Category Archives: sporting gear

Bicycle Bag

The bike bag is a perfect match to my granddaughter’s bike. What a lucky coincidence! Detailed instructions are available here.

For that special biker (your child, your grand, your mother, yourself?) who has everything, how about a pretty quilted bike bag.

This was a fun project, made for Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial, in celebration of National Bike Month. Detailed photo instructions are included in the tutorial post.

I’ve loved this design since it was first included on a Brother card, EDB LG1. Now it is available as a single design at for 5×7 frames.

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Cars 3 Fun for Guys and Gals

See detailed instructions for this less bulky tutu skirt here


As Disney/Pixar’s wholesome movie Cars 3 roared through theaters across the nation this summer, offered a dozen beautifully digitized racing designs.  With so many macho characters associated with the Cars movies, Cruz Ramirex is truly the rising star of gender equality in the racing world.

This skirt features Cruz colors and embroidery. Fabric tutus similar to the one shown above are all the rage with younger girls.  I’ve heard of birthday parties at which each guest makes her own hula-type tutu.  One kindergarten class made these for an end of the year project.

Most of the quick, easy, and fun skirts are simply strips of fabric knotted over a circle of elastic.  Cruz’s skirt is tutu Version 2.0, with less bulk at the waist.  It includes a casing waistband which captures folded strips rather than knotted.  It also features her personal embroidered crest at the center front.  The skirt is paired with a simple white tee embroidered with the equivalent of Cruz’s business card.



Detailed instructions for this less bulky skirt and more photos are posted here at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial. Continue reading

Summer Camp Sewing

items embroidered for Alastair's summer camp

items embroidered for Alastair’s summer camp


MY-OH-MY!  This summer is just flying by.  Among other activities, I have been busy embroidering gear for our 7 yo grandson Alastair’s first sleepaway camp experience.  Each item in this huge pile carries the camp logo.

I have to say again how much I love machine embroidery for so many reasons.  Saving money is just one. Participating in his camp preparations is another.


Watitoh entrance


A long list was issued with required “logo-ed” screen printed items, such as a minimum of four $17.99 tees from the camp store.  After getting approval for the substitution of machine embroidery over printed, Alastair’s clever mama (my darling daughter) ordered blanks for all required gear and much more.  At a 24-hour, on-line flash sale, she purchased his things for less than $70 from the same manufacturer as items from the camp store.   Meanwhile, I got to work preparing the machine embroidery design. Fortunately, it is a simple logo. Continue reading

For the Boys

He asked that his face not be included. That's a shame because he is so handsome. But I respect his privacy.

Grandson Robert, 10 yo, embroidered this fleece poncho on my Brother Dream Machine.


Shops, internet and sewing groups inundate us with beautiful and adorable projects for our girls.  Items for the boys appear far less frequently. Yet we want to shower them with the same love that is stitched into items made for our girls.

My friend Judy Day faithfully and thoughtfully includes something for her grandson in packages she sends with garments for her granddaughter. See one example in her Even Steven post.

When our delightful 10 yo grandson Robert spent the night recently, he spent a lot of time cuddled up on the couch, wrapped in a fleece throw.  March Madness was well underway, watched intently by Robert and his Granddad.

As Robert trekked into the kitchen for a drink refill, with his blanket dragging the floor and slipping off his shoulders,  Sonia Showalter’s poncho   came to mind.  That’s just what Robert needed!

He agreed it was a great idea and wanted to help.  The technology of my Dream Machine fascinates him and he always asks a lot of questions about its capabilities.  In my experience, kids love sewing machines.  Robert chose a dragon from the built-in designs.


R dream dragon


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Thanks to Blanks–Quick Gifts

From ho-hum plain to sweet with the help of machine embroidery and spaghetti bias.

From ho-hum plain to sweet with the help of machine embroidery and spaghetti bias.


Lately, I’ve been in need of a variety of really fast projects, for a baby, a bride, a guy, a little girl and a young lady.  I know of nothing faster than starting with ready-made blank items.

