Thursday, January 8, 2015

Give Away Winner

Susan T didn't waste any time responding to my give away.  Thanks to all of you for reading my blog, Kerry

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year - New Beginnings - And A Give-Away

How lucky am I to get 2 of these sewing kits as Christmas gifts?  The one on the left, with plum wool was made for me by my friend Debra and the other was given by an anonymous friend that I have teased unmercifully, saying that Debra liked me more because she actually did the sewing for me.  Yes, she knows I'm kidding and this way I was able to change the colors so the two kits are different.

 Debra made some cute zipper pulls for each pocket in the bag.  The beads are quite a variety including some felt balls and beads that spell out my name.

 I've copied Debra's good ideas for years and this was no exception.  She gave me some of the small felt balls and letter-beads and then I added my own beads.  Really, aren't they cute?

I have big plans for these small sewing kits.  I'm starting some new projects even though I haven't finished any of last year's.  I will be able to put threads and notions for each project in a kit and never get them confused because of the different colors.

There were many years where I wouldn't start a new project before finishing the one I was working on.  What a silly rule.  One day I had an epiphany that finishing a project isn't what is important. 
What matters is the joy of working on a project every step along the way.

One of the kits will be used to hold a selection of threads to applique Lollipop Trees by Kim McLean.  I've wanted to make this quilt for many years and there is a pile of fabric that is perfect to fussy cut into the trees.

I bought the pattern several years ago and confess that I couldn't find it so I bought another one.  During the move to my new sewing room I found both of them.  Do you want to start this with me?  Just be the first to send me an email with your mailing address and you will get this $30.00 pattern for free.  Now, don't forget to include your mailing address!  Even if you are first with the email and don't include your address you won't be the winner.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Finally - some progress

This year I started late with my Christmas preparations but through daily determination, I finished just in time for the big day.  Both Christmas Eve and Christmas day were filled with family and friends, good food and laughter.

In the midst of holiday preparation, my son and husband carried all my sewing furniture and supplies to the new sewing room and I finished putting things away yesterday.  Later this week I will share photos and have a give-away.  But for now........ some progress on my While The Cat's Away BOM.

 Darn!! I thought these were finished but while looking at the photos I see that in my excitement I forgot to add the Back Stitch on the bottom block.  The leaves on each block were embellished with Bullion Stitches outlining the large leaf and the small inside leaf.  Back Stitch was added about a 1/4" inside the large leaf.  I selected different colors for the leaves on each block to complement the flower.

A variety of stitches and threads were used on the flower centers and I left the inner-most circle free of stitching to give the machine quilter a place to add her quilting.  This quilting in the center will "hold down" the centers so they don't pouf up too much.

The centers are cut from the felt that was included in the kit.  Once it is stitch I think it looks OK but it is much more difficult to stitch through than felted wool.  I will be using felted wool on all of the remaining blocks in this quilt.

In addition to these flower blocks, I've made 8 pieced blocks and also pieced 1 sunburst block that is waiting for applique and embellishment.  Let's not talk about the November block that is still in the envelope - OK?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bev is the Winner

Thanks to all of you who sent in your response to my Berry Bloom Give-Away.  Bev was the winner by over 12 hours!

Let me tell you about Bev.  She is the owner of 44th Street Fabrics, a shop she runs out of her home and is a prolific blogger. Although we have never met, I feel like she is a close friend just through our emails.


 I just bought some of the dots Bev has in stock and there is a lot to choose from.  Right now Bev is having a huge sale - 50% off fabric and 30% off patterns.  Go ahead, indulge yourself with a Christmas gift by clicking HERE and find out how to get these great sale prices.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hubby moved out!

What a surprise to look at my last blog posting and realize that it was almost 3 weeks ago.  Each day there have been so many things to keep me busy,.....and sometimes frustrated. Two months ago I told you about the new studio we were building for my husband's wood carving.  That project was finished on time and then he needed to move.  Oh my, after a few hours he told me that he might need a new bookcase and a very big dumpster.  No kidding..... it took him almost 3 weeks to completely move.  Now he is gone - but fortunately, just to the back yard.

Since that project was going sooooo smoothly, we decided to do a bit of fixing up in the house, remodeling our bathrooms.  I don't need to tell anyone that's gone through this about scheduling delays.  One day in total frustration I told the workers, "I love you guys but I can't wait for the day you aren't here".  Right in the middle of all of it was Thanksgiving dinner at my house.  Oh well, company was understanding that they had to walk to the basement to use the only functional bathroom.

