Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day Late, Dollar Short

Yep, that's how I live anymore.  Always playing catch-up...I used to have a sign hanging in my office, "I'm so far behind, I think I'm first."

Let's see - first, I received a couple of gorgeous Christmas gifties that I haven't blogged about.  First was my darling O'faigh, who blesses me always.  Look at this dear little package she sent...

Aren't those the sweetest buttons?  And that red floss was the exact color I needed, saving me a trip to the fabric store!

And then Debbie from Woolen Sails knocked my socks off - 

Pic is a little off color, thanks to the grey days we have this time of year, but isn't that little kitty adorable?????  And the little balsam pillow smells SO GOOD.  Thank you ladies, you sure know how to raise someone's spirits!!!!

I don't know if I've posted about this or not, but my best friend just got a new house - one of these days I have to get over there and take pics, it's darling, lots of vintage 50's features, including a Martha Washington stovetop and oven...anyway, she had to downsize, and gave me a china cabinet and corner cabinet...

The drawers in the china cabinet hold all my thread, so I was able to get rid of the white plastic 3-drawer bin, yay!  And that, ladies, is my fabric stash - also where I hide my best snacks, *grin*.

I've just realized that the sun is shining in those last two pics, I took them on the 10th of January, and I believe it's been that long since I've seen it.  Wow.

So, since I'm really missing sunshine and color in these grey and brown months, I started remaking my Lemon Tree pattern.  The original lives in Australia, with Jenny.

I was finishing up the applique today, and my machine had a hissy fit, wouldn't stop making bird's nests underneath, and the needle assembly kept freezing.  I'll try again tomorrow.

I've also been stitching on my longest running project...

I'm trying to remember when I started this, it's at least 3 years.  I tried it with crayon, didn't like it, have changed things over the years, I think I've stitched the four balcony windows 3 times.  It's going to look like an apartment building when it's done - with a very special address.  I have some awesome brick fabric to frame the blocks in.  

So I think that's it from me - mum is doing well, she's in cardiac rehab now, they send a bus to pick her up!  She goes 3 days a week, and will until April 7th.  That's a loooooong time to be away from home - her surgery was last October!  I finally got around to catching up on blogs, there were almost 1000 posts in my reader....I will not let that happen again.  Now that mum is doing more for herself, I have a little more time for me, and I want to visit you on a regular basis.  I've missed you.

I'll see you soon - 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Beloved - A New Design, And A Tutorial

Just in time for Valentine's Day!  My newest design, "Beloved".  Combining simple embroidery and sewing, making a gift for a loved one couldn't be simpler!  I've included a tag with directions for use, ready to print and attach.  Pattern is now available in my Craftsy shop, here:

But if you don't want to embroider on your rice bag cover, I'm going to show you how I make a plain one!  Microwave rice bags are something we use around here all year long.  I have terrible arthritis in my neck - and after a day of stitching, it hurts!  The rice bag gives off a lovely moist heat, and boy does it help.  For myself, I make it without a cover, but when I want to get fancy and make one for a gift, I definitely make a cover!   (All directions for the embroidered cover are in the pattern.)

You'll need two 6" x 15" pieces of fabric for the rice bag itself.  Stitch around 3 sides, leaving one short side open.

Turn right side out, and press.  Fold under about a half inch hem on the open side, and press.

Cut a corner in your bag of rice, and pour into the open end of the bag.  You'll need three hands.  It can get a little tricky to keep it off the floor!  Fill it up to about 4 inches from the top.  If you'd like, you can hold the bag closed while laying it on your neck, to see how heavy it is - too heavy, let some rice out.  This amount works fine for me.

Keeping the rice away from the opening, topstitch the opening closed.

And there you go, your rice bag is done!  Microwave for about two minutes on high.  Do a test - my microwave is small, and not terribly powerful.  I suggest 30 second increments to find the proper time.

To make a washable cover, cut two pieces 6.5" x 17".  You'll make it the same way, but make sure to fold your hem under twice, and don't stitch it closed - use your free arm to stitch around it.  If you don't have a free arm on your sewing machine, you can stitch the hem first, before sewing up the sides.

Now how easy-peasy is that!  I made this one for my mum, and boy does she love it.  I had purchased this fabric years ago, knowing she'd love it, but never found just the right thing to make for her.  Well, this was it!   Pretty, right?

Now for you ladies down under, you may not want to make a rice bag, as I believe it's pretty warm down there right now - but how about stuffing with polyfill and making a pretty little neck pillow?  You could even add some lace around the outside.  I'd love to see that!

That's it for me today - I'll be posting again soon, I have some things to show you!  Right now I need to borrow mum's rice bag and put it on my neck, lol...writing patterns all day also makes my neck ache!  See you soon, 



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