Hooked on Needles

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pinky Prize from Sandi - How Sweet!

George the mailman was good to me again recently when he delivered a fun package from Sandi. Even though my name was not the one drawn in her Long Legged Bunny giveaway, she sent me one anyway along with some other sweet treats, just for guessing the Bunny's name!

Bunny Goodies from SandiHere's what I pulled out of the shipping envelope, so pink and springy!

Bunny Goodies from SandiAnd here's what was inside - the cutest, softest bunny with very very very long arms and legs and very pink ears who was very quickly swept away by my little Gracie who is 5 and loves all things pink and girlie. Along with Pinky was a bag of my very favorite chocolate, some chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies and a bag of sour jelly beans which my kids will love!

Thanks so much for the early arrival of the Easter Bunny here at our house, Sandi! That was so sweet of you!

Coming up later this week, I'll finally be showing you what I made out of the gorgeous French General fabric you saw here recently. Also you'll get a sneak peek at the original quilt design I used for the charity quilt I am making.

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Birthstone Rosary for Emily

My friend Jane, whom you have met here and here, asked me recently if I would make a birthstone Rosary for her daughter Emily's Confirmation gift. It really is a lovely thing to give for such a special occasion, and of course I said I would be happy to!

I know this technically has nothing to do with hooks or needles, but it is another of the crafty arts I enjoy, so I thought I'd share it with you. I hope you don't mind.

Emily's Birthstone RosaryI've been making Rosaries for somewhere around 35 years now, and this particular kind of Rosary is my very favorite to make. The crucifix and center medal are sterling silver, as well as the chain. The beads are crystal aurora borealis and come in most birthstone colors. They are 7 millimeters in size, so not too big and not too small. They have a wonderful weight to them too.

Emily's Birthstone RosaryThis Rosary will also include a little white leather zipper pouch for safe keeping. A Rosary like this, if well cared for and looked after, can last long enough to become a family heirloom and be passed down for generations. I hope that Emily will remember me each time she uses this Rosary.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Good Eggs Giveaway Bunny will be traveling to...

Neky White with the first prize Spring Table Runner, and Rachel with the second prize pattern and charms! Congratulations to both of you! Click HERE if you want to see what they won.

Sandi did a great job organizing this event. Thanks Sandi! And what a fun time I had reading all the wonderful comments from everyone, sharing your thoughts on spring and what you love about it and look forward to at this fresh time of year. Thanks to each of you who entered my giveaway, and I do hope you'll come back and visit again soon.

If you really love this table runner and would like to make it yourself, my original pattern can be purchased by going to the end of THIS POST, or by sending me an email.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bagalicious Bag #2 Kit arrived! It's a beauty!

If you've been reading Hooked On Needles for any time at all, you know that I love bags - making them, using them, designing them, giving them. I'm the ultimate Bag Lady! Well, look what I got in the mail just the other day...

Natalie Ross Bagalicious Club KitIt's the second kit for the Bagalicious Club that I joined as a treat to myself for this year. I have not made it yet, but it's high on my list of fun things to do! Natalie Ross is such a cool designer and her website is so much fun to read, so I just know I'm going to love working up this bright and cheerful kit. I'll be sure to show it off when it's done.

In case you missed it, you can see the bag I made from the first Bagalicious Club kit by clicking HERE.

If you are interested in the Bagalicious Club for yourself, just click on the button you will find on my sidebar and you'll get all the information you need.

Tomorrow (Monday, March 29th) I will be announcing the winners of my Good Eggs Giveaway, so if you signed up for it, make sure you come back here to see if you won! If you haven't signed up yet and you are reading this before Sunday night around 10:00 eastern time, hurry up and hop over HERE and get your name in the basket for a couple of nice prizes. I don't want you to miss any of the fun!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

More Goodies from the Green Fairy

Here's the answer to the question I posed at the end of THIS POST a few weeks ago...

purchase from Green Fairy QuiltsThat's right! I couldn't resist! I got my free Kansas Winter turnover, and some other fun things as well...

purchase from Green Fairy QuiltsA Kansas Winter honey bun and a Caroler honey bun by Mary Engelbreit to go with my turnovers I purchased last time!

