Hooked on Needles

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lovely Gifts from Sunflower Quilts

I love getting mail, especially when I find such wonderful things as this inside the box...

Lovely Gifts from Sunflower QuiltsThis is the darling thread catcher that Jennie over at Sunflower Quilts made for her giveaway celebrating the first anniversary of her website.

Lovely Gifts from Sunflower QuiltsAnd check out those charm packs...all from Moda and each fabric just as cute as can be. The little box is full of 11 inch fabric squares called Taddles.

I follow a lot of sites because there are so many interesting and inspiring people out there doing such fun and creative things. I love to see what other people are working on and get ideas for fun little projects and gifts. Along the way, I sign up for giveaways here and there, never thinking I'll actually win. But when I signed up for this one, I hoped against hope that my name would be the lucky winner out of the almost 200 comments. Was I ever thrilled when Jennie sent me an email giving me the good news that I had indeed won her very generous giveaway!

Now I just need to come up with some clever ways to use these great prizes. You can be sure I'll share them with you whenever that happens! Thanks again, Jennie!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Stocking Redo

It seems that lately I've been neglecting Hooked On Needles, but I have a good excuse. Really I do! I've been quite busy down in my sewing room, so busy in fact, that my poor old sewing machine is probably wondering what has happened to it! I haven't worked this old machine so hard for a very long time!

Would you like to see one of the small projects I finished recently? It's a little renovation of an old family Christmas stocking belonging to my friend Kathy. You see, Kathy's parents were known in the family as Nana and Bumpa, and they have both passed away. Kathy and her husband are now grandparents themselves so she thought it would be nice to continue using Nana and Bumpa's Christmas stockings. Kathy is called Nana also, but her husband is not called Bumpa, so the old Christmas stocking would need a little redo. That's where I come in! Take a look...

This is Bumpa's Christmas stocking, made with simple fabrics and trim, and a very neatly embroidered name on the muslin cuff. The main body of the stocking is made from double sided pre-quilted fabric. Nana's stocking has the reverse side showing which is an off-white background with the same small floral print. Her stocking also has red embroidery and trim instead of blue. Nana and Bumpa were a good looking pair!

Here you can better see the eyelet trim along the bottom edge of the cuff, and the very neatly embroidered chain stitch lettering. I could not simply pick out the old stitching and stitch Grandpa on the old muslin as that would have left a mess of blue fuzz and holes from the old stitches that had been in the fabric for so many years...

...so I took apart the entire top cuff, preserving each piece to use again.

The muslin was used as a template for cutting the new muslin...

...and marking the location of the writing.

Then I traced the new name onto the new muslin and embroidered it using my very best chain stitch and the same color navy blue embroidery floss that was used on the original.

Using the original trim pieces, I put the stocking back together.

Now this old family Christmas stocking is ready to be enjoyed by a new generation of grandparents and grandchildren. I think Bumpa would be very happy about that!

George the mailman has been very good to me in the past week, so I have lots of fun things to show you. Besides this Christmas stocking project, I have also finished a rather large sewing project which I will share with you, and another smaller project too. A few crochet tutorials will be making an appearance here at Hooked On Needles soon as well. See, I haven't really been neglecting you! I've just been so busy DOing that I haven't had time for SHOWing!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

For what we are about to receive...

...may we be truly thankful:

More delicious food than a gathering of 14 friends could possibly eat...

A day of fun and festivity, laughing and playing, catching up with friends we don't see nearly often enough...

Memories of another holiday spent with good friends.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Angel Swap gifts arrived in New Zealand - finally!

After much anticipation for about 3 weeks, my Angel Swap gifts finally arrived in New Zealand and I found them pictured on Laurie's website. What a relief! I've sent things to that area before and nothing ever took longer than a week, so I was a little concerned that my package may have been lost or damaged or something awful.

Anyway, take a look at what Laurie received, and while you're there go ahead and poke around her website. She's a fascinating person with so many wonderful experiences to share.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

How to bind a pre-quilted placemat, or anything else!

Remember Martha? She was the very crafty lady who left lots of stuff to be gone through by her neighbor, my husband's aunt, who gave it all to me. Among the bags of crafty things, I found two panels of pre-quilted Christmas placemats. There was a set of 6 oval place mats with a Christmas swan on them, and a set of 6 rectangular place mats with a Christmas scene. All they needed was to be cut out and bound, so that's what I did!

Here's a little picture tutorial on how I used up a 44 inch square piece of green fabric from my stash to get these 12 placemats ready to be donated to my son's school holiday fair.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematFirst I cut out the shapes from the panels.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThen I used THIS fabulous method to turn a 44 inch square of solid green fabric into enough 2 1/4 inch bias binding to finish 12 place mats and still have several yards leftover. Every time I use this method to make bias binding, it amazes me! And the best part is that I only have to sew two seams!

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThen I pressed the binding in half with the wrong sides together.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematI pinned the raw edges of the binding to the right side of the place mat edge.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematI overlapped the end of the binding by about an inch over the beginning of the binding.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThen I opened up the end of the binding and folded about a half inch of the end to the inside and folded it back up again.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThen I lifted up the beginning of the binding...

