Showing posts with label batik. Show all posts
Showing posts with label batik. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2015

WIP Progress, Springing and a Tutorial!

Hi peeps! 

How is everybody doing today??? Did ya miss me? Laid low again with a weather-sparked migraine that lasted a week, eek! 

Before I was incapacitated I managed to get my citrus batik table topper put together-border and all! I am still amazed at how pain-free the HST's were…guess I never bothered to measure and trim them before…ha ha had been that long since I worked with HST's! 

I have spray-basted it to some older-stash fabric and am good to go for quilting…but I am still undecided on which pattern to FMQ(free-motion quilt) with my Pfaff. It will be on our large coffee table and will get spilled on, folded over and generally well-used so I think it should be densely quilted. The one that is on the coffee table now was quilted with a fairly tight meander and while that is the easiest FMQ design to do, I am a little bored with it.

This was made with two packs of Timeless Treasures charms I got from Craftsy during their Boxing Week Clearance Sale. I actually bought 4 from them and don't know just yet what I'm going to do with the other two packs. I had a few squares left over from the above project as I was working with specific dimensions, so I'd like to work them into the next project as well.

I took this picture early last week. This is part of the tree that is in our minuscule back area. This one usually grows so much in the summer months that it ends up touching our kitchen windows! Now, would you believe, the buds are fully open and little leaves are starting to grow.

Home-Made Spray Starch Tutorial

I don't really like to use the spray starch in a can as it has an icky slightly-sweet smell…and of course, the fumes and the ozone layer. This recipe is a mix of a couple I have seen online with a few personal tweaks!

You will need:

2 cups of cold tap water
4 Tablespoons of cornstarch
1 Tablespoon of vodka(yes, really…very important)
5 drops of Lavender essential oil(or a favourite, just not a citrus-based one as even small amounts might cause a stain)
1 spray bottle(got mine at the dollar store)
-mixing bowl, measuring cup for liquids, measuring spoons, fork and a funnel

In your mixing bowl combine the water, vodka and cornstarch and mix well using a fork. Don't add the essential oil yet!

With the help of your funnel, pour the resulting liquid into your spray bottle. Remove the funnel and add your essential oil. I use lavender as it has a nice smell, but you could use a different oil such as peppermint or rosemary...but no citrus-based oils as they can leave oil spots on your items!

Now give your spray starch a hearty shimmy & shake. This helps to mix the essential oils in well. The reason I wait till the end to add the essential oils is that I don't want to waste any of it in the mixing bowl. Just mixing the oil in with a fork will not disperse the oil throughout the spray starch mixture and some of the oil will stick to the bowl's sides, which is a waste in my opinion.

Now, keep your spray starch near you ironing board and spray, spray, spray away, but use sparingly-a little will go a long way! Just remember to give it a good shake before each use as the cornstarch tends to settle to the bottom once the bottle is set down. 

It should stay fresh for a month or two! When not in use, I put mine in the fridge and it lasts longer.

If you find that you have some white residue on your fabric after the spray has dried, just give the area a little swipe with your fingers or a damp cloth. The white residue is just plain old cornstarch!

Why the Vodka you ask? Vodka(or any clear alcohol, but not rubbing alcohol) acts like a dispersant and a binder(emulsifier)-helps the essential oils mix with the water, and will also help the spray starch stay fresh, as it is a preservative.


Thanks so much to the peeps who commented about my new vintage Singer machine! I was directed to a couple different websites and can now say I know this about her:
Made in St. John's, Quebec, Canada in 1948

My model was one of the first of these models to come off the assembly line, as I noticed there are some things missing: the face of the stitch lever(on the right) doesn't have any numbers on it for stitch length and there is no gold "Made in Canada" decal situated on the top of the machine head.

I also now know that I put the needle in the wrong way...DUH! While on modern machines you put the needle in with the shank facing the back, this Singer must have the needle shank facing the left! 

I have also started looking on eBay and Etsy for a Walking Foot and a few other things I like to have. Someday I would like a wooden cabinet to store her in, so I could set her up in the living room and not have to move her on and off the kitchen table…Featherweight she is not!!!

Today is the last day of Craftsy's Spring Blowout Sale! Scoot on over for amazing deals on fabric, sewing kits, and quilting kits!

I have been looking longingly at this kit: Letters Home Tea and Biscuit Table Runner since Craftsy first shared it! When you use this link, just scroll down the page to see the kit. It is on sale HALF PRICE for $25.43(this is the price in CA$-it will be much cheaper in US$)!!!

They even have a few of the lovely Aurifil thread sets…but these are going fast.

Question of the Day: 

 How should I machine-quilt my citrus batik table topper? I really need some ideas peeps!

Sharing is caring!!! 

Don't forget that I am happy to share…feel free to pin to Pinterest, post on Google+ and Facebook, and Tweet away! Just please make sure your posts link back to this blog. 

*If you mouse/hover over the top right corner of my photos, a red pin-it button will show up and all you have to do is click it to be taken to Pinterest. There is also another red button right beside it for posting to Facebook and Twitter. Or, you could always use the little grey square buttons at the end of this post.

Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Quilty Huggs, 


PLEASE NOTE: The writer of this blog accepts forms of compensation such as, but not limited to; fabric/notions/patterns/books in exchange for a posted review. All comments/critiques/opinions are completely my own and are not those of the provider. This post may also contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Charming Smile, Tuesday Tip and a Contest to Enter!

