Simply… Creme de la Creme!

ChefTowel4I love when Christmas rolls around!  For me, it is Christmas time from October through December.  I begin heartily working on Christmas gifts which gives me the chance to start on new projects that I have been drooling to try!

I love these little chefs that I purchased from JUJU Designs.  I just could not wait to try them out.  I had ordered some old fashioned tea-towels online from  You can order them by the dozen for a pretty fair price!  They are huge… about 18″ by 28″ and solid white.   I decided to make my daughter in law a set of 4 for her kitchen….they are such cute little guys… I just couldn’t resist them.   Found some French sayings to go along with the designs and began my work.

Whenever I embroider I always make sure I use a stabilizer.  In this case, I used a heavy tear-away stabilizer.  The towels were rather light weight and wanted to make sure the design did not pucker or pull.  This design came out beautifully.  I love the way their embroideries come together so nicely.  Another trick…. I usually only use my needle on no more than three embroidery designs.  After that, I change the needle.  I’d rather do that than ruin a project or have to stop in the middle of a project to change the needle.  Might as well do it from the beginning as prep work.

Two of the designs were filled and the other two were Red-Work.  Just love them!  Hopefully you will make tons of new projects this year that you can give away next Christmas!  It is so much fun, don’t you agree!

Press On,




© 2015, Sharon Quaife of Sew Crazy Creations, All Rights Reserved.


Applique … Just Like That!

I’ve had my embroidery machine for a little while now and I believe I have a good hold of it.  Applique sewing using my sewing machine was the way I always did applique work until I got this embroidery machine.  I love it for the beautiful embroidery, but I also love it for the appliques it can do.

Don’t be like I was when I thought it would just zip, zip, zip and my design would be done!  Forgive me for saying this, but I almost think it is quicker doing applique ‘the old fashioned way.’  No not by hand, but by sewing machine.  Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?


First of all, consider getting used to the embroidery machine, software for merging and making adjustments, not to mention downloading your designs to a card or the machine.  Then there is preparing the shirt or whatever you will use.  Once it is in the hoop and ready to go onto the machine….you have to make sure it is exactly where you want it otherwise there are adjustments to do there too.

Now you are ready to begin.  Your software will encourage your needle to go around and outline your first piece to be appliqued.  This is so you know where to lay down your piece onto the shirt.  Next your machine will go around your piece of fabric with the same stitch.  Are you ready for some REAL fun?  It’s time to take the hoop off the machine (not your fabric out of the hoop), grab your sharp little scissors and trim what you have just sewn and then place the hoop back onto the machine; now you are ready to applique with your decorative stitch.  You will be onto placing the next piece of fabric down.

The plus side of this is that the stitches are beautiful.  When I appliqued with the sewing machine, it looked good but there are slight bits of error once in a while.  You know how it goes, the error comes when your boys just came running into the sewing room, wrestling through the door and you begin paying attention to them (as you should).  Your eyes gaze back at your sewing and you discover a kink or a zig-zag in your stitching line.  Oh well, ‘it just looks like it is made with love,’ you tell yourself.  With the embroidery machine, once it is running piece by piece, you can glance away for a period of time and the stitching looks smooth and straight.


All in all, I have to admit that since I’ve had the embroidery machine, I have not gone back to the ‘old fashioned way’ of appliqueing.  I admit too that I think about it once in a while and then I push through using the embroidery machine.  I think it allows me to make designs I never would have considered before; ones that are more detailed (which are not pictured here). You can still be creative with it by combining designs and merging them together, choosing your own colors, or putting sayings with your designs.

Think a little out of the box!  When looking for designs, think about different ways you might be able to use the same design several different ways.  But if you are anything like me, I hit the sales and purchase a small sum of them at a time (to be used later). There are plenty of designers out there; I have my favorites and you will too!


I encourage you to GO FOR IT!  It is fun and it lifts your spirits when you see the end result.  Soon you will be appliqueing for EVERYONE!

Press On,


Sewing Small…BIG Impression!

For me it’s no big deal!  What I mean is I don’t exactly get excited sewing doll clothing.  But for a child, it’s a personal thing!  Sewing for their own doll is very special; I guess you could compare it to a mom getting totally excited about sewing for her little baby!  I can remember that!  For a little girl, sewing that small, special item for her doll leaves them feeling BIG about sewing.  I don’t think I have ever seen them be so ‘tickled’ over an apron, oven mitt and a chef’s hat that will fit their doll as they were on this day.

If you look on the Internet, you will find several sites that offer free doll patterns.  Pinterest is a very handy tool for this.   That is where I found this pattern for the apron and goodies that went with it.  It was easy enough that they finished it in one lesson.  One of the girls took her oven mitt home to finish.  Can you tell these two are sisters?



