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Quilting Again

January 4, 2013

After a long hiatus I have “churned” out some quilts. One inspired me so much that I did it in an afternoon though I am not fully finished quilting it.

I do however have some pictures of my recently finished projects to share:

One is a baby quilt in blues, greens and grays inspired by some designer fabric I purchased through Hawthorne threads.

Bug Fabric Quilt Front



Bug Quilt Folded Over

Bug Quilt Back

Next is a brightly colored Jig Jag/ Zig Zig style quilt. I usually do “generic” quilts for either boys or girls but this quilt screams “Girls Only” ;-D

Bright Jig Jag Front

Bright Jig Jag Back

Lastly I have a custom quilt done a while back that I never posted. This one is a slightly large twin size and was really fun to work on. Solid fabrics only it is comprised of 42 different colors of Kona cotton. The more sedate back, and the multi colored binding are made up of the scraps from the front piece.

"TC Quilt" Front


"TC Quilt" Back


Some of these quilts are offered at my store on etsy at CrazyHouseQuilts

Bra Class update

May 4, 2010


I’ve been back for a bit from my class in High Springs Florida taking a bra making class from Anne St Clair of Needle Nook Fabrics.

I had a really good time and would absolutely reccommend it to anyone. So…here is a bit about the class:

Did I get the most fabulous fitting bra ever?

Not exactly…but pretty darn close. The class is only a one day sewing experience and it takes about that long to finish your bra. What you do get is a pretty darn close to the right size for you bra that will need (maybe) a bit of tweaking on your part for the next bra. Some people may not need tweaking, but some will. For me I am just a teeny tiny bit smaller on one side versus the other. Not enough that anyone but me can tell but it does make the cup on one side of the bra sometimes wrinkle just a bit. I personally don’t like that even though it was something everyone felt was a “leave it alone and live with it issue”. Beyond that I don’t have a problem cutting and sewing two slightly differing sizes to get that perfect fit. (I am unfortunately hung up on perfection for my own things which is why I don’t own many clothes ;-D )  Beyond that the class does not have time to go into how to adjust your pattern for different fabrics (more stretchy, less stretchy etc) and just barely skims over the idea of changing the band to make it look different. All things I would have liked to discuss and maybe even be able to mock up to see if I understood correctly how to do them.

As an aside to the class, I am not a “large” bosomed person. I am only 5’3″ and weigh about 117.  I don’t look supremely top sided however I am small around the under bust and a bit “larger”  in the cup for my under bust size compared to most.  Which is why I want to learn to sew bras. I was not the only person in the class that was a bit on the smaller size though there were more women there that were larger bosomed. They also have their own fitting issues….easier to understand ones than mine. My point of telling this is that just because you don’t wear a 42H or something like that does not mean that you don’t also have a CRAPPY fitting bra. Once you find a pattern that fits making a bra is literally a 2 hour project start to finish. Unless you mes around like I do while you sew :-D Then of course it can be longer.

Did I get something else out of the class?

You bet! I learned a lot about how to make a bra look professional and not “home made”.  Anne St. Clair showed us lots of techniques for hand placement, pinning fabrics, stitching techniques and other small things that not only made a world of a difference in how finished looking my bra was but also things I could bring forward into my clothes sewing.  The class was almost worth it just for all the little things I learned as much as for the information I gleaned from the bra making aspect of it.

I also purchased this little “measuring gauge” that is FAB for bra sewing. It was wonderful to set against my needle and then dial my needle to the spot where my foot would sit at the edge of the fabric and give me the correct seam allowance. 1/4 inch is used a lot in bra sewing and no foot I own is that size perfectly (you must be PERFECT in bra sewing because taking even a tiny bit more in your seam can change your finished cup size).  This gauge is supposedly for quilting but I never used it for quilting. Not even sure if I would since I don’t do small piecing quilts anyway. However…it’s been great for bras and for doing topstitching too.

Would I take it again?

Not only would I consider taking it again because I still feel I could get a bit more out of the same short class but I had considered taking this class in Canada but was just not sure (the Boob camp is the one I am speaking of not the one day). Now however I think I will probably take it. They also had a class earlier this year in April or May and so I will probably take their class next year about that time. I am going to San Francisco in July and November is a bit harder to do since Christmas is so close but…if I had the money maybe I would. There was a lady in my Florida class that had also done a class  “Canadian style”  a week before. Her instructor was trained by Beverly Johnson who does the Canadian classes. She liked Anne’s class a bit better than the other. However of all the reasons that I heard her say why all went to specifics about Anne’s bra patterns versus the Canadian ones. Different strap placement. Different band shape/style. Cup seams differently placed etc. So…hearing that she liked Anne’s class better why would I now take the Canadian class?? Because I think it’s all about personal preference. Some people like T intersection straps and some don’t. Some like two piece style cup and some three. The Canadian class supposedly works with you on a number of different designs and different fabric types—all the things I wish I had gotten to do in Anne’s but couldn’t because it was just a day long. And exactly what I feel I could still use some help with. Maybe by the time I get to take the Canadian class though…I’ll have it worked out on my own. Practice does make perfect and at some point the light bulb goes on.

