Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kitty Bells

I have been so busy this last little while.. finishing up Christmas gifts, and trying to work on quite a few projects for various other things. I can't wait to show you all of this stitching work I have been up to lately, but most will have to remain a little surprise for the coming new year.

For now I will show you a fun little project I have finally finished today.
I have dubbed this Christmas 
"The year of the Bells" 
at my house.
We are excited to go to a handbell concert this weekend to celebrate... can't wait!

Couldn't resist making a pillow...
Just what I needed to bring that extra quilty touch to the living room. I am sure to get many weird stares, or maybe even a question or two about the last line.... but I don't mind. It is a wonderful reminder for me to be a man/woman of good will this year. Probably more like a man....they have much less drama.

Meanwhile, I have been slowed down by this crazy little thing.
Kids just had to have a kitty..... they named her Suki.
She is a linx-point tabby and she is my constant companion, whether I want her to be or not!
Currently she is climbing all over me, demanding my attention.... and soon she will be laying on my arm, sleeping and biting me if I want to move to sew.

so on that note, I will leave you to keep up with the stitching. I will be back soon with some new things to show.
Thanks for visiting me today.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I heard the bells.

I have always wondered what bells had to do with Christmas. 

I have always seen them displayed at Christmas, heard songs about them, but for some reason I just never made a connection.

Until today....
I had a bit of an ah-ha moment as I read this post from a famous guy. I thought I just had to share it with you if you are feeling this way too. 

This is just and excerpt from his post, just what rang true to me today....

Why is this happening? What is wrong with us? Read the news and the despair of Longfellow becomes an echo of our present..
"And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."
We have fallen so far and so fast that most have forgotten what it even feels like to be treated or to treat others with dignity, compassion, humility, love and respect.

With so many in need, so many lost, so many angry, filled with fear, sickness, hopelessness or hate what can we do?

In fact, as I was hurting in the cold, waiting for a tow truck the other night off the side of the road, a neighbor stopped his car and stood out in the cold and waited with me.
He has many health problems. His pain is profound, he may lose a limb and I am sure there have been times that he may have welcomed death, even if merely for a fleeting moment.
Without flinching or complaining he stood with me, he asked about my pain. He was there to ease my burden.
This is who I want to be. This is who we must inspire others to be. We need to reach down deep within ourselves and find the best man or woman we can find. Your past doesn't matter, nor does your pain, financial status or race.
What matters is what you do with your life.
Let us stand with others. Stop looking at what we don't have, how our life is so tough, how no one notices us and see what we do have, the blessings that we fail to notice every day and begin to notice those around us.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."
Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!
This last line is a mistranslation and I have always felt it was important to correct it.
It should read:
Of peace on earth, to men of good will.
Let's us be men of good will and our hearts will be full as we find the peace The Lord has promised each and every one of us.

If you would like to see his entire post, you can find it HERE.

I know a few people who inspire so many including myself. I often wonder what they know that I don't..... they have heard the bells. 
Time to get myself together and join the bell-ringers!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving thanks today for all of YOU!

Thought I would give you a peek at a project that I have been working on with that sweet Madame Samm over at 
For those of you not participating in the blog hop, 
this pattern will be available after the hop on my website as a digital pattern.

If you haven't checked out Madame Samm's upcoming Tammy 4 All Seasons blog hop, 
please take a look at it by clicking on the picture and join us!

I was asked a couple of months ago to design a few Pretty Pinny's for Madame Samm after sending her this cute little pinny  (pictures courtesy of Madame Samm.)
Samm had the inspired idea to put my pinny on a Tammy bag.
Cute isn't it?

And the best part of this hop....
there are 4 great patterns offered by Brooke Nolan !
 I am doing summer for my bag....

I am going to put a little twist on it, hopefully it will turn out, because I have never done cross-stitch before.... wish me luck.

Madame Samm has been such a wonderful inspiration to me. She has a heart of gold, and is one of the most amazing people I have had the pleasure of working with. I am in awe daily watching what she is able to accomplish. 

I have been overwhelmed the last couple of days with the generosity and kindness from this amazing group of ladies that Madame Samm has brought together for this blog hop. 

Madame Samm is SEW right when she says you are making a big difference! 

Just had to say 
THANK YOU for all of the 
love, support, and appreciation
you have offered the last couple of days on my behalf. 
I am really overwhelmed by your kindness. 

On days like this you realize that maybe, somewhere, there are those who notice and appreciate what you do. These days are few and far between, and I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a part of your community of quilters.

Today I am thankful for all of YOU!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Stitchin' Queen 2014 #11

Hello Ladies!

Our next installment for our Jam project is here.

