Final Issue of #DIME Magazine

One of my YouTube viewers sent me an email that contained an image of a page out of Designs In Machine Embroidery (DIME) magazine stating that this would be the last issue of the magazine. I get the digital version and hadn’t seen it yet.

My emotions went from “This is a scam!” to “Nooo!” to “Aww dang, I love that magazine,” and then finally to embarrassment. Why embarrassment? Because just this past summer, I held an Embroider-Along on my YouTube channel for a table runner that was a project showcased in the magazine. When I requested permission from the magazine to do this, the editor of DIME, Eileen Roche, gave her permission and also offered my viewers a 2-years-for-the-price-of-1 subscription. So throughout the month of July 2019, I urged viewers to subscribe. And now this.

My husband told me not to take it personally. He said, “It’s out of your control, it’s not your fault, so don’t worry about it.” Yes, that’s true but… Anyone who watches me on a regular basis knows that I frequently recommend products to my viewers. Some of these products are provided to me by companies for my honest review and some are not. If I don’t think the product is worth it, it goes unmentioned. However, if I recommend a product, it’s something that I own/use/adore/can’t do without, etc. DIME Magazine was part of this group as I have been a subscriber of the magazine since circa 2010. It may be due to vanity, but I believe that my viewers trust what I recommend to them and they wouldn’t have parted with their hard-earned cash unless I told them it was worth it. Money doesn’t grow on trees. As I struggled with it, he said, “It’s not about you.” That’s difficult for me when I’ve built a relationship with my viewers.

So what’s a girl to do? Why, validate the news of course. I promptly wrote to DIME to confirm the information. My email was forwarded to Eileen Roche and she personally sent a reply to me. Here it is.

Hello Becky,
Kayla sent me your email expressing your concern about the magazine.

I spoke in length about this on FaceBook Live today, you can watch it there.  Although the magazine appeared very healthy up to its last print issue, it is not financially feasible to continue to print.  We are making sound business decisions and will continue to grow. Our competitor, CME, filed bankruptcy last spring. Their readers received NOTHING for their remaining issues.  Family Circle ceased printing after 87 years.  Newsweek vanished several years ago.  A visit to any Joann’s store tells the story – the magazine newsstand is no longer anywhere to be found.  The publishing industry is in vast decline, this is not something we caused. 
I appreciate your concern regarding your viewers.  They will not lose faith in you as this is totally out of your control and being handled professionally. As the founding editor of DIME, I can tell you I did not make this decision lightly – I have spent all of my 20+ year career making machine embroidery easier and more enjoyable for the embroidery enthusiast and I plan on continuing to do just that.

Eileen Roche
Designs in Machine Embroidery

I read the email to my husband and he said, “See? I told you this was out of your control.” It’s funny (‘odd’ funny, not ‘ha-ha’ funny) that both he and Eileen used the same language. Still that did nothing to remove the odd pit in my stomach about some of my viewers possibly feeling misled by me. However, I do have to give kudos to Eileen to offer a gift certificate to the DIME shop for the remainder of readers’ subscriptions. Most magazines aren’t so charitable.

For those who may feel misled, know that I too am in the same boat with my viewers who subscribed. I paid for my subscription as well and was not provided the magazine for free to promote it. (Heavy sigh) Emotionally, I’m back to, “Dang, I loved that magazine.” The world is a-changing. One of my favorite pastimes was hunkering down with an issue of DIME and a hot cup of decaf-tea to end my day. DIME was one of those magazines that quieted the noise of the daily world. Sadly, that will now be a thing of the past. It was good while it lasted. I guess I can liken this to sports fans whose favorite player has been traded and now they have all these team number jerseys and hats in their closet that are no longer applicable. Do those fans blame the player? Ultimately, no. While they too become emotionally attached to the team as a whole, they know down deep that sports are a business and players are traded all the time due to business decisions that are out of the player’s control. In my case, the loss of the magazine doesn’t diminish my passion for the embroidery game. I hope it doesn’t yours either.

If you are affected, here is the link to claim your gift certificate for the balance of your remaining issues.

Sewing 101: Cleaning Your Machine

My sewing machine wasn’t exhibiting any performance issues, but I did notice a tiny bit of lint peeking up through the feed dog plate. Usually, where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

There’s more to cleaning then just brushing out the bobbin case so I normally remove the feed dog plate with a handy-dandy piece of US currency. Even the squattiest screwdrivers sometimes can’t do the trick. 🙂

One of my favorite cleaning tools is an old makeup brush that came as a freebie in a Loreal makeup kit. A little wiping with the brush found some dust bunnies right off the bat.

Look at ALL that dust and loose threads that were hiding in there! WOW!

A great way to clean the feed dogs is to use an old fashioned pipe cleaner.

I have a happy, happy clean bobbin case housing!

To put the bobbin case back in, be sure to align the little arrow on the bobbin case with a dot or other marker on the housing. I circled the dot on the bobbin case to match with the marker on the housing. If you do this and you’re not sure, take a photo with your phone before pulling anything out.

When was the last time you cleaned your machine? Hmmm? There’s no time better than the present!

Holiday Meadow Placemats

While we were at the coast this weekend, I was digging around in my sewing stash for one thing or another and came across a wallhanging panel called Holiday Meadow.

Then along with that wall hanging panel I found another matching panel for coordinating placemats. I didn’t take a before pic, but you get the idea.

