Spool-en-dids Ornament Project #3 – A primer on cross-stitching

Hello Friends — have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME” and Smar-kly ornament?

It’s time for me to share with you the third of six mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project, released to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.  This third ornament is a simple primer on cross-stitching, to get us ready to do cross-stitching for ornaments #4 and #5.

Read more about Spool-en-dids, and find out the names my daughter has for her selected colors HERE.

#1.  YOU may now purchase the collection from FAT QUARTER SHOP by clicking HERE.

#2.  YOU may purchase the collection from Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#3.  YOU may also purchase collection by clicking HERE.

#4.  OR, ask your local Aurifil dealer to order the collection for you.  Click HERE for a dealer near you!

Miss Baby is saving the royalties for her college fund, as well as supporting the medical missions of Samaritans Purse.

***

PROJECT: Cross-stitching Primer Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES:

Cross-stitch Aida fabric (11 or 14ct — I recommend 11ct for younger children 7 and under, 14ct for older), Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, stuffing material & basic sewing supplies. 

You will need 4 pieces of fabric scrap to frame stitched piece, and one for backing the pillow case.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all subsequent pillow ornament tutorials, is not for a specific finished size. You may make it as big or as small as you wish. Since we hang our pillow ornaments on our Christmas tree, our ornaments do not finish larger than 4″.

GOAL: This project is to get children familiar with structured stitching associated with the “holes” on Aida/cross-stitching fabrics.

PLEASE read through the entire project before attempting. You may let your kid stitcher step in and be involved in any of the steps. For us, my daughter participated in selected the fabrics and stitching. I did the rest.

So — you would want to start with a piece of cross-stitch Aida fabric that amply fits your hoop.  The stitches are done with (2) strands of embroidery floss.  The Aurifloss consists of 6-strands of individual floss, just like the conventional embroidery floss.  So, you would have to cut a length of the floss, separate out 2 strands for the stitching.

Step 1.  Refer to the photo below to teach your kid stitcher stitching just straight lines, half-cross-stitches, and then cross-stitches! Notice all the Spool-en-dids come out to play on this one!

Important Notes:

#1.  It’s really important that you hoop the cross-stitch Aida fabric so that the stitches will turn out nicely.  If not, hooped, your kid stitcher might struggle with the tension of the stitches.

#2.  Your kid stitcher may choose to stitch more than just 15 squares in a row.  She might want to stitch long lines for a nice throw pillow.  Since we are doing ornaments at our house, we do a limited number of stitches so that our ornaments do not end up being more than 4″ x 4″.

#3.  To make it fun, feel free to mix colors – using 1 strand of yellow and 1 strand of brown for example for a fun effect.

Step 2.  After stitching is complete, remember to praise your kid stitcher to the sky!  Trim and square up your piece, and frame with fabric scraps to make pillow ornament top.  Then, with the pillow front and back pieces facing each other and folded ribbon piece tucked in the between, I sewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a small opening. Turn pillowcase right side out, and stuff. I started using the stuffing made by Hobbs recently, and have ABSOLUTELY loved it!!  Hand stitch opening shut, and there you have it!

Next month, we will be cross-stitching a thread spool ornament!

Meanwhile, Miss Baby is stitching a Patchwork aux Chats sampler (designed by French designer Jardin Prive – I highly recommend her designs for children).  She is mixing her colors to stitch the cats.  Follow me on Instagram for work-in-progress pictures.  My handle is ivory_spring.

I hope you will enjoy this little stitching project with your kid stitcher, and jump start a lifetime of sweet stitching memories.

***

p.s.  If you missed the article in a recent Quiltmaker issue about my experience in teaching Miss Baby to stitch, it is now available online here.  Enjoy!

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Back to blog-land just for a little bit…

A Day In Life

Happy Summer, my dear Friends!  I hope you have been well!  One reverberating question that has been playing in my mind is where the time has gone!  It seemed like it was yesterday I picked Miss Baby from school on the last day of her school year back in May, and now we are way into the month of July!

