Delivery Day! Meet the Sewing Machine of My Dreams

Baby Lock Destiny 2

It seems like just yesterday that the Baby Lock Destiny II showed up at my doorstep, but I already can’t imagine my life without it!

I made this fun little video to show you how excited I was to open my machine and start sewing with it.


Here are a few of my favorite features on the machine. Really, I’m blown away every time I turn it on! It has a full-color touchscreen, like a tablet. It’s so easy to use. There are videos built into the machine giving you a tutorial on how to perform certain stitches.

The IQ Designer allows you to scan in your own designs and turn them into embroidery! For my project next week, I’m going to show how this works in a video tutorial. You’re going to be amazed.

There is a large throat space with 11.25″ to the right of the needle! For quilting large or small projects, it’s like a dream come true.

The Baby Lock Destiny II has a NeedleCam™ digital camera that allows you to see your how your project will look with the applique or other stitches on it! Just pull up the camera, and you’ll see your fabric or project pop up on your screen, placing the design wherever you want it.

There’s an awesome Sensor Pen that you can use on the touch screen to edit your designs really precisely. And, get this…you can also point the sensor pen on your project to tell the Destiny where you want to start sewing!

Baby Lock Destiny II and Home Sweet Home mini quilt

If you’d like to sew along with me this week and make the Home Sweet Home mini quilt, I’m including a supplies list below. I hope you’ll join in the fun! The full pattern is coming later this week.

Home Sweet Home Mini Quilt

Supplies List:

  • 1/2 yard each of 5 fabrics for quilt front (I used assorted Riley Blake print and solid quilting cottons)
  • 1/4 yard of binding fabric
  • 5/8 yard backing fabric
  • Tear-away machine embroidery stabilizer larger than your 8″ x 12″ hoop
  • Double-sided fusible web for applique, like Steam-A-Seam 2
  • I used the Destiny II and the included 8″ x 12″ embroidery hoop

Note: You’ll have enough extra fabric to make my Hope Throw Pillow bonus project, which I’ll share on Friday! If you only have fat quarters, you can probably get by with

Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List + Video
3/22: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II + Video
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

Baby Lock Destiny II sewing machine

Today, I have something amazing to share! My new sewing machine. It’s the Baby Lock Destiny II embroidery machine, and it does absolutely everything a sewing machine should do, and more!

  • Sewing
  • Quilting
  • Embroidery (that means machine applique, too!)


Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

I’m taking part in the Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge, and that means I’ll be back next week with a free mini quilt pattern that was inspired by my love of sewing. One of the things I enjoy most about being a creator is the chance to teach others how to learn new techniques and make their own projects. This project will show you how to make your own applique with an embroidery machine, as well as piecing patchwork blocks and making prairie points.

My project is called “Home Sweet Home,” and I can’t wait to share it with you. Here’s a sneak peek!

Home Sweet Home mini quilt sneak peek

To learn more about the Destiny II, visit Baby Lock’s Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge, chock full of project ideas and free tutorials from my friends! And I’ll be back in a few days with more on my project and some of my favorite features on the machine!

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List + Video
3/22: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II + Video
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

How to Make Your Own Ugly Christmas Sweater

Make Ugly Christmas Sweater

Guest post by Lindsay Olsen

In the beginning, there was Great-Aunt Mabel, a woman blessed with a lot of creativity and an endless supply of yarn. What Mabel lacked in taste she made up in energy. Her nieces and nephews could always count on getting a warm, comfortable and utterly hideous sweater every Christmas.

Great-Aunt Mabel, and others like her, produced knitted monstrosities that could only be worn by the brave. Want a puffy, three-dimensional Christmas tree? Mabel had a stitch for that. Need to make sure that Rudolph’s nose is placed in a socially awkward location? Mabel’s knitting needles came with an anatomical GPS. It’s a shame she isn’t still around to wrap us all in the warm glow of holiday embarrassment.

Nowadays, the ugly Christmas sweater is a tradition to be celebrated, not worn once and hidden away in shame. If you don’t have a Great-Aunt Mabel and don’t have time to knit for yourself, there are still some options available for your Christmas party wardrobe.

