Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

Thank you for joining in to the Robson Coat Sew Along. I’ve gotten many comments asking if it’s too late to join in and no it is not! We’ve got plenty of time, so I do hope all those thinking about it will join in. You can always catch up later, and some folks don’t finish in the weeks that we have set out but more at their leisure. I will monitor the boards for later comers for  anyone needing assistance or having questions. So, please join in! This post is all about sleeves, a slight jog from the schedule but important.

1501 Sewaholic Robson square 600 Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

Now let’s get to Rhonda. She has extra tips and techniques planned for you and the Robson coat

The Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat Sew Along Week 1

Before we get started with our coats, I would like to talk about the sleeve. There is not a lot of ease in the sleeve cap of this pattern which results in a rather flat look at the shoulder. For some it may pose a problem in that it will not give your arm the room that you need for the coat to fit well and the garment will pull.

photo 4 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAdjusting the sleeve is quite easy when you know what to do. Begin by cutting out the sleeve pattern. The sleeve for the Robson Trench is a 2-piece sleeve. Please don’t allow this to intimidate you. The sleeve is very easy to sew together, just be sure to mark all of the notches.

Draw in the seam allowance on the back seams of the sleeve patterns. I have only drawn in the seam allowance to the notches.

photo 5 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesOverlap the seam allowances and pin together.

photo 6 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesSquare a line across the cap, starting at the notch as you see in the picture below.

photo 7 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesCut the top of the sleeve cap away from the lower portion of the sleeve. Take a piece of paper, draw in a vertical line. Match that vertical line to the grainline in the pattern and tape the paper to the pattern piece. Draw a line 1″ above the pattern. We could add a little extra ease, but 1″ should be plenty.

photo 8 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesNow take the sleeve cap and match the remaining portion of the grainline to the vertical line and also match the cut edge of the cap to the line that was drawn in 1″ up from the lower portion of the sleeve. Tape in place.

photo 9 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesBecause we moved the cap, the seam lines will no longer match. Blend the seam lines together as I have shown in the picture below. A little will come off of the cap and a little will be added to the lower portion of the sleeve.

photo 10a Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesCarefully separate the 2 sleeve patterns from each other. Notice that the seam allowance is missing on both pieces where we made the 10c Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

If you would like, you may tape a small piece of paper into the seam allowance area. The adjustment is complete.


photo 10d Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAs for sewing the sleeve into the garment, there are a few schools of thought on the subject. Rather than explain the different methods, I am going to show you how I sew in my sleeves. I was taught by an old German tailor who was quite particular. It works, and I’m happy with the method, so I’ll pass it on to you.

Begin by sewing the sleeve together. Then sew 2 rows of gathering stitches into the cap of the sleeve, from the front notches to the back notches. I sew the first row about 1/4″ away from the edge of the sleeve cap and the other just inside the 5/8″ mark. I prefer to not take the stitches out, so that’s why I sew the second line just inside my 10 Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

Before I match the sleeve to the armhole, I draw up my gathering stitches and begin to form the head of the sleeve. Notice that the fullness is being directed to the edge of the cap. Be sure to pull on the bobbin stitches and not the top stitches.

photo 11 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesMatch the sleeve to the armhole, making sure that the notches are all aligned. Pin the sleeve in place. Adjust the gathering stitches.

photo 12 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesI sew the sleeve in place by sewing inside the armhole. I like to be able to see the gathering stitches and make adjustments as I go.

photo 13 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesHere is the original sleeve for comparison.

photo 14 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAnd here is the adjusted sleeve. You can see that the sleeve cap has more room and doesn’t collapse against the top of the arm.

photo 15 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAs always, I suggest making a muslin of the coat before you cut your fashion fabric. It’s best to make adjustments to the muslin and not your fashion fabric.

Check out the video for more quick tips.
In our next post, we will talk about

  1.  Sewing princess line seams
  2.  Attaching the seam binding
  3.  Topstitching

We will have another special post dedicated to sewing the pockets.

Until then….

Sew On!!!

