Friday, May 15, 2015

Other People's Creations - Supersize

Usually my "Other People's Creations" feature comes in a post alongside of some of my craftiness.  But today, I am devoting this entire post to some of the most amazing creativity I've seen in the past few months.  And none of it is mine.  This post is going to be picture heavy, so get ready to ooh and aah.

First off is the quilt that Stephanie made.  Just by looking at it, you would never know that this is her first quilting project. 
Steph took a quilting class at her local quilt store and you'll have to agree that this is an awesome first project!  Great color combination and beautiful work!

She also put her knitting skills to use in making this lovely knitted blanket.
Just look at the detail.  Steph will be donating this blanket to the veteran's hospital through the afghan group at her church.  That just warms my heart.

Let's move on to a little stitching.  No.  Make that a LOT of stitching.  Peggy, one of the Sisters In Stitches, brought her latest finish to Stitch Day last weekend.  We all had to stare at it for a while.
The design is "Alpine Seasons Crossings" by Chatelaine.  I've shown photos of this while in progress, but after 20 months of stitching, it's finished.
Note the beadwork.
Detail of the center.
You know what?  These pictures don't do this beautiful work of art justice.  But it's the best I can do in this space.  Absolutely gorgeous!  And wonderful inspiration for all of us stitchers.

Last is a gift that I received for my birthday from my sister, Sheila.  You know how I love getting handmade things and this is no exception.
It's a wall hanging that she made from squares and rectangles of textured and patterned polymer clay.  Isn't it awsomely pretty?  She crafted each piece and then attached them to a canvas. 
A little close-up detail.  I can see the imprint of Spirograph wheels and cookie press discs.
Her own flower design.
An imprint of some tiny branches, a few beads, and more cookie press discs.
She used a leaf from her yard to create the imprint on the right.
Another leaf imprint and a bead.
How lucky am I to receive such a wonderful gift?  I love everything about it - the colors, the shapes, the patterns.  The Spirograph imprint is meaningful because it was one of our favorite toys as kids, and Sheila still has our Spirograph.  Every single piece!  The cookie press disc imprints are also special.  Our mom made cookie press cookies every Christmas, and we continue the tradition.  I have hung my wall hanging on the wall at the entrance to my craft room, where I'll see it each day. 

So what do you think of my amazingly talented friends' creations?  As much as I like to stitch, sew and craft, I also like to see what other crafters are doing.  It's why I follow so many different blogs.  I find it inspiring, and I hope that you found this post inspiring too.  Now get out there and craft!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Home Decorating Fun

That title is a little misleading.  I didn't actually have fun doing this home decorating project.  But I do love the result.  You see, we've been in our home for about 5-1/2 years and it was just time to change the curtain valances in the family room and kitchen.  The ones that were on the windows when we moved in were ok.  They just weren't my favorite style and were a little dated looking.  So after spending the past 5-1/2 years slowly changing things for the better in our house, I made the decision that 2015 was when I'd start dealing with window treatment issues.

The first thing I found out was that home decorator fabric can be very expensive!  Luckily, I found a great online source for fabric:  They have a huge, amazing selection and affordable prices. 

I don't have a "before" picture, but here's the result of my hard work.
Look at Moxie.  It's always all about her.
I am not a big fan of working with huge pieces of fabric, which is why this was more of a work project for me rather than fun craftiness.  But on the plus side, I got exactly what I wanted and saved a ton of money.  I was also very fortunate to have a good curtain rod hanger.  Thanks, Mark! 

So now that I'm on a roll, I bought more fabric to make a valance for my craft room.  I went with a little wackier fabric for that one.   

Tomorrow is Stitch Day and I'm looking forward to doing a lot of stitching, something I've been neglecting lately with all of this home dec!  I've also started a beading project that I hope to work on a little today.  Keep checking back for photos of my progress!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Pinterest-Inspired Project

I admit it.  I really like Pinterest.  During the past year or so, I've become more of a pinner than in the previous year after I started my account.  It's not an obsession, like I've seen portrayed in a video that's been going around.  I look at Pinterest this way:  it's like a virtual scrapbook for all of your good ideas and all of the cool things you see online. 

As you may know, I have a goal of trying out one of my pinned ideas each month.  I'm trying to vary the projects so that I'm not doing the same type of thing every month.  This month I chose the Mason Jar Pin Cushion Sewing Kit.  Just click over the words for the link to the instructions. 
This was a fun, easy project and I used a lot of things I already had in the craft room.  OK, I did buy the Mason jar.  And I found an adorable PINK measuring tape to go with it.  But that's it.  The pin cushion top only required a small piece of fabric, some fiberfill, felt and hot glue. 
Some little pins that I made with beads from my vast collection.

Little needlebook.

I also included some tiny spools of thread, scissors, a needle threader and some floss.  The needlebook and pin card were made with fabric covered cardboard and felt. 
Wouldn't this be a cute gift for someone just starting out on their own?  Or for someone just getting into sewing or quilting?  You also might want to keep this in mind for Christmas gifts for the crafters and seamstresses in your life!

So to sum it up, this was an inexpensive, relatively quick, and fun project to put together.  Let me know what you think!

Friday, April 24, 2015

New (To Me) Cross Stitch Product Alert!

