Category Archives: Supplies

Trapezoids in Space – a finished quilt

I’ve been trying to come up with a quilt utilizing some of the Constellations fabric line (by Lizzy House – available here), and these glorious “Grumpy Moon” screen prints made by my friend and fellow Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild member Amy!


This design is the same concept as my “Trapezoids at Work” quilt and I even have a tutorial posted over HERE.


Thanks, AMY! For these stunning moons!  Perfect for a grumpy toddler…



This quilt will soon make it’s home in Wisconsin with my sister’s family.  We’re all eagerly awaiting the birth of my first nephew!

1 Comment

Filed under A2MQG, Fabric, Quilting, Supplies, Tutorial

Pants to Skirt and Blind-Hem Tutorial

Do you have a whole bunch of ill-fitting clothes still taking up space in your closet?  Once again I found myself reluctant to give away a pair of pants: they were from The Limited, bought in 2007, 2 sizes too small, but in great shape and buttery soft.

And, as I mentioned in my last shorts-to-skirt tutorial, I really need the warm-weather bottoms! I decided to use more of that stretch sparkle denim for my side panels.  But this time I used the reverse side of the fabric which is a bit more gold than blue.  Saucy!

SONP-2I followed the same procedure as last time for making this skirt.  The only difference was that this time I did a blind-hem stitch on my machine!

I think I tried to do a blind-hem on my machine once before, but I decided to take this opportunity to really learn this skill. If you’re new to the process as well, here’s a tutorial on how to sew a blind hem by machine!  Read on…

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Clothes, Supplies, Techniques, Tutorial

Jorna Hack – Stretch Lace Jorna


So now that everyone has their Jorna pattern (right???) here’s a simple modification you can make to get a beautiful Jorna out of any transparent fabric with stretch.


I have this stretch lace and I LOVE IT.  But obviously I couldn’t do the normal lining that is called for in the Jorna pattern, what with the see-through-ocity of the lace.


My secret to pretty finished edges when using lace or similar fabric?: WONDER TAPE.  Hallelujah sing the praises. This is a skinny double-sided tape that disintegrates in the wash (or whenever it’s exposed to water).


So to make the dress (or tank – whichever length), first sew together the shoulders as instructed, but then skip ahead to sewing the sides together from hem to armpit.  For this type of fabric, I will finish these seams on the inside with an overlock stitch and trim off any excess.  A serger would be handy here.  Or you could do French seams!  Ohh la la!

Now you just need to finish the armholes, neckhole, and bottom hem.  Start by sticking a long strip of Wondertape along the neck-line’s raw edge, onto the wrong side of the garment.  Remove the backing of the tape, and fold it down!  It sticks! And now you can sew over the tape (on the right-side of the garment) with a narrow stretch stitch.  It’s easy peasy sewing through the tape – no gunky needles in my experience.  Repeat the process for the armholes and the hem.   You could fold the edge over twice to encapsulate the raw edge completely.  You could.  I don’t.


Where there’s yellow – you must WONDERTAPE

I actually use WonderTape when hemming the Jorna in this YOUTUBE VIDEO of me sewing a Jorna in less than 40 minutes (fastforwarded through genius editing technology so the video is just 4 minutes long).

Okay – and for the slip (because otherwise this would actually make for some fierce lingerie, but I need to be able to wear it on the streets) I made a black tube out of jersey, added straps, and called it good enough.

I’m linking up to the No Pants Summer 2013 party!


Filed under Clothes, Supplies, Tutorial

Positive Space Quilt Along – Coloring Pages

I hope some of yu are planning on joining me for the Positive Space Quilt Along!  I’m getting excited to make my FOURTH of these quilts!   Get your pattern HERE.

After playing with the coloring page, I think I’ve decided on making a bit of a masculine version this time around.  I’m using Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black for the squares (my first time having all of the squares be the same fabric) and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax for the plus signs.  Kona PFD for the background.

Make your own coloring page by using THIS IMAGE. 

Don’t forget, you can use the code POSITIVE15 at Pink Castle Fabrics throughout October to get a 15% off discount!

ALSO – If you’re willing to buy a little extra background fabric, I’ll be showing you a short cut for the quilt.  Although the directions in the pattern show the best way to cut-out the pieces for conserving fabric, this exclusive QAL tip will save you time where it costs you fabric.  Pick up an extra 1/2 – 1 yard and embrace a willingness to wing-it!

Leave a comment

Filed under Quilt Along, Quilting, Shop, Supplies

Quilt Hangers For Sale!

Check it out!

From my dream to reality.  Thanks to the awesome engineering and woodworking skills of my dad at the Woodlands Sawmill, there now exists a sturdy, wooden hanger able to support the weight of a quilt.

Not only are these hangers going to be wonderful for storing quilts in my home, they’re also going to be perfect for selling quilts at a craft fair.   Picture a bunch of quilts hanging on their individual hangers, lined up on a clothing bar.   No more digging through stacks!

If you’re interested, you can purchase these bad boys in my Etsy shop.

Thanks, Dad!


Filed under Shop, Supplies

Portable Ironing Table



Check out what my husband made!  It’s a portable ironing table that I took with me to the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild’s quilting retreat.

He stapled two layers of batting and piece of cotton fabric to the underside of a wooden TV tray.  It’s so nice to take to sew-ins and to have next to my machine in the office.  No more cumbersome, full-sized ironing boards necessary when all I’m doing is pressing HSTs! Thanks, Greg!

