Archive for the ‘On-line Challenge’ Category

And the Winner Is!

May 4, 2012

Sound the trumpets, ring the bells, shout from the rooftops. The winner is Nicki Lee Seavey! Congratulations Nicki. Your piece is breathtaking.


Vintage Lace Wallhanging by Nicki Lee

Don’t you all agree? Nicki’s wall hanging measures 8″ X 11″ with another 4″ of lace on the bottom. She created it on double-sided peltex. I have used peltex for the foundation for making mailable postcards, but not for anything else. This is worth a try after seeing Nicki’s good results.


Nicki’s Vintage Lace Challenge

She said she first laid down a piece of silk taffeta embroidered fabric and next to it some beige dupioni silk which she ironed to the peltex. On top of that she sewed on the little girl image printed on silk. The tulle with a design and the pretty scalloped trim came next. These were two of the vintage laces she received from me along with the lace motif cut to fit the corners and a piece of lace she used to make a couple of yo yos.


Close-up of Girl on Silk

Nicki topped off her design with clusters of beads, polymer clay flowers, leaf trim, and hand dyed butterfly. You can see many of Nicki’s other creations by visiting her blog and etsy shop. I know she would be delighted to have you stop by.


Bead Work and Embellishments

Nicki, your little sewing drawer will go in the mail on Monday. Can’t wait to see how you use the vintage laces that fill the drawer. Thank you so much for joining my first on-line challenge and treating us to your absolutely gorgeous design.

Sewing Drawer

Laces in Sewing Drawer

Barbara Black is a talented, award-winning quilt maker who also finished a piece for the challenge. Her son married recently and she made her first attempt at a vintage lace piece to commemorate the wedding. I love the sentiment and the memory she made for the event. The ribbons are from the wedding program, the pearl buttons are from her antique button collection, and the majority of the top is covered with the laces she received in her challenge packet.


Presenting the Bride and Groom

The back is a page from the wedding program, explaining the significance of the peacock theme. Visit Barbara’s blog to see the plethora of magnificent quilts she has made over the years. Thanks, Barbara for sharing your “art” with us.


The Meaning of the Peacock

This pillow Debra Bentley made with her grandmother Lelia Mary Prentiss Good’s photo is delightful. I would love to see other things Debra has made.



With the exception of the lace for the ruffle her design was made using the vintage laces she received in her packet. I like the dark fabric behind the lace so you can really see the details of lace design.  This is a good tip to remember.


Pillow made by Debra Bentley

The words Debra included, “She has the wisdom of her ancestors,” were printed below her grandmother’s photo in her high school yearbook. Isn’t that charming?


From Her Yearbook

Wilma Hart also used a family photo in her challenge piece she made for her sister’s birthday gift. The photo is of their mother along with many other keepsakes. Willie stitched her laces and embellishments on layered fabric and then attached it to a 14″ X 18″ stretched canvas. Don’t you know her sister will treasure receiving this gift “from the heart?”


Memories of Mother for My Sister

Willie tries each of the crafts I show you on my blog. She spurs me on to do the next thing because she’s waiting to give it a try. It’s great having her as a fan as I’m a fan of her in-depth photography. Ask to be her friend on Facebook, and you’ll get to see many of her artful images. I love them all.

Congratulations to all of you, my friends. Even though the deadline has come and gone for the Vintage Lace Challenge, please continue to send photos of your challenge when you complete it. I’ve heard from several of you and really would love to post your finished lace pieces, too.

Remember to send me pictures of your drawstring bags made from “false starts and rejects” as instructed in my last blog. They really are so easy to make. Give it a try and I’ll post your results here.

Please write me and tell me what you like or what you want to see or hear about. I’d love to hear what you collect. Talk to you again very soon.

Love and stitches, Judy


Play Date #5 Drawstring Bag

May 2, 2012

It’s time to play again. So get your creative energy flowing and see what you can make from those “false start and reject” patchwork pieces.

5 bags

Five Patchwork Drawstring Bags

I have been sewing since I was six years old and have been collecting things since then, too. As the years went by my collecting became a challenge to find the best deal, the next new craft idea toys and tools, the antique quilt no one wanted…you get the idea. Among that collecting is a very large plastic tub containing every piece of patchwork I have ever created that did not get used in a project. Oh, and some of that patchwork someone else created and gave to me or I bought at a Quilt Guild Show. It seems other people are able to cast out their unused patchwork, but not I.

