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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Free Fruit Cameos Machine Embroidery Designs

As always, Embroidery Library delights us again with their free machine embroidery designs. This year they will be releasing a new fruit cameo for free every month for the whole year. That will be 12 designs. This month's cherry design comes in 5 sizes. Don't forget even if you don't have a machine that can use all the larger sizes yet, download them while they are free just in case some day you get a machine that can handle the size. Don't forget to sign up for the Embroidery Library newsletter so you know what is on sale and when you can get some freebies.

Don't forget to get this free design during January 2016 (available now) also. It comes in two sizes and is perfect for kitchen towels or aprons.

Happy New Year to all of you! Let's hope we all have plenty of time to be creative and sew this year.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Borders & Motifs

Here is another book review of a great book that I purchased for myself.

Borders & Motifs by Michaela Learner ISBN 9781844489091 Published by Search Press 2014 UK, Printed in China. 96 pages of text with color photographs of completed work and diagrams for color use, plus 32 pages of 84 iron on embroidery transfers. Softcover Book. From the Ready to Stitch Series.

This book has many lovely designs that are classic in that they should be as lovely now as in 20+ years if someone wants to use them. One thing I really did like about this book is that many of the samples were stitched in two ways with different colored threads and different stitches so you can get ideas for how you might want to use the designs themselves. I don't recall ever seeing this in an embroidery book before and I do think I would like to see it more often. The only designs which I'm not sure I personally like, are the ones with fairies in them as they look like a cross between cherubs and fairies. Just a bit strange to me. Please note that in this book there are no fonts to embroider.

One of the designs in this book I have seen the UK magazine Stitch, October/November 2015 Issue 97 page 20 being used as a design on a tote bag. Before purchasing this book, I had already flagged this project as a possibility to do. I could flag just about every design in this book as possibilities to make as well. If only my hands could hold up for the job!

If you like to embroider, are looking for project ideas, or just like to read and look at needlework books, this is a very good embroidery book. Seeing the designs embroidered in two sets of colors and stitches makes it even more likely that you will come up with more ideas of how to use the designs.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Just Listed! Star Dust Christmas Panel Fabric

At your wits end and need some quickie Christmas crafting ideas? I just found this great Christmas panel fabric by VIP fabrics. It has plenty of motifs for use on sweatshirts, totes, aprons, Christmas stockings and anything else you can think up. As usual with these panels the instructions are right there with the fabric. While you can't see it in the photo, the panel has glitter in selected areas of the motif for extra sparkle. You can purchase it here and as always quick shipping with delivery confirmation.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pillow Party Trunk Show Christmas Edition

Embroidery Library has lots more videos and tutorials so you can get some great ideas and learn how to use all your embroidery designs that you have collected. Don't have a machine that does machine embroider? Many times you can substitute applique, hand embroidery, decorative stitches, ribbons, lace, etc to perk up your projects.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Needing Donations of Embroidery Supplies for Congo Women

Since I started our pattern business, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts, my heart has gone out to third world women that do not have the resources like we do to improve their lives and have respectable ways of earning a living to support their families. We have been donating 10% of our profits towards helping these women. One of the projects that we help support is one in the Congo, by way of Carma Nelson who has served as a Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary there for many years. While she is no longer assigned to Congo, she still helps coordinate this small project. This is a grass roots project that started maybe 6 years ago that I have helped when I can.

There is a lady in the Congo that is knowledgeable in embroidery who teaches the other women, who then can sell what they make to help support themselves. To help her and her students out, I have been sending packages of embroidery supplies; embroidery floss, embroidery fabric, hoops, needles and books and booklets on embroidery over the past few years.

At this point I’m asking for your help as well if this strikes a chord in your heart as well. The teacher needs more 6-strand cotton thread/floss especially in pinks and browns but any color would help. Also I’m sure that embroidery needles for hand embroidery and embroidery fabric would help, even those little embroidery scissors so each woman can have her own pair for when she works at her own home. If you used to do embroidery and gave up on a project and still have the floss, we can use it. Not sure if you should send a tangled bunch of floss. Sure go ahead. David loves untangling when he is resting as do I. So don’t let things like that go to waste, and you can feel good about recycling and helping others directly. Any embroidery supplies you may have but no longer plan to use are welcome. Put them to work in the hands of women that can earn a living by using them. If you live in the North East, PA area and can drop any donations off at my house, I would appreciate it as would Carma and the ladies in the Congo. If you aren’t close by but would like to help, You can mail me the supplies (please email me at for my address). Or you can make a donation of cash by way of to the project and I will buy the supplies with my trusty shopping helper, Steve. I want to send the parcel to Carma by way of her mother on Monday, November 16, 2015. If you don’t have time to get something out by then, no worries. I constantly collect for this project and then send the supplies when Carma lets me know that we should have transport of them to the Congo. Their mail service can’t be used as it isn’t trustworthy.