The placemat panel also had bundled with it four fat quarters for backings and I looked at it and thought, “Now where did these come from?” 🙃 Honestly, I had no idea. So rather than let them languish another season, I decided to put them together.

Placemats are very easy and perfect for a quick project. You simply layer batting, backing face up, and top face down. To keep the edges nice and clean, I drew a stitching line in pencil just inside the colored border.

I did a single 45 degree stitch at each corner to give the fabric somewhere to go. This is a trick I learned when making shirt collar points.

I left the opening 7″ wide as instructed on the pattern. I trimmed leaving a 1/4″ edge outside of the stitch line except at the opening which I left at 1/2″. Not pictured: I clipped the corners.

Closing the opening is easier if you iron the folded edge before turning rightside out. Here it is after turning.

I used the inside edge of the presser foot as a guide for stitching around the outer edge.

Then I marked lines with an air-erasable marker for simple straight line stitching 2″ apart to quilt the placemats.

I love how they turned out!

I’m going to look around on the internet to find coordinating fabric to make up the wall hanging.

Now is the time to whip up an easy project for the holidays! What’s under your needle?

2019 Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild Show

Hi everyone! I went to a local quilt show last weekend. Had a great time and made a video of my trip. The video is about an hour so grab a coffee, sit back, and enjoy! Thanks to Janet Miller, the show’s Chair, for showing me around and making me (and my subscribers!) feel so welcome!

Fabulous Instant Pot Beef Stew

Did you just get home from work and don’t have a clue of what to fix for dinner? Well prepare to earn the hero status you deserve! Even better, there’s only like 4…count them FOUR dishes to wash! A cutting board, a knife, the pot, and a wooden spoon. 🙂

The veggies were what I had on hand and the mushrooms were about to turn “science project” so I used them up. This recipe is perfect for whatever is in your veggie drawer.

– 1-2 fresh medium onions, diced into 1″ pieces
– 1 package of pre-cooked/pre-seasoned beef fajitas
– Veggie drawer surprise! (bag of baby carrots, diced celery, mushrooms, etc…whatever. Canned mushrooms will work too.)
– 5 or 6 red potatoes, diced into 1″ pieces
– 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
– 1.5 cups beef broth (use water & bullion if you don’t have any canned broth. You DO need liquid in the pot.)
– 1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix (None on hand? Make your own!)
– 1 Tbs Worsteshire sauce
– 1 Tbs onion powder
– Any other seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, heat, etc.)
– 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

Spray your pot with non-stick cooking spray. Put your Instant Pot on Sauté and add 2 Tbs of olive oil. When hot, add the diced onions and stir occasionally. After a couple of minutes, add the fajitas and stir every minute or so. After the onions are beginning to release their yummy flavor, add everything else into the pot except the soup. Stir well to mix. Close the lid, set the valve to Sealing, and set the timer for 12 minutes. When it’s finished, let the pot naturally release for 5 minutes and then release the pressure. Open the pot and add the soup. Stir until all the soup bits are dissolved. Viola! Bask in your glory! Do yourself a favor and freeze a batch!

Do you have a quick & easy recipe for an Instant Pot dinner? I’m all ears!

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Today is September 1, 2019 and it is the day a winner was chosen from the latest giveaway on my video!

There were a total of 469 comments! It is so wonderful to see so many of you intrested in our craft! Warms the heart 😊

The prize is a 5″x10″ Jolly Bar fabric pre-cut, a Jolly Bar pattern book, and a 5″x10″ half-hexi ruler from MSQC!

I used a random number generator for my phone. I told it I needed a number between 1 and 469 and it chose #83!

I counted top level comments up from the bottom of the comment string and Peggy Perry, you have won!

Congratulations Peggy! Please email your mailing address to me at

For those that didnt win, cheer up! There will be more giveaways in the future.😁

A Zipper Pouch for Yo-Yo Makers

Grandma always said, “Everything has a place; everything in its place.” (I try to live by that…I really do.)  I bought these yo-yo makers to use in the Ocean Frolic Quilt pattern that I got on a shop hop last summer. 

After I got home from my Kimberbell embroidery event on Saturday I was digging around in my stash for another thing (can’t recall what now) and came across theses yo-yo makers orphaned in a drawer, all loose and rolling around, and the instructions were buried under some fabric in a back corner of the drawer. Well, we can’t have that! I need to keep them with the instructions so I know how to use them when the time comes.

I dug around and found some happy fabric from Riley Blake called Bake Sale 2. It was in a mystery bundle I received from Missouri star months ago. I cut 4 pieces of fabric 10″ x 12″ and used a 14″ zipper.

I chose an equally happy 1″ font called Blue Kids on Scooters. I embroidered this with lightweight tear away sticky stabilizer.

I put Pellon Shape Flex 101 on the lining pieces. Then I sewed the inner and outer pieces to a bright yellow zipper. I stitched each piece to the right/left and front/back of the zipper.

I used the toe of the machine foot as a guide for top stitching.

Don’t forget the MOST important step! Open that zipper before stitching all the sides closed!

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are to lineup all 4 pieces exactly the same, they seem to be off on the edges.

No matter. I just drew a line inside the shortest piece of each edge as my stitching line.

Because this is a utility bag I didn’t get all worked up about hiding the inside seams. Instead I cut them with a pinking rotary cutter blade. That makes fast work of finishing off the inside seams.

I love how this turned out! Now I just need to figure out where to put it!