AtoZ Challenge...ZigZag or Chevron Bags

Does it matter?  It all depends on who you are talking to.  Old School Sewing Gals, like me, know this pattern as 'Zig Zag'.

It's been around for ages and once the Zig Zag stitch came out on sewing machines,  Zig Zag became a universal term.  How do you say it in Spanish, German, Swedish etc?  Zig Zag!!!

What about Chevron?  In Texas, it's where you fill up your gas tank.  Yes, I know it has origins in ancient heraldry, and does appear on several of my Ancestors Coat of Arms.

After all is discussed and done over terminology, it comes down to knowing the pattern can be called either or.  Thank goodness, cause the fabric world has been flooded with ZigZag/Chevron patterns.  I'm a fan!

Aren't the colors fantastic?  The fabric weight is 'Duck' or light weight canvas.  Perfect for bags.  Oh, and these are two of  my latest bag designs.

I have TWO styles in this bag.  This one which functions as a purse with a padded phone pocket embedded in the front panel.  It is designed for easy access to your cell phone. 

A loop for hooking your keys hangs from the interior strap on the same side as the phone pocket.  The inside has two 'Triangle Pockets' for separating your wallet and small make-up bag.

No more digging to the bottom or dumping everything out to find your stuff.

The other style is an All Purpose Tote with the Quilter/Knitter/Crocheter in mind.  It works great for small to medium sized projects to take along when you travel or join a 'Sit and Sew' group.  It has two triangle pockets on the inside for keeping your Needle Case and Tool Bag separated.  The entire bag has a layer of batting sandwiched between the exterior and the inside lining.  The strap is a comfortable width on your shoulder or can be carried on your arm with ease. 
How about you...do you Zig Zag?


AtoZ Challenge...YoYo Flower Maker

Not so long ago I stated I never wanted to make a YoYo quilt due to what a pain it is to cut out a kabillion circles, turn down an 1/8th of an inch edge, do a running stitch all around and finally...draw up the stitches to form the YoYo.

I still don't want to make a YoYo quilt, but I do want to make YoYo Flowers.  Especially since discovering Clover's Clever YoYo Maker.

Who knew making YoYo flowers would be so Easy Peasey!
Really...they are easy with the 2 piece plastic template/form which snaps together to hold the fabric in place.  I've been using my 1930's reproduction fabric scraps as well as small print scraps.  There are several options for making the center...#1 a stitched circle that pushes up through the center...or...#2 a button.  Since I have lots and lots of buttons...that's the option I've done the most of, so far.

This is my new 'Sit and Stitch' handwork while watching TV.  As you can see, Clover suggests using the flowers for making corsages, table runners, bags and so on.  I plan on using them on bags for sure, and my 'OverDoSue-ness' has kicked in with some ideas that will require making a Round YoYo. 
Do you think Clover was clever enough to make a Round YoYo Maker? 
Of course they were!!! 


AtoZ Challenge...X Marks With Knitting Needles

It is of no great consequence and certainly not a revelation to the world of knitting that my knitting needles make 'X's'.  I never thought of it before, but being desperate for something...anything...to use for this letter of the alphabet for the 2018 AtoZ Challenge, my search for X's was filed under Knitting.  Who knew?
I have Xed out of ever knit beading again!


AtoZ Challenge...V&W...Vintage-Vogue-Vanna & Workbasket

In the world of crochet, Vanna has become a Super Star.  She proclaimed crocheting as her 'Favorite Hobby' in the April-May 1993 issue of The WORKBASKET.  In the featured article, Vanna said, "I learned to crochet by watching a former hairdresser on the show who was making an afghan.  She was left-handed, and I just learned to do it that way."  So, yes, Vanna turns puzzle letters with her right hand, but crochets with her left hand.

Vanna was 36 years of age when featured in The WORKBASKET.  Several years later her crochet hobby grew into a full fledged business with the introduction of her line of yarn.

Vanna's Choice is a line of yarn marketed under the Lion Brand Yarn company.  Today, Vanna is the author of numerous crochet books, patterns and pamphlets.

I love her yarn for it's softness and ease in crocheting and knitting.  I primarily use it for Prayer Shawls, Scarves and Baby items.  It comes in a variety of colors and textures. 


