My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Winter Blues and a Charm Pack

Happy Thursday!

You might think Winter Blues sounds odd coming from a person who lives in the sunshine state! I am very happy we no longer have to shovel or drive in the snow! However, I do miss the beauty of snow falling from the sky.

Out of habit I decorate with blue and white during the month of January. I recently read a good post written by Carole Carter from My Carolina Home about decorating with white in January – maybe in 2020 I’ll start a new decorating habit.

One of my ongoing goals is to use more of my pre-cut stash with patterns made for pre-cuts. I started working on a charm pack project and discovered the cutting instructions were wrong. I was angry with myself, I bought the magazine 5 years ago, I checked online and yes there was a pattern correction — shame on me 😦 .

Originally I was going to throw out the fabric and chalk it up to experience but I could hear my mother saying “pick up your chin and keep moving”! I cut the fabric into smaller squares and usable rectangles to make something I can use– more potholders and a pillow cover!

I’m still finding time for embroidery projects…

snowflake toille mug rugs
Baby its cold outside pillow

Today I started a table runner using this tutorial from Free Motion by the River. I replaced the chisel blocks with plain blocks to use for the snowflake embroidery designs. Hope to finish it tomorrow.

Winter Blues WIP

Linking with “Linky Tuesday“. Stop by to see what others are creating!

Happy Stitching!

First Friday Finish 2019

Happy Friday!

My first finish of 2019! We purchased a new coffee table which means I have one more place to display quilty goodies!

I wanted to make a simple table runner with snowman faces, I found something I liked, no pattern or tutorial but figured it would be easy to make.

snowman face table runner

Matching coasters…. embroidery design purchased from Itch to Stitch.

snowflake coaster set

Happy Stitching!

Holiday Mini Quilts – Day 3

Happy Thursday!

I hope you enjoy the last of my December mad sewing adventure …

I decorated a couple of kitchen towels to match the quilt-as-you-go potholders I blogged about here. We have new friends who are also from Maryland and I wanted to give them a welcome gift.

Christmas 2018 Kitchen Towel Set 2

Before retiring I had an online embroidery business, monogramming bath hand towels was one of my best sellers. I still give them as gifts and I’m always so happy when I see them displayed in my family members home!

Christmas 2018 Monogrammed Hand Towels

I made this set for one of my guest bathrooms. It’s a holly leaf laurel wreath with monogram. The wreath design was a bonus design with my machine purchase and I added the single letter. The “Joy to the World” and “Peace on Earth” mini quilt designs came from Embroidery Library.

Making star mug rugs using Missouri Star Quilt Company’s – periwinkle tool is super fast! Watch Jenny’s YouTube tutorial here.

I made these fabric baskets to keep fruit and candy available for my guests. I used metallic threads for the quilting! I love the fabric!

I had three orphan quilt blocks from a couple years ago and turned them into gift bags. Two of the blocks I used as front and back for one bag and used scraps to piece together a back for the second bag.

I tend to gift wine or other alcoholic beverages as gifts and I always make wraps for the bottles. I start with a quilted 14 x 16 top with some type of embroidery or just a monogram. This piece is used for the front and back of the wrap.

Wine Wrap Quilt Top

Below are the four I made this year.

Gag mug rug gift for my good friend named Chardonnay!

Christmas 2018 red wine mug rug

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Stitching!

Holiday Mini Quilts – Day 2

Happy New Year!

Today is a work day…company is gone so I’m stripping beds, taking down decorations and overall house cleaning! My Santa kids were super generous this year giving me a robotic vacuum cleaner. I’m so impressed with how well it cleans and most importantly saves time 🙂

2018 made me realize that I am a small project quilter. I enjoy making items I can use right away or give to family and friends. On my bucket list I do have making hubby and I queen sized bed quilt and having it professionally quilted! In the mean time I will stick with the small stuff 🙂

Today I’d like to share a few more of the mini quilts with embroidery that I made during December.

I added craft magnets to the back of these mug rugs to hang on the refrigerator. The “Ho Ho Ho” design was purchased from Planet Applique, the Merry Christmas design is a combo of designs purchased from Five Star Fonts and Itch to Stitch, both were edited by me to make the mug rugs.

Christmas 2018 Mug Rug Magnets

Snack mats – I’m not much of baker but I do make really good brownies! Hubby and I like to have snacks during TV time in the evenings. I digitized the machine applique letters using software, but was inspired by a design I saw on Etsy.

Christmas 2018 Snack Mats

We have a dedicated coffee counter in the kitchen. I made a little runner for that area. Embroidery designs purchased from Embroidery Library.

Christmas 2018 Coffee Mat

Small wall quilt I used for a guest bathroom. Chevron tree applique design purchased from Planet Applique.

Christmas 2018 Chevron Tree Mini Quilt

Same design — one I framed one I gave as a gift. Applique design purchased from Linnie Pinnie.

In my opinion you can never have too many pillows! The two embroidery designs shown I purchased from Embroidery Library. The quilt above the pillow I made in 2017. Matches perfectly! Pillow on the left is 14 x 14 inches , pillow on the right 12 x 16 inches.

