Follow along as I outline all the detials and share the links you'll need to create a similar apron for yourself.
By the way, you can learn more about Molly, the designer of this apron pattern HERE in an archived blog post.
Written by Joanne Banko- Brother Ambassador
By popular request, I'm sharing details and free downloads for my version of this Molly Made special apron pattern featured on a recent Brother sponsored live stream.
Originally, this apron was published in Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. In collaboration with Brother, the Sewing Lady design on the bib pocket, and one other design featured on the lower pocket were linked as free downloads. In addition to that, I digitized an In-the-Hoop pocket design to help you make the perfect patch pocket for the apron bib. You'll find all the details for creating the pocket HERE.
Follow along as I outline all the detials and share the links you'll need to create a similar apron for yourself.
Let's start with the Sewing Lady Redwork design I used as a decoration for the patch pocket on the bib. Follow the path outlined below to access this design from the archives of the Brother website.
Go to www.brothersews.com and click on the drop down arrow for Inspirations & Events.
Next, click on the Crafting Projects tab.
Click on the image to explore the Free pattern archives.
Fill out the form to access free downloads.
Select the Special designs tab. Click on Redwork Sewing Lady to download to your computer.
Take another look at the apron and you'll see that I used a string of redwork designs to decorate lower pocket "M" from Molly's Apron pattern. This pocket features more beautiful Brother Redwork designs! To create this pocket I cut an oversized piece of fabric and marked off lines for the pattern piece and the pocket stitching lines. I embroidered the designs, cut the pocket using the pattern piece with a modified top foldline, and finished construction of the pocket on the apron.
You'll find the pin cushion motif (second one from the left), available as yet another free design from Brother. The rest of the Redwork motifs are available for purchase in the Redwork design section of the Brother exclusive iBroidery.com design download site. Photos below show each individual design.
To access the free Brother pincushion design follow the same path as you did for the Sewing Lady but this time select from the archives of the Free Design of the Month menu shown below:
Last but not least, here is a link to instructions and free downloads for the perfect patch pocket used on the apron bib.
Click on the above image and you'll find everything you need, including an option for converting this pocket design to other machine formats. Enjoy!
By the way, you can learn more about Molly, the designer of this apron pattern HERE in an archived blog post.
Need a mid-week pick me up? Here's a new video for you to watch on my YouTube channel. This video highlights differential feed, one of my favorite features on a serger! You'll see how I serged and sewed a three tiered "broomstick" skirt.
I've scheduled this video as a Premiere event on YouTube. I thought it would be fun to have you watch it along with me at 7:00PM on Thursday May 13th. I'll be there to answer your questions and comments.
Click on the image below to watch Triple Tiered Boho Skirt as seen on It's Sew Easy TV show 1012-1, starting on May 14 at 7:00 PM Eastern Standard time.
I would call this skirt a classic. It actually is quite historic. Along with a unique pullover blouse, this skirt style was part of the Navajo woman's wardrobe as described in Folkwear pattern 120. It was influenced by similar styles popular in the post Civil war days. They say the three tiers on the Navajo skirt represent three periods of a woman's lifetime, infancy/childhood, adulthood, and senior years.
I've made several of these over the years. When selecting fabrics, you want to choose a fabric that will wrinkle. My show sample is made from a lightweight chambray, but I've used quilt cotton, and even lightweight denim in the past. Soft cottons are the best choice for a skirt that wrinkles yet falls softly on the body. I like wearing this skirt with sandals in the summer and boots in cooler months!
Look around and you'll see the "prairie look" showing up in a variety of spring and summer clothing collections. In both prairie and "boho" style garments, gathers continue to be in fashion on both bottoms and tops.
If you look closely at the strips for the skirt, you'll see how neat and even the gathers are.
Watching this video will give you some great tips for getting nice full gathers on your serger. With differential feed and the right settings on your serger you can quickly gather fabric for a wide variety of sewing situations.
Coordinating instructions are found HERE on the It's Sew Easy TV website.
Looking for more serger info? CLICK HERE to download a new free Let's Go Sew tip sheet titled Serging Versus Sewing.
You can CLICK HERE to watch the video. I'd love to hear from you with any comments or questions you might have. Enjoy!
Many moons ago I was interviewed by Eileen Roche for a special blog post. You can read it HERE if you like. I'm mentioning it today because the final, wrap up question she asked me was this:
Finish the sentence:
My mother taught me . . .
Enough to write a book, but above all she taught me to be thankful and to stick to your core beliefs and values.
