Valentine Peekaboo Candy Heart

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. The rush of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s festivities is past, giving us time to stitch a little love for dear ones.

Note: I don’t know why the images are all elongated. That’s another thing I’ll have to figure out.

These candy filled felt bags were such fun to make. As I thought of all those I wanted to shower with affection and confections, I just kept making more. With the many Valentine colors of felt in my stash, I couldn’t seem to stop!

In-the-hoop designs for both 4×4 and 5×7 frames are available as free downloads here in my post at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial.

Without an embroidery machine this can be created by drawing or importing a heart design with a second smaller heart. Simply follow the basic directions in the post linked above, but sew your heart rather than embroider it in the hoop. Decorative stitches on your sewing machine could be used on the edge of the heart.

All that is needed to create your own candy filled heart:


embroidery machine
• (2) 5” felt squares for 4×4 frame
• Or (2) 6” squares for 5×7 frame
• 3-4” circle of clear vinyl TIP: The plastic/vinyl from a zippered bag in which new linen or garments arrive is a good substitute.
• Tearaway stabilizer
• small, colorful, individually wrapped candies
• Notions: 18” ribbon or embroidery floss, large tapestry needle, painters masking tape, OPTIONAL: tissue paper
• Thread: embroidery thread
• Downloads: MAShearttreatbag4x4.pes, MAShearttreatbag5x7.pes

You don’t have to wait for the next Valentine’s Day to show your affection for friends and family. Stitch up a candy heart any time of the year!

Required disclosure: I am a paid Ambassador for Brother. Not required: I genuinely love my Brother machines.

Catching up~Christmas Sewing!

In spite of all the stitching that has gone on since my past post, going on in my sewing room I have done no blogging about it. Too many obligations, too little time, and too many projects beckoning me! But now I will begin to catch up with this first post of my earlier projects.

Christmas came and went with Bob and me celebrating alone between doses of antibiotic. Bronchitis struck again so it was a quiet time for us, but no less special. The “reason for the season” was most important.

Our 3 year old granddaughter was given a sheer, white cotton, smocked bishop with a mint green slip. This beauty was purchased on the facebook group, Smocking Destash, smocked but requiring finishing at the neck, sleeves and hemline. What a find! The pictures were taken on a rare, dark, cloudy day with scattered rain. They do not do it justice!

The mint green slip shadows through in person, but does not show so on this cloudy day.
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Geometric smocking is a very pale mint green floss. The plentiful bullion roses were spectacular–not stitched by me!

On the hem lace edging was joined below the pinstitched beading. To keep the mint satin ribbon from slipping, it was secured to the beading with evenly space French knots. The slip was purposely a bit longer to show off more lace edging.

Mint green Imperial batiste slip with it’s laced edged hem can also serve as a sundress.

The machine embroidery design is from Petite Poche’, (Wendy Schoen) Creating Heirlooms for Baby. The bee was added to tickle the fancy of granddaughter Beatrice, nicknamed Bea. The lace at the slip neckline peeks out above the dress neck binding. Beatrice was delighted with the addition of the bee.

I was dissatisfied with the attachment of the slip’s skirt to the lined yoke. The gathers created so much bulk that the yoke would not lie flat. This would have been less of a problem with all cotton fabric. If I were to do it again, I would reduce the skirt’s width.

Again I was reminded of the joy that comes from seeing a child in classic clothing. I’d love to see photos of your Christmas creations.

Required disclosure: I am a paid Ambassador for Brother. Not required: I really do love my Brother machines.

Puppy Training 101: Q0 Tips to Prepare your Dog for Fulfillment

While the stereotype is likely to be that canine and cats are enemies, quite the opposite will be true, and they can turn into inseparable. In case your dog has by no means met a cat, they could be suspicious upon first sight. How will they react on the sight of one other canine in their presence? Some individuals assume that just because you have got 2 dogs means they will see each other as members of the family straight away with a brand new pack member, however generally it takes lots of work to get each used to the thought of one another round.

The courses provide a chance for the puppy to meet new canine and new folks – all with the oversight of a trainer. Due to their tiny puppy teeth, they aren’t outfitted to chew the big, more durable kibble of grownup dogs.

