Martha’s London Trip Report

Sewing Tips

 CONGRATULATIONS on a BLUE RIBBON for Laura Etzler, one of our Martha Pullen Licensed Serger and Beginning Sewing Teachers: She turned her Serger class christening gown into a quilted project!! Read on!

Last week our group in my community had a quilt show.  I entered that christening gown from our serger licensing class, I wanted so much for it to be eligible for the show that I made a small shadow appliquéd quilted vest for it, not that it needed anything at all…but I won a First Place Blue Ribbon! Over 600 people had attended and voted for the Viewer’s Choice. At the following meeting when I was presented with the ribbon, the Quilt Show Chairperson announced…“and the First Place Winner, no surprise here…is Laura Etzler”…get that?  No surprise here, man, I was surprised, though I knew it was a gorgeous creation, but it was up against some really beautiful vests and such. Since I was in charge of our boutique, I wasn’t able to prance around the stage with it during the Fashion Show portion, but Nancy did a great job, announcing over the loud speaker that I was a Certified Martha Pullen Teacher in both Beginning Sewing and Serging….and I even had a customer seek me out to talk about turning her wedding dress into a christening gown.  It was a glorious week for me…Thanks to You and Your Staff!


NOTE FROM MARTHA: Congratulations!! Congratulations!! Congratulations!! Laura, what a creative idea for those who love heirloom sewing and serging as well as quilting. Making a quilted baby vest for a christening dress is beyond spectacular. I am so happy that you enjoyed your weeks here becoming licensed in both beginning and serger sewing and teaching. By the way, turning wedding gowns into christening dresses is one of the “hottest” heirloom sewing trends. If a mother has several children or grandchildren you can even use pieces of the wedding gowns in combination with other fabrics to make christening dresses with “pieces” of mother’s or grandmother’s gown. Be sure you make a slip for each dress giving the history of the dress, the names, dates, marriage dates, birth dates-the whole family history. Scrap booking in the slip of a christening dress or in the hem of a beautiful smocked garment is just the best kind of scrap booking I believe. By the way, Laura, you have given lots of people ideas. Thank you for sharing about using your favorite quilting techniques to make a tiny quilted jacket or vest to accompany any beautiful dress.


I had a time storing long items such as rotary cutter rulers, French curves, and even cutting mats. I designed an organizer out of fabric that matches my window treatments, machine covers and chair mats and hung it on the back of the door to my sewing room. I made short pockets for rotary cutters, and larger – longer pockets for the big items.  Now all “hard to store” items are in one place.


Martha’s Personal Letter

Dear Sewing Family,

I just love the Christmas season. It has become colder in Huntsville, although we have had many warm Christmas seasons, I love it either cold or warm. My trees are decorated, my dining room is in a complete mess because I wrap presents after work or early in the morning. This year for our family ornament tree in our breakfast room, I found some of Mama’s little toy ornaments and other things from her Christmas tree. I also love putting up the homemade ornaments from the children and grandchildren. Many years ago my grandchildren Sarah Joy, Rebekah and Christopher made me a popsicle stick ornament with their pictures in the ornament saying, “Merry Christmas Granny” and I treasure these ornaments. One year, Morgan and Bradley were staying with me overnight and they made me aluminum foil balls with pipe cleaners wrapped around them. I treasure them. I have a lamb Joanna made in elementary school and ornaments my boys painted from a paint-by-number set when they were in elementary school.

On our living room tree we have only things which pertain to the birth of Jesus. I treasure them sooo much. In our dining room I have a small tree with only handmade ornaments that my sewing friends have made for me. We have an ornament swap every year in the Martha Pullen Fan Club and I treasure each and every one of these ornaments. I guess you can see that I love to decorate for Christmas and my village is on the back of my piano.

I had the privilege of being in London and Henley-on-Thames last week to become a Tony Buzan Licensed Instructor for Mind Mapping. This is one of the most exciting business planning tools in the universe as well as an educational planning tool. My grandson Chase recently studied (7th grade) Romeo and Juliet and his teacher had them Mind Map each act! My dear friend, Dr. Rhonda Buescher from Nashville went with me. London was beautiful, as always and we enjoyed a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as The Victoria and Albert Museum. We also took a cab out to Spurgeon’s College which is the college named for the great English pastor, Charles Spurgeon. You know I frequently quote him in my devotionals. I even got a mug which says Spurgeon’s College on it.

