Nov 20

A Peek into the Archives – Issue 7

Hello Crafters,

It’s almost time for the fun to begin at least for those who still wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the Christmas tree and decorations. I will be one of those who wait, I haven’t even started looking for the tree or the decorations. I am glad to be able to listen to the holiday music while I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I have been busy cutting fabric for new Christmas fabric ornaments which will be added to the library, and busy cutting fabric for a new baby quilt, I like to get my cutting out the way so that I can utilize my cutting table to lay out my patterns and get everything organized. After I have picked out the quilt pattern I will use my EQ8 to help me color the quilt top with the fabric I purchased so that I would see what the finished project would look like when completed. I will be revealing everything in an upcoming  A Peek into the Archives issue.

In this issue I went looking for some cute Christmas decor to place around the home and I found a ton of items from so many books in my archive but for this issue I will start out with Leisure Arts Christmas in Plastic Canvas Book One. The list of goodies in book one would have you crafting half of the year. Some of the projects in book one would be awesome gifts and great projects for craft fairs.

The Table of Contents list 20 different fabulous projects from ornaments for the twelve days of Christmas, Santa, beautiful cardinals, carousel horses and snowflakes, tissue box covers with candles a skiing santa and one with beautiful white snowflakes, door hangers, wall hangers, door decorations, napkin rings, candle holders, coasters and more. They left nothing out of book one and book two and three are just as great, definitely a good investment for any Plastic Canvas crafters library. If you would like a peek at some of my favorites from this issue click here.

Well crafters thanks for stopping by I hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and laughter.

Please feel free to leave a comment or send an email. I hope you have enjoyed this issue of A Peek into the Archives and I hope you will come back again.

See you soon around the crafting table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 12

Thanksgiving Quilt Blocks

Hello Crafters,

It’s getting close to the Thanksgiving festivities and family gatherings. It’s a time where we see a lot of volunteerism, the famous Red Kettle with the ringing of the bell. I have a great deal of respect for the people who are willing to stand outside of the stores and silently ask for help by ringing that bell for the many who are in need, I’ve done it and it’s a pretty humbling experience.

In the spirit of fall it would be nice to have some wall hangings and table runners to start off the season and set the mood. There are so many beautiful colors this time of year and sometimes in the busyness of life it is not hard to miss some of the beauties of nature. I’ve missed a lot being preoccupied with busyness fortunately for me I have a neighbor who sent me a beautiful photo of the tree in my very own front yard, it was a beautiful yellow and the back drop of the winter clouds was just awesome. I though how many times have I come into this driveway and drove right by this tree and not noticed, I realized it was a beautiful red then a beautiful orange and now a beautiful yellow, for many days after I started to pay attention.

There are so many projects and parties and dinners and shopping and more and more that I thought perhaps slowing down and enjoying what you can see while still standing might be beneficial, I realized that soon the leaves and color will be gone and winter white will be all around and while that has its own beauty there is nothing like the changing of the seasons and it would be a shame to miss it all with busyness.

So I got on my computer and fired up my EQ8 program and starting designing some of the blocks you see on the left. I scanned in some fabric I have then painted the blocks and relaxed my brain while enjoying my coloring time it was a reminder to myself to soak up the beauty of the fall season that only comes once a year.

The first block is the pine tree block and would make a great wall hanging if put on point. The second block is the cactus which reminds me of the Christmas cactus, this would make a great table topper when all the blocks are facing in the opposite direction.The third block is the bear paws and would be a great lap quilt to keep those legs warm while enjoying some down time.

I’ve been using EQ7 for years to assist me with my coloring and placement, I recently upgraded to EQ8 and I know it will be slow going until I get a chance to spend some quality time playing around with it and all its new features but I’m confident it will be worth it. I love colorful quilts and admire a quilt that just pops when everything just flows together, however I need a little help before I start cutting fabric and one of the great additional features of these programs is that they print the blocks, measurements of each block along with letting you know just how many blocks you will need to complete your project, this is very helpful when shopping for material.

‘Well Crafters Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment. I will be adding these quilt blocks to the block library so check back soon.

Nov 03

A Peek into the Archives – Issue 6

Hello Crafters,

Oh my! It’s November! I’m so excited it’s time for big family gatherings, decorating the home for Thanksgiving, preparing for the Thanksgiving meal.  I’m still amazed at how fast this time has passed, the Halloween celebrating is past and the children have more then enough candy to last until Christmas. I always look forward to baking my pumpkin and sweet potato desserts of pumpkin pound cake, sweet potato and pumpkin pies and pumpkin cheesecake, yummy goodness.

So for the month of November I will be diving into the archives and pulling out crafting projects for various crafts for the Thanksgiving celebration. It’s time for shopping! All the craft stores are having sales because they know the crafter’s have been waiting for this special time of the years where the 50-60% off sales start right after Halloween and don’t end until May of the next year, a crafter’s dream.

So lets dive right into our first project that includes a table setting set. This Leisure Art Plastic Canvas magazine was published in November 1999. The skill level is for a beginner and the designers for the table setting projects were Virginia and Michael Lamp.

For plastic canvas lovers the real eye catcher is the turkey coasters that would look great on any table setting for Thanksgiving. The colors are vibrant and really bring out all the fall colors.

The table setting projects include a red leaf and acorn magnets, pumpkin napkin rings, pumpkin plant pokes, place cards with an small acorn attached to the corner, a basket decoration and the coaster set.

This edition does include additional projects such as a Bits and Pieces section which features a plastic canvas sewing notion, it’s really cute, a birthday gift bag that features a colorful cake with balloons, patchwork coasters, Jumping Jack circus clown, Yule Tide gift tags, a Majestic Mum tissue box cover, and one of my favorites is the Snowman Potpourri Basket great for ushering in the winter season at the table setting. Click here for a peek inside this edition.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of A Peek into the Archives, please check back for more crafting ideas for the holiday season. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email, hope to see you again soon around the crafting table.

