Monday, August 27, 2012

Peaceful Pineapples

I just finished a small wall hanging for my sewing room.  There was an empty space on the wall and I didn't want yet another picture.  I wanted something three-dimensional.  I looked in Home Goods, Pier 1 Imports and any store that sold home decor items.  Then I remembered, "Hey, I can sew!  What better way to decorate a sewing room than with something I sewed?"

About 18 months ago I attended a demonstration in which Gyleen X. Fitzgerald (Trash to Treasure Pineapple Quilts) showed her tool for making pineapple quilt blocks.   Naturally, I bought the tool and the accompanying book.  Recently, I bought a pack of 6 fat quarters to practice the block.   The result was this small wall hanging I call "Peaceful Pineapples."

The aspects of quilting I thought would bore me are the things I like most about quilting.  The repetition calms me and is addictive.   Once I got the rhythm of the process, it was hard to stop.  I was up way past my normal bedtime making the pineapple blocks. Then the next morning, I took the piece to my front porch for the hand sewing.  Hand sewing is also relaxing.  Sitting on the porch, in the quiet of the morning was very peaceful – hence the name "Peaceful Pineapples". 

I like quilting more than I ever thought I would.  The planning, shopping for fabrics, buying books magazines, and patterns is a lot like garment sewing.  Quilting has become another outlet for creativity.

Monday, August 20, 2012

If at first you don't succeed ……

Who would have thought giving away free patterns would be such an ordeal?  Not me!

Over two weeks have passed and the original winner, VWBug, has not stepped forward to claim her prize.  I randomly chose another winner from the original entries.

That winner is Debbie Cook!

Debbie, please send me an email (Elaray2003 at gmail dot com) with your mailing information and I will mail the patterns to you!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Call

VWBug, where are you?

On Aug 2, VWBug was the proclaimed winner of three Hot Patterns.  VWBug has not come forward to collect the prize.  Unless I hear from VWBug, I will select another winner from the current entries on Monday, Aug. 20.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Finished: Burda 8105

This pattern was a quickie.

Pattern Description:
In addition to the sleeveless to, the pattern includes a long sleeved jacket.

Pattern Sizing:
Plus size: European 44 - 58  USA 18 - 32

Were the instructions easy to follow?
So, easy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The armhole was bound with bias tape and I got to use a recently discovered method of cutting bias tape.  I chose this pattern because I wanted to use the fabric, not because I particularly liked it.

Fabric Used:
At first, I believed this fabric was a quilting cotton.  I'm not so sure anymore.  I think the fabric is a print and not a real dyed batik.  There must be some synthetic fiber in it because it wasn't wrinkled after I washed it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I'm calling the mis-matched front a design change!  It mis-matches almost perfectly! I don't know how that happened.  Usually if you cut a piece on folded fabric it aligns better than this!.

This top can be worn with the capris I just finished.

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Oliso Iron Update

Just about one month ago, I splurged and spent way too much on an Oliso Pro iron.  Major fail!  I loved using the iron.  The auto-lift was cool but I really loved the 30-minute auto shut-off feature. But, my bad luck with expensive irons continued.  The auto-lift feature started making funny noises and froze in the up position so that the soleplate no longer comes in contact with the fabric.  Not a good thing for an iron.

*&^%$ IRON!
And if spending way too much on an iron wasn't humiliating enough - I NO LONGER HAVE THE RECEIPT SO I CAN'T RETURN IT!!!  I had a plan to return the iron that may or may not have been legal, (I'm asserting my 5th amendment rights and keeping the details to myself)  but the plan was thwarted by The Fates.

Lesson learned.  I give up on expensive stuff!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Apron Odyssey

DD Lindsey enjoys cooking.  My BFF Denise promised to make aprons for her.  This started an epic that rivaled the travels of Odysseus.

Point A to Point B
Way back in April, while having a mini-vaction in Northern Virginia, Lindsey picked out fabric for aprons at G-Street Fabrics in Fairfax, VA .  I brought the fabric home with me while Linds went back to Charlottesville, VA.

Point B to Point C
In April, I was still working full time and distracted by my pending retirement.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) It took quite a while before I sent the fabric off to Denise in New York State.

Point C to Point D
I don't know what distracted Denise, but it took some time before she finished the aprons and sent them back to me.  It took longer than necessary because USPS dropped the ball. She was promised the package would be delivered by a certain date but it never made it.  There were many worried and frantic phone calls while we waited for the package to appear – two days late.

It was worth the wait.  The aprons are great!  Denise and I learned how to sew together in junior high school.  She is an excellent seamstress, but doesn't sew lots of garments.  I still remember a suit she made over 20 years ago that inspired me to improve my sewing.

Why do I crave a big piece of pineapple upside-down cake?

There was enough fabric left for a second apron.

Point D to Point E
By this time, I'd retired and I was distracted by my new freedom (That's still my story and I'm still sticking to it!).  It took me weeks before I mailed the finished aprons to Lindsey.  Also by this time, she'd graduated, and started a job in Richmond.  I procrastinated even further on the pretense of waiting until she got a permanent address.

After USPS lied to Denise about delivery,  I used Delivery Confirmation so I'd know for sure when the aprons were delivered. I tracked the package and I called Lindsey to verify its arrival.  No package.  More worried and frantic phone calls.  Turns out, I neglected to include the apartment number on the package.  (Silly me.  Still distracted by my retirement, I guess.)  It stayed in the leasing office for three days while I worried it had been lost in the mail.

The distance between Point A, the point of purchase, and Point E, the final destination is 101 miles.  Yet the fabric traveled 866 miles to get to there.  The journey began on April 3 and ended three months later on July 20.  It would have been easier to teach the aprons to drive themselves to Richmond.

Getting the finished aprons to Lindsey did remind me of Odysseus and his little glitches.   Denise, Lindsey and I are all happy with the ending.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And the Winner Is ......


Congratulations!  You've won the Hot Patterns.

Send your mailing info to: Elaray2003 at  gmail dot com and I'll get the patterns in the mail.