Rhonda Buss

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Learn how to sew better, faster & for FREE

I have been sewing for a long time. But, I’ve never had any ‘formal’ education. Like most of us I am self taught as seamstress (sewists, sewers, quilters, crafters – did I get everyone).

My mom taught me first and then once I got it I taught myself pretty much everything through books, blogs, sewing groups, and so forth. I think I’ve done quite well on my own, but darn it, I’d like to learn things a little more quickly!

I was always reluctant to learn via video classes and webinars. When I paid for my first ‘class’ (snicker) I didn’t have high expectations. And, thought would this really be better than learning in person or learning from a pro?

Well, long story short I LOVED my first video class. I loved that I could watch it at home, I could start and stop whenever I wanted and could rewind, slow down, watch a technique over and over. It really was satisfying and proof entered into the pudding. When I went to make a dress I was able to use the instructors techniques for a near flawless result. I think that really is the best gauge of using a video or webinar sewing class. Can you use the techniques in your real sewing life? Do they deliver results?

Learning to sew via videos or webinars only enhances my preferred traditional way. And, using videos as a way to learn has only made me a more efficient and better seamstress.

If you would like to see if learning via videos is for you, Craft Daily has a free weekend of viewing videos. Now, (December 4, 2014) through December 7 (2014) you can watch any video for free. But be sure to cancel if you don’t want to go beyond the four days. If you want to continue it’s 19.99 a month.

So, what about you how do you like to learn? Leave me a comment in the section below! Or let me know if you took advantage of this free viewing and what class you got the most out off.

And, before you go I want to show you a few of the ones that I think you’ll get a lot out of.

Let Tish Gance showing us how to handle dummies. Duct Tape Dummies that is. If you have ever wanted to know how to make a duct tape dummy, she is the go-to person.

Screen Shot 2014 10 10 at 11.49.52 AM Learn how to sew better, faster & for FREE Working with silks and sheers can be intimidating to say the least. Let Katrina Walker walk you through step-by-step for perfect silky garments and projects.

katrina walker silks Learn how to sew better, faster & for FREEWant to tackle knits? No problem with Liz & Elizabeth Evans. Find out how to tame the knit beast and start building your knit wardrobe.

evans knit Learn how to sew better, faster & for FREEDo  yourself a favor and take advantage of these free days at Craft!


FW CraftDaily 403 Learn how to sew better, faster & for FREE

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Robson Coat Sew Along Week 1

The Sewaholic Robson Coat Sew Along

~ This is our final sew-along of the year and I’m so glad we capped it off the with Sewaholic Robson Coat. This is such a great coat and is a multi-season item that will work well in your wardrobe. If you are just joining along there is still plenty of time to get your pattern and fabric, and you can always access the posts later if you are like me and start well behind everyone else! So, I will now let Rhonda kick this sew-along off! ~ Jill

Have you thought about making the Sewaholic Robson Coat, but felt a little intimidated? Well, here’s your chance to jump right in. Over the next 4 weeks, we will be working through the construction of the coat, step by step. It’s a wonderful pattern and the instructions are quite easy to follow. So between the printed instructions, the attached videos and my written blog posts, I hope that I will be able to help you make a fabulous coat that you will enjoy wearing for years to come.

1501 Sewaholic Robson 636x1024 Robson Coat Sew Along Week 1

Let’s talk just a bit about fabric choice. Keep in mind that the coat is designed to be unlined. That does not mean that the coat can’t be lined. We will talk about how to line the coat in an upcoming post, but the coat is designed to have all of the seams finished with bias tape. As you choose your fabric, decide whether you would like for the seams to become a design detail or if you would like for them to just have a quiet, beautifully finished look as I chose to do with my coat.

photo 1 Robson Coat Sew Along Week 1 If you would like, you can use a solid fabric for the coat and then use a print and make your own bias tape to finish the seams. We will talk next week about how to make your own bias tape.

