My Sew Sew Life

Adventures in Quilting and Thread

Quilt for Quilters Completed

My scraps leftover from paper piecing the Flying Geese border.

My scraps leftover from paper piecing the Flying Geese border.

With all the delays I came across this summer, it is a wonder I ever completed this quilt.  I feel so badly that I was 2 months past the deadline since I received my beautiful quilt early.  The quilt left the United States for Brazil last week and should arrive in 6-10 days.  It wasn’t as expensive as I was fearing.  USPS for Priority Mail was $36.65 from RI to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

No excuses, but I think I bit off more than I could chew, or stitch this time.  I hand appliqued and hand quilted and I believe most other folks at least machine quilted.  This is actually the first quilt I completed and delivered to someone that was appliqued and hand quilted and I had no previous knowledge how much time it was going to take me.  I just hope she enjoys the quilt which is why I put so much time and love into it.

"A New England Indian Summer"

“A New England Indian Summer”

Seems a bit crazy though.  I put more effort into that quilt than other handcrafts I have made for my friends and family.  I don’t even know this woman personally, and probably will never meet her, but a part of her is here with me in her quilt and I sent a piece of me to Brazil to warm her there.

The Completed Quilt (with my daughter hidden behind)

The Completed Quilt (with my daughter hidden behind)

Thank you for the experience and next time I will need to practice a bit of time management to get done on time!

My first quilt label

My first quilt label


Already Have September’s Block

My September swap partner lives just about 5 miles from me and I have already received two completed Christmas blocks!

My September Christmas Block #1

My September Christmas Block #1

The Elegant Black and Red Christmas Block

The Elegant Black and Red Christmas Block

The black with the bright Christmas colors has given me the idea of making a separate holiday quilt featuring blocks with the black fabric in it.  I also have another block I received a few months ago with the same black and gold fabric as the one just above.  The rest of the blocks are more cheerful and kid friendly, while I think the black adds a touch of sophistication and a unique spin to the traditional holiday look.

Her theme is a blue and yellow block in the Depression 30’s fabrics, of which I have none.  So I will need to head to the store for some to add to my stash, or I might even try ordering online.  I haven’t done that yet so I might just give it a whirl.  I have plenty of time in September remaining to order and then make her block.

Will need to decide on a pattern.  Since she is following the 30’s theme I think I will try and find a pattern from that era.  Not quite up to a Grandmother’s Flower Garden just yet, but maybe a Dresden Plate pattern in her requested colors.  I like the blue and yellow theme myself, so I think I am going to buy enough to make a quilt for some lucky person in my future that I haven’t decided upon yet.  They’ll get picked once I get started.

Working on the Double T

I decided to start with the most difficult block with the most pieces, and that is the Double T. The Quilter’s Cache site uses measurements and then cutting squares into triangles, but I am a template kind of gal.  I like to trace out the shape and then cut it.  So I found a Double T pattern in my collection of patterns and cut out enough pieces for 5 blocks.  4 for the swap and 1 extra for Auntie.

Pieces for the Double T

Pieces for the Double T

I cut most of the pieces while sitting in bed with my son’s laptop desk on my lap.  I am not sure whether to make the center square the red or the beige fabric.  I want to use all 3 fabrics in each of the blocks so may go with the beige, but haven’t decided yet.  Once I get all the pieces sewn up to the point of completing the block, I will try both pieces as the center and see which one is better.

Driving the Sewing Machine with my Left Foot.

Driving the Sewing Machine with my Left Foot.

Driving my sewing machine with my left foot is presenting a bit of a challenge.  I can do it but am rather slow.  Guess I’d rather be slow and get it done than wait for my right foot to be healed and use that foot for the sewing machine gas pedal.  Doctors are saying up to 12 weeks for the foot in a cast of some sort, and then physical therapy.  I will be using my sewing as a therapy for me too.

So many little pieces.

So many little pieces.

Hoping to complete the Double T by Tuesday.  I know that is another 2 whole days but I have to take it slowly at the sewing machine because having my right foot down causes it to swell and throb and there’s only so much of that I can take at a time.  Already about 1/4 of the way done with sewing the pieces together and may start cutting out the pieces for the Star of Virginia next.

Everyone is Having a Sale

I have received more email advertisements this week than ever before, and of course they all come in when I am out of commission.  Because if this darn leg was fine I would now be broke with all the great deals they’re offering.

Here is just one of them, the most recent from Ryco’s which is a five minute drive from here.

Ryco Creative Sewing Center Newsletter
August 28, 2012


Dear Kristin,

SORRY everyone, I have been a bit under the weather and, as a result, did not finish last weeks newsletter.

