Thursday, January 31, 2013

Victorian Modern Quilt Along has begun!

Whether you are an avid quilter or just looking to learn this is the quilt along for you!  I'm hosting a Victorian Modern Video Quilt Along on my YouTube channel and today is the day I share with you the details of how to make Block #1.

{Note: Keep reading for info on an amazing sale offer from just for Crafty Gemini followers. }
If you are just coming across this info be sure to click HERE to read the first post in the series.  Your fabric supply list and other important details are included there. Now to the fun!

So, this quilt is made up of only two blocks- Block #1 and Block #2.  You make six of each and add some sashing and that's the quilt top! Easy peasy! This week we are working on making our six Block #1 units.

Heads up! The video is over 21 minutes long!  It's super in depth and perfect for the quilting newbie.  Even if you are not participating in this quilt along I hope think you will gain something from my tutorial.
Some of what you can expect to learn is:
•How to layout fabrics
•How to use rulers to cut precise units
• A very handy two-ruler trick
•Beginner tips on sewing scant 1/4" seams
• Beginner tips on measuring scary fractions (3/8", 5/8" 7/8")
• How to pin patchwork pieces
• Abutting intersecting seams
• Pressing patchwork pieces and setting seams
• How to sew scant 1/4" seams
• In what order you should piece the full block
• Measuring units and trimming to size
• Strip piecing technique to save you time and thread
and more!

I'm confident this video is jam packed with helpful information and tips.  

I also announce last week's giveaway winners and reveal this week's giveaway where two more lucky winners will win some great stuff- a Victorian Modern fat quarter bundle and an EZ Quilting 3 ruler set in the sizes I recommend every quilter start with- 6.5" square, 9.5" square and 6.5" x 24"{my all-time favorite ruler}.  

For a limited time is offering Crafty Gemini followers an AWESOME deal to stock up on your quilting tools!

For a limited time only use discount code: CRAFTYQ20 and you'll get 20% off quilting tools and FREE standard shipping. Discount code expires next Thursday, February 7, 2013 and is valid on orders shipping in USA only.
Click HERE to watch the video and don't forget to do your quilty homework! I'll meet you back here next week for the tutorial on Block #2!

Online Quilting Class

Online Quilting Class

Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Dolman Style T-Shirt Video Tutorial

You asked for more garment making tutorials so here it is!  My latest video where I show you how to make a super easy dolman style t-shirt from a custom pattern you will make yourself.  All you need is a t-shirt that fits.

I tried to keep this project simple in order to encourage beginners to give it a go!  There are tons of ways to make a top like this so I'm just sharing with you one way.  Feel free to customize the pattern and techniques I teach any way you want to help make this shirt your own!

The fabric I prefer to work with for a project like this is a lightweight cotton jersey or a semi-sheer knit fabric.  Here is an example of another top I made with the same pattern using a lightweight houndstooth print jersey fabric.
Got this pink/purple houndstooth knit fabric for $2.50/yd on clearance! LOVE IT!
Watch the video to see another variation I did with sheer black lace.  The possibilities are endless and it's such a fun and easy project! If you've been too intimidated by the idea of sewing your own clothes... don't be!  With my step-by-step video instructions I'm confident you can do it!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: I'm offering up one Curvey ruler in this tutorial to one lucky reader. Thanks to my local friend, CraftyBev  for offering up this great giveaway prize. Please watch the video for details on how to enter the giveaway. Giveaway ends on Saturday, Feb 2, 2013 at 11:59PM EST.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Victorian Modern Quilt Along & Giveaways!

Today is the day! I can finally reveal what I've been working on for you! It's a new quilt along with a bunch of giveaways from some great sponsors.

I've designed this quilt to use Victorian Modern by Andover Fabrics. This is a brand-spanking new fabric line that actually hits the shelves today!

The quilt looks a lot harder than it really is. No worries. It's a confident beginner level quilt and I will walk you through every step of the way to create the quilt top. So you will be fine!  It will finish 58" x 76.5" so it will be a good sized quilt! I will post a new video in the quilt along series every Thursday until we are done with the quilt. So, go out and get your fabrics and supplies and I'll meet you back here next Thursday to start making our first quilt block.

Watch the video to find out how we are going to get such a large quilt from only 12 blocks! It's one of my secret weapons for making quilts when you don't have time to cut out teeny tiny and complex patchwork pieces. I'm a busy mom, what can I say? Gotta cut corners somewhere!

