Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Embroidered bird and roses wall hanging

I was able to finish the wall hanging using the embroidered patch with the bird and roses on it, which I shared with you in the last post.  I finished it over Thanksgiving week and gave it to friends of ours.

Now it is on to a flag wall hanging that I am making for my hubby for Christmas.  It actually uses some antique fabric for the sky part of the flag.  I hope that I can finish it in time.  If not, it will be for his birthday in January.  :-)

I also made a gift for someone else, but you will have to wait until after Christmas to see it!

Hope you are getting time to work on some of your special projects.

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What I'm Working On

I thought that I would share with you a couple projects that I am working on right now.  I just finished sewing a casing to a throw that I had made a while back as a shop sample.  Hubby wanted to hang it at the office at work.  So now that is ready.

I am busy putting the binding on a wall hanging that I made for a guild and club challenge.  Since my time was limited at the time,  I decided to combine the challenges and that way I only had to make one. For the guild we needed to use 1 1/2" strips in our challenge that were given to us at the Christmas meeting.  For the club challenge, we needed to use the navy reproduction print in our quilt.  I was fortunate enough to have reproduction 1 1/2" strips in my roll, so I thought it would work out perfectly with the navy reproduction fabric.

I love stars, especially the evening star pattern.  I decided to make 4" finished stars using the 1 1/2" strips for the star points and some for the backgrounds of the stars.  The navy fabric I used for the rest of the stars and border and binding.  I used the same cream fabric for the centers, but I embroidered little designs in the center of the navy stars.  I used my embroidery machine also for the quilting designs in the centers of the other stars.  Unfortunately, I was not able to finish it by the meeting, but I am very happy with it.

While I had my embroidery machine ready, I thought that I would embroider a design that I am going to use in the center of another wall hanging.  This is the embroidery:

Interesting that while I was working on my projects the birds were really singing outside my window.  Here is one of my feathered friends!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ironing Board

I decided that I could make better use of my space by making my own ironing board that would fit on top of one of my shelf units.  I wanted something firmer than a regular ironing board for better pressing.

I bought a piece of wood 16" x 36".  I believe it was roughly 1/2" thick, possibly 3/4".  I took 2 layers of cotton batting (about 2" larger on each side), and wrapped it around the top of the board to the back.  Most directions that I found online used staples to fasten it, but since I didn't have any, I thought I would be creative and use some pink duct tape that my hubby bought for me.  It worked perfectly for the job!

Next I chose a piece of fabric that I would like for the cover.  I knew that I would like a neutral print since I was a little worried about colors on some prints possibly rubbing off on whatever I would be pressing.  I was a little limited since I really collect a lot of fat quarters rather than yardage.  I found the perfect piece with enough yardage, with some to spare.  I wrapped the fabric around the board tautly and folded the edge of the fabric in at the end and overlapped the beginning of the fabric where I had started from.  Clear as mud?!  That way I had no raw edges.  Now since I had no staples, I decided to use my quilt basting safety pins to fasten the edge of the back in place.  I actually laid awake the night before planning how I would do this!  I brought the sides around to the back and pinned them in place too.

Voila!  A wonderful new ironing surface that fits perfectly on the top of my shelf!  And I used what I had on hand except for the board!

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Friends Challenge

A number of years ago two of my friends, Melissa, Kathy and myself decided to do a challenge.  The challenge consisted of using a cute quilter's panel and adding whatever fabrics we wanted.

I decided that since I wanted to do a small wall hanging that I would shrink the panels to fit in the center of my star blocks.  I put them in my copier and shrunk them to half their size and printed them out on Printed Treasure Sheets.  My one friend called that cheating, but I thought it was rather clever!  :-)  I decided to put embroideries in the center star and the corner squares in the border.  Believe it or not, I even hand quilted this quilt!  For years, I just needed to complete the quilting on the one border and then bind it.  Finally it is finished!

I really like how it turned out and love seeing it up on my wall in the sewing room.  It reminds me of the fun that I had with friends!

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Sewing Room

I'm back!  I have been doing a fair amount of traveling with my hubby and have finally finished setting up my sewing room.  I am loving it.  It is small, but functional.  I got a number of bins at Ikea for my fabric.  I like that they a smaller for me to handle and easier to see what I have.  Back in Hamburg, I had my stash just folded on shelves, but the piles were way too high!  I would pull something out and something else would come along with it, or I would pull part of the pile down!  Yikes!  This works for me.  I have my fabric separated by color and I also have future projects and ufo's in them too.  The shelves are also from Ikea.  They are height adjustable which is good.  The smaller plastic boxes that I have, I got from various places, but they hold my scraps separated by color.  I tend to go to my scrap boxes first when I need something, especially since a lot of my projects are scrappy.

