The Giving Bunny

When school adjourns for the summer each spring, I look forward to the extra time I get to spend with Belen and Eloise.

The special message on B’s rock

B’s special rock with a cute camping scene on the front

Friday before last, I was pleased to spend the day with them.   While we were running a few errands together, Belen found a painted rock that had been planted for someone to discover.

The front of the rock had been painted with a camping scene and the back was lettered with instructions, “Boise Rocks – Post pic, keep or re-hide.”  The girls were fascinated by this little gift and we too thought it would be fun to leave some little gifts for strangers.

I told them about the Giving Bunny I had seen on Urban Threads.  If you go to Urban Threads’ website and click on their “Freebie” link, you can download either a machine or hand embroidery design for The Giving Bunny.  Under the Instructions link for this design, there is an explanation… “Here’s how it works: Download the FREE Giving Bunny design, available in two sizes for machine embroidery, as well as a PDF pattern for hand-stitchers.  Stitch up as many bunnies as you please. Dress ’em up if you like, give them names, attach a tag to each to introduce them to the world, and then leave them in public spaces for someone to find.”

The girls and I thought it would be fun to make some bunnies to give away, so we stitched several bunnies out of an ivory polar fleece.  Both Belen and Eloise had fun printing the names for each of their bunnies on little tags that told the story of the Giving Bunnies.

Eloise posing with some of her “Giving Bunnies”

B with a couple of her bunnies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We printed off a template for the tags that Urban Threads provides and attached one to each bunny with small safety pins.  Belen added an additional note to the back of her tag that read, ” Hope your bunny finds a nice home!  Belen.

Belen added a note to the back of her tags

A finished bunny with his special tag

Once we finished making several bunnies, we packed them up as it was time to take Belen to her Writing Camp at the Cabin Writing Center near downtown.

After we dropped off Belen, Eloise and I thought it would be a good idea to hide some of the bunnies near the Ann Frank Memorial grounds. Eloise was very particular about where she wanted to place each of her Giving Bunnies.

Eloise initially put a bunny in the Ann Frank statue’s hand, but decided to relocate this one.

Initially, she wanted to put a bunny in the hand of the Ann Frank statue, but later decided to relocate this bunny.  Next she tried a couple other spots around the Memorial grounds.

Eloise hid hers first, while Belen attended a Writing Camp at the Cabin

She was so excited to see who would be the first to discover one of her Giving Bunnies, so she hid behind a grove of trees to watch.

Eloise waiting for someone to discover one of her bunnies

While she was watching, she did not see anyone find one of her bunnies.  We decided to leave and go and get an ice cream cone and check on her bunnies when we returned for Belen’s reading at the Cabin.

Eloise gave a lot of thought as to where to hide her bunnies.

When we returned, one of her bunnies was gone.  She was thrilled and decided to relocate the remaining bunnies in a place where they would be a little more visible.

Hmmmm, this tree was a great place to perch a bunny

We put out a few more bunnies and went to watch Belen read one of her writings from Writing Camp.

Belen did an amazing job and we were so proud of not only her poem, but also how confidently she read it in front of a large crowd of people.  Alecia and Andy joined us to watch Belen too.  She was the first presenter.

Belen reading a piece she had written at Writing Camp

After Belen was finished, we told Mommy and Daddy about the Giving Bunnies and  Eloise helped Belen hide a few of her bunnies.

Ready to stage their bunnies

The girls had such a good time finding the “perfect” spot for each of their bunnies and talked about who might discover them.  It really was a very fun and exciting adventure.

When Mom met up with us later, the girls were eager to tell her about their Giving Bunnies

What projects have you been working on?  It is so much fun to be outdoors with all this beautiful weather.

I hope you are having a great summer and look forward to hearing about any projects you have been working on.

Happy Stitching!

Jane

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It’s A Wonderful World Wool Wall Quilt

I have been working on an all wool project and am excited to share it with you in more detail shortly.  In the meantime, here are a few photos to show how I prepare the wool appliqués for stitching.

I first trace the design to the paper side of Heat n’ Bond lite or Soft Fuse

Then I trim around the paper pieces about 1/8″ beyond the border of the tracings – I am able to cut out the center and use it for some of the smaller pieces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press the appliqué paper to the wrong side of the wool

Now trim the wool piece on the line you traced the original piece with

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s fun to use coordinating wool to highlight various parts of your appliqué

 

The final appliqué ready to place on the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will provide more details on this project in a few days; but just wanted to tease you with a mini preview of one of the blocks.

What have you been working on?  I would love to hear about it.

Happy Stitching!

Jane

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Kindergarten Quilt Rocks It!

 

Standing next to the finished quilt at the spring fundraiser

Standing next to the finished quilt at the spring fundraiser

Thanks to some very talented kindergarten students and their incredibly supportive parents, the Kindergarten Does Kindinsky quilt was a major success at last night’s fundraiser.

Item #22 - Kindergarten Does Kindinsky on the board

Item #22 – Kindergarten Does Kindinsky on the board

This was the 20th annual fund raising event for the elementary school.  Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) was a great venue for the buffet dinner, silent, live and dessert auctions.

There were a lot of great projects the classes made that were auctioned off one by one.

Finally, Item #22 came up  on the board and the bidding began.

This was something I will never forget… Alecia made a few bids, but dropped out around $700 and the bidding kept on building… and building… and building… until the final bid was $ 4,000.  I was in shock… as the crowd applauded the successful bidder.

What a great finale for this fun project.  It was so nice that Alecia, Erica and I were there to see the final outcome and only wish Ann could have joined us as well.

As we were checking out after the event, I was informed that this quilt broke the record for the highest bid for an item in the 20 years of the school’s fund raiser.   As nice as that is, what I was most pleased about is the funds we raised.  They will help pay for the art teacher and art supplies, library and textbooks; computers, iPads and Chromebooks; professional development for teachers, accelerated reading programs; classroom supplies and playground equipment for the school and I was glad to be able to contribute.

What a great way to share the art of quilting!

Happy Sewing!

Jane

 

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90 Years Young!

This morning I had the pleasure of teaching a paper piecing class called Spinning Windmills.  One of the things I enjoy the most about teaching are the amazing people I meet in my classes.  Today I met the most remarkable women and they were awesome students who were all quite proficient paper piecers by the end of our class.

Meet Dollie, 90 years young!!!

Meet Dollie, 90 years young!!!

As we were sewing, we had such a fun time visiting.  I mentioned that I had celebrated my birthday the previous day and Dollie said, oh my goodness, that’s nothing, I just celebrated my 90th birthday.

She went on to share stories about her life and how at the age of 50 she was suddenly a widow with an 11 year old daughter to raise.  Prior to the loss of her husband, she had stayed home to raise her other 4 children.  In a freak accident, her husband was electrocuted a few years prior to his death and this prompted Dollie to go back to school to become a teacher.  She confirmed that was one of the best decisions she ever made because it gave her a means to support herself when her husband passed.  She never complained and said she just “had to do what I had to do.”  She taught full-time for many years and upon retirement, continued to substitute teach until she was 80.  At one point, she proceeded to list off the names of her children and grand children and great grandchildren, along with many of their accomplishments.  She, indeed, was/is a very proud grandmother.

Dollie and her daughter, Debbie working on their block

Dollie and her daughter, Debbie working on their block

Dollie lives in Buhl, Idaho and still drives to do her grocery shopping, hair appt., etc.  She lived alone for many years, but now enjoys the company of her granddaughter, Sarah, who is also a teacher.

Dollie was accompanied by her daughter, Debbie, who she taught to sew.  They share a passion for quilting and learning new things.  It was so much fun to see them work together and talk through  the construction of their block as I reviewed the step-by-step paper piecing process with them.

Dollie and Debbie and their completed block

Dollie and Debbie and their completed block

In no time at all they had completed their first block – such a great team effort.   They  shared they try to learn new techniques often and  take a lot of classes together.

Debbie is very proud of her mother and the amazing role model she is for her and her family.  I’m still smiling as I reminisce about the delightful time I spent visiting with Dollie.  She truly is an inspiration.  It was so much fun to get to know her, along with the rest of the class and I hope to see this amazing duo in one of my future classes or to share a cup of coffee sometime.

Thanks again Dollie and Debbie for coming to Boise to take my class.  It was a genuine pleasure meeting you both!

Happy Sewing,

Jane

(Note:  I was given permission by Dollie to share some of her story and I hope I have done it justice.)

 

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Tooth Fairy Pillow for Eloise

The finished tooth fairy pillow

The finished tooth fairy pillow

It’s always so much fun to be able to personalize a gift for someone special…

Last week when I joined our granddaughter, Eloise, for lunch at her school cafeteria, she showed me her “wiggly tooth”.  She asked if I would make her a tooth fairy pillow and when I agreed, I inquired what she would like to have on her pillow.  She thought a moment and then said a ballerina, which was a good choice because she loves her ballet classes.   After  several minutes had passed she added, “and a basketball” as she played her first season of Y basketball this winter and enjoyed it very much.

I multi-hooped this design using a large oval hoop for my Bernina 830

I multi-hooped this design using a large oval hoop for my Bernina 830

I had a ballerina embroidery design in mind, one that I had purchased from Urban Threads earlier this year.  After reviewing the design, I was certain it would be the perfect candidate for her pillow.  To simplify the ballerina, I removed the background from the original design in my embroidery software.  Next, I inserted a basketball design and reduced it to be the proper proportion to the ballerina.  My goal was to make it look as though the ballerina was shooting the basketball into the small pocket that was stitched onto the pillow for the tooth/money exchange.

To personalize the pillow, I  digitized Eloise’s  signature and placed it under the tooth pocket; I used a variegated lavender and purple thread because her favorite color is purple.

The finishing touch - Nana's label

The finishing touch – Nana’s label

The finishing touch was to add one of my “Nana Loves You” labels to the back of the pillow.

Later that afternoon, I delivered the pillow to my daughter (at her work) so that Eloise would be ready for the tooth fairy’s arrival when her “wiggly tooth” came out.

I got a phone call from Eloise in the evening and she was very pleased with her new tooth fairy pillow and anxious to use it for her “wiggly tooth”.

This rainy, spring weather has provided some perfect sewing days in the studio.  What projects have you been working on?  I would love to hear about them.

Happy Sewing!

Jane

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The Kindergarten Does Kandinsky

Earlier this year, my daughter, Alecia, recruited me to help with our grandchildren’s  grade school’s annual fundraiser.  She and another friend/Mom, Erica, and Erica’s Mom, Ann, and I met at a local coffee shop to brainstorm what we could make.  Ann said she would like to help me with this year’s quilt and I welcomed the company.

Our first meeting at a local coffee shop to brainstorm ideas - Ann, Erica, Jane and Alecia

Our first meeting at a local coffee shop to brainstorm ideas – Ann, Erica, Jane and Alecia

 

We reviewed various ideas and  were inspired by a piece the Russian artist,  Wassily Kandinsky, painted called Color Study, Squares with Concentric Circles, which he painted in 1913.

Kandinsky's Color Study, Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913

Kandinsky’s Color Study, Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913

 

 

 

 

We thought it would be a fun idea to work with the children to create a quilt that would somewhat replicate the colors and designs from this very famous work of art.

 

 

 

The embroidery design collection

The embroidery design collection

Originally, I thought we could  freehand machine appliqué the circles and then I discovered a digitized appliqué pattern from Bella Nona I could use on my embroidery machine.  I made some adjustments to the designs in my embroidery software; namely, eliminating one of the circles of the designs so that we would have 4 circles of color (like Kandinsky’s Color Study).  I also replaced the decorative stitches   with a wider satin stitch for the outer rings.

