Category Archives: bags

‘Tween Purses

Lately, I’ve been busy checking off a few items on my to-do list by making purses requested by my 10 yo granddaughter,Laurel.  She is delighted with each and every one.   Most were sewn using  Zippy Designs in-the-hoop purse patterns.  I really like this collection which comes in three shapes and multiple sizes.


gator shirt purse cr

From Zippy Designz Rik Rak purse design, I made this Gator bag for granddaughter to carry to the big game. It goes with the vest shown below. After I took this picture I remembered that I had a card of gator button from Farmhouse Fabrics. Now one of those buttons hangs from the orange ribbon loop.


It’s always hot for the first games of the season so she wore this retail vest with a Gator blue shirt.


Gator vest



After the Gator bag, Laurel asked me to make purses to go with her church dresses.  She has asthma and allergies so she needs to carry an inhaler and  handkerchief with her, along with the required hair brush.  I always pack her purses with Dove chocolates which she shares with her friends at Sunday School. Continue reading

Trick or Treat Bag

treat bag

This sparkly trick or treat bag is a sweet girlie spin on the holiday that is rife with ghoulish images.  What little girl doesn’t love feminine Minnie Mouse, on a broom no less, wearing a coral colored witch’s hat?  And do you know anybody who doesn’t love candy corn?

This project began with a basic black tote 14″ x 14″.  The side and bottom seams were opened first and then the Trick or Treat text was embroidered.


bag  top

Since the embroidery unit was still attached, the next step was to hoop up orange felt and embroider Minnie as she sails past the moon. The design was inserted into one of the built-in frames on my Quattro.  The excess felt was cut away near the black satin stitching and the piece was put aside. Continue reading

Tween Church Ready

mall-purchased dress,  Nana made purse

mall-purchased dress, Nana made purse


There have been so many must-do projects in my sewing room that I’m way behind in clothing my granddaughters.  Ten-year-old Laurel has outgrown almost all of her church clothes so we shopped at the mall.

Clearly she is a “tween” now and  not our little girl.  The mall is definitely where it’s at for clothes now.  The good news is that it frees me up to sew for 19-month-old Vivian Rose.  I have had to search  hard to find the silver lining in that black cloud called “growing up.”  Whew, I tell myself!  I needed some help.

But as always, even with ready-to-wear,  some sewing was still required to pull the outfit together.  Before Laurel went to bed Saturday night, we added the white flower but she really wanted a purse for the outfit.


purse LF

The lacy heart design is from the Let There Be Love collection by Kreations by Kara. The monogram font is from the 2007 Internet Embroidery Club alphabet by Martha Pullen.


She wanted one that would hold her inhaler, a handkerchief and hair brush.  A 6″ x  42″ scrap of heavy linen was lying on the cutting table  along with huge piles of other remnants from earlier projects.  I was lucky that was on top because it was just perfect for the body of the bag.  Had it been buried a little deeper, I might not have found it until the big Spring Sewing Room Clean Up. Continue reading

Back to School ’14


Five years ago, my  5 year old granddaughter wore a CC Frannie school dress for our first day of homeschooling.


With the start of another school year, I can’t help but look back.  Most retired school teachers, I suspect,  do  the same.  This post was written 5 years ago as we began our first year of homeschooling together.

Now, she begins 6th grade.  Wow.  If she’s getting older, I guess that means so am I.

Laurel, 10 going on...?

Recently, she wrote a play which she will direct and has cast with friends. It will open at the public library in due time.


Perhaps you will find some of  these school sewing projects useful for your special students.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Continue reading

Rheeta’s Visit ~Sweat Shop or Working Vacation?


Aunt Rheeta has fallen in love with my Brother Quattro.

What a fabulous time we have had with my dear Aunt Rheeta.  She and her little apricot poodle, Molly, visited us here in Florida to escape the bitter Indiana winter and do a little sewing.  As it happened, she did more than a little.  In fact, my sewing room was like a sweat shop.  She accomplished so much!  Having an in-house sewing buddy was such fun.

We worked together, with most of the design arrangement done by me and most of the sewing done by her.    She is no newcomer to machine embroidery, only new to my Brother Quattro which she loved.

Rheeta has several major projects under her belt, including a spectacular embroidered linen communion cloth for her church, an exquisitely embroidered Bible cover and more.

Her primary goal was to finish high school graduation gifts for her granddaughter Alexa, a rising freshman at Texas A & M.  Rheeta’s first project was the requisite college fleece throw in school colors.

