Spool-en-dids Ornament Project #4 – Focusing on the Spool!

Hello Friends, it’s good to be back to re-connect!  Summer is over for us.  Miss Baby started school this week.  I have to say it took me a bit to get used to the quietness during the day while she is at school.

Have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME”, Smar-kly and a Primer on Cross-Stitching ornaments?

It’s time for me to share with you the fourth of the 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.

All the ornaments use embroidery floss Spool-en-dids, a thread pack my daughter curated for Aurifil.

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 the 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.

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PROJECT: Focusing on the spool!

SUPPLIES:

7-8″ square piece of 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. 

To make the ornament like what we have done here, you will need 4 pieces of fabric scrap to frame your stitched piece, and one for backing the pillow case.  Time to go dig through your scraps pile.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all pillow ornament tutorials in this series, 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: We will just be practicing on crossing the crosses row after row to get used to cross-stitching, until your child complains about being cross-eyed (JUST KIDDING!).  But in the end, the rows will result in a spool of thread.

From ornament #3, (if you missed the tutorial, the link is here),

we will progress to this:

Here is the fun part about this spool stitching — you may choose the colors you would like to use, and you may stitch as many rows as you would like as well.

Step 1.  If you would like to stitch your spool just like the one that is shared, first you will hoop the fabric with an embroidery hoop!  You will just start a little left of the center of your 7-8″ cross stitch fabric square,

a.  stitch a row of 13 cross stitches using the brown floss.

b.  stitch a row of 11 cross stitches using the brown floss, off setting one stitch from the previous row.

c.  stitch subsequent 14 rows of 9 cross-stitches using red and yellow, alternating 2 rows of red and 1 row of yellow.

d.  stitch a row of 11 cross stitches using the brown floss, mirroring row b.

e.  stitch a row of 13 cross stitches using the brown floss mirroring row a.

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!

Now, how cute is this little spool ornament?

Imagine…
#1. having a stitching party of stitches of all ages, and have everyone stitch out the spool in their favorite colors – solid, variegated etc!
#2. making this as a gift change for a stitching or quilting group
#3. stitching a row of multiple spools during the different colors to make a horizontal pillow ornament

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

Meanwhile, Miss Baby has a new progress picture to share on her Patchwork Aux Chat sampler using ONLY colors from her Spool-en-dids collection.  She has mixed up floss of different colors to achieve additional colors besides the ones in her collection.  I have learned to zip my mouth and let her run with her color choices for her sampler because I think her choices produces striking results!

She tried her best to finish this sampler up before school started, but it didn’t happen.

Thank you for stopping by — and let’s get some stitching going!

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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.

ABC des Maisons: Part 1

Before I proceed with today’s post, I have been asked about this quilt I posted in yesterday’s post.  The quilt is called Gwendolyn Dream Garden.  It is a pattern found in my book Creative New Quilts & Projects using Precuts or Stash.  You can view all the projects in the book here.  Gwendolyn’s Dream Garden is named for Miss Baby.  She fell in love with the quilt when she saw it, and told me it reminded her of a flower garden.

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Speaking of the girl, this summer has been a stitching summer for Miss Baby!  The last time you saw her completed stitched project was a few months ago… I shared about her stitched ornament.  You can read more about it here.

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From the stitched ornament to this…. a full-sized sampler! And she is quite a determined stitcher too – because she is having a contest with my sister (who is stitching the same thing) to see who finishes first.  They are stitching ABC des Maisons by Prive Jardin.  You can purchase the chart here.  That’s how it’s supposed to look when it’s finished.

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AND…. this is Miss Baby’s latest progres.  And she is intent on changing the colors to suit her taste. *rolling my eyes here*  Let’s just say sometimes I wish my little one would just stay inside the box, and not try to think too much outside of the box, hahaha!

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Have I ever told you I have always wanted a daughter?  And I am thankful to God He gave me one.  I have enjoyed my little girl.  I missed those baby/toddler days for sure, but I have also enjoyed the more grown up version these days.  I did a double-take the two days ago when she said to me out of the blue, “Mom, I think you are the best Mom I have ever sampled.  I think I am going to keep you.”  What?!  Sampled?!

Thanks for stopping by.  I have more work to do still… Hugs to you all till next time.

Monday Miscellaneous

Happy Monday, FRIENDS!  Here’s to a great week for all of us!!  I have a few things to cover here…

First off, I just finished proofing the upcoming online/video quilting classes.  Annie’s is adding a few more domestic machine quilting classes in the near future, in addition to the two I did for them: Learn to Machine Quilt, and Machine Quilting Level 2.  I have to say having to watch and listen to myself is the most painful and un-enjoyable part for me in the entire process of getting an online class to happen!  Alas, in viewing these “almost final” cuts, I am having to face the fact that I speak with a Southern Twang, haha… when I really would like to speak crisp English like Queen Elizabeth II!

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Behind the scenes – these online class projects start with a phone call/email, and then, writing a proposal, making the sample(s), scripting the video shoot, revisions, prepping to leave town, the actual shoot, sitting in the plane and sighing sighs of relief on the way back, and a few weeks later, proofing the almost final cut of the video class.  You may click here and here to read more about my current two classes.