Of these two sisters, one has taken lessons for a couple of years now.  Her eyes hit the instructions and she just sat down to begin sew with no hesitation.  I LOVE that!  The other one is still quite new to sewing, but is doing very well.  I know that one day they will not be taking lessons anymore.  It will be because they have learned how to sew and feel confident in doing so.  They will come to a point where they can sit down, decipher the instructions and patterns for themselves and apply everything they have learned about sewing to their project in order to finish it!  Isn’t that the whole point in learning?
It will be a tear-filled day for me because I have grown to love them and will miss them!  But it will also be a GRAND day for them!  An exciting time of knowing that they can do just about anything with a piece of fabric and thread.


So until that day comes, I will enjoy every moment with these students and will pass onto them all that I know so that they can become very confident young ladies that will be very excited to sew for their own babies one day!  It’s all about the next generation and pouring into them like the former generation poured into us!

Press On….


Going Deeper ~ Lap Quilts


It’s funny!  Normally I don’t teach in the summer because of vacations and activities and it being so difficult to arrange schedules.  But this summer is different.  Some of the students asked to have classes every week during the summer this year.  I decided it was a great idea and very beneficial to the students.  It would allow them to go deeper with a project.  So…. deeper it is!

They have expressed a desire to learn to quilt.  That is a huge undertaking for a six-year-old and a 9-year-old because of the length of time it will take.  I like to watch the length of time because students get easily discouraged if it takes too long to see any results.  It’s funny…. a project can be started and for so long doesn’t look like much.  I encourage them to keep watching because what they are looking for will all at one time appear.  Then the excitement will strike and BAM  ….  instant DELIGHT!

Two girls made lap quilts while the youngest one made a quilted pillow.  She learned almost everything the others learned….but she needed the smaller project to keep her interested and not to get discouraged.

Lap Quilt4

Our first steps were to choose fabrics for the quilts and pillow and to choose an embroidery design of her own making for the pillow.  She worked on her embroidery and came back to class the following week with it finished and ready to sew the blocks together.  They all worked hard sewing blocks and strips together.  Slowly, as that was done they could begin to see something taking shape.  This was the first light of encouragement!  It took quite a bit of sewing but came together quicker than I thought.  Sometimes I forget how well they catch onto what we are doing.  If they talk less and work more, the project comes together quickly. And they LOVE to talk…. but so did the ladies of the old days while working on a project together in the quilting bees.

Lapquilt5The next step after everything was pieced together was to cut the batting and the backing a little larger than the pieced top.  The pillow needed that backing piece plus a piece that would hold all the stuffing, but that’s for later.  We sandwiched these pieces together and used a zillion pins to hold it all together for quilting.  The girls were amazed at what we were doing and all of the large safety pins that were used.  Then we worked at getting the quilt ready for hand quilting.

I went through my kitchen looking for cups and bowls… anything round that they could draw around.  We made round rings everywhere on the quilt for their quilting lines.  These were made with the sewing ink pens.  The ink will disappear when rinsed in cold water.   So we spent one afternoon making designs of roundness everywhere!  Then the Hand-Quilting began.  They took their projects home for homework and continued the quilting.  There was no way to get that all done in class.  When they came back we were ready to begin working on the binding for the edges!

Lap Quilt1So the lap quilts had the binding attached to the edge while the one will the pillow had to add a backing onto her pillow top in order to have something to hold the stuffing.  She had no binding!  I think the binding is QUITE a JOB!  The girls had to properly clip all the bind onto their quilt side after side.  But before they could go to the next side, they had to miter their corners and then sew to that point and begin clipping the next side again.  Whewww…. It’s quite a job for their ages, but I have to say they were good sports about it all.

Quilted Pillow1Can’t have a 3 hour sewing class without a nutritional break…. alright… sometimes it’s not that nutritional… but it’s a YUMMY break!  It’s a time to gain a little energy to take us further and to kick back and have a little fun!


Well the Lap Quilts are almost done.  They are working hard and can almost feel the finishing details ending!

Lap Quilt3

We finally got to the point where the pillow was done.  Very proud girl!  What is amazing is watching their faces when the project is finally completed.  Throughout the process…. their faces show uncertainty, worry, encouragement and then TOTAL DELIGHT when they finally see it come all together.  Somehow while it is in process…. they cannot imagine or foresee what the outcome will be.  I LOVE THE DELIGHT STAGE!

Quilted Pillow3The summer sewing has been well worth it!  Next week we are beginning on 18″ Doll Wardrobe!  Their dolls will have a chef’s apron, hat and oven mit.  Can’t wait!  It’s all about learning something new…. all about pushing forward…. all about gaining confidence in doing something a little new and scary and having tons of fun while doing it.  Sewing is well worth it for any child or adult for that matter!  It’s definitely a confidence builder and creative outlet while producing real, usable items!  All I have to say is….

Press On….


