I have to say I’m pretty excited for our upcoming March Guild meeting! March will be our first quarterly drawing for our UFO prizes. Now while I cannot, and will not, tell you what the prize will be until after our meeting, I am certain our members will be pleased! Our sponsors for the guild this year have been extremely generous and we are so thankful for their gracious donations.

Not only is the Guild hosting a UFO Challenge, we have lots of other ideas, projects & guest speakers planned this year!

Keeping the Guild running smoothly is a team effort. Not just by the executive board, but also the members. So one of the fun things we do monthly is thank our members for all the wonderful things they do by passing out tickets.

Get Lucky

For example, volunteering for a demo, bringing a friend or a treat, helping to clean up, and wearing a name tag will earn you tickets! Each ticket increases one Lucky member the chance to win a door prize.

The door prizes are typically handmade items from either myself or Shelley. January’s prize was a Henrietta Turtle kit with a handmade crochet flower.

Guild door prizes

February was the coffee cozy..

Coffee cozy tutorial

And March?… It’ll have to bee a secret for now! But I’ll be showing all the fun door prizes for the year so stay tuned each month.

Sewing Bee

We have a guest speaker in March. Lynn from A Different Box Of Crayons is coming! Lynn continues to inspire us with her use of mixed media into her designs. She incorporates alternative fabrics into her work such as silk, wool, embroidery, and decors. Her newest BOM is Cathedral Doves. Is that a beauty, or what?

A different box of crayons

She recently moved her studio to 121 West Wesley in Wheaton, IL . If you happen to be down there, check it out. I’m going to make a special trip to Wheaton just to see it. How can you resist!? The studio has regular, but not typical hours. Thursday & Friday 10 – 4, & ODD NUMBERED Saturdays are 10 – 2 during the winter. Head over to her FB page, give her a ‘like’ to check for studio updates and see what she’s up too.

A different box of crayons

March is also our first swap for the year…the Mug Rug Swap. We’ve posted a couple of sneak peaks on the guild FB page. If you’re already a guild member, I hope you’re planning on participating. The ones I’ve seen so far that are finished, are swaptastic! Lol, yes, I said that.

mug rug

Remember, that if you’re in the ChicagoLand area and would like to join us for a meeting and give it a test run, we’d love to meet you! We are a welcoming, friendly group and we encourage you to come have some fun too. The CLMQG typically meets the 2nd Sunday of every month at the Crystal Lake Mortgage Center on Rt. 14 but check the CLMQG blog before attending for any updates. Guests fees are $5. I hope we see you there!

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get Lucky!

Guild door prizes

Tuffet tips & tricks

I get pretty dang excited when I sell a Tuffet pattern. I’m NOT kidding, just ask my Babe! Especially when I sell several of them to the same part of the country. Which means most likely, that a quilt shop is having a class. Somebody’s having a Tuffet Party!

I get all kinds of questions about the innards and the how-to on assembling the Tuffet, where to buy supplies, what fabrics to use, etc. So today, I’m gonna kill two birds with one stone. I’m going to finish up my UFO Tuffet and answer some of my customers pressing questions.

Because let’s face it, this list of supplies might seem a little daunting. But don’t fret, everything can be easily found at your LQS, craft or hardware store. The only thing you might have trouble finding, is your handyman!

I’ve enlisted the help from my Babe today. Not only is he a fabulous “Mr. Fix-It”, but also a whiz at excel. We put a supply chart together showing the Supply, The Use, Where To Buy, Cost, & any Comments I have that might help. **This is for guidance purposes only** You can buy whatever you want from whomever you’d like. I’m only stating what I purchased and from where to try to help anyone making the Tuffets. If you’re taking a class at your LQS, there will likely be a Tuffet kit available for purchase. I highly recommend buying the kit. Unfortunately, for our party, we weren’t that lucky and we had to figure it out on our own. I hope this helps and you enjoy making your Tuffets as much as we did!

