Monday, January 31

One World One Heart 2011

The time has come for the final One World One Heart blogging event. This is the fifth year that Lisa at The*Whimsical*Bohemian has hosted this great trip around the blogging world! I participated in 2009 and loved the thought of sharing hearts and friendship with bloggers near and far. In 2010, the theme was taking a magic carpet ride and so around the world we went again. This year, we are up, up and away on a final "One World One Heart" trip around the world. I am excited to share my little gift with you. I'm also going to share a little bit about me. I'll start with me and build the suspense to the gift I am offering. :-)
I have been sewing and crafting for more than 50 years. Yes, I find it hard to believe when I see it in print but I've enjoyed making things for as long as I could thread a needle or cut scraps of paper with scissors or anything "artsy". Some of you know me as a quilter. Some of you know me as a miniaturist with over 40 years of collecting and creating miniature scenes in 1"-1' scale. Some of you know that I collect quilts and share their stories. I also collect tiny teddy bears and Christmas ornaments. I collect friends, too. Just ask my daughter and the friends who join me at our quilting retreat. They laugh that I am always introducing a new friend. And now I am going to meet many more friends through this One World One Heart journey! And what is the prize that you may win? It's a little something made from these beads............
I bought the beads in 2004, not long after I took a class in beginning jewelry techniques. I loved the beads the minute I saw them. They are gorgeous glass Millefiori beads. The word is Italian and it's meaning is derived from the words "mille" (thousand) and "fiori" (flowers). Each of the heart beads in this strand is different with many colors and shapes of flowers. I had no idea what I would do with the strand when I bought it, I just knew that one day I would make something lovely with it.
In 2006, we moved to our new home and I enjoyed setting up my sewing room. All my miniatures are still packed away and so were all my beading supplies. And then about a month ago, I set up a work space for beading............
There are the heart beads, just waiting to become something lovely............
and this is what I made - a necklace and matching earrings and bracelet with dangling hearts. I bought pretty red glass beads and some tiny gold hearts that complimented the glass heart beads. My goal was to make a gift to give away and also to have enough beads to make something for me and for my daughter. The set is prettier in person as the photo does not do justice to the deep pretty red beads or the colors in the Millefiori heart beads. is how you can enter to win this set........there are very few rules but here they are.......
1. This event is open to all active bloggers around the world. You must have a blog to enter.
2. All you have to do is leave a comment and you must make sure that you have a link back to your blog profile with your e-mail address or leave your e-mail address in your comment. If you have no way for me to contact you, then there is no way you can win.
3. The winner will be announced on February 17th at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. I will contact the winner via e-mail and also post the winner's name on my blog.
One last thought from me......I grew up in the Midwest here in the U.S. in the little town of Lehigh, Iowa. I love that little town and my family and friends who live there but I always knew I wanted to travel. Thanks to my husbands job (and some early years in the U.S. military) we have lived on the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and the East Coast and now in the upper Midwest (where snow is falling and falling and falling!). I made friends in all those places. We also lived in Japan for almost two and a half years and we have dear friends that we connect with on a regular basis. Business trips took us to Europe and I met more new friends. I crossed paths with people near and far and I have stayed in touch with many of those friends for years. One of my favorite memories of travel.......I enjoyed tea with Ivy in England all because we met at a bus stop in a little village in the Lake District of England. All it takes to make a friend is a smile and a little conversation. :-) I now "cross paths" via the Internet and have friends in countries all around the world. I "cultivate" my friends nearby by meeting them to quilt and sew and chat together. There is always room for a new friend! I hope you will introduce yourself in your comment and tell me where you are from. The world is a big place but via the Internet we are just a blogpost away. Let the comments begin!!
Have a wonderful day!
NOTE: This giveaway is closed. Winner has been notified.

Sunday, January 30

I'm here.......just busy!

