Saturday, December 29, 2012

Update on Sandy Hook Projects

I posted information about Quilter's Corner in New Milford, CT, collecting pillowcases for Sandy Hook a couple posts ago.  DO NOT SEND ANY MORE PILLOWCASES.  She has been completely overwhelmed and has passed her goal a week ago.  "Like" QUILTER'S CORNER on Facebook to see the daily count.  They've been getting a daily special delivery from the post office with nothing but pillowcases.  There were some from Ireland yesterday!

If you are looking for somewhere to send pillowcases, try  They work to give a bright cheery pillowcase to every seriously ill child. They have drop-off locations and volunteer coordinators who get the donated pillowcases to children's hospitals. Here in New Hampshire we have the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. 

12/31 UPDATE: They have also been overwhelmed with snowflakes - please do not send any more.
I tried to find the status of the PTSA drive to collect snowflakes, with no luck.  The only clue is that the request is gone from the PTSA Helping Sandy Hook website at  So you might want to send a few, but I wouldn't organize a big drive at this time, without checking with them first.  

I did find one new embroidery design company offering a free snowflake today.  Snow Lady Designs ( has a design available for download on their front page.

It's hard to believe a new year starts in a few days.  My grandmother used to tell me time goes faster and faster and I didn't buy it.  But I do now!  I will post a directory to free or very low cost Quilting Blocks of the Month in the next couple days.  I'm amazed at how many are out there! So pull out your fat quarters and get ready to sew along.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Handmade for Newtown

Two of the many quilting related blogs I follow, imagine gnats and Casa Crafty, are joining with From the Heart Auctions to raise money for families in Newtown that were affected by the shooting. They are gathering donations of handmade items and craft/sewing supplies for an online auction which will take place January 14-18. 100% of funds raised will be donated to Newtown Parent Connection.  

Items must be either handmade or craft/sewing supplies and ready to ship by the end the auction. You must also be willing to cover the cost of shipping your handmade item(s) to the winner. A photo of your auction item(s) and a brief description are required, and will need to be submitted no later than January 1.

If you have anything you could donate, they are asking that you sign up now, so they can get an idea of how many will be participating. I will be donating something from my stash of finished projects, but I haven't decided what yet.  I'll have to pick something by January 1.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Quilters Helping Sandy Hook, CT

Helping Sandy Hook

I grew up a couple towns from Newtown, CT, and worked in Sandy Hook the last couple years before we moved to NH.  I was so upset by the events last week that I haven’t said anything much on Facebook.  But here are a couple ways we, as quilters, can do something positive for the children, and the town. Thanks in advance for helping in any way you can.

Pillowcases for Sandy Hook

Quilter’s Corner in New Milford, CT (my hometown) is collecting pillowcases for the approximately 600 elementary students in Sandy Hook.  Please send new, washed pillowcases to:
            Quilter’s Corner
            312 Danbury Rd
            New Milford CT 06776

You can like QUILTER’S CORNER on Facebook to follow the count.

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

Connecticut PTSA

This organization has started the idea of “Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.”  They want the students to enter a Winter Wonderland when they come back to school at a new building.  Snowflakes can be the paper ones we all cut as kids. Or, for anyone with an embroidery sewing machine, there are several websites with free snowflake designs available.  These should be mailed to arrive by January 12, 2013 to:
            Connecticut PTSA
            60 Connolly Pkwy, Bldg 12, Ste 103
            Hamden CT 06514
They are also accepting monetary donations on their website to help the school community in Newtown.

Sarah Vedeler Designs

Sarah Vedeler is known for her beautiful, intricate designs and these snowflakes are wonderful.  They are sewn on fabric and can be made one-sided or double-sided.

Embroidery Library

Embroidery Library is offering free-standing lace embroidery designs in three sizes at no charge.  These are super simple to embroider, usually done in one color.  If you’ve never tried free-standing lace designs before this would be an easy one to do.  They have a free tutorial available if you need more instruction.

More Free-Standing Lace:

Lindee G Embroidery

Designers Gallery Blog

Amazing Designs

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I made slippers!

