Sewing Bucket List

She’s been a little busy.

Since ‘retiring’ a year or so ago, she hasn’t been taking client work. That means she doesn’t have to quit in the middle of creative juices flowing and then try to get back to it later; she can just keep with a project uninterrupted.

She’s finally gotten to her sewing bucket list. The first one on her mind was a patchwork quilt. As a child, her mother started her three girls doing them for rainy day projects. It has been a thing she has wanted to revisit ever since.

The bucket list seems to increase rather than diminish. This ‘toothbrush rug‘ one of the increases.

A yo yo quilt has long been on the list. She seems to cater to the 40’s style of things. Doesn’t it seem that each generation seems to like what was popular in the era of their mother’s youth?

This T-shirt yarn, Tarn, scrappy rug didn’t turn out well. She couldn’t keep it from ruffling no matter how she tried to do the increases. It’s in a drawer awaiting another life.

A long time on the sewing bucket list was to make a Canadian Smocked pillow. She mastered the smocking but failed to sew the seam before doing the smocking, so the two ends couldn’t be matched. Somehow she failed to do a row that would have made it right. She may turn it into a square pillow. It was supposed to be a bolster.

The thing about researching”how-to’s” is that you run into other fun stuff along the way. This scrappy rug was inspired by a lady on Etsy that makes hats and she was trying to find a tutorial for her technique. She ended up working it out on her own. It’s not easy crocheting with knots, she learned.


Once in awhile she gets housework done or a project that makes sewing easier. She finally turned these lollipop display stands into thread and bobbin holders.

If you remember, her career was mostly working with clients, in their homes, helping them design their furnishing and window coverings. She had a little stint of trying it on her own and accumulated scores of fabric sample books to help her do that work. While she still had an electric washing machine (she now does all her washing by hand), she tore apart a big bunch of them, washed them and arranged many of them into ensembles she imagined could become something wonderful together. Many, many more books she simply gave away. Well, she is finally taking one box after another to work these imaginings out.


Art to wear.

She never knows where it will end up when she starts out. She lets the fabrics tell her what to do. Above image is the front. Below image is the back. It went through many gyrations getting to this point. Still more to complete.


Trapunto detail on the rose.


The plaid pocket accommodates a small flip phone.

The “Tiny Purse” is the latest project, started with the intention of making a credit card holder for a friend’s upcoming birthday. She got carried away when the fabric told her to do otherwise.

She spent a great deal of the Summer trying desperately still to get her food to grow in the southeastern desert of Arizona. It’s a big challenge, but she did make progress and learned lots of new things.

Now that the cooler, shorter days are here, she will be working inside, spooling around a lot more.

She hopes this post makes up for her long absence from the blog, that you are well and headed toward an enjoyable Winter season.


Hey, Yo

Ms. SpoolTeacher has always, always wanted to make a yo yo quilt. So now, in the evenings, when she is sitting on her bed watching a video, (yes, video), she cuts her scraps and makes yo yo’s. It really feels good to see them accumulating.

NewVintageOldSkins has this twin YoYo quilt posted on Etsy. Click the picture to go right to it.

NewVintageOldSkins has this twin YoYo quilt posted on Etsy. Click the picture to go right to it.

NewVintageOldSkins has this yo yo quilt posted on Etsy. You can go right to it by clicking the image. She says, “Over 200 hours have been devoted to this beautiful quilt. The quilt is made of 3050 yo yo’s! There are 270 flowers of every color.”

According to Ms. SpoolTeacher, it deserves it’s $2,500 tag. At $10 p/h that’s $2,000 for her labor and $500 for materials and etc. How ’bout $15/h for a living wage? That would make it $3,000 without materials, etc.That’s a great value for a quality product, eh?


Here’s another from her shop. Click to go right to it.

Here’s another queen size one. You can click the image to go right to this one as well.

Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks she will fashion hers like the one above that has “flowers” rather than squares.

That’s the plan so far; however, she is at the beginning of yo yo production. Perseverance is key.

As she has mentioned lately, her whole house is “Ever Evolving Resource Central“. She is very tired of taking out and putting back fabrics. Frequently her whole house is boxes and piles of yardage and various deconstructions zones of up-cycling things to use again.  She would like to be able to open a shop again just to have a place where Resource Central can reside without disruption of it or her house.

Right now, she can scarcely get her mind off the dirt outside needing to have seeds put in it. There is a rain predicted for the weekend; so she has decided to wait to plant so they will not all run off in the deluge that is hoped for.

yo yo's in the making

She took two images of this, one filtered through the leaves of a tree, and one not…

yo yo's in the making

Which image do you prefer? She likes the one with the texture of the shadows.

yo yo question mark

Yo yo’s are used for making many things. . .

yo yo's are used for many things

Image courtesy of Goodlookin Vintage on Etsy. Click picture to go to link

And here’s another one she thinks shows as though great skill and attention to detail have been mastered… but, she can’t imagine this for a baby, what with all those little toes and fingers moving around constantly…

OldStuffNewTime on Etsy

Image courtesy: OldStuffNewTime on Etsy. Click image for link

So, until the rains have come and gone, she will keep trying to master Resource Central and spend her video-watching time either deconstructing for up-cycling or make some more yo yo’s. It’s all fun and productive.

Ms. SpoolTeacher uses a DVD/CD for a pattern

Ms. SpoolTeacher uses a defunct DVD/CD for a pattern. It’s the size she likes. She got her instructions for how-to make them from Heather Bailey and can’t imagine making a better how-to for you than Heather did, so head on over there to see… (click pic or this link How to make a yo yo, by Heather Bailey)

The yo yo quilt was popular during the 30’s and 40’s and Ms. SpoolTeacher gravitates to all things that era. She also wants to make a smocked pillow again. She made one once when she was a teenager and had fun doing it. She likes the more modern versions though.

Smocked Pillows

These pillows are more reminiscent of the 60’s, which, by the way, Ms. SpoolTeacher grew up in and gravitates to those things also.

Here’s her stash of yo yo’s so far. Pretty little things, aren’t they?Pretty little things, aren't they?

Here’s a fun YouTube teaching smocking you might like. Google “how-to smock” and lots of things come up.

So, hey, yo, let’s get a smock on or a yo on, yo?