Sewing, Mail and Knitting! Oh MY!

This week has been a lovely week… Quiet and peaceful… I have been knitting and sewing and enjoying the days so much….

I made a little dress for my little friend Savannah Draper who is going on 4 years old and is my neighbor…. the pattern was super easy and I found it on Etsy for only a few dollars… it has many sizes and is very well designed… the Etsy shop is The Freckled Pear, the dress pattern is the Mayla Dress…My Bernina 770QE sailed through this project!

I had some seersucker fabric in my stash and it has now found it’s life in a cute dress for a little girl…

I ordered some gorgeous faux leather from Emmaline Bags and a one yard piece of fabric that I think will be a pouch or bag… the fabric is a bright and vibrant peacock feather print and the Mora faux leathers I ordered are yummy grades of teal and blue and plumb…. I know I’ll have fun with this one!!!

I have really made progress on my Kaw Valley Wrap this week and have one whole panel finished and am on the second section of the second panel… I plan to block both panels when they are done and joined and then I’ll start on the lace edging… this is such a rewarding project…
At first I thought it would take me most of the summer but I think I will have it done before mid summer easily…. love this gorgeous yarn and pattern!

I hope you are all having a good week and a Happy Mother’s Day!

May 2021 Block Of The Month

Bernina Group BOM Block 5

For this month’s block, we are not focusing on any new skill builder techniques but we are revisiting methods from previous blocks as a refresher of what we have learned so far… this is an easy month so make lots of this block and make a table cloth or runner in your favorite fabrics… this will go fast!

Remember in Block 1 last January how we made flying geese four at a time using the square sewn method… this month we are going to make the triangles for our block using the same method…

you will need three fabrics, two prints and one back ground fabric which can be print or solid…

Cutting:
Cut one square from print A, 7-1/4 by 7-1/4 inches….

Cut one square from print B, 7-1/4 by 7-1/4 inches…

and finally from the back ground fabric, cut 8 squares 3-7/8 by 3-7/8 inches…

On all 8 of the 3-7/8 inch background squares, draw a line on the wrong side of the fabric, corner to corner diagonally… stitch a background square to each opposite corner of one of your 7-1/4 print squares and sew 1/4 inch on EACH SIDE of the line… cut apart and stitch one more back ground square to the last corner of the large square on each half… press toward the back ground fabric… these rectangles should measure 3-1/2 by 6-1/2 so square them up if need be… now assemble your block in any color way you like and enjoy!

your block should measure 12-1/2 by 12-1/2.. See you next month for Block 6…

March Block Of The Month


Bernina Groups Block Of The Month Block 3

For this month’s block, we need four fabrics, a background and three other fabrics that contrast enough to make a bright cheery block…

The photo with this document will help I hope to get your fabrics in the order you want… you need the center square, and then the double strip middle on all four sides and you will need to cut the four 2 1/2 squares for the corner pieces from the same fabric your “inner” strip is for the
wagon wheel to show up…

so here is the cutting you will need to do…

Cut 1 square 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for center patch
Cut 2 strips 2 1/2″ x 18″, one of each of the coordinating fabrics. You will need 18″ for the blocks so you may want to cut it just a little longer.
Cut 4 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for corner square in a square patches
Cut 12 white or background squares 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
Cut 4 squares 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ from the same fabric you are using for the inside strip…
constructing the block…(follow the video too)

Sew the two 2 1/2″ x 18″ strips together. Press seam to the dark side or to the outside of block. Cut sewn stripe into 4 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. Set aside.

This, is your skill builder for this block….the Corner squares are small Square in a Square Blocks! There is a little waste in this block by this method but you will love the way your blocks come together. No wavy sides! First draw a diagonal line on the 12 background squares and the 4 small print squares with marking tool of your choice. On these blocks, I definitely would take the time to draw the lines. With your half-square triangles you can use guides like tape on your machine to follow instead of drawing all those lines, but then you usually true up and trim down your squares. We want these perfect as can be to begin with!

you will of course make four, one for each corner and then assemble the whole block in thirds…

follow the video and have fun with this block!

