Friday, December 13, 2013


are no longer visible in the small town of Eclectic Alabama.  These four unfinished objects were completed on my vintage Bernina 830.
1.  Tan slacks..altered
                           2.  Mandy silhouette pillow...completed
           3.  Mae blanket...completed
         4.  Mae plaid silk skirt...fini
The Christmas Skirts are all finished and the Candy Cane quilt just needs to  be quilted and bound.

Yay! I was so thankful for a quiet Sunday, a fire, and a Bernina!  Oh yes, I am Thankful for football games that kept a certain someone busy so that I could sew uninterrupted! And I know Somewhere Out there, Ralph is smiling!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

     Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. 
                    ~Jean Anouilh

Sarah had a t-shirt that she has long outgrown, but many times in the last few months it has seemed to reappear on my visits to Birmingham.  Her "present" t-shirt, as she called it, was soft and comfy, so as I was choosing a design for her Christmas t-shirt,  a "present" seemed the only choice.

The first shirt that I did was pink and green with a touch of gold.  It is Sarah's choice of colors and I hope she will enjoy wearing it.  The gold lamee was a scrap that someone had given me, and it made a really cute little bow.  I used a gold metallic thread to satin stitch around the bow, and it stitched just fine as long as I slowed the speed of the machine down.  I added her name to the side of the gift. 

  My second little gift t-shirt was made for little Miss Amelia, whose Mamie has been under the weather and just hasn't felt much like sewing this Christmas season.  While Mamie chose colors and fabrics, I ran the machine and we sewed up skirt to match.
 It is so much more fun to sew with your good friend sitting in a chair beside you !

So Mamie and Goggie drove to visit sweet family and deliver the Christmas attire yesterday.  I sure hope it fits!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Birmingham Baby

If you were to open up a baby's head
-and I am not for a moment suggesting
that you should- you would find
nothing but an 
enormous drool gland.  ~ Dave Barry

A new baby friend has entered this world, and sweet Miss
Elliot must have some burp cloths to catch the inevitable burp and drool.  Here is a quick gift that was sent her way today;  two burp
cloths and a diaper cover for when she is a bit older.

The script monogram is Master Circle, the manuscript is Blackboard, and the ballerina's tutu is one of Martha's Mini's.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Stocking is Born

The stockings were hung 
by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas
soon would be there.
     ~Clement Clarke Moore

While I continue to work on my UFOs,  Santa's Elf in Texas has been busy at her machines making a stocking for the newest addition to her sweet family, Miss Molly.  I asked Kathy how she did  her stockings and she was kind enough to send pictures.

Kathy's first step is to quilt her fabric.  I know that most of us would choose a quilted Christmas print, but this little girl is getting a stocking that matches her sister's, with a beautifully quilted fabric.  On this project, though, since it is going to be lined separately, Kathy quilted just two layers, her print and Warm and White batting.  I am sure she used the guide on her machine to evenly quilt the diagonals onto her fabric.

  Next she cut out the cotton from a pattern that she had drawn, then sew them right sides together.  She did the same with her white cotton lining, then tucked it inside her stocking, wrong sides together.

While the next task would appear to be easy, for me it can take some DEEP THINKING.  She used her pretty read dot, figured WHICH SIDE and WHERE to stitch the name, and added Molly's name to the cuff.  I am sure she used 2 layers of medium wight cut away, since the back of the embroidery will not be seen.  Nice and neat and no puckers!
Once again some figuring out is required.  Her cuff was neatly pressed, stitched into a circle much like she does her pillowcases, and stitched around the top of the stocking and lining. Before stitching she inserted a pretty piece of ribbon, so that Molly can hang her stocking by the chimney with care. This method used to scare me, but careful measuring is all that is required.

This stocking will hang proudly next to her sister's, and I am sure that it is already on a UPS truck somewhere near Chicago.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

He's Making a List...

