Thursday, November 13, 2014

Snowstorm Jammie Sewing

Three days ago we got the first snowstorm of the year.  Yes, mighty early!  We got about 10 to 12 inches over a 24 hour period.  The first day, I got up and went to the studio still in my red flannel jammies with a cup of coffee in tow.  Several pillows later, I was still in the jammies and decided that was going to be the outfit of the day!  I have been making pillows for the store downtown Cumberland, and they seem to be selling almost as fast as I can make them.  That is a good thing, I guess, but I am running out of that wonderful red and black plaid heavy flannel.  I have looked online for more, but have no idea where I bought it originally.  It is a wonderful heavyweight, almost like a blanket.  Since this batch, I have made 4 more pillow, one a new Santa design.  The snow really gets people in holiday decorating mood!  Jerilynn

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What is Old is New Again

I'm seeing plaid everywhere, aren't you?  I had a little pair of Addy's jeans (size 2T) that were too small in the legs, but the waist still fit.  I cut them off below the zipper and added a ruffled flounce of plaid flannel.  I pulled out my Bernina ruffler attachment that I had for my old 1630, fit the Bernina 440!  I was happy about that.  Rufflers are cool to use.  It's a bit tricky to figure out how long to cut the strip you want to ruffle to fit whatever you are sewing it onto, but once you figure out the ratio, it is super fast sewing.  I made Ellen a jean skirt like this about 25 years ago.  Her's had three plaid ruffles, all a different plaid.  Had I known that such a skirt may be in style again in 2014, I may have held on to that.  I have also been remembering some of my smock tops I hand embroidered back in my college days in the 70's.  How fun would it be to have those again!?  And ponchos!  And boots!  I am sure at least those Frye boots would still fit...and the ponchos....maybe not the smock tops.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hidden Messages

Let's see if you can "read" the pillow patchwork.  It says "Lijewski" for those of you that just don't see it at all!  I made the towel in the bottom photo (complete with use wrinkles) from the scrap bin that you see in picture two.  The towel was made with a stitch and flip method, using scraps and bits of leftover patchwork.  A couple rows of selvedges finish the top and bottom of the patchwork.  Seeing it in our kitchen, I almost thought the patchwork had a hidden message!  So, I got the idea to free form piece a strip that actually did spell out something.   It turned out too big for a towel, thus the pillow.  The blocks and strips that make up the letters finish about 1".  I didn't want to go smaller.  I only used a school ruler and scissors to cut up little pieces to use.  I wanted an improvisational look in both the towel and pillow.  It was a good exercise in letting go of perfect cutting and sewing.  Quite fun.  Jerilynn  P.S.  Simply glorious views outside the windows today...bluer than blue sky, sparkly water, yellow, gold, red, orange and green trees.  Very thankful for this inspirational place to create!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Little Elf Doll

We recently took a "look at the tree colors" ride on the back roads to Hayward, WI, a tourist town full of shops and a giant candy and fudge store.  Okay, maybe the ride was to stock up on candy for the long winter that is coming up, but the leaves were a good excuse.  There is a wonderful Scandinavian store there that is a simply must-visit each time we are in town.  I love all the red, of course, but also the wonderfully simple and whimsical Swedish decorations.  I have been loving the bottle topper elves that I have been making, but elf figures caught my eye at the store and I thought I could make one!  We stopped at Bargain Bills in Rice Lake on the way home, and I bought a 3 1/2" wooden doll form.  I cut some red felt to fit the form, stitched on some hearts on the hem, and some snowflakes on the hat.  I got out my glue gun, and in no time at all, I had a new friend.  Of course, I had to spritz him with glitter.  I did some internet searching for wood doll forms, and discovered that this form actually is a female form - narrow on top, but wide on the bottom.  The male wood doll forms are straight up and down.  I like the chubby shape of this elf, so underneath his furry beard he is all girl!  This little guy will be cute on a window ledge with some like buddies, or could be hung on a tree.  Felt, glitter and glue....heaven!  Jerilynn  P.S.  Happy October!  One of my favorite months! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Woolfelt Cabin Scene

