Thursday, July 9, 2015

Helloooooooooo Out There????

Hi everyone.  Or at least, anyone who still might come visit my blog, after such a long absence.  I am sorry for being gone for so long.  I am having computer problems, and blogging became more chore than fun, and I couldn't do it.  I am still in need of a new computer, and when I get one, I will be back in the saddle again.  Until then, it will probably be sporadic posts.
I know it has been a couple of months since I have posted.  Summer is in full swing here.  We started out hot, hot, hot!  A lot of humidity.  And this week has been so pleasant.  I am still learning to use my embroidery machine.  And still haven't learned how to download designs to my flash drive.  Greg promised me that we would get that figured out this weekend.  As I look back at some of the things I have embroidered, I can sure see how much I have learned along the way. 
I put this sailboat design on a canvas bag that I have had for a long time.  I use the bag a lot, and thought the sailboat would make a nice nautical addition.
I have made some baby blankets.  This one for my nephew and his wife, who are expecting their first baby this December.  We didn't know her name yet, but now I do, so I can do some personalized designs.
 And one for a little boy, a first baby for co worker of my husbands.  
Lots and lots of hand towels, and cloth napkins.  The below towels were done before I learned how to properly use a topping, to keep the embroidery design from getting lost in the nap of the towel.
These two below were done using the topping.
I did a set of soft yellow napkins with this sweet strawberry design.
I was asked by a friend to do some ball caps for her husbands business. This freaked me out, as I knew nothing of how to do a hat!!  I researched, and then proceeded to practice on every hat in my possession. 
 I learned that certain things such as hats, and towels, and heavier fabric items are done with a technique called, "floating" the item on the hoop. 
I agreed to do the hats for my friend, and worried myself silly.  But they turned out great!!  I don't have a photo, as they are also on my iphone.
I am doing a quilt along with Lori Holt's new book, Vintage Farm Girl.  I am enjoying it so much.  She posts two blocks a week, on Friday.  I am all caught up with my blocks.  The one on the top right, I had to redo.  I placed a piece in upside down. 
The blocks are all so fun to make.  I am having so much fun with it!
Also from Lori's book, I made the Silo and Barn table runner. 
 I backed it in a fun cow print.
I recently found an old flour sack at a thrift store.  I loved the faded old fabric.  I washed it, and removed the stitching, squared it up, then added a lightweight fusible stabilizer to the back to give it more body.
The fabric is such a fun and happy print.  I can't decide what to do with it, and I don't want to waste it.  It is only about the size of a fat quarter. 
Another recent thrift find, at one of my favorite places, is this pair of beautiful boots! They reminded me of a pair that Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) wears, that I fell in love with. 
The reverse colored appliques on these boots are so pretty!  I cannot wait to wear them.
The colors are the exact same as my boho poncho I made last Fall.
I got six new chicks.  They will reside in the little playhouse coop until they can be integrated with the other girls.

They are all feathered out now, and have an extended outdoor play yard attached to the coop for the day time.  This is all within the main coop/run., and the established hens are getting to know them through the fence.
 I am trying to catch up with all of you.  Please don't give up on me.  I will be back. I promise.  And thank you for all of the sweet messages, wondering where I have been.  I have missed all of you too!!!
Tootle-Loo....for now.
XO  Kris

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thrifting


Hidey Do!  I have some thrifting finds to share with you today.  The first one is from a new spot I have been visiting.  It is a  high end resale place.  Still a thrift, but set up like a store, and everything in there is very nice. I could not believe my luck one day when I stumbled upon a whole rack of mens dress shirts.  They were all beautiful shirts.  Expensive shirts.  Tommy Bahama, Reyn Spooner, and Faconable.   Shirts that would cost 100 dollars and more in a department store. 
I was trying to decide which ones to get, as they were priced at about 10 to 12 dollars each.  When I had finally made up my mind, the lady at the register told me that they were having a stuff a bag sale, and that anything I could fit into the provided bag, was 24 dollars.  She said, just go back and get them all!   And so I did.  
They were all freshly laundered, starched, and still had the paper dry cleaning tag on them.  
I believe there were 23 in total that I got.  
At a different place, a few weeks ago, I found this beautiful quilt.  It is actually from the kids line for Pottery Barn.  
It is a full sized quilt, very gently used.  I adore the sweet pink and green on the butter yellow.  It had the two matching shams, with tie closures.
It is all freshly washed and line dried.  
The backing is a soft pink.
The binding is a spring green, cut on the bias.  It is a very well made set.  I also picked up the pink duvet cover, with a companion fabric on opposite side.
I was going to list it on Craig's List, but think I may keep it for when I have a guest room again.  

Last week, a local church had their big rummage sale.  It was a very hot morning, so I didn't stay long.  Just long enough for a few finds.
This three tiered basket storage piece, with canvas cover.  I have it shown with the canvas cover rolled to the back to expose the front baskets.  But it can be completely covered up too.  It is on casters and works perfectly for my sewing room.  It was 5.00.  Sitting on top of this storage piece, is a vintage aqua dish drainer holding some of the fabric stash that I am using for the Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along.
I also snagged this green fold up chair, also for 5 dollars.  I took it home and washed it, then set it in the sun to dry.  I love it in my sewing room for an extra chair when I need it.  And I love the happy color!
Right now, it is covered in fabric as I am working on my Farm Girls quilt.  It is nicely padded and very comfy.  Folds up flat to easily store out of sight.
A flower rug, for a dollar.
An aqua ottoman for 2 dollars.  Perfect for my sewing room, for the storage, as well as the color!
I like to set it next to me while I am sewing, and place my design board on it, as I am sewing blocks.
On a different day, at another place......
Two melamine aqua bowls, a plastic storage container that I am using for my embroidery thread.  A blue and tan chicken planter, and a Swedish salad spinner.  The good kind.  With the pull strap.  Works great!
I have had a lot of good luck in my favorite shops lately.  How about you?  Any good finds at the thrifts?
I have been spending a lot of time in my sewing room lately.  I am having a ball with my new embroidery machine(s).  I had kind of thought that I would sell the first one I found in the thrift shop, after I got the new machine.  But I absolutely love this little gem of a machine.  It has such a beautiful stitch.  And a very easy to follow and navigate LED display board to navigate your editing on.  Even without a manual, it has been an easy to use machine.  And so fun.  I actually like some of the features on this machine better than the brand new one.  So, needless to say, I am keeping it!
I will be back soon with more.  Hope all of you are well and enjoying Spring.  I am trying to get caught up with all of you.
XO  Kris

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Thrift Store Embroidery Machine

A few weeks ago, I spotted this embroidery machine at the thrift.  It was an older machine, but appeared to be in good condition.  I turned it on, and it worked.  Although it was missing the hoop, and the memory card.  The price was 59.95.  I thought it might be fun to check out machine embroidery, if I could find the parts needed to play with it.  I offered 20.00 for the machine, and they sold it to me.  I began my search for a hoop.  Ebay, Craig's List, Sewing Centers.  No luck.  Well, I take that back.  I did find one on ebay for about 100 dollars.  I wasn't willing to spend that much though.  I heard about a Bernina shop in N. Orange County, so one day last week when I was out and about with my Mom, I threw the machine in the back of my car, and we took it to the sewing center to see if they could help.  Sure enough, he had a hoop for this machine.  And he was eager to sell it.  He said the machine was from the 80's, and obsolete.  That I probably wouldn't be able to find a memory card for it, and would only be able to play with the limited built in memory.  He sold the hoop to me at a great price.  But I also needed bobbins and needles.  Now the price was climbing.  My Mom was sitting there shaking her head at me, wondering why I was putting money into a machine that was obsolete.  I was wandering around the beautiful shop, eyeing the machines that they had.  Oh how I would love to have one that could do more.  And then I asked him about some of the lower end machines, that might be good for learning machine embroidery on.  I had zeroed in on one in particular.    After learning that he had none in his shop of that model, but would sell me the one on the floor for a greatly reduced price, I was curious to learn more.  Long story short, I bought the new Bernina.  And also the hoop for the old one.  He threw in a few bobbins, and then we were off.  Me with my two new (one old and obsolete) embroidery machines, so eager to get home to play with them!  First, my thrifted machine, with new hoop.
Isn't she cute?  I got it all hooped up, and began to play with the designs in the memory.
First I made an all blue hummingbird.  Only because I wasn't sure how to go about changing all of the colors. Then I did Noah's name in an oval frame.  Then I began to get fingertip towels out of my linen closet, and play on those.  I made a holiday swag of holly and berries, but neglected to turn the image!  Oopsie.  I then tried a sea shell and rotated the image, but I was one rotation too short.  Oh well.  I am learning!   I remembered these two gingham napkins I had picked up at a thrift the other day for a dollar.  I had them washed and ready to use, so I hooped one corner, and did this darling image.
This one would have been perfect, had I realized that the last bit to be stitched was grass, and I needed a thread change to green.  I realized it too late, and didn't want to ruin the whole process, so I just let it go.  I still love it.  So I got the other napkin and did the same thing to it, only I mirrored the image to look the other way.   But....this time, I managed to flub the color set up again, and wound up with a black gardland and black flowers.  Ooopsie.  Oh well, I am just playing, and using old textiles to practice with, so no harm.  What fun I was  having too!  At this  point, I haven't even turned on the new machine.  I wanted to get familiar with the process first.  I only had a few spools of machine embroidery thread too, and didn't want to use the new one without using good thread.
Sooo, I got some thread at Joann's over the weekend., and came home to try the new machine out.  Here is the new girl.
 
I read the manual front to back, and selected my first design.  I didn't change the thread, as the shop owner had it set with thread from the shop.  It was not a color I would choose, but I left it for my first try.
I selected a design with only two thread colors.   This image stitched out pretty well, until the bobbin thread got all bungled  up and the machine stopped!  The hoop puckered, and I had to cut the design free of the hoop, and rehoop it.  When I rewound the bobbin, and put the hoop back on, I didn't know how to go back to go over the space where it got tangled.  So,  I just put it back on, and finished the design.  It turned out pretty good, but not in very appealing colors.
Yesterday I went to the shop where I bought the new machine to get some one on one instruction with it.  We hooped it, and he stitched my name out in small letters on the hoop.  Then I wanted to do a butterfly.  During this design, I was talking to the owner while his son was doing the butterfly, and didn't notice that the foot got tangled on the thread.  VERY important to cut threads as you go to prevent this!  Another learning experience!  So , the design did not finish.
When I got home, I put the same hoop back onto the machine and wanted to just play with it.  I thought maybe the butterfly would look better if I did a design over it.  Then I did my name over that.  I was just playing, but I sure did like how it turned out.
I would like it even more if my name wasn't on it in green going in the wrong direction.  But I was just trying out a few things, and learning how to use the machine, so used the same hoop we had already embroidered on.

The shop had their thread 25% off yesterday, so I bought a few spools to get me started.  The smaller ones I got at Joann's the other day.
Oh, you can see the design I did first on the new machine, sitting underneath my thread box.  I will do another one, I really liked it.
In addition to playing on my embroidery machines, I am doing the sew along for Farm Girl Vintage.  Lori Holt's new book.  Her fabric lines are so pretty.  I have been collecting fabric for this sew along for a few months.  I did the blocks in both the 6" and 12" size.  This one is called Apron Strings.
A few weeks ago I found this beautifully made blanket in a thrift.  It was wrapped up in a clear bag.  I could see the stitch work was beautiful.  It was 5.00, so I rescued it.  When I got it home and took it out of the bag to prepare to wash it, I was amazed at how huge it was!!  And how beautiful the design!!!  All knit!!!  Gorgeous.   Here it is folded up and laying across the back of the sofa in my sewing room.  The quilt seen above that is my beautiful Grandmother's Garden Quilt, that my very own Great Grandma made.
 The cabling on it is just beautiful.  Lattice seen in photo below.
 Then this pretty cable.
 And this design too. Each panel is done with one of these three designs.
It is huge, and warm, and fabulous!  I like to think that whomever made it, would be happy to know that it is being well loved at my house!
Buster Boy would love to lay on it.  But he is going to have to settle with the red and white comforter I put on the sofa for him instead.  He is my constant companion, no matter where I am .  I love him!
If you are looking for me, I will be in my sewing room!!!!
Back soon with more thrift finds.  It was a good month in the shops for me!
Toodle Loo
XO  Kris

Monday, May 4, 2015

More New Orleans

Hi again.  I am just going to select a few more highlights to share.  Although we did lots of things, I didn't bring my camera everywhere we went.  And a lot of my photos weren't good.  The first time we went to New Orleans, we took an air boat trip and saw lots of gators and wildlife.  It was a lot of fun.  This time we took a bayou trip on a patio type boat.  Most of the time we were going very slowly, looking for gators, but the boat also went very fast too.  The guide would put a piece of  hot dog on a stick, or a marshmallow, and the gator would just swim right over.
They were laying on the banks, catching some rays too.
We went down a narrow pathway, that was very heavily treed, and suddenly I saw what I thought was a bear.
There was another boat up ahead of us, and this black hairy thing was standing in the water on his hind legs, begging for a snack.  Swamp Thing?  Bear?  What was it?  It was a couple family's of Wild Boar!  They were so cute and curious!  And did they ever love marshmallows!!
They came right up to the boats, and I think they would have liked to come ON the boat!  There was also a couple of litters of babies.
These guys were really fun to watch!
We saw some interesting houses on the bayou too.
We had wonderful meals!  Everywhere we went.  The food was fantastic!
We visited the WW2 Museum.  That was fascinating!
Greg's Dad was a navigator in the Air Force.  He flew missions in WW2 in planes exactly like this.
We also took a city tour that brought us all throughout New Orleans, and in the neighborhoods that were worst hit in Katrina.  Many of the houses were still empty and marked with the markings that the rescue workers used to determine if anyone were in house, and whether deceased or not.  Very eery.  We saw shotgun houses, and beautiful stately homes in The Garden District.  So many things.  Such great times!  I think my Mom enjoyed it very much!!!   I know we sure had fun!  A trip to remember forever!  Thank you Mom!!!   Back home we went.  And life resumed it's normal hectic pace.
My computer is acting up again.  Time for me to close.  Hope to be back soon with some fun thrifting finds, and a new toy.
XO  Kris