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Mother/Daughter Class in January

The next Mother/Daughter class is scheduled for SUNDAY, January 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. It will continue the NEXT DAY, January 19 (Martin Luther King holiday), and finish the next Sunday, January 25.

Cost is $40 for each class, which covers both Mom and Daughter/Son (total $120). There is also a small materials fee. (approximately $14). Currently there are two openings available. A deposit of $40 is required to confirm your space and covers the cost of the first class. You do not need a sewing machine.

NOTE: Your child should be at least 8 years old to take this class.

Classes are held in North Raleigh in my home.


October classes are filled. There will be no classes during the months of November and December.

I have tentatively scheduled an Absolute Beginner Class to begin Saturday, January 10. It will continue for the next two Saturdays: January 17 and 24. Time is from 9 to 1. Cost is $40 per four-hour class ($120). There is also a small materials fee. Deposit of $40 is required to reserve your space, which covers the cost of the first class. NOTE: You do not need a sewing machine to take this class.

I have also scheduled the same class for February, to begin February 7, and continue February 14 and 21. Time and cost as above.

NOTE: It is recommended that you reserve your space as soon as possible; I have already had inquiries regarding this class. Space is limited to 6 students. In the event I need to change the dates, your deposit will be refunded.

TBA: Introduction to Quilting. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to quilt, this is your class. You will make a table runner entirely by machine, from start to finish. Weekdays or evenings available. Please send feedback regarding days/evenings available. Basic sewing experience required. Cost: $30 for each three-hour class ($90). Stay tuned…..








TIME: 9 TO 1.



New June Sewing Classes

NEW SCHEDULE FOR JUNE ABSOLUTE BEGINNER CLASS:  Beginning Saturday, June 21, 28 and July 12 (from 9 to 1 p.m.)  Cost is $40 for each class.  If you’ve never touched a sewing machine, or just need a refresher course after many years, this is your class.  (we skip the July 4th holiday weekend).  Class size is limited to 6.

NOTE:  There has been a change in the date of the weekday Absolute Beginner class.  The new start date is June 23.  The second class will be on June 30, and will finish on July 7.  Time is from 9 to 1 p.m.

A Mother/Daughter class has been scheduled to start, Wednesday, June 18, from 1 to 4 p.m.  It will continue June 25 and finish on July 2.  Cost is $40 per class, which includes both Mom and daughter.  Learn to sew together.

Class size is limited to 4 students.  You do not need a sewing machine to attend.  Feel free to send questions via the “Contact” page.





March was a memorable month for me.  It began with a trip to South Bend, IN, for my granddaughter’s baptism, and ended with the burial of my husband’s father in Alabama.

In between these events, I celebrated my 50th high school reunion in Louisville, KY, and helped my Mom with a move during the two weeks I was there.

Now it’s all about unpacking, visiting with the daughters and grandchildren here that I missed so much, and catching up with my life at home, church commitments and private students.

Our last three-session Absolute Beginner class was held in February, and requests have been for  this class have been coming in since that time.

I will be contacting these people in the order they called or emailed me, to offer the next classes.

If you are interested in the Absolute Beginner series, send me a note on the “Contact” page, or call me to add your name to the list (919-848-1898).

The dates that I choose (starting Saturday April 12), will not work for everyone, so it is possible your wait will not have to be long.  This is especially true if you are interested in a daytime or evening class.  They are usually held on Monday and Wednesdays.

It’s good to be back !


Beginner Quilting Class

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to quilt, here’s your chance.  We will make a table runner from start to finish, entirely by machine.

This is a good start for your first quilt!  Learn all the “rules” about the craft.  Anyone with basic sewing skills can take this class.

We will meet September 7 and 14 (Saturdays), from 2 to 5 p.m.  If we need a third class to finish up, there will be no extra charge.  Cost $30 per class.


I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.

The principle use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few.  It was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fuzzy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.  Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that “old-time apron” that served so many purposes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.   Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron.

(author unknown)

The resurrection of the almighty iron

Did you know there is a difference between ironing and pressing?  Ironing is gliding the iron back and forth over a garment (or anything else iron-able)  Pressing  involves lifting the iron and pressing  (literally) with the iron on a seam, at times using steam to help “set” it.

Several of my students haven’t owned an iron; but I’ve convinced them (I think) that if they want their sewing projects to look professional, pressing with a good iron is a must.   If you need to go shopping for one, make sure it has plenty of steam vents and will produce lots of steam (check the water-fill line to see how much it will hold).  A good feature is a tough no-scratch soleplate, and a feature I wouldn’t be without is an automatic shut-off.

A good iron is an investment.  I owned a $10 iron for 20 years, but I had to refill it every 10 minutes if I wanted a burst of steam; once I convinced myself that I needed a Rowenta brand, I couldn’t believe the difference.   My husband has always said “you get what you pay for” and with the more expensive Rowenta brand, I got a lot.

The lost “art” of ironing

I have come to realize that the status of yesteryear’s iron has fallen among today’s generation.  I suppose it was inevitable; with the introduction of permanent-press and clothes dryers.