I don't think I've gone five days without blogging since I began this journey. I'd like to tell you that I've been away enjoying some sun and warmth but that would not be true. There has been some sun here in Minnesota and the temps warmed into the upper 20's to low 30's but I don't really call that "warmth". My only excuse for not blogging since last Monday.......I've been busy. From house stuff to family stuff and from church stuff to work stuff and health stuff to just plain unplanned stuff, there's been a lot of stuff going on. LOL! Plus, I've been doing some stitching and working on some projects. I realized I can't show you some of them because they are for a retreat, a shop hop and my spring DayTreat and must be kept a bit secret. I'll tell you more about all of them as soon as I can. I was planning to share more on my friend Ilse's book but I need to take some photos to do that. I'll get to it yet. And the poor Snowman Quilt is waiting on my sewing table to finally become "real" and I will get to that, too. To everything there is a season and a time........and speaking of is almost time for a really awesome blogging event.......One World One Heart hosted by Lisa at A*Whimsical*Bohemian blog. You'll get the scoop on Monday, January 31st. This is my third year to participate and it is the last year that Lisa will be hosting this event. Last year I shared a needlecase (go here to see it) and later this month a tutorial will be posted for the needlecase so you can make one, too.
And so as to not conflict with the One World One Heart blog event..........My usual feature on Monday's - "What's on the line?" will appear on Tuesday this week. :-)
Now it's time to close down the computer for the night. See you all on Monday! Have a lovely Sunday!

Monday, January 24

What's on the line?

Since February is just around the corner, I am thinking of hearts so I thought I'd share this little hearts quilt today! This "little" quilt is, in fact, a design by the gals at Little*Quilts. The pattern can be found in their book...... Little*Quilts*All*Through*the*House. This is one of my most favorite quilts. I collected the thirties reproduction fabrics in the late 1990's so I could applique each heart in a different fabric. The yellow and the pinkish-red border were fat quarters that worked perfectly with the prints in the hearts. This was my first traditional applique quilt and I loved working on it. I never grew frustrated and enjoyed every stitch, all done by hand. The fabrics reminded me of all the colors in the quilts that the ladies made at church when I was a kid. You've heard me tell of my Mother, my Grandma Goldie and my Great Grandma Lillie, my Aunt Marie and other ladies of the United Brethren Church in Lehigh, Iowa who made mission quilts in the church basement. I love to be reminded of those times! I know that is why I like telling the stories of my quilts and those I've collected because I get to share those times again. And that's what I was doing a week ago last Thursday when I presented a progam to the quilt guild in Mankato. I always like to take a couple of pictures of the ladies who enjoy looking at all the things that I bring but that evening, it was so busy that I didn't get any pictures! This one was taken by the "guild photographer" just before the program started. The time went by so quickly that night and it seems to just keep going quickly!!! And yet, busy as it seems to be, I'm not sure I've accomplished much of anything. And that's partly because I was also relaxing (as in reading good books) as I was determined to give my arm and shoulder time to recover from overuse. It worked and I don't have any more shoulder or arm pain!! I even did a little stitching on a penny rug this past weekend. Plus, I baked two desserts on Saturday evening that were needed for the Soup Luncheon at church yesterday. Earlier in the day on Saturday, we did our grocery shopping together ! My husband came along for the first time in years! We had been out furniture shopping and on our way home, we decided to shop together rather than me going out to make another trip to the store. It has been ages since he has grocery shopped so I thought it was a really good experience for him. :-) And yes, we spent more than if I had shopped alone. LOL!
Going to be a busy week. Gotta catch up on stuff that I wasn't doing when my arm and shoulder were "out-of-whack". Think I'll finally build that Snowman quilt. It's going to warm up enough outside that one might enjoy making a real snowman! Anyway, just one last thing........ take a close-up look at that picture and the book on that's called "Quilts & Nature" and is a quilting book written by my friend, Ilse Iversen. I'll share more about the book in my next post. See ya then!

Thursday, January 20

Traveling the world without leaving home!