I have been busy getting ready for the sewing talk I am going to give in October, but in the meantime, I received another large order from Idlewild, an outfitter shop downtown Cumberland.  They have been a big source of orders for me all summer.  Even though the tourist season is winding down, they are still are very busy and want more stuff.  That is good, but it is keeping me very busy. They wanted a couple of little pictures to hang on a wall, or use on a table, so I made the cabin/tree/lake scene and the tree/arrow mat.   I have been frustrated because I couldn't figure out how to do a huge embroidery picture in my Bernina V7 software, but use my Pfaff Grand Dream Hoop.  After some research, it seams as if other sewers with a similar set-up have also been frustrated.  One suggestions given was just to hoop a big embroidery with multiple sew-outs in a smaller hoop.  Duh!  Why I didn't think of that is rather embarrassing.  I designed the cabin/tree/lake scene as one big scene, then saved chunks of it in different files.  I printed a paper "road map" of the embroidery, taped all the multiple pages together and went about and stitched the various parts. The second shot above is how it looked before trimming.  Cool!  The tree/arrow mat is a variation of a penny rug.  The bottom shot is a pillow with just the cabin and some trees.  I hope they sell fast, but I hope any reorders wait just a bit!  Being up in the studio this time of year is wonderful, though.  The trees are starting to surprise with color and I hear acorns thud.  The dock gets pulled in tomorrow - always a bit bittersweet.  But, that means that winter is coming, and I really don't mind that.  The snow is always beautiful, and ice on trees will take my breath away!  It is quiet up here in the winter and so cozy.  Recoup time.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My New Friends

For a few years I have been loving the elf/santa/gnome bottle toppers that pop up during the holidays.  I even bought a few on clearance last year so I could make some myself.  Well, I didn't come up with an exact copy, but mine I think are pretty cute! I took my beloved Woolfelt, and threw it in the washer and dryer and it came out soft and bubbly and wonderful!  I designed a cone shape on my Bernina V7 software and added snowflakes around the bottom and a few scattered here and there.  Hard to see, but I put "diamonds" on the scattered flakes. I found some
Mongolian Curly White Faux Fur 30x36 Photography Prop on etsy.  I cut out a beard shape, being careful only to cute the fur backing, not the fur itself, so that it still maintained the long, fluffly edges.  I sewed the top of the beard to the bottom of the hat with a matched thread and a straight stitch.   As I sewed up the back seam, I added a cord and tied a bell once the hat was turned inside out.  A wooden plug was glued in place for a nose.  I designed a second version that I don't have a picture of right now.  It has primitive trees along the bottom, and I sewed it out on a light brownish Woolfelt, also washed and dried.  It has a woodland feel. I used a rusted bell on the top, but am looking for some rusted small stars - wouldn't that be perfect?   Last Christmas I bought a few bottles of wine that had Christmasy labels.  I never drank the wine, it didn't look like it would be all that great, so now I have bottles for my new creations.  This little guy would also look good on a dish soap bottle, or a shampoo bottle, lotion, etc.  A good gift idea.  I also think these would be darling sprayed with a little glitter!  Just be careful when opening the wine...not too many people like THAT kind of sparkly wine.  Jerilynn

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dishcloths Disguised as a Scarf

This isn't a project that I can show at my sewing presentation, but I can post this on my blog to show what I have been knervously knitting for a bit.  I love Knitpicks Dishy yarn, and I can almost knit a garter stitch dishcloth without even looking.  Perfect for evening-time tv watching.  I actually sold about 16 of the knit squares to a beauty salon.  Not sure what she is going to do with them, but I covered the cost of the yarn and about $1.00 for my knitting effort.  Yep.  Not much of a money-maker, but the fewer of these knit squares I have piled around the house, the happier the children are when they come to visit.  The piles of squares seem to make them knervous.  So, I got this great idea - knit 8 squares end to end to make a long scarf.  Half way through this project, I knew I was going to like it.  Carl also thought the scarf's colors were pretty fun.  I just bet if I stack up a bunch of these scarves, they just might disappear when the  kids and grandkids come to visit.  I suppose these scarves could also be cut apart for dishcloths, just in case you run out. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Funky Fractured Fish

