Wednesday, January 18, 2012


A design wall is a tool that some may not think of as a necessity for the sewing/crafting room but mine is used almost everyday, sometimes all day when I am working. I like to stand back and see what I am working on. The design wall lets me see the project better than laid out on the floor or bed.
Quilt blocks can be arranged and rearranged on the design wall and fabrics auditioned. It is the most convenient photo backdrop I have used with its neutral cover and easy to pin styrofoam.
The  two piece folding wall that I am using was originally attached to a wall in my former home except there were three pieces of 4'x8' sheets of styrofoam giving me a 12' wall. When we moved, I brought my handy, dandy styrofoam with me and made the portable unit with duct tape. It can be folded up and put behind or under a bed if needed. Mine stands ready for business all the time. It gets moved around all over the sewing room wherever it is needed-next to the cutting table to arrange quilt squares, by the sewing machine so I can reach over and grab the squares in order or a well lit spot for items to be photographed. 
Then there is the small, free-standing board that can sit on the table next to the machine with a small project or a few blocks from a larger one.
Having the design wall was suggested to me by a quilter friend almost 20 years ago. I have used one ever since and am passing along the suggestion to every serious crafter whether it be small or one that spans a whole wall. 
For step by step downloadable instructions for your own design wall go to:
While you're there, check out all the other quilting patterns, videos and tutorials at
Here is a quick look at my design wall:
I hope you find this helpful. The design wall is certainly one of the most useful tools in my sewing room.
Join Carolyn's Canvas also on Facebook @ if you have any questions or to show us your quilts.  
God bless you
Carolyn Wainscott

Monday, January 16, 2012


I hear Larry, the cable guy, shout-"Git 'er done!!" Sometimes my "git 'er done" is more like "now where did I put that?".

The questions "How do you organize your craft room?, what are your best-kept organizational secrets?  & what are your favorite storage products or tips? came from FaveCrafts has been featuring craft rooms in the first of this year.  I suppose to inspire the rest of us to bring some semblance of order so we can accomplish more and there are some creative ideas I have appreciated seeing. Of course, what else could I expect from other crafters who may also have such a variety to work with that it is almost a full time job just finding a way to keep them in a workable system.  

I like cheap-free is better-I did get all my cutting mats, rulers, scissors, rotary cutters with their blades into the organizer I made that hangs from my cutting table. has the video I made demonstrating how to make it quickly @ It is not a gorgeous thing, it is fabric that I wouldn't use for anything else, in fact, I think it is an old flannel sheet.  I also made an organizer that fits my sewing chair. I keep my sewing machine manuals within reach right there in those pockets-again, FaveCrafts has the video demonstrating constructing the sewing chair organizer @

Then there is my repurposed ice cream bucket organizer I need to make more of these for the rest of my paints and tools.

  I made these organizers years ago to hold magazines and patterns, they do a good job holding my threads now.

My absolute fave little organizer is the one that fits in a coffee mug. I keep one next to my sewing machine that holds pins, scissors, etc. and another beside my chair for pens, pins, nail clippers, etc. also has the video demonstrating how to make my "cute little coffee mug organizer" @ I liked this one so much that I have made several for friends.

Now, these organizers keep things handy and in clear view which I sorely need but FaveCrafts asked for my best kept organizational tip/product and they are:
my daily planner and computer. Sometimes I think even being retired, I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning if it weren't on the list [well, it is not quite that bad] but they are both usually within arms reach along with spiral notebooks, pens, etc.

I've been using a daily planner since I started in real estate in 1979. Along with all the real estate training, the broker had us take a course on time management which has been beneficial for every part of my life since. The planner held all appointments, trips, expenses [Uncle Sam, you know].

The planner helps me keep track of doctor appointments, and there are quite a few now. It has pages for notes that I jot ideas into as I sit in waiting rooms. It has my coupons, extra index cards for extra thoughts, etc.

I also became a list maker as part of time management. We were taught to prioritize, list things to do in A-B-C order. A's were done 1st, B's 2nd and down the line. I got into the habit of listing the next day's agenda before I went to bed-that helps start the day faster.

