Sunset on White Bear Lake ... tips and tricks for our Row By Row Experience row

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The 2015 Row By Row shop hop is in full swing and has been a ton of fun so far! We've met a lot of great quilters from all over the place already ... and it's only the first week! I was delighted when I found out the theme for this year was H2O ... a water theme. Perfect for White Bear Lake. And perfect for me, too. I knew exactly what I would do ... a fabric rendition of the poster I created for Marketfest in 2013. It was a blast sewing paper to paper to create the poster ... and just as fun to recreate it in fabric!

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The trail that runs along White Bear Lake in Downtown is iconic ... if you live here you have either walked, biked or riden alongside of it. My favorite time to walk the lake is in the Summer ... especially as the Sun is going down and the day begins to mellow. Those old oak trees take on a different look and so does the water. I wanted to capture all of that in the poster and also in my row project.

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Unlike most rows, mine is vertical instead of horizontal. I wanted it to be easy to sew the appliques so I chose to use raw-edge free-style applique. There's nothing to turn under and the appliques are stitched in a random, squiggly stitch. Nothing about it is has to be perfect ... just the way I like things!

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The background is pieced, then the appliques are laid on top of it.

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Some tips on stitching in the free-style applique include:

  • Use a clear, open-toed presser foot so you can see where you're going. A clear, round foot like you'd use for machine quilting also works.
  • If you feel more comfortable, you can drop your feeddogs to give you more of a free-motion feeling. I didn't because I wanted to feel more in control.
  • Don't have your stitch length too small ... the appliques will lay flatter with a larger stitch.
  • The 'needle down' position is your friend. Use it to help pivot.
  • The auto thread cutter on your machine is a function you want to use. It'll save so much time later when you don't have to trim threads ... plus it keeps the back neater. And you won't waste thread.
  • It's ok if your stitches run off the applique now and then.
  • Double back on the stitching lines ... sometimes I stitched two rows on the same applique but I made it a point to cross over the original stitching.
  • Use whatever color of thread you choose ... if you like to match, go for it! I like the contrast so I used light grey on this project but I've also used black or white. Just depends on the mood you're in!
  • Freezer paper is your friend! With the exception of the boat, flowers, flowers and fish ... my fabrics were all cut with freezer paper templates. It gave them more dimension, the edges frayed and ruffled, and they weren't so stiff. If you're going to use fusible I recommend Featherlite by ThermoWeb
  • There's no need to backstitch ... clip the threads even with the surface. And it's ok if a few come out.

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I made my row into a wall hanging and layered the batting and backing so I could quilt it as I sewed the appliques. Directions on how to do this are in the pattern. It can get a little bulky sometimes ... plus I was using a machine with a smaller opening. Fold your fabric and pin it to make it easier to maneuver.

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The grass along the shoreline was made by first overlapping strips of green to make a larger piece of fabric. Notice that the strips aren't cut straight ... I curvy cut them with my rotary cutter on one edge to make them look like hills. The last strip is curvy cut on both sides. It's fun ... just take your rotary cutter and let your hand move of it's own free will!

The grass fabric needed to be trimmed so I made a skinny freezer paper template. Follow the drawing that's in the pattern. I pressed the freezer paper to the front of the grass ... making sure it covered from side to side and into the seam allowance. Then I cut along the line.

Position the grass over the green portion of the pieced background so some of that shows and stitch in place. If you're making the wall hanging, follow along that stitched line again as well as the other grass strips.

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Before you stitch down the wave by the boat, make sure that the boat is tucked under the wave ... here on White Bear Lake it's common to have the water lapping at the edge of the boat. We want to be authentic!

Also ... note how the strip of the wave is tucked under the larger blue water pieces ... more is showing at one end than the other. That will create motion in your piece and it won't look so stiff.

Make sure that last wave is tucked under the grass before you stitch.

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The flowers were fun to stitch ... I accidentally made a star in the first one and then happily continued on doing that for the others. It looks cute!

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There's something about that picket fence and the pennants that just makes me happy! I backstitched the year in bright red floss ... three strands.

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Those fish ... so cute happily hopping around in the water!

