Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Quilting On My New Joy Frame and My Very Last Christmas Gift

Okay so now that my quilting frame is all set up.  I put my quilt on and gave it a go.  Here are some pictures,

So far, there are no loops in the back and it is no longer shaking as the machine goes over the rails.  I am happy...finally!  Now to improve my quilting stitches.

On another note, I finished my last gifts for the Christmas Club through the Year which was hosted by Allie from Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life.  Go on over to see what everyone else did.  There are some great tutorials that were posted throughout the year.  I managed to actually do a few.  I love sachets, but I have been having difficulty finding decent filling, except for lavender.  So what to do...well I had a whole bunch of perfumes that I thought might help me out.  The first thing I had to do was to take the tops off the perfume bottles.  I have to admit that it is a bit tricky, but with pliers and some perseverance, I managed to get it done without hurting myself.  Then I filled a small tub (the kind you get from take out) with rice and added the perfume to cover the rice.  You need to see a bit of liquid on top of the rice. Leave it out for about two weeks so that the rice absorbs all the liquid and is completely dry.  I would on occasion mix it with wooden chopsticks. 

Then I cut out shapes (birds, hearts, stars, whatever) and filled them with the rice.  Here is a picture of two that I made for myself.  I have made a lot more, but they are Christmas presents and I would like to keep them a surprise.  I embellished the ones I am giving as gifts.  For instance for the bird, I blanket stitched wool wings on both sides of the bird and added button and beads for the eyes.  For the heart, I added a collection of buttons, beads, and some lace.  The best thing about this is that you can be as creative or as simple as you like and use up your scraps at the same time.

Thank you so Much Allie for hosting!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lucky Me!

What a great surprise!  I follow and entered a giveaway hosted by Sherri at A Quilting Life.  Drum roll please...I won her giveaway and received this wonderful package of fat quarters sent to me by Jackie at Quilt Works.  Thank you for this great surprise.  I can't wait to use them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New License Plate Cover

At the beginning of the month we had our annual Christmas party at the firehouse.  We exchanged presents and I ended up with a license plate cover and a fat quarter bundle.  I was excited!  When I came home and showed my husband, I was a bit surprised...he got up off the couch and went and put it on my car right away.  I chuckled, I think this is so cute and accurate.

I whited out the plate number...is this not too funny?

He is a bit concerned about the looks he will get when he is driving my car.

Thank you so much Cheryl, I love it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Joy Quilt Frame Problem/Fix

I have not been able to quilt on my New Joy Gold frame because I have been a bit frustrated with it skipping stitches when the sewing machine got to a certain spot.  After a lot of researching, I realized that the frame could not support my sewing machine (Janome 1600P) at the center point between the center and side legs.  This was not a problem with the smaller quilt frame, but I purchased the larger (wider) frame.  So what to do?  I read all the comments and convos on the Google site and found one person who had her husband support the frame better...so I asked my husband to help me.  First I called the support group and spoke with Tom to see if I could buy 4 additional legs and leg supports (the metal bar that goes between the front and back legs).  Luckily, they had some in some in stock, so I ordered them.  My husband had to drill holes into the frame to install the legs.  Then we leveled the frame with shims.  Of course, my husband did not like this solution because he did not think they would stay in place, so he surfed the web to find these 1"square tube insert and hex.  He bought them on the International Components website for under $4 each.  What these inserts allow you to do, is to raise or lower each leg individually.  So we replaced all of the original inserts (that came with the frame) with these new inserts and then leveled the frame.  I have to say that this frame is really secure now.  I can't wait to try quilting on it.  I know this was such a long post, but I wanted to provide this information to anyone else out there who might have this problem.  I know how frustrating it was for me.  I cannot tell you how frustrated...and you don't want to know.

