May 24, 2013

Celebrate! A New Mug Rug Pattern

This weekend I've got something to celebrate...
I've launched my new PDF pattern
for a fun and fresh new mug rug,

I've gotta tell you that I didn't really plan
for this to be my next pattern,
but I've had the idea in my mind for a long time.

It came to life when
I made a kitchen-themed basket
for my son's Relay for Life team to raffle,
and I made this little mug rug as part of the prize.

I began with a Divided Basket
in a turquoise and lime color scheme.

I added a bunch of fun turquoise and lime stuff, 
like napkins, a silicone trivet,
a candle, some straws, and some picnic plates.

Here's the back of the basket.

See that Denyse Schmidt print I picked up at my JoAnn store?
I featured it, adding a sweet lime polka dot
and a fabulous turquoise chevron from Riley Blake!

I filled it with some more handmade goodies...
and some pretty coasters.

I know you want to see more of those coasters, right?

I whipped them up using my own Moda Bake Shop tutorial.

I'm hoping the winner of the basket
will feel happy each time she uses it.

When I made my little mug rug,
I took some photos and made some notes...
and now I've got the pattern ready for sale!

There's something for everyone here...
a bit of applique using fusible webbing...

And a wee bit of embroidery...

All tied together with some bright binding.

You can find the Celebrate Mug Rug pattern 

in honor of Memorial Day...
even more reason to celebrate!}

It's also available in my shop on Etsy,

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May 23, 2013

Postage Stamp Basket Blocks

I have a "thing" for baskets...
and another "thing" for pincushions.

Here's one way I took care of both of those "things."

The May theme for the Across The Pond Sew Along
is BASKETS, and I must confess I had a head-start making mine.
Look at this stack of blocks that I made
a long time ago...

I started with a whole bunch of 5" squares of fabrics
from a Thimbleberries club hosted by a shop that no longer exists.

These days I gravitate toward brighter, more modern fabrics,
but I'm still deeply in love with
these little basket blocks.

Even the name is cute...Postage Stamp Baskets!
In 1976 the USA celebrated its bicentennial,
and interest in quilting and other colonial arts 
experienced a revival.
Eighteen months after the Bicentennial
a 13-cent stamp was issued,
honoring the quilters of America.

{Yes...13 cents...tells you how long ago that happened!}

Years later, Alex Anderson featured this quilt block
on her show Simply Quilts, seen  on HGTV in the 1990's.
That's when I learned to make this block.

You can find Alex's updated video tutorial today
on The Quilt Show website!

A few years ago, I actually assembled
my black and tan basket blocks into this little table topper.

{Did I ever tell you how much I love quilts that are set on point?}

I was just learning to stipple quilt when I made this one,
and it's slightly embarrassing,
yet endearing at the same time.

{I had tension issues...but that's okay.}

My points are cut off more often than not.
When that happens,
I always claim that I did that on purpose,
to make it "primitive".


{I'm going to make up a word for it...primitize.
Say it with me:  I primitized my quilt.}

I've got a second mini-quilt top made,
 this one in shades of green and red.

Won't this be pretty for Christmas?

{Maybe this Christmas???}

Oh.My. This one is really primitized!

I've still got a basketful of basket blocks left...
so I stitched up a few into those primitive pincushions
I mentioned above.

I paired them up with a coordinating 4-patch, for the back.

They are so simple...just stitched together,
with an opening for turning.
Here's how they looked when I turned them right-side-out and
gave them a nice pressing with the iron.

I just added a bit of stuffing and stitched them closed.

I still have a whole bunch left...

What should I make???
More pincushions?

Or use the rest in one more super-scrappy, primitized quilt?

{Now accepting: free advice.}

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May 15, 2013

Christmas Basket for May

All of my regular visitors know that
and that I'm trying to make at least one

I'm all excited that I combined the two goals
this month, when I created my latest

Even though most of my projects for Christmas 2013
have used Cherry Christmas fabrics,
I strayed away from those prints,
opting instead for a basket that is more Winter-themed.

{No surprise that I love the ice blue and lime green together.}

For the accent on the pocket and the handles,
I stepped out and used one of my beloved Boho Girl prints!
This basket could be used all winter,
and not just for Christmas.

As much as I like the front...
I really adore the back, with the little trees
and children making snow angels!

{These prints are from 12 Joys of Christmas by Sheri Berry, from 2011.}

I really have this pattern down now...
and it's a source of relaxation for me to whip one up.
It's my new go-to gift project, too.

Last week, I needed a lovely
Mother's Day present for my mother-in-law.
She has pretty peach and blue tones in her kitchen,
so I selected some Buttercup prints
by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda.

She loved her present...
maybe she'll use it for eating outside this summer.
It would be great for carrying napkins and utensils.

The back is just as pretty as the front!

I have yet to leave out the pocket detail,
even though that's a suggested design option.

Come back soon...I hope to have at least one more basket project
to show before the merry month of May is over!
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May 14, 2013

Ode to Jodi...and a Shout-Out to Alie

Way back when I first discovered
such a thing as a blog,
I really loved reading one called
Simply This That and The Other.
Later it evolved into the blog
and to this day, I break into a big smile
every time I see a new post has been published.

Jodi always shows big, beautiful photos on her blog.
My favorites are sewing related, but
she also features scenic wonders
and small-town sights that make me love America.

and I try to put as many of them to use as I can
with my little point-and-shoot camera.
There are great tips for lighting and backgrounds.

This photo made Explore on Flickr!

The single most important thing I learned is to make my photos
x-large on Blogger.

Here's an example...
this one is medium...the default when it's added to Blogger.

Pretty, right?
Here's the same photo, but made x-large.

{I rest my case.}

And then there are the tutorials...
there are loads of them that I keep going back to...
the funky pinwheel table runner...

and the heart mug rug are my faves so far!

If you are interested in learning more about photography,
you might enjoy the advice from this article,
"10 Cool Photo Projects."

Another feature that I always loved about Jodi's blog
was when she would provide a link to new-to-me blogs that
she had discovered.

I'd like to emulate my role model today,
and point you in the direction of a sweet new-ish blog
called Alie Makes.

Alie is a fascinating individual with a knack for explaining.
You can tell by her tutorials that she's
going to be a fabulous teacher,
when she graduates.

Head on over to discover Alie's posts,
and you'll find that she's got a great giveaway going on
right now!!!

{You won't be sorry you got to know Alie!}
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