Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lunchtime Lessons

Good afternoon!

I am sure some of you have noticed the absence of LunchTime Lessons last week and this week!  I have been very busy moving things, taking care of customer orders, and other things that the time has gotten away from me!
But new photos are being done, and new lessons are being prepared!  Look for the return of LunchTime Lessons starting Memorial Day Monday 5/25/15. They will resume in earnest!

For now I have a great little recipe that I did this morning!

It's a great add to if you are on Weight Watchers, or if you are just looking to eat power foods for energy and health.

Egg and Squash Mash

1 cup spaghetti squash
2 eggs
1 oz shredded cheese
1 tsp olive oil
garlic powder

Heat the oil in a saute pan until hot.  Add the squash, salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.Cook until the squash starts to brown like hash browns.
When they are done browning, add the eggs and stir to mix in well. Keep stirring to keep the eggs from becoming an omelet. When the eggs are almost done add the cheese on top and heat until almost melted.

Plate and enjoy!
ww+ points 7

hope you enjoy this little recipe!
stay well!

Friday, May 8, 2015

So Welcome to Friday! The start of another weekend!  

Well today we have a simple but great craft for you try at home! 
We are going to make this Garden Cement Hand that you can use outside or in your home. Put a potted plant in the palm and it is a great conversation piece.!

 We need for this project a bag of Cement, I recommend using the cement that is available with little or no rocks......mine had rather large rocks in it, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how smooth it ended up. If it didn't have rocks, it would have been easier to fill the gloves and there probably would have been no holes of gaps to fill, but whatever it all worked out great!
You will also need some bowls and latex or rubber gloves. Make sure you get enough gloves so you can wear a pair and fill the others.

So no take a disposable cup and fill it a couple of times with the cement, than add water until you get the consistently you see here.
add more mix or water as needed.  You need to work rather quickly the cement is usually a quick dry and will begin to set up fast!

Fill a glove with the cement mix making sure to get into all the fingers and thumb. When it is filled to your liking, gently place it into an empty bowl and form the palm and fingers as you want them. I used a jar to push a flat into the palm of the hand. 
I let the whole thing set to hard overnight, and then the next day gently  removed the latex glove.  One of the fingers broke off where the rocks were but I just used a great adhesive for indoors or outdoors and covered the break line and the holes from the rock with more of the sandy portion of the cement.

These are fun to make and I will be making a few more for my garden soon...............50# of cement can make many hands!!!!

Enjoy your craft, enjoy the Sun! See you On Monday when the weekend is done!

LunchTime Lessons -------Quilting Thursday!

Sorry I didn't get do this Quilting lesson yesterday! The shop was busy with questions and phone calls....so today I will be doing two blogs one for quilting and one for crafting!

On to today;s quilt lesson!

Let's talk about fabrics:

The range of fabrics out in the world is massive!  Choice of design and colors is limitless, as it the choice of fibre.......

After you find a quilt design you want, the question becomes, what fabrics do I want...

Lets start with a simple Nine Patch quilt square. I take a trip to the fabric section of my shop ...........Most quilters will you only cotton, some will use blends, some will use silks.........it's all individual choice.

BUT: no matter what fibre is your choice, make sure that all the fabrics are the same fibre, unless you are doing a "Crazy Quilt" like the one on the left or an "Artist Quilt" such as the one on the right, it is important to the construction of the quilt that all the fabrics are the same.

for the Nine Patch you need to choose 9 fabrics that you love............there is alot of leeway here.........the colors don't have to match and can include designs and solids.......let your imagination go wild........the bold, the more beautiful or keep it all quiet and simple.............all up to you!

Now that you have chosen your fabrics, you have many options to decide..........how big do you want it?

Standard Manufacturers' Sizes for Bedding
Measurements are approximate and given for standard US Mattresses
Measured in Inches (Width x Length)
Mattress TypeMattress
(short drop)
(long drop)
Lap Quiltn/an/an/an/a
Crib28" x 52"36" x 54"n/a45" x 60"
Twin/Single39" x 75"65" x 88"81" x 107"72" x 90"
Twin/Single XL***39" x 80"65" x 93"81" x 112"n/a
Double/Full54" x 75"80" x 88"96" x 107"81" x 96"
Double/Full XL54" x 80"80" x 93"96" x 112"n/a
Queen60" x 80"86" x 93"102" x 112"90" x 108"
King76-78" x 80"104" x 93"120" x 112"120" x 120"

Once that decision is made you can go ahead and purchase your fabric...