I used this tutorial to make the gnome block from Sew Can She. The block finishes at 12 x 12 inches. I added borders to fit a 14 inch pillow form. The quilt shown is the supersized hash tag quilt I made using 2 Kate Spain Joy charm pack two years ago.

Christmas 2018 Gnome Pillow

For those of you who only have a 4 x 4 embroidery hoop – coasters are a quick gift to make. The tree coasters match the place mats I made for my daughter. I digitized the tree and holly designs .

I will stop now for today….come back tomorrow I still have more to show you!

Linking to Linky Tuesday with Freemotion by the River.

Again, Happy New Year! I wish all of my quilting friends many blessings and lots of creative energy for 2019!

Holiday Mini Quilts

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas!

I was late getting in the “Christmas” mood this year! Normally we travel for the Christmas holidays so I don’t decorate our home. This year we hosted Christmas dinner for friends and family so I felt I needed to add a little festive decor around the house.

I love decorating with quilts, especially mini quilts, which are a great way to add pops of color to any room or space. I have 5 Babylock embroidery machines and  kept them super busy during December. I am having so much fun learning and creating with the Embroidery Software and then bringing the designs to life with the machines.

In my next few posts I plan to share all that I was able to get accomplished before Christmas.

Mug rugs are great gifts!  I was able to get these in the mail to arrive before Christmas:

For my fellow blogging friends Roseanne and Sue, from Home Sewn By Us:

Christmas 2018 HollyAlpha MR
Christmas 2018 Holly Alpha Mug Rug

For my brother in law and his partner:

Christmas 2018 Red Truck 1
Christmas 2018 Red Truck Mug Rug

For another friend:

Christmas 2018 Snowman Joy
Christmas 2018 Snowman Joy

Instead of batting I used foam to use as mouse pads for hubby and myself!

Christmas 2018 Ornament Joy
Christmas 2018 Mouse Pad
Christmas 2018 Scalloped Tree MR
Christmas 2018 Scalloped Tree MR

I was also able to finish my Riley Blake modern greek cross quilt!

Christmas 2018 Mod Cross Finished
Christmas 2018 Modern Cross Finished

I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!  Many Blessings to you and yours in 2019. 🙂

Quilt As You Go – Quick Gift Ideas

Happy Friday,

I started and finished a few projects this morning using one type of the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method!  They were so easy I wanted  to share them with you.

I love pot holders! I cook 5 out 7 days each week and use pot holders constantly.

Christmas 2018 QAYG Potholders

Christmas 2018 QAYG Potholders


QAYG – Potholders

  • Start with 2 squares of Insul-Brite measuring 10 x 10 inches for the front and back of your potholder
  • Strip piece 4- 2.5 x 11 inch rectangles directly onto both squares of Insul-Brite
    • finger press your seams
  • Add a piece of cotton batting between your front and back piece – quilt along the seams to join the 3 pieces
  • trim potholder to 9 or 9.5 inch square
  • sew a basting stitch around the entire potholder
  • Bind – I used one 2.5 x WOF for each potholder

Enjoy your potholder!

QAYG – Table runner

I needed a runner for my coffee table.

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane TR

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane TR

My requirements were:

  • 12 to 16 inches tall and 32-34 inches wide.
  • inspiration : candy cane
  • use red & white metallic fabrics

After I found scrap batting in the size I needed. I cut the white strips 4.5 x WOF and the red strips 2.5 x WOF.

Starting in the center I pieced the fabrics directly on the batting at a slant to give it the candy cane illusion.

  • trim the sides
  • add backing
  • echo quilt along seam lines
  • bind

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane CU

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane CU

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane Backing

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane Backing

QAYG Placemats

Christmas 2018 QAYG RB Placemats

Christmas 2018 QAYG Placemats

Christmas 2018 QAYG RB Placemats b

Christmas 2018 QAYG RB Placemats

These placemats measure 12 x 16. Fabric is from Timeless Treasures.

I used 4 strips 3 x 16.5 inches per placemat.

  • I sewed the strips on to the batting
  • Added backing – placing right sides together
  • sewed around leaving opening
  • turned right side out
  • top stitched around entire placemat to close the opening
  • echo quilted along seams


Happy Stitching

Getting In the Christmas Mood

Christmas will be here soon and I am just now beginning to “feel” it 🙂

Friend and fellow blogger Roseanne from Home Sewn By Us mentioned once I got the tree up I would start getting in the Christmas Spirit — she was right!

The weather was gloomy today in the sunshine state, so I spent most of my time in the sewing room.

I have an ongoing love affair with the log cabin quilt block! You can create many many layouts – I plan to try several.

I started my Log Cabin Star Wall hanging back in July.  My inspiration came from a pattern on Moda Bakeshop by Marlene Biles.

I used a junior jelly roll of metallic reds ( curated by my LQS) and prints from the Robert Kaufman Holiday Flourish collection.  My quilted wall hanging measures 44 x 44 inches.