So..though I am totally not a great picture taker here are a few pics. Also if you dive or like natural springs to swim in I very much recommend going to High Springs Florida…even if only for a stop on your way to Disney or something. Really cute town with lots of eco tourism stuff to do plus antiquing and shopping. Everything closes at about 5 or 6 pm though so….

this is Anne St. Clair

Anne helping a student

this second picture is of the room I was in. The whole class was at the Wellness Center Day spa. That green Elna Supermatic is where I was sitting :-D Of course…I was taking the picture.

This picture is of Janet, Anne’s helper and the next is of her room. There were 18 ladies that day altogether with another bunch of 18 coming the next day.

Lastly is the great diner across the road from the very neat 50’s motel I stayed at. I did like the motel. It was quiet, and though not the most updated, it was very clean and well cared for along with comfortable enough for me.

My fabric Depot Order

April 16, 2010

here are some pictures from my Fabric Depot order.

It was like opening a box of Cracker Jacks only better.

Better prizes of course and though I was not exactly sure what I would get I am happy with all of it. Yeah!

First was the lace. Wow! How much fun to pull piece after piece out of it. I got quite a few “big” pieces. The widest is an all over pattern that is 13″ wide.  And many colors of smaller edging style laces that will give me lots to work with for sure. In the two pictures of lace there are also big pieces on the back of the couch that didn’t quite make it into the picture —you can see the hot pink piece a little bit.

In addition the close up has a very nice 8″ wide galloon (double edged) 2 ish yard segment of black lace that does not show up at all. It just looks like a big black spot of my couch. Most of the smaller laces are at least 4 yards, and most are much longer. I have a couple of 2 to 3 inch wide fancy fancy laces (double edged, very intricate design and two colored) that are only a bit over a  couple of yards but …hey…I can find something for them to be attached to. ;-)

The other pics are of my nylon —and believe me the colors are much better in person. I think the shiny of the nylon fabric doesn’t come across well in a photo. You also can’t see the very large piece of heavy weight black that I got—again color/picture/couch issue. However you can see the others plus the close up of the purple that I really like. All are more than a yard. Overall…I like all the colors and prints —- I wondered if I would but I do. And though maybe I might not have picked all those exact colors or prints myself I do like all of them. An example would be the khaki green one. If I were just looking at a bolt of that color surrounded by my more favorite colors— I would not have chosen it. Yet with all the lace hanging around on the other end of the couch I definitely “see” possibilities for it.

The fabrics are of different weights as expected. Most all are mid weight —though the large  black piece is a heavier weight and probably won’t need any lining to help keep “everything” in place if I make it into a bra.  There are two light weight pieces including one of the pink flowered segments. I think I will take the heaviest and one of the lightest with me this next week to the bra making class and ask specifically: “can I get away with not lining this” and ” what would I put under this to keep it from squooshing where ever it wants to go if I use it for a bra” . Maybe the light weight piece is better suited for a nightie or something other than a bra and I will just make it into something for my niece (no nylon nighties for me thanks though).

So, here are all the pictures that I said I would post. I didn’t put in pics of everything I got which was a BIG box full. Of  course elastics, powernet and other lingerie accessories aren’t really “all that” to look at so no big deal leaving them out.

Now? On to that class so I (and my sewing machine and maybe even my serger) can make use of all this “stuff” I just purchased.

Florida here I come and ….I’ll be sure to take pictures of the class to post here. (hopefully I won’t forget!)

I am back…for a bit :-)

April 15, 2010

Well…I have been gone for a while.

First….my dad had liver transplant surgery.

Then…I got sick (bad allergies + tiredness from helping mom/dad = sick)

So…though I have sort of worked on a bit of sewing nothing much has been accomplished in the past month—which includes absolutely no quilting.

But as I spring (pun intended) back into a routine, I will start today by finishing the seersucker shirt I began for my husband about a month ago and left sitting when the call came for my dad’s liver. Livers are kind of a “we have one for you……come to the hospital now” kind of things so you don’t really get to plan for it and life gets left undone for a bit.