The insert on the left is the original ones that came with the frame.  The one on the right are the ones we purchased.
This is what my frame looks like now:

So now my husband is trying to find a solution to this mess:

He wants to tidy up these wires and perhaps put them on a platform with wheels underneath.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Butterfly Handbag and after Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving was a really nice day spent with family.  Every year I promise myself that I will not "overcook", but as always there are a lot of left overs and no one in the house, except for hubby and me.  The week end was spent driving the kids back to school and now it's time for me to get to business...I mean sewing.  Hope all those who celebrated had a blast.

Here is a new bag I made with brocade fabrics.  I used several different purple brocade fabrics for the outside and fully lined it with cotton fabric.  This bag is great because it is tall enough to hold your eyeglass case.  Usually I only take the bare essentials when I go out in the evening (lipstick, drivers license, and a few dollars), but as I am getting older I am finding it hard to find a spot for my eyeglasses.  I don't need them all the time, but I definitely need them to drive and to read fine print (bi-focals).  Any way, getting back to the bag.  I used a decorative fabric covered button on the flap.  It closes with a metal snap on the inside of the flap.

I named it the Butterfly Handbag because the brocade fabrics have butterflies all over them.  Look how roomy it is on the inside.

Well, that's it for now.  I am going on over to add a few handbags to my website Talinshandbags.com.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Handbags

I have been playing around a bit with a few new handbags.  Some I made from old magazine articles I had saved, some from JoAnn's web site, and some are originals.  Here are a few I can show you.

This is from an old magazine.  I just love the Lotus flower pulls.
This one is a JoAnn, but I altered it a bit.  I used a belt for the pull.  I purchased the belt without ever planning on using it as one.  I just loved the colors and thought I would use it someday on a handbag (as handles or as decoration).
This tote is an original.  I found the trim at a garage sale for  under $3 for  about 5 yards.  I just could not pass it up.  I had enough fabric to make a zippered pouch which I forgot to take a picture of.
These past few weeks I have been thinking about my blogging and have decided that I will only post once a week and just show off what I have made.  I think I will get a lot more accomplished this way.  I will also read the blogs I follow on a weekly basis.  Of course, I will always answer all comments left on my blog...which leads me to this:

I have received several comments anonymously.  If you post a comment anonymously, I have no way of contacting you.  You can remedy this problem in two ways.  Either change your settings so that your name appears with your comments or add your email address in your comment.  If you do not know if you comments appear with an "anonymous" label, leave a comment and then go back to view the title in your comment.  

If I have not replied to your comments or questions, it's because I have no way to do so.

Have a great day everyone.  I am off to get ready for Thanksgiving.  Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with friends and family. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A New Wristlet

I have been working on a new wristlet.  This is my prototype.  It is constructed from purple decorator/upholstery fabrics.  It is fully lined with 100% cotton fabric.  The tricky part was the wrist strap, but I think I managed to get it just right.  I embellished the front with a large purple flower that I made from wired ribbon, buttons, and flower centers.  It was a bit time consuming to hand-stitch the flower to the front of the wristlet, but I did not want to glue it on.

I have a great many ribbon ribbon books, but none that I love as much as this one.  It is titled Passion For Ribbonry by Camela Nitschke.  It is an old book, so I don't even know if it's still sold at book stores, but if you see one at a garage sale, do not pass it up.

On a side note, I ended up making another potpourri sachet for my closet.  I cross stitched this chair a long time ago and it was just sitting around in my sewing room until today.

I hope you all have a great week.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Too Long

This is the longest that I have not posted...but I have a fairly good reason.  I was lucky enough to go away on vacation for two weeks.  My husband and I were celebrating our big wedding anniversary and we went to Amsterdam and Munich (Oktoberfest).  We were lucky enough to go with our close friends who were also celebrating their anniversary.  We had a great time and my friend posted pictures on her blog bestfriends25th.blogspot.com.  I wish I could post pictures, but I borrowed my daughter's camera and am waiting for her to get home from school.  Why you ask?  because I cannot find the connector between the computer and camera.

And this past week, we have been without power so I was unable to post...and so the excuses pile up.

