The days and nights have been hot, and I lack the will to concentrate! But I did finish a few satisfying little projects.
First I had to deal with my squeaking machine. My basic mechanical Brother machine is not supposed to need oil. The only cleaning instructions in my manual are about removing the needle plate. This was intimidating for me, but I put on my big girl pants and forged ahead. I’ve sewn with this machine for 6 years, and have never done any maintenance.
removing the fuzzy stuff
a clean machine
In machines that take oil, there is an round opening in the middle of the bobbin race.
No more squeak! And I managed to put all the pieces back together.
1) I had a few mock-ups of star quilt blocks in different sizes.
I made two of them into potholders by using two to three layers of batting, putting wrong sides together and sewing, leaving a side partially open for turning. Then I sewed around the perimeter, tucking the seam allowances in the open portion under, and inserting a handmade ribbon. I put on the walking foot to quilt along the star lines.
Quilted Star Potholders
2) What is more appropriate as a sewing project for the dog days of summer than a dog accessory?
A while back, I sewed a traditional triangle bandana, and used my rolled hem foot for the first time.
First I read tutorials and practiced. It took a lot of concentration and effort to keep the fabric feeding into the curl correctly. I think I would rather sew a hand rolled hem on this type of small item because sewing the two bias sides was a struggle. The rolled hem foot would be a great time saver for long, straight sewing.
Right side of rolled hem
Rolled hem fail
Several months back, I also sewed a few of the little reversible triangle bandanas with a top channel opening that slide onto the collar.
I’m especially happy with the latest bandana I tried: two reversible bib-like pieces that are finished on top with bias tape that extends to form ties. The name is hand embroidered with satin stitch.
My model was available to work for the price of a few treats. Those eyes!
3) Three years ago I posted about trying sashiko embroidery for the first time, and stitched three pieces. My idea for the piece stitched on cream satin was to make an envelope pouch, with the embroidered side folding over the pocket. I’ve finally done just that, combining the embroidery with natural colored linen and an off white cotton lining. I used bias binding on the pocket. The rest of the raw edges are enclosed. I hand stitched the opening closed that I used for turning the pouch right side out.
turned right side out
bias tape on inside of pocket
The pouch reminds me of the type of project found in a zakka sewing book. I like it for its simplicity, combining beauty with utility.
These three projects have something in common: they had been partially worked on or cut out but not completed.
I have also been embroidering, which I enjoy in the summer because a hot iron isn’t needed, and for its portability.
Does your making/sewing/crafting change or slow down in the summer?