Isn’t it beautiful outside today? …well it was when I wrote this blog:) Sunny blue skies and mild temps make me wanna spend all my time outside while I can. So today I took to the outdoors for a little crafting. I set up all my supplies on the patio, poured myself some sweet tea and enjoyed the weather while I created the sweetest little clock for my moms sewing room.

Today I’m going to show you how to make that adorable Button Clock that everyone has been pinning on Pinterest. So gather up the supplies, beg your mom to make you some crocheted flowers and lets get crafty!

SewMod button clock

Supplies needed:
Clock mechanism & battery (which can be found at Michaels for about $7)
8 inch Wooden embroidery hoop
2 fat quarters, clock fabric & lining
Embroidery floss
Crocheted flowers
Craft paint & brush, pink of course!
Scissors, marking utensil
Chipboard (found in the scrapbook section)

Start by painting your hoop with the craft paint and allowing it to dry.

SewMod button clock

Trace the inner hoop onto your chipboard and cut out with scissors.

SewMod button clock

To find the center of your chipboard circle, trace the inner hoop again but this time on a piece of paper. Cut out and fold the paper into quarters. Open and mark the center with a dot. Lay the paper circle on top of the chipboard circle and mark the dot through onto your chipboard. Using an awl or your scissors create a hole where the dot is for the mechanism. Set the chipboard aside. We’ll use it in a bit…

SewMod button clock

Place your lining fabric behind your clock fabric and tighten securely between the hoops.
Make sure the fabrics are snug and secure by tightening the screw at the top of the outside hoop.
Place your paper circle on top of your hoop and mark the center of your clock fabric with a dot. This will be where your clock mechanism will fit through. Make a small hole with your scissors through both fabrics big enough for the mechanism to fit through.


Now the fun part! Attach your flowers and buttons with the embroidery floss. I started with the “12” & “6”. Then the “3” & “9” and eyeballed the remaining numbers.

SewMod button clock

Once you’re finished sewing the buttons on, trim the piece approximately 2″ around the hoop. Add your chipboard circle to the back. This will provide stability for the weight of the clock mechanism.
FYI I added the clock mechanism before this step as you can see in the pic, but I would recommend doing it last. It made for difficult sewing in the next step:(

SewMod button clock

Using a piece of embroidery floss, create a gathering stitch in the fabrics. Pull and knot the thread in the back to make the edges ‘finished’. This will help the clock lie flat against the wall when hanging.  At this point, most hoop art is then covered from behind for a nice finished look, but if we do that, we won’t be able to change out the clock battery now will we?

SewMod button clock tutorial

Add the clock mechanism following the instructional diagram provided with the packaging. Tip:Make sure to press down and get a snug fit with the ‘minute’ hand. Otherwise it will spin and loose time. I also removed the rubber washer because it created too much bulk and my clock still keeps great time.

SewMod button clock tutorial

Add the battery, set the time and you’re all finished! Pour yourself another glass of sweet tea while you admire your craftiness!

SewMod button clock tutorial

SewMod button clock tutorial

Love this sweet little button clock? Well you’re in luck because I’ve assembled the complete kit and they’re available in the SewMod Etsy Shop. Kit includes the 2 fat quarters, crochet flowers, floss, buttons, chipboard, hoop, & clock mechanism for $25.00. Click on the SewMod link or convo me if you’re interested!

The SewMod Christmas in July sale is winding down with only a few more days left to save!

Here’s a few more items to entice you to point that mouse in the SewMod direction and get to clickin’’s your last chance to save 20% off the entire shop!

How about getting started on your Christmas projects with the cute wall hanging called Fruitcakes. Available in hard copy or delivered right to your inbox via digital download.

SewMod fruitcakes

The Folk Tale quilt kit is on sale too. Make a sweet quilt for a sweet little girl. I spy bitty fairies, birdcages, little dear, & hedgehogs inside hexies on these fabrics.

SewMod summer tweets

This is the last yard y’all of all the Boy Crazy fabric we have left…I’m tempted to keep it for myself!

SewMod boy crazy

We’ve also almost sold out of the Glimma fat quarter bundles of 20. We all know how much I love Glimma! On sale now for $36.00.

