Sunday, December 28, 2014

Our Holidays and the New Sewing Machine

I hope you are enjoying your holiday season.  We were blessed to have both of our children home at the same time.  Our sailor son was home for two weeks and our daughter is on college break.  Since I’m not sure when this will happen again, I baked everyone’s favorites.


Tea Cups

Aunt Sarah’s Chocolate Cake

Miss Lou’s Pound Cake

My mom made Sand Tarts

We did a lot of eating and visiting.  It was very sad leaving our son at the airport Friday. We hope to visit him in San Diego next March, during our daughter’s spring break.  It will depend on his ship’s schedule…keeping fingers crossed that he will not be underway then.  His ship is scheduled to relocate to Japan mid-year.


Thank you to everyone who provided guidance with regard to a portable sewing machine.  I quickly made a decision and took some of my Christmas money to make a purchase.

Since I recently had a problem with my main machine and was without it for over a month, I could not imagine dealing remotely with a seller.  I decided to buy from someone who is close to home in case I need repairs.  That limited me to either a Brother, Babylock, Janome or Pfaff.  I wanted something that is lightweight yet durable since its primary purpose is to take to classes.

I was very interested in a Janome but the local dealer did not have the model I wanted to see and it was a bit more expensive than the Pfaff I chose.

Pfaff Passport 2.0

It features an integrated dual feed system (IDT) which is basically a built-in walking foot.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with this feature. 

The IDT is very easy to disengage if you do not need it.

It offers more stitches than I will ever use.

My main machine is also an embroidery machine which means it is very heavy and too expensive to be carting around.

At just over 12 pounds, the Pfaff will serve the purpose.  Oh...and it was ON SALE!!!!

I’ll be back soon to show you the project I am making to test the new Pfaff.  It has me seeing dots…that is a good thing J

Enjoy the last few days of 2014!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Help, please

Update:  Thank you for your comments and guidance.  I have made a decision (& purchase) and will share soon. Thank you again for stopping by and your help!
Happy Holidays my friends.

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted and I have missed blogland something awful.  What little time I have had to check in with my quilty, crafty friends has been spent on Instagram.  I look forward to returning soon and sharing the secret sewing I’ve been up to.

For now, I need your help.  I am looking for a small, simple, economical but reliable sewing machine that I can easily take to classes.  I’ve done a little online research at Janome, Bernina, Brother and the result is that I am completely overwhelmed.  I would appreciate it if you have any advice to offer.

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed holiday season.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Just Checking In...

There has been some secret sewing going on here which is one of the reasons I haven’t posted for a while.  Another excuse reason is that my husband and I attempted to paint the interior of our house ourselves.  And then there is the fact that my sewing machine is at the repair shop.

The secret sewing is gifts for friends.  Some of those Lovies follow my blog.  That is a good reason, right?

The painting proved to be something we decided was better left to the professionals… contractors report October 20th!  We have really high ceilings and some challenging areas so I do not feel one bit guilty about bailing on that task.

And then there is the sewing / embroidery machine…remember the cute little cosmetic bags that I made and then the machine decided it just did not want to work with that design any longer?  Well it started acting strange with other designs so I took it to the dealer last week.  It’s still there and I haven’t sewn a stitch.


My cousin asked me to knit her 8 month old baby girl a Yoda hat for Halloween.  Yep, you read that right…a Yoda hat.  Can’t say that I had even seen a Yoda hat until now but I’m giving it a try.  You might see a picture soon.


Last time I shared that I purchased a quilt pattern from Kaaren at The Painted Quilt.  It is going to be my husband’s Man Quilt.  Well, the real name of the pattern is Camp Wilderness.

Kaaren writes great patterns and includes the most amazing line drawings for the applique’ pieces as well as close up photos for reference.

Even though I do not plan to start this quilt until next year, I have been researching fabric choices.  I would love to use one line of fabric.  Any ideas?


And lastly, I won a giveaway!  Carrie, the Queen of applique’, won a prize for a quilt she made and donated to the Quilters Dream Batting Hopes and Dreams Quilts Challenge. Click here to read more about Carrie’s participation and see her adorable quilt. When Carrie received her prize she realized it included items that she likely would not have time to complete so she shared them with some of her followers.

I won patterns for tea towels…13 of the cutest patterns for all seasons.  Thank you Carrie!

There are 5 towels that I would love to make right now….if only I had a machine... errr!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you all have a fantastic week.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Progress Report and Sweet Mail

Happy September! 

I have been sharing some completed projects with you the last couple of months but realized I had not been mentioning which of my lists the project belonged to.  These are the lists I created while participating in Sherri’s Summer Organizing Series.  So I’m going to back-track a little here.

Progress Report

Work in Progress (WiP):

After weeks of trying to decide whether or not Goodnight Irene was getting a border, it did…

Now this one is off to the long-arm quilter with Willow Weave.  Goodnight Irene was Terry’s sew-along earlier this year.  She has started a new sew-along and you can check it out here.

The other WiP that I have is the helmet liner project which will continue until end of October.  You can read more about them here.

Unfinished Project/Object (UFO):

I shared about Willow Weave here.

To Do (Project I want to make but haven’t started):

I completed more bags from Uncommonly Corduroy and told you about them in early August here.

Also last week, I completed this dish towel/pot holder.

Another item on my To Do list is this Halloween Baltimore quilt, pattern by Pearl P. Pereira. 

