Vernon Fashion Studio’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Project Progress’ Category

This is another of the early 2000’s projects I have been finishing up. Only the main shell piece had been done so I had to make the turtle look like one. I have always loved turtles from my 25 cent ones in a plastic bowl with a palm tree when I was a kid to Moe and Joe who were with me from 1985 to 2003 for Joe who died and 2005 for Moe when I gave him to my son before moving to Canada. My son gave him to a pet store to be a display and their pet. He was too old to sell. Moe and Joe were world travelers. They joined the family in California. Made a car trip to Montana. Flew in a small plane from Idaho to Montana in crappy weather. Then 11 years later they moved to Albuquerque. For 8 years in Montana, they were a threesome when Sam joined the fun. Unfortunately Sam got a respiratory illness and died.

This turtles’ name is MoeJoe, in honor of my beloved boys.


Here’s the quilted shell.

And here’s the underside.

MoeJoe will keep me company in the Studio. Later this year, I will be putting together two turtle quilts that I have patterns for.


Honest to goodness, I have not forgotten you or my blog but it has been a bit crazy. I discovered I don’t handle a lot of extra curricular activities as well as I would like. I have had ongoing Monday night classes for the last couple of months and an 8 week class I was taking on Tuesday nights. That ended last Tuesday. I enjoyed it but I am glad it is over. Plus I have been job hunting.

Since the new year started, I have been sending out resumes with no interest at all. I finally went to Community Futures which is a provincially sponsered job hunting program. I spent three – 2 hour sessions there making a couple of killer resumes. With a 15% unemployment rate here in Vernon, you have to work hard to get noticed. On top of that the number of jobs available is pretty small. BUT I did get called for an interview yesterday and it went well. Maybe towards the end of the week I will hear something.

At the Studio I have a lot of alterations and hemming coming in so I am not getting much else done there. Some of the alterations have been overly time consuming which makes it worse. I had to implement a one hour rule. I get to do something for myself for at least one hour a day. I usually pick the last hour of the day and anytime on Monday I can get. To that end, I spent 3 hours last Monday binding the oriental/whitework quilt. I plan to do a separate post about the binding but I will show it to you and the finished quilt.


It was hung up for Show and Tell at Guild meeting on Thursday. It was 2 years in the making from the purchase of the oriental charm packs in March 2010. The white batting and backing were purchased in May 2011 and the bulk of the work being done between October 2010 and last week. It will go on our bed tonight.

Here is a close up of the binding. I used the Janome Quilt Binding attachment on my Horizon 7700. The design is a fan from the quilt section of stitches. It took 3 hours to complete the binding. If I had used a straight stitch it would have been a half hour job. Specialty stitches take time. My friend Lola spend most of the time with me and it was possible to actually turn away from the sewing for a short time.


My New Years Resolution was to complete projects that have not been finished or have not even been started. Some of these projects are on the old side. In 2002 or 2003, My parents and I attended a quilt show in Rio Rancho, NM put on by the local quilt guild. This was the second show from this guild we had attended. We all enjoyed it. On the way in and out of the show we walked through the Merchant’s Mall. I had seen the rag quilt on the way in and stopped on the way out to look at the kit and bought it. It has been in the drawer since then. A few weeks ago I got it out and started putting it together. Here it is hanging at the last guild meeting along side the other quilt.


I bought this kit when rag quilts were becoming popular and finally made it after the big fuss was over. Not sure what I will do with it. For the moment it will hang in the Studio and if I get another grandchild, they may get it.

So what is next? I took a Stack ‘N Whack or Kalidescope quilt class in Albuquerque in the early 2000’s. I have the book and the fabric I bought to complete the quilt and I have 12 finished pieces on my design wall. There are also some repeats stacked waiting to be whacked and assembled.


The guild has a one day retreat on Thursday so that will be my project for the day.

I also have some fabric I intend to make a picnic quilt out of. This has been waiting since the early 2000’s also. I am looking for the right pattern to make.

We have a hillside across from our house that the deer like to frequent. This was taken Friday afternoon.


Isn’t Spring great?!

February is almost over and I have several unfinished projects lying around. Well maybe more than several. I have started too many things and had projects for customers that had to be done first and students, so not much got done.

This lunch bag got finished because I am offering this as a class so needed the sample done.

This is from the book One Yard Wonders. I changed a couple of things like adding the outside pocket and the handle. I moved the inside pocket from the back to the side so it could hold utensils. I used scraps from making my Guild Bag so I now have a matching lunch bag for those guild activities that involve lunch.

Speaking of Guild activities, a bunch of us got together last Thursday for a One-Day Retreat. This is a great time to start a new project. I had saved a Moda jelly roll called A Little Romance. Have you heard of Bed Runners? I got a book from Clothide titled Bed Runners and decided the jelly roll would be prefect for it. Actually, there was enough to make two of them. Here is a picture of half of the center section. 

I got a dark purple fabric for the border and one of them, will have a sashing of squares made from the leftover pieces from the jelly roll. The backing for them will be a an oriental floral print. I am very excited about this project. One will go on my bed and the other will be sold on Etsy. The batting will be silk. I have never used silk but it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Can’t wait to try it.

The boucle skirt is still waiting to be hemmed and the oriental quilt is still waiting for stitch-in-the-ditch and binding. Plus I need to get the tax stuff ready for the accountant. Next week will be fun!

