Children, Family, Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, Special gifts

Timeless Pattern for Special Someones…


Occasionally, you discover a pattern that is simply timeless.  Even though fashions continually evolve and change, the strong appeal of these designs remains and stands the test of time.  Such is the case for one of my favorite apron patterns from the Retro Aprons pattern booklet  from Cindy Taylor Oates of Taylor Made Designs.

In 2006, a pattern booklet for Retro Aprons was published and quickly became a very popular pattern.  I especially appreciated the way Cindy used the rick rack trim to finish the edges of Apron A, my favorite version of her retro aprons pattern booklet.  Here’s a brief overview of how to create a finished edge with rickrack.

1) Place rickrack next to the finished edge on the right side of the fabric and attach the rickrack by stitching down the center of the trim.
2) Fold under rickrack and edge of fabric and press.
3) Using thread to match fabric, topstitch through all layers, 1/16″ from folded fabric edge.













1) You begin by placing rickrack next to the finished edge on the right side of the fabric and stitch through the center of rickrack with thread that matches the rickrack trim.

2) Fold under the rickrack and edge of fabric and press.

3) Using thread to match apron fabric, topstitch through all layers 1/16″ from folded fabric edge.

4) This creates a hem, where 1/2 of the rickrack will be showing.

This is such a great way to not only add a bit of color and trim to your apron, but it also finishes the edge of your apron.  This method can be used in a variety of ways to finish other sewing projects as well.

As you know, I love rickrack and I’ve made dozens of aprons from this pattern.  They make great gifts for your favorite hostess, a wonderful wedding gift and you can also make mother/daughter matching aprons too!

In 2007, Cindy released the “Little Retro Aprons for Kids” Pattern booklet.  This pattern resized the styles from her first apron book to provide the same styles for children.  It also included an adorable apron pattern for 18″ dolls.


Little Retro Aprons for Kids, 2007

Recently, I asked my granddaughters what they wanted for their birthdays this year.

Alecia putting her Retro Apron to good use

Since they have outgrown their “Disney Frozen” aprons, they both asked if I would make them a new apron and they wanted it to look like “Mommy’s apron”, which I had made several years ago for my oldest daughter.

It just so happened, I made Alecia’s apron from the original Retro Aprons pattern and I was delighted to be able to make similar aprons for my granddaughters.  I also decided to surprise them and make matching aprons for their American Girls dolls.

They each chose the fabric for their apron and it was so fun to see how the fabric they chose really fit their personalities.  I had a stack of fabric for them to choose from and Belen chose the red print fabric I would have chosen for her.  Eloise found a cute, more modern fabric, for her apron and I got to choose the color of the rickrack trim for each of their aprons.

Me and the girls with their Retro aprons on.

On the morning of their birthday celebration (Belen and Eloise had a joint celebration with the family), the girls were delighted with their aprons. Belen chose not to have a pocket on her apron, but Eloise wanted a pocket.  They were THRILLED with the matching aprons I made for their dolls and Eloise was delighted to pose with her doll in its matching apron.  What a fun birthday gift for the girls and their dolls!

Eloise with her matching playmate


Eloise’s apron (with a pocket) next to the doll aprons














What spring projects have you been working on lately?  It is such a great time of year to be sewing!

Happy stitching!




Finished Product

Our Flamenco Flier

Our daughter, Anna, uses aerial yoga as one of her means of keeping fit.  She has become quite an accomplished aerial artist and recently had a performance where she was a Flamenco dancer.  She asked me if I could make her a flamenco skirt to wear for part of her performance.   The timing of her request was perfect because it just so happened that on the cover of Vogue’s Pattern catalog was the ideal skirt for her performance.

Marv and Anna after Anna’s Flamenco performance

The style of the skirt was ideal because it was a wrap-around skirt that fastened on the right front side of the skirt, which made it easier for Anna to remove the skirt when she went up into the silks to perform her aerial performance.

The Vogue skirt pattern

Since the fully-lined, finished skirt had a total of 9 1/2 yards of satin in it, the weight of the skirt was significant.

In addition with the 3 tiers of flounce that were attached to the skirt added quite a bit of bulk as well.  The final skirt fit Anna like a glove and she was very pleased with the maneuverability of the style of the skirt.

Here are a few photos of her performance as well as some additional pictures of Anna in her costume.



