Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer is...

Red Work Embroidery!

Well, it's not perfect!

But I warned you it would be a challenge for me to add the "summer sayings" to my clothesline design. 

The clothesline design and alphabet lettering came already programmed in my Janome machine.

(There probably is embroidery computer software out there that would let me put this together in one design to stitch out.  But that's another story because of the issues using a PC versus a MAC computer.)  

The top part, "Summer is..."

 I added using my machine's embroidery monogram alphabet in "block". 

It's 3.9 inches long by .8 inches tall. 

I used my 4 by 4 embroidery hoop.  

That turned out pretty good. 

The IKEA Ribba frames I bought in the wrong size for some prints I had turned out to be ideal for framing the red work embroidery design.  

For the bottom "summer sayings" I switched to my machine's ordinary sewing decorative stitches.  Again using my machine's "block" alphabet.   First I marked what I thought hoped were parallel stitch lines.  No embroidery hoop used here just straight stitching across.  I picked a few "summer" sayings I liked.   

I programmed the first line which went ok until the end when I realized I forgot to program the line to stop and it started to repeat the line again.  It repeated the first letter of the first word in the line...the "s" before I manually stopped it.  So I thought I would program it to continue with "unshine" so it spelled "sunshine" at the end of the first line.  

Of course, it didn't go quite right.  I placed the last part of the word too far to the right so there was too big of a space between the "s" and the "unshine".  So, I added another "s" between the first "s" and the "unshine" and tried to pick out the first "s".  

The end result is the "s" is a little messy because it's almost impossible to pick the stitches out.   

Are you dizzy yet with all the "s"s?

I am!  

Of course, I can't make just one goof!

Second mistake.. I added a second comma at the end of the last word in the last line because I forgot I already had one inserted.

Sorry for the low light and fuzzy photo here.

At that point I decided to leave it alone because I would never be able to pick out the second comma.   

It's easier to tell myself that it makes the stitchery more real homemade with the mistakes and not store-bought this way.


I'll be sewing more of these and I can always replace this design (thank goodness).  


Funny cartoon of the day:

Source:  Pinterest

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Perfect Summer Day

Two beautiful summer days in a row.

How lucky!  

We don't have perfect days like this...low humidity and dew point.  

We turned the AC off last night and slept with fresh air flowing through our windows.  

And today we left the AC off and threw our windows and doors open.

I'm sitting out on our screened in porch because I can't pass this lovely weather up. 

It's the perfect day to hang laundry out on the line.

Except we can't have a clothesline - it's against our Homeowners Rules!

How stupid is that?

 Too soon it will be hot and muggy again. 

Do you have a Summer Bucket List? 

I can check off a least we went for a bike ride today and I had a root beer float the other night and last night we had ice cream squares for dessert.   

(And I counted my calories and didn't exceed my daily allowance!) 

I don't think I can do cartwheels anymore but I sure did love doing them when I was a little girl.   

We took another short bike ride around our subdivision this morning.

I went 1.78 miles!  

We're taking it nice and slow to build up our endurance. 

And this week I tried out my Grand Hoop on my embroidery machine stitching out this cute Red Work clothes on the laundry line design. 

 I plan to frame it but I may add some words to it like these....

Oops, that's not what I was looking for but it's so funny I have to share!

Here we would be fun to add some cute summer sayings like these at the top of the red work.

I would have to practice sititching it out and pray I get the spacing and placement right.

What do you think?

Should I go for it?


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lazy Summer Days

I'm sitting out on our screened in porch enjoying the sounds and sights of summer.  

All the birds and a billion bugs are singing their songs. 

Mowers are humming along.  

Day lilies are blooming.

Flower boxes are over flowing.  

Traffic noise far out in the distance. 

Lunch and our little daily bike ride finished. 

Yep, it's the Good Life and...

I love it! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Keep On Biking

Do you like to bike

I do!

Unfortunately I haven't rode my bike much in the past ten years.   

Recently I got the bee under my bonnet to ride again. 

Use it or lose it.   

I asked nagged Hubby all summer to get our bikes out of the shed and air up the tires. 

Finally he did this month.  

Our mountain bikes are over twenty years old but still in good shape (unlike us).  

Very old bike seats!

Hubby and I went bike shopping to see if we wanted to get new bikes.  

We looked at "comfort" bikes and "hybrid" bikes and I saw two bikes in beautiful powder blue and turquoise that I loved.  

After some thought we decided to fix up our current bikes with new "comfort" seats and new bike handles.  

Use what we already have and see how serious we are about riding. 

My new gel "comfort" bike seat and new handles.

Now we don't plan to ride marathons but we would like to be able to take short bikes rides. 

Maybe take our bikes with us on our camping trips and down to Ft. Wilderness (Walt Disney World). 

At our ages (60s) we know getting back in shape will take time.  

For now we are riding on our street (dead end cul de sac) and around our neighborhood - short loops because we do have slight hilly inclines here in SE PA.  

We are taking it easy and slowly working on our endurance.   

I've loaded a bike app on my iPhone "Map My Ride" to keep track of my riding distance and progress.

I mentioned to my doctor we were bike riding and he said that it is good exercise but don't depend on it for losing weight.  

He stressed we should continue to count calories and limit our food intake for further weight lost.  

I've lost quite a bit of weight counting calories the last two years (yippee!) but I did gain a few pounds back (darn!).  

 I just wish it was as easy to lose it as it is to gain it.  

I never was heavy as a child or young adult, in fact I was on the skinny side.   

I was more fussy about food then - I only liked my Mom's cooking.  