I have really enjoyed having Miss Baby home this summer although she claims I work her harder than her teacher at school! Haha!  I think she is probably right, but I am certainly not keeping score.

Miss Baby is ever inquisitive and happy to go along with my impulsive outings.  We were at a lavender farm where shortly after this picture was taken, my partner-in-crime left me out in the field cutting lavender sprigs while she enjoyed herself in the shade of the farmhouse porch.

Lavender is the thing on Miss Baby’s bed at the moment.  She even made herself a pillowcase because she thought the one I had out for her was too bland!

A Day in Quilt Life

Quiltingwise, I have kept a demanding pace.  But I am not complaining.

A couple of weeks ago, the great and gracious Pat Sloan had me on her podcast!  It was so much fun chatting a little with her about machine quilting, and stitching with Miss Baby.  If you missed the show, you can listen to the show here.

Besides being excited to see my magazine quilts being published,

Rainbow Room in Quilty (July/August 2018)

Playground Plaza in Fons and Porter Easy Quilts Fall 2018 (click here for kits)

I have been doing a bit of hand applique for my Celebrating Mary Brown quilt.  I am using only Lynette Anderson fabrics for this quilt.

I am also a designer included in the Splendid Sampler 2 this year!!  Are you sewing along with the Splendid Sampler since its launch about a month ago? It is a great sew-along especially if you want to challenge yourself to new skills and techniques.  Here is a picture of my Block #3.  Follow me on Instagram (handle: ivory_spring) to see my other blocks.  Due to time constraint, I haven’t been able to update my blog as often as I would like, but if you need anything from me, just send me a direct message to me via Instagram.  I normally respond much quicker on Instagram.

That’s all for now, My Friends!  I would love to hear from you what you’ve been up to this summer.

p.s.  I have MORE fabric boxes to give away — if you can even believe it!!  But it is what it is, haha.  I will post on the giveaway soon!

No Scraps Left Behind Giveaway Winners & STITCHING PATHWAYS Giveaway

Happy Friday, Friends!  I was running late finishing up a quilt on Thursday, and wasn’t able to do a post.  But here I am today, briefly, to announce the three No Scraps Left behind Giveaway Winners from way back when.  An email has been sent to you asking for your shipping address.

Box #1 — Thimbleberries — Barbara Glover

Box #2 — Useable Scraps — Rita Wilson

Box #3 — Sandie@crazy’boutquilts

****

To kick off a series of posts to celebrate my STITCHING PATHWAYS book, I am giving away a panel — the SAME one used in my book’s panel quilt project so you can follow along my notes in the book to quilt this panel.

To enter the giveaway:  Comment in the comment section a challenge you have when it comes to domestic machine quilting.

Thank you to those who have purchased the book, as well as your kind comments on the book.  

Connecting Thread is having a sale on the book.  Click here to purchase your copy.

You can still purchase signed copies of the book from me as well.  Please email me for details.

That’s all for now.  I hope you have a great weekend!  I shall catch up with you later.

p.s.  There will be more giveaways of fabric boxes.  I have been working on re-organizing my wardrobe, and happened to find MORE fabric boxes.  At this point, I am truly embarrassed to admit just how much fabric I have hoarded!

A Simple SPOOL-EN-DIDS project tutorial #2

Hello Friends — have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME” ornament?  It’s time for me to share with you the second of six mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project (Smar-kly), released to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.


To dovetail with the release of Spool-en-dids my daughter curated for Aurifil, we will be highlighting 6 monthly projects to give you ideas on hand-stitching with kids. The colors selected are by a kid for kids!  You may purchase Spool-en-dids from the following sources:

#1.  NEW!! ** YOU may now purchase the collection from FAT QUARTER SHOP by clicking HERE.

#2.  YOU may purchase the collection from Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#3.  YOU may also purchase collection by clicking HERE.

#4.  OR, ask your local Aurifil dealer to order the collection for you.  Click HERE for a dealer near you!

Read more about Spool-en-dids HERE if you aren’t familiar with the Aurikids initiative. And to those of you who purchased the thread collection, please allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart or contributing to Miss Baby’s college fund!!

