Category Archives: Sewing Project

Big Blog Changes Coming

I took a break from blogging over the summer, but didn’t quite mean to stay away so long.  And, in true Christine fashion, I have since decided to completely change things up for my blog.  Which meant I’ve kept myself from adding to the blog in anticipation of changes.

First, a few brief catch up collages:

Mister and I went to Oregon for vacation this summer where we indulged in way too much food and spent way too much time going to thrift shops and estate sales.

Summer Vacation to Oregon

Summer Vacation to Oregon

I also visited a few quilt shops.  I ended up coming home with over 40 yards, yes YARDS, of fabric.  Um… gulp! (but secretly…. squeeeeeee!!!)

So. Much. Fabric.  Not pictured is Greenbaum's Quilted Forest storefront, but I did get an inside picture.

So. Much. Fabric. Not pictured is Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest storefront, but I did get an inside picture.

I started doing cross stitching to keep from going through quilting withdrawals.  And promptly became addicted.  Now I have a routine of quilting/sewing during the day and my evenings are spent cross stitching.

Stitch ALL The Things!!

Stitch ALL The Things!!

I completed my daughter’s graduation quilt just as I was leaving for summer.  I’ve also done a Sugar Block Club block (still far behind on those!) and a few Modern Insta Bee Blocks.

Graduation quilt and some blocks.

Graduation quilt and some blocks.

Okay, now that catch up is done, down to bidness… I have not really been excited about my blog name since the beginning.  I probably should have waited to start my blog when I had a name I loved, but I was impatient and just went with the closest blog name that sounded ok.  Which is so like me.  Having said that, I am in the midst of moving this blog content over to a new website with a new name.  Yippee!!  I have a name that I love, that really seems to be me, and is no longer associated with my hair color.

I am aiming to do the move in one week — next Tuesday.  I will do a reveal then, and will possibly have a giveaway to celebrate (and to motivate you all to go follow my new website instead of this one!).  I WILL be starting up To-Do Tuesdays again if you’re interested in continuing to participate in that. A positive change for To Do Tuesdays is that on the new website you’ll be able to see all the individual links at the bottom of the page…. Awesome!

Now that I’ve given myself a deadline, I’m off to get everything done.  I actually have the title of the new website somewhere within this post.  Leave me a comment if you think you’ve found it. Unless your name is Sarah and you blog over at Georgia Girl Quilts (she already knows). Or you’re Mister, since he knows too.  Have a wonderful week and I hope you’ll stay tuned for the new website reveal!

Bye Bye Love Bag


I didn’t get much done this week, but I did manage to sew up January’s Bag of the Month bag from Sew Sweetness’ Bag of the Month Club.


I purchased some Denyse Schmidt Florence fabrics specifically for this bag.  For some reason, I absolutely love plaid bags, and I knew this bag would be perfect for showing off some plaid. The lining is Seed Pod in Taupe, and the back zippered pocket is Seed Pod in Carnelian. The outer fabric is Multi Plaid in Carnelian. I chose black yarn dyed Essex Linen as the outer accent fabric. I used Aurifil 40wt thread in Black/#2692 and Light Sand/#2000 (not pictured).

This bag gave me a few challenges, because I don’t like to read all of the instructions.  I mean, why should I pay attention to the details that are painstakingly written out for me so that I don’t mess up when sewing?  Psssshhhh.  Thoroughly reading the instructions is for people who don’t like their seam ripper.

Mistake #1:

Rather than making the outer panels of only one fabric, as instructed, I decided I wanted to have the bottom part of the bag be in the Essex Linen. That wasn’t the mistake, but my math was.  So, my outer panels ended up about an three-quarters of an inch shorter than my lining panels.  I decided to just trim the lining panels to match, as the loss wasn’t too drastic and it seemed like a rather tall bag anyway.

Trim it up, girl!

Trim it up, girl!

Holy Effing Are-you-KIDDING-Me Mistake #2:

I knew something was off about my zippered pocket when the bottom pocket fabric didn’t match up when sewing the pocket closed.  I only noticed this AFTER insertion, of course.  But, I just “went with it”.  And all was well until it was time to mark handle placement.

