Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quirky Twee from France

One of my favorite things about designing patterns is seeing what people do with them. Earlier this week, I got a message from Michele in France. She had completed her version of the Quirky Quistmas Twee and wanted to share the photos:

I especially like her use of metallic thread on red and green fabric. It really sparkles!
My directions advise that you fill the bottom biscornu with rice, but Michele used decorative gravel; she pointed out that rice could get wet and moldy.

Find out more of her stitching secrets at her blogs:

Friday, November 25, 2011

A little Christmas cheer

I was going through a box of goodies I've stitched over the years and found this little cutie:

"Four Christmas Trees"
I call it "Four Christmas Trees". It's ideal for a diamond ornament or biscornu. 

"Four Christmas Trees" back

I have to be honest, I really can't remember if it's one of my designs or a free design from the Internet. If you are the creator of this design, please contact me. I have no desire to step on anyone's copyright. You can find the pattern on my Blackwork Smalls page.

Friday, November 18, 2011

OMG, this is SO much fun!

I found the cutest fabric flowers! A wonderful tutorial from Living Craftily Ever After shows us how to make the most charming fabric flowers.

I had to try it, so I pulled out some denim scraps and gave it a whirl. Well, denim is heavy, so it didn't turn out so well with a folded square as shown in the tutorial. So I cut the squares into triangles and left the edge rough.  I'm pretty darned happy with the result:

Quick, easy, and versatile, these cute flowers are the perfect embellishment for a hair clip, bulletin boards, picture frames, and more.

Give it a try! If I can do it, anyone can.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I had pretty much canned the idea of making Christmas ornaments this year.  By the time I noticed that Christmas is coming, it was far too late to make a dozen or so biscornus, and I was really unhappy with my finish work on the last batch of stuffed, pillow-type ornaments.

Lucky for me, I subscribe to It's Daffycat, for it was there that I found the Ladder Stitch. The Ladder Stitch is an easy method for finishing stuffed objects. Unlike the Whip Stitch, the Ladder Stitch is hidden and leaves a flat seam. You cannot tell where the object was stuffed. I tried it on an unfinished pillow I'd been neglecting, and the technique was easy, quick, and darned near foolproof.  Check out the YouTube video tutorial here.

Now that I have found a simple method for the final finishing, I'm a little more eager to go ahead and make some ornaments or sachets to celebrate the season.

Thanks, Daffycat for the inspiration, and thanks Shinyhappywendi for the learning moment. My life is forever changed, and for that I am most grateful.

Monday, November 7, 2011

First frame job

Well, I did it. I framed the Celtic Sampler in a shadowbox. This is my first attempt at framing and no, it's not perfect. But it does give me the incentive to try again soon. Any advice or tips for making the job easier would be greatly appreciated.

Happy stitching!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tennis elbow, Christmas, and Friends

A few years back, I developed a case of tennis elbow. Too much stitching resulted in searing pain that radiated down my arm making needlework far too painful to enjoy. I had several new patterns I wanted to stitch and share, but I simply could not do it. I don't release anything that hasn't been stitched, so several of my stitching sisters and brothers agreed to help out. I sent them patterns which they then stitched up, photographed and critiqued. It was a great help. The patterns made it onto my site and I made some wonderful friendships along the way.

That's how I met Maria. From our first emails it was obvious that we were on the same wavelength. She had me laughing out loud from the beginning, and even though she's half a world away and we've never met in person, our friendship is as solid as any I've ever known. That friendship was forged by the Quirky Quistmas Twee.

The imaginative Maria was playing with biscornus one day and stacked a few together, creating an adorable little tree. I loved her idea, so I designed several blackwork squares and we set to work stitching. This is what we came up with:

The Quirky Quistmas Twee

Maria did most of the stitching; I beaded the squares, then stuffed them, stacked them, and secured them with carpet thread through the middle. For complete instructions and pattern, click here

The moral of the story? Don't be afraid to ask for help, and don't be afraid to lend a hand. The rewards are great.