Havana Nights

Oh, alterations: the sewing task we all love to hate. Very seldom, when the dress fits perfectly after a few simple adjustments, I’m happy with my work. More often, I have to readjust two or three times. And yes, I measure. But achieving the perfect fit is never easy. Still, when Eliza said she had…

Patchwork Shoe Laces

Converse shoes are my sister Margie’s signature look. She owns several colors and designs–my favorite pair is a canvas banana print. When I saw this tutorial, I knew  she’d give the patchwork shoe laces a chance. I used a bias tape maker, because it’s faster, but if you don’t have one, the technique shown in…

Window to My World

My abuela had a saying for these situations: “Pica y se extiende.” Loosely translated, this means, the situation just gets worse. Simply put, “It’s complicated”–and will become even more so. Last October, the runner between my stove and sink was looking a little rough. I was hosting Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t it be nice to spruce up…

Zip-a-dee-do-dah

Happy new year, friends! This year, my Christmas gift project was monogrammed zipper pouches. Working assembly-line fashion, I completed groups of 3 or 4 bags at a time.   Of course, you don’t have to add monograms, but I had a lot of fun playing with the monogram features of my Elna 860. And while…

Tahoe Tote

This very cute Tahoe Tote, modeled by the even cuter Samantha, actually belongs to her mom Jackie. While the quilted design is certainly attractive, I think the nicest thing about this tote is hidden–literally. The extra fleece interfacing and Dacor Bond bottom panel provide enough support for this gem to stand on its own. After…

Derby Day

You should always arrive at your in-laws’ with gifts in hand. If your in-laws are in Kentucky, and the Derby is next week, then the theme of your gifts should be obvious. I found these Kentucky Derby coordinating fabtics at Jo Ann in The Woodlands, TX.  (I’d think other stores would have them in stock…

Diva Wallets

Last spring, The Quilters Studio offered a class called “Diva Wallet.” I love small projects, so they had me at “Fabric needed: two fat quarters.” The wallet on display was made of a fish print, in bright blues and greens. When open, it had two pockets, with slots for six credit cards on one side and a small…

Pillow Talk

I’ve often found that a king size comforter works quite nicely on a queen size bed. When Emily bought a new bed last fall, she chose a king size spread. Unfortunately, it was packaged as a set, with two king size shams, and her pillows were standard.  Something had to be done. After all, that…

If You Sew It, They Will Come

  Among our extended family of 34 people, my mom definitely had the best Christmas last year.  If she can host a minimum of 3 dinners during Christmas week with at least 15 people at her table, she’s a happy woman. Of course, I came in second, because Santa brought me an  Elna 860!   (For…

Patchwork Apron

  While playing around with patchwork, I envisioned an apron.  I’d been playing around with triangles, with no particular rhyme or reason. Digging around in my stash, I decided to see what I could do with triangles. After putting together several squares, I thought they’d make an interesting border for an apron.  I lined another…

The Unkindest Cut

    I despise cutting, just as much as I love sewing.  No hands ever held scissors or rotary cutter with less skill. That’s right–I wrote “hands,” as in both of mine. You see, although I hold my scissors with my left hand, I hold my rotary cutter with my right.  Sure, I can pin…

Just for Me

  In my ever-more-stuffed sewing cabinet, I had some fabric that matched the curtains in my sewing studio.  (And yes, I’d forgotten all about that fabric! It happens.)  I decided it was time to make something just for me. Although my Ikea chairs are ergonomically designed and very comfortable for the hours I spend at…