A trench coat can be very traditional, or you can use a fabric that is quite unconventional as I did. Take note that my fabric is a directional fabric, so I could only cut my pattern pieces in one direction. If you choose a fabric with a directional pattern, be sure to purchase at least an extra yard of fabric if not a little more. The pattern of my fabric was so busy, so I decided to not even try and match the pattern.

photo 2 Robson Coat Sew Along Week 1

This coat offers a great opportunity to step a little out of the box and do a little something unexpected. Keep in mind that this coat requires a good bit of fabric, 5 yards of 45″ fabric for the knee length version. A medium weight fabric such a denim, wool twill, or corduroy will work beautifully. You could even make a summer version out of eyelet, or an evening version out of lace.

One other aspect to keep in mind, this coat requires quite a few buttons, 16 in total.

There are a number of lovely design details that are incorporated into this coat. One of my favorites is how the pocket was designed to stay in place. A piece of the bias tape is attached to the pocket and then secured in the seam. No more putting your hand in your pocket and having to straighten it out!

photo 3 Robson Coat Sew Along Week 1

 Next week we will talk about;

1. Working with princess line seams

2. Making bias tape

3. Attaching the bias tape

In the meantime, purchase your fabric if you have not done so already. If you are purchasing bias tape, be sure to purchase 4 packages and remember that you will need 16 buttons for this coat. The coat does use quite a few notions, but in the end you will have a coat that you will not only enjoy wearing, but you will also enjoy opening it up and having everyone marvel at how lovely the inside of your coat looks. I’ve made 2 of these coats and I’m looking forward to my third!!!


Screen Shot 2014 12 22 at 8.25.16 AM Robson Coat Sew Along Week 1

Rhonda Buss


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Had A Blast At The Sewing Party!

The Sewing Party 1024x592 Had A Blast At The Sewing Party!

I had so much fun partying with the instructors and other sewists at The Sewing Party earlier in November!

While taking each webinar, the instructors were available via chat for questions, and it was so helpful! I really enjoyed being able to chat with the other participants, too. They asked helpful questions that I hadn’t thought of, and shared their insights and tips. I love connecting with others who share my passion for sewing!

There were four blocks of classes, and I would have run through many mugs of tea and filled up a notebook and a half of notes and sketches, inspired as I was, but I also have an 8 month old baby, so things were not quite as relaxing as they could have been.

Such is life! I was still so inspired. I took the class Becoming an Etsy Entrepreneur, and am now forcing my mother to create an Etsy shop because I know I could make her super successful!

There were so many classes it was actually really difficult to choose which one to take live. They spanned many interests and specialties, and I got my feet wet in corset-making!

I’m so glad all of the classes will be available until February, because you bet I’m going to watch them all! I just wish the instructors could be available too!

Did you attend The Sewing Party? What classes did you take? What was your favorite part?

SewingParty Header 1024x271 Had A Blast At The Sewing Party!

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Sew News Shopping Guide!

I asked Sew News readers and fans what they most wanted to appear in their holiday stockings. To make it easy on whoever is playing Santa this year I’ve compiled a list of “Must-haves!” based on your wishes (Sorry, Jamie but I can’t help you with a ‘new man’) Send this shopping list to Santa!

SEWNEWSSHOPPINGGUIDE 682x1024 Sew News Shopping Guide!

Olfa Rotary Cutter

The original cutter that started it all! Back in 1979, a revolution began as quilters traded scissors for rotary cutters. The Olfa cutter that has stood the test of time is available here in sizes from 18mm for trimming seams and doing intricate cutting to the 60mm for cutting up to eight layers of fabrics.

rotary cutter Sew News Shopping Guide!Wonder Clips 

Hold your material without pins while sewing!
Great for organizing and holding together sets of strips, squares or appliques. Keep your binding in place while stitching using these tiny (1″-long) plastic flat-bottom clips with 1/2″ and 1/2″ seam markings. This fifty-piece set comes in a plastic storage case. Come in packs of 30 or 50.

wonderclips Sew News Shopping Guide!

Bobbin Buddies

Keep thread tails under control with Bobbin Buddies. Just slip one over a bobbin and it won’t unwind even if you drop it. Set of 24.

bobbine buddies Sew News Shopping Guide!