I love these little people;
and it is not  a slight thing
when they, who are so
fresh from God, love us.
                  ~ Charles Dickens

Kathy looooves her sweet grandgirlies that live in Chicago, and
she never misses an opportunity to sew a little something for
a holiday.  Their little Christmas outfits are completed and probably
already in the mail.   Mine are still a figment of my imagination.

She started with little t-shirts;  the designs are from Embroidery
Boutique.  Kathy is a quilter before she is a garment sewer; her
sense of color is wonderful, and she chose fabrics from her stash
that complement each other beautifully.

                                                                                                                                                                                     I don't know these little girls personally, but it has been fun
 to try to determine from the little grins in the  photographs
 who is a wee bit naughty.

Next she tackled the little skirts, using measurements
 from knee to waist and waist measurements,
 she serged the back seam , made the top casing
and added a band to  the bottom.

So simple and so precious.

Monday, November 25, 2013


If a project is good enough for you to start, it is good enough for you to finish.
       ~Ralph Clark Bethard, 1959
         Spoken to his daughter Debra, who did not want to finish
         weaving a potholder on a loom that she had
         received for Christmas.

My sewing room has been invaded by way too many UFOs, and I decided it was time to finally do something about it.  UnFinished Objects are my version of UFOs, and here is my little sister, Bethanne Bethard Hill's version of a UFO,,,

Bethanne of course has always amazed me with her art, and if you would like to enjoy more of it, look her up at

  Beautiful scenes of farm houses and countrysides and bottle trees and animals;  I have never quite figured out how the flying saucers came into the mix, but this is my sister Bethanne and I am not going to try to figure it out, I am just going to enjoy it.

Back to my UFOs, hopefully one or several will be blogged by the end of the day.

         1. The top of the Candy Cane quilt will be finished
        2.  Little Amelia's Christmas skirt will be together.
3.  Miss Mae's cozy blanket should be quilted.
            4.  Mandy's linen Silhouette pillow should be finished.
                 5.  I should have a good start on 4 little Christmas skirts.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


In the end, only three things
matter: how much you loved,
how gently you lived,
and how gracefully you let
go of things not meant for you.
~ Buddha

I was so excited about the progress on my Candy Cane Quilt.  Too excited, it seems.  I had been admiring this panel for hours, loving the crisp look of the red, white and black.  So I took this photo to send to Kathy, Masterquilter, and as I looked at the photo, I moaned.  No, I probably screamed!  Look at the corners! My top and bottom candy cane stripes were on backwards!

I think it is interesting that I could spot the mistake in a photograph, but not when gazing at it admiringly while it was in my hands.  I must have been too busy patting myself on the back to notice.

So, as Kathy put it..."Welcome to the world of quilting."  HHmmmm.  Some welcome.  I can only say this is my equivalent of putting a left sleeve in a right armhole, or sewing a beautiful french seam wrong sides together.  I was disheartened because all I could think of were those tiny black stripes.

It has turned out not to be as horrible as I first thought.  I was able to UNSEW the candy cane strips with the black stripes attached, and with a little bit of trouble, just swap them and turn them so that my candy canes are continuously facing the same directions.  

I must admit, though, as much as I hate to, that the first reattachment of the candy cane did not go well. Would I have attached it in exactly the wrong place a SECOND time?  Oh, yes I did!  So I unsewed one more time and turned out the lights, turned off the radio,  flipped the switch on my beautiful Bernina 780, and went downstairs to have a glass of wine in my cute Texas wineglass!

But I am looking forward to getting everything in the correct spot early tomorrow morning!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Candy Cane Quilt,

Normal day, let me be
aware of the treasure
you are, let me not pass
you by in quest of some rare and
perfect tomorrow.  
 ~Mary Jane Irion

Time's A Wastin'!

