Sunday, December 2, 2012

Paper Pieced Wreath Pattern Encore Post

Time flies when you are taking care of things.  Next thing you know, a couple of weeks have gone by, wow.  I've been busy and I have not been sewing for the last couple of weeks.  Hopefully that will change here shortly.  In the meantime, when I was decorating for Christmas this year, of course the paper pieced wreaths came out.  I really like them so I thought I would share my wreath patterns in an encore post.

Encore post from last year.

I'll leave the paper piecing tutorials up to the experts.  Here's a link to a bunch of YouTube instructional videos I found on Paper Piecing.  Here is my recent finished wreath below.  It finishes at 14.5" squared. Each of the 4 blocks finish up 7.5" squared. Keep in mind, wreath and bow colors can change and be customized for any holiday. 

File Downloads

Here are the links to download the pdf patterns to my paper pieced wreaths.  Enjoy!!  The files are stored on a site called Media Fire.  Please be kind and reference my sight if you use the templates.

 My Tips
  • To trim the outside of the individual blocks, use your ruler to ensure a 1/4" seam.  The printouts were just a smidgen bigger.
  • Don't skimp on your fabric pieces.  It makes it so much easier when you have enough fabric to cover the requirements of each piece.  
  • I use basic printer paper.  It's cheap and readily available and super easy to print the pattern out on.
  • I leave the paper on until the 4 pieces have been joined together for the full wreath.
  • Fold each piece of the paper back on each seam and finger press.  This weakens the paper and it removes more easily
  • Don't pull, if the paper doesn't want to come off easily, refold the seam line again,
  • Be creative in your decorating.
  • If you get stuck, drop me a line and I'll help you where I can

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop - Flat Sue and Sam

I'm so excited to be part of the Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop.  Sit back and grab a cup of coffee, this is a LONG post.   I love working with digital files and machine embroidery.  I also love doing things the easy way too!  I'm a hobbyist and not a professional and I love creating items to give away or sell for charity.  If I can put less stress and pressure on myself, I'm all in.  The quicker and easier things are, the better.  You are seeing the picture.  That's why I also like the AccuQuilt Go and fabric die cuts. 

When I saw Marjorie's shop at and all the beautiful Die Cut and AccuQuilt Go Machine Embroidery Files, I thought it was great find and count me in. When I reviewed all of her files, I was drawn to Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam.  I recently purchase the AccuQuilt Go templates so I was excited to put them to use.  I've just found a new obsession thanks to Marjorie!

For today's blog hop, I'm pulling Sam and Sue off the fabric quilt blocks and creating my Sam and Sue for unconventional uses.  You never know, your children may make them their new Flat Sue and Flat Sam.  No one knows, where they will be photographed next.  I can see future posts on new versions so I've added a new category for Sam and Sue on my blog!  So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

My Favorite Tips
  • If you are going to applique for a quilt block, try and cut the quilt block fabric larger than needed and then you can center the applique after the machine embroidery is completed.  This way, you are guaranteed to be centered!
  • Don't be afraid to stop your embroidery machine and change colors mid stream.  Even though a piece may be designed as one color, you can stop and switch colors and then let it continue on.
  • Consider making your machine embroidery pieces as free standing appliques and then sew, glue, or iron them on to their destination.
  • Unless you are doing contest pieces, just enjoy the process and go with the flow.  If the thread breaks, OK, back up a few stitches and restart. If it keeps breaking... cuss a little and keep going. 
  • I love using sticky back tear away stabilizer.  It works well with making applique machine embroidery pieces.  It sometimes has little fuzzies around the edges so sometimes I combine it with water soluble stabilizer.
  • If the stabilizer is not sticky back, I'll use the 505 Temporary adhesive spray to help keep the fabric pieces in place.  
  • If you have questions on anything, please feel free to email me!

Don't worry If you don't own the AccuQuilt Go Sunbonnet Sue and Sam,   Marjorie's excellent instructions also come with a printable template for the pieces!  Here are the dies used as well as my Fall fabric choices in the cut pieces.

As mentioned above, I like the function and stability of the sticky back stabilizer but I don't like the feathered edges it sometimes produces when you pull it away from an embroidered piece.  So, sometimes I go the extra step to stitch out the template outline on the sticky back stabilizer and then I cut it out in one piece cutting directly on the sewn outline (See Steps A and B below).  I then redo the first step of stitching out the template onto wash away stabilizer.  Where the outlined it stitched on the wash away stabilizer, I then place the sticky stabilizer "cut out" within the lines. (See steps C and D below)  I use some temporary adhesive spray to keep it in place.  Then I add the fabric pieces as instructed. 


