Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

My, oh my, does the time fly! It has been a busy year and I realized that I haven’t posted to my blog for a LONG while! So, today is the day!

I do a TON of stuff – videos, patterns, online classes, in-person classes, etc. – which is all quilting related and I do quilt on real quilts from time to time! The past few months I have been working on some AMAZING quilts and now I want to show you some of them.

This first quilt I am going to highlight is a quilt I made for my Granddaughter Maddie Tong. As with each quilt, there is a story!

This quilt was made from a kit that I found (on a great sale) while visiting with my sister in Illinois. We went “shop hopping” in her area and I found the kit.

Click on any image for a larger view.

I did a little research and this was offered in 2018 by Moda. I purchased the kit in late 2019, pieced it 2021 and finally quilted it earlier this year, 2022.

The quilt is WAY too cute, WAY too much fun to piece and WAY, WAY too much fun to quilt!

Here is the finished quilt! It is a larger twin size.

Here are some of the quilting details –

I quilted a feather cable in the outer borders and a combination of continuous curves, ribbon stipple, swirls and other fill in patterns to complete the quilting, The batting is Warm Company, Soft & Bright and I used an assortment of Signature 100% cotton, machine quilting threads.

For the center Castle block I did straight lines (free hand), wavy cross hatching, continuous curve, landscape stipple and swirls in the hearts.

Here is the back of the quilt and you can see a lot of the quilting detail even though the backing fabric is a fairly busy print

And of course, here is one HAPPY Granddaughter!!

I know she will use and enjoy this quilt for many, many years!

Read Full Post »

At the start of the Covid pandemic I posted instructions on how to make face masks. I thought that would be the ONLY face mask tutorial I would ever have to do. But …., as time goes on and Covid “does it’s thing,” things change and we will probably be wearing face masks for a LONG time yet to come!

At least the kids are able to go back to in person school, wearing a mask of course! And my grandkids are no different! Again, I have been making masks for them, for myself (we all need a new wardrobe every once in a while, even if it is face masks!) and for other adults.

Over the last year and a half, I have found a new way to make face masks, which, IMHO, is far better than what I showed before.

A friend of mine posted this video on FaceBook, I watched it, made a mask or two, and tweaked the pattern a bit.

To view the original video Click Here

Here are my “tweaked” instructions on how to make this mask.

Fabric – 1/4 yard of printed fabric will make at least one, probably two, adult size masks and 1/4 yard of lining fabric. I used washed muslin for the lining.

We will talk about the ties in a little bit. I have a variation which works really well.

Here is the pattern, which is just a tad different than the pattern in the video.

Click on any photo for a larger view. Click on the text at the bottom of the photo and the photos will scroll.

For child size instructions, see the bottom of this post.

Cut one pattern of the printed fabric and one pattern of the lining fabric.

Place right sides together and stitch around all sides, leaving an opening at the bottom. Turn right side out and press well. Top stitch around all sides, stitching across the bottom (formerly open) area. Your mask should look like the photo below left.

Insert Nose Bar – Lay your nose bar at the top of your mask and mark / note how much space you need for it.

Turn the mask to the wrong side and stitch a line across the top to make a casing for the nose piece. The casing I made for my nose bar was between 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch wide.

Make a small cut in the lining fabric ONLY and insert the nose bar into the casing.

After the nose bar has been inserted and centered, stitch the ends of the casing closed.

See photos below

Note – I have found some EXCELENT nose bars at my local quilt shop, Running Stitches, Kent, WA. To see the nose bars I use Click Here

Lay the face mask, wrong side up on the ironing board. Fold the top and bottom edges towards the middle having a 2 inch “flap” of the right side of the face mask at the top and bottom. The “middle” of the face mask is about 2-3/4 – 3 inches wide. See photo lower left. Your face mask now looks sort of like a burrito! See photo lower right

Stitch along the folds at the top and bottom of the middle section, about 1/8 inch away from the fold. It doesn’t matter if you stitch from the right or the wrong side, as long as these folds are stitched into place. (Note – the stitching is not shown in the photos above. )

Here is where things get interesting.

Step 1 – Move the bottom flap out of the way. Place a ruler so that it is 1 inch from the side edge. If desired, draw a line with your marker of choice.

Step 2 – Fold the flap UP so that the edge of the flap is even with the middle stitched line. Keep the ruler in place. See middle photo.

Step 3 – Bring the diagonal fold to the edge of the ruler and pin in place. This is going to “twist” the fabric and you will think you are doing something wrong. This is correct!