I am getting ready for my yearly talk at Sew Complete where I present projects that I have been working on the past year.  I usually start out by looking at my blog to refresh myself on what I have made.  Ooops.  Bad blog year.  Panic mode.  What in the world have I been doing?  It seems as if I am up in the studio every day working on this and that, but I have not done a good job at documentation.  The blog posts share my creations, but, more importantly, the posts serve as proof that I really do try to create something everyday.  Well, I can't do anything about lack of blog material for the talk, but I can work on some new ideas and do a better job at posting the results.  The Funky Fractured Fish little quilt is an idea I have had for a while and decided to see what I could make with that idea.  This is the first try.  I will do a couple things differently for the next go-round, but I think it turned out pretty cute.  The button eyes help, as does the quilting.  I used five different colors of Mettler cotton thread and did a free motion wavy line with an occasional "air bubble".  I used to use Mettler Silk Finish cotton thread all the time, then experimented with other brands.  I decided that I have very consistently good results with the Mettler, both for piecing and for quilting.  All three brands of the machines I use, Pfaff, Bernina and Brother seem to like the Mettler, so I think that is what I am going to stock up on.  So, back to my upcoming talk (first part of October)...I have made an ambitious list of things to make and then talk about. I could start a new project today, but the sky is a brilliant blue, the lake is right out of a Hamm's Beer commercial, the wood is newly stacked by the fire pit, and the stomach pain I have been fighting for a month now is feeling better.  I think we may even have some worms in the worm fridge in the fish house.  I could go drop a line and see if I can catch a funky fish to inspire my next project.  Jerilynn

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Patchwork Pincushion


 new pincushion!  Just can't get enough of those fun, fast, little projects.  I fill the pincushions with crushed walnuts shells and they have such a nice, pincushiony weight and feel.  The bottom photo is from Pinterest, and I tracked down the source, verykerryberry and she talks about it on this blog.  I  made my own version - pretty fun and speedy.  I have a couple of bins of teeny fabric scraps just perfect for this type of application.  The rest of the pincuhion is made from some linen/rayon fabric I bought at Joann's.  It has been my to-go fabric for all the pillows I am making of late.  This would make a good group sewing project, don't you think?  Jerilynn

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strip Sticks!

Oh, no!  Have I turned into one of THOSE bloggers who try and convince you to buy products that someone is paying them to do just that?  No, I don't think so.  I am a self-proclaimed pressing aid collector.  Hams, sleeve roll, point presser and clapper...  And, not only do I own these pressing aids,  I actually use them!  So, when daughter Barb gave me two new pressing aids for Mother's Day, I was so thrilled!  She is a relatively new quilter, and saw these at one of her quilting classes.  I had never seen them before, but knew right away that they would come in very handy!  Weeks Ringle, of the Modern Quilt Studio fame, said on a Craftsy class I took (btw, one of the best classes I have taken online), said they ALWAYS press the seams open on the quilts they make.  Their quilts are precise and beautifully created.  The bad thing about pressing seams open, however, that it is not all that easy to do when the seams are 1/4" wide.  Plus, as you press one seam, the others get messed up.  The Strip Sticks that Barb gave me, solve those problems.  They are long fabric covered pressing sticks, in two sizes,  that elevate the seam you are pressing, so that other seams don't get out of whack.  It helps, also, in getting those seams really pressed fully open.  In the Patchwork America quilt I am making, with the over 2000 little squares, the Strip Sticks are being put to very good use.  The top picture is a bit hard to see, but you can sort of make out the seams pressed open on the quilt so far.  The bottom picture is from the Strip Stick web here.  I guess old dogs CAN learn new tricks!  Thanks again, Barb!  Jerilynn

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Perfect Storm Aftermath

I forgot to show you that I finished quilting the quilt that was The Quilting Perfect Storm from blogpost February 9.  I hesitate to refresh your memory, but you can find it here.  After Carl and I unsewed all the previously horrid quilting, I let the quilt just sit for a while, not very excited about starting over.  I finally decided I needed to not let the quilt get the better of me.  I re-pinned the quilt sandwich together, this time with lots of pins.  I stitched in the ditch in every seam.  The center big blocks got a swirly, free motion design, which helped disguise the puffiness.  The colored borders around the centers got a bit of a feather design.  You can't see it too well in the photos, but the light sashings got a free motion big zig-zag, and the corners got an X.  After binding, I threw the quilt in the wash, and was pleased to see it didn't look half bad!  It isn't my favorite quilt (after all, there is not RED in the quilt at all!),  but it looks fine in the Green Room for now.  Jerilynn