That's right, I've been traveling the world and it's all thanks to books. I'll explain...........I had been thinking how much I'd love a vacation, in fact, I really need a vacation. The last time I went further than Iowa was in 2005 when my husband was on a business trip to San Diego. Hmmmm, I would love to go there again. Yes, I would love to visit someplace a little warmer and could really use the rest. But, no time for travel now. Lots of family stuff going on and seems like everyone has been sick, and now.........I've managed to do a number on my right shoulder/arm/elbow and have what must be tendonitis or tennis elbow (have never played tennis in my life). My problem could also be caused by too much of the following........ rotary cutting, hand-stitching, using the mouse/computer, glittering, glueing, finishing projects, starting more projects, etc., etc. Whatever the case, there's a muscle, sort of in the back of my upper arm, then down around my elbow that says it hurts when I move the wrong way. I tried ignoring it, then it got worse on Tuesday. So yesterday, I nursed it along with the heating pad and Ibuprofen and it was better by the time I went to bed. Hoping that today will continue that way. :-) I am going to make sure to relax as I have much I want to do and have no plans to jeopardize those plans!!!
So back to the books and travel. I figured if there is no vacation in sight, then maybe I could pretend I to travel. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had "taken a trip" just before New Year's. See that book cover? It's a gift I bought myself for Christmas. Actually, I bought everybody in our immediate family a book in the bargain bin at the Dollar Tree store. I've found there are some really good books that end up there. This one is set in the hills of North Carolina just before World War II. I thought of my mother-in-law when I read this as her family came to Iowa from North Carolina and she was a young wife and mother when the war began. It was a simple love story and I really enjoyed reading the book. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go to the library that next week and check out a whole stack of books. I checked out the new books section and saw a number of western fiction novels. I picked two and read the one called Westward*the*Monitors*Roar , an exciting tale of gold mining and swindlers in northern California. This is not my usual choice in books but I looked at it and thought of my dad who used to enjoy staying up late and reading a western novel when he was a younger dad. And I remembered a book I read when I was a young girl about gold-mining and how it has stayed with me all these years. Can't remember the title anymore, but I recall that I enjoyed the book very much.
So, I was here in Minnesota and transported myself to North Carolina for a few days and then hopped cross-country to California and the gold mines. I took a break after I read those books and then dove into the next book in the stack.....Maeve Binchy's Whitethorn*Woods set in Ireland. I was easily transported to Ireland in this book just I like I was transported to Greece when I read her book Nights*of*Rain*and*Stars. These two books are written quite differently, "Whitethorn" being a collection of characters that at first are difficult to fit together and "Nights" is a story with characters connected by a tragedy, but both left me wanting more so I think that's the sign of a really good book and a good author! Someday I want to visit Ireland. It was home to my ancestors who came to the U.S. sometime in the late 1700's. One day I will get there. I've been fortunate to have visited Greece at a time when I was much younger and didn't mind walking up and down the hills of Athens. I wouldn't mind visiting again though. :-)
I took another break before opening the next book in that stack......... The*Aloha*Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini and away I went to Hawaii!!! Now, if you are quilter, you are most likely quite familar with Jennifer's books. They tell the story of two main quilting friends, Sylvia and Sarah, and their connections to quilts, quilting and their friends. If you are not familiar with Jennifer's books, I highly recommend them and suggest you start with the first one as they chronicle the lives of these two quilting friends, as well as ancestors in other volumes along the way. The first volume is The*Quilters*Apprentice and while I have enjoyed each of her books (I've read them all) this is my favorite. Oh, and I realized as I read the book that I definitely want to try a small Hawaiin applique project. Have added it to my "to do" list. :-)
So, where will I travel next? Well, the next book in the stack is by Catherine Coulter....... The*Valcourt*Heiress and it looks like it might be one that I will have a hard time setting aside once I start reading it. I will be escaping to medieval England and I can hardly wait to get there! Having been fortunate enough to have visited England and the countryside where dear King Arthur and Guinevere are supposed to have lived, I will thoroughly enjoy stepping back in time to the days of knights and lovely maidens. Luckily, though, I will be snuggled under a quilt as I read and very happy that I don't really have to live in a drafty castle. I'll let you know how I like this one. It will be good diversion since I need to let my arm and shoulder rest before I get back to my sewing projects. There are two more books in the stack, both are quilting books full of inspiration. More on them and some other books in my next post.
The Snowman Quilt project will get posted soon. :-)
Stay warm, folks! If you are here in the midwest we are going to have a couple of really cold nights coming up! Great time to snuggle under a quilt and read a good book!!!

Monday, January 17

"What's on the line?"

