Friday, February 28, 2014

Spring Wreath!

I finished making the wreath with the fabrics I showed you, then I had to decide how to decorate it. I decided to go with a vintage Easter pillow, but it didn't work out like I wanted. I used the print and press and a design that I found at Graphics Fairy. She has a lot of wonderful vintage designs that you can use for printing and making into decorations for your home.

The first design was ruined, not sure what happened, but it did not peel off properly and half the design was ruined, so I made another. I made another that worked this time, I pressed harder on the floor and I think that helped. I thought the design was large enough but once I set it inside the wreath it didn't fit snuggly, which I wanted so it would stay put.

I put the pillow on the wreath and added some flowers to show how the wreath looks. I am thinking that I may make a large sitting bird for it, what do you think would look nice on it? I wanted to do something for Easter, than change that out for spring so I could use it longer. Another idea I had was to print out vintage ornaments and tie them around the wreath.

I have it here on a wall, once I finish it, I will hang it on the front door.

Our house is full of the flu, my daughter had it, gave it to me and now my husband has it, so hopefully this will be the last one for the season. One thing that is nice when you are sick is to have wonderful friends who think of you and send surprises in the mail. It really made my days to have some wonderful new things that I can work with to make new creations with. It warms my heart to know my friends are thinking of me.

I have been practicing with my needle felting but realized I don't have many colors for animals, or fun colors for other projects. My friend Laurie spins her own yarns and uses roving and sent me some unspun rovings from her stash and a lot of her hand dyed, so I will be able to make some new critters now. The funny thing is, something she uses in the roving is something that makes Moki crazy, I found him and the box on the floor and he was rolling around in it, lol. It is now safely locked away from him.

There is roving under the roving, a whole box full. This will keep me busy for a long time.

 Today I received another package from my friend Mary. She knows I love to work with wool and had a pattern and wool kit that she was not going to use, so she passed it along to me. Not only was I surprised by such a wonderful gift but it is the same pattern and kit that I saw the other day and wanted to make, so I was thrilled.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fabric Dying!

This weekend I decided to make a rag wreath for spring and use up some of my old stash. I had yellows and greens and some pink and blue that I could add for a spring touch but I soon realized that the yellows had white backgrounds and too much showed on the wreath. This wreath will be for the front door so I want it to show up and not be too white or grungy.

These are the yellows I am using, as you can see they are bright, but perfect for a front door. The backs are just too white especially since there is white in the prints.

I decided to try yellow rit dye to darken up the backs and hopefully not destroy the prints on the front. I used about a half bottle to about two yards of fabric and the dye took nicely and didn't ruin the print, but it spotted the backs so some areas are lighter than I wanted. I did read on their site that using salt can help to set the colors more evenly, so I will have to try that next time. All in all it is a good way to darken up white backgrounds with fabrics that are too light and perfect for rag wreaths. Rit Dye has some wonderful tutorials and a color chart, that will give you recipes when you click on a color and shade that you like.

This is how it came out, not as dark as I wanted, but it will still work in the wreath.

I also had two greens that had white backgrounds and since the yellow was gone from the pot, I added some green and did these two pieces. They took the color better and got a darker background so they will work nicely in the wreath. If you would like to learn how to make your own rag wreaths you can visit House of Stars for a tutorial and a beautiful nautical wreath that you can make. Rags-n-Rhinestones has another wonderful tutorial for a country wreath that has buttons and yo yo's as an added touch.

It is hard to see how it actually looks with a camera shot, but the back  has a nice dark green and is not such a contrast to the front, in person. I hope the links inspire you to do your own dying with ugly fabrics and try a scrap wreath.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Freebie Friday!

I haven't finished anything this week, fighting off another flu and working a bit at a time, on different projects to keep my hands busy.

Today I decided to do a Spring freebie. I think we are all sick of the snow and rain, and are looking forward to spring.

I made up a cross stitch for you to use. It is a modified version of an antique design and perfect for spring. I added words that you can add, but you can put anything you would like. The program told me that I could not give out the pattern if I use their text, so I just used photo shop to add it afterwards. I just used basic colors and black to define the areas.

The design is done for 18 count, so you can make it larger or smaller with a different count of your choice, just have fun.

And for those of you who do not do cross stitch, I have a sketch that you can use for stitchery. You can also do it in punch needle or any medium that you like. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Angel Quilt Finished!

I finally finished my quilt today. I did the rest of the stitching this weekend and the binding today. I made this quilt to hang on my dining window. I have french doors in the back so I don't like using curtains and this is a nice way to decorate the window without throwing off the balance in the room. It is also fun to make them for the different seasons or holidays and change them out.

The pattern is an older design by Pieces From My Heart that a friend gave me. I wanted to get it done and up, but still keep the prim look, so I used raw edge fusible for the appliqués and a simple whipstitch to put them on. The stitching was done with #12 pearl cotton, around the appliques and border edges.

It was fun to make and fits over the window with a little room left for the kitties to sit at the window. I wasn't sure if I wanted to tea stain it, I can always do that later.

Another thing I have been playing around with is Zentangles. Zentangles takes doodling to a whole new level and I find it fun and relaxing to do. I took a design idea from a Charley Harper design and then added some Zentangles to practice the different patterns. As you can see, I messed up on some and  my hand has a mind of it's own so it is nothing spectacular, but fun to practice. You can visit Tangle Patterns to learn more and they also have patterns that you can use for practice and lots of links for inspiration.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Finish and Food!

I have been collecting needle felting supplies for a while now and decided it was time to try something. I have done some felting on flat surfaces but I love the little animals that people make and wanted to do some myself, but have been afraid to try. I decided I had to just jump in and try, even if I messed it up, to see if I could do it.

I thought a simple bird would be a good place to start, and I found a nice tutorial on the web at Joe and Cheryl. There are steps missing, so I just looked at the photos and figured it out as I went along. I wasn't trying to do an exact copy, just follow the basic steps and I don't have any good dark colors in my stash, so I ended up using some strands of black wool for a variation. I also didn't have the right sized eye, so I just stuck some roving into the eye area, I can add a nice eye later.

Nothing fancy, but I really had fun trying and learned some things along the way and how to attach the pieces and shape a bit. Now that I got over my fear of trying, I will try some more pieces and take my time on them. Not too bad for my first piece.

I should know better than to shop when I am hungry. I had to stop at the health food store and they had apple sauce with apricot and no added ingredients so I had to get some. It tasted fine, but way too much for me to eat before it spoils. So, I decided to make applesauce cake and found a great recipe on the at Mr. Food for Amish applesauce cake. I didn't add sugar or spice since I can't have those, but I added two mashed bananas to sweeten it a bit and it actually tasted good. I am always trying to find good snack cake recipes for snacks when we travel or paddle and I think this one is a winner.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Free Valentine Cross Stitch Pattern!

I was playing around with my card design and thought it would be a nice cross stitch pattern. This is free to use and you can change it around if you would like for your own use. Nothing fancy, but I think this would look nice on a heart shape or a pillow to hang on a peg rack.

The design is done on 18 count, basic colors were used but you could use variegated colors to give it more movement. I hope you enjoy making the design and would love to see your finished pieces.

I also doodled on the drawing and colored it in for those of you who would like to make an appliqué or stitchery from the design.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Valentine Postcard!

I decided to try another postcard, using a different method. Since I printed out two smaller backings, I decided to try a practice run to see how it would work, so I kept it simple this time.

I started by finding old postcard backings to print out. They print out larger, so I reduced them until I got the right size. This one was made with a smaller version. You can find the free postcard backings at Fuzzimo. I used card stock and printed out two at a time.

To make the applique piece, I used a fun art print that I won from Sauder's Fabrics. I used Pellon heavy fusible and ironed the piece to that, then added the appliques using a medium weight fusible. Once I had those on, I sewed down the appliqués. Once the appliques were done, I added a piece of batting and a scrap piece of fabric to the back of the batting, so I could do free motion on a smoother surface. When all of the quilting was done, I added another piece of fusible and attached the card back and sewed it around the edges. I think it would have been easier to use fusible web, to save on cutting and attaching so many fusibles, but the nice part is, it gives it a nice quilted card look and stays thin and stiff, so perfect for sending in a card or envelope.

I think the card stock was what actually gave it, it's stiffness, so you could use peltex type products, as well. I also tried a tighter, small blanket stitch and it really chewed into the card stock, so sewing the edges with that, is something I need to work on. I also forgot to stitch an eye on the bird, so I glued a silly eye on, lol.

This is a great way to make cards if you want a quilted look and I am thinking that I could sew the top together first and then just attach the back, on last, without stitching, will have to see how that works out.

The design is just a simple heart and bird, hand drawn, so no pattern needed. I used variegated red to black for the outer stitch. I also wanted to write the word love, in free motion, but forgot that too.

Here is the back of the card. You can see where some of the card stock tore at the edges. I started out in the wrong spot, then figured out where to place the edge with the foot, then my bobbin ran out, so that didn't help. I love the look of the card though, nice antique look and you can use printer fabric to make them, as well.

This week we got snow, then sleet and rain, so the snow is icy and hard. I went out skiing in my back yard, but I really had to watch myself and the areas that were sunken in, but I just went slow and did ten laps this time. The kitty that my neighbor left when she moved is still hanging around, he comes every morning for food and water and I think he is also being taking care of by the new neighbors at night. He must be doing ok, he was following me around the yard and being silly.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Easter Pillow!

No postcards today. I was looking for things and found an old print out, that I had done years ago and forgot about. Today I cut it down to the photo and made a pillow with it.

I used June Tailor's Print 'n Press to print the design, which is an antique post card design. All I had to do was print it out and it was still good after all these years. I would recommend letting it dry for a few days before using it, to set the colors. I ironed it onto fabric, then cut 1/8 around the edge of the design. I placed the design onto the background fabric, then lay the crochet trim around the edge and sewed it down by machine. The crochet trim is a moda product that I won years ago, finally using my stash.

The buttons were an after thought, a way to cover up the sloppy corners of the trim. After I sewed the buttons on, I sewed it into a pillow and decided some smaller buttons would look good on the outer edges of the pillow. The one thing I think I would do differently, is to use fusible on the back of the design to hold it down better. The iron on is a bit like soft rubber, so I would not sew onto that. I made an egg  years ago and it does hold up well, but also fades and cracks a bit with age.

I hope you enjoy my new pillow. It was fun to make and looks great on my shelf. The finished pillow is 12" x 8". I had to take a photo without flash to avoid glare, then lighten the photo up, so it might seem a bit brighter than it actually is.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Winter Wonders!

We had a beautiful day  yesterday, the temperatures went over 50 and today, back to winter. The birds love snow and my trees were filled with so many birds, I think every bird in the area was here today. Yesterday I counted 21 Mourning doves in one tree and today there were three cardinals.

We woke up to a light snow and it continued most of the day, so this is what my world looked like today. It was hard to get a close up since I had to use a zoom and the falling snow confused my focus. I keep forgetting I can use manual focus.

The Mourning Doves just sit in the trees and stare at me, a bit disconcerting, lol. It is nice to sit on the porch and watch the birds, my time to relax and center myself.

I found some new print outs to try and an idea for making postcards, so hopefully I can make a few tomorrow and have something to show you on wednesday.