I’ve done some serious sewing while at retreats lately. I had a retreat at my place and then while I was at the Crafty Weekender retreat, I knocked out some apparel items for myself and then I came home and made some sweaters for #Hashtag since it’s starting to get cold. The poor baby has been waking me up in the middle of the night so I’ll let him under the covers so he can snuggle with me. I really enjoy the snuggling, but not the getting woken up part. Haha.




The first apparel item that I worked on during the Crafty Weekender retreat was the Oakride Blouse. I’m going to be brutally honest here. I totally LOVE wearing this blouse. It fits so perfectly and the rayon drapes so well and it feels so awesome. I think I look awesome in it. I love wearing it. But I hated making it and I hate how it’s finished. I want to be kind because I know people love Sewaholic patterns, but I’m less than impressed. I searched online for some guidance for some parts and wasn’t able to find much there either. First, there aren’t any pictures. If I want to make a pattern that doesn’t have pictures or illustrations, I’ll buy the $2 pattern from the large pattern companies. I feel that indie pattern companies should include more. I pay more; I should get more. And not only were there no pictures, but the instructions weren’t great. I know this probably isn’t considered a beginner pattern and I don’t consider myself a beginner, but there were parts I struggled with and had to read a few times and play around with the actual garment to figure out. Again, if I wanted to struggle with instructions, I’d buy a Burda pattern. I pay money for indie patterns so I don’t have to do weird interpretations. Finally, the last thing I hate is the finishes. The instructions don’t have you finish this well. I feel like it’s homemade. I want my apparel items to feel like ready to wear clothes. I want them to have those finishes. This felt amateur. I could take the time to modify the instructions to make it finish how I wanted, but I’ll say this again and again, I shouldn’t have to for a $14 pattern. I could see doing that for a $2 pattern. So I want to make this again because I love wearing it, but I probably won’t because I didn’t enjoy making it. In fact, I hated making it. I have one more Sewaholic pattern I’m going to try out (Minoru) and if I don’t like that one, I won’t be supporting them anymore and I certainly won’t be recommending them to anyone.









I made another raglan and this time I added a hood, kangaroo pocket, and thumb holes. It’s loud, but I think it will be perfect for working out this winter. This fabric is also from LDG Showroom and it is soooooo soft on the inside. It will be super warm if I go running or walking outside. Plus, it will look great with leggings. This fabric is not the easiest to work with so some things aren’t perfect, but it was a good experience. I’ll definitely do the hood, pocket, and thumb holes again, but I’ll use a more stable knit. I made this  during a sewing weekend with Amy and my friend Coo. I also made my Halloween quilt that weekend.




The Pumpkin Spice Dolman from Patterns for Pirates is my favorite shirt pattern ever. EVER. I’m serious. I could wear one of these every day. And I almost do. I made this plain black one specifically to wear with my leopard leggings. Doesn’t it look awesome? I lengthened it just a bit so it would totally cover my bum. I’m very conscious about my bum being covered. This is the same Robert Kaufman knit that I used on the skull shirt. I made this during the Crafty Weekended retreat.






Isn’t this one fabulous? The stripes kill me. The mustard kills me. I totally love it. It’s a sweater knit that I purchased from Girl Charlee. It’s super comfy and I love the look. I couldn’t be happier. Also, these shirts go together soooo quickly. That’s why I have so many and why I was able to make so many in one weekend even while sewing and visiting with friends.




I didn’t have enough fabric to make a long sleeved one, so I added some pleather. This sweater knit is from LDG Showroom. It’s also very comfortable and I love the colors. The pleater sucked to worked with. I think I’m done working with pleather. My sewing machine doesn’t like it. My serger hates it. I’ve tried the needle. I’ve tried the foot. I’ve messed with tension. I’ve changed thread. I’ve messed with it enough. I love the look, but I hate the process. It will have to be a pretty special thing for me to work with pleather again. I love this shirt, though, so I guess it was worth it this time. I think this was the second project I worked on during the weekend retreat with Amy and Coo.

You’ve heard me talk about the School of Sewing book on here multiple times. That’s because it’s the best book ever. I recommend it to everyone whether they’ve been sewing for years or just started. I think it’s the best. And I’ve been teaching out of it and that’s awesome, too. And I’m taking my teaching to the next level.