However I do have one picture I would love to share with you.  This quilt top is the result of the my summer sew days with my friend Priscilla.  I love the way it turned out.  It is a string quilt, but I had drafted a picture of it before I began working on it.  So all the blocks were planned before I sewed them together.  It was really quite easy, but I could not do a thing without the draft paper.

It is really large, a little over a 100" x 100".  I thought I was going to use it in my bedroom, I desperately need a quilt for my bed.  Would you believe I do not have one for it yet?  But the more I look at it, I see it is just right for one of my daughters.  So, as always, guess where it will end up?

And, by the way, I have been keeping up with my Christmas Through the Year Club gifts.  I have just not had enough time to post pictures of what I have made.  Hopefully I will do that soon.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Funky Star Quilt Top Finished

So I spent the day at our monthly get together at the firehouse.  One day I really should take a picture of all the ladies, if they let me, so that I can post it.  While there, I finally finished the my Funky Star Quilt top.  I am now ready to think about quilting it.  I love the way it turned out.  I know I can't cross it off my UFO list, but I am almost there.

The colors in this picture are a bit off, but it's the best I could do.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Long Stretch of TIme

It has been a long time since I last posted.  I have not been sitting idle.  So I hope you are ready for a lot of pictures.

This is a bag that I have been working on.  I wanted it to be a large, shopping bag that I could hang on my shoulder or across my shoulder.

Close-up of pin

I just love adding pins to bags...it's a good thing I collect them.

So I thought since this was my shopping bag, I would make a complimenting change purse.  I saw this Zip-Itself Coin Purse Tutorial that I thought I would give a try.  I did not shape mine into a tetrahedron like they suggested because I thought I would get more use in a flat shape like this one:

I don't know if you are all familiar with Borders (book store), but they are closing so I decided to take a look.  I found this book and I love it.

You can see all my post-its on the right hand side (future projects).  There was a project containing old keys...and since I collect old keys, I decided to give it a try.  Here is the result:

I love it so much, I decided to make earrings to match, I guess I should've taken a picture, but I forgot to.  I am not a silversmith and I do not plan on being one any time soon, but I love taking found objects and make them into useful items, whether it is for jewelry, handbags, or dolls.  Found stuff, you ask?  I collect anything and everything that catches my eye.  I then try to organize them...

I have old Scrabble tiles, computer keys, etc. in jars.

 in jars and plastic containers...

Well that's it for now.  I have got my creative juices flowing...so you may not hear from me for a while.

Have fun today!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Christmas Club Project Done - A Wristlet

I finished this month's project, a wristlet.  I really like the way it turned out.

It is quite roomy and I am considering making one for myself.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vinyl Rain Bag Tutorial

Vinyl Rain Bag  (Finished 12 1/2” h x 18” w x 2” d)


½ yard cotton fabric for bag exterior

½ yard cotton fabric for lining

½ yard cotton fabric for inside pocket and handles

2 yards fusible interfacing

2-1/2 yards of vinyl (I used Therm O Web® glossy finish.  I tried the matte finish, but found it to be difficult to work with.)

16” – 17” metal zipper

Jeans 100/16 Needle   (This is a must because you will be sewing through several layers of fabric.)

6 – 12 metal paper clips (I used the ones you purchase at an office supply store.  I am sure you can purchase them in sewing/craft stores, but they will be expensive in comparison.  The clips are used to hold the vinyl fabric layers together.  You cannot use pins because they will leave holes in the vinyl.)

*** Read all instructions first. ***

*** All seams are ½” unless otherwise noted. ***

*** Always backstitch when sewing two fabrics together. ***

***Always use a zipper foot when attaching zipper. ***

*** Iron on interfacing and vinyl to all fabric pieces prior to cutting.  I prefer this method to cutting first and then adhering the interfacing and vinyl.  It makes for a smoother finish.***


1.     Iron interfacing to wrong side of inside pocket and handle fabric following manufacturer’s instructions.

 2.      Remove paper backing from vinyl and place on top of right side of inside pocket and handle fabric following manufacturer’s instructions.   I found that the best way to do this was to pull away the paper backing slowly and smoothing the vinyl onto the fabric as I unroll the paper backing.  It is really a good idea to go slowly since repositioning the vinyl sometimes causes cracks.  I did repostion the vinyl a few times, but took my time so as to avoid this issue.  Just a note, I found that the matte finish was harder to work with than the glossy finish.  And in the end, I liked the glossy finish better.

