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Newbie says Howdy

user-221153 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Hey All,

My name is Laurie. I’ve been getting Threads magazine for several years, but am just now getting around to joining the forum! I am really impressed that so many people can find time to chat AND sew!

I am an artist in the Pocono Mountains, PA. I have a business making jewelry and custom clothing. You can check out some of my stuff at http://sinnersandsaints.biz .

If any of you live near the Poconos, I have been trying to organize a “Stich-n-Bitch” where local people who love to sew can get together, share ideas, help each other and chew the fat. I have been sewing since I was a little girl and I would love to share my knowledge with others. I’m really glad to join this forum to make new friends who share my passion. Finally, people who understand my gigantic, out of control fabric stash!! And best of all, no matter how long anyone has been sewing, there is always room to learn more, and I look forward to exchanging tips and ideas.

Thanks for having me!



  1. mygaley | | #1

    Welcome to gatherings, Laurie. I am excited to see and hear about your sewing and other artistic endeavors. Post pictures! Also, please repeat your email address (actually I found the site but was not able to see anything on it). God bless you Galey

    1. User avater
      user-221153 | | #3

      Hi Galey.

      My web address is:  http://sinnersandsaints.biz

      My email address is: [email protected]

      You should be able to view the site, it is working fine. If you have a slow connection such as dial up it may take a few seconds to load the images. Try it again and let me know what happens!

      What is the main type of sewing that you do? I do mostly clothing, with some home decor. Some day I'd like to get around to making a quilt. My problem is that I love to do so many things and there just isn't enough time! So I narrowed it down to jewelry making and sewing. I can't afford the supplies to be into everything. I used to do sculpture and illustration too, but there is just no time. 

      I have attached a picture of the costume I made for my nephew for Halloween.

      Thanks for replying! It's nice to meet you!



      1. mygaley | | #13

        I have been sewing for my children and grandchildren for years, and also garments for myself. For about 20 years I have been associated with a decorator and have sewn draperies and other soft furnishings. I did make one quilt, but found I don't like to do anything over and over and this also means I usually don't have any crafts to sell. I did make 18 bridesmaids dresses one summer to pay for my Pfaff! Right now I am sewing hunter orange fleece head covers for the deer hunters and am also using some scraps from cutting off hunter's overalls to make some gift ipod holders. Next, I am making my 14 yo DGD a vest from a medium blue ultrasuede jacket that her Pop outgrew, and plan to trim it with some blue and tan fake fur left over from a mardi gras costume. I do buy fabric (my oldest piece is from the late 50s) as my stash will testify, but it's more fun to "see what I can do with this". God bless you, Galey

        1. User avater
          user-221153 | | #15

          I hear that. Among the things I seem to be unable to throw away are outdated or outgrown clothing, because I know I can reuse the fabric or transform them into something else. It's just a matter of finding the time.

          I recently made a leather purse from a miniskirt I wore as a teenager. And I recycle buttons, zippers, etc. It's a real challenge to see what you can make from what you already have.

          Sounds like you stay real busy sewing! That's great!

          Were you ever able to view my site? Did it work for you?

          God bless you too,



  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    Welcome to the forum!  Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.  I visited the Poconos in the 70s, it was breathtaking!  I enjoyed your website, thanks for sharing.  My son brought me fabric to make him a shirt somewhat like the ones on your site.  Have made several with Hawaiian fabrics that go over very well too.  Hope to hear more from you.  Mary

    1. User avater
      user-221153 | | #4

      Hi Mary,

      Hahaha...the Poconos in the 70's! Did you stay in one of the local resorts, with the champagne towers or the heart-shaped satin beds?? I had read a tourist comment online once that some of our local resorts have rooms that look like cheesy porn sets. I think a lot of the resorts are renovated now, but I belive the champagne towers still exist! Are you familiar with what I'm talking about?

      I grew up along the Delaware river, at what is called "the point of the Gap". This refers to a point in Delaware Water Gap. where the Kittatinny Mountains on the NJ side and the Appalachians on the PA side both bend out toward the river, and from certain angles appear to meet mid-river. There is a rest-stop here where you can view the famous "Indian Head". This is a natural "face" in profile on the NJ mountain that looks much like a Native American Indian. I mention this because most people who come here don't miss it. I absolutely love this area. It's gorgeous!