How big do you want your nine patch squares........we will be using 4" squares to make our quilt square.

To wash or not to wash the fabric first...............hmmmmm......that's a hard decision.......if all your fabric is the same fibre, and will all shrink the same..........no problem. Many quilter's prefer to use it unwashed because it is more stable for machine sewing. If it's an over-dyed fabric such as most batiks..........I would probably want to wash it first.........and if you are using a mix of fibres...........definitely wash and iron it all first!  you don't want to get your quilt all done and than give it a gentle wash and have it go out of shape!

Well that's enough info for today so let's gather up our fabrics, our rotary cutters, rulers, and cutting mats so we will be ready for next Thursday's lesson on using those tools!
See you then!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Today's LunchTime Lesson-------Crochet

Good Afternoon! Hope you have great weather and a good lunch to enjoy today!

Here we are at Wednesday already! The weeks are just flying by!

Yesterday I posted a yarn chart with all the weights of yarns and knitting needle sizes. I won't re-post that chart here but get right onto the descriptions and size equivalents for crochet.

Fine/Lace weight yarns use fine steel hooks sizes 6,7, or 8 or you can use a B-1 size for your project.  This weight make beautiful shawls, sweater and more......the most delicate baby items can be made with this!

Sock/Fingering/Baby weight yarn the most common articles made from this weight are afghans, sweaters, socks and anything where you want that delicate look and feel about it. Crochet hook  B-1 to  E-4 are the most used for this weights.

Sport/Baby weight yarns are next.........great sweaters, delicate afghans, hats and more to make from these yarns.  The most common size hooks to use range from E-4 to size 7 (no letter designated to this size).

DK/Light Worsted yarns use sizes 7 through I-9 depending on the thickness of the yarn. This size and the next yarns are the most commonly used weights for so many clothing items, especially great for making baby clothing.

Aran/Worsted/Afghan weight yarns used for clothing, afghans and more.  They call off needle sizes I-9 to K-10 1/2. Aran is the lightest of the three yarns.

Chunky weight is next and encases rug and craft type yarns also....Needle sizes K-10 1/2 to M-13 are the common sizes to use with this weight yarn...

M-13 and larger needles are used on the Super Bulky weights of yarn.........if you want to work with fabric and make rag rugs, 1" strips work best on size P-Q hooks...............

don't forget the yarn label is the key to what needle size should be used for your project. And many times a pattern may call for a larger or smaller sized needle to achieve the pattern look the designer has in mind.

Have fun with it and if gauge isn't an issue (as in the case of a scarf or blanket) double up the yarns, triple them and make quick and fun projects. If your needle size doesn't "feel" right for those items, change it!  go up a size!

See you next Wednesday for more Crochet!

Tomorrow's LunchTime Lesson is all about Quilting!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

LunchTime Lessons! Tuesday---Must be time to Knit!

So I have been receiving emails from people asking if it's okay to print out their LunchTime Lessons or transfer them to folders to keep each craft separate>>>>>  OMG Thank you so much! I am so thrilled that you are enjoying my series of classes.......

Today we are going to learn about yarn thicknesses and appropriate needle sizes to use with each yarn.

Here is a handy chart with the yarn thickness:

Let's start with Lace weight yarn...........wow talk about being fine!  This super thin, thread-like yarn makes the most beautiful shawls, sweaters, and much more!  usually it is worked on a larger needle to give a more lacy effect to your work.........many lace weights are in wool or mohair yarns. Don't be afraid to have fun with this size. And if you want, you can always ply more than one strand together to make a thicker yarn!
The intended needle size for Lace weight yarn is 000-1 needles.......yes they are tiny.

Next up we have fingering/sock/baby weight yarns...........yes they are all fingering weight. The most common items are of course sock, baby sweaters, fine baby blankets and more... Most sock yarns are in wool with a nylon added for strength............some sock yarns are 100% wool and will come with a separate matching nylon to add to the heels and toes for durability. Baby fingering yarns can be anything from 100% wool to 100% acrylic and every combination in between.  Usual needle sizes range for size 1 -3.........

Fine weight yarn also known as sport weight yarn is great for baby items, sweaters and lots more. All fibers are available in this weight also. Wools, Alpaca, acrylics and more. Recommended needle sizes range from sizes 3-5.

