31 July, 2016

Biking For Fabric

What can I say?
The gods of garage sales smiled at me once again.

This was the fabric sale advertised in the church parking lot on a Sunday.

 And it did fit into my tiny biking backpack.  Well - my plastic grocery bags hung off the handlebars without getting caught into the spokes....

$19 for almost 7 pounds of fabric. The little old lady was selling fabric by the pound!

$7 was for two Gutermann Toldi serger cones of thread - 2500m in off white. Sewing rope bowls used up all of my little stash of off white and here I find some more - full cones, mind you, both for less than half of what one cone would have cost new.

She had it all laid out neatly, fabrics separated by color and type. Lots of vintage cottons, from small pieces to large pieces.

See that aqua blue 1/2" stripe at front right. Yards and yards. (5?). And on top of that, the aqua and brown possibly Pendleton plaid wool. Also yards and yards.

So the airplane print is not a favorite. Obviously a juvenile home decorator print for a nursery.
There are multiple pieces in various sizes and I will list this one first. I'll keep some of the smaller bits so I can add to my collection.

I will sell the big pieces in my etsy shop and recoup my costs several times over and have loads of thread to make more rope bowls.....

Just a wee bit more than six miles on my bike today! Yay.

 I tried on my new sewing shirt and find it fits on top but is too snug at tummy.

I like the color so I'll need to think of a hack to open the width on this tshirt up a bit. Maybe with some lace. It's too long, so maybe I can cut off the bottom few inches to add them in somewhere else..
.. I'm going to send this project into dreamland for a while. Maybe do some pinning (Pinterest) to gather ideas.

30 July, 2016

Fabric Wrapped Rope Bowl

Complete with threads hanging off.

Benta and Janine challenged me to tackle fabric wrapped clothesline bowls.
I dreamed about it.

A red, white & blue bowl....

Actually, they didn't challenge me. They just thought about it. lol

This is how I start my bowls. I wrap it tight into a spiral and push straight pins in to secure.
This particular rope is a cheap one -- $5 for 100 feet, which will make a good sized bowl. It's cotton braided around a styrofoam core. I didn't have any problems sewing on it but I did use a size 14 needle. Anyhoo, my pins won't pierce the styrofoam so I insert them just enough to grab the cotton bits. The pins help to keep the spiral flat while starting the sewing.

I also put a spot of Fraycheck on the end so it doesn't 'fluff' up. You could use any glue.

I make my spiral about 2 inches in diameter and then zigzag around in tight circles and even going back over the initial circles twice and then start going round and round. It's important to have the tail come off on the right hand side so you can zigzag in a continuous spiral.

 I really didn't want to mess with strips of fabric, getting tangled trying to wrap the cording.
And I was right. It is a bother.

So, in my dreams the other night, my bowl was designed with three rounds each of red, white & blue. With the rest of the bowl being the natural cotton clothesline.

I robbed my scrap basket - no real fabric was harmed in the making of this bowl. However, blue became turquoise, because there is no other color of blue in my scrap basket.

And just plain white up to my fabric strip colors felt wrong, so I switched threads and bobbin and put some red into the bottom of this bowl when the base was still flat.

 I really like my knot finish on this bowl too.   Three stripes, three knots?

 Overall, I like this bowl.    I'm not in love with it though.

It feels unwieldy big. And the contrast between the natural white and the fabric colors is more intense. Just using thread feels more modern and trendy.

I do like how the handles were even set off the top.

I can't say that I'm done with these bowls. They are amazingly fast and give such awesome results. They feed my need to make a craft in my small amount of free time. This fabric wrapped bowl took just over two hours. Just using thread is half the time. Big bang for my creativity.

I still need to trim thread tails and this bowl will go on the completed pile.

 My friend in Japan sent me an awesome t-shirt: SEW Elaborately Days - complete with vintage sewing machine.

Last, but not least, Fabric sale tomorrow in the church parking lot (??!!).
I'm gonna take my bike (3 miles into town) so I can behave myself.
With my tiny biking backpack.


24 July, 2016

Lemon Sorbet Sunday

I made Lemon Sorbet this morning.

 I've posted about it before here and here.
I think I have the recipe down now. 

