About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label scarves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scarves. Show all posts

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ruffling a New Scarf!

I've had this gorgeous voile fabric since last summer. You may have read about my "Zippity-Do-Dah" scarf {make that scarves} in this post.

This Amy Butler cotton voile has such a lovely hand; so satiny-smooth!  And a beautiful print in those 'lift-you-up' spring colors!  It's so pretty, it's hard to tell the wrong side of the fabric from the right side -  so vibrant.
This is the prototype, where I first practiced finishing the edges of the scarf using the #69 foot, which is part of a series of feet, called the 'lap seam' or edge finishing feet I have.  I published the tutorial (same as for the scarf) for using these specialty feet here.
Now the fun begins -- it's kinda like you went through a Bernina drive-through and said "Supersize it!" LOL.
Don't be afraid! It's not a monster... but it is heavy metal!  Like you know, "Rock on Dudettes!"  (or dudes as the case may be)
Here's some great facts I am sharing from a page in my Bernina "Feetures" book. I use these books alot... they are such a great resource. (sorry for the glare)
How to put the foot on?  It's so big, it can seem intimidating, but it's pretty straight-forward, really!

See that horseshoe-looking metal piece below?  They call it 'the fork' and it slips over and fits on the needle bar.  In case you're not sure what that is - the needle bar is the metal piece where you loosen the screw to insert your needle.
I'm thinkin' I should win an academy award for best angle on a sewing machine (picture below).  But I wanted to show you underneath, and this is the underside view from the right hand side of my machine. See how that 'fork' or as I prefer to call it, the 'horseshoe' -- sits on my needle bar?  That's the screw that loosens and tightens your needle in place.  {Okay, forget the award}

It's time to---ruffle!  That would be the distant cousin to the Rumba! {Perhaps Dancing With The Stars should have a new dance routine with that name!}  

Ok - nevermind. 

I began to ruffle -- stitching down each long side of the scarf, which essentially means that the ruffle is centered down the middle of the scarf.  This foot is so much fun to use, and it's lickety-split!  As it began to ruffle, I kept my fabric edge, aligned inside the metal 'fold' piece, that extends to the right of the foot, using that as my visual guide for placement of the ruffles on the scarf.
"Ruffles have ridges."  
{Remember that commercial?!}

Don't ask me where I get this stuff... my mind is one big bag of chips... and some of them are a bit cracked!   LOL
Set the number of pleats you want... It is really sew easy to do!  You just lift up the bar, and move it into the slot that indicates the number of pleats you want per number of stitches the machine takes. 

I set mine to one pleat per stitch in the pic below.   
And this is what it looks like with one pleat for every stitch.  Hint:  Lengthen your stitch to stretch the pleats out a bit more.  I just love this 'perfect-pleat' look!  And bingo  ~  it's done in a flash!  And that's alot of pleats in no-time-flat.
Note on this scarf that the edge stitching/hem stitching was done incorrectly!  It's actually backwards... (That's why it's a prototype!) LOL
However, for this scarf, I actually selected #6 - to make a pleat every six stitches.  Lift and drop it onto the right slot. It's done!
There's so much versatility to this foot.  It will also ruffle a piece of fabric onto another base fabric, such as bed skirts.  Piece of cake!   However... because of it's 'heavy metal' it's a spendy one and they are now upwards of $200.  Sorry for the sticker shock. I am glad I bought mine years ago, when it was only (gulp) $80 and I've enjoyed using it every minute.  

Here's to more ruffles {and scarves} in your life! 

And in case you or someone you know is interested in buying one... they are for sale in my Etsy shop.  10% off with the code: MARVELES10.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Zippity Do Dah Scarf~

And my oh my, what a wonderful day to make a new scarf for spring!  I adore these new cotton voiles that are out on the fabric market now.... 

And it makes a beautiful, lovely, and lightweight scarf!

