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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fabric Supplied by Others

These photos are a bit out if order, but I think you are clever enough to figure out what's what. Addy, youngest granddaughter, turned two in April. Sarah supplied me with a stash of her clothes that she wore during her second year. I cut them up into small squares, and made a little quilt for her. On the back is a little dress, the favorite. I stitched it on so that a doll or bear could be slipped inside. I will get a picture of that for you soon. The other quilt was made for Sarah's brother Ryan and Joe, married in the spring. I got a huge bag of dress shirts from them, mostly Brooks Brothers. Oh, the workmanship and fabric! Beautiful! Hard to cut them up, almost. I cut them into triangles and did a bunch of mitering. The quilt turned out quite modern looking, and they seemed to really like it. I thought it may end up on a spare bed, but I have been told it is center front in their living room. The back is also some of their shirts, in big chunks. I think it is so clever to have people give you some old clothes and all you have to do is cut it up, sew it together and quilt! The quilts are usually a hit, because, after all, they picked out the fabrics! Jerilynn

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Modern America and American Made Brand Fabric

Here are some photos of the Modern America quilt I promised you yesterday.  You can see by the picture of the finished quilt, the  horrible metallic stars are just an awful memory.  The quilt is quilted, bound, labeled, and in the mail to the Stitchin' Post for their Sisters Quilt Show.  Not sure where it goes from there, but I bet if it could talk, it would have some good stories to tell.  On to the next squeaky wheel project.  I have a long list of things that I would like to sit down and do, but those darn projects that are due/past due just keep crowding up my mind.  Maybe for each 4 hours of "work" I could allow myself one hour of "play".  Although, being retired, living at this gorgeous lake, and having a bright and airy place to create...the "work" really isn't too tough to do.  Jerilynn

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another Quilting Disaster!

Oh, my stars! I have been asked to make my Modern America quilt for a quilt exposition put on by American Made Brand fabrics. This is a new line of fabric that is made in the USA and will be in quilt shops soon. First stop is the quilt show in Sisters, Or, and it will eventually be at the Fall Quilt Market. I will show you a picture tomorrow when I have better light, but I do have a scary picture to show you. I quilted the states on the quilt with silver metallic thread in a star and swirl motif. I was happy that I learned a new free motion quilting design, and happy that I was doing it in metallic without any breaks or problems. This happiness overshadowed the truth: it looked really ugly on the quilt!!! We were gone a couple days this weekend, and upon my return, there was no doubt on what had to be done. It all had to be ripped out. It took forever, but I know it was the right thing to do. I simply outlined each state, and it looks so much better! What did I learn? Metallic quilting is probably not good on anything. Just because I learn a new quilting design does not mean it is a good one. And , AGAIN, listen to my gut when it is telling me to step away from the quilt and stop a bad looking job before it gets even worse. Jerilynn

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Waves and Fish

As you know, I am fairly good at Knervous knitting - watching tv and knitting endless dishcloths, almost without even looking at what I am doing. I am not so good at Careless Crochet. I had started the crochet chevron afghan a few years ago. It required a certain amount of attention: seven single crochets in the back loop (tbl - had to google that abbreviation), skip two loops in the valleys, crochet three single crochets at the peak. The yarn is washable wool, very pretty and squishy, but does tend to split. So, I had put the project aside. Actually, I stored it in a huge orange birdcage in my studio and thought of it as decor. I realized that the half finished blanket would look perfect in the sunporch. So, I opened the cage door and set the project free. The yarn was purchased so long ago, that I was restricted to just the amount I had on hand. The finished size isn't huge, really it is just a lap and leg and foot blanket. It looks great over the back of the chair and pretends it's the waves for the colorful fish on the pillow. I now have a basket (a cute basket, of course) by my denim covered chair and will knervously knit a few more dishcloths. Although, I am using a seed stitch pattern, and calling the resulting squares "spa cloths". More sophisticated, don't you agree? Jerilynn

Friday, June 6, 2014

Well, I Tried!

The bottom photo is the Everett patchwork chair by West Elm. Daughter-in-law Sarah snagged one on clearance for their new basement room. In person, it is more grey, which is perfect for their decor, and very comfy. I love it so much...went to the website, but, alas...sold out. The top photo is a rattan chair in our new sunroom. The cushions were a tropical print, and just looked a bit out of place. Until I order new cushions, I decided to do a DIY denim cover. Clearly not the over-the-top fun West Elm patchwork, but my job will do until I come up with something better. Jerilynn

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sittin on the Porch

I am sitting on the porch, drinking a second cup of coffee, delaying leaving this wonderful spot, to go up to the studio (also a wonderful spot, btw) and get busy. I did something that I haven't done in a long, long time. I bet all sorts of things pop into your head, but this is what I did: I tore two pages out of a magazine! Before Pinterest, Page Tearing us what I did to "remember" recipes, or craft ideas, or decorating inspiration. Occasionally, I would attempt to organize the pile of sheets into file folders, but I don't think I ever referred to them again. Then Pinterest! I look at my boards all the time. Cook pinned recipes. Make/copy crafts. I wonder if there is a grand plan to get me totally hooked and then hold my boards ransom until I pay up. I will. So, looking at the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I came to pages 68 and 70. They are about a Happy Place, where "vibrant colors and comfy furniture can turn a porch into a favorite hangout." Love the stool/side table! Love the patchwork pillows! Love the blanket! Love the red planter! Love the dog (WHAT??.). I may try to find all the individual crushes on the internet and pin to the appropriate boards, but right now I have two colorful pages to actually pin up on the actual board in the studio. When I go up to get to work. Jerilynn

Oh, this photo! This is a picture of my new favorite necklace. I made this while we were in Florida. The strap is leather and has knots that adjust to different lengths. I have made three more, and all have sold. I think I have one more of the large center silver piece and will try to make another.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Woolfelt Fish Coasters

Living by a lake, and having a wonderful new screen porch that looks at the lake, I have been in a fish frame of mind of late.  I wanted to come up with some fish coasters ( made from....???), but needed them to be glass-friendly, not long and thin.  I decided to flip their tail up and then give them some fantasy markings.  I think these would fall into the sunfish family.  These are for a store, but I made another set for the porch.  I hope the room isn't getting too fishy.  Funny how rooms take on a life of their own.  While planning and building the porch, I pinned several porch shots to Pinterest of sunporches that I really loved.  I look back through those photos and see bits and pieces that we used, but our porch decided to be something a bit different, unique.  Life is like that sometimes, too.  You plan, and have a vision, but it isn't always what you thought it would turn out to be.  It usually is so much better!  Jerilynn

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Go Fish and Returned Gifts

Have you ever given someone a gift that you secretly wanted yourself and talked yourself into believing that they really wanted it too, but they really didn't?  Years ago I gifted my oldest son a large format ink jet printer, one that would print up to 13" x 19".  He and his then girlfriend (now wife) had just returned from a trip to Italy, and I thought they might just love having HUGE photos of their trip, never mind that they lived in a small rental with no office space for a HUGE printer or wall space for HUGE photos.  A couple years after the gift, I found out that the printer was still in the box.  I jumped at the chance, being kind, of course, to "buy back" the gift.  My son got a very nice check to get something he really wanted, and I got the printer!  Win, win.  Even though this printer is quite old by now, it still works quite well.  Of course, every time I have to buy all the colors of inks that it uses, or specially order the giant papers, I realize it was a silly gift for a young kid.  For a senior citizen, however, that loves to make digital art, it is a gem.  I found I could order canvas sheets, have Carl build stretcher bars, and I have stretched canvas art in a jiffy.  I have a collection of pictures of our kids and grandkids with fish they have caught.  I cropped in on just the hands holding the fish, printed them, stretched them, and hung them in a row along the the windows in our sunporch.  It is fun to have people guess the fisherperson and it is a great bunch of color.  Addy, age 1.5 at the time, hadn't caught a real fish.  She did, however, catch a play fish and was quite proud.  The catch was captured, and displayed with those of the big kids.  Five of our tribe have not made the wall, and it causes a bit of shame...I think this will be the summer they step up and Go Fish. New canvas will be printed and added to the wall.  The mis-given gift just keeps on giving.  Jerilynn  P.S.   THANK YOU for all the comments!!  Ala Sally Fields:  You like me!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cumberland Pillow

This is a pillow I designed for a new store downtown, Idlewild.  The pillow fabric is linen and the lettering is Woolfelt.  The first pillow I made like this I printed Cumberland out, mirror-imaged it, traced it on fusible web, cut out the letters, and strait-stitched along the edges.  A bit labor intensive.  I then got the idea to use the embroidery machine.  I digitized the letters (the font is Lobster), added an outline around all the letters, then deleted all but the outline.  At the embroidery machine, I hooped the linen, placed a loose piece of Woolfelt on top, and stitched out the outlined word.  It was pretty easy just to trim around the stitching.  The overall effect is that of a"letter jacket". I am now thinking this technique would look good using the outline of Beaver Dam Lake and blue Woolfelt.  I will keep you informed.  Jerilynn

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My friend Laura (, is a non-professional, not-blogging-for-profit blogger. She said to me "You haven't updated your blog since February 12. Start blogging again. I miss reading your blog." Simple, to the point. I have been on the fence, trying to decide if I wanted to continue to document my creative output, or if I wanted to leave the blogging to the young ones, with their fancy ads and sponsors. I guess I needed a nudge, to get off the fence, and once again post about what I am doing. This pillow is one of the latest things I have made, and sums up what I have been up to. A three week escape to the Florida Gulf Coast this March, opening up and using our wonderful new screen porch, the late spring/summer onslaught of family and friends, watching the trees bud and leaf out, and watching our four-year-old grandson catch bass after bass on his little Spider-Man fishing pole. Challenges, too, as there are for everyone. But, to sum it up: This is the life. The fabric is some mystery home dec fabric that I recently bought at Joann's. It also comes in red and tan. The font I used is the Bernie fun. It sits on a wicker chair in the new sunroom along with some blue-jean pillows. It makes me smile. And it also makes me smile to be writing this blog again. Thank you, Laura! Jerilynn

Location:Life is What Happens When You are Busy Making Other Plans