Hi peeps! 

How is everybody today? I am at the tail-end of a four(yes, four) day migraine…not fun at all! The sun is shining, it is fairly mild and I'm talking to you…so a much better day! 

Before I was laid low I managed to get my citrus batik HSTs for the table topper all trimmed…YAY!!! Now I get to have fun and play!! I'll get you up to date on that!!!

Did you know…Much like velvet and corduroy, thread has a nap?...I KNOW!!!
I only found this out recently…this is after almost 40 years of plying a needle…

When you hold the end of the thread that is coming directly off the spool and press your fingers while running them down the thread, it will feel smooth. Now do the reverse…you can actually feel the difference.

This is an important thing to consider, especially if you do a lot of hand sewing. So, what I do is thread my needle BEFORE I have clipped my length of thread. That way I will remember which tail of thread is which. I keep that end of the thread short and cut at the end of the longer piece. The longer piece will always be on the nap...and the shorter piece will be against the nap…but that is okay as it's the longer piece that I'm concerned with.

Once I am sure which thread-end is which, I knot the longer end. It really makes a difference! I do a lot of hand sewing at night in front of the TV(will show you in a later post) and can tell you that my thread runs through the fabric pieces smoothly and I rarely get a tangle! Awesomeness!!!

Last night I managed to get another men's shirt cut up…I really have to start removing the buttons from the placket strips…I've got several of them waiting for attention! As you can see, this one has an embroidered logo and I will try to find a use for that. The shoulder yoke and sleeve cuffs were lined in a nice chambray, which was an added bonus. 

This was one of the Kid's shirts, a men's size small, so there wasn't as much useable fabric. But, I had originally purchased it at half price from Value Village, it was worn for a year and now I have cut it up for quilting fabric…so it was a super-recycling project, and plus I really liked the pattern/colours. I might give it a bit of a starch treatment as the resulting fabric is a tad thinner than the other shirts I have slated for demolition.

Don't forget to enter Craftsy's #Secret Stash Contest! Prized include a secret stash box of goodies as well as a Craftsy class of your choice! Bonus!!!

Stay tuned as I have new sponsor news AND another giveaway coming soon!

Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Quilty Huggs, 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

W.I.P.-it, W.I.P.-it good Wednesday!

Hi peeps!

I started working on the citrus batik table topper I mentioned here and here.

I usually eyeball it when I'm doing half square triangles(and they never seem to work out), but this time I decided to draw the sewing lines on the wrong sides with my Frixion pen. Woa! What a difference that makes! I never realized how much my machine(and my hands) move the fabric around, making slightly wobbly lines instead of nice straight lines. 

In all fairness Pfrancine(my Pffaf) is in dire need to be cleaned and have the motor timer reset but I got this pretty pile done in no time flat!

I wanted to show you what happens when put your iron on the marks made with a Frixion pen. You can see the pen marks on the bottom triangle, below the stitching. 

I pressed the seam quickly, and as you can see on the top triangle, the marks disappeared completely. It's like magic!

I have been seeing others around blog-land who are pressing their seams open and thought I would give it a try. A small project is a great place to see how it goes. I liked how crisp the seam was.

Here is one of the finished HSTs, now all I have to do is *ug* trim these squares down. 

I can't tell you the specific dimensions as this was a free-with-purchase pattern and it is not available on the Timeless Treasure website. I did go there to check, so that I could share with you, but no I can't. Sorry…but, you can probably figure it out!

I wanted to talk about thimbles…do you use them??? 

I have never been able to use a conventional thimble, they always felt 'wrong' on my finger. I have been using a leather thimble(pictured above) for years, but wear them out very quickly as I push the needle with the side of my middle finger. These thimbles cost around $10-$15 plus shipping and I have gone through several in the past 18 months, while I have been working on two enormous hexagon projects.

I saw the blue one(a Roxanne's mid-priced metal thimble) on clearance so I ordered the largest size. I have mentioned my thick fingers before, and I really thought the XL size would fit. Well, it only fits if I rub a tiny dab of hand lotion into that finger…and, well it still didn't feel all that right. Plus after just a few hours of use, the pretty blue paint started to come off!

I was shopping at a favorite Etsy shop and noticed the metal cuff-style thimbles there. They were ultra cheap…I think 4 for $1, so I bought them. Well, they work great! I have been using one for a couple of months now, with no problem! Just goes to show you that expensive doesn't always mean the best!

Don't forget to enter Craftsy's #SecretStash Contest here.
Prizes include a box of secret stash goodies(and they have tonnes of things to choose from!!!) as well as a Craftsy class of your choice! Cool!!!

Also, the person I awarded my consolation prize to in my last giveaway never got back to me, even though I allowed 48 hours for a response. 

I have contacted Pam P. and hope she will get back to me asap!

I did notice that a lot of the people that commented were "no-reply bloggers" which means they didn't have an email connected to their open id and therefore I had no way of contacting them. So, if you would like to win …and receive your winnings, please check your Google+ account and see if your email is visible in the top right drop-down window. If it isn't, just Google how to fix the no-reply blogger issue on your Google+ account and you will find a few tutorials to show you how to fix it!

By the way, a big HELLO *waving happily* to my new followers. Thanks so much for joining up!

Question of the day:

Do you wear a thimble, and if you do, what kind of thimble do you use?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Quilty Huggs,