Sunday, September 29, 2013

Looking Good

There are hours of work to go, but my sewing room storage area is shaping up.  The new cubbies are perfect with the pieces I already had and fit perfectly with not an inch to spare.
I just threw stacks of fabric in open places and will refold them later.  And also get some more of the little plastic drawers to go on top.  And maybe some more fabric bins to hide the brick wall.

This is some of the gingham.  If all my shelves could look like this, I would be happy. 

I'm happy anyway.  Nice birthday present.  Mike did it all this morning and had no very little trouble with it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another Birthday

They do seem to come around a lot faster than they used to and are better just being ignored.

But it was a nice week for a celebration.  Lots and lots of cards, FB messages, and Happy Birthdays for the past few days.

Mama treated us all, along with cousins Pat, Tim, and Matthew, to a seafood dinner last night.  It's always nice to see the Vicks.  We even had a nice conversation with another Covington County guy and his wife.  Mike noticed the PHS on his shirt and, instead of thinking it was Prattville High School, made another connection and said, "Pleasant Home?"  Turns out Mama knew his parents, and we discovered we had a lot of connections from the past.  

I had a Skype with Graysen, and while she didn't exactly say Happy Birthday, she did notice me this time and crawled toward the phone, and smiled a lot.  She is never still, so she was kind of a blur a lot of the time, but I loved every minute of it.

If someone had asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I would be stumped.  I have everything I want right now, but how nice that the things I got were just perfect and "just what I wanted."


Roses from Mike.

Sweet perfect gifts from the Friday morning children (and mothers). 

I love this bag from Jen (filled with a week's worth of patterns and jerseys to sew!). 
This is one thing I did ask for. 

Nothing fancy, but I'm tired of seeing this while I'm sewing.

Bits and pieces of storage gathered from all over the house and just a big mess.  I stacked the fabric nicely - once - and a few times digging through it just sends it into collapsing piles.  There has to be a better way, and that's what I aim to figure out.
I happened to mention I thought the front porch chairs would look better black, and it happened.
One more coat of black and 2 coats of sealer, and they'll be perfect.
Its such a nice Saturday.  Cooler weather.  No obligations today. 
French toast for breakfast.

And a happy dog in the sunshine.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beautiful Children

Nearly every Friday morning, I head down to the church to watch the children of a few young women who get together for a Bible study.  There are only 3 mothers but 8 children - and 9 pretty soon.

I took these pictures one of the first times we met, and I'll take some more this Friday because I don't have ones of the baby twins who stay with their mother usually and eat and sleep.

There are 2 brother sets:  Tyler and Bronner, Luke and Mark.  Luke was missing this particular morning, but I think I have a picture of him on another day.  Daniel and Sarah are the other 2 and the siblings of the twins.

So here is an example of how the morning goes.

Bronner and Mark exploring.


The unending fascination with the bucket of toys.

Somebody always seems to be sitting in it.

The usual nurseries are taken by the day care groups during the week, so we have only this room and this small collection of toys.  Looks like Daniel and Tyler are casting spells on each other.

Sweet Sarah is the only girl except for her baby sister who will be joining the group when she's older.

There are always plenty of snacks, and that gets taken care of immediately - and pretty much the whole morning.

This is how things start looking around 11:30.

 I'm not sure whats happening in this sequence, but this is Luke and Tyler doing something to Tyler's shirt.

The girls in the background I had for a few weeks to help, but unfortunately they had to get back to school in August.  They were a big help.

So this is my Friday morning.  I'm ready for a nap when I get home every Friday, but I love them, and they make me laugh

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spooky Sewing

I can't believe I'm making my granddaughter something with a bat on it!  Emily was looking at some designs this summer and mentioned more than once how much she liked this one.
I think it turned out okay even with its spooky geranium eyes.  The suggested thread color of the moon was citrus and the eyes geranium.

Even though it doesn't feel much like fall, I'm trying to do some Halloween and Thanksgiving embroidery this month and maybe even Christmas.
Okay, I have to confess that I've just discovered this is not the right design.  When I went to my Fall/Halloween folder of designs, I saw this one and put it into the machine, thinking it was the one Emily had liked.  Just now when I went to see where I got it and found out it was Planet Applique, I noticed that there was another bat and moon, this one an applique - and MUCH sweeter. 
No evil geranium eyes.  And I like polka-dot bats better than the solid black one.  I'll be looking for another orange shirt or onesie this week!
I've spent most of my time in the sewing room lately, it seems, but I'm enjoying it.  This is how it starts.  Jusst a big clump of white mesh fabric. 
This week I got to break it up with a little fuschia.  Pretty.

The more I sew these jerseys, the more comfortable I get with the serger and learning new ways of making things work.
One thing I had never used in all my years of sewing was the free arm feature.  Just never thought about it.  But with all these little arm openings to hem, it works perfectly and just speeds things up greatly.

I also pulled out this cute little attachment that I'd never used before either.  The machine has many guidelines on it, but I tend to let my eyes (and mind) wander and end up with a crooked seam.

It just screws into a hole already on my machine, and you can set it exactly where you want the fabric edge to line up.  This way, if I start daydreaming, the edge of the fabric snuggles up against the little ledge and guides itself. 
 Another stack pressed and ready to go.
I have more nonsewing things to say, but these pictures are loading so slowly I'll have to wait until tomorrow.
I did get one sweet picture tonight called, "Busted - during her nap."
Caught on the nannycam standing up and gnawing on the crib rail.  I'm afraid it won't be long until she's trying to get over to the toy area.  Fun times ahead!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nice Day's Work

Seventeen pretty much perfect jerseys, size 2T and 6 mo.  Cute little things.