I needed something sunny to share today so I went back to photos I had taken on my line back in August of 2008. I had only been blogging a few months then so I know I shared this quilt some time ago but it's always nice to see a pretty quilt more than once. There was a breeze that day and I love how the quilt would sway in the wind.........
I remember that day as it was the first time I had taken any photos of my own quilts on the clothesline that I strung between two trees in our backyard. I had strung that line, not for my own quilts, but because I wanted to take photos of quilts that we had collected or made for flood victims in Iowa. We were a group called "Sew and Share" and we pulled together a whole lot of quilts, pillowcases, hats, gloves, etc. that were driven to Iowa by a fellow quilter that I had come to know. I remember that summer as being warm and lovely. I am longing for summer, and warm and lovely, so what better way to get some than to share a quilt that reminds me summer will eventually arrive. :-) While I'm waiting for summer ....... and spring has to arrive first ..... I also thought this would be a good quilt to share as I could get back to what I am planning to do with it. It's in good condition as you can see here..........
but it's not really a quilt. It's a top that was tied and the batting is now quite lumpy from use. I love the blocks and so ....... and don't anyone have a heart attack here ...... I am going to undo the ties and I am going to re-do this quilt top by adding some rick rack around the yellow centers and perhaps around the scrappy part, too. It is not a family heirloom. It's a quilt that my dad bought at auction and so I am not destroying a valuable antique. Instead, I'm going to give it new life. I actually started undoing the ties more than a year ago, but it was boring so I moved on to other stuff. I've decided that I need a boring project in the kitchen, one of those things that is mindless, that I can't ruin if I forget what I'm doing. I know I can handle this while fixing chili or goulash or baking cookies, and any food that might get on it will just add "character". LOL! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Okay, so now I must admit that I have been a bit of a slug the past couple of days. I have lost my "get up and go" and rather than search for it this past weekend, I decided to catch up on much needed sleep as I could feel my body saying "you need rest". I did do some laundry and I took down the Christmas tree in the family room. And I called my mom a couple times and did a little e-mailing, too. I tried to work on the Snowman quilt but couldn't focus so I watched a good movie instead - Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House with Cary Grant. Very relaxing. I read a chapter in the current book I'm reading and then finished sewing the border on a penny rug I started last spring. Wait a minute, though.........that doesn't sound like being a slug! Maybe I will have to try harder to be a slug today. Then again, there's that big tree in the living room waiting to be undecorated so I guess being a slug will have to come some other day. :-)

It's a holiday here in the U.S. - the observance of Martin Luther King day and the hopes and dreams he had, some realized and some not, but hopeful for a brighter future.
Have a good day all!


Saturday, January 15

The winners of the "Snowman Quartet" pattern are.....

Polly, Mommarock, Quiltnqueen, Scottylover, Sewfunquilts, Perlemor, and Quiltlover. You have all been sent an e-mail. As you can see this is more than three winners. I decided since this has been such a snowy winter that I'd have seven winners, one for the days of the week. My random number man assisted. Unfortunately, three of the names drawn did not have an e-mail address or a link to your e-mail or blog so I had no way of contacting you. If you want to check and see if your e-mail link shows on your profile, do this.........go to the comment you left on my giveaway post. Click on your name and your profile page will come up. If there is no e-mail link under your profile photo, then you need to go to your page and add that feature........or you need to always leave your e-mail address in your comments. If you have any questions about this, please send me a message at my e-mail address in my profile.
Envelopes containing the patterns will be mailed on Tuesday as there is no mail delivery here in the U.S. on Monday due to Martin Luther King Day.
I am finally working on the Snowman Tutorial and will get it posted as soon as possible. Today, I took down the Christmas tree in our Family Room and other decorations in the kitchen and dining room. I already miss the lights of the tree as everything looks so bare! The living room tree is still fully decorated but I will start on it tomorrow. No more lights by next weekend. :-(
Have a good Sunday everyone!

Thursday, January 13

How about a little Snowman giveaway?

According to the latest weather reports, there is snow on the ground in 49 of the 50 U.S. States. Only Florida is missing the snow that has blanketed the rest of this country. As you know, I am planning to post the pattern for "Charlie's Snowman" so you can build a fabric snowman but family life is just a wee bit crazy right now, plus.......... I have been busy this week preparing for a program that I will be presenting to the Deep Valley Quilt Guild in Mankato (MN) this evening. I thought I'd have an easy time preparing for that program as I planned my time carefully and made sure I had six free days prior to the meeting to do the things I wanted to do for the program. Okay, so things don't always go as planned. Yes, I enjoyed having my grandson come visit this past weekend and that gave his mommy a rest, but really, did the dog have to get sick both nights that Jacob was here. LOL! I can laugh now. But then, my husband began suffering on Sunday afternoon which turned out to be a pinched nerve in his neck (probably due to lifting cupboards he's installing in the basement). Thankfully, he went to the doctor and is doing better, but he has been home since Monday!! So much for my well-laid plans. :-)
Anywhooooooo, I have managed to pull things together and I'm ready to present a wooly program to the guild members that I hope they will enjoy. One of the little quilts that I'll be sharing is this one.............
One of 12 little quilts that I designed and stitched to celebrate the Millennium!