Find an  ugly christmas sweater

Finding Great-Aunt Mabel

Exploring thrift shops is like searching for buried treasure. You never know what you’ll find. These stores often get donations from estates or from people who are simply cleaning out their attics. Great-Aunt Mabel’s work has been known to make an appearance. Vintage ugly Christmas sweaters can also be found in online shops and auction sites. Read the descriptions carefully to make sure the garment is the right size, and keep in mind that the actual quality and condition may not be apparent from the photos.

Tulle ugly Christmas Sweater

Starting From Scratch

The nice thing about creating a custom ugly Christmas sweater is that it doesn’t have to be a sweater at all. Any knitted top that’s heavy enough to support your decorations will do. Here are just a few of the ways to get ugly:

Artwork appliques.
This is a patch or other shape added directly to the sweater. You can draw your own designs using markers or fabric paints. Another easy option is to use iron-on transfer paper to print images you find online. Craft felt and a glue gun makes quick work of geometric designs like Christmas trees — not to mention snowpeople of either gender.

All the trimmings.
Craft stores and fabric stores are great places to find interesting and kitschy trim to add to your ugly Christmas sweater. Use string or yarn fringe to mimic icicles. For strings of ornaments, try ball fringe. The tiny yarn balls have a fuzzy texture and will sway as you move. Rickrack is an easy way to decorate a felt gingerbread house. Sequin trim adds flash and can be used to trace outlines or even woven in and around other decorations.

Light it up!
If sequins aren’t flashy enough, try battery-powered LED lights. These can be found in hobby stores or purchased online. Use strings of tiny lights as tree decorations, edging on a cottage roof or an outline around your own special sweater billboard. Larger individual lights work as noses for reindeer or for buzzed elves. Lights will need a power source and a controller. A simple pocket sewn into the lower edge of your ugly Christmas sweater will make these easy to reach.

Entering a new dimension.
Great-Aunt Mabel’s puffs and cable stitches gave her sweaters a bulky, three-dimensional look. You can do the same by adding on yarn pompoms to create Christmas trees or snowbanks. For a more sophisticated effect, try using tulle flowers. These come in a wide range of shapes and colors, and can be attached to any sweater with just a few stitches or a dab of glue. You can even use them to turn yourself into a Christmas present. Simply cover the front of the sweater with a large square of felt. Next, add a cross of wide satin ribbons. Finally, attach a cluster of tulle flowers as a bow.

make ugly christmas sweater

What to Do When Time Is Short

If you’re running short on time, searching the Web or hot-gluing elves onto your shoulder pads may not be an option. That doesn’t mean you have to attend that holiday party dressed like a civilian. Your custom ugly Christmas sweater is just a click away. Just choose your color and pattern, then add your artwork. It just shows that you can wear an ugly Christmas sweater and still be a snappy dresser – no glue gun required.

Just don’t tell Great-Aunt Mabel.


Sew a 15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RitzFilledNotHangry #CollectiveBias

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

My toddler son is a picky eater. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth! That’s why when we are going out and about, I fill up my “mom bag” with tons of snack options for him. His go-to “meals” these days are peanut butter sandwich crackers, applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, and almonds. Thank goodness there is some protein in there, because meat is one of the toughest things to get him interested in!
I thought it would be cool to make him his own little placemat, so that whether we are at home just hanging out in the living room, he can have a cute place to enjoy his snacks (that’s not our leather sofa).
I’ve had this laminated cotton fabric designed for a while now, and I’m so happy I found the perfect little project for it! To make one 13″ x 17″ placemat, you’ll need:

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial


– 14″ x 18″ piece of laminated cotton fabric
– 14″ x 18″piece of quilt batting
– 14″ x 18″ piece of backing fabric (I used inexpensive white muslin)


15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

1. Layer your fabrics as follows: quilt batting on the bottom, laminated cotton fabric on top of that (facing right side UP), and backing fabric on top of that (facing right side down).

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

2. Sew around the perimeter of the stack of fabrics, about 1/2″ from the edge. Leave a 3″ section open on one short side for turning. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Use your scissors to trim the corners at an angle, which will make it easier to poke out the corners in the next step.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

3. Turn the placemat right side out, using a pencil or a chopstick to poke out the corners. Take the placemat to your sewing machine and pin the 3″ opening closed. Sew where you’ve pinned about 1/8″ from the edge to close the hole.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

4. Next, topstitch 1/4″ from the edge around the perimeter of your placemat. If the laminated fabric sticks under your sewing machine foot, you can place a piece of masking tape on the underside of your sewing foot to keep it moving smoothly.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

5. When sewing with laminated cotton fabric, it’s still okay to iron it, but always use a pressing cloth (another piece of fabric) so it doesn’t melt under your iron!

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric and Cardboard Box Tray Tutorial

6. Inspired by Pinterest, I also made my son a little tray to use with it out of a cardboard box. To make this part, just cut the flaps off of a box, and then cut “tunnels” in the two wider sides. I also taped a smaller box to the side, to make a storage container for toys or other snacks. The placemat fits perfectly on top!

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

Ta da! This placemat is the perfect size for a toddler to enjoy their favorite snacks. We love RITZ Peanut Butter Filled Sandwich Crackers and the cheese ones come in a close second.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric and Cardboard Box Tray Tutorial

My nearest Kroger store is one of my favorites to visit, because it has everything I need, but it’s also not huge, so I can get in and out quickly. When my son gets kind of hungry… I mean “hangry”… he’s far from my favorite shopping companion. But I do keep lots of snacks in my mom bag, and a pack of these crackers always put him in a better mood. I’m so glad that RITZ Filled Sandwich Crackers are now available at Kroger stores! I usually find them in the lunchbox section, nearby the applesauce pouches my son also loves.

I hope you have fun making this placemat, and good luck keeping your kids from getting too “hangry”!

‘Sew Place Like Home’ Gift Idea for Sewists

Are you looking for a gift for your best sewing friend? Something to warm her heart this holiday season?

I’m excited to share with you a brand new book filled with sewing-related stories, essays, tutorials, recipes and more! The e-book can be downloaded instantly to your Kindle, or a free Kindle reading app on your smartphone or computer.

Sew Place Like Home

Sew Place Like Home: A Collection of Essays and Projects for People Who Love to Sew is edited by my sewing friends Jessica Abbott and Melissa Mora, and includes contributions from Stacey Byrne, Elizabeth Evans and Liz Evans, Shannon Clarke, Deborah Moebes, Jenny Rushmore and me!

To give you a little taste of what’s inside, I’m sharing a free excerpt of one of my favorite essays from the book. As I grow into motherhood myself, I am drawn to Jess’s story about sewing for her daughter:

Sew Place Like Home eBook

Excerpt from “She’ll Thank Me For This Someday,” by Jessica Abbott

It’s 1a.m., and here I sit. In front of my sewing machine, trying to desperately finish up the dress needed for tomorrow’s big school recital. The quiet whir of the machine, the feel of the satin as it slips through my fingers, a silent house, it almost has a dream like quality as my eyes start to blur from sleepiness. I stopped saying ‘5 more minutes’ hours ago.

You see, the thing is, the dress is not desperately needed. Truth be told, I could have easily gone to our local department store and picked up something similar for under $30. It would have saved me hours of time, and probably sanity.

But I am a seamstress. Do I really need to say any more than that?

My love for sewing is in my bones. And the thought of my daughter up on that stage in anything other than a handmade dress keeps me up at night…sewing.

Tomorrow morning I might wake up bleary eyed, regretting my life decisions as I reach for my third cup of coffee. But for now, all I can think of is the joy I will feel as I watch my daughter up on that stage. Walking down the center aisle, knowing that she draped in love.


Sew Place Like Home Kindle

I can’t wait for you to read the rest of her story, and the other wonderful pieces in the Sew Place Like Home e-book! I’ve downloaded it to a Kindle app on my phone for late-night reading.

There is so much to be thankful for in this life, and I’m very proud to be this book because it shares some of life’s simply beautiful moments. Sewists will appreciate it the most, but it’s also great for those who love to bake, craft or create in their own ways. In addition to the essays, there are several holiday gift tutorials and recipes that are perfect for giving! I can’t wait to try the Quilt-As-You-Go Pot Holder project and the Spiced Hot Chocolate recipe mix.

Get the book

Disclaimer: Affiliate ads are included in this post, but all opinions are my own. Happy reading!

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