Penny Rugs

>> Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've been obsessing on wool and penny rugs lately. Here are my results:

The first one is from a kit from Primitive Gatherings  Their wool was just delicious! The strawberries were super fun to make. I find wool so relaxing.

The last penny rug is one I designed myself. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I used a backstitch on each petal and stitched a swirly design. Then around each petal I backstitched in the contrasting lime green floss. The dots are french knots. The back of the rug is lined with black flannel.

It continues to be as hot as all get out here in Florida. I sure wish it would cool off! That won't be until the very end of October. Luckily we just booked a 7 day cruise up the east coast in mid October. Hopefully there will still be some fall colors to admire!

Take care of yourselves!


Playing with Dolls

>> Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hi folks,

Hope all is well in your world.

I'm taking a break from quilting and playing with dolls! It's a lot of fun and I am enjoying the process as much as the product. I'm calling my dolls "Fiddlestix".

It all started when I read Salley Mavor's fabulous book "Felt Wee Folks". She has so much creativity and talent!

Let me first introduce you to my sweet Grandson Alex:

Now let me introduce you to the Fiddlestix Alex:

He has on overalls and a hoodie (check out the hood in the side view!) and he's holding a train.

What do you think?

Take care,


Embroidered Wool Applique

>> Sunday, August 22, 2010

Home Again!

There's no place like home. Although it's as hot as, well, let's just say my glasses fog up every time I go out and I feel like I need to shower after five minutes in the shade. Florida is the pits this time of year.

We loved North Carolina. I think I'm a mountain person. The fog in the valleys, the smell of pines and the wind blowing through the trees. Just lovely. It was in the 60's while we were there with a few highs in the low 70's. Just marvelous. It rained every day which just forced me to nap. (LOL). We did the tourist things like seeing Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock and taking the Blue Ridge Parkway. Everything was breathtaking.

This is a photo from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This is the view from my bedroom window early one morning.

We also did the Hawk's Nest zipline which was a blast. There were ten runs, the longest 1800 feet. I just loved it. Screamed the whole way!

On the drive to NC and during free moments I worked on my embroidered wool applique. I really loved the work. It felt very creative and relaxing as I didn't have to worry about needle turning. I sewed and ripped and repeated. I'm very pleased with the results. I've finished two of six 5x5" squares. The background is linen.

I plan on piecing the six pieces together to make a wall hanging. We'll have to see how that works.

Hope you are doing well! Take care!


Wool Applique

>> Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hi folks.

Sorry for the delay in posting. I have been "computer challenged" and having difficulty downloading photos from my camera. Finally got lucky and it worked.

I've been dabbling in wool applique. I needed a break from needle-turn applique and wanted to experiment and play.

Here are my latest creations. They are 5"x5" and taken from patterns by Piece of Cake designs. I am using white wool for background and regular sewing thread for the embroidery. I used a running stitch around the petals, blanket stitch around the leaves and a backstitch on the stems.

This second one is only partially completed. I used variegated #8 Finca thread in a straight stitch to accentuate the green points and sewing thread as a blanket stitch around the petals and the backstitch on the leaves.  I have played around with all types of threads and stitches. Wool, fortunately, is very forgiving. I've just had a blast experimenting. Perhaps I should call my sewing room "Lab"!

We are escaping the miserable heat here in Florida by driving to North Carolina with the three dogs. Should be an interesting trip. Our beagle damaged her left knee this last weekend (did you know dogs have knees?!) and will need surgery when we return. Meanwhile she is getting along fine on three legs and pain meds. The vet wasn't concerned about delaying the surgery while we're gone. So, she will get the front seat, next to my husband and I will sit in the back seat with the two goldens. What a sight! LOL!

We are borrowing a friend's condo in Sugar Mountain NC. I'm really looking forward to spending time outdoors in cool weather. There is no TV or computer connection so we will be "back to basics". I have packed lots of applique kits to keep me out of trouble. Here they are, more wool applique with threads and buttons.

I am also packing some supplies:

Needles (I prefer threading them through small plastic canvas squares and stapling them on an index card with identification. I also have a stitch chart of possible stitches to try on the applique (in black)

I would be lost without my trusty light. This is a great item to have. You can get it here for $12.95. I wear it around my neck and it has a strong light you can angle towards your work.

Now for some eye candy. I'm also packing some extras:

Aren't these beautiful?

I won't be blogging for about two weeks, until I return to Florida. Take care of yourself!


Fioriani Stitch and Wash Applique

>> Saturday, July 24, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention? How about desperation?

Lately I've been frustrated with my applique. When I've worked on more challenging patterns (with very small pieces or tight curves) I haven't been satisfied with the results. So I've tried different methods, combined methods and made up methods! I hate to think of all the fabric I've wasted!

