19. CK: Be positive & Crochet some Hearts

Early morning crochet Hearts project

Tiny, Small, Medium & Large Hearts

In this time of isolation, it’s important to stay busy, productive and most importantly positive. This is why I thought a creative morning crocheting hearts would be fun. I started off yesterday crocheting face wash scrubbies for myself and progressed to crocheting hearts. These four hearts were super easy to whip up and can be used for a variety of purposes from gifts, scrubbies, decorate bags, and blankets. What ever your imagination can think up these hearts will do just fine. With this project I learned a new and easier way to work a magic circle with just the slip knot, and I no long cringe when someone says (magic circle).

Link to all the sizes of hearts

I mostly knit, but I do like to crochet on occasion especially if the project calls for it. What are you? A knitter or crocheter?

God Bless & Crochet On

In times like this don’t be over come by fear, search for the positive and be faithful to it. Your local neighbourhood crocheter, Jennifer.

78. Emergency (face Mask) Sewn

The call for much needed support for United States Health Care Services being met by the Sewing Community

Last weekend I ran across an article for sewing face masks for the Doctors, Nurses and Health Care workers who were running low on their medical face mask in the United States. I have found that Nurses and Pediatricians with sewing skills are meeting this need, and creating face masks for those who work on the front lines in Hospitals and other Health Care facilities. I felt these professionals were brilliant with their creativity in meeting a needed. I wanted to share the mask I’m making for my 82 year old mother who lives in Toronto and who I believe would be safer with a mask when she has to leaves her apartment.

These masks are for air born droplets from talking, sneezing and coughing. If you are donating sewn masks to hospitals then they will wash the masks. For your own personal cleaning of the face mask, a washing machine or dipping it in boiling water that has soap to sterilize the mask so you can reuse it. Use what ever method you feel is necessary.

Link for the mask I’m sewing


This link has an instructional video for sewing the face mask with flat elastic. There are also 2 PDF files for face masks with ties and elastic. There are adult/child sizes.

Materials Needed

  • 100% Cotton (quilting fabric), One fat quarter gives you 3 masks at (9 x 6) inches with flat elastic, you’ll need extra fabric for making binding strips.
  • Package of flat elastic (1/4) inch wide or make binding strips at 34 inches by 1 1/2 inches each, make two.
  • Thread, straight pins and scissors.
  • Note pad and pencil for your own notes.

My Transcript from Video (Adult)

  • Use pre washed fabric because shrinkage and any chemical finish.
  • Cut 2 rectangles of 100% cotton (9 x 6) inches.
  • Cut 2 flat 1/4 in elastic strips at 7 in long.
  • Place right sides of fabric together, pin in place.
  • Start sewing (straight stitch) at halfway mark on (9 inch) side. There is 3/8 to 1/2 inch seam allowance, which ever seam allowance you feel comfortable with. The 3/8 in follows along the edge of sewing foot, this is what I did.
  • Placing elastic at corner: An inch before you reach the first corner you will place the elastic with one end at and towards the corner, halfway btwn 9 inch and 6 inch edges. The remainder of the elastic will be btwn the two pieces of fabric at an angle.
  • Continue sewing to and around the corner making sure you sew over the elastic. Do the same with the next corner, placing the other end of the elastic, the same as first corner, creating the loop that will go over your ear.
  • On the next ( 9 inch) edge you’ll create a hole by ending your stitching and starting again in 2-3 inch. This creates a hole for you to turn your fabric right-side out.
  • Continue sewing around the other corners, and placing the elastic correctly.
  • Finish sewing to where you started.
  • Turn the mask right-side out.
  • Poke the corners out and I give a quick press with steam from my iron.
  • Pin Tucks: You’ll do 3 pin tucks on each 6 inch edge making sure tucks are going in the same direction.
  • Top stitch 1/4 inch around all edges two times for strength and reinforcement, making sure you catch the elastics on your way around.

