Sewing Non-Stop

Sew busy!   Lately, of course, I’ve spent a lot of time getting acquainted with my new Brother Dream Machine.  But before my Dream came true,  I was kept busy with several small but important machine embroidery projects, like this one.


com bag text 2

The Scripture design is from Designs by Juju, in her collection Heavenly Inspirations 1. It was slightly modified to make room for the addition of the Bible design.


This was made for our 10 year old granddaughter, Laurel, who needed a bag to carry her sizable notebook and Bible to her weekly Communicant Class (read “confirmation”) at our church.


com bag mono 2


As you might expect, a monogram was added to the other side.  The bag has seen heavy usage these past weeks.

Another quick project was a set of whimsical luncheon napkins.   They coordinate with the Seaside Madeira Table Linens I stitched last summer.


The embroidery and gingham made this a more casual setting than the hemstitched linen napkins shown here.



4 napkins

The embroidery and gingham made this a more casual setting than the hemstitched linen napkins shown above.


The napkins were cut down gingham dishtowels  from All About Blanks that I keep on hand.  The lime green gingham was a perfect color match for the linen on the placemats and tablecloth.

This little project actually took more planning than I expected.  The number of letters varied and decisions had to be made about size and placement.  I chose to use the same font in PE-NEXT for each serviette but varied the size.  After careful consideration, I chose to have the bottom letter of each text be precisely the same distance from the gingham border.



One of my first embroidery projects on my Dream Machine was was a set of two pairs of slippers for a Disney fan.


black slippers


I had no idea they could be so easy to embroider.  The style with a velcro closure makes this a quick and easy project.


white cupcake slippers

I just love these cupcakes.


Stabilizer was hooped then the slipper flap was pinned and then basted in place.  The embroidery was a breeze.

Aside from all the embroidery, I’ve just finished a darling pinafore (no embroidery but sooo cute!) for 2 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.  I can’t show it yet as I was testing new pattern by Lisa at Mommy’s Apron Strings.  It will be released very soon and this simple, versatile, adorable pattern surely will be very popular.  As soon as it is out, I will post a picture, hopefully with Vivi modeling.

Have you been sew busy?  What have you been sewing?

Dream Big! Updated


I’ve been dreaming big  for some time and now my dream has come true!


dream 1

My new Brother Dream Machine.  The hoop is filled with one of many built in Zundt designs.


The Dream Machine by Brother has me filled with awe.  The engineers who think up and design all these feature sare like Disney’s Imaginators.  They bring to life fantasies most have not yet imagined.  Just look at this video!




I can hardly stand my excitement for this machine and have spent considerable time playing with it this past week.  The project in the hoop above will be a companion pillow to this one,  made in such a fit of enthusiasm that I forgot to taper the corners.  The Zundt design is 7.4 x 13.6″ and stitches beautifully.



And it is overstuffed.  The next one will be better.

Every time I get a new sewing machine, I am  thrilled with its capabilities.  Each one seems to have reached the pinnacle of performance.  And yet, the next one out shines the previous model.

So often I am reminded of a statement made in a 1910 Singer publication that detailed the history of the sewing machine.  Sadly, I’ve lost the booklet, but the essence of the comment was that their newest machine was now perfected and nothing more could ever be wished for or added to future machines.  Humph!

I love this quote:

Think bigdream big, believe big, and the results
will be big.

dream big

Sonia Showalter’s framed embroidery says it all. The “D” is from her spectacular new Citadel alphabet which offers a free letter until the next is released. So hop over  to check it out. The lower case letters are from her Fairy Tale Alphabet.  I’ve just purchased the lowercase alphabet so I can make one just like this for my granddaughter’s upcoming birthday.


It’s getting crowded in my sewing room.  Each machine is like an old friend which makes selling it too hard.  As a matter of fact, I’ve just recently posted for sale my first top-of-the-line machine, a 1984 Bernina 930.  But 3 of my other “new” machines are stitching most of the time, busily embroidering or sewing.

Two older embroidery combo machines have been moved into my “loaner program.”  They are fostered by responsible, interested friends who agree to use and maintain the machine for a period of 6 months.    At the end of that time, most have invested their own embroidery machines.  It gives me a lot of satisfaction to introduce my friends to the joy of machine embroidery and sewing.

What do you do with your old machines?  I’d really like to know.

Canterbury Cathedral Boys Choir

choir pic

choristers at Canterbury Cathedral in London


This weekend we were delighted to host two of the boys from England’s world famous Canterbury Choir.


choir brochure


Our Reformed church, St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford (near but not in Orlando as indicated on the program), was the last stop on their tour of the southern states.


choir st. andrewsCR.