Now to the computer-I still jot things into a notebook that eventually make their way into my computer. Categories have their own files. Like thoughts are filed together. Sometimes I can't even read my own handwriting but don't have that problem with my typing. Keeping track is easier. Then, glory, I can look up anything, research is right at my fingertips-love it. I have files full of crochet patterns that I downloaded from, some I have printed and put into a notebook so they are ready when and if the mood hits.

My goal this year is to "git 'er done!". Maybe a little more organization will keep from having to move so many projects to next day's list.

Now, if I could learn to crochet with my feet, do dishes with my teeth, fold clothes with my elbows while sewing, just think how much I could get done. After 55 years of marriage, let me tell you there is no hope of getting husband to even vacuum until someone invents a rideon sweeper. HHmmmm, that might be my next project.  

God bless all of you, I hope you enjoy crafting as much as I do. It is my therapy
Carolyn Wainscott

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Having 8 great, granddaughters that I wanted to make doll clothes for and teenager grandchildren who wanted Angry Bird? hats made December a little more busy than maybe I had planned but I enjoyed being able to complete something for each.

The sewing and construction were done during the day on the girls' & doll clothes and furniture - crocheting the Angry Bird hats, newsboy caps, scarves, some doll clothes, and fingerless gloves at night as we watched tv. Busy? yes, hectic? no. My fingers seem to always want to be doing something so they were ecstatic.

Many of the crochet patterns were downloaded from or through links on the site. I have so many patterns in my crochet notebook there is not enough time in my lifetime to complete but they are ready if I live to be 450 years old. The newsboy caps, some of the doll clothes and the fingerless gloves came from my cruising FaveCrafts. I did have to wing it making the Angry Bird hats and some of the doll clothes. features what it calls a blog hop every month. This month's theme is "Love is in the air". I am including this post for that theme because I put so much love into each thing I made for each of my precious children. I so enjoy being a mother, a grandmother and now a great, grandmother. Follow the link below to see what other crafters have done:

Blog Hop Button January Blog Hop: Love is In the Air + Giveaway!

Here are some of the things that kept me busy and out of trouble. Am I proud to have accomplished so much [well for me it was much]? No, not proud-so very thankful. Thankful that I am able to do what I do, thankful for the talent God has given me, thankful for all the tools I have to use, thankful that I can go get that skein of yarn to make that special hat for that special person and so very, very thankful for the good health He lets me have.

The Angry Bird hats, I made 8 of them. After others saw these, I had to make 4 more.
 Some of the doll clothes, some are sewn, some crocheted, some a combination.
A couple of newsboy caps with matching fingerless gloves, scarf and matching mittens
Other crafts

Great, granddaughter, Jenna, with her doll and the bunkbeds that I designed and made. They are wearing their matching gowns. Little brother ,Kendall, didn't get doll clothes.

 McKenzie and Ashlynn's doll furniture that I designed and made. I hope to have instructions and patterns available soon for all the furniture and clothing.

 The canopy bed is the first piece I made. This is Hannah's. I think the bed is worth all the effort. I love it.

So these are some of my labors of love. I have several things I want to make for myself but don't know when that is going to happen. They are on the list. The patterns are in the crochet notebook but first the houseshoes for Mom need to be finished, all that stuff that I pulled out to use in crafting needs to be put away, the sewing room has to be reorganized so I can get back to work, etc., etc., etc.

Dr. Joyce Brothers was asked "How do you stay so happy?". Her answer was "I just don't do anything I really don't want to do and don't associate with anyone I don't wish to be around".  That was quite a while ago and I decided to follow that philosophy as closely as I can. I choose not to be coerced into doing things I don't really want to do anymore that take my time from things I want and need to do. I enjoy doing things for others but I will choose what and when. I choose to be busy and there are times I just want to sit and do nothing. Housework needs to be done that I don't necessarily have an affinity for but I choose to do it because I feel so blessed to have my home. I don't know how or why I got on this subject other than some don't understand the sometimes chaos around here when things are so piled up with my crafting  and I am on a self inflicted deadline to get it all done-I am just doing what  I choose to do, I guess.