At this point in the summer I always get a little bummed – summer went soooooo fast and I didn’t get it all done. Wow it is Fall??!!! I have to start thinking about those things I want to make for gifts, I have to clean up my sewing room so I can FIND the stuff I need to make the gifts – yep some of them I was working onbefore summer. Sound like anyone you know???

Have you checked out the classes section on the web page? Cindy has done a really great job on it and the teachers have a great offering for you. (click here to see it) She has the classes listed and pretty pictures – nice to have a young person to do this. There are some really nifty classes and some old favorites.

I am really excited about this new idea coming up on Saturday, Sept 22nd – SLICE AND DICE… i I bought this expensive machine to make our own jelly rolls, cake stacks etc. and realized quickly there had to be a better way. (yep that is me) So we will custom cut what you want…..

FACEBOOK – I have been repeatedly asked to make this newsletter FACEBOOK FRIENDLY – There is a button at the bottom which supposedly does it.

Which brings up a point, I apologize to everyone (including some of my dearest friends) that I cannot seem to “get” FACEBOOK and it is not for lack of trying. I actually have 2 accounts. I can never remember my passwords for either, get lost trying to put stuff on it and …………so very sorry. But now ( supposedly) you can see and send this newsletter on facebook. If it doesn’t work………opps



by Lotta Janscotter & Windham

bellaNotice the grays, whites and mustard colors – very new

link to our web page to see more

Isn’t she happy!

soldierThought everyone should see the newest recipient of the soldier’s kids quilts…..the Monday Ladies made her this ……..her Dad is currently deployed .

Big Thank you’s to Gail Moffit for long arm quilting 6 donation quilts AND taking 6 more. She is having hand surgery, so …..send get wells!

Another THANK YOU to Ken for his quilting another for the group – we really appreciate it.

For those car guys in your life

by Alexander Henry



Learn to sew starting at the very beginning. This series of 5 classes takes you through learning fabrics, terminologies, understanding your machine and the tools, How to make the 4 basic seams,gathering, sewing elastic, sewing curves, buttons, buttonholes, pockets, hems, and 2 ways to put in zippers,

Each class is $7, take one or all. Starts satuday, oct 20th. To register, just hit reply to this newsletter.

for more information


wtih Genene Butler

This is a class many have been asking for……….the beginning steps to make great machine embroidery. it will meet once a month ( Saturdays 9:30 September 29th, Oct 27th and Nov 17th). You will not learn how to operate your machine but rather how to use your machine effectively to produce great embroidery. The interfacings needed, the facts, fiction and rumors to eliminate.

Each class is $10. You can register by hitting reply or by contacting Genene directly at


with Deb Bogan

log cabin christmasFall in love with log cabin quilts and the original ways you can arrange them to make unique designs. This log cabin is machine piece and hand quilted. In this class you will learn both.

Classes on Saturdays 1 – 4 pm , September 22nd, oct 1st, 13th, 27th and Nov. 10th. Each class $15. You can register by hitting reply or by contacting Deb directly at


This class starts on Sept 22 – if you haven’t paid atleast for the first class – now is the time……..a very popular class and EVERYONE finishes. The supply list is available and we will help anyone who wants it on fabric selection.

with Pat Harrison

It is so true – EQ (a computer program to design quilts) is so incredible that it is also difficult to learn. So Pat has put together this series, each class has a project that teaches you how to use a specific aspect of EQ. She breaks it down for you and removes the frustration.

Each student will need a laptop into which EQ6 or 7 has been installed and activated. If you do not have EQ7 – don’t worry —we sell it.

Second Sunday of every month – 1- 3 pm, $15 per class – first class is October 14th.

You can contact Pat directly at or by stopping in the store and registering.


Cut N fold Sampler

with Judy Lancaster

cut n foldLearn this very creative technique to make unique dimensional designs. Judy takes you hand and leads you through each step to insure success.

Sundays 12:30 to 3:30, September 16, 23 and 30th, $25

Easy to sign up – either or by hitting reply to this newsletter.

Molded Leaf Fabric Bowl

with judy Lancaster

molded leaf bowlCan you believe this perfectly shaped leaf Bowl is made with fabric ! Let Judy show you how – it is easy! and…FUN. A perfect hostess give for the up coming holiday season.

Saturday , September 29th, 1:30 to 4:40…$15

You can sign up at or by hitting reply to this newsletter


On Saturday, September 22nd,Let Ryco cut your strips and pieces for you. We have a razor sharp die cutter with shapes to make your cutting easier. So this is how it works……you prepare your fabric ( we will have cutting tables and ironing boards so you can prepare your fabrics, then we will run them through the machines. The cuts are VERY sharp. We will charge $5 for each bundle of fabrics passed through the machine. We can do 10 layers at a time or 5 folds.