Clover Mini Iron

With new temperature controls and redesigned handle, the Mini Iron II is better than ever! The new slide-switch settings are convenient and easier to work with. Use the five special interchangeable tips for quilting, sewing and crafting, doll making and stenciling.

mini iron Sew News Shopping Guide!Smart Iron by Oliso

Thanks to Oliso’s award-winning iTouch® technology, the TG1050 Steam Iron prevents scorching, accidental tipping and burns. It makes quick work of laundry piles and, best of all, reduces strain on wrists and shoulders caused by repetitive lifting. 1600 watts and powerful steam make this a perfect tool for pressing garments and other sewing projects.

oliso Sew News Shopping Guide!Swatch Buddies

One reader thought this would be a great stocking stuffer to control her stash. Swatch Buddies save time and money – buy the right fabric the first time. Create swatches in seconds, just affix labels to the back of the card. Fan cards to compare one or more swatches for flawless comparisons. Any way to get organized is good!

swatch buddies Sew News Shopping Guide!

Happy Holidays and stay tuned from more shopping guides and inspiration from Sew News!

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Fast Gift Idea From Disney Frozen© No-Sew Blanket Kits

As the holidays get closer, I have been trying to figure out what do to for my two nieces. Both are under the age of four are Disney Frozen© obsessed!

I have been told that they don’t need any more toys. So what am I to do? Luckily, children love their blankets. And what’s better than a Frozen blanket?!  I don’t think there is anything better unless I was to give them a real life Elsa and Anna.

We all know that’s not possible without a trip to Disneyland or Disneyworld so the next best thing I can do is give them something to snuggle up to.

With the Disney Frozen© No-Sew Sisterly Love Fleece Blanket Kit I can either make it for them ahead of time or make it into a fun project to do with them.

sisters no sewLQK1594.jpg 550x0 Fast Gift Idea From Disney Frozen© No Sew Blanket Kits Plus, you can get the sisters or you can pick goofy Olaf for someone to snuggle up to. These are fabric and color exclusive from Fons & Porter!

olaf no swLQK1595.jpg 550x0 Fast Gift Idea From Disney Frozen© No Sew Blanket Kits All this project takes is a simple lesson of tying knots. I think I can get the three-year-old into it, but I may make the two-year-old’s before hand. Done and done! Almost effortless.

If you are looking for a more traditional type quilt, where sewing is involved check out the kits below.

This one is my favorite.

LQK1564.jpg 550x0 Fast Gift Idea From Disney Frozen© No Sew Blanket Kits Or have fun picking out Disney Frozen © themed fabric and make something completely yours. Kits range in sizes from 74″x82″ to 48″x60″.

Either way, I hope all of you and the little ones in your life stay warm and happy this holiday season.

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Robson Coat Sew-Along Starts Soon! Sew up the coat and be entered to win!

We’ve had so much fun with these sew-alongs over the past year. We saved the most ambitious pattern for last.

The classic Robson Coat from Sewaholic Patterns is the perfect addition to any wardrobe. It has all that delicious tailoring details but with a decidely feminine look. We are sure you are going to love this coat. Nice to wear during the change of seasons in a tradition alfabric. However, in the right luxe fabric this coat would look smashing as a holiday coat with dressy details. Robson Coat 682x1024 Robson Coat Sew Along Starts Soon! Sew up the coat and be entered to win!Since this is our last sew along of the year we decided to sweeten the pot a little. For one lucky winner we’ve got a great prize. First a HD OttLite and Craft Caddy plus 6 sewing and craft books. One small catch and that is you have to join the sew along and make up the Robson Coat. One winner will be picked in January (date TBD, but don’t worry I’ll give everyone enough time to complete the coat). And, who knows I may just keep adding a little sweetener to that pot. Stay tuned!

The sew along starts on December 1. So pick up a pattern today and then get thee to a fabric store and find that perfect fabric. You can also pick up the magazine where this is featured and read more details on the coat and the sew along.

Join Flickr to show off your good taste and amazing sewing skills and then meet back here on December 1!

Leave me any questions below!

giveaway Robson Coat Sew Along Starts Soon! Sew up the coat and be entered to win!



