Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Mini Design Boards

I’ve had this idea from Pinterest for awhile and just had the push and weekend to do it.  The final push is that the largest one will really help me with assembly of #5, the UFO challenge quilt.


Tutorial part 1
Tutorial part 2

I’ve had the foam board for a bit and the price on the back was $5.99 but from Hobby Lobby.  I know I bought it when it was either 50% off or with a coupon.

The batting is from scraps of my quilts.

The binding edge is some of my first snow dyed fabric.  It is a Kona Cotton fabric and too coarse that I didn’t really want it on a quilt.  And this is all about free and cheap.  So I pulled fabric I already had to use it!

As much as I love my bias tape makers, they just weren’t right for this edging.  I followed the tutorial instructions with pressing and stitching the binding as written and really it was best.


The edges are just anchored with the hot glue gun.  Easy!  My largest design board is 16″ x 32″ and the smallest is 10″ x 10″.

I’m sure you’ll see these in use in future posts.

Read Full Post »

A fellow quilting friend gave me this cabinet for free that she got for free.  Double win!!  I have no idea where the “before” photos went but this is one of the baskets that isn’t redone yet showing the original colors of paint and the fabric.

cabinet 4

I visited my favorite local quilt shop and in the clearance closet found a great neutral fabric for 40% off!  (there are good scores in there sometimes!)  Then a stop at Home Depot for 2 cans of spray paint in the color “snow”.  A nearly light gray color.

I was hurrying to get this painted before the mid-October temps dropped to below 40’F so I could get the painting done in the garage.  I could use another can of paint and many warmer days, hence the baskets aren’t redone yet.

I plan to have this upstairs for the winter so I can have a bit of personal projects in the living room with my sewing machine and be able to sew in the evenings.  So now with the redo, it seems OK in the living room.  Mostly I’ll like having just the small area for ironing seams.

cabinet 1

The table I intended to use is going to probably become a kitchen table at an apartment soon so I guess I’m in the market for a portable sewing machine table.   I know what I want as another quilting friend has this sort of set-up as well.  That will be a New Year’s addition.  (Yahoo!)

When I recovered the ironing surfaces, I added a layer of batting over the foam that was on there already.  We put new hinges on the drop-sides.  I need Mr. Strong Arms to get the casters in the bottom a bit more secure.

The baskets fit in the pull out part and stay there to slide back into the main section.

cabinet 3

Finished for now!  Thank you!cabinet 2

Read Full Post »

I made a sewing machine mat for my BFF.


The candle is holding it on the table but this is how it hangs but with her sewing machine sitting on it!  It is decorative, can cut down on noise and/or vibration, and holds needed tools nearby.   I used magnets to attach the trash bag (so it can be removed to dump it) but it could be that that part doesn’t fly.  One of those perks (ha!) of getting the first one ever and that I didn’t do a test run for myself first.  🙂

This is the top side with it laying flat.  Her initial in the top right area.  Hand-guided, freehand quilting.  The accent stitching is in a yellow King Tut thread and the fills are gray So Fine thread.

The pockets have single-fold bias binding and then traditional double-fold bias binding for the edges.

The back~


Looking inside the pocket from the front, it is just quilting.  However, I quilted it in mirrored handwriting that appears only on the back.


Many happy stitching hours, dear friend! ♥

Read Full Post »

Designer Hats

Miss K asked for 2 days off… just because!  Can you imagine?  🙂   It was so fun doing projects and shopping with her during this little visit as there was no holiday to celebrate while she was here.

P1010909 B

She & I have new handmade faux fur hats!  I love mine!!  It is super warm.  So warm that I have now been known to say I’m getting hot in the car.  In case you forgot, it is cold here!!

P1010903 B

Hot pink lining is oh-so-happy to see!

P1010905bI think we make a lovely silhouette.  🙂


Read Full Post »

Game ON!

My mom & SIL have now been introduced to January’s “The Blind Leading the Blind” Game.  🙂

The long story is that when I was out in early Dec to see my parents, mom asked if I’d fix a seam in one of her black skirts.  Sure and I made sure I packed black thread.  Upon further review of the skirt, it was one that I had made!  Gasp!!  Coming apart?  No!!  😦   However, it was not the seam coming apart but the fabric wearing out.   I guess she likes the skirt.

I hoped that at home, I’d find the original pattern with my notes on it for her and whip up another one.  No such luck.  I believe in one of those barely noticed purges, the garment patterns for adults were purged.  Mom had retired and “didn’t need any more suits” (she said) and the styles of the other clothes are hopefully not coming back.  However, this little black skirt was a classic.  And was also gone.