Let's spread a little faith this month as we enjoy Thanksgiving this weekend and enter into the wonderful Christmas season.

For this month you will need the following:
8" square of purple fabric for the grapes
8" square of fabric for the leaves
Embroidery floss in green, brown, grey and purple

Print off your PATTERN HERE.

 Begin this month as we have before by tracing your design onto freezer paper.

Cut the pattern in two pieces as left and right of the jar. 
Cut the edge along the jar shape so that your pattern will fit right up against your appliqued jar.
Then cut out your leaves on the left pattern as shown above.

 Make little cuts on the inside curves of the leaves. Cut in until you are about 2-3 threads away from your paper design.

 Use a tiny droplet of fray check to keep those cuts from fraying as you are appliqueing.

After your leaves are prepared, bring them back to your project.

 Fit the leaf appliques back into position and pin into place.

 Remove the larger portion of the pattern and set aside while you applique the leaves into place.

 When turning under the inner curves of the leaves, first turn under one side of the edge and take a few stitches.

With the tip of your needle sweep the seam allowance of the other side of the curve under to match the paper.

 Continue holding the seam allowance in place with your thumb, and sweep the needle, pushing against your thumb, in a counterclockwise motion to turn under that tiny bit of fabric where we made the cut.

Make a stitch in the center of the inner curve to make sure that fabric stays put.

 When you are finished appliqueing the leaf, remove the paper and cut on the embroidery lines of the leaf as shown in the picture.

Iron the paper back onto the leaf.

 Use a pencil to transfer the embroidery line onto the leaf.

Now we are going to make the cluster of grapes.
Just as in the previous month when making the jar label, we are going to use a prepared method to make the grapes using a perfect circle template. 
NOTE: If you do not own these templates, you can always make your own from thin cardboard or heat resistant template plastic using the grape circle on the pattern page.
Match up the correct size of template to the pattern, then using the template cut out 16  circles a 1/4" bigger than the circle.
Number your grapes 1-16 as shown in the picture.

 Run a basting stitch within the seam allowance with your knot on the right side of the fabric and leave a long thread. Use a brush or your finger to apply spray starch to your fabric circle.

 Put the template on top of the starched fabric and pull the thread tight around the template.

Iron the circle until dry on both sides (flip the circle to the other side while ironing.)

When dry and cooled, loosen the thread and remove the template.

Then pull the thread tight again to keep all that seam allowance in place, then you can trim off your thread.

Cut out grape 1 and iron it to the right side of your circle, apply some basting glue to the back of the circle and position back into place and press with your finger a minute until the glue takes hold. Cut out grape 2....

Apply basting glue to the back of the circle ....

 Position it back into place and press to secure the glue. Cut out grape 3....

 Continue in this fashion cutting away one grape at a time until you have your cluster assembled as pictured above.

Remove all of the paper.

 Cut out the curly grape lines and straight lines on the bottom to transfer.

Iron the paper pattern back onto your border and transfer the embroidery lines onto the fabric.

 Applique your grapes into place.

 Now let's start on the right side. Begin by positioning your pattern next to your jar by cutting out the jar outline so the pattern fits snug against it. Then cut out the leaf on the far right.

 Iron the paper onto the right side of the fabric and use some fray check on those cuts you should make on the inner curves of the leaf.

 Position the leaf back into its place and pin. Set the rest of the pattern aside and applique into place. Use the same method as described above to transfer the embroidery lines onto your leaf.

Continue in this fashion to applique the middle leaf....

and the final leaf on the left.

 Use a sharp pair of scissors to clip out the embroidery design of the lettering.

 Iron the paper back into place and use a pencil to transfer the line onto your fabric.

 Use a satin stitch and two strands in brown to embroider the stem of the grapes.

Use two strands in brown and a stem stitch to embroider all of the curly lines.

Use two strands in green and a stem stitch to embroider all of the leaf lines.

Use four strands in grey and a stem stitch to embroider the lines on the bottom of each motif.

Use two strands in purple and a stem stitch to embroider the wording. I used a single stitch - just up and down to embroider the rays of the "F". Use tiny stitches on the wording so that the stitching line curves around the tiny letters smoothly.

And there you have it!

Only one more month to go!
I am going to stitch up our last month and have the whole finished table topper to show you for next time.

Wish me luck!

IF you haven't already,
Please join us for the 

Madame Samm has outdone herself again with this really fun hop. I am new to cross-stitching, but I just can't wait to start on these really beautiful vintage designs offered by that AMAZING stitcher Brooke Nolan!

(By the way....I am also offering a cute pattern along with it.)

Please hop on over and take a look! It is worth it.