Now we are going to repeat this on the other flap

Step 4 – Fold the remaining flap UP and place the ruler 1 inch from the side edge

Step 5 – Fold the flap DOWN so that the edge of the flap is even with the middle stitched line. Keep the ruler in place.

Step 6 – Bring the diagonal fold to the edge of the ruler and pin in place. This is going to feel really wonky, but it is the way it is supposed to be!

Step 7 – Take the mask to the sewing machine and stitch along the side pinned edges. See photo below left. I like to start my stitching at the top edge, backstitch, stitch along the fold, go across the “plain” fabric, then continue stitching along the bottom fold, backstitching at the start and end of the folds.

Now turn the mask 180 degrees and do Steps 1 – 7 on the other side of the mask.

When finished folding and stitching the other side of the mask, the inside of the mask will look like the middle photo and the outside of the mask will look like the photos at the right.

The body of the face mask is completed, now we have to work on the ties.

I have seen many different ways to put the ties onto a face mask, all of which don’t seem to fit well or need a lot of adjusting. I have found a different – and much easier – way of putting ties on the mask, and it makes wearing the mask a LOT easier.

I do have to give credit to my sister, Sharon for showing me this a while back.

I have been making fabric ties from 2 inch strips of fabric (cut from selvedge to selvedge). One strip of fabric 36 – 40+ inches x 2 inches wide, will be enough for 1 face mask

Fold the tie in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press. Open the tie and press one side to almost the middle (pressed) line and press. Repeat for the other side.

Now fold the tie in half again – no raw edges are showing – and press. Stitch close to the double folded edge. I like to use a three step zig zag stitch, but a straight stitch will work just as well.

I am assuming that you have a folded and stitched tie that is at least 36 – 40 inches long.

From this cut 2 – 4 inch pieces and cut the remaining piece in half. You will now have 4 cut pieces of the tie.

Take one of the short ties, fold it half, and snuggle it between the bottom outer side folds on the mask. Note – the mask edge with the nose bar is the TOP of the mask. Stitch in place, backstitching at the beginning and end of the tie. See photo lower left. The middle photo shows the loop that is made with the folded tie.

Take the long tie and snuggle it between the TOP outer side folds of the mask. Stitch in place, backstitching at the beginning and end of the tie. See photo lower right. Repeat on the other side of the mask with the remaining ties.

Take the long, upper tie and put it through the lower (tie) loop as shown below left. Repeat for the other side.

Take (cut) ends of the long ties put them through a “barrel lock.” Here is a source for all sorts of these “locks” and all sorts of other wonderful things. You can get these locks at Strapworks.com For a direct link to the barrel locks I used Click Here (Note – these barrel locks come in all sorts of colors!)

Sometimes it can get a little fiddly to get the ties through the barrel lock. I will use a plier to hold the lock open and then push the tie through the opening.

The photo below right shows the ties through the barrel lock. After the ties are through the barrel lock I like to tie a knot at the end of the tie.

Now your face mask is finished. But wait, there is more!!!!

I really don’t like making the fabric ties and I kept thinking there has to be a better way. Then I had the idea of using RIBBON instead of fabric for the ties! And it works!!!!

I have used both gross grain and satin ribbon, the 3/8 inch width) and cut the pieces as follows – 2 – 4 inch pieces and 2 – 18 inch pieces of ribbon. After I cut the ribbon, I put a little dab of Fray Check on the ends. The Fray Check REALLY works and keeps the ends of the ribbon from fraying out, even after washing!

Put the ribbon into the mask the SAME way as the fabric ties and put a barrel lock on the ends of the ribbon. It is MUCH easier to put the ribbon through the barrel lock! Tie an knot at the end of the ribbon and your mask is done!

To wear this mask, have the nose bar at the top and put the mask over your head so that the barrel lock is at the back of your neck. The (long tie) loop goes over your ear and you can adjust the tightness of the mask with the barrel lock. See middle photo of my granddaughter Maddie wearing the mask.

Adjust the nose bar and proudly wear your mask!

If you don’t need your mask, take the loops off your ears and the mask will hang around your neck and it won’t get lost!!!

The child’s mask is made exactly the same way as the adult mask. Use the child size mask (see first set of photos), the top and bottom “flaps” are 2 inches. When making the side (diagonal) folds, place the ruler 3/4 inch from the side edge.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you have any questions, comments or anything else about this, send me an email at longarmu@aol.com or leave a comment below.