I have GOT to finish my Candy Cane Quilt!  I finished the center panel in class with Kathy, and started work on the half square triangles, but the majority of the work is unfinished.  So I picked up where I had left off a few days ago, and here is my progress....  I had sewn some of the triangles together, thank heaven, so that tedious task was almost finished.                                                                          

Next I embroidered the text for the four borders.  My background fabric is a tone on tone little bubble print.  The quilt calls for a lightweight muslin to be placed behind the embroidery, and I used 2 layers of tear away stabilizer behind that.

This black border that frames the center panel was actually one of the most difficult pieces to do so far.  They are cut  3/4 of an inch wide, and then are sewn to the panel. It frames the picture nicely and reminds me of when I used to color in elementary school and outlined everything in black!  It sets of the center panel nicely.

I am anxious to get back to my sewing room and work on it a little more!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Issa in Children's Corner Katherine

Autumn bowed to place
 a beautiful crown
 on the Queen
 of Morning,
 and her velvet robes
 swam merrily in the
 chilly breeze.
   ~ Terri Guilllemets

     My sweet silly Issa likes her new dress that I began making in Nashville at The Children's Corner Sewing School.  Children's Corner has recently been purchased by 2 younger women, and they are working hard to keep the quality of instruction, products and design that have made the company famous among sewing mothers and grandmothers.

The photo on the left shows the beginning of the front panel of the little dress.  It is not at all difficult; the loops for the buttonholes were a bit tedious to complete, but it went together smoothly.  The loops were accented by little wooden buttons.
This pattern is Children's Corner Katherine;  it was taught by Lezette Thomason. who shared lots of tips and stories with us along the way.  No french seams on this dress,  I zipped up the side seams and sleeves with a long serger seam and was done.  The hem is stitched down by machine and has a tailored look.  
I love the simple sleeve on this dress.  It is long, set in, and finished with a tiny bias band at the cuff.  It has a tiny bit of gathering at the top of the sleeve and cuff.  The dress bodice is accented with a matching tiny gingham, and a bias neckline.  It has 3 buttons on the back.  

I have a feeling that Katherine in this soft aqua corduroy is going to be a favorite.

Monday, October 14, 2013

She's Boooo tiful!

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
~William Blake
As I think of the blessings in my life, near the very top of the list are my precious friends.  Some of you follow my little blog, and if you are reading this you probably know how dear you are to me. I cannot imagine this life without you.
                            My granddaughters are certainly up there on my list of blessings, and 2 of them are getting this T-shirt that tells the world that they are Bootiful.  This particular shirt was a little bit of a struggle;  I ran out of orange thread while stitching the chevron B, but thankfully had a very close spool to substitute.  I neglected to change the satin stitch to a step stitch when I enlarged the design, and the top of the L struggled to get stitched out.  I used a fusible woven interfacing behind the B to keep the black from showing through to the white, but  should have used a stabilizer with a fusible backing on such a large applique.  But the end result is acceptable, and I know the little girlies will enjoy wearing them. 
The design is from last year, but I believe it is from Embroitique.


These next little boy t-shirts are done by my friend that I miss so much.  The spider webs are from Embrotique, and her applique fonts are from Five Star Fonts.  She does the cutest little zipper bags for her grandchildren, and I like to think about the treasures that will be zipped into them through the years.  I have got to get busy and do some for the girls! 
    So the next time I see a spider web (and they seem to be plentiful this fall) I will not back away!  I am going to see it as a home, I will try to think of Charlotte,  I will try to appreciate its beauty, and I will think of my friends!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Have a SEW HAPPY Birthday!

She watched and taught the girls
 that sang at their embroidery frames
 while the great silk flowers
 grew from their needles. 
         ~Louise Jordan Miln,
         The Feast of Lanterns

Perhaps the little girls weren't exactly
singing at their sewing machines, 
but we did have a really 
good time sewing together!

Little Lauren's grandmother called the store asking
about a sewing party.  It sounded like fun to me, so 
agreed to do a little project for 7 girls who were 11
years old.  
I enlisted Issa's help with the project.  She had no difficulty sewing together the little owl wristlet.  After drawing out an owl, I cut the various parts in colorful felt, then step by step had them assemble it.  Issa had no difficulty at 8 years old, but then, as she informed me, she is an "experienced sewer". 