Then we have DK/Light worsted weight yarns. This size has become quite popular for those who don't want to work with really tiny needles, and make a quicker but yet beautiful item. Needle sizes range from 5-7.

and now we come to the most popular yarn thicknesses. Aran/Worsted/Afghan weight..... this is the weight we use to make blankets, sweaters, baby items and so much more that your head will spin! Common needle sizes are 7-9 with Aran using the 7's, worsted most commonly the 8's and many times afghans are done on  9's or even on 10's if the worsted is a bit thicker.

Bulky weight yarns are great for Sweaters, afghans and more. They work up quickly on sizes 10-11 knitting needles and can be doubled up to create the Super Bulky yarns!

That brings us to the end of the chart for Super Bulky yarns! Commonly worked up on sizes 11 and up depending on the thickness of the yarns. So now you ask what the heck do we use that weight yarn for?>>>?? So glad you asked! Commonly used to make very chunky, clunky cowls (say that three times fast!), quick afghans and some great patterns are out there for lush rugs! (yes you can knit a rug!)

Are you confused?  It's easy to get confused by all the types, sizes, colors, and more of the yarns on today's market!

Notice one thing regarding needle sizes for the various yarn weights.......you will notice that they are variable. That is because just because it's labeled as one weight, if you take the same weight from two different yarns, you will notice that they seem to be different weights.........some DK's and sports are interchangeable, some Worsted and Chunky are so close that they could also be interchangeable. And forget the thickness of the various bulky and super bulky yarns!  Sky's the limit and if you use a LYS (local yarn shop) to purchase your yarns, they will be very happy to help you with size, weights and types of yarn to use..........

Read the yarn label for all the info you need to know..........every yarn label gives you (not all will have a little symbol with the number in it!) the recommended needle size, the suggested gauge for that yarn, the stitches per inch and the care of that particular yarn. The label also includes the fiber used to create that yarn and the yardage and weight in ounces and grams.

Please keep in mind that so many patterns are written with a different needles size than we are accustomed to........example:  mohair is indicated as a lace or fingering weight yarn and many times uses a size 10 needle.  This gives the yarn and item a much more lacy effect and keeps the mohair from matting down.

Well that is it for today! 
See  you tomorrow for our Crochet LunchTime Lesson! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday LunchTime Sewing Lesson!

Good Afternoon (at least it is here in NE!). I hope you all had a great weekend and are starting your Monday on a good note!
I managed to get in a little yard clean up this weekend. Got the dead Roddy brush out of the ground, weeded a huge section in the back!  Rescued the furniture from under the grapevine arbor and my sister started cleaning them!  Next weekend it's finish the major weeding while the bushes are still small, get some veggies in the ground, put up the awning on the arbor so we can sit under it! Hope you had sunshine and got to enjoy some of it!

Today's Sewing lesson is about using a tool that you have right at your fingertips to make sure that you are using the correct seam widths every time you sew!

The Presser foot has two stitch widths that come in very handy..........
look at the photo to the Right. Notice that stitch line and where the presser
foot is located (sorry the photos' not so great!) but it's the green line right
where the foot starts to flair out...........that is on most machine and
pressure foot the 1/8" mark.
The next stitch guide on your pressure foot is the outermost edge of the foot and it will guide you to the perfect 1/4" seam.

Notice the edge of my fabric is abutted to the edge of the presser foot.....That's my 1/4" seam.
Moving right to left to right.....the lines are in 1/8" increments. So the next line would make a 3/8" seam, than 1/2", than 5/8". please note that the 5/8" is the most commonly used seam allowance in sewing. That's why it is so prominent on the stitch plate. The last line on my plate is for a 3/4" seam. Some machines I have also have the numbers, 3, 4, 5, 6 at the top of the stitch line guides .........they mean just what I have stated above.

Now that you know a little more, next week let's set a zipper or two! See you then!  hope you are enjoying these LunchTime Lessons!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Welcome To Friday! LunchTime Lesson!

Otherwise from here on it to be know as "LunchTime Crafting" Day!

I know I have have you fill your kits this week with the necessities for Knitting, Sewing, Quilting and more, but today we will take a little break and after a very short list of "needs", get you right into a Mother's Day quickie!

Your Crafting Kit should have at least the following items:

A good pair of scissors for cutting fabric, ribbons and more.
A junkie pair for only paper (don't want to ruin the good!).  Make sure you label them so the family will keep their mitts off!

