Paint-by-number pillows

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I’ve been making a lot of pillows at the workroom which has been excellent practice. These are paint-by-number prints I picked up at Stitch Lab the weekend I went to the Austin Shop Hop (another is coming up weekend of February 21-23, 8 participating fabric stores! I haven’t been to the Cloth Pocket yet, am excited about checking out Nicole’s shop. Also Spruce to see what kind of upholstery fabrics they carry.) Back panels and piping are ultra suede. I made some pennant buntings with fabric I bought at Form & Fabric, photos coming soon, and the two-layered leather thimble I bought at Walker Hall is perfect for hand sewing my vinyl flower pins and tacking drapery pleats at the workroom.

Die cutting and stitching for hire!

Sewed up 18 yards (three 18 foot by 54″ pieces?) pieces of super deep shag fake fur. Rockin’ out cuts on my die-cutting press (message me if you need things cut or dies made.) Constructing rainbow dragon wings for parade club (HonkTX is March 22!) Fun projects this time of year. Read more

How to Sew An Applique on Vinyl Using a Vintage Walking Foot Machine

I made a little video about stitching detailed appliques, uploaded it to YouTube and added some annotations/notes (not sure if they can be seen in all browsers?)

This machine may date to the 70s (maybe 60s?) I’ve had it since 1995, the second walking foot machine I ever bought.
(I’d like to give a shout-out to Maurice at City Service Sewing Machines, he’s the best in town.)

Please check it out, and let me know what you think!
Thanks xoxo JNA

Our Visit to the Blanton

Kiddo #1, his Godmother M, and I went to the Blanton for a lunch date, and to check out the Stacked Wave installation I’d read about. Seeing it in real life, experiencing the actual scale was very cool.

Y’s favorite piece was the installation How to Build Cathedrals, with black netting drapes, 600,000 coins, 800 communion wafers, 2000 cattle bones, and 80 paving stones. We had to clear out when Y got too into it (literally).

We should make it out to the museums more often. Y forgets that not everyone is a ‘maker’ as a good percentage of our friends are artists as well. He was sad when he thought boys/men didn’t sew, but i said I can teach him to sew when he’s ready age/focus/hand-eye… but if I come across a good used starter machine I’ll set it aside for him. If it’s pink he can put skater stickers on it, or give it a custom paint job and pimp it out.

How a sewing machine works

Kiddo #1 watched me sewing, got a bit quiet and said he wished he were a girl. Why? Because girls get to do things like sew. Of course I told him some men sew, and in some cultures men knit rather than women, which cheered him up. And I promised to teach him once he was old enough to run a machine safely (I forget if I was 7, 8 or 9 when I learned? 10 with knitting though I know kids learn much younger.)

Then he asked how a sewing machine works. We found two animations online: here, and here. Timing is everything 🙂 and once it gets out of whack you have to re-time or get serviced (if you’re in Austin, I very highly recommend Maurice at City Service Sewing Machine.)

The machine I usually work on is a walking foot (though my needle moves up and down without the forward-backward motion shown in the video.)

Growing up pre-Internet, we just had a How Everything Works book, nearby library, or Dad to consult. Though most times we figured it out, animation or video (or even good diagrams!) would have been really helpful.