Quilt Show Goodies To Sell

Certain responsibilities come with becoming a member of a quilting guild. For example, dues, selling quilt raffle tickets, community service projects, and making things to sell at the next quilt show. Trenton, Florida is the home of a pretty big quilt show that takes place every year during March. Many of the guilds in north central Florida show their work at the show and the Springhouse Quilters are no exception. Everyone makes something to sell according to their skill level. Some of these ladies are incredible quilt artists and have come up with great items that have a “handmade, not homemade” look. I am not nearly as good at the sewing machine as they are but I do like to stitch so I came up with something else…..embroidered felt art. Here’s my birds:

The big bird is a needle book, embroidery floss on red felt. The little guy is a thimble holder…and yes, there’ll be  a thimble in it..but there isn’t one in this picture.

Cute little guys.

Hope they fly their way into someone’s heart.


Getting Back to Stitching

For me to say “I’ve been away for a bit” is a huge understatement. Like most folks, I’ve had quite a year, and this has nothing to do with politics. Over the last year I have 1) retired from my away-from-the-house job, 2) took part in a medical mission, 3) found out and was treated for breast cancer, 4) helped care for my uncle before his death, 5) cared for my dog after his stroke then buried the little guy six months later. Needless to say I’ve been preoccupied. Each of those things can be life-changing but when put one on top of the other, all I can say is “Phew! Break time! I’m ready to do some stitching.”

For me, retirement was like changing jobs. I still have three shops on Etsy, GoofingOff Sewing, Miss Eileen Vintage, and Pattern Haus, so I never stopped working, nor did I intend to. Retirement allowed me to focus on one less thing and do that from home.

I did two sewing related things after retirement.  I joined the Springhouse Quilters Guild in Trenton, Florida (yes, Florida, not New Jersey), and the stitching group that meets on Wednesdays at the Suwannee Valley Cross Stitch, also in Trenton.

I haven’t done much quilting yet….I talk more at the meetings than I stitch but I try new things. One step at a time. As for the stitching group, I found I like to embroider. Stitching ornaments got me through radiation fatigue and helped raise money for the medical mission.

Well, that’s all for now but there’s more to come.

For now….




Room at the Table

This week hasn’t been one of my best. A death in the family to start things off. Surgery for my dog (she’s ok, I was the basket case). The High Holy Days that I love to celebrate and take refuge in were invaded by outside forces that left me without the feeling of comfort I usually get from the holiday.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.15.05 AM

The magic meatloaf. Everything went in there, carrots, mashed potatoes, celery, onions, ground beef, sausage, oatmeal, and matzoh meal. Oh, and seasonings.

I realized I was heading into depression when the hubby told me about a friend. “Their power was turned off.” Other things, too, that are just too painful to write now (but will get better. Sad but not tragic, Thank God, and temporary). I went to the garage (the unofficial First District hangout) to say “Hi!”and give my friend a hug when my loving hubby said, “Do we have enough for dinner to share? They have no power.” “Of course we do” was my reply. Honestly, I was a little shocked about being put on the spot and a little upset that I hadn’t thought of it first. Anyway, it woke me up out of the daze I had been in.

I looked at the meat set aside for our meatloaf dinner. For 2 people 1 pound of ground beef is enough but I had 3 more adults coming. I started adding things to the meat mixture. My friend always says “Of course it will be good. Good ingredients equal good food.” By the time the meatloaf was ready for the oven the mashed potatoes, a pound of sausage, honeyed carrots, oatmeal, chopped onion, and celery were in there. A little bit of ketchup on top (got to have ketchup…it’s a tradition) and it was on its way to becoming dinner. I grabbed another loaf of bread from the freezer (Grandma always said get more bread when company comes for dinner) and got started on a side dish of green beans and potatoes.

The meatloaf was a big hit. Everyone enjoyed it. It was moist and tasty. The ingredients surprised everyone ……even me. The beans and potatoes had everyone talking about what our grandmothers used to cook. Good memories.

In all, it took the sting of the day away if only for a little while. I realized how lucky and blessed I was to have the chance to share with others.

There’s always room at the table.

May the New Year give you peace. May you be blessed with good health and happiness.

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing Supplies

Shipping from Home

Saving Money, and Time, at the Post Office

I posted this sometime ago but with holiday season coming I thought it would be a good idea to post again.

When you ship packages, use Paypal for shipping labels. Most people know about Paypal when they purchase items but don’t know that Paypal can be used for shipping.

Here’s the link:


You’ll need a Paypal account to use the link.

Use the link when shipping. That’s the trick.  That’s it. Put in the address, what type of shipping, i.e., Priority, First Class, etc. and the shipping costs go to the Paypal account. When that’s done hit “Print” for your label….you still need labels.
Put the label on the package, make sure the package is ready for traveling long miles, the label is on, and it’s ready to go.
Bypass the lines when you drop it off or schedule a pick-up.

You’re Welcome.


How about making a collar for every holiday? Something to “dress the pooch.” Maybe embroider Fido’s name on the collar. What fun!

ShopJoya Magazine


Instructional Video and a clickable list of materials

for making a collar for a medium to large sized dog.

