Hello again, all! I have been unable to keep this blog up for awhile.  We have been coping with serious medical issues and that has been my focus for a long time. My husband lost his long battle with his illness. Now I am trying to return to all my hobbies and crafts and look forward to resuming my posts. With two sweet granddaughters, I will not lack for projects! Be back soon, JoAnne



Home Again


We enjoyed our wonderful travels this fall. I had a chance to help my daughter and family to settle in their new home in North Carolina. Great trip, beautiful new home and many wonderful days with those two sweet little grand daughters. Then hubby and I returned to both Houston and North Carolina to spend time with our youngest daughter and again to see the babies. Especially sweet was the chance for a quick trip back to Houston to spend five wonderful days at the Houston Quilt Festival. It was especially nice to return ( I used to go every year) and enjoy it with my daughter. I took two great classes, saw some of the most beautiful quilts and, of course, spent too much money on new fabrics and other goodies! Loved it! Now I am settling in again to work on some new things, do my copic work to complete our Christmas cards (pictures of all to follow!) and get ready for Christmas.

Sweet T-Shirt Dresses


One of the joys of having two sweet grand daughters is that I get to sew for them! One real challenge about sewing clothes these days is the cost of fabric and patterns. Especially when little ones grow so quickly. One solution I have found to make some unique clothes that are as sweet as my little ones is to make these T-Shirt dresses and diaper covers. As you will see in the first photos I start at the clearance rack! These are all from Kohl’s end of summer clearance selection and even thought the T-shirt says $3.00 I also used my 20% coupon (this was good on everything) and the price came down to between $1.80 and $2.40 per t-shirt and onesie that I bought.

Taking the measurements (especially the overall length of the dress) as a starting point and determining how much of the t-shirt I wanted to have I was then able to cut the fabric for the skirt. All these fabrics were from my stash and a couple were scraps from quilts, bibs, traveling high chair, etc that I had already sewn for my first grand daughter.

I put a 1/2 inch hem in the bottom edge, just pressing up about 3/8 inch and then pressing again and doing a straight top stitch. Next, I gathered the extra fullness (I made my skirt width 1.5 times the width of the top, adding 1 inch for seam allowance so that the skirt was ruffly but not too much so) and pinned it in place. With a stretch stitch (on my machine it is basically a zig-zag type stitch) I carefully sewed the skirt to the top. I then also ran the seam allowance through my serger to trim and overcast the edge. I have also done it on the regular machine with an overcast stitch.

On the onesies I cut the top so that I had enough left to make a diaper cover from the bottom of the onesie. I just used a stretch stitch to make a casing around the elastic. For me, especially since the waist was so little, I made my elastic waistband first. Cutting my elastic to size, plus 1 inch, I sewed the elastic together. Then when I sewed the casing I was sewing it over the elastic at the same time. Just move the fabric along a bit as you sew and keep the fabric flat  while sewing.

I am excited to see our second grand daughter wearing all these fun t-shirt dresses too. At five months she will be wearing them come spring and then into fall of next year!

A Beautiful Set of Gift Bibs


My daughter’s very good friend was becoming an aunt. We wanted to do something special for her gift to the baby. After learning all the nicknames that were planned for auntie, uncles, grandparents we designed a set of very personal bibs. With purchased bibs we had all these wonderful colors and very little expense. Some of the names are so adorable-Grandpa is “Hoffe”. How wonderful is that! If it is like our wonderful little grand daughter, the names came directly from another grandchild. This gift was a hit with the whole family.

Back at Home


What an eventful and exciting summer we have had! We were blessed to have our girls spend some time with “Mom and Dad”.

Our youngest completed her sojourn to a PhD in Chemical engineering! the trip to Texas for the graduation ceremony was a memory we will have for the rest of our lives. We are so proud of her and respect the hard work and commitment that she invested. After her studies took her to Boston and then Austin, Texas we had not had her home too much in the last few years. Lots of trips back and forth, but having her for June and part of July was wonderful! She is a delight and we got a chance to do some fun things-like a vacation to Hawaii!! A wonderful trip of a lifetime. She needed the break after so many years of such hard work. She is settled in at her job, moved to a new city, bought a car, buying furniture- in other words having a blast starting her working life.

Our oldest daughter and her family had the wonderful opportunity to move to North Carolina with my son-in-law’s promotion.  As the transition came together we were able to have our daughter and two grand daughters stay with us for a few weeks.  Our son-in-law had to go earlier than the family to start the new job, they made two house hunting trips, opened escrow and closed on their beautiful new home, all of which took a awhile. My husband and I cherished every bit of it. Knowing what moving in would be like with two little ones, they asked me to come to NC for a couple of weeks. My job was to look after the girls (like that was a hardship!) while the house was unpacked. It was nice to see their new home, see where they would be living and spend time will all of them.

It was the best summer in a long time! Now I am back and trying to get my routine back.  Struggling though! I think I have “over planning paralysis”! So many things on my list, in my idea book and in my head, where to start? But now I need to get busy.  First order of business is to finish the reorganization of my craft area. Watch for pictures soon! I will be posting some of the cabinet installation pictures (from 10 years ago!) so you can see what I started with and see where it is now. Here is a sneak peek!

Some Fun Socks for your Favorite Little Girl



This is one of the most enjoyable little gift ideas! The options of socks and ribbons are almost endless. For a little girl special socks are always a hit. As you can see the ribbon I used for this set was a grosgrain style from my scrapbooking stash. I bought a set of six pairs of socks at WalMart. Total cost about $12 for six pairs. (A little guess, because the ribbons were part of stash of ribbons, buttons and eyelets that I bought). Only trick to sew these is be sure to stretch the top of the sock as you sew. This makes it ruffle so prettily. I used a little zig-zag stitch. When I had completed the sewing and arrived back to the starting point I made sure to connect the two ends with stitching.  Lovely little idea if you make crafts or gifts for craft shows or bizarre sales.

A variety of fun Cards


Here is a picture of some of the cards I had some fun with earlier this summer. I tend to color my images in batches, as  you will see in the picture. This works for me if I am trying new stamps, playing with my Copic color combinations or do cards in large batches. I do cards en masse for Operation Write Home and it allows me to try new techniques, experiment with colors, practice my copic skills and use my cardstock scraps. Isn’t if funny that I keep such a huge stock pile of paper and goodies and then keep any cardstock larger than a 2″ square and ribbon longer than about 6″…between my fabric collection and my scrapbooking stas, it is clear crafting must be a sickness!

Pieced and quilted Table runner


This little project was so fun and I loved that it was so quick. I used a variety of my fall quilt fabrics, low loft batting and decorative stitched to quilt it.  What is so nice about a project like this is how easy and quick it is to make and how simple to customize. The size of the runner can be made smaller or larger to fit any table.