 

 

 

 

Oct 26

A Peek into the Archives – Issue 5

Hello Crafters,

One of my favorite appliqué blocks to make is Sunbonnet Sue. From my Best Loved Quilt Patterns library the Sunbonnet Sue comes with all the templates you would need to make several variations of Sunbonnet Sue. If you would like to see additional sheets for this pattern click here.

The history behind Sunbonnet Sue is fascinating from what I have researched there were two talented women, Bertha Corbett and Eulalie Osgood Grover, who teamed up as a writer and illustrator for Sunbonnet Babies Primers. Sunbonnet Sue, along with pals Fisherman Fred and Suspender Sam. If you would like to read about the history of Sunbonnet Sue click here.

My favorite Sunbonnet Sue book in my archives and the one I used to make my Sunbonnet Sue appliqués was written by one of my favorite quilters Eleanor Burns. I watched her quilt show “Quilt in a Day” faithfully on tv, ordered her books and accessories, she made quilting look easy for the novice and so much fun, her relaxed carefree way of teaching made you believe that anyone could do it. You can find Eleanor Burns “Quilt in Day” books, videos and accessories on her website.

Once I started doing appliqués of Sunbonnet Sue I wanted one in every color and combination of fabric that I could piece together. I have about a dozen of unfinished quilt blocks of Sunbonnet Sue that I have set aside as winter projects to eventually make into lap quilts. If you would like to see my colorful collection of Sunbonnet Sue quilt blocks click here.

Well crafters I hope you have enjoyed a peek into the archives, I’ll be back next week with another book to share from the archives.

Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me via email.

I hope to see you all again around the crafting table.

Oct 21

A Peek into the Archives – Issue 4

Hi Crafters,

This week while looking in the archives I found some real buried treasures. I found two of my most treasured pieces that I cross stitched many years ago. I also found three of my most used and loved alphabet cross stitch books. My most beat up and used alphabet cross stitch book is titled 69 Creative Alphabets, Designs by Gloria and Pat, I really need to get another one it has practically falling apart. The second most used alphabet cross stitch book is titled 101 Alphabets by Dale Burdett, and the third is titled The Omnibook of Alphabets by Linda Jary, these three books have been invaluable and have been used for cross stitching on quilts and fabric ornaments and Aida cloth.

 

The 101 Alphabets book has 64 jammed packed pages of alphabets with one page devoted to numbers, design instructions and blank design charts for 8.5 count, 11 count, 14 count, 18 count and 22 count that can be easily copied for your use in making your own designs.

The OmniBook of Alphabets has 48 jammed packed pages of alphabets with one page devoted to sign language, one page for Braille & Hebrew and two pages of large block designs. The entire OmniBook series is a keeper.

 

 

This fabric ornament was done for my niece who owns and operates a wonderful baking business called TC Cupcakes. I followed the same design logo she has on her website, her colors are black and gold, I wasn’t sure when I started on this ornament that it would turn out okay and I while I could definitely see room for improvement after I was done, I’m still glad that I took a chance and it worked out. I do plan on doing another one to pass on to her once she opens her shop. If you get a chance check out her website or her Instagram page I think you would be amazed at what beautiful baked cakes and cupcakes she makes for all occasions.

 

 

Okay, this is one of my buried treasures I found while searching in the archives. I love anything with a lighthouse I especially love photos and screensavers and ceramic knick knacks with lighthouses. I have always liked the light that shines so bright in the darkness to guide someone trying to find their way. I can’t remember off hand which cross stitch book I found this photo for this particular lighthouse but I’m sure if I keep searching in my archives I will find it.

One of my favorite poets is Helen Steiner Rice, I believe I own most of her poetry books. They give such comfort to the soul. Its been over 25 years since I last did a cross stitch to one of her poems but at that time it was medicine to my soul and to a broken heart. Back then I had married by best friend (since age 13), we met at youth group at church and we rarely missed a week without talking to each other. The day we married we knew it was just something we were destined to do.

 

We were best friends for 20 years before he went home (heaven). Grieving is painful but can be cleansing at the same time. While death is a part of life the shock takes a while to wear off. Life keeps going, the tears seem like they will never stop flowing, time keeps passing and nothing slows down, the world does not stop to take notice. While I was surrounded with loved ones in reality there is no one who really understands the depth of your pain except God. Working on this cross stitch helped me to heal and move forward. I have often wondered what happened in her life that caused her to write something so touching and beautiful.

As you can see I did preserve this piece but it has many stains and to be honest I’m not sure how that happened, one day I hope to pass this on to one of my children as a keepsake. Well crafters until next time, I hope to see you soon around the crafting table. Please feel free to leave a comment or email me.

 

Oct 16

Halloween Ornaments

Hello Crafters,

It’s time for the celebration that grown-ups and children alike love they get to dress up in costumes that let them be someone or something else for one night. Grown-ups decorate their homes and front yards, turn on the porch lights and await the trick-or-treaters to hand out all those yummy goodies.

When I was child my brother and I would meet up with the neighborhood children and we went house to house in our small neighborhood, we also climbed the neighbors apple trees and grabbed a few apples to add to our goody bags. Then when we came home our mom would politely confiscate all our candy to keep us from eating it all at one time and going into sugar coma or eating so much we would be ill.

When my children were young we celebrated Trunk-or-Treat at our church and few other local churches. I enjoyed having fun with them in a safe environment. Like my mom I confiscated all the candy and rashioned it out each day until it was all gone.

 

Now I enjoy watching my neighbors decorate their yards each year and sit on their front porches and hand out candy to the neighborhood children.

Now I celebrate by buying Halloween fabric and making Halloween fabric ornaments. I’ve never liked anything scary about halloween but these ornaments let me step onto the scary side and not be scared by the creepy crawlers.

