For a lot of the little girls I give presents to this year for Christmas I’m making them up jewellery boxes. I’m filling them with little items that I make. Every jewellery box needs a necklace (or 2) I decided to make simple crochet necklaces. All I did was chain some yarn then joined it to make a circle and tied it off. I joined another piece of yarn and did the same thing but made it slightly larger. I then took a 3rd piece of yarn and made the chain longer still. I weaved in all the ends. Really simple but I think a little girl would like her necklace.
I’m really in a knitting mood at the moment. It may be due to it’s all wintery and cold, or it may be the fact I’m a little tired and want something simple to do in front of the tv. Yesterday I heard about the KOGO organisation and instantly thought it was something I wanted to contribute to.
A scarf is a simple project that I can do. I grabbed some yarn from my stash and a pair of 7 1/2mm needles. I wanted a larger needle than I normally use to knit it faster. These needles were my nans. I decided also to make this project into a learning experience for myself by making up a simple rib pattern. I cast on 25 stitches and working a pattern of 5 knit 5 purl did my first row. I repeated this in reverse on the 2nd row and carried on from there. A couple of times I’ve had to do some reverse knitting due a slight miscount. When finished this will be the biggest project I’ve done in a stitch other than garter stitch.
When I did the sewing class the teacher told us of a very useful foot for sewing decorative stitches. The Open Toe Applique foot (Janome F2 foot) There isn’t a guide in front of the foot allowing you to see better. My Memory Craft 11000 machine didn’t come with that foot so I thought I would buy one. On the day the shop didn’t have any in stock and when I asked at another store they didn’t have the foot either.
I was putting away sewing tools in the sewing pouches I brought at the craft show and discovered the small sewing machine (my first ever machine) came with the F2 foot. Great I had one I didn’t need to buy one. Going through another box of machine feet that came with my second machine I discovered it also came with the F2 foot. Perfect now I have 2. I can store one with my main sewing machines and the other I can store in the craft tote with my small machine that I take to Sewing Guild. It was fate that I never actually brought the foot as 3 of the same foot would have been useless. I have a book on the different sewing feet Janome has. I must get it out and sit down with all the feet that I have and mark out which ones I own so I can use them and not double up with buying extra.
Initially I wasn’t going to go to this years Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair It’s at a new temporary venue for 3 years while Darling Harbour is being redeveloped. I had a last minute change of plans and decided to go check it out.
The venue itself is surprisingly really good. An entire function centre with amenities has been built on the site. There is much more room than in the previous venue. It seems to have more seating and food facilities than before. Free ferries and buses were provided from the centre of Sydney to the venue. There is onsite parking with a mini bus from the car park to the door. There is also a drop off point for taxi’s which is how I got there. Coming home there was a marshal to control the taxi pickups which was fantastic. The entire experience there was lovely. I’m glad I decided to go.
Ok to the fun stuff. Due to the last minute decision to go I didn’t attend any of the classes or talks that are on offer I instead just went shopping and looked at the quilt display. My main purchase for the day was another Horn sewing cabinet for my overlocker. Its was the reason I decided to go the show. I picked up some Florani stabilizers as I need to bite the bullet and learn the embroidery function of my sewing machine, I got a sashiko finger thimble as the other day I was hand sewing and really could have used it. I found some bargain yarn from Dairing to make some gifts for next year (yes I think that far ahead) I also came across some discounted Stitch magazines as they are hard to get in Australia and some felt which can be used in toys. The ‘new” item I brought which wasn’t on my shopping list was a piece of laminated fabric. I’m interested in making my own snack bags and have brought a piece to try the idea.
Each year members of the Quilting Guild makes some small items to raise funds for the their projects. Normally I buy the little thread catchers which come in very handy. This year I couldn’t find any blue ones that were jumping out saying “Buy Me” I however did see some little sewing pouches. I need some to keep items in my sewing tote for Sewing Guild so they were perfect. They will hold a lot but will squish into the pockets that I have on my tote.
To be honest I didn’t think I would like the new venue but I had a great time. I can highly recommend it. Maybe next year I might be able to spend longer and it and do some classes. Normally I do this show over at least 2 days just to fit everything in.