Special Addition ~ Baby Quilt Project

My sewing kids are working on lap quilts right now and just about to finish them up.  Since they were working so hard on this project, I thought I should join them.  Instead of a lap quilt, I decided to make a baby quilt.  I want to make some of these for a craft fair.  What grandma could resist something so soft and cuddly for that Special Addition to the family!


I decided to work with 5″ blocks for this project.  It was something that would go quickly so I could get straight to the quilting.  Besides, I love the way you can stagger block colors different ways and come out with different patterns.  And with the blocks being larger, there’s not a ton of time locked up in this project.

Luckily, I have a quilting ruler that is exactly 5″ inches wide. [wondered why I picked 5″?]  I found three fabrics I wanted to use… a mint green, pale pink and white.  Those are such sweet colors together for a newborn baby.  Then I laid out my fabric, used the 5″ ruler to measure out 5″ strips.  Snipped the fabric at 5″ and then tore the fabric all the way across.  I did this for each strip.  Then I took the strips to the ironing board and ironed all of them.  I am a stickler about ironing as you sew… it always makes your project much neater looking.

Now I was ready to join the strips together.  I joined a white strip to a color strip.  After sewing the strips together, it’s time to iron and lay out on the cutting table.  Use the 5″ ruler again and lay across the strips…. measure 5″ and cut.  Now I would have many 5″ blocks [white and pink joined together and white and mint joined as well]…. all in two block sections.   I then sewed enough of these two block sections together to make 8 blocks across.  I left some strips all by themselves and cut 5″ blocks so I would have some single colors.  I needed those to sew onto the very ends of the rows so that I could stagger the blocks better.  Essentially, I ended up with 4 -2 block sections and one single block sewn together to make 9 – 5″ blocks across.  Then I had sewn 9 rows of blocks together to make the entire quilt.  The measurement when done ended up being about 40″ across and 40″ down.

Now is time for the backing and the batting.  I cut both of them 45″x 45″ so that it would hang out beyond the front….. always giving lots of room to adjust the pieces while fitting them together.  I laid down the fabric backing first…. with wrong side up.  Then I laid down the batting to be sandwiched in the middle of the two pieces of fabric.  Then the very last piece was the quilt top…. laying it down right side up on the top of the batting.  Make sure to smooth it all out nice and smooth with no lumps making sure the top piece does not extend beyond the bottom piece.  The bottom piece and batting should show all around the edges when looking at the front piece.  The front piece should be well-centered.

Next, dig out all of your quilting pins….and starting in the middle of the quilt, pin about every 4″-5″ up and down and then across one section at a time.  Make sure you smooth out the fabric as you go so that everything lies completely flat. Once it is all pinned, you are ready to quilt.

My next step that I have to take on this quilt is to decide the quilting design and draw it out onto the quilt with a blue – fading sewing marker.  Then I will be ready to hoop it and quilt.  So I will be back by next week with the finished project.  Can’t wait to begin quilting!


There is always a project to do, always something to create or always a way to share with others and encourage them in their endeavors.  Move forward and never stay still…. giving hope to others that they too can create!

Press On….



Mini Pouches – Couldn’t Be Easier!

Mini Pouches1

I saw this very simple pattern for mini pouches on one of my favorite sewing blogs.  Thinking they were so, so cute, I began wondering about their many uses!  Dollar bills folded in half fit perfectly in them and at the same time it is a perfect home for the debit card.  Rather than keeping Kleenex in the plastic cellophane, they can be kept in these oft, clean pouches.  All of those little things that float everywhere in your purse can be kept in these….a perfect example is nail clippers.  And my daughter just bought these tiny, tiny lenses that fit onto her phone for taking up-close pictures.  What in the world can she keep those in…. oh yes, these mini pouches.  All four will fit into one and be well protected.  These mini pouches are so simple and handy to carry inside of a purse or just to put a few bills and the debit card into, then slide it into your back pocket and go.

Mini Pouches2

So I sat down to make them.  Drew out the pattern, found the fabric I wanted to use and decided to draw a line down one side of the pattern, splitting it, making a two-toned mini pouch. So all of these that you see are two-toned!  They have an outer fabric along with an inner lining.  In between the two is quilt batting to make it nice and cushy!  In all, it took twenty minutes to finish from cutting them, sewing, and adding the snap.  Can’t beat that!  I am going to have to order more snaps.  I didn’t exactly have all the colors I needed, but came close!  I think these and more like them of different sizes are going to be something I sell at craft fairs.  I am already imagining  pouches for other uses! There are  so many other designs already rolling around in my head!

Believe it or not, I already have to make more!  I am close to running out, so I am putting these on my list for next weekend’s sewing project!  Just goes to show you, people will like the things you make because they are original and different.  They cannot be found in the local stores and EVERYBODY does not have them!  I encourage you to keep on sewing and keep on making those original creations!  They will be a hit!

Press On….


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