Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Family, Friends and Fish

Just sitting here in The Red Chair and thinking about what a fun day I had! Ellen was in town for the second half of her how-to-run-her-new-sewing-machine-class. I joined her in the class because she has a new Brother machine, and I am not familiar with that brand. Nothing I love more than figuring out new machines. It is quite a machine. I am quite impressed with all that it can do. After the class we had a soup and salad lunch at the Olive Garden and our favorite waiter, son Peter, waited on us. Plus, the fun news is that I ran into a friend that I hadn't seen in many years! It was so good to see her! Her kids are getting all grown up, and I remember them as little ones. Zoom. Then, for dinner, we took a bunch of pizzas to the assisted living place and had dinner with my mom and dad, along with Ellen, Peter, Katie and Ben. They have a nice family dining room at the facility that we used, and then moved to an activity room for a couple games of cards. Fun night. Peter and Katie said they bought a fish tank a few days ago and are getting the water ready for fish they will buy tomorrow. That reminded me that I didn't show you the fish apron and oven mitt that I made. It was a printed panel that I bought at Have you discovered that site yet? It is a site that you can upload designs and then they will print fabric for you and sell it! Tons of interesting fabric. It isn't cheap, but you sure can find some great designs! The fish apron and mitt were designed by a French lady and the panel came with instructions printed on the fabric, but all in French. I minored in French in college, but that was almost 2000 Friday Fish Frys ago. I just sewed it together they way I thought it should go, and it turned out cute. I thought it would be a good addition to the cabin kitchen. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your taking the time to visit a bit. Jerilynn

Friday, February 25, 2011

What are You Going to Be When You Grow Up?

Scrumptious, huh? The circle potholder that I made a few days ago was made by the designer out of Cross Weaves by Moda. They are basically shot cottons, which I talked about before. The color weaves are subtle and luminous! The fabric, 100% cotton, is almost like a fine linen or silk. Just gorgeous. I ordered this assortment from . I am not sure what I want to make - I am almost unwilling to mar the perfection. I just want to stack it up in my sewing room and look at it a while. Silly. On another note, I had another Folkart Clothesline Tote class the other day, and the star student, Angie, came back for the second half of the class and reported that she made FIVE totes in a week. She hadn't lined them yet. That was what I was going to teach. One tote I especially loved. It was a tote made entirely out of one fabric, a blue and black varied stripe. Most of the tote she cut the fabric selvedge to selvedge so the stripes were going up and down on the bag. Twice, though, for a few rows, she cut the stripes so they went the other way. Very attractive, and only one fabric. Wow! Of course, I forgot my camera. Darn it. Also, very good news: we went to see our grandson, Aaron, today. Two weeks after the horrible ski accident with the news that he might not make it, he is probably going home from the hospital tomorrow!!! Yes, he looks great, all therapists say he is doing really well. He will be able to go back to school for a couple of classes in a month. He was bummed that the doctor told him no contact sports for a he will miss his sophomore year at football, but, again, it is a miracle! It felt good to give him a hug. We told him that fishing was definitely not a contact sport and the fish in Beaver Dam Lake will be happy to keep him busy this summer. Jerilynn

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where are the Sewing Ladies?

Why, just follow those stairs up to your left! Watch your step, though. Jerilynn

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aaah, a Hot Bath!

I worked on a few things that I can't really talk about yet, so I thought I would show you a picture of the bathtub that is going to be in the studio bathroom. Yep, a real soaker! In a few years I am going to need a forklift to get me in and out of the tub, but for a few years I am going to enjoy some seriously wonderful baths. I am not quite sure what kind of vanity/sink I want to put in that room. The tub is obviously pretty modern. The toilet is similar in shape, modern, too. The walls and ceilings are pine carsiding. Floor is a darker wood look - it's called luxury vinyl planks. So, not a lot of color, which is not a good thing in my book. I bought an antique sewing machine table from my neighbor, Betty, which I am thinking of using. It has a couple of drawers that could be used for a few toiletries, and a white vessel sink could be put on the top. I could leave it wood, or, gasp! , I could paint it. Or, I could have Carl build a vanity, paint that a fun color, and put a black counter top on it with a white sink. Or, I could put in a utility sink that would be useful for messy things. I think I have about a month and a half to figure this out. Any suggestions? Jerilynn

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Naked Fokart Clothesline Tote Revealed!

