About Me

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As a Martha Pullen licensed sewing teacher I love to learn new sewing techniques and I equally enjoy teaching sewing techniques to others.  You can also find me teaching Bernina Customer Courses at my local Bernina dealer.  In addition, I demonstrate Stampin' Up products.  I am a servant of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, wife of one, mom of two, and grandma of five.  Welcome to my sewing and crafting studio!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Place for Everything Jewelry Findings Organizer

Hi sewing friends!
I received a custom request from a jewelry maker for an organizer
for her jewelry findings and supplies.
We started with the A Place for Everything pattern
and my client made several clever change requests.

One major change was to ditch the fabric handle and use something more durable
(I chose marine vinyl for its durability and ease of cleaning, plus it looks like leather)
The pattern instructs attaching the handle at the other end (the spine) of the organizer
If the handle is attached as instructed,
then the organizer can't stand up like a little suitcase because the zipper is in the way.
As per my client's request, I attached the handles to the side front and back.
That makes a lot more sense.

The inside of the organizer has 2 removable "pages" or inserts,
which have vinyl and zipper pockets on the front side,
and which stack on top of each other and are secured in place by hook and loop tape.


My client requested 4 "pages" instead of 2, and she also requested vinyl and zipper pockets on the front and the back side of each insert. 
I suggested to her that she would not be able to stack all those inserts in the organizer at one time once she had the pockets filled.
She was okay with that as she did not plan to use them all at once,
but would interchange them as necessary. 
Whew!
That was a LOT of vinyl pockets and zippers.
Her request gave her soooooo much storage.
Hooray!

The spine of the organizer has a sleeve that houses an acrylic insert (like the one in this bag ).  Thanks DH for your help with that.
There are mesh pockets on the inside front and back cover of the organizer.

I hope my client gets many years of use out of her new organizer.

Thank you V for allowing me to help your vision come to life.

If you are in the market for an organizer, give this pattern a try,
I don't think you will be disappointed.
It does have a lot of materials cost and many hours of time,
but the finished result is so worth the investment.

Thank you for stopping by today friends. 




Saturday, August 5, 2017

Coneflower Season

Coneflowers are one of my most favorite of summer's floral beauties


They're reliable, they return to visit me every summer
and they always produce colorful blooms
no matter the environment - wet - dry- cool - hot
it doesn't matter
they return.
And now, I can enjoy the beauty of the coneflower year round.
This quick, wool applique candle mat helps me get my coneflower fix
even when the cold winter winds are blowing and the snow is swirling
I added hot fix crystals for a little bling on the "cone"
From bhg.com "Purple coneflower is one of the toughest, most reliable perennials on the market"
As you can see, my coneflower is indeed purple
But, it has some added burnt orange coloring
A very similar coloring to the coneflowers growing in my garden
Disclaimer:
I pressed the wool with my iron and held it in place too long,
thus scorching the purple wool!!!
*sigh*

Instead of hand stitching, I used my sewing machine for the applique

My #BabyLock #Sashiko did an outstanding job on those leaf veins . . .

and on the coneflower stem

The back of the mat is finished off with a simple, cotton fabric


This little mat is a lovely addition to my late summer d├ęcor
Enjoy the late season beauty of this great earth God has created, my friends.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Going Batty

This girl.  Love her so much.
We have an extra close granddaughter/grandma bond.
That said, our taste in "stuffies" is night and day.
Her plush animal collection includes dragons, chickens, and viruses.
Yes, viruses!!!
Mine would include bears, puppies, and butterflies.

So when she found a pattern on Etsy and asked me to help her sew it
- of course I said yes -
and of course I wasn't surprised that it was a pattern for a stuffed bat.

Okay, I admit, it's pretty cute.




She picked out the fabrics.

The head is stuffed with polyester stuffing.
The body is stuffed with polyester stuffing and Polypellets.
The eyes are plastic safety eyes.
The bat's name is Nebula.
My granddaughter LOVES her little bat.

Treasure the sewing journey with your little ones, my friends.

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Free Pencil Case Pattern



Hello, sewing friends!
I found a free pattern for you.
It is called "A Pencil Case for Lola" and it is a free download on the byAnnie Website.