A glue gun.......both mini and regular are good to have on hand.  I use mostly my regular size gun for just about all gluing needs.............UNLESS I know something may be used in a window or over a heater or in direct sunlight..........hot glue will re-melt if it's exposed to hot sun for any length of time!

A good tacky glue---we use Aleenes' Tacky here in the shop.

A good project..........this is where your stash will begin to grow!

And a good vessel to keep it all together in!


For Mother's Day I have a very simple project that is so easy you may have to make more than one!

Pleated Fabric Ribbon  or  lace fabric with tiny holes....... 12" long by 5-6 wide.
12" of 1/4" ribbon
12" of 1 1/4" ribbon
one bunch of fabric Rose Buds
2 oz of Lavender Buds
Needle and thread
Glue Gun or tacky glue
Hand Cream!   If you are using the glue to work this project..........put the hand lotion on in case you accidentally get the hot glue on your hands..........trust me it is HOT and it will remove your skin and cause blisters!  the hand cream puts a protective coating on your skin and IF you do get glue in the wrong place...it will come off with the skin intact..and chances are that it won't blister!

 Fold the fabric in half and glue the bottom and side together......
 Fill the bag with the lavender buds.

Use the needle and thread to do a running stitch around the bag opening, single layer.

 Pull the thread tightly and securely tie off the thread.
 tie the wider ribbon around the gathered top and glue the thinner ribbon right into the little hole at the top.

Take three of the ribbon roses and glue them to the ribbon bow.

That is all there is too it!

Mom will love it!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

LunchTime Lesson!!!!! Let's Quilt!

Good Afternoon!
Hope you have something good for lunch today!

Without boring you....... if you would go back to Monday's Lesson on Sewing Kit essentials, we can add to that list for your quilting necessities!

You will need a self-healing Cutting mat in one in my opinion the bigger the better to fit your workspace.

A Rotary Cutter for making it easier to get clean and straight cuts on your pieces.

A good rigid ruler is a great tool to have to aide in cutting the fabrics.....you can find them with cork or felt feet that won't slip when you are cutting pieces.

Quilting needles ---Hand sewing needles in the number 7 -12 range are the best for hand quilting. If you are machine piecing the needle must match the fabric weight as you add layers you will need a heavier weight needles to go through the layers smoothly.

Templates ---- can be added as you grow..........

So many other items can be added to your kit!  As you become more accomplished in your quilt work, don't be afraid to experiment with some of them.

Next week I will go over fabrics, what type to use when, how to prep them, and more!

Today I have a tip from one of my fellow artisans to aid you in your quilt work!

Ann Gately from Putman Lake Quilting let me know of a marking pen that she has been using. 
"I have been using FriXion markers lately. It says that you can erase them with the eraser, I couldn't, BUT they also disappear with heat.... totally disappear."  That's a great tip!  many times we go to wash out the marker and it won't fully leave us!
Take a peek into Ann's wonderful creative shop!  http://putmanlakequilting.indiemade.com

LunchTime Lessons will be back tomorrow with a great craft you can make for Mom, or Grandma, or Godmother, or Auntie.........or just because you want one!

And I will be adding photos along with descriptions!
See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It's Wednesday's LunchTime Lesson! Crochet is the Case!

Welcome to today's LunchTime Lesson!

If you have been following along this week, you can see we are getting our "kits" ready for sewing & knitting.
Today we will tackle what we need for getting ready to crochet!
The old argument is which is better? Knit or Crochet..........hmmm it's a tough question to answer........so that's one war I will stray away from!

Here again, as in knitting,..........you need basic supplies.

I won't bore you with a repeat of yesterday's needs, I will just add to the list!

So you have your pattern ready.........what needle size, what weight of yarn, etc.........

Crochet, like knitting, uses yarn and a needle........not a pair, but a single needle with a hook at one end and a thumb hold in the middle.

They also come in various sizes, but nowhere as many as we have in Knitting. The hooks have metric, numerial, and letters assigned to them.......and that's where we will begin.

Steel Crochet Hooks are for working with fine threads and cottons.........the hooks sizes go from US 14-00 BUT unlike what we are used to the larger the number the smaller the hook. That means that size 14 would be used to crochet something as delicate as sewing thread and 00 closer to fingering weight yarns. These are the hooks that your Grandmothers would have used to create beautiful doiles, Baptism gouwns, bedspreads, and more, including laces and edgings that have become to cherished and sort after.

