My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Archive for the month “December, 2018”

Holiday Mini Quilts

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas!

I was late getting in the “Christmas” mood this year! Normally we travel for the Christmas holidays so I don’t decorate our home. This year we hosted Christmas dinner for friends and family so I felt I needed to add a little festive decor around the house.

I love decorating with quilts, especially mini quilts, which are a great way to add pops of color to any room or space. I have 5 Babylock embroidery machines and  kept them super busy during December. I am having so much fun learning and creating with the Embroidery Software and then bringing the designs to life with the machines.

In my next few posts I plan to share all that I was able to get accomplished before Christmas.

Mug rugs are great gifts!  I was able to get these in the mail to arrive before Christmas:

For my fellow blogging friends Roseanne and Sue, from Home Sewn By Us:

Christmas 2018 HollyAlpha MR
Christmas 2018 Holly Alpha Mug Rug

For my brother in law and his partner:

Christmas 2018 Red Truck 1
Christmas 2018 Red Truck Mug Rug

For another friend:

Christmas 2018 Snowman Joy
Christmas 2018 Snowman Joy

Instead of batting I used foam to use as mouse pads for hubby and myself!

Christmas 2018 Ornament Joy
Christmas 2018 Mouse Pad
Christmas 2018 Scalloped Tree MR
Christmas 2018 Scalloped Tree MR

I was also able to finish my Riley Blake modern greek cross quilt!

Christmas 2018 Mod Cross Finished
Christmas 2018 Modern Cross Finished

I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!  Many Blessings to you and yours in 2019. 🙂

Quilt As You Go – Quick Gift Ideas

Happy Friday,

I started and finished a few projects this morning using one type of the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method!  They were so easy I wanted  to share them with you.

I love pot holders! I cook 5 out 7 days each week and use pot holders constantly.

Christmas 2018 QAYG Potholders

Christmas 2018 QAYG Potholders


QAYG – Potholders

  • Start with 2 squares of Insul-Brite measuring 10 x 10 inches for the front and back of your potholder
  • Strip piece 4- 2.5 x 11 inch rectangles directly onto both squares of Insul-Brite
    • finger press your seams
  • Add a piece of cotton batting between your front and back piece – quilt along the seams to join the 3 pieces
  • trim potholder to 9 or 9.5 inch square
  • sew a basting stitch around the entire potholder
  • Bind – I used one 2.5 x WOF for each potholder

Enjoy your potholder!

QAYG – Table runner

I needed a runner for my coffee table.

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane TR

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane TR

My requirements were:

  • 12 to 16 inches tall and 32-34 inches wide.
  • inspiration : candy cane
  • use red & white metallic fabrics

After I found scrap batting in the size I needed. I cut the white strips 4.5 x WOF and the red strips 2.5 x WOF.

Starting in the center I pieced the fabrics directly on the batting at a slant to give it the candy cane illusion.

  • trim the sides
  • add backing
  • echo quilt along seam lines
  • bind
Christmas 2018 Candy Cane CU

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane CU

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane Backing

Christmas 2018 Candy Cane Backing

QAYG Placemats

Christmas 2018 QAYG RB Placemats

Christmas 2018 QAYG Placemats

Christmas 2018 QAYG RB Placemats b

Christmas 2018 QAYG RB Placemats

These placemats measure 12 x 16. Fabric is from Timeless Treasures.

I used 4 strips 3 x 16.5 inches per placemat.

  • I sewed the strips on to the batting
  • Added backing – placing right sides together
  • sewed around leaving opening
  • turned right side out
  • top stitched around entire placemat to close the opening
  • echo quilted along seams


Happy Stitching

Getting In the Christmas Mood

Christmas will be here soon and I am just now beginning to “feel” it 🙂

Friend and fellow blogger Roseanne from Home Sewn By Us mentioned once I got the tree up I would start getting in the Christmas Spirit — she was right!

The weather was gloomy today in the sunshine state, so I spent most of my time in the sewing room.

I have an ongoing love affair with the log cabin quilt block! You can create many many layouts – I plan to try several.

I started my Log Cabin Star Wall hanging back in July.  My inspiration came from a pattern on Moda Bakeshop by Marlene Biles.

I used a junior jelly roll of metallic reds ( curated by my LQS) and prints from the Robert Kaufman Holiday Flourish collection.  My quilted wall hanging measures 44 x 44 inches.

I love it!

2018 Log Cabin Star WH

2018 Log Cabin Star WH


Happy Stitching!






Gift Sewing Madness – Finished

Happy Tuesday!

Most people have some sort of electronic tablet so I decided to make a few tech covers for friends and family this year.

I found lots of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube to get me started…. Each tech cover has a pocket either on the front or the back. A couple of them fasten with elastic and button and two with a tab, button and Velcro.

This tech cover is for an old Samsung Galaxy note used by a 4 year old

tech cover samsung galaxy note

tech cover Samsung galaxy note

My step daughter and her mother in law both have the IPad Air:

tech cover ipad air

tech cover IPad air

I used scraps from my stash to make them coffee koozies 🙂

tech cover ipad air cozy

tech cover IPad Air

My girlfriend has the Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet:

tech cover kindle floral

Fire HD 8 Tablet


tech cover kindle floral back

Fire HD 8 Floral Back

My daughter also has the Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet, she keeps hers in a case so I made the cover larger.

tech cover kindle nikki

Fire HD 8 Tablet Cover


Last but not least I made one for me 🙂  I have the IPad Pro. I did QAYG strip piecing for the front.

tech cover ipad pro in

Tech Cover IPad Pro


The tech covers were the last gift items that needed to be mailed to arrive by Christmas.