Special Notes:

  • The flat elastic is too long for me, I would cut 6 inch long strips because my face is smaller. I had to pinch a bit and sew to make elastic shorter for a better fit.
  • For the children’s sizes, there was no elastic length given, so I’d try btwn 4-6 inch strips depending on the child age.
  • When sewing the last two rounds, around the face mask. Sew the 1/4 inch seam allowance because you’ll sew over the ends where the elastic joins the corners.
  • These masks are double layer 100% cotton, they’re reusable and washable.
  • These masks do not take the place of hospital grade surgical masks but the do fill a need due to shortage.
  • Please join a group that is already working with a Hospital.
  • Some videos position elastic differently, checkout Links at the end for the Youtube video for an example.
  • From cutting fabric to finishing touches the whole project takes about 30 minutes per mask.

Some photos I took for a visual reference.

This is how you place your elastic at each corner, 6 inch ends.
What the elastic should look like at the ends before sewing.
You’ll see the pin tucks are pointed down and in same direction on both sides.
I stay stitched the pin tucks down and removed pins before I sewed around the edges.
What the face mask looks like in full before stitching down along all edges.

Finished the Face Mask, front and side view.

More links for different face masks:

There is a wealth of important information in the following links, please take the time to read.


Nurses All Over Are Asking People to Sew Masks. Here’s How You Can Help.


Your Sewing Skills Are Needed In The Fight Against Covid-19

God Bless & Keep Sewing On

I hope this post has encourage you to see hope and light at the end of the tunnel. We will survive this pandemic because we are made of strong stuff, just look around at all the amazing people stepping up to find solutions. I feel encouragement because of these people and I thank God that I can be part of the solution by sharing, Amen.

Until next time, Jennifer

63. Time to sandwich the Irish dress wall quilt.

63. Time to sandwich the Irish dress wall quilt.

Finally I get to Sandwich the quilt

Irish dress quilt

After a year of fussing with this quilt, I learned to think outside the box. I have quilted many times before and I love the organization of blocks but this type of quilting was very new to me. Quite often I sewed myself into a corner only to find myself wondering which way to proceed, spending many days trying to figure a way out. For goodness sake I was even having quilting dreams, crazy!

The top is pretty much finished, I just have a few more things to touch up before I start to sandwich. This wall quilt has turned out much better than I imagined and I have to say I’m quite pleased with myself. I went outside of my comfort zone, my tidy little box that I feel comfortable within.

Time to sandwich:

A couple of weeks ago I spend the weekend working on the backing and quilting baton, that is one less job to do and I’ll be able to get down to the business of sandwiching this quilt together. Concerning the quilting I’ve decided to start from the center piece and go out from there. I think this might be the most sensible way to proceed, because this isn’t a typical quilt worked in blocks. This quilt is made up of two different Celtic dancing dresses and I worked the dresses into this quilt so there will be darts to contend with, and because of this the quilt won’t be perfectly flat.

The Center piece:

quilt Irish

What I really like most about this center piece is the choice I made to use contrasting thread to top stitch the shards of glass (fabric) down, this really added a beautiful touch to the quilt. When I decided to make a Celtic infinity knot I was just playing around with the tubes of fabric I’d sewn up. My original idea was only to make a ring around the center circle, but I wasn’t happy with how the ring joined. Sometimes my best ideas come from the problems I face in sewing something.

The back of the Quilt?

Because this is a wall quilt I will be adding information about the making of the quilt, dates and who it is for.

  1. Two Celtic dancing dresses.
  2. Started April 2017 to Summer 2018
  3. For one of two little girls (name)
  4. By me (Jennifer)
  5. An Irish limerick

A pocket of memories:

I shall be adding a pocket on the back of both quilts for memories, the girls can add what they’d like in there.

Irish Limericks:

My friend Sarah hasn’t decided what Irish limerick to use yet, but there is time for that. Here are a few I found on Pinterest.


Which Irish limerick do you like?

Thanks for coming on my sewing adventure, I’ll post when it’s finished.

Jennifer a sewing Ninja

God Bless & Sew On










5th CK: Second Block of the Cascade Knitterati Afghan 2017

5th CK: Second Block of the Cascade Knitterati Afghan 2017

Almost Finished Block 2

block 2 CK.jpg

This is a lovely little design working with 4 yarn colours creating a squirrel, leaf & acorn pattern. On the second set of squirrels I had to unravel them because some how I got my colour work out of line and tried to fix as I went which didn’t turn out so well. Concerning the needle size I will be sticking with the 4.5 mm needles with all blocks. If the blocks are slightly off I’ll just create a border to make up the difference.

Yarn: is Bernat Satin, medium (4), approximately 200 yds or 182 m.

  • Lavender (04309)
  • Teal (04203)
  • Aqua (04201)
  • Fern (04222)

Gauge: For my knitting was approx. (19 st x 20 rows) = 4×4 in square.

Needle: I used 4.5 mm-US 7, but each designer used either 4 mm to 5mm needles sizes for their block.

The four yarns I used for Block 2


This is the first time I have ever attempted an afghan and so far it’s going well, mind you a bit slow. I’m afraid that is my fault, too many projects on the go. When I finish this square I’ll post a picture on the next CK post. So far this square is 11 inches wide, this is a bit off from my first square, 2 inches to be exact. I’m going to work a garter stitch border and attempt a mitered corner, I’ll let you know how that goes. I have 28 more block to knit.

Check out my FB group Knit-Along Afghan and see how I progress.

God Bless & Knit On




4th CK: Knitting my First knit-Along Afghan, by Cascade Yarn.

Knitterati Afghan Block 1

Knit A-Long Afghan

In 2017 Cascade Yarn celebrated its 30th Anniversary and they partnered with Vogue Knitting by creating a beautiful afghan called Knitterati. Every month throughout last year Cascade released two new block patterns through Ravelry, totaling 30 different blocks by different designers. I started this afghan early 2017 at the request by a woman who came to visit me at Café Knitting. By the way this is my first attempt at an afghan and so far my first block is 2 inches too big and that’s ok with me.

The Yarn I used:

Kniteratti yarn

I didn’t use the yarn that was suggested by Cascade yarn due to its price point; so, my knitting class asked for another yarn suggestion. I found this Bernat Satin yarn in Wal-Mart at $4.95 per cake.  Much to my surprise the Bernat colours were the same combination as the Cascade yarn colours that I liked.

Yarn Colours and cake amounts needed: These are the amounts I have so far, I would like to get another grey and lavender to finish up the amounts needed. I need 5 more cakes to finish the suggested yarn amount from Cascade, in total I need 23 cakes to finish the afghan.

These are my colours:

  1. Teal: 5
  2. Aqua: 4
  3. Grey mist heather: 3
  4. Fern: 3
  5. Lavender: 3

What needles and yarn I used compared to Cascade: 

Needles: 4 mm straight and double-pointed.

Yarn: Medium (4), 200 yds/182 m, Bernet Silk.

Gauge: 9 sts x 11 rows by 2 inch square.

Cascade Yarn and needle suggestion:

Yarn: weight (3) DK light worsted, 200m/220 yds, Cascade yarn 220 Superwash.

Needles: Cascade uses a combination of 4 mm/4.5 mm, straight and double-pointed.

Gauge: their gauge changes from square to square because of different needle sizes but the first square is 10 x 10 inch square.

1944 – Westpoint Blue Heather (4 balls)
1910 – Summer Sky Heather (6 balls)
1946 – Silver Grey (5 balls)
0905 – Celery (5 balls)
1949 – Lavender (3 balls)


Cascade Yarn Knitterati


I really fell in love with the colour combination and was very pleased when I found very similar colours from Bernat Silk.

You can get the blocks from Ravelry for $1 that goes to charity, whether you can get the free code for the Knitterati afghan or not you’d have to contact Cascade but if your interested in another Cascade afghan for 2018 you can sign up for their Gradient Lapghan that also supports charity, I am.

New 2018 Cascade Gradient Lapghan

Link to Gradient Lapghan: Cascade Knitterati Knit-Along Gradient Lapghan.


You need to sign up on the Cascade website and you’ll receive the codes and blocks monthly.

Come and checkout my FB group Knit-Along Afghan and see my progress and all the blocks for the Knitterati afghan. Good luck on your afghan adventures.

Question: Are you and experienced afghan knitter or are you like me, a beginner in afghan knitting/crocheting?

God Bless & Afghan-Along

Thank you









50. Moments of Stitches in time &(memories we hold dearly)

Stitching your way through life…

pictures 9.jpg

Can be an adventure! Do you remember your grandmothers or your mothers sewing/mending basket and do you have one yourself?