Well crafters I hope you will have fun making your own Halloween keepsakes, please feel free to leave a comment.

See you soon around the crafting table.

 

 

 

Oct 08

A Peek into the Archives – Issue 3

Hi Crafters,

This week I found a real blast from the past in the archive. In 1990 Oxmoor House published Best Loved Quilt Patterns and the patterns came approximately every 4 weeks in the mail and I also got the binders for Volume 1 & 2. The quilts were beautifully photographed and the instructions were very clear and precise and also included templates for each quilt.

Oxmoor House put these quilts on durable sheets similar to card stock and the binder came with color coded divider cards. They gave a lot of thought to publishing these quilts, each new project was labeled with the category so you would know how the pattern should be filed. As new patterns arrived they would send a replacement index page.

Included with each new pattern was a new edition of “Around the Block” insert that included helpful hints and ideas on quilting, helpful discussions and tips on all aspects of quilt making. It was very hard to wait for the next issue, each month it arrived I was so excited to read it, place it in the binder and then go shopping if it was a pattern I wanted to make. The twist pattern featured I have made several times. I have searched online and this pattern can be purchased individually on eBay or Etsy and I’ve seen a few sellers offering the entire set along with the binder.

Pulling these binders out the archives brings back so many memories of my former mother-in-law (now deceased). She started quilting and decided that quilting was something I needed to learn since I was doing all sorts of other crafting. She started a quilting class in her basement and we were called Lillie’s Bees, we all met up every Wednesday night. We learned something new, we sewed and talked and helped tie down quilts. I would bring a homemade pound cake or homemade cheesecake and we ate and sewed and talked and laughed and at times we prayed.

She opened pandora’s box, once I got started the hunger for learning and acquiring more quilt books and the hours spent on making new quilts was very satisfying and relaxing, most quilter’s can understand when I say it’s like going to another part of the planet where you get to focus only on what you are doing and the new ideas just come pouring in during that uninterrupted time. When Mrs. Lilly saw my Twist quilt she had all the other women in the class make one including herself, she thought this pattern was absolutely stunning. If you would like to see additional sheets for this pattern click here.

Mrs. Lillies photo still hangs in my craft room and every time I happen to look up at it I am reminded of her love for her God, her church, her family and friends. I am reminded how she shared her life and her years of wisdom and left a legacy that will be cherished by many. When Mrs. Lilly went home (eternity) almost every family member from various states had a quilt that was machine sewn and then hand sewn with beautiful applique affects. These quilts could be handed down to the next generation, she had signed and dated each quilt and sent it with a little note. The quilts she had left after she went home were donated to the women’s shelter for battered women and few were kept by her son.

Well crafters I hope you have enjoyed a peek into the archives, I’ll be back next week with another book to share from the archives. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me via email.

I hope to see you all again around the crafting table.

Oct 02

A Peek into the Archives – Issue 2

Hello crafters,

It’s time for a peak into the archives, this week I pulled off the shelf a special bead book from the Petit Boutique Series – Japanese Bead Book #288. When I first started doing beadwork I searched for the best books to purchase as well as some wonderful bead magazines. During my search I came across several Japanese Bead books that were sold on Ebay. To be honest I very rarely shop on Ebay it just doesn’t appeal to me to be bidding for something I want, if I want it, I want it, I don’t want to have to bid on it and hope I get it.

At the time I purchased these Japanese Bead books on Ebay the seller was not having a bidding war and I was fortunate to acquire some very good books. Every page has color photos with picture directions, the only drawback for me was the written instructions because I can’t read Japanese, but the directions were simple.

The picture directions are so clear that it didn’t matter that I couldn’t read Japanese. I have seen some the items featured in this book  such as the heart and the cube on Pinterest by other crafters.

If your interested in taking a peek at some of the great beadwork offered in this book click here.

If your interested in the seller of Japanese bead books then click here to check out her Ebay page.

I hope you enjoyed A Peek into the Archives, I’ll be back next week with something off the shelf.
See you all around the crafting table.

Sep 24

A Peek into the Archives – Issue 1

Hello Crafters,

It’s the last week of September and all Christmas crafters are at least three months into their projects. I am sorry to say I have not even started. I have another baby project to do and now that I know what colors the mother has chosen for the babies nursery I can now go shopping. The mom found her nursery design and colors on Pinterest.

I am still amazed at all the ideas and talent one can find on Pinterest, and while I try to keep my Pinterest page updated with the newest and best that comes across the page I do have to limit my time on Pinterest because it can turn into hours of endless pinning, it’s so easy to not move and just procrastinate on everything else that needs to be done, it’s addictive.

While on Pinterest I see so many photos of craft ideas and projects I want to make and I have pinned all of them. I also realized that I already have a lot of these projects in my own craft library. I still have the Premier issue of Leisure Arts Plastic Canvas Magazine (shown on the left) that I believe was published in 1993. I also have a ton of magazines and books some dating back to the 80’s for all types of crafting projects such as cross stitch, quilting, beadwork, fabric ornaments, sewing, paper snowflakes and miscellaneous books sent in the mail.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to review some of these books while I’m working on my own craft projects. Perhaps you may find something you can use from these reviews. The books and magazines that will be featured from the Everything Craftique library will have a follow-up page you will be able to visit.

The first review from my library will be on the Leisure Arts Premier Issue of Plastic Canvas Corner. I must say I am glad this craft is still alive and well. I can remember when I first started making gifts from plastic canvas there were so many books and magazines, and the supplies were endless. I still have many large totes full of the original plastic canvas yarn that came in a small or large skein and the texture was so much stronger than regular crochet yarn and the plastic canvas yarn had a shine, I especially loved the holiday selection of gold and silver yarn, now when I visit the various craft stores I see they have very little to choose from when purchasing plastic canvas supplies.

