Friday, September 20, 2013

September is National Sewing Month!


Like the title of this post says, September IS National Sewing Month and I've been busy doing just that!
It is great therapy for me...just slightly cheaper than a shrink!

Our family has had a great deal of challenges lately & they take time & energy away from blogging. My older sister's son has been diagnosed with kidney cancer.  His wife has had to take a *family medical leave* from her job at a pizza parlor to care for him.  They have 2 children, one in college & one not yet graduated from high school.  We are worried sick about the bills, since he lost his job last year & they don't have any insurance.   
On top of that, my brother's son's wife has decided to give up her fight against bone cancer.  She has endured chemo & radiation & bone grafts & it is still spreading.
I would greatly appreciate your prayers for both my nephew Keith & my nephew's wife, Rachel, as they deal this awful disease.

My way of dealing with the stress is to SEW!

I finished my "Countdown To Christmas" quilt top &
it is waiting for an opening at my long arm quilting gal, 
so she can work her magic on it.

Countdown To Christmas Quilt 002

 I enjoyed making this one very much!  
It was less complicated than my "Indigo Stars" quilt
but you still had to be organized.

I didn't want to use any cream colors in the star points, 
as they would not have provided enough contrast against the white.  Countdown To Christmas Quilt 001

I also, started using the fabric with the larger Christmas words on the centers & thus, had to make sure each one was cut & correctly positioned for proper reading.

That complicated things a wee bit.
Countdown To Christmas Quilt 003

I also tried not to have a cream colored block in any of the corners of the square outlines, 
as it made them appear not to be completely closed.
Lots to think about!

You can find the free pattern for this happy quilt on the Moda website here: 
Countdown To Christmas Quilt 001

I hunted all over to acquire the needed prints,
since the original quilt was posted several years ago.
Lesson learned...if you love it,
BUY IT when you see it!


I joined the K.I.S.S. Quilt Guild & one of their service projects is to make stockings for our American soldiers for the upcoming holidays.  
The USO fills them with items like candy, chapstick, small books, etc.  
I brought home 2 packs of pre-cut fabrics & had Ms. C. help me assemble them.
She was SEW proud!!


The last time she visited, she even asked me if I had any more for her to work on. 
 That made my heart sing!
 She is such a sweet, generous little angel & loves learning how to sew.


This is another of her projects,
 (while not exactly sewing) 
that she had fun making.

Thank you, Lynn for showing us how to make hula skirts out of grocery bags! 

Directions are here: Happier Than A Pig In Mud


I've been working on some cute *Fat Quarter Flowers* to be used as favors at an upcoming luncheon for my sewing friends.

fat quarter flowers 003

They are very easy to do.
I found the cake pop sticks & the celophane wrappers at JoAnns in the Wilton cake supply areas.

 fat quarter flowers 005

Go here to see how to make them:

I Plead Quilty: Fat-quarter-bouquet-tutorial

cough pillow covers

My other quilt guild, The Memory Makers, create "cough pillow" covers for a local hospital, as their charity project.
The photo, above, shows only a small portion of the ones I've been making.  I think I've done 30 of them so far!

The pillows are used to apply pressure to a patient's surgical site, so that when they cough or sneeze, it doesn't hurt so much.  Patients are much more inclined to take deep breaths & clear their lungs post-op, if they can use these pillows to support their incisions.

Patriotic Sorrell pattern 004

I couldn't leave out the dolls!! 

 My friend, Genine has an Etsy site where she sells the most perfect patterns for American Girl dolls.  She truly has some of the clearest directions & methods I have ever seen.  

Genniewren's Patterns on Etsy 

If you like to make doll clothes, I encourage you to visit her site to see all the wonderful styles she has to offer.  Great prices, too AND she carries some little machine embroidery designs just the right size for the doll clothes, too.

Patriotic Sorrell pattern 006 

 Both the dress above & below are made from the same Sorrell pattern.  I just left off the lower ruffle on the ballet dress, below.

