Category Archives: Sewing

table topper done!

Sometimes things just take a long time to get finished! This table topper is an example of pure procrastination! Why is it that stuff only gets finished in a timely manner if there is a deadline?  I am an expert in that area! Taxes, yep, I waited until the very last day to get it organized in time to take to the accountant! Cleaning, yep, I wait until the day before I have guests to do some major cleaning and my family knows it because they always ask “who’s coming” when I am cleaning.  I am starting to allow some extra lead time, because let’s face it, I’m not as young as I used to be! Let’s get back to the table topper, it’s a much better subject!




This book, The Big Book of Table Toppers, is where the pattern for the topper came from.  I love this book! So many ideas and they aren’t all the same type, so that makes it great for gift ideas, because everyone has their own style.




I went to my stash of fabric and picked and sorted and changed my mind lots before deciding on these mostly.  I always have the option of changing my mind last minute, because I can and it has to look just right! It might change when I’m sewing or if the light is better.




Making the penny circles where so much fun and they make a great focal point on the topper. I love it! Cutting out the leaves with steam-a-seam isn’t all fun, but it sure does make appliquing much easier.




Putting the top together and adding the vines, leaves and penny flowers went pretty slick with the steam-a-seam.  I then stitched a blanket stitch around them with my machine. so much faster than by hand.  Since this is a table topper it will be used and will need to be machine washable, so securing the applique is very necessary.

For the binding, I cut from the same fabric as the penny’s and flowers, 6 inch strips 2 1/2 inches wide. Sewing them together to make one long binding strip and then binding the topper.  Lastly, I hand sewed the binding to the back and it’s done!




Happy late Anniversary, Heidi and Jesse!







One project done!


Filed under Family, Quilting, Quilts, Sewing

a quilt for carson

The quilt is done and at its home so I thought I had better get some pictures posted!


CQuilt copy


This quilt had been sitting on my quilt table since last Spring waiting for me to finish it!  I have had a hard time this last year finding time to work in my sewing room.  So, this January I made a resolution to spend at least 1 day a week sewing!  So far I have done pretty good! Some weeks I get a couple days and others not, I’m hoping it will even out through the year.



I had lots of fun paper piecing the tractor and the letters on the backing.  I had never done paper piecing and it was challenging but fun. I will definitely try it again.  I think the back turned out so great, I just love it!




made for my little farmer carson, with lots of love, grandma




Here he is, my grandson Carson on his quilt.




Happy Birthday Carson! Soon to be 2 at the end of this month!


Filed under Family, Quilting, Quilts, Sewing

little pretty bags

I found a cool little Lollipop Bags pattern in a quilt shop last fall and so far have made probably a dozen of them and given most of them away as gifts.  I simplified it by not adding the handle or rosette. I love the contrasting triangle, it just gives it that little extra a little bag needs.

They make perfect little gifts and it takes only a couple fat quarters of material and a piece of fusible batting and a zipper.   I made one at first and then decided to make at least three at a time.  It goes so much faster when I use, as I like to call it, the assembly line method.



I wanted to make a bag for myself that I could put my essential oils in without the glass bottles hitting each other.  So I did some thinking and measuring and added elastic that would hold the bottles secure.  It works pretty well, although I will adjust the elastic higher for the next bag I make.

I was using one of the bags for my knitting. It is a perfect size for scissors, darning needles and anything small.  My needles however, needed a longer bag to keep them secure. So I used the same technique as the other bags without the contrasting fabric and made it long enough for my longest wood needle. I just love it, now my needles are safe and not lost on the bottom of my big knitting bag.

Now to get busy and make something with my needles other than dish cloths!


some pics from the ocean get away…..











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Filed under Fabric, Photography, Sewing

a quilt for Cecily

Cece, is what we call her, is my nieces daughter and she is two.  She and her sister get to come up and visit us here on the farm one day a week while her parents work.   I love my days with them and often we go on excursions around the farm and sometimes we go for ranger rides.




I made a quilt for her trying to get it done by her first birthday, but ended up getting it to her a few months late.  Picking the material is always fun and with Cece, I knew it had to be bright and cheery.  The pattern was ‘Sweet Pea’ from The Pattern Basket. It was perfect for her as she is a little sweet pea girl.



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It is machine pieced and quilted. I’m still not a pro at machine quilting, but I keep trying and really that is all that matters. I machine embroidered the tag on the back and it makes it special and fun







Here is miss Cece and her quilt.


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Filed under Fabric, Family, Photography, Quilting, Quilts, Sewing

starting where I left off

Wow! I can’t believe I have been away from blogging for so long.  Last fall seemed to go by so fast and then the holidays and it is spring!  Somewhere in between winter arrived and has now passed.  Yay! No writing about the winter doldrums for me!  So, I think I will just jump in like it hasn’t been that long!

I have done some quilting this winter and actually got a couple of quilt tops ready to be quilted. Lately I have been working on a wall quilt for my daughter Hannah.  It started out as an experiment as I tried a new technique for me, inspired by a quilt book I bought.  Modern Quilting by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pederson.

When I was in Burkina Faso a year ago last November, I bought some Ghana Batik fabric and now wanted to do something with it.  So I looked for some fabric to go with it and here is what I found.  The top piece is from Ghana.


