Category Archives: Quilting

Quilt Gala 2013

DSCF6773I talked from 9:30 until 4:00 !!

DSCF6775I sewed too!DSCF6776I demonstrated making string quilt blocks for a quilt top that I’ll use to to demonstrate how to quilt to children.

DSCF6784I used my 1905 Lotus / refurbished treadle. See the pictures on the table? here they are:DSCF6792 DSCF6791 DSCF6790

This treadle machine was my DH grandmother Eula from Texas. It was long forgotten and wasn’t cared for in years. The cabinet rotted away and this was all that was left of the machine. It was so rusty it couldn’t even move when I tried to turn the hand wheel.

It was a family project and it is one of my most cherished machines. Her name is Chloe. I soaked her first in a metal pail large enough to hold the machine in WD-40. That started the process, but what really worked was, believe it or not, soaking the machine in coke. YEP, coke. The rust was eaten through and the machine could move. Chloe was alive again!

My Oldest son painted it Mercedes Bends Ice Blue, “because I will always drive a better machine than car!” So, this is my Mercedes!

My Youngest Son helped me pick out a top of the table.

DH helped me cut the opening and countless trips back to MCgiver-Shaw Lumber hardware to find possible parts to make up the tension and other missing parts.

My Oldest Daughter painted the top of the table like a doily. She hid secret messages in the doily along with my monogram.

Baby Daughter helped with naming and stickers.

We recycled a  wicker bicycle basket and strapped that to the sides to “hold” things. (look at the top photo)

DSCF6781The best part of today was people coming up to me telling me their treadling stories. I sew on this machine and it takes people back to their Grandmothers, or mothers when they used these machines as part of their life. I like to think that for a minute, out of the blue, people get to revisit their past. They remember fondly and  spend some time with people they loved.

I always enjoy a day like this volunteering, I get so much out of an event like this, meeting people and just plain sharing what I was so blessed to learn. 


Birthday Gift!

Happy Birthday Jenny!

You can open your gift now!

I made you a tablerunner filled with appliquéd flowers. When my daughter was visiting you, apparently you dropped a few hints to her and she passed them on! LOL

Here is a closer look at the flowers and quilting.

I cut the fabric flowers and leaves using my sizzix. I had scraps of pretty fabrics from other jobs and projects and I couldn’t just thrown the bits left over so I saved them and used every piece. I free motion quilted all around and over the flowers to give accent and some detail.

With all the leftover flowers I  still couldn’t throw them away so I just randomly added them to the backing and quilted right over them.

I hope you have a happy birthday… Love your favorite sister….xo

I’m linking this to Faded Charm and White Wednesday:

and to :

Go check this out the links to all the creative people is fabulous!


Un-finished Projects!

I just want to finish a few things I started this was one of the firsts:I started this Louisa Harding pattern a couple of years ago. My SIL gave me a gift certificate to Halcyon Yarns and I got the silky green wool yarn. I checked out a terrific book from the library and this pattern was in it. Louisa Hardings knitting patterns are classic, but update, and I just loved this one.I learned how to knit with fair-Isle patterns and enjoy knitting this style. This just took longer since I was using size 2 needles and I had to pay attention while knitting the colorwork. Then… well… The sleeves sat for a year waiting to be sewn in. That always seems like the hardest part… finishing.

I also worked on a few sewing projects too:

 A tote bag I started the front for a class sample demonstration. This is the back with a large pocket… and check out the super fun inside lining…

The other side of pockets….

This is a look from down into the tote bag

I really like the couching over yarns….how fun do these look??

I had to finish a apron… and I have a couple more to make for a local museum.

Gifts to make

It’s a terrible rainy day…


I have gifts to make..My sister, Judy has a birthday this month and it just so happens her daughter is visiting us from Massachusetts this week, so I am sending her home with her Mom’s gift.

This tablerunner is a class I teach. The three blocks are machine quilted in the hoop. The 4 corner blocks are striped pieced first then quilted in the hoop. I add the sashings then the border. Last I add the backing.. check this fun print out…

After the backing I stipple-quilted the sashing and loopdy-doopdy quilted the borders. For some color I did a decorative stitch with a variegated thread around the edges. Now don’t tell… shhhhh

I also had to make a baby pillow for a gift

Pretty linen pillow with back and fronts embroidered.

Now I have to get some housework finished..aghhhh

Crazy Patched stool

Look at this cute stool/ side table!!

This is the top! They made this from a recycled wooden wire spool holder.  like this one:Wooden pieces were added around the edge for support and to help with the uhplostery. Foam was added to the top and bottom and around the edge and it really is a comfortable piece. I love the burlap!