Every day, but today especially, I'm missing Mom as she has been gone for quite some time now. Being the "baby" of the family, Mother’s Day brings many cherished memories to mind. I look back and think of gifts both hand-crafted and purchased that I gave to my appreciative mom.
Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with appropriate gifts. One year I was looking to present her with something totally unique. I had already been using my embroidery machine for lots of things, so I embroidered a card with a calico cat design. My mom was a big cat lover and I have a sentimental story about a calico kitten my sister found on the playground that later came to live with us for a full 18 years. I knew she would love a three dimensional image of a cat resembling the one we adopted into the family many years before. Wanting to make the card even more special, I wrote a letter inside thanking my mom for giving me my own birthday. As you may well guess, she kept that card forever!
If you’re looking for a last-minute card idea or a package decoration, I have one here that you may want to try.
Take this pretty rose design provided as an archived free design on the Brother blog, stitch it on netting or white felt, and attach to a vase like you see in the photo, place it on an envelope or gift card, or use it as a package decoration. You'll have something special for Mom in just a few minutes!
Click on the photo of the vase and it will take you directly to the project instructions archived on the Brother Stitching Sewcial site. You'll find a link to the free design courtesy of Brother International within the instructions.
If you're looking for a way to make greeting cards with embroidery designs I have a full, free tutorial for you HERE.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!
I hope you'll take the time to leave a comment here and finish the sentence below:
My Mother taught me . . .
Watch and listen in as we chat about one of our favorite subjects, Machine Embroidery!
Eileen gave tons of tips for using her PAL2 Perfect Alignment Laser for ease of placement with embroidery and shared unique ways quilters can use this tool too!
We also had the chance to reminisce about places our paths have crossed over the many years we have known each other.
Eileen invited me to provide a sneak peek at the wraps and scarves inside Wrapped In Embroidery, published by DIME. You'll learn some simple ways to link designs for continuous embroidery and get tips for embellishing your embroidered projects so they rival the best in ready-to-wear!
Click the arrow to watch the replay video on YouTube. I'd love to hear your comments. Enjoy!
Would you like to review the photos and tips I shared during the show? You can view the presentation below. Please contact me if you have any questions. I'm happy to help in any way I can!
More resources! In the back of the Wrapped in Embroidery book you'll find a list of suppliers for fabrics and notions. Here are a few more to update the list:
Like many other sewists navigating this "not so normal time," I've found myself involved in a mask making adventure. I thought I would share my experience. Let me start by telling you I've researched the mask making subject until my eyes were crossed! I tried many different styles in an attempt to make some to please myself, family and friends. I'm also currently in a campaign to contribute masks to the Cleveland Clinic. These masks are for the general public, not for medical workers.
I'd like you to know that this post represents my personal opinions only. I am not giving any advice on the making of masks, the usefulness of them, or making any claims for protection against any illness. None of the masks shown here are designed for PPE (Personal Protectiion Equipment). For guidelines on wearing and caring for masks and face coverings please list the government website, CDC.gov.
If you'd like to get involved with the mask making effort for Cleveland Clinic please HERE.
Mask Making Reviews
There is certainly a measure of controversy surrounding the "wearing of the mask." I encourage you to do your own research on the whole subject, but please don't be lulled into thinking that this makes you bullet proof. We have all seen masks warn improperly and this alone can be a hot topic. If however, you need to wear one sometime, somewhere, it might as well be comfortable. Whether you are a fan of wearing these or not, it seems we will all be asked to cover our face if we want to enter certain establishments.
The one you see me wearing at the beginning of this post is my personal favorite as far as comfort, coverage, adjustability, and ease of laundering. You'll find instructions near the bottom of the page when you CLICK HERE.
As for the rest of the ones shown below, they are based on some variations of the many blog posts floating around the web these days. My guess is that you've probably seen most of these in some form or another.
This was my first mask. It has the traditional three pleats and is finished with binding at the sides. This side binding forms a casing you can use to loop elastic or ties through. The binding makes it a bit time consuming to make, but it does make a neat, smooth finish because the bukly pleats are enclosed within the binding.
Next, I made my version of what is known as the Olson Mask. This one is shaped to fit the curves of the face. The inside pocket makes it easy to slip in a filter. Actually, on the green version above, I sewed this lining the wrong way. The zig-zagged ends should be tucked under the side flanges.
Next up, in the search for an adjustable fit, I opted to make the common rectangular pleated style, modifying it by adding two small buttonholes to thread knoted elastic through. This one is pretty quick to make and may do the trick if you need adjustability.