***

PROJECT: “Smar-kly” Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES: POLKA DOT fabric scrap, paper-back fusible and THIN batting scraps, Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, & basic sewing supplies. 
You will need pieces of fabrics – one for pillow top, and one for backing the pillow case.  I didn’t use a batting piece this time to stabilize the project because I wanted Miss Baby to be aware of the thread tension when stitching just on a fabric piece.
OPTIONAL – however, if your kid stitcher is tiny, it is always a good idea to back your ornament top fabric with a piece of batting and a piece of backing fabric.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all subsequent pillow ornament tutorials, is not for a specific finished size. You may make it as big or as small as you wish. Since we hang our pillow ornaments on our Christmas tree, our ornaments do not finish larger than 4″.

GOAL: In ornament #1, we did the random no rule confetti stitching.  For ornament #2, we will introduce structure into stitching within the confine of a circle.

ALSO:  This tutorial will not cover how to finish the pillow ornament, as the steps are already covered in the tutorial for ornament #1.

***

Step 1:  This one is light on prep work for the adult.  Once you have the supplies, your kid stitcher is ready to go.  So, everyone has a polka dot fabric collection like I do, right? :)  I picked the polka dot print because the work is all done for us in this quick and easy project.

NOTE:  I notice with children (and adults alike), the excitement of the first project wears off over time.  I also believe keeping on with the projects teaches perseverance in children.  Keeping in mind both aspects, I picked this super easy project to make the experience stress free for both adult and child.

Step 2:  Once you have your fabric hooped, the stitching can begin.  Simply stitch the length of the diamater of the a circle four times (first do a cross, then, the two diagonals), and you are finished!  There is no ruler on how many circles to cover.  The stitching gives the polka dots a bit of dimensional sparkling twinkle!  I happened to find a fabric that provided the background for matching a few Spool-en-dids colors.  Feel free to do a contrasting effect!

Step 3.  To secure the stitches at the center of the circle, you could teach your kid stitcher French knots if she is older.  If not, you can just teach your kid stitcher to take a tiny stitch in the circle center, and your stitches are secure!

Step 4.  Finish up the ornament as we did before, and you will have added another Christmas ornament for your stitching buddy.  Do remember to store the ornaments in a nice clean box, so you don’t have to hunt for them when Christmas comes… ask me how I know!?!

We are actually using this as a sewing pillow companion as summer is just about here — we will be ramping up the stitching!

If you are stitching along — do send me pictures — the plan is to do a couple more of these, and we will have a nice giveaway for those who are participating!

*Smar-kly = Sparkly (Gwen’s version at 5), and we still say her 5 year old version at home.

I hope you have fun with this fun little project.  It should take no more than 20-30 minutes for handstitching.  I will show you additional ideas on stitching on polka dots in a couple of weeks.  And the next installment — cross stitching basics!  If you want to prepare ahead, you will need either 11- or 14- count aida that you can easily purchase at your local craft stores.  

Love and hugs to you all — till next time!

Long time no chat!!!

Hello Friends, looong time no chat!  I hope you have been well…. and spring has sprung!

DAY IN LIFE

If I don’t see another clump of monkey grass for the rest of my life, it would be too soon!  I don’t mean any offense at all to those of you who love monkey grass.  We are in the process of redoing part of our front garden, and that involved having digging up and digging up and digging up existing monkey grass!  I thought it was just going to be an afternoon to get the front garden on the path of living out my vision.  But it turned out to be a much bigger deal, and I am still not finished.  Part of what’s in place of the monkey grass are some new rose bushes.  So far so good — I check for new growth every morning, and keeping my fingers crossed!

Spring is my favorite season.  What is yours?

SOME FUN QUILTS FOR YOU

I have quite a few new designs out.  You might have seen this one on the cover of Keepsake Quilting catalog.  Sweet Berry Farm is my design, and I was so excited it made cover on the catalog.  I actually wasn’t aware of it making cover until my sweet quilting teacher Barbara texted me about it!  This is an exclusive design with Keepsake Quilting.  You may purchase the kit or pattern here and here.  The fun thing about the blocks is that I used Ohio Star units to be the strawberry stems!

