Monday, 30 January 2017

Who knew? Not me!

I have been watching my Serger Craftsy Class and it is turning out to be a fount of all sorts of useful information on all things serger!

I nearly threw away these plastic caps that look like mini sandcastle buckets that were sitting on the spool holder when I unpacked the serger.

Turns out they are meant to sit inside the thread spools to hold them on. The first lot of thread that I bought to use on the serger were not big enough to fit over these, even although they were sold for use on the overlocker. So, when I received these bigger spools I would have been really flummoxed without the class if I had thrown out the caps.

In my defence they didn't rate a mention in the manual, so it wasn't too much of a stretch of the imagination to think that they were only there for the packing. Well that is my story and I am sticking to it :)

Friday, 27 January 2017

Straight from the stash

I have been stitching up more tiny tapestry brooches for my EG branch tabletop sale next month.

So, these two brooches have been added

and I now have this little collection to take to the next meeting.

I particularly wanted some 'silver' frames for my brooches as I had some odds and ends of threads from the GOT Hardhome Embroidery that I wanted to use up. I hunted high and low on the internet and couldn't find them for sale anywhere. Fortunately the generous Emma at Ann's Orchard Needlework was willing to part with three from her carefully hoarded stash, so I was able to put those thread ends to good use. Thanks Emma!

The 'gold' tone frames are from Tina Francis Tapestry again. 

In my haste to get these finished I am afraid that I got a bit too scissor happy :(

I trimmed this tiny tapestry without measuring it against the frame and discovered to my horror that I had trimmed it too far! Which absolutely serves me right for not checking I know. Fortunately I have some squares of canvas left so I am planning to stitch this to the larger square and then trim that back. I think that will work, don't you?

I found some kilt pin brooch blanks in a box and decided to have a go at doing something with them for the sale too.

You can't see it very clearly in the photo, but the centre of the medallion charm is fabric mod-podged (is that a verb?) to the charm and then covered with a clear cabochon. The lace is another piece of the antique lace handed on by my mum, and that cute pincushion charm is from my stash of charms from Nicole de Bruin. I cannibalised an old earring for the rest of the beads on the brooch, so this is very much a project from my stash!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

New Year New to Me's

Have you managed to keep to any of your New Year Resolutions? No, me either :) Still, not to worry, here is your chance to celebrate trying something new whether you succeeded or not.

So, a New Year of New to Me's means a new blog button. Grab the code in the sidebar to add it to your blog and join in the celebrations.

This month I have been trying to get to grips with the newest addition to the stitching family.

The scary looking overlocker that was too good a bargain to pass up :) I have managed to thread the beast, and even sorted out a tension issue. Next up, trying to work out how to sew round corners without cutting anything vital off (of me or the fabric!).

 So, I took advantage of the sales at Craftsy and have signed myself up for this Craftsy class. Hopefully, serging corners will be a doddle once I have worked my way through the lessons.

From a New to Me that will take several hours to one that took no more than 10 minutes.

A New to Me ferry trip from Rhubadoch to Colintraive!

My final New to Me was very quick to do too.

My first ever Drool Bandana Bib, for the gorgeous grandson

and my first time using KAM plastic snaps, thankfully successful!

Now it is your turn to show and tell anything you have tried that is New to You this month. Of course it would be nice if our something New's were successful, but you are amongst friends here. We know that it isn't always the case so, hey, we are here to celebrate anyway the fact that we tried :)

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss!

The Link Up will remain open until 23.59 GMT on January 31st so you have plenty of time to unwrap that as yet unused Christmas kit and give it a go :)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tension tales from the Serger front line

This last week I have been trying to get to grips with the new beast in the sewing room.

I thought that it came pre-threaded but discovered when I took it out of the box again, that although there were threads through the machine, they were only long enough to reach the cone holders. So, my first task was to attempt to thread all four threads up!

The manual wasn't much help I have to admit, as the accompanying photos were too blurry to be of any use. Fortunately the Internet was on hand :)

I found a suggestion to tie the new threads on to the existing threads and pull them through, so did that and it worked a treat.

The machine has colour-coded dots to follow for threading, but for the first time it made a big difference to be able to see exactly where the looper threads went. There was also a suggestion to use different coloured thread for each spool to help identify any problems, so I did that too.

So, now I was all set to sew!

As you can see from the top left of this photo, my first attempt wasn't exactly successful!

A quick check discovered that one of the threads had slipped out of the tension disc, hence all those large loops of blue thread. The second attempt was better, but still not perfect.

As you can probably see from both of the photos above, the stitches were fine but they seem too long for the seam. There are plenty of sites around discussing tension problems with overlockers/sergers and how to solve them, but I struggled to find anywhere that mentioned this problem.

