Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reality Bites

Hi readers. Some of you may have noticed my posts are less frequent.

I have Multiple Sclerosis that has recently come out of remision. With me it causes extreme fatigue, poor balance and problems with my short term memory and processing skills.

Everything takes a lot of effort and I have much less energy. Because of this I need to rest more and do less. Which means my blog needs to retire.

I appreciate your following and comments. It was really fun to share ideas and projects with you.

Blessings to each of you,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Missing in Action

Sorry Readers for being MIA. Would you believe it took me a while to recover from the family reunion? lol.

I've actually been busy sewing. I've been working on making place mats and napkins. My daughter has opened my eyes to the waste of using paper products (such as napkins and towels). Not only do they add up in costs, but they fill our landfills and consume massive amounts of trees. And I love trees.

So, at 51 I'm going green!

Here are some of the place mats and napkins I've made. The mitered corners are gorgeous if I say so myself. A new friend showed me how to make them. Wish I could share the secret, but I promised to keep it to myself.

I've also started a monthly quilting and knitting (please accept my apologies) group in my home. The ladies are all from my church and we're making lap quilts or shawls for a local nursing home right now. Much fun, laughter and eating was done with little sewing to be seen! Hopefully over the month I can catch up. I'm making a batik quilt with colors that remind me of the waters in Key West.

Hope each of you is doing well.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Clip On Sunglass Holder Tutorial

Good Evening!

I needed a new case for my clip on sunglasses, so I made up a pattern and took pictures along the way. These are quick to whip up, maybe half an hour tops. I used two coordinating fabrics from Moda's "Neptune".

One 6"x7" square of your primary fabric
One 6"x7" square of batting
One 2 1/4"x6" square of contrasting fabric
One 5 1/4"x6" square of fleece or soft fabric
dare I mention?...seam ripper?

Note: all seams are 1/4"

1. Cut fabric into sizes listed in materials list.

2. Sew contrasting fabric (2 1/4"x6") to fleece (5 1/4" x 6") along 6" sides. Iron seam open. This will be your inside fabric.

3. Make fabric sandwich layering batting, then Outside fabric, right side up, followed by Inside fabric, wrong side up.

4. With white pencil, make two marks on upper right hand edge of sandwich. From top right corner, mark 2" down and 2 1/2" to the left from the corner. Draw a line with the white pencil connecting these two marks. It should look like a triangle.

5. Cut off this triangle on the white line.

6. Sew around all edges edge leaving 2" opening along one side (to turn inside out).

7. Trim edges and corners to 1/4" from seam. Do NOT trim 2" area left open to turn inside out.

8. Turn inside out. Iron carefully.

9. At 2" opening, iron seams in.

10. Top stitch along top of case and down right side until you reach fleece. (Recommend double stitching for best look. Would not use double needle because the bobbin stitching is not attractive and it will be seen).

11. Now fold case in half length-wise as it will look when finished. Double stitch top stitch along sides.

12. Wala!

We fly out tomorrow to pick up my father-in-law in Destin, Florida. From there we will drive two days to Wilmington, North Carolina for my husband's family reunion. We have an annual golf tournament with a trophy and lots of food. I won't be able to blog during this week. So, I'll see you next week. Hope you have a good one!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gift Idea for someone that has everything

Top of the day to you!

Thought I'd share a great idea for a gift for someone that has everything. When I used to do speech pathology I did a home visit and noticed something like the photo above. When I asked about it the patient started crying. Bingo! Great gift!

This is a Scrabble board with words on it that are meaningful to the person receiving the board. Things like pet names, street addresses, favorite places, people, children, dates, etc.

You'll need a Scrabble game, white glue, creativity. Frame set or professional framing.

To make this item, begin by writing a list of words you'd like to put on the board. This is fun! Take your time, perhaps a few days, to enjoy the memories.

Take the longest word and spell it out with wood squares horizontally or vertically on the board. Glue each piece down with some white household glue like Elmer's. (Other glues produce a gas that clouds the glass in the frame). (NOTE: you may have to buy extra wood squares if you run out of letters)

Once dry, you can have it professionally framed (like the first example) or do it yourself (like the second example). Expect to get "ohhs and ahhs" when you gift them.

It makes a great anniversary gift, birthday or wedding gift. The first one is an anniversary gift I gave my dh and the second one is one I made for his grandmother. When she died, we got it back. So, it's special to us and bit of her.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fabric Scripture Memory Flip Books

Good Morning!

I've been playing with books lately and have produced four Scripture Memory Flip Books. I was having a difficult time punching holes in the fabric when (finally) I remembered you have to put a stabilizer on the back of fabrics when you do embroidery. So, after ironing the paper on the back of the fabric, I was able to punch holes easily.

I'm working on a quilt block wall hanging, so come back in a day or two to see it.

Take care,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Two Tips!

Good morning! Hope all is well with you.

I've been sewing up a storm, but nothing is finished to show you. However, I did learn something new...How to make nice, sharp corners. I wasn't completely satisfied with my corners. Despite poking with a knitting needle, they were, well, blah. I found the answer at Basically you trim excess fabric very closely and then sew ACROSS the corner a few stitches. I know it sounds like a mistake, but it works. In the photos above the pictures in the left column show the way we regularly do corners, the right column shows the stitching across method.

Tip number 2: You know those little sandpaper dots we purchase to put on the underside of our rulers to keep them from slipping? Well, you can use them for other things. Like sticking one to a button on your machine. This allows you to push that button by touch alone. Your eyes can stay on your sewing. This is very nice for long-arm machines too. I also put one on my house door key so I can tell by touch which one to use. I also put a few on the top of my self-healing mat. It helps hold the fabric still as you cut. And the list goes on. I'm sure you can think of a few good spots to stick one. (by the way, that's my Baby Lock sewing machine. I just love it!)

Have a nice Memorial Day holiday.

Forgive a grandma... This is Alex at one month! Can you believe he can hold himself up like that?!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Florida Sunshine

Dull and boring where you are? How about a little Florida Sunshine!

Here's my latest small quilt. It's made from the "Water Garden" fabric line by Moda. I just love the cheerful colors. I only used two fabrics, the floral is in the squares and binding and the yellow fabric in the sashing and back. It was easy to whip up and brings a smile to my face.

I'm starting a special applique for the wall above my fireplace. It's called Meg's Garden and you can see it directly below. Isn't that just amazing!? I purchased the pattern from Australian Homespun.

You need to check out "Don't Look Now's " blog. She has more talent oozing out of her pinkie than most of us combined.

I've chosen greens, soft blues, burgandies and soft yellows for my colors. I've wanted to tackle a hand applique project for a while now. I'll keep you updated on it's progress.

Also, I found a very interesting site that has a video showing how to use simple Elmer's glue to temporarily attach your binding as you sew it. It remains in place and is a breeze to do. I used it with the last quilt (above) and it worked quite well.

Have a nice Sunday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kaleidoscope Finished!

Introducing....(drum roll please), Kaleidoscope!

I just finished her binding tonight. She's up and loaded into etsy and looking good. I really enjoyed making her (quilts are hers aren't they?). The Mary Engelbert "Basket of Flowers" line is cheery and colorful. And I love big, fat sashes. I had fun making this quilt two sided. I think I'll have to do that whenever possible.

Already have a new lap top sized quilt planned. I'll be using large 5"x5" squares surrounded by single 2.5"x2.5" squares and sashing.

I've helped start a shawl ministry at our church. I went out and spent a fortune on some lovely alpaca yarn. I quickly remembered why knitting bores me. It takes so long to see results. Not so with quilting. So, now I'm looking for quilt shawl patterns. Wouldn't a lap quilt be a nice gift for someone in a nursing home?

Hope each of you is doing well.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Care Package

Good Morning!

I'm off to mail a care package to my new grandson. Here are some of the items I've made. The first one (above) is a stand for a collection of finger puppets. I just got a plaque, sanded and stained it and glued pieces called "girl dolls" on the top. Such a simple project and such fun. The puppets are from a collection called "Rain Forest"

2) we have a diaper changing pad with a pocket to place diapers and wipes 3) cloth wipes 4) waterproof lined wipes holder 5) is a wet item bag (waterproofed),bag for soiled diapers, bibs or clothes 7)are six kitchen towels with fabric accents, and finally we have 12 cloth napkins and two placemats.

The napkins were my least favorite to do. To make them all the same size, you have to use a template and sew a quarter inch hem twice. Tedious.

I'm weary of making baby items, so next post will be back to quilts.

Have a nice day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Joining the Hand-Piecing Bandwagon!