I finished the naked Folkart Clothesline Tote today. Turned out pretty good. I learned a few things along the way. Black thread on cream clothesline shows up quite well, and so do the mistakes. The extra padding/stability that the fabric wraps give the clothesline tote are missing with this, and the resulting tote is a bit softer, less sturdy. I used iron-on interfacing on the lining, and if I make this again, I would use iron-on fleece to compensate for the loss of the extra fabric. A good steam press with a sewing ham helps to shape the bag. The tote is attractive in a back-to-nature sort of way. I paired it with a Big Bottom Bonnie Bag, made out of selvedge edges, that looks good with the dotty lining. "What are you going to do with that bag?" says Husband Carl. "I don't know. It would be a great warm weather tote." Hmm. That leads me to the next picture:

Yep, Martha went crazy with the glitter. But, look at that blue sky! Pretty, huh? Seriously, I am trying VERY hard to like this winter we are having. Maybe I need to dust off my cross country skis so that I can celebrate new snow inches. Nah. Jerilynn

Monday, February 21, 2011


I saw this round potholder on this blog, The pattern is coming out on Thursday. Obviously, from the picture of the potholder I made, as soon as the pattern is released, I will order it and figure out where I went awry. I used Kaffe Fassett shot cottons that I bought at the Madison Quilt Expo in September. From the Kaffee Fassett website: "These fabrics are woven using cotton thread which is dyed in small batches. Variations in color and small imperfections in the weaving are a natural part of the process, and to be expected. Tonal warp and weft create soft and subtle color effects." The fabrics are beautiful - very soft and the colors are just wonderful. Solids with personality. Because of the softness, however, they moved around a bit on me while I was machine quilting. I think after I get the pattern, and make some more of these, I am going to try quilting using the circular attachment tool on my Bernina 440. This should make the circles stitch out in good rounds. I didn't do any pin basting before quilting, and I will do that with the next one. I used one layer of cotton fleece and one layer of
Insul-bright. Despite the imperfections, this will be a good potholder to use. Jerilynn

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another Beach Image

Snow is falling! I think we have about 10 inches so I predicted in yesterday's blog, it is making things look pretty clean and sparkly outside. I turned up the heat, have on thick socks, put in one of those frozen pies I made last fall, and just decided to enjoy the snow show. I had a pretty productive day. I mostly worked on writing a pattern for one of my handbag patterns. It required some drawing in Corel Draw and I was happy to be able to figure out some of the ways it works. I am supposed to teach a class on the bag tomorrow, but if the snow keeps up like this, I may not even be plowed out by then! I made a necklace, too, today. It has three strands of seed beads, an idea my sister gave me. I wanted to find a graphic image with colors that complimented the beads, and when I saw this image of a beach and umbrellas, I knew this one would be the winner. The sky in the image is really more of a blueish color, but inside shots at night are hard. The three strands of beads easily fit through the big bail. That's all from The Red Chair. I think I will go peek outside and see what is new. Jerilynn

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beach Under Glass

Lots more snow predicted for tomorrow and tomorrow night. We had a few warmer days that teased us quite cruelly. A Christmas lantern that I had put on the porch before Christmas, never to be seen throughout the whole holiday season, appeared last week, still festive and hoping it didn't miss much. The newly-to-come inches will probably bury it again for a while. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised - it is mid February in Northern Wisconsin. It is supposed to be icky and cold and snowy. I guess I am unused to this. As I have previously said, over and over, we usually are at the beach. Walking in the sand. Finding shells. Getting sunburned. Drinking fruity drinks with cherries and little umbrellas. Well, instead I am making beach glass tile necklaces. Sun and Moon Crafts has this new kit in - includes the glass tile, necklace, jump ring, and metal image holder. Image is of your choice. I love how this starfish looks like it is 3-D, captured in glass. I had several images that I thought would look good, but the beach nod won. The good news is that a new, huge snowfall always makes things look clean and fresh and magical. The pine tree view through the window from The Red Chair will look like Martha Stewart went crazy with the white glitter. I will put some bread and/or pie and/or cookies in the oven. Turn on the gas fireplace. Cozy socks. Cancel unnecesary car trips. And wear the starfish necklace. Jerilynn

Out of Africa

This neckalce is made from African Trade Beads with a little turquoise fish thrown in for fun. I seem to grab this one a lot. All the colors make it fun to wear and the little magnet closure makes it easy to put on. My sister told me about a neckace she saw in a bead magazine: three strands of seed beads with a fairly large glass tile hanging from them. She said the bail was big enough for all three strands to pass through. What a great idea. Seed beads aren't the most fun to string - they are pretty small - but I think I must try this idea. That is all from The Red Chair tonight. Jerilynn

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gasp! Naked Clothesline!