Standard Crochet Hooks start In the US with B-1 metric 2.25. and they go up to size S.

in both Knit needles and Crochet hooks there is one odd ball size and that is 10.5 knitting needles and it's crochet equivilent 7 (there is no letter designation for this size). These are the only US needles that are not whole number..........IE:   B-1, C-2, D-3 etc..

Hooks also come in a variety of materials:  there are bamboo crochet hooks (very comfortable in the cold weather on the hands), metal, balene, and wood.......
One of the metal hooks is also available with ergonomic handles for comfort for those who have arthritis or other hand and arm inflictions..........definitly worth the investment!
Hooks can be found as far back at the Viking days when the men used them made from whalebone to make and repair fishing nets............

Some items that are great for your crochet kit are:
besides hooks, yarn and patterns.

Scissors, darning needles, paper and pen, row counter, stitch guide, open-ended markers, needle gauge ( the needles sizes correspond to knitting sizes and gauge is just as important to crocheting clothing as to knitting them).

Yes Knitting and Crochet have been around for a very long time!  From the Viking ships to modern day.
there is a lot to explore and learn............

I will touching on Tatting, Lace Making and more in future LunchTime Lessons!  Hope you will join us and explore something new!

If you have any suggestions------please feel free to contact me!
Hope you had a great lunch!
Tomorrow we will get our quilting bags ready to work!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

LunchTime Lessons! Stock your Knitting Bag!

Tuesday is Knitting Lesson day!

Not so much a lesson today, but a let's make sure you have all you need to get started in Knitting!

A list of suggested supplies is where we will start today.

Must haves:

Knit guide with stitches is always a good must have for your knit kit.
       one that goes over the basics including cast/on, cast/off, stitch keys and such.

Knitting needles.....where do you being?  there are so many on the market it's actually crazy....there's bamboo, metal, wood (different from bamboo!), plastic, baylene and more!  What ever needles you get make sure that the needles match the yarn.   ex: some yarns slide better on metal, some better on bamboo........it becomes a very personal perference....
if you are working with a slippery yarn, plastic is probablly the way you want to go.
Circular needles may be a necessary evil but don't be scared they aren't hard to use!

Yarn........ah a very grey area when it comes to what type, cost, allergies etc.......the one thing you want to make sure it this.........a beginner is fine with cheap yarn,,,,,,,,, but as you progress in your knitting skills, the better the yarn, the more expensive it will be. My rule is this: if it's worth doing and you want a great garment or afghan that will last for years..........don't go cheap. the item you create will be cheap looking and not last as it should. Your worth every penny, don't skimp on the good stuff.
Make sure your yarn, your needles, and your pattern are all in sync...........you can't knit a baby pattern that calls for fingering weight yarn with size 8 knitting needles, and bulky yarn.
The right yarn, the right needles for the pattern you choose everytime!  Unless you are good with altering a pattern, this is a step you should make sure is correct. The shop you are getting your supplies from should have people on hand to help you get started.

Patterns:-------now this is where you start when you are done practicing your stitches........a good pattern with plainly written, concise and easy to follow directions and charts.  And if you do choose a pattern that isn't quite written in plain English, make sure that the shop you get it from is able to help you with it......
That's the one thing I always tell my customers when they purchase from me....if you need help with the pattern, please do come in for help......

Now you have a pattern and your yarn....let's see what else we need to get you stocked up to start.

Stitch holders..........they look like giant safety pins, made to hold your stitches for necks, shoulders, and more. Different brands, different sizes are available.  I do recommend that your kit should have at least two sizes and two of each. I like the 4 1/2 -6" sizes.

Needles Gauge.........a good gauge will have the holes for all the needles to size them, a little ruler for checking gauge, (that's a class all by itself!) in both metric and standard sizes. and the real good ones will also have the corepsonding Crochet hook sizes.  Susan Bates makes the most acurate gauge I have ever used.

Measuring tape........cloth is good..you want it to be flexible........as many of the patterns and books of today are written for all the world, many will have metric and standard measure. Your measuring tape should have both on it to allevate guessing.

Point protectors..........great little tools to keep those stitches from falling off your needles when transporting your work.... as in all else...........get a variety of sizes to match your needle sizes........something that fits a size 2 needle won't do any good holding the stitches onto a size 13 needle.

Darning Yarn Needles......they have big eyes to put the yarn through for finishing work.  You can get them in Plastic, Metal, balene (in the old days it was celliduid or bone also!)  I prefer the metal...........always afraid I am going to break the plastic ones!

