For the Home


I modified the Reflected Wedges Table Runner pattern by Jacquie Gering from Modern Patchwork 2012 (a special Interweave Press publication) to make place mats instead. This is actually the second set I’ve made using this pattern. The first set was done in citron and grey fabrics which I gave to my son’s teacher as an end of year gift. I love making them and decided to make another.

My fabric inspiration for the aqua/red/grey color scheme was Denyse Schmidt’s aqua floral from her County Fair line. Added in are some Anela Hoey, Summersville, Valori Wells, Dear Stella, Pat Bravo, and a couple mystery prints from my stash. The bindings are done in Kona Medium Grey. I just did some simple quilting to mirror the triangles.

Too pretty to use in my house!

For the Home · Holidays

Christmas Stocking for Fox

A Christmas stocking for Fox, our dog,  the newest edition to our family. I found this Christmas stocking tutorial and it worked out really well. The green tree fabric is from Jo-Ann’s and the cuff fabric is Oh  Deer Cherry from Oh Deer! by MoMo for Moda. The “F” is cut from felt and then Wonder-Undered on. I wish I had planned better and sewed, by hand or machine, the “F” on the front before sewing the stocking together, but I was just in the sewing groove and couldn’t stop.

Bags · Books · Pouches

Auction Items

I’ve been working on some items for my son’s school’s auction coming up on March 10th at the Eco-Trust building.

Here are some zippered pouches made from Aqua and Green Clocks from Ruby Star Rising by Melody Miller. Love this fabric as well as the Typewriters from this line. It has been flying out of the shop! But I know we have more on order.

I also made another pouch from some Ikea fabric purchased a while back. Inside is lined with Garbo Black from the Circa 1934 collection from Cosmo Cricket.

I also made a matching bag! There is a small interior pocket to fit the pouch. The orange bird fabric and black dots really go well together. This bag is the Market Tote from one of my favorite sewing books of 2011 — 1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects by Ellen Luckett Baker. I have made 4 other bags like this and love them all.


Pleated Tote

I started working on The Pleated Tote pattern from Jen Giddens. I really like the way she writes her patterns. They are simple and clear of errors. She also includes suggestions for the type of material that would work well and how to customize your bag. I would definitely try some of her other patterns available through Sew, Mama, Sew! and Jen’s web site.
For interfacing I am using Pellon 808 Craft Fuse. I am hoping it gives the bag body without being too stiff.
For the exterior of the bag I used Michael Miller’s Gray Bird Swing:
For the interior Citron Daisy Flowers, also from Michael Miller:
Here’s some quick pictures of the finished bag:

I still need to iron the bag more, trim some threads and perhaps put some tissue paper or plastic bags inside to full it out for a better picture. 

For the Home

Work on the Soho Table Runner Continues…

I am still working on the Soho Table Runner from Busy Bee Designs. I kind of stalled out on it because other stuff just came up. I have done most of the quilting. I thought I would some plastic quilt pattern stencils to do my design. I also purchased some chalk spray to transfer the design to my runner top. 

All I have left to do quilting-wise are the short ends. I quickly discovered that the chalk-like spray to stencil your design is not for me. Ok…I am messy and kind of clutzy. It got all over the fabric even though I tried to block off the parts I wasn’t spraying and all over the table I was working on. So, I reverted back to a purple disappearing marker to transfer the quilting design. This seemed to be a much better method for me. 

I really want to try free-motion quilting more. I took a class a while back at Modern Domestic, but haven’t practiced in a long time and now I’m kind of afraid of it. 

Let’s hope I get this table runner done by Thanksgiving. I have the binding all pieced and ready to go. I really do like it even though I still am uncomfortable with machine quilting.


Pajama Bottoms

I decided to make a quick pair of pajama bottoms for Asher because I was inspired by all the cute flannel, especially the Anna Maria Horner, we had at work. Unfortunately, not any of it was very boyish.