 

Our palette of fabrics to work with to build the quilt blocks

Our palette of fabrics to work with to build the quilt blocks

 

 

The next step was to put together a palette of fabrics.  Ann and I went to Quilt Crossing and used a mixture of Kaffe Fassett’s beautiful prints, some grunge fabrics as well as a variety of batik fabric.

 

 

 

Creating swatches for the children to choose their colors from.

Creating swatches for the children to choose their colors from.

Backgrounds for the quilt blocks

Backgrounds for the quilt blocks

 

Next , we visited the classroom and worked with the children to build swatch bundles of the  fabrics they wanted to use for each of their blocks and also used larger swatches to determine our background colors.

 

 

Each child chose the colored swatches they wanted for his/her block

Each child chose the colored swatches they wanted for his/her block

When we met with the children, we   explained who Wassilly Kandinsky was and they were eager to talk about his works of art.  The children were particularly excited by the bright colors we chose for the quilt.  They each contemplated as to what color swatches would be incorporated into their individual block.  We labeled the blocks to keep them in order.

 

They were excited to see the colors for their quilt

They were excited to see the colors for their quilt

Labeling the background and swatches the children chose to use for his/her block.

Labeling the background and swatches the children chose to use for his/her block.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it was time for the construction of the quilt.  I built a matrix to show the different sizes of squares we would need to cut for all the various blocks.  Ann referred to this as she began to cut the fabric squares.  Ann backed each fabric square with Heat n’ Bond Lite to give it more body.  Then the various sizes of the fabric squares were stacked in order of the children’s swatches.

Our first four blocks provided a good sampling of quilt

Our first four blocks provided a good sampling of quilt

Ann backed each of the squares of fabric with Heat n' Bond Lite and stacked the fabric pieces in order.

Each of the squares of fabric were backed with Heat n’ Bond Lite and stacked in order of the swatches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, I stitched the appliquéd blocks one by one

Meanwhile, I stitched the appliquéd blocks one by one

Ann pressing a square

Ann pressing a square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a wonderful assortment of my Isacord threads.

I used a wonderful assortment of threads of my Isacord threads.

My bobbin holder looked like a color wheel

My bobbin holder looked like a color wheel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann and I had a fun time visiting as I sewed the individual blocks together.  We had a good system as Ann would prepare the fabrics in order of the color swatches, while I sewed each block together.  I would continue to work on the leftover fabric stacks in the evenings to insure we could progress to the next set of blocks in our next work session.

The digitized signature for each child was the finishing touch for each block

The digitized signature for each child was the finishing touch for each block

Every child also signed a notecard with his/her signature and I digitized these names in my embroidery software.  I added this as the final touch so we could identify each of the children’s blocks with their actual signature.

Block by block, a preview of what the finished quilt was going to look like emerged on my design wall.   Finally, it was time for me to begin to sew the blocks together.  It was so much fun to see our plan come to life.

The quilt blocks on the design wall

The quilt blocks on the design wall

Finally time to sew the blocks together!

Finally time to sew the blocks together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the blocks were sewn together, I added on a black border to frame the quilt.  Ann and I visited the classroom again to show the children the progress on their quilt.   They loved all their blocks and the brilliant colors we used and were very excited!  I also explained the remaining steps that were required to finish their quilt including, sandwiching the quilt front and back (with batting in between), pinning and quilting the three layers and then binding the quilt.

Eloise pointing our her block

Eloise pointing our her block

Ann with Raleigh

Ann with Raleigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it was time to pin baste the quilt and we were grateful to use the Quilt Crossing’s classroom as a workplace because we could spread out.  That evening, I quilted around each of the blocks and the quilt was now ready for the final steps.

The completed label to tell the story...

The completed label to tell the story…

The following afternoon, I showed Ann how I put my bindings on by machine, for a nice finished look.  We also talked about a label for the quilt and decided on the content for the label.  I designed a label in my software and stitched it out and then  hand stitched it to the back of the quilt.

Ta Dah!!! The quilt was finished.  We were so pleased with the final result and anxious to turn it in for the Spring  fundraiser for the school.