Read Full Post »

It has been a wild last few weeks! It seems like the more I stay home, the busier I become! Of course, I’m not cleaning the house or anything like that. I have been sewing, quilting, knitting and creating many new things!

I just finished this quilt for a customer, and I can’t tell you how much fun I had quilting it!!

The pattern is Snowflake, by Modern Hand Crafts. (For details on the pattern Click Here) and it was perfectly pieced.

Click on any photo for a larger view

This quilt is 60 x 72 inches. I quilted swirls in the background with silver high sheen poly thread. The snowflake has a combination of feathered wreaths and feather.

Here is a close look of the snowflake.

And here is a closer view of the “middle” of the quilt.

We can’t forget the back of the quilt.

This is a spectacular quilt and I love the fabric that my customer used!

Here is one more quilt I recently finished. This is a quilt my sister pieced a while ago and she wanted to gift it to a friend. She sent it to me and I went a little crazy with feathers! Which was totally appropriate for this quilt. All the feathers are free hand and I did have to make some (many) registration lines for the outer feather borders.

Click on any photo for a larger view

I can’t remember the exact size of this quilt, but it was about a Queen Size. My sister did an excellent job with the piecing!

Here is a corner of the quilting. I used a cable feather in the outer borders, wavy lines in the inner borders and all over, free hand, feathes and swirls in the body of the quilt. I used Soft & Bright batting and Signature 100% cotton machine quilting thread in the color Linen.

Here is the other corner of this quilt. I LOVE the texture of the quilting!

And, of course, you got to see the back of the quilt!

My sister gave the quilt to her friend and her friend LOVED IT!!!!

Stay healthy, keep busy, keep quilting!!!

Read Full Post »

My goodness how the world has changed in only one month!!!!

I don’t need to go into what is happening, you KNOW all the details! And, you know that as quilters and sewers we have been making fabric face masks for our families, for friends and to be donated to hospitals and other health care facilities.

Along with many, many other quilters /sewers I too, have been making masks. Here are just a few that I have made. Click on any photo for a larger view.

I started making masks that had the elastic, but when I wore them, the elastic was too short and my ears hurt after only a few minutes. So I began making masks with ties on them. They are MUCH more comfortable and are adjustable too!

I came up with my own version of the fabric face mask which is easy to sew up.

It does take a bit of pressing, but that isn’t hard to do.

Here are the step by step instructions on how to make this fabric face mask. For a pdf version Click Here

Note – the following instructions have a lot of photos

Fabric Needed

Outer Fabric and Ties 1/4 yard of cotton fabric. Any type of print / pattern will work.
Note – You will need the full 40 inch width of the fabric. You could use a Fat Quarter, but you will have to piece the fabric tie strips together.

Lining Fabric – 1 – 8 x 7 inch piece of lining fabric. I used a light color or light color print.
Note – 1/4 yard of lining fabric will make up to 5 pieces of lining for 5 face masks.


Outer fabric and ties –

Cut 1—8 inch x width of fabric (wof) strip.

From this cut – 1 – 8 inch x 7 inch piece of fabric.

From the remaining strip of 8 inch wide fabric, cut into 4 – 2 inch strips. These strips will be about 32 – 33 inches long. You will need 2 of these strips for the ties for one face mask.

You can get creative and mix and match the extra fabric strips and use them to make more face masks. All you need are 2 – 8 x 7 inch pieces of fabric to go with the extra ties! Any strips that are left over will go into the quilting scrap bag.

To make one mask you will need –

1 – 8 x 7 inch piece of print (outside) fabric, 1 – 8 x 7 inch piece of light colored (lining) fabric,
2 strips of 2 inch x 32 – 33 +/- inches of fabric for the ties.

Make the Pleats

Place the printed fabric and the lining fabric WRONG sides together on the ironing board and press them together.

Mark for the pleats – I prefer to do this on the lining fabric so I can see my marks.

The 8 inch edges are the top and bottom and the 7 inch edges are the sides.

Starting at the bottom (straight) edge, begin measuring UP and make marks on BOTH sides edges.

Make a mark at 1-1/2 inches, 2-1/2 inches, 4 inches and 5-1/2 inches. See photo below.


Hold BOTH pieces of fabric together and treat them as one piece.

Fold right sides together along the 2-1/2 inch line and PRESS. HARD!! Hold the iron and steam that fold in place!!! Do the same thing on the 4 inch line and the 5-1/2 inch line.

You will have 3 pressed folds that go across the fabrics from side to side.

Bring the fold at the 2-1/2 inch line down to the marked 1-1/2 inch lines. This will create a pleat. PRESS HARD along this pleat/ fold.

