May 23, 2016

It see024ms like only a year ago that I was starting the Farm Girl Fridays sew-along hosted on Instagram by the author of “Farm Girl Vintage”  Lori Holt, because indeed it was exactly one year ago I started this project and happy to say that it is finished.  I love how it turned out and may go down as  one of my favorite quilts of all time.  Gone are the days when I could live up to my blog name – sewzalot due to my full-time job. But, if I am only able to accomplish one quilt a year, I am happy that it was this one.




The book is “Farm Girl Vintage’ by Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet.  She has a great website and everything Lori Holt can be found there.

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A few of my favorite blocks!!

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I made a mistake on this one and was too lazy to fix it!  I am forgiven!



The label was made using my favorite quilt block of all time-The Churn Dash Block


“Farm Girl Vintage” has so many great quilt ideas, I may have to make a quilt with The Tractor block next!





May 4, 2015

The Farm Girl Vintage sew-along has begun!  Lori Holt at Bee in my Bonnet has released her new book “Farm Girl Vintage” and is hosting a new sew-along.  Each week she will be making a new  block from her book and sharing tips and extra surprises on her blog and Instagram #farmgirlfridays.  This week we made the Apron Strings block.  Her book includes directions on how to make 45 blocks in a 6″ and a 12″ size.  She also shared a great tutorial on how to make an adorable farm girl vintage pincushion.

6″  Apron Strings


12″ Apron Strings and a few bonus blocks made from the left over scraps


Farm Girl Vintage Pincushion


I know it is  only week one but so far I am keeping up!!!




It’s time to make a label for The Farmer’s Wife quilt and call it a BIG-WIP finish!!  The final step of making and attaching a special label to a quilt is a great way to say goodbye to a process and project that can sometimes be years in the making.

When I first started quilting I used to make quilt labels by writing on a scrap of fabric with a permanent marker.  Well, after a few trips through the wash, I noticed that the permanent markings were not so permanent after all,  so I started to make my labels differently.


For my Farmer’s Wife quilt I decided to use my favorite block for the label, so I made a Churn Dash block for the foundation!!


Then I gathered  the supplies I needed….

1.  The constructed block for the base.
2.  A scrap of batting.
3.  A strip of contrasting fabric for the binding cut 1.25 inches wide.
4.  Embroidery floss
5.  A fine point water-soluble pen.
Next, I drew the design on the block and basted the block to the batting.
DSCN1291My favorite part is embroidering the design and I usually use a very small backstitch with two strands of floss.
After the stitching was finished, I trimmed the label and removed the blue pen markings.
DSCN1306To sew the binding I lined up the 1.25 inch strip of fabric with the edge of the block RST.  I sewed one side at a time 1/4 inch away from the edge.  When all four sides were finished I pressed all of the wonk out of my label making the next step easier to manage.
DSCN1307DSCN1309DSCN1310Next, I wrapped the edges around to the back, pinned (lots), and stitched in the ditch between the binding and the block. A walking foot would have made this step easier!
DSCN1313DSCN1314DSCN1317Here is what the back looks like…..DSCN1318

 And wallahhhh……  This label is complete and ready to be sewn on to the Farmers Wife quilt when I get it back from my Mother who is sewing down the binding for me!!



Saturday Sewing Day

August 17, 2014

DSCN1188Every once in awhile when I’m feeling a bit off balance and finishing up a long week at work I decide to take a day off from all of the have to’s and should do’s and  spend an entire day sewing.  Yesterday was one of those days.  It gave me a chance to get caught up on some of the ongoing projects I’ve been working on this year.

The highlight of my day was sewing a paper-pieced block designed by Kristy @Quietplay called Betty.  Her patterns can be downloaded from her Craftsyshop.  She has been hosting a block of the month project called Sewkitschy which I’ve been sewing along with and have been wanting to make a Betty block to go in the center spot of this project.

Getting organized!


Aurifil 50wt is my favorite thread for paper-piecing.  I made the entire block with only one bobbin and the thread does not add bulk to the little teeny tiny pieces.

I had fun picking out the fabrics for the little frames.  Betty is quite in love with herself having devoted two of the frames to pictures of herself.  Paper-piecing amazes me on how much detail can be accomplished and what a complicated mess that can develop on the back of a piece.


This is my progress after six hours of dedicated sewing time!