I have recently been reading more and more sewing blogs, and found a pattern for slippers.  There is a great step-by-step tutorial at
You use a pair of sneakers, or something similar, to create a pattern.  I used a pair of leather scuffs that fit me well.  Then you cut outside fabric, lining, fusible fleece and Timtex, or Pellon's version, Peltex.  I have bolts of various Pellon products on hand so that's what I used.

I always use a pressing sheet when working with fusibles.  I don't want my iron or my ironing board to get gunked up by the glue. 
Once all your pieces are prepared, you sew the top and bottom together, leaving the heel open to turn.  It was a little fussy around the toe, but easier than I expected.
And here they are.  The blue fabric with birds is actually a decorator weight fabric I got on sale to make a tote bag.  I fussy cut the birds but I think I still have plenty to make the bag.

Fun stuff - I'll be making more of these!  Thanks to Cheryl at Sew Can Do for the great tutorial.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today's Sewing Project

I am working on a project that will take the next couple weeks to complete.  It is a HoopSisters wall quilt from the Christmas Delights software.  The process of making each block ends with a pieced, quilted and decoratively embroidered block, all done in the hoop of the embroidery machine.  Having been a software person, I appreciate the numerical control that went into creating my machine and the software to run it.  Being a quilter, I am always looking for quilting ways to use my Bernina.  So here's a quick, step by step, to making a HoopSisters block:

To start, I hooped a piece of Battilizer (HoopSisters combo batting/stabilizer) and stitched an outline of the block.  Then the brown fabric is placed and stitched down.  Next, the blue piece is placed rights sides together with the brown, stitched, flipped to the right and tacked down.  This is basically like paper-piecing, for those familiar with that.

Then the second blue sky section was added on the left, then the tree in the middle.  It was placed right sides to the block so far, stitched, flipped up, and stitched again.  I used Aurifil 50wt #2620 grey for the piecing.

Here, I turned on the flash on my simple Panasonic point and shoot.  It was too dark, now it is a bit washed out.  Oh well.  Again, I'm adding a piece of the block right sides together with what is there, stitch, flip and stitch again.

Now you can see the whole block has been pieced, so it's time to place the back of the block on.  I use a temporary adhesive spray (which my husband hates the smell of, sorry Mark) to stick the back of the block on the bottom of the hoop.  You then stitch a basting line around the whole outside of the block.

Now for the fun part.  The embroidery and quilting is done together for this pattern.  Sometimes a pattern will have decorative stitches that are done before you put the back on the block, then the quilting is done after.  But the embroidery acts as the quilting on this block, being stitched through all three layers.

The red and gold tree trimmings are just right.

The tree trunk gets a subtle wave and the sky gets some random snowflakes.  Perfect!

The pattern suggested metallic thread for the snowflakes but I didn't have any white.  I used Isacord 40 wt Poly for my embroidery threads.

I have four tree blocks to make, and sixteen other blocks.  I'll share the others another day.  And the assembly of finished blocks will be the final step. Don't worry, it's easy!

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What shall I sew today?

I have recently become interested in all the blogs out there, and decided to have my own.  I am a new owner of a Bernina 830 and have promised myself that I will sew every day.  Sometimes what I am doing may be of interest to you.  I hope to share tips and techniques, and occasional tutorials. Let's have fun sewing!

Yesterday, I decided to start making simple gifts that I can keep on hand.  I've purchased a monthly embroidery design collection from Masterpiece Embroidery since I found them in December.  Each month you get 30+ designs from a group of designers. I found the website because I test designs for Sew Weird Designs. Some months, Erina's Designs has provided two FSL (free standing lace) bookmarks.  I have very little experience with FSL but these designs look easy. Actually, they are great because the white stitches for a while, then I change to a colored thread for the design.  I can start it going and keep working at my computer.  Notice the Aurifil spool of 40 wt cotton? I wanted to give the look and feel of hand crocheted work.  It's pretty good.  Using cotton thread for embroidery sure creates a lot of lint.  I've been cleaning between each bookmark.  I'm sewing on an OESD Aquamesh wash away stabilizer. I am also using a 14 embroidery needle because of the weight of the thread.  I love Auriful thread! It sews like a dream.  I buy another spool any time I see it.

Please comment and tell me what your experience is with FSL.  I'll give a bookmark away to someone who comments with a random drawing on August 31st.

What shall I sew today?