A new sewing tool.

It’s always exciting to find a new sewing  tool. One of my recent discoveries is a new marking pen.  When I’m sewing projects there are always things to mark.  Sometimes it’s a cutting line.  Sometimes it’s a place to join another piece of fabric.  There are times that it’s necessary to mark the front or the back.  There are various ways to mark any of these things.  Sometimes it’s appropriate to make a notch in the fabric.  There are times I’ve used tailor tacks.  You can use marking chalk’s or marking pens.  There are several different types of marking pens including water-soluble or air soluble.  I’ve also used  marking wheels and tracing paper.  Another method of marking is actually stitching him a line without any thread.  This can be handy as a guide to turn a hem.  You can also use an iron to make a press mark or simply finger press a fold. 

The current new sewing tool that I’m using for marking are pens made by Pilot. These Frixion Gel Pens are like magic.  You can mark with them on fabric and then simply press with a hot iron and the marks go away.  They are so fast and easy to use and the different colors make them easy to use on fabric.  It’s too bad my children are all grown up.  I’m sure they would’ve loved to use these pens to write secret messages.  I can imagine all the fun, they would’ve had when playing with their friends.  Hmm…  maybe this should be a little something extra they get for a birthday or Christmas

 

A Kindle Envelope

We’ve had several Kindle devices floating around this house in the past week.  I have a Kindle with the keyboard, a daughter has a Kindle Touch and Hubby has a Kindle Fire.  Two of the three also have traveling “jackets”.  Nice if you have to tuck it in a purse or a bag.  It just feels a bit more protected.  The daughter with the Kindle Touch lives out-of-state and hers is “jacketless”  I really wanted to remedy that but due to circumstances like being sick as well as birthdays and holidays it didn’t happen when she was here.  I have thought about it however and contemplated what I should do.

Alas.. holidays to the rescue!  One thing I did receive was a new die for my AccuQuilt cutting system.  I have had the AccuQuilt for several weeks but not really had a change to use it due to the aforementioned sickness, holidays etc.  I pulled several fabrics from my stash, cut a few shapes and sat at the sewing machine.  What I decided to do with the pieced blocks was run a strip down the center of a rectangular piece, sandwich a piece of batting in the middle and then a lining piece.  I made the entire piece and then just folded it like an envelope and stitched the sides.  My thinking was that is will protect the Kindle but still be easy to remove the device and slide it back inside when it travels in a bag or pocket. The envelope does not have velcro or any closure but is stitched down at the corners so it creates a bit of a pocket in the top.  If it’s easy to use, it probably will get used.  I’m never sure when I make things for other people if they will find the item useful but I get great pleasure from it and that is satisfying in itself.

Just a Slice..

During the summer I bought a die cutter to do applique faster and more easily.  I used it a couple of times and put it away because I had trouble getting all the pieces to cut correctly and I had some adhesive that didn’t work well.  I decided with Christmas gifts on the horizon I needed to get it out again and see if I could remedy the problems and have some fun.  I’ve had mixed success.  I had both Heat and Bond and also some Wonder Under which are iron on fusible that act like double stick tape.  I also tried some spray on adhesive on the cutting mat rather than the liquid that came with the machine.  I also ordered a Christmas die from the Internet as these no longer seem to be available in the area stores.  I certainly with they were easier to find because I would certainly buy some more.

I found that the machine seems to prefer the Wonder Under so I just bought more of that.  I also realized that because this machine will cut paper for scrapbooking as well as fabric, that some of the cuts are not easily stitched around due to the intricacies and the fine detail.  This has led to some experimentation with the applique.  Instead of a solid applique stitch I’ve done some regular zig zag and also some of the machine stitches that look like hand stitching.  I also tried a free form straight stitch that loosely follows the outline of the applique.  This seems to be a very popular style right now.  I’m looking forward to trying some more.  Weekend.. here we come!

A quick gift

A friend is having a birthday and I wanted to make a quick gift.  One pair of fleece socks was included but also some pouches for carrying things.  It seems everyone has a phone and various ways of carrying their phones.  When you get a new phone invariably it’s a different size than the last phone.  That creates the problem of transportation.  Now with  smartphones and the big screens, how do you carry them if you don’t carry a purse or have the right size pocket. The kids often travel with a backpack or book bag and throw the phone in the bottom of the bag. The goal here was a little bag to add some protection to the phone and the screen.  I made three different kinds of pouches not knowing for sure which the  recipient would prefer.  I also don’t know for sure if they always have a plastic cover on  the phone as this too will determine the fit.  I also am guessing on the exact size of the phone.  I think it’s about the same size as mine but I don’t know for sure.  Although I started with the same size pattern for all the pouches they all ended up different sizes due to the construction process.  Two of them have zippers and the other is a snap type pouch.  I’m thinking at least one of them will work for the phone and the others will have other uses. This was a fun project and I think I’ll  be making more pouches.

New phone

My phone was more than two years old and like most tech related things two plus years is a long time.  I bit the bullet and upgraded to a fancy new smartphone.  This is an Android phone and not an iPhone. Now I’m really hoping this smartphone is not smarter than me.  It’s bigger and can do a multitude of things.  One of the first projects that I did was for work.  I created a real estate flyer for an agent that needed a QR code.  If you’re not familiar with QR (quick response) codes they are the little boxes you see on items that are filled with other little boxes.

QR Code

This is a QR code for this blog.  If you use the bar code reader or QR code reader on your smartphone, it will take you directly to this website.  On the agent flyers the QR code will take you directly to a video tour of the home she has listed.  What a great marketing tool This is an easy way to add information to a piece of paper that makes it easy to get to a web address.  You could even use it to go to a poem, a song or anything else that has online information.

My kids and husband have been full of suggestions as to other apps that I need to put on this phone. My music son was impressed that I had Slacker already loaded.  I was lucky, that came pre-loaded. He also suggested Evernote.  This is a notepad tool and I can see this being handy also.  My husband has many apps on his phone so I guess I’ll have to see what else he thinks I should have.  He’s already added a couple more bar code readers.  I haven’t checked with my daughters yet.  I know that they both use bus tracker apps. This will give real time bus arrival information.  Do you have a phone with apps?  Which ones do you use most often and can’t live without?  A new adventure is just beginning.