Here she is!  Looking quite the lady enjoying her fancy pink champagne in her pretty red dress and high heels.



Also stitched together my Aurifil Designer of the Month August block by Michele Foster of The Quilting Gallery.


I spent some time working on my Scrappy Crossroads variation quilt.  I had originally made a mistake on the block in Lori Holt’s tutorial and just decided to go with it and make my blocks a little different.  I like it just as well.  The good news is as the quilt top gets bigger-my scrap bin gets smaller.  I may one day have room for some new fabric in my life.

Happiness is sewing on a Featherweight!

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I had a great sewing day!!!  I feel balanced again and ready to get back to work tomorrow.



The Pack-Patch MINI Quilt-Along has come to an end.

DSCN1129A couple of months ago I noticed quite a few  little 3″ x 4″ mini blocks popping up on the internet which sent me  into investigation mode.  After a couple of clicks I stumbled into the  blog  Quarter Inch Mark written by Chase.  She came up with a great idea to make mini blocks  based on a weekly theme.   For 10 weeks Chase  posted the weekly theme on the group Flickr page along with a clever explanation that encouraged and inspired members to come up with unique individual blocks using  fabric scraps from their stash.  I jumped on in and joined the Flickr group.   I decided to embroider the theme of the week onto the blocks so I would remember why I chose a particular fabric for each one.  I spent the 4th of July holiday doing what I like best and finishing up my small-quilt.


I loved sewing along with the group, and the posting of the weekly theme was a highlight in my week.  Here are a few pictures of my project.  I hope Quarter Inch Mark will have another quilt-along in the future.  I will definitely play along! This was so much fun!
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DSCN0977The May block for the Sew Kitschy bom is this adorable retro mixer pattern.  What a great block to release the same month that we celebrate Mother’s Day.  This block brings back such happy memories from my childhood.  My moms mixer looked just like this one except that hers was gold and had the name Sunbeam written on the side.  It must be a sturdy reliable mixer because she still uses it  to this day 40 years later . I can almost smell the cakes baking in the oven just looking at this months block.  The mixer pattern can be downloaded  from Quiet plays Craftsy shop for free for a limited time.  Check out the Sew kitschy Flickr page for other adorable blocks.




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Tomorrow I celebrate my wonderful Mom.  Happy Mothers Day Mom!  Thank you for my Life!




photo 2A couple of weeks ago I brought down my old-timey sewing machine from the special designated spot  in my closet where she has been protected and stored for the past 14 years.   I had woken up one morning thinking it was time to start cleaning out and de-stashing my sewing supplies. I was thinking that I should sell my featherweight because I have never used it.  My Mother in Law told me that  it had been serviced and worked when she gave it to me, but I had never tried it.  I was saving it for a later day and I was also a little intimidated by this…..


DSCN0936photo 1This is a picture of some of the places this old-timer needs to be oiled!  There is actually another page!  I am used to machines that don’t need oil, and then… there’s the part about the grease!!  Yikes!- Grease!- Really?

I decided that I needed to at least try it.  A trip to the sewing store and oil in my hand, I grabbed the book, my glasses, and started oiling.  I can’t describe how delighted I felt when the moving parts started  to move!

Then I plugged her in and fell in love.


Bobbin winding-Success!!!
The bobbin case was installed incorrectly (picture) but I was able to figure that out and correct it!

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I screwed in a fresh needle.  Threading the machine was a breeze. Then I pushed the pedal and sewed my first stitch!!  I was thrilled!!  It was working and actually sewing a real seam.  Initially I had a little tension issue but a couple of simple adjustments and the seam was locking in the middle of the fabric and sewing a beautiful stitch!

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This machine is staying with me for now.   There are many other things I can clean out of my  stash besides this little machine.  I plan on keeping this off the closet shelf and close by so I can use it.  However, I will need a trip to the sewing store to pick up some more grease and oil first!!

This Featherweight has a manufacture number of AH665775 and after a little googling I found out that it has a birthday of  June 18th,1948, along with 29,999 other sewing machines. In the US there were 1.75 million  machines manufactured from 1933 until 1961, and so happy that I have one of them.



