A Straight Grain Arrowhead Block


Today I was writing over on my shop’s blog! Check out my new pattern for the ON-GRAIN Arrowhead block! Those experienced won’t need instructions but look for a tutorial on using the new pattern in a few days!

Originally posted on Stash Traders:

Hi Everyone!


Sometimes when I’m working on sewing down my scrap pile I come across an idea.  Today I wanted to see if I could make Anita Grossman’s Arrowhead block using some of my scrap strips.  If you have never tried her version of the Arrowhead block I highly recommend it.  It is fun to do and will open your eyes to a whole new way of piecing.


The block is featured in her book Rotary Cutting REVOLUTION, seen below…


It is also featured on Anita’s blog here and here!

I made this block a couple of years ago at quilt retreat and the one thing I remember was the outside edges of the block are all on the bias.  For some people this isn’t an issue but for me, as I’m known for OVER pressing, I know I’d run into trouble.

So off I am at the drawing table…

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Re-Useable Grocery Bag Pattern Release!

Hi Friends!DSCF0609 I’ve completed my grocery bag pattern drafting and would you believe I actually figured out how to print it on multiple pages?

I’m going to do something different with this pattern.  I am going to give it away for all of you to enjoy but if you do decide to sew this I’d like you to give me some feedback okay?

Those of you that give me feedback will be entered into a drawing for some really cute fabrics from my shop…oh I don’t know…let’s say one of those 5 yard collections I currently have available in my Etsy store!

All you have to do is sew this pattern, tell me what you think either here on Sewingforlife.wordpress.com or on my shop website at http://www.stashtraders.com.  Then I’ll enter you into the drawing and I’ll pull the name on St. Patrick’s day for Good Luck!!!

That should give you all a month to sew lots and lots of these!

So here is the pattern!

Grocery Bag Pattern

To Print:

Use Adobe Reader software.
Click on File then Print.
In the printing pop up menu select Poster and Scale at 100%.
Overlap set to .02
Click in the box that says Cut Marks

The print.  You should get 6 pages.

To Sew:

Cut bias binding from a Half Yard piece of fabric.  If sewing binding without a binding attachment foot cut binding 2″ wide.  If sewing binding using a binding attachment foot cut binding 1″ wide (this is what I did on test versions 3-8).

Attach binding to the Opening edges.

Sew the Handles together right sides together.

Sew the side seams together right sides together.

Finish seams with either a zig zag or serger if you’d like.  (You could also sew these seams using a French Seam).

Tuck in each side at the bottom edge 3″ from the side seam.  This is marked on the pattern sheet as the fold line, you are folding the fabric to the inside.DSCF0610

Fold the handles back onto themselves wrong sides together and stitch these down along the seam.DSCF0614

Holding the fold at the bottom edge and the handles iron in this creased fold.

Stitch the bottom 1/4″ from the edge to lock in the fold.

Clip loose threads and enjoy!

(as you can tell I haven’t quite finished the complete detailed instructions yet)

Happy Sewing!


Re-Usable Grocery Bag Pattern Testing Part 2! – Small adjustments

Hi Friends!

I made a few adjustments in the paper pattern.  First, I cut it down to just half the size since it was a mirror image.  Then I lowered both the sides and the front curves…DSCF0515

…and added a side seam.  I thought this would work better for Fat Quarters and Half Yard Cuts.  I’m still on the fence about the handle curve.  Now that I’m writing this after making my 7th prototype I’m more likely going to change it to a straighter edition.  It was slightly more challenging to put the piping on with it being curved like this…DSCF0519

I chose a collection of fabrics to play with the idea of a coordinated set and to figure out how much bias binding I’ll get out of a half yard.  The fabric collection I chose was this blue and yellow group.DSCF0491

The yellow would serve as my binding…

DSCF0521 DSCF0523 DSCF0525


I was impressed with how much binding I could get out of a half yard!


I also cut out the bag body…in all the coordinates PLUS 1 more…



I experimented with a binding foot (with mixed results…but more about that in another post) and seam finishes too.

DSCF0557 DSCF0565

I think with the 7th one I was finding a rhythm.  The binding foot did make quick work of finishing the edges (when I was using it correctly…once again a story for another day) and each of these went together very quickly!


