Friday, August 31, 2012

Ready to Travel

My new Ditty Bag!  It's one of ByAnnie's newest patterns and uses Soft and Stable to give the bag structure.  Very fun pattern to make!  The fabric I used was Hometown by Sweetwater, and while I was making this bag, I was smiling the whole time as I ran across towns that I had visited over the years.  Somewhere in the fabric there is even Chippewa Falls, where we used to live, but I didn't locate that name in the piece of fabric I was using.  I made the medium size (the pattern has instructions for three sizes) and it should be just right for my make-up.  I didn't line it in plastic, but, all the fabric and components are machine washable, so I should be good to go.  Some people have big  maps on their wall with push pins marking the places they visit.  I could just whip out my lipstick and make a mark on my bag.  Clever.  Jerilynn  P.S.  Thanks for all the comments lately.  It really is so much fun to get a message!  Almost as much fun as sewing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


As I sit at my desk in the studio, I can spy a maple tree that has somehow manage to dip a few of its leaves in orange and red paint.  How can that be?  Summer is almost gone?  These past few months have been non-stop friends and family, which is exactly what we had hoped would happen once we moved here and added on.  For the most part, the weather has been perfect for Northern Wisconsin.  Lots of lake time, patio time, a few good fires.  The leaves remind me, though, that changes are happening.  School is starting, vacations are mostly over.  Fewer visitors, smaller food budget.  I had a bit of a feeling come over me that I get when I put away the Christmas decorations: a calmer time is coming.  Along with that change, our living room/dining room has changed.  We had planned for many years to expand out toward the lake, off the kitchen, for a bigger dining room or living room.  After talking with some experts, and really looking at the restrictions we would need to work with, we came to the conclusion that it just wasn't going to happen.  So, we looked around at what we had to work with.  Maybe our space wasn't too small - maybe our furniture was too big!  The dining room table was made for our space at the condo, big and square with big chairs.  The couch was an over-sized sleeper sofa that wasn't getting slept in with all the new bedrooms.  Add in a big trunk/coffee table, two big Lazy-boys (not pretty, but really comfy!).  Presto, change-o!  Gone! Now we have a smaller couch (red!), and a beautiful wood table that is just the right size, Goldilocks.  The trunk is perfect in one of the bedrooms to store bedding and be a good perch for a suitcase.  The big table?  It is the right size for the studio!  Little changes added up to a much bigger space.  It was there all along, right under our noses.  The quilt blocks in the picture?  Soon to be changed into a quilt!  I will show you the result soon.  Jerilynn  P.S.  I told Carl that my plan all along was to get new furniture.  I just had to figure out a way to make him think that it was the best idea ever!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Multi Zippered Pockets Bag

New tote bag!  I was inspired by some Sue Spargo Renaissance Ribbons and by a bag I saw that had rows of ribbons sewn together to make the fabric for the bag.  I wanted to use some of the hidden zipper pockets that I talked about in this blog post.  I had some nice, heavy neutral canvas fabric, and a few yards of some ribbon, and this tote bag is the result.  I made three hidden zipper pockets, using three different colors of zippers and inside pocket materials.  Five different ribbons were used, straight-stitched down.  I attached a rectangle flap with some hook and loop tape to somewhat close up the tote, squared off the bottom, and asked Carl, nicely, to cut a masonite bottom to put inside for stability.  Inside it is lined in red (are you surprised?) with a little pocket.  This idea could go in many directions:  You could used machine decorative stitches instead of ribbons.  You could do color blocking in each area.  You could label each pocket with machine alphabets or fabric paints or markers ("keys", "cash", "candy", etc.)  The top of the bag could be closed with a zipper, and the back of the bag, now plain, could sport a sewn-on zippered pocket.  I like it.  Jerilynn

Monday, August 20, 2012

Moda Bakeshop Show Off Your Stash!

Moda Bakeshop is holding a Show off Your Stash! link party.  I thought I might take a few pictures and show you around.  This studio is only a year old, a 900 square foot third floor addition to our cabin, now our year-round home.  My husband did all the work, even building most of the specialized sewing/crafting units.  They are all on wheels to allow for flexibility and all the same height to group together for large work surfaces.  First picture is an overall view as you come up the stairs to "Heaven"!

 This is the pressing area with my Isacord threads in numerical order and a peek to the bathroom on the left.

