I call this quilt my masterpiece. If you look closely you’ll see all the hand quilting. It’s queen sized and I made it mainly to go crazy with quilting. The actual quilting is my favorite part about the process. I can work on a machine but hand work is more relaxing.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to hand quilt on this level again. I’ve been a quilter since I was 9 years old. It’s one of the few things I do solely for myself. No one tells me when to start stop or how much to spend. It’s mine for me. I was so proud to have quilted this quilt with a #10 quilting needle. They’re less than an inch long and and finer than silk pins.

Interestingly I was making a baby quilt four years ago when I first started having eye problems. So much so I couldn’t finish the quilt. Don’t know why I didn’t immediately go to the eye doctor. It wasn’t until I couldn’t see to drive that I finally went.

Funny thing is I always thought it would be arthritis in my hands that would end quilting for me. Despite being near-sighted as hell it never occurred to me that yes, things could get worse.

I’ve been looking at this really sweet Brother quilting machine. It’s kind of spendy (what’s new, eh?) but if it can get me my groove back I’m definitely going to get it.

I’m mad depressed right now and dying to quilt. I can’t wait until this whole surgery thing is over. It’s good to have something to look forward to.

Bohemian Chairs

IMG_0084.JPGMy mother-in-law gave us a pair of chairs. They’re Eastlake and quite lovely, but the needlepoint seats were not our style. I was at World Market yesterday and saw these 2×3’ rugs and realized they’d make a great cover. They cost about $15 and one was enough to cover both chairs. I think I’m going to buy some more to make throw pillows. Just remember to cut them as little as possible—they fall apart easily. I stay-stitched along the edges before I cut it. I think I’ll make some big throw pillows and not cut those at all. I love the texture and colors, and the fact that they’re cheap.

New Tie


Hellboy #2 is going to be Julian Bond in the school’s Black History Month program. I thought this costume would be easy-peasy for once. Not so much. Finding little boy ties is like finding hen’s teeth. Astonishing this close to Easter. I found some at Macy’s but they were $15 a piece! Given a better than 80% likelihood that said tie would NOT make it home, I decided to make it myself. Not bad, I’d say, especially for a first attempt. It took all of 20 minutes and probably would’ve taken less if I’d had the right kind of elastic.

Tiny Grocery Bags

IMG_4982.JPGKell got an awesome toy kitchen for Christmas and a shopping cart (Got the deal of a lifetime y’all at an online yard sale site. Toy kitchens are expensive, but you can usually score one at a yard sale. (I belong to several sites on Facebook for buying and selling stuff locally. I sold all of Kell’s baby stuff on one.) If all the groceries are gone, you can get those on Amazon and they’re not crazy expensive. Fortunately, the one I got still had the pots, pans, and fruits and veggies. I went to the dollar store and got him some more bowls and measuring spoons).

He loves his kitchen like damn and whoa, but as he pointed out, there were no shopping bags! He’s my official grocery bag toter when we go to the store, so he was quite put out about this. With some quick googling I discovered they don’t really exist! (I’m stunned grocery stores have missed out on this marketing opportunity, you know, get them while they’re young and all, but whatever.)

I checked Pinterest and found some really easy directions and we were off to the races. I made the red one first, then Kell pointed out that we needed a green one too since we shop at both Target and Publix.

I just used some scrap felt I had, if you’re buying, an 1/8 of a yard or a fat quarter is plenty, but check your scraps first. I think these would be really cute made with mismatched fabrics for a scrappy look, and I’m thinking of something I can put in them for party favors, since they’re so easy and cheap to make. Kids love little bags to tote their stuff around in, so even if they don’t have a kitchen they could use it for matchbox cars or little dolls. They’re about 5” wide by 7” tall, so just the right size for little hands.

I prefer wool felt, which can be pricey, but it looks nicer and holds up better. Obviously, any felt or heavy fabric would work. I think felt is cool too because you don’t have to hem it, but if I’d used canvas or denim I would’ve used my pinking shears to keep the edges from fraying. Fray check would work too, but I’m not sure about the chemicals in it, and I know from experience that pretty much anything will wind up in a kid’s mouth.

It probably took me fifteen minutes tops, and they’re so cute! Wish I had some type of printer to put logos on them, but maybe I’ll figure that out later.

