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February 2012

Dresden's ~ all the rage!

There has been so much chatter lately about the Dresden Plates made using Darlene Zimmerman's tool. The other day Bunny Hill had a funny blog about how making them is almost a disease! They really are addicting!! A few years ago I got hooked on them during a Dresden exchange and now I have a stack of them just waiting for the right opportunity. I've made tiny Dresden's for ornaments and big ones for pillows. Truly ... the trick is this tool.

Basically ... you decide which size you want to make ... cut your fabric to that width ... then just move the tool back and forth across the fabric until you have a bunch cut up.I think I was able to get two out of a 5" charm.

They were pretty easy to chain piece. You fold them in half RST  sew across the top ... then add another.

Turn them right side out and press them evenly. There's a little tool in the pack for poking out the points. Arrange them into plates and then ... here's the trick. When you start to sew them together start 1/4" below the beginning of the seam. Backstitch up to the edge and then continue to the bottom. What this does is keep from having to clip your thread ends and keeps the edges nice and neat and secure. Before you know it you have a whole pile of plates! I like to wait and press them all at once to make sure they press out to the same roundness and size. They are so pretty ... you'll want to make a stack and just keep them on your shelf!


Stitching tip ~ transfering embroidery designs to thick fabric

Transfer 1

Lately I've had a number of customers ask how to transfer an embroidery pattern to thick or darker fabric. Most people know that when you want to transfer a design, you lay your fabric over the  pattern and trace with a marker. But what if your fabric is thicker ... like canvas or wool ... and you can't see through it? Here's my trick ... I've been using it for years and it works on almost any fabric!

Take a piece of tracing paper or vellum and trace your pattern with a pen.

Transfer 3
Turn the tracing over and on that side, retrace the lines with a pencil. I like the Papermate mechanical pencil the best because it has a high amount of graphite and makes a thin line. When you're done retracing, blow off any lead dust. Little tip ... if you are trying to transfer to black fabric, use a white artist's pencil with a sharp point.

Transfer 4
Turn the tracing right side up and position it on your fabric. Use the end of your scissors handle to rub over all the traced lines. Press heavily so the design lines transfer.

Ta da! Your pattern is on your fabric and ready to stitch!

Transfer 5

Strawberry Patches in Bakersfield, California!


I find that central valley of California so interesting! It's filled with vineyards, dairies, pistachio groves and strawberries ... both the kind you eat and Strawberry Patches quilt shop! My friend Pam told me about this store ... sort of on the route from Los Angeles to Yosemite ... depending on who liked quilt shops more! I won ... no big surprise there, huh? It was totally worth the trip arguing about which roads we'd take ... I'd go back in a heartbeat!


Any store that has cool things hanging from the ceiling is great in my book! There was so much to look at ... the displays were clever and made you want to look closer at what was being shown.








There were a lot of unique patterns through out the store and as it turns out, many of them are free on the Patches blog. I've been following along on the Tuesday Tutorial for quite awhile and each week, the project is as wonderful as the week before! I love that there's the inspiration to make something ... or at least to understand the techniques behind projects.












When you first come in the store, you get the impression that it's mostly for the young and hip but that's not necessarily true. Look at this color wall! You wouldn't have any trouble putting together the perfect project! There were so many other things to inspire you!










Sundae dishes aren't just for ice cream!



 I love pincushions and am excited to show off Sundae's Best on the Riley Blake Pincushion of the Week! I've had this design sketched out for years  but never had the right fabric that inspired me to create it. Until now! Riley Blake sent me a new line of fabric called Fly A Kite ... it's from the scrapbooking paper line by October Afternoon ... only now it's printed on fabric. The colors made me think of a Spring day! I found the pedestal dish at WalMart.


The removable top lets you store your sewing supplies in the base. A little stitching hint ... when you're sewing the scallops on the edge, make sure you sew through all the layers so it looks nice and neat on the back side ... just in case one of your quilting friends decides to take the top off and examine your work!

You can find the pdf to make your own on the Riley Blake blog. Think of Summer afternoons stitching on the patio with this darling sundae keeping you company!



Sherri Falls is February's Aurifil Designer!

Sherri Falls 2

I was so excited to learn that my friend Sherri  from This and That was going to be one of the designers for Aurifil's 2012 designer program! I've known her for a million years and have always been impressed with her designing skills and how eager she is to learn new things. It wasn't that many years ago that she decided to learn how to stitch ... and now she's turning out one thing after another!

Sherri Falls 1

Sherri's stitcheries were a huge hit at the Minnesota State Fair last Summer. So cute! And if you haven't visited her blog lately you really should. She has this cool program called Mystery Monday ... easy-t0-do projects that take just a few minutes of sewing each week.

Sherri gave me a little sneaky peek at her project ... I know you're gonna LoVe it!! Head over to the Aurifil Buzz ... read a little more about Sherri ... download the pdf and get stitching!

Aurifil-designer-2012-collage (2)