Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paper Pieced Wreath - Better Bow

I am just about finished with the paper piecing template for my pineapple wreath.  I updated the bow a little to add another piece and make the bow bigger.  Again I'm using the red/green for the wreath on black background.  I have 3 pieces finished and one to go. 



I like paper piecing however sometimes it gets confusing for me.  I look at the patter and forget that the actual piece completed is the mirror image of the printed pattern.  This is because the sewing is completed under the pattern.  Because of this, I ended up making the same piece 3 times.  Don't ask me how...  That's what happens when you are distracted and really not concentrating.  Now, I have two more repeat sections of the wreath than needed.  Looks like I need to finish these and give two wreaths as Christmas gifts.  Dont' forget to stop back for the pattern and instructions.  I should have it published by Friday.



Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas - AllThingsCrafty

I've decided to enter the SewCalGal's Christmas Quilt Show.  Stop by and see all the entries or submit a quilt as well.

Below is my Christmas Tree Quilt with bling bling ornaments and bows.  It's a simple tree that sparkles with cheer.

I also have my Pineapple Wreath wall hanging.  It's made up of 4 pineapple blocks.  The crystal beads don't really show well in the photo but it sparkles with cheer when the lights hit it right.  I'm in the process of writing up instructions and paper piecing templates for this.

Thanks for stopping by!
~*~Trish~*~

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crafters can be so Crafty

It's that time, time to put up the Christmas decorations.  First up is the Christmas tree.  Yep, I'm an artificial tree person.  So, when we pulled the tree out of storage we found the stand but did not find the bolts that keep the stand open and compress against the tree to keep it standing straight.   Great...  We looked for about 40 minutes and could not find them.  Ugh...   Then, a light bulb went off.  I just bought a couple longer bolts to replace my handiquilter bolts.

I ran downstairs to the quilting area, located the bolts that I replaced and brought them upstairs.  Of course I heard, "those won't work".  But, they were a perfect fit and worked! 


Yeah!  Crafters can be so crafty!  We were able to put up the tree and finish decorating.  Of course, I can't get a good photo of the tree but I love this time of the year.  You wake up early and all I turn on are the lights on the Christmas Tree.


Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beginning feathers and Taking the Pledge

I'm busy getting ready for Thanksgiving like all the other crafters out there.  Me and Sarah are becoming fast friends.  I know, it's cheating when you rely on Sarah Lee but she's so good at what she does, I can follow her instructions for making pies pretty easy.

Besides, I'm busy trying to teach myself free motion quilting.  Feathers to be exact.  Why... just always fascinated with the feathers.  So, I recently saw instructions Ivory Spring blog on regarding feathers and I was intrigued.  I especially liked the directions on how to sew out the feathers.  So, over the last 3 days, I have been practicing on my domestic sewing machine.  At first it was frustrating but over time, I'm feeling more comfortable.  In the meantime, I'm going to try and make a feather each day.  My next biggest hurdle is trying to wrap a feather and butt one feather up against another.

Day 1 feathers... long and thin

Day 2 feathers, what happened to the top of the right one????
Day 3 feathers.  Hey, not that bad.. too bad I ran out of bobbin thread on the top left
So, in order to improve my free motion quilting skills.  I've decided to take SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge Pledge.  Looks like it's going to be fun!  I'm looking forward to the guest bloggers and learning new techniques! Won't you join me???



Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Early Start on Christmas Candy

I'm getting a head start on making my favorite Christmas Candy....  I'm starting early this year because at the beginning of December, we have a trip for DH to have his checkup.  I wanted to give all his nurses/doctors a little something from us for the Holidays.  Keep your fingers crossed that this will be his last PET scan.  Amazing that it has been 2 years since we heard the word cancer.  We are hoping after these appointments and scan that they'll say... see you in a year!

So I love making these easy chocolate covered pretzels.  They are addicting.  I found them last year on a blog and I can't remember where.  I ate so many of these last year that I was just waiting for the candy cane kisses to come out.  CVS has been having a sale on them so I stocked up.

