In Bloom Christmas Style

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I make a new quilted Christmas item each year.  This year, it’s already finished because I worked on this fall.  That doesn’t usually happen – last year’s project still isn’t done! (but I just pieced the backing and the top is done.)  I will hopefully be sharing that one soon.

 

But, back to this year’s project – It’s this runner, from my Joyful Stitcher book.

 

Aren’t these prints fun?  I love Basic Grey’s Christmas lines and I probably have made something out of each one of them.  I just love the prints with the red background and the way the red makes the snowflakes pop.  The line is called Be Merry, in case anybody “needs” some 😉

 

For this runner, I bought a charm pack (the squares are cut 3 1/2″), but I would love a little more of these beautiful prints . .

 

This particular version isn’t shown in the book, as I finished well past my publishing deadline.  It’s a combination of the cover quilt and the snowflake pillow that are shown in the book.  Here’s a look at the cover quilt again:

 

And this is the pillow that I mentioned:

 

 

If you are interested in making this option, you can follow the instructions as shown in the book to make the runner and use the showflake appliques that are in the book.  The only change I made was to trim a little off the ends of the runner – I think it was just 1 1/2″.  I thought there was a little too much plain red so I moved up the snowflakes a little bit and did the trimming, which solved my problem.

Since this was a seasonal project, I decided not to invest so much time in it by doing the wool applique by hand.  I did a blanket stitch by machine around the large snowflake using Dual Duty’s “Heavy” thread (used to be called Topstitching thread).  I also used that thread to add some detail inside the large snowflake and to stitch around the small snowflake.  If you aren’t into wool, these snowflakes could be done using cotton.

 

 

And one last shot of the runner from the other direction.  If you are interested in purchasing the book, click here.  If you are interested in seeing more of my Christmas quilts, click here.

Posted in Decorating, Pattern of the Week, Quilting, wool applique | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Black Friday Sale and New Fabrics

It’s a cold and sunny day here in Minnesota and I’m happy to be sitting in my warm house with my warm cup of tea.  I’m also happy for another reason – I have new fabrics in my shop and I’m having a Black Friday sale!

My Black Friday sale is 20% off you entire order – Just use the code BLACKFRIDAY17 between today and November 27th.  Click here to visit my store.

 

The new fabrics are from my Big Splash line and they just arrived last week.  The bolts are now nicely lined up in my studio.  Here is how the line looks together –

It should be arriving in your local shops anytime now.  If your local shop doesn’t carry it, I’m selling the yardage in my online store, along with Fat Quarter packs and some kits.

I’m going to be offering a kit of the free pattern that you can find on the Henry Glass website.  I wanted to note that there are two options that you can download from their website.  When I designed the pattern, I intended the blocks to be pieced.  The person that Henry Glass used to draw up the pattern wrote it up with the blocks and sea creatures both appliqued.  I figured that there were others like me who would rather piece than applique, so I have written up a little addition to their download that includes the instructions and fabric requirements for the pieced version.  You can find both sets of instructions here.

The image above is a digital quilt, but I am currently making the quilt out of actual fabric.  I will share more photos on that as I get more finished.

 

I have also had lots of requests for the chevron fabric from this line to make the Starstruck runner that I showed a while back.

You can find that kit here.  (I also have yardage of the chevron in my store)

You can also find the No Pinching Kit and the Oh Baby kit as shown below.    

That’s all for now.  I’m going to go back to working on my Big Splash quilt so I can show you what the actual quilts looks like, not just a digital quilt.  In the meantime, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sept 2017

Life is busy, isn’t it?  Life is so often about efficiency and whatever is most pressing.  But there is so much in life that is precious to enjoy amongst all the work.  With everything going on, I feel like I finish very little to share.  Meals, laundry and dishes don’t make interesting blog posts.  Nor does the exterior of our house that I am almost done painting.

But – I did finish a quilt project.  It’s  one that many of you have seen throughout the summer as I’ve shared my stitching techniques with you.  It is now quilted, bound and shipped off on one of the many trunk shows of mine that travel to quilt shops.  I finished it and had to take pictures on a day where the lighting was really poor, so I will have to wait for it to come back to have its pictures taken properly.

 

The pictures were so poor, that I only took a couple.  You have all seen so many by now, that I didn’t feel too bad about not getting more. You can scroll down to my previous posts to see more detail shots.

 

The precious moments that I was referring to above – in addition to the moments of stitching that I sneak in – are the ones with these guys.

 

They are the unfinished projects that require unlimited amounts of work that will last the next 18 years, but bring joy in some of the most unexpected time – Like finding a field of beautiful flowers and going back to explore.   I say “back” because we went home and put on some decent clothes to get a few pictures.

 

I’ve been traveling a lot for work lately and it always surprises me at the number of people that ask about the boys and ask to see more pictures of them. So here are a few more . . . .