I looked online for the right pattern as she is most comfortable with the skirts without separate waistbands but just a facing for the top edge.  I found…. ONE.   Of course, it took trips to 2 different stores to find it during sale week but a pattern for $1 is worth it.

I found fabrics in the stash to make practice skirts but have yet to find a good black for a nice skirt so plan to shop online for something “suit”-able.  🙂

Last week, I made a skirt from a brown fine plaid.


I left it all inside out and gave her several side seams that are just basted in so that she & SIL can let them in or out as needed.


I even put the zipper in inside out so that the fittings are easier than “digging” for that zipper tab on the wrong side.


The box also included the instructions for the skirt and a fleece jacket in baby chick pale yellow.  I know the 2 don’t really go together but the jacket was a last minute idea.  Well, the idea came after the skirt need.  They don’t have to work so hard at fitting on the jacket but I might have to work harder at making it work later.

A bag of “medicine” was also included, AKA Dove chocolates in Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Swirl in Dark Chocolate.  These are to be administered to  a) she who stands still for fittings, b) she who was drafted & unasked to help with fittings and loves dark chocolate, c) for the others wandering the house so they don’t get grouchy, OR d) for the first one to open the box and steal them all!

Hopefully, this ‘through the mail fittings’ idea works and Mom gets some new clothes made just for her!

And then I think that I should be finding a suit jacket pattern that would work well with the new skirt and work on fitting that to her as well.  Because really one black is only like the other black in a coloring box, right?

Read Full Post »


I still have a ton more photos to sort before telling you about our family reunion last week.  AND… I have places to go & people to see before I can just sit and do that.

However —

this beautifully wrapped package —

contains —

to be used with —

and tips from here  —

and here —

Will all add up to help me to get to Houston.  😀  In 18 days!!!  😀

Read Full Post »

My MIL delights in auctions.  DEEElights!  She knows to be on the look-out for sewing machines & quilt stuff.

I knew there was a nearby auction on Friday but I couldn’t go w/ the quilt show on my calender.  In the haste of harvest & getting my own stuff around, I forgot to call her.   However, she called me from the auction.

She said there were several treadle machines. However, I was gone until 5, Phil & FIL were swamped with harvest, and JP was at work.  So those would have to go home with someone else as she would need help in loading.

She said there was a Bicor machine. I’ve never heard of this brand.  Now I know it was made in Poland.   I haven’t had a chance to clean it or look for a manual yet.

MIL said on the phone that there was a Singer, some type of lightweight.  It was white.  I said to buy it.  HOWEVER, she brought home this HUGE suitcase like overnight bag.  Inside is a serger! LOL!!  I laughed but paid her for it as well.  I’ll get it going and look for a new home for it.

And then 3 flats of quilt tops and embroidered linens.  Jackpot here!!

A dark navy & black top made from suiting scraps.  Not sure this will ever be finished.  It is a good quilt for the trunk of your car on cold wintery drives.  🙂   I’ll be happy to finish it for anyone that wants to buy it.  The photo is of 1/4 of the top.

This next one is an older top, maybe even done for the US Bicentennial and the quilt revival then.  Red, white & blue.  It is hand-pieced and about 65″ square.   The blocks are about 19″ but even with just 4 blocks, they each vary greatly.

One of the red borders is sun damaged.  I thought maybe I could just flip to the back side of the fabric but there are also some holes in the outer border.  I think I’ll take it to a quilt shop sometime and see if they would have some red that is close to the original.


This is a printed table cloth but I think it would be cute quilted.


The real beauty of the whole pile is this cross-stitched quilt.  Yummy!!

I left this photo larger if you want to click on it to see it about twice this size.  All the cross-stitch is complete in blues, greens, and a bit of lavender.  I love this!!!  MIL knows I was quite thrilled with this one!!! 🙂  It is 82″ x 98″ and I can’t wait to see this quilted and finished.

I have a remaining pile of various embroidered linens.  Some pillow tops that need finishing as well as dresser scarves and chair covers.

Here is a funny from the whole thing.  MIL was buying these piles of linens and had a stack in front of her.  A lady came up to her and asked, “What are you doing with all these pieces?”

She replied, “I give them to my daughter-in-law!”   🙂

“Wow!  You must be a really good mother-in-law.”

We laughed over that one.  She & I were both pleased.

I informed her that I’d be feeding FIL on Saturday since it was bean plot day so she was off of lunch packing & delivery duty.  She was glad for all the more time for her to be at an auction she wanted to go to.  However, even visiting 2 auctions on Saturday was nothing compared to her Friday finds.  She also had her own treasures from Friday.

