Day 3 – Machines, Mermaids, and More!

Today is all about showing your machine, and while I sew on my BERNINA 750 QE normally, I thought I would show you this machine I picked up at an auction for $8! So many of us collect machines that are decorative for our homes, but this is the first Illinois machine I ever found.

I’m in Colorado at the taping for our new season of Con Crunch. If you didn’t know, I’m the host of a cosplay show. It’s a bit different to be on the hosting side and not in the “talent” end. It’s a great show about the challenges facing various cosplayers while they finish their costumes last minute.

This cosplay costume of mine is pretty special. I made the tail for an episode of Its Sew Easy, and the corset was from a different project. My mom (who recently passed away) loved mermaids, and I do wish she could have seen me in this cosplay.

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Day 2 – On the road again!

I know it’s hard to believe, but I have one more event before the end of the year! There’s a hint above in this picture….

This week, I’ll be posting from the road, and I’m also trying to get my end of year business financials done. This should be pretty interesting to those of you who have followed my previous year’s financial data releases. I’m interested to see some of the analysis myself.

In the blog challenge prompts, today is to show us your sewing spaces! As you may know, every year I run a Spring Clean Your Studio Blog hop, and my studio is NOT clean right now, so here’s a pic from when it was…

I still need to clean up and clean out. As a matter of fact, there’s some changes afoot at the ol’ Circle K here, and I have to do a major “DESTASH” soon, as I have to start condensing my studios from 3 to 2 very soon. More on that development as it comes.

Be sure to follow along with everyone else on the #31dayblogchallenge2019 here!

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Day 1 – Introduction and Welcome to the Blog Writing Challenge!

Hello and welcome to the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge! This is the fifth year I have hosted this challenge! Wow. Time really flies.

I’m Cheryl and I’ve been doing this blog since 2006 and run my business since 2010. I’m so excited that this year I have prompts for the blog challenge because I sometimes need to lean on another idea if I’m stumped.

So I’m mainly known for heirloom sewing and fabric manipulation techniques and also lights in textiles. Two very different things.

If you are new to the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge: WELCOME! Be sure to list your blog here so we can follow along with everyone else.

I hope you enjoy the fun things in store for 2019’s blog challenge and have a great time!

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I’m the latest COVER GIRL for Quilting Arts!!!

Ever since I bought my very first copy of Quilting Arts Magazine, I have wanted to be in it. It was my dream to grace it’s pages as a writer, and have my art be included. Back in 2010, I was able to write the first of many articles for my favorite publication. But I still never made the cover.

Until now, that is.

Click the image to buy this issue!

OMG! This was/is a HUGE bucket list item for me!

You can watch Vivika DeNegre, the fabulous editor and good friend of mine, surprise me at Quilt Market and Threads of Success with the good news. So many happy tears!!!

My article on using Sew Much Cosplay Power Shine Glitter and Foil is also amazing and you should check it out too!

SQUEE!!

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Back to School Blog Hop – Basics of Ruching!

Welcome back friends to my little blog where I’m participating in my good friend Sam Hunter’s Back to School Blog Hop! I’ve been a participant for several years in a row with Sam’s wonderful blog hop and I am so so so happy to teach you something near and dear to my heart – Ruching!

Ruching (pronounced rooshing) is a very old fabric manipulation technique that’s been used on gowns and quilts and home decor since the early 1700’s. Ruching can refer to any kind of fabric gathering technique, but here we are going to be specifically gathering strips of fabric. In Quilting, ruching was used on Baltimore Album quilts in the 1860’s. In historical clothing, you can see lot’s of gowns from this same era featuring ruched strips of ribbon adorning them as trims.

Your materials list is very simple: needle and thread (I like Jeana Kimball Wool Needles #7), a strip of fabric about 22 inches long and 2 inches wide, a pencil, an iron and ironing surface, and a Smocking Template to make some marks (I like using my mini smocking template for this technique, but you can use the large one too). Optionally, you can get some Thread Conditioner, like my Mind Your Own Beeswax, to strengthen your thread.

To begin, iron your strip so that the raw edges are in the center. The wrong side of your fabric, should yours have one, should be encapsulated in the middle, and you should only see right sides up.

Next, you need to mark your fabric on the side with the raw edges with a pencil, just at the top and bottom of the strip in a alternating pattern. This is so you have something to sew towards as you make your gathers. The smocking template makes quick work of this, but you could alternately use a ruler.

With your needle threaded (and optionally waxed), start in the bottom corner of the strip, and take an extra stitch so your knot doesn’t pull or pop out. Then take running stitches at an angle toward the opposite side of the strip to the mark you made with your pencil.

Here’s the trick of this whole process. No matter if your needle ends up on the top or bottom side of the strip, you want to make sure that your next stitch loops the thread over the edge of the fold of the fabric. I flip the thread over and start stitching towards the next mark.