Starting in January, I will be offering a beginning sewing class  and an advanced beginner sewing class through Park Hill Community Education. Their Winter catalog isn’t out yet, but it should be soon and these two classes will be listed. Modern Sewing for Beginners starts on January 20th and consists of five sessions on Wednesdays from 6-9 pm. The next class is Modern Sewing for Advanced Beginners and starts on March 9th and consists of five sessions also on Wednesdays from 6-9 pm. All of the details will be in the catalog and I’ll link to it on my class page once it’s available. Both classes are using projects from School of Sewing exclusively. Cool, right?

I’ve made a lot of things from School of Sewing, but I hadn’t made them all. I figured I probably better. So I started at the beginning. Where it made sense, I went ahead and did the extra credit version.




I’ve made pillowcases before, so this took like 10 minutes total. I added the flange, but I probably won’t have the students do that.




I had made this bag previously, so I didn’t have to do it again. I didn’t want to purchase the additional pattern, so I didn’t make any other sizes. I don’t think it’s necessary anyway.




I had also made the apron previously, so that was another immediately completion. Again, I didn’t do the extra credit because I really don’t need a child size apron. This one I made for Andrew, but I wear it, too.


School of Sewing


I’ve made TONS and TONS of these fobs, but I’m actually out right now so I whipped two up…both the regular and extra credit versions. I’ve made a lot of zipper pouches, too, so this was super easy. I drew the applique myself and it turned out really well. Easy Peasy.




I’ve made pillows with zippers before, but this one was a bit different. I like it. I also like having binding on it.




I didn’t do the extra credit version of this either. I don’t need a bigger bag. This turns out fabulous. I was being an idiot while sewing it together and ended up ripping a lot out, but that’s probably because it was late and I was talking a lot. I wasn’t excited about this, but I was once I was finished. It’s cute.


Tablet Case


Tablet Case


So I’m an idiot again and can’t read directions, so I did the measurements wrong the first time, so I made it again. I still like how the first one looks, but I’m totally in love with the second one. That Cotton + Steel fabric combo is amazing. I’m not a big novelty fabric fan, but that makes me like it a bit. I think the first one would fit a Microsoft Surface possibly.




This is my all time favorite project from the book, I think. I did just a little bit of quilting. I used Linen for the handles and that was awesome. I love love love it.




So I’ve taught this as a class before so I have three of these. One purse and two totes. I use the totes all of the time. I think I rounded the corners on one and then boxed the corners on another.


Place Mats


These place mats look awesome, but I had to make another set. The shot cotton really moved with the quilting. And I got the selvage of the linen showing on the back of one.


Place Mats


Place Mats


So I dug into some of my favorite recent fabric purchases and made these. They are going to go on our dining room table. It’s small and round so I only have two place settings for it, which is perfect for us. Not that we cook or eat dinner there. Haha.

Finally, I’m not making the quilt and I’m not teaching it as part of these two classes. I teach Quilting 101 at Modern Makers and it uses that part of the book so I’d rather not compete with myself. Haha. I will recommend that people take that class through Modern Makers, though. I’m not making the quilt because I’ve made zillions of half square triangles in the last few years and I have plenty of quilts that I can show off that are close enough.

So I’ve now sewn entirely through School of Sewing. It was fun and I’m excited for the classes.






Speaking of classes, I taught another Linden class at Modern Makers. I had three students, but I was only able to get a pictures of these two. Everybody did a great job and left with a finished sweatshirt. The third lady didn’t like the top stitching on her neckline, so she was going to take it out when she got home, which is why I don’t have a picture. I’m in LOVE with the blue one. That Kokka knit is fantastic. I’m going to buy some, but I have to prepare myself for that type of expense. It’s’ worth it though.

Look forward to hearing more about upcoming classes!

I know that I’ve been doing a lot of apparel sewing this year, but don’t worry. I’m still quilting. And not just quilting quilting, but piecing quilting. I am really liking making clothing (mainly anything that’s from Patterns for Pirates), but I will always go back to quilting. It’s so satisfying to finish a quilt…in a different way from finishing an apparel item.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to with quilting.