So let’s get this party started, shall we?

First you need The Tuffet pattern by Myra Mitchell. The foundation piecing demo and tips provided does not, in any way, replace the fact that you still need the pattern! I’ve only provided you with TIPS for building your Tuffet, not instructions on assembly. You don’t want to invest all your time and $$ in this project, only to realize that your missing key steps and correct templates. Even I still refer to my pattern for each Tuffet I assemble!

You can purchase the pattern by clicking on the pattern pic below. The link will take you to a PayPal invoice for a total of $13(shipping included). The pattern comes with full templates and very detailed instructions to ensure a successful & fun Tuffet!

SewMod tuffet pattern

SUPPLIES:Click on the table below to enlarge OR download the PDF as a reference HERE

Tuffet Tutorial

**Remember that if you’re buying items from your local big box fabric & craft store, to use your coupons to significantly reduce the prices on select items.
**Items such as needles, adhesive spray, stain, & freezer paper can be shared if you’re making Tuffets with your friends!

FOUNDATION PIECING:The method of stitching your fabric pieces directly onto a foundation fabric such as muslin.

Foundation piecing onto the muslin with provide support and stability to this project and keep the fabrics from stretching when you begin to attach them to the base. Muslin will not pull apart.
Once you’ve traced your foundation template onto freezer paper and cut the muslin fabric pieces, trace the stitching lines. You can see from the pic that if you use a Sharpie to trace the stitching lines onto the freezer paper, you will be able to easily see through the muslin for tracing. I used a ruler and a Pigma pen to trace my lines onto the muslin. Make sure to trace the numbers from the pattern onto the muslin.

Tuffet Party

I used my leftover Batik scraps from various projects to make this Tuffet. I like using scrap pieces that are at least 2-1/2″W x 22″L . It makes my foundation piecing a lot easier!

Tuffet Party SewMod

Take your first two strips and layer them right sides together. These will be #1 & #2. Now take your muslin piece and with the drawn lines facing you, hold it up to a light source. I used my patio door as my light source for these pics. Place the layered strips behind the muslin. Make sure that these two pieces cover the stitch lines for #1 & #2. Pin in place to secure.

Tuffet  foundation piecing  tutorial

Shorten the stitch length on your machine. I set mine at a 1.8. Starting at the widest end of the strip, sew towards the narrow end through all of the fabrics. When you foundation piece, your fabrics are on the back of the muslin foundation and you stitch on the drawn foundation lines. Remember to back stitch.

Tuffet  foundation piecing  tutorial

Flip the muslin over and press the two strips open. You can see that they both completely cover #1 & #2.

Tuffet  foundation piecing  tutorial

Now the tricky part is trimming your seam. **I mentioned earlier in my Supply Chart notes that I did not use the Add-A-Quarter ruler so you won’t see me demonstrating cutting my seam with it. Instead I used my large cutting ruler. To trim the seam, fold all of the fabric, including the muslin, to the left, exposing only the raw edges the two fabrics you just stitched. Take your ruler and trim to a 1/4″ from the stitch line.

Tuffet  foundation piecing  tutorial

Press open again and head back over to your patio door!

Tuffet  foundation piecing  tutorial

Position the #3 fabric behind first two sewn strips. Notice that in the pic below that the #3 fabric is at least a 1/4″ beyond the #2 line that I will be stitching on. Pin in place and sew on the #2 line. Once again, starting from the bottom up towards the narrow end and back stitching. Trim seam. Press well!!

Tuffet foundation piecing tutorial

Repeat this process until all 8 strips are added.  The last stitch line on each side of the muslin foundation are the stitch lines for piecing all 8 sections together. You only add 8 strips to each foundation piece.

Trim the block up to the muslin foundation. It’s ok to leave the bottom edge untrimmed. It will help when you are covering the Tuffet and can be trimmed after it’s stapled to the base. Sew 1/8″ around the edges to secure.