Featherweight 221

April 12, 2014

DSCN0925Living in the same house for 23 years, a person can accumulate a lot of stuff.  I’ve been sewing for over 20 years and have managed to fill my cupboards, drawers, and closets with a large collection of sewing supplies.  In looking at the overwhelming amount of stashed fabric, books, and sewing paraphernalia, I believe this is a borderline addiction issue for me.  And… although I have done a pretty good job at hiding my habit behind closed doors, I have decided it is time for me to start to de-stash and clean out.

This is still my plan, but embarrassed to say that on day one I have already been distracted!!!

The story is that 14 years ago, I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I would love to have one of those cute old-timey featherweight sewing machines.  And… tadaa.. the next thing I knew she had found one as a gift and generously and thoughtfully sent it to me from Colorado!  I was so excited and  remember opening up the box, and taking it out and plugging it in the wall. Yep, the light worked!  And, that is where it ended!   I unplugged that baby, and put it back in the box, and  on a shelf to save for another day.  I was nervous about using it.  I had some idea that it needed to be oiled and although I had a book to tell me how-I never pursued it any further.  So up on the shelf-my featherweight has lived for 14 years.  Well, I thought I might sell it, so brought it down from a deep corner in my closet… and I still want to sell it, but gosh darn-it!  I am going to try and figure it out and take a stitch before I do!!

DSCN0937Today, I am feeling the same excitement that I did 14 years ago… I’m pulling this out,  reading the book, and going to take at least one stitch with this beautiful machine!   Wish me luck!!




Churn Dash!

April 3, 2014

DSCN0870Back in the olden days, folks used to make their own butter.  The process started with a good cow.  After milking the cow, the milk was placed in a shallow dish so the milk settled and the cream rose  to the top.  After waiting for about a half of a day, the cream was skimmed off and ready for the churn.  A churn is a tall upright container usually made of wood. The churn dash is a stick that is continuously moved up and down by hand until  the cream magically turns into butter! I read that the process of moving the churn dash up and down to make the butter was charmed along by singing a little song similar to this one:


Come, butter, come.  Come, butter, come.

Peter’s standing at the gate, waiting for a buttered cake.
Come, butter, come.
(A traditional song)


Well, I don’t really see what making butter has to do with the traditional churn-dash quilt block, but I sure had fun trying to figure it out!  I used the book “Simply Retro” by Camille Roskelley to make this quilt because her directions and pictures are so fun to look at and easy to follow!  This quilt was made for Carly, a dear friend of my son’s. I used green and blue fabric in this quilt, which are her favorite colors. I wanted this quilt  to be really cozy so I used some cuddly, pre-washed flannel and paired that with the fabric line “Florence” by Denyse Schmidt.

I suppose my song should go like this:

Sew, Debbie, Sew.  Sew, Debbie, Sew.
Carly’s blocks of green and blue will soon be a cozy quilt-that’s true.
Sew, Debbie, Sew.

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Thanks to my mom for hand stitching down the binding and helping to get a nice picture of this quilt. Just a lucky coincidence that she happened to be wearing shoes that match!



Welcome Spring!


The Quilty Fun Sew-Along is into it’s 18th week and perfect timing in that this week we are stitching a flower block.   I am very happy I joined up with this sew-along and have had so much fun making the blocks in Lori Holts scrappy patchwork book “Quilty Fun”.  There are many projects and ideas in her book that I would like to make someday.

All of the blocks in her book use the same concept in that she uses cute scrappy fabrics cut in simple measurements of rectangles and squares and makes many of her designs  by sewing on various size squares of fabric sewn diagonally onto the corners of the base fabric to create a simple shape.  In the process of making the blocks there is typically quite a few corners of fabric that get hacked off and discarded.  I’ve been gathering up the wacked off corners and making miniature bonus blocks.

I thought I would share how I made a bonus block today:

This is an example of how a square background (white) shape of fabric is  sewn onto the base fabric and stitched along a pencil line drawn diagonally onto the background fabric. After I stitch on the pencil drawn diagonal line I make a second row of stitching a little less than 1/2″ away from my first line of stitching.









Then I cut in between  the two rows of stitching and head to the iron.

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After the iron- I sew them together with a generous 1/8″ seam allowance.  Sometimes the pieces turn out really wonky-but I sew them together anyways because after all they were headed to the trash.

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I decided to sew them into a couple of tiny flying geese strips.  I think they would look great included in a scrappy little project  in the future or  I might even use them to border a quilt label for this finished quilt.