What?! No. NO! Oh YES. You did.  You totally did.

What?! No. NO! Oh YES. You did. You totally did.

Apparently when I made the zipper pocket I had my marked zipper fabric upside down.  So the zipper pocket was about 3″ too high.  And exactly where the handles were to be attached.  I. Wanted. To. Cry.  But, crying doesn’t effing fix it.  I looked at it for a few minutes, played around with the handles, and decided instead of making a new outer panel (which I had messed up to begin with… and there was no telling if I could mess it up ON PURPOSE again), I would just change handle placement. I knew it would be close to the top and the seam allowance, but by precisely measuring it with my eyeballs, aka “eyeballing it”, it looked like it would be okay. Apparently I have madskillz with eyeball measuring, whereas I have NO skillz using the maths to measure.

Left eyeball: Let's just sew 'em down about here, whatcha think?" Right eyeball: "sure. Looks good 'nuff to me."

Left eyeball: Let’s just sew ’em down about here, whatcha think?”
Right eyeball: “Sure. Looks good ’nuff to me.”

You’re-Almost-Finished-So-Let’s-Make-ANOTHER-Mistake #3:

I proudly held up my finished bag to show Mister and noticed that one of my handles was twisted.  And sewing this interfaced Essex Linen was not easy.  My sewing machine did NOT like backstitching on it at all.  Not even with a top-stitch needle.  Thankfully it didn’t take long to fix!

Let's make ANOTHER mistake.  Because that's fun and we have nothing better to do!

Let’s make ANOTHER mistake. Because that’s fun and we have nothing better to do!

I am so pleased with this bag!  I remembered to use my Emmaline Bags “handmade” hardware, and I even remembered to put my label in it!  After it was sewn up, of course (Mistake #4).  I just folded over the seam allowance and sewed it over the topstitching on the lining pocket.  I think it turned out okay that way. I also decided to go a little fancy and I added purse feet.  PURSE FEET.  Seriously. Proud. Of. This. Bag.

Proberly labeled up.  AND I added purse feet!

Properly labeled up. AND I added purse feet!

And here it is, all finished… front and back! I’m not too sure about my zipper choices… I probably should have done grey top and back zippers. Although, I think this will do. I really love this bag, but I’m thinking I may save it for a Christmas present.  It would be really great to have one present already in the bag.  Corny pun totally intended.

Love how these pleated pockets turned out!

Love how these pleated pockets turned out!


I started this project during the week, but so many errands and “life” got in the way.  I ended up sewing up most of it yesterday, and finished fixing the mistakes today.  Since I ended up doing most of my sewing over the weekend, I’m linking up with My Go-Go Life for SEWJo Saturday (er…Sunday).

SEWJo Saturday

The Granddaughter’s Housewarming Present

Mister’s granddaughter, who I proudly claim as my granddaughter too (even though she’s actually old enough to be my daughter… Or rather, I’m young enough to be her mother. Nevermind, that’s probably a story for another day. Or not. Annnyyyyyywayyyyy). She turned 18 in November and graduated from high school shortly thereafter.  6 months early! This granddaughter is a highly motivated, independent and smart young woman. And she is taking charge of life and planning/organizing/living it well.

While we have enjoyed watching her grow up these past few years that she has lived near us, we recently had the privilege of being invited to her first “this is my own place” for a housewarming party.  And I immediately decided to make her a set of four placemats and napkins.

Placemats & Napkins

Placemats & Napkins

I only had about three days to decide on a pattern, buy fabric, and get everything made.  On Tuesday night I discovered Elizabeth Hartman’s Color Block Placemats + Napkins sew along on Sew Mama Sew.  On Wednesday we had errands to run, shopping to do, and appointments to attend to, so I all I was able to get done that day was a run to Hobby Lobby to pick up the fabrics, and then pre-wash and iron them that evening.

