Posts Tagged ‘vintage lace’

Play Date #15 Embellished Glove for Mother’s Day

March 8, 2016

For more than 25 years, I have collected vintage cotton gloves at flea markets, junk stores, antique shops, garage sales, etc.


White Glove Collection

Often I purchase just a single glove. It’s match was lost somewhere along the way. That’s not a problem because often I need only one glove to add to a quilt, a collage on a pillow, or now as a hanging pocket for a Mother’s Day gift.


Embellished Glove

In my collection of gloves, I have some that belonged to my mother and to me. Yes, Mother definitely wore gloves to church along with a hat. As a little girl and a young teen, I also wore gloves for church attire and for high school and college formals.


Chi Omega Christmas Formal

Sigh…and I married that young man. I think I can smell those gardenias on my wrist corsage. That was only a few years ago.

But today I want to tell you how to make one of these sweet little embellished gloves for a Mother’s Day gift or as a wedding tribute.

Supplies Needed

White cotton formal glove no longer than 9″.

For embellishments, you will need vintage laces, embroidery pieces, ribbons, white buttons, pearl beads, white fabric scraps, large beads, vintage bridal illusion, lace motifs, tiny flowers, hankie or napkin corner piece.

Polyester stuffing in very small amount.

For collage card you will need sturdy scrapbook paper, vintage photo, appropriate quotes and sayings, lace tidbits.

Let’s Start

I can make one of these embellished gloves in an evening in front of the TV watching a movie or documentary with my husband. I work with all of these items held on a tray on my lap as I sit in my chaise lounge. Often I have a sleeping kitty lying on a quilt next to my legs.


Everything I Need

  1. Get all of your supplies together.
  2. Select a glove. I choose one that’s about 8-9″ long. They seem to work best. Each glove is different from the last. Look at the glove you have and create some sort of plan of how you will proceed. I find it’s easiest to create if the glove does not have details on the front that you do not want to cover up. I’m going to demonstrate for you on one such glove.
  3. Gather-up lace or an embroidered piece or existing ruffle to stitch to the top of the glove. I stitch by hand. It’s relaxing stitching and creating. This ruffle does not go to the back. Stitch down sides of ruffle to each side of the glove.

    Gathered Skirt at Top of Glove

    4. Add an extending piece of lace or trim to the top edge of the glove. This can be stitched inside the glove or on top. This extension goes all around the top of the glove.


    Extend Top of Glove with Lace or Trim or Ruffle

    5. Add lace and buttons where the top two pieces come together. This lace goes all around to the back of the glove. The buttons are only on the front.


    Add Lace and Buttons

    6. The little bit of lace added to the bottom of the ruffles was definitely a snippet. I cut a stray embroidered flower off another piece to tack to the lace piece. Stitch it to the bottom of the ruffle.


    Lace to Bottom of Ruffle

    7. Now let’s add a 14″ piece of ribbon for hanging the glove. I used old hem tape I spritzed with spray starch and “squenched” together and left to dry. Leave about an inch of ribbon below where you tack it to one side of the glove. Bring remainder of ribbon to other side and tack it. Leave an inch of ribbon below where tacked. Add a loop of lace, a small yo-yo, tiny flowers, button or whatever you have to embellish where you tacked the ribbon to the glove.


    Embellish Tacked Ribbon Hanging

    8. Let’s make a little card to insert in the glove. This I do on the sewing machine. Choose a paper that can easily be written on for a message. Cut 2 pieces of heavy cardstock or heavy scrapbook paper 2 1/2″ X 6″.


    Scrapbook Paper

    9. Choose a photo, a few snippets of lace, the word Mom or Mother, and an appropriate saying or quote.




    Lace Snippets

    10. Using a glue stick, place photo and lace in place on scrapbook paper. Stitch on machine. Second piece of paper is for the back of the card. It will be glued to the back to cover the stitches.


    Create and Stitch on Scrapbook Paper

    11. Trim lace even with paper. Add sentiments with glue stick. Stitch through paper. Glue second piece of scrapbook paper to back of card. Zig-zag stitch outside edges to hold together. The back of card is a place to add your own personal sentiments.


    Add Words of Endearment

    12.Now it’s time to add a little polyester stuffing at the top of the gloves fingers. Do not stuff into the fingers. This is only a tiny amount on which to put your card. Insert completed card. Add this same amount of stuffing to the lower front of card and lower back of card. This will keep it in place. There is also room in the glove to add a small gift.