Making the lining in an obvious contrast fabric seems like a good idea so the wearer can distinguish between the front and back side. This pleated button hole style one has a pocket opening for an added filter.
This last one is the same style I'm wearing in the photo at the beginning of this post, with two exceptions. The finished size is one inch smaller from side to side, and I did not bother to make a contrast lining.
If you look closely you'll see a seam on the wrong side of the back piece. I also wrote the word bottom and and drew an arrow on the fabric with a sharpie marker. Hands down, this is my favorite style. I think it can be resized to fit most any face, it's easy to sew, and relatively comfortable to wear.
Originally, I saw this one created by homemadeonourhomestead on YouTube. Her version is more detailed with a pocket for a filter and a place for a nose wire. I saw another one similar to this, simplified the style, eliminated the nose wire, and posted my own instructions on this page.
Personally, I haven't had much success with adding nose wires. While it may make the mask fit more closely to the face, it makes the piece harder to launder, and it seems the wearer "fusses" too much to get it conformed to the nose. Part of the purpose of wearing a face covering is to help you avoid touching the face so that very fussing may defeat the purpose.
As you can see, I've been on the mask making merry go round for a while now.
This last one only has only one drawback. You really need to instruct the wearer on how to wear it. I hope my face friendly photos help you see this face covering in action.
I'll close by wishing you all good health and happy sewing!
UPDATE! I wore this mask for an entire day and found it to be very comfortable.
Recently, I got an email from my friend Joan M. in Prescott Arizona. She has been making the most of her stay at home time and is churning out great gifts to tuck away for holiday time later in the year. Joan's hankie bags are simply delightful!!! I know I would cherish owning one of these myself. Another one of the bags is made from a dresser scarf. I believe Joan has inspired us to look at those hand-me-down linens in a whole new way!
Curious as to what kinds of gifts Joan is busy making? I'll let Joan tell you more in her own words, shown in purple below:
"I have been enjoying having more time to spend in my favorite room and making some Christmas gifts for my family. We do not exchange gifts any more (too many in the family now) but we have a white elephant exchange that everyone loves.
Last Christmas I decided to make something for everyone, so they got: bowl cozies, steering wheel covers (great for protections against the hot sun in Arizona), key chains made with zippers, and splash guards for the microwave. It was so much fun to see their faces because no one knew what these were. My son thought his steering wheel cover was a hat!
Next Christmas the gals are getting one of these zipper bags made from doilies my Grandmother and Aunts made in the 40's and 50's. I have a chest full and almost donated them to charity because none of my family will want them - I don't even use them. The bag in the upper right - hard to see- is made in the style of a crazy quilt using pieces of doilies used in other bags."
I don't know about you, but I was awestruck by Joan's creative use of vintage hankies and her re-purposing of a doily to make crazy patchwork for another bag. Each one is so unique! What a way to preserve family history and bring precious heirlooms into the fore front instead of keeping them locked away in a dark drawer or dusty box.
By the way, Joan's cheerful note had the title "Making Lemonade" in the subject line of her email :-)
When you're done reading about Joan's creative adventures and you have finished oohing and aahing over her beautiful heirloom style bags, please take the time to leave a comment at the end of this post.
Sometimes it's a challenge to find the supplies you need, so how about searching for something you already have and making something new out of it?
For this project I took a junk jean pocket, made another pocket from scraps, added them together, and turned it into a sewing "chatelaine." This is something you can hang around your neck and have much needed notions ready for the task at hand.
Here are the basic supplies you'll need:
Note: If your pocket is larger than approximately 6-inches wide X 6-inches long, you'll need to cut larger squares for your front and back pockets.
Steps to make:
You're finished! Here is what the piece looks like on the back side.
Day nine includes two sewing artists and friends of Let's go Sew. Take a look at their handiwork with quilts both big and small.
This one is from my friend Sue McGurk. What a perfect way to say "Welcome Spring!" Let's see what she has to say about her quilt.
Here’s a little wall hanging I made for a swap....tried to be a little springy and bright to forget about the winter dreariness! I’m so happy to see a little sun today!
Hope you are getting a lot of sewing done. I am 😀
Next we have a couple creative quilts from Diane. Looks like her loved ones are in for something special with each one of these one-of-a-kind quilts. Thanks for sharing these Diane!
I finished making this quilt for my nephew and his wife. When they opened the box their five year old grand-daughter Ryley was there and exclaimed “it’s a Frozen blanket”. She loves it so much that I told my nephew to give it to her for her bedroom in their house. My nephew said he probably couldn’t get it from her if he tried.
