Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sewing] Sewing Pattern Line Art

Hi friends, for the last few weeks I have been spending time building a new sewing pattern collection! My goal for this collection is to focus on a wearable wardrobe that fits my current lifestyle, true body frame and reflects my sewing skills.  In the past when I shopped for sewing patterns I focused on the colorful front picture of the envelope featuring the garment made up in a beautiful fabric often wore by a equally gorgeous fashion model!  This time around I have used the sewing pattern line art as my guide for choosing patterns.

I have found that the line art gives me a true silhouette of the featured garment helping me to better determine if the garment will attractively fit my body frame.

I also found that line art highlight all types of the seam lines, darts, sleeves, pockets, plackets, slits, closures of the garment allowing me to determine if I have the sewing skills to complete the garment.

Now with each sewing pattern purchase I take time to read the pattern envelope and guideline sheets.  I make notes on the front envelope cover to help me remember useful tips for future construction of the garment and to aid me in purchasing the "right" fabric for the project.

It has really helped that Hobby Lobby had a 99 cent sale on Simplicity patterns and Joann's had a 99 cent sale on McCall's patterns this week.  I brought this wardrobe essential at Walmart for affordable price!

Thanks for visiting my blog and comments are warmly welcomed!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Needlecraft| Counted Cross-Stitch Moon &Stars

Welcome friends, take a look at my Moon & Stars counted cross-stitch project!

I love the way the snow white embroidery floss pops against the black Aida cloth!  The pattern for Moon and Stars can be found in the book, "Cross-Stitch to Calm" by Leah Lintz. (To find the book click here: Cross-Stitch to Calm.)

Enjoy your crafting and thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Crochet| Sophisticated Square Doily

Hello everyone!  Take a look at my Sophisticated Square Doily that I finished crocheting in June 2017.

I crocheted this doily using Aunt Lydia's Bamboo Crochet Thread.  The thread is so smooth and silky; however, unfortunately this thread has been discontinued.  The "free" crochet pattern for this pattern is by Kristen Stoltzfus.  The pattern can be found on Redheart. (click this link

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sewing| Flamingo Shirt

Hello friends, I am pleased to present my Flamingo Shirt!

This shirt was so much fun to make.  I made it in June 2017 as part of the Make a Garment a Month Sew-Along hosted by Sarah Liz creative head of Sarahlizsewstyle Blog.  (Click here to visit sarahlizsewstyle.)

I followed sewing techniques from Craftsy "The Classic Shirt Tutorial," used Simplicity 1538 pattern and the fabric is Flamingo by Brother Sister Design Studio Line from Hobby Lobby Stores.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Quilting| English Paper PiecingTravel Kit

Hello everyone!  I have fallen in love with a new craft, English Paper Piecing, a hand stitched technique that uses templates cut in a variety of shapes to create beautiful patchwork pieces.  For my first project, I have made an English Paper Piecing Travel Kit following the tutorial of Haley Pierson-Cox creative head of the blog Red-Handled Scissors.

What do I love about English Paper Piecing (or EPP for short)?  To my great surprise, I totally love the hand stitching.  In this project I learn how to tack stitch, whip stitch and ladder stitch!  Working with hexagons to make the pretty patchwork flower was delightful.

I also love that English Paper Piecing is very portable craft.  An EPP project fits nicely into my little travel kit and I can happily work on that project during a long car ride, waiting in the doctor's lobby or even on my lunch break it work!

Click here (Tutorial: English Paper Piecing Travel Kit) to link to Haley's tutorial.

Thanks for visiting with me!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Quilting| Slash & Half-Square Triangle Quilt Blocks

Hi friends!  I have been away from blogging for quite some time.  I am returning but keeping it very simple.  Here we go.... I'm working on quilt blocks from the Craftsy Block of the Month 2012 Feature with Amy Gibson.  I plan to make 20 blocks that technique - half-square triangles, string quilting, basic applique, foundation and English paper piecing, curved piecing and more.  In the end I plan to have a colorful throw-sized quilt!  Here are the blocks I have made in July 2017:

Block 1: The Aterisk Block - This is a "slash" block.

Block 2: The Wonky Pound Sign Block - This is also a "slash" block.

Block 3: The Balkan Puzzle Block - I made this block using the magic half-square triangle method used by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Block 4: The Chunky Chevron Block - I made this block using the drawn-line half square triangle method.  I used Fons & Porter Quarter Inch Seam Markers to make line drawing a breeze.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday's Minute| Regina's Crafting Motto

Welcome to Monday's Minute: Regina's Crafting Motto

Hello Friends. This little motto is how I am currently managing by crafting world!

Have a great week crafting!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Apron Making| Motor Speedway Apron

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Hello friends!  Today, I share with you my handmade Motor Speedway Apron!

