Sunday, March 26, 2017

Confession: I am a Fabricaholic



 Left to right
Peacocks w/gold metallic, cotton; Insects, cotton; Leaves, drapery; Teal stripes, canvas.
Autumn Day, cotton; Orange Poppies, cotton; Poppy 2, cotton, Frida Panel, cotton

Did you ever have a hobby where you collected things? Do you still collect things now?

When I was in my teens and into my 20's, it was little model motorcycles. At 19, my first vehicle was a motorcycle. I rode for over 25 years, taking several cross country trips. I still have a matchstick type collection of over 30 different motorcycles, somewhere in storage.

Another item I still collect are small to medium sized wooden boxes, the more unusual the better. In my 30's it was vintage and reproduction tins. I only have a few of those left, mostly to store sewing notions. When I started to sew with cotton, that's when I became a true fabricaholic.

Years ago when I found a cotton fabric I liked, I would buy 6, 8 or even 10 yards of that print at a time. I have yards and yards of Asian, western, horse and fruit prints that no one is interested in anymore. I've learned. I rarely by that much of a cotton print now.

I know I couldn't tell you how many yards of fabric I have, but I have a guess as to how many linear feet of fabric bolts are upstairs and in my attic. The bolts standing on end, just like you would find in a fabric store, probably come close to 100 linear feet. Most of my fabric is on full bolts, stored in a large upstairs room and in the attic.

Over 10 linear feet of fabric is wrapped on these small cardboard's like in the photo at top. If I'm buying a fabric specifically for the Market Line Bags, I now buy only a yard or two, no more.

Here is a photo of the 3 foot-wide shelf where most of the small cardboard bolts are stored. The lower shelf has two rows of bolts on it. Every single one is a different fabric.

There are over 150 different fabrics on this shelf.

Printed fleece and flannel are a bit different, since I use them for baby blankets, throw blankets and the Pet Mat Beds. If it's a print that I think will be popular, I'll buy 4-5 yards. Below are some brand new fleece and flannel kitty prints that I'll probably start working with in late summer.

Fleece bolts at the top:
I love cat naps; Cats on blue; Cartoon cats in a row
Flannel on bottom, unbolted:
Cats on white; Cats on cream; Feathers all over

Where do I find my fabrics? I shop downtown Los Angeles in the garment district for all kinds of fabric. I browse online mostly for cotton, especially if I'm looking for new Christmas prints for the Ornament/Package Toppers. I shop at JoAnn Fabrics when they put fabrics, cutting tools or thread on sale.

Monday, February 6, 2017

2017 Valentie Heart Sachets

Hanging Valentine Heart Sachets

Below are the new sachets that have been added to the Hanging Heart Sachets collection. All available at my store on Etsy.


 Hearts & Roses

Many Hearts

 Heart Swirl

A new Hanging Heart has also been added to the Hanging Metallic Heart Sachets. You can find all the metallic heart sachets at this listing:

Silver Paisley

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 New Fleece & Flannel Throw Blankets and Pet Mat Beds

I have several new listings at my Etsy Store. Fleece and Flannel Throw Blankets and Pet Mat Beds. All items are 100% machine washable.

Several Fleece & Flannel Throw Blankets. There are three kitty prints, a classic Teddy Bear print, two heart blankets and a Debbie Mumm® Bee print.


Cartoon Cats, Cat Faces,
Kitties & Butterflies 
Find the Etsy listing HERE.

 Teddy Bears - Find the Etsy listing HERE.

Hearts in a Line & Tiny Pink Hearts - Find the Etsy listing HERE.

Debbie Mumm® print Bee Blanket - Find the Etsy listing HERE.

Below are my latest Pet Mat Beds. They are made from three layers of fleece and are 100% machine washable. Your pet will love them and you will love the fact that they help protect your furniture.

The first photo shows a set of Limited Edition Doggie Mat Beds. There are four different sizes available. 

The second photo shows my new Kitty Mat Beds in seven different prints.

