Tag Archives: sewing

Last week I started teaching my youngest grand-daughter Alyssa to embroider.  We spent a couple of hours together with me sitting right next to her.  She had my full attention and loved it!  This weekend she came over to finish her first project. 

There’s a lot to embroidery you probably don’t even think about!  Alyssa’s learned the quilter’s knot, how to thread a needle, which end of the thread to put through the needle, how to put the embroidery in a hoop and how to end her embroidery when she runs out of thread.  These are big steps for an 8 year old. She’s pretty proud of her results!

We’ve been working on the stem stitch. Getting those stitches small and even is not easy and it’s something that comes with practice.  It takes awhile to learn it all!  I drew 3 hearts for practice.  She picked out the floss colors and when she was done we decided to turn it into a pincushion!  The backing is the little tiny dog bone print from “Pampered Pooch” by Moda.  For the filling we used ground walnut shells.   She sewed the front and the backing together on the machine. 


Eight is the perfect age to begin teaching children to sew, and embroidery is quick and pretty easy.  They can have a finished project in no time at all.  Once you have the first lesson completed, it’s important to have a second lesson within a week.  You don’t want them to forget everything they’ve learned.

 Alyssa’s been looking through all of my books for something to trace for her second project.   She found one she likes in one of my “Dover” copyright free books.   Much to my surprise it’s a “rat” in a little tea pot.  We’ll enlarge it on the copier and make it the perfect size.  Perfect size for what I’m not sure.  I wonder if she’ll  like rats in tea pots when she’s older!    Children really do  know what they like and it’s important to let them lead the way.  :>)  Bet you can’t wait to see this one!

Pick up the latest issue of “Quilter’s Home” magazine and you can see the sewing room I’ve created for my grand-daughters! 

Happy embroidery day everyone! 




Did you know not all stuffing is the same?  I’m not talking about your grandmother’s Thanksgiving stuffing, but the stuffing you buy to make dolls, toys, pillows etc.  That little white polyester fiber can make a big difference in how your project looks.  And  no one ever seems to talk about things like stuffing.  So while I’m in Paris, I thought I could jabber away here about stuffing.  I’ll be drinking Perrier and you’ll be reading about stuffing.  Please don’t delete my blog from your reading list!

Here’s the real truth about stuffing.  There’s a big difference between the stuffing you pick up at the discount store and the stuffing you buy at your local quilt store.

Years ago I was taking a class and someone (can’t remember who)  introduced me to “Hobbs” stuffing.   You can find it at your local quilt store.  Pick up a bag and do a test.  Open the cheap polyester stuffing that you probably have in your closet and then open the Hobbs.  Touch it, feel it in your fingers, push on it and watch the bounce back. Watch how the fibers cling together.   Hobb’s stuffing clings together, is less porous, and feels more like cotton or wool fibers.   When you stuff with Hobbs it stays where you put it.  When you stuff with the inexpensive stuffing it bounces right back and is less likely to stay put.   Hobbs is it’s the best polyester stuffing you can find!

We’ve added it to our web site, but look  for it at your local quilt store first to save on shipping and keep the economy local.   I guarantee you’ll like it.

And here’s a few tips for stuffing my newest petite pattern “Scooter Pie”.  Stuff those little ears first with tiny finger fulls of stuffing.   Stuff the tail the same way, tiny amounts of stuffing added bit by bit.  Push with a stuffing tool or the blunt end of a wood chop stick.  A finger full of stuffing at a time for the small areas, and larger amounts for the larger areas.  And then when you think you can’t stuff her anymore, add more stuffing!

Hugs from Europe everyone!   No, my feet aren’t hurting and I’m not tired either.  I’ll be at a Cath Kidston store in London tomorrow! We’re taking the train from Paris to London.   I have a huge shopping list!

Sweet dreams, even if we are hours apart!


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