"new" web address!!

Thanks for visiting http://www.thesnugbug.blogspot.com/! For more recent posts and fun, head on over to www.pattythesnugbug.com. Have a great day!

Hey there woeful eyed donkeys with detachable tails! Even though it’s already TWO DAYS into July, I thought I should still add an official entry to the year of the dress project. I think we can all agree that the June dress HAS to be the Claire Cami dress from Serendipity Studios. Because, guess what? I made another one!


That’s three of these in June. And I’m not done, yet. If you think my sewing blog has gotten boring, what with me only making one pattern over and over, you should see what I’m wearing. Just these three dress – they are that comfy and awesome! I literally don’t think I can have enough of them! (OK, I’m lying. I’m wearing my deer-in-the-woods crepe as I type this…)

For this version I mixed up the prints a bit to give it a bit more of a shirt-n-skirt vibe rather than dress. We’ve had this Oliver & S fabric in the shop for a while and I’ve been in LOVE with the turquoise and orange viney print that I used for the skirt, but haven’t gotten around to making anything from it! I particularly like it with a cardigan with this mix of prints…


Is it a dress? Is it a skirt? What IS it??

Hey! Guys! Are you paying attention? I don’t KNOW where your tails are. Next time, trying stapling them on. Egad.

Well, since this is the third post this month on the same dress I feel like I’ve said everything I have to say on the subject. I changed nothing about the pattern. For construction, I used methods we’d use in the classroom (e.g. easy and time-saving) the seam allowances are pinked as are the edges of the facings. All the facings are in the same viney print as the skirt for a bit of contrast. Funny story – this dress is destined to be a shop sample, so I really wanted to finish it exactly as we would in a class. Unfortunately, I was sewing late at night and rather sleepy, so the skirts side seams are french seams. I forgot I was doing it the ‘easy’ way and went on auto-pilot!

Since I don’t have many details for you on construction, I thought I’d amuse you with this series of photos that showed up from my photo session. Apparently, I prefer my hair PUFFY!! These were all taken within 2 seconds of each other…



Skirt fabric – Oliver + S City Weekend – Park Ramble in Turquoise (available online – also available in cotton knit interlock)

Bodice fabricOliver + S City Weekend – Cobblestone in Turquoise (available online)

Trim fabric – Oliver + S City Weekend – Roundabout Dots in Orange Red (available online)

I’ll be teaching this as a class in July! Class dates are July 7th and 14th (it’s a two session class.) If you’re in Minneapolis, come on down and join me! [Register online]


Quick note – it’s Moving Weekend! (You don’t need to do anything, I hired movers.)

As I’ve mentioned, I am migrating over to Wordpress. Next time you see a post from me, the site will look a bit different! There may be some down time over the next few days, but look for the next post mid-week! My web address will NOT change, so you need to do nothing, just keep coming back! Just wanted to let you know that (for a change) my radio silence will be for a good reason. Not because I got sucked into petting the basset hound for 10 hours straight and didn’t get anything done!

Announcement! 3snugbugs on Etsy.

Greetings earthlings! I am contacting you from the strange new world of Etsyville. Everything is very orderly here. All square photos and craftiness abounds…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I (try to) keep a steady supply of pincushions at the shop to sell on consignment and I’ve finally gathered my wits enough to also set up an Etsy store! Here’s what’s in the shop so far (click on image to jump over to the Etsy listing.)

I will likely add a few more things as time goes by (any requests??) New items will be in the same vein – colorful and useful. As I say on Etsy “The 3snugbugs design philosophy is summed up in three words: color, function and style. Expect fun details, fine finishing and funky fabrics in every 3snugbugs project!”

It was fun to put together my own shop – we use Etsy to manage online store sales at Sewtropolis, so I’m already very familiar with the site, but it’s a bit different when it’s all my very own stuff!

Stop by and take a look! 3snugbugs on Etsy.

