Summer Has Flown By


How does that even happen? Summer is almost gone. Although the temperature here are still very much like summer. Schools in our area starts next week. Both the local public schools and the university. I have now graduated to college level schedules as the last of my children is on that schedule.

All of my schedules are changing. My private and small group sewing students are preparing for their new school year to begin and I am in a bit of a lull waiting to begin my Fall sewing classes. It’s nice to have some time for planning and to have time to finish up projects and begin some new.


I do already have some classes that are already scheduled and registration has begun through the Charlottesville City Parks & Recreation Program. (Click the for the link.) I will be offering 7 classes this Fall. Classes begin September 6 and some fill up very quickly so don’t delay.

Here is a brief rundown of the classes I will be offering:

Monday:  Beginner Kids Sewing – ages 8 -12 AND Beginner 2 Kids Sewing – ages 8 -12

Tuesday: Beginner Adult Sewing AND Mend It Sewing

Wednesday: Beginner Teen Sewing – ages 13 -17 AND Basic Quilting AND Adult Advanced Sewing

Thursday: 60+ Classes – Senior Sewing

Our monthly American Sewing Guild Neighborhood Group for Kids Sew Too will resume the week. We meet the third Saturday of the month from August thru December. Membership is open to the public. Come join this great bunch of kids as I guide them through a different project every month that builds skill and confidence.

I am very excited about these offerings and if you have any questions please leave me a comment. And tell all your friends.

Happy end of Summer!


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Sunday Sevens

It has been a week. And a week it has been. Here is my collection of seven (or so) photos from my week. Natalie at Threads and Bobbins created this link up to share what we have been doing with the rest of our time during the week. Anyone can join in at any time. For more details go here.


  1. IMG_2870

This was taken last Saturday when I dropped my youngest fledging off at the catering job she was doing and I had to stop to take a photo of the spectacular view. This is on Brown Mountain looking towards Charlottesville. The white building that you see on the next hill is Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. Tomorrow, July 4, is the United States celebration of this country’s independence. Every year there is a Naturalization ceremony at Monticello. If you which to learn more check it out here.

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I am experimenting with stamping with fabric paint. I will tell more of this later.

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I received this very pretty orchid in the mail. Can you imagine? But, it is healthy and happy. Oh, I was given it because…..


It was my birthday week! I have reached the magical age of “6” with a zero behind it! I got the cupcake for picking up my cake that my wonderful husband ordered. The bakery gives anyone who stops in on their birthday a free cupcake of their choice. Yes, that is bacon on the cupcake. It was dark chocolate with mocha frosting and bacon. Yum! The big cake was carrot. It was fabulous!

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There was a brief thunderstorm in the evening but it cleared out and we were able to go eat dinner in the downtown area. It was lovely to sit outdoors.

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The week was spent brining these sour pickles. They are now ready for us to enjoy and my husband is thinking up all kinds of meals to pair with them.

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I was asked by the swim team committee at the pool to make this shirt for the coach’s one year old son. I usually monogram the swim team bags and I used to have a cute dolphin embroidery. Unfortunately, with computer system upgrades and such I am unable to retrieve that stitch out so I just created an appliqué to add to the shirt when I was making it. It is done in the team colors. I used the Field Trip Raglan t-shirt pattern from Oliver & S. It was a quick and easy project (except for the mishap with one of the threads on my serger that broke not once but, twice on the final seam. Gotta love it, right?

Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead. Stay safe and happy and productive. I know that’s my goal.


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My Spin on this…still spinning

I love my sewing magazines. So much inspiration, so many possibilities. I usually just dog ear the page to return to later and very rarely do. But, this pattern in the June/July 2016 Sew News issue really had me thinking (instead of sleeping)


Based on your measurements, you can create just one pattern piece to make this really cute, casual dress. The dress is constructed by 4 of that one piece. Neat. Right?

I don’t enjoy wearing long dresses but, I thought this would look really nice in a tunic length. And I had a piece of this colorful jersey knit that I wanted to use for my new tunic.


I took my measurements and tried to follow the directions for drafting out my pattern piece. IMG_2842

You can probably see that I attempted to draw this pattern a couple of times. And then a couple of more times. Apparently I am not good at measuring myself. Or at least the measurements don’t seem very accurate. Does anyone else have the same problem? Well, I pushed forward.


This knit was my choice for the lining.


I was really kind of liking the results. That is, until I tried it on. The lower parts of the “V” were much too deep under the arms and in the front. Ugh! I had to set it aside for a day or two and ‘sleep on it’ for a bit.

