Category Archives: Intermediate sewing

Cute Elephant Quilt DIY-

This fun elephant theme quilt was lots of fun to make. The elephant theme is so cute to dress up any nursery and the colors will work for a boy or a girl.  It was a fun experience to make this one. The pattern is simple.

Cutting Squares

It is made of 10″ squares and sew down to about 9″ squares finished.


I drew the picture below of the elephant.  I have scanned it for you.  You should be able to print it .  Trace the pattern onto Pellon Wonder Under or similar bonding fabric. and then iron it on the fabric and cut it out after you have the pellon on it.     Follow the instructions that come with your iron on  fabric. Also trace  the ears and do the same.  I made the eyes by choosing the eyelet stitch on my machine.  You could hand embroider it or use a permanent marker.   

after sewing the finished squares together,  sandwich it with the batt.  I used cotton batting , and the back.  This quilt it backed with a dark gray minky that reminds me of soft elephants if there is such a creature.



I quilted this on my machine.  It is done with the free motion method.  this method requires a lot of practice so if you haven’t done it before look it up on You Tube or take a class and do a lot of practicing first.  It is fun to do but give it some time.  I would not recommend quilting this method with minky on the back as it is too hard to see the back and check to make sure you have done it right.  Next time, I will use a cotton fabric on the back but babies love minky so it is a good thing if you are an expert at machine free motion quilting.

You could also choose to do it by hand or have someone do it on a free arm quilting machine.

This quilt will look great in my great grandson’s crib.  Or on a nursery wall.

How to shorten a lace wedding dress the easy way




Here is the secret.  A simple way to shorten a lace wedding dress.

The dress above was drooping on the floor 1 1/2 inches.  The lace is delicate and very difficult to unpick.

Shortening a lace wedding dress can be a daunting task but there is a simple way to do it.  20160829_100924These instructions are for a lace dress with a train.  The lace is along the bottom and looks like it is a part of the fabric but if you look closely you will see that it has been sewn on.   Unpicking all those tiny stitches on delicate lace is not a good idea.  You run the probability of damaging the lace and leaving holes in it.


20160829_100934Here is a simple way to change that hem.  Just carefully cut above the lace on the front of the dress if has a train.  The train does not need to be shortened. Just the front so insert your scissors above the lace and trim it off.  so it just droops down.  Co not cut the lace entirely off of the skirt in a piece.  Just cut where you see those dotted lines.



You can see in this drawing that the part you cut is just going to droop down.  Now…Ta DA!  Just raise the center of the lace up to the desired length.   Then carefully pin it.  If regular straight pins will not stay in then use safety pins until you get it right.  On each side of the lace section there may be a tiny pleat in the lace to accommodate for raising it above but it will not be noticeable.  Now top stitch it on with a medium stitch.  A fine polyester thread works great.  You may use invisible thread but it usually isn’t necessary.



In this drawing you will see the peaks hanging down from the cutting line.  Just carefully trim them off so they do not hang beneath the lace edge.


Now you will have 2 or three underskirts to hem.  they also only need to be shortened in the front You will want to trim the Satin underskirt to match what you did with the lace. for the underskirts I like to just turn them up and leave the extra fabric in there to make the bottom of the slips firmer and stand our  more.  That would depend on the wishes of the bride.


Cozy Cabin Quilt

phone may 26 058This cozy Cabin Quilt is called Twist and Shout and is found in the Quiltmaker magazine January/february ’06.  It is easy to assemble and fun to see all the color combinations. You can come up with so many combinations doing it.  It is a great one to use scraps or maybe even old shirts if you are after That cozy  cabin quilt look. phone may 26 057 phone may 26 056

The magazine has the directions for a king comforter or a crib quilt.  I made a twin comforter size and it easy to change the sizes on it.  the blocks for the bigger quilts are 3″15′ and for a crib quilt are a1/2 ” by 71/2 “.  It would be so much fun to put together a brightly colored baby quilt this way.  I might try that soon to use some of the great scraps I am collecting.