If your ironing board has a padded surface, you may want to put pins at the side edges to hold the pleat(s) in place.

Bring the fold at the 4 inch line down to 1/2 inch ABOVE the first pleat. You should be able to feel the (back) edge of the fold that is under the first pleat. Have the pressed edge of the new fold against that fold. PRESS HARD along this pleat/ fold.

I know, this is as clear as mud! Don’t worry, when you feel it, you know what I am talking about!

Bring the fold at the 5-1/2 inch line down to 1/2 inch ABOVE the second pleat. You should be able to feel the (back) edge of the fold that is under the first pleat. Have the pressed edge of the new fold against that fold. PRESS HARD along this pleat/ fold. You now have 3 pleats.

Remove the pins from the ironing board and place them on the pleats you made.

The mask should measure 8 x 4 inches.

Pressing the Ties

We need to press the 2 – 2 inch x 33 +/- inch strips of fabric as if they were bias tape.

Here is a link to a video that shows how you can do this with needles or long straight pins on your ironing board.


If that isn’t working for you, you can press the strips as shown below.

Note – I am using a smaller strip of fabric so you can see things better. You will do this for the whole length of the tie fabric strips.

Step 1 – fold the strip in half lengthwise, WRONG sides together and press.

Step 2 – Open the pressed strip and fold about 3/8 inch of the bottom edge up towards the center fold. Press in place.

Step 3 – Turn the strip 180 degrees and press up about 3/8 inch on the other long edge. Leave a little space open along the center of the strip.

Step 4 – Fold wrong sides together and press again.

You now have the ties for your face mask folded as if they were bias tape.

Cut the Ties

Take one of the pressed ties and cut off a 5 inch piece. From the other pressed tie, cut off a 5 inch piece. 

DO NOT cut both of these pieces from only one tie. That will make the (longer) tie too short!

Make the Mask

Mask Sides

Step 1—Take one 5 inch tie, open it up and place the right side of the tie on the WRONG side of the mask.

Stitch with a straight stitch, slightly inside of the first fold from the raw edge. Click on the photo to see the stitching.

Step 2 – Turn the mask over and fold the tie up as shown in the photo below.

Step 3 – Fold the tie OVER the raw edge of the mask. The folded edge should cover the previous stitching line.

Step 4 – Stitch close to the folded edge. I prefer to use a 3 step zig zag stitch or serpentine stitch. You can straight stitch this line or use a decorative stitch. Trim the edges of the side ties even with the top and bottom edge of the mask. Click on the photo to see the stitching line.

Repeat Steps 1 – 4 on the other side raw edge of the mask. Both side edges are now covered with the tie fabric.

Fold the side edges together and mark the top and bottom center of the mask with straight pins.

Top and Bottom Ties

Step 1 – Take one long tie and open it up and find the middle and mark with a pin.

Step 2 – With the wrong side of the mask facing UP, match the (right side) middle of the tie to the middle of the mask. Pin in place. Pin again at the mask side edges. Click on the photo to see the pins.

Step 3 – Stitch with a straight seam just above the first fold from the mask raw edge. Back stitch at the start and stop. Click on the photo to see the stitching line.

Step 4 – Turn the mask over and fold the tie up and then over the mask raw edge, just like you did on the sides. When the tie is in position, begin stitching, back stitching at each end of the mask. Keep the tie folded and continue stitching with a straight, serpentine or other decorative stitch all the way to the end of the tie.

Step 5 – Rotate the mask and go back to the start of your stitching line. Begin stitching where you started before and continue stitching until you are at the end of the tie. This tie is now completely attached to the mask.

Repeat Steps 1 – 5 with the other tie on the remaining raw edge of the mask.

Your fabric face mask is now complete!

Grandson Nathan and Son-in-Law Albert, wearing masks that I made for them!

I hope you enjoy making fabric face masks from these instructions. Let’s hope we don’t have to wear the masks for a long time!

Please send any photos of masks you have made from my instructions.

Read Full Post »

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas full of joy, peace, love and happiness.

If you celebrate any other Winter Holidays, I still wish you joy, peace, love and happiness.

Take a break from your quilting and enjoy the day, enjoy your family, enjoy your friends and be thankful for the life you have.

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Read Full Post »

Along with being an “obsessed” quilter, I am also an avid knitter! I always take my knitting with me, which is what I did when I visited with my family in the Midwest (Northern Illinois) over the Thanksgiving holiday.