      The lounge shirts are one of my favorite things to make for men because they can be made really funky and unusual. I haven't actually made any with Hawaiian fabric yet. I like that retro mod look.

      What type of sewing do you do?



      1. MaryinColorado | | #6

        My sister lived in Tafton, Pen., so I missed those resorts! It would be interesting to see but I think I would be nervouse sleeping on the beds! lol  She worked for Wallenpallpack Lake Estates I think.  They were building homes, there was a pool and clubhouse but that is about all I remember.  She lived in a cabin on the mountain, it was beautiful.  I lived near D.C. at the time.

        I have sewn since childhood.  My sewing room is my play room.  I dabble in just about everything and often think I should try to sell something.  Just am not into the business end of it.  I especially like making one of kind things and learning new embellishing techniques and trying new products like Angelina and Tinzel. 

        Have you seen Folkwear Patterns?  They have alot of cool retro looks, I have a flapper type dress and cape pattern from them.   Mary

        1. User avater
          user-221153 | | #8

          Oh yeah, I love Folkwear Patterns. They have some very cool and unique stuff. If I could just find time to sew for myself!

          Since you missed the resorts, I will explain that "champagne towers" are HUGE champagne glasses that are actually tubs that you can sit in. You have to see this:


          Cheesy, a little weird even, but c'mon, you know you would soak in it if you could!! Now we can experience what an olive feels like in a martini glass.

          Too silly.



          [email protected]

          1. MaryinColorado | | #9

            Wow!!!  I am speechless but giggling!!!  Hubby just got home from work so I "shared", he thought it was just an ad and not for real!  I had to read it to him to convince him.  That is hysterical!  I wonder how they get up there into the glass?  I would be laughing too hard to be romantic and would probably break my hip slipping and sliding.  That is truly surreal! 

            I wonder if they have a special tool to bleach out those tubs!  Maybe they hang the maids from a crane! ha ha ha or maybe there are elves.................can you imagine the dreams/nightmares when you finally go to sleep?  I would be dreaming that a giant swallowed me!

          2. User avater
            user-221153 | | #10

            I am pretty sure my butt would not look good smashed up against the glass. I mean...a glass tub...there is nowhere to hide. Thank goodness for lots of bubbles!

            I've never been to these, but I have heard that there is either some type of staircase that opens out to the tub, or a ladder type thing up the side, but you can't tell from the photos!!

            Glad you enjoyed it, I have always thought the champagne towers were just too funny!



            [email protected]

          3. Susan -homedecsewing | | #11

            Thanks for the link to the honeymoon spot . My son actually stayed there on his honeymoon.LOL.Anyway I've got a beautiful grandbaby girl and another in the oven,yeah.And my beautiful daughter in law who changed all of our lives made my web site for me too,I'm a lucky girl.Susan

          4. User avater
            user-221153 | | #14


            That's awesome that you have children and grandbabies. I really love children. I hope I can have some someday. You are truly blessed.

            Send me a link to your site!



          5. User avater
            user-221153 | | #16


            I received your site link and your work is beautiful! So elegant! You must have a lot of work space. Draperies are not something to be made in tight quarters.

            I've been in my own home for three years now and I still have a few rooms without window treatments. As they say, "The shoemaker's children go barefoot." But I have the fabric and a plan, so I'll get there someday, fitting it in between paying projects.

            I'm always impressed when someone can make a living doing something they love to do! Good Job!



          6. Susan -homedecsewing | | #17

            Thanks for the compliment! No not alot of workspace, just a 2 car garage that I made a screen for the big door so during the winter I get a breeze and natural light. I just hate when it gets too hot and I have to close up and air condition it ! Most of my machines are portable so I can change the set up according to the job.Well back to work for me, happy sewing. Susan

  3. fabricholic | | #5

    Hi Laurie,
    Welcome. I love your necklaces. Very nice. Since you live by rivers, do you like fishing? Sounds like a lovely place.


    1. User avater
      user-221153 | | #7

      Hi Marcy,

      Thanks for the compliment!

      I never had the patience for fishing, but I am now more, ahem, mature...and have thought about trying it. But I do love swimming, tubing and canoeing. Believe it or not, my husband and I actually snorkel in the Delaware. Sounds crazy, I know, but it is actually very beautiful, and visibility is great as long as it hasn't rained recently.  We see all kinds of fish- catfish, sunnies, trout, eels, and even turtles and ducks.  My favorite outdoor thing to do here besides snorkel is hike in the Appalachian mountains. It is just breathtaking.

