Isle B. Stitching

img_0977Cicada Daydream has put together a tutorial for a tote bag using a fat quarter of fabric. It uses every bit of it, so you want to make sure everything is squared and true, which may mean you need to trim a little bit here and there to get perfect measurements. The tutorial works around the various widths you encounter with fat quarters: narrow goods (45″ wide) have a width of about 20″ to 22″ usable, and wide goods (54″ wide) might have a width of 26″ to 28″ usable. Check out her other tutorials while at her site.

tote_bag_headerj carolyncreative has posted this tutorial for a tote bag. This is a 14 x 11 x 3-1/2 deep tote with one exterior pocket and two interior pockets—one zippered. It’s designed for hard wear with two layers of fabric at the bottom and straps that won’t rip off. While you’re there—and I know Valentine’s Day is gone for this year—look at her tutorial for a Valentine’s pennant and card. A neat idea!

capture000045For the animal lover, activist, or anyone with a warped sense of humor, this buck will make anyone proud. Use his antlers to hang your scarf or hat, your necklaces, or use him as wall art and dress him for any holiday you celebrate. Chronicle Books showsyou how. You make this guy is made from foam core and wrapping paper; however, that perfect hunting or camo fabric will work like a charm.

buttercupcoverMade by Rae is offering this tutorial for her Buttercup Bag. The pattern uses a fat quarter of fabric for the outside of the bag and a little less of another fabric for the lining. You’ll also need a magnetic snap and a couple of buttons, although it looks pretty cute if you leave the buttons off. You could also try piping or ric-rac over the pleats. If you have little ones, be sure and look at her tutorial for star dust shoes. And it doesn’t take much to whip up a pair for your cutie patootie!

6a00d8341c5c8953ef011168c79a1e970c-400wiWith Easter just around the corner, here’s AllSorts bounding bunny pin. He’s really teeny tiny, less than 3 inches across, but he looks very cute pinned to your sweater. He stitches up quickly, so you can make yourself a whole bevy of bounding baby bunnies for your Easter outfit…or Easter basket. 

af_duvet_covermm2_quilt_coverFinally, Amy Butler has put out two new patterns: her August Fields duvet cover and Nora’s Mid Mod 2 quilt. I love that fabric in the duvet cover. My problem is that I live in a small town, and I have one quilt shop that sells Amy Butler fabric, and not her complete line. I just know that I’m going to have to go to Houston or Austin to find this.

Until next time!


vegas1I’m trying to get all caught up at work before we leave for Vegas. I’m putting together an awards banquet on March 27th—the Friday after we get back—so I’m trying to get every possible thing done before we take off. So far, so good. I have a student who works for me, and I’m leaving her with some things to do, and I’ve left her my cell number in case any emergencies crop up. At home I’m doing a little bit of digitizing…no sewing. I’ve done these ‘lucky’ dice…because all I can think of these days is Vegas! You can download them on the right.

Until next time!

acfa3c7Once Wed shows how to make these pretty hanging handkerchief vases. Laurie has collected handkerchiefs for a while and has tried to figure out a way to incorporate them into a project. Handkerchiefs come in all different patterns and every color under the sun. You could coordinate these vases with any wedding, function, or just to dress up a room. After you’re finished with them they could easily be disassembled and the handkerchiefs and  jars could be used again for their original purpose.

img_7622This next one isn’t sewing, but these cupcakes are so cute I couldn’t pass them up. And who doesn’t love the Cookie Monster? Actually, any ‘critter’ from Sesame Street would make a cute cupcake. Made by Cynthia Rae gives you the instructions right here. Be sure and check out her other tutorials for a little boy’s camping lantern made out of a peanut butter jar and a battery operated votive candle, and her how-to on how to customize coasters.

mickeyhotpads_041Taffy Talk has a tutorial to make a Mickey Mouse hotpad or potholder. Anything Mickey becomes a favorite to me, so I know I’ll be making some of these up for my own kitchen. Another suggestion is to shrink down the pattern and make coasters. Be sure and check on the right side column for links to other tutorials they offer…cute ones!

tagmonster1Here’s another cute one: the Tag Monster. CraftSchmaft gives you the pattern and instructions here. He’s a cute little guy, but just the thought of sewing on all those ribbons makes me shudder. It’s a toy but after putting in all that work I’d probably be sitting the little guy on a shelf…up high away from little fingers or puppy teeth. 