While I was there, I knitted 2 Santa Hats and a Candy Cane Scarf along with a Seahawks color cowl. I had a LOT of knitting time, which was wonderful!!!

I posted photos of the Santa Hat and the Candy Cane scarf to a knitting Facebook group (Addicted to Knitting – I highly recommend joining this group if you are a knitter) and people were requesting the pattern for them.

When I made the hat and scarf, I “winged it” and made up the pattern as I went along. I have written up the instructions and they are below. I also have a PDF of the instructions which you can download by Clicking Here

I hope you enjoy these instructions and if you make a Santa Hat or two or the Candy Cane Scarf, send photos and I will post them here.


Knitted Santa Hat and Candy Cane Scarf

For PDF instructions Santa Hat and Scarf

Click on any photo for a larger view. For more photos go to the end of this post

The following directions are somewhat generic and almost a recipe for creating these items. These instructions have not been tested or tech edited. If you see any mistakes or problem, please let me know. My email is at the end of the instructions.

Note – the shape of the scarf in the photo is a little (???) wonky. I was working with several different increases / decreases until I got the shape I wanted. I am working on a new sample and will add a new photo when it is finished.


The red and the white yarn is— I Love This Yarn, from Hobby Lobby. It is acrylic and a worsted weight.

The fuzzy yarn (at the top of the ribbing on the hat and is the white yarn in the center of the red section of the scarf) is also from Hobby Lobby and it is called Yarn Bee, Snuggle Up. This yarn is optional.

Here is a link to the Snuggle Up yarn


Size 8 needles. If you want the hat ribbing to be a bit tighter, use size 7 or 6 needles. The hat is knit in the round, you will need circular needles and / or double pointed needles for the crown. The scarf is knit flat on size 8 needles.

Stitch markers, purchased pom pom or yarn pom pom.

Santa Hat

I don’t know the exact gauge or size – I gifted the hat before I decided to write up the instructions. The hat I knit fit an adults head. My gauge was about 5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch. Again, I don’t know for sure.

If you want a hat calculator which has a lot of different sizes and yarn gauges, I would recommend visiting –


Here are the instructions I used –

With the white yarn using circular needles, cast on 80 stitches, join stitches and work in K2, P2 ribbing for 2 – 3 inches.
Note: I used size 7 needles for the ribbing.

If you are using the Snuggle Up yarn, knit 4 rounds. If you are not using the Snuggle Up yarn change to the red yarn.

Change to the red yarn and work in stocking stitch (knit each row) for about 3 inches.

Begin decreases. Knit 20 stitches, place a marker. Repeat 3 more times. Use a different marker to note the beginning of the round.

Next round – K2 together, knit to marker. Repeat 3 more times. Four stitches decreased.

Knit 5 rounds.

Continue to decrease 4 stitches every sixth round until there are 8 stitches left.

Leave a yarn tail and cut yarn. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle and put stitches onto the yarn tail and pull tight and secure.

Attach a purchased pom pom (which is what I did. I got my pom pom at Hobby Lobby) or make a pom pom with white yarn and attach.

Weave in all end and wear proudly!


Candy Cane Scarf

Size 8 needles, white and red worsted weight yarn. Optional white Snuggle Up yarn. The scarf is knit flat in Garter Stitch (knit each row)

Gauge is not important. Scarf length is about 50 – 60 inches or desired length.


K – knit
S1P – slip 1 stitch as if to purl. Doing this at the start of each row makes a neat and flexible edge.
SKPO – slip 1 stitch, knit the next stitch, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch. One stitch deceased.
YO – yarn over
TBL – knit through the back loop of the stitch. This is done over the yarn over stitch in the previous row to “close” it up. I feel that this makes a more “flexible” increase.

There are three sections to this scarf – the increase section, the work even section and the decrease section.

Stitching sequence for the Candy Cane Stripes are on the next page.

With white yarn, Cast on 5 stitches –

Set up rows

Set up Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Set up Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.
Begin Increase Section

Increase Section instructions

Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, YO, K to end. (1 stitch increased)
Row 3 – S1P, K1, YO, K to last 3 stiches, TBL (of the YO in the previous row) K2.
Row 4 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.

Notes: You will be increasing 1 stitch every 4 rows. I recommend putting a marker to indicate the right side of your work and to indicate the YO edge.

Repeat the 4 rows above until you have 45 stitches on your needle.

If desired, measure your scarf along the YO edge. It should be about 28 (+/-) inches long.

Note: This measurement will be about the same for the Decrease Section.

Work Even Section

Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.

