Hens and Chickens

Hens and Chickens

Friday, 30 January 2015

Bags, bags and more bags!

It's been five months since my beautiful Bernina 750QEE arrived, courtesy of one wonderful husband (mine).  I haven't had a chance to try out the embroidery module yet, as I have been too busy sewing.
Yes, I know.  Sewing machines are for sewing.  So what's the big deal?  Simple. I couldn't sew on my last sewing machine.  Although it sewed fine on a single layer of fabric, add in another layer, some fusible fleece, double it all up for a handbag and sit back and wait for the crunch which would tell me that no way was my machine going to sew through all those layers, so here's a huge gouge on your bobbin case and that will be £25, thank you very much.  Not what I expect from a sewing machine which cost me nearly £4K four years ago.  I tried so much to like my machine but the truth was, I was frightened to even turn it on.
Fast forward four years, and my beautiful Bernina has changed all that.  She is the most wonderful sewing machine ever.  I love sewing on her, and no matter how many layers I throw at her, she handles them beautifully, with style, grace and effortless efficiency.  I LOVE her!
As soon as I realised how amazing she was, I pulled out an unfinished project, which I had had to put to one side due to "layers".  My Oversized Fashionista handbag is out of Lisa Lam's The Bag Bible book.  I bought some Harris Tweed in red, and a light blue polka dot for the lining.  I decided to embroider my initials on the inside lining, for a little bit of personalisation.  Oddly enough, my old sewing machine handled embroidery fine.
Monogram embroidered on lining pocket

All cut out and ready to sew

Back and front sewn together, spot the cat!

Just need to add the handle

Bag and hat which matches perfectly!

I still need to add the grommets for the handle but I am toying with using smaller ones than Lisa did in her original pattern.  My hubby found the matching hat on line and decided that I just had to have it!
 My two small grandsons loved my bag so much that they asked me to sew one each for them.  They are really into anything to do with Transformers, so when I found this fabric, I thought it just right for a small messenger bag each for them.
Transformers cotton fabric and black needlecord

Two messenger bags all ready for two little people
These were very simple to sew and both were done in a couple of hours.  The boys keep their Transformers in them, and also put their conkers in them.  Typical boys!
Their mum also wanted in on the bag action, so I was promptly presented with two metres of cotton fabric and a request to do another one of Lisa Lam's bags from The Bag Bible.
Front, back and flap exterior cut out

Back Lining in Orange

Exterior, lining, fusible fleece and interfacing

Piping on front exterior

Just need to add the leather strap

All ready for daughter!
I never could have sewn this bag without my Bernina, it handled all the many layers and piping with ease.  I have since purchased a special Bernina piping foot and hope to try it out on some cushion covers soon.
Until next time,
Ms Divers x

Thursday, 29 January 2015

A New Start.

A lot has happened here since my last post in August.  Life has not been kind.
My father passed away after a lengthy illness.  His brother, my uncle, had died earlier in the year.  My mother's brother, another uncle, also died shortly before my father.  At the same time my husband's favourite uncle also passed away.

2014 is not a year I will look back fondly on, and as Xmas approached, I was so looking forward to seeing the back of 2014, and the start of a hopefully happier 2015. 

It was not to be.  Another Uncle passed away on Xmas day, which brought back all the pain of our previous losses.  Then, completely without warning, we woke on the last but one day of 2014, to find our beloved Xena dying of heart failure. 
Our beautiful Xena
She was only eight years old, the same age as Ozzy, and had shown no symptoms whatsoever of being unwell.  Thankfully she died quickly and peacefully, and is now back with us, on the dresser next to Ozzy, whom we lost the year before.
Xena's Casket

2015 is a new start in so many ways. Firstly, I finally finished all the x-stitching on my Blue Ribbon Sampler!  Wow, three years off and on so far to stitch this, but now I only have the filet panels to stitch, add my name and hey presto! Finito!

My Blue Ribbon Sampler so far

I have enjoyed stitching my BRS sampler, but the mistakes in the charts are many, and do not contribute to a happy stitching experience.  Nevertheless, I persevered and I am so happy I stuck with it.

I toyed with starting a Scarlet Letter sampler next, called Dorcas Haynes, and which is stitched in AVAS silks.  I chickened out.  I have never used silks before, so I felt I ought to practice a little.  I put some 32ct Linen on my Millenium frame, and started Moira Blackburn's Time and Season sampler.  So far I have found the silks a joy to work with, and have experienced no problems whatsoever.  This is my progress after a couple of days stitching:

Moira Blackburn's Time and Season Sampler


The silks glide through the linen so much easier than cotton.  I think I am hooked in spite of the cost. 

I have also been busy quilting and sewing bags on my beautiful Bernina, but I will save these for another post. 

Ms Divers x