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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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.
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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.

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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.

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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!!!