These stitches are like moments in time. Like all the stitches in our life they are passed down from generation to generation like memories given to us from great-grand mothers to grand mothers then our mothers teach who us at their mothers machine; stitches from straight to zig-zag, we find our life’s threads emerging as we stitch. How many lesson did we learn along the way that seemed to slip past us far too quickly. Only to be remembered long past its lesson. How often do we pack these stitches away in band boxes or old trunks that gather dust in an attack. These lessons in stitches are often rediscovered and new ones found again from long past generation when some has passed on.

Decorating your favorite Jeans

When the side seam of your favorite Levis jeans start to wear thin, then drastic measures are needed, right! First I had a bit of repair work to do before I started to embroider a heart and star. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to decorate my jeans like this and I’m pleased with the heart but I had to take apart the star a couple of times before I was ok with it.

Every stitch is a memory

Every time I start a new project I spend time sitting down at my Janome and I start the process of practicing a stitch on a new snippet of fabric. Isn’t it funny how when you pick up a piece of work you can remember so much about the time that surrounded you when you first started working on the project but never the project its self. Were you in the throes of babyhood or was there turmoil disrupting your calm, were you fighting with a teen or a teenager yourself trying to navigate those years the best you could, or were you standing sentinel beside a parent as they made their last journey before passing on. The memories are numerous and they’re windows to our past be them good or bad.

My Wedding Quilt


Garden lattice: My mother quilted this beautiful quilt for my wedding present, it is queen size and looks beautiful on my bed in the summer. Thanks mom, I love you.

My Quilting Adventures

The left is my first quarter wall quilt made in class, the next is a baby quilt I made up for my second son and last is just the beginning of the hut on Noah’s Ark which I was put down long ago, I think this summer I’ll finish it.

When I was visiting my parents a couple of years ago, my mother was going through her things and I snagged this beautiful practice square for her own king size quilt, I’m going to sew a border on to it in purple and hang it on my wall. For my curtains, I never did the decorative stitch and at the time I thought it would be too much but now I have to take the curtain down to fix the sun damage middle sections that are exposed the most. Now I like the decorative stitch, time can change your mind sometimes.

What I liked about these two small wall quilts was all the hand stitching I did. It’s not fancy just simple.

Celtic Love Knot

This beautiful celtic love knot represents the never-ending love in my marriage, going 18 years and still strong.


This was a challenging quilt for me because I had never sewn a celtic knot before but you wouldn’t believe how easy it sewed up. The tips were finicky but not bad and all I had to do was pin down the strips and as I sewed the knot literally laid down flat as I sewed (perfectly), it was amazing and here I thought it would be so difficult.

A Bit of Hand Stitching


This sash I made for my eldest sons Baptism, First Communion and now I have to sew a few more things on to the sash, now that he has been confirmed into the Catholic church. Any Ideas for First Reconciliation? I have to say I’m proud of the hand stitching, not because I think I did a fantastic job but because I had such little time available with a small baby and sleep was none existent. Now I have to make one for my second son, where does the time fly to and he’s already 10.

Lessons from Mom

My mother first lesson: She always reminded me to take time reading all my instructions and not to jump ahead before I was ready and so I find myself approaching all life’s little and big adventures in the same way.

I was told by my aunty Fran that my Great Grand mother Gorham was so good at sewing that she could buy fabric at the beginning of the day (without) a pattern and have a finished garment at the end of the day to be worn out that evening, this woman was a true sewing Ninja with a capital (N). I have many more stitches to sew before I even come close to my Great Grandma Gorham and only then will I truly be an accomplished seamstress in my eyes. This level of experience is what I truly aspire to and every time I embark on a new project I come a little closer to my goal.

God Bless and Sew On



3rd CK: Knitting (The Slouchy & two-hole Toque)

Fun & Easy Toques to Knit Up

When my knitting class asked me to find an easy messy bun hat, I thought great! At the same time I was knitting this slouchy up using this delicious Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine (blue) yarn I fell in love with at my local yarn store.

The messy bun or as I call it the two-hole toque I knitted with Berroco Vintage (brown).