purchase from Green Fairy QuiltsAnd while I was there, of course I had to check out all the good deals. I found these remnants of Water Garden by Sentimental Studios for Moda for practically nothing! I'm going to use these to make a t-shirt dress for my little 5 year old girlie-girl who loves all things pink and flowery and pretty, and yellow too! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Speaking of turn outs, the turn out for my Spring Table Runner giveaway has been awesome! Thanks so much to all of you who have entered the giveaway so far. I usually respond to every comment left here at Hooked On Needles, but they are coming in so fast and furious that I will never be able to keep up. I hope you understand! If you haven't entered yet, you still have a few more days to put your name in the hat and share it with your friends. I'm giving away the table runner shown in the pictures as the first prize, and as a special second prize I'm also giving away my original pattern plus 30 charms so you can make your own Spring Table Runner! So hop to it, and enter my giveaway!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Easiest Pillow Cover You'll Ever Sew - A Tutorial

Just recently, a friend asked me to remake drapery panels into a valance for her bay window, and if there was enough fabric leftover from the panels, she also wanted some pillows. She wasn't looking for anything fancy, and she certainly wasn't looking to pay the price that the custom drapery maker was going to charge her for each pillow! As it turned out, I had just enough fabric leftover after making four valance panels to also make four 16 inch pillows, and today I'm going to show you how to sew the easiest pillow covers ever! I'm serious - the absolute easiest! All you have to sew is four straight lines! Keep reading and you'll see...

I made 16 inch pillows, but this method will work for any size pillow form you want to cover. So here's the formula:

Pillow width + 1 inch = fabric width
Pillow length + pillow length + 8 inches = fabric length

So for these 16 inch pillows I needed my fabric panels to be 16 + 1 inches wide, so 17 inches wide, and 16 + 16 + 8 inches long, so 40 inches long.

I used one solid piece of fabric leftover from drapery panels for each pillow, but you could use a piece of an old curtain, tablecloth, or even strips or pieces of old jeans or other sturdy clothing sewn together, or leftover pieces of upholstery from having a chair or couch reupholstered. Be sure to ask for the leftovers since you paid for them anyway!

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
First, press your fabric panel and turn over each short end 1 inch, then 1 inch again and press the folds. Top stitch close to the first fold through all 3 layers of fabric on each end of the panel.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
This is what the short edge will look like after stitching along the first fold.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
Lay fabric right side up and mark the center of one long edge. Place a ruler next to the edge with the 8 inch mark (or half the pillow length) of the ruler at the center mark on the fabric.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
Bring short end from left towards center so fold is on the 16 inch (or pillow length) mark on the ruler.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
Then bring short end from the right towards center so fold is on the zero mark on the ruler.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
The two hemmed short edges will overlap each other by about 2 inches in the center.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
Pin the raw edges. Stitch a 1/2 inch seam along both sides. Do not stitch folded edges.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
Turn pillow cover right side out, using a crochet hook or other object to poke out the corners. Slide pillow form inside one half of the cover.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
Then bring other half of pillow cover over the rest of the pillow form, smoothing out the form and the cover and making sure the corners of the form are in the corners of the cover.

How to Sew a super easy pillow cover
And there you have the absolute easiest pillow cover you will ever sew! One piece of fabric, one pillow form, a little measuring and pinning, four straight lines on the sewing machine, and you're done!

Now that your sewing confidence has been boosted just a bit, head on over to my Good Eggs Giveaway and put your name in the Easter Basket for a chance to win my Petite Point Flowers Spring Table Runner, or the pattern and charms to make your own! The giveaway ends Sunday evening so get hopping or you'll miss it!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Make Do Memories Quilt Complete!

A few weeks ago I showed you some vintage hexagon blocks that Lyn sent me from Australia for her Make Do Memories Miniature Quilt Challenge. You can see how they looked upon arrival by clicking HERE.

My miniature quilt using these vintage blocks is complete and ready for a little show and tell, so keep on reading!

And here it is...what do you think?

