Do you keep your old issues?

Dear Sewing Family,

We have just returned from a super fabulous Love of Heirloom Sewing Retreat in Tucson, Arizona with Cathey’s Sew and Vac with Baby Lock!! What an event!! What fun with 128 students from all over the country including as far away as Connecticut! Ladies I loved being with you!!! Donnie and Janice and your fabulous team I loved being with you again. My first trip out with you was in the mid-1990s and I have loved every one of the trips.

Tucson 1 Tucson 2 Tucson 3 tucson 4 Tucson 5tucson 1


I had so much fun traveling back to Scottsdale to spend a couple of days with Camp, Charisse, Garrin and Sophie-Reese! We had such a good time shopping and visiting. I hope the girls will be able to come for a visit with me very soon. I have been looking forward to the time when they are big enough to come see Granny and Pop alone. Maybe soon.

I have been thinking about Christmas sewing a lot lately. Last June in Arlington there were so many things which would be great Christmas projects for us who love to sew. I especially loved the card table “house” which won best of show in the contest. I thought I would share some of the precious contest entries with you just for your sewing enjoyment. I always love sewing ideas and I know you do too. If you love making doll clothes there are so many cute and EASY patterns available so you can make a very very quick wardrobe for the gift of a lifetime for your special little girl. So many of us “big girls” also have a doll that we sew for!! Anyway aren’t we glad that we sew???




There are two books that I recommend that you read if you have not already. One is Jesus Calling by Sara Young. Joe and I are reading it every morning for our devotional. It is just fabulous. Another is Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. It is an old book but it just might be the best work of fiction that I have ever read.

I pray for our men and women serving in harm’s way and for their families. I pray for all of you my beloved sewing family and for your families. I think about you so often and know that many of you are going through struggles as you are reading this letter. Possibly most of you. As I told the ladies in Arizona last week never forget that God is in control of the universe. Period. He is in control of Washington, DC. He is in control of your family and mine.  I need to let go and let God most of the time since I still try to be the CEO!! Anybody identify?? I love you all and never forget that!!

God Bless You and Yours,



Sewing Tip plus Sweet Letter from a Friend about a Past Issue of Sew Beautiful

  I was looking for a holiday smocking plate with soldiers and I found it in your 1992 holiday issue….11 years ago! And so, it really pays off to hold on to the back issues.


SB Holiday 1992

(Note from Martha: Please, please keep your Sew Beautiful magazines. I truly believe that in the year 2113 (that’s 100 years from now) sewers will be thrilled to stitch the beautiful garments, embroidery and smocking designs in the magazines. That is one of the reasons we try to include as many patterns and designs as possible in each magazine – for future generations. Please know that many of our grandmothers, who did not have grandchildren when they first started receiving Sew beautiful, are now using their magazines from the late 80’s for projects for their little ones. I love my 100 year old magazines, as all of the newsletter family already knows.)



“Her Doll’s Winter Clothes”

“In dressing the little girl’s doll for Christmas, it is well to get a set including the pieces that are intended for a certain style of outfit, such as this one which includes the dress, apron, and cape…Another important part of dolls’ wearing apparel is a complete set of underwear. This set of garments for the doll is such as would be worn by a little child when at play, and consists of a dress, hat and rompers.”


Note from Martha: For many centuries, little girls have loved doll dresses. The best Christmas gift that I ever received was a doll, and a complete doll wardrobe, when I was 8. For months, my mother had stayed up after I went to bed to make this surprise for me. Throughout her whole life we remembered that doll wardrobe with such joy. When she got very sick and almost unable to talk, I told her over and over, “Mama Do you remember that gorgeous Toni doll with the wardrobe that you made for me?” She would always smile and say, “Yes, I stayed up for months sewing that wardrobe.” She would always love to talk about that doll wardrobe.


SCRIPTURE OF THE WEEK — Ephesians 2: 8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of god, not by works, so that no one can boast.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that my salvation is totally a gift from God and that I have done nothing to deserve it or certainly nothing to earn it. In Arizona last week I was given valuable gifts from the ladies– loving words from people about what sewing means to them and what our magazine and books mean to them, and, I have to admit, what the newsletter has meant to them over the years. These are precious, precious gifts which were given to me and our team.

I want to thank each of you who gave me these precious uplifting words. To know that you have looked forward to an event like one with Baby Lock and Cathey’s Sewing Center  keeps us getting on that airplane and sometimes flying more week-ends than we would really choose to do. Your encouragement means so much not only to me but to our whole team.

What if I were to say, when someone gives me a gift, “Now what do I owe you for this?” Certainly a gift means just that – it’s free, it’s a gift. For these kind “word gifts” I owe the giver nothing other than a heartfelt “thank you.” Since I am a hugger, I usually hug when someone gives me a gift. I am totally unworthy of the gift of salvation which is “the gift of God” and I need to praise God and have great joy over this gift. I also believe that we are moved and empowered to thank and to serve God with good works and by helping people and by being kind; however, salvation is not based on any of these things. Thank you God, for freely loving me enough to give me this gift.



Easy Cheese Dip—VERY EASY


One package of Hidden Valley Ranch regular dressing mix

8 oz. package of finely shredded mild cheddar cheese

8 oz. package of softened cream cheese

2 Tbsp. of mayo.


Mix together. Shape into a ball and serve with crackers.


Strawberry Yummy Cake

1 box white cake mix

1 small box Strawberry Jell-O

2/3 c. veg. oil

1/3 c. water

4 eggs

1 c. frozen strawberries, thawed (you will need 1 1/2 c. total including the topping)

Preheat oven to 350. Put cake mix and Jell-O in a bowl. Add water and oil and mix well. Add strawberries and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Bake cake in a greased and floured tube pan for 30-45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly with fingertips. Let cake cool for at least 10 minutes, and flip onto serving platter/cake plate.

While still hot, pour on the following topping:

2 c. powdered sugar

3/4 stick margarine or butter

1/2 c strawberries, thawed

1/8 tsp. salt

Melt margarine (I use butter), add sugar, strawberries, and salt. Stir ingredients together, making sure most of the lumps are gone, and pour over cake


HISTORIC RECIPES FOR THE WEEK from The Delineator June 1921

Pear Salad

Drain halves of canned pears or of stewed dried pears. Fill the halves with a mixture of chopped nuts and dates, and invert on a bed of lettuce. Just before serving, cover with French dressing and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Candle Salad

Arrange a slice of canned pineapple on a bed of lettuce. In the center insert a section of banana to represent the candle. Top with a red cherry and make a handle to the candlestick with a strip of pimento. Serve the dressing on the side in a cup made from the lettuce heart.

Cherry Salad

Drain canned cherries. Remove stones and fill cavities of half of them with nut-meats. Stuff the remainder with small balls of cream cheese. Arrange on lettuce and serve with fruit-salad dressing.