I started with the baby gift.  Years ago I bought several of these blank bibs, bonnets and caps made of Aida cloth or with Aida cloth inserts.   You know how a technique strikes you suddenly.  Machine embroidered cross stitch–yup!


plain aida bibs

The plan was to embroider all of these bibs, bonnets and baby baseball caps.   But that didn’t happen.  Oh, I did embroider several for the pregnancy center our church supports.  But I sold most of them for a pittance.

When the needs rolled in for these in-a-New York-minute projects,  only one plain white one bib was left, though I’d rather have had one with blue gingham binding.  Why does it always happen that you have things lying around for years, then once they are gone you need them ASAP?  Who knows?

Even with the cross stitch embroidery, the white bib was boring.  So I pulled out some spaghetti bias from my stash and stitched it right on top of the white bias binding.  I was generally pleased with this little gift.

It seems to me that cotton thread makes machine cross stitch look more like hand stitching.  So the bib was stitched with 50 wt. DMC machine embroidery thread.  I really like that thread.

Then I moved on to something for the bride.  A new but vintage handkerchief from my collection was just what I needed for a second project.   The linen, hand crocheted edging and hemstitching fit the bill for “something old, something new, something borrowed (well, it COULD be loaned), and something blue.”  This was reeeeeally fast. Continue reading

Fan Team Gear


Creative Needle, June, 2005

Creative Needle, June, 2005


Hurrah, football season is here! Like families around the country, we look forward to kickoff.  As huge Florida Gator fans, every Saturday in the fall we hunker down for a full day of football, in front of the tv or at the stadium.


FL gator sign


Tradition dictates that everyone wear their “colors” on Game Day. The grandchildren keep outgrowing their team gear, so,  like  many of you, I’m trying to get them suited up for kickoff.


1-L first gator

Laurel was just 3 weeks old when we attended the annual Gator Nation gathering at the Daytona Speedway. She wore this cool, Swiss cotton pique top with pima check bloomers.

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‘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

Halloween “Jane”

corn pump cr

“Candy Corn Cutie” design is from Embroidtique.

Children’s Corner Jane has got to be one of my all-time favorite patterns.  When it comes to play clothes or holidays with a short-wearing season, this is my go-to.

It is so quick and easy that I made two Jane tops for toddler granddaughter Vivian Rose.  Two!!!!

candy corn emb

Poor placement of text on fabric.  It would have been so much more readable if it had been embroidered on the almost white stripe.

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UPDATE: Game Day Shirts and Tailgating

UPDATE: Robert’s spiral bound book, Football Frenzy, is now available.

front scanCR


Robert wrote every word, did the research and even typed this himself.  Finished before his 8th birthday, it includes a 7 year old’s experience and appreciation for the game, as well as interesting quotes and statistics along with Robert’s comments. It’s a bargain for $5 + $2 shipping. Get your copy now before Amazon picks it up and raises the price!!


first time tailGators

First time tailGators, Laurel in a new shirt and Robert in one of his VBS tie shirts.


What a great time we had Saturday at the Florida/Arkansas football game in Gainesville!  Robert and Laurel’s first tailgating experience was just about perfect.  A good win for our beloved Gators, good food, good family time, and good weather.  Okay, so it was a sunny 90 degrees, but there was a nice breeze and it didn’t rain.  In Florida, that’s considered good weather, but not great.


L shirt closeCR


Sewing always seems to play a role in all the major occasions of my life.  I’m sure it’s the same for you, whether it’s party favors or decorations or gifts. Continue reading

Kickoff ’12 and 10 Commandments of Football Fandom

Legendary Tim Tebow spending a little time with Robert, Laurel and two of their lucky friends.

Finally, it’s here. The 2012 SEC college football season started Thursday night with the South Carolina (W) vs. Vanderbilt game. Friday night, Tennessee (W) played  NC State.  Bob and I were hunkered down in front of the tv for those games, our appetites whetted for today’s Gator game against Bowling Green.

For the past nine months, we’ve waited for kickoff. Around the country, and especially in the South,  the date of your team’s opening game ranks in importance way above Halloween, which is now reckoned as the most popular secular holiday in America.

my children and their spouses Swamp bound–off to the game

In the Ferguson family, it is a date to which we have been counting down since  January.

Six year-old Laurel taking a half-time break

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