Sorrell Doll Dress 001    

This should have been a dozen different blog posts but I've found it difficult to spend time on the computer lately.
I also was having problems with my NEW $$$ computer!
Many email addresses did not export & import like they were supposed to & I found also that many were accidentally blocked.  
So, if you have sent me an email lately & I didn't respond (Yvonne?) please try again?  I hope & pray I've got it straightened out now.  *sigh*

Thank you for visiting me at The Gazebo House.  I always feel like I'm playing catch-up, to get around to visiting everyone who takes the time to comment.  I do so appreciate your kind words & will try to return the visit soon...promise!

p.s.  The wedding was LOVELY but this ditzy blonde forgot her camera!!  Relatives have promised to share their photos.  I'm still waiting.  ~~insert rolled eyes~~


  1. Your quilt is lovely! and what a cute flower for your luncheon!

    1. Thanks Ceekay! I have a new neighbor, who also quilts, and when she moves in next door when her DH retires, I'm planning on inviting every single sewist that I know for a big party to meet her. I don't know yet how many "flowers" I'll need, so I just keep making them. I can always undo one if I need the fabric! LOL

  2. Your quilt is gorgeous Rett and I love the doll clothes! Especially the cute pink dress. Ms. C's hula skirt turned out great and thanks for the shout out! Have a nice weekend:@)

    1. Thank you, Lynn & thanks for the tut on the hula skirt. I want to do your witch hat as well, next time Ms. C. visits.

  3. Your quilt is lovely and shows all the thought you've put into the arrangement of the stars. I'm sorry for all the grief your family is going through just now. Cancer is such an awful disease. Hugs and prayers.

    1. Thank you, Lorrie, for your compliments and for your prayers. Both are greatly appreciated!

  4. Ill be including prayers for your loved ones, dear Rett. I pray for an end to cancer everyday.
    Your sewing projects are wonderful, as always. Those fat quarter flowers will be such great party favors for your friends. I'm glad you have your sewing to relieve your stress. We must stay busy to keep our minds occupied. Hugs sent your way. xo

    1. Thank you, Kitty! I always admire your sewing projects too & I'm glad YOU are staying busy. Hugs right back atcha!

  5. What a beautiful quilt. Prayers for you Rett, with all you have to deal with I am so glad you have sewing to help with the stress.

    1. I appreciate your kind words, Nonie! You know how hard it is to go through all of this, I'm sure. I would go nuts if I couldn't sew to keep my mind off it!

  6. Oh Rett, I am so sorry about your relatives that have cancer. I will include them in my prayers. I have three friends that I am praying so hard for that have cancer. I sure wish they would find a cure for it.
    The quilt is stunning! You really did a beautiful job on it. How great of you to make all those wonderful things for the hospital and stockings for the military. My neighbor makes lap quilts for the Vet hospital.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thank you Mary! I need to get busy & do some of the "Quilts of Valor" that I've been seeing lately. Such a special way to say 'thank you' to a Veteran!

  7. Prayers for all the family. You are so amazing to sew for others when your heart is heavy. Everything is beautiful.

    1. Cheryl, I truly appreciate your prayers for my family members. The situations are so very sad...more so for the young kids that will be left with only 1 parent now. I know my sister is especially worried about how her grandchildren are handling the news. I'm more worried about HER!

  8. Your family has certainly had their share of heartache. I will most definitely keep them in my prayers.
    You've been one busy lady. I'm in awe of all that you get done, Rett. How nice that you have sewn so many items for the various projects.
    Love it that Miss C is learning to sew right along side you.
    Lots and lots of rain today - finally! ;-)

    1. I'm SO glad you've finally gotten some rain, Sarah! I spoke with my brother in Kerrville just yesterday & he said they were getting a little.

      Thank you for your prayers...they are much appreciated.

