Monday, June 29, 2009

Grandmother’s Flower Garden – Update

It’s been almost three months since I last worked on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. Swaps, other starts and Spring gardens are only some of the excuses as to why I put it to bed for awhile, but in all honesty, I was getting a little bored with the repetitiveness as well.

This past weekend, when I decided to change the quilt in our spare bedroom, my favorite one called out to me. I wrote about it here if you’d like to have a look.

berrydividerxAfter seeing it on the bed and falling in love with it all over again, I just knew I had to get back to my WIP.

Easter House Pics 014It was like visiting with an old friend that you haven’t seen for a while. The rhythm returned quite easily after a few stitches as did the familiarity with the process. The first of nine rows was already done and I have since completed two more. Only six left to do.

DSCN0649I ran out of the pathway hexies this morning which put an abrupt halt to my piecing.

berrydividerxIn order to continue, I cut out an additional 150…DSCN0646then ironed on the freezer paper…

DSCN0647and now I’m ready to baste. I reckon it’ll take me a good two days to finish the basting and then the piecing can begin again.

berrydividerxWhen I started my Grandmother’s Flower garden last summer, I allowed myself two years to complete it. That gives me another twelve months.

Do you think I’ll reach my goal?

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This and That

Saturday morning and it’s raining.  Yippee!  My gardens and grass are singing this morning after suffering through mid 90F degree weather for most of the week.  It seemed like the lush green turned to brown almost overnight.  Although I watered, there’s nothing like the natural rain to quench a garden’s thirst.

Rumi's Giveaway Rumi is having a giveaway for this wonderful little gift bag that she created over at the lucky frog blog.  ‘Hop’ on over to enter.

berrydividerxI also discovered a wonderful new blog that I’d like to share.  Please stop by Dorothy’s blog, Doki Quilts and welcome her to to blogland.  She hasn’t had many visitors yet so let’s all surprise her.

berrydividerxAnd for those of you who would like to see some amazing quilts and have never visited Janet’s blog, Quiltsalott, go on over and have a look.  I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Have a super weekend wherever you are and as always…

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pincushion Swap – Sent and Received

I recently participated in a pincushion swap hosted by Sandra in the Netherlands.  I received my pincushion from Melanie a couple of weeks ago which you can read about here.

berrydividerx A couple of days ago I received an email from Sandi, my swap partner, to tell me that she had received my parcel and to thank me for it.  Sandi said that she was going to post about it on her blog but hasn’t been able to because she’s been feeling under the weather lately, so in the interim, I’ll give you a peek instead.

DSCN0539In the background is a tote bag made of recyclable products produced and distributed by our local newspaper, The Review.  The photos appearing on the bag are actual photos of some of the red brick houses that our town is noted for.

Just ahead of that on the left side is the pincushion I made for Sandi.  It is fashioned to look like a dressmakers form and it was fun to make and embellish.  To the right of the pincushion is a notion box that I designed and painted and  leaning on the notion box is a package of Jeana Kimball needles.

In the foreground on the left is a pair of socks that I knit last winter and sitting on top of the socks is a scissor fob that I made.  I also included a package of rainbow colored pins and some note cards and a journal by Mary Engelbreit.  And last but certainly not least, a refrigerator magnet with the Canadian flag.

berrydividerxI love to participate in swaps.  It’s a great way to ‘meet’ people with a common interest and from all over the world.

Happy stitching!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Needlecase Tutorial

I have had several requests to purchase the needlecases that have appeared in earlier posts.  Since I’m now retired and have the time to play and create at will, I’ve decided that I would rather continue to enjoy myself and leave the designing and selling to the ‘younger’ folks out there.

Having said that, I’ve been asked if I would consider doing a tutorial on my needlecase instead.  Since I love to share, here it is.  Make as many as you’d like, sell a million of them, show them on your blogs and make lots of money if that’s your ambition.  All I ask is that you don’t make my designs into patterns to sell as your own creations…even if you adjust and or alter the measurements.  Thanks for your understanding.


Note:  I chose fabric with a detailed design for this tutorial in order not to make it too long.  With my other needlecases, I’ve either stitched or appliqu├ęd a design on the front.  I leave the choice up to you.


So let’s get started!  Here’s the needlecase we’re going to make.  This is what it looks like when it’s closed…

DSCN0639and this is the inside.


The following is a list of the supplies that you’ll need.