Hey there platypus-friends! Blogger, once again, is having some issues and I can’t post pictures, so today’s post will have to wait a bit. In the MEANTIME… I’m almost done with my new blog. Same posts, different layout. I have a few friends willing to take a look to ensure that it’s readable and easy to understand but I’d like a few more! If you’d enjoy a sneak peek and the chance to shamelessly abuse me over my fruity layout ideas, drop me an email at pattythesnugbug@gmail.com. I’ll have the site ready to look at sometime today or tomorrow and would like to work on the migration this weekend so you’d need a bit of time free before then!
(PS… and YES Amanda, I have the RSS button set up Smile !   In the meantime here’s the link! )

Greetings Loch Ness monsters! I know you’re all about your cold, deep waters in the Scottish highlands, but I thought you may be interested in visiting northern Minnesota this summer. There’s nice, big lakes for you to float around in and better yet, there’s an awesome quilt shop and bed breakfast just a splash away from the lake!

Over the weekend, the Bug-family made the long journey to the majestic Iron Range in Northeastern Minnesota. It actually is pretty majestic – all pine trees and rocks and deer and buttercups. The glaciers were sloppy houseguests and left that part of the state all craggy and cluttered and full of lakes. And swamps. I’ll spare you the geography details, but suffice to say grandma-bug lives in the ‘big’ town of Virginia (population 8,400). The wedding was a half an hour away in Cook, Minnesota (population 620). I grew up in a Soudan, Minnesota, which is a half an hour in the other direction (population 374) and we stayed at the Northern Comfort bed and breakfast in beautiful Embarrass, Minnesota. Population 691 (that’s the whole township, there really isn’t a ‘town’ persay.) But for the low number of year-round residents (there’s a lotta summer residents and campers, fishers, hunters, etc.) the area has one of the best fabric shops I’ve been in recently, North Country Quilts in Tower, Minnesota.



{the quilt shop}

I have to admit to a prior acquaintance with this quilt shop, although it was in a different location when I knew it! North Country quilts has been open for about twelve years and waaaaayyyyy back in 2000/2001 I decided to try the life of a small town girl (again.) I moved back home, stayed for six months and fled back to the city. I missed Vietnamese food. Also, I was tired of people thinking I was a witch. Nevertheless, in my short time up north I learned to quilt at North Country Quilts. Back then, it was recently opened and in an old fire station – one of the few old, brick buildings in town. Nessie and friends, it was an AWESOME setup – on one side was the quilt shop with tables for sewing. On the other was a gift/coffee shop – the coffee shop was in the old jail cell! It was charming and the hangout for quite a few locals who would drop by for a sew and a chat. I’d heard that the quilt shop had moved down the street to a newer-not-so-charming venue a few years ago and was sad. Normally my visits up north are quick and at odd times and there hasn’t been a chance to check out the new digs until this trip – actually I didn’t expect to stop by, but Mr. Bug and I were driving around looking at the house where I grew up and when we drove past the quilt shop, look what I saw!!

Now, does that beat a sandwich board or what?? A front porch covered with quilts? I’m in. Even though quilting’s not my main thing, why on earth would I pass up a fabric shop? Quilt weight cotton’s the perfect summer dress weight, after all…

I was blown away by the shop. I didn’t take many photos, but suffice it to say this is a must-do stop if you’re up that way, EVEN if you aren’t a quilter! There’s a front room packed with all the cool designers (Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler – I think I saw Alexander Henry.) There’s side rooms full of more cottons and a back room with some great knits, tons of minki and the coolest flannels I’ve ever seen – herringbone prints that faked me out so well, I still thought they were wool WHEN I WAS TOUCHING THEM!!

Seriously, you sneaky dinosaurs, if you live in Minnesota, this shop is worth the trip. I haven’t seen anything like it down in the Twin Cities (although, granted, I’m not super-familiar with the quilt shops down here!) AND, lucky for you, there’s an excellent place to stay just 15 miles down the road (that’s just a couple blocks after you make the city to country conversion…)

{the B&B}

First, to help orient you to your surroundings, here is the Embarrass post office. It’s a bit small.

Approaching the B&B

Our room. There are a few rooms with their own powder rooms, but share the main shower. I think there are a couple of rooms that have no powder room at all, and then there is the suite where we stayed. There’s a full bathroom, a sitting room with a trundle bed and the bedroom.

{the grounds}

The bed and breakfast is located on a beautiful old farm. In prior days, it was a private residence, a boarding house and who knows what. My stepfather, who is from Embarrass and 94 years old (my mom married up!) told us that the building used to be a rooming house for kids who lived out in the hinterlands and were attending the four-year high school in town.

{the antique shop}

New, since we last visited in October was the antique shop! The owners, Pam and Kathy, converted part of the barn to a sweet little antique shop. It smells nice. Partially because Kathy makes her own soap – there were little bars of it in the rooms!


