Monday, April 30, 2012

What is a TUSAL?

That's exactly what I asked myself when I kept seeing TUSAL
and ORT showing up on stitching blogs.
So I followed the Internet rabbit trail to Daffycat's fun blog :)
Apparently she has a "Totally Useless Stitch A Long" going on 
and you can join in at any time!
I love the idea and totally LOVE the name of it!
And every new moon
(don't worry......she has a list of dates)
you post a picture on your blog
 of your "Old Ratty Threads" or ORT's in a jar.
This kind of stitch along is right up my alley!
 Hop on over to Daffycat's blog
and join us for what she calls the Totally Useless Endeavor!

Today I wanted to show you 2 little finishes I did
this morning.

I added a tiny flower button to the little birdie
stitchery because the stitched flower wasn't really showing up.
I like the way it turned out :)

I added some large rick rack to my flag stitchery.
It's the first of my Patriotic pieces.
I have some more patterns picked out and ready to join
this guy pretty soon.

I just finished stitching Lizzy Kate's "Time for God".
I changed the thread colors to better match my home.
I stitched it on hand dyed pale blue 32ct linen over 2 threads.
And last but not least,
(and since I joined in after the last new moon)
I'm going to show you my ORT jar anyways :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Heatin up the kitchen with some cute pot holders!

Can you believe that Mother's Day is only 15 days away?
My Mom in in Germany this year but I'll be sending her
a package to open over there.
I'm working on a needle case for her
and I'll throw in some artwork from
the great-grandchildren and some photographs too.
She'll be super excited to run around
and show everyone what she got.
Believe me, my Mom would still be over joyed
if I made her a macaroni necklace!
Seriously.....she's my biggest fan
and thinks everything I do is golden :)

I'll admit...I feel that way about my kids too!

My Mom told me once, that the only way
to really thank your parents for all they do for you
is to be a good parent to your own children.
I try my best to live up to that.
So with Mother's Day coming up pretty quick,
I decided to add some new pot holders
If you need a fun gift for Mom
that is under $20.00,
check them out!
They'll ship Priority Mail
so you'll get them in plenty of time :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A bit of Hot Cross goodness :)

I finally finished the Hot Cross quilt from the
Schnibbles Times Two book by Carrie Nelson!
So many cute patterns that I still plan to make :)
I've definitely had to embrace the imperfection
of my quilting skills and just enjoy the ride!

I know I said that I wouldn't be machine quilting
any more quilts, but this one actually wasn't that bad.
And I'm such a lucky girl that my buddy Amy
just happened to have some of the Hideaway fabric
that she wasn't planning on using and she gave it to me!
Thanks Amy!!!!
It worked out perfectly for the backing!
I just added a few of the leftover layer cake squares
to make a color blocked backing. 
All the colorful gingham prints is what really made me fall in love
with Hideaway by Moda.
I also love all the fun prints.
Just look at these little houses in the Alps!
It's hard to see but there are tiny people on there too!
Makes me think of Germany and my family there :)
And how adorable are these teenie tiny deer?
I mean seriously????

Now it's time for a bit of cross stitchin! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

My new friend "Betty" :)

Today I made a very much needed new wallet for myself.
I used the "Betty" wallet pattern from the book
"Bags - the Modern Classics" by Sue Kim.
Awesome book!
So many cute bags of all sizes!
All the pattern pieces are full sized so you
don't need to enlarge them.
I only wish the patterns didn't overlap
so you could cut them out without having
to use tracing paper.
The pattern was FTS (fun to sew) and went
together in less than 2 hours start to finish.

I added the little cross stitch piece by Sue Hillis designs
that I just finished stitching.
I used a clear button on the front because
I didn't want to take away from the cute cross stitch.
I realized that I didn't take a photo of the backside...
it's done is black canvas.

I stayed true to the pattern except
that I added medium weight fusible interfacing
on the pockets for some extra "body".
I also added an additional shorter
pocket (the gingham) for my coupons :)
And lastly I added the elastic
for my pen.
I don't know about you,
but I always need my pen!
So here's it is all filled up :)
I can't wait to take Betty shopping ......
I do have some JoAnn's coupons in there.....