I have to say that Marjorie's files do stitch out beautifully!  I love the variety of options you get in each embroidery file purchased.  For Sunbonnet Sue you receive 7 different designs and with Overall Sam, you receive 5 different stitch combinations.  I place the fabric according to the instructions (See image A below).  The white you see around the edges is the sticky back stabilizer. Next time, I'll cut it a little smaller,  Then I let the design files and decorative stitches take it away from here. (See images B and C below)


Once the file have stitched out, now comes the fun part.  Even though I used the combination of Sticky Back stiff stabilizer and wash away stabilizer, it's really the wash away stabilizer that's keeping Sue and Sam on the hoops.  Once I take the stabilizer out of the hoop, I just give a little tug and it starts to separate easily from the wash away stabilizer.  If you would prefer, you can follow the instruction for the wash away stabilizer and use water.  Again, quick is good for me.  You can see the freed Sue and Sam below.  Also, a photo for the back of the stitch outs.  You can now see the sticky back stiff stabilizer.  This helps in giving Sue and Sam some structure!


OK, from here there's so many things to do with Sue and Sam.  Here are a few of my ideas:
  • Obviously, you can applique them onto fabric either using fusible webbing or stitching without having to worry about whether it's centered or not.
  • You can glue a stick on the back of them and then cover that with felt or something harder like cardboard to make stick puppets... lol
  • You can add business card magnet paper to the full size and make a car magnet.  :-)
I used mine in two different ways.  I added mine to a foam core square covered in batting and a fall embroidery design.  Here's a snapshot of the items used.  If you would like step by step instructions, let me know.  It really was just wrapping the foam core with a couple layers of batting and pinning it in back.  Wrapping that with an embroidered design centered in a lot of excess fabric and pinning to the back and then adding Sue and Sam along with embellishments.


I had so much fun creating the Fall Sam and Sue that I couldn't help but go back to stitch out another set using Marjorie's other layouts for Sue and Sam.  This time however, because of a cantankerous bobbin and temperamental top thread, I had one heck of a time on Sue.  This is exactly what I meant with just relax and most all things will  work themselves out.  Look at the mess I created with the bobbin thread and breaking top thread.  This was totally my machine's fault and nothing to do with the beautiful embroidery files.

But, if you use a little creativity, you can fix anything.  Here is the Sunbonnet Sue before the bobbin and top thread fiasco on Sue's decorative dress border and then after.

And after I finished the Sam, I added few magnets to the back of Sunbonnet Sue and Sam and here's the great reminder I have for everyone today!!  Right now they are on my fridge, but they are moving to my filing cabinet at work today!


Are you still here?  Wow, THANK YOU!  As a thank you, Marjorie has agreed to give away one design set of the winners choice from her collection of machine embroidery designs (   All you have to do is enter a comment and let me know what you would do with your flat Sue and flat Sam for one entry.  If you would like another entry, please become a friend that follows on the top right.  After you do, please leave another comment that you now follow.  If you are already following, please leave a comment letting me know as well,    I'll pick a winner from all the comments on Friday morning.  Entries on this blog entry can be made until Thursday at midnight EST.    Be sure an visit Marjorie's Shoppe and look at all the options available!  Thanks Marjorie!


Here is the rest of the line up for this fun event: 

Wednesday, November 7th
Thursday, November 8th
I Have A Notion
Friday, November 9th
Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio
Cheeky Cognoscenti
Mark your calendars and come join the fun November 5th - 9th.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fun Machine Embroidery Blog Hop Coming This Fall

A Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop will be sharing inspiration with an emphasis on Fall, and Christmas ideas too!  They'll also be some tips, tutorials, and giveaways in this fun blog hop.  And, you don't have to do machine embroidery to join the fun in this event.  