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cutting Help

Hmmm, somehow a post I thought I posted is lost. Did The Cloud take it somewhere? What IS exactly the Cloud. Do we really want to know? Anyway, the post started with a question : who do you think is helping me with Patchwork America? Look at the neatly piled and labeled stacked of 2" squares, both with the color number and state initial. Yep! Carl! I gave him a quick rotary cutting lesson, using the ruler markings as a guide. That is the way I rotary cut. Soon, however, he switched to using the markings on the mat, and the ruler as a straight edged cutting tool. Is that his in inner carpenter showing through? Who knows. But, I can say, his squares are very well cut. No surprise here, at all. Jerilynn
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 7, 2014

Patchwork America Try 6

Whew!  Busy week!  My main job was to keep food in the house and cookies in the cookie jar.  I have a huge to-do list that got ignored for the Fourth of July week-long party, but today all I had energy for was to fill little squares with color.  This is about the 6th or 7th revision of the Patchwork America quilt idea.  I used all fifty colors of the American Made Brands cotton for the quilt.  I still need to figure out a background grid and do any final revisions of the states.  The fabric has been ordered.  Let the little squares cutting begin!  Jerilynn

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Patchwork America

I thought I would include you in a new quilt idea from beginning idea phase to, hopefully, the finished quilt.  My idea is to use 1.5" finished blocks to piece all the states, each in a different color.  I plan to use all fifty of the solid American Made Brands cottons.  I think I want to piece the background, too, to maintain the patchwork feel.  At 1.5" for the blocks, this should turn out to be a twin sized quilt.  I think this shouldn't be too hard, just time consuming.  I will number all the colors and print out a graph, so that I know which colored squares to sew in the rows.  I think I will work on some of the shapes of the states, but this is not intended for navigational purposes, so I think it will be fine.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Modern America - American Made Brands Fabric Self Promoting Blogpost

Yep, another Modern America post.  Stepahnie, at Clothworks, wrote a blog post on this quilt and the American Made Brands fabrics.  It is a fun post, and I thank her for her kind words.  Go here to read the post.  If the sun ever comes out again, I will take a picture of a quilt I finished quilting.  If it continues to rain, I will take a picture anyway because I need to then move on to building an ark.  Jerilynn

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Even though this quilt top needs more pressing, and the quilt needs to be quilted, of course, I couldn't wait to show you what I have been working on.  I think out of all the quilts I have made, this one has been the most fun, so far.  This pattern is Suburbs by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew.  I have always been drawn to little houses and the simplicity of these houses is just perfect.  So easy and fast to make.  I decided to go through all my fabric bins and pull out conversation prints so that each house would be different and have a personality all its own.  Not only is the construction addictively fun, but finding fabrics I had forgotten about was like a treasure hunt!  I made the twin size so that my mom could enjoy it for a while on her bed, but I could easily have continued on to a queen or a king.  Just one more!  Fussy cut a door!  I need a fishing house!  Oh!  Bobbins and spools!  An I Spy quilt for grown-ups.  I spent a little time on the web last night looking up other Suburb quilts people have done to get quilting ideas.  So many cute ones out there.  Still not sure how I am going to quilt it, so I am open to any ideas.  Check out Allison's other quilt patterns.  I love her color sense and her whimsical style.  I have quite a few of her other patterns on my to-do wish list.  Going through all my fabric bins has inspired me to pull them all out and reorganize and re-acquaint myself with past fabric purchases.  I don't seem to have many large pieces of fabric, so for the back I will need to put together some smaller sizes.  The fun continues.  Jerilynn

Friday, June 20, 2014

Blobby Lakes and Bloody Face

One more Woolfelt and linen lake pillow was ordered.  The requested lake wasn't one of the blobby lake shapes, so  careful trimming was necessary.  I'm trying to think of other sayings or lake related appliques that I could design, but my mind is blank.  Today was finally nice enough (no rain!) to finish cleaning the windows.  All have been done over the last month except the ones up here in the studio, and they are Big. They fold in, so no exterior tall ladders are needed, but these windows are just too heavy and big for me to do on my own.  Carl to the rescue.  I was doing some Friday cleaning on the second floor when I heard a crashing noise.   "Carl, are you okay?"  "No."  One of the upper windows which is over my desk area, and awkward to reach, fell forward into his face.  He has a very nasty gash on his forehead, and one on his nose.  The skin is completely gone in about a 1" x 3/4" rectangle on the forehead, and a bit smaller area on his nose.  His glasses saved the eyes.  He now has decided to tell everyone that I hit him.  The window is fine.  And clean.  Never a dull around here.  Jerilynn

