Saturday, May 30, 2009

How To: Make a Pet Pillow

A great way to use scraps, discarded and unwearable clothing is to make pet pillows! I keep a container on my sewing table and I fill it with threads and bits of fabric. When it's full, I start stuffing a pillow. My pillows vary, around 14"x14" to 20"x20". The yellow one above is an old shirt (you can see the placket). I'm still stuffing that one. When I have several finished, I deliver them to my local SPCA. It is fun to see animals enjoying them. Knowing that I'm keeping fabric out of the landfill is nice too!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pattern Review: The Darling Handbag

Here is a Darling Handbag I made from this pattern by The Quilt Man. It's a very easy, quick pattern and a great purse! A nice size for everyday and it opens really wide so you can see the contents easily. He sells kits with the pattern, but I opted to pick out my own fabrics. I used fusible fleece inside as directed in the pattern. An elastic hair band is the button loop. He includes instructions for a unique fabric button as well. I decided to use a vintage button from my collection. I plan on trying out his button directions soon. The Darling Handbag could actually be reversible. It folds flat for storage. I will definitely be making this one again!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Book Review: Elm Creek Quilts Novels

The Elm Creek Quilts Novels by Jennifer Chiaverini are fabulous. She is an expert storyteller and a prolific writer. With more than 12 books that I am aware of, she manages to make each one interesting and different. The stories center around a group of women quilters. Some take place in the present, others are more historical novels. Each one draws me in so I am staying up way too late reading because I just can't put it down! There are of course mentions of sewing and quilting and quilt blocks etc., but I think non-sewers would enjoy this series as much as quilters would.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beaded Carnival Mask

I have been invited to a Canevale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice) dinner/dance! So here is my mask. I took a piece of paper and just started cutting until I had a shape and size that would work. Next I cut out a back and front of fabric and 1 piece of fusible fleece. I fused the fleece to the wrong side of the fabric. I sewed the 2 fabric pieces, right sides together, all around except for the eye holes. I clipped the corners and curves and turned it inside out through the eye holes. Press. As you can see above, I zigzag stitched the eyes. Then I started beading, gaining inspiration from the fabric design. I used a regular needle and thread with seed beads, bugle beads, iridescent sequins and others I had left over from past projects. I had these two organza shoe laces (I knew I would use them someday!) and I sewed them to the edges for ties. I beaded the ends to add weight and color. When I wear it, the short ends will hang down in front and the long ends will tie in back.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Review: Crazy Quilt with Attitude

Crazy Quilting with Attitude by Barbara Randle, published by Krause Publications in 2003( )

This is a great, easy to read book full of colorful photos. Contains the basic how-to's for machine crazy quilting as well as actual project instructions. Loads of beautiful, inspiring pictures by the author and others so you can see the possibilities. A quick read enables you can get on with the fun of creating! See more of Barbara's work at

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Product Review: Binding Buddy

A friend of mine picked up a Binding Buddy on a recent trip to Florida. It works great! One end unscrews so you can slip the quilt binding on. You wear it around your neck while you sew the binding in place. What a great simple solution. The Binding Buddy works for couching yarn too. Visit to get yours!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

End World Hunger and Sew

In addition to sewing and teaching sewing, I believe in leaving the world a better place than when I arrived here. At the very least, I believe in helping our fellow Earthlings. When I teach sewing, I hope I am giving my students a hobby to enjoy, hopefully increase their self esteem, give them a way to help others through their new sewing talent, and sometimes a way to make money too. These websites, in their own way, help our fellow Earthlings by improving their situation. Free Rice is great for school kids because you answer questions and donate rice at no cost to you! Great for adults too because the questions can be challenging depending on your level. World hunger is unacceptable. We can help.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How To: Crazy Quilt Table Runner

I used a 5-sided center piece (red)and sewed it to a 12"x12" cotton square. I sewed a piece, right sides together, to one side of the red center and flipped it over and pressed it. This method of stitch and flip is explained in an instruction booklet #309 Flip Quilt at This method is repeated with larger fabric pieces until the whole square is covered in fabric. The wrong side is shown above.

Then, after pressing the whole block flat, and trimming any extra fabric off the sides, I used some decorative machine stitches on each seam. Back it and bind it. I used 4- 12" blocks to make this table runner that is 12"x45". Loads of fun to sew! The finished runner is in my shop-

Monday, May 4, 2009

Summer Classes at Quilting Adventures-2009

Three summer classes at Quilting Adventures for beginners ages 8-adult.

Make A Fabric Friend, Letter Pillows, Sock Creatures
For each class, you pick out your own favorite fabric to use. Go to to learn more.

Miniature Sewing Machines and Iron

Unfortunately, I don't have much information on any of these. The red one is battery operated, made in Germany, 1945-50? The other two are crank operated. The iron looks like it could be heated and then the handle would be attached for ironing. Does anyone have any info to share? I think they are really neat and would love to know more!