The Power of Suggestion

15 12 2016

Working in a quilt shop, especially when your job is to check-in new merchandise can be a costly endeavor. Things you were sure held no interest for you may suddenly have appeal when they pass through your hands.

I lost interest in cross stitch years ago, in fact I think there are still a couple unfinished projects from the 80s somewhere in the house. But when a pattern for Snow Country Sled ornaments from Foxwood Crossings passed through my hands, I “needed” to do cross stitch again!

So last year at Thanksgiving the pattern and perforated paper made the trip with me to Oregon, and I did manage to stitch out the designs for three sleds. I didn’t get around to actually finishing the project until yesterday, when I glued the designs to the top of the sleds. This will need to qualify as my handmade ornaments for this year. (I try to do at least one each year.)


I think my interest in cross stitch has once again waned  — until something else exciting passes through my hands.


4 05 2015

I continue to live life at a frantic pace, but rarely slow down enough to write about it lately.  This year I’m teaching Stitching Society at Ruth’s Stitchery.  Which means I’m making lots of little motifs and working on learning some new hand embroidery stitches well enough to teach them to others. I also spend a little time researching the history of various things — needles, thread, pins so far. It’s fun, but overwhelming at times.

This month for the small project I made the binder cover.


I chose to add pockets to the inside, they are not included in the pattern.


I promised my students I would upload my pictorial guide, I am including measurement because that information is available in the pattern. Here is the guide as a PDF Binder Cover.

Something Odd Happened Today

18 03 2014

Yes, indeed, something very odd happened today.  I finished a class sample almost 3 weeks in advance rather than in the wee hours of the morning prior to class!  I was at the store about an hour early this morning, and in that hour I put the last stitches in this candle mat.

Spring!The pattern is Spring! from Penny Lane Primitives, and is the project I’ll be discussing in the Wool Projects class in April.  The entire mat was made with Wool Felt produced by National Nonwovens.   I prefer items that while they will work for specific holidays, they can also carry throughout a season.

I left the actual sample hanging in Ruth’s Stitchery today.


Winter or Spring

12 03 2014

Sunday and Monday we had gorgeous Spring weather here.  Yesterday we were back to snow and windy cold, and today the sun is back.  Because I need to do some clean-up I’m removing all the winter decorations today (technically Spring is just a little over a week away).

As I was preparing this quilt for storage, I realized it was a UFO I’d finished just before Christmas and never marked off my list!  The pattern is Winter Wonderland from Crabapple Hill Studio.


Because I am no longer doing custom quilting for hire, it was actually fun to take my time and quilt this one for me!

Winter-Wonderland-DetailNow I can store the quilt with a clear conscience.  😀


Snowmen in July

3 07 2013

I just put the last stitch in this top at about noon today.

Postcard-CutiesNolan purchased the pattern “Postcard Cuties for Winter” from Bunny Hill Designs for me for Christmas several years ago.  I never quite decided what fabric I wanted to use until I saw that the pattern was being reissued using the Primitive Gatherings Snowman Gathering line of fabric.  We already had the precuts in the store so I grabbed those in early April.  The  same week I got those, the yardage arrived and I took it home the same day UPS delivered it to the store.

The blocks were super fast.  I was doing two a day for the first few days.  (Remember I get dropped off at work up to 2-1/2 hours early during the school year.)  In fact I made it all the way to just a little work on the last two blocks before I decided I had to go back to Audubon’s Christmas to be ready for class.  I  pulled it all back out last Sunday night and finished it up.  There are buttons that I will add after quilting.  I used Pendleton Wool for the snowmen which I picked up when I went to Walla Walla for the boys soccer tournament.

I had my blocks at the store during the time I was working on them and we had preorders for several patterns before they were ever released and the fabric line zipped out the door.   We were told this line wouldn’t be reprinted, but it looks like that may have changed.  We are waiting to see.

Now and Then

26 06 2013

So I don’t stay permanently behind, I’m going to show wool felt projects finished this month and for my March class.

I think I’ll use the LIFO method of inventory to determine order.  I just put the backing on the Dragonflies Penny Rug on Sunday.  The pattern is from Penny Lane Primitives.

Dragonfly-candlematJust a couple of note-worthy things on this project.  You won’t find the exact cream color I used for the background on this mat.  I started with Fresh Linen wool felt from National Nonwovens and tea dyed it.  I wadded up the felt and determined what size mixing bowl I could fit it into.  Then I took the felt out of the bowl, filled the bowl up with boiling water and seeped two bags of tea.  Once the tea was nice and dark, I removed the tea bags and shoved the felt in the bowl.  I did not agitate because I was hoping for mottled fabric.  Once I thought the wool was dark enough, I removed it from the bowl and rinsed.  Then I put it in the spin cycle of the washer, and finally dried it completely in the dryer.  Most of the projects I’ve shown previously, I’ve laid flat to dry.  So this background fabric is a little more pebbly than what I typically show.

The other thing worth noting,  the felt for the tails of the dragonflies was cut with a hole punch.  We’ve discussed using punches in class before, but this pattern called for the punch.  So much easier than cutting all those circles with scissors.

The second project was finished either at the very end of February or the first couple of days of March.  This  floss keeper was made from the Stitchery Set pattern by Bareroots.

floss-keeper-outsideI was in a huge hurry on this one, so you are seeing the wool felt as it came off the bolt.  I usually prewash for a softer feel.  The centers on the flower were loads of fun to make and super easy.  The buttons I used came from my grandmother’s stash, which of course means people in class couldn’t exactly duplicate.

The inside has three sheets of felt and rings to store floss for a current project.  A small pocket (I added stitching across the top of it before attaching) and a small pincushion.

floss-keeper-insideThe pattern has a large pincushion, scissor fob, and needle keep which I never got around to.




Life is Like…

20 06 2013

Just one more project to show from January.  Choco-lot Forget-Me-Knot is a pattern from Annelle’s Originals and it was the project I chose for the Wool Projects class in January.  The intention was that people would be finished with it in time to display it for Valentines.

Choco-lot-forget-me-notI did the whole project in wool felt.  It looks almost good enough to eat.

I cheated for the February project and used something for which I already had a sample.  That gave me just a little bit of breathing room.