I needed a neutral and found the gray material at my local quilt store, Becky’s Fabrics, and then started the process of basically sewing and cutting at the machine.  I loved it and did make a few blunders from time to time, overall the process was pretty cool and I’m sure I will sew more of these quilts.



I have the top done, but forgot to take a picture of it before I pinned it to be ready to quilt. So you will have to wait until it’s done to see the whole piece.  It won’t be 7 months, I promised my daughter I would get it done this spring!




I thought I would post a few pictures of my travels these last 7 months. These were taken at Clearwater Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida.  I was told that the best sunsets are here and I have to say it is very true, they were beautiful and it was a lot of fun watching the pelicans catch their dinner!

Clearwater Beach

6516wm copy









It is good to be back blogging again.  Next time I should be done with that quilt!

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Filed under Africa, Fabric, Florida, Photography, Quilt Shops, Quilting, Quilts, Sewing, Sunsets, Travel

Sunset Harvest

A few sunsets have gone by since I have written on this blog.  The sunny busy days of summer means leaving the computer by the wayside except for those business things that just have to be attended to.  A few BIG things have transpired over the last two months, the best by far is when our daughter Hannah arrived home from Burkina Faso.  Just after her arrival, we hosted a Greene Family reunion, which involved eating, visiting, laughing, and just enjoying each other’s company.  Soon after, we started harvesting the rapeseed and then we were harvesting wheat.











Now that ‘Harvest’ is over, I can catch up on a few loose ‘threads’ if you know what I mean.  I did finish my watering can table cloth quilt that I blogged about in May.  I machine quilted it and I must say that it was fun and the easiest one I have ever done.  I think it was because I didn’t stress about it because it was just a table cloth!  I was more relaxed and had fun making flowers and garlands of hearts. It turned out pretty cute and it was finished before our Greene reunion.






I’ve so much to say, but it will have to wait until next time and next time I will talk flowers!



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Filed under Photography, Quilting, Quilts, Sewing, Sunsets, Wheat

My Mom…aka….Grandma Jam

I thought I would talk about my mom today, since it is Mother’s Day!

This is my mom.

She is a creator of many things useful and beautiful. She loves to cook, craft and sew. Cooking has been a huge part of her creative energy. She loves to try new recipes and also loves to feed all her family. Hence the name Grandma Jam, she makes the best homemade freezer jam and homemade rolls. She also makes yummy cinnamon rolls and of course fudge, that is her weakness. I could go on and on…..

Being a farmwife, she is also very resourceful. Back in the day, when money was for the needs of the family and the farm; my mom decided to make her own carpet for her wood floors. She made a braided rug for the living room out of old wool coats and men’s dress pants. I wish I had a picture of it; I used it for many years in my home over my wood floors until it started to wear thin and then it retired to the cabin.

Mom recently made me a braided rug out of my long wool coats and a cape that she made for me when I was pregnant. I love it! And I love that she still is making things for her kids at 84.

Braided Wool Rug (2012)

Embroidery is also one of her skills. She has made many beautiful pictures and pillows. If you go visit her they will be on the bed and walls decorating her guest rooms. I appreciate this skill, because hand embroidery isn’t my favorite hand work, but I do love looking at it.

Embroidered Pillows

My mind is spinning as I am remembering things she has crafted. Dolls, doll clothes and blankets, stuffed monkeys and bears, Holly Hobby dolls, ski mittens and baby blankets, the list goes on and on……

Mom has always had a sewing machine. She made prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and remade dresses to fit properly. She even made my sister and me, when we were in high school, ski coats and bibs! Now that is a picture I’m glad I don’t have! When my daughter was small she made a beautiful tweed wool coat with velvet trim. This coat has been passed onto friends and family to be worn for special occasions.

Hannah’s Coat (1988)

She has moved on from sewing clothing, except for the altering part and now is quilting. She has made many baby quilts with embroidered blocks for the great grandkids and she is making table toppers and runners for her families tables. I have a beautiful wall hanging that she made me for Christmas this year. It even has a black dog in it for ‘Mac’.

Quilted Wall Hanging (2011)

Mom also loves flowers and they seem to flourish under her care. I remember a beautiful orchid that we had in the living room for years. Well, I just have to show you the orchid she has now, it has 10 blooms on it and 6 more not yet opened. She pointed out that it has new leaves coming and a new stem. It is beautiful!


Happy Mother’s Day, mom! You have passed me your gift of creativeness and I thank you! I so enjoy chatting with you about everything and anything. I love going to quilt shops with you and buying fabric for who knows what! I love discussing patterns that didn’t work and learning from you what you did to make it better. I’m still learning that lesson from you, the ability to see an idea and make it work for you. God has given us these gifts and I appreciate and love you for your encouragement.

I thought I would end this post with some pictures of some of mom’s creations. I am also creating a private group on Facebook for those of you who are family and friends and would like to upload pictures of ‘Grandma Jams Creations’. I thought this would be fun and it could also be a showcase of her creations through the years. So take some pictures of those dolls, wall hangings and many other items she has created for you. I want to see them!

Hannah’s Elephant (2010)


Jesse’s Wall Hanging (2011)

Happy Mother’s Day!


Filed under Fabric, Flowers, Food, Photography, Quilting, Quilts, Rugs, Sewing, Wool