I’ve made some gifts. I haven’t given them to the recipients, but I’ve made them.


Hoop Storage




Hoop Storage




Hoop Storage


These are so easy and fun. I’ve now made five total. Only one of these has been sent to the recipient. I need to get the others out, but going to the post office is like one of the absolute worst tasks ever! Why are they so mean? Why is there always a line? Why do they only have like three envelopes and three boxes and they are all the wrong size or super expensive? I’m being complainy, but it’s one of the things I really hate doing.

Anyway, off of that tangent…






This is how I finish them. I cut away all of the bulk from the batting and backing fabric. Then I pink the edges and use a large basting stitch with embroidery floss (actually, this is sashiko thread) and gather it to keep the edges from peeking to the front.





The backs are actually really pretty. For the actual project, the mini charm squares are perfect for it! I used Comma and Simply Style mini charm packs for two of these. Then I cut fabric for the others that I’ve made. This is now my go-to project for any sewing-type of gift that I need to make.


Pot Holders


Then I made some wonky log cabin pot holders. These actually need to go to somebody, but I haven’t figured out how to get them to that person yet. I have never matchstick quilted before. I’ve done some pretty dense quilting, but not matchstick. I can’t imagine doing it on a full quilt.


First Attempt Matchstick



The think with matchstick quilting is that it can really warp your fabric. This was my test potholder and I’m glad it was a test. I would quilt down one side, flip, and the quilt back. That’s what caused the distortion. It also didn’t help that a put a striped fabric in there.




This one is much better. I also strategically eliminated the stripe. It’s not 100% perfect, but I’m happy with it. The key is to make sure the quilt sandwich is tight. I spray basted and I think that was the right call. Also, trimming. I didn’t leave a lot of room for trimming, but I should have. Finally, the ABSOLUTE KEY is to not switch quilting directions. That means you have to cut off your thread and can’t just turn your project, but if you don’t, you’ll get wavy seams like I did in my first project.




Here’s the larger one. It turned out really well.

If you aren’t familiar with matchstick quilting, it’s just straight line quilting that’s really really close together.




See how close it is?




It’s really close. And this isn’t even as close as I’ve seen it before! It’s time consuming, but I really like how it turns out. It wouldn’t be good for a bed quilt because it really makes the project stiff. However, it’s great for potholders, place mats, and wall hangings that need to lay flat. I’d recommend giving it a try. I used Aurifil for both of these I was pleased with the outcome. If you give it a try, let me know what you think!

If you haven’t yet heard, I’m teaching an ongoing sewing class for men at Modern Makers. It’s awesome and I hope to see it grow because I’m having a lot of fun doing it.

Our first project was a quilted iPad sleeve.









Everybody finished their sleeve and they all did such a great job. I think it was a good project to start with because it taught about fabric choices, cutting, quilting, 3D construction, but was still easy to assemble since it’s just straight lines.

The next project expanded on things that were learned in the first class. We made quilted pillow covers.


Andrew and Quan



The biggest hurdle is to just get familiar with using a sewing machine, so that’s why I’m focusing on pretty simple projects that aren’t too messed up if you don’t sew a perfectly straight line. Although these guys sew pretty straight lines. I’ve been impressed.


Man Made


Isn’t it fun to see them at work?

We are taking a bit of a tangent next time to expand their skill set. The project is going to be…


Bow Ties


Bow ties! This is going to be a little more of a challenge because of the precision that is needed, but I think they are ready. They’ll just have to go slow. Also, the hardware will give them an extra bit of a challenge. But still…these are basically just sewing a straight line!

Other ideas I’ve received for men’s projects are wallets, capes, and messenger bags. Any suggestions for projects geared toward men will be appreciated!


While at Sew OK, we got the opportunity to use a Baby Lock Tiara. The announcement was made prior to the trip, so if we had a small quilt top finished and sandwiched, we could bring it and possibly get to quilt it. Turns out, I think Krista and I were the only two to bring a completed and sandwiched top. Krista got familiar with the machine and then showed me how to use it. It was just like regular free motion quilting except you had a larger throat space. I whipped this quilt out in no time.


Baby Quilt


You may recognize this top from a previous post. It’s just half square triangles made with charm squares and some gray fabric I had on hand.


Baby Quilt


I have the black and red side displayed since that matches my living room.






The first quilting I did were these back and forth lines on the diagonal. This is very fast and very forgiving!




Then I did the borders using this meandering square design. It is also very fast and forgiving. If you look closely, you can see that a lot of my squares have more of a rounded corner than a square one. And my lines are pretty curved/wavy sometimes.




Even with all of the imperfections, I still thin it looks great. I have no one to give it to at this time, so it will display on the back of my treadle chair until then.

I’m sure you’ve seen all of the posts on Instagram about these City Gym Shorts. If you haven’t, you aren’t spending enough time on Instagram because they’ve blown up! I had to jump on the bandwagon. The pattern is from from The Purl Bee.

Here’s my first pair.


City Gym Shorts



For some reason, the lines on the pattern didn’t not print off for me the first time. I thought it was my printer, but I tried to print one page on the printer at work and that didn’t work either. So I drew the lines in. I think I messed up on the back crotch line because these shorts are a little tight in the rear. I’m giving them away to a young girl who is thinner than I am so they should fit fine.

I used a shot cotton for the back and then an Amy Butler linen from her Midwest Modern line for the accents.

I went up a size on the second pair and I’m much happier. Even not messing up the crotch line, I like my shorts loose and comfy and I don’t think the previous size, even with the correct crotch line, would have been comfy enough for me to wear frequently.


City Gym Shorts



I had to cut the elastic down, but that was expected. These are sooo much more comfy. I used a linen for the back, a shot cotton for the binding, and the pretty Amy Butler voile for the front.

These shorts go together really quickly…and that’s with me having to make the bias tape by hand. If you had already made bias tape or had a bias tape maker, these would go even faster!



City Gym Shorts



This is my third and final pair. I used two different pepper cottons for the back, binding, and waistband. The front is another Amy Butler voile. I guess Amy Butler has followed me throughout this process.

The part about these shorts that was awesome is I got to use an edge stitch foot for the first time. I actually think I own one, but I’ve never used it. It makes a HUGE difference when sewing on the binding. I thought I did really well on my first two pair without it, but the edge stitch foot made it almost perfect. I’ll be checking to see if I own this foot and if not, I will be purchasing one.

So there you go! That’s my City Gym Shorts saga! If you haven’t made a pair of these yet, you should.

While standing next to my coworkers the other day (We stand at our tall center island in our cubicles so we can work on not have “thuts”…Google it.), my coworker showed me an email she had just gotten from Gap. One of the items in the ad was the Stripe Dolphin Skirt. She said, “Wouldn’t that be easy to make?” I agreed.

Ten seconds later…my friend Amy forwarded me that same Gap email and said, “Look at the first skirt. Looks easy to make?”

It was fate.

I spent my entire lunch hour looking for the right fabric, which I found at Fabric.com. I’m always a little skeptical when ordering from there, but I took the leap. I also realized that the Colette Meringue skirt has a very very similar silhouette. Since I owe the book that skirt pattern is in, I figured I use it to start off with.

Well, it worked!!!!






Ta da! This is the “test” I made for myself. It’s a pretty good test. I did begin with the Meringue skirt. I used the smallest size since I was making this in a knit and the pattern calls for a structured woven fabric. I removed the darts in the pattern and actually ended up using the front piece for both the front and back of this skirt. Then I removed the scallops to create a straight hem, except on the sides.





I took quite a bit of length off…like three inches or more. I also added a waist band when my original intent was to just fold down the top of the skirt to create a casing. I had a bit of a problem with getting this on over my hips because I’m an idiot and added interfacing to the waistband. I should not have done that. It’s too stiff now and there’s no stretch. That’s why this is the test. Either way, I can still get it on over my head. Also with the waistband, matching stripes sucks. I failed. So next time, I’m cutting the stripe the other way so there is no matching.





I played around with the side a bit. It’s not perfect, but I still think it looks good.

This was my first time doing buttonholes on a knit. No problem! It worked out super well. Also, I finished the bottom of the skirt with a facing, much like the Colette pattern did. I think that’s the way to go with the curve.

I’m going to make another skirt like this for me and then one for my coworker and my friend. Now that I have the pattern down, it should take no time at all. :)


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