      You know, when I was growing up here, I thought it was boring and I couldn't wait to move away. Now I realize how truly blessed I was to grow up along a river at the base of a beautiful mountain. I could never leave here, my heart belongs to the woods.

      If you or anyone else on this forum ever visits the Poconos, give me a holler! I'll let you know the real cool places to see, and help you avoid the tourist traps. This Fall was not one to be missed!



      [email protected]

      1. fabricholic | | #12

        Hi Laurie,

        When I was a child, we went to the river on the weekends.  We had many of the same creatures that you have,  in our river, in Alabama, except, instead of trout, we have bass and crappie.  What are sunnies?  I think snorkeling in the river would be fun, but a lot of our rivers are very deep.  I use to love to swim, but since have grown sedate, shame on me.  I have snorkeled in P.C., FL some.  I hear the pretty colored fish are more south, though.


        p.s.  Loved the picture of the Champagne Towers you shared with Mary.  Visual images are just too hilarious.

        1. User avater
          user-221153 | | #22


          Shame on me, somehow I missed your message!

          Sunnies are sunfish...I'm afraid to ask what crappies are! The colorful fish are definitely south, but I take what I can get. There are some fish here that are SO BIG that I'm really not comfortable being in the river with them. The Delaware isn't especially deep where we go snorkeling, and in fact, where I grew up, there is one spot in the river where you can walk across during the dryest part of the summer. But you have to know where that spot is, and the water still comes up to your neck.

          There is an old legend about the Delaware River in the point of the Delaware Water Gap. There is a train track that runs along the base of the mountain next to the river on the PA side. Supposedly there is a very deep spot there, and a train car is in it. You can't see it at all, which is supposed to be testiment to how deep that spot is, but "They" say that it's visible during dry summer spells. Makes me wonder what else is in there that I can't see, but I'd probably rather not know. My husband has a degree in Marine Biology and he freaks me out all the time when we snorkel, in river or ocean, because he knows EXACTLY what's in the water and he feels he has to share this info with me while I'm swimming.

          One of my very best friends was born and raised in Alabama. I just love that tiny bit of twang she has (Y'all!). Glad you enjoyed the Champagne Towers. Someone gets paid to dream that stuff up. Sounds like fun!

          1. Ralphetta | | #24

            I'm in Missouri.  I don't know how to explain crappie...but  I wanted to let you know it's pronounced "cr AW ppie" here..which might relieve some of your apprehension.

          2. User avater
            user-221153 | | #27

            It's not Crawfish? I'm going to have to Google this now, my interest is peaked. But I'm glad to know that there is not crappie floating in the river!

          3. SewNancy | | #30

            Its crayfish

          4. Ralphetta | | #32


            In the midwest...

            Crappie is not crayfish, (crawdads.)  I don't fish, but I've eaten crappie and it's a small fish...maybe kin to sunfish. 

            It seems hard to believe that  the name could be applied to crayfish elsewhere.


          5. fabricholic | | #37

            Hi Ralphetta,

            No it's not crawdads, I mean crayfish, in Alabama, either.  Where do you live in the midwest?  I hope Threads doesn't run me off of this site, because I started a whole discussion on crappie.


          6. Ralphetta | | #41

            I'm in Missouri. We did got a little side-tracked with the discussion about crappie when I tried to explain how it was pronounced, so I'll take the blame. ( It's particularly funny 'cause I know almost nothing about fishing.)     

          7. thehat | | #40

            crappies are a fish that get to be a nice size to fry they can get to be about 1lb and some 6-10  inches or more a great teasting fresh water fish . It is silver and black speckles and longer then a sunfish and not a nerrow fish as is the trout or pearch I have been sewing for a long time and now this week I am going to shopp for a peice of cloth for this ball I allways say to my friends dress for the occaion and not for the people  so I take that line of thought and fly with what will wow them this time  I love it whenthat happens

          8. Ralphetta | | #33

            I Googled and it shows lots of pictures of fish, not crayfish.

