Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Charlie Brown Christmas tree


I think I may just have a Charlie Brown tree this year, too busy for the big one.  What do you think?

Geff made it for me out of a few pieces of scrap wood and a pine tree limb.. 


I stuck an ornament on it and made a little table cloth to go under it….


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Alternate use for furniture


I was strolling around World Market and just happened across this wine hutch but I could see right away that it would be perfect for sewing supplies.   They had it marketed for holding bottles of wine horizontally.

I like it much better with buttons, jelly rolls, and ribbons.  And bonus that it just fits in the space between the 2 doors in my sewing room.   So always keep an open mind to what a piece of furniture can be used for, not what it was designed for.

  craft cabinet

Friday, October 30, 2015


Love this WICKED Challenge that was on display at the Chattanooga Quilt Show!  You can read all about it  at  http://cherrywoodfabrics.bigcartel.com/wicked-challenge

 Here are some of my favorites (click picture to see a larger image)
IMG_2464 IMG_2466 IMG_2472
IMG_2470 IMG_2465 IMG_2467
IMG_2473 IMG_2475 IMG_2468

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Karen’s Big Easy Quilt


Karen used mostly French General fabric for her Big EZ quilt. ( I wrote about the Big EZ class earlier http://www.sewingwithrascal.com/2015/01/big-ez-quilt-class.html )   I love the reds and browns she chose.

Judy Egan did a great job quilting it too.  She made secondary block designs in each of the blocks.

DSC_0238 DSC_0249

Great job you two!

Friday, October 16, 2015



I love Fall and like to sew Fall themed projects.   This Fall wall hanging is made with wool.  I found the wool and pattern at Mountain Creek Quilt shop.   A friend Holly gave me the old hoe, it was her father’s. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Autumn Olive Jelly

Autumn Olive Jelly

See the berries to the right of the beehives? Those are Autumn Olives (aka Autumnberry) and they are edible.  They are originally from Asia and were transplanted to the US and now are considered invasive.  Might as well make something useful out of them. 

autumn olives Autumn Olives
They are surprising tasty, kind of like a sour cherry/cranberry mix.   The berries have a mottled look not bright like a holly berry.  If you try to eat them, make sure they aren’t a similar looking poisonous berry.      


They are ripe in the fall, thus the name Autumn Olives.  They cook up sort of milky pink looking.  I used the Sure-jell recipe for Sour Cherry Jelly which was good, maybe a little thick but you could taste the tartness of the berries.  It is excellent in a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. 


Sunday, October 11, 2015



Just finished piecing the Fig Tree “Twirl” pattern.  I used Moda’s Somerset line of fabrics.  I like to have all the pieces cut and lined up ready for assembly line sewing. Some of my quilting buddies just cut out a block at a time and then sew and cut some more.   Whatever works best for you is the way to go. 



I put the blocks on my design wall and move around until I am happy with the color placement.

DSC_0304 A FriXion pen is great for temporarily numbering the blocks to remember the order for sewing.  What’s a FriXion pen?  It’s a pen that completely erases when ironed.  



Ready to be quilted DSC_0494-001

Friday, September 11, 2015

Chattanooga AQS Quilt Show


Chattanooga here I come, right back where I started from music-notes  

I have been waiting a whole year to make it to the Chattanooga American Quilter’s Society (AQS) quilt show.  Couldn’t go last year but it is back next week (Sept 16-19 2015)  Yippee -  Read more about it here   http://www.quiltweek.com/locations/chattanooga/

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My New Sewing Room Cabinet

sewing cabinet

Found a cabinet at OP Jenkins furniture for storing fabric in my new sewing room.  It is white oak and has several large drawers.  It also has glass doors to keep dust off the fabric.  It even has lights in the top that come on by touching the hinges.  It looks old but it isn’t.  I thought about going with white bookcases but I just couldn’t do it. I’ve got some of my fabric in it, but it not a drop in the bucket really.  I need to “un-cutesy” the top shelf and put fabric in it …

fabric hutch

Like the huge measuring tape on top?


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Blogiversary Winner

I asked Geff to use a random number generator  to pick a number for the Blogiversary winner that corresponds to a numbered list of readers. Honest to goodness the first number it generated was his!  We had to disqualify him, just because.    The second number it picked was Elizabeth Smith, a.k.a  (affectionately known as)  - Sister-Aunt Libby.  Hooray – Rah – Da da.  Libby, email and let me know whether you would like an Amazon gift card or a Fall themed homemade item.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Acts of Kindness

   Oliver Houston Herrell table

I was so fortunate to be the recipient of a tremendous act of kindness.  The way it came about is sort of a long story… 

I attended a Jennings family reunion back in 2007 that  focused on the life of William Jennings the brother of my great-grandmother Sarah Jennings.  At this reunion I met many distant relatives including  Merrill Raber and Stan Brunk, two of William Jennings's grandsons.  They have written extensively about the Jennings family so I thought they would enjoy a blog post I wrote about a crazy quilt made by my great-grandmother Sarah Jennings.  They did enjoy the post and I enjoyed talking with them about family. Stan asked me about my great-grandfather Oliver Houston Herrell (husband of Sarah) being a woodworker.  Well, it turns out that Stan had two tables given to his mother Ann Jennings that were made by my great-grandfather Oliver Houston.  Stan lives in Colorado and said he thought they belonged with the Herrell’s in Tennessee.   He offered to ship them to me and insisted on paying for the shipping himself!  I couldn’t believe my fortune.  Not only the fortune of receiving family heirlooms but also being reminded of the goodness in people when the news constantly highlights the bad.  

