Monday, August 10, 2015

Sew Let's Sew...A Quilted Wall Hanging

Dress Up Your Sewing Room!

Finished Size: 31" x 57", excluding hanging tabs

Celebrate your passion for sewing and quilting with this colorful quilted wall hanging.
It fills a blank wall in any sewing room beautifully. The sewing machine takes center stage and is joined by large appliqued spools and a tomato pincushion with strawberry emery, plus a rotary cutter and scissors. The blocks are all tied together with red sashing and multiple borders. The appliques are large and the pieced blocks are simple, making this a great project for a confident beginner. Full-size templates are included for all appliques.

Purchase this pattern as a PDF download at:

Until next time, keep sewing and smiling!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chain of Hearts Baby Quilt

Chains of Love

A new baby is always a celebration of love in our family. My newest Grand-Niece, Ella Rose, arrived in October 2014 so I've spent a few weeks creating a new quilt for her and a pattern for you to create quilts for the new babies in your life! Here's Chain of Hearts, the newest "baby" in my pattern store.

I did the basic design a few years ago in my Electric Quilt software but never used it, so I checked there first for possible candidates It's nice as a lap quilt for cuddling and rocking, or you can also use it as a wall hanging in baby's room---just add a hanging sleeve. 

Two different 12" blocks alternate across the surface of this sugary sweet quilt, creating chains of love for little Ella. I used pink polka dots on white for the background print that the hearts float across, but a pastel tone-on-tone print or one with a small motif would work, too. If the baby is boy, use a medium blue for the large hearts and scraps from your stash to make a lively blue-and-white version, instead. Substitute red for the pieces of the large heart and use blue scraps on white to turn this into a Fourth of July wall hanging.

You'll make two different heart blocks (Heart and Heart Chain), which were carefully designed and colored to create the chains and float on the background. The piecing directions are arranged so that you can chain-piece the required units wherever possible. The 12-page pattern includes colorful step-by-step illustrations, so you can't go wrong. And, you make the blocks in two sets to keep things organized.

Make more blocks and you can increase this design to any size you want.

Any intermediate quilter will find this an easy quilt to make and a confident beginner who has perfected the 1/4" seam could make it too. Accuracy is the key when blocks have lots of seams!

Like all of my quilt and tote bag patterns, you'll find this quilt in my pattern store at

Until next time
Keep sewing and smiling,  And Happy Holidays, 2014!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quick Gifts for Christmas

Aprons Make the Perfect Gift

There's still time to make special gifts for Christmas giving. Here are a few from my pattern store at to check out.

Looking for a quick-and-easy apron for kids? Check out my Little Helper's Apron. It requires minimal yardage and time. Choose just the right fabric for each child on your list to make them extra special. The choices are endless at you favorite quilt shop. I suggest you preshrink your fabrics before sewing, as these aprons will get lots of use by little cooks and crafters.

 If you have machine that embroiders, choose lighter fabrics and  add a favorite design to the bib portion of the apron.

Here are two more apron patterns from my Craftsy store to make for yourself or for gifts this holiday season. A Holiday Apron for Mrs. Santa Claus is an adult-size, one-size fits most pattern. It's all dressed up with fancy buttons and a pretty belt buckle...perfect for those days when the hostess must be in the kitchen.

If you love to embroider, my gingham Jingle Trees Apron with tickle your fancy. My grandmother made these in the 1950s for church bazaar fundraisers and I inherited one from my Mom. Simple cross stitching on gingham was popular then. 

Make one for yourself and for other hostess on your gift list. If you don't have time to stitch right now, you'll love having this pattern on hand to start your stitching for gift giving next Christmas!
You can use it to teach a child to embroider too.

Tiny red ribbons and jingle bells adorn the top of each tree and rickrack is stitched in place below the tree trunks.

 Mug Rugs...Fun and Quick to Sew for Gifts

Have fun stitching up your favorite mug rug from my Santa and His Helpers Mug Rug pattern. They require small amounts of fabric, and you might have just what you need in your scrap basket or fabric stash. Make in sets of 3 like those shown or make a set of your single favorite design. Mug rugs don't take much time to make and are wonderful gifts. Or, you can turn them into mini wall hangings or large ornaments by adding a ribbon to the upper edge.

 And here's a fun set to make for your favorite Yoga teacher...The Yin and the Yang of It! Applique two pieces to each one, quilt and bind, and you'll have a set finished in no time!

 Or, for someone you love, choose Owl Always Love You or Here's My Heart Valentine Mug Rug. These make great gifts for Christmas or for Valentine's Day.