This is not an official charity, so I can’t send out receipts for tax purposes. I have found that I like donating to a project where I know every penny or thread strand will get to where it can be used and this is the case here. 100% of all donations will be sent as supplies to the Congo.

Thank you so much for your support for this worthwhile project.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Gingham Aprons of the '40s & '50s by Judy Florence

This is a copy of a review that I also posted to Amazon. I received this book as a birthday present from my incredibly long Amazon wish list and was very happy to get it.

I enjoyed reading the book very much and loved seeing the many close up photo details although I am stumped in why these aprons look so pristine! I am an apron wearer and I make my own aprons and most of them with use would never make it to a collection of 'Aprons of the 1980's to 2020's'. They are pretty mucked up within a five to ten year span, but then that is the whole point of an apron isn't it? I can see that some of the apron would have been set aside for good, or like my Christmas apron only for certain special occasions.

Most of the aprons in the book were homemade using machines, while some were completely sewn by hand. The worse looking aprons were made in factories and it certainly shows the difference between tender loving care when sewing and seeing just how many you can whip up in a day when being paid via piecework.

While it was nice to see some approximate values on the aprons, you have to remember that the book was published in 2003 and with the plethora of on line selling venues available since that point, those values are most likely highly inaccurate at this point. My favorite thing was seeing how the makers worked all sorts of rick rack into the aprons as well as embroidery and 'Chicken Scratch' embroidery. I have all sorts of vintage rick rack that I have acquired at my local thrift store and it was good to see the different and attractive ways I can use it. It is obvious though, that the ladies of long ago who made these aprons had no access to Pinterest and its many ideas and links to websites that showed some magnificent ways of doing Chicken Scratch embroidery! If they had they would have really gone to town with Chicken Scratch! It seems that the more ideas spread on Pinterest the more people are trying to out do each other.

All together a very interesting book to those that love aprons, embroidery, rick rack, vintage sewing and/or vintage garments. It is about research and study and has no instructions for making any of the aprons although it does reference a few vintage apron patterns as well as embroidery transfer patterns. The author does have a legible photo of a vintage apron pattern instructions in the book and you should be able to follow them if you like since there are no tissue patterns involved and it even includes two different charts for doing counted cross stitch to embellish the apron. For more apron patterns, you should be able to find both current and vintage as well as vintage pattern reprints on sewing pattern selling sites including mine at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts. Since reading this book, I have put the author's other book; Aprons of the Mid-20th Century: To Serve and Protect (A Schiffer Book for Designers and Collectors)on my Wish List.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Great Stash and Scrap Quilt Idea

I've never been big on the idea that I have to 'bust' my stash of fabrics. To me my fabric is like money in the bank. I have enough to keep me happily quilting along for many years with only the need to buy thread and batting. So when I see websites for using up scraps  I'm always happy to file those ideas away in my head, especially ones that will use mis-cut fabric that once cut wrong, all you can do generally is make it into a smaller piece and that wastes your precious scraps. So check out this website for a quilt top that makes use of left over strips and 'crumbs'. Visit Quilting is still my Passion for a very interesting idea. While the writer says you can use any color, think about how this would work using leftover juvenile prints for more Project Linus quilt tops. Or if for some reason you have been doing a lot of quilting using the same colors, this would be a great way to make one more quilt in those same colors. Or using all your leftover plaid pieces or leftover dot or stripe pieces. Anything that is a variation on a theme. So while you may have made a bedroom quilt, you may be able to make so pillows or a lap/nap quilt to go along with the room d├ęcor but without the having the same designs.

Life has been, shall we say interesting for the past few weeks. Got up a couple of weeks ago to a dead monitor. This is not good when one has an on-line business and generally has to get orders out every morning. At the same time my back-up laptop is slowing dying. Try to go too fast with it, it will freeze up and it is pokier than I am and that is saying a lot. At the same time I had been sent a computer to review -- Yeah me! It is Windows 10. Our Wi-Fi for some reason was going slow as well. You don't pay for satellite speed to get the equivalent of dial up! So hubby had his work cut out for him as he also had his own computer that needed installed and it wasn't Windows 10 compatible. A week and a half later, I'm using my new computer and flat screen monitor, but our Windows office doesn't seem to want to play nice with our older files. Can you imagine the work to reconstruct a database that has over 12000 patterns listed in it along with all listing information? So he is still working on a few things. And trying to keep up blogs, etc. went by the wayside. I always want to be more regular with all three of my blogs, but with poor health and computers demanding vacation time, I can't always get to it like I would like. For that I apologize.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Crafty Christmas Trunk Show

Check out this video to see some great ideas for Christmas Crafting for gifts and decorations.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Embroidery Library Pillow Party Look Book

