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!!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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!!!

Shows and such…

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well.  This is a quick post, but I want you to know that my Thread Journey quilt IS juried into the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival!

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And it has been quite a journey from my first quilt I ever made to this point in my quilting journey!  It was a rather impulsive thing I did when I entered the quilt, so I am taking it easy.  There have been times I second guessed my decision, but like I tell Miss Baby, “What is done is done!”  I will share with you in another post this week my journey…

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On another note, we also entered Miss Baby’s ABC des Maisons sampler into the 55th Needlework Show at Woodlawn.  Woodlawn is the home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter Nelly Custis Lewis.  You can read a brief history of Woodland here.  The Needlework Show is a fundraiser for Woodlawn.  Miss Baby has entered her stitched pieces since she was 6.  We missed last year’s because she didn’t finish her sampler in time.  But, not this year.  This year, we are prepared!  The Needlework Show runs through the month of March.  If you are in the Washington DC area, it’s definitely worth a visit.  You get to see the most amazing handwork.

That’s all for now.  I need to make a few more quilt blocks for a quilt come due before I pick up my precious cargo from school.  It’s crazy, but by the end of this month, I think I would have made about 8 quilt tops… I lost count!  BUT — check back later this week — I have MORE fabrics to give away.  I have come to the conclusion my de-stashing effort is an ongoing one.  Just when I thought I had sent out all the boxes to you all, I dragged out four more huge boxes of fabrics that I will need to sort through and give away!  But giving is good…. right? :)

Hugs to you all!  I shall catch up with you later.

Easter Eggstravaganza in McCall’s Quilting March/April 2018

Fabric Box Giveaway Winners & More Here we go… Box #1: Ellen Callo; Box #2: Melody Lutz!  Congratulations, Ladies!!  You will be receiving an email on how to proceed! :) THANK YOU ALL – for being so willing to help me destash! I am in the process of cleaning out more things.  I just don’t know why, but my stash is ever growing, haha!  I will be posting more giveaways next week.  Stay tuned!! Editorial Feature You remember being introduced to Marmalade the pot belly bunny? marmalades-merriment1 img_5020 This little stitchery wallhanging project featuring Marmalade is a free project I developed to support the embroidery floss collection I curated for Aurifil.  You can order Marmalade Meadows here. marmalade-meadows marmalade-colors So back to Marmalade… some of you might or might not know that the Marmalade stitchery designs are adaptations of my daughter’s (aka Miss Baby who just turned 9!) artwork.  She was the one who first drew Marmalade for me.  And I am happy to share with you the news that the second stitchery design, Easter Eggstravaganza just turned official in McCall’s Quilting March/April 2018!!!  In Easter Eggstravaganza, Marmalade is seen decorating her little Easter tree! The magazine has full stitchery diagram, as well as instructions to make the pillow.  It is on the newsstands right now if you aren’t a subscriber! I finished the pillow using Riley Blake Designs’ Dear Diary fabrics — the fabrics are just out!  Be on a lookout for these darling fabrics. Something important to note — ALL Marmalade stitchery designs fit a finished 9″ x 9″ square.  So, with that square, you can do whatever to finish the block.  You can combine the stitchery from the free pattern upon purchase of Marmalade Meadows thread box with this current Easter Eggstravaganza and other upcoming Marmalade designs for a quilt or runner. Now, Marmalade is kind busy — rumor has it that she is preparing for Christmas 2018 already!  Hey, no pressure there… she says! :)  I think she also has a love of reading design in the works — because Miss Baby is quite the bookworm, and naturally, Marmalade is a reader too. *wink* That’s it for today…. I am rushing to get a quilt top finished.  Playing catch up after being sick is no easy task for anyone!  Later!!

Aurifil’s AURIKIDS Debut: Spool-en-dids with Gwendolyn Sheppard

Hello Friends, I am back from my whirlwind 3-day trip to Houston Fall Market.  I shall be sharing various Market-related snippets in my upcoming posts,

but I want to focus today’s post as a “I am my daughter’s Mom” post.

I will announce the winners of my Market giveaways this Friday.

***

Isn’t it interesting how once one has kids or a kid (in my case), more often than not, one is known as the kids’ or kid’s parent?!

Most of you know Miss Baby has been stitching with me since she was 5.  We have done fun ornaments like these:

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angels

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The reason I picked making ornaments as our projects is that I like the fact that the ornaments can be stored carefully and added each year, and they are definitely something Miss Baby can keep with her for the rest of her life.