So, time's a wasting. Choose your favorites from this array of simple projects and enjoy the process as you make special gifts for the ones you love!
Until next time,
Keep on sewing and smiling!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sewing Again...Two New Patterns

I've been really engaged in on-line art classes all year, but I returned to my machine in October to stitch up two new bag patterns. Both of them are available in my pattern store at as downloadable PDFs...and one of them is even FREE!

Here's my new "Put a Bow On It Quilted Bag," designed specifically for quilted double-faced fabrics. Since those are sometimes difficult to find in prints and colors you love, I've also included directions in this pattern for quilting your own fabrics to make a truly one-of-a-kind bag.

I love the heart-shaped opening edge with a a magnetic snap closure, as well as the sturdy bottom, made so with bias-bound edges and an inside bottom support that you can remove and clean separately or when you need to launder your bag.

The outside pocket on the back is large enough for most cell phones...or for anything else you might want to tuck in it. On the underside of that part of the bag, there's a large divided pocket. When you stitch the outside pocket in place, it automatically divides the inside pocket.

All of the edges are finished inside and out. The binding on the bow is actually lining, cut extra large so it will wrap to the right side to create self-binding that isn't as bulky as double-layer binding used on other edges in the bag. That way, it's easier to draw up the gathering at the center of the bow--less bulky!

 Here's the link that will take you right to the pattern purchase page for Put a Bow on It Quilted Bag:

Now for the FREE Pattern...The Quilted Jeans Tote

To make this fun tote, salvage an old and worn pair of your jeans (adult size with lots of usable leg below worn knee area). Or, purchase an inexpensive pair at your favorite thrift shop. 
Hanging pocket inside finished tote

Use the existing pockets for the exterior pocket and for a hanging pocket on the inside--for your phone and other small essentials.

This tote is the perfect size if you prefer a small purse or it makes a great book bag to carry your favorite book or e-reader. It's also a nice size for a bag for your tween or teen. 

I rummaged through my husband's discarded jeans to find a pair with good legs below the knees to make my bag. You could also use a new pair of jeans that you find on sale at one of your favorite discount clothing stores. Look for ones that don't have any Lycra content...the bag doesn't need to stretch

This pattern is FREE for downloading as a PDF at the following link:

I hope you'll check out both patterns, along with all the other tote, accessory, and quilt patterns that are available in my Craftsy pattern store.

Until next time, keep sewing and smiling!

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Make a Quilt

My latest book, How to Make a Quilt is now in print! What a treat to find a box of 12 copies in my mail when I arrived home from our three-week vacation in the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound!

Published by Storey Publishing, How to Make a Quilt is one of several books in their Storey Basics series. This 5 x 7" paperback book is 120 pages of step-by-step directions that will help a beginner learn to quilt, as well as serve as a helpful reminder for those who have made quilts but want helpful reminders. 

What's Inside

The book includes simple-to-follow illustrations and easy-to-follow directions for each of the basic steps, including pattern and color selection, block assembly, quilt-top assembly, simple quilting, and finishing steps. It's handy to keep by your sewing machine or tuck into your tote to take to quilting class. This is my third book for Storey, and as always, the experience working with them has been a stellar one.

The book includes directions for Log Cabin piecing with suggestions for a few Log Cabin projects. The chapter on learning how to make patchwork blocks includes directions for making 12 different sampler blocks using different techniques. You'll also find directions for turning the blocks into a small wall hanging (or table topper). You will use these techniques over and over when making other quilts and quilted projects.

At a price of only $9.95, this little book makes a great gift for crafty friend. I hope you will check it out at and enjoy using it or giving it as a gift. Until next time, 
Keep on Sewing and Smiling,

PS If you are looking for a special tote pattern to make for carrying supplies to sewing or quilting classes, be sure to visit my pattern store at
Check out The Quilted Carryall--my best-selling tote pattern--for a roomy 8-pocket bag!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Travel On...With Quilted Tote Bags and More

It's that time again to plan your summer travels and if you are thinking of stitching up a travel bag or two, you'll find several perfect patterns in my pattern store at One of my travel bag patterns is selling up a storm right now. My Quilted Travel Tote is a wonderful bag tote with lots of room and plenty of pockets and is a wonderful carry-on bag and it's my topseller right now. It's designed so you can use it as an open-top tote, too. When you unzip, the zipper panel drops down inside. One of the outside pockets also has hidden zipper for security and there's an inside zipped pocket too! Directions are included for quilting your own fabric so you can make this bag reflect your own taste rather than settling for what's available in quilted double-sided fabric.