Make Do Memories QuiltIt's my own version of a funky looking bouquet of flowers! I loved the diamond shaped block and really wanted to fit it in somehow, so I guess it is something like the vase or the wrapping around the flower stems? I don't really know, but I like the result!

In Lyn's rules for this challenge, we were only allowed to use fabric from our stash, you know, what we already had. So you might recognize the blue and yellow fabrics as leftovers from the tea cozy I made for myself.

The red fabrics are leftover from a crochet hook roll I made for my mother, much like this one I made for myself, only not quite as long and out of all red and white fabrics.

The background behind the 'flowers' is just some unbleached muslin I had leftover from these Christmas stockings I made for a friend last year.

And the white binding and backing fabric is from a very large piece I found on clearance for practically nothing at one of my favorite online fabric shops, but I can't remember which one it was! They are all listed on my sidebar under Other Favorite Links if you would like to check them out.

So there it is, all ready to hang in my sewing room and bring some brightness and cheerful color to my already bright and cheerful little space!

Thanks, Lyn, for challenging me to take a few steps outside my comfort zone and help preserve these old hand stitched blocks so they could be enjoyed for years to come!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good Eggs Giveaway - A Hopping Good Time!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered. Click HERE to see who the lucky winners are.

Bunny Blog Button
It's here! The Good Eggs Giveaway has begun! Sandi from A Legacy of Stitches has assembled 30 Good Eggs over at her Hoppin' Good Eggs blog. You really must stop in and meet each of the Good Eggs who will be giving away Springy things during this fun Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail event. But before you go, check out the prizes you could win here at Hooked On Needles...

Giveaway prize #1
Spring is here!

Giveaway prize #1And so is my very own original design - Petite Point Flowers Spring Table Runner!

Giveaway prize #1Yes, that IS jumbo ric rac! Don't you just love it? And how about that gorgeous fabric? It's Celebrate Spring by Sandy Gervais for Moda.

Giveaway prize #1So Prize #1 from Hooked On Needles will be this very table runner. If you would like to win it, just follow the rules below and cross your fingers!

But if you don't win the finished table runner, perhaps Prize #2 will make you just as happy...

Giveaway prize #2Prize #2 is a copy of my original pattern (which can be purchased HERE if you don't win and would like to have it) PLUS a package of 30 Moda Celebrate Spring charms so you can make your own Petite Point Flowers Spring Table Runner!

What do you need to do for a chance at these prizes? Just follow these simple rules:

  1. For one chance to win, leave a comment on this post telling me what you look forward to most when spring arrives. Make sure you include your email address so I can contact you if you win!
  2. For a second chance to win, become a follower of Hooked On Needles in Google Reader or a friend of Mary Grace McNamara (me!) on Facebook, or wherever your favorite place to follow websites happens to be. I'm also on Twitter as MGMisHooked, so you can follow me there too! Leave another comment telling me you have done this. (BTW, if you want to follow me in Google Reader or on your Blogger Dashboard, you need to click the Add button and add http://www.HookedOnNeedles.com. I don't have a handy Follow Me button {sad face} for my side bar!)
  3. For a third chance to win, share this giveaway and a link to this post with your readers by blogging about it or sharing it on your Facebook wall or tweeting with a link. Leave another comment telling me you have done this.
  4. Please make sure I can contact you through your blog or email, so if you never get replies to comments you leave, then you must include your email address in your comment. If your name is drawn and I cannot email you, I will draw another name!
The drawing will be held on Monday, March 29th and the winners of both prizes will be announced that day. The first name drawn will win the table runner and the second name drawn will win the pattern and charms. I will use random.org to pick two random numbers, then I will count down that many numbers in the comment list to choose the winners. Now you see why you must leave a separate comment for each chance!

Now be a Good Egg and enter my giveaway, then Hop Down the Bunny Trail to all the other Good Eggs and enter their giveaways too! The Easter Bunny might just hop on over to your house with lots of fun spring prizes!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hand Knit Baby Sweater added to For Sale page!

Here's a little (and I mean little) hand knit baby sweater for the tiniest new member of your family! It's a lovely spring sweater in soft pastels and white, made with machine wash and dry acrylic baby yarn. This darling little sweater was hand knit by me in my smoke-free, pet-free home and features raglan sleeves and tiny little white buttons down the front.

Take a look and see how sweet it is...

Hand Knit Baby SweaterWouldn't your new baby look so sweet and cozy in this at Easter?

Hand Knit Baby SweaterDepending on the size of the baby, of course, this sweater would fit a newborn up to about 3 months of age.

Hand Knit Baby SweaterDon't you just love the colors? So soft and sweet!

Hand Knit Baby SweaterSo pop over to my For Sale page and see this and other handmade goodies. You just never know what you'll find on that page!

And don't forget to come back here tomorrow for the beginning of the Good Egg giveaway! The prizes will surely help you get into the spirit of Spring!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Memento Handcrafted Keepsakes

Memento Banner
My friend Gail is, among many other things, quite a talented quilter. I've known Gail since I was in high school, which means a long time! Our lives have crossed paths in many different ways over the years. One of which was that her second oldest daughter was my oldest daughter's 8th grade teacher for whom this quilt was made quite a few years ago.

Well now we've crossed paths once again in a very quilty, crafty way and I'm very excited about it. Check out the class that Gail is offering next month. You might recognize the project that will be featured...it's my spring table runner!

Petite Point Flowers Spring Table Runner

While you're there, be sure to click around and see what other fun things Gail has to offer. If you live in the area, Gail offers classes and open sew times to work on those projects that you might need a little help with. She also provides useful tips on quilting and her Quilting 101 class is great for beginners. You can also click on her Facebook button and follow her there for updates to her class schedule and timely tips too.

If you like that table runner and would enjoy having it on your Easter table next month, be sure to come back on Wednesday for the opening of the Good Eggs Giveaway where you will be able to Hop Down the Bunny Trail of over 30 websites offering wonderful spring prizes. I'll be offering my table runner and a surprise second prize too! See you then!

Happy Stitching!

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Fun Fabric Shopping for a Friend

A few weeks ago, I visited a quilt shop with my friend Kerry who had asked me to make her a purse. She picked out lovely fabric and I have finally had a chance to work with it. Today I'll just share a peek at the fabric, but soon I'll show you the finished product which I hope Kerry will like.

Rouenneries by French General for Moda fabricKerry is into reds right now, and there was a display of these Moda fabrics just inside the door. I've seen French General popping up everywhere lately, even on the face of Karen's clock!

Rouenneries by French General for Moda fabricThe floral with the red background is beautiful, but that paisley-like fabric underneath is just gorgeous!

Wiscasset by Minick & Simpson for Moda fabricTo go with the two French General fabrics, Kerry also picked out the red dot fabric from the Wiscasset line by Polly Minick and Lauri Simpson for Moda. The little beige swirly designs look like tiny paisley shapes, and each red dot actually has a star inside it.

So that is what I had to work with to make a custom purse for Kerry. Stay tuned to see how it turned out!

Also don't forget that the Good Eggs Giveaway event will be starting on Wednesday, March 24 where you will be able to sign up to win my Petite Point Flowers Spring Table Runner or a surprise Prize #2 which I will announce at the opening of the giveaway. There will also be about 30 other websites offering prizes in this fun Hoppin' Along the Bunny Trail event, so you won't want to miss it!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Embroidery

Happy St. Patrick's Day to any readers who are Irish, and even to all who are not! That would include me despite my very Irish name!

Today I thought I'd share with you some embroidery I did many years ago for some Irish Step Dancing dresses. If you are interested in reading about my work in that area, you can check out this post from a few years ago and follow the links there that will lead you to many dresses I sewed and embroidered, and also to a tutorial on the method I used to embroider on velvet.

Now on to some Irish Embroidery eye candy...

Irish flag chain stitch embroidery

Brook and Bridget's dresses

Bridget's belt

One Katie's Hand Embroidered Irish Step Dancing Dress

One Katie's Hand Embroidered Irish Step Dancing Dress

One Katie's Hand Embroidered Irish Step Dancing Dress

One Katie's Hand Embroidered Irish Step Dancing Dress

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Stitching!

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