Well, the first one arrived today and I just love it.  It is walnut as were many of the pieces Oliver made.  It is just the right size for a small coffee table in my living room.  Odd, I didn’t have a coffee table because I had been looking for years for a small, antique one.  I guess it was fate (and one very kind relative :-)   THANK YOU STAN! and I will take good care of it.

"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ― William Shakespeare

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sewing Room “Art”

Painted Burlap

I am redoing my sewing room, well really I am turning the den that has slowly been taken over by sewing into an official sewing room.  In honor of the 1 year blogiversary I made a Sewing with Rascal wall hanging on burlap wrapped canvas.  I looked into getting a canvas professionally made but it was more than I wanted to spend, so I looked around Hobby Lobby and found a burlap wrapped canvas on sale for less than $10.  I used Picasa to create a template big enough for the 12 x 24  canvas.  It’s really easy using the ‘Make a Poster’ function which cuts the image up into  8.5  x 11 page size sections that can be taped together once printed. 

Picasa Make a Poster

Once the logo was printed and taped together, I put a piece of Graphite paper between the paper and the canvas.  (The paper is torn to center the logo) 

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Then I traced the logo onto the canvas, just like tracing in elementary school.   

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Once everything was traced, I used a paint marker to color.  I only needed black and yellow so it was simple, but it would be fun to make a multicolor project. 

DSC_0302 tracing on burlap


Another art project for the sewing room - I wrapped fabric around corkboard and stapled.  Then attached to a 27 x 33 frame and added a big metal safety pin held by pins.

Sewing Room Art

oh, and I found a giant ruler at Short Sheets that poor Becky had to get the both of us home in her car.


stay tuned for the sewing room re-do, even though it may be a while ...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sewing with Rascal is 1 year old today!



It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since my first blog post on August 24th, 2014.  The 1 year milestone made me ponder and reflect, what was I thinking, why did I ever start a blog, why do I continue with it, and most importantly - why didn’t someone stop me? 

Why’d I start the Sewing with Rascal blog?

Not to sell anything, I have a full time job totally unrelated to sewing.   The simple answer is because I wanted to get my clothespin bag pattern on Moda Bakeshop.  Moda prefers a website they can review your ability to write and photograph sewing projects before they will consider your submission.  

The real reason is because I wanted to share ideas and enthusiasm about a hobby for which I am passionate.   I had enjoyed quilting for many years then a group of sewing friends invited me to a sewing retreat at Whistlestop.   The retreat was a tote bag class taught by Sue Jones.  Sue had such an enthusiasm for sewing and taught me new sewing techniques unrelated to quilting.   I began making all kinds of totes, bags, purses, wall hangings, pin cushions, you name it and thus, eventually, the clothespin bag.  bags_and_hagsThe tote bag retreat is where I started calling our little group Bags and Hags (I’m the only one that thinks it’s funny)

Why do I continue with the blog?

Sewing is more enjoyable when you have friends to share your ideas and projects with (thank you Bags and Hags!)  Those friends also include the internet community of sewers (um, is that the right word ? ).  It is also family/friends that enjoy reading about sewing even though they don’t personally sew.  People seem to enjoy reading the blog and this requires new projects on a regular basis.  Mostly keeping up the pace is fun, but sometimes it is daunting. I enjoy receiving feedback from readers and it makes the hard work worth it.  Thank you to everyone that sends me comments and suggestions!

Additionally, Sewing with Rascal is a creative outlet for me.  I get to use skills from work (I am in the computing technology field) in a creative way and I also gained a new creative outlet in photo taking.  I learned to take photos for the blog, something I had never done.   I’m sure my photos aren’t technically correct, but I try to make them aesthetically pleasing.

Here are my favorite posts from the 1st year:  
Clicking on picture will take you to the  to the post.


Nana’s Quilt
Geff’s Honey
Moda Clothespin Bag

  I would love to hear what is your favorite(s) !

Blogiversary Giveaway 

I’ve decided to have a giveaway in celebration of my 1st blogiversary!   The winner will be a randomly chosen reader of Sewing with Rascal.  

Here’s how to be entered for the giveaway :

– if you already signed up to receive emails on the blog, then you are already entered!  No further action required.
- or subscribe to Sewing with Rascal emails before Sunday Aug 30, 2015 ( Sign up to receive emails on the right top of blog )
- or send an email to sewingwithrascal@gmail.com  before Sunday Aug 30, 2015 and tell me how you follow Sewing with Rascal.  For instance, via Bloglovin or other blog subscription services or just checking the blog manually etc  

What is the giveaway? you ask..  a gift certificate and a few surprises from As Seen on Sewing with Rascal

Good Luck! and Sew On.