While exploring the other websites that still sell Plastic Canvas products and projects I noticed that the Plastic Canvas projects being offered for sale are now sold as individual projects and are purchased as such. I feel very fortunate to have my collection of magazines and leaflets. I’m thrilled to see all the sharing amongst crafters on Pinterest and various websites and blogs.

The Premier issue of the Leisure Arts Plastic Canvas Corner magazine is still a great issue packed with 29 projects. Some of my favorites include the “Snowman Door Sign” good for outdoors or indoors, that blue background really makes that snowman pop. The “Gingerbread Goodie House” which brings backs so many memories of the gingerbread house that was too pretty to eat. The “Argyle Tissue Box Cover” which look like it belongs in the man cave. The “Potpourri Sleigh”, oh my how I love the smell of winter time potpourri and this is a great place to put it while the smell drifts throughout your home. Then there is “A Gaggle of Geese”, which offers nine projects in a checkerboard pattern, this one is just right for that country kitchen. The “Sweetheart Box” definitely makes me think of Valentines day and that wonderful box of chocolates we all looked forward to receiving, and then there are some additional Tissue Box Covers that would look great in any office. Click here to view some of the photos of my favorites in this issue.

Well crafters I’ll be back next week with another peek into the archive. I hope to see you again around the crafting table. Happy crafting!!

 

 

 

 

Jul 20

The Wedding Wish List

Let me start by saying the idea for this post came from my youngest, she has made her parents proud, she worked hard studied hard and stayed focused even with a cell phone always in hand. There was the graduation, the graduation party, moving into her first apartment with her childhood BFF and now engaged to be married.
There are so many wedding list online but not what I was looking for with this post. When I decided this may not be a bad idea I had to decide what type of list I wanted to post, I wanted something I believed to be more relevant to the times we are living in. Our daughter is living on her own and her fiancé is living on his own and has been for quite some time. So what do you gift the couple who has the basics but not all the essentials.
On that note I decided that this list needed to be practical and relevant. No one really wants to return a bunch of gifts that will not be used and while gift cards are a easy out for many and allow the couple to buy whatever they desire there is a wonderful feeling knowing that your gift was needed and will be appreciated and used. These gifts are not difficult to pick there are so many small kitchen essentials that make kitchen duties so much more rewarding and easier. There are the useful bathroom and utility gifts that are unintentionally not thought of until needed.
Of course there are the his and hers gifts but not all are practical and if they have already been living on their own each one probably already have enough cups and drinking glasses, bowls, plates, silverware and pots and pans along with a small amount of cooking utensils and if not enough separately certainly once the newly married couple start sharing the same space there will be two sets of the basics.
While it is more economical when living on your own to prepare your meals and pack your lunches and buy healthy snacks, some singles enjoy eating out, socializing with friends, attending social functions, traveling, visiting family and so not a great deal of cooking is being done for everyday of the week and so the need for kitchen gadgets are a waste of space and money and therefore not purchased.
The Wedding Wish List is only a list of gifts seen through the eyes of a soon to be married young woman and I hope you will find a great deal of useful and helpful ideas for your gift giving. To view the Wedding Wish list click here.

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Jul 17

Making a Memory with a Quilted No-Sew Fabric Ornament

Hi Crafters,

I have found a new passion, it has kept me sane and help me drift off to Craft Land. Craft Land that wonderful place where crafters go to escape and dream and plan all the wonderful items we intend to make, intend to gift, intend to share, intend to sell so I can buy more craft stuff, and make plans for all the things I intend to finish. Craft Land that wonderful place where no one goes but me, where I can turn on an audiobook and drift off into the story while I choose my next project. I get to decide whose life can I touch, what can I make to donate to the church craft fair, what can I make that will compel someone else to try the wonderful world of crafting. Lastly what can I make that will make some go “wow” and say I would like one of those.

This ornament I made in memory of my sister Trudy her home going still weighs heavy in our hearts each Mothers day, each July her month of home going and each November her month of birth. I made this ornament for each of her children, spouse, older sister and neice. She fought a long hard battle with Pancreatic cancer, and while the color for Pancreatic cancer is the purple ribbon my sister was wearing a beautiful royal blue dress with a elegant silver wrap. I added the yellow rose because yellow was her favorite color. This ornament will be a beautiful family heirloom that can be passed down from one generation to the next as her story will be remembered. I have started a Photo library in which I will add a new memory as they are made, I hope you have been inspired and will make your own memories. Please feel free to leave me a comment via email. See you around the crafting table.

 

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May 24

A Little Bit of Everything

Hello Crafters, I’ve been awl for quite some time from this blog. I did not stop crafting or teaching I have been stretched way too thin, I even joined a charity sewing group and we made some beautiful pillowcase dresses, pajamas and shorts for children in Africa and we even made 100 plus pillowcases for the local woman and children’s shelter that would be used to store Christmas gifts for the children. Far less expensive than buying bags.

I did make one big change, I swapped Facebook for Instagram because it was far less demanding, just post and go, easy peasy the only drawback for me is that I’m confined to my phone to use the app and that will take some getting use to since I’m use to using a laptop or iPad, screen size does matter to me.

There are so many completed projects I am itching to share, yet I know I cannot do it all at once. So I’ll start off showing the pillowcase pattern I purchased on my own to make additional dresses at home while away from the group. I purchased the pattern from Whimsy Couture located here.

I did not get a chance to snap any photos of the dresses we made as a group to send to Africa, but in the near future I will be making another dress just to add to this blog. I picked up some beautiful material at quilt shop in Harmony, Pa,, while visiting a dear friend just for show. This pattern was so easy to cut out and stitch together, I was able to make up to 3 dresses an evening after work. I would spend a day cutting dresses in various sizes because cutting is so tedious and then stitch a few dresses each night by the time the group met I not only had patterns cut out for the other group members but I also had a few dresses completed.

