Embroidered Clutch and Vegan Food At O’Hare

Embroidered clutch

I just whipped up this little clutch this weekend. The textured effect is from using Inspira Fabric Magic Stabilizer. Once the embroidery is done, hit it with some steam with your iron and the Fabric Magic shrinks 30%, giving the texture. The lines of sewing stitches were brought into embroidery and all stitched out in the hoop before steaming the bag.

Inside of clutch with magnetic snap

I added Inspira In-r-form to give shape and form to the body of the clutch.

Vegan Travel

Lunch at O’Hare

On my way to SD recently I had a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Airports are a bit challenging for the vegan traveler. I was flying on United so that tells you which part of the airport I searched for something for lunch. I finally found Cibo Express . I purchased a hummus and veggie sandwich with a side of hummus and veggies. Comical right? My experience with hummus sandwiches is that most places smear it on thinly like butter and that’s just not enough for me. Great Barrington Bagel where I live is the exception. They are not stingy with the hummus and consequently make a good hummus sandwich. But back to Cibo Express and my sandwich there. True to form the hummus was just a sad smear but the bread was fresh and there was about 2″ of veggies. It was just right with the addition of the extra hummus.

Quilt As You Go Kitchen Mitts

                        Quilt as you go double oven glove

How To Design Your Own Quilt Blocks For Machine Embroidery with Quilt As You Go Method. Part 1

This is obviously one of the oddest looking oven mitts right? Well it is designed to loop over your oven handle when “resting” and your hands are slipped into the gloves on either end when in use.

double kitchen mitt
Double kitchen mitt hanging on stove.

This mitt was designed by me starting with  Premier +2 digitizing software  for machine embroidery. I used the Quilt Block Assistant wizard which really made the process easy.  I then machine embroidered each block using a quilt as you go method by putting the batting and backing  in the hoop before embroidering. After that I added the sashing and borders and made the mitts and attached them.

My next post will be on how to use the Quilt Block Assistant. Stay tuned…

Handmade Handbag Obsession

Red bag that my daughter Morgan snagged and the green bag I kept.

Fall bucket bag I made for myself

Toiletry bag I made as a gift

I recently went through a bag making obsession that lasted about 18 months. I read bagmaking posts on Facebook groups, took related Craftsy classes and joined the Bag of the Month Club and made bags along with the group and a local friend. That obsession has passed but I thought I would post some of my bags while I still have some of the photos.



Currently I am finishing up the BurdaStyle Certified Sewing  Teacher Course.    So far the assignments have not been so "photographically" interesting, but I have some ideas for the next assignment that hopefully will be worth posting.

My current favorite. The passage is a quote from Psalms. "Clean hands and a pure heart." The mother in me resonates with that simple philosophy.

Taupe Vegan Leather Bag I made for my daughter Shayna

Embroidered bag

taupe vegan leather bag
Another taupe bag that I made for my daughter Morgan

canvas messenger bag
Front of Messenger Bag

messenger bag
Messenger bag I made for my son, Jake

Vogue 9212 Jacket Pattern Review Pt. 2


This is the finished jacket. As I cut out the individual pieces, I machine embroidered the designs. Kind of says gypsy carnival barker to me, but I like it. My husband said I should make one for him  and we can recreate Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I think not.

The tricky parts were:

-the 90 ° turn at the collar

-I did a floating hem and it was time consuming and took some finagling with the back because of the way that part falls


-the front hem also was a bit of a struggle to get it to hang right and not stick out at right angles from my hips-not an attractive look. I would suggest, if at all possible, to have someone pin the hem while you are wearing it.

Vogue 9212 Jacket Pattern Review

I recently made this pattern. I cut out my size and I ironed on thin interfacing to the back of the pattern as I don’t really like working with the usual tissue paper.

I buy the interfacing by the bolt when I have a 50% coupon from Joanns. I like taking the time to do this for a few reasons:
1) no pattern pieces skittering across the room with the slightest breeze
2) the interfacing sort of grips the fabric you are cutting a bit and less pins are needed
3) without a doubt increases the lifespan of the pattern without having to trace everything including markings
4) I like to mark the seam allowance and pin the pattern together to check on fit before I cut anything if it is a casual garment and I’m not willing to put in the time to do a muslin first.

After pining the pattern together at the seam allowance I realized that I needed to take 1/2″ off of the shoulder seams and add 1″ at the waist area to make it longer since I have a long torso. I usually have to add at least 1″ in the sleeve area but with this pattern I didn’t need to make any adjustments there. I added 1″ to the hem of the lining since I had read on Pattern Review that there were issues in that area.

Part 2 to come soon and it will complete this review with a picture of the finished jacket.

New Tote

PC Barbie
Not exactly the Barbie I had.