Both toques are hugely popular with my class and as we finish up the winter a new toque will keep another head stylishly warm. You’ll notice below I used a purple yarn but alas it wasn’t a wool mix, only man-made fiber and though it looks and feels great it  doesn’t keep my head warm.

The Joys of Knitting

The knitters of the world are lucky to enjoy a beautiful craft but also we’re able to share our skills with friends and family. You can often find a knitter with yarn and needles in tow everywhere you go. Often people stop me young or old & male or female, they have to comment on the pattern or the yarn I’m using and I’m often graced with their yarn story. Whether you use natural fibers or man-made ones and even a combination of the both. It doesn’t matter: because, it’s your time and skill that is knitted or crocheted into the project that counts and the love that is passed on.

God Bless & Knit On

If you’ve never knitted and are wanting to try the needles out, I strongly encourage you to get to your local yarn store and take a few classes, once you learn the basics it is easier from there on and you’ll gain new & lasting friendships. Good Luck!

Thanks for reading my CK post on SewingbytheYard.com






48. Another Cape for my Boy

The Cape #3 or #4

cape 1Who can resist a silly sewing day?

Not me!

Often my youngest son and I collaborate in the sewing room or rather he instructs me on what to do. What ever the case I’m glad he has the sewing bug.

Recently I made a trip to the fabric store to pick up some backing and quilting baton for a project I’m sewing for a friend and of course my son came along. The minute we entered the store he disappeared only to reappear later with a bolt of red, mixed polyester blended fabric in his arms. He looked at me and declared it was for yet another cape. I think this is the third or fourth cape I’ve sewn for him and that doesn’t include all the capes he’s had passed down from his older brother.

Who can resist a cape, not me! For my wedding I sewed a beautiful dark, blue, velvet cape with light blue lining and faux feathers sewn around the hood opening. As you can tell the fascination with capes run in the family. This particular cape was inspired from Star Wars, and not the good guys. My son has a soft spot for the bad guys, hens the RED cape!


It was a great weekend project that only took me about an hour to finish and he’s worn it ever since and even takes it to bed.

Let me know what off the cuff sewing projects you’ve done for yourself or family/friends?

God Bless & Sew On

Thanks for reading my sewing blog.


9. Sewing My Wedding Dress.

Wear Blue & he’ll always be True

That’s what everyone said to me when they found out I was sewing a blue dress for my wedding.


This is my favorite photo of my Wedding day

There is a lovely picture that my father took of me when I sat at my mothers sewing machine while I sewed my wedding dress, It reminds me of how young I really was and how grown up I felt at the time. I’ll have to dig through some boxes but hopefully I will find it.
I wasn’t much impressed with the white wedding dresses at the time or for that matter the traditional wedding dress at all. When I look back on my important clothing decisions when growing up I often diverted from the norm in some way or other.  Well, when it came to choose a wedding dress it was no wonder I found myself on the phone with my mom asking her if she’d like to help me with it, of course the answer was a resounding yes!

Why I chose this dress design

During this time in my life I was in England and in Jane Austen territory, I visited Bath and read all the Jane Austen novels. I was very taken with their dresses and decided early on that this was to be my model for a wedding dress. I had a cape, gloves, over dress & the empire waist and I have to say I loved my dress. The only piece that wasn’t true to the period was the modern style shrug but it was February 5th and even though a very good day for that time of year, there was still a damp chill in the air. I thought it quite sensible to be wearing a shrug. A word on the colour of my dress, in the beginning I was looking for a blue but paler and more a corn flower blue. Of course, when entering into the wedding fabric store with my mother in Ottawa all I could find was this royal blue. This colour was settled upon quite quickly when we saw it on the bolt and it just fit perfectly with the pattern. Oddly enough this colour I have never used before with sewing or knitting, it is my wedding colour.

First my mother and I started pattern hunting.

