Gluttony is a Sin & a Quilting Revival

Anyone who sews (especially quilters) will tell you, “You can never have too much fabric” and I’m totally in that camp.  Unfortunately,  I’ve been somewhat manic in my sewing over the past couple of years, going from quilting, to sewing fashion garments, to machine embroidery.  While all of them might be in the same section at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s, and admittedly the skills can overlap somewhat, the fabric and notions for each are totally different.  Early in my quilting days, I bought cheap cotton fabric because I was too inexperienced to know the difference.  However, for the past many years, I’ve been a fabric snob buying only high-end when it comes to quilting cottons and I have a pretty healthy collection.  Quality fashion fabric on the other hand is OUTRAGEOUSLY priced (like $26+ a yard – and I need 3 yards for a dress) so I was buying cheaper fashion fabric at Hancock’s or JoAnn’s and adding all kinds of crap to my stash.  And worse yet?  I’d hold on to crappy scraps when I finished a garment because “I might need them”.  Really?  When?

This really came to a head when my shelves came crashing down last month due to the weight of the stuff on them.  I call it My Earthquake.  The top shelf was all tubs of fabric and scraps. 20160913_180451


And of course, what disaster wouldn’t be complete without PINS!!!  Magnet anyone?


So…if you look back at the first photo, there are tubs stuffed with fabric under the table, a pink 3-drawer behind the tubs stuffed with fabric, fabric in the 4-drawer rolling white IKEA cart under the table, and fabric on multiple shelves on the white shelving unit.  I have fabric coming OUT OF MY EARS!!  I haven’t even mentioned the closet.  Ugh.

My Earthquake happened on a Tuesday and I had to take a professional exam on Thursday that I had been studying for for months.  No kidding.  And I was staying home from work on Wednesday for final cramming.  When I saw the room Tuesday night, I literally said, “I hear you God” and calmly reached over, turned out the light, and shut the door.  I vowed to tackle it the following Saturday.  Had the room been intact, I’d of been distracted.  Needless to say, I passed!

The problem with too much of anything (except chocolate…and wine) is that after a while, creativity is stifled.  I would become paralyzed in that room due to the clutter and actually found myself staying away.  So I went through and separated my fabric into four groups:
— High Quality Quilting Fabric/Backings – Keep
— Project Fabric (totes, softies) – Keep
— Expensive fashion fabric – Keep (only 3 pieces)
— Cheap quilting/fashion fabric and long lost UFO’s/Fails – Goodwill

I ended up with two full white trash bags filled with lousy fabric…and that was just from my rolling cart under the table.  I didn’t even get to the rest of it.  I’ll do a section at a time and by the end of the month, it will be finished.  I’m a firm believer that 15 minutes at a time results in a huge reward.  And I can do anything for 15 minutes!  Thanks #Flylady !

My new blogging buddy Angie, from  has my dream set up below.  She has inspired me with her awesome organization!   The rolls of batting under her cutting table gives me chills!  Like happy dance, giddy, stupid willies. And I sooo have that book, Piece in the Hoop, 20 Quilt Projects + 40 Embroidery Designs, to make the blue embroidered chicken quilt on the end of her table.  It’s officially in the queue.  Don’t you feel at-peace just looking at this glorious room below?


My Earthquake – and Angie – have also inspired me to abandon fashion sewing.  It really isn’t my thing and I’ve realized that most of the stuff I make I’d never buy in a store.  I have a horrible time with fit and why buy $100 worth of fabric, pattern, and notions when I can buy a gorgeous dress that fits perfect for less than $50 at Dress Barn?  Alterations and repairs?  Sure.  From scratch?  Nope.  That was my mom’s gig…and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not mine.

So I’m going back to my love, Quilting.  I’m going to the show in Houston on Nov 6, 2016 hopefully to bring home a floor model Grace frame and I’ve found a vendor that can upgrade my Tin Lizzie Sit Down so she has handles and can go on the frame.  Hubs is on board to convert the 15 x 20 screened-in back patio into a fully enclosed quilting studio.  Don’t I love that man?  :)    Now what do I do with Dolly?   I guess she’d make a great Halloween decoration as a headless something-or-other.


A Safe Space for Used Rotary Blades

OK, so this is kinda gross.  But I’m the wife of a Southern man with a chewing habit.  As in dip, chew, tobacco, etc.  But hey, I married him like that so I knew what I was getting into.  At least he uses herbal (non-tobacco) pouches (not loose leaf or sand) and I force him to the dentist annually for a gum check.  So far, so good.

So what’s a Southern wife to do?  Re-purpose and re-use!  I found a fabulous use for those used round dip cans.  Used rotary blades!  I used to really fret about putting old blades in the trash and accidentally slicing my fingers to ribbons when emptying the sewing room trash basket.


So I scrounged one of hub’s old cans, cleaned it out well with hot soap and water to get rid of the wintergreen smell, and now it lives near my sewing machine!  It’s perfect for old needles and bent pins too.  These cans have tight-fitting lids so I never fear it popping open.  Once its full, I cap it and toss the whole thing.  I have a never-ending supply of them after all. 🙂



#StitchingSanta Join In!

Have you heard of this?  THIS IS AWESOME!  If you sew, and your friends and family look at your stash and say, “What is this for?” or “What do you do with that?”, then #stitchingsanta is for you.  It’s a fun gift-giving experience for sewers and those who knit or crochet.  Sheila is my blogger buddy from across the pond, (Sewchet), and she runs the linky party and manages the participants.



She explains the #stitchingsanta process like this:  “It’s a Secret Santa with a difference aimed at all the like-minded crafty folk here on the internet – YOU!

Whether you’re one of the lucky few whose family know and understand you so well that you receive endless perfect gifts based on your love of sewing/crochet/knitting or, like me, your wish list is met with a “What do you want one of those for….what is it anyway?” – #stitchingsanta is for you.

Can you imagine unwrapping a gorgeous skein of wool, a perfect metre of fabric, some vintage buttons or some embroidery silks? Perhaps a little handmade gift has been popped in the parcel too? All lovingly thought out with your interests in mind and guaranteed to be under your tree on Christmas morning. What a treat!

There are TWO categories to choose from – you can enter both or just one but PLEASE state your preference in your email. Choose from “Sewing” or “Crochet/Knitting”.

The idea is simple: if you would like to take part, email me by the deadline of 31st October and I’ll send you the details of your lucky recipient.”  Send your Category Choice, Name, and Mailing Address to


So basically, everyone who wants to participate will be paired up with a like-minded gift recipient and the gift limit is $15 (US) not including postage.  Sewchet will (try to) match those in the same country to minimize postage costs too.  All she asks, is that you blog about your participation (like I’m doing now), what you’re giving to your recipient, and what you received.  Once you get your gift recipient’s info, you’re encouraged to lurk their blog to learn about them and their interests.

I think it’s just wonderful to open a true surprise on Christmas morning so I’m all in on this.  I hope you join up too!  And who knows, you might make a new blogger friend in the process!  Win-Win!!

Easy Clips for Machine Embroidery

Need to keep fabric out of the way while in the hoop?  I bet you’ve got something in the house that will work perfectly!  Try clam clips for hair, black office binder clips, or Wonder Clips for quilting if you have them.  I prefer the clam clips because they are easy to maneuver on-the-fly if needed and can fit around a wad of fabric to keep it from slipping under the hoop.  These are especially helpful for smaller items like tiny Onesies that have to be almost flipped completely inside out to stitch.


I keep my clips, and other small sewing room items, in repurposed clear glass candle jars.  Why throw that beauty away when the candle is gone?  A half hour in the freezer easily removes all the old wax and after a run through the dishwasher, it’s ready for re-use.  I like jars with wide open tops I can get my hands in.  These are designated for my embroidery.  No gummy hair spray residue please!


Here’s the finished tee for my granddaughter.  She adores her bunny!  The design is from




New Quilting Machine Cover

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Preacher’s kids are always the worst…”  Well, here’s how I’ve been covering my sit-down quilting machine since I got it in 2014.  For shame!   20160720_184802

While surfing around YouTube, I came across a video from the Crafty Gemini where she shows how to make an easy sewing machine cover.  I figured it was about time and decided to give it a go.  I had some green fabric with lots of sewing sayings on it but I only had enough of it for the ends and top.  I needed an complimentary fabric for the side panels so  I searched around the web and discovered the green is from the Moda Bobbins and Bits line from Pat Sloan.  An Etsy search landed me at Raccoon Hollow Fabrics and I found a really cute daisy fabric from the same line so I ordered it.  The shop owner, Dee, sent me an email immediately telling me the order would ship in the morning (this was on a Sunday night mind you), and she included a complimentary 4″ strip of dots from the same line.  Perfect!  Piping! YAY  Don’t you LOVE freebies!  It’s like Christmas!  I highly recommend this shop.  The customer service was excellent and the shipping was fast.

