Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a joyous Christmas and love, peace and less stress in the New Year!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And Sew On....Part 3

And then there were sleeves!!!
I've finally mustered up enough energy to finally get back to my sewing. What a wild couple of weeks. I won't go into the details, but I wouldn't wish the trauma with work that I've been through on anyone. I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back to my old self emotionally, especially when I woke up this morning and I looked forward to getting back in my sewing studio.

All I have left to do is the facing and collar, so I should have this done tomorrow, probably with the exception of the buttons and button holes, just depends on how industrious I feel. I'm thinking self-covered buttons out of the jacket fabric. I love the embroidery and think that will work well instead of trying to find something suitable that wouldn't detract from the embroidery.
I don't usually do shoulder pads, but I think this one is going to need a little something. I typically don't like shoulder pads, and typically take them out of anything I buy that has them in, but I think the shoulder lines will fit me better with a little padding. I've noticed as I've aged (YIKES!) that my shoulders seem to droop a little now.
I've also been trying to sew with my left foot on the foot pedal of my 830 (not an easy feat for someone who has sewn all their life with their right foot). It is taking some getting used to, but I think I actually do a little better sewing that way, leaving my right knee free for the free-hand system. It also makes me slow down -- I have a tendancy to sew way too fast -- and I have better results.

Monday, September 7, 2009

And Sew On....Part 2

Spent most of the day yesterday getting my pattern cut out and embroidering the panels for the front. Looking good so far. I certainly didn't buy too much fabric, I was sweating whether I was going to get it all out of the 2 yards I bought. I only have little inch scraps left. Next time I'll make sure I get 2 1/2 yards for a jacket. Need to make sure I don't mess anything up or I'll have to go and get more.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

And Sew On....

Finally, two days that I don't need to go anywhere, and I can finally work on some projects. I have plenty that I could work on, but decided that I wanted to do a jacket for fall, so that's what I'm doing.

The pattern is Kwik Sew 2801, and I'm doing View A, but in one fabric only. I picked up a piece of polyester ultrasuede last week in a mossy green.

I am embroidering a design down each side of the front. I had a perfect varigated thread, and decided on some pumpkin leaves from OESD's Shades of Fall Collection #12218. I'll post more pictures as I make some progress.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Moda Bake Shop - Tote Bag Project

Another great project today on the Moda Bake Shop blog:
LINK: Moda Bake Shop
Mill House Inn Tote Bag.
I'm always excited to see what's new on this blog - lots of good inspiration.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Toy - ASUS Eee PC

This is my newest toy. I've been looking at Netbooks since they first came out, and decided I couldn't live without this one. It is so cute and does everything. It will even run all of my embroidery software, which is a real bonus, because then I won't have to pack the big laptop around if I don't want to. It actually has more memory and a larger hard disk than my laptop. I've only had it since Thursday, so I'm anxious to work with it some more and get things figured out. I did get my embroidery software loaded last night (I got the external CD drive with it), and hooked it up to my sewing machines and it worked perfectly.

I'm off today to the Indiana State Fair to work in the ASG booth. I always look forward to doing that, I get to meet so many nice people.

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Completed a Project!!!

I've finally finished something. This jacket went together very nicely. It is a mock jeans jacket, with lots of topstitching. I love the Bernina Dual Feed on the 830.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My New Toy - Bernina 830

I'm finally have some free time and am going to spend the next couple of days working on some sewing projects on my new machine (Billie's BB), the Bernina 830. I took delivery of it the first of June, and really haven't had time to do anything more than just do some test sewing and figuring out what all the different buttons do, so now I'm on to doing some project specific work.

I am going to make covers for both the machine and the embroidery module, so I got busy and did an embroidery design which I will add into the covers as I'm working on them. I love the embroidery functions of the machine. These turned out great. I've got to work on the Absolute Embroidery Check feature of the machine. The fabric with the band was not hooped straight, so I was able to compensate for that by checking and moving the design positioning to get it where it needed to go, but I went a little too far on the slant on one end. All in all, a good learning experience for me. I have my machine mastery class on the embroidery part next Saturday, so I'll get better at this (at least I hope). The quality of the lettering is beautiful - the B's are 2.5 inches in height.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shipshewana Indiana

The Indy Chapter of the American Sewing Guild did our annual bus trip yesterday. We headed up to Shipshewana, Indiana for a day of shopping/eating/shopping. For those of you who are not familiar with Shipshewana, it is in northern Indiana in the heart of Amish country. I was the coordinator for this year's trip (or ringleader), and we all had a great time. If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend stopping and spending the day.

This is a picture of a few of my finds from Yoder's and Lolly's.

Don't have a clue what I'm going to do with any of it other than the gold fabric. The fabric is a polyester/lycra blend, and the texture is much like suede. That is going into a jean's jacket. The other beige and brown shinny fabrics, and the two rolls of fat quarters on it are Radiance by Robert Kaufman, which is 55% cotton, 45% silk. The texture is just lucious and I just want to pet it when I see it. Just going to keep it around until I figure out what to do with it.

The aqua and off white fat quarter rolls are a new fabric also by Robert Kaufman called Marbleous. It is 100% cotton, but has a wonderful textured shine to it. I'll need to figure out what to use it in.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Quilt Show Block of the Month 2009 - Part 3

I've finally finished Month 3 (March) of The Quilt Show's Block of the Month for 2009. Today I feel pretty good about it, I'm only two months behind, but tomorrow will be another story when I will be THREE MONTHS BEHIND! Maybe I can spend more time in the sewing studio over the next few months and totally be caught up and current, waiting for the next month's instructions to be released - but for those of you who know me, you know that I never get caught up with anything until it absolutely has to be done.

I really do love the look of this quilt so far!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Great Blog/Website - Moda Bake Shop

Ever wondered what a layer cake is, a jelly roll? Check out the Moda Bake Shop ( It is a wonderful blog that is a division of Moda Fabrics and provides online recipes which you can use with the Moda Pre-cuts. All sizes and types of projects are featured from various designers and shops, as well as tutorials for various moda projects sheets which are illustrated with step by step pictures. Today's featured project is "The Bookkeeper." Be sure and check it out and bookmark the site to visit often to see what they are up to. Also check on the left pane on the site for previous projects. This is a great place for inspriation and what to do with some of that fabric and pre-cuts in our stash!
Have a great day, everyone! - Billie

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Weekend to SEW!

Heading out to the Columbus Neighborhood Group meeting (Indianapolis ASG: this morning. Then home for the rest of the weekend to do nothing but rest and sew (and maybe a little cleaning). The only blip on the radar is I have no groceries in the house, so I'll need to hit the grocery store sometime today.

This is a project that I think I'll start sometime this weekend - a blouse using rayon batik fabric. I love the feel of the fabric - I've got it prewashed, ironed, and ready to go. I'll post pictures of my progress as this one moves along. I haven't done any garment sewing in a while so I may need to relearn things like collars and facings!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ASG Community Sewing Project for 2009

The American Sewing Guild's ( community sewing project for 2009 is making pillowcases for Ronald McDonald houses. Our neighborhood group worked on this project at our April meeting. We decided that as a group we would make 50 to donate to the Ronald McDonald house in Indianapolis, which is our chapter home (check us out at By the time we got through with our sewing at the meeting, we had 30 pillowcases already made. I have six finished to take back in to our next meeting on Saturday.
I loved making these pillowcases. They were great fun and went together quickly. It also gave me a chance to use some of my decorative stitches, which I use very seldom.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Field Trip to Ady's in Morgantown

Took a couple of hours yesterday and went to visit a nearby quilt shop, Ady's Fabrics and Notions ( in Morgantown, Indiana. The weather yesterday was absolutely gorgeous - spring is finally here, and I love spring. Met a friend and off we went to Ady's. I haven't been over there since she moved her shop next door into a larger space. The new space is wonderful and I like the way it is laid out. Check out their website for some pictures of the new store.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm Back........

It didn't seem like it had been that long since I've posted, but I guess it has.

The last weekend in March we headed to Oklahoma City to attend my nephew's wedding. Had a great time, but, boy, is that a long trip from Indiana. The wedding was beautiful, and we had a great time seeing family and getting to unwind a little.

The weather was quite interesting. The weekend before it had been 80 degrees in Oklahoma City. When we arrived on Thursday, they were predicting a blizzard for Friday night into Saturday, with up to 12 inches of snow! Needless to say, I packed for the 80-degree weather, and not snow weather. It was cold and rainy and snowy and windy. Luckily, the snow accumulations went all around us, up to 23" to the west of us and around 10" northeast. We had a few inches and only on the grassy areas where we were staying. Started the trip home on Sunday and had no problems, most of it was cleared off the interstate.

I did get an opportunity on Saturday before the wedding festivities to hit a quilt shop with my mom. We visited Oklahoma Quiltworks located at 9323 N Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City. The shop was lovely and everyone was so friendly. It is a definite must-see if you are in Oklahoma City. They even have a table and chairs with newspapers for the guys who accompany their wives. Great idea, and my husband and father made good use of it.

I bought this fabric while there. It is one I've not seen before, and kind of reminds me of a seersucker type fabric. Have no idea what I'll do with it yet, but I'm thinking either a blouse or a light jacket.
When we got back, had a lot to do and work got crazy. It is just starting to calm down again so maybe I can get back to normal, whatever that might be.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Quilt Show Block of the Month 2009 - Part 2

Just finished The Quilt Show's 2009 BOM month 2. Now I'm only a little behind, but I doubt I'll get March's portion done before the end of the month. I'll just keep plugging away.

I'm loving this so far, but it is a challenge and really stretches my piecing skills! Lot's of pinwheels for the next round. Haven't decided on the fabric for the next round, but it'll be a variation of what I've used so far.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Newest Find: Matilda's Own Revolving Rotary Cutting Mat

A few weeks ago while visiting a local quilt shop, I came across a new tool. It is a revolving rotary cutting mat made by Matilda's Own (an Australian company). I've purchased and used a lot of rotating cutting mats, but always had problems with them. What I really liked about this one was that it was large, measuring 15" across, so could accommodate large blocks.

When I got it home and used it, I fell in love with it. It stays wherever I put it, and it rotates like a dream. It is now a fixture next to my sewing machine when I am working on piecing blocks. It was fairly expensive (retails for around $50), but well worth it. I noticed that Nancy's Notions is now carrying them, and has them on sale. This mat is great for working with plastic templates and paper cutting guides!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Favorite Sewing and Quilting Blogs - Links Added

I've just added a new section to my blog that will contain some of my favorite quilting and sewing blogs. So far I've just added two, so watch for more to come.

Quilter Blogs is one where you can read dozens of quilting-related blogs from dozens of quilters in one place! It scans the blogs in its database many times a day and displays snippets of the quilting-related blog on their updates page. Gain inspiration from quilters all over the world. Quilter Blogs also features a search engine for online quilt stores. You can search hundreds of sites for specific fabric, thread, quilt patterns, projects, and notions.

Mother Superior's Blog from Superior Threads is great for those fans of Superior Threads.

I'll be adding more and more links as I have time. There are some great blogs out there!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Quilt Show Block of the Month 2009 - Part 1

I decided to tackle The Quilt Show's block of the month for 2009. I love feathered stars but never was brave enough to try them. The pattern is very well written. The center section is paper-pieced. I am really challenged doing paper piecing -- I think it's a spacial thing -- but I was able to do it and it came out perfectly. I think it was easier because you cut the basic shapes first, so I didn't have gaps when I flipped the piece over and it didn't cover the next area.

I am using batiks, which are my favorite fabrics. I can't wait to see this whole thing finished.

Here's a picture of each of the individual pieces and then the units as I put them together.

Ta-Da - Month 1 done. I'm only two months behind now. Maybe I'll get caught up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Latest Project - Handbag for Charity Auction

I just finished my latest project, a handbag that I am going to be donating to DSI for a straw auction that they will be having at their upcoming charity event (February 28), D'Vine Winter Wine Festival (get more informaiton here:

This was a fun bag to make. I used the Clover/Nancy Zieman Trace'N'Create bag template for the first time. I really liked using it and it made making the bag super fast and simple. I will definitely use again.

I used an upholstery fabric for the outside, and lined it with a batik. The emboridery was done on my Janome 11000SE, combining two designs from Hatched In Africa (Elegant Scrolls), and I added hot-fix crystals to give it some more bling.

I also made a matching zipper pouch (using my sample stitch out with no bling).

Here are more pictures:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

About My Stash

Sew, Mama, Sew is one of the sewing/quilting blogs that I follow. They posed a challenge today to tell about your stash! Here are my answers:

  • What do you usually sew? Anything and everything. I love to sew, be it garments, lingerie, home dec or quilting. I’m more into smaller projects that I can actually accomplish given my busy work schedule and activity with the American Sewing Guild (Indianapolis Chapter).
  • When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?) My rule is always 3 yards. I’d rather have too much than be a little short.
  • Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need? A little of both.
  • Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it? Don’t usually prewash, but it depends on the project/intended use.
  • Do you iron it? Only before I am cutting for a project (unless it is really wrinkled before I store it.
  • How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.) Color.
    Do you have any special folding techniques? Fold and store on fabric sheets to store vertically in cabinet.
  • How do you store your fabric? Vertically in cabinet. (See pictures from previous entry.)
  • What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash? Blenders, tone-on-tone and batiks are always good to have on hand.
  • When do you say enough is enough? I’m not sure I know the meaning of “enough.” There’s never enough!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Time for Cleaning! Whew!

I could not stand the mess in my sewing studio one more second. I had things everywhere after having gotten back last weekend from a quilt retreat in Kentucky. If you ever have a chance to go to the retreat in Jabez, I would highly recommend it.

I'll try to post some pics of the projects I worked on while there later. Many are still works in progress, but I'm happy with what I did accomplish and the new techniques that I learned.

Anyway, everything was strewn all over the place because I needed to pack a lot of things to take for the classes I signed up for, and then when I got back, it just got dumped. Finally got around to putting it all away this morning, and in the process decided that maybe I should rearrange some things. Me and my big ideas!!!!!

Many hours later, I'm done (and sore and tired), but it is much better. I can feel my creative juices returning.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My First Blog!

Amazing. I love to sew, any kind of sewing - garments, home dec, quilts (piecing and quilting). I am a member of the American Sewing Guild (ASG), and currently serve as the VP-Special Events for the Indianapolis, Indiana chapter. More to come.......