Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Rest in Peace, Abbie the Kitty

Hi Sisters,
Abbie the Kitty had been losing weight for the last few years.  According to all the tests we did she did not have any specific illness.  Just that she was losing weight.  On February 16th after 4 days of not being able to eat or walk she died.   
She was with us from 2002 to 2019.  
Seventeen years.  
We miss her.

She is not sure she wants to share the bed with those other cats....
One of her last pictures.  

Asking for food.  She was always asking for food.  But never gained weight.
Abbie in fattier times.  Still begging for food.
Halfway up the stairs is a place where I sit.
Here she is waiting for us to go up to bed.

Abbie was a certified Quilt Inspector.
She loved to watch the birds and squirrels and bunnies.
Photo op!
One of her best quilt inspections. 
Making sure I put the binding on correctly.
Sometimes while inspecting you have to get real close.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Needles for Vintage Sewing Machines

A friend called me the other day and told me there was a box of old needles at a garage sale in a town nearby.  Off I went.
I should have taken a picture of the mess that box was before I started removing, dusting and attempting to organize it.  But, as usual, I didn't.
Curved needles!  Singer # 29?
Howe Needles.  I don't have any Howe machines.  One package marked
2/110 and one marked 3/110.
Mystery package with no ID, but it has a tiny Allen wrench with it.

Here are all the packages.  Up at the top the boxes marked "Lewis"  are needles that are curved for a "felling" machine.  On the lower left are 3 small packages that I hope I can use.  The furthest left says Singer and then 12.  The one with the thread around it says Wheeler and then there is a piece of tape covering the rest of the box.  :-(  
If anyone can ID some of the needles for me I will be willing to share. You pay the postage and I will mail the needles.

Most of the needles are for industrial machines and I don't have any of those.   I am heading off to the River Rat Toga on Wednesday the 12th so will probably get back to you after that and I can get you better pictures of any you are interested in.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Making a lined zipper bag

Dear Jeni,

I am going to give you a little tutorial on how to make a lined zipper bag.  This is for you and your sewing friends up in Canada.  For this little bag you need an inner (lining) fabric and an outer fabric, a batting and a zipper. I am not giving you sizes.  I am giving you this rule. The zipper has to be longer than the width of the bag.  About 3 inches longer will do.  Now you can make any size bag as long as you have a zipper that is longer.
In this case the purple print is the outside and the white is the inside (lining).  The batting is an iron on fusible but it doesn't have to be fusible.  Any light batting will do.


First cut your fabric, both inner and outer and batting all the same size.  *Making sure your zipper is longer than the bag will be wide.  Your fabric is going to fold up at the bottom and down at the top (to make both the front and the back) so it will be twice as long as the bag ends up.

Above are the outer fabric, the batting and the inner lining to show you all are about the same size.  
This bag started out 11" x 8.5.  
I will be fusing the outer fabric to the batting with an iron. If you don't have fusible you can thread baste all the pieces together with a long basting stitch.

Once the batting is fused or basted to the outer fabric you put the lining next to the outer fabric, right sides together, 

Square off the short edges of all three pieces.

Stitch across both narrow ends, about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam.  

Turn the pieces inside out so the batting is in the middle.  Iron both ends nice and flat. 
You are now ready to sew on the zipper.

This is to remind you that the zipper has to be longer than the bag is wide.  You will notice that both zipper ends are outside the edge of the fabric.  That is correct.

Carefully pin the zipper close to the end of the fabric sandwich making sure you will be able to open and close it without being too close to the fabric.  Using a zipper foot or moving your needle to one side helps when sewing.  I am using a vintage piecing foot with a 1/8" width. 
hint: It is easier to sew with the zipper open.

Sew the other side of the zipper to the other end of the fabric sandwich. Again have the zipper open during the sewing,  It does help to close the zipper when you are pinning it to make sure it is positioned correctly on both sides of the bag, but open it once it is pinned in the correct position.

Check the zipper to make sure it opens and closes correctly.  Note that both ends of the zipper are outside the bag.  (I know I know I am repeating this a lot but you really need to know this.) You are going to be sewing right over the zipper to close the sides of the bag and then you will be cutting off the extra zipper. 

Now is the time to decide how close to the top of the bag you want the zipper to be.  It usually is about 1 - 1.5 inches.  I think that is about 5 centimeters?  

Now is the time to move the zipper tab closure to the center of the bag.  You have to leave enough space for you to get your hand inside the bag once the sides are sewn.

The zipper is longer than the bag.
Turn the future bag so the inner lining side is outside.  In this case the purple print goes inside and the white lining is now facing up.  
Also, in other words. RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER!  I have issues with RST so I put it in caps.  You might want to pin the edges to help keep your sewing smooth. Especially about the zipper.  It won't hurt to iron the bottom and top folds so they stay in place while you sew.

See the open zipper!
You are now ready to sew up the side seams.  Again make them about 1/4" to 1/2".  I like to start below the zipper and go over it to the top of the bag and then back down to the bottom of the bag and then sew back up to the top so I sew over the zipper 3 times.  This has the advantage of having no loose threads at either end.  
After you sew the first side make sure the zipper tab is inside the bag and the zipper is half way open or you won't be able to open the bag when you have both sides sewn.  
Now sew the second side just like the first.
Trim seams and zipper and clip corners.
Once you have sewn both seams you can trim the seams and clip the corners to it will turn without making a big lump in the corners.Also now is when you trim off the zipper.  Both sides.  This is when you find out whether or not you left the zipper tab inside the bag. Because if you didn't you are in big trouble cause you just cut it off your zipper.  OH NO!!!

Cut off zipper.
Turn the bag right sides out through your open zipper.  Poke the corners out carefully.

Turn right side out.
Use your "purple thang" or another "Not Too Sharp" tool to push out the corners.  I like to use the plastic tool shown above. If you want you can add a cute ribbon pull on your zipper tab.  

Now you are finished.  And, Jeni, if you look into the last box I sent you you will find this bag.  I think you will like it.