And we didn't have dessert or sweets in the house except maybe on Sundays.

So I'm going to keep trying to get my weight down.  

And who knows... biking may help and if not... it's still fun and makes me feel like a kid again.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Crochet Wall Art

Remember my orange and green Tussy-Mussy 12" Square

It was a very interesting design by Rebecca Bisbing (here) with stitches that challenged me (view my projects here).  

I had pinned it up on the wall next to a framed hand-embroidery crewel flower design sewn by my Mother-in-Law in the same colors. 

But...I wasn't happy with it pinned up and realized it needed to be framed properly.  

Several weeks ago I had bought two black frames at Ikea with the intent of framing some black and white prints from vacations that I had rolled up and put away many years ago. 

Of course, I didn't bother to take measurements of the prints and bought the frames hoping they were the right size.  And you guessed right.. duh...the frames were too small. 

So today I'm sitting here thinking about those frames and decided to use one to frame my orange and green Tussy-Mussy square. 

The frame's mat opening wasn't a square shape so I added three rolls of double crochet to the top and bottom of the square to make it a rectanglar shape.

Then I cut out a piece of Muslim the size of the frame and sprayed some adhesive on a piece of stabilizer and attached it to the fabric.

  Next I pinned the crochet design to the chalk marked outline of the mat opening and loosely stitched the design to the fabric. 

The last step I dropped the fabric with the sewn on design into the frame opening and closed it up. 

For now I've hung it in our hallway from the dinning room to the kitchen so I can look at it close up so I can admire it as I pass through. 

I love it!  

I've always thought of displaying my crochet pieces framed and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.  

This won't be the last crochet piece I frame!

Have you ever framed your crochet?  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lace Embroidery Anyone?

Last week I had another embroidery class. 

This time we are sewing LACE! 

I arrived to find out it was a small class with just me and one other lady and the instructor.  

We were told to pre-wind two to three bobbins with rayon embroidery thread in a color of our choice.  So I picked a bright blue and, of course, ran out of thread after winding my bobbins.  

The instructor helped me pick out a matching embroidery thread for our class and I had to get Wet n' Gone stabilizer (water solvable) too.

I didn't need any fabric for this particular lace design.

I chose a small butterfly as my first lace design to practice and also to make sure it was a "true" lace design.   

It is tiny...under 2 inches. 

For my second design I picked a triangle shape that could be used as an insert on a v-shaped tee. 

It took over 60 minutes to stitch out.  

A lot of thread is used on lace designs. 

There is no fabric base, but I did use two layers of the stabilizer, rather the base is just stitches built upon each other to form the foundation.

I wasn't sure if I would like "lace" embroidery but I have to admit by the end of the class I did.  

The instructor had a book filled with all the different lace designs one could sew and lots of samples of ones she stitched up.

I particularly liked the lace designs that fit over Christmas ornaments (photo here).

The lace embroidery design turned out beautifully.  

I may use it as an insert on this little Disney Mickey sun dress that I have pinned together now. 

Once I tack it on the instructor said to wash the clothing article to get the rest of the stabilizer out of the lace design.  

It will help to soften it up so it's not too stiff.

I embroidered another little cosmetic bag for my shampoo girl.  

She admired my cosmetic bag last time I had my hair done and asked if she could buy one. 

So I decided to make one to give to her.  

I hope she likes it. 

Isn't this the cutest ruffled stool?

Wish I had a stool so I could sew one up.

Have a lovely weekend dear readers!  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Machine Embroidery Club

I've had two general classroom lessons on my new Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000.  

This morning I went to my first monthly Embroidery Club meeting at my local sewing/vac store. 

There's a lot to drag to the club.  
Luckily the sewing machine has a wheeled case.  

There's a separate zippered and cushioned case for the embroidery arm.  

Then a zippered case that holds all the different size embroidery hoops.  

And finally a good sized tote to hold all the miscellaneous items (i.e., thread, needles, pins, thumb drive, attachments and accessories).  

During the summer months the club classes aren't structured so each member works on their own project. 

Not knowing this I didn't bring any fabric or stabilizer with me so I had to buy some muslim fabric and another roll of stabilizer.

My new turquoise tote bag, bought at a recent "31 Party", is perfect for storing and carrying all my miscellaneous sewing items to class. 

I decided to do a red work Christmas table runner as my project. 

So I worked on some Christmas red work designs.

 My thread kept breaking on the first three designs.  

I couldn't figure it out because I had a new needle and new bobbin in the machine.  

The instructor, Dianne, noticed my bobbin was in backwards.  Duh!  

I corrected that but still had thread breakage.  

Finally Dianne suggested changing the needle.  

I guess even new needles can be defective.

With that simple correction the fourth design stitched up beautifully.  

By then the three hour session was over and I packed up all my gear and texted Hubby to come and get me because I was hungry!

It was a fun class and I enjoyed walking around and talking to the other ladies and seeing what they were working on. 

Most of the women had Brother or Viking embroidery machines - no one had a Janome. 

Four designs so far.  

I don't know if I can do it, but I thought it would be neat to have one side of the table runner be Christmas designs in red work and the other side non-Christmas designs in blue work.  

Anyway that's my plan.

It was a good day to be indoors it reached a hot, humid high of 94 degrees today.  

The whole week will be in the middle to high 90's with no rain forecasted.  

Speaking of the weather, Hubby and I downloaded a new alarm/weather Disney app to our iPhones "Wake Up Disney" (price 99 cents) featuring the wonderful Donald Duck. 

It is so cute and if you have kids they will love it.  

Heck we love it!