Monday, December 5, 2011


Several weeks ago, I decided to make a needlebook as a gift for my friend who runs our sit and sew group. I made it from the needlebook instructions from I kit that I purchased from Beverley Sheldrick. This needlebook is something that I use almost daily and enjoy. I changed the front cover from the original as well as the rest of the ribbon work but the size is the same. Also, I purchased a pair of embroidery scissors and a needle threader kit it to make this gift complete.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Turkey Centerpiece

At the November meeting of our quilting group, one of the members showed a stuffed turkey that she made from a panel. When I remarked that I loved it and wanted to know where to buy a panel like this one, she took out her scissors and cut a panel for me and gave it to me. The turkey was easy to sew until I got to the circular tail feather. After I few tries, I got the tail feather on and was able to complete the job. It took me about three hours to make Mr. Turkey. My daughter loved him and made him the centerpiece on her buffet. Thank you again, Loretta.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quilt Camp Weekend

Last weekend was spent at quilt camp in Johnsonburg, NJ until our time was interupted by a freak snow storm that caused the electricity to go out in the entire area. Most of us left camp because there was no light, heat, or water. The drive home took hours longer than it should have because of downed trees that cause detours. After five hours of roaming around looking for ways to get home safely, Ceil, my friend and courageous driver, drove up my driveway. Pictured is what I did manage to accomplish sewing on Thursday evening, part of Friday and part of Saturday. On Friday a group of us went to Stroudsburg, PA for some fabric and trim shopping. Even though we had to cut our weekend short, I'm looking forward to next year's camp weekend, hopefully without snow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Ladybug Dress

A while back, I posted about making a ladybug dress for a gift. My daughter's friend just loves ladybugs and I promised her that if she had a little girl, I'd make her a smocked dress with ladybugs on it. Well, Cici was born and I kept my promise. Yesterday, I received this picture of Cici wearing the ladybug dress. I'm thrilled with the results and had to share the picture with you. Cici looks so cute in her dress and it fits her well.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another Block for my Calendar Quilt

I worked on this block while dog sitting during the summer and then again when I took care of the dogs for the weekend. It felt like it took me a very long time to complete this block. Getting the pieces cut out and then appliqueing them in the correct places was a challenge. The end of the ribbon on the left side will be sewn down to the connecting two and a half inch squares. I have six more blocks to applique and one more pieced block to make before I start the process of cutting out over five hundred two and a half inch squares to connect all of the quilt blocks.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A New Project, Bear's paws

When I finished the smocked dresses and the crazy quilt bear, I felt as though I could start a new project. After much consideration, I decided to make another crazy quilted bear. This one will be larger than the last one and it will be made of cotton and silk fabric. So far, the fabric has come from my stash except for the purchase of the felt for the bear's paws. I haven't finished piecing all of the parts as yet but I did complete two of his paws. I put frogs on them because I love making bullion frogs. The other two paws will have bees on them, I think. I used DMC threads for this project.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Gift is Finished

I'm happy to report to you that I finished the smocked dresses this afternoon and will deliver them to my daughter tomorrow afternoon. The baby shower is next Saturday. I always make smocked dresses in size two or three so that they can hopefully be worn more than once. Too much work goes into making them to make them in a size that a child will outgrow very quickly.
The pattern I used is McCall's #3531 in size 3. I used view D and added pieces to the smocking insert and then cut out the yoke. Also, I added the ties in the back because I like that look.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Gift in the Making

Several weeks ago my daughter asked me to make smocked dresses for a friend of hers who is having twins. This friend loves fashion and I happened to have a smocking plate with pocketbooks on it that I thought would be perfect. After calling several quilt shops in my area I found the fabric to co-ordinate with the smocking. Today I completed the picture smocking and will immediately begin the back smocking which holds the pleats in place. Hopefully by the weekend, I'll be able to start the construction of the dresses. I have to have this project completed by September 18, 2011 which doesn't give me too much time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crazy Quilt Bear

