05 February 2013

Sashiko & More/WIP

Most of this week has been spend cleaning and getting my sewing "studio" back in order. I have to use the quotes because I am trying to fit and entire apartment of stuff into one bedroom, which is extremely difficult. Luckily, I am back to having an actual desk to sew on instead of sitting on the floor with my sewing machine on a chair. Woohoo! Here's hoping for fewer knots in my neck and shoulders!

I have also been working on a bit of hand sewing, especially sashiko. Mostly because I love sashiko, but also because I can sit in my comfy chair and admire my new sewing desk. 

If anyone knows the proper way to transfer designs to dark embroidery fabric, please let me know, because I know I am doing it wrong. I purchased some of the iron on transfer pencils, but the markings do not go away, which works great for standard embroidery where you cover the whole line, but not so great for sashiko. I tried tracing patterns in a dotted pattern and it was just incredibly infuriating. What I ended up doing was printing the pattern on iron on transfer paper and ironing it onto the wrong side of fabric. FYI: Linen was used for these sashiko bunny coasters.

This shows what it looks like from the back when the pattern is ironed on. Obviously this is too hideous for the front, but for the back... who cares?!

So this means that I am stitching from the back, which looks like this:

And it looks like this from the front:

Unfortunately, stitching from the back means that some of the stitches end up crooked and wonky. So if you know a better way, please tell me! I implore you!

Although it isn't too terrible. The bunny still makes me happy. 

I also worked on one in reverse colors. Eventually I plan on making one more in each color.

And I figured this fabric would make the most perfect backing for the sashiko coasters since bunnies were the focal point on the front. Mmm, this fabric really needed a good use. 

Now that my new sewing machine is setup, I also started messing with machine quilting and decided to dig these mustache coasters out of my UFO pile. These coasters crack me up because the background fabric is a beautiful yellow batik, and the foreground fabric is bright pink and flowery. These fabrics are not so mustachey, but to me, it makes sense. Each one is quilted in a different way. Now I just need to find cheater needles that actually work so I can hide threads. I found the kind with the notch in the top, and have purchased two different brands of these and NEITHER WORKS. It just shreds the thread. I swear, there isn't even an opening in the top! I need side threading needles, but am not able to find them for a reasonable price. Any suggestions?

On a completely unrelated note, my Brussels sprouts and broccoli are slowly but surely making a comeback from their near death experience with the horrid cabbage worms. Woohoo!

Speaking of plants, another ear plant was purchased this week. I know, I know, there are already too many of these on my front porch, but this one has a branch that is all white! I have never seen such a thing! It needed a good home. Honest.

Oh, yeah, back to sewing. Somehow, I have been sewing and quilting for almost 3 years now, but never had a pincushion. That was remedied this week when I decided to try my hand at a cathedral window for the first time. The fabric is all from different charm swaps.

I also made a few blocks for the Japanese X-Block quilt. So this is 5 out of 30 and 11 are being made by Color Bee Shocked, which leaves me with 14 more to make. That is easy peasy.

So those are all of my WIPs for the week. I am leaving y'all with a pretty sunset picture from my drive out to my cousin's house.

What projects have you been working on this week?


  1. You have been very, very busy. I really like your pin cushion! Great color choices. I'm jealous that you are having summer and I am having winter. Longing for those warmer days of summer. :o)

  2. Lots of great sewing and planting stuff going on:) I've made one of those cathedral window pin cushions (may have been my first blogged finish) but I like yours much better. I have a Sashiko book - I'll have to look in it later and let you know what they recommend for marking patterns. I know you are not supposed to sew from the back;) But those bunnies turned out cute!

  3. Oh my goodness! I love your cathedral window pillow! I've always loved that design but couldn't imagine doing an entire blanket. You've inspired me - thanks! Visiting from Freshly Stitched.

  4. I love your cathedral pincushion! I turned out great.

  5. That pincussion is on my to do list for a long time now. You did a great job.

  6. I love your Sashiko bunny! I've made a few cathedral windows pincushions too, and they are addicting!

  7. Your pincushion is really pretty and I love the cute Sashiko bunny. I do some embroidery work and have found a product called "Sticky Fabri-Solvy" by Sulky to work really well. You can find it here: http://www.birdbraindesigns.net/products/755-sticky-fabri-solvy.aspx
    Hope that helps.

  8. Great projects. Your bunny is so cute.

  9. that is a cute pin cushion :)

    Lucy xxx

  10. I love the Sashiko Rabbit you've been working on! Have you ever tried transferring your design to tracing paper and then stitching over the paper? Once you're done stitching, you just rip the paper away. It might be a good alternative way to transfer to dark fabrics. Thanks for linking up to WIP Wednesday!

  11. Your rabbits are just precious!! And it's funny, my post this week was also my first pincushion - I love your cathedral window, it turned out so well. I just finished your + and x block and it's headed your way tomorrow :)

  12. What did you use to stuff the pinchushion? I'd like to make one, but the stuffings I can think of are too soft. Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. I used leftover batting scraps that happened to be 80% cotton and 20% polyester. I basically just shredded it all into fluffy bits and used that as stuffing.

  13. Your rabbit is lovely. Such neat stitching!

  14. I love the pin cushion, nice job !!

  15. Your pin cushion is so gorgeous! Maybe I don't throw my cathedral window block in the garbage.

  16. I use the clover cheater needles. They work very well. I got mine from leah day http://www.daystyledesigns.com/cheaterneedles.htm along with her pin place. The pin place is a magnetic disc that adheres to the side of your machine so the needles are always handy. Hope these work for you.