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It Isn’t Always Pretty

I decided to make some fabric boxes to help organize the sewing room. It should have been easy. It wasn’t. The first box, I didn’t like the way I had the corners attached. Fold excess fabric, and serge around the top. The second box, I cut out the excess fabric, turned the box inside out, and zigzagged the corners together then serged around the top. The third box, I did the same way. I played with some of my fancy threads. Changing threads in the upper and/or lower looper requires unthreading the machine – all four thread cones – and rethreading. I’m getting better at threading.


A bit more organization. First box is in  the rear, second on the left and third on the right.


It was a bit more square before Tinker decided to lay down on it.


Serger parts and accessories.


A few of the fancy threads in the first box.

I also worked on the other two fossil series quilts. IMG_1313IMG_1314

This one is based on a fern fossil. It’s okay. I do like using the serger to take care of the raw edges. I wasn’t in the mood to make bias binding. If I were to make another, I’d fuse the leaves to the top and either leave no room for quilting between the leaves or put the leaves farther apart.


This one is based on a leaf fossil from around 100 million years ago. The fossil is interesting, but I don’t like how this quilt came out. I should have used a less busy piece of fabric for the leaf and used Razzle Dazzle thread for all of the veins.


The Razzle Dazzle veins are too far apart, so I tried to fix the problem with hand quilting. I used Wonder Under to fuse the top, batting and backing together. I’m not sure what happened, but there was no way to quilt this by making more than one stitch at a time. This was pretty stiff. I had used white glue to keep the leaf from moving while I zigzagged the edge. The glue left incredibly hard spots that I couldn’t see but sure found a lot of with a needle. Very difficult to hand stitch.


Because the quilt sandwich was so stiff, the quilting didn’t make the spots between the quilt lines puff up.

So… what have I learned and what do I do next with fossils? I’ve learned that if the fabrics don’t look wonderful when I’m auditioning them, they aren’t going to look wonderful when I get the piece done.

I think these designs work better in clay than in fiber.


This is a bowl based on the same leaf fossil as the pink, blue and purple quilt. Much more recognizable in ceramic form.



I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at:

One thought on “It Isn’t Always Pretty

  1. Hi Deb – I’m sure the sewing room organisation itself will be easier with containers you called ‘boxes’ but which to me look more like ‘baskets’. But why not recycle some boxes by covering them with fabric? While I was looking for ideas and writing this post I found plenty of demos on YouTube showing how..Much more efficient use of your time and creative energy, recycling’s good, plus rectangular shapes are more space efficient. But if you really do want to start from scratch, forget that I’m dealing with triangular shapes and in the two posts you’ll find all you need to know to adapt my method to rectangular and square shapes. Of course, there’s handwork which you are clearly keen to avoid by using your serger every which way you can. With a sewing machine and being careful, breaking a needle sewing through the plastic is rare, but a serger has several needles, right? so instead I suggest you might try millinery canvas or pellon stiffener.. I made some basket type vessels some years back and covered light weight canvas with batting and backing then rather than make a seam, or pushed the raw edges together and sewed them together with 6point zig-zag before covering the join by applying something over it. No bulky unsightly join. and leaving a uniform surface you could do more embellishment onto. Email me if I can help with a diagram or two here.


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