So now little Lauren is 11; 6 of her favorite friends have matching owl wristlets that can hold change, hand sanitizer. a key or a special treasure, and a good time was had by all!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Angel Kisses

  • A boy is Truth with dirt on it's face,
  • Beauty with a cut on its finger,
  • Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair,
  • and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket
  • -Unknown
   Now Really.  LOOK AT  THIS FACE!  How precious is this little boy?  I can tell you that he is every bit as precious as he looks in this photograph.

  Tony's Gamma is a dear friend who moved to Texas, but thanks to texts and phones, we get to stay in touch.  She is closer to 2 of her 5 grandchildren this way, and enjoys sewing for them while she can.  Tony loves trains and comes from a football family, so this design was the perfect one for him.

  This design is from Applique Market; Kathy added his name above the football. She used cutaway stabilizer behind the stitching, and  Solvy on top.  I know Kathy uses cutaway whenever she can, and many times she uses two layers.  She comes out with a shirt with NO puckers every time.  Even after they are washed.

   I hope it won't be too awfully long before I get to see this
little freckled face again.  Don't you just want to pinch those little cheeks?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A House Divided

October is not only a beautiful
month but it marks the precious 
yet fleeting overlap of hockey,   
baseball, basketball, and football.                                                  
                         ~Jason Love

Serendipity - a happy accident or
fortunate mistake.
Lynda and I made these dish towels for her daughters, graduates
of Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia.

As we trimmed the stabilizer from the Tech towel, we had a little issue, a cut in the fabric!  Oh no!  There was only one towel to be had; we loved the gold polka dots.  What to do? what to do?

In the Artista Software, there is a picture of a frog with a little bee
buzzing around his head.  Now, granted, he is not as menacing as Buzz, the Tech mascot, but he was the best I could do.  Thanks to to Marian and all of her classes, I was able to delete all of the image except for the bee.  I sent him to my machine, added a little piece of fabric to the back with a piece of cut away stabilizer and stitched right over the cut.  I like it, I really like it!  She has a cute navy bow to add the finishing touch.

  This towel is for the Bulldog Girl.  Jumbo Rick Rack on top of polka dot fabric.  I hope they are used for many tailgate parties to come!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Master Circle for Olivia

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. 
When you do a thing, do it with all your might. 
Put your whole soul into it.
 Stamp it with your own personality. 
Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. 
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

     These gifts were made for a young woman who is on her way to a new beginning in her life.  My niece, Olivia, is a freshman at Furman, and she made it there with a unique combination of intelligence, hard work and enthusiasm.  Livvy seldom does what one would expect her to do, but her choices are spot on and wise. As I have watched her grow up, I have loved the determined spark in her that is complemented by her compassion and beauty.
     She needed a bath cover up because who wants to traipse around a suite in a towel tucked in close to your armpit?  She chose purple because it has been a favorite since 
she was tiny, and purple/white are Furman's colors.  I monogrammed these on my Bernina 780 and that machine is FAST!  Three mongramms done in no time.
   She wanted orange towels, and I hope this choice from Penny's is not too soft and corally for her.
   The font is one of my new favorites, Master Circle, and I hope Livvy likes the selection of colors.  I used 2 layers of a medium weight tear away and Solvy on top as I stitched.
   My wish for this new cheerleader is that she enjoys her days at Furman.  And here's hoping she will always know that this auntie is her number 1 cheerleader!


Monday, September 9, 2013

School Days for Katelyn, grade 3

“What a pity every child couldn't learn
 to read under a willow tree...”
        ~ Elizabeth George Speare,
           The Witch of Blackbird Pond

     The girls have been back to school for over 2 weeks now, so it is time to start the little skirts and t-shirts that they all enjoy wearing.  I may repeat this one for Miss Mae;  Katelyn seems to like it!  But I have learned that you never know what will strike their fancy.  They may like a fabric on the bolt, but that does not necessarily translate to a favorite garment to wear to school.

