Stockings: an instagram tutorial


I posted this mini-tutorial on Instagram and I thought you guys might want to see it here too. If you make any stockings with it, be sure to send me a photo!


Step 1: supplies

  • stocking template (the one I used for this tutorial is from Diary of a Quilter, but I enlarged it when I made them for my family)
  • 2 quilted panels 9.5 by 16
  • 45 inches of single fold bias binding
  • 2 nine-inch pieces of double fold binding
  • 1 hanging loop (I made mine using a 3 x 6 inch piece of fabric folded multiple times and then stitched closed)

photo-22 copy

Step 2: use the template to mark and cut a front and back for your stocking (be sure to reverse the template for the back)

photo-22 copy 2

Step 3: sew the double fold binding to the tops

photo-22 copy 3

Step 4: place the front and back wrong sides together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam

photo-22 copy 4

Step 5: attach the single fold binding, leaving 2-3 extra inches at the top

photo-22 copy 5

Step 6: hand sew the binding down, folding and flipping the extra at the top into the stocking

photo-22 copy 6

Step 7: attach the loop (very securely if you tend to overstuff your stockings like I do) and you’re done!

Quilt for baby

A few weeks ago I made some little stuffed toys for the baby’s room… and then somehow a quilt sprung out of the same fabrics. Spontaneous combustion?


It was more of a challenge than I initially expected! The pattern came from an older Fons & Porter publication (Fat Quarter Friendly). It suggested needle turn appliqué as an alternative to the curved piecing typically required for a classic winding ways quilt. Sounded good to me since I have needle turn experience but I haven’t tackled curved piecing yet.

Trouble is, the points really need to line up in order to create the “winding ways” effect. After my first block I realized it definitely wasn’t going to happen by luck. After a restless night’s sleep I came up with the idea to piece the background blocks first and then sort of manipulate the appliqué points to approximately come together enough to create the design. It worked! But it was definitely challenging and a little backbreaking. I quickly decided to reduce the overall size of the quilt and add a border! That cut the number of blocks I needed from 20 to 9.

Here it is before quilting.


I hand quilted around all the appliqué shapes.

photo-20 copy

And now I am feeling more ready than ever to have this baby!

Linking up with Crazy Mom for the first time in quite a while. 🙂

Stops and starts

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I was able to get a little sewing done this summer!

Gypsy Wife I

Gypsy Wife I

Gypsy Wife II

Gypsy Wife II

Gypsy Wife III

Gypsy Wife III

Berry Basket (Noodle-head's free tutorial)

Berry Basket (Noodle-head’s free tutorial)

Diaper Pouches (another free Noodle-head tutorial)

Diaper Pouches (another free Noodle-head tutorial)

Noodle-head poolside tote

Noodle-head poolside tote

Unfortunately, I’ve stalled out again due to heartburn and general 3rd trimester soreness and fatigue. It’s so frustrating! My heart is happy and my mind is engaged but my body just can’t do it right now. It is encouraging to feel like myself again in my own head though. I feel confident that I will get back to daily sewing and more frequent blogging next year. That confidence is a comfort to me because I really lost it during the worst of the early pregnancy woes.

Here I am a week or 2 ago when I treated myself to a blow-dry and a pretty dress.


I’m 29 weeks now and hoping to give birth in early December around 38 weeks so I will have time to recover before the Christmas holiday. Follow me on Instagram for nursery setup updates and eventually pictures of a sweet little babe!

My 3 sons

Last week we received the wonderful news that our surprise baby is (not surprisingly) another boy! A lot of people have asked if I had a feeling one way or the other, or if we wanted a girl. Out of loyalty to the child I really didn’t have an opinion. I just want (him) to be who (he) is!

Now that we know he’s a boy, for the first time in months I have quilt ideas whirling in my head. I’d love to make this baby a quilt or a wall hanging for his nursery, but something is holding me back. I’m 20 weeks now (half way!) and only just finally getting over the nausea. My poor husband is exhausted from taking care of me, the kids, and our home during my illness. The kids are a little wilder than usual because I’ve mostly scolded from the couch instead of properly punishing them for the last 3 months. And there is a lot of work ahead of me converting my sewing room back into a nursery.