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I found a branch in the backyard to hang my wall hanging. I used left over binding to make my loops. I folded it almost in half and stitched the length then cut that to fit over the stick. Hand stitched it next to the binding, making sure I didn't stitch through to the front ... that wouldn't have looked good! You can see what the back looked like after I stitched down those appliques.

It was wonderful to be able to find all of the perfect fabrics from my friends at Paintbrush Studios/Fabri-Quilt. I was able to match up perfectly with my original paper poster.

Don't forget that the Row By Row Experience Shop Hop continues through Labor Day. Almost 2700 stores in the US and Canada are taking part and they all have a FREE row pattern for you to pick up! There are license plates to purchase ... kits ... pins and totes ... and all of the stores have great displays to look at.

Because of the shop hop rules, we won't be able to take our row to the Minnesota State Fair this year. For us ... the hop ends on August 22. We'll be open our regular Thursday thru Saturday schedule but I will throw in extra days here and there. Watch my Rosebud's Cottage Facebook page to keep up.

I hope you enjoy Sunset on White Bear Lake as much as I loved making it!! Sewing should be fun!

RBC quilting budz

MyBeads your ear buds!


At the Craft and Hobby show last January, I ran across the MyBeads booth and got totally caught up in this product ... and three months later ... I still love it! MyBeads are split beads designed to fit over headphone wires or ear buds ... decorative ... fun to use! My favorite feature is that you can use the beads to personalize your headset so it doesn't look like what everyone else has. Each set is unique!

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I love MyBeads because I'm sick of trying to keep my ear buds untangled. I hate when they get knotted ... then you have to unkink them before you can use them. The beads have a slit on one side. You slide them over the cords and once they're all placed, your wires aren't kinked and twisted!

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You get around 500 beads in a pack ... plenty for sorting them into color patterns.

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I've made some in White Bear Lake's school colors ... a patriotic version ... Mahtomedi colors ... the list goes on! Do whatever you want ... ten colors to choose from!

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I thought it would be fun to do one that resembles roses ... green leaves, pink and red for the petals, yellow for the center ... with a white bead to space them.

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Because the beads have a slit on one side, you can put them over the wires without having to worry about the earphones holding you back.

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One trick ... use a chop stick to open the slit up ... then you can lay the wire over the slit and slide it in place. The chop sticks from LeannChin are the perfect size ... use a fork next time you go there to eat and save the chop sticks for your project!

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The MyBeads Facebook page is constantly being updated with new combinations. Make sure you like their page so you can see what's new.

Now that the weather is nicer, I'm seeing people running along the trail next to White Bear Lake ... or in my neighborhood listening to their music while they walk ... with boring wires peeking out of their hoodies. Think how much cuter they'd be if they were covered with MyBeads to match their clothes!

Not athletic? No worries! I've seen people using headsets at the quilt retreat ... or when they're knitting and stitching ... sitting in the car ... on the bus ... plenty of places! I think it's a great idea to leave a set of headphones with your sewing machine so that the next time you're chain piecing blocks together, you can look stylish and cute while you're plugged in!

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Three ways to finish the edge of wool projects

Wool edge project

In our Muddy Sheep Wool Club, we're always looking for different edge finishes for our projects. These are three methods suggested for finishing our 2014 Fair and Square wool quilt.

Bringing the backing fabric to the front

· Trim the cotton batting and base fabric 3/8” away from the finished wool quilt top.

· Cut or piece fabric for the backing. With right side down, use basting spray to lightly cover the wrong side of the fabric.

· Lay the finished wool quilt top, right side up, over the backing fabric, smoothing to get rid of wrinkles.

· Trim the backing 1” from the edge of the wool quilt top around all four sides.

· Working with one side at a time, fold the backing toward the front of the quilt so that it touches the cotton batting. Press.

· Fold again toward the front so that it is even with the cut edge of the quilt top. Press. The cotton batting will fill the binding.

· Carefully blanket stitch the edge of the folded backing to the quilt top. You can also whip stitch it and go back later and stitch again with crazy stitches.

· Stitch opposite sides first, then top and bottom.

· Make sure the corners are square and the edges look nice.