Doggie Mat Beds - Find the Etsy listing HERE.

 Kitty Mat Beds - Find the Etsy listing HERE.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 Doggie Mat Beds Are Coming!

 Limited Edition Doggie Mat Beds
 
Doggie Mat Beds are coming!

Years ago I started making Kitty Mat Beds for my own kitties. They measure 16" x 19" and are made with three layers of fleece and a fun flannel print.

For the first time, I'm trying a few different sizes of Mat Beds for dogs. Unlike cats, dogs come in a myriad of sizes so it's hard to determine what sizes people might be interested in.

 I have five different sizes of Doggie Mat Beds available, most made with the the scrap ends of fleece I've had for some time. These beds are made from three layers of fleece and are 100% machine washable. Great for protecting your furniture from pet hair and scratching.

They are not quite finished. I still need to sew labels on them and then post the listing on Etsy.


The Paws on Brown is 28" x 33" two available
Paws on Red 23"x 24" two available
Horses 21" x 24.5" two available
Blk & White Geometric 20" x 23" two available

Doggies on Flannel 16" x 19" one available; more coming
(Three layers of fleece; one layer of flannel print.)



These limited edition Doggie Mat Beds will be available at my Etsy store soon!

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Hanging Heart Sachets

Introducing my Hanging Heart Sachets and Hanging Octagon Sachets, now available at my Etsy store.

The Hanging Heart Sachets are filled with three heaping tablespoons of my special blend of lavender and peppermint leaves and hang on a ribbon. The Hanging Octagon Sachets are filled with two heaping tablespoons of my special sachet blend.

The Hanging Sachets are available in five prints: Silver Swirl, Peacock, Blue & Gold Circles, Green Bloom and Pink Ribbon. More prints will be added soon.

Silver Swirl, Peacock, Blue & Gold Circles

Peacock Hanging Heart & Hanging Octagon

Silver Swirl Heart & Hanging Octagon

Blue & Gold Circles Hanging Heart & Hanging Octagon

Pink Ribbon Hanging Heart & Hanging Octagon

Green Bloom Hanging Heart & Hanging Octagon

Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 Happy Holidays & Handkerchief Construction

Embroidered Handmade Handkerchief 2008
Pattern: Alternating Flowers Pfaff stitches 96 & 98

Happy Holidays everyone.

I hope you are having a memorable holiday this season. It's a very low key Christmas for us. No special meal, event or decorating. Mr. Sprocket, has been trying to relax as much as possible ever since learning over a week ago that he has a cracked/displaced rib as a result of his open heart surgery. It hasn't healed since his operation and it was discouraging to find out this was the source of his persistent chest pain. He hasn't wanted to do anything other than remaining sofa king, not using his arms at all to keep his pain level down and trying to get the rib to mend as soon as possible.

On Thursday night and into Friday I started to get body aches and pains, fever and night sweats. So I've been resting under my favorite blankie and taking my Dr. Peter D'Adamo supplements, especially Proberry [good for all blood types]. Today I'm feeling like I'm on the mend.

Right before I was feeling under the weather, I was working on getting my lightweight linen ready to make an inventory stack of handkerchiefs.

I have not made handkerchiefs from scratch in over eight years. It's a lengthy process just to get the handkerchiefs made and ready to embroider.

Making Handkerchiefs
There are items I make that take a lot of preparation work for something that doesn't look like you put nearly as much effort into making. Embroidered handkerchiefs are just that.

First step is purchasing six to eight yards of a lightweight linen. I get a 58" linen-rayon blend from JoAnn Fabrics. I always try to buy on sale since linens can be very expensive.

Next step is a hot wash and dry. The difficult part is ironing eight yards of fabric so I have a method. I iron about four to five feet. I then fold the ironed part twice, getting it lined up on the selvedge.