Edges are finished with a 3-thread wide serge.

Edges are finished with a 3-thread wide serge.  We didn’t worry about the wrinkles as the blanket was soon be packed tightly into her over packed suitcase for the trip home to Indiana.


The embroidery is Applique Market’s College Double Applique Alphabet.  As you can see, Rheeta used only the outline.  I love this versatile collection which comes with letters in

Since her acceptance letter,  Alexa has dressed her 4 lb. dog in a tiny, maroon, Texas  A & M shirt.  Certainly, she will be pleased with this fleece blanket.


Rheeta's granddaughter is, indeed, Princess of Quite a Lot of Laundry!

Rheeta’s granddaughter is, indeed, Princess of Quite a Lot of Laundry!

Continue reading

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days

Nat King Cole sang, “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…”

3 bagsCR

I haven’t seen much lazy this summer, and I have never  seen hazy Florida humidity as visible as in these photos.  It was steamy out at the clothesline today!  I have seen plenty of “crazy,” but I’m not even going to start on that.

In earlier posts, there has been discussion about the utility end of sewing.  Not everything we stitch is beautiful or creative or unique.  Sometimes it is just what is needed.  And according to my daughter, her children needed laundry bags.  So that’s what I sewed. Continue reading

Train up a child….

“Train up a child in the way he should go:  even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


Karoline sewing on her grandmother's Featherweight

Karoline sewing on her grandmother’s Featherweight


This Scripture applies to more than spiritual guidance.  Now a successful nurse practitioner, Karoline began sewing here at our home when she was 7 and has never stopped.  She was one of my daughter’s dearest friends from toddler days.  Karoline went to church with us and joined us for family vacations.  She was like one of the family.

After she graduated from high school, I didn’t see Karoline for many years. Recently, she moved back to the area with Benji, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Mr. Whiskers, an orange marmalade cat.   Yesterday, we had a joyous reunion and a fabulous day sewing on a special project for Benji.


K holding Bcr


Now can’t help strolling down memory lane, recalling Karoline’s enthusiasm and projects she had through the years.  And  the fun.  She was a really fun child to be around. Continue reading

Junior Entrepreneur

custom orders ready for delivery—monograms and “Homeschool Rocks”

After learning about economics and business in her homeschool curriculum, my 8 year-old granddaughter Laurel has gone into business for herself.

There was considerable discussion with her mother and me about the commitment and responsibilities this would entail, but she was undaunted.   She designed, printed and distributed a flyer at her Girl Scout meeting and then at a homeschool function. Continue reading

Free Pattern for Must-Try Teepee Bags

1st aid bagsX


These FIRST AID bags were made for granddaughter Laurel’s Girl Scout troop.  Next week, she will do a presentation as part of the first aid badge the girls are working on. At that time, she will hand out the bags and the girls will stock them with supplies.

UPDATE:  Girl Scouts with bags:


girl scouts



You can’t tell from the photo, but the pink fabric is printed with images of  Girl Scout badges.  I had only 1/2 yd. which should have been enough.  But there was a wide, brown border with text and numbers to be sewn on for troop identification.  That didn’t leave enough badge print to make 6 suitably sized totes.  So the pink fabric was serged on the short sides and then centered and zig zagged onto a piece of a homespun sort of muslin.

After I got that done, I realized that the muslin created a plain strip on either side of the zipper, suitable for text.  The border hoop for my Brother Quattro made this quick and easy, by hooping just stabilizer, basting the fabric to the stabilizer with the baste feature, embroidering the  text, then moving the stabilizer in the hoop for the next bag.

The design is too large for the 4 x 4  hoop, yet by using the 5 x 7 there would have been so much waste of stabilizer–not to mention the time involved in hooping 6 times.  The border hoop was a wonderful time saver. Continue reading

Quick Little Gift

Isn’t this a dandy little tea bag case!  My friend Suzanne Sawko just made a dozen of these as favors for a tea her daughter is hosting.

Though she made twelve, each was personalized with a monogram, making the gift especially nice.

Many years ago, Mildred Turner and I traveled together a good bit.  We both enjoyed a nice cup of Bigelow Earl Grey tea, but few of the airport or hotel restaurants we frequented carried it.  I found two small, inexpensive crazy patch ultrasuede zipper pouches that we used to carry our own supply.  We used those until they fell apart.  This is so much nicer–I should make one for Mildred. Continue reading