Here is the line up for this fun event:

Monday, November 5th
Marjorie's Quilting Bee
Tuesday, November 6th
Come back here at All Things Crafty
Wednesday, November 7th
Thursday, November 8th
I Have A Notion
Friday, November 9th
Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio
Cheeky Cognoscenti
Mark your calendars and come join the fun November 5th - 9th.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making Greek Yogurt - Wow, it worked

I came across a recipe last week on how to make Greek yogurt.  I was amazed at how simple it seemed.  I found this recipe using the crockpot on OnGoodThingByJillee website.  It was titled:  Foolproof Crockpot Greek Yogurt {And I mean FOOLPROOF!} 

I thought to myself, what would it hurt to try.  I was a little grossed out to read that the milk was left out for hours at a low temperature but moved ahead with her recipe.  I know, how did I think yogurt was made.   I will tell you that this took LONGER than I ever imagined.  It took a while to get the crockpot to warm the milk to 180 degrees.  I only did a half gallon of milk and I used a full container of plain Greek yogurt as my starter when it called for once the milk cooled back down to 115.  I also used 1.5 cups of powered milk.  I wanted to make sure it was thick.

I kept the yogurt in my oven closed with the light on and a sign to not open the oven or to not turn off the light.  I left it there for about 12+ hours.  Every once in a while, I would put the oven on it's very lowest setting and back off again, to make sure it stayed warm.  Probably overkill on that step on my part.  I kept thinking that this was not going to work.  When I pulled the two glass (not lidded) bowls out of the oven, the mixture was stiff.  hmmmm  Into the fridge for a couple of hours...

 When it was time to be the guinea pig, I spooned some out into a dish.  Thick, check.. at that time it did not need strained.  I didn't see any extra liquid.  I added some honey and maple crunchies... Took a bite and was pleasantly surprised it was thick and creamy.  Hmmm.. I might like this.

I will say, it's not that sweet yummy Greek style yogurt containers I buy all the time.  This is plain, tart yogurt.  I tried more later in the day and when I opened the container, I was surprised by liquid that needed drained.  I just tipped it out of the bowl.  The next time I had some, I added crushed pineapple and a little bit of splenda to taste for me.  I loved it.  I may just be making this for at home more often.

If you are going to try it out, make sure you have all day to try it out.  The next time I make it, I'm probably going to heat the milk in a pot on the stove instead of waiting for the crock pot. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Binding Added - Halloween Work Completed

Yeah!!  A finish!!  I added the binding to both the Halloween quilt and runner completely by machine.  It did not turn out bad at all.  I used 2.5" double folded fabric and used a little bigger that 1/4" seam.  By doing this, it seemed to line up better when sewing down the binding machine on the back.  That and the fact that the stitches are black thread on black fabric :-) 

Now on to new projects.  Coming up... Sunbonnet Sue and Sam machine embroidery and hopefully a Christmas Tree and wreath using my accuquilt go!  But first, here's a final snapshot of the finished Halloween projects. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Halloween Quilting Completed Times Two

I was able to finish up the quilting on the Spooktacular Halloween quilt.  I can't say enough how much I love these fabrics.  They are so bright and cheery!!  I just can't get a good photo of them.  I was able to finish both the quilt and the table runner / bed runner. 

Here are some photos of the finished quilting on both.  All that is left is to bind the two quilts.  I am going to try and save some time by using the sewing machine to add the binding.  I'm determined to finish it that way.  I can use all the extra time I can get!

Here's the back of the quilt.  I wish you could see the spider webs better...

While I was trying to photograph the quilt, I had a guest come in and photobomb my photo.  I didn't know it until I was reviewing the photos.  Of course I had to catch her in the act!

I was also able to finish quilting the Halloween runner.  I did need to remove the backing and piece it a little longer to fit the width and then repin it to the rollers.

Now, It's time to create the binding and add it to the quilts.  I am so exciting I'll be able to enjoy them for maybe 2+ weeks.  My goal is to have this done this weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Quilting

I wanted spider webs for the Halloween quilt but did not have the pantograph file so I thought I would use what I had.  I had a bat design that would also work well with the quilt.  So, at the top of the newly loaded backing, I tested out some designs.  I threw some pink scraps onto the layout and tested away.  Since I really could not see the design on the pink, I placed black scraps over the pink and then redid the designs.  Of course, I did not iron those black scraps so it looks a little wrinkled.

Here are the bats

Then I decided I really wanted spiderwebs.  So, I purchased the pantograph design from QuiltRecipes.  I tested that out as well. It was a larger 8" design and it did a lot of repeats on the webs, retracing to get from point a to point b.  I was not sure that I liked that.  Here's just a cutout from the stitch out of the spiderwebs.

