I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Shell Museum Quilt

This is a quilted wall hanging I made for my Mom for Mother's Day. I previously made her the Oyster Shack Quilt for Mother's Day and it looks great in her kitchen. There are a series of 4 buildings that go together, but I knew I wanted to do the Shell Museum next.

It is made on the embroidery machine in 3 parts and then sewn together and bound. The top part is the roof and lookout tower.

The middle section has the shell museum. I had fun choosing colors for the shells. I used a brown variegated that looks cool. I also like the white sailboat in the window. 

The bottom panel has the most going on. The pie in the window was supposed to be lemon meringue, but I changed it to Key Lime because my Mom makes a scrumptious scratch Key Lime Pie. I remember one summer I accidentally knocked one out of the fridge onto the floor. What a waste of deliciousness. There is a little ice cream shop in walking distance from their house and we like to ride bikes too. My Mom hung this up, but I haven't seen it in person due to Covid Quarantine. It will be fun to see it when we can visit again!!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Baby Pillows

These tiny baby pillows are so sweet! I made them as a gift to go with a newborn photo prop bed. The blue one is a confection of blue Swiss batiste and French lace with a ruffle. 


The smaller white one is a pillowcase style of white batiste with a shadow work embroidery "Baby". The edge is a bit of Swiss  embroidery with pink and blue dots. This was the first one I made, but I thought it might be too small (it would be perfect for American Girl dolls) so I made the larger blue one. These are a fun, quick project and a great way to try a new skill or use up bits of fine trims and fabrics.

Monday, August 10, 2020

More of my Favorite Kitchen Towels


I made 7 more of my favorite hanging kitchen towels last week. I was pleased to use all stash supplies for these. I had a few colors of towels and I was able to match them up with toppers pretty well!

These 2 are for my kitchen. I love the vintage prints! This time I used Kam snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes and it was MUCH quicker and easier. I will definitely do this from now on. I don't have any large buttons on hand, so I was trying to avoid a trip to the store or having to order online.

These 2 are so pretty! I always favor chicken/farm fabrics because of my pet chickens & ducks.

And another farm-themed plus my favorite vintage kitchen print and a towel for a fishing enthursiast! These are such a fun project and so USEFUL! I have given away so many of these to friends. I put up a new one in my kitchen every day and I think my family has finally learned that these are for hands only- not cleaning up messes! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Patriotic Wall hanging Part 2

If you saw yesterday's post, you know that I bought special border fabric planning to make a quilted wall hanging for my parents. The first try ended up not working with this border, so I had to start over. This little neighborhood struck my fancy because it looks much like the "village" near my parents' house. My original try was too bright. so this time I pulled out my cranberries, navy, and creams. The navy blue star fabric was the binding on both quilts and worked perfectly with my idea to make a flag.
I saw many flag blocks in different shapes with various numbers of stripes. But my mathematical brain needed it to be the proportions of a real US flag. I googled and found a flag "calculator" where I could put in the width and it would tell me the dimensions of the stripes and blue star part. After piecing the flag, I was going to add the border on top and bottom. BUT...it seemed like too much. I thought about embroidering a phrase across the flag, but my daughter suggested it as a top border. BUT...what phrase to use? I googled again and decided I liked "Land That I Love" because the neighborhood is the land that my parents love and it is from "God Bless America" which seems very appropriate to 2020.
So, I embroidered it on my 14" hoop!! Then I got it all together and stipple quilted it. My Mom and Dad love it and already hung it on their dining room wall. I will be happy when we can see them in person again, but for now I have seen a picture of it hanging.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Patriotic Wall Hanging

I found some beautiful border fabric on Etsy that was perfect to make my parents a July 4 wallhanging. I bought it and planned to make a red, white, and blue center surrounded by the patriotic border print. So, I spent way too much time looking for a good center. I finally decided that the Swoon block would be perfect, measuring 28" square and having enough pieces to be interesting, but not overwhelming to make.
So, since we are still quarantined, I looked through my vast supply of fabrics and found that I don't buy solids or textures. I just barely squeaked by cutting these pieces from scraps! What was cool was that these fabrics have many motifs that remind me of our 4th of July celebrations: fireworks, music, blueberries, stars, lighthouses, crabs, more stars, etc. So I finished the block and I loved it, but it didn't "go" with the border print at all. The colors were brighter in the Swoon block than on the border (more cranberry, navy, and cream). So, I finished this one for ME and hung it in my front foyer. I love it and it gets me 1 holiday closer to my goal of having a seasonal wall-hanging for each holiday of the year. I am now at 2!! July 4 and Halloween. Perhaps if quarantine lasts long enough, I will finish a few more holidays!
Tomorrow I will post the quilt I did make for my parents!!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

There's no place like home...