But I've finally come up with a system that works for me and thought I'd share it with you in case it might be helpful.

First I start with Floriani Stitch N Wash Fusible. You can get it at Red Rock Threads and other places. This is a wonder product.

I first learned of it through Kelly at Don't Look Now. She used Floriani with a glue stick to make orange peel blocks. She ironed shapes cut from the Floriani on the back of fabric and then used a glue stick to turn the seam allowance. I found my orange peel blocks looked best if I finger pressed the pieces before applying the glue. While I enjoyed having the pieces already "turned", I didn't like the mess of the glue. I also didn't like the inaccuracy and time consuming process of tracing patterns on the Floriani.

After brainstorming I discovered a solution to both issues.

First I start with an 8.5x11 inch piece of Floriani. I like to use my rotary cutter and the template Soft Expressions sells to cut out my pieces . I found I can cut as many as three at time.

I iron an 8.5x11 inch piece of freezer paper on the non-glue side of the Floriani. The glue side is somewhat shiny as the photo shows. Iron on a hard surface that will not absorb the glue. I use a piece of tile. Only iron the freezer paper  a few seconds, long enough to stick to the paper lightly.

Now I can run the Floriani through my printer with the ink printing on the glue side.  I know this sounds backwards, but stick with me. (If you need to reverse your pattern, do so before printing)

Then I carefully peel the freezer paper off the Floriani. It should easily peel off. This freezer paper can be reused several times. You should now have your pattern printed on the glue side of the Floriani.

Cut out your pieces and iron the Floriani to the back of your fabric. That means the printed side/glue side will be in contact the back of your fabric. Be careful,  it's not easy removing the Floriani from your hot iron (ask me how I know).  Now you can cut out the pieces adding your seam allowance.

At this point I attach the pieces to my background and needle turn the seam allowances over the Floriani edges. Works like a charm. The Floriani is light weight and most of it washes out with hot water and soap. When I compare pieces that used Floriani and those that didn't I really can't tell a difference. And that's before washing. There is no stiffness and when the piece is held to a light there is no difference. I really love this product.

I have a confession to make that may sound loony. Instead of using little applique pins to secure a piece to the background I use a staple! It holds the piece tightly, there is no shifting and they are easily removed. They also don't catch your thread. A stapler obviously wouldn't work with a fabric like silk but it's worked well with my cottons.

Have fun trying something new!


Birdhouse Stitching

>> Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good Afternoon!

I've been working on Block 1 from Leanne Beasley's Down in the Garden. I made it last week and wasn't happy with it. The fabrics that came with the kit were somewhat drab and weren't the same fabrics Leanne used in her quilt.  So I tried some other fabrics and I still wasn't satisfied. The fabrics were too "busy" and the stitching wasn't my best work.  I was in too much of a hurry. I tend to rush through projects because I'm excited and also thinking about other projects I want to do. I need to slow down and enjoy the process. Here's a photo of "Draft 2". (It wasn't even worthy of ironing!)

I started again, (I'm nothing if not stubborn) with a new set of fabrics. Purples, yellows and greens. Bright and cheery. (still having problems with my photos-ignore the green hue)

The pattern has you make the blocks first and then add the stitching. I found that stretched the stitching of the blocks and was awkward. So now I'm doing the stitching pattern on a large piece of fabric, then cutting it to size and sewing it into the block.

I'm taking my time, not trying to finish quickly but trying to enjoy the process. My stitching was much improved and I'm happy with the work. Here's the first "sub-block".

I used Cosmos threads. The scrolly area around the birdhouse was made with purple (#556) back stitch that was wrapped with gold (#575) thread. I'm very pleased with those results. The pattern called for small chain stitching in both the scroll area and the birdhouse. I used a wrapped back stitch in the birdhouse also, all the same color (#554). I did a simple back stitch for the leaves and vine (#924), and satin stitch for the flower buds (#556). the pattern suggested back stitch for the flowers but I found the flowers were so small the back stitches didn't work well. I substituted chain stitch (#556) in dark purple that I filled with straight stitches (#575) in a lighter purple and a french knot (#575) of gold in the center.

I need to get to work on my hand piecing project and my Simple Sampler. So much stitching and so little time!

Have a great day!


Down in the Garden by Leanne Beasley!

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I have held my breath waiting for my pattern and kit from Leanne's House. The pattern is Down in the Garden and it's a BOM. I just adore this pattern and have lusted after it since it came out. I finally decided to purchase it and enjoy myself.

Here is what the entire quilt will look like

Here is what Block One will look like when I'm finished (I hope!)