Anna ready for her performance
Front view of Anna’s skirt


The three flounces of the skirt were cut on the bias.  This meant that there were no gathers in three tiers.  Since they were cut on the bias, I was able to ease each flounce in place, sewing one one on top of the other.  It was quite a remarkable pattern!



Anna getting ready to climb the silks with her skirt
You can see why the skirt was not an option in the air


Anna’s aerial routine was beautiful.  She gracefully flowed through her routine and made all her moves look effortless.  We were all in awe of her incredible strength and endurance as she went from one pose to another .


Anna opening up the silk
It was remarkable to watch

I’m afraid I would be in traction for some time if I attempted any of these moves.

Between her mountain climbing and aerial yoga, I think we have come up with a new nickname for her, our beautiful Aerial Anna Marie.


Our beautiful Aerial Anna Marie

Are you getting ready for the holidays?  What projects have you been working on.  Stay tuned for some fun holiday ideas in my next blog.

Happy Sewing!
































Finished Product

TomatoHead meets Hermione and the Librarian for Halloween 2018


Belén as a Librarian
Eloise as Hermione from Harry Potter


Every year I so enjoy helping our grandkids create their Halloween costumes.  This year was no exception.




Sam as Tomatohead from Fortnite

The kids gave considerable thought to what they wanted to be this year.  Belén’s decided  to be a Librarian.  I was able to find and embroider a cute design on a little black knit dress that stated, “Just One More Chapter”.  I also found an adorable little pendant that was a stack of library books with an apple on top and a pair of lady bug earrings.  The last accessory item she wore was an old pair of my reading glasses (which I removed the lens from) and then she pulled back her hair in a bun and “Ta Da”, Belén, the librarian.

The little black dress with the cute design from Urban Threads
Close-up of embroidery design










Eloise had her heart set on being the heroine, Hermione, from Harry Potter.  I made her a satin-lined black suede cape.  I created an outline of the Hogwarts emblem on the outer front of the cape with glow-in-the-dark thread and embroidered a little t-shirt she could wear underneath her cape as well.  She was very pleased and immediately transformed to Hermione, right before our eyes!

The front of Eloise’s cape

Sam also asked if I could also help him with his costume.  He wanted to be a character from the video game, Fortnite Battle Royale, called TomatoHead.  This is a character I had never heard.

I used my embroidery software to digitize and recreate a face for TomatoHead, which I stitched to the front of a red pillow cover.

Sam ordered a red sweater vest online to which I added white bias strips to turn it into a striped vest.  Next, I appliquéd a felt piece of pizza to the front of his vest and the finishing sewing touch was creating and attaching a purple collar to the vest.  It was fun to see it come together.

TomatoHead’s appliquéd face
The completed vest









To complete the costume, Sam ordered a green leotard and pants and we were so amazed to see the final completed costume on Halloween.

Sam, as TomatoHead, with his friends on Halloween

Of course, we also got to see the girls Trick and Treating on Halloween and they were having a great time in their costumes as well.

Belén, her friend Emma, and Eloise, aka Hermione

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween and would love to hear about any costumes you helped to create.

Happy Stitching!


Finished Product

Creating our Own Pumpkin Patch at the Quilt Crossing

Great group for last week’s Curvy Pumpkin Class

What’s a great way to celebrate the arrival of fall and Halloween – why to sew a pumpkin table runner, of course!  Last week that is exactly what these lovely ladies did in my Curvy Pumpkin Tablerunner class at the Quilt Crossing.

Donna carefully pressing her pieced pumpkin

They discovered how fun it was to make their pumpkins, thanks to the Quick Curve ruler and a little bit of imagination, along with a few stitches here and there.

Auditioning different fabrics for her next pumpkin block.







Sue busy sewing her pumpkin sections together



Piece by piece, the pumpkins were growing…






The girls were all determined to build their pumpkin patches…





It was fun to see the different pumpkins appear in our classroom pumpkin patch.

Everyone worked hard to complete as many pumpkins as they could in class.  They were all confident and excited to finish their runners prior to Halloween.  The bonus is that this runner is a great table accessory for Thanksgiving as well!

What projects have you been working on lately?  I hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall weather and am excited to learn what you have in mind to sew for the holidays.

Happy Stitching!



