Category Archives: uncategorized

Remorse, Fish, Family, and Fun



This is one of our three formerly feral cats, obviously no longer feral. They were a daily source of delight for 3 yo Vivian Rose and 7 yo Alastair.


Before the summer was over, our two younger grandchildren came  across the state for a week of Nana (and Granddad) camp.  As all grandparents know, it was a fabulous, memorable time for all, not the least of whom were their folks who were relieved of parental responsibilities for a week. How well I remember that special joy in years gone by.

In an effort to give this some sewing references, I must tell you that Vivian Rose’s suitcase was packed with nothing but Nana-made clothes.  I love my daughter for that–and a million other reasons.  Vivian wore her firefly outfit, the ever popular parade dress, her ABC shorts set, the CC Jane tricycle set and others.  More pictures should have been taken, but I was too wrapped up in the children to shoot more.



With a goofy grin and a little chocolate cake still lingering on her mouth, Vivi wears a well-worn Children’s Corner Katina, made fir her mother 35 years ago. There is something to be said for polycotton. The dress and bloomers are in near perfect condition.



A highlight of  the week was a visit to our friends’ garden and koi ponds.  The day before our outing,  Alastair and Vivian Rose collaborated on a pair of koi dishtowels for their hosts.  Alastair actually did most of the embroidery, with Vivi pushing the needle threader, presser foot lever and start button occasionally.  They chose the threads and were quite proud of the results.

the children did the embroidery at my Dream Machine. Alastair is fascinated by the technology and Vivi loves to push the buttons--any buttons.

The children did the embroidery at my Dream Machine. Alastair is fascinated by the technology and Vivi loves to push the buttons–any buttons.


John and Susanna are the grandparents of Baby Shrek who surely found a world of delight at their home when he visited in September.  Vivi’s mother and our daughter, Rebecca Susanne, was named for dear friend Susanna. (But Rebecca Susanna sounded a little too heavy on the -a”s.)




Susanna led the trail through her jungle paradise.

Susanna led the trail past the koi pond and through her breathtaking garden.


After a short time, Vivian left the fish.  They were pretty, they swam, she moved on.  In her explorations, she discovered a quiet hideaway where Susanna likes to sit and read, though she seldom sits.  She and her husband John are always on the go, what with keeping up with the garden and ponds, doing church work, and being friends to all.



Vivi was awed by the wind chimes and a singing bird in a secluded nook in the garden.

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BIG News!

ME news


Dear Readers,

I am so excited to share my big news with you— I have been invited to be a member of Brother’s new  Stitching Sewcial   blogger team.  Humbly, I join several expert celebrity sewists who have packed the blog with inspirational projects, tutorials and videos on topics from quilting, serging, sewing, embroidery, and more! On this site, I am in some pretty esteemed company!

Two of my projects are posted now, the first of which is the Ariel sleeping bag for 18″ dolls such as American Girl.  This would be a very popular accessory for youngsters who want comfort and style for their dolls.


Do you recognize my granddaughter's Kit wearing her smocked lace tape nightie?

Do you recognize my granddaughter’s Kit wearing Mollie’s Lace Tape Nightie?  Ariel’s name is embroidered on the pillow under Kit’s head.


The second project is a Zootopia themed knapsack.  It was such fun to read and familiarize myself with the movie. I needed to know something about this Disney cartoon delight to stitch.  Before the movie was released and after some research, I came up with a handy bag for the junior crime-stopping deputies of Zootopia’s police department.

The designs for each project are available at

These Stitching Sewcial assignments are helping me keep up with the grandchildren and what they are chattering about.  Do you know who Judy Fox is?  Officer Clawhauser? Chief Bogo?  Look them up.  The children will respect your in-the-moment savvy.  They will LOVE you if you make this knapsack for them.

Image #15 close--both ribbons through grommets


Each month another of my posts,  complete with a detailed tutorial, will appear as the machine embroidery post.  Working up projects and tutorials for Stitching Sewcial has keep me pretty busy for the last few months.  And I have loved every minute working on these Disney-themed assignments.

Please take a look at this new sewing venture.  If you have a moment and are so inclined I would reeeeeally appreciate any comments posted to Stitching Sewcial.

Rheeta’s Sweat Shop ’16


This is last year’s photo of Aunt Rheeta sewing on my beloved Brother Quattro. She is loving this year’s upgrade to The Dream Machine.