Finally, it's finished (almost), so why not start painting the old carving room into a new WOW color for my sewing room.  I love the new color, my husband said "Really?" and my son asked "Why?".  I will share pics as soon as they get my furniture moved in.  

While sorting through my fabric, books, etc. I found some treasures that had been "lost".  The first is a complete Berry Bloom Kit, and by complete that means pattern, all the fabric and threads for embellishment.  Sorry, the bee clasp is not included.  I took the clasp off a necklace purchased from Chico's and I've heard you can occasionally find them on Ebay.

Be the first to email me with your mailing address at and I will send you the kit.  My gift to you.

As soon as I can get back to the computer I have another great give-away so check back.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful for Friends

I have made many friends through quilting.  Some of us keep in touch often while others may just be happy to meet in a quilt shop or at retreat.  Last Friday I was invited to participate in Moonlight Madness at American Quilting.  The shop closed for a few hours of prep time during which I was able to hang some quilts and lay out samples.  Promptly at 7 p.m. the doors opened to a rush of visitors who won prizes, took advantage of discounts throughout the shop and browsed amongst the bolts of beautiful fabric.

What fun to see quilting friends again and catch up.  My husband joined me and said he had a fun time meeting my friends.  My new quilt, "The Honey Flow", was hanging and the bright colors were real eye-catchers.  More than a few visitors have a pile of hexie flowers already made and bought the pattern to finish the flowers off with an appliqued border.

My "Crazy For Embellishment" sampler was also quite popular, especially when I explained that it was created for my beginning embroidery class.  There was a lot of interest and we scheduled a class in February (see side-bar).

Enough about me!  I want to share an amazing quilt with you made by my very dear friend, Debra Hale. Debra and I met in a quilt class about 15 years ago and have made quilts together ever since.  She is a true artist and makes every pattern better with her amazing selection of color and workmanship.  She adds "little" touches to each pattern that makes it her own.  I'm not at all embarrassed to admit that when we are making the same quilt I let her get ahead of me so I can copy.

Debra started with the pattern "Merry Christmas" by Heart to Hand and made quite a few changes.  The applique is wool on homespun backgrounds and each block is embellished.  The biggest surprise?  Debra selected black cotton velveteen for the border and let me tell you, it was the perfect choice.  A lot of photos follow and you will love them all.

 Each letter is outlined with red beads.

 Individual red beads that reminded me of pomegranate seeds cover the gift .
 I especially love the tree so there are 2 photos! Wool strips were stitched to look like pine needles and then colorful beads were added for the ornaments.

Debra always creates a special label for each quilt.

Debra and I always like to make changes to patterns that personalize our quilts and I hope this inspires you to let your inner artist blossom!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flower Block Embellishment

Embellishing all of the flower blocks on "While The Cat's Away" BOM was my plan for last week then I went to the dentist for an easy (according to the dentist) procedure.  One week later I finally picked up needle and thread after days of pain pills, antibiotic reaction and a swollen face.

All of the blocks have the stem appliqued and the small leaf stitched.  Instead of the suggested straight strip of wool for the stem, I chose to use Rousseau Ric Rac, by Painter's Threads.  This is really a fun trim with a tiny sparkle.  The small inner leaf was stitched according to BOM directions with a Herringbone Stitch and I selected Valdani M26 Pearl Cotton #8 which I also used to add Bullion Knots around both the inner and outer leaves.  A back stitch with Sea Grass, color Crush Crush adds a bit of color.

The flower center is a fussy-cut cotton print and my first stitch is Italian Knotted Border Stitch which looks a lot like Fly Stitch with a knot at the bottom of the "V".  I used Thread Gatherer Silken Pearl size 5 (SP5), color Phoenix Rising and then with SP5, color Sprite Grass added a Lazy Daisy Stitch.

Now I'm really excited about the next stitch around the pink wool.  I used Painter's Thread Silk Gimp, color Marianne to stitch Knotted Pearl Stitch.  The Gimp is a silk thread twisted around an inner core that almost resembles a flexible wire.  A size 15 Milleners needle is just what you need for this amazing fiber.

The outline around the orange wool is my go-to, reliable Bullion Knot in Painter's Thread Pearl Cotton #8, color Mary C.

Today was going to be an all-day stitch-a-thon but....... construction guys were in and out all day helping us with remodeling the bathrooms.  I'm holding out hope for this evening.

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