11-400x4001Here’s a neat pin cushion.  It’s a perfect way to separate all your pins and needles by size and color. The great thing is that everything used to make it can be found around your house right now. You can make something functional out of scraps and trash! You can shut the lid when you’re not using it to keep out little fingers. Check out the instructions on Whipup here.

Until next time!


Roger and I are going to Las Vegas for a week in March. Texas A&M will have spring break, and we also get a couple of days off. We’re leaving on March 14 and will be back the following Sunday. Less than a month to go! I’m already deciding in my head what all I need to pack…clothes, toiletries, shoes, the kitchen sink. 

We’re driving, and we plan to stop and see some sights along the way. I definitely want to see the Hoover Dam and take the tour. I’ve spent some time online looking for things around Vegas that we’d be interested in seeing. We’re not big into gambling…a set amount and when it’s gone it’s time to leave. If any of you have any suggestions on things of interest in and around Las Vegas please let me know. I’m also interested in any quilt shops or fabric shops in and around Vegas.

Until next time!

vmice1bOkay, I know we just celebrated Valentine’s Day, but I couldn’t resist giving you this link. The web site for the International Chapter of the Junior Society gives instructions how to make your own Valentine Vermin. These little felt mice sit on slices of heart-shaped Swiss cheese, and are incredibly simple to make. What kid wouldn’t want to take these to school instead of those store bought cards? What better way for them to show their friends how much they care about them and value their friendship? You have plenty of time to make dozens of these before February rolls around again. 

bumblebee_optimus_3Here’s a spot kids will like. Joe, from Toy-A-Day, has started a year-long project where he plans to design, construct and post a new paper toy from a basic template each day for one year. So you’ll have 365 toys at the end of the year. All the toys are free to download if you want to make them. You can also design and make your own by getting a copy of his blank template here. An easy way to keep kids occupied.

wtscreenMany of you already may be familiar with Wild Ginger. Wild Ginger has a free program, Wild Things, that you can download to your computer. Wild Things! is a free software program that you can use to easily design and print patterns for hats, bags, shoes, and wraps. All of the patterns in Wild Things! allow you to specify the dimensions for each item you draft and prints them to the dimensions you specify. It has an embroidery design tool to help you place your design. Wild Things! comes complete with a ‘Help File’ as well as sewing instructions for each and every style of pattern. You do have to register in order to download the program.

Until next time!


Pantone has posted its fall 2009 color selections. I know, I know. We aren’t even into spring yet, much less summer, and most of us are still getting a blast of winter every few days, but at least you can see what we’ll be wearing come September—if you can afford to buy yourself new clothes in this economy. Pantone, however, considered the economy when picking the fall colors, and they are hoping their color choices will entice you to buy new pieces for your wardrobe. Here’s what they say:

The fall 2009 palette is more unique and thoughtful than the typical autumnal hues of years past. Designers recognize the desire for fundamental basics that speak to current economic conditions, but also understand the need to incorporate vibrant color to grab the consumers’ eyes and entice them to buy. Subtle contrasts make up the diverse palette for fall 2009. This season, designers play with a broad spectrum of color resulting in distinct, yet cohesive combinations. Like a painter’s palette, fall 2009 offers choice and diversity, but the unexpected integration of colors is what makes it so appealing.

A natural choice during uncertain times, patriotic American Beauty, a wonderfully balanced, true red, speaks to the need for cohesiveness. Perfect for all skin tones, American Beauty is a feel-good color. Purple Heart connotes a sense of refinement and sensuality, adding an air of creativity and excitement to the top 10, especially when paired with American Beauty. A warmer, more subdued Honey Yellow carries the 2009 color of the year through to fall and winter with its golden tones. Pairing Honey Yellow with its color wheel opposite, Purple Heart, will surely add a surprising flair. Or, for a more typical fall combination, group Honey Yellow with Burnt Sienna and Iron.

Strong yet understated Iron serves as the “new black,” making traditional basics much more interesting. Neither gray nor brown, Iron is a grounding color that coordinates well with all colors in the palette. Crème Brûlee, a grayed-down beige, and Nomad, which bridges the gap between beige and light gray, also speak to the need for timeless neutrals. All three classics can stand alone or serve as anchors when paired with other colors.