Here is the complete list of fabrics you will need from the Victorian Modern fabric line to create the exact same quilt I will be making and walking you through:
5986-PY: 1/2 yard
5986- B: 1/2 yard
5982-YE: 1/4 yard
5983-Y: 3/4 yard
5987-YE: 1/2 yard
5987-B: 3/4 yard
5981-P: 1/4 yard
5986-YE: 1/4 yard
5983-B: 1/4 yard
5983-G: 1.5 yards (for sashing)
5986-G: 1/2 yard
5981-G: 3/4 yard
5981-B: 3/4 yard
5985-G: 1/4 yard
5982-G: 1/4 yard
5983-P: 1/4 yard

In this first video of the Victorian Modern Quilt Along I share all the details about the quilt design, what we will be doing and how it's going to work.  Thanks to our generous sponsors we are offering up giveaways every week in this quilt along series.

Check them out when you get a chance:

Watch the video for details on this week's giveaways and how to enter. Click HERE to watch the video.

Here are a few snapshots of the giveaway prizes I'll be mailing off to some of you in the coming weeks! Exciting stuff!
Victorian Modern Quilt Kit
Fiskars Ergo Control Rotary cutter & Fiskars 24" x 36" cutting mat

Two Victorian Modern by Andover Fabrics Fat Quarter Bundles
Fiskars Ergo Control Rotary Cutter
3 ruler sets by EZ quilting by Simplicity {6.5" x 6.5", 9.5" x 9.5" and 6.5" x 24"}

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I can hardly contain myself!  I've been working hard on a new project for you and although I can't spill the beans just yet... here's a sneak peek from the video I just finished editing!

...and yes, it involves GIVEAWAYS from all these awesome sponsors!

The video will be posted tomorrow so be sure to check back for the full details on this fun new adventure.  I hope you'll join in on the fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fabric Paper Towel Roll- DIY Tutorial

You have probably already seen a project like this in the blogosphere or on Pinterest because they are all the rave now.  Not sure why.... but I've had dozens of requests for this tutorial.  So, here it is!

If you love it, pin it!
A cute and eco-friendly way to save money and paper!  No more paper towels!

These are really just a fancier way of using a towel in the kitchen... but they are so darn cute that who can resist?!  In this video I show you how I make them using thrifted old towels that I can usually get for $0.10 to $0.25 at thrift stores and yard sales.  If you have old stained or hole-y towels this would be a great way to repurpose them!
For the backing fabric I used some flannel I had in my stash.  This is a great beginner project because you only need to sew straight lines.  I do recommend using a walking foot for your machine because of the bulky terry cloth (towel) and flannel layers.  It will help feed the fabrics through the machine more evenly than your basic universal presser foot.  But if you don't have a walking foot, that's okay.  Just pin heavily to keep your fabrics from moving too much on you.

Need a walking foot? Click HERE to get one for your machine.
You can keep your towels just as they are when you finish sewing the squares or you can choose to add snaps like I did here to get the cool roll up effect just like a paper towel!  You will need a snap kit for this step.  {side note: I don't recommend using velcro (hook-and-loop tape) because it will get messy when the threads from the terry cloth get all caught in the hook part of it in the wash.} So, yeah... stick with the snaps.  If you don't have a snap kit yet click HERE for info on purchasing the exact same kit I have and have used for over 4 years. They are great and the snaps hold up in the washer and dryer.  These are the same snaps I use on cloth diapers. 

Well, what are you waiting for? Click HERE to watch the step-by-step tutorial. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Vintage Singer 66 is BACK!

My new baby is back from Johnny's shop and she's running like a D-R-E-A-M! This man is such a sweetie!  Apparently, he got word that I mentioned him in this post so he cleaned and polished all the chrome parts and restored the Godzilla (black crinkle) finish on the machine.... for FREE!  She looks like a brand new machine. I could not be happier! See for yourself with this before and after picture.

AMAZING work he did, eh?! If you are in the North Central Florida area and are looking to have a vintage machine serviced or are on the market for one check him out at The Old Sewing Machine Man website. He also sells parts and accessories for machines and ships worldwide.  He does great work and it's very affordable!

We've sewn on it a bit and W-O-W! First, you can barely hear the machine running!  Definitely cannot compare it to any of my newer machines.  This baby just purrs. It sounds like a treadle machine.  Which is kinda crazy to me since it has a motor! But yeah, so so quiet.

The stitch quality on this machine is RIDICULOUS! And it sews through so many layers of fabric! I plan to do a video review of the machine soon and will show you what it can sew through. 

