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Summer Projects

July 30, 2019

July seems to have gone up in a poof for me! Summers do that too. Now living in Florida, summer has really changed for me. Growing up in the midwest I daydreamed about the languid days in my approaching summer future and smiled over all my coming adventures. Summer lasted forever in my pre-adult world. Raising kids in the Pacific Northwest brought me adventure filled summer days as we played outdoors at every opportunity all through the wonderfully warm days. Then we moved to Florida for a job and I was blasted with some Africa hot months of summer. It took some time, but I came to realize a swap in activities was required in order to accommodate this oppressive heat and humidity. I now tackle my indoor projects typically saved for winter days when I was cooped up, and then explore adventures beginning sometime in October and lasting through the typical winter months. I suppose I’m like a snow bird with clipped wings since I actually suffer the summers here. Constant a/c and a sparkling pool outside my sewing room are key to my survival. A little gin and tonic with an umbrella tops it off.

This summer’s projects are focused on creating a new wardrobe for my Mom and an unscheduled sewing room overhaul. Both are just perfect for July! The overhaul has been in the back of my mind for a while because we’ve been in this one house for 18 years – and that’s a record for a military family! Most of our house-dwelling has been defined and refined by regular moves, and moving required purging and organizing. Now, 18 years later I open containers and can’t remember why project tidbits are even in them. The trigger for my overhaul came after I stopped in to a store closing for Artsy Abode – a jewelry and gift boutique in town – and discovered the Brighton display table they were unloading. I bought it on the spot. It’s 48″ x 48″ with 20 drawers and stands counter height. Of course it needed to be in the center of my studio! And the overhaul began.

I am quite pleased with my newly arranged studio with it’s pretty table and good view. There is still plenty of storage and workspace to accommodate cutting, sewing, and machine servicing! I look forward to being in there even more now – if that is even possible. Now, to add to Mom’s wardrobe. More to follow!

What I didn’t tackle was the fabric stash. It’s next – before summer ends and good weather pulls me outdoors. Key to my success will be purging. What does your sewing space look like? What is your favorite organizing method.

June Sewing Group News

June 25, 2019

I had such a nice time with this month’s Fleming Island FSS sewing group. We had two projects, slipper and visors, and I tackled the slippers. This was a pattern shared online by another sewing enthusiast that was pretty straightforward to cut and assemble. Darlene and the FSS Chapter provided the pattern, fusible foam to make them cushioned and TimTex to give the soles some rigidity. I made mine from some new cotton kitchen towels from Ikea that were patterns of blue and white. As soon as I apply the final bias tape they will be on their way to being well-worn!

I am bringing in one model of our Eversewn machines to each meeting to use, demonstrate, and offer test drives because it’s always best to try out a machine before buying them. I’m excited about this month’s machine, the Eversewn Sparrow QE. Learn more about it right from Eversewn, and then you can order yours from Cool Stitches! Here’s what I like so far. It’s a quiet machine with solid stitching that never struggles, even when stitching through all those layers of fusible foam and heavy duty interfacing. It was a joy to sew with in the meeting. If you are in the area and want to test drive any of our machines, let me know! You’re going to be pleasantly surprised at the quality and range you get for the very reasonable prices.

As the sponsor of our sewing group, it’s my job to make sure we have everything we need to sew. Cool Stitches takes on the logistics and then sets up a tabletop market with an eye on the projects we are featuring, as well as offering our participants access to all the sewing notions and tools they may want. It’s such a fun relationship!

More about the Fleming Island FSS group though. Our next sewing date is July 15th. We meet every Monday at 6PM (set-up begins at 5:30 and we appreciate all the help we can get!). The location is the Fleming Island Amenity Center by the pool and tennis courts. Here’s a link to our latest newsletter with some information: June Meeting Highlights . The key to our wonderful meetings is that you can come to sew anything you’d like. We have projects there, but they aren’t a requirement, they’re just for fun. Sometimes you just want to work on a project, or maybe work together on a sew along, or just sit and visit with other sewing people. We get that. We do too.

I’m having such a good time and am honored to be the sponsor for this lovely group and sewing enthusiasts and experts! I learn something new every time I’m with them, and my whole world slows and brightens when we come together. Did I tell you, I love to sew?

There’s always time for sewing

June 4, 2019

I’m having so much fun these days with my varied sewing projects from sewing with new and current friends in our newly formed sewing group to designing and constructing our granddaughter’s graduation dress and learning a new Korean quilting technique. I know you’re wondering how I find time for all of this sewing when I have my day job and Cool Stitches! Oh, there’s always time for sewing. 🙂 I find myself up early and excited to find I have time to sew the next step on something before my day job is looming over my head. It’s a wonderful way to start the day.

My most recent sewing discovery is Pojagi or Korean patchwork. It’s a beautiful single layer quilt technique that was used for wrapping cloths and seen in small window coverings and utility pieces. Here is a video of featuring Youngmin Lee, and pojagi artist.

You will see in Youngmin’s video she hand stitches her pieces in the traditional way. I used a machine and flat felled seam to construct mine and I love it. My piecing was off for the first piece and felt a bit chaotic. I am studying Youngmin’s work to determine a more peaceful way layout for my next ones.

I will be doing a demo of pojagi at our next FSS meeting. I love sewing with friends! It’s very heartwarming to be in a group and working on a common project. It’s wonderful to see beginners and experts gravitate to each other to assist and observe so everyone’s projects turn out nice. We are in the beginning of our group so our projects are pretty straight forward as we learn about each other and work towards more complex projects. Cool Stitches is the proud sponsor for our sewing group, an FSS chapter. As such we coordinate the venue, issue the newsletter, and help provide materials and supplies. And then Sew! Below are some of the highlights from our May Newsletter which you can find online at https://mailchi.mp/e6b5912b2b4f/sewing-on-monday-may-20th-717953:

Recap of FSS Meeting May 20th We had a very successful meeting on May 20th making PJ bottoms and bags. Next, we are going to give slippers and visors a try. I am sure they will be as successful as well. I have the perfect tutorial on making them and after reading over all that it entails, I think there will be no problem in getting them finished at the meeting. Your supply list is quite small and will be added to the next letter from us. Some of the more unusual products we are going to use will be bought from the money collected and will be made into kits. All you really need to do is bring your focus fabric. Patterns can be measured and cut out at the meeting.

Our next sewing meeting is Monday, June 17th   We’re meeting at the
Fleming Island Plantation Amenity Center at 2300 Town Center Drive,
Fleming Island 32003. Meetings start at 6PM and then we sew until we’re done! Already know your plans? Click above and let us know! 

Fleming Island Sewing Group Launched

April 19, 2019

We did it! We launched our Fleming Island Sewing Group on April 15th at the Fleming Island Plantation Amenity Center with about a dozen people attending and an additional dozen planning to join when they can. We are also joining Florida Sewing Sew-ciety to be a part of something bigger to share ideas, support charity projects, and take advantage of the amazing annual sewing conference held each year in Florida. The main point is, we are meeting every month to sew all night long if we’d like to!

We will meet up on the third Monday of each month at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm or later for our meetings. We have a nice mix of beginners and advanced sewists in our new group. Some of the projects suggested were PJ bottoms, slippers to match, placemats, sun visor hat, small project bags and table runners.

I plan to introduce some garment construction and get my sewing groove on! During the meeting we decided our next month’s sewing project will be both PJ Bottoms and a lined drawstring bag (School of Sewing. Henderson) since they are easy ones to do. We did these in our Cool Stitches workshops and they were quite popular. It’s a great scrap buster too as it takes smaller pieces of coordinating fabric.

The “School of Sewing” by Shae Henderson is one of my favorite books to teach from (request your copy here) because the small projects are approachable and provide introduction of a wide range of techniques you will use in a variety of sewing projects. The drawstring bag featured here is one of the first projects. Useful techniques are introduced from the very first project such as French seams, zippers, buttons and closures, topstitching, sewing around corners and curves, using a rotary cutter, and more. There are online resources for teaching yourself or others.

Websites

April 14, 2019
I'd rather be sewing!
As you can imagine, I’m spending more time plinking on my keyboard and scratching my head than indulging in one of the sewing projects I have teasing me from across the room. Some of what I’ve been up to are going to yield some goodness, I promise.
I’ve gotten in one of each EverSewn Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery machines I carry to use as floor models so you can test drive and see what you think before you order. I’m feeling pretty darn satisfied having them all lined up to check under their “hoods” and take them for a spin. Updates and projects are in our future.
Next on the horizon is a stack of swimwear and scuba fabrics. So you can imagine what a treat to see my serger and coverstitch machines lined up next to the sewing machine to keep things moving along. It looks like an assembly line in the works. I prefer having separate machines to tackle serging and then finish up with the cover stitch machine without missing a beat. How about you?
Before I have the chance to get back to my sewing projects, I need to go learn about my affiliate linking because I have been diligent about evaluating the best products and experts to bring to the table. I have them all lined up and we’ll be working together to fill you in on what’s new and exciting in the sewing world.

pincushion

The last tidbit I have is our new Fleming Island Florida Sewing Sew-ciety Chapter is launching with a meet and greet event on Monday, April 15th at 6PM at the Fleming Island Plantation Amenity Center. If you are local and want to join us, please do! We will be brainstorming ideas for activities, projects, and future meetings. I will have the new EverSewn Sewing Machines on hand to test drive, and will have some goodies for participants as well.
Talk soon. Wish me luck with this website upgrade. If you have any ideas for me, please do drop me a line. Thank you!
~ Debbi

Tools, Feet, and New Additions (6 years ago on 30 May)

June 19, 2017

As I’m winding down the long weekend, I’m wrapping up my most current projects as well and admiring the finishing touches. What’s significant about many of them is the opportunity to use special tools to accomplish little feats that used to be just a bit harder to do. I keep turning the shirts I’m finishing up for Stan to this weekend to look at the pockets on the left fronts. That perfect top-stitching was made because I used a new presser foot designed for edge stitching. It has a narrow guide near the center of the foot that rides lower than the bottom edge of the foot and therefore, along the edge of the fabric allowing you to stitch perfectly straight and narrow top-stitching. It’s a beautiful thing. I think top-stitching is one of the finishing touches that when done well makes a piece look stunning, and when done poorly leaves you with something less than happy.
Another tool getting lots of use with my current projects is the tailoring tool my son had custom made for me for Christmas.

So, I’m cleani…

June 19, 2017

So, I’m cleaning and organizing after another in my series of creativity bursts when it occurs to me I may have a problem. No — not one that pops up from outside and can be dealt with by delegating or reflecting. Nope, this one is all about me and fabric scraps. Hmm. If it sounds familiar, I’m quite sure you probably won’t be able to help me. Here’s the issue. I have lots of fabric scraps. Some are small, some recognizable, and some are almost big enough to do something with that may be useful. this is not a small deal. It’s becoming a big problem!