I put the folded fabric on my cutting mat, letting the remaining, unironed fabric fall off the table. Using a rotary cutter, I cut 15" [or 13"] wide strips. I then go back to the ironing board and repeat the process until I have a stack of 58" long strips 15" wide.
I then line up four to five strips on top of each other on the cutting mat and using the rotary cutter again, I make the finale cuts in the 58" strip to make 15" squares.

It's now past time to get my Pfaff Overlock machine ready to create a rolled hem around the edge of the handkerchief.


I haven't made the handkerchiefs in over eight years and I cannot for the life of me remember the settings for a rolled hem on my Pfaff. Luckily, I find the manual and the instructions for a tightly rolled hem come close. I take out the left needle, rotate the cutting blade out of the way and dial in the initial recommended settings. I only need a few adjustments.

I start on scraps of the linen fabric and the rolled hem is coming out perfect. But the big challenge is to perfect the corner turns. I try and try and try but I'm failing miserably. I can't seem to do it consistently. I have to settle for getting the corners perfect less than 50% of the time.

The rolled hem on a handkerchief.

After a bit of work, I've completed the rolled hem on 20 handkerchiefs.


20 edged handkerchiefs; 28 ready to edge.

The next step will be putting a tiny, tiny dab of fraycheck or glue on the dangling rolled hem threads, letting it dry and then cutting off the excess.

Setting up for the embroidery is another detailed process. I use a water soluble stabilizer on the back of the light weight fabric called ULTRA SOLVY. It feels like a thick plastic. I cut that into 3/4" inch strips. With a bit of moisture, I attach the stabilizer to the back four edges of the handkerchief.  Once the stabilizer is added, the handkerchief is ready to embroider.

Here are a few more examples of handkerchiefs I made for my Aunt Julie some time ago.

 Pfaff stitch 112 close; Purple blend thread.

 Pfaff stitch 119 close, Pink blend thread.

Pfaff stitch 048; Gutermann thread color 780.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

New Ornament/Package Toppers and Heart Sachets for 2016


NEW ORNAMENT/PACKAGE TOPPERS -
Only at Betsy Ross Linens on Etsy!

It has been quite a challenging year for the Sprocket household. In-between taking care of Mr. Sprocket at home for the past five weeks, I've been slowly working on getting new Ornament/Package Topper sets together.

Below are just a sampling of the over 35 Ornament/Package Toppers available in the Ornament/Package Toppers section at my Etsy Store.

Santa Stamps Ornament Collection

 Vintage Toys Ornament Collection

Hanukkah Holiday Ornament Collection

Deer In The Woods Ornament collection

Yoga Pets Ornament Collection

Tough Dogs Ornament Collection

Snow Angel Ornament Collection

Ornaments In the Ivy Ornament Collection

Christmas Doggies Gold Ornament Collection
(Doggies Red & Doggies Green not shown)

Check out all the Ornament/Package Topper sets at my Etsy Store.

NEW HEART SACHETS

See all the heart sachets available in the sachet section at my Etsy Store.

Kitty Prints Heart Sachet

Two Asian Ladies Heart Sachets

Hanukkah Sachet Collection

Western Hearts Sachets

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Fleece & Flannel Blankets

I have three new blankets available at my Etsy store in the BLANKETS section. 

The first two blankets are fleece and flannel. The blankets are made with a cotton flannel print on one side and ivory polar fleece on the other. These blankets measure approximately 42-43" wide by 58-59" long. They are soft, cozy and best of all, 100% machine washable.

Tiny Hearts & Cats in Hats & Bows
 
Tiny Hearts close up
Only TWO available
 
Cats in Hats & Bows close up
Only ONE available

The next blanket is a double fleece. It's a Debbie Mumm print that I call Kitties Chasing Mice on one side and ivory polar fleece on the other side.

Kitties Chasing Mice, double fleece
Only ONE available

Kitties Chasing Mice, close up

Comparison of fleece and flannel blanket 
to a double fleece blanket.

This is just a start. More blankets coming in the next few days. Contact me if you have a special request/order at sprocket.trials AT gmail.com.