I love the details:

I can’t wait to start on one for ME!!

Jim says he saw one of those spools and will bring one home … I can’t wait! Until then I have saved one oyster burlap bag (with the stamped word “selects”)  outside on the line that I am recycling into this project and I am hunting down fabrics in a more blue and white color scheme…. I’ll post more when I’m actually working on it!!

Thanks to Mary at the Noblesville Linden Tree Shop for sharing this with me!! What a great Shop!!!






Bed Pillows

I wanted to show some closeup shots of my bed pillows. The blue and white square quilted shams are without a flange, the back is closed via an envelope closing.  I used velcro instead of either a zipper or buttons because it is smoother, and probably at the time I was making them I had velcro and not enough of the other types of closings….

I quilted the top by machine using a “mock hand stitch.” This is achieved by threading the top with Monofiliment  thread, and in the bobbin thread with the color you want in this picture it is blue. Below is another look at the mock hand stitch on an embroidery club project I taught several years ago.

The Machine Mock Hand stitch goes like this….  Forward one stitch, backwards one stitch, forward one, forward one, backwards one, forward two repeat from the beginning. That sounds really confusing but let me explain. The forward/ backwards part pull up the bobbin thread to the top of the fabric, that’s why you want the color thread. The two forward stitches are the monofiliment parts on top, the part that blends into the fabric and you don’t see, thus creating a blue stitch then a clear stitch. On my Brother Ult I used custom stitch to create that stitch and on the Ellisimo I think there was a quilting stitch already programmed in the quilting menu… the Vikings have a preprogrammed stitch in the quilting menus  E2. I am positive the berninas have this stitch as I helped a lady in class find it on her machine, but I can not remember which one it is and on my Bernina 1008 there isn’t that stitch like that .

Another tip with this stitch is to tighten the top tension so the bobbin thread is pulled to the top.

The next sham pillow is my circle design. I quilted the white background first, (actually I was only going to make all white quilted shams but then changed my mind.) Then I  added random sized circles of blue scraps by free motion quilting the edges and sometimes the centers too. The back of the sham is also an envelope style closing using buttons to close up the opening ( I happen to have four matching at the time so it was easier than velcro.)

 These are my maderia appliquéd pillow cases. Nothing really matches, they come close, so that’s my eclectic style and it sort of works in it’s random-ness. I taught a Machine maderia appliqué class and these were some of my samples.

Now last on the bed in the picture is my Canadian smocked pillow. It’s also called lattice smocking and  Honeycomb smocking… sort of all the same technique with different variations. All of the stitching is on the back of the fabric. The fabric is marked in a gridded pattern, you stitch and pull to create a pattern on the front.It looks harder than it really is…. here is a link to a a good site with a tutorial:

Oh and yes, that is a left over square tablerunner on my night stand.I made this with all of the left over small squares of fabric and I did it all on my treadle machine outside on a beautiful May day. In fact all of the small squares were constructed on my treadle outside on my porch. I chain pieced and pieced for a few hours and it was so lovely! The whirl of my treadle and nature…. perfect. The quilting which is free-motion was also treadled.

Last but not least, my dog-bone pillow. It’s not really a dog bone, but a neck pillow. Spend a day sewing and then at night time lie flat on your back with this pillow at the nape of your neck and then you know why I love this pillow!!! My Friend goes to a chiropractor and she bought a pillow like this. I copied it( way, way cheaper!)  I’ll see if I can figure out how to post a sketch of the pattern. It’s three pieces of fabric  sewn together with an opening to stuff it. The shape looks like a dog bone, fat on the ends and skinny in the middle. I’ll get back to you about a pattern, I need my daughter for this.




What to do with all the scraps?? Well one good and  easy way to use them up is to make them into strips ~anywhere from 1″ to 2.5″ I sort those saving all my 2.5″ strips for future quilts. They can be all sorts of lengths, just a perfect 2.5″ in width is all that matters.

These then are divided into lights, darks and the ever important pink pile. I want a pink quilt so badly!!! A couple/four years ago I had just blue and white piles and this is what became of those piles:

The blues and whites are really all sorts of patterns and hues, the lighting in my bedroom washes all the colors out.  The small strips were 1.5″ in width and the larger strips were 3″. I now am only cutting 2.5″ for a more universal size quilt and pattern. I had to make up that king sized pattern. The larger squares on the pillow are 5″ strips of assorted blue colors. all of the rest were 2.5″ strips with the odd pieces cut into circles for the “dot pillow sham.”