We can do 2 1/2″ Strips——- Squares – 3.5′, 4.75″, 5″ & 6.5″……………. Circles – 2.5″, 4″………………… Desden Plate– 5″w/round top

In the store I have a complete list of the yields for each size and the size requirements of the fabric for each size.

Just another new and creative idea to make your hobby fun….at RYCO


I was supposed to be with my daughter-in-law this week meeting BonJovi and as you can see, the doctor said no soap. As you can imagine, I am of the Beatles generation and wouldn’t know BonJovi from a hole in the floor but I had been doing some research so when I met him at the intimate dinner of 300 (giggle) I could congratulate him on things this old lady liked (as it certainly wasn’t his music that I have no knowledge of)

He is from Jersey! – me too (aren’t the greatest people from that dubious state), he is still married to his high school sweetheart (I was going to ask if she sews), he is very philanthropic (nice). Guess I shouldn’t have made fun of him.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend.

Thanks EVERYONE for all your support ……it means a GREAT deal THANK YOU!

Pat Ryan, Shopkeeper

Ryco Creative Sewing Center, 25 Carrington Street, Lincoln,RI
phone: 401-725-1779 hours M-W 9:30-5:30; Th 10-8; F 10-6; Sat 9:30-5:30; Sun 12-4
Save 25% TAKE 25% OFF any quantity of a single item at regular price that is not already on sale or on a markdown rack or any white sticker reduced price fabric or on fabrics in the Bargain Hunters Cove. Not to be used in combination with full bolt discounts or any other event .( in other words – no double dipping) Must be a single cut. Also not valid for class fees, yardage cuts under 1 yard, jelly rolls, charm packs or fat quarters. Limit one per customer. Valid: August 29th to September 2, 2012
coupon duration august 29th to September 2nd

I think I may need to check into some of these classes.  And of course, Franklin Mills and Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, both in nearby Franklin, Massachusetts, are also offering some intriguing classes.  As soon as I get the OK from the doctor that I can drive and actually get around, then I am signing up for some classes.

25 Reasons for Buying Fabric

This wonderful list comes courtesy of Emma’s Quilt Cupboard’s monthly newsletter.  Just had to share it with others.


  1. It insulates the closet, cabinet, book shelf, room, where it is kept, thus reducing your heating costs during the winter and your electric costs during the summer.
  2. It helps keep the economy going. It is our patriotic duty to support cotton farmers, textile mills, and quilt shops.
  3. It is less expensive and more fun than psychiatric care.
  4. Because it’s on sale.  Okay, it wasn’t on sale, but by the time it was, all the good stuff would be gone.
  5. Because I’m worth it.
  6. A sudden increase in the boll weevil population might wipe out the cotton crop for the next 10 years and I need to be prepared.
  7. I’m participating in a contest:  the one who dies with the most fabric wins.
  8. It keeps without refrigeration, you don’t have to cook it to enjoy it, and you never have to feed it, change it, wipe its nose, or walk it.
  9. I need extra weight in the trunk of my car for traction on snowy, icy roads.  This is important, even in Florida and Southern California — you never know when the weather will change.
  10. Like dust, it’s good for protecting previously empty spaces in the house, like the ironing board, the laundry hamper, the dining room table . . . .
  11. When the big earthquake comes, all the quilt shops might be swallowed into the ground and never be seen again.
  12. Stress from dealing with the Fabric Control Officer (my husband) made me do it.
  13. It’s not immoral or illegal. It calms the nerves, gratifies the soul, and makes me feel good.
  14. It’s non-fattening.  It has been confirmed by registered dietitians that a fat quarter has 100% fewer calories than a hot fudge sundae.
  15. Buy it now, before your husband retires and goes with you on all your shopping expeditions.
  16. It’s a medical test to see if your husband is still alive. If he is, a fabric purchase will make him start fussing about more fabric in the house.
  17. To save a beautiful fabric design for posterity. They might stop making it, and it would be lost to the world forever.
  18. Neighborhood children might need just the right color for a scavenger hunt.
  19. Well-known medical fact:  prevents washing machine withdrawal symptoms on light laundry days.
  20. I want my daughter to have a proper inheritance.
  21. Keeps the people who make cardboard inserts in bolts of fabric employed, thus supporting the national economy in yet another way.
  22. I owe myself a reward for that half-pound I lost last month.
  23. It was awful! I was trapped in the quilt shop, and the only way out was to buy my way out!
  24. Assists the little birdies with their nests when scraps, threads, and little whispies are allowed to blow in the wind.
  25. Because this fabric just talks to me and calls my name.


The Civil War Block Swap

This is a new swap offered on the Quilter’s Board site and I definitely signed up for this one.  After all, Gone With the Wind is my most favorite movie of all time. (and I don’t even watch too many movies.)

