Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Hearts Sewing

My Mom started Happy Hearts Sewing at the First United Methodist Church in Cleburne, Texas. They sew pillowcases for Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.  They meet in a small room at the church and have their sewing machines and sergers all set up in this room.

They are almost to 10,000 pillowcases!  If you were to fold up all of these pillowcases and stack them up they would be higher than a 10 story building.

What's interesting is that they have done all of this without any money really.  They have a small fund that the church gives them, but they scour garage sales and flea markets for fabric.

My Mom is in charge of the supply chain. I will call my parents up and my Dad will say that my Mom is out working a supply chain problem.

My Aunt Betty is also a member. She is in one of the pictures below. She is a wonderful quilter and has quilted several of my quilts.

If love is expressed in the output of a sewing machine then this is a lot of love.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rainy Morning

Rain in Southern California in May is not totally out of the ordinary, but is more of a special present - something unexpected.

We woke up this morning to gentle rain that is completely wonderful to our spring garden.

The hungarian bread poppies are favorites of the bees.  The sweet peas have an intense fragrance.

Monday, April 29, 2013


The apron in the photo is one I created for the Mother's Day contest at Momen+.

Aprons can be all kinds of things and designs, but for some reason the vintage look seems the most satisfying.  The big pocket in front is for harvesting vegetables out of my garden. I thought that would be pretty handy.

Aprons just seem to get better and better with washing and use.  I am looking forward to this one getting nice and grimy out in the yard!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


A couple of years ago I wanted to come up with a special gift for a high school graduate. I have known this young lady since she was 18 months old.

I thought about it for a long time and was trying to remember what I had loved the most when I graduated from high school.  What I remember the most was a beautiful velvet jewelry box that came from the posh store in town.  It was a brown floral velvet with a pale pink velvet interior. It was about six inches in diameter.  After many years of faithful service it finally gave up the ghost. But I always felt that I carried a little elegance around with me wherever I went - college and then working life.

The box above is not quite the same thing but it was heartfelt in the same way.  It has decoupage of a Paris street map, poetry, fabric, handmade paper.

These are easy to do.  Find a box (cigar box used here). Collect paper scraps, fabric scaps, buttons, old cards, sheet music etc.

Paint box with a latex paint.  Let it dry and sand lightly so that some of the materials underneath show through. You can also use a second color if you like.  Use mod poge and attach all of your bits and pieces. Do a final mod poge finish all over.

Anyway, it was a hit.  I even got a thank you card.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tiny Dachsund

Everyone loves the Tiny Dachsund (TD).  She is always a hit around town.  Yesterday she went to Pet Smart and to Armstrong Nursery.

She weighs in at 10 pounds!  Here she is all fancy courtesy of a fun app on my Iphone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I discovered a gem of a book at my public library about a year ago. It is by Helen Tanous.  It was first written in the fifties, and it gives step by step instructions on how to draft a simple pattern and then how to alter the pattern to get the design that you want. If you can't find it at your library, it is available used on Amazon.

It is aimed at fifties fashions but still relevant.

I have made several of these simple dresses from the pattern that I drafted.  The fabric is organic cotton purchased at Momen+ in Torrance - probably the best fabric store for cottons in Los Angeles.  Look it up if you are in the area.  It is also by a great bakery. Fabric and cupcakes just go together!

Now if I could just conquer pants!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Gladys Handbag

See link for sewing pattern.  The pattern is for a small duffel bag - approximately 7 inches long and about five inches in diameter. Strap can be long or short - fabric or chain.

I have made many of these to get it just right.  The pattern has a lot of detailed photographs and instructions.

The top is zippered close and the bag has a side pocket on each end. It is fully lined.  It only takes about a 1/2 yard of fabric and truthfully the more different fabrics there are (scraps) the more fun it is.

Gladys Handbag Pattern