Hooked on Needles

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheep Talk for Elizabeth

Here's the fabric George the mailman brought the other day from Connecting Threads. It's called Cheep Talk, and it is what my oldest daughter chose for the super cool cinch sack I am making for her from my own original design. It's so stinking cute, I almost can't stand it! Take a look...

Cheep Talk fabric from Connecting ThreadsThe striped fabric actually has an orange stripe above the blue and green birds, but here the fabric is folded so that the next blue stripe is there. When I show you the finished bag, you'll see what I was experimenting with. So this striped fabric and the green fabric will be the outside of the bag, and the light blue fabric on the left will be the lining.

Cheep Talk fabric from Connecting ThreadsEven the selvage has the cute little birds on it! I'm keeping this one for some something someday!

This Cheep Talk line of fabric has 18 different designs in it and they are all so cute and bright and fresh. If you haven't had a chance yet to check out Connecting Threads, pop over there and take a peek at Cheep Talk and their other lines. You won't be disappointed!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lovely Package from Paula

George the mailman has been very good to me the past few days. Yesterday he delivered a package from Connecting Threads with the bargain of the century and some fabric I'll be using to make a bag for my daughter. I'll show you that another time.

Today he brought a box from not very far away and in it was a wonderful selection of goodies from Paula's Fabulous Floss giveaway. Look at all the goodies she sent me...

Paula's Fabulous Floss Giveaway PrizeInside that decorated tote bag was a pair of Fiskars folding scissors, a package of needles, two little needle books and a pattern from Cinderberry Stitches.

Paula's Fabulous Floss Giveaway PrizeInside the pattern package were three lovely pieces of fabric and beautiful floss to make the needle wallet pattern. Natalie Lymer is one of my favorite Australian designers and her needlework patterns are just so darn cute.

Paula's Fabulous Floss Giveaway PrizePaula must have sensed some kind of bad folding scissor vibe from me when she picked out this little gem. I've had a little pair of folding scissors for pretty close to forever which I keep on my little table next to my chair where I do my handwork in the evenings. Let's just say it has seen better days, and now that I have this one, I think the old one will be given a proper burial. The needles and little needle books will come in handy too.

Isn't that a nice prize? That wasn't all she sent either. There was a little bundle of chocolates included which didn't quite make it to the photo shoot! Unfortunately everyone else was home when I opened the box. Yum!

Thanks so much, Paula, for all the goodies!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

My Etsy Shop is now OPEN!

Well I have finally done it! I opened my own Etsy shop! Stop in and check it out! Share it with your friends! I'll add more items as they become available, but right now I have a few handmade items and my table runner pattern available as a PDF file which means no postage and no waiting for the mailman!

I've been a busy beaver this past week, working on a commissioned project that was delivered this morning but I cannot show it to you! It's a gift for a local lady who is retiring and you just never know who is lurking out there, checking out my projects and things! I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise. You can be sure I'll share it with you just as soon as I can though!

Summer Solstice Teal Fabric - Gorgeous!The other item I am excited about sharing is the bag I designed and made for RJR Fabric's It's All In The Bag contest featuring their Summer Solstice fabric line. It's gorgeous and was so fun to work with! I made my contest entry using the teal line of fabric which you see above with some lovely ribbons I found to match, and I made another one just like it only in the pink line which I am going to give away after I post my entry. I'll also have a surprise second prize in the giveaway so this is one you really won't want to miss! I think these prizes will be sufficient bribery material to secure your vote for my bag in the contest, don't you?

My relaxing-in-the-evening knitting project is coming very close to being finished. It's the Pink Fluffy Cable Poncho that I started almost two months ago. I completed the first panel and only have three more repeats of the pattern left before I finish the second panel. Then the easy part - sewing the panels together and making the fringe. Woo hoo! I can tell just by looking at the panels that this poncho will never fit my little girly girl Grace when the cool weather comes back around in the fall, so this pretty little item will end up in my Etsy shop too. It will make some little girly girl very happy, and cozy too!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cheerful Pillowcases

After making the Stripes and Blocks quilt top, backing and binding, I had enough fabric leftover to make two matching pillowcases using the super cool pattern I got from Connecting Threads.

Aren't these just so happy and cheerful?


PillowcasesI should be hearing back from Kathryn about my quilt top sometime in the next couple weeks. I'm so excited to see it quilted since it is my first one being done professionally. Then I'll just have to bind it and make arrangements to deliver it. Can't wait!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Summer Solstice Fat Quarters for a new project!

