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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Hubby's Birthday Present/My First Quilt on: February 27, 2011 07:15:01 PM
My husband loves Cincinnatti Reds baseball.  I love sewing.  So a few months ago he mentioned that it would be pretty cool to have a quilt that looked like a baseball field.  I've been sewing for a long time, but I'd never made a quilt before.  I bought a quilting book and studied all about it until I felt pretty confident.  Here is the end product, and overall it turned out pretty well...but I had some pretty awful problems with the quilting process.

It is essentially a "map" of Great American Ballpark, with the major "landmarks" in the border, and his favorite players at each position.  I included the smokestacks, the home dugout, and the big screen.  The major piecing and quilting was done by machine, and just about everything else was handsewn.  It took me over a month!

The worst problem that I had was that I used invisible/clear thread to do the quilting.  That stuff is EVIL!!!  It kept bunching up in my machine and broke at least a thousand times.  I spent an eternity just getting it wound into the bobbin.  I will NEVER use it again!!!  Has anyone else had any trouble using this kind of thread?

The second problem I had was really awful wrinkling on the back, as you can see here:

I think the main issue was that this fabric was very thin and stretchy, even though it was woven.  No matter what, I could not get it to lie completely flat when I was assembling the quilt.  If it was flat in one area, it had wrinkles in another.  I used safety pins all over the quilt, spaced probably 8 inches or so apart.  Do you think this had anything to do with it?  Any tips for keeping my next quilt from ending up like this?

Regardless of the problems, my husband loved it anyway Smiley  And I have to say, not too shabby for my first quilt!
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Autumn-Themed Raggedy Ann on: October 30, 2010 12:04:57 PM
This is my second Raggedy Ann and I'm really happy with her!  I think it's the best doll I've made so far.  She is a 20" doll from the popular McCall's pattern.  She turned out just exactly as I had envisioned.  I had originally planned for her just to be a Fall decoration, but now I think I'll make her a set of clothes for every season/holiday so I can always have her out  Smiley

And just to throw it out there - if you're looking for doll chairs to display your dolls, try local flea markets or antique malls.  I found the chair she's sitting in for $10.  All I had to do was sand and repaint and it was as good as new!

3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Futura CE-150: Dreadful Tension Problems! on: July 30, 2010 12:27:14 PM
I love my dear embroidery machine, but right now I am at my wit's end.

When it embroiders, the white bobbin thread is pulling through and showing on the top.  I checked and double-checked that the bobbin was inserted and threaded correctly, and the bobbin tension is factory-set, so I'm not sure what the problem is.  Changing the upper thread tension (either direction) just makes things worse.  When I use the same color bobbin thread as the top thread of course you can't tell, but that's not practical for designs that need two or more colors.  I have only been using text and designs that came on a Singer stock CD designed for this machine, so it can't be anything to do with the design.  Also, when the machine is in sewing mode, the tension is perfect.

The only thing I have not tried is changing to a new needle.  Could that be it?  Any other suggestions?
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Two Rag Dolls on: July 28, 2010 07:36:43 PM
Today I finished my first Raggedy Ann doll.  I know it's nothing original, but I am so pleased with how she turned out!  I used the 1970's McCall's pattern, 15" tall.

And this is my Tropical Princess doll, made to commemorate my recent vacation to Florida.  The shells on her dress and headband are actual shells that I collected on the beach.  She is made from my own pattern, and her dress is a scrap from an old sarong.

5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Applique with Futura CE-150 on: December 26, 2009 10:54:22 PM
I just got a Futura CE-150 for Christmas and I have been playing around with it today.  I have embroidered my first design, but I would like to applique with it as well.  The instructional manual and DVD did not say much about using this machine for applique, but I know it has a satin stitch.  Is that what you use?  Are there any tips or tricks or essential knowledge I need to know about this before I try it?

6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Child-Safe Inkpads? on: May 14, 2009 05:19:12 PM
I posted this in the pet forum but thought I'd try here, too.

I want to make a scrapbook for my dog, and would like to include an ink-print of her paw.  I don't want her to have any contact with ink that may be toxic, though, so the consensus seems to be that the safest inkpad to use would be a child-safe inkpad.  My question is, does anyone have experience with child-safe inkpads, and does the ink hold up over time?  If not, is there another puppy-safe alternative I could use that holds up well?

7  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Pet-Safe Ink Pads on: May 12, 2009 07:41:00 PM
I have been brainstorming about making a scrapbook for my dog, and would like to include an ink print of her paw.  Are standard inkpads safe for making pawprints, or is there a specific kind of inkpad I should get?  I think this is a cute idea but wouldn't want to harm my baby in the process!

Thanks everyone  Smiley
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / First Bag, Wallet, and Key Fob on: March 17, 2009 06:27:02 PM
So I got a sewing machine for Christmas, and I've been practicing until I felt ready to make my first bag and wallet.  The bag is a simplicity pattern (can't remember the #); I used the pattern but made up my own instructions, partially because I find simplicity instructions hard to follow and partially because I wanted to modify it a bit (I wanted the pockets on the inside instead of the outside, and it called for a zipper but I'm just not ready for that yet).

Please don't mind the puppy in the background  Roll Eyes

Inside pockets (don't mind the kitty either)

I used this tutorial for the wallet: http://darnkat.wordpress.com/quilted-fabric-wallet-tutorial/ I don't know if this is in the tutorial list or not, but it should be, because it was very clear and easy to follow.  Mine turned out kinda crooked because I didn't measure everything perfectly square like I should have  Embarrassed but it's still good for my first wallet and it serves its purpose.

This fabric doesn't match the purse or wallet but I just LOVE it and it fits my personality exactly  Grin  I was scared that my machine couldn't sew through the 3 layers of webbing at the bottom, but she chewed right through it without any problems.  She's a good girl!

*Edit* a few of the pictures aren't working now, I'll fix them soon, sorry!  Sad
9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Banjo-Kazooie Plush for Hubby on: January 03, 2009 06:34:56 PM
My husband is a big fan of the video game Banjo Kazooie.  He's always wanted a plushie of the character(s), but they are very hard to find, if they exist at all.  So I decided to make him one for Christmas!

This was very hard considering no patterns exist.  I took a clay figure he made of the characters and used that as a base for my pattern, and this is what I came up with:

Here's what the character(s) really look like:

He loved it!  And I'm really proud of myself for making the pattern completely from scratch.  Grin
10  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / What am I doing wrong? on: December 26, 2008 08:55:19 PM
Santa was very good to me this year...he brought me a new sewing machine!  It is a Singer 3116.  I am pretty good at handsewing, but I have never used a sewing machine before.  Last night I read the instruction manual cover to cover, and started practicing.  I made some stitches on fabric scraps, but they didn't turn out so good.  I tried threading the bobbin both clockwise and counterclockwise and adjusting thread tension, but it's always the same.  The stitches on the bottom are always loopy (see picture)!  What can fix this?  Is there something I'm forgetting, or does it just take practice?

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