Friday Favorites No. 330

Yesterday was my birthday. Since I'm still in Italy, but writing this ahead of time, I have to assume it was pretty amazing! There's also Mother's Day coming up this weekend. Hopefully you have some fun plans, either for yourself or to celebrate a mom in your life!

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Wouldn't these faux leather and felt anemones make a pretty hair clip or Mother's Day corsage? Delia Creates even shares the cutting file if you want to use a Silhouette.

If your sweet little ones need something pretty to wear this weekend, Violette Field Threads has one you can whip up fairly quickly. It has all the ruffles and lace that are so popular right now.

Aren't these flower pot cookies from The Gunny Sack adorable? If you have some skill at making frosting roses, they can be even more edible.

So, a cupcake and a mini cake are really only a little different in shape, but tell me this doesn't look so much more fancy! In my research (okay, honestly just mini cake stalking) I found there are lots of ways to make these. Some use actual, legit small pans, while others are made in clean, empty canned-food cans. The Kitchen McCabe here used little mason jars!

JennyAllsortsDesign has a shop filled with cute things on Etsy, but I particularly love the three sets of international dolls embroidery patterns. These are pretty both as redwork or in multi color.  Wouldn't these be perfect for a little girl's quilt?

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Temperature Starburst Hoop Art

Right about now you might be asking yourself "What's a temperature starburst?"  Well, it looks like this:

A few months ago I spotted a crocheted afghan that was called a temperature blanket. I was curious, so after doing a little research I found out that people have been making them for quite a while. The way the yarn versions often work is that the maker chooses colors for a variety of temperature ranges, then adds a row or shape to the blanket each day or week that reflects the average temperature outside. It's a make-as-you-go kind of thing. 

They aren't always made as blankets. I've also seen temperature scarves, which I would love! I wondered if I could make a temperature quilt. Of course, I was far from the first to have that idea, so there are lots of those out there too.  I've pinned a few of my favorite temperature projects on this board. The author of the quilt seen there just started a quilt-along for her version in January.

Then came the big question - how can I fit that idea into a hoop? Since it would be difficult to fit daily, or even weekly entries, I went with monthly. I sketched out a few versions, but the one I liked the best reminded me a bit of a beach ball. I also realized after it was finished that it's rainbowness is pretty perfect for the St. Patrick's Day holiday coming up next month.

We had some pretty erratic temperatures last summer and this winter, which isn't always the case in Oregon, so I knew the previous 12 months would give me a good variety. There are lots of time frames you could use though, like someone's birth year or to mark another big event. Thanks to Weather Underground, you can look up temperatures for anywhere and anytime. This is the chart I made to use. On the right are the temperature colors and ranges I started with, and on the left are the adjustments I made based on the actual ranges I needed to use and the fabrics I had available.

To make this, you'll need:

  • 9" embroidery hoop

  • 12 fabric wedges, cut using the first page of this pattern (the second and third pages are for reference only - those wedges do not include a seam allowance)

  • fusible interfacing

  • embroidery transfer pen

  • embroidery thread

I'm going to tell you how I sewed this together, then I'll tell you how I think you should do it differently. Sometimes you learn as you go.

I stitched the wedges together in pairs, then stitched those pairs together, which created three sections.

What I would do next time, and what I recommend to you, is sewing three wedges together, so you have four quarters.  Sew two quarters together, giving you two halves, then stitch the two halves together. That might seem obvious now, but it wasn't when I was knee-deep in trying to fit that third wedge into the circle.

In the end, it should look something like this. Or maybe your points match up a little better in the center. If not, don't sweat it. Let's call it character.

Trim away some of the excess fabric in the center seam to reduce the bulk. Cut a piece of fusible fleece to fit the back and iron it on.

Transfer the embroidery designs from the last page of the pattern. My favorite tool to do this is the Sublime Stitching transfer pens. Iron the appropriate month onto its corresponding wedge.

Embroider each letter using a backstitch. I thought about using the same color embroidery thread as each fabric for a more subtle look, but decided to go for the contrasting black instead. Has anyone else ever noticed that when you write out the first letter of each month it spells Jason in the middle? Weird.

Insert the fabric centered into the embroidery hoop. Cut a piece of felt to fit the back of the hoop.

Tuck the excess fabric into the center of the hoop and glue the felt onto the back.

