Friday, August 30, 2013

Apple Woolfelt Coasters

What a gloomy day.  Still hot and muggy and no sun for a decent shot of my newest coaster set.  I am getting an order ready and thought I would come up with a new variation of an apple design I did last fall.  I think they turned out pretty cute, but I need to work on the sew-out order.  Too many jump stitches for this lazy-trimmer.  This is the last big lake weekend of the year, and probably the last weekend before the front of our house gets torn up.  I am  excited about the new addition-to-be, but realize that things are bound to get messy.  Carl and I made a pact when we put on the big addition a couple of years ago not to get upset about the inevitable snags in the plan.  We agreed to figure out solutions and look at the problems as opportunities to be creative.  Even though a three season screen porch is a minor project, there will be surprises.  I have a long list of things that should have been done yesterday to keep me busy in the studio.  I will supervise from above.  When I think that I need a mental break, I will turn to my simple little Woolfelt coasters that seem to amuse me to no end.  In the meantime, I need to spiff up the house and make a food plan.  Apple pie sounds good. Jerilynn

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Getting Ready for Snow

The weather.  Let's talk about the weather.  Carl always says that there will be a winter storm during the high school basketball finals at Madison.  He also says that it will usually get very hot once school starts in the fall. He is usually spot on.  Although some kids don't start school until after Labor Day, and I see that the really hot/humid weather should break by then, some kids have started, and it has been a muggy mess.  Last winter was cold and snowy and loooooong.  I am sure there are all kinds of predictors for this year, but I am prepared for Old Man Winter.  I have made a new set of coasters that I am calling Cabin Blanket Coasters.  How do I ever come up with such clever names?  My furniture will be protected from coffee, hot chocolate, and warm spiced wine.  For sale soon at Idlewild, a local Outfitting store that is chock full of cool clothing and decor.  You better go buy a set or two before the snow flies.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tackle Box Catch-All

We do not have a junk drawer in our small kitchen. There is a drawer in one of Carl's tool cabinets that has an interesting assortment of "stuff" leftover for the junk drawer at our condo. I am sure he would be delighted if I would sort/toss/discover the contents. Feeling very noble about the lack of said drawer in the kitchen, I spied the file basket at the end of the counter that we use for pens, paper, chargers, sunglasses, flashlight....hmmm...we HAVE a junk drawer and it is right there - in plain sight all along! In the meantime, I bought a vintage green tackle box to put in the niche under our tv to hold coasters and playing cards. Unfortunately it was about 1/16" too tall. It was just patiently waiting for a good idea. I dumped out the contents of the basket file, and wish I had taken a picture of what was in there. Just like a junk drawer, it had a puzzling amount of odds and ends. Even if I had ever needed any of it, I wouldn't have known to look for it there! I also have the inability to throw away pens or pencils, even if they don't write well. So, the spot to grab a pen to write a quick note had about 50 to choose from. Armed with the desire to utilize the tackle box, I whittled down the pens to a few favorites (wow, it was hard to toss the remaining writing utensils. Aren't they still good for something?) a small stack of cut scrap paper, two phone chargers... You get the picture. There is even built-in measuring on the tackle box lid for quick sizing. It is cute, efficient, and the lid can close. Check back with me in 6 months to see what curiosities accumulate within. Jerilynn

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I like going to sewing/quilting/photography classes in my red jammies.  Of course, the classes are online, and I usually watch them with a cup of coffee, lazily starting my day.  I think that if I keep watching techniques, eventually something will stick and I can apply it to real life.  I have taken quite a few Craftsy classes, some free and some for pay.  Of the half dozen or so that I have watched, only a couple were disappointing.  Some I would even watch again - so much good info was presented that I may have missed something the first go-round.  One class that was really good was the class by Tara Rebman, Quilt-As-You-Go Patchwork Bags.  The main project was the Tinker Tote, first picture above.  The class included the pattern for the bag, and very good step-by step instructions, presented with humor and lots of good hints.  The quilt-as-you-go technique has been around for a while, in many different forms, but this one is simple and straight forward, producing neat results.  The drawback to some other methods is that the back of the quilt has some start and stop problems.  Tara gets around this by quilting the patchwork top, then adding a back.  The first project in the class, to introduce her method, is a sew, flip, quilt potholder.  Pick fun fabric scraps, some heat-resistant batting, cotton batting, and thread.  Zip, zip, top is done.  Add a cute fabric back and do some quilting in the ditch.  Round the corners to avoid mitering, and stitch on a bias binding.  A fun, quick project when you are avoiding doing what you really should be doing.  Did I write that out loud?  Jerilynn

