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Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Baby Quilts and Christmas Projects

I just checked and I have not posted since April.  Oh boy, there’s been a lot going on.  My daughter just started her Junior year at JMU and I’ve become an ambassador with Plexus Worldwide.  We specialize in health supplements.  Hardly leaves time for quilting, or so you’d think.  My guild chapter started a UFO challenge back in January.  We each put a fat quarter in the pool and we get to put our name in the hat for a drawing at the end of the year for each UFO we finish and bring in for show and tell.  We meet twice a month, so my goal is 24 finished UFOs by December.  I just finished #20.  OK, that is for another post.  I still haven’t shared some of my quilts from 2014.  I need to get busy!

Here are the three baby quilts I completed as gifts.

yellow and gray baby quiltfairy baby quiltseal creatures baby quilt

And now for some Christmas Embroidery projects.  I just love the OESD Christmas Village designs.  I’m really behind on them, but the ones I do have finished take up an entire kitchen table.  Here’s the Town Hall and the Gingerbread House.

lace town hall lace gingerbread house

I made some Christmas wristlet bags on my embroidery machine (in-the-hoop designs) for Christmas presents and finished a Christmas Music Quilt.

christmas music quiltchristmas wristlet bags

The biggest news of 2014 was I got a new Bernina machine to add to my sewing studio.  It is a Bernina 750 and I absolutely love it.  Amazing for embroidery, free-motion quilting and so much more.

bernina 750

Last but not least, here’s the bunch of Embroidery Christmas ornaments I made for various “exchanges” and parties over the Christmas season.

ornament 1 ornament 2 christmasexchangeornament22015 ornament 3 ornament 4 ornament 5

I’m done.  Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!!!



Let’s Play Catch Up – It Has Been Way Too Long

This post is going to have a lot of different types of projects.  It has been so long since I’ve posted and many projects have come and gone.  Let’s rewind the clock back to August 2014.  I’m getting ready to send my one and only sweet daughter off to college and emotions are running high.  One of our co-workers was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier.  We wanted to make her a comforting quilt to get her through the hard days ahead with surgery and treatments.  We made simple blocks with a place in the center for everyone in our company to sign well-wishes and prayers to her.  Here’s the quilt and a few close ups.

Pat Signature Quilt

Pat Signature Quilt Close UPPat Signature Quilt Border Close UP


Second project, before my daughter went off to college, she wanted to make a rug for her new dorm room to match her comforter set.  We went to our local Goodwill store and bought up a bunch of t-shirts.  She cut them into strips and rolled them up in balls.  Then she took three colors at a time and braided the rug.  My job was to sew together the braided rows into a circular rug.  It turned out really cute and she used it her first year of college in her dorm room.  Here’s the photo!

Abby Dorm Rug


Fast forward to the fall season.  My daughter and I had started a Halloween quilt together many years and due to crazy schedules, it got put on the shelf.  After she went to college, I wanted to finish it for her dorm bed for Halloween.  It was emotional dragging it back out, but I’m glad I did.  She enjoyed it during the Halloween season.  I also made a Halloween pillowcase/sham to go with it.

Halloween pillowcaseHalloween Quilt Close UPAbby Halloween Quilt

Another fun Halloween project was this machine embroidery free-standing lace coffin.  Lots of pieces, but way fun to put together and even more fun to decorate with!  This design was from OESD!

Free Standing Lace Coffin

For our annual Fall Fest meeting, I finished a quilt top of the raffle blocks I’d won at a previous full chapter meeting (I think it was the previous Spring Fest).  I may have already posted some of those blocks, but here’s the finished top.  It is on my “UFO to do List” that I plan on finishing this year.  I just need to decide if it needs a border to pull it all together and we’re off.

Raffle Block Close Up Raffle Block quilt

Prior to our Fall Fest our chapter got together to make pillowcases for charity (the chapter hosting the above Fall Fest event asked for these).  Our chapter made all these great pillowcases.  They took little time to make and were so much fun.  Plus it is always fun to have an excuse to get with your quilting friends and sew, sew, sew!