Miss Baby started a huge project for her size/age in summer 2017.  She embarked on an adventure in stitching a full sized sampler!  It took her a year, and she finally completed her ABC des Maisons by Jardin Prive (a French designer) this past summer before the new school year.  In stitching this sampler, she was adamant about selecting her own colors.  Her words, “Mom, I don’t like it when they tell me what colors to use!”.  So she stitched the sampler with an assortment of Aurifil’s embroidery floss, Aurifloss.

I actually got it framed in time for the sampler to be displayed at Houston Fall Quilt Market this year.

We are really excited, happy and honored to be a part of Aurifil’s AURIKIDS program, an initiative focuses on reaching the next generation of sewist and crafters.  Miss Baby (her name is actually Gwendolyn now that the cat is out of the bag, haha!) debuts her own thread collection with Aurifil at Fall Quilt Market in Houston this year!  It was a big moment, a huge moment, in an 8 year old’s life!  The only disappointment for her was that she didn’t get to go to Market with me.

This floss collection is ready to ship in this month in case you would like to give this as a Christmas present.  You should be able to order them at your local Aurifil dealers.  We will kick off 2018 with a monthly program making ornaments for kids.

To keep the mother/daughter theme, these ornaments will be collaborative projects between an adult and a child.  Ask if your local Aurifil dealers are participating in the monthly program starting in 2018.  They can also contact Aurifil for more information.  Here are a few of the ornaments we will be making.

Miss Baby will also have a poem that she has written to share with her fellow kid stitchers each month to go with the ornaments.  She actually hasn’t seen the real thread box — so we are eagerly waiting for it to arrive!  When it does, I will share more details.  My rather imaginative and go-getter daughter has given each color a name as well.  So stay tuned! :)

Kids these days have so many entertainment outlets.  Being able to pass on the love of needle and thread to my daughter has been one of the most gratifying things I have ever accomplished as a mother.  So I hope grandmothers/mothers/aunts out there will join in the fun to help our youth to discover, preserve and prolong the legacy of needlework.

Thank you for stopping by!  I am already back at it as I have outstanding pattern instructions to turn in… but such is life!  I shall catch up with you later!

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 4

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 3).

Let’s enjoy some progress pictures you have sent in?

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects.  So, it is an honor to have her join my humble little sew-along).

Alice has a nice round sun for her quilt, and she also has pinwheels happening at different stages.  I like her method of operation a lot – it’s pretty much what I do as well.

And here is Gail’s progress picture!  I am loving the 30’s fabrics Gail has used.

Before I go on, I want to share with you my excitement when I found out one of Gail’s quilt is a Paducah winner this year!!!  How amazing is that?!  Take a look at Gail’s absolutely amazing quilt.

I love that Gail took the time to write and share with me the exciting news, and a little snippet of her life.  I want you to know you are all free to do that!  I love hearing about your personal stories!!

***

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at any stage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

Part 4 deals with applique (I am using fusible machine applique method) and hand stitching — and the whole applique and stitching portion of the bunny block took me about 5 hours.

Disclaimer – you may choose to use the method of your choice to tackle the applique and stitchery! What I am describing henceforth is by no means dogmatic. :-)

1.  Prepping the background fabric

We are supposed to cut a 8″ x 17″ white background fabric.  I normally press-starch this multiple times until the fabric piece takes on the feel of a solid sheet of fabric for the following reasons:

a.  There will be multiple times of pressing – so if I “squared up” the rectangle first, I run into less chance that the rectangle will be wonky and out of shape after I am done with the applique and stitchery.

b.  For fusible machine applique, if the background fabric is starch-pressed well, I don’t have to have a stabilize the piece when I stitch the applique pieces in place.  The multiple rounds of starching stabilize the piece well enough for me that I don’t get any puckering.

Once you have your 8″ x 17″ rectangle prepared, eyeball at about 1/3 from the bottom and mark with a sharp pencil a “wave-shaped” landscape boundary.  It doesn’t have to be exactly like mine.  I realized that Quilting Treasures hadn’t included a placement guide for the applique or the stitchery.  I am not sure why.  So, we will just use this picture below as a guide.  So, you will use the pencil to mark the landscape boundary, as well as the flower stems once you cut out your flower pieces and figure out where you want them to go.

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2.  Prepping applique pieces

I am using machine fusible applique method.  I prefer to use the “window” method concerning the paper-backed fusible.  You can easily find tutorials on this method.  I have also written briefly about this method here.   Make sure you use a very sharp applique scissors to cut out the shapes to prevent fraying on the edges.

I showed a black and white photo below to show you the faint pencil marking I have done on the background rectangle.

When fusing the pieces, be sure to use a pressing cloth.