With all of your strips that are smaller and unevenly cut, I have braided them to re-cane ladder-back chairsI have also used the braids to make bathroom rugs by zig-zagging the braids together while wrapping laying then next to each other.  The one I am currently using needs a bath…I had at one time a hanging plant holder made with braided strips and knotted sort of like macramé and it looked cool and added just a bit of color.

Now I am sure there are tons more things to be made and used with just scrap strips of fabric…. I’ll blog next about what I make with old sock tubes and old t-shirt strips.

Chair Cushions

I woke up this morning and while having coffee I really noticed my dinning room chaircushions. Besides from not matching, with different styles and spotted…. they had to go!

Now, this isn’t my dinning room chair, I didn’t want to lug it outside to my porch for a photo shoot, so the outside chair is the model.

I started off with four cushions like this:

I made these a couple years back, and this was my cushion, I swear my son uses his as a napkin…(different topic for a blog, napkins!)  My goal was simple, cut up a solid green oblong tablecloth and be done with it. Well, this was an old one from my MIL’s so it had spots, and they showed, so I thought I could stripple quilt a texture and no one would notice them.

I used a piece of sweatshirt fabric which had sun faded lines as the “backing and batting.” This also served to give more foundation to the fabric and use up something I would never have made anything with! Yeah!

I made the first one and it was pretty, but plain… so then I thought I would jazz it up a bit with a tone on tone monogram..They went together fairly quickly after I figured out what I wanted and now I have all 6 cushions matching!

Happy Memorial Day

I enjoy Memorial day, I always have. I grew up in Upstate New York and Memorial day was celebrated with parades and music…. I miss that! School was out for the day and it meant that school was just about over for the summer… There was so much to look forward to!

Now, I live in the south and well… Memorial day has sort of lost it’s meaning here, it’s another Biker weekend at the beach, so, most locals stay at home and avoid the traffic and… kinda boring. I always pull out my red, white and blue decorations and keep them out through the fourth of July.

I use table runners on my table instead of placemats….  having four children, it’s too crowded around my table. This particular tablerunner is a class I teach using a charm-pak and two coordinating 1/2 yard pieces.

I have demonstarted this class on a treadle machine:

I did all the piecing and quilting on the treadle machine. The quilting was created using freemotion and this happens to be the best freemotion quilting I have even produced. I think it’s the hand foot, eye coordination thing happening…. It even beats the BSR ( bernina sewing machine stitch regulator for quilting stitches and freemotion)  in my opinion….


Then I  taught this class at a local shop with all Viking Husqvana sewing machines and embroidery designs for the quilting:

This was a fun class because 4 ladies had this figgy pudding fabric collection and 3 other ladies had a different collection. No one walked away with a matching tablerunner. We have a good time in this class deciding on the colorways. I have the students divide the charm pak in to groups of color…. there is no right or wrong way and it’s so much fun to see how different the same fabric can look moved in different ways.

Then I taught this class at Sewing at the Beach about 5 years ago.  That was fun! I had 28 students in one class and  everyone finished the top of the table runner and half of then totally finished quilting. I gave the option for embroidery machines to do the quilting, but I opened the class up to any machines and there was even a featherweight in my class….  I totally believe in using what you have. You can create wonderful and beautiful things on any type of machine. The sewing machine is a tool and knowing how to use it is more important than how fancy it is.  I look at the back of thread magazine first every month, and most of these couture designs were created way before an embroidery machine was thought of. I love the shirtwaists of the 1900 and those were made on treadles!

Back to my tablerunners:
 I like using scraps or bright backing… Sometimes it’s as pieced on the back as it is on the front!

For now I am enjoying putting out other red, white and blue tablerunners and other decorations to remind me to be thankful for our past generations and what they have sacrificed for our freedom and lives today.

Thank you Papa, Dad, Col. Click and all of our troops and Soldiers!

Class ideas..

Sewing at the Beach 2012 is so far off it seems, but I have to have submissions into the guild before June 1st. Actually I was given an extra week due to a family memorial and now…. times up!

Inspiration: I have oddles of inspiration all around me, I just  have to open my eyes… I am surrounded by jasmine, still blooming by the way, and now magnolias and gardenias are adding their lovely scent. I have watched birds come and go with nests of birds… Voila… first class idea.

Did I mention that I have an orchid blooming since Jan. 25th… they are outstanding. It seems like I am surrounded by white flowers, so:


I also have some fun things like a blooming apron, crochet needle hook, suff-it stash it pincushion, and demonstrating my favorite free-motion techniques:

I’ll have many more postings on Sewing at the Beach 2012…. come back often and check it out!