Stitch counter---- that will help you keep track of your rows, stitches, increases and more!

Stitch Markers...........they are an invaluable for counting stitches, and are used in many patterns for indicating where increases, decreases, and pattern changes are done. There two types....the solid round markers for general use as described above. And there are open-ended makers for temporarily making a spot.

A good pair scissors................6" snips are fine!

Some people like to keep a crochet hook handy for dropped stitches,  we actually have a neat little tool with a pick on one end and a hook on another!

Notebook and pen!  yes those are a necessity in your knit kit!

and of course a must is a good sturdy bag big enough to carry your project and your supplies in.

Other options to your kit could be..........needle case for circular needles (don't be scared!), straight needles in both 9" and 14" sizes for a case that holds both...........keeping your needles organized will keep them from getting damaged and lost....

Page Protectors to put your pattern in to keep it from getting mangled as you use it.

Post-it Note tape is a great addition to your kit. It's repositionable and you move it about the pattern to follow the rows as you go.

There are many many gadgets for sale for knitting.........these are the very basic that I would suggest you keep handy in your kit........the rest you can aquire as you grow!

See you Tomorrow with LunchTime Lessons -----------Wednesday is Crochet Day!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday ----LunchTime Lessons...........Sewing Kits

Hi everyone and welcome to your first Lunchtime Lessons!
Monday----- Sewing
Tuesday ------Knitting
Wednesday -----Crocheting

taking the weekends off!

So on to today's lesson!

What should you have in your sewing kit!

Whether you sew by hand or machine there are basics you need to make up a good kit!

Measuring devices---I like to keep 6" and 12" hard rulers (I have wooden ones) in my kit, along with the standard fexible measuring tapes......they used to be made from cloth, but most of today's tapes are usually a vinyl ( why is that word hard to spell?).

Common Pins---- a must for holding things together so you can properly sew them in place! I like nice long ones with the pearly heads to hold the parts together and make them easier to find at the machine! (don't want to be breaking needles on hidden pins!)

Pincushion ----- makes using the common pin more accessible and a good place to put them when you remove them from your work. The best pincushions have sand, crushed pecan or walnut shells in them....this keeps your pins and needles from rusting.

Needles.....Hand Sewing----------- sharp needles in various sizes are a must!
                 Machine Sewing----------again a variety of sizes and types is a must!  the needle used for cotton fabric is not the one you would use to sew denim.

Needle Threader-------makes it easier for getting that silly wimpy thread into that tiny little eye of the needle......must have been an eye doctor who created the needle anyway.......if all else fails cut your thread on an angle (YES this is possible!) and most of the time it will slide right in!
Many of today's sewing machines come with built in needle threaders......take the time to learn to use it! It will save you headaches further on down the road!

Thread--------there are different types of threads for different fabrics.........be sure to put a general thread in your kit for hand sewing and when you buy fabric, buy the thread that goes with it to insure a smooth sewing session.  Polyester is usally the standard thread choice.  Basic black, white, cream are good to start with if you are buying by the spool.........many times you can get a kit with several small spools of various colors..but if you intend to do any major sewing, invest in the larger spool of thread.........nothing is worse than running out in the middle of the project.

Sissors--- a great pair of sharp dressmaker sissors is a real MUST HAVE for your kit.........and lock them up, hide them......do anything you need to, to keep anyone from using them on paper!  they for your fabric only!   I like to keep a full size and a pair of 6" snips in my kit.
By the way if you are left handed, you can get sissors especially for you!  Makes doing the job easier with the right tools!

Seam Ripper-----oh boy did mine get a workout this past Saturday when I sat down to sew it wasn't a pretty sight!  A good seam ripper will have a sharp point to get under the stiches and remove them without damaging your fabric.............NEVER rip a seam apart by pulling the two pieces of fabric and breaking the stitches......(your guilty of that I can see it on your face! LOL). That method will either tear the fabric or weaken the threads of the fabric and that may cause an issue later on down the road.

good idea to have but not a necessity:
Thimble.........I could never get used to using them........I do have a leather one for hand quilting for when I am doing the ties on my quilts. (posting pics of those soon!)

Fabric Marker pens-------the best kind to get are the washable ink kind. The lines will wash away and never be seen again. These are great to have to help you with your seam lines! no more crooked seams!