Read Full Post »


I’m home all morning as Phil is in charge of special parking this weekend at church and JP is drumming.   One thought would have been to sleep in but I am in charge of breakfast (Phil was trying to get chores done, a shower, and out the door by 7:15) and I had to get the cooler packed.  Yesterday I made cookies for the Saturday crew and muffins for the Sunday crew.  Those were ready but you know it sometimes takes a woman to get a man out the door.  🙂

I knew I’d like to watch the special programming for the 9/11 remembrance so was fine to be in charge of the remote.   Ten years ago, we were doing school when Phil headed out the lane to town.  He got to the highway and turned around, hearing unusual reports on the truck radio.  He rang the front doorbell.  I opened the door and he said I should turn on the TV.  He had an odd, almost dazed, look on his face.   My first thought was that he noticed the antenna was down or leaning or broken and wanted me to check.  However, once the TV was on, it was working fine and bringing the disaster live to our living room.

I have family that love NYC and friends who have lived there.  However, I’ve never been to the city and didn’t even know the skyline until that day.  I didn’t know the importance in beauty or the need of the World Trade Center.   But the TV stayed on that day even though the kids did continue their school for the day.

I saw the interview this morning of the last survivor they pulled from the debris.   I’m considering getting her book to read.


After the men were off, I went for my run.  I’m hanging at 3 1/2 laps of the lane for now.  Fed the kitties and rescued Black Nose from the second pen of pigs under the barn. The other female cleared 4 boards of the wall, I’m not sure why Black Nose didn’t want to climb up to the kitten-sized hole of board 2.   I made her walk back to the barn, just in case she hadn’t been out like that before so she’d know she could do it.     She was quite hungry.    The Mr of the bunch jumped onto my lap and PURRED so loudly.

After much delay and watching snippets of the 9/11 programs, I headed to the sewing room.  Last weekend & this weekend, I’ve not “worked” (quilting for others) but done some catch-up on my own due dates.  This weekend is for making clutches to donate to the other guild’s boutique for our show in October.

I’m making 3 for now.  It is easier to do them assembly line and at this point, the easy parts are done.  :eyeroll:  All the embroidery is finished.  The pieces are all cut out.  My last thing (before I came up for a nap and now lunch) was to put the binding around the front flaps.   The first of the tedious parts.

It is stitched by machine onto the front and then hand-stitched to the back side.  I use bias strips so try to choose a fabric with stripes or a pattern that is great on the bias.

These are my 3; hoping to appeal to a wide variety of shoppers.

They are in pieces, just laid out as they will go for you to see.

Next up is piping.  Times 3.  Hence, my procrastinating…


ETA — I’m done!! 🙂  Finished at 6:30 p.m.  Sewed for a few hours after posting, took another nap, still have my headache, watched some 9/11 stuff online, then finished sewing.  LOL!!

Read Full Post »

I had 4 students in my summer sewing classes.  We had 3 weeks to meet in June & July but had fun in the short amount of time.   Since there were 2 brand-new students, we started the first class with a review of the parts of the machine and sewing on paper.  Then we made pillows and they each got to choose their fabric from a selection I had gotten out for them.

At the 2nd & 3rd classes we made backpacks.   A separate casing for the drawstring, threading that through, interfacing to reinforce the corners, grommets, and their cute purchased fabrics.  We had enough time on the last day to make little coin purses for inside with a velcro closure.

As the last few minutes of class came to a close, Phil asked if they were done and if he could bring something up to show.

A 2 hour old baby pig!  Quite fun for them!!  As the moms came back for pick-up, I met them outside and let them know about the baby pig so they could bring in the littles in their car.  So much fun!

Read Full Post »

Sewing Classes 5 & 6

For the last 2 classes with my young girls, they made skirts.  This is Butterick pattern 4722.  We used view E for an elastic waist skirt with ruffle.   It dawned on me to make my example skirts for Miss E that came to visit the farm last fall while her “Poppa” was helping Phil.  I hope she is DEE-lighted with her skirts.   Her grandma said her favorite colors are red & blue.

My students were much more creative in their shopping endeavors!  And they said they had fun.  😉

A few students were challenged with gathering the ruffle and inserting the elastic so the last class took a bit longer.    I continue to wonder if the pattern was too much for them or we just needed more time.  I don’t know.  The girls were so excited to have made their skirts and had plans to wear them either to “show Grandma tonight” or wear them to church on Sunday.

I had such super students!  Great fun…. but tiring for all of us.  🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »