Wednesday, September 22, 2010


What's your creative inspiration?  This summer I became a photo bug.  Still need to master a few techniques, but here are a few pictures I want to remember for future quilt and sewing projects.  Take a look . . .  
These little guys could dance around a Christmas quilt!
Steelroots: Tobin at the Morton Arboretum
Adore this deep red and gold mosaic vaulted ceiling
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Mosaic floor at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

I have over 1,000 1" Thangles.
Wonder if I can manipulate them into circles?

Stay tuned.  I have many more pictures.
It's hard to show only a few...

What's your inspiration?

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Friday, September 17, 2010

2010 SCHMETZ Portfolio Designer - Mary Mulari

Mary's Favorite Needle:  Quick Threading Needle

Mary Mulari
Mary is soooo creative and thoughtful.  She says, "If a friend purchases a new sewing machine, I celebrate by giving a special gift of my favorite sewing notions including SCHMETZ needles.  You can really never have too many.  If the person is my age or older I know she will love the SCHMETZ Quick Threading needles."

Mary is from a small town in Minnesota.  As you can guess she sees a lot of snow and wears a lot of sweaters. 

Mary in her sewing studio
with a few "good" sweaters

I'm guessing all those cold winter days inspire Mary to sew, design and write especially about how to recycle all those sweaters that are still good, but no longer in style . . . maybe a little tight or slightly worn.  I don't know about you, but I just cannot throw out or donate all my nearly "good" sweaters. . . . but  Mary has the answer!

Recycle . . . Repurpose . . . Restyle

Whatever you call it Mary has patterns from her Sew Green Makeovers to give new life to that pile of sweaters and other too "good" to let go garments - sweaters into scarves, mittens and hats, turning a man's shirt into an apron.  Mary is one of Nancy Zieman's most frequent guests on Sewing with Nancy. Together they created the Sew Green Makeovers DVD showing transformations of too "good" to let go garments into stylish creative makeovers. 

Midwest Ya Ya Sisters!
Rita Farro and Mary
 When Mary's not appearing on TV with Nancy, writing books and designing you may find her performing with Rita Farro in the unflappable Midwest Ya Ya Sisters.  Yep, this duo has their own act -  performing at sewing venues around the country.  Sewing, sisterhood and life's quirky encounters have new meanings with these two.  They keep their audiences in "stitches".  Prepare to laugh!  Don't miss them!

Winter is not too far off.  Do you have a few sweaters that can be repurposed in time for snow?  Check out Mary's website for her books, patterns and innovative ideas at

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Friday, September 10, 2010

In Harmony with Bias

This summer the American Sewing Guild Conference took place in Atlanta, GA.  What a delight to see so many garment and fashion enthusiasts.  One of my pleasures was finally meeting the design team of Fashion in Harmony.  Here I am with Julianne Bramson, designer, and her partner Susan Lenahan. 
Me with Julianne & Susan

Julianne is a master of designing garments on the bias, while Susan writes clear and precise sewing instructions.  What a team!  We are each wearing Fashion in Harmony garments.  I adore the Biased About Jackets pattern.  It's made from a silk blend.  I must admit to holding my breathe as I brazenly worked with these bold stripes, but as you can see - the jacket is stunning!  The thought & detail of the back jacket construction is brilliant giving the jacket body and interest.  Well done ladies!  . . . .

But let's continue into this world of bias with Fashion in Harmony.   In a June blog I posted about the Mystery of the Red Dots.  Well here's my finished garment . . .

Julianne & I wearing Magic Bias Dresses
I love how the striped insert sweeps around my body.  My dress is made from a jersey knit found at Fields in Grand Rapids, MI.  Even more special was that the selvage had a 6" stripe that worked perfectly for the insert.  At first I thought the stripe might be too pronounced looking like a Miss America banner, but I got over it -  although this picture is amusing - since I'm a glow! The stripe is very intriguing to those who appreciate fine design.  This dress is incredibly comfortable and I will be making several more.

Magic Bias Dress and Biased About Jackets

Fashion in Harmony is located in California.  Their patterns can be purchased over the web.  Recently I made their Acute Angle Blouse from a midnight blue rayon with sequins.  Yes, it was lovely.  My next project is either another Magic Bias Dress or an unusual Chinese Lantern Skirt - unusual only because it is definitely outside my clothing comfort zone.

Julianne will be teaching at the end of the month at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI - always a fabulous show!  Make sure you check out her patterns and visit .

Yes it's true, I'm biased about Fashion in Harmony!

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Sunday, September 5, 2010


This hem will never fall out again!

Last week I was packing for a trip to Baby Lock Tech - the annual meeting of Baby Lock dealers in St. Louis. While packing I noticed a pant hem had pulled out. Something about the fabric and thread combo causes the hem to fall out.  Yes, this was not the first time these pants needed to be hemmed.

Luckily my sewing machine was already threaded with white thread.  Yep, I stitched in a straight hem.  Then, I wondered, what am I thinking?  I'm going to a machine dealer meeting - - - a fancy decorative stitch is in order. 

Yep these hems will never pull out again!
. . . . and why stop at just one pair of pants?  I did two!

St. Louis was beautiful with lush colorful gardens and a view of the Arch within an easy walk of the hotel. 
Thanks Baby Lock for inviting SCHMETZ to your annual meeting!

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