Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yo-Yo Table Runner

Yo-Yo Delight Table Runner Pattern by Sandy Brawner sample displayed at J&R Sewing in Fargo, NDI found it! I knew I had a photo somewhere in my computer. I visited the J&R Sewing Quilt Shop in Fargo, ND about a year ago. While there I snapped a few digital photos of some displays. This table runner caught my eye because of the yo-yos around the perimeter. I envision my version with machine embroideries across the runner rather than the friendship star pattern this designer has pieced. I'm so glad I found the photo. Now I have a visual reference to help as I describe the way I intend to use my yo-yos. The pattern I am talking about is Yo-Yo Delight by Sandy Brawner. I think it would be fun to make up my own embroidery design as flowers and use more yo-yos as the flower heads. I think I'll work on making up a design using my Viking 4D Professional digitizing software.

Okay, that is what's on the agenda for tomorrow.

Check back for updates on this project . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Making Time to Sew

Making yoyos is a good passtime when you watch television.A week or so ago I got to thinking about how I could work in more time to sew. Do I need lists? Should I set myself a schedule and plan out my days better? I spend a lot of time on the computer with my blogs, reading other people's blogs and crawling around the web to sites of interest. Sometimes the TV is turned to the news channel while I'm on-line. Lots of time I don't really pay attention to the TV, it's just background noise, but once in a while something comes on to catch my attention. When he's home, my dh is usually in control of the TV box changing channels often as he sits in his favorite chair nearby.

My time spent watching TV is almost always spent doing something else at the same time. If it is not about being on the computer it is about doing some sort of hand-work. A friend of mine, that I used to work with, prefers to machine sew. She always refers to 'hand-sewn' as two four-letter words - a big no-no in her book! LOL! I just love her sense of humor.

Here you see the important components needed for a relaxing evening in front of the computer or television watching a show: (1) a nice big iced tea drink, (2) a 45mm yo-yo maker, (3) pre-cut fabric circles, (4) needle, (5) thread, (6) TV or computer set to a good channel. Put your husband in charge of the remote control and you will not only be multi-tasking by watching TV and sewing, you'll be 'multi-multi-tasking' as you watch 2-3 channels simultaneously while you sew! LOL! Nearly everybody I know says their husbands are big channel surfers.

The Clover brand yoyo maker I used is the 45mm size.I don't mind doing some hand sewing at times. Usually those times are while watching TV. The background music tracks always give you a heads up on when to look up and take a peak anyway - when the mystery or the action is about to start. And I admit I'm one of those who asks, "What just happened?" if I missed something important to the story. My dh is usually a good sport and pretty good at filling me in when it's necessary for the story line. Often the plots are pretty predictable and there's not a lot to miss. By the way, if you're being assisted to 'multi-multi-task' while you sew it really is legit to ask what just happened when the story doesn't make sense or you missed the action sequence!

Yoyos tossed across my workspace at random.Anyway, I've been using my Clover brand yo-yo maker to hand sew these yo-yos for a future project. I've got a table runner in mind for these yo-yos based on one I saw at a quilt shop in Fargo once. It was an oval shaped table runner that had a pieced background and appliques with yo-yos sewn all around the perimeter. I've searched on-line for the pattern, but have not found it yet. If anyone knows the name of the pattern and its designer, please leave a comment so I can give credit. I will likely incorporate some machine embroidery on my table runner instead of the applique. Perhaps I'll choose an embroidered applique.

Here's the yo-yos dumped from their zippy bag and scattered at random for the photo shoot. Wait, I can't just leave them that way . . .

Yoyos all aligned in rows.Okay, since I'm a somewhat-halfway type "A" personality here they are ordered in rows. Nope, they're not going together this way, but being all tossed at random really isn't my thing. I might not be an exact and precise "A" type personality. Maybe I'm more an 'orderly messy' personality. How would you describe that? Things aren't necessarily perfectly clean and pristine, more relaxed - casually messy, but neat, and lived-in around here.