So, what do you think? I got this idea...instead of wrapping the clothesline with fabric and then zigzagging it together, I thought I would just stitch the plain cord together. I am using black thread, with the idea of lining the bag with a cream cotton with a black print of some kind. But, maybe I should have used colored threads. Maybe changing colors every few rows, and then lining with a cream fabric with a small multi-colored print. Another idea: every once in a while wrap an inch or so piece of fabric around the cord and stitch. It would have bits of fabric here and there and have a confetti look. I will show you the finished bag, the black stitched bag, soon. Jerilynn

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tote Contents Protected

Greetings from The Red Chair. I decided to show you a picture of the zippered lining in the Folkart Clothesline Tote. It isn't quite perfected yet, not ready for prime time. But, it is not too bad. I will keep trying to come up with a simpler way to insert the zipper. This way looks not quite finished on the inside, and I don't like how that looks. Notice I didn't show you a shot of that. Again I picked reds and blacks and greens. What is with that? I have two classes of students tomorrow for this tote. It always is a fun class to teach - students have such a variety of fabrics and I should learn from this. I think my favorite bag so far, still, was the linen, muted bag. Sew Complete in Eau Claire just got in several bolts of neutrals, a few with dots, that would make a great bag for summer. I also am tempted just to zigzag rows of plain clothesline together with a black thread. Line it with a cream and black print. Could be really interesting. Aaron, our grandson, continues to improve. He has started rehab and may get to go to a facility near their home by this weekend. He is a strong, and determined kid and I know he will fight as hard as he can. What a scary time it is! Jerilynn

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Umm, Where are the Window?

Be careful of what you wish for....I had previously complained that the studio did not have walls or a ceiling. Well, a visit to the site today showed walls and the ceiling supports....but, wait! What happened to the windows???? Well, I guess the weather has been a bit chilly and windy up there on the third floor and the builder guys decided to board up the windows to keep things a bit warmer. I was assured, however, that the window openings are still there. It is looking really good, but I still can't believe this will someday be a place humming with sewing and creating! I took up a big bag of caramel corn that I made for the builder. It is the yummiest recipe! Stop reading this blog right now and go buy a big bag of corn puffs. Recipe is on the bag. When it is done it looks like cheese curds, but don't be fooled - it is very wonderful caramel popcorn (well, caramel fake popcorn). Good thing The Red Chair is nice and roomy. Jerilynn

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love to You!

Hope your Valentine's Day was a good one. I didn't get any Valentines out to family or friends this year...I hope they know that I still love them anyway. I really think at some point things will get somewhat back to normal. In the meantime, I wanted my blog readers (all three of you!) to know that I appreciate you stopping by. And I send my love your way! Jerilynn

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Glass Lass

Made more tile necklaces with some friends. You would think that since I only have one neck that I wouldn't need all these tiles. Well, they are fun to make and they look cute in a glass bowl on my dresser. They also look cute around my one neck! (Wish I just had one chin....) Anyway, I continue to be amused by making little glass squares and rectangles and circles. Jerilynn

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Atkinson Designs Pouch

This is zipped pouch from the Atkinson Designs Cash and Carry pattern. It was quick and fun. Pattern was well-written with good illustrations and great tips from the designer. I loved how the zipper was finished - nice and tidy. I would prefer to have the lining more finished rather than stitched and edge-finished edges, but overall I would make this pattern again. The pattern has a few other variations, including a nifty twin-zip style that might be the next one I make. On a serious note, our grandson, Aaron, was in a skiing accident and has a critical head injury. We are keeping positive thoughts, but are very scared and concerned. Please say a prayer for him and the family. Jerilynn

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Hearts on Woolfelt

This sampler was, again, made in Bernina V6 software. I used the heart vector image from Corel in Art Canvas and filled it with different fills in the Embroidery screen. The first coaster I made I stitched it out on Tiffany Blue, but there is something about red and hearts that is just a great combination. I have three coasters stitched out and need to do one more for a set. Let me know if you need a last minute V-Day gift or two! Carl has been putting in long days putting in a new kitchen at Peter and Katie's house. He says it is looking mighty good! The timing was perfect for his help. The cabin addition is not quite at the point that he can start doing the interior work, so this side job is keeping him out of trouble. I have been sewing for a few days at a neighbor's house, which is keeping me out of trouble, too! I need to do some more stuff for my folks, so I should spend a little time tomorrow and this weekend getting more things done. The designing and watching the stitch-out is a welcome diversion. Jerilynn