Speaking of my online machine quilting classes, I am happy to announce the winner of my Machine Quilting Level 2 class from last week’s giveaway: Donna W!  Congrats!  An email have been sent to you, Donna… and someone from Annie’s will get you set up!

Do stay tuned for more giveaways…. there will be another one this week.  “Fabrics” is the word for our next giveaway here. :)

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I had mentioned to you the exciting news of being included in the Aurifil Designer Team for 2016.

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I am even more thrilled to share with you the news that Heather Valentine of The Sewing Loft has shared her block for the month of January! I hope you (or even your quilt group) are joining in making this mystery quilt?  Click here to get to know Heather, admire and download her block pattern for free, AND make the block for yourself.  It is a fun block. I am sewing along — and hope to share my block with you later this week… because I am waiting for fabrics! :) Imagine that… haha!

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Meanwhile, due to popular demand for Miss Baby’s artwork (seriously, what am I… chopped liver? haha!), I thought I would share one she drew recently of Miss Clara Clavel and the girls from the beloved Madeline series.

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Miss Baby also had a stitching finish!!!  She finished her Angels ornament by Country Cottage Needleworks. The following is the designer’s original version.

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Image source: Country Cottage Needleworks

Miss Baby wanted a more “diversified” representation — thus the different hair colors.

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Now that she has finished this ornament, she has a VERY ambitious project coming up.  I am not that certain about it because it is going to be HUGE . But who am I to dissuade her?  I am a firm believer of gaining confidence in doing things out of one’s comfort stitching zone.  So, I think we should just go along, and see where it takes Miss Baby… shall we?  I will have updates once I get the threads, fabrics and chart ready for her for the big reveal.

Meanwhile, I am preparing these fabrics from Windham FabricsBasic Lines for a fun and exciting project using my Aurifil Subtle Strings thread box. More details to follow…. and hopefully you will want to be a part of the excitement. :)

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That’s it for now, Friends!  The pattern instructions aren’t going to write themselves… so, I have to get back to work, as much as I would love to just sit and chat with you.  Have a lovely day, and Happy Week to all of you!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Friends, I cannot be more excited my project of stitching these 12 Days of Christmas ornaments is finally #done, #finished, #completed, #nomorehangingovermyhead – after three long years!!! I am not fishing for accolades as I am a little sheepish in admitting to you it took me three years to get these ornaments stitched. After all, as you can see, the stitching does not really require any advanced skills.  But to have these done is an immense relief because now I can go on to finishing some of my other stitching related UFO’s when time allows.

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Incidentally, there is a story associated with the song.  Here goes (thanks to Creative Hare who sent it to me!!)

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

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Would you join me in “singing” the carol one more time before we pack our Christmas stuff away?  Oh, good… here goes.

On the first day of Christmas
My true love *gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree

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On the second day of Christmas
My true love game to me
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree

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On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Ohhh, awww-e-awww,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five Limousines,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eleven Pipers Piping,
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING!
ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING!
TEN LORDS-A-LEAPING!
NINE LADIES DANCING!
EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING!
SEVEN SWANS-A-SWIMMING!
SIX GEESE-A-LAYING!
FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!
FOUR CALLING BIRDS!
THREE FRENCH HENS!
TWO TURTLE DOVES!
AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE!

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You all sounded great – thank you so much for humoring me and “singing along”!  And that concludes our Christmas 2015 at Ivory Spring.  Miss Baby has been dreading the day we put our Christmas things away.  I will be very nice, and do it ever so gradually…. to lessen the pain.
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a most lovely day.  Hugs to you all.
p.s.  *I learned that traditionally, the song was sung with “my true love sent to me” instead of “gave to me”.  The “gave to me” version is more 20th century and American.

Mary Wigham: Part 15


We are taking a little detour from quilting today. Please allow me to show you one of the other things (besides quilting) I am working on. It’s been ages since I posted about my Mary Wigham progress. For those who are new to this blog, Mary Wigham was charted by Needleprint as one of the reproduction Ackworth School Girl Samplers. This picture is from the last time I posted about Mary:


Truth be known, I all but abandoned my stitching in the last few months until few weeks ago. I have been sneaking in stitches here and there during playtime with Miss Baby. Each motif that you see added since my last progress picture generally took about a week to complete. There were days I could only stitch a sum total of five stitches, when Miss Baby was needier than usual. My thinking is as long as I keep adding stitches to the sampler, it will eventually get done… so here is the latest:


So far, stitching the beige tone-on-tone motif has been the hardest because it was hard at times to differentiate the floss from the linen during stitching. I could only stitch this one during the daytime because it was just too hard to see at night.


I am generally not a baby blue person, but that baby blue motif touched my heart.


Each of these motifs aren’t very big – you can see one of them side by side with a penny. I am stitching on 32-count lambswool linen.

I enjoy all forms of needlework. I have been tempted to take up tatting recently, but seriously, I don’t need yet another hobby! So, I shall stick with what I currently pursue for now. :)

Curious mind wants to know if there are quilters out there that also enjoy other forms of needlework. I want to hear from you – tell me the projects you are working on so that I can further tempt myself. :)