The back of the barn is still in its original form, but overflow from the shop lives back there and we wandered in to take some pictures.

Kathy had a very nice selection of buttons in the shop and I think we all, mythical creatures and snug bugs alike, know how I feel about buttons. Here’s my haul. Check out those most excellent ones in the upper left! I (ok, Mr. Bug) paid $12 for three of them, but they were irresistible…

{the food}

OK, we can’t leave off a post regarding a B&B without addressing the second B, now can we? I must admit that I consider the plethora of food-photos on Facebook an unfortunate side-effect of too much leisure time coupled with too many iPhones, but nevertheless, here’s our melon-with-crème-fraiche and German apple pancake.


I assure you, the nice ladies at North Country Quilts and Northern Comfort will do their very best to make you feel welcome. Just let them know you require absolute secrecy, a large body of fresh water around 800 feet deep and a steady diet of scuba divers and northern pike.

North Country Quilts

303 Main Street | Tower, MN 55790




Northern Comfort B&B

4776 Waisanen Road | Embarrass, MN 55732




[a lazy resident of Embarrass, Minnesota]

Morning Easter Egger Hens! I’m back from our great trip up north, the quilt has been left on a gift table at the First Baptist Church, Lucy got to run around without a leash and fell in a ditch (no injuries, much laughing) and I got to meet CHICKENS!!! But more about that later this week, today we’ll finally take a look at the wedding quilt, which, to Mr. Bug’s intensely amped-up stress level was finished IN THE CAR and photographed on the way up north. Luckily, we have the most beautiful rest stops in the nation here in the great state of Minnesota…

I thought the back was so pretty it was a shame to wrap it up, plus wrapping a quilt is weird. I mean, who has a box big enough and if you skip the box it’s just a floppy paper-wrapped amoeba. I raided my jewelry box and co-opted my leather bracelets to use as special quilt straps, rolled it into a tootsie-roll and just pinned our tag to it. I used a bit of the same leather in the quilt as I had to make the bracelets, so it was very matchy-matchy.

And of course, I had to include a little tag. Everything’s better with a basset hound on it, right my chicken friends? I bet you LOVE this quilt, what with your penchant for laying green eggs…

{the front}

OK, first lets’ talk about the front! I used a whole bunch of different fabrics including some organic cotton flannel, silk/cotton blends, dupioni silk, cotton voile, wool flannel, silk charmeuse and plain ‘ole quilt-weight cotton. Unfortunately for the new bride (or groom, how they sort out their household chores is a whole different bag of scraps), this quilt will not take kindly to baths. I love giving practical gifts, don’t you agree?

In addition to all my fun fabrics, I did some not-so-fancy stitchin’. There’s a shop close to my house (Needlework Unlimited for curious Minneapolis-based hens) that carries a giant array of handwork supplies, including silk embroidery yarn (like perl cotton, but, you know, not cotton. I’m not familiar enough with the terms to tell you the correct weight!) The best part of the selection (apart from the fact that it’s SILK) is that the colors are much more vivid (and varied) than the DMC offerings at Joann’s. I got a couple colors of green, then ran some basic running stitches along a strip of Kona cotton in Snow. I embroidered the bride and groom’s names (Olin! Great name, isn’t it?) and their wedding date on one of the strips. Everything was totally freehand – I didn’t even trace out a pattern - and it cracks me up that the letters look EXACTLY like my handwriting!!


I embroidered one other strip by hand as well – just a scroll of running stitches with little sunburst flowers. Both white strips were 4” wide, if that helps give you a sense of scale.

I quilted with straight lines of stitching to either side of the seams. I’m not sure if there’s a name for this style of quilting. It took FOREVER, but I am incredibly bad at stitching in the ditch, plus I thought the double lines of quilting would look nice on the back of the quilt. I put on the binding entirely by machine – a first for me, as I’ve always sewed to the front by machine, then slipstitched to the back. It was fun to use one of my decorative stitches and I like the effect! In the end, it wasn’t that much easier than slipstitching by hand, as I had to be SUPER careful to have the edge of the front in line with the stitching line from when I had attached the binding, otherwise it looked messy in the back. And you hens all know how much I dislike a hot mess on the back of my projects!