She was at it again.  My dear Aunt Rheeta arrived from frigid Indiana for a 2-week vacation in the warmth and sun of central Florida.  Unfortunately, she landed on a cold, rainy day and the weather hardly improved for the first week.  She  wore a polar fleece pullover every day so I did not take a picture of her at the sewing machine.  I’m pretty sure the Florida Bureau of Tourism blocks such photos from the internet.

We were so, sew busy!  After she expressed interest in touring historic DeBary Hall,  I said I would love to take her.  Then she decided that she would rather keep on sewing!  That’s my kinda gal!  Sew, we did!  In fact, we were so busy  that we didn’t take time for a current photo of her at my new Dream Machine which she loved immediately.

Aunt Rheeta arrived with her suitcase tightly packed with projects for us to work on. At the top of her priority list were a few graduation gifts for her granddaughter, a rising freshman at Texas A&M.


We didn’t worry about the wrinkles because the fleece was soon to be tightly packed in Rheeta’s suitcase. Time for a dryer tumble later.

Adriana will use this polar fleece throw at football games.  Rheeta made an identical fleece for Alexa, Adriana’s  older sister, a rising junior also at Texas A&M. That stadium blanket has seen 2 years of heavy wear. It’s likely this one will be just as useful.

Then Rheeta embroidered dishtowels.  As Adriana will be sharing an apartment with hometown friends, these instructive kitchen linens will be  loving reminders from her grandmother. Each of these dishtowel designs are from OESD’s  Hand Lettered Sayings  collection.


Adriana could learn to cook and eat few of the staples of a college student's diet.

The suggestion is that it’s possible for Adriana to learn to cook, improving the standard college student menu. And she will surely achieve some things that seem impossible.  That’s what her Meemaw is telling her.

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SOS Urgent Need for twin Wee Care Gowns

Heartfelt thanks to Jamie who has gowns on hand and ready to ship today!  The sewing community is so caring and especially loving in a time of need like this.  Thanks to all who make these gowns for little heaven-bound angels.


I am away from home and just received a plea for wee care gowns. A friend of reader Sarah has just lost twin babies at 20 weeks. If anyone can provide 2 burial gowns and the comfort they would offer please leave a comment or send e-mail to me at NC I will put you in touch with Sarah. What a heartbreaking loss.



Halloween Bedtime

The Ninja pumpkin design is from XXXand the witch -costumed koala is from an old Amazing Designs collection, Seasonal Daisy Kingdom.

Alastair’s pillowcase design is Embroidery Boutique’s Ninja Pumpkin design. Vivian Rose’s little witch -costumed koala is from an old Amazing Designs collection, Seasonal Daisy Kingdom.  The moon and stars were added.


Soooo busy!  I thought my “golden years” were supposed to be leisurely!  But they are not and I am not complaining about my full, rich, active life.  Still, a little leisure would be nice.

I know I have promised Part 2 of my post on lace tape, but that has been pushed to the back burner, due to new family demands and responsibilities.  I’m sorry about that but it will be posted as soon as I can get to it.

Aside from all the must-do’s I managed to squeeze out these Halloween pillowcases for my two younger grandchildren.   6 yo Alastair who is a big time Ninja fan, and Vivian Rose, 2.5 yo is delighted with anything.

The really fun feature of her pillowcase is the moon and stars, in the sky and on the witch robe.  After the success of her firefly dress with glow-in-the dark lightning bugs, I invested in several spools of glowing thread. It offers so many creative opportunities!!!! Continue reading

All About Lace Tape~Part 1

Lately, there have been considerable discussions and questions about lace tape, its origin and uses.  The history is quite interesting, as its development involved a salvage warehouse and an unraveled sweater for my Rebecca and midnight transatlantic phone calls. That was in 1987 when I first brought this product to the heirloom sewing public.

Most of this history is detailed in this post.  Because lace tape is one of my favorite sewing products, I’d like to share some applications and techniques.  For many years I taught a 6-hour class around the country.  So there is a lot of material on the subject, too much for one post.  Lace tape can be used for shadow applique’, colored entredeux, colored shark’s teeth, tiny piping and so much more. So stay turned for details.  A few future posts will feature projects with detailed directions.