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wild Thing

I had a request for organizational bags for a brown leather coach bag that has a purple lining. Not sure if these will match well, but I think they will serve just fine to put purse stuff in. The bigger bag, a Big Bottom Bonnie Bag, has a long outside pocket with two divisions. The littler bag is just flat, but fits inside the BBBB for extra security, if necessary. I will notify the requester and see if they need to be sent to her or directly to the recipient. So, requester, if you are reading this blog, let me know! Jerilynn

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Big Mug Rug

Another label project from Sweetwater Label Crew from the month of January. The pattern that came with the label said to "machine quilt the mug rug as desired". Well, I am a little out of practice with my machine quilting, but this small of a project is perfect to try a little meander swirl. I need more work, but it turned out okay. I forget that to get good at something you have to keep at it. Cooking, sewing, get what I mean. So, if machine quilting is something I want to do well, and it is, then I just need to jump in and DO it. Play. Have fun. Experiment. Accept imperfections. Good philosophy for life, huh? Jerilynn

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mesh Tote Bag

Hello there! I had a fun day today. I sewed most of the day at a neighbor's house. She invited a few people over to sew and I was one of the lucky invitees! Her sewing room(s) were well lit and well equipped! I may just go back again tomorrow. One thing I made was the pictured tote made out of pet screening. It has 6 outside pockets for treasures, and a roomy inside area for big items. I think it will make a very handy bag to use for sewing, or pretty much anything! I have heard that the screening comes in other colors - I will have to investigate that. It went together pretty good, but the pattern was not so easy to follow. Now that I have made one, I can figure out a simpler way to write it so that when I make another I won't be so confused. Some of the numbers just didn't add up! I managed to get it together, and do think it turned out pretty good. I bet I have a few daughters and granddaughters that might find these handy. Just speak up, ladies! Jerilynn

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Another beading project. This one is made using beads from Loupiac shop at etsy. Fkorence makes the most wonderful beads. I love her style and colors - swirls and dots and stripes. Beautiful beads and exquisitely done. These are from a set I just bought called Alchemy. Moodier colors than I normally am drawn to. Some metallic, burgundies, amber. I used Vintaj antique-looking findings. I wore it today with a light purple vest and a burgundy shirt. Got a few compliments! I really need to take a couple of lessons, though, on how to photograph bead stuff. I am sure it is the indoor, artificial light that I am fighting with. It was sunny today, I should have taken the shot then. Or even of me wearing it! Nah. I got quite a bit accomplished today at the folk's condo. Cleaning done, more things gone through. It doesn't seem to be getting any easier for me, and especially for them. Lots of memories and stuff. I better start making more necklaces and sewing more quilts. I don't want my kids to have to figure out what to do with all my supplies! A long time ago, maybe 15 or 16 years ago, I gave up shopping for a year. I wanted to see what it would be like to use up things that I had, wear clothes already in my closet, and decorate using what was around. The "rule" I gave myself was that I could buy what I would need to finish a project that I had on hand (zipper, lining, etc), but that the vast majority had to be already around my house. It was a pretty good year. In fact, when the year was over, it was hard to start shopping again. I am thinking that maybe I should do that again, especially now that I see how hard it is to figure out what to do with lifelong "treasures". I will give this some thought. Jerilynn

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Exact Color of the Gulf of Mexico

Remember my friend Sally that owns Buttons, Bangles and Beads in St. Pete Beach, Fl? She and I become friends during our visits to the beach and one of the years we discovered we had a connection - her daughter had a lake house on the same lake as our cabin. This summer Sally and Roger also built a cabin on that lake. So now we can see each other when we go to the beach in Florida, but since they will be at their WI cabin all summer, we can really spend time together at the lake! Roger and Sally came up to their cabin for the first time since it was finished this Christmas. We popped in to see the place, which is just beautiful!!! Classy finishes and decorating choices. Very unique, tasteful, warm, inviting, and fun. Just perfect. Sally gave me a wonderful Christmas gift - a beautiful strand of graduated aquamarine beads. Just the exact color of the Gulf of Mexico. I take them out of their gossamer bag now and then and just look at them and imagine all the projects I could make. I finally decided to use a few of them, some of the smaller ones, to make a necklace. It is pretty simple in design. I wanted the beads to be the focus. If course, in person, the beads just glimmer and shine. The nice thing about making stuff with beads is that you can make something, wear it for a while, and you always can use the beads in a different project if you change your mind. Love it. Thanks again, Sally! Looking forward to this summer. Jerilynn