Safety Pins------I keep several different sizes in my kit in case I pop a zipper or some other castastophe happens.......ha I even have some in my purse! just in case!

Dressmakers Chalk.------yes this is the good old fashion chalk to make darts, seams and more! The good ones come in a little case with a sharpener build in!

Machine Sewers----should also have sewing machine oil to keep theirs machines running smoothly!

and of course you NEED a case or box to keep it all in one place with easy access.
Machine sewers: don't forge to keep your manual closeby in case you need to trouble shoot.

I just thought of something else........but it seems to have escaped me............ahh I have it!

Put some Press on hem tape in you kit........when you need to do a fast hem or repair it will be an invaluable item to have on hand!

Well that's if for today! My lunch is now over and back to my machine I go!

Oh Spring.........Where did ye go?

Spring is finally here!
Warmer temps, longer days and flowers!
 beautiful purple crocus and yellow jonquils!
and lots of them!
 the tulips are closing in on opening their buds and the daffodils are close behind!
 My hydrangea brances have life in them and birds are busily building their nests!
Yes Spring is finally here!

and into my garden I will go.

Sunday is shapping up to be a beautiful warm day and I am itching to get the string beans and sweet peas into the ground. and clean up the fallen branches and rake up the leaves that got over looked last year.
Time to spruce it all up!

I got the Front yard all done on Sunday and took three hours to shape up the hydrangeas where I want them to be..........I have been letting someone else do them and honestly..........no one cares about your stuff the way you do.......so I will do it myself, my way.

the daffodils are brillant yellow and the birds are singing way!  yes Spring is finally here.

That was last week............this week is cold and rain is on tap for most of the week............Oh Spring where did ye go????

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Small Things.........

Every day we go about our lives just waking, walking, running through the day, the week, the month.
And then we get "those" days, the ones with the disasters, the things that don't go just right........you know the ones that make you wonder why you got up that morning, and can you please have a "do-over".
Those days are all too plenty. And then you get those days that the "small things" make your day the best.

Meeting old friends, having your coffee paid off.......sitting with good people and chatting, all the while crafting a quilt, a sweater, a scarf.
I have at many times been giving the task of finishing projects for others.
The Black sweater that someones' mother started and never got put together, the afghan that I had to lay on the floor to figure out what design Grandma had in mind when she crocheted those 300 squares,,,,..........and then the Teddy Bears.
The Teddy Bears that are made from old clothes, not any old clothes, the clothes that Pappa wore, or Mom's old robe. The hankies that she collected or the fabic from the arm of that favorite couch........or the clothes of a child's first outfit...........
Sometimes the task is difficult because that person has passed, sometimes it's a pleasure because that loved one is starting a new phase of their own life.
Whatever the reason it gets left with me, the end result is that someone trusted me with the squares, sweaters, clothing of their loved ones. And that makes me smile! to know that after all these years, people still come here because they believe I can do a task for them that they don't feel they can handle.

and I sit here and feel blessed. And I smile.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Is it over yet?

I have been so bad!   I haven't posted a new entry in Months!

The Fall was wonderful and warm, very unusual for this part of NE.........and no storms!  none at Christmas and most of January!  and then that all changed! BIG TIME CHANGE!

but first  the Holidays:
yes they were so very different this past year!  Not having Mom or Dad around was very difficult but we made it. and honestly I think that we are growing stonger as siblings. Helping each other more, showing more concern for each other............but than that's what family is supposed to be about.

And then the Snow came and came and came!  It;s looking like we are finally going to get a reprieve from the bitter cold and all the snow the next several days!
First storm brought 22" and then days later 8 more, days later more, then more, then more, then more!  Yesterday the storm that should have left us 1-3" stopped at 9".......yes 9" more one my front lawn, on the sides of my driveway, on the corners of my street! There's no escaping it!  the piles in the plaza are over 12' tall. Can't see around corners to turn onto the main streets........it's pure craziness!

But I know that soon the snow will be gone, the grass will begin to grow and the whole world will be awashed with the colors of Sping.
Tulip, crocus, daffodils...........and more.......yes they will come up as always to give us another color than the white that is everywhere!  well white with gray sand and salt caps............yuckkkkk!

 just a few of the pictures I took this year!

this was a major concern for us! We hire a construction co to clear off the snow and put melting stuff on the roof to get rid of the ice buildup!

this is the first night of the big storm!

well Spring will be here soon and I hope Mother Nature is finished
with dumping on us for awhile!
Till next time!