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