I've shared this one before but since there is so much snow across the U.S., I thought it might be fun to give away a couple of these patterns. Leave your name (and e-mail if you do not have a link back to your blog or profile) and tell me if there is snow where you live in your comment. It's that easy! I'll have my random number man draw three lucky names on Saturday evening, January 15th at 8:00 p.m. CST. He should be feeling fine by then and perhaps on Friday, I can finally get the tutorial finished for the "Charlie's Snowman" quilt and get it posted this weekend. I'll mail the patterns out to you as soon as I get replies from the winning names!


Monday, January 10

What's on the line?

First of all there is sunshine behind "what's on the line" today, and there are green leaves and you can tell it's warm and lovely. Oh, how I wish that were the case today! I'm glad I took these photos last Fall, as the snow is crisp and hard to walk on so getting out to my clothesline would not be fun! I'm pretty sure that the photos I took that day will last me til spring weather arrives.......or at least until there is less snow on the ground!
This little quilt is one that I made in the spring of 2001 (or maybe 2002). I love the message and can recall my mother and grandmother and so many other women in my life saying......."Don't put all your eggs in one basket!" It's very good advice but not always easy to follow!! This was a "Challenge" project in the Prior Lake Quilter's group. I'm sure many of you that belong to quilt guilds have something similar to this........each member receives a fat quarter of the same fabric and is "challenged" to make an item with that fabric. Sometimes it's a real challenge!!! The challenge fabric in this quilt is the blue background fabric. It looked like hay or straw to me and yet it was blue. I happened to have a 1/4 yard piece of fabric that had baskets all over it and had been wondering what I would do with it. Then inspiration came and I decided to press the fabric to fusible web product and then I carefully cut out each basket and ironed them in place. Among those baskets was just one basket filled with eggs and that's when I got the idea for the saying. It all just fell into place. The little quilt measures about 17" x 21". It hangs in my sewing room as a daily reminded to not "put all my eggs in one basket"!!
Here's a close-up of the center block. I created it as a large applique piece that I stitched into the center of the challenge fat quarter. The piece was hand-quilted and I used brown bias tape for the binding. Now, in a couple weeks, there is a challenge project due in the current group that I belong to, Kindred Kwilter's. The challenge fabric is a blue and rose pink batik that must be used in a project that has a log cabin block in it. I have not been inspired yet but I am hoping that something clicks for me soon, or I will have nothing to show to you or to the guild members at the meeting on the 20th!

It was a busy weekend at our house. Grandson, Jacob, was here and we had a good time. He helped me do my grocery shopping on Friday after I picked him up at school and then we made a visit to the Henderson Library before we got home. The weather was awful with ground blizzard conditions but we drove home via 169 which follows the Minnesota River and is protected by the bluffs and ridges along the highway. The temperatures dropped into the zero and below range so we did not venture out for the weekend. Instead, we read books, he played on the computer, I made a covered notebook for him in his current favorite college team - the Missouri Tigers, and we watched lots of football. None of our teams won. :-( Jacob came to visit so that his mom and dad could get some extra rest. They've both been sick and so far, Jacob and I have not caught anything. And so as not to tempt the odds, yes, I knocked on wood after I typed that. LOL!

I have a busy week ahead as I am preparing for a program this Thursday evening. I'm hoping to get that little snowman tutorial ready for you by Wednesday and if not then, by this coming Friday. It's been a little crazy lately, more crazy than what I relay in my blog, so I am taking things just a day at a time for the next week or so.

Also, I just wanted to say thank you to all the new followers and thank you to everyone who comments. I read each one but I have not been very good at replying to them. I just want you to know that I appreciate each and every comment!! And I appreciate all of you that read and don't comment because that's just fine, too. When you think about it.......reading a blog is like picking up a magazine and reading an article. When you finish reading it, you aren't expected to make a comment about it. It's just for your reading pleasure. Writing my blog is like putting together my own little series of magazine articles and projects. I appreciate your feedback but it's quite okay if you just read and enjoy!!!

