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Holiday Sewing Camp

October 15, 2014

I almost forgot to mention that I am offering the kids Holiday Sewing Camp this year at the Hobby Lobby stores. Book NOW, because sometimes the classes fill and I’m unable to accommodate everyone. If you are giving your child a sewing machine for Christmas, this is a great accompanying gift.

The camps will be at the Short Pump Hobby Lobby in the mornings and the Chesterfield Hobby Lobby in the afternoons.  Times are from 9 am-noon and from 1pm-4. Cost is $250 and the days we meet are 12/26,29,30,31 & 1/2. Since the school system is giving the kids the Friday of 1/2 off, we are able to do a full 5-day camp again this year. Hooray!20130629-094557.jpg

I do have gift certificates and try to make them fun and attractive for the kids. Each student will need a $50 Hobby Lobby gift certificate for the week also. That will cover the cost of fabric, pins, patterns, scissors, or whatever things they need for class.

DSC_0046Your young student will learn to thread the sewing machine, wind the bobbin, sew a straight line and use commercial sewing patterns to make a pair of pajama pants and then another project or two, based on the rate at which your sewist learns. It’s a lot of time in the sewing room and kids usually get 2-3 projects done.

Contact me at 804.313.9717  or 804.869.7920


Hope to see you in the studio.DSC_0065

Change of Plans – Blackout Curtains

October 15, 2014

I didn’t actually work on a new jacket today. As it turns out, I worked on blackout curtains. Some of you know we moved to WV in February. The winters here are brutal. Even with double paned replacement windows, the glass just zaps all warm air in a room. Last year, I made some window cozies with insulated batting and it helped a lot. This year, I have an additional 800 squ ft to heat and want to get the heating bills under control, as well as insure an environment very conducive to sleeping a full 8 hours. So I bought blackout lining and am working on blackout curtains for all bedroom windows. Shortly thereafter, I’ll have to do something to cover the large windows in the last room to be renovated, the living room.

So, today, I made blackout curtains for one window in my husband’s bedroom. I tend to buy girlie fabric, so when my husband saw BIG, BOLD flowers in deep, earthtones, he knew he better claim that fabric for his room.DSC_0001 DSC_0002 It wasn’t going to get any more masculine than that. I disassembled an insulated drape that I was using to keep the draught from entering at the back door, which I did as a makeshift project last fall, when the December utility bill was $1300 with no one living here! I found out that my contractor was running the heat at 80 while he had the doors open all day and fired him, the first chance I got! In any case, I needed to make sure that even with the additional living space, the bills are less than $300/month in peak months. We put a ventless propane heater downstairs in the stairwell. This will insure that the pipes, which are all in the core of the house, won’t freeze. It also allows heat to rise to our bedrooms upstairs and offer us a great deal of heat before we even turn the heat pump on.

Next, we will insulate all windows with 3M plastic seal, then put the blackout curtains over each window. In addition, we are closing vents to all bedrooms that aren’t in use and have finally gotten doors for those rooms, so we aren’t heating rooms that we aren’t using.

While I was making curtains today, my husband was building the stoop for our back door. This has been an “on hold” project for months and it has finally really come together in 3 days. As we have chatted about what we each wanted from the stoop, John decided that maybe what we really wanted was a mud room and he enlarged the base by 2′ in each direction. When we went out and again chatted about it, we realized that the upright freezer that we absolutely needed and absolutely couldn’t find a place for was going to fit in the mudroom and would pretty much heat it for us! Obviously, it’s not going to be cozy, but  as we come in from the cold, we will be protected from the elements and come into an area that has the heat from the condenser partially heating the space. What it will also do is give our draughty back door some protection from the wind. I’ve also bought some very heavy piping to build into the frame of that door to offer more draught insulation. I’ll post pictures when I’m done.

Same for the curtains. Once John gets in from working on the mud room and we get back from open mike/comedy night at the local restaurant, I’ll try to get pics of them up. Life is good and we are preparing for our first WV winter. BRRRRRRRR

Darn, No luck in Beckley

October 14, 2014

We drove all the way to Beckley and back (4 hour round trip) to get Tom to work on the serger. He wasn’t there!  I’m going to have to learn to call ahead. We did stop at Tamarack and had lunch after checking out some very fine craftsmanship.

I’m planning a new jacket out of a quilted jacquard fabric I picked up 4-5 years ago. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find the pattern I want in all my moving boxes and get started. Stay tuned for some pics tomorrow.

Stretch knit tops

October 14, 2014

I’ve been wanting to make turtleneck tops. Last year you almost couldn’t find a commercial pattern for them. This year, I found one for a turtleneck and an offset, open cowl collar that I like a lot. So, last weekend, I got the Huskylock serger out and made a couple of the open neck cowls.
They took about an hour each. I’m not 100% pleased with the results. there is a place at the collar where the seam allowance shows and there is a drape across the front because the shoulders are way too wide, making the sleeves drop. The arm-hole also needs to be cut deeper. I do wonder what training pattern-makers receive to work at mccalls and simplicity. Hmmmmmmm, I’m going to have to find a way to modify this pattern. Pictures are posted below.

I often have students take a sewing class or lesson so the can make clothes for people with special fitting needs. I love working with people to help them work out special challenges!
We are headed to Beckley, wv today, to take the Janome serger in for some much needed service at Best Fabric & Foam where Tom can get my machine running and I can peruse his upholstery fabric selection. The Hubster is with me, so I may be a little restrainedin my buying.
Gotta go. Remember that the beginners sewing classes start back on 11/5 in Chesterfield and 11/6 in Short Pump. Email me for a registration form! See ya in the sewing room :D



Class registration closes on 9/20

September 9, 2014

Just a quick post to show an abandoned bunch of quilt squares that I patched together and assembled into a quilt top. I liked the colors, but didn’t have enough squares to really plan out a beautiful quilt. So I used a lot of background and this is what I came up with: 10653388_1478730409048192_877553512444938279_n

I like it, but feel that it may not be complete. The mochachino colored background was something that I picked up several years ago and I couldn’t get more of it at Joann’s. They did have a lighter version of it and I’m thinking of using that as a border along with the final 4 squares (2 pinwheels and 2 16 patch) to complete this. 

The October classes in Richmond begin on 10/1. As of now, I don’t have enough registrations to hold class. Last month, I had one person registered in each class on the 20th (end of registration) and all classes were cancelled. By  the night of class 9 people had called to register…..2 on the day of class.  I’m sad to say, that I can’t wait until the evening of class to hold or cancel folks. It’s not fair to the people who register in advance and block their schedule to make time for the class and then I would have to cancel once we all arrive.  Please email me for a registration form and get it back to me by 9/20 if you want to take the class. The Chesterfield class begins 10/1 at 6 pm and the Short Pump class begins on 10/2 at 6 pm.

The youth classes begin on the same dates, but at 4:30.

I hope to see you in class. We won’t be making quilts, but will be learning to make clothing from commercial patterns, instead.


Wonderful quilt guild meeting

August 19, 2014

Tonight the quilt guild I’m a member of had our Aug. meeting. For 2 hours before the meeting, we tied quilts. These quilts are held for the possibility that a family has a housefire and gets burned out of their home. When this happens our guild loving envelops the family with a handmade quilt (metaphorically). I have been wanting to get back into philanthropic sewing and tonight was the beginning of that. The women in the guild are so generous of spirit, that they inspire me. Loved our meeting.

Despite the generosity of spirit, it’s hard to get volunteers for some things. One of those is serving as an officer. As a result, my friend, Bernadette, and I volunteered to be program co-chairs for this year. I’ve very excited. We will do a wonderful job. Bernadette is fun and energetic. Yippee :D

We also sew quilts for the residents of the local nursing home and I brought home squares to make a lap quilt top….. maybe the entire quilt. We’ll see how quickly I can get it done. Remember, our house is not finished and we are living in it with no power in the sewing room and our kids are coming and bringing our grandson with them. We will be busy getting ready for that visit, as the grandson is a new crawler.

Registrations for the September sewing classes in Short Pump and Chesterfield are coming along, but if we are to have an after-school class at either location, I’ll need a few more registrants.

Gotta go sew, while the adrenaline level is high. 

After-school sewing classes, Richmond, VA 2014

August 14, 2014

Registration is open for another 11 days for the after-school sewing class.
All levels, including non-sewing are welcome.
Class meets 4:30 – 5:30 on Wednesdays in Chesterfield and on Thursdays in Short Pump.
$60 for Sept
PayPal accepted.
Ages 8+
No weekly admissions. Registration is monthly
Contact me for details and a registration form.
804 869 7920
804 313 9717
Leave a message at both numbers. Work takes us on the road much of the week.


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