I am blessed to have the strips given to me by my sister in law.  She had already made two of them and didn’t want to do the third.  I am the very lucky and blessed recipient.  I put it together for a grandson who just graduated from High School.  What better thing to take with him to college or wherever he goes to remind him of home and the love his grandma has for him.  it is so much fun to play with fabrics and designs while you are making this project.

Quilted Bib



Quilted BqprinThis quilted bib is made from the Baprin pattern that I found on this site Found on  All moms are crazy about this great cover up bib.  Skill level is medium because you have a lot of bias binding to put on it but it is easy. 1-

I- cut out three layers. one for the top of cotton and the back is coordinating flannel.  Inside is a piece of light fleece I had left over from another project.

2 I layered them and then just sewed the quilting lines on it

3-Add the binding and your done.  Make sure you put the binding on in the right order.

first I like to do the arm holes

second the neck

third the rest with the ties continuing out 11 inches.

Hooray!  It’s priceless!  Great shower gift.

Quilted Table topper

This brightly colored table topper was so much fun to make

Quilted table topper Paper pieced

I took a lesson in paper piecing and this is the result.  It was so much fun to do.  Paper piecing is pretty easy to do but it is best to get a lesson from an expert either a friend or a book or youtube can show you how.

Do not forget that you are going to have to pull all that paper off the back when you are done.  Special paper can be used and a smaller project like this one makes it an easy task.

Just pick out your favorite colors and off you go.








How To Make A Tulle Skirt


How to make a tulle skirt

This tutorial will show you how to make the circular tulle  skirt that is all the rage with the girls.  How to make a circular tulle skirt.1 cut pattern from an old sheet1- cut a pattern out of an old sheet by folding the sheet into a square  and folding it again like a napkin.  You will have 4 layers then fold it one more time into a triangle like above. then you have 8 layers.

I made a 28″ long skirt for a 32″ waist.  Tulle is not wide enough to cut a whole circle so I cut halves.  to decide the size to cut the waist divide it by 4.  32 divided by 4 is 8.  so I measured down 8″ from the tip of the cone shape and drew the circular line making sure it was 8″ from the top on both sides.

Now for the length of the skirt just measure down the length.  In this case 28″ on both sides and draw another circular line for that.  then use this folded sheet as pictured above for your pattern.  It is heavy enough that you don’t need to pin it.  The waist will be big enough to gather in some fullness.

2 Now you can see the circleHere is the sheet circle folded in half.  Now because I needed to cut half circles.  I folded this pattern in half  into a cone shape as seen above. To cut out the tulle I folded  at the end over enough for the length of the skirt which was 28 plus 8 or 36″.  then I layed the quarter skirt pattern on the fold of the tulle so that when it is cut out I will have a half circle.   I cut 8 halves of tulle.  I just layed the tulle down on my carpet  and the static electricity kept it flat.  the heavy sheet pattern on top with no pins needed.  then cut the curves smoothly as you can so that there are no jags to have to trim later.  Take long cuts with the scissors.  It helped to hold the tulle up a little off the carpet with my other hand so I could be sure I got both layers since they are hard to see. 3 cut out the underskirt

this is what the satin will look like doubled.

For the satin underskirt I folded it one more time and cut it into a half circle. Now I have a half circle underskirt and I will have full circle tulle.  I chose to make 4 layers of tulle for this skirt and I bought 17 yards of tulle and 3 yards of satin.   It is not so expensive when the tulle is 1.99 and you use a 40% off coupon.

Sew up the sides of the satin skirt and then hem the bottom.  I used a rolled hem on my serger.

then set a zipper in the seam and cut a strip for the waist band that will extend an inch or more on one end .

Sew the waist band on the inside only so you can sandwich the tulle in on the front.

Sew up the side seams on the tulle.  quick and easy.  Just make sure your tension on the machine is right so it doesn’t pucker.  Then gather the tulle and sew it to the outside of the skirt



waist   April 8 003 YOu can see how it looks below.                                              April 8 017 April 8 018 April 8 019 April 8 020 IN the back you will need to cut a slit in the tulle for the zipper to open.  I then, pinned the tulle on the inside part of the zipper and top stitched it down but left the other side free to hide the zipper when it is closed.  April 8 021 April 8 022

Now just top stitch the waistband on the outside and you are finished. !!!!  Happy girl!  It is worth it!


Pencil Purse & Book Cover

I love this project.  It is so bright and fun.  It is just the right look for a pencil purse with little pieced pencils running across it and a notebook cover either for art or journaling or note taking.  Just the right thing for that special girl no matter her age.  I cannot decide which of my special little artists will receive this one.I They were made totally from scraps and a zipper that I had on hand.So, though they are valuable, The only cost was the composition book (less than a dollar) that I put inside of it.

Pencil Purse and Book Cover


I created this awesome set from a book called “Sew Gifts!” by that Patchwork Place, an imprint of Martingale.  It is a very nice book and I would recommend it to anyone.  I did have some trouble with piecing the pencils together according to the directions since I am a beginner at piecing.  If you are just learning, just remember that the smaller the pieces are  probably the more difficult to do than larger pieces.   But if you sew much at all, you can do this.  So I developed my own process of piecing the pencils and I will show you how I do it.

1   1  after you have decided what size you want your pencils, and cut the fabric in rectangle strips so that you have a longer rectangle for your pencil, a strip of tan for your wood and another short strip for the lead of your pencil only longer than the finished pencil.  Then cut longer rectangles that will measure long enough to go 1/4 inch below the wood piece  and above the top (the exact measurements for this purse are in the book “Sew Gifts”    

blog pics and January 006

 Fold one edge of the two background pieces 1/4 inch and press.


2-Place the pieces one at a time so they extend 1/4 inch below the tan piece and pin in place from the back.  Open it up as shown and sew on the fold line.  then place the second piece on making sure that it meets the other piece at the point of the pencil.  Then sew it on the fold line


blog pics and January 007

then open and press and you have the cutest pencils you can imagine.

How to hem sheer fabric

 I was asked to put a long slip underlining under this sheer skirt  so I took out the original sheer short slip and made a scarf for her.  All I had to do was the rolled hem on one edge and it was done!

 This rolled hem is called the “whip and roll hem”  It is so easy to do on sheer fabrics for scarves, formal wear, sheer skirts and doll clothes.  I love it.  Thanks to my sewing pal, Joyce O. for reminding me of this method.

Here is how you do it.
1-Set the zig zag width to 3
2-Set the stitch length to 1
3-Move  your needle on the left position.
4-Put your fabric in wrong side up and have the fabric extend about 1/8″ to the right of the needle.

As you sew you will quickly see how the fabric will roll up into a neat rolled hem.  some machines may vary a little because of the needle position but it is a breeze.

I think I will make some scarves for myself now!  Fun!
I like it a lot better than my serger rolled hems for sheer fabrics and it doesn’t require three cones of serger thread!

How to refashion a knit top

Refashioning a knit top is all too easy.  You see this top was 4 sizes too large.  

 I did not use a pattern and you shouldn’t really need one either. You could get out a shirt that fits just right and use it as model so that you don’t make it too small and loose the shirt.

1- I tried it on and noted how much needed to be taken in on the sides and the length of sleeve that I wanted.  
2- I I laid the shirt out flat and cut the sleeve out on the shirt side so I took a little in on the shoulder but realize that some of that extra width will be taken up when you adjust the neck.
3- I trimmed off the hem from the neckline and laid it aside for a bow.
4-trim the sides to the desired size.
5- cut off the extra width of the sleeve on the seam.
6-Cut the length of the sleeve at the top and curve it so it fits your new armhole.  That is where you might like a pattern or another shirt to use as a pattern.  (I did not use one)
7-Cut the neck trim in half and use one half for the bow.  Just tie it and pin it on or tack it when you are finished. 
8- Sew up the side seams
9-pin and sew the side seams up 
10-Sew up the underarm seam of the sleeve.
11-Hem the bottom and the neck by just turning them up.  I surged the edge of these to leave a finished seam and also sewed all my seams on the surger but if you do not have one you can use a regular machine and stitch or a knit stitch on your regular machine. 

In under an hour it is ready to wear!  Yeah!