Embroidered Honeybell Star Quilt

I was visiting with Timmesa at Creative Sewing Machines in Mt. Airy, NC this week and she showed me a quilt she has taught as a mystery class using the Honeybell Stars pattern. She had her students create their embroidery at home before class using the background fabric and specified sizes of embroidery to create the focus blocks. I took pictures and even though they are not great, I hope you get the idea! Nice job Timmesa!


The Honeybell Stars pattern is available for purchase on the Patterns page. embroidery-up-close honeybell embroidery 2 embroidered-honeybell

Streak ‘o Lightnin’

This quilt was made as a shop sample for The Busy Bea in Chester, VA. They cut their own strips from fabric in the store and used blue as the lightning and yellow as the background. The layout is the same as the pattern with the exception of adding the half-square triangles all the way around the quilt instead of just on the two ends. Love it!


New Chelsea Fabric from Blank is my fav!

Easy Galaxy pattern from Anything But Boring

Easy Galaxy is a new pattern from Anything But Boring

I love this new fabric from Blank! There is every element a quilter loves-large print, medium print and small print, and light value, medium value and dark value to make it interesting. Stay tuned to be able to purchase this pattern. It is being printed by July!!

Cute Frog Zip ‘n Go Tote!


While teaching at Wish Upon a Quilt last week, one of my students, Janet W. shared this cute bag made using Anything But Boring‘s pattern for the Zip ‘N Tote bag. She used Quilting Treasures focus fabric and Michael Miller fabric for the handles.

“I will draw a name out of the hat on February 13th”

Would you like to make this quilt?

Would you like some fabric to help you get started?

Read to the end of this post to see how you can receive it!


       A friend of mine became a U.S. citizen last year. I wanted to make her a red, white and blue quilt as a gift. I used the Honeybell Star pattern, as the starting point, but I wanted the stars to be 5 pointed rather than the pieced 6 pointed stars in the quilt pattern.

       My husband was kind enough to draft it out for me. I have included it as a Free Download .pdf in case you want to make one too. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5upUw7sheBOcHU5Rmh0c254bEU/edit 

       I used a large print fabric for the center and fill-in blocks and a pieced square in a square for the 4 corners. The center fabric could be used in place of those pieced blocks. I used a small print for the setting squares, except I didn’t use any applique on them as it is in the pattern.

       If you would like to make this quilt, please let me know by replying to the blog post. I will donate all my leftover red, white and blue fabric (about 4 pounds worth) if you purchase the Honeybell Star pattern for this project.

       The link from my website to purchase the pattern is directed to a local quilt shop. They will notify me of your purchase. I will draw a name out of the hat on February 13th.

Good Luck!

Classic Pattern. New Fabrics

 Here is the Two Hour Tulip in two different fabrics, found in two different states..

My friend Kris was recently in Omaha, Nebraska and saw this purse made up in Nebraska fabric. Isn’t that cute?

She saw it at the store Country Sampler.
Here is their link: http://www.countrysampleronline.com/

My daughter-in law, Juli Pope, found this at her local quilt shop, ‘Sew Much Fun’, in Columbus, GA.

She really likes how the pseudo-leather gives it more of a modern look, and the monogram just adds a special touch.

Here is their link: http://www.sewmuchfunincolumbus.com/

Thanks for sending in the pictures, Kris and Juli. It is fun to see the purse in different fabrics, to help inspire myself and others to try new things.

Pleather Tulip

 Have you made anything from the new “pleathers” that are out now?

     I have used leather to make a purse before (see previous blog post dated July 24, 2010) but have just tried the new fake leather fabric. When teaching at Sew Much Fun in Columbus, Georgia,  (website http://www.sewmuchfunincolumbus.com/) a few weeks ago, the class was using kits that the store had cut out for them using the acrylic templates for the Two Hour Tulip Purse. They all made the large or jumbo sized bag using different pleathers. They all came out beautifully!

These photos are from that class.

