Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cathedral Pillow Present

I finally tried my hand at making a Cathedral Window Pillow. I've wanted to make my mom something for a long time and with Christmas right around the corner it was the best time to do it. I followed along with this tutorial from Moda Bake Shop by Angela Nash of My Three Sons. The only thing I didn't do was the binding. To be honest I've never done binding before and I didn't want to add to my stress level of getting this pillow done. (The first two pictures are from my phone.)

As you can see from the picture above I went with the "Lake View" pillow.

The hardest part and most time consuming is all the folding of the fabric. Since this was my first try at making such a time consuming project on such short notice my corners certainly are not as precise as they should be.

I looked all over Flickr to see what I could do about all the corners of the blocks. Some corners looked pretty good (not perfect) and some I could see right through to the other side of the piece which wasn't good. I thought of making yo-yo's, using regular buttons, folding fabric (again) to cover all those points but making fabric covered buttons won out.
There are nine fabric covered buttons (another craft I have never done) and half way through making them I changed colors. I was going to make them dark blue but that just took away from all the work that I had done. I didn't want anyone to look at the pillow and only see the buttons so white won out. Since I only bought what I needed taking the ones apart that I had already done was quite a challenge. 
I love this pillow! I should have taken a picture with my mom and the pillow but of course I didn't think of it then. I will definitely be making this pillow again and conquering my fear of binding!
In other exciting news our Christmas was fantastic. I was surprised with a Silhouette Cameo from my husband and I can't wait to start being creative with it.
Hope everyone has the healthiest of New Year's! We're celebrating with neighbors and I'm looking forward to saying good-by to 2012!
Have a Great Day!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

The stockings were hung ...

I was featured on Craft Gossip!

My first love of crafting has to be counted cross-stitch. I started doing cross-stitch right out of high school. 14 count Aida was the cloth of choice! Using those counts and cloths didn't last long when I came across all the different colors of linens, thread counts and patterns. I subscribed to Better Homes & Gardens Cross-Stitch & Country Crafts Magazine many years ago and when I saw the beautiful counted cross-stitch patterns of different stockings I knew I wanted to do it. I didn't even have children yet when these patterns came out so I saved them. Once I started to have children I set out to make each one of them their very own unique stocking.
There is alot of back stitch in these stockings because of all the details so I would put the stockings aside when I grew tired of doing them. I dug them out of a box a few years ago along with their patterns and went through them line by line to find where I had not finished them. Once they were completed I again put them back in their box until this year. My original intent was to always sew them into a regular stocking and hang them on the fireplace but as the years went by I knew that was not going to be a reality. I finally had a brilliant idea that I would frame the stockings in separate frames where I could display them as long as I wanted. I went to my local Joann's and bought 3 remnant mat boards of the same color and frames that were half off. After stretching them on a board, cutting the mat and putting them in the 16x20 frames they were ready to be hung.

The above stocking was my first for my oldest daughter who was born in 1992. The pattern is called Sugar 'n' Spice from the magazines July/Aug. 1992 issue.

This stocking was for my middle daughter born in 1995. The pattern is called The Music Room and the issue was from July/Aug 1991.

The last stocking I made was for my son who was born in 1997. His pattern is called Snips 'n' Snails from Jul/Aug 1993.

So after 20 years the stockings were hung . . . on the wall!

I'm linking these up over at Quilting Lines where she is having a linking party that has to do with stockings.
In other news I won a few blog hops. Kate from Katie Mae Quilts sent me this layer cake of Millie's Closet by Lori Holt. Lori blogs over at Bee In My Bonnet. I'm thinking I really need a new pin cushion with a thread catcher and this fabric will be perfect. 

Below Alison from Little Bunny Quilts sent me 50 charm squares from her collection. Wow what an assortment of fabric! These will definitely be put to good use.


May everyone have the Merriest of Christmas's and the Happiest New Year!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Runners

First off I have to show off the wonderful bundles of fabrics I won from Victoria Findlay Wolfe at Bumble Beans Inc.. It was a month ago and like usual blogging takes a back seat to my life. :(

Photo from Victoria Findlay Wolfe
The fabric is from Newcastle Fabrics. I love it! Victoria is a busy women always sewing and quilting gorgeous quilts. She has a new book called 15 Minutes Of Play along with a blog hop thats finishing up on the 10th. Go check out the hop here. Can't wait to make either a quilt top or some bright pillows for my girls. Thanks Victoria!
On to Christmas sewing. My sewing machine also doubles as an embroidery machine and every once in awhile I'll add embroidery to plain pieces. I added some bells and a beautiful wreath to a table runner to jazz it up. I bought 6 9 ft. long table runners at Pottery Barn a few years ago and have been slowly shortening them to 4 1/2 ft. and making them into seasonal runners. This is the rest of my stash of table runners. 


I'd love to tell you where I got these gorgeous embroideries but I downloaded so many pieces when I first received my machine 12 years ago that I didn't keep track. I love the simplicity of these motifs and how delicate they look.