Then, I have my Sleeping Cat kit offered through Hancocks of Paducah.  You may purchase the kit here.

And the latest release is my quick and easy Basket Toss quilt!  I love this quilt for its simplicity.  I can’t decide for now whether to use this on my bed or the guest bed.  Complete instructions are in McCall’s Quick Quilts June/July 2018 issue, and kits are available here.

Miss Baby’s Stitching Shenanigans

You remember the confetti handstitching Miss Baby learned to do through the monogram pillow ornament I posted here?  Well, there is a method to my madness…. the confetti stitching was meant to prepare Miss Baby for more structure stitching.

So from this random stitching…

to this…

We are beyond the moon happy a magazine in Australia, Handmade, feature Gwedolyn’s stitching story to celebrate her first thread collection, Spool-en-dids.  She had to answer a questionnaire in order for the story to be written.

THINGS ARE HAPPENING

Though I have been silent on my blog, things have been happening at my end.  Between home and mother responsibilities, and the regular things I do all things quilting, here are some upcoming exciting happenings.

Next week — I start my 2018 travels.  I will be speaking at Flying Geese Guild in Maryland on May 21.  Public is welcome to attend with an admission.  I will be bringing goodies!

Then, I will be in Tennessee later this summer/early Fall.

It’s to Berne, Indiana I go…. because I will be filming a new machine quilting video class!  Click here if you haven’t known about my existing classes.  I have some step-out samples from previous classes I found the other day that I will be giving away soon!  Stay tuned.  I am also arranging an event with a local guild while I am in IN.  I will share more once I have more details.

I will be home just in time to head to Houston for Fall Market.  Some fun things are being cooked up that I can’t share yet….

AND — I just found out I will be teaching 5 different classes at Road to CA in Jan 2019.  So I hope to see some of you there!

And with that, I need to get going with my day to squeeze in work before I pick up my precious cargo from school.

If all goes well, I will be posting my no scraps left behind giveaway winners tomorrow.  So, I hope you will come back!  Tootles for now.

A Simple SPOOL-EN-DIDS project tutorial #1

Hello Friends — I am happy to share with you my first mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project tutorial, to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids initiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy of needle and thread to the next generation.


To dovetail with the release of Spool-en-dids collection my daughter curated for Aurifil, we will be highlighting 6 monthly projects to give you ideas on projects suitable for hand-stitching with kids.

#1.  YOU may purchase the collection from Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#2.  YOU may also purchase collection by clicking HERE.

#3.  OR, ask your local Aurifil dealer to order the collection for you.  Click HERE for a dealer near you!

Read more about Spool-en-dids, and find out the names my daughter has for her selected colors HERE.

Oh, before we start, we picked up Gwen’s stitched piece at Woodlawn yesterday, with her blue ribbon!

***
PROJECT: “HAPPY TO BE ME” Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES: Fabric, paper-back fusible and THIN batting scraps, Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, & basic sewing supplies.
You will need 4 pieces of fabrics – one for top, one for monogram, one for backing the stitched piecing, and one for backing the pillow case.
I used a piece of silk batting because it is not as dense. I have also used the Hobbs Tuscany bleached cotton batting which worked well too.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all subsequent pillow ornament tutorials, is not for a specific finished size. You may make it as big or as small as you wish. Since we hang our pillow ornaments on our Christmas tree, our ornaments do not finish larger than 4″.

GOAL: This project is to get children familiar with the in-and-out mechanism of stitching. No rules — just random “confetti” stitching around an appliqued monogram.

PLEASE read through the entire project before attempting. You may let your kid stitcher step in and be involved in any of the steps. For us, my daughter participated in selected the fabrics and stitching. I did the rest.
***
1. Start with an appliqued monogram on a background fabric. Remember to reverse your letter(s) when you trace the letter on the paper side of fusible. Click here if you would like a crash course on fusible machine applique.