    Polyester Stuffing

    Now your one of a kind Mother’s Day greeting is complete. Aren’t you proud? Hang it by the ribbon and admire it for a while before you give it away.

Here are a few more samples for you.

If you want a closer look, go to my etsy shop for more details. They are so much fun to make. Send me pictures of what you create. I would love to see what you make.

Until next time…Love and stitches, Judy


Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 19 Easy Cheesy Potatoes

January 2, 2016

Since Thanksgiving is so close to Christmas, each year I choose to have a Honey Baked Ham for Thanksgiving and Turkey for Christmas. These potatoes are easy and go well with baked ham and Green Bean Bundles.

The recipe came from members of my Stitch and Bitch group in Victoria, Texas. I was one of the original members of this stitching group and active for about 25 years.


Michelle, Judy, Judy, Judy, & Betty Jo

The membership changed many times over the years, but it was always nice to get together once a month for stitching, talking and lunching.


Una Mae, Judy, Michelle, Nell

We tried to keep 12 members in the group so each member took a turn once a year to host our group.


Tanya, Jimmie, Carol, Michelle, Judy

I moved back to Houston from Victoria nine years ago, but the group continues on today. I miss those relationships.


Judy, Andra, Michelle, and Betty Jo many years ago.

Easy Cheesy Potatoes


Potato Ingredients


32 oz. frozen hash brown potatoes

8 oz. carton of sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup

12 oz. grated Cheddar cheese

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 small onion chopped into small pieces

2 cups crushed corn flakes            Put these in a zip-lock bag and mash with your hand.

½ cup melted butter


Place hash brown potatoes in 9″ X 13″ Pyrex dish sprayed with Pam. Stir in chopped onions. Mix together sour cream, soup, cheese, salt, and pepper. Spread mixture over potatoes and onions. Top with the crushed corn flakes. Drizzle the melted butter over the corn flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Everyone will go back for seconds. What is left over is good the next day heated in the microwave.thanksgiving

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I used to make resolutions every year, and they were always the same. Now I think of a word for the year. This year my word  is “courage.” I need courage for serious things and those that aren’t so serious.

On the less serious side this year, I want the courage to try to create wearables again, but different from the Jacket Jazz flavor.  I plan to make little dresses and tops using the vintage lace, embellishments, and garment pieces I’ve collected over the years.

Yesterday I started designing a little dress using a pattern from Simplicity called Dottie Angel. I noticed this cute pattern when visiting Michele Muska in her booth at Fall Quilt Market. She said she’d send the pattern to me. The pattern was waiting for me when I went to the office after Christmas. The timing was perfect.


The Start of a Little Dress Using a Vintage Apron

I worked on the dress most of today. It’s almost finished. I’ll send you a picture later in the week with it complete. Would love to have your input.

In closing:

The following was a wish on a birthday card I received in 2013. I saved it because I thought the sentiment was a good message for a new year, too. Here it is for you.

May you have a moment to reflect on the past year and all you’ve accomplished and to look forward to all that may be waiting for you in the year ahead…

But mostly, in that moment, may you realize here and now what a gift your life is–not just to you but to everyone who knows you.

You are a gift to me. Thank you for being part of my life. Happy New Year! Judy


Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 6 French Toast

August 29, 2015

It’s Saturday evening and I haven’t sent your recipe for this week. But it’s still coming. My goal today was to finish one of the three garments I need to make for the Houston Quilt shows.

We have many fabulous fabric manufacturers who are exhibitors at Quilt Market. Two or three of them donate fabrics each year for the members of the Education team to make garments to wear on the same days. This all began when my first book, Jacket Jazz, was published. For many years, I wore garments from my books, and many of our staff did the same. When I finished writing this series of books and teaching, I quit making garments until last year. It has been fun to create these show garments again. The one I finished today is made from a jelly roll of fabric strips by Robert Kaufman. Jennifer Sampou is the designer. A pattern company,  Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman, donated our patterns of choice from her line. I chose the Gathered Back Top & Tunic pattern for this fabric. I’ll wear it with black tights.

Strip Pieced Tunic

Strip Pieced Tunic

Now that my first show garment is complete, it’s time to give you the recipe for this week. A book of family requested recipes could not be complete without my French Toast. I learned how to make it while watching my mother as I grew-up. There are much fancier ways to create French Toast, but most everyone in our family loves Grammy’s the best.