These are certainly unprecedented times, with Covid-19, quarantine, and distance learning. My little boy's teacher has done a wonderful job planning and executing the lessons for his class. She loves the Wizard of Oz: both the book and the movie. At the beginning of the year, she read the book to his class. He is my fifth child to have this teacher for 4th grade and we have loved her every time!!

We thought it would be fun to send her a care package. When I saw this free design from Drop Dead Threads, I knew it was PERFECT. It's sort of a pun, too. My son insisted that the slippers must be silver, as they are in the book. We sent this to his teacher along with some Friendship Bread Starter - maybe that will be my next post. She loved it and sent us a picture of it hanging on her oven. The towel is my favorite style: the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Essentials- it is huge, thirsty, soft, and has a flat front for embroidery with terry back.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Door Series: January & February

I am participating in a fun 2020 sew along with DIME embroidery. They are offering a free door applique/embroidery design every month this year!
This is the January door. I added a felt applique of my dog, Carter. He's a Yorkie-Poo, but everyone thought he looked like a terrier.
I was unprepared for the first one, so my fabrics are quite scrappy.

And here is the February door- there are fun touches each month, like the pink letter in the mailbox and the heart-shaped flag on it. I made my snowlady's scarf and hat in Valentine colors. I did change the icicles because I didn't like them as fluffy as the original.
I hope to get to the beautiful March door this week! Last weekend I visited one of my favorite quilt shops and found a few "landscaping" fabrics as I call them: wood, stone, brick, cloud, and trees! I'm excited to try them out.
#dimedoor #dimesewalong

Monday, February 24, 2020

Smocked Dress Quilts

Over the past 10 years or so, I have made a few of these Smocked Dress Quilts. Two are finished and one is in the works.
I had done this top a few years ago, but I never liked the sashing, so it was put away. Motivated by my Guild's Quilt Show coming in October, I dug it out. I took the blocks apart and am framing them in solid colors now. Here they are (some of them are hard to photograph):

I will then sash these framed blocks with white and I know I will like it much better! This one is fun because each dress is a different style: bishop, yoke dress, heirloom, etc.

This one is approximately twin-size and shows the blocks framed individually. This was hand-quilted by my Mom and won "Viewer's Choice" in our last Guild Show. This one is totally bishop dresses.

This one shows the ruffled Swiss embroidered edging I used. It makes it very girly!
Here are close-ups of a couple of these blocks:
I love this fabric- it's one of my favorite blocks!
This one is fun with the strawberries!
I featherstitched the hem on this one- you can have fun doing anything on these!!

This is the first one I did- I taught this block/smocking at a Quilt Shop and make my samples into a baby quilt. This one is fun with the pieced filling. Super girly and fun- this one is about 42"

I made my own patterns for these. I basically used the size of an American girl dress pattern to get my yokes and sleeves. You just need the front of the dress and half of the sleeve. I have a nice little assortment of pieces that I can mix and match to make new dresses. I think after the latest one is done, I'd like to try a quilt of little boy outfits!!

The Joy of Embroidering with Vinyl: Zip Bags

I was so busy at Christmas time that I didn't post any of the many projects I did, so you can consider me 2 months late or 10 months early.
I tried embroidery on vinyl for the first time in November and it has some really great benefits. Mainly, no need to finish edges. Like felt, the vinyl doesn't fray, so no need to line.
These zip bags were gifts for Christmas. They are great for holding a gift certificate or other small treat.
This one is the 6x10 size. If I used my giant 10x14 hoop, I'd have quite a large bag indeed.
These take about 10-15 minutes to make, which is a lot less than the quilted, lined bags I usually do. These are sturdy and water-resistant. They make good makeup pouches, phone cases, beach wallets, etc. And they are fun to make!!

Friday, February 21, 2020

A Heart Kitchen Towel for Donna

This was a fun project I did for a cousin. I thought she would like a personalized towel for her kitchen and this cross-stitch heart with roses can work all year. I stitched it on a gray Williams-Sonoma towel. They are my absolute favorites because they are thick and thirsty with a smooth face for embroidery. My Mom often gifts me these when my stock gets low.
The cross-stitched heart is from Sudberry House, one of the best sites for machine cross-stitch designs. People have said they can't tell if it's by hand or machine. And it takes a LOT less time!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A Promise of Spring....Daffodils & Pussy Willows

I spotted this amazing embroidery design during a recent sale at San Francisco Stitch Co. Right away, I knew I wanted to make it for my Mom, who loves both daffodils and pussy willows. She often brings me a branch of pussy willows in the spring.
I figured it would be a good Valentine's Day present. I had a bit of a time finding enough shades of yellow- I think there were 7 shades. I also mixed up the order of my yellows a bit, but it looks good anyway!

I found the perfect frame, too. It is a white-washed finish and it made me think of the beach, which is near their house. I framed it myself, as I would go bankrupt if I professionally framed everything I stitch! This is stitched on tan linen, which has a nice texture. My Mom and Dad loved it. I hope real flowers will come to my corner of the world soon- we still have snow.