You can’t simply wing it and hope for one of the best when it’s time to introduce your pet to older pets in the household. Your pets look to you to be the chief of the pack. You possibly can usually get a pack of three, and they’re pretty powerful. The best strategy to set up their crate is in an open-access space where they’ll feel safe. Socialization means exposing your puppy to as many new folks, places and issues as you may in a means that’s pleasant for the dog and never overwhelming.

Provide a way for your older pet to flee or retreat if they want. A major think about enthusiastic about when your pet meets an older pet is to establish your assumptions. You want to stay close so you possibly can quickly scoop your pet up if she tries to eat something harmful. Before you carry home your pet, you’ll undoubtedly want to consider how your current pets work together with canine and cats. Adjusting to a new puppy could be a problem even for humans, so your pets that already reside there will certainly want time to be taught all about this new ball of fluff enjoying with their toys.

Never use the crate as a punishment, or your pet will solely start to avoid it. Start early so your canine will get used to being on the leash. It’s easy to be overwhelmed if you start with a pet or a brand website new dog.

After all, your canine or cat can’t consult with you on their opinion of including an addition to the family, so you’ve to consider all facets earlier than deciding on your pet. Whether you’ve got a canine or a cat already, your pet will want to adjust to the addition of a curious, boisterous pet. Use the reusable. They are going to save cash and help the planet by not contributing to landfill sites.

They’ll work on integration coaching to assist put together your dog for his or her new feline good friend. You will need to establish potty training on the primary day, so be ready for evening time accidents while they learn. Potty training an 8-week outdated pet is difficult at best. Our GP pup we acquired at ten weeks old was already partially home trained. So, this guide will nonetheless apply at ten weeks outdated. For comparability, the Yorkshire Terrier we had eaten a few cup at ten weeks.

Adjustments can take weeks and months, not just some days. The secret’s to know your pet’s personality, put together effectively, and take issues very slowly for a successful introduction. Well, don’t take this approach when introducing pets to each other! Follow our 13 ideas for introducing your puppy to your present pets for a smooth process for all concerned. Show them you appreciate their consideration by rewarding them with healthy treats all through the method.

Introducing pets to one another could be a frustrating course of even when you are prepared. How are your pets with different animals? Your animals can odor and see each other and get used to their presence, observing the bouncing cotton ball with legs or sniffing the brand new puppy with out getting pounced on. You can also make virtually anything a sport, including educating your pet impulse control.

You’ll want all the shades of the rainbow to make varied plans! You’ll be able to train them to let you realize they should go, nonetheless. Think of all of the methods the introduction may go, including the nice, the bad, and definitely the ugly. When you’re considering bringing home a puppy on the market, you need to think about all the members of your household – particularly the animals you already stay with. While it’s wonderful to be optimistic and only suppose optimistic ideas, now will not be the time to only view the long run introduction by rose-coloured glasses.

Does your canine have a fantastic time on the canine park, or are they reserved or agitated? This train is a superb topic to debate along with your family and brainstorm while sipping your favorite beverage. Choose a impartial house in your house that is not related together with your pet’s favorite sunny spot. Wherever it’s, just be sure that it’s a neutral space with very little distractions.

Happy St.Patrick’ Days Quilt

An Irish Blessing for your table

St.Patrick’s Day has come and gone, I know, but the Irish blessing on this quilted table topper is suitable for any time of the year. And it certainly has the look of spring! Additionally, March is National Quilting Month, and there are still a few March days left.

It’s hard to read circular text. The blessing says:

May the road rise to meet you, may the sun shine warm upon your face.

May the wind always be at your back, and rains fall soft on your fields.

I pray this blessing for all my genuine Irish friends and all those who were Irish in spirit on March 17th. To all I say Sláinte!

This project is not only fun to make, but it is a scrap stash buster! With a different center block and other colors, it could be made to fit any season or holiday. The center Irish blessing design and Celtic knots in each corner both are from San Francisco Stitch Company.

Click here to see my detailed instructions, diagrams and photo at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial.

