Reversible Chalkboard Placemats

These are super simple, fast and make a great gift. They finish at 12×18
Happy Birthday Placemat


* Chalkboard fabric (12 x 18 piece)
* 1 piece of backing fabric 14″ x 20″
* 1 piece of pocket fabric 5″ x 10.5″
* Walking foot
* Heavy duty needle (jeans or size 18)
* Matching thread
* Optional: fusible webbing 1/4 inch wide or wonder clips

Chalk Board pieces

The pocket:

  • Fold your pocket fabric right sides together and sew along one edge

Chalkboard Pocket

  • The edge you choose will be based on what you want to show on the front pocket
  • Preview your fabric, making sure the raw edges fall along the edges of the placemat
  • Turn right side out and press

The placemat:

  • Place your backing fabric wrong side facing up on your ironing board
  • Place your chalkboard fabric wrong side down on top of your backing fabric
  • You can choose to do this with your chalkboard fabric right side up, just be careful not to touch the iron directly on the chalkboard fabric when pressing
  • Center it so you have about an inch of fabric on each side
  • Fold the fabric up to the chalkboard fabric and press to get a good crease
  • Fold in again 1/2 way to make a half-inch wide bindingFirst Pressing
  • Press well to get a good crease
  • Turn your chalkboard fabric to face up as shown below
  • Using 1/4″ fusible webbing or wonder clips hold your pressed binding in place
  • Make sure you put your pocket in place with the raw edges along the chalkboard fabric edges so it will be covered by binding when sewnChalk board with pocket and fusibleChalk board with pocket and wonder clips


  • Sew along the fold through all your layers
  • I start at the top of the pocket and then around the entire edge of the bindingChalk board sewing pocket

You are done!Chalk board with chalk Chalk board with silverwareChristmas done early on the Journey, Jackie


Fall Postcard Swap

I again participated in Sandi’s postcard swap, Our theme - fall. I’ve been waiting all year, as I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do. Well, a very general idea.DSCN8466

I have a couple of drawers filled with wool, fabric embellishments and roving and this was the perfect project to use them.2-DSCN3289

What thrills me the most about this, is the result came our far better than I had hoped. 
DSCN8464The idea wasn’t fully formulated in my mind, but as I started adding elements it all came together. Wool Fall Postcard

My swap partner was Kim and I received this darling postcard in the mail this week:

Fall Postcard from KimHer stitching was wonderful as you can see in this close-up:Fall Postcard from Kim Close upI love seeing the creativity of others and in this case, receiving. Thanks Kim.

Celebrating fall on the Journey, Jackie

Sharpie Marker Scarves

This was an experience. Let’s just say I was crazy enough to give a 4 and 6-year-old permanent markers to play with. And here are the results:

Spoiler Alert: Wendy, if you are reading this stop now.

Markered ScarvesThe above results, became this below.

DSCN8888This project will be our November’s Mini Retreat project, but I will not be able to attend so I decided to give it a try anyway. My directions are based on what I understood and amended to what I did with Grace and Noah.


  • Silk scarf (mine came from Dharma Trading Company
  • Freezer paper
  • Sharpie pens
  • Rubbing alcohol (91%)
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic gloves (whoops forgot)
  • Drop cloth (I did mine outside)

Iron scarf to the shiny/wazy side of the freezer paper, I taped mine to a table I wasn’t worried about. I also moved all fabric projects away from the area. Remember I am working with children. Taping it helped keep the paper in one place to make it easier for them to color. Scarves ready to colorChoose one or two colors of Sharpies and go to town. Ideally the more you color the deeper your results will be. It was hard to get Noah to concentrate on just coloring all over. He wanted to draw. I promised to take lots of pictures of what he drew so his mom would be able to see his pictures. Otherwise he wasn’t willing to let the colors run. Noah's scarf drawingGrace just enjoyed the process. I think she has the advantage of only being 4.Grace Coloring her scarf

Fun in watching what happens when you just put the marker tip on the scarf and watch the circle grow.Marker Circles Ready for the next step, which we did the next morning. I figured it would be safer for them to do in their pj’s in case any marker got on their clothing. Markered ScarvesNext step, put the alcohol in the spray bottle and then spray your scarf. I held the scarves up to make it easier for them to spray. This needs to be done outside. Grace with Sprayed ScarfNoah's Sprayed ScarfI also collected the “dye” and alcohol in a bowl beneath the scarf. I knew that they hadn’t applied enough color, so I let the scarves soak a bit. Squeezed them out. Suggestion, have paper towel and towel handy.

Soaking Scarves TowelHanging to dry. This didn’t take long. Hanging to dry Press your scarf well to set color. I’ve been told this part is critical.

Grace’s scarf, purple with a bit of teal. Grace's ScarfNoah’s scarf, red with some orange. Noah's Scarf

Even though more color would have had a better mottled look, I think these came out wonderfully. I have two more scarves so they will be able to do it again. These are a Christmas present for mom.

Crafting on the journey, Jackie

P.S. You might wonder about them keeping it a Christmas surprise.