I always stitch around my applique shape after I fuse it in place. Stitching around the shape gives it a much finished look.  You can either do buttonhole or satin stitches around the edge of appliqued letters.

2. Then, I hooped the monogrammed piece (facing down), batting and backing piece (facing up).

3. My daughter’s work began at this point. She used a tapestry needle threaded with 3 strands of floss, and just went at it.

I would recommend a large tapestry needle for younger children, and an embroidery or even darning needle for the older children for the needle to penetrate through the hooped piece. Tapestry needles are more blunt, so they are a little safter than the sharp embroidery needles.

You little stitcher may use just ONE color, or as many as she wants — let her!

4. When stitching is completed, I first sewed around the area to secure the hand stitches before cutting to size for my pillow. I anchored a piece of ribbon as shown on the pillow front piece. I then cut the pillow back piece to size.

NOTE: I ended up sewing a back pocket to the back of the pillow ornament for storing stitching notions. To do that, I needed 2 pieces of fabrics. One to cut to size of the pillow front piece, the other to fold in half and placed at the bottom of the pillow back piece with raw edges matching.

5. Then, with the pillow front and back pieces facing each other, I sewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a small opening. Turn pillowcase right side out, and stuff. I started using the stuffing made by Hobbs recently, and have ABSOLUTELY loved it!!

6. Hand sew the opening shut — and you and your kid stitcher will have made a (Christmas) ornament for her!  The back pocket I added to the back of the pillow ornament isn’t just for storing notions — how sweet it would be too to include a little note for a loved one if you gift this pillow ornament.

Imagine…
#1. making different ones with different initials of your children or grandchildren to give as gifts?
#2. making these to give for a handmade gift for your kid stitcher’s bff?
#3. making a real-size pillow with the same steps for a throw pillow on a chair, to go on a bed?
#4. instead of letters, you applique something that is near and dear to your kid stitcher, a kitty cat, a puppy, or an ice cream cone?

I hope you will enjoy this little stitching project with your kid stitcher, and jump start a lifetime of sweet stitching memories.

***

You may also read about my article on my journey with my best stitching buddy in the latest issue (May/June 2018) of Quiltmaker magazine — on newsstands now!

Quiltmaker May/June 2018

You may also read more further about the Aurikids iniative here.

Thanks so much for stopping by – till next time!

HOME TO ROOST in Quiltmaker’s May/June 2018 & MORE GIVEAWAYS & GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

DAY IN LIFE!

Quiltmaker May/June 2018

Friends, I hope you have been well!  Are you ready for spring?  I know I am… but the forecast says that we are supposed to have snow this Saturday, and possibly next Monday!  YIKES!!!  With the weather forecast as it is, I think I am going to just stay HOME TO ROOST this weekend (bad pun alert!).  My Home to Roost quilt is featured in the latest issue of Quiltmaker.

quilt-home-to-roost-flatThis is an easy project that I actually designed as a teaching project that can be used to teach beginning quilters to quilt, covering the basic piecing skills in making the different blocks in the quilt.  Because my quilting teacher Barbara was ever so patient with me when she taught me how to quilt (I am forever grateful to her!), a guiding principle in my quilt designs is that I always design something that is appealing enough to entice a non-quilter to take up quilting. :)  You can read more about my design process here.

In the same issue, you will also read a story about my stitching journey with Miss Baby!  It is my hope that my story will inspire many to pass on the love and joy of needle and thread to the next generation, whether with your own children, grandchildren, relatives or even in a school or church or community setting!

This issue is on newsstands now – pick up your copy today!

And of course, if you are looking for kids-friendly colors, do check out Miss Baby’s Spool-en-dids colors!  You can read more about her embroidery floss collection here.

If you have a stitching with kids story — either from your childhood on how you learned to stitch, or projects you are working right now with your daughters or granddaughters, I would LOVE to hear from you!

***

GIVEAWAY WINNERS

Well, you are the best for helping me de-stash!  Trust me, my husband and daughter are really grateful too!  Here are the winners from the last round of giveaways.

Box #1:  Dortha

Box #2:  Marge Prewitt

Box #3: Tanya

Box #4:  Mary S.

