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!



Beginner Sewing Project, Finished Product, Free Pattern, Gift Idea, Holidays

Gift Ideas for Most Any Occasion

I’m always looking for ways to personalize my holiday gifts each year.  One easy way to do so, is to choose a themed fabric that is meaningful for the recipient.  I want to share a few gifts I made this year for Christmas, because all of these gifts could be used for most any occasion throughout the year.  Some of them have free links to free patterns.  Here are a few gift ideas to consider:

Burrito or Roll It Up Pillowcase

Choose a themed fabric and add complementing fabric for trim and cuffs.

Pillowcases are always a great gift and with the clever roll-it-up or burrito method, you can make a pillowcase in no time at all.  A great source for a free can be found at the All People Quilt site for American Patchwork and Quilting

You will be amazed at how quickly they sew together and they really are a lot of fun to make.

Ten Minute Table Runner

Several table runners folded in half lengthwise

This popular free pattern has been around for several years and is another great gift idea.  It only requires 1/3 yard of focus fabric and 1/2 yard for your border and background.

You can get a free pattern for this fast and easy project at the Utah State University Cooperative Extension website.

You can achieve some interesting variations depending on whether you fold the fabric to the front or the back when sewing the final end points as shown in the following photo.

End points folded to the front on the top table runner and to the back on the bottom table runner.


Have a good time choosing your fabrics and customizing your table runners.  This is a great beginner pattern and can be somewhat addictive!




Hopeful Hatchlings (Stuffed Animals)

There is a darling new book called Hopeful Hatchlings by Jessica George from the Sweet Brian Sisters.  The book that has patterns and instructions for 10 adorable baby animals. Each of the animals will fit inside a Zipper Egg and a pattern for the egg is also included in the book.

Our granddaughters were very quick to point out their favorite animal in the book.  I told them their selections would be part of their Christmas gifts.

Eloise chose Paddy the Penguin in her egg
Belén’s favorite was Dalton the Dragon







Choose a fun fabric for your eggs to complement the little animal who will live within.

These really are a lot of fun to make and the girls were thrilled to get theirs as you can see.

Eloise her Paddy Penguin
Belén with her Dalton the Dragon










I think there were be other Hopeful Hatchlings hatching around our house for future occasions.  They really are quite charming and somewhat addictive!

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and will be able to try some of these gift ideas.

Happy Stitching!



Children, Finished Product, Free Pattern, Gift Idea

The Giving Bunny

When school adjourns for the summer each spring, I look forward to the extra time I get to spend with Belen and Eloise.

The special message on B’s rock
B’s special rock with a cute camping scene on the front

Friday before last, I was pleased to spend the day with them.   While we were running a few errands together, Belen found a painted rock that had been planted for someone to discover.

The front of the rock had been painted with a camping scene and the back was lettered with instructions, “Boise Rocks – Post pic, keep or re-hide.”  The girls were fascinated by this little gift and we too thought it would be fun to leave some little gifts for strangers.

I told them about the Giving Bunny I had seen on Urban Threads.  If you go to Urban Threads’ website and click on their “Freebie” link, you can download either a machine or hand embroidery design for The Giving Bunny.  Under the Instructions link for this design, there is an explanation… “Here’s how it works: Download the FREE Giving Bunny design, available in two sizes for machine embroidery, as well as a PDF pattern for hand-stitchers.  Stitch up as many bunnies as you please. Dress ’em up if you like, give them names, attach a tag to each to introduce them to the world, and then leave them in public spaces for someone to find.”

The girls and I thought it would be fun to make some bunnies to give away, so we stitched several bunnies out of an ivory polar fleece.  Both Belen and Eloise had fun printing the names for each of their bunnies on little tags that told the story of the Giving Bunnies.

Eloise posing with some of her “Giving Bunnies”
B with a couple of her bunnies.









We printed off a template for the tags that Urban Threads provides and attached one to each bunny with small safety pins.  Belen added an additional note to the back of her tag that read, ” Hope your bunny finds a nice home!  Belen.

Belen added a note to the back of her tags
A finished bunny with his special tag

Once we finished making several bunnies, we packed them up as it was time to take Belen to her Writing Camp at the Cabin Writing Center near downtown.