Repeat these two rows until your scarf measures about 30 – 32 inches (+/-) or desired length, from cast on edge. Begin working the Decrease Section

Decrease Section

Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, SKPO, K to end. (1 stitch decreased)
Row 3 – S1P, K1, YO, K to last 3 stiches, TBL (of the YO in the previous row) K2.
Row 4 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.

Notes: You will be decreasing 1 stitch every 4 rows.

Repeat the 4 rows above until you have 5 stitches on your needle.

K 2 rows then bind off and weave in ends. Block lightly if needed.


Color strips for the Candy Cane Stripes

Note: I began this sequence after the set up rows.

Work 28 rows (14 ridges) in white yarn
Work 6 rows (3 ridges) in red yarn
Work 2 rows (1 ridge) in white yarn or the Snuggle Up yarn
Work 6 rows (3 ridges) in red yarn


I hope you enjoy these patterns.

If you have any questions about them or need more information, please contact me
at longarmu@aol.com


As promised, here are some photos – Click on any photo for a larger view

I gifted the hat and scarf to my Daughter-in-Law, Reesia Roth and here she is modeling them.

And she wore them when she put the kids on the school bus this morning.

While I was in Northern Illinois, I made two Santa Hats. Before I left, I got photos of both my Mom and Dad wearing the hats! They look so festive!

Here is my Mom, 88 years young!

And here is my Dad, 92 years young!

And here they are together! In October they celebrated their 69th Anniversary!!!

Read Full Post »

When I was on a family visit to the Midwest earlier this year, I saw this Barn Quilt when my sister and I were on the Racine County, WI Barn Quilt Trail.

Click on any photo for a larger view

I LOVE this pattern and I re-created it into “real” quilts and then created an online class with my Flags & Stars quilt!

The quilt on the left is a Wall quilt, 39 x 57 inches and the other quilt is a Twin size, 72 x 90 inches.

I am proud to announce that the Flags & Stars Quilt Mystery Quilt-Along class is now OPEN for registration!!! For more information Click Here

How does a Mystery Quilt-Along work? You sign up for the class (there is a fee to attend the class) and you will receive the piecing instructions for the class project. Piece your quilt top and have it on your quilting machine, ready for quilting on Saturday, September 7, 2019. On September 7, about 8 am Pacific Time (possibly a little earlier) the first PART of the class video will be activated. You follow along with the quilting to learn how to quilt this quilt! During the day, about every two hours, another PART of the class will be activated. By the end of the day, ALL the class Parts will be activated and you will be able to see the completed quilt and all the quilting.

This is a FUN way to learn new quilting techniques and to finish a unique class project.

For more details on the Flags & Stars Mystery Quilt-Along Click Here

Register NOW and begin working on YOUR class project!

Each summer I plant Sunflowers in my small garden. I like to plant the GIANT sunflowers and this year, I also planted DWARF sunflowers. Unfortunately, I planted both of these sunflowers a little later and they are slightly behind in their growth.

My Grandaughter Maddie was over for a visit and I had her stand next to the sunflowers for comparison. Click on the photo for a larger view.

The dwarf sunflowers in the front are already blooming, and the giant sunflowers will grow up through the top of the arbor – the top of the arbor is about 7 feet above the ground – before they blossom!

Yes, there is an angel on Maddie’s shoulder! I have a metal garden sculpture angel in another small section of the garden and it is perfectly positioned! Maddie can be a bit of a “wild child”, as any almost five year old can be, and her guardian angel is on her shoulder a LOT!!!

I’ll post more photos of the sunflowers as they get taller and blossom!





Read Full Post »

Earlier today I posted to this blog, step by step photo instructions on how to make an easy zippered pouch. Somehow, when I was trying to upload the WordPress app to my new smart phone, I  DELETED that post!! Don’t ask me how I did that, I have absolutely NO idea how that happened.

Fortunately, I was able to selvage the original post and here it is again. I apologize for this and this is where I can say I both Love and Hate technology!!!

Easy Zippered Pouch

A belated Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope that 2017 is wonderful for you and your family!

I have been SO busy the last few months that I have not had a chance to post to any blog. Now that things have slowed down slightly, I can finally “get to posting!”

