Two Words: Prewound Bobbins

So, I am working diligently to get everything done and organized before surgery, now just nine days away. Wow… I am both so excited and terrified at the same time!

But work continues on the braided rug made of old jeans. After finishing cutting and harvesting denim from more than a hundred and fifty pairs of jeans… probably closer to two hundred. I’ve sold the back pockets on eBay for a nice little bit and I’ve sewed together all the inseams and bottom seams and have (mostly) fashioned them into bags and purses. I say mostly because I’ve still to find a tailor or perhaps shoe repair place that can do the final seams and attach handles as my somewhat specialty sewing machines just can’t do more than twelve layers of denim and/or leather (handles or straps). I am excited about finishing them though, they are going to be tré chic when they are complete.

The three inch strips of denim are, for the most part, now combined to form reasonable lengths. It took some time and experimentation to figure it out, but I’ve landed on a length that I think will be most productive when I start braiding. I’m taking lots of photos and making tons of notes, I think I am going to do a in-depth tutorial on creating these rugs from start to finish, that is, starting at the very start to include collecting jeans and harvesting the fabric all the way through to the finished rug. So, I won’t put too much of that into these posts pre-tutorial.

IMG_3480But I did do something that I thought I’d never do while in the process of turning the three inch strips into the finished strip for braiding. And that was to buy pre-wound bobbins.

s-l1600I don’t know why, exactly, I hesitated to do so, maybe something leftover from an early home-ec class or something about being thrifty and always winding your own bobbins. And heaven knows that I have enough bobbins and don’t really need to invest in more. But I found that with all the basic sewing that I’ve been doing, I have been just going through tons of bobbins and to sit and wind bobbins seems to be the most essential waste of time. Additionally, the pre-wound bobbins that I purchased seem to be wound very efficiently, that is to say, it seems to be twice as much thread on the bobbins than when I wind them, so I find that I am not changing bobbins as often. Which is awesome… again with the amount of basic sewing I am doing, nothing is as irritating just getting into a groove of sewing just to have the bobbin run out. And as my machine is overdue for maintenance, the bobbin sensor is getting in the habit of not alerting me and I find that I can run through feet of sewing before I realize that its not stitching! Argh!

So, here is officially my stamp of approval on pre-wound bobbins. They’re not overtly expensive (I get mine off eBay), they save me both time and frustration and they are help saving my sanity! Can’t think of better reasons to use them!

So, do you use pre-wound bobbins? I’d love to get the impressions of others who do a lot of sewing. Ever tried them? What’s your take?



A Lull in the Madness

Do you ever find yourself in one of those places? Where nothing seems to energize you or interest you or gets your creative juices going? That is where I have been for the last week. Scattered and wandering around aimless.

I have a number of projects in the works; the benches being constructed from head and foot boards, which I hope to pair with a long table and a couple of ladder back chairs. Next up, two more dressers awaiting priming and painting. Along with those larger projects, I am still working my giant cross stitch.

I’ve been doing some purging in the meantime. I’ve listed a ton of my china collection on eBay. While trying to find a place for my latest collection (cut glass sugar bowls) I’ve realized that I am on the verge of becoming an honest-to-goodness hoarder. Only my hoard is for wonderful stuff (don’t they all say that?).

Over the last ten years I have collected dinnerware that both my grandmothers had, my mother’s china and of course, my own china (you know, the good stuff that never is used). I collected cookie jars, cookie cutters, cake pans (these were more for making The Kid birthday cakes, but once you have them how can you get rid of them?), buttons, beads, Lego mini-figs, PEZ dispensers (the count somewhere near a thousand), apples, old computers (with The Kid’s help), Monopoly tokens, Diet Coke stuff… heck, I could go on and on. Sometimes in this day and age of computers and eBay and Craigslist and other sites, collecting is so easy and what once starts as a harmless little collection soon becomes a huge pile. And then what do you do with it?

I don’t know if I mentioned that I have a dream of moving to Europe for a few years, but that is becoming closer to a reality every day. I look around at all the ‘stuff’ I have and try to figure out what I could do with it, and every once in a while I get sick of seeing all of it and list a bunch on eBay and start selling. Let’s just hope that there is someone out there would thinks my stuff is worth buying. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by and I promise to have something good to share soon.