Well, I'm off to work in the garden with the kids so I'll leave you with some pictures of my new baby!


My 1938 Singer 66-18 {electric} sewing machine.
Love the scrolling detail on the front plate! GORGEOUS!
Online Quilting Class

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY Duct Tape Dress Form DOs & DON'Ts & a GIVEAWAY

I have been wanting to try my hand at making a DIY duct tape dress form for a long time. I decided to take advantage that my mom was in town and had her tape me up! Since this was my first time doing this I didn't want to spend a lot of money and bought some cheap rolls of duct tape at a local hardware store.  You can also get some online, HERE.

We gave it a try and although it's not very pretty looking it does seem to hold my proper measurements in the bust, waist and hip areas. I decided to put together a short video {see end of post} sharing with you my experience in creating this dress form and some DOs and DON'Ts to consider.  I definitely plan to make a better and sturdier one but for now I can use this one for creating simple tops.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!  My mom and I were having trouble ripping the duct tape with our bare hands because it would shred at times, not cut all the way through and all those little threads start getting everywhere.  Then we tried cutting the strips with a regular pair of scissors and that was a mess!  It gets stuck and twists up and doesn't even cut through the tape... Then I realized I had a pair of THESE scissors in my stash and they worked like a charm!  I just had to tell you about them and I also get to give away 3 pairs! More details below!

To buy your own pair of the Westcott non-stick scissors I'm giving away click HERE and HERE.

Giveaway info:
Deadline: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.
Details: Open to worldwide viewers. All details are included in video. Click HERE to view and enter. 
{Note: Entries posted to this blog post WILL NOT be counted in the giveaway.  To enter you must leave your comment on the YouTube video page which can be accessed HERE.}
Getting duct taped up!
Here are some of the DIY dress form tutorials I came across in my research:

Do you have a favorite duct tape or brown paper tape dress form tutorial? Have you made your own dress form?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vintage Singer 66 STEAL!

I just have to share this with you because I'm so excited! My mom came up from Orlando today because she's staying the weekend with us.  We usually run out with the kids to see what goodies she's brought for them. But she opens up her car to tell me what she got ME.  She tells me to close my eyes and when I open them... BAM!

My new baby! A vintage 1938 electric Singer 66. 

 AH!!!! Can you imagine how exciting that was for me!? I'm so in love!  Then she tells me she got it at a thrift store where they were asking $65 for it {in the original cabinet and all!} Being the hustler that she is my mom was able to walk out the door with this baby for a measly $25! I couldn't believe it! WOW! Thanks, mom!

Stitch length selector- the numbers correspond to how many stitches per inch you can get.
We almost immediately called the only semi-local guy I know that works specifically on vintage machines and drove the 45 miles to take it right to him. If you are in the North Central FL area he is great! His name is Johnny Johnston, The Old Sewing Machine Man and you can click HERE for his website. He sells parts, machines and services any non-computerized machine and is waaaaaay more affordable than any other place I've researched. He is located between Gainesville and Ocala.

I love that I can take him this machine and he knows exactly what it is, when it was made, and what it needs.  From the looks of it she only needs a new belt, the front slide cover for the bobbin area, a thread spool, etc.  Some really inexpensive things. The motor runs great! So, we'll see!

I did a little research and here's what I found out:

-Based on the serial number beginning with the letters AE873756 the Singer website says this machine was made in 1938! (75 years old)

- It's a Singer 66-18. The "18" signifies that it is the electrical version of the Singer 66 which was also made as a treadle machine.

- It has a black crinkle finish which is an industrial type finish. It is very hard and is baked on the machine. This black crinkle finish is also referred to as the Godzilla finish.

- This machine does NOT have a back tack (back stitching) feature and definitely no zig-zag.  Just a straight stitch. From the looks of it the Singer 66s made in 1940 and beyond had the back stitching functionality. 

- The foot pedal as shown in the picture below looks like it's just hanging and the cord is not long enough to reach the floor. The reason is that the foot pedal was set up on the right side inside the cabinet and was used by pushing the foot pedal knob in with your knee.

Singer 66-18 in what seems to be the original cabinet with pedal hanging.

I can't wait to get her back and try sewing on her.  I looked up some YouTube videos and this guy Vince has a bunch on this exact model (his is from 1940) and shows how it sews right through 10 layers of denim like nothing! Check him out HERE.

I know I'm not the only one who collects sewing machines! How about you? Do you have a vintage machine in your collection?
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