After we dropped off Belen, Eloise and I thought it would be a good idea to hide some of the bunnies near the Ann Frank Memorial grounds. Eloise was very particular about where she wanted to place each of her Giving Bunnies.

Eloise initially put a bunny in the Ann Frank statue’s hand, but decided to relocate this one.

Initially, she wanted to put a bunny in the hand of the Ann Frank statue, but later decided to relocate this bunny.  Next she tried a couple other spots around the Memorial grounds.

Eloise hid hers first, while Belen attended a Writing Camp at the Cabin

She was so excited to see who would be the first to discover one of her Giving Bunnies, so she hid behind a grove of trees to watch.

Eloise waiting for someone to discover one of her bunnies

While she was watching, she did not see anyone find one of her bunnies.  We decided to leave and go and get an ice cream cone and check on her bunnies when we returned for Belen’s reading at the Cabin.

Eloise gave a lot of thought as to where to hide her bunnies.

When we returned, one of her bunnies was gone.  She was thrilled and decided to relocate the remaining bunnies in a place where they would be a little more visible.

Hmmmm, this tree was a great place to perch a bunny

We put out a few more bunnies and went to watch Belen read one of her writings from Writing Camp.

Belen did an amazing job and we were so proud of not only her poem, but also how confidently she read it in front of a large crowd of people.  Alecia and Andy joined us to watch Belen too.  She was the first presenter.

Belen reading a piece she had written at Writing Camp

After Belen was finished, we told Mommy and Daddy about the Giving Bunnies and  Eloise helped Belen hide a few of her bunnies.

Ready to stage their bunnies

The girls had such a good time finding the “perfect” spot for each of their bunnies and talked about who might discover them.  It really was a very fun and exciting adventure.

When Mom met up with us later, the girls were eager to tell her about their Giving Bunnies

What projects have you been working on?  It is so much fun to be outdoors with all this beautiful weather.

I hope you are having a great summer and look forward to hearing about any projects you have been working on.

Happy Stitching!


Finished Product, Free Pattern, Gift Idea, Home Decor

Sewing with my Granddaughter, Belén

I always enjoy spending time with our granddaughters.  Last Friday, I had the pleasure of sharing the afternoon with our oldest granddaughter, Belén.  She loves to explore my sewing studio and is always eager to make something together.

Friday was no exception and while we were running an errand, Belén discovered the cutest princess fabric and convinced me that she just had to get some.  I suggested that we make her a princess pillowcase for her bed and she eagerly agreed.  Once we purchased the fabric,  we returned to Nana’s house and busily prepared to make the pillowcase.

Belén admiring the pattern for her new princess pillowcase.
Belén admiring the pattern for her new princess pillowcase.

There are several free pillowcase patterns (9 to be exact) at the Quilt Crossing blog site and we used my favorite, the Hot Dog Method pattern, because you achieve such a nice clean finish by using this method.

The completed princess pillow case
The completed princess pillow case

In no time at all, we had finished a princess pillow case for Belén.  She was so excited, she couldn’t wait to try it out, as you can see in the next picture!  Although, it will be a lot softer when she adds her own pillow inside the pillowcase!

B testing out her pillowcase
B testing out her pillowcase




B helping me sew her bracelet.
B helping me sew her bracelet.




We still had time to do one more project before taking Belén home.  Belén requested a personalized bracelet.  She loves to sit with me while I sew and is always such a big helper.  She gets so excited to choose the different decorative stitches to use to decorate her bracelet.



B' modeling her bracelet
B’ modeling her bracelet

It was definitely a fun afternoon with Belén and I don’t think it will be long before she will be sewing her very own projects.  Maybe, still with a little help from Nana!

photo (3) - compressed
Having fun at the sewing machine!
Hmmm, somehow the end of the sucker disappeared???
Hmmm, somehow the end of the lollipop disappeared???

What projects have you been sewing?  I’d love to hear about them too!

Happy Sewing!