Embroidery Library does it yet again with a wealth of design ideas. If you are already crafting presents for the holidays for your home or to give as gifts, you will want to look at this Pillow Party Look Book . It not only has an abundant showing of great pillow ideas, you can also find the instructions on how to make each of these pillows. There is no charge for the Look Book or the instructions and if you have been collecting embroidery designs, you might already have some of the designs that you would like to use. Currently a lot of the pillow embroidery designs are on sale with the sale ending today (9-13-15) but the designs won't disappear. You can always find them to buy on Embroidery Library and if price is a factor, Embroidery Library has frequent sales and monthly freebies.
And folks for those of you that don't know, Janome is coming out with a new embroidery machine, the Memory Craft 500e. The MC500E has a maximum embroidery size of 7.9”x11”! and it comes with 4 embroidery hoops; RE28b 7.9" x 11", SQ20b 7.9" x 7.9", RE20b 5.5" x 7.9" and SQ14b 5.5" x 5.5". Designs are easily imported through a USB and edited through the machine's advanced on-screen editing functions. Navigation through all of these features has become easier with the MC500E’s new LCD color touchscreen. And Yes, I'm drooling! Can't you just imagine embroidering large designs and quilting in one go a 8" X 8" quilt block which is one of my favorite sizes to work with using my 2 x 4 pre-cuts that I make myself. One of these days I would like to make one of these machines mine and this is why I always encourage downloading free embroidery designs that you find even if you don't have the capacity to do it yet. Some day your prince, er. machine will come!.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What's NEW at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts?

Starting today, August 13, 2015 at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts, any US buyer that buys 2 or more sewing patterns will be automatically upgraded to Priority Mail. For a long time we have offered buyers of 5 or more patterns paid for will receive Priority Mail shipping, even if you buy 20+ patterns there will be no increase in shipping costs than the rate as if for 5 patterns. Now we are happy to give a upgrade in shipping to those customers buying 2-4 patterns. We appreciate your business and want you to come back and shop some more and tell your friends about us! Always fast shipping and a huge selection of over 8000 uncut sewing patterns. While the timing between First Class Mail and Priority Mail may not be huge and in some cases, there may be no time difference, we know that the sooner you get your patterns, the faster you can start your project before you lose your enthusiasm for doing it, thus perhaps less UFO piles!

If you have any questions about this new policy please ask. We wish we could do it for our international customers but with the increased costs of shipping that go up by several dollars per OUNCE, we just can't afford to do so. Currently we are helping subsidize the shipping costs for many international shipments when a pattern is extra heavy.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Embroidery Library YouTube Videos

If you are a visual learner, Embroidery Library now has a YouTube library of videos that you can use to learn how to do different projects with your machine embroidery designs, or how to embroider out special designs like free standing lace. You can see the list here:

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Crafting Project Planning

One of the things that has gotten the hardest for me as rheumatoid arthritis keeps sucking up my stamina, is how to stay involved in the needle crafts that I enjoy. I do read much more about sewing, quilting, embroider, etc. than I used to but that doesn't give me the hand joy of working on something. As I see more and more Pinterest pins with all sorts of new ideas, I want to do more and more. Then I realize that I can't finish large projects. So a couple of weeks ago I chased down the directions for quilting as you go hexagons when I found this YouTube video While watching it, a light bulb went off in my head. What about making large hexagons with a different technique on each of them? I could try all the different techniques that I want to try, without committing myself to anything more than one ~4" hexagon. When I have enough made, I will be able to hand sew them together and I will have a sampler Hexagon quilt. This way a lot of the work on them will be taking place on my couch while watching TV of sitting propping up my legs which I can't do in my sewing room.

So for my first hexagon for this project, I did hand embroidery onto a doily which was another project idea I had seen on Pinterest from this blog: Ernest Hope. While these lovely pillows were for sale with no instructions for making them, I figured that they wouldn't be to hard to replicate. So my thrift store came to the rescue and supplied me with an old white bed sheet to use for a foundation backing ($1) for the hexagon and a small doily (10 cents!) that would fit into the hexagon size I had decided on. I already had plenty of embroidery floss, so used DMC Variegated floss 4215 that ranged from a mid-blue color to light purple and back. I used three strands of thread in the needle, but I think with such a heavyweight crochet cotton in the doily, I might have gone up a bit on that. I did find out some of the doily makers' 'oops' moments, but just went with the flow. I didn't even have an embroidery plan when I started out, but when I got to the end I decided it needed a little bit of something else, so I added French knots around the edges of the doily. For my first attempt at this with no instructions, I think it came out pretty well. What do you think?

 I'm calling this hexagon, Hexagon Sampler quilt #1. I'm working on #2 which is smaller hexagons that I'm sewing into three rounds and will applique it onto the backing. Since I discovered that hexagons are actually easy to make, I been making a lot of them with no final use for them in mind, so I was happy that I was able to find pre-made hexagons in the size and prints that I wanted. I'll be posting it when finished, although I don't give myself deadlines any more. The nice thing is I got the desire to make a larger project off embroidering on doilies out of my system and so can move onto other ideas that I have in my head thanks to Pinterest.

