Mid-Winter Sowing Seeds & Sprouting Colorful Inspiration

Leaf Amaranth Seedling – February 2021

I know. I know. I’m — perhaps — a little unusual. I prefer seeds and grow lights (or sewing tools & fabric) as favorite gifts over flowers and jewelry any day.

In January, Jeff and I purchased a few little grow lights and I decided to work on some early seed starts as a way to help combat seasonal anxiety/depression and to learn how feasible it might be to start our seedlings inside, earlier in the season.

I have to tell you, I am blown away by how much I have loved growing the seeds as outdoor temperatures plunged to negative double digits last week (factoring wind chill). Featured above is my current most loved plant: Leaf Amaranth. The deep burgundy red fading to pink atop bright, luminous green brings me so much joy on cold and dark days. It also inspires me to think outside my comfort zone for future quilt, sewing and art projects.

This variety of amaranth is grown and used as an alternative to spinach. It may be eaten raw or cooked and is a nutritional power house. What a blessing for the senses! I can hardly wait to harvest some. In the background you can see beet root sprouts that I’m growing mainly for their greens. Again, there’s that spectacular contrast of burgundy red and bright, luminous green has me smitten.

What’s inspiring you these days? I’d LOVE to know. Please drop me a comment below (note, I have to approve comments to protect our blog from unwanted spam so it may take a bit to see your post appear).

Wrapping up a Sweet Valentine

Snack Size — beautifully holds just a few home-baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

For me, it’s all about beautiful, functional simplicity and sharing love from the heart.

I’ve always loved handmade and home-baked gifts. Both giving them and receiving them. That’s how my Sew TracyLee FabMagic Wrap sewing pattern idea was born. Isn’t she pretty!?!!

The pattern offers 4 sizes that are loosely based off of common plastic food storage bag sizes. The snack size is wonderful for making a lot of gifts quick as just one batch of cookies should yield several gifts (depending on the batch and cookie size). For example, the picture above shows 4 cookies (heaping tablespoon of dough per cookie) made from a single batch that nets 3 dozen. That makes a total of 36 cookies and divides out to 9 gifts from just one batch of cookies! And, since you can make 3 snack size wrappers out of just 1/4 yard of fabric (assuming 42″ wide fabric), you’ll be stunned at how economical these pretty and delicious gifts will be to make.

SEW…this Valentine’s Day (which is just a week from today!) I’m wrapping up a bunch of snack size sweet Valentine gifts for family, friends and neighbors.

My oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are shown in the picture above, but you could choose to use almost any cookies you love to make. Voila! With the snack size wrapper, you’ll be able to give delicious home-baked treats that are just the right amount of sweet packaged in beautiful, hand-made, re-usable fabric wraps.

How does it look all wrapped up? I’m so glad you asked. What do you think?

If you could have 2 more hours…what would you do?

Would you spend it with family or friends? Would you get some extra sleep? Would you use it for sewing, quilting or being creative?

Rengar Kitty (left) and I would love to know.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Note: I have to approve comments to prevent nasty spam from appearing so it may take a bit of time for your post to appear.

The above picture of Rengar Kitty was taken when he was just a few weeks old but his first birthday will be creeping up soon. He’s very curious and loves to help me sew and quilt (in his own special way). He does have one blue eye and one green eye (this is known as Heterochromia), but he definitely is NOT deaf as people sometimes suspect.

Sew TracyLee Designs Introduces: FabMagic Gift Wrap pattern

I’m over the moon with excitement to announce the birth of my newest pattern, FabMagic Gift Wrap, RE-USABLE fabric gift wrappers with a beautiful built-in ribbon.

Everybody loves beautifully gift wrapped packages. But who loves throwing away all that pretty wrapping paper (money) every year? Not me. Who likes storing wrapping paper in a closet and it gets all wrinkled and crumpled by the next time we need it? Not me.

Sew…NOW is the perfect time to change the way we gift and save both time and money in the long run.

Most of us already have tons (literally?) of gorgeous quilting cotton fabrics in our stash that would make incredible gift wrapping. But how do we use it and make the package look sleek and professional without using pins or everything going wonky? The answer is my new FabMagic Gift Wrap sewing pattern.

The pattern includes 4 sizes that are loosely based on common food storage bag sizes: snack, sandwich, quart and gallon. So it’s the perfect wrap for gifting a variety of your homemade baked goods as well as small, soft items such as socks, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts and more. Depending on the size wrapper you choose to make, you could make several from one half yard of 42″ wide quilting cotton fabric.

The finished FabMagic Gift Wrappers are washable, press-able, RE-USABLE and bound to be collectible. There are no exposed raw edges, so the finished wrap looks sleek and professional. They’re gonna last for YEARS of repeated use. Simply sew up a stack to have ready to wrap…and, once you’re ready to wrap, you’ll discover that wrapping time is cut in less than half because you simply insert gift, fold over flap, wrap ribbon around and tie a bow. BOOM…you’re done. No measuring paper, no paper ripping, no tape, no fuss. It’s almost magic. It’s FabMagic!!!

We are offering an Introductory Special Sale Price this week only (special ends 1/30/2021), so you’ll want to be sure to grab yours ASAP! Click here for a closer look…

Custom StandZa Zip Bags = Wonder Clip “Pincushion” & Storage!

Custom Size StandZa Zip Bag

I recently made a wonderful discovery I just have to share with you. I’m so excited about it because it’s making my sewing life ever so much more stress free and enjoyable.

You see, I was getting super frustrated with wonder clips (which I absolutely LOVE) getting sucked under under my sewing machine along with several of my favorite sewing tools.

So one day, in my frustration, I grabbed a custom size StandZa Zip Bag that I had made a few years ago and I quickly loaded her up.

I placed Jumbo clips across the top edge of the bag and the smaller clips across the lower lip of the open zipper. LOADS of extra clips are stored inside the bag. Then I put my most favorite tools inside–standing up–where I can see and quickly grab them when I need them (and quickly put them back where they belong). I can’t tell you how much time this has saved me, not to mention less stress and frustration (who needs any of that?).

Shown in this picture (in addition to the Wonder Clips), I have my Loop Turner Tool, Sew Easy Tweezers, Awl, a crochet hook, and a stiletto tool. It’s not shown in this picture, but I also keep my Point2Point Turner stored here.

That brings me to the next FREE sew-along that I’ll be doing via Facebook Live Video. Join me on Facebook in February 2021 and we’ll sew a custom size StandZa Zip Bag for your sewing table (or for gifting). The sew-along itself will be free, but you’ll need to have previously purchased your StandZa Zip Bag pattern (currently available in print and download).

It’ll be another quickie! There is a zipper involved (don’t worry, it’s EASY) so I am planning for this sew-along to be done in at least 2 small and very manageable parts that will make it super easy for you to fit into your day. I’ll give you more specific details as to date(s) and time next week (1/23/2021 and after), so be sure to watch for next week’s eNews and mark the date(s). If you’re not already subscribed, click here to sign up.