I have emailed the winners, with information on getting the boxes sent to you!

THANK YOU ALL FOR PLAYING ALONG….. but I have MORE to give away, see below!

 

NO SCRAPS LEFT BEHIND GIVEAWAY

So…. I am needing to work on guest room #2, and guess what I found?!  MORE FABRICS — please don’t judge, haha!  I have three more boxes to share!  If you are interested, please leave a comment and indicate which box.  I am only mailing these boxes to US addresses, and you will have to be willing to pay the shipping cost of $17.

Box #1.  Thimbleberries and mystery yardages.

Box #2.  Usable scrap pieces.

Box #3.  Usable scrap pieces + yardages.

 

Alrightie – Friends, that’s all I have for now.  I hope you are keeping busy, sewing and stitching!  Hugs to you all, and till next time.  Trust me, I have MORE to give away. :)

The foreshadowing and the fulfillment…

Behold, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:29

I think it’s interesting that Passover and Good Friday falls on the same day this year — combining the foreshadowing and the fulfillment of the Lamb of God on one day.

Have a blessed Passover and Good Friday, Dear Friends!

Have you seen the Aurikid SPOOL-EN-DIDS thread box?

Good morning, Friends!  I have shared with you last year that Miss Baby was selected by Aurifil to be one of their first batch of Aurkids in an initiative to pass down the love of needle and thread to the next and upcoming generation.  Have you see Miss Baby’s Spool-en-dids collection?  This is a collection of 6-ply cotton embroidery floss (Aurifloss) produced by Aurifil.  If you have liked Aurifil’s signature 50wt threads, you WILL love these floss for your handwork.  You know the part of very little  lint on any of their sewing threads?  Same is true with the floss.  I know the reason behind the little lint on Aurifil’s threads, but I will let Alex Veronelli tell you if he ever stops by your area to do a free lecture.  It is worth going!  ANYWAY, with the floss, your hand worked stitches will look much more crisp and defined with the little lint on the threads.

If you have heard me share about my daughter, you will know that my daughter very often has her own mind on things.  She took it upon herself to name the colors she selected to go into her embroidery floss collection.

From left to right:  Billy Brown, Ribby Red, Papita Peach, Oscar Orange, Yodel Yellow, Grouchy Green, GWENDOLYN GREEN (!), Bobby Blue, Polly Purple, Petunia Pink

Here are some pictures of how the colors have been used.

And the latest… a tutorial is coming SOON as soon as I get the green light with the people at higher places. :-)

One thing I really like about the AURIKIDS program is that each child is asked to select a charity to support with the proceeds from the thread sales.  Miss Baby was so excited receiving her first royalty check two weeks ago! :)  She has selected Samaritan’s Purse as her charity of choice, specifically in their medical missions effort.  And the rest, she decided to save for college.

If you haven’t heard of Samaritan’s Purse, check out their amazing work, in the name and with the love of Christ, here.

SO, if you have purchased the Spool-en-dids collection, Miss Baby and I want to THANK YOU for contributing to Miss Baby’s college fund, as well as supporting the work of Samaritans Purse. :)

#1.  YOU MAY PURCHASE THE COLLECTION FROM Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#2.  YOU MAY ALSO PURCHASE THE COLLECTION BY CLICKING HERE.

***

Remember I had shared with you a few weeks ago Miss Baby and I both entered our respective pieces in shows?

My Thread Journey quilt was juried into the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival?  Mine didn’t win anything.  Totally fine.  Miss Baby entered her stitched pieced in the 55th Woodlawn Needlework Show.  We are really excited her ABC Des Maisons won a first place blue ribbon!  We spent a day last week at Woodlawn House in Alexandria, VA admiring the entries, and was really glad my husband was able to meet us for lunch there for some precious family time together.