So even though I’ve started reading blogs a little and browsing instagram, I am going to have to let that restless energy build while I put my house in order. Something about having a new baby makes you want to organize everything, amIright? I have a year’s worth of bills and paperwork to file, and the insides of my cabinet drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms haven’t been cleaned… ever. All of that comes first, along with the nursery setup.

But do you want to know what quilt ideas I’ve been thinking about, even though I’m not actually sewing yet? I thought so!

If the baby had been a girl, my idea was to make a snowflake quilt with 6, 9, and 12 inch versions of this block from the penny sampler. The “snowflake” design is a subtle nod to the baby’s Christmasy due date, although I wasn’t going to use Christmas colors or fabrics.


My idea for a boy is a machine paper piecing sampler using various boy-friendly blocks like these:




I even sketched a little!


Maybe I’ll find the time later in my pregnancy to make this sampler happen, or maybe I’ll turn it into a bigger quilt idea for his eventual big-boy bed. Either way, you can be sure you’ll be the first to know when I start sewing again!

Huge secret project reveal

I have been working on a secret project that has taken every bit of my time and energy the last few months.

Untitled design

But it has absolutely nothing to do with sewing or quilting!


This sweet surprise has taken my world by storm. I have been terribly ill and completely unable to sew for 7 or 8 weeks now; a pretty drastic lifestyle change for someone who sewed daily for the last couple of years.

My husband and I were pretty certain that 2 kids was enough. So certain, in fact, that we canceled the maternity coverage rider on our health insurance plan. BIG OOPS. Lesson learned: don’t cancel the maternity coverage until you’re ready to schedule the vasectomy!

Despite the sickness and the insurance woes, my household is buzzing with excitement. This child is such a gift, precisely because it wasn’t something we would have chosen on our own. Even before I took the pregnancy test I somehow wanted it to be positive. My head could give you a list a mile long of the reasons we thought 2 was enough, but my heart knew better.

One of the hardest parts has been accepting the change this will mean for my sewing and blogging. I had to mourn a little over the loss of my sewing room (which will be turned back into a nursery) and the impossibility of attending Quilt Con with a 2 month old. (I’m sure some super-moms will be there with babies but I’ll be at home taking a nap.)

I think it will be quite some time before I return to daily sewing. Right now it’s hard to imagine wanting to sew at all, but I know that’s the nausea talking.

I want to thank you guys for being a part of my sewing life for the last year since I started blogging! As soon as I’m ready to start sewing again I am sure I will want to continue sharing my projects with you.

But in the meantime, please know that I am happily resting & waiting for our Christmas baby.


Not manic, don’t panic

A little progress on my kilim quilt

A little progress on my kilim quilt

I’ve been sick the last couple of weeks and it’s given me a chance to regain some much-needed perspective on my sewing life.

Sewing organizes and motivates my days, my weeks, my months & years. When the kids come running into our bedroom at 5:30 am (not an uncommon wakeup time for my energetic 3 & 4 year old boys) I can usually muster a good mood when I think about the sewing I’ll be able to get done once they’re fed and contentedly playing with legos.

When I lay in bed at night and assess my day, I get tremendous satisfaction from listing the projects I made progress on.

I feel so blessed to have something in my life that I enjoy so much, but it also has a dark side. While checking things off my to do list buoys my spirit, being unable to accomplish things weighs me down. It’s hard for me to agree to activities that keep me away from my sewing room for a full day or more.

Sometimes the pace I set for myself feels downright manic.

So spending a lot of time resting, cuddling with my boys & watching them play has been strangely good. It makes me want to be much more careful about letting my sewing to do list rule my life and determine my mood. I don’t know if I really want to spend less time sewing, I just want to approach it with less intensity.

Pretty fabric shot, just because

Pretty fabric shot, just because

I want to slow down. There is no race to see who can make the most quilts this year.

For a short while I’ll probably be talking more about things like fabric purchases (that’s Leah Duncan’s Meadow, by the way), bee blocks and project ideas that I won’t necessarily pursue.  I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy a slightly less panicky Sarah Quilts. 🙂