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Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

I’ve been happily working on my Little Houses 1 project since I last posted and have completed the hand stitching.

I purchased a new type of embroidery thread (at least new to me) from The Raspberry Rabbits called Valdani Floss Folk Art Collection.  After working with this for the past week I can honestly say it is a thread I would recommend.  It’s a bit different from the tried and true DMC floss in that it comes ready to stitch with 3 strands, you don’t have to separate the strands.  I used my handy, dandy Thread Heaven thread conditioner to keep the floss from tangling and knotting.  This is a product I typically use when hand stitching and find it makes the floss glide better with less knotting and tangling.  I do love the colors of this floss set and I really like the end result, so I will definitely purchase more for other projects in the future.

I’m not an expert hand stitcher by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy sitting down in a comfy chair and work with a needle and thread to see a project come to life.  My favorite stitch on this project is by far the french knot.  The french knots make the swirly tree pop with a touch of rose-colored dots.  And how about those cute bunnies sitting in the yard?  This design by Michelle May is so me, and I’m anxious to complete this so I can move onto the Little Houses 2 design and make that beautiful pillow too.

One other important note, the instructions from Michelle are concise and easy to read and follow.  She advises to add a piece of fusible Bosal non-woven fusible interfacing to the back of the linen prior to stitching.  I followed her directions to a T and must say this product worked perfectly.  I wholeheartedly agree with Michelle that it does a good job of hiding the threads on the back from showing through to the front.  The Bosal also stabilizes the linen a bit and to me it’s the perfect weight for stitching.  Michelle advised to sew a stay stitch 1/8″ from the raw edge to keep everything from fraying too badly.  As you may notice, there are only a few straggly threads along the edges, so her advice is right on point as well.

Swirly Trees

Little bunnies

From bunnies in the front yard to a stuffed bunny, bunnies just seem to be the theme today as I have one other project I’d like to share with you as well.  This project idea came from a free tutorial at U Create called the Faux Chenille Bunny.

This is my first attempt at making faux chenille and I must say it is quite easy to do, but there were a few pitfalls along the way.  The flannel fabric I used came from Hobby Lobby and worked OK, however, in the future I will use a better quality flannel that I purchase from a quilt store.  Why you ask?  Because after sewing the seams at 3/8″ and trimming down to 1/8″ as the directions indicate, the seams didn’t hold up well.  In fact the seam came apart in one place while I was stuffing the bunny, so I had to do a bit of hand stitching to help hold it together.  Not good after spending the time and money, but certainly a lesson learned.  Buy quality fabric…

Faux Chenille Bunny

There were 2 additional glitches that I should mention.  I missed cutting one channel and in another instance I only cut through the top 2 layers instead of 3 so the underneath fabric is different.  Ugh.  The good news is I learned what not to do by making these mistakes so hopefully none of these will happen again.  I do like this bunny which is quite soft and cuddly and will look nice on a shelf in my sewing room.  Another bunny will be appearing soon as the fabric is already stitched and the channels cut.

I would really like to make a faux chenille baseball with red stitching lines for our grandsons.  Any suggestions of patterns or tutorials?

 
 

Oops, I almost forgot, I used my Olfa Chenille Cutter to make the channel cuts and it worked quite well.  It was a little tough to start the cuts in a few places so I made little snips with my scissors to help it along.  I felt this happened because I was working on the bias.  However, once it started to cut, it did a fabulous job cutting through the top 3 layers of flannel with no hesitation.  I really like this tool and would recommend it.

Well that’s it for today.

God Bless,

Linda

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Little Houses 1 Pattern by Michelle May

My newest project is something I consider to be the best of both worlds; hand stitching and quilting.  I just purchased a pair of patterns called Little Houses No. 1 and Little Houses No. 2.  Both of these patterns are designed by the very talented Michelle May.  Michelle designs her own line of patterns, runs a successful online shop called The Raspberry Rabbits, and is the author of the much-anticipated new book on Folk Art Fusion.  I, for one, can hardly wait until the book debuts next month.

Little Houses No. 1 is a beautiful design which depicts a quaint house with a swirly, twirly tree, 2 adorable bunnies sitting on the front lawn and a sentiment that reads “Love grows best in little houses”.  I am using the exclusive Valdani Folk Art Floss Kit for my project and am very excited to start stitching with it since Michelle so highly recommends this product.  The floss is 3 strands which means it is ready to stitch, no separating the strands with this.  In addition, it’s colorfast, hand-dyed and comes in a plethora of beautiful colors.  Need I say more?

Here is a great idea from Michelle, she recommends using Bosal non-woven lightweight fusible interfacing to add a light layer on the back of your fabric to hide thread colors when stitching across from one design to another.  Now how is that for a brilliant idea?