The shoulders were to be fastened with buttons. And the over lap was going to be way too much in order to make it fit me correctly. It was terrible. So much so, I couldn’t bare to photograph it. After a bit of time thinking, I decided that I needed to remove the points at the shoulders and create a shoulder seam to take up the way too much depth in the dips. I really didn’t know what else to do. I opened up the side seams at the shoulder and seamed it together.


It’s still not exactly what I had wanted out of the pattern or with the fabric but, it is wearable. At least I am wearing it. Even as I write this post. I just haven’t taken a picture of me wearing it yet. So, I wouldn’t call it a total flop and I am only mildly annoyed with the way it turned out. I am still trying to work the pattern around in my mind on how to make it work out better. I do want to try it again. I guess I would feel better about the whole process if I could understand what went wrong with my measurements. Maybe my body type just isn’t suited for the pattern style? Maybe I can figure it out on the next go around. I will let you know my spin on the next one I try.

Here’s hoping all your sewing projects are winners!



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Sunday Sevens – Happy First Day of Spring

Yay for Spring and Sunday Sevens. A fun collection of photos to share from our week. Learn the details to join in from Nat over at Threads & Bobbins.

I am making a side-saddle apron for a woman who is involved in a neighboring county historical society. I like to challenge myself. And this has proven to be quite the challenge. In the meantime I have a saddle in my living room. At least, it matches my color scheme.


The weather this week was beautiful. I tried to spend as much time out as I could manage. The dog and I enjoyed some of the flowers on our walks.

Bright blue skies –


Flowers by the creek –  

Other people’s beautiful camellias –  

We planted this tulip magnolia a couple of years ago. It is pretty this year. I can’t wait until it’s full grown. I love these trees –   

Our poor, pitiful camellia. We have had this for years and it only manages a bloom or two per year. It looks good all Fall and WInter and then just before Spring it starts to get bare. At first, I thought it was a fungus or something that was causing it. Now we have decided that it is in fact deer. They typically don’t eat these but, because this one is smaller and maybe more tender when the supply of food is low they head for my poor plant. This Spring we have 2 blooms! –


I like to joke that we bought this house because of the abundance of daffodils. I look forward to this display of color in our backyard every year.

And along with the first day of Spring it is Hubby and my’s anniversary. The feature photo is one of my gifts. Mmmmm, chocolate! When we got married 17 years ago. We also closed on this house the same week and moved in the following weekend. Crazy to think of now. Planning a wedding and moving all at once — with seven of our eight blended kids no less. Crazy, I tell you! (Chocolate, anyone?)

Happy Spring everyone!!! Hope everyone has a great week ahead.

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A Tisket, A Tasket. A Little Easter Basket

I really enjoy making little fabric boxes from scraps of fabric and pieces of felt. I have also become a huge fan of enclosed seams. They are quick and easy. I often whip these out for a quick project in my sewing classes. Sometimes you just need something fun to complete now!

So, while laying awake I realized I can easily add a handle to these simple fabric boxes and create a basket. 

To make this box/basket all you need is some fabric and a rectangle of poly felt. You certainly could use wool felt but, I like the available colors and the price of the poly felt. It made me feel a little better to see it was made from post consumer plastic bottles.

I cut my fabric to the same 9X12 inch piece of felt. I then cut 2 1/2 X 9 inches off one end of both for the handle. With the right side facing the felt I stitched a 1/4 inch seam on each 9 inch side of the handle.

It seems to work best to trim the felt to 1/8 inch in the seam allowance before turning. 

Give the turned handle a good press after turning right sides out. Stitch close to the seamed edges and again across the handle using the pressed foot as your guide for each line of stitching.

Now for the box/basket construction. Lay your piece of felt down then the handle centered along the 9 inch edge with the right side facing up and pin in place. 

  Then lay your fabric facing down (right sides together) on top. The handle will be sandwiched inside.

Time to trim out the corners. Draw a 2 inch square out from each corner of your box sandwich and cut both fabric and felt square together.

Stitch 1/4 inch along the longer edges on all four sides. Leave the cut corners unstitched until later.

Trim the felt part of the seam allowance to 1/8 inch like you did with the handle.

Turn the box right side out through one of the corner cut outs.


  Top stitch around the top edge. It can feel a little fiddley with the handle but, just move it out of the way.

