Wednesday, October 21, 2009


 Well - the BIG PROJECT QUILT I blogged about a few months ago is done. And, it is beyond beautiful. The pattern is called "Tag Sale". I used Moda Fabrics, many of which were designed by "Three Sisters." There are over 1,100 pieces in this quilt and no two squares are the same. Each was stitched together piece by piece and I loved every moment of it. There are 110 squares and a special thank you to Trina who complete about 30 of the 9 patch squares . I love this pattern and I loved making it. I created a label for the back on my computer. I will make a post on labels separately, but it turned out great too.  The monogram pillow was pieced by Trina and Sharla made the 9 patch pillows for completed awesome look.  Happy Birthday MOM!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Custom Orders

I've been doing a lot of custom orders (in my spare time - 5:00am - and yes I am busy selling real estate) and here are two. The first was an adorable baby set of 2 crib sheets, 2 window valances, 2 pillow cases (one with piping I made from the coordinating fabric) and a pleated crib skirt. The picture just shows how I assembled it for delivery - and how cute the fabric is. The fabric was by Moda and is called Pacific Paisley and Mermaid tail. She had already bought the quilt and needed the matching items. It was so fun to make. The second was a little challenging due to the size and weight. The four drapes were purchased from West Elm and were 96" long made from silk. I added a full blackout liner by cutting it to fit, hemming the two sides and the bottom and then removing the header stitch (where the rod goes through) and sliding the liner up under it. I then replaced the header stitch. It turned out great. The picture shows the back side so you can see the liner material.

Smocked Sundress

Ruffles are so cute. I added two rows of top-stitched double ruffling to this super comfortable and unique dress inspired by Heather. Thank you Heather. It looks adorable. I decided this dress had to have a matching bag so I used a soft microfiber quilted fabric with the matching dress fabric. This is not hard to do. If you would like to try it go to this website and watch the tutorial. If you need additional help, just email me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shanna Bag

This is a unique custom bag made from a leg of quicksilver old jeans, 1/4 yd of striped corduroy and 1/2 yard of charcoal corduroy. It has a zipper closure and two jean pockets inside. I started with 4" squares of the jean and striped material and sewed it together like a quilt - 4 squares across and 6 down. I then sewed on a charcoal band on each side so it would line up with the single handle. I lined it with the corduroy and added a wide jean pocket split 60/40. Shanna wanted the bag a little wider but not too deep so things won't get lost in the bottom. Sounds like a good plan. Love the way it turned out. All machine washable and should wear well for years!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tote Bag Class

Here is one of the finished bags from the teen tote bag class I taught recently. It is reversible so the pictures show both sides. The girls were told to bring 1/2 yard of two fabrics plus whatever they wanted to add to personalize it. Maria brought a pair of old jeans. So, we removed the LEVI tag and sewed it to one side, used the one leg to make the handles and the other to make a large 8" pocket and then sewed the small coin pocket from the jeans on top of it. We then sewed a seam to split the pocket for a pen holder. Then we used one of the rear pockets for a small cell phone pocket on the other side. How cute is this? So, cute. Because it is completely reversible with pockets on both sides - it is equally cute whichever way chooses to wear it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Sharla Bag