This is block one…

I machine stitched the applique using clear thread…not loving it.  So, I’m going to re-think how to complete the stitching.  Since I am using the fusible method for attaching the pieces to the background fabric, I may finish that part and go back to the stitching when all of the blocks are fused.  This quilt will NOT be finished this Halloween and realistically, it may not be finished next Halloween either.  This one will move up to the WiP list and could be there a while J

I have added a new project to the To Do list and this one is for my hubby.  This will be his “man quilt” as Kaaren from The Painted Quilt calls it.  I ordered the pattern today and will share a photo of the cover when it comes but you can see it at Kaaren’s by clicking here. You won't believe this perfect MANLY quilt.

One of our goals is to purchase a camper in a few years.  DH already bought the truck and we have been to a couple of RV shows to get an idea of what we want.  Our plan is to take short vacations until we retire and then take a really looonnng one J

Sweet Mail

You may call this Leftover String Beans

I purchased Stephanie’s quilt pattern String Beans and took her up on her offer to unload some of the leftover fabric she used.  

You can see the quilt here.  I’m adding this to my To Do list for next spring.

Now that you are all caught up, I’ll do a better job of updating my lists.  I think there is a way to add them to the sidebar of the blog but I have to figure that out…one day.

Have a blessed week everyone!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quick and Easy Dishtowel Potholder Tutorial

There are literally two seasons in south Florida….it’s either hurricane season or it is not. To feel any sort of seasonal change here, we pretty much have to rely on the d├ęcor in our homes.  One thing I like to do as the months go by is swap out the kitchen towels.  Simple, I know…but it is the small things that count J

I love the towel / potholder combo that hangs from my oven door handle and I have always purchased these at craft shows....you know, supporting our crafty friends.

Nothing says August like sunflowers…and this one has seen way too many Augusts!  I’m not sure how it survived last year (or the year before).

So, I picked up new materials at the dollar store and made a replacement.

There are tons of YouTube videos and online instructions for these but this is how I did it:

Carefully remove the tags from the potholder and dishtowel

Lightly press the towel in half

Mark the center of the towel with a Frixion pen (I love these pens because I can simply remove the mark with a warm iron when I am finished)

Mark the center of the potholder with the loop either above or below the line.  You'll need the loop to wrap around a button when folded in half

Thread a needle with a double-strand of sewing thread and insert just inside the potholder binding and on the center line

Hand sew a basting stitch through the towel only and when it is gathered to fit the potholder, you insert the needle and thread through the other side and pull tight...do not knot the thread, this is to just hold the towel in place while you adjust the gathers

Once you have the towel gathered and centered on the potholder, then pin it in place.  Sew in place using a straight stitch about 2.5 to 3.0 in length, removing the pins as you go

Remove the basting thread

If you like the placement and you actually plan to use your towel then I suggest sewing over it once more

Attach a cute button on the opposite flap from the loop

Finished within minutes!

Once I realized what was inside the OLD potholder, I grabbed the seam ripper....

We'll use this guy at least one more August J

I am not a tutorial writer by any means, but if you like these towels then I hope this post is somewhat helpful. 

Have a great week, my friends.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Whole Lot of Fun…

That is what has been going on around here…FUN!

Working through my list of Works or Projects in Progress… Willow Weave is a flimsy and I love it.  As a reminder, this was a sew-along hosted by Doreen from Aunt Reen’s Place.

I’m hoping to pick up the backing fabric and take it to the long arm quilter’s next weekend.  Can't decide if this will be my summer picnic quilt or a cuddle quilt...hmmm.


I moved on to the list of new projects I wanted to try...

New towels for my daughter's bathroom.

These are from the same design set from Anita Goodesign that I used to make her throw pillows for her new bed.  

Not sure why the color is so different here


I have somewhat of a rooster theme in my kitchen so I test-stitched a rooster design on flour sack material.  I love the design but will either use different colors on the white fabric or use a different color towel.

This is also from Anita Goodesign.


My best friend and I have been hanging out.  Below is a cosmetic bag like the ones I've made several times before.  For whatever reason, my machine has decided it no longer wants to create these fun and easy bags.  So, my friend made this one and I made the little tissue case to match.

The cosmetic bag is from Anita Goodesign and the tissue case is from Pickle Pie.


Speaking of Pickle Pie designs, my best friend and I made her granddaughters each a little 'back-to-school' purse in their favorite colors.  These little bags are completely made 'in the hoop' of the machine embroidery unit and are relatively fast.  I've only made two projects from Pickle Pie but they seem to be well digitized.

What fun have you been having lately?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags…

No, not bags full of wool.  Three more bags finished.  I have made so many from Stephanie’s Uncommonly Corduroy that I’ve become the UC bag lady.  That is ok with me J

My daughter asked for a tote just like mine.

Travels with Lou pattern using Lilly Pulitzer fabric

Then she asked for a smaller purse.

Sister Sharon pattern using fabric from my stash

I also made this one for my sister’s birthday gift.

California Girl pattern, again using Lilly Pulitzer fabric

We have been really busy this summer but I did manage some mini vacations.  My husband and I spent a couple of days in Miami, relaxing and took in a baseball game when our beloved Phillies were in town.

I just returned yesterday from a few days in Fort Walton Beach with my daughter, Mom and sister.  We always have a great time…I just wish we could do it more often.

Today I am home catching up on cleaning and laundry but will be back soon with a couple of projects just to prove I can be a bag lady and so much more J

I hope you are enjoying your summer!