Use It Up

Use It Up

So let’s make something with that patchwork. What do you have? Get it all out. Sort through and find some things that look like they might work together in a color scheme. Here’s what I grouped together from technique samples when I taught wearables from my “Jacket Jazz” series. The color scheme components are purples and oranges.

Purple and orange

Purple and Orange Components

Let’s Get Started

1. Start with your biggest patchwork piece. This Continuous Bias patchwork piece measures 13″ X 15″. Do I want it larger? How about that piece of Machine Grid Smocking? It fits, so I stitch it right sides together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press it away from the main patchwork piece. I trim all the edges straight and it now measures 15″ X 17″. That’s a good size.

Side One

Side One Complete

2. Let’s see if I can create that same size with the remaining bits and pieces of patchwork and manipulations. It’s time to pull-in the lining fabric. After a few auditions I like this Kaffe Fassett sunflower cotton print. What do you think? The lining is also the binding and casing at the top of the bag.


Add the Lining Fabric

3. Let’s add strips on the side to make the Seminole Patchwork 15″ wide. Another strip of fabric above that will be the piece on which the lining will turn-on to the front. I don’t want the lining to cover the Seminole Patchwork. Again I stitch right sides together and press seam away from patchwork. The piece is now 6″ tall with another 11″ to go.

first row

First Row Complete

4. Let’s introduce the lining fabric before adding another row of patchwork pieces. I cut it one and a half inches wide and stitch and flip that strip. Now there are 10″ to go for Side Two.

5. What’s next? What’s left? Let’s square-up some of those odd pieces. Now I sew 3 of them together and get a 15″ wide strip. Just what I need. I sew right sides together with larger piece, press seam to one side, trim even and contemplate again.

Second Row Complete

Second Row Complete

6. Let’s add another rest stop with a 1″ wide lining strip before adding more patchwork. Now let’s see if we can make a wider strip with the rest of the fabric manipulations. Yes, with a little piecing and adding on to those strangely cut pieces I think we have a 15″ wide piece. So it’s stitch and flip and press again. I use a steam iron and do not miss this step as it’s very important for keeping your piece flat and even.

7. One more strip of lining fabric will complete the second side of the bag to match the size of the first side.

Side 2

Side Two Complete

Oh, dear there are a few pieces left from the purple and orange patchwork. They will go in my collage card making box. Waste not, want not.


Leftover “Leftovers”

Time out…I need to make a collage greeting cardwith the left-over “left-overs.”

collage greeting card

Thank You Collage Greeting Card

Now it’s on to the lining and pockets.

1. Place the patchwork pieces right sides together. Trim if they aren’t the same size. Use a gridded mat to make sure all four sides are even. Place on top of lining fabric which is right sides together. Cut lining 2″ taller than the patchwork.

2. Make pockets from left-over lining fabric. They can be any size you like. Very often the amount of fabric I have left from the lining dictates the size of the pockets I make. Cut two pieces for each pocket you make. Sew pocket pieces right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press and turn the raw edge in. Center and pin pocket to right side of one of the lining pieces 4″ from top edge. Leaving top open stitch on 2 sides and bottom close to edge. Add a second pocket to the other side of the lining. If you prefer, stitch a seam in the middle of the pocket to make two smaller pockets.

3. Place lining right sides together with all edges even. Put patchwork right sides together and layered on top of the lining 2″ from top of lining. Other three edges should be even. Pin all 4 layers together. Stitch two sides and bottom together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Leave 3/4″ free of stitching above patchwork on the lining.

leave open

Leave Seam Open

4. Turn right sides out bringing the patchwork fronts to the outside. Lining will be inside bag with 2″ extending above patchwork bag. Fold lining/casing in half onto itself.

fold casing

Fold Casing in Half

5. Fold casing down onto bag. Pin to bag. Top stitch casing through all layers. The 3/4″ on the lining that was left unstitched is where the ribbon will be inserted to make the drawstrings.

6. Choose ribbon or cording twice the width of the bag plus 4″. You need this length two times.


Ribbons for Casing

7. Using the opening on one side of casing run ribbon through with a bodkin or safety-pin. Leave tail outside of casing on one end. Run ribbon all the way back to where you started. Pull out small amount. Hold two ends together and tie ends in a knot. Pull tightly so knot doesn’t come out.