SewMod glimma fat quarters

Find these and so much more over at the SewMod Designs Etsy shop. Sale ends July 25th, 2014.

Before you hit the road for your summer family vacation, make sure you have all the things for a stress free ride with the kiddies.

Here’s a list we never leave can never have too many options when trying to figure out how to entertain children on a long road trip.
Snacks & water
Electronic devices
Art supply case
Car Bucks & rewards
And…a travel pillow

Today I’m going to show you how to make the little ones a travel pillowcase that is so easy it can be done in an hour! So let’s get started so you can start packing for that vaca.

1 half yard for the cuff
1 half yard for the body
Pillow form. I used a 16″ x 12″
Basic sewing supplies
Use 3/8″ seam allowances

SewMod quick travel pillowcase tutorial

Cut the cuff fabric 6″ x 25-1/4″
Cut the body fabric 13″ x 31″

SewMod quick travel pillowcase tutorial

Making the cuff:
With right sides together, sew the short ends together and press the seam open.

SewMod quick pillowcase tutorial

Fold the cuff in half, wrong sides together and press.

SewMod quick pillowcase tutorial

Making the body:
With right sides together, sew the 2 side seams leaving the top open.

SewMod quick pillowcase tutorial

Trim the seams to 1/4″ and stitch the raw edges using a zig zag stitch to reduce fraying.

SewMod quick pillowcase tutorial

Turn right sides out and slip the cuff over the body, right sides together, matching the raw edges and the side seams. Pin well. Sew around the cuff/body opening.

SewMod quick pillowcase tutorial

Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and use a zig zig stitch to reduce the fraying.

Press the seam allowance toward the body of the pillowcase. At this point, feel free to add a top stitch if desired. Otherwise, you’re all finished!

SewMod quick pillowcase tutorial

SewMod quick pillowcase tutorial

So tell me girls…where will you be traveling this summer?

SewMod sale

Santa’s on vacation so were taking over and filling all those fabric orders that you’ve been wishing for. And we don’t even mind if you’ve been naughty or nice! Everything in the SewMod Shop is 20% off, even the previously reduced items.

Now’s the time to purchase Halloween fabrics. Get a jump start on treat bags or table runners.

SewMod Halloween fabrics

SewMod Halloween

SewMod which witch

Are you looking for a bundle of coordinating prints? We have many SewMod Stacks to choose from, including fab prints from several of the Art Gallery lines we carry.

SewMod Stacks

This is also a great time to stock up on fillers. Art Gallery’s Oval Elements are perfect for your projects. These bundles make great gifts for your quilty friends!

SewMod oval elements

And don’t forget about all of the kits and handmade items in the shop, including the YogaMod Mat Slings!

SewMod yoga mat sling

Sale runs from July 11th, 2014 through July 25th, 2014. We hope to see you there!

After staring at my Micael Miller challenge fabrics for 2 weeks, I’m finally done designing and quilting it!

SewMod Michael miller challenge

Anyone ever get stuck and can’t seem to find a vision when designing? Me too! It’s always easier for me to start with a few tricks to get me started.

Find inspiration. I knew the fabrics reminded me of all those pins I’ve been drooling over on my Mid-Century Modern Pinterst board so that was definetly my inspiration.

Write down every idea or design that pops in your mind!  This one is important. I can’t stress this enough. I do this for my writing also. Even if you don’t think that idea will ever become something you create. Sometimes just one thought/picture/word can catapult creativity. I kept a mini notebook next to me on the couch along with the fabrics. I came up with several ideas, all of them involving a kitty.  If you don’t write or sketch your ideas, you will forget them!

SewMod Michael miller challenge

Keep a visual in your sight, for instance your fabrics you’re working with. Now, I know this is kinda sadistic if you’re stuck in a design rut, but trust me…outta sight, outta mind. And that’s bad if you have a deadline! I used my portable desin board, which is just a cardboard moving box from U-Haul with a piece of batting pinned to it, to aide in this process. I pinned all my fabrics to it with my ideas and made labels to remind me what goes where, placed it next to my television, which forced me to constantly look at it, and proceeded to hem & haw over it another week.