There are no pockets or any extra addition on this little case.
Just a nice simple open case to store any number of items.
It has an accent strip along one side,
a carry strap,

and it opens up wide with that extra-wide handbag zipper
The inside of the case is finished nicely with little binding strips at each end:
You could use this for so much more than just pencils:



Here's a video so you can get a better look at this easy pattern:



Have a terrific sewing weekend.





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sew Over It Penny Dress

Hello sewing friends!
I just stitched up a comfortable summer dress.
Here's a goofy video to share my review of this pattern:

Have you sewn this new Sew Over It pattern yet?
Please leave your take on this pattern in the comment section,
I would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a lovely week.



Monday, June 12, 2017

City Zipper Tote

Hello, sewing friends!
Here's a versatile tote for so many purposes,
and all done up in patriotic summer colors.
The outer fabric, zipper flaps, and pocket fabric are True Blue by designer Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics.


The pattern is from Quilts Illustrated and it's called the City Zipper.
There are no outer pockets, but the inside is completely lined with pockets.
I used my Baby Lock Sashiko outfitted with my Baby Lock Ovation binder attachment to easily add the binding to the top of the pockets.

Then I used the fly stitch on my Bernina 750 to reinforce the top of each pocket section:

And would you look at the width of that bag!
This one finished up at the exact measurements indicated on the pattern:
22" wide x 11" tall x 7" deep
That's one wide mouth bag!
Here's a top view with the zipper closed.
and cut it down to size after I sewed it into the zipper flaps.
That way, I still have enough of my red zipper to use for another project.


For extra durability in the handles, I used navy leather for the tabs:
If you are going to use leather, just be advised:  it's a pain in the rear because the tabs are folded to enclose all raw edges, then they are layered between the interfaced lining, two layers of interfaced zipper flap fabric, and the Soft and Stable quilted outer fabric layer.
I lost count of how many needles I broke stitching those tabs.  They were worth it though.
They're so pretty and strong, and professional looking.  Yay!


The pattern instructs you to use fusible batting to give the bag some body,
but I sure do like a structured tote, so I chose to use by Annie Soft and Stable.
Yes, that made sewing the tote more of a challenge, but it stands at attention,
and that makes it easy to locate what you're looking for inside that expanse of a bag.

The bottom of the bag would tend to hang low if you fill it to the brim, or if you carry
heavy items, so the instructions suggest firming up the bottom.
(Hmmmm, I initially thought that was directed at me,
but realized all the patterns are printed the same.)
The pattern suggestion is to use picture framing cardboard cut to the dimensions
of the bag bottom, inserted in a sewn sleeve, and dropped into the bottom of the bag.
I decided I wanted and even firmer bottom (heh, heh, don't we all?)
so I enlisted hubby to help me experiment with making my own custom acrylic board.
This is what I purchased from Home Depot:

Now, how to cut that acrylic?  That's where hubby's services were enlisted (coerced, perhaps).
He surmised a regular blade on his table saw would perhaps melt the acrylic, or crack it,
so at Harbor Freight, we purchased this inexpensive (under $6) blade specifically for cutting plastic:

Perfect!  It made a beautiful cut.
Now all we (he) had left to do was lightly sand the rough cut edge,
and of course, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, she also wants the corners rounded.
So he used a small power sander to do the job:
What a guy!
Here's the finished piece laying on top of the lining fabric that I used for the sleeve:

Instead of just laying my support piece in the bottom of the bag, I stitched one end and one side of the sleeve to the bottom of the bag lining before I attached the lining to the outer bag.
Then when I finished the tote, I simply slipped the acrylic support into the sleeve.
It was easy to slip it into the sleeve because one long edge and the open end of the sleeve were not stitched down flat to the bottom of the lining:
That acrylic base will not go anywhere, but it is still easy to remove should it become necessary:
Okay, load up your new tote with towels, bottle water, a good read, and sunscreen and head to the beach or the pool.  Your new City Zipper will hold it all.

You could also use it as a project bag for your crochet or knitting (yes, those long knitting needles will fit in here).

All those necessary baby and toddler items would also fit in here.  What a great gift for an expecting mommy.

Have fun daydreaming about how you are going to use this one as you are sewing it, or, as always,
the test sample is up for sale in my shop.

Thank you so much for spending some of your day here with me.