The Sewing Porch GIVEAWAY

I’ve recently cleaned up the Sewing Porch! Why you ask? Because I GOT A NEW SEWING MACHINE! Don’t worry, Macy is still around; she’s going to be my travel machine. I wanted a full size machine and I chose the Bernina 530 Swiss Edition. I’ll admit to being swayed by the super awesome red faceplate. This machine is pretty amazing! I’ll also admit that I might have gotten a new cutting mat to match. I do love red!


I moved out of my bedroom and onto the Sewing Porch about a year ago. I love the space since it’s full of natural light. I wrote about my old space here. There are lots of tips for organization! I have most things set up the same in the new space. Off to the side, I have my old laptop (for endless trivial tv viewing), my iron, two tv stand ironing boards and a basket for scraps under my desk. I keep scraps in there until it’s full (this is pretty close!) and then I make a scrap project and donate the scraps to my guild!


I still use my handy dandy red box from my old Bernina 830. It’s a great box for all my feet and such. I’ve long been a Bernina lover.


Here’s a good shot of the machine! And my view!!


To the other side, I have more stuff super important sewing loot! I love all the friends that made me these treasures and I hope that my treasures are loved in their sewing spaces.


The new machine does some pretty fancy stitching. I had to play!


And play some more!


So, it’s time for the GIVEAWAY! What should I name the new machine?! Lucy and Big Red have been very popular as I’ve chatted with people this week. But what do you think? Nominate a name in the comment section. If I choose your name, I will make you something cool on my new machine!!


I can’t wait to hear your ideas! The contest is open until I pick a name!!
xo LC

Meet My New Friend!! GIVEAWAY

There’s a new addition to my sewing studio!! I GOT A NEW SEWING MACHINE!

It’s a Bernina 350 Special Edition from my friends at Sew Original. And I’m in love!! Check out the cool “special edition” artwork…so fun:)

I needed a machine that travels well and still packs a big punch! This little guy comes with everything a quilter needs…the famed Bernina walking foot, 1/4″ foot and a free motion foot.


Plus some things that I cannot live without. The knee lift! I can chain piece like nobody’s business with the knee lift.

It’s the same hook system as my old machine:) Which is great because it works so well and is easy to keep clean and oil.

And there are a ton of decorative stitches I’m now obsessed with!! Bert, my old machine was great, but in addition to being insanely heavy, he did not have very many stitches:( Here are just a few of the 80+ stitches that I’m now enjoying!





Nothing sews like a Bernina!
And now to the fun part, he (or she) needs a name!! Comment below to nominate a name. If I choose your name, you’ll get some awesomeness from me! Fabric? Maybe. A pouch? Maybe. Cool notions? Maybe. All of the above?? Probably;) So start naming!
xo LC

What’s in a Name?

Lately, a lot of folks have asked me, “Why May Chappell?” So, if you’re one of these peeps who thought it, but didn’t ask, here you go! If you already know (or just don’t really care…), read on, I’ll give you some eye candy at the end!
In my first post (when my only true followers were my parents and big brother:)), I talked about this a bit. My name is Lee Chappell. The Chappell is pronounced like chapel (as in church). My great grandmother was May Chappell. Since I come from a long line of mothers teaching daughters to sew, I thought I’d choose a name with a nod to that heritage. The guru learned to sew from her mother and her mother learned from her mother.
There are lots of Chappells in the Carolinas; there’s even a book. If you’ve truly read everything else interesting in the world, you could read up on that!
I’ve always associated my Chappell name with my great aunt Nelle Chappell (my family is not great at names…). She was like a grandmother to me and I adored her. She was a math teacher who graduated Duke; a needle and thread were not her thing. But if she were alive, I know she’d be reading my blog like it was her job.
But I digress…back to the name. So I’m Lee Chappell, my great-grandmother was May Chappell and there are lots of sewers and quilters in between. A long line of knowing a thing or two about cloth!
My Dad has also voiced his opinions (whined) about the name. He comes from a family of sewers and quilters as well. And the guru also learned her mad skills from her paternal grandmother- it’s coming from all sides. It’s in my blood and I chose a name that would remind me of that.
And here’s some promised eye candy!
My favorite quilt from my grandmother’s house. I like to believe it was made by May Chappell; it definitely came from her house.

More May Chappell quilts!


This is the quilt that Nelle gave the guru. Needless to say, she did not make it…

These quilts were made by my Dad’s grandmother- Nancy Minerva Georgia Elizabeth Richardson Culbertson (yep, that’s all one person; I warned you that we aren’t great at names). She was a rock star piecer; I’m kind of jealous!


This is the boy version of sunbonnet sue (overall boy/farmer Sam) that my Dad’s mother, Lulee, made for my brother. This was the last quilt she made.

And here’s some of the guru’s early work! She made my brother and I these cool quiet time books. I found them while I was hunting after all these quilts. This is Jay’s; it was a Vogue pattern.





This is mine! A. It’s laughable that I was ever quiet. B. I did a little decorating to the cover. This was unsolicited. Poor guru! I’m sure she wanted to cry. This pattern was from her local sewing shop. She said it was more of an “idea” and less of a pattern.



I also found this gem! I made this when I was 3 or 4. It’s an apron in case you were struggling to identify it! I like the “raw edge appliqué”!!


My great-grandmother Stewart made a wedding dress for her daughter Emmie. She washed it once a year (gasp!) and it survived the test of time.

When Nelle got married, she borrowed it.

Then Emmie’s daughter, Emmaline wore it.

And then the guru altered it for Emmaline’s daughter, Vinson.

At the wedding, Vinson displayed photos of her mother and grandmother. (Vinson’s wedding pictures were taken by Jack Deere of Three Oaks Photography in Wake Forest, NC.)

Hope y’all enjoyed a trip down memory lane! I know it gave me lots of ideas.
xo LC

Happy Fathers’ Day!!

Happy Fathers’ Day to the best Dad on the planet, the original P.U.D. (parental unit Dad)! Thanks for supporting all my creative endeavors and occasionally offering assistance from your crafty alter ego, Jym:)

I also have to give a shout out to Dad’s fam. After yesterday’s post, he was kind enough to shoot me this email:

Don’t forget primo seamstress Lulee. The Culbertsons/Richardsons/Boyds knew a thing or two about cloth. You might be familiar with the work of Nancy Minerva Georgia Elizabeth ……although I can’t recommend that for a blog name.

And he is correct, my sewing prowess comes from all sides of the family! Thanks Dad…for all the creativity and for being one of my two followers:)

xo LC

From the desk of LC

The blog is finally happening…it’s been a long time coming. You know, I decided on Thursday, so here we are. I’m looking forward to sharing all my musings on sewing, creating, teaching, designing and everything else that happens in the sewing room and beyond.

First off, the name. Mine is Lee Chappell and my great-grandmother was May Chappell. I come from a long line of seamstresses (and Chappells for that matter…). I learned everything I know from my mother and she learned from her mother and so on. There has been thread on the floor (and the occasional misplaced pin…) in my families’ homes for generations:) Oh the joy of creating! I chose the name as a little tribute to all those that came before me!

I already have many planned posts for y’all (and even a giveaway or two up my sleeve) and I hope y’all will let me know what you think!

xo LC (Lee Chappell)