the edges of the hexagons.

And it's done... well it needs to be pressed, but then I had this problem
I didn't have the heart to move her, she looked so cozy on this snowy day.  
The Friday Frenzy class is being held on April 7 at Quilt Basket in Pawling NY from 10-12.  Or there is a Sunday version  April 2nd, from 12-2.  
Quilt Basket has the patterns and precut hexagons for this project.  
Stay safe in the snow everyone and happy sewing

Thursday, March 9, 2017

BERNINA Club....

Each month I teach BERNINA Club at Pins and Needles in Mt Kisco NY.  It is my favorite days of the month.   I chose a topic to help my students learn more about their machines.   When you purchase a BERNINA you have a guide lesson, which goes over the features of the machine.  BERNINA Machines have so many features, stitches, functions, etc, that sometimes it is hard to remember them all and when you can use them.  BERNINA Club is a chance to learn more about your machine.  Kind of like a refresher course with lots of new material thrown in for good measure.
You get a chance to learn about new accessories, new feet, new machines, plus all the upcoming events at your dealer.   When you purchase a BERNINA, you aren't just purchasing a machine, you are also purchasing a dealer.  Someone who will be there when you need help, someone who can answer your questions, help you take care of your machine, and help you grow as a sewer.
Best part of BERNINA Club-  you meet other people who love their machines as much as you do.

Last night we learned about all the amazing decorative stitches that the machines have.  We learned how to combine stitches, how to use our presser foot to line things up, how to use the built in alphabets, and how to use the circular embroidery attachment.  
Some BERNINA clubs are a playtime... last night was one of those.  I gave them time to try all different stitches and functions, without making any certain project.  Other times I try to have a project that they can do to go with our topic of the month.  Next month we are going to learn about gathering.  I'll show them how to add a ruffle to a pillowcase, and a dishtowel;.   
No matter what our topic is.... we always have fun.
Hope you will join us soon
Happy Sewing

Monday, March 6, 2017

oh gather thee

In my other world, I work at a day care center.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I spend my day doing puzzles, coloring, helping with clay, paint, and our new favorite thing, glue sticks.  The 2 year old program I work in ends at 12:30, and then I am assigned to go cover lunches, which means being in the classroom during nap time.  I've noticed several children have quilts, crocheted blankets, or their original hospital blanket, but they all want a pillow.  Many of them have mastered the art of folding a second blanket into a rectangle which they use as a pillow.   This gave me an idea.

I was trying to come up with a project for our April BERNINA Club.  The topic is gathering.
Then I thought, what about a pillowcase with a ruffle? I grabbed some old fabric and tried it.  
When I first learned to sew, I hated gathering.  You had to sew with a very long stitch, then gently pull the threads to draw up the gathers.. and then right before you were done..... the thread would break.  I hated gathering anything
Then I discovered my BERNINA makes it so much easier.

I will admit when I first looked at this attachment, I thought... oh no, no way, no how am I putting that scary looking thing on my machine... I'll break it, I'll break the machine, something awful will happen.  Then I watched a few You Tube videos and got my courage up.  Now it is my favorite attachment of all.  
You can adjust it to make a very tight gathered piece or a loosely gathered piece.
You can add a ruffle to a pillow, a pouch, a bag, skirt, anything at all.
Now, how many of these pillowcases will I need to make.... 
Happy sewing everyone

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

recipe.... my kind of recipe

No, I am not cooking.  I did find a new kind of recipe, which is right up my alley.  Have you ever heard of a Stitch Recipe?   No pots, no pans, no stove or oven needed.  Just your BERNINA, some thread, some fabric and some stabilizer.
Next Monday I am teaching BERNINA Club at Pins and Needles in Mt Kisco.  Next to the teaching of the class, my favorite part is preparing for it.   I get out my ziplock bags, fill them when everything I need, write notes to myself, and do everything I can to make sure that my students have a great time and learn something along the way.  
Monday's BERNINA Club is all about decorative stitches on your BERNINA and how to use them.  One way is to combine them into a stitch recipe.... like this
Wouldn't this look great on a little girl's dress, or on a pillow, or a table runner, or........
The possibilities are endless.  
The other reason that I love teaching BERNINA  Club is that I learn a lot as I prepare too.  
It's all about lining up!  
As always BERNINA makes it easy by having online lessons and the best accessories ever .
The only problem is, once you get started doing these, you can't stop.  
Happy Sewing everyone