Continue reading

Fil Tire’ and Fancywork

fil tire’ oval surrounded by pinwheel roses and greenery ~~situated above serpentine entredeux woven with threads used for leaves…5.12″ x 7.9″

The Fil Tire’ and Fancywork machine embroidery collections created by Suzanne Sawko and me have been mentioned in several posts.

There are three sets, Elements, Combinations and Frames and Phrases. The stitched samples make the post very image intensive, so each collection will be posted separately. They will appear in succession,as quickly as I can scan sew outs and write the descriptions.

A few of the free designs offered here have been from one of the three sets.I am sorry this is more tedious than the one click purchase option on other upscale sites. This is more like yard sale bargain prices, changing inventory, and limited quantities. You might be surprised at some of the unique items I have in my stash/hoard/collection!

These designs are from the Fil Tire’ and Fancywork Combinations Collection.The cost is $25 if delivered electronically or $30 + postage if delivered on a cd.

3.85" x 2.07"
3.85″ x 2.07″ Another useful design for monograms is this design
called monogram swag.The flowers look very much like hand embroidery.

For sale: Fil Tire’ and Fancywork Combinations machine embroidery collection. $25 downloaded or $30 + postage on CD. Designs require hoop sizes from 4 x 4 to 6 x 10″. This is the second of three Fil Tire’ and Fancywork collections.

6.63″ x 2.02″ ~~very sweet on a baby blanket with a monogram or name above the swag.

See a Swiss flannel blanket with this design.

NOTE: These sew-outs were stitched to card stock and kept in a notebook. This caused  the puckers in the fabric.The designs stitch out perfectly flat.

3.94″ x 3.94″~~nice under monograms or names

This collection was designed and digitized by my close friend Suzanne Sawko and edited by me.

6.75" x 1.92" Baby pillowcases are so pretty with this design.
6.75″ x 1.92″ Baby pillowcases are so pretty with this design.

Suzanne is an innovative digitizer with a great sense of design.

2.68″ x 2.69″~~~fil tire’ basket

See this design on a tabletopper.

She was the first to digitize fil tire’ and, in my opinion, no one has ever duplicated the crisp, light, hand stitched look of her machine embroidered version of this classic hand stitching technique.

2.59" x 0.63"~~I've used this on either side of a button front yoked daygown.
2.59″ x 0.63″~~I’ve used this on either side of a button front yoked daygown.

There are 3 collections, Elements, Combinations and Frames and Phrases. Elements has individual designs that can be combined as you choose. Many of those “elements” are included in the Combinations designs. The other two collections will be offered and displayed in another post.

3.94″ x 3.94″~~Replicated from a 1930’s boudoir pillow.

There are also designs that look very much like hand embroidery. Some were copies from antique embroideries, like this one which was featured on a ’30’s boudoir pillow. There is a single coordinating  flower in the collection.

When she first told me many years ago that she was digitzing fil tire’, I might have been skeptical had I not known her. Suzanne had already digitized so many hand look stitches like chain stitch for redwork, machine embroidered French knots, lazy daisy, pinwheel rose and more that I expected she would do it and do it well.

1.69″ x 1.34″

See this design on a little quilt, “If apples were pears….”

There are 35 different designs, but 54 design files. Many identical designs are offered in two versions, like the two below. The first features web roses (shown unfinished–see the 5 legged cross at the very center of the fil tire’ and along the sides) which need some hand work, explained in the information file.

8.54" x 5.54" This would be pretty on a round collar or yoke. It requires some handwork on the web roses shown as stars.
8.54″ x 5.54″ This would be pretty on a round collar or yoke.The collection includes another version of this design which includes web roses, requiring some handwork.

Other design are offered with slight variations, such as a row of entredeux with three pinwheel roses at right. It can be stitched vertically with what might be ribbons or, if stitched in green, tendrils. This same entredeux design with pinwheel roses is also offered horizontally.

1.2″ x 0.48″ The dainty, wide V design is sweet on collars or as brackets around a tiny monogram. See this design on zig zag bonnet.

3.26" x 1.55"
3.26″ x 1.55″ If rotated, the corner below also works for a monogram or name. It was also used on the sides of a Swiss flannel baby shawl. A handkerchief corner is another place for this small design.