 

 

 

Every photo shoot with Max starts with him pointing at me and yelling “You have poop on your head”.  Then they laugh and laugh.  I don’t remember how it got started – I think just something funny to get the kids to look at the photographer – but it seems it is something that Max will not forget.  So I have many pictures of him pointing at the camera and laughing.  Boys . . . They are full of it!

 

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Summer Stitch Along Part 9 – Embellishing

I’ve been trying to sneak in some hand stitching over the past couple weeks.  I’ve finished 3 of the 4 blocks and have a pretty good start on the 4th block.  I have 5 more days before “summer” is over and I just might be able to finish it!  This isn’t the best photo, as my design wall doesn’t get good natural light, but you can see how it’s coming along.

 

After looking at the blocks on my design wall, I decided that the blocks needed a little embellishment.  The original quilt from the book doesn’t have the extra embellishment, but the runner option does.  When I did the runner, I thought it would take a lot of extra time to do the embellishment, but it was so quick!  Here’s a photo of that runner to show you what I mean by embellishment – just a few embroidery stitches like French knots or lazy daisy stitches on the applique shapes.

 

I took some photos of the few embellishment stitches that I did on my sew along project –

These two blocks just have a few extra French knots, which are super quick to do.

 

For this block I added a lazy daisy flower.

 

For this block, I combined a few long stitches, with French knots at the end.

 

If you are doing a different project from the book, you can also add some of these fun, yet simple stitches to make them more visually interesting.

If you are doing the Christmas runner, each ornament has a few embellishments.

 

You can zoom in on the photo above to see more of the details –

 

I will also show this pillow photo again, because it shows how the embellishment makes this so much more interesting:

 

The cover runner also has a few extra French knots in the flower centers.  Again, it’s nothing hard or over the top, just little details that are simple to do.

That’s all for today.  I’ll be back next time to share the Chain Stitch – Another one of my favorite easy stitches!

I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend!  I know we will – We are taking the kids to Storybook Land and we are having a little pickleball tournament at our house.  It’s going to be fun!

 

And one more thing I almost forgot!   Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake, Minnesota has their wools kits put together for the projects in the Joyful Stitcher book.  I mentioned a while back that they were going to be doing this and they sent me a few photos to share.  They have kits for each project from the book, but the photos below show a couple options.  You can contact them at 651-429-1039 if you are interested in ordering them.

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Ideas for Stitching Stems – Summer Stitch Along Part 8

As part of the Summer Stitch along, I wanted to share some ideas for stitching stems.

You can use the whip stitch that I shared in this post, but it’s kind of fun to mix it up a little.  The photo below shows how the whip stitch looks on a stem.

 

One of the stitches that use most often is the back-stitch.  The photos below show several examples of how I used it.  In the photo directly below, you can see the back-stitch on the green stem and on the inside edge of the red flower.

 

One thing I want to point out about using the back-stitch on a stem like this – It is best if you do this stitch on wool felt, not felted wool.  The edges are not secured at all, so if you use felted wool, the edges will fray.  If it’s felt, you don’t have to worry about it.  (to read about the difference between wool felt and felted wool, click here.

This photo also shows the backstitch on the stem.  I also used the stitch on the center of the leaf, combined with a long stitch and French knot.

 

This photo shows have using a variegated thread dressed up that backstitch on the stem and makes it a little more interesting.  I also used the backstitch to attach the center part of the orange jack o lantern flower.

 

Lastly, this photo shows a little bit of black stitch mixed in with the other stitches.

 

The backstitch is very easy to do, as you can see in the photo below.

 

 

And – I almost hate to admit this, but if you like this look and you are in a hurry, you can create the look of this hand stitch very easily on your machine.  See the chevron design, the center of the snowflake, the green and red star design, and the red serpentine line in the photos below.  They are all done with my sewing machine.  I used a heavy thread (by Dual Duty, see this post) and a size 16 needle.  (the ornaments are from my Mod Ornaments pattern in the Joyful Stitcher book.

 

Another fun stitch to try is a variation on the whip stitch that I talked about at the top of this post.  It’s the same steps, you just slant the stitch as shown below and adjust the width of the stitch so that it is the same width as the stem (this works well with skinny stems 1/4″ – 3/8″).

 

When finished, the stem looks like this:

 

You can also repeat the slanted whip stitch, this time crossing over the other direction to make an X.  When repeated, the stitch looks like this:

 

As shown in the Gypsy Star quilt from the Joyful Stitcher book.

 

I hope that gives you some ideas of stitches to try!

If you missed a post on the stitch along, you can view the others here.  (Just scroll down the page a little bit to see links to all the posts)

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Big Splash, Part 2

My latest fabric line, Big Splash previewed at market this spring.  I shared a little bit about the inspiration for the line in this post, if you want to read more about it.