The oldest issue of The WORKBASKET in my collection is from September 1962 and cost 15 cents.  That one and two others from 1963 and 1964 were antique shop finds.

In the 1980's I had a subscription to The WORKBASKET, and looked forward to receiving them in the mail.   My collection grew through the years from hand-me-downs and an inheritance. 

You might think inheriting a stack of The WORKBASKET a strange thing for one to leave in a 'Will'.  An unofficial one, but none the less written on a slip of paper and bundled  together with string...FOR SUE.

Thank-you Aunt Irene...I treasure everyone with your name and address label to remind me of the places you lived and enjoyed receiving them in the mail.

Bet you didn't know Superstar Crystal Gayle is a knitter!  I didn't either until I read it in this 1992 issue.  Crystal stated that her mother taught her to knit and her first project was a sweater with dropped stitches...(we know what that causes - holes)...she wore it anyway.
What's in your Workbasket?
I have several filled with Vanna's Choice!


AtoZ Challenge...Upper Looper

 Before I get into explaining the 'Upper Looper', you should probably know it is an important part of a seamstress/quilter/sewers arsenal of machines....the SERGER.  You should also know threading the SERGER sends said seamstress/quilter/sewer into a state of high anxiety!  Often a jigger full of a stiff drink is needed before threading a serger.

No matter how experienced one is at threading a serger, having the instructions front and center is imperative.   Get it out BEFORE you start. 

Now for threading the Upper Looper...it's the needle with the purple thread in the above photo.  It's a breeze to thread!!!

That jigger drink to calm your anxiety attack is for threading the LOWER LOOPER.  It's the needle under the Upper Looper with the pink thread.  If or when it comes un-threaded....one jigger is not enough.

The trick to saving your sanity and staying sober is to never change the thread color...OR...as per instructions:
When changing threads, cut the threads between the thread guide and the thread guide plate.  Pull the threaded needle threads until the tied knots reach the needles.  Cut the knots out and thread the left and right needles with the new color.  Thread the LOWER Looper first, then the UPPER Looper.  (my tip....tie a small tight knot in the old/new threads...it will slide through the large eye of the loopers).


AtoZ Challenge...Tatting and Multi-Tasking

As often as I admonish myself for having one or more...no, make that a dozen or more...projects going at one time, in the end, I realize that it is just the way 'I Do'...'I Roll'...'I Work'...best!   Now that I am a Senior Mult-Tasker, I am reading and seeing that it is a 'Good Thing' for one's 'Aging Brain'. 

For awhile now, my Studio has reflected the multi-tasking phases of my '4R's Bucket List.  There is the Jewelry 4R Phase I Station,  the Yarn-A-Rama Phase II Station, and the Phase III All-In Fiber Station.  That one pretty much includes fabric, buttons, beads, threads, yarns, ribbon, lace et. all. 

While working on the Las Cruces Angels...which has been a 'one of a kind' sort of assembly line production...I have learned to TAT. 

It was one of those spur of the moment things suggested by my friend Sandy at Sims Fiber Arts Studio while we were 'Sitting and Sewing' on Thursday.  Needle Tatting has been on my 'Learn To Do' list for a long time, and Sandy teaches it as a class in her Studio.

Just what I need...right...another 'Thing' that has the possibility of becoming the next 'OverDoSue' Thingy.

In between Angels, Hankies, Granny Square Tote and Vintage Linen Totes I have learned the Ring and Thread Method and the Ring and Chain Method. Teacher Sandy, and the book encourage developing your needle-tatting skills before beginning a patterned project.

Hmmmm...here's where I have a bit of a problem. I never was much good at practice....I am more of a 'Game Gal'. Guess you know what that means.....another Project to add to my Multi-Tasking List.

It will be a great 'Carry It Along' Thingy to work on while traveling, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in waiting rooms, and of course 'Thursday's Sit and Sew' at Sandy's Studio.  I have the special needles and other tools organized in a snap closure wallet.  The 'Tatting Wallet', Learn To Needle Tat Booklet and Sandy's Folder along with a Ball of thread all fit in small easy to grab and go bag.  Let the Tatting Times Roll.
What's In Your Wallet?


