Monday, February 25, 2013


Good Mornin', Folks

Not even my little toe would fit into those miniature shoes and I soooo love shoes. My wearables at one time included spiked heels that I wore most days, knee high leather boots with-again-high heels, plaid shoes, fabric covered shoes to match the outfits that I made, suede shoes, red shoes, blue shoes, etc., etc., etc.

Now, the closest thing to those high fashion days are the miniature shoes since my mode of dress is completely different. I am retired, I love comfort, I love being home and gym shoes are in, especially since my leg was broken in a wreck several years ago and it takes offence at wearing anything higher than a low wedge. 

So, those cute miniature shoes-I ended up with several vintage looking ones and decided to make pin cushions with them.  See for those. 

There was one shoe left and I decided to make a ring holder using that one. It was as quick and easy as the pincushion had been and serves a useful purpose also. I like useful creations, not dust catchers and both of these are that, make wonderful gifts and are great sellers at craft fairs. 

Here is the way the ring holder was put together with just the shoe and some wired ribbon:
I loved going through my vintage buttons and beads to decorate each differently. It took longer to decide what went on each than to do the construction-but it was fun. 

Have you checked out all the online classes on Here is a link to free classes being offered right now-get on over there, you may find something that suits your fancy:

QuiltCon Lecture Series 2013

Have a happy quilting/crafting day
God bless you
Carolyn Wainscott

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Hi, everyone-I decided to test some left over blocks from a photo quilt recently to use as examples to show.  

Making photo quilts has been a passion of mine for several years now. When I found that I could print my own photos on fabric through my little ink jet printer, I was ecstatic and that is no exaggeration. Then along came a product to enable fabric to grab the ink and make it colorfast-Bubble Jet Set. Here are a couple of family quilts I have made:

Others print their own fabric designs but so far I have been satisfied with mostly photos and maybe a label here and there for a special quilt. Oh, and there was the stuffed doll with my brother's face on it that I made to present to him at his retirement party.

With all the time, effort and expense that goes into these, are they going to be washable? This is the question posed by clients when they are ordering these, what I call “instant heirlooms” and yes, they are.

I have a couple of blocks that were printed several years ago that I kept by the washer and put through several wash loads just to check. The fabrics are to be treated as any fine fabric-keep out of direct light and I don't know how many washings they will endure without fading if they do fade. I also recommend spraying with one of those quilt protector sprays that will repel stains and dirt.

I have used both HP and Lexmark printers and had good success with both. I am not endorsing either, just try whatever printer you have. The HP was used for a client's quilt that was ordered for a gift this past Christmas. From that project there were several misprints and a couple of duplicates [I was really aggravated with all this considering the price of ink] that I didn't pitch into the trash because I thought they could be cut apart and be put into other things-a pillow, maybe, to match the quilt-something to salvage them.

Then it dawned on me that these could be tested to show their colorfastness. The first blocks I had  washed didn't have a non washed comparison and here were enough prints to put side by side to really demonstrate the durability of the prints.

First they were all heat set with my iron then pinned onto my design wall to photo. They had been marked with permanent Magic Marker with how many washings each would go through. Here they are before washing-all on the left row were not washed:

blocks in right hand row were placed in a laundry bag:

after 1st wash:
unwashed block on left-no visible difference

after 2nd wash:
unwashed block on left-still little or no visible difference

after 3rd wash:
unwashed block on left-still little or no difference

and after 4th wash:
unwashed block on left-little or no difference

I am pleased with the results, I have a great example to show and I am especially pleased to be able to have the versatility of making my own fabric.

If you have been thinking about making your own fabric prints, start gathering all those old and new photos to tell your own story.

Here is the video story of a wall hanging I made for granddaughter, Angela with printing process. 

For more tips and techniques on quilting including this process. check out: 
Have a great time quilting and crafting,
Carolyn Wainscott

2013 Craftsy Block of the Month

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I think this is one of the cutest pincushions. I guess the main reason is that I love shoes.  This is one of several that I made a few years ago. The others all sold in a gift consignment shop. It is only about 3 inches long and they make wonderful gifts and they are useful. I also like pincushions and have several in strategic places all over the house-by each machine and by my chair since I do handwork there. 

For these shoe pincushions, I plugged in the hot glue gun, poured out a bunch of buttons, beads and anything else that suited my fancy, made some small pincushions to go in the little shoes and had a great time decorating each differently. The pincushion is super simple but here is a video just in case: 

Speaking of pincushions-the group:
has a pincushion swap scheduled that you might want to participate in. In fact, there are several things that are a lot of fun you might enjoy. 

I am still laughing over a group discussion last night. One gal had worked all day on a felt fur [yep, that is what she said]-now get this-bikini. she said when she got done it looked like Chubucca from Star Wars grew from her crotch. Needless to say, I almost had to pick up my teeth off the floor and me with a bruised rib trying not to laugh. I asked her to please NOT post a photo-I don't think the world is ready. 

I have several projects planned that go right along with some of the swaps and challenges so I fit right in. Wanda, the leader of the pack keeps everyone hopping. I love doing all kinds of crafting, it has been my therapy in many hard times and being part of a group like this where you can ask questions of others when you run across a problem is wonderful.