Knot in Ribbon

8. Do the same with the second ribbon starting on the opposite casing side. Put one knotted ribbon in each hand and pull. The bag closes tightly.


Drawstrings Pulled Tight

The drawstring bag is complete with lining and pockets and ready to fill.


Lining and Pockets

Now that was simple. Want to see a few more ideas? Here are a few others I have made. Go to my etsy shop to see details for each of them.


Wonder Wedge Drawstring Bag

rayon bag

Rayon Strip Pieced Drawstring Bag

blue bag

Stripped Piece Drawstring Bag

Chinese bag

China Red and Green Bag

I hope you will make a Drawstring Bag from your left-over patchwork pieces. We all would love to see your creation. If you have any questions on the directions I have given you here, don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help.

So here’s another challenge. This time there is no prize or deadline. It’s just a simple challenge for you to use some of your left-over patchwork to make a drawstring bag. Then send a picture to me so I can post it on this blog.

Friday I will announce the winner of the little sewing drawer full of vintage lace. Stay tuned and keep stitching. Judy

What’s Up?

April 29, 2012

Life has been busy around here with a little of this and a lot of that.

The International Spring Quilt Festival in Cincinnati, April 12-15, has come and gone. It was a delightful show with entertaining Special Exhibits, much shopping with the exhibitors, and fun learning in the education department.

show floor

Cincinnati Show Floor

I loved shopping with Charmography where I chose the charms, and Robin put them together for me to make a dazzling three strand necklace full of glitter and favorite things. She and her husband were exhibitors at all three of our Quilt Festivals last year, and I didn’t get time to visit their booth or they were so busy I couldn’t get my turn. I was determined to enjoy a visit or two at this show and I’m glad I did. I love wearing my necklace, and every time I do I get lots and lots of compliments. Thank you Robin. Hope to see you at the Long Beach Quilt Festival.


Charmography Robin and Robin

The quilts in Special Exhibits flowed so beautifully in their setting this year. I took several pictures, but after looking at the ones Tom Russell posted on his blog I decided to guide you there for a much better view. Tom knows how to capture the most intricate detail with his “Magic Camera.” Check-out “Cinn City: 2012 International Quilt Festival Show” after you go to his blog.

The Special Exhibits department is led by Carmen Valls and Amanda Schlatre with a great team of helpers, and they do a smashing job getting those quilts selected, hung, and presented to all the viewers.

Carmen Valls

Carmen Valls Special Exhibits

Amanda Schlatre

Amanda Schlatre Special Exhibits

The Education Department has been my responsibility for more than 30 years. We have a great team led by Kim, Jill, and Marcia who come to all 5 of our shows. Some shows we have as few as 2 extra helpers, but for our long-standing Quilt Festival in Houston we need 17 extra helpers to get through the 6+ days of classes taking place morning, noon, and night.

Education Team

Quilts, Inc. Cincinnati Education Team

Among the outstanding teachers at Cincinnati Quilt Festival 2012, we introduced Heather Thomas to our staff for the first time. Heather is an artist, designer, instructor, and author in Mixed Media. I had the privilege of taking her full-day Mixed Media Collage Techniques class. She is a gifted teacher with an understandable art theory approach to guide her successful students. I continued to follow her classes throughout the 4 days in bits and pieces. What a treat to have her among us. I guarantee you if you select one or more of her classes at one of our other shows, you will be glad you did.

Heather Thomas

Heather Thomas teaching

I came home from the Cincinnati Quilt Festival on a Monday evening to an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for 20 more Treasure Boxes and 20 more Collage Greeting Cards. I love making both of those items, so it was exhilarating to have a reason to be back in my studio the minute I walked into the house again. I was able to complete 15 boxes and 15 cards by last Friday delivery. I need to collect more small boxes to finish the Treasure Box order, but I’m itching to get back in my studio to complete the other collage cards.