Here’s a pic of two completed sections…one from the front and one from the back. Refer to your pattern to complete the assembly of your pieced top.

Tuffet  foundation piecing  tutorial

Trace your template onto the foam and cut out 2 round cushions.

Tuffet Party SewMod

To make cutting easier, use an electric knife..you know, the kind Grandma cuts the turkey with? It’s perfect for this job too!…but I never cut meat with mine lol!


It’s ok that they’re not pretty cakes. They will be covered with batting and fabric to smooth out the rough edges.

Before using your spray adhesive, make sure that you are adhering the foam to the Tuffet top. I marked them as shown in the pics below.
The top of the Tuffet is where you will see the Tee Nuts.

Tuffet Party SewMod

The bottom of the Tuffet is where you will attach the Bun feet after you’re finished. The 2 small holes in the center are for the button attachment.

Tuffet party SewMod

COVERING THE TUFFET: From the lyrics of Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock…🎶🎶”It takes two to make a thing go right“🎶🎶…you need a partner!

As I noted previously, I used leftover Warm & Natural batting because I couldn’t find upholstery batting. Upholstery batting is supposed to be more durable and won’t break down but I figured how bad can it be? It’s not like I’m going to be letting the kids jump on it or anything.

After your batting is on, ease the pieced top over it, keeping it centered. It helps if one of you stretch the pieced Tuffet onto the base while the other staples. Work from one side to the opposite. Pull tightly, add about 4 staples, turn 180 degrees , add a few more staples. Keep stapling until your top is securely attached. Try to staple about 3/4″ away from the edge of your base. If you go any further in, you risk getting too close to the drilled holes where the feet screw in. Keep working at it from opposing sides until you’re finished. Use lots of staples. Your arm will get tired! Check, double check, and even triple check to make sure that you’re keeping the piece centered. The last thing you want to discover after all your hard work is that your Tuffet is tipsy to one side. Trust me, I know..


Tuffet Party SewMod

Follow the instructions in your Tuffet pattern to cover and attach your button using the upholstery thread. Pull tightly to secure and staple underneath.

Tuffet tutorial

**I have a couple of these buttons left in stock if you’re interested. They tend to be kind of hard to find. Convo me if you’re interested, especially if you’re also purchasing the Tuffet pattern. That way I can combine them for you on the invoice to save you some $$ on shipping. Button price is $4.

Using your 18″ freezer paper template, cut out a piece of coordinating wool felt to cover the wood base for the finishing touch. This step is completely optional but well worth it! Center your felt on the base. I used a bit of the upholstery spray to keep it from shifting too much while I worked. Using a mallet, hammer the tacks around the edge of the felt. Locate the drilled holes for the feet by touch and use small scissors to clip the holes where your Bun feet will be attached. I did this last because your felt may shift/stretch a little while your attaching it. Trim the felt close to the Tuffet edge if necessary.

For a more professional look, it’s best if you buy 2 boxes of the tacks. You’ll only use about 1/2 of the second. I misplaced my second box and as you can see from my photo, my Tuffet could have used a few more tacks. But that’s an easy fix for later, right!

Screw your Bun feet into the base.

Tuffet tutorial

And you’re all set!

Tuffet tutorial

🎶🎶It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight

As you know, Wendy and I get together during the week to work on projects. Sometimes they end up in the garbage after a hard days sewing..and no, not just because we might be day drinking…and other times the universe smiles upon us and we each walk away from the day with a little something special that we can pat ourselves on the back for.

Yesterday was just that sort of day! We’ve been wanting to make this Lollipop Bags pattern from Atkinson Designs for a while now and since we have the pattern available in the shop, then there’s no better time for a pattern review for everyone who’s thinking of purchasing it.

Lollipop clutch pattern sewmoddesigns

I assured Wendy that, as with any Atkinson Design I’ve tried, the pattern would be easy to follow and have clear instructions with photos. I was right. Her signature zipper instruction was good…step by step and at NO time did I think to myself…how’s this gonna work!?! You will never fear another zipper again.

