Sunday, November 29, 2009
For those of you needing some pincushion inspiration, tipnut.com has a wonderful reference with links to 60 FREE Pincushion Patterns! There are all sorts of ideas listed here, using all sorts of materials - you are sure to find a pattern to inspire you...
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The plate photo (on the right), is my husband's first helping of Thanksgiving dinner - his mother and I both admired the artistic layout of his meal and how it could be in a magazine photo shoot - I just had to take a picture! Below is a shot of our dinner table...
Another fabulous pattern for the same style of bag is called "Little Jelly Bags" by Bunny Hill Designs...in this quilt pattern, designer Anne Sutton gives you instructions and ideas for five different sized bags, all made from strips!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
More holiday gift ideas are coming soon...and I guess if you have a pet that likes to travel, you can consider this entry a homemade gift idea...
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Today's holiday gift idea makes a great stocking stuffer...a tissue holder. These holders are made for pocket packs of tissues and there are a lot of different sewing patterns...along with a number of ways to "spruce" them up. I am going to give you some of my favorites!
For simple sewing, I have two favorite patterns. The Teacher's Pet has an inexpensive and unique pattern called "Tissue Totes"...this pattern is for adorable two fabric tissues holders with or without a hang tab (bottom right in the photo). Another favorite is from Thimbleberries and is from a fabulous pattern called "Quilter's Carry-All & Accessories" - this quilt pattern also includes a tote bag, planner cover, and eyeglass case!
For quilting in a machine embroidery hoop - The Purple Hat has a great digitized quilted tissue holder done completely in the hoop and is part of the Purse Essentials Set (which also includes an eyeglass case and zippered cosmetic bag). I love this design, as it has a zipper for closure, perfect for throwing in your tote or purse.
If you want to machine embroider a design on an in-the-hoop tissue case, visit Embroidery Library and check out the "In-The-Hoop Tissue Holders Design Pack". There are a variety of embroideries for these fun little tissue cases (bottom left in the photo)...
And finally, for those wanting a FREE tutorial or pattern to try, here are a couple of places online where you can print out instructions...
- Craft and Fabric Links - "Pocket Tissue Cover"
- Sewing at About.com - Envelope Style Travel Tissue Cover and Slit Style Travel Tissue Cover
As you can see, these little tissue holders are easy to make and offer lots of options. For a special treat - put a package of Swankie Hankies or decorative tissues inside!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Today, the first fun idea is a "mug rug"....the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for a coffee or tea drinker! This quilted coaster has two pockets - one for a teabag or instant coffee sachet...and one for a teaspoon...you could also include sugar and/or creamer packets! You can make it with or without a loop for hanging...and can choose the perfect fabric for the recipient. This particular "mug rug" design was done completely in the embroidery machine hoop and was digitized by The Purple Hat (they have great digitized designs and quick gift ideas!)...it measures about 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square. If you are without an embroidery machine, you could easily quilt and bind one (a square fabric/batting sandwich). Give as a gift with a new coffee mug or teacup...or with fresh baked goods...
Check back often for more holiday gift ideas!
Friday, November 13, 2009
The center design is machine embroidery (Victorian Merry Christmas digitized by Embroidery Library). When I first saw this design, I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use with it..."Christmas Past" by Polly Minick & Lauri Simpson for Moda...I had some yardage and a charm pack from this line in my stash, just waiting for the perfect project! I decided to make a holiday pillow with a pieced border....and I am so happy with the results! The pillow is 12"H x 16"W and has an envelope back.
I have also been working on some small sewing gifts - perfect for stocking stuffers...I will share these with you in the next few days.
Tomorrow will be spent making a short road trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a family gathering...my husband's grandmother is turning 92 tomorrow and his family has planned a birthday celebration in her honor. A big luncheon and get together...should be an interesting day!
Enjoy your weekend...
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The last couple days I have been busy rearranging my design warehouse, bagging charts, packing and shipping automatic shop orders, and working on some new charting for releases in 2010. It is a crazy, hectic time. Since I have all my designs professionally printed, I keep stock of each piece in what my husband and I affectionately call the "warehouse"...every several months, I have to condense/organize the warehouse for the new designs. I thought you might appreciate seeing a couple photos of this special room (while it is under "under control")...one wall is shelving, ceiling to floor, with bagged charts in numerical release order...one wall has shelving (more bagged charts) with a counter-top for packaging and weighing...the closet is filled with organized packing materials. The angle of the room and the height of the shelving makes it hard to get good images, but you get the idea! It is now time to get back to bagging charts...only twenty plus boxes to go...
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The last three days have been spent working on getting the new designs published...and this time, there was a bit of a challenge with the covers - but now, the proofs have been finalized and the printing is underway. This was a very large print order, but I am confident my printing company has it under control and I should have the new designs in my hand by the end of the day on Friday...then the *fun* begins...my weekend will be spent bagging thousands of charts, filling invoices, packaging and shipping...all in an effort to get my new charts to your favorite needlework shop as soon as possible.
I finished stitching the model for my SYHO Designer Encyclopedia this morning...it was a bit of a challenge to work with a 50 x 50 stitch count for me...but I am quite happy with this small design and look forward to sharing it with you in the future! I am now excited to work on teaching designs for 2010 and new pieces for the Nashville Needlework Market in February.
(By the way, have you heard - I will be teaching at the first New Endland Stitchers' Retreat in conjunction with ABC Stitch Therapy in June 2010 - I am super excited about this!!)
Yesterday, I took a couple hours to test two new machine embroidery designs for Shelli at Needle In A Haystack Stitchery; two beautiful Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness files - one has the ribbon filled with embroidery - the other the ribbon is applique'. I enjoyed finishing these two designs into a pair of pillows. The applique' was embroidered on wool felt (and the ribbon is wool felt)....and the ribbon fill design was embroidered on quilted cotton with rick rack for an embellishment. The fabric for the borders is one of my favorites (Karen Neuburger - 2006 Pink Ribbon Signature Fabric) and I have been holding on to it for quite some time, waiting for the perfect project! These will make very special gifts....plus taking a couple hours to sew was (again) great therapy for me!
...and although October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) has quickly come and gone, we all still need to be proactive....PLEASE do your monthly breast self-exams and your yearly mammogram - early detection is key!