3.  Stitching applique pieces

I have traditionally used Aurifil 50wt, but ever since Aurifil released their 80wt last year, I have been wanting to try out the 80wt for machine applique.  Now, the 80wt was initially developed for hand applique, but the wooden spools will go on your machines nicely as well!  In the picture below are shown the 80wt and the 50wt thread spools.  The 50wt spools are pulled from my Subtle Strings collection.  Click here if you haven’t heard of the 50wt collection I had curated for Aurifil.  You can now purchased the collection of 12 large spools for $99.99 instead of the usual $149.99 from https://pumpkinvinecorner.com/aurifilcollections4.htm (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page).

For the 80wt, I used matching threads for the top and bobbin threads, and I absolutely love the very fine effect. Now, the 50wt already gives an amazing look, but I think I might even like the 80wt better!  I do love both the 50wt and 80wt.

Now, you may choose to zig-zag, satin stitch or buttonhole stitch around the applique shape.  I personally like to buttonhole stitch because the stitches tend to not look overpowering around the applique shapes to me.  For these rather small applique pieces, I used W = 2.0 and L = 2.6 on my Bernina’s setting.

4.  Hand stitching

I took my piece back to the ironing board after I stitched my applique pieces in place.  And for the stitchery, I used colors from my Marmalade Meadows collection.  You may also order from https://pumpkinvinecorner.com/aurifilcollections4.htm for $38.50 (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page) since at this point there is a wait list on Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe.

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marmalade-colors

 

I definitely hoop my piece before I stitch.  I also use a John James Embroidery Needle 8, and stitch over 2-ply of the floss.  That means, each strand of floss comes in 6-ply.  I would separate out the floss, and would stitch with 2-ply. Click here to find out why I like stitching with Aurifloss.  Remember, there is a free stitchery wallhanging pattern with the purchase of Marmalade Meadows thread pack – shown below!!

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And here is how my bunny block all stitched up — you will notice that I have used different shades of green instead of just one shown in the sample quilt.  I decided to add more colors to mine!  You may choose whichever colors you would like to stitch, and the number of leaves you stitch on the stems are up to you too!

And I have a confession – I actually wear a pair of jeweler’s (magnifying) glasses when I stitch!  I like that I can see better, and judge my distance better — and thus, my stitches end up looking much nicer!  Now, you just about know all my secrets! Hehe!

This concludes Part 4 at my end – it’s your turn now!  Looking forward to see your progress pictures!

Happy Monday, Happy Week – and I hope everyone had a blessed Mother’s Day!

A little “Marmalade Meadows” stitching finish!

Hello Friends – and Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope you are well.  I turned a little simple cross-stitched piece that I completed in the car at the school parking lot….

… into a little hanging pillow.  The moral story is: Sometimes simple = sweet.

The colors I used are from my Marmalade Meadows collection.

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To date, the colors in the collection have been used in these projects:

#1.  Spring on Bleecker Street embroidery

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#2.  Marmalade’s Merriment (pattern for mini quilt and embroidery are included with the purchase of the floss pack)

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#3.  A Christmas ornament

And more projects using this floss collection are forthcoming!!!  I am working hard!

Since I am a totally one woman show, and do not own a shop… I rely on the good graces of shop owners to carry products associated with me, and quilters to buy them to support my work.  So far, I know of these shops carrying the floss packs:

Cinnamon Quilt Shoppe: https://cinnamonsquilts.rainadmin.com/shop/Thread/p/Marmalade-Meadows-Collection-x24133197.htm [They were temporarily out of stock, but they are back in stock!!!]

Pumpkinvine Corner:  Click here to go to the store.  I don’t think the actual item is listed on the website yet.  So feel free to contact the shop directly. :)  Jean “at” pumpkinvinecorner “dot” com / phone: 770-272-2485

I shall catch up with you later.  Meanwhile, I hope you will keep sewing/stitching/quilting on!  Hugs to you all!

Happy Monday & Sew Along & Scrappy Mystery & This and That

Hello Friends, Happy Monday and Happy Week to you!  I hope you are all well!  I will try to cover a few items today. :)

#1.  This is of utmost importance — I want to know who amongst you still has her Christmas tree up! :)  I found out over the weekend on Instagram there are quite a few still who are keeping their Christmas trees up to enjoy them longer.  With that, I will no longer feel self-conscious about keeping ours up for two weeks at least after Christmas!!! Truth be known, Miss Baby is still blasting Christmas carols and music at home.  And I sewed up these charm squares over the weekend.  So, Christmas is here to stay, I think!