 

I later purchased the pattern for the Lovie Lap Quilt with Pockets pattern from Homesewn by Carolyn to make some lap quilts to donate to the church craft fair, its a fundraiser for the youth. You can find the pattern here.

I’ve seen this pattern a thousand times on Pinterest and I finally decided this would be a great gift to make and donate to the church craft fair since several members visit a local assisted living facility. I’m sure someone would love to buy this for a relative, friend or neighbor in a wheelchair.

 

 

I used left over material from a baby quilt I made for my niece in February and it came out beautifully, so of course I went and purchased more fabric because that what crafters do when a project turns out so well and the fabric store is having a sale.

I’ll end this blog with the three baby quilts I completed. Last September I learned I had 2 coworkers and a niece who were pregnant and each having a baby one month apart, December, January and February. OMG!
Too late to crochet anything, too late to make baby shower gifts, so I told all three ladies I was making each of their babies a quilt and I needed their baby colors. It was crunch time and the soon to be mommies were in no rush until they learned the sex of the baby, I wanted to pull my hair out.

 

Finally after nagging I got the colors for the December baby and mom chose yellow and gray, so off to the fabric store and I found it there waiting for me, a beautiful gray and yellow hexagon pattern material with cute little giraffes, I shouted with joy and thought this was going to be easy peasy and I also made a matching fabric ornament to hang in the room. Well everything turned out great but the baby quilt was not easy peasy, it was very time consuming and I literally worked down to the wire but it was worth it because mommy was very pleased, she had a beautiful baby girl.

 

 

This beautiful ornament was cut out of the quilt material, along with additional yellow and gray material to match the quilt. Perfect for the Christmas tree and a really neat ornament to hang in the babies room. Certainly a keeper for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

The January baby was a great deal harder to come up with because I got no help from the new expecting mommy, she was very laid back but the dad was in charge and he wanted everything done, room, shopping, shower, etc. He was not into waiting and they could not come together on the room design so she left the room design to him and she did the shower, easy compromise, except I became impatient since I still had one more baby quilt to make, so I decided the quilt would be a surprise and I wasn’t going to tell them, I was going to make it based on something I know they both love.

The daddy to be was well pleased with the outcome, she sent me a photo of him with a huge smile on his face holding up the baby quilt. These two expecting parents love to fish and spend as much time as possible on the water as soon as boating season starts, so when they saw the sailboat quilt surrounded by sea animals in the pretty blue water they were in awe. They both agreed that this was a keeper and would eventually end up as a wall hanging quilt to decorate the room. She had a beautiful baby boy.

 

 

 

 

The last quilt, yay! My niece was having a boy and she chose black and white as her colors, this was harder than I expected. Such easy colors but I searched three fabric stores looking for just the right patterned material. I had some idea what I wanted to do since she said keep it simple nothing fancy. How do you keep it simple and find just the right material so that it is not too fancy. I spent just as much time designing as I did shopping, I finally came up with several patterns sent her the photos and she picked the one she wanted, I breathed a sigh of relief, now all I had to do was put it together. She was very pleased with the outcome.

 

I was pleased that I was going to get a break from the adrenaline rush the last 4 months of planning, shopping and sewing every spare moment and also sewing with the group and working a full-time job left me exhausted but the look on those mommies faces was priceless and I truly did have fun.

Please feel free to send me your comments via email.

See you around the crafting table.

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Aug 28

The Santa Bears visit Craft Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Crafters I hope you are enjoying this crafting season, it’s time to kick it in gear if your making holiday gifts or home decorations for fall because time is passing quickly. The ladies learned to make some adorable bears to give as gifts. We started these adorable bears in June and it took a lot of practice and patience that payed off in the end. For sure and for certain these little darlings kept us quite busy and filled our class time with lots of laughter. I thinks it’s time to move onto our next project because there are only a few months until it’s officially fall and the beautiful colors of the season, deep shades of orange, reds and yellows come into play, the fall craft fairs start up, the pumpkins go on the porches, the turkey decor soon follows and then for some of us winter rolls into town and all the decor for the season is posted everywhere. This is the season I look forward to because all that hard work gets to shine. We all gather in the center of town and sell our crafts and get some new ideas. All the food vendors show up and the smell of waffles and other yummy treats float in the air. The band is playing and people come out to have fun, dance and socialize before the end of the season and then the Christmas decor is all over town and vendors are gone until spring. So crafters let’s get cracking feel free to leave a comment via email.

See you all around the crafting table.

 

 

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May 31

Crafting while Busy

Crafters it has been a busy 3 months, no time for blogging just sleeping and crafting. I had made up my mind earlier this year to finish projects I had already started and I tell you it was a fight to the finish to get some of those projects done and posted before June 1st. April was almost a loss because I had put in way too many hours at work and I slept most of the time.

In March I was asked to make something to donate to the Women’s craft fair being held in May, I was excited but at the same time I new my work schedule for April was just ridiculous and I had no idea what to make or how I would get it accomplished by the first Saturday in May. So I expressed my dilemma and she suggested I contribute some dishcloths because they were easy to sell.

This meant I would have to put all the other projects on the back burner and I had just sworn off the knitted dishcloths in February because I was becoming addicted to making them and not getting anything other projects done. So off to Pat Catan’s to get 100% cotton yarn and to my surprise they had just gotten a new cotton yarn by Lion Brand and they had so many different colors to choose from and being the frugal crafter that I am I bought almost every color they had so that I could make dishcloths in just about every color. I did a little each day after work and I do mean a little and sometimes I stayed up too late, I worked myself into exhaustion and I was having second thoughts as to whether I was going to be able to finish the dishcloths in all those different colors I purchased, I realized my expectations were unrealistic so I did what I could what I could do.