The second quilt is one I am making to hang from the balcony above our living room. The design if from Anitagoodesign. There are fifteen blocks done in the hoop and sashing between the blocks and the rows.
Update! Diane sent me a photo of her finished quilt with more descriptions about the fabrics she used. Please read her udated info below and take a look at her incredilbe finished quilt!
"The blocks were embroidered on canvas; the appliqué, sashing fabric and binding are linen and the back of the quilt is canvas. I wanted something substantial that would allow the quilt to hang from the balcony in my living room."
I think this will wrap it up for a bit unless I get some more photos and stories submitted.
Thanks to all who sent in such wonderful pics and stories! We'll have to do this again sometime soon!
Please leave your comments and questions for Sue, or for Diane below.
Hello Sewing Friends! I must say, you have all been very busy making beautiful things. It's been a pleasure to share them with the Let's Go Sew Sewing community!
Today's Sew & Tell is another wonderful quilt!
This colorful I SPY quilt came to me without a name. I hope the artist will get in touch so we can congratulate this person by name. I only know it is Tyler's Grandmother :-) Read the artist's description in purple.
UPDATE! This creative quilt was designed and stitched by Nancy Bell from Pennsylvania. Congratualtions on your labor of love expressed with stitches Nancy!
I finished An “I spy” quilt for my grandson Tyler.
To make it a little more special I embroidered the words of the things he needs to find in the quilt. It is was just something simple but it kept my mind off all of the crazy stuff going on in the world.
Such a clever use of the built in fonts on the sewing side of the machine! Tyler will have so much fun playing and cuddling with this quilt!
So, now that we have played I spy, we are left to play a guessing game to identify the artist. Hope we find out in the comments below :-)
Hope you are enjoying this great show and tell! I know I am!
Today my friend Jan Dees (Jana Designs) from Washington proves that staying inside is putting a real dent into her stack of UFOs! This should motivate all of us to tackle those unfinished objects.
I'll let her tell you all about her sewing adventures in her own words shown in purple.
"The first of March my husband and I self-quarantined as his immune system is compromised. Because of this, I had every day to sew. Yes!!! The first few days I cleaned and organized.
Then I finished a quilt in progress since December for my daughter-in-law’s brother. This baby quilt is long overdue as Michael will be 3 years old this summer. The pattern is Anita Good Design Playhouse of applique animals, but I used only penguins.
Because Michael is older now I put a racetrack fleece on the back and included some race cars, police cars, etc. for him to play with.
Today I'm finishing a Ravens' quilt for my son's 40th birthday (last October 31, 2019) I have to wait until our Governor lifts our mandatory "stay home" so I can mail it.
Tomorrow I will work on a Disneyland Theme quilt for my great nephew and wife who are expecting in July. This quilt will be on time!!! I'm going to embroidery the Disney characters on my Brother Luminaire.
Even though this virus has created a disruption and forced us to live differently I choose to use this time to finish UFO's and accomplish what has been “guilting” my mind for a while. Even still, I hope it ends soon.
Jan sent this to me a few days ago so I wouldn't be surprised if she has a whole bunch of UFOs all finished up by now :-)
Thanks for sharing these great photos and telling us how your're making the best of things. You are an inspiration to us all!!!
Please leave comments and questions for Jan below.
On day six I have yet another chance to share something from a local, longtime friend. Meet Pat Guerin! Pat regularly attends a local monthly sewing club meeting where I've played "hostess" for a long time.
Over the years, Pat has amazed both myself and all who attend with her incredible masterpieces. They've ranged from childre's items, to quilts, to formal wear, hand worked wallhangings, accessory items, and so many other things too numerous to mention! She executes everything to a high degree of perfection but presents it as though it is all so effortless.
After experiencing the loss of both her Mom and her Dad, Pat has put her hands to good work making lasting quilt gifts for family members, and for herself. Today, you have the chance to see see her in progress "precious memories" quilts which she describes in her own words in purple below:
"In total there are four quilts ( three brothers share one house)."
"This patchwork quilt is from Mom and Dads clothing. My Dad only ever wore Dickies, the blue color, he only owned three shirts three pants, two dress shirts, which he wore to my wedding, and one polo shirt, knit stripe.
A few close up photos of the cross stitch blocks.
"Each quilt has a “pocket” with a “Dickies” label, each quilt has a photo transfer of Dad's cigarette case (he rolled his own). The cross stitched squares are gathered from years of Mom cross stitching. (Actually I taught her to cross stitch.)"
The National Park quilt I made for my sister.