Have a good Monday everyone.......and remember........."Don't put all your eggs in one basket!!!!"

Friday, January 7

Slight Change in Plans........

I was planning to share the pattern and a tutorial for the little Snowman quilt but a change in some family plans has caused a change in my bloggy plans. Sorry bout that but the family stuff comes first. Anyway, I will post the pattern and tutorial early next week. In the meantime, I'm going to share this little design that I drew several years ago........
I thought I might have shared this on my blog but I did a search and couldn't find it. It's just a little design that I drew for my quilty friends as a thank you for coming to my classes. You can stitch it in Redwork or use colored floss......or you can do it in wool or cottons (with fusible web) and blanket stitch around all the pieces. Since this winter seems to be especially snowy here in the U.S. and in Europe, this little design is quite appropriate. :-)
I'll be back on Monday with my "What's on the line?" feature. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 6

Taking a break today......

Whew, it was hard work putting together two tutorials two days apart! And now I am working on another tutorial that I'll post in two days (on Friday). I decided I needed to take a day off. :-) See ya all on Friday when I will share my little Snowman quilt and you can build your very own Snowman!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 5

2011 Mini-BOM! Ringing in the New Year!!!

This is a case of something that wasn't planned but turned out to be really fun. I wasn't planning a new BOM for 2011. I was going to catch up on old BOM's. :-) But then a funny thing happened. A friend inspired me ........ and this little jingle bell door pillow was the result of her gift which was my inspiration.
The friend whose gift inspired me is Susan of Desert*Sky*Quilts. We "met" a few months after I began blogging in 2008 as we had crazy quilting in common. She won a little crazy quilting giveaway on my blog. Recently, she joined my Yahoo BOM group and I knew her name looked familiar. She's a wonderful contributor to the group and shared some threads for a prize at one of our Friday night Quilt-ins. Two members won the threads, but Susan was so nice that she sent me some, too. That's the threads in the photo below..................
Gorgeous aren't they and they look so cool with those snowy fabrics. I had an idea as soon as I placed them together and I took my sketch pad and started drawing. I wanted a little design for the New Year, but I was inspired and in no time at all, I drew a design for each month. Yep, I wasn't planning a BOM for this year but the creative urge just grabbed hold and away we went!!! Here is the first pattern for January. Around about the first of each month, I'll share the next pattern in the monthly series.

A little edit.......reader Sandi noticed that on the pattern page I wrote that I "sketched the designs on December 30, 2011"....that should have been December 30, 2010. LOL! I'll re-do the pattern page and correct that little error. :-)
I'm going to share some ideas for what you can do with this design and provide a little tutorial for the little jingle bell door pillow. You may think of other ways to use this design. I embroidered the design with the threads from Susan and put them in this frame. I really think I want another frame that is more colorful but this is the only one I could find to use for this post. The little snowman is an original design that I made in 2005 and one day may get a tutorial for that posted, too. :-)

You could also take the embroidered design as shown below and turn it into a fabric postcard. Just stitch it to the stiffy stuff and give it a fabric backing that can be addressed and send it on it's way. :-)

You could embroider the design on a dishtowel, color it as a card, glitter it, paint it, anything you want!! My first thought was to frame the design, than I decided I wanted to stitch it into a little door hanger pillow. I decided to stitch it up in two thread types. Directions below work for both but you will only need Steps 1-3 for the framed design. You will need a 5 x 7" frame with glass for the framed project. I also used the frame as a guide as you will see below. For the pillow, you will need fabric scraps, floss, thread and poly batting, plus some jingle bells, buttons, and ribbon.

Step 1. Cut an 8 x 10" piece of fabric for the embroidery design. Remove glass from frame and using 1/4" masking tape mark the area where the design will be traced and stitched.

Step 2. Trace the design using a lightbox (piece of glass placed over four soup cans will work if you don't have a light box). Once the design is traced, place in your hoop and begin embroidery. I used an outline stitch for the letters and French Knots for the little confetti dots. I used the threads from Susan in the framed design but for the pillow, I used hand-dyed threads from The*Gentle*Art .

Step 3. When stitching is completed, you will trim your design.
For the framed piece you will trim the design to 5-1/8" x 7-1/8". You can use fabric spray adhesive to adhere design to a piece of cardstock before framing. If you are going to use this as a postcard, stitch it to stiffy pellum (or whatever you call that stuff), add a backing fabric that you will be able to write an address on for mailing.
If you are making the jingle door pillow, trim the stitched piece to 5-1/2" x 7-1/2".

Continuing instructions for the pillow...........
Step 4. From your choice of fabric, you will cut two strips that are 2" x 5-1/2" and two strips that are 2" x 10-1/2".

Step 5. Sew the two side strips in place as shown in the photo.

Step 6. Sew the top and bottom strips in place so that your piece will look like this when finished. Press lightly.
Note: At this point, you could also frame this design with border in an 8" x 10" frame. You could also stop here and use this as a quilt block and each month you will make another quilt block and at the end of the year, you'll have enough for a nice wall quilt!!

On with the pillow instructions........
Step 7. Cut a piece of backing fabric and two pieces of batting that are 8-1/2" x 10-1/2". I used Quilt Basting Spray to position the stitched design to one piece of batting and the backing fabric to the other piece of batting. When I am making a pillow, I feel that I get a smoother look to the pillow if I place batting behind the fabric.

I also have another little trick, although I'm not sure you can see it. In the photo on the right, there is about a 6" strip along the bottom where I have done a zig-zag stitch along the edge of the fabric that will be the opening for stuffing. I do this so that the batting and fabric will be secure when I turn it under to slip stitch the opening closed. I hope that makes sense.

Step 8. If you want to add some quilting stitches, this is the time to do them. I chose to do two by machine at the edge of the border and a running stitch just inside the border. I used embroidery floss for this stitch.

Step 9. Pin your pieces together and stitch around the edges but leave that approximately 6" opening at the bottom. Clip your corners carefully and then turn the pillow inside out. I use a little tool calle "the Purple Thang" which is fantastic for getting perfect little corners on projects.

Step 10. Stuff the pillow with poly or cotton batting. I also placed six large jingle bells inside the pillow. That's optional. :-) Don't overstuff your pillow. Pin the opening closed and stitch with a slipstitch or whatever stitch you prefer.

If you plan to use this as a little pillow, then your project is finished. My models, Mr. Bear and Fluffy the Snowman, feel this pillow would be excellent for a long winter's nap.
If you plan to hang this from a doorknob, then continue on.....
Step 11. Cut a 24" length of ribbon. Place a pin at the 7" mark on each end of the ribbon. You will pin the ribbon at these points to the top seam of the pillow, 2'' in from each corner. See the photo for clarity. :-) Tack the ribbon with a couple of stitches.

Step 12. Sew a button at each tacked area of ribbon.

Your pillow is almost done but to give it some curly-Q pizazz, here is how I made the ribbon stay curly-Q'ed. Note that in the picture on the right, that the ribbon is rolled up and pinned in place. Before I did that, I took spray starch and sprayed it the length of each ribbon tail. This makes the ribbon very damp. Roll it up and pin it to the pillow. Let it dry. It's just spray starch and it won't harm the fabric.

When the ribbon is dry, remove the pins and let them unfurl like ringlets from Shirley Temple's hair when she was a little girl. I know all about those ringlets as my mother loved Shirley Temple and so as little girls, my sister and I had lovely ringlets in our our hair. I'll try to find a picture that will prove it. But back to the's all finished now. Hang it from the door and let it jingle everytime you open the door for guests, for the mailman to deliver packages from your blogging buddies, or if the dog needs to go out. :-) Have fun with this and enjoy creating!!!
And now here is the disclaimer.........I thought this was a unique idea. I wanted to give this little project a clever name. I started googling and discovered many others had made door jingle thingies. Every clever name that involved "door-jingle-dingle-dangle-bell-ringer-thing-a-majig" had been taken. I gave up. Just so you know, I didn't see it somewhere and copy it. We have this old Christmas bell ornament on our door that rings when you open it and I just wanted something cuter to hang there. Inspiration was born but I didn't invent the wheel - or I mean the pillow. LOL! Next month there will be a Valentine design but you won't need the tutorial. I'll just post the design and you can refer back to this post or use your own creativity and stencil it or woodburn it or paint it or stitch get the picture. :-) Have a great creative day!
This post is done in memory of my friend, Cindy, who passed away of cancer just a little over a year ago. This day is her birthday. She was a great lady, good friend and an encourager of the creative soul in all of us. I was blessed to call her friend. :-)

Tuesday, January 4

Lots of winter fun!!!