3.94 x 3.94″ As is, it looks sweet on a handkerchief corner or on either side of a yoke. This design was used on a set of child’s tea party linens.

3.94″ x 3.94″ I use this little floral spray frequently on baby blankets, to break up a line of feather stitching around the perimeter.

.54″ x 6.9″ floral serpentine This can be stitched continuously with a border hoop. One of my favorites in this collection is the floral serpentine. It can be connected to a continuous line around a skirt or down a blouse front.

1.56″ x 1.33″ fil tire’ oval See this on a doll dress bodice.For those of you patient enough to read through all this and still eager to sample a design, please leave your request as a comment. I will e-mail the fil tire’ oval, one of the most frequently used designs in the collection, to you.

Madeira Applique’ Tutorial

Joanne Banko hosted me on her live YouTube show December 9 for a fun and informative tutorial on Madeira applique’. This is one of my favorite heirloom techniques.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'fet with Joanne Banko go sew! Time for Tea & Tutorials! LIVE show Friday December 9th, 2pm Eastern Standard Time Learn Madeira the art of Appliquel With sewing, embroidery, & embroidery, heirloom Ferguson expert, Janice Join us! Sip some tea and learn some new sewing tips and tricks! xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx'
You can watch the replay here

Joanne is a dear friend of mine, who was described by another sweet friend who has never met her in person as “a genuinely warm, nice person.”

Her Friday live “Tea and Tutorials” are always a treat with various guests. Each show offers a unique sewing talent and special technique. Tune in to Joanne’s YouTube channel for entertaining and fun learning.

Getting back to Madeira applique, the video shows many of my finished projects that feature this technique and then goes on to show how-to step by step. Here are some of the projects shown, but the real meat of the video is the instructional story boards.

This little baby pillowcase was not shown, as there were time constraints. But I love this project.

I would rather have used a softer blue for the Madeira hem but for tv, I knew a darker color would show up better. The fil tire’ hearts and the swag are designs by extremely talented designer and my good friend Suanne Sawko.

This pillowcase is another project that was not included in the video. It was a birthday gift for my daughter a few years ago.

Details are included in this earlier blog

Madeira mono green

This little bishop dress was included in the video.

It shows a traditional Madeira hem as well as a Madeira treatment on the sleeve. The sleeve didn’t show up very well on the video as with that Ipad camera I am as clumsy as a gorilla with a tatting shuttle. So prease be forgiving. Here is a close up.

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That tiny rosebud at the peak of the Madeira is a free download here. It is so very useful. Just ask for it in the comment section and it will be sent to your email.

It’s time to get back to Christmas preparations. It love this joyous season. The house and tree are almost decorated (I know it’s late but I’ve been crazy busy), the staircase is lovely and my favorite holiday ornament is hanging on the front door wreath. It is an antique sleigh bell I purchased at the church bazaar 50 years ago.

With a houseful of family arriving from New Jersey, Nebraska and Lakeland, Florida, it will be a chaotic, wonderful time of love and laughter. Above all, it will be a time of celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. More on Christmas sewing later. Happy last minute holiday stitching to you!

Pumpkin Patch of Goodies

Peekaboo Pumpkin Treat Bags

This is from a post at Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial All instructions with detailed photos are located there. The links for the machine embroidered peekaboo pumpkins 4×4.pes and 5×7.pes are no longer active, so if you would like them, just email me at and I will send them. I love this project and think you will too.

It’s a pumpkin patch of goodies and so much fun to make!  With your Brother Embroidery machine, you can quickly stitch enough to fill a basket of these cuties.   Delight visiting children or any young friends at church or community gatherings.  Mail a few to your grandchildren or deliver some to nursing home friends or children at a homeless shelter.  Because pumpkin season runs long, from fall to Thanksgiving, a wagon load would not be too many.  You will have a good time making and giving these away.  The possible variations are unlimited.  You will have a hard time stopping with one.  I could not!    Individual pumpkins are mixed in with the directions. WARNING:  These can be addictive.