"This is my third quilt out of Mom and Dad’s clothing. This is the front (ABOVE), and a picture of the back is also included (BELOW)."
"This one is for my three brothers that live together in Richfield, Ohio. The backing has a little something for each of them. Two love fishing in Florida, one has a golden retriever, one was in National guard, loves backyard birds and deer. They also love growing “hot peppers”.
I still have to compose a label that will go on each quilt. The only one to complete is mine. The top is done & I need to create the backing. Hope to complete these in the next few days!"
Update! Below is a photo of Pat's finished quilt label. I know Pat was filled with emotion as she created this label on her computer and printed it on EQ Printables fabric. It's obvious Pat's quilts were stitched with lots of love. These quilts are a glimpse into the story of her Mom and Dad's life together. I'll let Pat tell you a littel more in her own words in purple:
"My folks were very simple people , both very creative. Mom was a homemaker most of her 87 years, crochet, needlework, minimal sewing. Dad served in the army out of high school, married his high school sweetheart, was a mechanic, welder extraordinaire! He welded until the day he died at age 89. They were married almost 69 years!"
Thank you Pat for sharing your handiwork and sharing your heart with us as well!
Won't you join me in congratulating Pat on her incredible masterpieces?!? Please leave your comments and questions for Pat below.
My Friend Kim Dodick is the star attraction for today's Sew & Tell Show & Tell! Kim started embroidering not too, too long ago and has used her creative skillls to stitch so many gorgeous things. I have the privilege of seeing her stunning creations on a regular basis "in person." Today I get to share some of her handiwork with all of you!
Just look at these wonderful embroidered pillows!
Here's a little closer look.
Scripture on the back makes these oh so special.
Kim tells me the designs are from Embroidery Library. She and added a few of my favorite Bible verses on the pillow backs. This set was a gift of love to some special friends who needed an uplift during these trying times.
Wow! I'm certain these pillows will carry them through difficult days and be a reminder of Kim's loving heart for a long time to come!
Please leave any questions or comments you have for Kim below.
UPDATE! Curious about where these gorgeous designs came from? Kim tels me they are a desing collection form Embroidery Library. I have no affilitation with that company but I have infact purchased some of their beautiful designs.
Birds featured on Kim's Pillows are from a design pack collection called U.S. Birds and Blooms. They're available in four different size collections beginning with 4" X 4" hoops and going up to 7" X 11.8." It lloks like they are also available separately if you click on each individual bird. Here is a direct link to the pack on Embroidery Library if you're interested in more information: https://bit.ly/2WSzJZw
Time for Sew and Tell!
Today's feature artist is Caroline Booth, the Needle Quirks Queen!
In her note to me she says she's making the best of being cooped up and it's obvious she is getting lots accomplished in her sewing space!
Having corresponded with Caroline for a while now, I know that pillow making is a passion for her. She is especially gifted at design them in a multitude of interesting ways.Pillow making is truly one of her specialties! This one is designed using all built-in designs and features on her Brother Luminaire.
The next photo is hopping with happy thoughts and full of great ideas.
I'll let her describe these delightful projects in her own words.
"I wanted to share a fun little fabric box that I learned how to make this week while “locked in” my happy place. I wanted a rustic look for this one to somewhat mimic a vintage wooden box so I used a painter’s canvas to construct the outer box. Peltex 71F gives the box it’s structure and the interior fabric is a nice quilting cotton. The Peltex is also used to give the handles some structure and they are attached to the box with snap rivets.
This was such a fun project to make that I plan on making several for Christmas gifts using holiday themed fabrics. The pattern actually calls for two fat quarters so it doesn’t require much fabric and it’s a fairly quick project to complete, depending on how you choose to embellish it."
Thank you Caroline! I know I speak for everyone in saying that we're so happy you shared all these with us.
Please leave comments and questions for Caroline below.
Time for Sew and Tell!
Quilting is a popular way to pass the time in your sewing space. My friend Clovis Perkins has been putting together pretty blue patches to make a twin size quilt.
Look close and you'll see some of the blocks feature the churn dash pattern. This quilt block is made up of half square triangles, strip pieced squares, and solid squares. While it looks tricky to construct it goes together without having to piece any points.
Clovis tells me she is making this for the "blue room" in her house. She has the desire to enter the finished quilt in her local Lake Couty fair this year. I've already deemed this one a winner! Her fabric selection is really an interesting mix, the piecing looks perfect, and it looks like she's well on her way to getting this off the sewing table and on the bed!
Thanks Clovis! I'm so happy you shared your handiwork with us!