Hobby Lobby fabrics

Hobby Lobby fabrics

I am NOT a fan of the Hobby Lobby material.  But I did not have time to order any from my usual shops, so I had to make do.  They had some nice looking fabrics in colors that the granddaughter mentioned she liked (darker neutrals and neutrals), so I picked them up and hoped for the best.  I also found some Kona in the Sand color there, and added that to the bundle as well.  There is such an obvious difference in the quality of fabric that after I assembled the placemats I fused some Pellon SF101 to the back just to add some sturdiness to them.



The first day of sewing I was able to get all the fabrics cut, and the napkins done.  The second day I pieced the placemats, quilted them and completely finished the binding on two of them.  On the third day (the day of the party) I finished handsewing the binding to the back of the placemats.  I actually had about 4 hours to spare… which seems to be the norm for me. *sigh*  One day I’ll do better at planning ahead!

Quilting on the reverse side of the placemat.  Also, I remembered to add my personalized label!

Quilting on the reverse side of the placemat. Also, I remembered to add my personalized label!

I think the granddaughter liked the placemat/napkin set.  It looks fancier than I wanted, and I had to tell her that they were meant to be used. Hopefully she’ll use them! I actually like this pattern so much that I may make some for the house here.  I also may make them for some Christmas presents too.

Way to go, granddaughter!! We are so proud of you and so happy for you!

“Gramma C”


The Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone QAL

The first quilt completed in 2013 ends up being the last post of 2013…

My finished Broken Herringbone quilt!

My finished Broken Herringbone quilt!

This is not going to be a reflective post about all the sewing I’ve done this past year. Rather, it’s more of a “I made this quilt in 2013, didn’t have time to write about it during the holiday season and I can’t bear to start 2014 with a leftover 2013 post”. Sad, but true.

Back of the Broken Herringbone Quilt

Back of the Broken Herringbone Quilt

Gotta start by saying that this was a VERY fun quilt to make!  I was on a particular schedule to get my usual BOM’s done this year, as well as complete the Tula Pink City Sampler QAL quilt long before Christmas time. However, the ever fabulous Molli Sparkles tempted me sorely to join his Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt Along.  And I did. I threw everything aside and that ended up blowing the Tula Pink City Sampler schedule to bits. As in, I am so far behind I won’t finish the quilt as the same time as every one else. Not even close. (They’re all on blocks 96 or so. I’m at 56. Uh…yeah.)

And you know what?  It was so worth it.  I’ll get the Tula Pink quilt done, and because I didn’t get it finished in time to be a Christmas gift I’ll be keeping it.  So… BONUS!  As far as the Broken Herringbone Quilt…. LOVE.

Not as complicated as it seems!

Not as complicated as it seems!

This looked like it would be a complicated quilt. After I did two blocks I had the pattern down pat. I started the quilt off with making a rainbow of quilt blocks. I had all the ROYGBIV colors in there. Since the quilt was for Mister, I asked him to help me lay out the finished blocks to his liking. After we found a decent layout he said, “You know, the green and yellow just aren’t working for me.” (Tim Gunn much?!) Then it was decided to throw out the orange and red blocks too.

You are SO not welcome in this quilt... But I have other quilty plans for you poor rejected blocks!

You are SO not welcome in this quilt… But I have other quilty plans for you poor rejected blocks!

So I was back at the sewing table creating more of the blocks Mister did like. At that point I realized I should probably throw out the red and pink blocks and just stick with the jewel-toned colors that were left. I replaced 9 of the 16 blocks. Despite the fact that I sewed half of the blocks all over again, I agree that Mister made a great decision to just stick with jewel colors.

More jewel-toned colors!!

The quilting on this was a simple stitch-in-the-ditch around all of the white lines. Which is actually NOT as simple as it looks with this pattern. Took me four days to finish, and boy was I ever so happy to be done with quilting this quilt.

Thank goodness for 9" harp space!  All those tight  turns were challenging.

Thank goodness for 9″ harp space! All those tight turns were challenging.

And that’s my last post for 2013! I feel better about being “caught up” now. I hope you all had a wonderful 2013, and that your 2014 is amazing!