  Wool edge turned from back

Wool binding

· Trim the cotton batting and base fabric 3/8” away from the finished wool quilt top.

· Cut or piece fabric for the backing. With right side down, use basting spray to lightly cover the wrong side of the fabric.

· Lay the finished wool quilt top, right side up, over the backing fabric, smoothing to get rid of wrinkles.

· Trim the backing even with the batting.

· Measure the top of your quilt top, including the batting, and add 2”. Cut two wool strips 1 1/4” wide by that measurement.

· Working with one side at a time, pin the wool strip even with the quilt top, with 1” extending beyond each end. No batting should show. You can overlap the strip and the top a bit if you want.

· Blanket stitch or whip stitch the wool strip to the top, stitching into the batting.

· Fold the wool strip to the back of the quilt so it covers the batting. Whip stitch to the backing, stitching into the batting but not into the front of the quilt. Trim the ends even

· Repeat for the opposite side.

· When the sides are completed, measure the top from side to side, adding 2”. Cut two wool strips 1 1/4” wide by that measurement.

· Add the top and bottom strips the same way you stitched the sides.

· Trim the ends carefully and stitch them closed so they don’t ravel.

Wool edge wool      Wool edge wool back

Blanket stitching with yarn

· Cut or piece fabric for the backing. With right side down, use basting spray to lightly cover the wrong side of the fabric.

· Lay the finished wool quilt, right side up, over the backing fabric, smoothing to get rid of wrinkles.

· Using the edge of the quilt top as a guide, use a rotary cutter to evenly trim away excess batting and backing fabric.

· As an option, use a template to round the corners.

· Use one strand of sock weight wool yarn and a sharp tapestry needle to blanket stitch around the outside edge through all layers. Be careful to keep the edges even, and make the stitches the same size on front and back.

Wool edge yarn

How to die cut wool using wafer dies.

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Most people who know Rosebud's Cottage know that I am in love with die cutting ... especially die cutting wool. Die cutting is an easy and affordable method for getting perfect shapes cut quickly. It's great for when you have a lot of the same shapes to cut. It's also fun to use die cuts to design projects because you can easily switch colors by running another piece of wool through the machine. 

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I'm always surprised that people don't realize they can use a die cut machine to cut wool shapes ... they cut everything else. While I have an industrial AccuCut in my workshop, I tend to reach for my Sizzix Big Shot the most. It's portable, steady, and easy to use. We sell a lot of them at the Cottage. Most people are familiar with the dies that are steel-cut and embedded in a foam base. I use them a lot and can cut up to four layers of wool with my Big Shot.

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Sometimes, though, I come across these darling wafer dies. The shapes are often exactly what I'm looking for to create an idea. The ones that are metal can also be used to cut wool shapes ... it just takes a few more steps. Not all work perfectly ... I steer away from those that are placed onto a light foam base or are covered with a color ... they don't seem to cut as well but I'll try a trial cut anyway just to be sure. I can always use them to cut paper! For wool, if the cut is too intricate I don't use them ... mostly because they are hard to stitch.

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When you get a Big Shot it comes with two acrylic pads and a multipurpose platform ... you need all three to cut wafer dies.

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I put one layer of acrylic under the multipurpose platform then lay my die cuts right side up.

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I lay my wool over the top of the die cut. One thing I've found is that it's hard to cut multiple layers of wool with the wafer dies. Also ... so that I don't waste wool ... I rotary cut my pieces so they are a half inch bigger than the die. So if a die measures 1" x 1", I cut my pieces 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" giving me an extra 1/4" on each side ... just in case.

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I put the other acrylic mat over the top of the wool and crank it through! My cutting mats are pretty well used ... I change them often because I do a lot of cutting. If you start to see yours bow in the middle ... time for a new one! Also ... if you have a long die you need to have extended cutting mats and a platform in order to support the die cut.

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Ta da! Perfect little shapes!

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I think the scraps are as cute as the die cuts! I just love the way they look and often put pix of them on my Instagram page. I'll cut tiny shapes out of the scraps too. The small circles at the top of tag dies are pefect for the centers of flowers or penny rugs ... I have a tiny heart that I like to use for scraps, too. You can even trim the scrap and stitch it over something else!