God bless you and happy crafting
Carolyn Wainscott


Here is my entry in the Box o'Scraps challenge sponsored by Sissy's Sewing on Facebook. Since I had been making doll clothes for some months, I just stayed in that mode with the scraps I received.

The blog hop for this month is "Love is in the Air" and I have decided to add this post because all this doll paraphernalia started with the love for my great granddaughters. I plan to add another post showing some of the other things I was busy making for Christmas. I have 8 great granddaughters and wanted each of them to have several outfits for their dolls including at least one matching for each with her doll-and I did get those done including some furniture for each. So go to blog of the month to see what other crafters have done:

Blog Hop Button January Blog Hop: Love is In the Air + Giveaway!  
My how to video on demonstrates how to make continuous prairie points much easier, quicker and more accurate than using the traditional method. Since I was in the continuous prairie point mode, the doll's headpiece just had to be a prairie point crown with hot melt beads to match her gown.

Here is my challenge entry into the Box o' Scrap challenge by Sissie's Sewing on Facebook.
 It is called
"Going To The Patchwork Ball"
I reworked the pattern pieces I had designed to create a gown and robe.
The scraps were sorted into matching groups.
Fabrics for her gown and train are patchwork created from swatches from one color group. [swatches were machine felted onto a scrap base].

The challenge allowed a 1/2 yard we could use from our own stash. I chose  the blue gingham in the sleeves, the crown and the lining for the robe.

Decorative stitching was meandered all over the patchwork. Lace added for ties and hot melt beads for embellishment. The lime green ruffle is one of the scraps, some swatches were also added in the patchwork.

Designing and making doll cloths, accessories, furniture, etc. was the farthest thing from my mind several months ago but it has been an almost full time obsession at times with so many ideas piling up on other ideas. I like simple and easy and plan to get them into pattern form. I have shown many children how to craft and sew. My goal is to keep things simple enough that they can be part of and proud of their own creations, without too much frustration. 

God bless each of you, I hope you enjoy crafting as much as I do.
Carolyn Wainscott

Saturday, January 14, 2012


My apologies to the Grand Prize Winner of Sissy's Sewing Challenge for being so late in getting to this post. Winners of Sissy's Sewing Challenge are in previous posts: &
So much happening with getting grandson, Travis, back to college, visiting my mother in nursing home and husband to doctors' appointments. My scatter brain is more scattered than usual.

As I told you, Facebook's Sissy's Sewing threw down the gauntlet for crafters to send and receive scraps that were to fit a box the size of a vhs tape-very interesting, too interesting to pass up-for some of us anyway. [Sissy, honey, how in the world did you come up with this??] I am sure I am not the only one who has a hard time throwing away the tiniest scrap for fear of needing it for something in the future, so tidbits pile up. Small tidbits, medium sized tidbits and large tidbits seem to be everywhere in my house and it was no problem to gather enough for that small box.  
Soooooooo, we entered our names, we sent our scraps and we waited patiently?? to receive our scraps to see what wonderful tidbits were in a small box. I ran down everyday to the mailbox to see if "IT" had arrived and "IT" was finally there when my husband opened the mailbox as we were on our way to his doctor's appointment. I had to at least take a quick look before I could even continue driving. Now, having been married to me for 55 years come this February 2, nothing much surprises the poor fellow anymore but he did have a hard time understanding my excitement over a few scraps when I have shelves full of fabric and actually I am wondering about myself, too-and maybe all the rest of the participants, but it was fun.

AND NOW----------
DRUM ROLL PLEASE------------


Renae's entry received the most votes and hers was my favorite also. [I told you about the scatter brain-I forgot to vote-even for my own entry]. The wreath she put together from her scraps is just about  as creative as anything I have seen. I would never have thought home decor from a little bunch of scraps could fit into almost any style but Renae's wreath will do just that. She sent these photos for me to share.

As with so many of the entries, this is another idea for my to do file-so many crafts, so little time. Renae made a little go a long way. Check her out-"Nae Nae MadeIt" on Facebook for her creations. Congratulations, Renae!

There are still some photos that I want to share of non winners including my own. I thought each entry was great. There was so much diversity, so much creativity.

God bless each of you and happy crafting
Carolyn Wainscott