Friday, March 8, 2013

And Then Danni Said...

Danni who blogs at  Silo Hill Farm and Inspiration Cafe  suggested that I make a post about one of the towel creatures from Carnival's little book of towel creations so that you all can give it a try.  Here it is!

I'm going to show you the book pages as well as some photos of my in-the-works creature because I know I won't write it up as well.  Between the two, you should have no problems.

How ironic that I'm writing a wordy post on the very day that Danni posted her wordless one.  While she is trying to cut down of the words, I seem to be heading toward novel-size posts.  Most of this is photos--I promise!

Here's what Jumbo should look like when you are finished.
In case you missed it, I have owned up to being a dreadful photographer. As I always say, it is so much better nothing!

 First I'm going to show you the directions from the book on how to make the body portion.
Step 2 is in the next photo!  I wanted to get close so you can read it.

Step 2 as promised
For the body, you are just rolling a bath towel from the short ends into the center which will look like this:
 Turn it over and fold in half.
This looked so difficult and was so easy! I had to hold mine between my arm and body to do this part:  pull out a little tab of the four corners of each "tube".  Once you can grab the corners,  you are going to take hold of two corners in each hand and pull!
See those four corners?

Make sure you take the right two corners--see the center of the towel bundle? 
 This is what it looks like after you pull.
 Flip it over and move on to the head

The head  requires a hand towel--not one of those really small ones, though.  Here are the book's directions.

I cannot get the trunk to be as nice and pointy as theirs.  If you figure out how, let me know.  Here are my photos.
Just folded in half

I try to roll the trunk end kind of tight

Flip it over

Pull down the two edges of the towel to form the face area.
 Once you have the face area folded down, just play with it to get the trunk turned up a bit and the ears looking good.  I fold the edges of the towel under for the face.  I use buttons with bead-head straight pin for the eyes (and nose on other creatures).  The cruise people used little circles of felt.  Googly eyes would be cool, too.

 Ta da! Here is the finished product.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cruise Ship Towel Creations

Since I loved coming back to the room to find some new creature made from towels while cruising on Carnival, I bought the book!  My husband may well be regretting that he encouraged me to do this.  Almost everyday since our return, Brian has had to admire and gently move the day's creation before getting into bed at night. I, on the hand, am having a wonderful time even though my creatures seldom look like the one in the book.  Take this guy for instance.
 Doesn't he look like Alf from the old television series (for those of you who are old enough to remember that ancient show)?  It's supposed to be a rabbit looking like the one in the photo below.
 It's not the directions which are perfectly clear with wonderful illustrations.  I just need practice.  Lots of practice.  Can you guess what this one is? 

No, not The Blob.  It's supposed to be a manta ray.  I keep using the same towels over and over.  I think I need to move on to some fresh ones--and keep practicing.  The other night Brian looked at what was my version of a pig and said, "Wow! What a great monkey!  Great job!"  He's so sweet.  At least they look like SOME kind of beast.  Close enough for me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Last Two Machine Covers are Finished!

Two posts in one day!  I'm going to have to go on vacation more often.  It's increasing my productivity.  So, this is the embroidery machine cover. 

I had to use 3 pieces of heavy stabilizer in the front, back and top for this one.  Because the top of the machine is shorter than the bottom, the material needed something extra to stay square.

Another embroidery design from the Embroidery Library.  I do love their
designs.    Don't blame them for the color choices here.
 I was just picking and choosing anything I liked.   

After the reaction I got from the clerk at Joann's when buying the fabric for the next one, I feel I really must explain it first. Yes, I did use organza (or is it organdy??) for the serger cover.  I wanted something lightweight that would not weigh down the metal piece holding the threads.  

I serged two pieces of organza  together and used binding to cover the edge.  Only mistake was using Dritz binding.  As it turns out, the inside of the Dritz binding is not uniform like the outside.  I wanted to put the binding on by sewing a hidden stitch on the back edge by machine and turning it to the front to hand-sew that side.  The inside raw edges of the Dritz were wildly off.  There was no way to lay the binding on evenly without a straight edge. I ended up just folding and sewing which never turns out well for me.  Now I remember why I make my own binding.
And another design from Embroidery Library.  One of the
bird designs would have been too heavy in stitches for
this fabric.
 These two new ones plus the two regular machine covers here

equal one whole project completed!  It only took me about thirty years to finally get around to covering the machines.  I don't believe in rushing.