For Christmas, I made the Grandkids these simple, easy zippered pouches. A few years ago I began giving the Grandkids McDonald’s gift certificates as a Christmas gift. The kids love them – I’m not too sure about the parents loving them, but I am the Grandma and Grandma’s do things like this! Sometimes just to annoy their children. This is payback time! – and I like to put the gift certificates in things that I have made for them. (See my post about last year when I made all 10 Grandkids knitted socks. To see that post Click Here)

When I made the zippered pouches, I took photos of the process and I am going to show you, step by step, how I made them. Believe it or not, these zippered pouches were NOT quilted! If you wanted to quilt the fabric you can, but the zipper is bound and applied a different way. I have a unique way of doing this and I may post those instructions later on.

Below are the instructions for the Easy Zippered Pouches. Note: The instructions are photo intensive and I have the photos at a small size so more can fit on the screen. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Easy Zippered Pouch


Supplies – Outside the pouch fabric, pouch lining – a fat quarter of each will make several pouches. I love to look through my stash and use larger scrap fabrics. Zipper several inches LONGER than the finished pouch, standard sewing supplies.

Finished size – you determine the size of the finished pouch. The pouch in the photos above finish about 6 inches square.

b-zip-01Cut your fabric twice as long as it is wide plus seam allowance. If you want a pouch about 6 inches square, cut your fabrics (the outer pouch fabric and the lining fabric) 6 x 12 inches, plus 1/2 inch seam allowance on all four sides. Your final fabric measurement should be about 7 x 13 inches

This is not a hard and firm number and it can be adjusted. If you wanted a bigger pouch, say 7 inches square-ish, your fabrics should be about 8 x 15 inches.


b-zip-02Place your zipper face up. Center and place the narrow edge of your outer pouch fabric face DOWN on top of the zipper. Make sure both ends of the zipper EXTEND well past the cut edges of the fabric. Pin in place.


b-zip-03Turn the zipper/pouch fabric over. Place, then pin the lining fabric, face DOWN on top of the zipper, aligned with the pouch fabric. Move the pins from the pouch fabric side to the lining side and pin all three layers together. The fabrics at this point are right sides together.

b-zip-04Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the teeth of the zipper. If desired, stitch another line close to the first line. I apologize, I used white thread for the stitching. You can barely see it in the photo!


b-zip-05Turn the fabrics to the right side to expose the zipper. If desired, press fabrics in place.



b-zip-06Take the bottom edge of the pouch fabric and bring it to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. When you do this, the fabric will be right sides together. Line up the edges of the fabric and pin in place along the zipper tape.


b-zip-07Turn this over and bring the bottom edge of the lining fabric to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. Move the pins to this side and pin the three layers in place. As you can see in the photo, the bottoms of the pouch are “hanging free” and are NOT stitched together. At this time, all the stitching is being done at the top, zipper edge of the pouch.


b-zip-08Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the zipper teeth. If desired, stitch another line of stitching close to the first line. Notice the gentle fold in the fabrics at the bottom.



b-zip-09Turn the fabrics right side out so that the zipper teeth are exposed. Position the zipper so there is about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of fabric ABOVE the zipper. If desired, press this fold in place. Don’t press the bottom yet.


b-zip-10If you open the zipper, you will see how nice the inside and the outside of the pouch looks. The edges of the zipper tape is encased in the fabric.



b-zip-11If desired, make one or two lines of top stitching along the zipper edges. Click on the photo to enlarge it to see the stitching lines. I used pink thread on the sample and you can barely see the stitching!


b-zip-12Cut a piece of the pouch fabric about 1-1/2 inches x 6 inches. Again, this is not a hard and fast measurement. Instead of fabric you could use ribbon or something similar. If using fabric, press in half lengthwise, WRONG sides together. Then press the cut edges to the inside about 1/4 inch or so. Fold and press again so all the raw edges are to the inside. Stitch close to the folded edges. This piece should finish about 1/2 x 6 inches or so.

b-zip-13Pin this tab in position at either the right or left edge of the pouch and pin in place. Pin only through the top two layers of fabric. See way below for the right edge placement of the tab.



b-zip-14Open the zipper about half way and turn the pouch inside out. The lining fabric will now be on the outside. Match the raw edges of the pouch and pin in place. Notice how the zipper edges at the left are positioned. Make sure the zipper is at least half way open!!!


b-zip-15Stitch the raw edges of the pouch together with a 1/2 inch seam. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the seam allowance close to the first line of stitching. You can trim the edges of the zipper at this time, but I like to wait until a little bit later.


b-zip-16Let’s deal with the bottom of the pouch! I like to press the fold in the bottom of the pouch. Then I take this fold line and line it up with the side seams we just stitched. The pins in the photo show where the fold line and the seam lines come together. Yes, the pouch will be a little “poofy” because of this.


b-zip-17Measure in from the point about 3/4 of an inch and draw a line across the “point” of the bottom.