Lollipop clutch pattern sewmoddesigns

Even the cute fabric flower was a snap to make. The hardest part of the pattern was just taking the time to turn the flower strip inside out.

The only thing I think I’d do different, is add a light weight fusible interfacing to the clutch strap for more stability and I might mix it up a bit by quilting my next one. You could even personalize it with a charm zipper pull, especially if you’re going to leave the flower off.

Other than that, I’d give this pattern an A+. It’s cute. It’s easy. We finished two in one day!

Lollipop clutch pattern sewmoddesigns

What are the other treats besides Lollipops, you ask?

We have lots of new patterns to add to your to-do’s for this year in the shop. Click HERE to view all of the patterns we carry in the SewModDesigns Etsy shop.

Sewmoddesigns patterns

Sewmoddesigns patterns


For Paige…..

I made this for you.
What will it be? What can I make? It will live in my stitching box for as long as it will take!

Camper embroidery

A bag? Oh, that would be cute. But how many do you really need?

Framed camper quilt

A pillow? No. Sophie would lay on it and Kitty would pee.
I thought about a journal cover. That was what was almost to be.

Framed camper quilt

But then one day, Inspiration came to me. A sweet little something with a capital “P”.

Framed camper embroidery

Hehehe😜 Happy Valentine’s Paige! 💕

sewing with kids

I want ZombieGirl to know that sewing is fun! That there are endless possibilities with what she can create with a sewing machine or a needle & thread. Quilts, clothes, games, headbands…I’m positive that I would have been more excited about sewing when I was younger, if the first and only thing they taught us in HomeEc wasn’t a skirt that looked liked it came from Little House On The Prairie! I wish I’d kept that ugly thing just so I could check out my mad sewing skills back then lol..

Babe had the kids this weekend and I was invited to sit with ZombieGirl while Dad & ZombieBoy went out for a Boys Night Out with the church. We had 3 uninterrupted hours of girl time.

She loves Daisy. She loves Pink. So I thought teaching her how to add her favorite things to her projects would continue to keep her excited about sewing.

valentines sewing with kids

I found this inexpensive top and Valentines leggings at Target. We are going to applique Daisy on the top! Not literally of course…

valentines sewing with kids

This pic of “Daisy” came from a coloring book page that I modified. And if you didn’t notice, Daisy has a heart on her side..a black one, but since it’s Valentines Day, it’s going to be pink.

We transferred the image to Heat ‘n’ Bond and picked out some scraps. The doggie bones fabric was perfect, don’t ya think!

valentines sewing with kids

The bow was ZombieGirl’s design. She didn’t want Daisy to be bald. I explained that the fabric around the stitch lines will fray and it will look like Daisy has more ‘hair’ after a washing.

We drew a stitch line around the edges with a water soluble pen will help guide her while she sews.

valentines sewing with kids

Now, I realize that this applique project is a little tough for one of her beginner lessons, and she did stray from the marked line around the tight curves, but she’ll get better…all in due time. After she stitched Daisy, I showed her how to remove the blue ink, and I embroidered the features….

valentines sewing with kids

…while she watched a chick flick…We’re into Mako Mermaids on Netflix now…


I have to admit, I was a little worried she would think this idea was lame, or wouldn’t want to wear it after she was finished, but I heard she was so excited and proud that she made an outfit, she wore it to school the very next day!

valentines sewing with kids1

Maybe she’ll inspire a generation of little 8 year old Zombies to rise up an ask for their own Janome sewing machine now!

p.s….did you notice she’s using her fancy ZombieGirl labels?!? How cute is that!!

Lessons Learned:
How to use a lightbox to trace patterns
Layering applique pieces with Heat ‘n’ Bond
Magic of disappearing ink
Sewing a label on

…or tea…or coffee. Whatever your favorite winter drink is, I’m sure it could use a little ‘glamming up’.