I have tried three methods to freeze it and I like the one I used today the best;

When I first made it, I did not own a ice cream churn. So I poured it into a 13 x 9  baking pan and stirred it every 15 minutes in the freezer. Lots of ice crystals.
The second time, I had found an electric  ice cream maker at one of my sales and it churned out a decent sorbet. Still some ice crystals.
I tried that method a couple of times before getting rid of it. Can you say giant box to haul out 1 -2 times a year?

Actually, it's because I read online about the ziploc within a ziploc method. You pour your ice cream mixture inside the smaller ziploc. Place inside the bigger ziploc along with ice cubes. Shake it continuously until ice cream mixture starts to thicken. Then leave in freezer and shake every 15 minutes or so to keep the ice crystals from happening.

I also made a sugar syrup to add to the coconut milk along with plenty of lemon juice from 7 Meyers lemons.
I used a box pack of coconut milk, 7 meyers lemons (zest and juice), the rest of my star anise (pulverised) and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar.

It took much longer than the one hour I originally read online. But, it's got very little ice crystals because of the constant shaking/stirring. Nummies.

I made another rope bowl today. I sold my orange one within a day of listing it on etsy.
However, the USPS decided to "deliver" it to a shared walkway/hallway of apartments in Brooklyn. My customer now has a 'neighbor' who has a very similar bowl. :-(

I made her a replica - or as close as I could. Re-sending it with a signature required. 

These are so fast and so gratifying to make. I am not done with these yet.

Hangar - straight ahead with runway off to the right. Room for table and chairs, swing, potted plants. I also have ten hanging baskets out here. The hummingbirds dive bomb us trying to get to the flowers first.

 I was sitting outside on the patio drinking my coffee this morning, planning my day.
I didn't get everything done but it has been so pleasant in the mornings out here.

We have had a mild summer so far with temps mostly below 80'. This next week, we might get to 90 --- but it is the end of July.

Tonight, once I figure out dinner, I have Lemon Sorbet to look forward to.

18 July, 2016

Mulino OPA Blueberry Pancake Breakfast

 Welcome to the annual Oregon Pilot's Association Blueberry Pancake Breakfast,

You don't need to be a pilot to enjoy my neighbor's Blueberry syrup on giant hotcakes.
Or eggs and ham (for me) with plenty of hot coffee and friends and neighbors to chat with.

I don't know if this FB event page is the right year or not, but this event is held annually on the third weekend in July.

I came after finishing my work morning (11am) so most of the planes had high-tailed it out already.

This is a Piper J-5 which is what our project plane will look like. We took some close-ups of some weird fastenings and enjoyed ourselves talking airplane.

This field isn't far from our field. We have flown in our plane in the past, but this year we drove. It's literally Take off, gain a bit of altitude, circle and turn, and land. One minute in the air, twenty minutes to drive.

And look what I spied at one of the vendors.
Sewing and airplanes! Doesn't everyone know this?

My garage sale find of the weekend. Oregon artist, unsigned. Watercolor. One buck.

17 July, 2016

Rope Tricks

 No. 4 Rope Bowl

Omg, I made a sailor's hat!    Is this too cute or what?
These bowls are totally reversible.

I sewed this one in shades of turquoise with just white on the outside. Believe it or not, I ran out of every bit of my tiny supply of off-white thread. White works too.

I was aiming for an ombre effect.

Then I used up the last of my 3/8" wide cord.
I had just under 10 feet of the 7/32" left and added it to the top of the bowl.

This ombre bowl measures about 8 inches across by 3 1/2" high - a medium-small size.
All scraps used up!

In the photo below, you can just see that change of color cord in the last two rows at the top.

I added a knot for the join and to finish the bowl off organically and hand-tacked it in place.

This is No.3 -- A Study in Orange.
This sold within a day of listing it in my Etsy shop.

I thought to add some loops to the outside and it worked quite well. This was in the 3/8" wide cording. I had to go back and re-do several spots that didn't quite catch.

 I actually quite like the heavier 7/32 on the top - it acts as a rim to the bowl.

 Rope tips;

1. I liked the 7/32" wide cotton clothesline to begin with. The 3/8 (6/32) was a tad more fiddly. It was a different brand as well.

