... it's time to do something with the box! I swear ... one of the reasons I *heart* Valentine's Day is because I'm a container freak and I love to reuse the boxes for things! In fact ... I was at Kowalski's the other day eyeing some of the things on their display and wondering if they'd still be there for the 'after the holiday' sale. I could care less about what was inside ... I wanted the outside!
My favorite candy box is a metal Whiman's sampler with embossed and painted designs. It's a replica of a French box from the 1920s and is one I love the most because I use it all the time. I've turned it into a binding kit!
I found that if I wind some bobbins, three fit perfectly ... light, medium, and dark thread. A spool of Aurifil thread in a color that I tend to use the most fits, too. I have a matchbook needle holder from Scarlet Today that we sell in the store and it fits in one corner, on top of a small container of Clover pins. And of course there has to be Wonder Clips by Clover too! They replaced the hair clips a few years ago and are so much better. I have a bottle of Roxanne's glue in there as well just because I need one everywhere I go! I tiny pair of scissors with a blunt end makes this kit totally portable. There's a horseshoe charm in there too ... go figure. And just to be sure it all stays in place, I tied a piece of elastic lace around the outside. You can never be too careful! Isn't it cute?
And here's another I love! I can't think how many years ago Bob gave me this Valentine. The design on the box has inspired a few thoughts. It's not a perfect heart either and that's what makes it more interesting ... primarily because I like to use the shape for other things. Like this ...
One of these days I'll actually sew those hearts in place. Promise.
I love having a ton of needles at my fingertips so I use this heart inside my sewing basket to hold them all. It has a few other items I don't want to misplace too. Like Roxanne's glue. Sorry. It's a security issue.
Here's one waiting in the wings. It's not just because it has a rosebud on it ... although that's part of it. But don't you just love that scallop backdrop? Imagine the possibilities! And to be honest ... I have a closet full just waiting patiently for their turn to shine. I want to make them into something ... someday ... when the right idea flashes through my brain. Will it be for a pincushion ... an organizer ... or something just for fun. So ... lick the chocolate off your fingers and tie on your thinking cap. What will you do with your Valentine today?
I'll be on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio with my friend Pat Sloan tomorrow ... Monday, February 4. Pat and I are going to talk about how much we love making Valentine's Day projects! You can listen in at 3pm Minnesota time ... do the math if you live on either side of Central time ... and then you can listen to it forever on the podcast later on.
After the show, American Pathwork usually puts links on their Facebook page so you can go there to see what you missed, too. They just crossed 25,000 readers and are doing some special things for their readers. Go see!
I'm so excited to have my first project for the Inspired by Fabric design ring on Fabri-Quilt's blog today!
I hope you'll like Around the Corner. I used Fabri-Quilt's Peggy Sue fabric line and I'll tell you ... with the cold weather we've been having in Minnesota, it was fabulous to work with fabric that felt warm and Spring-like! Those of you who were at our quilt retreat in November will have something to make from the bundles of fabric Fabri-Quilt gave us as gifts. Thanks for being so patient!
For my project, I wanted a table topper that implied the very popular hexagon blocks that everyone is enjoying right now. If you look at the darker triangles, you'll see it. Don't be intimidated by the inside and outside angles when you sew on your binding ... it's not as hard as you think. I liked making a table mat that was a little unexpected ... not your typical square. The extra work is worth it!
The outside angles are sewn on the same way you'd sew traditional binding. The inside corners take a little more thought. First, clip into the corner and make a few more clips on either side of it. Mark 1/4" in from the corner with a pin so you know where to stop sewing. And put your machine in the needle down position so it'll stop with the needle in the fabric.
When you get to the corner, pivot at the mark you've made with your pin. I found it helped to almost straighten out the corner and binding ... because you clip before you began to sew you'll have a little more give. You'll see what to do when the fabric is under your presser foot ... it'll make sense then.
When you hand sew your binding on the back of the table mat, the corner will form more of a tuck than the angle we typically make as we turn. Make an extra stitch in the corner to pull the binding into the correct position to anchor it.
I asked Randi from Jubilee Quilting to quilt my project. She choose a design that would be easy for anyone to replicate on their home sewing machine. You could simplify it by stitching diagonally through each of the blocks ... either by hand or machine. Do what you feel most comfortable with.
You can get my pattern for Around the Corner by visiting Inspired by Fabric and downloading the pdf. They're also giving away a fat quarter bundle of Peggy Sue so follow their instructions for entering into their drawing.
If you'd like to make your table topper a little bit bigger ... the pattern is for a 28" mat but your table may need something larger ... here's all you need to do to enlarge it to 36" Cut your white squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2", the half square triangles 5 7/8" x 5 7/8", and the four patch blocks 3" x 3". You'll need to cut five binding strips (3/8 yard) and you'll need 1 1/4 yards for the back.
And if you're not a winner guess what ... we have bolts of Peggy Sue at the Cottage! We also have kits for Around the Corner ... the top, binding, and backing for the 28" size ... for $27.95 plus something for Governor Dayton and a little for the mailman if you want it sent. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll walk you through the details. (It's wedding week at our house so please be patient!)
And because I know you hate having scraps laying around, here's a bonus project for you to make with them. Enjoy Right on Point Mini Mat ... Download Right on Point mini mat. It's fast ... it's easy ... and it has fake binding!!! Perfect for girlfriend gifts.
Make sure you visit Fabri-Quilt's web site to see what other fabrics they have. They just sent me Fashionista to use for my next project. What on earth should I make with it???
I think this should be everyone's motto ... it sure was the slogan for the Craft and Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim last week! The amount of talent behind the products and the designers of the vendors always blows my mind. Just when you think there isn't one more fun idea ... you see another ... and they're all so pretty!
I love that the show is usually held in southern California ... usually Anaheim ... I'm totally in love with this state and love to explore new areas when we're there for the show. This year when it was over, we drove to Zion National Park in Utah for a few days so we got to drive through the Mojave Desert. That was interesting ... especially when our engine light came on partway in. There aren't a lot of service stations along that route!
My friend PamKittyMorning was there and she was toting a brand new bag made from her PamKittyMorning Love fabric ... and I'm in love with that fabric for sure! Totally jealous of her bag. She should have made me one. (insert pouty face here)
I don't know what was up with the full sized elephants but I saw at least three on the floor. Is this a trend?
Kaisercraft makes these interesting boxes and cubbies that can be covered with fabric or paper. They usually have some kind of function ... like the tool caddy ... and are made from sturdy compressed wood. Pam and I fell in love with the ones that were decorated with sewing doo dads. Look for them to be arriving sometime in late Spring ... just couldn't resist!
Glitter houses and bottle brush trees everywhere and I love them, too! I found someone from the Tim Holtz team who is willing to fly to the Twin Cities to teach them and several other vintage projects. Raise your hand if you're in!
One of the products I was searching for was the Bon Bons from Lion Brand ... we have some of our wool applique people using them to stitch with and the look is unbelievable! But they're also perfect for those little crochet flowers. The skeins are tiny and I know I want one to use and one to keep cuz they are so darling!
Linda at the Sizzix booth was sewing with this stinkin' cute Eureka sewing machine. I'm so jealous! I want one ... it's in perfect shape and has a totally different look from a Featherweight. And then she told me what she paid for it. Now I'm even more green!! I never find deals like that ... and it came with the cabinet. Geez.
After I tore myself away from the sewing machine I was able to focus on their booth ... in addition to their quilting die cuts they had a sewing theme going on with their other dies. Some really fun things ... including this button card embossing folder. I can't wait for them to come in. They also had a mason jar die cut ... I've been wanting one for a long time so I can't wait to put it to good use. I hate that I have to wait. (insert pouty face again and maybe a small foot stamp)
Party hats and bracelets everywhere.
Embroidery on paper seemed to be a trend in a lot of booths too. I love the look ... thread adds so much to a paper project.
More trends ... especially the Chinese lanterns ... expect to be seeing them every time you turn around. I've noticed them at Target and on Pinterest.
Burlap too ... lots of ideas and inspiration for using it. Canvas Corp had premade pillows to embellish. I bought some of these in a range of colors from Maya Road. And I ordered lots of trims ... colors that matched our fabrics but in packages of three or four pieces ... about a yard of each ... perfect for those small bags we like to make. Everywhere I turned were buttons too ... I can't wait for this all to begin arriving!
I think the biggest trend I took away from the show is that we need to cre8time time for our hobbies ... there's a movement in the works to promote that. Creating is so fullfillling ... we all need to squeeze a couple minutes from each day to do it!
What a better way to start off the new year than a Pinterest Party on New Year's Day! I'm still thinking of the one we hosted last week!! We searched through our Pinterest boards for some of the best ideas ... especially the ones that were quick to make. Boy was that a hard task! I've pinned way too many things but it sure is nice to be able to run there first for inspiration! The party was from noon to five and we asked that people rsvp in order to receive a goodie bag. Imagine our shock when 84 did! I guess coming to a girlie party is much more fun than watching football and taking down the Christmas decorations, huh.
But wait ... it wasn't all girls! Poor Joe ... he was just delivering Starbucks and then got caught up in the crafting frenzy.
We decorated high and low with projects ... like this cupcake liner garland we hung from the pipes. It took about a hundred liners and a spool of baker's twine. A tube of UHO glue and an hour of my time and it was done and up! Yay!!
Don't you love a creative mess? The scraps are the result of beautiful coffee filter flowers ... no two alike. Someone told us that they were at Keys having lunch while they waited for the crowd to thin and looking around the room, they could tell who had been at the Cottage!
We made clothespin clips for a make and take too ... we used UHO glue and strips of paper, then sanded the edges and added Chestnut Roan chalk ink to darken them. I found some jumbo clips at one of the chains and used Mod Podge to cover them with fabric, too. These are so great to use instead of paper clips!
Everyone had the chance to try out our Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine when they made a book mark. We glued two pieces of paper together with the pretty side out ... then ran that though the machine with the paper covering the letter they wanted. We had 1" circles precut so everyone choose two. The letter and the circles were put into an embossing folder and run through the machine again to give it some texture. A little bit of chalk ink on the edges ... the one end of a 12" piece of yarn was glued between two of the circles ... the other was tied to a hole we punched in the letter. Some bling and we were done! One woman said she'd going to make them for her book club group. Love inspiring people!
The pincushions were from a Riley Blake tutorial ... I used some of their 2 1/2" strips to make them and tied the ends with their pretty elastic lace. We didn't make them at the party ... this was part of our inspiring display.
Got a little bit carried away with that fabric ... the scraps covered the jumbo clothes pins and more scraps made the triangle stasher. Those pedestal displays were Goodwill finds too ... just a few bux each but so cute!
Everything was set on our quick and easy table topper ... it truly took minutes to make ... and of course, since Pam Kitty was in the room, we used that! Cut two pieces of fabric 18" square ... we used two fat quarters ... put them both right sides together so that when you cut them you're ready to sew. Stitch all around the edges with a 1/4" seam and leave a small opening on one side ... about 2". Turn it right side out through the opening and press. Use a pin or large needle to pull out the edges at the seam. Topstitch 1/8" from the edge ... that way you don't have to hand stitch the opening closed. Turn one corner back so it forms a 45 degree turn and shows the pretty fabric from the back. Anchor it with crochet flowers and buttons. Ta da ... ready to use!
If you were at our Pinterest party, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I know it inspired many to run home and make something ... and that is exactly what I was hoping for! I want to inspire you to create and I hope you'll make that your theme for 2013!
Get up to 75% off Craftsy's online quilting and sewing classes! Every
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Well here we are already ... at the last week of the 2012 Aurifil Designer Blog Hop. I hope you've enjoyed all of the stitchings and are filling your tree with new ornaments! Sarah ... Bari J ... and me ... we're the last of the designers ... you can find the complete list and photos on the Aurifil Buzz.
I've been stuck on Scandinavian things forever ... probably becaue of where I live in Minnesota. There are as many Dala Horses as there are white bears in White Bear Lake.
I grew up knowing how to make Swedish Coffee ... even though there was nothing Swedish about our family.
My first project published in a magazine was this painted Lucia. I love the idea of St Lucia Day and am trying to decide if I want to get up early enough to attend the Lucia program at the Gammelgarden Museum on December 9th. So because I'm enthralled with everything Scandinavian it seemed natural that my ornament would turn out to be a tomte!
I drew out my little tomte and got to work. It was very fun picking just the right Aurifil threads from my pack ... and then making tiny stitches because of all the small detail. It's hard to look away from it now that it's completed ... and I know you'll feel the same way when you stitch yours! Download Aurifil Rosebud's Cottage pattern right here. Have fun with it! And don't forget to leave a comment on my blog and each of the other blogs in order to be entered into the prizes at the end.
From all of us at the Cottage to you and yours ... God Jul ... Merry Christmas!