Now all I need to do is make my adjustments in the drafting software and I think this will be good to go for a trial run.


Happy Sewing!


One Yard Projects – The Reusable Grocery Bag! – Part 1 Pattern Testing

Hi Friends,

I don’t know why I get these wild hairs to go off and do these little projects, I just do.  Today I’d like to share with you my latest small endeavor for a new pattern…the grocery bag!

I have sooooo many cute fabrics to play with so I wanted to come up with a pattern that would be 1 Yard, 1/2 Yard and Fat Quarter friendly, without a lot of waste and yet be something that is completely functional and useful.




This is my second prototype for the grocery bag pattern shown in the following photos…DSCF0513

Currently, my design needs to improve on the opening at the handles.  I just don’t have enough room.  (You can sorta see my first effort to the right of the bag below).


The handle opening is too small (see the photo below and the opening at the left).


This little grocery bag was put to the test yesterday at Ultra Foods, they actually gave me .05c just for using it!  Fringe benefits for using re-usable grocery bags!  Heck, with all my testing and shopping these little bags will practically PAY for themselves!

I still have work to do before I’ll release this pattern as a fun sew-along.  So what are YOUR thoughts on these re-usable grocery bags?  I’d love to hear from you!

Stay tuned on this one!



Brain Scan.. Not as pretty as my artwork…


I’m re-posting this for Ray. I have been following Ray for over a year now and was stunned when he shared this news. Let’s all go over to Etsy and buy a print….

Originally posted on Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas:

Dearest friends, fans, FAMILY!
Please reblog, share, tweet, FB, you name it!

Over the years it has been my freehand spray paint artwork that many of you are accustomed to seeing.  There will be more but for now, there is this.  My wife and I are working hard on keeping you up to date.  We are blown away by the more than 60K followers who show there support to us daily on the blog and other social media platforms!

So, here is a scan of my brain and the Tumor is circled. Its bigger than first thought.  On the 9th I have one more MRI w/ spectroscopy to determine the rate of growth and cell types.  Then it gets really hairy.

Ray Brain

I am doing the best I can to be in good spirits and will continue to strive! It really helps knowing I have touched so many people with my artwork…

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Refresh an Old Ironing Board with a New Cover!

Here is a new post I wrote for Stashtraders.  I think you’ll enjoy it!DSCF0363

Refresh an Old Ironing Board with a New Cover!.

Getting the Shop In Order!

Hi Friends!

Well this new venture has really been a learning curve for me.  I just finished my year end bookkeeping and I’m happy to say I’m ready to take on this new year!DSCF0122-001

I’ve decided to focus my efforts on an Etsy shop.  I had originally opened a stand alone e-commerce website but after several months trying to get that e-commerce website running I made the executive decision to shut it down and transfer everything over to a different venue (Etsy!).   I needed to be part of where people go to shop and I’d wasted sooooo much time!  Ha!

So pretty much everything has been moved over to the Etsy store now (though I’m still loading fabrics into the shop) and Stashtraders.com will be the shops home on the web for blogging, tutorials, links, contact and so forth.

Sewingforlife  is my personal blog and I hope not to bore you too much with the business.  Eventually I suspect my business life and my personal life will come together as one and you all won’t even know the difference!

January has been a busy time with all the trappings that running a new business entails and I can’t even believe I haven’t yet posted anything yet!

Those beautiful Anna Griffin fabrics above have been hanging around for a couple of months and are now in the shop.  I love them so much I made a new bag for myself: DSCF0155

And put together some bundles for anyone interested in purchasing.  I hope I won’t completely sound like a sales pitch but seriously love this fabric!  I know it will be gone way too soon!

I’ll be back soon, I promise….I really do have much to blog about….

Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Crafting and Sewing!


Last Day of the Year 2014

Ok.  Is it just me or did this year go by WAY TOO FAST?


I’m looking back at all the photos for the year and even though we did do A LOT there was still more I’d wished we’d completed.