Finished Product

Exciting New EZ Breezy Table Runner Class

It’s always fun to learn a new way of doing things.  I’m excited to share a new class I’m teaching at the Quilt Crossing called EZ Breezy Table Runner.

My class example that is displayed at the Quilt Crossing

It is such a fun pattern to make and last week I shared this project with several ladies and they really had a lot of fun sewing their very own table runner.  Here are a few photos from class.  I’ll be teaching this project again this fall, so come join in the fun!


Sue and Nancy (in background) laying out their slices of fabric.









Teri was eager to get started too!






Sandi and Diane were a fun team. Diane gave Sandi the class for her birthday!



Sally loved to see her fabric come together.






Evelyn has a fun collection to work with too



One of the gals had to leave early, so I did not get a photo of her with her table runner and I accidentally deleted a photo I took of Nancy working on her runner.  However, she was excited to share with me a picture of her completed runner (in photo below) and she said she has plans for several others for gifts.

Nancy’s completed table runner. Don’t you love her colors?

Happy Stitching!



Finished Product

Patio Furniture Facelift

New reversible cushions and tablecloth brighten up the patio


This year our patio furniture covers were ready for a bit of a facelift, so I ordered some coordinating fabric and proceeded to freshen up our patio with new chair covers and a new tablecloth.  Here are a few photos of the process and the end results!  It was a fun project and really did not take that much time to complete and we sure have enjoyed them this summer.

Auditioning the fabric to see what to use where.
Once I traced the old cushions to create my pattern, I cut out and began to sew…








I used a zipper foot to help to sew in the piping for the outside edges of the cushions.



Trimming around the curves of the cushions…






Once I turned the pieced cushions right sides out, I simply sewed the opening closed and the cushions were complete!



Of course, I added ties and velcro tabs so the cushions can be attached to the furniture.








What have you been sewing this summer?  I would love to hear about some of your summer projects.  Last week we made some skirts for Belén and Eloise to add to their school wardrobe.  I’ll share in a future post!

Happy Stitching!



Finished Product

The Versatile Poppins Bag


The Poppins Bag

I’m excited to share a fun new bag I recently made… the Poppins Bag.  It is a large bag that measures approximately 18″ wide x 12″ deep x 14″ tall.  The larger size means that it is perfect for so many uses.

There are two pockets on the inside as well as two pockets on the outside of the bag.

The bag has two pockets on the outside of the bag and the inside of the bag to help keep everything organized.

This large, zipper-top bag is great for your sewing and/or knitting supplies.

Structural stays that frame the top of the bag keep it in shape and also allow it to remain standing open for ease of access.

You can customize the bag with your choice of fabrics and channel quilt the body of the bag to add body.  It is a great bag to use for a large fabric print that you just can’t bear to cut up.  I used 3 different Kaffe fabrics for the bag shown in the attached pictures.

I will be offering a class on how to make this bag at the Quilt Crossing on Wednesday, August 22 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.   Once you sign up for the class, you can print a supply list from the website here.  Two weeks prior to the class, you will receive a class preparation document in your email to help you prep for the class.  It really is a fun bag to make!

Toby was a lot of help when I took these photos.

Happy summer sewing!



Finished Product

Visit to the Windy City for Bernina University

Once again it’s that time of year for Bernina University.  This year we are in Chicago and having a wonderful BU.  Standby for a further update to this post including lots of photos of quilting celebrities we have had the pleasure of meeting with this week.

It has been an awesome time and can’t wait to share all the photos and stories with you.

Hope you are having an incredible time this June!

Happy Quilting,


Classes I Teach at the Quilt Crossing, Finished Product, Free Pattern

What Do You Do on Friday the 13th – How About a Little Quilting With Your Walking Foot Class?

On Friday, April 13th, we spent a very fun afternoon at The Quilt Crossing stitching and solving a few of the world’s problems during my “Quilting With Your Walking Foot I” class.

The gals sharing their adorable placemats

The ladies stitched together their placemats (the pattern is included with my class) and auditioned several different quilting designs that they will use to complete their placemats.  It was a wonderful group and they were all very excited to put their walking feet to work.  I can’t wait to see some of their finished projects!

In addition several ladies signed up for my upcoming “Quilting With Your Walking Foot II” class, and I look forward to seeing them again then.

Thank you, ladies, for a very nice afternoon.

Happy Stitching!



