Another Licensing Class plus see what Martha is busy filming!

I figured this out several years ago since I do a great deal of smocking and teaching smocking classes. I have found if you pleat across the straight of grain on any garment even for insets; then count in 7 pleats on each side; then when I am ready to construct the dress or whatever, those 7 pleats allow plenty of room for any size armseye up to size 10 and I never have to sew on extra fabric in order to make room for the armseye. You will always have plenty of room by beginning in seven pleats after the selvedge and stop smocking 7 pleats before the end of the selvedge at the other side. Thanks so much.

(Note from Martha: Lorraine, I have found 7 pleats is wonderful also when you have not already tied off your threads to accommodate the armseye of the dress. If you do not need to allow for cutting the amseye, I think 2 pleats is usually enough for just the seam allowance. Thanks so much for sending this tip. Smocking is so much fun and there are so many tips to make it perfect.)


Dear Sewing Family,



Wow, what an incredible Serger III Licensed Teacher Group we have just hosted in Huntsville!! We serged, laughed, serged, ate, serged, cried, laughed, shared, serged, laughed, serged, serged and serged some more! All but one of the ladies had been here to a licensing before! One had been to 15 licensings! Many had been here to licensings more than five times. I think most are signed up to come again to one of the four we have scheduled in 2014. How can I ever thank you for the confidence and love you place in our hands? Sewing education is what we love best-events, licensings, books, magazines, television, videos, and soon to be on line licensings! We simply love to share sewing techniques to bring joy to YOU!

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This group came from all across the United States, literally from all four corners and in between as well as from Australia. We had 4 husbands who traveled with their wives for this event as well as two international exchange students who were living with one of the families this year. These lovely young ladies were from Sweden and Germany. It was their fall break. Wow, what an international group we had.


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Our student who had never been to licensing, Tanya, had never used a serger! She left feeling totally comfortable serging and was the proud owner of a brand new Ovation!! Thanks to Baby Lock for sending Emily Carter who shared more techniques than I could ever have dreamed even existed on the serger. She received an ovation at the barbeque at our house Monday night for all she had taught them.




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I absolutely cried at the barbecue going away party when they presented to the teachers and me as a thank you present a HUGE, HUGE donation to both Africa New Life Ministries for our sewing ladies in Rwanda, Africa and to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital–two places where part of my heart resides permanently.  Before I went to bed I sent a note to Alan Hotchkiss, the director, telling him of the huge check which was going to be in the mail the next day. He wrote a thank you back immediately thanking the ladies sooooo much.

Our next exciting event is taping for our on-line licensing which we will have MORE details on very soon. It is going to be the next best thing to sliced bread I promise. What it will do is make it possible for many people who cannot for one reason or another come to Huntsville to become a licensed teacher—to indeed become a licensed teacher. This has been a dream of mine and it is about to happen. STAY TUNED MY FRIENDS!! I think January will be the opening session!!! We are very excited about this!

Thank you for allowing me to visit with you this week. I pray for our men and women serving in harm’s way and for leaders the world over to find solutions to terrorism. I pray God’s guidance for these leaders and for His protection on our military and innocent people. I pray for you and your family this week in whatever situations you are facing. I pray for strength for you to guide your families and others in your realm of friends and colleagues in the best way. I pray for those of you who are sick and hurting. Please know that I care for each one of you. I look forward each week to writing this blog and I thank you for enjoying it.

May God Bless You,


RECIPE OF THE WEEK-Sent to me years ago by a newsletter reader

Just in case you forgot…I got this recipe 30 years ago from my Mother-in-Law, Irene McDaniel of Oklahoma. Years later her daughter-in-law, Kathryn McDaniel, told me that she had given the recipe to Mom McDaniel. Years after that her daughter, Ruby McDaniel Tucker, told me that she had given the recipe to Mom McDaniel. Who really knows, but the history of this recipe is part of the fun when I make it. And it is moist and delicious.

Moist Chocolate Cake

Mix the following dry ingredients in one bowl:

2 cups Sugar
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa
2-1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Mix the following liquid ingredients in another bowl:

2 Eggs
1 cup Oil
1 cup Buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Hot Water

Carefully pour and mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. (Sometimes, when I’m lazy, I just make a well in the dry ingredients and drop the liquid ingredients into the well – then mix). Please note that the mixture will be thin! Also: If I don’t have buttermilk I use regular milk and add 1 tablespoon vinegar to the cup. I pour it into a 13″ x 9″ glass baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


1 stick margarine – softened
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup milk (about)
box of powdered sugar

Blend together and spread on cake. Note: Sometimes I put on Mom’s icing, and sometimes I just sprinkle chocolate chips on the hot cake, wait a minute for them to start melting, and then smooth out this “easier” icing. Enjoy, Gwen McLean McDaniel (A Michigander, married to an Oklahoman who now live in Florida, who LOVES Martha Pullen and Company)


Mark 16: 19-20

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of god.
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

There are not very many good things in the headlines. The really good news is that God is in control. He is completely in charge of our lives as well as every international situation. If you know God personally you can feel him every minute. I talked about this in my Sunday School class at the hotel Sunday at our Serger III licensing. That is the best news I can think about and it is not in the newspaper.

God is real in my life and He is the best part of my life. I cannot imagine how a person exists even one day in a “happy, fun, perfect”  day without him. I certainly cannot fathom existing during troubled times without knowing without a doubt that God is in control and that God does not make mistakes.

I would think that some people reading this blog do not have a wonderful church to attend. Please find a church. There are so many wonderful churches. I know that most everybody reading this newsletter is having difficulties and troubles at this time. Please know that we have a loving God who is in control. Please know that prayer is the best anti-anxiety treatment in the world. Please know that I care about your troubles and am praying for you my sewing family. I really am.