First begin making a scarf by cutting two, 6" wide strips of fabric, according to the length of the fabric, whether it is 45" wide, or 54" wide.  Mine was 54" wide, so this scarf will finish over 100" long.
Placing right sides together, sew the two end strips with a 5/8" seam.  Press the seam open.  At that same point, fold those raw seam edges under 1/4" and press under again, so you have a neat, tidy little fold, and then topstitch.  The raw edges are now encased in the seam. Press flat.

Now that the 'untidy ends' are finished, it's time to think about an edge finish.  I decided to use my hemming foot, and I begin by selecting stitch #3, which is a hemming stitch. The width is set to 4.5 and length to 3.0. The sewing machine automatically sets the top tension to 2.5 when I select this stitch... but you may want to experiment with this up or down a bit more.  What I wanted was a definite scalloped looking edge, and a slightly higher tension helps accomplish that, and the folded edge of fabric forms this scalloped look.  The weight of your thread - whether a 50 or 40 weight; cotton or polyester, will also affect the top tension setting.  Be prepared to experiment!
 Next, attach one of these types of feet, the 'hemmers' as I call them.  I use foot #69:
Now it's time for the "Reality Check" on yourself ---  Know this may take you a while to get the hang of it, given your particular machine, tension, and fabric choice -- that's a big part of the fun!
I start by folding the fabric 1/4" and pressing lightly, and then again - this doesn't have to precise, just so you can get started.  The raw edge is enclosed at this point, and it's just to start - the foot will feed the raw edge eventually, and encase it in the stitching, but it's real difficult to slip it under the foot to begin that way, so I just kind of finger press it, so it's easier to get started.

I put the folded fabric under my foot, and straight stitch, for only about an inch.  Stop, just far enough so you're well on your way, and then while the fabric is trapped under the foot, you can lightly grab the edge of your hem; the one that is in front of the foot, and feed, or slip the edge of the fabric - or the fold of it - into the curly metal piece of the foot.  I stop, sinking my needle into the fabric to do this - (or have needle stop already engaged) and using my knee lift, I barely lift up the presser foot, so I can do just that - slip the folded edge of the fabric into the curly-q metal piece. Not to concerned if it comes 'unfolded' - that will eventually work into the curly part of the foot that forms the hem. Don't worry about the one inch of fabric behind you... that will either be trimmed off, or encased into the final bottom edge of the hem of the scarf. 

And another VIP TIP:   One that poses a bit of a problem for many sewers.  Many times the fabric will get stuck when they first begin stitching.  Typically, that means there is not enough fabric under the foot, to enable the feed dogs to grab the fabric and feed it. In other words, we barely stick the fabric underneath the foot, and when the feed dogs have no fabric to grab, you may end up with a mess of threads, and sometimes the fabric is also sucked down into the throat plate... and you start over! 

To help prevent this, it's  a truly simple technique; hold the thread tails just ever-so-slightly taut as you begin sewing.  Give a very slight tug if you don't feel your fabric moving forward... then let go once the feed dogs take hold. Also, the thread tails won't get all knotted up, making that nasty thread mess on the back of your fabric.

When finished, it should look similar to the photo above.
This is another scarf where I have just begun to feed the fabric into the curvy piece of the foot... it's almost like magic, it's SO DANG COOL!
It's so cool in fact, it's 'zippity-do-dah' and you'll be singing the song as you finish this... lickity-split!
To finish, I turned those scarf ends in 1/4" twice, and topstitched them down.  I haven't tried scalloping them, like I do on the long edge of the scarf, but if you wanted to, it's probably best to scallop the short end first, and the long ends last.
It's may not be perfect... but have fun perfecting it, as you enjoy your nice decorative finish.

If you have questions about my instructions (I tried really, really, hard)... just let me know.  I'll do my best to answer them!