Finding Civil War reproduction fabrics was not as easy as I originally thought it would be.  It took me and Auntie a few tries before locating a beautiful selection at Emma’s Quilt Cupboard and Sewing Center in nearby Franklin, MA.  They have an entire section of just Civil War fabrics and so many made it more difficult to choose just 3.  But I managed with 3 coordinated fabrics in red, blue and a beige to tie them together.

My Civil War Fabrics for the swap.

My Civil War Fabrics for the swap.

Many of the colors are quite drab and dull to me.  But I did the best I could and chose these 3 fabrics because they looked so nice together.  If I decide to make another set to swap then I will need to go back to the quilt store for more fabric.

The three blocks for the swap are Double T, Shoo Fly and the Star of Virginia.  All three are available on the Quilter’s Cache website.  We are required to make 4 of each pattern, for a total of 12 completed blocks.  And they must be 12.5″.  This is where I sometimes have a problem so I will be practicing my scant 1/4″ seam allowance to make sure they measure up correctly at the end.

When we have our 12 blocks completed then we send them in to the swap coordinator and she sends back to us an assortment of completed blocks from other swappers.  We will get 12 blocks returned to us which will include one each of our own 3 patterns, and then 3 others of each pattern for the total of 12.  Definitely enough for a quilt top for sure.  And with the simple colors and designs of the chosen patterns, this might even make a nice quilt for a man on my Christmas list.  Just a thought.


August Swap Partner

I was assigned my swap partner for August way back on the 1st, but I haven’t heard from them or gotten a response to my private message.  I told her what my theme is, which is Christmas in bright holiday colors, but I have no idea what her theme is or if she is still participating.

A Christmas Swap Block

One of my most favorite Christmas Swap Blocks received so far.

The swap moderator told me she didn’t hear anything from the member, but asked if I wanted someone else to swap with this month.  And I do!  I waited to hear from the other swapper but nothing from them.

I broke my ankle last week and am rather confined to the house since I cannot put any weight at all on the right leg.  Sewing will keep me sane so I definitely wanted to swap with someone this month.  Let’s see if I get a new partner.

August Block of the Month

I was a bit late checking the quilting site for my August swap due to our camping trip and then my accident in the middle of the month.  But in between I did manage to send my partner a brief message stating my theme and asking for hers.  And I have heard nothing back yet.

I sent a message to the swap coordinator to see if she could get a response, but if not then she will match me up with someone else who is willing to take on a second block for the month of August.

Hope to hear soon.

Patriotic Schoolhouse Complete

My July partner’s theme is patriotic and I chose to make her an American schoolhouse block in navy and red star printed fabric.  There’s nothing more patriotic than an American themed block for July!

Patriotic Schoolhouse Block

Patriotic Schoolhouse Block

The Schoolhouse pattern has quite a few pieces, but is easy to put together.  And I have made this block in the past.  I did have an issue with one side being a little short on the bottom, so I had to pick out a few seams and add more fabric.  There is nothing worse than having a nice block and not having enough “meat” to attach it to another block, or to a sashing.

All wrapped up and ready to go.

All wrapped up and ready to go.

I wrapped it in Saran Wrap, stuck 3 stamps on it for good measure, and sent it winging its way across the country to my swap partner.

Hope she likes it!

(P.S. she already told me she does!)

Received July’s Block of the Month

It definitely felt like Christmas in July this past 2 weeks because I already received my July partner’s Block of the Month.  I was quite shocked to find it had been shipped via a FedEx cardboard package, but the finished holiday block traveled all the way from Washington in pristine condition.

My Christmas in July Block.

My Christmas in July Block.

The block was still crisply ironed and is gorgeous.  The seams are perfect and her workmanship is exquisite.  I sure hope my block lives up to her standards!

She sent me a message asking about postage since this is just her second monthly swap and I let her know that FedEx, while lovely for the receiver, is a wee bit expensive for most of us senders.

Here was the correspondence between us for the issue with shipping:


Your block sounds fun and creative…I will be anxious to get it.

Question…how many of the exchanges have you done and I am looking for an economical way to mail. Yours is only my second.


I received my block yesterday and I just love it! You did a wonderful job. Now for shipping. As much as I loved getting a beautifully ironed and pristine block, never pay that much to ship. I usually fold it into the size of a large envelope and then wrap in Saran Wrap to protect the fabric. Then I squish the living daylights out of it and put into the envelope. It generally costs me between $0.85-$1.10 depending on the postal worker. Some say it’s fine and just the weight and a few cents extra because it is considered non-machinable due to the thickness, and then others do it a different way and it costs a few cents more. I have even stuck 2-3 stamps on it and put in the mail box and they have gotten there just fine.

So it should not cost more than $1.25 tops to mail the block out.

I have completed your block. Now I just have to square it up and then wrap in Saran Wrap and mail out to you. Hope you like it!