          9. User avater
            user-221153 | | #34

            Yeah, I Googled it too. I just had to know! Aren't we so lucky to live in this age of technology.  Even planning projects is so much easier when I can compare prices online before ever getting into my car. So much time and money is saved. It's hard to imagine life without the internet now that it's here. My husband and I were talking the other day about the fact that we are of the last generation to have actually watched black and white tv, and tv with antennaes on it. We remember life without a microwave oven. No computers or internet. It's amazing the advances one can experience during their lifetime. My parents and grandparents have all witnessed incredible advances in their time. Now if they could just invent a smart sewing machine that can follow instructions, I would have more time to relax. They're advertising cars that can parallel park themselves now, so maybe it's not too far away!

          10. fabricholic | | #25

            Hi Laurie,The crappy fish are pronounced "croppie". Sounds a little better. I don't know how to describe them except, they taste delicious! I know what you mean about being a little spooked in the river. When I was little and, not so little, when I used to ski, I would always kick my feet, if they were free of the skis. I felt that it would keep the big fish away. In the Big Warrior River, there are huge catfish and eels. I have seen pictures of this huge turtle that came out of the Warrior. It looked like a monster, it was so big. The turtles I usually see are sitting on logs, next to the bank, sunning themselves. When you get near them, they dive in the water. Maybe you could start scuba diving and check out the train car. Imagine what would be in it.Marcy

          11. User avater
            user-221153 | | #28

            My favorite is Rainbow Trout. Breaded in cornmeal and fried.

            I know what you mean about the catfish and eels. They get HUGE. There is one cool spot we go to near Shawnee-on-the-Delaware where there is a submerged tree near the shore. I sit on this to anchor myself against the current, and after a minute of sitting there the fish get curious. Clouds of tiny fish swim up to me to check me out, and they gently nibble me all over to see if I'm food! It sounds creepy, but they're small, and it kind of tickles so it's cool.

            Also submerged along the shore grows something we call Duck Grass. It's basically tall green grassy weeds. I love to drift with the current through this grass, gently parting it with my hands as I drift. In this way I surprise small schools of fish hiding out in the grass, and I feel like a mermaid in my own private paradise. Every year my husband and I do this drift together, holding hands, to celebrate our anniversary in early August.

            Scuba diving I definitely can not do. My eyeballs practically burst out of my head when I even do a shallow snorkel dive. I've broken blood vessels that way. And then I look REALLY pretty!

          12. fabricholic | | #29

            Oh, definitely, if I had Rainbow Trout. That's how we fry crappie and bass. How about Trout Almondine? Yum! That is very cool about drifting in the duck grass. It makes me want to go to the river. I have changed, though. I would probably want to wear water shoes now. I can't remember how strong the current was in the Warrior. I remember barges coming by and making waves for us kids, like we were on the ocean. If you made the motion, the tug boats would blast their horns. Good memories!Marcy

          13. User avater
            user-221153 | | #31

            Oh, definitely water shoes or flippers. Many people out there don't respect he environment like we do, and I worry about stepping on broken glass or fishing hooks. I am constatly pulling clumps of tangled line with hooks out of the river. I'm afraid kids will step on it or fish will get tangled in it.

            The place where we go is pretty mellow. If you are a strong swimmer, you can easily swim to the NJ shore. It is definitely not big enough for barges, but we do get small boats, canoes and some wave runners.

            There are some strong rapids and even small whirlpools near where I grew up, but we don't swim there. I used to stand atop the railroad bridge that crosses the river in the summer time and try to direct the canoes to the safest spot through the rapids under the bridge. Some knew the way, some saw me and waved/shouted thanks, and some just wiped out!

            My life is tied to the river. My parents own riverfront property that has been in our family for five generations now. We had five generations grow up in the very same house. My uncle unfortunately lost his life in the Delaware. I've learned to love it, fear it and respect it. But I could never, ever leave it.

  4. thehat | | #18

    you do nice work was that  anecklace or a bracelet. I sew renaissance clothes and also victorian style and also Napoleonic style  I was working on a marth Washington  style I am now  making a new dress that is a huntress dress  and hat  isn`t this fun to find out what others are doing I started to work with the beads but when the ideas start comming up and then it requires a lot of beads and for your  project the coast gets out of hand  and then you might as well go buy it but you can`t find the one you want  but.the2 findings are so neat it is fun to do little projects this one peice that I would like to start is on black velvet and it is an orchid and this needs about 27different collors and  a little time to chart it out

    1. User avater
      user-221153 | | #19

      Thanks! If you are referring to the piece on my homepage, that is a close up of the Arabian Nights necklace.