Coffee cozy tutorial

Or how about making a little something for your Sweetie Sewistas? 💕💕

Coffee cup cozy tutorial

If you’d like to surprise someone this Valentines, all it takes is the pattern, 2 pieces of scraps, a piece of batting, a button, and an elastic tie. You can find the colored elastic (hair)ties at Target. They’re the tiny, skinny ones in the girls section where the barrettes are found.

Coffee cup cozy tutorial

Follow the directions on the ‘Handmade Holidays‘ blog post found here. I eliminated the patchwork and embroidery this time. I simplified.

Coffee cup cozy tutorial

Finish up with your handmade fabric labels for a personal touch. Grab a gift card from Starbucks and toss some candy hearts inside your disposable cup! Yes. Starbucks will give you a free, unused cup if you ask sweetly!

Coffee cup cozy tutorial

I made these cozys for the CLMQG board members and one lucky girlie from the guild meeting gets to walk away with the one filled with goodies as a door prize for February. It’s not only filled with sweets, I added embellishments too, like cute buttons and sweet crocheted hearts(thanks mom)! Personalize your cup to suit your Valentine! ❤️

I get caught up in the excitement of starting something new. The wonder of its potential greatness. I accomplish just enough to satisfy my need…then something shiny and more pretty catches my eye. Sound familiar?

SewMod Friday Finishes

Uh huh..thought so. Now, since we’re all in the same boat, I guess there won’t be any judgement when I say … I started another Christmas quilt. I just can’t help myself! I have all of this other work to do (UFO’s) and I start another project!? It wasn’t my fault. I was going through my Christmas stash and came across the Anna Griffin Isabelle fabric I had been hoarding.

It’s shiny and pretty. It’s got that vintagey feel.

It’s tough photographing a quilt in 0° weather after a blizzard. I froze my ass off out there today. I have no place to lay it out. So, till the deep freeze melts, you get partial views…and obviously wrinkly ones. Who has time to take perfect pics when your toes are getting frost bite!

Friday Finishes Christmas In January

I made it with the Fruitcakes pattern and used Kona Snow as the background. I’m gave it my treasured Lakehouse black dot fabric for the flange, backing and binding. And those scallops on the border fabric...you know, the ones you can barely see in the photo… Love it! You’ll have to take my word:)

Friday Finishes Christmas In January

The guild had a charity sew-in a couple of Saturday’s ago. We donate quilts to breast cancer treatment and surgery patients at Centegra Gaver’s Breast Cancer Center in McHenry County. I whipped up this little lovely. A quick quilt and a great way to use up some stash for a good cause. It’s in Paige’s hands now too. I think she’s gonna be pretty busy…

Friday Finishes charity quilt

I did happen to finish 1/2 of a UFO this week. One of two bindings are now marked off my list! I’ll post the entire quilt pic soon.

Friday Finishes Christmas In January

Until then, pour a glass of wine, put your feet up & enjoy your weekend. You deserve it!

Label it Easy!
Label it Fast!
Label it Awesome!

A quick tutorial on how I made my own labels in Microsoft Word.

To create my fabric labels, I purchased the June Tailor Iron On Quick Fuse Fabric Sheets For Ink Jet Printers in white from Jo-Ann’s.  This package came with three sheets @ $9.99. May seem a bit pricey but I used a coupon. And after everything was said and done, they ended up just costing around .07 cents apiece. Not bad if you ask me!

DIY Quilt & Fabric Labels

Open Microsoft Word.
From the Page Layout tab set your margins.  Adjust the margins by clicking on custom margins at the bottom of the drop down menu and adjust the settings to .2 with the up/down arrows for the left, right, top & bottom. If needed, this can be adjusted later also.