This V-neck used to scare me and is not always perfect the first time, but I'm conquering it.

In these two batches, I did not have to take out one seam because of being inside out and only about 3 of the V-neck areas to tweak them a little bit.

 While my serger has run all day, the pressure washer has also, with great results.  Compared to yesterday's black mess, this is wonderful.

And then I walked into the kitchen and discovered these just out of the oven. 

This is the purple bishop I ordered yesterday from Facebook!  My reward for sewing 5 jerseys!

Graysen has a very important party to go to at Christmas time, and this is one choice for that.  I'm also going to make her a white one when we decide on the details.

This is such a neat idea that I've just discovered.  Groups!  I'm sure there are groups for everything, but this one is just for smocked clothing.  Mothers post their children's outgrown clothes, in this case only smocked things, put a price on it, and you just say you want it.  First come, first served.  They invoice you, you pay on Paypal, and it's on it's way.  No bidding, no fighting crowds, no fees.  It's waaay too easy, and there may have been a flurry of texts and emails and packages going to Washington this week.  One bonus is getting to exchange messages with some sweet girls, one in Louisiana and one in Mississippi.  They worked with me on sending pictures of their child in the clothing, measured neck size and length, and were just all around nice.
All I have to do is hem the jerseys tonight. I'm ready to embroider some pumpkins and turkeys! But first - milk and cookies and a break from the sewing room

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Toy

And not another sewing machine!

This one is Mike's, although I'm envious of how much fun it looks.

He's already cleaned the front walk and even the brick on the house behind the flower beds and started on the back driveway.

To show you how neat it is, I have to show a picture of how bad this area had become with dirt and mildew.  I didn't even notice it that much until ---

He thought this was really witty.

I've sewed on and off this afternoon and spent the money I made on a dress for Graysen.  Why not?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crawling videos

It took several tries, but I managed to get all 3 in one post.

Busy Day

It's almost time to start to work, and I feel like I just got up.  Hours are passing too quickly.

Well, we didn't really get out of the house by 8:30 like we planned, but we did leave by 9:30.  I first went to Jen's and picked up a week's (I hope) worth of work to do.  It looks like this when I get it home.

 The pieces are usually all white, and Jen dyes them after they're sewed, but today I have a bonus  - 2 fuchsia jerseys - very girly.
The first thing I do is take all the collars, the pieces that fit around the neck and make a V, and iron them right sides together.
Even though they look the same on both sides, there is a right and wrong side.  I tell the difference by feel and am very careful with it - don't ask how hard it is to take out seams that have been serged!
Here they are all pressed and ready to seam to the yoke, not really too hard if you pin, and I do pin very much right now.  Jen can shoot them right under the serger without it, but I don't have that control yet.
I told her that she threw me into the fire by loaning me a serger and showing me how to do it.  Lots of mistakes and hair pulling later, I think I can do a pretty good job - at least she hasn't told me I haven't.
I decided to buy my own serger and did a lot of research before I settled on this Brother 1034D.  I wasn't going to put hundreds of dollars into one, but I wanted one that was easier to thread than the one I had borrowed.
I think it's pretty and does a good job and got really good reviews on Amazon and a machine review website I went to.  4-1/2 stars!  I also got a thread catcher to catch the tons of clippings sergers produce. 
Anyway, this is what the jersey looks like after Jen gets through dying it and putting on the vinyl names, numbers, stripes, whatever you want.  This is my model for measurements and which way the V on the neck goes, etc.
That's all I had time for today.  We went to the library where I got 3 audio tapes for all this sewing I'm about to do.  It goes faster when someone is telling me a story, particularly if it's in a British accent (Maeve Binchey).
Then we went by the consignment shop to pick up my check and leftovers.  I ended up bringing only 1 thing home - the one I had priced high hoping no one would buy it! - and donating 4 other things that were left.  I was overall pleased with that experience, and the ladies who run it know what they're doing.  Very organized.
After lunch and catching up on emails and FB (necessary), I saw a 6-12 month shirt not going to Washington in the big box.  I couldn't send Graysen a plain white shirt, although Emily might appreciate it, so I went and did her a pumpkin.
It's another Monag (great shirts, really well made), and the design is another by Planet Applique, Whimsical Pumpkin.  I believe she's set for fall and Halloween.  Now I can work on Thanksgiving and Christmas in my spare time.  That's calls for an LOL.
Lydia sent me a sweet message on Facebook about reading this blog, and that makes me happy.  She got to see how I copied yesterday's pumpkin from one on her photo pages.  I'm almost ashamed for her to see my work after looking at all she does.  Her web site is, and she does the best job on everything she does.  She's branched out from embroidering on clothing to other things, like putting vinyl lettering on things you would never think about.  She also does her usual exellent job on embroidery.
She made these shirt for Sam and Sawyer last year, and I gave the to them when I first met them.  They were just babies then, but this year they fit them perfectly just in time for football season.  Lydia won't mind the shirt between them.

Time to start to work.  No new pictures of Graysen, just some videos of her pretty much going anywhere in her room she want to go.  Emily says it's time for the baby gates.  I wish I knew how to get YouTube videos on this blog.  Something else to learn.