This is a picture of a new tote that I recently sewed for a Martha Pullen class. I learned to sew a million years ago. I started out with clothes for my Barbie doll. If that doesn’t date me then you are either really old and or a lot younger than me.

I moved away from sewing while establishing my career and having my 4 children. As the kids got more independent I dabbled in other crafts but have come back to my first love-fabric and all one can do with it. When I sit down at my sewing machine, I smile to myself and probably make a little happy sigh.

I have recently decided that I may some day want to share my love of sewing by doing some teaching. I have taken at least a dozen Craftsy classes and taken classes at various sewing expos but no other formal, structured classes since those I had to take in junior high school. By the way, I highly recommend Craftsy. The classes are always available online so once you purchase a class, you can view it over and over again. You can set bookmarks for that pesky technique that you always forget how to do and go right to it whenever you need a reminder.

In addition to the above, I decided to try to find a course on teaching sewing. There are a few online, which with my schedule is what works best. I signed up and I completed Martha Pullen’s Teaching Beginning Sewing Class.  The bag is  kinda retro right? I will be doing the BurdaStyle Teaching Certification Course in about 3 weeks. I can’t wait to get started.

I sewed this on a domestic machine and since it is vinyl, it took some finessing. The handle instructions would produce a nice looking strap but it would be 4 thicknesses of vinyl which my domestic would not have rocked and rolled over in an uniform fashion. I decided to use quilting cotton (matching the lining) and vinyl to make the straps thinner.

Strap Instructions/Hints


I first pressed a seam down the middle of the length of the cotton to mark for later. I then drew a line down the middle of the length of the wrong side of the vinyl (red line in picture)and then sewed the 2 strips right sides together (vinyl and cotton).


ThenI folded and pressed the unsewn edge of the cotton to the cotton fold line.


I used wonder clips to fold the vinyl to the red marked line on the vinyl and then brought that (newly folded) vinyl to meet the cotton. I would suggest doing the topstitching with the vinyl side up so you can keep an eye on your stitch line and use the appropriate foot for your machine for vinyl and the correct tension settings. My Viking Designer Deluxe has an automatic setting for vinyl and a teflon foot.



At this point the strap still seemed a bit thick to do even topstitching once the strap was sandwiched in between the outer vinyl and the drop in cotton lining. I decided to not chance doing wonky stitches in the vinyl and used rivets instead to neatly attach the handles. I think it looks better and is also more stable.

Of course my mystery quilt is languishing now-about 3/4s quilted. Quilt guilt! I need to get back and get that done but it was nice to take a break and work on these quick projects. ​​

Random interesting links I’ve recently visited:

DIY Quilt Design Wall Tutorial-


Well written and very funny description of quilters from a quilter’s husband-

Mystery Quilt

I have a couple of sewing friends (friends that share my love of sewing). We decided to try our hand at making a mystery quilt. For those of you, not in the know with quilt jargon, a mystery quilt is one where the pattern maker walks you through constructing a quilt, block by block, and what the finished product looks like remains hidden until the final reveal at the end. Since I did not know if I would like said mystery quilt, I used only fabrics from my stash. Which I feel worked out well. However the pattern I chose was for a double/queen size. I just ran with that not looking at the actual dimensions. Sigh. 64 X 64″ on our queen bed looks like a tiny yarmulke on a big man’s head-like you know it has some significance but adding warmth to the head is certainly not happening. I then started to cook up ideas to add both width and length.

quilt border
Mystery Quilt border with embroidery

I decided to do a turquoise strip and a lime green. Then I made some flying geese and alternated them to form this effect which reminds me of a big ribbon. Then another lime green and a turquoise strip.
Today’s task is to get it pin basted to the batting and backing. I got it about 3/4 done and ran out of safety pins. Even though I have about 3000 of them. Another sigh. We live in a small town, we have no quilt shop and our only department store recently went out of business. Maybe the grocery store?
Addendum-The picture above was taken after basting and doing some decorative stitches with size 12 thread.

My First Appliquéd Quilt

Last March I went to the MQX (quilting) expo in Manchester NH. This is an event where thousands of middle aged women and 3 men attend classes on every facet of quilting. Ok, there were maybe 5 men and a few lost husbands wandering around. I took 2 classes from Mark Sherman-one of the 5 men. One of the classes was on making “stained glass” quilts. Mark is a big fan of Louis Tiffany and he has made some incredibly beautiful quilts. The above is the end product from that class (many hours later). Below is the picture that inspired the quilt. This was my first experience doing an appliquéd quilt. I had done reverse appliqué on a coat (ala Alabama Chanin).

Mark is a great teacher. He is warm, funny, and very generous in sharing his knowledge. If you get a chance don’t hesitate to sign up for one of his classes.


-Apliquick-fabric turning video-Applique tool tutorial

-machine applique tutorial- machine applique tutorial

-machine applique video-machine applique video