Then I had the bright idea I would make my own pantograph.  Spent several hours getting the design "just right" on screen.  When I tested it out, it looked great but it was too dense.  I could have resized it but at this point, I just wanted to start quilting the Halloween quilt.  Here's what my pantograph sample stitch out looked like:

So, I loaded up the quilt and away I started.  I ended up returning to the "Plain Spider Webs 1" panto that I purchased from QuiltRecipes.  I liked that you also received a reverse design so all the random spiderwebs did not line up between the rows.  Based on the first row, I'm glad I returned to the purchased pantograph.

I used a grey Superior So Fine thread for the top and white bobbin thread for the bottom of the quilt.  Here's a snippet of the first row completed on the frame:

A couple more rows and then I'll be finished!  Then on to the extra Halloween table runner or bed runner.  I think I might make it before Halloween!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Changing the Halloween Quilt Backing

Even the best laid plans don't always work out the way you intended.  My thoughts for the Halloween quilt was to back it with the same black fabric from the front and then add the scraps from the cut border and then the extra squares from the left over charm pack.

Everything started out well.  I assembled all the border scraps into one long insert.

So, so far so good.  Hey that doesn't look too bad for not lining things up.  Looks a little modern to me.  So, I thought I would add on the extra charm pack squares I had.  I had just enough to top and bottom the insert and here's what I ended up with.

Hey I like that... That's too cute to put on the back of the quilt.  So, I decided I'm going to make a bed runner or table runner out of it!  The colors are so vibrant in this charm pack.  So, now I needed to pick a new backing fabric.  I went bold and different.  Here's the new backing fabric...

Next Up, choosing the quilting.  Bats or webs.. Hmmm.. decisions decisions...

Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spooktacular Halloween Quilt Top Completed

This morning, I finished adding the final two borders to the Halloween quilt I am working on.  I decided to go with the smaller center color border.  I just love how it turned out.  The excess that was cut off will probably end up on the quilt backing somehow. 

The quilt top is on of the larger quilts I've done.  It's wider than my banister so the sides are bending in the photo,  Surprisingly, you really can't tell.  Here's the center border being cut off.  I started with 2.5" alternating squares with black.  I cut off 1.25"

Here's what the finished border ended up looking like.  It was a gamble but luckily the corners turned out.  Each one has some black in it to separate the meeting color blocks.

And here is the final quilt top hanging.  The colors on the digital image do not do it justice.  I love the colors!

I hope to have the quilt on the machine and quilted by October 1rst.  That's a long shot since on work days, I just come home and pretty much crash.  But, I'll keep pushing along. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Signs of Fall

Like a lot of folks, fall is my favorite season.  I love the weather and colors and decorations! Today, we spent a little time putting out the fall/halloween decorations.  We added a little more this year.   There is one thing about fall that I'm not a big fan of though.  All the creepy spiders that come out.  I swear they have camped out at my home.  I am always looking for them.  Good thing too.. I almost walked into the most nasty looking one this morning.  They photos don't do the size justice.  It was big, hairy, and nasty :-) 

But I just avoid them and move on to decorations!  A couple bales of hay, some mums and a few Michael's scarecrows and we are good to go for a couple months.  Don't forget the pumpkins too!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Debating Borders

There's something about a simple bordered quilt that I love.  However, I had plans to add a pieced border to the simple Halloween quilt I am working on.  I got the first solid border on the quilt and re-pinned the quilt to hang it.  I then placed the pieced border beside one side and the final solid border to preview what's to come.  Now that I did, I'm not so sure about the pieced border.  It seemed good and it's the whole reason I purchased another charm pack.  But, now that it's up, I'm not so sure. 

I tried the full 2.5" pieced border with the outer solid border and then I thought maybe I'll cut the pieced border in half to make really thin rectangle pieces all around.  Hmmm... I wish all decisions were this fun.  So, now as I do housework <bad word>, I'm debating leaving it with a single plain border (Option A), the mini pieced border (Option B) or the full pieced outer borders (Option C).  You can only see the border option in the top left part of photos b and c.  I just hung the border beside the quilt to photograph.

I'm thinking if I post this and keep coming back looking at the photos, the decision will hit me.  Or, when hubby comes home from work, I'll hit him with the question the minute he walks in the door!

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday!
Thanks for stopping by!  

Simple Halloween Quilt Center Completed

I've completed the Halloween quilt center and all I have left is the borders.  My goal is to use the same squares from another charm pack and cut them into 2.5" squares and add them to the outer border between some alternating black squares.  It was a little difficult lining up all the blocks when using the black borders but with some patience, it paid off.  I absolutely love the colors in these charm packs! 

Hopefully today, I'll be able to add the borders and then move into quilting.  I added 6 panel blocks from other Halloween fabric I had.  I should have randomized those a little better on the quilt but there was a lot of last minute rearranging of the blocks and the orders got a little mixed up.  All in all, the randomized colors didn't turn out too bad. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Halloween Prep

Just like everyone else, my thoughts are moving to Halloween. Time for me to put away the pink for another year.  Next up, I wanted to work on a quilt or two dedicated to the Halloween holiday.  It started with a charm pack of Moda Halloween fabric.  I fell in love with all the colors from this little charm pack.  I ended up ordering another and was on my way to create a quilt.  I knew I had an excess amount of black fabric so I decided to border the blocks in black.

I was 6 blocks short of 100 blocks so I added a few images from Halloween panels I had.  Now, I'm up to 10 rows of 9 blocks.  My goal is to finish this by the end of the month.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

2012 Breast Cancer Quilts Completed

It was a sprint to the end and I completely finished the two charity Breast Cancer Quilts at my target date.  Yeah!!  Just added the finishing touches and added binding to both quilts.  I think I know now that the quilts that I work on that are about this size take me about four hours to finish sewing the binding on.  I added a simple label with just my name and I added a hanging sleeve.  I use the pre-made hanging sleeves.  This saves me a little bit of time. 

So now it's time to put away the pink for another year.  My thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected by Breast Cancer.  Keep up the faith and fight!  Now to package them up and ship them out while I cross my fingers that they arrive at their intended destination!

Next up... Moda and Halloween!!!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Two Quilts Quilted

Over the last two weeks I've been running the quilting machine to finish up the 2012 charity quilts.  I was able to finish both the quilts!  Now, all I have left is to add the binding and sew it down.  Also, add a hanging sleeve.  I'm hoping to be completed and have these shipped out by middle of September!

Happy Labor Day to all!

Here's a close up of the quilting.  The photo makes it look like it detracts from the writing on the blocks but it does not.  You can reads all the messages without issues.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting Ready for Quilting

Since both quilt tops are completed, it's time to get ready for quilting.  I wish I could remember where the ribbon quilt pattern came from but I honestly don't remember.  I squared up the quilt top.  Before loading it, I decided to practice the pattern on some ruined white (now yellowed) fabric piece I had. 

Even though the software can figure out how many repetitions I should use for the pattern on my quilt, I tend to like to rely on my own figuring out on scratch paper.  I'm glad I practice it first since you can see my spacing was way off on the spacing between the rows 1 and 2 at first.  So, I tried again and then I was happy with the intertwined designs on rows 2 and 3.

Now it's time to load the first quilt and get going.  I'll post pictures of the finished product hopefully by the end of the weekend! Stay Tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Simple White Border

The last part (I thought) that I needed to do on the second charity quilt was to add a border to it.  I thought of all different options.  The last idea I had was to keep it simple. One single border.. But what color should I use?  I settled on a white border.  The same white fabric that is in the center of the quilt.  Once the pink binding is added, the whole border/binding combo will match the quilt center.    Next up, a little practicing for quilting and then it's time to start loading the quilt tops to be quilted!

I'm not crazy about how you can see through the white fabric.  Because of this, I went out and purchased the warm and white batting.  The warm and natural I usually use made the white have a beige tint to it.  Hopefully the warm and white will work just as well.

Additionally, I need to embroider a few more words on the completed quilt top.  This will be a big challenge since it's already assembled.  I honestly missed mentioning the guys as well.  I should put Men and/or Brothers somewhere on the quilt.  But where??  Maybe in the pink around the white center.  This will be interesting.  I need 2 additional words to add with the words Brothers and Fathers.  Here are the other words that I already used on the quilt:

Faith / Believe / Sisters / Fight / Family / Strong / Courage / Friends / Cure / Hope / Support / Brave / Love / Wish / Inspire and Mothers.

Thanks for stopping by!