Did you know that I am a NASCAR Fan?  I simply love the sport.  I'm a fan of Jimmie Johnson, seven-times champion at NASCAR's highest level, driver of #48 Lowe's.  I've cheered the drivers from the stands of the Kentucky Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway.  Well heck, I've even participated in a drive-along on the Kentucky Speedway because I'm just that kind of girl! (Hahaaaa)

What I Did:  I drafted the apron pattern from the book, "The Perfect Apron" by Rob Merritt.  I simply adore this waist apron with its victory lane patchwork to which I added green bias trimming to signal a beautiful start, like the green flag waving a the speedway.  I underlined my apron in black and white check, symbolic of the winner's flag!

What I Used:
1. Novelty Cotton Fabric - Victory Lane Patchwork from Joann Fabric.
2. Keepsake Calico - Cotton Fabric - Large Check, Black and White from Joann Fabric.
3. Green Bias Tape.

I wonder if Danica Patrick, the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, driver of #10  Aspen Dental, would like this apron?!?  Happy crafting everyone!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Regina's Life| A Fabulous Week

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Hi Friends!  Have you ever had a week that was just fabulous?  Well, it was one of those weeks for me. Just Look!:

1. Went to Studio BBC in Nashville, Tennessee and got a great new haircut.  I'm loving my new bangs.  Fatima Hunter-Brown is my stylist and she does fabulous work!

2. Went to the Metro Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee  to see Sting in his 57th & 9th Tour.  It was an awesome concert!

3. Spent quality time in my sewing studio.  I'm experiencing so much happiness since changing my crafting focus!

4.  Experiencing much excitement with the progress of my Windmill Quilt.  It's a log cabin quilt and this is my layout.  I have four more blocks to complete!

Wishing everyone a great weekend. Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Crafting| My Crafting World

For several months I've been contemplating the direction of my crafting. I've found myself starting many projects but not finishing them, bringing myself to near tears over the techniques of a project, staring at unused fabrics, yarns, patterns in my stash collection and feeling guilty that those items had not been touched since I purchased them.  I begin to wonder if my choice of projects were a reflection of what I truly loved to do or if they were a result of seeing a project on social media and thinking I should be doing that project because “everybody else is.”  I found that I could simply not follow that path anymore.

I've asked myself, “What do I truly want from my crafting experience?” and “What really makes me happy spending time and resources doing?”  I looked around my house and noticed the pretty Heart Pinwheel Quilt on the bed in my master bedroom, cross-stitch projects hanging on a cork-board in my sewing studio, a handmade crochet scarf hanging from a hook in the hallway, a Valentine Apron draped on my dress-form, and my handmade Charm Square Handbag resting on the sofa.  I've found that I love making and designing aprons, working with needle arts such as cross-stitch, embroidery and crochet, constructing handbags and making simple, beautiful quilts.  I now find much happiness in bringing my crafting skills to smaller projects making them simply beautiful!

In that same search around the house I found an unfinished shirt project hanging in my sewing room closet, apparel fabric that has been stashed for in a cardboard for a couture techniques dresses and a French Jacket project.  To my surprise I've honestly found I do not want to work on complicated, time projects.  My past goal of making a French jacket with couture techniques or spending hours mastering fit no longer bring me crafting joy.  When I looked in my wardrobe closet I found that the “me-made items” I have loved and keep over the years were “simple-to-make” and “easy to wear!” In the future, when I do sew apparel, it will be knit maxi skirts with elastic waistbands, simply-designed dresses and easy-to-make pullover tops.  I want to make sure I'll end up with something “I really love and really find joy in making!”

I've also questioned the way I am consuming.  Why do I keep buying more patterns, fabric, yarn and not using what I already have in my stash collection?  I've taken the time to slowly and honestly weed through my stash and found there were many purchases made because “I saw it on social media and thought I should be doing it or have it too!”  Therefore I took a deep breathe, gathered some boxes and packed away yarns brought for crochet planned color pooling, fabrics and notions purchased for couture/tailoring projects, etc., etc. and donated it all to Goodwill.  Yeah I did!  I am now happily left with a stash that truly reflects my crafting goals; quilting cottons, embroidery flosses, knit fabrics, finger weight and DK weight yarns and colorful skeins cotton yarn.  It pleases my heart to look at my collection of mini cross-stitch kits that were purchased at under $3.00 each and the happiness I will have making them.  I've made a vow to stop overwhelming myself with more purchases of crafting items and to focus on using what I currently have.

I am sharing this story of “My Crafting World” with you because my “new crafting outlook” will be reflected in my Blog.  I hope you will continue to follow me, enjoy reading my posts and share a comment to me every once and a while.  Wishing everyone much happiness.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sewing| Regina's Updated Wardrobe Pattern Collection

Hello Friends, Lately I have been updating my wardrobe pattern collection.  I have challenged myself by asking five questions of each pattern:

1. Does this pattern currently fit into my lifestyle?
2. Should a 55 year-old really be wearing this style? (Yes Jocasta, your mother considered this. Ha Ha!)
3. Can I complete a project from the pattern within a weekend?
4. Can I locally purchase the fabrics and notions for this pattern?
5. Will making this pattern drive me to tears or give me joy making it?