I used the blue, Mark B Gone, water soluble marker to make this line. Do the same thing on the other side.




b-zip-18On both points, stitch along this line. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the point. You can trim the points away, but on something this small, I just leave it as is.


b-zip-19Here is another view of the pouch. The zipper has been trimmed and the points at the bottom have been stitched.




b-zip-20Turn the pouch inside out and – taa daa – you have a completed zippered pouch! Give it a light press and your pouch is done!



b-zip-21What if … You wanted the tab on the other side? No problem! Go through all the steps above until you get to the part where you are pinning the tab in place. Pin the tab to the RIGHT edge of the pouch and stitch it in place. Continue stitching your pouch following the instructions above and turn the completed pouch right side out.


b-zip-23Here is a photo of both of these pouches, one tab is on the right and the other tab is on the left.



I know that this looks like a lot of steps, but once you get started it takes about 10 minutes (maybe less) to make a pouch like this. It is also fairly easy to “assembly line” the construction if you are making several at one time.

If you make any of these pouches, please send photos. I love seeing what others can do with this basic design.


Read Full Post »

Quilted Turkey

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

(click on the photo above for a larger view. You have got to see the details!)

I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Whether you are spending this day cooking in the kitchen or visiting with family and friends, let us all give thanks for what is truly important in our lives including family, friends and faith.

To thank you for your support of Longarm University this past year, I have put a FREE Online Class on the Longarm Classroom website. This class will show you how to make the cutest pillow top from a child’s hand and foot print. reinweb1(Click on the photo at left for a larger view.) It also makes a great gift for any child or grandchild! Also included in this FREE Online Class are instructions on how to machine applique using your quilting machine.

For complete details on this FREE Online Class, including photos, Click Here

For a list of other FREE Online Classes Click Here

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and travel safe!

Read Full Post »

My sister is going to be a Grandma!!! I am SO excited for her! The baby, a boy, is due in a few months and the whole family is excited.

My sister is also a quilter and in her travels, before there was even a hint of a baby, she found these absolutely darling panel prints. She purchased them and saved them for when she would be a Grandma, or if that didn’t happen, she would donate them to a kids charity. I don’t know where she purchased the panel prints, but these were some of the nicest panel prints I have seen or worked on!

The first panel print is titled “In the Beginning” for obvious reasons. Here is the full view of the finished quilt.

Click on any photo for a larger view.


Here is a close up of the top of the quilt.


And a close up of the bottom of the quilt.


This is quilted with Signature, 100% cotton thread and many thread color changes were done to match the thread to the fabric.

Now for the fun quilting!!! My nephew, the baby’s father, is a heavy equipment operator. When my sister saw this panel print, she could not help herself! Here is the full view of the panel. It isn’t very large, only about 42 x 34 inches.


On a panel like this, I like to quilt “texture” into what is already printed on the fabric.


Here is a close up of some of the trucks.


And another close up of another truck. Please click on the photo for a larger view and you can see the stitching on the trucks.


Again, I changed my threads many times and I also used Soft & Bright batting.

I have one more panel to show you – Another heavy equipment themed panel. (My sister finds the GREATEST fabrics!) Here is the full view of the “Gravel Pit” and I went crazy with the texture! Yes, I did quilt pebbles in the gray “asphalt” on the panel! This quilt is also 42 x 34 inches.


Because I knew that I was going to be changing my thread a LOT, I decided to baste the quilt first. I like using a bright (usually neon) color, high sheen poly thread for the basting with a large stitch. After the basting, I put a color of thread in the machine ( I started with a variegated gray) and quilted the “asphalt”  and anything else using that thread color, moving the quilt back and forth as needed to get to the area to be quilted. Then I changed to another color of thread and quilted ALL the areas that need quilting with that color. Before I quilted any area, I removed the basting from that section.

This photo shows the basting on the un-quilted quilt top. The quilt is on my machine with the bright overhead lights.


In this photo, this area has been quilted and it is hanging outside on a cloudy day. Click on any photo for a larger view.


Another photo of a basted area.


And here is that area quilted.


One more basted area –


And the same area quilted.


One more photo of another section of the Gravel Pit.


I have sent my sister photos of these quilts but I can’t wait for her to see them in person! These quilts are getting mailed back to the Midwest in the morning!

I can’t wait to hear about the reaction of both my nephew and his wife when they see these quilts. And of course, after the baby is born, I’ll get photos of the baby laying on the quilts!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »