23 May 2013
“Summer's End” just as summer's beginning! When we got this luscious yarn from Juniper Moon Farm called
Moonshine, I just couldn't say no. (Click the pictures for a closer view.)
I found the pattern on Ravelry.com, my favorite tool to help me decide what pattern to make. This yarn is so soft, springy and drapey I just could not put it down. I started the sweater on April 20th and finished it on May 15th.
Start it now, to wear this fall, or if you are a speedknitter like me wear it now while summer's just starting. This is the Pacific Northwest, after all! Sunshine today, sweater tomorrow!
The technical stuff:
You'll see lots of Juniper Moon Farm Yarn at our 2013 Stitch 'n Pitch booth where farm founder, Susan Gibbs will join us as our First Pitcher!
(Leah, AKA "She-Who-Is-Always-Knitting-Something-Wonderful", works at our
Northgate store where she loves to help our customer friends with yummy yarns and other delightful things!)
16 May 2013
I just finished pattern-testing the Jelly Roll Race quilt, and it was so much fun! I made this whole beautiful lapsize quilt in less than two hours! Click on the picture to see it closer.
If you haven’t heard about our
Jelly Roll Race, it’s during that other "big" race on Sunday, May 26th from 12-5 at all
Pacific Fabrics stores. Each store has space for a set number of racers, so you will want to get registered! The pattern is super easy, and since you are starting out with a package of 2-½” strips, all the prep work and fabric selection is a cinch.
You just pick out a
Jelly Roll, Bali Pop, Tonga Treat, or any other set of 40 - 2 ½” strips, pay your entry fee ($10) and get your car number. The race starts at noon, and then you sew furiously until someone finishes their quilt top – If you win, Pacific Fabrics Longarm Quilting service will quilt your quilt top for you!!) If you don’t win, no worries, you finish at your leisure, taking a break to eat (We’re planning to have lovely race-themed refreshments for our racers!) and enjoying your beautiful new quilt! Here's a close-up:
While I worked, I thought of a few tips for racers:
- You will need at least two bobbins – make sure you have an extra one filled before the race begins. Also, have an extra spool of thread and a fresh needle installed in your sewing machine, plus a spare in case you break one. You don’t want to lose precious time having to stop to buy needles or thread!
- Have some coffee and a snack before the race – you won’t want to stop to eat or drink!
- Don’t have too much coffee or water before the race – you won’t want to stop to go to the bathroom, either!
- Chain piece – there’s a lot of short seams to start, and you will waste mucho time and thread of you start with a long tail of thread each time.
- It’s easier if you use a printed strip set rather than a batik set, since your right and wrong sides are clear. However, I personally LOVE the colors in this Bali Pop, so I figured out that if I remembered that the strips are folded in half selvage to selvage, and I was consistent that it was the side on the inside of the fold that was my “right” side, I didn’t have any seams on the “wrong” side.
- Bring your own sewing machine. Even though we have lovely classroom sewing machines generously provided by Quality Sewing and Vacuum (thanks guys!) you will lose precious time trying to adjust to a new machine. Haul that old girl on in – you know all her quirks, and won’t lose your lead trying to figure out how to adjust your stitch length.
- Speaking of which – Adjust your stitch length! This is all about speed, and while you don’t want to use a basting stitch and have your top sewn so loosely it won’t hold, you can go a couple notches higher than you might normally and your sewing time will be slashed!
- Tune up your engine! Make sure your machine is in good shape – clean out the lint and oil if necessary.
I hope to see you all at the
Jelly Roll Race!
09 May 2013
Confession: I can't sew clothes. I don't even really try. I love quilting and knitting and making softies and bags and all that, but when it comes to gussets and setting in sleeves and calculating ease I just lose my gusto. I know, this is blasphemy in my profession at the best fashion fabric store in the Seattle area (
Northgate PacFab, woot!) but it's just not my thing.
However, I do like to occasionally sew dresses for my daughter. I love her in a homemade dress - we just had family portraits, and put her in a pinafore I sewed from a Kwik Sew pattern. But I struggle with choosing the right fit for her. So I am totally smitten with the new
Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses book!
Such a simple concept - take a premade shirt, cut off the bottom (or sleeves, etc, there are 25 different designs in the book) and sew on an adorable skirt, changing it into an awesome dress. You know the top fits and will be comfy and stretchy, and you get to use the pretty fabrics and trims you linger over but don't know what to do with!
And these babies are fast - I made three in a day. Annika loved seeing her shirts turned into dresses. Just in time for sunny days!
(Click the pictures to see a larger view.)
~ Anna-Beth (
Northgate Store Manager)
08 May 2013
When I was in Spokane visiting my sister, I saw a bicycle covered with knitting. That was the first I had heard of yarn bombing. Karen is the keeper of our yarn department and I told her what I had seen. Her comment was, "Get me a bike".
Several months later Karen brought in this beauty. (Click on the picture to see a larger view.) She used all different types and textures of yarn. I especially like the red, ruffled seat!
It's on display at our
Everett store. Please drop by!
~ Pat (
Everett Store Manager)
02 May 2013
Before the Sewing & Stitchery Expo this year, I had the joyous pleasure of making four purses for display in our booth. I had SO much fun and particularly enjoyed the transformation that our fabric choice made on
This is a cute, casual bag pattern from Pie Plate Patterns, but we were looking for something with a little more pizazz for our display. We started out by deciding to use black, white and red and then . . . one day as I walked past the laminated cotton fabrics at our SODO Seattle store, creative lightening struck and a fabulous bag was born!
Instead of the cotton chevron and solid fabrics used in the sample shown on the cover of the pattern, I chose
Riley Blake's Coated Cotton Chevron in black and white. Debbie, from our office, suggested we combine it with the Black Patent Vinyl available at our stores, then add a splash of red for a striking contrast. Janet, SODO store manager, covered a button in red oilcloth for me, chose a red print lining and I was ready to go home and sew.
A little easy modification was in order. To reduce bulk, I eliminated the center front pleat and added top stitching instead. The patent vinyl is too 'weighty' to stitch and turn inside out, so I cut the straps, layered them together then top-stitched along either edge. This left a white edge that I found distracting, so I got out my trusty black Sharpie and inked the edges to make them match the patent. A sewist should never be without his/her Sharpie!
The pattern, unfortunately, calls for less lining than you actually need (buy 5/8 yd) and I was already home when I discovered this. So, I added a band of red silk dupioni I had on hand to the top of the lining to make it tall enough and it's really rather pretty! Everything else was stitched according to the pattern directions.
I had a total blast making this bag! The laminated cotton is super easy to sew (
click here for a free tip sheet) and it was magical watching the pieces turn into this stunning bag.
So, think about this. Maybe you love the cover of a pattern and want to make one just like it. but, maybe, just maybe, you can think OUTSIDE the pattern and come up with something entirely new. Fabric makes ALL the difference!