Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cute Pet Pictures

Here is Emma, trying not to have her picture taken while she plays in the tree.
You can see her ear on the left side of the 7 foot tall tree. The cats have been undecorating from the moment we put it up!
Hope you all have a peaceful holiday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice Ornaments

Here are ornaments made from a pre-printed panel. Super easy, just cut, sew, turn, stuff. My 7 year old helped and then I added buttons and bows. The backs are the same.
Happy Winter Solstice!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sweater Holiday Stockings

These are stockings I sewed 8 years ago from old sweaters. I did not felt them, so they are rather stretchy. While they are hanging, I put cardboard in them so they will stay flat (and not droopy). We don't have a fireplace so I hang them from my quilt display pole in the living room.
The initials are felt, sewn on with embroidery thread. I used old pearl buttons and a doily.

My grandmother's hankie and my wedding dress lace.

The next two stockings are from my Father-in-law's sweater.
Buttons centered over fabric yo-yos are the decorations shown in the group picture.

Military buttons because he served in Normandy (among other places).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quilting Adventures

Happy Holidays and Merry New Year to my friends at Quilting Adventures! They will be opening their new store at Willow Lawn, next to Ben Franklin (Richmond, VA) on Monday December 21. I am looking forward to it! Visit for more info. See you there!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sew an Alien

My son loved the alien I made him last year, so he wanted a friend for his alien this year! These are fun to make. I use whatever scraps I've got- wool felt for the "belt" and eyes. The one on the left has flannel on the bottom and corduroy up top. I applique the felt parts first. With right sides together, I stitch around the shape once and then again, because space travel can really knock the stuffing out of you! Clip all your curves before turning right side out. Big simple shapes are the easiest to work with, especially with heavy weight fabric like the corduroy and the checked drapery fabric. I can't wait to see these rocketing through the house!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Angel Hair Repair

Let's hope this doesn't happen to you! This poor angel's hair all fell out! I brought her down from the attic and her hair came out in clumps. My daughter wanted me to fix her, so I hunted around in my sewing room and actually came up with curly blond doll hair (I love it when I can find exactly what I need). My glue gun wasn't doing the trick, so I made a lace veil to help hold her hair on. She started out as a brunette, but I think she looks fine now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gnomes and Sleigh

Shhhhh! This is a Christmas present! My son loves gnomes so I made him these two and a sleigh for them to ride in. Actually the sleigh and the gnome bodies are from a craft store, but I painted them and made their clothes. It was a fun project, different from sewing. I was very inspired by Check them out!

All freehand- you can probably tell!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gift Ideas/Planning

I've been sewing gifts all morning. I usually start thinking about Christmas gifts during the summer. I look through books, magazines, my own notebooks to get ideas. Sometimes its something someone says that will spark an idea. I try to concentrate on one or two ideas for all the adults and then something different for the kids. It is easier to do production style that way. If I'm making a bowl, it is easy to keep going and make 6. Of course I can't say what this year's gifts are, in case my family is reading this!

Past ideas include:

Adults-scarves, hats, bowls, quilts, purses, pillow cases, dinner in a jar, frozen meatballs, etc.

Kids-scarves, hats, name pillows, zipper purses, fleece ponchos, beanbags, doll clothes, vest & skirt, finish your own doll kit, etc.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book Review: Quilts by Denyse Schmidt

I never fail to be inspired, thumbing through Denyse Schmidt's Quilts. She uses big blocks of bold colors and easy to follow instructions and construction photos.

My 10 year old sewed these two cats from the book, with some help from me. Spice and Olive are now best buddies.

Monday, November 30, 2009

What's New At Cat Song Stitchery- Coiled Fabric Bowls

These bowls/baskets are so much fun to make! I love throwing all the strips on my table and creating a pattern as I go.
These are 9" x 4".

Perfect size for spare change, keys, mail, small toys, sewing kit... They look great filled with fruit on a table too.

Go to to see more pictures.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stuffed Fabric Turkey

This is a big bird that my son made with me from a printed panel by Patty Reed Designs. It was easy to sew and my 7 year old enjoys stuffing things.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pattern Review: Simplicity 4190

I love this pattern by Simplicity. I have sewn the sleeveless tunic 3 times, and the simple purse once so far. Here, I made the tunic with short sleeves and I added a rectangle of fabric to create a cowl neck. It is a very different look from the other casual cotton tops. I used a beautiful silk charmeuse from Les Fabriques in Charlottesville, VA . I hand rolled the hems.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sewing Guild Bazaar

Attention Locals:

Saturday, November 21, 2009 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m.
Richmond, Virginia Chapter of the American Sewing Guild
will hold its annual bazaar.
St.Matthews on the corner of Patterson & Forest Aves.
Lots of great handmade items!
Stop by and say hi!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

English Colonial Ball Gown 1770

Here is a gown I wore at a recent ball. Actually I made it 17 years ago! I do English country dancing from the 1700's.
It is loads of fun! A lot of dancers (me included) wear gowns that are not authentic reproductions. We sew on sewing machines, use modern fabrics and trims and don't wear corsets. We aim for the general look of a time period. It is easier and more comfortable for dancing.

I used a polished cotton and made the trim myself out of a very long strip of fabric gathered in a zigzag pattern. The front flower is an applique taken from the skirt fabric and then I embroidered over top of it. I have a separate chemise underneath, that the lace is attached to so I can wash that without having to launder the whole dress each time. The front panel (stomacher) closes with snaps down one side. Underneath is a lace up section to take the strain off the snaps.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cat Round Up- 4

I'm still finding cats around the house! Two drawings by my son, 7 yrs.

This one has our rats in it too.

Ceramic cat mobile.

I made this pillow 30+ years ago!

My son's favorites-Lion and Tiger count too.

Sleeping soap dish.

I think this animal cracker is a cat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cat Round Up- 3

So the Cat Round up continues with orange cats! (Health report: we are all still coughing but I might actually sew today!) This first one is by my daughter on the computer. It is Alice, our calico cat.

This is a painting/drawing by my grandfather (1967?).

A felt mobile.

A Garfield vase by my daughter (9yrs).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cat Round Up- 2

The Cat Round Up continues: Black Halloween Cats that I haven't put away yet. A small wooden cat.
Barbie's T-Shirt.

A cat I sewed in England in 1982. It has seen better days, but I remember bringing it back on the airplane, on my lap and people walking by kept doing double takes because they thought it was real! Its fur is all squished down now and the whiskers fell out. Not bad for an 8th grade project though.

Sparkly cat and pirate head.

Drawn by my daughter (10yrs.)

Hand sewn by my son (7yrs.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cat Round Up- 1

Since my whole family has been sick and we are all trying to get well again, I haven't had the time or energy to sew. While I was laying around, I started wondering just how many cats I have in the house. So here is the first of what I'll call a Cat Round Up with more to follow. I actually found cats in every room except the hall (I'll fix this soon). This trio of magnets are on my fridge. The purple cat is in a framed picture I have by Jennifer Yane (this is just a detail).

Kitty and Fish is by my daughter when she was 5.

A painted wooden cat from my husband.
Kitty in a basket was a souvenir given to me by a friend. Stay tuned, this is only the beginning!