Tip: The well known and highly respected Missouri Star Quilt Company has a nice seven minute YouTube video show how to put a churn dash block together using 10" layer cake squares. CLICK HERE to watch.
Laugh for the day, while I sometimes watch YouTube videos at 1 & 1/2 or 2X speed, I like to watch Jenny Doan at three-quarter speed :-) I guess her speed and my speed are just a little out of sync!
Please leave comments or questions for Clovis below.
Time for Sew and Tell!
Take a look at this backpack stitched to perfection!!! Aren't the colors and fabric prints amazing?!? Notice the little car- themed zipper pull added for a fun extra speical touch :-)
This sew and tell is from Elizabeth Lewis. She made this incredible "boy themed" backpack for her grandson who turns four years old On March 24th, 2020. Their family is planning an outdoor, appropriately distanced celebration. I can just imagine how much fun this young boy will have stuffing treasures into his backpack. Let's all join in to wish him a Very Happy Birthday!!!
Thanks Elizabeth! It was so nice of you to share your lovingly made little boy's birthday gift with all of us. Please leave your comments for Elizabeth below.
A blank blog page? How crazy is that? Well, it's only blank today. I'm asking my Let's Go Sew friends to send in their project pics to share here. Watch as every day this page fills up with projects and pictures shows up. This page will feature both finished and unfinished projects. I can't wait to see this page bursting with your creations! Be sure to check back for updates during the week of March 23 - 28, and maybe even longer. I'll start the ball rolling tomorrow with the first project photos.
Time for Sew and Tell!
My friend Jan O'Malley starts off this week full of show and tell with her in progress colorful quilt. Seeing the pieces and parts come together is a fun part of the process, agree?!?
Jan describes her quilt in her own words, seen in purple. My words are in black.
My niece is expecting her first baby the end of this month so I'm making a baby tumbling block quilt. I'm including the baby's name, Cecilia, at the top using my embroidery machine to create letters that are appliquéd/embroidered on the fabric blocks. CECILIA has special meaning, it's my husband's mother's name and the baby's great-grandmother's name too!
My favorite is the pig letter A! I agree Jan, the pink pig letter is adorable!
Here's a closer look at these super cute letters.
I'll add white columns up each side first. Then I'll add more rows around the 4 sides before quilting. I ordered fabric online that I'm waiting for, for the backing, border and binding.
The baby is due soon so I'm sure Jan is busily working to finish this up. Thanks for sharing this cheerful quilt Jan! Your colors are perfectly enchanting and they seem to shout happy spring!!!
UPDATE! For those who are interested in the design collection Jan tells me it is a set from Designs by juju. Here is a direct link to the Farm Applique Set: https://bit.ly/2UdRZef
Another UPDATE! Here are a few more photos showing Jan's quilt and quilt label, plus a bonus photo with beautiful baby Cecilia on her new quilt!
Here is my friend Jan holding her fabulous finished quilt!
Highlights From My Visit to Lake Farmparks 2020 Quilt Show
Farmpark bills itself as a family-oriented science and cultural center devoted to agriculture and farming. Each year they host a beautiful quilt show, housed in the exhibit hall that includes a gift shop, theater, cafe, and more, all in a functioning barn complete with "dairy parlor" with real cows in residence. There are many activities held throughout the year on this 235-acre working farm known as Lake Metroparks Farmpark.
The Flight of the Eagles quilt you see above is just one of many masterpieces that decorated the vas space at Farmpark this year.
I try to never miss this show and I often take a class from one of the local or celebrity instructors they bring in from other areas of the country. The show this year was smaller than most, but I didn't mind that at all. I found much to make my jaw drop and left feeling good about being part of the stitching community at large.
I thought I'd share a few of my favorite picks from this awe inspiring display. I wasn't too particular about noting "winners" but you can view the entire list HERE.
This first place ribbon quilt was massive! It had some of the most incredibly detailed motifs I have ever seen! I neglected to photograph the label but this was a Hunter's Star pattern and it was machine quilted. Take a look at the close-ups in the slideshow below.
The message on this small but sweet quilt was so touching. It's obvious Ginny put a lot of love into this!
Another ribbon winner, this quilt was entered in the category of Individual Mixed Techniques. Read the label below for another sweet sewing story.
This giraffe quilt touched a soft spot in my own heart. My Mom would have loved a quilt like this! She had a big heart for all animals and somewhere along the way started collecting giraffes. I even made her a robe once that was pre-quilted fabric printed with various safari animals and included giraffes.
I also thought the layout of this quilt was very interesting and unique. Amazing how simple squares can turn into such a work of art!