SewMod Michael  miller challenge

You’ve decided on a direction, now go for it! Nothing changed on my board for that whole week, so I knew it was what I wanted to make. At least the basic idea, which included the kitty, tile counter top, and the button clock.

Once I started sewing, I told myself the story. What’s kitty staring at the clock for? Cocktail time, of course! It’s five o’clock and she’s a Cosmo Kitty! So I added a couple of martini glasses.

SewMod Michael miller challenge

And everything sorta fell into place. Embellishing is my favorite part! After quilting the background, I raw edge appliquéd. I added real clock hands to the clock, along with the buttons and embroidery detail to the Cosmos.

SewMod Michael miller challenge

SewMod michea miller challenge

You’re finished? Well you know what that means, right? Put your feet up and enjoy your own Cosmo while you admire your hard work! Here’s my favorite Cosmo to get you started…I’m sure it’s five o’clock somewhere.

SewMod Michael Miller challenge

Ice cubes
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces cranberry juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
Fresh cranberries and lime wedge

Cheers y’all!

SewMod backseat battlesSince my previous post was on the subject of babies & children, how about I share some tips about traveling with the little ones…

Are we there yet?
He’s touching me!
She won’t stop singing!
Make him stop!

Sound familiar? Just going to Costco literally five miles down the road with kids in the car can seem like a 12 hour trip.
I really wish they made family cars with the limo glass in it.
Kids are fightin’? Roll up the sound proof glass!
But that’s not going to happen, so we need to find ways to make the trip out of town as stress free as possible, minimizing the arguments.

Here’s a few tips for parents out there who are looking to resolve the backseat battles.

Take the sugar out of their diet! At least before and during the trip. We started doing this a couple of weeks before a trip. No cokes. No stopping for ice cream. No candy in the car. Pack heathy foods like string cheese, crackers, granola bars, fruit & water.

Be prepared to make frequent stops for children. You can tell when they start getting antsy. Stop at the rest stop even if they say they don’t need to go potty. Just getting out of the car and stretching your legs help. And besides, they always have to pee. Who are they kidding.

Grab their attention by playing games. Bring an atlas.Pick a state and start asking some questions. What is the Capitol? What sports teams play here? Etc…
Google fun riddles on your phone. We used preschool riddles. The last thing you want is for them to get more frustrated by never being able to ‘get it’.
Play the “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing” game.Start with the first letter in the alphabet and work your way around the car…even the grown ups will have fun with this one. The next person says the first part of the sentence, repeats what the first person is bringing and then adds something starting with the letter “B” and so on.
Mix it up with the next game by saying “We’re going the zoo and I’ll see a…” Have fun with it!

And lastly, which I believe was the saving grace, was the Car Bucks. I came across this downloadable money idea from PreparedNotScared.

SewMod backseat battles

This system changed everything y’all! It’s a positive reinforcement idea for good behavior without the kids knowing when they’ll be rewarded. Play nicely by yourself? Reward! Do something nice for your sister? Reward! It can be a little token or a car buck. It’s the parents discretion.

I went to the Dollar Tree and bought some rewards for our “store”.

SewMod backseat battles

Wrapped them up in tissue paper and brought them along on the trip in a paper bag.

SewMod backseat battles

When the Kids accumulated $5 in car bucks or tokens(4 tokens= $1), they could go to the store and buy something. Our store was also only open at our discretion. They had only to the count of ten to reach in and buy something.

I hope y’all try some of these ideas. Especially the Car Bucks and tokens. And if you have different ideas or techniques for road trips, I’d love to hear them. A parent can’t be too prepared for peace!

New fabrics are on the way! Baby & children’s prints are always popular in the shop and baby quilts and prints are always fun to work with. Find a pattern with a simple design and several cute prints and chances are you’ve got a cute shower gift or keepsake to present to the new bundle of joy. And best of all, you can say…”I made this!”

Here’s a line that just arrived in the shop called True Blue by designer Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics. A collection featuring whimsical whales, splashing waves and fun geometrics in preppy navy & red color palettes. These underwater inspired designs are perfect for quilting, children’s clothing and so much more.

SewMod true blue fabrics

Shipping to us very soon is Girl Crazy from Riley Blake. Everything a girl loves, including skates, balloons, ice cream and of course, my favorite,..bikes!

