Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh my! What have I done?

Oh, my goodness...what came over me? Whatever possessed me? Did I really just do this.....



bought one of these.....




Yup, I surely did! (Sorry, I should have warned you to sit down before giving you such a shock.) Yes, the woman who professes to hate sharp needles and claims she can't sew, finally broke down and bought herself an early Christmas gift! It seemed a good idea at the time! (I blame all my fellow bloggers who can create the most amazing things using these scary contraptions...you know who you are.) As I stood there in the store pretending that I knew what I was looking at, reading all the boxes as if I were making an educated choice as to which machine would serve my purpose best, I was just hoping and praying that no-one would ask my advice (or even ask anything!) as then my whole pretense of being a knowledgeable shopper would come crashing down!

So I came rushing home with all these wonderful ideas in my head of what I would be able to whip up with  my new toy. I could make Christmas ornaments, cushion covers, heck I could even start quilting...the sky's the limit, there's no stopping me now! So I get home, open the box, gasp at the thickness of the instruction manual, but undaunted charge on....I will conquer this...and then I realized....I'd  forgotten  to buy some thread! Duh!

So, after a second trip to the store this is what I made...


Ok, so a drawstring bag isn't exactly heirloom quilting but it's a start!
So let me tell you about these little bags...they are from Santa. So have you been naughty or nice? If you have been naughty, then you know that Santa will bring you a bag of coal. How many times have you threatened that (or been threatened with that!)? I know I have used that threat many a time! So now you can actually follow through with that threat! Bags of coal from Santa! Don't worry though, you're not going to break anyone's heart or have to pay for years of therapy because you scarred someone for life....these bags are filled with candy! Can you imagine these little bags under your Christmas tree or in someone's Christmas stocking?Wouldn't they make awesome classroom gifts or party favors? Even adults would chuckle at these little gifts. They make great inexpensive and fun gifts for co-workers too. Why should the kids have all the fun?!!

Here's a closer look at each of the bags and the designs. The first one is for those people who hate sewing, you can stitch up the design and cut it to size and attach it to a pre-made felt bag that you can buy from most stores.


I used some little red buttons to attach the stitching. I thought it made the whole thing pop!

Then using my new toy I whipped up some drawstring bags. Actually it was more like aerobics as I had to keep jumping up from the sewing machine and dash through to the computer to follow the instructions that I had googled!

The first one, from the North Pole Coal Company, has a string on the outside...


The last one, from the Santa Claus Coal company, is a basic drawstring bag...


The charts for the designs for Santa's bag of coal can be found here  under the Christmas section, and the instruction for making the bag will be under the 'Project of the Month' (that's still on my to-do list!)

Anyway, aren't they adorable? And can you guess what my kids are getting for Christmas?  lol

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TUSAL

Although I feel like I have done lots of stitching, there really isn't that much in the orts jar this month...guess I must have been more economical  (or should that be frugal?!!) with the thread!

Here the collection for this month.....


And  here's this months collection with the total year's collection...


Who would have guessed that you could 'collect' so many orts in one year! I have read that some people save their orts and then use them to stuff biscornus, which I thought was a rather good idea.  Any other suggestion? Do let me know!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bits 'n' bobs

Well last week was one of 'those' weeks. You know the type....nothing goes right and you feel like you're running around like a headless chicken. It was so manic that I didn't even get time to update my blog...or get around to reading and commenting on anyone else's blog. So this week is going to be a kind of catch up with all the little bits that have been left unfinished ...including some stitching projects.

So the first 'bit' is that I have had my Samurai framed. And here he is...


I was really pleased with how it came out with regard to the matts and the frame. I chose two different shades of green for the matts and they are very close to the greens in the tree.

As some of you may remember, this was supposed to be an anniversary present for my hubby but since I didn't get it finished in time it then became a Christmas gift.... last year!  Ah well, better late than never eh?!!And if I do say so myself, it was worth waiting for!

And my second 'bit' would be the follow up to the Christmas stitching - you remember the one with the metallic threads? Here it is made up in to a card. I had a really hard time trying to photograph this so that the metallics sparkled the way they do in real life.

It doesn't look very sparkly, does it?

Here it is again from a different angle.

Still not sparkly!

This is about as sparkly a picture as I could get.


It's such a shame as it is really beautiful. It's stitched on a very pale sage green coloured aida called 'Light Seafoam'  (the middle picture is about the closest to being the correct colour) and the metallics thread is DMC Jewel Effects E135. The nice thing about this design is that it could be stitched using different coloured fabrics and threads for a very different and dramatic look. Can you imagine it on black aida with gold metallic thread...how christmassy would that be?!!

I'm trying to pluck up my courage and make it into an ornament, but as you know, that would involve some sewing with sharp needles. For the record....sharp needles are not my idea of fun!

And for my last 'bit' (or should the last one be the 'bob'?!!)

Here's a delicious calorie free cupcake!


I decided to do a couple of things differently with this design. First, I decided to make the card a top fold - for no particular reason other than I wanted to make it like that! Secondly, I decided to use some slightly more masculine colours for the card. The browns and blues were already in the design so worked wonderfully. Made using these colours, this would be a great card to give to either a male or a female, and we all know how hard it is to get designs for males! For the sprinkles on the cupcake, you could easily use up all those little odds and ends of threads you have in your thread box.

Or......
Use some coloured seed beads! 

The charts for these designs are available here at my website.

So here's wishing you all a week (not just a day!) sprinkled with fun!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Three Little Words


The three words most people want to hear are, of course, ‘I love you’. It is often said that these words aren’t spoken enough. However, there are another three words that are definitely said too much – ‘You have cancer.’ These are the words that no-one wants to hear. Cancer is a particularly cruel disease striking anyone at any age. I once read an article by a woman who had cancer and she very eloquently described her cancer as a thief, robbing her of hope, dignity and self-esteem. Too often, this thief may steal life too.  Breast cancer is no exception. Every thirteen minutes a woman will die from breast cancer. That is a terrible statistic. Think of all the women in your life…mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends, co-workers etc . How would your life be without one of these women? But we can do something about this. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and you will, no doubt, have noticed all the pink ribbons popping up to remind everyone. Every year I do something to help one of the Breast Cancer charities and this year is no exception. I am passionate about helping these charities as I know how devastating the effect breast cancer can have on the whole family.  I have designed a charity pack of four card designs and a mouse mat. All proceeds from the sale of this chart pack will be donated to the Susan G Komen foundation. You can see the designs here at my website.

So, on to the stitching...here is one of the card designs.



I thought the cards would be easy to make and give to someone who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. I don’t know about you, but I can’t always put in to words what I'm feeling and say what’s in my heart, especially when someone is facing a battle with cancer. These cards say everything and more…they show you care.
Two of the card designs can be used for other types of cancer since they don’t have the word ‘pink’ in them.  Just change the colours to match the ribbon colour for that particular cancer. I stitched one of them up using lavender coloured threads (all cancers.)



These cards would also be great to stitch for somebody who has helped raise breast cancer awareness. Lots of people join in organized walks, marathons or other fund raising events. These would be a great way to say thank you to them for their efforts.



Now you may be wondering why I did a mouse mat in this set. Well, breast cancer doesn’t just strike in October when we are being reminded about having check-ups etc. Having the mouse mat there on your desk every day will remind you and your loved ones to be vigilant throughout the year and have those ‘pesky’ check-ups. I know it’s been said before, but the life they could save may be your own!

So together, let’s help raise funds for treatments and ultimately a cure for breast cancer. I’m a great believer in the phrase ‘every little bit helps’, so treat yourself to the chart and know that your ‘little bit’ will be doing some good too! Let’s help those doctors utter the three words every cancer patient and their families want to hear… “You are cured!”

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona



Monday, October 3, 2011

Waddling straight to your heart!


Isn’t it great when you get a design that can do double duty? By ‘double duty’ I mean it can be used for more than one thing or occasion.

This cute little penguin design can do just that….and steal your heart too!



Isn’t she adorable?
This little penguin is wrapped up against the cold, but is sure to bring the warmth of the season to who ever you stitch her for.
She’s from the new release here. Just look for the Woolly Jumper Penguins page!

There are two sets of these penguins to choose from with eight different penguins per set. In the first set, the penguins are wearing their pastel coloured winter woollies. (This little cutie is from this set.) For those who love non-traditional colours for Christmas, this is the set for you. In the second set, the penguins are bundled up in bright bold coloured clothing which also includes the more traditional Christmas colours of reds and greens.

And here’s where the double duty comes in… by using the greetings such as ‘With Love’, ‘Penguin Wishes’ or ‘Just For You’ (which come with the charts) these designs can be used for either Christmas cards or birthday cards! Wouldn’t these designs make wonderful birthday cards for those people who have winter birthdays? Swap the greeting round to make the cards just as YOU want them!


To make the card, I used the colours that were in the stitching and got some similar coloured card stock. I wanted the card to be quite soft and feminine so I picked lilacs and pinks for the card. I ended up using a very thin border of black card between the lilac and pink to kind of sharpen it all up. It really worked well as there was quite a bit of black in the design. Here's a close up picture of the card colours and the frayed edging.

I always use iron-on interfacing on the back of my stitching so that the colour of the card underneath doesn’t shine through, although in this card, it might not have mattered as the pink is quite pale. I also frayed the edge of the stitching by one square. I think it gives a nice finish to the card. All that’s left now is to decide what to write inside and who to give it to!

Until next time…happy stitching!

Rhona