2021 BOM January Block

January Block of The Month Tutorial…
This first video is quite long, so please watch the entire video before you begin… the future month’s videos will not be this long, it’s just that I had to include more info for beginners and to get our quilt going… click the blue link below to access the video tutorial…
Bernina Group BOM quilt block number 1 January…
Fabric requirements:
Finished quilt measurement as pictured is 65″x 65″
Finished Block size is 12″ x 12″( 12 1/2 by 12 1/2 unfinished)
Background – 2 7/8 yards if you want to put your blocks on point as shown (2 1/8 yards if don’t). If you choose a different fabric for the corner/border blocks you will need 1 1/8 yards for those large triangles.
You can use a layer cake but you will still need about 1.5 yards of scraps or about 15, 16 fat quarters…
1 Yard for the Sashing ( Red in photo)
1/4 yard for the Squares in the Sashing (green in photo)
5/8 yard for binding
If you want to add a wide outer border, you will need fabric for that as well…
then you will need batting and backing….
___________________________________________________________________________________________
Block 1 or January Block …..
.
Flying Geese Squares cut 2 squares measuring 5.25″ square
Flying Geese background fabric Squares cut 8 squares measuring 2 7/8″ square
Center square cut one 4.5″ square
side rectangle pieces, cut 4 rectangles measuring 2.5″ x 4.5″
Side background rectangles cut 4 measuring 2.5″ x 4.5″
I used cotton poly thread, an Organ 65/9 sharp needle, my 37D foot, single hole or zero mm stitch plate….
I sprayed terial magic on my fabric and pressed to get a nice crisp finish… you can use best press or niagra spray sizing or what ever will give you a good well starched fabric…
For the embroidery, I used a fusible poly mesh on the back of the center of my block and hooped a mid wt tear away… I used 40 weight embroidery thread on top and 60 weight bobbin thread…
I did not change any settings or tensions throughout this project…
here is the design I used… I reduced it to 3 1/4 inches by 3 5/16 inches in Embrilliance software…
https://www.embroiderys.com/vintage-sewing-machine-redwork-embroidery-designs/
you can use any design you would like as long as the size is approximate and can be adjusted to fit the center block square….
fusible poly mesh stabilizer and mid weight tear away are available from OESD…
Have fun, ask any questions and post photos!
Have fun with this block!

2021 Block Of The Month Quilt

This is just a fun idea I had to help us all get past the long winter months and confines of covid and I hope you enjoy this little mystery quilt BOM…

There are twelve blocks and each block is 12 inches finished and they are all set on point… there are some fun techniques to learn and this is a way to use up scraps if you wish….

So here we go with block number one…the video is a bit long but it has most of the info you need to be successful in getting started and actually finishing your quilt…I will take you all the way from piecing the blocks to setting, quilting and binding your quilt…

Let’s get started on a great adventure together…

Let’s Make A Cute Project Bag

Project bags have become all the rage in the past year or so and are very helpful in organizing small or large projects such as cross stitch and quilting, any kind of hand work or just a place to put sewing supplies if you are traveling to class or a retreat…
No matter what you use them for, project bags are a lot of fun to make and are so useful when finished… enjoy!

Keepin Yur Needles Safe!

My last blog post was a tutorial on stitching an ITH ( in the hoop) project that was partially done in the hoop and then finished up on the sewing machine….

This weeks post is a tutorial on a really cute little needle organizer made entirely in the hoop…

Sometimes I am in the middle of one project and have to take a temporary detour and patch jeans real quick or put in a hem or something that requires a different size needle… so I needed a place to put my used (but not used up) needle while I stitch with a different size needle… this little organizer is perfect….

have fun with this one… I used cork and just regular quilting cotton to make this handy organizer…

This design is found at Stitchsoup.com here is the link…https://www.stitchsoup.com/collections/in-the-hoop-projects/products/needle-organizer

Some Bunny To Love, ITH

In The Hoop Project

An in the hoop embroidery project means a project will be applique’d or embroidered in the hoop… some ITH projects are done entirely in the hoop and some are done partially in the hoop and then finished on the sewing machine.

ITH designs are easy and fun and you just sit and watch your embroidery machine construct the project for you!

This project is an ITH design from Sweet Pea… it comes in two sizes and in this video I am making the larger size.

I’m using cotton fabrics, thermolamb fleece, cotton thread and Embroidery thread…I have a 90/14 needle in the machine and I am using Vilene water soluable stabilizer…

I printed off the PDF file that was in the design file I downloaded and simply followed the steps…

There are many many different kinds of ITH designs, even quilt blocks!

Have fun!

Part 1

Part 2

Don’t Be Afraid! Using The BSR!

Bernina has a wonderful foot you can purchase, ( mine came with my machine) that will actually make your free motion quilting look more professional than you can even imagine! The stitches will be exactly the same distance apart and all you have to do is move the fabric!