The Terrific Travel Tote

For a similarly styled travel tote made from unquilted fabric, check out The Terrific Travel Tote. It's really lightweight when sewn in outdoor fabric, or super stylish in tapestry or a decorator print like the one shown on the pattern cover. It has the same pockets and zip-top as the Quilted Travel Tote, making it a lighter version of the quilted one. Great to fold flat and pack in your baggage and then to tote all your goodies home from your trip.

It's Beach Time!

Travel to the beach in style and comfort with my Sew 'n' Go BeachMat Tote & Pillow. Unzip it at the sides and out it folds to a quilted mat. There's a matching pillow that fits inside the zipped tote for your comfort, whether you're lounging in the sand or poolside at your hotel. And there's plenty of room for other beachside accouterments. An outside pocket is perfect for small items!

Get Organized!

Use the three small bags in my latest pattern to pack and organize small items in your carry-on or your sewing tools for sewing and quilting classes. The Iron Caddy opens to reveal an insulated pressing mat that's the perfect size to keep by your sewing machine for quick pressing jobs with your mini iron or tacking iron.

Carry Me Tote with Handles

Ditty Bag

Iron Caddy /Pressing Mat
Pressing Mat with Mini-Iron

Happy Summer Sewing...

And remember that almost any tote bag you make can double as a travel companion. Check out my other tote bag designs and my quilt and other patterns in my Craftsy pattern store at:

Have fun sewing for your travel time and keep on sewing and smiling!
Until next time,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A New Bag Pattern...Finally!

It's been a long time since I made a new bag pattern...and it took me a long time to finish this one. Too many distractions, including a vacation to Maui (poor me), a trip to Colorado for Easter with my Mom and family, illness, and now trying to find an Adult Family Care home for my husband's mom, who will be 100 in July! She fell and cracked ribs and can no longer live in Assisted Living, so the search is on for home that will be a good fit. I've also been taking a year-long mixed media art class, which has absorbed lots of time and revealed that I have more artistic talent then I every allowed myself to realize. I'll share some of that work in another upcoming post, along with a story about a very young Canadian girl who is winning quilting awards!!

So, back to my pattern. I've been wanting to stitch up some small bags for organizing sewing tools and handwork, and an iron caddy that would work for a craft-tacking iron as well as for packing my flat iron when on the go. The new pattern, Quilted  Sewing and Travel Organizers fills the bill. As with all of my patterns, this PDF pattern is available in my Craftsy pattern store at:
Quilted Sewing and Travel Organizer Bags

 Use this trio of quilted bags to stash your hand-sewing tools and craft iron so you can grab them and go when you're headed to sewing class or  appointments where you may have a little time for handwork. All three bags are made from quilted double-faced fabric and have pretty ribbon tassel pulls attached to the zipper pulls. All require a coil separating zipper--which facilitates bag construction and makes it possible to open the iron caddy to make it into a pressing pad. Here's the scoop on the three bags included in the pattern.

Ditty Bag

Ditty Bag

Finished Size: 2" x 5" x 7"
This little bag is super-quick to sew; the separating zipper is the key to making it easy to construct. It's the perfect size for your scissors, needles, thimble, measuring gauge, and any other small tools you want to keep together and close at hand. Use it when you travel to organize charger cords or other small items in your suitcase or carry-on.
Carry Me Tote

Carry Me Tote with Handles

Finished Size: 13-1/2" x 7" x 2-1/2"
This little bag is the perfect place to tuck your handwork, plus the Ditty Bag with your hand-sewing tools. It opens wide, making it easy to pack and then find what you've tucked inside. You can tuck your mini-iron in too, for sewing class or to use when staying in a hotel room. The tote is also a great travel companion for organizing small items in your carry-on or checked luggage.

Insulated Iron Caddy/Pressing Mat

Finished Size: 5" x 14" closed
                         10" x 14" open 

Use this multi-purpose caddy to pack a small craft iron for sewing class or tuck your flat iron and other small hair items  inside when traveling. There's room for other hair items too. Unzip it to reveal a padded pressing mat to keep by your sewing machine and to use at your table during during sewing or quilting classes. It's also good for small touch-up pressing jobs in your hotel room. Lined with silver-coated fabric for ironing boards, the caddy includes a layer of insulated batting too.

Insulated Iron Caddy/Pressing Mat

Unzip the Caddy to reveal a pressing mat to use with a craft iron.
Also use with your mini iron at the sewing machine.
Until Next time,

Keep sewing and smiling...and happy travels. Check out my Quilted Traveler's Tote in my Craftsy store, too. It's been on the Craftsy Leader Board this week. As the weather warms, I think lots of people are thinking about upcoming vacations and sewing bags stash their stuff while on the go!