AtoZ Challenge...Stockinette Stitch Speed Knitting

I am a SLOW Knitter and a SPEEDY Crocheter.  This I know from years of starting knitting projects that about half way through become WIP (works in progress) that seldom make any progress.  They eventually are Un-knitted via the Yarn Winder.  Yikes...all those hours knitting ripped out in minutes.
 I truly love the look of knitting....just plain ole knitting which is called 'Stockinette Stitch'.
So, when I get the urge to knit and the project calls for casting on a kabillion stitches on forever circular needles I get out 'Bonda'. 

She and I have a close bond when it comes to Stockinette Speed Knitting. 

For the Cardigan Shrug I cast on every other needle for a total of 25.  This makes a loose stockinette  stitch when using worsted weight homespun yarn. 

Zipping back and forth across the 25 needles for about 15 minutes makes a knitted piece 15 inches wide and 40 inches long.  In about 45 minutes I have three panels made.  Speedy, right?  Now for 'Speedy Crochet' to join the panels which I usually do in my 'Needlework Nest' while watching TV.  All that is left is to Speedy Crochet edging all around and around the armholes to make a cuff.

Modella will model for you as soon as I finish 'Speedy Crocheting'.
That WAS speedy, huh?
PS...I'm gone again...will catch up on Monday!
Thanks for your visit and comment!


AtoZ Challenge...Remnants

Shopping for fabric and remnants back in the days of my Great Grandmother may have been limited to mail order catalogs like W. and H. Walker.  

I seriously doubt she owned a Silk Finished Messaline dress and more than likely never ordered remnants.  Even with the PrePay Postage and the unheard of inclusion of  2 1/2 yards of SILK in each Remnant Bundle for $1.00. 

What she probably did was study every picture and page of this W. and H. Walker mail order catalog and then shopped the local Texas Mercantile for cotton yardage that would make three dresses for herself, Stella and Ella. 

Stella was my grandmother, and in 1917 she probably wished for the '3 for $1.39' dresses.
I am my Great Grandmother's 'Remnant Collecting Granddaughter'.  And like her, I am a 'Picky Remnant Collector' with 100 percent Cottons being my #One Choice.

The Remnant Shelf is the first place I head these days at my local fabric store.   It's not that I really NEED these wrapped bundles....I just really love the way they look in my  Sewing Room and the Basket that reminds me of my Great Grandmother. 
Besides, much like in 1917,  these bundles are a bargin
even without the  2 1/2 yards of SILK!

PS...I'm gone again...will catch up on Monday!
Thanks for your visit and comment!


AtoZ Challenge...QUILT Magazine

 American's Favorite Quilting Magazine!
I wasn't a Quilter during the Winter of 1985, but my MotherInLaw was a Quilt Magazine Collector, and I'm guessing she was thinking about becoming a Quilter.  She was an experienced seamstress with many years of dressmaking for herself and her daughters.  She had the largest collection of 'Polyester Double Knit' this side of Dallas.  One day, around 1995 or so, I was telling her about my Quilting Lessons at the Senior Citizens Center...that story HERE.   We were sitting at the kitchen table drinking IceTea and talking about sewing and fabrics...again double knit...when she remembered her Collection of Quilt Magazines. 
 That was the beginning of my Collection of 1980's Quilt Magazines.  The Winter 1985 issue is the oldest one I have, and if I remember correctly, my MIL thought it would be perfect for a Beginning Quilter.  She was right.  It has also become a Treasury of All-Time Favorite Quilts and Memories of SweetTea, Kitchen Table Visits and my MIL Ruth.
Would you like to collect Quilt Magazines?
I can help...most any except 1980's QUILT!


AtoZ Challenge...Pink Pagoda and The Photo Bomber

I've always been a funky yarn collector, and that is how I classify the Trendsetter Yarn Pagoda.  Collecting it is one thing, but finding a use for it is another.  Finally, I did...find a use as a crochet trim on scarves made for 'Wear Your Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness' during the month of October.
Since I needed to make a bunch of scarves quickly, I set up my knitting machine and organized the Pagoda funky yarn along with the Supersoft Pink yarn.  It was a scarf knitting production line.  It was also a project to photo document for a program I was planning to give on the knitting machine.

I was so intent on keeping up with the number of scarves made and setting up the machine for each scarf I never noticed the 'Photo Bomber'...until now.  How I missed him in the first shot, I don't know, but he upped his bombing in the second shot with puppies....how did I not see that? 