I've had so much fun making bags this week. Ever since Trina asked me to make some for her craft fair (she has two in October) I've been dreaming up new ideas and modifications. Every bag is uniquie. I started naming them after the people who inspire me. My sister Sharla's birthday is in a few days, so I made this design per her specifications along with a cute summer smocked dress to match. I even made an attached coin purse with zipper. Her additions were the micro fiber quilted bottom and Hawaiian fabric she bought 2 years ago while on vacation. She also wanted it big enough to fit a couple diapers, wipes, sunglasses, munchies and a water bottle. She also wanted it to have an enclosure at the top and a comfortable long strap that can be worn across the chest while shopping with the baby. Here it is - the Sharla bag.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I try not to post too many pictures - but I couldn't resist showing you this adorable custom ordered crib set I just finished. I was given the vintage style cowboy print and then added the faded washed yellow dot and soft blue cotton that has a denim look. I cut the squares from the fabric of the cowboy print in 6" squares and then organized the fabric on the point. This is not as hard as it looks and very fun. The back of the quilt is soft minky fabric in cream as well as one side of the bumper pads. Quilt is quilted around the squares making a diamond pattern on the reverse side. I added the prairie point trim to the bumpers which ties in with the rick rack when it is inserted into the blue band so you only see half of it. In addition to the quilt and bumper pads, this set includes 4 valances which are lined, the crib dust ruffle with a center pleat - both with the blue band and two pillows. Trina, my daughter, does embroidery and she found this adorable font that has fence posts for the letters and a horseshoe for the U. So cute.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I love yoga. I have been going to class now for a few years and I'm always trying to get Brian to go with me. He has a lot of shoulder pain and I'm convinced that it would help. When I started I couldn't raise my left arm all the way due to a skiing injury. Now I have no problem at all. In fact - we did side crow in class last night. Very awsome. FINALLY - last week Brian came to class and sure enough - he admitted the next day he felt better. Grabbing the moment, I bought him a new charcoal (manly colored) Nike yoga mat and then happily made him this Yoga bag. I've made lots of these for "girls". and used faux leather which looks really good. But for this one I used black corduroy. I put a good size pocket on the outside to hold his car key and gym pass - even a water bottle will fit. The bag is roomy enough for a strap or towel to fit in too. The mat came with a string around it so I just used that. It looks really good and makes life easier - even for the muscle man. Not bad for only $2.50.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Here is a sneak peak at the first 3 rows of a king size custom quilt that will have over 1100 pieces. The colors are soft pastel shades of pink, cream, blue and green. In the true spirit of quilting - each piece was cut and sewn together individually - with each square being unique. No duplicate squares. All the squares are now sewn and I am piecing them together to form the top. Next up will be the borders. I will post more photos as I get more done.


Jayne is a USC fan - she can sing the songs and yell the chants. She even knows when to yell TOUCH DOWN! She especially loves to go to games and see the USC horse. She is so cute. Needing a new outfit for the upcoming game she will be attending, of course - I made her this jumper and bought new red Converse shoes to match.

This jumper was fun to make. Instead of using a facing I just cut out the same pieces in a gold fabric and lined it which gave the dress a nice weight and clean lines. I put in an invisible zipper and made 10 matching button holes across the front to weave the ribbon in out out. This pattern brand is sold at Wal-Mart for only around $3.50.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


The iced mocha quilt is now complete and on my bed. This fabric collection is what inspired me to start quilting again. I loved it at first sight. After much contemplation, I made the commitment and bought the fabric. First I cut all the strips and Trina helped sew the blocks which was a blast. Then, I gave it to my good friend Julie Isa who did the machine quilting on her long arm. She did such a good job. I picked it up last night and then stayed up late working on the binding and finished early this morning. I washed and dried it in my front load machine and it turned out so beautiful. It puffed up around all the quilting and I love it. I've given away most of my handiwork. Not this one. Now and forever - my inspiration quilt.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back to school BAG!

Taryn is going to HIGH SCHOOL! I can't believe it. Now that they have lockers to hold books, she wanted a bag to carry all of her other things..... I took her to the fabric store and what did she pick? Yes, the $20 a yard fabric (the blue). Luckily, I had a coupon and only need 1/4 of a yard. We added grey and burgundy fabic for contrast with satin lining and cell phone pocket inside. She loves it. Now she wants a brown one and a green one. Need to match the outfits I guess.

And More BAGS!

I will be teaching a bag class to teen age girls the end of the month. I asked and found out what size and shape they liked and the HOLD EVERYTHING TEEN TOTE turned out so very cute. They can use any kind of fabric they like from corduroy to velvet or denim or tapestry. I can't wait to see what fabrics they bring to the class. This is 24 x 13 inch after you pieced the stripes together. Cut the lining the same size. The handle is long - about 38 inches and 5 1/2 inch wide - fold in half, sew, and flip. Gather on an oval shaped bottom so it holds the barrel shape. The lining has no round bottom so just sew straight across leaving a hole to pull it through. Sew the lining and outside together with right sides together across the top (go over it twice to hold the handles on really well ) and then reach into the lining hole and pull it through. Always PRESS EVERYTHING WELL. Sew the hole closed in the lining bottom and top stitch if you want.


I've always wanted to design bags - maybe someday when I have more time. Yeah, right. My first sewing project back in Jr. High was a bag. I still remember it was from dark green corduroy. Bags make life so much easier. This big market bag is so handy for shopping, going to the beach or park or traveling. It holds EVERYTHING - all the beach towels or sweat shirts and is cute. It also wash perfectly and folds up small to keep in the car. This is the extra large market bag in a soil resistant canvas stripe (didn't see the USC colors until I got home) and lined with the cream fabric from the smocked dress. It has split pockets on the outside and inside.