Several months ago, I met a woman who makes and sells bears who had an old patchwork quilt that she said she'd cut up so that she, two friends and I could make bears. My part in this was to teach embroidery stitches to be used as trimming on the bears. This week, my bear was completed when his ears were sewn on and his mouth and nose were embroidered. This project was lots of fun to do and now I'm thinking about making another bear from new fabrics. Because this bear was made from old fabrics I was constantly concerned with the strength of the fabric. All in all, I'm pleased with my bear.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Hussif

Three years or so ago while looking through the Crazy Quilt on line magazine I spotted several hussifs and fell in love with them. In preparation for Marcy Tilton's surface design workshop, I started the crazy quilt block. While at Design Outside the Lines, I silk screened some of the silk. When I came home from Taos, New Mexico, I made the patterns for the pockets and flaps and began the process of embroidering and sewing on each of the pieces. Yesterday, I sewed on the cording and attached the front to the back and today I did the last of the finishing work, sewing on the button and closing up the hole that I used to turn the piece right side out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dog Sitting

I spent this week with my son's two Bernese Mountain Dogs so that he, his wife and three children could go on vacation and not worry about their furry children. When I wasn't taking care of them and paying attention to them, I worked on some projects, a quilt block for my calendar quilt, a doll dress for Adina's Bitty Baby doll, and a tape measure that will be a gift for a friend.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Belated Birthday Gift

When I asked Erlisa, my daughter inlaw what she'd like me to make her for her birthday, her answer was a bag to hold her yoga mat. The fabric I chose was a batik in shades of green with some pink peaking through. The fabric was purchased on a recent trip to Lancaster along with lots of other batiks. The pattern was partially mine and partially from a free pattern on the Internet. Erlisa was very pleased with her gift as you can see from the photo of her modeling it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Summer Bag

Today I completed a summer bag for myself. I'm proud to say that everything I used for this bag was from my stash. The pattern is Lazy Girl's City Purse and this is the fourth bag I've made from this pattern. The bag has many pockets inside that should help to keep me organized.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Calendar Quilt Block

While visiting with my children, I worked on this block for my calendar quilt. It is hand appliqued and the eyes are buttons that I will sew on after the entire quilt is quilted. I think that if I sew the buttons on now, they will get in the way while the quilting is being done. This block was enjoyable to work on because most of the pieces have rounded edges. The star presented the only challenge.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Empty Spools Seminar

On Thursday I returned home totally inspired by my time in Rosemary Eichorn's fabric collage classes. The project I chose to work on was a vest. While sewing, I learned about different threads, needles and materials that were totally new to me. Free motion sewing, the method used to attach the motifs and background to the muslin pattern, was fairly new to me. All of the practice that I got during class certainly showed when I used my own machine yesterday. Now I truly believe that with free motion sewing, you must practice.
It was fantastic to be in a place where everyone was working on their own projects and very willing to discuss and show you what they were doing.
On Tuesday afternoon, all of the studios were open for a walk through so that you could see what was going on in the other classes. I can't wait for the new catalog to come out so that I can choose my class for next year. As soon as I have more stitching completed on my vest, I'll share what I've done. For now, I've included photos of the building where my class was and shots of several other places at Asilomar, the name of the facility.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just One Star

I made this block because my quilting group is participating in the Just One Star quilt project. The fabric is from Moda fabrics and the kit was purchased from my quilting group for $3.11. I have no idea how the price of the kit was determined. The finished block is to be sent to Dallas, Texas where it will be trimmed and added to others to make quilts that will hopefully comfort wounded soldiers.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fabric Collage

On April 15th I will be off to an Empty Spools Seminar in California. The title is Fabric Collage and the instructor is Rosemary Eichorn. My plan is to use the fabrics in these pictures and make a fabric collage vest. I've made pieced vests but nothing like what Rosemary is teaching. There are over twenty pieces of fabric in this collection that coordinate with the large piece of black flowered fabric in these photos. I have some green velveteen that I might also take with me to add some more texture. If you can think of a color that will add some zing to these colors, please let me know. I'll be very appreciative.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Baby Shower Gift

One of my daughter's friends is going to have a little girl and I just happened to have pink fleece in my stash. I've used this pattern before and it is very easy to sew. I added the ears and the applique. The applique is from an old Sew Beautiful magazine and it is by Kari Mecca. It is supposed to be a cat but most people who look at it think that it's a rabbit. I'm not quite sure why it's confusing. One of my larger dolls is the model. She's crying but not because I put the hoodie on her.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Fix It Job

Several years ago, I made this bag for my daughter inlaw as a birthday gift. She loves anything to do with fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately the fabric that I used for the straps frayed. After thinking about the easiest way to fix this problem, I decided to buy "D" rings and attach the new straps that way. What you see are the new straps. On Wednesday I returned the bag to Erlisa. She was very pleased with my choice of the repair fabric. I also sewed squares of fabric on the lower corners of the bag where there was some fraying. These repairs should give the bag a few more years of service. The pictures are of the front and back of the bag.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Flying the Coop

The name of this block is Flying the Coop. I enjoyed the challenges that this block presented and used the knowledge that I gained from doing the last pieced block. Again, I drew the stitching lines on the wrong side of the fabric and matched them when sewing the pieces together. The seam allowances were cut free hand. This pattern had many "y" seams which caused me to frog stitch quite often. I am pleased with the final results and am looking forward to doing the last pieced block until I get to the finishing point. To complete the quilt, the blocks are joined by more than 500 two and a half inch squares. The rest of the quilt blocks are applique which I love to do.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Be Careful When You Push The Delete Button

Barbara got a new phone and deleted her old g-mail account. A warning to everyone: NEVER delete your gmail account even if you don't use it or think you need it. If you want to keep your blog, you need it. I just didn't remember that it was necessary to have a couple years ago when I set up my blog. I have a new blog already, but there's nothing in it. However, I'm going to post this and hope everyone will be able to find me again, perhaps with the help of some of my bloggy friends. It's a different name: Thanks...this too shall pass! :)Barbara

Thursday, February 10, 2011

August's Bead Journal Project

I have finally gotten back to making a doll dress for Samantha. She is a guest at a wedding and thought that apple green would be pretty at the end of the summer. That color also looks good with her dark hair.
The fabric is silk dupioni that I had in my stash. It frayed terribly otherwise it wasn't difficult to sew. I lined the top and made french seams on the skirt. The lace is from pieces that were left from when I made my daughter's wedding gown and so are the crystals. I did tea dye the lace so that it wasn't so white.
The mannequin was a holiday gift from my daughter. It is lots of fun to use it to display a dress as you're working on it. She always knows exactly what to buy me that I'll love. Thank you again, Ellen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A New Quilt Block

The other day I completed this quilt block. It is part of the Piecemaker's 1995 calendar quilt that I started January 2010. I hope to finish the quilt by the end of 2011. My goal is to complete one block each month the way I did when I first started this project. After all of the trouble that I had with the "Barn Dance" block, this block was very relaxing to do. I really enjoy doing handwork so this was relatively easy to complete. I'm not sure yet what block I'll do for February.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A vest for Ellen

Ellen, my daughter, saw a picture of this vest in Webs catalog and chose the color she wanted. Many months later, I finished the vest. It was the first time that I knitted that much open work and also the first time I made an "I" chord. I think that it made a better button loop than a crocheted loop. Now I have to concentrate on the sweater that I started for myself at least a year ago. Happy knitting to all.

Erlisa's necklace

I made this necklace as a gift for my daughter-inlaw, Erlisa. She loves anything to do with fruits and vegetables. When I spotted these beads at a show, I knew that they'd make the perfect gift for her. The beads are glass and the findings are sterling silver.