God bless you
Carolyn Wainscott

Have you checked out all the online crafting classes @ 

Monday, February 18, 2013

MINIATURE CRADLE-Another Toilet Roll Tube Creation

There is an abundance of toilet roll tubes laying around here so what does that make us here?  So when the question was posted a couple of weeks ago on FaveCrafts-"What can you make out of toilet paper tubes" I had plenty of source to play with. The question was one of those weird intriguing things that set my weird, intrigued mind in motion. 

What does it say for a mind that comes up with a cradle of all things for a poor little doll that had been from place to place for a long time but now it is all comfy and even has a scrap for a blanket. Pretty cute, huh?

I had already made cradles from salt boxes and oatmeal boxes:
These are a throw back to when my daughters were little. I have since made them for granddaughters and am now making them for great, granddaughters. Geesh! it seems just like yesterday my daughters were that age-where has the time gone.

Now, I knew that someone out there was dying to make a cradle using a toilet roll tube so here is my video to reveal all the mysteries of making it:

This is another one of those little things that take little time, at no cost and keeps children occupied.

I am sending this post to my daughter, Donna, so she will know I am not a hoarder-I am the Queen of Repurposing, Recycling & Giving New Life To The Ordinary, The Everyday, The Mundane. I think I will find something and make myself a crown-suggestions?

I love crafting, quilting and especially making something from almost nothing. 
God bless you
Carolyn Wainscott


My daughter, Donna, tells me I am a "hoarder" but I prefer to think I give things a longer life, a more meaningful life and possibly a higher purpose than was first intended. How could I possibly throw away perfectly good ice cream buckets or serger thread cones or whipped topping tubs or, or, or cereal boxes.  They want to have an after life, too. 

Ah, yes-cereal boxes. I try to give them every chance I can-quilting templates, covered with plastic wrap to make a children's craft mat and today's miniature Easter basket.

These don't have to be just for Easter, though. I wanted a miniature basket to go with a "Dorothy" [you know, from the Wizard of Oz] outfit for an American Girl doll. I couldn't find just the right size basket so had to come up with my own. Now if I could just find Toto. 

They would make cute table favors for almost any occasion, I think. What about your next ladies gathering?They only take a few minutes to make and the price is right-free. They can be left with the colorful print showing or spray painted and be rather elegant or to match a certain color scheme. 

Put miniature bunnies in them-Peeps-Candy-Prizes-Flowers-you name it.

All you need are:
recycled cardboard boxes, 1/4" ribbon, cutting tools, ruler, pencil, a little dab of glue-that's it and this is what you get:
I think they are cute as a button. These are 2" square and it is easy to adjust the measurements up or down to make a little smaller or bigger. 

This step by step  video will take you through making the baskets:

Have fun with these, they are perfect children's craft.
for more craft ideas join me with other crafters @
Blog Hop Button Its Back! Colorful Spring Crafts Blog Hop + Giveaway

Happy quilting and crafting and God bless you
Carolyn Wainscott

check out my craft designs in My Pattern Store


Saturday, February 16, 2013


  • I have never taken a online class until today. There was a link in my email the other day from for the Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z class and I didn't delete because I wanted to take a look so today I took some time to download it. The price was right-free-and free is good. That is the second reason I took advantage of the class.

    Now you would think that as many years as I have sewn  I would know all about sewing machine feet and there are a few in my attachment box that I use all the time-zipper foot, 1/4" foot, zig zag foot, my trusty free motion quilting foot and my real love-the ruffling foot. but there are others used only on occasion-flat felled foot, cording foot, rolled hem foot, beading foot, etc. 

     I have not taken the time to sit down and practice with some of them so I thought I would take the online class-maybe that would get me to take those unused feet out of retirement. I got the rolled hem foot to use in my doll clothes and I love embellishing my work so the beading and cording feet are great for that but I haven't played with them for a while. I do use the ruffler a lot for the doll and great granddaughters' clothes.  Now I know the right machine feet make a more professional finish but it seems I'm in too great a hurry all the time just to get done that there is no time to practice.  

    So-an online class, in my own living room, in my own favorite chair, in my favorite warm sweats, in my own time frame, with a hot cup of coffee-perfect. Its like having a private tutor. Stop and rewind the demonstration if needed. I could have set the computer by my sewing machine and sewn along if I had wanted. Needless to say, I am a fan of online classwork. 

    In fact, I even signed up for another class on paper piecing. This one isn't free but I have been wanting to do some paper piecing so I treated myself to this class. I will do this in my own official classroom with the computer next to my sewing machine so I can work along with my private tutor. Oh, I will have on my favorite sweats and my cup of coffee will be right there and it will still be in my time frame. I always loved learning and am going to thoroughly enjoy the paper piecing class. Who knows, I may become a perennial student at the ripe old age of 73.

    Here is the class I'm taking. If my homework isn't too decrepit, I'll use it for Show & Tell.

    There is a big sale on classes @
    covering just about any craft you want to begin or refine. 