Have you stopped laughing? 
I haven't, but guessed you might like to see one of the finished Pink Pagoda Scarves.
Oh, and the Photo Bomber
He finally got my attention!
Do I have your attention?
Please support Breast Cancer Awareness Month and
take care of yourself....schedule a mammogram.


AtoZ Challenge...Grandmother Otis' Orphan Sunbonnet Sue

I don't have a Grandmother Oatis, but if I did, this orphan block would be a family heirloom and a treasured piece of needlework.  
Here's what I know about Grandmother Oatis from this Sunbonnet Sue block:
* The block was intended to be a block in a quilt for Mrs. Oatis' granddaughter. 
*  It was likely done in the mid to late 1930's from scraps from her own dress.
*The background muslin is more of a gauze and not a desirable fabric for a quilt.
*Grandmother Oatis was not an experienced stitcher.
*  This block was left out of the quilt.
Always the optimist, I surely hope Mrs. Oatis made a second block and considered this one a practice piece. 

I imagine when she compared this first attempt with other more experienced sewers, she realized that her embroidery stitches could be neater and the pencil and ink lines could be followed more closely.

 I bet on the second one she figured out that three strands of black embroidery floss was easier and neater for stitching lettering, fingers and bows. 

My favorite thing about her signature is the way she wrote grandmother as two words...both capitalized.  I hope she signed the second one the same way...don't you? 

If you look closely (click to enlarge)  the gauzy background is fairly transparent and has age spots.  This is typical on old quilts that have been stored in a cedar chest or wrapped in plastic. 

Both of those emit gases that not only leave spots but rot the fabric.  Better to store quilts in a cotton pillow case or acid free paper and boxes.

I used three strands of embroidery thread and made those spots into flowers.  Next, I trimmed the original block down a bit, added a border of 1930's hexagon flower blocks.  Backed it with muslin, hand quilted and stitched on floral binding.

Thank-you Grand Mother Oatis.
It is my pleasure to save your Sunbonnet Sue Album Block.
Are you kin to Grand Mother Oatis?


AtoZ Challenge...Needlepoint Pocket and Pansy PhD

First, I confess I did not stick one needle through the needlepoint canvas of this stunning day lily needlepoint.  It was repurposed from a framed needlepoint picture found at a flea market.  I cannot pass by any needlepoint pieces at thrift shops, junktique stores or flea markets.  My first thought goes to the person who put in so much time and effort, and my next thought is..."I have to save it".  Therein begins it's path to becoming a PhD...Project half Done!

Now for earning credits...with the Needlepoint de-framed,  it is lined and ready to be a bag pocket.  Next came the Bonda BagBody. It takes less than thirty minutes to whip out a BagBody on Bonda.

I cast on Bonda with 'Waste Yarn' and knitted the front first... keeping in mind the placement of the pocket, and that I wanted the section for the pocket to be knitted in black so the pocket would blend.   I also wanted to repeat most of the colors in the Lily Pocket...which worked out perfect for using up several PhDone skeins of yarn.

Once the front was knitted, consideration was given to what would be the bottom of the bag and the color that would wear best and also fit the scheme of the bag.  I think the burnt orange worked out great.  The 'Tweedy' looking yarn was perfect for the main color and there was more than a PhDone skein.  Bands of the coordinating colors in varied widths complete the back of the bag. 

 As you can see...I finished with crochet.  Crochet is such an easy and quick way to finish a knitted piece, and I love the mixes of textures it gives to the overall look of the bag. 

That's why I chose to do the strap in the 'Afghan Stitch' aka Tunisian Crochet.  It makes for a sturdy strap as well.

Now for the decorating!!!!

With the Fall colors in the Lily Pocket being carried out through the knitted bag body, it seemed a perfect time to use the fall fabric I had in my stash for the lining. 

It is machine stitched to the bag and then a running stitch of perl cotton to give a decorative look and to give the crocheted edging and bag opening stability.

More decorative touches are added with the Crocheted Shell Edging done in a DK weight yarn, and my FAVORITE  embellishment of the string of beads sewn to the strap. 

Not only do I SAVE needlepoint by others, I needlepoint, too. 
Still earning credit towards my Pansy PhD.
Are you working on your PhD?