This has been such a fun project to make for the Kindergarten class.  I so appreciate Ann’s help and company as she prepped the squares, while I did the sewing – we were a great team!   Of course, we are all anxious to see how the quilt will be accepted at the fundraiser, which will be covered in a future blog!

This rainy weather is a great time to be sewing. What projects have you been working on lately?

Happy Sewing!

 

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Happy Trails Barrettes

Every once in a while, I get a special request from one of our grandchildren to help them with a project.

Close Up of barrette on a card

Close Up of barrette on a card

Our granddaughter, Belen, was assigned to lead her troop in an exercise that she planned and orchestrated.  She and her Mom put together an orienteering exercise and Belen led the troop through the exercise.  She wanted to have a small gift for each of the troop members at the end of the exercise and asked me if I could make something for them.  We discussed various options for a gift and she chose some custom made barrettes – one for each troop member.  Nana (aka me) was pleased to help her.

I enjoy making barrettes on my embroidery machine.  Years ago, I purchased several Snap Clip Cover in-the-hoop designs from GG Designs .  I love to make special custom snap barrettes from this design that match the occasion either in fabric color, special theme, etc.

Belen and I decided to put “Happy Trails” on her barrettes with a flower to dot the “i” in trails.  I digitized the final design in my embroidery software.  For this barrette design, I duplicated my design in my embroidery software 15 times so that the end result would be 16 completed barrettes.  The next step was to send the design to my embroidery machine and stitch it out.

Stitching out the barrettes onto red felt

Stitching out the barrettes onto red felt

 

When the top part of the barrette design was completely stitched out, I pinned the second layer of felt to the back of the hooped design.  The machine stitched out a final outline stitch that secured the backside felt to the front of the barrettes and completed the barrette designs.

Since the snap clip cover design from GG Designs is essentially a blank clip, you can virtually decorate it any way you like.

 

 

Once the stitching was finished, I carefully trimmed around each barrette and made a small slit on the backside of the barrettes.

Adding the snap clips to the finished snap clip covers and then clipping onto each notecard

Adding the snap clips to the finished snap clip covers and then clipping onto each notecard

Next step was to insert the snap clips into the slit on the backside of the barrettes and PRESTO – you have a custom made barrette!

 

Trimming the printed message from Belen

Trimming the printed message from Belen

 

 

 

 

I printed out a message from Belen that I glued to several small note cards.  Then I punched a hole in the 16 notecards so I could place a finished snap clip onto the top of each card.

The barrettes are finished and clipped to Belen's notecards

The barrettes are finished and clipped to Belen’s notecards

 

 

In just a few hours, I was able to complete 16 personalized barrettes for Belen’s Brownie Troop.  Of course, I had a lot of help from our new puppy, Toby, who was eager to assist with each step along the way!

Belen modeling her barrette

Belen modeling her barrette

 

 

 

 

I was anxious to deliver the finished barrettes to Belen at her school so she could share them with her friends when they completed her project.

 

The Brownie Troop was thrilled to wear their barrettes!

The Brownie Troop was thrilled to wear their barrettes!

The good news is they were very pleased with Belen’s orienteering exercise as well as her gift of the “Happy Trails” barrettes, which they are all modeling in the above picture.

What a fun opportunity to help Belen with her project!  What have you been sewing lately?  This rainy, cold weather is perfect for sewing projects.  I would love to hear about them.

Happy Sewing!

Jane

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A Special Gift for Morgan

Our Mother, Hazel Margaret Johnson, was a registered nurse.  A profession that she was extremely proud of and one she was a very good at.  As a child, I loved to watch her prepare for work, putting on her white dress, white nylons and starched nurse cap.  It was a site to behold – she looked so professional and I was so proud!

One of the things I inherited from her was a monogrammed pair of her bandage scissors, which I was very pleased to own.