 

April 30th came and the crazy work schedule for that month ended and I did finish enough knitted dishcloths to donate to the Women’s craft fair and I felt such a overwhelming sense of relief and joy. I cannot remember when I last felt so grateful to finish a project on time. After turning them in for display I did take a long nap once I returned home. If you would like to see the dishcloth’s in individual photos click here. As you can see the 100% cotton yarn by Lion Brand came in some beautiful colors, enough colors to compliment any kitchen. I added the hooks so the shoppers who like to hang there dishcloths after use or just for show. The dishcloths were a big hit and each one was wrapped in a ribbon for an added touch of daintiness.

 

In May I was still behind and racing to get the next project completed. I had started a Corner 2 Corner afghan for my niece along with a few knitted dishcloths to match her kitchen decor. I was preparing for her housewarming party, no date had been set yet but I wanted to ready and not rushing. I worked on those projects and made the deadline I set of May 30th. For the month of June I can slow down and work on a ripple afghan I will be giving as a gift to my soon to be son in law. There will be a wedding in August and I plan on having it finished by then. This is also the time of the year when I like to start my crafting for the Holidays so I have a lot to decide, if you would like to see the dishcloths click here. Please feel free to leave a comment via email, happy crafting everyone.

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Feb 20

My Blogging Vacation

Vacations are wonderful if you are able and sometimes willing to take them. I decided last year during the holiday that I needed to take a vacation from everything but family and my own personal crafting time (Peace in the Valley). I thought about doing a post before doing my first break in November but I decided my vacation time away from work would be spent with my family and that I would be fully engaged instead being a part-timer because I wanted to accomplish so many things in just one weeks time, I realized it was unrealistic and I needed to prioritize and since my grandchildren are only able to visit a few times a year I decided to set everything else aside. I also was not happy with the idea of just posting anything for the sake of having something posted.

Well then came December and I had to make the same decisions so you know I opted for the family time but I did manage to get some crafting time in and teach a few one on one classes. We decided class was taking a break as well so I gave a few assignments agreed to do some one on ones if needed and we decided to get started again in February after all the family festivities were done.

What I have learned while starting this blog is that it is very important to prioritize. I would love to be a full-time blogger, crafter, baker, and craft teacher but in reality I still work a full-time job. So the realistic goal I set this year was to prioritize even if that meant making a schedule and setting aside some time for each thing I wanted to accomplish. So in January I purchased a wall calendar for scheduling, a budget book of course to help prioritize my finances and lastly an elliptical to prioritize my health.

Most crafters already know some of the projects they have to work on this year and the next year as well. This year I already have a housewarming, a wedding and a few birthday gifts to make. So the after Christmas sales at the craft stores are what I truly look forward to going to and also what I save up for and request those gift cards as gifts for because the best shopping for me is the one you don’t have to spend your own money on.

During my blogging vacation I decided to make a virus blanket I had seen several posted on social media and at the time I saw the blanket I was working on a virus shawl as a gift and so I did not pay it much attention until I started looking for a simple easy pattern with lots of repetition that could be worked up as a quick project. So I went searching for that blanket pattern and found it on Ravelry and saw that this pattern was made by Siena’s Maine Design/Jonna Martinez the pattern could be printed for $3 on Ravelry or you had the option to visit her blog and get the pattern for free, naturally I chose to purchase the pattern the price was more than reasonable and I believe we should support our crafters because everything we do either cost us time or money. As you can see from the photo above the blanket and the colors I chose worked perfectly together.

This Christmas I was given a handmade knitted dishcloth and it finally forced me to retire my sponge. It also forced me to take up my knitting needles which have sat for a few years. Knitting for me took too long for the finished project and my lack of patience for this craft even baffled me because I have the patience for every other craft including cross stitch but knitting for me seemed forever. Well because of these dishcloths I have been reformed on knitting as long as I can make quick projects. I learned how to make these dishcloths and I mean I was hooked absolutely nothing could draw me away I wanted one in all sorts of colors and it was so easy and so fast I could not get enough of making these dishcloths so I had to force myself to STOP at least for the moment because I had other projects to get started on.Click here to see additional photos of some of the dishcloths I managed to get done before moving on.

This Corner to Corner (C2C) was not finished at the time of this photo however I did finish it on my vacation. The colors are beautiful the rose and the multi rose worked well together. There was just one problem I purchased the multi rose colored yarn many years ago probably on sale. I had grabbed about 4 large skeins which I’m sure at the time I thought would have been plenty for any project and it would have been plenty for this C2C if I had scaled it down a bit but I wanted this large and when I ran out of the multi rose colored yarn I thought nothing of it. Even when I couldn’t find it in any of the many craft stores I have to choose from I still thought nothing of it because I thought I could just get online and order it from somewhere else. NOT! I learned a hard lesson and it was heart breaking because now as you can see I have a huge corner for finish and what was I going to do because no one no where was selling this not even the manufacturer and the reason was because the color was discontinued. What a bad word for a crafter I was confused, what did they mean discontinued? How do you discontinue yarn? Don’t they know people still use it and that crafters buy yarn on sale at every opportunity they can. I was at a loss and angry that my beautiful C2C was going to have to sit until I figured something out. The option of taking it a loose to downsize it was out of the question. So it sat for a few weeks, I shared it with the class so that they could learn a very hard lesson on what not to do, there is no lesson learned like a visual lesson. Well I did finish it but I was forced to go with the rose colored yarn to finish up that huge corner, I cannot say I was completely satisfied with the outcome only because it was not what I envisioned when I got started. Click here to see the finished project.

This is the C2C I am working on now it will be a housewarming gift. I do love this pattern it works up so quickly and the colors blend so well together. I used Caron One Pound Expresso, Red Heart Iced Aqua and Red Heart Earth & Sky. If you have not tried this pattern yet I encourage you to head over to Red Hearts website and grab the pattern it is free. I think my next C2C will be done in Red Hearts color of camouflage I think this would look very nice in military colors.