Approximately 3/8″ wide and available in a rainbow of colors, lace tape is a loosely woven 100% cotton trim.  It has a gathering thread on each side and is wonderful for lace shaping.  It also can add a bit of color to an heirloom project.

lt 2 examplesrecol

Now there are two varieties of lace tape:  Japanese and Swiss.  The lace tape shown above and used on each of the items pictured below is Japanese.


1.  for lace insertion substitute joined to lace edging or other insertion


Peach lace tape was joined to lace edging and then stitched to flat bishop before smocking. See Molly’s Lace Tape Nightie for more pictures and information.


preparation:  Like heirloom trims, lace tape is easier to work with after being starched and pressed, unless it is being shaped.  Use the finest thread, preferably 80/2 Madeira Cotona,  and  the smallest needle appropriate to the thread size.

technique:  Butt lace tape to lace.  Zig zag the two pieces together with an approximate stitch setting of W 1.5-2.0, depending on width of lace header, L .8-1.0 edging.  NOTE: An edge joining foot makes this much easier.


1-lt to lionsxx

Lace tape joined to Aesop’s Fables Binche lace.

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Free Ghee’s Webinar!

Wow!  A free webinar from Linda McGehee July 28th, 8 p.m. Central time.  Her classes are always exciting, full of inspiration and fun, new techniques.   I expect this will be true to form.

I’ve attended Linda’s classes at the Lakeland Original Sewing and Quilt Expo as well as here in central Florida.  They were all fabulous.  To be able to sit at home and view Linda’s magic for free is pretty wonderful.

So sign up.  It’s free! Continue reading

My Sewing Room ~ Coming Clean

AFTER cleanup this is the north end of my sewing room .


Nothing motivates me to clean house like incoming guests.   The first time we were scheduled to host our new Bible study/fellowship gathering I did a good bit of tidying up,  but we had to cancel because I had bronchitis.     This week, it was our turn again.  Okay.  No problem.

And then….the ladies said, “Oh good!  We finally get to see your sewing room!”  Gulp…gulp.  I thought I might be experiencing my first panic attack.

Usually, when we have guests I just close the door to my lady cave.  Company respects a closed door.  But it seems that everyone who has ever stitched wants to see others’ sewing rooms.  I know I surely do.  And these ladies sew.

Now, Dear Readers, by inviting you in I am reaching up to another level of friendship with you.   A few, Judy Day,  Suzanne Sawko, Terri Click, Mildred Turner, Linda McGehee, Rheeta Booth and June Mellinger,  have seen my mess and still call me “friend.”    I hope you will be as understanding.

So here is/was my sewing room before my cleaning tornado.  Actually, I had already begun the cleaning process and took some small comfort in the old saying that things often get worse before they get better.  This was worst not worse.

WARNING!  GRAPHIC IMAGES! Continue reading

Keychain Tutorial -Work in Progress

Dear Readers,

Thank you for your enthusiastic interest in the keychain tutorial. It is well underway and should be posted toward the end of this week. I’ve finished the tute for The Dream, Quattro and Duetta and will get started on the others soon.

Meanwhile, you might want to stock up on some sheets of stiff craft felt and regular soft felt in matching colors.

Today, Monday, I have another fabulous class at The Sewing Studio in Maitland, FL.  The instructor, Lyn Powers, knows this machine, as well as Babylock’s Destiny, like the back of her hand.  This will be my 4th class with her, having already learned a great deal about the scanning mat, bobbin work, combining decorative stitches from the sewing side and importing them into hooped embroidery designs and more.

Those of us in central Florida are so fortunate to have The Sewing Studio, its knowledgeable staff,  incredible fabric selection and machine support.  FYI, I am nothing more than a long-time satisfied customer.  If you live in the area and have not checked it out, you really should. At the website you can take a short virtual tour.

In my class last week, the lady sitting next to me gave me a chuckle.  She said that she had moved to the area four years ago.  As she was looking at homes for sale, she happened upon The Sewing Studio and thought it was sewing heaven.  She almost did not buy the house of her dreams because it is just minutes from the store.  “I could afford the house,” she said.  “But could I afford it if I spent all my time and money here?’  She said it is like living on a non-stop diet, limiting her visits and purchases.

With this testimonial, I must say again that I have no connection whatsoever to this sewing heaven but that of a long term happy customer.

Now, to finish packing up for my class.  Then on to the keychain tutorial.

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