Sometimes when I'm stitching, I'll inadvertently pull through a thread tail onto the front of my work.  Then I'll go to the back and attempt to pull that thread tail back with my needle.  There are times when I can successfully do this, but most of the time that tail is just elusive. And cutting the thread sticking out on the front of your work seems like a good idea, but it's pretty scary getting those sharp scissors that close to your stitching and fabric.
Snag Nab-It to the rescue!  Thea, one of the Sisters in Stitches, told us about this amazing product at our last Stitch Day.
I tried to get a good close-up of it so you can see the detail.  One end is a kind of blunt point and the other end is textured.  Just stick the pointed end into your fabric where that pesky thread tail is making you mad.
Then pull it through.  The textured end will grab the offending thread and put it right back where it belongs!
All gone!
I don't know how long this handy little tool has been around, but it now has a permanent place in my stitch bag with all of my other stitching necessities.  It's made by Dritz and I bought it at Joann's, and they're also available online at various places.  It would also be handy for pulling snags through on sweaters.

I completed my second ornament of the year last night.  Yes, I know I'm not keeping up with the one-ornament-every-two-months goal, but I'm still doing pretty well.  It's from the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue.
I'll get another one going soon.  I've been busy with a major home decorating sewing project that I'll  post about as soon as it's done -- hopefully next time!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Winner of Meet & Greet Giveaway! Once Again

Despite all of the suggestions given to me by other bloggers, many e-mails, and my super-sleuthing, I was unable to locate the original winner of my Meet & Greet Giveaway.  I am so sorry.  I tried.  But now it's time to move on.  So back I went to the random number generator and we now have a new winner! 

Needled Mom from the blog Needled Mom!!

I apologize for not knowing your name, but your blog is lovely and I've just started following. I will be e-mailing you soon. Congratulations!

Recently I interrupted my normal stitching projects to work on a very special one. My boss, who I worked for for 2-1/2 years, retired yesterday. It was a happy day for her, but a sad day for those of us who worked for her. She's an awesome person. I wanted to stitch something for her, and I decided on a bookmark. How perfect -- we work for a library system!
The stitching pattern was an online freebie.  You can find the pattern here.  I changed the colors around and stitched it on 28-count linen. 
I stitched most of it at last Saturday's Stitch Day and then finished it by sewing a seam down the back, right sides together.  Then a good pressing, and another row of machine stitching close to the end cross stitches.  And lastly, I fringed it. 

Fun & quick project!  I'm happy to say that she loved it!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tiny Tassel Tutorial

When I was planning my February Pinterest-inspired project, one of my goals was to use things I already had in my craft room.  As it turned out, I had everything on hand except for a tassel.  The tassel was an important component for this project, as it's used for the closure.  I started thinking about it, and figured that I could probably make one myself.  So I did, using some weird silk floss I had.  And it turned out pretty well!  Then I made another sewing companion and created another cute tassel, this time using some cotton 6-strand floss.
These tassels can be used for closures, for zipper bag pulls or for an added touch when finishing a stitched Christmas ornament.  So why buy one when you can easily make one, right?

Here's all you have to do:
First, find some floss.  This is a great use for that miscellaneous floss that all of us stitchers seem to have.  What do you think of my Misc. Floss container?
Gather your supplies.  The size of the crochet hook doesn't matter because you're going to pull each stitch very tight as you chain.  Don't know how to make a crochet chain?  Click here for a video that shows you how.  Cut a piece of floss about 5 feet long to give you enough to work with.
I crocheted a cord about 6" long. 
IMPORTANT!  Don't cut anything yet!  Leave that tail as it is.  You'll need the tail to wrap and secure everything.
Look!  Now you can make a basic tassel. Yes, the above one is a bit wimpy looking, but you can use a lot more than 12 thread lengths in the tassel body. Also, try using different threads, like I did when I used the weird silk floss.  And how about using a combination of colors in a single tassel?  I made another one recently using Perle cotton.  Love it!
I hope these instructions will help you to create your own tassels that you can then use for a variety of projects!  Have fun!

Friday, April 3, 2015

March Pinterest-Inspired Project

For my Pinterest-inspired craftiness in March, I chose something relatively easy to do.  It turned out so well that I may make more of these.  I saw a pin of a necklace with charms as the focal piece.  There were no instructions; someone had just pinned the photo.  After searching through my gigantic bead collection, I decided on a beaded version and one on a chain.
I found some sea glass looking seed beads and added silver accents.  The pretty flower toggle gets to be up front to show off some little charms.
And the chain version:
The chain I picked for this necklace is slightly too clunky for the design.  I think I'll find a more delicate chain and switch the toggle and charms to that. 

I've already worn the beaded one a few times and have gotten positive comments about it.  I liked choosing the materials for both of these, mainly because I'm a big fan of beads and charms.  They were simple to create, using basic materials I already had in the house.  I think I will make more!

OK, friends, I need your help.  A week ago, I announced that my Meet & Greet Giveaway winner was Lynn from the blog "Random Acts Of Stitching Kindness".  I was informed that she is a contributor to the blog and that there are 2 Lynns who contribute.  I have no way of knowing which Lynn this is, and how to contact her.  If any of you know her, please ask her to contact me.  If I don't hear from her in the next week or so, I feel like I should draw another name.  This is a sticky situation for a blogger!  So if you can help me, I would appreciate it.

Welcome, new followers!  I can't believe that I'm almost at 250!  That just seems like a major number in the blogging world!