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pinned PIN Pincushion

Protect your PIN at all times, and that also goes for the pins in your sewing room!  The bottom shot is one I pinned to my Pinterest board, and it is from Charlotte from Folksy shop Sixes and SevensSince I am on a "Pinterst board inspiration kick", I decided to make my own version of the PIN pincushion.  I had some alphabet stamps that I stamped in Versacraft ink, which, when heat-set, are permanent on fabric.  Scraps of decorator weight, sewing-themed fabric were added to each side of the stamped linen.  I made a quick little square "pillow", filled the pillow with crushed walnut shells, and hand-stitched the opening closed.  The stamping was quite fun.  I gave away all my stamps over 20 years ago, and now wish I had kept some for stamping on fabric.  I have seen some Pins of stamped bags and totes, and would like to combine some wording with applique or embroidery.  As I write this blog post, I spy a bit of orange on a maple tree outside my studio window.  My goodness.  We had just a touch of summer!  Lots of visitors, but not much jumping in the lake to cool off.  Carl will be adding a three season porch to the front of our house in a couple of weeks.  I will "supervise" from the third floor while trying a little more stamping.  Jerilynn

Monday, August 5, 2013

Wall Flower

Another new project based on a Pinterest idea.  There are several variations of this idea floating around, and I am not sure if I even pinned it to one of my boards.  Usually a ball jar is used, and it hangs by a wire on a curtain rod support.  I used a little glass milk jar to hold just a few posies.  We got a huge, takes two hands to hold, garden bouquet at the Saturday Farmer's Market.  Split up it makes three  Jerilynn

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Easy Ironing Board Cover

I love Ikea, but as we all know, their products are not USA standard-sized.  Part of the appeal, I guess, but don't get Carl started on trying to fit a USA faucet on an Ikea vanity top...Anyway, a second ironing board in my studio is one I got at Ikea, with a cute cover - top photo.  At least it was cute when new. Lately, it has been looking a bit weary.  I decided to wash it, thinking that would bring it back to life, but it still looked pretty stained.  Because the ironing board is an odd size, I can't just bop into Walmart and get a new cover.  Plus, who designs those covers, anyway?  Pinterest to the rescue.  Last night I saw a pin that was pinned from  It truly was super fast to make!  I re-used the gathering string from the original cover, so I didn't even have to find any elastic.  The hardest part was finding a big enough piece of fabric that was cute.  The fabric I found is just perfect.  I had bought it a while back on Etsy, and I think it is Swedish (I know, the words are English).  It seems to be a cotton/linen blend and is a very sweet-looking cover, at least for a while.  I think it is so fitting that the new cover for my Ikea ironing board is some fabric from Sweden.  I am pleased with my new cover, I am pleased that I used another idea that I pinned, and I am happy  that this cute fabric is no longer folded up in a drawer.  Jerilynn 

Thursday, August 1, 2013


August?  Well, we DID have our one week of summer in July.  And, even though the weather has been a bit chilly, we live on a lake, and it is summer, so the Hotel has been busy!  We do love having friends and family.  Lots of eating, drinking, laughing...not much time for blogging!  Last week I had a few friends from my Bernina V6 software group up for a few days of sewing.  I had a list of things that needed to get done, but I decided to make a quilt for one of the beds in the Blue Room and finish quilting a little wall quilt I started a few years ago.  The quilt was inspired by one I pinned to my Pinterest Sewing board and can be found here at .  I am still inspired by Malka Dubrawsky's big block quilts, so I made these cross blocks 12".  I think the next quilt I make I will aim for even bigger sized blocks.  This went together fairly quickly, and I simply quilted it with a slight zig-zag stitch using a walking foot.  The wall quilt I free-motioned with a flower motif and outline quilting around the shapes.  Two reasons I am pleased:  one, I finished an unfinished project; two, I actually used something on my Pinterest board that I had pinned as an inspiration!  While looking through my Pinterest pins, I discovered all sorts of fun ideas to get me going.  Now, more than ever, sewing and creating offers me the escape from the realities of personal and family health scares and the numerous crises of children and grandchildren.  Corners  match up, steam irons flatten seams, bright colors sing. All is well.  Jerilynn