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ATTENTION FELLOW FABRIC LOVERS (or should I say “fabri-holics!) ~ ~ ~

I have decided to shift at least a portion of my focus to teaching but don’t have the classroom space. So, the stacks of fabric must go! I am holding a “Remodel Sale” so I can convert my storeroom into a classroom. I am planning on creating space for up to 6 workstations!

hand sewing

learning to use needle and thread

sewing lesson

stitching blocks together








There are LOTS of quilting cottons and flannel, Apparel and Special Occasion fabrics, batting and thread. All at “must go” prices!

fat quarters

bins of fat quarters

Fabric Shelves 1

just a teaser!








The sale will be on 3 Saturdays: April 29th, May 6th, and May 13th from 9-5. If you can, carpool! As a home-based business, parking is limited. If interested, contact me for my address and directions at or call 253-318-1414. Hope to see you soon!

These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ASV


DONE! A New Licensing

March 1st was the deadline for the Children’s Garment Construction online licensing ~ my 6th. Once again I was determined to use fabric and notions from my stash ~ and I did! The only items I needed to buy were the grommets for the backpack. 5 required projects and several technique samples were submitted during the 6 month time frame.


Girl’s Backpack

For the backpack, I used fabric from the “Shopkins” line. The same fabric was used for the ruffle and lining. It is a small version with a pocket on the front. My 7 year-old-granddaughter claimed ownership as soon as it was completed!

The Summertime Jumper was fun to make. I found I had 6 different fabrics in the “Olivia the Pig” line in my stash. I chose three for the contrast and used the black for the back as well. The lining is an all-over print with a beige background. The trim was made from a length of ecru eyelet and bridging. I trimmed the eyelet and attached that to both sides of the bridging before stitching to the dress. I made the spaghetti bias using a light-weight red batiste fabric.

Summertime Jumper

“Olivia the Pig” Jumper

Project number three was an adorable Boy’s Camp Shirt ~ don’t ask me why it is called that! I used an ivory batiste for the shirt, trimmed with a light blue batiste and matching blue buttons. These shirts are super easy and fun to make. I also found a light-weight denim, dark blue with light blue anchors, to make matching shorts (on my to-do list!).

Boys Shirt

Boy’s Camp Shirt

Another fun project was the Girl’s Tank and Skirt. Unfortunately, I did not have enough fabric to make it large enough for my granddaughter but she tried to wear it anyway! The fabric was a “sunbonnet sue” print variation with two coordinating prints. As I needed three prints, I went looking deeper in my stash and found that the pale lavender mini-check gingham matched perfectly!  This outfit was primarily made using the serger. The flirty skirt is always a little girl’s favorite!

Top and Skirt

Girl’s Top and Skirt

The last project was a PJ set for a little girl. I found the butterfly print and luckily ~ a knit for the top that matched. The spaghetti bias was done in cotton then stitched onto the top. I added a row of beige eyelet to the leg hems along with a bit of mock piping. This knit shirt was made on the serger, too.

Girls PJ set

Girls PJ set

This was my third online licensing, and as with the first two, I enjoyed the process! The site has a Gallery for posting of pictures, allowing students to talk about their projects. Visit for more information on both face-to-face and online courses available.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”  John 14:6-7 NIV

A look back and forward to a New Year!

As with most everyone, the last three months of 2016 were busy, busy, busy for me! Along with family obligations, holiday preparations, and the inevitable illness (plus a fall), I participated in a 2-day bazaar, created two projects for clients, 2 sets of pj’s for grand-daughters, and a few other gifts. My chickens are still laying and, with this cold weather, I am hauling water to them daily 😛 Still, I am looking forward to a profitable, but uneventful and rewarding 2017.
The bazaar the end of October was a lot of work, and although financially disappointing, I talked with quite a few nice folks. Hopefully, some the cards I handed out will prompt calls in the coming year. It was held at a beautiful location. I could watch ducks on the lake behind the building.
Ft Lewis Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar Booth

In late November, I received an order for a fancy heirloom dress (size 12 months), done in pink batiste with white trim and lace. The band was embroidered with matching pink thread and the slip is white batiste. I got it done and in the mail by the deadline ~ Dec 9th!