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#2. Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!  If you have expressed an interest in following with the sew-along, you will have received an email from me with a bit of logistics on how we will be doing things – all in an informal way!  Please know that you are able to join in the fun anytime!  It will be great if you just shoot me an email expressing your intention to join in the fun! :0)

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You may download the pattern instructions and templates here.

I will be using the Bleecker Street fabrics from Quilting Treasures for this project!  I am totally in love with these fabrics!!!!  You may use fabrics of your choice for the project.  However, if you want to replicate the original quilt,  I know of places listed below that are selling the kits/fabrics.  For the embroidery, I will be using colors from my Aurifil’s Marmalade Meadows collection.  Click here to read about the collection if you haven’t known about it.  I would imagine any Aurifil dealer will be able to order the floss for you.  Please know that I will be showcasing more ways to use up the floss in a couple of months.

* The quilt and floss kits are available from http://thimblemouseandspouse.com.  I think Lynn is still waiting for the fabrics and floss to arrive.

* Quilt kits from http://www.northerncomfortquilts.com/sales-and-specials

* Fabrics from Quiltropolis.

* Quilt kits from Hancocks of Paducah.

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Tentatively, I will be posting my first section on Feb 15th.  And then you will have a month between Feb 15th and March 15th to complete your section. :)

#3.  SCRAPPY MYSTERY Quilt-Along!  I asked, and you responded.  So, scrappy it is!  This will start in June or July 2017.  I am still working out the details, and will have more to share when I have more solid information.

#4.  Miss Baby’s Stitching Progress.  Some of you have written to ask about Miss Baby’s stitching progress.  Here is the last progress picture I took of her work.  Pattern is by Jardin Prive.  You may purchase the chart here. The latest completed house is the one right next to the letter “m”.  She actually messed up on counting her squares. Instead of correcting her mistake, she “improvise” to make her house work!  I am not quite sure how I feel about that yet… on one hand, I want her to follow the rules because I am pretty much a “dot my i’s, and cross my t’s kind of person.  But on the other hand, I thought she did a great job improvising!  Hahaha.  The original house has 3 windows, and Miss Baby’s version has 2 windows.  And of course, Miss Baby has totally ignored all the “suggested colors”, and picked out all her colors.

I have to say Miss Baby has made great strides in the last 6 months in that she has learned to thread her own needles, and finish her stitches etc.  She is now a totally independent stitcher.  For a while there, I had to cut the threads, thread the needle, show here where to stitch, and then help her bury her thread tails etc.  Now, she asks if I could get her a gold needle!  Well, I didn’t… I told her she would have to earn her own money to buy that as regular needles do just fine. :-)

I say all that to encourage mothers and grandmothers out there who are teaching their young ones in the art of needle and thread that it is possible to start them really young!  I started Miss Baby when she was about 5.  And it’s been really gratifying to see her progress and develop in her skills.

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That’s all for now, Dear Friends!  It’s past 10pm, and I still have a quilt to bind that needs to be shipped in the morning. :)  There goes my life whirling around again!  Hugs to you all, and I do hope you have a lovely week.

Another chance to win Marmalade Meadows Floss Box

Happy Monday, Friends! I hope you are all well and warm!  Right about now, I am an icicle contemplating a one-way ticket to Florida! :)

Last fall, Aurifil introduced my Marmalade Meadows Floss Collectionat Fall Market.  A few days before Christmas last year, Aurifil featured my new Embroidery Floss collection, Marmalade Meadows, on their blog Auribuzz. Click here to read more if you hadn’t had a chance to do so.

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The purchase of the floss collection comes with my pattern instructions (including embroidery) for Marmalade’s Merriment.  If you remember, the embroidery design is based on Miss Baby’s artwork that I had adapted for embroidery.  I do have a funny story associated with that.  I had texted from Fall Market last year a picture of the floss box to Miss Baby at home.  When I checked in with home that night…

Miss Baby:  Urm, Mom, didn’t you tell them I drew the original picture?

Me: Yes?

Miss Baby: Why isn’t my name on the box?

Me:  Well, you see…

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Over the next year, I will be releasing more Marmalade the pot belly bunny embroidery designs, as well as different projects you can make using the free download Marmalade’s Merriment embroidery design!  It will be fun.  So, get your floss ready to stitch… You can ask your local quilt shop owners to order the floss collection for you!

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Aurifil is hosting another giveaway of Marmalade Meadows on their Instagram feed!  Be sure to check out the details there — just search for “aurifilthread”.

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That’s all for now, Friends!  Happy Monday and Happy Week!  I will be back this Wed to catch up with you!  Hugs!!!