[For those who like historical tidbits:  The land where Woodlawn sits was part of Mount Vernon.  It was gifted in 1799 to Nelly Custis, Martha Washington’s niece, upon her marriage to General Washington’s nephew, Lawrence Lewis.  Woodlawn is historic site within the framework of  the National Historic Trust for Preservation.  The annual Needlework Show is a fundraiser toward the specific preservation of Woodlawn.  And if you don’t know Nelly Custis, she was brought to Mount Vernon, along with brother George Washington Parke Custis, to be raised by the Washingtons after Martha’s son (John) died in Yorktown, VA shortly after the Surrender at Yorktown.  George Washington Parke Custis built the Arlington House, where it stands still today on the hill at the Arlington National Cemetery.  So there…. all the intertwining threads of history which I love to unwind.]

Image result for Woodlawn house

We are gearing up for more stitching fun at our house.  Miss Baby recently finished her first machine pieced quilt if you are following my Instagram feed.  We are getting ready to have her quilt the quilt herself… and moving on to her next quilt — if she ever gets her academic work and music practices done with time to spare before bedtime!  We are EXCITED!!!

Checking in & Giveaway Winner & MORE No Scraps Left Behind Giveaways & FREE PATTERN DOWNLOAD!

DAY IN LIFE!

Hello Friends!  I hope you have been well.  I just came through a sewing marathon where I have had to work through weekends the last few weeks.  The last I counted, I think I have at least 10 quilts already in queue for editorial features from this year’s sewing.  Yikes!  And this past weekend, I covered more than 100 miles just driving my precious cargo (aka Miss Baby) for her activities!  Nonetheless, I hope you had a fun National Quilting Day weekend, as well as St. Patrick’s Day!  Have you seen my Irish Reel Dance quilt, featured in Quiltmaker’s March/April 2018 issue?

I found this fascinating article about St. Patrick that I would share.  Click HERE to read.

I made Colcannon for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  So, what is your go to dishes for St. Patrick’s Day?

And in the midst of all the craziness, I have THIS going on for me.  You can imagine the rest.. ha!  This is going to be another ongoing process.

PATRIOTIC FABRICS GIVEAWAY WINNER

Before I go any further — I am happy to announce Kathy to be the winner of my Patriotic fabrics giveaway!!  Congratulations, Kathy!  An email is sent to you – please respond with your mailing address, and I will get the fabrics sent out to you!

MORE “NO SCRAPS LEFT BEHIND” GIVEAWAYS

This picture was taken last fall of my quilts from my sewing room sans about 25 quilts that were not returned to me, and another 30 or so bed quilts stored in my linen closet upstairs.  SO, you think we might have a clue for my “seemingly never ending” stash?!  I am offering 4 more fabric boxes (size of USPS Priority Flat Rate Medium Boxes) to give away.

Offer open to US mailing addresses only, and you will have to be willing to pay $17 shipping cost for me to get the fabric boxes to you!  If you have received boxes from me before, you know I am a generous sharer!!  Leave a comment in this post, and tell me which box you would like!

Box #1:  Useable scrap pieces — these are scrap pieces from my recently pieced quilts.  They don’t come in yardages, but some are large pieces that will be perfect if you are a scrappy quilter.

Box #2:  Mostly green, red and cream yardage pieces – large and small.

Box #3:  Mystery miscellaneous yardage pieces – large and small.

Box #4:  Mainly solid yardage pieces.

 

SPRING TULIP QUILT “TULIP PATHS” FREE PATTERN!

To celebrate the first week of Spring — here is a free pattern for you to download here!  Enjoy!!

Meanwhile, you can find patterns and exclusive quilt kits I have designed HERE and HERE.  If you see a quilt kit you like, do purchase it while you can because the kits aren’t stocked indefinitely, and more often than not, they won’t be available after the fabrics are out of circulation.

HAPPY MONDAY, HAPPY WEEK, AND HAPPY SPRING – Friends!!  Take care till we chat again!

My “Billy Graham” story

Hello Friends, blessings!  I hope you have been well.

