Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June's Garden....

We had a very wet month of June.  Now, I'm not saying that the garden doesn't need a good supply of water but it rained almost daily the last two weeks of June.  Everything is soggy and lots of squash rotted. I should also mention that it has gotten cool also.  Here are the totals:

Chives - 1 oz

Cilantro - 3 7/8 oz - I strongly suspect that some of this may have been missed as I pick as needed.

Lettuce - 3 lbs 14 3/8 oz

Parsley - 2 1/2 oz - I strongly suspect that some of this may have been missed as I picked as needed.

Peas - 2 lbs 14 3/8 oz

Radishes - 1 lbs 4 3/4 oz

Spinach - 1 5/8 oz - This was a second planting and it bolted before we could pick much.  The weather was too hot early in June.

Grape tomatoes - 4 oz - This was our surprise for the month.  Generally, tomatoes are not seen till the end of July.  Much have been the hot weather.

Yellow squash - 1 lb 6 5/8 oz

Zucchini - 7 lbs 8 1/2 oz

I also made 16 jars of Nectarine/Mango jam.  The chive vinegar was finished and drained.  It is always so pretty. I ended up with 2 quarts of vinegar.

Here's few pictures around the gardens:

Mass of daisies and day lilies.  These are more or less a weed around my house. We've ended up with a bare spot in the front of this bed the last couple of years.  We get the early blooms but nothing after that.  I suspect that the trash cans end up in that spot a lot.

Oak leaf hydrangea.  Love this plant.

Cone flowers...another weedy plant but how can you resist something that comes back on it's own. There are other plants mixed in there.

More day lilies and other plants.

I couldn't resist taking the picture of the butterfly visiting the cone flower.

Happy Stitching or Gardening!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Playing with the Specialty Bobbin Case....

This past weekend I had to time to play with the Specialty Bobbin Case that I purchased last week.  Here's the two bobbin cases together:

You can't really tell any differences in the two exception for the color.  The black one is the bobbin case that came with my machine and the grey one is the specialty bobbin case. Here's a close of the specialty bobbin case:

If you look a little to the right and down from my finger you can see a big slot.  That slot is what allows the heavier thread to move through the bobbin case.

In looking through my thread collection, I found a 30 wt decorative polyester:

Pairing that with a quilting weight cotton and no interfacing , I played with the decorative stitches on my Lisa machine.  Here are the results:

I don't think I really needed the specialty bobbin case with this thread but I wanted to experiment a little. In the above picture, I started with a 3-step zigzag stitch and left all the settings as recommended.  I generally keep the thread tension set on 4. This produced a stitch with the upper thread being pulled to the back.  This definitely wasn't the look I was going for.  Every dark line in the picture above is a change in thread tension.  The second stitch I played with was the feather stitch. The other stitches are what available on my machine.  With this particular set-up, the tension looked best around 5 to 5.5 on all the stitches.    I also decided that all of these stitches would benefit from a stabilizer or interfacing.   Oh course, a second layer might work, too.

In continuing my experiment, I have repeated the same stitching above expect I added a cut away stabilizer.  Here's the results:

In this example, I did only use the thread tensions between 5.0 and 6.0.  Can you see the difference the stabilizer makes in the stitching?

Here are the two samples side by side.  The sample on top is the one with the stabilizer. If nothing else, I've learned that these types of stitches really need more support. I suspect that a heavy dose  of spray starch might even do the trick. This is what many heirloom sewists do.

Next, I will be experimenting with pearl cotton and I will probably move to Behemoth as that machine has far more options to choose from. The pearl cotton that I have is a size 5, I think. This will require hand winding on the bobbin.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cardinal Quilt Kit Finally Arrived....

This is the first time in a very long time that I have ordered a quit kit.  It was ordered on May 1 and it just arrived.  Here's a picture of what is is suppose to look like upon completion:

I'm hoping to have this the top finished by late summer so that it can be quilted before Christmas as it is suppose to be a gift.  The finished size is 66 1/2" x 84 1/2".  I'm planning to get a black cuddle fabric for the back but haven't purchased it yet.  I suppose that can wait until the top is finished.  One of my friends uses cuddle fabric for the back of all of her quilts.  I'm sure she will help me with the any issues that might come up.

Wish me luck!  Two months of sneaky sewing might be hard.  All of my equipment will have to moved from the basement to the sewing room where is will be hot even if the air conditioner going.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

McCall's Early Autumn Pattern Collection....

As you probably know, I love seeing the new patterns when they come out.  I'm not always so happy when I can't find anything new though.  My pocketbook is happy. Here are the patterns I thought was interesting with new McCalls:

This is M7177.  Isn't this a sweet little dress for a baby?  I don't have any little people to sew for but if i did this pattern would have hopped right into my cart.

This is M7185.  Lovely little dress. I loved the look of this dress until I looked at it closely.  My first thought was this is a great dress for the office.  However, when I really looked at this dress it doesn't have a place in office attire unless you're wanting to be treated less than professional.  The neckline is a shade too low and you could do something with that but that front slit isn't good.  Save this one for a night out with your spouse.

This is M7203.  This is a very nice jumpsuit pattern with lots of options.  It is definitely a throw back to the 70s.  Most important measurement to take with this is the torso and remember to sit down when you take that measurement.  

There was a few vintage patterns also.  I do like the look of 50's full dresses but I would never wear them.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this pattern collection.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Specialty Bobbin Case....

Yes, my new toy from the Husqvarna dealer is a Specialty Bobbin Case:

I have wanted one of these since they were introduced but never had the opportunity to get one till this week.  I just need to get some fabric and stabilizer, and find some time to play.  I have several threads options.  The best part is this will fit all three of my Husqvarna machines so if one is busy it can be used on another one. Yes, I know having three of these machines is excessive but when your offered $100 for trade-in I think you would turn it down, too.

If anyone knows of any instructions for bobbin work, please let me know. Husqvarna's instructions are bare minimum. I thought that they might have some projects using bobbin work but couldn't locate it.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Happy Stitching!