Tip of the hat to the Rio Olympics


DSCN1838This gorgeous new fabric by Rifle Paper Company for Cotton and Steel caught my eye right away.  This is lawn ( a superfine cotton weave) in a soft periwinkle color with gold, called City Toile Lawn.

I really can’t take a selfie to save my soul.  Hello, boobies!

The most memorable landmark from Rio, the Christ the Redeemer statue, is on here, along with other landmarks like the pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, and Big Ben.


No I did not get a tattoo.  I somehow managed to get the most spectacular bruise, a perfectly shaped circle on my upper arm.  No idea where it came from, and you can see it is going into it’s yellow-green phase.


The designated photographer did a better job on this photo shoot, so his job is safe FOR NOW.  Next time maybe we will even attempt some back views.  My modeling skills are still, and always will be, stuck in my Big Fig phase.


The pattern is a Butterick Retro ’47, B5209.  It has a halter style option also, but I like my shoulders covered.  Life is easier when you don’t need a special bra for your dress.  I had to do a FBA so the top fit correctly.

I ordered the fabric from Hawthorne Threads, one of my favorite online vendors.  This lawn is a dream to sew and is the perfect choice for a good looking dress in this hot climate!

An ode to Shark Week


Every year I remember why I’m scared of the ocean.


Jaws.  I grew up in the midwest and I saw the movie before I ever saw the ocean.  Poor planning.


Another Companion Carpet Bag, pattern by Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H.


I put my 9 college credits in Philosophy to good use -the red handles represent the bloodshed caused by that cranky shark.


I put tabs on this bag to pull open the top.  The tabs are shark snouts!  I crack myself up.


I really agonized over the lining.  For about a minute.  Last week I just happened to buy some sushi fabric.


I find such joy in starting a project with absolutely no plan.  I just picked up my Jaws, decided it needed to be a purse, and started cutting.  I almost got stumped when it came to the handles.  Thank heavens for higher education.





Jolly good travel bag


My favorite travel bag is ready for it’s first outing!


I think this is number 6 in my quest for the perfect travel bag?  I have quite a pile.


This is the Weekender Travel Bag pattern by Amy Butler.  The fabric, not surprisingly, is from a manufacturer in the UK.


The best thing about sewing for decades is having bits and bobs on hand in my studio.  The zipper, nylon webbing, dee rings and green straps are from my private “collection.”


The guts of the bag show the tube map for the London Underground!  I love to open a bag and find something interesting on the inside.


This bag fulfills my not-so-hidden anglophile obsession.  So I made wallets.


Not just one, mind you.


Some other anglophile is going to get a big surprise!




Northern Lights backpack


Almost makes me wish I carried a backpack.


My little Minnesotan has a thing for the Northern Lights.  When I got this fabric she actually ASKED me to make her a backpack.


The fabric is by Quilted Treasures and the pattern is the Dawn to Dusk backpack by Chris W. Designs.  This pattern is the most “authentic” looking backpack I could find, with padded and shaped straps and great pockets.



This is a streamlined version, with a front zipper pocket instead of  a pocket with flap.  I added a side water bottle pocket made from mesh, with an adjustable elastic pull.  The cord stop is a kitty, but it did not cooperate with my photography.


For the lining I chose Mario.  Because it’s Mario.  And his gold coins.


The interior pocket is elasticized to hold some electronic device like a laptop or iPad.  Or a small cat.  The cat print is a fat catloaf.  Just like my fat cat model Tippy.  He’s actually not fat, he’s big boned.


This backpack screams my girly’s name.  Northern Lights, video games from the 90s, fat black cat.  She’ll be stylin.’






“Free Your Mind” purse


This fabric has been screaming to me in my sewing room.


I love color.  I love bold.  And I don’t own a black purse.


This is the larger version of the Companion Carpet Bag pattern by Mrs. H.  The purse frame is from Emmaline Bags.


I think I could carry camping supplies in here.  Like I would go camping!


The sparkle vinyl bottom will protect against cooties.  Because purses are prone to catching cooties.









It’s a purse! It’s a tote! It’s two-in-one!


Multi-tasking in purse form.  This is the Betsy Bag, from the pattern by Betsy LaHonta.


The amazing tan fabric that looks like leather?  It is actually a paper product called Kraft-tex.


It can be washed and dried, cut and sewn.


The top of the bag can be tucked in so it behaves like a purse.


Then pop that out and move the handles and voila!  It’s a tote.


There are drawstrings so I can keep all my birds from flying away.


I just happened to have (not kidding) two hot pink cord locks in my collection.


The lining has ukuleles all over.


Added bonus – I got to use lots of shiny hardware!

That purse with the singing skeleton

DSCN1534I like to call this dude the Frito Bandito.  Or the ai-yi-yi-yi guy.

DSCN1545I used this fabric previously to make a couple of gifts.

DSCN1536 He’s back for an encore.

DSCN1547 The pattern is the Companion Carpet Bag by Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H ( http://www.mrs-h.com )

DSCN1551The purse frame is sturdy and make the bag look really professional.




More Union Jack flags mean…more Liberty of London fabric!


Variety is the spice of life, so I am feeling very spicy.  If I had to choose one fabric only to use for the rest of my life?  Well that would be cruel, but I would definitely choose Liberty Tana Lawn.


Picking the fabrics to combine in each block has been helping curb my innate desire to make sure everything matches perfectly.


The hardest part of this project is trying to NOT plan ahead.  I want to wait until I have all the blocks to choose the fabric and style of the sashing.  But I’m getting impatient.


Five blocks a month, until I have a total of…I don’t know yet.  I have not yet even calculated how big I want to make this.


Seeing each block individually makes me think I want this on my bed.  King size.  At least that will give me a long time to work on it.  I really enjoy working on foundation paper pieced projects.


The obsessive part of me craves the perfection that can be achieved with paper piecing.  And it is so easy!  I took some pictures while I was working on these blocks.

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Sew, press, cut, add fabric and repeat.  Easy and stunning!

We’ll talk soon, I’m off on an adventure.

The Irish festival in my sewing room


I decided to host an Irish festival in my sewing room.  Ireland is part of the British Isles after all, so I am being true to my ongoing Anglophile tendencies.  I didn’t really invite anyone, but I’m okay with my one-person celebration.

My new Irish quilt took a turn for the smaller.  I needed to come up with a thank you gift for they-who-shall-not-be-named.  So I diverted some quilt blocks into a table runner.


Who doesn’t love a great little tree of life?  I used three colors of gold thread to add depth.  The trick was using green and gold and not having this look like a Packers tribute.  (Boo, Packers!)


The Eternal Life block has the same elements of a claddagh ring – crown for loyalty, hands for friendship, heart for love.  The designs are new this month from Anita Goodesign.


There’s a little bit of the backing shown here.  This green swirly batik is one of my favorites.

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I’ve got to figure out a better way to photograph a table runner.  I tried getting all artsy-fartsy and doing a perspective shot, but you’ll notice it’s not in here.

This one is the money shot anyway.  My little fatty fatty two-by-four Tippy is modeling his favorite use for a table runner.


Tippy – one.  Artsy-fartsy photographs – zero.  Game, set, match.