      How long have you been making clothing?

      As far as the jewelry work, I do have TONS of beads and supplies. I buy wholesale to keep the cost down, but then I end up with an enormous inventory of supplies. I guess it's time to ebay the extra beads and gemstones.

      I do like to do bead embroidery as well. You can see an example of recent work on this page: http://sinnersandsaints.biz/project6.html

      I've been planning a beaded Elvis purse for years. I want to do a portrait of just his face entirely out of beads. It's on my endlessly long "To Do" list!

      1. user-217847 | | #20

        Good morning Laurie,

        I'ts now 2am. I'm ready for bed but just before I go.

        A big welcome.

        You are one very cleaver lady. I've checked out your internet site stunning.

         Have you ever used Amber in your jewlery? I simply love Amber.

        I too am a newbie, I'm just trying to improve my general sewing, I love machine embroidery and have just now enrolled in a quilting class by corrispondence.

        Hope to chat to you soon.


        1. User avater
          user-221153 | | #21

          Hi Lee,

          Thanks so much and welcome to you too! I just spent the better part of this morning adding some new content to the clothing sections of my site. I have to say that I am very fortunate as far as the website goes because my husband is a web developer and he taught me how to do my own site updates. If I had to pay someone to do all that it would never get done.

          I haven't used amber yet. I love it too and definitely plan to incorporate it in some designs in the future. It's expensive to get the really nice pieces with the insects trapped in it! But so cool! And I really love it's warmth.

          I love hand and machine embroidery too. I started a lovely machine embroidered summer top for myself this summer, but never finished the hem. Now it's too cold to wear it (in the Poconos). *sigh* My personal sewing is always a season behind. I guess I should be starting on my Spring 2007 wardrobe.

          How exactly does a quilting correspondence class work? Is it online or through the mail?

          1. user-217847 | | #36

            H Laurie,

            Each month they you all the necessary fabrics, written instructions, patterns and an audio tape. theres also a phone network and E mail if you get stuck.


          2. User avater
            user-221153 | | #39

            Wow. Is this your first correspondence course? Can I ask where you live? There are loads of quilting supplies and classes where I live. In fact, all the local fabric stores here are geared toward quilting or home dec. and not fashion. I wish I had a big fabric store near where I live. The closest one that is geared toward apparel sewing is over an hour away.

          3. user-217847 | | #42

            Hi Laurie,

            I live in Newcastle Australia, we do have quilting stores, but this one is catered for beginers, who can work at their own pace and those of us who cant fit class hours into our scedule. I'll finish this one and move on to a specialty course.


  5. SewNancy | | #23

    Welcome to the forum. I visited your website and I am impressed with your clothes. The dresses are absolutely lovely, and they fit so perfectly. Your willingness to share your skills with everyone is very welcome.

    1. User avater
      user-221153 | | #26

      Thank you! I really have no idea why I waited so long to join this forum. I've only been here for a few days and everyone I've met is incredibly nice and helpful. I've been sewing for quite awhile, but there is always so much more to learn. I am enjoying giving advice as well as reading the tips from others. There's always more than one way to tackle a problem, and learning how other sewers deal with a particular problem helps me to be more creative in my own approach. Believe me, there have been plenty of times in the past that I would have loved to pick another sewer's brain when I was dealing with a particular challenge. I didn't have any friends who sew, but now, thanks to this forum I do!!

  6. ixs | | #35

    Just looked at your site; very professional and colorful.  And you have a pretty good sense of humor.  I like that.

    I also sew, make jewelry, and do photography, but I don't sell anything; I do it for my own creative health.

    Good luck on your business. 

    1. User avater
      user-221153 | | #38

      Thank you. I try to keep a good sense of humour. I love to laugh, and I don't take myself so seriously that I can't have a little fun!

      The photography has definitely been challenging. I do have a really good digital camera, but I need to invest in better lighting. I'm constantly trying to upgrade the photos. It's hard because I don't have the time to mess with it endlessly. I also have loads more work that I could post but my older work I would have to scan from photos and they just don't have the same quality as the digital photos.

      Creative health is very important! Sometimes when you do something artistic for a living, you are required to create and your muse is nowhere around. It's difficult to force myself to create when I'm up against a deadline. The ideas and energy are either there or they aren't. If only creativity always came on demand!

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