Category Archives: button machine

Star Wars and Sunsets


A Star Wars apron made and monogrammed for a friend.

A red-lined Star Wars apron made and monogrammed for a friend.


Star Wars fans are so excited about the opening of  The Force Awakens movie.   Well aware of that marketing opportunity, 11 yo granddaughter Laurel has been busy stocking Star Wars items in her Etsy store, SewAmazingGifts.  


3 buttonsWM

Fabric covered buttons have either a pin or rubber band back for ponytail or flip flops. She is selling them for $3 each at her Etsy shop.


Today was a Star Wars marathon. We worked together in the sewing room as she made samples and filled orders.  First she finished the apron she started last week.  It just warms my heart to I see her comfortably and happily stitching away on my Brother Dream Machine.   Seeing her progress through the years makes this Nana so proud.

I pressed fabric while she sewed and covered the buttons.  We were so busy that I forgot to take a picture of Laurel at work.

The pins and ponytail buttons were made with Hope Yoder’s fabulous Button Cover Machine.  It’s such a great addition to my sewing room–it’s quick, fun and offers so many opportunities for creative gifts.


Hope with her button machine,

Hope shows her button machine and samples at her Sewing At The Beach booth.

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G’Kid Stuff and Preschooler’s Cot Sheet Pattern


A sheet

Alastair with his new preschool cot sheet, fresh out of the priority mailer envelope. There is a tiny race car crossing the “t” in his name.

It’s been busy and hectic here with lots of fun with grandchildren and friends.   And some sewing, but there is nothing pretty to show you.

Alastair is 4 now, though the celebration at Nana and Granddad’s is not scheduled until next week.   But to my great surprise, this early birthday cot sheet gift seemed to thrill him only slightly less than a visit from superhero Captain America.  It was made to compensate for the duck fiasco detailed below. Continue reading

New Mother Gift



This sweet new mother gift set was photographed and sent to me by one of my friends in Puerto Rico, Haydee.  Several previous posts on this blog have shown her work or ideas.   As I have explained before, the language barrier prevents me from scoping out the details of these projects. Continue reading





Sewing for Alastair’s upcoming second birthday party is such fun.  I’ve only just begun and I am glad to have another week  to sew for this gala affair.




A  few of the “boy” teepee goodie bag favors are sewn up and I am working on the girl version in more feminine colors.

As usual, a simple little project turned into something more time consuming.  I chose the  pillow ticking fabric because it reminds me of  traditional engineer bib overalls, worn by little guys (and train engineers)  for ages.  Until he was six, our son  had a new pair every year because he wore them out as he explored every inch of  our three acres, climbing trees and digging  “forts” under the cascading bridal wreath spirea by the clothesline.    It makes me grin every time I see Alastair wearing this same garb, 35 years later.

For the festivities, Alastair will be wearing his overalls  along with a matching cap, both of which I plan to embroider with “Amtrak.”   There is also a red bandana to tie around his neck, but we’re not sure he is going to be enthusiastic about that. Continue reading

Coming soon: St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time-a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”  Adrienne Cook


Though March 21st is the official first day of spring, March 17th is truly the harbinger of sunny days to come.

St. Patrick’s Day is just plain fun.  Snakes are said to have been driven away by this popular saint and yet parades “snake” through town in celebration of all that is Irish.



The holiday implies no responsibility for candy or roses or gifts or greeting cards.  A celebrant’s only duty is to wear green, The Great Equalizer that enables people of all nationalities to share a single ancestry for a day.  Of course, there are always those who take advantage of a situation and sport shirts or hats demanding “Kiss me.  I’m Irish!”

On this day, everyone of good humor is Irish.   Though the smallest dab of green on one’s clothing implies participation in the day’s festivities, it is more fun for children to dress for the occasion. Continue reading

Sewing Friends

The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.  ~Author Unknown

Judy lunching in the potting shed

Hmmmm……I am blessed with fabulous friends, friends with whom I have had some of my very best conversations. But silence was never a part of those dialogues. I’m not sure we could ever sit on a porch without saying a word. My friends are pretty chatty and so am I. Have you noticed?

One of my dearest friends, Judy Day, flew in from Missouri to spend a few days with me. I doubt there was a moment when we were not talking, mostly about sewing. Just ask my dear, understanding husband.

While Judy was here, our chatter was nonstop until the lights were out.

What a delight it was to hear about her projects, to tell her about mine, to discuss new sewing tools and techniques as well as the joy and satisfaction of sewing for our grandchildren.

Judy brought me the sweetest gift–a sachet with my monogram inside a heart outlined with some of her grandmother’s tatting. Judy hoards this stuff like the crown jewels as she  metes it out, striving to make it last through special garments for her own three grandchildren. So not only is the tatting lovely, it is part of a very loving gift.

I gave her one of my favorite books, The Love of Lace by Cynthia Hart and Catherine Calvert. That was appropriate because we both are intrigued by the beauty, variety and history of this delicate adornment and because we spent a good bit of time studying examples from my collection of laces, both antique and contemporary. In my stash we were able to find just the right lace for her granddaughter’s first communion dress. Continue reading

Betty’s Embroidered Buttons


These buttons are just sooooo sooooo neat!   When my friend Betty Ludwig (see her Shopping Girls jacket a few posts ago) told me about the button machines from Hope Yoder and how much she loved hers, I was intrigued.  Basically, these buttons covered with machine embroidery.

So why do you need a machine?  People have been covering buttons for a very long time, with nothing more than a package from the fabric department.  You don’t need a machine, if you are simply covering a button with fabric.




But if you want to feature a motif in the fabric, or more currently, a machine embroidered design, then you’ve got a whole different set of challenges.

The difficulty is centering.  And it is easy peasy with Hope’s machine and her miniature embroideries designed specifically for buttons.

But what do you do with these embroidered buttons, I asked Betty.  “EVERYTHING!!!!” was her answer.  At Betty’s insistence, I watched the video on Hope’s web site  and my excitement built.  These buttons can be used on anything for anybody!   From key chain fobs to book marks to….well, just scroll through these photos.  Continue reading