Here are a few variations. 

orange felt, green stripe ribbon

There are so many interesting printed burlaps that would make cute pumpkins. I like to cut a wider distance from the stitching to create fringe.  Adding curly ribbon makes it more festive. like the way the burlap fringes.

polka dot burlap with curly ribbon

This would have looked nice with gold metallic thread.  I always get these ideas too late. Maybe I’ll make another one! 

ivory with gold stitching

The step-by-step directions for these cute little treat bags are posted here The bags are suitable through Thanksgiving.

Happy Fall!

Required disclosure: I am a paid Brother Ambassador. Not required: I LOVE my Brother sewing machines!

Halloween Faux Quilt

Mickey and friends enjoy Halloween

This project was designed for Brother machines some time ago, but I am certain you clever readers with other machines can adapt the relatively simple directions and have fun with this. I apologize for the late posting so close to Halloween, but my home in central Florida was in the path of Hurricane Ian. This caused a significant delay. We were blessed to have suffered very minimal damage-a great deal of debris and a downed 60′ palm tree. This graceful palm had Confederate jasmine climbing to its very top before it fell in a convenient direction away from our pool. We continue to pray for those less fortunate whose losses were devastating.

For the fortunate ones, life goes on. Children helped to pick up the fallen branches and asked about their Halloween costumes. Did you know that Halloween is the most popular secular holiday?  Celebrate with this kid-pleasing Halloween wallhanging and learn a quick and easy technique.  This can be used with other themes and holidays.

With some burlap, Brother’s wholesome Disney Halloween machine embroidery collection from and some seasonal fabric you will be on your way.   Discover and master a unique, easy and fun faux quilting technique.  Children will be delighted when they see Goofy’s skeleton glow in the dark.



*Halloween print—four 4” squares, eight 2 x 4” rectangles, eight 2” squares, 19 x 3 ½”  for sleeve 

  • burlap 19 1/2” square for front, 25” square for backing. This is extra large to account for the many ravels as the piece is handled.  Later it will be trimmed to size.

*orange scraps for yo-yo’s

Cotton batting 22” square Disney Halloween designs: DMHLW01–Mickey with pumpkin, DMHLW02–Minnie with broom

DMHLW03—Goofy skeleton costume, DMHLW04—Best Ghoul friends, DMHLW05—Oh boy what fun

Notions: tearaway stabilizer, spray adhesive, chalk marker, glow-in-the-dark thread, embroidery threads, black cotton sewing thread for decorative stitching, bits of green ribbon for pumpkin stems  OPTIONAL: glow-in-the-dark thread, chalk marker, spray adhesive

TIP:  While any burlap can be used, a better quality makes it much easier to create the necessarily accurate grid.  Note the difference in the two qualities of burlap.

The burlap on the left has threads or strands of varying widths. The one on the right has strands of a more regular size.


  1. Pull threads on burlap creating a 6” grid with  ¾” border.

2. Starch and press the Halloween print until very stiff and crisp.

3. Press four 4” squares as shown, with diagonally opposite corners folded to center.

4. Press four 2 x 4” rectangles with one corner folded up as shown.

5. Press four 4” x  2” rectangles with one corner folded down as shown.

6.  Press four 2” squares in half diagonally.

7.  Press four 2” squares flat.

  By combining the shapes into larger pieces, then stitching over where seams would have been, it gives the illusion of many pieces being joined quite perfectly to create this pattern. Folding many of the edges under, particularly the bias edges, gives a very neat appearance. The decorative stitching covers the raw edges and makes short work of what could be a very time consuming project.

8. Press under ½” on each short end of sleeve piece and stitch in place. Fold in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.  Set aside.

9. Baste Halloween pieces in place on burlap.  Use of the knee lift leaves both hands free for frequent pivoting.

10. Spray batting with adhesive.  Place burlap on top of batting. 

11. Select stitch # 108 in the utility menu.   Baste through all three layers.

TIP: The Muvit dual feed foot makes quick work of this process.  The walking foot is also effective.

ANOTHER TIP:  Use thread color to match Halloween fabric.  If basting threads become trapped in the embroidery, they will not show. 