Better than finishing my husband’s shirt or doing a great quilt I am looking forward to going this coming  Monday to  Florida for a Bra Making Class—hosted by the Ocala Sewing Guild (a chapter of the ASG –American Sewing Guild). Anne St. Clair will be teaching it and I am looking forward to going to it for the help in custom fitting my bra and getting my very own custom bra pattern—-sized to me :-) Yeah!

And though I have made a bra before, which is not as difficult as we all think it is, without a sewing partner it is not easy to fit yourself. Or without at least a mannequin. So the result is not much better than store bought….at least at first. Though some people seem to make it seem as if they get a fab bra from the very first one they try. Lucky them….not me though. Of course if I churned out bunches of them I am sure I would eventually get a correct one but since I can take this class AND get a custom pattern, why bother wasting all that fabric. Beyond that bra patterns come in the “size” you supposedly wear. Which is annoying to say the least. Because truthfully, based on my shopping experiences, I wear many  different sizes and none of them fits particularly well. It’s one of those: Cup fits…but band is a bit to big. Or: Band is great…cup is too small/too big and the next size up or down size doesn’t work either.  Or even this: Fits FAB….horribly horribly ugly bra. And according to everyone I speak to about this I am NOT the only one having these issues.

And the last word I have on bras is about the whole measurement thing of “take that number and add this or that number” to get your size. Bull. Doesn’t work. At least not for the build I have. According to most methods of measurements I would have either a AA cup or maybe a slight A cup….and I am no where close to that size. Not one bit. So…bra class here I come.

Lastly in anticipation of coming home next week and hopefully knowing how to really make a well fitting bra I have ordered some fabric from Fabric Depot. (  I had ordered some samples and a catalog and had been mulling over buying one of the value packs they offer in tricot, nylons, stretch lace, powernet and/or elastics.  I just could not decide for sure but then I stumbled on this web site: Sew Intriguing blogspot. I have linked you specifically to the part where she shows what she got in her value packs. However if you do a bra/lingerie/fabric depot (use any one of those key words) search in her blog she has a number of post about making some really cute bras, camis, undies etc. Well worth the look if this topic remotely interests you.

Anyway, after seeing her post I did order the nylon value pack (probably will get the tricot one in the future once I know more about picking lingerie fabrics) and the stretch lace value pack plus one other. I can’t remember if I got the powernet pack or the elastic pack or what. I did get a third one though. Plus I purchased plush back elastic (TOTALLY impossible to find anywhere near me) and some rings and strap elastic plus two pairs of underwires. I need to see how their wires run…choose the best pair…then order more of the correct size. Wires run different from manufactuer to manufacturer so, if like me you are kind of this size…but maybe that size…you have to double check the best fitting one then buy more. My box should get here tomorrow and I will make sure and take pictures and post them.

Well…need to get sewing today. Have a great Spring afternoon.

Check this out!

March 8, 2010

We where really busy this weekend with lots of “farm” stuff to do. For those of you who are new to knowing me (and reading this blog) I have had a number of previous blogs (personal and group/shared) about our animals and farm and raising organic healthy food. We not only own milk cows but raise a majority of our own food so often daily life (along with sewing and quilting) gets side lined  with those things. However this weekend, in between getting new livestock, finishing fencing and building some things, milking, buying hay, and acquiring some equipment for our business we got to go to and Estate Sale. Twice!

Yes….so fun!

Better even was that the lady/gentleman was a hoarder and a crafter. A hoarder in the sense that you literally had to walk on top of stuff and move boxes to try and see everything they owned within a large two story house, another smaller two story garage/apartment and two large outbuildings. Cool Stuff though!

Beyond items that have nothing to do with this site and some thread, needles and a small bit of fabric that I picked up I also found a FAB something I had never seen before that is for older sewing machines.

And even though I have only ever sewn with older sewing machines –currently owning four of them —I had never ever seen this item.  So your wondering what was this thing? Well here’s a picture of the second one I purchased (on day two of the sale ) after finding out how well the first one worked. Of course it was half price then and I paid about a buck for it.

O.k so now that you’ve seen this nifty buttonholer here’s the other I purchased hooked up to my old straight stitch White sewing machine. Side view:

And front view:

Along with the second buttonhole we made with it (imagine how good they will be once I play with it a bit):

This thing is really neat and does a completely automatic buttonhole in a jiffy . No muss no fuss. I never knew that a straight stitch only sewing machine with no ability to do zig zag could actually do a real, tidy, buttonhole! All my other machines are 4 step and do pretty good buttonsholes but this thing beats them out in how the hole looks and ease of use. Cool! :-D

Here are most of the cams I have to choose from (there are a couple I forgot to put in the picture). There’s even an eyelet cam.