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sending Love Your Way

I know, Valentine's Day is a bit overdone in the media...lots of pressure is put on spouses/significant others/friends/family to make sure your loved ones know just how loved they are by buying..... whatever. Well, I ignore most of the hype and focus on what I like about the holiday. The designs, the hearts, RED. Plus, you can use hearts all the time. They don't look out of season if you get lazy and leave a few heart things around much after February is gone. This coaster is from designs I found at Urban Threads. LOVE that site. Their embroidery designs are very fun, not stuffy at all, and they sew out beautifully. You should take a look. They have graphics and hand embroidery, too. I combined a couple of their designs to get what I wanted. The blue color reminds me a bit of Tiffany blue. Hmmm. They have great heart jewelry. Just sayin. Jerilynn

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bucket Bread

I don't have a big bucket list. Afraid to have one, actually. What if I do everything on it? What next? Whenever I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, I have a very strong urge to take a plane or train to Maine. I would rent a small cottage, painted turquoise, and get a job as a waitress in a diner. I would be good at listening to the locals and their troubles. No stress, no homework. Just smile, get good tips, and enjoy the crashing water views. Problem is, once I go to Maine, even to visit, I wouldn't have it anymore. I wouldn't have the perfect runaway place. I have been told that Maine can be disappointing, and the locals don't warm to outsiders. It's very cold there, harsh, even. So, I have never been to Maine, and probably won't go. It will forever remain on my bucket list and on my place to escape to list. Bread has also been on the list. I used to be somewhat okay with yeast breads, but the last few years, my attempts have been not good. Until now! I was invited over to Jan's house for dinner. I brought my glass tile stuff along because I knew her daughter Lisa and daughter-in-law Brenda would be there and I thought we could have a fun project to do. But, before we sat down to do the tiles, Lisa demonstrated how to make Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Wow. That bread was absolutely delicious, and Lisa showed how easy it was to do. It reminded me so much of the bread that I had loved in France when I was there so many years ago and never could find anything close around here. Crunchy on the outside and soft and yeasty on the inside. Toasted, yum. Add a little apricot preserves. Heaven. For my birthday I ordered the book, the paddle, and the stone. There are lots of good recipes to try in the book, and Lisa said there is a book two out. So, thank you to Jan, Lisa and Brenda for having me over and making a wish of mine come true! So, blog readers, anytime you are in the neighborhood, stop by for a nice big slice of wonderful bread. I will pretend that I am the waitress and I will listen to your troubles. Jerilynn

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sewing Studio with Air Conditioning!!!

When I asked for a big open sewing studio with air conditioning, I guess I should have also asked for walls and a ceiling. We went up yesterday to check the cabin progress and I bravely (okay, not too bravely) climbed the ladder to the third floor studio to take a look. I think the stairs will come soon - I hope! I was very surprised at how big it was and how big the windows will be! I think there will be lots of creating to do in that space. It is hard to believe that in a few short months I could actually be cutting fabric there, sewing, embroidering, knitting....I may never leave that area. There is a bathroom in the corner, I could bring a cooler...I have enough quilts to make a little spot to sleep. I think I am all set. I think I will have to have an open house...BYOSM. (bring your own sewing machine). Jerilynn

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Stuck on Something to Talk About

One of the pincushions above is not like the others...of course, it is the one that is a coaster. The others, though, are usable pincushions, and they sit by my machines. The one in the upper left corner was made by my friend Kim. She took pieces of wool and wrapped them tightly together. The wool is good for the pins; the ones that live there are very happy! The middle, small tomato, was given to me by my friend Bonnie. She got it at the estate sale of a mutual sewing friend, Lucille. It still has her pins and needles in it. The bowl holding pins is made by a pottery artist, Emily Dyer. Her family members are sewers and quilters. Her pieces have quilterly nods, with painted stitches and applique motifs. Check out her etsy store at How does this fit in with my other pincushions? My friend Jane always kept her pins by her sewing machine in a little yellow plastic bowl. That system worked great for her, and when I saw this little bowl, I knew that Jane would have thought it a proper bowl for pins. The little knitted pin holder is simply garter stitches, rolled up, and sewed shut with a vintage button. It was a fast knit. I used leftover cotton yarn, but wool would have been better. The natural wool oils would have made the pins living in that pincushion a bit happier. Sew Complete in Eau Claire has a red pincushion as their logo. Whenever you buy a sewing machine there, they give you a pincushion. Over the years I have purchased a lot of machines, and I wish I would have kept all of the gifted tomatoes. I wish I would have written on them the name of the machine I bought, and the date. It would have been a fun record. Sewing memories. Friends that have moved away. Friends that have passed away. Sewing machines that have moved on to other owners. Some people have scrapbooks. I have pincushions. Jerilynn