My vacation is over and it feels good to be blogging again about something I have loved since childhood. See you all at the crafting table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 09

A Few Quilting Essentials

61dvyvvp4gl-_sl1000_Time is winding down and there are some definite quilting essentials I wanted for class. I decided to add a few more new items to my list of essentials. I upgraded my EQ quilting software to EQ7, I love being able to design my own quilt tops and scan in my own fabric to see how it will look and get measurements of each block and print my finished work. I also thought it was time to get a new iron, I had been using a Black & Decker Iron I had purchased at Target many years ago and that iron worked beautifully for at least 15 years, I have had several irons since then but none worked like my old Black & Decker. I decided to finally invest in a Oliso TG1600 1800-watt Pro Smart iron, it has iTouch Technology, which peaked my interest, the Iron lifts when you take your hand off the handle, which prevents scorching and burns. It has an extended cord and auto shut-off, a 12 foot cord with 360-degree pivot for greater range of movement, 30 minute shut off allows time to work while the iron stays hot. Tripleplay Xtremesteam and Pro-Press soleplate, that sounded exciting for a iron. Continuous horizontal and vertical bursts, bead blast chromium finish glides over fabric. It has a extra large side fill tank so you can fill as you work. iTouch technology definitely sounded a little high tech for me it almost sounds like all you need is a remote control and you be able to kick back in the recliner and let the iron do the work for you, just kidding no real quilter would ever consider it, the extra large side fill tank, chromium finish and the 30 minute shut off is a bonus. When your cutting, quilting and pressing your seams all these features are a true bonus and I must admit I love the yellow color. There are more essentials needs for a beginner not this extravagant of course but every quilter should own a good iron in there quilting life time.

See you at the cutting table.

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Sep 06

Sewing Machines for Beginners

610gC9gm2WL._SL1001_Class will be starting in October and I have been researching sewing machines for beginners. I came across so many websites trying to refer the same sewing machines and when I read the reviews and they were numerous, however when you’re looking to make a purchase or a recommendation you must take the time to read the reviews. One sewing machine had over 5000 reviews and over 700 of the reviews were negative, I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that with so many unhappy people it was a little hard to ignore.

While diligently continuing my research I came across a few referrals for a few Janome’s which was one of my first computerized sewing machines and I have never been unhappy with the performance of the sewing machine I only had one complaint but it had nothing to do with the performance and not serious enough to consider writing a negative review nor returning the sewing machine, I have sewn many quilts, clothes for my children, curtains and gifts and my Janome has never failed me, I finally took it in for standard maintenance and shamefully I must admit this had been at least 10 years after purchase. I don’t recommend anyone wait that long for standard maintenance and it was still in great condition.

As I stated earlier I came across a Janome sewing machine and after reading the reviews I could only find two negative reviews and hundreds of positive reviews from satisfied customers. I appreciate all the customers who take the time to give feedback on their purchases, this really helps when you go to website after website and they are all recommending the same machine, I cannot help but wonder do they read the reviews from actual owners, do they try the machines themselves because those are the most appreciated reviews, some of the websites wrote reviews based on the fact that they received the machine to give a review and I appreciate the disclosure.

The sewing machine I have decided on for my beginners is the Janome 2212, it is basic enough to not confuse someone who has never sewn, some of the features that helped me choose this one was the front loading bobbin and free arm, speeds up to 1000 spm dial pattern selector, manual tension control, snap-on presser feet, built-in thread cutter, 12 Stitches, 4 step button hole, stitch length adjustment to 4mm, 0-2.5 stitch length for reverse stitch. The newer model of the Janome 2212 is the Janome MOD-15 Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine with 15 Stitches, Automatic Needle Threader and 5-Piece Feed Dogs. they are both very reasonable when it comes to cost, not too expensive for a beginner. Check out the link, $120 is truly reasonable for a beginner sewing machine.

Congratulations to all those crafters who were able to nab this deal before is disappeared because a few people let me know it is now sold out, however the Janome 2212 with the bonus pack is still available for purchase as well at the Janome MOD-15.

Meet you at the sewing circle.

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Aug 11

Back to Class Shopping

Well it’s time to prepare for class. All the students are getting ready for school or college and along with that is the shopping which can be fun and costly. I am truly thankful that I’m no longer buying school supplies, paying school fees, and buying school uniforms and sewing clothes for 5 children, for now I get to quilt. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and it’s full of quilt fabric, yarn, beautiful beads and pretty nifty kitchen gadgets for us bakers.

KitchenAid KP26M1XER 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series - Empire RedMy shopping started early in the summer, I’ve always wanted a pretty red KitchenAid electric mixer but 20 years ago I had to settle for the majestic yellow because the red was always out of stock, it looks so pretty in my kitchen and I’m going to use it this weekend to make a yummy pumpkin pound cake. I am a firm believer in passing things down as family heirlooms so my majestic yellow KitchenAid will be passed down.

The first part of my back to class shopping involved getting all my sewing machines and sergers serviced, I am a loyal customer of Slezak Sewing Center, this guy knows and loves his job and I have purchased many sewing machines and sergers from him, I have two more machines to service and then I’m almost ready for class.

The second part of my back to class shopping involved getting a new sewing/quilting machine for myself just for quilting only. I already have an older Janome New Home which sews and does embroidery and I’ve made a many quilts on my Janome but I wanted something new something different and I have made many inquires, done a lot of research, read a ton of reviews pros and cons and so I took the plunge and purchased a Brother PC420PRW and I’m hoping it’s a keeper and that I can give a very positive review.