Friday, April 20, 2012 I changed my mind :)

A while back I told my hubby that I was done with swaps.

And I meant it........

but I changed my mind :)

It's a woman's prerogative...right?
You may have noticed the Mug Rug Swap button
on the right hand of my blog.
I signed up last week and I have my partner info.
She's from Australia!
I'm super excited to get started!!!
I also signed up for
Stitched with Love.
This one is a cross stitch swap!
Super excited about that one too.
Not sure yet who my partner will be
but I'm hoping for someone in Europe.
How fun will it be to receive packages with
stitched goodness from overseas?

As you can see from the first photo,
I'm almost done with my flag stitchery,
but I ran out of floss (I hate it when that happens!)
And I couldn't just sit idle while the hubby watches TV
so I began stitching this Sue Hillis design.

What are you all working on?
Any fun swaps in your future?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspiration is out there!

First off, I just need to say a big "Thank You"
to Al Gore for inventing the Internet! (wink wink)

I don't know what I'd do without it!!!
I mean, I find so much inspiration
from so many wonderful bloggers!
This particular table runner was inspired
If you love cross stitch you HAVE to check our her blog!
I love that she used a finished cross stitch piece
and made a table runner out of it!
I was stuck in the
 "either make a pillow or have it framed" rut.
So I took my 3 finished pumpkin stitcheries
and looked through my fabric stash
and found these wonderful prints
from Robert Kaufman called "Nutmeg".
They matched perfectly!

The only problem I had is that they are 3 different sizes.
So I gave a 1/4" here and there
and made them look like they belong together.....
sort of :)

Since the fabric prints are so wonderfully busy already
I just did a simple "stitch in the ditch" machine quilting.
I bought this fabric to make myself a Thanksgiving apron
and luckily I still have enough left to do just that!
Win - Win!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm back in the saddle!

Seems like forever since I sat down
at my machine to sew.......
Sometimes after I finish a big project
(like my aunt's quilt)
I feel like I need a break from sewing.
Luckily I have my cross stitch
and embroidery to keep me busy :)
Today I made these 2 little peasant dresses
for Sofie and Evie.
They are pretty quick to make,
about an hour each.

And I learned a new technique today.
I've never used elastic thread
in my bobbin to gather before.
I don't love the process...
but I do love the look!
I used SweetBaby3 "Ferry Top" pattern
that I bought on etsy.
It's awesome that you get sizes 3m to 5 yrs!
Can't wait to see my little beauties
in their new summer dresses!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Am I the only one??????

I've come to the shocking realization
that I don't have as much fun finishing a project
as I do working on the project.
I wonder why that is?
I also enjoy (probably too much)
shopping for supplies for different projects.
I can spend hours online
making wish lists for patterns, fabrics, etc.
It would probably take the rest of my life
just to do all the patterns I already own.
What's up with that?
Right now I have 13 completed
cross stitch projects
and 4 quilt tops just waiting to
be sandwiched and hand quilted.
Anyone else have this problem
or just me?
"Garden Welcome" by Imaginating
"Laughter" by Mosey "N Me
"Bee Line" by Sam Sarah Design Studio

"Happily Ever After" by Glory Bee
"Barns & Quilts" by Jeremiah Junction (Cross Country Stitching Magazine June 2005)

"Cleaning the House" by Lizzie Kate
"English Tea Box" by Jeremiah Junction (Cross Country Stitching Magazine June 2005)

"Blessings Abound" by Bent Creek
"The Pumpkin Flower Sampler" by Bent Creek
"Gather a Harvest of Love" by Lizzie Kate

"Waiting for Santa" snowman by Bent Creek
"Snowman in the Window" by Designs for the Needle
"And the Stockings Were Hung" by Just Cross Stitch Magazine Dec.2001

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It only took 40 years to finish!