My pillowcases My pillowcases 2 Moonlighters Pillowcases More Moonlighters pillowcases

OK, enough for this time.  I’ll start up next time with the Christmas projects of that year.  Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting…



Graduation – A Year Later

Wow, the time has flown since my daughter graduated from high school.  I still have projects from that time that I haven’t posted yet, so shame on me.  Life has been a little crazy recently.  We just returned from a 8 day vacation to sunny (and yes very hot) Florida.  For our 25th wedding anniversary (June 16th), we decided to take a family trip to Disney World and Universal Studios.  We are big Harry Potter fans so we had to see the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.  I had two misconceptions – #1 it will be nice weather in Florida in May.  Yikes, it was mid 90’s most of the trip.  #2 – It won’t be as crowded since school-aged children should still be in school.  Wrong again, Disney had tons of little kids too young for school and Universal Studios had tons of school groups.  Lots of crowds and very hot temperatures, but it was still a fun trip.  We walked our feet off.  We did 3 days at Disney and 3 days at Universal Studios without a break in between.  Yes, that was my ambitious scheduling.  Here’s a fun photo of me and the hubby having fun at Disney. Chip and Mel at Disney


At Disney we stayed in a Royal room at the Port Orleans Riverside resort.  That was a great place to stay and we had so much fun.  Here’s a photo of my daughter and her best friend in the princess-themed room.

Abby and Casey at Disney

We moved my daughter home from James Madison University where she completed her freshman year as a music education major just three days before leaving for our vacation.  The boxes are still all over the house.  Not sure where they will go until she moves back in August.  I’m so proud of her…she made the Dean’s List both semesters.  She’s going to be working at a local grocery store as a bakery-deli clerk and taking 7 credit hours at the local community college.

OK, now back to the business of sewing and quilting.  I have a lot of projects to catch you up on.  I had been having trouble with my Bernina 830 and broke down and took it in for an overhaul.  I’m happy to report after replacing a few small parts and a thorough take apart/cleaning my baby is doing very well.  I haven’t put her back on the quilt frame yet, but plan on doing that once the excitement of moving my daughter home from college and vacation wear off.  Can’t remember if I shared this or not, but in November 2014, I became the proud owner of a Bernina 750.  I absolutely love it!  I haven’t found anything it can’t do yet (except the dishes…darn!).  I traded in my work horse Bernina 440 which made me sad, but it was time to move on.

These projects are from last May, so here goes.  I did a Bernina retreat at my local quilt shop, Cottonwood called Sew-A-Palooza.  It was so much fun and we got an embroidery design to make these little in the hoop wristlet bags.  I have made close to if not more than 30 of them.  I used them as gifts for my guests at my daughter’s graduation party last May.  Here are some of the bags.  I finally start making some for myself and have made a bag for every month October through May (yes I really need to get started on my June one since it is coming very fast).  It is fun finding cool fabrics, ribbons, etc. to make these.  I also made two JMU ones for my daughter and her first year college roommate.

Wristlet In the Hoop BagsMore Writslet In the hoop bags Halloween wristlet bag

Last project for this post was a gift for my daughter’s best friend.  She loves to bake and always wears my Girl Scout Cookie apron I made a few years back when she bakes at my house.  I made her a similar one and embroidered her name on it for her graduation gift.  It was such a fun project and she really liked it.  Love that Girl Scout cookie fabric!

Casey apron close upCasey apronUntil next time (and hope it isn’t so long from now), happy sewing & quilting!



Bags, Bags and More Bags

I keep meaning to share another project with you, but life gets in the way.  There has been so much going on during the holidays and having my daughter home from college.  Her college marching band took a New Year’s trip to Rome, Italy so there was a lot of preparation for that in the days leading up to Christmas.  What an experience of a lifetime though.  My only regret is not getting to go with her.  Since I seem to be so slow in sharing, I’m going to combine a few items in this post.  Buckle your seat belts!

First was a purse that I had bought a kit for a few years back.  I kept getting the instructions out and then putting them back.  This year my goal was to sew up a lot of the purse/bag kits that I’ve bought at quilt shows over the years.  The first bag is the Manhattan bag made out of fun watermelon and strawberry fabrics.  This was a great purse to carry in those warm summer months we only dream about now in cold January.

Here are some photos.  Between the panels I did some decorative stitching with variegated thread which was a lot of fun.manhattan bagmanhattan bag 2manhattan bag 3


Next on the list was the “Mondo Bag” which was a fusible square kit.  This bag was really huge and I used half of a jelly roll to make all the squares for the bag.  This bag would make a good weekend or overnight bag.

mondo bag

Next bag kit to finish was this quilter’s tote.  The kit included pre-printed quilt related sayings.  I love this bag and use it to tote my projects and show n’tell to my quilt guild meetings.  Love the sewing theme fabric in this one.

quilters totequilters tote 2quilters tote 3

Last, but not least is another purse kit I bought on a quilt tour.  Love the purple colors of this bag and am using it now for fall and winter.

purple bagpurple bag inside

I’ll try not to go so long between posts next time, until then…

Happy sewing & quilting!


Baby Girl Ensemble

When coming up with a baby shower gift for a friend that is having a girl after two sons, I wanted to do something a little different.  I grew up sewing clothing learning from my mom and my grandmother owned a fabric shop.  Sewing runs in the family.  I sort of gave up on garment sewing due to my weird body type, and the fact that I never got the hang of altering ready-made patterns to fit me.  I found quilting to be a lot more fun and rewarding.  So for this gift I decided to brush up on my garment sewing skills and make a little ensemble for the new little sweetie.  Since she is to be born in April, I thought a Spring outfit with a sun dress, bonnet and bib would be great.  I found a couple fabric in my quilting stash and got to it.  It really wasn’t too difficult and I was pleased with the results.  I like giving a gift anybody just can’t go out and buy off the shelves.

I’m not the best cell phone photographer and with auto upload to Dropbox, I’m just lazy about dragging out the good camera.  Here’s the outfit.

"baby girl ensemble"

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,


Christmas Projects 2013

Wow, I can’t believe I’m just now sharing with you my projects from this past Christmas.  With Spring just around the corner I wanted to get these posted before the warm Spring sun makes me forget about this cold, snowy winter.  My first project is OESD’s Christmas Lace Quilt Shop.  I have about five pieces from this collection stitched out and assembled.  The set is getting too large for my mantel, so this year they lived on the dining room table on top of a gold sparkle, lighted table runner my mom got me last Christmas.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of the “village” as it is now.  My sweet husband got me another piece so I will have to more additions to the collection hopefully by next year.  Here’s the quilt shop along with the lamp post.

Free Standing Lace Quilt Shop

Got to make a stocking for our newest kitty “Pippa” that joined our family last January.  She can almost fit in it!

"Pippa Stocking"

I made three table runners and a small Christmas Tree wall hanging that were gifts for family members.

"table runner 1"

"table runner 2"

"table runner 3"

"Christmas Tree Wall Hanging"

These cute mylar snowmen ornaments were for my quilt guild’s Christmas party ornament exchange.  They were so cute and fun to make.

"mylar snow people"

Here are a couple mini stocking my daughter and I made this year.  She stuffed them with small treasurers and they were gifts for her friends.

"mini Christmas Stockings"

These mylar angel ornaments went to my mom as a thank you for all she does.

"mylar angels 1"

"Mylar Angels 2"

I think that’s enough for one post.  I think I got all the Christmas stuff posted.

I really, really am going to break out the 830 and Bernina quilt frame in the very near future.  I have three quilts that need to be finished very soon.  My Bernina dealer gave me some tips on making my 830 a little less finicky.  I hope they work.

Until next time, happy sewing and quilting,


Prom 2013 – The Dress

Last fall my daughter designed her own prom dress based on a cute violin purse my mother-in-law gave her.  We were in a fabric store and she found the perfect fabric.  That was months ago.  Prom was last night, so I’m allowed to post her story.  She started with a basic strapless bodice pattern and full gathered skirt.  I helped a little but she did most of the work.  It was her creation.  She made a prototype out of basic satin fabric that was about the same weight and feel of her fabric.  Since the test garment fit, she cut out the “real” dress.  After finishing the red strapless part of the dress and trying to get the perfect fit to the bodice, we made the black tulle over skirt and the black lace sash.  I think the dress turned out beautifully.  Here’s the dress on the form.

"Finished Prom Dress"

Then here’s my grown up daughter going to her first prom in a dress she designed and made.

"The Big Night"

Here’s the handsome couple.  Oh, I remember when she was little and I made us dresses to match.  The time sure does fly.  Wow, I couldn’t walk or drive in those shoes.  She rocks!

"Prom Night 2013"

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,