And lastly here are some of the buttons I got that hopefully I will use someday. I spent a few hours Saturday evening sorting them out into bags so that they are easy to find and use. I didn’t remember a picture of the massive amount of shell buttons that I got. I probably sorted enough shell buttons for 6 or 7 mens shirts and enough bigger shell buttons for a number of coats and pants too.  These buttons though were kind of neat which is why I took a picture of them.

So…other than being tired from all the manual labor we did this weekend I am happy as a “cat in cream” with the neat new toys I purchased ( very cheaply) for my sewing machines!

Have fun sewing everyone!

Do you know what these are??

March 8, 2010

I got these scissors this weekend at an estate sale of a person who crafted—extensively. They look like trimming/embroidery scissors (to me) because of their bent style. However all that I have ever seen of those types, or was able to find on line, are much smaller than these.

Does some one out there know the “official” name for this style of scissor? They are Wiss …and obviously they no longer make this type.  I did a serious on line search but found nothing. My key words kept bringing up either the more common style embroidery scissors or else really odd things that had nothing to do with these scissors. I would like to get them sharpened, along with having the slightly bent tip on one side repaired since I do have a use for them. However I wonder what their official use was when they were manufactured and would love to know.

Thanks in advance for any info anyone might have.

A quilt, a shirt, some fabric and a friend

March 4, 2010

So I have a number of things to post about.

First is this “Whirligig Stairs” quilt top I finished Friday I believe. I just never got it here onto the site for a show and tell. I have it pinned as you can see and ready to quilt but just have been too busy.

Do I like it? Oh yeah. It is really great. However I made it a bit smaller than I normally do and wish now I had made it a bit bigger than I normally do.  I owe my almost 5 year old niece a quilt and I believe she would like this. As it gets closer to her birthday I think this will be the one I do for her. I have been racking my brain for months as to the right design for her and finally (finally) I believe I have hit on one that I like for her quilt.

The colors are great too—even better in person — and can be found at Hawthorne Threads.

Next…I finished another shirt for my husband. And though I still don’t have pics of the first one up yet here is the second. Those Bryant Park prints really work and he likes it. The buttons are a bit “stand out” for my taste but he and my son both like them. I would have chosen white or clear (the more conservative choice) but this is, as my husband pointed out, not a suit shirt but a fun dress up shirt. So…fancy buttons it was.

Next I want to post about a place we went to this past week in downtown Atlanta Georgia. It’s a fabric store called Delia K’s and it was WOW!! They had fabric like I haven’t seen since I was in downtown Dallas Texas shopping for fabric (which was a long time ago since none of our family lives there any longer).

This place was so full that it literally went to the 15 foot ceiling. It was impossible to see and touch everything.

Price wise? O.k. No deal maker for sure but the quality and choices were great making it worthwhile to go to. Most of the wools (wool/silk, wool/cashmere, 100 percent wool) for pants and suits were about $35 a yard. A bit pricey but then when you consider men’s tailored suit slacks….nothing too outrageous I suppose.

The best part was the linens and cottons. I picked up a plaid Italian cotton shirt weight for myself with some matching plummish colored linen to make a pair of loose pants. I already own a pair of the same pants and they are one of my favorite for casual dressy summer wear. We also got some linen shirt weight for a man’s shirt and some silk cotton blend for the same thing. Both in blue …but hey.

Here is the fabric washed and ready to use at some point:

Lastly I would like to post a bit about a friend. She owns Icelandic sheep (we did at one time too which is how we met—both of us trying to buy the same lamb one year :-D ) and has some really great crafts that she makes from her wools and sheep products. You can check out her etsy page here. She has felted items, carved bone items (from naturally deceased sheep), horns and other by products along with spinning fibers and woven items. It changes and varies of course.  She has a shades of purple shawl that looks really really nice —if I didn’t already have enough of my own wool items I would buy it. Also…if you ever wondered about raising a rarer breed of sheep or are just curious about farming in general check out her web site and blog.

One last thing about her blog. She has a lamb naming contest going on. The prize? Enjoyment, fun and a link to your blog/web site the day she uses your name. In other words fun and free publicity. I notice only one person has commented so far but you will understand why when you see the main rule for the names (it has to do with the letter X). However…come lambing season Nancy will have scores of people making comments as lambs (especially Icelandic lambs) bring people out of the wood work. So…help her and get some advertisement for yourself out of it. You can see the naming contest here. And before you go there put on your thinking caps!!

Anyway…I have to run (fast today) and get some things done.

Have a great day!


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