A new stocking for the newest family member!

When I made our family holiday stockings a few years ago, Lorelei was most definitely not part of the equation, so fast forward to this year and at fleeting moments throughout her first year, I've thought of how she'd need a stocking, but over the last two weeks, that need became super pressing. We're one of those families that does our Christmas decorating the days after Thanksgiving, often on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but this year, I was truly worried the stocking issue would keep us from it! That and the Gilmore Girls revival release at 3am that very Friday (which of course was just about equally as important!).

But somehow, I finished up a stocking for sweet Lorelei, and managed to watch the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival (no spoilers ahead, I promise!), and our family decorating tradition is still holding strong. Phew.

I realized when I hung the stockings that Lorelei's stocking is fairly matching, save for two things - the embroidery thread is different (white-white instead of off-white, darn it!) and then I managed to introduce mint to the color palette, but it works, I think, so I'm not going to go and restitch, that's for sure!

Oh! And this year, the stockings are hung differently! When the husband saw what 3M Command hooks cost (this is precisely why you shouldn't take husbands to Target), we re-thought things for something we didn't have to keep re-buying year over year, so this is a fun set of lights from Target, a shower rod in bronze from Amazon, and shower hooks, plus various Christmas decorations I've gathered over the years (some new, some old). And one day, I'll have a real fireplace and mantel to hang the stockings on. Just not in Florida.

What are you stitching up for the holidays? I'm finishing up some fun hand-stitched gifts, which you can follow along with some sneak peeks on Instagram @dontcallmebetsy and I'll post the finished makes as soon as the receivers open them! Happy holiday stitching everyone :)

My Black Friday Tradition - Hanging the Stockings!

The last several years I've been more of an online Black Friday shopper, so I'm not heading out to get in any crazy long lines or anything like that today. Rather, I'm spending the day at home trimming the house (and the tree!) with festive Christmas decor. And this year, I'm super excited to be adding handmade stockings to our holiday decorations.

Each stocking features a 6" finished block from my Lucky Stars Block of the Month clubs from the last two years, and I'm so glad I chose to add them. They add so much sparkle to the finished stockings! Here they are, in all their glory!

I used Shea's great Sleigh Bells Stockings pattern, which was super easy to follow and wonderfully well-written. If you're thinking about making stockings this year, I cannot recommend this pattern enough. The shape of the stocking template is just what I was hoping for and the instructions were super clear!

Not a Lucky Stars subscriber yet? Check out my big Black Friday pattern sale as well right here so you can treat yourself to a little something today! Have a wonderful Friday!

Getting my cross-stitch on

My Juki has an official diagnosis from the repair shop - it has a badly damaged needle plate. I'm thinking this may have always been the issue since I bought it second-hand and it's always sounded a bit noisy, but it's hard to know for sure. Naturally, the needle plate isn't a part they typically stock, so it's going to be a little while yet before my machine comes home :( I've been sorting and folding fabric instead of sewing with it, and cross-stitching my little heart out, and I'm starting to see the light at end of the sampler tunnel!

Christmas Sampler progress!

My Kawaii Christmas cross-stitch sampler is coming together nicely while I'm without my machine, although if you compare my stitches with the chart, there's definitely some blips where I've made mistakes. For example, that red present with the cream box on number 13 was supposed to be a blue polka dotted present, but my inability to follow a pattern reared its ugly head there and it turned into a red present. But I'm not too worried about those little "design choices" - they give it character, right? Ha!

May not be totally perfect, but I'm okay with that!

I've found a new method of stitching that's been working pretty well for me. When I have some quiet stitching time to myself, I follow the chart and stitch half of my X's, then when I'm stitching while watching TV or multi-tasking in some other way, I finish off those X's so I don't have to pay attention to the chart then. It's working out pretty nicely for me.

My next hand-stitching project after my Christmas sampler!

At this rate, I feel sure that I'm going to wrap up this sampler before Christmas. Yay! But then I'll have to start another hand stitching project, and I happened to pick up the perfect one during the Black Friday sales from Pink Chalk Fabrics...the new Studio Stitches pattern from Empty Bobbin. I am SO excited to embroider one of those adorable sewing machines!

Have a great day :)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Last week before Thanksgiving, I decided to take my Juki into the shop. Couple the lack of sew-jo I've been feeling lately with the spring that mysteriously popped out whilst FMQ'ing recently, I figured she was due for a nice tune-up. I just got the call that it's going to another week before I see her again, thanks to a badly damaged needle plate. No idea what I did to the needle plate - or if it was even from me, maybe it was from the previous owner and I just didn't notice? - but it needs to be replaced, stat. Yikes. I sure hope the part comes quickly.

Something's missing from my sewing room :(

It's true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder. This whole week that I've been without my machine, I've been missing it terribly. I even got out my old Husqvarna Viking in an attempt to sew something, only to get frustrated with how slow the darned thing is and give up. I think my sew-jo is trying to come back, bit by bit.

Christmas Cross Stitch Progress!

I've been spending my evenings on the couch, enjoying the light of the Christmas tree, and working on my Christmas cross-stitch sampler from last year that I never finished. I'm making good progress this year. It's really nice to unwind with a little cross-stitch at the end of the day. I'd forgotten how enjoyable it can be. With just another 20 and a 1/2 days until Christmas, it's entirely possible I might just finish this sampler before Santa makes an appearance! Happy Wednesday to you :)

Santa's Sweatshop: The Zip Pouches

I love zip pouches, just love them, can't get enough of them, and I'm hoping some of my friends feel the same way this year. I had a dream a few weeks ago about some doing a foundation paper pieced star block-of-the-month club on my blog next year, and the next morning, I sketched out five stars to get started with. I drafted them in Illustrator, and liked them so much that I wanted to make them right away...so I decided to make some them into 6" blocks and put them on the front of some zip pouches for holiday gifts.


Pouch #1
Fabrics from: Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures, various gold and aqua prints, RK Quilter's Linen in Straw


Pouch #2
Fabrics from: Cosmo Cricket's Tailor Made, Alexander Henry's Heath, Ellen Luckett Baker's Quilt Blocks, Free Spirit Designer Houndstooth, Jenean Morrison Silent Cinema, RK Quilter's Linen in Gray


Pouch #3
Fabrics: Alison Glass's Lucky Penny, various fuschia, purple, green, and blue prints, mystery black print from stash, Essex Linen in Lime


Pouch #4
Fabrics: Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures, Alison Glass's Lucky Penny, various aqua, teal, and gold prints, Essex Yarn Dyed in Black


Pouch #5
Fabrics: Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures, Joel Dewberry's Heirloom, various aqua and orange prints, RK Quilter's Linen in Azure


For the actual pouches themselves, I used Elizabeth Hartman's super detailed Perfect Zip Pouches pattern, and I highly recommend it - especially if you've had zipper troubles in the past or if you're frightened of trying zippers out. Elizabeth truly makes it easy, and I was able to learn another way to install zippers than the way I typically do for a zip pouch, so the pattern was well worth the purchase. I made pouch style C, in the large size for all of these pouches.


I hope the recipients enjoy these pouches as much as I enjoyed making them. It still surprises me how much I enjoy paper piecing these days, when it used to infuriate me so much when I first started it! Speaking of paper piecing, you be interested in a paper pieced BOM? Or am I just crazy (as usual)? I hope your holiday sewing is going well, and that you're having a great day!