Chicken Little

If you plan on coming to Cumberland's Rutabaga Fest this weekend (80th annual!)  and want to stop by our place for a nice cool drink on a patio with a view, better bring a hard hat!  The acorns are dropping early this year and are nice and plump.  Thunk!  Thunk!  We listen to that fun noise all day and all night and take great sport in dodging the acorns as they fall during the day.  Sometimes I suspect that our neighborhood squirrels take much delight in actually throwing them down at us.  At one point Carl put up our big patio umbrella to protect my head!  Just walking on the grass is a dance - those marbles are everywhere!  Hills are tricky.  The weather has been so delightfully cool at night so far this August that our windows have been open all day and night - we listen to the loons calling, see the moon shining (blue  moon this August!!), and hear the plop of the oak tree nuts.  Can't get much better than that.  Add sparkling water views during the day - perfect Hamm's beer commercials ("From the Land of Sky Blue Waters..").  Simply heaven.  The little chicken pin cushion I made from fabric selvedges was brave enough to pose with some of the newly fallen acorns, but quickly waddled into the house for protection.  The sky is falling!!! Jerilynn 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Finished Silk Hearts Quilt

Silk Hearts quilt is done!  I finished the quilting and binding last night.  I am very pleased with how it turned out and enjoyed the process very much.  The swirls and feather quilting was relaxing to do...I am looking forward to using those in another quilt.  We have picked out a spot in the studio that would be perfect for it, but requires some tricky ladder work...yikes.  Once it is up, I imagine it will stay in that spot for a while.  I sure hope I like it there!  Jerilynn

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quilted Blanket for Mom

I finished this quilted blanket for my mom's bed.  She is in a nursing home and her bed is similar to a dorm bed - long and narrow.  I didn't want anything to fussy - I knew that this had to be easy to wash and pretty sturdy.  Just like a quilt you would send with a kid going to college.  I had a bundle of fat quarters by Cosmo Cricket in the Salt Air patterns.  Very fresh and cheery!  I simply turned the fat quarters into 18" x 18" squares and sewed them together in a 3 block by 5 block pattern.  To keep it looking clean and modern, I decided not to do a border.  For the back, I used some extra fat quarters and some yardage .  The quilting pattern I did was a swirly wave pattern in each block.  Like in nature, the waves aren't all perfectly the same :)   One of the prints in this collection is an overall print of lots of different labels.  I used my embroidery machine to stitch on her name, my name, and the date.  This will keep the quilt going back to the right room after washing.  I know she is going to like it and can't wait to give it to her.  The nursing home she is at is just wonderful...the people are so friendly and caring.  Always giving  my mom hugs and laughing with her.  It is not a situation that we would choose for her to be in, but if she has to be away from home, this dorm is a perfect home-away-from-home.  As I see back-to-school ads on tv, and see our oldest granddaughter get ready to move into her first dorm room, I prefer to think of my mom getting to have that opportunity that she never got to have, but always wanted.  She has a nice roommate, and an excellent meal plan.  No classes or professors, though, just enough activities to keep her entertained and an extended family to keep her safe.  Jerilynn

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pinterest Pin Interest

Are you on Pinterest yet?  When I first heard about Pinterest, an internet bulletin board where you can pin up and categorize things you find on the web, I thought that it didn't seem as if that was something that was missing in my life.  I had a somewhat organized list of bookmarked sites, but they had mysterious names and I never could quite remember what they all meant without clicking on them all.  Not too exciting.  So, I finally started to pay attention to Pinterest Possibilities, and, yep, I am hooked.  What I like most is all the visual-ness of the pins.  You can go to your "boards", select the category, and all of the items you have pinned up for inspiration are there, in full color.  The best part is that the link to where you can find more information, or where you got the picture, is right there, too.  Quilts I want to make?  Got pictures pinned.  Food I want to make?  Got pictures.  Home decorating ideas?  Got pictures.  Get the picture?  You can also look at other peoples' pins and find interesting things that they found interesting.  Once in a while you find some boards that just have to belong to a long lost twin sister...all the pins are just what you would have liked had you seen them first!  The house tape measure in the bottom picture I first saw on someone's board on Pinterest.  And, because links are there, too, I could trace the source of the adorable pattern to Laurraine Yuyama on the website.  It is a PDF pattern, always dangerous (instant gratification).  Just so happen to have a round tape measure on hand....cut, sew, done!  The top shot is the result.  Cute, huh?  The antique button is really lime green in person - don't know why I couldn't get the color to come out right on the shot.  Now I am on a hunt for a house pin cushion pattern that could be a good neighbor to the tape measure.  House scissor holder?  House needle keeper?  Jerilynn 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Silk Hearts Quilt