Christmas, Finished Product, Free Pattern, Gift Idea

Holiday Sewing for 2012

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  Our home transforms into a bit of a winter wonderland, both inside and out (if Mother Nature helps out) and I love  the many traditions that are a part of this wonderful time of year.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is making gifts for various friends and family members.  I enjoy trying to come up with the “perfect” personalized gift that will bring a smile to the recipient’s face.   I thought it would be fun to share some of the holiday sewing I did this year.  It was a very busy, but fun December!  Some of these projects will be posted in future blogs as well to share more of the details and learnings I had along the way.

Christmas Stockings

Erin's Fleece Stockings I Embroidered
Erin’s Fleece Stockings I Embroidered

When I was decorating our house for Christmas, my friend, Erin, called and asked if I could put some names on some stockings she made.  I was pleased to do so and thought I would include a photo of the stockings she made out of polar fleece.  Aren’t they adorable?  I embroidered the names and then realized that I had spelled “Derik” as my son-in-law spells his name, but Erin’s Darik has an “a” instead of an “e”.  I carefully used a seam ripper to remove the “e” and repositioned the stocking on my embroidery module and inserted an “a” instead.  I was pleased the “a” and “e” take about the same amount of space, so it worked out okay and Erin’s stockings were complete!

Edited stocking - thank goodness an "e" and "a" are similar in size.
Edited stocking – thank goodness an “e” and “a” are similar in size.

While I was embroidering Erin’s stockings, I got an idea to make some stockings for our daughter, Anna, and her husband, Derik.  I texted Anna to see if she would like some stockings and she agreed.  Since they have a very contemporary style in their home, I chose to make the stockings simple, but also relevant to them.  Anna works at CM Company and builds commercial buildings.  Therefore, she views a lot of building plans.  I found a design several months ago from one of my favorite design studios, Urban Threads.  The name of the design is How to build a Heart.  I embroidered that design onto some linen fabric.  Anna’s husband, Derik, is a talented, natural artist and one of the things he enjoys drawing is trees, so I embroidered a tree on linen for his stocking.

Close-Up of embroidery stitched on linen
Close-Up of embroidery stitched on linen

I cut two pieces of decorator fabric and embroidered their names on the top and then lined each stocking with a light muslin lining.  I will post a future blog with details on how to make these stockings, if you like.

I decided to use the selvage edge of the fabric as a sort of trim for the top of the stockings as it really was pretty the way it was finished.

The completed stockings hanging on the mantle
The completed stockings hanging on the mantle

Infinity Scarves

Christmas is also a very social time and it is always fun to get together to celebrate the season.  I have a sewing group that I thoroughly enjoy and this year I decided to make the ladies each an infinity scarf.  Here’s a picture of my Sew Neato sewing group modeling their new scarves.  These are so much fun to make and easy to personalize, as you can do so simply from your fabric selections.  If you would like to make your own infinity scarf, I will provide a link to a video that shows you how at the end of this blog.

Margie, Darlene and Marsha with their infinity scarves.  Aren't they lovely?
Margie, Darlene and Marsha with their infinity scarves. Aren’t they lovely?

Christmas Dresses

As you would guess, my favorite duo to sew for are our adorable grandchildren, Belén and Eloise.  Once again this year, I made their little Christmas dresses.  Alecia had found some cute dresses online and asked if I could make them.  I combined a few patterns and drafted a final dress pattern for B’ and then scaled it down in order to use it for Eloise as well.  The dresses were tiered, with a piece of folded tulle between each gathered tier.

Eloise and Belén in their Christmas dresses
Eloise and Belén in their Christmas dresses
Eloise on the run in her dress
Eloise on the run in her dress

Since I was able to find some pretty stretch velveteen fabric, I made them without zippers or buttonholes, but instead the girls were able to just pull them over their heads. They looked so cute in their dresses and seemed to enjoy wearing them as well.



Handmade Dolls for Belén and Eloise

I decided to make dolls for the girls this year.  I saw some cute ideas in a couple different books.  I thought it would be fun to make both of the girls a doll and doll quilt for Christmas.  There will be a future blog on this as I learned a LOT and really enjoyed making both dolls.  Here are the finished products!

Eloise's Tag-A-Long doll with her doll's Amish doll
Eloise’s Tag-A-Long doll with her doll’s Amish doll

Eloise’s doll has the cutest little pigtails that stick out, very similar to the way Weezy’s pigtails look sometimes.

