Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sewing Machine Mat/Caddy Tutorial

I'm sure that there are a gazillion tutorials on how to make a sewing machine mat/caddy out there and perhaps you've already made one.  Maybe I was just waiting for the PERFECT fabric to make mine so when my friend Lucie came to visit a couple of weeks ago, she gifted me with just that...the PERFECT fabric!

Remember these gorgeous sewing-themed fabrics?

I used some of them to make one for Lucie and one for me.

Here's what I did.

I cut a 20 1/2" x 20 1/2" square out of two different fabrics, one for the front and one for the back.  I also cut a 20 1/2" x 20 1/2" piece of low loft batting to sandwich between the two layers and used 505 quilt basting spray to hold the three layers together.

Using my long 1 1/2" ruler as a guide to establish a cross-hatch pattern, I marked the sewing lines on the lighter of the two fabrics with my Frixion pen and then sewed along the lines in both directions.

To make the sleeve for the pockets, I cut two pieces of a different fabric and another piece of batting at 5 1/2" by 20 1/2" and sandwiched them together in the same manner as above.

I prepped enough binding not only to attach to the upper edge of the pocket sleeve but also to go around the entire mat which I sewed on in the same way we would to bind a quilt.

I trimmed the pocket sleeve along the bottom edge, making sure that it was square. 

I then marked the lines with my Frixion pen for where I wanted the pockets to be.

I aligned the pocket sleeve with the bottom edge of the mat and pinned it in place... 

then sewed along the lines making sure to secure my stitches at both ends so that they wouldn't come undone.

I trimmed around the mat to make sure that it was square and then sewed on the binding in the same way as I would to bind a quilt.  

Here it is, all finished and ready to put to use!

And voila!  BIG Bernie and I are very happy campers...oops, I mean sewers!  

All of my "go to" tools in one place and easy to find.

Now how easy was that!!!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Guess where we were this morning?

It's that time of year again...fresh fruits and veggies from the local farmers who tend their crops in the fertile Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia!

Not only do we have some of the finest seafood in the world but the locally grown fruits and veggies are flavorful beyond description.

Guess what we're having for dinner?

I can hardly wait!

Happy stitching...between mouthfuls, i.e.!

Friday, August 22, 2014

My "man quilt"!

Look what's coming home!

My friend Alice has finished quilting my "man quilt" and as of yesterday, it's in the hopefully capable hands of the Canadian postal system.  I can't wait to see it in person!  She also sent me these photos which I'm sharing with you.

What a difference great quilting does for a quilt, huh?  Thank you sooooo much, Alice!

The binding is already prepped so you'll know what I'll be doing as soon as I pick it up from the post office and bring it home.

I'm also hoping to have the pattern ready for purchase in the next week or so.

Now I have to come up with a title from all the suggestions that were made some time ago.  I've saved each and every one of them.  What I'll do is narrow them down to my favorite four or five and then let you all choose which one you like the best.  The person who suggested the winning title will receive a copy of my pattern.

Can you tell I'm excited?  Mr. Painted Quilt is too!

Happy stitching!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pincushion/Scissor Holder

I took a little antique green depression glass vase that I had on a shelf looking pretty and collecting dust, propped a tomato pincushion that I made a couple of years ago into the throat opening then added some scissors from my collection to suspend from the holes in the lacy edge and now look...a really cute, multi-functional scissor holder/pincushion!

I don't know if I'll use it because I'm afraid that I'll knock it over and break it but it sure looks good sitting on top of my fabric cupboard with my other dust collectors collectibles.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I haven't seen my friend Lucie since we moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia almost four years ago.  A lot of water has flowed under the proverbial bridge since then.

Lucie and I were best crafting buddies and we used to get together several times a week over copious cups of tea to stitch, craft, paint, hexie and whatever else struck our fancy at the time.  We loved to surprise each other with our own hand crafted gifts and "stuff" that we had picked up on our travels.