Fall would not be complete without a seasonal favorite like Burnt Sienna, a deepened, earthy shade of orange, reminiscent of an autumn sunset. Pair this versatile hue with Nomand and Rapture Rose for a different twist. Adding spark to the fall palette, Rapture Rose artfully captures the vibrancy of fuchsia and the softness of pink. Underscored by nurturing and feminine tones, Rapture Rose enlivens the more traditionally subdued fall hues. Look for it in cosmetics as well as clothing and accessories.

Like the olive in a martini, Warm Olive, a rich yellow-green, adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to fall. When combined, this tangy, intriguing hue makes all other colors come alive. Look for it paired with Majolica Blue, a deep, mysterious teal blue with more vibrancy than the usual navy. Majolica Blue brings an exotic flair to the group, especially when paired with Burnt Sienna or Purple Heart.

…and here’s why. He handed me this red box. An early Valentine’s present he said.



And here’s what was inside the red box.


This is called the celestial diamond necklace. It’s a depiction of The Pleiades, a constellation also known as the Seven Sisters. According to Greek mythology, when the sisters were pursued by Orion the Hunter, Zeus answered their prayers for help by transforming then into doves, and later into stars. The necklace is a depiction of the magic of the universe. There are seven diamonds, one for each sister.

And here I am wearing it (I got my hair cut this evening, which explains all the little bits of hair on my neck).


Roger gave me the cross last year…just because. It’s a Roberto Coin. His trademark is placing a ruby on the inside of each of his jewelry pieces. It’s based on an Egyptian legend that “a ruby touching your skin brings you great happiness and good fortune.” A ruby is always positioned closest to the skin in keeping with the ancient Egyptian legend symbolizing prosperity, beauty, happiness, and health.

Thank you Mr. Wonderful!

Until next time!


Read this:! Did you see the paragraph where she nominates my ‘little ole’ blog’ for an Uber Amazing Blog award! Thank you Sadia! Okay, okay, I’m getting carried away with the exclamations. Hey…what can I say? I’m happy, thrilled, tickled pink!

I’m embarrassed to say that I just saw this on Sadia’s Blog, and she nominated me for this in early January. I’m honored to know that she actually reads my blog! I read hers. Doesn’t she create such beautiful embroidery designs?

Until next time! And, thank you again Sadia!

pansysquareNostalgic NeedleART shows you an easy technique to make ribbon pansies or violas. You can use them as an embellishment on a crazy quilt block, a purse, or a shirt. The pansy is made with the fine wire removed from the edge of both the flower’s ribbon and the flower center’s ribbon. Be sure and look at her crazy quilt blocks. She’s posted one for a birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. A great idea for a quilt. You can order a CD of her vintage postcards that she uses in her quilt blocks.

35_61Okay, here’s a different project. Get yourself a cute bra and a couple of yards of fabric, and you can make yourself a new party dress. DIY Style gives directions here.  Just make sure that when you purchase a bra for this project that you make sure the back of the bra is made with similar fabric or trim as the front. Nothing worse than having one with elastic that looks like your standard bra!

dsc_0341Bitty bits & pieces has posted this tutorial for her love notes heart. The pillows are like a little Valentine card mailbox (remember making those in school?) that you can hang on a chair, a doorknob, or a bedpost. Just stick your love notes in the pocket. At the bottom of the tutorials she’s posted some photos of hearts she’s made using decorator fabric, tassels, cording, braided trim, ribbons, and metallic charms.

6a00e54ef5ba8e883301053701acdb970b-320piChickpea Studio has a new tutorial for a pocket bag. Chickpea loves pocket bags because they are useful in preventing scratches from other things in your purse, they can be made in any size with no effort, they keep things clean, they use up all kinds of scraps, they use a ponytail elastic that comes in a lot of color options, and they need a button but no button holes! That last one is the best reason to like pocket bags. She has two different tutorials listed: one is a PDF and the other is a Word document.

I hope you’ll try some of these great tutorials. Until next time!