AND ONE MORE—CAUTION:  Be alert when embroidery foot approaches the lengthy basting stitches.  It helps to remove nearby basting threads when embroidering.

12. Mark centers of  ”snowballs” for placement of embroidery designs.

TIP: A chalk device works best.  A small crosshair can be brushed away if the embroidery does not cover .the mark.

13. Hoop tearaway stabilizer in 4×4 frame.

14. Open “Oh Boy” design and edit to add basting frame.  This will secure the quilt top to the frame without leaving hoop burn (an imprint of the hoop on the burlap and batting).

Boy oh Boy baste frame key

NOTE:  Remember that the basting frame option does not appear until the Embroidery screen appears, after SET and EDIT screens. 

15. Position the center square over the frame.

16. Engage the needle placement laser feature.

17.  A red dot will appear in the middle of the frame.  Move the burlap so the red dot sits precisely on the crosshairs.

red dot centered

18. Hold the burlap in place securely with tweezers or your stylus.  Advance to the first stitch in the basting frame.  When you are certain that the burlap is still in its proper place continue with basting. 

use of tweezers

19. Embrooider “Oh Boy Fun.”

20. Remove stabilizer and remove burlap from frame.   Repeat this process for the remaining 4 snowballs. 

TIP: Stitch Goofy’s skeleton with glow-in-the-dark thread for extra fun.

Goofy by day
Goofy by night

Spooky!!! Children will love it!

TIP: When stitching with glow-in-the-dark-thread, use a #90 needle and reduce speed. 

21. Center embroidered burlap and batting on second piece of burlap, creating a true “quit sandwich.”  This backing is extra large to account for the inevitable ravels which result from handling.  Later it will be trimmed to its proper size.

22. Baste through all three layers.  Again, use the Muvit dual feed foot to baste with stitch #108 on the utility menu.

23. Keep Muvit foot attached. Select a decorative stitch with a  width of no less than 6. The stitch shown is #211 on The Dream Machine, Quattro and Duetta, W 7, L 3. 5.

#108 basting stitch
laser guide screen with decorative stitch

25.  Engage the laser guide, shown in the orange rectangle above.

laser guide in use

26. Work decorative stitching in whatever sequence you prefer, but this route is efficient.  NOTE:  This is shown on the back of the quilt top for clarity.  Stitching is actually done on the right side.

suggested stitch routes

NOTE:  The purple sleeve at the top is to be sewn in place AFTER all the decorative stitching is done except the white along the top.  Somehow, the photo without the sleeve was corrupted, so just imagine the sleeve is not yet there.

a.Green (grid which creates 6” squares)

b.Dark blue (trapezoid shapes at center of each side)

c.Red (center shape-I should have paid more attention in high school geometry.  There must be a name for this.)

d.Yellow (whatever)

e.Purple (corner triangles)

f .Blue (perimeter on three sides)

g.Purple (corner triangles)

h.Light blue (perimeter on three sides)

i.White—top edge stitched AFTER sleeve is sewn in place.

This stitch will enclose the raw edges of the pieces.  Its design prevents loose threads breaking free to create an untidy appearance.

It is best to start each run of decorative stitching at the beginning of the pattern. Save the stitch and its settings in memory.  After finishing a section of stitching, tie off thread tails.  Then select #211 again and it will come up with your saved settings.  Stitching will start at the beginning of the pattern.

27.Remove all basting threads.

28. Position sleeve with raw edge toward bottom of quilt piece.  Place ¼” below the top of the snowballs.  Baste in place. 

sleeve basted in place

29. Work decorative stitch along top edge of quilt on right side.  This will secure the top of the sleeve.  

30. Remove basting threads on sleeve and press down. Hand whip folded edge to burlap.


31. Remove burlap threads up to stitching line to create fringe.

32. Trim away any fringe that exceeds ½” beyond the center of the decorative stitching.

trim fringe

33. Trim batting to 1” beyond the fringe.  Measure from center of decorative stitching.

trim batting

34. Pull batting to create the ragged look shown. Use of tweezers works well.

make batting fringe

35. Remove burlap threads to create fringe.

36. Insert a 22 x 1” flat wooden piece into the sleeve.

37. Braid three threads (pull from full width of burlap) to create a 26” cord.  As the threads become frayed simply add another in its place and continue braiding.  After approximately ½”, simply cut away the frayed piece and continue with the new thread.

