Friday, February 27, 2009

Guest Blogger on Quilting Gallery!

Happy Friday! I'm SOOOOOO excited! Michelle at Quilting Gallery asked me to be the guest blogger today. For the month of February, she has had guest bloggers on her site every day. I've been reading along this month and I'm honored to be in the company of such wonderful, talented, creative women. Click on the link at the right to be directed to the post.

I'm in Puyalup, Washington this weekend attending the Sewing and Stitchery Expo. What fun! I'm shopping and learning and enjoying the company of others who share my love of fabric and sewing. I didn't take any pictures yesterday but I'll try to get some today and post them this evening.

I hope your day is a good one- try to find a few minutes to do something you love.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Frosting clowns and flowers

Here's the latest from my cake decorating class. I'm taking a cake decorating class with my daughter-in-law, Cady. I've only made basic cakes before this- nothing fancy. We're having a lot of fun and our efforts are appreciated by all the people who are getting our cakes!

I promised to show you a picture of my clowns. Don't you love those fingers? Wouldn't they be cute sitting on top of cupcakes?

These are my first attempts at flowers. A few of the roses even look like roses! The great thing about flowers is that even if a flower doesn't look like it's supposed to, it looks pretty. We're letting the icing harden on these and we'll use them on a cake next week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A new puppy in the family

I have a new grandpuppy! Our son and daughter in law got a yellow lab puppy last night. Is he cute or WHAT!?! His name is Cooper and he kept them awake most of the night. Makes me glad our dog is 6 years old! There's just something magical about a puppy, though. They just make you want to giggle!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mel's T-Shirt Quilt

My niece, Dr. Melanie Hauser sent me a picture of her latest quilt. She had some great t-shirts that were taking over her closet and she decided to put them to better use. It's a rag quilt with the snipped frayed edges. We just love to do rag quilts. One year, Mel and I made rag quilts for each other. We both wanted one but didn't think we'd ever get around to making ourselves one, so we made them for each other that year for Christmas! This one is t-shirts and jeans on the front, and I think she used flannel on the back to give the "rag" effect on the front. This is soooo cute, Mel! Thanks for sharing the pics with me. (I put it in the gallery on the website, too).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Dozen Bags- February Bag finish

Let's attach the handles and finish the tote bag. You should have (2) 18-inch handles. Turn the top edge down 1-inch and press. Slip a handle under the cuff leaving about a 6-inch space between each end. Pin the handle ends through the cuff.
Stitch the handles just under the cuff. Repeat for the handle on the other side.

Fold the handles up and stitch all the way around the top of the cuff, through the handles.

Da Da! Wasn't that easy??? Thanks for the free pattern, Lazy Girl Designs!

A Dozen Bags- February Bag part 2

Let's keep going on the February Bag.
To Square up the bottom corners, we already cut a 2" square from each corner. For each cut corner, open up the hole you created and match up the seams.
Pin and stitch across the opening. Be sure to reinforce the beginning and ending of the stitching line.
Now turn the bag right side out through the opening you left. Stitch the opening shut right along the edge. Now comes the fun part. It felt a little like folding a fitted sheet. Fold the end with the little opening section you just stitched inside the other end. This way, the area you left open to turn and then stitched, will be the lining and will not show. Do your best to push the lining inside the bag then press the fold along the top. You now have the finished bag without handles. We'll do them tomorrow.

A Dozen Bags 2009- February Bag

It's time to make our February bag! This one will be super fast and easy-a LOT faster than the January Bag. I found a great FREE PATTERN on the Lazy Girl Designs site. I love Lazy Girl! She has some great bag patterns. I picked up some new Lazy Girl patterns and will be adding them to the website soon. This free bag pattern is for a simple tote bag. It just takes one yard of fabric, and you can make it in one easy sewing session. So download the pattern by clicking on "free Pattern" above and let's get started!

I always hate it when someone says I should be able to finish a block or a project in one hour and it takes me three hours. It makes me feel like a remedial quilter. I've been sewing for 40 years and I own a quilt shop and I'm never the first person to finish a project. So.... I'm estimating that it should take most people about an hour to make this bag. But if you're watching tv or have to use the bathroom or get a phone call... or if you're me.... it might take you and hour and a half or 2 hours. Either way- it's quick and easy.

To prepare your fabric, pre-wash if you want to. Then give it a good pressing and trim the edges so that they are nice and straight. You want to end up with a piece of fabric that is 36 inches long by the width of the fabric, which should be about 44 inches. Trim off the selvages and cut 4 inches off one of the selvedge edges for the handle. You just need one strip that is 4" x 36" for the handles (you'll cut it later). The remaining piece should be about 36" x 40". Fold it in half (right sides facing) so that it measures 36" x about 20".