Carnival Cruise

To the Bahamas fortunately, not Mexico.  No problems on our cruise.  Friends and relatives were in a panic when the news first came out about Carnival's Triumph cruise ship that was sailing (or limping) at the same time as our cruise.

We were fine with palm trees and beautiful beaches.

Entertainment was fun, food was great, and service exceptional.  Being a lover of cloth creatures, the daily towel creations always made my day.
Tilly and One-Eye were along for the adventure!

I tried making an elephant.  I need to work on this skill before posting pics, though.

This one was for Valentine's Day.
Atlantis' predator lagoon is truly filled with sharks.  Oddly, there is little between you and those sharks!  They are fairly small and, hopefully, well fed.
There is no fence here!  Now this should make parents watch their kids closely.

The walk-through aquarium there is amazing.
Got to love seahorses

These things were huge!
We sailed from New York City. Cool to get to sail past all the landmarks.
Setting out

and returning home.  Those are cranes on the not-quite-finished Freedom Tower.

Proof that Mr. Easton had a good time.  This is Cocoa Beach in Florida.

Proof that Mrs. Easton forgot her sunscreen at Cocoa Beach and got a sunburned nose.  It was worth it.

Only downside is coming back to this COLD weather.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The New Travel Sewing Kit

I'm supposed to be getting the house cleaned and packing finished for our vacation.  I don't like either one of those chores.  Instead, I made this sewing kit for the trip.  My old kit was just not working for me anymore.  I looked all over the internet for a design but none of those I found worked for me.  I ended up creating my own design.
It opens flat.  The inside has four zippered pockets and a few open ones for small things.  I guess I'm in a rectangle mood lately.  Like the sewing machine covers, this is basically two rectangles.  Each rectangle has a zipper at each end.  Then the two are sewn together down the center like a book!. 

I'm not sure why those pink zips look so bright in the photos.  They're not that vivid in person.
Back to the bag!  One side of the bag is for my yo-yo making supplies.
I forgot to take a pic of the fabric for the yo-yos which is in the first striped zippered pocket right next to the yo-yo makers.

In the middle, I overlapped the striped fabric a bit to hold the odds and ends--scissors, pens, needles.  It's a bit hard to see in the photo.

The other side has my embroidery things.  The striped pocket has the thread
and the back pink zipper pocket has the hoop and fabric.
Yes, that is black fabric in there.  I've got a ton of fabric with designs in primary colors on black backgrounds that I'm hoping to coordinate with these embroidery designs.  I'm going to have  to do some free-hand drawing cuz I've not been able to come up with a way of getting the designs on black.  Wish me luck with this idea.  I am not known for my ability to draw much beyond stick figures, but I'm determined to give this a go. 

I really, really wanted those center pockets (pink stripes) to be clear plastic but failed MISERABLY in my attempts to sew zippers on plastic.  I spent hours trying every trick I could find.  First, I'm spatially challenged.  I had the worst time trying to figure out how to put it together.  Then, my use of tape to keep the plastic from sticking to the machine didn't quite work out.  The plastic kept shifting away from the zipper even when pinned.  Any tips for my next venture with zippers and plastic would be most appreciated.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taking Mistakes in Stride

When I finished the second sewing machine cover today with this lovely design from The Embroidery Library
and set it on the machine next to the first one, something was definitely wrong:
Yup, that first bird, on the right, was heading in the wrong direction.  The good thing about my easy cover design is that I could just flip it to the other side and redo the embroidery design there.  I did own up to being on the lazy side yesterday, so I'm sure you knew I was NOT gonna start over from the beginning.
Much better this way, and no one but my blog readers and me will know about the little mistake on the back.

Another plus about the easy cover design is that it sits nicely on the back of my chair when I'm using the machine.

 Two covers down and two more to go.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This is how lazy I am

First, despite having had sewing machines for over 30 years, I'm just making my first machine cover.  I've thought about it FOREVER, but always found excuses.  I finally decided that something simple was better than nothing.  This is the result.
Yup.  It's just a rectangle of fabric--not even little ties on the sides.  It's made of duck cloth which is pretty stiff, but I added the two lines of top stitching to make the sides stand out. It hangs more evenly with the extra stitching.

I found the embroidery design at the Embroidery Library.
 See--here's the little Project Runway underneath.

I'm feeling a bit guilty about copping out with such a simple piece.  The embroidery machine did the hardest part with very little help from me.  Frankly, though, I finally realized that it was going to have to be simple or I'd never get around to making covers for the machines.  I have a saying that I use all the time that definitely applies here--it's so much better than nothing.

One down.  Three more to go!