The perfect parting gift

“Ms. Rob,” as she is affectionately known, as been like a surrogate grandmother to my girls during the five years we lived in Virginia. She is the switchboard operator at the school where we lived and after lunch in the dining hall, we would often go by the switchboard and Ms. Rob would have crayons and paper for the kids, and often a sticker or lollipop as well. She loves all the children at the school, both the students, and all the children of faculty. She was sad to see us go, but she gave me something that I always remember her for.


A long while ago, I was telling Ms. Rob about an antique sewing machine that my grandmother used to have in her basement but was no longer there. I wished to have one and was looking around online. The night before we moved away, she brought me this:


She had originally brought it home for her husband, but he preferred hand sewing to machine sewing, so it stood unused in her house. Inside one of the drawers, there was a well-used manual and a “sewing secrets” book, which I have yet to look at in depth.


Another drawer contained this Yardley’s lavender soap box…


…with the accessories to the machine.


Inside the cabinet, is this absolute gorgeous Singer treadle sewing machine. I have never attempted to sew with a treadle, but wow, I am so excited to try it out when we have a new  place and I can unpack my sewing room.


As best I can figure out from the serial number, this machine is close to 100 years old!


It is a treasure and I am so grateful to have a little piece of sewing history!


Sunday Stash: Texting while sewing

I LOVE that this bundle is called “Texting while sewing,” and I love how perfect it is for this little set of text fabrics.  I joined the Nancy Drew blog hop (now postponed until March) and this is just what I needed for my project.

The assignment for the blog hop is to use the soon-to-be-released Nancy Drew fabric in any capacity.  The project I’m planning will use the panel that is six of the Nancy Drew book cover.  I thought it would be perfect to combine with text fabrics.

Since I don’t currently have any text fabric, I went looking at Etsy and found the “Texting while sewing” bundle on Sew Me A Song.

I love them and I can’t wait to use them in my top secret mystery Nancy Drew project!


Sunday Stash: Citrus

One of my projects this week is to make a sample block (or two) for the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee.  I’ll use my own color choices for this: lemon yellow, tangerine, and lime.  Nice summery colors on this chilly, drizzley day.  When I have enough blocks, this quilt will be our summer picnic quilt, so that’s what inspired the color choices, but that finish is several rounds of the bee away.

Meanwhile, here are the fabrics that I will be using for my sample block.

See more Sunday Stash posts at Finding Fifth.

Sunday Stash: Floss but not for your teeth

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I decided to sign up for a “hoopie swap” even though my experience with embroidery is precisely nil.  Time will tell whether this was actually a good idea or not.

While I could design my hoopie entirely of fabric and quilt piecing, I decided that as long as I’m buying an embroidery hoop, I might as well go ahead and try some embroidery.  So, today, I stopped at Jo-Ann and picked out a selection of colors of bright and pretty embroidery floss and a couple of hoops.

I’ve watched a couple of YouTube videos about embroidery stitches, and one of my group members linked to this nice embroidery resource.  I feel like I have a slightly less vague idea of what I’m doing than I did a few days ago, so I guess the best thing to do is just to jump in and do it, starting with the easy stuff.  Wish me luck (and I hope my partner actually enjoys the finished product!).

Want to see some more sewing goodness?  Go check out the Sunday Stash link up at Finding Fifth.

Sunday Stash: fabric fun for the fabric lover

I was catching up on my blog reads from the “Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop” I participated in at Plum and June.

I happened across Fiona’s blog at Finding Fifth and discovered she hosts a “Sunday Stash” link up party.

Ah-ha!  A place to show and tell pretty fabric with people who want to see pretty fabric.  Sounds like just the thing for a Sunday afternoon while the little one naps and the big one is at the pool with Daddy!

This is Terrain by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics.  I had seen pictures of this line on the web, but it wasn’t until I saw it in person at Main Street Quilting Company in Bozeman, Montana that I decided some of it needed to come home with me.  I purchased a couple of prints in that shop in Bozeman and ordered the rest from Fabrics You Love on Etsy.

Aren’t they pretty?  The prints from left to right in the photo below are: Dahlia in berry, Seapod in stream, Forest Floor in stream, Lichen in stream, Forest Floor in foliage, Lichen in foliage, Leaves in foliage and Forest Floor in bloom.

I loved the Forest Floor print so much I bought it in three color ways.

With unlimited disposable income, I probably would have purchased even more of these fabrics.  There are several pink and orange prints that are really lovely and an aster print that is a lot of fun as well.  For now, though, I will have to find something wonderful to make with these.