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I will share (during my business seminar at the SOAF) this very simple technique for planning a business, working with a child to help him/her understand a chapter of a book, for decision making of any type and for planning anything with great clarity, even a to do schedule for a week or a busy day. I cannot wait to see many of you at our 32nd year of  Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion held right here in Huntsville. We have so many fabulous classes. Please don’t miss this year’s February school!

SOAF banner

Our Internet Embroidery Club is sooo fabulous this year. The lace shaping, made entirely with your embroidery machine, is gorgeous. The 18” doll dress has machine made lace which looks exactly like French lace. The 18” doll ensemble is completed with lace shoes made on the embroidery machine. There are hundreds of designs ready for you when you join for 2014 and this is one of my favorite years of all years. Just click here to see what I am talking about. All of these downloads are available to you right now for only $69 and  you will get one or two designs each month-all for a very low subscription price.

IEC 2014 lace shaping

Only two of our licensed teacher programs have spaces left. We do take waiting lists. Many times some of the people on the waiting lists get to come. If you are planning to come to Huntsville for a licensing please go ahead and register now! You can call 1-800-547-4176 ext 4 to speak with Amy or Molina.

Our big exciting news is that sometime in the first of next year we are having our very first on-line licensed teacher program: Martha Pullen Beginning Sewing Licensed Teacher. I’ll let you know more about this very soon.

I pray for our men and women serving in harm’s way and for their families. I pray for you my beloved sewing family—and you are truly my family. You have given to me so freely your love and loyalty over the years. I appreciate it more than you will ever know—Joe and I personally appreciate it—Martha Pullen Company appreciates it. I am celebrating the reason for the season and thank God for my blessings. One of the special things I am celebrating next year, 2014, is that Joe and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary next year. Thank you God for giving me Joe!

May God Bless You ,



Scripture for the Week

I am so filled with thankfulness this Christmas season. I was thinking about how much you loved hearing from John and Suzanne when they were on the mission field and how you prayed for them. During those 10 years when they were Southern Baptist Missionaries in Africa you prayed for them. You always loved getting their letters which I sent on my e-mail newsletters. This was their Christmas letter the year they were in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa and were under severe danger. I shall never forget how I went to the computer and wrote to all of you to start praying—and you did—and they were safe. God was with them. John expresses it so beautifully in this letter. As Christmas approaches I must remember that God is with you and me and our loved ones as he is with other people of course. I thank God for all of you and for your loyalty to me and this company. God is truly with us in this business as well as personally. To Him goes the glory.




Dear Friends,


This has been an incredible year, and through it all, Immanuel, has been with us.

As the year 2004 began, we saw about 1,158 people attend 30 Chronological Bible storying sessions in 6 villages and about 180 men enroll in our soccer training program. Throughout the storying sessions, after the soccer training, many salvation decisions were made, and during 2004 we saw 75 new believers baptized. The baptisms began in Wartema, Togo, on April 11 which was Easter Sunday and ended on October 17 in Koutougou. As of December we have had 128 students enroll in our Bible Correspondence Program. One of our students is also the chief of Wartema! (Chief Tchamou N’Koue). As of December we have counted 8 churches and preaching points that we work with to spread the gospel among the Ditamari. God has been with us.

During the summer we had the joy of welcoming children from Wycliffe Bible Translators, Southern Baptist and the American Embassy to Kara for the first ever “Togo Kids Adventure Camp.” We had Bible studies, hiked, played baseball, soccer, volleyball, did crafts and presented a Friday night program entitled “His Love Endures Forever”. Our goal was that children of missionaries as well as American Embassy staff know that God’s love for them endures forever. We had a blast and Immanuel was with us. We also had the joy of partnering with MidWay Macedonia Baptist Church in Villa Rica, Georgia for 10 outstanding Vacation Bible Schools among the Ditamari where about 1,200 children and adults attended.

Then as fall arrived Suzanne, Sarah Joy, Rebekah, Christopher, Benjamin and I traveled to Normandy, France to meet my father. In Normandy we had the honor of walking where American heroes fought on Utah beach, St. Mere Eglise, Arromanches, Point De Hoc,  and Omaha Beach as well as other historic World War II sites. My father gave Suzanne and me a precious gift – 3 date nights! On one date night, Suzanne and I had a wonderful dinner in Arromanches, where Winston Churchill installed his famous MulBerry, (codename) an artificial port which provided essential supplies and provisions for our troops once they landed on June 6,1944, in Normandy. He also gave us time with our older children to play putt putt golf, while he and Benjamin strolled around in a new European baby stroller he purchased for us, feeding Ben French éclairs!   As my father and I walked on Omaha Beach, one of 2 beaches assaulted by American troops on D Day in Operation “Overlord” I was so grateful Immanuel was with us.