How to bind a pre-quilted placemat...and placed it inside the fold of the end of the binding.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThen I pinned the layers together. This gives a nice finish to the joining of the two ends.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThen I stitched through all layers of binding and place mat about 1/4 inch from the raw edge all around the oval.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThis is what the place mat looked like at this point.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematAfter the binding was stitched to the place mat, I pressed the binding from the front, away from the place mat. This makes turning the binding to the back easier.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThis is what the place mat looked like from the back after the binding was stitched on and pressed.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThen I brought the folded edge of the binding to the back of the place mat and pinned it in place around the edge.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematIf this were a quilt or if I had more time to finish these, I would have hand stitched the folded edge to the back. But it isn't, and I didn't, so here's what I did...

How to bind a pre-quilted placematFrom the front of the place mat, I machine stitched around the edge so that my needle went between the red and the green and would barely show up. This is called 'stitch in the ditch' quilting and is a handy way to machine quilt without the stitching showing up...much!

How to bind a pre-quilted placematAnd here is what it looks like finished. See, it barely shows. Just don't look too closely at the top of the picture where my stitches went a bit astray onto the binding.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematThe stitching from the front caught the folded-over edge of the binding on the back.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematAnd there are the six Christmas swans all ready to dress up someone's holiday table.

How to bind a pre-quilted placematHere's the stack of 6 Christmas scene place mats, bound in the same way.

These 12 place mats, along with the crocheted floor duster covers and the half-granny shawl, will be going to the holiday fair tomorrow. We're praying for nice weather and a very busy day at the fair to bring in some much needed funds for our great school.

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

13 Crocheted Floor Duster Covers Complete!

Last month I shared an idea for using up all your scrap cotton yarn by knitting or crocheting floor duster covers to take the place of the disposable name brand cloths. I've been a busy beaver since then and I'm ready to show you what I've made. So here we go...

13 Crocheted Floor Duster CoversAltogether 13 covers will be donated to the holiday fair at my son's school this weekend. How much would you pay for one of these?

13 Crocheted Floor Duster CoversI love the variety of colors all piled up in a heap...so cheerful! See that red and aqua cover? I made that one in honor of Jane's Red and Aqua D9P quilt block swap. Since getting into that swap, I've been noticing red and aqua everywhere I go!

13 Crocheted Floor Duster CoversAnd so very practical too! Imagine all the money you could save by using one of these and washing it instead of purchasing the brand name cloths and throwing them away!

13 Crocheted Floor Duster CoversSpeaking of throwing things away, this picture shows the 31 ball bands recovered from all the leftover yarn I used up making these covers, and the little pile of yarn ends snipped off after all the ends were woven in.

13 Crocheted Floor Duster CoversAnd this is what's left in my bag of cotton yarn. Compared to what I started with, it's hardly worth mentioning!

I love finding projects that use up odd bits of yarn, fabric, batting or beads for a useful purpose. Do you have any favorite projects that use up leftovers? I'd love to hear about them.

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red and Aqua D9P blocks received!

Back in October, I showed all of the 100 blocks I made for Jane's Red and Aqua Disappearing 9-patch block swap. You can see them by clicking HERE. Well, just the other day, George the mailman was once again my friend when he delivered my package of blocks from Jane with 100 different red and aqua D9P blocks. I couldn't wait to spread them out and see how they look...

Red and Aqua D9P blocksWhat a variety!

Red and Aqua D9P blocksI only found a few duplicate fabrics among all these blocks!

Red and Aqua D9P blocksNow what do you think I should do with them? Just sew them together the way they are in the picture? Or maybe introduce a third color to use as sashing between the blocks? What color do you think would look good with these blocks?

This project will have to wait a while since I have quite a to-do list right now. First on that list is a daybed cover and pillows for a friend. After that, I need to take apart an old Christmas stocking and change one name for another in embroidery so it can continue to be used by another friend. I still have a few crochet stitches for which videos have been requested, so I need to spend some time hugging my camera...that's how I do it! And then there are the million and one things that need to be done around Thanksgiving and Christmas and general family life. You all know how that is!

Any ideas on using these quilt blocks would be welcome, so don't be shy!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Increasing in Broomstick Lace Video Tutorial

A video on the basics of Broomstick Lace and another on decreasing in Broomstick Lace have already been shown here at Hooked On Needles. So today I'll show you a little video on increasing in Broomstick Lace and you should be all set to try whipping something up using this fun stitch.

Here's the video...

I'm working on a Broomstick Lace project right now that I will share with you when it's finished. It's working up pretty quickly so it shouldn't be long!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

A Cupcake from Australia - how sweet!

Look what Lyn sent me all the way from Australia...

The card on the package is a paint chip from the hardware store with some ribbon on it...how clever!

Doesn't this look good enough to eat?

How did Lyn know chocolate is my biggest weakness?

And a pink frosting swirl around a pretty pink rose!  Yum! 

Isn't this the most delicious pin cushion you've ever seen?  Thanks Lyn!

Happy Stitching!

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