Trixie’s travels: at Grandma’s house

Trixie is the Janome Sew Mini I purchased to take on our road trip this summer so that I can still do some sewing away from home.  With Trixie along for the ride, I’ll take you along on our summer road trip from Virginia to Illinois, then westward to Bozeman, Montana. From there, we head to Glacier National Park, and then Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll finish our trip with some friends in Denver and then finally a stop in St. Louis before heading home to Virginia the end of July.

No actual traveling has been going on this week.  We spent the end of last week preparing for my sister’s wedding, which happened on Saturday.

Sierra celebrated her 4th birthday Sunday with a few “Illinois friends.”

We’ve been attending swimming lessons on the weekday mornings, but I can’t persuade Trixie to swim.  She insists that the water would not be good for her electrical components.

She does however, enjoy the playground.  My parents live across the street from a city park with a great playground, so we’ve been spending quite a bit of time over there.

Trixie’s travels: leaving home

Trixie is the Janome Sew Mini I purchased to take on our road trip this summer so that I can still do some sewing away from home.  With Trixie along for the ride, I’ll take you along on our summer road trip from Virginia to Illinois, then westward to Bozeman, Montana. From there, we head to Glacier National Park, and then Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll finish our trip with some friends in Denver and then finally a stop in St. Louis before heading home to Virginia the end of July.

We left in the wee hours Saturday morning.  The girls were set up in the back with blankets and granola bars (and sunglasses for the little one.  At 5am.).  Trixie was nestled in her spot in the back between the overnight bags.

We planned our overnight stop in Hudson, Ohio, specifically so that we could visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  We had a picnic and then did a short hike to a great waterfall.  

The next day, it was on to Illinois, where we have been settling in and enjoying time with family.  Trixie offered to pitch in and do some weeding in my mother’s flower garden.  

Meet the machines

Since this is a sewing blog, I figure it’s high time I introduce you to the sewing machine who does all the work around here.  Without her, I would be sunk.  Actually, her manual refers to her as a “sewing computer.”  We love each other dearly (most of the time) and make beautiful babies together (and by “babies,” I mean finished projects, of course!).

This is Victoria, so named for all the victorious sewing projects I anticipated we would conquer together (so far, so good on that front).  She goes by Tori and shares a birth week with my baby girl.  I distinctly remember walking into my local quilt shop/Bernina dealer with my mother, and my 5 day old baby snuggled in a wrap on my chest (just the baby was in the wrap, not my mother) and walking out with this machine sewing computer.  Sigh.

Tori is a Bernina 330.  I had been looking at purchasing a new sewing machine for well over a year, and after much research, I decided that a Bernina was the way to go.  I had actually planned to purchase a different machine, as this one was not available when I did my initial research.  As it turned out, though, the 330 was meant to come home with me.  For a trade off of fewer decorative stitches, which I don’t use that much anyway, I got some nice upgrades and a sweet deal in an introductory sale.  Thanks to the “Bank of Mom,” I also had an interest free loan (which now payed off, by the way).

Tori has been recently joined by a new baby sister.  

Her name, Beatrix, or Trixie for short, means “voyager,” and she was purchased specifically to be used during our travels this summer.  We are going to be gone for the better part of two months and I decided that Tori was too large, heavy, and expensive to be hauling all around the country.  I have some sewing bee commitments that I will have to maintain through the summer, not to mention, I’d like to keep posting on this little blog without a 2 month lapse, so I needed a solution for sewing away from home.  Trixie is my solution.

Trixie is a Janome Sew Mini and she is still sew new that I haven’t even sewn a stitch with her yet.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  She was somewhat of an impulse purchase; I only read a few online reviews before I purchased her on a sale from Hancock fabrics.  She is very basic.  She does a straight stitch and three widths of a zigzag stitch, she doesn’t have a light and is definitely not made to go through the rigorous work Tori does, like stitching the straps of a mei tai.  Still, she should be fine with a few layers of cotton, not to mention she is only about 5 pounds, so she will certainly be easy to pack around the country.

I’ll certainly miss Tori this summer, but I hope Trixie can fill my sewing needs while we’re away.

(by the way, anyone else name inanimate objects, like sewing machines, appliances, or cars?)


My original plan with getting this business up and running was to buy a few supplies, make a few items, use what I hope will be a little profit to buy a few more supplies and then go from there.  As I make preparations to make this happen, however, I came to realize that, in the long run, I will actually save some money by buying some things in bulk, up front.  That also gives me the added bonus of actually having supplies on hand rather than having to run out and by them.

Just think of what I can make with these goodies!

That’s a roll of 1-inch webbing on the bottom, with two sizes of velcro stacked on top it (the hook side and the loop side are on different rolls).  You can see just a bit of white elastic peeking out of the zippers.  Oh, how I love those happy, multi-colored zippers.