Christmas Recap

When I was little, my mom always made me a special Christmas gift. The year Zac turned one, I started that same tradition myself and made him a sock monkey. Last year, I upped my game and made him a truck quilt. This year, I really struggled as to what to make. I wanted it to be something useful, and the child did not need another blanket. It was over Thanksgiving, while I was packing his stuff to go visit the grandparents, that I realized Zac didn’t have his own suitcase. There was my answer! I spent the drive to my parents’ house browsing the web for patterns. A friend shared a link to Sara Lawson’s page, Sew Sweetness. My friend has made a few of her patterns before and assured em they were great and easy to follow. After browsing the different patterns she had on her site, I decided on her Aeroplane Bag, and immediately went to fabric.com to pick out fabric. Sara’s pattern was great and gave exact dimensions for your stabilizers and fabric pieces, and I was able to order it all at once. Because this was a bag for Zac, I wanted something fun. He loves trucks, and a quick search led me to the Riley Blake, “On Our Way” collection. It was perfect!

My fabric arrived about a week later, and I let it sit while I finished up Etsy orders and t-shirt quilts. Like last year, I greatly underestimated the amount of time I would have between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get work done for others. I was a bit of a crazy lady, and apologized to my husband daily for the disaster that my office (formally known as our dining room) had turned into.¬†Exactly one week before Christmas, I got started on Zac’s bag.

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My friend was right, and the pattern was incredible easy to follow. I consider myself a pretty advanced sewer, but I’ve never done anything like this, but I think I did pretty well, if I do say so myself! I messed up once while adding one of the inside zipper pockets, and I’ll confess- I was too frustrated to fix it, so Zac’s bag has one pocket instead of two. But, I finished the bag in about two days, and for a rookie, I don’t think I did too shabby!

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This bag is the perfect size for a weekend trip away. It holds all of his clothes, plus books, a blanket, and bedtime essentials. It’s soft, but with the stabilizers, it holds its shape really well. I hope that this bag lasts him for years to come.

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A Very Special Bridesmaid Dress Quilt

I met my best friend in February of 1986. My family just moved into our new house and Jaime knocked on our front door and asked (she loves this story BTW) “do you have a little girl my age I can play with?” The rest is history. My family moved from Ohio to Georgia in 1994 and our moms made sure we were still able to visit. She flew to Georgia to be in my wedding in 2005 and I was in Ohio when she married her husband 3 years later.
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I am over the moon excited for Jaime and her husband Mike as they’re expecting their first baby. I’ve known for over a year that when she got pregnant I was going to cut up my bridesmaid dress to make a quilt for her. I was so excited after seeing this idea on Pinterest that I actually bought the fabric before she was even pregnant. (Hi, my name is Melissa and I am a fabric hoarder…) I went neutral with greys and yellows, knowing that she wanted the gender to be a surprise. This quilt is different from a similar blanket I made last fall in that I used the satin material from the dress as slashing to go between the cotton fabric squares. I love how it turned out.

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Back and better than ever!

My sister is here visiting this week, so Thursday Zac and I went down to my parents’ house to spend the day with her. Conveniently on the way was the Atlanta Sewing Machine Co. (a Singer verified warranty center).

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It seriously broke my heart to leave my machine. I feel like she is a member of the family. The people there were awesome. Someone immediately glanced at my machine, and my scrap piece of fabric showing the bobbin hiccups, and how they improved with increased tension.

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Just from glancing at my machine, she could see that the needle plate needed buffed. She offered to have their tech look at it immediately if I had 30 minutes to wait. No amount of yogurt covered raisins could keep my child contained in a sewing machine repair shop for 30 minutes, so I told her thanks, but we didn’t need to wait- we were on our way to see Aunt Abbey, Nana, and Ugh (Zac speak for Grandpa). She said that they would call me in a bit and give me the diagnosis. I left the shop at 11:15, and at 1:30 they called to tell me it was ready to be picked up. I really thought that I’d be without my machine for at least a week. The repair shop was just 30 minutes away from my parents’ house, so I was able to go and get it then. I was stoked! They gave me a test piece of fabric showing all the stitches, and it was perfection. When I got home, I plugged it in, and tried it out for myself. I swear, it sews better than the day I bought it. Because my machine is less than a year old, and because I went to a warranty center, I didn’t have to pay a dime. They cleaned, oiled, and toned-up the machine. They buffed the needle pole, reset the hook for the automatic needle threader, and adjusted the tension (the cause of my issues). They also replaced the place where the electrical cord plugs in, because as often as Zac has yanked on it, the cord didn’t fit tight.

This weekend I am finishing up a t-shirt quilt for a graduating high school senior, and then it’s to work on Project Guest Room. My husband is cutting the plywood for the headboard tomorrow, then I hope to paint the room Sunday, and after that, it’s pillows. Ahhh, can’t wait, so stay tuned friends!

Not my day

It seems that this always happens to me- a 5 minute project ends up consuming your entire day. This morning I ran to Hobby Lobby for fabric for the upholstered headboard. While I was there I found a funky floral fabric that I thought would make a fun accent pillow for the bed. During nap time, I decided to stitch it up quick to see how it looked. “Quick” it was not.

When I looked at the back side of the fabric, I could see that the bobbin thread was bunching. I did what anybody with a sewing machine would do, retreaded the top and bobbin thread and tried again. Bunching was still there. I trouble shouted some more and took out the whole bobbin case, blew out the dust. That wasn’t it either. I changed the needle, tried different thread, tried different fabric, consulted Dr. Google, messed with the tension- which helped somewhat, but not enough. I eventually ended up on hold with Singer for over an hour before speaking with a human.

I understand that the average person probably is clueless. She walked me through threading my machine, asked me if I was using Singer needles and bobbins, and troubleshooted changing tension settings before telling me that I needed to take my machine in for servicing. Not what I wanted to hear. My machine is only 9 months old, so thankfully everything is under warranty, but the closest warranty center is almost an hour away. I already planned to visit my family on Thursday, so I’ll drop it off then, and pray it’s a quick & easy fix. It makes me physically ill to think about being without my machine, but it needs to be fixed.

I write this post so that hopefully someone else who’s having this annoying issue can look here and see they’re not crazy. I’ll update with my diagnosis too. Here you can see the top of the fabric vs the back. The zigzag stitch is the worst. The different lines are different tensions. The higher the tension, the better the bobbin thread is.

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Here is a close up of the back of a straight stitch. The thread kinda loops.

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And here’s my pillow. I’m in love!

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