These are the patterns in my updated collection:

I look forward to sharing with you the projects I make from this updated collection!  Are any of these patterns in your collection?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Needlecraft| Royal Icing Double Crochet Scarf

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Hi friends!  Here's my handmade Royal Icing Double Crochet Scarf!  This scarf is made with a skein of fabulous Caron Cakes Yarn.

What I Used

What I Did
One skein of Caron Cakes features 5 bright colors.  My skein of Royal Icing featured the colors: royal blue, chocolate brown, bone, tan and gold.  I worked the body of my scarf in double stitch crochet with color blocks of 16 rows each in the following sequence: tan, bone, chocolate brown, gold, bone and tan. I used the royal blue from the skein as fringe for my scarf!

Wishing everyone a joyous and "crafty" Feburary!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Needlecraft| Counted Cross Stitch Shoe Envy

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Hello friends!  Just look at my cute little cross stitched red high heel shoe.
I'm certain this little project will cause "Shoe Envy!"

What I Used:
Bucilla Counted Cross Stitch Kit, Shoe Envy.  The kit contains, 3in x 3in frame, 14ct 100% cotton white Aida cloth, red and black cotton floss, needle and graph chart.  The finished size of my project is 2.5in x 2.5in.

Happy Crafting Everyone!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Quilting| Flashback Friday, Pinwheel Heart Quilt

Hello friends, it's Flashback Friday. I want to share with you my 2015 Pinwheel Heart Quilt.

I learn to make my Pinwheel Heart Quilt from the blog, First Light Designs, by following the post: The Twister Heart Tutorial (I Love Paris).

Dawn White of First Light Designs, gives excellent instructions on how to make an interlocking pinwheel heart quilt using a 6 1/2" square acrylic ruler with blocks that finish at 6".

Dawn also includes instructions on how to add a row of pinwheels at the bottom of the quilt using the smaller of the two Lil' Twister Tools made by CS Designs.  Those blocks finish at 3".

A black and white diamond print backing was applied to my quilt which I had machine quilted. I hand stitched red and black binding to the edges!

Happy crafting everyone and truly enjoy the month of February.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Crafting| Works in Progress January 2017

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Hi friends.  January 2017 has been "The Month of Works In Progress!"  I have not posted much on the blog this month but I wanted to share with you what I have been working on.

I have been taking small, very slow steps working on my very 1st Archer Button Up!  To complete the project I need to attach the collar stand/collar, the sleeve cuffs, add buttonholes and buttons.

Pink has become my color of choice for 2017 and that is reflected in the Caron Cake Crochet Cowl I am making.

Cross-Stitch has become a major love of mine! I am making small victories in learning new stitch patterns with this Cross-Stitch Sampler.

Last but not least, I am halfway through crocheting a Twilight Woven Stitch Scarf to match my hat!

See you in Feburary 2017.  Happy sewing and crafting to all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Needlecraft Wednesday| Twilight Blue Basket Weave Crochet Hat

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Hi Friends!  Here's my Twilight Blue Basket Weave Crochet Hat!  The weather has been so windy that I need this hat to keep my hair from flying all over the place.  Hahaaa!

What I Used

What I Did

  • Stitches - Front Post Double Crochet, Back Post Double Crochet, Half Double Stitch Crochet
  • Skill Level - Easy
  • Finished Size - Fits 21 inch head circumference
I'm currently working on the scarf to this set.  Hope you are doing well and happily crafting!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday's Minute| Sewing Thread Weights

Welcome To Monday's Minute: Sewing Thread Weights

I love collecting various types of sewing thread.  I recently learn that sewing threads can classified with a weight number.  If you look at the label or the rim of the thread spool you can often find the weight number listed.  The higher the weight number the thinner the thread.  The lower the weight number the thicker the thread.  The most common thread weight numbers are 60wt, 50wt, 40wt, and 12wt.

  • Polyester 50 Weight: Used for sewing garments, handbags, furnishings; common brands are those you most often see in the big thread display cases in fabric stores such as Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sewing Plans| January 2017

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Hello friends!  Today I am sharing my Sewing Plans for January 2017. The sharing of sewing plans will be a new monthly feature of my blog. 

Project Shirt: The Archer Button Up, View B, by Grainline Studio using Gertie Collection Fabrics, Chambray Pink Roses.

Project Shirt: The Archer Button Up, View A, by Grainline using Red Tartan Plaid Flannel.

Project Apron:  McCall's Pattern 6132, View C - Shoe Apron using 100% cotton fabrics, which I will list on future post.

Project Skirt:  Singing the Blues Drawstring Skirt from Sew What! Skirts using Buttercream, Stella Collection Cotton Fabric, Large Floral Metallic.

Please return to Handmade By Regina to see my sewing progress throughout January 2017.  Wishing you a happy month of sewing!