Their dad sent me a text. Apparently mom asked what they did all week at our house and Grace started to talk. Noah said, “Dont tell her about the s-c-” Dad replied, “Don’t spell it!” Noah apparently thinks his mom can’t spell. :) Priceless.

Week in Review October 19, 2014

My personal sewing/quilting/creative endeavors were limited to cutting up these strips to mail off to someone:Darla's Strips

Marking this elastic in one inch increments to be used for marking a quilt top at equal distances without having to do the math:Elasitic measurement

Adding a binding, trim and embroidery to this baby quilt for a customer (hummm does that count towards personal sewing?).Madison Baby Quilt

The rest of the week has been busy with 2 of my grandchildren. Every night they asked to sew, but more on that later. Grace and Noah with Fabric strips

So how do you capture in pictures the productivity of time spent with loved ones?

Spending time with family on the Journey, Jackie

Fabric Choices and Color Matter

Even to a young child.

This week I have had these two cuties:

Noah, 6

Noah PinningAnd Grace, 4.Grace Sewing StripsDinner, homework, talking to mom and dad took up most of the evening leaving little time for sewing (which they kept asking to do) before it was time to shower, brush teeth, get into pj’s and say prayers. 

We did spend time choosing fabric and colors. Even to little ones, these decisions matter.

Grace picking fabric for her strip quilt and Grace Picking Fabricsorting out the squares for her next quilt (is she a quilter or what, already planning her next quilt!). Look at the concentration on her face. Grace Picking Fabric 2Noah wanted to make more pillowcases for the Million Pillowcase challenge and saw dinosaur fabric on my shelf. He certainly had an opinion regarding the cuff and trim fabric and he enjoyed pulling them from my shelf. We pulled several fabrics and laid them out to see what worked the best.

Choosing the cuff fabric. He picked out the fabric on the right first and then decided the green on the left would work better.

Choosing Pillowcase CuffNext up, the trim fabric:

He wanted green, but then decided it was too much green.Pillowcase Trim too much green

Brown, too dark:Pillowcase Trim too DarkNext, a lighter brown, he liked it, but he decided he didn’t want brown:Pillowcase Trim OkayNext up yellow, which he really liked:
Pillowcase Trim I like that better

Then finally a muted orange, which he really liked:Pillowcase Trim This oneDo you see how it matches the orange in the dinosaur fabric? He noticed.

My job, trim the strips so they can be matched (trust me it matters, and sometimes those decision take a while to make) and prepare the pillowcase fabric for cutting.

Also did you know there is no such thing as boy colors and girl colors? According to Noah you can like what ever color you want. So there you have it! The authority of a 6-year old.

So do you think there is such a thing as a boy or girl color?

Enjoying the wisdom of young ones on the Journey, Jackie

Week in Review October 12, 2014

It’s been a week. Very little sewing done, but lots of odds and ends taken care of in the studio in bits and pieces.

Finished up the chalk board placemats. Here is a picture of the backside. Lots of fun fabrics. I did take pictures for a tutorial so I guess that is pretty productive as that slows down the process. Chalk Board Placemats Back side I finished sewing up this iPod holder from our monthly mini retreat. iPod HolderWe have two of our grandchildren all week so I prepared these silk scarves for a project with Grace and Noah. Fabric dying in a way I can handle. I think. Inked Silk Scarf

I told Grace and Noah that we were going to make scarves for their mommy for Christmas. Grace wanted to wait until Mother’s Day. I’m hoping they can keep it a surprise until Christmas.

This project is actually in preparation for November’s mini retreat project which I will be unable to attend so I am going to give it a try on my own.

Slow week in the studio, wish I could say the same for the rest of my life.

On the Journey, Jackie




Out of the Mouth of Babes, 24/7

My daughter’s oldest, Camden, 10, calls me every Sunday to talk.
Recently he called when I was working on my long arm and this is about how the conversation went.
Camden: Are you downstairs sewing?Downstairs view
Me: Why do you ask?
Camden: I can hear one of your sewing machines.
Student Spaces
Me: How do you know it’s a sewing machine?
Camden: Grandma, you have 12 sewing machines, (he counted them the last time he was here) I know what they sound like. (in my defense. some have a specific purpose and others are for students/volunteers)
Me: I could be doing something else.
Camden: You teach classes and anybody that comes to your house. I bet you spend 5 hours a day downstairs sewing.Studio Entrance
Me: Well, Camden I would if I didn’t have to work long hours everyday.
Camden: I bet if you didn’t work, you would be downstairs 24/7.
Me: Do you know what 24/7 means?
Camden: (sigh in his voice) Yes.
Me: So what does 24/7 mean?
Camden: (talking to me as if I need explanation because I don’t know). Twenty-four means the 24 hours in a day and seven means the number of days in a week. So that means you sew all day, everyday.
Out of the mouth of babes.
So what precious moments in your life do you have to share.Camden with Bear quilt
Talk to you tomorrow Camden, miss you, Grandma