Little Houses 1 Pattern, Valdani Folk Art Floss Kit, 4" embroidery hoop, Bohin #7 Embroidery Needles, water-soluble marker, linen fabric marked & ready to be stitched.

As you can tell from my picture, I have already cut the linen to size, marked the design, adhered the Bosal interfacing to the back of my fabric and stay stitched around the edge.  Now the fun begins, stitching the design.  Something to note, I veered off a bit from Michelle’s directions in that I used a water-soluble marker for marking the design on my fabric instead of the recommended brown Pigma Pen.  And yes, I checked beforehand to be certain the marker would disappear with a bit of water.  The reason I decided to go with the water-soluble marker is very simple, I’m not an accomplished hand stitcher and was concerned I wouldn’t completely cover the markings with my stitches.  The water-soluble eliminates that issue since the markings disappear with a bit of water.  No worries with the floss either since it’s colorfast.

So, if you are one of those folks who enjoy hand stitching, I would highly recommend “hopping” on over to The Raspberry Rabbits and peruse the shop for many wonderful Patterns, “Needfuls”, Valdani Floss and other items that are sure to peak your interest.  In addition, don’t overlook the Harrington and Hannah Block of the Month patterns that Michelle so generously shares for free.

Valdani Floss "Folk Art Collection" & Bohin Embroidery Needles

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Michelle’s blog that she updates quite often.  Sign up for updates and you’ll never miss another post because you can have them delivered right to your inbox.

Now onto stitching.  I’ll share the progress of my Little Houses project from time-to-time, but for now I want to thank you for visiting and hope you have a blessed day.

Supplies:

All products, with the exception of the water-soluble marker were purchased from “The Raspberry  Rabbits”

Linda

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Quilted Tote Bag Front

Quilted Tote Bag Back

Inspiration comes from so many places, so when I saw the stitchery pattern called “I Love Fabric”, I knew it was a design for me.  I have followed Lisa’s blog called Lydia’s Treasures for quite sometime and find that she and I have quite similar tastes in stitching, quilting and our love for all things Tilda.  I downloaded her design months ago, so after procrastinating month after month, I finally got busy and stitched the design.  The embroidery was quite easy and relaxing to do and in just 2 evenings my whimsy gal was ready to be sewn front and center on my quilted tote.  The colors used on the stitchery were those that I thought would compliment fabrics from my Sugar and Spice Collection by Riley Blake.  Yes, I’m still loving that fabric.

I liked Lisa choice to make her sewing bag circular, and I may make a quilted circular bag next.  However, for this project I thought it would be fun to make a rectangular bag that was of good size to hold whatever sewing supplies I needed to tote around.  The bag ended up being 14″ wide by 13″ high and almost 4″ deep and the handles are long enough to put the bag over my shoulder.

It was an easy bag to put together, no pattern used, just bits and pieces from my fabric stash, a little trial and error and in a short time the bag was complete.

I want to thank Lisa for her generosity in offering this fun, whimsical embroidery pattern and once again thank the gals over at The DIY Dish for the wonderful Riley Blake fabrics that I won from them last summer.  I still have more of this luscious fabric left, so there will be more projects to share in the future.  A pincushion, mug rug, apron, we’ll see what inspiration hits next for my Riley Blake Sugar and Spice fabric.

Take care and God Bless!

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The humble pincushion…  Whether it be shaped like a tomato, strawberry, a wheel of colors surrounded by buttons and bows, or something much more enticing like this Little House Pincushion, I can honestly say I’m drawn to them all.  I don’t know why pincushions intrigue me or even why I look for new pincushion patterns when I clearly have enough, I guess it’s just one of those things.

What I can say for sure is that Jo has done a fabulous job designing this Little House pincushion so I just had to share it with you today.  Jo demonstrates the versatility of her design by sewing one for the Christmas Season as well as one for Spring and also Summer on her blog.  My love of polka dots draws me to the one below, but the possibilities are endless for this cute and clever design.  Jo has put together a very helpful tutorial for making your own Little House pincushion on her Bearpaw blog.  I hope you will take a moment to visit Jo’s Bearpaw Blog  and see all of the wonderful sewing and quilting posts, and also leave a nice comment for this fun yet practical pincushion to sew for yourself or for a friend.

For me, this is a project I’m adding to my list of projects to do soon.  With the large stash of beautiful fabrics that I have along with several charm packets, I think there is a Little House waiting to make it’s home on my sewing desk in the very near future.

Thanks again to Jo for this wonderful tutorial and let me leave you today with a passage from Proverbs 3:5  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Never rely on what you think you know.”