3.     Apply vinyl to right side of bag exterior fabric following manufacturer’s instructions and hints described in previous step.


1.  Cut two 6” x width of fabric from the inside pocket/handle fabric. 

2.  Draw a centerline on each handle (lengthwise) by measuring 3” from short sides.

3    3.   Fold raw edges toward this centerline, wrong sides together.

4    4.     Fold again so that raw edges are hidden and clip in place.

5     5.      Sew ¼’ away from folded edge.

6.      Flip and sew ¼’ away from the other folded edge.

7    7.      Repeat with the other handle.

8    8.      Cut handles so that they measure 41”.

Exterior of Bag:

1.  Cut two 14” x 20 ½” (h x w) rectangles from the bag exterior fabric.

2.  Sew zipper to bag following manufacturer’s instructions.  I prefer to first sew the left zipper tape to front of bag, right sides together.  Do not use pins to hold zipper tape in place.  Only use the paper clips.  I do not use anything during this step because I find it easier to maneuver.

4    3.     Repeat with the other side of zipper (right) tape and back of bag.

 4.      Take one of the handles and place the raw edges 6” from side of front of bag.  Clip in place.  Make sure the handle is laying properly, without twisting.

6    5.     Baste handles in place.

7    6.      Measure and mark (I used chalk for marking) 9” from bottom, raw edge of each side of handle.  This line will be used to sew handle to front of bag.  You will sew up and down the sides of the handle up to this drawn line.

8    7.     Sew/topstitch sides of handle to front of bag using a ¼’ seam allowance.  I used my ruler to keep my sewing line straight.  I backstitched across the marked line to secure the handle in place. 

9    8.   Repeat with the other handle and back of bag.

Lining and Inside Pocket:

1.  Cut two 14 ½” x 20 ½” (h x w) from lining fabric and set aside.

2.  Cut 12” x 7” (h x w) from inside pocket/handle fabric.

3.  Fold in half, right sides together, so that it measures 6” x 7”.  Sew around 3 sides, leaving about a 2” opening for turning.  Clip corners.

4.  Turn right side out and place on one of the lining pieces, right sides together.  The pocket should be placed 4” down from top, raw edge and 7 1/8” from side, raw edges.  The pocket can be pinned in place since there is no vinyl.

5.  Sew the three sides of the pocket in place, leaving the top open.  This will be the lining back.  I call it this because I like to have the pocket facing me when I open a handbag.

6.  Sew lining front to left zipper tape, right sides together.  Make sure that the handles do not get in the way of your sewing.

                           I did not do a good job with this picture.  The lining is on the bottom.

7.  Sew the lining back (the one with the inside pocket) to the right zipper tape, right sides together.  Again, make sure that the handles do not get in the way of your sewing.

8.     Pull the bag front (exterior fabric and lining) to one side, wrong sides together,  and pull the bag back (exterior fabric and lining), wrong sides together, to the other side.   Topstitch ¼” away from the zipper teeth.  This step is important to secure the zipper in place.  This step also makes the bag more professional in appearance.

9.  Close the zipper half way.  This step is very important for turning the handbag right side out.  Do not skip it.

10.  Clip (using the metal paper clips) the front and back of bag, right sides together, and pin the lining (front and back), right sides together.

11. Sew around all four sides, leaving a 5” opening for turning.  I prefer to leave the opening on one of the sides as opposed to the bottom of the bag for asthetic purposes only.  Be careful when you are sewing over the zipper.  Go slowly (I ususally hand turn the sewing machine when I get to this point) and backstitch to secure zipper in place.  Cut any excess zipper tape, if there is any.

12.  Turn right side out through opening and then again through zipper.

13.  Congratulations you are done.