Add a bit of cord or ribbon to the top for hanging. I love the variety in this one. There are some years around here where this would have been an awful lot of green. What colors will be in your hoop? 

7th Anniversary Giveaway!

I can't believe another year has passed already! Monday marked the 7th birthday of my blog, and in the tradition I look forward to, I'm here with a giveaway to celebrate. It's my way of saying thank you for your support. Since so many of you who visit are makers or aspiring makers, I'm encouraging that with this year's prizes. I can't keep ALL the fabric and stuff to myself...can I?

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So, what are we looking at here? Each of those pieces of fabric is 1/2 yard, so that's a total of 4 yards to play with! I've included a couple of embroidery hoops, in case you want to play along with my new monthly Hoop Art series. Or you could, you know, embroider with them. I've included some floss for that. There's also a big spool of my favorite white Gutermann thread for sewing. The three 10" zippers will come in handy for something I'm sure. There are three self-declared cute buttons. I've also thrown in a pincushion kit and some ground walnut shells for filler. I have one of these myself that I'm itching to try, so we might be learning how to do that one together. Think that will keep you busy for a while?

This giveaway is open worldwide.  One winner will receive everything shown here.  You can enter twice through the Rafflecopter widget below. If you click "I commented" where it says "Leave a blog post comment" be sure to actually comment on the post. :-)

This giveaway opens on February 15, 2017 and will remain open for entries until midnight Pacific Time on February 21, 2017. I will email the randomly selected winner on February 22nd.

Click on the photo below to scroll through close-ups of the giveaway items!

Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

It’s been a very long time since I attended a sewing show.  In fact, it’s probably been more than 10 years.  When I saw that Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was making it’s Portland debut, I decided maybe it was time to give it another go. Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

I got my daughter on board with the Knit! part, but I was a little skeptical that the $10 per person entry fee, plus parking, was going to be worth it.  That seemed a little steep considering I knew it was going to be full of vendors also wanting a peek into my wallet.  I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.  We ended up spending over three hours there!

There were two sides to the show:  display pieces and vendors.  We started on the display side, which was set up like a museum.  The first thing we came to was a Community Garden.  It was a fabric tree covered in flowers made by attendees.  They offered to let us make some to add, but we were anxious to see what was ahead.

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There were some truly amazing works of art.  They started with those made of yarn, like this crochet piece from local Jo Hamilton, representing the city of Portland.

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This quilt, called Gathering Hearty Roses, was made by a group of four quilters from Japan who have been creating together for 20 years.  Aiko Miyata, Norimi Tashiro, Nobuko Kotani and Reiko Terui each made one of the hearts, then put them together.

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I couldn’t get a photo that would do justice to Scarlett’s Crimson by Philippa Naylor from the U.K.  She drafted the pattern, then used piecing, quilting and applique to create this beauty.  She was inspired by 1950’s couture ball gowns.

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I love the color and style of Indian Summer Sunset by Shirley Gisi from Colorado.

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Jane Sassaman was inspired to make Illinois Album by the rural areas of her own state.

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Cindy Hickok, from Texas, had several 3D pieces made with machine embroidery, but my favorite was See the U.S.A.

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Alice’s Kitchen by Miki Murakami of Japan was a real eye-catcher.

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We moved on to the vendor side, which seemed to go on forever.  One the first booths we stepped into remained one of our favorites.  We even went back to it at the end to buy a book and chat with the author, Kay MacKenzie.

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You can visit Kay at her book website and applique blog.  She had so many cute things, but the Studio sign, which is in the above book, is the first thing I want to make.

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There were a few trends we spotted while we shopped.  Wool felt projects were everywhere.  Bertie’s Year, from Bonnie Sullivan, was a particularly fun set of patterns.

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Another prevalent theme was super-tiny quilts.  It really made me want to give one a try.  Imagine how happy we were when we walked by the Moda Bakeshop booth and they handed us each of us a sweet pack of 2 1/2” squares!

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You know how much I love to rip out a seam, but after holding this seam ripper from Lumenaris in my hand, I had to have one.  This thing is the perfect size and weight.  I’ve already used it, and I’m very happy to add it to my tool box.

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Overall, Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was a fun afternoon.  My daughter was hoping for more knitting and crochet patterns, but she enjoyed admiring the yarn.  I’m hoping the show returns next year!