Treasure Boxes

Treasure Boxes full of things for collage making

Friends and Birthday Greetings

Friends and Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday

Congratulations and Happy Birthday

Miss You

Miss You

Congratulations and Travel

Congratulations and Travel

Get Radical and Smile

Get Radical and Smile

Friends and Wish You Were Here

Friends and Wish You Were Here


You've Got Talent collage card

Also when I arrived home, I sent the last of 15 Vintage Lace Challenge Packets requested. If you received one of the packets, it’s time to get a picture to me as Tuesday, May 1, is your deadline. On Friday, May 5, I will post the winner in my blog. To date, I have received two lovely photos of your completed challenges. It’s fun to recognize the laces I sent to you. I’m looking for a lucky 13 more photos as someone will be the winner of the little wooden sewing drawer full of vintage laces.


My Grandmother by Debra Bentley

Wilma Hart for my sister

For My Sister by Wilma Hart 14" X 18"

Do you have a hard time throwing out fabric you have cut and stitched, but then didn’t use? When friends and family find out you are a quilter, do they give you their cast offs or those of another family member? I can’t part with those things, and I always say yes to them. I can’t ever throw out something I used for a class sample or strips, squares or triangles that never made it into a project. I grew-up with the quote, “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.”

If you have this same malady, I  have another challenge for you.  You will receive instructions for making something simple and useful. There will not be a prize, but I would love to post your results.  So join me again next Wednesday when we will be together for Play Date #5.

Use It Up

Use It Up

Until then keep stitching. Hugs, Judy

Happy Easter

April 8, 2012

It’s the eve of Easter 2012 and my thoughts are of faith, family, and friends and all the memories they have brought me. I’m thinking of all of you, and hope that you have much to reflect on this Easter Sunday that makes you happy or gives you peace or hope.

He has risen.

He has risen. John 11:25-26

My husband and I will attend our Methodist Church Easter service and then scurry home to hide eggs before our daughter, her husband, and three children ages 9, 6, and 4 come for Easter egg hunt and dinner. We have planned many of our traditional dishes for family celebrations.

He will grill pork tenderloin after the egg festivities. We will also have green bean bundles which have become a favorite of everyone in the family, scalloped potatoes with cheese, a tradition from my mom of red jello with fruit cocktail and bananas, Sister Shubert rolls, and white cake with coconut grass icing topped with jelly bean eggs.

Easter Egg Cake

Easter Egg Cake with Coconut Grass and Jelly Bean Eggs

The dining room table is set with china my mom gave to me before her death in 2001. These were the dishes that were used every holiday when I was growing up and when I returned home again with my family for every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I feel so fortunate to have them to remember so many family get-togethers.

Table set with Mother's China

Table set with Mother's China

The center piece is a collection of laces, eggs collected over the years, an assortment of bunnies, and chickens. Many of these were gifts and others are reminders of other Easters when our other grandchildren, daughter-in-law and sons have been at the Easter table with us. It’s a great day when we all can be together for celebrations. Miles do keep us apart.

Center Piece Egg Nest

Center Piece Egg Nest

Each holiday my husband carries boxes of decorations down from the attic for me to sort and arrange each special piece. I’ve posted a few shots of those areas you may recognize when there were Valentine decorations in the same spot.

Here are a few of my tea pots where Valentine boxes were in February. The one on the far left is a Susan Branch design my daughter gave me along with many other pieces. The set in the middle is a child’s set purchased with my sister on one of her visits and the last one came from my husband one Easter with a flower arrangement. Notice they are on top of a special vintage linen piece.

Spring Tea Sets

Spring Tea Sets on Vintage embroidered Piece

Here’s a little glimpse of what’s in the window at our kitchen sink. It always has grandchildren pictures along with the season to gaze upon as we are busy in the kitchen.

Kitchen Window

Kitchen Window Enlightenment

And the island always has a little seasonal vignette.

Vignette of Easter Plates

Vignette of Easter Plates and Grandchildren

Along with getting ready for Easter I have been sewing for the Texas Quilt Museum Store.

Gift Store at the Texas Quilt Museum

Gift Store at the Texas Quilt Museum

The Museum manager keeps me busy with making all the things I show you on my blog or etsy shop. The latest things she has requested are pillows with vintage lace. Her special request is for Mother’s Day right now. This pillow measures 12″ X 16″.

Mother's Day Pillow

Mother's Day Pillow from Vintage Textiles

Here’s another one that measures 12″ X 16″. I like working with this size and shape.

Happy Mother's Day Patchwork and Vintage Lace Pillow

Happy Mother's Day Patchwork and Vintage Lace Pillow

And one more for a friend using a 14″ square pillow form.