I have a small pressing area set up on the shelves, but I do have a regular ironing board for larger pieces.  I would like to get a board and have it cut to size of the top shelf and cover it to make my own custom ironing board.  This would work for most of my pressing needs without having to get the ironing board out.

My sewing table is also Ikea and has adjustable legs.  Since I am shorter, I prefer to be able to make my sewing surface lower than the standard height of sewing tables.  My computer table is also Ikea, but with standard legs.  I like that you can choose whatever table top you like and combine it with the legs that you need.  I have no association with Ikea except that I love a lot of their systems!  I used mainly Ikea when I had the shop!

My cutting table is located right outside my sewing room.  Again, it is from Ikea and I have the adjustable legs on it.  Just the perfect height for cutting.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my sewing room!  Time to go sew!

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yum! Homemade Bread

I spent the day baking bread!  I have not baked homemade bread for probably 35 years!   It felt good to work with the dough again.  Kneading dough is very relaxing.  I didn't have the recipe that I used way back then, so I went surfing the web for the perfect bread recipe.  I found it here.  It was on allrecipes.com and it is called Traditional White Bread.  It is light and fluffy and is perfect for sandwiches or to just enjoy with butter, which is my favorite.

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mom's Embroidered Scarf

My Mom embroidered a beautiful bureau scarf many years ago.  I came across it a number of months ago and have wanted to finish it and be able to use it.

I finally got a backing sewn on it and it fits perfectly on the rack in my sewing room.  The perfect spot for my family pictures.

Happy Sewing,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Quilt Shop Adventures

We are finally getting settled in our new place.  I have been wanting to check out the local quilt shop, and finally got there.  It is called Material Girl and is located only 3/4 mile from my house.  It is a bright airy shop that carries a wide array of fabrics.  They have reproductions, batiks, bright modern prints, juvenile, novelty and of course holiday prints.  They are also a great source for quilt books.  I really loved the variety that they had.   Their website is:  www.materialgirlfabricshop.com

These are the things that I could not resist! 

Material Obsession seems like an appropriate book for me.  :-)  One of the co-authors of this book is Sarah Fielke, who has become one of my favorite designers.  I only recently discovered her and I love the simplicity of her designs and her use of colors.  All her quilts just make me smile.  She has written a number of books and is also doing classes on Craftsy.  I am hooked!  You can learn more about her on her website here.

The other quilt shop that I just discovered is about 7 miles from the house.  It is called Pieceful Gathering Quilt Shop located in Fox River Grove.  It is a wonderful quilt shop located in an old house.  You all know I love shops in houses!  But to my surprise when I walked inside, I discovered that they carried all reproduction fabric!  I thought I was in heaven!  So many wonderful samples and kits were everywhere!  I didn't know what to look at first!  I see many visits there in my future!  

I purchased a fat quarter bundle, fat 1/8th and a wonderful kit for a quilt called Spool Toss Quilt!  I could not resist it!  I saw so many others I would have liked, but they will have to wait for another day!
Their website is:  www.piecefulgathering.com

I am finally getting a chance to do some things in my sewing room and I hope to have something to share with you soon.

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A New Adventure

Dear Friends:

My husband has accepted a job offer in Chicago and I will be closing the shop and moving by the end of June.  I have made so many wonderful friends over the past 23 years.  I thank you so much for your support through both good and bad times.  You were always there for me.  I wish you all the best and will miss you.

I am selling my fabric at $4.00 yard, fat quarters are a $1.00 each and all notions, books, patterns are 50% off.  This sale will be effective from now until I close on June 22, 2013.
Please note that I will be closed the week of June 10th.

Thank you again!  It has been a pleasure serving you!

I will try to post quilty pictures of what I am doing after I am settled and getting a chance to sew again.  So please keep an eye out for future posts.

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Valances

Today I sewed valances made from pillowcases that my Mother embroidered.  Her embroidery is beautiful and this way I can see them everyday.  I will think of her every time I see them.

Happy Sewing,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Table Runner Finished!

I actually finished the table runner that I pieced at my retreat.  I really had problems quilting it, for a couple of reasons.  The first one was that I knew that I wanted to do grid quilting in the squares and I thought that I would sew around the inner border to stabilize it before beginning the grid quilting.  However, then I decided to use a decorative stitch in the inner border figuring that would work instead of a straight stitch in the ditch.  Wrong!  The fabric shifted slightly downward while I was stitching even though I had it pin basted.  I believe that the other reason that happened is because I was using my sewing machine on a different table then I usually do and there was not a flat surface in front of my needle.  The front of my machine curves downward in the front and my runner kept pulling down along with it.  I usually use a large sewing table that is flush with my machine not only with the side and back, but also the front.

After I did the inner border, even though it was pulled off some, I decided to do the grid quilting.  Now instead of straight stitches, I decided to experiment with a serpentine stitch.  I wanted soft curves to accentuate the florals of my patches.  That didn't go too bad, but I definitely wound up with that extra fullness towards the one end because of my first stitching incident.

Now my center was stitched and my poor borders just waved at me!  Oh my!  What could I do to tame them?!  I decide to do more decorative stitches.  A row close to the inner border and a row close to the outside edge of the border.  After I finished stitching, I actually hoped very much that this table runner would shrink when I washed it so that it would pucker up and take up some slack.  Guess what!  IT WORKED!

All in all it came out half decent despite my issues.  I am happy with it and it brightens up my room and makes me happy!

The moral of this story is never give up!  Maybe things really do quilt out! :-)

 Table runner on my table.

 My grid quilting.

Border quilting.

Happy Sewing,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bonnie's Post

As you all know from my last post, that Bonnie Hunter visited my shop. Bonnie wrote a lovely post about her visit here on her blog.  I thought that I would share it with you.  You can view it here.

Thanks Bonnie!  It was a wonderful visit!

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bonnie was here!

Bonnie Hunter from www.quiltville.com was here!  I am still so excited!  For those of you that follow my blog, you know that I am a huge fan of Bonnie.  You can check out an earlier post here.  I have all of her books and have saved many, many of her free patterns from her website on my computer.  We share a huge love of scrappy quilts.  She convinced me that I can mix batiks and reproductions or whatever I want and it will turn out wonderful!

Here are some pics from our wonderful visit!

 Bonnie, Me and my Granddaughter Veronica

 Zlaty-my Daughter in law, Granddaughters Natalie and Veronica, Bonnie and me

Bonnie and my friend Melissa

 Christmas Lights Mystery

 Double Delight Mystery

 Melissa's Orange Crush

 Melissa's Crabapple Wall hanging

Melissa's Carolina Crossroads

We had to share with Bonnie some of the quilts that we have made from her patterns.  You can see more of mine in the post link that I put in the beginning of this post.

Bonnie shares so much with quilters everywhere.  Please support her.  She is a wonderful person, very down to earth and just feels like you are talking to a friend.  If you ever get a chance to hear her lecture or take a class, do it!  You won't believe how much fun you had!

Happy Sewing,

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vintage Tin

Today one of my customers shared a quilt with me that she had just finished for her husband.  It is wonderful!  Hand embroidered.  Beautiful stitches!  Thank you so much for sharing it with me!

The quilt is from Crabapple Hill Studios called Vintage Tin.  Here is the link: http://www.crabapplehillstudio.com/patterns/the-masculine-point-of-view.html

I hope that you all have enjoyed it as much as I did.

Happy Sewing,

Monday, March 25, 2013


I just returned home from my yearly sewing retreat with friends.  We had a great time!  It was wonderful to catch up on our lives and do something that we really enjoy doing.   There was plenty of good food throughout the weekend too.  A little bit too much!  I am not weighing my self until I have been home for at least a week, I think!  :-)

Here is a little peek at what we were up too:
 Mary brought this beautiful quilt to finish the binding.  
 Patti made this lovely leaf table runner.
 I got a very springy table runner pieced together.

Two more beautiful quilts made by Mary waiting for binding.

Kathy was working on her postage stamp quilt.  I did not get a picture of the blocks that she is sewing, but here is a picture of her Grandmother's quilt that was made from 1" squares, that inspired her quilt.  It will be wonderful when it is done!

Melissa was working on a secret project!  Shhh!

I also worked on a project that I can't share right now.  It is for a challenge.

If you every get a chance to go away for a little bit with friends and share your love of sewing, Do it!

Happy Sewing,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quilt Show Quilts

I went to the quilt show in Somerset, NJ last weekend.  They had so many beautiful quilts there.  I thought I would share with you a number of my favorites.

This was just a small sampling of the quilts.  I really enjoyed seeing so many wonderful quilts!

Happy Sewing,