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Winners of the Ho Ho Ho Holiday Blog Hop 2014

What a fun holiday blog hop! And,  you guys were hoppin’!icecream 682x1024 Winners of the Ho Ho Ho Holiday Blog Hop 2014

Be sure to check all the blogs stops for winner announcements.

The Sew News Blog Stop Winner is Dawn D!

The Creative Machine Embroidery Blog Stop Winner is Michele T!

I will be in touch with you shortly to tell you how to claim your prize.

Thanks everyone for the great comments!

Sew News
McCall’s Quilting
Fons & Porter
Quilting Daily
Quilter’s Newsletter
Quilters Club of America
Creative Machine Embroidery

~ All names were picked using


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Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen!

Sharon Madsen has the distinction of being the Sew It All contributor that has been in the most issues. You can find her fun projects in every issue of Sew It All except for Volumes 1 and 2. To say we love Sharon’s fashionable take on sewing is an understatement.

Meet The Designer 682x1024 Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen!

I was excited to ‘talk’ with Sharon and see what makes her so crazy about sewing. Read on for more fun stuff on Sharon and be sure to answer the question to be entered into Sew News Oct/Nov issue Meet The Designer prize pack. Don’t forget to take a sneak peek at all are fun goodies that are coming in the next issue of Sew News, hitting newsstands December 18th!

~ Let’s have Sharon take it away ~

Where do you live/from? Are your surroundings inspiring?

Born and raised (mostly) in Minnesota – or MinneSNOWta as some of my friends who live in warmer climates like to say (with an evil laugh). Yes, it’s true we do get a lot of snow. But it’s not true that we talk like the characters in Fargo, ‘don’t cha know’.

Can you give us a little background on how/why you got started sewing and creating.  You betcha! (ha,ha) I come from a family where artistic pursuits were always encouraged—painting, drawing, music, dance, poetry— you name it and someone in my family had the talent. At age 8, my soon-to-be aunt spent a day teaching me to sew, everything from a visit to the fabric store to going home with a finished dress. I was hooked!  Since no one else in my family sewed, I ended up teaching myself (with many hilarious mistakes along the way). By my early teens I was sewing most of my family’s wardrobe and started a business selling doll clothing. Over the years I also received a bit of criticism from those who learned to sew “by the rules” as I haven’t always done things “the right way”. But I learned to shake it off as I only sew for the enjoyment it brings to me. The time I spend sewing has ebbed and flowed over the years but not my love for the artistic pursuit.

Is there an area of crafting, sewing etc that you would like to explore more?

There is so much more I would like to learn that I don’t even know how to pick one.  Of course finding the time is always the challenging part.

How has technology improved your creating life/work efforts? Is there some area of technology that you’ve had to adapt to, or maybe don’t care for.

Technology forced me to become better at my craft partially because I didn’t want to embarrass myself when I began posting my sewing projects on my blog back in 2006!  Technology has also made it much easier to learn new techniques, to find inspiration and to connect with others who share the same passion.  I have sewing friends all over the world that I have yet to meet in real life due to technology.

What is your conception process for a design or project? Do you sketch it out, go straight to the machine, take a photo etc.

I sketch. I have a stack of notebooks filled with ideas, some have come to fruition, others not yet. I keep a notebook with me at all times because I never know when inspiration may strike—the shape of a cloud, a detail on someone’s outfit, the color combination of the junk mail pile—an idea can pop into my head anywhere. I even keep a notebook  near my bed because sometimes ideas appear in my dreams.

What other creative endeavors do you engage in?

Does making up excuses to not exercise count as a creative endeavor?

What has been your (to date) greatest/proudest achievement in the creative world? Being a guest on Sew It All

What would be a dream project, commission or book project for you?

Like many others who sew, I have an idea for a book that I’d like to pitch… the idea is not fully hatched but of course it is related to sewing.

Answer – If I won the lottery….

Tithe to my church, share with my family, pay off the bills, quit my job, volunteer at an animal shelter  and buy myself a top of the line sewing machine!

What do you do when you are not at your sewing machine?

During the day I work as a communications manager for a small city. I also teach a few Zumba and REFIT dance fitness classes.  Other things I enjoy include baking, reading, hiking, and spending time with family, including my two spoiled dogs.