Yes, there is lots of winter fun in store for you with this post. I've been really busy lately and am going to invite you to peek at three things that you might enjoy knowing about today.......
The first peek is at the table runner that Minnie the Bear is holding in her lap. Just take a jaunt over to Stash*Manicure and you'll find a tutorial on how you can make the very runner she is holding. Some of you may recognise that runner as I have featured variations of it in previous posts here and here. There are "Sew Many Possibilities" for ways that you can use your stash to make this table runner so be sure and check out my tutorial. :-)

And then be sure to scoot on over to Elizabeth's blog Twelve*Crafts*Til*Christmas for a chance to win my "Crafting Fun Basket"! Please wish Elizabeth congrats on her one year blogaversary and take a peek at the fun projects that she makes! I enjoy her blog because the projects she has made for her kids remind me of the crafting fun I had with my kids, Collette and Devlin, when they were young. Glue was no stranger in our house. We were always crafting something and glitter, oh, how we loved to glitter. There was glitter waxed into the kitchen floor more than one once at our house. LOL!!

Now, once you have checked these blogs, make a note to come back here tomorrow for a tutorial on a little project that will "kick-off" a mini-BOM (block-of-the-month) project. Here's a bit of a peek at what you will find in my next post................

I was inspired by some threads sent to me by friend, Susan, and on Wednesday I'll tell you all about it! Must sign off before I tell you more. :-) Ah, yes, it's a Happy New Year and 2011 is off to a great start!!!

Have a great day!

P.S. Yes, I know that the holidays are over but I love the sled picture so it's going to stay for just a couple more days. :-)

Monday, January 3

What's on the line?

Have you ever watched a television show and thought......"hey, I think I've seen this show before, must be a re-run!" Well, that's what's happening on the line, today. You've seen this "show/quilt" before but there is a reason that I'm doing a "re-run" of this quilt...............
I first shared it on November 15 in this post where you'll find the "original episode". LOL! It was the first quilt that I shared when I could no longer get out to the line to hang quilts. Just in case you are wondering.........the back yard looks much the same, covered in deep snow and so there is nothing new that will be hung on the line for quite some time. But there is something new that I'm going to do with this quilt.......I'm going to share the pattern for the quilt and I'm going to do a tutorial on how I make the coal eyes and carrot nose, etc. from polymer clay. The intro to this project will be posted here on my blog this Friday. It could be a fun weekend project and if you are longing for snow but there is none in your area, this is a great way to "build a snowman"!

So, there are other things that will be happening on my blog this week and at a couple other places. For a sneak peak at a great blog TwelveCraftsTilChristmas and some great giveaways, just go here. Elizabeth is celebrating her One Year Blogaversary and to help her celebrate, I'm giving away a Basket Full of Crafting Fun!! You can enter for a chance to win it on Tuesday. :-) Also on Tuesday, I'm going to send you over to a blog I know that some of you really enjoy, StashManicure, where I'll be sharing a little project. I'll also have a peek at a little monthly project that I designed this past weekend. I wasn't planning to do a monthly project on my blog this year. I was going to make this a "catch up year". But then I got this idea the night before New Year's Eve and I couldn't get it out of my head! I'm preparing a tutorial for that project and will get it posted on Wednesday on my blog. And there's more..........I have a book to tell you about and there's a Quiltbox that arrived in my mailbox before Christmas that I want to show you and I have some wooly stuff to share! I'll be busy juggling it all this week because I think I probably tossed a few too many eggs in my basket for this first week of the new year and I don't want to drop one! LOL! Busy, busy. :-)

Saturday, January 1


Did you know..........that the number
is a "prime number"?
Long ago in some math class I am sure that I learned about prime numbers but for some reason, I didn't let it register until I was 53 and my son pointed out that it was a prime number. Now that year that I was 53 was a pretty good year so, maybe 2011 will also be a pretty good year. Let's hope so!! Here's wishing all of you Peace, Joy, and Love in the coming year! Oh, and since most of you are quilters that read this......I wish you lots of fabric and may all your projects be finished by the end of the year. Riiiiiiighhhhhhhtttttttt. :-)
And if you'd like to learn more about "Prime Numbers",
check out this page..... MathIsFun!
Today, I'm going to be working on a project that I'll share with all of you real sooooooooonnnn!
Have a great New Year's Day!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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