See What Happens When…


…You spend WAY too much time on Erica Bunker’s blog? Erica loves herself an exposed zipper, and now I do too. My mama, who spent forever teaching me how to insert an invisible zipper, would be horrified. I loved this fabric when I saw the cute little top Erica made on her blog. But I really need some summer skirts. (Yeah I know in the rest of the universe it’s almost fall, but here in Georgia summer lasts for nine months more or less. Anyway, I made a simple little A-line skirt, and I wanted it to be a bit more edgy, so I did the exposed zipper. Then I saw this skirt at Anthropologie, and loved the way the zipper is all fancy. (I probably would’ve bought the skirt, but do you see how short that thing is? I’m a little long in the tooth to wear a skirt that short, thought I might copy it at some point.) They sell those fancy zipper at Joann, but I’d already bought this zipper, and I have a ton of scrap lace and such so I just added it. I really like it a lot. It’s funny, I’ve never been much of a fashion sewist, but with my time so limited these days I like being able to finish a project in a weekend. And having something I can wear is an added bonus. I’ll take pictures when I finally wear the skirt, but my iron died last night and I need to give it a good pressing first.

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Totally Rad Skirt

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During my daily visit to the Anthropologie site I came across this skirt. Isn’t it unbelievably gorgeous? And like most things at Anthro, insanely priced at $148. Even so, I probably would’ve bought it anyway, but the damned thing doesn’t come in an XL. After looking at it closely I realized it’s simply an A-line skirt which even with my limited sewing skills I can whip up pretty easily. Of course, the fabric is what makes it and I assumed it would cost $30 a yard. Which would make making it cost-prohibitive.


Imagine my amazement when I came across this fabric at Fabric.com. And it’s only $13 a yard!!! Even buying four yards is less than $60 and I already have a pattern. Plus drafting an A-line is insanely easy, it’s only three pieces a waistband and a zipper. I will have to line it, and I haven’t done that since school but it should be okay.

I have no idea why all of a sudden I can’t stop making clothes. I made a maxi dress off Mimi’s site and I made a faux wrap blouse. I’m still not happy with the blouse. I loved the fabric before a cotton jersey, but I think for work I need a dressier knit. I also made a dirndl skirt out of some wonderful chiffon I bought last year. I plan to make a knock off DVF wrap dress out of some knock-off Missoni I bought last week. Inspired by the fabulous Erica B., of course.


I don’t really have a place to sew aside for my dining room and that’s annoying when you have a toddler, but I’ve almost got him trained to keep his paws off my sewing machine, so it’s all good. My game plan is to master several fave patterns, a wrap dress, a faux wrap blouse and really well-fitting pair of pants and use those to build myself a wardrobe of stuff I love. I have never mastered pants, my mama ruined me in that respect because she was an absolute master of pants fitting. I believe with some patience though, I can get there.

DIY Boy’s Colonial Costume

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For reasons I don’t even begin to understand, it’s almost impossible to find boy sewing patterns. It was Colonial Day at Luke’s school and he needed a Colonial boy costume. Normally I wouldn’t have heard about this until the day before, but for some reason this time I had advance notice. So I began looking around the internet for the makings for said costume. Well the pickings were very slim, though I did laugh my southern ass off at this blogger. I don’t know what that school was thinking expecting costumes in April. April? By April of a school year my kids are lucky if they’re fed and bathed.

I got most of my ideas from this blogger. Luke had a pair of pants that were worn through at the knee so I cut them off and made knickers per her instructions. I also did the shirt as well. I was lucky to find a tuxedo shirt at the thrift store and I just cut the cuffs off and put elastic in the sleeves. I didn’t like her idea of making a vest out of a t-shirt. Originally I had planned to just buy some fleece and make a vest from this pattern I got from this blogger. I’ve used the pattern a lot, and probably would’ve just made it longer and sewed on some buttons to make it fancy. Fleece is very forgiving and there’s no hemming involved. But since I had some time I decided to cut down a sports coat to make a vest. I liked this idea because Luke has at least one more year to wear the costume, and of course, I can use the same with Kell. This is the jacket I started with. I got it in the smallest size I could find at the thrift store.

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Using the Frontier vest pattern, I traced the Frontier vest pattern on my sports coat.

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As you can see here.

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Then I cut it out.

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Now here’s where things got tricky. Initially I’d hoped to find a nice heavy weight wool that I could just rip the lining out of, but my thrift store is kind of lame, so I had to settle for this one. The fabric was really too flimsy to take the lining out, so I had to deal with the neckline and the armholes. I folded the raw edges under and topstitched them on the machine. If it had been a real jacket instead of a costume, I probably would’ve done this by hand using a blind hemstitch. But for a costume, all that hand sewing was unnecessary.

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I had to fuss a bit with the lapels, so the project took longer than I’d initially anticipated, eventually I just tacked them down with a few hand stitches to keep them in place. His socks were not long enough, next year when I do the pants I’ll make them longer. It was impossible to find longer socks, and I ran out of time because the baby got sick. What do y’all think?