The fabric for her little dress is the cutest Japanese fabric that has characters from the Three Little Pigs on it.

The little Amish doll that is sitting next to the Tag-A-Long doll is from our trip to Amish country this fall.  It was the perfect size to be a doll for the Tag-A-Long and Sadie dolls.

Weezy's doll on her doll quilt, with Minky background fabric
Weezy’s doll on her doll quilt, with Minky background fabric

Of course, every doll needs to have a quilt, so I made a quick strip quilt for Eloise’s doll.  The backing for the quilt is an oh-so-soft minky fabric that helps to make their quilt every so snuggly.  I also used a wool batting in the quilt to provide a little more loft than the standard cotton batting.  I’ll tell you more about this in the upcoming blog on making these dolls.

Eloise playing with Mommy and her new doll
Eloise playing with Mommy and her new doll

It was so cute to see how excited Eloise was when she opened the present with her doll.  She giggled and immediately went to work caring for her doll, as you can see in the picture.  In no time at all, her little Tag-a-Long doll was all nestled in her little quilt with a very attentive Mommy nearby.


Belén with her Sadie doll
Belén with her Sadie doll

Belen’s doll is called Sadie and she was an exciting challenge to make.  I developed a healthy respect for the art of doll making in constructing these dolls.

The pattern designer for Sadie provided very detailed instructions for each step of the doll’s construction.  She also had a good supply list and I ordered the wool batting she recommended from Lancaster, PA.   (More details will be provided in my future doll making blog.)

One of the things I attempted to do was to make Sadie’s eyes similar to Belén’s eyes.  In order to do so, I studied the various colors that are in Belén’s beautiful blue eyes.  It’s amazing to see all the colors that our eye irises contain.  Here’s a close up of the end result of one of Sadie’s eyes.

I used at least 6-8 colors of embroidery floss to try to replicate Beléns eye color.
I used at least 6-8 colors of embroidery floss to attemp to replicate Beléns eye color.
Each strand of hair is individually attached to the head of the doll
Each strand of hair is individually attached to the head of the doll







Sadie on her doll blanket
Sadie on her doll blanket


I was was amazed at how the dolls literally started  to “come to life” as I began to stuff and stitch in all the details and various features.  Sadie has a lot more details (ten little individual fingers, etc.) than Tag-a-Long.  In addition, each strand of her hair was hand sewn and attached to the head of the doll with a 4-inch doll needle.  I have some great pictures for my upcoming doll-making blog.  Although it was extremely time consuming, I also found it very relaxing.  I couldn’t wait for the girls to finally get to see and play with their dolls on Christmas Day and they were both delighted.  Belén and I are going to have a sew afternoon and make Sadie some shoes and, of course, there are always ideas for new outfits and accessories for her doll.  The nice thing about Sadie is that since she is an 17″ doll, there are a lot of fun patterns available for clothing and accessories.  In addition, I can possibly foresee  some matching outfits for B’ and her doll, and Eloise as well!

 40th Wedding Anniversary Outfits

Anniversary Outfits for Ray & Eileen's 40th Anniversary
Anniversary Outfits for Ray & Eileen’s 40th Anniversary

 As noted in a previous post, in December we also celebrated the 40th Wedding Anniversary of our friends, Ray and Eileen, who are also the other set of grandparents for Belén and Eloise.  To help commemmorate this special day, I made the girls matching outfits for the Open House that said ” I Love (Heart) Grammy and Papa”.  They were quite the cute little hostesses, at least until bedtime rolled around.

Holiday Pillowcases

Anna, James and Martin Connington with their pillowcases
Anna, James and Martin Connington with their pillowcases

It has become a tradition that each year I make Anna and Martin Connington a pillowcase.  This year their brother, James, was also here to share the holiday with them.  Therefore, it was important to make a pillowcase for James as well.  Since James is attending college in London, I wanted to use a fabric that would remind him of the U.S.A.  I found a sexy cowgirl fabric that soon became the focal point for his pillowcase and he was thrilled.  He said it will be his new main pillowcase at school.  Anna and Martin were pleased with their pillowcases as well as you can see in the picture their mother, Montse, sent me.  What a handsome trio!



