Category Archives: Sewing

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!

TUTORIAL: Convert Your Ironing Board to a Pressing Board

Make Your Own Pressing Board!

Make Your Own Pressing Board!

Last week I decided that I had enough of struggling with ironing my quilt top or my quilt backing or my quilt batting on my ironing board. That pointy end that is great for ironing clothes? Not. Designed. For. A. Quilter. The soft, squishy top of the ironing board? Not. Designed. For. A. Quilter. So, I talked to Mister about an idea I had to convert it to a pressing board instead. He said it would work, and off to the hardware store we went!

I figured I would write up a brief tutorial about our process in case anyone else is interested. After running around getting all of our supplies, it took about an hour and a half to put together. If you decide to do this, please let me know! You can find me on Instagram and I’d LOVE it if you tagged me in a picture there so I can see your new pressing board!

Convert Your Ironing Board To A Pressing Board

Supplies Needed:



1. Metal Ironing Board Frame

2. Piece of wood cut large enough to fit. This one is 16″ wide x 56″ long. You can use OSB, or any type of flat wood that has not been chemically treated. Be sure it is not warped, and that it doesn’t have any knots along the edges. We found a piece of 3/4″ thick Fir that was 16″ by 6 feet long at the Hardware store. After measuring my ironing board, he used a Skill Saw to cut it to 16″ wide by 56″ long.  If you aren’t handy, don’t have a handy-person around or a Skill saw, typically the Hardware stores WILL cut the wood to size for you… For free! Just ask them.

3. Cotton Canvas and 100% Cotton Batting cut 2″ larger on all sides than your wood piece. My board was cut to 16″ wide by 56″ long, so I cut my fabric and batting pieces to 20″ wide by 60″ long. You want to be sure to use only natural fibers here, NOT synthetic.  You don’t want to melt your fibers with your iron, and your pressing board will be having to withstand high temperatures.  I used Warm & Natural for my batting.

4. Four 1/4-20 1.5″ countersunk machine screws with matching washers and nuts.  We used machine screws because the ironing board was metal.  You can use ANY type of bolt/washer/nut combination that fits.  Just be sure that you countersink them so that the screw head is even with the board.

5. Drill, drill bit & countersink bit (if you have no countersink bit, you can use a much larger drill bit to perform the same function… carefully)

6. Staple gun and Hammer (for getting those pesky staples that don’t seat properly)

Optional (for rounding corners of pressing board):

7. Round template (we used a peanut jar lid!) and pencil.

8. Jigsaw or handsaw

9. Palm sander or sandpaper


Cut and shape the board

Cut and shape the board

  • Cut board to size or have hardware store cut board for you.
  • Optional: Use round template to mark corners of board.
  • Use jigsaw or a hand saw of some sort to cut corners. This part does not have to be perfect! Don’t stress, just round the corner!
  • Use palm sander or sand paper to smooth edges.
Mark & Drill holes

Mark & Drill holes

  • Lay your ironing board frame on the wood piece and mark the holes on the bottom of the board (the side that wil be against the metal ironing board frame).
  • Use your drill and a drill bit that corresponds with your screw size (our bit was 1/4″) and drill the holes.
  • Flip the wood over to the top side, and find the holes you drilled. Use your countersink bit, or a larger bit (a half inch bit in our case) and ream out the top of the hole.  This will help your countersink screw to stay even with the wood.  BE SURE YOU ARE REAMING OUT THE TOP SIDE OF THE BOARD, not the bottom!!
  • Screw the screws into the wood.  OPTIONAL: Put a little glue on the screw before screwing in. This helps to hold the screw when you tighten the nut on it later.
Optional: Add some glue to the screw

Optional: Add some glue to the screw

Cover the Board

Cover the Board

  • If you haven’t cut your fabric and batting, do so now.  Remember: 2″ larger than your board on each side; 4″ total to length and width. My board was cut to 16″ wide by 56″ long, so my fabric/batting was cut to 20″ wide by 60″ long.
  • OPTIONAL: You may serge or zig zag the edges of your fabric if you wish.  I didn’t think that was necessary.  If the fabric ends up fraying later, I will put some fray check on it, but I don’t think that will happen.
  • Lay your fabric wrong side up.  Put batting on top of the fabric, and then lay the wood top side down on top of your fabric. The screws should be sticking out of the wood facing you. If your fabric is directional, be sure the fabric is going in the direction you want!
  • Start by stapling the fabric and batting down in the middle of each end and side.  Then do the corners.  Add additional staples along the sides and ends as necessary to keep the fabric taut.
  • Use the hammer to seat any staples that don’t sit flush with the wood.
Assemble board and frame

