Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Never Too Finish a Quilt! 
Sweet Shabby Dreams is my newest quilt pattern, but it was 13 years in the making and finishing. Actually, the quilt top was finished in 1997 and had 63 blocks in it to make an oversized queen-size quilt. I made most of the blocks but many were made by my co-workers in a block round robin group quilting effort. I started to hand quilt it with diagonal lines across all blocks in both directions and I had also hand-quilted-in-the-ditch around each block.  I was ready to tackle the borders, but since I was moving to  Massachusetts, the quilt went into a box for the move, and then into a box under the bed, never to see daylight again until this past summer. (In the meantime, I moved back to the West Coast.) When I took the quilt out of the box, I knew I would never finish it by hand and it really needed more quilting in the blocks and sashing, as well as in the wider outer border. Instead of banning it to the box again,  I took the quilt top to my long-arm quilter, Debi Breese of Heart in Hand Quilting in Portland, OR. She thought she would be able to add machine quilting to it, but alas, that didn't work, so home it came again--but it didn't go back under the bed!

Since I had already written the pattern directions for the quilt--including yardage and assembly directions for several sizes--I decided to take on the task of "unquilting" it and disassembling it to make a smaller quilt. It was just too darn big and I knew I wouldn't use it if left that size. Yes, I took out every tiny little hand stitch and unpicked lots of seams. The finished quilt top with only 25 blocks proved much more manageable and makes a cozy lap-size quilt. (I just took a lovely nap under it earlier today.) I took the new, smaller quilt top back to Debi and she chose an overall floral pattern that floats across the center and the multiple inner borders. She added a coordinating floral pattern for the outermost border. I'm happy with the results and glad to have one more thing off my "round-to-it" list. 

The pattern is now available for download purchase at, where you will find all of my other patterns for quilts, place settings, table runners, tote bags, and even a child's apron. Directions for a Baby, Lap, Twin, and Queen size quilt are included in the pattern. To view all of my patterns at Craftsy, simply double click on the photo of Sweet Shabby Dreams. It's that easy!

If you haven't visited Craftsy, be sure you do. They offer lots of patterns and great on-line classes. I've signed up for several. It's so easy to watch the lessons at your leisure and then go practice at the machine. And you can take the classes at your leisure--forever. Once you've paid for it, it's available to you whenever you want to access it. They offer classes and patterns in other crafts, including paper crafts, knitting, and crocheting, too. It's a great resource! I found a great sweater pattern on Craftsy to knit while I was on a month-long boat trip with my sweetie.

And what about all those leftover blocks? Don't know yet, but some might show up in a shabby little tote bag--or baby quilts--I still have 34 of them!

Keep on stitching and smiling,

Busy, Busy, Busy--Lots of New Patterns 
And that's a good thing. Ever since February, when I started selling my Jo-Lydia's Attic patterns at, my sewing room has been buzzing with creativity. When you discover that customers all over the world appreciate your efforts by purchasing your patterns, it does wonders--at least it did for me--and it unleashes motivation to do more. I've introduced many new patterns since February, but I won't show them all in this post, just those that have seasonal appeal.

Be sure to visit to check out all of my patterns. Just click on one of the pattern photos below and you will be re-directed to my Craftsy pattern store. 

I love my little "Boo Bag," an easy-to-stitch tote for carrying home Halloween treats. I used the same jack-o-lantern block in a table runner and placemat set, but look how different it looks with different fabric for the borders! The runner is "living" on my dining table, along with several pumpkins from my growing collection. If you prefer, you can eliminate the facial features for a more generic harvest runner to last through Thanksgiving.

If you'd rather make a wall hanging for Thanksgiving, check out "Give Thanks...A Harvest Wall Hanging." It combines easy fusible applique with pumpkin and maple leaf blocks and a perky turkey made with simple shapes. The tail feathers on my finished quilt are made with "poly-silk" fall leaves snipped from dollar "store" sprays and fused in place. Directions and templates are also included for a more primitive-style feather as well as for leaves to cut from fabric to mimic the look of the silk leaves. With just a few blocks and fusible applique, this project won't take long--there's time to make it before turkey day!

Of course, Christmas has been on my mind, too, and I have three new patterns to share. I love my wall quilt, "A Heartfelt Christmas Tree." The background is really easy to piece and the tree is made of appliqued hearts in two sizes. I fused them in place, but you can use other applique methods if you prefer. And, I think this pattern lends itself to "decorating." You could even turn it into an Advent Calendar by adding small ornaments each day, beginning on December 1st. I might just do that!

If you're looking for easy table settings, consider "Santa's New Suit" and "Presently Wrapped." With each pattern, you quilt your own Christmas fabrics together and then add appliqued details with fusible web. I finished the applique edges with tiny zigzagging or machine blindstitching. "Santa's New Suit" includes an appliqued napkin with folding directions to turn it into his hat, complete with clip-on pom-pom. A folded napkin creates the "bow" on pretty packages wrapped with Christmas fabric to make the "Presently Wrapped" place setting. Both patterns are super easy and fun to make. They would make great early Christmas gifts for those who love to decorate their tables for holiday parties and get-togethers.

So there you have it. My holiday offerings for 2012. I'm already thinking about the next holidays--and have lots of ideas for 2013. I'll keep you posted! 

Happy Holiday Stitching!