I love it!

2018 Log Cabin Star WH

2018 Log Cabin Star WH


Happy Stitching!






Gift Sewing Madness – Finished

Happy Tuesday!

Most people have some sort of electronic tablet so I decided to make a few tech covers for friends and family this year.

I found lots of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube to get me started…. Each tech cover has a pocket either on the front or the back. A couple of them fasten with elastic and button and two with a tab, button and Velcro.

This tech cover is for an old Samsung Galaxy note used by a 4 year old

tech cover samsung galaxy note

tech cover Samsung galaxy note

My step daughter and her mother in law both have the IPad Air:

tech cover ipad air

tech cover IPad air

I used scraps from my stash to make them coffee koozies 🙂

tech cover ipad air cozy

tech cover IPad Air

My girlfriend has the Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet:

tech cover kindle floral

Fire HD 8 Tablet


tech cover kindle floral back

Fire HD 8 Floral Back

My daughter also has the Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet, she keeps hers in a case so I made the cover larger.

tech cover kindle nikki

Fire HD 8 Tablet Cover


Last but not least I made one for me 🙂  I have the IPad Pro. I did QAYG strip piecing for the front.

tech cover ipad pro in

Tech Cover IPad Pro


The tech covers were the last gift items that needed to be mailed to arrive by Christmas.

Making the tech sleeves isn’t difficult — if you’ve made a tote bag these are very similar. It is very important that you measure the device accurately. I used Pellon’s Thermolam Plus  fusible fleece and woven fusible interfacing in each cover.  I am so pleased with the results.

Please feel free to ask me any questions if you decide to make one yourself!

Linking to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.

Happy Stitching!

Gift Sewing Madness – Day 3

Happy Tuesday!

I had another productive sewing day today!

Decorating kitchen towels and making potholders are another favorite gift item I like to make. This year I decided to give everyone the same set — time wise it was best for me.

Christmas 2018 Towels Group

Christmas 2018 Gift Towel Set


The towels are 16 inches wide,  I band them with a 5.5 inch strip of fabric and half inch grosgrain ribbon. I love the modern and whimsical embroidery designs.  The ornament design I purchased from Planet Applique – everything else I created myself. Now that I have time I’m finally learning how to use my digitizing/embroidery software!

Christmas 2018 Towels

Christmas 2018 Kitchen Towels


The floating star potholder is my go to design when I need quick.  I love it because I never loose my star points! It is commonly called “the dandy star”.  A simple nine patch arrangement.  To make one star block you need

  • eight (8) 3.5 inch squares of background fabric,
  • one (1) 3.5 inch square print fabric for  star center
  • eight (8) 2.0 inch squares print fabric for star points
    • use the stitch and flip method to create the star points
  • layout
  • sew together

I added a pocket to the back of one of the potholder.  The potholders measure 9 inches square.

Christmas 2018 Potholders

Christmas 2018 Potholders

Christmas 2018 Potholders FB

Christmas 2018 Potholders

Lastly a gift for my youngest son…he graduated from University of Michigan in 2006, played football while there and is a BIG BIG Michigan fan! He has a really cute tree on his dining room table with all kinds of Michigan ornaments — so I made a table runner for the tree!  I’m sure it will be a surprise 🙂

Christmas 2018 Michigan TR

2018 Michigan Half Hexie Christmas Tree


Christmas 2018 Michigan CU

Christmas 2018 Michigan CU


Linking with Linky Tuesday at Freemotion By The River.

Until next time – Happy Sewing!







Gift Sewing Madness – Day 2

Happy Thursday!

I started sewing early this morning because today is “Date Night” and I need to make an unscheduled trip to the hair salon! This week we are doing dinner and theater!  Our local community theater is excellent – tonight’s musical is “Nunsense”!

I made this table runner earlier this fall for son#1 and his family.  It is a half hexie Christmas tree — one of the popular Jenny Doan tutorials.  I’d made a similar one a few years ago and my DIL loved it.  I had plenty fabric left over so I made one for them.

Christmas 2018 Hexi TR

Christmas 2018 Hexi TR

Today I made matching placemats, using the Fat Quarter Shop Pocketed Placemat video tutorial. It is a great pattern and very easy to make.  Each placemat measure 12 x 18 inches, you start with any 12.5 inch unfinished quilt block add borders and a pocket – and voila you’re finished with the top.  No binding — YAY!!

I machine appliqued a tree onto a 12.5 background square. I used a small blanket stitch with metallic thread. My photos aren’t great but the backing fabric with the Reindeer is sew cute!

Christmas 2018 Hexi Reindeer Mats

Christmas 2018 Hexi Reindeer Mats

Christmas 2018 Hexi Mat Front

Christmas 2018 Reindeer Front

Christmas 2018 Hexi Mat Back

Christmas 2018 Reindeer Back



I laid the entire ensemble out on my floor…..

Christmas 2018 Hexi Tree

Christmas 2018 Half Hexi Christmas Tree



Happy Sewing!


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