Mom's bandage scissors with her initials

Mom’s bandage scissors with her initials

A couple weeks ago, our niece and Goddaughter, Morgan, finished her nursing school.  There was a traditional pinning ceremony scheduled in Fargo, ND to recognize Morgan and her fellow nursing graduates.  We would have loved to attend, but due to weather and road conditions, we were unable to do so.  Instead, I decided to gift Morgan my mother’s scissors.   It seemed like the appropriate time to pass them on and I’m pretty sure my Mom would be pleased with this decision.  I also felt that Morgan would recognize and appreciate this gift as she has many fond memories of Grandma Johnson.

In order to present the gift appropriately, I felt I needed to make a case for the scissors and also wanted to make an apron, now that she should have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen.

Perfect nursing fabric

Perfect nursing fabric

 

We recently received a beautiful nursing print at the Quilt Crossing and I felt it would be the perfect fabric for her gifts.

 

 

 

 

Adding the trim to Morgan's apron with lots of "hearts and hugs"

Adding the trim to Morgan’s apron with lots of “hearts and hugs”

 

I also found a “love and hugs” fabric for the trim of her apron.  The designs are batiked, so a little off grain, but it worked well to trim the nursing fabric and had the right sentiment.

 

 

 

 

I also lined the scissors case with the trim fabric

I also lined the scissors case with the trim fabric

Stitching out the scissors case in the hoop

Stitching out the scissors case in the hoop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I purchased an “in-the-hoop” scissors case embroidery design online. This design was for a 4″ scissors, so I stretched the length of the design 3″ in my embroidery software to make it longer to accommodate the bandage scissors.  I hooped the stabilizer, then floated the front of the scissors case on top of the stabilizer.  Next I carefully positioned the lining fabric in place.

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Scissors nestled into the case

The scissors case closed

The scissors case closed

I embroidered Morgan’s name to the flap of the scissors case and found the perfect button for the loop closure in my collection of antique buttons.  The case was finished!

 

Now it was time to make the apron, using my Anna’s Apron pattern.  I loved how the trim finished the edges of the apron and made it “pop”!  Soon the apron was complete!

Sewing on the trim to the apron

Sewing on the trim to the apron

The apron and scissors case

The apron and scissors case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last, but not least I wrote Morgan a letter telling her about my mother’s bandage  scissors and congratulating her on her accomplishments.

Morgan's letter

Morgan’s letter

The items were packaged up for shipment at UPS and they were on their way, with a guarantee that they would arrive in time for her pinning ceremony.

A few days later, I received word the package arrived safely.  There was a wonderful celebration for Morgan and I felt like we were a part of it, although remotely.  The next day, Morgan called to thank me for the gifts – she was delighted and touched!  A couple days after that, my brother sent me this picture of beautiful Morgan in her apron.

Morgan in her apron

Morgan in her apron

We’re so very proud of Morgan and so pleased for her… and I think that her Grandma Hazel is also smiling and that too warms my heart.

Hope you had a wonderful New Years and “Happy 2017!”

Happy Stitching,

Jane

 

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New Stockings for the Mantle

These are the hand appliquéd stockings I have made in the past.

These are the hand appliquéd stockings I have made in the past.

Over the years, I have made all our family members a stocking for our mantle.  These were all made by hand appliqué, which I enjoy, but it can be somewhat time consuming.  This year we had some new folks who helped us celebrate Christmas and I wanted each of them to have their own special stocking.  I was concerned that I would not have enough time to complete 3 hand stitched stockings with all the other holiday demands, so I decided to design and machine embroider the new stockings for the mantle.

The first step was to find embroidery designs that were relevant to David, Liam and Sam.  I spent some time researching what was available at the various design sites and found three designs that I thought would work well.

Once I found the relevant designs, I added some  text and designed the stocking front in my embroidery software.

The design worksheet for Liam's stocking

The design worksheet for Liam’s stocking

 

When I was satisfied with the overall design size and orientation, I printed out a preview of the design.  This enabled me to get an idea of just how large the design would be and it also helped me to place the designs exactly where I wanted them to be on the front of each stocking.

Placing a printed copy of the design to preview size and placement.

Placing a printed copy of the design to preview size and placement.