Pink Heirloom Fancy Dress

Pink Heirloom Fancy Dress

Slip for heirloom dress

Slip for heirloom dress

Two weeks before Christmas, one of the ladies I talked to at the October bazaar called (see, I knew all those cards would do some good)! She wanted a “Bingo Bag” for her daughter ~ in Seahawk fabric. I have to admit: I had to ask, “Just what is a bingo bag”? My grand-daughter was with me and while I talked to the client, she pulled up pictures on her phone. I created a pattern based on the client’s description (and those pictures) and delivered it 3 days before Christmas. The bag has 4 pockets on each side of the outside (for the daubers) and measures 8″x8″ and 5″ wide. This was fun to create!
Bingo Bag

Bingo Bag

The last major project were the pajamas for my grand-daughters, also in Seahawk fabric! Specifications (from my daughter) were for a button front and long tops. The green fabric is a micro-fleece and the print regular fleece. I used the same blue piping and buttons on both sets. They received them the day before Christmas, along with tickets to the Seahawk game that day!!
 PJ's version 1

PJ’s version 1

 PJ's version 2

PJ’s version 2

A note about sewing classes, right now I am working with clients one-on-one at my home. Soon, I hope to have a location to offer larger groups. Stay tuned for more information. NOTE: all items listed in this blog are available to order. Contact me if interested in your own bingo bag, PJ’s, or heirloom dress!
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:1-6 KJV

Another Licensing!

The first of May was the end of my second online Licensing “Teaching Beginning Sewing 2” (my 5th license) with Martha Pullen Company. I enjoyed watching the well-done videos by the many talented instructors, all of whom I have worked with in several other licensing events. Seven of the 24 projects included in the program were *required* to “graduate”. I have included several pictures.

This table runner is actually two pieces: the linen frame and a removable embroidered insert. Holiday prints could also be used for the insert. Several added an embroidered monogram to their inserts.

table runner

Decorative Table Runner

Being able to choose the fabrics and trims was major plus to the online version. I made a commitment to use as much of my <stash> as possible – and succeeded! I only had to buy one piece of fabric (sash on the grommet purse). I even had all the zippers and buttons I needed.

Roll up Jewelry Bag

Roll up Jewelry Bag with 3 inside zipper pockets

These projects were well-written and, although focused on beginners, even *experienced* sewers would enjoy making them! Each covered a different technique, including quilting.

quilted pillow

Stars Over Alabama quilted pillow

Participants in the class could upload photos of their projects to the “gallery” page. Such a wide and colorful variety! It was fun to see how each person interpreted the projects.

Grommet Purse

Grommet Purse

I have made several grommet purses, in a variety of colors and prints; customers really like the stylish look and multiple inside pockets.

As much as I enjoy the week long *face-to-face* events, the online classes allowed for working at my own pace (we had 6 months to complete the 7 projects) sandwiching them in-between other life activities!


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”  Colossians 3:15-16


Seahawk Dresses

Another holiday project was a dress for my granddaughter’s birthday. Being huge Seattle Seahawk fans, my daughter and I thought this would be fun for all!

I found two Seahawk prints and two coordinating prints, one a green dot, the other in white. All 8-year-old girls love to *twirl* so I wanted ruffles. The shoulder straps were a bit long (I turned them under and tacked in place), but that will allow for long-term use! The waist also was a bit big, so I added ties (not pictured) to snug it in.

Seahawk dress

Seahawk dress

Paired with a matching green t-shirt, it turned out darling! And, she loves it!