Ingredients:
  • Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses
  • M & M's (Preferably red/green)
  • Pretzel squares
Directions:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Layout pretzels on a wax paper sheet on a cookie sheet.  I make one pan at a time.  Next I spend all the time unwrapping the kisses.  This is my least favorite step.


Next, lay one candy cane kiss on each pretzel


Heat in a 170 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes.  Just until the kisses start to get glossy and start to spread out a little bit.


When they are soft like this, quickly press one M & M into the center of each melted kiss.


Next, I pop mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes and then let them sit back out on the counter to come back to room temperature.  I tend to put about 3 rows in a baggy and then into a decorative bag.  Last year I made these and they were a big hit.  The peppermint from the candy cane kisses are addicting.  At that to salty pretzels and chocolate yummy!!!   Only problem is, one row disappears rather quickly!
Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Folded Star Ornaments - Full Instructions

Pin It I love folded star ornaments, I try to make one a year.  Here's how I make mine. I wrote these instructions back in 2008 and posted them in a 3 part series.  I decided to bring them all together in one posting for a repeat posting.. One year I am going to try and use glue instead of pin or I'd love to find shorter pins.  Enjoy!


Folded Star Ornament - Preparing Fabric Blocks

I start out with a bunch of 2.5" blocks.  When I first wrote these instructions, I created 2.5" strips and then cut into 2.5" blocks.  Now, you could probably cut out a ton of 2.5" blocks with a die cutter if you have one.

After the squares are now in 2.5" blocks, it's time for the ironing. But first, set aside 2 blocks from each color that you will not be ironing.
  1. Step 1 - fold the 2.5" block in half. Use your spray starch if need to make it flat.
  2. Step 2 - fold the folded half block again into a square. Use your spray starch again if needed.

The order in which you prepare all of your blocks is up to you. Meaning, do you do a completely iron and fold one block completely and then move on to the next one? Or, do you iron all in half first before you move on to the next step. Up to you.

Once you have your tiny twice folded square, you now open it back up to the original half size and then we fold the edges in to meet the center fold line. Think back to when you made your paper hats. You bring the right side into the center fold line and press and then you bring the left side into the center line and press. Or, you fold them both in, hold them with your finger or tweezers and then press at once. Be careful not to burn your finger like I usually end up doing :-) You will end up with mini triangles.

Be precise when lining up the sides to the center, the closer (without overlapping) the better. Here I am holding one block before I iron it down. I would spray starch here to make sure it stays.
From here, it's just repeat, repeat, repeat until you have a pile of triangles such as this. Notice my saved blocks that have not been ironed.

Folded Star Ornament - Pinning Pieces

Now it's time to begin pinning the triangle pieces to the star. Keep in mind there are no "must follow rules" they are all left up to your individuality and how you would like to arrange the layers. Also, things won't match up perfectly. That's OK, slap on another layer and cover up the imperfection :-). Most of all, make it your own.

Place two of the unfolded squares evenly spaced apart on the foam. Pin each corner and have the corners meet from each side evenly spaced apart.


Layer 1 Step 1 - Place your first triangle directly on the flat 2.5" square just placed. Match the wide edge of the triangle with the corners of the squares. Pin the corners first and then the point. Remember, place the pin in the point in between the two folds a little below the edge. Then pull the folded flaps up and over to hide the point pin.


Layer 1 Step 2 - Complete the second triangle directly across from the first one placed, same method.
Layer 1 Step 3 - Place the 3rd triangle in the empty space besides the two just placed, match points.
Layer 1 Step 4 - Place the last triangle to finish the square. All points should match up.

Next layer, decide how large you want your center star. You should be able to fit 3 or 4 layers without using half the foam ball's space.

Layer 2 Step 1 - When you decide where you would like to start layer two, place in the point pin first and then pin down the outer corners of the triangle.