As I said above, I stitched some leather strips to the quilt as well. I really wanted the overall look to not veer towards super-girly, so I offset the embroidery, silk and polka dots with a more ‘masculine’ color-palette, leather and wool flannel.

I stitched the label on after the whole quilt was assembled rather than stitching to the only one side before quilting or tucking into the binding. I like the casual look of stitching labels through all the layers – I do that when putting labels into a lot of my clothes as well. It’s even better if you use a decorative stitch – of course, one that looks nice from both sides!

{the back}

I really loved the back of the quilt. Almost more than the front! The silver shiny fabric is a wonderful silk/cotton blend (I think it’s 55% silk, 45% cotton, but I might have that backwards) that I got at my local quilt shop. I was a little concerned about working with silk in general in the quilt, and ESPECIALLY on the back, but this fabric is incredibly stable – no running, fraying, getting chewed up by the sewing machine, rippling or showing off giant holes from the needle (unlike some charmeuse’s and dupionis I could name…) I really loved the feel of the silk on the back of the quilt and it really looked awesome quilted!

In order to not have to do too much piecing for the back, I used the silk the long way – that’ just about two yards, so it’s 72” x 44” (more or less) on the right. I bordered the silk with some leftover strips from the front and then pieced together another wider strip of the green and white ‘brocade’ print cotton. I love the strong, simple lines and the fact that they are running vertically, while the quilting (and the piecing in the front) runs horizontally.

I actually needed a bit over two yards length for the back and asked for the wrong length of silk at the quilt shop, so I was about 5” short. I didn’t want to shorten my quilt top that much, so I ‘lengthened’ the large silk piece by adding a little pieced strip to the bottom of the silk before attaching to the narrow strip/cotton part of the backing.

Here’s how I did it: I trimmed a 5” strip of silk from the long side of the silk piece, then I pieced a few of my scraps to one short end and sewed it back onto the bottom of the large silk piece. For the most part it just looks like the silk is longer, but there’s this fun little patchwork piece in the lower right corner – it’s hard to see in the photo above because of the light, but here’s a closeup! You can also (sort of) see how the machine stitched binding looks on the back. A little wonky, but that gives it character, right??

All in all, this was a fun quilt to make. I’m not sure I’ll jump wholeheartedly back into quilting, but I would like a matching throw or two for my living room update. I may make a couple blankie/quilts that look more like the back of this quilt!

{what I learned, tips and resources}

  • Quilting. It’s not just for cotton anymore.
  • Spray adhesive makes basting a quilt a LOT easer (tutorial)
  • Strip quilts are fun to make and not quite as tedious as block varieties (tutorial)
  • Cutting binding strips is not difficult (tutorial)
  • Machine applied binding: sew to back of quilt, wrap around edge, line up fold with stitchline and secure with decorative stitch. Normally you sew to the front of the quilt, then slipstitch to the back as the neatest side will be the machine stitched (front) side, but when doing by machine you will need to see what you’re doing and the neatest side will be the side you are looking at when you sew down the fold.
  • Working with voile, silk and wool in quilts. As you hens know, silk dupioni frays like the dickens as does some wool (like the stuff I was using) and while voile is fairly stable as its tight weave is what makes it so soft, I always consider it ‘delicate’. I considered serging the whole thing and probably would have if I’d had a serger at home (I made the top pre-serger.) Instead I made sure to shorten the stitches a tad to make them extra-strong (I normally sew with a  2.5mm stitch, I went down to 1.8), I trimmed with pinking shears, and pressed to one side. It was not a pretty sight!
  • To deal with the quilt during the quilting process. You should start quilting in the middle of the quilt in order to keep everything balanced. When you start in the middle, you’ve got a LOT of quilt to either side to deal with. If you’re doing straight-line quilting like I did, roll both ends in – like a scroll. It rolls into a surprisingly easy to handle shape!
  • When doing straight like quilting like I did you have to ‘flip’ the quilt after every line, otherwise you end up with a crooked quilt. So. Start quilting (start in the middle, it’ll be easier). Sew your first straight line, then you will turn the quilt and start quilting on the same side that you just ended on. Like so.


Special thanks to my boss, Nikol, for all her advice during my frantic month of quilting… And to Ashley at Film in the Fridge for the endless inspiration (um, is copying someone’s work directly still considered ‘inspiration’?) and great tutorials!

In closing, a snapshot of some nice hens I met this weekend.

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