Sew What? Creating in new medium….

Taking a side path of creation and art. The last couple years have been mostly digital creations – and that will continue.

In August I began searching out some day stops in our new home town of Plymouth WI for my sister-in-law and I to visit when she came back for a visit in September. Lynn has been a creator all her life. A retired elementary teacher who has a fantastic design eye. She bakes, cans, cooks, crochet, sews, builds houses, gardens – so many passions. There is a store in our downtown called the Sewing Basket. I had been here a year but never ventured into it. While my husband was getting a haircut, I took a walk and ventured in to explore and see if it could be a stop when Lynn was visiting. I fell in love immediately.

The building is over 100 years old. The owners fo the business are attentive to detail and visual presentation. They also change things up almost weekly! I only had a few minutes but knew we had to come and explore together. During the visit we made it to the Sewing Basket. We met the staff who instantly became almost like long time friends. We spent almost an hour and half browsing and deciding what to get. I walked out with a ruler, a rotary cutter, some yards of fabric and batting. I decided I was going to make some totes. And we actually went back for a second visit before Lynn’s visit was over.

I made my first bags – no patterns, just figuring out the math and trying to make something.

Grocery Tote

A first attempt at making bags with the vintage cloth. I got 2 totes from the cloth and learned a lot about construction – they were rough!

Retail shopping bag from vintage tablecloth

I upgraded my sewing machine from the $60 one stitch machine that needed pliers to put the foot up and down. It arrived on a day that vintage cloths did too.

The obsession begins

I then decided I needed a place to sew and be set up rather than lugging everything out to the kitchen table and having to put it away all the time. The sewing space project began. I am using a corner of the lower level that has a closet right off the space. The closet holds my fabrics and other things. I am using things we already have with some adaptations  like bed risers to make the cutting/work table counter height. I have music and TV nearby – windows and a small turn around space to keep everything one step away. It is a happy place.

this is the first version.


I then knew I needed to bring in some other things like my paintings, organizing tools. A different table for the machine that I could get my legs under and wouldn’t wobble. Facing the wall wasn’t great either – even though decor wise the machine table looks better against the back wall – I moved it out. If we have company etc. I can move the table easily and put the ironing board in the closet – but for most days – it should be functional.

Sewing space

It also now lets me see out the window catch some HGTV when not listening to music, someplace comfy to sit when hand sewing and the reminders of and a day coming up where my grandson is over for the day.

Sewing space

Some more visits to the Sewing Basket for lining fabrics and gadgets. The vintage Christmas tablecloth – yes Lynn was there when I got it! – turned into gift bags for under the tree.

Christmas gift bag from vintage tablecloth

Christmas gift bag from vintage tablecloth

and then more Christmas gift bags from vintage table cloths!

Christmas gift bag from vintage tablecloth

Christmas gift bag from vintage tablecloth

Table runners for my daughters as St. Nick Gifts.

Table Runner

And wind bottle totes…

Wine Caddy

I did a little hand sewing in between and put together this elephant from a vintage pattern and cloth gifted to me from Judy for my grandchild’s nursery. A year after he was born – but it got done!

Hand sewing from vintage pattern and material

Holiday Aprons for family cookie baking day, Gifts of grocery totes for my girls….


Grocery bags

A peek-a-boo bag from vintage fabric….

Peek a boo from vintage cloth

Some sewing room accessories…

Chicken fabric weights…..

Chicken Weights

Thread Catcher…..

Thread catcher

A zippered pouch attempt. In this set up time I have connected with some online groups and have found support from Dawn of Grammies Little Aprons and Sew Much More….She has been a gem in sharing, giving tips and a great cheerleader. Take a look at her stuff in her business FaceBook page.

Zipper Pouch

After writing this – I am realizing how much I have done in just 4 months! Wow! And Lynn was the start of all of this!!! I am having a blast and enjoying the creating. I even signed up for some classes at the Sewing Basket for January and February to learn new things and to meet some new people.

With the projects I have done – I have collected scraps. The recylcler/upscycler in me can’t throw them in the trash. I found Darlene Michaud on YouTube and have started my own “crumb quilt” from my scraps. Taking Darlene’s method of chaining and making the crumb blocks, but then expanding and using the Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorial on Quilt as You Go Any Block – I have the starts of a quilt. I will use the crumb blocks on layer cake pieces, free motion quilt each and then join them as done in the Missouri Tutorial – so a combination and my spin on it all. I have 27 – 8 inch  blocks made already – next is sewing them to the layer cake piece and the free motion quilting before joining the blocks. I never thought I would really do a quilt – and probably will never do a full fledge quilt. I don’t think I can stick with a project that long without an outcome! – Plus the massive amount of fabric etc. on a domestic machine doesn’t make sense. I will stick to a diverse menu of things to make and shorter term projects – at least I think so now. 😉

Crumb Quilt blocks

I have about 3-5 vintage table cloths waiting for me to do something with and another 3-4 Christmas cloths for more gift bags. The next hunt will be for more vintage cloth. I am not sure what I will do with all the products. Family is already recipients and probably don’t need any more for now. I don’t think I want the selling route as that leads to having to create for a customer rather than create because you want too. But maybe there is a happy medium.

It is amazing at how even at my age – you can learn new things, find new passions. I am grateful I have the time, health and ability to take on new things – and will continue to do so for as long as I can. Today sewing – with added digital creations, photography, gardening, home decor….so many things! and now I also have the next generation in our family to explore new things with and learn even more.

More pics here.