Stitch Sampler

When I was looking to buy my first sewing machine over 10 years ago one of my requirements was that it had a few decorative stitches.  I ended up buying a Viking Husqvarna 350 which has several decorative stitches and is programmable so you can combine them together.



How often do I use these decorative stitches?  Pretty much never! But they are pretty and I would like to use them. So while I had some black thread in my machine and some muslin scraps I made myself a little stitch sampler. I’m going to hang it near my sewing table so I can be inspired while I’m making things.


Even now I’ve got some ideas to use these stitches. For example, I love that double cross stitch pattern that’s below the flowers. I can totally see that on a hem or neckline.  I like the satin stitch beading pattern too.

So I’m going to challenge myself to use some decorative stitches in my next project.  D

Do you ever use decorative stitches in your projects?


Happy Valentines Day!

At January’s Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I was inspired by  Helen Ernst‘s beautiful Bursting Heart Wall hanging. There are many techniques new to me, and apparently I tried most of them out on this mini quilt.

Valentine Mini Quilt

Valentine Mini Quilt

First – I used the same tutorial as Helen, except I drew the heart directly on lightweight fusible interfacing. After cutting it apart,  I ironed it directly onto my fabric.  For my first applique ever, I think it worked out well.

Second – I finally tried spray basting.  Yeah, I’ll be spray basting from now on. Why was I so afraid to try it? It was quick, easy, and I had great results. 

Third – I  stopped being a baby about Free Motion quilting, and attempted a really free motion design between the heart shapes. I guess this worked out better than other attempts, but I still have a very long way to go.

Broken Heart Mini

Finally, I finished the binding on my sewing machine. I used my 1/4″ piecing foot (the one with the stopper thingy on the right side.) This really helped me keep the seam straight on both the front and back.

This project was fun, quick, and I got to try out a bunch of new techniques for the first time. I think its a bit wonky, but I’m glad its completely finished!


XOXO – Natalie

Burda Spring 2014 Patterns

I can’t say I buy many Burda patterns, but since I was browsing the Simplicity website I figured I would take a look and I found a few great patterns.

Burda 6968 – This is a vintage pattern for a very cute top. It’s nice to see some retro patterns from the 1970s,  and Burda has 4 in their new collection.


Burda 6970 – I just love the vavavoom style of this sweetheart neckline dress. The bustier/skirt combo seems very Kim Kardashian to me.



Burda 6916 – I’m intrigued by geometric construction of these dresses.  I do worry about trying to do an FBA.



Getting Started

Please allow me to introduce myself; my name is Natalie, and i’m a chronic procrastinator.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been contemplating what to write about on our new sewing blog.  Should my inaugural post be about quilting or apparel sewing,  creative process or technical skills?  As often happens with my sewing projects, I get so caught up thinking about what I’m going to do, that I wind up actually doing very little.

It would appear apropos that my first post be about getting started.  I’m not really sure how to express my ideas and I have about million things I’d love to share. But if there is one thing I’ve learned, its that the more you do something difficult, the easier it becomes.

So how do I get started on a project? Most of the time, I start something without really thinking about it. I’m still a very novice quilter, but when I see a block I like, I make it. So I have a bunch of mis-matched blocks all over the place. That is okay with me.  The few finished quilts I’ve made were done on a whim, and they look awesome.

I’ve learned with sewing clothes that I always need to make a muslin.  I don’t have as much of a creative block if I’m constructing something simply for fit. Once I have a completed piece in my hand, I can start really thinking about fabric and notions.   Its more enjoyable planning a project without fear of disaster or ill fit.

So there you go, the answer really is JUST DO IT.