Just one word for this one . . . beautiful!!! the colors and shapes were so perfectly executed. This quilt could brighten anyone's day!
Yet another colorful quilt perfectly stitched. Batiks are my favorite quilt fabrics by far. Anyone else here a batik freak????
The photo of this quilt from the Art Images category in no way does this amazing wall hang the justice it deserves. Titled Early Morning Mist, honestly, I could not stop staring at it!
The combination of patchwork, appliqués, painted scenery, and 3-D accents made this a mesmerizing work of art. In particular, I thought the tiny blocks framing the piece were a stroke of genius. My "make it match" brain would have opted for something solid but I think you'll agree that the patchwork here was a very ingenious and artistic choice.
The realistic rendition of this quilted Great Blue Heron make it look like it could take flight at any moment! I think animals are some of the hardest things to represent in fabric, but this quilter was right on target in scale, size, and color in her appliquéd creation, don't you think?
While I don't know any of the other quilt artists from all the photos featured here, this stunning work of art one was created by two dear friends of mine. Read the story behind the quilt below:
Isn't sewing something special one of the best ways to give love in a tangible way?
Yet another "display only" quilt, meaning it was not entered for judging, this masterpiece was made by a man who wanted to honor his family and their homestead. I'll let you read the story for yourself below:
Here is a close-up with detailed family history.
What a unique way to honor his family heritage!
The last three of my favorite picks are obviously traditional. Although I appreciate every style represented in a quilt show such as this one, I'm always drawn to the warmth of these classic quilts and these are the ones I would most want to mimic for our own home.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of quilts! to my knowledge each and every one of this was crafted by a skilled Ohio quilter. I'm already eagerly awaiting the dates for next year! In closing, I'd like to give a shout out to Farmpark Quilts organizer extraordinaire, Andrea Pasquale, who makes this show spectacular each and every year!
Now, if you have any quilting stories you'd like to share, I'd love to see them posted here!!!
Sewing has been a fulfilling part of my life for many years now! Heartfelt thanks to my Mom for encouraging my endeavors and giving me my first big break.
To my high school home economics teacher Miss Pierce, if you're out there, I owe you many thanks too! You never told me I "couldn't" make something. Even when it was a crazy project you never said that's too hard try something easier, you just smiled and let me muddle my way through, learning valuable lessons along the way.
Here's a video with a short & sweet sewing story about how I started to sew. What a wonderful journey it has been! I've had the opportunity to share the joy of sewing with so many wonderful sewing enthusiasts in so many different places.
Please share your own sewing story in the comments below. How did you start or re-start sewing and who encouraged you along the way? I can't wait to hear the tales you have to tell!
Click the arrow to watch the video!
Hello Sewing Friends! I recently had the chance to be a guest on the Brother sponsored Facebook show hosted by Angela Wolf. My friend Emily Thompson was there too. For an hour we had a great time chatting about all things sewing related, visiting with everyone who popped into the show, sharing ideas, and having a few laughs.
There's a link to this show at the end of this post but one of the topics bantered about was that of favorite sewing tools. My first thoughts were the big tools, our modern machines that make almost anything possible. But then I swung to the opposite extreme and my thoughts went to semingly insignificant tools found outside the notion’s aisle. None of these are earth shatteringly new, but they may be new to you, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.
One of my "go to" tools has been in my sewing space for a few decades. I use this pair of small, smooth (non-serrated) needle nose pliers as a griping tool.
I think my Snap-On brand E 708 model might be a collectable now but I'm sure you can find something similar from a good tool supplier. Here's what I use them for most often:
P.S. If you need help in your search, I saw a pair of jewelry pliers that look very similar. Here is the link: 5-inch chain nose pliers.
Eyebrow trim and shape razors work as an alternative to a seam ripper on some occasions.
Simply spread apart your seam and gently nip the stitches with the serrated blade. This technique is especially helpful for ripping seams sewn with a super short stitch length.
I love this little lambswool duster for dusting off the outer casing of my sewing machine and serger.
I use bristle brushes made for sewing machines for cleaning out the real nitty gritty lint, but this is great for a quick polish of the outside casing. Keep in mind, the less dust there is on the outside of the machine the less will migrate to somewhere inside, like tension mechanisms. The soft nature of the wool means you won't have to worry about scratches. Again, I've had this little gem for years. I think I picked it up on a trip to Amish country but similar ones are easy to find on Amazon. From time to time I wash mine with baby shampoo to freshen it up.