I’m sharing this little tutorial for you to see how easy it is and to encourage you to give this foot a try…

Have fun sewing today

Make A Machine Embroidered Greeting Card

Did you know there are design files you can purchase that are greeting cards? Well, there sure are! You can use your embroidery machine to create lovely greeting cards of any kind….❤️

Materials needed….

cut away stabilizer ( to fit oval hoop)

3/16 wide double stick permanent tape

Card Stock in your choice of color, texture ect…

rulers and rotory cutter and scissors

Two colors of embroidery thread in your choice…

60 weight bobbin thread

a 65/9 universal needle

I used design number 12557-22 Valentine’s Card from OESD

https://www.embroideryonline.com/products/designs/non-licensed-individual-designs/Valentines-Card1/

I used https://www.greetingsisland.com/ to design and print the inside message on my card

print off the pdf file in the zip folder that you dowload when you purchase your design and follow the steps … I have a video below to help you too….

Have fun and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Luxe Fleece Neck Warmer

Lots of fun and warm too!

Luxe Fleece Embroidered Neck Warmer

You can use regular fleece or any fabric with similar stretch…

I used design M23263 from Embroidery Library

You will need three colors of thread if you use this design

You will need sticky back tear away stabilizer

You will need cut away stabilizer

regular sewing thread to finish

Due to the thickness of the luxe fleece I did not use my high tension yellow bobbin… I just used my regular black bobbin and filled it with 60 wt. bobbin thread…

Cut the fleece 12 by 22 with the most stretch going the 22 inch length… measure in from the left end 8 inches and then six inches up to find center and put a pin … this is the center of your design…

Hoop the sticky back tear away stabilizer, burp the hoop and take off the paper … fold the fleece lengthwise with right sides together and lay on the stabilizer so the pin is in the center of the hoop and use your top and bottom center hoop markings to line up the fleece and lightly press down …unfold and press the other side…

Load your design… I rotated my design just a little bit to make the rose sit in an upright position…

float the cut away under your hoop, lay the wss stabilizer on top of your fleece..stitch a basting box and stitch out your design…

when finished, remove basting stitches, cut the cut away close to stitching being careful and remove wss from top.

fold neck warmer lengthwise rst. stitch using 1/2 inch seam…

finger press seam open… reach in and without twisting, grab the other end of the seam and pull through to match the lengthwise seam ends… stitch a few inches leaving an opening to turn the neck warmer right side out and close the opening using a ladder stitch…

the lengthwise seam goes down the center of the neck warmer and the end seam is center back…

Have fun!

Needle Eyes And What They See…

If you are seeing loops, or skipped stitches in your embroidery or sewing projects or having thread breakage, it might be your needle…Using the correct needle and correct stabilizer, sewing at a reasonable speed, and knowing the requirements for the fabric you are using is not a hard task if you think it through…

If you are stitching on denim, what needle would you use? what stabilizer if it is embroidery?Are you using good quality thread or old, dried out and brittle thread? Are you using metallic thread and can’t get ten stitches sewn without breakage?

The eye of a needle is a fascinating thing… needle eyes are round, long, oval and short… points are sharp, ball point, knit designed, denim designed, leather designed…you name it…Thread actually goes through the eye of a needle several times before it becomes a stitch in your project …

The way a spool of thread is wound is also a point to remember when trouble shooting stitching issues…Metallic thread must come off the spool straight and must have a needle eye big enough to allow it to move through forward and backward several times, and metallic thread does not like friction so a much slower speed is required…

I store all my thread in a dark, dry and dust free place… sunlight and the rise and fall of humidity in a room, seasons changing from spring (moist) to winter (dry) and just the amount of dust in the room, fabric makes a lot of lint dust…all affect how your thread will behave…Below is a suggested guide for needle use… the cover photo shows some various needle eye sizes…

Have fun sewing, it should be a wonderful experience….

The Elephant In The Room!!

When I got my bernina and handed over all that cash, I decided that what ever I wanted to do I was going to try it… My 770QE has never let me down…I did think that someday I would upgrade, and so with that in mind, I only purchased two extra hoops, the jumbo hoop and the mega hoop…that way, I would not need to buy them once I had the space to accomodate the jumbo hoop… I have never found anything I can not stitch in my jumbo hoop even though I can not access all of it….This tutorial is just some ideas and suggestions on how to hoop and stitch a project that is big, thick, padded and fluffy!The embroidery design I am using in this video is from Embroidery Weekly, file number EW219_pencil sketch elephants….size 7 by 12

inches..https://www.embweekly.co.za/designs/pencil-sketch-elephants/

Below is a Towel set done the same way….

I Can’t Find My Design!

Once you get the bug for machine embroidery, you will find yourself getting caught up in all the new designs that come out each week (in some cases every day!) and thinking how gorgeous those colors are or what a great idea for a gift and on and on and before you know it you have a whole bunch of designs and can never find the one you want!

Here is my method which has worked for me for many years…❤️ you may have a system that works for you much better and if so, go for it…whatever works is what we want…

Country Mug Rug Tutorial

This tutorial is for a free design from Kreative Kiwi… I have provided a link to the design below…When you download the design, open the folder and look for the PDF file … Open that and print it off and you will have the step by step directions that I am using in the tutorial…For beginners, do not trim the outer base fabric as I have done… wait until the directions tell you to trim it toward the end of the project…Have fun, and post photos of your finished mug rug! If you get stuck or have questions just post them here or message me and I’ll be happy to help…

https://www.kreativekiwiembroidery.co.nz/product/Free-In-the-hoop-Sewing-Machine-Mug-Rug.html?fbclid=IwAR333dFpJonl0YwKz9ne7nZohLiTCPVbAffCkanmxJOsPLPEI9L-TStiSNM

Mug Rug Tutorial video 1

Mug Rug Tutorial video 2

Have Fun!!!

Flour Sack Fun!

I love the look of the vintage flour sack tea towels….

It’s pretty fun to re-create them today with the incredible embroidery machines now available…

I picked a couple of designs from embroidery library and a patriotic one from stitchtopia and made some sweet little vintage look flour sack tea towels…

Towels available here.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/fiddlestixnstitches?ref=search_shop_redirect

Keeping My Dogs Comfy ❤️

Several years ago I got the idea that I would make crate mats for my dogs…I used freezer paper to make my pattern…

Fleece and fleece lambs wool are wonderful to use and flannel also works but isn’t quite as plush…I use two layers of thermolamb plus as batting….

Here is my pattern so you can make one too!

Fleece crate mat for an 18 by 24 inch dog crate.

  • Materials needed…
  • 1 yard 60 inch wide fleece
  • 1 yard 60 inch wide lambs wool fleece
  • 1 and 1/2 yards 45 inch wide themolamb plus
  • Thread
  • Freezer paper
  • Scissors, cutting mat and rotary cutter and pinking sheers
  • June Tailor corner round template or a large glass or saucer
  • Quilting pins
  • Sewing machine

Tear off two long pieces of freezer paper at least 26 inches long and tape them together to make a wide piece…draw a rectangle on the freezer paper 26 by 19 1/2 inches…round off corners and cut out your pattern.

Cut out a crate mat top and bottom and two layers of the thermolamb plus..

Place the layers in this order..put the two layers of thermolamb down first then the crate mat bottom right side up and then the crate mat top right side down. If you layer in this order, when you turn your mat right side out after sewing, everything will be right where it’s supposed to be…

Pin well leaving a four or five inch opening on one end and sew all around with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

Trim seams to 1/4 inch and pink around corners.

Reach in and turn your mat right side out.

Smooth out mat and turn in and sew opening closed by hand or machine using a 1/8 inch seam allowance.

Pin well around edges and put a couple of pins down the center.

Sew a row of stitching at 1 inch in all around outside edge of mat … then move in five inches and sew a square on the interior of the mat to hold it all together…

Your crate mat is all finished!

From Scraps To A Potholder!

Every few months I sort through my scrap bag(s)… I can’t seem to waste anything….I never buy more than I need and I don’t have a big stash of fabric, I just purchase what I need for the project I’m making…but every project will end up leaving a few scraps behind. I love those scraps and find them precious in the way of memories..

My granddaughter Paige is now 13 years old but when she was born I made her a sweet baby quilt which she still has…It left me with some wonderful scraps that got smaller and smaller with each scrap project I found to use them on until…today I used the last of them to make a potholder/trivet for my kitchen table…the scraps from Paige’s baby quilt are now all gone.

It was a quick fun project that allowed me to use the new serpentine stitch installed on my Bernina with the most recent update…I knew it was there but had not found an opportunity to give it a try and this potholder/trivet was the perfect project….I call it a pot holder/trivet because it’s an odd size…when using scraps..be creative! Don’t worry about boundaries…go for what is fun and brings you joy!

I stitched strips together and trimmed them… I had an old cotton sheet that I had cut into good pieces and used that for the back of my potholder/trivet…

I used serpentine stitch 1396 with my 9 mm stitch plate and just went down each seam..

I used thermal batting to insulate the potholder/trivet…

Once the quilting was done I rounded off the corners and cleaned up each edge…

I used the last of the scraps to piece together a binding …

I joined the binding so it just fit the potholder and looked continuous…

I love hand sewing so I stitched the binding down by hand..

All done and ready to use for Sunday dinner this weekend..❤️