Of course, we could not leave her 12-year-old sister out, so I made a skirt for her. Again paired with a matching green T-shirt, it was a real hit!


Seahawk skirt

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7

2015 – A Brand New Year!

Now that the holidays are behind me, hopefully I can get caught up on my postings!

Being the person I am, I of course make the majority of my gifts, especially for the grandkids. One of those projects was a smocked dress for my 8-year-old granddaughter. I found a darling print with deep reds (almost burgundy), greens and blues over a light beige background. I found a beige solid (with just a hint of green) perfect for the smocking. I modified a simple to-the-waist, gathered skirt dress pattern, incorporating the smocked inset into the bodice. The embroidery thread was matched to colors in the print and used in the geometric smocking pattern.

smocked insert

smocked insert

After pleating and smocking the bodice insert, it was steamed and blocked. I accented the collar, sleeves and bodice with burgundy piping.

Smocked dress

Smocked dress

A simple dress but ~ I love the final result, and best of all, so does my granddaughter!

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” II Corinthians 5: 20

Back to School Shirt

Three of my 7 grandkids are 7 years old and entering 2nd grade this year, two granddaughters and one grandson!   I decided to make back-to-school outfits for them. For the grandson, I wanted a button-down shirt, one for warm weather and one for cooler days. I found a nice homespun cotton fabric for the long-sleeve shirt but nothing really “spoke” to me for the short-sleeve shirt.

I went to the local thrift shop and looked at the XL men’s shirts. I found a couple with suitable plaids and got them for under $5 each. Long-sleeved is best – more fabric!

When using a ready-made shirt as a fabric source, you have a couple advantages but also need to be aware of a couple adjustments. As the hem and front placket are already done for you, you can skip the front facing and hemming options. If matching a curved hem, as I did, the back is cut as two pieces. Be sure to add a seam allowance in the center back (I added 1/2″) – along the fold line. With a small plaid this seam will not be visible. Be sure to reverse the pattern for the second 1/2 back piece.

cutting back

cutting back

Side Note: As an offshoot of my heirloom sewing, where all seams are finished in some fashion, I try to enclose ALL seams of my projects. Especially on children clothes. I believe this is a modified French seam as it is done on the inside. I trim one seam allowance down to a scant 1/4″. I then turn the other seam allowance over and under, enclosing the raw edge. This is then top-stitched.  FYI This is the long-sleeved shirt I made with the homespun cotton.

seam closeup

covered seam closeup

When placing the front pattern piece, slide the pattern out the width of the seam allowance along the center front edge. Since the front placket is done already, you won’t be stitching that seam. There are also no buttonholes to make or buttons to sew on!

cutting front

cutting front

Cut both sleeves off at the armhole seam and lay wrong sides together.

cutting sleeve

cutting sleeve

Once the pieces are cut out, this is all that remains of the original shirt! The larger pieces went into my scrap box. I also cut off the remaining buttons for my ‘button box’.


remains of original shirt

The last adjustment is to make sure the collar goes ALL the way to the edge of the front placket. Without a front facing, you need to make sure the collar seam is covered. Either select a pattern with this feature or adjust the collar to fit.

finished shirt

finished shirt

Not bad for around $5 and a few hours of sewing!

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  Isaiah 41:10


My Navy Flag (Guidon)

In 2010 my son-in-law achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. His group of Selectees was required to have a flag and my daughter asked me to help her make one on behalf of the selectees. This flag, actually called a GUIDON (a heraldic flag or military standard), had requirements: a certain size and specific wording. As I understand it, flags usually were made of felt or craft paper. Those who know me, know I just HAD to take it up a few notches!!! The following describes that journey!

