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Preview: Sew Make Time!

Sew Make Time!

This is oftentimes hard to do and if you're like me, you sometimes reach a point where you just need to sew. I seem to get more sewing done after 11pm then at any other time....

Updated: 2018-03-06T08:11:09.270-05:00


Where do you send a Change of Address card?


I've moved!.     Please update your readers and follow me there.

How about swapping some vintage sheets?


It's easy to get excited about sewing with repurposed bed sheets--it's just not that easy getting your hands on them!    Lots of inspiration---Betz White's Sewing Green and Amanda Soule's Homemade Home---but not lots of ways to build a stash for some of us (and I don't count buying on ebay for $10 a sheet plus postage an option).  It's a sad reality we're not all blessed with easy access to thrift stores.

It took me six months of thrift store hunting to gather the sheets and the chenille bedspread I used to craft the Beach Blanket from Homemade Home.    In fact, I doubt I'll ever find another king-sized chenille bedspread like that one---hefty, clean with only one corner with a tear which was fine as it was much larger than I needed.

I'd love to make another but alas I don't want to wait another six months to collect the ten different 12 x 30 fabrics.   I saw another similar type quilt made with vintage sheets in a recent publication using 15 x 15 squares that may not need as many unique prints but still would need more than the one or two I might find in the next month.   So, in the hopes there are others like me, I'm going to host a swap---the "I Want to Make a Patchwork Blanket from Vintage Sheets" swap---in the hopes we can all create a beach blanket for the upcoming summer.

Here's how it will work:
1.  Find one or two vintage sheets with a retro vibe (think 70's flower power for print and color inspiration).   Flower, stripes, solids are good. 
2.  Cut into 15 x 30 rectangles.  
3.  Send 10 rectangles to the swap along with a self-addressed stamped 9 x 12 envelope.   All 10 can be of the same sheet.   Postage on self-addressed envelope should be the same as the postage you the outer envelope.   Send to me
4.  Wait a few weeks.
5.  Receive 10 different rectangles of vintage sheets to fashion your blanket! 

Find one or two...get back ten.  Could be a patchwork blanket like the one above or one with 15 x 15 squares..or maybe even something else altogether!

What do you think?   Want to play?    If so, leave a comment here and I'll send you the details.   Let's plan on having your swap to me by tax day, otherwise known as 15 April!

Peace, Love and Sew Liberated


Our elementary school will host their winter carnival with a theme of "Peace, Love and Adams".   As the chairperson, I feel a need to dress the part (which provided me with an oh so important reason to sew).    Enter Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic pattern and 3 yards of fabric from the Flower Child line by Iota.This pattern was easy to construct.  I chose to use my serger for the shoulder seams, sleeves and side seams leaving the sewing machine for the placket facing and top stitching.   I typically wear a size 8 and constructed the size 10...this is loose and comfortable. The pattern has two lengths---a tunic length and a dress length.   I cut out the dress length (do you seem to sense that I error on the side of bigger rather than smaller) and ended up hemming it at a length mid-way between the two.  I chose to leave the sleeves plain rather than add elastic to gather as called out in the pattern.  Would I make the pattern again?   I'll just say that I was cutting another before the end of the evening.I do admit to one change in the pattern.  I didn't care for the finish of the neck facing.  The pattern calls to bind the back neck edge which meant the seam at the shoulder is visable along the neck edge where it meets the front pieces faced with the placket.   I'm hoping these picture will illustrate what I mean.The placket facing used on the front is 3" wide at the shoulder seam so I chose to cut a 3" wide placket for the back.   I constructed the bodice by sewing the right and left front placket to the back placket at the shoulder seams; pressing the outer edge of the placket under a 1/4";  sewing the right and left front to the back at the shoulder seams;  sewing the bodice to the placket right sides facing;  clipping corners;  turning right sides out;  topstitching the placket down by sewing close to the turned-under edge.    Here's the pictures on this tunic using Anna Marie Horner's Good Folks fabric.Did I mention that I didn't have enough fabric to cut out all the pieces?   If one needs a reason to buy fabric this is one, isn't it?    And who just buys what they need while they're there?Score the Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic a "highly recommended".  Beginning sewers can easily achieve a fashionable garment.It's frosting on the cake that I get to share this finish on Sew and Tell![...]