I went to a retreat near Lowell, AR, (again – #craftyweekender) hosted by the wonderful Susannah Kate. Susannah Kate has this great quilt pattern – Cascade Quilt. My friend Amy made one and I knew I wanted to make one, too. I even used the awesome Technicolor fabric line that I won at Sew OK, which is where Susannah Kate and I met. I TOTALLY love how it turned out. It was an easy pattern and very enjoyable to put together. I can’t wait to quilt it. I’m thinking swirls. :)



Since I made a swap item, I also got a swap item. Amanda of The Cozy Pumpkin made this awesome and super adorable stitching pouch/roll up/thing. I’ve used it a ton already. It’s perfect for any handwork I’m working on. And I always seem to have an EPP project going.

Bow Tie

Bow Tie

I showed you my first long arm project, but I’ve also done another one besides the Halloween quilt. Well, I also quilted a Halloween quilt for Amy. I’ve been busy with long arming. And I’m not planning on slowing down. I have a lot of quilt tops to get through. I can’t remember the name of the pantograph that I used for this Bow Tie quilt, but it was fun and something different. It wasn’t too challenging, but more challenging than a stipple. I probably won’t do it again, but it was fun to try. I have a lot of pantographs pinned that I plan to purchase and try for some of my quilt tops. I like the more modern pantographs. I had no idea they existed. I probably also need to start trying some custom stuff, but I’m still intimidated. Maybe after a couple of more quilts I’ll be ready to try custom. I think I could handle all over swirls.


The last quilting thing I have to show is some Block of the Month blocks for October. Modern Makers is hosting a Block of the Month and I got suckered in. Haha. We’re using Jaybird Quilts’ Park Bench pattern which requires her Hex N More and Sidekick rulers. I’m not really a ruler person, but I’m super impressed with these. It made these first two blocks go together so perfectly. Her instructions are also fabulous. I’m really excited about how this quilt will turn out. Elizabeth (owner of Modern Makers) is using Cotton + Steel for all of the blocks. She’ll be using some of their current lines and their upcoming lines, which is great that we get a variety. She is also hosting a sew day every month so we can work on our blocks together. I cut mine out at the last sew day and then sewed them up at a later time. I was being lazy and didn’t want to bring my machine. I’m going to piece this quilt entirely on my featherweight because it’s so perfect for piecing.

So that’s what I’ve been up to quilting-wise. I’ll keep you posted on how my long arm progress goes. :)

So I’m normally not a Halloween person. In fact, I don’t like Halloween really. However, my friends Amy, Sherry, and Quan do. Like a lot. And their enthusiasm for it has started to rub off.


Halloween Quilt



Spiderweb Quilting


So I broke down and bought some Halloween fabric that I liked and picked out a pattern that would highlight it – The Big Block Quilt. I found the sashing at Joanns. I went in for something else and saw it on display with the Halloween fabrics and knew it was perfect. I was planning on just using an orange Kona, but this adds so much more detail to the quilt. This also went together INCREDIBLY fast. Then I long armed it with a spider web pantograph. It’s perfect. I love love love it and I can’t believe how much I love it because Halloween isn’t my thing. But Halloween might become a thing for me just for the quilty decorations. Haha.


Halloween Place Mats


So since I was in the Halloween spirit, I knocked out these place mats. There are a panel so it was super easy. I also used Joanns fabric to back it with. I had the same situations as the orange. I saw the orange and then I saw the witches next to it and thought it would be perfect and cheap for the back. I meant to get black Kona, but again, something better came up. I still backed the Halloween quilt with black Kona, though. I barely quilted the place mats and just slightly outlined the spiderwebs on each mat. Again, I love these a lot more than I thought I would. I like walking into my kitchen/living room and seeing just these small touches of Halloween. Maybe you’ll see a Christmas quilt next!


Halloween Mini


I put this mini together for a swap gift. I desperately wanted to keep it, but I knew I could re-create it if I really wanted. The quilting on it is my favorite part. I didn’t get a picture of the back, but I wish I would have. I used some super awesome fabric. It’s at Fabric.com still and I’m really thinking about buying more of it. It’s part of Michael Miller’s Nevermore collection.


Skull Raglan


Skull Raglan


I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shirt. I used the Women’s Raglan pattern from Patterns for Pirates. The black is Robert Kaufman that I bought from Modern Makers. The skull fabric is from LDG Showroom. I have more of it and can’t wait to use it. The best part of this is the elbow patches! LOVE! I promised myself that I will wear this all year long and not just around Halloween. Hold me to it. Ok? This was a project I worked on during the Crafty Weekender retreat along with the place mats.