One More Denim (Finished a While Ago)

I know I made the proclamation that I wasn’t going to make any more quilts in denim for a while, but I actually did complete this some time ago and have had it stashed for a while. I finally when through the inventory in the guest bedroom, I ran across this one (and one other) that I have opted to place for sale on eBay.

DSCN2298I love the nuance in the shades of the denim, and I love the idea of the life that was worn into each of the squares of denim and then rescued and displayed in the quilt. The paisley fabric I chose for the trim looks almost like bandana material, and just compliments the denim. There is a small print red heart fabric on the back that really gives the calming influence of the blues and white – a nice contrast.

photo 1For what it is worth, this is the other quilt – also finished sometime ago – and going up on eBay:

DSCN2300I used the same fabric as in the sashing for the back. This is just hard candy colors and sometimes it is just fun to play with the dynamic colors. I could see this as a quilt for a boy or a girl that just graduated from a crib to a “big kid” bed. Or to hang on the wall of a nursery or kid’s room. I hope that someone buys it and loves the colors and the happy feeling that comes from it.

Okay, that’s it for today. I am in a very weird place… kind of in-between everything. I can’t really get excited about working on anything new and really, I shouldn’t be starting anything when I have so much to finish. But I really am having a tough time really getting back to the already-started-pieces because it means that there it will require working in the garage and the temps just aren’t all that comfortable. And that is probably just an excuse, I just am unable to get motivated.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.


What’s The Secret to Etsy?

I’ve been a seller on Etsy for sometime. Well, I use the term “seller” loosely, as I just made my first (and only) sale a week or so ago. Perhaps Etsy is one of those places that server more as an inspiration for people rather than an actual place to buy goods, I am just not sure. I thought it funny, that in all of the time that I have been selling, my fees have totaled about eight and half dollars and with the first item I sold, my grand total of sales to date is $6.00. And of course, that doesn’t include the cost of actually creating that item that finally sold.

Did I tell you about an on-going little project that I finally decided to list on Etsy? I started as a whim, one of those things that I like to do when I have to have something to do with my hands while watching television… making reusable felt covers for notebooks. I don’t recall the very first one or even the first size of notebook, but I have completed nearly a hundred over time. Let me show you a few:






il_570xN.567686054_fvqsThese happen to be the notebooks that are 4″ x 6″, but I have done covers in all sizes, from 3″x4″ up to 8 1/2″ x 11″ and many sizes in between. And the covers are reusable, just slip the old notebook out and the new one… violá!

Here is the one that finally sold and was my first (and only) sale:

il_570xN.567694970_ikkb il_570xN.567694998_g8jk

By a Futurama fan, no doubt. I really don’t want to have to create a bunch of Futurama based notebooks just to get some sales, I think that the selection should appeal to a wide audience, but perhaps I overestimate. That particular notebook received quite a few ‘favorited’ and a couple of Pinterest pins.

Any way, if anyone has the keys to success with Etsy, please share?


My First Sale!

Okay, I have to admit it isn’t my first sale, but it is the first time that I’ve sold a quilt. You see, I’ve been making quilts, by the hundreds for the past 15 or so years. The first time I thought I’d try to sell a quilt, I was quite disappointed with the offer and the “bartering” that was going on. The price I was asking was barely the cost of the material and the top stitching that I had paid to have done, let alone the creativity or labor that went into it. I vowed then and there that I would never sell another quilt, rather give them to people who would love, admire and use them.

But recently, I have been thinking about my plans about what comes next and what I would do with everything that fills my house from basement to the attic rafters! So, very slowly, I have been listing some of my less cherished china and crafts, including a few quilts for sale. And my first sale of a quilt, the red one in the last post, was the first one to sell for asking price. Someone wanted what I made and was willing to pay me money! Woot!

I’ve been playing around with making “stained glass”. Actually, it is mock stained glass, but I love the look. I made some recent pieces, in addition to the lighted bottles (also in a recent post), so I thought I’d do a quick tutorial. That will be tomorrow’s post, but wanted to show you what is on the horizon.




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So, come back tomorrow and I will give you some basic instructions on how to achieve this. It took me a bit of experimenting, so you can benefit from my mistakes!

Oh, and the PowerBall estimates that the jackpot is over $400 Millions dollars. The Kid just bought the winning ticket. 🙂 Maybe I will share with you if you stop by!

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