Month: June 2016

SAL Update #1

Time for the June update…


Here’s the links to the others who are part of this challenge!
Avis at
Claire at
Gun at
Carole at
Wendy at
Lucy at
Cathy at
Jess at
Sue at
Constanze at

Wedding Quilt

Wedding Quilt

Best friends are a special gift, and my two daughters, now officially adults, were blessed with several such girls growing up. I long ago determined that those girls would receive a wedding quilt when they married. Yes, I enjoy sewing, so that’s part of it, but I love the opportunity to pray for each girl, her fiancé, and their marriage as I work on their gift. I hope that it will provide for their practical need of warmth, but that it will also remind them of the beauty that comes from making do with what you have and that gifts of the heart are always a good idea. Hopefully, they will eventually learn and appreciate the life lessons that the quilt embodies, and pass them on to others.

With only three girls falling in the best friend category, I do not have an insurmountable task before me, just a great challenge. I have determined that all the quilts will be of the scrap variety, and each one will contain traditional piece work and appliqué. The first friend married last April, and her quilt top had been sitting in my cedar chest for a couple of years. The quilting was a huge challenge, but I learned and grew more confident with that project.

Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for another pattern, and found the perfect one in a Kim Diehl book last summer. It was a lap size, so I worked on the conversion over the winter and picked up two main fabrics and a few tone on tone neutrals during a basement sale at the Quilt Connection in January. My rendition will be less ‘busy’ as my neutrals are very subtle, and larger, with 144 of the pieced blocks.


I started cutting strips and rectangles this winter, but got side tracked by a few other weddings, so had left the quilt box sitting for much of this spring. June changed all that, when the young man finally popped the question!! October 1 looms as the deadline for said project, and I don’t know if I’ll make it or not! I got serious about cutting during a recent week off from work, and Miss A, my youngest, has volunteered to work on it with me. Boy does that warm a mom’s sewing heart!!


The actual piecing began earlier this week, and I’m pleased to have the inside of the 54 light green blocks completed. We are on our way!


The next step is a rectangle with little triangles in the corners, which I knew would have to be sped up. Instead of marking each triangle and then sewing it, I decided to mark my machine.


This has allowed some serious progress during an hour stint one morning, and I am hoping the trend continues.


I spent some time measuring and trimming after this step, and it was well worth it. The final effort will be squaring these blocks to 6 1/2 inche, all 54 of them.



A Coat Takes Shape

A Coat Takes Shape

At long last, my Marfy 3219 is transforming from a bunch of fabric pieces into an actual garment! There’s still a long ways to go, but I am finally able to hang my coat from a hanger. It appears that I may reach my goal of having it ready for MIWW after all.


After struggling with how to construct the pockets, the back and side seams were so straight forward. I hand basted the sleeves in, with an extra baste to ease in the fullness at the sleeve cap, and they are laying very nicely, even before their press. Two sleeves setting in well is always a welcome event! I have also completed the martingale, though I’m wondering if I should cut and face it’s bound buttonholes, or leave them closed…opinions?


The next section will be the tab and collar. I haven’t quite decided how I want to handle the tab facing; it will form the stand for the collar, and likely be next to my skin, so I am debating about changing out the wool for either the lining or some cotton that matches the wool. While I love wool, it gives me a rash, so it seems wise to do something preventive. I’ll be considering my options while I catch stitch interfacing and do some pad stitching on the under collar. While it may not be as necessary with the tab serving as a collar stand, I think the collar will likely lay better with a little pad stitching.

So, if anyone has any previous experience or opinions to offer on the tab facing fabric, I would be glad to hear them.

It’s exciting to think that I will soon be basting lambswool to the lining fabric. Good thing because my daughter’s best friend (her story is here) is now engaged and we have a quilt to complete for the October 1 wedding.  I’m going to alternate between the two, hoping that will inspire me, and keep things rolling.

Until next time,



What’s an SAL?

I just learned this…SAL is Stitch Along….Duh! I just “met” this nice group from all over the world that have committed to doing a project for themselves this year.  It is just what I needed to keep me working on a project for ME that I’ve wanted to stitch for years. The leader very kindly allowed me to join late, which I appreciate. 😊

So here is my official update for this stich along, which will be my lunch time project over the next six months (or longer)!

Granny Maud's Girl: Bee, Myself and I


Keyhole Pockets

Keyhole Pockets

At last! After cranking out two wedding gifts for the end of May and this next weekend, I spent a serious afternoon working on those darn pockets on my Marfy coat. The first one was looking pretty scary in my last post, so I dropped it in favor of finishing this quilt for the upcoming nuptials of a long time family friend.

Both had things I was unsure of, but the quilt had a deadline, so I had to dive in. The top was pieced several years ago, but I  am still a novice at the whole quilting part of the equation. I am encouraged by how everything looked after removing the marking pen and doing the first was; it really does hide a multitude of small errors! It’s good that I’ve learned so much this past year, because my daughter’s best friend got engaged this week, and I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me!

Spending last weekend quilting or in the garden because  I had to,  really made me long  to get something accomplished with my Marfy coat. The pockets were giving me trouble in my last post, and today was the day to get things figured out. I believe my big mistake was top stitching the edge before sewing the front seams together. I decided to try and work things out as they were and not rip if I could help it. Usually ripping is not a big issue for me, but it this case there was a rather deep cut to a corner on each end of the coat side front, so I didn’t want to risk the integrity of the fabric if I could make it work.

I got the first pocket to work out OK, though I’m not happy with the bulk I created by finishing the edges on the facings, and top stitching before I had the fronts joined. I am still considering how to reduce that even more. My goal for the second pocket was to do a better job constructing, and to document it, because I have never seen this type of pocket, and couldn’t find ANY directions anywhere that really dealt with it. The pockets are a wonderful design feature, and I wouldn’t be opposed to giving them another go in a future project.

I attached interfacing to the facing creating the pocket edge on the center front piece of the coat. Instead of turning under the outside edge, I opted for a multistitch zig zag. Much of the facing edge would be contained in the actual pocket seam, so this seemed like a good solution. Next, I attached the actual pocket, made from the lining fabric, and graded the seam.image

Now it was a simple task to turn and pin before giving it a nice press. Because of the bulk, I decided to add a layer of quilt batting to my ironing board cover, and of course I used a press cloth.  That, along with a few wool scraps strategically placed, prevented over pressing in the areas with several layers of wool. This time, however, I did NOT top stitch the edge.


This gave me a fairly crisp edge, (sorry, no photo) but with everything open to give me every possible option to eliminate bulk once  the front seams were sewn. On the side front, I again finished th outer edge of the facing with a multi stitch zig zag, then basted it.


I attached the pocket, clipped and graded the seams, then pressed everything away from the side front. If my lining had matched, my fabric, I might have been able to eliminate the facing.

To join the front and the side front, I sewed from the bottom of the coat to the bottom of the pocket, and from the top of the pocket to point A in the pattern. Once I had determined that my seams were OK, I sewed the pocket’s long edge together, and finally the bottoms and top of the pocket. After trimming out the wool from the pocket seam allowance, I finished the edge with a multi stitch zig zag. image

While I must admit this whole process still seems a little odd, I believe that I have eliminated a lot of the bulk, and I was able to add the top stitching with almost no difficulty. The initial press looks satisfactory, so we’ll see what it looks like in a day or two, when I can return to sewing. As you can see from the photo below, the first pocket could still use a little bit of trimming to reduce the bulk in the corners.


Here’s to progress!