Pay It Forward


Have you heard about Pay It Forward? How fun---I'm ready to play--or do you say pay?
I'm hoping to connect with Sarah of Sewn to pay it forward...and then the fun begins for me to find three individuals to pay it forward. Any takers?

Here's how it works.
1. I will make a little something for the first three people who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and it will arrive on your doorstep when you least expect it!
2. I will have 365 days to do it in.
What's the catch? To get a handmade prezzie from me, you have to play too.
1. You must have a blog.
2. BEFORE you comment here, you must post about your Pay It Forward on your blog to keep the fun going, and display the Pay It Forward button.

It's about time!


Lucy is releasing sewing patterns for boys! Fabric designers listen up and take note----boys between the ages of 6 and 12 are alive and well and have mothers who sew! There have been more fabric lines aimed at boys but I have to admit the focus on the younger set (babies, toddlers and preschoolers).

So, all I can say, it's about time! See the patterns here. I'm definitely into the cargo shorts, the cap and the field bag!

It keeps going and going and going...


No, not the Energizer bunny. My fabric stash.

The Modern Spirit in Squares pattern in Quick Quilts seemed an ideal use of the 7 colors of daisy fabric from Valori Wells Fleurish line sitting in my stash.

A few extra blocks and more fabric so why not try a pieced back?


And there's still fabric left! I'm thinking to myself that there must be at least enough to create a doll quilt, table topper or a wall hanging. So I start. What do I find? I have enough to make another whole lap quilt!

Now I need to see if I can piece the remainder of my Fleurish stash into a back for the coin quilt!
Hmmm, space to buy more fabric.

Why is it when you're trying to use up fabric it seems endless and when you're trying to use a specific amount for a project it seems you always need just a little bit more?

It seemed easy enough.


With my Nest fabric in hand, I thought to create a backing for my coin quilt while practicing my pattern matching skills. How hard could it be? And given it's the back, if it is off slightly, no one would see it much to point it out.

So you start with this fabric.

And you create this fabric.
Anyone know of any good tutorials ? I definitely need one.

On second thought----what do you think of my idea to create a nest of two eggs on the seams?

I admit it. I cheated. Well sort of.


I've never constructed a coin quilt so the coin quilt piece along hosted by Orange Flower seemed a good incentive. I decided to call my first attempt a cheat by using a few Moda Jelly Rolls I had on hand. So, using one Moda Milk White Jelly Roll and one Tula Pink Nest Jelly Roll, I've pieced my first coin quilt. (image)


A "cheat" coin quilt is easy to do. Just pair each patterned Jelly Roll strip and a plain colored (in this case Milk White) Jelly Roll strip with a 1/4 " seam. Press the seam to the patterned strip. Cut each strip pair into 6" segments. Take your large stack---mix them up---lay them out--shuffle until your happy---piece.

Next up----a "real" coin quilt using all the scraps that I didn't send to Christina in a more traditional form.

Sew and Stow


Just in case you were thinking the problem noted in my last post be with the seamstress rather than the pattern, I'll offer other evidence to the contrary (and selvedge my pride). Using the half apron pattern in the book Sew and Stow, I created an apron to wear during the Holiday Shoppe our elementary holds. Sandy Klopp fabrics---I love the fabrics she does based on rulers!
A fantastic pattern--excellent instructions---these patterns have obviously been field tested. I made only one mistake.---I used Wonder Under to fuse the light blue background fabric to a lining piece of the same fabric. It's a little stiff (you can the effect in the picture). I expect that it will soften with more use and a wash. I would only baste the fabrics together if I used the pattern again.