Holly and Julie getting a Lesson

Holly and Julie Getting a Lesson at Christmas

Once, Troy ate 8 pieces at one time when he was home from college. I think that’s the record. Madison has loved Grammy’s French Toast passionately since the first time I made it for her. Now Lindsey is just as great a fan. Ashton, Tyler, and Sydney get caught-up in the excitement, but they aren’t fans like Madison and Lindsey. They all enjoyed French Toast during our “children only” Christmas Tea last December

Christmas Tea

Christmas Tea

Grammy’s French Toast


White bread from the grocery store

2 eggs

1/3-1/2 cup milk

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla (The secret ingredient)


White sugar

This will make 5-6 pieces. Just double it for more.


I make mine in an electric skillet. I can use other skillets, if necessary, but really prefer my electric skillet.

Beat together eggs and milk in pie pan. Stir in salt and vanilla.

Melt butter in heated skillet. Quickly coat bread in batter on both sides. Place in skillet. When slightly brown on one side, turn and brown on other side. Add more butter if bread sticks to skillet. Remove to plate when brown on both sides. Butter one side and sprinkle with white sugar. Eat while hot.


Waiting for French Toast

If you have a leisurely Sunday morning, you might want to try my recipe. Try topping it with plain white sugar before you pull out the powdered sugar or maple syrup. That’s the way we like it. Have a great day. Hugs and sugar, Judy



Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 4 Chocolate Meringue Pie

August 16, 2015

Oh, dear. I didn’t send you a recipe yesterday. Sorry I’m a day late. My sister came from San Antonio for a weekend visit to sew pumpkins for her shop, Apples of Gold, at Artisan’s Alley. I’m sorry to say that as we sewed all day Saturday, I never thought about my blog.

Pumpkins for Sale

Pumpkins for Sale

Then today we went to Sunday school, church and lunch before we packed-up her pumpkins and sent her on her way home.

Suzanne and Me

My sister, Suzanne, and Me

Then, I came upstairs to catch-up on email and remembered I forgot to send you Page 4 of my Recipe Book yesterday. It’s one of my favorites from my mom.

Shortly after I wrote my first book, Jacket Jazz,  in 1993, I taught frequently in San Antonio. I’d stay with Mom, and she always fixed my favorite meal for dinner with chocolate meringue pie for dessert. We ALWAYS had dessert after every meal in my home when I was growing up. I looked forward to dinner at Mom’s house all day while I was teaching. Now her pie is one of the most requested desserts from my family.

Chocolate Meringue Pie


2 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

2 rounding tablespoons flour

1 large heaping tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa

Dash of salt

3 egg yolks (Whites will be used for the meringue.)


Heat 2 cups milk in sauce pan until warm. Add sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir until dissolved. Add egg yolks one at a time, and beat quickly with a wire whisk. Cook until thick stirring vigorously all the time to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Stir in vanilla just before finished. Pour into a baked pie shell.  Top with meringue.

Mom’s Meringue recipe will be on Page 15. Her Pie Crust will be on Page 18. We’ll keep going until you have 26 pages of my favorite and most used recipes.

My mom

My Mom when I was growing-up.

I really have thought about you during the week. I love hearing from you and your well wishes as I go through monthly chemo treatments for MDS. At my visit last week with my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero, I was given a good report. He says my recent bone marrow aspiration shows that the chemo is working. The question most people ask is how long will I have to take chemo. Dr. Garcia-Manero’s answer is “As long as it works.” So that’s it folks.

Hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you again next week. Much love and hugs, Judy


Play Date #11 The Stockings Were Hung

October 6, 2014

by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be there.

Family Stockings

Family Stockings

“Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.” is a quote I grew-up with in the 50’s. Being the fourth born of five children, I knew what hand-me-downs, cleaning your plate, share with your brother, etc. meant. Therefore, it’s easy to realize the origin of my game of using every little scrap of fabric, taking what someone else has discarded, and making it into something desirable. For Play Date #11, come along with me to make a one-of-a-kind Christmas stocking.

To create a stocking foundation on which to embellish, you can do one of three things:

  • Cut a stocking from an old damaged quilt. You may need to piece sections together to get a piece large enough for your stocking size.
  • Use a quilt top and add batting to the wrong side of the top before embellishing it.
  • Piece fabric scraps onto batting that has been cut into a stocking shape.

The stocking I’m showing you here was made from pieces of a vintage quilt. The ten stockings pictured below were made from the same quilt.

Multiple Stockings from Same Quilt

Stockings from One Quilt

Santa won’t be able to resist filling these vintage-looking stockings. They are fun to make in different sizes and shapes and easier than they look. A unique construction method makes them a cinch to line, sew and turn.

Finished Stocking Measures 7" Across top and 17" tall.

Finished Stocking Measures 7″ across top and 17″ tall.


  • Backing and lining for stocking, 1/2 yard for a stocking approximately 8″ X 18″, much less for small or tiny stockings
  • Assorted small pieces of trim, lace and ribbon
  • Jingle bells and other Christmas trinkets
  • Photo transfer and quote transferred to fabric
  • Vintage quilt or quilt pieces
  • Stocking pattern of choice

Instructions for Stocking front

  1. Piece together vintage quilt scraps or use a piece from a damaged quilt. My sister gave me these scraps she had left-over from one of her projects.
    Scraps from a Vintage Quilt

    Scraps from a Vintage Quilt

    I pieced them together and ironed the piece flat.

    Scraps Pieced and Ironed

    Scraps Pieced and Ironed

  2. Cut stocking pattern from quilt piece.
    Cut Stocking

    Cut Stocking

    There are stocking  patterns to be found on the internet. Or, you may have one in your pattern collection. You could use my pattern pictured here. It is possible to use a copy machine to enlarge or reduce the size of your pattern to get an assortment of sizes.

    Stocking Patterns

    Stocking Patterns in Various Sizes

  3. Embellish seam lines with lace, ribbons, and trims. Sew trims in place by machine whenever possible. Some will require stitching along both edges and others through the center only. If there is a row of visible stitching in the trim design, try to stitch on top of it with matching thread for the most invisible application.

    Embellish Stocking

    Embellish Stocking

  4. Embellish the stocking to your heart’s content.

    More Embellishing

    More Embellishing

Magic Lining

  1. Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric, right sides together, the same shape as the pieced stocking, but 1″ longer at the opening edge. Choose this fabric carefully as it will show at the top edge on the outside of the finished stocking.
  2. Place the finished stocking front face down on top of the backing fabric (the back side of the stocking) and cut the backing piece.

    Cut 2 Lining and 1 Backing Fabric

    Cut 2 Lining and 1 Backing Fabric

  3. Layer the 4 pieces in the following order and pin together:
  • Patchwork stocking, right side up.
  • Backing, face down on right side of stocking
  • Two lining pieces right sides together on top of backing.

4. The two lining pieces will extend above the stocking. Stitch 3/8″ from the raw edges through all layers, leaving the top edge unstitched.

Layers together

Stitch 4 Layers Together

Clip the curves to the stitches being careful not to cut the stitches.

5. Turn the backing piece over the stocking so the backing is on the outside and lining is inside. Use a long, blunt tipped tool to push out the edges for a smooth, rounded finish.

6. Turn the lining down over the top edge of the stocking and turn under at the raw edge. Tuck decorative piping, lace or ribbon under the turned edge, if desired.

Turn Lining to Front

Lining over top

Edge stitch along the fold through all layers using a decorative stitch, if desired. A free-arm sewing machine makes easy work of this on the larger stocking. The smaller stocking you will need to stitch by hand. Press carefully.

7. Attach 4″ to 6″ long piece of trim or ribbon to the top corner edge for hanging. Hot glue or stitch any additional embellishments to the stocking front until you are pleased. Isn’t it darling?

These stockings are so much fun to make! Once you’ve made some for yourself, you’ll want to make them for everyone on your gift list this year. The tiny ones are precious on packages and the medium size ones make great hostess gifts. I’ve used them as place cards for dinner parties with the guests’ names peeking out of the stocking. Your guests will be so delighted when you tell them to take their stockings home.

Tiny Stocking

Tiny Stocking

2" Across Top and 5" Tall

2″ Across Top and 5″ Tall


Great on a Gift Package


Check-out my etsy site for more ideas. Go to

Merry Christmas everyone from the Christmas Angel. Love, Judy


Play Date #10 Strip Pieced Christmas Star

July 25, 2014


I love everything that’s old: old friends, old times, old manners, old homes, old linens, and old traditions such as family and Christmas. As soon as school starts in the fall, I start thinking about finally having all our family together under one roof to celebrate a couple of days of Christmas.

Since the first year we were  married, I have made decorations for our home. It’s hard not to get them all out, but over the years I’ve been able to part with some of the more ragged things. However, each year Tommy and I put our very first tree top Angel in the tree somewhere. Even though she is too tattered and small for the top of the tree now, she still celebrates Christmas with us every year in the month of December.

Merry Christmas in July from Our House to Yours

Merry Christmas in July from Our Home to Yours

When it gets close to Christmas and we are in the Christmas spirit, it’s too late to start making holiday decorations. I like to start those projects in July. I call it Christmas in July. It’s so much more exciting to sew and to create when the stress of shopping, entertaining, and cooking is not nagging at our conscience.

So I decided to show you what I’m making right now for my etsy shop. Following are the directions if you also want to celebrate Christmas in July and sew along.

Strip Pieced Star

Strip Pieced Star

Strip Pieced Christmas Star

The supplies you need are simple, and you probably have them in your sewing room.

You will need fabric scraps, a cotton batting scrap, approximately 16″ square of backing fabric, scraps of trims and laces, 2/3 yard of ribbon for back tie and tab, a five-pointed star pattern, 4″ square fusible web, buttons, trinkets, and stuffing.

Gather scraps of fabric that compliment each other. I’ve made the stars in fabrics that lend themselves to subtle colors and also the traditional Christmas red and green.

Coordinating Fabric Scraps

Coordinating Fabric Scraps

Bits  of lace and trims in small pieces and quantity are all you need for embellishment.

Lace and Trims Assortment

Lace and Trims Assortment

The directions are simple to follow. If you have done any strip piecing, a Log Cabin block or crazy quilt piecing you will catch-on quickly. If you haven’t, but know how to sew on a machine, you will also do fine. Just follow my directions and study the pictures.

You can use any size star that suits you. My choice for a tree topper or a decorative pillow is 15″ across from point to point. This includes 1/4″ seam allowance. Trace star pattern on cotton batting and cut out.

Star Pattern Traced on Batting

Star Pattern Traced on Batting

Make a pattern for the center of the star starting with a 4 1/2″ square of paper. Cut the square slightly, so you have five sides rather than four. Using this pattern, cut a center from a photo transfer, embroidery fabric, cross-stitch piece, chenille, lace, decorative fabric or something to your liking. Iron fusible web to the back of your center fabric. Place it in the center of the batting star with each side facing one of the star points.  Using a pressing cloth, iron it to the center of your star batting. You will stitch strips of scraps out from this center piece in rounds the same way you would piece a Log Cabin block. The batting is your foundation. You will stitch through it, the previous fabric, and a new strip to create rows leading out to the star points. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Begin by positioning a fabric scrap right sides together on one side of the center piece. Stitch through both fabrics and the foundation. Turn the strip right side up. Trim it even with the width of the side to which it was stitched. Finger press and pin. This is called “Stitch and Flip.” Rotate the star and repeat the process on the next straight side of center extending the strip to cover the side of the previous strip. Stitch and Flip. Continue around the center, going the same direction, until each side has a strip of fabric covering the raw edge. Trim strips even with the foundation, if they extend, cutting from the wrong side.  You may add pieces of lace or trim to the finished seams as shown.

First Row of Strip Piecing

First Row of Strip Piecing

Continue the rotation making a second row of stitch and flip strips and then a third row. Follow the same process as instructed above.

Rotation of Stitch and Flip

Rotation of Stitch and Flip

As you go around, you will eventually be stitching each of the five points until the foundation is covered. When star is covered, stitch 1/4″ from edge. Trim even with star foundation. Remove pins. You may embellish further with yo-yos, trinkets, appliques, and more trims.

Strip Piece Points

Strip Piece Points

Place completed Strip Pieced star right sides together with lining fabric. Pin and cut out lining same size as foundation. Determine what is the top of the star, and make a 5″ slit across in the lining fabric two-thirds from the bottom of the star. This will be where you turn the star right side out, stuff it, and stitch tying ribbons. Stitch 1/4″ from raw edge on all sides. Clip off star points above stitching. Clip into point intersections to the stitching.

Cut Slit in Lining

Cut Slit in Lining

Turn right side out and make sure points are out and smooth. I use a chop stick to push the points out and get stuffing firmly into the points. Stuff star full. Cut ribbon in half so you have two pieces. Insert one end of each ribbon into the lining opening. Turn under seam allowance of the slit and pin opening closed with ribbon end pinned inside. Stitch opening by hand with small stitches and double thread. Add a loop of ribbon to the top of the star for hanging on the top tree branch.

Ribbon Hanging

Ribbon Hanging


Once you make one of these stars, you will want to make more. Here’s a sample in red and green. You can see more in my etsy shop.

Red and Green Star

Red and Green Star







Play Date #9 Patchwork Messenger Bag

June 24, 2014

Have you collected more canvas totes than you need? Take one apart, then use it and the handles for the foundation on which to flip, stitch and embellish a useful messenger bag. The tote and/or handles can be made smaller than the original tote by trimming to the size you desire. The patchwork and embellishment can be dressy, casual, funky, pretty, or any style or color you choose.

Embellished Canvas Bag

Embellished Bag using Vintage linen and lace

Materials needed

  • Canvas tote bag like you receive at shows

    Canvas Tote for Foundation

    Canvas Tote

  • Fabrics for patchwork
  • Lining  ¾ yd. for tote bag front and back, handles, pockets

    Materials Needed

    Materials Needed

  • Buttons, trinkets, charms, non-valuable costume jewelry
  • Trims and lace
  • Focal point such as glove, hankie, photo transfer, special fabric, applique

Supplies Needed

  • Large safety-pin for pulling strap through handle fabric tube
  • Sewing machine thread colors to match trims and fabric
  • Tube turner
  • Sewing machine with size 80 needle


  1. Take tote bag completely apart. I use a rotary cutter as a seam ripper. Iron on wrong side. Ink may melt on iron if you iron logo from right side. Iron handles with a pressing cloth or with tote bag canvas on top. Nylon handles melt with iron directly on it.
  2. Cut tote bag apart on bottom fold so you have a front and back piece of canvas.
  3. Determine size you want your tote. If size you want is smaller than existing size, cut down. Zig zag two handles together at short ends to make one longer single shoulder strap to be worn across your body.
  4. Round the corners of canvas by cutting in a curve using a dinner plate or something similar for a pattern.

    Tote Preparation

    Tote Preparation

  5. Iron patchwork fabrics flat.
  6. Cut the following from lining fabric and set aside:
  • 2 pieces the size of tote foundation for lining plus 1″-2″ taller.
  • 1 piece 2 ¾” X length +1″ for handle, if it’s 1″ wide. If handle is wider, double width and add 3/4″.
  • 2 pieces each 5 ½” X 8-10″ for pocket and a second smaller pocket
    Cut from Lining Fabric

    Cut from Lining Fabric



  1. Cut and glue stick a piece of light weight batting to cover the logo on the front side of canvas bag. Stitch. Start with focal piece in central area on the batting side of bag.
    Focal Point

    Focal Point

    Stitching with a ¼” seam, add-on other fabrics by stitching out, up, and below the original center design. Use the stitch and flip method of piecing. Keep pieces large. This is the same method used for Crazy Quilting and Log Cabin piecing.

    Crazy Quilt

    Crazy Quilt Piecing

  2. When front of canvas is covered, press. Stitch 1/8″ around outside edge. Trim even with canvas.
  3. Cover seams with trim, fringe, ribbon. Add appliqués, and buttons.

Constructing Tote

  1. Sew pocket pieces right sides together using ¼” seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Turn right side out. Press and turn the raw edge in. Pin pocket to right side of one of the lining pieces 2 ½” from top edge. Stitch on 3 sides close to edge.
    Stitch Pocket to Lining

    Stitch Pocket to Lining

    Add a second pocket to other side of lining, if you prefer. Stitch a seam in the middle of the pocket to make two smaller pockets for cell phone and keys.

  2. Place lining pieces right sides together. Place the finished bag front face down on top of back of bag right sides together. Layer the four pieces in the following order and pin together. Patchwork bag right side up, back of bag face down on right side of bag, two lining pieces right sides together on top of bag. The lining will extend at top of bag 1″-2″.

    Four Layers Stitched Together

    Four Layers Stitched Together

  3. Stitch ¼” from the edges through all layers starting at top edge of lining ending at other side top of lining. Leave the bag opening unstitched. Clip the curves to the stitch line.
  4. Turn the backing piece over the bag so the backing is on the outside. Use a long, blunt tipped tool to push out the bottom edges for a smooth, rounded finish.
  5. Turn the lining down over the top edge of the bag and turn under ½” at the raw edge. Pin in place. Set aside.

    Turn Lining to Front

    Turn Lining to Front

  6. Fold handle fabric strip in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch long raw edge with a ¼” seam. Stitch across bottom of one short end. Push from this end to turn right side out. Cut off end near stitching. Press with seam in center back.
  7. With safety-pin attached to one end of strap, work strap through fabric tube.
    Strap through Fabric Tube

    Strap through Fabric Tube

    Leave 1/2″ of fabric without strap on both ends. This will be tucked under front cuff. Make sure strap is lying flat and topstitch down center of handle. Stitch ¼” from each side of center seam. Press.

  8. Place raw edge of strap under the folded lining at each seam line and fold up over lining on outside. Pin.
  9. Edge stitch along the fold through all layers. A free-arm sewing machine makes easy work of this. Add trim to the edge if desired. Stitch close to the top edge, too.

    Add Strap and Top Stitch

    Add Strap and Top Stitch

  10. Add buttons on top of the straps where they connect to the bag, if you desire.
  11. Add snap, loop, button or Velcro for closing the bag.

    Closure Ideas

    Closure Ideas

Fill your bag with lots of goodies and out the door you go to buy more fabric. Toodle-lu.

Applique Messenger Bag

Applique Messenger Bag

Photo Transfer Center

Photo Transfer Center

Embellished Patchwork

Embellished Patchwork

Look for more detailed photos of totes in my etsy shop at

Play Date #6 Spool Pin Cushion

June 29, 2013

Seems like it’s time for another Play Date! We haven’t created anything together for quite some time. How about making something useful from supplies you most likely have in your sewing room? This is a simple project and the result could be given as a little gift to a friend or make several for multiple friends. This Spool Pin Cushion could even be a holder for a place card at a luncheon for your guests to take home with them. Just pin their name into the pincushion.

Spool Pincushion

Spool Pin Cushion

I have a passion for vintage lace, linens, and ephemera, so anytime I can use even little pieces of it, I am happy. Has anyone asked you what is your passion? I like to ask that question of family, friends, and new acquaintances. Most often it leads to an enlightening conversation. My passion is working with my hands to create something that makes my heart sing. Since I was a little girl I have created with needle, thread, and fabric, paper, scissors, and glue, Crayola, paint, and brushes. I was fortunate that my mother allowed me to sew on her Singer sewing machine when I was 6 years old, and my two older sisters allowed me to have a crafting spot in the corner of our large shared bedroom.  My messes were always stacked high.

Recently, I was with long time friend, Trix Buhlmann-Epple from Berne, Switzerland. She is in the process of clearing out a family home and brought me a bag of vintage laces. What a treat to look at the treasures piece by piece. This inspired me to create something with lace, and I thought about the Spool Pin Cushion I had seen amidst other things in a blog I like to follow. If you like crafts made with lace, check out Shabby Chic Inspired. There are not tutorials on the projects, but much inspiration and eye candy.

Vintage Lace Treasure

Vintage Lace Treasure from my friend, Trix

So let’s start.

The materials you will need are simple.

21″ of flat vintage lace about 3/4″ wide

1/2 yd. of 1/2″ wide ribbon

5″ diameter of  muslin or linen to fill

5″ diameter of vintage linen for outside of pin cushion

4″ diameter of light weight batting

Lace applique piece for top

Crushed walnut shells or other pin cushion filler

Vintage button  (I used one 1/2″ in diameter)

Whitewashed wooden thread spool 1  1/2″ diameter and 2″ tall

Materials Needed

Materials Needed

The instructions are easy.

1. Machine stitch lace on right side of raw edge of outside linen circle. Stitch applique piece on top of circle.

2. Gather muslin circle with double strand thread.

3. Fill with walnut shells or your choice of filler. Pull thread tightly. Back stitch about three times to close.

Circle Preparation

Circle Preparation

4. Use hot glue or your glue of choice to adhere filled circle to top of spool.

Glue to Spool

Glue to spool

5. Glue batting circle to top of filled circle.

Batting Circle to Top

Batting Circle to Top

6. Sew button to top of lace applique on circle. Using double strand heavy thread gather-up lace edged circle. Make stitches just above the top of lace. Put gathered circle on top of filled circle like a little cap. Draw up thread tightly. Back stitch several times to secure.

7. Tie ribbon with a bow. Isn’t this the prissiest pin cushion you’ve seen?

Add your new little pin cushion to a special place or give to a special friend.


Pin Cushion Friends

Hope you enjoyed this little Play Date. I would love to hear from you and pictures would be great too. Stay inside and keep cool if you live in Texas temperatures like me. Until we meet again, dear friends, I hope your days are filled with your passion.

Clean Closets Campaign

May 31, 2012

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the long absence. Life and work sometime take precedence over chatting. I’ve missed you.

Most recently I have been to Kansas City for the International Spring Quilt Market. To get a great idea of the trends you will soon see in your fabric and quilt shops go to Pokey Bolton’s blog. She reported extensively in two different posts on Spring Quilt Market and what we saw there.

Quilt market

Kansas City Quilt Market

Quilt Market is for the trade only so as one of the show organizers I am not eligible to buy other than at the wild and crazy Thursday night Sample Spree. Among other things I bought great bundles of fabric from different manufacturers with designers such as Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Laura Gunn, and Kaffe Fassett. The colors are so bright and so happy I couldn’t go home without a bag of new treats. Now the problem is where to put all these new treats. Right now they are just stacked on my over burdened cutting table.


Fabric Bundles Purchased at Sample Spree

For weeks my upstairs has been in disarray as I’ve been trying to clean out six closets that house all of my “stuff.” Three of the six closets are in pretty good form. I can get in there and find what I need, but the other three have become a mess and a chore to find what I want. I need to get rid of some of my sewing and crafting supplies, but it’s so hard to do.

book closet

Book and Ephemera Closet

fabric closet

Fabric Closet

studio closet

Studio Closet with some boxes removed

beads closet

Beads and Buttons Closet

After buying and hoarding and teaching and designing for 30 years I have way too much stuff! Cleaning the closets is of no avail no matter how neatly I sort and organize. There just isn’t enough room for everything I have and how could I ever use it all? Recently I’ve been buying supplies to paint and collage on canvas. I just know if I keep trying I’ll finally be pleased with something I create. I’ve cleared out a space in a guest bedroom for a painting corner, but first I have to get all those things sorted and back in the closet so there is room to paint.

paint corner

Paint on Canvas Corner

Lesley Riley suggested I offer “surprise grab boxes” to you. As I clean out and organize I am filling medium and large flat rate priority boxes with all sorts of treasures I’ve been gathering and stashing away for years. I’ve tried just about every craft imaginable so my stash consists of fabric of all types and textures, books, patterns, sewing notions, threads, old photos, fabric, fabric, and fabric, lace old and new, papers, ribbons, trims, shells, trinkets, beads, buttons, found objects, costume jewelry, ephemera, yarns, quilt blocks vintage and new, patchwork started, cut squares of fabric, etc. The list goes on and on and I continue to find treasures long forgotten. Some boxes were moved here seven years ago and I’m just now opening them.

boxes on floor

Boxes From Closet

I’d love to send a box of fun to you so all these treats can find new life. I’ll be doing this for the next week. If the interest is great enough and I still have cleaning and clearing to do, I will continue. I really do want to be able to use my studio space and some of the things I loved when I purchased them, but it’s not possible with the disarray I’m in right now.

cutting table

Mess on Cutting Table


Mess on Sewing Machine Cabinet

If you are interested in a surprise box this is how it will work. I’m charging $25 per medium cram-filled flat rate priority box which includes $11 postage and $35 for the large size flat rate priority box  which includes $15 postage. I have a few of the boxes ready to mail and I haven’t made a dent in all my sewing and crafting stuff.


Priority Boxes loaded and ready to mail

Please leave a comment here with your name and stating which size you wish to purchase. You can pay through my paypal account at or send a check in the mail. Once I’ve received payment I will mail your box.

large box

Large Box Full

box full

Medium Size Box Full

box contents

Medium Flat Rate Box contents

While cleaning out closets and my studio I came across a blog which featured photos of studios. I went to Mamie Janes blog and was inspired by all the vintage shelves, boxes, and drawers she uses for storage and display in her studio. Check out her “Welcome to My Studio” post on July 14, 2011. I love all of her posts, but this one is of particular interest right now.

I am prone to clutter my living space with these kinds of things, but I tried not to use them all when we moved into this house. After seeing the “Where Bloggers Create” post I couldn’t help myself and went on a hunt in our garage. I found and dusted off shelves, printers trays, and little drawers to add to my studio. Now I have more places to put things.


Add Shelf from Garage


Jars of Buttons and Trinkets

We all would love to see pictures of your studio and how you organize it. Please share with us. And if you don’t have enough stuff to put in your studio, please let me be of assistance.

My next post will be another Play Date. Please come back for a visit then.

Until then keep stitching and enjoy life, Judy

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

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