I hope this makes you feel confident in using your die cut machine and wafer dies to cut shapes. Imagine the possibilities! I'd love to show you what these shapes are being used for but you'll have to wait until the Spring 2015 Quilts & More magazine becomes available. We're busy cutting kits for Bunny Hop in this issue. You can get a sneak peek when you look at the cover. Can you guess which one it is??

Quilts and More cover

2014 Sweet Summertyme Row By Row pattern

Row by Row RBC

For those of you who couldn't make it in to the store for our Row By Row pattern, here you go!

Check out this blog post for some tips on making it.

Download Sweet Summertyme 2014 row quilt

BTW ... if you're new to the Cottage,  come hang out with us on our Facebook page.  

Ask to join our private group, Wild Roses Quilt and Crafting Club. We talk about all kinds of hobbies there.

And visit our Rosebud's Cottage website. Or better yet ... come see us at the store!

I hope you enjoy our free pattern. We'd love to see pix of the row quilts you make. Have fun ... happy quilting! ~Roseann


Row runner

The Noteworthy Notebook Project

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Take a boring compostion book and turn it into a notebook that everyone will envy! I've been covering my books for years and its exciting to jazz them up. I love goofing around with all the components ... finding the perfect paper and then deciding which piece will go where. They don't take much time and are fun to do. Here's how!

Noteworthy notebook supplies

Gather your supplies and get to work!

Measurements: Front and back cover ~ 7” x 9 5/8” (use a decorative blade to trim one edge for the front and a mirror image for the back) 

Inside cover ~ 7 1/4” x 9 5/8”

Note: Measure your book before cutting as there may be some variation

Cut tag, flowers,a circle for initial from scrap paper, and a tab for the side of the book,  by hand or with a punch or die cut.

Other supplies: 3-4 pieces of fiber approximately 7” long, glue stick, initial stamp,  ink pad

Chestnut Roan chalk ink by Colorbox to darken the edges is optional. Lightly brush it across cut edges before you assemble the book.

1. Dip the flowers in a small amount of water, then carefully scrunch them up to wrinkle the paper. Be careful on thin petals so you don’t rip them. Open the flowers up and let them air dry.

2. Open up the tab and spread glue over the wrong side with a glue stick. Fold it back in half and then place it on the back cover, about 2” from the  bottom, straddling the inside and outside of the cover.

3. Spread glue over the entire front cover and part of the binding.  Lay the pre-cut paper on to the cover, lining up the straight edges, and smoothing out the  paper. The zigzag edge covers part of the book binding. Trim the rounded edges with a scissors before continuing.

4. Next do the inside of the front cover and continue to the back cover.

5. Use a sanding block or emery board to lightly sand the edges of the book. If any of the book edge is showing, sand that a little more to remove the printing. Lightly sand the tab.

6. Ink the edges of the book, tab, flowers, tags and initial with Chestnut Roan chalk ink if you choose.

7. Layer the flower pieces and glue together, then glue to the tag. Add the  initial to the center of the flower.

8. Punch a hole through the front cover. Push fibers through the tag and then the hole and tie at the top of the book with a double knot.

Noteworthy notebook R

There are all kinds of ways to decorate the front of your notebook. I tied some fibers and a tag to a big R and then glued it to the front. From the scraps, I covered a smaller composition book. You can find them in the same place the big ones are located at most stores. They look cute finished!

Noteworthy notebook travel

You can make books for any theme you want, like this travel journal. Sometimes I'm lucky and find notebooks with graph pad paper ... I use those for my quilting themed books. Try a kitchen theme for recipes or a gardening theme for your flower beds and landscaping projects.

Noteworthy Notebooks are perfect for a girlfriends crafting night. Look at all the fun I had with some of my pals when we did a Girls Day Out one time. It was filled with laughter. Best kind of day!

Noteworthy notebook pile


An Autumn pin!

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After the post about our Great River Road bus tour, I've had a lot of people ask how to make the pins we gave to our riders. The really were easy to make and would be perfect for Thanksgiving favors, a tag, or to fill a bowl. So here you go ... this is what you have to do.

What you'll need:

  • Premade burlap leaves ... I got mine at Hobby Lobby but you could also die cut some from burlap, use paper, or pull leaves from a garland
  • Acrylic paint ... mustard yellow, deep red, dark green, orange
  • Fluffy brush ... I found mine in the kid's crafts at Michaels
  • Glitter spray
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Autumn sentiment stamp
  • Black ink pad
  • Orange glitter fibers ... I found some in the yarn department
  • 1 1/4" pin backs
  • Glue dots, hot glue, paper crafting tools

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Protect your surface with plastic before you begin ... it's messy! Start by using a fluffy brush to pat on a base coat of paint on top of the burlap leaves. Mix the bases up so that there are some of each color. Let some of the burlap show through.

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Using all of the colors, pat on paint here and there to give the leaves a mottled appearance. Make sure the base coat is dry. If you've put on too much, wipe your brush on a paper towel and pat over those areas before they dry. Drag a brush with just a small amount of paint down the center of the leaf. Think about how leaves look when they fall from the trees ... that's what you're aiming for.

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Spray with glitter spray to add some sparkle. Put a few leaves in a box with sides. Make sure you open a window or do this outside! If your leaves had stems, use a needlenose pliers to twist them into a loop so you won't get poked when they are worn.

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While the glitter is drying, stamp your phrase on to scapbook paper, using an acrylic base. I found it was easier to rotary cut my paper first and then stamp. Cut your paper to match the size of your stamp.

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Notch one end of the tag and punch two holes close together in the other end. I used the smallest setting on my Crop-A-Dile.

Tie the tag on to the stem of the leaf with several layers of your glittery yarn. Don't pull so tight that you rip the tag. Add a glue dot farther down the tag to anchor it to the leaf.

Use hot glue to attach a pinback to the back of the pin. Skip this step if they are party favors or bowl fillers.

That's it! Make some leaves for when you and your friends go out for leaf peeping and lunch!

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Let's make paper Posie Pouches!

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Did you do May Day baskets when you were growing up? We'd decorate a container or basket ... fill it with flowers ... and leave it on the doorknob of a neighbor. Well here's an updated version using paper  ... and it's fast so you still have time to make one before the end of the day. For my pouches, I used Pebbles Garden Party line ... it has six seed packets on a sheet that I cut apart and another sheet of tags that I used. I cut matching paper for the back of the pouch. If you're using some other paper just cut it 4" x 6".

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The pouches were hand stitched together but before I began, I did a little bit of pen work. I doodled around the various flower elements on the papers ... each was a little different. I also used Stickles Diamond Glitter to bling the flowers and the elements on the tags.

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To make it easier to stitch the papers together, I made holes in the cardstock. I put the front and back together and held them at the top with a piece of washi tape. You need a surface to punch into so I used some foam but an old mousepad would work. Grab a T-pin or a large needle. Lay a ruler about 1/4" from the edges and punch holes every 1/4" with the T-pin ... do the two sides and the bottom.

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Use three strands of floss on a tapestry needle to stitch in and out of the holes. Start at the top and stitch down one side ... across the bottom ... up the other side ... knot off when you're done. I ran a little bit of glue over the knots on the back so that they wouldn't pull through. Punch a hole at each corner at the top and string through 12" of sheer ribbon. Knots are on the front of the pouch. Angle the ends when you're done tying the knots.

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Use a punch or die cutter to cut a butterfly for each pouch. Fold a crease in the middle of the butterfly by bringing both wings together and then opening it back up. Cut a scrap 1/4" x 1" for the body and round the ends. Glue over the crease with tacky glue. Use Stickles Diamond glitter to bling the wings and body. When the glitter is dry, attach it to the front of the pouch with a dimensional foam dot.

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Use a corner rounder to round the corners of the tags.

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Ink the edges of the tag and pouch with Chestnut Roan Chalk ink. Poke a hole in one corner of the tag and attach it to the ribbon with some left over floss. Push a small amount of stuffing inside the pouch to poof it out ... crumpled paper would work, too. Fill it with baby's breath or some other flowers. Hang on a door knob and enjoy!

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