Here are some tips to help you to work with this very different type of fabric:

  1. If you have a Teflon foot for your machine, be sure to use it! It helps the fabric which can have some shine, to feed better.
  2. These fabrics don’t iron well from the front, so iron from the back if possible and use a little steam when applying interfacings or stabalizers.
  3. We didn’t do this in the class, but when I made one after I got home, after sewing the flap together and turning it right side out, I used fabric glue and squeezed a little on the inside and rubbed it around to kind of seal it together. I also topped stitched it, but I think I would top stitch it first and then use the glue next time!
  4. For the final joining of the lining to the bag, I stitched all the way around to close it and then used a seam ripper to open up one of the lining seams to turn it. Of course you could leave the seam open in the lining, but I found having it already folded and having some “memory” of the previous seam, especially since it is a curve along a slight bias to be a great help when stitching it back together again. I used the machine for this as it would  not be seen in the inside of the purse.  The final topstitch around the finished purse was easier without an opening to be closed.


I hope you will try some of the new and different fabrics out there to make purses.

And once you make it, email me a photo. I would love to have your photo on the blog!


My time at Quilt and Sew Golden Threads.

What a wonderful, fun time I had last weekend in the lovely town of Trenton, Kentucky! Just northeast of Nashville, TN, this lovely destination quilt shop, named Quilt and Sew Golden Threads held their first “Demo Day” which included 16 different demos, lunch and a trunk show by yours truly. The night before the event, owner Denise and I teamed up to make the Zip ‘n Go Tote bag using beautiful batik fabrics from the store. We decorated it with circles and rings cut using the Swirly Girls Creative Grid Circle Savvy Ruler. We left off the outside pockets in order to show off the cute decorations. Inside we used Soft and Stable, black. I hope you enjoy the photo!


     ‘Circle, Decorated Batik Bag: Handle Up’


‘Circle, Decorated Batik Bag: Handle Down’

Bugalicious Tote

I received this email from Kathy Holden, a Blank rep in Oregon. 

Hi, Janice –

 I used the Bugalicious fabric to make your tote. Had no idea it was so big!

Loving it… carries files and stuff into my appts. and really grabs my customer’s eyes.

Kathy Holden,  Blank Quilting Rep


 Thanks Kathy, for trying it out and sending a picture. I’m happy to hear that you are enjoying it and that your customers are loving it too!

Look forward to hearing from you,


‘Baby b’

I met Brenda Miller, designer of “Among Brenda’s Quilts & Bags” patterns in August. I purchase 4 different patterns, and have made up the Quick Change Bag. I found the directions clear and easy to follow. The photo of the Quick Change Bag was made using the new dots from the Bugalicious line from Blank.

I purchased a bolt of the water proof fabric called “PUL” to put on the inside of the Quick Change Bag. I would also like to make the Me & My Baby Diaper Bag. It will be lined with the PUL also. This fabric is waterproof and can be ironed on the wrong side, as well as washed and wiped clean. It comes in different colors, but I choose the plain cream so it will go with a lot of things.

Here is Brenda’s website:


Batik Purse from Blank Quilting Batik fabric

I made this lovely Batik purse from Blank Quilting Batik fabric which I purchased a few days ago from Batiks Etc/Sew What Fabrics in Wytheville, Va. I am reviewing the new purse innards I was introduced to last weekend at the Checker Distributor Open House in Maumee, Ohio.

Face-It: Firm from Sew Lazy by Lazy Girl Designs (TM)

This product was used to interface the lining of the bag, as well as the pockets for both the inside and the outside of the purse. It is described as a Medium/Heavyweight non-woven polyester/rayon all-purpose fusible interfacing. I found it easy to work with and it offered a nice stiffness without any bulk. I would compare it to Pellon’s Decor’Bond product, except it held up to a hot iron with no shrinking or melting, and instead of being 40+ inches wide, it was only 21 inches wide.

 Stiff Stuff: Firm by Sew Lazy by Lazy Girl Designs (TM)

First of all, I love the name! It fits the product! This is described as a Firm, flexible, sew-in non-woven 100% polyester interfacing. I found this product easy to work with as well and I love how the purse has good “stand up” quality. Since it is sew-in and I am used to ironing on my stabilizer, I stitched it to the 4 outer purse pieces by starting to stitch about 3 inches from the top straight side, then stitched the straight side, them stitched down the rest of that side to the point. Because the tulip purse has curves, it has some bias, and therefore some give, so it was necessary to follow this method of attaching it so as not to get tucks in the fabric. I continued to smooth it out and stitch as I went, finishing the stitching where I started. As you can see, it looks very perky and nice. I will let you know how it wears, but the finished look is fabulous! The Stiff Stuff was stiff enough but was still able to turn inside out when the bag was finished. However, I did not do my regular finishing. I stitched the entire top closed and went back and opened one seam of the lining to turn it right side out. I finished with top stitching the lining closed. This is different from the pattern. If you are familiar with how I make my straps, you know I didn’t use this product for the straps, I used the product below; however, I did add in a 1/2 inch strip of this product inside one folded edge of the strap before doing the top stitching. It made it have lots of body! I do not know of another product on the market to compare this one too. Width is 20 inches.

Dreamy: Fusible by Sew Lazy by Lazy Girl Designs (TM)

High loft fusible fleece 100& polyester.  This product is thicker than the fusible fleece I am used to using (Pellon) and worked great for ironing on to the straps. It fused easily and had no melting or shrinking. It is available 45 inches wide. I found it easier to use than the Pellon Fusible Fleece. 

I love the way the purse looks. I used the lining fabric for the flap and let the lining show on the outside pockets.

Batik Purse from Blank Quilting Batik fabric

I have not received any compensation for reviewing this product, but thought you may encounter it in the future and want to give it a try too!

Good luck and happy sewing!

Streak ‘o Lightnin’ pattern

I am the Blank Quilting fabric representative for North Carolina now. As a Blank rep, I get to look at fabric and imagine all kinds of things to make out of it. The Blank Fabrications 2 1/2 inch strip sets come as 40 strips in a variety of color groups. I fell in love with the Red Hots group, as well as the Pralines ‘n Cream. I have now sewn and created a new pattern called Streak ‘o Lightnin’ based on joining these two strip sets. Let me know what you think. The pattern is available now!

Your opinion counts!

Would you like to help shape what fabric get printed at BLANK Quilting? There will be another survey in the future where you can log what you think about a fabric line! As one of the new BLANK Quilting representatives, I especially want to know what lines you like. Just sign up using the link below and when there is another survey, it will come right to your in box! Enjoy, and happy quilting!


Beautiful fabric gets a new home!

Beautiful Fabric!



I purchased this fabric several years ago in Nashville Tennessee with my friend Pam at my side. I was decorating my guest room at the time and thought I would use it on the back of a quilt. It is decorator fabric, 54 inches wide and has the most lovely detail in dark brown, such as dots, texture lines, and shading. When my future daughter-in-law was visiting Raleigh recently for a wedding shower, she saw it and loved it. I saw this as an opportunity to move out 6 yards of fabric from my stash. Of course, I matched the pattern, seamed it together and finished the edges so it can be used as a coverlet or bedspread. She happens to love all the same colors for decorating as I do. How happy I am to have it going to a home where it will be loved as much as I loved it! They return this weekend from their honeymoon and are moving to Georgia next week from Virginia to start their new life as husband and wife. We are very happy for them!

BFF Round Robin Quilt

Janice's BFF Round Robin Quilt I am a member of the BFF Quilting Bee. We meet twice a month at homes of our members. A couple years ago we started a round robin quilt. Each member made a center block and a box with the block and extra fabric was passed among the members. Each “round” had specific instructions such as 2 inch border, or Applique’ or piecing. For two whole years the boxes were passed. At Christmas 2 years ago we each received our quilts. Mine was so beautiful I was speechless! I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoy having it hanging in my home. It was very skillfully quilted by Angela Clark of Thread Waggle Quilting. It won “Best Machine Quilting” at the NC State Fair fall before last.  Needless to say it is one of my favorite quilts!

Curtains and Window Treatments

I recently visited my friend Pat in Colorado and we were able to shop for curtain fabric in Colorado Springs.  Pat purchased a lovely condo and had furnished it on a budget with yard sale finds. All it needed was curtains to finish it. We shopped at Mill Outlet and not only did they have great quilting, drapery and decorating fabric, they also carried my patterns! I took the fabric and measurements home with me and made the curtains. I mailed the back to Pat and she had them up the same week! What a go Pat! They look great! See the photos below.

Great Room Window Treatment

Kitchen Window Treatment

Guest Room

BFF Bee Retreat

What a nice weekend! I just returned Sunday afternoon from my BFF Bee Retreat hosted by Karen Comstock of Quiltricks. We gathered after dinner on Friday night and stayed two nights.  We celebrated Karen’s birthday and enjoyed visiting and sewing on various projects. I have labeled each photo with that member’s projects. Don’t you wish you had been there to eat this great breakfast bread? It tasted as good as it looked too!


breakfast braid

Karen's Breakfast Braid

Wedding quilt

Tess's Beach themed wedding quilt...the attendees names are in the pieced border!


Tess's Hand Applique' Bunny Quilt, made from Bunny Hill Baltimore Bunny pattern


Kim's Wallhanging made from a kit (Sorry I don't have the name!)


Batik Jeepers Creepers


Leslie's beautiful stars, pattern in upper left corner


wool applique'

Evette's beautiful wool applique quilt


Joyce's bright stars!


As you can see, we are a group of varied tastes and quilting styles! I am not revealing the project I am working on, only to say it is a large quilt (90X90) and one I will be keeping myself as an heirloom. I plan to work on it at another week long retreat in March, so perhaps I will have enough to show at that time!


Re-purpose a Wool Sweater into a Purse

The Finished Purse

 I found this beautiful sweater last summer and purchased it with the idea to make a bag for my BFF bee Christmas gift exchange this year. Fortunately this sweater was already felted and ready to start the process. I trimmed off the sleeves and ribbing at the top and bottom.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to do next. Fortunately, members of my Critique Group Kathy and Margaret  came to the rescue. They had great ideas of how to keep most of the original shape
as well as what kind of handles to use. I interfaced both the wool and the silk  lining with Pellon SF101  cotton interfacing. It seemed to have just the right amount of body for both items.

I think this would make a great knitting bag. (I don’t knit!) Anyway, the party was yesterday and Karen Comstock of Quiltrickswas the gift recipient! Karen is a knitter, so I hope she will enjoy this re-purposed sweater!

Felted Wool Sweater
Sweater Front Ready to be Stitched Down
Sweater Back After Adding Ribbing
Bottom seam before adding interfacing
Hand-Dyed Silk Lining With Interfacing
Cutting Lining to Match Bag Shape
Attaching Lining to Outer Bag
Forming Bottom of Bag
Attaching Lini

If you are interested in trying this project here are a few steps to follow. You can use the  photos to the right to find the captions to match up the pictures.

 1. Find a wool sweater you would like to use. If it is not felted, wash it in HOT water and dry it in the hottest dryer temperature possible. This will help to shrink and felt the wool so it can be cut without unraveling.

2. Trim off the sleeves, a portion of the turtle neck and most of the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater.

3. If the front neck is curved, use a round or curved handle that is close to the same shape as the neckline of the sweater. This one was purchased at Joann’s.

4. Cut away the side seams. Sew the front and back together at the bottom seam. Iron on interfacing.

5.  Fold down the front neckline and shoulder seam so that no raw edges are showing on the outside. Hand stitch to the interfacing.

6. For the back curve, I trimmed the neckline to a similar curve and then had to clip the curve to get it  to fold over the handle. I machine stitched leftover neck ribbing to the stretched out edge and then hand stitched it to the lining just like the front was attached.

7. Cut out lining using the purse as the pattern, allowing an inch for turning down the raw edges in finishing for later. (See picture)

8. Sew the side seams of both the purse. Cut out 2-1/2 or 3 inch squares at the bottom. Bring these two cut edges together in a straight line to stitch them to form the bottom of both sides. Repeat for the lining.

The Finished Purse!

9. Insert the lining into the sweater and pin into place. Hand stitch lining to purse top.