Ready to pin baste!  Basting is  about the only part of making quilts that I really don't like at all.   Some quilters use spray glue, but I don't want to get overspray all over the wonderful floor up here in the studio and don't have another place that might work.  Plus, I am not so sure about all that, I will just continue to grin and bear it with the pins.  What is this, do you ask?  Well, a little over two years ago I bought the Sarah Vedeler embroidery cd Hearts, which features embroidery and applique.  Along with the designs I bought the tin of gorgeous jewel-toned silk dupioni fabrics. You can Google Sarah Vedeler Silk Heart Quilt to get an idea of what this will resemble once I have the quilting done.  I am going to do free motion quilting, mostly doing feathers and spirals.  I have a Bernina 440 QE that has a stitch regulator on it and really helps keep the free motion stitches more uniform in length.  When I first got the machine, I didn't really like the regulator that much.  I had been free motion quilting for many years without it, and I "fought" what it was trying to do.  Once I relaxed and let the regulator do its thing, I was very pleased with the results.  This quilt hanging is pretty big, almost 48" x 48".  Twenty blocks were appliqued and embroidered.  Lots of hours and lots of thread.  I will show you the finished quilt when it is all done.  Now I have to find a perfect spot in the studio to hang it.  If you go to Sarah Vedeler's website ( you will see oodles of gorgeous designs she has made.  What really attracts me to them is her fabulous use of color.  And, her designs are based on decorative machine stitches that you can find on Bernina machines, as well as others.  I have been on a quest for a few years to encourage sewers to use all those wonderful, fun stitches.  Similar results to some of her designs can be sewn without the help of an embroidery machine.  They may not be as perfectly lined up, but still can be colorful and fun.  Thanks for letting me blab on a bit.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ruler Table Runner

Top photo is from my dining room.  Okay.  That is a lie.  The picture is from Country Living magazine, and if you Google Country Living Ruler Runner, you will find many links for instructions.  I decided to make a somewhat shorter version for my sewing room using a heavy canvas.  I used a permanent marker to make the lines and then a heat textile transfer paper for the numbers.  I pre-washed the canvas before starting and it really got very wrinkled, so it is a bit "weathered" looking.  I prefer to think it adds to the character.  How do you think it measures up to the original?   Jerilynn

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Final Funky Fish Project Ever

Oh my goodness.  Not another Funky Fish!! Yes, but this project should be the last of it.  I used colored pencils to color in random blobs of  shapes.  I roughly drew the shapes of the curtain panel applique  embroideries, but didn't pay much attention to size.  I first used a small foam brush to spread the textile medium around on top of the red oval pencil.  It bled a bit as you can see in the lower right side of the oval.  I picked a smaller brush to apply the textile medium to the green and blue penciled areas and that worked out much better.  I let the areas dry and then heat set them with a very hot iron.  I embroidered the fish shapes over the dried colored areas and I think the towel is good to go!  The towel was already pre-washed without softener and I am going to let it sit around a few more days before I try washing it again to see what happens to the color.  I will let you know, but I promise not to take a picture.  Enough of the fish, already.  Move on.  Jerilynn

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fish Window Panels Done!

Okay, readers, put on your high-power readers to see the detail in this shot!  I know, not a great photo.  I finished all three panels for the kitchen windows and wanted you to see them.  If you were standing in my kitchen (by the way, that would be fun), you could see that they turned out pretty cute.  To the left is the side window over the sink with the printed curtains.  These panels hook into little cup hooks and can be taken down easily and folded until needed.  The colored areas are applique and then the Funky Fish shapes are on top in black.  Next to-doare a couple of white dish towels.  I am thinking about "coloring" the shading behind the black stitches with some colored pencils and some textile medium.  Somewhere I read how to do that.  I am thinking for dishtowels that are going to get washed a lot, that the colored areas would wash better than an applique.  I will do a search to find out how to do this. In the meantime, until I take down these panels, just try to peek into the cabin to see what I am up to!  Oh, wait, all the other curtains are open right now.  Peek away.  Jerilynn

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Funky Fish Embroidered Curtain Panels

One out of three curtain panels is done for the kitchen.  As I mentioned before, once in a while I would like the ability to block the three little windows in the kitchen that look toward the lake.  On the side kitchen window, facing the  neighbors, I made the Funky Fish curtains that you see on the left.  I bought the fabric from Spoonflower, and love it, but didn't want to spend a bunch on panels that would be used infrequently.  I bought some very inexpensive white twill and made three little, lined panels that just fit the three windows.  I used the method of making them that you can read about in an earlier curtain tutorial here.  Carl put up two cup hooks above each window, and when we want to have a little privacy, all we have to do is hang the panels by their little grommets (you can barely see them in the picture...sorry) from the hooks.  The plain white looked too bare, of course, so I have digitized some of the fish shapes using my Bernina V6 software.  The colored areas are appliqued in place before the black fish shape.  All done on the embroidery machine.  I may add a few of the quirky asterisks and circles on the original print, but, then again, I may just work on finishing the other two and call it done.  The reality is, they are not going to be used that much.  I have some blank white dishtowels that might get the Funky Fish treatment, too.  I will show you a picture of the panels at the windows when they are all done.  Don't hold your breath, though, unless you are swimming.  Jerilynn