Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Big Stitch Bunny Tales, part 1

 
I'm working on a quilt for my new baby granddaughter. The only purchase I made on Black Friday was from Missouri Star Quilt Co. I was in full scale holiday madness with a retail job at the time and did some quick online shopping, choosing this sweet Bunny Tales panel along with some accompanying fabrics. My oldest daughter has always loved bunnies -- even had one for a pet -- so when I saw the momma and baby bunnies among the pretty peaches, pinks and oranges, I knew it would be perfect.

  
I wanted to personalize the quilt with both the baby's full name and nickname so hand-embroidered "abby" on the momma bunny's kerchief. I've added simple borders with the carrot and polka dot fabrics. 

 
For the back, I machine embroidered a large panel with her full name and birth date, a butterfly to mimic the butterfly backing fabric, and my Made With Love info. This piece was inset on the lower back.

 
Having been enamored with big-stitch quilting for some time, I felt this panel was the perfect chance to give it a try. I'm using DMC #5 perle cotton floss purchased at Michael's.

 
My Mom had a quilting stand and hoop that she no longer uses and she very kindly shipped it to me for this. It is completely awesome!

 
See the cute little jeweled butterfly on the momma bunny? That's a needle minder, a magnetic place to hold/rest your needle when you stop. Mom had included several of these with the quilting stand. So fun and functional!

 
I am having a great time doing the big-stitching! I've always been a fan of hand-embroidery and this is so fast and so pretty. I'm just picking elements in the panel to feature and outline that will hold the quilt layers together.

Once I've finished the oval design center, I'll machine quilt the rest of it and finish with carrot striped binding. I'll post again when it's done, but wanted to share how much fun the big-stitch quilting is ... I highly recommend giving it a try!


Monday, April 3, 2017

Beaded Scissor Fobs

 

Beaded scissor fobs ... who knew? Am I the only one who didn't have any or even really knew about them? Not only are they cute, they help you locate your scissors in piles of ongoing projects and identify them as yours in classes and at retreats.

Mom emailed me last week and asked if I still had beading supplies. Back when we owned our stationery/gift shop, we sold a lot of handmade items including beaded bracelets and eyeglass chains. Since I never craft halfway, I have many, many boxes of tools, beads and charms just waiting to be made into something useful and cool. Whenever I get into a new craft, my hubby always says, "Do you have to have everything???" And, yes, I do. 

Anyway, Mom had sent a couple of ideas she'd seen on Etsy and off I went. Turned the kitchen table into bead central and just played. I had some cute charms, including a tomato pincushion from Missouri Star Quilt Co., paint palette, feather, bumblebee and hearts.

Sent the 5 fobs on the left to Mom along with a cute new pair of embroidery scissors I got at Michael's with a 60% off coupon (on the second fob from the left). Woohoo!

I had forgotten how much fun beading is but have confirmed a couple of things about myself:

- Mom wanted hers to be 3" to 3-1/2" but that's only long enough for a few beads. I had a hard time editing and could put thousands of beads on each one. And I do not exaggerate! I literally strung them, admired them, measured them, sighed, then took beads back off.

- Also, I'm not into, or apparently able to handle, asymmetry. Nope, everything has to be balanced and even and fair. Like my life ... again, no exaggeration here!

Scissor fobs ... they're pretty, easy to make, would make great gifts and are wonderful for your own cute little scissors. It's a thing!

So many projects, never enough time!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Palindrome Xmas Quilt Label

 

How late is late? Finally created and attached the quilt label for our oldest granddaughter's Christmas quilt made for her *ahem, cough* 3-1/2 years ago.  Blogged about making the quilt here.

Fortunately, the lack of a label hasn't kept the quilt from being well-used and loved. I machine embroidered the information, then bordered it with the striped fabric used for the quilt binding. Please note my first (and possibly last) attempt at mitered corners. Mitered corners are a fussy business!

 

Here's the back. I pressed a 1/2" hem, then topstitched around at 1/4". Also ironed on lightweight fusible backing (SF-101) for stability and to protect the embroidery stitches from use and repeated laundering.

 

 


Whip stitched it to the quilt back along with my Lilla Lotta Handiworking label.

Palindrome Xmas Quilt Label ... Check!

So many projects, never enough time!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quilt Finish :: Summer in the Park

 

Just wanted to share the quilt I made for my sweet sister-in-law for Christmas. The wonderful pattern is Summer in the Park by Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Unfortunately, it was an unusually dreary day in Phoenix when it was completed, washed and packed for shipping so the colors appear darker in the photos than they really are. The quilt border and backing fabric features turquoise peacock feathers with pink hearts.

 

One of my favorite elements on this quilt is the hand-embroidered label. My sister-in-law and husband lovingly call each other dumbass ~ every phone call, text, email, greeting card ~ it's Hello, Dumbass! Which makes me an honorary dumbass by marriage. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would sit and painstakingly stitch the phrase dumbasses by marriage on anything ... but there it is.

 

Here's a better picture of the colors on the quilt front during the pin-basting stage ...

 

So many projects, never enough time.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Best Apple Pie Ever :: Recipe by Audrey's Apron



I've always been more of a cake and cookie baker but am determined to conquer pies with homemade crust. This week it was apple pie -- recipe courtesy of Audreys's Apron blog. Truly a beautiful recipe with simple to follow instructions. 



I made a double batch of Audrey's pie crust recipe (link supplied in the apple pie directions) in my Breville Sous Chef food processor and it is great dough to work with. Rolled out beautifully and was pretty pleased with my first ever lattice crust. These pie crust rings from Taste of Home have been waiting patiently in the pantry for many years and they really did make the process faster and easier. Lots of butter in this recipe but if I'm going out eating apple pie, it better be the Best Apple Pie Ever ... right?!?!



My hubby strolled through the kitchen, sniffed the pork roast in the crockpot, tasted the cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y, syrupy pie filling that coats the Granny Smiths and the lattice crust and said, "I'm not going to fit into my clothes!" That makes two of us. Also, one of the great pleasures for me with baked goods is grating fresh nutmeg into the mix. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it for the pure, intense fragrance and flavor it adds.



Thanks, Audrey, for sharing this gorgeous recipe. It's a keeper!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Carry-All Pincushion :: Pattern by Noodlehead's Anna Graham



I was so happy to finally make one of the great projects from Anna Graham's "Handmade Style" book. I've wanted one of the Carry-All Pincushions since I got the book and finally took the time to sew one for myself.



It is so cute and so handy. Although I cut up some fat quarters this time, I really like that it lends itself to scrap busting.



The pattern recommends using crushed walnut shells in the stuffing, which help keep your pins sharp. It also lends some weight to the pincushion. I found a good-sized bag at Petco for around $8 and, since I do like making pincushions, I know it'll go far.



I opted to make a separate little bag to hold the crushed walnut shells. This last photo shows it before inserting the bag and stuffing with polyfill.



Love it, Anna ... great pattern, great book!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Holy Bat-mania Baby Quilt



There is nothing like a new baby in the family to spark your creativity. To celebrate my new Great-Nephew who arrived at the end of December, a Batman-themed quilt was the only way to go.



The darling, colorful superhero words fabric from Joann's was a great beginning, offering up many colors to include. And, of course, a bat symbol applique had to be center stage.



I like to embroider the baby's name and birth year on their quilts. The year had already been embroidered on this quilt top when he finally made an appearance a week beyond his due date on the 29th. (Tommy, come out of the bat cave!) By then I had decided if he waited until 2016, the 5 was going to be X'd out and a 6 embroidered next to it.



Welcome to the world, sweet baby boy, Thomas Maverick. Aunt Janie loves you!