Any tips you’d like to share with the Sew News readers on sewing, creating or inspiration?

Sew things that make you happy. Don’t obsess over sewing “mistakes”, it happens to us all and it’s just part of the learning process. Seek out people and resources to help you learn (you know, like Sew News!). Give yourself permission to stop working on projects that aren’t going as planned and to celebrate the ones that do.

Be sure to follow Sharon at one or all of these social media avenues for more of her take on sewing and creating.


Instagram: SharonSews


Prize Pack  682x1024 Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen! Question for you, dear readers. What do you love to do besides sewing? What other hobbies do you engage in? One commenter will be picked on Friday November 7th!


Posted in Meet the Designer | 108 Comments

Easy Quilted Gifts for Holiday Gift Giving – Join the Holiday Blog Tour

Today is the kick off of the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Blog Hop. Hop along to all the blogs listed at the end of the post for great ideas for quilters and sewers to make holiday gift giving extra special this year. Plus make a comment at the end of this post to win a lovely book on quilted gifts from Yoko Saito. More on that in a bit!

ho ho blog Easy Quilted Gifts for Holiday Gift Giving    Join the Holiday Blog Tour I am primarily a garment sewer, but when Christmas rolls around I love taking a break from sewing clothes to make cute, easy quilted gifts for family and friends. Today I have found wonderful gift ideas for you to make and bonus! they won’t take a huge amount of time.

If you are a quilter then making quilted gifts will be a snap. For those new to quilting techniques these small quilted projects are a great way to easy into larger more complicated projects.

A spot-on gift for a new quilter or sewer is the book Quick Quilt Projects With Jelly Rools, Fat Quarters, Honeybuns and Layer Cakes. Sounds delicious doesn’t it? Darlene Zimmerman walks you through all the steps to make fun, fast quilted gifts and projects  that won’t take but an afternoon.

quick quilt projects Easy Quilted Gifts for Holiday Gift Giving    Join the Holiday Blog Tour If you’ve been reading my blogs you know I love bags. This project is a great stash buster for any type of sewer. The Scrap Happy Tote from Amanda Jean Nyberg is the perfect bag for crafters, sewers, knitters or quilters. You can get the pattern for this today and be done in a weekend!

scrap happy purse  Easy Quilted Gifts for Holiday Gift Giving    Join the Holiday Blog Tour Place mats are another easy quilted gift, especially nice for a housewarming gift or for newlyweds on their first Christmas together. So romantic. Check out the kit here, it’s so sweet.

placemats  Easy Quilted Gifts for Holiday Gift Giving    Join the Holiday Blog Tour Speaking of sweets, add some whimsical touches to holiday projects you are working on now with the CME Christmas Goodies Embroidery Collection. Purchase the entire collection or start out with the FREE cupcake design to get started.

Cupcake 200 Easy Quilted Gifts for Holiday Gift Giving    Join the Holiday Blog Tour Give the gift of knowledge.  Give a subscription to Craft Daily videos and let a friend learn from the pros on all types of sewing and quilting techniques and projects.

Screen Shot 2014 10 10 at 11.51.33 AM Easy Quilted Gifts for Holiday Gift Giving    Join the Holiday Blog Tour

Here is the schedule for the Ho Ho Ho Holiday Blog Tour. Check out each blogger for a chance to win prizes and more gift ideas for the seamstress or quilter in your life (or maybe you!).

Sat. Nov. 1 – Sew News
Sunday, Nov. 2 – McCall’s Quilting
Monday, Nov. 3 – Fons & Porter
Tuesday, Nov. 4 – Quilting Daily
Wednesday, Nov. 5 – Quilter’s Newsletter
Thursday, Nov. 6 – Quilters Club of America
Friday, Nov. 7 – Quiltmaker
Saturday, Nov. 8 – Creative Machine Embroidery

Tell me what you think makes a great gift for quilters and sewers. Do you like making hand made gifts for family and friends? Enter a comment and one winner will be picked on Monday November 10. Plus, be sure to read the Creative Machine Embroidery blog for another great list of gift ideas and a chance to win a prize!

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