I guess the biggest highlight for the year was seeing our Jamba head off to be a working dog.  He is now a skilled companion dog for a young boy with cerebral palsy.  If you’d like to donate to his charitable foundation or read up on all the great things this organization does to educate and help get therapy for the children please do so at this link here: http://d3cerebralpalsyfoundation.com/DSCF8496

We are in a dog hiatus until we finish our re-modeling of the house.  Most of the work we are doing ourselves and we just have one last phase to go!  But it’s a big one…the kitchen!  This year we finished the family room…DSCF9306-002

As each room gets finished we are moving back in.  This year was also a busy year because I decided to start a business…DSCF9512

Stash Traders was born in June/July and I opened an Etsy shop in September with the first few fabrics.  It has been a learning experience and a lot of time to figure out how to do things but I like the progress so far and am excited for what 2015 will bring to this new venture.  My goal is to offer quality fabrics that don’t cost a fortune for the quilter, crafter, and sewer with a shop organized by color!  You can link to my new shop on the Etsy link shown in the right hand column of this blog if you are interested! =========>

We did manage to travel some this year.  There was the big cruise adventure!DSCF7873

…as well as a few camping trips…DSCF9437

A couple of quilt shows…20141017_124237

And I even joined 2 quilt guilds!  MQG and the NSQG of Chicago!  Whoot!  Who would have thought???  (I’m loving both).  I guess you could say quilting is changing my life in ways I never expected!

I still love all sewing though, so don’t think this blog is only going to have quilting…oh no no no!  In November I signed up for a contest on patternreview.com and made it to the third round!DSCF9769There was 1 quilt finished, signed and delivered this year and many tops ready to be quilted.  I made new Friends in the guilds and there’s a promise to learn quilting on a long arm come spring (so saving a few tops for that!).DSCF9337





And I made Mom a new tote bag!


There was more that didn’t get blogged and sometimes you just can’t do it all but all in all I’d have to say that 2014 was a good year!

Happy New Year everyone!  Thank you for your comments, quips, tips and shared enjoyment of this sewing craft.  I wish you all many blessings for the new year  and look forward to sharing even more sewing fun for 2015!  Who knows where the sewing wind will take us!



Affordable Sewing Finds At the Estate Sale!

I went to another Estate Sale this morning.  This one was only a few miles from my house so I figured why not!

I could tell from the pictures that there would be plenty of things to interest me..

Things like fat quarters…


…and more fat quarters…DSCF9587-001

…and more fat quarters, along with this singer lubricant and a box of pins…DSCF9588-001

…I think these are corsage pins…DSCF9589-001

…and threads…DSCF9590-001

There was plenty to choose from and I wasn’t the first to browse.  Today was actually the second day of the sale and lots of things were already gone in the sewing department but I kept digging and found all of the above.

Remember not so long ago I was looking for Singer Lubricant in this post?  This is just proof that you never know when or where you are going to find it!  I now have a full tube to add to my Featherweight and 201 cases!  Whoot!

Oh but wait.  While I was browsing through books…these came home with me…DSCF9592-001

I pulled out these two coin collector notebooks…DSCF9595-001

Hmmm…me thinks…do you think there was anything in them?DSCF9597-001

Ha!  I about caused a Firestorm at the check-out desk!

At first they weren’t going to sell them to me and even one of the guys came up and took all the coins from the 60’s and said I couldn’t have them.  That kind of ticked me off, what does he mean just going through the cards and taking out coins?  Either sell it or don’t sell it but the whole point was I found it fair and square in your sale and I’d like to buy the collection.

Well.  Let’s just put it this way, nobody lost any money, only I lost out on a better collection.

So Estate Sales are good as you can see…and with that also comes the not so good…when you show up with a collection of half dollars with your books off the shelf.  Boy, they really were worked up over that.  ACTUAL money gets people all worked up!  Pretty funny.

So go to Estate Sales friends!  They are fun to look through and you just never know what you are going to find!




Hold On Kitchen! You’re next on the DIY list!

Our refrigerator heard us talking about replacing it.  I KNOW it heard us.  I mean, after all we were talking about it right in front of it.

Last night we noticed everything in the refrigerator was warm.



I spent the morning cleaning everything out and dumping everything.  Our town recycles so I had to clean all the recyclables…


Jim took off for the motor repair shop this morning for a new part and I went to an Estate Sale!

Does this happen to you too?  We really need this fridge to last a bit longer.  We are NOT ready with everything for our new kitchen plus I was actually hoping to use this fridge, even though it is 10 years old, it still looks great and we can’t find anything comparable on the market for a decent price.

Gosh.  I really think these things know when you’re talking about them!