Sunday, October 15, 2017

Updating on the spin mop

Hello, everyone.

A year or two back, I mentioned that we'd acquired a spin mop. (The Salad Spinner of floor cleaning!)

Well, it got its feelings hurt that I went out of town for a week and when I got home, DH told me that the fool gadget was failing to spin properly. It's hard to mop floors--or shower walls for that matter--if the mop head doesn't drain properly.

I had recently had no luck at all with a similar mop at a relative's house, so several of the ideas that would have been tried were already eliminated. I decided to fall back on one of the more tried-and-true fixes for sticky devices.

Liquid Wrench, next to the mop head. (Strands removed for the moment.)
 Below, photos of parts that were sticking and needed lubrication.

Friday, October 6, 2017

An experiment with a spool

Hello, everyone.

As most people who sew know, thread spools get emptied. I just can't bear to toss them without trying to find a use for the cylinder shaped cores.

Beginning the weave. You can see that the pattern was for
odd count flat peyote. 1 row less would have been a better idea.
Below, a picture of the weaving on the spool:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt

Hello, everyone.

The Tech quilt, as first considered for pin-basting, turned out to have too small of a backing. I added a row of 6 inch blocks with some blue sashing between them, and a blue 2 inch strip along the bottom. This made it big enough that the top can be laid out on the batting and backing without a lot of warping problems popping up.

The area of layout was moved to the tile-floored hallway instead of the carpeted room it had been in. This necessitated creating ways to prevent critters from waltzing through the basting area and tracking dirt on the quilt. There is a door controlling access on one side, but the hallway is open in the other direction. A piece of dog-crate was deployed.

The crate/gate is supported by a chair and the doorway. Note the piece of selvage
wrapped around the blue metal. Wish we'd thought of that when there was a litter of puppies being confined by this method! There were some unfortunate blue marks on doorways after that experience.
 The quilt layers *just* fit into the space by the front door. If I hold onto the stair banister while going around the fabric!
The quilt layers. The backing is being held steady by pieces of
blue painter's tape.

The approximate density of pinning needed to hold all the layers stable while
machine quilting the layers together. 
The quilting has begun but there are no pictures really of the progress. I have learned that using the sewing machine's blanket stitch on the elephant is a complete failure. (Too smart by half.) Had to rip all of those stitches out! Like they say, Keep It Simple Stupid.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Update on the machine applique project

Hello, everyone.

The machine applique project is done.

This is a partial picture of it, showing the stitching around the edges of various pieces. I didn't put up a complete photo because, with the prints and such, the file size would have been pretty big. This is enough to get the idea, anyway.

This is made from the pillowcase instructions at (Unfortunately, it has disappeared from their site. Here is a Youtube video about the project.) There is an accent strip above the hem part. The hem was created first, then sewn taco-fashion onto the body of the case and after it was all turned right-side out the raw edges on the one side were sewn with a French seam. This means that all the raw edges were covered.

The letters were from Shiny Happy World. Y'all can see that the letter curves are rather sharp. This is why I elected to use a simpler stitch than the snowflakes on the letters. I'm not sure how I feel abous such narrow, tight curves for machine applique. It's a little fussier to do than needle turn applique by hand.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Learning something new (machine applique)

Hello, everyone.

At the monthly meeting of Sewing Club (so called here) we learned about machine applique--one of the members had requested it--and carried nascent projects home to complete.

In the process, I learned more about my older sewing machine, a computerized Kenmore that is actually made by Janome.  There was a sampler of stitches made:

View of the front of the stitch sampler, with the stitch numbers written by the rows

The reverse side, with both sets of sample stitches showing.
The sampler's orange-plus-white rows were done first, and the orange bobbin thread pulled up to the top of the fabric. (Also the zigzag row tunnelled a lot because there wasn't enough stabilizer underneath.) Thinking it over, I realized that I'd used shiny embroidery thread on top, with dull regular thread on the bottom, and they just aren't the same weight and stiffness of thread. I switched out to a bobbin loaded with the blue shiny embroidery thread and the stitches were a lot better.

They did still pull through a bit--even though the thread tension on the top thread was loosened.

I settled on the "star" or "snowflake" stitch for most of the work, and one of the "buttonhole" stitches for the part of it that just wouldn't work out well with the stars.

The top side, stars around the ironed-on heart. Note the basting stitches holding the two layers of stabilizer to the underside.

This is how the stars came out on the underside.
 The button hole stitching, apparently, missed its date with the camera. It was put on the edges of the ironed-on letters spelling a name. There were just too many and too sharp of curves on those letters to use the stars.

The actual project, for which I shopped the stash, is a pillowcase. I used quilting cottons. The red in the picture above is a Kona cotton solid. The heart is one of the many, many fabrics in the printed cottons stash.

Friday, September 15, 2017

New hiking socks!

Hello, everyone.

The old hiking socks, both the 4 pairs of gray liner socks that walked through Portugal and the new 3 pairs of "original weight" socks that started to walk the Camino del Norte, were feeling confining on my toes lately. Maybe they shrank--well the gray ones had been subjected to the automatic dryer at least once and probably have. Certainly the original weight new ones were making my toes noticeably wider inside the boots.

And I'd gotten some toenail stuff going on the first day of the walk from Irun. (They're growing out but they're still a wee bit weird.) I got to thinking about toes and toe boxes and socks, and realized that this pair of boots is at the upper bleeding-edge limit of the old socks' size. That number is not at the very edge of the next size up, however. This seemed like a thing to try out.

Behold the new, size Medium, Injinji socks: one liner (gray) and one "lightweight".

They have each gone for one neighborhood walk. (That's pretty much all that's happening until DH gets his foot cleared for action.) They've also gone through the washer and then been drip dried. *Always drip dry hiking socks!* The darned things shrink.

They were comfortable and didn't get all bunched up inside the boot. More information may come later, after they get more use and longer rambles under their belts.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A neck chain for the shell pendant

Hello, everyone.

As mentioned a few days ago, there has been a project to get the bead-woven shell element back into use.

Thanks to this entry on Pinterest, and a careful study of the beads available in-house (that means stash usage) a neck chain was woven and put onto the shell.

The lobster-claw catches are on the front, not in the back. It means adjusting the routine when adding it to an outfit, but that way the chain can be completely detached if there should be a reason to do so.

Beads used: silver bugle beads from the craft store, silver-lined 15-count rocailles and blue 11-count Delicas from Fire Mountain Gems. Strung on 6 pound Fireline. (I love working with the Fireline!)