Roger had to go to Oklahoma City, which gave me a perfect opportunity to go along to visit my family. My mom, Debbie and I made our usual shopping trips to Kohl’s, Ulta, TJ Maxx, and various other places. Although we have a Kohl’s in College Station, I feel like I find a better selection in the stores in OKC. Because we’re in a college town, our Kohl’s seems to cater more to the college students than any other age bracket.

affairheartMichell came down from Tulsa on Friday night, and on Saturday the two of us, along with Debbie and my niece, Kristin, went to OKC’s Affair of the Heart. My sister has gone to this for years, but this was the first time for me. If you get the chance, you won’t want to miss out on this. This is one of the largest arts and crafts shows in the United States. It’s truly unique, with booths occupying more than five buildings throughout the OKC fair grounds. An Affair of the Heart was started by eight Oklahoma women who were selling their crafts at different shows. They started talking about what worked really well and what these shows could do to improve, and they realized they had enough experience and knowledge to start their own craft show. In 1985 they held their first Affair of the Heart. What started with 65 exhibitors has expanded into hundreds over the years. If you make crafts to sell you can look into getting your own booth at the event. They hold two of these a year: one in the fall and one in the spring. My sister stocks up on Christmas gifts at the fall event. It was a fun way to spend the day. Although, because it’s a three day event, you may need the whole weekend to really see the whole thing.  Here’s the website with more information:

img9mI picked up another ‘H’ to add to my collection. I’m going to hang these above my bed, as in this photo, but using just the letter ‘H’. Of course, this will only happen once I get the bedroom painted. I also picked up two wax tart burners along with several sets of wax blocks in different scents. My house is either going to smell very nice or it’s going to give me a raging headache from all the different scents. What else did I get? I picked up a purse organizer, a toothpick holder for the sun visor in Roger’s car, and some scented crystals that are supposed to smell like lavendar, but…I’m not too sure that I recognize that lovely floral scent in my new crystals. 

2I bought this waterbead diffuser at Christmas. Kristin gave one of these to my mom, and I thought it was the neatest thing so I went out and bought one. It’s made by Moments by Upper Canada. You put the jelly-like beads into the glass vase, and then you add water and a little of the scent. You stir the beads to keep them moist, and you add more water and scent as they evaporate. It’s very unique, and a pretty way to scent a room. 

Until next time!


Remember your old Polaroid camera? Remember snapping the photo, it popping out of the camera, and then those ten minutes you spent waving that photo around in the air in hopes that it would actually develop faster? Well, here’s a site that will let you go through all that again.

Poladroid will create Polaroid-like photos from your digital photos. It’s easy to use. You just drag and drop your photo onto the digital camera, and you get a high resolution ‘ready to print’ Polaroid photo. Of course, just like the original film, you only get 10 photos from the camera. And you get the fingerprints on your photos…just like the old days!

Have fun!

islebstitchingvalenbear1Today’s my birthday! No, I’m not telling you how old I am. Here’s a gift for you to help me celebrate! You can download it from the box on the right. I’m not sure what we’re going to do today. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time!

Goodness, where should I start? My apologies to all for being away so long. An explanation is surely in order but, unfortunately, there isn’t one. No broken sewing machines, no lack of fabric or patterns, no major family or work emergencies, and no exotic trips to far off locales (unless you’re one of those who count Oklahoma in December as exotic).

I’ve decided that I’m one of those people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues. We have normal mental health (which, of course, depends on your definition of ‘normal’) throughout most of the year, but we experience depressive symptoms in the winter and, get this, we may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. Now I have a reason (with no guilt!) to eat my way through every bag of cookies, bag of candy, tub of cake icing, and carton of ice cream in the house.

I’ve not done a bit of sewing since late October/early November. I haven’t turned on my sewing machine, although I’ve heard him calling my name from time to time. The same with my poor, poor laptop. The little guys are missing me so. 

I found these projects on the internet the few times I turned on my computer. You may want to try some of them.

heartsachet1_lglpjanw3p2crochet9_lgCraftstylish has a tutorial showing how to make this fabric basket. You can use this soft coiled bowl to stow all your notions, threads, jewelry, and more.  There are step by step instructions with photos. With Valentine’s Day just ahead, check out their tutorial for this heart sachet. A set of of these are a great gift and a good way to use up your fabric scraps.