Blessings to all,

Linda

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Applique is a great way to add pizzaz to a t-shirt, onesie, jacket and much more.  Today’s post is all about several quick and easy ideas created by Gillian on her blog aptly called “By Gillian“.  The pink apple design along with a bird applique pattern is offered over on Gillian’s blog.  I think her design is just adorable and I also feel Gillian has done a masterful job in sewing the applique onto the onesie.  Her stitches are even and spaced perfectly and her choice of fabric is perfection in my opinion.  But wait, I couldn’t resist including the onesie with the simple, yet eye-popping bow.  I love, love, love it and thought you would too.  It’s such a simple design but is a project that everyone at all skill levels can accomplish quite quickly and easily.

I want to thank Gillian for this fun and inspirational project and for sharing these cute applique patterns.

Until tomorrow, I leave you with a little inspirational thought from Psalm 100. “The Lord is good; His love is eternal and his faithfulness lasts forever.”

Blessings,

Linda

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Yesterday got away from me and I didn’t even have a few minutes to add a post, so I thought I would share a few projects today.

First up is the “Dish Rug”.  This project is designed and shared by Connie over at her blog called “Quilting by the River“.  She has quite a few tutorials on her blog, but I chose this particular one because of its practicality, minimal supplies and ease in assembly.  Sometimes a quick and easy project is just the ticket to get that sewing machine humming along.

I love the idea of a “Dish Rug”.  I often sit a dish towel on the counter to air dry dishes that I’ve hand washed.  Light bulb moment here and a great idea from Connie….   Why not enjoy a quilt on the countertop that is both practical and pretty while doing the dishes?  I certainly have never thought to make a little quilt to air dry dishes, have you?  It’s quite clever and practical and one I just had to share with you today.

Next up are 2 cutting files for those who enjoy their Silhouettes and other cutting machines.  The talented artist behind these beautiful designs is Monica Bjork from “Monica’s Creative Room“.  Monica is certainly creative as her website says, but she is also an incredibly talented gal.  I just can’t seem to find the words to describe how amazing these paper creations are.  So, wordless as I am, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking and introduce you to Monica’s Creative Room.

A relatively short post today in words, but one that certainly packs a punch as far as creativity is concerned.  I want to thank both Monica and Connie for their wonderful blogs and for these amazing projects.

Until tomorrow, have a Blessed Day.

Linda

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Oh my goodness, I’m certain you are going to love the quilty goodness I’m sharing today.  Geta Grama has the most unbelievable blog on quilting I have ever seen!!!  Her quilts, shadow trapunto, quilted boxes and ideas are out of this world.  Geta is from Romania and her story about quilting is simply amazing.  Rather than me trying to re-tell what she has so eloquently written herself, I direct you to Geta’s blog to read the story about her love of quilting and shadow trapunto for yourself.  I believe you will enjoy reading about her quilting journey as much as I have.

But wait until you see the project she shares on her blog which she simply calls a “Quilted Bowl”.  Now I have seen a variety of stitched bowls in the past.  Some of those bowls were quite unique and lovely, yet none have measured up to this amazing trapunto bowl made by Geta.  Not only has Geta shared pictures of the finished bowl, but she also has an in-depth picture tutorial along with a pattern download for this incredible project.  No, in my opinion this isn’t just a quilted bowl, but rather a beautiful piece of artwork made by the hands of a talented artisan.

I have never tried trapunto but who knows, maybe Geta has placed a bug in my ear to try a new technique that I never thought I would.  Even in my wildest dreams I could never do this bowl justice when making one myself, but I’d love to give this technique a try to see the results.  I may make one panel using the trapunto shadow technique to get a feel for making the intricate design then I can move forward from that point.

In my humble opinion, Geta’s blog is one you want to spend some time with and enjoy.  There is so much to learn, including a unique method of holding a quilt while Free Motion Quilting.  She shares this technique with an excellent pictorial which I wholeheartedly recommend reading.

I just can’t say enough about Geta, so if you are a beginning quilter and just starting the adventure of quilting or a seasoned professional, I feel certain Geta’s blog will inspire and teach you much as it has me.  Thank you, Geta, for sharing your beautiful quilted creations, tutorials, inspiration and of course your quilted bowl with us.

Just one more thing, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the beautiful quilt the bowl is sitting upon.  The quilting is absolutely stunning and I can’t imagine the hours and hours it took to create such a beautiful quilt.  You can see more of this beautiful quilt as it is featured at the bottom of the free motion quilting tutorial.

Well that’s it for today, I hope you enjoy the beautiful project, tutorials and story of an inspirational artist.

Thanks for visiting and have a Blessed Day!

Linda

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