My handy dandy lint roller gets used every day. I clean my rotary mat with this, use it to pick up stray threads from ripped stitches, clean up embroidery designs after final trimming, etc., etc., etc. I also like to use it on the wrong side of fabric pieces before inserting lining, so no dark or unsightly thread shows through when I'm finished. If I'm sewing something fuzzy it is essential as a clean up tool for whatever I'm wearing too!
I keep this on a clip so I can hang it on my closet rack and always know where it is at.
The last item for today is tape. Specifically, low tack painter's tape which I use for a dozen things, including marking the wrong side of fabric to avoid confusion, and then my ever-present roll of 3M™ Transpore™ medical tape for in-the-hoop embroidery projects.
The medical tape tears easily and works well to hold fabric, zippers, and such temporarily while stitching. In most cases it is sticky enough to stay in place but removes easily. Speaking of removing, never let tape stay in one place for very long or the glue may transfer to your fabric and leave a permanent residue.
Next to sewing and craft stores, I love to browse hardware stores and office supply establishments. We all know that a tool by any other name is still a tool! Whatever it's named and wherever it came from is of no consequence. As long as it works it can go right into the notions drawer along with our other sewing must haves.
I'm sure many of you have some genius ideas for using unconventional tools as useful items in your own sewing space. Please share your thoughts in the comments below! We'd all love to learn your best kept, unconventional sewing tool secrets! If you like, you can CLICK HERE and send me a photo of your favorites. I'll do my best to update the post with your tips and your photos too.
Below, you'll find the video with all the sewing chit chat and more tips for making the most of your machines. Enjoy!
If you love to sew, chances are you're always looking for ways to make your sewing time more efficient and more enjoyable.
Today we'll focus on preparing patterns with ten tips to help you get set for your next sewing project.
1. Multi-size patterns are wonderful for "multi-size" figures. However, it can be confusing when you are cutting them out and transitioning from one size to another. I suggest highlighting your selected size(s) multi-size with a highlighter marker. Use the marker to trace over all the lines, taking care to use a piece of protective paper underneath as you trace, as markers will bleed through thin pattern paper.
2. For patterns designed for knits, consider tracing main pattern pieces that are designed to cut on a fold, cutting a full pattern. Simply fold a piece of pattern tracing cloth in half, making sure it is large enough for your pattern piece. Place your pattern on the fold and cut. Transfer all marking, notches, etc. Having a full pattern is especially helpful when cutting prints.
3. If you find that you have to sew with designated chunks of time instead of a marathon, prepare you pattern and lay out your fabric so it can relax the day or evening before you plan to cut out. When you do get started the cutting process will seem less tedious with the pattern already prepared.
4. When trimming pattern tissue you'll get the most accurate sizing by trimming away all of the black outline. Be sure to press pattern tissue with a warm dry iron to remove wrinkles and flatten so the pattern is true to size. Hang pieces from clip or skirt hanger.
5. If your pattern includes multiple languages, highlight your preferred language with highlighter. Then you can concentrate on the instructions that matter and easily ignore the rest of the words on the paper.
6. Review pattern instructions before you start. If some of the wording is unfamiliar or the instructions don't make complete sense, now is the time to get help. Reach out to a sewing friend or call the pattern company for guidance. The big three have the following help line numbers:
Simplicity help line: Call 1-833-201-5260
McCalls, Vogue, Butterick, Kwik Sew help line: Call 1-800-782-0323
7. As you review the instructions, use paper and pen or pencil to briefly write out each step, thinking about what you can sew and press all at once. Pay attention to the order of sewing pieces as directed in the instructions but make note of anything that can be done out of order to save time and effort. For example, prepare all interfaced pieces at once. Complete small detail items such as belts, belt tabs, pockets, etc., first. That way, when you begin to construct your garment these small and possibly time-consuming pieces will be done, making the rest of the sewing process more streamlined.
8. Make notes during and after making your project and store notes with pattern to record alterations or modifications should you decide to use the pattern again.
9. Store patterns that are true "winners" in a separate location so they're easy to find when you need a quick win with a tried and true success story.
10. Organize all supplies, pattern, fabric and necessary notions, keeping everything you need together in a box or zipper bag. Be sure to buy all the thread and notions you need at once, so colors match your fabric and you have everything you need when you're ready to start stitching.
I'd love to know if you found any of these ten tips helpful. Feel free to share your own in the comments below. Happy Sewing!
*As a believer in full disclosure, I'd like you to know that Blog posts may contain affiliate links for products and services I know and trust. Purchasing items through a link marked * results in a small commission for me, with no extra charges for you.
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