Finished Product

Amazing Visit to Jinny Beyer’s Studio


We have arrived!!!

After visiting with a friend last weekend, I realized that I had neglected to share a wonderful quilting adventure on my blog.  A couple years ago, I had the incredible opportunity to not only visit Jinny Beyer’s Studio, but to actually meet her in person.

I accompanied my husband, Marv, to Washington, D.C. and while he was at his P.A. conference, I had a full week of exploring Washington D.C. and was privileged to share some very special experiences, which I will write about separately.  In a nutshell, I visited Arlington Cemetery on Veteran’s Day, which was a real privilege; I touched a piece of the moon, visited the Smithsonian castle and several other National museums, toured the White House, waved at the Presidential Motorcade as it passed by… needless to say, it was quite a week and I gave my walking shoes a good workout!

One of Jinny’s many books

Towards the end of the week, however, I planned a visit to Jinny Beyer’s Studio.

Her website aptly describes the studio…  “Jinny Beyer Studio is located in the picturesque town green of historic Great Falls, Virginia. The shop is just 20 minutes west of Washington, D.C., but the surrounding area is anything but “big city”. In fact, Great Falls National Park is just minutes away.

The studio is a two-story, wood-framed building with big porches, exposed beams and glowing wooden floors. The first floor houses Jinny’s fabrics, quilts and books, as well as a unique selection of ever-changing gifts and accessories for the quilter and non-quilter alike. We’ve also got a terrific selection of handmade silver thimbles, chatelaines, and other sewing tools made by TJ Lane.

The top floor boasts a large, light-filled classroom, as well as the bustling work area for our kit-making and customer service staff.”

We were thrilled to walk in and meet Jinny!
The ladies who work at the studio were so helpful.







When we arrived at the studio, we found out that we were in luck because they were having an Open House that day and Jinny was in the studio.  Since Jinny is a world renowned quilter, designer and teacher, she is not always in the shop.  We were so pleased to get to meet her and she welcomed us and showed us around her studio.

Jinny was such a pleasure to meet.

Imagine having your own quilt shop that is entirely filled with beautiful fabrics that you have designed.

One of many of Jinny’s quilts

Everywhere you looked, there were beautiful quilts from Jinny’s patterns and fabric.  The studio is one of those places that you have to spend some time exploring because there is so much to see.


Another beautiful sample!





The more you looked… the more you saw.  It really was a very special shop!



All 3 of us were in quilt heaven!


The fabrics were beautifully displayed and it was easy to find coordinating colors for borders, binding, etc.



All 3 of us purchased this kit called Woven Ribbons


Of course, we could not leave without purchasing a kit or two.  We all purchased a kit for the Woven Ribbons quilt in this photo.  Jinny overheard us talking about changing the border and opened the kit and said – choose your new border and I’ll cut it for you.  We didn’t expect that and were very impressed.


One of the staff demoing some new tools upstairs


The staff were all very knowledgeable and friendly and interested in where everyone was from – it was a lot of fun to visit with them.  We were wishing that we had even more time to take a class and hang out with them.



Look closely to see the Versatile Wave reversible purse model


It was fun to see the reversible purse pattern that I teach as a class at Quilt Crossing, along with a number of kits for the outside cover from Jinny’s fabrics.



One beautiful sample after another…


The Woven Ribbons pattern kit

Everywhere you looked there were beautiful examples of Jinny’s designs and fabrics.  It was very impressive!





Virginia showing off her bag from the studio



In no time at all, we had filled our lovely red bags from the studio with a beautiful collection of kits and fabrics and other little treasures.   We were all so excited to think about where and when we would stitch them together to enjoy!

We had also worked up quite an appetite from all that intense shopping and decided to get recharged at a charming Irish Pub next door before we returned back to D.C.

The Irish Pub next door



We had a delightful lunch at The Old Brogue next door and planned our return to D.C. via Uber, which, in itself, turned out to be delightful.  Our driver was retired and loved to provide a bit of a tour of the area as we worked our way back to the Merriott.

It was a wonderful trip and I smile as I write this thinking back on such a fun day.

A very special thanks to Jinny and her staff for making our visit one we will always  remember fondly.

Thanks also to Carol for the reminder that I had not shared this very special trip to Jinny ‘s Studio.  If you are ever in D.C., it is well worth a trip to this amazing studio!

Happy Sewing!