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

From the Home tab, you can either design your Name by clicking on the Theme Fonts and size and typing your Name in…

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

And/Or choose a high resolution image to add from the Insert tab. This can be done one of two ways…To insert a picture, click on the Insert Tab on the header bar and click Picture. Choose a picture from your files. Or you can add a picture to word by copying a picture from your photos and pasting into the Word document. To do so, go to your photos, right click the desired photo, choose copy. Go back to your Word document and right click in the space, choose paste.

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

Adjust the size of your image  by right clicking on the image and use the arrows to determine the height and width. Most of my labels were between the .5″ (height) & 2″ (width) range. This label is .37″ x  1.5″.

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

Once you have the dimensions that you like, right click to copy. Click off and next to the image, tab and paste the image to fill the row. Making sure you leave enough room to cut the labels out after they’re completed.

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

To make life a little easier, highlight the the row. Copy and paste the row to fill the page.

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

If you happen to end up with an extra page attached to your label page you just created, simply click on the blank page and hit the delete button on your keyboard to remove it. We don’t want to end up printing blank pages attached to our label pages.

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

Save your document. Print a sheet on regular paper to make sure that your sizing and spacing is exactly how you like it before inserting a sheet of the label paper.  Make any necessary changes .

DIY Fabric Labels in Word

If it’s to your liking, remove all the printer paper from the loading tray and place a sheet of fabric label paper into the printer. Make sure it’s placed so that the labels will print on the fabric side, not the shiny, fusible side. For my printer that means loading the fabric side of the sheet face down…
Only print one sheet at a time!

DIY Quilt and fabric labels

Let dry a bit..a few minutes. Cut your labels apart using scissors or a ruler & rotary cutter and do a happy dance because you just saved yourself some $$ and made some cute labels!

DIY Quilt and Fabric label tutorial

Now go make something fabulous and put your name on it!

Minor left-behinds and forgottens…

For Paige. A market tote that was 90% completed. Finished at our January sew-in.

Market totes

For Me. A Sophie bag made from a yard of quilted fabric.

Sophie quilted bag

The quilted yard spent so much time tucked away, I didn’t have any more of the matching binding, but I do believe I’m glad! Because I’m totally in love with the black polka dot. It makes the bag fabric pop alive don’t ya think?!

Sophie quilted bag

For Wendy. When cats fly…Another quilted yard turned into a carryall bag. Made by Wendy during one of our weekly therapy sessions.

Sophie quilted bag

For ZombieGirl. A zipper pouch. Leftover fabric from my bag embellished and monogrammed for her sewing accessories. It’s my job to teach ZombieGirl that Sewista’s are stylish!

Quilted Zipper pouch

Not in the traditional word quilt, but teaching ZombieGirl to assemble a Tic Tac Toe board is the same as teaching her to quilt. And what better way to introduce quilting than through play?

This project was one of the many super cute ideas in the book “My First Sewing Machine Book” by Emma Hardy that she received from Santa this year to help her learn to sew & quilt.

Teaching Kids to sew

She picked a Minnie Mouse theme because she knew it was Grandma’s favorite!

Tic tac toe kids sewing project

She did most of the work. I did the pressing and most of the pinning. She did a great job of sewing her 1/4″ seam well enough so that her squares matched up! Add the back, sew around leaving about 3″ for turning, turn right sides out and stitch up. I sewed a zig zag stitch all the way around to help it lie nice and flat.

Lessons learned:
She remembered from making the pillow that she needed to sew (RST)right sides together
Pinning seams
How to sew rows together
Clipping corners for turning & using a tool to “poke” corners out

Of course, now she thinks I’m dumber than a box of rocks cause she “won” so many of the Tic Tac Toe matches;)

It’s your turn Grandma!

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Finally got my name tag made for the guild..I love making these little projects & I'll damn near add a #crochet flower to anything I can! #crystallakemqg #guildnametag #need2create #embroidery #crochetlove

A little #alisonglass a little silk, #batiks, linen and wool. A little project to keep me busy. #SewModchallenge #thiskeepsmeupatnight

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