My take on all of this is if you want to do something, break it into small pieces and work on it little by little. Since I have started working on this project, I have gotten more ideas and am looking forward to trying them out.                   

Friday, July 24, 2015

Free Christmas Butterfly Designs at Embroidery Library

Only time for a quick note, but didn't want anyone missing this freebie from Embroidery Library. An entire set of designs in multiple sizes. The Christmas Butterfly Wreath and border design in 5 sizes and the corner design in three. These designs are free for only through Sunday, July 26 so get them while you can! Seeing this later? You can always purchase these designs and any others that were freebies after the fact. Embroidery Library has MANY sales, so keep your eyes open to keep your embroidery costs lower.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Embroidery Library 2015 Christmas Club - Sign up NOW!

I think by now, everyone knows that Embroidery Library is my absolute favorite machine embroidery design store. Well I just received noticed that it is time to sign up for the 2015 Christmas Club. Once you sign up, this is what you will get:
  • Earn points toward a gift card for purchases from now until December 25
  • Sign up before July 31 and get 25 bonus points
  • New monthly free designs
  • New monthly Christmas "collectible" designs
  • Exclusive coupons and sales
  • Exciting holiday inspiration, and more!
During prior years, I have gotten some spectacular Christmas Designs. Once you sign up and are given a free design, don't forget to download ALL sizes of the design, just in case an embroidery machine with a bigger embroidery field is waiting under the tree for you, or like me hoping one day to find a Janome 12000 at a yard sale. Since the designs are free, make sure you get them all.
If you haven't already, make sure you sign up for Embroidery Library's newsletter as well so that you know what other great new designs have come out and what is on sale. They have so very many terrific designs so you can find something for just about anyone's interests and if you can't, they do take design requests.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

A Book List for Fashion Sewers

With the arrival of the internet years ago so many opportunities have opened up for all of us. The biggest one is the ability to learn on line no matter your finances and your physical abilities. I know I would like to go to college and study sewing with instructors that can tell me what I'm doing wrong. Especially in those situations where I know intellectually how to do something, but my fingers can't accomplish it.

I do read a lot and so have learned many skills in sewing that have far surpassed my retched Home Ec class of many years ago. So today I decided what opportunities are available on line. I hadn't gone very far before I found a list of resources on pretty much everything to do with fashion and garment sewing. I was happy to see that I had many of the books on one section of the list. While clicking the links on the list takes you to Amazon where you can buy the book, you can also note the information and either look for the books at yard and library book sales, or ask to borrow them from your library or interlibrary loan. Here is the Book list url: . You can also look at the entire website that is called the University of Fashion. I do not endorse this school or say it is not a place to go. I only found it by way of an internet search and know nothing further about it. However their resource list is impressive!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Shirtmaking Workbook by David Page Coffin

When I first signed up for the Amazon Vine Review Program I was hoping I would have a chance at more books like this one; one I wanted and yet didn't have the budget for yet. So I was very excited to be offered this book. While I have read it already, this book will take many hours of study and even more hours on line to fully appreciate all that the author has pulled together for us. this is my first book and internet and it is terrific. It isn't just a couple of wimpy links, but lots and lots of links with great information.

Here is the review that I wrote for Amazon:

The Shirtmaking Workbook: Pattern, Design, and Construction Resources by David Page Coffin ISBN 9781589238268, Published by Creative Publishing International 2015, Soft Cover, 176 pages, full color illustrations.
After reading Mr. Coffin’s first book on shirtmaking years ago, I have been looking for another book from him for a long time. He writes with a clear style so that you can understand what he is talking about. He understands the needs of a home sewist as he was that himself. After many years of waiting, he has come out with a new book, The Shirtmaking Workbook: Pattern,Design, and Construction Resources. This book has all that and more. More than just a book it is a huge resource to on line places to learn more, get supplies, find inspiration, and visit his blog for help and more learning. While you can learn from this book without a computer, a computer just helps expand the reaches of the book at least a hundredfold.
At first I was scared when I heard that Coffin had published another book on shirtmaking. I was worried that it would just be an expanded and edited revision of his last book. Not so at all and actually if you have both books you will have what you need to make shirts on your own and to design the special touches you want but can’t find a sewing pattern with that actual technique. He emphasizes that they are not just books for men and their shirts, but both men and women’s shirts so that they will be the best made shirts you could ever hope to sew and have.
This book has an enormous amount of color photo illustrations of different types of collars and stands as well as lapels. It also has many full color photos of different types of shirts and has them categorized to help you learn the special techniques that each type of shirt requires. It includes interviews with famous sewists; links to their websites as well as links to the many different resources mentioned in the book including more than 100 downloads for collars, cuffs and plackets. All in all a Masters’ degree program in learning how to make shirts. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.
I would suggest that anyone interested in this book to acquire the first Shirtmaking book first as it will help your understand how to sew the shirts you will want to construct. While it does go into some changes for the shirts that you are making, it doesn't go into the detail that this new book does. If you need a pattern for a shirt to start you off, we have plenty of them at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts. Here are a few of them: For men's shirts you can go to this link. For Misses shirt patterns, you can go to this link. And for Women's Plus Sizes you can go to this link.  Here are some sample shirt patterns that we have at our store and there is plenty more where they came from! Sorry I don't know how to make them clickable.