The original discussion was on a  Sunday morning and the carrier was sailing on Tuesday afternoon. My daughter drew a rough drawing of both sides of the flag, indicating what HAD to be on it and what additions they (the selectees) wanted. I then digitized all the embroidery – over 144,000 stitches!

drawing side 2

drawing, side 2

As my current (ie: older) embroidery machine was not reliable nor large enough, we went to the local Bernina dealer – nothing but a Bernina for me! I bought a BRAND NEW Bernina 830 (got a really good trade-in price!) and the Jumbo hoop. We decided on “duck” cloth – a heavy weight broadcloth, white and dark blue, and I started stitching!



The large blue circle is ALL stitching – if I ever make another one it will be applique! The figures in the middle represent Chief, Senior Chief, and Master Chief.

design closeup

design closeup

All members of the Selectees group were listed along with their motto: Unity, Service, Navigation. The four gold stars on the white side were the hardest to digitize. I was very pleased with the final results.

navy flag_side 1

navy flag, side 1

My daughter purchased the pole and standard and I found a gold trim resembling rope for the other three edges.

flag on pole

flag on pole


I worked MANY, MANY hours between Sunday morning and Tuesday. We had to get the flag to him at the ship by noon – 2 hours away from my location!  Every minute was worth it, though. I am very proud of this flag because it represents a lot of hard work on the part of the Selectees, particularly my son-in-law! He is now just a few years from 20 years of service and I am SUPER proud of him!

Let’s not forget these young men and women who CHOSE to serve our country. They deserve our constant prayers and support.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Philippians 4:6





My favorite tools

As with any activity, the tools used become a critical part of the successful completion. I thought I would talk about a couple I use on a regular basis while sewing.

Over the past few years, I have become a HUGE fan of KAI scissors. As you can see from the picture, I have quite a few. Plus duplicates! They are balanced correctly, comfortable and a pleasure to use. AND the company (located in Seattle, WA) offers a sharpening service: you mail them the scissors (4″ and larger), and for $5 +tax each, they will sharpen and mail them back.

KAI scissors

KAI scissors

Another tool I love and use alot is the Marti Michell Corner Trimmer. She demonstrated this several years ago at Sewing Expo and I was hooked immediately! It is great for joining lengths of fabric for binding, piping, fabric tubes, etc.

corner tool

corner trimmer alignment

The MOST important step of using this tool is to lay both strips of binding right sides up. I sometimes layer several strips to speed up the process but I ALWAYS remember to have them right side up!

corner tool

trimmer with corner of fabric cut off

The “corner” on the tool lines up the fabric for a nice 1/4″ seam. Lay the two pieces at right angles along the bias cut edge, right sides together, and sew.

stitching angle

stitching angle

I press the seam open so there is less “bulk” at the join. On solid or small print fabric, the join is virtually unnoticeable.

joined binding

joined binding

When joining one-way fabric, turn one strip upside down but STILL right side up. Notice the direction of the fabrics that have been trimmed off.

cutting one-way binding

cutting one-way binding

After joining, the direction on the fabric will be correct. I am not ashamed to admit it took a few tries to get this right the first time I used one-way fabric!

joined one-way binding

joined one-way binding

Let your creativity begin! And have fun 🙂


“For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
Prov 2:6


Have Machine, Will Travel

I recently traveled by car from the Seattle area to central California for a family reunion. As usual, I took my sewing machine and supplies.  As I am usually in the middle of one or more projects, traveling can affect deadlines. Besides, I sew most every night anyway!

sewing supplies

sewing supplies

Depending on my travel schedule, I might not take the machine in for a single night. This trip I was in the hotel for three days. I have two travel machines; this one is my Bernina Aurora 440. My only setup option was a round table and I had to use pillows to make the chair high enough.  There was an ironing board however, so that was handy. As most of my supplies are still in boxes my travel iron was not handy, so my Oliso traveled with me too. I love that iron!


room setup

The projects and fabrics filled one suitcase. The red boxes held all my tools: scissors, bobbins, tweezers, etc.

lap quilt

lap quilt

This setup was at my cousin’s for one afternoon. We had a nice visit while I sewed! All that is left to do is the binding!