Making the tech sleeves isn’t difficult — if you’ve made a tote bag these are very similar. It is very important that you measure the device accurately. I used Pellon’s Thermolam Plus  fusible fleece and woven fusible interfacing in each cover.  I am so pleased with the results.

Please feel free to ask me any questions if you decide to make one yourself!

Linking to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.

Happy Stitching!

Gift Sewing Madness – Day 3

Happy Tuesday!

I had another productive sewing day today!

Decorating kitchen towels and making potholders are another favorite gift item I like to make. This year I decided to give everyone the same set — time wise it was best for me.

Christmas 2018 Towels Group

Christmas 2018 Gift Towel Set


The towels are 16 inches wide,  I band them with a 5.5 inch strip of fabric and half inch grosgrain ribbon. I love the modern and whimsical embroidery designs.  The ornament design I purchased from Planet Applique – everything else I created myself. Now that I have time I’m finally learning how to use my digitizing/embroidery software!

Christmas 2018 Towels

Christmas 2018 Kitchen Towels


The floating star potholder is my go to design when I need quick.  I love it because I never loose my star points! It is commonly called “the dandy star”.  A simple nine patch arrangement.  To make one star block you need

  • eight (8) 3.5 inch squares of background fabric,
  • one (1) 3.5 inch square print fabric for  star center
  • eight (8) 2.0 inch squares print fabric for star points
    • use the stitch and flip method to create the star points
  • layout
  • sew together

I added a pocket to the back of one of the potholder.  The potholders measure 9 inches square.

Christmas 2018 Potholders

Christmas 2018 Potholders

Christmas 2018 Potholders FB

Christmas 2018 Potholders

Lastly a gift for my youngest son…he graduated from University of Michigan in 2006, played football while there and is a BIG BIG Michigan fan! He has a really cute tree on his dining room table with all kinds of Michigan ornaments — so I made a table runner for the tree!  I’m sure it will be a surprise 🙂

Christmas 2018 Michigan TR

2018 Michigan Half Hexie Christmas Tree


Christmas 2018 Michigan CU

Christmas 2018 Michigan CU


Linking with Linky Tuesday at Freemotion By The River.

Until next time – Happy Sewing!







Gift Sewing Madness – Day 2

Happy Thursday!

I started sewing early this morning because today is “Date Night” and I need to make an unscheduled trip to the hair salon! This week we are doing dinner and theater!  Our local community theater is excellent – tonight’s musical is “Nunsense”!

I made this table runner earlier this fall for son#1 and his family.  It is a half hexie Christmas tree — one of the popular Jenny Doan tutorials.  I’d made a similar one a few years ago and my DIL loved it.  I had plenty fabric left over so I made one for them.

Christmas 2018 Hexi TR

Christmas 2018 Hexi TR

Today I made matching placemats, using the Fat Quarter Shop Pocketed Placemat video tutorial. It is a great pattern and very easy to make.  Each placemat measure 12 x 18 inches, you start with any 12.5 inch unfinished quilt block add borders and a pocket – and voila you’re finished with the top.  No binding — YAY!!

I machine appliqued a tree onto a 12.5 background square. I used a small blanket stitch with metallic thread. My photos aren’t great but the backing fabric with the Reindeer is sew cute!

Christmas 2018 Hexi Reindeer Mats

Christmas 2018 Hexi Reindeer Mats

Christmas 2018 Hexi Mat Front

Christmas 2018 Reindeer Front

Christmas 2018 Hexi Mat Back

Christmas 2018 Reindeer Back



I laid the entire ensemble out on my floor…..

Christmas 2018 Hexi Tree

Christmas 2018 Half Hexi Christmas Tree



Happy Sewing!


Gift Sewing Madness

Happy Wednesday!

We had a great time traveling up north for Thanksgiving. It was great visiting family and eating delicious food!  The cold weather however did not agree with me – I have been sick the past week.  Today is the first day I haven’t had all day coughing spells and getting out of bed wasn’t a chore.

I was happy and grateful to spend all day at my sewing machine!  Like many of you I have many holiday gifts/projects to finish and not enough time! 🙂

Place mats and table runners are my go to gifts for family — I try to have them finished early  so they can use them during the holiday season.

My girl friend requested place mats with multi colored (warm colors) poseys.  I found the fabric in the clearance section at JoAnn’s.  I love how they turned out!

Autumn 2018 modern posey placemat

2018 modern posey placemat

2018 posey placemats

2018 posey placemats


We took our young grandsons to see  The Grinch movie over Thanksgiving. They loved it. When I saw this fabric I had to make a set of place mats for them to remember us!

Christmas 2018 Grinchmas FB

Christmas 2018 Grinchmas

Christmas 2018 Grinchmas Front Cu

Christmas 2018 Grinchmas


I actually started this last set of QAYG place mats before Thanksgiving. My daughter loves bling!  I found a jelly roll that had several pieces of fabric with metallic threads.

Christmas 2018 QAYG-P Front

Christmas 2018 QAYG-P Front

Christmas 2018 QAYG-P FB

Christmas 2018 QAYG-P FB

Christmas 2018 QAYG-P Back

Christmas 2018 QAYG-P Back


Linking with Connie at Freemotion By The River!

Day 1 of Gift Sewing madness has ended ….hopefully I will be as productive tomorrow!

Happy Sewing!










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