Saturday, June 06, 2015

Creative Kids Complete Photo Guide to Sewing

I just posted a review of this book: Creative Kids Complete Photo Guide to Sewing on my blog Moonwishes Reads and Reviews  that you might want to read concerning this book. I saw no point in copying it over to here. This is the first real sewing book for children that I have run into, but I found it to be disappointing. However, if you are willing to overlook some of its flaws and work with your child to help them learn the skills in the book, then it might be worthwhile for you to purchase or see if you library has a copy.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Janome Purple Tip Sewing Machine Needles

I belong to a Janome sewing digest and have seen the ladies on the board (could be men as well, hard to see through the monitor screen) asking where they can find Janome Purple Tip Sewing Machine Needles . While I haven't used them as yet, I do know where you can find them as well as the Red Tip and Blue Tip Needles. the folks on the digest that have used the purple tipped needles swear by them to help prevent skipped stitches.

Here is some more information about the Purple Tip Needles from Amazon:

  • Janome Purple Tip Sewing Machine Needles are designed to prevent skipped stitches when sewing on stretch fabrics.
  • The Janome Purple Tip Sewing Machine Needles are great for sewing quilt layers and also for sewing across the hem.
  • The Janome Purple Tip Sewing Machine Needles are in size 90/14 and are 5 needles per pack.

  • Here is some more information about the Blue Tip Needles from Amazon:

    • The Blue Tip needle is specially designed for Janome machines. The unique design has a slightly longer than normal scarf to cure skipped stitches and puckering in any problem fabrics especially synthetics. Size 75/11 Highly recommended for all Janome embroidery machines.
    Here is some more information about the Red Tip Needles from Amazon:

    • Janome Size 14 Red Tip Sewing and Embroidery Needles are designed for denser embroidery. Created in the same style as the classic Blue Tip needle, the Janome Size 14 Red Tip Sewing and Embroidery Needles provide the extra strength and durability needed for denser embroidery and thicker fabrics. This Janome Size 14 Red Tip Sewing and Embroidery Needles are equipped with a larger eye, which helps to prevent the thread breakage that can occur when working with tricky threads, such as metallic.
    I would love to hear from those who have used these needles. Are they worth it? Did you have any trouble with them? Do your skipped stitches disappear when using them? Any comments that can help out your fellow sewers would be appreciated.

    Sunday, May 31, 2015

    Last chance for Embroidery Library's Free May Designs!

    Today is your last chance to 'buy' your Free May 2015 machine embroidery designs from Embroidery Library. This month there was three of them. One set was Suzani Butterfly with Flowers and also a Suzani butterfly on it's own. There is also a fun vintage sewing machine with birds and flowers.  Lots of places that these designs can be used.

    While you are there picking up your May designs, you can grab the June designs already as well. There is a basket of lovely red roses in two sizes, and a Spice it up sampler also in two sizes. It is certainly worth your while to go get these designs.

    What if you don't have an embroidery machine yet but are planning eventually to get one? Get those designs now anyhow so that when the day comes that you have an embroidery machine you won't be dependent on just the designs that come with your machine. I have been downloading free designs for years and I probably have maybe 4-5 thousand ones. I even download designs that are larger than my machine can cope with, but I want to have them just in case. In the meantime study up on brands you are interested in. I do recommend Janome machines, and no they don't pay me to say that! I've been using their brand of machines for close to 35 years at this point and they never disappoint. You can either buy a stand alone embroidery machine or choose from several different machines at different price points that are combination sewing and embroidery machines. While I do recommend that you support your local dealer, if you are so unfortunate to have a dealer that is a 'pill' or they are so far away, you may want to consider buying on line.

    Sunday, April 26, 2015

    Pressing Quilt Block Seams

    For years I have read in every book and magazine along with discussions with other quilters, that when pressing seams in a quilt block to press BOTH seam allowances off to the darker side or to one side that will help keep all the seams aligned correctly for sewing all the blocks together. So I pick up a magazine yesterday (sorry can't remember the name off hand) and while I was looking through it, they had an entire page devoted to pressing the seams in quilt blocks open and why, including preventing two seams from getting off kilter when you sew over both of them where you might go from two layers of fabric to six within one stitch length. They had a lot of good reasons for pressing them open and pooh-poohed the idea of it leaving the seams with too much thread tension to hold up. As a garment sewer first before being a quilter, I know that I'm still wearing skirts regularly that I made up to 20 years ago with nary a popped seam. So how can the seam pop out so easily on a quilt when they don’t on garments which actually would get rougher use and lots of trips through the washer?