SewMod girl crazy fabrics

And Oh Boy by Lori Whitlock. Point me in the direction of a baby who wouldn’t love a new Blankie in these adorable prints! Oh Boy! Elephants, cars, whales and giraffes!

SewMod oh boy fabrics

Let’s get baby’s feet wet with In The Ocean from Riley Blake. These sea friendly fabrics also have a matching panel to add to the ease of your project. And who can resist those cute little fishes!

SewMod in the ocean fabrics

Look for these fabrics coming very soon to SewMod so that you can get started on your baby projects!

Wendy and I had a fun Friday. We visited the International Quilt Festival here in Chicago then had some Cheesecake Factory…sans the cheesecake since I’m dieting…more on that subject later..

I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. Since the IQF returned to Chicago the show is smaller and I was really hoping that they’d have changed the venue. Where the convention center is located in Rosemont is a bleep to navigate through and it’s too large for the show now. $10 to get in, $13 to park, higher sales tax, and all the tolls left this chicky rethinking purchases inside the building:(

I had a lot more pics I wanted to show but my iPad seemed to have a ghostly visitor that day. Perhaps from quilters past? I had about 96 photos where this ‘light’ got progressively smaller till it was pitch black.

SewMod chicago international quilt show

Spooky. I promptly deleted my ghost and here’s what’s left y’all. Enjoy. Sorry I don’t have more for you.

SewMod international quilt show Chicago

SewMod international quilt show Chicago

SewMod international quilt show Chicago

SewMod international quilt show Chicago


June 10, 2014 at 11:30 am
Rachel Dreher
Those owls are SO cute! My favorite summer dish is a great salsa/dip called “Texas Caviar.” I have a hard time putting it down!

Congratulations Rachel & thanks so much for playing everyone!

A trip to the Double Dutch Manor quilt retreat a couple of weeks ago for Paige was exactly what she needed to refresh her creative spirit.

Double Dutch was a terrific hostess. They provide all of your meals, so no cleanup. You can just get right back to your sewing!

Double Dutch manor

Located just 50 miles outside of Chicago and near major highways, makes it easily reachable for people coming from Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
They have the cutest rooms too! I love the blue one, called Old Dutch.

Double Dutch manor

And plenty to do in the area too. The local quilt shop, Prairie Stitches Quilt Shoppe in Oswego, gave out $25 gift cards. Because every quilter needs more fabric, right?!

Paige finished up several projects, including a couple of Sophie Bags.
I actually thought of stealing this one when I photographed it. I’m in love!
SewMod Sophie bag

SewMod Sophie bag

What did she spend her $25.00 gift card on? Zippers! And what did she make with those zippers?
Diddy Bags

SewMod diddy bag

Wendy worked on a few baby blankets & napkins using our tutorial.

SewMod napkin tutorial

Friends, food and sewing projects. What more could she ask for!

I did not attend the weekend of fun but I did manage to accomplish a few things.

I made this handy dandy bunk bed caddy for Babe’s son. I really thought he needed it since I found all of the toys and money hidden under his MineCraft quilt. I used Riley Blake’s Geekly Chic Records. But I had to wonder…does a nine year old even know what a record is? Lol! We are down to the last yard of the record fabric. So get yours while you can!

Mine was inspired by a tutorial found here. I added fusible interfacing to all the parts and didn’t bind mine but instead turned in the sides and top stitched.

SewMod bunk bed caddy

Finally a project to use my buttonhole attachment for! Look for a buttonhole tutorial coming soon….

SewMod bunk bed caddy

A Minky Blankie for a Build A Bear using our tutorial. Easy peasy! I had planned on making ‘Minty’s‘ clothes too, but happily found out that the newborn size at Target fits just right and at only about $8/outfit!

Build a bear blankie

And I made Daisy a new dog harness. Cause she chewed through her last one darn it! But even though she did that, it still lasted longer than the one I had bought at Petsmart.

SewMod dog harness

I’ve been making the harness and leashes since she was a pup. The hardware is a much better quality than the store bought ones and I can customize them for each holiday if I wanted. They take about an hour to make. Pretty simple. The only hard part is sewing around the hardware.

SewMod dog harness

So see, handmade is better!

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