38.Tie braided cord to each end of the wood rod.

39. Make 6 orange yo-yo’s.  Instructions for easy creation of these faux pumpkins are included in the Finding Dory blog post.  

40. Tuck a piece of green ribbon in the center of each yo-yo and hand stitch in place.

41. Retrieve six 18” threads removed from the burlap. Tie to the wood rod.

42. Attach a yo-yo to each thread in staggering lengths. 

yo-yo pumpkins on right side
yo-yo pumpkins on left side

43. Hang this little quilt, call the children and turn out the lights.  Happy Halloween!

Required disclosure: I am a paid Brother Ambassador. Not required: I LOVE my Brother sewing machines!

Quickie Hostess Gift

Note: The name of the host couple has been blurred so you all don’t try to wrangle a dinner invitation. This was such a delicious meal! And I’m sorry if perhaps the gloriosa lilies are just too much, but the colors look so festive and Mexican-like to me. They are blooming so profusely in my garden and I wanted to show them off.

Quickie Hostess Gift

For our Bible Study group, we always have dinner, with the host and hostess providing the main course with others bringing the remainder of the meal. But for some unknown reason, dear Jackie graciously decided to offer a complete Mexican dinner to our entire group. No one else had to cook and that was certainly a treat.

Truth be told, a terrible storm took out my power for quite some time that afternoon, so I did not finish the embroidery before time to go. When I returned home, I was so impressed with the meal that I added the text to the design. It is Embroidery Library’s Mariachi Clothesline.

I’ve always felt that situations like this require a gift which does not leave the recipient feeling beholden.

When I gave the towel to Jackie at church she was so very pleased. Of course, she is the kind of lady who would have been tickled with a decorative pocket package of tissues. At the fellowship hour after the worship service, she was showing it off and all the non-sewers, which makes up most of the congregation, seemed so amazed at not just the Mariachi Clothesline embroidery, but the personalization. It certainly takes a just a little stitching to make some people happy. And it makes me happy to see them happy.

So the next time you need a quick gift for someone you don’t want to feel beholden, go embroider or stitch a dishtowel. That’s my advice. Happy sewing!

And read on…….

This earlier post explains my feelings and opinion about dishtowels very well.

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”
Ben Carson

Ben, that’s just one reason for my happiness. However, it’s true that for any occasion– large, small or no occasion at all– I love giving gifts. But it can be tricky.

Goldilocks said, “This gift is too big!”

Too large or too expensive a gift like this jewel encrusted package or a trip to Paris for lunch would make a friend feel beholden and I don’t want that. (Let me be perfectly clear, I would not give a trip to Paris for lunch.Or a jewel encrusted package. So don’t ask.)


Goldilocks said, “This gift is too small!”

Too small a gift, like a coat hanger, is just tacky. Getting it just right takes some thought.


Goldilocks said, “This gift is just right.”

The design is OESD/ Embroidery On-line’s Happy Birthday Frog. My design library includes the Bernina collection Fanciful Frogs. I have used those designs here and again and again.

As you can see, dishtowels are my go-to “little” gift. They can be personalized with machine embroidery (do you think my sorority sister Danilee ever got one of those bicycle license name plates or wall plaques?)

A novelty fabric turn tube hem or hand embroidery embellishment makes a towel special.

Yo-yo flowers with button centers, rick rack and a turn tube hem transform a plain white dishtowel to something more interesting.

Yo-yo flowers with button centers, rick rack and a turn tube hem transform a plain white dishtowel to something more interesting. This towel was a project I taught at Sewing at the Beach, Myrtle Beach. Would you like this design to be offered as a freebie?

Dishtowels are always the right size, the right price. Even if the color is wrong they still dry the dishes.

For the hostess of our fabulous family Thanksgiving dinner.

These were for the hostess of a fabulous family Thanksgiving dinner. The leaf spray is from Autumn Wreaths, Kreations by Kara. I added the pumpkin from some other set. They made a perfect hostess gift.