Assemble board and frame

  • Lay the wood face down and put the board frame on it, being sure to put the screws in the same holes you used to mark the board.
  • Add a washer and nut and tighten over each screw.
  • Stand back and admire your work!

I hope you liked this tutorial and found it helpful!  If I made anything unclear, or if you have any questions please leave a comment and I’ll address it as soon as possible!

Tuesday : Sew Wonderful!

What a spectacular week!!!

I finished the secret quilt, and I can’t say much about it here now. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know what it looks like (from afar-ish). Don’t worry, I took lots of pictures and will be blogging about it in a week or two!

Also, Mister and I celebrated our third Anniversary this past week. I’ve been hinting at a stitching project that has kept me busy every evening, and if you’ve seen my Instagram feed you’ll know that I was working on one of his Anniversary presents. A Love Heart cross stitch pattern from CrossStitcher magazine’s May 2014 issue. This chart can now be found as a digital download at Stitchrovia’s Etsy Shop.

A Cross Stitched gift for Mister

A Cross Stitched gift for Mister

This was my first time cross stitching, and I absolutely love it! I was planning on doing Quilty Stitches over the summer as a way to keep me from going through withdrawals from sewing and quilting. I sort of stumbled across the Love Heart pattern about a month ago when I was looking for other possible patterns I might want to do. So glad I dove into this and got it done. Mister absolutely loves it! Stitched on 14 count white aida, two threads over 1 square. I converted the floss colors from the pinks in the chart to these blues. I used DMC #3756, #3765, and #3766. I kept the same grey that was called for in the chart, DMC #318.

For our anniversary Mister completely surprised me with a Singer 221 Featherweight he found on eBay. He knew I have really been wanting one… I have been looking high and low for one at a reasonable (to me) price. I told him about a month or two ago that I was done looking. I decided that if it was meant to be for me to have a Featherweight, then I would run across it when the time was right. Apparently he took up my mission, and jauntily plopped one in front of me on the morning of our Anniversary while I was making coffee. Not sure if you heard a “squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” wherever you live on the morning of May 7th. If you did… Uh… Yeah. That was me.

An anniversary present from Mister. He's a keeper!

An anniversary present from Mister. He’s a keeper!

She’s a really great little machine. I was having a hard time naming her. “Helen” kept coming to mind, but I wasn’t really crazy about that. I looked up popular girl names from 1948 (my machine’s birth date), but didn’t find any I liked. I just felt there needed to be a story behind the naming. While lamenting my dilemma, Mister gently asked, “Do you think you would consider my Aunt Maye’s name?” His Aunt Maye meant the world to him. He loved her dearly, and we’re both sad that I never had the chance to meet her. I told him that “Maye” was the PERFECT name! The machine was from Mister, born the same year as Mister, and is named for his favorite Aunt. Perfect!

[Side note: I named my Brother PQ1500S Nouvelle machine “Ellie”. So now I have two machines that when you put both names together are “Ellie Maye”. I can not help but snort-laugh at that.]

Meet Maye! She makes my fabric look pretty!

Meet Maye! She makes my fabric look pretty!

Maye runs GREAT. She’s got pin scratches, and a some scrapes and dings in the paint. Some wearing on the decal, but not much. Whoever had her before put a crapload of new grease onto old grease though, so that was a PITA to clean up. Sometimes she wouldn’t start unless you turned the balance wheel. So I bought her a new belt and now she whizzes right along. We oiled her, lubricated the motor, got a new felt pad (stinky!!), and today I washed her (according to David McCallum’s The Featherweight 221 and I book), and gave her a waxing. She looks so pretty, and runs beautifully. LOVE. HER.

