At the end of this month I will be teaching at Our House In Milford. I would like to invite you to join us. More info about the retreat center can be found at
The dates are April 23 – 27, I am listed on the calendar as Organizing with Options. Fees include everything from patterns to meals and are $190 for arrival on Friday and $240 for arrival on Thursday. You just need to bring your sewing materials and supplies for making the items I am teaching. OR you can bring work of your own and choose to just listen in and take the pattern home with you to make at a later date. The supply list is on the right column of this blog.
It is a great retreat center that treats you like royalty. Meals are served three times a day in a separate dining room and these are cooked meals with great service. You are not allowed to carry your dishes to the sink even!
Each bedroom can hold up to three ladies, though usually there are only two assigned. Each pair of rooms shares a bathroom so that means generally there are four people sharing each bathroom. The craft room is huge with at least two four foot tables for each crafter if not more. There is a little kitchen area in the craft room with refrigerator, ice machine and sink and more. (Though you don’t need to use it much as the meals provided keep you full and happy.)
I will be teaching several things that weekend. One is an organizer bag that you customize to fit your needs. It basically is a “book” with pockets for pages. I blogged about it here:
Also I will be teaching how to make some cute selvage ditties as I call them. They are little bags that are made out of selvages cut off your fabric.
Dittie Bags made with Selvage
In addition to the above, I will also be teaching how to sew a cute turtle pincushion. I made one of these using crazy quilting to decorate it, but for the retreat we are just going to decorate it with a little applique. I call her Dottie.
Turtle Pincushion named Dottie
You can choose to do all three projects, only one or none it is up to you.
I am an avid lurker and sometimes poster on a forum called Quilting Haven. There have been some retreats where I have met some of the ladies in person. It is a cool place to hangout while eating breakfast and to check in on the friends I have made in the quilt world who do not live close.
One of the things I love to do is join swaps. This year there have been several pincushion swaps so far and I have really enjoyed them. The pincushions I sent were crazy quilt items and it really gave me impetus to get those done. In return I got some nice items.
Today, I got an awesome set that totally blew me away. It is one of those little circle bags with the edges gathered on strings and pockets on the inside. BUT, in the middle of the bottom is a pincushion! PLUS included was a ring pincushion and a cool handmade threader. (That threader is made with beads and such and gives me some ideas for the next retreat gifties)
Already I have my current project loaded into the purse with the thread/floss in the pockets. The needles and pins I am using are in the pincushion and now I am ready to roll.
From the outside -love those rings on the ribbons
the inside – look at all those pockets
I have always been haunted by the need for perfection in my crafting. If it is not perfect, then it is not good has been my attitude. Not such a good attitude but it does not apply to other people’s work just mine. Strange that I am just fine with other people’s work not being perfect and will even purchase work by other people that is not perfect yet I am unhappy with imperfection in my own work.
This does not mean I have achieved perfection in my work, just that I get very unhappy with my work if it is not perfect.
So when I found this tutorial about making the perfect loop in beading I just had to try it out.Here is the link:
How to Make a Perfect Simple Loop
I decided to practice by making knitting stitch markers. It has been on my mind to make some for a while now so combining the two goals was a great idea. I loved how the tutorial broke it down into very simple steps and it really helped. I found I had been making my loops in a different way – making them this way increased the number of perfect loops I was able to make.
Of course not all the loops came out perfect and I had to make a bunch over but overall I was please with the outcome.
But now I have too many stitch markers. I might just make some more for retreat goodies. . . .
Here is what I made:
My favorites were the orange ones and the clay bead ones.
For the retreat I went to the last weekend of January and for the ladies in the Sew and Quilt club I made some tissue holders with pockets. They are such a fun thing to do and were so easy to make. It took me less than two hours to make about 26 of them. I impressed myself with this little giftie. It has a flap that folds over and covers the tissue and has an inside pocket behind the tissues. For mine, I inserted a zipper to hold the pocket closed and sewed a buttonhole and button to hold the flap closed. My purse can do a lot of damage to an open packet of tissues.
If you want the pattern the download link is below the picture.
Tissue Holder with Pocket (13 downloads)
Tissue Holders with Pockets
PS please don’t share my patterns or download. Send your friends here to get their own. That way I know if they are useful to you and and will continue to make them available.
We had an awesome time at the Sew and Quilt club this past week. A few ladies were missing but with good reason so we forgave them – LOL
For those who did miss, the handout may be downloaded by clicking below.