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you may already be aware of the event RJR Fabrics is hosting called It's All In The Bag. This is a fun contest using their new Summer Solstice line of fabric where you make whatever kind of bag you want, then post pictures of it and get all your friends (and other people too) to vote for it as the best bag! Cool fabric, bag making, how could I resist?

So I went on the hunt for fabric and look what I found...

Summer Solstice Fat QuartersThis eight-fat-quarter bundle of Summer Solstice fabric has four from the pink line and four from the teal line and are they ever gorgeous in person! Hawthorne Threads had a few bundles in stock and, as usual, provided awesome service when I ordered from them.

After working up a prototype bag of a new design I have been wanting to make, I chose 4 of these luscious fat quarters and made my official bag for the contest. I won't tell you exactly what it is, but I'll give you a hint...in making this bag, I used up 4 entire fat quarters and, not counting squaring them up, only one cut was made. Ok, one more hint...besides the 4 fat quarters, the only other materials needed to make my bag were thread, fusible fleece which is optional and 5 yards of ribbon.

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished product, and of course my shameless plea for your vote! The pattern for this bag will also be made available so you can make your own. I just know you'll want to!

But wait, there's more!

Tweet Tweet FlannelWhile poking around the Hawthorne Threads site before placing my order, I found this piece of flannel that I just couldn't pass up. It's Tweet Tweet by Hoffman.

Tweet Tweet FlannelIsn't it darling? No plans for it at the moment, but I am sure it will end up being one side of a very cozy baby blanket for some special little baby.

If you like making bags, go check out RJR Fabrics on Facebook, or friend me and click through to the event from my page. There's still time and, besides, it would be fun!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Ruth made herself a Tote Bag!

Ruth from Ruth's Needlework made a tote bag recently using my Tote Bag Tutorial, and she sent me pictures of it. I think it turned out just great, and I just love that paisley fabric she used...

Ruth's awesome tote bagRuth even separated the outside pocket to hold her boarding pass when she travels. Great idea to customize it for your own needs!

Ruth's awesome tote bagWow, that's a lot of stuff! Good thing this bag has lots of pockets!

Ruth's awesome tote bagThe green paisley and green plaid look great with the solid brown. Nice job Ruth, and thanks so much for sharing your creation!

If you'd like to see other tote bags I've made using this same design or modified versions of it, you can click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. Whew! I didn't realize I had made so many tote bags!

And speaking of bags, I will be working on my own design of a new bag this week and hopefully will have some pictures to share soon. Did I mention I love bags?

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hand Pieced Celtic Quilt

Does anyone actually hand piece or hand quilt their quilts anymore? Seems that the 'hand' part of this type of handwork is more and more giving way to the instant gratification of machine pieced, even machine appliquéd, and then machine quilted quilts. Please don't get me wrong though. I am the first one in line when it comes to zipping my strips with my rotary cutter and straight edge, zipping them through my sewing machine, and then, as I mentioned recently, my first experience with dropping it off at the longarm quilter to be machine quilted. I am a huge fan of this sort of instant gratification! But I can see the pleasure and the sense of accomplishment one would receive from a long term project of carefully hand piecing and hand quilting an item too. Just don't ask me to do it myself!

Today I'd like to show you a piece that my own sister has been working on for quite some time. You've met her here before. She's the oldest in our family of 8, my sister the Sister as my husband likes to call her, and the recipient of the Black Tote Bag, the Black Crocheted Wrap, the Black and White Pin Cushion Bag, the Little White Crocheted Rosary Case with Blue Beads, all of which you have seen here before. But if you want to see them again, just click on the colored words and you'll be linked right over to see those items.

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltThis is the centerpiece of the quilt, a huge Celtic cross with Celtic designs quilted in the center and on the four ends. This design is a heart with intertwining circles on each side. Can you see it?

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltHere you can see more of the quilt and where she is working right now. Also in the picture is her handy little pin cushion bag that she just loves using for this project. The cross is appliquéd onto the green background fabric, and then she is quilting the designs on it using green thread.

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltThe side and bottom panels of this quilt are in the double Irish chain design, and you may notice that she fussy cut each of the little squares with the roses in them before hand stitching them together with the white and green fabrics. Also notice that the small squares are not much bigger than the top of her spools of thread, and each perfectly pieced!

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltThe little pink strips outlining the center of the quilt are also on the edges. There is just a touch of pink in the little roses running down the middle of the Irish chain. These colors and fabrics are a little dated, but remember she has been working on this for a really long time!

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltAnd here you can see at the bottom of the cross she is working the Celtic design using a double row of stitching to give a little more weight and detail to the lower part of this piece.