  9. Rett, tried to email you but wouldn't go through. I got the dishes about 4 years ago at Marshall's and TJ Maxx. I still see them every once in a while. They also come in black and white.
    Hope this helps you out - I love them!

    1. I will have to keep an eye out for them again. I'm kicking myself now for not getting them when I first saw them. Someday I'll learn!

  10. Rett...what a great post just FULL of wonderfulness. I loved every word and every awesome way to start my Sat. :)
    The part about the sickness of the family, of course, isn't wonderful...but I love that you are asking for prayers for them....and you have mine.

    The Christmas quilt is probably one of the prettiest I've ever seen...and I've seen a lot in my looong years here on Earth. Mom was a quilter and while she made the most amazing ones, never one like this. I am not a quilter, nor a seamstress, but I am going to give this one a try. Oh, how I'd love to make one for my son and family and one for my daughter and family. ....oh, and one for moi. ( I always have such good intentions)
    The stockings are so stinkin' cute and I know someone is really going to enjoy getting one.

    1. You can do this quilt, would be perfect for a beginner, as the star points are not supposed to match! They are actually supposed to be MORE wonky than mine turned out. I guess I'm a little anal when it comes to positioning. The entire star is supposed to "float" inside the white block, so there is no risk of cutting off your points. If you can sew a straight & consistent 1/4" seam, you'll be fine.

      Thanks for your prayers. The situations are so very sad & I even feel worse for my sister! She was just getting over her knee replacement surgery & now has more heartache than anyone should deal with.

  11. What a coincidence. Just this past Thursday I was driving home thinking about sewing, and how I miss my sewing machine that never got replaced and how much I would love to learn how to sew a quilt. When I got home, I even got on the computer and googled "how to make a quilt" and then a day later I saw you post!! It's meant to be, I need to go out and buy me a sewing machine and start sewing again....I just need to tell me hubby ;) Love all your sewing projects, you're really great at it!!

    1. DO it, Bev!! I had a friend tell me once, that if I ever learned to sew, I would never again be bored or without a project. It was TRUE!! I have more things in the works than I can remember. I just hope the Good Lord lets me live long enough to complete all of them.

  12. I certainly will remember Keith and Rachel in my prayers. Such a difficult time for you and your family.

    Love the idea of the fat quarter favors and the American Doll dresses.

    The quilt is gorgeous.

  13. Thank you for your prayers, Lillian & for your sweet words, too.
    I already have another quilt started but it will be a loooong time till I have it completed. *sigh* It keeps me busy & that is good.

  14. Oh, I am so sorry to read, about your relatives who are ill. What a stressful time - I have been through a time like that and it is not easy. Please know that many good wishes and prayers for your family are being sent your way. Your sewing projects have made me more determined than ever to purchase a new sewing machine. Mine has been broken for a while and have been having trouble deciding to "jump off the cliff" and buy a new one. Thanks for "pushing me over the edge"!!

  15. What beautiful projects, Rett! I adore the cake pops, the quilt, and the stockings for soldiers. I am so sorry for the illness in your family and I will pray for Rachel and Keith.

  16. I am so sorry to hear the sad news in your family. I am so glad that you have your sewing to help you with the stress. I can't imagine worrying about having no insurance when you are so worried about your loved one and knowing you are "giving up fighting", well, who can even guess what that feels like. So sad.

    Sewing is pretty much a foreign language to me, but I do love seeing your projects and I love that Christmas pattern! Gorgeous!

    I put up the second half of French Lick a little while ago, you might want to check out the sister hotel, West Baden. It has an entirely different atmosphere, a little too quiet for my taste, but wonderful to see.

  17. Rett, You've been sewing up a storm and are SEW generous with your time and projects! Love the stockings for our service men & women! And how fun, Ms. C is helping and learning too. My grandmother taught me to sew on her ancient trundle machine. I have such fond memories of sewing with her scraps when we visited :) Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I read them all & each one is so very special to me & I try really hard to return the visit!