Feb2015SewQuiltClub.pdf (10 downloads)
One of the things we did was make a sweeties a mug warmer for Valentine’s Day. I sewed tubes of red and white fabric at home. During the club we ladies turned the tubes right out and filled them partially with rice. Then we rolled up the tubes and hand stitched the back, attached a felt circle to the back with glue, added a ribbon and bow embellishment and ended up with a microwavable mug warmer.
We all had a good time making mug rugs for our sweeties.
For Christmas I made my daughters some bags with pockets inside to use for first aid kits. But these are really too much work to make a bunch or to teach. So I made a different pattern that is more like a book instead of a bag. Of course, I had to make it fancy cause I just don’t know how to do it easy.
The front of the book, notice the fancy tassels on the binding side.
Organizer Book back pocket
Organizer Book with center screen pockets and front inside pocket
Just recently I got back into embroidery. Are you like me and have periods of time when you concentrate on one skill or another? Well for me right now it is crewel embroidery and other fancy embroidery work. I am loving it, sitting in my chair and working away.
For a pincushion swap I made two pears made up in crazy quilting style. I have another one ready for the embroidery work. Here are some pics of those.
Then, I got an idea of how to make the embroidery work easier on myself. You see, to do the embroidery work on the pears, I sewed it all together except for the last seam. Then I had to struggle with the needle to get the knots and all hidden. I made a circle of pie shapes and embroidered that then all I had to do was gather the edges and pull them in to make a ball. It made a nice turtle shell for Millie. I think she came out so pretty. She sits on the arm of my chair and holds my pins. Her head and legs make a good place for my needles so they don’t get lost.
I love how she came out.
Did you ever run a diaper pin through your hair to make it easier to use?
Have you ever torn up rags to use as bandages?
. . . pulled your child in a red wagon to the corner store down the road cause strollers just were not in your budget.
. . . taken a taxi to hubby’s workplace to get the family car cause child woke up needing a doctor visit? (most families still only had one car apiece)
. . . had one doctor for everything, children, childbirth, skin moles EVERYTHING?
. . . boil baby bottles to sterilize them – the nipples too?
. . . made five pairs of pants all the same for your child cause that was the way things were – children did not have to make a fashion statement in those days
. . . cut your children’s hair, gave them perms and suffered the consequences (tears sometimes, happiness others)
Those were the days -times were not simpler or harder, just different.
In December I attended a retreat that was just wonderful. It was a all craft retreat and there were quilters there, scrapbookers, as well as a group of ladies who were doing a “Sue Circle”. That is to say they were all working on Sue Spargo embroidery work. They got my attention and made me hungry to come home and try some of the things they were doing.
Well, low and behold, Sue Spargo is teaching a Craftsy class and it was on sale as well. AWESOME! Of course I immediately signed up and the rest is history. I love it!
If you look up at the top of this page you can see a link to my crazy quilt that is an ongoing work in progress that I really don’t thing will ever get done as it is something you just continue to add to until there is not room for one more stitch. Anyway the embroidery work I do on it is really close to what I am doing with the Sue Spargo work.
I first made a small project and then made two pear pincushions for a swap and then got to work on the class project. I am loving it!
Here is the class project I am working on. I will post pics of the pear pincushions as soon as I hear that the recipients got them. I have completed more of it since the pic was taken and am almost finished with the applique part. Next comes the fun part of embroidery and embellishing.
Ready for the embroidery work
Long way to go!
It came to me that I was doing things the hard way because I thought I was too good to do things the right way. In the middle of cutting out some shapes by scissors, I realized that in Primary school they taught us to roughly cut out the shapes first and then go back and precision cut them. When I did that, it became so much easier and faster.
It made me wonder how many other things I was doing the hard way because I thought I was too good or too important or maybe too old to do things the right way. Of course I am not the only one doing that I am sure.
It is a dangerous attitude to have for sure. How about the driver who thinks they are too good a driver to go by the posted speed limits? Or what about the person who carries a gun in places that they are not supposed to? Or how about the person who feels that they know what is best for their children even though it has been proven that they are wrong?
A little bit of humble pie is good for the soul. It makes take a step back from the table of life and look around and check our attitudes and beliefs and re-evaluate our beliefs and perhaps change a few. It is also good to reaffirm what we believe in too.