Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday....a little hand piecing

these little 4.5 inch blocks are from Suzuko Koseki's book Playful Patchwork

a little sugar to add to all this sweetness ;)


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Liberty and Linen = Love

Have you noticed my new header?
  I love this Pinched Pincushion that I designed for my own little Valentine's Day Celebration....
I love pincushions!  They are quick to make and so appreciated when gifted to a stitchy friend!
Today I put together a little tutorial so you can make your own Pinched Pincushion or make one for a friend!
First you need a heart.  My heart template is about 3.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall.  I traced my heart onto Freezer Paper.

gather the supplies
1. Freezer paper or card stock for heart template
2. Linen or fabric for the base...a FQ or a quarter yard is plenty
3. little piece of Liberty for the heart
4. Perle cotton or embroidery floss for the decorative stitching {I love Valdani}
5. Cotton stuffing or Fiberfill for stuffing the pincushion and a small piece of batting
6. Needle for hand stitching with Perle favorite is Fons and Porter Utility Needles
6. General sewing supplies
Make heart template and cut the waxy side of the Freezer Paper to the right side of the Liberty fabric.

carefully cut out around the template and peel the template from the you have a Liberty heart.

Cut out the parts for the pincushion {Linen}.  You will need {2} 5 inch squares....and {4} 3" X 5" rectangles
I also cut a 5 inch square of low loft cotton batting

Use a dab of basting glue or just a pin to secure the heart to the center of one 5 inch square and a few more dabs to secure your 5" square batting to the wrong side of your heart square.

Stitch around the inside of the heart with perle cotton to keep your heart in place...

and stitch around the outside if you like!

Once the top is stitched you are ready to work on the sides...
take the 4 sides pieces {3" X 5"}.  Begin with two sides, right sides together, and stitch the short ends leaving a 1/4 inch open at the top and the bottom of the short end.  This process will be familiar if you have made a fabric cube.

 Remember to leave a 1/4 inch open at the top and the bottom of the short side...and backstitch to reinforce the stitching at both ends.
Add all four sides together in the same manner and, finally, stitch the first side to the fourth side to link all the sides together.

Press each seam open.

With right sides together match up the top of the pincushion {with the heart} with one of the sides.  Do not begin stitching at the corner....rather begin 1/4" in from the corner and end 1/4" from the other corner...back stitch both the beginning and the end of this line of stitching

Keep stitching along each side of the top square, matching the sides to the top and leaving a 1/4 inch open at both corners.  You do need to stitch each side can't just travel around the square and pivot at the corner.  The stitching needs to begin a 1/4 inch from each corner and end a 1/4 inch short of the next corner.  You will not have a hole at the corners because your stitching will meet as long as you keep accurate seam allowances.
Once you have finished the top, place the bottom 5 inch square on the bottom of the sides and continue in the same manner...the only difference being that you must leave a 2 inch opening in the middle of one side!                  

This is very important for stuffing the pincushion!
You should now have something that looks like a deflated linen cube!

Stuff the cube full of stuffing. Hand sew the opening closed. 
Now the fun part!
Pinch the top edges of the cube {a little less than a 1/2 inch} and using a running stitch...stitch up a little pinched edge!  I didn't even bother to bury the knot...just leave it on the outside and trim the tail close.

Go all the way around the top - pinching and stitching.  Then do the sides and lastly the bottom....pinch and stitch, pinch and stitch!

How cute is this?  I love it!
If you make one, I would love to see your pincushion!

happy pinching!
mary :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nap Day....

In years past, I have had a heck of a time sleeping...just awful insomnia....

But it has gotten much better and I found Melatonin which really helps.

Still sometimes....I have one of those nights....
So today I am sleepy, sleepy

The perfect day for a little nap and a little hand stitching

I made a fresh cup of coffee and pulled out the EPP that has been languishing my bag of tricks!

these are all Liberty fabrics...some I purchased and some given to me by friends ;)

One day they will be joined into a lovely quilt top.  But it is the perfect quiet stitching for days like this.

Remember that bulls-eye block?
I have also been adding blocks to this collection.  I have decided to mix up the background pieces to give it a more scrappy look.

A haphazard, scrappy look appeals to me.  But I must say this is not the most simple block to piece...

to be more accurate, the finished size has given me problems.  I thought perhaps it was just the Essex linen, but that doesn't seem to be it.  I think it is all the curvy parts....lots of room for tiny errors.  

I do still love this block ;)

The days are getting warmer and the snow is melting!  I can't wait to get out and walk.  I am sure that will help the insomnia.  
I would love to hear if you have any remedies for those sleepless nights!  
happy thursday!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

There are a few reasons why we love Valentine's Day around our house....

I gave birth on Valentine's my sweet daughter, Maggie!

 Happy Birthday to Maggie and Happy Valentines Day to you all!

mary :)  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Swedish Bloom has Bloomed!

A bright ray of sunshine on this cold Winter day!

I have admired this quilt from Patchwork Please! by Ayumi Takahashi
and as the Winter months just kept getting colder and colder, I decided it was time to dive in!

I didn't want to go out of the house if I didn't have to... so stitching up some bright blooms seemed rather brilliant!
 This quilt required paper foundation piecing...

I chose cute, girly fabrics for the middle of the blooms and gingham around the outside...
The borders are pieced with fun fabrics, keeping with the bright, happy feel of this quilt.

I decided to machine quilt narrow straight lines in the sashing.  And then added some pick stitching to outline the blooms and the leaves!  I think the combination really makes the blooms POP!

I finished it off with an embroidered label!

If you are reading this from snowy, cold parts...I hope it brightens your day!  Only a few more weeks of Winter!
happy thursday!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Special Days and Special Friends....

A few packages were sent across the pond...
some for Valentine's and some for Birthdays...
or both!

A friend and co-worker clued me in on a very lovely patchwork book...
I am always surprised when books like this, by Suzuko Koseki, get by my radar!

I adapted the needlecase pattern to make a couple of sweet little cases for friends...

a lovely little Valentine's treat!

a fun round shape...all hand applique and hand quilting...

 a couple little felt centers for keeping those needles handy!

Happy Valentine's Day, Clare and Susan! And Happy Birthday, Susan!
Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Time to Pony-Up...

So....remember way to stay organized?
It worked great the first week...not so much last week.
But, fortunately, I have another week to get back on track! Yay!

I do have a few things to share...
a few Pony Club blocks {they are fun!}

these two went together quickly...

so much fun!

I have also been tinkering with one of my very favorite blocks...
the Bulls Eye....odd name for a sweet block...

 so now I have two {actually three, but I didn't take a pic of the last}

Oh my goodness, I do love this block!
mary :)