A thank you for the gracious owners of the beach condo my daughter rented.

This was a thank you for the gracious owners of the beach condo my daughter rented. These designs are from Dakota Collectibles Shell Collection and matched the wallpaper in the kitchen.

In groups they make a substantial birthday gift.


This DOW set was embroidered for my sweet, enthusiastic quilting friend Catherine.

It helps a quilter schedule a perfect week.

The embroidery design set was done by Tracy Burkart of Needleart Studio. They seem to be unavailable now. It helps a quilter schedule a perfect week.

A recipe towel paired with a jar of jam was just the right size for each of my treasured PGM friends at our Christmas gift exchange.

recipe towels-jars1

I haven’t canned in years, but these jams from the Mast Store had more down-home appeal than Smuckers. The recipe designs are from Embroidery Library. They come as simple redwork.  I added the fruit.

The hostess of our Christmas party had just become a grandmother guessed it...little Harry.

The hostess of our Christmas party had just become a grandmother to…you guessed it…little Harry.The design is from Dakota Collectibles Christmas Applique collection.

Coordinated with a turn tube hem, the dishtowels were bright and cheerful.

When a very dear but far away friend was experiencing some serious difficulties, these towels offered  daily inspiration and a reminder that I cared. Coordinated with a turn tube hem, the dishtowels were bright and cheerful. Designs are from Amazing Designs Inspirational Concepts. A dishtowel can give a very personal message for little more than the cost of a greeting card. It lasts longer and is useful.

true friends towel-1

The embroidery is a compilation of elements from various designs. The house, tree, and “road” were combined with text to express a heartfelt message.

For another group gift exchange, Christmas dishtowels filled the bill.


The Christmas tree design is from Kreations by Kara, Christmas in Motion collection. “All is calm, all is bright” is in Amazing Designs Christmas IV collection which seems to be discontinued.

xmas towels

The “Tilted Tree,” “Jingle,” and Gingerbread House are all from Applique Corner.

Well, there are more dishtowels, but I seem to have beat this horse to death. I get all wrapped up in remembering the occasion and the recipients. Can you tell I love dishtowel gifts?



Thanksgiving 2021-It all came together!

table set, ready for dinner

What a joyous, satisfying Thanksgiving we had!  All the cooking and sewing and preparations proved to be worth it as it all came together and our family arrived.

We had some close calls and a lot of tension before that, though.  One week before Turkey Day, the thermostat in my stove died!  It would likely take a week to get a replacement part#$%&!!!!  Dear husband Bob decided we should just get a new stove, but in this era of widespread shortages, that was like a scavenger hunt!  He finally found one that fit our need and it was delivered Sunday morning.  Hallelujah!

While we were waiting on the stove, at 11 p.m.Friday night, we discovered a flood in the dining room coming coming from under the china cabinet!  YIKES!!! We spent the night rotating 4-6 beach towels soaking up the water, spinning them in the washer then drying them while others replaced them with another set of  beach towels.

God bless the wonderful plumber who showed up at 11 a.m.Saturday and fixed the kitchen plumbing which had a 1/4″ hole in the pipe!  All the while I was praying the kitchen stove would be delivered the next day as promised.

Before all that angst, there was so much excitement as we readied everything–new curtains were made for one guest room, new pillowcases were made and embroidered, flower beds were weeded, fresh flowers placed in the guest rooms and front hall.  The dogs and cats were well aware that something was going on.

Sebastian eagerly awaits guests’ arrival

Before everyone arrived, the dinner table was set. I made free standing lace “ornaments” or “dingle dangles.”  They were tied to the burlap napkin rings which coordinated with the burlap table runner.  The burlap rings were wrapped around linen hemstitched napkins.

Burlap napkin ring with free standing lace pumpkin from Embroidery Library’s Fall Favorites collection. I’m going to have to press that burlap runner into flat submission with heavy starch and my press!  UPDATE:All the starch in the world won’t make burlap lie flat.  The trick is to pull a burlap strand just 2 threads inside the fringe, like pulling a gathering  thread.  THEN starch and press the edge flat.

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