After encouragement from fellow bloggers, I'm trying my hand at hand-piecing. And I love it. It's very soothing and something you can take with you. Although my local quilt shop owner insists you can take your sewing machine with you when you travel, (lol), I prefer something I can stuff inside my purse. The sewing machine doesn't quite fit! And I can't imagine what my dh would say if I added a sewing machine to the already excessive amount of luggage we travel with. Well, "we" isn't quite accurate...

I'm following a book of patterns that begins with simply made blocks and advances slowly. Last night I finished my first block, a railfence. I'm using some left over fabric from my stash.

So keep an eye on me as I add to my hand-pieced blocks to make a sampler that I will hand quilt! Of course I'm also finishing a binding on a baby quilt, machine piecing a twin quilt, designing and machine sewing a new baby quilt and all of the projects listed in the last post. When will I sleep?

Here is the back of my block. I'm just feeling a bit feisty and have the urge to live dangerously, so I'm confessing I press my seams open.

Is your heart pounding? Blood pressure going up?

Pressing open works for me. Easier to piece and match. (I also press open seams for machine quilting).

Take a deep breath...For a good discussion about pressing, you may want to check out Oh Fransson.

Have a great evening despite my confession.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gift Ideas for New Moms


I've been working on a list of projects to make for my stepdaughter and my new grandbaby. I've scoured the Internet for the best patterns.

Just click on the brown typeface below for the link.

Diaper Changing Pads:
Much friendlier than cold in the winter, hot in the summer and always sticky plastic.

If we're trying to save the environment from being overrun by diapers, lets do it for wipes too! Easy to pop in the washer with the cloth diapers. And much softer to delicate baby bottoms.


Snazy containers for diapers and wipes for the stylish baby and mom!

For polite camouflage in public

That could include soiled bibs, diapers, cloths or clothes. Add another zipper bag for a change of clothes.

Everyone needs nice dishtowels. This is a nice way to cheer up a kitchen and add a little color for very little effort and cost.

I fly back to Florida tomorrow. It's been a wonderful visit with my family. But I'm glad to be getting home and back to my husband, dogs and routine.

Good evening to all!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby Love!

Introducing Alexander Nico!

Sleeper, eater and pooper extraordinaire! He's a darling boy,
very bright and so kind and gentle! And ten days old today!

We're visiting Alex and his mom and dad in College Station Texas. Between holding the baby and helping the parents I've been doing handwork- hexagons. My, my, they're addictive! I'm combining vario
us techniques: Paper hexagons that I swiped the edges with a glue stick, folded the fabric down on it, whip stitched the corners down and then sewed the hexes together. Here's a sample (I used Moda's Woodland Blooms)

I can't resist showing you this last photo of Alex. What a miracle babies are!

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zippadee Do Dah

Hi to Micki, my first "follower"! I'm thrilled and complimented!

I've been at the drawing board (or should I say flannel wall?) trying to design a make-up bag that really works for me. I wasted a lot of fabric and eventually purchased a pattern from Aimee at I modified the pattern a bit for size, added a patchwork piece for fun and pockets. I also made the interior piece 1/2 inch smaller to fit comfortably in the exterior piece and cheated with "stitch witchery" to keep the top "hems" in place as I added the zipper. I used "Neptune" Fabric by Tula Pink for Moda. Love that line of fabric.

What do you think? (Besides the fact that I don't pack lightly...)

Just in time for my trip to Texas tomorrow to meet my grandbaby. (pictures to follow!)

Goodnight Y'all!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Patchwork Purse

Presenting the Patchwork Purse! I've been experimenting with purse-making and here's what I've come up with. It's 14 inches wide by 8 inches high. The straps can adjust to 7 inches or 14 inches long. It has six open interior pockets of various widths to hold pens, phones, makeup, etc. It has a firm bottom and can sit alone.

The sides were pieced vertically at the bottom in three inch sections and horizontally at the top with decorative stitching in the ditch. It's soft, but not too soft.

I think I'll try different color combinations and different quilt squares for fun.

We are traveling to Texas on Tuesday to see baby Alex and celebrate his birth-day. I grew up in Texas, so it'll be nice to have some good Tex-Mex and beef ribs. And if we're lucky there will still be bluebonnets! I've already scoped out the Quilt shops in the areas we'll be staying. Guess I'd better bring some cash!

Have a nice day!

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