Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meet & Greet

Welcome to my blog!  Today is the Meet & Greet which is organized by Madame Samm at the Sew We Stitch blog. I'm looking forward to this event because I like seeing what other stitchers, seamstresses and crafters are doing.

I've been doing cross stitch since about 1981.  Patterns, fabrics, floss and accessories have sure come a long way since then!  One of my favorite pieces that I stitched is a pattern called "Square Dance", which I made into a pillow.  I stitched this in the 1990's when I found this chart in a magazine. 
Another one of my favorites is "Peppermint Twist" by Blue Ribbon Designs.  I love the colors and all of the little motifs in this one.
I even framed it myself!

Sewing is something I've been interested in since I was 8 years old.  I used to make tiny dresses for my Barbie dolls out of tiny patterns.  And I sewed them by hand.  Then I graduated to making clothes for myself.  Nowadays, I like sewing things like tote bags and other small accessories.
I made these little bags for the ladies in my stitch group.
My latest project is an embroidery project called the Summer Garden Pin Cushion.  I had done some embroidery in the past, but really needed a refresher course.  This project was perfect for re-learning some things, and also for teaching myself some new stitches.
You can find the first part of the tutorial here.  Then just follow the rest of the tutorial posts for the complete instructions.

I hope that you enjoyed your visit to my blog today.  Please consider becoming a follower.  Other than the hobbies mentioned above, I also like to make beaded jewelry, crochet (A little.  I'm working on that.), and other miscellaneous crafty things.  And I enjoy blogging about all of them.

As part of this Meet & Greet, I am having a giveaway!  One winner will receive this little sewing companion that I stitched up just for this event!  Inside you'll find a pair of the cutest golden embroidery scissors.
All you have to do to have a chance at winning is comment on THIS POST by Friday, March 27th at 11:00 a.m.EST.  Also, please make sure that there is a way that I can contact you.  There is nothing sadder than not being able to reach a contest winner.  I will draw one name on that day and announce it right here on my blog.  I will also e-mail the winner.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog today.  Stop by again sometime!  You never know what you'll find here!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Summer Garden Pin Cushion Finish!

When I started the Summer Garden Pin Cushion project, I had a "let's see what happens" attitude.  I hadn't embroidered in a long time, and I certainly didn't know how to do all of the suggested stitches.  But I had been wanting to learn how to make one of these sectioned pin cushions and this was my opportunity. 

And just look:  It has been completed.  I am very amazed and maybe a little proud of myself.
I took my pin cushion to Stitch Day last Saturday.  As it was being passed around by my fellow stitchers, I commented that it was like my baby.  I mean, I'd worked on it since when?  Last summer?  I carefully chose colors and attempted to master new-to-me embroidery stitches.  And when my friend Thea said that I probably don't even want to stick a pin in it, I had to agree!  But I will.
Don't laugh at me when I tell you that making that button scared me a little. 
I liked this project a lot.  There was no pressure to get things done by a certain date.  The instructions were very clear and there were detailed illustrations to guide you along the way.  Colors were suggested, but we could change them to what we liked.  If I couldn't master a stitch (bullion stitch, you still elude me!), I simply substituted another one with good results. 
Also, now I have the skills to make a sectioned pin cushion out of other fabric if I want. 
The materials I used for this are:  linen cross stitch fabric, embroidery thread, an ugly button (yes, that's what's inside the cute button), perle cotton, and crushed walnut shells for the inside.  A sewing machine is also needed to sew the two circles of fabric together.
If you want to try your hand at this, just go to the Summer Garden Pin Cushion Tutorial at the Fiberluscious blog.  When you see the photos and instructions, you might be inspired!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Ahead Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of my Spring Ahead Giveaway is:

Bette (from the blog, Reflections of a Desert Rat)

Congratulations, Bette!  I have already e-mailed you.  
Thank you, everyone, who entered this giveaway.  And to my new followers:  Welcome!  Please stay tuned.  At the end of the week, I'll be participating in the Meet and Greet hosted by the Sew We Stitch blog.  I'll be having another giveaway as part of this event.  You don't have to participate in the Meet and Greet to enter this giveaway.  Check back on Friday for details!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Some Reminders & A Finish

In keeping with my crafting resolutions, I have my first Christmas ornament finish. 
This is "Snow In Love" by Little House Needleworks.  Just a cute, quick, fun stitch.  Now I will move on to the ornament-making part, which is still in the decision phase.  I also get to choose my next ornament. 

The first reminder:  You have until tomorrow at noon EST to enter your name for my Spring Ahead Giveaway.  I'll be picking a name and announcing a winner sometime during the afternoon (that's Friday, March 13th) and will post it right here on the blog.  So click here for the details. 

Reminder 2:  There is still time to sign up for The Meet And Greet at the Sew We Stitch blog.  Mdm Samm would like to hear from everyone by March 14th.  I am going to participate because I enjoy seeing new blogs and seeing what everyone is up to in the stitching and sewing world.  Just click here for the details about this event.  I hope to see you there!

Short post today.  This weird changing weather system is wreaking havoc with my sinuses and giving me a headache.  There will probably be no stitching tonight.  Instead I'll attempt to read, and if that doesn't work out, I'm sure that there will be some mindless TV on. 

Check back tomorrow for the contest winner!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Ahead Giveaway!

One of the happiest days of the year for me is Spring Ahead day, when we move our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time.  I know that a lot of people hate springing ahead, but I love extra daylight at the end of the day.  I feel like I have more energy and get more things done.  And it means that spring is right around the corner!  This weekend we will be setting our clocks ahead one hour, and I've decided to do a little giveaway to celebrate.  Here's what one lucky winner will get:
It's a mini Ott Lite!  And look!  It has pretty spring flowers and birds on it!  Here's a little extra light to go with the extra light we will be having!  My husband says that I should do this giveaway in the fall, when we "fall back" and lose an hour.  His reasoning is that a light is what someone will need with less light in the evening.  Makes sense, but I couldn't wait to do this giveaway!  And besides, this light has springy BIRDS and FLOWERS on it!
If you would like to enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post.  You have to be a follower of my blog to enter.  It's easy to follow - just click the "Join This Site" button on the right (underneath where it says "People Who Follow CraftyCat").  Make sure there is a way that I can contact you.  I will draw the name of one winner on Friday, March 13th at noon EST and will announce that winner right here in my blog.  I'll also e-mail the winner.  Good luck!

 I thought I'd also mention the Meet and Greet that is taking place on March 20th at the Sew We Stitch blog.  It's for bloggers who do applique, embroidery or cross stitch and will give us the opportunity to share our favorite projects with bloggers from around the world.  It's a great way to get your blog seen and to highlight your favorite needlework pastimes.  So just go visit Sew We Stitch and find out how to join.  And even if you're not a blogger or just don't feel like participating, you can still go to Sew We Stitch that day to see the different blogs taking part.  Check it out and have fun!

Friday, February 27, 2015

February Pinterest Project - A Little Sewing

I'm doing pretty well sticking to my Pinterest-project-a-month resolution.  But then it's only the second month of the year.  That's what you're thinking, right?  This month I chose a little sewing project, the Simple Sewing Companion from the Popular Patchwork page.  I like stuff like this because they're relatively easy to make, quick to complete and I can use up small pieces of fabric.  And I end up with something cute and useful.
What do you think?  The project only used two small pieces of fabric, some fusible interfacing, a button, some thread and a tassel.  Get ready to be impressed.  Ready?  I made the tassel myself.  A while back I purchased some not-so-great silk floss from Ebay and figured that even if I don't stitch with it, I'd use it for something.  And here it is!  Note how perfectly it goes with the fabric.
That weird vertical line on the front piece is due to my not pressing out a crease in the fabric before I fused the interfacing.  Sigh.  I learned my lesson, but should have known better. 

The verdict:  I would definitely make more of these.  All of us stitchers need something to keep our scissors in, and it also has little pockets for needles and other small things.  I emphasize the word small because you can only put very small things in this.  For me, though, scissors are the important thing.  No one wants them rattling around by themselves in our stitching bags. 

So there you have it.  My Pinterest-inspired project for the month.  Let's see if I can keep this up!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentine Project Revealed

I recently took part in a Valentine's exchange where the rules were that, well, there were no rules.  Just stitch something, and if we wanted to turn it into something, we could.  I took this as a challenge.  I knew that I wanted to stitch something Valentine-inspired, and found a cute heart freebie online.  Then an idea popped into my head.  I could stitch a few hearts and incorporate this into one of my little fabric project bags. 
The stitching was done with DMC 115 - variegated red - on a slightly off white evenweave.  On a visit to my local Joann's I found an amazingly perfect fabric to use for the outside of the bag and also a cute contrasting fabric for the lining.
A peek at the lining fabric during construction.
Insetting the stitched piece into the bag was a little bit of a challenge because I had to be sure to get everything even and straight.  But I think this is very good for a first try.  I would definitely make another one of these.  And FYI, I used Luann Kessi's quilted bag tutorial which can be found here.  I just used her general instructions for this type of bag, not the quilting part.

Now it's time for "Other People's Creations", simply because I'm not the only awesome crafter in the world.  My sister, Sheila, just finished some lovely beaded lanyards for her girls' teachers.
Just look at these.  Aren't they beautiful?  No boring lanyards for these teachers!  And each one features a swivel clasp where they can add their school IDs.  What a nice thing to do for teachers who do so much for kids.  I'm sure they'll appreciate these!

If you're a new follower, welcome!  If you've been following for a while, thank you!  I appreciate all of my followers and love hearing from you in the way of comments.  I had so much fun at the Grow Your Blog party and with my giveaway.  So much so that I'm going to be having another giveaway very soon.  So please come back and visit!