Canterbury Choir at St. Andrews Chapel


The weekend was a series of incredible experiences.  Meeting these amazingly talented youngsters, hearing their glorious music, and learning about the Canterbury Cathedral where they live year round left us in awe. Witnessing the focus and determination of our young guests astounded us.

How different are the lives of these boys from that of our two homeschooled grandchildren who are nearly same age as our guests, 10 year old Felix and Nathaniel.  Before the choir arrived, we watched this video for insight into the program.  What a rigorous routine!  And they all look so angelic. But it turns out that they are just boys. Continue reading

Weddings~it’s always that time of year



Who doesn’t love a wedding?  For those of us who sew, it’s one welcome opportunity to make special gifts.  Sandee, my sorority sister (a neat discovery made through this blog!),   has used a fabric I covet to make some wonderful items for newlyweds.

When she sent these gorgeous pictures to me, I just had to ask permission to share them with you.  Can you imagine how pleased the young couples must have been?



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She wore the dress……


but she was not happy about it.


VR dress crying CR


Two yo granddaughter Vivian Rose was crying her little heart out, I’m pretty sure, because she was wearing the Easter dress disaster.    Her mother declares that it was not about the dress, but a grandmother knows these things.

First thing at home Easter morning, she kicked away her Easter basket and refused to hunt for eggs.  (I think she saw the dress hanging.) There is no photo documentation of her hissy fit.  Later the children attended 2 other egg hunts.

She and her happy, easy-going brother,  Alastair, joined a large group of children at a friend’s waterfront home.


A bay


Alastair had a great time.


A egg basket


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Easter Dress~Oh NO!



Happy Easter to you all!  This is such a joyous season, filled with promise of renewal and new beginnings.  Beautiful worship services, inspiring music, egg hunts and family gatherings all make it so special.

I will enjoy all these blessings, but right now I am dealing with major disappointment–the Easter  dress I made for 2 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.

For this enormously significant holiday, every mother and grandmother tries to outfit her little darlings in beautiful garments.For me, “tries” is the operative word here.  And believe me I did  try.


ME Shout


This post is not meant to be all about moaning and wailing, though this Mary Engelbreit illustration captures my feelings pretty accurately.  But I do hope listing the details of my failure will be helpful.  Also included are the few (very few!) good things I did.

So, reluctantly, I post this sad photo of the disastrous dress.


Alice all

MISTAKES:  (If you are prone to depression, just skip this and go to the few little success at the end of the post.) Continue reading

Backpack and Dingle Dangles



Lately, I’ve been on a Disney roll embroidering items for a good friend.   This backpack was a fearsome task, making me wonder if it was a mistake to take it on.   It brought to mind my “sewing in a cave” experience monogramming a large tote bag.  I did NOT want to repeat that.



bag cave


The bag was a Christmas gift for grandson Alastair’s favorite pre-school teacher.  Then I tackled another one for my dear Aunt Rheeta.  But it was no fun at all! Continue reading

Whimsy Dresses

Inspired by Kari Mecca's Whimsy classes.  Sorry for the boring picture but it was raining outside and this was the best I could do.

Inspired by Kari Mecca’s Whimsy classes. Sorry for the boring picture but it was raining outside and this was the best I could do.


I’m still reeling with ideas from Kari Mecca’s classes at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo ’15.  Fortunately, while there I had stocked up on spaghetti bias, so I was ready to go full steam ahead on this dress and a matching one for and AG doll.


dress bodice

The ladybug button just tickled me. I was especially happy to find a tiny bug button for the doll dress.




I started with a Simplicity pattern but wish I had found one without a yoke.  It left precious little room for the applique’ and I doubt the rick rack would have fit even if I had thought about it.  Also, I find the separation of bodice to skirt distracting, even with the coordinating lime green whipstitch piping.  Oh well. Continue reading

Peter Rabbit Blanket

Peter blanket ed


We’re re-modeling our kitchen.  What, you might ask, does that have to do with a Peter Rabbit blanket?  Let me explain.

We have no counters, no kitchen sink, and until last week, no stove.  Of course, breakfast and lunch are cold or prepared in the microwave and eaten on paper plates.  For dinner, we have no choice but to eat out every night.  What a hardship!  I told the kitchen guys to take their sweet time.


Mrs Rabbit

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Only for the Love of Grandchildren

Is there no limit to what we will do for our children or grandchildren?  Apparently not.


Pokemon ninja headbandss


I can’t believe I’ve just made 43 Pokemon Ninja headband birthday party favors for sweet grandson Alastair.  That’s LOVE!!!

Now 6 years old, he and most of his friends are  smitten with these characters.


party ninjas

Alastair is the little guy standing with his hands in his pockets.

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