Martha gives some holiday gift ideas! + tips & weekly scripture


I wanted to tell you how I am preserving memories for my granddaughters. When I have finished each garment for the girls, I interface with iron on interfacing a small scrap, then cut a dress, (like for a paperdoll). I have a container for each girl (there are four, and I make almost all of their clothes). I am collecting these “dresses” in them. When I have time, I applique the dress on a quilt square. Eventually I will make a quilt, but for now, this is my way of keeping record of each garment. I hope this makes sense to you. Love your magazine and newsletter. It is full of informative information and as soon as the magazine arrives, I start planning more clothes. Right now, I’m working on Easter.


From Martha: Dear Barbara, You might even want to use the outline stitch from some of our Paper Dolls from the IEC machine embroidery membership to stitch a cute outline of the garment after you iron on your scrap from the dress you just made. For those of you who scrapbook you might use this idea to make a little “dress” for your scrapbooks also. What a wonderful memory of the sewing love put into clothing for children and grandchildren or godchildren or other special children for whom you love to sew.


From 2011 IEC Paper Doll Designs: “Joanna”


From 2011 IEC Paper Doll Designs: “David”











I do a number of different types of handwork, and was always searching for the right needle. (Embroidery, ribbon embroidery, plastic canvas, beading, crewel, etc.) I discovered a good way to keep the needles in order and easy to find. I use the plastic containers that mechanical pencil lead comes in. It has a very tight closing lid, is the right length and see-through. I take a piece of tape that can be written on, attach it to the front of the container and write the type of needle inside. No more searching through needles to find the one you want. This will work also for machine needles. Just label the outside and no more guesswork and no loose needles lying around.


Dear Sewing Family,

Well Halloween is almost over, THANK GOODNESS, and I have begun to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas, my two favorite holidays! I got a cute letter several years ago from Zeta where she wrote about pasting her Christmas wish list on her refrigerator right after Thanksgiving for everyone to see.  Actually she had pasted one of my Christmas/Valentine wish lists that I had printed in a newsletter. I LOVE Christmas and I love Valentines day since it comes in February, one of my absolute favorite months of the year! The list went something like this:

“I have to tell you that I love Valentine’s Day. Joe’s birthday is February 15 so he was almost a Valentine. Red is my favorite color and I love presents which say I love you. To be truthful, I just love February! Camp’s birthday is February 9-my first baby. Joanna’s birthday is February 23-my first daughter. Charisse’s birthday is February 5. Campbell’s is February 2-my first grandchild. Marshall’s birthday is February 18. Mama went home to be with the Lord on February 23-Joanna’s birthday. Many years before that, my Granddaddy Dicus (Mama’s father) went to be with the Lord also on February 23. With February being my favorite month, almost, please WISH to come to our February School of Art Fashion, February 5-9, 2-14! In Huntsville! We will have the best time ever! This will be our 32nd school and we want you to be here to celebrate with us with a sewing vacation of a lifetime!

SOAF banner

February 2014 SOAF!

Now the wishlist for Christmas might include a subscription to Sew Beautiful magazine, a little basket of notions you have been wanting, several yards of lace insertion and edging, several new books, a subscription to the IEC-2014 with the fabulous machine embroideries, or a trip to one of our licensed teacher programs! A GREAT present would be a membership in the very first on-line licensed teacher program which will not be available until mid January, but it will be fabulous! I always love a beautiful pair of scissors for Christmas too.

Now that we have your Christmas refrigerator list started, why don’t you add to it and make it in a big font and put it up!!  Be sure to ask for the trip to the February School of Art Fashion in February.

I pray for our men and women serving in harm’s way and for our decision makers to get them home safely and as quickly as possible. I pray for you and for your family in your difficulties this week. I know many of you need healing for yourself or for others that you love very much. I pray for this healing and for peace for you in your situation. Remember with God you can “walk and not faint.” Know that I send my love but more importantly I send the love of the Lord, himself, in this letter. Never forget that I will always love you. You are indeed my family.

May God Bless You,



Scripture of the week

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

I confess. I sometimes try to fit God into my plans by doing it my way not His. How long will it take me to learn that God’s timing is the perfect timing, not mine? When my plans don’t go along with my well thought out, “listed carefully” activities, I get frustrated. Then, I have to remember that it was Martha who made those lists and planned that goal to be achieved, and planned exactly what day that goal would be up and running. I just seem to love “my agenda.” I have thrown a pity party and the only guest present happened to be me. Has this ever happened to you? It seems every time that when my “events” don’t go as planned I need to turn to God to say, “Thy will be done. If you don’t have this in mind, well I understand and now I will listen to you.” I have to remind myself over and over to pray for “thy will not mine.” If I only had enough sense to remind myself of that rather than throwing a pity party where I am the only guest. I should thank God for being in control and for making no mistakes. I can always rest in the solid as a rock fact that God loves me and that He has my best in mind. God, help me to always pray for your will not mine. Help me to love what you have planned for me and give me wisdom to understand what “things” are your plan and what ones were simply mine which are not best for me. Help me to remember that I am the clay and you are the potter.