Easy smocked Dresses

Taryn wanted a beach cover up. My sister Sharla had seen an easy smocked dress on Martha Stewart so I went to the website and downloaded the instructions, bought the elastic thread and started sewing. I was amazed how fun it was. After finishing Taryn's dress I thought it was so cute that I made a bunch more. It only takes an hour or so. You can change it up by adding pin tucks on the bottom, or a ruffle, or different size straps. Love it! This pic of Taryn is actually from the background of another picture. We are on the lake going fast - and her dress is blowing in the wind. Funny.

Taryn's first quilt

Taryn wanted to make her first quilt this summer. We decided to make it for Sister Jones and her new baby boy, Henry. This is a simple rag quilt. We chose flannel because it frays well. We cut the flannel into 8 inch squares and the warm and natural batting into 6 1/2 inch squares. She sandwiched the two flannels with a batting centered in the middle and sewed and X from corner to corner to hold it secure. After all the squares were sandwiched together she just sewed the rows together using a 3/4 inch seam allowance. Then sew another stitch around the entire quilt edge. Then clip all the seams about 1/4 inch apart and trim off all your threads. Throw it in the washer and dryer and WOW - it curls up and turns into this adorable soft cute baby throw. I made one for my brother in chocolate brown so yes, adults love it too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Grammie's Quilts

I've decided to make baby patchwork quilts from fabrics I already have and then save them for my "grandbabies". This is a purple and yellow one I'll save for Tiffany when she has a girl (someday - not now). Everything is done on the machine - including the very cute blanket stitch I used on the binding. I even did the stippling myself using the darning foot, dropping down the feed dogs and then just moving the fabric in a free form design. If you don't pre-wash the cotton fabric and then wash it when the quilt is completely done, it shrinks up to look like an old fashioned heirloom quilt. I love it. This would be an easy project for the quilt top assembly - but intermediate if you wanted to do your own stippling.

Iced Mocha

I looked around my house and realized that I have given away most of my sewing creations and projects. How depressing is that!! So, I decided to make myself a quilt. I went to the quilt shop to just "look around" and found the most beautiful collection of fabrics by Moda called "Iced Mocha". I had to have it. I selected a quilt design called "Don't fence me in" (appropriate for me) and started the process of cutting the 420 triangles and tons of 2 1/2" strips. That was a few weeks ago. Then, Trina surprised me yesterday by her coming to help me sew the quilt top - giving me her time as a special Mothers Day gift. We spent a wonderful day together piecing the quilt squares and talking and eating brownies. One more day like that - and I'll be ready to ship the quilt top off to Julie to quilt. It's going to go on my bed and be my summer quilt.

The strips
The Blocks

Taryn's Minky Quilt

Taryn loves minky fabrics because they are so soft. She asked me to make her a quilt using her favorite colors. I made it big enough for her to wrap up in and she loves it. This would be an intermediate level project because minky fabric stretches and you need to match all the corners of the blocks.

The Sewing Room

To me, having a designated area to work on your "Projects" is wonderful. It doesn't have to be a large sewing room, but rather an area where you can organize all your tools and be able to easily access your project at a moment's notice. A sturdy work counter is important as well as good lighting. If you don't have a desk with drawers, then purchase a 3 drawer plastic organizer and put all your thread in one drawer, scissors and tools in a different drawer, and then your buttons, elastic and trims another. My sewing room is in my laundry room. I have cabinets along the wall set at desk height with a butcher block counter. Everything is organized in drawers or behind cabinets so when I'm not sewing - everything is clean and I can use the space to fold laundry.

My First Sewing Machine

My grandma was a wonderful seamstress. I remember sitting under her sewing table playing while she made me beautiful dresses and costumes. My dream was to be able to sew anything and everything - just like her. My mom made this dream a reality when I was only about 10 years old, when she found this wonderful lady named Cleo who lived nearby to be my sewing teacher. She wasn't a sewing teacher, but actually a professional seamstress. Even though she was very busy with her business, she agreed to teach me what she knew. What a blessing this has been in my life. My mom unknowingly bought me the best machine ever. A Pfaff 1222 that I still sew on and love. For the next few years my machine sat on a table in the corner of Cleo's sewing room. It was a closed in sun porch that was the full length of her house. I rode my bike to her house every chance I could and in no time at all I was wearing my own creations. Soon, I was sewing for others and to this day my brothers still bring me their pants to hem. I feel sad that sewing lost popularity and that many girls don't know how to sew. I want to give them the opportunity to learn this valuable skill and to find the love and enjoyment in the creation process as I have.