 

It comes out in November, but is available for shops to preorder now from Henry Glass Fabrics (or their distributors).  I got some early yardage and have made a few quilts that I want to share with you today.  These are the prints that we have included in the line.

 

The free pattern with the line looks is shown below – with a fun Octopus applique in the center.  The pattern will be available on HG’s website (it is currently on there, but the directions will be updated.  They aren’t incorrect, but they are for an entirely appliqued quilt.  I want the blocks pieced, so we are working on changing that.)

 

While I wait for the rest of the yardage, my design directed had a digital quilt printed of the free pattern.  It has found a home on my son Carter’s new big boy bed (he just turned 5).  I made my son Max a small throw with his name appliqued on it.

 

I used some of the patches from the panel to embellish the name band.

 

This quilt takes 7 fat quarters, plus some background fabric and the chevron for the binding.  The pattern is called Oh Baby and can be found in my “Little Quilts for Little Kids” book.

 

 

One of my favorite prints from the line is the chevron.  Not only is it great for borders and binding, it’s also great for my Starstruck technique.

 

I made a few more of those little stars and finished the small runner from the book.   Each one is a fun surprise to open as you press that final seam, that they are highly addictive!  This runner takes roughly 1 yard of chevron fabric and 1/2 yard of the grey.

 

Some close-ups of the blocks –

 

Lastly,  I made the Puppy Love quilt from my “Little Quilts for Little Kids” book.  I switched out the puppy applique for one inspired by the little crab print from the line.

 

This quilt uses the chevron again, along with all of the other prints from the line except the panel.  I would have used it for the backing, if I had enough yardage left.

 

If you are interested in this fabric line, please mention it to your local quilt shop.  Preorders are being accepted from quilt shops now and the order to the plant being placed in the next two weeks.  You can click here to go over to Henry Glass’s website to see the entire line or find a sales rep.  If your local shop does not carry the line, I will also be offering kits for the projects that I shared today.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Summer Stitch Along – Part 7

 

Summer is flying by!

I have been getting some stitching done, but not as much as I would like.  This week is a good example of why – We are having 30 people for supper tonight and another 30 for dinner on Saturday for the a birthday party, along with swimming lessons, VBS, dentists appointments, work,  etc.

We’ve been sneaking in a little time for swimming at our house in the evenings and that’s usually when I do my handwork.   The other night, Carter said to me – “Mom, today is a great day.  Everyday that I get to go swimming is a great day.”  I couldn’t help but smile after hearing that.  Then he asked me if gravity works under water.  What 5 year old thinks of these things!  I thought we were relaxing and de-stressing, but now I need to go look up what effect gravity has under water so I can keep up with my 5 year old ;-).  If you want, I have a couple cute videos of my boys jumping and sliding down our giant slip-n-slide on my Instagram page.  You can view it here.   (Or you can also get there by clicking on my Instagram photos on the lower right sidebar.)

IMG_5374

 

I also wanted to say thanks for everyone that shared info on their favorite fusibles!  (see my last post)   I can’t wait to try them – I will let you know what I think of them, after I’ve gotten a chance to use them.

 

Here is how far I’ve gotten on my blocks for the Stitch Along –

Block 1:

 

Block 2:

 

 

In my last post, I talked about how to do the whip stitch.   As you can see, that is mostly what I’ve been using.

 

The other stitches that I’ve used in these blocks have been done on the little circles and that is what I’m going to share today.

Let’s start with the French Knot.  Come up in the center of the circle with your thread.

 

I wrap the thread around the needle twice.

 

Pull the wraps tight to the wool circle, insert the needle back into the same hole and pull the thread all the way through.

 

After doing the French knot, I chose from two different ways to finish off the circle.  You can see them both in the photo below.

 

This is the easier (and faster) of the two – You just make large stitches from the outer edge to the French knot.

 

If you are up for a little more, you can do the Lazy Daisy Stitch.

Start by coming up in the center next to the French knot.   Then put the needle back down next to that hole (but not in it) and bring the needle tip back up on the outside edge of the circle as shown below.  Wrap the tread around the needle tip as shown.

 

Then carefully pull the thread through, creating the loop.   Complete the stitch by brining the needle down on the outside edge of the loop so it is tacked down.  Repeat until you have petals all the way around the circle.  I usually do 6.  They  take a little practice to get them even, but they sure are cute!

 

That is all for today!  I have to go and make another pound cake for tonight.   Joel smoked a brisket and I have some very naughty potatoes waiting to go in the oven.  The only bummer is that it’s supposed to be 95 degrees and there is no way we can fit 30 people inside our house to eat!  I’m hoping all goes well – that the food turns out and the garage doesn’t get too hot during supper.

Have a great week!

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