Monday, May 27, 2013

Graduations Hankies:  My sister texted me yesterday that she was taking along the hankies I had sent her to her daughter's graduation.  There are so many occasions when happy tears as well as sad ones fall.  Its nice to have pretty ( and useful) hankies along.  My sister and I often end up sharing ( giving) a hankie away to someone who is very much in need of a hankie, so we make sure to take extra along to events such as funerals and award ceremonies.
  These batik hankies and many more for both men and women are for sale now in my etsy shop at:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Choose grey thread when piecing 2  different colors together.
When I am sewing together 2 pieces of fabric of similar color, I try to match the thread to the fabric color.  I know some people who just leave black or white in their machine at all times thinking that the tread wont show.  However there can be tension between the pieces that might allow the thread to show or more likely a loose thread may escape being trimmed.  In this case grey is allows a good color. As you can see in the photo above, the neutral grey blends in with both the light sky blue as well as the black fabric.  If I used white thread, an end of white thread sticking out would show up very bright against the black and if I used black thread it would show up as very out of place against the light blue and yellow.  Grey is a perfect neutral in this case.   Happy sewing and quilting everyone.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Owls:  How did they become so popular?  Sure they are cute such as in my latest set of flannel Baby Burp Cloths that I have for sale in my etsy shop.  I have noticed an explosion of popularity of these cute birds in everything from wedding cake toppers to baby shower themes.  If you know how this all started or what is fueling the momentum, please let me know.
Check out these and other cute baby gifts at:

Monday, May 20, 2013

SEWING TIP #3  Sew in the morning.
If I am tired at night and think that I will sew just a little more, that is when I make a mistake end up ripping out stitches.  I get more done in the morning.  Even if you have to leave for work or elsewhere in the morning, sewing just a few minutes will yield good results when you are fresh.  When do you like to sew?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fathers Day Special:  Set of 3 mens handkerchiefs in a variety set of 3.  One hankie each of blue, green and brown plaid in a soft 100% cotton fabric.  Available now in my etsy shop at the link below for $12.99.    Great for Dads and Grandfathers.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Buy a small, inexpensive sewing machine as a second/ backup machine.
  At least once a year I get my sewing machine cleaned.  Last year I chose a place , in my new city, that was highly recommended and said they could clean my machine in just 1 week.  Most places say 2 or even 3 weeks.  I dropped off the sewing machine right before leaving for vacation for 4 days.    Unfortunately the person who cleans the machine at the store also went on vacation that week.  I could not wait to get my machine back.  It took over 2 weeks, close to 3.  Sure I cut out some fabric for  a future project, but I could not reopen my etsy shop or really get any work done until my 1 machine was back.  Now I have a small extra machine that I can use when my larger one is in the shop and if I take any classes I am looking forward to how much easier this one will be to carry back and forth.
SEWING TIP #1:   Don't assume you will never need/buy another machine again. Even if  you think or a a sales person tells you "this machine has everything".   Sewing machine are computers now so just like other electronic devices they become obsolete as soon as you buy them.  
2 years ago I bought a Pfaff 2.0 machine for a fair bit of money.  I chose that one because it was the only brand at the time to have the built in even feed for quilting.  The part I do like best is the very large  sewing area-- it fits a large quilt and I can easily turn quilts without having to re-roll them all the time.  But, as soon as I bought that machine, the patent was up on the even feed ( I think or maybe the other companies decided to copy finally) and now most of the brands have the built in even feed.  You still need to get an upscale one to get it though.  I did however just find this fabulous "new"  feature in a very inexpensive machine:  pedal free sewing.  With just a push of a button the machine sews and there is an adjustable speed.  It is available I am sure in various brands but I bought a $200 Brother sewing machine that is electronic and has this pedal free sewing.  My legs were getting tired with so many hours of sewing ( and in the past sometimes my hips).  It gives my legs a break.  If you know someone with limited use of their legs, this feature would enable them to sew again.  My 12 year old son said he would invent a sewing machine that runs on brain waves one day... who knows what they will really invent next.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pocket Square in a beautiful deep red, on sale now for $4.25.  Also see photo below.  My pocket squares are 100% cotton which means not only do they look good but you can actually use them for colds, allergies or to wipe sweat from your brow.  This square and more available at

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My etsy shop is all mine.  My husband and I joke that he does not know colors and he certainly does not know fabric or sewing.   He is though the handsome model in this photo.  His first and possibly last appearance in my etsy shop and now on my blog.  He was a good sport  and let me take many photos because the sun did not cooperate that day.  He did forget to wear the nice tie I picked out that had a touch of red in it so you could see how nice the red pocket square picks  up the color in the tie.
For sale now at the link below:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Summer weather here in Fargo.  We went right from winter to summer. And yes all the snow melted ( my brother keeps asking).  In the summer I like to plant flowers but still make time to sew!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fathers Day is next month and if you want to plan ahead here are some great handkerchiefs.  A gift that is thoughtful, practical and within your budget.  I found this fabric when a customer asked me for some hankies with grey in them. Its my current favorite.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Handkerchiefs, both ladies and mens, have become one of my best sellers.  The idea came about by accident.  I had packed a lunch and taken along one of my cloth napkins.  I needed to blow my nose and reached for the napkin.... the idea was born.  I use bright colorful fabrics, pastel florals,  designer fabrics and batiks.  I also do many custom orders especially for weddings.  Here is  a photo of some hankies I made for an upcoming wedding party to use on a hot July day to wipe away the sweat.   To see more of my hankies go to:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where do quilters find inspirations?  I got the idea for the pattern for this quilt in my shower.  I noticed how great the pattern of tiles looked: large squares, divided by a band of 3 rows of smaller squares.   I made the quilt with all the boy fabrics in my stash: trains, dinosaurs, sports, etc.  Surprise, a mother with a baby girl bought it.  She said , "I am sick of pink".  I have other quilts for sale that would be great for boys or girls and I can custom make a quilt in any colors ( lots of pink or hold the pink, you decide)
See my etsy shop at

Quilt Inspirations

Thursday, May 2, 2013

 Mothers Day special:  a set of 2 zipper bags, perfect for travel jewelry, cosmetics, etc.
Available in my etsy shop for $14.99 at:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fabric Creations from Fran

NEW:   blog for fans of my fabric creations to read about my quilts, handkerchiefs, bags, gifts and more.