After about 3 or 4 “zig zags” on your strip, you can start gently pulling the gathers. You do not want to wait until the end of sewing the whole strip to do this, or your thread will break in the middle! (Ask me how I know!) After you pull them and gather the fabric, take an extra stay stitch at that spot to keep them in place.

Keep going until you have gathered the whole strip! Now here’s where you can see some variations. If you skip a space on your smocking template when making your marks, you will create much wider gathers. This can create softer flowers or shapes. Remember, the raw edges and the marks are technically the back of your strip. You will use the other side as the “right” side.

Also, if you want the colors in a particular strip, you can select a fabric that has a print, but the print itself will be lost in the technique and just leave behind the pretty colors.

Once you have your strip gathered, you can hand applique it down like you would any other fabric. I use the points of the ruching as the spots that get tacked down to the background. I like to spiral them into flowers, tucking in the raw ends to hide them. But they can be stems, or swags, or whatever you like!

Ruching can add some beautiful dimension to your next quilting or garment project! I hope you give it a try! If you like this technique, you will love my online class! Check it out here.

Be sure to check out all of the other blogs participating in this year’s Back to School Blog Hop! Go back and read the previous days and be sure to check them out further along in the month!

Day 1 – September 1 – Sam Hunter: Sewing Long Seams Without Stretching – huntersdesignstudio.com

Day 2 – September 2 – Susan Arnold – Joining Binding the Easy Way – quiltfabrication.com

Day 3 – September 3 – Angie Wilson – Fussy cutting tips and techniques – www.gnomeangel.com

Day 4 – September 4 – Andi Stanfield – No-Mark HST: Let your machine be your guide – truebluequilts.com/blog/

Day 5 – September 5 – Bobbie Gentili – Say YES to Y-seams – geekybobbin.com

Day 6 – September 6 – Mel Beach – 5 Reasons to Say Woo Hoo! to School Glue – pieceloveandhappiness.blogspot.com

Day 7 – September 7 – Laura Piland – 7 Ways to Use a Laser on Your Sewing Machine – www.sliceofpiquilts.com

Day 8 – September 8 – Suzy Webster – How to solve loops in free motion quilting – www.websterquilt.com

Day 9 – September 9 – Tara Miller – Accurate Stitch-and-Flip Corners – quiltdistrict.com

Day 10 – September 10 – Latifah Saafir – Accurate Seams Using Masking Tape! – latifahsaafirstudios.com

Day 11 – September 11 – Sarah Ruiz – The Magic of Glue Basting – saroy.net

Day 12 – September 12 – Jen Shaffer – Ways to stop your ruler from slipping while cutting – patternsbyjen.blogspot.com

Day 13 – September 13 – Cheryl Sleboda – Basics of ruching (a vintage fabric manipulation technique) – muppin.com

Day 14 – September 14 – Raylee Bielenberg – Choosing quilting designs for your quilt – www.sunflowerstitcheries.com

Day 15 – September 15 – Jen Strauser – Accurate and Attractive Machine binding – dizzyquilter.com

Day 16 – September 16 – Jane Davidson – Matching points for all types of intersections – quiltjane.com

Day 17 – September 17 – Teresa Coates – Starch and starch alternatives – teresacoates.com

Day 18 – September 18 – Jen Frost – Benefits of spray basting – faithandfabricdesign.com

Day 19 – September 19 – Sandra Starley – Getting started with Hand Quilting – utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com

Day 20 – September 20 – Karen Platt – Drunkard’s Path Made Easy – karenplatt.co.uk/blog/

Day 21 – September 21 – Kris Driessen – All Kinds of Square (in a Square) – scrapdash.com

Day 22 – September 22 – Sarah Goer – Planned Improv Piecing – sarahgoerquilts.com

Day 23 – September 23 – Kathy Bruckman – Organizing kits for on-the-go sewing – kathyskwiltsandmore.blogspot.com

Day 24 – September 24 – Cheryl Daines Brown – The Secret to Flat Quilt Tops: Borders – quilterchic.com

Day 25 – September 25 – Cherry Guidry – Pre-assembling fusible applique – cherryblossomsquilting.com

Day 26 – September 26 – Laura Chaney – Getting started with English Paper Piecing – prairiesewnstudios.com

Day 27 – September 27 – Ebony Love – Cutting Bias Strips from a Rectangle – lovebugstudios.com

Day 28 – September 28 – Tammy Silvers – Working with heavier weight threads in your machine – tamarinis.typepad.com

Day 29 – September 29 – Kathy Nutley – Create a perfect facing or frame with 90 degree angles – quiltingsbykathy.com

Day 30 – September 3 – Joanne Harris – Using Leaders and Enders – quiltsbyjoanne.blogspot.com

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