I love all the bells and whistles that go with this machine so I made sure to get the rest of the necessary essentials I will need including downloading the manual so I can start studying it now. The extension table was sold separately but as a quilter it is a must have item for me, I felt the price was more than reasonable, no more expensive than the one I purchased for my Janome.

There were not a lot of extras needed but I wanted these additional accessories so I purchased the 1/4″ Piecing foot with guide, Clearview Horizontal foot, Free Motion Foot, Side Cutter, Open Toe Quilting Foot, Open Toe Walking Foot, and of course some additional bobbins, just two more days and I will be acting like it’s Christmas.

Class starts in October and I will have everything ready for my students, we will be quilting, crocheting, beading and baking and having lots of fun.

See you at the sewing table.

 

 

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Jun 27

Corner to Corner Afghan

The pattern of the Carpenter Wheel C2C Afghan that inspired me as a crocheter and quilter to try the C2C afghan can be found at the Crochet for Children website. Click on the link next to “full post” and you will then be redirected to the pattern on Facebook. If you are a quilter you will see the quilt block right away. When I looked at this I saw it from both sides, one side as one who crochets and the other side as a quilter. I am a big fan of Corner to Corner (C2C) afghans. This method of crochet is easy to learn and very easy to teach, this is the second pattern I taught my niece to crochet and now she has made one in her favorite colors of black and white and she is already planning her next one. This pattern works up very quickly so you get immediate gratification as you see your work progress and you get a real sense of accomplishment which only builds the closer you get to completion. As a crafter we take so much time planning, designing, picking out colors and then buying the materials needed for our projects and yes there is the excitement that goes with doing all the foundation work, however some of our projects can take quite a bit of time and patience. So it is very nice when you come across a stitch such as this Corner to Corner which allows you to complete a project quickly. For those last minute gifts where you have just about a week to make something I would definitely choose this stitch.

This is the Corner to Corner Afghan I made for my nephew who was born this past April. His mom chose the Mickey Mouse colors for his nursery so I used Key Lime which I could only find at Hobby Lobby, Royal Blue and White were easily found on Amazon. The Corner to Corner afghans are addictive and no one can make just one.

Baby Q's Afghan 04/02/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this pattern inspires your creativity.

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Jun 24

Strawberry Festival

Every year The Historical Society celebrates a Strawberry Festival on the Square. Last year I attended the festival with my daughter for the first time and I was so excited to be going because I love strawberries. When my children were little I would take them to the farms to pick Strawberries, so to have a Strawberry Festival on the Square was very exciting. I had visions of strawberry baskets in my head, I was going to buy at least 3-4 and freeze them. Well there were no baskets of strawberries for sale and believe me I searched the entire event looking for someone who was selling strawberries by the bushel. There were tickets you could purchase to get strawberry shortcake or other strawberry desserts. However, since I am a crafter I still had a wonderful time looking at all the displays from the various vendors.

This year the Strawberry Festival was held June 10th – June 12th and I attended two out of the three days. This time I knew there would be no vendors selling strawberries however I attended looking for vendors and to see what was selling and what people were buying. The first day my husband and I enjoyed good food, entertainment, and ice cream. As we walked around the event there were some wonderful vendors selling so many handmade crafts. This year there were so many vendors that they stretched across the train tracks. There was plenty of entertainment for families with children and unfortunately us dog lovers had to leave our four legged family members at home.

There were vendors selling handmade ceramic pieces, at least five vendors selling jewelry and some was handmade, there was a vendor selling handmade metal figurines for your yard and signs for the man cave everything this vendor displayed was unique, after speaking with him I found out he was not local but was from Florida and traveled all around the country selling his crafts, I definitely look forward to seeing his craft display next year. There was a vendor selling gourmet cookies and cupcakes, his display case was absolutely impeccable. I stared at and studied it for quite some time, there had to be at least 40-50 different flavors and frostings, I had never seen so many different cupcakes, it was so nicely displayed that on day two of my visit I went back to see it again.

Now on day two I went back with a different mindset, I wanted to talk with the metal crafter, and see some of the vendors I had missed. I was not disappointed, I came across some ladies called “Jazzie Biddies” and they had a variety of craft items on display such as hand sewn aprons, plastic canvas tissue boxes, handmade jewelry, lap quilts, hats and more. After speaking with them I was told these ladies are retired and they travel around displaying and selling their handmade crafts. I hope to feature the wonderful items these ladies create in the future, they were kind enough to consent to me doing a featured artists blog with them and they did allow me to take photos, thank you to the “Jazzie Biddies”.

There was another wonderful vendor selling homemade jellies and jams and she was allowing taste testing. There were so many jams and jellies I was not sure which one to try but I settled on the pumpkin butter jam and it did not disappoint me. I should have bought a few jars but I will kick myself later. Netta’s Homemade Jellies & Jams had a wonderful display and the taste testing was an added bonus, I hope to feature her craft in the future, she was kind enough to consent to me doing a featured artists blog and she did allow me to take photos, thank you to Netta’s Homemade Jellies & Jams.

The last vendor I visited sold handmade Peruvian Style Jewelry. They had a truly unique display, not one piece of jewelry was like any other piece of jewelry, for sure no one will be wearing what you are wearing. The father was a good salesman and his wife sat behind the display making those beautiful pieces of jewelry for everyone to see, I was truly fascinated with this family venture and they were absolutely beautiful. I did purchase two pairs of earrings but I could have purchased the elegantly displayed necklaces and so many different colored beautiful earrings. I did speak with her about being a featured artists and I hope to feature her on a future blog. The work her mom and she does it worth seeing. I have included the photo of the two pairs of earrings I purchased to give you some hint of what you can expect from “Gift and Love Inc.”

I can hardly wait for the next event on the square to see what the vendors have crafted. I am definitely going to look for all three of the vendors I spoke with on day two of my visit to the Strawberry Festival.

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