Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009

We now have one Shark Alert Team badge made. George likes the badge. I think it's okay. If anyone has any ideas on how to spiffy the badge up, let me know. It really is what I imagined, but it needs something. Not sure what. Anyway, until we get a better idea, this is the badge we will be using.

I realized that I have a whole bunch of things to make and time is ticking. I was pulling out fabric from all over the house today and cutting out tote bags and placemats. It's amazing how much fabric I can collect. Mama used to tell me that I was addicted to fabric. I think she was right. I'm not a pack rat. I don't think I save too much, but when it comes to fabric and sewing I save everything. You just never know when you will need that little one inch piece of lace or that piece of elastic. Mama used to tell me about a cousin who was a seamstress and that she would save everything, just like me. In fact, Mama taught me to save all the scraps in sewing. They really are useful. But the seamstress cousin would save the thread pieces. Mama asked what she was going to do with that and she replied that when you need to match a color with thread, like a hem or something, those little strings come in handy. George used to wonder why I saved all of those little things for sewing, but now he's starting to understand. When we did the big display table cloth, I had to do a lot of basting and used the thread in my thread bag. We use left over pieces of stabilizer for smaller projects. Part of sewing is saving that stuff. I have a bag for fabric scraps, a bag for thread scraps and a bag for stabilizer scraps. In fact, I have bags for larger fabric scraps and another for smaller fabric scraps. When the fabric scrap bag gets full, I sew the end closed and voila! I have a throw pillow.

This afternoon we went to my favorite fabric store -- Fabric Outlet in Cantonment. It is a drive, but not too bad. The ladies there are so nice and helpful. My only complaint about that store is that it is so old that the lighting is bad. It could not be that I'm getting old? haha George and I wanted some more background colors for the patches and I needed to see if there was anything that I would want to use for totes and placemats. Yep, I walked out with a lot of fabric. While I was there, one of the ladies was in the back doing a hook rug. Talk about beautiful. All made out of little jersey strips about 3-4 inches long. You pull each strip so that the edges curl, and then you hook each one onto the base. The one she was working on was probably 3/4 done and was magnificent. I don't think I would have that kind of patience anymore. I used to, though. We came home with our bag of fabric goodies. Shopping is not my forte, but put me in a fabric store and you will have to pull me out. George is so patient and understanding about this weakness.

When we got home, a shipment from one of my vendors had arrived. Oh, goody, more things with which to play.

We have an order for a 30"x60" towel with the initials CRW on the corner, at a 45 degree angle, embroidered in gold metallic thread, 6" wide and 2" high. Metallic thread can be a bear. I learned to work with metallic thread on my home embroidery machine -- Doris. (She's a Singer Quantum Futura. My favorite singer as a child was Doris Day. So, her name is appropriately "Doris" because she's my favorite Singer.) You can purchase good metallic thread and bad metallic thread. It all has to do with how the thread is made and how the metal (yes, it really is a type of metal) adheres to the core of the thread. The type of core is important, too. All of that said, you actually have to handle metallic thread differently. First, it must be very loose. If it's tight the metal can shred and curl up the core. In other words, the thread frays. You want a needle with a large eye but not too big to leave large punctures in the fabric. Second, you want to avoid the thread twisting as it comes off of the spool. I haven't done a lot with metallic thread on the commercial machine. Threading the commercial machine is not hard, there are just a lot more hooks and tensions to go through than a home machine. Third, you need to sew slow because of the friction of the needle going up and down into the fabric. Metal, friction, get the picture? Obviously, I finished the monogram. Looks pretty good, don't you think? She hasn't even seen it yet and has ordered another for her husband. Luckily, I did order extra towels.

Off to bed with me for tomorrow is another big sewing day.

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