No one said I was a photographer and you can certainly tell in these pictures. This one is in my family room on our coffee table. I think our friends are afraid to set anything on them because they still continue to use coasters!
The next runner I got the idea off Pinterest. Just like the pillow from Pinterest I straight stitched around the pieces. Not the best idea! I have since washed it and of course fabric frayed and pieces came apart. I have now gone back and zig zagged all around to make it secure and tight. Lesson learned - don't straight stitch applique you'll be re-doing your piece!

This table runner is laying on our buffett in the diningroom. I can never get enough of Christmas (except at Halloween)! It's my favorite holiday of the year!
Have a Great Day!


Monday, December 3, 2012

More Dresdens

Now that I think about it I'm really getting into making things with my Dresden ruler. I just love how uniform and simple they look in my table runner. They are versatile when making my Turkey's. Now they look even better in my new project, a pillow.

I bought the fabric as remnants at my local quilt store. They didn't have a very great selection of Christmas fabric left so when I saw these on the counter I scooped them up knowing I could do something with them. I love the colors!

Since I'm still learning and haven't been sewing lately quite as much as I would love to be I did a blanket stitch around the whole outer edge with a zig zag stitch around the center. Quilting is not my forte at the moment and I had some DMC Perle Cotton in Black and some Kreinik Red Metallic Floss I decided I would just stitch around the outer edge. The end result is so much more than I could have imagined.

I made the pillows pretty basic with an envelope style on the back so I could cover up my regular everyday pillows in our family room. This makes changing the decor so much easier and an even cost effective way out. I love how the house is starting to look like Christmas.

Have a Great Day!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving seems to get lost in the shuffle everywhere you look. I see Halloween and then BAM! we're right into Christmas. Since I have alot of decor that is more geared towards fall than Halloween I like to keep it out but I noticed that I don't have a Thanksgiving Tablerunner or some pillows for outside.


You have to love Pinterest for all the beautiful ideas that are just a click away. The turkey layout was inspired by a pin from here. I had the bright colors left over from Spamalot and the tablerunner was pre-made from Pottery Barn. We usually head to our cottage for Thanksgiving but since it's still over a week away this gets us excited for Thanksgiving and spending time with our family.

The pillow above is just appliqued onto a canvas drop cloth that I made into a pillow form from Home Depot. I love having the porch decorated!
The acorn pillow has been pinned to my Pinterest account since the beginning. I pinned it from here but did my own thing. Some applique with satin stitch and I was done. Simple!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and don't let all the hustle and bustle of Christmas arrive on your doorstep to early. We're going to be spending Thanksgiving counting our blessings and being thankful that we're all able to spend the time with each other.
Have a Great Day!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Costumes for Spamalot

Whew! What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been. It started when I went to a Drama Boosters meeting for Monte Python's Spamalot for my son's drama class and the teacher asked one little question: "Can anyone sew?" I slowly and hesitantly raised my hand. All along I've told my son to never volunteer me to sew any costumes and here I was raising my hand. What was I thinking? The teacher was giddy with excitement that she found another volunteer to help sew 11 costumes. That night she gave me a cheaply made costume from the Renaissance period that was a skirt, peasant top and vest that she liked but wanted burgundy for the skirt. Knowing that I have never heard of the play, she also instructed me to look on youtube for inspiration.

All 11 girls were different sizes so I bought Simplicity 5582  pattern and used the largest size I could. I decided that elastic was going to be my favorite way to fit all the girls with a one size pattern.
I made ties to match the skirts to give a little pop of color to the vests. I didn't really want to spend money on grommets for 11 vests but in the end I decided that it would look the best.

Friday was a sewing party at my house with time running against me. My mom hemmed all the skirts from the measurements that I had taken the previous week. I sewed vests all day, instead of lining the vests I made my own bias tape for the sleeves, hem and top. That night while the kids were at the last home football game we continued to hem and sew while I recruited my husband on grommets and my girlfriend finishing up all the ironing.
We lucked out! Out of 11 costumes only 2 vests needed some adjustments. The skirts were a perfect length for all the girls and the shirts were perfect. This was a huge accomplishment for me to be able to sew 11 (33 pieces in all) costumes in 2 weeks. What a rewarding experience! Now time to go get caught up on everything that is on my own back burner.
Have a Great Day!

Monday, October 1, 2012


I have been sewing but not anything quilting related. I've been sewing for my daughter. I haven't sewn for my children since they were little and I was making Halloween costumes and matching Christmas outfits. It felt so good watching her come downstairs to see the pieces of fabric turn into a beautiful dress.
This was our inspiration: Simplicity Pattern 3878 by Jessica McClintock. Her choice in color was teal. We both decided all the roses that are glued/sewed onto the dress just was not going to be her. She wanted sparkle and glitter. We found the tulle that had glitter all over it and let me tell you that stuff gets everywhere! We've had glitter all over house!

The pattern was pretty much very easy to use. I found I had a few questions on how the pattern read when doing the bodice but I quickly figured it out. I had more of a hard time with the fabric being so shiny and slippery that I really had to go slow and take my time. There is boning in the dress and I will say there has to be a better way for that to fit. If I had time I would have torn it out and thought of something better. It kept twisting and as much as it bothered me in the end it didn't bother her.

Instead of rosettes and the bow on the dress I decided to try my hand at a fabric flower. They are everywhere and I've never tried one before. I mixed the satin and tulle on a 2 1/2" circle. It was exactly what we were looking for and it made the dress.

She loved the dress! Homecoming was a success and she said she danced the night away. She has a group of friends that she's had since elementary and they are a tight group of kids. They had a wonderful dinner at of the friends house where they all got dressed together afterwards. Of course as the proud mom there were tons of pictures but my favorite would have to be the one my girlfriend took of her. It's my favorite!

I'm now back to the sewing room but this time for costumes for the fall play of "Spamalot" for my son's drama class. I guess that's what happens when you sew and no one else does. Wish me luck because this is way out of my comfort zone.
Have a Great Day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Star Flower Pillow

Wow - life certainly has a way of getting past you and I'm totally shocked that I haven't written a word on this little blog since April. Good thing this little blog is just my way of seeing my own improvement and not out to get the highest number of hits.

Life certainly has been busy in my neck of the woods is one reason I have not blogged or even really sewed anything for that matter. My eldest daughter had a seizure in the middle of the night in May and my main concern has been to make sure she is fine - which she is! Medically the neurologist can not find anything wrong with her after numerous tests and are saying that this is a very common occurence in teenagers (she's 19). It can be caused by stress or even a hormonal imbalance. So . . . needless to say I'm now her designated driver along with my other 2 teenagers. So sewing and even blogging has become a back burner on my list of things to do.

I have been eyeing the beautiful charm pack of Reunion from Diane that I won months ago. Ever since it arrived. I so wanted to make Aylin Öztürk's Star Flower Pillow. I've had it pinned on my Pinterest account ever since I first saw it on Moda's website. I love it and I knew I could do it since I've done so many paper piecing projects.

So here is my pillow. I didn't do the binding since I've never conquered it and I also didn't want to use up any of my Reunion stash. Pretty selfish - uh? I've since made another pillow using HST's to go with it but that will have to be blogged at a later date when I have more time to sit on the computer and download the pictures.

Off to go run some teenagers around.

Have a Great Day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

NY Beauty Block 3

I'm behind a week with my NY Beauty QAL but I finally squeezed in some sewing time to do it. I didn't use the tutorial that was used on this block because it was pieced a totally different way that I've been doing it so far. The tutorial also didn't have any dimensions to cut the fabric so I had to measure and figure out my own way. I was very cautious the way I measured my squares because I want to be able to have enough of this fabric to finish. For anyone else that is contemplating doing this block I measured the height and width of the points and added at least 1/4" all the way around. This seemed to work well for me. On the smaller points near the end I used scraps since they were such tiny points. Of course no sewing can get done without ripping apart some seams or starting over and I did have to do that a few times. This is a learning curve for me and I'm plugging right along. So here is NY Beauty Block 3.

In other news I've been honored to win a few more fabric bundles from other bloggers. The beautiful Denyse Schmidt fabric came from Deborah of  Simply Miss Luella. I love all those pieces and can't wait to be able to make something for our cottage with these colors. They will be perfect. Thanks Deborah!

Next up I was lucky to be an unpected 3rd pick by Pauline of Quilt 'n Queen. She had a great tutorial of aprons on Sew We Quilt using tea towels. So this beautiful Moda Fabric called Pastel Plaid and Hideaway will be an apron using her tutorial. Thanks Pauline!

This next package arrived completely unexpected. Weeks earlier I had won scraps of fabric from Lynne of  Kansas Troubles Quilters and her line of Sandhill Plums by Moda. There was a lot of fabric that arrived in the mail so when more fabric arrived I was beyond thrilled. I already know I'm going to be doing some sort of patchwork quilt to use up all the different sizes of fabric that I have. I want to be able to measure all these scraps and make sure I use all of them. Thanks Lynne!

I'm loving my new job as an aide to pre-schoolers. My afternoons are flying by and there have been some days that I'm working a different program in the morning. Needless to say I'm wiped by the end of the day. So with 8 weeks left of school I'm not counting on getting much sewing done except for finishing up the NY Beauties. 

Have a Great Day and since it's Friday also a Great Weekend!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

NY Beauty Block 6

The pictures are way to dark when I took this even though the sun was still out so you'll have to see purple and white not black and white. This block went together so well. I can see I'm starting to run low on my leftover material from my girls dresses that I'm so hoping I can get these done. We only have 4 blocks more to go.

All my seams have come together without a flaw and the points look really good. I can honestly say I'm improving on this technique. Here's all the blocks that I've done so far.

In other news we spent our Easter at our cottage in Northern Michigan. It was so nice to be able to get away and know that in 4 weeks we'll be putting the dock in the water. The lake was so peaceful and calm.

I have so many projects in my head that I'd like to start and I'm hoping I can find the time to get to them. I took a job that is 3 hours a day being a Parapro for Autistic Impaired Pre-Schoolers, so hopefully I can find the time to sew some in the morning. It's raining in Michigan today but the sun is supposed to come out and the temperature is supposed to rise to almost 80 degrees. Summer is coming!

Have a Great Day!
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