Layer 2 Step 2 - Place the second piece completely opposite of Layer 2 Step 1. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 2 Step 3 - Place the third piece 90 degrees from pieces 1 and 2 from layer 2. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 2 Step 4 - Place the 4th piece directly opposite of piece 3. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 2 Step 5 - Now add a 5th triangle to the areas not covered by the 4 pieces of layer 2. It's almost like another layer of the same color. You are now starting to form your star. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 2 Step 6 - Place the 6th piece completely opposite of Layer 2 Step 5. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 2 Step 7 - Place the 7th piece 90 degrees from pieces 5 and 6 from layer 2. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 2 Step 8 - Place the 8th piece directly opposite of piece 7. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle. You should see your first star.



Layer 3 - next color
Layer 3 Step 1 - When you decide where you would like to start layer three, place in the point pin first and then pin down the outer corners of the triangle.


Layer 3 Step 2 - Place the second piece completely opposite of Layer 3 Step 1. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 3 Step 3 - Place the third piece 90 degrees from pieces 1 and 2 from layer 3. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 3 Step 4 - Place the 4th piece directly opposite of piece 3. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 3 Step 5 - Now add a 5th triangle to the areas not covered by the 4 pieces of layer 3. It's almost like another layer of the same color. You are now starting to form your second star. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 3 Step 6 - Place the 6th piece completely opposite of Layer 3 Step 5. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 3 Step 7 - Place the 7th piece 90 degrees from pieces 5 and 6 from layer 3. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle.

Layer 3 Step 8 - Place the 8th piece directly opposite of piece 7. Pin center, hide pin, pin corners of triangle. You should see your second star.


If you have room for another layer without going over the half way point of the foam ball, switch colors and repeat steps from Layer 3.

Once you are done with all your layers, I sometimes go back and pin down all the exposed outer edges in prep for the ribbon or fabric wrap that will hide all the pins.

When finished, flip over the ornament and repeat all steps. I like to use opposite center color and then build out.

Folded Star Ornament - Finishing Steps

Finishing Both Sides

I finished pinning on the second side of my folded star ornament. I decided on the second side I would only place 3 layers of fabric. However, I started the center in green this time. So, when I was finished, both sides met with the green fabric. Here are photos of both finished sides.



Where the sides meet is where you will place your fabric strip or ribbon. Most times, my sides don't match up perfectly. But like I referenced previously, who cares. It's going to be covered up with fabric anyway. I just make my fabric strip a little wider to make sure I cover it all. Here are my sides. See how at one spot, they overlap a little and in another, there's a nice gap.






Finishing the Ornament


Wrap a string or measuring tape around your ornament to determine the size of ribbon or fabric you need. For this size foam ball, I'll need a 10" strip to be exact. However, I like to add a couple inches to that in case I have any issues and to make a tube at the top to act as a hanger. I usually use matching fabric (or contrasting, depends on the mood :-) 2" wide strip.


Then I fold the strip in half, right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam down it to make an inside out tube. Turn the tube right side out and press with the seam on the inside, bottom center of the strip. I end up with a 3/4" finished strip to wrap around the ornament.




  • Optional instructions - Just fold the sides in (1/4" each) to the back center and iron to make a 1.5" strip with sides folded under. Then, fold this in half again to form the 3/4" strip. This hides the raw edges and still gives you the 3/4" strip to wrap around the ornament.
I cut the finished strip to 10" (or however long you need) and then from the excess piece I cut a 1" piece which I'll use later. On the 10" strip, I add double stick tape. Then carefully thread the one end through the 1" piece and secure with tape on the underside. This will be the hanger at the top of the ornament.

Place the area with the 1" piece on top of your ornament if you have a preferential "top". Wrap the piece around your ornament and secure. When you come to the top, feed the other end of the wrap into the 1" piece on the top of your ornament. I'll even reach in with a pin inside this piece and secure further. Now, your ornament is ready for hanging.


  • Optional instructions - just use the 10" strip and tape it to the ornament letting the ends meet at the top. Glue on a piece of fabric on top to cover the joint of the two ends where they meet at the top. Adhere something to hang the ornament.Here's the finished wrap. I like using fabric because the wrap is then very smooth.


Hang on your tree or give as a gift! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~