A is for Agony or Apron Three Ways


I'm participating in the Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice Sassy Flirty Apron Swap. I purchased A is for Apron months ago and decided it might be time to give the book a try. I thought the Summertime pattern looked sassy and flirty--perfect for wearing to cook a romantic Valentine's dinner. With Amy Butler Daisy Chain fabrics selected, I was off to work on my apron.

It was at step 4 that I had to wonder what I'd gotten myself into---every step thereafter required some type of adjustment (if I actually understood the instruction step). I persevered and proudly adorned the apron to show it off to my family. My husband's facial expression quickly told me there was a problem.
This is supposed to be a fitted apron. See the gap close to my elbows. My only hope of salvation is that my partner is full figured. Quick look--no same size as myself.

So here are the options:
1. Wear it as it is.
2. Take up the bulk by folding up the waist up onto itself. It certainly helps.


3. Fold the top half under, pin the necks straps on the bodice and use as a half apron.

(image) Apron Three Ways!

So, the package will be mailed to my partner tomorrow. Maybe she's more of a seamstress than me and can fix the fit with this apron....

On the edge...


Or should I say the selvedge? For the past several months I've been admiring a number of projects using the selvdge from fabric yardage. Jodie at Ric-Rac has a large number of projects to admire: a handbag, a scarf and yes, and an entire dress!

Two weeks ago I purchased the Sew Hip magazine from my local Barnes and Noble which included an advertisement for a small Etsy-based shop featuring pin cushions crafted from selvedges. This past week I then purchased the new issue of Quiltmaker and there to my surprise was a how-to from the shop owner Manda McGrory (who just happened to be the editor of SewHip until she resigned this month).

It just seemed like too much concidence for me so here's my result.

I modified the instructions slightly, of course. If I make another I am planning to insert a piece of Peltex into the cup to have it hold its shape too.
I think it might be time to go for that scarf.....

We The People Swap II...and III....


It's been a while since I've taken the opportunity to post another entry on my blog. While lax on creating a blog entry, I haven't been lax at sewing. One of those reasons is because I've kept up my participation in the We the People swaps.

We the People II swap was to create an item to help organize a sewing room. I selected the Kidlet from JCasa Handmade as Katy didn't seem to have a room but a fabric cupboard and a nice empty wall outside that closet. I decided on a natural linen Kidlet with a patchwork strip and lining of Heather Bailey fabrics. Here's a picture of what I sent her for the swap along with a book and some fabric (my favorite sewing notion).


We the People Swap III was a charm pack and pattern swap---and even better was based on a wish list you created. An easy swap but I decided I needed to send something handmade so I used Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy line to create a simple patchwork bag in which to send the charm pack and pattern. A green type of gift wrap if you will. I'll look forward to seeing what Heather creates with these items.


A shout out to Tracey for a great job organizing these swaps. If your unsure about swapping, give this swap a try. She takes her role seriously---she's out to ensure that you'll be happy with the swap.
Time for more sewing.....

We The People Swap


After a successful Sassy Apron Swap, I decided to participate in another swap---a tote bag swap---called We The People Swap. I'm a definite fan of Amy Butler fabric and patterns so decided to give the new Birdie Sling pattern a go. Challenging in a few spots but all in all easy. So, this one will go to a member of the swap.

(image) And if you don't recognize the fabric, it's once again Valori Wells! I've cut out another Birdie Sling---this one for moi!---using Heather Bailey's new Pop Garden fabrics. I only bought yardage enough for the Birdie Sling but I can tell that I'll need more for my stash.

The swap included a yard of fabric but I'm also including another gift---a fabric grocery bag--for more practical use. Beautiful and practical------what more could you want?

(image) Up next? Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt!

Aprons, aprons, aprons....


Sarah from Austraila sent me a beautiful retro inspired apron in the Sassy Apron Swap. A fantastic job with the bias binding---a technique I'm afraid to try given a first experience as a rookie sewer. Given it's been five years maybe I should try again? The top of the apron doesn't tie you just loop it over the top of the head.