And Happy Saint Patrick's Day! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Romantic Scarf

Looking through my baskets of fabric. Searching for just the right fabric... leads to another "Oh I remember when I bought this" moment!  And there you have it.  A scarf is born. 
No clue as to why I bought a yard or so of this... but I like the dreamy quality, and textures that show up in this material.  Perfect for a scarf.
Square up the raw edges the best you can.  Sometimes this type of fabric will slip a bit.  I cut it four inches wide.
I sewed this knit fabric using a zig zag stitch, set it for a longer length at 3.0, and let the right side swing of the needle fall off the edge of the fabric, so it created a more stable hem; almost a 'rolled edge' type.  (And a Bernina 'sews on air' beautifully!) A ball point needle is the best way to sew knits effectively and securely. I used Bottom Line 60 weight 100% polyester for my bobbin thread, and the same on the top.  Use a finer needle, like a 70/10.  I did loosen my top tension just  bit, too, for that fine thread.
I love scarves!

Simple as that.  EnJOY your day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In The LimeLight Scarf

Have you put your hand on the new VOILE fabrics, yet? 
Well, I hope you have, or will, soon. They are absolutely beautiful, and lovely to the touch, too.
I made a scarf this afternoon from this gorgeous Amy Butler voile fabric I bought while I was in Missoula for work last week.
 It came from SELVEDGE STUDIO; a sweet little Mom and Daughter store in Missoula.  They have some very cool fabrics.  Their focus is on fashion sewing but also quilting, too.  Lots of wide widths.  Unusual and high-quality linens. The most luxurious silk velvets.  And Voiles! Cool trims. They offer classes, and have an open-sew night every Thursday in their store.  I sure enjoyed looking through all their fabrics and even  ordered a  Kwik Sew Pattern for a lovely tunic top.  (Oh, yeah... I bought some rayon too!)  It was a pleasant way to spend a bit of the evening!  Hey, if you can't sew on fabric, buy some!
 I just adore the hand of this fabric.  Smooth-as-silk with a surprisingly satiny touch.  This is a print from the Amy Butler collection, new out this fall (in voile), I believe.
 I cut four, four-inch lengths, seaming two lengths together, and then right-sides-together, turn and press. It finished to 3.5" in width, and just over 101" in length, with nice, tapered points.  With a length that, one should be able to wear it in a gazillion, fun and fashionable ways!  And, it's for sale in my etsy shop.
I didn't add any extra trim or embellishment.  I thought I'd let the beautiful fabric say it all.  A practical, wear-with-all, lightweight accessory.  Elegant & fun.

Have you seen the voile fabrics in your quilt stores?  Have you made anything with them? 

EnJOY your weekend!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The "Isaiah" Scaves

I was asked by a good friend of mine, to add a bible verse to some scarves she had purchased for our Big Sky Tres Dias Prayer Team. "Tres Dias" is Spanish, meaning three days, and it is a weekend dedicated to help us grow, explore and mature our faith in Jesus Christ --- to learn more, & be strengthened in living our Christian life. Visit the website "Big Sky Tres Dias" for more information, or contact me. I so enjoy the sweet fellowship of seeing old friends, and meeting new ones every time I serve these weekends.  Here is the verse for our Women's weekend retreat:
So, truthfully, I was a bit intimidated by the sheerness and fragility of the fabrics in these scarves. I knew two things: some sort of stabilization was needed, and I wanted to write the verse out by employing free motion.  
The best stabilizer for this job was "Aqua Bond" -- a sticky-backed, water-soluble stabilizer.  I cut it into 1 1/2 inch strips, peeled off the paper backing, and placed it on the backside of the scarf, at the top edge. I chose my #24 free motion foot to help prevent excess fabric from 'flagging' which means the fabric travels up the needle in an unpleasant fashion. The #9 foot would have worked well here too.
For thread, I chose a Superior Threads, tri-lobal polyester.  I had to loosen my top tension greatly --- to .5!  I put a black Isacord polyester in the bobbin. I found out that if I kept my stitches too small, they easily could make a hole in the scarf... not cool. I wish I had tried a 50 weight thread for the bottom... but I didn't until I was finished! Sew .. it.. goes!
 It was definitely a great benefit to use my 'white gloves' (quilting gloves), to help grip the thin fabric, making it as taut as possible, and especially working with just the top edge, too.  I did think about a hoop... but I would have had to move it alot, and I think it would have damaged the fragile fabric, too.  After I finished stitching, I washed out the stabilizer, and pressed them. I was fairly pleased with the way they turned out. I got to try something new, and was blessed to be asked, and to learn... more. 

