Conway Blue

Good Morning Friends.

My sister, Leisa, insisted that, even though we lived 600 miles apart, my personal touches and creative talents just had to be included in her wedding day. It would’ve been difficult for me to make the fresh-flower bouquets and decorations that she wanted, so we decided that I’d sew the bridesmaids’ dresses — one for myself and one for our sister, Dori.

R1-13 closeLeisa bought, and mailed to me, a small bolt of gorgeous royal blue satin brocade, along with the patterns she chose. Talk about nervous — I’d never worked with such silky and expensive fabric before! And to make matters worse, Dori is hard to fit for clothes — plus she lived in yet another state, 1500 miles in the opposite direction! What to do? My plan was to have Dori send me her pertinent measurements and I’d make a copy-dress out of cheap cotton. I’d mail the copy-dress to her so that she could mark adjustments, and then I could cut into the brocade, hopefully, without ruining it. It worked!

A few years after her wedding, Leisa called on me again to help outfit the nursery for her newborn son. This Michael_300time she bought blue-on-white cotton calico. Calico is much easier to work with and nursery furniture is pretty standard so this time sewing and fitting was easy. I used the brocade fabric from the dress I’d worn in her wedding to make the heart appliqués and the corded edge of the crib quilt and bumper.

SamThen a couple of years later when Leisa’s daughter was born, I wanted toMichael thomas tank engine make something special for her too. I had a remnant of the blue calico and a few pieces of brocade stashed away. I made a feminine crib quilt for her that coordinated with the crib bumper and skirt. And since 2-year-olds don’t understand why baby sister gets a present and he gets nothing, I used a Thomas Tank Engine sheet set to make a twin size quilt just for him.

What happened to that copy-dress, you ask? It was yellow — none of us Griffith girls like yellow — so it was eventually cut up and its fabric used to make letter pillows for my grandkids.

Oh by the way, the title of this piece originated some time ago. While surveying Leisa’s home décor — blue carpet, blue furniture, blue counter tops, blue drapes — her sister-in-law exclaimed, “You can sure tell who lives here! It’s all Conway Blue.” Guess I should’ve figured that out years ago with Leisa’s fabric choices.

It’s been nice chatting with you all for a few minutes, and I look forward to hearing from you soon—Over the Back Fence. Tell me your ideas about turning your memories into keepsakes. I’d love to help!



In July of 1993 our daughter announced that she was getting married. They set a September date. That gave us two months to organize, assemble, and pay for the beautiful wedding she envisioned! At the time, I was working full-time, my husband was a full-time college student, plus we had 4 other kids at home, so time and money were hard to come by. The pressure was on!

We lived in Roswell, NM where craft supplies were limited at best and expensive at most. So my husband and I drove to Albuquerque. With approximately $150 in our pockets, we shopped the bargain bins at all of the craft/fabric stores in the city. Pink was what she wanted — pink was what she got! I grabbed every pink silk flower in those bins. We found gorgeous roses and lilies and peonies. Even dogwood blossoms found their way into the cart! Never mind the negative connotation attached to dogwood — hey, they’re pink, right?

Along with the flowers, I found satin fabric remnants, spools of lace and ribbon, and several whitewashed baskets. All of that was used to make traditional wedding necessities and miscellaneous decorations. Once home, we set up a craft station/assembly line in the dining room. The whole family was involved in gluing, cutting, wrapping, arranging, and decorating while I worked at the sewing machine.

pink Collagebridemaid dress 2My mother-in-law, a professional seamstress, provided the wedding dress. She’d been commissioned to make a dress for another wedding the year before. However, the bride had refused delivery, so she altered it to perfectly fit my daughter. I made the other two dresses — one each for the bridesmaid and flower girl. In the clearance bin at JoAnn Fabrics, I had found an entire bolt (20 yards) of pink cotton/poly fabric discounted by 90%. What luck! The fabric was rather plain, but the dresses had to be smashing. So I dug out a purchased dress that I’d worn in my sister’s wedding years before. I took it apart and used its fabric for the sleeves and overlay skirts. Beautiful!

Some of the remaining yardage was used to make bunting. It, along with hand-made satin fans and embellished baskets full of flowers, was placed on the stone bridge in a Roswell city park. Gorgeous setting, beautiful day!

DSCN1513The fabric was also used to make a tablecloth and decorations for the reception in our home. During the reception, my daughter presented a single rose to me. She had made it in secret during the hubbub of the previous weeks. The inscription on the ribbon says, “Mothers like you help dreams come true.” Makes a sentimental mom cry happy tears!

quilt CollageSo to tie this into my work here at Mo Sews Memories, much later — as our grandkids were born—those decorations, that pink fabric, was cut into quilt pieces. Guess it’s a good thing most of the babies in our family are girls! In 2012, I made the quilt on the bottom left for the newborn granddaughter of the ’93 bride and groom! The memories were passed on to a new generation.


It’s been nice chatting with you all for a few minutes, and I look forward to hearing from you soon—Over the Back Fence. Tell me your ideas about turning your memories into keepsakes. I’d love to help!



Dad’s Shadow Box

Good morning Friends!

As promised late last year, this blog will give you some background on the many heirlooms I’ve made for my family over the years.

Every year at Christmas, my sisters and I wracked our brains trying to choose the perfect gift for Dad. We wanted to get him something that would be a surprise, truly personal, and wouldn’t duplicate an item he’d bought for himself just the week before! Most years we settled on a Lowe’s gift card, but sometimes we hit the nail on the head. 2005 was one of those years.

Mona Collage 300 Throughout my childhood, I loved digging through boxes in attics and closets. And I loved the stories behind each item that I discovered: Dad as manager of the high school basketball team, his 4H ribbons, his typing pin for accomplishing 40wpm—although in later years he used the 2-finger-hunt-and-peck method, the Ds on his report card that we were warned to never mimic, his class ring, tassel, and graduation announcement, the photos of his paint horse, Silver, etc.

In 2005 I decided to pull out all of Dad’s memorabilia that was hidden away in those assorted boxes. My sisters and I worked for days constructing a shadow box, using an old frame (also found in grandpa’s attic) and a black foam-board cut to fit then glued together. We pinned Dad’s letterman’s sweater to the board and pinned the other items to the sweater. Using fabric left over from my daughter’s wedding, I made a padded frame for Dad’s senior picture and satin pillows to hold some of the smaller pins and rings. The lightning-bolt pillow represents his basketball team — the Lizton Blazers.

Lizton SB_300On Christmas morning, we presented his gift. Dad cherished the shadow box for the rest of his life, proudly displaying it in his den. It now hangs in my sister’s dining room and will be passed on to future generations along with the stories and memories each item holds.

It’s been nice chatting with you all for a few minutes, and I look forward to hearing from you soon—Over the Back Fence. Tell me your ideas about turning your memories into keepsakes. I’d love to help!