True Friends Lace Collage Pillow

True Friends Lace Collage Pillow

How are those of you doing who have joined my Vintage Lace Challenge? I’ve sent out several envelopes of laces. If you haven’t requested a packet and still want to join, it’s not too late. Read my blog before this one that gives details. You could win this little sewing drawer of vintage laces.

Sewing Drawer

Laces in Sewing Drawer

I will send out the last of the packets when I return from the International Quilt Festival/Cincinnati. Will any of you be going next week? If yes, please look for me in the Education Office located in classrooms 260/261 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. If I’m not there, they will know where to find me. I would love to see you or meet you for the first time.

Until then have a wonderful Easter and may all your new beginnings be the best you could imagine. Hugs, Judy

A Challenge For You

March 20, 2012

Last week my son, his wife and children were here from the Dallas area for a great visit. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter had been introduced to Pinterest by my daughter last Christmas and encouraged me to sign-up. I had heard about Pinterest from several people, but wasn’t convinced I needed another distraction.

Todd and family

Todd with Julie, Tyler, and Madison

Silly me, I did need this distraction because it is so much fun, plus I’ve learned so much and seen beautiful pictures of things I love. Also, I’ve  tapped into sites of friends and acquaintances. The most wonderful thing I found on my search is my former editor’s board which had a link to a blog FULL of vintage lace. Oh, my, my, my, my, my! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. This link led to other sites with vintage lace. I shouted, “There are people out there who love vintage lace as much as I do!” I have one closet in our home which is devoted almost exclusively to lace.


Closet Designated for Lace and Trims

Yes, I know you are saying that is way too neat and organized. I have been collecting vintage lace for 30 years. It would take over our house, if I didn’t organize it. But I cannot tell a lie. This is what my studio looks like right now when I start pulling out those boxes. I love to surround myself with all things that may possibly need inclusion in the project of the moment. I will eventually pick-up everything and put it in its place again so I can pull-out the next boxes of important sewing stuff.


Studio During Creative Stage

After looking at the vintage laces on Pinterest,  I knew that I had to blog about my collection and my love for vintage lace and vintage linens. About this same time, the manager of the Texas Quilt Museum asked me to make some pillows for the Museum Store using vintage lace. She did not need to ask me twice. I had been making collage greeting cards for the Store, and I could sew on those every day of my life and never tire of making them.  Making a pillow just added to my excitement.

A few days later I had my weekly call with  Art Coach, Lesley Riley, and she had a fun suggestion for me to do for my blog readers. It’s an on-line challenge! I hope you will join in the fun. Starting today, while the supplies last, you can sign up for my challenge to make an item using a packet of vintage lace I will send to you for $5.00. I promise you that what you receive will be well worth its cost. Each packet will be different, but will  include an assortment of four different pieces of vintage lace. Your challenge is to make something using the majority of the lace you receive from me. How you use the lace is up to you.

Here are pictures of several things I have made recently using vintage lace. You can also see more items in my etsy shop. If you don’t have an idea of what you would like to make, maybe these projects will trigger an idea for you.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Quilt Card

Journal Cover

Journal Cover


Special Order Pillow


Special Order Pillow





Bits and Pieces of Lace

Bits and Pieces of Lace Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Are you willing and able now? Here are the particulars.

  • Send $5.00 to me at 3815 Oakland Circle, Missouri City, TX 77459 by April 17. I will send your laces immediately to you. Be sure to include your address. If you would like, you can pay by paypal to your paypal ID.
  • Email a picture of your finished project to my email address at by May 1.
  • Post picture on your blog, if you have one, and link to my blog. I will post listings of all those who have a challenge photo on their blog.
  • There are no restrictions to what you make, how you make it, or what you do with the lace. It does, however, need to be recognizable.
  • There are two independent judges who are willing to choose the #1 entree.
  • I will post the winner, along with other entree photos on my blog, on May 4. The winner will receive this 4″ X 8 ” by 3″ high vintage sewing drawer full of vintage lace.

    Laces from Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Laces in Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer for Winner

I really hope you will join me. It will be so much fun. I can’t wait to see how you incorporate what I send to you into something wonderful.

In closing, here I am happy for another reason. Our son from LA was here for a day and night this past week. He’s our artist/musician whom we don’t see often enough.



Now you have seen all of my family. They make my heart sing as do you. Happy Creating to you, Judy

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