Amy's Halloween Stuff


Amy's Halloween Quilt


Amy's Halloween Items


Amy's Pillow


Since Amy is so into Halloween, I want to show what she’s been up to. I quilted the quilt for her using the same spiderweb design as mine, but I don’t have a finished pic of it yet. Her whole house was decked out for Halloween and I think she basically only works on Halloween stuff when we sew together. It’s her holiday, for sure.




Amy also just got a new kitten. His name is Oliver and he is a Cornish Rex. She got him from the same breeder where we got #Hashtag. He is sooooooo soft and cuddly. He slept on my lap for quite a bit while we were over there. It makes me want another kitten.


Steampunk Costumes


Steampunk Detail


Steampunk Detail


Steampunk Detail


Steampunk Detail


Steampunk Detail


Steampunk Detail


Steampunk Detail




The theme for our costumes this year was steampunk. I thought we all did a great job. I’m proud to say that I didn’t make a single part of my costume or Andrews except for my skirt. And it was salvaged from a dress and took about 10 minutes to whip up. That’s just because the skirt I ordered from China didn’t make it here in time, which I was prepared for. Haha.


7 Layer Dip


Rice Krispies


We went over to Amy’s house on Halloween to hang out. Her husband made delicious chili and I brought these things. They also had spooky gin and tonics! We all went out the weekend before, too, so we were able to wear our costumes twice. I think we’re going to wear them again next year.


Kory and Group


I also helped out another friend for Halloween. Her team at work was going to be at a summit out of town that week and there was going to be a costume contest. They came up with the idea of a circus. I didn’t help at all with the animals – those were apparently found at Target, which was a great find. But an even better find was the Ringmaster’s jacket. It came form a thrift store and was the PERFECT jacket to start with. I took it in a bit, added the shoulder detail using the existing shoulder pads (which I tore out) a felt cover, and some awesome trim that Kory found at Joanns. I also added the gold trim around the jacket and a set of sequin gold tails. The tails aren’t visible in this picture, but imagine the most obnoxious gold sequin fabric and that’s what the tails are made from. They are lined in a really cool black rayon lining, though, that has some cool texture. I was sooooo pleased with the jacket. I’m not a tailor at all, but this was fun. It came together so easily, which was mostly because of the awesome jacket and trim that Kory found. I find out tonight if they took the prize. I don’t know how anybody could’ve beaten them.

I hope everyone had a Haunted Halloween. KC definitely had a great Halloween weekend with the Royals winning game four of the World Series on Halloween and then winning it all the day after. We could hear the crowd at Power and Light from our condo and they were LOUD! Once we won, the noise was insane and it went on forever! We didn’t mind, though. The city deserves to celebrate! It was a pretty special weekend.

I’ve done some community service blocks and projects for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild before and posted on here. We’re in a new year so we have some new initiatives.


Community Service Block


The national modern quilt guild is sponsoring a community service project for QuiltCon. Guilds have to stay within certain guidelines and create a quilt to submit. Then the quilt will be returned and donated to a local children’s shelter. We have to create “strata” using certain colors. Obviously, I chose “light teal” because I have a great abundance of it. The strata block was really easy and took no time at all. I’m really excited to see how the quilt turns out!




The other project our guild has going right now is we are going to be providing the KCK Police Department with homemade stuffed animals to give to children who are taken out of violent situations. I whipped up these two adorable elephants using the tutorial from Birch Fabrics. Cute, right?

I love being able to give back this way.

The other exciting thing that’s been going on lately in my sewing/quilting world is that I’m starting to long arm. No, I don’t own one, but I’m renting time on one. Quilted Memories in Overland Park makes a couple of their long arms available for use. You have to be certified, so I took the certification class and have been renting time.




This is the first quilt I long armed. I just followed their stipple pantograph and I’m ready to move on from that. I’m looking at other pantographs. I think I’ll do pantographs for a while and then try out some custom quilting. I’ve done custom free motion quilting on my domestic machine, so I’m not scared of it, but I’d like to get extremely familiar with the long arm machine before I move on to that. I plan on renting a lot of time to knock out a bunch of quilt tops. I’ll keep you updated with my progress.

I will say – after long arming this, I put the binding on with my serger and I will never go back again. It was soooooooo easy and I love not having to trim with a rotary cutter and ruler. You should try it. I recommend it.

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