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Supplies

New Machine… Again

If you read this post, you know things weren’t looking good for my Viking machine.  After I finished a free-motion quilting session, I sat down to try and squeeze out one more project on the machine before taking it to the shop.  No go – it wouldn’t even run anymore!  The hand-wheel wouldn’t turn all of the way, and I couldn’t find the source of the problem.  So I took the machine to the shop and the mechanic opened the case, took a peak at some of the moving parts, and said “OOOOOohhhh no” and then gave a big, defeated sigh.

It was dead.  Boo!  The black dust was from two of the moving parts scraping against each other and creating metal dust.  In my classic paranoid, self-defeating manner I asked if it was something that I had done.  He assured me it wasn’t, but was rather just old-age.  That was sort of a relief because I really pride myself on my dedication to maintaining my machines.  I got it serviced regularly and diligently did my at-home cleaning.

I guess that mechanism that was broken is no longer manufactured and the replacement parts are all used and only have a life expectancy of a couple of months.  So it was time to make a big decision!  What machine to buy?  After a lot of research, soul-searching, and number crunching I decided to go all out and get myself a floor-model Bernina B550 Quilter’s Edition.  It came with a walking foot and BSR free-motion stitch regulator, and is pretty damn sweet.

So although it is sad that the Viking broke, and definitely I was not expecting on making such a LARGE purchase this month, it is very nice having my new whiz-bang machine and I’m hoping to get a couple of decades and dozen quilts out of it : )


Filed under Supplies

New Toy!

For Christmas I got the coolest present from my mom…

Can you see it?  It’s transparent!  It’s an adjustable sewing table that fits to my machine!

I’m finishing up my quilt-top for the Tangerine Tango challenge, and was finally motivated to get this puppy out of the box and on to my machine. It’s so awesome.  And what’s so great about this table is that it’s adjustable in like 400 different ways so you can easily make changes so it will fit any sewing machine.  It’s so nice to have the added support by having this extended table.  Also, it actually makes sewing a more quiet experience – you slide off the junk drawer from the bottom of machine so that you can attach this extending table.  By doing that you no longer have to hear all of your bobbins and machine-feet rattling around when you sew!  Added bonus.

If you want one, my mom got mine from HERE.

Anyway this isn’t a sponsored post, just an honest-to-goodness recommendation/bragging post.  But thanks for thinking I’m fancy enough to have sponsors!

1 Comment

Filed under Supplies

I’m A Winner!

Deeroo Designs had a lovely little fabric giveaway, and I was a winner!  I got a whole slew of dutch wax prints.

You’ll have to excuse the quality of these photos.  Our camera suffered death by sand and split milk sippy cup on our recent vacation.  So these were taken on a cell phone:

Definitely at least two quilts jumping out at me from this gifted collection.   A bright batch of blues, pinks, and teals waiting to get matched up with a solid gray, and another assortment of french toile inspired pieces.

There were many more fabrics in my gift, but the pictures just didn’t turn out.  You’ll have to wait to see them once I transform them into creations!

Thanks, Deeroo!

1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, Supplies

Show Us Your Stash – Thread

The wonderful Sew, Mama, Sew Blog is asking peeps about their thread collections.  Here are my responses:

How did you select colors for your personal thread collection?

I was lucky enough to be gifted a huge collection of 100% cotton threads in a rainbow of colors from my mother.  Ever since, I’ve added to my collection by purchasing threads on an as-needed basis.

Do you always match the color perfectly to your project?

If I have a color in my collection that is “close-enough” I’ll use it rather than go out and purchase a new spool.   I aim to have threads that compliment my project.

Do you ever use contrasting thread?

Yes, especially when hand-sewing.  If you want to try and draw attention to careful stitching, why not amp it up with some contrasting colors?

Do you use the same color in the bobbin as the upper thread?

If my backing fabric is drastically different from my top, and I don’t want to draw attention to the quilting details, than I’ll use different threads.  Most of the time I use the same exact thread for top and bottom. If you use different types of threads you’ll likely face a bunch of tension issues while sewing – true story.

What if a fabric has big areas of very different colors?

This is a tuffy!  If I was really concerned about clashing threads with fabrics, I might pick a quilting style that would skirt the issue – such as quilting in the ditch!  This is similar to what I did with the WEDDING QUILT.

Do you have any tips or suggestions about choosing thread?

When in doubt – go 100% cotton.  Most likely your machine will work well with cottons and the thread is less likely to shrink in the wash, preventing puckering.  Rayon can look nice for decorative stitching.  I also have recently played with metallic threads.  When sewing with metallics, buy size 90/14 metallic needles for your machine.  Also – lightly coat the spool with Sewer’s Aid, and I even finger the first part of the thread with this lubricant before threading my machine.

Can you show us a picture(s) of your thread collection?

Nothing fancy here!  Although I do have my “specialty thread” bobbins separated from the rest, and my embroidery floss in a semi-organized different container.

Do you ever buy thread because you fall in love with the color (without a particular project in mind)?

Can’t say that I have, although seeing the rainbow of threads arranged in the store has inspired a quilting color scheme before.

Do you “invest” in thread?

I haven’t yet, but noticing that my original cotton collection is rapidly depleting, I could consider begging for another bundle as a gift idea. 

What types of thread do you have? (elastic, quilting, all-purpose, wool, etc.)

I have quilting threads, all-purpose threads, some weird rayons, and a couple of fun metallics.  I would like to try elastic thread for some garment details, but I’m too wrapped up in the quilting world right now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Supplies