For the handles, fold the long strip in half then open it up and fold the edges into the center fold. Then fold on the original fold line. This makes a long piece that is 4 pieces of fabric thick. Stitch along the open edge, very close to the edge. Then cut it in half, giving you (2) 18-inch handles.
Stitch around the 3 open sides of the main handbag, leaving an opening to turn.
Cut a 2 inch square from each corner.

More tomorrow!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I'm taking a cake decorating class with my daughter-in-law. Aside from having 10 pounds of buttercream frosting in my refrigerator, it's a BLAST! The first cake we made was a baby carriage, and I forgot (DARN!) to take a picture of it.The second cake was a doll. Since it was Valentine's week, I made it in red, pink and white. Since my DH and I are empty nesters and our "kids" are grown men, I was at a bit of a loss to know what to do with a doll cake... until I learned that my friend was hosting a tea party on Valentine's Day with her 9-year-old daughter for her girl scout troop. Yippie! A good home for my doll cake!

I attempted a bustle in the back, which turned out more like a lump of frosting, but that was ok. The roses got better as I went. Some don't look much like roses. I now have a healthy respect for people who can whip out butter cream roses!

Next week, we're making frosting clowns. If they look anything like clowns, I'll show them to you. :-)

February Tip- Tomato Needle Holder

I made a needle holder out of one of these little tomatoes about 30 years ago. I was going to put a picture of it on here but it looked so old and beat up that I thought I should make a new one for the blog picture. So here's my brand new tomato!

I change my machine needles regularly, and I try to use the size that's right for the fabric I'm sewing. When changing to different sizes of needles, the used needle isn't always very old, so I want to save it for another use. But I don't like to put the slightly used needles back in the packages because I'm afraid they'll get mixed up with the brand new ones. To keep them straight, I poke them in my tomato. I use a Sharpie marker to label the sections. It's handy and cute!

Yoo, Hoo..... Carol........

Carol- I'd love to send you the calendar. I'll bet you missed reading that you won! Send me an email to and let me know your mailing address.

A Dozen Bags- January Bag Finish

It's time to line the bag and finish up. After sewing around the lining from side marker to side marker (which leaves the top open), put the bag inside the lining, right sides together. To add a little extra ease in opening the finished bag, you might want to stitch the lining just a little bit below the markers- leaving a slightly larger opening. Not much- just a little bit. I found that the finished bag was a little tight- I wanted it to open a little more.
Stitch around the top opening, leaving an area open to turn the bag. I did a lot of pinning, as the knitted bag was pretty stretchy and I wanted to make sure it didn't slip out of place before it was stitched.

Turn right side out, and lightly press. Whip stitch the opening (where my hand is).

The pattern calls for 11 1/2" x 4 1/4 " D-shaped bamboo handles. Handbag handles are pretty easy to find in craft stores these days. I've ordered several styles of handles to sell on my website, and will be adding them soon, but I don't have this size yet. The ones I used for this bag are by Purse n-alize-it!

Fold the little extensions over the handles and hand stitch them down. I found that mine had a pretty wide gap around the middle 2 openings and I took a little tuck to cinch them up. This made a small gather inside in the lining, which I think looks cute.

We're all done! Enjoy your bag!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February Giveaway

For February, I'm giving one of my blogging buddies a little light reading. Many of you may be familiar with Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek series. They don't need to be read in order, but this one happens to be third in the series. It's a great read. It retails for $14.00, so get your name in the hat! All you have to do is reply to ANY post on this blog, or send me an email or call me and mention it. It's just that easy! I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

And the winner is....

This is Jaeger (pronounced Ya-ger- it means hunter in German). He's our 5 year old golden retriever. What you have to know about Jaeger is that he likes to eat paper. He's been known to eat checks and bills and lots of things that people don't believe. He also eats kleenex, but we won't talk about that. He eats toilet paper rolls and last week he ate a parchment decorator bag with cake frosting. OK- I guess I can understand that. But plain ol' paper? I don't get it. So, when we asked him to pick the winner out of the hat, it was like giving me a bowl of dark chocolate.

Give me the paper.
I said, "Give it to me!" "Drop!"
"I mean it- DROP IT".
OK- Here's the paper. I picked the winner for you..... send the calendar to CAROL!

Congratulations, Carol! Carol posted on Jan 5th saying nobody gave her a calendar for Christmas. Send me a private message to my email ( and give me your mailing address so I can send you the calendar.

For February, I'll be giving away another book- I'll post a picture of it tomorrow.