2. In my little town, I have four stores that sell cotton clothesline. Varying in price, thickness, and strength. Buying for me and a few 'skeins' for friend in Japan has emptied the town. Yes, I could buy online. For cheaper. But I feel clothesline is one of those staples that if we buy online, we help close another brick & mortar store. {opinionated} I made four bowls out of what I bought. I'll wait until someone re-stocks to have another go at it.

3. A wide zigzag of 4.0 to 4.5 is good for catching both cords as you sew the bowl together. Again, the larger 7/32 cording was a great starter.

4. Your white or off-white thread disappears into the clothesline weave. If you wobble off your join line, go back and have another go at it.

5. I have a Pinterest board to help focus my 'organic' rope sewing.

6. While out researching my town, I was tempted by some turquoise para-cord but -- I don't like the feel of the polyester stuff and I can't imagine having a para-cord bowl sitting on my counter unless a grandchild made it and I had to. Neutral, organic, cotton clothesline gave me the feel I was after.

7. Have fun. Use up some thread spools.

I'll leave you with this.

12 July, 2016

Second Rope Bowl

 And the handle theory worked.

I was gonna throw the remaining rope out to the garage to tie up some raspberries - or something. Noticing that maybe I only used 80 feet for the big bowl, why waste the remainder of this cotton rope in the garden?

Re-threading, I tried out some metallic thread. Another tutorial had problems with it and I did at the edge of the bottom when it suddenly broke. Good time to re-thread, so I tried a variegated purple and I love how this smaller bowl turned out.

My african violet likes the bigger bowl?

 See how much smaller this bowl is?

This is how I sewed it, but I actually liked it better flipped inside out. The red at the bottom is more vibrant. This was a regular red thread in my bobbin. The metallic adds a subtle degree of sparkle but it was banished to the bottom as being too subtle.

I managed to get the handles equidistant but one was bigger than the other.

There are no mistakes with this bowl making. I threw it back under the presser foot and sewed the handle to the body for perhaps 3/8" and Ta-Da!


Kathy's notes::::  This smaller bowl sewn with 4.8 width on the metallic, with 4.5 on thread change-over.    Length was 3.0 - 3.5

****Sandra was also thinking about sewing a rope bowl and had some good questions:::

Her inquiry;    "I've seen different versions of those bowls on Pinterest and I've been dying to try making one, if I can find the supplies for a reasonable price (which isn't always an easy job here in $$Canadaland$$!).  Yours is gorgeous - did you just know automatically (by feel, maybe) when to start shaping and how much to angle the rows, or did it take a while for your brain to work it out?  How hard was it on your hands and shoulders?  I get terribly hunched shoulders when I freemo quilt (although I haven't done it now in years) but my main problem now is my hands - they tend to get cranky. "

My long-winded answer:::
It took a solid hour - maybe 1 1/4 hours to make the first one. The smaller one took 15 minutes.

 I had been thinking about it for months. I knew I did NOT want to try the fabric wrapped version. Other than securing the bottom and angling the bowl 'plate' UP at 6". it was very organic. Look again at my Pinterest board. I added some ideas. Odd # stripes is from landscaping and window dressing advice: group in 3's and/or 5's.

You can only sew until your bobbin runs out. I used five on the the large bowl, most of two on the small bowl.

The body hurt is all at the beginning where you are hunched over trying to get the zigzag to catch both coils. When you angle the bowl up and start the shaping, then you can consciously sit tall in your sewing chair, relax, and find your sewing rhythm. My clear foot has two red dots on it on either side of the center 'opening' (toes). I working on letting the dots guide me.

Easier to get tense at beginning because of the curve sewing.

Because of the bobbin changes, it's easy to take breaks. The design was very organic.

I would say the body hurt of FMQ is way worse. All of these people who have awesome quilts send their quilts OUT to be FMQ'ed. They don't do all the work themselves.

Good questions!

**** lucky me: I have four places in my small town to buy cotton clothesline. 2nd and 3rd places were cheaper. I am trying some 3/16" wide stuff now. The first rope was 7/32" diameter - so a little bigger. I'll hit up the 4th place in the next day or so.