* 3 coordinating fat quarters and/or scraps from your stash

* a piece of leftover low-loft batting, e.g. ‘Warm & Natural’ 

* 2 small pieces of wool that coordinate with your fabric

* appropriate thread color

* 3 – 10” pieces of narrow ribbon in a coordinating color

* a 1/2” piece of Velcro

* usual sewing supplies and cutting tools


After you’ve determined your outer and inner lining fabrics, cut as follows:

From the outer fabric, 1 - 6” x 10” piece and 1 - 4” x 3 1/2” piece

From the lining fabric, 1 - 6” x 10” piece and 1 - 8” x 3 1/2” piece

From the binding fabric, cut as many 2” strips as needed to total 50” and 1 - 6” x 3 1/2” piece

From the batting, cut 1 – 6” x 10” piece and 2 – 2 1/4” x 1 3/4”

From each of the two colors of the wool, cut 1 - 3” x 5” piece and 1 – 2 1/2” x 2” piece

DSCN05981.  Press the 8” x 3 1/2”, 6” x 3 1/2” and 4” x 3 1/2” pieces of fabric in half, wrong sides together.

DSCN0600  DSCN06012.  Lay them on top of one another, starting with the largest at the bottom. 

DSCN06043.  Align them flush to the left then pin them together to stabilize and set aside.  These will become the inside pockets.

DSCN06034.  Sew together the binding strips to make one continuous length.

DSCN0605DSCN0606DSCN0607DSCN06085.  Press binding in half, wrong sides together.

DSCN0609DSCN06106. Take the three pinned pockets from step 3 and start sewing the binding to the upper edge, stopping 1/4” from the end.  Backstitch a couple to stitches to secure, then clip the threads.DSCN0614DSCN06157.  To make a mitered corner, flip the binding up to make a 45 degree angle and pin if necessary to hold in place.

DSCN06188.  Flip the binding back down over the 45 degree angle and sew through all the layers, stopping at the bottom edge.

DSCN06199.  Cut off the remaining binding flush with the bottom edge.DSCN062010. Turn the binding to the wrong side and stitch to the back of the pockets.  I prefer to do this by hand in order for the stitching not to show on the right side.

DSCN0621DSCN062211. Take your 6” x 10” piece of lining fabric and the pockets

DSCN0623and pin to pockets to the lower left edge as shown.

DSCN062412. Hand stitch the pockets to the lining on the right edge only as indicated by where the pencil is pointing.  Do not stitch down the top edge as that is the opening for the top pocket.  Set aside.

DSCN062513. Gather together the precut wool pieces and the two small precut pieces of batting.

DSCN0626Layer the two 3” x 5” pieces of wool together and blanket stitch around the entire perimeter with either Perle cotton or 2 strands of floss in a coordinating color.  Take the two smaller pieces of wool and layer the two smaller pieces of batting in between and blanket stitch around the entire perimeter as above.  The larger piece will be the needle holder and the smaller, the pincushion.  Set aside.

DSCN0628  14. Machine tack the three pieces of ribbon to the right side of the lining, one piece centered on either side about 1/8” in from the outer edge and the third piece about 1/2” centered above the bound pocket edge.

DSCN062915. Take the 6” x 10” outer piece of fabric and place it right side down on the table.  Next, place the 6” x 10” piece of batting on top.  Finally, place the lining fabric with the pockets and ribbons right side up on top of the other two layers.

DSCN063016. Turn the sandwiched layers over and place a few pins in the center to stabilize.  Starting at the bottom edge and about 1” in from the end, sew the remaining binding to the front side, all the way around the perimeter.  Turn the mitered corners as in steps 7 and 8 above. Note: Read step 17 below before doing this.  The raw edges of the two centered pieces of ribbon on either side will be buried beneath the binding.

DSCN063117.  When you are about 2” from meeting up with the leading edge of the binding (where you started), cut the binding making sure to allow at least 1” extra to overlap.  At the edge that was just cut, make a finger-pressed, 1/2” fold towards the wrong side of the fabric.  At this point, both the leading and finishing edges of the binding should be overlapping.  Tuck the piece of the binding where you started inside the piece that was just cut and folded and carefully sew through all layers to finish attaching the binding.

DSCN063218. Turn the attached binding to the inside and hand stitch around the perimeter as in step 10 above.

DSCN0634DSCN063519. Attach the Velcro to the bottom of the pincushion then fasten it in the bottom left corner.

DSCN063620. Fold the larger piece of wool in half and tack it to the upper right side above the pincushion, being careful to sew through the top layer only. 

21. Then fill it with your favorite sewing goodies.  I tuck my scissors into the top pocket then tie them with the ribbon above the pockets to prevent them from falling out and getting lost. 


And there you have it!  Your own needlecase!

DSCN0639Enjoy!  And as always…

Happy stitching!