I’m starting to make some gifts for Christmas. There are a few gifts that I’m making in bulk to give as gifts and shower mitts are one of them.
I used the same pattern as before. This time I’ve relaxed my tension more so they aren’t so tight and are a little bit larger. I’ve also made the hanging loop larger so they can be hung over a tap if necessary. These colours are Bendigo Woollen Mills peach and daffodil
A friend of mine was telling me about some yarn she had. The way she described it I knew instantly what I could make with it. Last weekend she lent me a cone of it she has and said “take some off” From it I made up half a dozen small balls.
From just the description of the yarn my mind instantly thought necklaces. I’m going to make a heap of necklaces for young girls this year as part of Christmas gifts and I thought the yarn would do nicely. When I got the yarn and touched it I wanted one for me. The yarn is so soft as its cotton. I made it the same as I’ve previously made them. I used 2 balls to get double strand thickness.
I can see myself wearing this necklace more then I do the other one. I’m very fussy about things around my neck and the other necklace as much as I like it I can only wear it if it’s under a collar and not directly on my skin. I’m already contemplating variations of this I can make. The kids may not get any necklaces from this yarn after all.
Last week I attended a sewing class at the shop where I brought my Janome 11000 sewing machine from. Unfortunately I couldn’t take mine so they let me borrow the use of the shops demonstration model for the day. We completed 2 projects.
Our first project was machine applique. I’ve done applique before so know the basic of adhering the two fabrics together with visofix and doing the standard blanket stitch. In the class we played around with adjust the width and length of the stitch. Recently I’ve done a piece where I narrowed with length of the stitch but I’ve never adjust the stitch width before. We played around with the different stitches and used a variety aside from the regular blanket stitch design. I really enjoyed experimenting around with the stitches. We got to choose our fabrics from those provided and our threads. Everyone else went for neutral colours with the pastel back ground but not me I went for bright. Someone said I was brave because it would show up any mistakes more but that didn’t bother me. It was a learning class and we were here to experiment. If I went a bit drunken sailor with my stitches it wasn’t going to matter. Out of the 3 stitches I did my favourite was the little cherry stitch design. Well at least that’s what I’m calling it because it reminds me of a cherry with it done in red. I guess it also looks like a little lolly pop.
On each of the hearts we did a motive. We learnt how to set our machines so it would only do one stitch and stop. On each heart it is the same satin stitch motive, we learnt how elongate the stitch so it would appear bigger each time. I’ve never seen this done before and love the idea. Our teacher also explained how to outline an applique shape by doing triple stitch around the outside of it. On the day I never tried it but saw that it looked really good on another person’s piece.
We used a test piece to practice our stitches on before we tried them on our project. Our teacher taught us the importance about using tear away stabilizer. I had no idea that there are some stabilizers that only tear in one direction whilst others are multi directional tear. I will look out for the multi directional as that doesn’t distort the stitches so much when removed
Our second project was setting stitch patterns and working with multiple colours of thread. We learnt how to program our machine with stitch patterns and set space stitches. I had no idea you could leave a space between your stitches. We first did a plain row of leaves then changed thread colours to do a single flower stitch over the top. I found it hard to slot the flowers in between the leaves however the teacher said maybe on my machine I need to leave an extra space for more of a gap as every machine is different. With practice and adjustment I will get it. I was nearly at the end of my row before I finally got one stitch perfect (Not having my glasses with me that day didn’t help I don’t think)
After that initial pattern was done in the centre of our fabric we switched threads again and this time learnt how to use the presser foot as a spacing guide to stitch parallel lines either side of it. We experimented with flipping the directions of stitches. I chose a heart pattern and flipped it on the second stitch so the pattern would repeat one left one right. I’m really pleased in how that turned out. That’s my favourite stitch for the entire day. Even the teacher commented on how nice it looked.
Before the class I’d had a little play with the stitches on my machine when I first got it. I made the tote bag but in that I didn’t play around adjusting all the stitches, I just did them in a straight line.