You might say that I’m part of the “in-between” generation; I can remember vividly “wash day”, which before the advent of dryers involved hanging everything (everything) out on a clothes line.  That was usually on Monday (wash day); Tuesday was the dreaded IRONING DAY.  I can’t remember what the other days of the week were for, because the ironing was never really finished.  We would even sprinkle water on the more difficult pieces, roll them up, and designate them for “later”  Then the trick would be to get to the “dampened” ironing before it mildewed.

I even learned to iron a sheet without letting it touch the floor.  I would challenge anyone today to accomplish that trick.   (I think I can still do that – but why should I?)

Tomorrow:  the resurrection of the almighty iron

When in doubt – check it out

Please – anyone reading this posting – go to your thread supply and check every spool to see if you purchased “hand quilting” thread to use in your sewing machine.

Thread made for hand quilting has wax applied to the filament which will rub off between the tension disks in your machine.  WE ARE TALKING MAJOR REPAIR BILLS HERE!

Because I am coordinator of a prayer blanket ministry in our church, I get donations of fabric and thread.  I keep it all in a box and use it for our sewing circle.  Well, I’ve learned my lesson, I discovered that I had put hand quilting thread in my own machine and was stitching with it.  Fortunately I discovered it after only a few minutes and there was no damage.

When I checked all the spools, there were NINE of hand quilting thread in the box!  Yikes!

Good ol’ Walmart

Some of you have seen fabric kits here and there for aprons, etc.  Well!  I am officially announcing to my thousands of readers (smile) that  Walmart  has an amazing collection of kits for not only aprons, but purses, pillowcases, doll clothes, wall quilts, kid’s costumes, pet pampering and more!   All of these include instructions and are displayed in hanging packages and designed for the beginning sewer.

They have coordinated pre-quilted and double-faced quilted fabric and everything from Disney to Spiderman prints.  Their fat quarters are $1 each and they have 5 inch batik squares priced at $10 for 100 pieces!  (Be still my beating heart!)

This is part of their “new look” and I definitely approve.  What  great gift ideas for that loved-one learning to sew, and for the gift-giver, herself.

Sewing for Christmas

My list of sewing projects for my family (which is steadily growing) seems to have no end.  I have so many ideas of things I’d like to make, but I’m never realistic in estimating the time it will take.  So as a result, when Christmas is a week or two away, I go a little stir-crazy.


Stay tuned………

A tisket, a tasket, get yourself a basket

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .to keep by your sewing machine.  If you’re like me, you tend to be a little “scattered” when concentrating on a sewing project.  I tend to put  scissors, pins, bobbins, etc. down on the nearest flat surface when I’m finished with them.  That of course makes for a lot of frustration when you need to find these notions in a hurry.  Old habits die hard, but with a little effort we can keep everything in one place.  A little basket is just the ticket!

Don’t be bored with the ironing board

As long as we’re talking about “pressing matters”, I should point out that the inexpensive ironing boards are  going to make your pressing and ironing more difficult.  These cheaper versions wobble and break easily.  So invest in a more sturdy board and a well-padded cover.  The height should be adjustable and if you add an iron rest to the end of the board, you will have a much larger ironing surface.

“Pressing Issues”: The ironing board

If you happen to be tall like me (5’9″), you probably just assume that everything should be adjusted to your height.  For 30 years or more I’ve had my ironing board in the highest position; I recently lowered it several inches and discovered that ironing (and pressing) was much easier than before.  Imagine that.

Pressing Matters

Any one who has taken my class will tell you that I am a “stickler” about pressing vs. sewing.  What is the difference?  Ironing is moving the iron back and forth over a garment; pressing is lifting and placing the iron across the sewn seam one section at a time.  If you want professional results with your sewing, pressing is a must.

Next up: steam irons/ironing boards

Bits and Pieces

For the next several days, I’ll be posting tidbits of sewing tips to save you time, $$$, and frustration with your sewing machine.

When you’re tempted to blow the dust off your machine, think twice:  there’s moisture on your breath, and that moisture could rust the interior parts of the machine.  Bad idea!  Instead, use a soft bristle brush (an old makeup brush is great).  It’s also a good idea to invest in a can of compressed air (it’s good for computers as well).  Use it to blow out the dust in your tension disks, as well as your bobbin case and feed teeth.  Your machine will thank you.

It’s a “guy” thing

What is it about taking things apart and putting them back together that fascinates the male sex?  Today I was trying to clean and oil my classroom machines, and found threads that were lodged so tightly in the workings of one that I couldn’t even reach them.  Obviously it wasn’t stitching well, so I called my husband for help.  The next thing I knew, I had a naked sewing machine on my kitchen table!  He found a way to remove both the front and back panels;  located the thread jam and cleared it, and reassembled the whole thing.  (My hero!)

This was no easy task, I assure you.  A word of caution to any husband reading this and thinking of doing the same: if you bought your wife a new machine and you do what my husband did, you have just voided the warranty.

One thing I’ve always wondered about:  why is there always a screw left after you guys put things back together?