With the felt sides touching create a boxed corner. Pin in place. Repeat for all four corners.  Stitch close to the edge. Trim felt and fabric to create a very narrow seam allowance.


Turn your box inside out and stitch just to the inside edge of the corner seams. See photo below.


Turn right side out and trim threads. You are done. Fill your basket with eggs, candies or treats.

This is a quick, easy and cute project for Easter. 

What type of Easter or Spring sewing are you doing?

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Sunday Sevens – At It Again

I surprised myself as I didn’t think that I had enough photos to add to the Sunday Sevens this week. Of course, you don’t need seven photos nor do you need to post every week. It’s simply a casual way for bloggers to connect and share their weeks and this whole thing was created by Nat over at Threads & Bobbins. So have a look and join in the fun if you choose. No pressure.

1 – This post is Spring heavy…’cause like many of you (even across the pond) Spring has Sprung and I am fully enjoying it.

2 – Mr. Fox came to pay us a visit. He has been making a regular appearance just to remind me that I cannot have backyard chickens. Oh, no I can’t! There were also reports of a possibly rabid fox in the north end of town biting people and stealing scarves. Our fox does not sport a scarf so, he does not have rabies.

3 – More signs of Spring.

4 – I made these wall decorations for my sewing room. I am feeling better about my space and more organized.

5 – I am still trying to find tiles to add to the ones I already purchased for my kitchen. I really want to finish my various projects around the house. I found these black tiles and decided they would work with the countertops. And 20 tiles cost me less than $5.00. I just couldn’t pass it up.

6 – Another sign of Spring. The scooter is washed up and it needed a new battery. I finally got to take it out for a spin. Yay!   AND I put the snow shovels away!!!!

7 – My hubby takes the dog for walks up on a trail and once in a while I will go along. The trail is on part of the university grounds. There is an observatory there. Walking and biking trails. Some people run the trails. Lots of people walk there dogs there. Some group (environmentalists? Arborist?) tagged many of the trees. To identify them, I guess.

That’s about all for my week. Busy week coming ahead. I hope everyone has a great week!!

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Sunday Sevens – March Brings Changes

Welcome to Sunday Sevens. A weekly opportunity to share with other blogs the goings on in our weeks. Natalie at Threads and Bobbins is our lovely host. You should go check her out and join the fun.

My week went a bit like this:

1 – I have several yards of this fabric and pulled it out of my stash to make tote bags with the American Sewing Guild group of youth sewing that I am starting up here in our town.  The girls that joined us brought their own fabrics to use. So I decided to make up one of the bags for my own use. It is almost Spring after all. Time for something new and bright. I have also decided that this fabric will become new pillows for my couch. (Any day now)

2 – Sewing sessions wrapped up this week. Time to sort thru and take home some of the leftovers and get ready for the next sessions that begin — this week. We had enough inclement weather that the sessions are running back-to-back where as I usually have a week or two off between to prepare for the next.   

3 – Another sign of Spring’s arrival. These are at the farm supply store. I love to go look. I would love to have chickens but, we have too many hawks, fox, raccoons and such in our neighborhood. I heard the fox calling last night as a reminder. But, aren’t they cute?

4 – We have a mid-week labyrinth walk at the church I attend. I try to make it every week. It helps keep me grounded. Spring time is a favorite time of mine to go to walk as I can see the changes from week to week in the gardens around the labyrinth.

5 – Hubby and I went out for sushi. It wasn’t as good as what we enjoy on our trips to New Jersey but, enjoyable just the same. I love the little tea pot.

6 – I have begun working on a quilt for my father-in-law to take with him to use during his dialysis treatments. The sweatshirt was my husband’s. They are both Marines. Like father, like son. We were hoping to find t-shirts in the traditional colors of scarlet and gold to use. They don’t seem to be available any longer. So, I bought knit fabric in the appropriate colors. I will blog more about this soon.

7 – I drove my daughter and her boy friend around some of the old neighborhoods in our town. He is an architectural history major at UVA and not from our town so he likes to get a tour now and then.  This is in the Woolen Mills area. And I don’t seem to be able to rotate it in the mobile version of WordPress. Ugh! (Turn heads to left shoulder)

The feature photo is hopefully the last snowfall of the season. It was pretty as it clung to the trees. Not the roads. And melted very quickly. That’s how all snow should fall in my opinion…whatever that is worth.

That’s it for my week. It always amazes me how busy I am when I look back. And this is only reporting a part of all that really goes on. Hope you all have a fabulous and productive week.

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