    Anyhow I was looking for ideas on whether any of you have tried and/or routinely press your seams open instead of off to the side. It 'seams' it would help those of you that have trouble with intersections on your 7700 not get thrown off so easily.

    Have the books and references been wrong for all these years? As part of my quest to be the best I can be with quilting, I have been trying hard to follow the rules, but is the this a rule that needs to be updated and broken?

    Here are some great quilt magazines that I have enjoyed over the years. The one that I found the information about pressing quilt blocks was in the premier issue of a magazine on using pre-cuts. I don't buy precuts, I make my own. At the end of every project, with the leftover small pieces of fabric, I cut out 2 1/2" strips, 2 1/2" squares, 4 1/2" squares and 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles. If I still have odd shapes left over I will cut them into something that is a fairly common size, such as if I have enough to make a 3 1/2" square, that is what I will cut it into instead trimming off an inch of fabric on both sides and thus wasting part of it. If I wanted to, I could also make 5" and 10" charm and cake squares and fat  quarters, but instead if I have that large of piece of fabric leftover, I fold it up and put it back in my stash. But I've been thinking about rethinking that process. Stince I started working on hexagons for quilting, I am also always looking out for  leftover fabric shapes that I can use for different size hexies.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    Doll Faces machine Embroidery Design and Rag Doll Pattern

    One of the things I like the best about Embroidery Library, besides all their great FREE designs that they give us, is their constant innovation. Today's email from them features Doll faces and a rag doll body design in several sizes and instructions for making the rag doll. Here is an example of just one of the MANY faces you can use.

    You can find this doll face here: Doll Face . You can buy them in 4 different sizes ranging of this face from 2.51" X 1.79" up to 5.87" X 4.18". Obviously you can choose what eye color that you like as well. With the many variations in the doll's faces, whether awake, asleep or winking, as well as different mouth, eye and nose formations 36 different faces were showcased today x four sizes gives you a choice of 144 doll faces, some of which are suitable for the face of a Raggedy Ann and Andy type doll. Not enough faces for what you are doing? Go to the Doll Faces Department and take your pick from 30 pages of doll faces!

    Over my years of sewing and machine embroidery, I have run across the occasional doll face that you were generally stuck with one size and one face, so this is fantastic for doll making, especially for rag dolls that a smaller child will use as there are no small parts like button eyes to fall off. With being able to embroider the face, a grandma or other type of holiday elf, can churn out a lot of unique rag dolls for presents in no time at all.

    Not only did they show us some new doll faces today, today's email focused on ideas for children's clothing, such as this unicorn that comes as a split design for use on opposite sides of a zippered jacket or sweater. One of the designs was a dinosaur that they split on either side of a Kangaroo pocket so that you see the head coming out and the tail going into the pocket. There are even instructions on how to make this effect. These designs also come in whole animals in all embroidery or applique and feature a lot of different animals. The unicorn design you can see here with a link to the instructions on that page.

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Who are these Fairy Tale characters?

    Can someone help me out. I'm trying to list this girls costume pattern, Simplicity 0666 or 8514 Size 2-6. I recognize the one character, but her name escapes me and I have no clue who the other one is although she looks a lot like my niece Kim when she was little! As soon as I know who they are, I will get the listing up and thank you!

    Sunday, April 05, 2015

    Ideas For Recycled Blue Jeans


    One of the best things about Pinterest, in my opinion, is finding terrific blogs and websites with a bountiful supply of ideas. Finding this blog started with seeing one photo on Pinterest and then following the link to this blog called ANDYAAF . While the site is in another language, once the photos load, you can click on the button at the top of the blog to have it translated into your language. I have NEVER seen such a wealth of ideas for using up old worn out blue jeans. No matter how they get worn, there are always spots on the jeans that will wear like iron for another decade or so. Pop on over to visit to get some great ideas. Maybe you can make all your stocking stuffers for Christmas out of a stack of old blue jeans hanging out in your sewing room, or maybe just one idea will grab at your creative heart. Whichever, you need to visit this site!

    A blue jean purse and a blue jean apron I could have thought of, but blue jean sandals?!?!!

    After visiting the blog, write in with photos and tell us what you made once you got an idea of what to do.

    Friday, April 03, 2015

    Free Flower Bouquets Machine Embroidery Designs

    Embroidery Library, besides their 2 Free monthly designs that they posted for April has now posted four more Free designs just for this weekend ending Sunday, April 5, 2015. The  four lovely designs are in for sizes each so you can download a total of 16 designs for free and if you haven't downloaded your April designs, 2 new ones in two sizes each, this is a good time to do so! This Poppy design is one of the four designs available for free just this weekend. Isn't it pretty?

    This Robin with her nest and eggs is one of the April designs, free to download all month.

    Starbird Stock Designs also has a cute Rubber Duck Swirl Design that would be so cute on a baby's bath towel or burp pad.

    I hope you like these designs and download them and then go on to support these great companies that consistently develop new, wonderful, great quality machine embroidery designs.

    Wednesday, April 01, 2015

    Taking your time to finish a project

    I've been working on a Project Linus quilt off and on for several months now. Between not feeling well, being too tired to sew, and just busy, I still don't have the top finished. Sometimes, however there is a gift for procrastinating. I've been using some really cute frog fabric with blue backgrounds. I also have another top made with a pink background, and enough scraps and leftover chunks of fabric to make another quilt top. I kept feeling like it was missing something. I needed a frog machine embroidery design. While I found a few that might work, I would have had to pay for them. Since these are quilts to give away for charity I try to make them the best possible without spending a lot of money on them. The fabric was given to me, so other than the thread and batting they are essentially free. A frog design would have raised the cost. But today I found an adorable frog applique for FREE at Adorable Applique.  Isn't this frog just too cute and fun for a child's quilt? It's Perfect!

    Adorable Applique also has a sister site called Cute Embroidery. I've only been connected up with them for the last couple of weeks, and they seemed to have a lot of FREE machine embroidery designs, especially ones that will appeal to children. Sign up for their newsletter so you know when a new design is introduced. You have to get them quickly before another design replaces them.

    Saturday, February 28, 2015

    March 2015 Free Embroidery Library Designs

    Check out the newest FREE embroidery designs from Embroidery Library for the month of March 2015. After that there will be a price. I love the great designs from Embroidery Library. These two both come in 2 different sizes. For free designs I always download all sizes of a design since you never know when someone is going to give you a Janome 12000 or 15000! Generally though, when Embroidery Library only publishes two sizes they will fit into a size 5" x 7" hoop as well as a 4" x 4" hoop. I don't like how some designers forget that some still are happily embroidering away with machines that can only take these two sizes.


    Embroidery Library currently has a sale going on and I'm picking up a couple of designs that I really like including the Sweet Pea Design Pack. It has several variations including two sizes of border designs and sizes of corner designs. I love sweet peas and these are just too pretty. Do I know what I will be using them for? Nope. I will think of something eventually though in the next 500-1000 years I will need to stay alive to complete all my intended projects!

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    In Memorium: Koos Van Den Akker


    Koos Van Den Akker a well known designer died February 4, 2015. While many of his designs were rather strange and different, some just grabbed you. Want to learn more about his life? You can visit his Wikipedia entry here. He also designed a series of sewing patterns for Vogue. We have a lot of his most current Vogue Sewing patterns available in our store at this point, except for one that I really loved that I have tucked away for me to try someday). Unless he had a pattern or two in the process of being published at Vogue, there will be no more of his patterns available to us so if you have been looking for one, this is probably a good time to grab one. Pictured are just a few of his Vogue pattern designs that we currently have in stock. Most in two size ranges at this point.


    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Kaleidoscope Stitching for Hand Embroidery

    I have always liked the images that Kaleidoscope made when looking through the tube. I especially have liked the special effects that quilters can make with the Kaleidoscope blocks. I'm not sure why I have never made a Kaleidoscope quilt. But then after my last Remicade IV day I popped into my local Barnes & Noble for my 'treat' and saw and looked through the different craft magazines to see which ones would come home with me while I rested for the rest of the day. My Remicade day takes the starch out of me. Anyhow I picked up the current copy of Stitch magazine, Issue 91 Oct.-Nov. and saw this stitch in it and had to have the magazine!

    I used a variegated embroidery floss to make the design. For those with eagle eyes, yes I did make a couple boo-boos. Ever since I got bi-focals I have had a few problems with counting spaces on Aida cloth. I love how the design comes out. The article showed the many different ways that you can change the whole look of the stitch by just your use of floss colors and whether you use variegated floss or not.

    This is one thing I do like about this magazine is the clear instructions and diagrams, plus samples to help you learn how to make the different stitches. It also has projects to make, and different techniques to get your stitching repertoire increased. I have finally broken down and gotten a subscription by way of Amazon. There are two different Stitch magazines being published that I know of with the name Stitch. This one comes form the UK the other has sewing, quilting, stitching projects from Interweave. I wouldn't mind have a subscription of that one either. It is very hard to find a magazine that focuses on other types of embroidery other than counted cross stitch, so I have been happy to pick it up when I can. Depending on how my hands feel, I can't do a lot of hand embroidery or quilt piecing for that matter, but it is nice to get new ideas to try.