So…I resorted to Jo-Ann’s and found this sweet, but not high quality owl flannel. I love the colors, but I’m not sure it’s going to wash up well. I see it getting pilly pretty quickly. 

Anyway, I used Kwik Sew 3589, which is a very basic pattern — only 2 pattern pieces, with an elastic waste. This type of pattern only makes me want a serger more and more. I could whip these out pretty fast and my edges would look so much nicer. There’s always Christmas!

For the Home

Soho Table Runner

This weekend I started working on a fall table runner using the Soho pattern by Busy Bee Quilt Designs. I am using some older Denyse Schmidt fabrics I picked up in the basement sale room of Boersma’s in McMinnville along with some prints from Mill End and some stuff I had in my stash. 

So far, I’m liking how this is turning out. It’s kind of like making a quilt, but on a much smaller scale. Which means it won’t take me a year to finish it. 

Now I just need to add the borders on the shorter ends and start my quilt sandwich. I’m thinking of using the purple/orange dot fabric for the binding. I tend to go too busy with the prints, so I am experimenting with adding more solids in my creations. Here I’m using some Essex linen in Sand to offset some of the craziness. 


Illustration School books by Sachiko Umoto

Here are some great little books I discovered surprisingly at Jo-Ann Fabrics a while back. They are by Sachiko Umoto from Japan. Unfortunately, most of her site is in Japanese. There are three books in the series — Let’s Draw Plants and Small Creatures, Let’s Draw Happy People, and my favorite, Let’s Draw Cute Animals. I feel like I always need help drawing animal bodies. I can get the head right, but the legs and haunches never seem in proportion. Sachiko’s books are so simply done and easy to follow. Her instructions are really clever and cute too. While I don’t want to copy her unique style, I feel like these books provide the basic forms and from there you can express your own style.

All three are available through Multnomah County Library is you want to preview them before making them a part of your home library. 

Here’s some sample pages:

Wizards and witches from Let’s Draw Happy People


Squirrels from Let’s Draw Cute Animals

nanoblock : Micro-Sized Building Block

For all you with Lego kids at home or those closeted adult fans of Lego, here is something fun — nanoblocks. They are micro-sized Lego-esque bricks designed by Kawada of Japan and distributed by The Ohio Art Company, maker of the Etch-A-Sketch. The smallest pieces measure a mere 4x4x5 mm! While I’m not a fan of some of the other brands of Lego-type building bricks, I think the nanoblocks are really well made and pretty cool. The instructions are mostly wordless diagrams like Lego, but at least with this castle, you build from the bottom up, layer by layer, instead of building sections and joining them together. So, the instructions can be a little tricky for younger kids. 

Here is the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria, an example of 19th century Romantic architecture. Notice the standard 2 x 4 dot blue Lego brick. This will give you an idea of how small the nanoblocks are.

What I’d really like to get is this little cutie.

Garments · Holidays

Robin Hood Halloween Costume

Ferd has decided to be Robin Hood this Halloween. And so, I am working on View C from this pattern. Everything has been going great so far, except for the hat. The cape came out wonderful! And a plus, leaving it a little long, it can double as a Jedi cape! The tunic is almost done. I used a nice green ultrasuede from Jo-Ann’s. It frays slightly, but it hasn’t been too bad. Had a little trouble with sewing on the 1/4″ double bias tape around the neckline and forming the ties. The bias tape is just so narrow, I had trouble catching the ultrasuede between the bias tape and getting my feed dogs to move it along. If I made this costume again, I might use 1/2″ bias tape instead. Now, I just need to sew up of the sides and underarms. The hat has been another story. It seems small and the proportions of hat to brim don’t look right. I struggled with attaching the brim and I still think it’s wrong, even though I’ve taken all the stitching out and done it more than once. Thankfully, Ferd already has a Robin Hood hat he can wear along with this costume. Now I just need to track down a bow and arrow and possibly a quiver! 

Hope to get some pictures of my version up soon!