This was kind of a patchwork job on the padding.  I only had enough fusible fleece for the end panels, the top is Pellon ShapeFlex and the sides are Pellon Flex Foam 1-Sided Fusible Stabilizer.  I got this at WalMart for $7.99 a yard and let me tell you, it quilts up BEAUTIFULLY!   I quilted it on the very machine I’m making the cover for.  The thread is  King Tut variegated Sands of Time.

To make the piping, I only had enough fabric and cording for the ends of the cover which was fine.  To get a good result when making and attaching piping, I like to use the old-school adjustable zipper foot as opposed to the one that comes with my machine.  This type of foot allows me to get right up beside the cording to make a tight seam against the rope.

I have to say, I’m thrilled with how this turned out!  It really cheers up my sewing area.  The piping added that extra pop that really brings the whole thing together, don’t you think? 🙂

I think my dog is as excited about this as I am.  She’s overcome!

(Note, there are affiliate links in this post).


Nursery Material & Other Projects

Here’s what’s keeping me busy this week.  Note: There are affiliate links in this post.(Google makes me say that.)

The nursery fabric arrived and I’m excited to get to it.  Unfortunately, I forgot to order the bumper pads so they are on their way now from Amazon.  And for some strange reason, I don’t have the pattern pieces for the bumpers or the crib skirt in the pattern envelope.  No worry, they are pretty straight forward as far as cutting rectangles to fit the bumper pads and more rectangles to create the skirt.  I normally use the Pellon from an old bed skirt as the base of the crib skirt.  I’ve got to dig around and see if I’ve got something that will work.

I found this Spice It Up kitchen embroidery design pack from Urban Threads and I absolutely loved it!  The pack has 4-5 designs and this one stitched up beautifully.  I’m very happy with how it turned out.

My DIL asked me to make her a new nursing cover for the baby due in October.  I chose a gorgeous Joel Dewberry fabric in the colors she said she liked.  I’ve never made one of these before but it was pretty easy.  This will be my go-to for baby shower gifts from now on.  Instead of boning, I chose rigilene.  It is so much easier to use and sew through. Quilt clips are the perfect tool to hold it to the fabric as it’s sewn vs. pins.

And for some reason yesterday, it occurred to me that we’re on the downhill slide to Christmas – ACK!  I had a couple of red hand towels left from last year so I whipped up the first of two I’m going to have on hand to take as hostess gifts for parties.  I wrap a bottle of wine, add a ribbon and show up with a gift!  That’s how I make sure we get invited each year. 🙂

I also started a gift for my granddaughter.  She was born on Christmas so this will be her birthday present – she will be 3.  This is from the Lil’ Red Riding Hood panel from Moda.  I saw this made up in my local quilt shop and it was so cute!  I’ll need to get a baby bed to complete the gift.
20160710_081309This was my first attempt at a stuffie and I had to reference a class I’m enrolled in on Craftsy, Fusible Applique with Wendy Gratz  where she demonstrates how to do a ladder stitch to close up a stuffing hole.  This is a fabulous class.  It contains the patterns for all the animals seen on the quilt behind her too.  And you can turn them into pillows too like that adorable bear.
Craftsy FusibleAppliqueClass

And my final make is also from Urban Threads.  I thought this Ima Little Teapot stitch out was just too adorable!  Please excuse the crosshairs on the shirt.  They have almost faded and should be completely gone in a few hours.  This too is for my granddaughter.  I washed the shirt before stitching to prevent distortion from shrinking in the wash.

So that’s it!  Hope everyone enjoys what’s left of the weekend!

New Pants – Simplicity 1069

Simplicity Pattern 1069I love the big blousy pants that are popular now.  Simplicity 1069, View A fits the bill perfectly.  It has a tie at the waist as a design element but I didn’t make that.  They fit like palazzos with a zipper up the back.

I found this fabric at Joann – it’s one of their signature fabrics and it’s a woven Rayon Challis in Ocean so it’s very flowey, drapey, extremely soft and loose.  A perfect lightweight fabric for the hot and humid summers here in South Texas.  I love this paisley print.  It’s hard to see here but the background is a rich deep blue and the paisley is a beautiful teal. A rotary cutter was a must with this fabric because it would shift just by looking at it!

I added one of my old labels.  Oh, I just ordered new ones from Dutch Label Shop.  If you order some, use coupon code girlsinthegarden (all one word lower case) by 23 July 16 for 15% off. They have a really cool interface to help you design your labels.

This pattern turned out so comfy and pretty!  I’ve already worn them to work a couple of times.

I also made a pair of shorts, View C using Gertie’s Strawberries in rayon challis too!  Love them!  Just hanging loose at our coast house!