 

 

 

 

Next. I hooped a tear-away stabilizer in the hoop and then floated the stocking front on top of the tear away stabilizer.  I pinned the stocking front to the stabilizer, being careful to pin outside of the stitch area.  Then I stitched out the designs, following the thread order that was shown on the preview of the design printouts.

Stitching out the "wizard" theme for Sam's stocking

Stitching out the “wizard” theme for Sam’s stocking

 

I repeated this process for each stocking front until all three stockings were embroidered.

It was fun to see them “come to life” as I stitched them and I love using the wool felt as a background for these stockings.

 

Stitching on the toe and heel accent pieces

Stitching on the toe and heel accent pieces

 

Once the fronts of the 3 stockings were completed, I carefully removed each from the hoop and gently tore away the stabilizer.  Next, I machine appliquéd the toe, heel and top accent pieces with a blanket stitch.  I placed each stocking front on top of the felt that was being used for the stocking backs and stitched around the outside edge of each stocking.

 

Trimming around the outside edge of Liam's stocking

Trimming around the outside edge of Liam’s stocking

 

Finally, I carefully trimmed about 1/8″ from the blanket stitching to cut out the back for each stocking.  Note:  I did this after I had stitched around the stockings as this gave me a firmer, more stable  background to stitch on.

 

Liam enjoys sports, including basketball

Liam enjoys sports, including basketball

 

 

 

I was very pleased with the end results.  Each stocking truly represented the interests of Liam, Sam and David.  Here are close-ups of each stocking.

 

 

 

Sam is currently reading the entire Harry Potter series

Sam is currently reading the entire Harry Potter series

David enjoys writing

David enjoys writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like how the stockings fit so well with the other stockings I had on the mantle.

The mantle is complete with all the Christmas stockings!

The mantle is complete with all the Christmas stockings!

But the best part of all was to see how excited the boys were to discover their stockings and, of course, what was in them.

Liam and Sam with their stockings

Liam and Sam with their stockings

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you the very best in the New Year.  Happy 2017!!!

Happy Stitching,

Jane

 

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In Everything Give Thanks

For Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to make a little something special that everyone could participate in and thought it would be fun to make a Family Thanksgiving Tree.

The finished tree with added leaves

The finished tree with added leaves

In the past, I had used a design from Embroidery Online called Heart Tree for a cover of one of my noteworthy notebooks.  This embroidery design is available on the website and stitches out beautifully.

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Screenshot of the Heart Tree design

(Note:  If you own a Bernina 580, this design comes as a free embroidery design on your machine.)  I enlarged the design in my embroidery software so that it filled the center of a small framed bulletin board..

Using my large jumbo embroidery hoop, I chose to stitch the design on a large piece of cream colored felt.  I hooped a cutaway stabilizer and floated the felt to the stabilizer, securing the felt to the stabilizer with a few pins that were placed outside the stitch area of the design.

Stitching out the design

Stitching out the design

One of the fun features about this design is that you can easily alter the colors of the design by not only taking advantage of the thread changes called for in the design, but I also randomly added a few additional colors to give the tree a fall look.

I also added the text, “in everything give Thanks to the top of the design, varying the size of the top and second lines of text.

To make it easy to attach the leaves, I

centered the felt on a small bulletin board and used a few small appliqué pins to hold the felt in place.  I also used some remnants from a log cabin quilt I made last year and pinned the assorted strips around the edge of the felt to create a temporary border.

The next step was to cut out an assortment of blank leaves from some brown, orange, yellow and green construction paper. These were put in a small bowl with several pens.  Towards the end of our Thanksgiving meal, the bowl was passed around and everyone wrote something they were thankful for and the children and I pinned the leaves to the tree.

The children really enjoyed creating leaves for the tree and some made more than one.

The children really enjoyed creating leaves for the tree and some made more than one.

It really was a fun and relatively quick project to make and everyone enjoyed sharing something they were thankful for and we all agreed, we are so blessed.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  If you made something for Thanksgiving, I would love to hear about it.

Happy Sewing,

Jane

 

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