While searching for a pattern for the apron I created for the Sassy Apron Swap, I found the Emmaline pattern from Sew Liberated. I selected a different pattern for the swap but kept this one in mind for myself. So, here's my Amy Butler Midwest Modern Emmaline apron---the first project created on my Designer Diamond sewing machine.

After hearing that Amy didn't receive an apron in the Sassy Apron Swap I decided that as one of the first people to comment at my blog she deserved to receive this apron! So it's off to Amy. I'll just have to give this pattern another try for excuse to buy fabric!

What I love about this pattern is that it's reversible and the ties will wrap around the front and give it a different look.
Well, it's time to go off and sew!

Sometimes I remember to take a photo...


I created this blog because I joined the Sassy Apron Swap and they requested a blog. Of course I promptly managed not to create another post. I've now joined another swap, We the People Swap (tote bag), so another entry seems in order. They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit so if I join 20 more swaps in the next few weeks I may get in the habit of creating a blog entry on a more frequent basis.

For your viewing pleasure I'm posting several pictures of past projects. First, a few gifts for teachers using a pattern called String Along. A quick easy pattern for a back pack type of tote that I've used at least 10 times for gifts. Valori Wells fabric.

Next, an apron for an apron swap. It was difficult to mail this one away! Another use of Valori Wells fabric. You cannot see in the picture but I also pieced a strip of the striped fabric to the edges and turned under. I'm thinking it might be time for a dress form rather than using our bar stools.


Last, the Amy Butler Stash and Dash Bag pattern using what else? Valori Wells fabric. This was a gift for one of my employees in Mumbai who decided to leave the workforce.


A few other projects in the past year that I didn't take pictures of.....Sassy Apron Swap apron (maybe Shannon will post a picture on her blog), Christmas gifts for my employees (notebooks that I created ala Joelle Haverson's Last Minute Patchwork Gifts with scraps of fabrics in their favorite color), Amy Butler Cabo Halter pattern (sewed once in small (too small for me!) with Amy Butler Lotus fabric and once in medium with Valori Wells Sole fabric).

This past weekend I enjoyed the opportunity to sew an apron for me using the Emmaline Apron pattern from Sew Liberted and Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric. I need to snap a photo----will get to that later this week.

Next up will be another Cabo Halter, a tote bag for the swap, a few grocery totes, Amy Butler's Blue Sky Hat and Barcelona Skirt...and I didn't even mention quilting projects.

I think I'll try to give back a little and create a pattern or tutorial for the grocery tote (it's a fabric replica of a plastic grocery sack) that I can post on this blog. It's a great gift to give---so practical---you can use up your stash (especially that fabric that you wonder why you purchased)---and you turn heads at every store where you use them.

Time to go sew.



Here it is. The first post to my blog.

Here's the thoughts going through my head right now: "Aren't I too old to write a blog?" "Isn't this a 'thing' for 20-somethings?" "Who will ever read this entry?"

Rather than try to find answers to my questions, I'm just going to jump in and start.

I like to sew. Sewing is a stress reliever from the corporate world. It's in the corporate world where I earn the funds to indulge the desire to sew.

I like to buy fabric. I have a stash. Amy Butler, Valori Wells, Anna Marie Horner, Denyse Schmidt, Heather Bailey are all well represented. It isn't a question of whether or not I'll purchase fabric when they release a new line---it's just a matter of how much.

I like to read. So, of course, I like to read sewing related magazines. I'm now a subscriber to Threads, American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors. I also read Quilters Home, Sew Stylish and Quilts and More. I more than likely need to spend less time reading and more time sewing---my knowledge of sewing is much more advanced than my actual experience!

The most used item I've sewn in the past year? Fabric shopping bags. I followed a tutorial on to create the bags using a plastic bag as the pattern. They're beautiful, functional and provide a good example to our children to do the "small things" to help the environment. I travel to Mumbai, India next month (corporate world funded) and I plan to make one for each of my team members located there---using red, white and blue patriotic fabric---as a gift from the United States.

So it appears I'm ready to press the 'publish post' button and post the first entry to my blog. Here I go.....