 Isaiah 12:2:  Surely God is my salvation: I will trust and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might, He has become my salvation.
 Praying He is YOUR strength and might...and if He is not... that He will be! Amen.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Saturday's FIBER SCARF Class at Bernina Silver Thimble

We had a fun Saturday class, making more SCARVES... All you need is Aqua Bond, Aqua film topping, some fun yarns, threads, fibers... and a free motion quilting foot.  See more about the products and some of the scarves I've made in an earlier post here.
  We had lots of fun exploring color options, design styles and placement ideas.  This is a GREAT project to get to know your machine; it was Penny's first time free motioning on her new Bernina 380. She used YLI Variations polyester 35 weight thread in the top and bottom of her machine... and she used the bright orange variegated.  It was so GORGEOUS on her scarf!
Penny's thread, ribbon and yarn selections...so far!
 Penny and  Joan both were very gracious to allow me to photograph them and their beautiful creations!  Thank you so much ladies!  It was a a fun class, and a pleasure to have you!
Penny putting her new free motion skills to use on her scarf!
Joan chose to use YENMET metallic thread for the quilting on her scarf; she wound it BOTH the bottom and top, and loosened her top tension considerably.  It fed through her machine like clockwork!  She has a 30 year old Bernina!  It is STILL a workhorse!
Joan has her scarf under the machine and adds her free motion stitching!

Colorful and FUN selection for Joan's scarf

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Scarf with Hand Dyed Fabrics

You perhaps saw the earlier post on fabric dye and Elmer's Glue.  If not, you can see them here... and here!

I was inspired by a new book I purchased a month or so ago, and now just getting around to making a project from it.  The uathor is Malka Dubrawsky  who's style and color choices I very much admire!  Love the bright colors!  (go figure!) I also follow her blog.  It's called "Stitch in Dye."

Pictured below is the scarf project featured in her book, "Fresh Quilting."  
I decided to make the same scarf, only using my very own freshly made hand-dyed's. 

Fun!  It's a FAST project (who doesn't love that).  I came home Friday evening after a long week of reading thousands of jury questionnaires!  (That may be another post!  Jury Service anyone?!)  Anyway, I was very happy and excited to cut into my new fabrics, having cured for twenty-four hours, and previously steam-pressed to set the dye.
I put my Sizzix machine to work for me, to cut the fabric rectangles.  Perfect for this project.  Even though the width of these rectangles is slightly bigger, I think by maybe a 1/2" total... it was a sweet deal, I'm tellin' ya, to cut them out.  The die cuts two  rectangles, and I layered four to six fabrics on top of it, so I had these babies cut in a matter of about 90 seconds!  Yay!
Just start playing with the arrangement as you like.  I didn't get them 'perfect' - the project Malka writes features some of them 'off kilter' deliberately.

I'm really liking the fabric - very spring-like!  I used a blue hand-dyed velvet (silk rayon) for the back, but forgot to shoot a pic of it.  It's not so fun to work with, and since this is my proto-type, I didn't mind that it wasn't matched up perfectly.  The next one will be!  I finished off the scarf edges with an elongated 'triple straight stitch' - every Bernina has one.  Check it out on yours.
And here is the finished scarf.  It would look good on a model, but since I'm not one, and it's hard to take a picture of yourself (like I would WANT to!)... this will have to do!

And the fabulous button!  Gotta have a great button!  Tied with some extra Razzle Dazzle thread just for fun.  First,  did sew it on with my Bernina 318 "Button-Sew-On" foot.  Post coming on that someday soon!

Thanks for taking a look at my 'experiment.'  It will get more polished as I work out more details.  Got lots of ideas for some more... embellishment on this little gem.

Blessings and God's Peace to you on this Sunday!

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