Image credit: Instagram / Franklin Graham

This past Friday, Rev. Billy Graham was laid to rest beside his beloved wife Ruth at the Billy Graham Library.  A repeating theme during the time his life was remembered and celebrated is that almost everyone has a “Billy Graham” story!  Here’s mine:

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In my last 4 years of high school (over here, the first year would be considered middle school), I went to large private school where it has a huge two-story library.  I belonged to the Library Club where the students from time to time had to work at the library.  One day I was assigned to dust and re-arrange some books at one of the bottom shelves of a bookcase where virtually few perused.  And it was there I found a rather old and dusty book by a man named Billy Graham.  I didn’t know a thing about the man, and I actually don’t remember the title.  It would be either “Heaven” or “Peace with God”.  I tend to think it’s the latter.  Nonetheless, I vividly remember being riveted to the pages of the book, and I spent many days pondering on teachings in the book after I read it.  For a Christian teenager in a non-Christian environment, Rev. Graham’s book encouraged me greatly.  And that encouragement saw me through the rest of my schooling years until I came to America.

Years later, I found myself working at a small Christian library when I was in college.  While pilfering through books in the library, this time I came across books written by Rev. Graham’s wife Ruth!  I loved Mrs. Garaham’s books, and read most, if not all, of her books while in college.  Mrs. Graham’s “It’s My Turn” is one of my all-time favorites.  Having never met her, I was struck by the warmth, compassion and honesty communicated through the pages.  And as with many, Mrs. Graham instantly became my lifelong role model.

The crazy thing is that I knew Rev. Billy Graham spoke to many, but I never quite appreciated just how far-reaching his lifelong ministry was until after the numbers started surfacing in the news upon his passing.  What a life and journey — used for God and His glory!

“Some day you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” — Rev. Billy Graham

It was a few days before Rev. Billy Graham changed his address, I started listening to his sermons from the late 40’s and 50’s.  I remember telling my husband how struck I was to see how seriously Mr. Graham took the message he sought to share with the world with the rapid fire pleas for people to be reconciled to God.

I have been following closely the historic remembrance of Rev. Graham’s life the last 10 days or so, and my own faith has been greatly encouraged and inspired.  I have also been able to introduce to Miss Baby a man God used in my life, and now in her life.

My “Billy Graham story” isn’t a dramatic one, but it was one that sustains the simple faith of a teenage girl through the years.  I am immensely thankful to God for the life of Rev. Billy Graham.  It’s been incredible to watch even in his death, God is using the remembrance of his life to share the message of love and hope in Christ.

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If you haven’t had a chance to read Rev. Franklin Graham’s tribute to his father, it’s worth a read — click here.

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Do you have a Billy Graham story?  Please feel free to share.

Happy Birthday, General George Washington & Giveaway!

Happy Washington Birthday, Friends!  I thank God today that General Washington was born, and that his life was being used mightily in the history of America.

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This year, we are celebrating the General’s birthday with pies.  I was going to just make a cherry pie to celebrate even though the story of Washington cutting down the cherry tree isn’t true.  [Fun fact, the story was originated not too far from where I live).  But Miss Baby reminded me I should make a Japanese Fruit Pie too — because it is a historical fact that Mrs. Washington had a Japanese Fruit Pie served for the Generals’ birthday.  Then, somehow Miss Baby sneakily put in an apple pie request because that’s her all-time favorite pie.  So, we will have three pies — for the three people who constitute my family, ha!

Another fun fact about George Washington:  even though he was the first President, he still preferred being addressed as General Washington.  So, Mrs. Washington lovingly referred to him as “the General”.

TAKE A QUIZ http://www.mountvernon.org/quizzes/quiz/washingtons-presidency-quiz/to test to see how much you know about this great American hero.  This is a new quiz this year.  I know I have shared with you another quiz in the past, but this one has totally new questions this year! :)

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I actually just finished a Patriotic quilt, and have the following fabric pieces to share with you.  These fabrics are Hoffman Fabrics.  That fireworks print is a fun fun fabric!!!  Leave a comment if you wish to receive these fabrics.  You would have to pay the shipping cost of $8.  I will announce the winner in a few days.

That’s all for now, Dear Friends.  I have to make a quilt happen in two short days… so I have to fly for now.  I hope you have a blessed rest of your day!  Hugs to you.