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Pin Cushion Mothership

I bought this pattern, Sew Happy by Jennifer Heynen, and for some reason, I thought it was a pin cushion!  I was half way through construction and realized that it definitely was not a pin cushion, unless I was sewing for Paul Bunyan.  I finished it anyway, and it now plops on a little corner table that you see as you come up the stairs to the studio.  I have other fun things in that corner.  Mostly ladybug stuff that I have collected/received over the years.  It was a fun project to do and turned out pretty good.  It just isn't going to fit by my real sewing machine to hold pins.  Jerilynn

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hand Stamped Dishtowel

I have another nice order from Idlewild store downtown Cumberland.  My cabiny creations are selling well, which is a good thing for them and for me!  Most all need some sort of time on the embroidery machine.  So while it is sewing away on its own, I gave myself permission to play a little.  I love stamped and painted fabric, but that is something a little out of my comfort zone, thus, my satisfaction with the end results is low.  It isn't as simple as it looks, and, like most all crafts, must take a bit of practice.  Genine Zlatkis is a favorite artist of mine from Mexico.  She has some stamps for sale at  I bought four stamps and decided to stamp a new dish towel for myself with some pretty cobalt blue ink.  It is the type of ink that is colorfast once it is heat set.  I stamped away, got blue all over me and the table, and smudged the towel here and there.  But, overall, I think the results are okay.  Folk arty, don't you think?  I think I will keep my day job, but it was a fun playtime.  Jerilynn

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Granduation Quilt

Grandson Aaron graduated from High School and his mom, Barb, decided to make him a quilt for his dorm room.  Barb had never made a bed quilt before, so this is her first one.  It turned out great!!!  She quilted it with a slight zig-zag stitch, more like a wobble.  The back is a soft flannel because Aaron requested something warm.  She simply brought the backing to the front and stitched it down with a step zig-zag, resulting in a very secure binding that should withstand multiple freshman boy washings.  She had the idea to make the label into a triangle shape.  She said she learned that in a class and that normally two sides of the label can be in the binding.  Isn't that just a great idea?  I guess even old dogs can learn new tricks.  Beautiful job!!! Jerilynn

Friday, June 13, 2014

Casually Squishy Pillows

Here us the latest pillow using the "letterman jacket" technique.  I hoop a big square of linen/rayon that I purchased at Joann Fabrics.  They have severalgreat  colors in this wide home-dec weight fabric.  I wash and dry it first to soften it and make it look a bit more vintage.  I then place a piece of Woolfelt on top of the hooped linen, and stitch the outline of the letters (Lobster font) and the lake.  I have a sharp, pointy pair of scissors that I use to trim around all the stitching.  Stuff, stitch close.  Done.  I don't stuff my pillows very firmly - I like to have them casually squishy.  Now you know.  Jerilynn

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Store & Go Zipper Case

This is one of the patterns I did for Indygo Junction that debuted at the Spring Market in Philadelphia.  At first, IJ was skeptical about the pattern because it is made using a circular attachment foot on the sewing machine, both for the decoratively stitched circles and for inserting the zipper.  It actually is a very fun and clever (if I do say so myself) way of making a pouch.  I originally sent the pattern and models to them calling it Moon Zipper Pouch.  I loved the way it went from a "full moon" when open to a "half moon" when closed.  I guess the powers that be thought the name was a bit odd...thus, Store & Go Zipper Case.  They did a nice blog write-up on it here.  Lots of positive comments on the case, but that could have been due to the give-away they were offering.  The cases are shown set up as a sewing kit case and a travel jewelry case.  Other uses can be created, of course.  I hope the pattern does well, but in the end, I create stuff because it is fun.  And making circles with decorative stitches is right up there on the fun scale with fruity drinks on the porch.  Well, maybe not quite as much fun as fruity drinks on the porch.  Jerilynn