    Did you know you can show your handwork off @ It's a Show & Tell 24/7 whether you quilt, paint, knit, sew, crochet, garden, bake, or what have you-every homemaking art and homemaking is an art. Go on over and take a look around.

    I hope you enjoy quilting, sewing and crafting as well as I do. God bless you,
    Carolyn Wainscott


Intuitive quilting-that is what my friend, Sandra, called letting a quilt tell you how it wants to be quilted. 

In an article for @, I shared the process of choosing and designing quilt patterns for 8 vintage quilts. 

Each of us works differently and I find that each quilt is completely different also in the process of building it. Sometimes I know from start to finish how it will be completed but most often, the quilt is a work in progress from the drawing board to the binding. It is one step at a time, one decision at a time. I find it more challenging that way. 

Here is my
It is 90" by 90" and covers the wall in my entry.
It was made a long time before it was quilted and completed because I wanted it heavily quilted and doing it by hand or home sewing machine was not going to be done so it waited until I had my long arm quilter [longer, actually]. Spirits Wild And Free is made of doe suedes that has the look and feel of real suede. I  think that fabric is perfect. I guess you could call that intuitive fabric choice.

I knew that I wanted the quilting to have the look of petroglyphs like those found in caves of the cave dwellers. I don't remember what finally got the quilt onto the quilter-it usually takes some event to get off first base when a project has been set aside. Whatever it was, I am glad it came along, I love the quilt and the quilting is exactly what the quilt needed. 

The quilting represents the Spirit of the American Indian, hence-"Spirits Wild And Free".  The Mandela was the finishing touch for the headpiece and has a real coyote head in the center. There is quite a bit of bead work on the headband and around the feathers. Quilting also defines all the feathers. 

A herd of horses thunders around the border on all four sides

 I hope you can find the deer quilted in
 The bison is there, honest
 The howling wolf in the top left corner
 There is a soaring eagle in each corner

In "SPIRITS WILD AND FREE", the quilting was as important as the quilt design itself, it finished the story. 
In other quilts, quilting is secondary and compliments the quilt. That is where "intuitive quilting" comes in.

My intuition tells me that one of these days there is a whole cloth quilt [just quilting-no piecework or applique] in my future if I can decide what the pattern will be. It has been on my mind for quite a while. I love looking at quilting, don't you?

God bless you and happy quilting and crafting
Carolyn Wainscott 

Friday, February 15, 2013


This is a Sunbonnet Sue quilt top made by my mother-in-law. It will make it to my long arm quilter soon I hope. Love the fabrics. She did some raw edge applique and just zig-zag stitched the edges all around the little Sues. She didn't even know the term "mixed media" I am sure but that is what she used when she used her tube paints for the Sue's shoes and bouquets each carries. Very simple and very cute. Am keeping her method in mind for future projects. No, the quilt will never win a quilt competition but it will be handed down in our family and I hope is treasured as it should be. I will put a label on the back so the history won't be lost for posterity. Please remember to label your work so there won't be any mystery for future generations about who and when it was made. Willena passed 11 years ago and I don't know when she made this quilt-at least 25 years ago.

 The Sunbonnet Sue with its twenty blocks will be a twin size quilt when done. Willena's purple floral borders and sashing need nothing else except to be bound after quilting. 

 I love Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilts but if I set out to make one, I might, just might get 3 or 4 blocks done and they would be laid aside. Over 20 years ago I designed the oversized Sunbonnet Sue and recently added Overall Sam. They are quick and easy and I only have to make one large block instead of 12 or 16 smaller blocks to create the same size baby quilt. 

The patterns are for a 56" by 56" quilt and are available in My Pattern Store @ There is a pattern for the traditional 14" block included with my enlarged pattern to match the over sized patterns. If I had the patience, I would make several of the smaller blocks and add them around the larger block but that is not going to happen-not in my sewing room but the smaller sized block pattern is included for someone who might want to do that so everything matches. 

Check out my step by step Sunbonnet Sue/Overall Sam video demonstrating the quick applique method using lightweight fusible interfacing

 I saw Eleanor Burns [Quilt In A Day] making her appliques several years ago this way and have used the interfacing ever since. Of course, she was making traditional sized blocks. I love it-bless you, Eleanor Burns. 

I completed both 56" by 56" Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam in one afternoon. It would have taken almost the same amount of time to make the traditional 14" blocks-this is why I call them my short attention span quilt patterns. 

In a former post [], I shared my grandmother's butterfly quilt with its hand stitched appliques:

I did follow her tradition on my Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam but machine stitched instead:

Sam's wagon is really quick and easy to construct as all the other elements of the quilts.  

One tip to pass on: Since my teflon pressing sheet is no longer usable [there's not a law against teflon sheet abuse, is there?], I used wax coated freezer wrap to protect my pressing surface while pressing the applique parts together. It worked just fine. 

  If your attention span is as short as mine you might want to try my short attention span patterns.

God bless you and happy quilting
Carolyn Wainscott

here is the link to my Sunbonnet Sue Pattern

and for Overall Sam