Whew was that a process. It didn’t help that I came down with a cold either. This afternoon I finished the last embroidery stitch out. But the last one did not get done smoothly. The design stitches the character first then stitches the word. I knew the bobbin was low but thought it would make it to the end. It ran out on the bottom curve of the last ‘s’ in Happiness.  Luckily it is not too much of a problem to get it back to that spot after changing the bobbin and finish.

These are the other 3 designs I used.

I am also working on a couple projects out of a book I recently bought. I will post about them soon. Also there are a couple Etsy shops being put together. As soon as they are up and running I will post about them. In the meantime, I need to figure out how I will bind the quilt and the skirt still needs to be hemmed. Plus I have a couple jobs for clients to do. Busy Busy!

I got the last of the stitch-in-the-ditch done and started the embroidery. This will be a long process. Each embroidery takes about 40 minutes to stitch out. Plus there is a couple minutes to set the center point in the block and then center the hoop.  There are 4 different designs and each will be embroidered 5 times. One design is all done and I have completed the first of the next design. Although I think I will just do each vertical row. It is not a big deal to switch designs each time.

This is the first design:

The thread is rayon with a polyester bobbin thread. This takes alot of bobbin thread. If you can help it, don’t let the bobbin run out in the middle of the embroidery. I am loving the effect.

The other thing I figured out the hard way, is to not let the quilt hang over the edge of the table. Make sure the machine can move freely. It paused and waited for me to take the tension out of the quilt by bunching it up on the table around the machine.

It will be awhile before the embroidery is done. While it was working I finished hemming a Christmas tablecloth. Still need to hem the pencil skirt and to start on the jacket that goes with the skirt. Resolutions are marching on!

Got the quilt top done and sandwiched with white cotton batting and a white print backing fabric. Did stitch-in-the-ditch on all vertical seams and two of the five horizontal ones, this afternoon.

The yellow notes on the white blocks denote which of the four embroidery designs is to be put in that block. That means each design will appear five times on the quilt.

I haven’t decide what to do on the 9 patch blocks. Probably more stitch-in-the-ditch. I am very grateful for the 11″ bed on the Horizon 7700. So much easier to work on a queen size quilt.

Where did the first month of 2012 go? I think I got some things done having to do with my New Years Resolutions. Basically, I wanted to work on projects that have been hanging around my Studio for up to 4 years.

First up was a skirt, top and jacket out of fabric I bought back in 2008. My previous post has a photo of the fabric and talked about interfacing the pieces. As of last week the basic skirt is put together, waiting for elastic and hemming. I have not gotten back to it because I have had appts outside the studio and students inside the Studio. I love my students. I have a great group of young gals ages 9 to 13 years old. They have talent and are just fun to be around.

The waistband for the skirt was to be made entirely out of the outer fabric. Unfortunately, wool makes me itchy so I wanted to have lining fabric on the inside and it couldn’t show on the outside. I laid the pieces out, right sides together. Then I measured the width of the band; subtracted 1/8th inch and drew a line. After pinning the heck out of it, I stitched down the line.

Next, I had to get rid of the extra layers of fabric. First iron the  waistband the way it will be on the skirt by folding the outer fabric in half, right sides out. On the lining side there should be an 1/8th of an inch showing.

I used my serger to get rid of the extra two layers inside the waistband.

Thread is an important part of any project. The easy thing to do is to use the ‘sew anything’ thread that comes in the most colors. But it is not always the best choice. A good rule of thumb is to use thread that is the same fiber content as your fabric. Cotton thread on cotton fabric…Polyester on manmade fabrics or blends…silk on silk fabrics. There isn’t wool thread but since it is a natural fiber fabric, look for natural fiber thread. In this case silk is a great choice. I melds into the fabric, practically disappearing. Silk thread is a bit more expensive but definitely worth it. And just one more word on thread; cheap thread is not a bargain. It is made from the inferior fibers left after the good thread is made. Cheap thread breaks easily so it will break when you are sewing and will not hold up well to repeated wearings and washings. Buy the good stuff.

Next week I will get the skirt done. The next project is the whitework and oriental quilt top. I have not finished the top but it is almost done. I went to Embroidery Library and got my designs for the whitework today. They are having a sale if you get their emails. As soon as I have a time slot, I will rearrange the tables in the classroom so I have a big work surface and sandwich the quilt. I will probably stitch-in-the-ditch all the squares then do the embroidery. It will take some time.

I did get one project done. A student gave me some Christmas fabric meant to make tablecloths with. I cut a piece to fit my dining table and had leftover. What to do with it…what to do with it. Tablerunners! I did have to buy a bit of fabric to augment the free fabric and got two runners done.

Gwen over at After the Dress blog( See sidebar) made some adorable toddler outfits from the book One Yard Wonders. One of my students brought her copy of this book to her lesson the other day. It is a great book with some fabulous projects for the home and to wear. I had to have that book so I ordered it from I have a granddaughter who is a little over a year and the toddler outfits will be so cute on her. I also saw that there is a follow up book with a bunch more projects, using a variety of fabrics. I will probably have to have that book too.

Found this on the quilt guild free table. This is the one ironing item I didn’t have.

This post is getting a bit long so I will stop here. Have a great weekend!