Okay, enough for now . . . I'm off to sew!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time for a Little Re-Arrangement

I needed to do a little rearranging of some tables in my sewing studio to gain better access to my thread wall. I had my sewing cabinet back-to-back with a folding table, adjacent to the back side of my pressing station. It made for a nice big table area to work on if I was piecing together a large quilt. But at the same time it was awkward to get around that much table space and it was difficult to reach my thread spools on the thread wall behind it. The whole space just was not handy at all. So I did some moving around. I removed the folding table completely. It will go into the bedroom we are currently remodeling and soon will be painting. That will be the guest bedroom. The folding table will function as my photo studio area. I plan on sewing up some different colored fabric background cutains to hang as backdrops for photos of products I will sell in my etsy shop this fall.

My wire dressform decorates a corner of my studio.Now that I've moved the sewing cabinet back-to-back with my pressing station I can easily walk through to reach my thread wall. I've got some empty spool pins there because it was terribly hard to reach them to replace the spools I pulled down to use. They were ending up in a basket near my machine instead. That in turn made it harder to see all the colors and see at-a-glance which one I needed to reach for. I am enjoying this space so much more now that things are not so difficult to maneuver around.

The wire dressform is a decorative element I found at Hobby Lobby awhile back. Right now it's holding a fabric ornament I made for a class I once taught. I have another one of these currently attached to the stylus I use to access my sewing machine touch-screen and another one is acting as a scissors fob on my double curved embroidery scissors. I'll have to post something about making these sometime and show you a close-up. That will be a future post one of these days.

Three glass jars hold an assortment of sewing supplies for future projects.I like the look of various jars holding my sewing supplies. I like that I can see through into them to know what is inside them. And I also like that they have lids to keep the dust out and to keep the contents in. If I had more display space I would do lots more rows of these kinds of jars. The things enclosed inside are (1) buttons, (2) threads, (3) ribbons and trims. I've also got two plastic bins filled with more ribbons and trims, but the pieces here are shorter, odd-ball scraps and pieces not worthy of winding onto cardboard spools. I also have LOTS more jars and boxes of buttons. These are just a mixed selection for easy access. My other buttons are higher up on the top of my fabric shelf and in boxes tucked away at the moment. That's another area of 'stuff' that needs to be 'thought out' for better ease of access. I think I'd use more of my stuff if it wasn't such a chore to find it and get to it. Definitely in need of more refined organizing although I am quite happy with the progress so far. It is so much better in my studio now than it had been. I guess there's always room for improvement when I get the organizing bug next time.

Little papers in little cups.I taste-tested a drink sample at Starbucks once. I liked the little paper cup so I kept one afterward to take home. Originally I had been thinking I'd use it when I made a doll. Right now it is at home on this shelf holding those little papers with fortunes you find inside fortune cookies. I only keep the ones that I like what they say. The ones that have no meaning to me, or are silly, I toss right away. I thought at some point I might use them to sew into a fabric collage or a fabric art journal. I haven't accomplished that yet, so they wait patiently here on my shelf. Yep, you got it . . . I'm a saver. You may be asking why I am saving all these little things anyway? Does anyone else have this 'saving stuff' habit? Sometimes I will eventually use these little tidbits in some project and I'm glad to have saved them. Other times I decide I'm never going to get around to doing what I imagined and go through a cleaning and tossing phase. It just depends on my mood and how much space I need for other things. What about you? Are there other 'savers' out there?

Anyway, I am enjoying my space now with easier access to my threads. I've got several machines set up ready to use at any given time, so I can always find time to sew even if just for a short time. That's the beauty of having things set up, ready to go. I really appreciate that I have a studio to work in - where I don't have to worry about putting things away and cleaning up right away. I can take time here and there as I find time during my day to work around other tasks . . . or even spend the whole day in here if I want to do so.

At the moment my Creative Vision is at my local sewing machine dealer. It is receiving a check-up and a new up-date. It should be fun to play around with it in a few days when I get the machine back. There's supposed to be some great new things in this up-date. I'll let you know how it goes.