Later this fall we traveled to Abidjan, Ivory Coast to begin our Strategy Coordinator Training. The training was outstanding until it was suddenly interrupted beginning on Thursday, November 4, when Ivory Coast warplanes bombed French forces in the north of the country. Upheaval then increased in Abidjan as mobs took to the streets with iron bars, machetes, and sticks looking for French citizens to attack. We did not know what to do when we heard the mobs were coming our way a little after midnight Saturday night, November 6. I called my parents, my mother read Psalm 18 to me on the phone and my father encouraged me to be brave. My brother, Camp, called me and encouraged me as well. We did our best. The mobs never made it to the Baptist compound. After the sounds became fainter some of my SBC missionary friends and I witnessed a military helicopter fire percussion grenades into the mobs gathering around the bridge about 1 mile from the Baptist compound. We also heard Mirage jets bomb the Ivorian air base. They next morning things were calmer with the exception of the continual patrol of the helicopters, and French military securing our neighborhood. On Thursday our family was evacuated with a number of IMB missionaries on a German Air Force Plane. Our IMB/SBC chartered a small plane that came the next day to evacuate the rest of our SBC missionaries. As we took off for Accra, Ghana I looked out the window and saw a French tank patrolling the runway. In the midst of this chaos, Immanuel was with us. We were safely evacuated and not one SBC missionary was hurt, although over 1,000 people were injured during this time in Abidjan. We later found out that people from as close to home as Huntsville to as far away as Australia been interceding on our behalf.

We returned to Togo to continue our work among the Ditamari. Soon after our arrival in Lome we saw a crate with our name on it bouncing in the back of truck on its way to the Baptist Mission. It was about 150 shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts sent by our home church, Whitesburg Baptist in Huntsville, Alabama, to the children at The Peace, Good Samaritan and ODPE orphanages that we do some work with in Benin and Togo. Delivery of the gifts begins this Wednesday, December 15 in Benin. I can’t wait to see the faces of these children when they receive their Christmas gifts as well as listen to the Christmas story from the Scriptures. In West African orphanages, God is with us.

Just a few days ago I was having my quiet time when our 1 and 1/2 year old son, Benjamin, came up to me. I put my vanilla cappuccino coffee down and he climbed on me for just a minute or two of wrestling. In the midst of a calm morning reading my Bible with my youngest son, God was with us.

Thank you for your prayers and financial support of us through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Our ministry among the Ditamari would not have been possible if you had not given.

God bless,

Merry Christmas,

John, Suzanne, Sarah Joy, Rebekah, Christopher and Benjamin Crocker



from Maria Gardner from New York

Dear Martha:  I enjoy your newsletter very much, and appreciate all the work that goes into getting it out so often, with lots of great tips to read.  I have joined your IEC, and just completed several redwork items from your patterns.  Thank you for such great items.
I have a very simple and delicious microwave oven recipe that you might want to consider using.  It’s always a big favorite in our house, and was a big hit when I included the recipe with last year’s Christmas cards.  I made up a recipe card with lovely clipart, and got some great feedback from family and friends who made the relish and decided it definitely is a keeper.


·         1 12-oz. pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries, stemmed and sorted

·         1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

·         Finely grated rind of 1 orange

·         1/4 cup orange juice

·         1/2 cup golden seedless raisins

·         1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

Mix first four ingredients in microwave-safe 2-quart casserole.  Cover and vent with plastic food wrap.  Microwave on high 6 to 7 minutes, stirring at half time, until the cranberries pop.  (Frozen cranberries will take 2 to 3 minutes longer and should be stirred twice.)
Add raisins, stir, re-cover and cool to room temperature.  Mix in the almonds and serve.
Makes three half-pints.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator.  Keeps for several weeks.



from Martha Pullen

For years we had Joe’s dental office party at our home. The entire staff brought wonderful homemade food and we had a true feast. Joe’s most requested dish was “Hot Corn” and someone always brought it. I have just found the recipe written in the back of one of my cookbooks and thought I would share it with you. I also made it for a family Christmas party last weekend.  After I re-read the recipe I thought, “There is no way in the world anything with corn, cream cheese, butter and jalapenos can’t taste wonderful.” This is definitely not a low calorie recipe but it is SO good.


·         2 cans shoe peg corn

·         1 eight ounce cream cheese

·         1 stick butter

·         Chopped Jalapenos to taste (I use one small can)

·         Salt and pepper

Soften cream cheese and butter in the microwave. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees until hot. About 15 minutes