I tried adjusting both of the tension dials gradually for each of the loopers as suggested by this site but it still didn't address the problem of the stitches extending past the edge of the fabric. The stitches looked fine on the front (above)

but were being pulled over on to the back.

Eventually I came across a mention of adjusting the seam width and thought, maybe I should give that a go. A quick look at the manual told me that this should be set to 'S' for the 4 thread overlock stitch.

The adjustment is on the front of the machine and even with glasses on, I couldn't see whether it was at 'S' or not but as there are only two settings (on this machine anyway) I moved it forward and had another go at sewing.

Looks alright to me from the front but then again so did the last attempt!

But look at that from the back, no loops beyond the cut edge of the fabric at last :)

We might be getting somewhere!

After all that effort, what better way to reward myself than with some of the chocolate scissors and thread reels that my son gave me for Christmas :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A three ferry trip

We have had some glorious winter days here on the West Coast of Scotland recently, so hubby and I were determined to make the most of them as you never know how long these things will last in this part of the world :)

Last week we headed off on a three ferry round trip from Wemyss Bay via Rothesay and Dunoon back to Gourock.

As you can see from the map above one of those ferry trips was very short!

This photo was taken whilst the ferry was still loading cars at Rhubadoch and the destination was the slipway at Colintraive you can see above! It didn't take long :)

In fact the spot is where cattle were swum across from the Isle of Bute to the mainland to be taken to market, which makes lots of sense when you see the photo doesn't it?

We skirted around the Toward Lighthouse on our way to Rothesay

and stopped to admire this rainbow as we headed up along side the Kyles of Bute to catch the ferry at Rhubadoch.

We enjoyed this delicious Seafood Chowder at the Colintraive Hotel before heading off to catch our third ferry of the day.

Home in time for a welcome cup of tea!

It is all go here in the Celtic Thistle household let me tell you :)

Hubby has spied a five ferry trip in the ferry timetable, so that is definitely on our list for the summer.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Up for the challenge?

If like me, your New Year resolutions are looking a bit shaky already, how about taking up a short, sharp challenge to get that motivation going? Last year, Jen, issued her 100 Day Challenge where we were invited to set three goals to be completed in 100 days. I managed to meet one of the three goals that I set for myself and actually finished the other two projects not long after the challenge ended, so when I read that Jen was going to run the challenge again this year, I was definitely ready to be counted in :)

I have so many WIP's and hoped for new projects in my sewing room that it has been difficult to decide which to focus on for the challenge. However, I have decided to narrow it down to these three in the hope that finishing them will  also motivate me to finish some of the other projects waiting to be dusted down and worked on.

  •  I really want to use this challenge to try and get to grips with this fearsome beast! I have lots of lovely knit fabric, some great Brindille and Twig patterns and a handsome little fellow who is growing out of his clothes at a rate of knots, so there is plenty of motivation to get started. By the end of the 100 days I would like to have made at least one full set of clothes for the little fellow. 

  • A few months ago I volunteered to make a small Boutis piece for my EG group. I bought the book, then found the recommended Batiste fabric on our last trip to France but I struggled to find the cotton stuffing either locally or online. On a recent, unsuccessful, shopping trip to source bedroom furniture I came across a nearby wool shop selling cotton yarn that looks like it might fit the bill. So, armed with the supplies I no longer have an excuse for putting off trying this any longer :)

  • These blocks, and some added since this photo was taken, are from the Craftsy BOM of 2012! I need to add sashing, which I have the fabric for, and then work out how to quilt it. I doubt very much if I will get the quilting completed for the challenge, I am an arch procrastinator when it comes to basting quilts, but I would like it, at least, to become a completed quilt top!
So, these are my challenges to myself for the 100 Day Challenge. wish me luck :)

If you think that 100 days to challenge yourself sounds like a great idea, check out Jen's post here and find out how easy it is to join in the fun. 

Friday, 6 January 2017

Droolworthy Finish!

Happy New Year to one and all.

We have had a lovely time surrounded by family over the last couple of weeks so time at the sewing machine has been in short supply.

The whole family have enjoyed listening to the babble of the newest member of the family. However, when my daughter-in-law told me that thanks to all that babbling our gorgeous new grandson was in need of a new drool bib, well I had to oblige :)

I looked online for a pattern but they all seemed much smaller than the ones he was already using, so I borrowed one of them and drafted a pattern of my own.

I had a pack of teatowels that were not being used so cut up one of them for the front, on the basis that it would be good at absorbing the dribbles :)

Some leftover fleece from a quilt back to keep things soft against those chubby little cheeks!

A couple of plastic snaps to close and we were all sorted.

My first finish of 2017, how fitting that it is for the gorgeous little man in my life!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts


The sign-ups for hosting TGIFF in 2017 are open, so if you made a New Year's Resolution to host a link party sign up here to make it happen :)
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