     When we got this fabric into the store I thought it would be a perfect back to school fabric.  I loved the shades of green and the alphabet print, and the green stripe is a nice companion fabric.  I did not use a pattern for the skirt, but measured from her waist to the desired length.  I would get tickled as I measured around what I thought was her waist, and she would grin and say,  "That's not how I wear it, Bibi!" and then slide it down a bit.  That's just one of the little chuckles you get sewing for grands!
      The font on the t-shirt is from Fancyfonts, and it is one of my older designs.  You can's see unless you zoom in really close, but it has dots running down the main part of the  K.  I did those in orange, the K in turquoise and her name across in green. The ruffled T-shirt is one of my favorites;  it is from Montag.

I won't have to announce the purchase of a new phone, you will know by the absence of the dark line across the corner of my photographs!  Now on to a skirt and t-shirt for Miss Mae, buton second thought, I have to do something in between because I don't just love doing the same thing over again.

I'm upstairs to my 780 soon!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sweet Molly Kathryn

Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by     
reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future. 
~Maria Montessori

     Molly Kathryn's Grandma is a dear friend, and made this sweet collection of burp cloths to take with her on their recent introduction.
     Grandma had some great ideas and I wanted to pass them along...I love the green polka dot and birth details; the lil sister Molly is probably a purchased design, but you could do it in the Artista Software, and her colors are fresh and current!
     I would guess that Molly has a future filled with fun appliques and monograms!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Remember the time...?

Ah, How good it feels!  The hand of an old friend.
     ~  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sue invited us to visit their mountain home in Arizona, and it was a lovely day.
The girls played in the woods, we rocked on the porch, talked over old times, and generally just enjoyed each other's company.

I wanted to do a little thank you for the day and I decided to do a word block on a kitchen towel.
I tried to include favorite memories, and used the software to place the words using various fonts.

I added an edgewalk underlay to most of the lettering through the Artista Software, worked with the colors to get an idea of how it would stitch out, and chose some little ornaments.  Harrington, Blackboard, Varsity, St. Charles and Anniversary are a few of the fonts that I used.

The stitch out was quick and easy.  I used two layers of tear-away on the back, and solvy on top.  I used a long strip of a cotton print that was the width of the towel and about 6 inches deep.  I folded it lengthwise, stitched it to the wrong side of the towel and pulled it forward, enclosing the ends of the stripe under the fabric.

I know Sue's friends and family will enjoy their mountain home with family and friends for many years to come!

Christmas in August

Be merry all, be merry all,
With holly dress the festive hall;                                                
Prepare the song, 
the feast, the ball,
To welcome merry Christmas.

                   ~William Robert Spencer

I took this partially completed project home from the store intending to complete it for our Christmas in July event.  Needless to say, it did not get finished in time, so I pulled it out on a rainy day last week and finished it up.

     I was able to choose how I finished it;  I considered a pillow, but decided on a wall hanging.  The wreath didn't have a border, so I added strips with a green and red polka dot from my stash.  I used the #18 button sew on foot to add the button berries.  I am finally getting used to it, and I think when I have more than a few buttons to sew on at one time, I will be happy to have it.

To finish up the wreath, I made a tube out of a scrap of the green, turned it with the seam on the back, pressed it, and cut it in half.  I pinned these to the inside, with the loops facing inward. (how many times have I done that backwards?)

I had some bright green rick rack in my stash so I used that in the seam line between the lining and polka dot to give the hanging a little border.

Rather than using velcro to attach the tabs, I did buttonholes and once again buttons.  I attached it to the Merry Christmas hanger and took my photo.

( My next photo shows the broken lens line in the upper left corner, I am upset about it but not upset enough to ditch my iphone.)

This isn't my favorite project, but it could brighten a dull space on the wall during the Christmas Season.