It's amazing to think that these 3 little pieces of linen
that started this whole quilt
were in a box with my embroidery floss for over 40 years.
My Oma Luise was here in California visiting us
and taught me to embroider on them.
To find out more about the story of this quilt
you can read about it here and here.
For now let me just say
that I am soooooo happy it is done
in time for my Mom to take it to Germany
with her next week!
The 3 embroideries represent
my cousins, Maika, Norma and Sonny :)
I hope my aunt feels all the love
that went into this
and the fact that my Oma (her mother)
actually stitched a part of this makes it so much more special!

You may be wondering why my German aunt
is called Tia Helene?????

well that's because my hunky Cuban hubby called her that
when we visited them 16 years ago in Germany
and she loved it and it stuck :)
Latin men.....they have a way about them!
Pretty much anything said in spanish
sounds romantic!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Has anyone seen the movie "Up"?
I crack up when the dogs are talking and then suddenly
mid sentence they say "squirrel"!
It's like they can't keep their focus on what they were doing
because a squirrel runs by.
That's how I feel with sewing and stitching.
I'll be working on a project and then I'll stumble across
something beautiful that catches my attention
and before you know it I'm spending hours
on the internet trying to find the pattern
or the shop that carries the pattern I need
to make whatever beautiful thing I've just seen.
And the whole time
 I have other projects to finish!
Case in point -

I found these 3 awesome blogs:

Talk about eye candy!
Between reading the blogs
and trying to find the patterns
I spent HOURS online!
Why are there SO many fantastic stitchery
and cross stitch designers in Europe?
I finally found the french cross stitch magazine
that I wanted, but they went out of business
and all the back issues were purchased
by a Japanese company.
It would cost 24.00 per issue to get them
and I want them all......all 71 issues! Ha :)
So in the meantime I was happy
to find some great free patterns
in the "freebies" section at Steekjes & Kruisjes blog.
Her blog is written in Dutch and English.
I had to make this cute little bird with the cherries!
You can find the free pattern HERE.
But just like the dogs in the movie....
I am currently working on a flag pattern
and was distracted :) 
The next photo shows how my mind actually works :)
I really need to learn to finish one project
before starting a new one!

There has got to be a 12 step program
of some kind to help me....... 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hello Agent P

I finished making the 4 Perry the Platypus (Agent P)
for my 4 grandsons just in time for Easter :)
Other than searing my flesh (repeatedly) with the hot glue gun,
this was a fun little project :)
According to the pattern directions
the entire project is glued together
but I want these little guys to last longer than a day
so I used wool felt and stitched them together instead.
I only used the glue gun
 to attach the pipe cleaners
and glue the hats on.

If you are planning on making a Perry of your own
I would suggest that you attatch the eyes and beaks
before you assemble the body.
It's so much easier to work with that way.
I can never understand why patterns
have you add the details after stuffing.
I also added heavy duty interfacing
to the tail to help Perry stand up.
I ended up tacking the tale to the body
with a few stitches as well
or the poor guy just kept falling over.

In case you missed it yesterday
the link to the free pattern is HERE.

Looks like I'll be making one more of these....
turns out the hubby wants one too :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Garden Steps Block #3.....done!

I was super excited yesterday when I saw
that the pattern for block #3
was available over at Clover & Violet!
I should actually be working on the hand quilting
of my Aunt's quilt.......

I just couldn't wait to get started on this :)

I used a back stitch for the wording,
split stitch for the flower petals
and a chain stitch around the center of the flower.
I made the flower petals a bit shorter
than the original pattern to leave room for the wording.
I realize that one of the things I love most
about my new obsession (quilting) is that no
two quilts are ever the same.
Even when you use the same pattern.
Everyone adds their own "flavor"
and that's what makes them all so wonderful!
And no matter what your skill level
or what you think your abilities are,
you can create a work of art that is uniquely you!
I remember when I used to scrapbook all the time,
so many women would complain about their handwriting.
Their own handwriting is exactly why those
scrapbooks will be cherished by the next generations.
I'd rather see my grandmother's own handwriting than
some computer generated "perfect" font any day!
It's the "uniqueness" that make quilts so beautiful :)