Each year I usually make a few ornaments with my embroidery machine.  Sometimes to commemorate a new member to the family, etc.   This year I made a Christmas cookie tree ornament to commemorate our the First Annual Grandma’s Cookie Decorating Tea Party.  Eileen and I had a delightful time with our 2 granddaughters and I was so pleasantly surprised when she too had an ornament made, with our photos, which I absolutely love.

Eloise's Ornament from 2011
Eloise’s Ornament from 2011
IMG_1222 - C
Photo Ornament from Eileen and felt Christmas Cookie Cutter Ornament








That’s a summary of my holiday sewing for 2012.  It was a very busy, but fun month of December.

I’m sure you too were busy with all your holiday preparations.  What were you busy making in your Santa’s workshop this year?  Please send me an email to:  [email protected] and include a photo if you like and I’ll post in a future blog!

Hope you are enjoying 2013.  I have a feeling it is going to be a great year!!!

(Here is a link to a how to video to make an infinity scarf at TheCraftyGemni.  Enjoy!)


Happy Sewing!





Finished Product, Free Pattern

Jessie is in the House…At least for Halloween

Halloween is such a fun time of year for the little kids and I particularly enjoy making our grandchildren’s costumes each year.  This year, our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, Belén announced that she wanted to be Jessie, from Toy Story,  for Halloween.

I told her that I thought I could make her costume and she was excited. 

I began by looking at a toy Jessie doll to see what I would have to do to reproduce her costume in a Size 3 toddler version. 

Close-up of Jessie's shirt and belt
Details of Jessie's Chaps


My first step was a trip to Saver’s, a local thrift shop to find a small white shirt and pair of jeans for my foundation pieces for the costume.  I was delighted to find both my first visit and returned home to launder them so I could begin work on the costume.

The next thing I needed to determine was how I was going to make her chaps.  After spending some time searching the internet, I found a great tutorial for chaps at a blog called Sew a Straight Line.    I had the perfect cowhide fabric in my fabric stash and decided to make the waistband a brown color so it would look like a belt.  Then I digitized and embroidered a steer design onto some gold fabric that I made into the buckle for the belt and sewed it to the center of the front of the waistband.  I cut white fringe from a blackout curtain lining fabric and basted it to both sides of the chaps.  I also stitched brown piping along each side and across the front hems of each leg before sewing the side seams.  The piping trim helped to highlight the brown of the cowhide.

Close-up of Chaps I made for Jessie Costume

Now it was time to make the shirt.  Using the white shirt as my main reference, I sketched a pattern for the front yokes and cuffs of the shirt and cut it out of a bright yellow fabric.  Next I sketched where I wanted to position the red trim on both the yokes and cuffs and pinned the trim in place.  Then I carefully stitched the trim in place, removing the pins as the presser foot approached them. 

Stitching red trim onto the cuffs

I lined the front yoke and then sewed around the edges on the right side and attached it to the left side with a few large snaps.  This would enable Belén to get in and out of the shirt easily.  

I purchased an authentic “Jessie Hat” at a local coffee shop, but it was a little big for Belén, so I put a grommet on each side of her hat and laced a white cord through the holes.  On the end I put a cord lock so the hat could be easily adjusted to fit just right.  

Beléns first try-on of the complete outfit. She giggled the entire time.

Last but not least, I braided some rust colored yarn to make a long braid for Belén to wear under her hat.  Once I finished the braid, I made a yellow bow for it and then stitched it onto a strip of knit fabric that I made to fit Belén’s head size.  I thought this would work better than attaching the braid to the hat, as it would make the hat more cumbersome.   This worked really well and was very comfortable for Belén to wear as you can see in some of the attached pictures. 

The backside of the costume, showing the yarn
Trick and Treating at HP with Mommy, Daddy and Eloise
Belén with her best friend, Gracyn


Of course we can’t forget Miss Eloise.  She wore the lion costume I made for Belén’s first Halloween and looked adorable, don’t you agree?

The Queen of the Jungle, Miss Eloise

Since we are into December already, Santa’s workshop is in full swing.  I just wanted to share the Halloween fun from this year before I start writing about the holidays as I have been a bit behind on my blog.  What were you for Halloween this year?  Did you make any costumes.  As for me, I was a very happy Nana!