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

List of Materials Needed/Links:

Fabric Scissors

Sewing Gauge

Straight Pins

Fabric Sealant/Stop Fray

Flexible Tape Measure

1 Inch Wide Strap (Purchase measurement x 2)

7/8 in. Wide Fabric Ribbon (Purchase measurement x 2)

Parachute Buckle

Strap Adjuster


Top Stitch/Heavy Duty Thread

Sewing Machine

Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Needle

~ ~ ~


Supply List:  ShopJoya

Webbing/Strap Material, D-Rings, Buckles:  Country Brook Design

Dog Accessory Hardware Kits: Country Brook Design

Video:  Professor Pincushion

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Suicide – Consoling the Bereaved

The thought of losing someone to suicide is incredibly painful. Suicide is a horrible burden to bear. Our veterans, those who fight for our freedom, have a suicide rate that is higher than the civilian population. As a VA nurse I am aware of the difficulties they face and try to identify those at risk.
The poem at the end of this post is very good advice when consoling someone who has loss. The pain is unbelievable; just listening is comforting.

Spilt Milk

Suicide PreventionMy heart sank today when learned a local family had lost their young son to suicide.  I cannot explain the empty hole in the pit of my stomach which opens when I hear anyone has died by suicide. When I know there is a family experiencing this my soul twists in pain.   Almost 15 years ago my 16 year old son died by suicide. Just a few years previous to that my best friend took her life.

We all react differently to trauma in our lives but for me the reaction has been fighting with everything I have to make sure there are no parent, siblings, and friends who have to bury someone they love who has died at their own hand.  For almost 20 years I have devoted much of my time to learning about suicide prevention, teaching it and working with groups of people who are bereaved by…

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the never ending fight

“Depression is a sneaky illness.” It is also a thief that robs one of their enjoyment, happiness, and life. It scoffs at boundaries such as money or fame….it loves no one.


My name is Logan and I have depression.

I don’t know how long I’ve had depression. The truth is, it’s just always been there. It took a different shape and form when I was younger, being really sad when school ended every summer and not feeling like I fit in with the other kids. Was that clinical depression? Maybe not. By high school, my self esteem was tattered at best. I remember people calling me fat and a whore, among other things. I remember desperately wanting to feel like I fit in and feel at ease. I recall lounging in bed on Saturday afternoons, wondering what my family would think if they found me dead? Would they cry over me? Would my friends from school come to my funeral?

I first knew something was wrong shortly after leaving high school. I knew it couldn’t be normal to lay in bed…

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Time Traveling with GoofingOff Sewing to 1943

Sometimes I wish I could time travel. There are certain eras that interest me more than others.

The war years….the 1940’s (a little earlier for folks across “the pond”) is one of my favorites. I like the Hollywood version, seeing Abbot and Costello on the silver screen and hearing the Andrew Sisters singing The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B on the radio……..

Sewing Pattern Simplicity 1777 Misses Dress 1943 design  Uncut Complete

and wearing a dress like Simplicity 1777. Skirts were a bit shorter during the war (rationing) and women were showing some leg.

Silk stockings were in short supply (silk was used for parachutes) so I would have to draw a line down the back of my legs it would look like I was wearing seamed stockings.

Of course I would be sporting a Victory Roll hairdo. The hair styles were pulled away from the face. The Veronica Lake Peek-a-boo hairdo didn’t work well with women on the assembly lines.


And my shoes would have to be sturdy shoes…something to wear while I walked everywhere….gas rationing, but a little heel wouldn’t hurt.



1943 Air Step Shoe print ad Women's shoes with the magic sole 1940's women's fashion
Vintage Air Step Shoe advertisement, 1943. from Catching Canaries at Etsy.


I think I’d wear the alligator leather shoes at the top of the ad.

But, then again, I’d probably be a nurse, maybe an Army nurse.

so proudly we hail 1
“So Proudly We Hail” 1943, Paramount Pictures starring Claudette Colbert and George Reeves

I wonder if sometime in the future someone will think “oh, the 2010’s was my favorite era. I just love the clothes.”

One never knows……

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing……Make Magic One Stitch At a Time

Wrap Skirts for Summer Wear

Summer time means easy to wear clothes like loose fitting tops and skirts that wrap. The wrap skirt is perfect to wear over a bathing suit when you are on the way to or from the beach, the pool, or anytime.

Simplicity 7699 from the 1970’s has a great retro, boho look that can go anywhere.

Simplicity 7699 JIFFY Misses' Wrap Skirt in size 12-14, Waist 26.5-28 inches COMPLETE

Simplicity 7699 JIFFY Misses’ Wrap Skirt in size 12-14, Waist 26.5-28 inches COMPLETE

The suggested fabric for this pattern is for quilted fabrics or synthetic suede which are great for winter wear but too heavy for summer. To create a summer skirt use lightweight cotton or cotton blends.

Post by Eileen Patterson…..who is GoofingOff.

Shades of Sonny & Cher

So….I found this incredible pattern from 1969….A little later than the Sonny & Cher performance but still has the same vibe….especially views A and D.

McCall's 9654 Misses' Vest Wardrobe from 1969 in size 12 COMPLETE.....I Got You Babe!

McCall’s 9654 Misses’ Vest Wardrobe from 1969 in size 12 COMPLETE…..I Got You Babe!

I’m going to have that tune in my head for the rest of the day….old hippie that I am….and I know all the words. he he he

Post by Eileen Patterson….who is GoofingOff