Here is the kit I received from Buggy Barn

Guess what I'll be doing the rest of this rainy afternoon?!


Simple Sampler Blocks 7 & 8

>> Monday, July 12, 2010

Hope you all had a nice weekend!

I've finished blocks 7 and 8 for the Simple Sampler Quilt Along. I really enjoyed the Log Cabin (7). I think I'll have to make a quilt of Log Cabins. Here they are:



 Here are all of the blocks so far: (this is the best reproduction of their true colors)

 I'm also taking an online hand piecing class through Quilt University from Susan Purney-Mark. I really enjoy hand work. Here's what I've pieced so far:

 I'm waiting for instruction on how to attach seamed pieces. These three blocks will be sewn together to make a small table runner.

Have a great afternoon!


Stitch by Stitch

>> Friday, July 9, 2010


Hope each of you is doing well. Welcome readers from Simple Sampler Quilt-Along! I've been enjoying your sweet comments!

It's a bit embarrassing, it's almost 11 AM here and I'm still in my pajamas! But I haven't been a total lump (just a slob!). I finished the blocks for week three of Amy's "Simple Sampler Quilt-Along". They were easy and turned out well.

Block 5:

Block 6:

I've also been playing around with a Dresden Plate/Orange Peel quilt. Here is my first Dresden block. The Dresden blades are 2 1/4" long and the widest area is 3/4". The entire dresden is 6 3/4" across. I really like the blue against the green background. I tried to do a turquoise/brown combo but couldn't find the right brown. This one is "tamer" but beautiful.

Here is the Orange Peel block. I used a template from June Taylor's orange peel set. That made it a cinch. Each petal is 3 3/4".  The center is not perfect, but close enough for a first try. I expect to get better at matching the points. (you can click the photos for a closer view)

I have a special friend that has been diagnosed with liver cancer. She wants to make a last quilt and has asked for my help. It is quite bittersweet. If any of you are prayer warriors, please pray for Nancy.

Thank you and have a nice day!


Honoring America

>> Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day here in the States. It is a special day celebrating our many blessings and freedoms.

We have these many freedoms because of the men and women that have died for us. 

The above flag rested on my father-in-law's coffin this last February. He was a Marine in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star and two purple hearts.

When the flag was lifted from the coffin it was folded very carefully thirteen times by two young Marines and given to my husband. Each of the thirteen folds is symbolic and I thought you might enjoy knowing the history of the folds. It kind of represents who we are as Americans. 

First Fold: Symbol of Life
Second Fold: Symbol of our belief in eternal life
Third Fold: Honor and remembrance of the veterans who gave a portion of their lives for the defence of our country and to attain peace throughout the world
Fourth Fold: Trust in God in times of peace and war for His divine guidance
Fifth Fold: Tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur "Our Country, in dealing with other countries may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong"
Sixth Fold: With our hearts we pledge allegiance to America
Seventh Fold: Tribute to our Armed Forces
Eighth Fold: Tribute to  those that have entered the valley of the shadow of death
Ninth Fold: Tribute to womanhood through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion the character of our country has been molded
Tenth Fold: Tribute to fathers
Eleventh Fold: Represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon's and glorifies the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Twelfth Fold: Represents God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
Thirteenth Fold: The uppermost stars reminds us of our Nation's motto "In God We Trust". 

After the flag is folded is takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones.

Happy Independence Day!


Simple Sampler Quilt Along

>> Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Amy (Park City Girl) is hosting a Quilt-Along. It's made up of sixteen 12" simple blocks. I always love a Quilt-Along and I can certainly use the practice!

Every week she presents two new blocks of increasing difficulty. I made the first two week's blocks tonight.  The fabric is Moda's French General "Rural Jardin". I am really enchanted by this fabric. Here they are:

Block 1:

Block 2:

Block 3:

Block 4:

I'm also doing some simple applique using this fabric line and some "Piece O' Cake" applique patterns.

Have a nice evening.


Picking up the Pieces...

>> Thursday, June 24, 2010

Excuse the pun!

I've recovered from the family reunion (great fun had by all), recovered from bronchitis and sinusitis (generously shared by my grandson) and recovered from a colonoscopy (enough said!)

I have found time to quilt and have been playing with paper piecing and hand piecing. Great fun if you want to try them. I purchased Jennifer Chiaverini's book Sylvia's Bridal Sampler

It's a sampler with some lovely blocks. So far I've made three by hand:

Autumn Leaf

Crossed Canoes

Bride's Bouquet

I'm using French General's Rural Jardin fabric collection. I'm learning a lot and having fun with it. 

Hope you're having a great afternoon!


  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP