pillows with a purpose


I have limited storage space for fabric, which, obviously, once it’s full, can be problematic. Well, I'm there. My fabric cabinet is stuffed to the gills. No space for new prints, no space for stocking up on old favorites. Something has to be done. Such excess. It's a little embarrassing.

I set aside a few prints to list in my shop, but it's still hard to get over the fact that when I bought all these fabrics, I had planned to actually make things with them. And then, in my web meanderings, I happened upon a great way to create something useful with those gorgeous fabrics and then donate them to a wonderful cause. I expect that I'm nearly the last person to hear about the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, but local shops are still collecting pillowcases so I hope to inspire a few more of you to lend a hand.


So far I've made two pillowcases with Amy Butler's Belle prints in the aqua and clay colorway. Oh how I adore her coriander prints. I used this tutorial, except that I cut the trim 1-1/2" wide instead of 3" (the finished trim is 1/2"W). All you need is 1 yard of fabric and one narrow piece of trim. It's an easy pattern, and no serger is required. Simple, and fun. Please try it!


I showed these to my husband and he told me that I am not allowed to buy pillowcases ever again. Sounds good to me.


(Molly says "Hi!")

I hope you will consider joining me in some charitable craftiness. If you know of other organizations to donate fabric, yarn, sewing supplies, or finished handmade goods, please let me know in the comments and I will add it to the list.

One Million Pillowcase Challenge
Rainbow Around the Block
Project Linus
Knitting & Crochet Charities - lots of links


And the winners are...


As selected by the random number generator:

#4 Lynne

Lynne said...
I love that Retro Ruler print. So cute! Thanks for the great giveaway!

#81 Alette
Alette said...
I love the retro ruler print. And I would so love to win the give away of the pear ( ofcourse who wouldn't LOL) it is my birthday the 20th :)


Congratulations Lynne and Alette! I’ll be in touch shortly to send your pear patterns and sewing kits. Thanks to everyone who entered!

And just so you know...Aqua and red kits are now available (sorry, the finished pears are already gone!)


Have a great week!

Patchwork project for your unpaper products


Say that 5 times fast.

You don't still get plastic bags from the grocery store do you? Yeah, me neither. Well usually not. Occasionally the pups make a mess in the house and it's handy to have a bag for clean up that I can take straight to the garbage can. Why do they eat grass, anyway? It always ends up on the rug.

I came across this great tutorial for making a plastic bag holder (I'm actually thinking it will be awesome for dispensing washcloths or unpaper towels, a few at a time so I'm not always digging in the linen closet for them) and had to try it out.

My version:


The 50s kitcheny fabrics are from Anna Griffin's long discontinued Elsie's Kitchen line, American Jane polka dots and florals, and Alexander Henry's birdseed in yellow. Also some Michael Miller dumb dots in black mixed in. It didn't come out as photogenic as I'd hoped, but I still like it.

I did make some alterations to the pattern measurements which I'll share here in case you want to make one too, especially those of you in the US.

The changes:

1. First I had to convert and round the measurements up from the pesky metric system that nearly the entire planet uses but we Americans still view as incomprehensible. Silly logical rest of the world. Then I made it slightly longer: The measurements of the pieced fabric/muslin are 20"H x 18"W. My patchwork strips started out 6" long, and were trimmed down to the proper size while squaring.

2. Instead of using a long piece of fabric for the hanger, I just used a wide piece of grosgrain ribbon (3/4"W), about 10" in length. And instead of attaching it to the bag after the elastic was sewn in, I sewed the ribbon ends to the inside of the bag, right along the casing seam before inserting the elastic. One end I sewed to the center of the pieced fabric, the other end near the edge, next to where the edges of the bag are sewn together, but with enough room for about a 1/2" seam allowance.

3. I changed the elastic measurements to 6-1/2" for the bottom elastic, and 7-1/2" for the top.

4. Apparently I like to sew lots and lots of narrow little strips together. If you want to save some time, make sure your narrower strips are at least 2" to 2-1/2" wide, but use plenty of wider strips, in the 3-4" range.

That sounds more confusing than it is when I see it all written out. Would you prefer photos to illustrate?


I also wanted to mention that there are still a few days left to enter my sewing kit and pear pattern giveaway. So please enter. Right now!

Have a happy weekend!

Pick a pear


I was spending some quality time with my fabric stash the other day and lamenting how there just isn't enough time in the day (or week or year) for me to sew through it all. The time had come for me to share some of those favorite prints that I've been storing, so that others (you) can enjoy them too.

So, today I am announcing the arrival of Retro Mama pattern kits! Available now:

Hope Valley in Orange and Orchid (thank you, Denyse, for making me love this color combination)


Retro Ruler (this was my number one best selling pincushion, and I love these fabrics as much today as I did when I first discovered them)


I am also selling the sample pincushions from these photos. I don't have immediate plans to make more pears, so if you want a pincushion, now is the time to grab it!



Included in each kit is

*6 designer 100% cotton fabrics to make one pear
*Wool blend felt for leaf and stem
*3 colors of embroidery floss

Remember, the pattern is sold separately!

All the fabrics and materials are hand cut by me, and to minimize waste they are not shipped with extra packaging materials. The kits will arrive in the cute bundle pictured above, with some baker's twine wrapped around it that you can use for crafting or packages. I also ship these kits internationally. More kit prints will be available soon.

I'd love to hear from you--if you have a request for specific fabrics please leave a comment!

AND to make things interesting, as well as reward those of you who made it to the end of this post...If you leave a comment or vote for a new fabric kit, you will be entered to win your choice of one of the pincushion kits above. I'll randomly choose TWO winners on Monday, July 19 to receive a kit so please make sure there is a way to contact you by entering an e-mail address with your name when you leave a comment. One entry per person please.

P.S. The winners will also receive a copy of my Plush Pear Trio PDF sewing pattern :)

Good luck!