    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    DIY Costumes

    Through the kindness of another seller, I was able to get a lot of new costume patterns. Not only can they be used for Halloween, many would be good for school plays or even dress up for little girls. I remember years ago making a cape for my son Ron, and how he wore it all the time. I always tried to make costumes so that they could be worn to play in, such as a sheriffs vest with a star embroidered on it.

    I'd love for you to drop in and see our fine selection of costumes and if costumes aren't what you are looking for, we have plenty of other types of sewing patterns. At today's count, we have over 8100 sewing patterns that are uncut and unused!

    Thursday, February 05, 2015

    February's FREE Machine Embroidery Designs from Embroidery Library

    Yet again Embroidery Library gives us some lovely machine embroidery designs in two sizes each for this February 2015. While a few companies will give very small simple designs to show their digitizing capability, Embroidery Library gives out full-fledged gorgeous designs to try and use and this month's are beautiful. I appreciate all the companies that make these wonderful designs and give out samples to try. I know with Embroidery Library, it sure works for marketing, since every time I don't have a design I need, I go to Embroidery Library first to buy what I need if they have it.

    Do you ever fill overwhelmed with emails some companies send you? I sure do. I had signed up for a company that in the beginning only sent an email every month or two and then it became weekly and then daily! Sorry, but that is way too much and I had to unsubscribe. I've been running into the same problem with Craftsy. While I like their intention and they do have good classes, they also seem to be paying McCall's, Vogue and Threads Magazine to send out their emails as well, so almost daily I get 4 identical emails, day after day, all promoting a particular Craftsy class. Thanks but no thanks. I didn't sign up to get Craftsy emails from Threads or the pattern companies. So these companies that sent me specific, targeted email that I did want to see, are now bombarding my email on a daily basis as well. Tried to write to one of the companies and got the classic pass the buck response. Don't these companies know or understand how they are turning off their paying customers by doing this? I think I currently have around 100 unopened emails since I just haven't had time yet to get rid of the clutter.  Anyone know how to get companies from sending emails that I'm not interested in and that aren't the actual companies, to cease??? Okay, I'm done venting. Happy Stitching.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    More Organizing My Sewing Room

    Almost two years ago I set myself a goal of organizing my sewing room. Unfortunately it is taking much longer than anticipated due to my lack of physical energy, but every little bit helps. I have been enjoying getting different Binders, Dividers and other office supplies to try and review on the Amazon Vine program as I am slowly but surely trying to get all the paper and other items in my sewing room organized. One of the things that are hard to keep organized is the many different acrylic templates and rulers and their instructions used in quilting. For me they and their instructions were all tossed in the same drawer that I not only had to find the correct template but the instructions to be sure I am using it and measuring correctly. It is amazing how something that looks so simple needs to be used carefully so an entire quilt block comes out okay. So that is what I was working on this time. I had some 3 hole punched plastic sheet protectors that I put my rulers in and on the actual divider with the very nice big pocket I tucked the instructions for each of rulers that were in that section. Five dividers was exactly right for this project. The sheet protectors that I used were not real heavy duty, so I didn't stuff them full. just one or two templates/rulers was sufficient.

    There were divider tabs that could be run through your printer with instructions on how to set them up at the Avery website, but for 5 dividers I decided it was much easier and quicker to write what I needed on each tab an slip them in. Some tabs were rather a tight fit, but I would rather have that than divider tabs that are too loose and the tabs would then fall out. For someone that is putting together a lot of notebooks with the dividers, I can see them setting up a template in the computer and then printing it out and they would be much more professional looking. As it is, I am happy that I now will no longer have to rummage around looking for the correct ruler and instructions. Ever minute spared looking for something is a minute more to do what I really like.

    Compared to what was available back in the stone age when I went to school, it is nice that people can have a choice in exactly what they need in dividers, binders, tabs, etc. so that their notebooks meets their needs exactly and Avery works hard to give you those choices.

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Curvy Sewing Collective

    For all you curvy gals out there, myself included, a website devoted to the curvy woman that sews her own garments. So great to see examples of how particular patterns fit and see many take offs from some of these ladies favorite 'Tried-And-True' (TNT) patterns. I'm sure we all have one. I have a top that I love to make that I think I've made in at least 6 if not more variations. Also this site will give you even more inspiration to sew patterns that you haven't been sure about. Truthfully I was surprised at how well some dresses like a shirtwaist dress could look on some of these women. I have avoided anything with a definite waistline for years, maybe I will get brave enough to try one since dresses with waist are my favorite kind, but I can no longer do zippers up the back so will probably have to stick to front buttons or other kind of front closure.

    Visit The Curvy Sewing Collective for Plus-Size Sewers and see all the great info and chances to participate in monthly sewing photo ops.  While we may not carry all the patterns that are posted on that blog, we do carry a large selection of plus-size pattern styles at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts.  We would love to have you visit and make us your pattern stop. When sourcing patterns for our store, plus size patterns are always the first thing we buy, any other size comes in after that.