Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Only 366 days until Halloween!  Yes, I know I'm crazy.  But now that it's over (and I'll hopefully have time for blogging again), here's what I've been up to the past week.

This website could be the death of me.  One Pretty Thing is a site that does a little roundup of craft tutorials online.  And I had a blast with a couple of the Halloween ones this year.  Thank you to everyone who made tutorials- I had a blast bonding with my sewing machine and serger again.

Ann and Kathleen (wonderful Village Knitter owners) gave me permission to throw a party at the shop during our Thursday night group.  So I finally had the opportunity to use some of those great tutorials.

I spent a lot of time and frustration working on my table runner.  Such a simple project (except when your sewing machine is mine).    Because my machine was in storage in the backyard shed for a couple years after college, it doesn't exactly function all that well these days.*  It works good enough for me for now though.  My frustrations though working on it really had nothing to do with the functioning of my machine.  More several little things going wrong.  

But first, let's talk about the runner itself.  The one in the tutorial used ribbon and burlap but I was a bit limited.  I got a ride from Dad to Michael's so I could get the ribbon and everything else I needed for the Halloween party, but Joann's is not exactly down the block.  I figured I'd be able to find something to use at Michael's though for the burlap.  Sure, it just happened to be $7 felt.  I mean, it's felt.  Not real wool felt.  Typical craft polyester felt.  But it was big enough.  But it was $7.  I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much on something that wasn't exactly what I wanted.  The felt is thick (don't want any drinks spilling near our projects!) and it was super white- not exactly a "Halloween" color.  So I didn't buy it (though it felt like I bought everything else in the store....but that's coming).

I eventually found the perfect material at Target- a shower curtain!  Ok, so it was perfect because I found it for $2.17 in the clearance section.  But that works for me!  The shower curtain is a dark gray with lines of circles/dots that are formed with a different texture.  They were helpful in keeping my sewing ::sorta:: straight.  As straight as I can get it.  There's a reason Crooked Knits is the title for this blog...

So the frustrations- There were 3.  1- You try pinning 9 feet of ribbon to a plastic curtain.  Oy!  I didn't have enough pins to pin everything at once.  Not sure where all my pins went.  But the pinning was just the beginning.  2- Sewing with all that length of ribbon was quite a pain.  There's a lot of, um, un-straight parts and parts where my zigzag stitch starts to run away from the ribbon.  But also the vinyl shower curtain puckered a lot.  I wasn't anticipating that.  3- UGH I hate my bobbin.  This machine has always given me bobbin troubles.  The thread tangles.  And then the bobbin thread breaks.  All the time.  Halfway through a length of ribbon I would realize it.  Except it broke 3 inches in.  Oy.  Ann told me my needle might not be sharp enough and could be cutting it by accident.  Or on purpose.  I bet that machine enjoys seeing me get frustrated.

But overall I love the project!  And of course it can be adapted for any holiday.

I swear I won't blather so much about the rest of my projects :o)  That was the only one that gave me any problems or had much of a story to go with it.  Ok maybe that's not so true.  The costume story will probably be a bit long.  But you'll have to wait to read about that one :o)

*My poor little Janome must've gotten some water damage in the shed.  When I push the pedal, nothing happens.  To make it work, one must push the pedal and hand turn the Hand Wheel (uh, duh on the name) and only then will it run.  This really isn't such a big deal except when:  winding a bobbin, doing a short backstitch, working in tight corners.  But really, it's manageable.  It's really tempting that a nice basic Singer is on sale at Costco right now.  Must hold out/save for an industrial machine though.  And a spinning wheel.   

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