Not only did I have the excitement of a quilt finish this week, along with a spectacular anniversary, I completed all of my pre-summer sewing as of Sunday! I mailed out the May, June, and July Modern InstaBee blocks yesterday (Monday). I am so thankful for understanding hive-mates who were willing to decide on their block and fabric colors months early so that I could get their block out to them before my summer commitments arrived (as I would not have access to my sewing machines). Now that worry is no longer a stress for me! *Whew*

May Modern InstaBee Block

May Modern InstaBee Block

June Modern InstaBee Block

June Modern InstaBee Block

July Modern InstaBee Block

July Modern InstaBee Block

I also got a little unexpected sewing in this week. I bought the awesome “Holy Shit Balls Sewing’s Awesome” zippered pouch from Form & Fabric. It’s a huge pouch, but it wasn’t tall enough to hold my large Q-snap hoop. Since I am using this pouch for my cross stitch supplies, I bought some black vinyl from Hobby Lobby and added a 3.5″ finished bottom to it. I even pulled out my serger (whose name happens to be Speedy Gonzales) to make all the edges nice inside. It’s WAY cool.



This is going to be my last To-Do Tuesday post until August. I’ll be taking a break for the summer months, but I still will be writing blog posts throughout the summer. Feel free to keep using the To-Do Tuesday icon if you would like to! I’ll definitely be keeping up with your happenings when I get back to my regular blog reading in two weeks!

I’ve been in such a crunch lately to get things accomplished that I have not had time to devote to blog writing or reading blogs. I have spent minimal time interacting with anyone via Instagram. I feel a bit selfish with my Instagram-post-and-run habit of late. I will get back to my normal interactions in about two weeks! The one thing I love about quilty/sewing people is they totally understand when you have to duck and get. stuff. done.

This weeks list:

  • SPRING CLEANING! Totally late, and SO much to do. I’ll have shriveled “comet-fingers” for the next 5 days and smell like a combination of bleach and lemon furniture polish
  • Celebrate oldest daughter’s 18th birthday and High School graduation.
  • Make fall Doctor appointments for me and youngest two kids.
  • Do NOT forget Ortho Appt. for Kid #2!!

After Summer List:

  • Make Tula Pink’s Moxie Quilt along with Sarah of Georgia Girl Quilts
  • Make the Skillbuilder Scrap Jar & Pincushion blocks. Quilt.
  • Design VQR Quilt back
  • Continue working on the How-To/Tips page for the Brother PQ-1500S
  • Make the April Sugar Block Club block
  • Make the May Sugar Block Club block
  • Make February Bag of the Month
  • Make March Bag of the Month
  • Make April Bag of the Month
  • Make the Go-Go Bag for Callie
  • Decide on Christmas sewing gift list and make a plan for completing projects by mid-November.

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up using InLinkz linky below.


  1. Link up your To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky (below). The link up is open all week!
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment!
  3. Please feel free to grab the blog button to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday!

That’s it! Now let’s get sewing… or whatever there is to do on your list!

Red's Needles & Threads
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SEWjo Saturday | Vintage Quilt Revival blocks

This past week has been spring break, which means the kids have been with their dad for over a week. It’s just me and the Mister hanging around the house.

We’ve had a busy week, working on things that have needed to get done on cars and such. I’ve also been able to work on getting last week and this weeks Vintage Quilt Revival blocks done. I finished the last one up today and am officially caught up. Tuesday will be our last two blocks, and then it’s time to assemble them into a top. Yay!!

Week 8 Blocks:

Vintage Quilt Revival Cross and Crown

Vintage Quilt Revival
Cross and Crown

Vintage Quilt Revival Double Pinwheel

Vintage Quilt Revival
Double Pinwheel

I am truly enjoying these paper pieced blocks.  I was actually a little disappointed to realize I had to make blocks with HST’s for week 9!

Week 9 Blocks:

VIntage Quilt Revival Star and Pinwheel

VIntage Quilt Revival
Star and Pinwheel

Vintage Quilt Revival Mosaic No 8

Vintage Quilt Revival
Mosaic No 8

I’m linking up with Kim at My Go-Go Life for SEWjo Saturday.

SEWJo Saturday

I’m also linking up my VQR blocks with Sukie–Don’t you know who I am? for Week 9.

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along