  1. Main dress pattern is from Vogue Easy Options, dress A, pattern number 2144 & size 8. I extended the dress to reach the ground.
  2. The over dress was from McCalls Evening Elegance 2035, dress B and size 8.
  3. McCalls shrug 2241, size 8 and I lined it because the pattern didn’t have one and I thought it would look better with a lining.
  4. The cape from Butterick (fast and easy) 3084,  and yes I lined the cape as well. Cape (C) size 8.
  5. Kwik Sew gloves (2326) were so fun to whip up, size small and I had to alter them for my right hand. This was a fun challenge because I have a unique little hand. Lastly I made the length of the glove only go up a third of my arm.

Time to Sew

The fabric I chose for my wedding ensemble:

  • Velvet for the cape with a polyester lining.
  • Taffeta for the main dress and poly lining, which the pattern didn’t call for.
  • Velour with a nap pattern for the gloves and shrug, I lined the shrug with the same lining that I used for the dress and cape.
  • Silk organza for the over dress and let me say a very challenging fabric to work with.

A few Alterations needed:

I didn’t have to make too many alteration to the dress and only to the main dress. The alteration that I did make were jus to the neckline of the bodice. And of course my mother showed me what to do when taking in extra ease at the neckline.

The Wedding Dress

Traditional Pictures Taken

I’ve had a great time going down memory lane and I it was wonderful looking at all our wedding photos. A little about where we were married; because, my husband is British we had our first and legal marriage at the register’s office in Morden, Surry, UK. In an old estate park called Morden Hall park, which was a snuff mill in its heyday but now is a wonderfully large park that the locals use frequently and is part of the National Trust. We then had our faith marriage back home in Canada and I had the pleasure of wearing my wedding dress again, then later on my husband and I fulfilled our marriage Sacrament when I entered in to the Catholic church.  On this last occasion I didn’t wear my wedding dress due to babies.

Did you make your wedding dress? and did your mother help you?

God Bless & Sew on




39. The Sewing Room Make Over, YES!!

My Basement Sewing Room

This is the set up of my sewing room, less messy at the moment.

My sewing table is under the window for natural light, to the right is my cutting table with storage underneath. and to the left is my computer desk with shelves also a metal shelving unit for more storage. The great thing about my sewing room is it’s cool in the summer but a tad bit too cold in the winter even with a portable heater and a warm wool sweater.

What you really need in a functioning sewing room or sewing space: Depending on what is available in your house/apartment. When making these plans remember to ask your self these questions: How will I do this? Plan ahead, be smart in money management and save.

Wish list: Dream big! Before reality kicks in.

  • Sewing/serger machine table
  • Sewing table
  • Dress form, ideally a (Wolfe)
  • Cork board for your design ideas
  • Sewing machine & serger
  • Dresser and shelves for storage

Add your ideas to this list.

Sewing/Serger Table

Thing to consider when shopping for a sewing/serger table are: price point, size and versatility. I personally would love a table that my sewing machine could drop down into, then I could bring out the serger when I needed it. Right now my serger is on a shelf. I’d also like a table big enough so fabric wouldn’t fall off the end or back of the table, (I really should clean off my table). A friend once mentioned to me that her tiny apartment had no room for sewing, so I’ve picked out a small table that a machine drops down into and a table leaf can fold down or up.

Cutting table

A lot of seamstress used their dinning tables for cutting and sewing. In fact I cut out my wedding dress on my mothers dinning room table.

The top left table is great because you can wheel it around, the side go up and down and there are drawers. The bottom left table can tuck into a corner and it accommodates a sewing machine with storage. Now the table to the right is my dream table, nice big flat surface to work with, lots of storage and you can walk around three sides and it’s from Ikea. You don’t have to buy new, check out the second-hand shops and get creative.

Big Sewing Room Layout

Here are some sewing room layout ideas, so start with what you have to work with and then go from there. What I like most about these room is the storage, apart from them being big enough to have a lounge chair and covered stool. A girl can dream big can’t she?

Small Sewing Room Areas

Here are some great ideas for making a small space your sewing area.

Places to find the right deals for sewing room furniture are second-hand stores, garage sales, friends, family and your own home. In the past I’ve used diaper boxes for magazines holders, trestles for a table top, plastics storage units, tins and what ever I could find around the house. I reused a lot of object to make my sewing room and rescued some thing from going in the dump. Get creative and the sky will not be your limit.

Let me know what your sewing room looks like and do you have a dream list for yourself?

Good luck and God Bless,