We moved and subsequently lost touch for a couple of years.  Then I became ill and the weeks, months and years passed by much too quickly.  During this time and unbeknownst to me, Lucie was following my blog and knew about my health issues.

A couple of months ago, Lucie took the initiative to contact me and we've been in contact almost every day since.  Even though the miles separate us, we seem to have picked up right where we left off and have been exchanging hand made gifts and quilting/craft related surprises through the mail.

Earlier this week, Lucie and her husband Pierre came to visit for a couple of days by taking a very long detour while on their way to attend a wedding in Prince Edward Island.  While Mr. Painted Quilt and Pierre went sight seeing, Lucie and I hit the local quilt shop and rug hooking studio and she did her best to improve the local economy.

Lucie and I have the same tastes in decorating which transcends itself to fabric and "stuff" as well.  We never have a problem finding goodies to buy for one another, and this visit proved to be no exception.

Would you like to see all the goodies that Lucie gifted to me?

Of course you would!

Let me unpack the bag.

Look at the fabric...and this is not all of it!

Some novelty, sewing-themed fabric from which I have already cut out a project that I'm going to make for each of us...

And some Jo Morton Civil War fabric.  L-O-V-E that cheddar!

And doo-dads.  We both love doo-dads.

Buttons, tags and lots and lots of other "stuff".  

One can never have too much STUFF!

Our two day visit was over much too quickly.  We have plans to meet up at the Vermont Quilt Festival next June and of course to continue messaging one another on our iPads and surprising each other with gifts in the mail.  On Sunday mornings when we're both available, we have a standing "Facetime" date where we'll share what we've accomplished with the projects we're working on...except for designated surprises, of course.

At the end of two days, we bid each other a fond "adieu", not goodbye.  True friends are a blessing and I am indeed blessed to have Lucie as a friend.

Happy stitching!

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Delicious Surprise!

We just finished dinner and I'm going to share with you a recipe for the best homemade pizza ever.  You won't believe the ingredients, especially for the crust.

Cauliflower Pizza

2 1/2 C cauliflower, grated (I used the whole head, excluding stems)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper 1/2C pizza sauce
2 cloves garlic, sliced
green and red bell peppers, sliced
purple onion, sliced
cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced

Line a rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 F.

Grate cauliflower till you have 2C of crumbles.  Place in a large bowl and microwave for 7-8 minutes, till soft.  Allow to cool.

Mix in egg, 1C mozzarella and parmesan cheese and pepper.  Once combined, pat into a 10" round on a prepared pan.  Spray lightly with non-stick spray. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Top with pizza sauce, the rest of the veggies and the cheese.

Bake till melted and bubbly, approximately 10-12 minutes.

Note: The original recipe was posted on Facebook but of course I changed it.

To die for delicious!  And it goes without saying that you can add whatever toppings you please.

Enjoy and...

Happy stitching!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Come on down!

Yesterday, Mr. Painted Quilt, Ollie and I headed out to visit a quilt show and sale about 50 miles from our home on the Acadian shore of Nova Scotia.

The show is held in the Saulnier Parish Church, a spectacular wooden structure that is pictured below.  This annual event is sponsored by the Guilde Acadien de Clare, a local quilt guild who work very hard at making this the successful event that it is.

The setting for the display of quilts is breathtaking. 

A quilt or quilts is laid out on each and every pew...
and some are also draped from the choir loft.
Every color and style imaginable is on display.
The talent that is showcased on each and every quilt makes it evident that there are some very prolific quilters in the area and that the craft is very alive in Nova Scotia.  
If you'd like to read more about the history of the show and the area, just click HERE.  

Today is the last day for this year's show and sale but if you're looking for something to do next year around the same time, consider adding this event to your list of "must things to see and do".  Nova Scotians are among the friendliest people in the world, the scenery is spectacular and the seafood is to die for.  Oh...and the local quilt shops are an added bonus for sure!  Just ask me how I know that!

So are you coming?  I promise you won't be disappointed!

Happy stitching!