paint-chip-bookmarksAs I’ve said previously, we’re in the process of painting the inside of the house. Yes, we’re still painting the house. And, yes, we need to finish this project so we can move onto something else. We acquired quite a collection of chip cards from our days of picking colors for the house. Here’s a neat way to use them. How About Orange used old paint chip cards to make bookmarks. She says to just trim them to a size you like, paste two colors back-to-back with some rubber cement, attach a string or ribbon, and you’re done! They’re especially sturdy because the paper stock they’re printed on is very tough. Now you have no excuse to use old receipts, toothpicks, or food crumbs as bookmarks.

sewn-valentines-allvalentine-pins-beauty1Check out these two new Valentine projects from The Purl Bee. She gives these instructions for making your own sewn paper Valentines. These pretty little cards are a great way to use up the last little pieces from stash fabrics and any leftover thread you might have. Her other project is for these little Valentine pins. These little pins look like they are as fun to wear as they are to make, and is a perfect project for the kids to make for their class valentine swap. Each one takes just minutes to make so you can whip up a bunch in no time.

cupcakes_by_coconut_laneThis site, Cherrymix, has patterns for little food items made from felt. Aren’t these little cupcakes cute? Cherrymix has been around since 2001. It was originally just a gallery site showcasing their personal work. In 2003 it opened a store selling plush toys. The store closed in 2006, but the free patterns have stayed online. You can download patterns for a fortune cookie, a cupcake, a marshmallow, a loaf of bread, and three for sushi: shrimp tempura, mini mochas, and onigiri.

Until next time!


With Christmas just around the corner and the news about the economy getting bleaker and bleaker, I thought I’d mention this site,, to those of us who still have some shopping left to do.

You shop at name brand online stores at the Igive Mall and select your favorite cause (you can even add a new one). A portion of each purchase is donated to your cause. What causes? The list goes from animal rescue to community service, childrens’ health to education.

Over 700 stores are participating in the IGive donation program, including eBay, Lands’ End, Staples, JCPenney, Barnes & Noble,,, Office Depot, QVC, Expedia, Home Depot, HSN, Best Buy, Drs. Foster & Smith, Gap,, & NORDSTROM.

Another small way we can all do our part to help someone else.

Until next time!

fabric_flower_bowls_for_tutorial_post_002_copytutorial_for_fabric_flower_bowl_045Poppy Lane shows how to make these little flower bowls that you can use in your sewing room, office, bathroom, or bedroom…any place where you need a little storage. They are easy to make with two pieces of fabric and a piece of fabric interfacing. Also check out her tutorial to make a heart wreath for Valentine’s.

whimsical_quilted_flowers_lgCraftstylish makes these nifty quilted flowers to add to a tote, make into a pin, or make a bunch for a bouquet. A great way to use up your scraps, and they’re really fast and easy. All you need are fabric and batting scraps, thread, and some small buttons. And a sewing machine, of course. You can find the instructions here.

pincushionbasketp1030350The blog dearfii has a couple of projects I found interesting. The first is for these little pin cushions. A sewer can never have too many places to put their pins…right? You can find the link to the PDF here. The second is for this fabric bowl or a wee little Easter egg bowl. This is so easy with fabric and glue. A nice project for kids and your fabric scraps. Here are the instructions.

cimg46481Flower Garden gives instructions to make a ready threader, which is a handly little holder to carry a spool of thread and some pins and needles when you carry a project along with you to the doctor’s office, the dentist, or a trip out of town. It’s also neat to carry a tube of lipstick or chap stick. Another great idea to help use up all those scraps we all save.

pict6013And finally, we can’t end without a new purse project. Heart of Mary has a nice project for her ‘finish it your way’ patchwork bag. You can find the how to’s here. The idea of ‘finish it your way’ means you have the choice about how to do the final bag assembly. You might want to leave the top open, as in a simple tote, or close it with a magnetic snap, button loop or zipper. You might add a flap. It’s up to you. Notice the ‘download tutorials’ button on the right side of the page? Be sure and click on it and check out her patterns for both a large and small messenger bag, a backpack, and her little angel doll. A great site!

Until next time!

March 2023


My Designs

You can stitch these designs for personal use, to give as gifts, or to sell. You can add text, resize, or change colors. The design is not yours because you make changes. You cannot sell, share, give or trade any design. You can only sell the stitched design. The copyright of the design is mine. Please direct anyone interested in my designs to this site. Give credit to Isle B. Stitching. Thanks and enjoy!

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Evelyn Dockery on Remember the Polaroid?
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