If I am still sharing my handwork with you here at Hooked On Needles when she finally finishes this quilt, you can be sure that I will show you the finished piece! But keep in mind, we are both getting old, so she better hurry up!

Another of my sisters is also quite a talented quilter and has recently finished one that she also hand pieced and hand quilted. I am hoping that she will send me pictures of it soon so I can share it with you.

Do you get inspired by seeing what other people are working on? I certainly do!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stripes and Blocks - an original quilt design

Here's a peek at my Stripes and Blocks quilt design, put together using the fabric sent to me by Myra and Cori of Blue Meadow Designs. I was also able to make the backing and binding and two super cool pillow cases with what they sent me, so it was a very generous package.

Stripes and Blocks - an original quilt pattern
Stripes and Blocks - an original quilt pattern
Stripes and Blocks - an original quilt patternI brought this project to a professional longarm quilter yesterday, and she is going to work her magic with it on her fabulously awesome machine. As soon as I get it back and have time to bind the edges, I'll show you the finished piece.

I'm very excited about bringing this and the matching pillowcases (which I'll share with you soon) to the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network here in Leominster. It's wonderful work they do for families in need.

Last night I delivered Kerry's purse to her. She had already heard from someone else who follows my site that it was finished and how nice it looked. Kerry was pretty excited to see it for herself, and I think it's safe to say she liked it!

Now down to the sewing room to cut out blocks of delicious white Moda broadcloth for a retirement gift memory quilt I've been asked to make. Oooooh, Moda! Yummy!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Kerry's Finished Purse

A few weeks ago I showed that gorgeous French General fabric purchased by Kerry for something she wanted me to make for her. That something is finished and ready to be delivered to her this week, and I'm ready to show it to you too!

Any guesses as to what it might be? If you guessed a bag, you would be correct! This is no ordinary bag though. It's a bag of my own original design, made with Kerry's specifications in mind. I searched for bag patterns with two sections on the inside, not just pockets, but two separate sections, but with no luck. So I started thinking and stewing and figuring in my head until I came up with my own design which I am almost entirely pleased with. A bit more tweaking and I will be ready to write up the pattern and offer it here at Hooked On Needles so you can make your own.

Take a look...

Kerry's bag has four generously sized pockets on the outside, deep enough so that the contents will not spill out, but not so deep that you cannot reach the bottom.

A strap with a swivel hook comes down long enough to hold your clipped keys inside one of the pockets.

On the inside, you can see a little strap with a D-ring attached to it for clipping your cellphone or other accessory for easy retrieval. Here you can also see the two separate sections of the inside, divided by a convenient zipper pocket right down the middle. These two sections are completely separate and closed off from each other along the bottoms and sides so your things cannot magically migrate from one to the other.

The zipper pocket is a generous size and sturdily made to hold all sorts of personal items. You can also see the magnetic closure that holds the top of the bag shut.

The boxed bottom of this bag ensures that it will hold lots of stuff and sit firmly on its bottom. The straps on this bag are longer than your average two handled purse straps, but not super long...just right for either hanging it off your arm comfortably or slinging it over your shoulder.

The Moda fabric Kerry chose for this bag was such a pleasure to work with and I love the colors and patterns in it. Kerry will be seeing her new bag for the first time Wednesday evening, so I'll let you know how she likes it after that. Once I perfect the pattern, you will certainly hear about it right here!

The migration went pretty well, but we are noticing missing pictures every now and then. This is something my very favorite computer guy is investigating and hopes to have resolved soon. In the meantime, you should be able to click where any missing picture should be to see a bigger version. Oddly enough, that part seems to work!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter to you!

On this beautiful spring day as we celebrate the great feast of Easter, I'd like to share with you a few pictures from Easters past. This is also a test to see how the migration away from FTP worked out. Please let me know if you see anything different or strange on this post or others at Hooked On Needles. If all went well, you should not notice any difference at all.

Easter Lamb Cake
Easter eggs
Easter eggs
Easter eggs
Easter Basket Cake

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Migrating, but not south!

This is not an April Fool's day joke...I wish it were!

As some of you may know, after May 1st Blogger will no longer be supporting sites that are published using FTP. Hooked On Needles is currently published using FTP so, just like those noisy geese in the fall, we must migrate in order to survive! This fun little adventure will be happening this weekend, and as long as everything goes as planned, we will be back up and running without even so much as a hiccup by early next week. So if you are looking for Hooked On Needles and can't seem to find us, just know that we're on our little journey and should return to our same old location within a few days.

You will still be able to reach me by email ( HookedOnNeedles at gmail dot com ) or on Facebook if you have any questions or just want to say hi.

Wish us luck! See you on the other side!

Happy Stitching!

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